Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hurtin' for a Good Laugh

My bones just need it.

And it's just not just a psychological thing, though I can be quite psycho at times.

It's scientific.
It's quantifiable.
It's physiological.

Check out how humor contributes to physical health: (according to
this website)

Muscle Relaxation - Belly laugh results in muscle relaxation. While you laugh, the muscles that do not participate in the belly laugh, relaxes. After you finish laughing those muscles involved in the laughter start to relax. So, the action takes place in two stages.

Reduction of Stress Hormones - Laughter reduces at least four of neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress response. These are epinephrine, cortisol, dopac, and growth hormone.

Immune System Enhancement - Clinical studies have shown that humor strengthens the immune system.

Pain Reduction - Humor allows a person to "forget" about pains such as aches, arthritis, etc.

Cardiac Exercise - A belly laugh is equivalent to "an internal jogging." Laughter can provide good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform physical exercises.

Blood Pressure - Women seem to benefit more than men in preventing hypertension.

Respiration - Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect - similar to deep breathing. Especially beneficial for patient's who are suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.

Wow, do I ever need a good laugh.

I'm feeling the frustration of trying to be
everything to everybody on everyday at everymoment.

I am energetic PTA member
dependable soccer mom
yes lady to many a task
on-top-of-it Bible Study girl
keeper of the calendar
oh so athletic tennis mama HAHAHAHA
queen bee of the home
doctor and pharmacist
brillant tutor of math and reading
gourmet cook of many healthy dishes
yet chicken lickin skinny mini
thoughtful, loving, daughter
never-forgets-to-call grandaughter
super sister
awesome blogger
bubbly friend
adoring wonderiffic wife
supportive coach's spouse
taking one for the team
always fill in when you need her volunteer
never forget to pack a snack in the backpack kind of mom.
English Teacher Extrordiare

to put it another way....
I'm timekeeper, referee, and cheerleader.
And most of the time, the starting quarterback.
Heck, I also sell the tickets and clean up the crud after the game.

Planter of flowers
Part time Printshop
Previewer of Books, Movies and other media
Plucker of Attitudes
Player of Games
Piano Teacher
Protector of my kiddos
Passionate Preacher
Play Practice Princess
Phone Police
"Pick up Your Stuff" Yeller
Peace keeper
Party Planner
Poop Patrol
Producer of Eggs
Preventer of Accidents
PTA Phreak -(!!!!!)
Pretender to have it all together
Picker of noses
and other orifices.

Priveleged to do each and every one of these things.

But Prover of only one thing:
I can't do it all.
you can't do it all.
i know that i'm not the first one to feel this way.
So half-done.
So scattered.
So lacking.

Cause I can't effectively be all the things i really want to be.

One thing I know that I am.
I AM a Child of the King.
I know the truth is that i only need to be what He wants me to be.
expectations and true desires aside.
Starting now.

And what he wants me to do right now, right this minute is laugh. Be healthy. Be happy.
Here are a few things that make me laugh:

Ellie is preparing her Nerd costume for Halloween. She found these glasses at the thrift store. She can always bring a smile to our faces.

My friend Kerry came into town from Thomas for a meeting and stayed here with us for one night. It was like having a cross between Lisa Kudrow and Anjelah Johnson in my house.
Kerry is so stinking funny.

I have always adored Calvin and Hobbes. Click on cartoon to get a closer laugh.

And finally, this guy cracks me up. Check out all his videos on You Tube.

You may just get a good laugh yourself.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perfect Pairings

1 Peter 2:2 ~ Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

Perfect Pairings" is a fun and easy way to blog. Just find a picture you like and then pair it with a scripture...or, vice versa, think of a scripture and try to find a picture to fit its theme. Then, post your link in the comment section here. What a great way to share a picture, and at the same time, honor God with His Word!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Celebrating the Birth of a Nature Lover

On Ellie's 9th birthday, we had a few friends and family come to Camp Loughridge, where we rented a slice of nature for the afternoon. Everyone fished, canoed, hiked and roasted marshmallows over a campfire. It couldn't have been any more perfect for Elle Belle, whose heart is at most at home in the Great Outdoors. I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin LutherTo me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. ~Helen KellerIf the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleonora Duse I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. ~Juvenal, Satires
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. ~Osho Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~John Muir
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where is that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart?


