Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Love You, But...

I have a habit, like most people, of checking Facebook once or twice a day. I want to see what my family and friends are doing, thinking, posting. One particular friend was on a rant because another friend told her he didn't care for some of the things she posted. I'd be a little perturbed if someone told me they didn't like what I posted. Then again, sometimes I'd be a little shocked that someone actually read any of my postings. I agreed that the person shouldn't have told her that. Personally, I think that's what the delete button is for. Get enough of it, delete the person. Or at least remove the person from your daily feed.
  But my friend said something else. What she said was , if you don't love all of me then delete me. 
    Well, let's think about that for a moment.Can you love every single aspect of a person, as in every part of their life? Can you love the person and not like parts of their lives?
  A popular statement these days just happens to be, if you love me you have to accept all of me. God loves us in the truest form, and He doesn't even do that. He tells us in His Word there are things He cannot and will not abide: lying, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, murder to name a few. Every single person who lives, ever has lived, and ever will live on this earth has sinned or will sin. Does this mean God hates us? Not at all! God loves us, and hates the sin!
  Example two: I love my sister, but she smokes. I don't like that part of her life. If she were to come visit, the cigarettes have to stay outside. The smell makes me ill and I don't want that nasty stuff in my house. Does this mean I don't love my sister or that I love her any less? No way!
  Love isn't and shouldn't be conditional. I don't know anyone who would ever say "I will love you if...". You either love someone or you don't. Conditional love is wrong, on both sides of the street. Telling someone that they have to accept a behavior or activity or they don't love you is just as wrong. Both types of behavior should have been outgrown at least by junior high.
  Bottom line? Facebook, at the end of the day, is really not much more than a virtual "I Love Me" wall. You post on there things that are important to you, that mean something to you. You're sharing yourself in a way that is safe because for the most part, you control who sees "you."  That's the easy part. What you cannot and should not even try to control is how someone feels when they see what you post. Some will like it, others won't. Some will hit the delete button and move on, some will give feedback. Those we have on our friends list are there for a reason. While sometimes it is our first instinct to get angry and defensive when someone disagrees, perhaps we should just go ahead and talk with the person. Learn something. Gain a new perspective. Or just shrug and agree to disagree on that point. 
    Love one another as we are commanded. Jesus is our greatest example of how to love. He loved the people. He didn't love what they did.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gratituesday: Grateful for Sarge

 The hubby never made it up the ranks when he was in the Army. Never even made it to sergeant. That's okay, though, God has a different purpose in mind for him. Christian, husband, father, hard worker, drill sergeant...
   No, he isn't bossy, and no, he's not a tyrant. Recently though, he has taken it upon himself to encourage me in my writing. He came up with the goal of ten pages a day. I don't always meet that goal, but he encourages when I am busily typing or scribbling away, and he barks orders to "get to it!" if I haven't so much as picked up a pen all day. 
  Like any good drill sergeant who is in the faces of the soldiers under his or her command, exercising them to the point of fatigue and sometimes exhaustion, he's there in the trenches with me. Encouraging me. Reading what I've written. Giving feedback. Asking questions when I'm stuck on a scene or a character, and eventually, like working on a troublesome Rubik's cube, the pieces finally align and it works. 
  I have a long way to go before my fiction sees the light of day, but I'm thankful that my husband encourages me and helps me to realize my lifelong dream. Thank you, hon. Thanks for continuing to push me. 

 Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!  What are you grateful for today? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thankful for Good News

I missed Gratituesday yesterday, and hopefully I'll be back on that route next week. I enjoy reading what others are thankful for and I like taking the time to reflect on someone or something I'm thankful for in my life. But this news is just too good not to share right now.
   My sister works at my doctor's office. I have a cell phone that is like us humans sometimes -- stubborn, obstinate, and cooperates with me only when it feels like it. Because of that, I had been spending the last few weeks playing phone tag with my doctor. So my sister finally stopped by my house this afternoon after work. My echo cardiogram test results came out fine! Praise God! Oh, I'm so happy about that.  
  We do know I still have to see the OB/GYN concerning a problem that showed up on some other tests, but I know that can be dealt with. Thank you to all who have kept me in prayer over the test results.

