300,000 distinct ones

I need to post a re-cap of this past weekend’s “So Long Insecurity” simulcast.

Not because people need to hear the message, they do.  But Beth is so much better at it than I am, my pitiful recap is not really going to impact anyone….except me.

This is for me.  So I don’t have to worry about losing my notes from this message.

Beth likes Acronyms, so her message was built around Ephesians 4:1 – 5:2 and what a SECURE woman “looks” like.

A SECURE woman is….

Saved from herself
removed from the need to be so self-conscious, self-aware and afraid of what others think. She is focused on God and on HIS opinion of her and mission for her.

Entitled to truth
The truth about herself – that she is a precious daughter of the king and nothing and no one can ever take that from her. This is not to urge her towards pride, but instead to make sure she knows the value we all hold in God’s eyes.  And by the way ALL humans have dignity and value
in God’s eyes.

Clothed intentionally
She very deliberately wreathes her mind and heart in scriptures, God’s word of unending love and forgiveness.  Scripture is our best (only) defense against the destructive thoughts and emotions that rage through our heads.  Be deliberate.  Have scripture memory plan.  Surround yourself, study God’s word.  Whether you know whole chapters already or don’t know a single verse yet, start today.  Memorize.  I used to think Scripture memory was not necessary.  I had the Bible after all.  I wasn’t living in some far off land where I’m not allowed to carry a Bible, so why should I have to memorize scripture?  Because God said to, first of all, but mostly because I don’t have time to look things up when my head is spinning.  I need to be able to pull up words from God that have “been engraved on my heart”       Be Intentional about it.

Upended by grace
forgiven.  utterly.  unshakably, she KNOWS she is forgiven and it turns everything in her life upside down.  She is so certain of her own forgiven state that forgiving others is not only the right thing to do, it feels right.  I didn’t say easy…just right.

Rebounded by love
slips happen, mistakes occur, but a secure woman knows that God is there and catches her.  she is both bound by God’s love and rebounded by it – which I like to think of as a basketball analogy – caught and sent right back up towards the basket.

Exceptional in life
She is the exception to every rule.  “no woman in the world could deal with THAT…well, except…HER”  is what we want all our acquaintances to say about us.

Beth was amazing on Saturday.  Her passion was deeper and more raw than anything I have ever seen from her,  and in a way that made it more intimate.  Even with 300,000 people all listening in.   I loved that she said that this whole insecurity thing is not just a theme for the year or something.  She is utterly on fire.  I know I was seeing her with 300,000 other people, but I felt like she was speaking to me.  That she came there because God was telling her to talk to ME about this sin in my life.  The sin of unbelief.

Because that is what insecurity is, essentially, unbelief.

God says I am forgiven, how dare I try to prove to him that I’m not?

God gave his son for my life! how dare I try to show him how worthless I am and what a horrible bargain he made?

God pours himself out for me in his word, how dare I scorn such an offering by not reading it?

God says that I am lovey, how dare I even think of myself as anything less?

on a side note – I had a wonderful time with some great friends (one of whom I only see about once a year) and I didn’t take a single photo!  Hey Trish, do you have the camera phone picture we had the lady in line take of us?

***update*** and here it is.  A lovely photo of three very SECURE and happy ladies!

Deirdre, Michelle & Trish

by the way, both Trish and Michelle are farm girls, so they spent the entire time we were in line discussing their favorite TRACTORS and other farming implements.  I was WAY out of my depth!!!!


new words this month

This month has been a verbal leap of sorts.  This is a list of words that my husband just sent me.  Ever since last month when I asked him “what words is Ginny saying now” he has been keeping a list on his cell phone.

