July 31, 2010


As you may have guessed, or more accurately, learned from my meanderings, I don't handle change well.  I'm game for new things as long as the status quo stays the same.  When changes occur that stir things up a lot, I tend to get antsy.  I guess that means I'm not a very spontaneous person.  But, I hope I'm not a stick in the mud either.  I'm probably experiencing the same things most families do when their first child goes off to college.  You are never prepared for that feeling...that loss.  It's harder to stay in the same situation with major changes than it is to go off into a completely new life.  It's a little easier for the child because they are facing a world that is full of new experiences and learning and friendships that will help make them into the adults of the future.  Hopefully you've trained them well and they will make good choices and develop strong relationships that will help them through any difficult times when you can't be there for them as you have in the past.  It's nice to be able to take comfort in the companionship of good friends when you're feeling sad or alone.  Sometimes they are fortunate enough to take those relationships with them and even if they don't find any bosom friends right away, they can take refuge and comfort in the closeness and strength of those childhood friends.  The great news is that if they have a relationship with their heavenly father, He'll be there with them to comfort and encourage them.  It's an exciting time ahead and while I'll miss her very much, I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.  I've given up thinking that I could begin to figure that out.  I've been wrong before.

On a different note; other changes occur on the home front and leave many regrets and sorrows behind for those remaining to handle.  I'm not speaking of kids leaving for college now.  All the wishes and prayers in the world won't change a situation that doesn't want changing...or will they?  Disappointments and unfulfilled dreams have a way of sapping all our strength.  People you thought you could count on let you down and there's no way you can not experience an overshadowing coloring of all your future thoughts and feelings unless you put those things behind you.  I guess that's called growing. 
All life's experiences make you who you are but I can't help but wonder how much of that has to do with our strength of character to begin with.  I know that all these things have to do with our relationship with our heavenly father.  It doesn't matter how much knowledge we have about what God can do if we're separated from him by our own pride.  Yep, that's what it is...pride. Can we give up our self centered focus to look at things through God colored glasses and put our lives in His hands?  He will guide us and direct us, it's true, but I don't think we're on autopilot. I believe we need to respond to His guidance by making choices that honor Him and glorify Him, or we can make choices that glorify ourselves and miss the blessings He has in store for us. 
So which experiences have the most influences on our lives?  The good or the bad?  It depends on our perspective.  Is it more "romantic" to allow ourselves to be the victim of our circumstances, the oppressed, trapped in cages of our own making or does it show more strength to strive to rise above them and reach for the prize?  What if we wallow in the bad ones and lose out on more good ones because we are so absorbed that we are sucked into self pity that robs us of our joy?  It becomes a never ending spiral.  It's easy to allow the bad ones to overpower us and cause us to act in ways that destroy even the best of good experiences.  Stealing our joy and replacing it with longing and regrets...disappointments and sorrow...self doubt and discouragement that leads to a vicious cycle that pulls us away from the things we long for the most. God never promised that our lives would be easy or filled with all happy endings if we follow Him but if we allow only the bad experiences to color our worldview, we're missing out on so much!  Remember that all things work together for good to those who love Him.  It just might not be as easy to see from inside our own little bubble.  But in the end, when we can see the plan laid out before us, maybe we'll begin to understand some of the things that puzzled us before.  I sure hope so.
So, yeah...what color is your bubble?

Back on the air...or on the line!

Well, our computer is back and I can't tell you how annoying it is to have to readjust all the comfortable things I had been familiar with before the rewrite.  Things just don't work the same way and being as unsavvy (is that a word?) about computers as I am, I'm grumbling and complaining my way around wondering what in the world I've done.  On the up side, my daughter may be able to get online with her laptop now and we bought a camera to install so we can skype, etc.  Now I wonder how long it will take me to figure them out!

July 27, 2010

See ya soon!

My computer will be down for a couple days so I'll talk to you when I get it back in to service!

July 26, 2010

Another "why?"

