Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Nemesis Facelift

Okay, so the whining sign is just as much for me as anyone else in the fam. This sign appropriately adorns my laundry room. My biggest nemesis in mommyhood is LAUNDRY! So today, in order to take a positive step towards winning the battle of mind over matter, I decided to give my laundry room/mud room a facelift, or at least make it feel like an actual room in the house instead of a leftover closet filled with stinky shoes and dirty clothes. Thank God for Hobby Lobby having 50% wall decor today! The only thing that it did stir up in me is to conquer another dreaded task, painting. I think it would be really nice to have some crimson on the walls, don't you? We'll see...I am a dreamer, and sometimes find that the projects in my head don't actually come to fruition!
This is the view from the kitchen door...If you have seen my laundry room will know this is a decent improvement...The dryer used to be an extra "shelf" of miscellaneous stuff...and the top of the cabinets had boxes, cleaners, and random junk on top.
This is the view from the garage door (the door to the kitchen is just next to the scissors). That little orange tub holds all my cleaners now, since I have started trying to eliminate how much product I use.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So How's It Going? Give me Summer!

I was frantically driving my second grader to school, hoping that his teacher would not count him tardy for the eighth time....geez, my kids are sleepy heads and have to be DRAGGED out of bed each morning...and as I drove, jamming to some uplifting music, I did a bit of soul searching, trying to figure out what I would say if someone asked "how's it going?" I am glad to say, it's going well, but, because my novel has been on my mind lately, I couldn't get one of the lines out of my head (and I hope this doesn't seem narcissistic to quote my own book, but because some of it is so true to who I am, it best describes the language of my heart, and I find my heart revisits these different postures often!)
"Life rushed forward at full force and Gwyneth wanted to pull some sort of emergency brake on life for a moment."
The above quote has been rattling in my brain this whole school year, and I know it will be a theme in the years to come!
At one point, the only day of the week we didn't have an extra-curricular activity scheduled was Monday night...and that was Cody's and my date night, so we really didn't spend it as a family. Can I remind you that I only have one kid in school??? I can't imagine what the high school years are going to look like when all three boys are playing something! 
I long for the lazy days of summer, and an end to the craziness of pursuing the culture's parenting style of "keep your kids busy,busy,busy." Honestly, Cody and I thought we were doing a great job by only allowing the boys to be in one thing at a time, but with three boys, that's three commitments a week, and usually at least one of those commitments takes up two nights!
Okay, so I will stop ranting on that, and take a chunk of the blame because, as I have become a thirty-something staying home with the minds of children all day, I have also craved grown-up socializing! So, we have committed, not only the boys, but ourselves as well, and although it has been fun, something's gotta give! I am going to skip an event tonight, which is hard for me because it involves mexican food!! :) Ah, the sacrifices we make! Just kidding!
My oldest affirmed my desire to slow down, when he saw the beautiful sunshine and wished it was Saturday. I hope I remember these times of wanting to slow down when we are in the midst of summer-- I hope I am not wishing for school to start because my kids are bored and driving me bonkers! I hope that I remember another quote from my novel.
Oh that I feel this over the days of summer and may the "fellowship" be with my KIDS:

"The love, attention, and petrified minutes swathed her in a dreamy retreat. Sometimes it consumed her so much, Gwyneth wondered how she could ever leave this place and return to a life of responsibility and effort. The conversation was long and the place of frozen time nothing urged the conversation forward. It was a gradual babbling brook caressing the subtle stones with loving passion for fellowship."

