Friday, September 29, 2006

Twenty Questions...aka 20Q

Here's my good news of the day (for me, anyway). I am DONE, as in FINISHED, with my Christmas shopping for the year! (and the crowd roars!).

I greatly dislike shopping when the stores are crowded. You will never see me doing my shopping the week before Christmas. How in the world some of you wait until Christmas Eve to shop is beyond me! Most would argue that is when the best sales occur. No sale is worth the pressure of dashing through a mall, knowing it's about to close and I still haven't picked out the perfect gift for my teenage nephew. (Who, by the way, is IMPOSSIBLE to buy for!) (I know, I ended that sentence in a preposition --can't help it --it's late and I don't have the brain power to think of how best to reword it....) Moving right along...

My nephew. I can't buy him clothes because every time I've done that in the past he tells me that he won't wear whatever it was that I bought him. I won't buy him music - because I don't appreciate the music which he insists is good. Video games? I can't keep up with which ones he already owns. Books? He's not a reader.

Last evening, when I was finishing up my Christmas shopping, I discovered this great 'thing' in StuffMart. The PERFECT gift for my nephew! I'ts called 20Q. It claims it can read my mind - it will guess my thoughts. Ha. Right. It states "Try Me!" in big letters on the package. So I stood in the aisle at StuffMart and took it up on its challenge. Basically, it's an electronic game of twenty questions. You think of something, it asks you questions about that something. You punch in your answer of 'unknown', 'no','yes', or 'sometimes'. It attempts to guess what you're thinking.

My first thought: Elephant. Well --it guessed it in 20 questions. Then I thought, "Well, that was too easy.", so I tried: Owl. Again - guessed in 20 questions. I thought, 'okay - let's get real here' - and I chose a more difficult object: Tape. It took 24 questions! Yeah --a victory for me --no --it still flashed "I WIN" --because it did guess the object that I was thinking. I give up --let me continue my shopping and deal with this at home! I tossed two in the cart - one for my nephew and another for someone else --maybe my niece --maybe my stepdaughter. It's undecided at this time.

Anyway - flash to home: As I unloaded my bounty from the van and hid things around the house this evening to keep them safe from the eyes of a four-year-old, I took the 20Q game out and tried to stump it again.
Bubbles. It guessed it.
Cards. Got it.
Let me get REALLY tricky...
Christmas Tree. It got it again!
I’m thinking that there’s no way to stump this toy.

It’s obviously a space alien in disguise.

Go buy it for all the teenagers in your life. I’m going to buy another one for my nephew because this one will be worn out long before Christmas!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Steady Rain

steady rain

i hear it on the roof

on the skylights

gently drumming




bringing renewal

the dust and dirt gone

returning to the ground

under my feet

where it belongs

Spirit's Rain

let It pour

over my heart

washing clean

sometimes softly

sometimes harder

always cleansing

removing the dust and dirt

it's on the ground

where it belongs

under my feet

-deborah erskine

Monday, September 25, 2006

Because I Said So!

I've become my mother.

Olivia asked me to fix her some lunch. She told me what she wanted. I fixed it for her. She ate one bite and then asked for something else. I fixed it for her. She ate one bite and asked for something else. At which point, I told her that I wasn't going to keep making food for her only to take one bite and request something else.

She proceeded to cajole and beg and lament for something else to eat. I then told her that she better just go eat what she had originally requested because there are a lot of starving children all over this world who don't have anything to eat and we can't waste the food.

When she asked me why there were starving children all over the world, I launched into this long explanation about all the atrocities that occur on our planet which directly or indirectly cause children to starve. (All explained on a four-year-old level, of course.) After which, Olivia kept repeating, "But why, Mom?...why does that happen?...why?"

Finally, I became so exasperated that I said, "Because I said so, that's why!"

Sheesh! I told myself that I would never 'become my mother'...I think it's destiny.

I give up. I think I'll go order this mug...

Sunday, September 24, 2006


It's raining.

No. It's pouring.

I have to get ready for church and then get my daughter up and get her ready for church. I hate going to church in the rain --all dressed up in a dress and then getting all wet and windblown. ick.

