Moms & July 4th Giveaways

If you're a mom, be sure to check out 5 Minutes for Mom. These ladies have a plethora of good information, encouragement, tips, humor, great things to buy, and so on.


Another thing they do is give away terrific stuff! Nearly all the time. This time it's to celebrate the 4th of July. So be sure to check out their site (bring a cup of coffee or tea, there's a lot there!) and you might find a giveaway (or two) you're interested in.

Oh, speaking of giving away stuff, I won a book from them this morning! They've started a new column about scrapbooking. The woman who's writing that one has a book called, Real Women Scrap and I won one of five autographed copies! Woo hoo!! That's a fun email to find first thing in the a.m.


Tales From the Scales - Week #7

Yes, I missed last week. Only because I thought I needed new batteries in my scales. Turns out that wasn't the problem. About half of each digit is just not showing any more. Phooey! I am, however, still able to figure out my weight. While nothing monumental, I'm down another 1/2 pound.

That's okay, though. I didn't add all this baggage overnight and it won't come off overnight either. At least it's a step in the right direction!

On a happy note, I'm getting much more water in, eating more fruit & veggies, and had NO DR PEPPER yesterday. Just one today. That's HUGE for me! So I'll just keep on plugging away.


Thrill a Minute Monday

My ever so exciting day went something like this:
  • Slept well (praise God! - see the end of this post)

  • Made iced chai (Tazo Vanilla, of course)

  • Took hubby's phone to him at work

  • Went to the credit union to deposit money & checks

  • Played Zigity with the boys

  • Washed the Durango (wow - I haven't hand washed a car in possibly 16 or 21 years!)

  • Washed jeans

  • Read a few blogs

  • Had a yummy smoothie for lunch (lemon yogurt, berries, protein powder, flax, milk & ice)

  • Chatted with Mom on the phone (82 minutes)

  • Went to the library (2 more Lisa Samson novels)

  • Put fuel in the Durango - it was ONLY $50.00 (how wrong is that?!?!)

  • Bought a cucumber for chef's salads

  • Dried jeans

  • Watered the lawn

  • Prepared and ate salads

  • Played more Zigity with the boys

  • Worked on budget

  • Created a form for hubby for work

  • Read a few more blogs

  • Found a COOL blog on bread

  • Folded laundry

  • Wrote this post (with cool little squares for bullets - all on my own)

  • Going to read and go to sleep

I loved every low-key moment of it!

Some days just need to be like that.


Normal Tomorrow

I think I'll return to blogging tomorrow. For the past few days, I've been in a rather funky mood - maybe I caught it from Sprittibee? Or not. Anything I try and blog about is just depressing and pathetic. So I didn't post. I think I'll return to normal tomorrow, though.

LOL! Like there's such a thing as NORMAL?!?!?

So how do you like me disguised as Link in a Deku mask?

We went to see Pirates 3 this morning. We found out that at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, the theatre is really not very busy at all. No ticket lines, no sold-out show, and no difficulties sitting where you want (next to whom you want). Besides, at matinee prices, we got in plus got snacks for less than it would've cost to just get in the door last night. Makes a big difference when your kids are now considered adults (whatever!) AND prices increase AND they increase prices for weekend nights! It's the first movie we've been to in eons and we had a great time! Even though it's a long movie, we loved it. Right along with the other two Pirates.

We also watched Miss Potter last night (online rental) which is such a charming movie. My boys even liked it! Who'd have thought that at 13 & 12, they'd enjoy such a movie? But they did.

Hopefully tonight I'll get to sleep - during the night. For some absurd reason, I slept until nearly 11:00 a.m. yesterday. Naturally, my body was not at all ready to go to sleep last night at bedtime - it hadn't been up and functioning long enough. Sooooo, it decided to not cooperate in the sleeping department until 4:30 THIS MORNING!! It seems that my body is forgetting who's the boss here! So, tonight I'm sending myself to bed - early. No more of this "not sleeping" nonsense. Besides, if I am too short of sleep, I might start getting really loopy. I might start bossing myself around or something. Who knows what could happen? I sure wouldn't want to be around for the lunacy that could ensue.

p.s. - Just to clarify, we attend church on Saturday nights. Our church has 3 Sunday morning services and 1 (used to be 2) on Saturday night. Hubby runs the sound board on Saturday nights and we don't arrive late and cranky. That's how we went to a movie on Sunday a.m. Not that I have to justify such actions. But I didn't want y'all thinking I was skipping out on God & church in lieu of "Pirates." No way, not this gal.