Monday, April 26, 2010

A happier glimpse of motherhood

Okay, so I wanted to also give a pleasant picture of motherhood...this is earlier on in the novel...
"Softly petting the newborn’s fuzzy brown hair, Gwyn thought it must be the softest touch in the world--a newborn’s head. Her daughter drifted off and her suckles became less and less. The tiny infant was sleeping soundly and securely. Suddenly life had a purpose, bigger than Gwyneth could ever imagine. Her heart begged her to weep and laugh at the same time. To know that she was given this child to nurture and guide for years ahead, was certainly overwhelming. But to see the beauty of life in the tiny face, the soft breath, the petite fingers gripping her own, and the glow of innocence, all wrapped up in this baby in her arms, was almost too much to draw breath. Gwyneth didn’t want to move in fear of losing this gratitude and wonderment for this gift which the Creator entrusted to her and Will.
Tears spilled down her face. Seldom can she recall times in her life where she cried for joy and not sadness. There were times where her tears of joy were also mixed with fear or relief-- but not this time. This time she cried purely for joy, with no other emotion to taint it. God taught Gwyneth the meaning of joy that day. And there were no words to describe it. She prayed that she would always remember this feeling- joy. And she thanked God for revealing it to her through her precious daughter. What a beautiful day. The sunshine poured in. What a beautiful life. She praised God. "

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An excerpt from my novel

Well, I have been quietly nudged to do this, and after reading a friend's blog, I was inspired to share a part of my fiction novel that may give some a glimpse into the guilt that so quickly adheres itself to motherhood. Please know, my novel is a work-in-progress and I actually would love any constructive criticism if you feel led to do so! To set the scene, the protagonist is frustrated with herself for the times she gets annoyed with her toddler for toddlerish things; times when she grows weary of the late night wakings, the pushing aside of quality time for selfish reasons....
"The wallowing in guilt devoured her until she could no longer peacefully rest her head at night. Often, she threw back the covers and sat in a dark living room trying to erase the disappointing episodes from the past day, by flipping through a magazine or baking a batch of midnight cookies...anything to distract her from a downward spiraling guilt trip.
Too seldom did Gwyn get on her knees and ask the good Lord for strength and forgiveness. Too seldom did she realize that the next day was new, and little James would love her just the same or more, with a sweet refreshed smile in the morning light.
How could something so precious as this gift of motherhood, bring me such turmoil? Why am I consumed with worry and regret? She was flabbergasted with herself. It was so easy to forgot the joy and sink into the stagnant waters of monotony. She sensed the fall of Eve crawling into her tumultuous mind, creating the expectation that there was something better. Even though her heart’s desire was fulfilled in her role as a mother, her mind deceived her into thinking she was missing out on something more the world had to offer.
Some days she felt like she screamed inside her head from dawn until her little boy’s head laid gently on his pillow that night. Her peace was drowned out by the constant struggle of not knowing exactly who she was, besides a long list of chores. God was far away in this season. She didn’t have the energy to go to Him because the challenge to survive crushed any faith she had that the Almighty could possibly come to her aide. Her soul cried out in loneliness at those times.
Gwyneth felt broken to the core after a temper tantrum from James, or a pile of laundry that never lessened. Those days were dark. The trivial, unimportant tasks, built up chains around her strength. Tears were frequent and the throbbing ball in her throat was more and more difficult to push away. She knew her life was important in theory. She was raising a boy to be a man. Did God really know what He was doing-- entrusting this enormous task to her? The doubt grew more with every breath she breathed in this role. She hoped her son would benefit fully from her best, and be unaffected by her worst. "

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dressy Date Night!

Cody and I had the chance to dress up for our church's volunteer appreciation dinner. We have had so many dates this past year, you'd think we would be sick of each other. But it has been such a revitalization of our love and friendship! It's going to be a tricky summer since our sitter will be gone, but hopefully we will find a way to keep up our date nights, even if it's only once a month!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We are Mothers, Here us Roar!

