Friday, February 26, 2010


In the [stolen from her blog] words of Middle Daughter . . .

For 56 years, Houstonians have celebrated Go Texan Day, and this year is no different!

The Friday before the Rodeo kicks off each year
, every single person in the Greater Houston area is encouraged to pull out their finest Western apparel to get in the rodeo spirit.

Even preschoolers. (As evidenced by Buckaroo Boogie Bear in the above pic.)

Even Baby Daughters. (Note the above pic of her most recent lunch-hour purchase.)

Even Mamas . . . well, not so much. When I tried to put on my cute pointy-toed cowboy boot-like mules this morning, I was faced with one of those hard girly-decisions: Do I want to look cute or do I want to walk?

Of course, any other time, I would've picked looking cute, hands down. (Duh! Why do you think I said it was a "girly-decision"!) But slipping into those cute -- dare I say it, sexy, even -- stacked heels for the first time since last year's Accident, I realized that now it really isn't a ha-ha question anymore. It was literally look cute (I guess on a skateboard or in a roll-y chair or or somethin') or walk.

Dang it.

Oh, well, I've always been more of a "Miss Kitty" kind of western gal than an "Annie Oakley" one, so despite my definitely un-sexy, un-Tex-y footwear, I did keep on my big ol' Lone-Star-State-size dangly earrings, my jeans, and favorite peasant blouse and headed off to the school house wearing able-to-walk-in shoes.

And tomorrow, while some of you bloggin' sistas are decorating for spring, I'll be dressing the family room at Casa St. Michael in its finest western wear, complete with Texas flag. (Maybe I'll take some pics to post.)

Ahhhh, Texans . . . it's fun to be us!

Enjoy the weekend, wherever you are!

Grins and ya-hoos!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What about the change?

I never cease to be amazed by the things perfectly normal-looking people will ride around in public spouting on the backsides of their cars. I've seen women happily bestowing a particular title on themselves through the adhesive and paper stuck to the bumpers of their cars that they would probably slap someone else for calling them to their face. ("B**CH on Wheels!" Have you seen that one?)

While most of us understand, especially these days, the parent who proclaims, "Proud Parent of a Marine [Sailor, etc.]," don't you kind of wonder about the parent whose trunk proudly proclaims, "My kid can beat up your honor student"?
And do you really want to be driving through police-patrolled streets with a bumper sticker that reads, "I Love Weed!"?

Then, you've got to wish you were the person who came up with the idea of marketing those yellow ribbon magnetic stickers. Whoa! (Talk about hitting the jackpot.)

Of course, there's that little fish, too, that many of us sport just below or above the name of our car dealership's logo. The ICHTHUS. (That symbol that proclaims to the heathon we just passed that we're in such a hurry because we're late for choir practice at church!) You can get them in silver tone or gold tone, with Greek letters on the inside or without, with "Jesus" on the inside, or with "TRUTH" in all caps. (You can even get a "TRUTH" fish gobbling up a little two-legged "DARWIN" fish.)

Actually, I kind of like seeing fishes on the backs of cars. It makes think that maybe if I broke down on the side of the road, some nice fish-car person would see the fish on MY car and stop to help me. I haven't had to test this, but that's what I like to think would happen, anyway. So, I notice the fishes on the backs of cars and smile at my would-be rescuers on the road.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a fish that I'd never seen before. On my way to work one morning, I noticed from a distance the outline of that little fish on the car stopped at the traffic light ahead. As usual, I thought to myself, "Awwww, how nice! If for some reason I stall out at that intersection, I could honk my horn and there'd be a nice fish-car person to help me!" (Yes, I admit it -- I am a little goofy, or, at the least, I do think a little differently from most people.)
As I got closer, however, I felt kind of sick. Inside the familiar Ichthus shape were the letters "P O R N." I just sat there kind of stunned. (If that kind of fish-person stopped to render aid in a crisis, would I have to take off my clothes?) I have to admit that after feeling a split second of disappointment, I felt ticked (Gee, I hope this is not becoming a theme with me!) How dare this person take OUR symbol and turn it into something ugly like that! How dare they desecrate a Christian symbol like that! Why, if someone did that with a Star-of-David or a crescent moon, the ACLU or Anti-defamation League or SOMEBODY would be screaming bloody murder -- nobody would stand for such a thing!
Now I ranted on like that to myself for a few minutes until another thought occurred to me: How often has someone looked at me from a distance and seen what they perceived to be the familiar outline of something Christian only to be seriously disappointed as they got closer?

