Sunday, July 26, 2009


Last night my grandnephew was playing with the phone or something and accidentally dialed 911. A while later the police came, to find my mom and nephew making supper and painting in the kitchen. They said everything was OK so the cops left. Later the boy admitted he'd done it, crying for a while and trying to hide because he thought he was in trouble. He was trying to hide under the stairs and under the sofa pillows. It was intense as it was happening, but it's pretty funny in hindsight.
On Friday afternoon my dad and nephew put the new fuel pump in my car. It was OK then. Yesterday I went to get a burrito, and in the less than 10 mile trip the car died twice. When I got home I saw the brake lights were on, so I thought it was just the battery. This morning on the way to church it did fine. Then after I left church, I was sitting at a red light and the car just died. I was helped to get it onto the median by a man behind me. His wife drove me over to the nearby McDonald's. There my mom, who had been working at the nearby Home Depot, came and met me. We thought then that it was just out of gas, so we got it over to a gas station across the street. Once it had a little gas in it it cranked right up and ran fine. We went across the street to Kroger, where I got more gas and met up with my dad. He followed me home. I thought everything was fine, even later when I went to Kroger and Wal-Mart. I went to the pretzel stand and got lunch. En route home, it started to act like it had been yesterday, and I barely made it home. I don't think I want to drive it anymore after the way it acted today. I can barely go 5 miles in it without it dying. Thankfully we found several good options for a new car this weekend online, and we can cash in our stocks and pay for a new one almost wholly.
I have to say it will be a great relief and a liberation of sorts when I get a new car. The car I have now has had a bad transmission for about two years, and I have been without reverse. This limits where I can go, because not everywhere has a place for me to park. Also I am without air conditioning.
If there is anyone out there besides me reading this, thank you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Last weekend, because of Spongebob's birthday, they had a marathon of Spongebob all weekend. Friday night they showed the Spongebob movie, and to celebrate my grandnephew and I made the Spongebob pasta I have and mixed it with some spaghetti-os. I have to confess that I watched Spongebob most of the weekend. Sometimes I think I like it better than he does. On that note, Wednesday I got Nick magazine, which had a great poster of Spongebob and many of the characters that have been on the show over the last 10 years.
Last Saturday my mom said we can get the part we need for the car and my dad can fix it. We got the part at Advance, and my dad is coming tomorrow possibly to fix it :)
Last Sunday my mom went to work, and I went with her. Then, in her car, I went to Starbuck's, got coffee, and sat and read until it was time for me to go to church. After church I went to the store and got lunch at the pretzel stand.
Also because of the very difficult week/10 days I have been having, I have fallen in love with Josh Groban's voice, his first album in particular.
If you like vitamin water, you should try the flavor sync. On each lid there's a code, and you redeem it for music at Amazon. Also Kroger has vitamin water on sale now, and you can get 10 for $5.
The people who live here, especially my nephew, are still bothering me, and to combat that I have been keeping my door locked a lot this week. I usually close the door when I hear him moving around in the house, to block the noise. I'm not sure why but right now his very presence annoys me. My mother reminds me daily that he will be going to jail soon, for a DUI he got in March. I wish the justice system operated faster. I have been feeling a lot of silly, conflicting emotions, that when I think about them rationally seem stupid. A lot of them are probably hormonally fueled, as are a lot of my meltdowns. One of them is that no one here cares about me; at least my mother and grandnephew do, and they really do show it consistently. I just wish I could hurry this process along and get my nephew gone. Part of me knows that I need to shine the light of Jesus to all who live here, including my nephew, but most of me just wants to hide in here and not even deal with him.
God decreed destruction for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A mound of ashes was all that was left—grim warning to anyone bent on an ungodly life. But that good man Lot, driven nearly out of his mind by the sexual filth and perversity, was rescued. Surrounded by moral rot day after day after day, that righteous man was in constant torment.So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day. (2 Peter 2:6-9)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Real Church