MOPS ended today. And I am glad to say it was a great year! It took two years for me to complete a full year as coordinator! (For those who don't know, I moved halfway through the year during my first coordinating position.) I must say, I don't feel burned out, or sad...a little relieved for a break, but mostly I am so excited to get started on planning a new year with another great Steering team (some spots haven't been filled, but I am completely confident in the women who have signed up for our informational). One thing I have so appreciated from the women here in our part of Iowa, is their willingness to speak up, offer suggestions, and do it in a way that is encouraging and inspiring...I just can't wait to put into action some of the great ideas I have already heard and creatively accommodate the diversity of thoughts from some awesome mothers!
I am also very grateful for the church that sponsors us. I have felt so supported and encouraged by them as well, and realize how much their help can push our ministry to new heights and great steps to equipping and supporting our moms.
God has certainly worked through me in this leadership role- teaching me valuable lessons in teamwork, humility, and most of all faith that He is in control and has not turned his back on the profession of motherhood! I feel a new movement coming on, a movement of women embracing their unique ability to nurture, equipping their children, nieces, nephews, friends' children- for the big wide world, and knowing that their duty is important and blessed by the Almighty. I pray that the excitement of changing the generations to come is kindled in every parent, friend, aunt, grandmother of our youngest generations, and I know that this can be accomplished greatly by all the mothers out there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take him and cut him out in little stars...

Some of you may know that my highlight of high school (really, who has many?) was playing the role of Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I want to share a passage from some lines, my favorite lines, I once spoke on stage, and Beth Moore's play on words that she used in the study we just finished up today. I have learned so much these past months, and will share more soon.

Come, gentle night,- come, loving black brow'd night,
Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night, 
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
                                          -Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

"God is jealous for our true enduring hero to be His own Son. God wants Jesus to be our unrivaled champion....Countless people are worthy of our esteem, but none can take the pressure of our unrivaled champion...Beloved Sister, one reason God dissuades us from making champions of humankind is to keep us from falling love with the night and paying no worship to the glorious Son."
                                            -Esther: It's Tough Being A Woman,( p. 183, 184) Beth Moore
Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman : Member [Book]

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Date with 4:8.

I often step back and let my boys (my man included :) ) walk ahead and I watch them from a distance. Some of the best moments have been on our family hikes. We all seem to find just that, ourselves- unaffected by others and completely rejoicing in the beauty of creation. I love that my boys delight in finding a great walking stick, picking wildflowers (even if they're dandiions) and eagerly handing them to me as if they are the most precious gifts, and venturing a little bit away from Cody and me knowing that they are safe and watched well. Just blogging about this is therapeutic to me after the last entry I wrote. I needed to reflect on lovely things, good, pure things. To focus on these things are brilliantly declared in Philippians 4:8- and this verse is certainly one of the most simple but powerful requests in Scripture. And I often forget to do this, but it's never too late. So, thank you Lord, for your creation and for your abundant blessings upon us.

The Bubble's Gonna Burst

It's always a struggle- how much do I allow the delicately nurtured bubble that I so carefully molded around my babies, to be prodded and poked so they are indeed exposed to the ugliness and unloving ways of the world as they grow up into young boys? Actually, I am kind of annoyed with myself for using that metaphor for my parenting technique, because I despise the term "bubble". And as my children grow, I realize that a "bubble" is something that would eventually suffocate them for that lack of exposure to the world would fatally shock them once the bubble bursts. But I do treasure their innocence, and mourn it's loss every day as they are indeed given knowledge that isn't necessarily beneficial or accurate for that matter. In this phase of parenthood though, I can't just depend on my instincts or feelings of nurture and love to guide me through as a successful parent. These are the times when I must be equipped mentally and emotionally to handle the actual "meat" of growing up children, and not just give them the sugar-coated "milky" answers like, "that's a bad choice," or "use your words". Nope, they need more depth, more of the "whys" about their choices, more "think about how those words show your heart"when their mouths are foul.
I am trying my best to not be a condemning voice when the boys ask me about things that they learned or saw. I am trying to be grace-filled and Truth-driven, so that they continue to feel safe to ask me these things. But, oh how my heart twists when I see their bright eyes dulled with the knowledge, their small brows furrow with confusion at the mess of this life. When I can explain it to them, and get past the topic, my instincts overwhelm, and I want to hold them close, kiss them gently, and say, "Mommy will forever protect you," and hold them in that bubble of my arms, until the next time when that bubble just isn't good enough.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden Entry #3- Ready, set, grOW!

