Finally, after almost 8 months SERIOUSLY 8 MONTHS, my doctor has declared me unbroken! I broke my arm on January 12th. I was told then that I could expect to be in a cast for about 6 to 8 weeks. After four weeks, I had not grown one iota of new bone in my arm. My doctor told me not to be alarmed because it was a pretty bad break. I had almost broken my humerus completely in two. Plus, I had a spiral fracture in another place on the same bone.

At the end of 8 weeks, I had grown a small amount of bone. My doctor gave me options then of surgery to put in pins or to let it go for another month and hope for the best. I figured another month in a brace was way better than big ugly scars on my arm, so I decided to wait. At the end of that third month, I went in and got the news that again, my arm had not grown any bone, but my doctor didn't want to rush to surgery. Two weeks later my xrays showed significant bone growth. My doctor said I was definitely "on the mend" and he expected me to be totally healed and out of my brace in two more weeks.

I will never forget the feeling that day. I bopped on in his office, ready to show off my healed bone, get that stupid brace off, and experience complete freedom. But alas, he once again told me that I was not healed.

That night, I went to our prayer service and really believed God was telling me to take off my brace, place my hand on my own broken arm, and pray for healing. I obeyed. From that day forward, I never had another moment of pain. Two weeks later, I went to the doctor. I showed him that I had complete range of motion. I showed him that I could lift things, move it all over the place, and that it felt healed. His did his physical examination and declared that my bone felt, moved and acted healed. Woo Hoo! Then we did the xray. My bone was still very much broken and still in need of surgery. I was so confused because I really believed that God healed my bone. It felt healed. It worked healed. It moved healed. That's because it WAS healed. The xray just didn't match what God did miraculously.

It is now four months later, and the xray shows what God did months ago. I never doubted my arm's healing. Even though my doctor's tests told me otherwise. Some trust in xrays, but I trust in the name of the Lord my God.

All that to say, you can't believe everything you see. Sometimes what you see isn't what is real. Faith is the substance of things not seen.

Seriously? Seriously.

So yesterday, I'm sitting at my desk, working diligently on something of the utmost importance, when I receive a phone call from my husband who proceeds to tell me that our washing machine has overflown into our apartment. We have lived in our little apartment going on 3 weeks now, maybe 4, and this is the third of our appliances to break. But before you start thinking we are hard on appliances, you need to know we had the same washer and dryer for over 14 years and the same refrigerator for over 20! We are definitely NOT hard on appliances.

When we first moved in, it took us over 2 hours to dry a load of clothes. Appliance #1. Then, I went to cook dinner one night, and the big burner (the other three are the small electric ones) didn't stay hot. Appliance #2. And then yesterday, the washing machine overflowed. Now when I say overflowed, I need you to understand OVERFLOWED. What happened was that as the machine was filling, the water never turned off. Even as Mike turned off the water, it kept overflowing. Well, technically flooding the place, literally overflowing across the top of the washing machine like water over a dam.

Mike had to run down to the office to tell them of the problem (keep in mind the water is still overflowing) and the office girl tells him that he needs to fill out a maintenance request. (I WISH I WAS KIDDING!) Anyway, long story short, I came home to carpet pulled up and fans everywhere. But oh, don't worry, the apartments are going to "see what they can do for us" since we've had so much trouble.

All that to say, Seriously? Seriously.

Smiles All Around

I know, two posts in ONE DAY! Yesterday Mike and I were shopping at the new outlet mall in Fairfield, TX. It was fun. Stupid hot. Very humid. But fun. I had shopped for a while with my sister in law, Deb (who is really one of my closest friends) and my great niece (dang I'm old enough to have great nieces!), but they had gone home.

So Mike and I were finishing up and we passed this lady who had two little kids with her. One was in a stroller, looking insanely hot, and the other, who was probably 2 years old, was standing on the edge of a fountain, contemplating jumping in! The mom said, "No, no no. Don't jump in there. Hang on and I'll find you some coins to throw in." At that point she started digging in her purse, not with much luck, looking for some coins.

As we walked by and overheard her conversation, Mike reached into his pocket and pulled out 2 pennies. That's all, just two pennies. He handed them to the mom to give to her son. With the smile that erupted on her face, I thought Mike must have given some grand amount of money. She gushed with thanks. Had her little boy say thanks, and then both of them zealously tossed in the pennies.

