Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Real"

(by Superchick) Real - Last One Picked



In lieu of the usual Scrobbled Saturday post, I'd like to close out this week with the NEDAwareness Week 2011 Key Messages (copied from their website):

  1. Eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices. Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, biological and social factors. As our natural body size and shape is largely determined by genetics, fighting our natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and decreased self-esteem. While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are about much more than food. Recent research has shown that genetic factors create vulnerabilities that place individuals at risk for acting on cultural pressures and messages and triggering behaviors such as dieting or obsessive exercise. In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Approximately 15 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder.
  2. Education, early intervention, and access to care are critical. There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 years old in each decade since 1930; over one person’s lifetime, at least 50,000 individuals will die as a direct result of an eating disorder. In the United States, we are inundated with messages telling us that thinner is better, and when we “fit” our culture’s impossible beauty standards, we will be happy. Did you know that 80% of all ten year olds are afraid of being fat? As a culture, it is time for all communities to talk about eating disorders, address their contributing factors, advocate for access to treatment and take action for early intervention. You can make a difference: do just one thing to initiate awareness, education and discussion about eating disorders in you community. If we all do something, we’ll have a tremendous impact!
  3. Help is available, and recovery is possible. While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, there is help available and recovery really is possible. It is important for those affected to remember that they are not alone in their struggle; others have recovered and are now living healthy fulfilling lives. Let the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) be a part of your network of support.


NEDA has information and resources available via their website and helpline:
NEDA www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
NEDA Helpline: 800.931.2237


Amy

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Freedom"

(by Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run - Love at the Core - Freedom

Freedom by Run Kid Run on Grooveshark

“All my chains
I can't disengage
And I don't believe that I want to
One hand sings Your praise
The other brings me shame
I have selfishness to blame

And I'm singing for freedom
I know I'm not the only one praying to the One
Who can bring me this freedom
I'm ready for change, change, change, change

Broken down I lay
I keep holding my chains
No longer bound, but here I stay
I scream Father, please
I need rescuing
I need You and You alone

And I'm singing for freedom
I know I'm not the only one praying to the One
Who can bring me this freedom
I'm ready for, I'm ready for...

Still You patiently await, yet I won't just let go
I see You and You alone, saying
"Come follow me
Despair has come so you can see
Release"

So I'm singing for freedom
So I'm singing for freedom

The time has come
Separation lost the war to Love
Take My hand
Grace has found you where you once began
You're alive, you're alive
In the waking of new life
Take My hand
In the end there's only Love
There's only Love

There's only singing for freedom
I know I'm not the only one praying to the One
Who can bring me this freedom
I'm ready for, I'm ready for

Father, please, I need rescuing
I need You and You alone... ”

[PART THREE]
{originally posted 4/22/09}
My road to freedom hasn't been a quick one. Initially, I quit making the unhealthy choices, but I still had an unhealthy mindset. Over the last five or six years, God has done so much inside of me as I’ve allowed Him to peel back the layers and really set me free from all the stuff I tried to ignore for so long. I thought if I pretended it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have to experience the pain it took to face it all and put it behind me. My journey has been a life-long process of giving over control of each part of my life to God: the One source of stability in my life, and the only One who truly can have control over everything. During my journey to forgive, and in times of stress or pain, I have been tempted to deal with things the way that I used to. God’s grace has prevented me from acting on those urges since 1994.

It has taken me awhile to actually FEEL free. In the Summer of 2003, I realized that I was still holding onto a lot of the bitterness and negative thought patterns from the past. I spent a week sitting in the rocking chair with my Bible, begging God to heal my heart and set me free! I discovered that there were many steps in the healing process, and it was painful to evaluate the past and discover why I felt the way that I did. I had a couple of friends and mentors who prayed with me, counseled and encouraged me. I began to feel a joy and freedom I had never known before.

For the past few years, I have wanted a tattoo to symbolize my freedom. I felt that my wrist was the perfect place to remind me that I am no longer a slave to the sin that had me bound. Since Jesus set me free, the eating disorder doesn't hold me captive anymore. My chains are gone, and I am FREE!


If you struggle with similar issues or addictions, please don’t continue on that devastating path. I encourage you to find a good counselor, pastor or friend and share your struggle with them. With God’s help and the help of others who care about you, you too can have the freedom that Jesus longs for you to have.

