02 November 2005
Yesterday was the beginning of the NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH . I have participated in this exercise in insanity. I enjoy it each time. Unfortunately yesterday kind of got away from me with extra work and the beginnings of my second cold in 28 days. Today has also run away from me. Feeling worse than yesterday was the start and then heading across my room and finding myself standing in water. Never a good thing if your room is carpeted. Repairs will have to be done later to the shower, for now there's a temp fix. That means only baths for the next 24 hours. I have a fan blowing across the floor to dry things out and I'm going to write tonight no matter what else falls apart. I'm already behind. To write 50,000 words in a month you need to do 1,666 every day. So be kind when my blogging is short for this month. Thanks.
26 October 2005
I didn't vote for an at-large city council post because I didn't like any of the candidates. There wasn't even the option of a lesser evil as I thought they were all equally awful.
Some of the propositions were hard to understand and didn't grab my interest. The one I felt strongly about is the one I made sure to make my voice heard. I think the people who are in favor of Proposition 2 see things a little differently than I do. I think it will cause more problems than it will solve. There are many reasons why I voted against it. One being that I think the government is already too involved in our personal lives. While those in power now see marriage as I do, those who come after them may have a different view. I wouldn't like to then be hemmed in by views opposite to mine. People have been getting married for years just fine without benefit of formal recognition in the constitution. I think they will still be able so to do.
I am certain my comments today will generate a full inbox in my e-mail. Please remember I did what I thought I should do after much prayer when you write to let me know of your disagreement. Thanks.
19 October 2005
" In one of their organizational meetings in San Antonio, the plan was disclosed to have people from other states come to Texas to register to vote 30 days before the election to defraud this election. There is no residency requirement to register to vote in Texas -- you can register the day you move here" -excerpted from the e-mail sent to me.
If they want to bus people in to vote 30 days before the election it may be distasteful but I don't see any fraud. It's not fraud when you take advantage of a hopelessly flawed system. It's just sneaky.
My objection to the e-mail was the source. Each time I received it from someone calling themselves Christian. I believe it is uncharitable to accuse someone of wrong doing just because you don't agree with their views. If this tactic could put forth your political agenda would you abandon it? Can't blame them for getting the system to work for them just because we don't like the outcome.
If you live here, make the effort to get to the polls and let your voice be heard.
18 October 2005
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139 : 1-10 King James Version
There is beauty found in the language of the King James Version. This passage has been on my mind much of late. While my life has lacked stability, it is comforting to know that God is a constant.
I have been contemplating what to do about my working life. I really don't have the time or money to give designs by jene' all my attention. I must work other jobs to pay the bills. It's a viscious vindictive circle that has no end.
To attempt to get off this crazy merry-go-round I have been doing serious soul searching. I enjoy most of the jobs I do. I need to find a way to do what I love, pay the bills, and find time for my creativity to flourish. I have been considering spending more time on one job I love. Unfortunately situations have arisen that seem to make it untenable. What should have worked out hasn't. I've been wondering why that is so.
An opportunity presented itself a couple of months ago. I came home and spent much time in prayer asking for God's guidance. I was going to sit down with someone in the company to discuss the job. I was asked to do this and looked forward to doing so. Sadly, I got bumped off the schedule twice. While still waiting for the chance to meet I found it had been perceived that I did not want the job. It seems that everything that could interfere has. This makes me believe God has kept me in His hand and is directing my steps elsewhere. Now I just have to figure out where that is.
In the midst of all this hoopla I am tired and confused. But I am certain that God is with me and I find great comfort in that.
09 October 2005
What actually occurred was less than spectacular. I started feeling a little off as the week wore on. I thought it was allergies. I was working at the store the day we had a window to shatter and we were open to the elements all day. Thursday night I had trouble sleeping with coughing and congestion keeping me awake. By Friday morning I had added fever, raspy voice and a sore throat to the collection. I came home from work early and added in a migraine and the monthly joys of womanhood. By the time the long awaited friend made it into town Friday night I could do little more than whisper hello.
He and Sharon headed out for a late dinner and I headed to bed. I vaguely remember hearing them come in but little else. That night was devoted to more uncomfortable periods of trying to sleep. I didn't want to take anything that would impair me from getting up to go to work in the morning. Somewhere in the early hours I completely lost my voice.
I trudged off to work that morning feeling like death would be a good alternative. Now not even I am irreplaceable but I feel obligated to make sure the opening work is done at the store on my days to do so. I headed in to get those tasks accomplished but was not staying to work the floor. It's hard to give good service when you feel like crap and can't talk.
I came home to find everyone still asleep here. I took all the allowable medication I could get my hands on and crashed. Evidently when suitably drugged I can sleep through anything. I never heard any conversations, showers being taken, laundry being done or them leaving the house.
They came home to check on me before they went out for Chinese. I had risen to get something to eat and was munching a sandwich in bed. I still couldn't speak so we resorted to sign language and writing notes. I made sure to gargle each time I was awake in an effort to find my voice. It was silly to have a dear friend visiting and not be able to say a thing to him. Sharon woke me up when they got back so I could say goodbye to Nestor. Well, I could at least mime it. Wished I could have spent some time with him. He's great fun to be with.
Spent today resting and continuing to gargle so I don't lose this altered voice I have gotten back. I surprised both myself and Sharon when I tried to tell her something and sound came out.
Back to work tomorrow thankfully in the evening. Hope your week was not as much of a let down as mine was.
On a brighter note there was some great news this week. The newest addition to our family is going to be a new nephew for me. My sister found out this week and let us all know. I can say that was the best moment of the week for me.
29 September 2005
I cannot tell you how often I answered the phone and said "Yes, we are open." One lady asked and laughed when I answered yes. She said " You must be since you answered the phone." I replied "I didn't get dressed up to come here just to answer the phone." She laughed even harder and asked how many times I had answered that particular question. I told her I hadn't kept count.
Most of our customers are understanding of the absence of some of our products as they were here for the storm. I did have one lady today who didn't understand why we had run out of things last week. Once I got her to understand that she wanted to know how come we hadn't gotten everything re-stocked yet. Some people just don't live in the real world.
For the most part life has returned to it's normal rhythm.
24 September 2005
Today has been a myriad of happenings. After the rain let up I went out into the parking lot to check my car and survey the damage. The car is o.k. and the damage outside seemed to be limited to fallen limbs from trees. It was then I discovered I live on the wrong side of the street. Just across the street they had not lost power at all.
Later in the day we walked the block. There was an older woman across the street who asked if she could help. She told us if we needed anything to come over to her house and gave us her apartment number. This is yet another example of why I am glad to live in Texas. Here is a woman who is willing to open her home to total strangers just because they have a need. Folks here are fantastic.
We waited until the last available moment before we emptied the fridge into two coolers this afternoon. Fortunately we were able to save almost everything. Good planning and preparation go a long way toward comfort in a crisis. I'll admit our meals may have been a little unusual (like pudding for breakfast) but they were nutritional and didn't need heating.
We never lost the land line or DSL at the house. If we had just had power for the modem it would have been hunky dory. That is why the two posts below were audio in nature.
