K.I.S.S.--Keep It Simple, Stupid

A woman's walk through marriage, parenthood, servanthood and the family of God.


E-Mail Me Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com The WeatherPixie

Saturday, January 31, 2004

A Bunch of Nothing

A Lowe's home improvement store opened up yesterday right next to the huge Walmart Super Center that opened last week. Tim is in construction so the Lowe's opening was right up there on the excitement scale with Disney World for him. It was slightly further down for me, but the kids and I rode along with him to check it out today. It's really nice...it seems more department store than lumberyard/ construction warehouse. Tim went with us to Walmart. Ugh. I owe him. There were so many people there you could barely get through the aisles and for the second Saturday in a row we spent nearly an hour in the checkout line.

Note to self: Do NOT go anywhere near the Latrobe Walmart on a Saturday.

That's pretty much all we did today. Tim is always ready for downtime on the weekend and I really needed it for a change. I know I had three days off this week because of the snow, but Thursday and Friday more than made up for it. I left home at 6:00 Thursday, drove my morning and afternoon runs, subbed on a mid-day kindergarten run and drove the high school swim team to a meet. Another snow storm moved in while we were there and a 45 minute trip took 2 hours coming home. The roads were really bad and no one was out working on any of them. I didn't get home until 12:00. I was back up at 4:30.....and not resembling anything remotely human. The call came at 5:45 that there was a 2-hour delay. Yes! I snagged another hour of sleep before heading into a full day including subbing on the kindergarten run (our district only modifies kindergarten rather than cancels it). Between my high school run and elementary run there was a terrible wreck that closed a road I really need to travel to get kids home. There were fire trucks, state police cruisers, ambulances and Life Flight. I had to radio the office to call parents and try to get them to meet me elsewhere, keep my supervisor posted, deal with the kids and the officials on the scene as they tried to get me out of there. Meanwhile, the kids (1st-5th grade) were getting a pretty up-close and personal look at all the action. Great, huh? Anyway, they let me get turned around and I got all of the kids delivered (very late) but one boy. His mom finally showed up at the bus garage at 5:00 and they radioed me so I finally got to head back. At home Tim and I hurried up and got cleaned up and headed to the funeral home because our neighbors' son died in a car accident. That was rough. He was only 35 and very well liked. We had to wait in line for over 30 minutes to get near the casket and offer our condolences. I've known the family all my life, but we've never been more than good acquaintances so I was totally unprepared for first the father and then the mother, followed by the brother to break down in my arms. I felt so inadequate. I wish I had had something profound to offer them and ease their pain. I didn't. I held them while they cried and prayed. Sometimes life sucks. I'm glad I have the promise of something better.

posted by Stacy at 7:04 PM

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Music Appreciation

Today my son, Matt, is teaching me to appreciate music as heard through surround sound. It is so awesome! Even better? Videos run through the system. I'm particularly liking:

Jet, Are You Gonna Be My Girl; Train, When I Look to the Sky, Nickelback, Someday; Maroon 5 , This Love ; and the group that gets my vote for a Grammy....Outkast. If their song Hey Ya! doesn't get you up and moving, you must be dead.

posted by Stacy at 3:31 PM

Sad news...

My mom called a little bit ago. My neighbor's son died in a car accident last night. Brett was several years younger than me, but still one of the neighborhood gang when we were growing up. Another neighborhood son was in the car, too, but will survive his injuries. Please pray for the family.

posted by Stacy at 10:18 AM

Disregard what I said earlier about life returning to normal. School is canceled.

You really can have too much of a good thing.

posted by Stacy at 9:28 AM

End of a good thing

All the local schools are operating on a 2-hour delay, but otherwise today brings a return to the real world of work and school. It was nice while it lasted.

Since I won't be around to entertain you I'll leave you with a list of my top five choices in this weeks Blogger Idol. In no particular order, they are:

My Boring Little World

Cliff Between the Lines

Silent Tribute

Tim Samoff


Enjoy! Good reads, all.

posted by Stacy at 6:55 AM

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

If you haven't figured it out from the multiple postings of stuff ......

this is snow day number 2.

posted by Stacy at 8:38 AM

Monday Madness

Ok, it's Tuesday, but I just came across this on Tina's blog.

1. The one kitchen appliance I just could not live without is: I wouldn't like to live without the dishwasher, but I guess the one I couldn't do without is the microwave.

