Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Person I Want to Be

I have a new question to ask myself when deciding if I want to do a particular activity. "Will it contribute to becoming the person that I want to be?"

I plan to spend some time this week studying about the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. I foolishly agreed to do Sabbath School Superintendant's remarks this Sabbath & I've decided that's the topic I want to discuss. I really really don't do well up front. I talk fast, forget to breath & sometimes come close to fainting. I've been criticized for, get this, my prayer up front (it was too long, because I mentioned all the prayer requests), so you can imagine how anxious I am to pray up front. Last Sabbath the wife of the person who criticized me read something about ignoring destructive criticism.

I guess it really isn't about me, is it? At least it shouldn't be. I really think that if I was truly filled with the Holy Spirit, I wouldn't have any room to worry about what other people thought about me. The more I compare myself to the person I want to be, the more unhappy I am. My sense of self-worth goes down the toilet & I can't be a blessing to others because I'm caught up in my own depression & feelings of worthlessness. I'm beginning to see that this is a trap of the devil & the only way to beat him is to change my focus & ask for more of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I guess what's more important than what I want to be is what does God want me to be? I wish I were the kind of wife who made her own clothes, had a meal schedule planned out at the beginning of the month, kept all her papers in order, had a tidy house AND garage, so that I could keep my car in it. I wish I were a girl who exercised at least 30 minutes every day & did weight training. I wish I were the kind of person who was debt free & wrote letters to & gave gifts to people I loved & supported the ministry & went on mission trips or was a full-time missionary. I wish I were the kind of wife that always had the house clean & ready for company. I wish I never wasted any time but was always productive, because I often tie my self-worth to how much I've accomplished in a day, week, month or year. I wish I was the kind of person that wrote letters to the kids I sponsor in India. I wish I were the kind of person that weeded my tiny little yard & had it manicured nicely, complete with a small garden in the summer. I wish I was more well read & could carry on more intelligent conversations. I wish I never left the house before having my devotions. I wish...I liked me.

I could swear there was a time when I did & it was the times when more of the above descriptions fit me. It's time to shift my focus off of me & toward having more of the Holy Spirit. Then I'd only have to worry about 1 thing: Am I doing what He wants me to be doing? Then nothing else will really matter. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness & self-control will come naturally then & maybe even spread to others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2 Trips Since My Last Post!

This blog is more for me than anyone as a reminder of these special, awful & unforgettable times, so I'm not going to apologize for the length of this post.

Olin & I went on a road trip to Iowa for Olin's aunt's wedding reception. We drove up through snow to Denver on Wed evening October 21st, stayed with our friend Eric, then drove to Iowa, on Thur the 22nd, Olin's 2nd anniversary of his 29th birthday. We drove through rain, sleet & snow the whole way. I should rephrase that. Olin did all the driving. Poor guy. We got to see Olin's mom & I got to meet Olin's cousin Kristle & her little baby Lawson.

We drove home on Monday the 26th - LONG day. Enjoyed a pre-thanksgiving food drive that the pathfinder club did dropping off bags on Wednesday & picking up full ones on Sabbath afternoon instead of trick-or-treating. Enjoyed sorting the various food types. Didn't enjoy the phone call I got from my dad on Thursday the 29th. When I heard him sniffling on the phone, I thought grandma had passed away. Instead it was my cousin Ryan - killed in a motorcycle accident. Shock. Ryan was the youngest of all 11 cousins. We were all pretty close as kids. The pain that I felt was mostly of regret of not knowing him better but glad of all the time I'd had a privilege to know him. I just knew he'd make some girl really lucky one day. Such a sweet tender selfless person. Every animal loved Ryan. An unimaginable loss...

Sunday the 1st of November I flew to Orlando, FL via Phoenix. I had determined that tragedies, although unable to be undone, can sometimes bring about good things. I determined to make the most of my trip & I did. I enjoyed playing Carcassonne in the Phoenix aiport with you & Jeff, Cassandra. Thanks again for coming out!