I'll admit that two tired and hot women with warped senses of humor can find many things to laugh about and keep themselves well entertained. I'll not go into details as I think Sharon is and most of it you just had to be here for.
We are so blessed. This entire situation could have been much worse. From the turning of the storm, the sheer generosity of many kind people, to the well thought out plans of the city, county, and state; this has been an example in how to survive with grace.
If you ever find trouble headed your way, be sure you are in Texas. Here is where the best help is found.
23 September 2005
Got to get back to the kitchen, I'm making dinner and some rolls.
The grocery store parking lot was empty. A woman who had come to see if it was open stopped and talked to us. She wanted to make sure we had some place to go. I will say that if you have to ride out a major disaster it is surely nice to do so in a city full of kind people. Over and over again we have seen many acts of kindness. This is what Texans do best!
I did get out on the road for a bit to check on a hospice patient who elected to stay at home. That sweet woman told me she was glad to see me. While I was there her daughter called. She was yelling at here mother for being so stupid to stay in town. She said "Mom you are nuts, this storm could kill you". At this point her mother just laughed and replied " I'm dying anyway, do you think I should fear the weather". When she hung up she turned to me and said " I just don't understand that girl, what part of hospice care doesn't she get." While the situation may seem surreal it is great she was able to laugh. She's got it all figured out.
I did go by the store on my way home and it was intriguing to see it all boarded up.
We are still eating out of the freezer and it's getting fairly empty save for the ice we have stashed for the duration. The laundry is almost finished and I have done a lot of baking. The only thing left to do is to complete taping the windows.
The blue sky of this morning is now all covered in clouds and the wind is picking up. Nothing drastic yet, just a good stiff breeze. All the stuff on the roof is falling on the back porch the roomie had swept clean yesterday. The satellite dish hasn't budged an inch. We may leave it bungeed up. I will post periodically as long as I am able.
22 September 2005
Caught up with my favorite gals and they have successfully made the journey to Nana's house. It may never be the same again after their visit. The grown-ups outnumber the children. That's a good thing when one of the children is as lively as Julia is.
Checking out the transtar pictures from the roadways tonight you can still see thousands of cars making their way out of town. As I was looking at the different views I noticed the lighting caused some of the taillights to appear white. This made it look like everyone was trying to back out of town. No wonder traffic is going so slowly.
"The exodus from the Texas coast, and 60 miles north through Houston, was breathtaking in size. In essence, a coastal suburban area of two million people was being ordered to evacuate through the Houston metropolitan area of four million." The Times Roomie and I decided we liked this description best. The British have a way with words.
I have also been thinking who Pat Robertson was going to blame this storm on. In case you missed it he stated that Hurricane Katrina was all the fault of Ellen Degeneres. I know she has visited and performed in this city, I caught her act once and had a blast. Still I don't think we can blame this on her. Things happen, God is in charge. We don't know why things happen the way they do. If God did want to punish all who fell short of His Will, the whole world would suffer. Mr. Robertson needs to spend more time helping God's creations than trying to explain the mind of God. It's not something he should attempt to do on even his best day.
We will finish pulling up a few rugs and securing windows tomorrow. Hope to take another walk in the morning before the rain starts. Going to bed now, probably won't get much sleep tomorrow night.
Knowing we are going to be house bound soon I urged the roomie to go walking with me. I wanted to get out and see how things are in town. It is hot but dry. As we would be covering less than a mile I knew it would be o.k.
Many stores had closed, two were still open as they could help folks get ready for the storm. We were going to pick up some batteries for the keyboard but vetoed that idea when the cost would be sixteen dollars. (no price gouging, just top of the line in a small privately owned pharmacy)
I have had e-mail and phone calls from my sisters wanting to check in and make sure I was alright. They are all inland, one all the way to Utah. Caught up with my favorite family of girls and found them all packing to go to Nana's house to either wait out the storm or caravan out of town together. Right now there is a hundred mile back-up heading north from town. Things aren't much better going west. TexDot is making arrangements to do contraflow traffic. All lanes of I-45 would run outbound. They hope to be able to do the same with I-10 and Highway 290 sometime today.
We intend to stay here, we will keep an eye on things and re-evaluate as the time goes on. I really don't want to spend the storm in my car stuck on a highway. Check back later.
21 September 2005
While I don't think I'll have to worry about the water, wind will be a my biggest concern. I considered going to stay with my sister in Austin. After our last disaster here, I was able to use my nursing skills to help out. I am staying for that reason now. Some of my hospice patients will be leaving soon and will need some assistance.
Unless the evacuation becomes mandatory, you'll find me listening to the wind in my own home.
12 September 2005
|Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate|
I have not been regular in my blogging of late. Suffice it to say that a lot of my time these past couple of weeks has been tied up doing a variety of things in the relief efforts ongoing here in Houston.
On a personal level, I had to make decisions regarding moving and what to do about my job. The moving is solved, the job is still under advisement. It seems trite to be struggling with these issues when so many are facing so much more. I am grateful that I do have these things to struggle with.
Today my sister had a run-in with an SUV. When I heard the news my first thought was "thank God she is alright." Life is precious, anything else can be replaced.
24 August 2005
Sadly he has the potential to reach millions with his twisted thinking. Sadder still, many will take his words as right without bothering to think for themselves. I most often consider myself a "conservative Christian" but depending on the issue I am sometimes a liberal. I am deeply bothered to be thrown into the same pot this man is in. He makes us all look bad.
I guess the reason this disturbed me so is I find myself hearing angry hateful words from more people I believe to be children of God. Is everybody becoming bitter or am I just more sensitive to it? I enjoy being politically active but am seriously considering lessening my actions. I am unable to bear all the mean-spirited rhetoric about democrats. Adversarial does not have to be spiteful. I am surprised to find just how vicious the talk can get from folks who claim to know the love of God.
My dad impressed me deeply with a sermon he gave once. He talked of holding a bucket as you traveled through life. When times got tough or the way was difficult you might get jostled and spill from your bucket. The only things that could fall from your bucket were the things that were in there in the first place. If hate and anger spill then they were there to begin with. If your bucket is filled with love and peace, no matter how hard life becomes they are the only things you can spill out. I am sure I have paraphrased him badly but you get the basic idea.
This concept has been important to me ever since I heard it. I try to make sure the only things spilling from me are kindness and love. I believe how we behave in an instant is the truest indicator of who we are. Everyone who has known me even a short while has probably heard me say it. I have little patience for people who act with malice and then claim they didn't mean to. It had to be present in them for it to appear at all. With enough time anyone can be kind, the person you want around is the one to whom it comes instantly and constantly. I hope to be that person.
Well, this is probably enough rambling from a person who can't sleep.
23 August 2005
Under Wallace, the Scots, - commoners and knights, rather than nobles, - were united in a focused fight for freedom from foreign rule. Whereas the Scottish nobility had usually given in to English demands for allegiance, Wallace's patriotic force remained unequivocally dedicated to the struggle for Scottish independence.
