Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Real Thing...

Earlier this evening my nine year old asked me, "Mom, how do I know that God is real?  Sometimes I ask Him to move something, like a pencil, to prove that He is real and it doesn't how do I know God is real?"

(How I know God is real is that I was able to answer my son without so much as a answer came quickly and fluently)...

"That is what Faith is Jack...Faith is believing in something without seeing it with your eyes.  We also have the stories in the Bible, the scripture tells us that God is real."

And then I was quiet for a moment...

I looked in my son's eyes and I took his hands in mine and I explained further...

"Our family knows that God is real because he has blessed us with real life change over the past year.  Mommy's eyes and heart were opened to Christ's love and forgiveness through the good people that God placed in my path.  Jack, when I accepted Jesus into my heart, our entire family and our way of life was changed.  Remember when you told me that you 'like our life now'...Daddy and mommy love each other more than we have ever loved one another.  Mommy is home now, you and Benjamin and Hayden and Daddy are my priority.  We pray together, we sing together, we experience life with friends that love us and have the same life goals as we do, we go to church together....that is God, Jack.  That is God placing his hand on our family.  So, the Dudenhoeffer's know without a doubt that God is real"


And then...

A small squeeze of my hand from the tiny hand I held...

"Remember when you told me that when someone squeezes your hand it means they love you?"

I replied, "Yes."

Now Jack looked into my eyes, his hand still inside mine, and he gave me another squeeze....

"I love you, mom.  And I love God."

Just another reason for me to know that God IS real.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bed, Bath And All Gone...

Two years ago hottie husband embarked on a "do it yourself" home project...

Two years ago hottie husband began a remodel, in the master bedroom...

Two years ago our king size bed was moved upstairs into our family room, the room that you enter upon walking through the front door...

Two years I have slept in the openness of a room meant for family gatherings, I have prevented friends and some family from entering my home, the OCD overwhelming me in a mess out of my control...

Two years the un-organization of furniture and clothing and the challenge of five people sharing one (tiny) bathroom...

Two years a family of five living on top of one another in a measly 1100 square feet...

But today....

Today the "willy wonka" bed was moved to it's appropriate place...the bedroom!

But wait, don't get TOO excited...we still have trim and flooring to finish....

But it's a start.

And now, I'm going to go sit on my COUCH in my FAMILY ROOM and watch some smutty television...wanna come over?  I'll let you now!  ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Are You? (Giveaway)

I'm not going to hide it...

I'm nosey.

Completely and extremely nosey.

I want to know your business.

I can't help it.  I get it from my mother.


I have this really cool little gadget/tool that is free to all bloggers.  It shares with me a daily buzz of the various places my blog is read.

For example, I know (from my's very official) that at 4:35 pm today, someone from Iberia, Missouri visited my blog.  WHO ARE YOU?!

I just want to know who you are!  I promise I don't bite...just tell me!

So, here are some of the places I'm wondering about...

Louisburg, Kansas
San Mateo, California
Steedman, Missouri (where is this anyway?)
Nelson, Missouri
Fulton, Missouri
California, Missouri
Harrisonville, Missouri
Sedalia, Missouri
Lees Summit, Missouri
Schaumburg, Illinois
Winter Park, Florida
Oak Grove, Missouri
Rolla, Missouri
Leasburg, Missouri
Clinton, Missouri
Chicago, Illinois
Tuckerton, New Jersey
Overland Park, Kansas
Clovis, California
Acton, Massachusetts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Oakland, California
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Branson, Missouri (brother Matt, is this you?)
Windsor, Missouri
Arlington Heights, Illinois
United Kingdom (WOW!!!)
Mountain View, California
Moscow, Moscow City ( this you?!?!)
Canada (Another WOW!!!)

So...if you love me, you will introduce yourself to me...and some of you I already know so I didn't add you to the list of locations.  Some of these may just be a one time visit, maybe a search that lead you to my blog...

Please share with me!  Leave me a comment and tell me who you are and how you were introduced to my blog! 

And to make it all the more fun (and add a bit of an incentive) all those that leave a comment will be entered into a giveaway!  It will be worth it...I promise! 

Giveaway deadline will be on April 6th (THAT'S MY BIRTHDAY)!!

And don't roll your eyes at my know you would want to know too!  ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"I Will Rise..."

The choir at Memorial Baptist Church preformed a cantata this morning for Palm Sunday (not a cantina for Psalm Sunday...*giggle*).  Originally I was part of the performance, but a few weeks into the practices I dropped out (after this mornings performance I completely regret my decision).

During the cantata the congregation participated in the Lord's super (communion) and there was a performance of the crucifixion that the songs were arranged around.


The scene where Jesus is nailed to the Cross, blood stained across his forehead from the crown of thorns, beaten and weary...

I couldn't help but allow my tears to fall.

Sitting among the people that brought me to my salvation and watching the reenactment of Jesus suffering on the Cross I was reminded of God's love for me, that I am totally broken, but perfectly and completely loved!  There isn't anything in me that can make me any more acceptable in God's eyes. 

I was reminded that it is about living a life of surrender and not of behavior modification...I still struggle to let Jesus keep the reigns it took me so long to give over, and I am daily confronted with my own sinfulness and shortcomings, but I have a deep hope that keeps me going!  I feel more and more challenged everyday to live in the tension of my utter sinfulness and God's amazing love for me, I am touched by brokenness in the world and in myself.  I am reminded that God will never leave me, and this mornings scene emphasized His goodness, His power and His presence! 

Over the last year I have experienced incredible healing and learned what it means to live in true community.  I am discovering how to absolutely live in the freedom of the Gospel...on one hand it is very exciting and victorious as Jesus teaches me...on the other hand, being undistracted and vulnerable enough to the Spirit to actually conquer the wickedness in my life is difficult business, but it keeps me humble.  God has re-awakened me to His grace and His mercy!

What an amazing musical arrangement to witness this morning!!  A HUGE thank you to the choir, the actors and the director...thank you for reminding me God's beautiful gift!

International Smorgasbord...

My youngest son Benjamin had a friend from school/church stay the night last night...

I was going for the "mother of the year" award and "coolest mom" title, so I took Benjamin to the grocery store and we stocked up on junk food, soda pop and all the fixings for a Mexican dinner!

Creating a Mexican buffet in my kitchen, this is the conversation between Evan (Benjamin's friend) and me:

Me:  "Evan, would you like nachos, a hard taco, a soft taco or a combination of all?"

Evan:  "Um, I guess I'll just have nachos....I'm not real big on Chinese food."

Me:  "Hmm, well how big are you on Mexican food?"