LIfe, Death, Family

Photo of family from Photobucket.

Old but true wisdom advises us that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Today I realized I am guilty of having but not following through one too many times. 
   My intention has always been to keep family close. Yet the cares and busyness of life, and gas prices too often gets in the way. Today, my niece left a message for me informing me that the mother of my nephews, a former sister in law, had passed away from cancer. I hadn't seen her in years, probably since my brother's funeral, and we didn't speak much, if any at that time. She was mostly there for her sons. 
  In my family, I seem to be the one who wants to have get togethers, but we just can't seem to get it together enough to come together. I know where they live, they know where I live, yet it doesn't happen. We leave messages on Facebook, or we talk via family member closer by. That's a sad part of modern life. It shouldn't be so, but sometimes it is. 
  My heart is heavy because I want to be there for my nephews. I also know that my husband's schedule, as well as finances,  may keep us from physically being there. It breaks my heart that I didn't make more of an effort to keep the lines of communication open. Even though she was no longer married to my brother, I still cared for her. And I love my nephews, and all of my family, dearly. 
  My mother in law has taught her children, and her daughters in law, to say I love you before leaving the house or ending a phone call. She says you never know when will be the last time you get to tell someone those words. I need to extend this tradition with other loved ones in my life. 
  Our spirits crave love. To know that someone cares about us, misses us when we aren't there. Don't hold back. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you. Make time for family and friends in your life. Don't let funerals be the only time you reunite with loved ones. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend time together while I'm still here to enjoy it. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Win a Nutrimill at Heavenly Homemakers!

Ugh. Forgive the tiny link up there. I'm still learning the ins and outs of blogging. No matter. You see that Nutrimill up there beside the link? Heavenly Homemakers is giving one away, courtesy of Paula's Bread  .  How cool would it be to freshly grind your own wheat, or other grains at home? I don't have one but I really would like one. Go check it out and enter to win! 


You know what I was doing last night? I was cleaning my kitchen and planning out what needed to be done today. Okay okay, close your mouth and you over there, pick yourself up from the floor. You don't have to be that shocked. I do get Suzy Homemaker and then. 
   A friend contacted me last week. She realized we both have the same disorganized gene. She suggested we team up and encourage one another in getting housework tamed. As I've said here Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers is challenging her readers to get funky fresh in the kitchen. Another blogger that I dont get to read often but enjoy, has lately been posting articles on blessing your husband here at A Proverbs Wife  and how to find joy in home making  here.  Still another one, Good (Cheap) Eats  is doing a series on Meal Planning 101.  All of these have been coming under my radar lately. Think I'm being told something here? I think so. 
    Since buddying up with my friend Sharon I've noticed a few things. I'm highly disorganized (we all knew that) and I think it's partly because I have squirrel brain. No, I'm not saying I have the brain of a squirrel... although some may think so at times. What I mean is, 
See what I mean? I get easily distracted from project / chore to another. 
  The other thing I noticed is I'm a perfectionist control freak who gets easily frustrated if things don't fall easily into place when I have a plan. Notice that little word there? "I"?  Yeah. That's the problem there. I still have to learn to give up control .  
  So. As of now, I've enrolled myself in Home Ec 101. While I'm the guide on this voyage, the real teachers are some of the bloggers I've mentioned and I am the student. I will be focusing on getting organized / housework, meal planning, and my own attitude adjustment. I feel God is trying to teach me some things here. If you see some of yourself in this, feel free to learn right along with me. Thank you so much to my mentors in this endeavor, whether they realize it or not. And if you're continuing to read this, thank you too. I'd love to hear from you.  What are you working on right now in your life?                

