Wednesday, August 28, 2013
"Divergent" isn't the only book I am reading though. I am also reading "Pharisectomy" by Peter Haas. This one is about "how to joyfully remove your inner Pharisee and other religiously transmitted diseases". This one I have been reading for a couple of weeks. I want to take my time with it and let it sink in. It is a really well written book with a lot to teach me. Personally, I have always struggled with reading "religious" books, they tend to be very dull. Not this one! Mr. Haas has injected quite a bit of humor into his words and used it to reenforce his points. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to reconnect with their personal faith and loosen their grip on "religious" thinking. (I should mention that I got this one has a freebie from myhealthychurch.com but my opinions are entirely my own!)
My current daily devotional is "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. LOVE THIS DEVOTIONAL!!
But that's not all (as they say on the infomercials!) I am also listening to Stephen King's "11/22/63" on my mp3 player. This one was a birthday gift to myself. I have been wanting to read it for a long time and finally talked myself into it! I fell in love with listening to Stephen King's books on audio after listening to "Bag of Bones" (which I also have on CD). There are just so many nuances in his books that I know I would miss on the printed page. But on audio! If you have never listened to an audiobook before, you really need to give it a try, you will not regret it! In fact, I will probably end up looking for "Divergent" and "Pharisectomy" on audio very soon! :)
Okay, that is all I am currently reading. I do have 2 short stories written by friends that I need to tackle (which I have promised myself I will do over the long weekend!) and several blogs I need to catch up on (also waiting for the weekend!). Oh, and there is this advance reading copy of a book I won on "Goodreads" that just came in the mail last night! "Fallen Women" by Sandra Dallas. I will be starting it as soon as I clear a spot in my line up!
By the way, what are you reading??
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Yesterday started off with me losing first my cell phone and then my car keys. As a result, I was late to work, a punishable offense if you are a repeat offender, which I have been known to be. Normally this would be the kind of thing that would color my whole day a dull gray. But lately I have been making the effort to redirect my focus when I start to get upset. I try to take a breath and remind myself that I am loved by the creator of all things. In the light of that love, lost phones and car keys are really unimportant.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't become Mother Teresa! I fussed at slow drivers who got in my way all the way to work yesterday. But when I pulled into the parking lot I took just a moment to ask God to guide me. And He did. Such a simple thing, I asked, He provided. It is a lesson that I am trying to remember.
I am loved. And so are you.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Which of course, is part of the fun. Letting my mind wander and seeing where it takes me. Sometimes it's dark, boring, and mundane. But every once in a while it is inspired, lighthearted, and fun! I am looking forward to the next 244 posts!
It seems appropriate to me that this blogiversary falls on a Friday too. Friday Funnies are the one thing you can count on from me, no matter what else happens to keep me from blogging, I will be here on Friday's! Let's get started, shall we?
|for my whovian friends out there|
|I know some mommies who need this one!|
|I know this is a little irreverent, but it tickles me!|
|wipe on, wipe off|
|if only! :)|
|just one last thought to take with you!|
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
"My 39th Birthday Adventure" or "The Reason Why I Hate Bicycles"
It all started out innocently enough. We wanted to get in shape and so for the hubby's birthday we decided to purchase bicycles. This was in the spring of our 39th year (well, he had just turned 39 and I would in August. But "the spring of our 39th year" is such a cool phrase I had to use it. Dramatic license you know.) and we were looking for ways to get out of the house (1st mistake) and spend some time together. So, we bought bikes. Everything was fine at first. We rode around the neighborhood in the evenings, huffing and puffing all along the way. Like I said, fine.
Now, fast forward to August. I am looking around at my life and I think, "I want to do something different this year! I want to make a change!" (2nd mistake). And what better day to roll out this change in my life than my birthday? But what did I want to do? After much thought I decided I wanted to go on a nature walk. Notice I said walk. A nice, sedate, slow, leisurely walk. I am not really certain how it happened, but somewhere in the planning of this walk it turned into a bike ride. (3rd mistake, if you are counting. I am) I do remember joking with friends that I thought the sweet hubby might be trying to kill me and that if I didn't show up for work on Monday they needed to call the cops. But I was joking. Really.