On the 23rd of August 1305, he was executed. The punishment for the crime of treason was that the convicted traitor was dragged to the place of execution, hanged by the neck (but not until he was dead), and disembowelled (or drawn) while still alive. His entrails were burned before his eyes, he was decapitated and his body was divided into four parts (or quartered). Accordingly, this was Wallace's fate. His head was impaled on a spike and displayed at London Bridge, his right arm on the bridge at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, his left arm at Berwick, his right leg at Perth, and the left leg at Aberdeen. Edward may have believed that with Wallace's capture and execution, he had at last broken the spirit of the Scots. He was wrong. By executing Wallace so barbarically, Edward had martyred a popular Scots military leader and fired the Scottish people's determination to be free.
Almost immediately, Robert I the Bruce revived the national rebellion that was to win independence for Scotland. He succeeded and was crowned king of Scotland in 1306.
Never underestimate a Scotsman's determination.
15 August 2005
It was also the subject of our new co-pastor's first sermon yesterday. From making his first impression upon us, to the impressions Samuel had when God sent him to anoint a new king. Fortunately he did not have to rely on his own "king choosing" skills. God had already seen the one He wanted to call. God chose someone for the state of his heart, not how he looked.
So the question I have been mulling over is: how can I make an impression worth noting? I shared with my co-workers my thinking had changed when I re-evaluated what an impression is. When you take a coin and push it in to clay it leaves an impression. What I found interesting is the object impressed is changed. If I do it right, the impression others have of me brings some change in them. Now I'm praying I become someone God can use to leave a great impression.
10 August 2005
I was hoping to find relief for my aching joints by taking a nice hot shower. This was not to be. As I was holding the soap it slipped out of my hand and went flying up above me. (glycerin soap is very slippery) As gravity took over it's flight path it descend in a trajectory which brought it directly in contact with my noggin. (glycerin soap can also be very hard) After it bounced off of my skull it landed in the tub.
When I got out and was drying off I took a glance back at the little purple bar which had hit me so hard. It was then I noticed the dent. I'd like to think it came after the soap bottomed out in the tub. Still, I have been told by many people I am very hard-headed. Guess they were right after all.
25 July 2005
Last weekend a wonderfully sweet friend came to me for advice. She had been leading a Bible study but had become uneasy doing so because of a verse she had read.
I Timothy 2: 11-13 New International Version
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
She was wanting to know if I thought this was an absolute or was it perhaps something cultural that need not apply today. Because she believes the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God she thought it should still hold true. This was hard for me to answer. There are many instances of the import women played in the early church. Is it possible this Scripture is representative of how women were to behave in this culture? Even as Christ hung dying on the cross He made provisions for His mother. This He did because He knew she would need the protection of a male to reside in her society. I also believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. Does this mean I should do everything it says?
Just keeping up with the Old Testament regulations could give you a permanent headache. Fortunately this has already been answered for me. I am saved by the Grace of God through His Son Christ Jesus. I have no need to follow all the laws laid down before Him. He came to abolish the law. This is good news for me and makes my life much simpler,but there are still other questions to be asked.
I have worked for all of my adult life in the cause for life. I've prayed, worked, counseled, and been handcuffed for the cause. I am totally committed to the preservation of all life. Over the years I have come to expand my belief that all life is sacred. Even the life of those who have taken others. This seems to put me at odds with the Old Testament command to stone anyone who has taken the life of another. It also allows for the stoning of a bride who does not go to her marriage bed a virgin. I find I cannot find it in my heart to do either.
This total approach to the Sanctity of Life has put me at odds with many who protect the unborn but feel it is right to kill criminals. We both read the same Bible yet differ greatly on our views.
This caused me to ponder what I would have done had I lived in the middle of the 19th century. Many Christians were divided over the issue of slavery. Most on the pro-slavery side used the Scriptures to support their ideas. Even the New Testament called for slaves to be obedient to their masters. They often wrote that slavery was present in Christ's time and He did nothing to stop it. Jesus did not go around freeing all the slaves He found. He came to free us from the bondage of sin, not earthly masters. How then did the abolitionists come to the conclusion that slavery was wrong? Some spoke about the difference between the slaves of their day and the Hebrew slave system. I think they did some serious soul searching. I know that is what has wrought the change in me. I believe that my continued study of the Scripture has left my heart ready for where the Holy Spirit guides me.
This leads me to question the popular but inaccurate; what would Jesus do? In the first place I am not He nor can I ever be. Secondly I should do what He wants me to do, not only what He did. He didn't address the atrocities of His day. He remained outside of the political realm. He didn't fight the customs of the day. Does this mean I should not? Some would argue that my past history of being civilly disobedient means I do not support the inerrancy of the Scripture as I seek to make change where I should be obeying my government.
Romans 13:1-2 New International Version
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
So am I wrong it what I do? How do I live the way I do and then reconcile the Scripture above? I have come to the conclusion that there are many things I do not understand. Most of these I attribute to the Divine Mystery that is my God. I am unable to understand all that He is and how He works. This in no way lessens who He is. It just means that I as a flawed individual cannot grasp all that is God. My finite being is unable to fully accept His infinite being.
Each day I ask God where I should engage my heart. This has led me down some wandering difficult paths but they have always led to peace. I have decided I can wrap my brain around the commands given me by Jesus. They are the lighthouse I use to guide my journey.Mark 12:28-34 The Message by Navpress
The Most Important Commandment
28 One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: "Which is most important of all the commandments?"
29 Jesus said, "The first in importance is, "Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; 30 so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' 31 And here is the second: "Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these."
32 The religion scholar said, "A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate--that God is one and there is no other. 33 And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that's better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!"
34 When Jesus realized how insightful he was, he said, "You're almost there, right on the border of God's kingdom."
After that, no one else dared ask a question.
....and neither will I.
23 July 2005
We had a Saudi princess and her entourage shop the store thoroughly. Her staff is well trained and quick to respond to any direction. It's kind of fun to watch.
Lastly we had a couple who made themselves comfortable in my shelving display. They settled in to canoodle. One of the things that made the scene odd was the picture they set up of the Virgin Mary. I admire Mary and her place in history as much as the next person. Still I don't go shopping with her picture. Even odder I don't think I would feel comfortable snuggling with the same in a public place. At one point I thought we were going to have to tell the couple to "get a room". My sales manager did finally ask them to move as they were keeping our other customers from seeing the display. Now at this point the whole episode becomes downright ridiculous. This couple had met in the store. They didn't even know each other before today! In this instance I think the British term of "pulling" would be a better choice than a pick up. After all it took this guy several hours of hard work to achieve his objective.
16 July 2005
While I think of her as all grown up I can't help but remember how sweet she was as a youngling. She had an impish grin and a happy heart with a flair for the dramatics. All-in-all a great little sister.
I hope you have a fantastic birthday.
