Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vanilla Nut Coffee

I went to bed, last night, at the lovely young hour of 10:00 PM. Fell asleep at the divine hour of 10:30. Woke up around 6:30 and got out of bed at 6:45. It was lovely! I didn't want to wake up but I made myself. I saw the morning dawn light inching through the bushy pines, wishing me a good morning. I got in my running garb and went downstairs where the mesmerizing scent of vanilla nut coffee wafted up to me. My dad likes that type of coffee and, consequentially, I do too! I mentioned it and he got some more. How sweet!
Outside, on our deck swing (which I generously sanded last week *smug*), sat my mom and dad having a little morning conversation. My parents are awesome. I love them so much.

So I set out on my run. When I start down our hill I hear my parents cheering me on. I love those guys! Remember last time, when I thought I'd pause and revel and the Lord's presence? Well, the reveling came later, in the form of a lightning storm. It was super awesome. I love watching nature like that, it reminds me of the Bible verse that says, "be still, and know that I am God."
How can people sit and marvel at nature and not see the glory of God in the midst of it?
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Romans 1:20

Part-way through my run my left knee started to ache. Ugh, the persistent nagging from the worldly sayings about running and knees tagged onto my brain. Runner and jogger's knees tend to get too much strain on them and go out before "normal" peoples'. At least that's what I've heard.
I won't have any of it. I prayed for God to heal my knee as I ran. I thanked Him for the healing and quoted John 14:14, "if ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it." Then I continued running (or jogging) in faith, repeating, "in Jesus' name." Because those are the "magic" words (so to speak) the power is in Christ's name. And your FAITH in His name and the promises that are attached to it. The Bible also says that we walk by faith and not by sight. My knee still hurt, but I wasn't going off of pain, I was going off of the promises, the petitions that we ALREADY have (1 John 5:15). Soon the pain left, and I thanked God.

Then, my other knee started to hurt, I said, "God, both knees, please heal both knees!" And walked through the pain. The other knee got better as well. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to His promises! I quoted as far down Jude as I could, which was to the fifth verse and then tried quoting James 1, which I had once memorized with Buddy. And then I prayed in the Spirit.
I pray for God to help me through my exercising. And why not? Shouldn't be include God in all our activities?  If you're going to do something, do it right. And the right way is by including God in all you do. He wants to be a part of your life. Even the small things. I got home, walked through the door, and my mom cheered for me. Haha, she's great. It's so good to have her back home, where she belongs. She was taking care of my Grandma who had surgery, for two weeks. It wasn't an enjoyable time without her here, I'll tell you! And, they were making another pot of coffee because they thought I'd want some! How lovely and thoughtful! I love them, truly. I may be in my mid-twenties, but I still live with my parents. And why not? Why is it people feel the need to run off and escape from their family? I like staying here, being with them, enjoying their fellowship! Plus, if I were to move out I know I'd likely create for myself some terrible bachelorette habits. I think some people can be too independent and then when the time comes to be married, it's hard to transfer back into relying on and communicating with another person. I like the mellow independence I have here at home. I can make my own decisions, but still need to communicate with other people. Yep! This is the life for me.

I went upstairs and weighed myself for the first time in weeks. I haven't weighed myself before because I knew I would not be happy with the numbers. But I was feeling just a little slightly ambitious. Alright, fine, I was expecting the scale to break. But, happily, I've lost three pounds! Ah, what a load off -- no, really, it is. Though I suspect I lost more than that, maybe four or five, but we'll never know because I refused to weigh myself for the better part of this month. Better not to know than plunge yourself into a pit of remorse and depression. I am in love with those three pounds that had the courtesy to leave! Now to work off the rest! My problem is Wintertime. Yuck. But, this year, I'm determined to make Christmas cookies ONCE. I bake too many cookies at Christmastime and I'm determined to not put myself in harm's way! I shall prevail. And make more soup. Soup is not bad, it's got fluids and vitamins that fill you up quickly. Soup is our friend. And I love making soup all Winter long, having it simmer on the stove on a frosty day, come in from the snow and pour yourself a bowl of bliss. MMMM.
But no cookies.

Finally, I took a lovely morning shower, sat on my bed and brushed up on Jude and James a little (the two brothers, lol) then went downstairs where Mother was making waffles! Bliss! I got one and a nice mug of coffee and sat down, and wrote... THIS.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Again with the Twitching!

So with that title you can only guess where I've been. Yes! Running!
You'd think with all that's happened this weekend I'd have other things to talk about but, no, I go straight to the important stuff. Last week I done myself proud, I ran five times and walked once! I did nothing Friday or Saturday because I had--TADA-- Motorcycle Safety class. I grew up on a quad, so I know how to shift and all that jazz. When we relocated we got some dirt bikes and so I know how to ride those. But I've never ridden in traffic so I wanted to edgimucate myself and get an endorsement, as well. You never know when being able to jump on a motorcycle and ride off, legally, will come in handy! Plus, my mom and dad have their endorsements, how could I let them down? They've also had their pilots' licenses...Well, that's next on the list, after I get some funds.

