Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"...Pray Without Ceasing..."

God deserves more then a prayer in struggles...
He deserves more then a prayer when we are sad..
If you only talk to God once in a while, he misses it.... and you miss out.
I'm not the greatest at remembering to pray at times with I should...
I needed a little reminder, and I thought I'd share some things that helped me to focus today.





 

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Small World After All

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears
It's a world of hopes, a world of fear
There's so much that we share
And it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's just a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world"
 -Disney's "It's A Small World"

As I have grown up I continue to realize just how small this world really is. The world seems so big when we are small because everything is bigger then us, but as we learn more about the world and all of the people in it... it starts to seem much smaller then we ever thought.

Recently I have happened upon several unlikely "It's a small world" experiences. (The more these moments happen to me, the more my jaw wants to drop... ) In the last few months, especially, I have met, or somehow encountered so many people who happen to have another unknown connection to my life. It is funny when you meet someone new, only to find that you know the same person, or maybe even have several friends in common with each other; It is so much fun to connect with someone else in that way. I suppose that the more people you know, the more connections between you, them and others you will find but it still surprises you when it happens.

All of these little moments caused me to start thinking about our influence on others... about those times when you may have not been at your best. I try not to be this way, but sometimes I know that I can easily overlook someone that I don't know; Strangers in passing don't often catch my eye. Even the people I may talk to on a regular basis (in grocery stores, the bank, etc.) don't always get the notice they deserve. I wouldn't go out of my way to be rude..but often, I'm not as welcoming as I should be.

Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

How often do you pass someone by without so much as saying hello or smiling? Have you ever encountered that person that asks how you are but then doesn't slow down for long enough to actually hear your answer? 

I think about my grandparents often when I think about that verse in Hebrews. I can think about so many times throughout my life when they had one person or another staying with them in their home; Most of them, temporarily, but some on a more permanent basis. Aside from that, their home has always been a welcoming one. The kind of home you are "always welcome in"; An open door policy that makes everyone there feel happy and comfortable. As Dan and I were among some of the first in our group of friends to get married and have a place of our own, our home has become somewhat of a landing spot for our friends.. and I love that. :) Nothing makes me happier then to be surrounded by the people that I love. I love the idea of carrying on that attitude of a "we're all family here" kind of home.

To wrap up my thoughts... Even a person that you assume you will never see again has a purpose in your life; They were put here for one reason or another. I think that it would do us all well to take time to notice even the "least significant" people in our lives, because it's the right thing to do... and when you really start to think about it... they may in some way be a bigger part of your life then you have yet to realize.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To My Best Girls :)


You're my stupid movie marathon
My midnight (or later) snack
My talking without speaking.
You keep me right on track.

One look that means 10,000 words
The late night talks for hours
The lyrics to a million songs.
The one willing to sing.

The tons of clothes in my closet,
The "nothing here to wear"
The worries and the wishes
The "say a little prayer."

The stories only we know.
The laughs you cannot count.
The pinky promise
The don't tell a soul
The "there without a doubt.

The girls nights out
The shopping trips
The green ones or the blues?
The borrower
The "give it back"
The "does this match the shoes?"

The jokes that only make us laugh
Because who else understands?
The painted nails
The "makeup-ed" eyes
The stories with our hands.

The poems only we get
The lines that don't quite fit.
The friendships that hold us together.
A love you can't ever quit.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Bind My Wandring Heart To Thee"


Tonight I was making something and working with my hot glue gun. I was working quickly and trying to attach pieces to something and as such I accidentally stuck my finger into the hot glue.... Twice. 

I don't tolerate pain well anyway, but when it comes to a burn I act like a baby; I can't stand it. The pain that a burn causes is a very noticeable and lingering pain. Burns hurt for days, depending on how bad they are and even the tiniest of burns can really cause some discomfort. I don't even want to think about what it would be like to be burned badly, for an extended period of time or in a large area. 

 
As I was sitting trying to sooth my (VERY mildly) burned finger I started thinking about this verse.