I Scream, You Scream

Last week I purchased the necessary ingredients for homemade ice cream. It is that time of year, after all, so I wanted to be all set when the mood struck. Father's Day seemed like the perfect evening. My sister, brother-in-law, and nieces were here. A little grilling, a little chilling with the First Scrumptious Batch of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream of the season. Mmmm yummmy!!

Seeing how I am a veteran ice cream maker creator, I deftly whisked my ingredients together in my handy-dandy Pampered Chef 2-quart batter bowl. Then the wonderfully creamy mixture was poured into the can and I added the remaining milk. My sister and I chatted all the while I was preparing this tasty, fabulous concoction. Since it was the first batch of the year, I pulled out my trusty Most-Favorite, Most-Used, Best-Ever Recipes to be sure that I used accurate measurements. The remainder of the year, I'll just know it by heart. And no, I didn't take step-by-step pictures like dear, sweet Barb does. Maybe next time. Or not.

Sadly, my sister and her family had to get home as it was getting a little late, so they did not stay and participate in this monumental moment of 2007 ice cream history. I felt so bad for them, I really did. As kind of a consolation prize, she did pick up some STORE-BOUGHT ice cream to take home with them. Oh well, I suppose it would do until another time when we could start the process a little earlier.

Hubby got the ice cream maker running (it's a little slow getting started after nearly 20 years in service), and in no time we had 4 quarts of vanilla bliss. I promptly dished up bowls for the boys which they scurried inside to consume while watching "Curse of the Were Rabbit." Hubby headed in the house with his and I followed.

Naturally the boys had chocolated theirs up quite nicely. I asked how it was and they enthusiastically replied, "GREAT!" Hubby told me to "taste it." Not real sure why he would make such a request, but I happily complied.

You know, it's really an interesting fact of life. If you don't put ALL the ingredients into your recipe, your end result might not be what you anticipated. In fact, it might not be very sweet at all. Particularly if you leave out the sugar. I truly hadn't intended to make sugar-free ice cream. Not that it might not be such a bad idea with all the Tales From the Scales stuff. But that's beside the point. When I want homemade ice cream, I want the real deal. I have made some effort to decrease the fat and points, but leaving sugar out is most definitely NOT one of them.

So we all added some form of sugar (granules, Hershey's syrup, Nesquik, etc.) to render our ice cream acceptable. It wasn't too bad. But it sure wasn't the extraordinary, delectable indulgence I was expecting. Sigh.

I suppose you could insert a little Gumpism here - Life is like a bowl of ice cream, if you put in all the right ingredients, it's pretty darned good.


His Ways

I'm quite familiar with Isaiah 55:8-9 which says,

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are highter than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Yet here I sit - humbled, convicted, and blessed - all at the same time. My youngest son has earned (courtesy of his dear mother) the nickname Oblivious Man. There isn't much that he can't overlook or ignore, whether it's shoes in the middle of the floor, a gallon of milk he left on the table, or a stranger trying to walk past him as he blocks the Lego aisle. In keeping with the rules of "The Good Mother Teaching Manners to Her Sons" manual, I am forever harping on reminding him to be aware of other people and his surroundings. After all, if we are to live according to God's word, we really do have to be conscious of others. It is my hope that he will grow into a man with a heart for the Lord.

He is also the boy who prays mostly for things like playing video games, getting video games, getting to buy a new pack of Pirates, etc. Yes, he gives thanks also, but it's often for similar things. In all fairness, he does pray about getting along well with his brother and such things. It's not all about temporary things.

In elementary school, he had a friend for a number of years and they often had a somewhat tumultuous relationship. They were both quite strong-willed and didn't always demonstrate tactfulness in speaking towards each other. Surprisingly, though, they had a lot of fun and seemed to be good friends. Something happened their last year at the school (5th grade) which demolished their relationship. While I have a little idea of what took place, to this day, I am not entirely sure what happened. Ironically, my son doesn't really know either. There were times in the 5th grade where this former friend would call him names, threaten him, hit him, and try and turn other classmates against him. We prayed about it, he hung in there, and completed 5th grade. But the friendship was gone.

