What joy fills my soul

I'm looking at the calendar and was thinking that I had another 2 weeks until Christmas. So I'm not so worried about being behind on Christmas gifts. ARGH! Christmas is one week from today. Stress level hit the red zone.

All you can do is all you can do and that is a fact of physics. Only God can step in and make things happen so that time seems to stand still while you're running at top speed... you know, like the episode of StarTrek with the buzzing bee sounds. Life sped up to past light speed.

That is what happened on Sunday. We made an offer on a house and while we were waiting for our most darling real estate agent to call back to meet us at her office, we were wandering through some shops. My eyes just fell on some things and a name would pop in my head. I'll have you know that I got all my Christmas shopping done in less than two hours. That, my brothers and sisters is a miracle!

So... back to the offer on the house. We bounced some figures back and forth and being twice shy, I was all for offering lower than the asking price but more than the rock bottom our agent mentioned. Mom stuck to her guns and we offered the rock bottom giving them until 5 today. They accepted the offer without any negotiations. Is that cool or what???

We spent most of the afternoon signing pre-mortgage papers. There are some issues that my crook of an ex husband caused years ago that I thought were cleared up. It is so incredibly depressing that the black cloud keeps following me even 11 years later. I doubt I'll ever get out from under that cloud.

Anyhoot... the new job is just Jolly Good. I am in love with Picayune, MS. I highly recommend this place. It's close enough to big city without the big city crime and big city traffic. I love the people. I love the job. I adore the folks I work with. I've already been invited to two churches--that is truly a cool place to work when you have co-workers inviting you to church. I am thrilled and delighted. Mom loves the place, too.

We both cried the other day thinking about leaving our church home in Louisiana, but when the Lord sets you on a path, you just can't say no. I am just aching to get back into a church home. I feel the loss more than any other stress factor. I cannot imagine not having a church family. How do people do it? How do people live without a church family or a close fellowship with the Lord? I am so thankful that God is preparing a new home for us and He has already prepared His work for us to do. Praise God from whom all blessings flow... AMEN

Stress stress stress

New job... stress
Finding new place to live... stress
Deadlines... stress

Please don't forget me. As soon as I can drag myself back into organized mess, I will continue to write on my blog.

Never Ceese

I goofed up. I was supposed to review this book by Sue Dent on Friday. I did not. I was packing and I just flat forgot! I'm so sorry, Sue!

First let me say... this book is truly not for me because of the subject matter. It is about a werewolf (Ceese) and a vampire. Now I want to say that this book is very well written. It has also been nominated for an award, Bram Stoker Award. I think that is truly grand that in a genre which is full of the occult that a book which points to Jesus is nominated for an award.

This book is beautifully bound and is very well written. Sue did the cover art herself! I pray that if you really like this genre, that you'll pick up this book for your library.

I became friends with Sue because of a remark I made on another blog. She couldn't understand why I'd say something without having read the whole thing. Well... I read enough to get a good feel for it and it is a lesson for me to be careful of what I say and how I say it... there are people behind these computers and they have feelings... big duh, right?

With Sue's permission, here's part of our exchange...

Dear Sue,
I truly appreciate your email. I especially appreciate you wanting to understand what I wrote and meant. I said that the book was very well written. The comment to that was that it was the editor's fault for the "yawn spots". I have a lot of admiration for Lynn Scallon and I'm quite sure she is correct. I have read a little less than half the book. I read enough to know beyond doubt that it is well written. I also read enough to know that I just can't finish it. I literally get ill reading about someone drinking blood. I can't help that. I read enough to very much enjoy turning those beautiful pages and the great, easily read typeface. Since that is not why people buy books, I didn't say anything about it, but I promise you on Dec 6th or perhaps the 8th I will say something about the presentation because it is beautiful. I seriously have a problem with stories of this nature dealing with vampires and werewolves since I consider that as the next of kin to sorcery and witchcraft. It is my firm foundation of faith that gives me this. When I agreed to review books, I wasn't asked, "What kind of books will you not read?" Therefore, since I was committed to reviewing books, I read as much as I could, and then I was convicted by my bodily reaction and, I firmly believe, by the Holy Spirit, to put it down and not finish it. I truly do not know how it comes out… I expect that the two finally have a meeting of the minds and meeting of faith, but that is pure speculation. Sue, you must expect a lot of people to not like this book. You will probably find a lot of nonChristians who will scoff at it and a lot of Christians who will shun it because of the subject matter. It does satisfy a niche of fantasy lovers, though, and may even touch some stony hearts. I am quite sure that God will use it to His good purposes. I pray that is so. Please forgive me, for the cavalier way I lumped your book in with several others… but, look at it this way, it is publicizing and a lot of Book Store owners go to Lynn's blog. Please do not take it personally! I love Southern girls, for I am your next-state neighbor in Louisiana. Please forgive me for not liking the subject matter of your book. I do recognize the incredible hard work you put into it and all the research. However, I hope you appreciate honesty and that is what I have given you.