Mark 9:43-48- "And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 
 Specifically, my thoughts drifted to the "unquenchable hell fire" that is talked about in this verse and other parts of the bible. Not only do I not want to think about that kind of fire & those kind of burns... I also can't begin to imagine what being "thrown into" that kind of fiery punishment would be like. Torture... Pure torture and pain that never stops. It's unquenchable and you are stuck inside it.

This verse suggests that if any one thing.. (drastically, our hands, eyes, feet) cause us to sin we should cut them off. I don't know that God really intends for us to rip our eyes out if they are a source of our sin but I don't think that this warning is something that anyone should take lightly.

We get wrapped up in so much so easily. We often find ourselves busy or obsessed with something that doesn't matter or isn't worth our time; So much that our involvement in it causes a lack of time to study God's word, pray, or worship. Or maybe it's more obvious... Maybe we are involved in something that is clearly sinful... but we hold on? Sometimes as Christians we forget that sin is sin; there is no ranking for certain sins that are worse then others. It SIN. PERIOD. Even if the error we are making seems small, to God, it isn't; It still stands between you and your salvation.

I don't say this to say that I am better then anyone who may find this and read it. I often need to take this to heart myself.... But I challenge you..

Don't let something stand between you and God; Don't talk yourself out of a change because it's too hard; Don't fall back on a sin just because it's an old, hard to break habit and don't convince your self that and "tiny sin" is okay. 
It starts small. We often decide that one "little" sin is okay; That it doesn't matter as much as everyone thinks. If we allow our selves to think this way, before long we have often slipped into a place that is much harder to escape from.
 What would God have you "cut" from your life? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

French Braids & Friendship

 I often think about a friend of mine that passed away not long after my mother. Her name was Lori and we were in girl scouts together. She was diabetic and she died from complications of the disease.  All of us in our girl scout troop were pretty close, and since my Mom was pretty involved with our troop and had gone on several trips with us all of the girls knew her very well.

Whenever we went on trips or had some kind of outing and my Mom went she would french braid everyone's hair. As little girls, we all loved it. I remember lining up and waiting as she patiently braided anywhere from 8-12 heads of hair.

I've shared this story with some, but it isn't one that is easy for me to tell. In the same way it is one that I'd like everyone to know about because it is very special to me....

When Lori passed I remember going to the funeral home and feeling very strange. (As I said, it hadn't been all that long since we had gone through Mom's passing.) When I walked into the funeral home I was immediately wrapped up into a hug from Lori's Mom. As she hugged me we both cried and she told me a story about Lori, right before her passing. She told me that at the time of the conversation, Lori knew that she wouldn't survive and that her sentiment was a happy one. Lori's mother told me that as they talked, her thoughts settled on Mom and how she missed my Mom being around and braiding her hair. As they discussed what was happening to her, she told me that Lori leaned over and excitedly said "Mom! I just realized something! Terri can braid my hair in heaven!".

Hearing that story was sad, but also a tremendous comfort to me and it has continued to be a comfort. Retelling it is probably something that will likely make some of you cry, but, like me... I hope you find a bit of comfort in it.

I made it my goal, in recent years to master the skill of French braiding because of this very story and I'm happy to say I'm pretty good at it now. ;) I hope one day I have a little girl of my own, whose hair I can braid, but for now... to all those mommy's and daddy's who pick up daughters from Star with french braided hair... Know that I am sharing a little piece of my heart. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

I was sitting in my freshman Geography class when we got the news of 9/11. I remember my teacher at the time answering a call and then sort of falling into his desk chair. Most of the class was busy with an assignment we had been given but, I remember a few people asking him if he was okay. He didn't say a single word... he just turned on the TV and tuned it to a news channel. As we watched and the events unfolded we all sat in awe watching the horrific day pan out before our eyes... but it wasn't really "before our eyes"...

We watched, yes... in the comfort of an air conditioned school building; probably comfortable in school t-shirts and hoodies, in a building that was safe and still standing.... we saw what has happening, but we didn't experience it in quite the same way.


