I am really far behind now. I think the rest of the blogging community in this challenge is on letter R or something. I'm not even close. But here's where I am, so I will accept grace and continue on.
Grace is one of those things that lots and lots of people in the religious world can talk about. I can talk about it. I can tell you all the acronyms, all the catchy phrases about it. I even named my cat Graycie.
But just like that song "the Change" by Steven Curtis Chapman, none of it makes a difference unless it's brought about change in my life. Isn't that what I'm here for? Isn't that what God intends for me--Transformation by grace.
The struggle for me in it all is that I don't do a good job giving it out...to myself or others. Case in point: last week was a ROTTEN week. I had a situation that was really over the top. I wanted to buy a new 4G phone, but since my contract wouldn't allow me to upgrade for a cheap price, I looked on Craigslist. I found a good price. Once I called about the phone, though, I kept sensing I needed to back out/away from the phone. The lady called me back...while I was proctoring the TCAP no less. None of this mattered. I conceived the plan/the desire came full circle. Regardless of what I felt about making the deal about this phone. I proceded. It ended up blowing up in my face. As soon as I called Sprint to activate the phone, it was over. They wouldn't unlock the phone and I wasn't about to switch networks for the phone. I was hosed. It really knocked me for a loop.
BUT, I learned some things like "never buy a phone without checking out the ESN (electronic serial number) with the provider." Another thing I learned was "don't just listen to the word, DO what it says." I listened/heard it but didn't obey and got burned in the process.
So for me, this was a huge lesson in grace. I have to give myself grace for this situation because I really have no choice. I COULDN'T have known to check the ESN number, but I learned what the sound of God's voice was in all of it. I also learned to listen...and next time. I hope that i will obey. But that is grace, pure and simple. It's a teachable moment from God for me. I can ignore it and be bitter, angry, and mope about because I lost money, time, and the opportunity for a cool phone. Or I can accept the lesson I learned about dealing on Craigslist, the small voice, and waiting on Him for my every need.
The second is so much more worthy.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Ok, I had to do it. I have to admit my Facebook addiction, right here and now. I find that my day, if not planned to the nth detail, falls into a pattern of trolling on facebook, checking statuses, playing games, commenting on pictures, wall posts, what have you. What is it about this social media thing that is SO alluring? Many of the folks on my friends list are folks I don't really see in real life, even though I have deleted many with whom I don't have face-to-face interaction. It's still a work in progress...until I get another friend request.
Today was one of those sort of days that wasn't planned. I ended up spending a large amount of time at the computer but not writing. And what bugs me is that that is not why I'm irked. Someone posted today that they heard a lady scream at her kid that she was gonna smack the kid out of his/her seat. All this happened whilst my fb friend was at a restaurant with her 4 year old who was still asking the question why does the lady wanna hit her baby?
I'll admit it flew all over me and not in a good way. First off, I want to say that what the lady did was NOT right, nor did my comments about the post in any way construe that I think that what she did was right. The reason it flew all over me was because it was one of those scenarios in which the posts ended up being a judgement fest on this lady. YES, what she did was wrong. YES, she needed to have done it differently, NO the kid didn't deserved to be treated that way. But whoever looks into those situations and says to themselves, "That wasn't right, but perhaps she doesn't know how else to handle the situation?"
I will also admit, I'm there sometimes, right there with that lady, saying the wrongest (yes...the wrongest) thing to my kid. Getting caught up in the heat of the moment happens in the best of families. Thankfully, I'm learning to ask for forgiveness. It is not easy. Maybe i wanna take up this unfortunate lady's case because inside I think I'm her. I don't wanna come down on her. I don't wanna suggest that the children be taken away from her. I wish I knew how to help her. I wish I knew how to help me in those times that I just plumb do the wrong thing.
What got my goat in this was that everyone was so smug and self-righteous. "I would NEVER do that..." Why, I've gotten mad at little Johnny plenty of times, but I never ever ever would let those words come out of my mouth." Really? I guess I just wish I were as perfect as the shocked parties. But I'm not. If I'm being really honest with myself, I let things pile up and overwhelm me so much to the point that I'm really not nice to be around. I wanna know how to get off this expressway of negative emotion but there seems to be no off ramp. Coupled with that is all the perfect moms who never say or do the wrong thing with their own kids, who can I turn to? Not them, that's for sure. So I'm left to suffer in silence. And I'm not the only one suffering. We all are, hubs and kids alike.
