Archive for the Me Category

My Testimony

Posted in Me, Things I put into my heart from a sermon on October 19, 2011 by Annette Budd

After a three week Daniel fast in January of 2010, I heard God promise me that He would give me freedom in four areas of my life. These four things were problems in my life that I thought I would never overcome.  They made me feel trapped, discouraged and defeated. They were the kind of things that steal joy and life.

And then came February of 2010. Things seemed to be so much worse than they were in January. As the pattern continued into March and April, I was pretty sure that I must not have heard God correctly – that He really didn’t make those promises to me. I felt that these four things would plague me until I got to heaven. So, I settled back into my defeated attitude and just kind of resigned myself.

Then came August.  I go to Jubilee Fellowship Church and John Leach is my pastor. If you are searching for a place to seek God and receive life, Jubilee is it. Pastor John preached a sermon one Saturday (one of many) that changed my life.  He talked about how after God makes a promise, the first thing that always happens is that Satan comes and tries to steal that seed before it can grow into anything. He gave many Biblical examples of this – too many to list here.  If you are interested in them, I would encourage you to listen to his sermon from August 15, 2010.

Finally, things just all of a sudden made sense to me. It wasn’t that I heard God incorrectly. It was that Satan is an evil beast (I actually thought of a more fitting curse word to describe him, but I never curse so evil beast will have to do) and he wants to steal from me.  He wants to destroy me. He wants to kill me. And instead of resisting him and standing firm on God’s promises, I listened to the father of lies. Because I couldn’t see it with my eyes, I assumed the seed of that promise wasn’t really there. To reinforce this, that snake reminded me that all of my problems were not only there, they were growing bigger.

So after I came to the epiphany that since I was already in a war, I should stand up as a warrior and fight back.  The first thing I did was tell these promises to some trusted friends (I love you, Dan and Kerry Hoff).  And then I started to fight. I prayed, I watched and I expected. This, of course, caused Satan to hit us hard. Harder than we have ever been hit in our lives. He attacked everything he could find. And, trust me on this, he hits below the belt.

But I continued to trust God.  I decided I was not going to let go of His promises. And then things started to change.  Almost immediately I saw a miraculous change in one area.  It is like something that had tortured me for as long as I can remember was completely gone. It is too personal and intimate to talk about in detail publicly in this forum. Then I started to see gradual changes in another of area that he promised. This promise involved other people, so again, I can’t mention it here.  But I would like to testify that God has restored a relationship that has been bad for more than five years.

The other two things, I am very excited to talk about in more detail.

We have been through a lot of financial struggles.  Some of it was our own doing. We incurred debt, some of it was personal and some of it was business related, that was strangling us. And we also had something happen to us that was not our own doing and that got us in trouble with the IRS.  Now, if you have never been in IRS trouble, may God continue to bless you. The IRS has been a ruthless monster that we have been trying to appease. It has been a horrible experience.  Dealing with them has consumed the last four years of my life. I’m excited to say that last week, we were finally able to pay all their penalties in full! We still have one more item that we are trying to unravel with them but our taxpayer advocate is confident that the IRS is completely in the wrong on this issue and that it will resolve without costing us anything.

We also have made incredible progress on the rest of our debt. We are very grateful to Dave Ramsey and his financial freedom class. I’m not sure when we will be completely finished with it, but we are close.

And now for the news of the day.  Another one of God’s promises was fulfilled! When I stepped on the scale this morning, I hit my weight goal! I’ve lost 60 pounds.  For those of you who are math orientated, that is ten pounds for each of my six children. I’m not exactly sure how much I weighed before I got pregnant with Stina, but I am sure it is close to my weight right now.  I started going to Slimgenics at the very end of March.  I eat a very balanced diet and I go in three times a week for dietary counseling. No magic bullets here – it was a lot of hard work. But it’s done! I’m free! I no longer am dealing with the physical and emotional issues that were caused by that extra weight. I will now move into the balance and maintenance program that they have.  I think that lasts about six months.

So, to end this very long post, I want to leave you with Galatians 5:1:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Stand firm then and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Here’s the fantastic news for you:  You don’t have to be imprisoned by anything. Instead of listening to Satan’s lies, listen to God’s truth that will set you free.  He who called you is faithful and He will do it.

