Sunday, December 31, 2006
Okay, a lot of these were sent to me, but as I've been cleaning and throwing out, I decided to gather all the books that I've either been reading, will read, or want to read again. At the top of the stack is a DVD collection that I need to view and send on to Patchouli. I know you can't make out all the titles, but what's YOUR stack look like?!
Happy New Year to my BlogBuddies! You make me so happy! Abundant blessings to you and yours!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I love the time after Christmas, especially the new year coming. I'm in the midst of cleaning and painting my house. I'm painting my paneling in my living room. I know, gasps from the crowd about painting good wood paneling. Well, I felt that way, too, but I've lived here since 1985 with it, and it's lovely picture frame paneling, but I finally settled on a color and we're going to love it. Our house faces north, so the sun doesn't shine into the windows much. I need light, lots of it, and the color I chose is cozy, almondy, and warm while lightening things up a bit.
Walking Gracie this morning, it's trash day, and I see everyone has their Christmas trash set out. You can tell a lot about people from their trash! Some houses had the remnants of food; popcorn maker boxes, pizza, cookware. Another house had carpet, broken tile. Another had toy boxes, lots of them. One had office boxes: shredder box, file boxes, etc. Most had old trash out. Looks like they're cleaning, too.
What would my trash tell others about me? Well, I think that our trash right now is full of stuff that we've hung on to for far too long. Useless, broken stuff that is not necessary to our living now, and certainly might hold us back from moving forward. Old clothes, kids' toys, ripped up dog toys, old linens, magazines, broken appliances. We're cleaning lots of this out and it's comforting to see the stuff leave.
I guess winter is God's clean-out time. The trees have shed their dead and useless limbs...and their leaves. (all over my yard! ;-)) They are bare and stark now, but ready to bud in the spring and begin again, fresh. So we should be.
Kansas Bob has been talking about healing. It's a major factor in his life and his family's life. Mine, too. This year has been a revelation to me. I've dealt with a lot of health issues, and wondered why I haven't healed. One blog buddy sent me some great books and a CD on healing which have certainly helped me out in this journey. Thanks again!
I have had 3 contentious relationships in the last year, but thankfully, the Lord has filled those voids with loving people in abundance. I have blamed myself for these relationships until, of all people, my 19 year-old sat me down and told me how it is. Having someone who can step away from your situation is a great blessing. As I've said before, God leads me to people who will minister to me, He is so good. My kid pointed out that it's not my fault about these folks; he suggested that they have some personality disorders (don't we all?) that I had nothing to do with. I think he was on the mark. I thought I was so smart and I have to have a 19 year old knock me upside the head. God works. Isn't it funny how we have problems, and we try to fix them, and we throw our hands up in the air, saying, "Well...I've done everything I can, guess all I can do now is pray!" when the praying part should always come first?
The amazing thing from all of this is that I have experienced a modicum of physical healing from these revelations. By turning the blame away from myself (and I'm not blaming these people. They also need to be healed) I'm receiving healing! Maybe this is what God had in mind. That I would stop hurting myself because of anger or sadness over others. It's easy for me to minister to those I don't know very well. It's easy to keep distant and rational and helpful. But when I have a close relationship with someone, and something goes awry, I always blame myself. It takes 2 to "tangle" of course. I can't change their behavior, but I can certainly change mine.
So in the last few weeks since this has happened, God has reminded me of the many wonderful people and relationships that I have that are give-and-take, healthy, truly supportive and loving. I'm the luckiest gal around! I feel stronger physically and especially in Him....and ready to move forward. I guess, with God's leading, I'm cleaning out a lot of the old stuff, and it's comforting to see that stuff leave! What stuff do YOU need to toss out?
I pray for healing for those of you that need it, as well, in asking Him to help you find what you may need.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
My favorite thing I've done so far was to sing with my singing group in retirement and nursing homes. The residents seem to enjoy this, we do, too. We did a little program and then sang Christmas carols. I am always amazed that people with Alzheimer's can remember the words to Christmas songs. I got to do a little solo; my allergies were acting up, but miraculously cleared when the time came. Our family also did the donation thing. That makes it all fun and means more than anything at this time of year. I run into folks in the stores, everyone says, "Isn't this insane?" but no one does anything about it. But at least I'm more in the spirit. I guess. I usually get in the spirit the day AFTER Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all of you if I don't blog between now and then. You are all wonderful blogbuddies! I pray blessings for all of you. For good health, for happiness, peace, and prosperity. Bless you all! :-)
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Anyway, I had 3 in the backyard, one finally croaked. When they die, they die. Instant, barren, death. Last year, I had this guy and his crew from Saginaw come out to remove it. These are huge trees. He had started with my permission, to remove the tree, as I was out picking a kid up from school. I came back and went to the back yard and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh...that's the wrong tree!" You know, 'cause it's so OBVIOUS which tree is dead. Guys from Saginaw have NO sense of humor and I don't blame them because the name Saginaw is horrible.
Anyway, every single dang day this week I've swept, raked, and yelled at leaves on my patio, my gutters, my roof, my bushes. We had put straw out on the back half of the yard since Gracie has run paths back there, and it's very soft. She loves it. Can't see it because of the dang leaves! Who needs mulch? Why bother? I just got back in from taking a break. . .raked some off the roof, the patio, the path, and like magic, a bunch more dropped. The trees still have many more. I stuff 'em in the compost and I can't help feeling like Captain Kirk in the "Tribble" episode. I'm glad we have privacy fences because I'd be embarrassed to have anyone see me trying to shake leaves off of a gigantic tree.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
update: KB sez: "Thanks for the link ... I love the way the meditation ends. Maybe the Longest Night (12/21) could be one where we all in Bloggerville remember in prayer those who are hurting, sad and downcast."
Great idea....blogbuddies, let's remember to do this....those prayers would probably cover just about.... everyone? ;-)
Friday, December 08, 2006
The rules are:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!
After surveying the two groups, James came away surprisingly impressed with the morbid-minded. He fully understood the appeal of the optimists; they discounted or denied evil, sickness, and death. But their faith did not account for all the facts, he concluded. At least the evangelicals described a world that actually existed, one riddled with sin and suffering.~~Phillip Yancey, Rumors of Another World
Hmmm, a tad heavy, but a fun exercise!
posting a couple of pics here. One is a backdrop in a retail spot for a company that does iron work. It's supposed to be big sheets of "falling" paper. The idea was to put up warm colors that enhance the iron work. Lots of what they do is functional iron furniture.
The other pictures are a trade show set for the same company, this set gets carted around the company. Lots of their furniture is "fantasy" oriented..very arty and organic, so the set is to compliment that idea. Two very different settings. I think I got burned out on these, creatively. I designed and completed them in 2 months. They look blank, but imagine tons of iron stuff in there.
Now, I'm sitting here, for the last week, my muse is cowering in a corner, and I'm trying to write 3 brochures for 3 companies that have the DRIEST products. The words are not coming....
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I also tagged folks in the hopes of getting some kind of Christmas spirit for myself. I just don't have it, and rarely do. It's particularly hard these last couple of years with our men and women overseas. We're running around hoping to get that piece of jewelry. They just wanna come home alive.
