Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Howdy Ho!

BOOKS

Started The Presence by T. Davis Bunn yesterday. It's really interesting. It is not linked to The Warning or The Ultimatum (also by T. Davis Bunn). It is based around the character TJ Case who is a lawyer. He was a Congressman, but crossed party lines to help a friend get into Congress and then ended up losing his seat. Anyway, I'm only on chapter 4, but it has some really great characters. One thing I appreciate about the books I have read of Bunn's, is that his characters are struggling to accept who God has called them to be and have to make huge sacrifices for God. I think it has been helpful as I have thought about my "major decision". Anyway, very interesting.

I haven't chosen my next non-fiction book yet. I only have like 12 I would like to read..lol :) But at the rate I read non-fiction that could take me a year.

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

My daughter had her first soccer practice last night. She was too funny. A total bundle of energy and she would just fly towards the ball but really had no clue what to do with it once she had it. She couldn't remember who was on her team and kept getting confused as to which way to kick it! But she had a great time and that's what is important right? :)

As a mom who has never been a part of the soccer sport, I was disappointed by the fact that not one person really helped me out as to what was going on. I saw a few familiar faces (from around school), but no one came up to help me feel "included". It was very odd. I have heard it said that church leagues (of any sport) are the worst to play on. And I unfortunately am beginning to wonder if it's true. With softball, everyone was very nice and we would talk as practice was going on and learn little things about each other. But walking out to the soccer field, it became very obvious that everyone knew everyone else and that I was the outsider. It was awkward--very awkward. And frustrating! Part of me just wanted to say "forget it" and go home. And probably would have if my daughter hadn't had a great time.

So as I think about that experience it brings to me a sense of urgency to make sure our church doesn't become like that. That when a new person walks through the door we are friendly and welcoming and willing to "show them the ropes". And how important that not just one person does that, but several--so the new person really feels like they are being accepted and really wanted there. Help me God to remember that every Sunday, regardless of what is going on, the most important thing is to make people feel Your love in a tangible way.

Would love to hear about your experiences of being an "outsider" or creative ways you've helped others not feel like an "outsider"! Feel free to Sound Off!

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Hey, Hey, Hey--look who's back :) Maybe I'd be better at weekly blogging? lol.

BOOKS

I FINISHED IT! :) ( For Better or For Best that is) Smalley is big into practical ideas. Which I appreciate, but at times get frustrated because I can be sort of an anal person and think if I just do this, this and this, this will happen. Which is hardly EVER true unless you are doing math! But I probably learned three important lessons (nothing new here--just good reminders)

1. Don't assume you know everything.
2. If you do assume so, be willing to apologize everytime you are proven wrong.
3. And when you actually do know something, don't rub it in.

:) lol. Ok, just kidding (sort of). The main theme throughout the book is the same thing I hear over and over in every book I read about relationships and every person I've ever known who has went to marital counseling gets the same theme as well--"If you want a better marriage, you are going to have to be willing to change." No matter who you are or what the situation is, you cannot coerce, manipulate, persuade, or bribe your mate into being who you want them to be. You have to become who God wants you to be and delight in your mate because you love your mate unconditionally, not because you want something. :)

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Have you ever had a decision to make and you just can't seem to decide? I'm not usually that way. I'm usually very decisive. But man right now, I'm stuck. God seems totally silent on the subject and I've polled most of my friends and have gotten very little response because it's one of those big decisions that no one really wants to say their opinion for fear that they might be steering you wrong. It's one of those major decisions that will affect every little part of your entire life--it's a turn your life upside down kind of decision. And God seems silent. I would think He would have a lot to say about this, but He seems to just be waiting. And I HATE waiting--lol. Of course He knows that, and I'm sure He's grinning at me right now. Patience my child. In due time my daughter. Or am I not listening? What if He's telling me and I'm not listening? Ugh..I really hate these kinds of things :) I know I'm learning something through this process. And I know He has a plan. I just don't want to miss it, ya know?

Would love to hear about the times God has seemed to be "silent" and how it all turned out! Sound Off!

Saturday, August 24, 2002

It's me again:)

First things first.

