Archive for April, 2009
What can I say that I haven’t already said?
This week was all about Relay for Life and the celebration of Matt’s victory over cancer.Â Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.Â Literally.Â And it even says “Survivor.”
What more, honestly, can I be grateful for?Â I have my husband back.Â My worst fears were not realized.Â We are still a famiy of four.Â My children have their dad.
And it looks like it just might stay that way for a lifetime.
You bet I’m grateful.
I honestly don’t know what all the hubbub is about the final 4.Â It’s not like the Miss America contest where third runner-up still gets a terrific bouquet and an awesome sash and a “scholarship” or anything.
You get in the final four on American Idol, and you get the same thing as the final 10.Â Squat.
In all fairness, I do realize that American Idol provides these singers a platform that will springboard their careers to places they probably can only dream about.Â Most of these entertainers will sign lucrative record deals once their year of commitment to Idol is complete.Â Most of them will record top-40 songs and go on to become common household names.Â But if the goal is to be “The Next American Idol,” then there are no prizes for 2nd – or 3rd, or 4th, or 5th – place.Â So I’m stuck with the irony of it all.
Anyhoo, on to the predictions.
I LOVED this night.Â LOVED the music, the swagger, the style of it all.Â And for the first time in a long time, I felt that there was truly no clear leader.Â Everyone brought their A-game, and as a spectator it made for some great watching!
However, someone’s got to be in the bottom, and at this point, they generally don’t collect the bottom three anymore.Â I’m following suit and picking my bottom two:
Don’t get me wrong.Â I loved his song.Â I thought he did an amazing job.Â I just think it was easily forgettable, and being first tonight hurt his chances.Â He’ll be back next week, rest assured.Â But in a field of 5, someone’s got to be #4.
Which brings us to #5…Matt Giraud.Â I’m sad to see him go.Â I really, really liked him, although he looked a bit apathetic in his initial audition (remember the white t-shirt and jeans?).Â But he just never seemed to be “top” idol material.Â I’m glad he made it this far – he certainly deserved it – but he’s just used up his ninth life and it’s time for him to make way for the real superstars.
We’re countin’ down to #1…we’ll see if my early season predictions still hold.
With great thanks to my Bible study leader for sending me this!Â Feel free to comment and add your own.Â This could be lots of fun!
A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Here are some of the results:
God is like….
HE WORKS MIRACLES.
(or for an older slogan…HE ADDS LIFE)
TRY HIM, YOU’LL LIKE HIM.
YOU CAN’T SEE HIM BUT YOU KNOW HE’S THERE.
God is like…
THE HEARTBEAT OF AMERICA.
GOOD TO THE VERY LAST DROP
God is like…
HE’S THE QUICKER PICKER UPPER…HE CAN HANDLE THE TOUGH JOBS…AND HE WON’T FALL APART ON YOU.
Now it’s your turn!
When you live near the beach, it’s easy to take it all for granted.Â At first, it’s exciting.Â The sounds, the smells, the sensations.Â But after awhile, you become acclimated and it’s no longer new or different.Â And so it’s time for a change.
Today, Matt and I are setting out for another stay on the beach.Â We’ll do things a little differently this time, having the benefit of experience.Â But our hopes are high that together we can finally finish what we started almost 9 months ago.
We began with our official weigh-ins this morning.Â Despite the fact that I’ve been waffling around in a comfy 4-lb. range for the past 6 months, the last few days I have packed it on and ended up heavier than I’ve been since Christmas.Â Figures.
I’ll continue to post updates on our progress, as well as recipes we discover along the way.Â It’s good to be back on the beach, even if the scenery is a bit different.
This is my I Am Second story.
I have been a Christian nearly all my life.Â I accepted Jesus’ sacrificial death for my sins and God’s offer of forgiveness when I was 5 years old.Â I was baptized when I was 9 years old.Â I grew up in the church, attended Christian schools all the way from first grade through college, and taught in a Christian school for four years after graduation.Â My testimony is not so much how I became a Christian, but rather how I’m becoming a Christ-follower.