Christmas is a pagan holiday. It just is. It has very little to do with Jesus, and as far as pagan holidays go, I prefer Halloween. Legalists out there will recoil in horror at that, I'm sure. I think Halloween is funny. It's a laugh in the face of evil, and it's creative. It is what it is, and, ironically, doesn't masquerade as something else. Plus, there's the instant sugar rush.
How many moms out there have had to make pterodactyl costumes? It ain't easy, let me tell you. That beak is a patience-killer. One of my guys went as an IRS man one year. He'd have had all doors shut in his face if he hadn't had the younger one in tow.
We try and will continue to try to maintain a spirit of the holidays that are about Jesus. It's hard in a world where the most important thing is getting that Lexus in your driveway with the red bow on top. Now, that just SCREAMS the birth of the King, doesn't it?
I'll try to refrain from any further cranky posts!
I'm not trying to steal your Christmas, but I guess I am the Grinch.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Why do 2 people need 3,000 or more sq ft of living space...rooms that are rarely used?
We're at war. What have we sacrificed here? We're not even feeling the pain, the strain of our men and women over there.
Many views on global warning..pointing to climatic disasters...more hurricanes, potential new little ice age. Do we care?
The media is getting more and more sensational, entitled, and opinionated. Why do we tolerate this and listen?
Television is getting more and more ridiculous, frivolous, and self-serving. Why do we watch?
Christmas is reduced to materialism and secularism. Why do we support this?
People point out that the war is fueled by greed for oil. So what are we willing to give up to change that? Our cars? Our big houses? Our comforts?
Our Christmas is pretty tiny compared to others. It wasn't always "tiny" but we've downsized. We put up 3 little trees with a nativity under them. It all sits on an old radio cabinet in the corner. The boys' favorite part of Christmas season is our decorating night...we have hot snacks and soda, Christmas music and decorate as a family. Christmas dinner is lasagna. They are 19 and 15. I ask them every year what they want for Christmas, and every year they say "to decorate, listen to Christmas music, and have pizza rolls." This tradition sprung from budget restrictions. We're not grand and noble people. But from somewhere in the budget stuff, we discovered something more important than craziness around the holidays. We found rest, family time, perspective, and mostly, Jesus. We drive around and donate food to the food pantry, clean out unneeded stuff and donate to charity, and give pet food to the animal shelter. Each of these exercises reminds us that this time--this LIFE-- is not about us.
This probably sounds like a righteous, cranky post. I'm sorry if it does. I just pray that this season, maybe, just maybe...we'll all get a grip on what's happening in our world, stop worrying about appearances and wants, and start living a life that He would be proud of.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Fav Christmas Songs...
1.Mary Did You Know? Mark Lowry
2.Precious Promise Stephen Curtis Chapman
3.Angels From the Realm of Glory
5.I'll Be Home for Christmas
Poor Gracie. She is terrified of thunder, but not enough to NOT make me suit up to take her out to do her business. She won't go out in the back yard when it storms...not by herself, that is. It's pretty ugly out there..but even she is sleeping nicely now! :-P
I wanna! Cable stinks. Nothing on. Does anyone else find that Overstock.com woman annoying?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
No matter what others may think of you; He loves you! He will never leave your side! The more you feel separated from this world, the closer you are to Him! Although I have been rejected, He stays with me! ME! Little, imperfect, me. What an awesome God!
We had dinner with some people who are "on the fence" about Jesus. One of them looked at me and said, with huge blue eyes, "Sometimes I feel like I don't belong here...I see beauty, but it all feels so foreign." I asked him where he thought he might belong...if not here, where? He didn't have an answer, but he is open to all things ..so I gave him Hebrews 11:1-3 to ponder...
1Now faith is the real nature, the foundation of things we hope for, the evidence of actions which we don't see. 2This is what the elders had a reputation for.
3By faith we understand that the ages were completely equipped by God's spoken words in such a way that things which are seen came into being from things which were not made to appear. (Italics mine)
The Source New Testament
Now, the translation above is subtly different from one you might have, particularly verse 3. Check yours out and see if you get a pull in your gut from the difference. I did. If this verse doesn't scream quantum physics, I don't know what does. I've mentioned it many times in my blog, I think. It pulls God out of the fundamental box and puts Him where He belongs. Bigger than anything we could ever possibly imagine.
Our friend doesn't like people much, but he likes to think. He has a huge heart, but he has been rejected and hurt by others. Haven't we all?
Jesus loves him. This verse made his big eyes even bigger.....will you pray he gets it? Because..can you imagine the loneliness of being separated from this world without Him?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
This reminds me of a discussion that I had with a friend about Christianity in general. She told me that since I was a Christian, I must hate gays. I said, no....I don't hate gays. Every gay person I know is a good and caring person. Jesus never spoke against anyone except religious legalists. But, Christians hate gays, she says, you're a Christian, you all hate gays. I suggested that perhaps she was lumping all Christians together precisely as she felt Christians lumped other groups of people together....that she was intolerant toward a group of people, just as she accused that particular group of people. She could not comprehend her own intolerance.
What kind of ignorance is this? What makes "liberal thinkers" so close-minded? Rosie O'Donnell feels she can make bigoted blanket statements against a group of people? And her remarks ARE bigotry. Elton John has the right to call for a "ban" on groups of people!? Are these the "open minds" that we are all to aspire to? We are only open-minded as long as we agree with them?
As Paul would say (properly translated) "Utter rubbish!"
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Baby Michael and Daddy R. . .9lb. 10oz. He just wanted to snorfle down in the blankie!
I decided to take R's pic off because Michael's mommy has one crazy relative out there...and even though the odds are that they won't see this...ya never know.
Here is happy Uncle K holding baby(Gee...K looks like R!)
Friday, November 10, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Finished one big job, will do another this coming week, and a couple of sub gigs. We had a cat-fight break out at the elementary school I've been subbing for. My youngest corrected me; said it was a "kitten" fight, not a cat fight. It was pretty fightful...book throwing, face punching, hair pulling, Karen jumping in the middle while the other sub removed the hands of the hair puller from the pullee's hair. One of the paras was upset because she didn't get to see it, or practice her "restraining" training. Hm.
I'm in a quandary. There are so many Hispanic kids at this school. Everyone is learning Spanish, there are Spanish signs all over the place, etc. My personal feeling is that I'm a little perturbed that this much energy, money, and time is spent on many who are in this country illegally. Now, I could also say that our founding fathers were a tad illegal when they took things over. However, my ancestors that came here had to jump through hoops to become legal; they had to have sponsors, learn English, and be productive.
At a gallery opening last night, one parent was bragging about their American child being in a Spanish immersion class at school in their district. I suggested that perhaps the Hispanic kids needed to be in ENGLISH immersion instead. They are here on this soil, and it would only help them to be fluent in English. This parent looked at me dumbly, and said...well, they are here to stay, and they take jobs that our teens and workers won't. I found that offensive as well. Are we going to assume that Hispanics can't rise to anything other than working the jobs that American people are too "good" to take? That's a bit shameful. I'd like to see legal Hispanics thrive and prosper here, and become active citizens.