When September 11th rolls around I tend to think about the people who were there that day. The people who were, like us, likely working on a task given to them... pressing through the morning like any other day. The office worker who sat at a desk wishing for 5:00 while drinking his morning coffee or the one on her way down a hall to make copies when the first plane hit. I didn't personally lose anyone in the days events, and I didn't know anyone who lost someone either but I know that tons of people did lose something that day. Can you imagine the shock, the terror of that moment?; I honestly don't know that I can imagine it. I've never been in a situation that traumatic... but I know enough to know how terrible and terrifying it was for those people.

 One of the craziest things that I have come across related to 9/11 are the lists of trivial little things that saved various people on that day.... (I didn't write the following, but it was sent to me in an email as a forward, so I don't have an original source, but it's worth sharing!)

"After Sept. 11th, one company invited the remaining members of other companies who had been decimated by the attack on the Twin Towers to share their available office space. At a morning meeting, the head of security told stories of why these people were alive..... and all the stories were just L I T T L E things
  • As you might know, the head of the company got in late that day because his son started kindergarten.
  • Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.
  • One woman was late because her alarm clock didn't go off in time.
  • One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.
  • One of them missed his bus.
  • One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.
  • One's car wouldn't start.
  • One went back to answer the telephone.
  • One had a child that dawdled and didn't get ready as soon as he should have.
  • One couldn't get a taxi.
  • The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone . all the little things that annoy me. I think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.
Next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the children are slow getting dressed, you can't seem to find the car keys, you hit every traffic light, don't get mad or frustrated; God is at work watching over you.
May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things and may you remember their possible purpose."

 



Remember the fallen. Remember the heroes. Remember all that was lost and Never Forget.



You may also be interested in:
Bank
The Bank of Life
10 Things
10 Little Things That Mean Something Big
Holidays
2013: Happy New Year
Happy
Choosing Happy

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Goose Story

We had a training class at work today and part of the class dealt with teamwork and being a good team player. It was a pretty interesting class over all and informative. The woman that taught the class shared an article with us and I would like to pass it on.


(Her source says the article was pulled from Adlerian Psychology of B.C. Newsletter. Spring 1988)

"Next Autumn when you see geese heading South for the winter, flying along in a "v" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about their flight patterns.

It has been learned that as each flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "v" formation, the whole flock adds at least 72 percent greater flying range then if each bird flew on it's own.
(People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.)

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go at it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
(If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading the same way we are going)

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wind and another goose flies point.
(It pays to take turns doing hard jobs-with people of with geese flying South.)

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
(What do we say when we honk from behind?)

Finally (Now, I really want you to get this), when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gun shots and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own with another formation to catch up with the group.
(If we have the cooperation of geese we will stand by each other like that.)"

Wow!... This article speaks of a pretty powerful message. We all need to remember to not only seek help from those around us, but to be that "goose" that someone can count on to take the lead when another gets tired. Are you pulling your weight? Helping when you should and without being asked? Are you sticking with the people who you know care about you? More importantly are you sticking with God, to lead you? How are you cheering someone on? (or are you holding someone back?)

I find it very interesting that when one falls, TWO follow to help the other; This can be taken two ways. Some may see it as two friends walking together to help so that if in the end the "goose" that is injured cannot make it back, they will still have each other. Insuring you won't be alone and knowing you can help one another find the way. Thinking of those geese as a dear friend is a beautiful thought.. but even more beautiful is the idea of having even one close friend & God on your side. Whenever you fall.. he won't leave you. He is there to help you through every moment, every trial. God is there to lead you both back when things are better... when you can be "yourself" again he can help you to find your path AND if this is the end, he not only waits with you to the last moments of your life, he then guides those who are there and loved you most back to the place that they need to be.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The "Bedtime Brain-wave"

My bed is comfy...
I'm starting to doze..
Time to sleep... 

Not...

Does anyone else have a brain that doesn't sleep? My brain seems to have the most activity right before I fall asleep. I can lay down, read, do whatever else but as soon as I decide that it's time to close my eyes and fall asleep, my brain objects; It's when some of my best ideas come into play.

