Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not getting away with anything

Yes, it's another dog story.

I was sitting on the couch this morning but my laptop in my lap blocked my view of the dog. However I could clearly hear as she started to gnaw on one of the kitchen chairs.

I peered around the screen and made eye contact with her, and she stopped. She knew she wasn't supposed to do it, but she thought I didn't know since I couldn't see her.

This isn't the first time she's done this. From going into my bedroom to chew on clothes to gnawing on the magazine rack when I'm not looking, she thinks if she's out of eyesight she won't get caught. She doesn't realize I'm right there and know when she's up to something.

How dumb are we sometimes when we think we are getting away with sin? We do it right on front of God, because we think if we can't see him then we must be getting away with it. We don't realize he's right there all the time, shaking his head at how silly we can be to think we can get away with whatever we are doing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A little spoiled

Well as you can see from this photo, my puppy might be a little bit spoiled.

She has gotten to really enjoy laying on my head lately, when I put her in bed to this morning when she crawled up on my head and actually fell asleep and started snoring.

Now I know that I could have moved her, I mean she's a dog after all. However, I knew that she was comfortable and happy to be close to me so I let her stay. Puppies are just so cute - especially my Novie - so I can't help but spoil her a little bit.

But when she reaches 60 pounds I don't think she'll get to do this anymore.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Once in a lifetime

Last night was a ton of fun.

With a kind of last-minute decision, Nate and I decided to go skiing at a local little snow park.

I am a horrible skier - or should I say, I was a horrible skier. However, Nate patiently took the time to teach me how to ski since it had been years since I was out on the slopes.

He took me on the bunny hill, even though he is already a wonderful skier who goes on yearly trips to Colorado with his friends. He stuck with me even though I knew the bunny certainly wasn't fun for him.

When I kind of got the hang of it, Nate went with me down a bigger hill and called out directions when I started to panic at the steepness. When I made it down, he gave me a big grin and a kiss to show he was proud of me.

We made it through a whole night of skiing, and I made it down even the toughest slopes.

On the way home, we decided to grab some Arby's - which we scarfed down - and I just couldn't stop smiling.

"You make life fun," I told Nate.

"Thanks, but I prefer to think that life is fun and we're just finding it," he said.

It's a small change, he said, but an important one.

I love when we go out and spontaneously do something fun, even if it takes a little money, a little less sleep, a little time. It's important to treasure life when we have it.

This morning, my mom called to tell me that my cousin's dad died. His mother, my aunt, died almost two years ago. The death of his father was sudden and unexpected.

Life is so short. Yet, we often don't make the most of it.

I read a quote yesterday that kind of sums it up too: Each day comes once in a lifetime.

Let's make the most of it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jesus loves you Grandpa, and so do I

On Sunday, I called my grandpa to wish him a happy birthday - a day late.

He turned 78 years old on Saturday, and he's slowly dying from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DIsorder (COPD). He is getting weaker and eating less all the time.

He sounded bad when I talked to him on the phone, and I asked him if he had been eating, because at Christmastime he said he didn't eat much. He said he tried to eat but it just didn't taste good.

I told him that when he didn't want to eat to just think, "Kiley said I have to eat."

I knew that if I told him to do something that he would at least try. You see, my grandpa hasn't always been the best person. However, he has always loved me a lot. For 15 years, I was the youngest grandchild and for some reason I think he and I have just had a bond. Maybe it's because he knows that I truly love him and care about him.

My mom called me today to tell me something my grandma told her. Yesterday, my grandma made Grandpa a tuna sandwich and then went to take a nap, because she had a headache. After a few minutes, she heard him say, "I'm sorry Kiley, but that's all I can eat."

However, when she went back to the living room after taking a nap, she said the tuna sandwich was gone except for just the crust.

Tears are pouring down my face right now as I write this. I just love my grandpa so much, and I hate that he is so sick that he can hardly even eat.

I can't imagine a future without my grandpa. He's been waiting for years to see me get married. I believe he once said that is the reason that he is trying to live longer, just to see me married. I want so bad for him to see it. However since I don't know when I'll get married, I don't know if he will.

Worst of all, I don't know if my grandpa is a Christian. We have talked about the fact that Jesus died on the cross for my grandparents' sins, and my grandpa said he has it taken care of. However, I don't know if they really understand exactly what God did for them. It makes me sick to my stomach not knowing for sure that I will get to see them in eternity, and that I haven't been the witness I should have been all these years.

Sickness and dying and death are so awful. However, it eases the pain when someone has a bright future with God to look forward to. I just wish that I knew for sure that my grandpa had that. He might, I just don't know. And that's what is awful.