Friday, March 26, 2010

An Invitation...

This Sunday (Palm Sunday...not Psalm Sunday) the choir at my church is performing a cantata with a dramatization of the is AMAZING!  I know, because I started out as a participant but ended up needing to drop out of the performance...but I will be at church to witness this awesome offering!!

I am extending an invitation to you!

I would LOVE for you to come to Memorial Baptist (no matter what your religion) and experience the cantata with me!  The service is Sunday morning at 9:00 am. 

I promise you won't be fact, it may even change your life! 

Let me know if you can make it, I'll save you a seat!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quilted Blessings, "Sewing" Friendships...

I believe that the Lord blesses me each and every day.  Sometimes the Lord's blessings are huge and easy to spot and other times they are so small I may not even notice. Thankfully, whether I recognize those blessings or not they are there to protect me, to teach me, to encourage me, and to help me grow to be the individual that Jesus desires me to be.

Today the Lord blessed me in a BIG way. 

No, I didn't win the lottery.  No, I didn't win a brand new car, or an enormous home.  Nobody offered to pay my bills.  Oprah didn't chose me for an extreme makeover...

The Lord blessed me with an incredible friendship. 

Today I met two friends for lunch.  Becky, my girlfriend from church and life group (she was one of the individuals in my post yesterday) and Patti, my friend that I met in the world of blogging!  Patti has a blog, Osage Bluff Quilter and she reached out to me last year and introduced herself and we ended up meeting for lunch at Arris Cafe, she even picked me up because at the time I didn't have a license due to a medical condition (epilepsy). Patti is the lady who gave me the gift of the railroad cross that her husband, the blacksmith, created for me!! 

So, Becky, Patti and I met today for lunch at Arris Cafe (we love that place) and after an hour of awesome fellowship and delicious food, Patti pulled out two for me and one for Becky!! (she met Becky through my blog and they have become friends as well...small and fantastic world, eh?)!

*As I'm typing this and thinking about what I'm about to share with you I have tears...

Patti is a quilter (she's actually EXTREMLY talented in ALL areas of life) and she hand pieced this for ME:

Breathtaking, isn't it?  Incredible.  Inspiring.  Humbling. Beautiful.  I look at this and I am reminded that my salvation is what Christ did for me on the Cross.  Everything is right there, in a hand pieced work of art by a beautiful exhibits my struggles and His solution, my brokenness and His love for me in spite of it, my shameful past and my glorious future.

Patti, God blessed me in a BIG way in "sewing" a magnificent friendship between two bloggers.  ;)  Thank you, Thank you , THANK YOU!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

People, People Who Need People...

I am AMAZED at the people that God is blessing me with in my daily walk with Him.  I can honestly say that there is not a day, not one, that goes by when I do not include the people that brought me to my salvation in my prayer of thanks to the good Lord above.  The Meeker's and the Porter's had one very big commonality...Jesus Christ.  These people literally embraced me (and all of my faults and failures) and opened my heart and my mind to what life could and should be...

I. Am. Very. Blessed.

So I began my journey with Christ, and He crossed my path with Pastor Mark.  A young, passionate, hip and charismatic pastor that caught my ear during his first sermon in the state of Missouri.  Pastor Mark and his beautiful family have touched my entire family and our hearts, and helped us to grow as a spiritual family of our own.

Jesus led us to a life group, filled with people that instantly created a welcoming environment to a family new to the Christian life.  We shed our struggles with our group, we shared our joys with our group and we continued to grow in Christ with our group.  And now we have spread our wings and moved on to a new life group...a group that will likewise help our family to continue our path to Jesus.

A young lady that I feel was placed in my path in a way that was and maybe still is a "saving" grace for us both.  Becky is someone that I look up to, as she has walked with Christ for many years.  She recently journeyed through a life changing story and she helped me to realize that we can't do it on our own, we need Jesus to help us overcome.  She is strong, she is patient and she is loving to all...because she knows Christ.

The Brinkman's.  This family is incredible!  Linda and I have been getting to know one another and every moment of time I spend with her she reminds me how blessed I am.  She makes me laugh.  She is real.  She lives in the Word every single day.  She compels me to be a better me!

Through the people that Jesus places in my path, I become more and more aware that He knows where my path will lead me.  He sees the big picture...and there are people he has placed in my path to mold me, to teach me, to encourage me...

if only for a moment...

Paul.  A mind full of spiritual wisdom.  A heart full of Christ.  Placed in my path by Jesus to remind me that we are not perfect...everyone stumbles, but Jesus will always help you stand back up, brush you off, cleanse your heart and you fill you up with His love.

Marc.  A pastor and seed planter of a new church here in Jefferson City.  Eternity, located downtown...a non-denominational church.  I met Marc today.  At Panera Bread.  I really didn't have a lot of time on my hands, but I felt compelled to ask Marc about his church, how he came to Jefferson City and I found myself sharing my testimony, listening to his testimony and planting a seed of friendship between two individuals, passionate about Christ and sharing His Word with others!

People can have a profound or far reaching effect in people’s lives, much more than we ever think about!  I thank God for all those He has placed in my path who have helped me, led me, given to me and in so doing touched my life in significant ways!

It is awesome for me to look back on my own life and see the tremendous progress I have made and the people that have led me to where I am today!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This Health Care Bill Is NOT Healthy OR Caring...

So....about this Health care issue....

I have a friend, someone I have admired for a very long time, someone that I have considered to be extremely intelligent, someone that I can have a heated conversation with and know that tomorrow we will still be friends....

Admittedly, she is always right.  Always.  We have had many, many political arguments, and in the end, I always feel defeated...she can always outsmart me when it comes to government.  (Start talking fashion and celebrities, and I stomp all over her!)

Until today...

Today, I feel confident.  Today, I feel like I put up a really great fight.  And today, I left her speechless!

It began when I sent my friend an email, curious for her thoughts on this health care bill.  In my email I listed two reasons (really trying to be cute in my delivery) as to why I am against this bill:

1) The bill is nearly 3,000 pages long
(how can anyone really understand what is in those pages?)

2) Several trillion dollars over several years.

She responded on the defense, right off the bat, attempting to use my walk with Christ as a way to manipulate my thoughts regarding the issue...

So you're against health care being provided for all who currently are without because they've been denied or can't afford it? That doesn't seem Christ-like.  Don't you think God wants you to help your brothers and sisters and not let them die because they can't afford health care? I would think that someone that claims to be a Christian would want to love and help their fellow brothers and sisters and support a way that could help the less fortunate get the care that they need.

Whoa.  Right?  She's sassy.


