Here are the welcome messages from
September 2003

9/5/03 September 5, 2003
9/17/03 September 17, 2003
9/17/03 September 17, 2003
September 5, 2003

It's that time of year again.  School starts this week and my husband, a high school teacher, goes back to work today for teacher meetings.  He already has started going to football practice.  (He's a football coach, too.)  That means that I will be a football widow again.  It's hard the first week or so, but I get used to it.

The worst part is that my husband is unavailable for almost everything that happens or needs to be done from Monday through Saturday. I have a long list of things I want to get done around the house now that my vacation is over and summer is just about over.  Most of it is waiting for the weather to get a little cooler as most of it is outside.One thing I want to do that I've been putting off is clean out my freezers.  I have a freezer in the garage as well as a refrigerator with a freezer on top.  The garage refrigerator is mainly for keeping water, sodas, etc. cold and we often use it for overflow when I am cooking a lot of food for a party or something along that line.

There was a time when I anticipated that all my sons would be living elsewhere and I started rearranging my frozen foods into the small freezers on my house and garage refrigerators.  I was planning on getting rid of the big freezer.  Well, that went by the wayside when my youngest didn't move out and my middle son moved back in.  All my frozen foods are in the wrong freezers now since I had started moving them.  I've not wanted to mess around with the freezers because it has been so hot...LOL!! 

Did you miss me?  I realized that this is the coolest morning we've had in a while and I opened up the garage really early this morning to cool it down.  So, I stopped mid sentence and defrosted my big freezer.  Now I can go shopping and buy foods on sale and freeze them again.  I've been trying to use up everything in the big freezer so I could defrost it.  Maybe I was subconsciously hoping that my sons would change their minds and move out.  All I know is that it wasn't getting done.There!  My list is one item shorter!!  Hooray!

Wow, once again I am amazed at how time flies.  It is hard to believe that it is September already.  Wasn't it just June?

I'm going to lunch today with a friend of mine.  We saw each other a lot when my son was in band, but we have to see each other on purpose now that we don't have anything in common except the friendship we developed.

You know, it takes time to have friends when you aren't seeing each other at a particular event.  You have to make a date to see each other.  There are so many people that I miss seeing.  Busy schedules cause us to lose touch.  It is sad. 

Well, it's starting.  As soon as my husband is busy with school and football things start to happen.  My washing machine is all of a sudden acting up.  My sons took a bunch of garbage to the dump and our utility trailer popped off the hitch and needs repairs.  It's amazing!  The very same day my husband is unavailable..... 

I wrote all the previous things on Tuesday morning.  I was going to finish up the Bible study that afternoon and something came up.  I have no idea what it was now.  Then, on Wednesday morning, I went with my husband to the school.  While he was in meetings with the other teachers I worked in his classroom.

I was putting away things that he pulled out for last year's class.  At the end of the school year he has to put all his things in his storage room so the custodians can wax his floor.  Everything ends up in a big mess.  I told my husband that I would come to his class the day after school is out next summer and put things away BEFORE he piles everything on top of each other and shoves it all into his storage area.

I spent Wednesday in his classroom as well.  I pulled everything out of his filing cabinets and re-labeled everything.  The files were getting all crunched up and my husband couldn't find everything.  As a matter of fact, a lot of the things in the cabinet were in folders that had no tabs.  He had to peek into each one to see what was in it.

Then, we discovered that all his quizzes for the driving tests (he teachers driver education) were outdated.  I spent Wednesday afternoon and evening and all afternoon and evening yesterday typing up new ones.  I got the first 25% done.  Then, yesterday morning I went to one of my prayer partners' houses for prayer.  She was on a long vacation and we haven't gotten together in two months so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Then, I got up this morning and it is Friday already and I haven't updated the Bible study yet!  You see... this is what I mean about time flying by!  I just lost another week! 

Link to the 9/5/03 Bible study.
September 17, 2003

What happened?  I thought that I'd have more time once school started!  For some reason I seem to be busier.  I've been spending the last few days doing a project for my husband's class.  He teaches driver education and has to send a report to the state showing which students were given certificates of completion for the class.  My husband has misplaced some of the student lists.  I have a bunch of certificates unaccounted for as well as some missing addresses.