Today would be a great day to just put on my "weight-challenged" pants (note: others may refer to this item as "fat pants") and laze around the house in front of the television or under a blanket with a good book.

But no. I HAVE to go to church. I'm on the Praise Team and we're already missing one person today because he has the nerve to be out of town. If I don't show up - that means it's just Dawna. She might miss me. Besides, I'm singing the special music for the offering. (yes, I sing too --whoever it was that asked...)

....What if Jesus had said, "oh, it feels like it's going to be a miserable day, they're going to falsely accuse me, beat me, humiliate me and crucify me. I think I'll just stay in bed with a papyrus scroll and read."

Okay...I'm going to get read for church!
Besides, you're not going to believe this --but out my window --this very moment --is a break in the clouds and I see a patch of blue sky with a tiny silver-lined white cloud trying to burst forth!

....behind every dark cloud...there is a silver lining...

Have a blessed day all!

Thursday, September 21, 2006 last

the spiral
into the space
where we hope never to go

we see others there
we pray
we hold out our hands
and pull them out

we help them stay away from the edge
we don't go too close
for we may fall into the abyss

but when no one's looking
we stray
we slip
we slide
we spiral downward
into the space
where we hoped never to go

because we've lost our focus
we don't see the helping hand
we see the abyss
and it calls to us
to fall
to spiral
into the space
where we hoped never to go

at last we get the strength
to reach for help
to search for a way
up out of the space
where we hoped never to go

we take the hand that's offered
we clamor
we struggle
we climb
we somehow allow ourselves
to be helped


up out of the space

where we hoped never to go

Half Full?

My dear husband has been working on this one mortgage deal (he's a broker) for quite some time.

Today, he found out that there is only one remaining option to get the deal done.

I'm thinking of all the failed attempts...and moaning because there's only one last option and thinking that it's probably not going to work and then where are we getting the money for the bills...yada yada blah blah blah.

No deal = no commission = no money.

Randy, on the other hand is still full of enthusiasm --"That's okay --I can get it done this way --this will still work...etc."

This is one of the reasons I fell in love with him. He rarely gets discouraged and rarely gives up. He always sees the proverbial glass as half full and I always see it as half empty (when it pertains to me). Amazingly, I can counsel anyone under the sun and encourage them to see the glass as half full! I just can't seem to apply that principle to my life. Why am I so pessimistic?

How do you see the glass?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good Advice

I am notorious for forgetting things. Twice, in the past two weeks, I have missed appointments at my physician's office for my routine six-month blood draw to check important things like my cholesterol level and whether or not my liver is suffering damage because of the medications that I take. Somewhere, on some scrap of paper, I had recorded the appointment - but then quickly proceeded to misplace the scrap of paper –thus forgetting my appointment altogether.

Also, my schedule has just taken on some new responsibilities as my DH and I are enrolled in training courses in order for us to become foster parents. We have CPR/First Aid classes, Safety Management Training Classes, Information Meetings, etc. We also must get our well water tested and that can only occur on certain days because of when the laboratory is available. And then of course, there's all my church activities - worship practice, LifeGroup, Wednesday night Marriage Encounter, Sunday services...etc. Throw in the appointments to get my hair cut and Olivia's annual physician's visit, dentist and optometry visits and all the things on my husband’s schedule that he expects me to remember and I’m sunk!

Actually, compared to most people, my schedule is not very busy, however, I am finding it more and more difficult to keep track of all these appointments in my head - which is where I usually store my calendar of events. (Hence the missed blood draws!) I have admitted defeat and finally decided that my aging mind is no longer capable of storing all the appointments and things of which I need to be aware on a daily basis.

I remembered that somewhere in my desk I had stashed a lovely engagement calendar - spiral bound with a beautiful impressionistic painting of a vase of flowers -- compliments of The Old Farmer's Almanac. So, I rummaged around my desk until I found it. Ah –awesome! I proceeded to ‘copy’ all my appointments from my brain and all the little scraps of old envelopes and post-its scattered throughout the house upon which I had written down the appointments whenever I had scheduled them.

