Monday, September 29, 2008

Here I am. :)

So sorry I've been MIA. I haven't felt really well on the days I've not been busy. Please pray that that cycle STOPS. I'd like to feel GOOD for a bit. :D

Today's post is a poem that I fell in love with in college. It hit me right where I was - I used to wear masks all the time, for fear of others' opinions of me. What I learned the year I found this poem was that everyone has fear of others. We're all in the same place - we need to be loved. Regardless of whether the author is Christian or not, I think his message SHOUTS about how we should interact with each other.

Let me know what you think. :)

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may be smooth but
my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a fa├žade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,
And my life becomes a front. I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,but what I can't say.
I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings --
very small wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator --
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.
By Charles C. Finn

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Remember my talking about making posters available?

Well, we've found a way to do this! :) We'll be adding more, but all the flower shots with verses that I have done are uploaded on this site. If there's a picture you'd like a specific verse on, or anything like that, please let us know! :) We're excited about getting to share our work with you!

Enjoy browsing! :)

Guest Article Today!!!

Good morning, everyone! I know it's been a while since I posted, and I apologize - but thank you for coming back. :D
Today, I have permission from Carmen to post her blog post here. I've been struggling to get enough time to write the article I said I wanted to, and Carmen's post was on the Internet Cafe Devotions earlier this week. It's EXACTLY where I wanted to start, and Carmen graciously allowed me to "share the love". :) So that's what I'm going to do. Here, in its entirety, is Carmen's post. Thank you, Carmen!
More than anything, keep loving each other actively;because love covers many sins.~ 1 Peter 4:8

Have you figured out yet that this life is all about relationships? The Relationship Expert Himself wrote an entire Book about this matter of relationships. The First Four Words of The Ten (Commandments) He gave us had to do with relating to Him…and the Last Six Words had to do with relating to everyone else!

What I’m trying to say, folks, is that it matters to our LORD how we deal with one another…yes, even ‘Sister Scouring Pad’ (the one known for her abrasive qualities). Did you know that our (horizontal) relationships are the TELLING FRUIT of our most vital (vertical) relationship to the Father...the ROOT? We are able to know the true condition of how our Heavenly Father views our relationship with Himself simply by examining our relationships with the 'one anothers' in our lives.

We all have at least one relationship in need of His healing touch, don’t we? 1 Peter 3:8-12 describes a process of His sanctification in us through friction with others…’it is to this we have been called that we might receive a blessing’. We receive this blessing as we do things His way and give up the right to ourselves.

Recently, I had the privilege of sipping some very expensive coffee (as in ‘Venti fat-free hazelnut latte, please!’) across the table from a new friend. We both shared our strange love for acronyms. You see, the LORD gave me a brain that can be easily confused, so I have found that acronyms serve me well in remembering what I should do in a complicated situation. Sometimes I do not have time to grab my Bible and look up the appropriate responses. Perhaps this is why His Spirit instructs us to ‘hide (the Word) in our hearts that we might not sin against Him’!
H.U.G.S. is surely one great acronym to commit to memory in dealing with inevitable conflict. The definition of conflict is ‘to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; to clash’. Has this ever happened to you? John records these words from Jesus: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

We have tribulation because sin resides in every human heart. But let’s not kid ourselves - even if you or I were the only one on this earth, we’d still have our issues! Therefore, we can look at conflict as an event and H.U.G.S. as appropriate God-honoring, Christ-exalting responses to a brother or sister. Until the LORD comes back, His Spirit will be teaching us all about His blessed grace and giving us ample opportunity to grow in it and extend it to others.

What would our relationships look like if we dealt in the following manner with each other?

• H - Honestly (Proverbs 24:26; Romans 12:9-10)
• U - Understandingly (Proverbs 14:29; James 1:20)
• G - Graciously (Colossians 4:6; Proverbs 11:16; Ecclesiastes 10:12) AND finally…
• S - Simply (Matthew 5:37; Proverbs 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:7)

Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). This ahava (Hebrew: ‘love’) is the first attribute listed of the Spirit’s fruit because it is from this ‘ahava’ that the remaining Kingdom fruit flows. Ahava, at its core, is a heavenly action displayed through an earthly vessel. It is His very love flowing through us.

Because HUGS are a very SUPERnatural response, they are able to soften the edges of even the harshest Sister (yes, even Sister Scouring Pad or Brillo Britches…whichever you prefer).
Baruch Ha Shem ADONAI!!
Because HE Lives!
Join Carmen daily at her personal blogspot

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This, That, and The Other....

Good afternoon, dear friend!!! I'm so glad you stopped by to visit me. :)
Yes, indeed, I do have too many ducks. :D But I'm beating them into submission, I promise. :D
Thank you, those of you who prayed for the insurance by the state to pick me up! It DID!!! Unfortunately, they don't have funding to help out with the premiums, so please continue to pray for that financial burden - it's considerably more than COBRA was, but it's still insurance! :)
Rhonda and I are making plans for her visit for Thanksgiving; I think she's pretty excited. :D She's ready to come NOW, but I told her I need the next two months to get everything done I need to! LOL!!
This photo is part of our fall decorations; this is on the mantel in my stampin' room. Isn't it beautiful??? I love fall, and then comes CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Mom had all the decorations up in an afternoon; the outside will go up when we can get corn stalks from the farmer's market.
I just wanted to post and say thank you. :D And THANK YOU goes out to Karna, also; she sent me a papercrafting book! :) It was very sweet, and I'm blessed beyond measure just by her friendship!
Have a wonderful, blessed day, dear friends!!!! I treasure you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Count your MANY blessings, and see how loved you are. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Tuesday!!

