Friday, August 28, 2009


Does anyone besides me struggle with self-control? I especially struggle with self-control of the tongue! Anyone hear what I'm saying??

I grew up with doing dishes/kitchen chores with some catchy tunes from Alpha/Omega Publications....along with a host of other songs related to the fruit of the Spirit, one was titled "Self Control". My mother recently purchased a few of these "Old" cd's for the O Show. I found myself humming the self-control song this past Tuesday.

I had a few rough days with the O Show - she was just clingy and rather cranky most of Monday and Tuesday. Al was off on Tuesday, and I really REALLY wanted him to take the O Show and give me a break. We agreed he needed to catch up on the grass cutting due to all the problem, I said. Grass cutting turned to weed-eating and then the chain saw came out....are you KIDDING me? I'm sitting outside with a screaming baby and he is pulling the chain saw out??? I started quoting the chorus to this song....I was determined I was NOT going to yell at him. I was SO proud of myself! I refrained from yelling at the baby, at Al and myself (he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19. Me, wise?! Oh my - could I be learning something?! God is so good!). It was a difficult few moments, but I got through it. I'm so glad I was able to pull from my past and use these words to help me. Olivia will be hearing these cd's until she is tired of them!!

Self-Control by Mike Milligan (chorus only)

Self control is just controlling myself
It's listening to my heart
And doing what is smart
Self control is the best way I can go
So I think that I'll control myself

And, when the chain saw stopped, Al heard the frantic screams (of the baby, not me!!) he stopped and helped me out. He is so great, and I"m thankful he is so involved.

I Peter 4:7 ...therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

In His Grip,
Kandi :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are responsibility and integrity the same thing?

A few days ago I wrote about some of my pet peeves. However, I forgot something....I abhor people who don't take responsibility for their actions or have integrity.

Now, Webster's is one of my friends, so I looked up definitions for both:

integrity: adherence to moral/ethical principles; soundness of moral character; *honesty*

responsibile: answerable or accountable - as for something within one's power, control or management; reliable; dependable

I think I most look at being responsible in the financial realm. Today, so many people are in over their heads with credit card debt and wanting things they can't afford (and yours truly used to be in this category). And, with the "financial crisis" underway in our country things are coming to the forefront regarding this problem.

Allow me to stand on my soapbox for a moment. The problem doesn't rest with the banks, mortgage companies, the president, the dude down the street....the problem rests with each individual American. YOU alone make the decision to buy the car, house, jewelry, camera, video game, etc. YOU sign the paperwork, and as far as I'm aware, no one is forcing you to sign and buy things you can't afford. In other words - you are RESPONSIBLE for the debt you incur. Don't get me wrong, I think some of the financial organizations use unscrupulous measures/tactics to lure you into their pit. It is under your control (see definition) to say NO.

I'm tired of listening to people complain about the things they "have" to have - take a look around....we as Americans have more than most people in the world. There is nothing wrong with wanting things, having nice things or even being wealthy. The Bible says it is the LOVE of these things that causes problems (I Timothy 6:10). The Bible also says to store your treasures up in heaven not earth (Matthew 6:20-21).

I'm as guilty as most in this department - I want things - LOTS of things. As a stay-at-home-mom my finances are a little less than when I was working. Our WANTS require us to plan after our NEEDS are met (shelter, food, clothing). Most often, the wants are put on the back burner for another day - and that is OK with me.

Whew....stepping down off the soap box being careful not to trip (lol!)

Back to the original question....are responsibility and integrity the same thing?

Although there are many definitions and scenarios for what responsible means, I think responsibility and integrity are NOT the same thing. I DO think they are compatible...they go hand-in-hand. I suppose there are circumstances where you can have responsibility but not demonstrate integrity, but I admire people who can be responsible, admit mistakes, step up and take control of their bad decisions and be *honest* about it all.

There is a current email out about integrity - allow me to quote ( I apologize I can't give credit for it as I don't know who penned the words):

"Integrity is having the guts to tell the truth, even if it may hurt. It is having the guts to be honest, even though cheating may bring about a better grade."

But...."Integrity is NOT sinless perfection - a person with integrity does not live a life absolutely free of sin. But with integrity one quickly acknowledges his failures and doesn't hide the wrong."

I encourage you to be honest, responsible and the wonderful head of integrity will surface in your life. May the Lord help me in these areas as well.

In His Grip,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pet Peeves

I wondered today why things that annoy us are called "pet peeves". I did a little research, and I'm not really satisfied with any of the answers I located. I decided to come up with my own version of the word....anything that annoys me a great deal! Here is my "Top 5 Pet Peeves"

5. Putting the clothes away, but leaving the drawer open! I can't complain, because it is getting done, and I'm VERY thankful for the help....but seriously, can't you push the drawer in the last inch?

4. People who say they are "Christians" than treat fellow believers like dirt. I suppose I am guilty of this as well, but I'm aware of it and try to be more Christ-like. I want to be a "disciple" - to drop everything and follow Him.