About two years ago, I was preparing a sermon series for children’s church on Hebrews 11 – the heroes of faith.Â I was in the midst of writing the lesson on Abraham when I was struck with God’s call for him to leave: to leave a life where he was successful, respected, and known to follow God.Â To lose it all, to know no one, to not even know where his ultimate destination would be.Â And I thought, “How can I challenge these children to follow God when I’m not willing to do the same?”Â At that moment, God got my attention.Â I began to realize He might just be asking me to do what Abraham did – to step down from my position of leadership at our church…and ultimately to leave that church completely, to risk losing friendships and relationships, to go from a place where we were well-known and respected – and go to a place God would ultimately show us.
So I did.
A few months later we sensed God was leading us to McKinney Fellowship Bible Church.Â It wasn’t long before we saw His hand leading us into ministry and finding ways to plug in and get connected.Â I thought I was finished.Â But God wasn’t.
Last fall, a little more than a year after that initial call to follow, God gave us a test much like He did Abraham.Â Matt was diagnosed with cancer and I had to make the choice to be willing to lay my “Isaac” on the altar of sacrifice.Â Those months were difficult as we wrestled with all the uncertainty, fear, and worry of such a life-altering diagnosis.Â Mercifully, just as He did for Abraham, God provided a ram in the thicket for us and healed Matt completely.Â And I thought I was finished.Â But God wasn’t.
Now the time has come again for me to make some choices.Â Will I choose my own way, or will I let God lead?Â Will I allow fear to guide me into making decisions or will I walk in faith, trusting God to provide?Â My first step of faith was in regards to my job.Â Though our plans were different, I believe God is calling me to stay home another year and continue teaching piano.Â The financial implications of this decision are frightening and I’m tempted to take matters into my own hands and try to create a security blanket.Â But that is not what God wants me to do.Â I must walk the pathway of faith and trust that God will provide for all my needs and those of my family.
But above and beyond, God is placing in my heart a desire to do more to BE more for Him.Â To be more of a light.Â To reach out beyond myself and my desires or wants.Â I believe God is calling me to go on a short-term mission trip to Uganda.Â The thought of doing such a bold step of faith scares me – not so much for the going-to-Africa part, but for the overwhelming emotional impact it will have on me.Â I have to again walk the path of faith and trust that God will provide: financially for me to go, but also emotionally and spiritually for me to be effective while I am there.
Like Abraham, following God has taken me to unexpected places.Â But I am excited about what lies ahead.Â No longer do I want to miss out on God’s blessings because I am too selfish, too afraid, too stubborn to do what God is asking.Â No longer am I content to sit back and live a life of comfortable Christianity.Â No longer am I satisfied with the status quo of ministry and outreach.Â No, I want to live a life that is dynamic, have a faith that is active, and be willing to listen, to obey, to follow…wherever.
My name is Debily, and I Am Second.
I have this friend who is a whiz at deal-shopping. You know, one of those super coupon clippers/deal finders who never pays more than $10 for a monthsâ€™ worth of groceries.
Well, okay, thatâ€™s a bit of an exaggeration, but she does find amazing deals and ways to save money on basic necessities.
While I donâ€™t have the desire to spend hours poring over circulars, coordinating my grocery lists to coupons and doing my meal-planning based on whatâ€™s on saleâ€¦I do admit wishing I could be a little better at finding deals and saving money.
Which is what brings me to this post.Â Torrey, this oneâ€™s for you.
I had to go to CVS to drop off a prescription.Â I needed to pick it up the same day, so I ended up waiting in the store for it to be filled.Â While I was there, I decided to browse the clearance area just to see what was there.Â Much to my surprise and delight, I found some great deals!
Childrenâ€™s Generic Triaminc Cough Syrup – $0.75
and it doesnâ€™t expire until 2011!
4-pack of glittery Christmas ribbon – $0.25
Disney princess stickers (2-sheets) – $0.19
and since weâ€™ve met our deductible for the year, our prescription was free!
Total spent: $2.87
Knowing Iâ€™d scored a terrific deal: Priceless.
Welcome to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life – Speer Family style!Â I’ll be your tour guide through an amazing night of celebration, hope, and life…and through an experience that opened my eyes and impacted me deeply. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I’m just grateful to be here.
Perhaps I should back up a bit.Â Yesterday, I had a frightening experience.Â And though I’ve made it through safely, that doesn’t change my perspective one bit.Â To coin a phrase, I’ll start at the very beginning (because that’s a very fine place to start)…
I awoke yesterday morning with a slight headache.Â Nothing major, just an annoying throb in the back of my head.Â Something which wasn’t particularly debilitating but had the potential to make for a very long day.Â And in my line of work, a headache is truly the last thing I need.
