Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

Proverbs 31:30

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Phases.

Food Phases.

Food phases are rampant in my home.

My kids find something that the like, and ask me to buy more. They then ask me to buy more, ask me to buy more, and then I go to Costco to get the 1000 pack and guess what? The phase ends.

We have been through phases of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, Pop Tarts, frozen taquitos, Pasta Roni, Danimanls, and mandarin oranges, just to name a few.

The latest phase is ice cream sandwiches. After the 6-pack was devoured in 24 hours, I purchased the 24 pack. That vanished in one week.

Although the kids keep asking me to buy more, I refuse. Why? Because as soon as I buy the 1000 pack from Costco, they will suddenly divorce themselves from ice cream sandwiches.

Does anyone need a 100 pack of frozen taquitos?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is That a Wallet?

I have to do a better job of listening to my subconscious, except when it fails me.

Driving home from church the other day I noticed something sitting in the middle of the road that resembled a wallet. When I drove past, images of popping open the wallet to discover loads of money and no identification had me thinking ways I would spend my new found cash. As I got to the next signal, I pulled a U-turn, convincing myself that the wallet looking item deserved some attention.

My daughter who dines often at the table of "anything that you do out of the ordinary is embarrassing" threw questions regarding my motives at me, like white towels to a sweaty boxer.

"Why are we turning around?"
"I didn't see a wallet. Where are we going?"
"Where did you see it?"
"Can we just go home?"

As I drove back to where the wallet was spotted, I slowed my car to a crawl ready to pull over to the side of the road, pop open my car door, rush into the center lane of the road avoiding any and all traffic, and grab the goods.

Now enter reality. My "wallet" was a dislodged road reflector that had lost it's way. Upon closer examination the reflector shrapnel looked nothing like a wallet. In fact, it mocked me as I peeked my head out of the window to investigate further, and whispered, "Dream on dream weaver." I crossed my fingers, wishing the wallet into existence.

All hope of discovering loads of lost money, vanished.

My subconscious needs some help.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God Bless You

[sneeze] "God bless you." How can three little words be so complicated?

I teach my children to say "God bless you" when someone sneezes, and I say it to them when they sneeze. I have also taught them that it is ok to just say, "bless you" or "God bless," and to always say "thank you" when they are given the blessing from others.

When people around me a store say, "God bless you" after I sneeze, I think that are nice, however, when I sneeze among people that I don't know, and they ignore my sneeze with silence, I'm not offended.

On the other hand, if I sneeze around people that I know, and they don't say "God bless" you, I wonder if they are rude, inconsiderate, or ignoring the fact that I just sneezed.

Sometimes I will try and stop myself from sneezing so that I don't have to put anyone in a position to decide whether or not they should bless me, have God bless me, or just ignore the sneeze entirely and have me judge their actions, or lack of actions.

I try to say "God bless you" if I hear someone sneeze, but honestly, I have a three sneeze limit. If they go beyond three sneezes, I cease blessing them, and remain silent. I have limits.

My mother gets annoyed when she sneezes, and I just say "bless you." She corrects me by uttering the words "God bless you." That is too many words for me sometimes. God knows that He is included in the blessing, right?

So why do we "bless" people when they sneeze, a practice that began roughly around five something hundred AD? To keep demons out? Because our heart stops beating (it really doesn't)? To recognize good fortune? To ward off disease? As a sign of protection from our expelling soul?

I'm going with the following: That's what we have been taught. And, any form of ignoring the spray igniting from someone else's mouth, would be impolite.

God bless you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Strenuous Exercise

While I am jogging, I often pass a man jogging in the opposite direction. He is a thin man, with a full head of grey hair pulled back into a ponytail, shirtless, and miserable.

Although I am not sure if when I see him, he is on mile one or mile eleven, he appears to be in a miserable amount of pain and agony. His face is always, yes always, scrunched in misery and his half open mouth bears his teeth as if he is screaming silently. Even his cadence is stiff and solid, instead of fluid and smooth. Not that I am Miss Fluid and Smooth when I jog, but at least I don't appear to be in pain.

In my opinion, if any type of exercise is causing that much misery, stop. Even if the guy is ending his jog, and has completed a 20 mile course, why doesn't he stop before the joy is completely sapped away and the endorphins have taken a hiatus?

I choose not to exercise to the point of hate. I choose to enjoy the activity that I am doing as opposed to doing something to the point of dying. I'm all for pushing myself to achieve more out of my workout, I just don't want my heart and muscles to stop working because of it.

Dear Guy Jogging in Pain,
Why don't you take a break every once in a while, or do something that you enjoy. Just a thought.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Someone Found Me

Facebook is crazy.

My friend Annette, from junior high, found me.

We were inseparable.

She was one of four children, I was one of two. We would have lots of sleepovers together, and would stay up late drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Nacho Cheese Doritos. I was always digging through the bag, looking for the super orangy cheesy chips. We licked our orange, powder coated finger tips, only after the entire bag was inhaled. Aww.

I spent a few minutes on her Facebook page clicking around and remembering that her wedding was on the first day of summer, and to this day, I recall the sweat dripping down my face and back. It was miserably hot.

Since I moved out of town, we never really kept in touch after that. I assumed that she had children and was still married. Children yes, married, no. It was sad for me to discover that after 23 years of marriage, she was now divorced. What happened? How does a marriage last 23 years and then end? What now?