3. People who talk to you, but you can tell they're not listening/paying attention. Why do you ask me questions/talk to me if you're not interested in hearing my answers? I would rather you not talk to me or ask me questions if you are going to SHOW that you're not least, fake it!

2. Not squeezing the sponge out after doing the dishes. A whole Frasier episode was done on this and it is HYSTERICAL! I laughed so hard I was crying.....again, I'm thankful you want to do the dishes, but PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE squeeze the water out of the sponge when you're finished. Can you say, "nasty"? I encourage you to find this episode and watch it - no one understands!

And, my number one pet peeve is.............

1. BLINKERS ARE NOT OPTIONAL ON CARS - USE THEM! It absolutely drives me insane when drivers don't use their blinkers. Perhaps it is one of those anxiety things where I'm afraid someone is going to switch lanes in front of me without using a blinker and there will be this horrific wreck - all because a blinker wasn't used. Or, how many times have you waited for a car to pass you while you are waiting to make a turn and then they turn! UGH!

I suppose I could add another #1 - WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT - again, not optional equipment. And, if you're not smart enough to wear yours, at least buckle your kids into them.

Now, it is only fair that I list a few pet peeves that people have about me....

- I don't always bring my dishes to the sink. More often than not they are on the table, in the bathroom, on the floor, on the deck, outside....well, you get the picture. I'm trying to be better, and I have improved....but still needs work.

- As with the dishes, I tend to leave my shoes laying around the house and the deck as well. I don't know why - it is just me. Poor Al, always picking up my shoes and dishes.

- I have a tendency to interrupt people - working on that as well (Let my words be few....)

- I leave the laundry in the dryer. At least it gets done, right?

Isn't it amazing how the smallest things can really separate people and cause the biggest arguments. I'm learning to try and overlook them and to be patient....but, boy is it hard. And, I wonder, where do the peeves develop from? Really - why is it that a water-filled (smelly) dish sponge bothers me? Who knows!

The Bible says we are all "perfectly and wonderfully" made - does this include our pet peeves?!

In His Grip,
Kandi :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

46 Chromosomes...

Today's sceince lesson: Did you know it takes 46 chromosomes to make a human??? You receive 23 from each parent. In our family we always joke about what traits we received from each parent. Last year we even made a chart for my parents describing what traits we received from was hysterical. I'll summarize some of the traits I received from each parent - some good.....some not so much!

From my mom:
anxiety and worry (told you some not so good)
good complexion
love of bread and butter
late nights
Love to have my hair played with!
Loud (!!)

From my dad:
lack of patience (ugh!)
It is the principle of the matter
great tans
covert ops

Now, the O Show is only 14 weeks old, but she is already exhibiting her chromosomal we go...

From me:
Hair playing for sure!
lack of patience (especially around feeding time)

From Al:
the only one that matters: THE NEWKIRK SLEEP GENE! Thank you Lord for answering my prayers!!

I am really interested to watch her grow and track her progress in this department. I know it will be fun to see what else she will end up with from us. I am hoping that we can weed out the "bad" genes and pass on the "good" ones!

The Bible says we are "all perfectly and wonderfully made". Who am I to question HIM?

In His Grip,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Leaving the O Show for the First Time!!

Well, I have reached a milestone in my motherhood career. I don't know that it is actually a milestone, but it feels like one.

Every year the spouse has a conference in Destin, Florida. It is for his continuing education for his pharmacy licenses. Since Destin is only one hour from my parents we always make a week vacation out of it (at least since we've moved to NC).

My parents were very excited we were coming to visit since this year we had the O Show with us. Somewhere along the line it was discussed that we would leave the O Show with them while we went and enjoyed ourselves at the beach (where the conference is located) for 3 days.

For many weeks I didn't even think about how I would feel about leaving her. Then, a few days before we left the spouse asked if I would be able to leave her....of course, the anxiety level went up and up and up, and well, you get the picture. I have a little of an anxiety problem, and it has tripled at least since the O Show was born. I have a lot of scriptures I put through my head and speak when these times arise, and I'm learning a few more.

Sunday morning it was time to leave, and I was really nervous....not that my parents couldn't take care of her, but just crazy thoughts running through my head. I sent a text out and asked some of my close friends to pray for me. One of my dear friends sent back "I will pray for comfort and ease that you can relax and enjoy yourself and not have fear and anxiety. I love you." Those words have stuck in my head, and I believe God is using those words to keep me calm.

It has been a little over 24 hours and I'm doing well. I waited about 12 hours before I sent a text to my mom asking how things went. Of course, all was/is well.

I'm constantly learning that God is for me....He did not give me a spirit of fear, but of love. I'm currently trying to memorize Isaiah 41:10 from the Message:

Don't panic. I am with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength; I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a fim grip on you.

A dear friend recently told me to memorize Philippians 4:6-7 in the Message as well:

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I'm learning to submit to let Christ displace the worry in my center and have Him become my center.

In His Grip,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Sweet Cake and other Foods that Bring Good Memories

Last night I made Chocolate Sweet Cake - just like it sounds, it is extremely sweet! This and several other recipes bring back fond memories. Do you have any foods like that?

