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Showing posts from December, 2007

Hysterical DVD

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If you want to experience something funny, I mean incredibly funny - then get Steve Harvey's DVD, "Don't Trip, He Ain't Through With Me Yet!" If you are stressed out in ministry and need a laugh like you haven't had in a long time, this is your opportunity.
We were over at Eddie and Candy's a few weeks ago and started watching it but then had to leave to get to church. In a few short minutes, I fell in love with the DVD and Larry ordered it for me for Christmas. It didn't come in time for Christmas day but it did come yesterday.

I watched the whole thing late last night after getting home from Bridges. Oh my. I'm still laughing over so many things he said. Basically it's a comedy about church, church people, stuff we do, habits we have, and it's just SO amazingly hysterical.

Many of you may say, "I dunno if I should get that video - I've seen some of Steve's comedy and he is definitely not saved...and very questionable"…

Last Sunday of the year...

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(photo of the reflection of trees on the lake in my backyard)



And this particular Sunday was a good one for us, but I'm sooooo ready for 2008!


Last night was another night of difficult sleep though I am trying hard to get in a serious pattern of sleep and rest. For some reason there are many nights it is difficult for me to sleep even if I take a Melatonin or something to help me, it still eludes me. I'm a person who has a hard time "shutting down". I'm like a powered up computer all the time, always logged on. I desperately need sleep and rest but so many ideas are spinning in this head of mine, and so much on my 'to do' list, it often becomes a challenge.

So I was up bright and early as I always am on Sunday - actually there was nothing bright about it, but it was early. I get up way before the sunrise. First I get my shower, with just my dim shower light on - to sort of ease into the day without having this barrage of light on me right away screaming at m…

My husband's tribute

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Today my husband did a photo tribute to me on his blog. He surprised me with it! He noticed I had done these the past few days for him and I, and then one for the kids and this morning when I woke up, he had done this for me. Make sure you read the very last words after the final picture...my heart melted when I read them. That man has the ability to make me so happy.
To see the tribute, and just know where Larry's blog is in case you'd like to read it, go to http://www.larryshrodes.blogspot.com/. Today after sleeping in and putzing around the house a little bit, we went out shopping to get some "after Christmas sales". I wanted a Christmas tree for my kitchen/dining room and I got one for next to nothing as well as most of the decorations for it. This one, I think...is going to be done with blue lights and silver decorations. I also got a small little tree for Savanna's room since she's been wanting one. Dustin had to work today, Jordan went to the movies, an…

I've come to realize

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Got this meme from Pastor Leanne. Hey, it's Christmas week. What can I say...it's a good time for Meme's and making family videos! :-)

1. I've come to realize that, my last ex: well, I don't have an ex-husband and as far as ex-boyfriends, it's been so long that I'm really not realizing anything about them anymore. My life now has been my life for so long (with my husband and kids) that I've been with them, longer than not - so they are my world. :-) 2. I've come to realize that, when I talk: the important people in mylife listen.



3. I've come to realize that, I love: being at home.

.4. I've come to realize that my friends: are heroes for what they do everyday.

5. I've come to realize that, I've lost: a lot of weight andthat's pretty darnincredible.

6. I've come to realize that, I hate: laziness.

7. I've come to realize that, marriage is: reallygreat if you just stay the course and don't give up when the going get…

Fun Friday

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We are still having a Christmas break except for dealing with Sunday services and emergencies. Today I slept in once again and rested most of the day. I have been so in need of this - my body is talking to me - and it's saying, "rest me, rest me..." and I'm complying no matter how much I want to be out there during the day using my Christmas gift certificates or whatever. I'm just saving that for evenings as really that's about all my body wants to do right now. I had come into this week very run down as I'm sure many people have. Last night I didn't get a lot of sleep. Larry and I had a wonderful evening together but for some reason I couldn't get to sleep although I was so exhausted. So during the day I ended up putting the "audio vision" channel (nature sounds, acoustic stuff - the kind of stuff they play in a spa) and laying down and resting and then taking a long "moonlight path" bath.

