Saturday, May 29, 2010

Home Improvement

So here it is - Spring. The season of renewal. Out with the old, in with the...well, you get the picture!

Carpets need cleaning. Windows need washing. Toilets need repairing...what? The toilet thing...that's just in my house? Oh.

Anyhow, off to Home Depot I went to try and stumble through an explanation of how my powder room toilet was misbehaving. Wow.

Now, I can talk medical terminology all the live long day. But I do not speak "toilet." I do not know the names of the parts. I do not know how they work, only that they do. Or don't. I do not know the parallel "hip bone connected to the thigh bone" song for the toilet to try and identify which area is malfunctioning. So I am quite sure that the Home Depot person was wishing they had not asked how they could help me or better yet, that they had just called in sick altogether! (Ever had one of those days? I can relate!)

Miraculously, I somehow - through pantomime and the use of sound effects - managed to convey what is (hopefully) wrong and I am now the proud owner of two brand spanking new Toilet Fill Valves! Why two, you ask? Because my Sweet Hubby had already replaced one! One down, two to go!

Should be fun! Right?? Maybe?? Pray for me and my toilets. And Valerie, if by some small chance you're reading this...NO - I do NOT need Robert to come over and do it for me. But thank you. And yes, I'm sure. And yes, I know I'm stubborn. We've already established that. (Umm, Val - how much does Robert charge for an emergency visit? I'm putting him on speed dial.)

I know I'm not the only one that will be in the bathroom this week. Huh...that didn't quite sound right. Anyway. My friend, Kimberly, has taken the week off to tackle her own list of home improvement tasks and that includes some bathroom remodeling and redecorating. I think hers will be a lot more exciting than mine. With a prettier outcome!

How about you? Have you been up to anything around the homefront lately? Painting? Rearranging? Deep cleaning? What exactly is it about this season that drives this "need" anyway? And is there a pill we can take to eliminate it?!

Whew, that's enough excitement from me! How about a little for you?

If you've been following my blog for a little while, you may recall a giveaway sponsored by CSN Stores a couple of months ago. Well, I was recently contacted by Jessica at CSN Stores asking if I'd like to host another. Uhhh...yeah!

If you're like I was, you may not have heard of CSN Stores. But the reality is that they have more than 200 online shopping sites! Isn't that wild??!!!! And in perusing what they have to offer, can you imagine my surprise when I came across bathroom vanities, of all things?!! (Note to self: call Kimberly.) But they also have a store for practically every thing you can think of, need, dream of or drool over...hello, my lovelies! And believe me...that's just the tippity-tip-top of the iceberg!

Where was I? Oh yeah, sorry! I'm such a sucker for a pretty coffee machine!

That's's *GIVEAWAY* time here at ItTR courtesy of CSN Stores! And this time, I'm not picking for you! The gift will be a $40 gift certificate redeemable in any of the more than 200 CSN Stores online!

For added excitement, I've cooked up 4 chances to win! They include:

  • leaving a comment telling me about YOUR home improvement plans! What's that? You don't have any? Then feel free to leave me a comment like, "Gigi, I'm kicked back on my deck with a freshly squeezed lemonade and the latest Martha Stewart magazine." I won't cry...much.
  • mentioning the giveaway in your blog along with a link back here and then leaving a comment that you've done so.
  • a mention of the giveaway and a link to my blog on your Facebook page.
  • following me and then leaving me a comment that you've done so. Already "follow" me? Thanks!! Just leave a separate comment saying so and I'll count that one too! Easy, right?

In one of your posts, please include your email address as that is how CSN will contact you with the gift certificate details if you're the winner. If you'd prefer not to post it in a comment, feel free to email it to me through my profile.

And for those of you that may have "won" something here in the past...YAY!!! But please feel free to enter again! I truly believe if it's meant to be, it will be! Remember Proverbs 16:33 ~

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

I'll close this post to comments at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 EST and will use the random integer generator thingamabob to determine the winning comment(er)! Look for the announcement post sometime Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

In the meantime, get to posting and thinking of how you'd spend that $!


Random Integer Generator

Here are the numbers, generated with randomization based on persistent identifier 6/2/10 21:50 EST:


Congratulations to katiegfromtennessee!!

And my thanks to all who posted!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A little bit more

In addition to Mandisa and her wonderful band, Glorious Funk (and as she said, "No - they don't smell bad...they're just FuNkY!!) there was also another musical artist at the Extraordinary Women conference to help lead all of us crazy (in love with God!) women in worship!

Wanna know who it was??

Not the greatest picture, I know...I'm sorry. You'd never know I was only 7 rows from the stage! But it was taken with my cell phone and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to "zoom"...still, you probably have no idea who it is, right?

So how's this:

*Please scroll down and pause my player before watching*

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (emphasis mine)
2 Corinthians 1-10 ESV

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From David's mouth...and my heart.

A psalm of praise. Of David.

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and

Great is the LORD and most worthy of
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your
works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor
of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful
They will tell of the power of your
awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant
and joyfully sing of your

The LORD is gracious and
slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has
All you have made will praise you,
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your
mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your
Your kingdom is an everlasting
and your dominion endures through
all generations.

The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the
proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living

The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear
he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD watches over all who love
but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the
Let every creature praise his holy
for ever and ever.

Psalm 145 NIV

Monday, May 24, 2010

I know this is what he'd say

This past weekend, I was privileged to attend the Extraordinary Women conference in a city near me. But more about that later! I only mention it to say that Mandisa was one of the featured artists for the weekend.