One of the nice things about this Farmer’s Almanac Engagement Calendar is that it has little facts, famous quotes, household and gardening tips, etc. splashed throughout the pages. Next to the space for today’s entry it reads:

Never carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.”

WOW! It’s a good thing that I’ve chosen to use this calendar because now the next time I try to put an ice cream cone in my back pocket I can refer to today’s calendar entry and REMEMBER not to do that!

Whew! What a relief!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Illustration Friday: Change

Chameleons Change C O L O R

This week’s theme is CHANGE. The possibilities are endless.
I chose to go with a reptile.

Sharpie Marker and Colored Pencil on Cardstock.


Have any of you ever seen the television show, Wife Swap? It's a reality show where the wives in two families switch homes for two weeks. For the first week, they are required to live as the homeowning wife, following all the rules of the household. The second week, they are allowed to "mix things up" and ask the family to live by their rules. At times, it's total chaos and often makes for what the networks say is "good" television.

Usually, at the end of the swap period, both families have been able to glean some good from the experience. Taking with them new ideas to implement and improve their relationships with their families. Seeing that living life a little differently than they normally live may not be such a bad thing in the end.

I watched a recent episode where a SUPER organized, bin and label organizing Mom switched place with a Mom who lives her life as a pirate - literally --costume, attitude, etc. It was definitely a swap of women from two different worlds!

It was with horror and disbelief that I viewed the disarray of the home from whence the Pirate came. There were clothes on the bedroom floors - six inches thick - fleas all over the house - nothing in its place. The 'neat freak' super organized home had everything labeled and placed neatly in bins --even the FREEZER shelves were labeled as to where to put the vegetables as opposed to where to put the meat.

As you can imagine, both of these women were stepping WAY out of their comfort zone! The stress level between the "new" wives and their "new" families was at times, overwhelming!

I looked around at my home and decided that I'm somewhere in between (i.e. the clothes on the bedroom floor are only one or two inches thick and the freezer is organized, although not labeled, and we have no fleas...only an occasional housefly which sneaks in because someone leaves the door open too long while going in or out.

Then I started to think about our upcoming challenge of becoming foster parents. Undoubtedly, there will be kids coming into our home who will be way out of their comfort zone. I have no idea how we're going to "mix" together. Our attitudes, belief systems, habits and patterns of living will more than likely be very different. I'm thinking that there is potential for major stress on everyone's part. But I’m praying and trusting God that we will all benefit from the experience. Praying that I may learn not to be so ‘rigid’ and not to set my expectations too high and perhaps the children will learn some things that will help them to better their lives as well.

Lord, help me to "go with the flow"!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Turn on Your Speakers and Double Click the Arrow Below

Exhausted - OR Where's a Good Pizza Delivery Person When You Need Him?

Well - I decided to take advantage of this beautiful day - Sieze the Day, if you will and get some painting done which I started several weeks ago. Until today I haven't seemed to find the time (or else the weather was uncooperative). I've been working on painting the cinder block along the basement which is exposed. Originally it was "battleship gray". I've painted it green --to match the shutters. It looks SO much better! (click on photo for a larger view.)
The block wraps around the house, of course, and appears on three walls - all but the front which is at ground level. Most people would be able to accomplish this task in two days. One day per coat of paint. Not me. I have to do it in eight foot sections --take a break for a day and come back and do coat #2 on the first section and then paint another section.... It's this whacko disease that I have - MS. It totally zaps my energy. My goal is to have the block painting completed before the snow flies. I have one eight foot section which needs two coats and a 16 foot section on the other side of the house which needs a second coat.

The problem I'm facing now is that my husband will soon be home from a long and trying day at work and I don't have dinner prepared. I have no energy to stand in the kitchen and cook. It's just not happening. What was that you say? Order a pizza?! Ah - simple solution. Not. We live out in the "middle of nowhere" and there is no decent, respectable pizza place that will foot the gas bill to deliver a pizza way out here.

I think tonight's going to be a PB&J kinda night.

