Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ladies First (Post I of WOF)

This time last week, I was packing up my children and myself. I was gearing up to drop my kids off with my sister so that I would be ready to leave at 7:30 the next morning with the gals from church to attend the Women Of Faith pre-conference in Boston!

One of the wonderful things about these conferences is that the fun isn't contained to just the function facility alone! It started the moment we gathered together for our trip into town!! I've included a few photos from our trip on the 'T'.

Aren't we blessed to be women? I love that when I see a friend I can go up and we throw our arms around each other. We can talk about how excited we're feeling about this event which we have been anxiously anticipating. We then start to share why this is coming at such a good time in our life.... I love that we can share!!

I love that between each session, we laugh about what we've heard, talk about what snack we are craving now, or be completely open and share that our behinds are crying out due to the punishing folding chairs and necks are aching from looking straight up at the mother of all screens.

I was very fortunate to be able to stay with some of my girlfriends at a hotel Friday night. Like teenage girls we got into our jamies, ate some junk food and chatted until the wee hours. Such fun!! Such great stuff!!! So wonderful to share your thoughts and feelings knowing that we each have different life experiences, and have endured a multitude of journeys that only make each woman a far more dear friend with a wealth of wisdom to share!

And laughter - oh the laughter!! Whether it be recounting the stories told by each speaker - or sharing our own zany lives! Great stuff laughter. Really, the best!! It was great to be able to share a couple of my Mum's silly escapades with a few gals as we stopped on our way home for some yummy ice cream!! Food, fellowship and laughter.. ok, now that's the best!!

As terrific as the WOF conference was - it was made far better by being able to share it with such dear ladies!!!!

next... the music

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There Is a Season

I have been contemplating this post for days.

Had many great ideas - I have (as always) so much to say!

But tales of my weekend at WOF will have to wait...

To be honest, I am just having a really hard few days.

I came home from the retreat to a family anxiously awaiting my return. I was greeted by one child bounding out the door and the other plastered in the window watching me walk up the drive. My husband at the top of the stairs with a smile and dinner. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?!!

After a little dinner, my husband filled me in on the weekend's events. He then handed me some cards that a few friends had mailed to me and one given to him at my sister's cookout from a family member.
I opened the cards, amazed at how some of my friends are so good at remembering birthdays!! But then the last card.. The one that should have made me happy as it had money in it! ;) Instead sent me into a fit of tears. It was a card from my father. It was a pretty card with a purple iris on the front. Inside, it was signed "Happy Birthday - Love Dad"
"Love Dad".. in his writing. My first birthday card not signed "Love Mum & Dad"

This has left me in a valley for days. But then this morning, I got the call. "Hi Honey. Happy Birthday".. It was my Dad. He has never called on my birthday. The call I've received since moving out of my parents has been "Hello my angel! Happy Birthday my little love!" - always the same. Always those 8 words beginning the call.

It only seemed obvious that what would have been my parent's 50th anniversary, Mother's Day and my mother's birthday would be hard. But why is it that my birthday has been the hardest time for me since my Mum has died? I can hardly speak of it for fear of bursting into tears!

I had no idea that this would be such a difficult time!! I have so many obligations coming up - and I had been fearful to take them on months ago - but then thought I'd have to be in much better shape by now. I should have trusted my gut on this!!
I'm always so afraid of what others think of me. 'Will people think I'm crazy or pathetic for still grieving so much?'
I guess one good thing about ageing is that people tell me once you hit 40 (I have a few more years yet) you really begin to not care what other's think. Boy, I'll enjoy that.

So hear I am, trying to keep my chin up. Going along with the daily routines and trying to get some special activities in with the boys. Trying to keep up with my house hold chores. etc....

The Bible says that to every season there is a purpose under heaven (Eccl. 3:1). I think I have tried so desperately to suppress this season of grief. I don't think my mind/emotions, whatever you want to call it, will let me suppress it any longer. I need to get through the next few weeks and then take some time for myself. Not something I'm comfortable with. However, I think it's very necessary.

