"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Reflection: Rooted


I saw a poster on FB the other day that in general said this: They (the person in the poster) would rather have lived their life believing in God and Jesus as the son of God and find out in the end that it was all for nothing than to have lived their life absent from God, but to find out in the end he is real. (Paraphrased)
As a teenager, I said something similar to the poster quote when a friend of mine said to me, “You’re going to feel stupid when you die and find out there is no God and you’ve wasted your time being all good.”
I said, “I’d rather live my life believing in God and finding out he’s not real in the end than to not believe and find out he is real and then live in hell, forever.”
First of all, I need to say that I wasn’t “good”, just a teenager. Secondly, since then my faith in God has become more than guessing if God's real or not. Knowing God, and his son Jesus as my Savior, who died because all people have sinned, is strengthening. Where God is powerful, he is also pure love. Where he is righteous, he is also forgiving.
“This is what the Lord says:
‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’” Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NIV)
We may trust in people, self-medicating devices, possessions or ourselves, but in the end those will fail us. Following God's precepts allows our spiritual roots to deepen in faithfulness. With this kind of relationship, we are more equip to manage hard times when they come, where we may bend, but not go down for good.  
Blessings,
Teresa

Holy Bible source: biblegateway.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

I'm back!

I’m finally back to blogging. I’ll repeat what one of our school nurses said  to me last week(about our district), “There’s a lot of sadness here, right now.” She was referring to three teachers fighting cancer and one of our precious students who decided to complete suicide.
Hearts are heavy, in our school district. Please pray for us.
So, I think it’s time to tell stories on Millie because she is officially one year old and she deserves to be tattled on.  
When Millie came to live with me in April of last year, she chewed and bit me (playfully but painfully) and ate EVERYTHING in sight. She's much better now, even though we've had a few recent incidents lately:
  • One black leather shoe might have the back chewed down.  And,
  • The wool blanket, under the quilt on my bed, now has a large hole on one corner.
Then there's my favorite cashmere scarf that Millie took a bite of. (YES, I made her wear it, although she tried to hide the damage.)  If you look closely, you can see the damage directly below her collar, next to the couch. 

Who needs moths when you have Millie?
 
Imagine a quarter size hole.
 
Another little problem we had was with a puzzle that I received for Christmas. I usually put one together every year. Here it is. Pretty huh? I enjoyed it until I got to the end...
 
 
 
...and a piece was missing. Now you might be wondering how I could blame Millie when the puzzle was on its board and on the dining room table (at the time). Well here's the thing, at one point I was sorting the pieces and several fell in the floor. Immediately, Millie runs into the room like she had superman hearing or something and ready to leap small puzzle pieces in a single bound.

I said...okay, I yelled, "Stop, Millie!" And she did. She is obedient in that area. She will stop walking when I tell her to stop. Immediately, I fall to the floor to search for the pieces, and thought I had picked them all up. Then Millie ran to one and popped it in her mouth. I rescued it from her mouth and gave the floor one more once-over.

A few minutes later, I'm working on the puzzle again when I realize Millie is not in the room. If she's quiet, then I know to search for her because she is NOT trustworthy. That's when I find her sitting on my bedroom floor, munching on something. When she sees me, she eats faster because our normal routine is that when I reach her, I say open your mouth. If she has nothing in her mouth, she'll open her mouth for me to look inside, but if she's still chomping, then I have to pry her jaws open. That day when I entered the room, she gulps when she sees me. Whatever she had in her mouth was now in her stomach.

Now you might say that I'm am accusing her without evidence. I say, YOU go look in the backyard. You'll find your evidence.

Piece missing of the back tire.

Millie is a mess and I get frustrated with her at times, but then she does this, hides in plain sight in the "toy room" on the zebra stool. "No, Millie, I can't see you."

 
Or when she's tired of my accusations, she retires with Santa to her bed.
 
