Jenster's Musings

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How Incrediby Cool Is This??

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:18 AM :: 5 People musing:

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Good Day??

I think today was a pretty good day despite the fact we decided to attend the new 8:00 service this morning. We've been going to the 11:30 service from the beginning, but now that we've outgrown our parking lot and building and need to spread out the attendance, the church has added a fourth service - 8:00. A couple weeks ago they asked for volunteers and Todd made me write on the attendance card that we would go to the 8:00 service until the new building is finished in April. APRIL! 8:00! A!M!

In case you're new to the party, I do not do mornings very well. So I consider this a sacrifice for Jesus because that's how I roll.

A nice little surprise was seeing my friend, Beans, at the same service. She came and sat with us so that was good.

Today's message was the first in a series called Everything I Learned About Life I Learned From The Beatles. That went a long way in assuaging my gripey, too-early, caffeine-deprived self because I love me some Beatles. Today's song was Help!, one of my favorites. Brian Jones, the pastor, transitioned nicely from the rock song to Psalm 121.

I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Another score! This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I was challenged to memorize it several years ago in a women's bible study, only to cling to it and make it my anthem, if you will, when I was diagnosed. Funny thing is I just commented this very thing on our women's blog about prayers and such yesterday.

One more bonus about going to the 8:00 service is that we were home about the time we usually start getting ready for church. Sunday mornings have been slow and lazy, but I actually like having a longer day. Especially when it's rainy like today. Even if it does mean I have to get up earlier than I think is appropriate on God's day of rest.

I've also had some moments today I don't necessarily enjoy. I'm working on two separate writing projects, both dealing with cancer, and it makes me go places I'd rather forget about. But I know I have to - not just for the writing, but because ignoring the still raw spots don't make them go away. And I keep thinking I'm past the hurt, but obviously I'm not. Oh, it's very true that time heals old wounds, but the scars never completely fade.

But this stirring of emotions wasn't enough to ruin my day. Strangely, I think it added to the goodness. Because even though these memories remind me of sad and sometimes terrible things, they also remind me that my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The whole time I was in the bad and scary place he watched over me, never sleeping even a second. And it just doesn't get any gooder than that.

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:58 AM :: 11 People musing:

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fun Little Meme

A couple weeks ago Cheryl at Life with Cheryl tagged me for this fun little meme. Apparently I had a two-week senior moment because I totally forgot about it until last night. So without further ado, here we go...

Ten years ago I was:

Loving life! Todd and I had been married ten years, Taylor was 6 and Katie was 4. What incredibly fun ages! Taylor was in 1st grade and Katie was in preschool along with several of my friends' kids. Every Thursday we would take our kids to preschool and then meet at the cute little coffee shop around the corner. It got to where the people who worked there knew what we were going to order. Good times. In fact, some of the best times. (Wouldn't you agree Rhonda, Beth, Shelly, Kim -- who am I missing??)

Five things on today's To Do List:

1. Laundry. (Just like Cheryl said, why is this ALWAYS on my daily list?)

2. Dust the first floor, not to be confused with the basement which is really the first floor.

3. Vacuum the first floor (see #2 for clarification) and the stairs.

4. Sweep and mop the kitchen.

5. Work on the CLEAR website.

A snack I enjoy:

Peanut M&Ms.

Things I would do if I were a millionaire:

* Give more to church
* Support my beloved charities more
* Support other charities I like but can't afford to right now
* Decorate my house exactly the way I want to
* Do a little remodeling to the house
* Travel a LOT

Places I have lived:

* SE Pennsylvania
* Central Arkansas
* Las Cruces, New Mexico
* Torrance, California

- That's the West, the Southwest, The South and the East. While I'd love to hit every region, I think I'd rather just stay put now.

Now who should I tag? I'm going to say everybody because I'd love to know these things about all of you! So if you do this meme please let me know.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:13 PM :: 6 People musing:

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah...

I feel like I've got nothing to say. "When have you ever let that stop you before?", you might be asking. And you're right! I've never let the absence of something to say stop me. So welcome to today's installment of Mundane Musings.

