Two Extremes

There is this little girl who her mother and father works. Mom changes her cell phone number and doesn’t give it to the child. The school needs to get hold of the mother but the little girl doesn’t know the cell phone number.

There is this grown 50 year old man who has gotten in trouble. He has made mistakes and has signed an agreement that he made the mistake. His momma comes to the office and starts yelling that her son didn’t understand the agreement.

These are the two extremes. One, a child, left to fend for herself. Another, an adult, not able to fend for himself. Which one actually does more damage.

I don’t think it’s a matter of more as to the different damage. The little girl will grow up to depend on no one. She will learn that the only person you can trust is yourself. That you have to be responsible for everything.

The man has and will continue to be a burden to society because he is responsible for none of his actions. He has learned that he can feign not understanding and Momma will go right on down and scream and yell. Sometimes that works for him. Sometimes Momma gets him off and he no longer has to be responsible.

Both extremes interfere with a person’s relationship with God. The little girl will never totally trust that God will love her and help her and be responsible for her. The man will not want a relationship with God because God requires us to each be responsible for our own actions. And this man does not want to be responsible for his actions. He wants someone to magically rescue him.

So when you are raising your children and/or dealing with your adult children, make sure that you aren’t encouraging too much responsibility or encouraging too little responsibility.

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Do you ever wonder where God is?

I do.   In fact for the past four years I have been wondering where God was and why he continually fails to let us know where and what we are supposed to be doing to earn a living.    I have prayed.   I have applied for jobs.   I have marketed.   I have done and done and done.    And all that seems to happen is that we keep getting knocked back down each and every time it looks like we are fixing to be able to turn it around.   Someone or something knocks us back on our butts with us trying to dust ourselves off, stand up and start over again.   The last knock down was yesterday.    And now….

I’m not dusting myself off.   I am coming out fighting.   I will fight as hard and fast as I can to get me and my family out of this county to where we can make a living.  I really hope God is standing beside me on this fight.   But if he has decided not then He best get out of my way.    I am not waiting until I lose everything for God to work.    I’m tired and I need rest.   If God isn’t going to make this happen, then I will.

And there enlays the cruxt of my problem with trust.    I wait and wait.  I try to go by the rules.   I try to live a good life.   I try and I try and the struggle continues.    I literally do not remember a time in my life where I was not struggling in some way.   It could be emotionally, physically or financially or sometimes all three at the same time.    And I will keep getting knocked down and knocked down until I have had enough then I come out fighting.   Katie bar the door because I’m not taking it laying down no more!!!

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If Jesus was an Athlete

Listening to ESPN tonight, I heard bits and pieces of a story about a quarterback and a girl.   You know the ones we are all so familiar with.    She has accused him of rape.   He is up for the Heisman so….   There are usually one of two outcomes to these type of stories.   One, He did it.   Everyone is protecting him because of his fame and/or athletic ability and the possibility of ruining his future.    Or, the second one, She is crying wolf to get her 15 minutes of fame.     I don’t know which one is correct.   No one does but those two people.    What we do know is that he won’t be charged with a crime.    (Remember, there are no objective facts just someone’s opinion.)

This news story got me to thinking—What if Jesus was living in our time.   Would he be put in the same status as an athlete?   Probably not.    But what if he was?

Would they have crucified him?    Or because of his athletic ability would most people go we can’t let this happen.   What about his talent and his future and how much money he can earn.   No crucify the murderer not Jesus!!

Isn’t that how our society functions these days when it comes to athletes who can throw a football or hit a home run?    We seem to worship their ability and forgive them for any failures they may have, regardless of the type of failures.    Why do we put so much value on our entertainment that we are willing to support whole systems of paying persons millions of dollars to play ball?    Then let them get off with things that we expect our children and family and friends to be better than.     Why don’t we hold them to higher standards of behavior and self control then we would a normal person?

If Jesus was an athlete would he have let himself be in a situation where he could be accused of rape?   Or drug use?    Why do we hear so many of these stories?

I really believe an athlete should take the discipline and self control that is used to create the skill and talent they have on the field  and exhibit it in every part of their life.    After all the system has been created to put them up on a pedestal and as such the standards by which they live should be higher by means of their fame and fortune.    Doesn’t God call those who are in higher positions to show a higher standard of living?

So if Jesus was an athlete would they have crucified him, persecuted him or let him off the hook?

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The Root of All Evil– Money or Attitude?

It seems that with the economy that all I seem to be praying about lately is for us to have job opportunities either self-employed or getting jobs for someone else.    And I tend to forget how much God has actually blessed me with.    My husband.   I couldn’t have ever dreamed of finding someone to love me like he does.    My children.    They are wonderful people.   The grown ones are really good responsible adults.   The ones not quite grown are shaping up into wonderful adults.   I can’t wait to see how they actually turn out.

