Monday, December 24, 2012

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Yikes. I knew it had been awhile since I wrote last. I didn't realize it had been as long as it has! I have lots of ideas, but lack motivation. ;(

Things at our house remain more hectic than I'd like. We seem to be fighting more battles than I'd like. Honestly, I'd rather not have battles to fight....but they certainly keep life interesting.

There were SO many political ads with the recent elections: written, phone calls and TV.  It seems the elections brought out a little of the best and some of the worst in all of us. Talking about politics, especially with someone that doesn't have the same view can be uncomfortable. Now we hopefully heal the rifts and move in the direction we need to move. So many people got involved with elections, conventions, etc. May we not get so comfortable that we get apathetic.

Matthew 5:11-12 (The Message)“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

We seem to live in an age where we expect to be comfortable. Feel some pain? There's a pill for that. Need to have a conversation that may not go as you like? Avoid it. We even call some of our blankies comforters. We might think this is a somewhat recent phenomenon.

However, in Exodus, we read about Moses. Moses was born a Hebrew. The Pharaoh had ordered baby Hebrew boys to be killed. Moses was placed into a basket by his mother and set afloat in a river. The Pharaoh's daughter found Moses, took him home and raised him as her own. Moses had a pretty comfortable life as Pharaoh's grandson. Moses still connected with "his" people though. His people became slaves in Egypt. They didn't like it. They wanted out.

(Sometimes we are offered the opportunity to leave our comfort zone)

God provided opportunities for them to leave. When they finally left, life wasn't exactly what they thought it would be. They wanted to go back....even if it meant remaining as slaves.

(Seeking comfort can give us unrealistic expectations and we want to go back to what we know because it is familiar. That doesn't mean it's better)

After wandering in the dessert for 40 years, they finally got to their promised land.

(Sometimes a period of being uncomfortable leads to comfortable)

Where's your promised land? Are you on your way there? What's standing in your way? Is it worth the effort? Enough ?s?  ;)

It seems we're living in a world that is becoming pretty comfortable with the status quo. It seems we're living in a world that even the current status quo is sliding in the wrong direction. It seems rather gradual until you look back and notice how far we've slipped. TV, music, movies, books.

As time and the world march on, being a Christian is going to continue becoming more uncomfortable. There will be people that will not agree with the way we try to live our lives. That does not mean we should give up. It means we need to try and fight even harder. We may never reach the point of being comfortable with this. We are not promised comfortable, but we are promised comfort.

 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

In the world we live in, I don't know how we live without that comfort.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do you want fries with that?

Our family currently goes out to fast food restaurants WAY too often. It is not uncommon in our world of up-sizing that we are asked, "Do you want fries with that?"

The past few weeks at church we have been hearing about sharing our faith. Sometimes this is a scary thought....especially if you are not sure how it will be received by the other person. We discussed just asking someone if they're "saved" or if they know where he/she would go if somehow this evening they didn't make it up the next day (or died, but it seems we never like to discuss that). I really don't feel comfortable just asking or discussing with someone when it isn't even the topic of discussion.

I would like to think that if somebody asked me, I could tell them where my hope lies. I would like to think that I am living my life so that someone might be curious enough to ask where my peace comes from when my circumstances are all but peaceful.

I would like my ability to ask someone about their faith as easy as it is to ask, "Do you want fries with that?" at a drive through window. I would like to be able to see a need in someone's life and be willing to ask them, "Do you want Jesus with that?" Maybe not literally ask them in those words, but take the pressure off to free me up to be willing to share how saying "yes!" to that question has helped me sort out things in my own life.

God doesn't want us going through this on our own. He brings people across our path (or to our drive-up window if you'd like to continue the analogy) that are somewhere along the path of their own faith journey. You might not get to be the person that gets to deliver the order and see it all the way through to someone accepting Jesus as their Savior. However, would you be willing to ask the question though and see where it leads?

John 18:4-5 (NIV)  4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.“I am he,” Jesus said. 

Acts 13:38-39 (NIV) 38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Watch Out!.....On Our Best Behavior?

Matthew 24:3-5 (NIV)
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.

There is a certain street in a nearby town where the speed limit is 35. It does not seem like it should be 35 so many people (myself included) may find themselves doing slightly (or a LOT) over the speed limit. I am somewhat familiar with the area. I know that there is often a police car somewhere in hiding along that road. Usually, I can remind myself and remember to slow down. Recently, a car going in the other direction was obviously going over 35. After checking my speedometer (just in case), I was thinking "bummer if they pass a cop". A few hundred yards later....there was a cop. I thought I wish I could warn the are expensive! The car passed. The blue/red lights went on. Busted.

Luke 21:7-9 (NIV)
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Maybe it is just me, but did you ever notice that if there is an officer of the law around ..... or the thought of an officer of the law being somewhere in the vicinity, that you pay a little closer attention to make sure you are driving the right speed, using blinkers, etc.? Maybe it's not just driving. Maybe it's when you're in class at indoor recess and you know the teacher on duty may be lurking out in the hall and quick pop into your room to see what's up. Or we dress up to go before a judge.

We are usually on our best behavior around people we consider our authority figures. Why is that? Without the uniform and/or title, that person isn't much different than you or me. However, we benefit from having people in authority. When children are small, they need to be taught that their parents have authority. They will not like it, but they learn to respect it.

Recently, I have had some discussions in person and online regarding life, God, death, evolution, creation, God, absolute truth....and did I mention God? Some of the conversations have made me think about what I believe by hearing or reading what others believe. Honestly, sometimes it has gotten me to question my own faith or lack thereof. How do you explain faith to someone who has a hard time grasping that there could be someone bigger than us?  It is difficult to explain sometimes when what I believe is becoming less and less tolerated and more and more made fun of.

