Friday, November 1, 2013

Are you distorting your energy?

 
 
 
 
 
Every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us—an energy which, if not thus distorted, would have blossomed into one of those holy acts whereof ‘God did it’ and ‘I did it’ are both true descriptions.
 
We poison the wine as He decants it into us; murder a melody He would play with us as the instrument.
 
We caricature the self-portrait He would paint.
 
Hence all sin, whatever else it is, is sacrilege.

— C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Make a GREAT List!


Too often, we give too much importance to the negative things in our lives and not nearly enough to the positive.
 
When my husband was going through a rough period, I challenged him to make a Great List.  Some place where daily, semi-daily or even hourly he could jot down and concentrate on what was GREAT about his life.
 
Not long ago, as I was throwing myself a small pity party for all the things I was unhappy about in my life, Sean pulled out the Great List.  Just as I did for him, he challenged me to look for the good - which is not easy to do with someone only determined to be unhappy. 
 
The next day I felt better - I mad my Great List and remembered happiness is a choice.
 
Portion of my Great List -
 
Long Marriage
Gorgeous Daughters
Great Friends
Toe Nail Polish
Hot Baths
Excellent outlook for the future
New Challenges
Warm Jammies
Coffee
 
So take the challenge if you dare! I would love to share in your victories be they small or large.
 
"You can't climb a smooth mountain" - C.I. Dixon

Friday, September 6, 2013

Homecoming: Momma's Emotional Roller Coaster



The tradition of Homecoming started over a century ago in Texas Colleges and has worked it's way over the years into a grand tradition among high schools. 

With a Junior in HS this year, we are all-in to the Homecoming thing this week.  (I will say that I am thankful in some ways that it is early  - the students can get it out of the way and get back to focusing on academics.)  The amount of pomp and circumstance can be a little overwhelming. 

It starts with the date  - not just the person, but the elaborate way in which the guy asks the girl.  The request for the honor of this dance is more elaborate than the vast majority of marriage proposals.  Banners, sidewalk chalk signs, cookie cakes, balloon displays - all in hopes that she'll say yes. 

Since I have a daughter, the hunt for the right dress, shoes and nail polish can also be an adventure. Mix in the fact that teenage tastes can change from one minute to the next, and what she is wearing can change up to a hour before time to leave for the dance. Heels? Platforms? How tall is the date? Are we going to color coordinate?!?!

Next is the plan.  Because this is not just a dance.  We must decide who we're going WITH.  It's a group thing.    WHERE are we going to get ready? Then there's transportation.   Don't forget dinner.  The group will stop by the actual event  - but the length of the stay is a nebulous thing.  If the vibe is good - they will be there a while - if not, they could be outta there in no time.  Then there's AFTER....organized event?  Move to an establishment for arcade? Bowling? Party? Sleepover? 

Don't forget the activities of the Friday BEFORE.  There IS a football game - but that is really ancillary.  There are dress up days all week to show your spirit.  Friday is the pep rally.  But if you are in Texas, the focus is the MUM!!  Giant monstrosities consisting of silk flowers, massive amounts of ribbons, cowbells, teddy bears and yes,  BOAS!  

Many moons ago when I was in high school, it was just for the girls, really.  Now the guys get a garter that is worn on the bicep (provided the over-zealous girl has not loaded it down with too much 'stuff' for it to stay put.)  Gone are the days of pinning the mum to a girl's garment - oh no, they are far too heavy for that - they must be worn around the neck.  I have no idea how anything gets done in any class with the massive amount of rustling and jingling.  (I have fond memories of my chemistry teacher, Mr. Jones handing out masking tape at the door to his classroom for all of us to silence our cowbells.) 

More pomp and circumstance involved around the 'mum swap' on Thursday Night.  When? Where?  Get a picture. We actually met her date at the 'mum swap'.  We harassed him appropriately, assuring him that shotguns were such an antiquated way of dealing with boys that do not treat our daughters with the respect and protection they deserve.   

But it is the quiet moments that give me time to pause and begin my mommy worry.  Although she is a beautiful, smart, sophisticated young lady, in my heart she will always be the toddler I reach out to steady as she takes those first few steps.

I hope I have done well by my child and taught her to make good decisions.  I hope she has enough self-worth and confidence to do not only what she knows is right, but to speak up in situations that even make her the slightest bit uncomfortable, no matter what the crowd is doing.  Will she use the no-questions-asked offer made by family friends if needed? 