"He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing what is right." (Titus 2:14)

{If you're of the mindset that it's wrong for Christians to get a tattoo (based on a certain scripture in Leviticus), please check out this article. It's pretty long, but I feel that it has a very good Biblical perspective!}

Amy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Courage"

(by Superchick) Superchick - Beauty from Pain 1.1 - Courage



“I told another lie today
And I got through this day
No one saw through my games
I know the right words to say
Like "I don't feel well"
"I ate before I came"

Then someone tells me how good I look
And for a moment
For a moment I am happy
But when I'm alone
No one hears me cry

Chorus:
I need you to know
I'm not through the night
Some days I'm still fighting to walk towards the light
I need you to know
That we'll be okay
Together we can make it through another day

I don't know the first time I felt unbeautiful
The day I chose not to eat
What I do know is how I changed my life forever
I know I should know better

There are days when I'm okay
And for a moment
For a moment I find hope
But there are days when I'm not okay
And I need your help
So I'm letting go

Chorus

You should know
You're not on your own
These secrets are walls that keep us alone
I don't know when but I know now
Together we'll make it through somehow
Together we'll make it through somehow

Chorus”

[PART TWO]
{originally posted 4/21/09}
Towards the end of high school, this could have been my theme song. I felt out of control due to abandonment issues, financial instability at home, body image issues, and other normal teenage feelings. I took the one thing I thought I could control and ended up abusing it in the form of an eating disorder. I felt that if my own mother and father could reject me, then there must be something wrong with me. I felt I wasn't as good as my brother, didn't have enough money, and wasn't pretty or thin enough. I tried to be on my best behavior, got a job as soon as I was old enough, worked at trying to look pretty, and I did what I could to be thinner. By the time I went to college, I weighed what I had in middle school. I gained the typical “Freshman Fifteen” after arriving at college, and got my weight got back up to where it should have been. I considered the weight thing a “little problem” in my past, and tried to go about life as usual.

One weekend, in the Fall of 1994, my life changed forever. I had a friend who was bold enough to confront me about my eating disorder. Jason saw right through the lies I was telling him and myself. He made me realize that my “little problem” in the past wasn’t little and it wasn’t in the past, and it was sin. I knew that I had to take steps to get past it. What I didn’t know at that point was that within 24 hours, I would not only find out the real reason for my parents divorce, but I would also stupidly step on the scale alongside my brother and discover that the “Freshman Fifteen” had become twenty, and I was eight pounds heavier than Kerry. I know that finding out that my mom had been involved in a long and drawn out affair with our former next-door neighbor should seem worse than the fact that I had gained a few pounds; but at the time, both of those things were equally devastating. I was an emotional wreck and I wanted to go back to starving myself to deal with the pain; but I knew I couldn’t resort to that old tactic. I went to see a counselor on campus, and over the past 14 ½ years have made many steps towards being set free.

[to be continued...]

Amy

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Naked Heart"

(by Julie Miller) Julie Miller - He Walks Through Walls - Naked Heart



"Don't want you to see me like this
Don't want you to know how it really is
I put on this smile til you go away
And hope that my eyes don't give me away

And I can pretend that everything's all right
I've gotten really good I've done it all my life
I keep you at a distance so that you can't tell
I'm not doing very well

Chorus:
If you find out who I really am
If I show you what I keep in the dark
Stripped of my defenses can
Your love really clothe my naked heart?

I've gotten so used to having this pain
Can't imagine it could ever change
If I should look at the truth inside
I feel like I might not survive

So I wrap up this part that doesn't look good
And make it look lovely like I think it should
And if you only know who I pretend to be
How will I know you could really love me?

Chorus”

[PART ONE]
{originally posted 4/20/09}
A couple of months ago, I got the tattoo that I've been wanting for quite awhile! I finally took a good picture of it; but before I post it, I thought I'd give a little background as to why it is so meaningful to me. First, let me say that the story I'm about to tell is in no way intended to place blame on anyone for my choices. We all have the power to choose how we respond to our circumstances, and we don't always choose the best way. While these events shaped me into the person I am, many of them caused me to feel certain ways that led me to make unhealthy choices. As usual, I will try to briefly summarize things; but, anyone who knows me understands how hard that is! So, I'll spread my story out over several posts. OK, here goes...