I've been in and out of sleep for hours pondering "stuff" that happens.  So yeah, it's another one of those times when I'd like to know why!?  Why do stories have unhappy endings?  Why are we often so selfish we deprive ourselves of the things we want most?  Why can't we be who God wants us to be for the people we love?  Does it mean that we can't because we are not putting Him first?  Probably.  But doesn't that seem to be a little bit counter intuitive?  Is that because we can't be the person we're meant to be if we focus on our wants and desires before we do things because God wants us to?  So as I mull this over in my mind, am I right in thinking that we have to give up what we want in order to gain it?  Well, until we get our heads on straight about that it seems that we're in for a lot of unhappy endings.  Tough going.  I know the reason why and yet I still cry out to God for comfort when I'm hanging on to my old ways and pondering possible reasons why I feel so miserable.  It must be someone else's fault.  I've wanted "this" so badly and even prayed for it in Jesus' name but secretly, its been mostly about me...not about Him.  It's funny how things work like that.  So, if I focus on me or something/someone that I want instead of looking to God and I can't seem to achieve it, does that mean that looking to Him instead will give me what I desire or will my desires change to His goals for me?  What about the open doors, the stories that seemed ordained by Him because there's no way they could have fallen into place without devine intervention?  Or are there lots of situations that are just the same but we don't realize it?  Could there be several choices that come into our lives in exactly the same way but we can only see one?  Maybe just improper timing?  Maybe, but then why didn't the events fall into place so the timing would be right?  Could it be that things are pointing in the right direction in order to fuel the desire but other things need to take place before we can move ahead?  Are we allowing past indiscretions to intrude on future happiness?  Would all involved be on the same page at the same time?  I mean eventually they'd have to be but what about at the start?  So, WHY do things have to be so complicated?  So, yeah. WHY???
There's an old saying that goes something like this; "If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was."  I've thought about that alot lately.  Is it as simple as it sounds?  I don't know.  Does it mean that in spite of me and all the mistakes that I make, God's will will be done?  Does it mean that I can be as selfish as I want to and things will still work out according to His plan?  Why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people?  Why?

Too many tough questions and not enough sleep to think clearly about any of them.  So, I'm crying out...
God, can you hear me?  Help!  Please carry me through this because I don't think I can make it on my own.

Why?  Maybe it's because our dreams and goals are limited by the minute view we have.  We can't see the "BIG" picture.
Maybe it's because we need Him to be the Lord of our lives in order to gain the desires of our heart. 

July 23, 2010

A good feeling

Hoo-Hah!  I think I may actually get my two left feet to cooperate with me.  You know they each have a mind of their own and it takes a lot of willpower to overcome that.  Last night's Zumba class went much more smoothly for me than the first two.  Yeah, I'm a little slow to pick it up but I don't feel quite as stupid as I did.  The cool-collar helped a lot, too.  I didn't feel like I was going to pass out after the warm-up!!  Just kidding, though I really had a hard time keeping up and the second class was worse than the first.  But my hopes are high that I'll get the steps and be able to hang in there with the best of them.  Being the size I am and standing next to my lovely 6' friend and my two tiny daughters doesn't help but hey, that's why I'm there right?!  RIGHT?
This battle has been going on for a long time.  There have been times when I felt on top of the world but I couldn't seem to make it last. So here's another chapter on me trying to recover those feelings and get a handle on this physical cycle of my life.  If menopause is coming, I wish it would stop toying with me and just get here! Then maybe things would calm down a bit. Ah, well, all in His timing, not mine.  But I can petition, right?  Please!

July 20, 2010

Coffee Roasting, at home

Roasting coffee at home is something that most people don’t think of as doing. Most coffee comes vacuum sealed, roasted, ground, and ready to brew. Some people take a step back and buy the whole roasted beans instead of the ground beans and notice quite a difference in flavor. The flavor of fresh roasted coffee is unlike any other coffee you’ve tasted. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to roast your own coffee at home.

I started out roasting coffee with a Hot Air Popcorn Popper. I made a some adjustments to it to make it work. After a year of using that method I took off the top of the popper and used a wooden dowel to stir the coffee beans as they roasted in the chamber.

This Spring I got a coffee roaster from my Uncle. It has a few dents and cracks in it, but works well.

