Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Truth About Me. Part I

As I said in a previous post, I discovered a few truths about me 'round-about this time last year.

I told you that one of those truths included M&M candies, Nicole Kidman, Oprah and Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Makes for an odd picture, wouldn't you say? Allow me to put the pieces together for you (this may take awhile).

The start of the summer of 2007 found me with a new baby boy who struggled to nurse and a three-year-old who was set to potty-train. For you experienced mothers or non-OCD/control freak types, this is not enough to put you in a tizzy. For me, a slightly OCD/control freak type (albeit a charming one), it was tizzy-city!

I was in a strange, post-partum, sleep-deprived, unshowered, tizzy-city haze when I made the brilliant decision to go on a diet at this time. Not just any diet. No, not me. I decided I'd go on one of those ill-conceived, no-plan, change it from day to day, no formal guidelines, willy-nilly type of diets. And do you know, for some strange reason, it just didn't work? Go figure.

Did I mention I was in a strange, post-partum, sleep-deprived, unshowered, tizzy-city haze?

At the same time, I was in the beginning stages of potty-training my daughter. I'll just get it out in the open right now: I whole-heartily believe and support the act of bribing a child to pee in the potty. Whatever gets the pee in the potty, people! Use it!

And my brilliant dieting-self was bribing her with chocolate M&M's. A bought the biggest bag I could find at Wal-mart and swore that they were just for use as a potty-training reward. I figured one big bag was enough to see us through. I re-filled that bad no less than three times. Not because my daughter was pee'ing on the potty 67 times a day but because Mommy has some deep-rooted chocolate issues.

Oh, and I stress eat.

Imagine Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining with a bag of M&M's and no typewriter to bang his frustrations out on or ghost bartender to pour his heart out to. He would tear up that bag of chocolaty goodness! And tear it up (no less than three times) is exactly what I did.

All the while, wondering why on earth I was struggling to stay on a diet and lose weight.

You see, I have never had a problem sticking to a diet (a well-planned one with guidelines) for several months. I almost always saw success with my diet plans but this time around I could not get past even two or three days. I could not figure it out.

That's when an Oprah episode knocked me upside the head and I made a startling revelation about myself.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Even though I've rededicated my blog to focusing more on my walk with Christ, I want to continue participating in Super Savings Saturdays over at because it's important to be a good steward of our money. I've heard from more than one person that my postings on Saturdays have helped them to save money grocery shopping and at CVS. That alone is worth keeping these posts! So here we go:

This first pic is actually from last week. I went to Target for the first time for the sole purpose of "working the deals". I first checked out Crytal's site to read her excellent tips on what to get at Target. The few extra minutes with Crytal really paid off.
I paid .25 cents for the Band-aids, .25 cents for the Q-tips, and $2.34 for one of the toothbrushes. Everything else in the picture was free thanks to Crystal's advice! Thanks Crystal!

Next, my trip to Albertson's: Albertson's was having a great sale this week on selected items. A few of which I already had coupons for but the one thing I love about Albertson's is they take competitor's coupons - including the $5 off a $20 purchase from Fresh & Easy. Everything in the above picture totaled $14.10. According to my receipt, I saved $51.00! That comes out to .61 cents per item! Yay!

If you haven't checked out Crystal's site yet, you have to get over there. You don't have a thing to lose but lots to save!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


au-then-tic-i-ty [aw-then-tis-i-tee, aw-thuhn-] noun

- the quality of being authentic; genuineness

In my previous post, I mentioned my desire to be an open book. Did I mention it would be non-fiction? I think anyone can spin a good tale but I've always felt that life was more interesting than the stuff of fiction. However, I think there is non-fiction and there is truth. I'm sure we've all perused an "unofficial" biography or two to know that fiction still manages to find it's way in.

Or we've all had a boisterous uncle who liked to tell tall-tales at the Thanksgiving table. Either way, we all know an embellishment when we hear it.

What I'm striving for in my book is authenticity. If I'm not going to be authentic, then I'm not growing in my walk with Christ. I will literally be standing still. And where will my passion be then?

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. ~ Revelation 3:15,16

Personally, being spit out of the mouth of God is not really something I would find appealing. Maybe that's just me.

The desire to be my more authentic self started in the early summer of 2007 when I came face to face with some truths about myself. Some of which weren't all that pretty. Upon realizing these truths, (and, yes, I will be sharing all the nitty-gritty with you, don't worry) there was no turning away from them. Either I was going to head out onto the road of health & healing or I was going to continue on the road of self-destruction and misery. Do you see a choice here? Neither did I.

