Monday, May 30, 2011

I Have Nothing To Say

I know, that is astonishing.  However, it is quite true.  This month is proving to be far worse than last in regards to the number of posts I have made, but yet it seems there is nothing, well, blog worthy going on in my life.  Or is it that there is and I don't have the words enough to say it.  Nah, it is rather the former than the later.  I have kept myself busy with doing quite a bit of canning.  Trying new recipes and playing with various ingredients.  Who would have thought that as little as 5 years ago, I would have ever found myself enjoying all things this domesticated?!  In some sense, I find I rather enjoy this far greater than scrapbooking; which, is rather disturbing considering the amount of money that I have tied up into it!

I am 41 books into my goal of 150 for this year and am a bit concerned about my ability to reach it.  It is a rather aggressive goal, and one that takes quite a bit of time to complete.  You may have noticed that I removed the step tracker that just a few months ago I was so excited to talk about.  Well, you see, I simply lost track of keeping track!  So, with 109 books to go that means I have to read roughly 18.2 books a month or a book every day and a half...eeekkk...looks like I will have a failed goal going into 2012.  Honestly though, it is one that I think I may be able to live with!

There is only one day left in the month of May.  That brings us to June, which has many possibilities, and of course the greatest personal day of the year....my birthday!  Then to July, my anniversary and then August, the kids going back to school.  I can't believe they have only 7 days left, and this only because of snow make up days.  In fact there last day would have been this past Friday.  I think though, that my hubby is quite glad for the extension...it will give him a few more kid free days during his layoff!

Back to the book I just finished.  It is called "His Wicked Kiss" by Gaelen Foley.   This is the first book by this author that I have read.  I found it deeply engrossing and quite fast read, if that can be said for a 431 page book!  (It took me a day and a half to complete - obviously I didn't read straight through!)  I may have to pick up a few more of her books in the near future.  There are a few books that I really want to read this summer; for starters, Colin Powell's book on leadership and George Bush's Decision Points.  Say what you must, but I really liked his stance on social topics.  Anyway, I'm not going to get into politics at this juncture; it isn't the time or place.  That said, I must admit to my disappointment that Mitch Daniels didn't put his name in for a presidential bid.  He has done a fantastic job in Indiana.

Well, it appears for having nothing to say I have quite effectively prattled on about a lot of nothingness, but the word does seem to describe itself, does it not?  So off to slumber land I will go, trying hard not to die from this horridly high heat...I really wish I could relocate to Alaska in the summers!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Couple Of Wednesday Nights

I must say that there are things that are understood by hearing, then truly learned only after the lesson is taught by happenstance rather than listening.  I know that sounds very convoluted; as if it is folded upon itself like an Aunt Annie's Pretzel, but I have a point. (I always do!) Last week, Monday and Tuesday to be precise, I had a few lessons learned.  These lessons were not huge in the grand scheme of life, but rather huge in mine.  For that reason I felt terrible, sought forgiveness, then felt guilt.  Guilt as it is, is a trick once fogiveness has been sought.  (God will always forgive if you seek Him and ask Him for it. - 1 John 1:9)

So here are the past two Wednesday's worth of Bible studies and how, they, coupled with what God has spoken to me, in His still small voice, have taught me.

Have you ever asked for forgiveness and then wondered after doing so if you were truly forgiven?  Well, guilt, a trick of the Devil, will do that to you.  So here I was asking God repeatedly how do I "know" that he has forgiven me; then, the next song on the radio was "Who Am I."  Yes, folks, this was God telling me that He, and only He, can forgive sins and that my guilt is not from Him. (1 John 1:9)

That night at Bible study we learned about the difference between picking up our cross (carrying a burden) and a thorn.  We have all heard time and again we need to pick up our cross and follow the Lord, but if you are anything like me, and I shutter at the thought, then you have wondered what that really meant.  Well, here, my dear friend is what it meant. 
  • A burden  - those things that you chose to do (i.e. doing the right thing and not the popular thing)
  • A thorn - those things that happen to you that are out of your control.
Now, they are VERY MUCH SO RELATED!  You can carry a burden due to a thorn.  What is meant by this?  Well, for instance, say, your husband gets laid off from work - you can't control that, BUT you can control how you spend your money and make sure to meet all of your financial obligations and still tithe.  OR if that doesn't work for  you - how about this - you are surrounded by people who are constantly negative, rude, and inconsiderate.  You can't control their behavior, but you can chose to treat them with kindness and respect.