Remember a few weeks ago I was all pumped about starting Weight Watchers and I was going to take it one day at a time and yadda, yadda, blase' skippy? I did great for two weeks. Really awesome. Then there was a dinner and then a birthday and then another dinner and then a barbecue and then a movie AND a dinner and then, well, you get the idea. I've totally dropped the ball. Add to that trying to cut costs where we can and you have no more Weight Watchers' membership.

Like my sister said, why pay someone to tell her what she already knows. I still like the accountability and the tools Weight Watchers offers, but my actions are not making the money worth it. So I'm going to try this on my own and see what happens. I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes this morning and hope to do another 30 minutes later today. I figure if I'm halfway careful about what I eat and do something for an hour a day then maybe, just maybe I'll be able to lose some of this.

This whole weight thing can make me very maudlin. (Maybe I should call today's installment Maudlin and Mundane Musings.) Again, it's all a matter of focus. When I focus on the fact my Fall weather clothes are tight and the image in the mirror and the discomfort while trying to tie the shoes, etc., I slip into that familiar funk. BUT when I focus on what really matters - my relationship with Christ - then it's not so bad. I'm sad to say my focus has been a little off. AGAIN. Thank God for my Home Team! They're like spiritual crack to the junky I am.

Which brings me to another musing. I've been busy going about God's business - working on the women's website for church. I LOVE it. I have so much to learn, but I'm having a blast. The challenge is exciting and watching this idea take shape is awesome.

That said, it's so easy for me to think I'm nurturing my spiritual life when I'm doing something like this - some type of service - or listening to Christian music or having deep discussions with friends or whatever. Those things are great in and of themselves, but you (read "I") can do these things and totally ignore God, fooling myself into thinking I'm doing what I need to.

Okay. So I guess that's a little confession for you I wasn't actually planning on making. Onto safer topics and more mundane...

Our weather is gorgeous. I love Fall. Seriously love it. Admire, adore, cherish, embrace, enamor, fancy, idolize, like and delight in autumn. I think we may be done with the 80's altogether. We may even be done with the upper 70's. Oh please, from my fingers to God's ears.

October is shaping up to be a busy but incredibly fun month. Something awesome in every single weekend. November will hopefully be a month of rest. Except my folks are coming to visit and we have a few fun things planned then, too.

Let's see. What else can I bore you with blog about? OH! Those of you who have been around a while may remember the mysterious skin issues I had the first half of 2007. I saw a couple different doctors and no biopsy, no test, no body could figure out what was wrong with me. Then the problem just kind of went away. Well, it's back. Thankfully not anything like it was last year, but I do get these terribly itchy welts in the same area for no apparent reason. They they just disappear. It's the craziest thing.

Alright. I think that's enough of nothing for now. But I leave you with pictures of Sookie and her BFF Brady. Brady comes over nearly every morning around 9:00 and they play for 30 minutes to an hour. Then they go home and take really good naps! Just like kids.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:51 AM :: 10 People musing:

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Friday, September 19, 2008


When I was getting ready to start my second round of chemotherapy, Taxotere, my oncologist told me most people had an easier time with it than the adromycin/cytoxin I had been given for the first round. However, joint pain or stiffness is a common side effect.

I had my last Taxotere treatment at the end of November 2005 and it wasn't until late February or early March of 2006 that I didn't need a steaming hot shower to loosen up enough to walk half way normal. Still, I have dealt with a certain degree of stiffness ever since.

After the chemo I was put on Tamoxifen. When my estrogen levels finally came down following the removal of my ovaries last year I was switched to Arimidex. One of its side effects is joint pain or stiffness. Mornings and late evenings are the worst, making my fingers hard to manipulate.

So this is my new Arimindex prescription:

Crossposted at Mothers With Cancer

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:51 PM :: 8 People musing:

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Incriminating Evidence

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:24 AM :: 18 People musing:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Girl and/or Flower Power

There's this girl - we'll call her "Girl", which is really funny when you consider her screen name is Girl - who moved to this area fairly recently. A couple weeks ago or so ago I thought I saw her at the grocery store with a new do. I wasn't positive it was her, I only caught fleeting glimpses of her and never straight on, so I followed her around in a non-creepy kind of way. Mostly because if Girl saw me and saw that I saw her, but I didn't say anything then that would be totally rude. But I didn't want to just come up behind her and be all, "Hi Girl! What's going on?" and then have this person who may not even be Girl turn around and think I'm crazy. Her hair was short and spikey and Girl could totally pull it off so I really thought it was probably her. My attempts at stealth were unsuccessful, however, and I left not knowing for sure if it was her. A few days later I saw her at church with the same hairstyle she'd had the week before so there was my answer. It wasn't Girl at the store.

