Saturday, April 30, 2011

Family trend

Getting ready for a trip, a long trip for my daughter.  I think how my father was always at the ready to help us get where we wanted to go.  There's something inside us to provide opportunities for our children.  And I think a spirit of adventure, the pioneer, remains in us.
I remember one gorgeously clear fall day, my dad said, "I could just get in that car and travel forever.  I just want to go."  And go we did.  Which will be the topic of another blog since we're packing the car now at 5 am.  That's another thing we did when I was kid, start early and stop for breakfast.  I do not have a thermos of coffee, though.  McDonalds is good.
Family trips were great and it was usually to see family or friends.  Today, it's for my daughter to see her friends and hopefully, I'll see one, too.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Through It All

                     Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cars for you.  1 Peter 5:7
As we listen to the problems of friends, neighbors and the world, it's easy to think that a small problem is not worth mentioning or why does it bother one so much?  Yet, sometimes, it is the day to day worries that can cause more stress than one big problem.  A constant drip, as it were, corrodes good faith.  A catastrophe rallies the troops.  Prayer lines are called all over the world sometimes.  We have something to fight and if God is on our side- win!  An enemy is identified and ammunition pours in from all sources.  The battle may take years but it is something worthy of a fight.  So our human minds think.
I'm talking today about the little battles that we may fight every day.  You don't call the prayer chain about feeling blue, a waterbed mattress leaking or a water tank breaking.  The dog ran away in the middle of the night because a strong gust of wind blew the door open and the hound grabbed the opportunity.  Especially after reading how a friend in the tornado raged area is trying to clean out a shelter on lack of sleep and keep a calm attitude.  Now that is a prayer request!
Yet, our God cares for it all as Peter wrote.  It is all our cares, not just those we deem worthy to share with a pastor or prayer chain.  As the old hymn sang- Take it to the Lord in prayer.  What a Friend we have in Jesus. Or a more modern song tells me "Through it all, through it all, I've learn to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God."  He's our Deliverer.  I thought as I heard all the horrific news, that our God is big.  He is the God of the hangnail and the transplant.
The little things, the small stuff that we're not supposed to sweat are the little foxes that eat away at the vine sometimes.  They can ruin our relationship if we don't share them with Jesus.  He is more than enough to care.  He supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory.
We can fight the big battles with friends, pastors, prayer chains and maybe not bother them about the dishes not being washed.  But we can tell Jesus everything all the time.  He promised to never leave us nor forsake us and He means never!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Comments on Another Post

I read a blog called Writer to Writer.  The series is now on what do writers do.  The one posted Friday was titled "We write, write and write some more."
I thought of how when Katie was a senior in high school with doubts about her goals and obtaining them.  I asked her,"Can you go a day without writing?"  She looked strangely at me as if I was asking her to stop breathing.  I asked her again, "Can you not write for a day?"  She always had a notebook in her hand with pen or pencil.  A laptop miraculously came through Fed Ex one day that winter while she was at a standstill for writing her novel.  She was at a point that the lap top sped the writing along and she could then e-mail what she had written to her English teacher that day.  A day without writing was unthinkable.  I encouraged her to pursue the writing dream.
I keep a hand written journal and write almost every day.  With the computer, I'm chasing my dream by blogging quite a bit.  When the PC returns, I'll return to the story I was writing when the computer lost it's power source.  I think that is how they put it.  It is more than saying I'm a writer, I hope it is living it.
Research, ideas and reading also push my ideas along.  I don't want to do the first thing this blog warns against- Bore my reader.  I do write what is interesting to me, so I hope you find it interesting, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'm