So...what good things are you eating for dinner? ....nevermind...I don't want to know!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

21 Things For Which I'm Grateful

  • Lazy Sunday afternoons
  • Peach flavored iced tea
  • My favorite pair of comfortable jeans which even I won't wear in public
  • A freezer full of fabulous Rich Plan food!
  • Vanilla scented candles
  • The smell of fresh cut grass
  • Crisp Autumn evenings - just before dusk.
  • 140 lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper (it's an artist thing)
  • My daughter's laughter
  • Black Raspberry Custard ice cream
  • Self-adhesive stamps
  • A husband who doesn't mind if the house isn't clean
  • A Harvest Moon
  • The smell of Crayola Crayons
  • A newly sharpened pencil
  • Shiny, new copper pennies
  • Antiques
  • The movie, The Sound of Music
  • The ability to sing
  • My memory foam bed and pillow
  • A handful of wildflowers picked just for me by our daughter

    For what are you grateful?
  • Saturday, September 16, 2006


    Open your Bible. Go ahead. Turn off the computer. Open God's Word. He has something AWESOME just for YOU today! Now go DO it! Then come back and tell me how awesome it was!!

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    My Response to Birmingham Girl

    After reading Birmingham Girl's post today, I immediately thought of a recent collage I created.

    My art speaks my feelings on the subject.

    By the way, that is NOT supposed to be me reclining on the sofa --I'm definitely not the let-me-don-my-chiffon-and-luxuriously-lounge-on-the-sofa type! Give me a pair of sweat pants, a baggy T-shirt and my New Balance walking shoes and I'm happy!

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    My Disease

    I have a disease.

    I don’t know if it has a name. But I’ve chosen to name it “Biblio-Obsessivo-Purchioso Disease” or “BOPoD” for short.
    Definition: An uncontrolled OBSESSION and love of BUYING massive amounts of books.

    I’m sure that there must be a REAL word for the state of being completely obsessed with books – specifically OWNING books. Perhaps if Tina Fabulous were to look in the coveted Oxford Dictionary, she could find the word for me. But for now, Bopod will have to do.

    Here’s the deal. I own a lot of books. I own so many books that I don’t know how many books I own. They are everywhere –literally in every room of our home. Downstairs there are at least four bookshelves stacked –double stacked –with books. “Double stacking” is the art of stacking books in a deep book shelf with one row against the back and another row in the front – thereby covering the books in the back so they’re no longer visible –making it impossible to know where a book is at any given moment because you just can’t see them.

    Not only do I own too many books. I can’t stop buying books. Yesterday, our mailperson delivered a package from Ebay –a book I HAD to have because just two weeks ago Crossings Book Club (one of many book clubs of which I am a member) sent me two books (their member’s selections of the month) and one of them was a sequel. Oh no! I hadn’t read the first book in the series yet –better hurry and order the first book. After a thorough search online, I found the best deal on Ebay -only $1.00 (plus $4.07 s/h). A Bargain!! The book is in NEW condition. Had I purchased it elsewhere, I would have paid at least $12.00 for the book alone. Ha – I deserve a pat on the back for “smart” shopping!

    I used to live in Pittsburgh and worked in the neighborhood of Oakland which is where the original, HUGE, Carnegie Library is located. The Carnegie Library houses more than 3.3 million volumes. THREE POINT THREE MILLION!! Amazing. Our little small-town library has slightly over forty thousand. You may understand why I complain every time I go into our little small-town library, with it’s antiquated card catalog and check-out system which doesn’t include computers to track books in house or those borrowed. But, I digress.

    Also, in Pittsburgh, I lived in close proximity to several large bookstores –Borders, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian Stores, not to mention the dozens and dozens of independently owned bookstores and used bookstores. Where I live now, the closest Borders or Barnes and Noble is at least 50 miles away. (I’m not kidding.) I used to love to go into the bookstores and spend hours at a time just browzing. (This was before I was married and had a child – there is no time for such frivolity today!) To be around books more, I even worked at Barnes and Noble and Family Christian Stores –just for fun. My “real” job as a Medical Technologist at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was grand –but didn’t get me anywhere near books – although I did often volunteer to go to the medical library when we needed to do research on an uncommon disease or disease process. But again, I digress.