Larry took Dustin to get his blood w…

My three gems

Yesterday I shared a video I put together in celebration of mine and Larry's 20 years together. Well, today finds me resting again during the day today with some time to do what I normally don't have a lot of time for, such as looking through my photos. I want to share "my three gems"...aside from my relationship with Larry, the greatest thing in my life - my three kids. I pulled some photos of them, a few old, a few new. Again, be sure to turn off the blog music down in the right hand corner before you watch the video or you'll have two songs playing! Enjoy watching my beautiful kiddos!

Zoning out with a meme

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1) Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 - in the book closest to you right now, what does it say? "How is one made ready? First he must know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Second, he must be living an overcoming, holy life, expecting him to come. Is anyone perfect? No. but there is a difference between willfull disobedience and serving the Lord to the best of one's ability."(Enrichment Journal, Winter 2008)
2) If you stretch out your left arm as far as possible, what are you touching? My husband.
3) What’s the last program you watched on TV? The Investigators.
4) Without looking, guess what time it is. 11:00 5) Aside from the computer, what can you hear right now? The ceiling fan.
6) When was the last time you were outside and what did you do? I walked with Larrydowntown by the water.
7) What are you wearing? PJ's
8) Did you dream last night? If you did, what about? Yes I did but I could not remember the details when I woke up.
9) When was the last time you laughed? With Larr…

It's a date!

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Tonight was an extra special date night...


Best of all it cost almost no money...

First we went to Carrabbas, compliments of a gift certificate given to us by Pastor Lindsay for Christmas. Mmmm...this is my favorite place, if you haven't been reading this blog for long and never realized it. Hint, hint: if you love this blog and want to support it financially (never mind that it costs me absolutely no money to do this) then send your gift certificates from Carrabbas to 16235 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa, FL 33613. Thank you so much for your generous support. (GRIN)

So seriously - we went to Carrabbas and had a nice leisurely dinner, just taking our time. My favorite meal there is...salad with house dressing, their homemade bread with butter (I like the butter more than the oil), Spedino DiMare, and rigatoni with tomato cream sauce on the side. There is NO MEAL in the world better than this, I assure you. By the way, Spedino DiMare is lightly breaded shrimp and scallops with a light b…

How sweet it is to be loved by you

It's Christmas break ~ I have time! And I'm enjoying it so much. As most of you readers know, Larry and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary on June 27th. Today I decided to put together a video of some photos, celebrating our great love... just for fun.

As you will notice, one of the biggest changes over the past 20 years is my ever changing hair color. Pastor Trinity has a joke he tells - when he invites newcomers to our newcomer's fellowships at Northside he says, "how can you folks tell if you're a newcomer? Well, if you've only seen one shade of Pastor Deanna's hair...you're probably a newcomer. So, come on out and join us at newcomer's night..." Fun!

Tonight, Teeby and I are going on an extra special date! I'll blog about it later and let you know all that we did. Well, not everything, but most of it... (GRIN)

Hint: Be sure to turn off my music first at the bottom right hand corner of the blog before you click the video, or you'l…

I love Christmas break!

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Today my babe brought me breakfast in bed. (Is there any better way to start a day?) Then he had to go to the store to get a few more wires for his new surround sound and I got in the tub and took my time there just soaking in a bath and body works "moonlight path" bubble bath. Ahhhhh...
Did some writing...some reading...and he came home and said, "let's go somewhere, just you and me..." Music to my ears.
So we put Dustin in charge of the household and went out for a few hours. We returned a few Christmas things that didn't fit, and then just had a quiet meal, just him and I. Ahhhhhh....is there any better way to spend an afternoon? No. Being with the Teeb is just wonderful.
We came home and we had a house full of kids...Dust was not only in charge of our kids but a few more. They had ordered pizza, played cards, and watched a movie. Upon arriving home they said, "Mr. Bernie and Mrs. Lisa called and they want to come over and watch a movie..." …