I think I struck a chord yesterday with my post.  The first one I wrote, then deleted, sounded negative to me.  I checked Facebook while writing it and saw a comment about how we are ambassadors for Christ here on earth, so I started over.
Working mothers do have this constant struggle.  I know I almost didn't want to say how much I did love what I did, so my children would think I didn't love them.  Some days, all I can think about is home and I almost resent the time spent with people.  To strike that balance between the two extremes is a heart cry.
I propose that  the biggest lie my generation was fed, was a woman can do it all. They didn't tell you how hard it would be to leave that baby for the first time.  How a heart will close off a bit when a husband says he's bored at home with a curious, intelligent 2 year old.  The seething resentment that almost overtakes a woman  when she misses an open house, a play or concert because work demands her time and talents.
They left the impression a career would give a lifestyle like seen on TV. Yet, most jobs would not pay enough to allow the maid and momma doesn't come live with you and do your laundry.  Maybe this next generation with boys raised with working mothers has produced men that are able to help with the household chores and know the importance of keeping it running smoothly,  love to help with homework, baths, bedtime prayers and listening to the tales of the day.
Well, there is hope, isn't there?
Yet so many working mothers are alone and some even work 2 or 3 jobs.  I don't think NOW planned on the poverty, hardness of life and struggles of so many woman today.  Yes, a woman should have a choice, but she should also know all the facts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodnight Gracie

First of all I love people.  That is the best part of my job as a home health nurse.  When I complain about other aspects of my job, I get a vague sense the impression that I don't like tending to the ill may be leaving its mark.
I think the worst part about working is not being able to tend as well to my home as I'd like.  And home does not just mean the physical building, but the interaction with children, pets and neighbors.  Charting hangs over my head tonight, I've had two long days, getting home at 5pm, and realizing I have so much to do here, as well.  I commenced on charting, but then had lap top problems.  Almost 8 pm with almost 100 miles today, and yesterday, too.
I used to say when the girls were little, I wish I could be cloned.  I loved my job, yet so desired to be with the girls.  Many working mothers, I'm sure, have that dilemma.  I think the other problem is we don't live in the ideal world and yet I can see how so many things could work better without the restrictions placed on health care.
I think this is time for a cup of tea and stepping away from the computer.  As a favorite line from a movie, The Prize Winner from Defiance, Ohio, sighs, "I'm tired of this day, it's time to put it to bed."
Say "Goodnight, Gracie"  "Goodnight, Gracie"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amish and Vampires

One morning when I was waiting for my oil to be changed in my car, I walked around the store attached to the service station.  Being the reader that I am, I naturally wandered over to the book section.  It seems at this national chain, only Amish romance novels and vampire books were sold.  I joked to myself, it seems, to cash in on this trend, a person could write stories about vampires in the Amish community.
The first Amish story I read was by a W. Middlesex woman that was a mystery.  Her daughter and my sister were and still are good friends.  I was in elementary school and to tell you the truth, I really recall very little about it, like even the name right now.  Sorry, Mrs. Salvoldi.  I think I remember her other book about the Civil War better.  Talk about another hot topic today.  I was younger when I read her first novel, which did use the local Amish around us.  I named a beagle I had briefly from the second story- Beauregard or Beau, because they were both from the south.  I was in sixth grade.
I have since enjoyed the Beverly Lewis books, mostly about the Lancaster County Amish and Mennonite people.  Her mother's family was Amish.
I was interested in what an Amish family from Ohio thought of these romances for awhile, but after my trip to the book isle in the national store, I mustered up the courage to ask them.  Now they have graciously let me into their house for over a year and even nominated me for an honor with work, wrote wonderful things about me.  I treasure the handmade Christmas card they gave me.  They are self pay to the company I work for and could go the doctor's office to get this blood test, but instead choose to have me come to their home.
The woman of the home, pooh-poohed the stories, "They're made up."  Her adult daughter likes to read them, though, she said.  I replied, "I heard Linda Byler's were accurate, because she is Amish."
"Oh, yes, she's coming to a stamp shop near by and I'd like to get a group of us together to meet her."
"Now, Mother, she puts her shoes on one after another just like the rest of us,"  the man of the home cautioned.
"Oh, I know, Pop, but still it would be fun to meet her."  she bantered back.
What she remarked about how the other authors have made up stories that really aren't about their life, made me think how the romance stories about modern times, as well as, "olden" times have very little to do with our lives.  They chewed on the idea that the Amish romances are popular because Englishers are craving for a simpler life.  They have never known anything else, yet even they feel the encroachment of the hurried up life and the influence of the world on the children.
We agreed that we really can't escape the world, even monks of old couldn't really do it.  A person lives with himself, no matter what, and it is the teachings of God and Jesus in us that helps us to live the way He wants His people to live.
I didn't tell them that because my daughter dresses modestly, we don't have cable and we are Christian, she has been called Amish at school.  That comes from the same thought the authors have that we may know enough about a culture to write stories.  Underneath, we are striving to serve a God we love, enjoying fellowship with other believers, standing on a faith to help us in this life.
They nixed the idea of combining the Amish and vampires.  I really didn't think it was too flattering, either.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Don't Forget 29