Monday afternoon a friend asked if he could go with us to the Midnight Sale the store would be hosting. Since good friends only add to any excursion, he was more than welcome. I got off work last night around 10:20. I swung by our house to pick up Roomie and we headed off to pick up the last of the three Musketeers. We got to the store about 11:30 and while busy it wasn't too crowded. In the parking lot I was given a belated birthday card from the person I'll now refer to as, my hero. In the card was a sweet note and the cash to buy a copy of the book for myself. Needless to say I was overwhelmed. Friends are fantastic. Not because they give us things but because they care enough to do so. My hero had just come along for the fun. He wasn't even going to get the book for himself.
Roomie and I checked in at the front and got our numbers for the sale after midnight. We met up with another person who was crazy enough to want the book last night. We all spent the time waiting searching for a second book for the roomie to buy. We each received a coupon for 25% off an additional purchase. I have often told her she has missed many great works of literature. I truly think she needs to go home to Indiana and slap her old teachers for short-changing her education.
As we wandered around the store we picked up several of the freebies being offered. My hero eventually became my carry-all as he carted around the freebies that were starting to pile up. He was well suited to the task as he had a Coke and was on a good sugar and caffeine high.
Eventually it was our turn to join the queue as our numbers were called. Here we picked up even more items and I won a box of Bernie Bott's Every Flavour Beans for knowing Harry's birthday.
We finally left the store and headed for home. Once there I dealt with a few things that needed to be done and then settled down with a large bottle of water to read. I started the book at 2:00 a.m. I read it straight through until 6:30 a.m. Drinking water keeps you awake without the excitement of caffeine. This is good because once you are finished you can go right to sleep. That is until you are forced to wake up because you have to pee. I talked several times with a friend from California who was up reading as well. We had spent part of last week exchanging ideas about what we thought would happen.
I got some good sleep until a friend in from Florida this weekend called at 11:00 a.m. It was just as well the pee issue would have woken me soon.
While you may not want to read it straight through in one sitting, it is a very good read. There were several good lessons to be gleaned from the pages. I'll not go into any detail here as I don't want to spoil it for others. After you have read it please feel free to share with me what you think you learned from the book. I have read all of the books with a godchild and even set a course in study for him. We have had many great discussions about valuable life lessons he has extracted from their pages.
07 July 2005
Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School
In their attack on London they have shown their stupidity. They have obviously forgotten the years that city was under siege. They have forgotten the resolute way it's citizens carried on with their lives. They have forgotten how neighbor reached out to help neighbor.
Once again cowards have tried to change the world through horrible evil acts. Reporters have been bringing up the similarities of today's attack to September 11. If I hear one more reporter make reference to terrorists as "martyrs" I may have to hurt them. A martyr does not kill others for a cause, he dies for his own.
Thankfully I have heard from all those I love in London. They are o.k. Mostly surprised and angry. Surprised because you expect your hometown to be safe. Angry because they can never feel that way again. Please keep the families and friends of all those lost in your prayers. They will need our support.
04 July 2005
The signers of the Declaration of Independence came from all walks of life. They were landowners, metal smiths, writers, farmers, businessmen and solicitors. Only one was a clergyman.
I have often wondered about that. It seems that all of the founding fathers were men of faith. Why was there only one clergyman? What was it that made John Witherspoon the lone representative of his profession?
Mr. Witherspoon was born and raised in Scotland. He was a Presbyterian minister. He came to America to become the President of what is now known as Princeton University. He continued to preach and educate young men even after the Revolutionary War was being waged. He lost his son in a battle. The First Continental Congress of fifty-five men had nine graduates of Princeton. Five had been his students. His later students included one President, one Vice President, nine cabinet officers, twenty-one senators, thirty-nine congressmen, three Justices of the Supreme Court and twelve state governors.
One man can have an enormous impact on the fate of a nation. Remember that when you are wondering if you can make a difference.
02 July 2005
One moment today had me struggling not to laugh out loud. A woman asked me to help her purchase some foam and bubble wrap. While I was busy counting out the amount she needed her husband wanted to return a tape measure he had borrowed earlier. He could see I had both of my hands busy so he tried to place the tape in my pocket. At work I wear an apron with pockets. He bypassed those and went for the front pocket of my jeans. It was at this moment my struggle to contain my laughter began. I continued with what I was doing. His wife finally noticed his efforts to return said tape and blurted out "Honey, watch what you're doing. You're molesting her." He got flustered and then reached back into my pocket to retrieve the item. At this point I could be silent no longer. I laughed and thanked him for his efforts to return the tape measure. I explained that I was truly grateful as many times I loan out my tape and it doesn't find it's way back. Both of them joined me in laughter. We all had many a chuckle and talked about how wonderful it was to be in a place where laughter was welcome.
25 June 2005
I made a trip to West Texas on Sunday. I was going home to celebrate my birthday. Well, that's the reason I used. In actuality I was headed home to be with my Dad as he had some surgery. He has referred to it as "masculine surgery". That is all the detail I am going to give here.
My family and I went out to lunch on Monday to have my birthday remembrances. On my birthday we spent the day in various waiting rooms from surgery to ICU. Daddy came through all well and is making progress in his recovery each day.
I didn't get much sleep what with a mind that wouldn't shut down, arthritis aggravated by the long car trip, and an unfamiliar bed. Yes I am now at the age that I miss my own bed. I got back to town around 3:30 am on Thursday. Fortunately I didn't have to go in to work until 2:00 pm. I was pretty well knackered by the time I got home that night. Friday I spent a good deal of the day dozing off. I tried to make it to lunch with a friend but couldn't find the energy. Things are better today and I am planning to take it easy tomorrow.
20 June 2005
Evidently the scent of a grapefruit on a woman caused men to believe the women were younger than they were. I have always liked a grapefruit sliced in half for a breakfast treat. I've eaten them cold, roasted and topped with meringue.
Fresca is my favorite soda pop. It has a grapefruit base. I know Coca-Cola announced they would be adding new flavors soon. I think I might try them but will probably stick with the one long loved.
Assuming this article is correct, I need to find grapefruit scents. While I am comfortable with the thought of turning forty-four tomorrow, it couldn't hurt.
On a side note, where do you find women who would be willing to try out the broccoli scent? And why?
19 June 2005
Julia needed to visit the little girls room. While there we had to deal with a malfunctioning porcelain throne. She was totally enthralled with the properties of the plunger. I had to convince her it was not a new toy for her playtime fun. Said problem was resolved and we returned to dinner.
Our next event happened at the dinner table. Meredith knocked her milk off the table. Being the quick thinker she is, she tried to catch her cup. She was almost successful. The result was milk flying across the room. Droplets let loose found their way into everyone's hair, onto all the plates, the wall and even this laptop was baptized. Since they have been taught not to cry over spilt milk, we could only laugh as we cleaned up the mess.
Next on our agenda was making Father's Day cards for their dad. Not too much mayhem doing this until.......Julia decided to see if her safety scissors could cut her hair. They can! It's not too noticeable and happily she wasn't scheduled for photos.
Our earlier excursions with milk necessitated all having a bath and shampoo. Outside of convincing little ones sister doesn't really like water being poured over her head and that bath water is best not drunk, bath time went fairly well. I was fairly well wet anyway.