What about all the other kids on the road with their newly-acquired drivers' licenses?  I can't help but think about my friend Patti who was killed our freshman year by a drunk driver on her way home from a school dance. 

When it comes right down to it, I will just have to have a little faith. I have to be able to let go and trust that everything will turn out all right and she will arrive back home on Sunday morning unscathed both emotionally and physically.

Easy to say, but so tough to do. 





Mum Swap!




Thursday, September 5, 2013

"What if everyone who claimed to be a Christian would go out and ACT like one?"

As I was listening to one of Joyce Meyer's broadcasts today, she talked about the fact that there is no bigger turn off to kids of today than a hypocrite.  She observed that you can say what you will about the next generations, but they have no tolerance for people and things that are not 'real'.  She told of having to tell the women that come to her Women's conference how to behave when they go out into the city of St. Louis and represent themselves as Christians.  You see, the business owners in the area had experienced issues of rudeness and cheapness among these women who came for a Christian conference.  She posited the following " What if everyone who CLAIMED to be a Christian would go out and ACT like one?"

The sigh of recognition was audible.  Surely everyone thought  the world would be a much better place if people lived up to the principles they professed to embrace.

Tom Flick likes to say "It's not what you know, but what you do with what you know". 

Mike Huckabee devoted an entire book to the concept of our country not needing so many laws, taxes, welfare and regulations if people would simply Do The Right Thing.  It's quite a thought.  If everyone would just straighten up and fly right, the amount of litigation, money and law-making we could save is staggering.

But alas, we are human. Our nature is a 'me first' mentality.  We must learn to be selfless, which is not easy. Then we must apply what we have learned. Letting go of the instant gratification for the uncertainty of the delayed gratification can be scary.  This is where faith plays a key role.  Unless we embrace the Biblical concept of 'dying to self' we cannot reap the rewards.  The concept of suffering a little now and reaping a much greater benefit later has at least 17 references in the Bible including the following:

"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory 2Corinthians 4:16-17

What we fail to realize is the benefits of dying to self are earthly as well as eternal.  Zig lived by the philosophy -"You can have everything in life you want - if you will just help enough other people get what they want." 

Ask anyone who has volunteered their time and energy for someone less fortunate.  Time and time again we hear how the benefit to themselves was far greater than what they gave up to be there.  Robert Kiyosaki talks about his Rich Dad's approach to hard business/financial times.  He would get outside of himself and his own problems and focus on or donate to someone else.  His solutions often came to him when he was helping others. 

I am reminding myself today to step outside and take a look at my actions from the perspective of those around me.  It is my desire to benefit others by living my life as a witness, I have to make sure I am a good one!

And if all of the above doesn't make sense to you - then go with the bumper sticker "Karma - only a @#$@ if YOU are" 
 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Deadlines

Nothing like a deadline to get you moving in the direction you need to go.  We are quite literally moving in the next two months.  We are building a new house not far away from our current home.  Today we got our completion date along with the news that we won't have much choice on when we close.  Until today, the details were fuzzy.  We could move in April, or it could be May.  Now we know - March 30.  Earlier than we had anticipated - and FIRM.

So now the idea of moving has moved from unclear and is in HD!  YIKES.  We had talked about a few of the things we would have to do in order to make everything happen.  Today we went from talk to ACTION in a hot hurry!  Calls were made to realtors, repair people and many others involved in getting from one place to another.

I am actually thankful for the deadline.  It makes it more difficult to procrastinate.  Things MUST get done.  Adrenaline flows.  There is purposeful action to take.  At the end of the day, being exhausted as a result of accomplishing things is infinitely preferable to finding oneself wallowing in slacker's remorse!

Now - where did that packing tape go?!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sometimes you just have to start.

I got my CC certification for Toastmasters this week.  Not a huge thing to many - but something nice for me.  It is a step in the direction that I am wanting to take my life.

When I started at Toastmasters in July, I wanted to get my CC as QUICKLY as possible.  I thought about joining two clubs at once in order to get it out of the way.  I really didn't have that kind of time in my life, so I had to abandon that idea.  I thought about giving up all together .  But I didn't .  I got started and kept at it until I got it.

The idea of the 20 mile march has been taking space in my head lately.  More on that tomorrow.  Today - I just wanted to START.