Tuesday, December 20, 2011

disagreements

          
Dear God, I praise you and thank you for who you are. Please guide me and help me when I face conflict and disagreement with others. Help me to follow biblical principles. Sometimes I'm just "hard-headed" and do not want to give in to compromise, even when either view, decision, desire is biblical. Help me to carefully consider the other person's perspective and situation. And if someone has wronged me, give me courage to confront them in a spirit of love and reconciliation. If they will not hear me, show me who should go with me to talk with the person. When necessary, help me to continue on and take steps based on Your Word. I want to do what is right, and as much as possible, to live peaceably with all people. Please forgive me where I have failed, and give me the grace and wisdom to do better; to do what is right. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen
Thank you Os once again for hitting me right where I need to be… hit.
I had a fight with my husband last night and while I’m still smarting from it and the general feeling of neglect I deal with in my marriage and my family; seeing that God cares about me does make a big difference in my ability to move forward in some way.  I mean really!  I sit here at work feeling wounded and unloved because of the argument and my husband’s ability to turn it off and move forward without any concern for how I’m feeling (drat, tears again!) and this comes as a prayer.  I think I’ll be praying it hourly today as I attempt to not plot revenge by spending money this afternoon (for things I actually need yes, but in my state of mind there would be some revenge there too!).
Prayer from TGIF: Today God Is First by Os Hillman

Friday, December 9, 2011

SCL: Covet 2.0

A favorite blog of mine... wait, it's not a blog I write, it's a favorite blog.  OK, whatever, I think you get it.

Stuff Christians Like is a great blog!  (That's better.)  Today is "Serious Wednesday" and Jon (author) wrote about Covet 2.0.  I am not alone in agreeing that this was a timely and oh so true post!

(Welcome back; assuming you clicked to visit SCL and are now back... or perhaps I'm now alone with my covetous thoughts because you got lost in the wit and humor of SCL and are now committed to reading all the back posts.)

I sit before you at 12:16am, not tired (though I was at 8pm on my drive home thinking about a hot bath and a soft pillow before 9pm!  Such a glorious goal missed again!), and filled with the desire to be more than I currently am. (and hoping the bunny downstairs who is making so much noise would STOP already!)  I am going to catch a cold because this is my 3rd night (4th?) without enough rest and that always spells disaster for my health.  I just can't seem to get to bed).  Tonight I was even IN bed at 9pm, but this temptress of a computer was sitting there all glowy and warm, calling out to me.  I've been working long hours this week and I feel out of touch with so many things; reading blogs and news and such online makes me feel like I belong somewhere in the world. 

Does that sound bad?  Is it a good or bad thing that the internet is what makes me feel like I belong?  I guess if I still shower and have a job and can interact without people in a reasonable manner I am OK.  That's the standard I'm going with for now; albeit a low standard.  I do normally have far more live interaction with the world; but lately, my computer has been the go to source.  I'm not even really talking to people online.  I'm not on Facebook much, or emailing letters.  I'm just reading and occassionally writing.  There's so much inside, but often when I want to type it out of me... it's elusive. 


I find myself looking at the (albeit 1 dimensional) lives of others and dealing with some fairly deep dissatisfaction in my own life.

I know... I shouldn't compare myself with others - honestly I do know that!  It's biblical, it's wise!  And yet...

So, I will be working on uninstalling Covet 2.0!  I fear though, it is much like AOL and as often as I uninstall it will pop back up because it has embedded itself so deeply in the processes of my heart.  Perhaps this is why the word sacrifice comes up so often when discussing living our lives for Christ.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Using Jerry Springer to Preach Christ

This is the only email devotional I receive these days and most days I read it.  I love that Os starts with a prayer and how often that prayer puts me in the place I need to be or speaks to where I am. 

Taken from:  TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

Today's Prayer God, I know that Jesus had a special place in His heart for the poor. He said that the poor would always be among us. How can I use my gifts and talents to help the poor in my community? Please lead me and show me the best way to bless them and meet their needs in your name, that I might also point them to You.

Using Jerry Springer to Preach Christ
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
12-08-2011
"On hearing this, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners'" (Matt 9:12-13).
 
Linda Rios Brook is a businesswoman who desires to impact the culture with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Linda lives on the front lines of the fast-paced world of business. A former President and General Manager of a network television affiliate in Minneapolis, Linda resigned her position after making comments about her faith in her local newspaper; which subsequently resulted in a company policy which precluded officers and managers from publicly identifying with a specific faith.
Linda was approached by a Christian foundation with the opportunity to purchase a television station in her local market. The idea of managing a "religious" television station did not appeal to her in the least because she knew that such a format would not sustain a for profit business model.
After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every month in attempting to attract a "Christian audience" she realized that the station could not survive without a more mainstream programming lineup. An opportunity arose to get the Rush Limbaugh program from a competitor, but only if she also took "The Jerry Springer Show." Linda struggled with what to do with this program, knowing the religious community would criticize this decision. Then, the Lord gave her an idea.
She decided to place a rolling statement across the bottom of the page that said, "Need a friend? Call 555-5555." She decided to use the Jerry Springer Show as bait for ministering to those who might be watching the program, who she concluded represented a ripe field for the gospel. Her insight proved true. The phones began to ring off the hook and many came to Christ as a result.
Sometimes we need to get out of our religious boxes and see how we can impact the culture using even the most negative influences in our culture to do it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

strange dreams


So, I often have some pretty strange dreams.  I have a friend who always says “Please don’t tell me about your dreams… I don’t care.” Which I get, but still, I have some pretty interesting ones.

I dream about spiders a lot.  They apparently mean something.  Actually everything means something.  I like to look things up in dream journals when a particularly vivid dream hits me, but I truly have no confidence that anything they say is accurate.  I always wonder who decided what different elements in a dream mean?  How do we know that is true or accurate?  I think Freud had a lot to do with it and Jung; but don’t we kind of know now that Freud wasn’t the sanest person to begin with and that the pool of people he chose to study were not a standard by which the general public would choose as ‘normal’.  Anyway… that being said.  Here is my latest dream.

In the ocean just offshore and there is suddenly a cow in the water.  A group of people decided that we should get the cow out of the water and devised a raft type contraption pulled by a boat to do just this.  However, we were concerned about sharks because the cow raft contraption wouldn’t go very fast without tipping over.  (Yes, my dreams are this detailed.  It’s no wonder I often wake up tired.  I’ve “done” so much while sleeping.)