Fortunately bedtime followed shortly thereafter before anything else untoward could happen.
14 June 2005
I am so gobsmacked by the episode that I barely know where to begin detailing how wrong the entire situation is. The "spiritual bully" as he will be referred to came up with remarks that revealed much about the state of his own soul.
She is Episcopalian. She spent much time finding a church where she felt peace worshipping. There she found the continuity and sanctuary she had been missing. She found comfort in the fellowship and ritual. Regardless of her reasons, this is where she is at home. For that alone someone who calls himself her friend should respect the choice.
He has been teasing her by making comments about being a "lite" Catholic. I find that to be offensive to both Catholics and Episcopalians. He tells her she should let him know if he has gone over the line. This says much about his knowledge of friendship. A true friend cherishes you and never puts you in the position of having say stop. Friendship offers solace, not anguish and distress.
The bully is a member of a major denomination. He contends he loves theology and smart discussion. How can he treat anyone this way, let alone a fellow believer? Shouldn't there be a presumption of finding support and encouragement within those who call themselves followers of Christ? How can anyone who loves Jesus be this way?
Christ Himself said there would be a way for others to know we were His.
Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples-when they see the love you have for each other.
John 13:34,35 The Message
I have been thinking all night about this poor man. If he truly sees nothing wrong with what he has been doing maybe he needs to find the Jesus who loves us enough to give Himself for us. I am unsure if he has found the "real thing". His denomination has no formal creed or confession. While such is not a requirement, they are helpful tools to support a believer's journey in faith. Studying and proving for yourself they are true reinforces your faith. He has been challenging others to define their faith. Maybe he is questioning himself. For some, putting down others is a way to try to affirm themselves.
Regardless of the reasons for his behavior, certain things are apparent. He doesn't understand how friendship works nor the command Jesus gave all of us who love Him. If you have a moment to spare, please pray for him. He needs to know how to share in the love of God. Thanks.
12 June 2005
So what does heaven mean to me?
On a personal physical level it means the absence of pain. As a person with whom chronic pain resides, this is a marvelous thing.
On a spiritual level it means so much more. Right now I can just attempt to know the joy of living in God's presence. At best I only achieve what is a pale imitation of what I know it will be. Heaven will be the most perfect moment of my life, and it will never end. I long for the sweetness of existing with my love. It will be the fulfillment of my life. The idea of heaven is so wondrous mere words can not suffice. Now, how do I answer a nine year old girl's question?
I am reminded of wisdom which was imparted to me by another little girl years ago. I used to care for a trio of fantastic girls. One of them asked me one day if she would be able to have her favorite doll when she went to heaven. I told her that the Bible tells us we will not want for anything there, not mentioning she would probably not want her doll. She pressed this issue. I finally said I didn't know everything about heaven and that some things would remain a mystery until I got there. She then told me there was a way to find the answer. "Whatever you want to know just ask God and get the answer. But you have to be sure to shut up, because if you are too busy talking you will never be able to hear his answer and will only hear yourself." Profound advice from anyone, especially so from a five year old.
Many times since that day I have remembered those wise words. I think I will use them as I reply to the little inquisitor. It will be good for her to know I don't have all the answers. I do however know the One who does. That's enough for me.
29 May 2005
One of my favorite little gals had foot trouble. I was spending the evening with her and her sisters. She had been with mom and dad at the "Y" for swim lessons earlier in the day. She told me she had cut her foot and showed me the bandage she was wearing. It didn't seem to trouble her much until it was time to go to sleep. You know how the tiniest little thing is magnified when all you are doing is resting in the quiet waiting for sleep to come. This was her plight. I offered to get some lotion and give her a foot massage. As I was rubbing her foot I felt what seemed to be a hard lump in the bottom of her foot. Thankfully her mom and dad were just coming in. I asked her dad to take a look. He is a doctor.
This soon progressed to me holding her still while Daddy probed the wound to remove the foreign object. This called forth several entreaties from Sara for her dad to leave her foot alone. Her mom was explaining that she needed this done. Sara then said "I want a doctor, I want a doctor" repeatedly. When she was reminded that Daddy was a doctor, the mantra changed to "I want a doctor who's not Daddy, I want a doctor who's not Daddy." Now mom is telling her this needs to be taken care of so she can go to sleep. This was the moment that brought about the revelation of the importance of advertising. Sara began to ask for sleep medicine. She said "I want some sleep medicine, I've seen on TV, I want sleep medicine."
The episode was resolved when Daddy declared he would rather be a dad than a doctor. They both bundled up to visit the minor emergency clinic where there are other doctors and wonderful pain killing medicines. All ended well and Sara was able to take part in her dance recital a few days later.
I was impressed she did so fabulously with her dance routines. I was also impressed that in a moment of pain she pulled a memory of a commercial to use as a way to avoid all the unpleasantness. Advertising works.
26 May 2005
I'm basically o.k. Fairly well banged up with a sprained wrist. It could have been a lot worse. Not every disagreement between human flesh and large SUVs ends with so little damage.
The story has been a good for lots of laughs this week. Even I have chuckled mightily about it. I have become best friends with Advil and hot baths with Epsom salts.
Before you ask, I will continue to stop and render aid whenever the need arises. It's just something you have got to do. I'll try to hide from SUVs though.
22 May 2005
Another friend called to say her Dad had been placed in home hospice care. She needed a friend for venting and advice. It is hard to face the loss of a parent. Even though you know it is likely at some point in your life, there really is no adequate preparation. I mostly listened and offered some advice I have used in the years I have done hospice care. I was blessed to be with both of my grandfathers in the hours preceding their death. While it may not seem so, there is comfort to be found at such a time. Especially if you know you will be seeing someone again in Heaven someday. She called today to let me know her father had gone. She had been there for him, her mother, her sister and herself. Instead of being inconsolable she expressed joy at having been there when it happened.
I feel deeply the hurt of those around me. I am better able to help them by leaving myself open to their pain. This is how I function and I am uncertain I would change even if I could. Shutting yourself off from feelings will get rid of the bad stuff we all have to face, but it would also deny all the good things. I wouldn't want to risk that. The only downside to being this way is how it affects me.
Yet another person called last week to let me know he/she is having some major health problems. As he/she wishes it to remain unknown I couldn't pass along this concern to any of my prayer partners save to say someone I love needed prayer. This is even now hard to write about because I care so deeply for this person. When I feel challenged I reach out to a few close friends and lean hard on their support. The one huge drawback to being single is the lack of an available helper. Someone to be a sounding board when you just need to talk it out. This is perhaps why I depend so heavily on friends. Having that avenue closed on this issue has been the most difficult part of the last days.
Unfortunately all this played havoc with my arthritis and migraines. Autoimmune diseases are very susceptible to the host's state of mind. They like to attack when you are down.
I have spent much of the last week in long periods of prayer. My problems in getting through this time have nothing to do with the power of God to heal my wounds. They have everything to do with my not letting him do so. I hope I can learn from this very uncomfortable object lesson. I need to "let go and let God". Although I am extremely hard headed, I think I finally let the message get through. Learn from my stupidity and don't follow my example.
