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port in a storm or it’s not always a holly jolly season for all.

January 6, 2010

Psalm 13
How Long, O LORD?
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest) I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I amshaken.

5But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

How often have I felt that God has totally forgotten me. I have cried out in anguish like David does in psalm 13. It is right and good to pour our and express our anguish to our God.. it’s ok to be angry, but we must confess our anger to God and not fall into judgement of him.

James 5:13

is anyone among you suffering, let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

He alone can offer us true comfort.  As we all figure out eventually, the world only offers balms to pain.  Casual sex and lost weekends of drunken delights  may numb our pain for a season but no lasting relief is found.  Trust me, I know that a man can’t be that cure all either,  I have been left by a father and a husband.. sucks.. even though I have a fabulous adoptive father (and a great mommy 😉  ) and a brilliant husband now, even with these stalawart loves in my life, I know that only God’s love  is unfailing.

I have run hard away from God at different seasons of my life.  I mean hard away to the point that I was considering myself “spiritual” but not christian.  Spirituality, go figure, offered no comfort either, who knew 😉  I am thankful that God has never given up on me.  No matter how fast and hard I ran, He has always run faster.  I am the prodigal daughter that he has accepted with huge open and loving arms.  All forgiven and forgotten.

God will never leave me nor you.. I repeat HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!!  This love is not based on us or our actions or even our own love and devotion to Him.  This amazing love is fully his own and infallible and indestructible.  God has taken eternal responsibility for you and I, and he has an idea just exactly what eternal really is.  God will get us through any suffering  even if he has to carry our faint body in his arms.  If we allow He will even use our suffering for His glory.  We might not understand it at the time, but in retrospect it becomes so clear.

In my own case, while I don’t believe that God caused my suffering, God has used my suffering to increase my reliance on Him for sustenance.  ( I was a cocky self righteous “oh I would never do that” kind of gal) He has also allowed my reliance on him to let people see Him shine through my life in different matters.  Whether it is a true friendship with someone who has hurt me in the past or the gift of being able to apologize when I have wronged someone, Christ shines through.  Not by my own power.. lordy no! Only through him and my continued reliance on Him is this possible.

I am thankful for this  gift of now pursuing God during all seasons of my life and the true comfort of his presence in my life.  He has sustained me through the death of my biological father, financial difficulties, the possibility of relocating, and just general uncertainties in this economy/world.  There is only one certainty in my life and this is that He will always be true to me.  Not in a cosmic bubble gum machine way. insert prayer and what I desire comes out.. but in a true loving father who is always there and lovingly carries me through circumstances and gives me what I need.  I love my abba God!

These are my reflections on a sermon by Jeff Purswell at Sovereign Grace Church of Joppa on Feb 1, 2009 as well as my own reflections on my personal experience with suffering.


Christmas in Maryland .. or .. an actual snowstorm in Maryland, who knew??

December 22, 2009

Welcome to my home. I love our jingle bell door!

our mantle is just itching for stockings hung up with care!

our Irish creche scene 😉 did you expect anything else from me?

To honor my father's family we place the Menorah on our mantle.

o' christmas tree o' christmas tree how lovely are your artificial branches!

first time that i made gingerbread men for the tree.. yummy!

yet another one of my creche scenes. this one is in my sitting area of our kitchen.

now why in the world would she be starting to bundle up?

what do they know that I don't know? 🙂

It's snowing!!! view from our family room bay window.

All bundled up!

Molly-Ann enjoying the blizzard.

Malachy attempting some basket ball in the blustery blizzard!

He just couldn't resist!

he is his sister's keeper!

🙂 it's I! I do exist. normally behind the camera, I gave Malachy a quick lesson on how to "point and shoot". my little first grader did a good job I think.

nature in my yard dressed in their finest crystals. 🙂

our fake snow men quickly becoming quite real!

lt it snow let it snow let it snow!

it seemed to snow forever!

as much as she liked eating regular snow, you should have seen her scoff up the snow ice cream I made later!

ho ho ho ! nice snow beard Malachy 🙂

I just love a snow storm. If only my husband and eldest son weren't snowed in other locations, it would have been a perfect weekend.

even our Snow man is in on the Irish action.

Even our snow man is in on the Irish action 🙂

front porch as the blizzard was waning.

We ended up with nearly 2 feet of snow!

Yay.. 2 days later and Tommy was home 🙂 Ronan showed up within a few minutes of Tommy.

Biggest Loser Perhaps.. 6 months down. :)

November 6, 2009

Can you believe that it has been just a bit over 6 months since my first post on my journey into self control and increased reliance on the grace of GOd?  Time flies when you are having fun. ha!

4/23 first morning after weigh in

Vital Statistics April 23, 2009:

5 foot 6 inches tall, 238.8 pounds ( which is 17 stone 0.8 lb or 108.3 kilos for my european readers)

october 28 six months later

who knew that I had a waistline! 😉

Vital Statistics November 2, 2009:

still 5 foot 6 inches tall.. not shrinking that way ha! 193.2 pounds (13stone 11.2 lb or 87.6 kilos) which is a total loss of 45.6 pounds (3 stone 3.6 pound or 20.7 kilos)

It’s been a surprising joy that I have been able to reach out to people through my weight loss.  A few people  have approached me for some advice on long term weight loss goals. So without further hoopla, here are my tips for weight watchers. in no particular order, just the order that i have thought on them!