Fast forward to today. As I was putting my groceries on the belt a woman came up behind me in line. She was looking at magazines and stuff so I didn't get a good look at her and I thought it might be Girl. She had a ball cap on, but the hair looked very Girlish. Again, I just wasn't sure if it was her or not. This person was wearing glasses and I've never seen Girl with glasses. But she had a pretty tattoo on her arm and Girl has a pretty tattoo - I just couldn't remember what Girl's tattoo is. I got up to the cashier while the woman was putting her stuff on the belt and I said, "Girl?" She just kept putting her stuff on the belt as if I wasn't talking to her. So I don't think it was Girl.

Hey, Girl. I promise I'm not trying to stalk you OR your doppelganger. Though isn't a doppelganger an evil twin? 'Cause these ladies didn't look evil. Geesh. The next time it probably will be you in the store and I'll just totally ignore you because I don't want to make a fool out of myself. So you'll have to say hello first, 'kay?

And how's this for information you wish you never had. When you come out of the grocery store parking lot you can either turn left or right on a big street or go straight into a restaurant parking lot. As I waited for the light to turn green so I could turn left, a nattily dressed man on a cell phone walked out of the restaurant directly in front of me. He turned around and picked his seat, if you know what I mean. Right there in front of God and country! Why didn't he do that inside the still-closed restaurant instead of outside on a crowded street??

Okay. Enough of that.

Look what I found:

Now how did that happen, I wonder?

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:33 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From Russia With Love

Last night was one of my not so good sleep nights. I blame it on TV and books. Let me explain.

I'm currently reading an epic war-time love story called The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons. Here's the back blurb:

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they.

The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander.

Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it.

Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Mesmerizing from the very first page to the final, breathtaking end, The Bronze Horseman brings alive the story of two indomitable, heroic spirits and their great love that triumphs over the devastation of a country at war.

It's the kind of story that gets into your mind and won't let go. The characters won't leave me, I hold my breath as they endure the bombings and the lack of food, I'm fascinated by the culture and I'm enamoured by the beautiful images and horrified by the terrible scenes the pages paint. Lucky for me it's the first book in a trilogy. Unfortunately, this first paper back is nearly 900 pages.

And to add to the intrigue of the book is the fact that, while the author was born in Russia, she has lived in the US since she was ten. Okay. That's not the interesting thing. The interesting - and very frustrating - thing is that her books are NOT AVAILABLE IN THE US! What's up with that? Or if they are, they're usually very expensive. I was lucky enough to have a friend mail it to me, but this is the kind of book I want to call my very own.

Okay. Enough of that rant. Let's move on.

*Edited to add - I just ordered all three books from Doubleday Bookclub. They were 20 cents each. Of course, now I'm a member of the Doubleday Bookclub. But is that so bad?*

Katie was sick yesterday so she stayed home. Gilmore Girls was on from noon until nearly 6:00. Lorelai and Rory, Rory and Lorelai, sassy banter, sarcastic wit, All.Day.Long. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm a fan so it wasn't a trial or anything.

The problem, however, was that I dreamt about the Gilmore Girls in Russia the entire night. I can't even tell you any more than that. Just that the Gilmores were in Russia and were speaking with Russian accents. And then I would wake up and try to compose the blog post I was going to write about the Gilmores in Russia.

Why is it the posts I compose while I'm semi-conscious are brilliant, yet when I surface to full awareness the brilliance slips from my grasp and all that's left is the mundane?

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:23 AM :: 11 People musing:

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Wrong


This morning was the women's brunch at church. It was, as usual, awesome. I always come away feeling so... so... oh, I don't know. Pumped. Stoked. Charged. Psyched. Wanting more. (Beans - I'm so sad you weren't there! I missed you!!) Thankfully, there is plenty more to come. And plenty more for me to share as we go. In fact, I will probably do a more thorough post on today's brunch at a later date, but I've got other stuff to share today. Just know this morning's event was The Good. Or maybe I should say The Really Good.