There was another little boy standing near the fountain, and Mike handed him a couple of coins as well. He had pretty close to the same reaction. Four small coins. Four GREAT BIG SMILES. The mom and her toddler smiled. The little boy smiled. And Mike smiled.

All that to say, it doesn't really take a lot to bring joy into someone else's life. It just takes paying attention.

It Almost Feels Like Home

We're all settled into our tiny little 900 square foot, 2 bedroom apartment. Just me, Mike and Jacob (and Sarah a lot of the time, but that's okay because we like her . . . unless Jacob is tickling her, not then j/k, sorta) Anyway. We have moved in.

Today, for the first time, it feels like home. Even though there is not a SINGLE square inch of storage space left ANYWHERE in this place (including under our beds!), it feels a little more like home. I spent today cleaning, sorting miscellaneous piles of junk that were long overdo for being sorted, and even took the time to label plastic storage drawers. I even totally rearranged my bedroom. Well, I sorta HAD to rearrange the bedroom.

You see, I had this brilliant idea to bring our full sized bed with us instead of a queen sized bed (the king size was NOT an option due to our 11x12 bedroom). But, after just 2 weeks of Mike and I sharing a full sized bed, I had pretty much decided the future of my marriage was going to require me to go and buy a queen sized bed. But, as I was lamenting my woes to my friend Tracey, she offered to swap my full sized bed for the queen sized bed in her guest room. That's a true friend. So today we swapped beds. And the queen sized bed was a good bit longer than the full size bed, so I had to totally rearrange our bedroom. But I like it so much better.

I feel settled. Finally. And even if you don't care a bit about the size of my bedroom, or the necessity of my rearranging furniture, I even feel a little bit better just writing it all down.

All that to say, there's no place like home. Even the places that are almost home.

Bumping Into the Devil

So my friend's 10 year old son said something really profound the other day. He said, "Mom, I guess it's a good thing we bump into the devil every now and then, 'cause otherwise we wouldn't know we was walking with him." Now that might not be an exact quote, but you get the idea.

This morning I thought, what if we flipped that around. What if we said, "It's a good thing we bump into God every now and then, 'cause otherwise we wouldn't know we was walking with Him." OR what if we only bumped into God every now and then . . . OR what if we never bumped into Him?

I think sometimes I have far more accidental bumps with the devil than I have with God, but I can't really decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe I am being way too philosophical about this. Maybe I should just be in close enough contact with God each day, so I know I am walking with Him. Then I wouldn't have to worry about that stupid old devil. But then again, anytime I am having a close daily encounter with God, the devil gets stirred up.

I read this book this week called, "The Same Kind of Different as Me." It was so incredible! The character in the book, "Denver" says "When you become important to God, you become important to the devil. You better watch your back."

Which leads me to understand why we are told to put on the FULL Armor. I am pretty good about picking up my sword, but most days, I leave the rest of it lying around.

I know I am all over the place here. I am really more thinking out loud than I am writing coherent, cohesive thoughts.

All that to say, if you let the devil ride in the backseat long enough, he's gonna wanna drive." So, I better get better at putting on all my armor.


Learning to Dance

In the midst of a busy and hectic summer schedule, I often have to remind myself to slow down and let God be in charge. It reminds me of when I learned to dance and my dad would say, “Carol, let me lead.”

You see, my dad was a ballroom dancer, which for a Southern Baptist deacon was an odd thing to be. I remember as a little girl, I watched as he twirled my mom around our living room, looking into her eyes with such love that it was as if they were the only two people in the room. As I watched them, I longed to be the girl in my daddy’s arms, to be that special, and sometimes I would say, “Daddy, teach me to dance.”

My daddy would reach down and place my feet firmly on top of his. Then he would teach me, very slowly, the steps of the dance. As I grew more confident in the steps, I would step off of his feet, but with my head down, concentrating on the steps that my feet performed. Occasionally, I looked up to see if there was approval in his eyes. Over time, my feet became sure of the steps, and I no longer looked down, worrying if the steps were right. Instead, I looked up into my daddy’s eyes, placed my hand in his, and let him lead me, twirling me around and around, pouring his love into me with every step.