To keep the sharks away we decided I would follow (fuzzy detail… in a boat? Just swimming? Who knows.) with a big stick that would put out sound waves and hopefully distract the shark.  However, having not thought this through properly, the distraction became ME and now the shark was following.  I made it to shore, on a very short beach with the tide coming in and was quite fearful the shark would follow into the shallow water and bite me.  So I climbed up the rock cliff in front of me a bit to get out of the way of the shark.  I made it just high enough that the shark couldn’t get me.  It’s head was touching the bottom of my foot, but I couldn’t get any higher without risking falling and giving the shark his opportunity to eat me.  So I stayed that way until the tide went out.  It seemed like a really long time.

I must have eventually managed to extricate myself from my friend the shark, because then I was staying with a friend in a beautiful ocean front home and we were going to sleep.  I couldn’t sleep because we were so close to the water and I couldn’t relax after my near fatal shark encounter.  So I went for a walk and quickly found myself on a path in a semi wilderness where I happened upon a…. smoothie machine.  It was oddly stationed about 20 yards from the concession stand where one would pay (and get other food).  I grabbed my smoothie and went to pay.  At the window, imagine my glee to see that Johnny Depp was working there; though I wondered why on earth he was there even in my dream.  I told him it was wonderful that he was so “nice” and “down to earth” (one can only assume because he chose to work in this little out of the way smoothie spot in the middle of nowhere.  I may have tried to tell him about the shark encounter, but alas; it was time to wake up.  Or so said my husband walking from room to room to wake the house up for Monday after a nice long weekend.
If one were to look up the main elements of my dream in a dream dictionary; you might find…

Shark:  To see a shark in your dream indicates feelings of anger, hostility, and fierceness. You are undergoing a long and difficult emotional period and may be an emotional threat to yourself or to others.  Perhaps, you are struggling with your individuality and independence, especially in some aspect of your relationship. Alternatively, a shark represents a person in your life who is greedy and unscrupulous. This person goes after what he or she wants with no regards to the well-being and sensitivity of others. The shark may also be an aspect of your own personality with these qualities.
Alternate Possibility:  Who knows why a shark is there; but the shark pressing on my foot all night could have been my daughter doing her best at extreme cuddling where she entwines herself in my limbs to the best of her ability (all while asleep, it’s really pretty incredible).  My guess is her foot was under my foot and pressing into the bottom of it.
Now I’m wondering if this isn’t also from the nature show I caught with my daughter.  Although it was about lions and cheetah’s and such; although one was in a tree to get away from hyenas.

Cow:  To see a cow in your dream symbolizes your passive and docile nature. (excuse me while I laugh.  However, there is one person in my life I do fall into this behavior with and I was not happy Sunday.  Could be.) You obey others without question. (more laughter) Alternatively, a cow represents maternal instincts or the desire to be cared for. For some cultures, the cow represents divine qualities of fertility, nourishment and motherhood. (Alternate explanation:  probably because I watched the last few minutes of a movie with cows in it, but still, why in distress and why in the OCEAN?).

Rescue: To dream that you are being rescued or rescue others represents an aspect of yourself that has been neglected or ignored. You are trying to find a way to express this neglected part of yourself. Alternatively, it symbolizes an unconscious cry for help. Perhaps you are too proud in your waking life to ask for assistance.  (Not too proud to ask for help, but there is an issue or two in my life that this could describe.)

Ocean:  To see an ocean in your dream represents the state of your emotions and feelings. It is indicative of spiritual refreshment, tranquility and renewal. Alternatively, the dream means that you are feeling empowered and unhindered. You have a positive outlook in life and are not limited by anything. If you are sailing across the ocean, then it signifies new found freedom and independence. You are showing great courage. If the ocean is rough, then the dream represents some emotional turmoil. You are doing your best to handle life's ups and downs. 
So, whatever that means…  Goodnight.  Don't let the bedbugs (or sharks) bite.




Facebook

So I have been pretty much staying away from Facebook for the past two weeks and I have to say that not going on and seeing the seemingly "perfect" lives everyone else is living.


I think this FB vacation is going to continue!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Doubt

So, like all thinking Christians, I have doubt.  I'm sure I also share in guilt and fear when my doubt comes to the surface.  Lately I have been dodging my doubt instead of thinking it through.  I'm not sure why I'm taking this tack, I normally would just deal with it and move on.


At church last night my doubt came back to the surface, but with another thought as to why it may be hanging around.  The message was about what we put our faith in.  Is there an area we need Jesus to shine His light into?  I realized, my marriage is the first thing that comes to mind that needs God's light, His help.  Later they asked what areas of your life has God spoken into.  I wrote the same list as before.

  • Marriage
  • Serving
  • Parenting
  • Growing

God has spoken into all these areas of my life and now I see that I have a large need for Him to speak into my life in many areas again.  I know my life is pretty broken right now.  I think my life is more broken than I realized; or perhaps I'm just growing used to the brokenness.  


Brokenness can lead to doubt.  Anything can lead to doubt, but when areas of difficulty pile up in your life, doubt has fertile ground.  My general thought process when doubt comes calling is to remind myself of Job, David and Creation.  Creation is kind of the silver bullet for doubt in my life because there is no chance evolution created such amazingly intricate beings as we are; not to mention the diversity of life on the planet that lives in such symbiotic relationship.  There had to be a watch maker.  


I feel better already.


So to deal with my doubt, I am writing today.  Perhaps this doubt has hung around longer because I've not dealt with it.  Because it's more elusive than it usually is.  I can't pinpoint what this doubt is trying to say.  It's more a feeling of uneasiness about faith without any specific point.  Almost like an anxiety attack, without the attack.  


I do believe that the state of my marriage, my current dissatisfaction with my life, my parenting, my kids, the lack of respect I receive in my home... have all played into doubt.  Add onto that the change in my ministry opportunities at church -- no longer leading a women's bible study as I have done for 7 years, no longer attending a weekly women's bible study as I have done for decades.  I'm feeling lost in this area of my life as well.  It has always been my bible study that grounds me.  Ahhh, now we are getting somewhere.  It truly has always been my bible study that grounds me.  I am without that and have been without it for over a year now.  It does make a huge difference in my life because it's the homework that drives me forward in my faith and understanding of who God is and how He is at work in my life.  Otherwise, I fall prey to life's business and my daily/weekly pursuit of bible study and drawing closer to God falls by the wayside.


With my marriage currently so broken; and so many of the attempts to mend it failing... I have lost a basis of strength. My bible study changing from what has been close to a lifetime of habit, another strength lost.  No wonder I'm feeling doubt.


Thanks for listening!  That helped!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rejection

I was talking with my Mom today about rejection.  Actually, she was talking to me about rejection.  She recently broke up with a boyfriend we both thought was going to marry her.  It was one of those very strange break ups where we are both still flabbergasted and confused.  He'd asked her to move in for months and when she finally did, he flipped out.  It got ugly.  They are now barely friends.  Note: I am not excited about the moving in without marriage thing, but she's 65, knows better, yet often does mostly what she wants.