We still have some zucchini, squash, and beans to grow from seed, but this is it so far...the trellis is for our peas. We have onions, tomatoes, jalepenos, bell peppers, lettuce, broccoli, rhubarb, strawberries, peas...

Rhubarb came back from last year

Pretty little strawberry plant

Garden Entry #2- On our way to feeding the fam!

Our garden, after the snow melted away, was a tangled mess of weeds and rotten onions (above)! I spent 3 hours weeding yesterday. And Cody "tilled" it to prepare for planting (below). We're almost done with planting...I will post pics soon! We didn't completely stick to our plan, but we added some more scrumptious plants, like strawberries and green beans!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Follow up on the Impact of this morning...

After talking with my mom about my last blog entry, I realized that she doesn't know how much of a difference she makes. Our mentor mom at MOPS said something today, "even though I my children are grown and I have grandchildren, I am still a Mom..." And another mentor mom said, "I am busier now as a mom of grown children than I ever have been!" And even though I am not their peer, I got exactly what they meant. Because of my own mother's recent advice and listening ear, I have grown so much as a woman and a mother to my own children over the past few months. My mom thinks of herself in terms of "when I was a mom", but I would like to say she is still a mom, and a very excellent one at that. All three of her daughters call her on a regular basis (at least once or twice a day) and, if I can speak for my sisters, we know how much we can count on her to be there in calm and crisis, the exciting and the mundane. My mother exudes empathy to the greatest degree and through that quality, becomes one of the most relatable people I know. I don't think I have ever told her any of this, but I know she will read this, because she is also a faithful fan of anything her children pursue, create. Thanks mom! I couldn't wait until Mother's day to say it!

A Mom's Purpose Revisited

Today in MOPS we read a devotional about "Our Special Blend"- discovering our purpose. This is definitely something I have so struggled with after entering the world of mothering. It's funny to step back and see that really, it is a very important job- raising children to be productive citizens- but for some reason, or some demon, my sense of the importance undulated up and down and I have struggled in the past with the unsettling words "is this it?" Is the laundry, the discipline, the vacuuming, cleaning snotty noses, giving baths, fixing dinner, pep talks, the laundry, really that important, and most of all, is it really fulfilling my purpose in life? If you have kept up with my blog, you will see that I have broken free of this thought process, slowly but surely. Today I felt all the more affirmed that my purpose as Caleb, Christopher, and Thomas' mother is so fulfilling that my cup overflows! Here is a quote from our devotional:

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make, which over time, add up to big differences we cannot foresee." - Marian Wright Edelman.

I don't think I will be able to always relish in the tiny things during the day, but I know I am starting to settle comfortably and peacefully in the contentment of my purpose as a mother this day and for the next 18 years. So what about after that? Well the overall picture from our devo today gave me a bright fresh perspective on the scary thought of "who am I?" when the kids are grown.  When the time comes, I will cling to this gem,

"that [my] purpose is just being [myself] to the fullest"- The Coffee Mom's Devotional, Celeste Palermo

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Double Dose: From the Mama and the Drama

