Thursday, December 30, 2010
Writing Prompts from Writer's Digest - Some very creative & fun prompts here.
Unphotographable - Word pictures. Truly fascinating & enjoyable.
Monday, December 27, 2010
It's a perfect day to snuggle up with a good book. I'm trying to finally finish The Lord of The Rings. I'm nearly done The Two Towers and hope to start The Return of the King later today. It's all in one volume, which is nice. It's my mother's copy, and I've had it for two years, so I'm thinking now's a good time to finish it and give it back already.
We had a lovely Christmas with both sides of our family. My husband surprised me with the Carole King & James Taylor cd & dvd. (Live at the Troubador) He bought me a new laptop a few months ago so I wasn't expecting anything else. We put it on to play immediately and even took it with us to my parents' house to listen to over brunch. They just don't make music like that anymore.
My parents knocked my socks off with their gifts. My father always asks for a list, in detail, of what we want. He wants to give us something good without guessing. So I had asked for a Coleman hiking hydration pack. I could not be more excited to try this thing out soon! It's lightweight and very slim, just enough room for keys, phone, camera and a map, along with a water bladder you fill and drink from a tube. I may need to find somewhere to hike this week in the snow. But that turned out to be my little gift, as they presented me with a little jewelry box. They gave me the most amazing tanzanite and silver ring. I think I may have cried, I was so stunned. It turns out that they also gave the exact same ring to my sister when she was visiting for Thanksgiving. She nearly bit through her tongue keeping it a secret from me. I can't stop staring at this sparkly thing on my finger! I haven't been able to wear my diamond since the Frodo Incident, as the scar has made my finger too thick to wear it. This one fits the ring finger of my other hand perfectly.
Tom and the kids are off all this week, and then he has next week off as well. We have some fun things planned, but for now are content to stay indoors out of the driving wind.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
The greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants..... yet they called Him Master.
He had no degree..... yet they called Him Teacher.
He had no medicines.... yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army..... yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles..... yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime..... yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb..... yet He lives today.
Merry Christmas ♥
Friday, December 24, 2010
Why my church rebelled against the American Dream - A very convicting piece on how comfortable we are in America. Are we living out the life of sacrifice that Jesus called us to?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I am ridiculously excited about this book! Could the timing be more perfect? I was just saying the other day that I really want to write but don't know why I'm not. I'm just one chapter into this book and she's already addressing every single reason, excuse & fear that I have about writing.
Chrissy, you rock! Thank you!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Seven years ago today my friend Jessie gave birth to a sweet baby boy. Kilian Richard was beautiful and precious. He was welcomed by three older siblings who were so excited to meet him. At first, everything seemed perfect. But he quickly became ill, suffering from a Urea Cycle Disorder. Kilian was taken off of life support on Christmas Day. There are no words for how my heart grieved for Jessie and her family.
Seven years later, I pray that God would give this family comfort and peace. Some of us are planning to change our profile pictures on Christmas Day to one of Kilian. We want Jessie to know that we have not forgotten her son.
If you know someone who has lost a child, don't be afraid to bring it up. Say something. Let them know that you remember. Too many people think they are doing their friend a favor by keeping silent. All that does is isolate them. You don't need eloquent words. Just let them know that you remember. ♥
The American Journal of Epidemiology released a study recently that showed that two thirds of problem drinkers do not seek professional help because of the fear of stigma. I can personally attest to this. When I got sober I clung to something a friend had said; that she never went to AA because she didn't want "the stigma." I was sure she was right, although I also just wanted to hide from my situation. It makes me angry now that I think about it, at her and at myself. I needed help and didn't get it because I was afraid, and had no one to guide me. I told no one about my new sobriety except Tom. I should have gone to rehab, and I should have gone to meetings, but I cowered in fear in my house. I didn't drink, but I didn't change either. The only difference was that I no longer had my crutch to use in coping with life.
I'm incredibly blessed that three years later a dear friend, who was also sober, invited me to attend an AA meeting with her. God had been working in my heart about this, and I was opening up to the idea of getting help. I felt safe with her, and agreed to go. It was right near my third anniversary, and they gave me a three year coin. I treasure that coin, because it signifies the true beginning of my new life in sobriety. I began doing the steps, got a sponsor and started to heal. I examined my own heart, and made a list of the people I had harmed. I prayed, I cried, I changed. I made amends where I could, and made a fresh start into a new world. I began to feel free. FREE.