This isn't the first breakup.  It's been hard watching her date and worry about her getting hurt.  My Mom is pretty nice, and crazy, but we all have our baggage and the older we are, the more baggage we carry.  I would have said she has more baggage than most, in fact I planned to type that next; but when I think about the recent ex boyfriend, I'm just not sure that is accurate.  He did a 180 AFTER she got all her stuff in the house and then tried to just throw her out.  That's a lot of baggage!  That as a rational (guessing here) adult who at 65+ should know enough about them self to know that he doesn't want to live with a woman...to behave that way.  My Mom may not be as crazy as I initially thought.  Or she just fares well in competition to others her age.

So rejection.  She's hurt - who wouldn't be. She is now thinking that she shouldn't date.  That dating is a frustration in dashed hopes of being loved.  I want to tell her this isn't true and hope springs eternal and there is somebody to love everybody; but I can't.  It isn't true.  She may not have another.  There is a lot of rejection in her life.  She talked about being in pain.  Agony kind of pain where the only salvation is to find a way to get out of yourself and travel someplace else to escape it.  (she is disabled)  Sharing that experience she said the only place she could go was to go to God.  To spend time with him away from her pain.  The only way to survive is to totally surrender to God and accept that if this is where her life is; she's OK with it because God is with her.

Fast forward to this evening where we had our final Rooted Bible Study celebration.  We talked about how to live the Christian life.  How did Jesus live the Christian life?  He was totally surrendered to it.  He surrendered His Godhood to become incarnate in a body.  He will never leave the body He's in.  He gave up that ability to be everywhere physically to be our sacrifice.  Surrender.

I wrote down that I am not surrendered.
I am not surrendered in my marriage.  To God, to my husband.  I am angry and still think "I" can do something about it.  I'm not sure this is the lesson and yet letting go makes me hopeless.  I'm a doer.  Perhaps part of this lesson is for me.

I am not surrendered to God.  I still think I am in control.  I'm not, but I'm still striving for control.  When I think about it intellectually, this is funny because I'm not in control of anything.  I'm a force of nature going about my day touching ground occasionally.  I'm interrupted so many times throughout the day and that would be OK if I didn't have other work to do; but I am so not in control.

So this weekend, I have some spiritual work to do.  I need to do some surrendering to God.  I do trust Him so the intellectual part of it is OK.  I'm part of the way there.  I have stopped short of actually behaving in trust though.  Wonder if I'm going to find that I don't trust God as much as I think I do.  I sure hope not cuz that would be so much harder to deal with.  Just the idea of surrender is hard.

I think that perhaps now I am going to surrender to sleep.  My body is weary and I have much to do tomorrow.

Blessings on you all.

Tomorrow...and daily... let's start our day by telling God it's all His anyway and we acknowledge that.
You are God and I am not.
Lord, today, not my will, but Your will!

Allergies

I have been sick most of my life.
I can't even recall the last time I didn't feel ill.  It is a fleeting state for me that often brings with it a renewed frustration with my daily health such that I wonder if it is worth feeling good at all.  It makes me feel worse when the symptoms come back.
I have allergies.  I went through immunotherapy when I was 16.  I passed out during the test (which I did on my own and now think, hey, where was my Mom?  I was pretty independent though so it doesn't really surprise me that I would go alone.).  I recall waking up and thinking I was in my room at home and couldn't immediately understand why the allergy doctor was there.  I eventually figured it out.  I wasn't home; I was on the floor in the doctor's office.  Funny, having the testing done today I wonder if it was as short a process then as it was today.  It was all of 15-20 mins.  Seemed like a lot longer back when I was a teenager, but then time is funny that way and fainting sure will mess up your sense of time.

I got my allergy shots for what seemed like forever (there I go with time again).  8 shots a week.  Not fun.

I had to go off my oh so precious antihistamine in order to do this test and I don't know how much longer I can stand it.  I stopped taking it on 5 days ago.  3 days in I thought I was going to put a hole in my eye lid trying to itch it.  My tongue itches, my hands are swelling, my shoulders itch, my stomach.  It is not fun.  I figure it will be worth it if they find what I'm allergic to and can do something to help me feel better.

However, the test today didn't show any allergies.  I told them I snuck 1/2 an antihistamine to avoid the loony bin on Sat eve.  The control test showed I was still having a histamine reaction.  My concern... what if they don't show any allergies?  I've kind of gotten my hopes up on feeling decent and being able to hear and not feel like I'm under water all the time.

sigh...



Thursday, November 17, 2011

priorities

I often find myself thinking about all the things I wish I could do. 

  • I wish I could go back to school and get a degree.
  • I wish I could learn to write better.
  • I wish I could learn to draw.
  • I wish I had more time to spend with my kids, but often the time I spend with my kids is daily life and chores and it's often less than...satisfying.  I wish I had more of the giggling while watching the same scene over and over again on a movie.  More going out to eat or talking about life and faith.  Driving in the car and listening to music loud and dancing in our seats. 
  • I wish I had more time to read stuff on the Internet because there is so much to read and learn and I want more of that knowledge inside me.
  • I wish I could watch all the movies and TV shows that seem interesting to me when I read about them. 
  • I wish I had more time to do all sorts of things.



I fair number of those things have to do with the Internet in some way shape or form.  I've joked for years that Google is my best friend. 


I manage to keep some sanity in these desires by pursing what I can when I can and remembering that when I look back on my life, I don't think I'll be saying to myself that I wish I had more time to spend on Facebook or Google or even email.

More Bunny Madness

So the maybe, but now probably not, pregnant bunny just came out of her cage for a run around.  I haven't let her out much because she was nesting and I did (do?) think she is pregnant.  My kittens are a little too interested in her and keep wanting to bat her with their paws so I yell NO in a big booming voice that - thankfully - still works on them (because it doesn't work on anybody else in my family!  I do want them to be afraid of the bunnies so the bunnies stay safe (though the bit on my thumb might lead one to believe the bunnies can easily take care of themselves.  They probably have little bunny switch knives and leather jackets they wear when I'm not home to be tough and strike fear into the kittens.  Which actually brings a memory to mind.  Our first cat (that is married first cat) was named Krazy Kitty.  I now don't recall why we named her that but I still miss her and I"m not a mushy animal person (not after all the cats I've unintentionally offered up to coyote sacrifice anyway).  We had a whole story about how Krazy Kitty spent her time outside.  How she had a Mohawk that she patted down when she came back in the house so we wouldn't know about her other life.  Rode around on a motorcycle and tagged the neighborhood to make sure everyone knew she was in charge.  We actually saw a tag sign on the freeway off ramp that said KK and of course, that was Krazy Kitty.  So silly the wonderful things we thought up when we were young and less concerned with the maturity of life.

