Archive for the 'PSR' Category

Prayer alarm

It’s a good thing people have prayer requests.

We all garage our cell phones on chargers in the kitchen, theoretically at 9:00 PM. Last night I was working at my desk after our dinner with Josiah at Hook and Ladder Pizza Company, and when I looked up, it was 9:50 (my bedtime) and my phone was still up with me on my desk. I didn’t want to bother taking it down, so I took it into our room and plugged it in there.

This morning, my alarm went off as usual at 5:55, and as usual, I got up, turned it off, and got back in bed to lie there for a few more minutes before starting my day; few being a number between five and ten.

Suddenly my phone dinged with a text message, and I looked at the clock. 7:18!!! I leapt out of bed, looked at my phone, saw that it was a prayer request, prayed, and began hastening through an abbreviated version of my morning routine. Between Bible reading, stretching, walking and praying, harvesting, watering, showering, applying my face, lotioning, dressing, fixing my hair, and occasionally grabbing something to eat or drink, the full version takes about 2.75 hours, but as I needed to leave the house promptly at 9 AM, several things would obviously have to be omitted.

I did the essentials in high speed, but had my friend not texted me her prayer request, I suppose I might have slept all the way through church!


If discipline were easy, I’d already have done it

I am trying hard to develop a habit of being in bed by 10:00 PM. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do?

I get to about 9:15 PM and think of several little tasks that I really need to finish. I start Task A, get partway into it, get side-tracked, start semi-related Task B, accomplish not very much on it, and then suddenly remember Task C that absolutely HAD to get done today. By then it’s 9:55, and I think, “It will only take a me a few minutes to finish C, and then I can probably get B done, and A will have to keep till tomorrow, but I can surely get in bed by 10:30.” What a joke!  C takes longer than I think, B requires information I don’t have and can’t get at 10:30 PM, and I’ve totally forgotten that A even exists. And sometime around 11:30 or 11:45, I finally go to start my bedtime routine – which I wish were like Scott’s (decide to go to bed, get into bed, read a few minutes, and fall asleep; total time 10 minutes), but which unfortunately involves things like deciding to go to bed, taking an evening med, writing a blog post(!!!), setting out tomorrow’s morning meds, brushing and flossing my teeth, reading a magazine in the bathroom, asking Scott (who’s only awake enough to grunt) a question, setting the alarm, remembering and dealing with something at my desk, blessing Andrew, etc., etc., etc., finally getting into bed, reading for a while, and eventually falling asleep; total time 42 minutes.

It is now 9:37 PM, and I am going to go start that process. If I stay focused and do it all fast, I’ll at least be horizontal by 10:05 PM. Sigh.

Ready, set, GO to bed!

Officially motivated

We helped a family move today. Well, we really just helped load and unload a small trailer-full of boxes. They closed on their new house (they’re moving to Walnut Shade!) yesterday and started painting and transporting boxes, in preparation for the full move of furniture and everything else in the coming days.

This family has a heckuva lot of stuff, and that made me think about our my stuff. I have a lot of stuff, too, but a good portion of my stuff is either:

a) seldom or never used

b) poorly or not at all organized

c) no longer meaningful to me

d) redundant and/or unnecessary

I think it’s hard for me to accept the fact that lots of things have seasons, and that they don’t last (or even should last) forever; things like stuff, of course, but also preferences, desires, plans, and even relationships. I seem to live in the camp where everything (stuff, preferences, desires, plans and relationships) must be maintained FOREVER. I’m not sure why that is, and I’m not sure how to move out of that camp, but I do know that I tend to be the world’s worst at hanging onto stuff that I don’t need, want, or even like, and for some very impressive (ha!) reasons like these:

a) _____ gave it to me, so I ought to keep it, because getting rid of it would mean I don’t care about _____’s feelings.

b) I may need it someday, and if I throw it out now and then later have to buy it again, that would be wasteful, or we might not have the money, or (and this really is the main one) it may no longer be available. Ugh..

c) Although it’s not meaningful to me, it may mean something to ______, so I should keep it at least until I can find out if _____ cares about it.

d) It doesn’t fit or look good on me and I never wear it, but we did spend money on it, so I should keep it.

e) Even though it doesn’t mean anything to me, it should!  I should care about it, so I should keep it.

But after seeing my friend’s house crammed FULL of stuff that I can’t imagine her family ever actually using, it occurred to my lightning fast mind that I really must start going through my stuff and getting rid of things that, well, simply need to be gotten rid of. Moreover, I’m getting the sense that this doesn’t apply only to blouses and papers and (gasp!) books and houseplants and leftover dishes. I suspect it also applies to weightier matters like time commitments and expectations (particularly those I place on myself) and maybe even some relationships. . .

