Monday, April 29, 2013

And the blogging starts to suffer. . .

I feel bad that I didn’t write an inspirational blog last night. It was a busy day – ran/walked one and a quarter miles, breakfast with a friend, laundry, housework, two parties for my daughter, shopping for last minute stuff for the trip, and a stop at the funeral home for the wake of a dear family friend.  Oh, and made bars for the funeral luncheon today. I thought that Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest!

We all need more time to rest.  God knew what He was doing when He designated one day to rest, He knew that we needed that. Of course, He also wanted us to spend that day getting to know Him better. Yet in our hectic lives we just don’t take the time to rest for ourselves, much less to spend any time in prayer, praise and reflection. That hour in church once a week should take care of that, right?

Wrong. But I’m not going to give a sermon or do any lecturing. I think I’m going to get a bowl of ice cream, put some ice on my knee (don’t ask), and at least rest now, while I can.

Tomorrow is another day and I have precious few of them before I leave for Kenya. My blog posts will be very spotty the next three weeks. I hope to come home energized to write all about it, to share the adventure, to inspire you to make your own adventure. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep you all posted as best as I can. 

And I still have to make time for a picture. This is the first one I grabbed from my daughter's pictures from Kenya in 2010. I love those lone trees. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ready for Adventure?

"Let's go on an adventure."

“But we might get into trouble.”

"That's how we know it's an adventure."

I average two hours of TV per week. Yes, per week. Maybe, three. A while back there was a commercial on TV for a cartoon coming out soon. And the above quote was in the ad. I don’t remember what movie it was for, and I wasn’t able to track it down on-line. Please, whoever’s movie this was from, I am sorry that I borrowed it and didn’t give you credit.

But aren’t these great lines. Doesn’t everybody like an adventure every so often?  And sometimes you just have to get in a little bit of trouble, for the fun of it or the thrill of it.

 It’s hard to believe that I will be leaving for my big adventure in just over a week. I don’t plan on getting in trouble while I am in Kenya, I really don't want to get in trouble. I don't even need any excitement. But I think we will just have to see what happens. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I don't miss mosquitoes

Hey, all you warm-blooded humans living in northern Wisconsin, you aren't the only ones sick and tired of winter. I know, we have been hearing it for months now - snow in the forecast. Again! And it's April! But like I said, you are not the only ones who are complaining. How do you think we mosquitoes feel? We just want to get out there and start stealing your blood. The great thing about that is not only do we steal, we share too. I know, I know, you people in middle America don't have much to worry about. Maybe a West Nile infection once in a while. My relatives living in third world countries are the ones you need to really watch out for. They get to spread lots of diseases, the most notorious being malaria. That's the big claim to fame us mosquitos have. Nothing like spreading that disease amongst children and the elderly in those countries that don't have any way to treat this disease. Yep, those mosquitoes in places like Kenya have got it made. They are famous!

Hold it, hold it, you nasty little mosquito! I am going to Kenya in just over a week and I don’t need you threatening all of those innocent people I am going there to help. So just give it a rest.

Don’t we wish that mosquitoes would give it a rest, and stop spreading diseases like malaria. But they won’t. The best thing we can do is support an organization like Compassion International in their efforts to prevent the spread of this disease which claims the lives of thousands of children each year. To learn more about what you can do, click here. 

And as I head off to Kenya the fifth of May, I will be loaded up with my anti-malaria pills. I just wish I had enough pills to share with the whole country. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A time for anything else?

Two weeks from today I will be flying off to Kenya. It doesn’t seem possible that the time has gone that fast and that in just four weeks I will be home again.

I think that it is “crunch time”, time to stop fooling around and start getting ready for this trip. I think it is time to focus. I think it is time to stop worrying about what I will blog about three times a week. I think I should spend some time with my mom and my hubby. I think I should get more sleep.

Maybe there is a reason why in Ecclesiastes 3 there is no verse that reads, “there is a time to sleep and a time to stay up all hours of the night trying to get things done because you have too much on your plate.”

I have listed on my otherblog all the specific things I have to get done by June. I have crossed a lot of it off already. All I can do is what I have time for and the rest will have to fall by the way.

Lord, Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us 24 hours each and every day. Help us to see that You have given us that amount of time because that is how much time we need each day. Let us just erase the rest of the stuff off of our to-do list. Amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Time for Peace

"The only field or occupation that benefits from war is medicine," said Dr. David Cifu, rehabilitation medicine chief at the Veterans Health Administration.

I got this quote off of Yahoo News this morning in an article about the bombings Monday in Boston. Dr. Cifu is referring to the many veterans of war who have suffered amputations and how the medical field has used what they have learned about those victims to help civilian amputees.

I guess that the Bible was right, when in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, we are reminded that there is a time for war. It still doesn't make it seem right.

And then I wake up this morning to the news of an explosion in Texas. The last report I read was that there are 15 dead and at least 160 injured.

Makes me worry about what will happen next. Makes me think I better read my Bible more. Maybe everybody should be reading their Bibles more. 

Makes me want there to be a time for peace instead. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Day in my Life. . .

As usual, I had a few various thoughts about what I was going to write about today. As I sat on the computer last night trying to get those thoughts in order, well, I didn’t get my thoughts in order. It had been one of those days.