Now on to the Bible study for this week.  We discussed listening/hearing God.  See how these are inter-related?  We learned that you can't hear God if you don't have an open mind or if your mind is preoccupied with something else.  I suffer from this.  I am a multi-tasker's multi-tasker.  I have so many things going on all at once that I can never seem to shut myself off.  This is a problem.  I can't hear the still small voice when all I do is keep going a 100 miles an hour, mentally speaking of course.  Just remember the 5 W's!
  • Who - everyone can hear God - if they tune into Him and listen
  • What - the still small voice
  • When - any time
  • Why - He has something to say to each of us - after all that is why He created us all - for a relationship with Him!
  • Where - anywhere and everywhere
So what I have learned is that he never leaves me, I turn from Him; and it only took me a couple of Wednesday nights to be retaught this lesson!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

This has been such a wonderful day.  I honestly couldn't have asked for a  better day, actually the whole weekend was fantastic.  I got to play in the dirt.  OK, so it wasn't just dirt it was planting soil and compost, but it was great none-the-less!  Yesterday I converted last year's dismal vegetable garden into an herb garden...yummm!  Then today, my hubby built me a 10' x 4' box so that I could have a newer, bigger vegetable garden!  Oh my, I have planted so much, OK, so maybe not that much, but enough to fill my little garden!  Now, I just hope that I can get enough out of it to make it all worth while! 

My girls all made me cards at school and in Sunday School, plus I got homemade gifts, which are always my favorite.  I have a hard time parting with the things that the girls make me.  In fact, my kitchen wall is virtually covered in all the school projects and drawings that they have made.  Some mom's don't like tape on their walls for fear it will strip the paint or look tacky.  Well, as for me, my house is what it is because of the people who live in it.  Heaven's yes I am proud to show off their work!  Who needs Home Interiors, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and all those fancy decor places when you have a house full of budding Picasso's?!

Anyways, I hope that all you had a great day and were able to say Happy Mother's Day to your mom's or loved ones in some way, shape, or form.  But mostly, I hope that those of you that are moms were able to enjoy the fact that you have this day because the Lord thought you were special enough, strong enough, worthy enough, and competent enough to "teach a child in the way he should go."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sometimes A Day Needs A Bit More Attention

OK, so this is a first, two posts in one day.  (Trust me, I will definitely not make this a habit!)  This morning I shared with you all my unfavorable characteristic, procrastination .  There are times when I run myself ragged trying to get things accomplished because of it and then there are times, such as I am about to share, when I sit in amazement of how things work out.  (No, I am not talking about my finals.)

Each day I get a devotional emailed to me called Daily Hope; it is a devotional from Purpose Driven Connection, based on the famous book The Purpose Driven Life.  (Which I still need to complete.) Anyway, I finally pulled out the ever growing stack and started to read them; yes, much like I would a book.  I got to #3 in my pile today and came to the devotional from April 25, 2011.  It is excerpts from this devotional that I am going to share, then share the why.

"I'm a mess.  I'm nothing and have nothing: make something of me! You can do it; you've got what it takes God." Psalm 40:17 (Msg)
  • Jesus warned us that we'd have problems in the world.  No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free.  Life is a series of problems.  Every time you solve one, another is waiting to take its place.
  • God uses these problems to draw you closer to himself.
    • "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NLT)
  • Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days--when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you're out of options, when the pain is great, and you turn to God alone.  It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heart-felt, honest-to-God prayers.  When in pain, we don't have the energy for superficial prayers.
  • "When life is rosy, we may slide by with the knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him.  But only in suffering will we know Jesus." -Joni Eareckson Tada
    • We learn things about God in suffering that we can't learn any other way.
  • Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves.
  • You'll never know that God is all you need until God is all you've got! (emphasis mine)
So that was my devotional, that even in my procrastination, a negative quality, God knew the perfect timing to teach me a valuable lesson.  Yes, I have problems.  Yes, they are big and ugly and insurmountable - to me.  BUT, to God, they are nothing.  What I needed, and he rightly knew, was a change of perspective, a change of focus, a closer walk with him.

