Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today

My arm feels a lot better today. I started noticing a difference last night , so I'm going to continue to baby it for a couple of more days.

My daughter texted me from DC. She spent a lot of her money on some souvenirs for our family, and now has $17 left for the next three days. Thank goodness her breakfasts and dinners are covered!! I'm almost thinking about overnighting some money, but the other part of me wants her to learn a lesson about spending wisely on a trip. It was very nice of her to buy things for us, but not a wise thing to do, when she only brought a small amount of money. She has enough to buy her lunches for the next three days, but that's about it. It's really all she technically needs, but I think she would have liked to buy some more things for herself. She made it sound like some other kids had brought hundreds of dollars to spend, which I'm sure it might seem like that when you only have $17 left!

Anyway, we sort of had a deal, that we paid for her trip, and in turn, she paid for her lunches each day and her personal spending money. She received $50 from her grandparents, and she had saved some money from teaching violin lessons, so she had enough for lunches and then some. I also can't forget that she purchased a cell phone that she didn't really need right before this trip (we don't pay for their cell phones; they have to buy the pay-as-you-go kind on their own). I think she'll be just fine.....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Hurt Myself

I hurt myself yesterday or the day before. In the process of working out, I somehow hurt my neck down into my left shoulder area. I think part of it is muscular, and part of it might be a pinched nerve. I'm not sure. All I know is, I hurt. I have been taking Ibuprofen, and doing heat and ice packs. I'm bummed because I have PE class today, and its "upper body" day. I hope the teacher will be nice to me, and let me do something else. I'm also bummed, because I was really on a roll with doing exercises at home as well as at the gym. I suppose I could do some other things until this arm heals up, and try not to let it slow me down. I can turn my head to the right, but not all the way to the left, or there is this pain down in my Trapezius. I think it's either my Trapezius, or one of the other long neck muscles that is connected in that area somewhere. As an A&P student, I should know the name of those, but I can't seem to! I have a virtual dissector program, where I can look at an actual cadaver on my computer, and dissect away any part I want to. I think I might take a look at that, to figure out where my pain might be coming from......

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What's Up

So, I just thought I would write about what's up.

Tomorrow I drop Amanda off at the airport for her symphony trip to Washington, D.C. She will be performing three concerts and touring EVERYTHING. She is really excited, and has worked very hard to get ahead of her schoolwork. I think it's going to be an awesome trip for her....

I am plugging along in my online Psychology class and PE class. I have taken a few quizzes and an exam online, and I'm holding on to a 4.0 in the class so far. PE has been good for me. I am learning some good body-weight-bearing types of exercises that I can do at home, which is cool, because I don't think I will re-join the YMCA after the class is over. After class, I do about 25-30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine, and I really like that. I wish I had one of those things at home. I bought myself some exercise bands at Wal-Mart, which I am using at home for some extra toning time. I have been trying to do sit-ups, pushups and lunges everyday, so now I will also incorporate the bands. I really want to see some quick toning up for summertime - especially my hiney. Does anybody have any good hiney-toning exercise ideas?

I am trying to locate my immunization records in order to volunteer at the hospital. Plus, I need them to go into the ultrasound program. I CAN'T FIND THEM!!! I have no idea where they could be. None. I am beginning to think that I am going to have to spend the money to have blood tests run, to show my immunities. Agh!

Our weather started to turn warm the last couple of days - what a nice relief! Ben had his first baseball game on Friday night, and we were FREEZING! Then, he had another game the next day, and it was HEAVEN sitting in the warm 68 degree sunshine. Ahhhhhh......I REALLY need to get out in the yard and do some weeding, so I can appreciate all of the flowers when they bloom....

Joe had his 39th birthday on Tuesday, and Amanda had her 17th birthday on Thursday! We took Amanda to Red Robin to celebrate. I'm so glad all of the birthday cake is gone from the house, so I am not so tempted to eat it. I would like to lose about 5-7 pounds during my stint in my PE class.

I am enjoying my Bible study at church. I am in a really neat group of gals, all randomly chosen to be together during these nine weeks. I love the variety of ages and backgrounds. My leader is a colon cancer and stroke survivor. Her youngest child is about to graduate from high school, so she is going to soon have an empty nest. I might actually have my oldest leave the house after she graduates from high school next year - weird to think!

While I'm blabbing along here, I am realizing that my words really do not reflect what is going on inside me at the moment. I am actually experiencing some discouragement in a number of areas in my life, that I would like prayer for.........

Monday, April 21, 2008

Relationships

I am struggling with some thoughts and ideas regarding relationships. Now, I have read almost all the "Boundaries" books, as well as other great insights on relationships. Yet, I still struggle with what's right and what's wrong in setting boundaries and dealing with difficult people.