In view of my blog yesterday, the verse Romans 8:28 is well known to Christians-And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  It is quoted often as an encouragement and it is.  But I think we need to look further into that chapter.  We can't always have just a catch phrase and if a verse is dropped into your mind, get out your Bible and read around it, too.  Mull it over and see what is speaking into your life.  If you know Greek, it would also be helpful to study it in the original language.  I have never formally learned Greek.  Some day.  We have an ancient Greek lexicon somewhere around here- another story.
Why do we have sufferings, bad news and little foxes nipping at our vines?- because some days it is just all the petty things that can get me down. Again, I'm not a theologian, but I have read the Bible for many years and listened to many sermons, classes and read a lot.  We have to look at verse 29 and following- we are to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.  That is the goal of a follower of Jesus, to be more like Him every day. And further on in the 8th chapter,  nothing can separate us from the love of God.
So not to simplify our hardships into the modern day sound bite- not that many journalists today understand faith-we need to ask God to help us look at all that is happening through His eyes.  We do not have wisdom because we do not ask, James in the Bible says.
Today in church we had a former Philadelphia lawyer turn missionary to Armenia speak.  His message was an answer to my thoughts this past week about the hardships in this life.  Not so much that I needed answers, as acknowledgment that there is more than a worldly purpose for all that is happening.   
These thoughts are more like material for a thesis than a quick blog, but I sense there is an interest.  I'm not alone in my feelings.  As we search for answers, we read the Bible, pray and listen.  God is more than willing to comfort us and be with us.  I urge you, don't forget 29, 30,...31 to 39.  Just sit down and read the Bible.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back at the Keyboard Again!

Well. I 'm back to blogging!  Katie got a new battery for her laptop and now it won't just quit on me.  It was frustrating to write and then hear that whirling signal that there would be no power and the computer stopped.  I'd have to jiggled the power cord and then it may stay on or not connect and stay put.  I have enough complications and disappointments in my life without adding to it by a temperamental machine.  Ugh! Technology!  Seems can't live with it or without it!  Yes, cliche.
Our PC is in the shop now and we'll see what the damages are in the near future.  Really is more comfortable to type on that keyboard, but I'm writing and I'm ecstatic to do so.
I don't want to start with all the weighty happenings that have been circling my life.  I was thinking last night of all the events and didn't even want to touch on them here, yet.  I have no answers and no explanations.  All seem to fall very short and cannot even be begun in a blog.  I would not say this is even a crisis in faith, but all that is happening has left me like the Psalms, sometimes angry, sometimes wondering, but never wavering in the sovereignty of God.  I admire faith and pray that it is strengthened in the people who are affected by these difficult obstacles.  I have felt a mother has been robbed, a wife may be destitute, a little girl is in pain, yet faith abounds.  We, as Christians,  know that the real thief is the devil and all his evil, for Jesus said so Himself- the devil came to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
I guess for not going to write about this I have said a lot.  It is bothering me and I have to explore my feelings.  Faith is more than feelings and I'm so grateful for that.  In all the troubles, I'm praying for these and many more that faith will grow.
My friend paid for my first pedicure this morning for my approaching birthday.  We had so much fun.  It is so relaxing and everyone in the shop was friendly.  I admire this lady who helped me celebrate my special day.  She walked her first 5K for MCAR in pouring rain that was suitable for ducks.  It is never too late to do new things.
Life is like that.   We have bad and good.  We do things we have to and then enjoy activities that bring us pleasure and achievement. I love blogging.  I missed it and was kind of cranky(well, a lot cranky, if you ask my family!)  Blogging was simple writing I could do and see as an accomplishment. It is a step in my goal to be an established writer, with thoughts that are out there and "out there"!
I'm glad to be back at the keyboard. With a promise of spring flirting around, I feel better days are ahead.