A photo of her family had a caption which stated, "The last photo of my mom with the kids." Her mom died? How? When? Why?

So much time has passed. I want to connect with her. I want to know the details of her life. I miss her.

Facebook is crazy. I like it, but it's crazy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

My children seem to be always screaming about something.

"He caled me weirdo!"
"Get your feet out of my face!"
"You are so annoying!"
"He's copying me!"
"Get off me!"
"I can't breathe!"
"I'm telling!"

On the other hand, they get mad when they are they only ones at home, when no one will go with them in the car someplace, when the other kids get in trouble, and when one has baseball practice and the other does not.

They completely love each other and they completely annoy each other.

Does anyone else have this same problem?

Monday, February 15, 2010

To Be Expected

Every Valentine's Day the same things happen. I cut out hearts from purple and pink paper and carefully place them on the floor leading each child from their room to the table sitting in the middle of our kitchen.

The table is the treasure where modest gifts and chocolates sit wishing everyone a "Happy Valentine's Day" when they wake up in the morning. Although my daughter was disappointed with her Snuggie gift and the 6 year old wanted baseball cards instead of his DS game, the tradition which stands every February 14, is till alive and well.

Half of the chocolates and candy are gone by three and the evening ends with a dinner of homemade pizzas, strawberries, and soda as a special treat.

Since I didn't get any chocolate, I have to "borrow" some from my children.

What is your Valentine's Day tradition?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

"For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love."

Psalm 33:4-5

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snacking

While I am not concerned with who is playing in the Super Bowl, where they are playing, or when they are playing, I do know one thing. I have one special request on days where endless amounts of food grace dining room and coffee tables in homes all across America. I must have dip made from dry onion soup mixed with sour cream and Ruffles potato chips.

I will gorge on this chip and dip combination until there is no room for the real meal and then attempt to shove down what ever dinner offering is available regardless of my stuffed state of stomach.

This year is going to be no different.

Go Saints?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sending Greetings

My mom is very good at purchasing greeting cards for her grandchildren and sending them on the holidays. Not only do they love receiving mail but they especially love opening the cards and discovering the cash tucked inside.

I appreciate the fact that mom sends cards and that my kids reap the benefit of her generosity and thoughfulness.

I too enjoy sending cards to friends to encourage them. I'm sure that not only do they appreciate them, but they wish that there was some cash stuffed inside. That would require them becomming one of my mother's grandchildren, and that's just not going to happen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

One Hundred Dollars

I happened to go to a low price market in a low income side of town form the mere fact that they sell the very best homemade tortilla chips. I rarely frequent this store other than to purchase the delicious chips or use the ATM.

On one particular visit I was corralling my four children away from the middle of the parking lot and toward the side when I noticed a folded green piece of paper sitting on the ground resembling money.

I immediately knew that from the color and hue this wasn’t one of those “fake you out” advertisements where you think that you are finding money and it turns out to be the likes of a hundred dollar bill with some ad attached to the other side.

I picked up the bill, unfolded it and smiled, admiring a dirty, yet completely legitimate, hundred dollar bill. My children screamed with delight at my find, and each wanted a portion, but instead, I tucked it into my wallet to use at the next round of grocery shopping.

So why do I feel guilty? Because I should have told the manager at the store, whose parking lot the bill was discovered, of my find. I should have given them my name and number and let them know that “some money” was found without giving complete details.
So why do I feel guilty? Because given the fact that I was in a poor area of town, I’m relatively sure that the hundred dollar bill was deeply missed.

After the hundred dollars was spent, I returned to the store for another purchase of chips. The young woman standing in line behind me loaded some groceries onto the conveyer belt and fumbled in her pocket for some one dollar bills combined with loose change. Her financial situation was obviously bleak.

After the conclusion of my purchase, I handed the cashier a ten dollar bill, pointed the woman behind me and said, “Please use this toward her purchase.”

My goal is to give away ten dollars, nine more times, in order to make up for my guilt. I have failed miserably because I haven’t been back to that store in two years, hence the guilt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What a Week

I cannot even pin point why last week was just one of those weeks. I wasn't terribly busy, I wasn't inundated with extra projects at work, no one was ill or injured, and my car is running great.

It was just one of those weeks.

I had no energy to muster up a blog post, connect with friends on Facebook, interact with others through texting or phone calls, or read about what others are doing in their lives. Although I'm not depressed, life just seems depressing. Perhaps it's safe to say that I am downcast, for now.

My discontentment level is high while as the same time feeling as if I am using the gifts and talents that God has given to me to honor and glorify Him seem squelched.

I am where I need to be, I am where God wants me to be, I have a lot to learn right where I am, I just feel fidgety and unsatisfied.

My face has major wrinkles, my jowls are falling down into my lap, I feel old, my eyesight appears to be getting worse, although it isn't, and my gumption is asleep.

Wow. I sound awful. Thanks for not judging my honesty and complain-ey attitude.

I set some goals for myself and one of those is to not let my joy be squandered for discontent and frustration.

That is Satan's ploy.

I find complete joy in writing, so I am writing. I am starting seminary to become a licensed minister and my first class begins February 17. I will do my best in the situations God has placed me. I will count my blessings. I will trust completely in God's timing, even though it seems v e r y s l o w. I will find better face make up to cover my droopy jowls and wrinkles, and I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

What is your latest struggle?