Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Still Growing

Chuck and I started going to Small Group in May after attending our church for years. Grow Groups or Small Groups are the new Sunday Schools for adults.  We put off finding one because?  Because they mostly meet on weekday evenings and that just seemed impossible to commit to.  Chuck drives in to the driveway most nights at 7:00 pm.  He's been up since 5:15 am.  It almost seemed cruel to ask him to commit to this but he said he would try it with me.  I've done a few women's Bible Studies and we've done a couple of Couples Bible Studies on a stretch of Sunday afternoons...but never a long term commitment on a weeknight like this. 

We found a group called Empty Nesters and about half of the group lives in our area...the other half closer to the church, which is 25 minutes away.  Chuck does his best to get home early enough for the drive there if it's closer to the church. We meet on Wednesday evenings and are enjoying the fellowship with other "empty nesters." I have to bite my tongue to keep from talking too much and Chuck sits there and squirms because he doesn't want to get called on. We are the picture of "opposite."

We are somewhat late to the Bible Study thing.  I have always taught Sunday School and that is where I have learned my Bible knowledge.  The level of Kindergarten through Second Grade is a wonderful place to start.  It's simple. God loves you.  He sent His son Jesus to take our sin away.  So the level we have jumped to is scary and intimidating for our current study on Revelation.  (ugh..not pleasant at all)  I have lots of questions.  It seems the more I read and hear, the more I question.

Not that I don't believe in God.  And I know the Bible is His word spoken to others and documented in history.  But living in 2012, it takes a lot of study and knowledgable interpretation to apply His word to my daily life.  Mind boggling when what I'm searching for is His comfort and strength and GRACE.  I want my God to be loving and comforting and then I read Revelation?  Yikes.  And by "read" I mean stumble through words with no comprehension whatsoever.

But we carry on.  We have committed. 

One really sweet thing that has come out of our Small Group time is some of the homework we had lately.  Our preacher was doing a sermon series on marriage.  Our Small Group assignment followed the subject of the weekly sermon and the topic of marriage and we were asked this question...

What one characteristic have you come to appreciate most about your spouse since your wedding day?

We were to answer this by writing it on paper.  Then we would hand our paper to our spouse to read out loud on Wednesday evening.  Some wrote only one "faith" or "caring."  Some wrote a paragraph or two.  We were to keep it to a 3 minute response for time purposes.  Our group is not so small...about 8 to 10 couples.

I wrote mine a couple of nights before the meeting but, of course, didn't share it with Chuck. I asked Chuck if he had done his "homework" on Tuesday evening...before the Wednesday night Small Group meeting.  He said that he didn't....and then mumbled that he wasn't a good writer....and some other  mumbling.  I told him it wasn't about how good of a writer he was...just write one word.


                                  You can't think of one characteristic you appreciate about me?


So know this when you read what he wrote.

But letter to Chuck...which he had to read out loud in front of a group of people.  This is the most words he's spoken in a year.  I'm not kidding.

And now sweet Chuck's letter to me...a man of few words...a man who says he is not a good writer...

Yep.  I had to read that long, long letter out loud. 

So Small Group has been a success if for nothing else, I got this letter from a man of few words...who turns out to be a very good writer.  Who knew he had all those words in his head? 

By the way, the series on marriage was very good. 

You can listen here.


I guess the title of this one and only post in September should be September.
 It makes me sad that I haven't posted in awhile. 
 Not that y'all are hanging around waiting
but that I really want to keep up with posting on here
 as it is my memory I'm preserving on this little blog. 