Roasting coffee can be done using quite a few different methods. I’ve mentioned the method that I used.

A coffee roaster like what I was given requires virtually no work. Like a bread machine, you put the ingredients in and it turns out the bread. You put in the green beans, turn it on, and in 6 minutes it is done.

I roast coffee once or twice a week. Usually about 8 hours before I am going to drink the first cup. Which means the night before.

How dark you like the beans is up to you. You just stop when it is as dark as you like and cool the beans down as fast as possible to keep them from roasting further. A colander comes in handy here.

After you roast your coffee wait a few hours before storing it in an airtight container, and usually best out of direct sunlight. Don’t grind the coffee until you are ready to brew.

Roasting coffee is an enjoyable hobby that is sure to amaze your guests. For more information on roasting coffee and buying it, visit the two links below.



Zachariah E.

Beginnings and endings

Life is often full of surprises.  New doors are opening all the time...and others are closing.  There are many doors that I'd like to close rather than go through but sometimes I just have to.  And there are doors that I look through enviously but will never be able to enter.  But there are times when I go through a door thinking that I'll out-guess God by figuring out where He's leading me (or someone else) only to find that He has a sense of humor and I was way off.  Each of us have responsibilities that we need to take on and some are easier than others.  There are things we want to do and things we're obligated to do whether we want to or not.  Ways we act that are acceptable and normal within society; some of which come as second nature to us or are easily learned as children while some seem foreign or uncomfortable even when we see them lived out daily by others.  All too often, there are things that we should be learning but in our stubborn, sinful nature, we think we don't need to learn or to be taught...or we want to be contrary or victimised because we think it's romantically interesting or some lofty, but faulty idea. 
Perhaps the saddest are the doors that close behind us, especially before we're ready.  Endings that we're not ready to face.  Some of those are bittersweet...meaning that from one aspect they are beautiful and necessary but from another...ones we hate to face or wish we could stop so we could keep things the way they are.  I guess those could be classified as selfish motives.  I have one of those bittersweet moments coming up and I'm so glad that I don't have to go through it alone because it's not all about me.
I worry that things will never be the same again.  When that happens, of course I don't think that things might actually be better...no, I'm thinking that changes that I'm not looking forward to must be leading to a negative alternative.  Silly, I know but my sinful self is not always, and in some seasons hardly ever, as optimistic as it should be.  (Yeah, lets talk about it like it's somebody else because it's hard to admit faults or shortcomings.)
My only salvation in times like these is the relationship I have with my heavenly father.  Reading the Bible is important but sometimes it's way over my head even as an adult.  To understand what I'm reading and trying to learn can often be a challenge even if I have the knowledge in my head.  Because the knowledge in my head won't help me with my daily actions and reactions; my real life.  Those responses come from my heart.  My heart responses are tempered by the knowledge that I have gained but only if I apply it to myself.  Only if I've taken ownership of the truths and rejected the falsehoods by filtering them through the Word.  It sounds like I'm talking in a circle and I guess, in a way, I am.  Because until I have a right relationship with my heavenly father, all the head knowledge in the world won't help me to be who I'm supposed to be.  And until I begin to be that person, I certainly can't be who I'm supposed to be for anyone else.  It's a quest that I'll work toward all my life but at least I'm trying to color my worldview with the right set of crayons in the hands of the artist who made me.  Otherwise I might have to face my bittersweet doors without hope.  And that would be sadder still.

July 18, 2010


A friend recently told me about a new dance/exercise craze here in town and I've been thinking that I'd like to try it but being the procrastinator that I am, I hadn't taken the plunge.  It took another friend to say, "Hey, I'm going to Zumba tomorrow.  Wanna come?"  What a blast!  Of course after about 15 minutes of so called "warm ups" I was ready to call it a day but I made it through the hour and was none the worse for the wear.  I thought I'd be stiff today but so far not really. 
I'm thinking that I'll need to get different shoes because the floor is a little "grippy"; nice for exercise but not so good for dance.
Zumba is a Latin style dance/exercise class that is so much fun!  The instructor is great.  She has lots of spirit and a very perky attitude.  She reminds me a lot of my niece, Amanda.  Here's a link to learn more about her:


You should try it!