I get very frustrated when I hear people talk about the 'success rate of AA'. To me it's like talking about the 'success rate of diet & exercise'. If people do 100% of what they should do in either of these paths, they will succeed. The failure isn't in the program but in the person. Whatever people on the 'outside' may have to say about AA, the truth is that you don't know it if you haven't lived it. If you have never walked this road with us, then please keep your negative opinions about AA to yourself. You can't begin to imagine how AA saved my life. God used it to show me again and again how I needed to change, how I needed to let Him lead me. God used the people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous to save my life.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
So TC had a doctor's appointment yesterday, wherein she confirmed my ear infection suspicions. He does have infection in both ears in fact, and she's worried about his lungs developing pneumonia with all the junk in there. So back to the nebulizer which we haven't used in ages. Every four hours, even nighttime if we can manage it, and she wants to see him again on Thursday. She must be pretty concerned about the possibility of pneumonia to be that pro-active about it, so I'm praying a lot about TC's lungs. I'm pretty much keeping him in the house and away from other people as much as possible so he doesn't catch anything else in the meantime. The timing is good, since there will be no school, MOPS, bible study or small group in the next two weeks, and I can keep him in a bubble.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
This past Monday we were eating dinner and E. asked me to scratch his itchy back. As I did, I noticed some red blotches behind both ears. I lifted his shirt and was horrified to find that he was absolutely covered in red spots. I imagined having to move Tom in with my parents for 10 days as he swears he's never had the chicken pox. Thankfully it turned out to be hives; just a weird reaction to the viral infection (colds) we're all getting over. A few days of steroid and he was fine. Tom has had it the worst of us with the cold turning into some flu-like symptoms.
T. has been hacking and snotting for over a week now, and doing asthma treatments along with cold medicine. Then yesterday he suddenly added a fever of 103° and glassy, bloodshot eyes to his symptoms.
This afternoon A. started getting a headache, and is now in bed with a migraine. I don't remember ever having so many weird sicknesses back-to-back like this before. I'm so ready for Christmas vacation! We all need to be cooped up and away from public germs for a week.
"I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second."
Friday, December 17, 2010
I got two new books this week that I'm pretty stoked about. The first is Slave by John MacArthur. As I posted last week, I joined BookSneeze.com and will be reviewing the book when I'm done. The fact that I get a free brand squeaky new book out of the deal is just gravy.
Yesterday we had our Christmas party at Bible study, which included a white elephant. (I don't have to explain what that is, do I? Let me know if it's a regional thing, lol.) I was able to snag a copy of The Help. I have been hearing about this book all year and dying to read it. However, I'm inherently cheap and refused to buy it new. I couldn't find it used or at the library, so I was waiting it out. Hooray for free! Two free books in one week! *swoons*
T: I won't Mom.
Me: You know those are famous last words, right?
T: haha, I love that.
(~convo with T about playing with his sister's crutches)
T: Mom, are you scared of monsters?
Me: No, because they don't exist.
T: I'm not scared of monsters because I have a gun!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I've been pondering myself lately, trying to figure out what my deal is. I cannot get my act together. The house is a perpetual mess the last few weeks, I'm not writing and I am not getting any projects done. I could go through my entire thought process on what is going on with me, but I'll spare you. The short version is I just have not been praying. At least not for myself. I pray for Tom and the kids, and for any prayer requests that come my way. I pray with my prayer partner as often as we can schedule it. I pray with my tablemates at Bible study. And I love it. But in my typical martyr-fashion, I leave myself off this prayer list. But it gets worse. I'm not only a martyr because I don't ask for things for myself, but I'm also a complete idiot because I never run anything by Him. Big things? Sure. But my day to day life and decisions? Nope. I want to be a better mom, but I haven't asked Him how to do this. I want to get my chores done and make time to write, but I never ask Him to help me to do this or to show me how to do it. I want to lose weight and be awesome but I flail about in my own efforts and never invite Him into the process. I'm all twisted up trying to figure out how to balance all the spinning plates in my life, yet I haven't asked Him to help me. *facepalm*
So I'm going to start praying in the morning. I tend to pray at night when I'm in bed and almost asleep, like that's effective. I need to start my day with Him. I need to be constantly reminded that He is in charge of even my little things that I think I've got handled. I need to have my idiocy derailed.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This may surprise you, but I was never given a list of God approved words. And I can’t imagine what would happen should such a list ever present itself. I know people who would keel over dead if “fart” was on the approved list, or “shut up”. And I know people who would straight up burn the list if came from Costa Rica where "b*tch" is part of common language that 4 year-olds use.