Talk about a traffic jam -- man, that stopped me dead in my tracks.

The lyrics to Steven Curtis Chapman's song "The Change" began to run through my head:

"Well, I got myself a T-shirt that
says what I believe.
I got letters on my bracelet to serve as my ID.
I got the necklace and the key chain,
and almost everything a good Christian needs.

I got the little Bible magnets
on my refrigerator door,
and a welcome mat to bless you
before you walk across my floor.
I got a Jesus bumper sticker
and the outline of a fish stuck on my car.

And even though this stuff's all well and good,
I cannot help but ask myself:
‘What about the change?
'What about the difference?
'What about the grace?
'What about forgiveness?
'What about a life that's showing
(The Speechless album, 1999)
Maybe I need to get a bumper sticker that says, "Be patient, I'm undergoing 'The Change'." (Well, as a woman of a certain age, maybe not.) [But,] for sure, I don't want to have people disappointed in me and what they find when they get up-close and personal.
My now-moved-mentor and brotha-friend tells me quite frequently, "All the time, Pamm. Everywhere." He started this after hearing more than one story of my being out and about somewhere and having someone I didn't know come up and tell me they knew me from hearing me speak or teach somewhere or seeing me at church or at some such event. (I'm not really famous or anything like that, I'm just a big woman and pretty loud, so people tend to remember me if we were anywhere in the same building together.) I would always end such anecdotes with, "Man, I am SO glad I was behaving!" to which Robert began to reply, "Pamm, I keep telling you that you have to behave ALL the time, EVERYWHERE."
It's true because we don't know who is watching us or when or even why. But one thing I do know is that when they are watching me, even if they don't yet know who He is, I want them to see the Spirit at work and living inside of an honest-to-God, real-live Christ-follower. A Christ-follower who’s perhaps a little rough around the edges (and maybe even sometimes forgets to include the EGGS), but solid nonetheless and submitting, moment by moment, to her Maker's buffing and polishing.
All the time. Everywhere. Making choices, and undergoing the change.

Friday, February 19, 2010

EGGS! I left out the EGGS!

Photo from Southern Living magazine

Okay, I know I already shocked some of you earlier this week when I confessed that I have one or two vices . . . so, hold on, I'm about to do it again . . . are you ready? I'VE BEEN FEELIN' MEAN AND DOWNRIGHT HATEFUL THIS WEEK!

Okay, there it is. I've said it. I know ya'll probably can't relate one little bit, but I just had to come clean. Yup. I've been feelin' mean and hateful and downright UNSPIRITUAL! (No, you don't need to remind me that the name of this blog is Texas PREACHER Woman. Just add a touch more guilt to the whole mess.)

It all started on Valentine's Day. (Yes, Valentine's Day. Ugh.) The details aren't really important at this point (although, they sure as heck were at that moment), but suffice it to say that St. Michael and I had a . . . er, slight difference of opinion (yeah, that sounds good) on something. Things were said. Things were said back. Nothing really settled, no agreement arrived at. Just stomped-on "feelers" and bruised egos instead of epiphanies and lightbulb moments to show for all of the words thrown around.

Remember the scene in Kevin Costner's Robinhood: Prince of Thieves, where in a moment of frustration over not getting his way, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham snarls, "Cancel Christmas!"? Well, I cancelled church. Okay, I didn't exactly cancel church, but I did decide not to go. Yup. that's right, I sent word for my Bible study to meet with another class, and I stayed home. (I wasn't feeling very Bible-teacherly, and I dont' play church.) So I sulked. And pouted. And then I stewed. That's right, without passing Go, I went straight from being sad and hurt to being mad and curt. (My family knows that ANY time I get quiet, something's wrong -- I must be sad, sick, or just totally ticked off -- 'cause I'm just not quiet by nature.)

