Me’odekah

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 22, 2014 by annettebudd

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מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your me’odekah. This Hebrew word means so much more than just strength. Literally translated it should say, “with all your very muchness”.

 

I am NOT an athlete.  In fact, my children will beg and plead with me to play a sport so they can mock me.  In all honesty, I’m just glad they don’t take a video of me and send it to a television show. So although I can’t really speak from personal experience, I can imagine the following:

 

Superior athletes have disciplined their bodies well and know their physical capabilities.  Near the end of competition, often they will find a place within themselves that they didn’t know existed until that moment.  They somehow reach into this spot and pull out more than they have ever produced. This is their me’odekah.  This strength from deep inside is released and pushes them on to do more than ever imagined.

 

I’m struggling with my health right now and feel very weak physically, emotionally and mentally.  Not just in spite of this but because of this, God is helping me to use my me’odekah to press into Him. He is showing me places that I didn’t know that I had and is helping me surrender these areas to Himself. It is wonderful and I highly recommend it! Ask your Creator, who intimately knows everything about you, to show you where your me’odekah is and then offer it as a gift back to Him.

The Extremes of Life

Posted in Budd Zoo, Family, grandparent on September 28, 2013 by annettebudd

ImageToday I experienced the extremes of life. We found out that God has blessed our family with another little granddaughter!!! During Christina’s ultrasound today, the technician put the gender of the child in a sealed envelope. This was then given to a friend who went out and purchased cans of pink silly string and removed the labels.  At the appointed time during her reveal party, everyone sprayed each other with gooey pink stuff indicating that the estrogen levels in the Noe family would one day soar off the charts. With a wife and three daughters, Nate will surely have his work cut out for him.

I am happy beyond words for this new child.  I can’t wait to meet her!  I’m excited to bless her. I’m looking forward to changing her little outfits.  It will be wonderful to hold her as she tries to walk.    Even serving this little child by changing her diapers is an honor for me. I mean that, it isn’t just words.

Gary’s grandmother is one of my most favorite people on the face of this planet.  She took a fall recently and has been struggling ever since.  I’m here taking care of her while Gary’s mom is on vacation.

My days have been filled with the same kind of activities that I do while I watch my grandchildren. Dressing grandma is a lot like dressing a little child.  Trying to get her to move her body in a manner to put on her clothing is challenging. We take a little walk each day – not father than a few hundred feet in front of the house.  I don’t dare let go of her because I’m afraid she will fall.  I have to keep encouraging her.

She asks me the same questions over and over again . If she doesn’t like the answer to the questions, she will challenge me on why things can’t be the way she wants them. Last night at dinner I separated a small portion of turkey on her plate and told her she could have a bite of pie if she ate her meat first. It worked.

We even have little fights over nap time.  The irony is that with my granddaughter it can be challenging to convince her to go to sleep.  With grandma we struggle to keep her awake until naptime.

I’ll snuggle up next to her and listen to her tell me stories. Then I tell her stories. Then she will tell me stories.

It seems like almost every detail of her life can be compared to that of a small child. The joy of being with both my granddaughters and my grandmother is overwhelming. Overflowing.  All consuming.  I treasure every moment.

Summer Book Reviews

Posted in Book Reviews on July 26, 2013 by annettebudd

I’m very excited about all that God has for me this summer.  He is teaching me how to rest.  This is a HUGE challenge for me.  Part of my problem is that I really, really enjoy the things that God has called me to do. I enjoy them so much that it is easy for me to get out of balance.  It has been so long since I have really rested that I have no idea what this looks like.  This is something that He has to teach me and something that I really want to learn.

One of the ways that I like to rest is to read. For many years I have filled my reading time with books that I was going to use in my literature classes. I enjoyed those books but it wasn’t the same as just reading for me. This summer I am reading books because I want to read them and with no other productive purpose in mind. I’m enjoying this so much that I thought I would write about the things that stand out in these books. I’ve read eight books since the beginning of June.  Most of my reviews are about how these books touched my own personal life.  I also want to keep a lot of these things close to my heart and mind and I know if I write about them, they will reside deeper in me.