We have a lawyer in our midst, an almost eight year old boy, and right now he is not displaying the respectable qualities of the profession. I won't go into detail, but can we say that the words "manipulation" and "victimization" were key words in Cody's and my parenting discussion tonight. I am ashamed to say that our second grader was dishing it out so thick that we were ALMOST blinded by the outstanding moral character we had sooo carefully molded over these years! HA! I hope you can sense my complete sarcasm!! He is just as much of a fleshy human as I am, albeit a clever one- and too big for his britches!
I am not blogging this to cut my son down, I am writing it to help me completely digest that we MUST continue to keep our eyes open, our role as parent firm and unwavering, and our love unconditional. Our family almost lost credibility and new friendships over silly childish misbehaviors, and I am thankful above all, that Cody and I have matured enough to not sit and cower in the corner, but make sure that we allow truth and grace prevail in these types of situations!
Aside from the drama of parenthood, I am also solidifying a concept in my life from good ol' Beth Moore- I can't allow my "fears " (or thoughts, worries about things that haven't even happened) to rule my relationships, actions, and decisions! Ugh, I have fought this one for years, and even though I have overcome some pretty big fears in the past several months, I have noticed more discreet fears or imagined entitlements have crept into my peace of mind and left me in a downward spiral of sin. I have a headache, and it is definitely my own doing. My own little demons are having a hay day with my over-thinking and over-feeling of things that are sometimes just figments of my imagination! Do you ever feel like you want to take an soul scooper and just clean out the junk inside to start over? I can't even tell you how many times I have wished there was something as easy as that to quiet my insecurities and untruths about myself and others.

Remembering the Importance of Real Live Community...

This resonated with me so much today after Bible Study. I can't tell you enough how much I needed to be reminded of this-  to love those around me, to encourage them. It is so easy to get caught up in negativity and finding flaws, and it's so easy to bypass gathering together...especially when the virtual realm is so abundant...please read below, take heart, and be blessed!

Hebrews 10:24, 25
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Let me set things straight!

So someone really near and dear to me, challenged my motives for writing this blog. It wasn't an attack, or a criticism- more like food for thought and pointing out obvious similarities in other blogs or even Facebook statuses (some of which annoy me, and of which I ashamedly have taken part in when it comes to my status updates). I definitely will not be able to continue writing until I clear the air of a foul misinterpretation.
Maybe my dear friend assumed this attitude because of our ego-centric society, but I would like to say that I in no way intend for this tiny piece of virtual space to be a place to "toot my own horn", make my life seem enviable, or try and "out-do" anyone. I have simply started this blog because I enjoy to write--THAT'S IT-- and honestly, my ONLY material is from my own triumphs and struggles day in and day out.
It's so easy for anyone to hide behind cute little blurbs or sweet pictures of friends and family, but I have learned in the past few months that no one can hide forever, and eventually the heart will either be strangled with the constant expectation of approval from this world, or the mask will be ripped away leaving a pathetic naked soul.
Maybe there are those out there that like to paint a perfect picture of their lives and make everyone think they have it all together, but let me promise you, I am in NO way secure enough to even go there... although I do hope that I have matured enough spiritually, to realize the only way I am anything is when Christ is working in me, and even then, I hope that He gets the credit, not me. Because the ugly monsters of EGO and PRIDE are at constant war with every move I make and every word I say, I constantly pray that I am torn down enough to surrender them and not surrender to them.
It crossed my mind to end this blog of mine, wondering if anyone thought I was ego-centric, a show-off, or preachy...but I really don't want to give in to "what ifs" when I really do enjoy the past-time of writing and love the practice for my own books in my dreamy future. So read if you want, but don't expect me to "write to please" or write to boost my ego...I am writing to write.

Garden Entry #1- Training My Green Thumb

My thumb is more of a very light green, not completely there yet, but I am bound and determined to cultivate that landscape side of me which I spent 5 years of my hard working college years focusing on! Although we didn't take any classes on "gardening", my first attempt last year sparked a desire to perfect my plot of vegetables this year. Maybe because of my love for design, I have researched the best layout for my garden, and am excited to start! I am going to try a native american technique, called "companion planting" where you group plants that are beneficial to each other (like one is nitrogen bearing, and the other likes nitrogen rich soil...) Look here if you want to learn more about this technique:
I guess it's more of a science than an art, but having rhyme and reason suits me to a "t"! I will post pictures of my efforts after this weekend, which is when I plan to start. Right now, I am in the designing phase, and just like in Landscape Architecture, it's only about 10% of the work! ;)
Update: Below is my design...all you green thumbs out there, feel free to give me advice!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Odd Inspiration of a pretend novelist.