I understand that, just because I'm a Christian, doesn't mean that I should be "nice" and let people walk all over me and treat me like crap. I understand that I should set limits on how I am treated. On the other hand, I am supposed to forgive "seventy times seven," according to The Bible. Maybe it's not correct to say "on the other hand." I know that you can forgive someone, releasing them, but it doesn't mean you then welcome the poor treatment again.

The thing is, isn't reconciliation the highest goal? Or, is it? Didn't God model reconciliation by reconciling us to Himself through Jesus, and that's what we're supposed to do in relationships? What if reconciliation is not possible due to the lack of desire from the other person?

I have a situation in my life, where I want to reconcile with a person after the person has done and said some things that hurt me. They refuse to talk with me and fix the problem in the relationship in a healthy way. From what I gather, they want me to let it go without talking about it, and just move on. Act like nothing happened and attend events with them like usual. They are not validating my feelings, or the fact that their actions have hurt the relationship. They think they had a "right" to do what they did, no matter what it did to me or others (plus, it is a pattern in their life to sort of "spew" on people whenever they feel like it).

I feel torn, because I feel like we need to talk about what happened. I feel the relationship was hurt because of what this person did. I was hurt. Of course I forgive this person, and I would like the opportunity to show forgiveness to this person, but I think that if I just "move on" and never talk about what happened, it is going to invite the same treatment in the future. It also shows the superficiality of the relationship, which is not what I want out of it. The most difficult part, is that it is a family relationship. I've done what I can to say that we need to talk one-on-one about things, and make the relationship right. They don't want to do that. They only want to email or write letters, which has not been working, because it seems like everything I write is misinterpreted and warped into something else. I can't manage the filters they filter me through. And so, I have said that I really can't move on with the person until we talk.

Now, I don't feel comfortable attending events for or with this person right now. My husband doesn't want to either, because he was hurt as well. Plus, I don't feel like going to something and being all uncomfortable and fake. Yet, it doesn't feel right to attend, and it doesn't feel right not to attend. Maybe it's not a matter of "right," but just that it feels yucky. I definitely feel like I can't move on in the relationship until it's repaired, but I also don't like not being a part of their life and giving all of the good things I would like to give to them. I would like to share with them, the special things going on in their life and be generous to them with gifts. If I tried to give at this point, I feel like it would be pooped on and not appreciated. I'm hoping that, once the relationship is reconciled, I can give the gifts I would like to give.

Not attending their events, or giving gifts is not revenge on my part. I'm sure the other person might think that, and I have written that it is not my intention. I keep re-iterating that I want to fix the relationship first and foremost. I feel like I have tried all I can to show that I value the relationship enough to want to work things out. I vascillate between wondering if I should have sent a gift, to feeling like the gift wouldn't have been valued anyway. I vascillate between what shows the love of God more and what doesn't.

There doesn't seem to be a black and white, right or wrong answer. It all seems so gray. And, it all feels so yucky.

What is your take?

Saturday's Message

We heard a great message at church on Saturday night. Sometimes I like to write about it, so it implants in my memory banks. I'll try to remember the highlights. Here goes.

Our pastor (Roger) spoke about Jesus words "I Am The Life," in John 14:1-6, to begin a series about Jesus being THE way, THE truth and THE life. He used the acrostic, LIFE to structure his outline. The talk was generally about how to experience Jesus as "THE life."

L: Love God and love people. (see Mark 12:28-31)
-Jesus was asked by religious leaders what commandment was the greatest one, and he
answered, "love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all
your strength." Then, "love your neighbor as yourself."
-Are we loving God and others this way? One way to know is to look at your day planner
and your checkbook. It will tell you a lot about who or what you love!

I: Intentionally live life. (see Jeremiah 29:11)
-Begin and end your day with God. Be intentional and diligent about spending time with
Him.

F: Forgive, forgive, forgive. (see Luke 23:33-34)
-It's not about issues, it's about relationships. The bar has been set by Jesus, who, on the
cross forgave the people for the things they were doing. He forgave right THEN -
immediately, not later.

E: Expect greatness of yourself and your God. (see Matthew 5:44-48 and Eph.
2:10)

-Dream big dreams of God and what God has for you. We are all called to a purpose: to love
God and be a bridge between God and others. We don't have to be in vocational ministry to
do that. We should ask God to use us to encourage and share Christ in our workplace. A
ministry vocation is not more sacred than being an insurance salesman, or
stay-at-home-mom, etc. All things are created by God, and so all things are sacred. People
are everywhere, so He has placed us where we are to reach out to the people in that
workplace.

Roger said that he is going to be touching on the recent teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Oprah, and showing us how we are not "narrow-minded" to say that Jesus is the ONLY way to God, but "single-minded." The current thinking is "double-minded," and thus lacks solidity and assuredness. I am looking forward to this, as the Lord has given me some opportunities to share with others about the truth related to the Oprah thing lately......