My sleep quality hasn't been the greatest lately. It seems like the only time I get a good night's sleep is when I take Advil PM. But then I have a hard time getting up in the morning so I have to make sure I have about nine hours before I have to be awake. Which means I very rarely take the medicine and last night was no exception.

The alarm was set for 6:10 (because 6:10 sounds so much better than 6:00 on a Saturday) and I went to bed a little after ten. I slept great! I vaguely remember lightly surfacing from a deep sleep and feeling overjoyed at the wonderful night of sleep I was having.

I slept so deeply that I never heard the back window of Todd's truck break when the fist-sized rock was hurled through it. Nor did I hear the vandals nearly rip the dashboard off as they attempted to get to the stereo. I didn't even hear the doorbell when the policeman rang it somewhere between 4:00 and 4:30 this morning and I didn't notice that Todd had gotten up, mumbled something about the door and padded downstairs to see what was going on.

Very shortly after that, however, I did wake up and I watched the policeman and Todd look through his truck. I saw the policeman get in the squad car and drive off while Todd came up the walkway and into the house. Apparently some thugs came through our safe, quiet neighborhood, smashing car windows and performing mayhem upon vehicles parked on the street. As far as anyone could tell, however, nothing was taken.

We decided to stay here instead of going to New Jersey, hoping our insurance guy would get in touch with us today. Todd doubtfully called the concert venue to see if we could get a refund or a credit for our tickets and had to leave a message. Surprisingly, a woman from the box office called and while she wasn't able to give us a refund, we will get to choose a future event so we weren't out the money for the tickets.

I suppose I maybe got a little cocky in my last post, talking about how you shouldn't be jealous of me and all that. I've learned my lesson.


One of Katie's good friends from church lives next door to her grandparents. They also attend our church and are loved by everyone who knows them. Her grandfather is going through chemotherapy for brain cancer. As if that's not enough stress, the township they live in is wanting their land for another park, even though there are parks aplenty already. And the township isn't wanting to pay anywhere near fair market value. This is the first time I've ever known someone who may lose their home because of eminent domain.

I know most of you who read this blog don't live near here, but this can happen anywhere. You can read more about the atrocious situation at this website which has been set up for the purpose of disseminating information. There is also an on-line petition you can sign if you'd like to. But even if you don't want to read the website or sign the petition, please pray for these families.

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:49 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Friday, September 12, 2008


So? How is everybody? Big plans for the weekend? I know some of you on the Gulf are taking a forced get away. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Please be safe!

I've got an awesome weekend planned. I feel bad, too, because when I talked to my mom yesterday I told her there wasn't anything going on. In my defense I had just woken up from an unplanned nap (you know how you're just sitting in a comfy chair, hanging with your daughter and she's watching some show on wedding dresses or maybe cakes and it's slightly cool with the door opened so you have a light blanket on you and then all of a sudden BAM! You're asleep?) and the ol' noggin had been working so hard prior to said unplanned nap that I had a really hard time jump starting it. So, SORRY MOM!

Okay. So here's the deal. First of all my church is launching a new women's program tomorrow and I've been working on the website. We have the brunch tomorrow morning where all will be revealed, including the website, and I'm so excited about this. Women's ministry has always been a passion of mine and now it is coming to fruition and I've been blessed to be a part of it from the ground up. But that's all I'm going to say about that. Oh, now don't worry. You'll be hearing more about it later.

Then after Katie and I get home from the brunch (she's babysitting) we're packing the car (very lightly) and driving up to some town in New Jersey I can never remember the name of to see what is sure to be an incredibly awesome concert.

The Music Builds tour with Third Day, Switchfoot, Robert Randolph, & Jars of Clay. Don't be jealous. Well, I suppose you can be jealous for a minute, but then you're just going to have to get over it.

Yeah. It's good to be me.

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:12 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Were You Doing?

I'm sure each one of us can remember in vivid detail what we were doing seven years ago today. My friend Gina, better known as No Surrender, wrote about what she was doing that morning here.

I just happened to be watching Good Morning America when the first plane hit. Remember that horrible feeling as we watched the footage of something that had just happened. What a tragic accident. Except "accident" just didn't feel right.