Class was alright, it involved waking up at 6:10 AM yesterday. Not ideal for a Saturday. Today we got to sleep in until 6:30! Well, I did...my brother with whom I was taking the class got to sleep in until 6:45, when I woke him up. They taught me how to turn, which I still need to work on, and I passed the tests! Boy was that a load off. In about two weeks I'll get my certificate then I can get my endorsement! YAY!

So yesterday I was super sore and dead tired so I didn't want to run. Today, however, I was aching to run.  I was talking to Buddy (Buddy with a capital letter refers to BFF. Just FYI.) and was staring out my window, and the dusk was calling to me. It said, "I offer you cool, shady roads on which to run." So I followed its beckoning, and ran. And I'm glad I did! I put an X on my calendar to mark the days I run. The ones with doubles X's are my favorite. Check marks are for walking. The good thing about going to class so early was it messed with my biological time clock, so now I'm exhausted in the night time when I should be. So, if all goes according to plan, I can go to bed in about two hours and wake up early when it's still cool, and run! I don't mind running in the mornings, just in the HEAT. Yuck, I hate heat. You know how, in my last post, I said I spit more on the road than anyone else? Well I was considering how it was probably the only thing holding the crummy thing together (you should see the state it's in). Then, I realized, what if my spit were the cause of the deterioration in the first place? Do you know how super awesome that would be? I'd have like, superpower spit! I should bottle it and sell it to someone.

Anyways, I did a lot of walking on this "run" because I had a lot on my mind, and I can't run when I'm thinking. The more in-thought I am, the slower I have to go. And then, I thought, "why not just pause in the road and soak in the presence of the Lord?" And so I convinced my legs to stop moving and, right away, I noticed three life-changing things.
1. Wow, it gets hotter when you stop moving.
2. A mosquito buzzed in my ear, it was getting late.
3. Huh, that telephone wire hangs really low, I never realized that before.
Then I continued walking. I decided reveling at God's creation can be done just as well walking as it can while one is stationary. Then I saw clouds. Oh, I love clouds! I saw an index finger, a dog laying on its back and a bunny!!
There seems like there was a ton more for me to say, but my mind just totally crashed and I find myself wanting to gel out. Which doesn't involve talking to you people. So be gone!
Hah, no, I love you! I think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My whole body is twitching. Why? Because I just got back from a kick-b...u...t...t... run! Yep.
I ran Sunday night, yesterday morning, yesterday evening, took a break this morning, did a 20-minute stretch, then went for a run tonight! Aaah, I feel so fulfilled. It was hard getting back into the routine, but after sticking with it, my energy is returning and I feel like I can push myself a little further.
I set out, tonight, a little later than usual. I ended up walking in the house just before total darkness.
I love walking/running home late (not). It gives me thinking time, like, "what's that noise?" And then my imagination comes up with some lovely ideas. For instance, do you know how incredibly freaked out I would be if I witnessed a murder? It's not like any of my neighbors are the murdering type...but what if a neighbor were murdered? GASP! I know I shouldn't think about things, and I normally don't. But every now and then, especially when walking down a dusty, dirt road that looks super spooky, the thought occurs, and then I have to make up a plan on what I would do if I witnessed such a thing.

Then I heard coyotes. "Great," I think, "now I'm going to be eaten by coyotes." Then I thought up a delicious story that involved running up my hill to my house and screaming at the top of my lungs while being chased by coyotes.
Usually when I let my mind run rampant with ideas like this, I come to the conclusion that I would (as with every situation) pray. So if I were attacked and my leg were ripped open (as the story from tonight included) I would pray to be healed. Usually I come to that conclusion, but since I got home too soon, the natural flow of my thoughts were interrupted. I walked in the front door and saw that no one did their after dinner chores yet. SIGH.

By the way, I'm completely convinced that our back-country road his held together by my sweat, spit, backwash and, yes, the occasional booger. Hey! When you need to breathe and your nose is clogged, what's a girl gotta do? I'm telling you, I've got lots of manners normally, but when I'm out running I turn into a redneck/hockey player cross-breed. I bring water to keep my mouth moist so I end up spitting most of it out, otherwise I'd have a belly full of water and would be getting sick. I've spit more times on this road than anyone else, I'm willing to wager.
I also wipe my face on my sleeve, which is something I'd never do normally. The worst offense is this... You know when guys need to blow their nose but don't have a tissue because they're in the middle of nowhere? They usually put one finger to a nostril and hock out whatever might be residing in the other one! That's so gross. But, to my shame, I've done this--more than once! Tonight I went so far as to wipe my nose on my sleeve!
*glances at sleeve* Well, I'm doing laundry tonight!