    Today in the mail, I received two of many regular offers I receive on a daily basis inviting me to join another book club. I found myself perusing the pamphlets, drooling over the titles, planning which ones I can purchase with my “buy 6 books for only $2” deal. Then calculating how much money in shipping and handling fees I’d pay and figuring how much I’d have to spend to “fulfill” my commitment and deciding that if I withdraw my membership immediately upon fulfilling my membership commitment, I can save a WHOPPING $3. Or if I choose NOT to join the club –I can save even MORE because I will have never purchased anything in the first place. But then –I wouldn’t be feeding my addiction.

    I forced myself to write down the titles that I’m interested in from the pamphlets so that I can take the list to the library and borrow the books instead of buying them. Of course since our library is small –I will most likely have to wait several weeks before the library will be able to locate the book from another library and have it sent via inter-library loan. In the meantime, I could’ve bought the book – had it shipped to my home – and have it read three times! See – this is WHY I own so many books. Our hometown library is just too small.

    And did I mention that I haven’t read HALF of the books I own because I don’t have the time? Yet I just keep buying more! What’s up with that?!

    Okay…I’m going to end this post and go read one of the four books which I borrowed from my friend Dawna.

    I told you it was a disease.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006


    I’m sitting here watching a taped episode of The Oprah Show.

    They are running a tape from 1989 when Oprah had the opportunity to be in the delivery room while two parents were anticipating the birth of their child.

    I watched the surgeon scrub the mother’s belly.

    I heard Oprah exclaim, “I see hair! I see hair!” as the baby was being removed from the womb.

    I heard Oprah scream, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy!”

    I saw the father cry as he bent down to kiss his wife.

    I saw the nurse swaddle the baby and present him to the mother to hold while the doctor finished stitching her incision.

    And I feel cheated.

    I too, am a Mom.

    I was looking forward to sharing all those moments when Olivia came into this world.

    Looking forward to hearing someone exclaim, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl!”

    Looking forward to crying tears of joy with my husband when she was born.

    Looking forward to holding my newborn baby on my chest.

    Olivia was born via emergency C-section 2 ½ months early. The last thing I remember after I kissed my husband and they wheeled me into the O.R and prepped me for surgery. was counting backwards from ten as they placed the anesthesia mask on my face.

    I woke up in recovery –asking if the baby was okay and was it a boy or girl.

    I was in such critical condition that I spent two days in the ICU and didn’t even get to see my daughter, who was fighting for her life, until she was three days old.

    And then, when I finally was wheeled into the NICU and saw Olivia for the very first time, an insensitive nurse told me that it was almost time for “change of shift” and she was going to have to “give report” and I had to leave –after only seeing Olivia for not even five minutes.

    It was over a week before I could hold her.

    The whole experience still brings tears to my eyes over four years later.

    Don’t think for one minute that I’m not eternally grateful for all the miracles that took place during Olivia’s first two months of life that she spent in the NICU before being released to come home. The Lord spared her life several times. He was faithful.

    The experts told us that it would be six years before Olivia would “catch up” to her peers and they wanted to follow her progress every three months. At age 18 months, they looked at us and said, “We never want to see you again. Not only has Olivia caught up to her peers, but she has surpassed “normal” children her age, especially in the area of her communication skills.” Needless to say, we did the “happy dance” and praised God for His goodness.

    Every time I know of a mother who has had the privilege of going through natural childbirth (though some may not consider it a privilege!), or hear of a mother who was able to be awake during her C-section—with her husband by her side…I am jealous.

    Some people may tell me to “get over it –there are much worse things in this life to be sorry about.” And they would be right.

    There are days when I wonder why God took us down that path.

    I wonder why we went through all the anguish we went through during Olivia’s very difficult first two months of life.

    Why He chose us to suffer in that way.

    And then wonder, why not?

    He has great plans for our daughter - this I know.

