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Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Tea Bag

On a cold, long, or stressful day, little is better than a hot cup of tea.  Watching the tea bag turning plain water into a wonderful, yummy drink, well, it’s like magic!  As I was doing some things today at my computer desk, I took a big drink of my hot tea.  Let me just say that the tea bag had been sitting in that cup a wee bit too long.  Yes, you know what that’s like.  It was stronger and unfriendly, really.  If you leave a tea bag in the empty mug or cup overnight, it will become stuck to said empty mug or cup and leave gross stains to boot.  The logical thing would be to remove the tea bag, throw it in the trash, and avoid the sticky and stained altogether.

Our thoughts are like tea bags.  The more we allow them to stay inside of our brains, the more they stick and become stronger.  They stain our minds.  Every thought we have leaves some type of mark on our brains.  Positive thoughts will stain, but they are more enjoyable, empowering, and fun.  Some of us, ahem, tend to throw away the positive thoughts and let the negative thoughts get more rigid and bitter.  They stick to our brains causing bigger messes than we have the urge to clean up.  I wonder what would happen if we took those negative thoughts out of our minds, threw them in the trash like a used tea bag, and avoided the sticky and the stained residue.

I’m pretty sure that we would be more content.  I’m pretty sure life would taste better.  

Are you ready for life to taste better?  

Throw the tea bag out.

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It’s time.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Frustrations of a Parent

How many times have you ever said, “How many times do I have to tell you?!”  It is so frustrating when kids do not listen to us when we tell them to do something, or, not to do something.  Those of you who are parents already know that it is the hardest job in the entire world, yet it is the best job in the entire world.  There are numerous books out there about how to parent, how to raise the best kids, and how to do “this or that” in parenting.  Here is the thing about “how-to” books.  Not every person is the same, so not everything in those books is going to be helpful in your specific situation.  Sometimes, the best parenting is done by just loving your children regardless of them acting their ages.  Love them by setting rules, sticking to the consequences you set for broken rules, and do not call them names or hit them.  Rules are made to be followed, and some choose to break those rules.  That’s what we, as human beings, sometimes do.  It is hard to watch our kids fall when they try to do other than the rules we have set before them, but we must let them fall.  Tell them exactly what you expect from them and what will happen if they do not comply.  Love them unconditionally.  Some people, I believe, have no idea what it is to love.  I do know of one book that will tell you exactly how to treat not only your children, but everyone else around you.  Here’s a passage from that book:

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Truer words were never spoken.  See, for those of you who do not know, this comes from God’s word.  It’s from 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7.  God loves us like this.  God continues to love us regardless of the way-too-many times he thinks, “How many times do I have to tell you?”  God loves us so much that he cast all of his anger, and our “misbehaving” on his one and only Son.  He gives us rules to follow and a whole list of things to not do because he loves us so!  His Word tells us about the things that are sinful.  He tells us those things because he knows the hurt that doing those things will cause us.  Just like you telling your child to not do something because you know that it is going to be hurtful.  But God cannot make our choices for us.  He wants us to obey as we want our children to obey.  We have to watch our children fall, and when they do, our hearts break.  He has to watch us fall.  He has to let us fall, so that we may reach our hands up to him to help pull us back up and out of the holes in which we have fallen.  

Think about being a child and falling, and you cry out for mom or dad to come help you.  Your hands raised in the air for them to pick you up.  Their jobs are to help you back up.  Good parents want to help their children when they ask for help.  God is no different.  He wants us to look for him and to ask for his help when we are in such need!  We ARE going to fall.  We DO have a Heavenly Father who wants to help us up.  We HAVE to ask for that help and run to him every single chance we get.  God knows exactly what we need and want.  He wants us to ask him for those very things.  Ask him!  Raise your hands to God every time you fall.  He WILL pick you up if you ask!

Think about how many times your Father has asked you to do something.  Be slow to anger when you have to tell your child numerous times.  Love them as you are loved.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Today

This morning, I had the best time being able to train others for computer work and documentation at the hospital where I am currently employed.  I had so much fun!  Usually, I’m a nervous wreck about what/how/where/why/when I am going to present things.  I was on it today because I chose to understand that I knew exactly what I was doing and, today, I chose to make the very best of the time I had with the interns and employees there for the training.  I did not know how today was going to work itself out until today happened.  It was really a fun time.  

