Friday, January 30, 2004

Friday Five!

It's that time again... :)

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?
It depends. If it happens during the day and Josh is at work, then I call him. If he's here with me...I'm not sure.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
I actually think this is a hard question. What I would really want is to pay off my home and then sell it and build a new house and decorate it how I would like. But that's not just for me. My other big wish list item right now is a new bed..but that's not just for me either :) So probably new clothes?

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
Supper! I'd probably take my friends out to celebrate!

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
Yes, first to my church, and then after that I'd have to do a lot of thinking and praying.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
Yes. And I have no idea, I would definitely need to find some people who could help me out!

What about you? Leave your answers in the comments, or put it on your blog and leave your link!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Reading & Watching

Of course my two fave things to do are reading and watching movies! I just finished off the O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson and am getting ready to read, "If I Gained the Whole World" by Linda Nichols. She also wrote the book "Not a Sparrow Falls", which was probably one of the best fiction novels I've read in a while.

As for movies, the other night Josh & I watched "Johnny English" with Rowan Atkinson (sorry if I messed up the spelling), or you may know him as Mr. Bean. Well we love Mr. Bean and find him totally hilarious and so we thought we'd watch this movie. Now it was funny in some parts. But you can only play the fumbling idiot spy for so long before it gets kind of old, and so this movie was kind of a drag overall. Oh well!
TOP PICKS for Blogger Idol Week 2

Drum roll, please.. :)

The following are all entries that stood out to me, in no particular order:

Anna --she and I must think on the same lines sometimes. I just totally understand where she's coming from!
needsomecoffee --freedom is found in security. Really liked this post.
Pressed --wonderful essay about free will vs. choice. Will make you think. Thanks for pressing us to know what we believe!
Jaded Angel -- very humorous. Some people who take the freedom of dress "too far" in her opinion.

And my most favorite post probably for this week is:
Frac -- I'm a sucker for fiction! Great job..loved it!

Be sure to check these out!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Blogger Idol Week 2: Freedom

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The darkness was suffocating as I lay in bed, shared with Josh, the only person who mattered in my life. The weight of my mistakes felt like a physical hold on me. I tried to stifle my tears as I wept uncontrollably. How different my life had become. How far from who I thought I was going to be, had I become. Josh shifted his weight and snuggled closer. He did love me. He did care, but even that wasn't enough to lift the sadness that I felt. Sensing I was awake, he leaned in for a kiss and felt the dampness on my cheeks.

"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Nothing, just a bad dream." I replied. He pulled me closer.
"What kind of dream?" he pried.
"The kind best forgotton." I said and turned to face him, snuggling close for warmth and assurance.
"You're unhappy." Josh stated. With the way he said it, I knew I had to explain. For he was not the source of my unhappiness and I couldn't bear the thought of him thinking he was.
"Yes, I am. If I died tonight, I know I wouldn't be with God when I woke. But I don't know where to go from here either." The emotions began to flow as I once again began to sob uncontrollably.
"I always thought that if you would just become more like me, we could be together and we would both be happy. But now that you have, your joy is gone and I can't stand to see you so unhappy." He pulled me closer and wept as well.

2 Months Later...

"You're pregnant." The doctor gave me a half smile, as if he wasn't for sure whether the news would be a happy or sad event. I managed a lopsided smile back and he continued, "This is a surprise." He stated it, sensing my fear.

"More like a heart attack." I laughed as I responded.
"Will your parents be a good support system?" he asked, genuninely concerned.
"Probably not, but my boyfriend will be." I replied trying to sound more confident than I felt.
"There are other options." he said.
"No, there aren't. Not for me." He nodded and said he would get me a referral for a doctor and a prescription for prenatal vitamins until I could schedule an appointment. I thanked him, took my papers and made my way to the waiting room and paid my bill. I made it to my car before I completely fell apart.

Pregnant! I was 18 and pregnant, unmarried. Oh God! How could I have gone so far! Once again I felt so trapped, surrounded by darkness even though it was daylight outside.