Monday was spent surveying the vastness of the clutter at my dad's house. My mom & sis had flown in on Saturday. They stayed in my old room & I stayed on the futon couch in the living room. My mom scanned in pictures of Ryan from our old photo albums & I helped her pick out Bible texts for the pages of a photo book she was putting together on Walgreens.com for the family.

Tuesday was hard. We all (my dad, brother, sis, mom & I) piled in my dad's car & drove the 1 1/2 hours down to Avon Park. On the way, another car almost ran us off the road & didn't even realize it. My heart could barely handle it. The thought flashed through my mind in that instance that my ENTIRE immediate family was ironically going to be killed on the way to a funeral. Thankfully that didn't happen. We got down there & headed to the church just in time for the viewing. I was afraid to go in & see him in the casket. When I finally got up the courage to look, I realized it wasn't him in there & breathed a sigh of relief. It's just a shell & it didn't even look like him - swollen from having bled out, according to my uncle. The service & the ceremony were very touching. All but one of the cousins came & the aunts & uncles were there. The community support, the EMTs, the Firefighters, the Honor guard, the Motorcycle gang, the family, the letter from Ryan's mom that was read, the flowers, the cars that stopped on the side of the road out of respect, the bagpipes, the last call from dispatch for a fallen brother, the flag on his casket - I'll never forget any of it. I can't describe the mixture of peace & sadness. I don't fear for his salvation. His mom said he gave his heart to the LORD & followed up with classes & was part of a youth group. His salvation is in God's hands & I have peace about it.

Baby Ryan

Happy Picture

Ryan Saves a Cat

Ryan's Service

Wednesday I drove back down to Avon park to be with family some more. Priceless time. Visited with grandma in the nursing home. Shared stories with aunt Selma & grandpa. Shared with grandma how the service was & all the honor that was paid to Ryan. She broke down & cried saying, "What good does it do when they're gone?" This made me cry. It was her youngest grandchild & she commented on what a good boy Ryan was.

We went to my aunt Ruthie's for lunch & got to visit with my cousin Hank some. Aunt Sam & Tanya invited me to stay in their hotel with them so I did. My cousin Travis took us to the Olive Garden for dinner. We had some really great "Olive Garden therapy" there.

Thursday I visited my friend Jessica, who was my wedding planner. Met her 2 cute kids & was encouraged by her awesome parenting skills.

Friday mom & sis had to fly back to California. I was able to take Narcissa shopping first. We had a good time at the mall.

Friday evening my dad, brother & I went to see some old friends, the Neubranders. Tim & his wife were there & Michael. Ben & I grew up with them. We played at each other's houses, made forts, climbed trees, played hide & go seek in the grass in our back yard. Tim liked me & I liked Michael, who was younger than me. Go figure. It's fun to reconnect. We're practically siblings & we hadn't spoken in years.

Sabbath my Aunt Arlene came & picked me up & took me to the church retreat at Wekiva state park. So many familiar faces. I went to that church from Cradle roll on. Almost none of my peers are there anymore. Went canoeing with my uncle Mark. Stayed after supper for games. Saw some friends from Texas that I didn't expect to see & saw Luis Gracia, who was a task force worker/youth pastor at my church while I was in high school.

Sunday hung out at the house with dad. Monday shopped for some Indian groceries, picked up my favorite Bollywood movie, Kuch Naa Kaho for $1.50, visited with Luis at the church, went thrift store shopping with my childhood friend Amy. Took my brother out for dinner at his friend Jesse's cuban restaurant.

Tuesday flew back to Albuquerque via Atlanta (ALMOST didn't make my connecting flight due to Ida's weather system) then drove home. Got home just in time to get dressed in my pathfinder uniform & go to the church for a Veteran's program the school kids put on. What a nice program. I wish more people from the community had come but we were glad at how many came, especially the veterans.

