Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Word of the Year: Be

First post is here. Second post is here. Third post is here. Fourth post is here.

This time I'm going with "Be busy".  
Of course, as you may know...

Just be who I am.  
Be who God made me to be.  
Just be.  
Be content.  
Be happy.  
Be.

Lately though I've been SO busy.  With huge changes at work.  With my Mom and Dad buying the house across the road (Yes, Everybody Loves Raymond fans, we are now just like the Barones.)  With my brother and sis in law coming to visit for a few days.  Just busy.  And busy, for me, is good.  Very good.  Keeps my brain busy.  Keeps it from dwelling on sadness, imaginary or real.  Keeps me focused on a hundred things at once.  Keeps me prayerful, thoughtful and honestly...happy.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Life is good. 
And as much as I want things to slow down a bit...I don't need them to.  I need them to stay crazy and hectic and fun and loud and full of questions with no answers in that manner my brain will have time to heal (finally?) from the depression and anxiety that rocked my world a few years ago.  

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

The bible says a lot about being too busy, but it doesn't say much about being too still.  Stillness for me can cause a lot of damage.

I can be who I used to be.


Same Sex Marriage

First off I'll flat out tell you...I totally support Same Sex Marriage.  I am a Christian, I believe my bible and I have been doing a lot of research on the "issue" of homosexualtiy.  God has convicted me mightily of one thing and it is this:  It's my job to love and accept NO MATTER WHAT "I" believe, it's His job to judge.

  But that aside, no matter what I (or you believe), I do feel that the church and most Christians I know are making a huge folly right now over the Same Sex Marriage issue.  And that folly is that, from what I have seen, most are defending their religious freedoms.  Beautiful idea indeed.  This country was partially founded on religious freedom.  Religious freedom is a good good thing.

However, I have seen a lot of comments about churches defending their freedom NOT to perform same sex marriages.   So here are my totally random thoughts (did I mention these are random and not thought out, I know what I am trying to say, just not so sure it's translating well to type.  I am fairly positive this will be edited later.  Oh by the way: If you feel the need to try to sway me, that's okay.  If you want to explain your stance, that's awesome.  If you feel the need to attack, please don't. )

  • A church should never be forced to marry anyone.  I don't care if it's John Doe and Jane Deer.  Adam and Steve or Ellen and Portia.  Performing the ceremony should really be up to the person performing the ceremony.  
    • My childhood pastor performed my wedding ceremony and I had to ASK him.  He had every right to say no.  I understood that.  I think that option has to remain intact.
  • There seems to be a lot of fear that churches are going to be forced to perform same sex marriages.  There are several issues with this thinking but here are a couple that are coming to me early this morning:
    • One thing that bothers me a great deal about religions is that people believe that their convictions are the only ones that matter.  What I mean by that is religions have a tendency to attack one another while fighting in the name of religious freedom.  If I want the freedom to pray in school I must also remember that everyone would then have the freedom to pray in school.  Some will use prayer beads, some will bow their heads and some will face Mecca.  This is not optional and this applies to all things.  
      • If you want religious freedom you must give religious freedom..  
    • To get married, in the eyes of God, I need neither a pastor, nor a church.  I simply need to include God in my wedding, whether it be through prayer, flowers or love.  I can still put God in the center of my marriage...that's a personal issue, not something a human can give.
    • MOST people are not going to want their marriage sanctified by someone who does not support them.   Thus, most people are not going to force a church, who does not support them, to marry them.
    • Yes, there are going to be a few couples out there that want to get married in a church, no matter what, to take a stance for what they feel is right...so what?  If you are a pastor and you are forced to marry a same sex couple it seems to me that you are stepping out in faith and showing two people that you love and care for them and really...


What better way to save a soul than to accept a person.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Been busy

Been busy because this happened

My brother and sister came to visit.  Left to right is my sil Mashelle, me, my husband Mike, and my big brother Charles.


And here is my sister in law and my Madi on a shopping  trip.


And me and my brother again.

More later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: The Art of Losing Yourself

I was given this book in hopes for an honest review, by Blogging for Books.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert.

Synopsis: Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.
 
Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?   
The book sounded interesting enough that I had already decided to review it, but then I saw this quote:
Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.
And I knew I had no choice.
Why? Because of that one sentence.  In just 12 small words Katie Ganshert dove into my head, pulled out a feeling and made it something tangible.  If she could do that in one sentence I knew the book would become something to hold on to or turn to when I was looking for a little support. a little reminder that I wasn't alone or knowledge that dark days turn bright again.

This is a book about people with real issues.  Issues that are not wrapped up tightly in a pretty pink package with a happy bow around them at the end.  Things don't always look beautiful or wind up the way we expect or hope.  I love that this book acknowledges that.  I love that it doesn't end in a perfect happy little package, but rather with hope.  A spark of hope or a waterfall of hope.  It still depends on hope.

This is a beautiful book that I will read again.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Summertime!

It's summer and as you know that means one thing with me...

Gardening time!  This is my garden from last year in May:
PicMonkey Collage

Thing is, this year we have had nothing but rain.  Rain.  Rain.  Noah's Ark levels of rain.  So my June Garden 2015 doesn't resemble my May Garden 2014.  But I like to compare shots...even if there is a leaf blower on the porch, a hose draped across the lawn and a plethora of other things I need to put away...out.


PicMonkey Collage

Tree updates:  The River Birch has grown by leaps and bounds.  The Magnolia is still small (it's a slow growing tree) but rewards us with beautiful fragrant blooms.  The Red Maple is very tiny, but also beautiful.  Over the winter I was worried about it, but it's doing great.  And the Flowering Pear is also doing great.  To be planted are: a Weeping Willow and a Cypress that I found on clearance.

Shrub updates: There is a pussy willow that needs planting.  Other than that the Forsythia is everywhere, the hydrangeas do not appear to be offering up any blooms this year and the privet hedges are really taking off.

Plant updates: The day lilies, lilies, irises are all doing fabulously.  There are a few coreopsis that survived a few years of neglect, as well as a delphinium or two.  I seriously doubt I'll get to that center bed this year unless some miracle windfall happens.  My Black Eyed Susans came back this year, my Daisies did not.   Under the bird feeder there are cone flowers as well as some other perennials.

And finally...the walkway is well under way this year with the surprise find of the year.  Mounding grass plants on clearance!

And lest I forget:
Gardens
There are some lovely caladiums on the front porch.  Ten plants just about filled that barrel.  And again...they were on clearance.  You can see I went crazy with clearance this year.  I love saving money and I don't feel as guilty if I can buy plants at least 50% off.  Especially if they are perennials!  We all know I am aiming for the overgrown garden.  It's taking a surprisingly long time, but I am loving it.