I was grateful that my son would be home with us for homeschool the next year. If he had continued in public school, they'd have been at the same school and I really didn't think that would be a good thing. We already lived a mere block apart, so the less exposure, the better, in my mind.

Every so often, he mentions this boy and talks about how much he enjoyed their friendship. As his mom, it was heartbreaking that their relationship had soured. He really missed it. My son is a very social young man and he doesn't like playing by himself. He's only 17 months younger than his brother, so his life has always involved another child. He's the one who is always asking to play with someone - a friend, his cousin, his brother.

Fast forward to this evening after church. He comes over to me and asks for $13. I promptly tell him that he can't have it. Then I ask why he wants it (I know, that makes no sense - see previous post). He wants to buy a small Bible.

He wants to buy the Bible for the former friend.
The one who became his ex-friend.
The one who bullied him.
The one who hurt him.
The one of whom he has only fond memories.

I ask why he wants to buy him a Bible.

"Because I don't want him to suffer."

My dear, tender-hearted son doesn't want this other young man to step into eternity without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.


God's working in my son's life. And it's changing his heart. Right before my very eyes, even though I don't always see it. Yes, my son is listening to God, even when he doesn't listen to me. And isn't that the ultimate goal? That he would learn to listen to God, obey His word, and live a life that glorifies and honors God. I think God is smiling tonight because a 12 year old boy bought a Bible for a former friend (yes, I recanted on my you-can't-have-$13 position).

When we got home, he sat down at the computer and typed a letter to give him with the Bible. He told me this was the first evangelistic thing he had done.

Thank You and praise You, Lord! I'm glad Your ways are so far beyond me.

Edited to add: If you know my son, please don't mention this to him - he would probably be embarrassed.

Focus? What is that?

fo-cus (n): a point of concentration
ran-dom (adj): lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern

Click here to see a larger image (while you probably can't tell, that's me on all those stairs!).

Yes, there are other definitions for focus and random (click to read them), but these two stood out the most to me. Focus would be something that I lack far too often. On the other hand, being random comes quite naturally to me. Sometimes I kind of scare myself by my randomness. So we had salads for lunch today. Oops, sorry, where was I?

It's no wonder that I have earned the moniker "The Queen of Unfinished Projects." Oh yes, and then there's my FBTSOMP*ing. At any given time in my day, I am doing two or ten or twenty-seven different things almost simultaneously. Whoever came up with the term "multi-tasking" was just attempting to put a nice-sounding label on utter insanity. Nice try!

* - Flying By The Seat Of My Pants (aka severely random and spontaneous)

I think it got worse when I passed four decades here on earth. I live in a house that's twice as big as our last house and that has definitely contributed to the lunacy. The last house we lived in was 1127 square feet on two floors. I really didn't have room to get too far off track as I traversed from one small room to the next. We were blessed to move into a 2200 square foot house, on one level, nicely spread out, with plenty of room for the four us and our dog. The problem is that it's a looooong ways from my kitchen to the bedroom or the computer or the bathroom or where ever else I may be headed. That also means it's a loooooong time for me to completely lose track of why I was going there. We'd better never move into anything bigger. I'll be wandering around like Rainman or something, never knowing what I was doing or where I was going.

I can pretty much be summed up with the quote on a t-shirt we bought my husband last year.
"I'm not as random as you think I salad." - Riley Armstrong
I love Riley's sense of humor! Oh, I need to send an email to Lisa.

And on and on it goes. I'm at the computer in the middle of posting a blog, reading email, organizing photos, shopping for books, washing the laundry when I remember that I need to make a phone call. I try to locate my planner to get the phone number - oh, I left half a green pepper on the counter. I'd better put that in the fridge. While there, I see a science project jar that was spaghetti sauce in its former life. I suppose I should dump that. Now that the jar's empty and rinsed, I ought to put it in the dishwasher. Oh, I'd better put the clean dishes away and run another load. After all, the kids had to use plastic spoons for their Cocoa Puffs this morning. Is it trash day?