I'm not sure it's right to force someone to learn Spanish anyway. My kids didn't want to learn Spanish, they learned Latin, and one is interested in OUR ethnic background languages; Russian and Czech. My point is that I would like these kids to be enabled to succeed on THIS soil if they are to stay (and if they are LEGAL) and little kids would learn English in probably 2 weeks in immersion because they pick it up so fast. I also have to say that these are the sweetest kids, very helpful, and behaved compared to their U.S. counterparts! So, you might see my quandary. What do you think?
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Now, years ago, I unknowingly employed some of what he talks about in prayer, meditation, and visualization and was spontaneously healed of Crohn's disease. Of course, since then, I developed other stuff. . .and have tried to "think myself well" again ever since.
Anyway, one section of his book asks the reader to draw a couple of pictures, one of them with their disease and with treatment curing it. Another is supposed to be just a picture of anything. 'Sposed to use crayons. This exercise kind of scared me to start. I advise any of you out there who are ill to try it. What transpired really hit me, and was quite cathartic.
The first picture is of me. I started out with "bites" by bugs causing pain, just about everywhere. I added red to those spots which were mostly all over my body. I added the drugs that they throw at me that I think are blocked by me (zig zag barrier) and even supplement treatments that often don't seem to help. I replaced the treatment with hearts, purple for the love of God that can help me heal. . .and yet I found myself coloring over that, subconsciously, with the red again! So, I went over it with purple--again. Quite the battle, eh?
Then I drew the other picture (Horizontal. The first is supposed to be vertical) I draw this picture all the time. It's of a lone tree, full and growing, but still alone. I always draw a setting sun, or a rising sun. Never one full up in the sky. There are shadows cast behind the tree, but at least there are flowers all around. The tree is set apart from the other trees that are grouped together that are soaking up the sunlight. There's that purple color again, in the tree in the form of a bird. There is a melancholy feel about this; yet the colors are alive and vibrant. ( I notice a resemblence between this picture and the Windy Day painting by Alfred Sisley that I had never seen before this was drawn!)
There you have it...me in living color. You might be able to see things in here that I don't, but they revealed much to me; and must admit I'm feeling very vulnerable showing you. But I still think that this exercise might help someone out there.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I was talking to my friend last night. Her dad passed away this week. He was, frankly, a horrible man; her family is at her from all sides trying to get her up to the service, to respond, etc. She has honored him by breaking the generational curse of all kinds of abuse. I stand with her, and support her feelings. She is a testimony to love, to courage, to faithfulness.
I just sometimes wonder what God is thinking? The old question; is God doing this? Nah. We know the cause of evil and suffering on Earth. He is there for all of us; to pick us up and brush us off. It's still painful to see. . .pain.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Got home at midnight last night after a good work session on a trade show set. I'll post some pictures soon.
Saturday went to a memorial service for the 92 year old aunt of a ministry friend of mine who is, herself, in her 70's.
This is quite a story. The auntie, C, was quite a woman. She married late in life because she tended her sick father. When she did marry, she married for over 40 years to a Christian man. They both ministered in many ways. C heard that many babies at a local county hospital were going home wrapped in newspapers, so she set about cranking out baby blankets and caps. Tons of them. She was a seamstress, an arts and crafts freak, a baker, and with no children of her own, was a grandparent to many neighbors and nieces and nephews. The love for her that was expressed at the service was amazing. Even more amazing, C had Alzheimer's, and she stayed in her home where she died peacefully last Monday. She was tended not only by her family members; neighbors shouldered much of the responsibility to keep her from going to a nursing home. She had round the clock care. Who of us would do this not only for our family. . . but for a neighbor?
What a testimony to truly walking the walk, both C and her neighbors and family! C reaped what she sowed, and I pray that her family and friends are blessed as well by their tender and faithful care.
I didn't know her, but I was truly honored and blessed to learn about her, and rejoice in a life well lived for Him.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I got some weird blood test results from the doctor, in fact he took several days to get back to me about them. He couldn't figure them out, either, but it looks like the lupus is taking a weird and unwanted turn. As much as he and I (never knew he wasn't a fan of pills!) don't want to use drugs too much, we agreed to a short course of prednisone and an alternate-day change on my thyroid meds. I'm dreading the side effects of the prednisone. . . but figure it will jazz me up to get stuff done in the next week!
Anyway, this isn't a pity-post. It's really about some changes in attitude that I'm going to make. I'm reading a book by Bernie Seigel, M.D. You've probably heard about it. . . Love, Medicine and Miracles is the title, I think. I ordered it a week or so ago, almost prophetically. As I've started it, it has really inspired me already. I'm not anywhere near what some of his patients have gone through. It's about exceptional patients who have healed themselves (we know the source of that healing, even though so far he hasn't taken a "God" stance) and defied the prognoses of doctors. Anyone dealing with any kind of disease issue could benefit from this. . .and people who might be afraid of the future of their health.
So, instead of engaging in panic mode, as is my usual M.O., I'm going to sit down and write out for myself a plan of enjoying my life, moving forward, and all the stuff that makes me so happy. . . like our Father, my family, my critters, my friends and all of you blogpals, and my work. We have to remember to, as I think Kansas Bob may post about, letting HIM REALLY take the reins. That whappy clown needs to be placed against a wall so he can't fall down, and we all need lean against the only One who matters!
Because, I really AM happy! :-) Have a blessed weekend. You are all so very wonderful!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I am! I'm all happy in my head! If I were any better, I'd be twins! Hope you're all the same!
Monday, October 16, 2006
My hubby's mom is in rehab, and that's been taking some time...she is 30 miles away. We spent our 24th anniversary Sunday battling weird traffic, rainstorm, and fatigue from working to get over to see her. Her first words were, "I figured you all had forgot about me." Man, that makes me crazy! ;-)
Oldest son's car is in the shop, so have been working on a set in the wee hours of the morning, coming home and letting him use the car to get to school...or driving him and picking up. How did people make it with one car? I seem to remember those days!
Subbed a couple days for an art teacher last week. In a science lab. With pencils, crayons, and paper. The teacher was packing up to trade with the Spanish teacher at another school for 9 weeks, so supplies were limited. It was fun. And interesting. The instructions for the youngers was to draw their family with these construction paper crayons on black paper, then when they were done, they could draw what they wanted. Things were going well, but I could see they were scurrying through everything and we'd have empty time. So, bright me suggests that some of them might want to share their pictures with the class. One little lass stands up and tells about her "Super Hamster"drawing...he was so cute with his little cape and little costume, and little cap on his little head...then she shows us the little poop coming out from behind him. Hmm. Thank you, dear. We then recited the word "appropriate," its meaning, etc. Ha! I strolled around and some kid came up and said that another kid was drawing "private parts." He was actually drawing, well...it wasn't inappropriate unless you looked at it just . . . so. Another kid drew a picture and labeled it "Naked Loin." I was about to toss in the towel when I realized he had drawn a lion without a mane. HA! This is so fun! :-) And funny! And no pukage!