I found Real Church by Larry Crabb to be interesting, challenging and thought provoking. At the beginning of the book he confesses that he has gotten to the point where he really feels no need to attend church. He goes on to describe at length the kind of church he would enjoy attending.
The church Crabb envisions would fully proclaim the entire Gospel of Christ as described in the New Testament, but would also fully embrace the sinfulness and struggles every believer faces, whether they willingly admit them or not. The main struggle we face is the warring of the two natures in those of us who are reborn: our old, sinful man, and the newly created man that comes with believing in Christ.
The church Crabb describes would be based on spiritual theology, spiritual formation, spiritual community, and spiritual mission. Spiritual theology is our understanding on God and His actions, especially as revealed in the person of Christ. Spiritual formation is the process we as believers are undergoing in becoming more and more like Him. Spiritual community would be a group of like-minded believers being totally transparent with one another, especially about their struggles. Spiritual mission would be taking our knowledge about God and His workings to those outside our community. Crabb discusses each idea in depth and also how the church is failing at or fulfilling these. He willingly acknowledges that this perfect vision will probably never be fulfilled until heaven, but prods us on to trying to fulfill them. He reminds us that though we can experience God on earth, most times we will not. He reminds us of our position in Christ and God, and the hope we have in our future of becoming like Him. He closes with reminding us that Jesus prayed for our unity (see John 17) and said that our relationships as the church would be what drew unbelievers into our body, and few of us are fulfilling that.
This book was a challenging read, though I enjoyed it as well. It truly has gotten me evaluating where I am in my relationship with the Lord, and also how far my church is to the place Crabb sees us all getting to. I think this book would be good for those who are evaluating their walks, and especially for pastors and those in ministry who would like to move their ministries closer to the ideal that Jesus has for all of us who make up His body.

old lists

--When I'm identifying with Jeremiah-e.g. Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. Jer. 8:2 In a note in the NIV study Bible-The prophet wants to get as far away from his wicked countrymen as possible. See also Jeremiah 14:8-9
When I'm willing to go sit at McDonald's in Wal-Mart just to get out of here and away from everyone.
When I'd be willing to work retail to get money to maybe be able to get away from here.
When I feel rich if the money I have is in double digits.
When I feel more mature than my sister who's 15 years older than me.
When we feel lucky to get McDonald's.
When I get more interaction with people on Sunday at church than I did all week at home.
When my convict family can all get work and I don't have it.
When I cut my hair and no one notices.
When the Nike+ guy on my iPod is more encouraging of my walking than my housemates.

I didn't have to listen to a screaming whining kid all the time
I had someone to talk to who really understood me and was with the Lord
Someone didn't come in my room and take my things without asking while I'm gone
Someone was sympathetic when I felt bad
I wasn't treated like a 10-year-old
I didn't feel like I live in a consumption ward
I wasn't around people who cursed so much
I didn't get snapped at when I make a perfectly innocent remark

