Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cleaning Up - Taking Down....

Saturday was both a lazy day and a screaming productive day. Mike was out and about until 2 a.m. on Friday night. He did this so that he could avoid the office on Saturday and spend the day with us. EVERYONE slept in - long and deep.

Jared took Arielle and Nolan and they went in search of a yard to rake. They found one "customer" who paid them $20 to rake her front yard. I'm not sure what the younger two needed the $ for but I know that Jamin and Jared are considering a mission's trip in March. (Meanwhile, back in Spokane BreAnne reports 5 feet of snow and shoveling the church roof).

We were blessed to receive a call from old local friends, Ian and Becki. Ian said they had two hours before they had to hit the highway. We quickly made plans for them to come by for a BBQ and visit. Would you believe when they got here three of their little ones were asleep? We know what its like to travel on a "schedule" with little ones. I visited with Becki quickly, hugged necks, Zander played with Nathaniel and I got to hold Elizabeth, the baby. Then they were off for the highway to get as far as possible while the little ones slept.

Mike and Jared returned from the store (picking up meat for BBQ) and we began to take down decorations. There are no photos. We were focused on work - even I. ::snort:: Mike took the boys and Stacia outside. We women tackled the inside. By 7 p.m. it was done. I chuckled at the little touches of Christmas we left out. I always leave a nativity out. The family asked me to leave the Jesus stocking out for use throughout the year. I leave little white lights on some scrubby pine in the corner year round. Arielle wanted to leave the snowmen out. I've developed an ATTITUDE about winter in TX. It's NOT winter...forget the snowmen and flakes...think leaves and lady bugs. ::snort::

Leaving Christmas out - that could be a separate post. I do this deliberately to remind us that Christmas is a season of the heart and not the calendar. Yesterday, I realized that taking down decorations in our home often meant, "going back to Faith Academy" or some such farewell. I wonder if THAT is another reason that I leave a bit of Christmas out year round - it reminds me of family who isn't nearby. Enough analyzing.....I can tell I've been reading a self help book. ::snort::

Something is missing? All my trashy treasures...the old gold pan, the old railway spikes, the gone fishing sign and the old fishing pole.....I sort of like the empty look but will look for things tomorrow. LOL

I spent much of the day jumping on google docs - trying to send our United Order form. Deadlines are looming and more than 1/2 our group doesn't have their order form. Grrrr... "server error".

As usual, something is found after all the boxes are in the attic.
This year it's Bartholomew's Passage, the camel from Kuwait given to Mike for our Nativity by one of the interpreters, and the donkey from our Fisher Price Nativity. I put the Fisher Price Donkey with the Willow Tree nativity that we left out this year. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight
Karen Scalf Linamen

Blog Tour and Giveaway

Publisher's Take: Every woman longs for change in some area of her life. Unfortunately, fear, fatigue, adversity, heartbreak, past failures, and even the choices of other people get in the way and make lasting change seem out of reach. Having been there herself, Karen Linamen knows exactly how to take readers from where they are to where they want to be.

In Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, she examines 52 powerful actions readers can apply to any change they long to embrace. Her insights apply to career, finances, personal health and fitness, relationships, faith—in fact, every facet of a woman’s life.

Blending laugh-out-loud humor and sage advice, Linamen shows readers the link between dissatisfaction and transformation, how to remodel habits, the little-known truth about procrastination, how to generate the energy they need to pursue the life they desire, how to benefit from options and resources they never dreamed they had, and much, much more!

Author Bio: Karen Scalf Linamen is a popular speaker and the celebrated author of ten books for women, including Due to Rising Energy Costs the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off and Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt. She has been featured on more than one hundred radio programs, including FamilyLife Today. Publishers Weekly describes her as “funny, forthright and unforgettable.” Linamen lives with her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit her website at

My Take: To use a line from Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, reading Karen is like reading a cross between Dr. Laura and Dave Barry. I'm a bit late posting this because: 1. the girls were here and 2. I was dissatisfied with this book about 1/2 way through reading it and wasn't sure if I'd recommend the book or not. I was impatient for some "meat" from the Word to "bring home" several of the author's points. This may be MY personal problem. Karen did not say a THING that I would say is "anti-Christian", this book is a quick read, it's funny, she's inspirational, but personally I would have liked a bit more back up from the Word.

That aside.....reading this book is like sitting down with your best friend at Baker's Street (local coffee shop) and sharing heart to heart over your favorite drink. There are things shared in this book that I will ponder for some time to come.

~I've been motivated to go beyond what I term "jello goals" to making concrete choices and decisions. I'm motivated to work a simple 30 min (or maybe 15 min) a day towards some of my big goals.

~When speaking of procrastination, Karen, states that instead of asking, "WHY" don't I get to it, we need to ask "WHAT" do I feel when I think of doing this? Often a looming task will make one feel inferior, fearful, fat, like a failure....and so we avoid doing whatever brings on those feelings. Karen humorously talks us through to dealing with the WHATS.

~Here is a quote I've been pondering, "If you know how to use it, your discontent can be a doorway, your pain a portal and vision is your key." p 28.

~Karen leaves us with many outstanding illustrations. One that I plan to remember illustrates our feelings when hurt, wronged etc. She told her daughter that her bitter feelings were her own and she could keep them forever and do what she wanted with them. Then she asked her to picture a crystal vase thrown on the ground and broken. Your feelings are the shattered glass. You can clutch them tight - and cut your hands to shred while you experience ever increasing pain, or you can let the shards slip between your fingers. I thought this was an excellent illustration of how we can deal with pain and bitterness (here is one example where I loved the thoughts, but would have appreciated Karen bringing it home with a few passages of Scripture on choices, forgiveness, bitterness etc).

~When you long for change round up a herd of catalysts rather than pacifiers.

~Another interesting quote which integrates with my Charlotte Mason background, "Addictions are acquired by practicing a certain type of behavior often and excessively. Character is acquired by practicing certain types of behavior often and excessively." Attributed to Matthew Kelly, Rhythm of Life p. 55 (Of course, I also am left with the thought that character is really acquired by coming into contact with Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform me day by day).

~Keep a dream journal. Write down wild, out of the box dreams (ambitions). Occasionally, as you write down wild plans and dreams, ask yourself, "why not?"

~Here is a quote I've already used several times and one that I plan to use as a signature line...."You have built castles in the air.... Now put the foundations under them." Henry David Thoreau

~Between dissatisfaction and transformation is vision.... (Again - where is the role of sanctification, walking out my salvation? Transformation, I believe, may begin with a vision, but I need Him to walk it out.)

There really were quite a few nuggets to ponder in this book. I've struggled with a review because I did like this book....but I also wish it had had a bit "more" to it.

If you'd like a copy of this book please leave a comment. Be sure I can reach you on your blog or leave an email address. I may have two copies to give away, I know I have one. We'll randomly draw a number on Friday.

This is the first book on my 2009 Reading List.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.