I really enjoyed her honesty. Is she wrong? I don't know. As I've said before, I do tend to be a bit sweary at times. I have tried over the years to cut back on it, as I'm aware that it's a dirty habit and my mother doesn't approve. In the grand scheme of things I have figured, be it right or wrong, that I have given up oodles of bad habits and I'd really like to keep this one. I don't use God's name in vain. I don't curse in front of children or my mother, nor do I curse other people out. But when I get mad I mutter & swear. I don't know if the words I choose would be considered shocking or offensive to others. I think it's like Jamie said, and that it would only offend certain people who have a different measuring tool than mine.
Cursing, Swearing & Vulgarity This article had a lot of good stuff in it and I love a good topical Bible study. It goes in depth and examines four categories of bad language. I found it an interesting study, but they lost me a tad in the Slang & Euphemisms section. I personally don't think that substitute words are a big deal. Snap, frack, poo, gosh.... I just don't think these are a problem, even if they originally represented something else.
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8) I find myself, having re-read this verse several times, wondering if this is something subjective, such as dancing. Some church folk believe that all dancing is sinful, while others dance at every social event. Yet David danced before the Lord, celebrating his love for the Lord in a joyful display with his body.
I wonder if cursing is something that can be a stumbling block for some and not others. I don't have any solid answers on this; it's just something I'm pondering. I do want to be pleasing to God. It bothers me when I hear people cursing in casual conversation for no purpose. It makes them sound common and unintelligent, which is a shame. But I'm also not interested in condemning them for this. I think too often Christians get tangled up in how unbelievers are sinning, and forget that we all need the same Grace. We need to meet people where they are. I once heard a newly sober young man share in a meeting about what it was like to read the Bible. He was in awe of God's word, and said, "This sh*t is amazing!" He meant no disrespect, and was expressing joy at having been saved by God from his addiction. It was honest & beautiful.
Here endeth my random thoughts on this topic. Oh, and I added the asterisks out of respect for those who would rather not see the actual words. ;)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Emily said that she and her husband once watched an animal show where they separated a female raccoon and her mate in cages. They cried for each other, going completely berserk at being away from each other. After a time, they moved their cages next to each other. They were able to reach through the bars and touch each other, and it immediately calmed them.
Ever since watching that show, Emily & her husband joke with each other about needing raccoon time. And all jokes aside, this makes complete sense to me. When Tom is gone for a really long time, I need to hold him and touch him and reconnect with him.
I don't believe in soulmates. Well, let me amend that. I don't believe in society's definition of soulmates. I don't believe that there is one person that you are destined to be with that you magically find. We make our own choices, and we work to build a marriage. I think you grow into soulmate-dom. (soulmate-hood? whatever) God tells us in the Bible that a man will leave his parents and join with his wife. (Genesis 2:24) That they will become one flesh. I always thought it was a metaphor, or that it meant sex, but recently I've begun to see it differently. I am so connected to Tom that I physically feel out of sorts when I am away from him for too long. I need to be with him because we are one. He really does complete me, and not in a Jerry-Maguire way. In a real, connected to each other & God way, that is the result of time & trials together, not based on fluffy feelings & stars & flowers. When he walks in the door filthy, exhausted & smelling like motor oil, I can't wait to hold that big lug and get me some raccoon love.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I started using StumbleUpon recently and have been enjoying it a lot. I had signed up for Digg ages ago but just didn't get into it, and then lost my password, so that's that. The Nonbloggingfriend uses Stumble, so I thought I'd try it out. Lots of interesting and inspiring and crafty things out there with which to waste my time.
Speaking of time wasting, one site I found on Stumble was NotMartha. Lots of goodies to check out there as well.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
"Yes, but he knows how to get out." (~convo with the Boy)
"Can we go to McBurger King?" (~The Tyrant)
"What's this bag for, Mom?" (Holds up old knitting type bag with handles.)
"It's just a satchel buddy; you can use it for whatever you want."
"Oh. Well, I'm going to use it for Toy Halloween. So when I go to people's houses I will hold my bag open and they will put toys in it." (~convo with the Tyrant)
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I know I tend to be salty and cynical, but seriously, HOW is this helping anyone? I'm sure not everyone will agree with me on this, but raising awareness is generally pointless if that is the end goal. If you talk about it, and cheer for the cause, and get a warm fuzzy feeling, you have essentially done nothing for the cause. You've done just enough to assuage any guilt you may be carrying, but you haven't actually helped anyone. Put your money where your mouth is, and DO something. Go volunteer, raise money, donate, get your kids involved to teach them, speak out in tangible ways.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10 God made us to do good works, not just talk about good works. Get busy!
