Self~Control – God is the One to help me to have self~control

Monday, a new day, a new week which led to lots of thinking last night. 
Isn’t that what most people do ~ think about Monday as a new day, time for new beginnings.
So I got on the scale ~ UGH did not like what I saw, my weight is crawling the opposite direction of what I want.  My eating is once again out of control…thoughts of “get with the program”  “get off my fat a** and get moving again”  “make good choices” you know…the litany continues on and on.
And now it is Tuesday, first day of our work week.  The dang house alarm went off at 6:00, then lots of yelling…am sure the new boy in our house doesn’t know not to come out of the bedroom before 6:30 am.  Knowing my alarm was set for 7:00 am I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Got up when my alarm went off even though I had been hearing lots of noise from the boys for the past half hour.  Made my way to the kitchen to make some coffee and then got dressed for the day.  Coffee was ready and so headed to my little corner to meet with God.  
I began praying, telling God once again I had failed at spending time with Him daily.  You don’t want to know how long it has been since I sat in the quietness of my corner and just talked and read God’s Word.  And how unhappy I am with myself regarding my weight, my eating habits and feeling like such a loser.  
And then I opened Our Daily Bread for my devotion of the day.  
And once again I sat humbled as God met me right where I am this morning.

Ready for a Change?

Self-control is probably one of the hardest things to master. How often have we been defeated by a bad habit, a lousy attitude, or a wrong mindset? We make promises to improve. We ask someone to hold us accountable. But deep inside, we know that we don’t have the will or the ability to change. We can talk, we can plan, we can read self-help books, but we still find it difficult to overcome and control many of the things that are inside us!
Thankfully, God knows our weakness, and He also knows the remedy! The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). The only way to gain self-control is by allowing the Holy Spirit to control us.
In other words, our key focus is not effortbut surrender—to live moment by moment submissively trusting in the Lord rather than in self. Paul says this is what it means to “walk by the Spirit” (v. 16).  Are you ready for a change? You can change, for God is in you. As you surrender control to Him, He will help you bear the fruit of His likeness.
I am in need, Lord, of Your power so that I might change and grow. I surrender myself to You. Please help me to understand how to be submissive to You that I might be filled with Your Spirit.
God is not nearly as concerned with our ability as He is with our surrender.

Today’s passage exhorts us to “walk by the Spirit” (v. 16). Just as a surgeon operates by means of a scalpel, we are to walk by means of the Holy Spirit. We are to be consciously dependent upon Him in attitude and choices. Yet there are two spheres of influence that pull us in different directions. The term “flesh” is used to describe the old sinful way of life that seeks to live independently from God and exhibits behavior displeasing to Him. The “Spirit” refers to those behaviors that flow from the indwelling Christ and produce fruit exemplifying His character. When we walk by means of the Spirit, we can say no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit. 

Fun Trip to Galveston, TX

First a quick update about life at The Ranch
We are enjoying our work/life here at The Ranch.  One of the benefits here in Waco is that we work seven days on and then have seven days off.   Our week with the boys, which I wrote a bit about last weekend, is going well.  We remind ourselves often, boys will be boys and teenagers aren’t the best of thinkers.  We look for the good in each day and try to focus on the positives with “our boys.”  And we marvel how the Lord is leading us as we live and work with these boys.  
One night last weekend I headed to bed early as I had a headache.  Like I always do, I kissed Ron before heading into our apartment.  Two of the boys reacted with a groan…I asked what was wrong and one of them said…do you always kiss all the time?  I said you betcha…we love each other and kissing each other when one of us leaves or heads to bed for the night it is just a reminder to both of us how much we love and enjoy each other.  Many times over the past month we have been asked “have you really been married to each other for 40 years?”  and we always say a resounding YES!!!  For these boys knowing someone and being married to the same person for 40 years is not the norm.
Evening Cruise, Galveston TX