Also, today allowed me to give others the opportunity to be rescued.  If you did not know, my best friend wrote a book entitled Rescued, and it’s a very real story about very real pain, very real sadness, and a very real God.  I got to deliver four copies of that book to people today.  It was a great honor just being able to share what my best friend had shared so openly in her book.  I am so grateful that she had the guts to write that book.  

I was aware, today, of how blessed I truly am.  I got to wake up, dress myself, eat, drive myself to work, and share my knowledge of work. I got to have lunch with an old friend, and I made a new one.  I got to share Rescued with four other people,  I got to play with dog, do my laundry, take out the trash, have some hot tea, and hear my dishwasher working.  I am one lucky woman!  Today, I realized that more than ever.

What did you get to do today?

For the opportunity to get Rescued, click here.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Palo Duro High School

I grew up in a very middle class neighborhood.  Ok, I believe it was very middle class, and in the 70s and 80s, it probably was.  My house was the only two-story house on the block.  I liked that about my house.  My life was lived on the North side of Amarillo, Texas.  I went to Will Rogers Elementary, Travis Jr. High, and Palo Duro High School.  Notice I mentioned I grew up on the North side of Amarillo.  That’s really the whole point to this blog post.  I LOVED my neighborhood.  I go back, driving through the neighborhood every once in a while, and I remember the good and the bad.  I have always loved where I grew up.  Not everyone in Amarillo thought so highly of the North side.

As it still is, the North side of Amarillo has always been considered the poor side of town.  I never saw myself as poor when I was growing up.  I had a roof over my head, clothes on my back (Yes, they were from K-mart, but I had no problem with that), shoes on my feet, and food to keep me from going hungry.  I did not have the money to go shopping at the mall, to buy the best and most popular clothes or shoes, and I didn’t get to go to the movies or anything entertainment like some did.  I had friends, most of them boys, and we would play football, basketball, and baseball together.  If I remember correctly, there was only one girl on my block that was even close to my age, so I literally just hung out with guys.  I didn’t hate it.  In fact, I thought I was quite lucky.  Again, I never thought of myself as poor.

Those who lived on the South side of Amarillo constantly berated the schools and people from the North side.  If you were from the North side, you were never good enough for anything.  You were from the ghetto, and you might as well have lived outside with the dogs.  Knowing people thought that way, I still was very proud of where I went to school and where I lived.  Coming from an elementary school where most people went to another jr. high was really hard.  Most of the people that I had gone to elementary school with ended up going to Horace Mann Jr. High.  I got to Travis not really knowing a lot of other people, and I was quite uncomfortable.  I have always been an introvert, so that was really not helpful in my new school.  The jr. high years were really some of my most hated of my academic life.  I was picked on all the time.  People were always trying to fight me, and I had no idea why.  I had to become “harder” than the skinny little weak-looking girl that I was.  I started wanting to be the one who was picking fights and wanted to just hit anyone who even thought about breathing too loudly around me.  How I kept friends during this roller-coaster time is beyond me.  I did meet some really good people at Travis, though.  One person ended up being my best friend throughout high school.

I was 15 years old as I entered high school as a Sophomore.  None of this Freshman stuff when I was in high school.  Again, I had entered a new school with not a lot of friends.  I was still wearing clothes that were not always up to par with what everyone else was wearing.  I still did not see myself as poor.  I did not see that I lived in the ghetto.  I loved high school so much.  I had my share of problems there as well, but I gained more than I lost.  I was still trying to be tough as I felt I needed to be just to survive.  I became friends with many more people, I got involved with groups, organizations, and a sports team.  We would have these massive rivalries with Amarillo High.  Kids now days have no clue how really big that rivalry was.  Amarillo High was known as the rich, snobby school.  So, when PD would play Amarillo High, it was poor vs. rich, North side vs. South side.  It was always a big game regardless of stats and records.  It was game for pride.  We hated them as much as they hated us.  As my three years in high school came to an end, I knew that I might never see all of the friends I had made ever again.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had become rich.  I had become rich in friends.