I was asked if I believe in God because of fear. I am not scared of death. I am scared of the actual dying part. Mostly because I don't know how or when. I am scared of not living my life to its full capacity because I let fear rule too many of my decisions. I think I would be more afraid if I thought I had to handle all THIS by myself.

I was asked how can I love a God that would let all these terrible things happen in the world. I've tried to think that out in some other posts: Under His Umbrella and What kind of loving God?

I was asked how I can believe in a God that would send people to hell. Right or wrong, I picture hell as eternity separated from God. Does God want that to happen? No. However, if we live our lives not wanting to be in a relationship with God, why would we want to spend eternity with Him? God honors that choice. Because we still have free will. He made us that way. You have a choice.

I don't mean to get all evangelistic on you. This may not be what you expected when you started to read. However, the cop car and subsequent pull over reminded me. I wanted to warn the driver. That was just over a ticket.

When I started writing this, it was EARLY September 11. I didn't really think about a connection. However, those people that were on a flight, heading to work, doing their jobs, etc. did not plan on not making it home that day. It was just an ordinary day, right? Just like today. We never know what tomorrow holds.....or even the next few minutes or hours. This puts my life a little more in perspective. Some of the things that seem huge to me today, probably won't be by next year or maybe even tomorrow.

In the end, on this side of heaven....none of us truly have all the answers.....maybe not any of the answers you may be seeking. I just ask that you leave your heart open to the possibility that you are loved here, now and forever by those who know you and by Him who wants you to know Him better.

Matthew 28:17-19 (NIV) 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Letting Go of the American Dream?

Are we letting go of the American Dream?

Things are not always what they seem.
Lately, everyone seems to have some kind of scheme.

People are mad at rich CEOs.
Maybe I am too, I suppose.

People talk of the 99 percent.
Before we earn, the money’s been spent.

People try to find answers inside of a glass.
What happened to the “middle” class?

People who make little, but will spend it all
To see some highly-paid people play with a ball.

People look up to those who have fame,
Go to their concerts chanting their name.

People try to have faith in our government.
They tax us enough, but the money’s all spent.

Is this what our grandparents envisioned when they got off the boat?
They had some shoes and maybe a coat.
They left their countries to get a new start.
If we want recovery, we’ll all play a part.

Will we move into the future or be stuck in the past?
This leaves one more question that needs to be asked:
Who’s living the American Dream?

kl 7-12-12
I apologize if I sound all gloom and doom. I usually try to avoid political discussions. The parties are so far apart on so many issues I don't know if agreement is possible. So we stand still....and wait while the campaigning continues. Does any president really get anything done that last year in office? They're busy trying to get re-elected!

I thought of the above when I was looking at ticket prices for a concert or a game. Events are billed as "family-friendly", but the cost is too high for average earning families to afford. While the people we pay to see, are earning millions. I'm beyond thinking that life will be "fair", but it just seemed ridiculous at the time.....who am I kidding? It still does.

I'm praying that there is an actual American Dream to be dreamed of for our future generations. If we don't change something, we will just keep going in circles....and accomplish little if anything..

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

That Bites!

I have to admit I do not understand the fascination with vampires in Twilight or similar stories. I suppose when I was younger it was Dracula and bats, but still.....the whole romance thing with a vampire and living forever? I hate needles, I don't think pointy teeth would be any better. Living in the world we're in now? No thanks.

If you hang around little children for any length of time more than likely you will experience their frustration when they bite another child, him/herself or you! Take a toy they want? Chomp. Not paying attention to them? Chomp. These are not usually little love bites either. They leave marks!

I started to wonder though. How do kids learn to bite when they are frustrated? It's not like it is a modeled behavior. I highly doubt (in most households!) that the child has seen mom and dad biting each other when they get frustrated. They might have seen another child bite someone and saw the reaction it received. Behaviors that receive attention get repeated....often!

As loving parents and kid caregivers, we start teaching children that it is inappropriate to bite when frustrated. We help them learn to recognize that feeling and handle it in a better way that does not hurt them or anyone else. As adults, we don't walk around biting each other so we obviously learned somewhere along the way other ways to handle frustrations.

One way adults usually handle frustration is to use words. Sometimes this is probably not much better than biting. Words can hurt without leaving marks. Unfortunately? Once it is out of your mouth? You can't take it back. You can't make the other person forget what was said, how it was said OR keep them from replaying that over and over in their head. Even as adults, we need a reminder that we need to handle our frustrations appropriately.

Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Power of the Table

Ok, bit of a confession here....and for those who really know me I'm not spilling anything new. I am messy....especially with papers. For SO long with the rentals, we have had SO many papers. Add that on to dealing with depression on and off and the mess accumulates at a much faster pace than I can keep up with or sometimes even know where to start. By mere convenience of location, the table has been the landing point for most paper coming into the house. The table is flat and I know where stuff is at....well, at least what pile it may be in.

Unfortunately, the piles of paper and other stuff that doesn't belong there eventually take over most if not all of the table. This does not make it easy to eat AT the table. I know family dinners and time at the table/in the kitchen are important. Every once in awhile, I would think that I needed to get the table cleaned off. Then I would feel even more guilty for how long it has been that way....and still not take care of it.

Over the past couple of weeks, hubby and I have been working together (works MUCH better that way...but amazing how often we forget and work against each other) on getting things more organized and cleaned up. The table finally got cleaned off. Yes, there is still "stuff" to deal with....but it's not on the table. 