2. My desk always looks like:
It was hit by a tornado.

3. The clocks in my house are:
Set to the clocks at the high school so I'm always on time at work.

4. The one television program I just can't stand is: At the moment it would have to be My Big Fat, Obnoxious Fiance, but I have a feeling the one coming up where they will follow Amish kids during the time they are allowed to explore the world outside their culture is going to be right up there.

5. The one television program I try to never miss is:
There are two: American Idol and Trading Spaces.

6. When it comes to housework, I really hate:
All of it. Domesticity does not come naturally.

7. If I could re-design my living room, the first thing I would do:
Put down hardwood floors.

8. I wish I had a bigger_______ in my house:
Bathtub. I'd love to have one that doubles as a spa.

9. When someone points a camera at me and says 'Smile!' I usually:
Make a goofy face and then cooperate.

10. I expect I'll have my income tax done by:
Someone else.

posted by Stacy at 8:01 AM

Christianity-themed Nudist Resort to Open in Florida

Oh my! Saw the link to this story at Life, etc. All I can say is what are they thinking???

posted by Stacy at 7:31 AM

Bo Duke
You are Bo Duke. You are caring and carefree. You
suffer from the "Peter Pan Syndrome"
and it doesn't look like you'll be growing up
anytime soon.

What Dukes of Hazzard Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't know about the "Peter Pan" thing, but then again, I'm a youth worker so maybe there's some truth to it.

Thanks to Clarity Amidst Chaos for the link.

posted by Stacy at 6:53 AM

Monday, January 26, 2004


The Blogger Idol event continues over at Livingroom. You can find a list of all the entries there. Lots of good stuff to check out and here's my go at it.

Score! It's a snow day!

Is there anything better? The almost painful anticipation as you watch the list of school closings scroll by on the television screen or listen to the excruciatingly slow reading of closings on the radio.....is the announcer ever going to get to your school? The pure explosion of joy when you finally see/hear your school's name with the word "canceled" following it can't be beat.

A snow day is the ultimate in free days. It's a gift. A stolen moment where time doesn't matter. It's a day where suddenly all you had to do is out the window. It's a license to have fun. The real world is on hold and all its demands can wait.

A snow day is for staying in your pajamas all day....or at least until you go outside (and even then getting dressed is optional....snowsuits will cover pajamas). It's a day for drinking hot chocolate, popping corn and watching movies or playing board games. It's a day for not shoveling the snow unless it's to build a snow fort. It's a day to hide in the shrubs and bean your kid (or spouse) with a snowball. It's a day to lie on your back and make snow angels. It's a day to amaze your kids with how fun you can be. It's a day to tilt your face toward heaven and catch snowflakes on your tongue.

I'd write more, but the hot chocolate is ready and there's a spot on the sofa waiting for me to settle in to watch cartoons with my daughter.

posted by Stacy at 6:02 AM

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Another night of watching the weather closely. It started snowing a couple of hours ago and we've already gotten two or three inches. It's windy and very cold, but the worst is yet to come......in the form of sleet and/or freezing rain. I don't expect any calls about school being delayed or canceled tonight. They will most likely wait until morning in hopes it will have passed by then and the roads will be cleared.

posted by Stacy at 8:43 PM

23 and counting

BOLD = Marks the states that I have visited.
ITALICS = Marks the state(s) that I have lived in.

1) Alabama 2) Alaska 3) Arizona 4) Arkansas 5) California 6) Colorado 7) Connecticut 8) Delaware 9) Florida 10) Georgia 11) Hawaii 12) Idaho 13) Illinois 14) Indiana 15) Iowa 16) Kansas 17) Kentucky 18) Louisiana 19) Maine 20) Maryland 21) Massachusetts 22) Michigan 23) Minnesota 24) Mississippi 25) Missouri 26) Montana 27) Nebraska 28) Nevada 29) New Hampshire 30) New Jersey 31) New Mexico 32) New York 33) North Carolina 34) North Dakota 35) Ohio 36) Oklahoma 37) Oregon 38) Pennsylvania 39) Rhode Island 40) South Carolina 41) South Dakota 42) Tennessee 43) Texas 44) Utah 45) Vermont 46) Virginia 47) Washington 48) West Virginia 49) Wisconsin 50) Wyoming.

Thanks to What in Tarnation for another way to share little known facts about ourselves.