I picked Josh up from work and I didn't even have to say anything. He just reached over and held me for a long time. When we parted he looked in my eyes and said, "I love you. We will make this work...together. Marry me."

I looked at him and wanted so much to say yes and have the "happily ever after", but I couldn't ask that of him. To give up his life for me and a baby. Sensing my doubt, he took my hand, "Don't even think of saying no. I'm not walking away."

It was settled. I would marry him. The next few weeks were a blur as we made definitive plans before we told our parents. We knew that if we already had plans in place, it would help our parents to see us not only as a couple but as logical thinkers. We found a trailer and decided on a simple ceremony, no big flashy wedding, just a simple dress and him in his suit and tie. Now all that was left was to tell the family the news.

He dropped me off at home before he drove home for the night. I hoped it was too late for my mom to be up, but she was in the living room.

"I got this in the mail today." It was an envelope addressed to me from Department of Family Services, already opened.
"You opened my mail?" I blurted.
"You want to explain?" she asked, hurt evident on her face.
"I'm pregnant. Josh and I are getting married. We have a trailer in town....I'm sorry." I finished lamely.
"When were you going to tell me?" she shouted. We were both crying now.
"I don't know, things have just happened so fast."
"I'm not taking care of that child."
"I didn't expect you to."
"How could you?"
"I'm sorry." Silence..unending silence it seemed. Finally mom spoke, softer this time,
"You don't have to marry him you know?"
"I want to. He's a good man." More silence. Then mom stood up and walked out of the room. I have never felt so alone.

1 Month Later

Telling his parents didn't go much better. Again the reassurance that "they" weren't going to raise that child, and how could we have been so stupid. But wedding plans were made, and as time had passed, both parents wanted the marriage at least to have a proper start with a wedding and had offered to help in various ways. It would still be small, but at least memorable and the family would attend.

Now it was time to get everything out in the open. Tomorrow, Josh and I would stand before our church and let them know what was going on. During the last few months Josh had learned that there was a God who loved him and forgave him and wanted to be the Rock for him to lean on during this time. Josh had given his life to that Rock. Hope surged. It might work. Oh God, please let it work. I am so sorry. How many times had I said that? A gazillion. Was it enough? Was the sorry for going against what He wanted enough? I didn't know.

"God, please, somehow show me it is enough. I have nothing left to give." I prayed as I tried to rest. The baby inside of me moved. How I had grown to love this little one. How confusing it was to love something that came about as a mistake. As sin.
"Oh God, help me to know how to feel." Sleep came, many hours later.

The Next Morning

The service seemed to last an eternity. Song after song, words and more words. I couldn't concentrate on any of them. Then at last, the last prayer and the pastor moved forward once again. This was it. I heard him say something about forgiveness, something about restoring those with a repentant heart and the next thing I new Josh and I were moving toward the stage. Somehow, I managed to climb the steps. Then I heard Josh talking, crying, and talking and then somehow I managed to begin talking and weeping. Looking into the faces of people who had loved me since I was a child. And when I looked, they didn't have angry faces, but many were weeping as well. Finally, Pastor Scott took over and prayed for us and then told the congregation that they could do whatever God had called them to do. As I stood to the side, trying to control my weeping, I saw a line begin to form heading toward the front. Toward me and Josh. Person after person clung to me and looked me in the eye and said "I forgive you."

Then, Donna came to me. She hugged me close and then looked in my face with tears streaming down her face and she said, "I've always told Miranda to look up to you. That you were a good model of a girl who's heart was for God." I dipped my head as I worried as to what would come next. This was a woman who had taken time out for me, prayed with me. Someone who I had truly disappointed. Someone who she had told her daughter to look up to, and I had let her down. Oh God forgive me!

She struggled with her emotions and finally caught my gaze and said, " And I still will."

The darkness lifted. And I was standing in the light once again. It was enough.

That was the day I learned what freedom was about. Freedom from the bondage of sin. True freedom can only come from God. When I needed tangible freedom from my sin, God gave it to me in the form of a woman who could have so easily been angry with me, but instead gave me the sweet taste of forgiveness and freedom. He's still there today offering me freedom in Him. Freedom from the enslavement of my own desires. And He does for you too.