I can be sassy too...oh, and smarter...

Um, before you pull the "What Would Jesus Do?" mantra on me, please tell many babies would Jesus want aborted?  And thrills me (roll eyes) that now I get to pay for these abortions...and that is just the ICING on this poisoned cake!

My husband just told me that the Congressional Budget Office projected that 8 million people will lose their current health insurance and be dumped into the government program because their employer will drop private insurance and simply pay the penalty for not carrying insurance...

 Hope you aren't one of those people...

*Oh Snap*

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Outstretched Arms"...

The title of our sermon this morning...

"Outstretched Arms"...

I envision myself, laying in my bed in a New York City hotel room, thirteen months ago, arms outstretched...reaching for Jesus, the conquering resolution of today is the day to make things right with God!

Pastor Mark touches on God's salvation, preformed by God...he preaches God's plan to deliver His people, how without God we eventually destruct...God can change our destiny, He can change our everything!

Why would we chose to stay in bondage and disobedience when we can be delivered to the Truth, to Freedom?! 

God is our deliverer! (that is a very profound statement...I'll say it again...) God is our deliverer!

I soak up Pastor Mark's words...his message is piercing my heart, my soul...I feel as if he is speaking only to me...

And I love how in tune Pastor Mark is with his congregation...he must be paying attention...for the week I have just finished, and this...this is the's as if I called Pastor Mark and said, "this is what I need to hear...."

Pastor Mark quotes Oswald Chambers:

"God does not give us an overcoming life;
rather God gives us life as we overcome."

As I type this post I glance back through my notes from the sermon and I re-read my scribble underneath the above quote I documented:

It is our walk by faith and not by sight, emotions, or feelings that will allow us to overcome the challenges presented in life.  It is our confidence in His Word and our willingness to obey Him, to trust His plan for us....

I stretch my arms towards God again...

and I whisper...

God is my deliverer.

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."  ~Psalms 18:2

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'Cause You Got...Personality...

As part of my counseling sessions with "Dr. Phil My Soul With Jesus" she had me complete a personality profile to discover my strengths and weaknesses.  The purpose is to discover my true personality type (my first thought was, "which personality do you want me to discover first?" as in "I think I might have multiple personalities"...but that requires a different and special kind of doctor).

Completing the personality profile was a tool that helped me find a starting point from getting where I am now, to where I want to be (not living in my weaknesses, but living in my strengths).  While I am wired a certain way, I can overcome natural tendencies that hinder me from making the connections in my wiring that "turn the lights on!"

I have taken a few other personality profile tests for various jobs, so I was familiar with the process...but I have to admit, I have never taken one as detailed and accurate as this personality profile plan!  The results have completely opened my eyes to the truth...

I asked hottie husband to sit with me and participate in taking the test, he helped me to decipher some of the choice words that were presented. 

Here is how the test works:

I was given a booklet that was divided into two parts, strengths and weaknesses.  Each part has twenty (20) rows of four (4) "attributes" that I was to pick one (1) that most accurately describes who I am naturally, meaning I didn't take a class or read a book to learn a certain behavior. (For example, if you have been forced to take on a role for your job and now function that way fairly naturally, you would not check that was a learned behavior, not a natural one).

After choosing the words that best described who I naturally am in both areas (strengths and weaknesses) I tallied up the scores which then indicated my basic and secondary personalities.

Are you dying to know my personality profile results???

Drum roll please....

"Popular Sanguine"

The following is a description of a "popular sanguine" (copied word for word from the profile's scary how accurate it is!):

Creative person

Needs attention, acceptance "as is," affection, approval

Best at making initial contact with people, creating enthusiasm and excitement, encouraging and uplifting others, ensuring the group has fun.

Is apt to be too easily distracted and forgetful (I would disagree with the forgetful part, I'm pretty good at remembering every single detail)

Presents in a humorous style with a light touch

Can come on too happy or cute, is not considered serious or believable

Do not let them handle money (whoa! that is REALLY scary at how VERY TRUE that statement is!)

Then the profile lists out my strengths and weaknesses in three categories: Emotions, Work & Friends (listed word for word from the profile results):

Emotions - Strengths

Appealing personality
Talkative, storyteller
Good sense of humor
memory for color
Physically hold on to listener
Emotional and demonstrative
Enthusiastic and expressive
Cheerful and bubbling over
Curious (hottie husband calls this "nosey")
Good on stage
Wide-eyed and innocent
Lives in the present
Changeable disposition
Sincere at heart
Always a Child

Emotions - Weaknesses:

Compulsive talker
Dwells on trivia
Can't remember names (so wrong, I'm the QUEEN of remembering names)
Scares others off (I can see this...)
Too happy for some (I've been told this by a client once)
Has restless energy
Blusters and complains
Naive, gets taken in
Has loud voice and laugh (WOW!  Did they write this one specifically for me?!!)
Controlled by circumstances
Gets angry easily
Seems phone to some
Never grows up

Work - Strengths:

Volunteers for jobs
Thinks up new activities
Looks great on the surface (well, thank you!)
Creative and colorful
Has energy and enthusiasm
Starts in a flashy way
Inspires others to join
Charms others to work

Work - Weaknesses:

Would rather talk (duh!)
Forgets obligations
Doesn't follow through (I disagree)
Confidence fades fast
Priorities out of order
Decides by feelings (oooohh, not good when you are in sales)
Easily distracted
Wastes time talking (um, yes)

Friends - Strengths:

Makes friends easily
Loves people
Thrives on compliments (who doesn't?)
Seems exciting
Envied by others (whatever!)
Doesn't hold grudges (ummm....)
Apologize quickly (I do, I'm sorry)
Presents dull moments
Likes spontaneous activities

Friends - Weaknesses:

Hates to be alone
Needs to be center stage (why is this a weakness?)
Wants to be popular
Looks for credit (are they talking as in "cards?")
Dominates conversations
Interrupts and does not listen (ouch, this one hurt)
Answers for others
Fickle and forgetful (why do they keep listing this?)
Makes excuses
Repeats stories

Isn't this AWESOME?!  So now I can work on putting my strengths to work and learn how to compensate for the weaknesses!!

*Could you please keep all these traits in mind when you interact with would really help you like me better.....   ;)

This Really Frosts My Cookies...

I am EXTREMELY frustrated!

*As a side note, I recently took a "personality profile" for my counseling sessions to discover my strengths and weaknesses (more on that to come) and "easily discouraged" or "feelings can be hurt easily" were listed under my weaknesses...

When will people stop balking at my decision to follow Christ?!