Anyway...I miss you all and am going to catch up! Have a good one!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
They don't work.
Our surrogate son, R, 20 years old, will be a daddy in the next week or two. He and his girlfriend, B, have matured tremendously in the past few months, and R is stepping up to the plate, and they are making plans about what they'll do. The problem is, R's job fell through. ......there just wasn't enough work. Now, R is scrambling for a job with a car that needs a LOT of work. He really needs a job with a schedule. He has to have routine...at one time he was working for a friend who he really liked and admired, but he realized he couldn't take not knowing where he was going to be working the next day.
He came out here last night with a friend that my son and he hadn't seen for months because he was working in Connecticut, and R ended up asleep on my sofa...after calling B. I was a tad irritated that he wasn't with her, she was okay with it (told him she wasn't having the baby without him!) ...and realized this might be a security blanket trip....a trip "home" to have a bit of comfort.
He'll get through this, there are lots of "grandparents" around..(maybe this will retrain me with puking! ;-) ) and lots of love for little baby Michael. I'm excited, and yet, having the parental pangs that I can't fix everything...
Saturday, October 07, 2006
It's been a tough week. Hubby's mom was in the hospital, now in rehab. She is a cancer survivor and has always been a fighter, but since Sid died, she doesn't seem to want to bounce back from anything. Hubby's sis has been staying with her, partly out of necessity financially. Please keep MIL in prayer. She's a good gal.
My allergies kicked in with the fall...a hard time for autoimmune diseases. So I started with some Claritin, or however its spelled, and that seems to be helping. My allergies set off the Lupus symptoms, pain, stiffness, etc. Couple that with being a tad bit older ;-) and ick. But, after a THREE HOUR nap...I feel better! :-) Ha! Who wouldn't? That big yella dog just cuddles up and I am OUT. She's a great heating pad. I took her for acupuncture this morning from a vet about 20 miles from here. Yes, yes, I know...acupuncture for the dog? Well, it's kept her in good shape and energetic with her kidney issues. The vet's a great guy, a goodly Jesus freek, and we've become good friends, supporting each other as well. He has developed a peripheral neuropathy of unknown origin. He's not diabetic, he's in good shape, healthy habits, etc., but it has curtailed his ability to do surgery. Pray for him, too, if you would.
I've also been dealing with the loss of a friendship. Several of you have written about your loss of women friends, and that has helped a lot.
Thursday last week, had a gig at a middle school....they had to shift me around in the special needs area because one child was being particularly violent. I told them not to worry, but they didn't want anything to happen, and they were all on edge. I was working with this one kid, who was doing very good...suddenly he jumps up, and crouches down behind his chair and stares at me like that face on that Grudge movie. His whole face had changed, and I averted my eyes back to the work he was working on. In my head, I said, "OK, Lord....these folks have had enough for one day! Please give them peace and comfort, and drive out any thing bad here." Please don't think I am saying that those sweet special needs kids are evil!! I do think that the enemy will try to take advantage of every situation he possibly can. Well, that boy got up and sat back down, then grabbed his books and went to the next class when the bell rang....and they moved me to the room with the violent child...but I wasn't concerned. The teacher asked me to cut out some laminated stuff; but added that if she said, "Scissors down!" I needed to hide the scissors. OKaaay. Still, wasn't concerned. There were two teachers in the room, and it was suddenly very quiet. I started thanking the Lord for that peace, when the other teacher said, "Wow...this is really weird. He's so quiet and peaceful now. We need to get subs in here more often!" and smiled at me. I smiled back and said, "It wasn't me!" ;-)
Saturday, September 30, 2006
So, got my hot tea, my laptop, and my Labrador all hunkered down on the couch for a little me-time....
I'm much better these past few days. I think I had some kind of bug or something. Remember that commercial where tired people are dragging themselves around by the back of the neck? (Yeah...it was a weird one.) That's kind of how it was. But, it passed, so think it was a virus.
I substituted a lot last week. Yesterday was another special needs gig at an elementary school. I prefer middle school and high school, but I enjoyed the day very much. No, no..I love little kids. It's just, well...don't laugh. Little kids puke a lot. You're laughing at me! I can HEAR YOU!!! Really! I can take blood. I can take ooze, snot, etc. I just cannot take puke. I'm even laughing at me, now. Around 2 p.m. in this Texas History class, this little girl was weeping to the teacher I was helping that she didn't feel well and needed to puke (TOLD YOU THEY PUKE A LOT! What are the chances?!? My first elementary gig and someone has to puke!!) I could feel my blood pressure rising; my adrenalin fight or flight defense mechanism kicking in; I'm scanning the perimeter looking for an escape route; looking for a waste basket...NOOOOO! It's clear across the room. Can I reach it in time? I have visions of hurling myself toward it, with Ninja-like precision-- flipping and flying, grabbing the basket and depositing it in front of the girl in time for her to spew her multi-colored, viscous and partially-digested cafeteria fare neatly into the trash bag protected receptacle, whereupon I can turn my head and cease air intake long enough to tie up the slimy mess.
Thank the Lord it was a false alarm. The teacher was very scary and I'm pretty sure she scared the puke right back into the wee lass.
The majority of the day I spent tagging along with an emotionally disturbed boy (they really scared me because they said he got angry easily, violent, etc.--Good Morning, Karen!) He was fine all day; he had the most beautiful eyes and smile. I was proud of him when he went to the restroom, came out and wanted to tell the janitor (of whom he was very respectful) that someone had dumped soap all over the floor and he was concerned someone might slip and hurt themselves. That was cool. Another little kid I spent time with was a delightful boy in a powered wheelchair. He had a laugh that just made ya giggle back. He encouraged all the other kids, and they encouraged him back. He was fun. The last kid I tagged with was a bit disruptive, but mostly occupied himself by eating his boogers. As long as he wasn't puking, I was okay....
Well, I didn't mean to confess all of that. This might be one of those posts you post and then run back to delete before anyone reads it. All in all a good week. The subbing is blessing me in a major way....and I get paid, too! Who'da thought?
But, now....got something VERY important to do! Catch up on all of YOUR blogs! Have an awesome and blessed weekend, y'all!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I feel this story reveals a bit about life back in the days of the OT. It says Deborah was a prophet judging Israel in those days. Now, it doesn’t say this was anything out of the ordinary! It could have been written:
“In those days, a woman named Deborah was a prophet and was judging Israel. This was very unusual because we know that only men are supposed to be leaders, so just consider this an exception this one time.”
No, it wasn’t written like that, or anything close. It was simply stated as fact, not as an unusual occurrence. Remember, the Lord raised up the Judges at that time; He picked the leaders, and He picked Deborah.