Today was Veteran's Day & the Pathfinders put together a small parade downtown. Afterward, Les, Karla, Olin & I went to lunch. We had a nice visit but the subject was a tough one & my heart is heavy over some information they shared with us. I'm praying for them as they deal with a more than difficult situation today & in the upcoming days. It's really hard when you befriend someone & then find out they weren't who you thought they were. Olin & I had kept our distance & are fortunate not to have been emotionally invested but are feeling for those who did get invested in the friendship...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cops, Visitors & our 5-Year Anniversary

I'm hesitant to write this post because I have that "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" drilled into me. I've been in a funk since last Wednesday & that's why I haven't written since Tuesday.

It started with a phone call from Olin about going out to eat for lunch that day. I didn't want to spend the money, but the IT guys were going out for Chinese & he wanted to go, so we did. On the way there, I was pulled over by an unmarked cop. When I couldn't find my current insurance card, I asked him if there was any way to verify that I had current insurance in his system somewhere & he lied & told me no. When I got home I looked for the card & couldn't find it anywhere. I had to print a temporary one off the website & request a permanent one be mailed. This alerted me to the fact that I am in desperate need of some paper sorting in the office. Mail just goes into piles & gets stuffed in drawers when company comes. I hate paper. Whatever happened to the myth of a paperless society?

Anyway, I went for a walk with my friend Pam & worked off all my frustrations. He had only given me a warning, after all. I made granola that night for Jan. I didn't measure the cinnamon, so it turned out extra cinnamony - yum!

Thursday I got the oil changed & planned to get new tires in the afternoon, but the tires didn't come in. We have to wait until Wednesday morning, which is tight since we're leaving Wednesday afternoon for a road trip to Iowa. I worked several hours at the Parelli office helping answer some questions & fix some problems, then went to Mexican for lunch with Jan. I went to Aurora's that evening & watched Survivor with her.

Friday was the day to prepare for guests, after doing home delivered meals. Friday evening the ladies of the church fed the DayStar Academy students & staff haystacks at the church, then enjoyed their musical concert before "divvying them up" & taking them home with us. We took a staff couple & their 2 girls plus 3 Academy girls. They followed us home in a big van, so we didn't have to fit them in our car.

Mr. Hicks was sick with a throat infection & so was one of the girls. We offered them tea & vitamin c & echinacea & colloidal silver & ambrotose & immunostart & a hot bath or shower. They took us up on most of it. We fed them waffles with strawberries & peaches for breakfast. Simple, but good. We sent them off to the Shell station in the morning to meet up with the rest of their crew. Mr. Hicks left his violin at our house, so we ran it up to the Shell & were able to see Matthew off with the other kids.

The church school kids did the entire church service & did a wonderful job under the direction of the new schoolteacher, Dwight Thompson.

Olin had a drive planned for our 5 year anniversary that afternoon after church. He had expected it to take 3 hours, but it took more like 5. We drove down towards Summitville then turned & then veered left where Elwood pass veers to the right. We went through a town called Platoro, then back home through Chama via 84.

Today we just hung out at the house, had spaghetti for lunch & here we are! Hopefully will have some good things to report soon...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thunderstorms & Health Food Stores

This morning we were awoken by one of the most "wow" thunderstorms I've heard in my lifetime (this is impressive considering I grew up in Central Florida, the lightning capital of the world). Never heard thunder quite like that before.

We were going to stay in bed & read for a while but I got an idea & popped out of bed like toast from a toaster shortly before 5 a.m. It's off-peak time!

I'm on what's called a watt-watcher rate for my electric bill & during the winter the off-peak time is between 10 p.m. & 6 a.m. & between 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. I had made waffle batter yesterday & it was nice & thick when I pulled it out of the fridge, so I cooked up 5 waffles, 1 of which I ate.

I'm trying to get a bunch made up & ready for the group of teenagers from DayStar Academy that are coming to stay at our house Friday night.