Galveston Texas

September 7 to 10, 2016
One of our goals is to go on a weekend getaway at least once a month.  Our weekend was from Wednesday to Saturday.  (We are off Tuesday’s at noon to Tuesday’s 9 am).
 Wednesday, September 7th
On our way to Galveston we came across the George Bush Presidential Library
Here are just a few of the pics we took. 
We hope to go back again where we can spend more time.
Thursday, September 8th
A Day at the Beach
We enjoyed the day as we drove the length of Galveston Island – 32 miles.
We really enjoyed walking along the beach and had planned to go back on Friday morning for a few hours but the weather wasn’t cooperating.  We look forward to going back to Galveston and spending more time at the beach.
Friday, September 9th
We took a two hour evening cruise.  It was beautiful and very peaceful.
We were able to see some dolphins though not quick enough to get pictures.
 Captain Ralph did a great job on guiding us on our tour in the Gulf of Mexico.
Saturday, September 10th found us taking the long way back to Waco.  We put our address in and then chose the “avoid highways” option.  We saw a lot of neat entry gates to ranches, found ourselves trying to avoid the heavy rains but most of all just enjoying our time together.
We hope you enjoyed this small glimpse at our Galveston getaway.

Happy Birthday Again Joanie!!!

Today, September 11, 2016 I am reposting my blog post from September 11, 2015 because nothing has changed.  Today is my sister, Joanie’s birthday and just as last year I felt these things I feel them again today.  So much has happened within our family over the last year, more memories made, major moves and job changes, exciting happening’s with our family that I would love to share with Joanie but alas she still chooses not to have contact with me or anyone in my family.
So once again I say:

Happy Birthday Joanie!!
Even though you have chosen not to speak to me since September 2008
I want you to know that I think of you often, wondering how you are doing.
Like I have said to many, 
I don’t know what I did to you
that makes you hate me so
but I want you to know
I love you!
I wish you would speak to me
and tell me what is wrong.
Matthew 18:18 tell us
and so I don’t understand how you can claim to love Jesus
and be a Christian YET refuse to even speak to me.
Jesus tells us to love one another
and yet you despise me.
I just don’t get how you can say and do things
that conflict radically from each other.
I asked our niece to see if you would allow her to give me your address
so I could send you a birthday card
Your reply – NO!
What gives?
What do you think Mom, Dad or Kathy
think about how you refuse to speak to me.
You have nephews who have grown into some of the
best young men around and yet you choose to act like they don’t exist.
Your stubborness is causing you to miss out on so much.
Do you even care that you have a great niece or four great nephews?
I thought long and hard before writing this post.
But I have heard through the grapevine that 
you read my blog so I am putting this out there.
Happy Birthday Dear Sister!
I am saddened to think that you have no siblings in your life, 
no nephews.  I am thankful that at times you speak with our niece.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a family get together
and encourage one another?
I think so.
Your niece thinks so.
Your nephews would love for you to meet their families.
I can only do so much.
So once again, 
I am reaching out to you.
Wondering if you will accept the offer
to connect once again.
I love you.
Ron loves you.
Happy Birthday Joanie!!!

