Two’s for the Road

Wow was today a day (or two) to remember…but we probably won’t because our brains are so addled right now that we can barely think straight.

It all started last night, Thursday. My daughter’s massive dentist appointment went perfectly and she had no problems whatsoever. Praise the Lord for this because her teeth have been a huge concern for me recently. Anyway, my husband had taken the day off which was a relief because my sister, Karee, had come down with a fever over 102 degrees! She was our designated babysitter and one of the drivers for our caravan of vehicles. When my husband and I finally arrived at my mom’s house to load her truck we saw how HUGE this truck was. It was a 26 foot truck and we were meant to share it. About halfway through the night we realized that there was NO WAY that both Mom’s stuff and our stuff would fit on the same truck as planned. We were right, Mom filled the truck with her stuff alone. This left me and Eric to rent a truck last minute which, amazingly, we were able to do, along with the towing unit for my car…which I have to drive…Yikes!!!

Oh man!!! We have packed and packed and moved and moved these last two days and now we are so tired that we can barely see straight and we are going to be driving for three days!!! My sister likely had pneumonia, my mom is stressed to the point of throwing up and we are all stressed to snapping…

Pray for us as we take this journey. I will see ya on the other side!!! (And I will give you more details when my brain has had time to process them…)


Sugar Rush

Lately, I’ve been feeling ill in the evenings. We have also been busy trying to get our house packed and ready to go for this weekend. So what do I do? Grab a Monster or a soda of some kind or another…preferably with caffeine. I thought the ill feeling was the caffeine, but after having the same exact feeling after having a root beer (caffeine free, see?) I began to think that I wasn’t reacting to the caffeine but the sugar! So like any other person who has WAY more to do than humanly possible in the time allotted (read article here) I ran around the house collecting samples and reading labels of things that I (or my children) have consumed in the last week. Talk about an eye opener!!! This is only a partial list. 

The standard teaspoon of sugar is “a mere 15 calories” say the commercials. And they are right, one teaspoon (level) of sugar is equal to 15 calories, but how many times do you consume only a tsp of sugar? I put FOUR in one (large) mug of coffee alone! One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams so each cup of coffee I drink has 16g of sugar in it, but wait, there’s more! I also add a serving (or two…) of flavored creamer with a price tag of 7g of sugar. So for each cuppa joe that I consume, I will have eaten the equivalent of almost 6 sugar cubes! PER CUP!!!
Here’s my list (in no particular order):
Raw Honey (1 tbsp) 16g of sugar (but at least its all natural…)
SlimFast Optima, Creamy Milk Chocolate (11 oz can), 18g sugar
ChexMix Bar “Turtle” (1.2 oz bar), 11g sugar, including High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Monster Green (16 oz can= 2 servings…yeah, right!), 27g/servings for a total of 54g sugar per can
A&W Root Beer (12 oz can), 45g sugar, HFCS is the SECOND INGREDIENT!!!
Mountain Dew, Live Wire (12 oz can), 46g sugar, HFCS is the SECOND INGREDIENT!!!
Costco Gourmet Chocolate Covered Raisins (20 pieces), 23g sugar incl. corn syrup
Multigrain Cheerios (1 cup), 6g sugar
Walmart Brand Traditional Jar Spaghetti Sauce (1/2 cup ), 12g sugar incl. corn syrup
100% Juice Box, Apple (6.75 oz box), 23g sugar
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce (2 tbsp), 12g sugar, incl HFCS
Heinz Ketchup (1 tbsp), 4g sugar, incl HFCS
Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (2 tbsp), 3g sugar
Kirkland Fruit Snacks (.9 oz pack), 13g sugar, corn syrup and sugar are the number 2 and 3 ingredients, respectively.
Let’s be clear here. Every time I drink a soda, I’m eating the equivalent of ELEVEN AND A HALF SUGAR CUBES!!! Yummy!!! And that’s just in the drink. Also note that I didn’t include things that don’t include “sugar” but that your body treats like sugar like chips and starches.
Gee, I wonder if the ill feeling was my body trying to tell me to break up with sugar???