Everything changed when we watched the live feed of the second plane hitting the building. The gut clenching horror of knowing it was deliberate. In that same instant was the panic at the thought my husband was on a plane at that very moment. Where were these planes from, where were they going, were there other terrorists on other planes in other parts of the country? My mind raced and prayed he would call me NOW. My prayers were answered very shortly after when he called to say he had landed safely in Atlanta.

And still the horror continued. I watched everything that day against my wishes. My desire was to turn off the TV and pretend it hadn't happened -- wasn't happening. But for thousands of people - in New York, around the country, around the world - that option wasn't available to them. They were living the horror. How could I leave them to face the tragedy alone? I realize not one of them would know I was in it with them - safe on my comfortable couch in the middle of America, knowing exactly where my family was. But I knew and I had to stay the course for them.

So I sat there, feeling numb, tears streaming down my face. Me and tens, or maybe hundreds of thousands of other people. And I prayed. It's probably more accurate to say I cried out. "Oh God. Oh God. Oh God." I don't know if I was begging, pleading, asking. "Oh God," was all I could think of to say. But those words weren't spoken lightly. They were directed to the Almighty. There are just times when it's the only thing a person can say to Him.

Then all flights were grounded. Todd's conference was cancelled and he was stuck in Atlanta. It took everything in me to keep from checking Taylor and Katie out of school, loading up on M&Ms and other designated road trip foods, and heading to Georgia to pick him up. You know how it is when tragedy strikes and all you want is your family right there with you. But he talked me out of it and he managed to get home a couple days later on a Greyhound bus. (After that he wished I had driven to get him!)

You can't turn on the TV today without seeing memorials for the people lost to us in 9/11. We're still mourning the tragedy and the reckless loss of life -- the loss of life as we all knew it. And it still hurts - even for those of us in the periphery. But we remember and may we never forget.

Mused by Jenster :: 12:36 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby...

Today my sweetheart celebrated his 44th birthday. It's been a long time since the first birthday I celebrated with him - his twentieth. Where have the years gone?

Todd chose to have stacked enchiladas tonight instead of going out dinner. So Katie and I made his favorite meal. I feel almost like I cheated because it's so dang easy to make! But he requested it so I suppose it still counts.

After clean up was the fun part. Gifts!! I've been dying for weeks to give him his presents. The first thing was something he'd asked for and I think he pretty much knew he was getting. It was fun to give him because he's wanted this for so long and he finally got it.

An official and personalized Flyers jersey with his lucky number "9" (because he was born on 9-9, weighed 9 pounds and lived in apartment 9) and a "C" for Captain on the front. Last Christmas he gave me a women's Flyers jersey with "Jenster" on the back and an "A" for Assistant on the front.

A few weeks ago while he was on a business trip I went to an antique store and bought this chair. I was so excited because it was exactly what I was looking for. I took it to a local park along with Todd's almost greatest love - his Martin guitar, Arwyn - and took pictures.

I took some of these photos and a few others, framed them and wrapped them up.

And I was finally able to explain to him why I bought the old chair (which I happen to love in my entry way!)

After that was a family session on Rock Band, but we only got to play two songs because Sookie was unhappy. I guess because all the parts were taken and there was nothing for her to do.

Finally it was time for cake!! Katie loves to watch Ace of Cakes and other baking shows so she wanted to do the cake. She thought we should do tiers, but the closest we could do was a 9 inch round and an 8 inch round. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out quite how we both had imagined.

I looks a little bit like a fresh cow patty. But you can't judge a book by it's cover OR a cake by it's look. It had a yum factor of about 9.9.

And last, but most definitely not least, our neighbors gave him a super soft and snuggly Flyers blanket. I had already downloaded my photos so I don't have a picture of it.

All in all it was a good birthday celebration for him. Next year we'll have to do something big for him because his birthday will fall on 9/9/09 AND he'll be 45, which when you add the two numbers together makes 9!

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Mused by Jenster :: 12:22 PM :: 19 People musing:

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Don't Judge Me

I don't appreciate judgmental people. Especially if they're self-righteously judging. We had a guest speaker last week at church and he talked about judging the situation and not being judgmental. Sounds like semantics, but it makes perfect sense. Along the same lines as hate the sin, love the sinner.