Sue Dent: I will now put you up there with the other two who couldn't finish Never Ceese mainly because of the subject matter. And they too were kind enough to confess that this was basically all there was to it. I sincerely don't expect everyone to love this book and I'm sure I'll find my toughest critics in the Christian market.

Oddly enough I've been blessed so far and found some of my most gracious reviews from those in the Christian market, allbeit readers who didn't shun the genre to begin with. I so want to touch the secular market with this, using the subject matter to show that God is everywhere and can be taught about in every aspect of literature. I find many Christian youths curious enough to want to explore this genre. I want to give them something that won't lead them astray. So many of these books point to things of a very dark nature. It is definitely a book for a certain genre.

Note to self

Remember how much work it was all the painting and the additions...
Remember the area and that all the additions won't pay off in the resale...
Remember that when you say you never want to move again, it doesn't necessarily mean that God has no more plans for you to move...
Remember to put your hand in hand of the Man who stilled the water and wind...
Remember to trust God...
Remember to know beyond doubt that His way and will is best so open your eyes to the possibilities...
Remember to keep your eyes on Him, not on the world around you...
Remember to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you your heart's desires...
Remember that the Lord lifts the fallen and those bent beneath their loads...

It will be all right. It is best to look forward and to put the things of the past behind you, look forward to the things that God has in store for you. As the time grows closer to this huge change in your life, it is great to treasure the precious people of here, but look forward to the precious people of there and most essentially, treasure the things of the Lord for there is where your heart is. His will, His way, His tomorrows for there art thou happy.

Yes, Stan...

It is truly amazing how God works in our lives. Our offer was flatly refused. I guess that lady isn't so eager to sell her house.

So, back to the searching game. I know God has the perfect place for us. We must be patient and wait on Him. That is a hard thing to do, though.

Therefore... back to packing. I hate packing and unpacking. But, we must take the bitter with the sweet. Is that an axiom or is it a proverb?

Moving to Picayune

Mom and I went to Picayune on Friday afternoon. My last day at the Tensas Gazette was Friday morning. It is four hours from here to there and that is a long drive.

We prayed all last week that God would help us sell this house and find one to live in there. The house we're in now sat on the market for two years before Mom and Dad bought it. But, it is a great house and they put a lot of money into it so now Mom is asking only for what she put into it.

I put the sign "For Sale" up one evening after work. The next day a couple stopped by and asked to see it. They are pre-approved for more than what Mom is asking for the house. Fabulous! The only problem left was finding a place to live in Picayune in a good, stable neighborhood. We set appointments for Saturday and went to one on Friday night. We decided right off that we didn't want the Mardis Gras house. It was too isolated for Mom to be there by herself all day. That settled we face forward and with great excitement on Saturday.

We drove through devastated neighborhoods and ones that had been flooded by Katrina. Those were crossed off the list. Then we drove too far out again and then came back for our 2 o'clock. It was the last house on the list. Wouldn't you know? You guessed it. That's the house. We made an offer and we came home. We're in a waiting game now. She was asking way too much for the house considering what others in that neighborhood were selling for... so we offered a little more than the average and what we felt led to offer. Now, it's up to God.

It's it amazing and wonderful how God works to make things fit together perfectly? I pray all is well with the house and that she'll accept the offer and we don't have to negotiate. It would be so terrific to be in the house before Christmas!