This afternoon at the chamber luncheon two "friends" that I haven't seen or talked to in several months approached me to say hello.  We stood in conversation for several minutes when one mentioned that they don't see me out anymore (meaning at the bars).  I replied that I don't go "out" anymore, it's not who I want to be and I've made different (better) decisions in my life...

To which the other one commented, "you've become quite religious."  Then I heard, "yes...what's up with all the Bible versus you post on your facebook page?"  I replied, "what is wrong with posting Bible versus?" and this was the response...

"The next time you post a Bible verse on your facebook page, I'm going to post a photo from your college days with a caption that reads, 'where was Jesus then?'!"


But could you notify me first so I can immediately delete them? 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Knock, Knock, Knockin' On Heaven's Door....

Did you know that Jehovah's Witness's believe that only 144,000 people will enter the Kingdom of Heaven...

So when a Jehovah's Witness knocked on my door earlier this evening it wasn't out of line to ask;

"If only 144,000 people are allowed in Heaven, then why in Heaven's name are you knocking on doors trying to recruit more people????"

I guess I'm selfish, but if I believed that only 144,000 people were allowed in Heaven then I would want to make certain that I'm one of those people.

I'm just sayin'

*As a side note, the Jehovah's Witness just looked at me...  Hey, it worked....right?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You Say Palm, I Say Psalm...

Sitting at the dinner table earlier this evening...

Hottie Husband:  "Are you singing again this Sunday at church?"

Me:  "No, I'm not on the schedule again until Psalm Sunday..."

Hottie Husband:  "It's not Psalm baby, it's Palm Sunday....that's funny!"

Me:  "Um, baby I think I'm right this time...Psalms are a part of the Bible...therefore it's Psalm Sunday....DUH!"

Hottie Husband:  "Right.  Okay.  You keep saying Psalm....but can you wait to say it when we are around other people, I'd like to be a part of that..."

*Help me out here...I'm right.....right?

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Sister By Another Mister...

(Those are my sister's words...we share the same crazy mother but her father is my step-father...but we never think in those terms...she's my sister!)

Jordan Claire.  She is my sister.  She is twenty-six.  She is spunky.  She is hi-larious!  She is what I like to call a "tree hugger" (she's very concerned about the environment).  She eats only natural, organic foods and she could absolutely live without electricity or running water.... other words, she is the COMPLETE opposite of me!  ;)

I adore my sister.  I love to be in her presence...she makes me laugh, she offers advice (often from a perspective that I would have never thought), she is bold and vivacious, witty and full of useless knowledge.  But most importantly she is unique.  She has no stress regarding judgement (how others see her), no stress from a job (she freelance writes, using a degree in journalism at the top of her class), no stress from material items or worldly possessions (she can carry on her back all that she needs to survive).

Jordan travels...she picks up her life and she sets forth to pursue her dreams...and why not?  She has no significant other, no children, she's young, she can work from anywhere...

In February Jordan left for Thailand.  She met a friend (who is from India) that lives in Thailand and together they created adventures...

Last week Jordan (and her friend) traveled from Thailand to India.  What a life, huh?!  I heard from my sister via email over the weekend and I wanted to share her adventure with you...

I'm going to copy my sisters words (I say this because she can be crude....witty, but crude) and include the pictures (along with descriptions).  Enjoy!!  I must confess...she had me in tears...I was laughing hysterically!

Dear family,

Just woke up at the crack of two (that's PM) after some major napping (spending the mornings surfing, afternoons sleeping), starvin Marvin. G (that's my friend) is out running errands, and I'm afraid of her family feeding me (they make me eat like it's my job), so normally I would hide out in my
room, but at this point I'm beyond famished. So gma sits me down to a spread of fresh prawns, fish, and crab, all caught this morn, and I go to town. The maid, whom obviously doesn't think I'm throwing down fast enough, proceeds to come up to the table, grab the crab off my plate and crack it, then shoves it in my mouth with her hands, while I'm cracking more crab with my own mitts (we don't use utensils here.. I would give the food two thumbs up, but the right ones typically knuckle-deep in some sort of deliciousness.) Definitely not letting this lady into the bathroom with me..

 To fully explain recent life here at Irshad Mansion, here's a sampling  of conversations at G's grandparents dinner table:

 Uncle (Arif Mehboob) to G: "You must find yourself a boy with whom you have good geometry."
G: "Um, don't you mean chemistry?"
Uncle: "Yes yes, that too.."

G's Gpa (Irshad Mehboob, can neither see nor hear): "How is work in Taiwan Ghazala?"
G: "I work in Thailand, Dada, Thailand."
Gpa: "Oh, you should go to Hong Kong.."

Me: "This food is very good Dadi (G's Gma). Thank you, thank you so  much."
Dadi (what I heard in Hindi): "Hu na na. Oonama kakada dokida dakida."
Me: "What did she say?"
G (laughing): "She says she doesn't understand a word you're saying."
Me: "Yeah, well, feeling's mutual lady.."

Uncle: "You know I went to Bali once when I was your age."
G: "Cool. How'd you end up there?"
Uncle: "Well, I won a trip."
G: "How'd you win the trip."
Uncle: "Well, there was a cigarette company that was having a contest
drawing, so I bought some cartons, collected enough stamps for two
entries, threw all the cigarettes away.. and I won!"
G: "Rrrright.."

Here are a few photos from my stay in India...

"OoseyBoosey": Gma Irshad has the prettiest darn mustache I ever did  see, and I love her. I've been teaching her yoga while G translates, which  is more like giving a Thai massage while trying not to give a heart attack. Can't stop blowing kisses and hugging this lady- total snugglepuss. Although she did scare the crap out of me with her stories of witnessing 'jins,' (Muslim spirits living among us in a parallel world), when the electricity went out last night.. Which it does every night..

Wife beater meets Rolex. Irshad Mehboob puts the 'G' in 'Grandpa.'

"Bonafide Ride": Kickin back on Gpa Irshad's Ambassador Classic.
It's steamier than satan's nutsack here, but we have to have ankles to wrists fully covered around the Muslim grandparents. Works out though, because the mosquitoes around these parts are big enough to rape a rooster, and I'm like a casino buffet for them.

"Holy Rollers": Parade ceremony for Lord Ganesha (elephant headed Hindu god of wisdom) I peeped out the bus window. Yesterday on the same bus I saw a naked dude riding a painted elephant along the side of the road. No big deal..

"Monks That Dunk": Check out the Chuck Taylors.

The neighbor rolling up some non-wacky tabbacy in mystery leafs.

Not-so-biznatchy pic of me on Nandi Hills.

This guy would make a killing on the Wharf in San Fran.