Yet I seem to focus on our need for earning a living so that our bills can be paid.    My husband made a comment today about our business.   He said that the majority of our clients are really nice people and over the past 20 years or so we have really only had 4-5 clients that have been disagreeable.   As he said they put a sour taste in your mouth over the business.

Why is it so hard to see the positive through the negative?   Is it a natural human trait?   Do we always look for the bad to get to the good?    I know for me sometimes when things are good I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.    Lately I have noticed that our attitude about the place we live isn’t the best.   There are some good people here and then there are those people here.    Is this another place that we see only the negative?

When my mother-in-law was in the hospital, we spent a lot of time in the ICU waiting room.   And there was a Guideposts magazine that I read an article in that said you should look for the blessings in all that happens to you.    And not just the obvious blessings but dig deep to find the not so obvious blessings.    I found when I was practicing this that my attitude was much better.   Somehow this practice slipped away from me.    Would my attitude about things change if I picked it up again?

Since we have made the decision to try to stay in this school district and county until my children graduate, my attitude definitely needs to change.   It is so hard for me to let things go and not be upset about them at the school.    Yet, my kids aren’t unhappy at the school and it doesn’t seem to bother them.   My attitude needs to change if I am going to make it through the next 5 years without being upset the whole time.    I’ve asked God to help change my attitude.     One of the questions I am asking myself about the school—Am I seeing and focusing only on the negative and failing to see the positive.

The question I have to ask myself about my attitude is are others seeing the negative in me and failing to see the positive?    There are many times in my life that I want to scream “But I’m a good person, Don’t you see it?”    If I change my attitude, will more people see me in a positive light?

 

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Objective Fact

I am reading this book–”Atlas Shrugged”.    It was published back in 1957.    It amazes me at how closely it parallels life today.    There are two sides to the story.   Those who believe everyone should get the same and share and share alike.   And, then there are those that believe if you work hard you earn your own living.

In reading this book, I often wonder if this is Washington’s Bible.    It seems that both the Democrats and Republicans are reading this book.    And the extreme differences of opinions of the characters represents so well the reason why no one in Washington politics can compromise.

But the part that struck me was the media and how it worked in this book.    The same as it works today.   There is one mention in the book of what the press believed and it was summed up by an editor in the book–There are no objective facts.    All reporting of facts are really just someone’s opinion.     How very true that is.     In so many things I truly try to report just the facts.   However, I do have to recognize in reporting the facts that I do tailor it to meet my opinion.   It’s a unconscious thing.   It’s human nature.

It’s because of this nature that many people who do not believe in God can question the Bible.    Did it really happen like that?   Or was it shaped to that person’s opinion.   For instance, I recently caught part of a show on the History Channel about the Bible.   The show was talking about how God sentenced Moses and those who were escaping to wondering the desert for 40 years for not having the faith that God was taking them to valley of milk and honey.    This show states that they no longer believe that these people actually wondered the desert for 40 years.  It was more of an analogy that God did not allow them into the Promised Land.   God basically condemned them to death before they ever got there.    This was their punishment for not having faith–death.

If that’s an analogy that means the same thing then what is the modern day press corp doing to our nation and beliefs?    How many times do they stir up things and contort the facts to their own opinion and saleability of a story?   Look at what they did to the Trayvon Martin case.    They actually were causing turmoil.    What has happened to the conscious of the United States?    Have we lost our faith and are we wondering in the desert?

Some points to definitely ponder the next time there is a big story to consider.

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So many questions

Today I am just full of questions.  Like if God wants us to concentrate more on Him and less on money, then why does the world run on money?    Really, I can concentrate and read the Bible all day long yet it doesn’t generate the money I need to pay my bills.   So where is the balance?   At what point do you rely on God to pay the bills without you being in the driver’s seat.   And if you are supposed to be in the driver seat with God navigating how do you find the time to concentrate on God?

Or, if God wants us to follow His path and ways then why doesn’t he put up blinking neon lights to show us the way?   Why does it always have to come in subtle signs and whispers?   Doesn’t He realize he made some of us dense and unsure of what we are hearing and seeing?   Or some of us hear and see but don’t believe what we are hearing and seeing?   And how much does the devil interfere in this logic we have running through our brains?

And if God is going to provide for us without us having to worry about things then why does it always seem my life is a struggle?    That I have to work and work and work for everything yet there are some who just get things handed to them.   Or so it seems.

I get the whole struggle polishes you bit.    But really after a while if you polish a rock, it’s edges become rounded and it becomes smooth and it begins to wear the rock away.   So how much is enough?