Ultimate Packing Tuesday!!!

We leave on Saturday! We load the truck on Friday! We have a massive dentist appointment (that will take at the very least all morning and most of the afternoon…that’s a different story) on Thursday! We have a doctor’s appointment and an oil change on Wednesday! Which leaves me with today. To pack. The whole house. Granted, I’ve not been idle these past few weeks, so a lot has already been done, but even more needs to be done! I’m a list maker and I packed my paper already, so here is my list of things to do today! And just for fun: a few pictures!

What has already been packed (notice the lack of couches and end tables…yup, we sold ’em!):

*Finish sorting and packing random things in living room

*Print fun paper and pack up printer
The other half of the living room…yet to be packed (hoping to sell that gigantic entertainment center too!):
*Clean out kids’ room (everything except the beds!)

This was actually taken in the living room. When I had cleared out the glass door portion of my entertainment center, the kids climbed in…

*Clean out spare bedroom

*Pack books
*Pack kids toys

You can see the boxes of books in the foreground on the right, behind them is the wall full of toys and the rest of the room is mostly empty boxes and already packed stuff, ready to move out to the living room.

*Laundry Monster…need I say more?
*Finish packing up unessentials in bathroom
*Pack Master Bedroom
(this is the trickiest room because Eric is staying behind for a little bit!!!)
*Remove all removeable items, return only essentials
*Pack up the packables
*Pack a suitcase per person with the clothes for the trip
*Pack an open box with clothes for next few days
, keep it next to the larger “everything else” suitcase
*Pack the kitchen and dining room
*Finish doing dishes and clearing counters
*Clear out all cabinets
*Pack up “not-to-be-used” food
*Pack up snack food for the trip
*Pack up all dishes…moving to “cold food only week!”
*Start cleaning!!!

Okay, I have officially wasted over an hour doing this “quick” post! Gotta run!!!

Something Fun to Balance the Rest

These are the states I’ve visited. Many of them were visited while driving or “training” but I have actually been in all these states…I’ve impressed myself! 🙂 I have actually lived in: California, South Carolina, Texas and Washington (soon to be Colorado too!). I have visited, as in more than just passed through, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado (I was 16!), Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, and Wisconsin! WooHoo! I would LOVE to make it to the East Coast sometime….

Apostate or Heretic?

A little internal turmoil will really get you thinking, but, before I get in to all that, perhaps a short history is required. I grew up in a Catholic church and the large majority of my large family is Catholic with varying degrees of devotion. When I was 12, my parents got a divorce and through that process, my mom left the Catholic church. We began attending a church called Inland Community Church and we were very happy there. My mom wished for more hymns instead of the praise music, but she loved the verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible. She grew as a Christian and we grew to become Christians. It was at this church that I was baptized as a believer. However, problems eventually arose (as they usually do) and we discovered the youth pastor struggled in sexual sin (with the girls of his youth group) and the associate pastor was stealing from the church. After an all out confrontation with the church leadership, my family and several others, left the church and found a Calvary Chapel. Calvary was a breath of fresh air for sermons that had gone downhill since we first began attending ICC. Calvary Chapel’s are known for their verse-by-verse Bible teaching and their back to basics style. They are good, Bible believing people, but… they seem to take things a little too lax, like wearing blue jeans to church among other things. It was really the blue jeans that got to me first, which is why I mention them.