Heylo Brian:)thanks for reading:)

Where to start.
We went and looked at the car.
The car was in great shape for being 15 years old. It ran good, drove nice, all that usual stuff you look for in a car.
While talking to the lady who was selling it we found out that she was selling it becuase her husband in filing for divorce AGAIN.
Made me kinda feel bad for thinking of offering her less than what she wanted.
No incase your wondering we didn't buy it. yet:)

Still trying to figure why I have my job :)
There have been several conversations arise that have been about church/religion kinda conversations ,if ya know what I mean.
I have tried to voice my opinion without offense or "sterotypical" retort to somthing or anyone.


Family time!!!!
That's a huge one.
The kids have developed an interest in video games.
Been attempting to bond/play at the same time with them.

Well as you can see it's very late ( I think good when the house(people in it) is asleep.)
For some strange reason I have a craving for some Cap't N crunch ( which we don't have in the house) of course
So I reckon I'll just go to bed.
Got a big day ahead later on so .......

Catch Ya later

Josh

p.s. Goodnight Brian

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Just wanted to let you know that I made it through today with flying colors! :) Ha ha. And my daughter had a great time as well :) I dropped her off at her room and said hello to her teacher. Then her teacher told her to go to the playground until the bell rang and that was that. I was smiled at politely and got the hint that this was my cue to exit. So I went to the van and reminded myself how much my daughter loves school and what a great day today was for her. I managed to choke back the burning sensation in my throat and nose and the tears that pooled in my eyes remained there. :) When I went back to pick her up she ecstatically told me all about her morning and who was in her class and the rules and that their class got 1 point today (which is a good thing)! (when they get 15 they get 5 extra minutes of recess!!) And she gloated over the fact that I had homework! She just thought that was hilarious. (just some papers to sign and a handbook to look over--typical first day materials). Anyway, the morning went well and my daughter is anxiously awaiting tomorrow when she'll actually get to "learn stuff" as she puts it. :) Thank you God for her..and thanks for watching out for her.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

HEY! It's me! Wow, remember me? lol. I know, I'm terrible at this everyday blogging stuff. I always wanted to have a diary growing up and my mom would buy me one and I would write in it for like 5 days straight and then I wouldn't write in it again for like another 4 months or so. I just have never been able to keep up with stuff like that. ANYWAY--

BOOKS

Yes, I'm STILL reading For Better or For Best. As I read it I keep thinking that all his ideas seem manipulative. Like if I implemented them I would be trying to be someone I'm not. I'm one of those spontaneous people ya know..I tend to say or feel or think the first thing that comes to me and unfortunately it usually falls out of my mouth as well. I am much better at tempering that now as I have seen how destructive it can be to relationships. But it's still always there right beneath the surface, threatening to take over if I let my guard down. I think the book is good--I do, I think I'm just negative about it because it seems overwhelming :)

I read The Ultimatum by T. Davis Bunn a week or so ago. It was the sequel to The Warning . I liked this one better I think. Maybe it was just because I understood what was going on better or something. The Warning dealt alot with economics and the stock market and bank stuff and I just didn't know what they were talking about most the time so it was confusing. The Ultimatum deals more with the characters and relationships and I could identify better with it. So it was pretty good.

I'm getting ready to start The Presence by T. Davis Bunn. I'm not sure if it goes along with the other two or not. The cover and stuff is similar in fonts and coloring, but it doesn't say anything like it's supposed to be book 3 or anything. And the back reads as if it is a completely different story. So I don't know--stay tuned and I'll figure it out :)

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

I never did get my watermelon seed question answered. I haven't had time to get online and research that. Hopefully within the next couple weeks I'll have some time to get that done.

Life has been so crazy lately. My daughter's first day of first grade is tomorrow! So we've been busy getting the school supplies and getting things ready and spending time together before she goes back again.

I absolutely can't stand her going to school..lol. I know that sounds crazy but it's true. She is ecstatic. Always has been about school. Even before she was going to preschool she would talk about "when" she gets to go to school etc. And I'm really grateful and glad she enjoys it. But it's really difficult for me to turn her over to people I don't know very well and for her to spend more time a week with them than with me. It's scary and heartbreaking. I can't imagine what I'll be like when she goes off to college or gets married or decides she wants to live in some big city 2000 miles from me. lol. But at the same time I'm so proud of her. She's so confident and carefree and excited and eager. It's great. She's a great kid. I guess this is where trusting God comes in huh? :) I'll make it.

Well, I guess thats it for right now. Feel free to share your thoughts with us!