Saturday, April 19, 2008

You're Invited to a BBQ

What a lovely Spring day for a BBQ!

Not.



Yes, friends. It is April. The Spring Fair is even running today. And, we're expected to get a few inches of snow accumulation....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things that make you go mmmmm......



Is that not just a perfect cup of coffee??




Imagine you can smell these....Joe brought them to me on our anniversary day......

More Kitten/Family Pics

Melanie and Macy



This blog is becoming a kitten blog, apparently! Macy is already growing so much, I have to capture these kitten days while I can! :)



Cat Nap

Cat Tree




Joe built Macy a cat tree with some extra carpet and supplies we had in the garage. It turned out AWESOME. This tree would probably by about $80 at the pet store. The angled post is wrapped with sisal rope, which Macy immediately began scratching on. We were so entertained watching her play on it. At one point, she was hanging with her front paws, and her back legs were swinging freely - so FUNNY!! We're hoping this will keep her away from our couch and leather chair!!



Diego had to get in on the action. I can't wait for the day when Macy jumps off the top onto the dog! HAHA!

B&B



Joe and I went to our B&B last weekend to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. This was one of the best ones we have been to, in my opinion. When we arrived, there was an envelope with a note and the key to our room. The innkeepers don't live on site, so it felt like we were entering someone's home when they weren't there! We scouted out the house, and then went upstairs to our beautiful "king suite." It had a fireplace, private deck and a jacuzzi tub. They provided bathrobes, CD's for the Bose music system, chocolates, etc. It was quite nice. They were not serving dinner that night, so we took a drive to a local seafood restaurant. It's such a beautiful area on the Hood Canal, and last weekend was sunny and warm......

I'm fast forwarding to breakfast now.....hee hee :)

Breakfast had two courses, which was served out in the sunroom. Ahhhh.....We had our own private table, and later on, another couple came out and sat at the other table. Anyway, our first course was a baked oatmeal/apple/berry concoction. It was DIVINE. Then, we were served an eggy dish with green onion, bacon and ham baked inside of it. There was also fruit, and fresh cranberry bread. The innkeeper served us, and her husband came over to sit and chat for awhile, too. Then, we began talking with the other couple, who were from Portland. We shared with each other about what we do, and about our families. They were actually visiting on of their twin, adult sons who was still out fishing when they started eating. He came later, and we met him, too.....

After breakfast, Joe and I explored the beach, which was in walking distance. We walked down the beach to a state park and scouted out some camping spots. I collected a bunch of rocks and shells in my pockets. I turned over a bunch of rocks, hoping to see some little crabs, but I didn't find any. There were TONS of oyster shells everywhere....Then, I decided I wanted to sit in the sun some more, and we went back to just veg on the beach. It was heavenly.....



The beaches/shoreline in Washington can be quite diverse, depending on where you are. In southern Washington, in the "Ocean Shores" area, it looks a little more like California, with wide, long sandy beaches. In the Puget Sound area, the beaches are rocky, with maybe a little sand; lots of shells and little critters to discover. They're more "wild" and natural looking, and much for fun to explore, I think.....The innkeeper says that their location on the Hood Canal, is at the end of it, so the water gets quite warm - perfect for swimming in the summers...



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some things I think about faith

I haven't disappeared. And, I read blogs almost everyday. I just that, I sit down to write a post, and I can't think of anything that I think would be exciting to read. It seems like I get the most comments when I am opinionated. So here you go.

I am studying faith this week in my Beth Moore Bible study. We've been looking at verses when Jesus healed people, and He said things like "your faith has healed you," etc. I try my best to have a balanced approach to what I think, and I've been thinking how unbalanced some people can become when it comes to the topic of faith. For example, my friend once said that she thought she wasn't being healed because she "probably didn't have enough faith." Or, those people who think that God is like a bubble gum machine, and if you just put in the coin: "name it" and "claim it," you get what you want.

I could be wrong, but I think that faith means believing that God CAN and is ABLE to do ANYTHING. He heals today, He does miracles today, He works supernaturally today, He does things outside of the box today, He gives people the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are for today, etc. When I pray, I believe that He can do ANYTHING. BUT. I really think that it is His choice to do it or not. I mean, He's GOD. He doesn't HAVE to answer our prayer the way WE want to, just because we think we have enough faith. It must happen from His power AND our faith. But, He chooses whether to exert His power or not. Then, that's REAL faith - to trust that He knows what is best for our lives, and the greater scheme of things. Real faith is not only believing that He CAN, but also that He sees into the past, present and future with our very best interests in mind. And, that means He may have a different answer than what we have in our mind as the best one (the one we're "believing" for). We can "claim" all we want, but it doesn't mean that's God's best for our lives. Hello!