Hebrews 12:2 does encourage command us to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and to run with endurance the race that is set before us. Maybe I could run (move, live) more effectively if I got rid of some of those sweaters I bought but never wear. Or some of those kitchen gadgets I have to keep moving to get to the few I actually use all the time. Or some of those performance assumptions that drag me down but have no basis in truth. . .

Wow. This is getting pretty heavy. I think I will lighten up and go wash some dishes.  = )

Annual events

I have noticed that in mid-April, a number of things typically change around here.

As everyone knows, on April 15 we mail off our tax returns, but this year, it looks like on one or more of them (personal? business? federal? state? Thankfully, Scott knows.), we may not have to pay and/or may even get something back! That would be a very pleasant change.

Then there’s the fact that each year, I have to lotion my entire body every single day from about my birthday to tax day, so soon I will be able to drop that little taskette from my morning routine.

And April 15 is also about the time when we have to resume icing our tub butter. We don’t keep it in the fridge because it gets too hard to spread, and we don’t like that. Instead, we just leave it on the counter, and through the winter that works just fine, but once daytime temps are consistently in the 70s, we put a bowl of ice under it, and it’s my job to dump the water and re-ice it morning and evening.

It’s also getting very close to tomato planting time! The extension service says I’m supposed to wait till nighttime temps stay above 55, but I never patient enough to do that. Actually, I think it’s warm enough now, and the plants are “hardening off” out on the porch as I type, but I need to get a guy to help me haul all that potting soil from the smokehouse out to the front and get it dumped into the containers, and my schedule and the guys’ availabilities have not meshed well lately.

Finally, in other fun news, I hung our hummingbird feeders yesterday. The Missouri Department of Conservation says to hang them on about April 25, but in most areas of life, I like to do things ahead of time. The early bird gets the worm (or sugar water), right?

I do love spring! It is by far my favorite time of the year. Happy April 15 to one and all.

I do so like a productive day

All of mine are not, and I know that I am still a valuable and precious person even on days when I accomplish virtually nothing, but this was one of those truly luscious days when I didn’t have to go anywhere at all; always a bonus for a homebody like me.

I had had a tough night and so slept in a bit, but I walked my usual four laps, including visiting briefly with my neighbor whom I have invited to come to church on Easter. She’s planning to come, assuming she’s not scheduled to work that day, and she’s really jazzed about seeing Andrew portray the devil in the Easter drama.  = )

For the first time, I successfully worked my way through some vacation rental business financial stuff that I am training to do for Scott. I went as far as I could with it, and then there was an issue with VRBO that will require Scott’s input, but I still felt awfully successful.

I dealt with several of the details of a somewhat complicated purchase I need to make.

I moved some money from one bank account to another.

I contacted DISH because John the technician came a couple days ago to upgrade our dish and box, and I was really impressed with his attitude, his demeanor, his professionalism, and his clear explanation of what he would do and what he had done. He told me that I would get a robo call within 24 hours, asking me for my feedback on his service, and he explained how important those kinds of reviews are for DISH employees. I am always glad to commend people for great service, so I was really disappointed when the call came, and all it said was to press one if I wanted to continue in English (I did) and then thank you and if I had any problems with my service to call DISH! AARRGGHH! So I called DISH today to tell them what a fine job John did, and that was good.

I went to the church to let in the guy who needed to pick up the lift we had rented to replace and position lights for our Easter drama this Sunday.

I baked cranberry date bars for a potluck dinner tomorrow evening.

I prepared red beans and rice and cornbread for tonight’s supper.

I washed dishes several times throughout the day.

I worked on my book.

I prepared a list of “feeling” words to help me better identify how I feel in various situations.

I took a short walk, just to Lane’s driveway and back, in the cold and wind this afternoon.

I did my stretches three times (15 minutes each).

I added a number of commitments to my wall calendar and phone calendar.

I watered my tomatoes and peppers.

I’m going to bed!


Old dog, new trick

The only reason I can type at all is that my mom required me to take typing in 11th grade. At the time, I thought that was a stupid idea and told her so, but she held her ground. I had one semester of typing and one of shorthand. I never became proficient at either, I use shorthand not at all, and I hunt and peck (albeit pretty quickly) to this day.

Habits die hard, and not all of them are bad. One good one that was absolutely drilled into me in typing class was that you single space after commas and semi-colons, and you double space after periods, question marks, exclamation points, and colons. Period. (space, space).