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't Should Upon Yourself

 Do you ever 'should' all over yourself? I used to watch a reality show a few years back. Several women who were dealing with a problem and needed to start over came and lived in a house together. There were two life coaches, both women, who guided them along and gave them assignments to help them with their goal. One of the life coaches, a therapist named Iyanla Vanzant, gave this advice to one of the women: Don't 'should' all over yourself, and don't let others should on you either.
   Some of her advice stuck with me. I don't agree with some of her methods or ideologies, but that's okay. I don't look to her for spiritual guidance. But that one nugget of truth is what I needed from her.
  Why am I blathering on about this? Because I'm sitting here 'shoulding' on myself. I should be checking the laundry. I should be starting the ham. I should be picking up the living room. I should be finishing the dishes. I should be working on my novel. I should be this, I should be that. Enough!
   I am only one person. I can only stretch myself so thin before I finally snap. And I don't think I'm alone in all this thinking. We women have a tendency to wake up in the morning with a laundry list of should do's and must do's , and we go to bed thinking of tomorrow's list, all the while berating ourselves that one or two items on today's list didn't get done. And the time in between? We're running around like a headless chicken, stressed out to the max and taking everyone in our path along for the ride or we shut down. The TV or computer snaps on, fanny is firmly in place on our seat and before you know it, the day is half gone and so is the emergency chocolate stash. (Come on, admit it, you know you have one. Please tell me I'm not the only one.)
   This  does not need to be how our day is. I don't want my days to be like this. So how do I fix this?
  Prayer and bible study first thing sets the tone for the day. And yes, I'm reminding myself of this, because I have a nasty habit of jumping into the day without this very important step. And I can tell you from personal experience that my day goes a whole lot better when I have my quiet time. Does it stop all bad things from happening? Not by a long shot. Hiccups, mishaps, and just plain bad days are going to happen. Prayer and bible study makes us better equipped to face the problems because we realize we aren't alone in this.
  Again, preaching to the typist here. I've fallen off the wagon many times on this one as well. But I feel better and my attitude towards everything is better when I take my walk in the morning. You may like exercising in the evening. That's fine. Just remember to take care of yourself. I usually walk alone because I'm the only morning person living in this house. When I do it right, it's part of my quiet time with the Lord. I enjoy that.
    As busy wives and moms we have a lot of responsibilities. Some of us even have college and/ or full time jobs on top of all this. And yet we think that we are supposed to buy into the Superwoman mentality who can work outside the home, volunteer and Jr's school, keep the house spotless, and cook great meals, and five hundred other things that come up as well, and not ask for help. Remember that song back in the day? "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan... " blah blah blah.  Also something that trips women up (although it is not supposed to) is the Proverbs 31 woman. 
   There is absolutely nothing wrong with that chapter, none at all. I aspire to be that woman too. But  the reason she was able to do so much in one day is she had servants helping her! If you're like me you don't have servants helping you. We do have husbands and some of us have kids. Ask hubby or Tommy or Mary to fold the towels when they come out of the dryer. Can hubby stop after work and pick up the groceries or the forgotten milk? Oh no, I can't do that. I have to do it because I like my towels folded a certain way. Hubby will get the wrong kind of cereal.
  I started out wanting my towels and other items folded a certain way. Now, as long as it gets done, I'm not gonna make a fuss. As for the grocery list, yes I have a few items on my list that I'm really picky about. My sweet hubby has learned that  I'm going to be persnickety about some items. If I give him a list, I write down the specific brand for those items otherwise I'm at his frugal mercy and I just have to bite my lip and remember to thank him for helping me. 
  As for the stuff you have to get done yourself, write it all down if you have to (I do or it doesn't get done.). Then take a few minutes to decide what absolutely must get done and what can wait. Give yourself some breathing room in your schedule. Surprises, both good and bad, do come up. 
  These are just a few things that may help you in your day. I know it helps me. Now, if you'll excuse me, my kitchen is calling... 