These are questions I ask myself when it seems nothing is going right or I am having to struggle to get bills paid.   In this case, it’s finding a job.   With all of the healthcare debacle going on, I really believe the only way we can get good health insurance is for me to go back to work for the State or some other government type agency.    And with my diabetes, medicines aren’t cheap.  So it would definitely help us out to have health insurance.

I have put in over 40 close to 50 applications this year.   I have had 5 interviews and no job offers.   So I keep thinking God will show me how to make money.    He keeps whispering–write.

I love to write.   In fact this blog has really been a stress reliever.    It just doesn’t seem to put food on the table or get me health insurance.    And so I begin, okay I could write an article about this or that.   Then the big nagging question, would someone want to read it, buy it?   Or worse, what happens to my self esteem if no one will buy it?

I can hear at least a couple of my friends going well you just have to have faith.   Except faith and trust or trust and faith are really hard to have when all you have ever done is struggle in your life.   If you aren’t struggling financially then its emotionally or mentally–it seems nothing ever comes easy.     So I have a really hard time believing that if I were to write an article and try to sell it that it would come easy.

So I question, would I be adding one more thing to struggle with in my life?   And do I even have the energy for it?    Yes, I realize that the good things always come after hard work.   Hard work isn’t what I am talking about.    Struggling is doing the hard work and life just keeps knocking you back so you get up and do the hard work again and life knocks you back again.    And then maybe God will step in on that front and lo and behold another front is attacked.   When does the struggling stop and hard work with reward begin?

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Why it doesn’t work

In a recent Bible study period I came across a statement that seems to be fitting in my life on several different fronts.

Forced obedience is a poor substitute for love and respect.

The day I read this was the day I talked to my son’s reading teacher.    My son is failing reading.   There are two factors in this or maybe just one creating the other factor, I am not sure.   Our school does the accelerated reading program.   With this program, they have incorporated it into a grade.   For my son’s class, to get the AR points it is 20% of your grade and then the tests are counted under tests which is also 20% of the grade.   These grading policies are in place to force the children to do their AR reading practice.   Essentially what it does is fail a child if they don’t do reading practice.   I have a problem with this.   Reading is a very fundamental part of life.   You need it for everything you do–school, work, pleasure.    It affects every part of your life.   So shouldn’t the goal be a love and respect of reading?   Not, a forced failure?    The second issue is my son in both six weeks has had 11 failing grades in Reading.   He has over a 50% fail rate on tests.   His daily work (or practice) grades are mostly passing.   So is the forced obedience in one area of this class causing the poor performance in another area of the class?    And I have to wonder how much the teacher has to do with this.    The six weeks for our school started on October 7.   On October 16 my son has a zero on AR test #1 because he didn’t take the test.   On October 23, my son took an AR test and passed it with a 100%.   This test is not reflected in his grades.   And according to the teacher this was after the date that she told me that they couldn’t take any other AR tests that is why it isn’t counted.   During my conversation with the teacher on November 5, it dawned on me that she is a control freak.   So how much does her forced obedience to her control has to do with my son’s failure?

The second time this saying has come to mind is in my struggles with weight loss and daily fitness.   I have been trying to force myself to get up every morning and exercise.  It is amazing to me at how many times my brain can actually talk me out of it.    I’m not a morning person, never have been, never will be yet I continue over and over and over again to try to force myself into a routine that I know will not be sustained until I want to do it.   (Isn’t that the definition of crazy–doing something over and over again, expecting different results?  Like beating my head against the wall talking to teachers and administrators and TEA about the school issues and actually expecting this school or TEA to do something about them.  Epiphany time!!!)    So it would seem on both fronts I need to change tactics because forced obedience isn’t working.

Recently I confirmed (been suspecting) that I am allergic to wheat by the reactions I kept having after eating wheat products.    The first time I suspected this and tried to go off of wheat products I was really rigid about having no wheat whatsoever.    Do you have any idea as to how hard that is?    So this time, I decided to do my best to avoid wheat as much as possible but understood that isn’t always the case.   For example, we came in late the other night and had picked up pizza.   I was hungry so I ate some.   I had the itchy ears, mouth and congestion as usual but didn’t freak out about it.    I just didn’t eat any wheat the next day to get me back on course.

And I have looked back and discovered I have done this on several occasions when trying to change my lifestyle.   I would try to set rigid rules such as getting up out of bed to exercise and then would fail miserably.    Why, because there is no such thing as being able to live rigidly and perfectly.   Life happens.   It gets in the way of all of the rigid rules.    I realize now that when I try to do it this way that I set myself up for failure.   Much like I think my son’s teacher is setting him up for failure by being so rigid and inflexible.

My new mantra is forced obedience is a poor substitute for love and respect.  Because after all I want to live a life full of love and respect for myself and others.

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