I also have to give my Grandma a shower. Oi. She was a handful tonight. She kept telling me to give her some "jurrrr." She slurs her words a lot and doesn't make sense most of the time. Then she gave up on "jurr" and just said "give me a pie!" Not a piece, but a whole pie! We do not have pie... I think she saw the stacks of the old leftovers in tupperware-wanna-be's and thought they were pie.
Heaven help us if she ate any of it, who knows how old some of that stuff is! She tried trying vegetable oil once. She doesn't know what she's trying to eat, all she can think of is food and getting it, it doesn't matter if it's a canister of cleaning wipes she's holding, to her it's a pitcher of deliciousness. Grandma, Grandma, Grandma. Then she started telling me to come to my sewing machine. I don't own a sewing machine. My mom does, and it's pretty awesome, but I don't know how to use it.
I did know how to sew, once, just pillows. I made my best friend a super awesome pillow once. She used it as a cushion on her desk chair. I felt so honored! I wouldn't mind knowing how to sew, I'd like to make quilts and such, that'd be awesome! But, I don't have a sewing machine right now, and that's the important thing.
Then she started telling me to come put the pieces together. I wasn't aware I was working on a quilt in her room. Grandma used to be a quilter, so this must be why she's got sewing on the brain.

I totally bought a tuner for my cello, and a dampit and some peg drops. So I can get my cello into shape and start playing again. I will have no excuse! I want to take lessons, but those things are so darn expensive! I'll stick with youtube for now.
By the way, my cello is purple. Yes, it's awesome.
I have a violin, too, and I can't wait to play that, I was getting bearable last year, and then I stopped going to lessons. I'll have to look up a teacher and get lessons again. Though I can never tell if I'm in tune or not so I have to play staring at a tuner to be sure I'm playing in tune. Sigh, it stinks being tone-deaf. If I had the choice, I'd be an opera singer. I love opera voices! They're so awesome! I wish I could sing, period. Well, I can when I make up my mind to. I have to sing along to a song and I can train my voice to stay in key with the singer. But that takes practice and singing isn't super high up on my list.

Writing is. I'm so excited for BFF to get back from her pilgrimage in the far land, then we can start with our writing again! We're so savvy that we set up appointments to talk about our book! Our next un-official appointment is Sunday. But I just remembered that I have motorcycle-ed. So that's going to be canceled. Darn, I was so excited! Oh well, we can get together on Monday after work or something.
Anyway, besides the book Buddy and I are writing, I've got at least three more ideas in mind. A fantasy, a space series for teens, an interesting political/love story series (you'll have to wait and read it), and another story based on an old rp idea about NASA which is, sadly, over with so I'll have to change the story around a bit. I'm getting so excited about our book because we're going to try to finish it by next year, which means we can send it out to be published as soon as next year or the year after that! God willing, it will be published.
BFF is also editing her first novel, I am in love with her novel. It is...it is simply lovely. I'd have to say I'm her biggest fan. She hopes to send it out for publishing as early as the end of this year! Good job, buddy!

Anyways, I have more rambling to do, but Grandma's being super cantankerous. You know how children get super cranky before bedtime, then you have to change them and put them to bed? That's how Grandma is, she gets super cranky, and then I get her ready for bed and she calms down and goes to sleep. So I'd better go tuck her away for the night!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today is Jubilee

In the Bible they had a rule, every fifty years they had the year of Jubilee where all debts were forgiven.
Well, with my mother gone taking care of her mother after surgery, and surprise guests for a week, plus my brothers' tennis tournament over the weekend...our house seemed to explode.
We have daily chores that are randomized by a site called chorebuster. We print them out every day. Some are throughout the day chores, such as dishes, keeping the counters tidy, sweeping the floor, picking up the living room. Others are once-daily chores such as taking out bathroom trashes, cleaning toilets and watering plants. Then there are the royal pain chores such as dusting, cleaning out refrigerators, shoot cleaning out the whole garage! Ok, the last one you just have to sweep the garage and throw away trash. Anyways, my point is, we've grown slack in the chore area the past week. Oi vey, that's an understatement. But the guests left yesterday and the tennis tournament ended yesterday. So, today, we wake up and a nice mess is there to greet us. There's laundry that needs to be folded and a TON of dishes and pots and pans that need washing.

I told Jeffrey that he's "fold laundry" today and he started, right away, "I am NOT folding that laundry." Usually if someone didn't do a chore from the day before I make them do it the next day, usually. Other times I tell the next day person to stop complaining and just suck it up. I told him that today was jubilee and that we're pretty much starting over. He wasn't going for that. So I said, "alright, fine, then you can do.." and I started flipping up the page to look at yesterday's chores. He grabbed my hand and said, "no, no, today is juuubbbilleeeee!" And he looked up to the heavens all dramatically. I'm pretty sure Jeffrey had the dishes yesterday, haha. And now I have them today...

I spent close to two hours cleaning the kitchen (because I was lucky enough to have counters, too!). The dishwasher's going, some more dishes are soaking just for the fun of it, and most of the counters are clean. Furtheryet--there is ZUCCHINI BREAD in the oven.. MMM. I've never had zucchini bread but dad brought in a bunch of zucchinis and said I needed to use them so I looked up a recipe and made them, using the last of our vegetable oil--sadness, mom needs to come home soon as we never seem to buy groceries when she's gone! See how helpless we are without her?