Sometimes I think about my day. What could I have done differently? What were the good things about my day? Did I make any kind of noticeable difference?; or maybe... I'm so glad this day is over. I hope tomorrow goes by faster. Is it really only Wednesday? (yes... yes it is)

Other times I think about a project I want to work on. This causes lists in my head of what I need to get before starting it; When will I do it?; How will I do it?; Where will I put it? etc, etc, etc...

Maybe it's something I know needs done; Dishes in the sink? Laundry? (usually for me that means the putting it away part!!! ;) )

Whatever it is, apparently bedtime is the BEST time to hash over every detail. ;)

They say you should keep a journal beside your bed and the more I think about it, the more I think its a good idea. I tend to remember things that I've forgotten when my head hits the pillow... but come morning it's not likely I will remember what they were. Maybe I really should make the most of this nighttime "brain wave".

... I can't be the only one... right? ;)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Some Days You Just Gotta Laugh

 Hahaha... oh my goodness... this made me LOL

hehe... ;)





For sure... please don't :P 


Oh wow... they really do.. 



nope... not at all 



Yes... why does this picture exist? 





So true...










Sorry for the lack of seriousness and quality subject matter. :P ... but as the title says... some days, you just need a laugh. :D

Monday, September 3, 2012

10 (Not So Normal) Things About Me

 I wrote something similar to this a few years back, so if this is somewhat of a repeat for you, sorry! :) Chances are that it's not as close to the original as I think it is... but since I no longer have a copy I couldn't tell you for sure.
 1. I am TERRIBLY afraid of spiders! Really... I'll lose it. I have been known to scream over and over until a spotted spider is dead. If I ask you to kill a spider don't ask me to help you, don't put it outside (This is NOT getting rid of it appropriately!) and don't tease me with it. I will punch you... or, more likely start to cry (and then you will feel really bad :P )

2. I am terrible at spelling & grammar. Interesting I know, since I'm writing a blog... but, spell check helps.. :P Otherwise... just ignore it... (I TRIED!!)

3. Collections bug me... Obviously I am on Pinterest and, I do have this blog so it doesn't apply to technology. :P I know people really get into collecting things but for some reason it just drives me crazy. If it is a collection that serves an actual purpose then I can understand (ex.. Recipes, books, movies) but... do you REALLY need 178 magazines? Clip what you need and toss it. You get the point. I won't judge you for your collection but I may cringe a little.

4. Stickers. I cannot stand the way a sticker feels on my skin. Ew... please don't.

5. Extreme Organization. I have a need to organize everything. Labels, sorting, boxes & bins. The whole nine yards... AND I love to do it. I sometimes think I should organize professionally; Star in one of those shows like "Clean Sweep". So much fun! :D

6. I don't like surprises. They freak me out because I like to know what's going on. If you tell you got me a gift but won't tell me what it is I may bug you about it persistently. It's better you just don't say anything until the moment  you plan to do it.

7. I like to rearrange. Living in an apartment has made this less prominent because honestly I don't tons of options for moving things around... but I still try. My classroom at work though... at least once a month. I guess I just get bored.

8. I micro manage. Every little detail. Checklists. Calendars. Reminders. YES PLEASE! 

9. I have a tendency to shop in sets.  I don't have kids yet, but when I do I think I will be in trouble. When I see stuff for kids that I like I worry about how many I would need so all of my possible future kids will have the same one... I laugh at myself over this one. I know it's weird. :P I'm not sure why I think that I will want the same exact thing for each one but I tend to think of it that way. Also.. If I don't have the first movie or book and you plan to buy me the sequel... buy both and save me the frustration. :P

10. I remember every face. I may not know exactly how I met you and I may not always know your name... but I probably remember your face. This happens to me often... I'll see someone random at the store and spend the entire time trying to figure out where I know you from. Usually I figure it out but it sometimes takes awhile. :P

Good Reminder