I must admit, the Facebook fast did set me straight...but WOW! it is easy to get sucked right back into it, especially because I thrive on constant communication (can we say I'm a product of my environment??) Anyway, if anyone sees me on it too much, feel free to i.m. me, "Angie, get a life!" Ha!

We are on our first camping trip of 2010, and have already made some great memories. For Cody's birthday, he received a photo book of our first year of camping, and I can already tell that this year's book will be double in size. Something that I would have never expected from sitting on a camper, breathing in smokey fire, scratching mosquito bites (first of the year), and listening to Cody and my five year old chatting like best friends well after the other two are asleep, is the sudden inspiration to write! Now, really, I guess I have associated writing with camping since I worked on both of my novels last camping season, mostly within the walls of this camper- so that's the probable explanation. But the past couple of weeks, I really put the whole writing thing on hold since my dreamy head was knocked into reality after being offered a couple of co-publishing contracts (wanting a CHUNK of moola) and several rejection letters from literary agents and a writing contest. None-the-less, this relaxing place where the boys cling to Daddy's outdoorsy side, leaves Mommy some time to herself, and I can't STAND not having something to writing is it!
I think I am going to start my rewrite of my second novel, a historical fiction that takes place in my grandmother's village in Greece. I wrote it in a whirlwind, so I will have plenty of writing to keep me busy ALL camping season! Maybe one day, I will fill one of my top tens (getting published) but right now I am fine just plugging away for my imagination's sake- and pretend I am a novelist. :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The harmony of same gender siblings...NOT!

I took a workshop a month ago on sibling rivalry. Coincidently, the speaker had three boys (grown now), and spoke from her own experience which resonated with my life right now. She pointed out that the toughest situation for this topic was same gender siblings, two years or less apart. Hmmm...all three of mine qualify! Today I wish she was here to coach me in my crazy, tear-filled tantrum house... I don't even have girls (who I am told are emotional...uh, so are boys!) What to do when the oldest has a friend over and his younger brother is just as excited to play with the friend, and is capable of keeping up intellectually? I remember growing up with my sisters and we played with friends TOGETHER...granted we each had an age appropriate friend in the group, but still!!
I will confess that I compromised a family rule, and coaxed the younger two boys away from the older kids with the Wii (something they are only allowed to play on the weekends). So we have peace, but there is no resolve to the situation, just a big fat band-aid. Part of me wants to give my oldest the chance to play with his friends alone, but after school is when his brothers look forward to playing with him. But then I think, tough luck, life's not fair, boys... get over it. This grumpy mama would rather not have anyone come over if it's going to cause the drama it caused today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Boy Mom to the Core

Okay, so I guess I really am destined to be a boy mom. I realized it today when I got super excited that one of the boys' friends invited them on a worm hunt after a day of rain! I took the boys outside with plastic knives, and showed them the wonder of cutting worms in half to make two worms. Oh my. I remember the joy of doing this as a child- tom boy all the way. Now I see part of God's plan in action!
more hunting....and the product of our dissection!