This story is based on a true story. It's my story. It's been awhile, so exact wording and the timeline might be a bit off, but the heart of the story is true. My hope by repeating the story is that someone else may find freedom as well.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Movie Review: Anger Management

I should preface this by saying I'm not much of an Adam Sandler OR Jack Nicholson fan. I did enjoy Mr. Deeds & The Wedding Singer of Adam Sandler, so I thought I would give this one a try.

And it was funny. There were several scenes that I laughed out loud and thought were very clever. But unfortunately Mr. Sandler took a lot of the jokes too far (as he often does) and instead of being funny, they were crass and disgusting.

There were two things that bothered me a lot. One was a scene where two girls kiss and that just grossed me out. And the other was when Dave (Sandler) talked about molesting a mentally disabled person. Both were done for laughs, but I didn't laugh at either one. It kind of made me ill that people thought these things would be funny. So those things kind of ruined most of the movie for me.

I did like that the movie pointed out that people who don't deal with their anger have just as much of an anger problem as those of us who explode. (I'm an exploder...a closet exploder..just those close to me have seen me explode, and the few people in traffic who have witnessed my angry face and pointing from inside the car..lol) I thought that the idea of facing the things that have made you what you are today was also a good idea. Now I don't agree with how the confrontation occurred, but I think it can be very good to go back and tell the person that you are angry with that you are angry and you were hurt. Most of the time the person probably doesn't care, but at least you get it out there and can go on. At least in my personal experience it has been the best course of action.

Anyway, back to the movie...Jack Nicholson is just too strange for me. I'm not sure I can think of any movie that I've seen that I've liked him in. He plays a better bad guy than a good guy for sure.

Then of course there are the kooky music numbers that have become classic Adam Sandler. And several cameos that were fun to watch for. Rob Schneider did not appear though :( But Mayor Rudy Guilani (sp?) did shout "YOU CAN DO IT!", which was pretty funny. The guy who played the butler in Mr. Deeds was in this one too as Chuck, Dave's anger ally. Marisa Tomei, Dave's girlfriend, did a good job..I always like her.

So overall my opinion is to leave it on the shelf because it isn't worth wading through the crap to see the funny stuff.

If you've seen it, I would love to hear your opinion!
Friday Five!

At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...song?
Ugh, at this moment...probably Holy by Nicole Nordeman (sorry if I spelled it incorrectly!)

2. ...food?
without a doubt... spaghetti !

3. ...tv show?
Is there really anything else on TV? SURVIVOR BABY!

4. ...scent?
my husband...I know that sounds weird, but I don't know how to explain it.

5. ...quote?
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Blogger Idol Top Picks

Oh my goodness, that took forever. I have now read through MOST of the posts. I have glanced at ALL of them. I don't know how I'm going to do this week after week. I just don't have the TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But here are a few of my faves (in no particular order)

Deneice --she loved Strawberry Shortcake too and for that, she gets on my list :)
Loobylu -- absolutely great graphics and a way cool web design.
Pressed--for his honesty.
Christop--his parents really wanted him to become an artist I think :)
Heather--she took me on a quick trip down memory lane, very fluid post.
Anna--I can so identify with the mom who had no concept as to fashion!
Luke --interesting tribute to the songs of the 80s!

And that's my list.

(side note: I figured out how to put the links to the names all by myself..GO Me!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Comments!

It seems that my comments haven't been working properly lately :( What a bummer. They are fixed now and I apologize to my faithful reader, Brian, who probably thought he was being ignored while I thought that he found me rather boring and had nothing to say! lol! Confusion how entertaining! I did have one other person leave a comment..Beth Sargent! I had made a comment on her blog awhile back and she checked me out and asked me a question and since I've never replied back she probably moved on :( I will email her so I don't seem like a complete snob, just a little ignorant when it comes to the technical aspects! Thanks for your comments!

Just For Fun

These are the answers to a test I took that I found on Brian's Blog!