So here is the new stuff

  • Shoes/hat/mouth
  • On/Off/Out/In/Down/Up
  • Eat/Food/breakfast/cookie/yum/nomnom/hot
  • Bubbles
  • Click
  • Moose
  • Elmo
  • Daisy (my mother’s dog)
  • Door
  • “side”  (when she wants to go outside to play)
  • Keys
  • Rabbit
  • Flower
  • Book
  • Baby
  • Please
  • Teeth/mouth/kiss
  • Ok
  • More
  • bye-bye
  • one

oh I have to add one more – “good girl !!!”  she says this about her self and others.  This is almost always accompanied by clasping her hands together and laughing.

Such a sweet, joyful child.  I will post photos of her from last week (when my aunt Juanita was here) soon I promise.  And as soon as I can figure out how to get them off of my husband’s camera there are some wonderful shots of Ginny eating her first ever corn-ON-the-cob.  She dove in with great enthusiasm.  Just like she does with everything in life.

birthday wishes for everyday lives

I was just writing a note of encouragement to a friend who is going through a rough time and having a birthday tomorrow. (why do those two things always coincide?)

At first I didn’t know what to say.  But after a while the words just flowed and what I sent her ended up feeling so right that I knew it had to be a blog post.   Someone else out there might need to read this simple story.

So here is an edited version of it –

Dearest Friend,

Your birthday is tomorrow.  You are turning forty-something and I’m praying for you to have a marvelous day.

No I’m not being sarcastic.

Why should you have a good day?

  • Your pets love you.
  • I love you.
  • Your family loves you.
  • You will be going to an amazing Beth Moore event in less than two weeks.
  • You just read a wonderful book reminding you that your TRUE SECURITY is in GOD ALONE. Not man, not money, not marriage, not youth, not even loving friends.
  • And GOD LOVES YOU in a very real, and personal way.

Don’t know about you, but I’ve tended to have trouble with the concept that God loves me personally.  I always sort of thought he tolerated me, IF I was being good.  The wholly incredible truth that I am personally of value to God Most High has always been difficult for me to grasp.

Well recently I was singing to Ginny a very simple little kids song

“God loves me,
God loves me,
in my Bible book it says that
God loves me”
(Romans 8:39)

And, like a lot of little kids songs, you are just supposed to repeat the same chorus over and over and overandoverandoverandover …… till the child falls asleep….or you do!

Well being an adult I decided to try to amuse myself by thinking of other words that could fit in that song.  Just to keep myself awake while Ginny drifted off into lala land.

That simple idea turned out to be SUCH a blessing.  Somehow these truths had never sunk in when I read them as scriptures, but turning them into simple statements of how God feels about ME….it made all the difference in the world!

God SEES me
He knows my every moment.  There is no point in time when I am hidden from God
(Psalm 139: 1-3 and Gen. 16:13)

God KNOWS me
He knows my every motive….and loves me anyway!
(Psalm 139:14)

God WANTS me
This one blows me away.  God wants to spend time with me!  I am his beloved.  And you are too.
(Deuteronomy 7:6)

God HEARS me
There is not some cosmic message machine taking dictation and God will get to me eventually, God HEARS my every word, thought, laugh, wail and groan.
(Jeremiah 33:3, Isaiah 65:24 & Psalm 116: 1 & 2)

God MADE me
and not just my physical body.  God made my life and yours.  And though I have made errors in judgment, NONE OF WHAT GOD PLANNED WAS A MISTAKE.  God doesn’t have a “plan B” this IS plan A. and it is the good and perfect will of God that you be strengthened and drawn closer to HIM through this season of your life
(Jeremiah 29:11)

As I lay there making up stanza after stanza for Ginny, I was being ministered to.  Tears welled up as my sweet, loving heavenly father soothed my soul while I sang my Ginny to sleep.

Have a wonderful day in the presence of your Heavenly Father, who loves you…..as do I,


19 months

Ginny is 19 months old now and I need to do a post chronicling her achievements.