Thursday, August 15, 2002

Blah Blah Blah

What to say????/

Is there realy anything worth saying?


Yes for that one(Hi Brian:) faithfull reader we have. I do reaize it's been a few days since my last post:0
BTW thanks for my FIRST comment:)

Been thinking of lots of things lately.

1. My Job: Why do i have it? Mostly:)
I know why I have to have a job, but why this one?
Since I'm here, I am trying to see what God's plan is for me here?

2. A second car for our family.
We need one.
We have one that is a possibility of buying but do we want to spend that much money on a 2nd car?

3. Been watching several movies that seem to have a running theme(unknowingly when i picked them out)
How much time ( quality time) do i spend with my family? as a whole and as individuals?


Well all this thinking has got my brain hurting so I'm gonna go for now
Chat later

Josh



Friday, August 09, 2002

Hey I'm back:)

After being busy with other details in life.
Gettin ready to leave tonight to go to St. Louis
to visit my Parents.

Hopefully with a new week coming up I will be
able to update more often:)

Well TTFN

Josh

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Ok I'm back and hopefully all will go well, no strike that--all WILL go well :) Anyway, forgive me for being gone so long. Life got crazy (as it tends to do from time to time) and I just got sidetracked. Like one of my best friends, Brian (see What It's All About link), I am not a disciplined person. While I would like to be, I suffer from procrastination which delays every good intention that I have :) ANYWAY---

BOOKS

Ok so I still haven't finished For Better or For Best by Gary Smalley. But I AM still reading it. (that counts right?) It does have a lot of good information, but to be quite honest, the more I read it, the more I realize I know less and less about being married and I have to come face to face with how selfish I truly am and well, that's depressing.

In Chapter 6 (entitled Motivating Your Husband to Change) Smalley discussed six qualities every woman needs to develop to be able to encourage her husband to listen to her needs and to gain a desire to meet those needs. The qualities are as follows:

1. Courage: The inner commitment to pursue a worthwhile goal without giving up hope.
2. Persistence: Continuing to pursue a goal until it is achieved.
3. Gratefulness: A sincere appreciation for the benefits received from others.
4. Calmness: An inner peace that allows you to respond quietly to a stressful situation without fear.
5. Gentleness: Showing tender consideration for the feelings of another.
6. Genuine Love: Meeting the needs of another, prior to your own personal needs being met.


Ok, so as I look over this list, I have to cringe. Out of this list of six, I would say persistence is the only quality I see in my character that manifests itself on a consistent basis. All the others I have seen at times, but are in no way a daily way of life. But the more I read the more I keep saying to God, "I can't do this." As I read the steps he outlines to help bring "marital bliss", I say "that's just not me." Then I get even more bummed. But then I began to realize, these qualities etc that he talks about, are very similar (if not exactly the same) to the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22 & 23 (let me refresh your memory--and mine!)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

And so as this thought passes through my mind, I'm encouraged because just as I cannot conjure up the fruits of the Spirit, I don't believe I can conjure up the six qualities stated above. It's from God. It's not about me. It's about loving God and allowing God to work in me and His Spirit produces the love, joy, etc. And His spirit will also produce in me the courage and persistence and all the other qualities--if I yield to Him.

I think we try to make things so complicated by figuring out the latest communication techniques to improve our relationships or trying to decide what kind of punishments we should provide when our children disobey or what to do when things go wrong, when really it all comes down to giving our lives to God and following Him daily. He will give us the strength to make it through each thing that comes our way--if only we turn to Him. I know in my own life there have been many times when instead of immediately turning to Him, I turn to a friend or relative, or book, or magazine to figure out how to deal with what's going on. Don't get me wrong, these things can be a help, they can give you some really practical advice. But the bottom line is that it all comes back to your relationship with God and if you're allowing Him to produce His fruits through your life or if you are trying to do it on your own. :)

Ok, so back to the books I'm reading. The Warning by T. Davis Bunn was pretty good. Not a great read, but interesting. It's about a man who is called by God to warn God's people that an economic disaster is coming. It is a part of a series, but I'm not sure what the other books are, I'll let you know. :)

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

I guess I really already did that earlier. :)

Thanks for reading..please feel free to sound off!

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I just wrote a really long post and then lost everything I had written. So when I'm not quite so frustrated I will rewrite it and publish it, until then.. :)