Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's tough being a woman!

Tonight I finish up an awesome Bible study with an equally awesome group of women. It's the Esther study by Beth Moore and if you've never done a Bible study with her before, you are missing out! I was a Beth Moore virgin (so to speak!), and I'm so glad that I jumped right in and got my feet wet with this study.

So, here are a few things I learned from studying the book of Esther with Beth Moore:

1. Esther was the bomb diggity. She was the complete package of a woman. I have to think that if I had lived in the time of Esther, I probably would have either, A.) wanted to be just like her--after all, she was a queen, or B.) despised her and talked about her behind her back. Hopefully I would have gone with choice A. In my current life and place given me, I am choosing A. I really look up to everything that Esther portrayed and what she was to her people. She was humble, polite, beautiful, caring, and God-centered, among many other things. She wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in, and she didn't back down from a challenge.

2. It's okay if I don't always know what I'm doing. I remember when I turned 30 a couple of...okay, several years ago. As the big 3-0 loomed ever closer, I remember feeling a bit panicked. I almost felt the beginnings of a mid-life crisis coming on, but in my head I knew that wasn't supposed to happen until I hit 40! I recall verbalizing some of my fears to my husband, and he blandly pointed out that I was likely experiencing those emotions because I was leaving a decade full of transitions, changes, and monumental events. After all, in my 20's, I had gotten 2 college degrees, gotten married, began my career, bought my first home, and had 2 children! How much more could I have squeezed into that decade??? Approaching my 30's seemed like a big let-down. How could the coming decade hold any more hope and promise than that of my 20's?? My helpful husband allowed me to have an A-Ha moment (yes, and I'm supposed to be the therapist full of insight and wisdom--ha!). I simply dreaded my 30's because I felt no more purpose. However, in studying Esther, it is clear to see that God has called me to His purpose, and although I may not know what it is, God knows it and He will most definitely fulfill it in me. He has a plan and He will get it accomplished whether I'm following along or not. What a great comfort to me as I stumble my way through life, most of the time wondering where I'm going and what I'm supposed to be doing!

3. All of my fears, guilt and other stuff/garbage/nonsense that I feed myself is already taken care of. I got my degree in social work, but I really could have majored in Guilt and done just fine, thankyouverymuch. I'm really good at guilt. But, God has a greater plan for me and everyone else, so why waste my time feeling guilty? If I majored in Guilt, my minor could have been Irrational Fear and Worry. If I plant those seeds in my heart every day, what do I expect to grow there? If I toss them up into the wind to God, however, they'll go find a home elsewhere. That is what God wants me to do and calls me to do. But, like other subjects in school, this takes an abundance of effort and practice (study) to get it right.

I think my new favorite book of the Bible is Esther! I have to admit that although I had read this book before, I mostly had the Veggie Tales version in my head. I'm so thankful that my eyes have been opened up to the wonders and insights to this fabulous book. I can't wait to see what I can dive into next!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My week of thanksgivings!

Our family has the months of May and June booked. Within those two months, we celebrate 3 out of 4 birthdays, and our wedding anniversary. My sister also has her anniversary, as well as my parents, during those months! Needless to say, we are quite busy during May and June, not to mention trying to keep up with end-of-school activites. Anyway, this past week kicked off our celebrations with Melody's birthday and mine and Jamie's 10th wedding anniversary! Jamie and I happened to be at the hospital for our 3rd anniversary, since Melody had been born the previous night. I'm secretly relieved she wasn't born ON our anniversary. I like keeping those days to themselves. However, here we are at 10 years and it's been a ton of fun along the way.

To move along, here are my thanksgivings for the week (in no particular order):
1. Being married to my goofy, yet sweet, husband for 10 wonderful years---we hired our free babysitters for the afternoon/evening and went to hit the town at Bridge Street. We watched "Angels and Demons", and then went to dinner at PF Changs. Yum-O! Afterward, we went to the shoe store to look for shoes and to hide from the very gloomy-looking weather.

