Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
What do you get when you combine impatience, over-confidence, and just plain stupidity? You get the LOSER MOM AWARD. And that award belongs to me today! :( Why on earth I ever ignore my gut, I just will never know. Well, maybe I know, but I don't want to place it. I always tell myself that it's NOT really God saying, "Slow down, don't do it" or something of the sort.
So, yesterday was an absolutely fabulous day. I got to spend time in the morning with my dear friend, Karen, and talk until my jaw was on fire. Friends that listen and laugh with you any time are irreplacable, as I quickly found out while in AZ. Karen is one of those friends who is always up for anything, and I just love that. Then I got to go with my sweet daughter on not one, but TWO trail rides with our crazy little ponies that were actually very uneventful. We just enjoyed cruising along. Well, I have decided that the day should have ended there. You see, we had left our mom and baby horse in the pasture, Hollywood and Iris Lily, so after picking Jordan up, we went BACK to the barn to put the horses in... (doom da doom- scary music starts to play) Well, my dear girl, Jazz has been begging me to let her ride Hollywood, our wonderful, sweet UNBROKE 6 year old broodmare. We have gotten her saddled many times, worked on her lunging skills, and prepared her in every way we could think of to accept scary objects etc. Yet, I have not let anyone get on her because I just wasn't sure she was ready. (Crashing of cymbals- lightning flashes- very obvious NOW to me what went wrong). After such a fantastic day, I thought, why not? Jasmine is a great little rider and can sit just about any buck, Hollywood is mellow, too lazy to move very fast(note to self- those are ALWAYS the horses that go faster then the rest when scared- they've conserved all their energy thorough out the day for just such an occasion), and obeying so well. Let's just throw the saddle on and see what happens. Saddle goes on, no problems, trotting out nicely. Jasmine hops up, things are excellent, Hollywood is moving out. LOSER MOM suggests moving around a little bit in the saddle to be sure horse isn't going to spook later, desensitiving the mare to things above her. Jasmine obediently waves one arm in the air- WAHOO! Quiet mare turns into a wild bronc- bucks so hard it literally pulls my precious child out of her stirrups, throws her in the air, Jasmine lands on Hollywood's rump, who then bucks one more time for good measure, which catapults my beloved into the air, landing on her BACK. Wonderful, great, the guilt will last with me until the day I die. Thank God my child is ok, no thanks to me, wants to hop back on, and can still WALK- miracle of miracles. She cruises around for a moment, but says she is starting to hurt. I quickly help her dismount, and her friend Carrie, who has been watching all this with her dressage horse outside the arena, says "Let me try". Again, the idiot says, "Are you sure?" Carrie and her mom say yes, so up we go. Hollywood, doing ok, but tense, Carrie feeling more confident. Teenage boys sneaking past the arena send Hollywood into a panic, down goes Ninja Carrie, much more gracefully in an extremely cool shoulder roll, and back on her feet. This time was "better" if you can call it that, but still traumatic for the stupid horse owner who has now watched two kids hit the dirt. Jasmine freaks out when I attempt to mount, I think she thinks I am too fat and has seen me land on my head too many times (no excuse for being a retard now) so Carrie hops back on. The rest of the ride goes well, but I get to bandage up a skinned elbow on Carrie, and take home my gimpy daughter with sorrow and tears. How could I be so foolish you wonder? I don't know. Yes, accidents happen, yes you can't keep your kids in a bubble, but none of that makes you feel any better when you are the one who allowed the accident to happen. Man, I wish I could buy Jazz a car or something to try to ease my guilt.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
As the Olympics unfolded, and now people who went to Beijing are returning, I can't help but THANK GOD I live in the United States of America! Hearing the stories of strict control, curfews, and complete domination by the government makes it so apparent to me how incredibly spoiled I am. A coworker went over to Beijing with her son, who was participating in the opening ceremony's marching band, and all she could say about the trip was it was "interesting". Apparently the students were told they would be on the Olympic grounds, and instead, they arrived, were shuttled onto large tour buses, and taken to an outlying city where they were unable to "play tourist". In fact, they were not allowed off the hotel grounds until the day of the show, all taxis were banned from picking up ANY hotel guests, and the kids were expected to rehearse their routines from sun up to sun down the entire week before the big day. Not one break, no time off, and no sight-seeing allowed. How disappointing for students who had this once in a life time experience dampened.
My brother- in-law told me today about how because construction was halted to make Beijing less polluted then it normally is for it's inhabitants, one company built giant reflective screens around their construction site that was incomplete- and projected computer-generated images of a finished building, complete with fake people walking about inside, to give passer-bys the "right" feeling of beauty and wealth. Disgusting.