Here's a very extreme example of what makes me want to cry. You may or may not remember Matthew Shepard, a homosexual boy who was heinously murdered because of his sexual orientation. While that's horrible, that's not where I'm going. Murder is horrible no matter what the situation and whether it's labeled a hate crime or not. What was truly awful was the crowd across the street from his funeral. A group of so-called Christians held up signs which said things like "Matthew Shepard Is In Hell" and "God Hates Faggots". I can hardly bring myself to type those words. I know God was weeping that day. (Please friends. Whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not up for debate here. It has nothing to do with my point so please don't go into it in the comments. Thank you.)

My therapist friend, Cristie, and I talked about being judgmental at last week's session Starbuck's get together. I lamented mentioned the fact that when I first had that new Christian zeal I was very judgmental. Everything was black and white and you were either with us or against us. As I've grown closer to God I've realized it's not that simple.

Just because I'm a Christian and I live by a certain set of standards does not mean everyone else does. And just because I'm a Christian does not mean I always, every minute of every day, live by those standards I hold so dear.

Paul used the example of the adulterous woman who was going to be stoned until Jesus said let those without sin throw the first stone. Everyone walked away. But the truly nonjudgmental Jesus did not judge her. She knew what she was doing was wrong. All he said was to go and sin no more. No speech on the evils of adultery. No hellfire or brimstone sermon. Just go on your way, but stop doing this stuff.

So Cristie and I are talking about this stuff and I'm all, "I used to be pretty judgmental", when it hit me. I'm still freakin' self righteous and judgmental! Oh, I have plenty of compassion for people who are doing things they ought not to be doing. But I judge the people who are judging them! Just like the people who were holding up those signs at Matthew Shepard's funeral! I don't believe anyone can argue that what they were doing was right. I'm not saying that at all. Obviously, they're misinformed. Sadly, they hurt so many people that day. Even more sadly, they really hurt Christianity that day.

What it comes down to is this. We are ALL God's children. He loves all of us, regardless of what we do. The concept that no sin is greater than any other sin is so hard to grasp. Which is why He's God and we're not. But that concept puts it all in perspective. I am no better than this person or that person, so what gives me the right to be judgmental? I don't want them judging me for the sin in my life. And folks, there's plenty.

Several years ago when Todd and I were in a Bible Study group with other couples I brought up something Madonna had done with a contemptuous sneer. A very good friend of mine said she felt sorry for Madonna because she just didn't get it. How simple is that? She wasn't saying what Madonna was doing was okay or acceptable. But she had compassion for her because she didn't know any better.

So I'm going to try not to be judgmental of the people who are being judgmental. Because I've been there. It's all a learning process. The most godly disciple in the world is still learning how to be like Jesus. So I give myself permission to accept that I don't have all the answers, but I'm learning. Just like everyone else.

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Mused by Jenster :: 12:13 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Friday, September 05, 2008


Todd and I watched Stand Up 2 Cancer last night and I found it emotionally draining. Cancer statistics are staggering. Mind blowing. Unreal. In the United States alone 1500 people die from the disease each day. One person each minute. And yet the means to end this insidious illness are within our grasp. For the very first time I've started thinking I may see the cure in my lifetime.

Before I was diagnosed I wasn't afraid of cancer. It was something that happened to other people. I was young and healthy and there was no reason to think I would end up with it. But I did get it and a year later my mom got it. It changed the way I think and not necessarily for the better. My rose colored glasses shattered and no amount of duct tape will ever fix them.

If only we could find the cure. If we could stop cancer before it starts. If we could obliterate the disease and talk about it past tense like polio and yellow fever. Maybe then I wouldn't have this niggle of fear in the recesses of my heart. The fear that my daughter or my son or my husband or my sisters or my father, ad infinitum, will hear those same words I heard a little over three years ago.

The program last night was a lot of things - sad, moving, inspiring, exciting. The individual stories tugged on my heart, the stories of children with cancer tore at my soul. How incredible it would be to have a cure and make these stories a thing of the past.

I want a cure. I want it now. I don't want to have the nagging questions in the back of my mind. Will I get cancer again? Will my daughter or sisters end up with breast cancer? Has my family paid their cancer dues or will we have to ante up again? Geesh. Imagine a world where we don't have those kinds of worries. How awesome would that be?

Just like everything else, research isn't free. Which is the point of this particular organization. They talked about how the March of Dimes was started to fund polio research and find the cure. At that time the plea was for every person in the U.S. to send in one dime and that would be enough money for the research. And look what happened. Polio in America is a distant nightmare. This is the same thing.