Tell me in the comments where you've been.

posted by Stacy at 12:49 PM

Friday, January 23, 2004

Not exactly snowed in....

but we're getting there. I was just outside with the dogs and was surprised to find we've gotten about 3 inches of snow since I got home from work. It is still coming down pretty hard. Can snow come down hard? I stayed out there with the dogs for a good while. I love this kind of snow storm. It's very cold, but so still and silent and beautiful. Just heaps of snow falling from the sky. I passed tonight, but usually I like to go for a walk and just appreciate the wonder of it. For some reason it is the natural event that makes me feel most connected with God. It just seems so......holy.

posted by Stacy at 10:21 PM

What's your favorite....
Thanks to Chris at What In Tarnation.

1. Muppet?

2. Sesame Street character?
Ernie......I never believed the rumors about him and Bert.

3. Author?
Patrica Cromwell, John Grisham

4. Band or group?

5. Musician or solo act?
Hmmm....I don't really have a favorite right now.

6. Superhero?

7. Soda/pop/"coke"/whatever you call it in your neck of the woods?

8. TV show currently airing?
Hate to admit it, but at the moment it's American Idol. Also, Trading Spaces, Everwood and The Practice

9. TV show all time?
Sitcom: M*A*S*H
Drama: The Practice

10. Sport to watch?

11. Sport to play?
Back in the day it was basketball, hockey and football. Now I prefer channel surfing.

12. Blog(s)?
Be Church, Clarity Amidst Chaos, God's Child, Life Being Beautiful......oh, just go read my blog roll.

13. Cartoon character?

14. Comic strip?
Bloom County, Peanuts, Foxtrot

15. Sylvester Stallone movie?
Not one of my favorites, but if I have to choose....Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

16. Arnold Schwarzenegger movie?
Jingle All the Way

17. Fast food joint?
Subway, Wendy's

18. Ice cream flavor?
Black raspberry.

19. Color?
Green, yellow.

20. Snack food?

posted by Stacy at 6:25 PM

wide awake and no where to go

The actual temperature is ZERO and the windchill is something like -25. All the schools around here are on a 2 hour delay. Like that's going to help.

Snow and other nastiness is coming this afternoon.

posted by Stacy at 6:52 AM

Found over at Clarity Amidst Chaos

The rules: Bold the ones you've seen. Italicize the ones you want to see. Put an asterisk by your favorites. And underline the ones you own.

1. The Godfather
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Godfather: Part II
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers*
6. Casablanca*
7. Schindler's List
8. The Seven Samurai
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring*
10. Citizen Kane
11. Star Wars*
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest*
13. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
14. Rear Window
15. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
16. Raiders of the Lost Ark*
17. Memento
18. The Usual Suspects
19. Pulp Fiction
20. North by Northwest
21. Amelie
22. Psycho (1960)
23. 12 Angry Men
24. Lawrence of Arabia
25. The Silence of the Lambs
26. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
27. It's a Wonderful Life*
28. Goodfellas
29. American Beauty
30. Vertigo
31. Sunset Blvd.
32. The Pianist
33. The Matrix
34. Apocalypse Now
35. To Kill a Mockingbird
36. Some Like It Hot
37. Taxi Driver
38. Paths of Glory
39. The Third Man
40. Once Upon a Time in the West
41. Fight Club
42. Das Boot
43. Spirited Away
44. Double Indemnity
45. L.A. Confidential
46. Chinatown
47. Singin' in the Rain
48. Requiem for a Dream
49. The Maltese Falcon
50. M
51. All About Eve
52. The Bridge on the River Kwai
53. Monty Python and the Holy Grail*
54. Se7en
55. Saving Private Ryan
56. City of God
57. Raging Bull
58. The Wizard of Oz*
59. Rashomon
60. The Sting
61. American History X
62. Alien
63. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
64. Leon (The Professional)
65. 2001: A Space Odyssey
66. Life Is Beautiful
67. Touch of Evil
68. The Manchurian Candidate
69. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
70. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
71. The Great Escape
72. A Clockwork Orange
73. Reservoir Dogs
74. Annie Hall
75. Amadeus
76. Jaws
77. Ran
78. On the Waterfront
79. Modern Times
80. High Noon
81. Braveheart
82. The Apartment
83. The Sixth Sense
84. Fargo
85. Aliens
86. The Shining
87. Blade Runner
88. Strangers on a Train
89. Duck Soup
90. Metropolis
91. Finding Nemo*
92. Donnie Darko
93. Toy Story 2
94. The Princess Bride*
95. The General
96. City Lights
97. Run Lola Run
98. Full Metal Jacket
99. Notorious
100. The Seventh Seal

posted by Stacy at 6:39 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I am whipped!

