Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Identity

Disclaimer:  This is from my heart - judge not.

I really need to say this, Facebook is one of the greatest modern inventions.  Now, it isn't that it keeps me occupied, well, I guess there is that, but more because I keep up.  I know you are thinking, wait wasn't she just talking about this the other day, and the answer is yes.  However, here is what I mean.  I was blessed with reuniting, if you will, with an old high school friend last winter.  (I'm not giving names)  She and I were really close our freshman and sophomore years; which was a huge thing for me as I transferred in from a really really small school to one that was, well, really really big!  Anyway, she and I reunited on FB.  We spent a lot of time just getting to know each other as adults. Some time later I was invited to a girls night out and met up with a bunch of other girls from high school (the group that always hung out together).

Here is the thing, we weren't all that close then. (Meaning me and them not them and them!) Oh, I mean we hung out from time to time, but I was always on the outside seeing as how I didn't "grow-up" with them.  However, that is all in the past.  There are things that a person learns as they get older and that dear readers is this: no one is who they were.  What I mean is that you spend those formative years doing just that, forming yourself.  This is done by peer pressure and local society, but it isn't until you grow up and get out to the real world where your identity is really formed.  It is as if the seed that was planted in youth is finally nurtured enough to blossom.

My point is this, these ladies, and again kudos to FB's group chat, are amazing.  We come from all walks off life.  Some of us have degrees, some more than one, some none at all.  Some are entrepreneurs, some just go with the flow.  Some are married, some are not.  Some have children, some do not.  Despite all this we are all each uniquely ourselves.  I still sit on the outside and watch the conversation string by at times, but then there are days, like today, when one says something that is almost verbatim to how I feel and I get this strong feeling of camaraderie.   It isn't that they "get" what I am saying so much as they can empathize and myself in return.

So, for that, I want to say, I am who I am.  I am past having to explain myself to make friends or to have others accept me.  I'm firm in my me-ness.  (I do have another tangent to this though and I will share that another time.) So, for those of you who happen upon this.  Look at those you have the honor of sharing yourself with emotionally and mentally; think of all the things they bring to your life and all that you bring to theirs.  I can't happen but to smile right now for the simplicity of an instant message that carried with it a profound sense of meaning and joy.  Thank you my dear friends.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If Wishes Were Raindrops

I would create a flood.  I find that I wish for things more when I am reading.  I am not sure if it is the whole getting caught up in the make believe or not, but it is what it is.  In regards to that, I am reading a novella of sorts, a small book that is a part of a 3 book holiday edition and the heroin (rather the author) so eloquently stated to the hero in response to his quite anticipated what do you wish for in life question, "she'd spent most of her life wishing it were different."  That got me thinking, is that how life really does go?  Think about it, if you were to really look at yourself and dig deep, are you living the life you dreamed of?  Is it better, worse, or a version therein?  That is what I am getting at.  Who in this world is actually living the life they wished (dreamed) for/about? 

I don't want to come across as being ungrateful for the life that I have.  Heaven knows it could be worse and I do thank the good Lord that He found me in time enough to correct/guide/teach me better ways of going about it.  In fact, I believe that He has done a remarkable job at fixing the misguided directions and willful actions that I have taken.  There is time when guilt eats away at me and those are the times that I have abundant wishes.  For instance, I wish I would have traveled after high school.  Gone to all those places that I have always wanted to go to; such as, backpacking across Europe.  But alas, I didn't.  I got a job, got married, divorced, had a baby and got married again, had a couple more babies and started a blog.  Would I have had the outcome I have now?  Nope.  Would I have known the difference?  Nope.  Would I have then been searching for what I have now?  I can't answer that.

