Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Valuable STUFF

Someone very dear to me (aka Brillo Man) always says that something is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

I was browsing through some Ebay listings the other day and noticed that someone had recently paid over $1000 for a first edition copy of a Stephen King novel. (?)

We have coins which are minted for the geocaching hobby we’re involved in. I will often purchase four or five of any given coin when they come up for sale, hold on to them for a few months and then list them on Ebay. I always double my money –and usually triple or quadruple it. My sister and I will send emails back and forth…”Can you believe someone just bid $63 on my coin which I purchased for $8 --what are they thinking?!” I’m not complaining...I’m happy to collect the $63 when the auction closes.

My biggest percentage profit increase was probably a book which sold for $36. I paid a dime for it at a fire hall sale. After so many years of turning a profit on other people’s trash, it has become more of a game to me to see what I can seek out to produce the highest profit. A box of junk (everything in the box for a buck at an auction) netted a sale of $68 for four antique hat pins which were found rattling around in the bottom of the box. A vanity with a huge round mirror –which Brillo Man purchased at an auction for one dollar after I glared at him while saying that we just didn’t have room for the vanity anywhere and what was he thinking?! He replied –“hey, just the mirror alone is worth more than a buck!” –inside one of the vanity drawers was an antique turkey call. Guess what? It sold for $86 on Ebay. I was no longer upset with Brillo Man for paying one dollar for the vanity.

Recently, it was with horror and disbelief that I read a blog where the author confessed she had sold a set of original, Superbowl I (as in the very FIRST Superbowl) mugs at a garage sale for 25 cents. She was tired of their “plastic nastiness”. I’m guessing they ended up on Ebay for a few dollars more than the quarter for which she sold them – or not. (A search of completed items on Ebay yielded nothing for 1967 Superbowl mugs…)

But you know what? Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. You could have in your possession a plastic mug autographed by Elvis, the King – himself –but if someone won’t give you any money for it –it’s really a worthless piece of plastic nastiness. I say to my friend, this year when your family gets together to watch the Superbowl and gives you grief about selling those mugs for a quarter (and they will…) just tell them that you’re storing up treasures in heaven. Who needs a nasty, plastic Superbowl mug, or a nasty plastic mug autographed by the king ---when you know the REAL KING?! (See Pat, occasionally, I can be on your side!)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also. -- Matthew 6:19-21

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Totally Random....

As you may recall....the title of my blog is:

"Deb's Random Thoughts...and Art!"

To be true to the name

here's a random thought...

Mount Kilimanjaro --who has climbed it?
(anyone? anyone? Buehler?)
I love the way that "Kilimanjaro" rolls off one's tongue...
read about it here.

And some ART -
My post for Silly Saturday
Theme: 'S'.
I chose Silly Siesta!!
--link to Silly Saturday in the right hand column)
Anyone else have any random thoughts?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

Pat tagged me. So here goes --six weird things about me...

1) I get some kind of strange thrill out of popping zits.

2a) I’m having trouble coming up with six things because I just don’t think I’m that weird. Ha. Perhaps I need to solicit the help of those who know me best.

2b) It’s the end of January and my Christmas Tree is still up (much to Brillo Man's chagrin).

3) I sleep with a stuffed elephant named ‘Tonto’. (No, that’s not another nickname for Brillo Man). Actually, ‘Tonto’ isn’t his pedigree name. His pedigree name is ‘Curly Tonto, the Polite Elephant from Toronto.’

4) I find it very difficult to throw anything away because I might need it someday.

5) I cannot sleep without wearing socks – at all times – even in the hottest heat of the summer months.

6) I have never colored my hair or had a manicure, a pedicure or professional massage.

I don’t know six people to ‘tag’….get over it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Illustration Friday - Theme: Red

marker on cardstock

On Prayer...

The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about praying. Praying should be exciting! Why is it that the least attended meetings in church are the prayer meetings? Perhaps it’s because they seem to center around the negative –we’re listing all the people who are sick and what their needs are –not that there’s anything at all wrong with praying for people’s needs –but prayer meetings can become morbid expressions…in other words, we can get so mired up in ‘poor this’ and ‘poor that’ that we forget that there is so much for which to be grateful! I believe that God has a greater calling on our prayer lives. I can’t think of anything more exciting than the Creator of the Universe – the Omnipotent, Supreme God being willing to listen and have an interest in what I have to say!

