Holidays

Memorial Day

Definition: a day in which those who died in active military service are remembered.  Traditionally observed on May 30th, but now observed on the last Monday in May.

Some think this weekend is an excuse to have a cookout, drink, and gather together. It’s not. Some think Memorial Day is a “nothing” holiday because we don’t give each other gifts or decorate our houses with bright lights or hang stockings by our fireplaces.  We don’t bake cakes and put candles on them, but it’s definitely not a “nothing” holiday.

We do indeed receive a gift.

Our gift is the freedom to cookout, drink and gather, or do and think whatever we want. The thing is, the freedom we enjoy everyday came with a huge price paid by someone’s son, daughter, friend, father, or mother; Someone’s aunt, uncle, cousin, grandfather, or grandmother. They said to themselves, “let me give myself, all of me, so another can live free.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate this weekend in whatever way you want,  just remember why you are able to. Although it’s not what Memorial Day is about, the next time you see a soldier in uniform please remember they are putting you and everyone else and this entire country above themselves. Say thank you to them. They’re willing participants in fighting for everything this country stands for. In the process, they are sacrificing, at the very least, time away from their own family and, at the very most, some day… their own life.

Please give them your respect, hold dear the liberties we have, and honor the flag.

Military personnel who gave it all are the reason for this holiday.

Advertisements
Family Life

2017 Can Blow Cookies

I’m so sick of 2017!

Best part about being sick…

Since January my daughter, Anaia, has contracted flu A (which I, in turn, got), flu B (which thank the good Lord and an entire bottle of “Airborne” I didn’t get), numerous colds (of which I got a few), strep throat…. and most recently, a rebound of strep again.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.~  3 John 2

My coach and dear friend Jill and her family, has had numerous stomach viruses and other illnesses, which, in my estimation, should have been cause for her house to be under quarantine. Now… I’ve a sinus infection. All of this has put a wrench in my training, which has me nervous because Nationals is only a few weeks away. But God is in control and all I can do is my best and see what happens. That is exactly what I intend to do.

My husband, Ryan, by the grace of God and his busy work schedule, has escaped the clutches of the plagues descending on both our houses. Everywhere I look there’s a mess; laundry to be done, dishes to wash, a dog or a cat that wants food or to come in or go out. I’ve no energy to do any of it. Here’s where I give a very big, dare I say, mother of all “thank-yous” to Ryan for trying to hold the household together.

THANK YOU, RYAN!

We love because he first loved us. ~1 John 4:19

Mowing for Jesus

I love you and greatly appreciate everything you do for us. I know you feel that you’re being pulled in every direction. Just today vacuuming and mopping the house and getting a fire call in between school bus runs. A very nice Father’s Day is definitely in store for him. He said, “It’s like you have to keep up with the Jones’ but the Jones’ are Peter Pans and of course you can’t keep up with Peter Pan!” That’s how the poor guy feels! Maybe I should give him a trip to Neverland?

Ryan said that jokingly,  but life should never be about keeping up with the Jones’. You should never feel what you have, or how your house and property looks, isn’t good enough or doesn’t fit the neighborhood. If you and your family are happy and healthy, that’s what matters.

Healthy? Oh right… we aren’t.

Peter Pan, here we come! BTW now Ryan is mowing the yard and, yes, he does mow for Jesus!

Contemplations, Self-Esteem, Uncategorized

When eye splinters hurt

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.~ Matthew  7 1-2

Anyone regularly reading this blog knows I step in every now and then to add a post or two. Usually this occurs after an in-depth conversation with Linda over life and all the crazy it dishes.  So here I am, taking over the blog this morning after one such conversation.

It’s very easy to assume things of another person. Assumption rears its head in my life every so often and I am sure it does in many of our readers, and it’s frustrating for anyone to face. For me,  I’ve been called a“bad influence” on Linda. A bad influence means something or someone is teaching  others to do wrong or to make them have bad thoughts about someone, encouraging wrong actions and thoughts by example.

This would be a gross assumption, and for the life of us (and others who know us) Linda and I cannot figure out why that idea was created, yet there it is.  It sinks my heart to know such ideas are out there.  When I recently asked Linda why she thought this judgement existed she replied:

“Because you encouraged me to be independent.”

That was a powerful and humbling thing to hear her say. “Can’t” shouldn’t be  anyone’s vocabulary. The only thing I ardently believe she can’t do on her own is put her hair up in a dang ponytail.

So why judge others? Why attach labels and shove our assumptions in front of fact, thought, and reason? Assumption is a taking to or upon oneself to know what is true and right according to what one needs or wants to hear.