I am not going to pretend I believe in predestination, or that I fully grasp the theological concept behind it, but I will rest in the firm belief, that God never once turned His back on me and the life I live today is due to His diligent work in it.  Oh I wish (guilt speaking) I could have made Him proud of me and that the house I am building in heaven would be spectacular, but even if I'm presented with an eternal dwelling reminiscent of a lean-to, I know that I will still have eternity with my Savior.  Now, I am sure you are wondering where this leap has come from. There are times when my head simply goes in a million directions at once.  Therefore, here is the point.

Wishes aren't raindrops so you can't flood the earth.  Rather, they are the joy of having the ability to dream while living life with the full understanding of the blessing it is at this very moment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Another Day

Well, not really.  Today is my husband and my 9th wedding anniversary.  To say that it has been an easy 9 years would be to lie, but to say that I'd have wished it with someone else would be as equally deceptive.  I'm not necessarily the easiest person to get along with and frankly, would really hate the process of doing everything all over again.  Now don't take that the wrong way, it isn't "settling" the way society reads it, it is "settling" as in I'm settling into a good thing.  Don't go getting all gushy on my either, sheesh.  Yes, every little girl dreams of finding her prince charming (thanks Disney for disillusioning the world for the last 50+ years!), but in all actuality they don't exist.  I'm not saying I don't believe in love, nope, not at all.  What I am saying is that I don't believe in fairy tales, or love at first sight, or any of that drivel that harlequin publishes.  Nope, I'm about as much of a realist as they get. (Though I secretly wish for and hope for it all.)  I rest firmly in the fact that when it comes down to it, if you can co-exist without living and breathing hatred and at the same time have a modicum of respect thrown in, you've won the battle.  Everything else, all those feelings and dreams, those are the things that end up destroying you and frankly you can have a life without them.

So, what did I do on my anniversary?  Work.  What did my husband do?  Work.  How much of it did we see of each other?  About 5 minutes at a little before 1am this morning when he woke me up after work.  (This was not intentional...but he is loud!)  So there you have it.  This too was just another day.  Now, don't get me wrong it isn't like we didn't celebrate at all.  We went to dinner and a movie last weekend. Got to see Harry Potter in IMAX 3D...had coupons so it only cost $5 for the both of us to go!  I know, right!  Me and my coupons.  Dinner was even pretty cheap...we had a gift certificate.  Yep frugality at its finest.  Wonder what our 10th anniversary will hold?

That said, I am currently reading 3 books.  I know, I know, it is like a novel buffet.  I have Beth Moore's So Long, Insecurity (which I am loving the more and more I read - I desperately need to have a coffee break with this woman!), a Harlequin about a rich foreign Doctor...wait for it I'm putting on my surprised face, and a psycho thriller, that is really, really hard to get into, but I will finish it...someday. 

School starts in less than a month.  I am both excited and nervous.  I have never taken 10 credit hours at one time.  I have taken 9 though, so something tells me this will be much the same.  I do not know when the kids go back to school and have received, zilch from the school.  We did registration at the end of the school year last year, so there is none of that to worry about, but I do need to get their supplies; guess I will have to go to the school's website. 

Well...now I am rambling, so with that I will go to bed. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Filling the Void

Ok, so have you ever wanted to just talk to someone?  I mean, just to have a conversation?  Here I sit, me, who would rather type an email, IM, send a text, or any other thing that requires no actual face to face or even voice to voice, wanting desperately to talk.  You might be asking yourself why, well, actually, I have never mastered the fine art of talking on the telephone.  In fact, it rather annoys me.  Granted, it is better than nothing at all, but when typing you can proofread, ensure your thoughts are well rounded, meaningful and be straight to the point.  Whereas, on the phone, I can't so much get straight to the point and the silence kills me and in person I feel as if I have no proper understanding of the mechanics of a good conversation and frankly, I'm a dull person. In all honesty, I feel like I am wasting the other person's time.  Now that all said, I long to have a face to face - with some people.  My problem is, when I start talking to/with someone I get really involved in what they are saying.  I start to feel what they are feeling, thinking of ways to categorize their thoughts and actions.  From there I begin to get attached and that is where it all goes to the crap shot.