If you know me, you know my aversion to taking medicine.Â It’s not that I’m against medicine or am into holistic and alternative treatments.Â I just don’t like taking pills.Â It’s not a texture thing, they don’t get stuck in my throat, I don’t even particularly dislike the taste.Â It’s more that I just don’t like interrupting my day to swallow a couple of little round things.Â It’s just one of those quirky little things about me.Â If they made pills more like M&M’s, that would be a completely different story.Â And I’d probably be addicted.Â So I thought I’d wait it out – get going on my day, have some water, eat some breakfast – and perhaps the headache would go away on its own.
By 11:15 my head still hurt, so I broke down and decided to take something for it.Â As I was driving to my next students’ house, I rummaged through my purse and grabbed the first bottle I could find: Aleve.Â Though I prefer Tylenol or Advil, I’ve taken Aleve before and it’s done the job, so I took two and continued on my merry way.
During the first lesson, I began to feel queasy and unsettled inside – kind of nervous, jittery, anxious and excited.Â Things were just not right.Â I couldn’t put my finger on it but I was feeling very “off.”Â I thought that was odd since I hadn’t eaten anything unusual.Â During the second lesson, my body went crazy.Â First, my hands started itching uncontrollably.Â I sat there, scratching them, for a good 5 minutes while we chatted and visited.Â As she was playing her songs, I noticed my hands were shaking and quite swollen.Â I began to feel hot and my heart started racing.Â That unsettled feeling grew stronger and I was beginning to wonder if I was breaking out in hives.
At around 12:40 I left their house to grab some lunch and run an errand or two.Â I noticed my hands were quite red and there were patches of hives all up my arms.Â I took a moment to look in the mirror in my car and what I saw left me breathless and speechless…and not in a good way.Â My face was distorted from swelling in my cheeks, nose and lips.Â My forehead, cheeks and chin were bright red and splotchy.Â My neck looked as though it was sunburned, with a pale spot underneath my chin.Â I noticed that my legs were starting to feel hot and scratchy and I was generally miserable.
At that moment, I realized I was probably having an allergic reaction to those Aleve I took.Â I decided to skip the errands and head straight home.Â I needed lunch desperately but knew in my current state I’d probably cause anyone who saw me to lose their appetite.Â I made a brief stop at Subway to pick up a sandwich and hurried home.Â By this time, the symptoms were easing somewhat and I figured the worst was past.
My reprieve didn’t last long.Â As I was eating, my feet began to itch terribly.Â My toes and feet swelled up to the point where it hurt to walk because the skin was stretched so tight.Â I was horribly uncomfortable and that unsettled feeling persisted to the point where I was becoming concerned.Â I called my family physician to see if I should come in or just take some Benadryl.Â Their advice: go IMMEDIATELY to the emergency room.
Thankfully we live very close to the hospital.Â It took me longer to find a parking space and walk in than it did for me to drive there.Â As I filled out the form, the triage attendant asked me what was wrong.Â I told him I thought I was having an allergic reaction to some Aleve I had taken.Â He noticed instantly how red and swollen my hands were and asked if I was having any trouble breathing.Â Other than being winded from the walk in from the parking lot on little sausage feet, I told him no.Â He told me to have a seat in the waiting area, and within 10 minutes I was ushered back for treatment, completely bypassing check-in and registration.
They sat me down just outside the registration area and a doctor and two nurses greeted me instantly.Â The doctor took one look at my hands and feet and told me they were making me a priority despite the fact that they were crazy busy at that moment.Â As she walked off, she commented to the nurse “Get her in quick.Â She’s severe.”Â They first gave me two Tagamet pills and followed that up with two shots: one of Benadryl and one of a steroid to decrease the swelling and control the allergic reaction.Â I was a good girl and didn’t even cry when they gave me the shots.Â They then took my vital signs – all of which were excellent – and escorted me back to an exam room to be monitored.
By now, the Benadryl was kicking in, and with a lack of TV or any magazines in the exam room, I settled in for a short power nap.Â After about 30 minutes, the doctor came back to check on me and noticed that the redness had gone away and I wasn’t nearly as swollen as before, so she gave the okay to have me released.Â The nurse reviewed the three prescriptions I was to take and ushered me to check-out, where for the first time EVER I didn’t have to pay a single penny.Â Thank God for HDHP’s!