Chocolate Sweet Cake: A very dear lady at our former church in Florida used to make Chocolate Sweet Cake for our Wednesday night dinners. Now, I am not a huge chocolate lover, but this stuff is amazing. She sent me the recipe and it has been a favorite ever since. Last night while I was licking the bowl, um, I mean eating a piece, I was reminded of all the great friends from our former church. They were all a blessing and I miss them terribly.

Home made macaroni and cheese: Now, I am a true pasta lover, and over the years have tried many different recipes. But again, a lady friend from our former church shared a recipe - it could compete with Paula Deen - lots of butter!! Heavy cream! and about 4 pounds of cheese. Ok, not really, but lots!! I've experimented with several different types of cheese, and it is always DEEEELISH! Again, fond memories of Wednesday night dinners and good friends.

Grand Girl's Apple Cake: Let's face it, Paula Deen has the market on butter and sugar. This recipe has so much butter and sugar that it is not funny. But, somehow, it all comes together in this super-moist, super-sweet delight of an apple cake. The secret ingredient is orange juice!! (Imagine - more sugar!). I love making it around the Christmas holiday and sharing it with our friends.

Poppy Seed Bread: My Baba (Russian for grandmother) used to make this every Christmas. It was a staple for the holidays. I didn't like it as a girl, but now I love it. My sister and I have made it several times, and we always laugh about our Baba.

Lasagna: My all-time favorite. My italian grandmother started the tradition...Sundays at her house with so much food you wouldn't believe me if I told you!Over the years the recipe has been perfected, and I now have my own version of sauce - a combination of the old recipe, my mom's, my friend Jo Ann, and my own touch. My god-child, Megan, and I always make plasagna when we are together!

I love thinking about these times! Great memories are made in our kitchens.

Time for some chocolate sweet cake!

In His Grip,

Monday, August 3, 2009

The High Road

We have been talking a lot about taking the proverbial "High Road" at our home and coincendentally ( or NOT!) in our Bible study group. Did your parents ever tell you to take the "High Road"? Well, in my family the phrase was always "Even turkeys appreciate class".

What exactly is the High Road? And why are we called to take it? We could probably spend hours on the latter.

The High Road is something you say or do to someone who maybe hasn't been so nice to you. The High Road can be simply not saying or responding at all. The High Road can be responding the exact opposite of what one might expect.

But, taking the High Road is not easy....a friend of mine just yesterday asked the following question: "Why is the low road a super highway and the High Road a donkey trail with someone following behind you cracking a whip?" (Thanks DJ - I will forever remember that analgy!) The super highway is the world's way of handling things - watch out for number one. The donkey trail is broken, rough and ragged - but it is a blessing when we respond appropriately.

I recently had a heated disagreement with someone; it wasn't ugly - we just agreed to disagree. But, it left me pretty mad and the more I thought about it the madder I got. Later that day I found out I had extra tickets to an event in town. I think God kept pushing at me until I finally called this person and asked them to join the spouse and I for this fun evening. That is taking the High Road....and let me tell you it was kind of hard at first. It was difficult to choke back some of my emotions and relax. But it was a wonderful evening and it didn't kill me!

As I sat there that night I wondered how many people have taken the High Road with me. How many times have I been difficult to deal with in situations? How many times have I been the "turkey" without even realizing it? Especially in my own family?

The more I ponder this idea, I think it involves more humbleness than most of us are willing to display. Being humble and meek in our world is often equated with being weak. But quite the contrary - it goes back to a previous blog; sometimes I need to let my words be few! Being humble and meek means knowing when to keep your mouth shut and having a healthy respect for those around you. I've tried over the last several days to take the High Road; to not respond to silly issues or argue over minute details. It's hard, but I think with practice it will become more habitual.

I really have NO idea why turkeys would actually NEED to appreciate class, but I think I'll quit worrying about the semantics and just do it!

In His Grip,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Things Grisham

I am an avid reader - I love to read. I especially love history books and spy-type novels. I am also a John Grisham fan....well, sort of. He has written 22 books, and they have all been excellent. However, I always have a complaint about his endings.

Now, I'm no Pollyanna. I don't expect everything in life to turn out perfect, but COME ON!!!!

Now that I'm staying at home with the O Show, I think I will devote some time to doing something I've always wanted to do. I am going to re-read each book and re-write the last 3 chapters or so of each book. Except for A Time to Kill; that was the one book that was completely great.

It always seems like he likes to leave his characters hanging. They go through a whole book of all these challenges and then BAM! They either fail, don't get it right or just fade away.

Grisham has a way of getting you from the beginning pages. He builds wonderful characters and plots. They often times have exciting adventures that leave you wondering how they get through it. He has an easy way of simplifying legal terms for the average person. And, his choice locations are idyllic.

I always anticipate a new Grisham release.....but there is always that apprehension about the ending. My mother often reads the end of books before she buys them. Maybe I will start doing that with Grisham's books. Nah, that wouldn't be any fun, and besides it is now tradition for me not to like the endings!

I'll never really have time to re-write the endings but it sure is fun to think of all the ways to make it happen!

In His Grip,