About half way through unloading the dishwasher, I need to stop for a potty break. While en route to the kitchen from the bathroom, I wonder if the mailman has been by yet. Out the front door to the mailbox I go. Did I take my vitamins this morning? Oh, look, one of those coupon magazines that has my favorite coupons in it! You know, like $2 off at Fatburger. I'd better cut them out and put them in the coupon envelope in my purse. Otherwise I'll get to Fatburger with NO coupon! Now I'm sitting at the dining room table, ready to cut out coupons. Oops, where are the scissors? Who knows? One of the boys probably has them in his room. Fine, I'll get the scissors from the desk. Oh, look - I was working on a blog post! I ought to finish this. After all, I haven't posted anything in a couple of days. Oh yeah, I better be sure to make that phone call, too.

This is what my family gets to live with. I wonder why the boys can't focus better during homeschool?


Glue on the Stairs

Now that my boys are 13 & 12, it's often hard to pinpoint ages from their "Little Boy Adventures," so I'll just wing it. Either that, or I'll pull out my old Franklin pages for more specific details.

However, having no Franklin pages available at the moment, I'll just plod on through. I believe my oldest son was around 4-5 when he wanted to use some glue.

Me: "Where are you going with the glue?" as he heads out of the living room/dining room, and more importantly, out of my sight.

Son: "I'm going to use the glue."

Me: "What are you using it for?"

Son: "I'm putting it on the stairs."

Me: "Why are you putting glue on the stairs?"

Son: " So I can have my brother come sit on the stairs and stick to them."

Gee, I should've guessed as much. How convenient to stick your little brother to the stairs. That would definitely keep him out of toys, out of the way, and out of your hair!

Once again, Mom steps in and foils the plans of her sweet little boy. Ha!


Tarzan Son

When my oldest son was about 3ish, he had tossed a tiny little rabbit (toy rabbit - he doesn't throw real bunnies) up in our living room and it conveniently landed on a swag hanging over the entry door to the room. He quickly assessed the situation and formulated a brilliant plan.

1. Stand on the back of the couch (perpendicular to said door & around 6-7' away)

2. Hold strings to the shades at the window behind the couch

3. Go to far end of couch (even more feet away from swag over door)

4. Run along back of couch and swing (Tarzan-style) over to the swag and rescue little rabbit

Sadly, his mother walked into the room just before step #4 commenced (or maybe it would have been sadder had I not). Needless to say, there was no Tarzan yell or wild swing in the living room that day. I was kind enough to rescue the rabbit, so everyone was safe and sound.

Wordless Wednesday



Tales From the Scales - Week #5

Well, I'm either down a half pound or 3 1/2 pounds. My stupid wonderful display on my scales is only showing partial numbers! Ha! My guess is it's a half pound, although I vote for three and a half. I'm with Robin in that I need to get serious about this. As with so much of my life, I'm serious part of the time and then totally not. I just have that "all or nothing" thing going on much of the time (except when I don't - LOL!). So we'll put me down for -0.5 lb. Better than +0.5 lb.

I'm trying to get back to exercising, but it's been a little challenging due to allergies and waking up feeling like my head's in a tube. Today it all moved into my chest - ugh! Also working on increasing water and decreasing Dr Pepper.

Maybe my battery needs to be replaced . . . or maybe the battery in the scales needs to be replaced. Maybe next week I'll have a complete readout.


Miracles of God

I was over at Especially Heather today, catching up on her recent posts. I was really struck by this post which has some pictures from her daughter's birthday. Take a look at the bottom center picture of Heather & Emma Grace. I just stopped to ponder and praise God for the miracles in that picture. The fact that Emma Grace made it to the age of 6 when there were doctors who said she wouldn't even live to be born (never mind everything she's been through since that time), plus the fact that Heather had a rather large tumor removed from her brain on May 3rd, yet they're both there - together, celebrating, living, and loving!

How cool is that?
God is SO amazing!

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

I have been a fan of Beth Moore for a few years, having participated in two of her Bible studies at our church. God has definitely done some amazing things in and through her life. I am convicted, challenged, and encouraged when I read her works. Get Out of That Pit is based upon Psalm 40 and was such a blessing for me. One of my favorite lines in this book is:

"In Him, you have the full rights of sonship or daughtership, including the right to live wildly in victory."
I have a tendency to take myself down into a pit of self-defeat. I know my sins and how wretched a human I can be. God has been working on this, but it's still a struggle for me. I am my own worst enemy. But that's not where He wants me to live. He has already won the battle. He already offers me freedom and victory. In her book, Beth illustrates the ways in which we end out in the pit, how to get out, and how to stay out. This will be one of those books I read again and again, I have no doubt.