Last July, I had the opportunity to confront this ideology head-on and I started wearing skirts more often. I felt convicted to dress modestly and femininely, not something I could accomplish well wear tight blue jeans. I found an article on headcovering and tried that out, but it became too much of a challenge and I stopped. I was still wearing skirts and I still believe skirts should be the staple of a woman’s wardrobe. The one MAJOR thing I was lacking was a community of like-minded believers. This is what I craved. I started looking for churches, and even found an Independent Fundamental Baptist church in town, but we were moving and I was still unsure of myself and my convictions and felt like rocking the boat wasn’t the best decision for this moment in time. I am still looking for a group to belong to and that is what worries me, the fear that I will choose my beliefs based on group participation and less on what is actually correct.

Here’s where I get down to the real nitty gritty. One of the most frustrating things I am dealing with right now is the name-calling. Everyone takes a stand on so many different issues, from Calvinism to Arminianism, skirt length, headcovers, beards, lifestyle (agrarianism), homeschool method, child-raising, Bible version…so on and so forth. What really gets difficult is that (particularly in the Calvinism versus Arminianism debate) we label the “opposition”. The Arminians call the Calvinists heretics and the Calvinists call the Arminians apostates. All the other issues follow along with these two groups and I just get so frustrated!

What am I to be: an apostate or a heretic?  

And what concerns me even more is that, unlike my mom, who was convicted to leave the Catholic church after seeing that confession wasn’t right and that Catholicism created people that “did” church on Sunday by just putting in their time (the real story is about the women chewing gum and gabbing behind my mom through the portion of the mass just after communion where the Catholic is at their most “holy” because they have just consumed the body and blood of Jesus Christ…I remember thinking that I had better pray quickly before he was digested out of me and I would be left powerless…anyway, these women got in the way of my mom’s worship of her Savior (yet another aside, my mom was a Bible-reading Catholic) and we left the church.) and the failure of the priest to absolve her sin of divorce, I feel like I just want to belong to a group

Of course, I want to please God in what I do and that truly is first and foremost in my mind, but lately I have been wondering what exactly I am supposed to do. I am tired of being “tossed by the waves” and I fear for doing the wrong thing. I am okay with following whatever “rules” need to be followed, I just need to know that I am following God and not man, nor man’s interpretation of God. I think at the root here is this utter frustration with who I am and where I stand in God’s kingdom. Am I really a part of it? Are my actions sanctifying me? Am I truly serving God my wearing skirts, covering my head and choosing hymns over modern praise and worship? Are these things really important? And why, why do we demean other Christians? To separate ourselves from them, to define ourselves better? Does that not also cause us to puff up ourselves, just a little? We agree that Christ is the Savior of this world and that we are only saved by grace, through faith, right? Does the rest of it even matter? I imagine that the God who took the time to send His own Son to die on a cross for us would have some details about how to live and how to worship Him. Does it all really hang on Matthew 22: 37-40,

Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

What does that mean? Does that mean that that love really is the bottom line…that “all you need is love?” What does it mean to have the law and prophets hanging on it? I would dearly love some answers here. Nothing has tried my faith so much as this.

A Simple Solution

Marriage is a great thing, but it is really hard to keep that fire lit!!! Eric and I have been dealing, for what seems like our entire marriage, the difficulty of finding time together. See, I’m a night owl and he is an early bird. I can very easily stay up past midnight on any given night, provided that I don’t have to do anything before 10 in the morning! Home keeping has become an indulgent “job” for me in that no one is here to force me to rise (or set) with the sun. I just label myself as “not a morning person” and I refuse to begin my day. My children have already begun their day, so they get the square babysitter until I can function, which is usually past naptime. Obviously, this needs to change. 

Eric, bless his heart, has tried to stay up a little later with me so that we can talk or spend time together but he needs to be up at 5:30am, sometimes earlier and staying up even until 10 or 11 is difficult for him. We have tried taking a date night, but that is just impractical with our time and budget to be the main thing that this couple uses to connect. While reading Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God by Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancy, the author mentioned that she had a “tea time” with her husband in the morning before work everyday. After watching Eric struggle to read his Bible the other night because he was talking to me, I offered to wake up with him, make some coffee, and read a chapter from the Bible a day.
Today is day two and though I’m tired in the morning (I still manage to stay up later than he does…), I acknowledge that a morning routine is essential. The other advantage is that I’m up before the kids and therefore capable of being ready to start the day when they get up. I haven’t managed to shower before they woke up the last two days, but that’s not too terribly bad. As much as I abhor waking up early, this is my labor of love to serve my husband and children and so far, its working! I actually find myself happy to be up…now that’s a shock!