No one, I mean NO ONE wants a clingy conversation.  It isn't that I am a stalker type personality; in fact, I think I am about as far to the opposite direction as one can get.  I tend to hermit myself away.  So what is my fatal flaw?  I want to know too much.  I want to take the conversation apart and then play Lucy without the benefit of asking an individual for their change.  Or even, if I am being open here, their really caring if they want what I have to say in return.

So why the sudden shift?  I'm desperate for interaction.  I want to talk about, well, anything.  I want the feeling of alone-ness to go away; far, far away.  So what is keeping me from picking up my phone and dialing any of the number of pre-programmed contacts?  Time and not knowing what to say.  I mean saying "hello, I'm lonely, I don't have much going on in my life at the moment and I need you to help fill that void", isn't exactly a great conversation starter you know.  However, that all said, here is the real question I want to ask you.  Be honest, after all, I am just the disembodied voice on the other side of this blog, how often do you find yourself in the EXACT same situation.  I know I am not the only person and that in this world the feeling of being alone is more prevalent now than it has ever been before.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Touch of Perspective...

or perhaps I am just over that thing that crawled up my butt and died.  Yeah, that is it.  I appear to be on a very negative rant this month. Actually it followed me in from the last one.  After reading some of the things that I have written, both on here and not, I guess it is time to snap out this funk and worry about the plank in my own eye.  Man, I tell you though, finding, identifying and fixating on the spec in another's eye is SO MUCH EASIER!  I don't often share my daily devotionals or the notes that I take from a Sunday message at church or tidbits from here and there, but I think that a moment of perspective is what I need and I will share what has been really hitting home for me lately.

Have you ever heard, or read, that sometimes God uses other people to speak to you?  Well, I was having a conversation before the service started at church yesterday; mind you this was a completely random conversation and a friend of mine told me straight up I should write a book.  Of course, me of no faith, kind of laughed at her comment and snickered the statement 'who will read it?'  She quickly replied, along with another friend who was in the conversation, that she would.  It is funny, I think, because for as long as I can remember, for my adult life at least, I have wanted to write.  Sure, my ideas have changed over the years and what is important or publish worthy also, but in the end I think I finally narrowed it down.  Well, actually, I think it was narrowed down for me. 

I can't come right out and say that it was something audible; rather it is more of something that just feels like the correct path to follow.  I'm going to come right out and say that I am going to stumble. My walk with the Lord isn't perfect, no one's is.  Will I make mistakes?  Oh, you can bet your bottom dollar on it.  Will I ask the Lord to pick me up, dust off the seat of my pants and push me on my way? (Kind of what a parent does to a child who trips and falls)  Yes I will (I may shed a few tears along the way too.)  However, that all said, I cannot start this journey without taking stock of what I have, where I have been, what I need, and where I need to go.  For instance, I have the Lord in my heart; I have been very lax in my walk with him, as in, I haven't sought Him first in all things as of late; I need to rekindle my relationship with Jesus and I need to go before the thrown with my cross and ask the Lord to make my path straight.

It is quite interesting how a little perspective is all that it takes to get back on the road of life.  Oh, those mirages all look fine and dandy from a distance, but they won't quench the thirst like time with the one who created you.  And, that, dear readers is where I am to go.  It all comes from Him first giving love and from me looking for love in all the wrong places...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Art of Comparison or Maybe it is Complaining

They say the grass isn't always greener on the other side.  I think "they" are correct.  However, why is it from this vantage point the July sun had turned mine into lite brown crunchy, yet sharp, blades of blah?  Yes, I realize that this is an arbitrary question and that the only answer is perspective.  The point here is that I have had a lot on my mind lately.  (I really wish the thing had an on/off switch) So here goes:

Stuff - how much is a good amount?  Why oh why is the accumulation of it the basis for whether you are good enough or not?  How about clothes and accessories (sorry guys you may not get this one as much, or you may!!!)?  Why is having clothing that come from stores like Aeropostale and Ambercrombe (mall stores) so much more acceptable than those that come from places like Walmart and Fashion Bug?  Is it the material, the price tag, the label, etc?  Then there is a person's hair cut, color and style.  ARGHHHHH....makes me want to run for the hills screaming or punch the lights out of the self righteous individual who bases a person's self worth on such things.

