Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mistakes, and Retakes....

I was talking to a friend this morning about a situation she is having with a friend of over 3 decades. They are all recovering alcoholics, and my friend and her family have taken in the son of her friend for the past year or so. He is also in recovery, but not successfully. The families all agreed that when this young man came down here and started a new life, that no matter what happened, it wouldn't get in the way of their long term friendship. Well, of course, it has. The fellow has not taken ownership of his problems; he has abused the help to the maximum....taking advantage, taking cars, taking meds. Stealing is the word for it, I believe. My friend and her family have delivered consequences to this fellow at every turn, and it has royally pissed off his family. But the reason my friend and her husband are so successful in their recovery is, one...Jesus Christ. Secondly, they have recognized consequences to messing up. Not punishment from the Lord....simply consequences for stupid behavior. They have chosen the higher path....with RICH rewards. They are a wonderful family, all of them...loving, lovable, and close-knit....and now they are being castigated for standing firm in trying to help this fellow out. We've talked about the role of Christians in conflicts like this. It ain't easy! He has chosen the lesser path.

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 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

I'm pretty excited this morning. Hope it lasts! ;-) I've been hired as a substitute teacher in our school district and have an orientation next Monday. This deal is just too good to be in a month or more I may change my mind!
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

General American English/Wikapedia...

Yeah, I had to look it up to see if it was actually SOMETHING....General American is a national accent of American English based on speech patterns common in the Midwest of the United States and those used by many American network television broadcasters. It is also sometimes called Standard Midwestern or American broadcast English. The General American accent or dialect is not thought of as a linguistic standard in the sense that Received Pronunciation (RP) is the standard, prestige variant in England and British society historically, but its speakers are perceived as "accentless" by most Americans. The idea of a uniform media American accent has declined in popularity since the late 1960s.
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

I like to get around....

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
10% Dixie
10% Yankee
5% Midwestern

Sunday morning....

Up at 5:30. I seem to be sleeping a lot. I can sit down and fall asleep for an hour straight. Then, get a good 8 hours of sleep that night. Something is wonky. Or, maybe I've found a new

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 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!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hangin' around.....

It's really hot here!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Organized chaos.....

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, 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

Come out of the muck!

Some of us have been in the muddy pits....but let's let Him pull us out. You know He wants to!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Muddy pits.....

I used to love Mondays, but they are becoming a bit of a chore to get through. I see a theme in blogworld....there's a bit of quiet desperation out there. I was certainly there today. Physical stuff going on aplenty. Let's not be quiet. Let's keep praying for each other.

Friday, July 07, 2006

She's ranting again....

I took my brother to a cell phone store yesterday in the next town over.....a very "tony" town...very satisfied with itself. High average annual income, and most of the folks will be happy to let you know that they are doing very well, thank you. I once talked to a fireman who works for that city, and he was laughing because when they go into houses....we're talking HUGE houses...a lot of the rooms aren't furnished. Then, the owners treat the city employees like they are beneath them. What a sham. Or a shame. Both, I think.

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?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sean's got some good stuff going on at his website.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ah, yes...those "Footprints".......

I went to a tinnitus support meeting last night. I really didn't want to, it being a holiday weekend, and such. But that still, quiet...NAGGING voice urged me to collect myself and go anyway. I'm glad I did. We had some new recruits that were really suffering, and one woman is exactly where I was a year ago. Her daughter had brought her in from Burleson...they made the trip because she was so agitated by the noises in her head. She has 2 or 3 noises, like me. The leader of the group and I were able to do a lot in the way of encouragement, I think, and I made a date to meet this gal midway between our cities to give her some books and CDs that might help her.
This morning I was reflecting on the past year after a few weird dreams about it last night. For some reason that story about "Footprints" popped into my head. I thought about how relevant that story, if overused, is in my life, and I'm sure, yours. I started a dialogue with our Big Daddy, unbeknownst to my conscious mind, and here's what transpired:
Me: "Lord, I see those footprints. Sometimes there is only one set...sometimes there are two."
Father: "Child, the times there was only one set are the times that I carried you."
Me, knowing how our Father wipes away our transgressions: "Thank you, Lord...for helping me. But, Father...I see sometimes that it looks as if the footprints have been swept away...I see no prints, just swirls and ridges in the sand!"
Father: "Ah, yes, my beloved child. Those are the many times I had to drag you through something!"
And, so it was.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mom, Joanie, Nana-- July 1, 1932-November 15, 1997 "June Cleaver with an attitude"