One Month

One month, can’t believe we are already into our second month here at the Ranch.
It has been an interesting time: times of laughter and tears, crazy mistakes and great accomplishments, easy and tough times yet through it all the Lord has been right here with us.
We began our time here with two weeks of orientation, shadowing, being shadowed and then it was time to start officially as House Parents (HP).  
Our first week on was filled with boys who chose to be defiant to see how far they could push us ~ they found out we will not hesitate to call in reinforcements if necessary as we demonstrated our first Saturday morning here when they engaged in a food fight in the dining hall, left the dining hall without permission along with using every swear word  ever said ~ and yes, we had heard them before.
And laughter at my expense when I got lost taking a threesome to school at a different campus ~ of course they waited to tell me I was going the wrong direction when I was almost to the main campus!!!  
Received lots of thanks from two boys who I had to take to doctor appointments and pick up from football as I stopped at Sonics because I was dying of thirst and can’t leave them in the car to go into a store.  
And then we had our first week off…can you say 
and that’s just what we did that first Tuesday we were off.  A four hour nap and then heading to bed even before 9 pm.  And we slept till 9 am the next morning!!!
Our first week off we did some shopping for the last of household furnishings we needed like a couple of pole lamps, bed stand lamps, cleaning supplies and of course some groceries.
That’s one thing that is different here at the Ranch then was at Astor House ~ because of our schedule we do have to do some cooking on our own.  One night I made a roast with all the fixin’s and my go to ~ spaghetti.  
On Saturday we went to the farmer’s market and then a flea market where we got some 
pear cactus fruit!!
It was delicious and we can’t wait to get a bit more.  
Dinner Saturday night consisted of bbq ribs, fresh corn on the cob, fruit salad made with cantaloupe, pear cactus fruit, apples and oranges ~ yummy!!!!!
Sunday we attended Greater Waco Baptist Church
and stayed for their potluck ~ you can never go wrong there!!  
Not sure if we will go back or not ~ it is a huge church and doesn’t have some of the things we are looking for like a women’s ministry group and small group Bible studies.  
Monday we stopped at 
sort of like a Dunkin Donuts with lots of choices.
Donuts were delicious but that is one place we won’t go to very often ~ can you say
And then it was time to head back to work.
We were rejuvenated and ready!!!
I am happy to say that our second week has been much better.  
Wednesday there was a major leak in the water system at the Ranch and we had to take the boys, yes six boys to dinner ~ not something I was wanting to do for a long time.  You ask why ~ well if you saw their behavior in the Dining Hall  you would understand: hoarding of food, wasting lots of food, swearing and “picking” on each other.  Nope, not on our agenda for a long time.
But necessity changes things and we have learned over the last 10 years to be flexible and I mean real flexible…so we had a pow wow (Ron and I) and came up with a game plan…Ron would take three boys and I would take three boys and go somewhere as long as it was not McDonalds.  I took my three boys, J, D and D and went to Chick-fil-et.  We ordered, they stayed within their limit and we had a pretty uneventful meal.  Helps to have free WiFi for the boys!  And then I get a call from Ron ~ where are you ~ we can’t decide where to go.  So Ron and J, B and T joined us.  We stuck around for about 15 minutes when the boys began to get a bit too rambunctious for our liking.  But hey, there were no food fights or swearing ~ just six! teenage boys being boys.  Looking at girls, slurping the last of their pop way too loud but again, they were boys being boys!!!
Wednesday night we had a mini-house meeting.  We told the boys thanks for their good behavior at the restaurant and for not embarrassing us in any way.
Then things got interesting.  Got a call from the On-call Unit Manager who said we were going to have an extra boy for the night…you know its serious when a boy is taken from his assigned home to another ~ yep it was serious.  It involved 2 boys from the Ranch and 1 girl from Main Campus getting arrested ~ yes for something very stupid and that could have some very long lasting consequences.  
We called our boys together and said that  we needed their cooperation, 100% compliance as we needed them to do their night chores, get ready for bed and stay in their rooms without any issues.  
They did a fabulous job!!!  
Thursday was a busy day…court appearances, having to have meals delivered for me and the one boy staying in our unit – nothing like cold eggs or a chicken sandwich stuck together…thank goodness I could make a protein shake for breakfast and yogurt and fresh fruit for lunch.  In the evening our houseguest was able to go back to his home unit but wait, never a dull moment where we are at ~ the youngest boy on the ranch, age 11, decided he was going to run!  Now where is he going to run?  We are at least 3.5 miles to the main road, we sit on 2500 acres and its a long walk to anywhere.  So what does he do, he runs to our home unit with his HP following behind.  He ended up staying the night in the other wing with one-on-one care for the night.  
Friday was early release at school and then a rush to get four of the boys ready to go on home visits. Life here Friday night was definitely different with two HP’s and two boys.  The boys ended up watching a movie and hanging out with Ron for some guy time.
Saturday, J returned just after supper, in time to go to a local car show.
And then it was off to Dairy Queen for some ice cream.
And this is how we ended our evening
This morning we attended University Baptist Church with the boys and then went to Vegas Buffet – Sushi, Mongolian Grill and lots of oriental food.  Again the boys were great.  As I am writing the three boys are watching movies and having more guy time!!
Tomorrow we get to sleep in ~ the Dining Hall is closed for the day so we are on our own for breakfast, lunch and supper.  We are going to be BBQ’ing burgers, hot dogs and watermelon for lunch and the boys have asked me to make dinner…it will probably be my standby ~ spaghetti.
Our other three boys should begin returning to our home unit about 2 pm and the last one is due home around 8 pm.  Life will definitely be busy tomorrow night as we get ready for school on Tuesday 
we are off Tuesday at noon and are planning a getaway for a few days.  We are either going to Galveston (the beach) or Fredricksberg (wineries)!!!
Hope you enjoyed this little recap of our past month here at the Ranch!!!
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