I've been covering one of the mid-day kindergarten routes (our school district still has half day kindergarten) this week. That means getting up at 4:30 every morning, leaving the house by 6:00 and not getting home until 5:00 every evening. The man that usually drives the route has been off since the beginning of December and will be off until at least February 13, so I have about 3 weeks of this. At least the extra income will be nice.

An excuse to check out the new Wal-mart?

A Wal-mart Super Center opened yesterday, not 5 minutes from our house. I haven't been there yet, but am curious. It's supposed to be the biggest one in these parts. I'm hoping I can convince Tim to go with me tonight to do some grocery shopping since the weather forecast is for some pretty nasty weather overnight. I really should stock up on a few things just in case it gets really bad and school is canceled and the kids and I are stuck at home. ;-)

posted by Stacy at 5:30 PM

Monday, January 19, 2004

Techie stuff
(that I have no idea what to do about)

Tina let me know that she can't see my comments link. That's the first time I've heard that from anyone, though I've got the same problem with a couple of other blogs I visit.

Problem number 2 is mine. I have some kind of "kink" in AOL that is not allowing me to open certain blogs. As soon as I try it disconnects me. So, if you are someone I haven't visited in a while, it isn't because I haven't tried.

I know we need a new computer soon, but in the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions send them, please? I am totally clueless about this stuff.

posted by Stacy at 3:39 PM

Blogger Idol.....Week 1
MTV Generation

I don't usually jump into these blogging events, but Darren over at Livingroom has provided a first topic that I could comment on for weeks.....The 80's. And since it seems there's no chance of suffering the horror of being voted out, I say "why not?"

The thing I'd have to say I remember about the 80's (at least before I had to grow up) was that it was all about the party.....having fun, dancing wild and looking cool. We were sooooo influenced by the music and movies. We were the first MTV generation. The New Wave of music arrived in the early 80's and punk was in. Yes, I admit to big, gelled hair; eye liner that would make a racoon proud; acid washed jeans with rips in the appropriate places; ankle booties; safety-pin jewelry and a whole lot more. I'll even admit that I went to see Adam Ant in concert (you do remember Goodie Two Shoes?). Then there was the whole Flashdance thing. How many pairs of leg warmers did you own? Footloose paired mini-skirts and cowboy boots and Dirty Dancing made us all want to........well, dance dirty, 'cause hey, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Are you catching the music/party, if-it's-fun-go-for-it theme in entertainment? Depravity and defiance was cool.

And then somewhere along the way we grew up.

On a more personal note, the 80's was a decade of firsts for me.....real milestones in my life. Here's the timeline:

1982-graduated from high school
1982/84-college where I did the whole Greek thing (party, party, party)
1984-voted in my first presidential election
1985-moved 1100 miles from home and family
1985-lost the first family member close to me

A great decade? In some ways.

posted by Stacy at 10:16 AM

Great news....

....about the woman I had asked prayer for. She is strong enough that she pulled the respirator out herself and is breathing on her own. She recognized her husband yesterday and they were trying to get some liquids in her. It's really wonderful news, but she still has a very long road ahead of her.

Everything was great at church again yesterday. I guess it was so bad for so long that in some weird way I kind of expect to go one Sunday and find out all the good stuff has gone away and it's back to "normal." It was kind of like old times with the teens. When I sat down in the sanctuary, I found myself surrounded by them. I've been trying to reconnect with them (after all we've been through together it's turning out to be not that hard) and get a feel for where they are and what they want from the church. Yes, that means that I'm going to pick things up with the youth again, but I'm playing it by ear as to how much of a "program" I put together for now.

posted by Stacy at 8:21 AM

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Saturday Night.........Fever?

Pretty much just hung out around home today not doing much of anything. The Carol Burnett marathon on TVLand is all the excitement I need today. Hey, it's good stuff. They were really funny and they didn't have to be filthy or hurtful to anyone to do it.

Matt's at the Threshing Floor Coffee House tonight. They're paying him to run sound. It's pretty nasty out tonight so we opted to stay home and be old fogeys. Tim will probably watch some macho type movie and Megan and I will pop some popcorn and do our nails while watching Trading Spaces.