On top of all this, I still have to go for a run today! I haven't run since my last post because the day I did two runs I strained my foot! Ugh, and then came the weekend and I was super busy. The whole twice-daily thing was killing me, only because I hate getting out of bed but, what's more is, I love feeling clean! I usually take showers right before I go to bed so the clean feeling's still there when I wake up, now why would I want to ruin that by running and getting sweaty? Then I'd have to take another shower and have wet hair for hours (blow-drying is not an option). But I will, at least, try sticking to once a day. What's more, is, I want to ride my bike more! Last summer I did a TON of biking and I was a better person for it. Sadly, my biking buddy is out of state right now. COME HOME SOON, YOU!!

You know, cottage cheese is super good. I love it with salt and pepper. Plain and simple. But fat-free cottage cheese is disgusting.
How disgusting? GRANDMA won't even eat it! She eats EVERYTHING! How could she not eat cottage cheese? I had to keep telling her to sit down and eat her cottage cheese while I was cleaning because she kept getting up before finishing! This is such a rare occurrence, I knew it had to be bad. But she finished it, eventually. And...now my youngest brother brought some kind of airsoft gun down to the kitchen. It's like a crazy sniper-rifle thing, and a hand gun as well. He looked at me through narrowed eyes then rested the sniper over his shoulder then walked out.

My BFF is visiting her homeland right now, I mean home state. She'll be gone another week! I'm starting to go crazy, only because we'd talk nearly every single day for at least an hour discussing our book and what we need to do next. It was awesome, actively writing our book. The book has been in progress for six years. We've changed it so many times it's hardly the same book. We started actively writing it around December or January. Then, in July, we had to give some characters a make-over which changed the whole plot. In just a month we managed to edit and rewright about 16 chapters, and then write another 11 chapters after that! We've come to a break in our book which was just in time for BFF's visit. So the lack of buddy time combined with the respite from writing is making me go bonkers. But I'll deal, I always do.
I sometimes think I need a boyfriend, then I'd have someone else to be obsessed with, but then...a boyfriend takes up time! Valuable writing time!! No, I think I'll remain single until I'm 40.

Speaking of which, I think my parents MIGHT actually start to worry that I'm never going to move out. Despite their naysaying and thinking it'd be great for me to stay forever, I do wonder if, beneath their calm expressions they are holding their breath.
You know, Jane Austen never got married. And Beatrix Potter got married when she was OOOLLLD. Perhaps, I wonder, they were just too much into their writing to care to marry.
Well, all that talk is nonsense, I'll be happy with a husband when I get one. Until then I like to go wild and imagine I'll be a crazy bachelorette that lives and breathes writing, and goes on adventures with her equally crazy (and incredibly single) BFF.
And, as you learn to know me, you'll learn to understand that when I say things like this they come with the disclaimer that I live and breathe God before writing or any of that other silliness and all things go according to His will. See, that's just a given that I hardly think to mention it ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"You are a Lunatic."

This is an account of preaching, but know that I probably won't get all quotes verbatim and don't remember all details in exact chronological order.

As you may know, I had plans to go street preaching last Sunday, but they didn't work out. This Sunday was my brothers' tennis tournament. But, luckily, that was in the morning. I hijacked my brother to take me to the lake to preach afterwards. I just wanted him there to have someone around, just in case. I had been up in the air about whether or not to bring someone when I heard from three separate people that I should probably take my brother, so I figured that out of the mouths of two or three witnesses the truth is established, so I ought to take my brother!

So at almost 1:30 we got to the park. Nick set up his chair and drinks. I had nothing else to do but preach. But I was unnerved. I've never done this before, open-air anyway, and it was nerve wracking not having another preacher there to start me off. And, here was the dilemma: The lake and the park are separated by a cement walkway and a cement wall. At the lake the waves and sound of people having fun was a bit noisy, at the park there was a CONCERT going on! A concert! So I was a little disconcerted since I didn't think there would be anyone around to hear, the quietest place didn't have very many people. So I called my Buddy for encouragement. I told her about it and she basically just said go where people might hear me and then I started getting super nervous, to the point of tears! But she said the worst thing that could happen is I say nothing at all and the people don't hear the truth. This reaffirmed my resolve. I worked up my mentality by telling her where I was going to go, "I'm going over there, see it? I'm going to stand on that thing (pointing to the cement wall as if she can see)" "Oh, good, stand on something." "And I'm going to read a verse then start preaching!"

