How to Negotiate a Good Price With Your Dentist

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A Petition for She Speaks

“Give me liberty or give me death…”

“I have a dream…”

“Ask not what your country can do for you…”

Highly impactful words spoken during times of great need in our country. Words spoken that, in many ways, changed the course of history and altered the lives of even the men that spoke them. They each had a unique vision, and their passion was evident not only in their actions, but also in their spoken words.

Much like these leaders, I have a great desire to serve and make a difference. I too, have a voice that is longing to be heard. While I am quite sure that I will not be another Patrick Henry, Martin Luther, or John F. Kennedy — I do know that the reason I was put here on this earth was to encourage and inspire other women through my service in women’s ministry. I am sure of that. I want to be as Isaiah and say “Here am I, Lord, send me.” Use me if you will, imperfections and all.

We are living in turbulent times — banks and investment companies are collapsing, the economy is tanking, and people are losing everything. As a woman, I understand the need to feel peace and security — but the only true peace we have is in the blessed hope of Jesus Christ. It is my fervent desire that other women come to know and understand the Christ of the Bible that has carried me through more storms than I can count.

I’ve been feeling a not-so-gentle pull towards honing my writing and speaking skills in that last few months, but wasn’t sure how to proceed or even who to talk to about it. It has been said that God will equip the call, not call the equipped — whoever said that had me specifically in mind. Two days ago, I learned about a women’s conference being held at the end of July in North Carolina that would equip me with the tools I need in order to become a more effective writer and speaker.

The She Speaks Conference is said to be a life-changing conference geared towards ‘equipping and encouraging women who are called by God to share our mission to bring God’s peace, perspective and purpose to today’s busy woman.’ If that doesn’t just make you want to stand up and shout a hearty “AMEN”, then there’s something seriously wrong. There will be many speakers covering a range of topics from how to improve your writing and speaking skills to working in women’s ministry in your church.

Lisa TerKeurst, of Proverbs 31 Ministries is kindly offering ONE scholarship on her blog, valued at $550 which includes the conference materials, conference registration, 2 nights at the conference hotel and meals associated with the conference. I could never afford this if it weren’t for her scholarship.

That said, there are already over 100 other women that are hoping they will win as well and have written stellar essays as to why they should win.

My earnest prayer is that the judges reading this will somehow overlook my hastily written post and see my heart instead. Like many women, I have a heart for Jesus – I can’t say that I’m any better than the other women, because the Bible tells us that we are to “esteem others higher than ourselves.” I’m sure there are women that deserve this more than me.

But I don’t think there is anyone that wants it more than I do.

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BBQ and Being Me

***Update with photos!!!***

May I just say that I amazed and slightly overwhelmed from all the terrific responses to Tuesday’s post? I am wary of posting things like that too often, for fear of alienating my readers, but I just feel the need to thank each and every one of you that took the time to read the post and email me or respond in the comments.

And yes, Floy is my husband — the one who hijacked the comments with his “post” within a post. But honestly – I don’t mind, because I really felt that HE should have been the one to write my post after reading his eloquently crafted response. You would never know he’s a preacher, would you? lol

So anyway…today is a busy day. I have a mockup that is long overdue to a very patient client, and thanks to my good friend Kelli (woot! Kelli!!!), I finally have some design direction for this piece. So hard when you have a design idea but have no idea how you’re going to accomplish it. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that as a designer, but many of my ideas never come to fruition, because I just can’t seem to find a cohesive way to make them work.

I am meeting The Good Flea for a delightful bbq lunch here today. When visiting Texas from Oklahoma, you must have good bbq. Not that you don’t have good bbq in Oklahoma – in fact, I’m sure it’s quite fine. However, nothing beats Texas bbq in my opinion…which is just an opinion – feel free to tell me where you’ve had better, and next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll try it! That said…I love Flea’s blog. She is upbeat and funny and does crazy stuff that just makes me laugh. (No, her real name is not Flea – you can dig around on her blog to find out how she came to get that name).

And yes, we’re taking photos…ack. I hate to have my photo taken.

***UPDATED ***
{this is why I hate taking photos so much. I don’t think I really look this fat in REAL life – just in STILL life.}

The Food:

The Fellowship: (taken by the lovely mom of The Good Flea)

In fact, so much so, that last weekend in Dallas, when I met Antique Mommy (who is one of my FAVORITE writers ever and was on my shortlist of bloggers I have always wanted to meet) — I didn’t have the guts to ask her for a photo. Well, that and the fact that I forgot to pack any hair products and looked like I was wearing a flat pancake. I must tell you that I adore her more now after meeting her than I did before, if that’s even possible.

We discussed how much we love Photoshop – Photoshop is my friend – because I’m really quite overweight and it is wonderful for cropping and getting rid of a few “pounds”…but unfortunately, I can’t carry it around in real life and use it when I meet folks. So you’ll finally get to see the “real” me.

You’ve been warned. It’s not pretty.

Finally, at some point today? I must find the time to finish my post pleading for a scholarship to SheSpeaks. I have felt for quite some time God’s not-so-gentle leading in the area of writing and possibly even speaking. But I will discuss that in my post. I’ll give it all away if I don’t shut up now. 🙂

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderfully Happy Thursday – may the blessings of Christ abound in your day.

~Karen

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Slippery Slope, Indeed

We just returned from a 4 day mini-getaway in the Big D, and I have much to write about.

Yet, this blog post I read on Kim’s blog this morning left me feeling that discussing my little vacation would be so wrong when our country’s freedoms are literally being stripped away while we sleep.

The end of America as we know it is not as far away as we think, folks. It’s frightening to look at how many freedoms and rights have been taken in the last few months. Gun sales are up because people are terrified of losing the right the even buy them.