1. eat a lot of vegatables / high fiber food.

2. limit junk and try to eat more filling food ie eggs/beans/apples/soups etc

3. drink drink drink fluid if possible water or low to zero calorie fluid. it’s amazing how quickly you can drink your calories up in a day. I have started even replacing my milk in my tea with lemon to cut back my points depnding on the day. but, as always, within reason. a GIRL still needs her calcium after all 😉

4. take a before picture for yourself (and periodically during this process) to keep motivated when you are feeling like you have hit a plateau. it’s amazing how motivating looking at where you have come from is!  I had hit that blech I hate diets mode last week.  My lovely husband made me take a picture last week and we compared the before and afters together.  It help spur me back on the wagon!

5. move it move it! if you are a couch potato, walk.. if you walk already.. walk faster etc (of course all within what your MD says is ok for yoU) that being said find an exercise regiment that is FUN for you. I honestly really enjoy wii fit and ea fit for wii..

6. figure out why you are turning to food for comfort. I have found that I do much better on my diet when I pray away my cravings.

7. don’t punish yourself if you fall off the wagon one day. Just because you mess up does not mean that you are not cut out for dieting or that you deserve to stay where you are. Forgive yourself, dust yourself off and start fresh in the morning.  Are you better than God that you can’t deem yourself forgiveable?

8. Stay accountable with a good friend.   Be honest with where you are even if you have had a bad week.

9. write down every bite that you eat and be honest. measure it out. little bites add up without you knowing it. even if you are not sure what the points are … it still helps to be aware of what you actual eat in a day.

10. Take a day off, not often but on important dates. IE. I took off on my date night w Ronan when we celebrated our anniversary and I will be taking off Christmas eve. WARNING: if you are taking a “day off” still account for your points to keep yourself aware and so that you don’t go to wild and crazy hehe. funny thing is that even though i “took last night off” on my date w Ronan I only went into my weekly points by 7.5.. before I would have totally blown it.  please keep these days off rare to keep them special other wise your scale won’t thank you 😉

11. stay humble and ask for help and prayer.

12. eat foods that you like. ie. i love cookies. rather than eat a lo cal oreo.. i just save up my 3 points a night (most nights) to have 2 double stuff oreos with my tea. It makes it seem like more lifestyle choices than that bad word D I E T! if you like a lower cal version .. fabulous, but if it makes you feel like you are missing out.. just do the portion control.

13.  I repeat, be humble and go to God and friends for comfort and prayer rather than that left over cheese cake that is beckoning you from the fridge. unless you have figured in a wee slice into your day’s points then by all means! have at it!! 🙂

14.  Remember that this is a life style change, not a quick fix.  You are relearning how to eat.  Don’t be too hard on yourself when you stumble.  You wouldn’t yell at your Kindergartener if he couldn’t sound out supercalifragilousyxpalidocious, would you? 😉

15.  Don’t compare or compete with others.  Every one is different and will lose at different rates.  This is a personal journey into better health.

16.  I must say again go to GOd and friends often during this process!

this has been my verse that I have been claiming over these past 6 months:

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.27But I discipline my body and keep it under control,lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or want a prayer buddy!

With Love Karen

Biggest Loser, perhaps. My journey into self control. #3

July 24, 2009

4/23 first morning after weigh inthen

Vital Statistics April 23, 2009:

5 foot 6 inches tall, 238.8 pounds ( which is 17 stone 0.8 lb or 108.3 kilos for my european readers)

July 24 weight watcher picNow 7/24.

Current weight: 212.4 (96.3 Kg or 15 stone 2.4 lb)  I am now down 26.4 lb (12 Kg or 1 stone 12.4 lb)

I am a Work in progress!  I am so thankful that God has been so clear with His mercy during this process.   Without His daily intervention I wouldn’t even feel that I was worthy of being a healthier vessel.  I praise Him that He loves me even in the details of my life.  I have faith in Him and in the power of His love.

Mark 11: 22-24

22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Ok, I am not saying that my bulk was the same as a mountain, errr, well maybe it was close.  But the point remains that with faith in God you can do anything that is within His will for your life.  Hallelujah!  (once again a shout out to my lovely wee mum in law, Ann.  I love you! 😉 )

crazy baby

July 20, 2009

Molly: “mammy! Malachy hit my halo!”

🙂 well, she is my little angel after all!

My family’s life passage 2009

July 20, 2009

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

ok enough Plagiarism for one post! But Charles Dickens put it so much better than I could.  I would have just said that Ronan and I have had one  roller coaster year of good times and bad! 😉  But how great is our God that He has sustained us when our belly was in our throats as we were hurtling downwards on this journey!  The growth I have seen in my husband has been amazing.  He has come into his own as a leader of our little family and as a follower of Christ.  God has used this time to shape us and use us for His glory.  I think i will throw in a hallelujah for my mum in law (you know that  I love you Ann! 😉 ).. But it is a heart felt one as well!

Habbakuk 3:17 – 18

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

overheard : take two

June 22, 2009

ME: kissing Molly’s cheek

Molly: wiping said kiss off of her cheek.

Me: You are rotten Molly! (laughing)

Molly:  I no Rotten Mommy, I Baby!