July 11, 2010

wandering? no... wondering... or both?

As I ponder the things that happen, I have to ask..."Why?"  I know, I know...I'm not supposed to wonder why let alone have the audacity to ask.   But I can't help it.  Sometimes the reason seems so clear to me and I can go along thinking, "Yeah, it's all coming together and I know where this is headed."  And I'm fine with that.  It's the times when things seem to be coming together and then take a turn I wasn't expecting that really throw me off.  Especially when it's a turn for the worse.  That's when I ask.  "Why?" "What's going on?"  What did I do wrong?"  "What am I supposed to learn?"  Ahhhh!  I feel so humble, so stupid, so alone when that happens.  That's when I need to draw nearer to Him instead of allowing my "whys" to come between us.  I don't mean to let them do that but they do.

My life seems to meander along and I'd like to think I'm fairly easy going.  Until I feel the need to ask why.  Why do things happen that make me sad or uncomfortable and why don't things happen that I've really been hoping for?  Maybe even praying for.  More work required on my part?  OK.  More patience?  Probably.  More faith?  Ouch! Not asking for the right things?  Needing to get my life right with God before I can even hope that He will hear, let alone answer my prayers?  More than likely.  Perhaps the thing I need to ask is not, "Why?" but "Help?"

I've often heard the phrase, "The Lord works in mysterious ways."   I can accept that.  But I wish He's let me in on the secret or the goal.  Not because I deserve it.  Just because I'm not good at surprises.  Well, good, happy surprises are okay.  It's the "not so good" ones that take a little more adjusting.  And I can do that with His help.  So why is it so hard to ask for it?

July 9, 2010

A long time

Today is my anniversary.  Twenty-seven years.  As I look back on those years, in some ways it seems like we've been married forever.  Not in a bad way, just that more of my life has been spent as a married woman than not.  But it's been a good run.  Good times and bad.  Lots of things to be thankful for and praise God, we've reached this place in a society where marriage has become "disposable" and selfish.  He can still make me laugh and I guess when it comes down to it, that's what it's all about. 

July 8, 2010

Keeping my head above water

Warning - personal thoughts.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm drowning.  Too many things to deal with and not enough...what?  What is it that I don't have enough of?  Energy?  Faith?  Trust?  I don't know.  All I can say is that I'm tired and find it very difficult to keep my head above water.

Seems the more I put into something, the less I get out of it.  Maybe that's not the right goal to have.  I mean if I expect to get something in return, I may as well expect to be disappointed nearly every time.  But, if I don't expect anything, I won't be let down...more than likely, I won't be any further ahead either.   

Is it wrong to want something for myself?  Should I only be concerned with the wants and needs of others?  Is it wrong to make time to sit down to read or knit when there are so many things that need to be done?  How about taking a break to sit in the sun for a 1/2 hour or drink tea?  Or writing here; is it just a waste of time?  What if others think so?  Does it matter?  Should it matter?  If I don't do anything for myself, what will happen to me if the few people who need me stop needing me?  Am I invisible?

I think I have some sorting out to do.  Some ideas that need to be looked at from a different point of view.  'Cuz if I don't, I think I'll just sink without any hope of surfacing again. 

July 1, 2010

It's been a while

Feels like a long time since I've had a chance to write here.  Computer issues and life's priorities got in the way.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I think things will be winding down a little over the next week or so.  Where does all the time go?  It's too easy to loose track of a few weeks time.  There are so many fun things to do and places to go that sometimes, I don't feel like I have time for things I need to do.  Either that or I'm too tired to do them.  The past month has been busy with so many things and there were so many that I wanted to do but just ran out of time.  This weekend is going to be busy.  Ahhhh....!!!!! 
Whether it's from all that's been going on or some other reason, my mind is blank...I can't think about what to write or even what to do next except just get ready for the next thing that I have to do.  I haven't been in the woods for weeks and it's right outside my door!  Time for a retreat!  Maybe camping...?

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