Last night 100% of the donations went directly to cancer research. I'm not sure if that was just during that hour or if it continues even still, but if you'd like to make a donation you can click on the link above.


Some of you also read Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity. She has blogged a lot about a very special little boy named Julian Avery. Julian lost his fight with cancer in January. There was a part last night where Halle Berry, Casey Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Forrest Whitaker read a short piece about different cancer patients and their picture was shown on the screen behind them. All of a sudden there was Julian on the screen and Forrest Whitaker read a piece his mother, Mimi, had written. If it hadn't already been personal, it sure was after that. Not that I ever knew Julian or his family, but I'd been reading about him and everything he was going through and mourned the day I learned he passed away.

As sad as pediatric cancer is - and it's the saddest of all forms - there is hope. Hope for a cure. If you can't pay for a cure, you can at least pray for a cure.

Crossposted at Mothers With Cancer

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:16 PM :: 16 People musing:

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A Little Less Random...

Hannah is supposed to hit here tonight. Since yesterday afternoon I've been getting text messages and email warnings from the National Weather Service about heavy rains and flooding in our area all day tomorrow. We're supposed to have the kids who work the tech booth on Sunday nights over for burgers tomorrow evening.

Most of you who know me in real life know I'm a pretty laid back, worry free, Hakuna Matata kind of gal. But bad weather always concerns me greatly, especially when 16 and 17 year olds are going to be driving in it. Of course, the other parents know their children's driving skills better than I do and they may not have a problem with it.

Addendum - They're still coming, but now they're going to be picked up.


Guess what this morning was! Go ahead! Guess!

Yes, it was Friday morning. Yes, it was the 5th. Good answers. But not the right one. It was the first get together following summer for my Homies!! Not my Little Homies. My Homies. And I won't call them my Big Homies, because we're all women and will take great offense to being called Big. So it's just my Homies, as opposed to the Little Homies, who are nearly all taller than me.

Today was just about getting together and talking and eating ('cause we do those things really well), but next Friday we'll start a short series on the book of James. I may go purchase some steel toed boots before next Friday because he always steps on my feet.

I don't think I can adequately express how happy I am about starting back up. You know how hectic summer is and we just don't manage to get together very often. But I love being in the routine and getting together with these ladies weekly. It was such a pleasure to just be with them for a few hours this morning. And now we have two new victims ladies joining the group.

All is right in my little corner of the world.


Except... I hate election year. The same kind of hate I reserve for mosquitoes. And humid, sweaty weather. I tire quickly of seeing the candidates at every turn. I become easily exasperated when I hear democrats and republicans berating each other.

This is NOT a political post. I may talk religion sometimes, but I refuse to talk politics. Other than to say this. Regardless of what side of the party line you stand on, please don't tell me the other side is dead wrong or evil or stupid or anything like that. Call me Pollyanna if you must, but I firmly believe both sides have the same basic goals. To keep America safe and to take care of Americans. The problem is simply they don't agree on how to do that.

I'm not terribly excited about any of the candidates. I see good points and bad points to all of them. I suppose I'll do what I usually do. Choose who I perceive to be the lesser of two evils, figuratively speaking.

Okay. That's all the political mumbojumbo I'll be writing about. Until something else strikes my fancy, anyway.


Last, but most definitely not least, are a few Sookie pictures.

One of her new favorite places. This way she can see upstairs and into the kitchen:

Watching the kids walk up the street to the bus stop. This is her pretty permanent place in the morning until the last bus has left:

Here's she's taking a nap with Dad on the futon in the basement:

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:05 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Whole Lotta Bupkis

My caffeine addiction is out of control again. I'm not really drinking all that much coffee, but I HAVE to have it. So it looks like it's time I had another surgery. The narcotics make caffeine withdrawal so much easier.

Both my big toes have ingrown toenails. I've had two ingrown toenails removed in the past. One time I totally screwed up the medication in the middle of the night. I doubled my Vicodin and skipped my antibiotic. Taylor was in kindergarten at the time. I knew I was too loopy to drive him to school, but when I told him he would have to ride with the neighbor down the street he started crying. I was in no position to reason with him or myself, so I said, "Okay." And like a major idiot, I strapped my small children into the car and drove Taylor to school, thankfully without incident.