The One Word Meme

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Thought this was a fun meme when I saw it, so here goes. These are to be answered with one word only...
Yourself: expressive
Your Partner: guarded
Your hair: thick
Your favorite item: computer
Your favorite drink: tea
Your dream car: Mustang
Dream home: Livingston
Room you are in: bedroom
Your ex: none
Your fear: water
Where you want to be in 10 years: healthy
Who you hung out with last night: staff
What you're not: lazy
Muffins: fattening
Something on your wish list: private
Time: slipping
Last thing you did: write
What are you wearing: dress
Favorite weather: crisp
Favorite book: Bible
Last thing you ate: pie
Your Life: rollercoaster
Your Friends: heroes
What are you thinking about right now? change
Your Car: heartbreak
What are you doing at the moment? resting
Your summer: hot
Relationship status: forever
What's on your TV? romance
What's the weather like? crisp
When's the last time you laughed? tonight

Christmas Eve Communion

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Always a special time for us. Here are some photos from this evening. The first few are just some of me being silly in between people coming in (nobody was in the sanctuary during those pics but our staff.)



This is always a nostalgic time for us - we've been doing this so many years - and have so many memories.


Our staff serves communion from 5-8 pm, to each individual/family. We have stations set up for each of us pastors (and spouse if they have one) and we serve the people as they come in. We have a ton of candles lit in the sanctuary and it's just beautiful, and Christmas music is playing. After we serve communion, we pray a blessing over them for the new year.


Tonight the most touching moment for me was when we served Michele and Marcus. We were praying for them after the took communion and Larry said, "Jesus, thank you for going to the cross and dying for us...that our sins might be forgiven..." and Marcus burst out crying and buried his face in Michele's leg…

Long (sleepless night) and long (busy) day...

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I got no sleep last night. I was up all night not feeling well. I probably got about 20 minutes sleep. This morning I had Jeanne Barta (our director of prayer at NS) pray for me as well as having my husband pray for me a few times both last night and today. I think I'm just "fried" quite literally. Larry looked up some things on line this morning to get some ideas of what to get me at the store as well and we went and picked up some vitamins and special foods this afternoon and I do feel somewhat better. I am believing for a great night's sleep tonight and have a few people praying that way for me.

We had our Northside "home for Christmas" service today - with special music numbers, Christmas carols, drama, puppets, etc. I think it went well. Let's put it this way - anytime I have a morning where I'm not stressed is good! And this morning I wasn't real stressed, just tired. Things went rolling along pretty well.

After church the staff quickly set …

Working at a slow pace

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Today I haven't been feeling well (I think I'm just bearing the consequences of some stress the past few weeks). But despite feeling this way I've pressed through to get a lot of work done today, just at a slow pace. I fold a load of laundry, put it away and sit down a while. Then I get up, do a load of dishes, and sit down a while. And I have just kept repeating that basic pattern all day and have gotten quite a lot done despite feeling not so well.
I did sleep in, then got up and took a long hot bath and used my new "grape" spa products that Susan got me for an early Christmas gift. Hmmm...it was so nice. Then I got out, and put my new little spa flip flops that Susan also got me. (See here, they are, pictured with my new pedicure...and I stuck my hand in so you can see the mani too.)

All day I've been doing laundry - about 4 loads so far, and ironing for tomorrow, and also a lot of extra ironing like Larry's dockers, the boy's shirts, etc. Also gett…

Christmas crunch...living and escaping...

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Yesterday Larry and I didn't leave the church office until 6 pm. We had to tie up all the loose ends of work so we could enjoy some down time next week. On the way home we stopped to get groceries and then came home and I made dinner. Thursday nights are always a time for me to decompress because I have been wound up all week and on Thursday night I know a respite is coming. Just thought as I begin my blog tonight I'd take some photos of a few things at our house tonight. Here are some photos of my two trees...one in the living room, one in the family room. The one in the family room, below, is my little sugared fruit tree. The other one is our "family tree" with the ornaments the kids have made over the years, and gift ornaments people have given us. It's our "tapestry tree" as I call it. I slept in this morning a little bit because when my alarm went off, I could hear Savanna already up in the other room, getting something to eat and gettin…

Road Grace

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Today I was driving to Staples for some work supplies, and listening to 94.9 radio with some delightful Christmas music. I stopped at a light at Dale Mabry and Bearss and was momentarily distracted getting my sunglasses out of my purse when I suddenly jerked my head up when I heard a man shout, "YOU GOT b____? Get out and prove it!" Upon looking up I could see this coming out of the mouth of a driver of a huge truck (I wanna say it was an 18 wheeler), while he suddenly opened the door, hopped off the seat of his truck and was hanging off of the door, aiming his fist at the driver and passenger (they looked like two "twenty something's) directly over in a little silver car in next lane over. They were exchanging many fighting words and threatening to basically annihilate each other while at this red light. In the moment, it seemed to last forever even thought it was only a minute or two. I don't know what happened prior to this because I was too busy singing, &qu…

