Brave Like the Hippo

After going 6 years without seeing the dentist (5 years of no insurance and 1 year of fraidy-cat-ness), I was 99% sure that at least a third of my teeth would need to be pulled, at least 10 fillings would be needed, and at least 2 root canals. I tell you, I was afraid! Let’s face it, some of us just inherit bad teeth, and given the trauma my mom has been through, I’ve definitely got a legitimate concern here. I already have about a half dozen fillings even though I’ve usually been pretty good about brushing.

In fact, my worst years as far as tooth care were within the past five years, so if I had a half dozen cavities when I took decent care of my teeth, I was sure I’d have, like, twice as many from the years I spent neglecting them. If it weren’t for starting a flossing regimen this month, I would have had to answer “How often do you floss?” as “Annually.”

brave hippo

See this? That’s me. That’s how bravely I faced the dentist.

Granted, all they did was a little bit of poking and some X-Rays, but still.

And, thank God, the result wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared! One full-blown cavity and three baby cavities need filling. No root canals. *sigh of relief* And they referred me to a dentist who can give me laughing gas since I’m really freaked out about the anesthetic shot (those are painful)!

I’m so grateful for my insurance and for my teeth being healthier than expected! God is good to me, though I don’t deserve it.


(Photo via AFP/Getty from

Do What You Want To Do

do not wantAs I was taking my walk today (in the amazing, wonderful sunshine and the awesome breeze!) I was thinking about some things I want. For instance, I want to be a writer. And I want to be close to God, especially through daily Bible reading and prayer.

If these things don’t happen, I have nothing/no one to blame. There is no excuse for not taking a few minutes each day to read a chapter from the Bible. There is no reason I have to let other things – things I don’t even care about – come before things I really want. I let it happen, and I have no excuse for it.

Am I not perfectly capable of choosing to do one thing instead of another? I am. I believe in myself at least that much.

There’s no reason for you or me to not do the things we want to do. I want to be a writer, so I choose to write. Just write! I don’t want to be the kind of person who sleeps till 10-11 every day; I do it because it’s easy. But I can choose to get up earlier, so I will!

Get More Out of Life

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. I guess it’s something along the lines of this:

If you want good things in life, stop   and think for a moment about whether these are things you’re capable of. Singing, dancing, running, music-ing, writing, cooking, reading, sewing… Is there really anything stopping you from doing those things? Don’t you have a spare 10 minutes? Do the things you want to do when you can… I think that’s how we’ll get more out of life. Not really a profound thought, but oh well. It’s what I was thinking. Now you know.

Valentine’s Day 2011

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”

First romantic Valentine’s Day poem, according to Wikipedia. Written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382.

I think I prefer a more modern poem, though. This was written in 1784:

“The rose is red, the violet’s blue 
The honey’s sweet, and so are you
Thou are my love and I am thine
I drew thee to my Valentine 
The lot was cast and then I drew
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.”

Although I don’t understand using an apostrophe in place the the L in should. I’m pretty sure you’d still pronounce it the same way, and an L is hardly any harder to make than an apostrophe. Just saying.Happy Valentine's Day!

I’m sad to spend this day apart from my honey. After already spending our first anniversary apart, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday, it’s disappointing to have to face yet another holiday. But our love can be celebrated despite the distance. 🙂

I remember our first Valentine’s Day, back in Jr. High, when we were just friends. He got me a mug with candy in it… The mug was black. I knew he didn’t mean anything by it; he was just dense, in the way that teenage boys can be. But really, a plain black mug? Once the candy was gone, I was left with a black mug, and I always thought of that one day and Marty’s token of affection… Or he thinks my heart is black? I’m really not sure.

For our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, I was all whiny and disappointed because he was stuck at Fort Campbell, and I was going to be all alone (except not really alone – I was going to be surrounded by happy couples), but Marty surprised me by driving down to visit!

He even got my roommate in on keeping the secret. In fact, he called me and sang a song for me, since he wasn’t going to be able to be there in person. But then Maycee and I got home, and he was hiding in my room! Wearing a flower made of pipe cleaners and felt! 😀

Anyway, one of the good things about this year is that it gives us a good excuse to go overboard next year to make up for all these holidays. And I assure you, we will. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

More Than Just Surviving

dedI think this is one of my biggest struggles: to not only trust God with the direction of my life, but to be content and to thrive where he places me rather than just survive. It’s a struggle at all times, but it’s especially difficult during trials. Of course, most recently it has been difficult due to deployment.

I hate deployment! That’s understandable, right? My husband is gone, and not only absent from my every day life but placed in a dangerous situation! I have to miss him and fear for his safety, and most of the time I just want to go to sleep and wake up when it’s all over. I don’t want to live through this year of deployment, but I have to, so many times I have this mentality of needing to simply survive. Do what is necessary to make it through another day, and eventually it will all be over.

That’s okay. I mean, eventually I will have survived the year, Hubby will be back, and things can go back to normal. But I don’t think it’s what God wants from me.

Jeremiah 29: A Letter to the Exiles

God’s people had been carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon and were going to remain there in exile for 70 years. Of all the times to justify that survival mentality, you would think this would be a prime example. But God isn’t satisfied with that… God asks for more. I found this passage really speaks to me and where I am with this deployment… Here’s my paraphrasing:

This is what the Lord Almighty says to those He carried into deployment: “Make homes and settle down; plant gardens and work on other projects. Care for your family and friends. Don’t let yourself whither away. Seek peace and prosperity where I’ve placed you… When your time is completed, I will come to you and fulfill my good promises. For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me with your whole heart and find me, and I will gather you from the places where I have banished you, and bring you back.”

God wants his people to know that he can be worshipped outside of the holy land just as well as inside. He is God over Babylon (deployment) just as much as he is God over Jerusalem. As one commentary says, “Real hope for the people, according to Jeremiah, lay not in some immediate relief from social and communal death, but in living through that experience as faithful people, awaiting the Lord’s ‘future with hope’."

Biblical Encouragement

People are watching us, so let’s follow Jesus’ perfect example:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Thrive, don’t just survive. Think on God and his goodness and all the good gifts he gives. Run with endurance, don’t let yourself whither. Keep praying and pursuing God. This is how you should live, regardless of where he’s placed you and whether or not you want to be there. This is how you get the most out of life and bring God the most pleasure.

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Phillipians 4:4-9 (The Message)


I’m still working on it, but I’m getting better at ridding myself of that survival mentality. It’s about time, since we’re almost five months into this deployment! God is really trying to pound some lessons into me, I think…lol. And I feel like I’m finally ready to start learning rather than burying my head in the ground and waiting for it all to be over. I’m finally ready to hold up my chin and start facing things head-on, with His help. I don’t know if I’m really thriving yet, but I’m doing a little more than just surviving, so I guess that’s good.

Anyway, that’s what I’m working towards, and that’s how I want to go through the rest of this deployment. I want to do more than just survive. So there are my disjointed thoughts for the day.

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