All that to say, I think I’m still learning to dance. But the dance I’m learning is that of true worship. My feet are planted firmly on top of the feet of my Father, and He’s teaching me the steps of the dance. I’m longing for the day when I won’t worry about the steps, but will instead, look up into my Daddy’s eyes, place my hand in His, and let Him lead me. Until then, I’m content to say, “Daddy, teach me to dance.”

John 4:23-24
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshiper worships the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth.

“Father, today, teach me to worship you. Show me how to move with you in the silent rhythm that is the music of our spirits intertwined. Focus my eyes on you and not on the things of this world. Take my hand and lead me as I worship you with everything that I have, unaware and unconcerned about what those around me will think. Let my heart be absorbed, yes consumed, by how much you love me.”

Move It or Lose It

Since October of 2007, I have lived in 3 different homes. I guess I should be . . . no, I AM grateful that I have a place to live at all. Really, if I look back on this whole thing, I have been very fortunate (I would have said blessed, but sometimes that sounds so churchy and religious, but really the word blessed is probably more appropriate . . . plus I don't believe in fortune or luck . . . but now I have sidetracked myself and you with random rabbit chases about words like fortune and blessing . . .) Okay, so if I look back I can see how God has so richly provided for us (that's the perfect word choice!)

For the first six months, I lived with some pretty wonderful people, the Tarbuttons. They open their home to anyone and everyone, anytime anyone has a need for a place to sleep or stay. Six MONTHS. That's how long they opened their doors. Then I got to live in an old folks neighborhood. Only the 55 and up get to live in there. But me and my fam . . . Mike, Jacob and even Sarah (who is not fam, but she fits in well!) lived in the "old folks home" as we called it. We lived there totally free for 4 months. Totally free!

And now, Mike, Jacob and I are all living in a 900 square foot 2 bedroom apartment. We have lived in all these places because we have a 4000 square foot house for sale in Georgia. I used to think God was punishing us or something. You cannot imagine how hard it is to go to that house in Georgia with its sprawling rooms and luxurious furnishings, and then have to leave it all behind and go live in someone else's house.

But now I have a different mindset. I think God is blessing us, not punishing us. Because what I am learning is how stupidly wealthy we have been living for years. We have so much, and yet have appreciated it so little. I used to think that we were waiting on God to sell our house. But now I see that God is just waiting on us, on me and Mike, to surrender everything we have to him, including our spacious home and luxurious furnishings. And, He's waiting on us to surrender our security. I think we have both surrendered the home. The security . . . that's a little scarier.

All that to say, my home is not here. Not in Texas. But it's not in Georgia either. And it's not where I hang my hat (if I had one, which I don't because I look terrible in hats!). It's somewhere way better than all of that. It is, however, where my heart is.

Something to Write About, Something to Fight About

I know, I have been noticeably absent of late in my writing. I think I wrote like 4 times in the entire month of July! But, honestly, I haven't really had anything worth writing about. I had some pretty dramatic things happen while away at 220. But they were TOO dramatic to write about in a blog.

But today, I heard something that really ignited my fire. I was at the Leadership Summit (a conference for leaders and those aspiring to be leaders) and there was this man there talking about social injustice. He said, "We Americans think that we experience injustice every minute of every day." He went on to tell this story about being at the grocery store, in the "express" lane when he noticed that the guy in front of him had 13 items in his cart. The NERVE. 13 items in the 10 items or less lane!

I wanted to laugh, but sadly, I have actually gotten that mad at someone in the express lane for the exact same reason, and sadly, I have considered that injustice! Others things that have made me angry . . . people on welfare driving expensive cars while I work my butt off and yet I drive an 8 year old Mustang, paying for hot coffee and getting cold coffee at Starbucks (not iced . . . just cold, yuck!), being told that it will take me 20 minutes before it will be my turn to get a pedicure and it takes 30 minutes! OH the INJUSTICES I face.

I spent an hour seeing pictures of young children sold into sex slavery, of a little boy beaten and shot by police officers so they could get more money for their beer binge, of an entire family kidnapped and placed into slavery at a rice paddy. And those things were the tip of the social injustice iceberg.

All that to say, I do not have any idea what injustice is. I am a spoiled, rich, American. I know that I can do better. I know that even I just one person, can do something. As I heard today, "God has a plan for this world, and we are it. We are God's plan." I am part of HIS plan. . .