1. The person who you are walking with is the most important person in your life.

You were walking with: Josh

WHOO HOO :)

2. The size of the animal is representative of you perception of the size of your problems.

Animal you saw: deer

That is very interesting..

3. The severity of the interaction you have with the animal is representative of how you deal with your problems (passive/aggressive).

Your interaction: none

lol..if anyone knows me, they know this is NOT true :)

4. The size of your dream house is representative of the size of your ambition to resolve your problems.

Size of your dream house: It's massive..the biggest house I've ever seen.

LOL..too funny :)

5. The absence fence is indicative of an open personality: People are welcome at all times. The presence of a fence indicates a closed personality: You'd prefer people not to drop by unannounced.

You have a fence: no

Very accurate :)

6. If your answer did not include food, people, or flowers, then you are generally unhappy.

In the dining area you saw: It's a dark wood with high back chairs with no cushions. There are candles and a vase of wildflowers for a centerpiece. The room is very lighted. Lots of windows letting in natural light with greenery all around.

FLOWERS!

7. The durability of the material with which the cup is made of is representative of the perceived durability of your relationship with the person named in number 1. For example, Styrofoam, plastic, and paper are all disposable, metal and plastic are durable.

The cup was made of: foam

Come on, how often do you see a metal cup outside?

8. Your disposition of the cup is representative of your attitude towards the person in number 1.

What you did with the cup: pick it up to put in the trash

I don't think so..

9. The size of the body of water is representative of the size of your sexual desire.

Body of water: an ocean

Oh my gosh..face is red!

10. How wet you get in crossing the water is indicative of the relative importance of your sex life.

To cross the water you: I won't

lol..poor Josh :)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Blogger Idol

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Well let's see, the first week of Blogger Idol, and the topic is the 80s! The 80s? Come on people. At the end of the 80s I was a whopping 12 years old! lol Hmm... Things I remember from the 80s...

Strawberry Shortcake (she rocked..and she's coming back!)
My dad passing away (not a happy memory..but it happened in 84)
My first year at Camp Maranatha (85)
My first trip to Six Flags (86)
Meeting my future husband (at Camp! --85)
Rainbow Brite
Garbage Pail Kids (who in the world would have ever thought they would have taken off?)
Learning to read

Hmm, that's not alot :( Thanks to the show on VH1 entitled "I Love the 80s" I am able to enjoy a glimpse back in time, but beyond that I'm afraid I have very little to say!

So nothing ingenious for this round, I believe I've got my work cut out for me :)! I think I'll go take a look at what everyone else had to say!

Friday, January 16, 2004

Friday Five

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?
I don't have a signature that I use everytime, but if it's an email for The Crossover (a formal one anyway) I use:

Keeping you informed,
Shawna Ridgley
Administrative Assistant for The Crossover
217-932-6291
shawna@thecrossover.org

The sad part? I had to look it up because I wasn't for sure what it said..lol

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?

No, I didn't have a senior quote. But I was voted "Most Dramatic" and "Most Likely to Travel the World"

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?

JSRJQ 5 is what I would like to have and each letter is the beginning letter to each person in my family!

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?

I got a bracelet from my mom when I was little and it has my name, Shawna, on it. I also got a cool pin that has been twisted in to my name in cursive and has my birthstone on it. It's pretty cool too.

5. What would you like your epitaph to be?

lol..I have no idea, but I would like it to be funny. I am so not reverent about the dead and I don't know if that's good or bad. But people are dead, they're gone, if you wanted to say something nice to them, you should have said it while they were alive. I guess if I used the epitaph as my last words to the world, I might say "May the bird of life that flies over your head always be constipated." lol..Ok so maybe not, but I don't know what I would put.
Blogger Idol

I signed up for Blogger Idol, which is kind of a "contest" (I use that word very loosely) for bloggers. A guy named Darren will put a theme on his blog for all of us to write about on our blogs and we can check out what each other have said and then I think we can also post on whose ideas we liked best or something like that. Anyway, it's not really a contest so to speak as a chance to share ideas and generate attention to your blog. My hope is that it will get me to have something interesting to blog about! lol

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

BOOKS!