Summer Book Review #1: Kiss your Dentist Goodbye by Dr Ellie Phillips

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , on July 26, 2013 by annettebudd

I have had some HORRIBLE experiences with my teeth in the last few years.  Last fall, I knew I had an infection in the root of one of my teeth.  I had an x-ray of the tooth that I knew was the problem but the dentist assured me that a root canal wasn’t necessary.  She wrongly thought that the solution would be to replace an old filling in my tooth. It turns out that this old filling was actually letting some of the infection leak out. When she replaced it with a new filling, the infection was trapped inside and made my face swell up so much that I couldn’t see out of one eye.  I had to go the doctor and get an antibiotic shot. They were concerned that I was in a life threatening situation.

This represents the worst of my tooth trouble but, unfortunately, it was only one of many other root canals and fillings.  These problems were not only extremely painful and expensive, but they were also frustrating because I was doing the things that every dentist told me to do: flossing, brushing, using dental rinses – but still I continued with these problems.

Dr. Phillips has given me new hope when it comes to my teeth.  She operates under the theory that cavities form much more rapidly when mouth conditions are acidic.  She teaches people how to maintain an alkaline environment in their mouths. There are two basic elements to this:  xylitol and a four step tooth care system.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is often made out of the sap of birch trees.  It tastes a lot like sugar but the granules are a lot bigger.  I use it as a sweetener in tea. It also can be purchases in mints, gum and an oral spray. There are other health benefits, aside from just dental, in consuming xylitol. I find it to be a very pleasant addition to my diet.

She also recommends the following tooth care system. 1) First enhance your tooth cleaning by using a chlorine dioxide rinse. (I use Closys; I found a large bottle of this at Walgreens for $15) 2) Brush your teeth with a small amount of Crest regular toothpaste (Don’t use the whitening pastes or other enhanced products) 3) Disinfect all surfaces with an antiseptic rinse. (I normally spend a few moments soaking my toothbrush in this while I rinse) 4) Use a fluoride anti-cavity rinse (ACT for instance, although I use the equate brand of this)

One thing that really surprised me was how wonderful my teeth felt after I did this routine the very first time.  Now it feels like I just got a tooth cleaning at the dentist after each time I do this.

I still have two more crowns to put on the two root canals that I recently had.  After that, I am really hoping that my dental health improves greatly. I also put together one of the dental kits for each of my married children. I am hoping that this works so well that my children and grandchildren NEVER have to go through what I have gone through.  I guess time will tell.

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Summer Book Review #2: Culture of Honor by Danny Silk

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , on July 25, 2013 by annettebudd

culture-of-honorMy son, Daniel, introduced me to this book.  He just returned from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministries in Redding, California.  The senior management pastor at Bethel Church is Danny Silk. While Daniel was there, we would frequently tell me about this culture of honor that exists there.  Many churches wanted to replicate this way of life and the book A Culture of Honor provides an excellent picture of this.  The title of the book really threw me. I had read other books about honor before and I was guessing it would be similar; it wasn’t at all.  I wasn’t at all expecting him to say the kind of things that he did.

He told many stories of Christian’s who had sinned and the churches response to these sins.  I don’t know one evangelical Christian who wouldn’t say that God completely forgives sins – even the destructive sin of sexual immorality in a church leader.  Almost every one of these Christians would say that God can/does use these fallen leaders again.  But there is quite a lot of division about what that restoration process should look like. There seems to be a standard operating procedure that most churches follow. Either the leader is shunned, leaves the church and his denomination, time passes and he either starts a new church or joins an established church far from the church where the sin took place.  And whether they admit it or not, most Christians stand in judgment of these fallen leaders – harsh judgment.  Or sometimes, the leader is dragged before the church, his sin is exposed and everyone watches “the sinner in the hands of an angry God” suffer public humiliation – and the person may never serve in a church setting again.

Danny Silk demonstrates a different way to deal with sin.  His primary focus is to help those who have fallen understand, in a very honoring way, why they made the choices that they did. Godly repentance is, of course, an essential element and it is followed by accountability.  The stories he tells look nothing like the way these things are normally handled.