The Church Ladies by Lisa Samson

Lisa Samson has definitely been added to my list of favorite authors. Fortunately, she has a number of books out, so I can keep reading her work for some time yet.

The Church Ladies is another example of Lisa’s compelling writing, relatable characters, and God’s work in the lives of His people. In this story, we see that God isn’t concerned with denomination and various outward appearances. When tragedy hits this small town, the lens of superficiality is removed and an unlikely group of women come boldly before the throne of God in prayer. As believers in human skin, we all struggle, get off track, and make mistakes. Lisa does a beautiful job of reminding us that God is ever faithful to redeem our failures and bring reconciliation to our relationships.

Club Sandwich by Lisa Samson

I thoroughly enjoyed Club Sandwich. The characters have many relatable qualities to them. I love how the protagonist works through her struggles. She may not be honest out in the open, but she certainly is in her own self-talk. Even about things that are taboo. I think we all struggle with thoughts that we know are wrong. Unfortunately, too many of us keep them bottled up with a big serving of guilt. Yet as followers of Christ, we have the freedom to lay them at His feet, casting our burdens upon Him and be changed.

There are so many sweet, Godly truths presented in Club Sandwich. Doing the right thing, even when it’s hard (especially when it’s hard) will always be the better path. Learning to forgive isn’t always easy, but it’s always needed. God is in the business of reconciliation and He may bring it in ways we never saw coming, but it will be a sweet blessing when it happens. Family and friends – relationships – are the most important thing (beyond salvation) in our lives. Nothing else really matters when life on this earth draws to a close. We cannot be Lone Rangers. God created us specifically for the purpose of a relationship. No wonder our society pushes the other direction – isolation, independence, self-driven, a “me” centered culture - anything that will tempt us to go in the other direction from what God originally intended. I would definitely recomment Club Sandwich .

The Invitation & The Quest by Nancy Moser

The Invitation by Nancy Moser is the first in The Mustard Seed Series. From the back cover:

“You are invited to Haven, Nebraska. If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move…..”

Julia Carson, ex-governor. Walter Prescott, TV news producer. Kathy Kraus, housewife and mother of two young children. Natalie Pasternak, struggling writer.

Four ordinary people with little in common other than a vague dissatisfaction with their lives – and a small white invitation that seemingly comes out of nowhere. None of them know what the invitation is about or who sent it. All of them dismiss it as a practical joke. And yet strange things start happening – things some might even call miraculous. Soon all four find themselves embarking on a journey that will take them far beyond their wildest imaginings, a journey that will test their mettle – and their faith – to the breaking point.

And before it’s over, each will discover that truly, with God, nothing is impossible. Their faith can move mountains – if only they will open their hearts to the One who has called them.

This was a very captivating story and I had a hard time putting it down. I was intrigued by the premise of being invited out of one's comfort zone to a place ordained by God. Hmm . . . sounds like someone else I've read about.

I also went on to read the second book, The Quest, which was equally interesting. The story brings the previous characters together again, through God's orchestration, to face spiritual warfare and their own faith. From the back cover:
Five ordinary people know what’s right. But will they do what’s right…no matter the cost?

In The Invitation, a series of amazing “coincidences” compelled five ordinary people to meet in a mysterious small town – Haven, Nebraska – where they began an incredible journey that could only have been set in motion by God.

Now it’s two years later. The entire town of Haven has vanished, and Natalie, Walter, Kathy, Del, and Julia are each struggling to follow through with the Lord’s direction. Then those “coincidences” start happening again – and one of the Havenites is placed in deadly peril. The others know they must answer God’s call a second time – even if it means facing an enemy more terrifying, more powerful, more malevolent than any of them have ever known. An enemy determined to do one thing: destroy them.

It deals quite a bit with the spirital realm and I've seen it compared to Frank Peretti books. While I'm not discounting the spiritual battle that exists, I personally can't read those types of books without addressing irrational fears. So I didn't read the third book, The Temptation. Nevertheless, if you enjoy such stories, these are very well-written, captivating books. I definitely like Nancy Moser's writing.


Do You Know the State Capitals?

The perfectionist in me really despises this score, but I suppose it could be worse. I haven't touched on geography since . . . dinosaurs roamed the earth or something like that. Maybe it was back in the horse & buggy days. No, it was more likely in high school or junior high - still a very long time ago. And yes, I do homeschool my kids, but we didn't do geography this year. Probably next year.