As far back as I can remember, I had a very poor body- and self-image. It all began when I realized that I was bigger than my older brother, Kerry. I was born fifteen months after him, caught up to him in size by the time I was two and surpassed him by age four. One of my earliest memories is accidentally wearing my brother’s pants to daycare. They were so tight that I got sick to my stomach and threw up! We both wore size 4 “Toughskins,” but his were slim, and mine were regular. What I didn't realize back then is the fact that my brother is small for a guy. I have always looked up to Kerry and wanted to be like him. He is very good; and while I wasn’t bad, it always seemed that he was better than me. I was compared to him quite a bit; and in turn, I have compared myself to him for a good portion of my life

My parents were both Christians, so I was brought up in church and had a strong faith in God as a young child. Unfortunately, going to church and being a Christian doesn't mean you always make the best choices. My mother made some choices that greatly affected my parents' marriage. She also moved out numerous times, leaving my dad to care for Kerry & me while he worked two jobs. Despite trying to work things out, they ultimately divorced when I was nine. My brother went to live with my dad, and I stayed with Mom. About 10 years passed before I found out that Dad wanted me, too. Naturally, I felt rejected by him & started building up a wall between us. To make matters worse, a poor relationship with my new step-mom caused me to build the wall even higher. She had insecurity issues of her own; and rather than taking two broken and rejected children and pouring a mother's love on us, she rejected us, too.

My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was seven and had to quit working when I was in middle school. We were pretty poor and moved from apartment to apartment as rent went up. Just before my Freshman year in high school, we had to move in with my mom’s brother in Weimar, TX. It was about 2 hours away from my dad; so throughout high school, I only saw him every other month or so (my choice, but I didn’t see it that way at the time). At that time, not a lot was known about MS, and it was very hard to get disability benefits. Mom tried to work different jobs, but it was hard for her to do even the simplest of tasks. She did her best to provide for me, but we barely had enough money for our basic necessities. It was embarrassing to go to the grocery store (where one of my classmates worked) and pay with food stamps. I tried to act like things were normal, but I was afraid that other people at school would find out we were living on food stamps.

Throughout high school, God provided wonderful, godly role models in the form of intact families for me to spend time with. I spent most of my free time with my friends, and this allowed me to avoid facing the realities of my home. I had a wonderful church family that took care of me during this time, and I was very involved in the Youth Group there. Despite being in a dysfunctional home, going to church afforded me a strong foundation of Biblical Truth; and I held tightly to the relationship that I began with Jesus when I was a small child. I loved God and had a desire to please Him. I was a bit legalistic in those days, but it kept me from drinking, drugs and sex; so hopefully I was at least an example of a Christian who could survive high school without doing all that stuff. I pretended things were great, because I thought that Christians were supposed to be happy all the time. I hid my feelings, afraid to let anyone know that I was struggling. I didn't know who I was in Christ; and I didn't love myself, so I didn't show the love of Christ to those around me. I didn't understand even a fraction of the depth of God's love for me.

[to be continued...]

Amy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Marvelous Light"

(by Charlie Hall) Marvelous Light - Flying Into Daybreak



We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you the following special bulletin:

I'm not here today...

You can find me guest blogging about music {& my life song} for Brooke @ Smart+Strong=Sexy!

I'll get back to NEDA week & my story tomorrow. I promise!

{If you're over here from Brooke's blog, this is a pretty "heavy" week for you to drop by! I promise it's not always like this around here ~ but being 16 years recovered from an eating disorder, this week is super important to me! If I haven't already scared you off, feel free to stick around! You can get to know me by clicking any of the tabs at the top. Or if you'd like to laugh at me a little, check out my "MIS-series" ~ that will take you to the introduction, and if you care to read more then click the "MIS" label. I didn't want to overwhelm you with all of them without explaining what it is!}

Updated July 2011: Brooke started a new blog in June, so I decided to paste what I had posted on her blog ~ just in case somebody happens along here one day & wonders what I wrote!


Howdy from Texas! My name is Amy, & I’m a 30-something SAHM. I've been married for almost 15 years, & I have two super great kids & a crazy dog. I love Jesus, scrapbooking, chocolate, coffee, & music. I have a little blog where each post has a "theme song". I'm so excited to be posting a song on Brooke's blog today!! Without further ado...