The first statement about Deborah says she was the wife of someone named Lappidoth. Lappidoth is an interesting name, and it is the only time we ever see this name in the Bible. The word is derived from Lappiyd, a masculine noun meaning torch; Lappidoth is a proper feminine name meaning “torches.” It might be worth asking why a man would have a feminine name. Here is one literal translation of the sentence:
dbowrah nbiy’ah ishshah lappiydowth eia shaphat Yisra’el ‘eth
Deborah prophetess woman-of lappidoth she judging Israel in time
The word ‘ishshah,” that is translated “wife.” is the word for “woman.” Some think this sentence might actually be translated as “Deborah, woman of fire or torches.” That might be the case. Why was it necessary to mention that Deborah is the wife of anyone? Perhaps it was customary at that time. Who is Lappidoth and what did he do? Nothing more is said about him.
The name Deborah means “bees,” and I would imagine] she was very “queenly” since she was entrusted with decision-making in Israel. So, was she a woman of fire, or the wife of Lappidoth? Chances are, she was a wife and mother, as revealed in Judges 5:7.
You might think since I write from an egalitarian viewpoint I am trying to lessen the importance of who Lappidoth might have been…perhaps to the point of dismissing his very existence. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Deborah was indeed the wife of Lappidoth, it is sad that no more is written about him than just his name, because he is surely an unsung hero of the Bible! A man who accepts and supports his wife’s calling from the Lord! AND to allow her to go into battle! I hold him in high esteem, just as I do Joseph, who accepted his bride-to-be’s calling as the mother of Jesus. Joseph didn’t have to accept what he saw in his dream as real, and if we were to put ourselves back in that time period, we would see what a step of faith this young man took when he chose to marry a girl carrying a child that wasn’t his. And, so, this Lappidoth fellow steps aside for his wife. Absolutely amazing!
In the story, Deborah tells Barak, because he wants her to go with him, Sisera will be delivered at the hands of a woman. That statement gives us a hint there is some discrimination going on, because we would assume if one told a man this, he might puff himself up and decide that it would be far more embarrassing to succeed with a woman, than to die as a lone general.
Apparently, Barak is another unsung hero. He sees who Deborah is. He sees the Lord’s work through her. He trusts her calling implicitly. He has no shame in having a woman with him, and he doesn’t care if Sisera is defeated by a woman. As we read this, we believe (if we don’t know the ending) it will be Deborah who does the deed. Instead, it is the wife of a man on friendly terms with Sisera who delivers the blow that will grant peace to Israel for 40 years.
We don’t know why Jael decides to do away with Sisera. He obviously trusted her; or thought her incapable of rendering any harm upon him; he fell asleep in the tent, completely at ease. Perhaps his history of mistreating women was a motivating factor for Jael to kill him (Judges 5:30). We know that killing is wrong, yet she chose to do “wrong” to put something right. We know it was the right decision, and I certainly commend her for what she had the courage to do. Have you ever seen an ancient tent peg? Ouch.
My thoughts on this story, as I contemplated it in the context of writing, started out with the usual, “See what WOMEN can do? The same stuff that MEN can do!”
But, that isn’t the point. The point is that the Lord did all of this. (Judges 4:23-24) This story is about men and women stepping aside and letting the Lord do His work through us all, regardless of gender. Lappidoth stepped aside to let Deborah lead. Barak stepped aside to have Deborah AT his side. Deborah stepped aside for Jael, because she knew what the Lord was planning. If we stop seeing ministry and the Lord’s work as something that we in the flesh take any credit for, then it won’t matter who is doing the work. Everybody in Judges 4 got out of the way of each other and let the Lord do his work. It didn’t matter who completed the task then, and it shouldn’t matter now.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Well...she was just outside all night, and as I was throwing the ball for Gracie, she came toodling around the corner.
I grabbed some coffee and started thinking about what God might want me to say about women next....and although there are so many OT women to discuss, I think I'm going to talk about Deborah and Jael. This is a story that I had never heard as I was growing up...my little children's Bible, for some reason, with all of its condensed stories, didn't have this tale in it. I wonder why. It has most of the other stories in it....all illustrated nicely with blonde white people. ;-)
Then, as I was praying, this thought popped into my mind....someone out there is going to think, as I write these essays, that I hate men.
Nothing could be further than the truth. I am surrounded by men. My hubby (my biggest supporter) is one! :-) My sons are fine young men. I have several surrogate sons, one who will make me a "Nana" in a couple of months. Interestingly, most of my friends are men. When I was ministering to a congregation, it was mostly men who ministered to ME, and supported me as an elder. Mostly, though, I now have an array of strong, Spirit-led men AND women who are awesome in their gifts, and who are good and dear brothers and sisters.
SO, in Deborah and Jael, which I think is really a very weird story, I'll look at how we can choose to do as the Lord leads us....or not. I was thinking about my own situation...not any where near what these gals dealt with. But, in my life, I deal with my health issues, and the issues of my brother, my step-mom, my mother-in-law. I did some soul-searching a while back, and realized that I not only wanted to add substitute teaching to my work life to add cash flow....I also wanted to get the heck out of the house and away from dealing with some of these things for a few hours. When I admitted this to my friend Connie, she said, "Well...yeah! Of course you want to do that! When you work at home, you're still at everyone's beck and call...they have no boundaries, and think you're not doing anything. When you're at school...no one can contact you except in an emergency." She was right. It was supposed to be pretty much 7-8 hours of not dealing with my own reality.....
supposed to be.
You see...you can't, if you're really listening, get away from what HE wants you to do. The only substitute jobs I've gotten are the ones as a Special Services Aide. So, ironically, I spend my non-art job days (my supposed 'escape days' ) around special needs kids....physically, emotionally, behaviorally, or mentally challenged kids. And I really like it. It wears me out, but I really like it.
So, I'll talk about Deborah and Jael next.... two women who did what they were supposed to do, as God called them, just as men in the Bible did; without concern about what others might say or think of them. And that's what it's all about.
Finally. I can post a picture of my BYD. (Big Yellow Dog) Her 3rd birthday is tomorrow. It's kind of a miracle. I had 3 vets indicate she might not make it to 1 year...but she did. ( I found out later that all my guys in my family, as well as I, had independently laid hands on her and prayed for her healing. That is SO cool...and God is SO good!) Isn't she a happy looking girl? :-)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The book of Genesis is the main reason I walked away from God many years ago. It then became the reason that I came back to Him later, as I started to read and learn about what His plan was for the human that He created in His image. When I saw it in a new light, God became the magnificent, loving, and amazing Father that I somehow always knew was out there. I came to realize that He loved women as much as men, and expected the same good things from His daughters as His sons.
But, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing the first time I read Genesis. Was God cursing woman? Why would He do that? Was I really a subordinate creature compared to males? If humans were created in His image, then woman was part of the big picture. Why would He cause all women to suffer and tell us that we have to be ruled over by man? It was just unbelievable.
Then, at the old age of 40, I really started reading Genesis, and found some different takes on the translations. I’m no scholar, but there are a lot of scholars out there. Some other non-scholars might say, “Karen…these translators have been doing this for centuries. Are you really trying to say that they made a mistake? It’s all there in the Kings James, for goodness’ sake!”