I am annoyed today. I have nothing big to be annoyed about, but little things have caused me to be extremely grumpy. First, AND FOREMOST, our dog Josie ran out of the backyard across three backyards because her electric fence isn't working. She has been easily tricked the past week- if her collar is on, she thinks the fence is on. But her sense of smell and the enticing robins that are abundant this year, had her sniffing several yards away and I had to load the boys up and drive to the next street to retrieve her. Did I mention it's nasty and wet outside? So now the passenger seat in my car is muddy with her paws. Of course this happens when I am suppose to be on my way to Bible study, so I feel rushed and flushed!
The dreary rain, and unsettled sleep through thunderstorms last night, must have triggered exceptional naughtiness in my three year old today, contributing to my mood. We walked a few steps out of his childcare room after Bible Study, and he had already mauled his way through people, almost knocked down some huge panels leaning against a wall, climbed onto a dolly where more panels were stacked, tried to escape to the church basement, and wrestled Christopher's jacket to the floor, lying sprawled out at the bottom of the church stairs. UUUGGGHH! He managed to top it off by fighting with his brother and poking Christopher's eye.
Now the kicker- Beth Moore talked about patience again today...and how passion and patience go hand in hand....the longing and the wait have to go together or else it's not waiting, it's just time passing.  Thanks, Beth! What a morning to talk about that! Usually I am pretty easily receptive to God's wisdom, but I just don't feel like it today.
I am LONGING for the stage Thomas is going through to be over, even though I know the wait may be a while. And I am LONGING for Cody to fix the fence, even though I know the wait on that WILL be a while especially with the stinkin' rain! So really, life is just passionate patience for me, and sometime my passion is not as pretty as it should be!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lessons from my Facebook Fast

After much consideration, I gave up Facebook for Lent. We don't really celebrate Lent, but my heart was overwhelmed with conviction of the "hold" that  the social network had on me. It was something that needed to be broken. What I found was, it really broke me- in a good way.
The noise of it was beginning to swell up into a chaos in my head, and I felt consumed with the update statuses, profiles, opinions, of the 300 + people that had befriended me...and no, it was absolutely NOBODY'S fault, but my own. God's ability to do a work in me was slowly being extinguished by late nights of paying no attention to Him but making sure I was keeping up with every acquaintance, and latest application on Facebook. My ugly narcissistic tendency was fed off of each witty comment or status update that I posted, or pride swelled up when I had something to gloat about and I could do it via the instant soapbox of my Wall. How LAME-O is that???
But really, the fast broke me from the virtual trance it had on my social well-being. How easy it was to find my social outlet through reading up on "friends" profiles, commenting on their updates, and worse, conjuring up tone and infliction to become insecure or offended by their virtual expression and impression of me! The dead of winter grew a big ugly monster in me, one of insecurity, obsessive compulsiveness, and pure ol' pride. But, during the 40 days of keeping in touch with my old friends by old-fashioned means, I was able to get to know newer friends face to face, and find my value back in real, live community! And as winter melted away during this lenten season, I established fresh roots in this Iowan soil, realizing that I am more settled here than I originally thought.
Never-the-less, you will see me on the website daily, because what I did find to be true, was my appreciation for the convenient way to keep in touch with old, old, OLD friends, newer friends, dear friends, and family. And how I missed being in the know, no matter how small and superficial, just to feel connected to the precious people that have crossed my path.
Overall, I can confidently say that Facebook definitely has a place in my life, but it doesn't have my time like it used too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sweet Liz on Easter Sunday

I spoke to a dear friend today. She is 70 years young, and we figured out that we have known each other for almost nine years now. It's taken almost eight of those years to realize how blessed I am to have a sister in Christ like Liz. She is such an amazing example of a woman who is totally dependent on God as she has NO family, never been married, and lost her parents in her teen years. I doubt a stranger would not figure out in less than two minutes that she follows Christ fervently...she is always praising God or declaring prayer requests whenever we speak. Her trials in life are foreign to me, things out of a fiction novel, but she allows them to refine her heart and shape her more and more like her Savior. If only she was online so she can see how highly I regard her...sometimes words don't come as easy on the phone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Family Tradition

Here are our family's Greek Easter Eggs! They came out better than I thought they would.
Dying Easter Eggs red is an ancient tradition in the Greek culture (I am 100% Greek). The red symbolizes Christ's blood, and the egg symbolizes His "Rebirth" (Resurrection). On Sunday morning we always play a game with the Easter eggs where one person says "Christos Anesti!" (Christ has risen), and the other person says, "Alathos Anesti!" (He has risen indeed)! and then they bang their eggs together (symbolizing the breaking of the tomb) and whichever egg is not cracked, is the winner! It's great fun! Happy Easter!