It’s come to the day where we have the right to burn the American flag, but not criticize our government. Funny, I thought the flag was a symbol of our government…someone help me, because frankly, I’m confused about this.

I am positive we are headed for a communist society. The very idea that we as a nation would be “okay” with the government taxing ex post facto the bonuses of those AIG execs? While I’m not pleased with the fact that the execs at AIG grossly mishandled taxpayer money – I am quite sure that the federal government is not going to give that money back to us. And I am not at all pleased with the idea of a government that can go about changing the rules as they see fit with executive orders that open us up for foreign attacks on our soil and at the same time, use our money for murder-for-hire causes.

I know what you’re thinking…”She’s done gone off the deep end”. I say that jokingly, but I’m no conspiracy theorist…anyone who has half a brain can see what’s happening to our country. As Christians, we need to be aware of what is going on – it’s truly a time for prayer. I am praying for our nation and our president. I am praying that he will come to know the Jesus I know.

I am praying the prayer of Abraham…that God will be able to look down and spare the nation for just one righteous man. I am thankful to have the peace of God through this time, because as frightening as it is – I have read the back of the book and I know how it ends. Romans 8:18 states “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

I think my biggest concern is that if Jesus doesn’t come back soon, my children are going to be living in a vastly different world than what we know today. It has already changed drastically from my own childhood, I hate to postulate as to what it might become. I can only cling to my favorite verses (Romans 8:37-39) that remind us that no matter what happens, we cannot be separated from the love of God.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I realize this is quite a departure from my standard “fare”, but I’m really interested in your thoughts on this subject – are you talking with your kids about this? (You should be) Do you think I’m crazy? Do you think I’m right? Have you even thought about this? Is this the first time you’ve been exposed to some of these articles? So don’t hold back….shoot it straight to me in the comments. I can handle it.

And here’s one of my favorite songs on the subject, for your listening pleasure:

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This is what I get for being transparent

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about my frustrations of late. Some of it had to do with homeschooling, but mostly? It was about heart and character issues – mainly mine.

Here is a response I received from a family member (who I’ll not name, because I love this person dearly and appreciate the honesty which was displayed).

I have a solution for your dilemma, it’s called PUBLIC SCHOOL. That’s where children learn to cope with the stresses of everyday activities, such as getting up early, having a structured environment with other children of all socioeconomic levels, learning respect for themselves, their peers and their parents, and all the other ups and downs of going to school and being in a daily routine of the realities of life. Parents need to stop protecting their children and let them be faced with the real world. What happens when they are ready to go out in the world and they are afraid to cope? Or, what happens if their parents should befall a horrific early death? Who will homeschool them then? Don’t get mad, just give a good long thought to what I am conveying…

This is the reason I typically do not discuss publicly or talk about homeschooling. Instead of finding ways to be supportive, my family looks for every possible way to get me to place my kids in PUBLIC SCHOOL where they are going to magically be transformed into children who “learn to cope with the everyday stresses” of life.

To this I say: I am protecting my children because I love them. I’m not keeping anything of the reality of the world from them, but I am measuring it out in small doses instead of letting them be overwhelmed. The world should not be defining life for my kids. Psalm 127 says that we are to prepare our children – they are like arrows in a quiver – I am preparing them to speak with the enemy at the gates and not be ashamed. They will be equipped to face reality without letting men overrun them or tell them what they should be thinking.

I do not believe that public school is a magic pill that a child can take in order to be better able to cope with the everyday stresses of life. This is a fallacy long purported by those who tout public school and I’d like to formally call it out right now.

If public school is so wonderful, why are more more children than ever taking prescription drugs? Surely it’s not because they aren’t capable of dealing with the everyday stresses of life that come with getting up early, interacting with children from every socioeconomic level, or being in the daily routines of life?

I have waited almost 4 weeks to post this because I didn’t want to come across as “the angry homeschooler”. I’m not angry at this person any longer, honestly. But I am passionate about my children and my choice to homeschool. I love my children and want only what I believe is the best for them.

And I’m even crazy enough to believe that most parents want the same for their own children, whether home-schooled or schooled publicly. In parenting, I think the end result we all desire for our kids is that they grow up to be happy, healthy and productive adults.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Other than to leave y’all with a list of famous people who homeschooled — many of you homeschoolers may have seen this, but for any of you that haven’t, it’s quite an eye-opener.

Famous People Who Homeschooled

Educators

Frank Vandiver (President – Texas A&M)
Fred Terman (President – Stanford)
William Samuel Johnson (President Columbia)
John Witherspoon (President of Princeton)

Generals

Stonewall Jackson
Robert E. Lee
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton

Inventors

Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Edison
Cyrus McCormick
Orville Wright & Wilbur Wright

Artists

Claude Monet
Leonardo da Vinci
Jamie Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth
John Singleton Copley

President
s

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
John Quincy Adams
James Madison
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Abraham Lincoln
Theordore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Scientists

George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie
Albert Einstein
Booker T. Washington
Blaise Pascal

Statesmen

Konrad Adenauer
Winston Churchill
Benjamin Franklin
Patrick Henry
William Penn
Henry Clay

United States Supreme Court Judges

John Jay
John Marshall
John Rutledge

Composers

Irving Berlin
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Anton Bruckner
Felix Mendelssohn
Francis Poulenc

Writers

Hans Christian Anderson
Charles Dickens
Brett Harte
Mark Twain
Sean O’Casey
Phillis Wheatley
Mercy Warren
Pearl S. Buck
Agatha Christie
C.S. Lewis
George Bernard Shaw

Religious leaders

Joan of Arc
Brigham Young
John & Charles Wesley
Jonathan Edwards
John Owen
William Cary
Dwight L. Moody
John Newton

I wonder what my children will grow up to be?

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