Well, that’s one of the problems. Most of our translations come from one translation, or some that are similar. And, just as if you take a document, copy it on a machine, then copy the copy, and so on, things get a little….corrupted. I really don’t mean that all of this was intentional. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt, that culture affected some of the translations of some key words. We have many Greek and Hebrew scholars now that are just as able, and are now pointing out some unfortunate errors. Katherine Bushnell, an author, medical doctor and scholar of Hebrew and Greek in the late 1800’s writes:
“…always remembering that we bow to no authority as final but the Word of God, as illuminated by the Spirit. We will endeavor to ‘interpret the Bible by what the Bible says, not by what men say that it says.”
The Lord created a human in His own image. He never calls this creature “Adam” as if it were a proper name. The word adam is Hebrew for human, mankind. God made adam in His image. Male and female He made them, and blessed this creation, 5 times over (Gen 1:28): to be fruitful, to multiply, to subdue and replenish the earth, and have dominion over all. This male-female creature in the image of God is the ruler over the earth. This was proclaimed “good” by the Lord; then, for reasons unknown, became “not good” when only one human walked in the Garden. God decided that it was not good for one person to be alone.
So, in the beginning, there was a created human, male and female. The first named person in history, though, was Eve, the Mother of all living, who was named by the human that isn’t designated as male until Genesis 2:24, after the woman is taken from the side of the human. After that event, the remaining creature is called “isha” which means male. The woman is “ishshah." The human was created first, then a woman was taken from the human’s side; the male formed first, then female. The word “tsela” is always referred to as “rib” in this verse, but for some reason, it is only translated as “rib” in Genesis. It would seem that the woman was made from one piece of the adam but we know women are much more complicated than that! No, the word “tsela” is translated everywhere else in the bible as “side,” or “plank.” She was pulled out and formed from the side of the adam.
When the Lord decides to take (or separate) the woman from the human, He wants to make a “helper suitable” for the man. (Gen 2:18) Not a “help meet” or a servant. He wants the man to have a “help” or “ezer,” the same word that David, in the Psalms, uses to refer to God.( Psalm 33:20, Psalm 70:5, and I believe 9 more psalms) In that realization, would we then assume that the Lord is man’s servant, or is in any way subordinate to us? Hardly. The word “suitable” is negdo, or kenegdo, which means “parallel to,” “before,” or “in front of.”
Dr. Susan Hyatt says in her book, In the Spirit We're Equal:
“Re: Hebrew ezer kenegdo. In Genesis 2:18, the word "helpmeet" does not occur. The Hebrew expression ezer kenegdo appears, meaning "one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports." There is no indication of inferiority or of a secondary position in an hierarchical separation of the male and female "spheres" of responsibility, authority, or social position.”
You all know the story. “Adam” knew that he wasn’t supposed to eat from the Tree of All Knowledge of Good and Evil because God told him so. And, yet, there they were, Eve, and according to Gen. 3:6, “Adam” was right beside her. They both ate; they see they’re naked, God finds out, etc. Then that interesting stuff happens. God tells this hapless couple how it’s going to be because of their faux pas, but He never curses them. What does He curse? He curses the serpent, and He curses the ground upon which the man must work. He tells the woman that her “teshuqa,” mistranslated as “desire” will be for her husband, and he will rule over her. The man will work the soil for his sustenance.
So, basically, when women are told that they are subservient to men, this verse is thrown at them as proof, and nearly every time by a man who has never toiled in any soil for his livelihood, or even thought that he should. I believed for a time that this was God’s plan for men and women. Mostly for women, since I’ve existed in a post-agrarian society. It’s funny how I (and the rest of society) never expected men to live up to their “part” of the bargain.
If we look at the word, “teshuqa” we find that the meaning has changed over the centuries. It was changed to mean “desire” in 800 A.D, but from the beginning first meant “turning” in the Septuagint (Greek OT) around 285 B.C. It was shifted about as “alliance” and “direction” until around 500 A.D. Then, under some Rabbinical influence started changing to “impulse,” “power,” and “appetite.” It became “lust” or “desire” in 800 A.D. under Rabbinical teaching. Why?
This verse was translated by Katherine Bushnell in her book, God’s Word to Women to mean “You are turning away to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” In other words, the woman turned away from God and chose her husband over Him. Therefore, because she chooses her husband over God, she allows her husband to become her superior. God sent “Adam” out of the Garden. (Genesis 3:24) He never sent Eve. She chose to go with the man.
God was telling the man and woman how it was going to be because of their blunder. He wasn’t saying it should be this way, but because they blew a good thing when they had it, they were now post-Fall creatures—by their own choice. Everything was on their own heads; this was their choice, not His determination. They wanted Free Will…they got it. God’s original intent was for their eyes and actions to be turned toward HIM.
Then we have the troublesome verse about increasing the woman’s pain in childbirth. This is an interesting verse in which I will defer to Katherine Bushnell’s discussion; it’s interesting and she is much better at discussing the changes and misinterpretations of certain words in that scripture: Lesson 15 SATAN'S LYING IN WAIT.
In scripture, God seems to stress the enmity between the woman and the serpent…these two seem to be the ones that will be doing battle….woman will produce the One that will crush the serpent’s head. So, what better way for Satan to battle woman then to orchestrate the perception of her as insignificant in the Army of the Lord?
We seem now to have a Christian world that, for the most part, chooses to live in a post-Fall manner. At any time, we all could choose to attempt to live pre-Fall. Jesus came to restore us (Romans 5:12, etc.) to pre-Fall conditions, and yet many would continue in the comfort and hierarchy of the Fall. It’s hard for us to allow one another to walk in the Lord, or to let others do what He says. Humans have a hierarchical leaning now, someone needs be in charge. The original man and woman never gave us the chance to see what it might be like to walk together, shoulder to shoulder. Men are geared to be the boss now, but it takes a big man to listen to others; to give when he needs to give, or stand firm when that’s needed. Women are just as culpable in the case of the subordinate woman. It’s easier to relinquish control to someone else, because it completely absolves one of responsibility and accountability. But, God’s intention was to make humans in His image, and as such, side by side they were to care for the earth and all of its creatures in an equal and loving relationship, with eyes and hearts turned toward Him.
Sources used: The Bible; The Interlinear Bible, HebrewGreekEnglish, Jay P. Green, Sr.; God's Word to Women by Katherine C. Bushnell; In the Spirit We're Equal by Dr. Susan Hyatt; www.scripture4all.org ; www.crosswalk.com ; www.godswordtowomen.org
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Her full name is Emily's Amazing Grace. I got her the day a young girl named Emily, whom our prayer group had prayed for, passed away from a long and valiant battle against bone cancer. Emily was blond and feisty and refused to give up until the very end. Her attitude was amazing. It was as if she didn't know she was sick. I named Gracie after her because I wanted to always remember the strong spirit of the Christian girl who was so inspiring to so many.
And, like the inspiration for her name, Gracie has health issues as well. We didn't think she'd make it to her first birthday...but she'll be 3 on Sunday. She, too, is inspiring...because she is happy, feisty, and really doesn't know that there's anything wrong with her. No one told her. So, she just wants to play and run...in other words...she just does what she is supposed to do.