I don't know what else to say to him since he said he "has it taken care of." I guess I just have to keep praying. If you're reading this, please join me in praying for all my relatives and all your relatives that aren't saved. May they be touched by the hand of God so that we can all spend eternity together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pass it on

At dance last week, one of my first-graders came up to me in tears.

She was at the end of the line that we were practicing to head on stage for their ballet dance.

"I'm always last, and I don't like it," she said.

Most of the time I would tell her it's fine and to go back to the line. However, this time I decided to go a different route.

I told her, "Do you know what God said about people who are last?"

She shook her head.

I said, "God said and the last shall be first."

I said that God likes people who go last, because that means they are selfless and putting others ahead of themselves.

I asked her if she thought it was good if God said it and she nodded.

I told her she was being selfless, and I said thank you for it. I told her she was doing a great job, and she headed back to be at the end of the line - content.

I had a smile on my face, because I got the chance to tell her just a little bit about God and to make her feel good about herself. I loved it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I'm laying on the couch, and Novie sits on the rug in front just whining at me.

She wants up on the couch, and she can jump up here on her own but she never does. She always just waits until I lean over and pick her up to put her where she wants to be.

Sometimes it drives me a little crazy that she won't do what she can do because she wants me to do it for her.

I think I do the same thing with God though. God, I want to be a better person. I want to be closer to you. However, I want you to do all the work and put me somewhere instead of me using my muscles to jump up there by myself. It's too hard. Can't you just do it for me? Can't you? Can't you? Can't you?

I start whining just like the dog, wanting God to do everything for me.

I know that God will pick me up when I need him to, but I think that he wants me to have spiritual muscles of my own that I try to be closer to him instead of just wanting him to come to me. I have to step forward too.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I guess it has been a busy week, because I haven't even thought about blogging until I was writing my list of things to do today. I think that I haven't thought about it, because my computer has been dead as I had a new power cord shipped to me.

Usually, I write out a list of things to do on the sticky notes on my computer desktop. However, I went a whole week of not writing notes of things to do outside of work (I still wrote daily lists for what I needed to get done at work).

It's been a pretty warm winter - at least for some areas - but it finally snowed this week. There's a beautiful white covering on the ground and even on the canopies above the storefronts across the street.

Often I don't think about winter with happy thoughts, but I actually welcomed this snow today.

1. This snow cancelled school and postponed high school basketball games, so I get a Friday night free instead of writing sports stories.
2. The landscape has been dead and brown for months, the snow will spice everything up a bit.
3. It makes me laugh watching Novie playing in the snow, sticking her little butt up in the air and burrowing her nose in the white stuff.
4. With the sun out, the snow reflects a lot of light and makes the days brighter than usual, making me more awake and bright-eyed.
5. Changes are just nice sometimes. It's been beautiful weather, but there's something to be said for the different seasons.
6. The white snow reminds us of the cleanliness of our lives when God cleanses us from our sins.
7. It's a conversation piece to chat about with people you don't know very well.
8. The snowmen in my apartment actually look like they're out in the right season instead of the snowless landscape that was outside.
9. It's snow instead of ice, so it's much safer.
10. God gave it to us, so there must be a reason.

What are some reasons you can think of to be thankful about something you usually don't enjoy?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The words of others

I read an article last Friday that had a variety of quotes that were really interesting. Most were about business, but a few expanded into different areas of life.

One of the quotes that really struck me was: “If you live like there’s no God, you’d better be right.”

I didn’t write down who the quote was by, but I don’t think it really matters who said it. It’s powerful whether it was a person ruling a country or someone begging on the street.

We don’t have any assurances of what happens after death except for faith in our beliefs. I believe that people will end up in either heaven or hell — depending on if they believe in the redemptive work of Christ who died for our sins or not.

Those who don’t believe in God, they have a lot to lose. I know that they’re not right, but if those people have any doubt about whether they are correct or not, they better get their facts straight. There are some big consequences.

My mom sent me this quote today: “Christians seem to have the amazing ability to say the most wonderful things without actually believing them.”


As a writer, I have thought about this before. It’s really easy to use flowery words and make wonderful statements that deeply impact people. Writers - and eloquent speakers - can make create fiction that sounds so good it seems real.

I have noticed this in church before too, during sermons or when reading Christian books. Some statements sound so good, yet you can kind of tell that the person speaking them doesn’t believe them enough to follow them.

I’m guilty of making beautiful statements, and even though I believe them, I don’t follow through on them.

It doesn’t matter what we say, it matters what we do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who cares?

Sometimes I like to just have fun, not caring what other people think.