I have been reading a lot lately. I finished "Wild At Heart" back before Christmas I think.
Excellent book! I highly recommend it to all men and to women who are willing to take an honest look at a man's journey to become a man and to be open to how we, as women, have at times taken away men's manhood. Great book. I believe it has definitely made me a better wife and mother!

I'm also reading back through the O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson. They are fairly light reading, in a way, but she always brings new light to the different questions non-believers raise as to why they don't believe. I love the O'Malley family and it has given me a good picture of what family means and what I'm searching for.
SURVIVOR!

I really enjoy the game show Survivor! And I'm excited as the next one is the All-Stars! It will be Sunday, Feb. 1 right after the Superbowl!!! I caught the CBS Early Show telling who the 18 survivors will be.. and here they are!

From Pulau Tiga: Jenna L, Susan, Rudy, Richard
From Australian Outback: Tina, Colby, Alicia, Amber, Jerri
From Africa: Ethan, Lex, Tom
From Marquesas: Kathy, Boston Rob M
From Thailand: Shii-Ann
From Amazon: Jenna M, Rob C.
From Panama Islands: Rupert

Chapera Tribe will be: Alicia, Amber, Rob C., Rob M (Boston Rob), Susan, Tom
Saboga Tribe will be: Ethan, Jenna L., Jerri, Rudy, Rupert, Tina
Moga Moga Tribe will be: Colby, Jenna M (the winner), Lex, Kathy, Richard, Shii-Ann

It will be in Panama at the Pearl Island location again. They said that the way they chose who was going to be on the All-Stars was they asked all 112 who have participated before whether they were available. Then from those available they looked at who were the faves of the public and who had created the most drama etc. 2 people they picked said no..they didn't say who it was though. There 18 survivors this time and there will be 3 tribes, but that's all they really said. They asked Jeff Probst whose torch he was looking forward to snuffing the most and he thought for awhile and then said probably Richard Hatch because "he needs it". It definitely should be interesting and entertaining!
Friday Five!

Just a little behind this week..sorry! Actually there is no Friday Five for last week, so I'm doing the one for Dec. 26 since I missed that one with the holidays and all!

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
Let's start with a hard one huh? Hmm.. biggest accomplishment? Probably facing some issues with my past. It was difficult, but working through it is bringing about a healing that couldn't have happened any other way.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
That's something I'd rather not say out loud.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?
More understanding of people who don't know God.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
NO!

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

We had a party at our house with our best friends, The Millers and my adopted sister Nikki :)



Friday, January 02, 2004

Happy New Year!

The last couple of weeks have been a blur! I was hoping that Christmas Break would be a time spent relaxing with the family, watching good movies, playing fun games, and maybe even reading a few new books! Oh my goodness, that has not happened! I have got to spend some good time with family that while it was fun ended up being under strained circumstances. My grandmother was sick the week before Christmas and got really bad the week of Christmas and finally passed on the day after Christmas. While we all know where she is and are thankful that she is no longer suffering, it was a stressful time for all of us.

Also, right before Christmas we found out that my oldest son will have to get tubes put back in his ears :( The procedure is fairly simple and there should be no complications, but we were hoping that this problem would be far behind us by now and instead it might stick around a bit longer. So we go Tuesday, Jan. 6 to have that done, and to make matters a bit more sticky, Josh will be unable to go with me because the other guy he works with took vacation that day. So prayers are greatly appreciated.

As I was thinking today, I was kind of astounded at the things that have happened the last couple of weeks and wondered why everything seems to happen at once. And the reason usually is, because it makes me forget about God. Not completely mind you, just enough that He sits on the back shelf where I throw in a few..help me out here God a couple of times. How easily I allow that to happen, but am thankful that He gently reminds me in many ways that He is there to carry what I'm going through. Thanks God!

Friday Five
(I missed last weeks--sorry!)

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

1. ...today?
My hubby coming home from work!

2. ...over the next week?
Getting through Jacob's surgery!

3. ...this year?
Camping with my family this summer!

4. ...over the next five years?
I have no idea.

5. ...for the rest of your life?
Just seeing where God takes me and my family!