“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Author Unknown

I have always been a fan of music. It never ceases to amaze me how a song can instantly take me back to a particular time in my life...

When I hear Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler", it's like I'm transported back to our guest room when I was a little bitty girl. My brother & I are playing in there, & we have figured out how to push the right buttons on my dad's eight-track player & listen to “The Gambler” over & over again. That & Tom T Hall’s “Sneaky Snake”...

Every once in awhile I'll hear "Handy Man" (by James Taylor), & suddenly I'm in the cab of my dad's pick-up truck. My mom has moved out, and Dad has to take us on his paper route very early each morning. This was back when paper carriers had to roll the newspapers themselves, so he would roll as he drove & toss them over to our side of the cab. We would fall asleep with the "blanket" of newspapers on top of us & would awaken as the sun rose and the newspaper blanket grew smaller. We heard this song almost every morning...

I won’t go through each year of my life, but there are a few more songs that bring back some memories...

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" (Bobby McFerrin)...I'm in middle school holding my baby brother (& recording the song off the radio onto a cassette tape on my boombox! Gotta love those old school mixtapes!)...

"Girl I'm Gonna Miss You" (Milli Vanilli)...I'm moving to a small town 2 hours away from where I grew up & wishing there was actually a boy that would miss me...

"More To This Life" (Steven Curtis Chapman)...I’m in high school and learning more about Jesus & what really is most important in life...

"Place in This World" (Michael W. Smith)...I’m graduating from high school, not sure where I belong & feeling very inadequate...

I could go on, but I think you see where I'm going with this! I’m sure at least some of you can relate, right?! Music evokes memories. You associate a song with the emotions you were feeling at the time. Or maybe a song reminds you of a season of your life because it was a top hit back then (or at least one of your favorites). Either way, all you have to hear are the first few notes, and it's like you're in that moment again. And I think we all know a song or two that we feel like was written for us.

When Brooke asked me to post my life song, I thought it would be easy! But as much as my blog focuses on theme songs, I didn't actually have one for my life. There have been songs that I've referred to as my “theme song” before, but they’re generally about hurtful things from the past {which tend to be "downers"!} A theme song that evokes feelings of sadness is so not me, because that's not what my life is about! I've been through a few difficult situations, but who hasn't?!

Through it all, God has continuously worked good from my bad. He has used my past to allow me to speak hope & healing into the lives of others who are experiencing something similar to what I have gone through. Mine is a story of redemption, hope & the freedom that Christ gives so generously! The song that I feel best represents my life is “Marvelous Light” by Charlie Hall.

Sin has lost it's power
Death has lost it's sting
From the grave You've risen
VICTORIOUSLY!
Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross, You are the truth
You are the life, You are the way


That just makes me want to “lift my hands & spin around”, as he says in the song! Have you ever felt that kind of freedom? I hope so!

So, what about you? Do you ever hear songs that take you back to a particular moment/season of your life? Does your life have a theme song? Leave a comment, or better yet: blog about it! & let me know if you do ~ I’d love to read your story!

Amy

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Beautiful"

(by Bethany Dillon) Beautiful - Bethany Dillon



It is NEDA Week once again!


This is a week that I hold near & dear to my heart, because it's all about preventing eating disorders & body image issues. This week is also devoted to reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. The theme for this year is: It's Time to Talk About It. I wholeheartedly agree! With the unrealistic body image messages that are so prevalent today, we need more people to rise up and talk about this! Or as NEDA urges, do just one thing to make a diference.

It has been a couple of years since I told my story on here, so I decided to re-post it over the next few days. I don't mean to bore those of you who already know it, but I feel like this week is an important time to do it.

If you struggle with your body image, there's a great list of 20 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR BODY on the NEDA website.

Now if you'll bear with me, I have a special message for a young woman who left me a comment a couple of weeks ago...Lindsay, If you're reading this, I want to let you know that I have been praying for you ever since. & I would LOVE to be in contact with you! I know your struggle, and I'd love to be a part of your support system. Maybe I could help find somebody near you that could be a part of that support, too. I've added the "Email Me" button near the top of my sidebar. I'd love for you to email me, so I can have a way to communicate with you personally. I know that you can beat this, too!

Amy

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"My Next Breath"

(by Hawk Nelson) My Next Breath - Crazy Love (Plus the Light Sides)





Well, believe it or not I got what I wanted for Valentine's Day! + some chocolate! 'Cuz I'm spoiled loved!