That was the hardest part, starting. And I knew it, everyone told me, and I told myself. But just because someone says it's hard, doesn't make it easier! So I made Nick move further down because I wanted him in front of me, sort of to have someone speak to. Then I jumped up on the wall. The sense of being a sort of center of attention caused my legs to wobble just a little, but I steadied myself and opened up my Bible. I don't even remember what verse I read, as I read a lot throughout the course of the hour. But from there I just started preaching against sin. At first I was super nervous, I was standing in one place and just yelling against sin, and encouraging people to live righteously, after about fifteen minutes I started to settle down. I'd stop speaking abruptly, and when that would happen I'd open my Bible and look for another verse, I used a few such as "today is the day for salvation.", "These times of ignorance the Lord has winked at but now commands all men everywhere to repent." and the like. After finding a verse to quote I'd wait until people were walking by as there would be times when people were scarce. I quoted John 8:11 often, which has Jesus saying, "go and sin no more." I also quoted the verse about not eating at the table of the devils and the table of Christ. A man was sitting near me and seemed to be listening. After a little while I went to Nick for water as my throat was getting dry. When I went back the man stood and asked me how I memorized all the Bible verses. I told him that I'd been a Christian since I was about 7 and have been living in the truth since around 2005 or 2007 (it was actually 2006 so I guess I got it right). Then he asked how long I've been preparing for preaching and I said, "about two weeks." I explained that once I get the Word of God in my brain that the Holy Spirit can bring it back to remembrance, as long as I'm getting the verses in there He'll have a lot to work with. The man then explained the verse about being delivered up and not worrying about what to say. I said, "sure, we're not supposed to worry about what to say at any time, not just in front of judges, but in front of anyone, anywhere." Then he said I could be taken into custody and sent to a judge. I answered, "well, this is a public place, isn't it?" He said yes. "Then I'm free to speak here. If a police officer were to come and say I can't then I'd leave." He asked me what church I went to and I told him I didn't go to church because I hadn't found a good one that preaches truth and felt that "churches" could be a little too into going through the motions. He asked about tithes and I told him that tithing had been set up for the Levites to make provision for them. I'm not exactly sure what else I said but then he said I was doing a good job and I thanked him and went back to my place on the wall.
By around this time a man, about 30, who had been sitting nearby walked up to me and said, "you're a lunatic, really." as he pointed to his head then walked away. For a moment I felt a little discouraged, but then I reminded myself that this was going to happen, these things will happen when you are preaching the Truth.

I continued on. And I noticed a little girl of about 13, maybe 14, wearing some pretty awesome pink shoes, stop and listen. Since most of the hearers were passersby I saw no harm in repeating myself. Some girls in bikinis kept walking by, one in particular was wearing a silver bikini, she walked past with her friends often throughout the hour, mostly hiding their smirks and trying not to laugh. The pink shoe girl came a little closer and, eventually, sat on the wall about 8 feet away from me. I'd look over at her a few times and she seemed to be a hungry listener, the sin message wasn't scaring her away.
I continued to speak about everyone's free will choice, I told them that life and death were in front of them and urged them to choose life. Some people walked by, embarrassed, others gave small nods or smiles.
Then a shirtless guy started walking straight for me. I was like, "oh, great, he's going to push me off the wall," but I continued to speak, until he was right in front of me! But no pushing commenced, instead I stopped preaching and gave him my attention, he then said that Jesus Christ had changed his life. At first I thought he was joking, but then I said, "praise the Lord!" He then said he liked what I was doing and said I would be blessed. I thanked him and shook his hand then continued to preach.

After a little past halfway through, my voice started to get a little squeaky and I was taking more water breaks. Pink shoe girl had left and I felt a little disappointed. I continue to preach against sin, telling people that everyone would give an account in front of Jesus on judgment day, they'd have to answer for their actions, whether good or bad. I explained that when God says, "why did you do this?" They'd have to say, "because I loved sin more than I loved You, Lord." And then He would say, "depart from Me you doer of iniquity." I asked everyone if they were ready to account for their lives/sins. Pink shoe girl came back with a drink and I was happy to see her return to her seat on the wall and listen intently. I continued to preach and the silver bikini girl walked by, twice, with her iphone, recording me. I wasn't very happy about being recorded but was sure to start over and say some good things about judgment and sin whenever I saw her. You know, if I'm going to be recorded, might as well be caught saying something good. Then the Lunatic man walked up again and said, "do you have a light?" as he held a cigarette. "No." "Do you smoke cigarettes?" "No." "Oh.." then walked away. He reminded me of my brother when he was about 10. He constantly asked me now brother-in-law, "do you drink beer? Do you smoke cigarettes? Are you a Christian?" This lunatic man was acting like a 10 year old.

Then a girl walked up and said, "what are you doing." I simply answered, "preaching." And she walked away. 
Finally, as it neared an hour of preaching, I started getting tired, my verses became a little mixed up and Nick almost called me in early because I was just over-all acting tired. I preached another 15 minutes. And then wrapped it up. The pink shoe girl was still sitting there so I grabbed a spare Bible I had (courtesy of Justin Buddy) and walked over to her, "do you have a Bible?" I asked, "yes, well I have an app" She said, handling her iphone. I nodded then asked if she had any questions. "Well, kind of." So I sat down next to her and she said that I was talking about not sinning then asked, "how do you not sin?" I explained that in the old testament people had to kill animals to cover their sins and that people, today, think that's what Jesus' blood does. But it actually cleans away the sin. I then explained that Jesus gives us a way out of temptation and showed her 1 Corinthians 10:13 then 1 John 1:9 and 2:1, explaining that we are not to sin but that IF we sin we can repent for it and get back on track. I told her it takes a lot of practice and not to get down on yourself if you mess up. And that God can help, and you can ask Him for help because John says that seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you, ask and it will be given. I asked her if there were any more questions and she said "no, not really." She told me that she thought I was really cool for being out here and doing the preaching, I felt encouraged; The comment made up for the lunatic one. But I told her that I wouldn't have been able to do it without God. I then said goodbye and God bless and we parted ways.