So, my thoughts are....if we are "ignorant" of something, but we carry on righteously because we know who we are....how powerful can that be?
If a woman feels the call of the Holy Spirit to her to be a minister, or to preach and share the Good News....and she is never told by the "powers that be" that she is limited in her work for the Lord, and she views "those scriptures" differently......if she obeys her Father, not other men and women who might hold her back, then......
how much more could be done for the Kingdom of God?
I'm going to get busy and write on the subject of women in ministry. A few other bloggers are working on this subject, I'll link a couple of other sites that are doing the same. I'm not sure I'll have much to say compared to these other places...I'm no scholar, but I can read, and I can think, and I'll speak from my perspective.
I'll also say....if there's anyone out there that can't discuss on an intellectual level...if you take things personally, or resort to personal attacks on me or anyone else who may comment here, I'll simply delete your comments. It's as simple as that. It's my blog.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
It's been raining and it was almost chilly this morning! Praise the Lord on that!
I've been working a lot ....lots of physical painting and I'm SORE....the bike riding is adding to it...but I'm keeping at it. We had 8 people here for Labor Day......3 were disabled physically..and it kind of freaked me out. My mother in law, 82, was in the best shape...just toting around an oxygen canister...she is a 10 year breast cancer and broken hip survivor. She's still walkin'. My step mom has a progressing cerebellar ataxia and came in the house in a wheelchair, my brother came in on foot with assistance from my son. What are the odds that one family would be gathered with an almost 50% disabled number? Just weird.
I seem to be collecting all the special needs positions for subbing. That's okay...but I'm looking for some comfier shoes! I run around all day with these kids. I asked the Lord to put me where I'm needed....He took me at my word! I hope I can handle it. It's emotionally draining and I'm not trained for this. I had a teacher tap me on the shoulder and tell me to stop trying to motivate a group of kids! Ha!
When I have more time I'm going to blog on these subjects...I have promised myself that I would broach these and some more that I've thought about:
*I never finished my Jesus and Paul differences...I will!
*I want to talk about teachers and the inclusion factor in schools.
*I'm going to talk about the equality of men and women in the Bible. I'll start with the book that drove me away from God...and then brought me back full force...Genesis.
By the way...have I told you all lately that you rock?
Friday, September 01, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
1. I don't like ducks
2. I have a phobia about that medicine bottle and dentist cotton
3. I can tat (look that one up!)
4. I can write backwards and upside down (by handwriting on paper...not me physically!)
5. I'm ambidextrous
6. My hubby and I have been together 27 years.
7. I have 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 geckos, 1 Chinese Water Dragon, 2 corn snakes
8. I'm pigeon-toed :-} Attractive!
9. I used to play tennis
10. I hate circuses
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Turns out that I was a substitute aide for a teacher of special needs kids. There were five in the class; all were very sweet..one was much more challenging than the others. I had to take him to an art class and keep him engaged for an hour and a half. It's difficult for ME to be engaged for an hour and a half. He seems to be autistic and inflicts harm on himself. He did well, but I expected an implosion later in the day, which did indeed happen. I felt sorry for him...that he was cooped up for 7 hours a day when he wants to RUN and move about all the time.
Anyway, the day went pretty well, aside from the stress the child I was in charge of went through....and there was lots of prayer on my part that I could be useful and handle things; and that the kids were getting something out of their schooling. I tell ya...those Special Ed teachers are worth their weight in gold. Some of the kids have diapers, and need constant attention. The teacher asked if I would be interested in helping again because it's difficult to keep subs there, and that's hard on the kids---new faces all the time. They have a very tough job, but it's obvious that they love these kids. I can see why... I can't seem to get them out of my mind.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
about Cessationism and Spiritual gifts. Very interesting.
I dreamt last night that we (? don't know who 'we' was) were having a party. I thought it was just a very nice party, because all the good linens were out and there were wonderful little boxes at all the tables. As we were getting things together for our guests, I was overcome with curiosity. I started peeking into the boxes. There were pieces of jewelry in all of them...bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc. The colors were lovely. By the way, I'm not a jewelry gal, but I thought these were exquisite--even though they looked kind of like any piece of jewelry that you might find at a department store. Against the pure white of the boxes and the linens, the colors were incredible. The colors that came out at me were pink, blue, green, and amber/gold. Someone came up behind me and said, "These are for them to keep, as long as they share them with everyone at the table."
I looked up the Biblical meaning of these colors: love and joy; spirituality; healing and growth; grace & peace. Of course, white is Christ's light, truth and purity.
That was a pretty cool dream.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Walking Gracie this morning, the sky was just cloudless...incredibly blue; the greens in the grass and the trees were magnificent. Right outta the paint pot. Everything has been "greened up."
The neighbors have been trying to save their lawns, watering their precious lawn carpets, and one good soaking from His Truly is what it takes to make the colors shine.
What we try to do as humans pales in comparison to what He can do.
Some of us are indeed having a dry spell...but it was as if He was saying, "Let ME pour into you. Hold out your arms, close your eyes...and just let Me 'green you up'!"
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
My "baby" turned 15 on Sunday!...had his wisdom teeth extracted this morning. This is the first time I've been able to post his picture and brag about him. If he knew he'd be scolding me!
He's an honor student, a Star scout, a comedian, he's kind, thoughtful, quiet, a perfectionist, an athlete, a video gamer and filmmaker, a true friend.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I had my real age
calculated last year, before the tinnitus, before the anemia, before the GI problems and sedentary weight gain....all I dealt with was the lupus and fibro pain. I was calculated 8 years below my real age of 47. Now, I was calculated only 1 year below my actual age...so I've aged 7 years physically in 1 year! OMGosh! I'm a dog! ;-). Seriously, though...I'm concerned. Here's a last year picture, and a this year picture. Not good....but I'm determined to turn it around! I know you all...you'll want to post sweet nice things, but DON'T!! I gotta get myself together, here. Addendum: Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryan This brings to mind my one post where I heard the Father's words: "It's your choice." God gives us free will to make choices. I gotta remember that! Yes, we deal with many issues: finances, health, tragedies, etc.; It's how we work with what we have.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
He'll give you something, too. He will speak directly to you and your heart. What do you think He might tell you?
Philipians 4:2-5 (The Source New Testament)
I encourage Euodia and I encourage Syntyche to think along the same lines along with the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, too, Synzugos, to assist these women seeing that they fought in the contest with me for the Good News, with Clement too, and the rest of my coworkers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Now, they have to step away, draw a line in the sand, and accept the fact that their long-time friends are angry with them. This may well destroy this relationship. Of course my friend and her family are questioning themselves. People who really care do that. But, in my opinion, they were right in every decision they made...and they made the decisions as a group, so that they would have accountability. They took this kid seriously and tried to help. He chose to turn away.