  • walks,
  • runs (well sort of trots really),
  • climbs up anything,
  • knows how to turn on the TV/VCR at my mom’s house,
  • can find keys even when the adults are looking everywhere and can’t find them,
  • enjoyed finding Easter eggs,
  • knows how to pitch a very loud tantrum when she doesn’t get her way,
  • has developed sinus allergies/reactions to Georgia pollens so that we have to do a nasal spray ( I had kinda hoped she wouldn’t have that particular torture till later in life),
  • gives kisses on request,
  • blows kisses to almost everyone whether they ask for them or not,
  • insists on taste testing everything on mommy and daddy’s plates to make sure we are not withholding a treat of some kind,
  • eats (or at least tries) everything we put in front of her,
  • loves to pet and hug our dogs,
  • stacks blocks,
  • dances,
  • tries to jump (but only gets about a millimeter off the ground)
  • spins in place
  • throws a ball with some control over where she wants it to go
  • kicks a ball with no real control
  • waves arms like she is directing the chorus when we sing the blessing at our meals.

New Words that Ginny says (that I can recall off the top of my head)

cheese, toast, sausage, shoes, puppy, scarf (though it sounded more like scaaf when she said it, cookie (means anything cracker-like), no (this is actually only being applied as a real response to things instead of the normal toddler repetition), please, more, yes please (sounds like esspeees), Jesus ( she said this when I was singing Jesus Loves Me to her.  It sounded like “Eezus” but it was close enough to make my heart go all warm and fuzzy), byebye, jump, spin, horse, thank you (only it sounds kind of like “ankoo”, moose, on, off, kitty cat, ball, teeth, meow, hat, car, frog, turtle, eat and side (means outside, but all she says is side).

She understands WAY more than this of course, these are just the words that she speaks to us that qualify as understandable English.

I’ll post the entire file of these over on facebook, but here are a few photos from her 19 month/Grandma Altie came for a visit photo shoot.  Enjoy!

Ginny & Grandma Altie laughing at the photographer

two sweet girls

Ginny & MAK (the bear that used to be twice her size.....)

giving MAK a hug

thank you again Mel & Stevie for this incredible gift.

of kitty cats and toddlers

How is a toddler like a cat?

Getting a photo of one doing something cute is near to impossible for an amateur owner-parent-photographer.

Anytime Kenya did something photo-worthy it usually involved me in some way.  Either she was on my lap, or sitting on my head, or in some other way making it impossible for me to move or get the camera.  By the time someone wandered into the room, I alerted them to the need of said camera, they hunted it up and got back to me, Kenya would be bored or would have changed the behavior or position and it wasn’t photo worthy anymore.

Besides which she never could have related to a camera the way she related directly to a human.  Consequently we have very few photos of Kenya doing anything much.  The ones I posted on facebook of her draped on me next to Ginny are probably the cutest things she did that we have ever captured on film.

Kenya keeping watch while her charges sleep

Toddlers are much the same way.  An adult is almost constantly with Ginny, and we are always witness to cute stuff, adorable smiles, funny sayings and sweet moments.  However mommy and daddy are usually far too busy interacting with Ginny to bother with a camera.  Besides our hands are usually full.   So unless you have paparazzi following you around, it is very difficult to capture these moments.

There are exceptions to this.  Occasionally Ginny will sit still long enough for me to go fetch the camera  and get shots like this one of Ginny trying out our new sky chairs….okay they aren’t “new” precisely….we bought them 5 years ago and they have been languishing in our home office closet ever since.  waiting for us to have time to install them. ….and causing the occasional tussle when we attempt to extract the vacuum cleaner from that same closet.  ahem!          Now that they are up and enjoyable I can not understand what took us so long!  I envision lots of hours spent reading, talking or just sitting quietly enjoying the view.

Ginny in skychair

Yesterday at our Easter Egg Hunt however, a friend volunteered to be my own personal paparazzi and follow me around the yard as Ginny hunted eggs.  Martin was not really available – since he had hidden the eggs people were asking him questions and he was trying to be a good host.   I can’t really imagine a more boring job for an adult with no kids of his own than following a toddler around  yard,  but hey, he volunteered, so I told him where the camera was located and away we went.