 
Before you say aww, isn't she adorable, keep this in mind. After this photo was taken, Millie ate the eyes off of Santa and shredded his hat beyond recognition. Now YOU explain that to Mrs. Claus and all the children of the world come next Christmas Eve.
 
Ooooh, Millie's okay. When I come through the door after work, she's always waiting with flapping tongue extended and tail wagging ready to maul me with love. I'll probably keep her for another year.
 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Reflection: RAK


Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) week is February 9-15. By nature, I am a kind person, that is, if I don’t have to go out of my way. That doesn’t do much for humankind, however, if kindness is only convenient.
 
One day last week, I made (bland) meals for three teachers who have cancer. When one emailed and thanked me for my kindness, I nearly fell out of my chair. I didn't think providing meals as being kind, just providing a service. 


I've said this before, kindness takes all forms: smiles, reaching for something on a higher shelf in the grocery store for someone, not judging another as they stand alongside the road asking for money and then giving them $5. If nothing else, Random Acts of Kindness week helps me reflect on what I do and don’t do for others and how my every day life can bring a flicker of hope to someone. 
 
 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
 
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
 
 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:31-40 (NIV)
 
Today is the last day for Random Acts of Kindness—or is it?
Blessings,
Teresa

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sticks and Stones…, but names….

Call me Patricia is something my sister would never say, thanks to me. If you would like your throat punched, you may call her Patricia.  I'll leave that up to you. But at some point in our childhood, I decided to change her name from Tammy to Patricia. I don't remember any good reason for calling her a different name (for a short time) except to be annoying. 

Sticks and Stones may break my bones (and kill), but names will never hurt me. Umm, yes they do. 
There's power in a name. Some of the names I was called as a youth: Red (because of my reddish brown hair), freckles (well you know why), and TP (for toilet paper otherwise known as my initials). 
Names are important. We think long and hard about naming our children the perfect name. Our pets often get the same treatment. We may move from a childhood name of Tommy to Tom or Kathy to Kathryn. 

Names are a part of our identity. 
Here are book characters names you might recognize:
  • Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler.  (Gone with the Wind)
  • Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
  • Harry Potter (no not the character from MASH), Lord Voldemort, Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter Series)
  • Bella Swan, Edward Cullen (Twilight Series)
What about Rocky Balboa, Brad Pitt or Cher?  Are these names you recognize?

When I'm looking to name a character, I look at: 
  • Movie credits
  • Baby books
  • Yearbooks (not my own, that could complicate things)
  • Phone books
Here are some other people who have thought too much about choosing the right names for their characters.  

Writer’s Digest Magazine offers seven (brilliant) rules for naming Characters.
But if you can only handle six creative ways to name your characters check out The Write Life.
If you're feeling wild and crazy, peruse these top ten tips for naming characters at The Script Lab
My name means to reap and gather in or a harvester. Famous Teresa's are Mother Teresa, Teresa Brewer (singer) and Teresa Giudice, (Real Housewife of NJ who is in hot water). What does your name mean? If you're a writer where do you find your character names?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Reflection: Life Junk and Enemy Chases


A long time ago, in what seems like a land far, far away, I went through a divorce. During that time, I was severely depressed, but didn’t have Dr. Lovely Daughter’s expertise, as yet, to tell me to get professional help (although she has bossed me her entire life). :)
During that time, I floated from day to day, wanting the turmoil to end. I cried a lot. I retreated. I prayed. I got really skinny. What I remember most about that time (and I journaled about it) were the miracles—the ones I saw in action. I know there were those I didn’t get to see, too. The one thing I knew for sure during that time was that because of my faith in God, and even at my lowest points, I knew I was never alone.
There are so many awesome accounts of miracles in the Bible like 2 Corinthians 11 where it documents Paul's struggle to stay alive in his journey to tell others of Jesus. Guess what? Paul's enemies didn’t win that battle.
In the end, God wins the battle.  
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-33 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)
When I’m in the middle of life junk and enemy chases, “...where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”. Psalm 121
Blessings to you all,
Teresa