Friday, September 7, 2012

A New Page: A (Seemingly) New J

 * Okay, so some of you may have read this one already. I'm cheating a little today, but this really is what I'm thankful for today. J still is doing well and I'm very, very thankful for this.
  On this Tuesday, as every other Gratituesday, I invite you to share what you are thankful for as well as to see what others are grateful for. Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

 J had a psychiatrist's appointment today. It's just a routine thing for him, mainly because of the meds he's been on to help with his behavior. It was more of an intake this time however, because we missed an appointment or two. And missing the appointment led to going off one of the meds. Am I sorry he did? No way.
  On the medication, J did fairly well. He was on an even keel most of the time, although he could still get loud and boisterous from time. But not having that little pill exactly on time could be disastrous. He'd be starving all the time on or off the meds, and could get angry and rather animalistic  in behavior --biting, tearing his clothes, being destructive. So we kept up the medication.
  Shortly before that medication ran out, his neurologist suggested another medication to help him focus. The Hubby and I were a bit reluctant to try the new med so we kept putting it off. Seeing that J was getting a bit hard to live with coming off the other med, we decided to try it. And promptly hated it. J went from being loud and boisterous to quiet, tired from not enough sleep, and tearful. He even regressed to combative behavior once. And only once. He was too quiet, and would barely eat, so we dropped the new med to once a day. And J did somewhat better, but still too quiet for my taste. Still had to remind him that he needed to eat. So we made the decision to drop the pill altogether unless we thought he needed something. You know what? He hasn't needed it.
  During the intake, the therapist noticed the difference between J today and J in May. Huge, huge difference. J was engaging in eye contact, showing appropriate behavior, was smiling, and even laughing some, but was never too loud.  He signed the paperwork that needed to be signed, albeit hand over hand and with several prompts to "focus". ( Because J is legally an adult and we have not gone through court to become his legal guardians, J is required to sign the paperwork there. Gotta love beaurocracy, right?) 
   As I have stated before during this week, I'm liking the changes we are seeing. He's sleeping better. His eating habits are stabilizing. His personality shines through more and he engages with us more. In fact, if he sits for too long without someone talking to him, interacting with him, or at least listening to music, he gets bored. He wants activity these days.  Staying on task for more than a few minutes is hard for him, but we can work on that. 
    Naps have pretty much gone out the window these days. Gone are the long naps in the afternoons. But although I could use one now and again, I'm happy he's not sleeping the day away. He sleeps better at night, no giggles at three in the morning , showers at five AM, or roaming the house at midnight.  I'm liking this a lot. 
  Will this behavior stay? Will it get better? I don't know. He hasn't been completely off behavior meds long enough to really tell. I hope and pray it stays this way, though. I'm happier, The Hubby is happier, and most importantly, J is happier. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Ado About...Some Things.

 I missed yesterday's blog time. I think it's harder sometimes when The Hubby is home on his weekend. But today I've been gently reminded that I need to get busy writing instead of playing on the internet. The short novel I'm working on is staring me in the face, and inspiration just isn't coming right now. So I thought I'd share a few tidbits here and see where my brain takes me. Forgive the disjointed blog here, but it just didn't seem worth writing several tiny little blog posts with all this stuff.

 J is in the midst of a meds change lately. He ran out of one med, and will likely be put back on it on Friday. Meanwhile, his neuro, in response to seeing how "uncooperative" J had been, put him on Adderal. He's been on adderal once before, briefly.  I couldn't remember why we took him off of that particular med at the time ( I highly recommend keeping a journal of your child --meds and when taken, reactions, eating/ sleeping habits, routines, doctor visits, all of this. I've started a notebook for this purpose a few times, and am still working on making it a habit. It makes things much easier in the long run. Learn from my mistake in this instance.). 
     During the short time we gave J the prescribed dosage, he went from our happy, hungry boy to withdrawn, tired all the time, and barely eating. In short, he was a zombie. He cried easily, began "Yarping" more than normal, was easily agitated. We stopped giving it to him. While he's less focused, he is more playful, has a fairly decent appetite, and sleeps sometimes without melatonin. He wants more interaction. I like my J like this. I think he may need a little something at times to help him focus, but he seems to be more engaged in the world without it. 