16 May 2005
|N||is for||Naughty||E||is for||Extreme||M||is for||Mushy|
15 May 2005
Thank you Jesus!
14 May 2005
I spent a couple of weeks in a Wednesday night class on prayer. Mike Fry taught it and as usual he did a fantastic job. I think it was a real eye opener to some. He went past the typical ACTS template. (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) It delved more into practicing the presence of God and listening for His voice.
Many years ago I read a book which dealt with "centering prayer". It made me aware of just how one-sided my praying was. I was always talking to God and not giving Him much of a chance to get a word in edgewise. I then began to treat my prayer time more as a meditative period. After all, I am engaging in conversation with the best lover I will ever have, the lover of my soul. I absolutely want to hear everything He has to say to me!
A little while back Dave asked the congregation how many senses human beings have. As expected, everyone said five. He then gently reminded us (also known as chastising) that we had a sixth sense. Common sense or intuition. We serve a supernatural God. He is actively working in our lives. We need to respond when He calls to us. If you are not open to the sound of His voice you will miss it.
Both the class and Dave's sermon reminded me of a phrase we use at work. "Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind." My ability to discern God's voice in my life is directly related to how prepared my mind and heart are to hear it. Time spent in prayer is the best preparation.
This thought sent me off on another mental tangent. I am a very creative person. I love spending time each day working in some art form. Be it a pencil, camera, paintbrush or keyboard; my contentment is directly related to my ability to create. I believe everything I am is a gift from God. I cannot separate my social life, my working life or my creative life from my spiritual life. I am a whole being and anything that touches one part of me touches all of me.
That being said, the extra time spent in prayer this past year has really been a blessing. I have accomplished more on a creative front than ever before. I still don't have full time employment. I don't make all my bills each month. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is the crux of my financial planning. However, this has been the best year of my life! I have spent more time with my lover than ever before. What He has shared with me has been loving and encouraging. He has brought me peace, happiness and contentment. This colors all the aspects of my life and frees me from the worry and care in which I could be drowning.
Something to think about.
02 May 2005
This is the wisdom I gained:
You only get one face, you should be careful with it.
Cookies are for making your mouth happy, and your tummy likes them as well.
Vegetables don't make you happy, but they won't make you sick.
If you hide in the closet once, no one will think to look there for you the next time. (still working on grasping the rules to hide and seek.)
Music is what you make when you try to push the same piano keys your sister is; provided you can get her to sing your song.
You don't actually need 10 feet of toilet paper each time.
Too much toothpaste causes you to foam at the mouth like a mad dog.
A massage is a good thing, unless your sister decides to coat your back in lotion and then draw pictures in it.
If you don't laugh when you are tickled, you could hurt yourself and need to go to the doctor.
If you push the same key repeatedly on the keyboard, eventually the computer will do something. We're just not sure what.
God likes it when you say the same nighttime prayer because that is what He's expecting.
He also likes it when you say something new. He gets bored sometimes.
It's good to tell people you love them. You don't need a reason.
Time spent with children is always well spent.
26 April 2005
C.S. Lewis wrote a children's series full of mythology and supernatural happenings (it even had a witch). I find it peculiar that many Christian parents have no trouble allowing their children to read The Chronicles of Narnia yet they will flee from Harry Potter.
It is a well written tale. It deals with the issues of good and evil. The struggles of growing up. The difficulty in feeling different from others. The blessings of true friends. The value of teamwork. Finding out that things are not always what they seem to be. Using your mistakes to learn to do better.
Fables and faerie tales have been used for hundreds of years to impart wisdom to young minds. There is no more to fear in Cinderella's faerie godmother than there is at Hogwarts. (Boarding school for young wizards and witches)
Read it or not.
If you don't, you are missing out on a fantastic tale.
25 April 2005
I was on the phone with a friend at lunch and she was giving me all the latest details of her life. Lately she has been having some health problems and stress at work. She made the comment that she didn't know what was wrong but she just felt off-kilter.
I asked her to recall the last fun thing she had done. It took her a while but she finally remembered something from two weeks ago. I told her she needed to be having fun more often.
One of the things that has kept me sane this past crazy year has been remembering to take time to have fun. I like to be sure that each day I make time to either find or create joy. It has truly been a lifesaver.
Last Friday I spent the evening in the company of two little joy makers. At three years old, everything is wondrous. Spend some time with them and you find yourself appreciating many things you would ordinarily overlook. We didn't do anything special. Just dinner, playtime, tubbies in the sink, story time and the usual trying to delay bedtime. Each phase had it's own share of laughter.
I shared with Vickie that she has probably just forgotten that laughter is where you want to find it and happiness is a choice we make. She'll be feeling better soon.
19 April 2005
I was talking with a friend as he brought me up to date with the latest news. As we were chatting he asked me where my parish was. I explained that I am Presbyterian and not Catholic. His look of surprise was priceless. He said, "You know so much about Catholicism, I just assumed you were Catholic." I then had to explain that as an active participant in the pro-life movement I work often with many Catholics. There are several Catholic children who call me their godmother. When I told him that a guy I used to date is now a Bishop, I thought I would need to put my CPR skills to use.
FYI He wasn't a priest when I dated him. I told him I didn't want to see him any more as he was not serious about his faith. He left, got serious; came back a priest. He loves to tell everyone I drove him to the priesthood.
So why all the interest in the Pope from a Presbyterian? Well, he affects more people on earth than any other person. The Catholic church is seeing more growth in third world countries that any other Christian church. In my battles to preserve the sanctity of human life I will have more allies in the Catholic church than in all the others combined.
I have friends and family who will tell me that Catholicism is a false religion. I may be wrong but I don't think that it is so. I am close to too many people who are Catholic and seem to have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. To me that is the touch point. When they talk about their faith it is that relationship to which they attribute their claim to Christianity. Not someone other than Christ. Not someone in addition to Christ as the LDS do.
As previously noted I may be wrong, I often am. Until I can ask the Lord in person, I think I'll keep things the way they are. So I'll say a prayer for the new Pope as he takes his stand in Peter's place. He's got a tough act to follow and a difficult time to get his people through.
11 April 2005
That being the synopsis of my recent life, there have been a few moments which have stood out.
Dave gave a sermon during Lent that caused me to think of something in a whole new way. I have always thought the words "It is finished" as uttered by Christ on the cross as the fitting end to the beyond horrible day He had endured. Now I can see that it was so much more. With His sacrifice came the end to so many things. It was the end of the law. No longer was adherence to rather strict and complicated rules a means to seeking God's grace. Never again would there be a need to offer up sacrifices. From that moment on, God's grace was given to all who would believe in His Son. He was the only sacrifice that could cover and cleanse our sins. When Christ said those words all of life was changed. Nothing is like it was before. So often we associate Christ's life on earth as a pivotal time. In fact, it can all be traced to the instant those words fell from His lips.