Paul, in Ephesians chapter one wrote to the church in Ephesus--verses 15-23: “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

What a powerful way to pray for others! Is it not true that we often only pray for someone when they have a need? Do we pray for them when everything is going well? Or do we wait to storm the gates of heaven on their behalf after they’ve ‘fallen off the cliff’? Paul prayed for the people in Ephesus when everything was going well. He prayed for them simply because he had heard of their faith in the Lord and their love for all the saints. And the content of His prayer wasn’t just to say, “Lord, meet their need” but he petitioned the “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” to give them a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God. I think that’s exciting! I would love for my friends to pray for me that I would be given wisdom and revelation in God’s knowledge! For God to show me the Truth of who Christ is –to understand and be enlightened – so that I would be able to understand His Word and know what it is God wants me to do. And after I understand the truth –give me the wisdom to be able to apply His truths to my life! That’s how we need to be praying for our family and friends.

Then when we pray for their needs –that we pray that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened so that they may know what is the hope of His calling. That the Lord would flood their minds with such light that they may be gripped by the hope that is theirs in this life now and in the life to come. That He would clear their minds so they’ll be able to grasp the hope of their calling. That He’ll cause them to understand the part they have in the inheritance of Christ. That they are Christ’s inheritance –they are trophies –they are a gift of the Father to the Son –they are important – a part of His inheritance forever and ever. When Christians begin to look at themselves through Christ’s perspective and realize just how precious we are to Him that will boost our self-esteem tremendously! And how much more will we strive to do for His kingdom if we realize how important we are! And let them understand the surpassing greatness of His power. Let them experience the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Let them understand something that mentally they won’t be able to grasp (the surpassing greatness of His power). They’ll experience it but their minds won’t be able to grasp the awesome power that already is within them. Enlighten their eyes so that they will KNOW and understand what they already have (the hope of their calling), who they already are (an inheritance) and what they already have in the resurrection power of Christ that is within them.

Is it not true that what we often pray for is, “God give them this and provide for that?” I wonder if something more mighty and powerful would happen if we began to pray for God to illumine the minds of those who have needs and problems and heartaches in their life that they might be able to see what the hope of their calling is, who they are in Christ Jesus and the awesome power that is ALREADY abiding within them?! Once a person begins to see those three things something happens to them! Paul’s praying was on an entirely different level. He didn’t pray about ‘plastic’ things – ‘plastic’ stuff. But he prayed for something eternal. We are in such a big hurry to tell God what we need that we don’t even stop to think about what the foundation should be…We need to broaden our perspective of Who God is and how He wants to work in and through our lives…

Oh my goodness –the potential here is astounding! Go –and pray powerfully for your loved ones!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Perfect Church

I was inspired today by Sara’s post about her church, and her admonition for everyone to find a church. Even though you may have criticisms...don’t stay away because you’re holding out for the perfect church. It doesn’t exist.

Several years ago, my friend and former worship pastor, Jeff Stockford, wrote and recorded a song entitled, "Perfect Church". It’s a great tongue-in-cheek tune. You can purchase the CD, Beyond the Veil, here. By the way, yours truly did the cover painting for the CD.

Lyrics and notes by PJ (Pastor Jeff) follow:

Perfect Church

This is a tongue-in-cheek look at one of the biggest problems for churches today. People who get easily offended and leave every time something disagreeable happens. Many of these folks will never realize there God-given destinies because they bounce around from church to church, or give up all together. Over the years, pastors have really liked this song.

I used to be a member of a local church
I paid my tithes and attended faithfully
I was well adjusted but my bubble got busted
When I saw some things that started bugging me

Like one Sunday the worship got kinda rowdy
Then the pastor preached way on past lunch time
I had the sensation of near starvation
By the time I got through that steakhouse line

And now I’m holding out for the perfect church
Where there’s never any pressure or strife
Where the services are shorter, decent and in order
And the pastor never meddles in Your personal life

Yes now I’m holding out for the perfect church
Though I know they are few and far between
But in the meanwhile I won’t be defiled
By folks that aren’t as spiritual as me

One Sunday I offered them my services
To preach, teach, rebuke, exhort, and lead
The pastor said "guess what, we’ve got just the spot!"
The he stuck me in the two year old nursery

Well, I tried to explain my position
That my calling was to be on the platform
He smiled and disagreed, said "a servant’s heart is what you need"
So I turned around and stomped right out that door

And now I’m holding out for the perfect church
Where there’s never any pressure or strife
Where the services are shorter, decent and in order
And the pastor never meddles in Your personal life

Yes now I’m holding out for the perfect church
Though I know they are few and far between
But in the meanwhile I won’t be defiled
By folks that aren’t as spiritual as me

Words and music by Jeff Stockford
© 1987 Jeff Stockford

Sunday, January 21, 2007

God's Hug

Today I have been hurting.