Now, I love Mandisa! Her voice, her spirit, her conviction...she is a powerful woman of God! If you're an American Idol fan, you'll remember she was a contestant the same year as Elliott Yamin. My Sweet Hubby and I were (as you know!) huge Elliott fans...but I have to confess that I did give up a few votes to Mandisa (sorry Elliott)! That voice is awesome on television, but I'm gonna tell you - having seen her in person multiple times now - live, her voice will blow your socks clean off! Yep. :)

So Saturday, as our conference was coming to an end, she sang this song. All I can say is that I'm glad the arena was dark and that I had packed Kleenex. Both were necessary! But even through my tears, I knew the truth of the words. And the truth is this: as much as I miss my Sweet Hubby (and I do...oh, how I do), he does not miss me. I am living in this imperfect world with pain, sorrow and the cares of this life. He is in Paradise with Jesus!!! There is nothing imperfect in his world - no pain, no sorrow, no cancer. There is only our Father and the voices of the saints who worship Him! Holy, holy, holy!! THAT is what we have to look forward to - perfection!

I heard you through Mandisa's words, sweetheart...I really, really did.

*Please scroll down and pause my player before watching*

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
Revelation 21:4 NLT

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wow with a Capital *W*

Just wanted to put up a quick post to say I'm back from the Extraordinary Women Conference and when I say "wow" I mean "WOW!!!!"

Blessing followed blessing and you can be sure I will tell you all about it!

I so appreciate your prayers for JJ and myself. And you were in my thoughts and prayers this weekend too!

Give me a few days to gather myself together and continue praying over what the Lord put upon my heart this weekend and I'll be back to share, share, share about what I heard, what I felt and what a magnificent, loving, Savior we serve!

Until then, I'm going to close with one of the Scripture verses we were asked to read to prepare for the conference. I told JJ that I must have read this verse a hundred times if I've read it once. But as I read it the other night, it was as if I were reading it for the very first time. What clarity! What simplicity! The Holy Spirit was already at work, readying me for the "work" ahead!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NLT

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We interrupt this hiatus...

Just had to come here and share what I just received via email because it made my heart skip a beat (honestly!!) and I'm even more excited now!

EWomen Devotional

The Trust Fall

May 18, 2010

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8

Trusting God to reveal His dream in your life and give you hope often requires an extraordinary act of willpower. It’s kind of like one of those “trust falls,” where you fall backward into the arms of someone you trust to catch you. You give up total control and place absolute trust in that person to catch you in that moment.

God wants to teach you the same about Him—that you’re not in control. He is. He wants to show you that when He seems most absent and you’re falling backward, He really is most present and there to catch you. God walks beside you even when you can’t see, hear, or feel Him. He provides you with what you need to get through deep pain, unbelievable circumstances, and surreal events. In your weakness, He wants you to fall backwards, into His arms. Place your trust in Him and let Him prove to you He will not disappoint.

Lord, let my trust in you grow to the point that I can lean on you in absolute confidence even when the worst is happening in my life. Stand firm and secure behind me whenever I’m about to fall. Amen.

I emphasized that first sentence because it literally jumped out at me...thank you Jesus!!! I just KNEW this upcoming conference was going to be a blessing, but wow, Wow, WOW!!!!!! And for good measure, did you notice my focus word - hope - in there too??!! WOW!!!!!

Can I ask you to pray for my girlfriend, JJ and I this coming Friday and Saturday as we attend the Extraordinary Women conference?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fast and pray

*Please scroll down and pause my player before watching video*


I am going to be taking some time away...away from the computer, that is. I find lately that I'm giving less of myself to Him and more time and energy to "things." So it's time to shift the focus and redirect my gaze to the One truly worthy of my thoughts, my dedication, my attention and my praise. Call it a "fast" if you will...only instead of just abstaining from certain foods or drinks, I will be fasting from some earthly distractions as well. Hopefully, upon my return, I will be in control of them rather than the other way around!

Here's a little bit of what'll be going on while I'm away...

~for my soul

~for my body

~for my heart

Know that you'll be in my heartfelt prayers while I'm absent! Miss me just a little bit, okay?!

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. Daniel 9:3 NIV

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Play Therapy

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with a few of my most favorite little people in the world...

Allow me to introduce you:

This is Princess P!

And this is Sweet P!

And this is Big Brother and Karate Star C!

But c'mon guys...these pictures are going on your Gigi's that all you've got???

Ahh...there's the charm!!!

Sigh...I'm head over heels for these three! And spending time with them is really, really good for my soul.

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting."
Matthew 18: 2-7 NLT

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

~Make insight your priority~

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back in time

This past week I've been remembering a lot about my days in Vacation Bible School as a kid...not sure why. Maybe because summer's coming and I'm hoping my youngest grandson will want to, once again, attend VBS at my church...

Anyway - whatever the reason - whenever I think of my summers spent in VBS, today's Music Monday song always comes to mind!

Now, I grew up Roman Catholic and we didn't have VBS. But there were two churches in my neighborhood - Presbyterian and Southern Baptist - that did. And I was blessed with parents that were not hung up on "Catholic only" even though we were very (very) active in our parish. So for years I attended VBS at each of those two churches, who nicely coordinated their VBS schedules so as not to overlap!

I loved Vacation Bible School as a child! So much to do...crafts, singing, worship, playtime! Tell me...what kid wouldn't love that?!

I remember learning this hymn during one VBS session...not sure which church it was. The denomination is irrelevant; the song, however, is not! Of course, as a small child I didn't understand the real meaning behind this beloved hymn. I do now and that makes it even more special.

Take a moment, would you, and just travel back to those Vacation Bible School days with me!

**Please scroll down and pause my player before watching video**

Now, I have to say...I don't think I had near that much fun singing this song! Or maybe I did...!

As Christians, we are called to "battle" each and every day. Until that wondrous day, when we will follow our Lord and Savior into the final battle. And we won't have to lift a finger!

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Revelation 19:11-16 NLT