I quickly drove home and managed to teach the remaining students I had that afternoon.Â I was feeling drugged and a little woozy, but I was okay.Â Thankfully, my job allows me a lot of sit-down time, so I was able to rest a bit while the students played through their songs.
Just for fun, I took a look at the Aleve bottle while I was recuperating in the exam room.Â The bottle clearly defines the allergy symptoms:
Warning:Â Alergy Alert: Naproxyn Sodium may cause a severe allergic reaction, especially in people who are allergic to aspirin.Â Symptoms may include hives (check), facial swelling (check), asthma (wheezing), shock (check?), skin reddening (check), rash (check) or blisters.Â If an allergic reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.
Wow.Â So now I know.Â I’m grateful for friends who care – and who urge me to go to the emergency room! – and for the wonders of modern medicine.
Oh yeah, and I’m grateful that my headache went away.
It’s Disco Night…and you know what that means.
It’s hit or miss for our contestants.
The hits: Danny, Kris (WOW), and Adam.Â Allison had a strong showing but it definitely wasn’t her best performance.Â She seemed to be trying too hard and a little over the top.Â I think she’ll be safe, but she needs to up her game next week.
The misses: These were easy.Â First of all, we have Lil Rounds.Â Although I felt she finally was in her groove, and her vocals were great, her performance was nothing new, nothing original.Â She is a star fading in the distance and it’s only a matter of time before she is gone.Â I predict she’ll be in the bottom three and be one of the two voted off this week.
Second, we have Matt.Â The judges *unwisely* chose to save him last week, which only serves to prolong his agony…and ours.Â At times last night I wasn’t sure if I was watching Matt Giraud or Justin Timberlake.Â The song was over-the-top, cheesy, and incredibly karaoke.Â Matt needs to have his bags packed before the show tonight as we wave good-bye to the soulful dueling piano player.
And then we have Anoop.Â He was anoopin’ awful.Â The song was so anoopin’ boring I had to fast-forward through the anoopin’ performance.Â Problem is, he’s so anoopin’ likeable, and the VFTW effect is still alive and kicking so I think he’ll anoopin’ sail on to next week and be in the final 6.Â Never fear, though, his anoopin’ legacy will live on through his anoopin’ awesome name.Â Isn’t that anoopin’ crazy?
Tune in tonight – when you’re not busy watching Lost, or the Rangers, or the Mavs…
Ahoy, there, mateys!Â ‘Tis I, the Dread Pirate Debily, and I’m here to tell ye landlubbers about my adventures with the scurvy young lads of Pack 303.
‘Twas their great “Graduation Campout” of ’09, and the weather had been a-fright all week.Â Stormin’, and thunderin’ I tell ye.Â But those scalliwags they set a course for adventure and fun and pitched their tents right beside me ol’ pirate ship at Camp Wisdom.Â ‘Twas fine sailin’ weather after all, and the lads brought the wee’uns and the old’uns to share the adventure.
‘Twas midafternoon when the seadogs turned sour and we found ourselves in the midst of a fierce battle between the Tigers and Wolves, Bears and Webelos.Â There was a’splashin of the water balloons, and a’hurlin’ of the water, and the leaders were a’fightin’ to stay dry.
The fightin’ was fierce, and the scalliwags were everywhere.Â But the leaders fought bravely, aye, they did.
Aye, our cubmaster was a’lookin’ a lot like Cap’n Morgan.
The seas between the ships became afoul but those lads fought through the mud.Â Tough little buggers, I tell ye.
Then it was time for the eatin’.Â Aye, we were feastin’ like royalty on hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.
Those lads donned their Class A uniforms for the crossin’ over ceremony.Â No more piratin’ for them.
They were a’showin’ their Bear badges for the last time.Â ‘Tis time to walk the plank, mateys, and cross over to Webelos!
The lads journeyed to the circle where the crossin’ over was to be.Â The mosquitoes were thick, but those hearty boys just made the best of it.
And then it was time to walk the plank!Â The lads, they lined up and took their paces.Â The parents lashed the scalliwags with the new neckerchief and shiver me timbers!Â They were Webelos.
Mighty Scorpion Patrol, ready for action!