    But, I still feel cheated.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    The Drain

    Here is a photo of my friends on a recent evangelistic mission trip to Africa.
    They saw the mighty hand of God work wonders! So exciting!

    There is something that is troubling me, however.

    Note: One is standing in the Northern Hemisphere and one is standing in the Southern Hemisphere.

    If each of them had a sink beside them and poured a glass of water down the drain, the sink in the Northern Hemisphere would drain counter-clockwise. The sink in the Southern Hemisphere would drain clockwise.

    If there was a sink sitting EXACTLY on the equator…what direction would the water drain?

    These are the things that I think about.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    2,996; A Tribute to Glen J. Wall

    A Tribute to Glen J. Wall – age 38 – Senior Vice President for Cantor Fitzgerald, World Trade Center. Glen was from Rumson, New Jersey - victim September 11, 2001

    I didn’t know Glen.
    I did not know him, but I want to honor him.

    I look at the photo of Glen and try to imagine what kind of man he was. A husband and a friend says, "Glenno" we miss you. Miss your sparkling eyes and smile. You had a great 38 years." Your pal Eagle. How many knew him? How many grieve his loss? How many remember?

    Today, I grieve the loss of Glen J. Wall.
    Although I didn’t know him, he represents the thousands of people who lost their lives on September 11th.
    I offer a prayer for his loved ones – that they may be comforted. That they may feel the arms of America around them today, holding them.
    May they feel a peace that surpasses all of their understanding. May they feel God's love today in a way they've never known before.
    And may God bless them today and every day.

    Glen, perhaps we’ll meet one day in Heaven. I would like that.

    Today, I honor you, Glen J. Wall - and promise that I will always remember.

    Meet Me In the Stairwell

    You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001? Neither will I.

    I was on the 110th floor in a smoke-filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Goodbye." I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is okay...I am ready to go."

    I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

    I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said. "Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now."

    I was at the base of the building with the priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

    I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

    I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

    I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.

    Some sought Me with their last breath.

    Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; "Come to Me...this way...take my hand." Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

    I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

    September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go."

    I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

    Love, God

    Click here for more tributes.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006


    When a doctor himself needs doctoring so that another doctor doctors the doctor, does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor the doctor the way the doctor being doctored wants to be doctored or does the doctor doing the doctoring of the doctor being doctored doctor as he wants to doctor?

    Saturday, September 09, 2006

    the short list

    here's the short list of the things I don't like:

    gasoline is $2.69 a gallon in my town --while just 77 miles away, in my sister's town it is $2.24 - what is up with that?

    knowing that it's almost midnight and I have to get up early for church and I haven't yet taken a shower and shaved my legs

    irreversible brain damage

    boston creme donuts (I know, not cool)

    driving at night on the interstate while it's raining

    knowing that my daughter is growing up way too fast

    mustard on hot dogs

    too much whipped cream on pumpkin pie

    dirt under my fingernails

    when my 75 pound dog leans all over me after he's been in the pond

    Good n'Plenty candy

    ketchup that is NOT Heinz (if it's not Heinz --it's not TRUE ketchup)

    people who go around sniffing all the time refusing to blow their nose



    stepping in dog poo


    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    The Right Thing

    Did you ever know that you were doing the right thing. REALLY KNOW it?

    I have a little story.....Several years ago, I had the honor of being part of an incredible worship team. Our worship pastor was gifted in playing the acoustic guitar and has written hundreds of songs and recorded several CDs. The Lord brought together all kinds of musicians ....a keyboardist, a flutist, a trumpet player, an awesome drummer and four incredible vocalists whose voices blended "just like the angels" (or so we were told). I loved being a part of that team.

    However, there came a time during that period, when the Lord told me that I had to step down from my position because there were some things that He needed to "work" in me and I could not be in a position of leadership while He was doing the work. I resisted. But finally, after my pastor gave me a "gentle" nudge, I resigned from the team.