Yep, I'm just a party animal.

posted by Stacy at 7:29 PM

Thursday, January 15, 2004

New Blogs Posted

I've added Megan at Silent Messenger and Paul at Steeler Dirt Freak to my blog roll. Stop over at their sites and say hi!

Looking for an interesting read?

Check out Tim Bednar's article Why Rick Warren And The Purpose Driven Church Model Will NOT Evangelize The 21st Century Culture. With a title like that you've got to be a little curious.

posted by Stacy at 12:40 PM

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Postcards from here.

Want to see some pictures of where I'm from? Look here for a large collection of community shots and here for pictures from around our house.

posted by Stacy at 10:11 PM

Domestic Goddess in Training

Megan went to 4-H for the first time last night. There are all different kinds of 4-H clubs in the area, some of which deal in raising animals. For now she isn't interested. She chose one that teaches what I would call homemaking skills; cooking, sewing, knitting, crochet, macrame, cross-stitch, computer, and for the boys or less girly girls....geology, rocketry and woodworking. It's pretty cool. I don't know how to do most of the crafty stuff (I'm trying to figure out how I can convince them I'm a kid so I can learn, too) and I'm impressed at how good some of these kids are.

Mom is full of surprises.

Mom surprised me last night by telling me she is going to be participating in a program at the public library that pairs adults with children to teach the kids how to knit. I hope she has more patience with those kids than she does with her own grandchildren. I hope it does something for her heart.

Yea for me!

My supervisor surprised me this morning by jumping on my bus to ride along and evaluate me. At the end of the run he showed me his evaluation and had me sign off on it. He said I did a perfect job and really complimented me. Whoohoo!!

posted by Stacy at 11:52 AM

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Youth Program....or lack-there-of

So, I'm getting back in the swing of things at church. I attended an outreach committee meeting last night. No new events on the burner for this year. Sticking with the tried and true....or at least the tried. Most of the discussion was about tweaking what we already do with the coffee house, block party and summer cinema.

Advertising is the buzz word when it comes to the coffee house and it's the area that's been most neglected in the past. Diversity of the acts is something we hope to have more of. It's been pure Christian rock up to now with a mostly teenage crowd. We want to mix in some gospel and other styles that would appeal to other ages now and then. It's always been free, but we are considering posting a suggested donation amount (you could still come if you don't have it) or charging for the refreshments. The thinking is people value and show up more for something they have to pay for......plus we'd like to see it become self-supporting someday.

Not much is going to change with the block party. It's been a huge success in the community both years we've done it. It also is a free event and will remain so. It is our gift to the community and our chance to meet our neighbors. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then we're doing something right because two other churches in town copied the idea last summer. We do want to add some diversity among the entertainment here, too.

The summer cinemas are a good idea. Last year they got rained out every time. The program didn't generate much excitement. My belief is that it was the choice of films......full length Billy Graham productions. Excellent films, to be sure, but no real drawing power with the general public. This year I proposed (and received support for) showing main stream Hollywood films (does anyone know about copyright laws?). If we advertise them properly I think we can get some nice Friday night crowds gathered on the lawn. We can sell popcorn and pop for 25 cents and tell people to bring their lawnchairs or blankets. If we choose the movies carefully, we can entertain and someone could give a 5-10 minute talk on the lessons/themes in the movie and maybe an invitation. Very low key, very non-threatening.

Ok, the church is getting back on track. Now I'm starting to think about the youth. I still have the title of youth director.....even though I was effectively edged out of everything. I haven't been connecting with or been involved with the kids in months in the capacity of a leader. The youth ministry is practically dead. I'd say we have about 4 kids who actively participate these days and only a couple more that even attend the church. They have all either given up on youth groups completely or moved on to bigger, more exciting groups at other churches. I know most people probably aren't aware of that (hence the slack I got when things went ka-flooey over the pastor about the failed youth program), but they, along with the ones that do know are already letting me know that I'm expected to step-in and run the show again. I do have some thoughts on the subject......ok, I have a lot of thoughts......but I don't want to just fall into it. If I resume the duties of youth director I want to make sure first of all that I'm doing it for the right reasons, that it is in God's will and for the love of the kids, not because it's what everyone else wants, or because of selfish reasons, or because I feel obligated. The if-I-don't-do-it-no-one-else-will trap is one I have fallen into easily in the past. I'm learning that if it isn't in keeping with God's will for me to do something and no one else steps up that maybe that is part of His will, too, and if it isn't , it doesn't necessarily mean I have to rush in and pick up the pieces.