The secret of your strength

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My brain is getting back into gear spiritually after waking up yesterday and reading my devotional passages. I said yesterday I'd blog about it, and here are a few highlights:
First I began reading I Corinthians 10 where it was talking about the Israelites and learning from the mistakes they made. Well interestingly enough I'm teaching on this in my Sunday School class and have been on this now for several months. Just when you think you know just about everything on a subject...
God was once again reminding me of the importance of learning from all of their hard learned life lessons. Here are several excerpts from chapter 10:
"Remember our history, friends, and be warned..."
"The same thing could happen to us...we must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did..."
"These are all warning markers - DANGER! - in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are para…

Coming back to my senses

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I'm doing so much better today. Went to my weight watcher meeting this morning. I'm up a pound but it's no shock. With all the holiday stuff, and being stressed out it's amazing I'm not up 10 pounds. We had a substitute leader today but she was excellent. It was the motivational shot in the arm I needed this morning. I didn't want to go in the first place because I knew I was up, but at the same time I knew it was the right thing to do. Yesterday I started making wise choices again. When we went to breakfast yesterday I had ordered my favorites which are biscuits and gravy and all that stuff. I was stressed, had just had a crying jag and really, it's what I wanted. I ordered it. Then sat there and thought, "WHY AM I COMPOUNDING THIS PROBLEM? THESE BISCUITS AND GRAVY ARE GOING TO SOLVE NOTHING. STOP THE INSANITY!" I called the server back over and said, "I'm so sorry to do this to you, but I had momentarily lost my mind. Please forgive me.…

Teeby saves the day

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This morning was my day to work from home and Larry was to go to the office as usual. We heard Savanna get up early and so since she was already out fixing her breakfast and getting dressed, I laid in bed a while longer and Larry rolled over to hold me and talk to me, and suddenly...the dam burst and there went my tears all over the place. I just sobbed and sobbed, and well...sobbed some more all over him and my pillow.
He laid there and talked to me for about 20 minutes as I just wept my little heart out and he talked some sense back into me, sounding more like a football coach than a husband. I needed it. It was one of those, "crying so hard I can't breathe" moments and then when I was spent he said, "I'm taking off today."
He's been telling me he's going to take a vacation day since he still has 14 left and hasn't done a thing with them. I know, that's not good that we haven't taken all of our vacation, but it's just how it worked …

Nothing deep, just an easy meme

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Honestly, I'm not up to posting my deep personal thoughts tonight. I know, that's pretty rare. Pray for me. Well, here's a meme from my friend Pastor Tara Sloan. I just need something that doesn't require me to keep re-writing until it's acceptable for public consumption...or something that will keep me busy and get my mind off of that which has me stressed. No personal details tonight, just an admonition to all of you ~ we are living in the last days, I believe. And if what I am going through and so many of my friends in ministry are going through is any indication, the enemy is really trying to discourage ministers. Only about 1/4 of the people who read my blog are from my church so that means the vast majority of you are in churches elsewhere around the world and I just admonish you with this -- pray...fast...encourage...support. Your pastor needs all these things. So instead, I'll "meme" tonight and then hold on tight to Teeby while I get some sl…

How my day went yesterday

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I was too exhausted to blog last night so here I am this morning. (You know I was really tired if I'm too tired to blog!) I went to sleep early.