That brings me to self righteousness.  Seriously!  I have a laundry list of names that just popped into my head and frankly, I will hold off on sharing them, because, there is that off chance they may read this thing. What is it with people who look at others and think (sometimes to themselves, sometimes not) they have the right to decide which is a moral and which is an amoral act? For instance, scoffing at a person who smokes, after said person kindly removes themselves not only from the same room, but goes out of doors, to do their thing.  Really, are you so much better?  Did you ever think that perhaps you should have gone out of doors before opening your pie hole?  Just saying. Disclaimer:  I don't smoke, I have and frankly don't think it is a healthy lifestyle choice, but hey, if its something you want to do...go for it, but please out of respect for me, don't do it in my house, just go out of doors and then come back in to visit. Oh, and, field strip your remains!  (As in, don't leave the butts in my yard, landscaping or flower boxes. Many thanks!

Then there is bragging.  This is the quintessential art of comparison.  In a nut shell, those who brag or "share" their "sales" aren't really being friendly, they are bragging that they are better and can afford better things.  For instance, oh, we (not meaning me and my hubby) just got a brand new, self designed vehicle, but had to omit several options because we couldn't afford it, but it was all on sale so it was worth it!  Great for you!  I am happy that you have learned the art of sacrifice.  Me, I just got a new to me vehicle (this being 3+ years ago) that was already previously loved and road tested (for 5 years), with a few minor problems (like, the automatic seat lever doesn't move up and down), but hey I can afford it, my family fits in it, and it goes down the road!  Whew...I'm thankful that that isn't a status maker.  Or perhaps it is and I will never be a card carrier in that club?!  Bugger!

Yes, I know, the frustration is oozing.  I don't write, post, call, text or share all the things I am getting or giving to my immediate family (that would be those under the same roof and/or I deam righteous enough to receive what I feel the can have).  I don't have shiny baubles and toys I can't really afford.  (Don't get me wrong I do have debt...we are after all American!) What I do have is a voice, a laptop and the great unknown to share all of my ramblings with.  (Though I am not sure how much of the unknown actually happens upon this!) With that, I leave to get myself ready for the day. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to share more later...probably a refresher after I have had a dose of perspective?!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacation Summary

One would think with my penchant for writing I would have thought to take a journal with me on vacation, but alas, I forgot.  However, I do have a memory and more importantly my phone has a journal app.  Yes, my technology free vacation seems to have been invaded by technology, bugger.  We camped for 4 days and 3 nights, this is an additional day over last year.  However, I was greatly saddened when it was time to come home, the girls were as well, Mike, well, lets just say, he doesn't enjoy camping, but he acquiesced.  So here is a chronology of sorts of how I viewed my vacation...perhaps in another post I will share all the events and activities that we all went on/did.  We kept the kids VERY busy!

Day 1:  A Morning Run
I woke up at 5:30 am...yes, I know that it is vacation and that I am allowed to sleep in, but for some reason I have issues doing that.  After all, the morning is the best time of a day.  I went on a 3.2 mile run through the park.  The world at large (or at least the small one that I was surrounded by) was mostly asleep and it was me and mother nature.  I felt completely at peace.  The sound of my feet hitting pavement (the road/and or bike trail) and trail along with birds, animals scurrying to and fro and nothingness.  Have you ever been blessed by that sound?  It is soul cleansing.  I don't really know how to put all of it to words other than, I felt awe struck, humble, at peace and more specifically - free.  Free from the confines of time, technology, people, and society.