I hosted Book Club at my house this month, so I had motivation to rearrange furniture and get the fall decorations out. I even decided to start painting the staircase.
Yep.  That's how I roll.
Book Club coming up?  Let's take on a major project that includes sanding, oil-based paint and lots of paint thinner. Oh, don't take in to account that Harry breathes in and hairs fly off of him.  Even if Harry is closed off outside while the painting is going on, hairs seem to be flying and landing in the wet paint. And yes, I vacuumed first.  I vacuum a lot these days. 
Why did the stairs need painting?  Because in the 13 years we've lived here we adopted 3 or 4 dogs that were in puppy stage when we got them. And puppies like chew toys.  And a puppy thinks stairs are awesome chew toys.  When they got through with one step, they moved on to the next one.  I rarely go upstairs, but when I do I would avoid eye contact with the chewed wood on the stairs.  But repair and repaint was always on the To Do list. 
Anyway.  One coat is on and the second coat is needed.  The chew toy part is on the inside of the staircase, next to where the carpet is attached...on the horizontal piece of the stairs.  So noone would see it unless they were climbing the stairs.  But why not tackle this before Book Club? grrrr.  Even I get on my own nerves.
Before I leave the subject of Painting the "only me" story.  I asked Chuck to bring me a rag with some paint thinner on it, as I kept dripping paint on the carpet.  He brought me a paper towel with a dab of paint thinner.  I then asked him to bring me a rag soaked in paint thinner because it was going to take more than a dab.  He brought me a very soaked rag.  I kept it on my lap as I worked my way down the stairs.  Dabbing here and there...and putting the rag back on my lap so I would have it close by.  I knew better than to put it on the carpet but thought nothing of putting it on my lap. 
After several steps of painting, I stood up.   My stomach (the skin) was on fire!  It was burning.  I lifted my shirt and I had burned my stomach skin with the rag of paint thinner.  We googled said to soak a burn from paint thinner in soap and water...and only go to the ER if it was blistering.   So I had a "sunburn" type burn on my stomach...raw and burning but no blistering.   And of course, I feel sure the toxins went in to my system....and if it causes cancer, I don't know want to know.  Please don't tell me.  Unless, there's something I can do about it.
Book Club came and went...and was a fun night, as always.  We chose Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
It's a really good book. While I don't usually read mysteries, this one was a page turner that kept my interest to the end.  Although, I'm not sure I understand the ending so I look forward to discussing it next month.
This past week, I did a little sewing.  One of the things that Magpies Gifts (where I work) offers is monogramming.  So I had some fabric monogrammed and made a pillow for our bed. 
I used a body pillow that is 20 x 52. I found a piece of linen on yes, it looks wrinkled even after I ironed and starched it.  I cut the front fabric and pinned off the center then sent it to be monogrammed first. 
Then I finished the pillow with some quilted fabric in the back...with an envelope opening so I could squeeze the pillow in there.  That should have been and the long, fat pillow tackling each other to get it in the small opening.  Like pushing a baby back in to the small opening it came from. (Jordan...don't read this part.)
I decided to go with Est. 1983 instead of our monogram because it would be longer on the long pillow.  I love the way it turned out. 
And here's where I tell you that we never...or rarely make up our bed.  Well, Chuck pulls his side of the covers up nicely in the morning...but my side looks like a tornado went through.
 But if we do make up the bed, it will look like this. 
While the sewing machine was out, I may have sewed some "happies" for my new grandbaby.  Jordan is respecting Chris' wishes in not finding out the gender of their baby.  So gender neutral it is.  It's going to be a mad dash to Target on the day that baby is born!   I am passing up a lot of pink and blue stuff.  
It's funny how things have come full circle.  When we were having our babies, it was a thrill to find out the sex of the baby.  Ultrasounds were so new and most insurance companies wouldn't pay for them unless there was a medical reason.  My ob/gyn sent me for one each time with a wink-wink, "I think you are measuring further along than you really are so let's get an ultrasound."  They would tell you what they thought the sex of the baby was but they weren't always accurate.  In my case, they were...but we all heard the stories of the nurseries being decorated for a girl and out came a boy.  And now that ultrasounds are so common place and the science is so accurate, more and more couples are waiting to be surprised in the delivery room.   
 (Jordan, if y'all change your mind about finding out, I'm 100% okay with it!)

Even if the days are still scorching hot,
we are starting to have some cooler mornings and evenings. 
So there is hope that Fall is really around the corner.

I have a lot to look forward to in the next few months, but I continually train my thoughts to stay in the moment.   Right now.  This moment.  It's all we really have.  And looking out my back door and seeing this?  This moment made me laugh. 
Check out Jordan's blog if you have time.  She is writing the sweetest letters to the well as experiencing the roller coaster of emotions and hunger pains also known as "pregnancy."