Monday, October 31, 2005

The latest and greatest…

Of “MY KIDS”

Of course, they aren't really mine...but they are the closest thing I have to real children - my best friend's kids...I just love them so much! THey are absolutely so much fun and its always an adventure when I get to spend time with them!

This is the Divine Miss H…Ain’t she cute?!?!?!?!?!

Smile!

And this, of course, this is Mr. R….in case you are wondering…he’s saying “CHEESE!” He has mastered that phrase…and we are SO lucky!

Cheese!

We had so much fun at the pumpkin patch, but I gotta tell you…a few hours with Mr. R makes me TIRED! He is 100% boy and he most certainly has a mind of his own about how things should be…he he he he…just like his mom!

I was comparing these to the pictures I took of Miss H two years ago...I can't believe how different she looks! And, I'm happy to say, my photography skills are improving! When we took Miss H two years ago, she was the most compliant little thing! She would sit, hug the pumpkin, smile...whatever.

This time, they BOTH had their own ideas of what would be fun, so I was challenged with getting shots of them without being able to pose them much...if I did get to pose them, the shot only lasted for a few seconds! WHEW!!! All the shots definately captured their personalities - something so much more important than anything else when it comes to photos...I'm definately happy with the results!

Haley1Ryan1
Haley2ryan2
Haley3Ryan3
Haley4Ryan4
Ryan and Haley1
Ryan and Haley2

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Verse of the day:

Matthew 6:14-15

The King James we all know and love says this:

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


The Amplified says it this way:

For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [d]reckless and willful sins, [e]leaving them, letting them go, and [f]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

And the Message Bible says it this way:

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

I LOVE this “reckless and willful sins” part of the Amplified. And I love the piece of the Message Bible that reads “If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”

Here’s my translation: You get what you give.

If you cannot forgive somebody else, then you can’t receive forgiveness. Its bondage. That simple. That clear…and it’s a powerful force on humanity…

So, I asked myself – am I keeping track of wrongs? Do I hold somebody else in the bondage of unforgiveness? Do I hold myself in unforgiveness? Do I hold GOD in unforgiveness?

Oh, yes…

And the list of things I’m keeping track of is LONG…

VERY LONG!

Here I am, seeking forgiveness, looking for relief, yearning for something bigger, better, different, fulfilled, rewarding…

But I’m lugging my 10-ton list of people who have hurt me or wronged me into every situation. And sometimes, there is just no room for a 10-ton list!

The list is varied…things as big as my ex-husband and as tiny as that guy who cut me off on the freeway.

I once held my husband in unforgiveness for six months over a missed birthday! SIX MONTHS! That is a lot of wasted time over a card, don’t you think?

Sometimes we think that people should know better than do behave a certain way. We think that we would never do that to them, so why don’t they realize they shouldn’t do the same thing to us…it can get very complicated. Mostly because what makes perfect sense to you doesn’t always mean the same thing to somebody else.

The plain and simple truth is that they do the best with what they have to work with at the time. That guy that cuts you off on the freeway - whatever is going on in his head and heart – that is all he has to work with in that moment. We are incredibly impulsive creatures and we don’t often sit ourselves down to survey our knowledge base before making decisions about how we act – especially not on the freeway (and other such situations!). Much of the decision making we do is done on the fly, in the moment and motivated by emotion. That makes for some powerfully misguided decisions!

Even those people who abuse us or hurt us terribly deserve forgiveness. That is not to say that you should be a doormat, nor is it to say that you should hang out in a violent or abusive situation. We are not called to be doormats. Everyone should be free of such situations. And full freedom includes forgiving the other person. As long as you are holding that person in unforgiveness for the things they have done, they are allowed to continue to torture you without even being in your life.

Holding people in unforgiveness causes us to make vows: we do that “I will never…” thing. I will never be with a man like him again…I will never let somebody else control my money again…and so on and so on. Some recognition of the behavior that got you into a bad situation is healthy. It can assist with making wiser decisions later on…but to make an “I will never…” statement tends to bind us to or away from things that might actually be healthy in a later situation! Its insulation, for sure…but insulation keeps things in as well as out…Its good for houses and bad for hearts.

So, I’m making a list of things I am still holding people accountable for.

I’m sure it will be a very long list.

And guess what…I’M even on that list!

These things are long gone and over. They make little difference in my life now and going forward.

They deserve to be released and I deserve freedom!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wonderfully Insane...

Well…

Its official…

We are moving to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Its just a chance that we cannot pass up…

An opportunity to have a different kind of life..

A different pace…

A house, God willing…

A baby, God willing…

I don’t have a job waiting for me…and for me, that, in and of itself, is a test of my faith. I’ve never left one place to go to another without work waiting. I’ve never made a decisions entirely based upon the future stability of my family and nothing more.