Hi, girls! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted - I'm going away AGAIN this coming weekend, and I'm trying to make sure I have all my ducks in a row. PHEW. I gotta lotta ducks! :D

ANYWAY. We had a lovely time getting away to Smyrna this weekend. :) We went and dropped Kenn's wedding band off for resizing- my gift to him for our anniversary. :D Then, we went and had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings - Kenn loves to play trivia there! :) He has a LOT of knowledge, and always impresses me.

Off to the hotel we went, and checked in just fine. We had a "suite", and it was really comfy. We set up our computers and made sure we both could get online ;), and off Kenn sped to work - just a few minutes away!

I took a short nap, then worked most of the afternoon. But it was so nice to not have other things I "needed" to do distracting me; I watched TV, had a snack, read some of a book I took, and just generally kicked back while working. :D Kenn came back around 8, got changed, and we went to a local restaurant for dinner. We had a really good dinner! Appetizers, and dinner - and we were soooooooo full, but took a piece of their carrot cake with us; we'd been told it was their signature dessert. :)

Back we went, and it wasn't too long - some football scores later :D - that we went to sleep.

We got up about our regular time on Sunday, our real anniversary. We got ready - this is Kenn that morning :) - and Kenn brought some breakfast up for us. We also ate a bit of the carrot cake. WOW, was it rich. We decided to take it home with us, but it didn't survive the heat. It was MUCH warmer than I thought it was supposed to be!!!!

We left the hotel - which was about FIVE minutes from church - about 15 minutes after we normally would leave our HOUSE for a 35 minute drive. Can ANYONE say ANTSY?!?! ::::::::sigh:::::::::::: That's Kenn for you, in case you didn't know. :D

Church was EXCELLENT, as usual, and then we had sushi for lunch and came home to relax and unpack.

There. Now you know the whole weekend! :D It was really nice. Thank you for your well-wishes and prayers for us. :)

God's stirring up that topic in me again, girls. I'll be posting soon, the next in the series of Christian relationships.

Leave me a note, let me know you visited!!! :D BE BLESSED, dear one! YOU ARE LOVED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Updates and Nothin' Much :D

Hi, everyone! Happy Friday! :)
Aren't these beautiful?? Kenn just brought them home to kick off our anniversary weekend. :D It's on Sunday; it will be 12 years, officially. :D They are GLORIOUS flowers - although "peace roses" are deceptively named; they should be called "thorns of death" roses! :D Thank you, My Love, for the beautiful flowers. And for 12 years of ups, downs, and sideways - and love.
OK, you wanted to know how Rhonda's meeting went - so I had her write an update! Here it is:
The meeting I had with my principal and coworker went incredibly well. It really shouldn't be such a suprise. God promises to hear his children when they call to Him.
I had many people praying for me and could definately feel the prayers as they went up. I spent a couple of minutes before going in to the meeting praying once again that God would give me wisdom as I went in.

I don't think it is necessary to tell the contents of the meeting, but I will say this. God held my tongue when I needed to be quiet and wisdom to see what needed to be said at the right time. I truly felt God's presence in the room with me. Because of Him I could walk out of the meeting knowing that I had been obedient to God and as loving as one can be in that situation!

Thanks to EVERYONE who lifted me up that day! I am incredibly blessed to have people care even when they do not know me personally! I pray that God would pour down on you blessings far beyond anything you could ever comprehend!

Rhonda Binion
So there you have it! :) God is GOOD, all the time!!! :D If I don't post again this weekend, it's because I'm not feeling like doing so. :D Have a WONDERFUL weekend, my dear friend! BE BLESSED!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Honor Thy Father & Mother

Good morning, everyone. I'm SO sorry I haven't posted in a while; I have all these thoughts buzzing in my head, and they won't stand still long enough to sort and get down into writing! ::::::::sigh:::::::::::: I hope you'll forgive me! :)

Today I want to honor my mom and dad. This is them!

Actually, this picture's almost 2 years old. They don't seem to hold still long enough to take a picture of the two of them TOGETHER very often. :)

My mom and dad are REALLY giving. They offered us a place to live when we didn't know what God was doing in our lives - we still share a house with them! They are ALWAYS there when I need them, for anything. When a crisis arises - as they seem to, often, in Kenn & my lives!!! - they are always there, even if we only get a sympathetic ear and good, Godly advice. :)

Mom takes care of me a LOT. She purchases most of my prescriptions; she gives me money to get used clothing and books. She puts up with my mood shifts and a-political attitudes. :D She's been one of my best friends for the last ten years, and I am so grateful for her!!!

Dad is so looking forward to retirement that I think he has trouble seeing straight sometimes. :D He's become much more light-hearted when he gets to stay home, with a ready laugh and a conversation with Kenn coming easily. This week, he blessed both Rhonda and me with a ticket for her to come for Thanksgiving - the first holiday her ex-husband will have the kids - so she doesn't have to be by herself. I haven't seen her since my wedding. :) Thank you, Dad.

I don't tell them often enough how much I love them, how blessed I am by them, how grateful I am for everything they do for me. God teaches me how to love so many times by their examples. I am SO blessed to have Godly parents.

I just wanted to honor them today, in a special way. :)