All that is to say I think maybe I'll call the podiatrist and see if the doctor here is as good about prescribing pain medication as the last guy. Because, you know, I need to get off caffeine.


Did you see where Swedish scientists have isolated the male bonding gene? This is what the on-line article I read said:

MONDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Whether a man has one type of gene versus another could help decide whether he's good "husband material," a new study suggests.

What I want to know is, how is this helpful? If you're a single woman in the dating field do you ask your date for a DNA sample for genetic testing?


The season premier of Desperate Housewives is in just a few weeks! Hello, Guilty Pleasure!


A little over a year ago I was complaining about being too much woman because my ovaries would not die. Now I've decided I'm too much man. I'm going to have to call my favorite tattooist and laser hair remover person for another go at my underarms. I'm not looking forward to having that done again (because I don't get pharmaceuticals there), but I AM looking forward for another excuse to go into Philadelphia.


This week is getting very warm and humid. Not a good combination. The mosquitoes seem to like it, though. And while "hate" is a strong word that I don't like to use very often, I hate mosquitoes. With an unrelenting passion.


Sookie doesn't like school. No, silly. She's not going to school. The kids are and that makes her sad. She watches them walk up the street to the bus stop and whines. Then she plops down and sighs loudly - her version of the flounce and pout.


I'm off to Starbuck's to meet Cristie. I've been practicing ordering a Grande Skinny Mocha Latte instead of my usual. Any other time I've thought about ordering something else I end up zoning once I step up to the counter and say, "Venti White Chocolate Mocha with whip" just like a robot. Not today, though. Grande Skinny Mocha Latte. Grande Skinny Mocha Latte. Grande Skinny Mocha Latte.


There's probably a bajillion other mundane things to tell you, but I don't want to get the Grande Skinny Mocha Latte out of my head.


Mused by Jenster :: 9:11 AM :: 12 People musing:

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Monday, September 01, 2008


Last night was a family affair at our church's youth group. My son played electric bass in the worship band, my husband worked the tech booth, I registered the students and my daughter? My daughter blew me away.

We have a large number of kids who come on Sunday nights so the youth is divided into two groups. At 6:00 the junior high kids (6th through 8th) have a worship service and the senior high kids just hang out. At 7:00 they switch. We are in between youth ministers right now and we have these incredible college students who are filling in while we're looking for the perfect fit. Last night was April's turn to speak and her topic was worrying.

She had called Katie earlier in the week to ask her if she would be willing to come up on stage and talk about her worries from a few years ago. Katie agreed so last night I stepped in to hear what she had to say. I hate to be redundant, but she blew me away.

Katie will be 14 in less than two months. She has a beautiful singing voice and I'm always amazed when she gets up and sings in front of a bunch of people. But I'd never heard her speak in front of a crowd before. My baby girl was replaced by an eloquent and poised young lady. She said she was a little nervous speaking to the high school kids because they're older, but you sure couldn't tell. She seemed so calm and confident and I was one very proud mama.

She told the audiences when she was ten her dad got a job in Pennsylvania so he quit his job in Little Rock. She said how she worried about moving so far away and not knowing anybody. She talked about how her mom got breast cancer before her dad had even started his new job and how she was worried her mother wasn't going to be around. She said her father came home every other weekend and how afraid she was her relationship with "Daddy" was going to change and not be close anymore. *sigh* So much for a ten-year-old to worry about. But she also talked about how her mom is okay now, how she has great friends and likes it up here, how she hasn't lost touch with her friends from Arkansas, and how she and her dad are as close as ever.

Apparently nobody told Dad what she was going to be talking about so it caught him totally unawares. Poor guy. I was standing on the opposite side of the tech booth and could hear him sniffing while one of the teenage boys who work in there with him was patting him on the back. Thankfully I was prepared, though it still choked me up. I'm not sure if it was because of what she said or because of the overwhelming pride I felt. Probably a bit of both.

Or maybe it was simply the fact that she's okay. All the trauma this family has been through and she's okay. She didn't come away scarred. She's a little less naive and a little more aware. But she's okay. And isn't that what every mother wants for her child?

Crossposted at Mothers with Cancer

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:46 PM :: 15 People musing:

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