My best friend, Dawna, has made a decision to attend another church --for many reasons which I'm unable to discuss.

We were on the Praise Team together and one of our most favorite things to do together is sing and worship the Lord in beautiful harmony. I have been feeling so sad, knowing that we will no longer be singing together. In fact, my sadness was so deep that this morning I stayed home from church --not knowing how I could possibly lead the congregation in worship whenever I knew I would be blubbering all over the place --missing my friend. (Also, it didn't help that I fell yesterday and really was hurting physically this morning as well. Normally, I would've pushed through the physical pain and been in church. Today --it was a good excuse to stay home and wallow in my self-pity.)

Tonight, I decided to fix my hair, put on some makeup to hide my nose - red from crying and haul my sorry self to church. The teens took their turn this evening at leading worship and I sat back to relax and enjoy God's presence. My mind began wandering...thinking about how things are going to change drastically for our praise team because Dawna lent such a strong vocal presence. She has one of the most beautiful, angelic voices I have ever heard with the ability to pull a second line of harmony out of nowhere and make anything we sing sound fabulous --what I like to think was a sweet, sweet sound to our Lord.

Just as the tears began to roll down my cheeks, the teens started to sing this song --one that I haven't ever heard them choose to use while leading worship --but something, or Someone caused them to sing it tonight --and oh, how it ministered to my spirit.

Dawna, I am going to miss you SO much in church but I know that God is working in ways we can not see --in both of our situations --and I know that He will get the glory in the end. He always does!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Earlier today, I got the hiccups.
I RARELY get the hiccups.
Like - maybe - twice a year.
Oh, there's the occasional 'hic' after taking a swig of carbonated beverage. But it's only one 'hic'.

Today --I had the real thing.
After shoving two trisket crackers in my mouth and then chewing while bending over to unload the dishwasher...I felt it begin....the uncomfortable feeling of not being able to swallow properly --and then it happened. The hiccup. They continued for about a minute. That's it.

I then thought about my high school Spanish teacher who once told our class that she used to get hiccups for weeks and sometimes MONTHS at a time! How horrible that would be! I mean, how would you ever get any sleep if you had hiccups for months at a time?!

Another friend I know always gets the hiccups after eating beans. Most people get gas (pardon the expression). She gets the hiccups. What's (hicc)UP with that?!

Coincidentally, just five minutes ago, while checking a date in my engagement calendar, I noted that the 'fun fact to know and tell' for the day was this:

To cure hiccups, bite your thumbs and then blow on them.

I thought I had heard everything!!

What is your favorite remedy for curing the hiccups?!

Hard and honest work earns a good night's sleep, Whether supper is beans or steak. But a rich man's belly gives him insomnia.
- Ecclesiastes 5:12
- The Message Bible

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Little Princess

Olivia is still not feeling well. After doing so much better last evening, this morning I awoke to sounds of her being sick --again. Poor little thing --she can't keep anything down except for an occasional sip of ginger ale.

We're spending the day on the couch together - watching kids' shows on Noggin and The Wizard of Oz (again).

She just took her head off my lap, sat up, swung her feet around and stuck them in my face.

"Mom, tickle the bottom of my feet but not a funny tickle."

"Olivia, you are such a little princess."

"Mom, I am not a princess. Do I look like a princess? Look at me. I don't look like a princess."

"Well, princesses are beautiful and you're beautiful, so you could be a princess. And besides, people usually do whatever a princess asks them to do and you just asked me to tickle your feet."

"Mom, I'm not a princess."

"I think you're a princess."

"Mom. I'm sick. This is not the time for joking around. Now rub my feet."

The photo is of Princess Olivia and Grandma Leanne (my mom). Grandma Leanne made Olivia's princess dress for her. Olivia usually enjoys being a princess --except for today...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

my view from the couch

My sweet little girl isn't feeling well.
She can't keep anything down.
I've managed to do ten loads of laundry since 1 am.
She keeps missing the bucket!
Dolly has had a bath twice now.
Olivia has had a bath once --with three or four sponge baths in between.