We ate and had a discussion that really helped both of us see where the other person was coming from. This may not seem like a big deal. It didn't really to me at first. Then I got to thinking how often or, sadly, how little we have communicated more than just in passing. We probably fixed more in half an hour than we have in weeks.

Sometimes it seems we as a society are getting so caught up in technology and keeping our kids busy that we have forgotten the importance of sitting down together and chatting face to face. Leaving the TV off and not answering the phone during table time shows that the people around us are more important than any possible distraction.

We also had communion at church today. I was reminded again of the importance of spending time with God   as well as my family. My parents did a very good job when we were little kids with having a devotion time after dinner. My grandma helped me recite Psalm 23 when I had lunch at her house. They knew the power of the table and shared it with me. 

Maybe a messy table isn't your problem. Maybe taking time to spend together with family isn't an issue. For me? I have some habits to break....and some new ones to start. 

Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pieces of Heart

I am so concerned for teens and the relationships that come into their lives. So many of them are looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. School and, hopefully, we as parents give them information regarding "safe" sex and relationships. However, I think we concentrate too much on the sex and not enough on the relationship. Our kids are smarter than that. If we give them info, I truly believe they can be wise enough to use it when needed.

Parents: Talk to your kid BEFORE they are involved with someone. By the time they are "in" a relationship, it won't matter as much what you say.

Urge your teenager to make a list of qualities they would like in another person. The best time to do this is BEFORE they are involved with somebody. This makes it much easier to see if someone really meets your qualifications before you get all tingly. ;)

Talk to them about rules regarding your house. Rules are not always the same at someone else's house. Tell them no matter whose house they're at, no closed doors. Even better, not being alone together. A lot of things happen just because temptation is always there if it is just the two of you. There is a lot to be said about group dates for teens that seem to be dating younger and younger.

Let your kids talk to you....even if it is embarrassing for them and you. It is better for them to get correct information from you....then wrong information from other sources.

A little bit of prep work will help the heartache later.

TV shows sex with little or no consequences. Movies like Friends With Benefits assume that people can have sex and not include the emotional aspects or complications that come from sex in uncommitted relationships.

I had read about a demonstration with paper hearts that shows the effects of sex on relationships. So I brought some construction paper and glue to school on one of our lunch Tuesdays.

We cut or ripped out hearts from 2 colors of paper. (You need 2 colors to see the after effect)  We glued the hearts together. Ideally, we would have left them together longer, but I think my friends still got the point. I told them some of the things mentioned above and then had them pull the hearts apart.

Before                                                                             After

The point was/is that when sex is introduced into a relationship no matter what happens, a piece of that person will go with you.....always. Sometimes it can make it hard to leave a relationship you might not have stayed in if you had not gotten physical. Sometimes you make a baby you didn't plan on. That's not fair to you....or the baby.

One of the things I used to tell my youth group kids is that there is no condom big enough to protect your heart. So much for "safe" sex.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Kiss it!

Tonight I was reminded of the power of a kiss. Not a romantic kiss. The kind of kiss that can heal the hurt and (non-bloody!) boo-boos. I was also reminded that over time the power of the kiss can wear off.

There was a young girl on America's Funniest Videos that fell off her bike on her derriere....and with a big smile on her face asked her daddy if he wanted to kiss it. Gotta love kids when they are discovering their humor! :)

When kids are younger, it is so easy....and they are so just stop what they're doing, let us "kiss it" or "tiss it" (depending on the kid!), and make it "all better". It's enough. And playtime continues.

Fast forward a few years and kids start to realize a kiss doesn't really fix it. It's just a distraction to keep them from focusing on the hurt. (Ouchie and boo-boo no longer apply)

Fast forward a few more years and the kid is a teen and barely wants you to hug them let alone tell you what the problem is! The power of the healing kiss is gone. As a parent, I miss that.

As a mom, it's hard to come to the realization that there are things I can't fix. Things I shouldn't fix. Things my kids will have to live through the hurt, deal with it and go on. I have to trust that I have given them a strong enough foundation to fall back on when life knocks the wind out of them. I can still be listen, to encourage and to help deal with the hurts.

The look of the kiss may change, but the intent is the same.

The Parable of the Lost Son
Luke 15:20 (NIV) “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Monday, July 02, 2012

And Little Children.....

Matthew 11:25 (NIV) At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 

Ahhhhh.....summer! The days are warmer and longer. Time to catch up with family and friends. Cook-outs. Potlucks. Graduations. Summer is also the time when many churches hold VBS (Vacation Bible School). School's out.....BUT we never stop learning.....or shouldn't anyway. 

VBS....such a busy time, so much planning, so many volunteers needed.....but, oh so worth it! 

Our church splits the kids into groups with a variety of ages in each group. My kids are older so I forget how interesting it is to sit and talk/listen to 4 and 5 year olds. They get so excited. They haven't learned classroom rules much yet, so when they are asked a question even just to think about, they answer....loudly. They like to share the things they do know....even if it does not pertain to the the way we're talking about it.  (ex. Noah and the Ark....kid: My friend's dad has a boat.)

There was one little boy in our group who got extra excited and liked to share. "Did you know Noah's Ark was bigger than the Titantic?" He would almost steal the conversation. The other adults and I would smile at each other. I would quietly start edging up and put my hand on his back to get his attention and tell him he could tell me later. We only had 10-15 minutes for story time. However, as the nights continued and we would review the story, I would also feel kind of bad because I did not want to squash his excitement! He was so cute and so sincere it was impossible to get too frustrated with him. By Wednesday night, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I love you!". On Thursday night, he shared that he knew he had Jesus in his heart and would go to heaven.

