Several weeks ago now, Mrs. Alber from Diddle Daddle Designs listed under My Favorite Blog/Site List "tagged" me and I'm just now getting around to participating (partly because I am really average and ordinary and it honestly took me that long to think of 6 half way interesting things about me). I encourage you to visit Mrs. Alber's blog. She is one creative lady and the mama of the wonderful high school Senior I have mentioned before. So this is how this particular tag game works: 1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on your blog. 3. Write six random things about yourself. 4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. 5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. 6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
So now, without further ado, here are six very random (and hopefully somewhat interesting) things about me:
1. With each passing year I'm becoming more and more of an introvert. Really. In grade school, high school, and college I was classified as a social butterfly. These days, however, I really love being in my home with my family and familiar surroundings and occasionally going out with small groups of my closest friends. Right now I am sitting in my living room with a small fire in my fireplace. Everyone else is in bed. I'm listening to Jim Brickman (I LOVE him!), getting ready to work on what could be a very moving scene in The Heart's Journey Home, and, I tell ya, I'm as happy as a whole bucket of clams! :)
2. I have recurrent nightmares about two things: flying (in an airplane) and tornadoes. Funny, because I've flown before and we had a tornado touch down in our town a few years back, and I'm still alive to tell about those experiences. Hmm. Any dream interpreters out there?
3. I have a "bucket list". Right now there are really only 4 things on it - take my girls to Disney World, go whale watching in Alaska, visit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and ring in a New Year in Times Square. (I'm not oblivious to the fact that in order to accomplish any of these I'm going to have to get over #2.)
4. I've been writing since grade school and wrote my first novel when I was a sophomore in high school. It was titles The Dark Side of the Mountain and I wrote it in spiral bound notebooks. My friends would read it and write their names in the margins to mark where they left off. What a fun keepsake!
5. While I'm typically a happy person . . . I cry at the drop of a hat! Once we went to the Eagle Sanctuary in Dollywood and they showed a video of Osceola, an eagle who had lost his wing in some sort of an accident. He would never be able to fly on his own again, but the good people at Dollywood took him out on a hang glider so he could have one last flight. I was a mess! It was embarrassing, but I couldn't help myself. It was so touching! Don't even get me started on the St. Jude commercials. And when I pray in public, I can't even make it through, "Dear Lord," without sniffling. Pah-thetic!
6. Last one. One of my many flaws (but probably my biggest) is that I am a terrible, and I mean terrible, house keeper! Laundry is the worst for me because there is NEVER a light at the end of the tunnel! Even when every single stitch of clothes is washed, dried, folded, and put away (and I'm doing good to get to the last two) we are still wearing clothes so there is STILL laundry to do!!! Ironically enough, though, I really, really enjoy my house when it is clean.
Now, I'm going to bend the rules a little. Hope that's, okay, Mrs. Alber. Since most of the people I know with blogs are my writing buddies that I've already linked to and I know they are super busy with deadlines and such, I'm going to tag ALL OF YOU! Make a comment to this post and tell me some interesting facts about yourself or feel free to comment on any of mine. (I'm sure my sister, Karen, will not hesitate to comment on Fact #2! She is constantly teasing me about being a scaredy cat, but she never hesitates to watch my girls for me when I need some writing time so I let it slide. Love you, Kiki!)
But enough about me . . .
