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Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Close the Door"

This was my Pastor's message for today. It's time to close the door on some things. And don't go leaving cracks for past hurts and heartaches to creep back in. Let's make 2009 a year to move on and improve spiritually, naturally and physically.

He also announced a plan for us member who wanted to, to read the Bible through this year. I'd already gotten an invitation to join through a CBN newsletter through my email and opted in to do so. I usually try to make sure I read a chapter a day. I've read through the New Testament, i'd say at least twice. It's the Old Testament that I really need to place focus on. I know i've read much of the Old Testament, but can't say that i've definitely read through it, though I know i've come close. So this is something that I need to do. I'll have the motivation of knowing that i'm not doing it alone; that it's a church effort. Hopefully we'll be discussing some things that we've read in our Bible study to bring extra clarification to the many things that I can't seem to understand exactly what they mean.

I'm really hoping for some things to start looking up for my family this year. My husband is a disabled veteran, and we live in Illinois. Two things that don't go well together. I guess there are more veterans trying to fight for va compensation in Illinois as well as some other states and it's just harder for veterans to get their due, so since he's been out of the military, it's been a long hard road, but hopefully this will be our year.

And another

We had yet another blackout lastnight. I know, so soon. And yet again we were unprepared. Everything happened so fast. I was sitting here trying to decide on a new look for my blog when suddenly the wind started blowing really hard. So suddenly, I thought we were being hit by a tornado and yelled it out "TORNADO!!" getting everybody all in a frenzy. We quickly gathered together sitting down on the floor in our little hallway. My husband went and turned the television on as me and the kids sat there and said nope just really strong winds. What a relief, but very soon after, the lights started blinking until they were completely out. And stayed out for about 2 hours or so this time. And this time it was just our block apparently, cause my husband looked right across the way and saw lights. My son remembered how we'd used my DS the last time and thought of his Didj which has a nice backlight and so we had two sources of light. I again thought about how amazing what a little light can do for so much darkness. We ended up eating dinner late; the kind of late where if you eat that late, you end up having weird dreams and your body feels weird. Yuck. I guess I shoulda kept it simple, but I just had to have more Christmas leftovers.

Bruiser usually enjoys food, but not our Christmas meal. The first night after all my hard work, he complained that it was nasty and I caught him trying to scrape it into the garbage. The second night he decided he would take one spoon at a time into the kitchen and put it in a "random" place. The third night, he just decided he wouldn't finish it, just leave it there. I guess if he doesn't acquire the taste for Holiday food next year, Lord's willing, i'll just have to make something special just for him.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Children

They were all so pleased with the Christmas gifts that they received. This year things went so much better than I would have imagined. My mother-in-law and her sister were ever so generous.

My Deuce was able to get the Didj that he wanted. We bought Diamond a cupcake maker, the Jakks Pacific one, but she didn't get to even open it. Unfortunately, I was so excited to be getting it for her that reading the reviews for it didn't even cross my mind. I read them after receiving it while just checking to see if they had dropped the price, because the prices were being dropped on so many things. The reviews were awful, so I plan to send this one back. This is just too bad because she loves cooking with me and though she would have needed assistance, she would have loved it. I think she's having more fun playing with the boys toys right now anyway. She wants a Didj as well. Oh well, she has a birthday coming up in a couple of months, so we have this as an option. I know we probably won't find it at the price we got it for my Deuce, though. My Bruiser got the Smart E Bear. Cool because it tells stories and sings songs and plays games. The only thing, in my opinion that would have made it even better is if its mouth could move. I mean, you can even personalize it to make it say your child's name. He got so excited when that bear first said his name. Lastly, my Stone got a laptop for babies. They got plenty of other gifts besides which I won't mention right now. I myself got so caught up in the whole gift giving that I got off track on the real reason for the season.

We had Christmas service at my church on Christmas day. My Pastor says that this was the first time he recalled doing this and wants to continue. I agree completely with his decision. It's not our birthday, and though it may not officially be Christ's actual birthday, it's the day set aside for us to reflect on the fact that He was born. We didn't stay long. We had a short praise service with singing and heard three testimonies. A couple of solos, including one that the Pastor at times has me sing and the offering and then the message. In all it was around 2 hours.

