Today is Mad Scientist Day at Crown Point Elementary, where my Seth attends third grade! I can't believe he is in third grade! He has been letting his hair grow instead of keeping it cut short so that he could spike his hair up for today! Ivan's class was dressing up in costumes and doing a little parade around the school. I got to watch his class say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem before getting a group picture and individual pictures. It was a great way to start the day -- pictures of Seth as a Mad Scientist and then pictures of Ivan and his class. Ivan dressed up as a dinosaur for his class. This dinosaur costume is a 3T size but he insisted on wearing it for one more year! I love the picture of my mom with the boys this morning!
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
My husband and I are reading Randy Alcorn's book, "If God is Good." Tonight what we read dealt with suffering and disabilities. Since there is no way to paraphrase the line that stood out to me, I am sharing it with you word for word; "It seems odd, but usually our greatest trial is what most molds and shapes us. It gives us character, backbone, courage, wisdom, discernment, and friendships that are not shallow," God uses difficult situations to fulfill his purpose. I can't help but think of clay at the potters hand, on the potters wheel....being molded and shaped into something beautiful even though it didn't start that way. Not much difference to us and the difficult situations that we face. The molding part of the trials certainly do not feel good. Most times it leaves us feeling, tired, weak, less confident, sometimes makes us feel stupid, and we lose 'friends' who can't handle us at our worst....and yet for all the struggles we gain in every area that we feel weak. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good. The scars of life add character, the guts to push forward even though ever fiber of our being feels like dead weight gives us a backbone, it takes courage to get up and fight the same demons that leave us feeling so weak the night before, our ability to 'feel' a situation is out of this world and we gain some sort of sixth sense from the heightened senses.....and the friendships - the ones that develop while struggling to live, to fight an illness that makes you feel so weak, those friendships are far and few and the depth of them goes beyond what any words could adequately describe. It is true that those friendships are far from shallow. When you are faced with an illness that seemingly has a mind of its own, its difficult to wrap your head around, much less try to explain to a friend. If you are fortunate you will meet somebody who struggles like you do or has struggled like you do, if you are fortunate you will meet somebody who 'gets it.' I think that is crucial to a healthy support structure that gives you that extra push to keep fighting when you feel like you have been knocked out one too many times. I can honestly say that I have been blessed by somebody who has opened up their heart and not only shared it with me, but taken me in and showed me that there is still good in me, despite an illness. While there are quite a few people in my life who could tell me this, somehow it means something different coming from somebody who has been where I am now. My brain needs rest.......
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Some days are better than others. Sometimes I just wish I could dig myself a hole somewhere and come out when there has been a fix-all, cure producing magic wand for those who suffer with mental illness. Why the darkness that is within? I heard a song today and part of the lyrics were, 'the more you are broken the more the light shines through'....talking about the light of God. I suppose there is truth in that especially considering that, 'when I am weak, then I am strong.' Today was a dreary day, overcast with light rain most of the day. I needed the sun today.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Sometimes when I can't sleep, I sit and think. Sometimes that can be dangerous. Sometimes that can be good. Depends on the day, err...night. Sometimes people get stuck on my mind, can't stop thinking about them. Tonight I was going through 238 GB worth of pictures and came across the Vacation Bible School pictures from 2012. Among those pictures, were a few of Ms. Patty that made me smile. It's weird sometimes to look at a picture of people interacting, (most of the pictures I take, I do so candidly) and yet the knowledge that one of those people is no longer with us makes the hurt ever present but it also feels surreal. Like the end of the Sandlot movie when they fade away the players at the final game and tell you what they went on to do. I wish there was some synopsis of what those who have gone on before us, went to do. We are left with a mystery, we know they are in a better place, but what are they doing?
This is humanity's last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent mankind hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship-and that answer is only two words.
With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history's best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to solve the ominous challenge.
I recall hearing this name before and being curious about reading one of this books. This seemed like the best opportunity to do so. It is a fascinating book that pulls history into the mix. Being that I am not a huge fan of history, this fact made this not one of my favorite books but still a good read. I like how he uses history to tell his story with many great figures from history.