The reason for this is that he is not at all concerned with the relationship a person has with the rules (law).  He is only concerned with the relationship that person has with God.  In John 14:15 Jesus is not saying, “If you love me, you will let Me control you” when he says “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments”.  He is NOT saying “Keep your relationship with My rules!”  He is saying “If you love Me, you’ll adjust your behavior to protect My heart.  It is clear that the way you manage yourself in our relationship is going to be a clear indicator to Me of your love.”

Both the books of Romans and Galatians make it clear that you can’t both be under the law and under grace. If we are seeking to ensure that those around us have a right relationship with the rules, we are enslaving them to the law of sin. This is certainly not the why Jesus died on the cross.

Summer Book Review #3: The Small Biz Balancing Act by Victoria Munro

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , on July 25, 2013 by annettebudd

The Small BizGod really, really loves me and He shows me this over and over and over again. One recent expression of His love for me was when He provided Victoria Munro to be my mentor. Victoria has owned and operated nine different businesses in her lifetime. Wisdom just flows out of her mouth.

Her book, The Small Biz Balancing Act, gives small business owners practical and usable advice. She spends a lot of time making sure that you know who you are and where you are going. One of my favorite chapters was about goal setting.  Even though I am a goal-orientated person, I often don’t do the big picture down to the daily grind approach in setting my goals.  I have a tendency to let the little things drive my “to do” list.  This keeps me busy but doesn’t necessarily get me to where I am going.  I found the exercises in the section very helpful.

Victoria helps business owners to identify and understand their own personal sources of stress.  She gives insight in how to deal with these obstacles and minimize the effects they have. She also has a whole chapter on boundaries, which is an area in which I really need to grow. I also found her tips about determining which activities have a high payoff and which things I really shouldn’t be doing to be very helpful.

This book is real.  The reader doesn’t have to cut through a lot of useless fluff in order to get to the meat of the matter. A business owner can (and should) pick up this book and easily apply its principles. I’m looking forward to applying these ideas and making the most out of what I put into our business, while at the same time enjoying it.

Summer Book Review #4: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Posted in Book Reviews with tags , , , on July 25, 2013 by annettebudd

BoundariesI actually read this book over a decade ago and I really didn’t have ears to hear what it had to say to me.  But as I reread it this time, it spoke to me much more.  It may be that I am still in a place now where I can’t take in all of its principles. I will probably read this again in a few years and get a little more out of it still.

I am a very busy person.  I have six children, grandchildren, a home to keep, a business to run and I’m still homeschooling my youngest two.  I recently stepped down from Crossroads Christian Academy, a homeschool high school that we helped to establish back in 2005. There I was the director, registrar and taught many literature classes. I’m also a precinct leader for the GOP and do many things at my church.  My husband is also a ministry leader and I do lots and lots of administrative and other things to help him. So finding things to fill my time has never been an issue for me.

When I say “Yes” to something – or initiate a plan – it is almost always because I feel led by God to do so and I usually am very passionate about it. And because of this I very rarely feel anger or bitter about all of the things that I am doing. But, as one can imagine, there isn’t a lot of margin in my life. Because I love what I do so much, I tend to overdue a lot. So balance is, by far, my biggest issue. And having good boundaries should help promote the balance that my soul craves.

One of my biggest takeaways from this book was something from the Word of God. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “carry each other’s burdens”.  I’m really good at identifying someone who needs help and walking alongside that person.  This gives me great joy. But I often overlook what is said just a couple sentences later in 6:5, “each one should carry their own load.”

I know that I don’t spend enough time analyzing if I am helping someone with a burden or helping someone with an individual load that they should be carrying themselves.  Since I’ve read this, I’ve really started to examine my actions.  I know that I especially shouldn’t carry the loads of those I love the most, my family members. It is my honor to walk with them when they have burdens but I actually am harming them if I do very much load carrying.

I guess I am learning boundaries bit by bit. But the more I grow in this area, the more I understand my need to master this. Hopefully, with God’ help and amazing grace, this will one day cease to be an issue in my life.