Sorry to have such a sad post yet again!!
Hopefully my season to weep and mourn will turn into a season of laughter (Eccl. 3: 4) and dancing soon!
I'll post about the retreat soon!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

WOW!... No really - WOW!!

I went with some of my pals from church to the Women of Faith conference ~ Infinite Grace this weekend in Boston.
Amazing, incredible, outstanding, hysterical, moving, encouraging, inspiring... WOW!!

I have much more to share than adjectives.. but no time at the moment.
Watch for the days ahead to hear about this fabulous (oops.. another adjective) weekend!

I'm sure it will take many posts to cover it...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brillante Weblog Premio 2008

Wow -an award! I've never been given an award before... ;)
"You like me, you really like me" - (poor Sally! she'll never live that down!)
My friend Michelle has bestowed this award on me and in response, I am to post my answers to the following questions:

1. Ten Years Ago....
In 1998 - I met and fell in love with my now husband, John! I went to Bermuda that spring with my family on a cruise (great time!!). I was working at a local company as an administrative assistant. And, I was a lot thinner! ;)

2. Five Things On Today's 'To - Do' List:
Host/lead P.A.L.S. ('summer school' in my home). Put away laundry I did at my sisters (washer broke!). Cook and clean, play and take care of boys. Make/write out very overdue thank you notes for boys birthday gifts. Get ready for tomorrow's Bible Study.

3. Snacks I Enjoy:
(Note: quicker to write what I don't enjoy! I'll just give an abridged list)
pretty much any baked good (cookies, brownies, etc..)
Boursin cheese with crackers
Movie popcorn
Ice cream

4. Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire...
Pay off bills (I know - not fun - but necessary)
Take care of my family
Take family vacation
Give to charity (like St. Jude's)
Help friends get on the mission field
And in general, I would continue working on the many ministries that I am now, and be able to enjoy it and give it my all with no concern to needing to earn money! There's so much to be done!!

5. Places I Have Lived...

I am supposed to tag 5 bloggers...
I really only know 2 bloggers personally, and 1 tagged me!
So here you go Jen!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Ok - any ideas on how to make my slide show fit?...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wow - that's the way to be!

I was with a group of ladies from church this Saturday whom I have come to sincerely love and appreciate deeply!! We meet each month for our Heart 2 Heart group where we are able to pour our hearts out to each other in an environment filled with love, respect, compassion, understanding and in confidence!! Ahh... the ability to vent with complete peace of mind, knowing your dirty laundry will not be pinned up on a clothes line for all to see!

The second Saturday of the month is quickly becoming one of my favorite days, and I look forward to it immensely!!

This month, Psalm 139 was mentioned and as we read it, the words really penetrated my heart and I felt God teach me something almost immediately! (which is quite a feet being as thick headed as I can be!!)

Psalm 139 is a beautifully written song by David (though 100% holy inspired by The Lord).

It begins with David offering praise to God for being all knowing - being of full knowledge of every aspect of David's being, thoughts, actions - that He knows it all before time existed. He so aptly writes: vs. 6 'Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.'

Boy oh boy, I feel that way many times as I study the Bible or as I am no my knees in prayer. As truths about the Lord and His ways start to sink in.. as I start to think I'm getting a grip on things, I become completely overwhelmed (in a good way!!) by how BIG God is!! how mighty!! how Loving!! how forgiving, gracious,..... I am left just marveling 'God, you are just amazing!!'

There's a verse that may be very familiar to many, vs. 14, 'I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.'

When we look at our children, I think we find this verse so easy to believe, don't we? But what about when you think of it in terms of yourself? Speaking for myself, it can be very hard for me to take in. Poor self-esteem? Am I too 'humble' to allow myself see me in these terms?.. maybe... But here's the key: Simply think on the fact (not just think - no - really meditate on it and prayerfully ask that our hearts be able to accept this truth) that God's word says 'your works are wonderful'! Because if we in fact do believe in the latter part of the verse 'I know that full well', then how dare we have 'low self esteem'? We are part of His work, are we not? Therefore, are we not wonderful in His eyes? And if we are wonderful in our makers eyes, the maker of the whole universe, who are we to think lowly of His creation?... (there's something to chew on... I'm still chomping away)

But here's what really got me about this Psalm; there are 24 verses in this song of David's. The first 18 verses praise God so beautifully!! The next 3 deals with David's enemy's. The last 2 he asks God to search his heart for anxious thoughts and any offensive ways that God may lead him in the correct way.