So now the bunny, after cautiously venturing out from the cage, started racing around the house.  Racing.  Chasing cats, running behind the sofa (which she's probably inside right now eating until it collapses in a bunch of sticks.  Bunnies must have termite relatives, they chew everything!)  It's cute to see her run around.

I do wish I could train her not to chew cords and such.  I know we can litter box train them and that alone would be pretty cool.  I love the idea of having a neat pet that other people don't have.  They really are some work though.

Makes me love my cats even more honestly.  They are so easy!!!  How does anybody not love a cat!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anniversary

Today is my anniversary. 
Today I choose not to think about the very difficult and lonely years we've recently been through, but to celebrate the cool and quirky stuff we did and the hope of a future together that I can look back on 10 years from now with satisfaction and gratitude that we made it through the parenting years (though we may be paying for college indefinitely - who knows).

Here's to running through the sprinkers at midnight on our birthdays.
Here's to Woody Allen movies.
Here's to dancing in the aisles at the grocery store.
Here's to great sex.
Here's to agreeing to help our friends when they need it.
Here's to creating two beautiful and intelligent and challenging human beings who will go forth and make the world a better place.
Here's to finding our way back to a couplehood as we embrace the challenges of raising children.
Here's to thoughtful gifts through the years.
Here's to sacrifice.
I love you!

You know, I kind of like that.  I think I'll make that my anniversary card!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Volunteering

I love to volunteer.

I love being a part of things, what is going on, making things happen.
It makes me feel good to see an event go well; to serve others. I think it also makes me feel good about myself.

I have, in the past, had a problem with over-volunteering. To the point where people at my church thought I was on staff because I was working (volunteering at) so many events.

So... this is true about myself, but as Socrates would say, the unexamined life is not worth living... why do I like to volunteer?

The temptation here is to add on all the codependent ideas that made me decide not to be a nurse when I wanted to go to nursing school.  I didn't even need help with that one; I talked myself out of it.  I would have been a great nurse; however, I also might not be married today.  Even doing administrative work there are many nights I work late because I want to be around for my boss when I know they have something going on.  So how codependent would I have been as a nurse with the excuse that it's this person's health and I just can't come home dear, will you take care of the kids like you're a single parent again tonight.  I can so see that I avoided that future and Jesus... I thank you for the insight you gave me in the nursing school administration office when I decided to walk out. 

Yes, I know there is a seed of codependency in my love of volunteering.  There is part of me that wants to be liked and by doing nice things and being dependable I most certainly up the odds. I think about this.  I volunteer for lots of stuff at work too and this behavior can sometimes get me into trouble. 

Gosh... I just deleted a bunch of what I was going to say because it sounded too whiny!  Blech! 

I'm going to go with volunteering makes me think outside of myself.  It helps me with perspective on life and hopefully keeps me from over dramatizing the problems in my own life because there is always somebody who has it worse than I do.  It helps me get away from the problems of my own life and often gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I work on something and it goes well.

I love the idea of giving and not getting paid for it (I can't say I get nothing in return because I do feel good about it.  There is definitely a pay off in some form). 

It keeps me out of trouble and sometimes provides me with an escape.

Yes, I think volunteering is good.




BTW... did I mention bunnies have really sharp teeth?  Yeah... I should have paid attention.  One got out and while chasing him down with carrot lures he bit me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bunnies

I have two rabbits.

I don't really want any rabbits.  They are cute and super soft but way too much responsibility.  I have decided I really don't like caged animals.  I feel bad for them all the time because I don't want them caged.  I tried letting them out to run around, but you have no idea just how destructive a rabbit can be until they run around your house for a day or two. 

I have heard you can potty train them and that would make a huge difference BUT... they still have teeth and like a perpetual toddler, they put everything in their mouth.

I'm trying to write.  I have the house to myself which is a rare event (and only for another 45 minutes) so I thought I'd take this time to tap out a few ideas in my head.  The bunnies are fighting me.  One of the bunnies is running around and jumping in her cage trying to get my attention.  Maybe I should give her a cuddle then finish writing.  I did think she was pregnant.  I mean, she started nesting and ripped all the fur on her chest out -- which is like... OW!  I like to pet the skin there because it's so soft, but she does not enjoy it and since she's the one with the teeth... I don't pet it.  (much).  Oh yeah, she's upset.  Now she's trying to rip her water bowl off the side and throw it. 

The other bunny has a cage that is too small for him.  He was just the size of your hand a few months ago, but.... they GROW!  Darn!  So until I can find a cage I can afford we put him in the downstairs bathroom for a bit daily.  He's still in there and it sounds like he is playing drums on the door.  My guess is that nobody fed him this morning -- or this afternoon and now he can hear me clicking away out here and he's hungry.

Did you know that bunny's GROWL!  They do.  When they are upset they will growl - they will even ATTACK you! (which brings to mind images of Monty Python).  Our rabbits are fairly nice, but they have attacked and they do growl if you don't pet them before feeding them (and you'd so think that would be the other way around, wouldn't you!).  I cracked up the first time I heard this growling.  I thought to myself, just who are you kidding!!  Trust me, they aren't kidding.  Those teeth and their nails are sharp!

OK... off to more parental responsibility.  Going to feed the furry children. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Facebook

I find that my opinion of Facebook has changed.  I used to love it.  Having some time away from it has changed my opinion.  So has reconnecting with so many new people.  New and people from high school days.

I find myself frustrated of late.  I see these wonderful pictures by others having fun with their friends and family.  All happy and going on adventures and such.  It makes me sad.  Sad that I don't have so much of this right now.  It makes me reflect on where my life is, my marriage being in such a dead zone, and it overflows into other areas of life.  I see that dissatisfaction breeds more dissatisfaction.  This is apparently a slippery slope that I need to be cautious of.

I could list all the things I'm dissatisfied with.  Marriage, body, house.  It leads to concerns about feeling relevant and valuable.  I'm not super career oriented.  I've normally found much satisfaction with family, kids, church, friends.  Not having some great career has never been a problem.  I'm now in an environment with people who are almost all more educated than I am.  Where people are very focused on going forward and perhaps coupled with the Facebook envy I'm reevaluating where I stand.  I totally should have gone to college and that is something I will regret always.  Normally, not having a degree doesn't interfere too much.  I'm smarter (or quicker) than the average person and pretty well read.  I don't think most people realize I don't have a degree.  I don't lie about it, but I certainly don't bring it up in conversation. 

So now, I read a bunch of blogs and I really do love these people.  I can't wait for a new post and it feels so much more like connecting with somebody than even checking in on Facebook.  It doesn't make me sad -- except the sad stories, there's totally empathy there.