I don't think I can not be in ministry in some capacity, but I want to make sure I'm where I'm supposed to be.

posted by Stacy at 10:56 AM

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Back in church...

today. It felt good. It felt right. It felt like a homecoming.

I rejoiced in being there. I rejoiced in seeing the pews full. I rejoiced in the return of many families who had left over the last few years. I rejoiced in the spirit of love and joy that abounded. The church is becoming a community, a family, again.

I thanked God for it all......and especially for bringing me back now, today. During prayer time I had the honor of praying with and offering comfort to the teenage daughter of the woman I've been asking prayer for. The news for that family is mixed. The son came home from Children's Hospital yesterday and they were able to put him on an oral medication so the family doesn't have to worry about who will give him intravenous meds. The mother was down graded to critical last night. She had a high fever and her blood pressure was quite high. Today they eased up on the sedation just a little because it can raise blood pressure. Her blood pressure has come down. She still has a fever.....the infection is not responding to antibiotics. We went to see her this afternoon. Her eyes were open, but I'm not sure how aware she was. One thing I'm certain of.....she is aware enough to feel pain. Every few seconds we could tell a wave of pain was rolling through her. I had a few seconds to talk privately with her. I've always been the friend that has been able to get tough with her about her weight and her health. I took a chance and spoke firmly with her today about her need to fight this thing for her husband and children. I hope she could hear and understand.

We're heading back to church in just a bit for an ordinance service....communion and footwashing. It seems like just what we need right now.

posted by Stacy at 5:51 PM

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Rise And Shine!

Looks like it's going to be a busy day. I've got to get the house cleaned up (or as we say in these parts, picked up, straightened up or red up) and cook a full-blown turkey dinner. Some of our new friends are coming over tonight.

posted by Stacy at 7:40 AM

Thursday, January 08, 2004

The Ultimate Weight Solution: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is about setting goals and having realistic expectations. To begin you have to identify your body image, which is more than what you see when you look in the mirror...It's the reaction you have to what you see and it encompasses the things you tell yourself about how you look and whether you are satisfied or dissatisfied with what you see. How you feel about your body in turn has a dramatic effect on your self-concept..a term that describes the bundle of beliefs, facts, judgements and perceptions you have about yourself every moment of the day.

If your self-concept is negative it is likely to make you feel that you can never be worthwhile, but accepting and loving your body makes you feel better about yourself and what you can accomplish.

Probably my favorite part of this chapter is this:

God brought us all into this world in a pleasing array of diverse shapes and sizes, and we are all genetically programmed to be a certain way....You are uniquely designed and gifted with a core purpose for being in this world. That was God's plan, and for you to reject that and say, "I'm not good enough for me" is not okay.

You've got to be your own best friend fist, accepting and loving yourself from the inside out, before you can be truly happy and before you can live with purpose and passion. Once you start appreciating your body, you will begin to take much better care of yourself, and you will find that weight loss is so much easier because you are treating yourself with respect.

My first weight loss "epiphany" happened in this chapter, too. It was a real "Oh wow!" moment when I read:

For you to achieve what you want, when you want it, you must have realistic weight goals in focus, with specifically defined actions for reaching them. Don't just wake up every morning and react to what happens. Please don't do that. Be proactive by setting goals and making plans for their attainment. Goal setting is not something you do when you feel like it, because if you do, you will lose your momentum and your sense of purpose.

posted by Stacy at 10:03 AM

Update on prayer request

We went to see the woman I asked for prayer for last night. Quite a shock to see her lying there. She is on a respirator now and in an induced coma to keep her still. Her husband says it is just to give her body a break, so it doesn't have to work so hard. Her step-mother-in-law says she flat out asked the nurses if it was that or life support (hubby really isn't the type to do that himself) and says they told her life support, that without it she would not be breathing. The nurses also told her that the new sores developing on her legs were because of the fluid build up. When she commented that if there was that much fluid building up then it could be filling her lungs and building up around her heart. She says the nurse just gave her a "pointed" look. The son is settled into Children's Hospital and beginning treatments. It's the first time he's ever stayed there alone so that and his mom's condition have him pretty worked up and he is suffering headaches.

posted by Stacy at 9:54 AM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Prayer is needed.