Yesterday (Sunday) morning I preached my "Ornament" message. It went well, I believe. The best thing that happened for me was this...after service I was greeting visitors in the hospitality room. Marcus Danielson came in and gave me a hug. This is standard for him - as he always finds me after church to hug me. But today his eyes were damp from crying and he was still sniffling a little bit. I thought perhaps this was because he had a rough morning in Sunday School, thus the reason he was sitting with his mother in the morning worship service instead of being in children's church. But such was not the case. His Mom, Michele, (pictured with him, below) told me that all during my closing prayer at the end of the message (when I was praying for the congregation to be the kind of "ornament" that God has called them to b…

Life Coaching Christmas Luncheon

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Today was my life coaching meeting and we held it at my home this time instead of the church. I served cream of crab soup, my special recipe chicken salad sandwiches,and my triple chocolate cake. Mmmmm...it was so good! We also had tea and coffee, of course and Susan brought some homemade sugar cookies and Jenn brought a peanut butter cup pie. Wow! So good.

After we ate, my teaching today was on the power of hospitality. We had a great discussion as usual. Here are some photos from our day. Cathy isn't in the group picture because she had to leave a little bit early and Isa wasn't able to come today.

Right now I'm relaxing for 2 seconds before having to take off again and go to Todd and Bonnie Stewart's birthday party. They are having a combined party and it's a 40's and 50's party. What I'm going to wear to this...I don't know...I'm a little ill prepared as far as dress since I was focused on the luncheon and didn't exactly get an outfit toge…

Today's fun Friday

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This morning Teeby and I lingered in bed for a little while (best thing about a Friday morning, especially when Savanna wakes up on her own...) and then we got up and went to Brandon Mall with Dustin to do a little Christmas shopping. I love the Brandon Mall. I hope Larry will still want to go there even after the mall is finished and open, here by our house. It's coming, by the way-- a HUGE one -- in 2008. It's going to have EVERYTHING you can possibly think of. But going to Brandon to go Christmas shopping has been our tradition now for 5 years. After shopping we came home and I started getting things rolling for an event I'm having here tomorrow at the house. I am hosting my life coaching group here at home for a Christmas luncheon and our meeting. I can't wait! I will tell you all about it tomorrow (don't want to ruin it for any of my life coachers who are reading tonight) but I have been cooking some specialties today and cleaning, and getting both dinin…

Just preach good

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I've developed a new tactic with something. It's called the "just preach good" strategy.

Being a leader who likes to get what I'm expecting in the way of the run of an event, I've often gotten upset over the years when something I've planned, checked up on, re-reminded people about, and been counting on falls by the wayside. To me it makes no sense. I'm the type of person that can keep 100 details spinning and get it all done without anybody reminding me. I don't need a babysitter. When people don't take care of details it threatens my mental health not to mention my focus at an event when I'm the speaker. To say I hate when that happens is the understatement of the year. Larry always says, "you've gotta inspect what you expect." Well, I do. To the point of over-doing it at times -- to the point of micro-managing. Make no mistake, I don't want to micromanage but often I feel I have no choice. Much of the time, it's mic…

Church Air Traffic Controller

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Had a busy day working on many things at the office. I'm in the midst of working on the calendar for 2008 and that is always a bear for me. I always get to the point where I can't wait to be done with juggling the whole thing. I feel like an air traffic controller when I work on the church calendar because I am being ever so careful not to have ministries bumping into one another, at least not in the way that they would both be booked for the same space in the building on the same day. We're way past the point of giving only one ministry "the day" for their event except rare exceptions. Too much going on that we have to fit in the schedule somehow. After about two hours, I finally put it away today and said, "I'm giving my brain a rest and will come back to it Monday..." We came home after work and Larry started cooking dinner tonight and he made pork chops and mashed potatoes, corn and applesauce and by the time he was done Bobby walked in the do…

Sludgery Drudgery Day

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I wasn't feeling well today. Mixture of being physically and emotionally zapped. I did a few initiatives today but for the most part my message for tonight's service took the majority of my time. It was like pulling teeth to get it done --which is very unusual - there's nothing I like to do more than prepare teachings & teach...and when things are like this I know I'm just wiped...spent... Working today was like walking through mud up to my waist with heavy clothes on. It just slowly sludged forward.
I got to church tonight and God did His thing as usual. Worship went well and so did the teaching. Some people who don't even usually comment said, "Wow, that was so good..." God is so good because quite truthfully it's one of those days where I felt I had little to nothing to give.
We also had a missionary with us from Chi Alpha tonight (Garry Miller) and he did a 10 minute window with us in the adult service and then went and spoke at youth. Good tim…