But I have been told that in this day of all things digital and word processing and fonts and such, you don’t double space after periods, or after any other punctuation marks, for that matter. I guess the software is supposed to put in the right amount of space or something. This, of course, goes against everything I was every taught, and it really rubs me the wrong way. However, I am now actively endeavoring to break myself of my deeply-ingrained double spacing habit. This is not easy. I’ve been working on this for several weeks, but even now, at the end of every sentence, I have to remind myself to only hit the space bar once. This is so awkward! Whine, whine, whine. Double spacing is much more comfortable, as habits generally are, but I think that if I can successfully break this relatively insignificant habit, doing so will give me the momentum and motivation I need to break some that are much more important.  = )

On seeing and hearing

I am being greeted pummeled by this concept from three different sources in less than 24 hours, so maybe it’s something God wants me to understand and receive. I will share it with you here.

Scott and I went on a unique date Saturday night. I wanted to go out to eat and “do something fun.” Scott wanted to go to the Rendezvous (our vacation rental home that is currently vacant ’cause this is the off-season) and sit in the hot tub. He also wanted to watch a movie, preferable “Woodlawn.”

I don’t particularly like hot tubs, but when something is important to Scott, I am becoming determined to do it cheerfully. I am also not a fan of movies (I often can’t follow the plot, have a hard time sitting in certain positions for a long time, and/or tend to fall asleep), but again, if Scott wanted to watch a movie, that would be a small thing I could do to make him happy. But in the spirit of doing something “fun,” I suggested that we watch the movie while in the hot tub! Scott thought this was a great idea, and we commenced to prepare.

First, he sent me to Wal-Mart to buy the movie, and let me just say that it is emphatically NOT SMART to go to Wal-Mart late in the afternoon, even in the off-season. It is less smart to go to Wal-Mart in the late afternoon on a Saturday, and it is significantly stupider to enter Wal-Mart at 5:30 P.M. on Saturday, February 13. The place was packed and absolutely crawling with males of all ages carrying around little vases and cards and stuffed bears and boxes of candy; they completely filled all the express check-out lanes.

Furthermore, simply locating one’s desired movie at Wal-Mart is an exercise in frustration, and surely you know by now that in my life, I am NEVER looking for extra frustration. Wal-Mart has two racks of all-kid movies (I didn’t bother with those) and an innumerable collection of other racks, circular displays, end-caps, and various stands holding movies. These movies are not grouped by vintage, genre, title, price, popularity, or any other discernible pattern. They are just a lot of movies. Period. While I knew I was looking for “Woodlawn,” I had no idea what the box looked like or even what color it was. So I called Scott, twice, and both times, my call was forwarded. Sheesh! I did FINALLY and completely by chance find the movie. I paid for it and left the pink-encrusted store (where the Valentine aisles were being converted to Easter aisles, even as I stood in line!) as quickly as possible.

Second, we packed what we would need: swimsuits and towels, Scott’s computer and massive monitor, his mouse and the movie, clean underwear and deodorant, popcorn and water bottles, etc. We ate at our favorite Chinese restaurant and headed to the Rendezvous.

With some effort, My Hero got everything set up, and we settled into the hot tub to enjoy our movie. However, there was one problem. We couldn’t figure out how to turn off the bubbling of the hot tub! Of course, the hot water felt good – especially because it was about 30 degrees and windy out! – but even with the volume on Scott’s computer turned up all the way, and even leaning forward toward it, we couldn’t hear the audio well enough to really understand what we were seeing on the movie.  = {  We ended up having to move into the family room and watch it on the TV there.

That was Saturday night.

Sunday morning, as we were heading out the door to church, we suddenly got word that our service had been cancelled because freezing rain was forecast during church, which could make driving home afterwards treacherous. Also, the sanctuary heater was not working, and the temp in there was about 45 degrees. Sigh. But we were all dressed up and ready to go, and we wanted to participate in some good worship and hear a good sermon, so we went to a different church in town. That pastor’s sermon was titled “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and one of his key points was that the battle for my eyes (walking by faith and not by sight) is won through – of all things – my ears (the “voices,” within or without that I choose to believe). So, in situations that are difficult or painful for me, and I do face several of those, it’s vitally important for me to focus more on what God says than on what I see in front of me.

That was Sunday morning.

Sunday after lunch I read Jessica’s latest blog post, which you can read here, and in it she said (bold emphasis mine), “Eve made a decision about eating from the tree of knowledge based on her eyes, not on what God said. . . Never mind that God had given her and Adam a very dire warning about what would happen if they ever ate from that tree. Disregarding what God said, Eve made a fatal decision based on what she saw, and every generation afterwards has suffered the consequences of her wrong choice.”


Three times in one day I am hammered with this same principle? From a hot tub, a sermon, and a daughter? Seriously?!? I am beginning to get the distinct impression that in several areas of my life I REALLY need to look up, write down, remind myself of, and meditate on what God says. I need to hear his answer and focus on that, instead of focusing on the problem in front of me that I can’t avoid seeing.

OK, God, I hear you. And I think I get your point.