I'm noticing that so many people are liberal or believe one side of things.  I'm conservative generally, but I care deeply about other people and don't think that only CEOs should benefit.  I see both sides and I'm just kind of sick and tired of the "we're right and you're wrong" game so many play within politics and life.  Life has become so complicated and so many are just trying to survive and maybe enjoy part of their lives.  I appreciate that it seems almost overwhelming to try to keep up on issues, but ultimately I think that's because even with education we've lost the ability to think and reason.  We've been so overwhelmed with moral relativism that people begin to believe whatever is published by the group they identify with instead of thinking about why and how people come to their conclusions.

So, I may be leaving Facebook for a while.  I don't know.  What good is it if I just feel bad or am frustrated by the views and opinions of others.  Do I post my own views in discussion with others?  Risk being de-friended...which has happened.  Do I care?  I guess I do care or I wouldn't be writing this.  I care because I'm more vulnerable right now going through marital difficulties and feeling so alone in my own life.

Hmmmm

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Mother's Voice

Do you ever hear your Mother's voice come out of your mouth?  I already sound quite a bit like my Mom, but when I really hear her voice come out of my mouth it freaks me out.  I don't really like it and yet I know it's inevitable.

My Mom and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember.  I can remember very specific life lesson's she taught me along the way.  Some good and a few bad.  Most of the bad things (as in things I knew I would choose to avoid because I watched her do them) were inadvertent.  Despite what my therapist has told me, I feel like I had a pretty good childhood.  I wonder though; was it just 'the thing' to do to pretend you were an orphan?  My brother and I did a lot of this.  We had a blast pretending to live on a ship and try to survive going from island to island or how we would gather enough food to live in a bush in the park behind our street (and close to the community pool so we still had bathroom facilities!  We were not stupid!) 

A total aside here... gosh, I never even considered not being able to go to the bathroom when you need to if you are homeless.  That somehow makes the realization of being homeless even more horrifying!


I went to therapy for a year several years ago.  God and I had done a lot of work on me (and not all of it was done with a 2x4), but I found that there was a wall I kept hitting and couldn't figure out how to deal with it.  I didn't know it at the time but the wall was my Mother.  This would prove to be a very (very) bad year for my Mom.  I'm very sorry that it turned out so poorly for her, but ultimately I have to believe it's for the best.  She is now much happier and living her own life for quite possibly the first time in her entire adult life.  That is certainly a good thing (even if her stupid jerk of a now ex-boyfriend and she just broke up). 

Apparently, others could see what I could not.  I was quite co-dependent when it came to Mother.  I have a need to help people and honestly I'd been trained from a young age to be this kind of person.  This is not a bad thing.  However, when one comes upon people who troll for such easy marks, it can put me at a rather great disadvantage.

As I said, my Mother and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember.  I should mention now that my Mother is also often batshit crazy.  I'm not just saying this though.  Crazy is a family trait and we have our fair share of relatives who have been (or should have been) locked up in institutions.  Maybe it was living so close to states like Kentucky.  I can only blame inbreeding or the like early on.  (You might be a redneck if your family is batshit crazy.)

My Mother is also a major depressive.  For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it means that my mother is what some might call uni-polar.  She gets depressed.  Very depressed.  Depressed as in she was once in bed so long she suffered from Vitamin D deficiency depressed.  This is not fun.  For her or anybody else.

When I think back now, I wonder how bad it would have been to have just kept things the way they were.  Would it have killed me or my marriage?  Who knows.  But with the help of my therapist, I drew some boundaries that were not overly appreciated by my Mom.  She kind of had a nervous breakdown; which I do honestly feel bad about (but I need to refer you back to my comment about her being crazy and that I was honestly trying to be a better me at the time).  Initially, I thought the therapist was just trying to do the whole "blame your parents" thing, but I finally realized he really wasn't trying to get me to blame anybody.  He just wanted me to realize that I had been trained to be codependent -- especially for my Mother and that was not fair to me, or my husband, or my kids.

Unfortunately, this process turned out to be kind of ugly.  My Mother became extremely abusive when I took a step or two back from her.  I didn't do any of the things you might imagine.  I didn't tell her "it was all her fault."  I didn't yell or blame her in any way.  I simply tried to create some boundaries.  Honestly, I don't remember much of it now because much of what happened is eclipsed in my memory by some pretty mean and angry emails, a lot of yelling and ultimately being told that I am overweight because of my guilt for how I treat my Mother (seriously, this is just pregnancy/baby weight I need to loose.  That my baby is now almost 12 is inconsequential).  Most of the things my Mom threw my way were just delusion.  However, it's hard to argue effectively with crazy.  So, I kept to my side of the boundary line I'd drawn.  Most of the time, I didn't respond with anything more than, "I'm sorry you feel this way, I hope you are feeling better soon."  I'm sure this really made her angry, but it worked for me.  I did respond in a way that would have been far more satisfying and ultimately might have ruined our relationship forever... I just sent these emails to my best friend at the time instead of to her.  We ended up having a good laugh about it all, which in all the stress, I greatly needed.

I guess Mom and I have reached out peace over the past few years.  It's good to have that back and probably better that there are some boundaries there now.  Who would have guessed boundaries are so important in life?  I see how few of them I have and how that impacts my own expectations of complete exposure and sharing without holding anything back in other relationships in my life.  I am probably a Princess or Queen of TMI when I think about it. 

I'm going with... 'at least I'm entertaining."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christmas Gifts

I have a wonderful tradition with a good friend of mine where we give one another gag gifts on our birthdays.  We are rarely on time and they are often supremely tacky.  I almost had the perfect gift this year, but after I finally came down from the Giant Metal Chicken (just Google it and when you start laughing you'll know you're on the right site!) high I was on, my brain kicked in and I realized that a small flock of real, egg laying chickens might be a bit more of a burden than a good laugh. 

I have stopped exchanging gifts with my family.  (Not my kids, just my brother etc.) but am considering starting this tradition with them.  No more than $20 and we could even do a White Elephant thing (damn I love White Elephant Gift Games!!). 

This year, should the rest of my family agree (honestly, even if they don't I am going forward with this) I have already identified some pretty awesome gifts!

Do you watch TV?  Then I'm sure you've seen...

Spray Rubber!  Seriously, I wish I could just buy everyone a can.  This is the coolest stuff I've seen in a long time!!  I think if you buy 2 you get a Ginsu knife too! 

Dog Fart Spray!  I am thinking I could give this to a friend with a teenage boy and add a sticker that says "Boy" over the dog.  (although they have a dog that farts too, so maybe this is a dual purpose gift!)

Bacon TShirt would be cool for either of my kids.  Now, as I read the rest of the fun shirts on the site I feel good that I laugh at many, and realize I just don't understand what some of them are talking about.  For instance, not being an SNL watcher, I did not understand the "More Cowbell" comment and had to Google that search.