PRAYER CONCERNS: Please pray for my dear, sweet friend, Janie Thornton. Janie has made a lasting impression on my heart when she shared her testimony with me last year and everyday as I watch her dedication and faithfulness to the Lord. Well, Janie's 92-year-old mother went home to be with Jesus on December 19th. I don't get to see my mom at Christmas but I always know that she's just a phone call away. I can't imagine going through the holidays without hearing her voice. Janie remains very faithful to the Lord and to His promises that she will see her mother again, but I'm sure she will have very heartsick, lonely times in the weeks and months to come. Please pray for comfort for her. Pray that wonderful memories will fill her brain and sustain her through her lows. And pray that God's love and the love of her family and friends will wrap around her like a soft and cozy blanket. I love you, Janie! Also, please pray for Kimiko Bryant. Kimiko is the grandmother of three wonderful students in our school. She has been diagnosed with lymphoma and has a tumor in her stomach. Her spirits are very low right now. Her daughter, Rika, asked specifically that we pray mightily for the Lord to fill her heart with an indescribable joy, a strong desire to live. Please, dear God, I'm praying that You give Kimiko the disposition of a young child on Christmas morning, a young woman walking down the aisle to her Prince Charming, a soldier reuniting with his family after many months of separation, and that mother holding her grown son, healthy and unharmed, after she had spent so many sleepless nights praying for his safe return. Father God, fill Kimiko's cup to overflowing with the joy and hope that only You can give. I'm also praying for healing and strength, comfort and peace and for the wisdom of her doctors.
UPDATES: Two posts ago I mentioned Kristen Miller. Kristin has Marfans Syndrome and is preparing for open heart surgery to repair a leaking valve. Her surgery is scheduled for Jan. 28 at the Cleveland Clinic. If all goes well, she will be in the hospital for seven days and home for six weeks of recovery. Kristin is very nervous because she had an open heart surgery a couple years ago and had one complication after another occur which left her in the hospital for months instead of weeks. Kristin nearly died. She gave me permission (through a mutual friend) to include a link to a blog she was keeping in which she journals about her harrowing experience: http://white-picket-fence.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_archive.html. This is what I honestly believe with all of my heart: I believe that the Lord has big plans for Kristin. I believe that He is going to use her to further His kingdom and, I don't know about you, but I just can't wait to see HOW He uses her, what mighty work He has in store for her and her husband, Jason! In the meantime, however, Kristin has a major hurdle to jump, but she will make it because we are going to pray her through it! There IS power in prayer! We must start right now THANKING God for bringing Kristin through her surgery with flying colors. Pray that the Lord will comfort Kristin and Jason and fill them both with a peace that passes all understanding in the quiet moments leading up to the surgery. Pray that the Lord will guide the doctors hands throughout the procedure. Pray for supernatural healing and strength afterwards. Also, I need you to please pray for their finances. Medical costs add up quickly, even with good insurance, and Kristin will be on a meager disibility income for several weeks afterward. I know that we are living in a hard time, economically speaking. Believe me, I understand that. But I also understand that the Lord has taught us to care for one another in times of need. In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus says, "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" If you feel you can offer any monetary support to Kristin and Jason during their time of need, please email me personally and put "Kristin and Jason" in the subject line. Thank you! Now, I have an update that I've been busting at the seams to give you! I don't know if you remember our friend, Robin Baughman. She is the 40-year-old mother of 4 on our list of prayer concerns because she'd been diagnosed with stage four cancer in her brain, breast, and lung. Well, I just got word today that her brain is CANCER FREE!!!!! Woo hoo! She is undergoing treatments for the spots on her breast and lung, but what a victory! One battle won in this war she is fighting! We just have to pray her through two more and she will have stomped that nasty cancer into the ground! Please lift her up whenever you think of her. I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again, and again: THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER!
I have been and am still working hard on this very crucial scene in The Heart's Journey Home. It has been challenging, as I was telling some of my teacher friends at lunch today, because I've had to "get into the head" of a non-Christian. Thanks to my wonderful mother who made sure we were in church AND Sunday school every Sunday with few exceptions, I don't know how to NOT believe - in the Bible and its promises and truths; in Jesus and the amazing price He paid for us; in God, the Creator who gave up His one and only Son because He loves us that much. I don't know how to NOT be moved by that. So I've really had to spend a lot of time searching my heart with "What if" questions. I've sought the counsel of my pastor. I've probably bugged Chris to death with "Hey, Chris, do you think about this . . . " and "Hey, Chris, what do you think about that . . ." I've done quite a bit of praying, too, that the Lord will just tell me what to make this character do and say. When it's done to the best of my ability, I believe that I am going to have a pretty decent scene. Maybe, just maybe, I'll let you weigh in next time. But then again . . .