–noun 1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

We who follow Christ are called upon to be joyful.... always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16.

Hmmmm. This command has been a bit difficult for me lately.

I've been witness to a dozen recent heartbreaks.

Or heartDEVASTATIONS could be more like it.

*Colleen leaves behind 3 sweet girls and an adoring husband.

The big bully of cancer wins again.
Really, God? JOY?

*A best friend suffers daily from the decisions of her ex.
The cross is so heavy for her.
God, where are you?

*A local family, rock-solid in their faith, perish in a small plane crash in the middle of a storied park.
Mom, Dad, Older Sister, Younger Sister. Leaving behind two older siblings. My heart is so heavy. Joy is weak.

*Family D.,
plitting up. Separating. Divorcing. Moving far apart.
Little hearts are crushed.

Family M., splitting up. Separating. Divorcing. Moving far apart.
Little hearts are crushed.

Family H.,
plitting up. Separating. Divorcing. Moving far apart.
Little hearts are crushed.

Family O.,
plitting up. Separating. Divorcing. Moving far apart.
Little hearts are crushed.

Personal friends, each one of these.
My heart is hushed.

*10 year camp counselor of my beloved Kanakuk is arrested on charges of being a sex predator.
There are no words.

*And then, a local shining star of a family, precious in every way, lose their son in a terrible accident. Mom is driving, tire blows out, car flips 4 times. 8 year old Zachary is gone.

Like that.

Poof. The flame in my heart that is supposed to be joy is extinguished.
All that is left is some lingering smoke and a rancid smell that makes me want to retch.

How God, can you expect JOY from your children at such a time as this.

Be joyful always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16. It stings my ears.

But then comes a letter from a dad to a son. A son who is no longer alive on this earth.
A dad whose guts feel like they are strung out on the sidewalk, all bloody and grotesque.
A dad whose tears can't come hard enough or fast enough.

His son is gone.

This dad's letter will be the last words of this post, because I find it particularly astounding in the face of such pain.

The letter to Zachary (along with discussion on this topic at our mini-church last week) helped me open my mind to a thought.... .

....the thought that JOY is not ALWAYS a feeling. It can be and often is, but doesn't have to be and many times is not at all.

Much like LOVE isn't always a feeling. If you have a 2 year old, you know that even when the little darlin' marks your new couch up with your black sharpie and you want to strangle her...

you still LOVE her.

You are not feeling the love, but the love hasn't shifted a minutia.

Similarly, it occurred to me that joy is not necessarily a feeling.

The Christian can have joy even when he doesn't feel joy.

I think that it's actually called faith -

the absolute, unwavering assurance that God loves his children, he made us from dust, is with us moment in and moment out, has a plan for our lives on this earth and also has an everlasting future prepared for us in heaven.

That kind of JOY can be my strength. Phil. 4:13

I close by asking this question:
Can you see joy in the letter below? (used with permission from Christina, Zachary's mom)

Dear Zachary Austin,

Your mom, Hannah and I miss you dearly, but we know that you have been especially called to your mission field. While it is extremely painful for us to let you go, we know that the mission that has been chosen has a higher purpose that is good beyond all measure, but is hard for us to comprehend right now.

We tend to think your mission started last Monday, it actually started 8 years ago in March. From the first day, you began to teach us how to live and to be better than who we are. You shared that knowledge not only with us, but everybody you interacted with. I still remember praying with you at night before you went to bed that you would be a light to those around you and that others would know Christ through your actions and words. That prayer was continually answered. You always rose to the challenge of that prayer.

You continually amazed us in the number of people you touched through your easy way of making friends, your infectious laugh and ability to make others laugh, and your beautiful smile that could light up a room and a life. I would walk down the halls at church or at school, and people would pass by, young and old alike, saying “Hi Zach”. I would ask you who that was and you would tell me. It seemed to me that everybody knew you and that you knew everybody. You had a competitive spirit on the playground or playing field, but you also had a compassionate heart in the classroom. It didn’t matter whether it was someone who was athletically gifted or someone who had special needs, you simply treated them as a friend because they were your friend. I now see the reason for that. God had a plan for you from the first day we laid eyes on you.