Life and Death

Posted in Budd Zoo, Me with tags , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Annette Budd

This has been such a rough year for our family. We have lost five members in less than twelve months. The loss has been the greatest for Grandma. She has buried two sons, a brother, a daughter-in-law and her husband of twenty-five years.

I think that the worst kind of pain is watching someone that you love experience pain.

I have so many wonderful memories of Granddad and my uncles. I will always cherish the fun that we had and the love that we shared. All of the late nights.  The laughter. The deep conversations about God. The stories. The teasing. The games. The cheating at the games. The denial of the cheating. The reunions. The water fights. The prayers. The meals. The conversations while cleaning up after the meals. The advice. The support. The love.

Even the annoying sides of these people have become precious to me and I miss them.

It has been such a blessing to sit around with all the cousins and remember.  And we have done a lot of sitting and remembering this year. As much as I am not looking forward to another funeral this week, I am looking forward to being together with people that I truly love. People that I don’t get to see enough.

And in the midst of all of this death, God blessed Gary and I with our first grandchild this year. As hard as it was to kiss Granddad goodbye for the last time here on earth, I got to come home and kiss and hold my precious Josie Mae. Life is precious.

Let’s just slap Melvil Dewey and the Library of Congress in the face

Posted in Me, Misc. on July 18, 2009 by Annette Budd

library

Introducing the new Southglenn Public Library

Ok – now I am going to grumble.

The closest library to us recently closed for a month while it relocated.  I was very excited about this. It relocated to the Southglenn Mall . . . just a couple of minutes from my home.  I use the library all the time.  A new library opening is a big event in my life.  I’ve been counting the days.  As much as I hate the “typical homeschooler stereotype”, a love of libraries and books is a part of who am I.  I do not wear denim jumpers. My girls do not wear dresses with tennis shoes. My kids cannot win spelling bees. (If you are reading this Kristin, I want you to know that I am extremely proud of your three who made it to the National Spelling Bee.) Baking my own bread is out of the question. So, other than having an abnormally large family and loving books, I don’t fit the stereotype.

What I found today was just . . . offensive.

I knew I was going to be in a hurry, so I found the call numbers of a list of books that I wanted before arriving.  I thought I would just take the list and pull things from the shelves.  It’s a library. Things are supposed to be pretty standardized.  They have ALWAYS been that way at EVERY library to which I’ve ever been.

Books are no longer grouped according to a number system in adult non-fiction. I had to go to a librarian for help.  (I would like to say that the librarians there were available and ready to help with pleasant attitudes. At least that hasn’t changed.) The librarian told me that they had arranged the books in a way to make the patrons feel like they were in a bookstore.  I can see where this kind of environment has a welcoming warm feeling.  It does look very nice.  IT JUST IS NOT PRACTICAL!

The librarian also looked at my list of books, which contained things like Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, Pilgrim’s Progress and Profiles in Courage. These kind of books should be the staples of a library.  Only one book on my long list was at the library. It wasn’t that the copies of these books were checked out. They simply did not carry those kinds of books.  It was kind of like a kitchen that didn’t have any salt.  This made no sense to me.

The friendly librarian went on to explain that this library wasn’t really designed for students or learning. She suggested that I go to another library if that was what I wanted to do.  WHAT!?!?!? If you can’t go to a library to learn, where are you supposed to go? She did say that I could request books online from other libraries and they would be delivered to this one. I will do that but what if I don’t know what book I want?  I guess the days of pondering over long shelves of books and finding something new and interesting to me will not happen here.

Columbine

Posted in Me with tags , , on April 19, 2009 by Annette Budd

columbine1Columbine is in the headlines again. I am amazed how quickly my heart and mind can travel back to the intense pain of that day.  We lived a few minutes away from that school when it happened. Gary had left the youth ministry a year before that but we had remained an active part of Littleton Christian Church, where we had been for many years. In some ways, we have not stopped ministering to some the kids in our youth group.  (Now Dan and Kerry Hoff, who were once in our youth group, are now our pastors.  We still see some of those ‘kids’  on a pretty regular basis.)  Many of the students in our youth group attended Columbine.  Many were inside the school that day.