Miss all of you, sending kisses!



Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Witnessed A Work Of God Today...

I've been anxious to share an incredible happening with you!  I caught sight of God's work this morning, it was AMAZING!  And I have been breathless with promise to share the testimony that God placed in my heart...

Hottie husband and I positioned all of our clocks ahead by one hour just before laying our heads on our pillows last night.  With the prospect of losing an hour of rest, we executed an earlier bedtime, especially because our youngest son Benjamin was being baptized this morning and we knew we had a full day ahead of us. 

Morning came quickly...but with the excitement of Benjamin's decision to accept Christ into his heart, we were able to swiftly move about and arrive at the church ahead of time for Benjamin to visit with Pastor Mark and prepare for baptism.

The congregation stood for worship and Pastor Mark introduced Benjamin to the church from the baptismal waters.  I watched through tears of joy...a feeling of reward, an awareness of the Holy Spirit growing within my family!

Pastor Mark with Benjamin just before Benjamin's baptism

Pastor Mark:  "What is your profession today Benjamin?"
Benjamin:  "Jesus is Lord!"

Water baptism is a symbolic burial, by which the new Christian publicly declares they have died, and are now beginning a new life, in Christ!

Praise God!

But my affirmation does not end here my friends!  Keep reading...

Our worship leader (I will not use his name for privacy purposes) stood in front of the church towards the end of worship and proclaimed that he is "afraid to share his faith"...

He stood raw and exposed in front of us and confided to his church family that for fifteen years he has worked side by side with non Christians and he has been afraid to share the Word of God...he asked us to pray for not only the non believers he works with, but the non believers of the world...he asked prayer for the Holy Spirit to use him to minister to these people in the appropriate way, in the appropriate times....

I cried. 

I understood. 

Jesus Himself was condemned for His light...

And then Pastor Mark stood center stage and Sunday's sermon was displayed on the screen behind him,

"Above Reproach"

The message of living a blameless life...spreading the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead, and that as the reigning Lord He now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe.  Jesus calls all who follow Him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with Him. The results include obedience to Christ, incorporation into His Church and responsible service in the world...

and I made a note, "a service of sharing my faith."

When people receive Christ they are born again into His kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

I leaned into hottie husbands ear and I softly whispered, "isn't it amazing to hear our worship leader confess that he has been afraid to share his faith, to hear his plea for courage...and this...this is the message...."

Hottie husband whispered back, "this is God, Betsy.  This is a work of God."

I already knew....

And I cried, once more...

I witnessed a work of God today...

In fact, I witnessed two!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I Close My Eyes...

Saturday.  Thank you Lord for Saturday...I've been looking forward to this day all week. 

Monday through Friday...hell.  I'm just going to say it...pure hell.  Family issues, work issues, whiney children, I end my  day at five o'clock and I am instantly thrust into the role of a chauffeur to my three boys sports practices, school events, church functions....where is my down time? 

I have been hit with controversies and circumstances out of my control....

Do you ever feel out of control?

Saturday....oh, I have longed for you Saturday!

7 am.  Why am I awake?  It's Saturday...I have no schedule today.  My eyelids flutter...I open my eyes and I let out a deep sigh. 


Flat hair.  Sahara Desert like legs.  Aching body.  Restless mind.  My eyes feel like a sand pit.  I sit up and listen to the hum of the heater, the soft ticking of the side table clock, hottie husbands snoring....

And I slowly close my eyes and allow myself to drift into another world...and do you know what I imagine?

I live in a climate where the weather is never above or below 72 degrees.  The sun is always shining, the moon is always bright.  The trees in all their green glory sway in the gentle wind, the leaves rustle a soft song....

Robert Pattinson is my neighbor...and I look out my kitchen window while sipping on my French Roast coffee and wave back to Robert, who is skimming the top of his pool, preparing for a morning swim. 

Barack Obama is republican...and there is no crazy talk of health insurance.  Oprah pays my taxes, shoot, she pays ALL of my bills...because let's face it, she's gotten by with enough "easy life", right?

Bratz Dolls are outlawed.  The more sugar you eat, the more weight you loose.  Personal trainers named Andre don't increase the intensity of the workout when you gripe and complain. 

Pink is the preferred color, everywhere.  We wear ball gowns to wait, there is no work...we get paid to stay home and lay by our backyard pools and watch Robert Pattinson a speedo.  And we make good money at that....

John Travolta brushes my hair.  Channing Tatum paints my toenails. 

"MOM?!?!?!!!  What's for breakfast?!?!?"

I am violently tossed back to reality....

And I reach for the bottle of lotion on my bedside table, because dry legs are something I can control...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I've mentioned before that I am seeing a Christian counselor.  I see her once a week (typically on Thursdays) for an hour, sometimes we go a little over an hour...and honestly, I feel that she is another angel that God has placed in my path.  She has made all the difference in my healing...the craziness that swirls in my head.  Her spiritual wisdom is comforting, and it creates a thirst inside of me for more.

For privacy purposes (obviously I'm not worried about my privacy, but for the privacy of my counselor) I will refer to my Christian counselor as "Dr. Phil My Soul With Jesus" (although my counselor is a woman, that's the most clever name I could come up with).

Today "Dr. Phil My Soul With Jesus" and I discussed forgiveness.  Forgiveness is something that I struggle fact, I think forgiveness is something everyone struggles with, would you agree?  Within our conversation, I discovered that forgiveness (or the lack thereof) is the source of many of my sorrows, my stress, my struggles...

Did you know that unforgiveness is a sin?  Here is an example...

I have an individual in my life, a family member, that I have held towards resentment, anger, frustration, sadness...all sorts of ill will  for most of my life.  I have placed blame for many of my mistakes on this particular individual, and at the same time, I have allowed this individual the freedom to rob me of my confidence, to trample on my feelings, to disregard my very existence (do you hear the anger and sadness?)...

For twenty-nine years I have judged this individuals sins against me (and by the way, it's not about me...not just me, anyway), but I never realized that I was living in sin by not forgiving, and my sin of unforgiveness was causing the heaviness of sadness, resentment, anger, frustration...all of it.  I was crippling myself by not forgiving this individual...


"Dr. Phil My Soul With Jesus" and I focused on forgiveness...and how the Christian way of life is forgiveness, which makes sense, right?  Because forgiveness is most like Jesus.

But forgiveness is so difficult for is against our nature.  It is natural to seek vindication when we feel wronged....right?  But...unforgiveness causes mental, emotional, and physical harm...(it's like a light has just been flipped on....mental harm, emotional harm, physical harm).