I had to come back and finish up my Christmas dinner. Stone makes it so hard because he wants to be held about 80% of the day it seems. He'll cry and cry until someone picks him up. Anyway, we had turkey and dressing, ham, shrimp and crab fettuccine, mashed potatoes, potato salad, rolls and sweet potato pie. That was a lot of potatoes (smile) and a lot of work, but it was worth it for my family. We had a sparkling apple juice to drink with (non alcoholic of course). Hopefully those leftovers will be enough for everyone to eat tonight, so I can get out of cooking for two days in a row. Ahh holidays. My husband has already gone out to bring in the food that I plan to cook for New Years. His family tradition was cabbage and black eyed peas. I've heard that people think of it as representing money and good luck, but I think someone made that up because they didn't feel like all that heavy cooking, I know I won't. Not so soon anyway. Not that I don't love cooking, but that's a load for any one person. I grew up with three sisters and between us and my mom, she would assign us each a dish or two or maybe even three and the load was so much lighter then. My husband will help out, but it's kinda hard with four young children because someone has to constantly watch them, so most of it is left up to me. (Love you honey)

My hopes...

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a happy New Year this upcoming 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quick lesson I learned

The church I grew up in was your traditional sanctuary. Nice sized. We would often visit other smaller churches that were held in store fronts. Occasionally my family would have church at home or visit someone else's home for a service they were holding there. Sometimes we would have a program in the basement of our church. I don't know if i've ever admit to anyone, at least before this year, that it was really hard for me to get "into" services held anywhere but a traditional sanctuary. One night, though, I believe repair work was being done in my current church's sanctuary and we had service in the basement. I was having a hard time as I usually would when the scripture came to my mind Psalm 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. I thought about Jonah, and how he was in the belly of the fish, possibly so many levels below land, and it had to be dark in there, but God heard his prayers, even in the belly of that fish, way underneath the water. If God could hear Jonah there, He could here me in the basement and anywhere else. Nothing is hidden to God, even down to our very heart's intent.
Hello again everyone. It's been a while huh? Last week was a busy one, sorta. Had a lot of cleaning to do. Got it done and guess what, it's heading back downhill and I need to catch it up again. It is so cold here in southern Illinois. It doesn't help that our floor is concrete. The coldness from outdoors is "attracted" to our floors. We don't have storm windows and the fact that the children have pulled some of the sealant from around the windows doesn't help either. I don't know exactly what the temperature is, but I can tell you that it is so cold here that the cold-ness caused our power to go out lastnight. We've taken for granted that that hasn't happened to us before and therefore were lacking in necessities. I know I have, or at least had, a flashlight around here. I wouldn't even bother looking for it, because I haven't seen it in so long, I wouldn't begin to know where to look. Fortunately, i'd not long before had my son put my nintendo ds on the charger, so it served as a light for us. Amazing what a little light can do in pitch darkness. I mean, our neighbors lights were off as well as the street lights and it was extremely dark. The kids used the light from my sony walkman MP3 player and also the what light the phone would provide. The whole ordeal lasted maybe around an hour or so as I sat around hoping it wouldn't be too long. Hoping that we weren't forgotten. I know the kids would not have minded at all having to all bundle up together to keep warm. My husband eventually sent them to bed, since it was past their bedtime anyway, and not long after they'd fallen asleep, the power was restored. I reminded them that God sees them even when it's dark, and no one else can.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back to Church today...

Hello. I finally went back to church today after about two months. Not that I haven't been wanting to go. I really enjoy my church, but we ran into some circumstances back several weeks ago which turned into well okay, maybe i'll go for the next service and then became i'll get back someday. What changed my thinking to going back was a verse that was on my mind about not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. Then my husband happened to install a bible verse a day application to the sidebar on vista. The day that I did look at it, that very scripture was there and I was like okay I have to get back. It just felt so good and right to finally go back. Everyone was all cheery as usual. The Pastor talked today on raising our children. I was enlightened to some things that I can change about the ways I teach my children. I had this one way of doing it, but it was good to hear another way from another person's experience.