I enjoyed reading the book, Couples Who Pray. It was a powerful reminder of the scripture verse, Matthew 18:20, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them. It seems easy to get lost in this world, everywhere you turn there is chaos and broken hearts. If more couples spent more time praying together, there would probably be less arguing. In this book they talk about how if a couple would commit to just praying for five minutes a day that they would see improvement in their relationships. They would see better communication, more respect, happiness and satisfaction, as well as more agreements and less tension. I would recommend this book.
In more than twenty-five years of writing and ministry, Max Lucado has received thousands of such questions. They come in letters, e-mails, even on Dunkin Donuts napkins. In Max on Life he offers thoughtful answers to more than 170 of the most pressing questions on topics ranging from hope to hurt and from home to the hereafter.
Max writes about the role of prayer, the purpose of pain, and the reason for our ultimate hope. He responds to the day-to-day questions—parenting quandaries, financial challenges, difficult relationships—as well as to the profound: Is God really listening?
A special addendum includes Max’s advice on writing and publishing.
Including topical and scriptural indexes and filled with classic Lucado encouragement and insight,Max on Life will quickly become a favorite resource for pastors and ministry leaders as well as new and mature believers.
My thoughts:I am a huge fan of Max Lucado, so I might be a little partial in my review! I have always enjoyed the way he shares insight and wisdom. I 'get' what he is saying, never feel like it is over the top, yet always profound and thought provoking. I enjoyed the question and answer format of this book. It was a little different that other books that I have read by him. I like one particular question, though I can't remember the question I do remember part of the answer being that, "A real man leads his wife to the things she loves to do." I had to think on that for a minute but something about it stuck with me. I also enjoyed his definition of 'counselor' which, "...means many things, such as friend or helper, two people you need the most when you move into unfamiliar territory...he will come alongside you and fill you with peace and move in your heart as never before." I like his thoughts about God never sending us anywhere alone and that life is constantly moving and changing and yet the Holy Spirit remains at our side. I enjoyed the scripture and the thoughts and the positive affirmations. I would definitely recommend this book.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Today has been one of those days. You know the days where you try to do one little thing, and you end up having to do a whole list of other little things just to get that little thing done you wanted to do! A couple years ago when we transitioned Ivan out of the crib, we went right into a twin bed. We bought the boys bunk beds that could be used separately as twin beds and for the last how many ever years, that is how they have been used. This morning, Dennis said, 'I know what we can do today, lets put the boys bunk beds together.' I walked into their room and turned the light on and looked at the piles of toys, crammed everywhere....papers, dust, books, Lego's, Lego's, Lego's.....I turned the light off walked out to the living room and said, 'how about I clean out from under their beds and organize all the toys this week and next weekend we can put the bunk beds together.' So that was the plan. After having spent yesterday at Connors, I was kind of hoping today would be a quiet day to lounge around the house. Dennis said we could put the beds together next weekend but he wanted to put the ladder and guardrails together today...he got started on that and I got started on laundry. When he was finished, I said well we might as well just go ahead and put the beds together.....if you give a mouse a cookie....so we pulled the beds out and oh my were there a lot of toys stuffed under their beds....
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Friday, October 23, 2015
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
I can't believe that we are now living "Back to the Future." I can say, "October 21, 2015, I was there!" My husband and I really enjoy watching these movies, and every so often we break out the trilogy and watch them all just for the fun of it! My husband also has a little collection of back to the future stuff, thanks in part to this months Loot Crate! I think my favorite was the replica scale model of the hover board! He loves Legos so it was no surprise that he just 'had' to have the Back To The Future set when Lego released it and he also 'had' to have the Lego Dimensions Back To The Future expanded level pack that goes with the game!
One of my favorite quotes from the movie, "2015? You mean we're in the future?"
Buddy has been our faithful furry friend for more than 10 years now! We aren't sure how old he is, he was not a puppy when we got him. This morning we went for a walk, he was a very well behaved old dog. Didn't bark once, was just full of curiosity and had to sniff every square inch of the ground that he came into contact with! I love this dog. He is a great friend. I didn't realize how old he was looking until I looked back at these pictures and realized how grey he is looking. Love this guy!
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
What a day it has been. I feel like every time I turned around I was met with something full of irony or something that turned into some kind of deep thought about something totally un related.