On the walk back the the truck Nick said that I was acting really tired and almost called me in early. He also mentioned there were a few guys walking super close to me and he was about ready to pounce, thinking they might push me off the wall. Then he commented on my getup and said I did look a little strange, or something to that affect. I was wearing a gray jean skirt because I wanted to be modest and not call any wrong attention to myself, I explained that to him. Plus, my jeans were in the drier. Next time I'll have to go in a preppy jean skirt (still a modest length) so as not to look like a nerd. ;)
I was also thinking of things I could have said, could have done, that would have been good. I was worrying about the pink shoe girl, hoping I gave her the right stuff. But then I remembered that I can pray for her, and I will. Everything else can be worked on.

So, praise the Lord for giving me the boldness to go out and say what needed to be said. I look forward to honing my preaching skills and only getting better and better so that the gospel can be preached more swiftly and clearly. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kick-B-u-t-t time!!!!

Okay, so "butt" is actually a bad word in our family. My younger brothers aren't allowed to say it so I try to keep my potty-mouth to a minimum when around them. Though I, personally, don't think it's all that bad, though maybe sounds a little crass. I like to use it when it's funny.
But, in this case, it really was kick-butt..ox time!
Let me explain. I had a dream that my dad told me I am carrying too much sugar weight. Considering my brothers are obsessed with the evils of sugar, and the fact that sugar is, really, not all that great for you, I'm not surprised I had this dream. I started running four years ago. I had lost 45 lbs. It was awesome. Last year around May was the skinniest I've ever been--and I felt GREAT!
Sadly. Something happened. Not sure what, but it spiraled downhill, I got lazy and then add the soups and cookies I always make during the long, snowy, cozy... delicious... wonderful... NO! Bad, BAD winters. Bad! You get the idea. I love winter, it's one of my favorites, I love the snow! Not such a fan of the cold, but it's all the reason to make delicious soups that stew in the kitchen all day, you walk in from the snow and ladle a bowlful, mmmmm. So, you see, you don't have to be a detective to understand HOW I gained back 10 of those lbs! And then, this is what gets me the most, I gain back another 10 over the SPRING! ugh. I'm so fed-up with myself. After all my hard work!
Anyways, that's why I say: It's kick b-u-t-t time. Pun intended. Because I've altered my run from joggyish running to kicking and screaming and running and rar-I-want-work-this-stupid-20-lbs-off! Almost literally, my feet kick my tookus. It's an effective workout. My Buddy (aka BFF) had mentioned wanting to stretch out her legs, take longer strides, while on her runs, and that's what inspired me. Yes, my buddy runs too, isn't she awesome?
Also, I have a shirt that says, "this is my kick butt shirt" I'm almost ashamed of it, but secretly proud of it. Alright, I love it! Buddy and I got them at a Nike store--yes, we wear matching clothes, aren't we awesome? No, we are not gay.

Anyways. On my run a grasshopper was running away from me. Thenl it finally hopped to the side and stared at me as I ran past. It was creepy and I'm almost certain he started to follow me once I past him, but I was too afraid to look back.
I got home and my brother was nice enough to let me have some of his oatmeal squares for breaky! MMMM. After that dream I'm definitely going to have to watch my sugar intake, don't want the sugar monster to come in my sleep and choke me with bitter remorse.
To my credit I next to never drink soda and I hardly ever ever ever get fast food. Unless there's no choice, I suppose. Or if Mom brings some home I may snitch a little. Either way, those are two healthy habits to have in regard to healthy eating. =D

My best friend has turned me into a writer. Though, I almost imagine I had the writer's potential locked away all along and she came along and drew it out. We were sitting at a lake, once, enjoying the view (aren't bff's awesome like that), I said, "I imagine how I might paint this scene." and she said, "that's funny because I'm imagining how I can write it."
Well, while out on my run today, I was imagining how to write things! Where has my artistic mind gone?? Oh, don't worry, it's still there somewhere. I wish I loved to paint as much as I used to. But, the fact is, I'm a lazy artist. Kind of. I'm a perfectionist, I want to get every detail just right. That takes a LOT of time. So, instead of sitting in front of a canvas for 24 hours straight, I span it out to the width of a month! You should see the one I did for my brother for his birthday last year. It's a mammoth.
Yes, yes, the awaited paintings. I keep putting off posting some.