Giant Trout Pillow:  This could be a serious winner!  (Oh, no!  It's out of stock!)

Then there is always the go-to gift... Chia Pet.  Pick your theme!!!


OK... getting tired.  I'm off.  Night Sue Ellen.  Night John Boy.  Night Google.  Night Internet.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wasted Time

The biggest problem I have with writing is what to write about.  I come up with all manner of things during the day - when I have no time to write - and when I have time (ok, 11pm at night isn't exactly time considering life, responsibilities, etc. but still).  Even now, at 11pm, my daughter is looking over my shoulder and while I'm not really writing about things she can't see, I don't really like being watched.

I am constantly amazed at how much time I waste.  Some of my "wasted" time isn't really because I'm chillin with the kids (pause) except that our primary chill activity is watching Netflix.  I truly love TV.  I love the entertainment, learning things (I'm a big Discovery Channel and such buff), I love that so little is required of me and yet the payoff is... hmmm, kind of wasted time.  I don't know why I don't feel that way about reading a book.  Is it because I did something to get the story?  I mean it's not like I did more than run my eyes back and forth across the pages; no real effort was required of me and yet it feels less like wasted time.  Why is that?

Years ago (and by years I actually mean decades) I was driving around San Francisco late at night listening to a religious talk show and they were discussing televangelists and what the primary issue was with them.  What made a televangelist so different from someone who preached on the radio?  As I recall, the reasons they came up with were the actual cost of TV vs. radio and the discomfort so many have with that amount of money being used for TV.  Supporting that is the need to have viewers.  While radio requires its market share as well, there is a greater need to be entertaining on TV.  Does that change the message coming through?  Does it cause one to go to greater lengths to get your attention?  I do kind of agree.  I'm not a big fan of religion on TV because it just seems that those on TV make too much money.  I believe in capitalism but there seems something fundamentally wrong about someone preaching about God making gobs of money while people are living without enough to eat or a place to live anywhere within their ability to reach them.  So, I choose not to partake of such things and the rest is ultimately up to God.

I have been feeling bad about wasting time.  I am often so busy that any down time I have is greatly appreciated.  I imagine if I shared with most people the number of things I do on any given weekend, they would tell me to relax and enjoy whatever time I can.  Still, I feel that TV should not be my sole outlet.  I will put movies into the same category (which is our second favorite thing to do).  So I've started keeping a list of things I could do on weekends.  It makes me feel so much better to see the list...except that I don't always pull up my computer on weekends and my list is on Gmail.  Not working out so well for me really.  ha

So, this weekend I have 1 thing to do.  How shall I spend the rest of my days.  Hmmmm

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cool stuff you need, but didn't know existed

Like this... even at $20/bowl... I'm tempted.   The Obol 
Keeps cereal crispy!



Mini Magic Sakura Tree  


This one looks like a really cute way to make yourself nuts in the morning,
running late and I still have to make cute faces on rice for my kids lunch!  (I don't think so). Regardless, it is cute and I would find ways to use it!

Yes, I am stuck on Japanese products right now.  Everything they make is so cute!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update

Wow did life change when the kids went back to school.  I am happy they are occupied with more productive things during the day, but the additional responsibilities it puts on all of us is certainly a wrench in the works of peace and relaxation.


I come back to submission today.  So not a favorite word of mine.  Not because I'm not willing to let God do the work, because honestly, this sounds like a great deal to me.  Until I have nothing to do.  Then, maybe not so much.  I am not good with doing nothing.  In fact, during the year I was in therapy, it's a small miracle that I didn't lash out at my therapist for ending each session with "Go and do nothing."  We were working on issues I didn't know I had and he probably spotted a mile off.  Over commitment and being a responsibility thief. I still struggle with both, but more because I want to act on it than because I have acted.  I still take on a little too much, but I think the volunteer work I do is important.  (Of course you think it's important or you wouldn't do it.)  I struggle daily with where I have my priorities and am I spending my time wisely.  Which comes up over and over for me.


I need some down time to think and pray.  To align myself again with the goals and principles that should be guiding my life instead of just sailing along by the seat of my pants.


Next... health.  I have been poked with a stick multiple times this summer (vs. hit with a 2x4) and I think that perhaps I will listen.  I need to change how I eat, add exercise and get a bit healthier (OK, a lot healthier).  The problem has been for the longest time that I wanted the results, but wasn't willing to do the work.  (Sound like anybody you've met?)  I have been at a loss for months, perhaps even years, with how to overcome the "I don't want to" shouting inside my head.  My plan thus far has been to picture myself thinner and healthier with more energy making all areas of my life better.  It's working a bit.  I'm cutting down on the Coke to just a few sips instead of a can a day.  Just removing this has helped with my sweet tooth.  I tried a salad today, but I crashed because it didn't have enough to it.  


Overwhelmed.  There are so many areas I want to change.  I guess I have to just pick one and start moving forward.


Sigh...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Arguing with God

I've not been here for a while because I've been too busy.

School started for both children and that always takes some adjustment.  My daughter changed schools and I was fearful it would be a difficult transition...but it wasn't.  In fact, I believe she's even happier at this new school than she was at her previous one.  Seriously... Praise God!  Initially we were considering making this a 1 year change, but now I know she'll just stay where she is.

Mostly, I've not been here because I've been too busy arguing with God.  (2x4 Girl!)
He has been telling me for some time now (I shudder to think how long actually) that I need to be healthier.  It will improve my family -- setting an example, willingness (& ability) to go do more things with my kids. It will improve my marriage for the same reasons.  I will be happier -- who can't be happier?  I will feel better.

The way God often works in my life is He starts out subtle.  A nudge, a prodding, maybe I'll get sick and be bombarded with thoughts of how much I don't want to be ill anymore.  I firmly believe that the natural consequences of not working towards a healthier me are reminders from God that I need to take this step.  God is not causing them, but uses these consequences as a reminder to do something good.

Recently, I've had some bad illnesses.  I realize that I am always tired.  I always have something wrong and I think... I am done.

I will be honest, this past week I knew this was coming.  I may have even been eating and behaving worse than normal because I knew it was coming.  It's that silly and dramatic little girl inside of me that is stomping her feet and shouting "no! no! no!"

Kind of silly, but so how I feel.  This experience is showing me that I have some other issues under all this.  My complete and utter resistance to being told what to do.  I mean, seriously.  It makes me so angry!  (And I have a support role as a career!  ha!  Tell me a sense of humor isn't necessary in life)!!  So apparently I have an issue to work out there.

Today... I'll start with eating breakfast each day.

Anybody else need to start a journey?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School


Today was my youngests first day of school.  She is 11 and going into 6th grade.