Friday, July 17, 2009

A bad day

This morning started pretty normally: I got up, did my devotions, went about my daily routine. I went upstairs to take a shower, realizing upon getting into the shower I had left something downstairs. I then found that my towels had gone missing; upon investigation I found that the boys had them. This is just one more insidious way they are creeping in here, and for some reason it really upsets me, and of course no one else here gets it.
I went to Gainesville. My first stop was Starbucks for coffee. I had a little trouble parking there but the stop went without incident. I made a quick stop at Target and left without getting anything. When I left there my car wouldn't start. Upon investigation I found that the brake lights were on (again), draining the battery. I got them off after a minute. I put the hood up and sat in the car for a few minutes, hoping someone would stop and help me by jumping me off. Finally I turned the switch to see what would happen and it started normally. I then went to best buy and checked prices on something, and to FCS. There I sat and read an entire (130 pg.) book. I bought 2 books, and got them for less than half-price. Then I went to Cici's for lunch. I ate and watched a favorite NCIS episode on my iPod. When I left there, intending to head for our hometown Wal-Mart, my car would turn over but would only stay running a few seconds. I was thinking it was the battery again. I called my dad, who fortunately had the day off. While I waited for him I did my Bible readings for the day. When he arrived he diagnosed the problem as being the fuel pump, not the battery. He got it running again, then followed me the fifteen or so miles to my home. When we got here we looked online at possible prices for a fuel pump and found a new one would cost about what the car is worth. We decided to look in earnest for a new car and not use my old one. Which is good and bad. Good-I'll be getting a new car pretty soon probably. Bad-I'll be stuck here, totally dependent on others to drive me places, like a prepubescent adolescent. I pray that something good comes from this. Sometimes it's hard to believe that.
A little after we all got home and my dad left, we all set out to the store. I have learned the best way to deal with these trips-stuck in the back seat with a squirrely seven year old-is to turn up my ipod loud enough to drown them all out. This is what I did today. I ran in Wal-Mart, got drinks and chex mix, and picked up some photos. Then I sat at McDonald's and had a sundae until the others came.
Almost always on these trips, I feel 1)like I've regressed to being a child, and 2)like it's 3 against 1 in there, and I'm the odd one out. No matter what the seven year old does to me, if I say anything about it, I get yelled at. Which is a big part of why I try to blot everything they do out with my music. At least it is positive.
I don't know why but right now I just hate the rowdiness that my nephew and his crowd bring to this house, and that includes the seven year old. I am at the point now where I just hate the sounds of them moving around, coughing, etc. I do not want to interact with them at all. (If you haven't guessed, they weren't made to leave.) This may make me a horrible Christian, but I don't know how to do otherwise right now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It has finally happened

The day that I have been longing for for a long time has finally happened. This morning my mother walked into the room my 28-year-old nephew has been living in for over 4 years and decided she had finally had enough. He is an alcoholic and a total slob. The room was so dirty that she had to pull up the carpet to get rid of it. She cleared out the room which resulted in about 5 bags of trash. She has threatened him with this several times but has never carried it out. I was thinking that she would probably never make him leave, but this morning she proved me very wrong, and for that I am very grateful. I have been wanting this for many months; I am the one who has to listen to and deal with him the most. He lives pretty close to my room and my bathroom is next to his room. Now I don't have to worry about dealing with drunks when I have to go to the bathroom, and I don't have to listen to his yelling, especially at his son. This will lighten the financial load tremendously on my mother, and will also improve the way his son acts. My nephew can be very belligerent when he is drunk, which is most of the time. When he is drunk he can be hateful and mean, and he picks on the kid and they get in shouting matches a lot. I think this happening is very positive and will be a good step for us all.
Also yesterday in the store I found something I'd been wishing for-BBQ Chex mix. I cannot tell you how long I have wanted this.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our first complete shawl

My friend Anita and I are trying to start a prayer ministry at our church. This involves knitting and crocheting shawls to bring comfort and prayers to those who are hurting because of grief or sickness. Yesterday afternoon we had the first one blessed by our pastor at church. It's for a lady who has cancer. The picture is of it just as I was finishing it. Anita crocheted a border around it and added some charms to it, then we and our pastor and the lady's daughter prayed over it and anointed it yesterday. It was a wonderful experience overall.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Family craziness