Why do we beat ourselves up for standing firm? I've questioned this in the past few weeks. My hairdresser was cutting my hair this morning and remarked that someone had hit her car and left without leaving a note. She was mad, of course. It's not a bad dent, but they didn't own up to it. I agreed. I have a "crease" mark at the rear of my car, over the gas tank. Someone just clipped it and left without acknowledging it. It makes me mad every time I see it. On the other hand, right by my door is a quarter size ding...right by the handle. My hubby and I were at a store when this man came running in and asked the clerk if someone in a blue Chevy was in the store. It was us, and he was falling all over himself apologizing about the ding his little girl had left when she slammed open the door on his car. She didn't mean to...it was a two door, and you know how cumbersome they can be. She was only about 4. Well, hubby went out to look at it, as the fellow was trying to give him his insurance, numbers, etc. Hubby looked at it, looked at the little girl, looked at the guy, and said, "Forget it." Then he came in the store and I think he expected me to be upset that he just forgave it. I just said, "Good call." We call it the "Forgiveness Ding." It reminds me to forgive...but I still can't quite get there with whoever left the gas cap crease. Why is that? Both were a violation of my property.
Well, of course, it's because one person owned up to their actions and chose to be accountable. The other didn't.
I can't control the behavior of either of these people, but I sure appreciate the former. I can only control my reactions. Not forgiving the gas cap dinger only hurts me in the long run. He or she has long forgotten what they did--if they even cared. They probably figured it was my fault anyway...perhaps I parked weird, or somehow got in their way. Regardless...the actions of the two of them tells me who will really succeed in life, and who will not.
Now, my task in relationships, and my friends' tasks, are to stand firm...accept our right draw boundaries. To be kind, loving, and forgiving, but not to be doormats....and to (this is REALLY hard) not feel rejected if people we love and care about react in anger or unforgiveness to us. To be accountable to our own behaviors, to apologize when necessary, to remain humble. To understand that we can only control our reactions.
I think Jesus was like this.....he wasn't a cuddly, lovey teddy bear. He loves so greatly, but he got pissed off at the bad behavior of others...and then He took it on His shoulders. We don't have to. We now have the luxury and the gift to let it roll off of ours.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
It's very flexible: I can go online and block out days that I don't want to work, and they won't call. I can leave days that I do want to work open so they can call. They don't care if you block out days...just so you don't refuse if they call you for that day.
So, it should work out with art jobs that I have. Art and teaching...two of my most favorite things to do! Can it get any better? I'm just feeling blessed today!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Within American English, General American and accents approximating it are contrasted with Southern American English, several Northeastern accents, and other distinct regional accents and social group accents like African American Vernacular English.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Had the tests last Tuesday...stomach and esophagus issues that I didn't know I had. A few other things that are just annoying, that I won't go into here. Railed against taking another pill for 2-3 months, then decided to get over it and get on with it.
Got another pair of glasses for close up painting...they work well with the computer! I can blog clearly now, the blur has gone.....isn't that a song?
Working on some things to start peddling, and ways to make more money doing some fun stuff. I'm really glad that God gave me a way to have fun at my job. Art for hire is difficult sometimes...artists like to sniff into the air at "prostituting" talent for others, for cash. Or, as one professor told me one time, "I've transcended simple drawing." Bull. I think it's cool, I like the challenge of producing something whether I "feel" like it or not...very rewarding and requires discipline (something I've had to stretch for) and when the muse abandons me during a project, I hear that still, small voice whisper, "Just paint the picture." And I do. Did I tell you that I pray before each job, that He will direct me, that some of Him will be instilled in what I do? Never fails me.
I've dropped about 5 pounds. I've had to cut back on the coffee. Not supposed to have any at all. My last vice. I remarked to friend BK the other day, "Sometimes I think that God is stripping away all the things I rely on that give me joy." There was silence...then she said, "Gee, that can't be right..." Then we laughed. I should not complain. BK had a "minor" heart attack a few weeks back. Don't even know when she had it. She doesn't look like anyone who would have a heart attack. She is a beautiful early 50's woman, tall and statuesque, strawberry blonde hair, very Finnish looking gal. We've become great friends, and now she is moving back to California. I will really miss her.
Anyway, I do think that God uses these problems to get us to turn back to HIM...and away from the daily crutches and rituals that we depend upon to give us daily normalcy. We're supposed to depend on HIM. In my heart, I knew I was drinking too much caffeine and coffee...It just took a slap upside the head to make me look at it. This is a season of life where I (and some of us) need to look at our habits and think about how we intend to live the other half (optimism!) of our lives...do we want to go downhill or up? Will we start making dietary and exercise choices that are positive for our bodies? Or will we wind up old couch potato people? Ugh.
Thank you all for your encouraging words this past week! It wasn't a great week, but could have been much worse. I did a lot of praying and talking to big Dad...and quite a bit about all of you to Him, too. Expect good things. You deserve them!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I've had a thing for boxes and frames my entire life, especially boxes, so I've been decorating plain ones this past week or so. It's keeping me from sliding into the muck, although I had an AWESOME day yesterday with a mural that's coming out great. The colors on these pieces are much more vivid than they look here and kind of reflect my Eastern European heritage (a lotta gypsy in there.) I haven't finished them all, and may keep some in the natural tones. Anyway, I'm still stuck in the muck, and I'm not looking forward to some tests I have to have on Tuesday. Would you pray for me, please? Since I have to fast as well, I'm making it a spiritual rest...so, please, if you have any prayer needs, email me or post them here. I'd like to pray for you, as well, during these next couple of days. It will keep my mind off of "me." Have a blessed weekend! :-)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
When will this craziness end? I am in the WRONG place. I'm from the midwest, where you drive a car til it stops dead in the road and you don't give a flip how old it is or how it looks. Does it get you there? If so, it's good enough. Here I am in the Metroplex...with some of the most materialistic people in the nation. I looked around at all the people in this cell phone shop. They were so freakin' concerned because their stupid phone wasn't taking a stupid picture. I'm thinking of our soldiers in Iraq. They're fighting for us? I'm so sorry. Can you tell I'm disgusted? I was really disgusted because in order to park in a handicapped area for my brother, I had to park 3 stores down, and he had to navigate an incline. Yeah, we could have taken the wheelchair, but the freakin' store wasn't even set up for a wheelchair. It was too small.
Apparently, you should NOT shop in Southlake, Texas if you have the AUDACITY to be disabled! They DON'T want to see you! All the handicapped parking places were in odd places....and you have to go down to the end of the street to get to them. It is apparent that they only put in the minimum of what they were required to, by law.
So, anyway, I'm navigating my brother up this inclined sidewalk, and we get in the store. There is one place to sit, and someone is in it. They have a sign-in sheet. A WHAT??!!! A sign-in sheet. Unbelievable. Anyway, I help him over to the counter, after they deigned to wait upon us, and he tells them his problem. His signal is very bad and calls keep dropping.
Now, he has to have a cell phone with him in case he falls or needs help. We're looking into a life line, but the cell phone is the best bet right now. They tell him he needs a software update. Actually, they keep talking to ME...not him. This is nothing new....we should be used to it by now. But, why should we get used to stupid? I avoid eye contact. I really want to tell them that he is physically disabled, not mentally----and then they start talking LOUDLY to him as if he is deaf, as well. Oy.
I was feeling invisible a few days ago.
Can you just imagine how the disabled feel?