Our visit to Vietnam last year was another example of Communism in all it's glory. The corruption, bribery, and citizen's fear was evident every where. Of course we had a wonderful time seeing our families- but the moment the plane landed in Los Angeles and I had my feet firmly planted on American soil, the kids and I couldn't help but do a happy dance, much to the enjoyment of our customs personnel.
Long winded way of saying- America rocks despite our annoyances. Sure, we don't like how everything is done, we don't agree with all the choices that are being made with tax dollars, but educate yourself on what is important to you, go vote, have a voice that actually counts and doesn't just whine to coworkers, and be thankful that you CAN. And if you have a spare moment, pick up a copy of "Marx and Satan" by Richard Wurmbrand. It is a fantastic book, written very well and extremely easy to read, and gives the reader some background on what was the start of Marxism and Communism. We first picked it up years ago when dealing with some other issues, but with China on my mind, it was good to have a resource and remember what theories and principles communism practices. The book itself is an examination of the life and works of Karl Marx, and doesn't speak specifically to communism in it's form today, but by reviewing the history- and the motivating beliefs of Communism's founders, we might finally be able to see it for what it is- under all the fluff, communism hurts, damages and kills the dreams and lives of human beings all over the world. Praise God for the freedoms we enjoy, and may they never be taken away from us.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I have finally realized the reality that there is no avoiding internet relationships. I deleted my Myspace to make a statement, and all I did was make people mad at me. So, after numerous invitations to join, I have officially become a facebooker. Apparently more of my old friends use Facebook, so it has been fun to see that. Plus I have a hatred for Myspace for many reasons, much too detailed to put here. We will see what comes.
As I was trying to be cool and make my page more interesting, I came across this photo and it made me cry. I have known this amazing person, Stefanie Clark, since I was 7 years old, and I can't tell you how much I love her. I looked at this photo, and remembered all the fun times, all the tough times, and how no matter what a witch I was, she stuck by me. And now, as Christian sisters and sisters- in- law, our relationship could not be sweeter. To see the same girl in this beautiful woman that I use to play Barbies with, and pretend to be Cheetara with down in the woods is the best gift I could ever get. Stefanie has such a sweet spirit, and trusting faith in God, she inspires me every day. If only there was a way for me to pay her back for all the wonderful things she has done, but until I find a way, I will continue to be blessed by her friendship, and her laughter. Thank God for true friends who stand the test of time. And thank God for Stefanie.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I have been reading this great book by John McArthur- "A tale of Two Sons", about the parable regarding the Prodigal Son, and it dawned on me today that at any given time, I can easily assume the roles of the Prodigal, or the Bitter Older Brother, but never the amazingly loving, forgiving, self-sacrificial Father. Yes, yes, I know- the Father is wonderful because He is theoretically God, but aren't we called to be imitators of God? So why is it so hard to love, forgive, and sacrifice- and so easy to sin, squander, and please the flesh? Or even put up a good front, look responsible, respectful and faithful on the outside, and be hoity-toity on the inside- as in, hypocritically thinking that we could ever do anything good enough to EARN God's favor, rather than receiving that love and mercy as a gift. Rambling, I know- but it just was yet another reminder that I am not done yet, and thank you, Lord, that you love me in spite of myself. So- excellent book, go pick it up- I hope you enjoy learning more about Jesus's stories as much as I did, and more about taking responsibility for our hearts. I know it was a great eye-opener for me.
Note- after adding this photo of my adorable niece, Chloe- I wanted to make a disclaimer- she wasn't added for any other reason than she is adorable and I wanted to share her. Not a prodigal, and never will be I hope- her heart is too sweet. Heeheehee. Didn't want to upset mom or anything, if anyone's picture should be by a prodigal title- it should be Steve. Hahaha No, just kidding. NO really...;)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
" Do not follow where the path may lead, rather lead where there is no path, and leave a trail."
I hope these girls will always know how beautiful and smart they are, will remember how loved they are, and never let the world and it's struggles and pains take away their smiles. I hope they will always blaze a trail of laughter and joy, and may it always lead them closer to the ONE who created them, the ONE who died to save them- the ONE who rose so they could be forever laughing.
Monday, August 18, 2008
What a fun weekend- as usual with ups and downs, but also with lots of love and understanding. My friend, Nicole, pointed out to me how very quickly I can change my moods and my attitude, whether it be about my kids, work, schooling- whatever- and it finally sunk it. What a fickle pickle I am. One day I can't wait to start school, and the next I can't bring myself to order the curriculum because I am overwhelmed. One day I love my job and my patients, and the next I wish I had never become a nurse. Fickle Pickle, that's me.