And so together, "Dr. Phil My Soul With Jesus" and I will focus on forgiveness.  And I will shed my own sin of unforgiveness by forgiving...

And I will have peace.


I want to leave you with something someone recently emailed to me...this simple sentence sums it all up...

She writes:

"Because He has forgiven me, I can forgive you."


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Anyone who has known me for any length of time (shoot, anyone who knows me, period) knows that I often misuse or mispronounce words ALL. OF. THE. TIME!

Hottie husband has kept a journal over the years of what he likes to call "Betsy-isms"...

Grab a front row seat and feel free to laugh out loud:

Words my wife misuses or simply says the wrong way

Silent Pa-tetly:  otherwise known to those of us that are a bit smarter as "silent but deadly"

Pa-tu-ity: you know, that added amount to your dinner check for a party of eight or more...we call it "gratuity"!

Ass-tri-gent:  or you could use it's correct pronunciation, "astringent"

What are you trying to infer?: what she means is "what are you trying to imply?", (this is one of my favorites)

Fax-i-meal: to the rest of the business world the word is "facsimile"

"I need to have my wedding ring biggend": when she was pregnant with our children she needed her wedding ring "enlarged"

"That happened light years ago!": news flash my love, "light years" is a measure of distance, not time

Ambercrombie and Fitch: it's actually "Abercrombie and Fitch"

Voice-terous: you mean "boisterous"?

Once while Betsy was waiting tables she had a customer ask her if there were any dairy products in the soup of the day...Betsy's response was, "just the chicken."

Another time Betsy was waiting tables a customer asked her to bring two, Thousand Island dressings...Betsy's response, "I'm sorry sir, we only have 'One' Thousand Island dressing..." quickly followed with a "ooooooohhhhh....right." 

Laying in bed one summer night, trying to cut down on the electric bill (by the way, Betsy ALWAYS says "electricity bill", it cracks me up) by not using the air conditioner...Betsy:  "I'm so hot I'm sticking to the air!"

Betsy talking to a friend on the phone the day after Christmas:
Betsy:  "Guess what I got for Christmas?"
Friend:  "What?"
Betsy:  "An np3 player!!!"
Friend:  "I think you mean mp3!"
Betsy:  "Whatever!"

A customer paid Betsy a compliment when she worked as a teller at a local bank:
Customer:  "Betsy, I'm impressed with how you can multi task!"
Betsy:  "You know me sir, I like to kill a bird with two stones."
Customer:  "I think you mean kill two birds with one stone!"
Betsy:  "Whatever it takes!"

Questions and Breakfast:  however, the Chamber refers to it as the "QMB...Quarterly Membership Breakfast"

A Time A Dozen:  she really means "a dime a dozen"

A leopard can't change his color:  and he can't change his "spots" either....

At the pop of a hat:  hats can pop?  How about "at the DROP of a hat!"

Betsy has been practicing with the choir at church for the Cantata on Easter Sunday.  Not able to attend all the practices, Betsy was feeling badly about missing out and walked up to the choir director and said, "Jill, it's not fair for me to miss so many practices, so I'm dropping out of the CANTINA."  Jill's response was, "Well, I'm not sure about drinking margaritas, but I'd love for you to still be a part of the CANTATA!"

(this was just last week)!!

Close, but no cigarette:  or "cigar"

I'd love a cup of jope:  I corrected her and said, "it's joe, baby" and she replied, "don't be an idiot Mark, why would it be joe??"  and I'm thinking, "ummmm....why would it be JOPE?!?!?!"

He was standing in the bluff!: I think she meant "buff"

Betsy can not say the following words (but ask her to's VERY entertaining):

Alka Seltzer


Those are just a few of the entries...

And I am sure there are many more to come....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life Verse...

In our life group we have been sharing our life story and our testimony.  Mark and I will share our stories on Sunday.  I have my testimony, and my life story...well, that's easy.  But I've never really given much thought to a life verse, which is something everyone else that has already shared included in their history. 

This week I have immersed myself in scripture, anxious to find a life verse for my story.  I've offered much prayer for a life verse and although I have uncovered many, many beautiful verses that would be relevant to my life story and my testament, nothing has really spoken to my heart...

Until today.

Many of you are aware of my recent particular struggle that has proven to be a challenge and tests me every day.  Yesterday was a particularly difficult day in this challenge...I stumbled...I fell...I felt crippled, as if I could not find the strength to stand back up....

Last night I went to God.  I asked Him to revel to me His vision for my life.  I specifically asked God to bless me with a verse...a verse for me to focus on...a verse for me to memorize and apply to my everyday life.  A verse that I can say out loud the next time that I stumble (because there will be a next time), that will allow me to pick myself up, brush myself off, and get back on my path towards glorifying my God.

Tonight, a little over an hour ago, I opened my Bible and I began to read...just like I did the other day, I blindly opened the pages of my Bible and I began to read whatever God opened my heart to....

I was reading...


and then it jumped off the page, and it startled me....

and I began to cry.

I found my life verse...

2 Corinthians 3:17

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Allow me to share with you why I feel this particular scripture is my life verse...

Because in Christ, I am free...

to love.
to grow.
to hurt.
and to heal.
to obey.
and to abide.
to surrender.
to rest.
to try.
and to fail.
to laugh.
and to cry.
to live.
to explore.
to hope.
and to dream.

I have found freedom in Christ.

And I found my life verse!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Burn After Reading...

I've started working out with a personal trainer again...

Andre.  Big.  African-American.  Fierce.  Does not handle whining well.  Immune to batting eyelashes and bribes.

This morning was my first workout with Andre.  Andre wants me to keep a journal.  I will record my eating habits and my feelings every day. 

This should provide a wealth of entertainment for all of you...

The following is my entry for today:

Day 1.  March 8, 2010

5:30 - 6:30 workout.  After twenty minutes of cardio I lifted weights for the first time in....Lord only knows how long it's been.  Andre said I would start with some "light" weight lifting.  Light my fanny...sixty pounds on the squat machine feels like I'm giving birth to all three of my boys at the same time, all over again.  I actually cried as I walked up the stairs to my office this morning and it took me a good ten minutes to sit in my chair.


Breakfast:  Chai Latte from Coffee Zone (um, the owner is a friend of mine and he makes me I'm sure the calorie count does not effect me), nutri grain cereal bar (mixed fruit)

Mid-morning snack:  Craisins (cranberries/raisins...this was a first for me...I promptly gagged at the first try.  Craisins will definitely not be on my diet).