So naturally, today's song is off HN's new album! :) I love it, but you probably already knew I would! All of the songs are great, but this one is my favorite for now! I absolutely love the chorus:

You open up Your arms and give me a new start
I need You, I need You more than my next breath
I know that I am loved, cuz you bought me with your blood
I need You, I need You more than my next breath yeah




Amy

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Tender Mercy"

(by Enter the Worship Circle) Tender Mercy - First Circle



In the Bible study that I'm currently participating in, today's lesson encouraged us to "pause for the One we should seek over all else" (Lysa TerKeurst, "Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl"). She referenced {my favorite} Psalm 27 (specifically verse 4) and Psalm 9:10. And she said, "Remember and believe that every moment spent with the Lord is time well spent."

Enjoying God's Word today, I remembered when I got a new Bible a few years ago and was so excited about it that I posted on my myspace blog back in the day! I thought it would be fun to post in on here, because it was my first blog post ever! So here you go...



September 18, 2006

Not just rules...

Current mood: excited

I'm so excited cuz I got this new super cute pink & brown Bible today (for CHEAP, which makes it even better)!!! {& for those of you who REALLY know me, you know that I loved pink & brown BEFORE it was cool, cuz I'm an undercover trend setter..but that's a whole other subject...}

Anyways, it's the New Living Translation, and I'm really liking the way it phrases some stuff. Take Psalm 119, for instance. {OK, if you've read through the Psalms before, don't roll your eyes...Psalm 119 is really awesome even if it is super long}. Check out these few verses (5-11):

"Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with Your commands. As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will thank You by living as I should! I will obey Your decrees. Please don't give up on me! How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word. I have tried hard to find You -- don't let me wander from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You."

I just love how it makes me feel! Being a Christian isn't about the rules. It's about loving Jesus, and because of that love, I want to make Him happy by following His rules. And when I make Him happy, I'm happy. And the more I read His Word, the more like Him I become, and the easier it is to follow His rules. It's pretty neat how it all works out that way. I could go on, but I won't right now...



There you have it ~ my first ever blog post! {& I've apparently always liked the little swirly brackets! OK, I just looked them up, & "{}" are actually called curly brackets, and I very rarely used them in a grammatically correct manner!} Anyways, over the past couple of years I've had a particularly hard time focusing on what I should be focusing on. I am easily distracted by my to-do list & my fears. I will settle for reading my Bible & "checking it off the list" without spending much quality time with my Lord. Some days are good, some days aren't. I know that the problem is ME and not Him, but many times I would choose to stay in my little self-centered rut. I still talked to Him throughout the day, but I didn't pause for Him.

Well let me just say that it's not good enough! I know that & have always known that, but lately I've realized that I really needed to do something about it! This Bible study has been such a good thing for me, because she suggests a lot of ways to put what I know into practice! And today I had that giddy feeling again ~ that feeling of delighting in His Word!

I know that I've talked about feelings a couple of times in the post. Please hear me out: it's NOT about feelings!! I know that feelings aren't a substitute for truth. The lessons this week have even asked whether we process life through our feelings or God's truth, and we all know how we should process life! But this feeling I'm talking about is different than the feelings I have about my circumstances. {Because y'all know that those fearful feelings aren't God's truth!} This feeling I'm talking about is a more of a freedom-type of feeling. The JOY that comes from knowing the Lord, knowing His truth, knowing that He is in control and that His plans are good.

Last week we read the following scripture, & I thought it was pretty great:

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits—
Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
(Psalm 103:1-5, NIV)


She wrote [and I'm going to quote her again, because she's an author & says things way better than I ever could!] that it "outlines everything we need during our ugly moments: praise the Lord and remember how He forgives me, heals me, redeems me, loves me, has compassion on me, satisfies my desires in good ways, and renews my strength." Oh, that's so true! How awesome is our God?!

Amy

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Stole My Heart"

(by Little & Ashley) Stole My Heart - Stole My Heart - EP



Today is the 15th Valentine's Day that I get to share with my mister!