  Back to school time seems to be a great time to get the house cleared out, straightened up, and ready for winter and the holidays. After a summer of carefree eating and playing, I want something different. This month, Heavenly Homemakers is blogging about creating a Funky Fresh Kitchen. Laura is hosting giveaways, giving tips, and helping us get our kitchen in order for fall. This week so far she has issued us a challenge to throw something out and replace it with something healthier, here.  If you would like an ebook of Do the Funky Kitchen for $2, go hereThis price is available for one week so hurry and get your copy.
    I've been enjoying Laura's series, and giving a lot of thought to what I need to toss out to have a healthier kitchen. I've made a deal with myself that premade cookies and brownie mixes wont be coming into the house. If I want those goodies I can make them from scratch. It's less expensive and a bit healthier because I can control the ingredients. Which leads to the next topic...

  My anemia is still a concern. I'm working with the doctor on that, trying to eat more healthy and trying to remember to take my iron supplements as often as he wants me to. Not always easy. But in order to take care of my family, I have to take care of myself. Because food prices are going up just like everything else it seems, I've decided that my family needs to incorporate a few vegetarian or meatless meals each week. I'll be researching this a bit more , as I need to be sure to get enough iron in my diet.
  I need motivation in this area. I think I'm going to list three things each day that I need to get done. Most likely not here, but just for myself. Today, though, I need to do laundry, do my dishes, and pick up in the living room. 

How about you? How are you doing these days? Are you motivated to get the house in order, have a healthier kitchen? Are you figuring out the ins and outs of autism? Trying to take better care of your health? Let me know how you're doing. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gratituesday: Thankful for Learning to Give up Control

  Today is Gratituesday, as coined by Laura from Heavenly Homemakers,  Wont you join us?
  I have a need to be in control. I think I have all the answers, I know what's best for people. That's a very arrogant statement, don't you think? It puts a lot of unneeded stress on a woman to have to be 'in control' all the time. You know what I've been learning? I can't control everything and I certainly can't control everyone around me. Family and friends are going to be and do whom and what they choose. It's called free will, a gift given us God. That gift comes with responsibility, to be sure, but that's a lesson for another time. The point for today is, I can teach my child right from wrong. I can discuss with my family and friends what the bible says or give my opinion on a matter. It is up to the individual to decide what he or she is going to do.   I can want a certain outcome in any given situation, and I can pray. But in most cases I can't control the answer. 
  I've been having some health problems that have the doctor concerned. He had some tests run to see what exactly is going on. Should be simple, right? You go in, do the tests, you find out the results. Well, in learning to give up the need for control, you have to learn how to trust. Most of the tests have come out fine. Yes, i have something that necessitates seeing another doctor for but I'm okay with that. It's relatively minor and we'll see what the new doc recommends. When I see him. Remember that control problem? I get very frustrated when things don't happen when and how I think they should. We had to reschedule that appointment. 
  One other test I haven't heard the results from yet. I've been playing phone tag with the nurse. Hopefully we will hear today whether everything is good or not.We shall see. I'm still a little concerned, but I'm slowly learning that I don't need to be in control. Our heavenly Father can see the whole picture, whereas I can only see bits and pieces at a time. My trust needs to be such that, no matter the outcome of the results or the doctor visit, God will take care of me. He is in control. Not me. I'm thankful that I don't have to be. While I do have to take care of my health as best as I can, and do my part no matter the situation, I don't have to sit and worry over every little detail. I can lean on the everlasting arms. I don't have to worry about the future because I know who holds the future. I know that sounds simplistic and trite, an not always easy to hold to, but it's true. 
  Am I still going to worry at times? Most likely. I'm a wife, a mother, a daughter, I'm human. I'm going to slip up. But this is a lesson I'm being taught at the moment-- trust and give up control. I'm so thankful for it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Do You Want a Funky Fresh Kitchen? Join the Challenge