I read a lot of blogs, and I can tell you right now that the ones who give their kids super-cute-nauseating nicknames, I rarely go back to. If you want to call your kid Snoogie or Poopsie or whatever, that's your call. Just know that it makes me not want to read your blog. So having thought this all through, I decided to just do what Kate does, and use their initials. It's way easier. Therefore....
The Princess is A.
The Boy is E.
The Tyrant is T.
Did you notice that I can spell EAT with their initials? Not that I would ever eat my young, mind you.... *ahem*
Oh, and the Man is Tom. :)
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
A friend of mine had this to say on her Facebook status yesterday...
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1. My middle name is Lynn, which is the middle name of MANY girls born in the 70s. But my folks picked it not because it was popular, but because that is my aunt's name.
2. The second sentence of #1 is awkward and I want to rewrite it, but I'm really tired and am trying to be better about not obsessing about stuff like that.
3. I am a huge Garth Brooks fan, and have a portrait of him hanging in my office.
4. I have a holiday birthday, which led to me having weird hang-ups about birthday parties.
5. I am super OCD and organized about a lot of things, but am still unable to maintain a clean kitchen counter. It is the bane of my existence.
6. It's about my husband, not me, but I think it's pretty cool..... his date of birth was the same as his birth weight: 3-11, 3lbs. 11oz.
7. I love to hear my husband laugh. It makes my day.
8. I never imagined that I would have had the fertility issues that we had. They weren't as dire as some people, but it was a rough road. I always assumed I would have 4 kids, and it is strange that we barely made it to 3.
9. I am a middle child. My brother is 4 years older than me and my sister is 8 years younger.
10. Ruth said she has a strange passion for music, and I feel the same. I need music to process things emotionally. If I am having a good or bad day, I need corresponding music or I feel like it isn't real somehow.
11. I really hate it when they make animals talk in commercials. That stupid groundhog for the PA lottery disturbs me.
12. I love books & reading, but rarely make time to read these days. I have piles of books waiting to be read.
13. I would rather be hiking in the mountains more than any other activity.
14. I do not eat chocolate & mint together. It bothers me.
15. I could eat bagels & cream cheese for three meals a day. I have gone on a bagel run when the person assigned them didn't show up at MOPS.
16. I pace when I talk on the phone.
17. I'm lactose intolerant.
18. My parents were both schoolteachers, which is how they met. I attended the high school my father taught at, but was never his student.
19. Because we had our summers free, we would camp everywhere, sometimes for weeks or months at a time across the country. I have been to many National Parks and Landmarks including: the Grand Canyon (2x), Washington DC (2 or 3x), Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, Blue Ridge Parkway, Carlsbad Caverns, Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Acadia, and the list goes on & on.
20. I hate to wear dresses and avoid them as much as possible.
21. I'm a country girl at heart and have no idea how I ended up living in the suburbs. I dream of moving up county where we can have room around us, and TREES. We have one tiny tree on our property and it's just not enough. Being under the trees at our campground is BLISS.
22. My siblings and I all had a daughter first and a son second.
23. I'm mildly allergic to nickel and cannot wear cheap earrings. They have to be stainless steel or nickel-free.
24. I'm a church librarian.
25. I get allergy shots every week so my daughter can keep the cat that I hate.
26. When I got married I was so sure I was taking on an easier last name that people wouldn't screw up. LOL.
27. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Having kids seems to have put that on hold indefinately.
28. I saw the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday while it was still in theaters. It completely devastated me, and I have never watched it again. I am in awe of His sacrifice.
29. I cannot watch tv with nothing in my hands. I need my laptop or a magazine or knitting or something or I can't sit still to watch.
32. Nova & I have plans to hike together in Heaven. :)
33. Chris & I have plans to picnic together in Heaven, and eat & drink all the bad things we're not supposed to have now.
34. I love pens. A lot. My daughter yells at me if I put them in the shopping cart, because she knows I already have too many.
35. Chrissy is the first friend I made online. :)
36. Chrissy & Aimee both lost their moms too soon. My heart is heavy for them. My mom has Parkinson's, and I know that I will lose her too soon too. I think it pretty much sucks for all 3 of us.
37. Phineas & Ferb can always cheer me up.
38. I would have a half sleeve tattoo if I didn't get dizzy & barfy when I get inked.