I had never considered this before. It has caused me to ponder many things. I have often thought how my life can change in a instant. In an instant I became an aunt. One moment I had no nieces or nephews, now I have eleven. In an instant I lost a love. One drunk driver taking a wrong turn altered my life. In an instant I have found many friends. When you come down to it my life is constantly modifying as these instances are all strung together. But these words forever changed everyone's life. This thought is still impacting my life and I am excited about the change.
If you haven't felt the power of the change these words have wrought, let me know. I would love to tell you of it.
02 April 2005
What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ, and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus, everything else is useless. Prayer 1979 Philadelphia
The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us - each one singly and all together - to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us. Address World Youth Day 1996
Goodbye dear friend, you will be well missed. I'll see you when I meet our Lord.
31 March 2005
13 March 2005
Had a great time with two of my nieces on Friday night. We had pizza, popcorn and candy. We played "Sorry", watched flicks and laughed a lot. I got some good pics and when I find myself rescued from blogger hell I will get them out for you to see.
Need to go to bed now so that I can make it to church tomorrow. At least I can rest assured I won't ever have to go to the original hell.
08 March 2005
She's taught me about strength, honor, music and friendship. To some it seems weird that in addition to being my aunt she has a place in my circle of friends. She and I talk often and I love that I don't need to edit what I say to her. You know, the way you sometimes do when conversing cross-generationally. She knows about the world I live in because she's right there with me.
So today and everyday I thank God for an aunt who loves me as much as I love her.
Please take a moment to add them to your prayers.
05 March 2005
It has antibacterial properties.
It is reputed to be a blood purifier.
It has a lowering effect on blood pressure.
It has had some success in reducing symptoms of auto-immune diseases.
This week I have learned of perhaps it's most potent properties.
It was triumphantly used to break a dear child of her chupa habit. For those that don't know a chupa is a pacifier a.k.a. a dummy or binky.
Just the mere taste of the garlic was not enough to cause her to cast away her bedtime favorite. One night she held on to it in a gladware container. Then the next day she threw the container and the chupa in the trash.
What will be useful to her later in life is the knowledge that she could effect a change with her own determination. That same determination which caused her to hang on to the chupa until this point will also serve her well later.
The next time I find myself facing a disagreeable task or needing to make a change, I will think of the courage shown by this little child. If one so young can be brave enough to face it, I should be as well.
02 March 2005
Anyone my age or younger can recite at least two or three lines from one of his books.
Green eggs and ham were offered in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, in the rain, on the train, with a goat , and on a boat.
Dr. Suess caused us to look at language in new ways as he invented words and manipulated rhythms. Buried within the lyrics he wrote were simple life lessons.
How do we know we don't like green eggs and ham unless we try them? What can we think if we really try? Is it alright to dislike someone just because they have a star on their belly? Can you celebrate Christmas without all the gifts?
What's your favorite Suess book? I'm torn between several. Don't know if I could pick just one.
24 February 2005
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §1597-B is enacted to read:
§1597-B. Prohibited basis for abortion
An abortion may not be performed when the basis for the procedure is the projected sexual orientation of the fetus after birth, based on analysis of genetic materials of the fetus in which sexual orientation is identified through the presence or absence of a so-called "homosexual gene."
I am so thoroughly appalled by the whole mess. Is there really a homosexual gene? If there is, doesn't it only indicated a predilection? Why does the bill allow provisions for both the presence or absence of the gene? Don't we make choices in how we live our lives regardless of the DNA we carry? If the termination of a gay baby is discrimination, then every other abortion should be considered discrimination of straight babies.
I find it ludicrous for law makers to say abortion is acceptable as long as you don't abort babies we are trying to place in a protected class. All life is precious. Your sexual orientation has nothing to do with the value of your life.
I think what the Maine legislature needs to do is to decide to save all babies. If a little gay baby's rights are to exceed his mom's right to kill him, the straight baby deserves equal representation.
23 February 2005
E-mail and the internet have changed how we reach out to each other. Stop and think for a minute about all the people who have become part of your life even though you have never "met" them.
I now know several people who contacted me after reading my blog. Groups, webrings and message boards brought me new friends. Even a few old friends have re-connected electronically.
Getting to know someone in this remote fashion is challenging. You can edit what you let them find out about you. If you wish you can only let the best part of yourself show. Conversely, it is easier to be totally honest about yourself when you don't have to look into someone's eyes. You get to choose your approach.
At any rate, you just got to love anything which allows you to make more friends. You can never have too many.
19 February 2005
I went to work Tuesday with a migraine. They seem to be a frequent part of my life lately. Unfortunately the roof at the store needed some repairs. This led to banging and hammering. Picture a metal roof and you start to see how my day had gotten worse. I got there at 8:30 am, I did my best to ignore the whole situation. By 12:30 pm, I was willing to admit defeat. I left to head home to my bed and large amounts of legal pharmaceuticals.
That led to crashing for the rest of the day and most of the next. Back to work on Thursday. Noises were gone. Sadly, we were now up to the tarring part of the repair process. Still, nausea alone was easier to bear than excruciating pain and nausea from days gone by.
Friday I worked a shift for a friend. She needed to be with her husband for doctor visits. I caught up with another co-worker to ask how his tests at school had gone. He reported he'd done well. I had promised to keep him in my prayers this week and to pray during his test. I asked the Lord to help him remember all that he knew and to make up the rest. He said I was right on target. I have also been spending some time in prayer for another colleague and his wife as they are trying to start a family.
Aside from all the fun I have at this job, perhaps the best thing has been making new friends. As an Air Force brat my life was a steady stream of moves. Learning to reach out to strangers became a necessary skill for me. This job gives me the opportunity to do that on a daily basis.
Today seven different people who had been in before came to give me a hug and thanks for help I had given the previously. No amount of money can make you feel as good as gratitude from a kind heart.
15 February 2005
I have always been a fan of his music. He had a voice that reached out to touch your soul. I would have to say he had a voice which would make angels weep and saints deny their god. He was also a genius at the piano, his interpretations were to music what Michelangelo's paintings were to art. Truly this man had been gifted by God.
He also had a gentle heart. Members of a white supremacist group attacked and tried to kidnap him at a show in Birmingham Alabama. He finished the show and apologized to the audience for the disturbance. This got him a reputation as an "Uncle Tom". Thurgood Marshall even referred to him as such. He endured harassment when he and his family settled into an all white neighborhood. He refused to perform at segregated establishments.
Many questioned his handling of all these things. Perhaps he knew that you can't change the way people think without changing their heart. Just because one doesn't holler and scream doesn't signal acceptance. Sometimes the quiet and steady working for change is best. In his own way he made just as big an impact as Martin Luther King.
Maybe he knew as he had sung "the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" -Nature Boy
14 February 2005
Sophocles 496 BC - 406 BC
Today is the day set aside to celebrate and ponder the meaning of love. There have been poems, songs, and oratories written about love and it's meaning.
Despite of the profusion of words dedicated to explaining it, love can only truly be defined by the feeling of it.
Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
St. Thomas of Aquinas 1225 AD - 1274 AD
From a personal perspective, I love love. God loves me so much He sent His son to save me. That is the ultimate of love.