The bad thing is that if I were honest with myself, this was not really an all or nothing case. Both St. Michael and I were a little "off," but since he hadn't seemed moved any in my direction, I certainly wasn't going to cross over the center line in any effort to go more than "my fair share," either. At least not mentally. Physically was a different story.

Physically (literally in my flesh), as soon as he left for church (obviously he wasn't feeling as unspiritual as I was), I started moving around the house, taking care of a few things that he thought I'd let lapse. While I was in the kitchen mumbling to myself, "Gee, some Valentine's Day this is . . . ", I remembered that Baby Daughter had said a few days earlier that she sure would like some of my homemade oatmeal muffins sometime soon.

Oatmeal muffins! In my heart-shaped muffins pan! Now that was just the thing I needed to do to salvage some semblance of Valentine-y-ness. Baby Daughter would love that! In fact, I even doubled the recipe so she could have muffins all week long.

Imagine my mood when I opened the oven door the required twenty-five minutes later only to find double the MESS: Molten-lava-like, overly-toasted maple-y-smelling GOO bubbling out of the cute hollowed-out heart shapes and over onto the tops of all three muffin tins, on both racks, and, yes, even onto the bottom of the oven. (Remember, I've already told you I was feeling armed and dangerous.)

Baby Daughter coming down the stairs, through the den, and into the kitchen at just this moment: Mom! What are you burning?

Whiny, pitiful Mom on the verge of tears: I was making you some oatmeal muffins, and something must've gone wrong . . . (Gee, y'think?)

Baby Daughter: Awwww, Mom . . . thank you!

Whiny, pitiful Mom even closer to going over the edge: But, look, they're all ruined.

Fortunately, BD started to laugh and said just the right thing: Well, you know it's the thought that counts.

And then I started to laugh, too. (Okay, I kinda cried and laughed at the same time.)

Later, as Baby Daughter scraped the goo off the muffin tins (she insisted), I got my recipe back out to see where I might possibly have missed a step.

Eggs! I left out the eggs!

I marveled at the difference one simple ingredient made. Who would've thought? And then Brother Paul's words flashed into my brain big as the neon signs in a Texas ice house:

"If I have . . . but have not love,
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

"If I have . . . but have not love,
I am nothing.

"If I have . . . but have not love,
I gain nothing."

Nothing I had done so far that morning had been done with love (except for, ironically, the ruined oatmeal-muffin-wanna-be goo). The cleared kitchen counter, the emptied dishwasher, the sparkling toilet in the master bath (yes, sistas, it did shine indeed) . . . I had done it all with a large dose of spite. (Can you say "Valen-T-I-N-Y"? That was about the size of my heart.)

I wish I could say that the neon words in 1st Corinthians hit me like a flash of lightening, immediately causing me to see the light, but that would be a big ol' fat lie. My brain might have been illuminated but not my heart.

Nope, not one bit.

As I told another sista-friend, it was as if I wanted to be mean and hateful, wanted to hold onto my hurt, wanted to lick my wounds (and snap and snarl at anyone who dared to come close enough to check them).

It is now Saturday morning, and I am better. Things seem back to "normal" at the Casa and with the Saint.

Still, I am humbled. Humbled by the thought that there are people who look to me for leadership, for encouragement, for wisdom . . . they're looking to me -- a woman who is sometimes a couple of eggs short. And I find myself praying that in the midst of my all too apparent weakness, His strength will show itself to be perfect. Then He will receive the glory and honor because this I know: Truly, "apart from [Him, I] can do nothing" (John 15;5).

Your very human Texas Preacher Woman,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Give me time . . . "

Before I knew anything about blogging, I used to put my thoughts into what I called my "E-mail Epistles," and I'd send them out to friends and family. I thought I'd share some of those with you (my new friends and family!) over the next couple of weeks . . .

Here's the first of many "oldies but goodies" -- written on a Friday a few summers back.