    Several weeks later, I attended a Women's Aglow meeting and the speaker there prophesied over me --told me that she saw rivers of worship flowing from my belly and that I was created to worship. She said that the Lord was going to use me mightily in the area of worship. I was thrilled, yet broken in spirit, knowing that at that time, I had been removed from my position on the worship team by the Lord. The woman who prophesied over me had no idea that I could even sing, and she couldn't have possibly known of my deep desire to be involved with worship.

    Several years went by. I married and moved to another town. When we began attending the church where we are now, I was sitting behind the pastor one Sunday morning and he turned around after worship and said to me. "You need to be up front." I looked at the "team" which was on the platform. The "team" consisted of one person, Jim. Jim did a great job at leading worship but you can imagine my disappointment when I knew that there would be a lot of "building" of our team --and that it was going to take a lot of time. Not to mention the fact that one of my biggest faults is always comparing things to other things. In my mind, this team could never measure up to the team that I had left behind at my other church.

    After a year, I began to really get discouraged. Our team consisted of three vocalists. Period. No musicians. We sang all of our songs using accompaniment tracks and I believed that method was limiting the "flow" of the Holy Spirit. But, we had no choice. We had no musicians. Eventually, I dropped off the team.

    Six months later, Dawna showed up. She has a beautiful voice. A few weeks later, her Aunt Janet approached me and said that Dawna would like for me to sing with the team but didn't feel she knew me well enough to talk to me about it. Janet and I spoke at length and by the end of the conversation, I was finally beginning to listen to the Holy Spirit as He was telling me that I needed to be on the team again. But still, made no move to volunteer. A few weeks later, my pastor actually said from the pulpit in a Wednesday service, "Deb, I'm going to say it...You need to be up here singing!" Okay Lord. I give.

    The next week I showed up at worship practice. We still have only three vocalists. And we still sing using accompaniment tapes. But, the Lord is using us. There is not a week that goes by when someone doesn't come up to me after a service telling me what a blessing it is to them that I am singing again. Each week at practice, we pray that the Lord will increase our number and bring in musicians. Each week we pray that the people of our congregation will worship --truly worship.

    We have developed a great friendship, the three of us - and our "sound guy", Dave, (Who just happens to be Dawna's husband.) I am grateful for the relationship we all have formed. Grateful for how the Lord has melded our hearts together. Grateful for what each of us brings to the team. We balance each other in our preferred styles of music and in our personalities. We go from “super organized – Pre-A” type (Dawna) to “way laid back ‘Z’ type” (Jim) to somewhere in between (me). And Dave, bless his heart, puts up with all of us!

    All day today, a hymn was running through my head –and I sang it over and over again “…all that thrills my soul is Jesus…” I said to my husband before I left for worship practice that I was going to mention to Jim that we should sing that hymn sometime soon. When I got to practice, I couldn’t for the life of me, remember the song, but I said that there was a song that I had been singing all day and as soon as I could remember it, I would tell them. Then, I looked down at the page in the hymnal –one of the songs that we will be singing on Sunday… guessed it….”…all that thrills my soul is Jesus…”
    Awesome. It’s incredible how the Lord had prepared my heart today and got me “on the same page” as our worship leader.

    Dawna said, “Isn’t it neat how the Lord confirmed that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing?!” Yes, it is. My prayer is that the Lord will grow our worship team –in His time –in His way. May we seek to lead the congregation in true worship –getting back to the heart of worship –worshipping in Spirit and in Truth. And may lives be changed for eternity through our ministry.

    One more thing....It is really because of Janet that I am singing on the team. Janet has since gone Home to be with the Lord. I am thankful for Janet's gentle nudge --and look forward to worshipping by her side when I join her one day in that Glorious Place that the Lord has prepared for those who love Him!

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    It's a post already!

    okay --no time because we have to leave for church in two minutes.

    a few things...Margie don't feel guilty because I DO think that Sara stole her post idea from me --but you'll never hear me SAY that!!

    second....Cheryl --email me about Ebay

    Dawna ---see you in a few! --I'll get posting soon-- promise

    and yes, to all who inquired --a mini getaway vacation at the inlaws in New York.
    Fun time.

    gotta run!
    more later!