Oh my. Sometimes as an adult I am not that excited or that secure in my faith. The learning continues......

Matthew 19:14 (NIV) Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Earth Angels.....They Still Exist! :)

Just when I think things are messed up with the world we live in, I experience something like what happened tonight.

I was bringing some friends home. I got a flat tire on a busy road. Luckily, I could bump my way into the gas station on the corner. This was not your average, run of the mill flat tire (in my opinion....not that I've had much experience with one). This tire was completely flat on the bottom. Air did not just leak out, something popped.

Normally, I would just call AAA, but I haven't had the $$ to renew my membership and figured I would call if I needed it. Luckily, my friend knew where the correct parts were, where the spare was AND how to change the tire.

Every time there was a part of the process that was not working, someone came up to ask if they could help. Throughout the process about 7 different people helped us get it done. One man and his son even went and got the floor jack from their home when they realized we could not get our van jack high enough. Bonus - they were mechanics that worked on cars at people's homes! They completed the tire removal and replacement. The father said he stopped because he had a wife and daughter-in-law that he hoped someone would help if needed.

Luckily, I had gotten some gift cards last week to give for graduation gifts. I was able to give them to the two people that helped us the most. These were guys that were willing to just lay down in the parking lot, place themselves in awkward positions and take time out of their help 4 people they did not even know.

My hope in the human race is restored somewhat. I said "luckily" above, but I know better. We were blessed in numerous earth angels willing to get dirty to help....when I would not have asked. Some of them even drive old red pick-ups. They didn't ask for anything. However, following the saying of what comes around, goes around....they will be blessed by someone shortly.

The flat tire was a spiritual lesson in itself...but I'll save that for another posting. I just wanted to recognize and remind myself....and, hopefully you, that there are good people in the world willing to make a difference.....even with "just" a flat tire.

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Joy Factor

Lately (for the past 2+ years), when I am feeling bummed with life, I go visit the triplets. Nephews and niece that graced the world with their births and they continue to be a blessing. I can say this as their aunt.....I don't have to live with them. BUT I probably would, if I could.

They were slightly preemie. They came home and it always seemed like at least one needed to be eating. What a bonus though. Instead of all of us fawning over one baby.....3 of us would get to hold a baby during a visit. It seemed like that stage would last forever. It didn't.

It seemed like they would be happy staying within those cushioned "walls" of the wrap around couch. It wasn't. They learned that there was a whole world waiting to be explored beyond the couch.

I know kids experience and give joy. I'm sure my kids have (and still do!). However, maybe I'm just paying closer attention to the triplets because our kids are older.

I love to watch the triplets learn something for the first time...and then repeat it....even days later. They are such little copycats with repeating the words and phrases we say.

I want to learn to copycat some of their ways though. The way they experience the world....fresh each day. The content feeling they have just snuggling on a lap. The joy they get from learning OR just having fun. Spinning for no reason other than it makes people laugh as they topple over.

Kids have a joy factor that we can only hope to copy. If the world or circumstances don't prevent it, that joy can stay for a long time. I pray that we adults can find that joy that sometimes hides beneath our responsibilities.

Join me for a spin and topple?  :)

Romans 12:11-12 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

D. O. T. - D. O. N. T.

I believe I have already admitted to being a procrastinator. If not, I am a procrastinator with a capital P. Recently, I found myself matching socks. A somewhat worthy job.....BUT not as much as getting our taxes done! :(  When overwhelmed, I can find ALL kinds of busy work.....and accomplish little.

I make "to-do" lists that have way too many items on for one day and then feel bummed I didn't get them all done. I very rarely ever feel like I have a "done" list.

So, today it hit me. I am looking at too much of the big picture. Normally, a good thing....but when faced with getting little to nothing done? Not so good. I get so overwhelmed and frustrated when I look at ALL I need to get done....or should be doing....I freeze up. Time flies. I watch TV/play on the computer. Time for bed (actually WAAAAYYY past time for bed).

I think I have a solution, I hope. I'm going to start trying D.O.T. Do One Thing. I'm going to do the most immediately needed "to do" thing first. If it is a BIG project, that takes all day to be it. I'll still make a "to-do" (or in my case "doo-doo" list) so I don't forget the overall things that need to get done. I drive myself nuts otherwise trying to remember what I wanted to accomplish. BUT I only need to pick ONE THING from that list.....and then:

D.O.N.T. Do One Next Thing, repeat the cycle....over and over until I am feeling at least a bit more caught up.

If you are also a procrastinator princess or prince, take heart:

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Trust Fall

Recently, I watched my nephews. It's been awhile, but I love checking in with them and seeing what they like now and playing games, etc. As our own kids get older, I miss those younger years....when they wanted to spend time with me!  ;)

As one of them was getting ready for bed, he turned around and said, "Do you know what a trust fall is?" I told him I did, and he quickly turned back, put his arms across his chest and promptly fell backwards so I could catch him. I have seen these done in groups. I'm glad he wasn't much bigger, I would have hated to drop him! Oops, there goes that trust!

Trust is such a valued thing and can be so easily lost.

The more I thought about it, I don't physically do trust falls often. However, intellectually and mentally, I have trust falls everyday! Sometimes (I'm getting better, kinda) I'm the faller trusting that the other person will catch me and my intentions. Usually though, I find myself being the catcher....and that's OK. I am glad that I have people in my life who trust me enough to be willing to share their journey.