Amy

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I Still Miss You"

(by Hawk Nelson) I Still Miss You - Hawk Nelson Is My Friend

I Still Miss You by Hawk Nelson on Grooveshark

This post is dedicated to a wonderful woman whose life ended too soon. Mama Beth passed away 15 years ago today ~ just 5 1/2 months before she was to become my mother-in-law. She was only 36 years old and had suffered kidney failure 14 years earlier (when my mister was only 6). Though I was only blessed to know her for about a year & 1/2, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to love & be loved by her. The last year of her life, she was only home from the hospital for about four months. Most of mine & Christopher's dates consisted of grabbing some dinner and going to the hospital. Maybe they weren't the most "exciting", but I wouldn't trade those dates for anything. I really looked forward to being her daughter-in-law.

One of my favorite memories of Mama Beth was the day I picked up my wedding dress. As my bridesmaid Kasey & I were passing the exit to the hospital, I made a spur of the moment decision to stop by the hospital & show it to Beth. She wanted me to put the dress on, and of course I did! The nurses took turns coming in to see me in it, and Beth was so excited! Her sister-in-law called while I was there, & she excitedly told her she was going to have to call her back later because I was there with the wedding dress! I don't know how long I wore it that day, with Kasey holding the back together so everyone could get the full effect. (It was 3 or 4 sizes too big, but I only paid $100 for it! I had a seamstress friend who took the bodice apart & pieced it back together to make it fit). Anyways, I'm SO glad I stopped by that day, because she wasn't going to be able to see me walk down the aisle in it (though I didn't know it at the time). The nurses told me at the funeral that she never stopped talking about that day.

Mama Beth was an amazing woman who loved the Lord. Her faith was very evident to the end. Her strength & perseverance inspired everyone who knew her. She is still very much missed & loved.

This picture is my mister (when he was 3 or 4) with his beautiful mom!

{Please ignore his atrocious shirt!}

Amy

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Moment of Truth"

(by FM Static) Moment of Truth - Critically Ashamed





Wow! This has been quite a week ~ just super busy! I literally had about two hours at home by myself all week long, unless you count the maybe two more hours (tops) that I was here putting makeup on & blow drying my hair! In case you care, this was my week in a nutshell...

My sweet boy was sick on Monday, but he's more than fine now. He had a touch of the cold that I had last week. :(

Tuesday was Bible study. Then my friend Laura & I went to lunch with a few of the ladies from the study. Afterwards, we went to try Seattle's Best Coffee's Salted Toffee Mocha, but they were out of the Salted Toffee topping!! :/ So we had to get the super chocolatey one instead. Oh well, we'll just have to go again! ;) After that, the kids & I went to the chiropractor. Pretty much immediately upon arriving home, I left again for a meeting at the church. I'm excited to be helping out with an upcoming local mission ~ I'll tell you more about that another time!

Wednesday was my mister's doctor appointment that I've already mentioned. Overall, that was great, but we were there for two hours & 23 minutes before we saw the doctor. That just stinks, I tell ya! I got back home just in time for my boy to get home from school. Another silly ice storm sent my kids home early! :P

I made several trips to the kids' schools for various reasons on Thursday. Then I got to have a veg-out-in-front-of-the-tv afternoon with my friend Amy. We need more of those days!! :)

Then Friday after MOPS, I took my little friend up to the hospital so she could be there when her baby brother was born!!!!! I'm so incredibly excited for my friends who have waited very long for their second child. She is one of my best friends in the whole entire world, and I seriously couldn't be more happy for them. I have no idea how many times my eyes have teared up in the past 26 hours or so! And today I got to hold him! He's such a sweet baby that I can't wait to spoil hang out with a bunch! ;)

Today's song isn't really the one I listened to the most. I'm not sure what the problem is, but my iPod isn't scrobbling correctly. So, I'm sorta being forced to guess. I know that nobody really cares, so I figure you're OK with me just picking a favorite! This one's an older one, but I have always loved it! Word on the street is Trevor McNevan (the front man) used this song to propose to his wife. {Aw!} My favorite line is, "And I've been trying to think for weeks of all the ways to ask you. And now I've brought you to the place where I've poured my heart out a million times, for a million reasons, to offer it to you." ღ

Well, I hope you're having a great weekend!!