Anyways, after all those rabbit trails, I meant to explain that kick butt time also includes running twice daily. A good friend of mine said, why work out once a day when you can do it twice? You'll get double done! It doesn't harm my body, so, what the heck? Sure! Of course I'll be careful not to strain myself. But it's about time I kick myself into gear. Huzzah! (that's me kicking it into gear)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Well that was anticlimactic...

Yesterday started out to be a day of good intentions that all ended up swirling into a spiraling pool of death.
Okay, I'm over exaggerating.
As you know, I was planning on preaching. Well, Saturday night my sister shows up with her husband, daughter and son. Surprise!
That wasn't going to stop me. My brothers could entertain them! But, come Sunday morning, Mom announces that we're all going to help her friend move. Which robs me of my secret service agent (my brother) that was going with me to make sure no one threw me in the lake. Plus I stayed home and babysat.
This was a disappointing day because I was super excited to preach.
And then...

I was talking to one of my friends, well, we're sort of friends, we barely talk. And I think that is part of the reason why the following commenced. "Friend" was complaining about lack of friends and I was trying to cheer Friend up by saying Friend could come and visit. But Friend didn't like that idea so I gave up. In a very Andreaesque way. Friend got mad at told me I'm controlling, I make Friend sad and I ruin everything. Let me just save you time and tell you right now that the words "ruin everything" have literally been going through my head the past 26 hours or so...well I suppose they didn't when I was sleeping, so I had a brief respite.

How could said Friend say such a rotten thing?? Friend tried calling back but I was so upset I didn't answer my phone. (Shamefully, I even hung up once.. <_<).

So from there on I've been going through some really tough battles. Battling thoughts that I'm not good enough, that I ruin everything (I even looked up the definitions of ruin and everything.. they aren't promising), battling bitterness and unforgiveness. Today was worse. I was battling temptation to just give up on everything. I know it sounds like I'm overreacting a little, but if you understood the relationshipwreck between said Friend and I, I think you'd understand why I was so affected by what Friend said.
Besides the fact that Satan loves taking terrible things like this and exploding them into afore mentioned pool of death and add the fact that I have had a splitting headache since Saturday, perhaps you can understand why I was so affected.

Either way. Being so affected was stupid. And I hate it, I hate that I even let myself get to sad about it. I hate that find it hard to forgive but, mostly, I hate that I let my Heavenly Father down.
I was dusting me mom's office and I was asking, "how? How do you forgive when Friend has said so many things, done so many things, to hurt me in the past? I've forgiven him so many times and I know that you're supposed to forgive 7 times 70. But HOW, God?"
And immediately the answer came to me.

God forgives me every time I mess up and repent for it.

He never withholds His forgiveness. He doesn't hold a grudge. As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (thanks, Mom, for making us kids memorize Psalm 103). This thought occurs to me whenever I'm faced with having to forgive someone. And it's amazing how I seem to forget it when I'm in the midst of needing to forgive. When you sin you are hurting God far worse than Friend hurt me. Fortunately, God was ready to forgive me of my stupidity. So now I'm ready to forgive Friend. Silly me. How could I have been blinded so badly?

Remember this, friends, that forgiveness doesn't come easy. You may still feel upset against the forgivee. But forgiveness isn't a feeling, it is a choice. You need to make the choice to forgive and act on that, ignore the anger or bitterness. Because the wrath of man worketh not the righteouness of God (James 1). So that was my preaching day.

I started out thinking I was going to bring the gospel to some people, and in the end I was tested. Sure, I felt like I failed the test miserably. But then, I realized, I only fail when I give up. I only fail when I let Satan win. Sure he had won a few tricks, I have stumbled and fallen. But I continue to get up. I will continue to fight.

Satan will never win with me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How shall they hear without a preacher?

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" Romans 10:14

Today is the day I go preaching for the absolute first time. 
I went preaching with a good friend, once, but he did the preaching and it was the witnessing sort, walking around and preaching to different sorts of people.
I will be doing open-air preaching, standing in once place and preaching the word to whomever should pass by (unless the Spirit leads me to witness to someone, whatever He leads)

Since about yesterday, I've been bombarded with sickness, worries, fears, near-depression and non-stop headaches. Satan does not want me to get the word out to anyone. This encourages me. Because, if Satan's leaving you alone you're not doing anything provocative. I pray that the word will reach many ears, and that many have the ears to hear (are humble to receive the truth). 
Today I woke up and got out of bed and have a splitting headache. But I'm determined to continue on with plans to preach, standing and walking in faith that I am healed - thank-you God. 

Aside from preaching day, it's also friendship day (usually the first sunday of August). 
My best friend and I are about the only people I know who actually celebrate it by sending each other cards and sometimes gifts. 
We've known each other since 2003. She was the person that lead me to the truth regarding being free from sin, God not knowing the future (because it doesn't exist) and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 
Our friendship was put through fiery trials, literally and emotionally and spiritually. But I firmly believe this friendship was brought together and held together by God. There's no other way we would have survived otherwise. 
She's been a champion best friend, we've been there for each other through all of our heartbreaks and melt downs. It would probably take me all day, maybe two days, to detail every awesome thing about her and our friendship, so I won't. But maybe one day I'll write a book about it. 
Either way, here's to you, buddy! 