Whether you are a catcher or you need to fall a bit, I pray that you have people in your life that you can trust enough to be there for you when you need them to be.

Always remember too that God is the most trusted catcher ever. When there are things that you don't think anyone else could possibly understand or it's way too late to phone even your closest friend, God's there waiting for us to trust Him enough to let Him catch us.

Psalm 9:9-10 (NIV) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. 

Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Real Life at the movie store

I know, I know, I know in my heart not to judge other parents. I don't know what they had going on in their day....or how many buttons their kid has already pushed. I know sometimes I have said something I regretted shortly after to the little people in my life. I know sometimes I still say things I regret to the still growing up people in my life.

I talk out of being too busy or frustrated or tired....or....or....or. The reason(s) are unimportant. The fact is I have said things to the people in my family that I would NEVER say out loud to someone else. So have they. That makes me sad.

I'm not trying to sound judgmental. Maybe it was more of an observation that struck a memory on that day. Our daughter and I were at the movie store (doesn't sound right to say "video" store anymore). There were some smaller kids running around and looking at movies. One started to kind of whine or cry. Then the mom said loudly "shut up"....more than once. I wasn't around the corner to see the look on the mom or kid's face. The other people in the store seemed to carry on business as usual...and glance away....and I guess I did too....and that made me frustrated.

I wanted to go up so badly and say something, but what? To a stranger no less. Not to tell her not to talk that way, but to say sounds like you're having a rough day. Can I sit with your kid a few minutes while you finish looking around? We live in a society where that seems no longer acceptable.

The other thing that made me frustrated was if that is how this kid was being talked to in public, how do they get talked to at home? AND this is just one family. This is my family sometimes.

In the movies, many have a happy ending. I don't know the ending of this real life drama. I walked out of the movie store and I write remind myself that life will not always be fairy tales and happy endings. We're not characters in a movie. We are moms and dads that have flaws and get tired and make mistakes. Our kids are not always smiling and bright-eyed. They are kids that had a rough day at school and get tired and make mistakes.

I want to remind myself that how I talk to my kid matters. In real life, anywhere, it matters. 

Colossians 3:20-21 (NIV) 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Story of Ellie Egg....and Friends

Pretty eggs ready to visit lunch
Ellie Egg (purple egg in left top corner) brought her friends to lunch on Tuesday. She had heard there were some issues at school with her people friends. She sacrificed herself and her friends to prove a point. THIS is their story.

At lunch, Ellie Egg's best side showed her beautiful smile and curly hair. All looked right with the world. However, what her friends didn't know was that she had a really bad morning. She got up later than she should have. If she didn't hurry, she was going to be late! Her dad got mad for apparently no reason at all...and she cracked a little. Her brother said the yolk's on you as he pushed her in the back...and she cracked some more. "Go ahead, tell on me...nobody will believe you anyway!"....crack. Her mom forgot to give her lunch money....crack. AND then she got to school.....and hid behind her smile.

She has a group of pretty close friends. They gathered around her and asked her if she was OK. Of course, she said yes. Who really wanted to hear all her problems anyway? They all had their own stuff going on too, right? As long as they were watching out for each other and spending time hanging out in their carton, they felt pretty safe....and overall, they were....pretty much.

There's another group of eggs. They're not quite as friendly. Sometimes they feel left out. They don't feel like they fit in. They dress differently. They don't want to stand out, but they sure don't blend in either. Sometimes they say words they don't mean....but they have a reputation....people think they're bad eggs. So they act like it. Not many eggs have taken the time to get to know them better....or realize that each one of them has cracks too.

So things get said to Ellie and her friends. Ellie and her friends say stuff back. Most of it is not very nice. Feelings get hurt. More cracks. Some friends are stronger than others. Their shells crack and they're pretty firm underneath. Some of them though? They crack...and break....and ooze. The sad thing is? They can't be put back to the way they were. No matter how many nice words, people caring, friends surrounding.... things will never be the same.
Proving that words matter. The results


Moral of Ellie's story (People version) 
short version:  WORDS MATTER

Long version and explanation:

Ellie and her friends went to school to help the lunch girls SEE the effects their words (and other people's words) have on them. I think the girls thought they were going to get ice cream (nope, sorry that's end of the year celebration!) because there was a plastic tablecloth, bowls and napkins on the table when they walked in. They were told it was going to be a surprise. The eggs (I dyed pretty quickly the night before) looked pretty good when we started. They were briefly told about Ellie and that she represented a lot of teenagers...and adults too. Sometimes what we see on the outside (smile) does not show what is really going on (cracks on the other side). The girls were given permanent markers. They decorated their eggs with a face....and with words that have been said to them....or they have said to others. The eggs briefly went back in the carton. I beat a bit on the carton showing them that they were pretty safe when they stuck together. Then the girls got their eggs back into the bowl with a knife or spoon to hit the spots where the words were. It didn't take long for the eggs to crack and break open. Some were hard-boiled. Some were not. It was obvious they couldn't be put back together. I gave them something I wrote previously about eggs and becoming hard boiled:  Becoming Hard Boiled  We put them back in the carton and I snapped another picture. The girls asked if I'd put it on Facebook. So I did....and went into more detail with the story above to put on my blog. I really worried that they wouldn't want to listen. I didn't give them enough credit. At first, they joked around and wanted to save them and throw them at somebody. They all participated and, hopefully, got the moral without hammering it in too much about bullying, etc.

Moral is still: Words matter. (and I have a pretty awesome group of lunch friends!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I build walls not to keep people out, but to see who loves me enough to climb over. This is a paraphrase from a teen friend. I tried finding the original quote and I found something similar, but I like hers better....and I couldn't find a name to attribute the saying I'll use hers.