I had to have my husband drop us off because I didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to park a van that won't reverse. That's right, our van won't reverse. Back in March we had a flood. Prior to that, we'd had the van looked at and we were told that we needed a new starter which was going bad. We didn't have the money at the time so we couldn't get it fixed. After the flood, we did get the starter replaced, but things haven't been the same with our van since. Our area was denied FEMA assistance, leaving us to try to make a way to get the extra repairs now added as a result of that flood. It won't hold a charge, it won't reverse. It keeps up weird noises, and frankly we're afraid it will give out on us at anytime. But we can't afford a new one at this time, so we're stretching it out as long as we can and thanking God it is at least working for now.

Typing this just made me think of an experience that I had back when I was still single. I had a Geo Metro back then. It would konk out on me at times. This one particular day, i'd went to the library and got done doing whatever it was I had to do and went back out to my car which decided it was going to be one of those days that it wasn't going to start. I started praying and begging God to please let the car start and I called myself applying all the faith I could possibly muster up. The car still didn't start and I couldn't understand why God wouldn't help me out. I was so hurt. I don't recall how much later it was, but me Pastor talked about how his car stopped on him. Wow, so it happened to him too? Someone whom I knew had a close relationship with God because it just showed. Someone "higher up in the ranks" and his car stopped on him too. Ok, so God really doesn't have respect of persons. We're human and sometimes these things happen. I don't get a special privileges for my car. Cars need repairs here and there, and that's just the way it is.

On this note, i'd like to just remind everyone to be thankful to God for everything that you have, no matter how much it seems that it's not. You have life in your body, you're able to breathe. If you need someone to take care of you, well you must have them because you're reading this and you're alive. God is not our personal genie. We take for granted so often the things that we have that seem little to us and forget to thank Him, as if He owes us anything. He gave us His only Son, and if He were to never give us anything else, He's already given His best. We can never pay Him back for all He's done, but we can give back by looking out for others in need. The fatherless, widows, elderly and all in between. Sometimes just a smile or a visit could do so much more than we could ever know.

Another reality that hits me at times. If you're alive, you have to die someday. I have to die someday. It's a given, unless the Lord returns first. I've given birth to children who have to leave here someday. I have to teach them as best as I can while I have the opportunity. Show them the path that God wants them to take and hope and pray they will take that path when it's no longer in my hands, but theirs to make the right decisions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let me make it clear

I just want you all, and them, if they ever somehow stumble upon this, that yes, I have forgiven them. I am a Christian, I am human. The experience left scars. We're all adults now and bygones are just that, bygones. I have been trying to locate them on those social networks out there, but without much success. Probably because they're using their married last names.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Those girls....

I want to talk more about these girls and my experience with some girls in my life. Things that have affected me to this day and caused me to be an at times introverted individual. I'll start with my next door neighbor. She was friendly to me, but when she didn't have any of her other friends around to be friendly with. I remember going to her house from time to time and playing with her toys. But when one of her other two friends who lived down the street or the one who lived across the street were available for her to play with, I was almost seemingly non existent to her. I was as nice to her as I knew how to be and gave her, in my opinion, no reason for her to treat me that way.

In my church there was a group of girls, who seemed to hate me. I couldn't understand it. I never really fit in. There was at least one friend who was mutually friends with me as well as the group, who never seemed to mistreat me, no matter what and I believe to this day she was truly pure. I had my couple of friends on the side as well. One of whom liked the same guy that I liked. I didn't know it, and when I told her, she slowly drifted away, and next thing I knew, they were dating. Things seemed to change between us permanently from there. I believe these others hated me so because, again, I had the "good girl" image. I remember at least on one occasion one of them being confronted in our purity class and asked "why can't you be like her." So this was what was going on? Maybe I was being used as the household standard for how girls should be. Well, this was the conclusion I reached and have held on to. These girls didn't want to sit by me, hang out with me, talk to me, nothing. I knew that they were talking about me at times. They hurt me so badly. I have scars from this.

I thought i'd healed, but when I take a look at myself these days, I have no consistent friend. At no fault of anyone but myself. I guess i'm a bit scared to really let myself befriend someone for fear of being let down. I've wondered if I should tell the women at my current church of my issues of old. I want to befriend the other women and i'll try and talk with them sometimes here and there, and have even been to a couple of their houses on an occasion or so, but won't allow myself to totally trust anyone, and they're sweet and they reach out to me and all, but I just can't let go. I'll give them a little leeway and change up and distance myself a bit not letting things get far beyond mere aquaintances. Yes, I do want to get over this stump and heal, but I can't seem to figure this part of my life out as of yet. This is one struggle as a human that I have in my life.