I had gotten up Monday morning at the usual time, did the usual exercises, took a shower (what they call a military shower because I have made myself crazy not wanting to waste that much water). I ate breakfast while getting caught up on-line, made the bed, did the waste-of-time makeup thing, got dressed and left for work. I like to get to work early on Mondays because there is usually a mess left behind for me from the weekend. I didn’t make it to work early, but not to worry. The mess wasn’t too bad.

All continued as usual – just a normal day – til I went out to the waiting room in the afternoon to call back a patient. All I heard were a few words on the TV. “Boston marathon, two dead, dozens injured”. As I took my patient to the scale, I thought, that must be some Boston Marathon. Had it been beastly hot and runners were dropping from heat stroke? That would figure since the temperatures are still around freezing here.

By the time I was finished rooming my patient and returned to the nurses’ station, a coworker had the news up on her computer. How do these things happen? Why do these things happen?

We hear it on the news all the time - but it happens it foreign countries. It doesn't happen here. Except for 9/11, and a bunch of other attacks all over the country, in our schools and in our malls and on our highways. Some we never even see on the news.

What is the sense of it all? Why can't people get along? Why can't people respect each other? Why does death and destruction happen?

Yes, I know that we are sinful creatures. I know that in the Bible it says “in this world you will have trouble”.

The part that’s hard to remember is the rest of that verse. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Need any advice today?

Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.  Run for dear life to good.  Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing 2nd fiddle.  Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.  Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.  Don't quit in hard times, pray all the harder.

Help needy Christians, be inventive in hospitality.  Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.  Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.  Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up.  Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.

Don't hit back, discover beauty in everyone.  If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.  Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.  "I'll do the judging" says God, "I'll take care of it."

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink.  Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."

Romans 12:9-21 From The Message version of the Bible

There isn't a thing to add to that, is there? It certainly says it all.  A friend of mine at work emailed this to me the other day. How did she know it was just what I needed? Hmmm?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Is spring getting close in your backyard?

I was going to blog about something else tonight, another room in my house, but lo and behold, I didn't have any pictures in the computer of that room. Hard to believe. And I'm thinking that it would be too much work to scan them tonight. 

I looked outside my window and wondered if it is really possible that spring will ever get here. I see a few patches of brown in the front yard, but the back yard remains a vision of white.

The cooper kettle off of my deck tells the story.  
 October 27
November 15
December 2
January 1 of this year 
 March 22
 Today! I guess there has been much progress in the last two weeks!
May 15, last year. Will my cooper kettle look like this in just over one month?
Not likely, since I won't be back from Africa until May 19. 
Maybe the hubby will surprise me . . . 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

taxes, taxes, taxes

"Tell us, is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus knew that these men were trying to trick him. He said to them, “Show me a silver coin. Whose name and picture are on it?”
They said, “Caesar’s.”
He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
Luke 20:22-25 Easy-to-Read Version

It's that time of year. If you haven't filed your income taxes yet this year, you only have a week left. And if you waited this long there is a good chance it is because you know you owe taxes so you are going to wait until the last minute. Or you just procrastinate.

Yesterday I attended a Book Festival in Minnesota. My dear friend Phyllis had learned about this event and since it was just down the road from where she lives, I decided this would be a good chance to go see her and sell a few books (and deduct the whole trip as a business expense).

I hit a snag earlier this week when the organizers of this event said that I had to collect Minnesota sales tax and that I needed a Minnesota tax ID. I live in Wisconsin, I pay and collect Wisconsin sales tax. I don't know anything about Minnesota sales tax. After I received the second email from the book fair organizers reiterating that yes I needed that Minnesota tax ID, my first impulse was to just cancel. Not even go to this event. How many books would I really even sell? How many people would I get to tell about my book and the trip? Would it even be worth it?

Then this passage from the Bible came to mind. If I need to charge and collect sales tax, then that is what I need to do. That little bit of money does belong to the government, but everything else, every bud on the trees, every drop of melting snow, every smile on every child's face - that all came from God and all belongs to Him.

Sometimes it is easier to throw in the towel, but sometimes the right thing to do is pay what you have to pay and return the rest to God. And at the end of the book festival yesterday, it all turned out just fine.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Laugh as though you have never cried.

“Dance as though no one is watching you.
Love as though you have never been hurt before.
Sing as though no one can hear you.
Live as though heaven is on earth.” Souza

I dance and I sing, hoping that no one is paying attention to me. Life is too short to not break out into random song or random dance for no particular reason. Loving might be a little bit harder to do, but I must say that I have been blessed in that my heart has only ever been cracked, never broken.  

And some days it does feel as if I’m living heaven on earth. Other days it feels like I am living in that other place. In the end though, each day is what you make it.
 I would have to add to this quotation: laugh as though you have never cried. This picture of Mary Pierce from my last writers conference still just makes me belly-laugh every time I see it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Monday: Imagine that!

While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, "Peace be with you." They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, "Don't be upset, and don't let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it's really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn't have muscle and bone like this." As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn't believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true. 
Luke 24:36-41, The Message Bible

Look at the day. April Fool’s Day. Imagine that! Imagine it is the first Easter and Jesus appeared to you. You would probably think that is was a joke, someone pulling your leg, playing a mean trick on you. Yet, there He was, very much alive that first Easter morning.

Once it sank in, what would your next reaction be? Could words even describe it?