So, back to my friend who thought she didn't have enough faith, and that's why she wasn't being healed. I said to her that I thought she was having faith in faith. I said that she needed to be reminded of WHOM she is putting her faith in. I think that if you focus on the WHOM, (you know, the all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, Creator of the Universe, Alpha and Omega), we can trust Him with the WHAT. It's a coupling of our faith and His power, I think. It's what it seems like to me, in the various healings performed by Jesus in the gospels. It's not about us "mustering" up enough faith to get God to do something. In fact, the Bible says we only need enough faith that is the size of a "mustard seed," right? And, anyway, if you think it's about "having enough" faith, then how much? How is it measured? Is it based upon feelings? How would you know if you had enough? I think that's too unclear. It's having faith in faith, which is ultimately having faith in yourself to drum up "enough." That's not real faith to me. It sounds like "works!"

Again, to me, faith is believing in WHO God is, and that He can do ANYTHING. Then, trusting that He will do what's best for me. He doesn't want us to trust ourselves. He wants to know we believe that He can "accomplish all things." It's not a magic formula of "enough" faith + God's power = get everything we want. It's about His power being shown and how He is glorified through it.

My two cents.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Travels

Today, Joe and I sat down to the computer and made a couple of camping reservations for this summer. We have this cool, camping guidebook that rates and describes campgrounds in our area. We like to tent camp and have tried to visit new places every summer. This year we're going to visit one new one called Ike Kinswa State Park, which is on a lake and an "old" one on the Puget Sound called Fort Flagler. Fort Flagler has hiking trails, a museum and a little convenience store. It's also an old military base, so there are remnants of history there, like restored buildings, cannons and bunkers. We went there a few years ago, and the kids loved getting treats at the store, riding bikes all around and playing at the beach. Joe is also planning a "guys-only" camping trip, which he started last year. They had such a good time, all the guys wanted it to be an annual thing, so Joe reserved that camping spot again, too.

In a couple of weeks, Amanda is heading to Washington, D.C. for a concert tour with the youth symphony she is a part of. They are going to tour just about everything while they're there, and perform four concerts! I'm so excited for her. I got to go on a school trip to DC when I was in 9th grade, and it was a very memorable trip for me. I hope it is the same for her!

This month is busy with Amanda and Joe's birthdays - and our 18th anniversary. Joe and I are going to get away to a bed and breakfast - yay! We've been to several B&B's, and prefer the kind where you don't have to eat around a big table with a bunch of strangers. This place has more of a restaurant-style dining area with private tables. The room looks beautiful and even has a jacuzzi tub. - YES!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quick Video on Leadership Burnout

I saw this 5-minute video recently on www.cloudtownsend.com about leadership burnout. Click here http://www.cloudtownsend.com/videoserver/player_ev2.php?clip=CCNT1774" I also highly recommend this site for articles and little videos about relationships, leadership and life. Drs. Cloud and Townsend are awesome!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Week

This week has been a week of adjusting to my online Psychology class, but I'm off to a great start. It's a little weird to take a class this way, and you have to do a lot more reading and writing. Plus, there are all these specific rules, as to how to post things and a lot of deadlines to remember. It takes a lot of organization, I can tell you that.

I also was able to get into a PE class, which is held at the YMCA. I was a little nervous on Thursday, because we were timed running the mile. I am the oldest in the class, besides another lady, who is probably in her 40's. (I have to add that she is very strange lady, and showed up in a dress, flip-flops and no bra - hmmmm). I was relieved that I wasn't the slowest runner in the class, since it is made up of most 18 19 year-olds! Still, it was not a fast time, and I hope to improve it. I am SO sore now, though!!

Joe and Ben have been sick this week, but Joe improved enough to go out to dinner and see the show "Cabaret," last night. What can I say about Cabaret? Had I known that there was so much homosexual and lude content, we would not have seen it. Yuck. There were people getting up and leaving during some parts. When I went to bed last night, Joe said he was going to go watch the news for a little while before joining me. I half-jokingly said, "And apologize to the Lord for seeing Cabaret?" He said, "I already did that." I said, "Me, too!" Don't ever go see this show.

I will start my Beth Moore "Believing God" Bible study on Wednesday night next week. My sister is going to join me. I am really excited to be a part of this study, as I came in half-way on the last one. There are about 500 women who attend, and then we split off into little groups all over the campus. I signed up for the same leader I had last time. I'm looking forward to getting to know her more. It feels good to be jumping in a little deeper at this church, after warming a seat for so long. It's just time for me to stop hiding out and reach out. I know I won't be serving there for awhile, but this is a good first step for me..

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Macy and Diego at play

This is my daily entertainment.....

video

This is what Macy and Diego do many times a day. Diego gets just close enough to get a quick sniff, and backs away when Macy bats at his face. Then, Macy pretends Diego is some big threat, and puffs up her tail and runs sideways at him, often running away just as fast. I find myself laughing all the time.....I think this is what people mean about pets being great for stress relief....