I picked up my sketch pad and drew --one of the rare times when Olivia is still enough for me to capture her in my art.

Here is my view of her on my lap...

"Mommy, I'm doing my best to keep the throw upping down."

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
-Luke 4:40

Friday, January 12, 2007

Illustration Friday - Theme: 80's

A pencil sketch of an old woman --nobody I know.
Olivia has named her "Happy Face".

click on photo to enlarge

Ironically, as I was drawing this old woman,
the following song by Fernando Ortega
began to play on my iPod…

All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
The glory of man like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls
The glory of man like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls

But the Word of the Lord endures forever
The Word of the Lord endures forever

All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
The glory of man like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls
The glory of man like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls

But the Word of the Lord endures forever
The Word of the Lord endures forever

I Peter 1:24-25

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Glorious Name

Inspired by Sara’s post, I took a moment to record these several names of God and their meanings. There is much in a name and knowing the meaning of the names of God is one step closer to knowing His nature and His character. One can’t help but be blessed when reading the following list! Take a moment and reflect on the meaning of each – and how the Lord manifests Himself in your life – through His names.

Adonai-Jehovah -- The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High
El-Olam -- The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai -- The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim -- The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi -- The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka -- The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom -- The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu -- The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem -- The Lord our Sanctifier
Jehovah-Sabaoth -- The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi -- The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu -- The Lord our Maker
Jehovah-Eloheenu -- The Lord our God

Often times, when praying or worshipping, I will address the Lord by one of His many names. I am blessed and I believe He is blessed in return.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
-Psalm 91:14

Be Blessed today!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Illustration Friday: Buzz

Relaxing on a Sunday afternoon - sketchbook and pencil in hand, I decided to tackle the theme for this week's Illustration Friday theme: Buzz

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I know my day is going well...

1. …when I pop a bag of microwave popcorn with only has five or less remaining UNPOPPED kernels….and the popcorn isn’t burnt.

2. …when I can sit through a one hour TV show and not be interrupted by my four year old wanting me to make her ‘smiley guy pancake’ talk.

3. …when I can get through an entire day without saying, “because I told you, that’s why”…

4. …when I don’t get a call from a telemarketer trying to sell me a dream vacation in Vegas…

5. …when I remember to set the timer which reminds me that it’s time to take my medicine…and then if I actually remember to take it after I’ve shut the timer off!...

6. …when I get my morning devotions in before afternoon…

7. …when Olivia allows me to get the giant clump of ear wax out of her ear…

8. …when I get something in the mail other than five offers telling me I’m eligible to refinance my mortgage at a low, low rate…

9. …when I remember to feed the fish and the dog…

10. …when I remember to feed Olivia…

11. …when I have time to sit down with a mug of peach chai tea and read the newspaper…

12. …when I can sit through a recorded episode of 24 without falling asleep (give me a break, it’s always after midnight when we’re watching…)

13. …when I can read and reply to my email in one sitting…

14. …when I have a half decent topic for my blog (I’m not sure this is a good day!)

How do you know you’re having a good day?!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I neglected to mention that the new toilet we installed the other day isn't almond in color.

It's white.

The old toilet we took out was almond -- matching all the other porcelain items in the bathroom.

When Brillo Man announced to me that he had purchased this new toilet (because it's higher and will be easier for me to use considering the MS that I live with) I mentioned that it wasn't almond and that it didn't match and probably wouldn't look good and we should buy an almond one.

He told me that in order to get an almond color toilet in that height, it would have to be special ordered and would cost a bunch of money - as in "close to $400". (For a toilet?!)

I told him it wouldn't look good.

He said he'd put it downstairs in the basement bathroom. (Not that it will do me much good down there because obviously, I'm not going down a flight of stairs just to use a toilet that's three inches higher so that it will be easier for me to stand up.)

The next day, I told him that it didn't matter if the toilet were put in upstairs in the master bathroom (because I knew that's where he really wanted to install the thing).

Yesterday he said to me, "That toilet really doesn't look good in the bathroom. It doesn't match. I think I'll buy an almond colored one and swap them out because it really wouldn't be that much trouble to swap them out."