I called my mom earlier today to ask her how her weekend had gone. There was a slight pause before she answered, "You do know it's only Friday, right?"

That should tell you all you need to know about my sense of time! Don't ask me why, but I could've sworn it was Monday. (I guess that's what happens when you see some of the people you go to church with on a Thursday . . . you end up thinking you've already had church, so it must be the day after Sunday, right!)

St. Michael will tell you that I have always been time-challenged. I tend to imagine that a given task won’t take me nearly as long to get done as it really will, or I think that I have much more time to accomplish a job than I really do . . . I’ll swear that I’ve only been gone for thirty minutes or so when it’s actually been and hour and thirty minutes. I just can’t seem to help it – I don’t have a good sense of time. (St. Michael would say that’s why God chose to pair me up with The Human Alarm Clock, one of St. Michael’s other names.)

Imagine my surprise this morning, then, when I was bombarding God with the list of everything I think He needs to be accomplishing in my life – and in the lives of those I know and love – and He broke in with a distinct, “Give me time.”

Whoa. Give me TIME.

I have to tell you, I was caught up short. Lately I’ve been focusing on verses like Jeremiah 32:27, in which God asks rhetorically, “Is anything too hard for me?” and old standbys like Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And I’ve been vigilantly reminding myself of something the congregation at Emerald Pointe Community Church espouses in unison almost every Sunday morning, “GOD HAS A PLAN!” I’ve been actively telling God, “Be God! Do Your thing, God!” (And considering that I often slip into acting like I’m God, I thought that was pretty big and brave of me to tell God that I’m willing for Him to do His job!)

And yet, I was caught short.

God had to remind me this morning of the rest of the principle I’ve taught my people to rely on: God has a plan . . . and God has a timetable.”

When my Father says “Give me time,” He doesn’t mean it like you or I would – that we would need time to accomplish the work at hand because of its difficult nature or because of our own limited ability. He means that His ways are not my ways. And that He often chooses to work on a different schedule than I might like, simply because of that. He sees things from a perspective that I cannot even begin to imagine, and He knows that some things require time – not because He needs time in which to work but because we, as humans, often need time in which to allow Him to work.

He could simply speak into being that thing which seems an impossibility to us, and yet, in His wisdom, He knows that that is not always what would be best for us. He knows that there are things that need to be accomplished in our lives that for us, as humans, can only be worked into us and worked out of us through the passage of time.

This morning, I realized, once again, that I have to acknowledge that His plan also means His timetable. I am still struggling with wanting His plan but on my schedule.

I guess that for the rest of this week, I will focus on a verse from the Gospels: “yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mt. 26:39). Not on my timetable, Lord, but on Yours.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Nice Vice!

I don't know about you, but even though I'm old enough to know better, I still have a few vices. (Okay, so some of you are shocked, I know, but it's true, I do.) One that I can talk about in public is decorating magazines. I love them! I buy them, hoard them, and enjoy them over and over again. (Unlike one of my sista-friends who only looks at the pictures. No m'am! I drool over every word describing the pictures, too!) One of my ideal self-pampering days would involve everyone who normally roosts at Casa St. Michael being somewhere else and my being curled up on the couch with Tessie (our favorite four-and-a-half-pound white furball), an afghan, a cup of coffee and STACKS of Country Accent, Country Living, Cottage Living . . . well, you get the idea.

I haven't had one of those "ideal" days in a while, but I am able to get a quickie in, once in a while on-line. Yeah, I know it's not quite the same, but still, when it's grey out -- like it has been for a while here in the Houston area -- and I'm drooping at my desk during my conference period here at the school house, I can get a little perk-me-up by clicking on some of my bloggin' sistas yummy-for-the-decorating-heart sites or by going over to any number of other "eye-candy" locales, like Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, or HGTV.

The sun is out today here in God's Country, but just in case it's grey where you are, my sweet sista, here are some places where you might enjoy curling up with some of your own vices (now you KNOW I mean magazines, right?) . . . or maybe even sneak in a nap or two.

Photo from Country Living magazine.