Amy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"A Sight to Behold"

(by Eisley) A Sight to Behold - Combinations (Deluxe Version)



I thought I'd give y'all a little update on my mister. He had yet another follow-up visit with the retina specialist, & it was actually a good one! There's no new radiation damage (so no new crazy vessels), & the pressure in his eye has actually dropped. The swelling is also down. For the first time since the vitrectomy surgery (over a year ago), we don't have to go back to see him for FIVE months (instead of every couple). The only negative news this visit was that his vision has decreased a tad ~ from CF 3' to CF 2'. But that's not a huge difference. And seriously, at this point, he can't really SEE anyways. It's more like he's guessing fingers at 2 feet away! So for his vision to decrease isn't really a big deal.

I don't know if you remember the blackout lens we were considering, but we cancelled the contact appointment yesterday. Since we already had to meet my mister's out-of-pocket (the first week of the year, 'cuz that's the way we roll), we're almost out of money in the flex plan. It doesn't renew until July, so we'll consider the contact then. I guess it's a "cosmetic" thing anyways, and he has adjusted to wearing the patch. Plus, if his vision continues to decrease, he won't need the patch or a lens. {I totally don't mean to constantly repeat myself, but to explain for those who don't always read my blog: the purpose of the patch/lens is to prevent headaches caused by eye strain. If his vision is completely gone, his eye shouldn't strain anymore} So, we'll see how things are in July, I guess. His next appointment is with the ocular oncologist next month, and then I think we might not have to see anyone until June or July! Wow ~ three or four months without a doctor visit is longer than we've gone since this whole ordeal began!

Amy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Crazy Love"

(by Hawk Nelson) Crazy Love - Crazy Love (Plus the Light Sides)



Hawk Nelson's new album Crazy Love came out today!


Have I mentioned before that I love them?! {I think I might have said it a few times!!} Anyways, I don't have the album yet, because we're on a mission {Baby Step 2} ~ but I did send an email to my mister last week with a link to the album, saying something along the lines of, "Wouldn't this look great with new gold hoop earrings for Valentine's Day?" I hope he got the hint! ;)

Amy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"

(by Harry Connick, Jr.) Let's Call the Whole Thing Off - When Harry Met Sally... (Music from the Motion Picture)



I saw this on Brooke's blog & thought it looked fun! I've never done a vlog before, so please ignore the random things I do with my hands. I'll prepare myself better next time. I just knew that if I didn't do it right away, I'd never do it! I only did one take, and I didn't go back & fix anything. I think that's a BIG step for me (in letting go of insecurities & such)!

Anyways, I'm supposed to read a list of words & answer some questions. I was born & raised in Texas, but both major cities I've lived in/near are melting pots. So, I don't think I have a true Texas accent, but YOU be the judge! Also, I'd love it if you played along!!



Here are the words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

& here are the questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

•What do you call gym shoes?

•What do you say to address a group of people?

•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

•What do you call your grandparents?

•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

I hope you enjoyed my first ever vlog. This was way more interesting than a Scrobbled Saturday, right?

Amy

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Snow Day"

(by Rosie Thomas) Snow Day - A Very Rosie Christmas



...or not! I guess you could call it a Sleet/Freezing Rain/Icy Road Day. Boy, is my son disappointed! School is out, but he doesn't get to have the fun day he had anticipated. I tried to prepare him for the fact that we might not actually get snow, but those weather forecasters were pretty sure! Plus, the school district released all of the kids early yesterday & cancelled school for today. That usually means something! Unfortunately, here in these parts, that usually just means ice on the roads. Also, unfortunately, people around here don't know how to drive in it. There were over 100 accidents in Houston between 3:00 and 7:00 am, so they closed the toll roads & major freeways! In true Texas form though, it'll be 60 degrees on Monday! Here's what our patio looks like, & the reason my dog will probably only got potty only twice today:


We went to the store last night (not to store up for the one day of winter ~ I just needed some carrots & other veggies for some yummy meatball soup), & Cody spent his birthday & Christmas money on $60 worth of LEGOS...that he put together last night, because he was going to be playing in the snow today! Again, I tried to warn him!