For now, I guess I'll take comfort in the fact I have under 20 subscribers who will even read this. A few of them I actually get to see in real life. In the meantime, I'll just thank facebook for actually being a tool to help me find a way out.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I am constantly amazed at how much stuff needs to be done on a daily basis in order for ORDER to rule my house. Today, I got up around 630, made lunch for the hubs, breakfast for the kids, exercised 40 min, showered, made a grocery list, executed the grocery list (forgetting two items), baked, iced, and decorated 2 cakes, washed, dried, and put away 3 loads of laundry, 2 loads of dishes, swept the floor, wiped the counters and oven, delivered the cakes, cooked a fabulous dinner, bathed two kids, drank 2 liters of water, swept the grass off my sidewalk (tecnically, i just caught the grass in the bag) went to church, hung out with friends for just over and hour, and came home to write this post. Many of these things, thankfully, I will not have to repeat...there will be other tasks to take their places. It's the routine. I am thankful I was able to accomplish it all. I am thankful for the few funny/interesting things that happened in the middle of it all (like when the butt naked 3 year old ran to the front door---which, of course, was open AND there were at least 10 kids in the yard across the street to see her. Like the fact that today, she mastered the scissors YIKES. Like the fact that the 6 year old loves to ride his bike down the sidewalk as fast as he can.) It's beauty and chaos. It's everything I needed today.
Monday, April 4, 2011
This post is covering two days since I was not in the mind of doing a post yesterday. Sundays are always marathon days...be at church at 830 stay until 1, rush home, feed the kids, get the little one down for a nap, straighten up for a group Bible study called "The Truth Project," hurry up and get the kids fed for supper and in the bed before 8 if possible so that we can make it to Monday. Yippee. That was yesterday. Today was entertain 2 kiddos at home since one coughed all night long (thank you allergies) and woke up feeling a little warm and not well. So, here it is in the 11th hour almost and I have no post. So, as I have committed to this challenge, I've chosen...this day to write. "Choose daily" is something my pastor talked about yesterday. It's something I must do. I must choose daily to take up his cross and follow. I must choose daily to prepare and cook meals for my family so that we don't bust the budget and the diet eating out. Since I've started Weight Watchers, I'm choosing daily exercise on the Wii, even when I don't feel like it. There is something about choosing daily that is reassuring. Just like His mercies are new every morning, I can choose every morning to receive His grace and power to make it through. Even when I mess up, I can still choose. I'm not forever married to a bad decision. This gives me hope. Hope that change can come. That the mind can be renewed. That I CAN DO all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
It's been a wild, but totally wonderful day. I spent the afternoon with kids and hubs and a good friend. We went hiking in Shelby Forest. The weather was sublime. It was absolutely the best day we've all had in awhile. I know, you're reading and thinking what in the world does this have to do with buttercream. I know..I'm thinking that, too. Honestly, though, it has a lot to do with buttercream. For those of you that don't know, I've spent not a few hours slaving over cakes I've made (with buttercream icing on top, of course). Alton Brown calls cake the delivery device for icing. It's the best part. It's days in the park with the people you love hiking in perfect weather. It's enjoying a movie with friends where you laugh and cry and are puzzled all at the same. Sometimes we think how wonderful life would be if we could have days like this, moments like this all the time, but like buttercream, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. (Those of you who love buttercream will know what I'm talking about). It becomes easy to expect that life has no trouble, that someone owes us/ that we deserve...but really we don't. Buttercream is a gift from God, spontaneous and unexpected, and therefore received with gratitude. I know I am thankful for the heaping he put on my plate today.
Friday, April 1, 2011
So to kick off the April Blog-a-Day Challenge, I'm gonna start with Awareness. It is coming at us from every side. There are enough ribbons for some kind of awareness or other to make a rainbow seem drab. So, what's behind it? First off, I would like to think there is an element of sharing caution/concern. AIDS awareness certainly falls into this category. If one doesn't know what it is or what causes it, AIDS awareness, can answer those questions. The idea is to dispel myths about how the disease in contracted and hopefully to put people at ease when in direct contact with those who have the disease. Along with AIDS awareness, there's Autism Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, Caesarean Section Awareness, Mourning Awarenss, Spina Bifida Awareness, and the list goes on and on. (For more information about the ribbons/awareness out there, check out http://www.trinitylondon.com/awareness-ribbon-meanings.asp.) It would seem we are being completely innundated with information so that we can be aware. At what end? Sure, there's the information factor. However, information by itself is really inert. Awareness is a step beyond information into action resulting from receiving said information. Where does it leave one, then? My thought is that awareness can carry out guilt transference. "You're not doing enough because you're not supporting my cause." "You don't know how good you have it, so you should ultra happy all the time that you don't have to deal with this malady whose awareness I'm supporting." "You should be ashamed of yourself for enjoying your life because others, whose crappy lives I want you to be aware of, are suffering." Maybe I'm a little over the top on this, I'll admit. But as I am striving toward contentment in my own life, I am also searching for a balance. I cannot save or be the champion for every sort of ill in the world. What I can do is search my own heart. I can call out to the One who made me to find out what He wants me to be aware of and act upon. And that is enough for me.