A friend asked me what I thought about some kind of loud blue and green (two different pairs) skinny jeans.

The were quite trendy but, like I said, loud. I really couldn't tell her whether to keep them or not.

Even if they ended up not being her favorite pants, sometimes it's fun to be a little trendy.

I have a few loud pieces that I like to wear just to be a little unique and crazy. Sometimes I don't even like them all the much but they make life a little brighter and different.

I've been watching some throwback shows recently too - "Sabrina the teenage witch," "Boy Meets World, "dr. Quinn."

They aren't the best shows to be honest, and people might think I have bad taste watching them, but it's fun just to see them again.

It feels good to be a little crazy. Have a little fun this weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Take a picture, it'll last longer

I happen to love photos.

I enjoy taking photos, and I also enjoy looking through them. There's a lot of things in life that I would completely forget if I didn't have a picture to remind me of it later.

I actually think it's important to take pictures. We can share our lives with each other; we can keep memories; we can even appreciate our surroundings more if we stop to take a picture and appreciate what's around us.

I don't know what technology we'll have in the future. I don't know if my Picasa will keep my photos for even the next five years. However, I know that when I have a picture in my hand that it's something I can always hold on to.

Some people even have tried to take a picture every day for a year to chronicle even simple moments that are special. Maybe that would be fun?

Here's a few photos I would like to share. They're not necessarily recent, but they are moments that made me appreciate what was around me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The LORD speaks

If we ever need to remember just who we are, a couple chapters near the end of Job will do the trick.

Job and his friends spent 37 chapters arguing, Job says he's righteous. His friends say he has sinned. Job says he doesn't deserve punishment. His friends say he wouldn't have gotten it if he didn't deserve it.

Blah, blah, blah.

Finally, God steps in and says he's bigger than any of them and more righteous than any of them anyway. He knows what he's doing.

"Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?"
(New International Version)

There's even more in the next chapter. But really as you read this, you remember just how big God is. And he knows it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New additions

Nate’s sister had a baby yesterday!

A picture came via text message — a half-naked perfect baby with a striped cap on her head — to alert Nate that he was an uncle for the first time.

It’s kind of interesting to think about, how different life will forever be for the happy new parents. Having a baby is not a choice that you can take back. That little girl is in their lives forever — not just until she goes to school, not just until she graduates from college, not just until she gets married. They made a decision that will forever change them.

I can’t wait to see what Nate’s sister will be like as a mom. This is the first close friend that I have had give birth. Already, I know that she is in love with her little girl.

She posted a picture of her little bundle of joy on Facebook with a caption, “Cutest head of hair ever.” When you have a baby, even the smallest things are wonderful — a twitch of a finger, lip movements, a fuzzy head of hair.

I know it’s not the same, but I have seen that even having my baby, my little puppy. I find the little things so cute — when she makes a funny noise while sleeping, the way she lopes around because she’s proud of herself after she potties outside, when she crawls into my lap when she’s tired and wants me to carry her outside.

This is an interesting time of life. Me and my friends will be forever changing as children — even in the form of puppies — enter our lives. They will add to our families, and we get to watch them grow and change forever.

When my sister-in-law has her baby, I know that my role of aunt will be an important one. I had one aunt in particular — she passed away almost two years ago from cancer — who was always my support.

We may not have had the closest relationship, but I knew that my aunt thought I was just about the greatest thing in the world. I want my niece to feel the same way. I want her to feel so special and loved, even though I won’t be living in the same town.

Life is a’changing, and it’s pretty exciting to watch.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Credit where credit is due

I was listening to an Adventures in Odyssey episode on my way into work tonight, and it talked about answered prayers.

I started thinking about how big God is and how little we thank him for all that he does, how little we express our appreciation.

Look at it from a worldly perspective. In order to have a strong relationship with Nate, I can't take him for granted. Sometimes I do though because we've been together for so long.

Sometimes I realize that I'm not expressing how happy I am when I'm with him. I don't make an effort to show him affection or go out of my way to make his day.

I think our relationship is strongest though when I remember to actually show him how much he means to me. It's not enough to just feel something, I have to make sure my feelings are known.

It's the same way with our relationships with God. We have to take time out to talk to him, to thank him for who he is and what he does. We have to tell him how much we love him and appreciate what he has done for us.

Let's start expressing ourselves to God in our private prayer lives and out loud to each other. It's important to share with each other what God is doing as well.

Thank you Lord for a new year and new grace each day. Thank you for a clear night outside and the majesty of your universe that we can see in the brightness of the moon and stars. You are majestic and mighty, so much bigger than we often give you credit for. Thank you for caring about us, so small but still your children.