In my last post I mentioned how fall is a great time to rethink things and kind of start over.  Well, Laura from Heavenly Homemakers  is thinking along the same lines. She is encouraging her readers to join her month long "Funky Fresh Kitchen Challenge and you can read the intro post here.  And here  is challenge number one. Throw out something in your kitchen and replace it with something healthier.
  For me, living on a limited budget, throwing something out food wise is pretty scary stuff. However, I want to feed my family better. I was tempted to buy some snack cakes for my son this weekend. I flipped the box to look at the ingredients, and one of the first things I saw was high fructose corn syrup. Ew! No, it isn't the same thing as sugar and your body does not process it the same. I chose another box of snack cakes to try, and although it did not have hfcs, the ingredient list was longer than my arm and I could barely pronounce most of the ingredients. The snack cakes stayed on the shelf. 
  I'm not going to sit here and pretend that prepackaged food doesn't come into my house. It does. I just don't buy it as often. I make my own mac and cheese and hamburger -pasta meals. That alone cuts down on the amount of sodium, MSG, and preservatives being taken in. My biggest down fall? Snack foods. I have good intentions about making cookies and brownies and such from scratch but it doesn't always happen. So. I'm thinking now would be the time to throw out the idea of buying a boxed brownie mix (there isn't any in the house at the moment) and actually make a batch from scratch. Who knows? Maybe I will decide to make up some mixes for future use. Can I stick with this? We shall see. Follow me this month and check my progress.
  What about you? Are you ready to take the Funky Fresh Kitchen Challenge? Read Laura's post to find out that funky means functional, and let us know if you're ready to join in. What will you throw out this week? I'd love to hear from you. 

I'm back! Again.

It's been too long since I last wrote anything on this blog. I've been having some health issues, and honestly, I just couldn't think of anything to write. I had lost my passion for it for a little while. 
  I wish i could say that my house is spotless at this point since I wasn't writing. Nope, not even close. I still have a ways to go on that front as well. But I'm starting to feel better, starting to get life back in order.
   Some people start over in January, others do spring cleaning. While I give it a shot both times, I think one of the best times to make changes is in the fall. The kids have gone back or are starting back to school, the weather is starting to cool down in most places, and some of us are starting to think ahead to holidays. It's time to head back into a routine again, and one of my routines is writing.
  I didn't completely abandon writing during my blog hiatus. My focus has lately been on my fiction. For years now, my goal has been to finish at least one of the novels in my head and try to get it published. These days, with everyone being a writer it seems, and ebooks becoming more the norm, I began to be afraid of the next step and let it stall the creative process. But recently, my husband  decided to do more in encouraging me to follow my dream. He challenged me to write ten pages a day. It could be the main story I'm working on, poetry, the blog, writing prompts, whatever. But I need to have written ten pages each day.
  So how am I doing on that? Well, since he issued the challenge, the first day I had my ten pages before he came home from work. The second day, I had eight. Granted, I had a few more distractions that day. The day after that I had nine pages. Last night I was back to ten pages, close to eleven.  As of this morning I'm about 3 pages in so far.
  I am not ready to share my fiction here on my blog just yet. Maybe soon, who knows. 
  I know I keep popping up in the blogging world every now and then, all excited and promising to continue, then fading back to nothing. Forgive me for that. I'm beginning to make this a commitment again, something I take seriously. I've got a lot to say about several different subjects. I'm not ready to completely let this one go, even if I'm just writing for myself. But I hope someone is out there, reading and continuing the journey with me. If you are, thank you.I will talk again very soon.