Normally, this would not be a big deal, but H is starting a new school.  Previously she's been attending a Christian school (a move my checkbook assures me is the right decision); making this her first day at a new school. 

She doesn't know anyone. (yet)

They have no parking at this school.  The only parking available is for staff and honestly, the lot doesn't seem large enough even for those cars.  Driving up I see that there is a no street parking zone all around the school area.  (Great, now what!?)  Additionally, there are two police officers standing by for unknown reasons.  (Perhaps the Jr High next door is just a little crazy?)

Several people broke the rules (I really should meet them because they are so like me) and parked along the street.  There was one spot open still so I squeezed in with my big minivan and we walked to the elementary school (past the police officer walking towards us with what I can only assume was her ticket book).  I let it go.  What could I do?  If I got a ticket taking my daughter to her first day in a new school (ie: one she's never been to, where she knows nobody and is going it at 6th grade)... so be it.  I smiled and tried not to let my angst show. 

I walked her to her classroom and we waited.
and waited.
and I sweated.
and became very cranky, but smiled to my daughter.

"You don't have to stay Mom, I'll be fine."  (my daughter knows me so well)
I did not take the easy out... I said no, I'd stay until they actually went into the classroom.

I kept sweating.  (It was quite warm out.  Over 80 and it was barely 8am. But the warm wet bear hug of humidity was killing me more.)

There was a sweet chatty obviously friendly girl standing in front of us.  My daughter towered over her.  Actually, my daughter towered over everyone!  She's used to this being a tall girl, but it seemed that the people in this school were exceptionally short.  I introduced my daughter to the chatty-Cathy.  She told us about her Alaskan cruise this summer and pointed to her shirt.  I watched the other girls share their summer events and thought that we really did very little this summer.  (I can hear it now...simulation of actual conversation I imagine "You went to Alaska?  I went to Hesperia!  It was so cool, well, actually it was so hot!  We watched tv and washed my Mom's car and tried not to get bitten by black widows!"  I doubt H would be receiving offers for a playdate soon.)

My daughter leaned against the extremely rough and grooved brick and made a sarcastic remark to chatty-Cathy who was oblivious to it.  H looked at me. 
"Apparently she doesn't get sarcasm." 
I replied quietly, "Not everyone is as fluent in sarcasm as our family dear." 
"They are all midgets."
"Actually, you're a giant.  The correct term by the way is vertically challenged."
H rolls eyes.

I sweat.

The teacher opens the door and I am momentarily elated!  She rolls out this cool triangle shaped barge for the kids to put backpacks on hooks and perhaps lunches in the bottom of.  Then she closes the door and disappears again! 

I see parents taking pictures and realize I am the worst Mom in the world, I don't even have my phone to take a photo...but my daughter has her phone and after several "I am not smiling" shots, I finally get something decent. 

Finally, the teacher opens the door and instructs the kids to sit anywhere and they will work through the actual seats each person will have once inside.  I am a bit disappointed that the is no cheery "Good Morning" as she opens the door.  That she doesn't even look out and smile at the parents or anything and I fear (unreasonably) that this will be a less than wonderful day. 

I wave goodbye to my giant daughter and walk back to my car, praying over my daughter's first day and yet knowing she will make friends because that's who she is.  I'm not actually worried...except about that ticket.

Which was not on my van! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

baby bi-polar

Have I told you that I have a mood disorder? I do. I am coping quite well with medication (better living through pharmaceuticals), but there are times when it rears its ugly head. Tonite apparently is one of them.

Currently it is 130 in the morning. I have been happily awake since 430 yesterday morning. This would barely hit my radar if I were, say, in my twenties. I mean who needs sleep in your twenties?! There is so much to do! However, by your forties I expect most of us have learned the importance of naps. I personally love a good nap. Now a bad nap could possibly put someone's life in jeopardy - for instance the party guilty of waking me up! (Hey, that was a good dream).

This evening however my body took over. Or rather my mood disorder did. I just kept humming along at a good clip. I actually got quite a lot done. This is not often the case. More likely I would have started multiple things and finished none. So that part is good.

But coming up on the side of 2am... not sure it was worth it. Not sleeping ultimately feels like self destructive behavior.

In case you didn't know; self destructive = bad.

I will pay for this tomorrow (or wouldn't it be wonderful if my crash came tomorrow night?!) And contemplate how to avoid a repeat performance.

How are you self destructive? What are you doing about it?
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Word & Funny of the Week

I am a huge fan of LOLCats (AKA Icanhasacheeseburger).  I am totally on board with the cats on the internet thing.

One of my responsibilities at work is to keep morale up.  A task I take seriously.
I am now sharing one of the ways I attempt to do this.  I post these in various places around the office and update them weekly.

You lucky people now get to share in the fun!






What do you think?  Did you get the Word Puzzle answers? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stupid Kids

Have you heard that kids -- especially teenagers -- are stupid?  I have.  I've heard that their brains are still forming and they aren't capable of making good decisions.

And then I remember that the Apostles were teenagers.  A group of teenage boys completely changed the world.  That is compelling.  there is a book I want to purchase for my kids and have them read.  It's called Do Hard Things, A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.  I want to read this too.  I like the message and I believe the message to be true.

Yes, kids are stupid.  They are growing and changing all the time.  I know both of my children, my daughter especially, become clumsy as they go through some of their growth spurts.  It is part of the process of growing.  Having your feet get larger and kicking everything in your way.  Getting taller and hitting your head on things you never used to have a problem with.  Learning what your "new" body is like. 

Yes, kids can be stupid because their brain is still growing and learning so much about the world.  Yet, we never really stop learning, do we.  To a 40 year old, a 20 year old is a baby.  To a 50 year old, a 30 year old -- even a 40 year old -- still has so much to learn about the world and the way things work.  Experience is the best teacher and you simply cannot borrow as much as we might want to from the history of others.  (though the Bible does tell us "a word to the wise is sufficient").

I believe, that despite these areas where growth is still occuring, teens have an untapped vision and passion that cannot be daunted by conventional wisdom.  We need to hold onto that faith in possibillities.  We need to encourage them that anything is possible!  Doesn't God tell us all things are possible with Him?  That He can do immeasurably more than we could ever think or imagine?!  That is HUGE!

Then I think of God's encouragement that we should come to Him as little children.  Willing to hear what our Father has to say and believe Him to be truthful.  Children generally don't second guess their Father (ok, honestly, my children second guess me all the time... but I like the idea that there are children who believe their parents.  Mine have just learned to question so much.)

How do we live as children?  Believing God sized dreams full of possibility?  Where do we stand?  Where do you stand?

I know that I will be encouraging my children more in the future that anything is possible.  To pray and ask God what His plans are for their future and believe that with Him...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN! 