Lunch:  Garden salad at home.  I had no salad dressing in the refrigerator.  I ate the cucumber slices and the shredded cheese from the salad.  I made a note to myself to pick up salad dressing, then I opened a box of Wheat Thins and ate half the box.

Dinner:  Shrimp Creole that hottie husband made.  Delicious.  Hottie husband left to take the boys to Boy Scouts and as I was cleaning up the dishes from dinner I spotted a Tupperware container of "can't leave alone" bars that hottie husband made yesterday.  I have discovered why they are called "can't leave alone" bars...I ate four.

Bottled Water:  0
Diet Dr. Pepper:  4

Mood:  Cranky, irritable, tired and hungry

By the way, Andre and I started off on the wrong foot this is an actual conversation between the two of us (by boss will get a kick out of this):

Andre:  "Did you bathe in your perfume?  Seriously."

Me:  "What?  What's the matter?"

Andre:  "I'm getting a headache from the toxic amount of perfume you are wearing.  Good Lord Betsy!"

Me:  "Seriously?  What do you want?  Do you want me to sweat like a pig and smell like a barn?"

Andre:  "It might be better."

Me:  "Don't forget that I pay you for this."

Andre:  "Seriously, I should call you in for fragrance abuse."

Me:  "Shut up and count...I'm not doing one more sit up than I have to!"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One Small Voice...One BIG Message...

My name will never be up in flashing lights.

The paparazzi will never hunt me down (although I've come close when the News Tribune called me for an interview about my Oprah trip) *smile*

The only time I give my autograph is when I sign my checks (which I do little of since hottie husband has taken the checkbook away from me)

I'm just one. little. a BIG, BIG world...


I can be glory to God by using the talents that God has provided to me...

Take my blog, for example...I use my talent of written expression through my blog.  When I started my blog, it was intended for entertainment purposes...but read through my entries begin to change...I began to change...

I still write for entertainment...some of my posts are simply for fun...but more and more I use my blog to share my spiritual journey with you...

God speaks to you through my struggles, my fears, my thrills, my anguish, my mistakes, and my joys.  I open my heart and I pour out my soul to you...and (selfishly) the best part is when one of you reaches out to me to share that I have touched your heart...or I've inspired you to make a change in your's happened...a few times.

And so I will continue to share my joys and my sorrows, my praises and my pains and my passion for Christ with you! 

Oh...and I'll still continue to throw in the occasional "funny"....

For the time being this is how He is using me....He is using my "open" and outgoing personality to share my testimony and to touch hearts!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who else?...

Who else do you know that can accomplish the following list on a Saturday, beginning at 5:30 am and finishing at 5:15 pm...

Remove all wall hangings and nails from four walls in boys bedroom
Fill nail holes
Move out furniture
Roll up carpet and carry to garage for Spring clean up
Drive to Lowe's, pick up paint, accessories and a new rug
Paint four walls and ceiling in boys bedroom
Swiffer and steam all wood floors (the entire upstairs)
Swiffer and steam kitchen floor
Clean out refrigerator (including taking out shelves and washing everything down)
Remove grate from refrigerator and clean underneath
Dust entire upstairs
Clean all patio doors
Roll out new rug in boys bedroom
Change sheets on FOUR beds (three boys and ours)
Move furniture back into boys room
Place all knick-knacks on shelves in boys room
Wash all comforters and place back on beds
Hang pictures back on walls of freshly painted boys room (don't worry, they were dry...I opened the window and ran the attic fan to speed the process)
Clean bathroom and steam bathroom floor


But my OCD is at rest....

for now.

Sinners Repaint....

(I can't take the credit for the clever title...I saw it on a sign in a newly renovated church in NYC)

Apparently when I have gone before God and asked for forgiveness I release the burdens of my sin by waking up at 5:30 in the morning on a Saturday, removing all the posters/frames from my two youngest son's bedroom walls, throwing on a pair of sweats and standing outside of Lowe's until they open at 7 am to buy paint to paint the boys bedroom....


Field Time Green is now the color of the four walls.  Blue Jean Denim is the color of the ceiling.

An even mixture of both colors is now the color of my hands, my right elbow and the fanny of my gray sweats...

At least I've repainted...I mean repented!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Oprah...

Dear Oprah,

Last Friday I FINALLY had the opportunity to sit among your audience in the Harpo Studio!  I had anticipated that moment for SEVEN was overwhelming to say the least.

I write to you today to share this revelation with you:

I. Am. So. Over. You. !!

I think these feelings began while I sat in the "holding room" THREE HOURS prior to the taping of your show...this was AFTER I had been violated by your security, having my cell phone, my camera, my purse, my coat, ALL taken away from me.  I even carry prayer cards (small, business sized cards that have Bible verses written on them...a treasured gift from a friend that I carry with me daily) took those away from me too...what's the matter?  Did you think I might change someones life with a verse or two?!?!?

My feelings of disappointment only grew stronger when individually we were called up to take our seats in the the audience....according to what we "look" like.  My self confidence has plummeted since the show, thanks to the ladies that gave me the "once over" and seated me far from the front....

But...when you walked out on that stage, my ill will began to subside....UNTIL YOU WALKED OUT IN FLIP FLOPS AND STOOD CENTER STAGE, SNAPPED (yes, I said snapped) YOUR FINGERS AND A STAGE HAND RUSHED OVER AS YOU HELD ON TO HIM AND HE GENTLY PULLED THE FLIP FLOPS OFF YOUR FEET AND PLACED A PAIR OF (thousands of dollars, no doubt) JIMMY CHOO'S ON YOUR FEET....(note to self, get stage hand and Jimmy Choo's for Betsy at the Movies)...

What a diva.

But I'll tell you when I really knew I was over you....

During the taping of your show, Roger Ebert sat on your stage next to you and answered the question you posed, "How do you go on?"  Having no voice of his own due to a diagnoses of thyroid cancer and having his vocal cords along with his lower jaw removed, Roger typed his answer into the Apple laptop he held in his lap.  In a robotic voice the computer read his answer, "I live for God's will.  I trust in God's plan.  Even when the doctors said to me that my chances of surviving were slim to none, I called on my prayer warriors and they prayed by my bedside all night.  I believe in the power of prayer!"

AMEN!  (I yelled)

What a powerful statement to an audience of 350 at the time...but when the show would air on national television it had the potential to reach MILLIONS.....


I. Am. So. Over. You.


(seven years follower-lover of all things Oprah-now totally over you)

PS.  Should you decide to send Nate Berkes to my house and finish my basement like I've asked you for seven years, I may reconsider watching your show again.

*Actual message written on a urinal wall in a local restaurant (don't ask me why I was in the men's bathroom)...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Here is an interesting story...