My birthday dawns bright and clear (and HOT) and we are up early. We load up the bikes in the back of the truck and head out into the middle of nowhere to this lovely little state park. We unload our bikes and start out. Once again, things are looking good, all is well. I am winded, of course, but having the time of my life. It was great, right up until the moment it wasn't. See, there was this rather steep downhill slope (drop off may be a better description) and I was tired and not paying attention (4th mistake). The hubby was in front and he navigated it fine but knew I would have trouble. He tried to stop me but it was way too late for that. My bike was already committed to this death encouraging feat of madness. I say my bike because my brain had already seen how this could end and tried to put the brakes on. But the bike was having none of that! So, down the hill we go, end over end. Thank goodness this was there to break my fall...
....and my arm. Yep, you read that right. My arm. Snapped it about an inch above the elbow. So, here I am laying on the ground in the woods in the middle of nowhere with a broken arm. And I am not moving! (5th mistake) The hubby tried to get me up, but I was adamant that I was not moving until help arrived. One problem with my plan, spotty cell service. That meant that hubby had to leave me laying there while he trekked back up the path in search of service and help. Once he had called 911 I made him call my mom because she worked for the local Sheriff's department and I was afraid someone else would call her and tell her that her only child was laying in the woods injured. Not news I wanted her to get from anyone else! Once that was done I just lay there thinking of how crazy this whole thing was and what a great Facebook post it would make. No kidding, I really did. We will blame it on the shock.
It took a while, but an ambulance finally arrived with a lovely entourage of "lookie-loo's" who stood around and asked questions and made sympathetic noises (their mistake!). At least they did until they realized that they would have to help the paramedics haul my fat butt back up the hill. That shut them all up pretty quick! By this time my arm had started to swell and it was incredibly painful to move. I have to give credit to the paramedic, she was wonderful. I am sure she was cussing me in her mind the entire time, but she was nothing but sweet. She propped my arm up as best she could and they got me on a backboard and hauled me out of there (me apologizing the whole way for being stupid AND fat). Once in the ambulance she was able to give me some pain meds to try to make me comfortable for the very long and bumpy ride back to the hospital. I should add here that my sweet hubby was my rock through out it all. He took wonderful care of me, all the while apologizing for not protecting me from myself.
For the whole ride (between 40 and 50 miles that felt like 1000) my arm was sticking out from my body at an odd angle, stuck that way from pain and swelling. Let me tell you, I felt every single bump on that road! Once we arrived at the hospital I got even better pain meds and things become a bit more blurry. I do remember the xray because the tech was a jerk of the first order who was not the least concerned with my pain level and I had to go back and see him again because when the nurse cut off my bra (always a fun thing to do, especially on your birthday) she left it under me and the small metal ring on the strap showed up in the xray, causing the doctor to ask me if I had ever been shot (apparently it looked like a bullet?!?). So, 2 visits to the xray tech (with my hubby fuming not so quietly about my treatment) later they finally said "Yep, it's broke", wrapped it up and put it in a sling, gave me meds and the number to a few orthopedic surgeons and sent me home.
Almost 2 weeks later I had surgery to place a plate in my arm so that the bone would heal straight and then I spent another 3 weeks or so at home until I was able to drive myself to work.
That's me in my recliner/bed that I slept in for most of my recovery. I was not able to lay flat for the longest time! If you look close, you can see my CPAP machine set up on the side, between my sonic cup and my fan. And my poor hubby had to help me in and out at all hours of the day and night, since the handle for the reclining part is on the right hand side of the chair! And before you ask let me tell you that my bike is parked in my carport, exactly where my husband placed it when he brought it home that day. It has not moved 1 inch in 3 years and if it ever does than it will be because someone else moved it! My bicycling days are DONE!
Thus ends my story of my ill-advised, ill-fated 39th birthday. And hopefully explains why my butt will be parked on my couch for the remainder of the day while I watch movies and check Facebook for birthday wishes. It just seems safer that way.
Monday, August 19, 2013
If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question "what do you do"?
I think it is from the "Blog Everyday" Challenge. I seem to recall "borrowing" several prompts from there, even though I decided not to actually blog everyday. :)
So, let's see, what do I do? well, I read, I write, I clean out litter boxes and run the vacuum. I sell my mom's (and a few of my own) used books on Amazon. I spend time with my sweet husband, I worry, I pray, I sing in my church praise and worship group (and with my cd's in the car on the way to work).