As you grew, we began to see a boy that loved being outside and loved playing his sports. While you have always been a Momma’s boy, you were growing into Daddy’s boy. You loved to snuggle up with your Mommy at night, but you liked to throw the baseball or football with Daddy after work. Physical things became personal challenges to you. I can still remember trying to teach you how to ride a bike. I was never quite able to show you what it took to stay up on the two wheels so we put the bike away for a week. I came home one day and saw you riding the bike in the driveway and street while your Mommy was watching. I asked Mommy what she did to show you how to ride. She simply said she took you to a friend’s house where you saw a friend riding his bike. You told yourself, that if your friend could ride his bike, you could ride your bike too and you got up on your bike and rode it. You didn’t need your Daddy to teach you, you simply needed a friend to challenge you. You asked for a Rip-Stick for your birthday and had it mastered by the end of the week. You didn’t stop riding it until you had it figured out. We went skiing for the first time together and you didn’t let a portion of the slope that was a “black” stop you. Moguls became something you wanted to master instead of avoid. Those times were special to us and all part of your mission. Those were times that we could really see the spirit of Jesus in you.

During the last year, I got the privilege of baptizing you. It is something that I will never forget and always cherish. You had no problem publicly accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior because you had privately made the decision long before.

I won’t lie. It will be hard to go on without being able to touch you, but you are always in our hearts and live on in those people you touched. You continue to have an impact on people in the few days you have been gone, but I suspect that is all part of your mission and will not change in the days to come.

Mommy and I know that we are called to do God’s work where we are in this world, but we desperately look forward to the day that we can join you on your mission and you can show us around.

Daddy, Mommy and Hannah

P.S. Give Nanna our love.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Perfect Pairings

Waiting for the school bus, my little man turns into a little monkey.

Thank God for Psalm 139:7-8:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.

Find more perfect pairings here!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Surrounded by Women

Well, not women yet, but girls and therefore,
a ton of
and lipstick.
How will such a
testosterone bomb
fare around five (5)
female cousins and sisters
with no other boy
to speak of
in his immediate family?

Just bein' a momma
and wonderin'.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In With The New

New Things can happen at New Life Ranch.
We went there for a Labor Day Retreat
with the new church we are attending.
Take a look at the New: New place for our family to enjoy... New friend that God has given me.... New look at the egg toss...
New game to play with an egg... New canoing partners...
New water activity for Luke...
New horse to Ellie (Hadi)...New buddy for Luke... A new day at the Ranch... And, most excitingly, a new life in Christ!!!!!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, she is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!!!
Congratulations Tiffani
and I count it as a privelege to not only have met you,
but to witness you beginning your new relationship
with God through Jesus Christ.
It is the single most important decision anyone could ever make...
to accept Jesus into their heart as the way, the truth and the life.
(John 14:6)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

If the Quilt Fits....

Dream big for just a moment....

If you had a quilt custom-made
what would it look like?

If you could thoughtfully pick out the fabrics
that would be used in your quilt,
what patterns and shapes and images and hues would you choose?

Shades of turquoise and brown?
Ahhh, my favorite colors right now....However, God knows that the crazy quilt below
is actually more befitting me at this point in my life!
Kind of cool looking though, huh?Tea... if you only knew the amount of tea I drink a day....
you'd be surprised my skin isn't turning GREEN!
(green tea is sooooo soothing!)
This tea quilt would be apropos for me.As I googled quilts in Google Images,
I noticed that there is pretty much a quilt for everyone.
Here's one for The Okie.And The OSU fan. (GO POKES!!!!)The tennis nut.
(side note: I am taking tennis lessons
and it is quite hysterical.
My sister got all the athletic ability.
Maybe getting the quilt would help me!
Then again, maybe not.)Those who love to read.Those who love snakes. Snakes!?!The Elvis Presley quilt.And gracious me, the Twilight quilt, as in Stephenie Meyer Twilight.Luke would dig this skateboarding quilt. Apparently, there is quite a quilting following of arcade games.
Remember Q Bert? I really loved Q Bert.And a Donkey Kong quilt, who knew?Tom may like this basketball quilt... ? .....And even a quilt for president Barack Obama. But....
Guess whose dream of sleeping under a hand made,
custom designed quilt came true?

Ellie won granny's Labor Day quilt drawing!!!!!!!
Here she is under her DOG quilt
(every little piece of fabric is wagging with a different dog design)
with her dog stuffed animals and her real dog resting right beside her.The Quilt fits!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009