I’ve spent my entire adult life on the west coast…I’ve lived in California since I was 18.

Scary.

Sad.

Exhilerating.

Exciting.

Frightening.

And not.

What an amazing way to make a decision! Its dizzying and electrifying and so totally not me. I don’t take risks like this. I don’t obey somebody else’s wishes and drop everything to do what they want.

Am I insane?

Yes.

And its wonderful!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Then...

Couple of things rattling away in my head today…

It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone, unknown, and hurt
It was a beautiful letdown
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do
It was a beautiful letdown
When you found me here
Yeah for once in a blue moon I see everything clear

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in,
Until I found out
I don’t belong here
I will carry your cross and your song
But I don’t belong

(Switchfoot)

And this:

The ice is thin enough for walkin'
The rope is worn enough to climb
My throat is dry enough for talkin'
The world is crumblin' but I know why
The storm is wild enough for sailing
The bridge is weak enough to cross
This body frail enough for fighting
I'm home enough to know I'm lost
Home enough to know I'm lost
The land unfit enough for planting
Barren enough to conceive
Poor enough to gain the treasure
Enough a cynic to believe
Confused enough to know direction
The sun eclipsed enough to shine
Be still enough to finally tremble
And see enough to know I'm blind

It's just enough to be strong
In the broken places, in the broken places
It's just enough to be strong
Should the world rely on faith tonight

(Jars of Clay)

Something I didn’t realize…they say the same thing...

I am broken…

Found…

Strong…

Beautiful in my weakness…

Because when I’m not sure…

When I feel alone…

When I don’t understand why…

When I am supremely unfit…

Ill-equipped for the challenge…

Then…

Then…

He shows Himself strong…

So that absolutely everyone will know…

There is no question…

It isn’t me…

It isn’t me…

Monday, October 10, 2005

Survivor Crop

It is upon us...pink month...boob month...Breast Cancer Awareness Month...And I'm encouraging ALL OF MY FEMALE LOVED ONES...TAKE CARE OF YOUR BOOBIES!!!

Ok..Mom...I'm sorry...I know you are cringing...but...hey..if humor gets the job done, then I say WOO HOO!

Some of you know James - my...well...my ex. His mother died of cancer that began in the breast and spread through out her body. He was 12 years old...I will never forget the stories he told of his mom, Rose. How painful her battles was. She died in 1981 - a time when there was little known and even less that could be done to help women fight and recover from breast cancer.

Also, some of you have heard me talk about my my dear friend Barbara Lozano. We lost her a few years ago to breast cancer. She left behind two teen-age boys who desperately needed her. Her dying wish was that money would be donated instead of spent on flowers for her services.

Every year since that time, I've done something during Breast Cancer Awareness month to help fight this disease...the disease of our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters. These are the people who bring us into this world! They encourage us, edify us, nurture us and bring us joy, even in the smallest of things

Normally, my assistance comes in the form of a donation to somebody else participating in a sponsored event. This year, I decided to participate myself in a scrapbooking event called the Survivor Crop on October 22-23. The event format is a 24hour Scrapbooking marathon from noon Saturday to noon on Sunday, modeled after the Survivor television show. Participants are grouped in to islands and are encouraged to participate in a number of activities and contests, including lasting the entire 24 hour period to become the Ultimate Survivor! This is the third year the event has been sponsored by Ever After Scrapbooks in Carlsbad, CA.

They are a small but mighty force. Their objective is not only to raise money. They also want to increase awareness and provide education about this life threatening disease. In 2003, the event collected over $16,000. In 2004, participants were able to raise over $50,000.00. 100% of the funds raised will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, either to fund local awareness education programs, or to directly fund research grants to find a cure. (Rigistration for the event is paid separate from any donations received and covers all expenses.)

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure? to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. A global leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Foundation fulfills its mission through support of innovative breast cancer research grants, meritorious awards and educational, scientific and community outreach programs around the world. Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised nearly $600 million for the fight against breast cancer.

So...what does that mean to you?

Well, I'm asking for your help in funding education and grants to search for a cure to breast cancer!

If you are interested in making a difference in the fight against breast cancer, please sponsor me for the Survivor Crop. Even just a few dollars can help! Do you have $5? How about $10? Anything you can donate would be so greatly appreciated! If you are interested in helping, please e-mail me at chksngr@verizon.net.

If you don't want to donate to my event, I encourage you to find a chapter in your local area, and lend your talent, time, or money to help in the battle against breast cancer!!!

I know that all of the tragedies around our world have us reaching deep into our pockets. I understand, believe me. My take on it is this...I still have something to give...I still have more than most, so I'm going to give what I can to support the ongoing battle! I sincerely hope you join me!

HUGS!!!