There's just something about this bedroom with its faux-faded cabagge rose wallper, unexpected apple green woodwork, and pops of red that makes me melt! (Not to mention the cowboy boots under the bench at the foot of the bed! I could get a bench and put St. Michael's boots under it at the foot of our bed, but, alas, that's right where he has to walk when he gets up in the middle of the night, and . . . well, there are just some things that men are not willing to sacrifice for cuteness. Like life and limb.)

Photo from Country Living magazine.

And does this brick wall make your heart skip a beat or what! OMG! To die for! And the contrast of that gorgeous chandy against that worn brick . . . I don't know how cozy I would feel in a bedroom with a ceiling this high, but then again, I just might be able to do some fine dreaming after all . . . especially if I could spend an hour or so with a good book in the reading nook . . .

Photo from Country Living magazine.

Yup, this is the reading nook tucked beside that fabulous fluffy antique bed that sits up against that gorgeous brick wall. (This would definitely make up for the high ceiling . . . )

Photo from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

And snuggling down into this bed would be like wrapping yourself up in pure buttery sunshine and clear faded-denim blue skies! The colors are at once vibrant and yet soothing. I could definitely do some fine napping here! Mmmmmmm! (This bedroom also just goes to show that black furniture -- even a large piece -- doesn't have to be overpowering if it's balanced with light, bright, fresh colors.)

Okay, I'm perked up . . . time to get ready for my little kiddies to come to class to learn the finer points of the English language . . .

Until next conference period,

Monday, February 8, 2010

"CHECK" this out!

How much cuteness
is this little creation!
(And the jumper's cute, too!)
I just had to show you what Middle Daughter over at Sugar and Spice did last week! She found a "super easy" tutorial at Made by Lex for turning a man's shirt into a darling child's jumper, and then she did it! (And never let it be said that my son-in-law, Saint William, wouldn't give my grandbabies the shirt off his back . . . okay, so it was in that back of the closet, still, you get the idea.)
Middle Daughter is going to shorten the shoulder straps later so that Bella can wear it shirtless (!) this spring, but for now, isn't it adorable with that Kentucky turtleneck!
Middle Daughter does a wonderful blog about life as a stay-at-home mom of two little ones -- lots of fun ideas to share with other young moms (and young grandmoms!), and Lex really does have some fabulous sewing/crafting tutorials that you'll love, too (as well as an Etsy shop). I'd encourage you to mosey on over for a visit -- I know they'd both love to see you!
Meanwhile, over here at Casa St. Michael's neck of the woods, I finally drug out some heart-y stuff to celebrate Valentine's Day. Maybe I'll be able to upload some pics and share 'em with you later this week -- after I get grades posted for my babies' progress reports! (Do you ever feel like if you just had a secretary to handle the paperwork, you could really set the world on fire? Either that or get in some serious trouble . . . )
Have a mah-velous Monday, sweet sistas!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Does this statue make me look fat?