There is a woman who belongs to our church who is what you would have to call morbidly obese. She has a lot of health problems including a severe type of psoriasis and debilitating arthritis in her knees that prohibits her from getting around much. She is currently in the hospital with an infection in her blood that the doctor is hoping has not spread to her bones. On top of this, her 13 year old son was admitted to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh last night. He was born without ducts in his liver and has fought liver infections all his life, but he'd been infection free for about 3 years. Till now. The husband is blind and has been all his life. He does quite well, but doesn't drive and is now running back and forth between hospitals that are at least an hour apart. The teenage daughter is home alone and scared to death. They could really use your prayers.

posted by Stacy at 11:41 AM

I 've got brain-freeze and I didn't even eat anything!

That's how cold it is here. A whopping 10 degrees.

And it's windy.

And there was a small blizzard kind of thing happening this morning....

right as the buses had to pull out of the garage.

Not fun.

posted by Stacy at 11:27 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The last thing you were expecting to read.

We are staying at our church.

Now that you've recovered enough to continue reading....let me explain.

Tim went to the council meeting last night. We'd discussed it and since he hadn't resigned we felt he should. Apparently it was a pretty powerful evening.

Business was handled. The church is hiring the interim pastor who is an expert in the field of church renewal. They are not jumping in to appoint a third elder to fill the position. Council decided it is a matter for the elders to decide. Tim is going to meet with the other elder later this week to talk about it.

Then there was the personal side of things. I guess there were one or two on council who maybe didn't rush in to show Tim support, but the overwhelming majority did (and those who didn't are at least committed to working as a team). The other elder, who was one of the ones that treated us the worst and kind of encouraged it in others, personally apologized for his behavior. The council prayed with Tim, embraced him with love and encouraged him and showed an astounding amount of support. He also found out that many of those same people had indeed tried to call us on Sunday but found the line busy (oops! the kids and I were on and off the computer all day or chatting with friends).

I had shared in an earlier post how much the atmosphere at church had changed in the week and a half between when the pastor left and Christmas and how many more people were in church. Last night Tim learned that the numbers have continued to increase during the weeks we were gone and offerings are way up. For the last several years we had watched it decline drastically to the point we weren't even bringing in enough to cover operating costs (basically utilities and the pastors' salaries) and there was no money at all for ministries. We were meeting our budget by spending the church's savings. In the three weeks since the pastor left, the offering has more than doubled and is currently well over what we need for operating costs. Amazing!!

Anyway, Tim was so encouraged by the support and positive changes that are happening that he decided we're staying. He has come to a point of thinking that we have seen it through this far (and it's been one long road) so we should stay and be a part of the rebuilding.

We talked about this long into the night and the one thing we've decided (other than staying) is that we are going to change the way we personally do church. God will definitely be the center of our lives and our church experience, not that he wasn't before, but the church itself is actually going to play less of a role.

Over the years we did what a lot of Christians do. We built a wall around ourselves and our faith. The church itself became the thing our lives revolved around. If the doors were open, we were there. And if we weren't, we felt a lot of guilt. We'd been lead to believe that as leaders we had to set the example in all things. Not that leaders don't have to set an example, but we've learned that we can show support without actually being at everything that takes place in the church. We are going to carefully choose what we throw our physical efforts into and not allow ourselves to be guilted into things our hearts just aren't in. We are going to continue to persue relationships within the church, but we will no longer limit ourselves to those. We have found friends outside the church and will continue to nurture those and hopefully others. We will take the relationships in church at face value. If they happen, fine. If they deepen, fine. If they don't, fine. I guess what I'm trying to say is that what we seem to have come out of this experience with (so far) is a much greater understanding of how to walk the line between this world and the church and how to take care of ourselves so we don't come to this level of burnout again.

God is just so unbelievably good!!

In Other News

I am still reading The Ultimate Weight Solution. I just haven't had time to post. Maybe tonight.