Here is the result.

Love that look. Mischief waiting to happen.

And her hair is JUST starting to get long enough that it is starting to curl up at the back.  Maybe it will go into ringlets soon and stop looking like a mullet.  I’m trying not to stress about it.  Hey at least her hair has started growing!  For the longest time it just stayed the same.  Short and sparse.

Speaking of hair, click on that first Easter photo of me and Ginny —-you can see actual streaks of gray in my hair now!  How cool is that?  I love my silver.  My hair has been solidly one color for so long….. It’s like free highlights!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with family and friends and that God a huge part of your day.

Kenya Russell

I don’t know what to title this other than her name.

My cat died this morning and I’m still kinda in shock.

She was so diminutive that most people, including me I guess,  still identified her as just a little older than a kitten.  And she still acted like a kitten.  Running all over the house, the little chirpping meow when she hopped up on the bed, chasing cat toys.  She just didn’t behave in a way to make me recall that she had been with me for over 10 years…..

Until less than two weeks ago.

We got home from vacation and noticed that she looked….well…kinda shabby.  Like she hadn’t given herself a bath in a week.  And she had a slight, very slight, limp.  I was alarmed, but she perked up and started cleaning herself and walked just fine  so I thought “well maybe she just missed us and now that we are back she will be okay”

We monitored her food and water dish and she seemed to be eating and drinking just fine.  She was bit thin, but she has always been a very small cat.  If she lost 2 ounces it showed.  She seemed to be doing better, but she was very clingy and more sedate than normal.  Martin pointed out that she was getting up in years and I immediately said “No she isn’t  !!!!!  She’s only….um….oh. wow she is over 10 years old!”

A couple of days later I happened to stay home sick from work and she did what she always does when I am home and in bed – she snuggled up like a happy little bug in a rug and loved on me all day.  She really really loves it when I stay home sick.  I watched her pretty carefully, but other than being a little low-energy there was nothing identifiably wrong with her.

Martin and I talked about taking her to the vet, but honestly what would we say “Hi, this is Kenya she seems a little under the weather, can you find someone who speaks cat so we can ask her what is wrong” ???? Until we could see something clearly wrong we just weren’t ready to take her to the vet.

Over the weekend she was still kind of lethargic with bouts of normal.  Then on Tuesday she started going downhill again and even cried out in pain once when she hopped down from a piece of furniture.  But then when we examined her she didn’t have any “hot spots” or places that she wouldn’t let us touch.  So once again we were puzzled.  Still, by Wednesday we agreed it was time to take her to the vet and see if they could find anything wrong.

Kenya must have overheard that conversation, because she went into hiding.  We looked everywhere on Thursday morning to take her to the vet but we could not find her.

Our other appointments that day were not flexible, so we went on with our day.  Part of which involved me being put under for some dental work.  When we came home, Martin poured me into bed and I slept fitfully for the next 6 hours.  During that time I am pretty sure I saw Kenya at least twice and petted her.

At 3 a.m. Friday morning Martin woke me up to tell me that “Kenya is gone. She came home and she is gone”  This combination of sentences wouldn’t connect in my fuzzy brain.  How could she come home and be gone at the same time?

Eventually I woke up enough to understand.  Kenya had died.  Martin found her having her final moments in our guest room (her favorite room in the house) and was there with her when she died.  Poor Martin.  I couldn’t deal with this, so I locked myself in the bathroom while he boxed up her remains.  By the time I get home tonight the only traces of Kenya in our lives will be memories and photos.

Why on earth am I blogging about this?  Well….this is my way of processing the emotions.  I guess I need to get this out of the way so I can blog about the fun stories of Kenya.  The happy stuff.

She was what I call a puppy-cat.  She would come when I called and she was totally people oriented.

I’ll post some of the happy stories another day.  For right now, here are a few photos of my sweet Kenya.

the serious look.

meeting the baby

I have a bigger copy of that last photo.  I’ll post it next week.