Or to be more precise, does this statue make me look like a big narcissistic woman?
I know, I know. I've been LMNarcissisticAO ever since I heard that term, myself!
It seems that the mother of a darling seventh grade girl that I taught last year left a colleague/friend of mine a message asking why her daughter was not doing well in my friend's class.
"Language arts has always been her best subject,
and she did extremely well on the TAKS test
(state-mandated achievement test) last year,
so I just cannot understand this . . . "
When Julie returned her call this morning, it seems that despite her daughter's EIGHT zeros (hey, I said the child was darling -- I didn't say she was hard-working), the mother had another explanation for her child's poor performance:
"I'm sure it's because of that teacher
she had last year . . . I can't remember her name,
but it was that big narcissistic woman --
I don't know how anyone learned anything in that
class from what I heard goes on in there . . . "
Well, Julie knew exactly who she was talking about (that would be MOI!), but she played dumb and began to recite the names of our sixth-grade language arts teachers until she got to mine . . . Surprise! Surprise! Yes, it was moi!
After we both quit laughing, I couldn't help but think of how sad it is that so many parents do not seem to hold their children accountable for . . . well, much of anything. Something I wrote a couple of years back for a church publication expresses my thoughts pretty well, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I'm just going to cut and paste the wheel:
As most of you know, I don’t just preach, I also teach. (Each week, I spend Monday through Friday teaching middle school students the finer points of the English language.) Recently a co-worker told me that one of his students – a thirteen-year-old girl – hits him as often as she can on a daily basis. She also spits at him. She thinks both actions are funny. The sad thing is that when he spoke to her mother about this, the mother was furious at him for even suggesting that this is a problem. You see, the student is a Down’s Syndrome child.
“She has the mind of a three-year-old!” the mother huffed, indignantly.
Unfortunately, my colleague was unable to get the mother to realize that even three-year-olds need boundaries. Denying there’s a problem doesn’t help the situation and, more often than not, makes the behavior worse. As my friend said, “When she gets to the high school, hitting others is not only going to affect her targets, but will in all likelihood, eventually get her flattened by someone who doesn’t care that she has the mind of a three-year-old.”
I see the same patterns repeated, of course, with my own students. Too often, whatever the problem of the day is, it certainly isn’t little Tamika’s fault or Juan’s fault. One parent went so far as to suggest that if her Christopher was misbehaving in class, perhaps my teaching wasn’t entertaining enough!
Those of you who know me are chuckling right now, but the message we as parents send out to our kids when we always make excuses for their misbehavior and their poor choices is that nothing is ever their fault. And sending that kind of message is no laughing matter. In fact, it sets our kids up for a hard fall somewhere down the line.
Until we teach our children that they are responsible for their actions and that, in turn, they must also accept the consequences of their choices, they will continue to do whatever they feel like doing, regardless of the effect they have on those around them or whether their actions and choices are in their own best interest or not.
Perhaps the real problem is that we live in a society where adults aren’t willing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s always someone else’s fault – we blame our own parents, our siblings, the government, our neighbor, the man, the system, another ethnic group – anyone but ourselves.
We would do well to learn from the apostle Paul, who, when talking about sinners, said something to the effect of, "You know, I’m one, too – in fact, I’m 'chief among sinners'” (KJV). Paul understood that until we take responsibility for our actions and admit the we are sometimes the problem, there can be no change, no hope, no new life.
As for that mom's comments, like I told another co-worker, I don't think that believing I'm wonderful makes me narcissistic -- I prefer to think of myself as REAListic!
(And yeah, that statue IS sitting on my desk at school. Right next to my tiara.)
Have a fun weekend, sistas!
And remember: We are ALL "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14)!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gimme a break!

This picture has absolutely nothing to do
with today's post, I just like it! LOL!

photo credit: Country Living magazine

[Actually, since I'm talking about R-E-L-A-X-I-N-G today, maybe it does go with today's rambling, 'cause this picture sure does make me feel relaxed . . . and perked up, too! There's just something soothing, and yet refreshing, about the gorgeous pops of color so casually, but perfectly, arranged in that pristine white pitcher with those farmhouse country primitives as their backdrop.]
I used to have a magnet on my fridge that proclaimed, "Every woman is a working woman!" I think that sums up life for most of us, don't you? Whether we're married, single, career-minded, full-time homemakers or volunteers, childless, or child-full, we all work. We all juggle. We soothe and smooth. We counsel and correct, adjust and admonish. We encourage and inspire. We budget and balance. We shift and chauffer. And somewhere in there, some of us even figure out to get a meal on the table and occasionally clear a path through our respective casas. And, heck, even if someone else does the cooking and cleaning, the what, how, when, and where of it all -- the managing of it -- for the most part, still lands on our to-do list. (I, personally, do not know of one woman who doesn't have a continual running agenda in her head.)
Because there's always something (or someone) calling our names, begging to be added to that to-do list or our calendars, we're all going to have those days when it seems as if twenty-four hours are not nearly enough to get it all done. (And more than likely, it never is!) But when running from sun-up to sundown, day in and day out, with few stops in between becomes the norm, rather than the exception, we're making a big mistake, sistas.
We're just not designed to function that way, at least not for the long haul. We need breaks! In fact, say those words any way you want to, and they're still true:
We need breaks!
We need breaks!
We need breaks!
And even . . . We need BRAKES!
Even FlyLady, Marla Cilley, Guru-ess of all things clean and organized (, tells her followers to take breaks frequently throughout the day to avoid burnout. (" . . . stop for a few minutes every hour and take a break." She actually encourages women to write it into their schedules!) Now, I know we can't all work forty-five minutes and then break for fifteen, and then work another forty-five and . . . etc., etc., (especially if we punch in on somebody else's clock), but most of us can carve out a fifteen- to thirty-minute chunk of time at least once during the day -- a chunk that's just for US (and if we can't, we need to figure out why).
Personally, I would like to work for fifteen minutes and take a forty-five minute break, but since that's not likely to be my schedule any time soon, I'll opt for a "quickie" break here and there. (Hey, sometimes "quickies" can be a good thing!) It doesn't have to be elaborate, just something relaxing and rejuvenating -- something that allows me to catch my breath and then get back in the race.
Sound like something you need? Wondering where to start? Well, here are some ideas:

1) Pick a favorite HGTV show (or other) to watch while drinking a cup of coffee or glass of tea -- and do nothing else but sit there during this time. (In other words, don't fold clothes while you're watching it -- just enjoy the half-hour break, and DON'T FEEL GUILTY! Remember: It's part of your schedule!)

2) Spend thirty minutes to an hour sitting in your most comfortable spot with a good book or a magazine. (Or at your computer, enjoying some of the glorious blogs that are out there in Blogland!)

3) Take a twenty- to forty-five-minute power nap. (Most naps under twenty minutes won't refresh you as much, and anything over forty-five minutes will make you feel like you have a hangover, so set your alarm. I have a couch in my classroom, and on those days when I'm really dragging, I've been known to turn off the lights during my conference period and stretch out on that baby! And my sixth and seventh periods are much safer because of it!)

4) Find a favorite passage of scripture, read it, and then journal a little about your thoughts -- what you think it's saying to you today, how it makes you feel, what you think it might be leading you to do, etc. (This can be done at the kitchen table or in your favorite sitting spot with a favorite beverage and/or snack.)

5) Put on some praise and worship music (or some other kind of favorite) and just sit in your comfy spot with your eyes closed and listen to the lyrics. (If it's Christian music, try praying the lyrics as you listen to them. I'm really into Jimmy Needham right now -- love his words! Sara Groves is another favorite.)

6) Again, sit in your favorite comfy spot, and think of yourself snuggling with Papa-God. Close your eyes and just talk to Him. Tell Him how much you love Him; tell Him all the things you're thankful for, all the things that concern you . . . and then just sit there and enjoy His presence. (And remember, He's there whether you feel Him or not. Besides, we are not women who operate in our feelings. We operate by faith in the fact of what Papa-God has already told us in His Word -- that He is with us and will never leave us or forsake us -- in fact, His Spirit dwells IN us [John 14:16-17]! Woo-hoo!) mm

7) Plan lunch for yourself as you would a dear friend -- set your table with your favorite dishes, and enjoy your meal!

8) If you work outside your home, you might not have as much of a chance for during-the-day breaks, but perhaps you can plan one for later in the day. Maybe you can manage fifteen to thirty minutes of down-time when you get home -- just to do nothing but sit and relax before you have to start dinner or run evening errands. (If you have young children and know that you’ll be “tagged” the minute you get in the door, maybe staying at work an extra fifteen minutes to just sit and unwind – if you have a space to yourself – before you head home will work better for you.)

Remember, if we completely deplete ourselves during the day, then we will have nothing left to give to our families when we are finally all home together. So don't feel guilty about taking a few moments for yourself when you can -- you're doing it for them as much as for yourself!

Let me know how YOU like to relax when you know you've only got time for a "quickie". Meanwhile, have a fabulous rest of the week, complete with BREAKS!

Grins and blessings!

PS I know some of you are wondering how things are going at Casa St. Michael with Desmond. They are going GREAT! I am really feeling the power of your prayers! Thank you! Thank you! I'll write more details later, but for now . . . take a load off! (I'm going to!) XO!