I scrapbook some and I cross stitch some and I dream about other crafts that I will never get around to trying. I take way too many pictures of my cats. I text A LOT. I collect quotes and pictures. Lot and lots of pictures. I spend a lot of time in cyberspace, reading blogs and looking at pictures, browsing Facebook and Pintrest for inspiration.
I am the admin for my church's Facebook page and for the Prayer Warriors Prayer page (a closed group to protect the privacy of those looking for prayer. If you are interested in joining click here and send a request). I manage a prayer circle at work as well, sending out weekly email updates and holding monthly prayer meetings. I know I have a calling to prayer, though I struggle against it from time to time.
WOW. I do more than I thought. And less than I think I should. Which is fairly typical I suppose. We all have certain expectations for ourselves (even me, and I am world renowned for drifting through life expectation-less). And many of us have the tendency to berate ourselves for not living up to those expectations. But today instead of focusing on all the things I could be, should be doing, I will be grateful and satisfied with who and what I am and the things I have accomplished!
Friday, August 16, 2013
Anyway, on to the funnies!
|Also true..and why I don't have plants in the house!|
|Here's your ear worm...you are welcome!|
|Love this one!|
That's all folks! Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!! :)
Thursday, August 15, 2013
On August 16, 2011 a friend of mine took his own life. He left behind a wife and children he adored. I don't know what was going through his mind and heart in the moments before his death. But I do know that he loved his family and could only have meant only to protect them from something by his actions, that's the kind of man he was.
Somehow, somewhere along the way my friend lost sight of God. He forgot that he was not ever alone and that no matter what he was facing it could never be greater that God's power. I am not judging him, we all lose sight of the Father from time to time. Not because He leaves us, but because we take our eyes off Him and see only our problems, our failures, our sin. It's like walking a path with our eyes downcast, seeing only our feet and the area directly in front of them. We become so focused on our narrow view that we miss the big picture. We miss the arms of our loving Father reaching out to us through the world around us and the people who love us.
My heart breaks for my friend, that he missed the bigger picture, that he thought the only solution to his pain was to end his precious, beautiful life. My heart grieves for his family, his children and his wife, who have had to find a way to carry on without him. And I grieve for myself, that I lost an old and dear friend. We had not been close in several years, but we had the bond of growing up together, that shared history that links you forever. I miss him. I miss simply knowing that he is out there somewhere, making his way in the world.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Yes, my problem is a gift! Specifically it is a gift for me, for my birthday. A birthday that is still 11 days away. My
This shouldn't be a problem right? I am a grown up girl, I can open my gift whenever I want to. One little stumbling block to that notion, I also have a thing about having something to open on my birthday. So, one gift.....if I open it now then I get to have whatever is inside. BUT I won't have anything to open on my actual birthday (which by the way, better include cake!).
I am like this at Christmas too. And he takes full advantage of it, wrapping presents weeks in advance and placing them under our little tree. Then he points them out to me, talking about all the possibilities endlessly. And it doesn't stop there. I try to hold off on bringing his gifts into the house because I know the moment I do I will want to give them to him. (I really can't stand an unopened gift!) So he bugs me until I bring his gifts home and place them under the tree. Then the real fun begins (for him) because as I have said, I hate an unopened gift. So, everyday I ask "can we open one?" and everyday he tells me "No, wait one more day" or "if we do, we won't have anything to open for Christmas, it's up to you." Sneaky, conniving man! It's torture, I tell you!!
My current method of battle is to try to ignore the thing, but that really isn't working very well. I wonder, is there a support group out there somewhere for people like me???
Friday, August 9, 2013
|It's a chick magnet!|
|me, most everyday. My sanity is on an extended vacation!|
|one of the many reasons our cats are NOT allowed in the bedroom at night.|
|And this is an example of why ALL paper products are kept under lock and key!|
Now let's get out there and share some smiles with the world! God Bless!