What did I learn from this?  Oh, that the additional curve balls this day threw at me, and it did throw some nasty ones, really weren't unapproachable, I just needed the right guide to get me home.

Procrastination Station

When I was younger there was a cartoon of sorts on TV called School House Rock and I vaguely remember a little medley called "Conjunction Junction."  Perhaps I have two completely different memories overlapping each other, time will do that to you, you know.  memories have a way of redefining them selves into that thing that never was as real as the actual event.  That is why many people hold onto the past, they don't know how to escape the awesomeness of the memory that was created by the reality they wanted it to be.  Anyway, that is not the subject I wanted to rant about this morning.

I totally fell asleep like at 6pm yesterday.  Don't know why.  Just did.  Felt like a complete and utter waste of my time, but I am sure some internally profound person somewhere is saying, or will say "well you must have needed it."  And that brings me to my stop at Procrastination Station.  I have the first of my two finals tomorrow!  Yes I know!  I have so much to do to prepare for it.  Ugh... roughly 38.5 hours from now I will have to complete the worst class that I have ever had the displeasure of taking.  One would think that is a positive, oh, it is not.  I, have  never, though probably should have, ever studied or worked so hard in a class in my entire college life, and I have been going to college for far too long.  The prof was to have posted the grades as they stand by Monday so that we, as the the students, could opt for the weighted averages we prefer, and yet she had yet to do that.  Do I take the the safe route and go for the homework weighted average and come out of the class with a solid B or do I trust my studying and go for the final weighted average and hope for a low A?  These are the decisions that I don't want to be making in the last day prior to the final.  Alas, again due to the fantastic-ness of said professor I am being somewhat forced to do.

However, what I am beyond excited for is the fact that this is the last week of school.  There will  be two fewer trips into Fort Wayne each and every week; thankfully, with gas at $4.29/gal.  Nothing quite like the approx. $12.75 a day I spend to go to and from work each day then the additional $10 for the school leg of it, if I go straight from work, it is another $12.75 if I come home first.  Hubby and I figured it out yesterday, when gas gets to $5.00/gal which they, those ominous people who control it all, say will happen by Memorial day, we will each spend $75 a week just to drive to and from work!  Now that is, of course, only if my husband can return to full time status.  He is now on week 6 of his "new schedule."  Something tells me, if there isn't a change in the cost of gas, the "Great Recession" as it was coined, it going to come back in full force.  I love starting a Wednesday morning with Doomsday predictions.

With that, I better get ready for work. I have 15 minutes to finish getting around and start my trip into work.  Eek...better quit procrastinating!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Snipe Hunting

I am sure everyone has heard the saying going "snipe hunting."  Well, that is what I call love.  It is a fool's errand.  A chasing after the wind.  A fairy tale that simply exists for those who refuse to accept there is a reality of loneliness and vulgarity of epic proportions awaiting their dismal existence. The sheer act of love is trying to find something that simply does not exist. So why am I telling you this?

Because, for one, this is the exact feeling I have right now.  One does not like coming second to anything else on this planet.  Yet, it happens.  Addiction happens.  There are things that begin slow and eat away bite by bite until there is nothing left but the carcass of something that may have been. 

Loneliness is real, tangible and almost as big as an elephant in a room.  Except, in ways, it is bigger.  It is that thing that fills a void, only by eating you away from the inside.  You long to fill that blackness, that emptiness, with something, say a book, only to find that the crap you are reading is about the one thing you have been chasing yourself and know doesn't exist.  It is something you can't get away from.  Now this thing is consuming you from all angles and you are powerless to do anything but shut down and become one with the numbness of it all.

So, what pray tell is the next step?  What is the answer to it all?  Oh, there isn't a next step, there isn't even an answer.  It is what it is.  My hat is off to those who think they've found it, who are comfortable with the fact that the other in their relationship will be there and be that person they think they are destined to have forever with.  One day that alarm clock will go off and you will find yourself in camouflage holding the sniping weapon of choice wondering why it took so long to figure out the game.

Yes, it gets better.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Though never promised to us all, it will come regardless.

Oh and to give my bestie the spotlight; her most recent facebook post went a little something like this: "Real life and love begins when you realize it is not all about you."  Makes you wonder who in the smurf it is about then, huh?!