This was at the end of one of our Tuesday middle-school lunches. I had some time to think it over while I picked up crushed cereal pieces (ah-hem, ladies) off the floor. First of all, I felt honored that she chose to tell me. Next, I felt.....sad. Sad because I think how often have I not climbed the wall? Not just hers...but other walls as well. Sad to think that sometimes without meaning to I have built a wall and probably pushed someone away.

Sometimes when I come to lunch and lay out food, the girls swarm to the table like piranhas! Sometimes there are whines of "I didn't get any!" They move and the table is mostly empty. I think why do I do this? It takes time, it can get kind of expensive and would they even show up if there wasn't food?!?!?! That's kind of how I felt when I got there recently....and then I hear the girls start talking to each other. Then one or two talk to me and we get into some really serious concerns. Occasionally, I get hugs before they walk out the door...or one comes back for something and makes a little comment that may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

Everybody needs somebody that is willing to scale that wall. It may be a wall of hurt, pain, self-preservation or hiding from being close or letting someone else actually see the real princess (or the monster....depending on the day!) that lives behind that wall. How often have I tried once, not got over and given up?

As a parent, there have been days when I have been too tired, too complacent or too busy to attempt to climb my kid's wall. I need to stop making excuses. There are only so many days and ways that we will be given the chance to get over the wall our kids often build.

We can try to batter down the wall....and find another wall. We can try to climb over the wall, find it too difficult or time consuming....and give up. We can look for cracks in the wall. We can take time to build a ladder that will eventually let us see over the wall.  We can hope to be lucky enough on some days to find the secret door and be asked in without having to climb over. THOSE are days to cherish!

I urge you to do whatever you can to see past, climb over, get through the wall even if it takes numerous tries. Our kids are SO worth it!

Since kids learn by example, take a look at yourself too. Do you have a wall your kids can't get over?

Hebrews 11:30 (NLT) It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

Pray and have faith that whatever walls you may encounter they can come crashing down....even if they have been there for years!

And we don't do it alone......

Ephesians 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where's my paddle?!?!?

You have probably heard the saying about the paddle. I will try and keep it family friendly with my version: Up crap creek without a paddle.

There are days where not only do I not have a paddle....I'm not even sure I have a boat!!!! Or I'm not up the creek....but right in the middle with all that "stuff" swirling around me. Those days are not fun.

On a good day, I realize (and sometimes it takes me awhile to remember) that my paddle is not lost. I either have it and I am not using it. OR it has been taken away or given up.

My family members are much more visual thinkers than I am. However, I am realizing ever so slowly that sometimes thinking in pictures helps. On the days I figure out that my paddle is not with me, I am going to picture the devil gleefully standing off on the shore watching me struggle as he holds the paddle just out of my grasp.

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that there are days when it is not much of a stretch to say that I have given up my paddle without much of a fight. I stop doing what I know works. I get too busy in the morning and rush out the door without prayers, worship music or some Bible reading. I make excuses of why I'm not getting things done.

The secret to remember is that even if my paddle has been taken or swept away? I'm not in the boat, or any situation, alone. Neither are you. So grab that paddle back....and beat it over the devil's head.

Mark 6:50-51 (NIV) Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 

Psalm 41:2 The LORD protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land--he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Roller Coaster...of emotions

Feelings.....whoa, whoa, f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s......

As far as I know, you will not find this roller coaster at any theme park. It's so scary, I don't think many would willingly get on it.....let alone pay to ride it.....and yet we

Emotions have taken on such a stigma in our culture. Kids that wear too much black....or all black are called "emo" :(  Maybe they just like black....or maybe they are working through something in life and that's how they deal with it.

I know what emotions can be, but I don't recall ever looking it thanks to Webster's: emotion: a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body 

???? ummm I'm not sure that cleared anything up for me. Until I looked up the word subjective and found the word perception. Makes sense, right? How we see the roller coaster...even if we decide to ride based on our perceptions of what has happened to us or around us in the past.

We move further and further away from "feeling" our feelings. We get in such a hurry that we don't stop to think about WHY we might be feeling that way.  I'm finding out the hard way. You can't tell somebody else not to feel a certain way about something. It is their emotion and feeling. It is based on their perception of what is going on. Same as us. I can't tell myself not to feel a certain way about something.

What we can do is change how much we let that feeling(s) affect us. We can be in charge of how long we ride the roller coaster....or if we'll even get on in the first place. We can decide if we're willing to ride along with someone else on their roller coaster....or we can stand on the side and wait for their ride to be over! (This might be the safest choice!)

Having written all of that though, I also know that our brains can get clouded by depression, fear, anxiety.... where it feels like we have no control or choice of riding. We're just on it. Going up and down...maybe not as many ups. A little while is natural. We do what we can do with what we have. BUT if you feel like you will never get off the roller coaster and enjoy some days where feelings are not trying to rule your world? Talk to a friend. Talk to a doctor and make sure there is nothing mentally or physically wrong. A doctor once explained to me, medicine can make the highs not so high, but the lows not so low. 

One consolation? We don't have to ride the roller coaster alone. Even on our worst days, when we feel the most unlovable. God can be right there in the front seat with us. Putting life a little more in perspective. Helping us adjust our perception. Helping us realize those hills that look so frightening on the ground can help us learn how to deal with the stuff of life.....and enjoy the ride....on or off the roller coaster.

Jeremiah 31:27 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Are the side effects worth it?