12 February 2005
Only one girl can fit on the step stool at a time so we were taking turns brushing teeth. Julia was waiting for her chance at the sink and serenading us with all of her favorite tunes. I was helping her sister when I heard her voice changing. I look back to see her leaning over the toilet and singing her heart out.
I tried not to laugh and told her we don't sing over the toilet. She asked "Why don't we sing into the toilet? It sounds real good and loud." I explained that the shape of the bowl made for good acoustics. I then explained acoustics. I admitted the sound might be better focused but that as a general rule singing into the toilet is not something usually done.
Someday when she is a huge recording star I will remind her of her first "studio".
11 February 2005
09 February 2005
One of the ways I volunteer my time is to be a coach for young girls who have no one to help them as they accomplish the difficult process of labor. I never know when I leave the house how long it will be until I return. Needless to say I did not make it to the noon service I had planned on attending.
Since I moved down here I have had the opportunity to learn more about how other denominations keep Lent. My Greek Orthodox friends observe a strict account of Lent. What I find intriguing is how informed their children are about what the season means and why they do what they do. I think it is great that the young are so well informed about their faith.
No matter what your personal customs are it is good to take this time before Easter to contemplate just why we need the saving grace of God. I hope this season brings you much comfort.
08 February 2005
In the first place I don't think I would look to a multi-married celebrity for any marriage advice, but this is just too bizarre to ignore. Evidently Mr. Smith believes his marriage will survive because they have agreed that honesty is the basis for a long lasting relationship. While this is true, they have also concluded that fidelity is not a necessary part of the same. This made my head and heart hurt. If you can't count on the most important person in your life to be just for you, what is the point?
Even sadder is the fact that this is considered newsworthy and that so many are seeing it as an enlightened view of marriage in this century.
I think I'll try to find the brain cells I used reading about this and see if I can have them wiped clean.
07 February 2005
Here is someone who recognizes the importance of being wrong. I have learned more from my mistakes than all my lessons combined. I have always felt comfortable with the fact that I am a hopelessly flawed individual.
There is great comfort in not being perfect and allowing yourself the luxury of being wrong. It takes the pressure off and frees you. Some of my most colossal goof ups have brought forth great achievements. It's hard to argue with the "success" of failure.
I was chatting with a friend tonight and she was feeling upset she had a project at work to flop. She was entrenched in the feeling of failure and didn't want to leave it. I shared the quote above with her and reminded her of all the ideas she had seen through to completion. She's truly brilliant and generous to others. I just suggested now might be a good time to be generous to herself. She'll bounce right back now that she has cut herself some slack.
06 February 2005
In spite of the extreme exhaustion the past weeks have brought, I really enjoyed the whole process. I spent every day doing space planning. I am glad for the opportunity to refine my skills. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it does make pretty damn good.
I can do a better job now just because of the sheer number of hours I have invested in the process. This whole experience reminds me of the first few months after I started doing yoga. For a long time I was inept and struggled with every workout. Then one day things started to click. I could move from pose to pose without having to really think about it.
As with anything, the more I do it, the better at it I become. So....I should do more often the things I want to be good at.
03 February 2005
That being said, today got off with a bang. Arthritis has been a pretty overwhelming companion this winter. When I went to get out of bed he reared his ugly head and getting up became a battle of what seemed to be gigantic proportions. Too stubborn to give in I waged war against my own body. Normally this is a battle I can win, today I lost. In what can only be described as the least graceful moment of my life, I managed a few steps before my knees gave out and I fell bashing my head in to the wall.
Now you may be wondering why I shared this story with you. Well, I was feeling pretty confident as I lay in bed this morning. I was certain I could handle whatever today saw fit to throw my way. This of course is a prime example of arrogance, and I should know better. This stumble was a perfect way to disabuse myself from the idea I could manage the day on my own. Nothing like an up close and personal object lesson.
So, the day started again as I lay on the floor chuckling over the whole thing and the way my stupidity constantly amazes me.
02 February 2005
A Charles Spurgeon quote was in the required reading and also noted in class tonight. It is fast becoming one of my favorites.
" We win hearts for Jesus by love, by sympathy with their sorrows, by anxiety lest they should perish, by pleading with God for them with all our hearts that they would not be left to die unsaved, by pleading with them for God, that, for their own sake, they would seek mercy and find grace."
This touches on what has become a center point of my life. An Iraqi friend's family has made me welcome in their midst. This has been a great opportunity to reach out to some in Islam. Volunteering with an AIDS group gave me the chance to reach out to many homosexuals. In both cases it has been a blessing to me to be able to share God's love. For some it was the first time a "christian" ever approached them with anything other that condemnation. (christian is in lower case not as a slight to Christ but because I do not believe that a true follower of Christ could be so harsh) As a firm believer in "relational evangelism" I am grateful to have this experience.
I think the thing I value most from this series is the reassurance that I am only where I am right now thanks to the grace of God. He has led me here. This is comforting because where I am in my life path is uncertain and would be frightening without sure knowledge that God is with me. Drop me a line if you find yourself in a similar situation. I'll be glad to share how He has hepled me.
This gives us a small glimpse into the perseverance he still shows today. He has been instrumental in calling the faithful back into fellowship during the most tumultuous time the Catholic church has faced. His being willing to take the hard line and not follow political correctness has served the church well.
He has been plagued with chronic health problems but has not allowed them to sway him from what he feels he needs to do. Whether you agree with him or not, you can't help admiring the steadfast determination he exhibits in everything he does.
While I am not Catholic myself, I respect the witness this man's life has been in his devotion to Christ. A friend of mine who is a priest says he uses the example of this man to spur him on when he feels his own faith is flagging.
That is perhaps the best thing anyone can say of a Christian. How wonderful it is to be someone who can inspire others just by the way you live. I think we should all hope to be such a person.
Today I will be saying a few prayers for healing for Karol and thanks for all he has been able to do as Pope John Paul II.
01 February 2005
I like this quote. For those of you who have somehow missed out on what should be required education, Mr. Mingus was a legend in jazz. Equally gifted on the bass or piano, he was even better as a composer.
In this quote he perhaps caught one of life's best lessons. We are not static beings. If you are the same person today that you were a year ago, you are not doing something right. This reassures me that I must doing well.
I know I am a more patient person now than I ever hoped to be. I find it easier to love more now. I like to think I am wiser than I thought would be possible. I trust time will show this to be true. The reason all of these things have come to pass is a simple one.
As I have journeyed through life, many things have happened. I decided the best thing was to see what lessons I could learn along the way and how they could make me, a better me. (The original model had lots of room for improvement) This gives me much anticipation for the future. I look forward to the next chance to learn something new, or refine a skill.
I have known a few people who seemed to make their travel through life an enjoyable trip. My grandfather was one such man. He always seemed to be learning new things to keep up with the times. He radiated joy wherever he went and was always great fun to be with. I remember the grand times we had when he came to England to visit us. He was at an age when many slow down and lose their sense of adventure. Even now, when he has been gone for many years, I think of him and he seems as near as my heart. I hope I grow up to be just like him.