This morning my 7 year old grandnephew came in my room and asked me for 2 pieces of bread. As I was talking to him about it I asked him why he yells so much. (He screams like a banshee a lot, especially at his father.) He said he doesn't; I raised my voice at him to demonstrate how I hear him talking a lot--our whole downstairs area is open, so I hear a lot of what goes on from my lower story room. He got upset that I raised my voice to him and ran off in a huff, crying, which is another common occurrence. I don't know if this is normal or abnormal for a child his age.
This afternoon we all went to Wal-Mart. En route my grandnephew was playing with my mother's bag; she got onto him and I tried to tell him that he hates it when one of us touches anything of his, yet he continually does it with our things. Of course I got scolded for saying anything. Sometimes I feel like it's 3-against-1 at our house. Everyone is on his side. What I have to say is a valid opinion and may even be right, but if I'm right then he's wrong, and they're not having that. It's kind of like Obama and the media right now--they thrust him into power, so he can do no wrong.
I feel so disconnected from almost everyone I am related to. I act differently, I apparently think differently, I find different things entertaining and interesting, etc. A great deal of this is due to the Lord, but some of it is just my personal preferences. I feel closer and more connected to my church family than I do almost everyone I'm related to. When I hear the word brother or sister, my church family is what I think of, although I have 3 natural siblings and 4 step siblings. I feel sometimes I was switched at birth with someone, and that person lives now in a household of believing scholars and totally sticks out there, the way I do here. I wish I could make myself like things like barbecues and long boat trips and things, but to me they're just uncomfortable places where you roast in the sun and get bug bites. I don't like the food that much, and I don't drink, so that eliminates a real reason to go there. Also I feel awkward and uncomfortable around them, with the exception of my teenaged and young adult nieces. A lot of them are crude, and I don't especially like that. But as Jesus said, "Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me." (Matthew 10 34-37)

Spiritual blindness

Right now I live in a house (and extended family) full of unbelievers. My mother and 7 year old grandnephew are probably the best of the lot, as I'm not sure they are unbelievers. My mother just curses like a sailor, but with the way a lot of our family acts, sometimes I want to too. My nephew, however, is different. He lost his mother (my sister) less than three months ago to alcoholism, but he continues down the same path as hard as he can. I tell people sometimes I feel like I live in a consumption ward, because he coughs all the time, yet he keeps smoking. His mother was like this--she spent over half a year in jail for a DUI, got clean of alcohol and tobacco, and on the night she was released she was drinking and smoking. It continually amazes me the level of blindness to the repercussions of their actions these people have, and the deepness of their denial. I know that "whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2 Cor. 3 16), but how hard is it to grasp that your addictions are not only killing you but destroying your family, especially your children?
I tell people sometimes that these people make me feel so smart. I was blessed enough to get in church and with the Lord just as I was hitting puberty. At 14 I got involved with a youth ministry, and when they started their own church about a year later, I went with them, and that's where I still attend. There I got the first Bible I really studied and read, which has been a major theme in my life. I hung around with the youth group in high school. I have never drank or smoked. I have never had sex, having made the True Love Waits pledge around 1994. Thus I broke several trends in my family. Half of my nieces had babies as teenagers. I also completed high school and college, the first in my immediate family to do so. As I look back on my life, the decisions that I have made have been heavily influenced by the Lord and His church, and considering the path my family has followed, I know I have chosen the right path. And I am thankful I did not have to experience all the problems these supposedly fun things have caused them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting better & other random thoughts

Yesterday morning I went to the doctor for what I thought was a UTI. I was honestly dreading it because I had one back in December and its treatment was an antibiotic that made me dizzy and very weak. For the whole week I took them I could barely keep my eyes open and couldn't eat anything. I thought maybe I'd caught this one early enough that that wouldn't be necessary but wasn't sure. So I gave a sample, the doctor tested it and said I didn't have a UTI. He examined me further and then said I had a yeast infection, probably caused by poor hygiene in my case. He wrote a prescription for a pill--1 pill, taken once. I was relieved to say the least. I took it yesterday and I already feel better. This is confirmed by the fact that I had 2 fairly large glasses of soda today at lunch, and felt no discomfort. The last two weeks or so every time I had anything carbonated I felt pain. I am so glad that this problem was less severe than I thought and so easy to cure.
Also, random thoughts I have sometimes:
1) Why are the kids in Trix commercials so freakin' stingy? It's not like there's a finite amount of cereal in the world. Maybe Trix is bad for bunnies, like chocolate is for dogs.
2) Am I the only one who hates the sounds of people eating? I cringe mentally every time some commercial comes on that has vivid sounds of someone eating the product. Seeing people close-up chewing is almost as bad.