I watch TV crime/mystery shows. Even though I detest blood and gore, I get into the story and solving the mystery. Many times I watch them too late at night. Dumb! Late at night when I'm already tired, somewhat depressed and overly emotional. I should turn it off....but I'm hooked after a few minutes. Sometimes I wonder how many creeps get ideas from watching shows like Criminal Minds, etc. A lot of those murder mystery/cop shows have numerous creative ways to do people in.

Before you get to worried about me, I'll get on with my train of thought (THIS one, I actually remember!)

One of the downsides of television are the commercials (unless the ad is really creative....and makes me remember WHAT they are advertising for!) It seems lately there are SO many ads for ones that require a prescription. I find it amusing (? for lack of a better word) when they show the whole ad and then tell the side effects....sometimes rather quickly...including the one to call a dr if something lasts more than 4 hours. OR there is an ad in a magazine with a happy looking person and when you flip the page...a whole page of possible issues. OR when I pick up my prescription with the small novel size pamphlet of info with even smaller print.

Have you ever actually READ one of those? For me, they are kind of like the "terms and conditions" that need to be agreed on frequently. Once in awhile, I glance over, but usually just click the box that I read it. Who knows what I could be giving up?

When I was pregnant, I had to get injections the first few months. I had to pick up the vial of medicine. Small novel of small print came with it. I actually read most of it.....and promptly called the dr and asked if they knew of kids born after their mother had taken this medicine. I was somewhat calmly reassured that the benefit of the medicine which would help me stay pregnant was worth it....and that a side effect had to be listed even if it was only rats or a few people that had an issue. Oh how reassuring. not.

However, our son was born healthy....and life continues on.....and I have persisting thoughts late at night/early AM.

In life, not just medicines/prescriptions have side effects. Maybe for the way I'm thinking of it, a similar word would be consequence. Our decisions (or lack thereof) carry side effects/consequences. Some we will not like and decide that life is better the way it is than the way it could be if we choose to medicate/decide.

Sometimes there are side effects of dealing with people who are already dealing with their own side effects. This can be tricky because everybody handles them differently. So we do our best to be understanding and seek to make the best, informed decisions we can....and help others that may not be as far on the journey.

So maybe take some time to reflect (speaking to myself here also) on what the issue is, what the cure might look like and if the side effects will be worth it.

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I Love You. Period.

Love.....ahhh.....LOVE. We seem to toss that term around so casually these days. We can "love" anything from the latest TV show to the newest flavor of chips to a 0 score in tennis. In our world today, sex seems = to love. (P.S. IT'S NOT) Love is more than a feeling and an overused word in songs.

Love also can have conditions. 

I love you, if......  I love you, even though......  I love you, but...... 

Lately, I'm learning that sometimes we need to just stop after "I love you" to make sure that the person we're talking to hears the whole intention. The ifs, ands, buts and even thoughs can come later in a different discussion. Sometimes we don't hear what comes before the comma. We just hear you would love me better if I was more, different, whatever. 

This can be difficult with a spouse or a child.....or I'm finding out sometimes, even ourselves. It's so easy to use the comma, if, and..... and not stop at the period. I love you. I love myself. I will save the other stuff for another conversation. At this time, in this moment, I just need you to hear I LOVE YOU. I will love you in the next minute, hour, day, month, year. Love is different and so much more than like. What we do, the decisions we make will not always (hardly ever) be the best. We will live and we will learn. It may not always be in my strength, but I will love you.

You may not feel love right now. You may not feel like giving or receiving love. Sometimes when we don't feel like being loved, is when we need it the most.

I looked up the definition of "love" online. There are 9 definitions. My favorite wasn't at the top of the list: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another  The dictionary lists "love" as a noun. Love is also a word of action.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I pray that you will feel love, be able to give love and accept love for yourself and for others. May you know that you do not need to love in your own strength. You are loved. Amen.

Jude 1:2  Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

1 Peter 4:8  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (PERIOD!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do It....Yourself.....

I seem to be on a roll with "do it" ( Just Do It and Don't Do It ), so I will finish up with this. I have been thinking about this for awhile....and debating on the best way to write it. So I will make a humble attempt.

At first glance, telling someone to "do it yourself" can seem rude. Of course, there are circumstances when someone can't do it themselves. That's not the kind of do it yourself I'm talking about.

Love and Logic * has a parenting style referred to as a "helicopter". This parent hovers around waiting for their child to need something and rescues them when necessary. I hate to admit it, but I am usually a helicopter. As our kids get older, this is less and less "helpful" to them...and it has not been all that helpful for me either. There are times when I have made our kids feel like they can't do it on their own. There are times when I do something I know they should be doing themselves because, at the time, it seems easier. This will not help them as they venture daily out into the "real world". It has taken me TOO long to realize this.

One of the goals is to let them learn to have little failures when the price is still small. Our society in general, especially lately it seems, is to have as much as possible to be win/win. Unfortunately, in real life not everybody does win every time. If we constantly shield our kids from having to deal with the tough stuff, the world will beat them up when they're on their own with no buffer....or helicopter waiting to swoop in and fix it. The more I think about it the better it is to let them do it themselves while they are still in the boundaries of our homes.

One of my goals is to stop hovering and to step back and let our kids learn that they CAN do it themselves. If there is something they need to learn to be able to do it on their own, it is my responsibility to help them learn it so they are ready to do it themselves.

However, sometimes I wait around waiting for someone else to take care of something that I COULD easily do myself. Then I usually get a small (or not so small!) nudge to remind me I should do it myself and quit waiting!

