"I felt a nice, fresh breeze a moment ago. Where has it gone to?"
- Tennessee Williams, in 'The Glass Menagerie'

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"A shark didn't come to my house."

Let me begin by saying that I am a firm believer in each individual's right to his or her own opinions about anything in life.  Just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean that I'm going to degrade or look down on you.  It's your opinion, and I respect that...

...but a few days ago I went to do some of my observations at a local child development center.  A friend of mine from school and I were just getting to meet the kids, so we were chatting it up with them...

...mind you, they are 4-years-old so that didn't consist of many topics, mainly just random thoughts such as:

Kid 1:  "A shark didn't come to my house."
Me:  "Oh yeah?  Well, I hope not."
Kid 1:  "No, he didn't come because... I didn't dream of it."
Me:  "Uhh.... well, okie dokie."

My friend then says something about her son, whose name is Christian.  In comes Kid 2 with a response that caught me totally off guard:

Kid 2:  "I can't talk about 'Christian' because I'm not a Christian."
Friend:  "Well, okay, but I was talking about my little boy so we can talk about him.  It's okay."
(and away walks Kid 2)

I sat there in absolute astonishment.  The child is merely 4-years-old, and his parents believe so strongly in the fact that they are NOT Christians that they have firmly instilled that in their own children, so much so that they don't even want to be around a conversation mentioning the word... it just broke my heart.  He's so young.  Doesn't he deserve the time to learn about his parents' beliefs and then make an informed decision later in life about his own, rather than them push that so incredibly strongly on him?  To the point where he doesn't even feel comfortable being in a conversation with someone who merely brings up the word 'Christian,' regardless of it's reference?


On the same token, though, it got me thinking:

We, as Christians, claim to be just that.  So, why is it that a non-believer is willing to so strongly force their beliefs on their children, but we aren't willing to do that with our own children?  To firmly instill our Christian ethics in them?

I'm no parent yet by any means, but I will one day be.  I don't want to force feed my children my beliefs about life to the point where they will, without fail, rebel when they're older, but I want to be the kind of parent that instills a more-than-good foundation for the beliefs of myself and my husband... in my children. 

I don't want them to fear discussion about other people's beliefs.
I want them to embrace those discussions because it gives them a chance to express their beliefs in their God, their Father.

I think that's what broke my heart the most about Kid 1's comment.

And perhaps, like my mother said, Kid 1 was merely saying that they're not Christian but that they're Jewish or something of that nature...

but something tells me that's not the case.

Monday, January 16, 2012

becoming the victor

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.  And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."    Romans 8:26-27

How you respond to pain and weakness is in your own hands.

That was the overall message of the sermon we received at church yesterday.

"Quit being the victim and become the victor." - Brother Al Geise

...and that is so incredibly true.  If we accept responsibility for our own reactions to pain, then we can take control of situations.  God doesn't control our reactions to situation - we do.  Much like we control our own destiny.  God is with us to help hold us up when we are feeling down and out, but we have the power to control our mood.

If I am feeling down in the dumps, I have the power to become happy instead.  All I have to do is decide that I'm not going to let things get me down.

Afterall, who likes being down (in any way, shape, or form)??
Not me, my friends.
Not me.

"The Holy Spirit knows exactly where to tinker." - Brother Al Geise

Much like a mechanic knows how to fix an engine,
     or a computer engineer knows how to fix a computer,
   or a doctor knows how to fix a patient...
The Holy Spirit knows just what to "tinker" with to fix us when we need assistance.

We make the decision to change things, and God knows just where to tinker to fix said problem.

We have the power.
He has the knowledge.
We have the tools.
He has the know-how.

How we respond to each and every situation that is present is directly linked to how we decide to respond. 

I can't even begin to list the amount of times that I know in the past that I have chosen to be angry about things simply because it felt easier to be angry than to try and make the effort to push the anger aside and be happy instead.  And it hasn't been until the last 7 or 8 months of my life that I've decided learned to choose happiness over bitterness, or anger, or sadness...

7 months ago, I met the most amazing man (one who I now know I am meant to spend the rest of my life with)... but also, 7 months ago, I lost one of the most wonderful men I've ever known - my grandfather, my peppy.  We lost him to Alzheimer's after a 6 year battle.

Truthfully?  We lost him years ago, but physically he passed away 7 months ago.  I wasn't sure how to react... he was the only grandfather I had left (aside from my great-grandfather, who is 94-years-old and healthy as an ox, by the way).  It didn't matter that he technically hadn't been with us for years.  In my heart, I know he knew who I was.  He fought that battle, he fought it with as much strength as he could muster... and in the end?  He didn't lose, in my mind.

Nay, in my mind, he was victorious beyond measure.  He held on as long as he possibly could, and in the end, he wound up in a place far grander than you or I can imagine.  He is in Heaven with our Father, with my big sister, with so many loved ones... that is a true victory.

It was because of this realization that I realized my strength and power in making a decision between happy and sad, in making a decision to feel how I choose to feel.  Indeed, I did feel sad at the death of my only living grandfather, my Peppy, a man who had taught me so many things throughout my life, but at the same time... I felt a sense of peace and happiness for him.  Because from that point on, he was whole again.  He knew who he was, and who I am, and who my family members are.  He was himself again.  He was... victorious.

Healing isn't easy, but it is possible - because we control our reactions and our outcomes.  We can choose not to be the victim but to instead be the victor.

I'll just leave you with that thought.
(cause it sure is a good one)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Today, I had one of those "woo-sah" moments...
     those moments where you just have to say to yourself:
   "Self, stop and take a long deep breath, maybe even count to ten.
   then continue on your way with a clear head."

It's those moments when I truly realize the strength that I've been given,
the tolerance for others that my strength has built up,
the strength (and patience) that God has given me.

(I've quit praying for patience, by the way.  I found out quickly that the more I pray for patience, the more things come my way - and the more things come my way, the more stressed out and weak I feel... tiresome, needless to say.  My advice there?  Practice patience.  Don't ask for it... because He will test you.  Without a doubt.  And the testing is ZERO fun.)

I just don't quite understand why some people do the things they do sometimes.
If you know there's problem, don't stir the pot.
Just go with what you're given because you know without a doubt that if you do anything to stir the pot, it's only going to make things worse.
So just live and let be.

That seems the simplest solution to me...
simply avoiding the inevitable by steering clear of the "pot-stirring."

And I know I'm guilty of doing that sometimes
("the pot calling the kettle black")
it's human nature.
But if we're aware of our actions then we can avoid things and try to rectify situations before they ever begin.

Lucky for me, I now have a handsome man that calls me every night... and that north-western Yankee accent soothes my anger and frustration.  Every time.

Thank God for him...
or I might pull my hair out...
or someone else's.
(I'm totally kidding.)
(I'm a lover not a fighter.)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes...

I just spent the last hour reading a friend of mine's husband's blog about his classroom and the random, funny things that come out of the mouths of middle schoolers...

...and I almost peed my pants (because some of them are just THAT hilarious).


I can't wait to start teaching... :)