Their stories haunt me. Sean was hiding in a pantry inside the kitchen. He could hear the killers shooting guns at the unexploded bombs in an unsuccessful attempt to set them off. Luke was one of the first to leave the cafeteria. He made it to one of his friend’s house and called his home. His mother was at the grocery store when it happened. She found out about the shootings by hearing his voice on the answering machine telling her that he was still alive. Another friend of mine, Cathy, had a much harder time than Luke’s mom. Her son Tim was on the last bus of kids to leave the school. She had to wait for hours, watching bus load after bus load of kids arrive at Leawood Elementry before she found out that her son was still alive. But he still alive – that’s what she will always remember. Debbie was sick that day. She remembers flirting with one of the killers months before that day. He would always smile at her in the halls. Afterward, she would question his thoughts. When he smiled at her was he thinking, “I’m going to kill you someday,” or “I like you, we should go out.”? She will never know the answer to that question. And there were many more that day. Each with their own story. Each with their own pain.

I was acquainted with the parents of one of the killers. When he was in grade school, they appeared to be very attentive parents. They were very active in his life and in his school. They both worked and I am sure their careers were important to them but I don’t have a doubt in my mind that he was more important. They are not bad people. I saw no signs of them being a dysfunctional family. And I was in an unique position where I likely would have seen some evidence of that. But there wasn’t any. Maybe that was one of things that really frightened me.

I cried uncontrollably every day for months. I would look suspiciously at teenage boys in stores and wonder if they would suddenly “go off.” Sometimes I would go to Clement Park and sit and pray and wonder. And gradually, I began to cry less. And I watched all of the kids in our youth group move on. I can now drive on Bowles, passing Pierce, and not even think of that day. I avoided that intersection for quite some time.

And I wish I could talk about some grand lesson that we all learned. Many have tried to do that. We have learned things. Law enforcement has learned how to deal much more effectively with these kind of situations. The leadership team of our very small school, Crossroads Christian Academy, has included a shooter plan in our safety strategy. We have learned to find hope, comfort and peace in places where they don’t grow naturally. And we have also learned that even ten years later, it can still hurt.

Joy in pain

Posted in Me, Things I put into my heart from a sermon with tags , on April 5, 2009 by Annette Budd

Today in church Pastor John Leach talked about pain. He reminded us of all that pain does – it brings us closer to God, it humbles us and it puts us in a better place to help others that we may have not been able to help if we had not gone through what was put in front of us.

And then he showed a video of Nick Vujicic. Nick, a man born without arms and legs (whose story is found here) is an amazing example of all that God can do in you when you give yourself to Him.

My obstacles are different from Nick’s, but God is teaching me everyday how to live my life with joy through these obstacles. Lately, God has been renewing my mind, my heart and my strength. Yeah God! Maybe my winter is finally coming to an end. (?) I sure hope so.

Balance

Posted in Me with tags , on March 17, 2009 by Annette Budd

teeter-totter1 I have balance issues.  There have been many times lately that Stina has come home very late at night.  She finds everyone in our house in bed asleep except for me. What am I doing? Working. Working. Working. Working. Give me a task and I am all about getting it done as quickly and efficiently as I can.  I make insane ‘to do” lists for myself. (I have an excel spreadsheet addiction in addition to the rest of my issues.) Each time my precious daughter catches me working late at night, she sits me down and lectures me. There is truly nothing worse than being lectured by your children when they are right.

But, she is doing more than lecturing me. Now, she is stinking holding me accountable. If she catches me up past 11:00 tonight, I have agreed to come under severe punishment from her. She is also concerned that I don’t drink enough water. If I fail to drink the agreed upon amount of water today, I have to go jogging with her on Wednesday. (FYI – It is now 1:00 in the afternoon and I have drank two times the agreed upon amount of water because I do NOT want to jog.)

I don’t understand why I just can’t let my tasks go. Why is this such a struggle for me? I love people. I love spending time with people, investing in people’s lives and playing with people. But all of these tasks really get in the way of all that. The world won’t end if I don’t do these things; I know that. Stina tells me that all the time. Why is this such a huge struggle for me? I can’t figure it out and I have really thought about it. It is not because I get my self worth from what I do. I do feel that the largest part of what I do is meaningful. I am very purpose driven. I just need to take control of it instead of it taking control of me.

Proposal Anniversary

Posted in Budd Zoo, Me with tags on February 14, 2009 by Annette Budd

25th-anniversary2

Twenty-five years ago today Gary asked me to marry him. I said yes. I can’t imagine my life without him. It hasn’t always been easy but it has always been worth it. He is an incredible man and I am so blessed that he is mine.