I KNOW that feelings shouldn't matter that much, but I can't seem to remember that all the time... ah, the agony of being in the flesh while our hearts want to be in the Spirit. Do you suppose that I have been living the lie that good intentions matter? We had a guest speaker at church this weekend, and he reminded me of that old adage "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"... or something like that. Now, I know, you would say- at least I am trying, but I don't think that trying is good enough. As long as I keep trying to change my attitude, I am focused on my BAD attitude. I think I need to BE joyful, BE active, and BE thankful- and the attitude will come. Mmmmm, we will see.
I am determined to start fresh today, get my classroom set up, iron those shirts that have been calling my name all last week, and play a game of chess with my son. And no more complaining! God be with me, because now I actually have to start my day!:) And you know, after this, I don't even mind the rain today! Wahoo!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
What a summer we have had. I truly feel like it has been YEARS since I have felt settled- comfortable somewhere... I can't decide if that is normal, if I am looking for heaven here, or what the deal is- but I am so tired. This sweet face is one of the few things I enjoy. I am actually sad for school to start, and having to get back to a daily routine. It is so nice to feel free of schedules, and plans. Each day I have off is wide open, to play with my kids, explore, or just veg. In another month, any day off will be a day of books, curriculum, assignments, and test. Oh, may today last for months!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
"The pastor began by discussing a marriage contract drawn up by Albert Einstein. With his marriage disintegrating and already participating in extra-marital affairs, Einstein made a last-ditch effort to keep his marriage somewhat intact, even if only for the sake of the children. This is the contract he sent to his wife:
A. You will make sure
- that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;
- that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;
- that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.
B. You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically, you will forego
- my sitting at home with you;
- my going out of traveling with you.
C. You will obey the following points in your relations with me:
- you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way;
- you will stop talking to me if I request it;
- you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.
D. You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.
His wife eventually agreed to them terms. When he received her response, “Einstein insisted on writing to her again ‘so that you are completely clear about the situation.’ He was prepared to live together again ‘because I don’t want to lose the children and I don’t want them to lose me.’ It was out of the question that he would have a ‘friendly’ relationship with her, but he would aim for a ‘businesslike’ one. ‘The personal aspects much be reduced to a tiny remnant,’ he said. ‘In return, I assure you of proper comportment on my part, such as I would exercise to any woman as a stranger.”
This comes from the pen (and from the heart!) of one of the brightest men the world has ever known. It’s a contract just shocking for its boldness and its polite disgust; its undertones of anger. Just imagine the state of the heart that would write such a thing.
What a contrast to the wisdom of the Bible. What a contrast to Colossians 3:5-17:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What a contrast between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God!" Challis dot com
Thursday, August 7, 2008
For those who think "The Shack" is just a wonderful, inspiring story, or helps people get closer to God- here is another response to that idea. Read it, and pray that your eyes would be opened. Copy and paste the link below, very interesting.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Wow- the last week has flown by and I can't seem to figure out what I did with my time. I know we were running around a lot, but I just realized I haven't really connected with my kids in days. I am actually looking forward to school starting- when I get to teach them, I focus all my attention and energy in to them, I am so blessed- and our relationship blossoms. Right now, it feels like we have been going in opposite directions, and I hate that. This time with them is so short, I want to relish every minute. Today we are going to the Clark County Fair, and I am sure one will go this way, and another that way- how do we let them spread their wings, but protect and guide them at the same time. Help me, Lord! :)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
" A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lasts forever." How bittersweet that truth is. I love the memories I have, but some make living here on earth a lot harder. We had a wonderful few days with our dear friends, the Hutchisons, and yet had to say goodbye again far too quickly. It just breaks my heart, and watching the sadness of the kids makes it harder. I know that God uses all things to teach us and grow us, and I am so thankful for friends who you can truly enjoy every minute with, but that almost makes seeing them again after so long even worse. Matthew said to me- "This sucks, it's like a teaser"- in regards to seeing each other again after two years, and then having to say goodbye, and he couldn't be more right. As time goes by, you can miss your friends, but life moves forward- seeing this wonderful family again, just reminded me how much fun we could be having. Talk about ripping a band-aid off a new wound! If only they didn't live in Georgia! Well, all I can say is I can't wait to get to heaven so there won't ever be goodbyes, and Jesus, Dianna and I can charge all around on our beautiful horses- not a care in the world!