A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared with me that she was with a group of church ladies (I love saying takes me back to Saturday Night Live...remember the church lady?!?) and she was telling a story from my blog and within the story she said, "Betsy Dudenhoeffer, who goes to church with me...." and one of the women said, "What!?!?!?!  Betsy Dudenhoeffer goes to church?!?!?!?!" 

Yes...that is a common reaction for those who have known me since childhood (especially the teen and college years)...

But allow me to go further...

Last week while I was in New York I had some time free time while I was sitting in a Starbucks waiting for a client and I was playing around on Facebook (Starbucks in NYC provide laptops at their tables...very chic)!  Suddenly, an instant message from a long lost high school friend pooped up in the lower right hand corner of my laptop...this was the brief dialogue between me and my "blast from the past" friend...

Friend:  "Betsy!  Hello!  Long time no see or talk!  How are you!  What are you up to these days?  I'll be in town on the evening of March 13th, let's get together!"

Me:  "OMGosh...Hello!!  Wow!  Talk about an old friend!  I'm so glad to hear from you!  March 13th, huh?  I would love to have been able to see you, but I have a church group that evening, can we try another time?"

Friend:  "What?!?!  CHURCH?!?!?!?  When did YOU start going to CHURCH?!?!?"  (typed just like that...) is both my confession and my testimony:

I am a reformed "bad girl" gone "God girl!" 

And....I LOVE the new me!  I'll even boast a bit and go further by saying I'm PROUD of the new me!

Let me share something else with you....

Earlier this evening I was attending a community meeting along with various community leaders from various businesses, churches, non profit organizations...and across the isle from me sat a young man, dark, "bed head" hair, leather jacket, jeans and loafers.  He introduced himself as John Skyles, Pastor at Solid Rock Church....

I gave him a quick smile...

Afterwards as I was grabbing my purse John walked up to me and said, "Did you go to Jefferson City High School?"  I replied, "Yes..." He inquired again, "Did you graduate in 1992?"  Again, I replied, "Yes."  He took my hand to shake it and said, "Was your maiden name Fine?" (Oh no....what does he remember and where is this conversation about to go?)...hesitantly I replied, "Yes..." and he smiled a beautiful smile and said, "I'm John Skyles, we went to school together but you may not remember me...I was a junkie back then..."

And I stood holding John's hand in my hand and smiled at the thought of the reformed "junkie" who was now a Pastor! 


I'm sharing this with you because it is important to me that all of you (old friends and new) understand that I am still Betsy "Fine" Dudenhoeffer...funny, witty, compassionate, sometimes an adventurous soul, imaginative, full of laughter, loud, talkative and loving life....

and now I add to that list....the love, the mercy and the grace of Jesus Christ in my heart.

While I sat in the New York airport last week during an almost two hour delay I emailed a favorite friend of mine the following:

"I'm sitting in LaGuardia airport with a two hour delay.  I left my book in the pocket of my luggage, so I sit alone with only my inside personal thoughts.  I look around at the countless strangers that surround me, creating various life situations for each one; 'she is catching a flight back home from a girls week in NYC.  She wears her thigh high boots, an impulse buy, as she is shy and quiet...she anticipates the look on her husband's face when he greets her at the gate.'

All the while I ponder my own life and how far I've come...I often have to pinch myself as I sit in a Starbucks on 52nd and Broadway.  I tear up when I recall the amazing people that have crossed my long and winding, often bumpy, sometimes veering path....

And I think about my decision to follow Christ...the escape from an unpleasant life, the adventure of a far better way of life, free for new things, open for growth and creativity...

And I smile."

So....for everyone that has the reaction of "Betsy Dudenhoeffer goes to church??!"....

Not only do I go to church, but I'm also on the children's ministry parent committee, praise and worship team, choir and my family and I belong to two life groups....

Yes....Betsy Dudenhoeffer goes to church....and she LOVES the new Betsy!  ;)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Grabbing On....

Recently I have been tested and challenged from all sides...typically I would think that I'm under attack...

Last week while I was in New York I was alone...and the quiet allowed me time for a lot of prayer and devotion with God.  I feel as if I've done a lot of growing up over the past week...that may sound silly to some, but the prayer and the devotion presented wisdom, and I realize that the testing and the challenges upon me have been a blessing...

Last night I opened my Bible, no ribbon marking a beginning or a continuance...I just simply opened my Bible with the assumption that whatever verse I was led to would be my focus for this healing path I am walking...

My fingers led me to 1 Corinthians 10:13:

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

No longer was it that my fingers led me to this verse, but God...this was definitely a God thing!  I am reminded that Jesus never promised that he would spare me from worldly discomfort...but He did promise to stay with me, He will never leave me.  And as the verse says, He will never tempt me beyond what I can bear...and furthermore, He will grant me the strength to endure it. 

Suddenly I could was as if a light flipped on....I understood.

And the sun rises...and I begin my day...and mid morning I am challenged, once again.  And I think to myself, "Where is God now?  Where is the strength that He promised?  I can't endure this..."

And I hear a voice..."You have to take ahold of the have to grab my hand....I will help you endure this challenge...."

Wow!  Of course I knew that God would provide...He would walk me through...but I wasn't grabbing his hand, I wasn't taking ahold...

But here is the real gift....

This evening I returned home from a church meeting and I layed on my bed and began to cry.  I felt so very weak....confused...beaten....

And I grabbed my Bible and I allowed my fingers once again to surprise me with a verse....

And this is what God presented to me tonight,

John 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I grabbed His hand....and I'm holding tight...

I now understand that God wants me to use this challenge to develop and strengthen my faith!

And so, I'm trusting in God....I'm fully trusting in God. 

...And I feel stronger already!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Harrahs & Hooters...

Saturday hottie husband took our two younger boys to St. Louis for the day before picking my mother and me up from the airport.  The three of them visited Union Station and the Arch.  Below are a few texts I received on my iPhone from hottie husband throughout their adventure...

Text #1

Just left Union Station, asked boys what they want for lunch. Jack suggested McDonald's, Ben asked if we could go to Hooters.  When I asked him if he knew what Hooters was he replied, 'yeah, the place where they have poles and the waitresses wear tight shirts"...where does he come up with this stuff?

Text #2

Just drove by Harrahs Casino, Ben asked if we could go pull the handles on the money machines....

Text #3

So far the boys are having a great time.  Both have been well behaved.  Jack loved the Arch and is fascinated with the architecture.  Ben, on the other hand, wants to gamble and go to strip clubs...

My return text to hottie husband's last text:

I always knew that Benjamin was my pay back....