What were those truths? Well, well...a little nosey aren't we? I'm kidding. Be nosey all you want! I'm spilling my guts either way. But not now. No, my precious, I like to keep you in suspense.

But here are a few little hints, just for fun: M&M candies, Nicole Kidman, Oprah and, oh...let's say Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

My life - it's a page turner!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open Book Policy

I haven't been writing much and, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. Having a precocious four-year-old and a rambunctious 17 mos. old in the house surely provides enough fodder for one simple blog but...still...when I put fingers to keyboard, I get nothin'.

But it finally came to me. Actually, not so much as came to me as I finally acknowledged what was there all along. I was no longer producing good writing because my blog has taken a direction it was not originally supposed to take.

If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God , you will not be able to overthrow them. ~ Acts 5:38, 39

When I first started this blog, my hope was to be an open book. To talk plainly and honestly about what I was experiencing day to day as a wife, mother and woman but, most importantly, as a Christian stumbling along in my walk with Christ. I wanted to connect with people who were in the same place as I was, learn from those who were more mature in their walk with Christ and be an inspiration to those who were just starting theirs. More than anything, I wanted God to be present in every post and for this blog to glorify Him.

What happened, however, was not that. I don't want to beat myself up too much, because I think from time to time, I hit the nail on the head. But if I'm going to be really honest, I began worrying too much about how my blog stacked up next to others. I paid too much attention to the number of hits my blog received on a daily basis and when I noticed my average number of hits declining, I worked to make my blog more "popular" with the masses instead of using it an instrument to get the Good Word out. I started to concern myself with what others thought of me instead of focusing on my authentic self and highlighting how God was working in my life.

I took the wheel out of God's hands and, sure enough, drove this train right off of it's tracks.

It's time to let go, stand back and let God lead the way again. He knows the route so much better than I do anyway.

So some changes are going to be made and I hope you stick around to find out what they are. I have lots more to let you in on but my Kirby is making it clear to me right now that he wants out of his crib. I better get him before he figures out how to get out on his own. I'm in BIG trouble then! LOL!

Until then, I pray that God blesses you in ways you never imagined and that His favor rains down on you like a flood!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pushing Pause

I am pushing pause for a few days. I'm leaving out of town Friday and won't be back until Sunday night. But I'm pausing for more than just that reason. It has been made clear to me through God that my blog needs to go in another direction. Not a new one, but an old one - the original one. I've hit a bloggers' wall and cannot seem to write much of anything. I could not, for quite sometime, figure out what it was, but God makes it all clear when the time is right, and He's made it clear to me.
Come back on Monday and I'll tell you all about it. Until then, have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Seek The Lord Sunday - My Testimony Part 2

It would take me nearly 16 yrs before I stepped foot as a member into a church again. It took moving to a new home and a patient and reassuring neighbor to convince me to give it one more try. This person, I can say with complete confidence, was certainly Heaven sent.

Before our current home, we had lived in our previous home seven years and knew only one of our neighbors. I don't blame that on the neighborhood, we just weren't that motivated to get out and get involved. Funny how having kids changes that.

The first few years that we lived in that home, there was virtually nothing around us. No gas stations, convenience stores, pizza joints or even a church on the corner. I remember seeing the sign "Future Home of Spring of Life Church" standing alone in a dusty, dirt field and thinking, "How nice. A church is going up". Not because I was planning on attending but because having a church on the corner means that the chances of having a liquor store or nightclub go up are pretty slim. A church on the corner is good for the neighborhood and property values.

But, if I'm going to be honest, there was a little part of me that wanted to belong to that church. I wanted to tip-toe in, have a look around, see what the people were like and, most importantly, make sure that I would not, in fact, get struck by lightning.

But I just didn't dare.

I had visions of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers where the aliens, upon recognizing that you are not one of them, stand frozen, arm extended, index finger pointed and scream the warning signal to the others that a "real person" was in their midst.

You know, like this:

It was just too terrifying a prospect for me handle so I stayed away. I mean, you can see how scary that would be, right? And I just knew they would all recognize me as "new" and, well, I just didn't want to be screamed at, okay?

Years would pass, the church went up, large banners inviting the community to Easter and Christmas services would come and go and, still, I never ventured near. We moved from one side of the freeway to the other and, almost immediately met our neighbors to the left of us - Steve, Jennifer and their three fabulous children (and I'm not just writing that because I know they'll read this - those kids really are fabulous - ask anyone). Friendly and inviting from the start, we hit it off and it wasn't long before many driveway conversations took place.