We judge because internally we find a weakness in ourselves. Instead of maturely addressing our shortcomings and insecurities we take it out on others. Instead of getting to know people so we form opinion based on hard core fact, we assume we know all, put up walls, and look away. Often, those we abuse by wrongful judgment do not deserve the mistreatment.

A habit of not addressing our flaws by casting judgment on others is a hard one to break.

Judging others…that’s gotta hurt

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:3

Our instinct when judged may be a rush to defend ourselves. That’s an equally hard habit to break. I admit I’d love to write a blog defending myself, listing to the world all the reasons as to why I believe I am not a “bad influence,” but I’ve learned, through very hard lessons, that there is a time and place for true defense. In the end God knows my intentions. He is my judge; the Holy Spirit will convict me.

Reflecting on what caused this blog, my feelings of anger, outrage, and being hurt have dissipated into pity toward the one who assumes so much about me. I wish  habits of judgement and assumption could change. It’s terribly hard to look at the world through scratched lenses. I’ve lived like that and it really sucks, and I know Linda’s lived like that as well. Together we know how painful it is to compare oneself to others, to ignore our hurts and hang-ups and to be in such denial  of what makes us human…

…our flaws.

If judged, pray for the person judging you. Pray that God softens hearts to vulnerability. It’s good to be vulnerable. I will always defend Linda, of course! If anyone wants to get to her they will have to go through me. That’s a little life disclaimer!  Forgive those who cast judgment because God first forgave you.

That doesn’t change my  opinion of the circumstances or situations I’m in, but does polish my glasses with empathy.

~Jennifer Deschanel

 

Self-Esteem

Motivation Masks

Motivation has many different faces. It can be born out of fear, happiness, anger, avoidance or sadness. Some causes of motivation are healthy, good, and even essential to experience. Some are unhealthy and detrimental to your well-being. If you stop and take a moment to see what motivates you, you could surprise yourself at what lies deep within.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27

The cause of why you make certain decisions, I think, is imperative in leading a happy and healthy life, meant to be lived with a great sense of contentment. Someone might be successful according to the rules of this world, but why they are a success, or the catalyst behind their success may have many different reasons and varying results.

Always striving for more and always wanting to find ways to do “it” better is not bad in itself. To feel that way because you’re running away from something or to feel nothing is ever good enough is harmful. I’ve learned you can’t keep running. Life will always catch up to you. You have to deal with whatever difficult and hurtful past situation is driving you away. If you don’t, it will keep returning time and again to haunt you until you do deal with it. Stand firm, look it in the eye and confront the ghost of your past.

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. ~Ecclesiastes 7:10

I kept finding myself in unhealthy (in one way or another) relationships with men who were fixer uppers. It was much like buying a house knowing it needs a new bathroom or a new kitchen floor. Minor in your eyes, but when you go and rip up the bathroom floor you find black mold because the plumbing is shot and you fork over thousands of dollars to get it up to code. If you find this is your relationship, it will cost you a whole lot more than money.

Come to think of it… I wouldn’t recommend a fixer upper man or a fixer upper house.

In trying to evaluate why I made the same unhealthy choices with men, I found how I viewed myself played a huge role. My self-esteem was in the toilet. You can’t pretty up someone else (nor should you want to) when you are a fixer upper yourself. Before going and looking for a HEALTHY relationship, it’s really important to work on getting yourself healthy first. If you don’t, you won’t find your heart’s desires.

I realized, as I worked on myself, what I looked for in a relationship changed; what I expected a man to change, the qualities he should have changed. Where I looked even changed. All changed because I viewed myself in a different light. Praise be to God! He definitely had his hands full with me. Thanks be to Him.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.~Romans 12:2

This applies to all aspects of life not just in relationships. Why do you always want the latest iPhone, a new car, a better job, or even a better spouse? Take a good hard look at what is inside yourself and then reevaluate your own motives. I recently learned it doesn’t matter what happened to you in your past or what kind of relationship you had with your parents growing up. What matters is how you view yourself. I’m constantly reminding myself I’m a King’s daughter and a warrior. In the book “Girls with Swords” the author says, “being a warrior is a way of life and many of the battles they fight are with enemies unseen.” How many of us are at war with the critical voices in our heads? How many of us fight with ghosts of the past? How many of us don’t even know we’re at war?

Here’s the good news! Struggle strengthens us. Pressure makes a lump of coal into a diamond. Fire can refine and reshape us; it doesn’t have to burn us. And here’s the best part… water… water quenches the heat of the fire. Like the water of our baptism, being born again of the Spirit, it sets up and hardens us into the shape the fire molded us into.

We don’t have to drown in our struggles.