I was able to figure out the numbering system for the certificates and figured out which students got which numbers on the class that my husband lost the list of assigned numbers.  I did a good job because he found that list and I had matched the proper numbers with the students.

I'm trying to help him make it easier by designing a chart that will enable him to assign certificates without having to write all eight digits of each number each time.  By the time he gets everything simple it will be time to retire.  LOL!

I was thinking that now I am almost done with that project and I remembered that I hadn't finished re-writing his class tests.  I got section one of four done and my brain decided to remove it from my mental "to do" list.  As I cleaned off my computer desk I found the rest of the tests.  Oh dear.

I bought a new coffee pot and it is making me crazy.  The old one I had started leaking.  I decided not to get the same kind, although the old one was nice.  It was a Bunn and it had a water reservoir that kept water hot all the time.  That way you could have a pot of coffee done in less that five minutes.  When you pour in new water it would push the hot water out.

However, it is expensive to buy and it uses more electricity than the other kind of pot since it keeps the water hot all the time.  So, I decided to go with a regular one that I could program to come on before I got up in the morning.  That is fine, but it has a timer that shuts off the heating element under the carafe two hours after it comes on.  So, if I set it to come on a half hour before I get up then it goes off an hour and a half after I am up.

That doesn't work.  After an hour of time reading my Bible and praying then I fix my husband's lunch and breakfast.  So, when I come in here to read my email after my husband has left for school I have no warm coffee.Then, yesterday, I turned around to see water mixed with coffee grounds bubbling out over the top of the pot.  I guess the filter clogged up the hole?  I don't know.  I kept the box from the pot and if it tries that again I am taking it back to the store!

Is nothing ever simple any more?

Spending time with God used to be a simpler thing.  Today the phone rings a lot more than it used to ring.  People knock on the door trying to sell me things.  My mail (regular, not email) is full of things that need attention.  I don't want to throw away the junk mail which is usually invitations to get credit cards.  I don't want our personal information to be floating around in the trash or blowing around in recycled paper.  (As I was typing that my phone rang.  It was a wrong number interrupting me.)

Things are so much busier these days.  I've found that the only time I can dedicate 100% of my time to the Lord is if I get up earlier than everyone else.  I'm not a morning person.  It takes me a little while to wake up so the quality is lacking at first, but I can find no other option.

I read one time about a mom of a large family that would spend time with God by pulling her apron up over her head and sitting down.  Her children supposedly knew to leave her alone when she did that.  I wouldn't be able to concentrate.  My ears would be listening for things and I would be wondering if the children were OK.  After all, they find ways to get into trouble in "childproof" rooms. 

For some reason my prayer time with God feels strange.  I feel like I am in a fog and am not connecting.  I don't understand what the problem is.  I don't know if it is me or if God is trying to teach me something.  I've gone through this type of thing before.  I refer to it as a desert time because I am thirsty for communication with God.  I don't like it at all, but don't know what to do about it.

In the mornings I begin by praying but usually end up feeling like there is a wall between God and me.  I know there isn't a wall, but that is the closest description I can come up with as I am describing a spiritual thing with non-spiritual earthly words.

Whenever I feel my prayer time being a desert time I open my Bible and read.  I know that reading my Bible is always a good thing under any circumstances.  I also know that things will change.

I know that God is right here beside me all of the time.  I also know that He is guiding me in the things I say and do.  I just long for the type of communication I've had with Him in the past where I feel Him leading me in how to pray, which results in more powerful-feeling prayer.  I long to have conversations with Him.  I long to hear His assurances of things He will be doing.  Once again, I am trying to describe spiritual things and regular words fall short.

Well, don't run away.  I know that He is still working here at the Clarion Call.  He has a good Bible study for us.  Shall we move on?  I can't wait to see what He has for us this week. 

You might want a little clarification on how I can be in a desert and God still be using me.  I used to wonder about that, but no longer because He showed me something.  Usually, whenever anyone writes to me about the Bible study I have to go look to see what it was because it wasn't me writing it.  When I go read old Bible studies in the archives I usually don't remember those Bible studies.  I am amazed at how powerful they are.  I guarantee you, it isn't me writing them!  I'm not that good! 