More on my life as a Christian..

Well what do you know, I made it back in a decent amount of time. I want to blog more today about my life as a Christian. I remember accepting Christ in my life back in ninth grade. Unfortunately for me, I can't tell you the exact date, as I know some people who can really break it down.
I'd previously gone to the altar to give my life to Christ on several occasions, but would eventually revert back to my old self and not live the life, doing things I wasn't so proud of. But at this time, my church was in revival and I saw a lady, who had dated one of my brothers, and knowing how she had been and what had happened to her at the revival I figured well it's really time to get serious about this. So I went back to the alter and committed my life to Christ for real for real this time. I remember being a freshman at St Joseph's high school and I already stood out like a sore thumb. I wasn't allowed to wear pants as a result of living in a strict pentecostal household and also that year I had to get my hair cut off because it was breaking off so bad. I didn't have the best of clothes because there were so many of us (eight children) that most of our clothes came from second hand stores and I absolutely was not popular. I remember sitting in a line of classmates shortly after the revival and after recommiting my life and being asked by the teacher along with everyone else, what was my favorite type of music. I announced that I liked gospel music. I can remember several sets of eyes looking past the head in front of them to get a glimpse of the girl who just admitted that. I'd done it. I spoken up for what I believed in, in a way. I was shy and not at all outspoken and could easily and had been overlooked and looked down on at this school with preppy rich kids. Boy that really set me apart.

Well, how did I end up at that school anyway.....
I was the "good girl" at my church coming up. My personality had so much to do with my upbringing, again with the strict parents, pentecostal household. The choir directress had a niece whom she thought some of my "kindness" could rub off on, so she wanted me to go to school with her and agreed to share the cost with my father. Well this tightened the pre-existing tension between she and I.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hello there. I'm back and just wanted to add a little more. One thing about my human side is a problem with committing to some things. They say that after 21 days of doing something new, it becomes a part of you. Well, I tried it and it's more like you accept that you have to do it so it's easier to do it. On that note, i've been saying for a couple of days that i'm gonna blog some more, and here I am. I'm sitting here while everyone else is sleeping, my youngest laying across my lap on his back.

I just want to tell you all of something that happened here a couple of days ago. My cat Bella got a hold of my bird Bloo. I remember when we first got our cat. My mom was still staying with us at the time. She was hoping the cat and bird would be "friends" so she sat the birdcage on the floor. Of course the cat curiously circled the cage. Well she was quite young when we got her and you know how you see those pictures of cats with birds sitting on their heads or backs or something like that? We were hoping they would take a liking to each other. I think what happened instead was the cat grew an appetite for parakeet. The cat often jumps up at the cage and scares the bird and has, on occasion, knocked the whole cage down, bird and all. Well, back to the story of what happened a couple of days ago. The bird somehow got out of the cage and it was like the cat knew exactly when it was going to happen. The bird didn't get anywhere before he "appeared" in the cats mouth. I panicked and snapped on my husband for him to rescue the bird as he sat there frozen and in shock. The cat made it to one of our back rooms and we were right behind her. She somehow dropped the bird, a mistake she rarely makes when she has something she really wants, and ran on about her business. I reached out my finger for the bird who was "fussing" at me as if it were somehow my fault. Well he was quieter than normal for the following couple of days, but now he is back to his normal self.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hello out there everyone and welcome to my blog. As the blog URL states, I am human. An individual with feelings, likes and dislikes, who has made mistakes in life, but hey, that's what life consists of right? I mean, how can you know right, if you've never known wrong? How can you know happy if you've never known sad? How can you know sunshine if you've never known rain? I am a mother of four and wife of one. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus and that He came here over 2000 years ago and that He will someday rapture His saints; the people who believe that He died to forgive their sins and have confessed that they're sinners and repented, being truly sorry for the wrong that they've done and are doing their best to live their lives according to the Bible. I am a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin and a friend.