And for those of you who know them, this may stun you. Or not. Margaret (Lil' Flo) Florendo asked one Matthew (Matteo) Artis to escort her to the Latrobe prom. Mr. Artis accepted the invite. The parents have been assured it's a....."friend thing." They will be in the company of one Kenneth (K-dawg) Cheng and whomever his date for the evening may be.


posted by Stacy at 9:46 AM

Sunday, January 04, 2004

The Final Hours of Christmas Break

....have been spent in a frenzy of movie watching. We rented a pile of DVD's yesterday. All watched. The Sci-fi channel has had weird marathons on both yesterday (killer animals/bugs) and today (killer cars and trucks). Several watched. It's amazing how many people were in those movies before they got famous. Anyway, either my butt has worn a groove in the couch or my butt is taking on the shape of the couch. Not attractive either way.

This was our second Sunday out of church. It didn't feel quite as odd this time. There was a pretty big meeting after the service today.....for the congregation to vote on whether or not to hire an interim. We chose not to go even for that.

One of the things we talked about today to each other and to friends of ours was how it bothered us that when we are at the church or we run into church members somewhere they pretty much beg us to stay, but in the two weeks that we've been away from the church not one single person has called us at home as either our friend or as a church leader to ask how we're doing, see what we're feeling, try to encourage us through this or anything at all. Nothing. Not one word....until one man, that we know and like, but aren't good friends with, called this afternoon (major points for him!!). Maybe we're wrong to be upset and we just need to work on our attitudes, but right now we feel like our "friends'" inaction speaks louder than words.

I am really ready to get back to work and normal schedules. I've had my fill of all this unscheduledness.

posted by Stacy at 7:12 PM

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Ultimate Weight Solution

I mentioned in my resolutions that I'm reading (and hopefully following) Dr. Phil McGraw's book, The Ultimate Weight Solution-Seven Keys to Weight Loss Freedom. A couple of you let me know that you'd like me to post points of interest from the chapters and keep you up to date on how I'm doing. I'm not big on sharing about my weight, but figure this could be a good way to keep myself accountable, which is something I need.

Chapter One
is basically a pep talk and introduction to the program. Dr. Phil promises this is not a diet and is unlike any other weight loss program. He talks about my get-real weight and says, "Your get-real weight is a state of health and well-being that is congruent and in harmony with how you are physically and genetically configured. It is the weight that is "right" for you-a stable, comfortable weight. It is the weight at which you look good, feel good, and lovingly accept yourself from the inside out."

Chapter One also introduces the Seven Keys to Permanent Weight Loss. They are:
1. Right Thinking
2. Healing Feelings
3. A No-Fail Environment
4. Mastery Over Food and Impulse Eating
5. High-Response Cost, High-Yield Nutrition
6. Intentional Exercise
7. Your Circle of Support

It's very important to work completely through and master each key before moving on. Each step prepares you for the next.

posted by Stacy at 4:37 PM

Friday, January 02, 2004

Jumping on the bandwagon...

....and listing my resolutions. I really, really, really stink at keeping resolutions so I've tried to make them doable this year so as not to set myself up for failure.

1. Read the Bible more and spend more time in focused prayer to better know God's leading in my life. I'm a confused mess spiritually and I definitely need His direction. This stepping back/out thing feels like a good thing but working with the teens has been a huge part of my life and the main way I've served the church for six or seven years. I miss it. If only He'd send me a list of things to do.....or a diagram.....a diagram would be good.....or a vision.....maybe a heavenly messenger.

2. Forgive those in the church who I feel have hurt me and my family. Unconditionally. No hanging on to anger and resentment.

3. Read all the way through Dr. Phil's weight loss book and follow the plan. I know I'm not going to be pre-kid skinny ever again, but I need to get healthier and in shape. I need to take care of myself and learn to like myself. I've read two chapters so far and his advice is great. He even talks about how we are made exactly the way God wanted us and how we have a God-given purpose in this life and that rejecting that is not okay. I'm excited about it. I just hope I can maintain the excitement and commitment.

4. Focus more on others. I need to intentionally pay attention to what is happening with others. I tend to not be real observant. I want to change that and out of that....

5. Reach out to others more. In friendship. In sympathy. In support. In whatever they need.

6. I've kind of gotten away from the fine art of homemaking the last few years. I let my ministry pull me away. Now that it isn't consuming all my time I need to focus on my family and our home and making it the comfortable sanctuary it should be. I also need to be on guard that it doesn't happen again.

7. Try to look at things more positively. Sometimes I see only the bad in a situation and get bogged down with it. I need to look for the good.

Ok, that's enough for someone with my track record at keeping resolutions, but I really think I can keep working at these.

I told mine. What have you got?

posted by Stacy at 9:55 PM


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