There is a silver lining to this cloud of change for me. Even when I do it myself, I am not alone. God provides insight, information, other people and parents that cross my path to let me know that doing it yourself does not necessarily mean by yourself.

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

*The Love and Logic website has a lot of good information and some free resources for parents and teachers. Love and Logic uses consequences of decisions as part of parenting. It is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DON'T do it!

Recently, I wrote about Just Do It!. It helped me put some perspective into what has been going on in my life and the lives of family members. However, as I wrote that and more recently, I have thought of the flip side of Just Do It, which is DON'T do it!

There are times in life when just do it is NOT the answer. For an extreme example, someone is standing on a ledge obviously thinking of jumping a great distance resulting (more than likely) in their death. In that situation, telling them to just do it would be very inappropriate. 

There are times in life where someone else (or maybe even us) is not on an actual ledge but definitely heading in the wrong direction. We feel we should warn them, but many people when you tell them what to do...they want to do the opposite. Telling someone (or ourselves) don't do it, even if it is for safety reasons can backfire. That should not keep us from speaking up though when necessary. This is probably how interventions start!

Then there are the times we need to tell ourselves don't do it. Maybe it is something kind of easy like just not having a second handful of peanut m&ms (yummm, oh wait, I digress). The more we want it, the harder it is to not do it. It's called temptation. 

Tempt: to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain Temptation: the act of being tempted

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

It is difficult to watch someone, especially those close to us, do things that we know are not good for them. That is when we need to maybe tell them once (or 2x), then back off, pray and let God handle the rest. We need to realize most of the time don't do it is not to cramp anyone's style. It is to keep them from harming themselves or others.

The Bible is full of don'ts. We can take that one of 2 ways. God is being restrictive and doesn't want us to have ANY fun OR God is providing boundaries that will keep us safe and keep us from self-destructing. Honestly, when left to our own devices? Most of us would do it and forget the consequences.

Genesis 3:22-23 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 

Do it! Don't do it! Choose wisely.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Playing with words.... Evolve? Adapt?

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase (Heard this on an episode of Criminal Minds...I rather like it)
One of the benefits(?) of a Yahoo homepage is that one can read all sorts of interesting "news" and stories. It is possible to become totally lost amongst clicks on different stories...and then realize an hour has passed. ugh.

One of the "headline" stories recently involved a "hybrid shark" ( Not that I think it is worthy of reading, just listing my source and my thought process (always scary territory!)

This article used the words "adapt", "evolution in action", and "survival of the fittest". I have always struggled with the evolution theory. Mainly because it seems to contradict the Bible. When our son was younger, I was pleased that his teacher had evolution on her list of report topics. I was also pleased that he chose this topic to discuss. However, the further he dug into info, the more I could see how people might get confused when presented with all of these "facts".

I like to find out the meanings of words. I looked up "adaptation" and "evolution" at (A GREAT resource)  Here's what I found:

Adaptation : adjustment to environmental conditions: as a : adjustment of a sense organ to the intensity or quality of stimulation b : modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment

Evolution: a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

 a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena

I find it interesting that even the definition of evolution includes the phrase "preexisting types" and "interrelated phenomena". This would seem to indicate that there needs to be SOMETHING there to make another something. It seems that more can be explained by adaptation of species rather than evolution.

It seems like we play with words. I don't have all the answers. I do have a few questions though that have been brought up along life's journey that have at least made me pause and go hmmmmm. Here are a couple.

If humans "evolved" from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

Who took care of the first human?

What came first the chicken or the egg? 

If you can think of others, I would love to hear your thoughts/comments.

It seems that life started in motion. I do know that I can't explain many of the functions of the human body, but if we didn't have them, we wouldn't survive. I am amazed at the sheer number of species of many animals, insects, birds, fish, etc.  I am in awe of the variety of personalities of people in general, let alone those in my own family. I am touched by the compassion that people can show to complete strangers. I am moved to tears sometimes by hearing what others have gone through. 

I don't even pretend to have all the answers to the questions of life. So, in the meantime, I play with words and hopefully give you something to think about too.  ;)

Genesis 2:1 (NIV) Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Just Do It!

More than an advertising slogan. The answer to procrastination. The fix for a messed up family. Just do it already. Find out what works and DO IT! The follow up? Stick with it. Easy to write. Hard to do.

I try not to make New Year resolutions. Deep down I know that I will not keep them anyway, so why bother? I think for most people? Kind of more like new year suggestions. (Kind of how some people want the 10 commandments....but that's a blog for another time)

I have some ideas in mind of things I would like to change in this new year. Ahhhh the new year. A time of reflection over the year(s) past and a hope for the year to come. However, it is so easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed when I realize some of the things I want to change are the same things I have wanted to change for years! Since I have way too many piles of paper, occasionally I run across my "to do" lists from days/weeks/years!?!?!? ago and there are things that should be on my current "to do" list....because it is STILL not done. Or I'll read through some old journal entries and realize that the things I wrote about that were not going well.....still are not going well.

I can't change time from zipping by. I can't change what other people do....or don't do. One of the only things I can work on? Is me. My reactions (or lack thereof) to things other people do.....or don't do.

It took me a LONG time to realize that done is better than perfect. Seeking perfection can keep us from finishing a project. It can actually even keep us from starting because it will never be done to the standard we set.

2012 my year of Just Do It. So when 2013 (yikes) comes, I can say I Did It! To the best of my ability and with God's help, I Did It!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

I pray that 2012 will find you able to accomplish your resolutions, goals, hopes, dreams....whatever you want to call them. When our paths cross another person's path, I pray that we take the time and the care to be involved. Just Do It!