It was during one of those conversations that Jennifer politely inquired about whether or not we had a church home. When I said we didn't, she began, ever so slightly, telling me about Spring of Life. She didn't smother me with biblical facts or act the least bit shocked at the realization that she had moved her precious children right next to a couple of heathens joy-riding on the highway to hell. No, she just very casually invited us to join them for church one day, no strings attached.

At this time, I knew Jennifer well enough to confide in her my body-snatching-finger-pointing-warning-scream fear. She chuckled a bit and then assured me that no one would single me out in such a manner. I then relayed to her my previous experience attending a church some 16 years prior and she also assured me that no one would make me commit to any church function or attempt to move me into a community home. She told me I could be involved as much or as little as I wanted. That was comforting and I was happy to hear it but it would still be a few months before I took her up on the offer.

During those few months, Jennifer nor Steve ever made us feel like something was wrong with us for not going to church, but when I look back now, Jennifer did have that you-don't-know-what-you're-missing air about her. I recognize it now because I have that same air about me whenever I talk to someone who doesn't attend church. More specifically, doesn't attend Spring of Life. I'm a tad bit partial.

No, instead, Jennifer just kept politely inviting me and then came the day when I, taking a deep breath and mustering up all of my courage, finally did tip-toe in, had a look around and found out what the people were like.

And, I'm happy to say, not only was I NOT struck by lightning but not one person pointed and screamed at me. Whew!

I started out in what my minister refers to as the "ejection seats". Those are the end seats of the very back rows where people sit who may want to up and run during a service but don't want to disturb anyone else. Ejection seats make for a quick get-away. It took some time, but after finally accepting the fact that I was forgiven for the sixteen years that I was lost and that Christ loved me so much that He actually DIED for me, I have made my way up to the front. I no longer sit in an ejection seat. I sit in *my* seat, not surprisingly, next to Jennifer.

Little by little I got involved. A Christmas Angel here, a function there. A bible study this and a parenting class that. Jennifer also invited me to the MOPS (Moms Of PreSchoolers) group. I enjoyed getting to know the other moms so well that the following year I joined, what is now the M.O.M.S (Moms On A Mission) Leadership team. After serving a year on leadership, I was asked by the group's director to take over her position as she had decided to step down and move forward with God's new plan for her.

It's safe to say, I'm knee-deep in church activities now and though I may not live in a community home and am, without a doubt, at home with this community.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Seek The Lord Sunday

I'm participating in Seek The Lord Sunday again hosted by Daiquiri over at Call Her Blessed. This week, Daiquiri asks each of us to share our personal testimony about how we came to know Christ and make the decision to become a Christian.

My story is a long one, so I'm not quite sure I can get it all into one post. In fact, there was a defining moment in my life when I realized that Christ was indeed real and not someone that I was simply told to believe in by my Sunday school teacher. Not only did I realize the He was real, I realized and felt firsthand the amazing healing power that Christ brings to all of us. This part of my story I will save for another time. It's a great testimony but also one that I'm, sadly, not always ready to share. It takes a little out of me.

As for the rest of my story, I'll start when I was 22 yrs. old:

I was at a time in my life when others around me were starting theirs - getting married, having babies, finishing up college - and I had a distinct feeling there was a big hole in my life. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I was happy with my job, not missing college at all and was, surprisingly, quite content in my singleness at the time. Still, the hole was there and it seemed to be getting bigger.

About that time, a couple in my apartment complex knocked on my door one evening and invited me to their church. That was it!! I realized at that moment that God was missing in my life and He sent this couple to me so that I might find my way back to Him.

Now, at this point, I'd like to say that, looking back, I really don't know if this was part of His plan or just some weird thing that happened to me. But if this couple and their church was in His plan I haven't yet figured out why because I wasn't but two weeks into attending services with this couple when things started to go terribly, terribly wrong.

I was working second shift at the Sheriff's office at this time having kicked and screamed my way off of the night shift due to health reasons. I was still a rookie in the department and had absolutely no say in when or where I would work but, nevertheless, my supervisors took pity on me and transferred me off of nights. Because I worked second shift I was both able to attend Sunday morning services but unable to attend church functions that took place in the evenings during the week, except Bible study - that I attended on my day off.

It was made clear to me early on that the small group of people I was associating with (I can't say the church as a whole felt the way they did, I didn't stay long enough to find out) expected me to devote ALL of my evenings to church-related functions. When I explained my work situation to them, they point-blank told me I would have to quit my job. I told them that I honestly believed God wanted me to pay my bills and that up and quitting just wasn't an option. They then explained to me that I could move into the church home for single women and, therefore, my expenses would be reduced.