Link to the 9/17/03 Bible study.
September 22, 2003

I got my garage cleaned up this weekend!  Wow, was it a mess!  Our garage door hangs too low and we can't park our Ford Expedition in the garage.  My truck is way too big to fit in the garage, so the only vehicles we have in the garage are our bicycles.Since we don't have a car in there it becomes a dumping place for things we are too lazy to put away. 

Once things start to pile up then it gets difficult to get to the shelves.  Then the things that would normally be set on the shelves get piled on top of the other stuff.  I got tired of looking at the mess so I spent two days out there.  I even vacuumed cobwebs.  It looks great.  It hasn't been that nice looking in a long time.  (If a garage can ever look nice, that is.)

Now I have to clean off my desk in the house.  I found things in the garage that needed to be put away in the house.  So, cleaning up one mess created another.  Isn't life fun?

I get to go visit my mom for a couple of days.  I wanted to get this online before I left so here it is... on Monday!  Yay!

I was afraid I would have to postpone my trip to my mom's again.  I was not feeling well last week.  Her immune system isn't great and I don't go if I am carrying any germs.  I feel better now.

I said I was afraid.  I don't like that word when it really means afraid.  In my sentence it translates to "concerned." 

2Timothy 1:7 tells us, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  I hear Christians talking about being afraid.  I even hear pastors saying it.  They aren't meaning "concerned," either!

Whenever we feel that quickened heartbeat that signals fear we need to bring God to the very forefront of our mind.  We need to remind ourselves that He is God and He is right beside us.  We need to focus on that "power" mentioned in that verse.  We need to hide behind God's arm and let Him take over.  After all:
"If God be for us, who can be against us?"
Rom 8:31

I haven't gotten my vacation pictures back yet.  I mailed them off a month ago.  The post office apparently squeezed the envelope in one of their machines and popped the film rolls out.  Fortunately, I had stickers on the film that identified them to the lab.  Unfortunately, instead of being sent to Los Angeles for processing they got sent to Maryland.

I was going to put some of the pictures online for you to share (if they came out good, that is).  Pretty soon it won't even feel like I had a vacation.

I do love to look at pictures, though.  My memory has never been real sharp and pictures remind me of things I've enjoyed throughout my life.  When I am taking pictures it seems like I am taking lots of them.  When I get the pictures developed I regret not taking more of them.  When will I learn?

I finally got most of my pictures put into albums.  It takes me a long time because I write on the backs of the pictures.  The last few years I've been getting mostly double prints so I can give some away.  So, that's twice the writing.  Then I write on index cards that slip into each page of the picture album.  That way I don't have to slip the pictures in and out of the pockets.  It takes a long time to do, but it is worth it in the long run.

I wish there was a way to get my camera to follow me around and take pictures of me.  Unless I can get my family to stand still and act pleasant I usually only have pictures of scenery.  Because of that I decided to do something a little different.  I collect scenic postcards of the places we visit.  Usually the postcard photographer was able to stand in areas where I couldn't and usually they took the pictures on a sunny day.  So, I have even better pictures that I could have taken.  I then can save my film for chasing my husband around and trying to get him to smile in front of something scenic.

I did get video of the both of us in Utah.  We stopped at a view area when the sun was rising.  I put the camera on the hood of our truck, turned the viewfinder around so I could see that we were in the picture, and we were both on film at the same time.  I'm glad we had to buy another video camera.  The screen pops out of the side and you can turn it all the way around to do like I did and film myself.  Plus, the battery I bought for it lasts 10 hours!  The same sized battery for the last camera we had only lasted 45 minutes and cost just as much!  So, now I find myself taking lots of video.  I even film while we are driving.  It would be boring to anyone else, but I can pretend I'm still on vacation.
Winking face 

I think we may have found ourselves a church.  I'll let you know once we feel a little more established.  We haven't attended any Sunday schools or Bible studies yet. 

Link to the 9/22/03 Bible study.

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