When I had originally decided to write this post I had just finished my morning reading of The Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It was February 8th and the title of the entry was “The Cost of Salvation”. Before I go much further, I will mention that if you click on the first link above, you will get to a homepage that has the original text and KJV scriptures. You can get “today’s reading” or you may browse whatever day you’d like. I did not know about this, so I purchased an “updated” version at my bookstore. It claims that it is “An Updated Edition in Today’s Language” and uses the NKJV; I didn’t think twice about purchasing it. Now I wished I had just purchased the original! Anyway, I wanted to quote what I had actually read, but I will just copy the original version (or what I should have read). Clear as mud?

February 8th

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

When we pray to be sanctified, are we prepared to face the standard of these verses? We take the term sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Sanctification means intense concentration on God’s point of view. It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained and kept for God’s purpose only. Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for? And then after His work is done in us, are we prepared to separate ourselves to God even as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself.”[John 17:19] The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s standpoint. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Are we prepared for what that will cost? It will cost everything that is not of God in us.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the swing of this prayer of the apostle Paul’s? Are we prepared to say – “Lord, make me as holy as You can make a sinner saved by grace”? Jesus has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, and freedom from everything that is unlike Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s ministrations in us? [Emphasis added]

So there you have it. Need I even comment on it? When I read this the other day I just sat there, shocked. I want to go out on a limb and say that this process of sanctification is not taught anymore. I have been going to church all my life and though I hear rhetoric like, “become more like God” no one has really ever pointed me to a place where I can confront this issue. It is an unpopular one! Modern Christians are satisfied with grace by faith with the mistaken notion that we don’t have to do anything else! How else do we read Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

I have always been a little bit confused about what to do now that I am a Christian. I knew that I was supposed to do the right thing, but I have always heard it describes as something that just naturally happens, that now that you are saved, you suddenly begin to act like a Christian. I just could never understand why I didn’t. Am I not really saved? Did I get saved but not receive the Holy Spirit? Why can’t I do the right thing? I seriously tortured myself with these things thinking that I was a faulty Christian and that the process just didn’t work for me! Of course that’s not true!!! What has happened is that I’ve been sold a pack of lies, that the Christian life is a sudden, instant change and it’s not! Salvation might happen in an instant, but it is a constant struggle then to die to your flesh and actually become more like the God you now serve.

So what does this mean for me? It is so easy to become me-centered. People have this defense mechanism that they use to ward off sanctification. They call it legalism. That somehow having to improve yourself or follow the letter of the Word is somehow adding to the gospel. In my computer’s dictionary it defines legalism as, “excessive adherence to law or formula; THEOLOGY- dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.” Hmm, very interesting. I depend on moral law to live my life, I don’t just have faith that I am doing it all right. If that were all that was required, why do have a Bible with 66 books worth of information? Obviously, God has a plan and a way of doing things. However, I can’t take that Bible and do all the right things without any faith, for faith without works is dead, James 2: 14-26.

This has lately become so important to me as I read about headcover, modesty, staying at home…without these commands being from God I am wasting my time. If these commands are from God, then I am wasting every minute that I am not obeying them! I can see that my path of sanctification is going here: to learn to be a woman of God; to dress the way that God wants me to dress (even when it doesn’t follow current trends), to submit where He wants me to (even though its unpopular), to live my life in a way that is, at its very heart, different. I want to call attention to God to glorify Him and His perfect order of things. My flesh gets in the way and needs to be removed. The question remains now, am I prepared for the cost?