Thursday, August 8, 2013
So, I had this encounter. I could tell you about it in great detail, but wouldn't that make me a mean girl? I mean, in the very unlikely event that the person in question stumbled across my words and recognized herself in them, wouldn't I be sinking to her level? That is something I do not want to do. So, let's just say I had this encounter that was fairly public and highly frustrating for me. Frustrating because I wanted to say so much, wanted to shame her publicly, wanted to lash out. And I couldn't. In small part because I am now in an official supervisory position (at least on paper) and a public display would have landed me in hot water. But in larger part I felt I couldn't lash out because of my role as the leader of our workplace prayer group. If I had said what I was thinking, it would have been weighed and judged against my claim of salvation. And I would most definitely be found lacking, because I was most assuredly not thinking kind, christian thoughts.
I haven't been able to get this incident out of my mind. My biggest question is why? Why, in all the years that I have known this particular woman, has she always been this way? What shaped her into this? Why can she not see how ugly her behavior is? Why do others follow her? Why can't they see the truth of their actions, the cruelty in their laughter and whispers? Why,why, why??
These seem like pointless questions, and yet I can't get rid of them. They seem so fruitless. Or am I missing the point? Rather than seeing these thoughts as pointless or fruitless, perhaps I should be viewing them as a call to prayer. Maybe God is speaking to me and I am not listening. Matthew 5:44 says "I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you". Maybe God is trying to tell me to pray. Pray for her, pray for the people who flock around her, for their victims. And pray that in the future I will be led by God's spirit in my interactions with her and her flock. After all, while they are not my favorite people, they are His children, loved just as I am loved.
Ugh. Sometimes being a child of God is really uncomfortable. It would be so much easier to just live in my frustration and anger, to let it fester and color my perceptions of this group. My very human spirit does not want to rise above. So pray for me. I think I am gonna need it!
Sunday, August 4, 2013
This post has been on my mind a lot, I have been back to the page numerous times to re-read Mike's thoughts, to try to take his words into my own heart and reflect them back into my life. I have always described myself as an "open book" type of person, my personal motto being, "Don't ask me unless you really want to know the answer". But am I really an open book? I definitely have secrets that bring me shame, things that no one knows (or very few people) that I wish I had never done. Words and actions that can never be taken back, never be undone. This shame has colored many of my most important relationships, often without the other party knowing anything was wrong.
And what about my most important relationship, the one with my Savior? I have no secrets there, but there is still shame. I know in my heart that I have been forgiven by God, that He has released me from the burden of my sin, and yet I cannot seem to forgive myself. I carry the shame like some kind of twisted badge of dishonor. What does this do to my relationship with God? If shame can divide me from other people, can you imagine what it is doing to my spiritual walk? So, what do I do??
The answer is both extremely simple and incredibly difficult for my human heart. I have to confess my shame, which is religious speak for talk to God about it. I just have to talk to Him about it, in the same way I would talk to you. And I have to keep talking. Every time my shame pokes its head up I have to tell God, to give him the opportunity to help me heal and overcome that shame. I think that part of the problem (at least for me) is that after my initial forgiveness I thought that was all I needed. "WOOHOO! I am forgiven!! Life is gonna be all rainbows, roses and sunshine from here on in! I am good to GO!". Too bad life doesn't really work like that, you don't get rainbows without rain, roses without thorns, and too much sunshine will leave you nursing a nasty sunburn!
Sure, I am forgiven, washed in the blood of the lamb (more religious speak) and made clean, but I am still human, still living on Earth, still fragile and easily distracted. In other words, still likely to sin, to hurt others (and myself) and feel shame. So, I have to keep the conversation going. I have to share my thoughts with my Savior, seek His guidance and His forgiveness as often as it takes to overcome my fear and shame. And when I am actively doing that, connecting with my fellow man gets a bit easier. Admitting my shame and healing those relationships that I value most becomes a realistic goal. Of course being human, I have a way of making this simple task complicated and difficult. Good thing I have a patient and loving Father (and that he gave me a patient and loving husband!).
We are not designed to live in shame, we are designed (fearfully and wonderfully made) to walk in the light of freedom and love. The key is to reject that shame, to offer it up to God and let him take it and fashion it into something new, something that can be used to connect us both to Him and to our fellow man. It may seem impossible but never forget, nothing is impossible with God! (Matt 19:26)
|Mike's definition of faith, which is so similar to Hebrews 11:1. That makes my heart smile!|
Friday, August 2, 2013
|I knew there was a good use for all this dust!|
|Yes, I am|
|I am sure it's the socks!|
|Happens every day!|