Are you getting this? I'm TWO weeks into this group and I'm expected to quit my job, break my lease, move in to a community house and devote every free moment to their church schedule!

When I explained to one of the other women that this just wasn't going to happen she felt it her duty to warn me, "It has been our experience that people who work second shift just aren't successful spiritually and therefore do not enter the kingdom of God".

Yeah, she said that! Word for word, let me assure you, because I've never forgotten it! Seems that my salvation hangs purely on when I punch in for work.

So I ran fast and far from this group and never looked back. Over the next week, I received several phone calls from, I'm sure, well-meaning church members politely explaining to me how I was on my way to hell if I didn't return, but I was just sure this was NOT what God had in store for me.

To say that this experience shook me up a bit would be putting it lightly. Up until that time, I had only experienced church as a child and, except the occasional wedding or baptism, never as an adult. If this church was an example of what I could expect from God and church, I was determined to stay far, far away. It would take me nearly 16 yrs before I stepped foot as a member into a church again. It took moving to a new home and a patient and reassuring neighbor to convince me to give it one more try. This person, I can say with complete confidence, was certainly Heaven sent.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Dance Registration Fee: $30.00

Dance Classes for One Month: $35.00

New Dance Outfit from Wal-mart: $20.00

New Tap Shoes: $15.00

London staring out the window the entire class too scared and intimidated to participate:


We go again today. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Meyer Monday

I'm continuing the Meyer Monday series with her chapter on Developing Your Potential from her book titled, Being the Person God Made You To Be.


When we are confident and free from tormenting fears and self-doubt, we are able to develop our potential and succeed at being all God intended us to be. But we cannot develop our potential if we fear failure. We will be so afraid of failing or making mistakes that it will prevent us from stepping out.

I often see people who have great potential, and yet when opportunities and promotions are offered them, they quickly turn them down. In many cases, they are insecure and unaware of how much they could accomplish for the Kingdom of God if they would only step out in faith and confidence.

When we are insecure, frequently we will stay with what is safe and familiar rather than taking a chance on stepping out and failing. We avoid accepting greater responsibility, and the truth is that none of us is ever ready. But when God is ready to move in our lives, we need to believe that He will equip us with what we need at the time we need it.

Humbly leaning on God leads to success. If our confidence is in Christ rather than ourselves, we are free to develop our potential, because we are free from the fear of failure.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Ooh! I almost forgot what day it was! Can you imagine?

I'm going to do this quickly because I have a four-year-old sweetheart of a child throwing one major fit in her room and it's only 7:15 a.m. Yay! I just love starting the weekend like this, don't you? Oi!

I actually got waaaaaaay more awesome deals like this over the last two weeks, but I don't want to, you know, rub it in your faces or anything so here's just a few:

My CVS trip for the week. All of the above I paid for with ECB's, spent $0.00 OOP and got $5 in ECB's back. Gotta love CVS!!

I've always wanted to learn how to sew. I've seen these little Dressmaker sewing machines for nearly $20 in stores. I picked this cutie up for $4.99 at Savers 1/2 price sale on Memorial Day! I like this one because I think it'll be good for London to learn on, too. As soon as she's done with her little fit, that is.

I'm totally stoked about this find. I followed signs for a garage sale that I thought were just left over from the weekend but, sure enough, she was still going strong mid-week. This rug is roughly 4'x6' in like-new condition and I picked it up for only $5.00! I tucked it away in the Christmas closet since Kirby-boy isn't quite interested in keeping his little cars on the road quite yet.
I love red toile print! I found these darlings at Goodwill. Their tags were the 1/2 price tag color of the day. I only paid $3.50 a piece for them. They are in excellent condition and look wonderful in my bedroom. I loathe paying full-price for pillows so I'm thrilled with this find! I hit another garage sale last weekend and found some cute stuff for London. Everything was in great condition and I only paid .50 cents per piece. I love going to garage sales where people are serious about getting rid of their stuff!

Join in the fun for more Super Savings Saturday over at and have a great and thrifty week!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Taking A Break

I'm a bit over-loaded at the moment and have decided to clear a few things off my plate. I'll be taking a short blogging break for the rest of this week but will be back in time for Super Savings Saturday. I've gotten some fabulous stuff lately and I want to show it all off!

In the meantime, check out my blogroll for some other awesome and totally entertaining blogs! Have a great week & God Bless!