I left with Karla for Durango around 9 a.m. She dropped Meghan at the dentist, dropped me at Vitamin Cottage & went back to be with Meghan, who ended up having her baby tooth pulled. I unfortunately hadn't thought ahead, so had no cooler to put groceries in. I looked around the store & mentally picked out all the things I wanted. I ended up getting it all because the prices were so good. We went to another health food store (Nature's Oasis) later & EVERYTHING was more expensive there, to the tune of $1 or more on items in the $4 range, which made me even more pleased with my purchase at Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage.

Just a small note to myself: this morning after being awakened to the thunderstorm I was feeling kinda blah & this evening I'm happy. It was a good day. Meghan, Karla & I had fun brainstorming menu items & names for our upcoming restaurant on the way home from Durango. Mark even chimed in with some ideas when he called to talk to his mom.

Also, I got Judith Driver signed up as a Preferred Mannatech associate on her dial-up connection! I'm so impressed.

Finally, the new church school teacher called this evening to ask me to be the girls' Pathfinders counselor & to show up tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. I guess I'll give it a go. After all, it's just Meghan & Cheyenne currently. That sounds doable. I told Dwight that I wasn't very creative but that if he gave me the structure, I could follow it. I am a bookkeeper, after all. I can deal with procedures & clear expectations. Kids, I like, although I'm not a genious with them, as long as they like & respect me, we'll all get along fine. Don't I sound kind of robotic? I wonder if I'll ever be a mother. That's a thought to ponder more another day... Peace out!

Tomato Canning

Yesterday was another day at the Mundalls, only just Karla & I, this time canning tomatoes with chilis, which I will use in my super fabulous tofu scramble recipe.

Since Karla & I are dreaming about & discussing starting a healthy restauraunt in town, we decided we'd better not be hipocrites, so we need to start exercising, since that's one of the most important aspects of wellness. We were going to walk yesterday, but got busy with canning. We were supposed to walk today at 8:30 a.m., but Meghan has a cavity & was able to get a dentist appointment in Durango today at 10 a.m., so our morning walk is out. I decided to go with them & hang out at the health food store while they're at the dentist's office.

I hope Karla doesn't get tired of me. We spent 2 days in the car last Thursday & Friday together, saw each other at church & potluck, hung out playing games Saturday night, spent all day Sunday working on corn, yesterday on tomatoes & I'm going with her to Durango today. Hmm... Guess it's a test to see if we could be business partners. So far, it seems to be fine...

Monday, October 12, 2009

My first blogger post A.K.A. Sunday Munnday FunDay!

So I have no idea when I created this blog, but I decided it was time to put some content in here! I've been inspired by Adventist Homemaker.

Let's start with yesterday. Olin & I went to the Mundalls' so Karla & I could work on "some" corn & can some tomatoes. Between Karla & I, we had purchased 8 boxes of Olathe sweet corn from Grand Junction on Friday. We had gone up there on Thursday via Moab & Castle Valley to attend the 2nd Annual Colorado Entrepreneurship Marketplace, or at least the first part of it.

Karla brought up 2 more boxes from her basement to make a total of 10 boxes. We each shucked 3 boxes, leaving 4 untouched. Then we blanched the corn & put it in ice water before cutting it off the cob & putting it in ziplocks to freeze. We did her 3 boxes & 1 1/2 boxes of my 3. She fed us chili rellenos for supper. The boys (Les, Olin & Mark) & Mattie did some fishing after a game of Settlers of Catan, a game of Scotland Yard & a game of good ole Skip Bo.

I was supposed to do some other things yesterday but only got to 3 of them. One was getting rid of several bags of trash from the garage. Another was purchasing a chest freezer for the garage (which we did at Sears, but the freezer doesn't arrive until the 27th!). That was a disappointment because I paid twice what I wanted to for it. The last thing was figuring up how much Gramps would save if he refinanced his mortgage from 6% interest to 4.75%. Go Gramps! You're going to save over $20,000 in interest!

This morning I'm in chapter 28 of Patriarchs & Prophets - Idolatry at Sinai. Quite the page turner. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has read the Old Testament & tried to reconcile that God with the God of the New Testament. I assure you they are one & the same. Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Now off to live another day, so I have something to write about!