I looked at him and said, "Are you serious?!"


"I thought you said that it would cost almost $400 for a new almond color toilet which is that height."

"Well, we'll just have to find one that doesn't cost that much...."

(I'm not going to scream. Or lose my joy.)

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus...
-Romans 15:5

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Many Faces of Olivia

Trying to get a decent photo of Olivia without her making funny faces is nearly impossible!

Sometimes she just will not cooperate!

Come on Olivia....Please sit still and smile a nice smile...

Can we please get a good picture?!....anytime you want to cooperate will be just fine...

....ho hum....

Anytime you're ready....

Ahhh...success...except her hair is messed up...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wringing in the New Year

As I reflected upon all the events in my life that took place over the past year and considered a resolution or two, I discovered that my biggest problem has been (especially over the past few months) that I consistently allow the enemy to steal my joy. If I had to make any resolutions, one would be that I don't allow the enemy to steal my joy –and the other - that I keep my coffee table clutter-free! My prayer to usher in the New Year was that I would do my best to not allow the enemy to steal my joy and that I would have the self-discipline to be a better housekeeper.

This day started out like any ordinary day. Olivia and I spent some time together reading books, playing games, and we talked to Grandma on the phone. Every time something was placed on the coffee table, I made sure that it was immediately returned to its designated spot and was beginning to feel really proud that I was successful in keeping my coffee table clean. I cooked a delicious dinner of pork roast and sauerkraut. We ate while listening to some lovely music on the stereo....and then....Brillo man decided to work on a project….

Yesterday he had decided that we needed a different toilet in the master bathroom so he went to Home Depot and purchased a new one. I’m thinking that he was inspired by Sara and The Mr. After all, they’re getting a whole new bathroom – he at least wanted a new toilet. He also bought a shop vac (wet/dry) and some plumbing supplies because he plans to change some pipe locations in the basement.

Okay –so we’re installing a toilet – on New Year’s Day. How many folks do you know who celebrate a New Year by installing a toilet? Brillo Man got to work. The only problem was the old one just didn't want to give up its post because he had a heck of a time taking it out. The bolts just wouldn't budge and he ended up needing a grinder to grind down the screws. No problem! He had just purchased a grinder yesterday too!

In the process of the bolt removal, he set the grinder down when he was finished and accidentally singed the carpet threads. Not to mention that the base of the toilet cracked and broke – leaking the last few cups of water all over the carpet. We managed to lift the toilet into a giant garbage bag and get it out the door without dripping water all through the house. And the toilet is – out the door. Literally. Just outside the door. (I’m hoping that no one comes to visit today to find a broken toilet on the doorstep….) Throughout all of this, I was amazed at how calm I was remaining –no enemy is going to steal MY joy!...

I quickly got to work tracing the base of the new toilet to make a pattern so that I could cut away some of the carpet which would be necessary for the new toilet to set in place. The boxes which served as packing for the new toilet were outside, so I grabbed a heavy-duty utility knife and headed out the door. I cut away at the box and got a big enough piece to make my pattern. After tracing the pattern, I reached for my heavy-duty utility knife which I had just used five minutes earlier to cut the box apart. It could not be found – anywhere! At this point, I’m beginning to get a little frustrated knowing that I just used the goofy knife and it couldn’t have gotten up and walked away by itself. But I vowed to remain calm and I wasn’t about to get freaked out by the fact that I’m losing my mind and can’t remember where I put things five minutes earlier. Nope –no enemy is stealing MY joy. After a thorough search which lasted 15 minutes (at least) I finally discovered the knife on top of a piece of furniture where I don’t remember placing it (although I obviously had). Argh.

Okay – so I cut my pattern out and proceed to mark the carpet in the bathroom so that I can cut away the excess. I’m down on the floor and realized that I had forgotten to grab something to use to mark the carpet. Those of you who know me know that once I’m down on the floor, it is extremely difficult for me to get back up. I’m like one of those ladies on those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials. (It’s an MS thing….) I perused the bathroom and remembered that I had an eyeliner pencil in the vanity drawer. Ah ha! This will work!