I went to the doctor yesterday because of some pain in my arm and back, come to find out something is going on with the tendons around my rotator cuff....this is a tad bit terrifying to me because I have had rotator cuff surgery on my other shoulder and it was a difficult surgery to recover from. My prayer is that rest, muscle relaxers and a few weeks will have my shoulder feeling good again.
I am not a big fan of rest. I find my calm in going, be it going for a walk, going to run with horses, going to help somebody with yard work or going grocery shopping with my grandma. For me, calm is found through some kind of physical activity. Rest and Rachel are just two words that shouldn't be used together. I figured I could go for a walk on the beach, nothing too strenuous about that.....
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
"I like to be alone but I hate being lonely"
I woke up this morning feeling like I had no energy...went and helped grandma with shopping and then spent some time with an amazing person. Picked Ivan up, delivered some postcards and name tags for my husband and then with some time to kill, but not enough to go home I decided to go to a new thrift shop I had noticed near Seth's school but never seemed to have time to go and check it out. I was moved there for a reason, so many many books....everything from pregnancy books to dictionaries to bibles to picture books for kids. I found a book titled "Overcoming loneliness together: A Christian Approach," it was my deal of the day at only fifty cents! I opened the cover, as I often do when searching for books in thrift shops and I found a message. I couldn't help but wonder if the person before me struggled with feeling lonely. Mary felt inclined to give this book to Gail in 1993 with the hope that she would 'relish this little book and share it with others.' I wonder why Mary felt inclined to give this book to Gail. I wonder where Gail is today. 22 years ago the meaning was important and Mary, wherever she may be should feel good about the fact that indeed, Gail has passed this book on to somebody else....even if it was passed along through a thrift shop. I can't wait to read it.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Most people dread Mondays, its the start of the work week, the end of the weekend, the children return to the classroom.....but I am actually starting to look forward to Monday mornings. My husband leaves for work, my boys go to school and I get to go spend some time with this amazing guy, Leo! He doesn't say a word yet he speaks to my soul. He reaches some depth that brings about a total and complete inner calm. I brush him and as I do, he tries to groom me too - it is so sweet to see him do this. Usually when I walk in to start brushing them, they both walk away....but this morning Leo actually came towards me and that made my heart so happy. I struggle a lot with self - esteem, I don't exactly know why or where it comes from but none the less it is there. I always doubt that people see good in me, sometimes I feel like they wouldn't really want to be around me if they knew me like really knew me. I wonder if they just put up with me, wishing I would just quit talking or that I was more normal. I doubt that they want me around. Nobody has said these things to me, its just the way I think sometimes. The neat thing about animals is that they don't tell you what you want to hear, they don't put on a front, they aren't nice to your face and then go talk behind your back, you know where you stand with them. If they don't want to be around you they simply walk away. BUT, if they do want to be around you, then you don't have to doubt that because they are genuine and true, and they will come to you. I am so incredibly grateful for a friend, and her horse and the hope that they both give me. Hope is a great thing, and the ability to feel the calm that I do with Leo, encourages me to push on. Knowing I am capable of feeling that total calm, gives me hope.....now if I could just figure out how to get that 'Leo calm' in a pill - that would be one medication I wouldn't question taking.......
Friday, October 9, 2015
It's Friday at 9:07 p.m and as I sit here, my mind drifts back over the week. This week has been filled with some difficult moments. I have been thinking about the challenges that we all face and among those challenges is the ongoing battle with mental illness. I think sometimes we are called to fight battles that are much bigger than we are, because we are never intended to fight alone. Our number has been called, name has been chosen for a war that rages, and mostly in our mind. We want no part of this war but refusing to fight back is not an option It's not just my mind. Other minds are affected too. Beneath a calm exterior I am fighting demons that leave me feeling so weak and tired but I move forward to continue to reach out to others. I have learned that somehow in helping others, in pulling them down to prevent another shot from anxiety, in helping them out of the trenches of the battles they are facing - I have found comfort and joy. Walking side by side with them and fighting these battles together, makes all of us a little stronger. You don't even have to be personally enduring the illness, to appreciate the beauty found in walking beside somebody who does struggle. I tell you we have something special to offer to others, sometimes we are just afraid to let you in. I have come to learn that there is strength in numbers, and just as soldiers gain encouragement from one another, so the fellow warriors I have met on this battlefield have offered hope and encouragement through some trying times. For so long as I am alive, I will continue to fight....