75% of this Psalm praise God!!

12.5% are petitions to deal with his enemies who speak out against God!

8.33% are petitions asking God to put him on the right track!

That's the way to be isn't it?!!

What if we were to spend 75% of our life praising!! Joyous hearts in song, or uplifting thoughts. Praising our heavenly father! Could we be down, self loathing, lazy, grumpy when we are consumed with praise for another - for God?!!

What if we were to only dedicate 8% of our life talking about ourselves?...

Then, give what we can't control to God knowing He is fully capable of handling any situation.

I think the vast majority of the time when my spirit is down, I can chalk it up to 'self'. How I choose to see things, how I look at things... I am going to make the choice to spend the majority of my days praising!!

Here's a challenge for us all:
Take vs. 14 and insert your name!

'I will praise you Lord for Diane is fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, Diane knows that full well.'

This is not blasphemy - it's just a matter of taking scripture and making it personal to help us take it in as fully as we can.
Go ahead - give it a try.
Start spending 75% of your days praising Him, and remember that you are part of His wonderful work!!

In an effort to SIMPLIFY

Ok - so my attempt to simplify in 08' has not been very successful thus far...
However, I will not give up hope completely!!!

In an effort to get back on the wagon... ok, I never really got on... I kind of watched it longingly from afar whilst running around incessantly in busy little circles ... I am cutting down to just one blog.
My 'Comfy Crop' blog really is not necessary. I am able to post crop dates on this blog and I really don't do much else with my scrapbooking site - so this will be fine - and, simpler!!

You may notice some little changes, but hopefully, it will all be for the best!

I hope you have all had a great weekend!!

Big challenges for myself this week! Much to be done in pursuing a new adventure in my life.

Prayers always welcome!!

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday

My mum loved birthday cake!!
I remember there was a time years ago when she was craving it all the time. One of us would make a run to the bakery to bring her back a little fix. But still, the cravings continued.

Finally, after an evening of continuous 'subtle hints' about how greatly she would love to eat some birthday cake - a friend of the family showed up with a 'birthday party'!!
She brought party hats, noise makers, and of course.. a birthday cake written out to my mother. Actually, I believe it read "Happy Birthday Ace"... that name is another story for another time...
It was no where near her actual birthday mind you.... But do we really have to wait until our birthday for a little indulgence and a reason to celebrate?

As memory serves, this did the trick. I don't recall the cravings persisting much after that time.

Another cake memory involving my mother always tickles John..
It was my 26th birthday. This was a very hard birthday for me, as silly as that sounds. You see, I had just gotten divorced and was feeling horrible (yes, another story for another time).. My mother decided that for my birthday, she'd get me a Brian's cake. Brian's is an amazing bakery in Braintree that makes confections to flip for!!!!
All day, I had thought of this cake... couldn't wait to get home, have a family dinner and dig into this cake!! I finished up work (another story... I think I'll do this as my birthday approaches) drove hurriedly home, ran up the steps, burst into the house with a eager 'hello'!!...
No one was home....
But then, I spotted 'the box' on the kitchen table.
White with tucked in sides.... the scent of chocolate and sugar permeating the air....
Dinner?.. I didn't need no stinkin' dinner!! I was ready for that cake...
I opened that box with great expectations, only to find... 1/3 of a cake...
What? Where did the other 2/3's go?
MUM!... She took 2/3's of my birthday cake to BINGO...
2/3's of my present went off to church to energize the ladies while waiting for N32!!!!
Is that too funny, or what?!!

Oh well... Mum, you gave us a lot to laugh about.
Happy Birthday Mum!!!
We'll have some birthday cake for you!
I LOVE YOU & MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!