2. Finding another great deal at Goodwill, this time for Gannon's room. I bought this for $3, cleaned it up and VOILA!! I think it looks great and Gannon was beside himself with glee. (His fave color is green.)

3. Watching my "baby", Melody, who is no longer a baby, enjoying her birthday to the fullest. We kept it very simple on her birthday with dinner and presents at home. She just wanted chocolate chip cookies for dessert, and it was great to have such a relaxing time with family on her special day. I particularly loved hearing Gannon sing "Happy Birthday" to her at random moments throughout the day, and the smile that would come upon her face as he would begin to sing. Pure sweetness. :)

4. Spending time with good friends is always fun. Mix in nice weather, a great atmosphere and lots of entertaining conversation, and you've got a winner every time! I'm very thankful for the time I get to spend chatting it up with the girls.

5. "God talks" with my kids. Melody in particular has been asking some really deep questions lately, and although I don't always have the answers, I love watching her mind work it out and her reasoning kick in.

Here's hoping to many more weeks of blessing for all of you as well.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To my favorite daughter

Today is my sweet girl's 7th birthday. This morning at the breakfast table the two of us reminisced about the day she was born. She loves hearing stories about her Birth Day and when she was a baby. It was the perfect start to her 7th birthday!

Here is a story that we found in the newspaper a couple of years after our Melody was born. I feel as though it conveys our thoughts about our own precious girl. It is from a story, "Thanking Is Just One Letter Away from Thinking" by Larry Gelbart.

"Her parents had named her Melody because, from the moment she was born, they knew that she would be the music of their lives. Like all music, Melody could sometimes be too noisy, too loud. Sometimes she could go on and on and on, long after she should have stopped. None of that ever mattered, though. To her mom and dad, Melody would always be their very favorite song."

Happy Birthday, my sunshine girl!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Technology of the future

My daughter, who is exactly one week shy of her 7th birthday, has found a new hobby. Somehow she discovered this at school, for when I picked her up from school two days ago, she had one of these pressed up to her little ear and she was gabbing away into it. It's the cell phone of the future! The ones on the left are her prototypes, and as we look to the right, she has thoughtfully added an antennae in order to receive better reception. Yesterday when I picked her up from school, they had to call her name three times before she responded and came to the car! Hmm...does this sound familiar to anyone? I just know that nobody I know has ever missed out on something because of talking on a cell phone, pretend or otherwise! I know I've never missed a thing! Ha!

In actuality, I don't talk on the phone much at all. I'm one of those weird breeds of human that can let the phone ring and not answer it! This likely drives my family, in particular my mother, CRAZY, but that's just how I roll, baby. So when I observed my little one, my little baby girl, yapping on a pretend phone, I had a quick reality check. Ouch, it hurt. Pretty soon the fanciful play of talking on a pretend phone will wear away and she'll be asking for a real phone. We don't have a land line at our home (when we moved 2 years ago we ditched the phone service and have been operating with only cell phones since..), so she's unfamiliar with anything except a cell phone. Based on her artistic renditions of phones, she prefers a flip phone.

However, my darling girl didn't stop with just a cell phone. She also had to make iPod's and CD's for everyone as well. We even got to choose our color. And she put a special song on our iPod for us. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but from left to right the songs are: I love you; I love me (for herself); and Scooby Doo.

Apparently the cell phone and iPod phenomenon caught on at school yesterday. Melody said that she made a cell phone, then a friend saw it and asked her to make one for him. She did just that, and then everyone started asking the two of them to make more. So, rather than reading, writing, or arithmetic, the entire class got a cell phone for the day! I'm sure their parents are so proud. I know I am. I actually am pretty impressed that she got almost all of the numbers in the correct place on the phones, and she got most of the buttons right on the iPod...all without looking at a cell phone or iPod, since she was at school. I guess she pays attention. *Ahem*

So, I'm taking orders for cell phones, iPods, or CD's. You can customize your color, and song choice for the iPod. Just let me know. :-)