What better way to celebrate friendship day which is a celebration of Godly love for one another, than to go preaching out of love, sharing the gospel and giving people the truth?

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Where I live we have one of the most amazing views of the sky. I love star gazing. Who doesn't love star gazing? You'd have to be crazy to not.
Anyways, I decided to go lay outside and star gaze for a while. No particular reason, I just love the stars!
I could see part of the milky way! And then a shooting star! I saw three, total.
I am amazed by the hugeness of the universe, and to think God created it all!
How can someone walk outside and be among nature and not see the Creator behind it all? I simply don't understand how they can imagine it all blew up or grew from some goo of life. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.." (Psalm 53:1)
What's more is, not only did God create all the stars, but "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." (Psalm 147:4)
Amazing. Amazing!
I love basking in God's amazingness. Don't you? Shouldn't you?
I reached the end of my star gazing and said, "oh, just one more (shooting star)" Right after I said that, whoosh! There it goes! Coincidence? I don't think so. =)

Praising the Lord tonight for His awesomeness. How could anyone ever have a care in the world when they know God's got their back? I mean, seriously. "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)
Friends, if you don't know God, you ought to give Him a chance.
"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10.


As you know, my Gma has alzheimers.
She forgets what she's eaten minutes (sometimes seconds) after eating it and insists she's still hungry after eating 5 bananas (I actually think the record is 7, but don't quote me on that).
Her quest for food can be quite humorous sometimes.
The other day she was asking for some food so I reached into the freezer and handed her a TV dinner. Of course I'd have made it for her, but I wanted to see what she would do. So she said, "turn on the oven!"
I thought that was great. Sadly, the oven would take 40 minutes and I don't think she'd be willing to wait that long. Instead, I showed her how to get it out of the package and pointed to the microwave. Grandma took it out of the package and put it in all by herself! The door was too "heavy" for her to close, though, so I did it for her and started it up.
Once it was cooking she just shrugged and said, "that's the last I'll say of that." And went to her room.
Perhaps she just wanted to stretch out her culinary legs and never intended to eat the meal?
Either way, you'll be happy to know that she successfully ate her TV dinner after I had to go call her for lunch from her room.

Just this morning I got her some coffee and oatmeal (hazelnut latte oatmeal, I've never heard of it before but it sounded alright). I was sitting at the kitchen bar on my dad's laptop and watched the following commence:
Grandma stood, walked around the kitchen island, then sat again. I think she forgot she had oatmeal still in her bowl, she rarely leaves the table with food in her dish..
She finally finished the oatmeal and walked to the counter where a mixing bowl was sitting and reached her hand in to see if anything was there.
She circled back around to the table then finally went to the mixing bowl with her empty bowl and ladled air into it.. I was quite amazed at all this.
She went back to the table and lifted her empty spoon to her mouth and discovered there was nothing.
Finally, I decided I might as well get her something else to eat. I'm about to get up when I realize she took her bowl to the coffee pot. "No!" I yell (You must understand Grandma has good hearing days and bad hearing days. The good ones she can hear a shout like that. The bad ones I have to resort to sign language and caveman drawings). She pauses but then continues to reach for the coffee. I dash over and say no again, to which she snaps: "Then YOU do it!"
Of course I'm not going to pour her a bowl of coffee. Silly grandma. So I told her that if she was going to have an attitude she could go to her room.
The funny part was, instead of arguing as I expected, she said, "fine, I'll go to my room."
I thought to myself, "oi, as if I didn't have enough teenagers to deal with."
Grandma does remind me of a teenager sometimes, she certainly can eat like one.
So she went to her room and hasn't come out since. Probably wallowing in teenagerish thoughts.
No, not really. The poor dear more than likely forgot the whole fiasco the minute she walked into her room.
Well, it's nearly lunch time so she'll have that to look forward to. Not to worry, I'll feed her something a little more substantial than air. Though, you've got to admit, fresh air is crucial to a well-balanced diet.

She did something most hilarious the other day.
You see I was left alone with Grandma and one of the teenagers while everyone else ran off to do whatever. (I love holding up in my room, writing and such, only to emerge and find the house mostly empty). So I decided to seize the opportunity and mop the kitchen. Meanwhile Grandma hadn't had her dinner yet so I fed her while I went about cleaning. So she was sitting in the middle of the empty dining area in the only chair left while I was sweeping. The other boys walked in in the midst of my cleaning and I, being myself, acted like some crazy person and was poking the broom at them like a savage. Nick had some sort of unfinished chore (like I remember what it was) that I was telling him he must complete before the midnight that night (Nick doesn't like chores, you see).
As I was saying this I was pretending the broom was a fighting staff, and he was holding up his fists to block any feeble attempts I might try at looking cool. (We do strange things like this often).
But the best part was Grandma, who was watching the whole thing, spoke up, "there should be no fighting here." We both turned our heads towards her then laughed. It was great. Good to know she can keep the peace if ever a fight were to break out.