I'm kind of excited!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parenting Difficulties

Sometimes parenting just sucks.  Especially when you realize that you have nobody to blame, but, well, yourself!  I am a recovering Marshmallow Parent who has admittedly spent some years in the role of parent trying to make up for things from my own childhood –or- following in my parent’s footsteps.  My husband came from a strict and only child home in another country.  We rarely meet on issues and have not been good at setting standards and backing one another up. (Yes, we are working on this, I’m just being honest.)
Today I am T I R E D!  Why you ask?  Well, because this is the last week of summer and my children have decided sleep is unnecessary.  They want to suck the marrow of freedom from these final days of uneducated bliss.  My daughter was practicing sign language (because we saw a show about it and now both kids want to learn) and my son was building a gun out of Lego.  OK, I’m happy that they were doing things other than watching TV and the like, but I do still have to rise early each day and not getting enough sleep for 4 days in a row is going to kill me.  I’m not as young as I used to be!
This brings up something I often find myself struggling with and leads to great frustration.  My marriage, as I have said before, needs work.  Our communication and time together is pretty embarrassing.  We have some pretty awesome parenting tools that I have been working with and using and it makes a difference.  (It’s the scaffolding around the de-mallowing of Marshmallow Mom.)  In order for this to be truly effective (in these few remaining years of actual parental influence we have left) these practices must be done together as a united front.  We just don’t do that.  It seems there is never enough time, or energy, or privacy, or motivation, or (fill in your reason or excuse here). 
I cannot be alone in this, but I sometimes feel I am.  Perhaps this is because I have several friends who seem to have this down pat.  They know the rules, the set the boundaries, they follow through consistently and the results are pretty awesome!  Perhaps it is because I compare myself to these people, or those other bloggers I follow, or people on Facebook  and I want more from my life; so I see myself as having come up short.
Where do you stand?  Are you coming up short?  I believe I will begin pondering the ways I am a good parent next.  That will be a good balance for this I believe.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Frusterated (yes... again)

Bad few weeks with some hope. Kids are out of control and ignoring what I say. Hubster still hiding in his room most of the time. I did not think this would be the life I would have. I had...still have... high expectations for my family. I always thought I would be the kind of mother who could look at my kids and they would behave. This makes me laugh now. I am more of a marshmallow parent than that. Part of it is laziness on my part. So much is left to me and everyone wants their rolls nicely defined, not that they follow through.

Yes, I am borderline depressed. I am so done. (Which is my way of saying I don't want this conflict anymore, but I am not quite sure what to do about it.)

I need to go back and relisten to Total Transformation program and get back on track.

Just saying that gives me more hope.

OK arms hurting from typing on this little keyboard.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Hope Again

So while I have a belief still that my husband won't change into the perfect man (would that mean I have to be the perfect woman?  oh my, that's too much work), after a very difficult week in my marriage I have decided to be myself and continue to try.  (hold the applause please...this is God more than it's me).

I was so ready to let the ball rest in his court and give the hubster enough rope to hang himself with when two things happened. 
  1. I went to church.
  2. Someone recommended "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" and I watched a clip.
Church always has a way of changing your perspective and helping ensure you are on the right track.  (hint: if your church isn't doing this, you may want to look around).  They did a teaching on Jonah of all things and you so wouldn't see marriage advice in that lesson, but it's there!  Jonah was proud and wanted things his way, not God's way.  He pouts and stomps his feet because God is merciful just as Jonah thought.  I wasn't hit with a 2x4 this time, I was hit with a rubber chicken (I'm not kidding).  Part of the events on stage they threw things into the audience and I was hit by this rubber chicken. My take away was where am I being proud and wanting my way, vs. doing what God wants.

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage talks about having to tell a man, and tell them more than once, and be direct, no hinting.  I guess after the chicken inspiration, I was open to being the one to move forward again. 

So this morning... my husband hugged me and while I didn't really want to hug, I did.  And we kissed and then I prayed for him.  There, aloud, in the kitchen.  Prayed that God would show him his value and purpose at work (a job he is so not fond of). 

We'll see how it goes.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Down time

I am sitting here alone in my home right now.

Yes, actually A L O N E in my own home!

OK, I realize this may not be the biggest deal in the world to you, but it almost never happens to me.

It's been a very tumultuous week for me.

I had a huge fight with my husband that ended when I went to stay at a hotel for the night.  Which should have been a terrible or lonely experience for me and instead was a nice respite and I kind of wish I could have stayed for a week!  The bed was so comfortable.  The only person I had to concern myself with was me.  There was no mess and the only noise was the train going by a few times -- which I hear at home too so it really barely registered.

Which makes me think.  How much of life and the things we need to be aware of barely register?  The complaints of our spouse that we've heard so many times but haven't done anything to address... and now we no longer hear the complaint?

I know that for a long time I did not see the mess in my home.  Partially I have been paralyzed by it and only recently understood why.  Which is how my eyes opened to the mess in my home.  Now I work on it and we are getting better, but it never seems to end!!!  (Need to throw out more stuff, if you don't have a spot for something give or throw it away... I'm getting there.)

After the big blow up with the hubster, I think I lasted one whole day of not wanting to talk to him.  Then, I went to church and my heart was softened in a big way that I have to be who I am and who God has called me to be.  I have to forgive, I have to move forward and try.  I have to push the part of me that thinks nothing will change away.  I can always change so by definition, something will change.

I don't want to be deaf to things I can change.  I want to hear and see what God is calling me to so that I can be who He sees and live a life worthy of the calling God has placed on my life.  I guess hope does continue to live in my heart and in my mind.  Now I need to allow it into my actions.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Discontent

I am discontent. I try not to be. I know that discontent often comes from expectations and as sad as it may initially sound, I try not to have many expectations. I don't expect my kids to behave- I know they won't and am pleased when they do what is expected. We are all a work in progress and any step in a forward direction is a good thing.

This does not mean I don't have big dreams or high standards, because I do. I want a loving relationship with my husband that is mutually fulfilling. I want my kids to grow up to be wonderful, thoughtful, kind people who can support themselves financially at something they even like doing.

I want to have family dinners (maybe everyday is a lot to ask for but a few times a week is not. Perhaps part of my issue is the sheer volume of things requiring improvement and how overwhelming it is. I love my job, but am seeing how hard all this is with 2 working parents, a girl fighting puberty and a teen boy who often thinks the rules just aren't that important. Add to that my reading about the Quitter conference and looking through Facebook watching the great lives it seems everyone else is having. I am not having a pity party. There may be some "poor me" in the mix; however my focus is more on how to make things better. Where to start? Anyone else feeling overwhelmed by life? Feel free to kvetch here, but let's not be a full time kvetcher (is that a word?). )
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