Day 2:  Coming and Going
Have you ever wondered what people think or do or where they come from and where they are going?  There was a couple that showed up to camp late (after 9pm) on 2 bicycles.  These were serious bikes and bikers.  Everything they needed, a tent, bedding, food, clothes, etc were packed on the bikes.  They were a young couple, couldn't be out of their 20's  and very fit. They quietly set up camp 2 plots down from us.  The next morning as I was coming back from the bath house with Lillian the lady was journaling and the man was plotting their next course.  I often wonder what it would be like to take such an avant garde approach to life or in the least a vacation.  The freedom to essentially chose your own adventure.  These two quietly packed up and left early in the day and where to I have no clue, but I can only imagine the sights they will see while getting there.

Day 3:  Those Little Things Around Me
I'm not referring to my children here people!  This is the day that I actually remembered that I do have an app for that!  By which, I mean, my journaling app; and trust me when I say that it received a very thorough work out in the span of 30 minutes.  Here are the notes that I took - oh, as a disclaimer, these are all just snip it ramblings and not complete thoughts...hence my frustration in not having an actual journal. 
  • Rata-ta-tat...is the sound of a woodpecker.  I wonder what he is thinking as his rhythmic pounding is creating a cadence of peacefulness.
  • Have you ever just watched an ant?  Out here, in the wide spaces, they run in frantic little circles searching for who only knows what.  It rather makes me wonder if they are perhaps running from something.
  • Alvin, Simon, Theodore...nope, not these little guys.  Chipmunks really are cute little critters darting to and fro.  Their skittish movements make me wonder if they are frightened by their own shadows or if they are consumed by the vastness that is the essence of their survival.  What is the purpose of a chipmunk?  Do they have a reason in the ecosystem? Or are they more for the pleasure of one sitting idly by  contemplating the beauty and the peacefulness that only the great outdoors can provide?  I think the latter is by far they best answer!
  • As a kid I never understood the beauty and peace that come from just sitting in a chair with nothing but the thoughts in my head.  Now, however, I realize it is more than an action, or lack there of, it is therapy.
Day 4:  All Good Things Must Come to an End
I had mixed feelings this day.  I didn't want to go and at the same time I just wanted to get on with the day, tackle the list of work that needed to get done (loads and loads of laundry, cleaning everything up, packing and storing things for later, etc) and then continue where it all left off.  I finally finished the book I started prior to vacation starting and found that it was book that was meant to be read during such an occasion as this.  It was called Happily Ever After by Susan may Warren.  Now, before you scoff at it sounding like a sappy romance, remember that not all books can be judged by their covers or in the least their titles.  This book, was more than the bringing together of two people, it was a story that intricately wove you around their individual lives, their struggles, their finding of who they are and the why, they love that God has for US, not just these make believe characters and then, and only then, do you get the added bonus of them finding each other.  This is a Christian author and therefore there is no explicit language, dirty little scenes and it is chock full of scripture and motivational thoughts - like I said, this was the most perfect book to read while on a vacation.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's Here

Well, it is finally here.  The day of our vacation.  All the planning and preparing that I wanted to do, umm, didn't quite get done; seems you can lead a horse to water...I get really discouraged being the only person that can see the things that need to get done and then do them.  The kids, I can kind of see, they are after all just kids, but...yep, exactly!  I had a list of items that I wanted to accomplish in the last 4 days and only a fraction of those were completed.  Now here it is, 4 hours until we leave and I am so overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done that I can only get through it by typing it out!

So, I got the kitchen stuff packed, almost all of the groceries and swimming/beach stuff, the camping gear is all in one location and the toiletries are almost ready.  That leaves, finding the rest of the beach toys, finishing the laundry and packing it, getting the bedding around and making sure the kids and house are all cleaned.  Yep, it is going to be a hectic day.  Oh man oh man...sometimes I wish that I could clone myself. 

Yikes, and I still need to print of my registration receipt to show the park entrance...yes, it is going to be a busy busy day.