{No, his head really isn't as big as it looks. He just has extremely thick hair that's in need of a trim!}

On to other bits of randomness, my baby girl seriously grew an inch over night! She gave me a hug when she came into the living room this morning, and she seemed taller. I just had to measure her, and sure enough she's 5'1" now. Before Christmas, she was barely 5' {OK, ya, so that's not exactly over night, but close!} She only has two inches to grow in order to catch up to me now! I would show you a picture of her standing next to me, but my hair is still in a towel. As much as I love y'all, that's a "treat" I reserve only for my family & scrapbook retreat girls! ;)

Because this post has no real theme today, I'll go ahead & throw out another random tidbit. Today is World Cancer Day, and the organization that sponsors the day is trying to raise awareness around the world for cancers that are preventable. Though my mister's type of cancer isn't, I'm all for trying to prevent other types of cancer. Because cancer sucks. Period. I've signed The World Cancer Declaration. It is a tool to help bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers in order to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020. {The only "target" I'm not so sure about is the HPV vaccination, based on some terrible side effects that I've heard about. But the rest of their goals are good!} If you feel the burden, please sign the Declaration via the banner below:


Alright, well I guess that's enough rambling for one day. I'm sorry I haven't posted much this week, but I've been fighting a cold & had nothing to say! Unless you wanted me to post about fun things you can do when you're sick, like this:


I think I'm going to play a game with my kids now!



{We really do take her to the groomer on occasion, but I didn't want to cut it short before our winter storm!!}

Stay warm!! I sure wish I had bought some of those Snoozies that RR Mama's been talking about!

Amy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"While I'm Waiting"

(by John Waller) While I'm Waiting - Fireproof (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)



This theme of waiting has come up several times over the past week or so, which leads me to the conclusion that God is trying to tell me something! I honestly don't feel that I've been impatiently waiting for something lately, but I know I've felt it in the past. I also know that I can't ignore a repetitive message from the Word of God ~ so if this isn't for me, then maybe it's for YOU!

It began last Sunday, when our pastor started a new series where he is preaching through the book of Nehemiah. I actually read it recently, so I thought it was kinda cool to get a little of somebody else's perspective on the book! While I like to actually study when I read the Bible, I usually just focus on certain verses & explore words that stand out to me. I also like to look at other verses that are referenced in my footnotes & stuff like that. But I don't usually look into history & such, which I'm now realizing can make quite a difference in understanding things! Anyways, Nehemiah learned of his people's need & was burdened for them. He spent four months waiting, praying & preparing before asking the king's permission to go help his people. When I read those verses initially, I had no idea what the months [Kislev & Nisan] meant & how long he waited. He waited four months! But he didn't just wait. He prayed and prepared.

I'm currently involved in a Bible study by Lysa TerKeurst called, "Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl". We have barely begun, & I have already been pounded with the words "waiting" & "preparation" over and over again. We looked at the life of David, and when he was anointed as king. Something I never really thought about before was the fact that after he was anointed, he went back out in the fields! {Seriously?! If I was anointed as king, I would SO not settle for being a shepherd anymore!} Though we don't know his response, we do know that he went back into the fields and waited. And while he waited, God was preparing him. To save his flock, he killed a lion and a bear ~ which not only prepared him to face the giant, it also gave him the confidence that God would save him from the giant (1 Sam. 17:34-37).

In my personal Bible reading last week, the word "waiting" came up again in Genesis 40-41. When Joseph was in prison he had interpreted a couple of dreams (for the king's cup-bearer & baker), and he had to wait there another two full years before the cup-bearer remembered to say something to Pharaoh (who then proceeded to release him from prison)! As if the guy hadn't been waiting long enough, anyways...he had the prophetic dreams about his brothers when he was 17 (in Gen. 37), and they weren't fulfilled for at least 20 years (in Gen. 42)! That's a long time to wait for a promise, don't you think?

There are many other examples of waiting in the Bible, but those are the scenarios that have been brought to my attention lately. The point is: it happened a lot then, and it happens a lot now! And if I can be honest with you, I don't like to wait. I'm not so good at it, and I'm quite impatient during the process! I look ahead to some exciting thing & sometimes overlook the simple thing He has called me to do right now. But how different would life be if I viewed these times of waiting as preparation? If I chose to pray and seek God (instead of stomping my foot & being impatient), might it give Him a chance to prepare me for the future? If nothing else, might it allow me to know Him better? Maybe it'll make me more faithful to Him, and I won't doubt Him so easily. Maybe it'll open my eyes to ways that I could serve Him while I wait.

Are you waiting for something? If not for something specific, are you maybe waiting for something more exciting? If so, please join me in seeking Him while I wait, remaining faithful in what He asks me to do today.

Amy