I am now forty-five years old, and I still love Palo Duro High School.  I cannot even begin to express how much pride I have to tell people I went there.  Every time I pass by the school, I have a sense of pride that just puffs me up a little bit more.  I learned way more than I ever expected at that school.  I gained friends, some I never will see again, and I have some that I am fortunate enough to visit with daily even thought it may be just through Facebook.  I love my friends from school.  Someone I went to school with mentioned on Facebook that all of us that went to Palo Duro were, and are, more of a family than anything else.  It’s true.  We are a family!  We comfort each other in times of crisis.  We support each other in times of need.  We give what we can to each other because that’s just what we do.  That’s what family does.  So, to my fellow Dons I say, I love each and every single one of you.  I got your back.   And………..GO BIG BLUE!  GO BIG WHITE!  GO DONS, GO DONS, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!

NORTHSIDE PRIDE!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Renewed

On New Year’s Eve, I volunteered to be a sober driver for those who needed one.  A friend of mine needed help.  I was glad to be able to help her and another friend that was with her.  I am so honored that they took me up on my offer.  I believed that God had put that in and on my heart, and that He wanted me to just be that designated driver.  Looking back on that night, now, I realize there was a bigger motive in God’s plan.  

As I arrived to the bar where my friends were hanging out, I walked in and the smells, sights, and sounds brought back the memories of who I used to be.  

The smells of the smoke and alcohol finding their way into my nostrils were the first things that caught my attention.  Smells are very significant to me.  My sense of smell is probably the most emotionally significant to me.  Delicious scents improve my mood and my outlook on things, in general.  The not-so-delicious scent of cigarette smoke, alcohol, too much perfume and cologne, and desperation filled the air that night.  I had visions in my head of the preparations I used to take when I was single and going out all of the time.  Desperate to look and smell good, desperate to find that one person just for me, desperate to get drunk off my butt so that I could just talk to others, and desperate to feel “loved” and find “love” by whomever caught my attention that night.  That was my life.  I made myself so dishonorably available to all the drunk men looking for “whatever.”  

After the smells so rudely invited themselves into my senses, I looked around and saw the neon signs, people hanging all over each other, eyes barely open to see anything, and I felt sadness.  Again, a memory of who I used to be filled my heart and mind.  I just wanted to be liked and “loved” for who I was.  As alcohol was introduced, it really was for who I thought I was and who I thought I needed to be for approval by any and everyone.  The longer I stayed the more I observed the behaviors of others in the bar.  I watched groups of young women grinding on each other, husbands and possibly their wives rubbing on each other and allowing others to rub on them.  People who were obviously there together were allowing others to be physical with their partners.  I saw drunk people grinding on inanimate objects.  It took me back to a life where I was so miserable, that I would hang out with just about anyone not caring what their behaviors, or mine, would look like to someone else.  I did not care because I had enough alcohol in me to change reality into fantasy.  I was not behaving as a young lady should behave.  At that time, I did not care.  Seeing what I saw on New Year’s Eve, I wanted to call every person I had ever gone out with, every person who ever saw me acting a fool on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, and every person I ever had contact with as a drunk person and profusely apologize to them.  Seriously!

The sounds of people laughing, joyously yelling, and music to dance to filled my ears.  I used to go out and dance every time the Electric Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, or just any good song would come on.  I loved to dance, but I am pretty sure I looked like every other drunk person trying to look cool moving to a beat.  Those same songs that I used to dance to came back to me as something totally different on December 31, 2013.  They sounded differently to me.  They did not sound like fun.  They sounded like excuses to use my body in an unflattering way that made me wince and shiver.  Hearing people slur the words, “I love you” to whomever was in listening distance saddened my heart.

At forty-five years old, I have realized that those days have long been over, and that if I want to dance with my husband, I could do so in any room of my house without being surrounded by those still searching for love and approval.  I could do so without entering an establishment that was decorated with desperation and heartache that were filling the air and oozing down every inch of the walls and sticking to the floors.  

I am so grateful that I have been made new, so that I do NOT have to be who I was.  So that I do NOT have to crave who I was.  What I crave now is to be happy in what is real love.  I crave to be hope for someone who is struggling.  I crave to be a light when there is darkness.

God held up a mirror to me that night, and I saw what I have never been able to see previously.  Thank you, God.

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.  Ephesians 21 – 24

 

This is not a judgment on anyone.  

This is my eye-opening experience.  

I am blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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