I traced the outline onto the carpet and cut the carpet away. Then I noticed that there’s a huge black/brown line that isn’t going to go away because I drew the line just outside of my cut line instead of just inside. Great. We’re now going to have a new toilet sitting on a carpet which looks like it has a dead body crime scene outline around it. Oh well. Maybe I can research online how to get eye liner pencil out of carpet. (And no, Mom, Oxiclean didn’t work –tried it.) This is going to put a whole new meaning to “ring around the toilet”. The carpet will be marked forever- good thing it's the master bathroom and no one will see it except Brillo Man and I and at least it matches my eyes...but I still haven’t allowed the enemy to steal my joy…

Meanwhile, I could hear Olivia downstairs saying something about her singing bear and her Blue's Clues dog being ruined! “They’re ruined Dad, they’re just ruined!” The next thing I know, she’s running into the bathroom saying, “Mommy, Mommy, there’s a big flood and my singing bear is ruined! What are we going to do?! It’s really a big mess Mom, you HAVE to see this! My singing bear is ruined!”

Coincidentally, after shutting off the water source to the toilet, the increased pressure caused a pipe fixture to come apart. (Later we discovered that it had not been glued at all). We had an inch of water on our basement floor. Water had been POURING out of the pipe –all over our furnace – right onto the electrical ignition box – all over our digital satellite recorder box – all over the shelves where we store all of our games – and running from there – ALL over the entire basement. What a mess!! Joy – remember…keep your Joy…

Fortunately, (no, miraculously) Brillo Man had just purchased a dry/wet shop vac. We got to work, moving furniture, taking up carpet, moving boxes out of the closets and repacking things that could be salvaged into plastic bins (which we had purchased just one week ago). While Brillo Man sucked up the water, I grabbed some towels and soaked up as much water as I could – wringing them out into a bin and dumping the water outside – over and over and over and over again. I did so much wringing that my hands looked like prunes and my arms and wrists began to ache. Not to mention my knees and legs from all the bending and lifting and carrying water-filled bins out the door. But, I still had my joy…

Olivia poked her head down the steps and asked if we were done yet…I just laughed and said, “Oh no, we’re going to be at this all night.” Brillo Man said, “well, at least you have a sense of humor about the whole thing.” I told him it was either laugh or cry and I was choosing to laugh. A few minutes later, I started laughing uncontrollably while exclaiming, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it! -The title for my blog…Wringing in the New Year! Get it? w-r-i-n-g…” That even made Brillo Man chuckle.

Three and ½ hours later, we had most of the water sucked up and the games and toys all laid out to dry. We sat down to rest. I told Brillo Man that a few days ago, I had been praying and asked the Lord to help me to choose joy –to not let the devil steal my joy – that no matter what situations I encountered in this coming year – I was determined to do my best to not allow my joy to fade. Brillo Man looked at me with this look which said, ‘what in the world are you doing praying something stupid like that?!’ I smiled and said, “It could be worse – just look at how wonderfully the Lord prepared us for this by causing you to buy a grinder and a shop vac yesterday –and by purchasing all the pipe fittings to relocate the pipes – because now you have the supplies to fix the leak! God is good!” (I think he wanted to throw something at me at this point!) I looked at him and said, “Hey, I’m not screaming like a lunatic! I’m laughing! I’m not letting the enemy steal my joy!”

After our rest, we came upstairs to discover that Olivia had helped herself to a cupcake. What you don’t know is that Olivia doesn’t like frosting. Since I was downstairs busily wading through an inch of water, she took it upon herself to remove the frosting and wipe it all over the ottoman in the living room! She told me that she had the frosting all over her hands and she couldn’t wash her hands because there wasn’t any water. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that earlier in the day, she did the exact same thing – claiming that she couldn’t reach the napkins to wipe her hands. Frosting from two cupcakes smeared on the furniture in one day. Needless to say, Olivia wasn’t so joyful when she was told she had to go to the naughty spot.

She said there and said, “I just don’t like this day. This is not a good day. I don’t like this family. I don’t want to be in this family.” Normally when she’s in the naughty spot. I don’t acknowledge anything she says, but at this point, I was exhausted and I snapped back, “Well, too bad you don’t like this family, because this is the family that God gave you and you’re stuck with us.” She looked at me for a few minutes and then said, “Well maybe God will let me borrow my cousin Makaya’s family…and besides, you’re being a big meany because you’re making me sit in this naughty spot.” I just smiled at her and said, “But I still have my joy! Now come over here and help me clean your toys off the coffee table...”

....what did you do to (w)ring in the New Year?!

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD...
-Psalm 35:9a