You are 78% Knowledgable regarding US State Capitals!

Nice Job! Still, you do have some room for improvement. Keep up the good work. Be sure to try this again!

Do You Know Your State Capitals?
Make a Quiz


Wordless Wednesday


Living Simply, continued

I hope no one thinks that I don't support the idea of simple living. Because I do. I think my previous post was more about simple living NOT being the end-all goal. If that's my mindset, I'm just setting myself up for failure. While I believe that having things simplified in my life (home, clutter, schedule, etc.) goes a looooonnnng way towards peace, clarity, and time in my life, it really doesn't address the issue of the flesh versus the spirit. I knew that I meant that in the other post, yet this sort of kept nagging at me after posting. So here's my clarification, for whatever it may be worth.

Tales From the Scales - Week #4

Oops! I forgot that it's Tuesday today. Maybe it's because my head is stuffy - allergies, cold, whatever. So . . . I will weigh myself tomorrow. I feel like weighing at different times of the day isn't as consistent, so I'll stick with my first-thing-in-the-morning method, but it will be Wednesday instead.

Scattergories Meme

I picked this up from Karen at Simply A Musing. Kind of fun, especially since I have a fair amount of experience with this game!

The game is SCATTERG*RIES...it's harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Dianne
1. Famous Singer/Band: David Crowder Band
2. 4 letter word: deep
3. Street: Driftwood Drive (2 points)
4. Color: Dandelion Yellow
5. Gifts/Presents: Diamonds
6. Vehicle: Dodge Durango (another 2 pointer)
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Dolls
8. Boy Name: Donovan
9. Girl Name: Deirdre
10. Movie Title: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
11. Drink: Dr Pepper!!
12. Occupation: Delivery Driver
13. Celebrity: David Duchovny (yet another 2 points)
14. Magazine: Domino
15. U.S. City: Divide, CO
16. Pro Sports Teams: Denver Broncos
17. Reason for Being Late for Work: Driving too slow
18. Something You Throw Away: Donut wrapper
19. Things You Shout: Do it!
20. Cartoon Character: Daffy Duck (yep, one more 2 pointer!)

It's a fun game - give it a try! Be sure to leave me a comment with a link to yours if you do.


Is Living Simply the Answer?

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” Romans 7:15

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” Romans 7:18

I suppose I should not be surprised that I struggle so often with doing what I want or ought to do, yet I continue in bad habits that hang onto me for dear life. Even the Apostle Paul had difficulty in this area all those years ago. I’ve always thought that much of my struggle has to do with living a distracted and fragmented life. Yet Paul didn’t have the things that I have to take my eyes off the goal. I have a phone – at all times, thanks to the development of the portable, cellular version. I have a computer, complete with access to that ever-inviting, all-knowing worldwide web. I have television (more than one, of course) to entice me away from my own reality. I have more “stuff” enter my house in just one year than Paul likely ever had in his entire life. I have a library card, which allows me to bring home numerous books on a regular basis. Of course, that’s in addition to the hundreds of books and magazines I already own or purchase. I have a stereo with myriad choices of CDs and stations to which I can listen. And that’s just in my house. I could list the many things outside my home that are available to me – but I won’t.

Somehow I have clung to the ideal that if I were to live a “simpler” life, then certainly I could live a much holier life. Yet when I read Paul’s words, I think that maybe the struggle is really not as much a matter of what distracts me, as it is a matter of my flesh. Though my flesh is influenced by these many diversions, I would still have to contend with its self-centered, ungodly desires, even if I were sitting on an island with none of the aforementioned things. It turns out that the stuff I try to wrangle under control is not the real problem. Nor is controlling it the answer.

The answer lies in Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome.

“Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies, through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:10-11

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me that I will be able to overcome my flesh. This is why, in Romans 12:1-2, Paul implores his brothers and sisters in the Lord to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

As I spend time in God’s word, my mind will be transformed away from the patterns of this world and its lusts. If I will focus upon offering my self as a living sacrifice to the Lord, my slate is cleared to hear from Him, to be led by His will. I do not have to live in bondage to my clamorous flesh. I have victory because of the finished work of Christ at the cross, not because I've simplified my environment.


God's Creation

Is this beautiful, or what? It's the back side of Pikes Peak (when you live on the Front Range of Colorado).

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2
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