Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #161

Yay, it's Friday (or it will be by the time y'all read this!) Before I do the fill-in, here's some exciting news: I have an interview! No, it's not for a permanent job--but it may lead to one. It's a long-term sub job for 9th grade English, and getting experience at the high school will definitely improve my chances of getting a permanent gig when the new high school opens in the fall. Plus, it's 50% more pay (which is only fair since I'll be doing all the grading, lesson planning, paperwork, etc. that the regular teacher does). There are apparently a lot of people who try for these jobs and I'm lucky to get an interview. Please say a prayer, cross your fingers, chant or burn incense for me--but don't sacrifice any goats. Unless you need fresh goat meat. But don't make a big mess just for me, is what I'm saying.

Oh, shoot--if you think sacrificing a goat will guarantee me a job, go ahead and do it!

Here's the fill-in!

1. Wouldn't it be easy if kids listened and obeyed everything we said?
2. My marriage is better than ever!
3. I love the taste of salty and sweet things together--like chocolate-covered pretzels, or crispy fries dipped in a milkshake. Mmmm, now I'm getting hungry.
4. My husband is flipping through channels in the living room.
5. The first thing we're going to do is talk about everything we've got going on.
6. The rain outside goes drip, drip, drip; all night long. (it really is raining; hopefully it won't become ice by morning).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making the kids pick up all their toys so I don't have to look at them all over the floor, tomorrow my plans include getting some scrapbook pages done with my group and Sunday, I want to celebrate 10 people getting baptized at our church!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind: #1-5

I ran across these questions over at The Wonder Worrier's blog and immediately decided to answer them, too. Like her, I'm going to do five at a time, randomly, whenever I want to blog but don't have something specific to write about.

Because I know you are all so interested in MEEEEEE.

No, seriously, I like reading other people's answers to these types of surveys, so if you decide to answer, post a link in the comments! And remember, like the original source said, these questions have no right or wrong answers.

1.  How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I really do think I would be the age I actually am: in my mid-thirties. I like this age (well, I wouldn't mind being 32 instead of [gulp] nearly 35). I feel more confident and self-aware than I ever have been in my life. I've always been an "old soul" who never felt truly young and carefree even when I was. Of course, some days I feel about 80, but on the whole I embrace my current age.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Copying Steph again here: I really want to say that never trying is worse. Carpe diem, and "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," and all that. In reality, I have always dreaded failing--to the point that I deliberately avoid things that I'm not sure I'd be good at. If it doesn't come naturally, I don't do it. This is not something I like about myself, and am taking steps to change. For example, in a week I'm going on a women's retreat, where I have promised to do two things I've never done before: ride a horse, and go on a zip line. I'll report back. It may be... interesting, to say the least.
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Well, sometimes you just have to suck it up and do some things you don't like. That's called maturity, or "acting like a grownup." I don't have much sympathy for people who blow off their responsibilities because they weren't feeling excited about their job or their marriage every day. There's something to be said for sticking it out when the going gets tough. But the tradeoff should be that you balance that with things you DO enjoy. For me, that involves remembering to savor the everyday moments that make up my everyday life, like letting the kids pile on top of me on the couch, or making time for a hobby I enjoy.

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
Absolutely, because I talk a LOT. I hope my actions back up my words, however. One example: I hope my children don't say after I'm gone, "Mom talked a lot about loving us, but we never really felt she meant it."

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
I think I've answered this before in a post, but am too tired to look it up. I'd like to end child abuse, because I think it contributes to so many of the world's problems. If every child could go to bed loved tonight, what a different world it would be.

That's all for now! I'm looking forward to answering the next 5 questions!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #160

I finally have time to do a Friday Fill-In on Friday! I'm home alone--wait, that's not as pathetic as it sounds. My dad picked the kids up for a sleepover at my parents' house, and Justin's on his way home. So it's Date Night, and I'm pathetically excited because it's been a long time--since before Christmas--since we've had a date. I have no idea what we're going to do except a) the first part will involve food, since I'm starving; and b) it has to be cheap. Probably our usual, the bookstore (although when you only go every two months, it's hardly old hat) and maybe rent a movie. Maybe. If I can stay awake long enough--last night I fell asleep on the couch at 9:40.

On with the fill-in!

1. You have a chance to make the right choices.
2. I can't stop thinking about food right now!
3. There is a time and a season for everything.
4. If you play now, you're going to pay later (and I'd rather pay in advance).
5. It's time to wake up and face the music.
6. My job for next year is up in the air but I am encouraged because I am being successful at subbing and I know my efforts are being noticed.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having a date with my husband, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in since the kids won't be here to wake me up and Sunday, I want to go to dinner at our friends' house!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

When Believing Demands Your All

The kids and I just had a little shouting service over a check that came in the mail for $52.30. That might seem odd, but when you're nervously checking your bank account and calculating if you have enough to buy groceries AND pay the day care (at which you do NOT want to lose your son's place for non-or-late payment), every little bit helps. Justin and Miss Pink took a jar of change to the counting machine earlier today. So an extra 50 bucks was worth shouting, "Go Jesus, go Jesus, go Jesus!"

Oh, if I were always as grateful to God for everything He has done for me as Miss Pink was when she heard the amount, which seemed huge to her! If God had made the check be $5,000.00, I'm sure I would be shouting for joy. So I went ahead and shouted for this first little blessing even though it won't pay the past-due bills. Yet it reminds me of the woman who made a cake for the prophet with the last meal and oil she had; God kept on giving her just enough for the rest of the famine.

Now, I realize I am sounding like one of those faith-filled people. Nothing would make me happier, but the truth is my faith is still very weak. I spent yesterday and this morning fighting fear that roared through me like a hurricane. Last night I called a good friend and wept my heart out and received love and encouragement. This morning my husband and I assessed the situation prayerfully (we hope he will get paid some Monday, and more by the end of the week; the jobs are completed, and now the builders need to stop dragging their feet and pay what they owe him, but we can't force them to). And then I sat down to study because I agreed to teach a class at church tomorrow.

If you've never experienced trying to say something positive to a group of people, all of whom are older and wiser than you, while you're dealing with one of the worst struggles of your life,'s not that fun to get started. I had planned to teach something else, but this week I knew I needed to teach out of a series I had recently studied: Beth Moore's Believing God. Y'all, that study rocked my world. And then I had to live it, and it has nearly beaten me to death.

I don't have time to write the whole thing here, but in my lesson I say that until now I have never HAD to depend on God and nothing else. On one hand I have been distraught that I can't pay my bills on time, and a big part of that was IMAGE: what other people would think if they knew, and if we did end up losing our house, etc. how ashamed I would be. And I was thinking, If You are God, and You do love me, why aren't You delivering me? This hurts SO MUCH!

And on the other hand I knew that I have no right to demand that God give me money. I know many wonderful people who prayed, believed God, and were told no. I also know many people who received their miracle. For reasons we are not allowed to know, God wants us to ask, believing that He is able, but trust Him that if He says no, He will redeem the pain and that someday--whether in this life or on the other side--we will understand. And in the meantime He will be with us.

I know it sounds like a cop-out. I know it sounds like God gets a pretty sweet deal: all the credit when things go well, and a free pass when they don't. But all I know is that when I pray and read my Bible, I receive just enough strength to pick myself up and keep going. Just enough light to see the next few feet. Just enough money to buy groceries from an unexpected source.

It is hard for me to write this. I know many of you believe like I do, but some of you have other beliefs. That's okay (as long as you don't bash me, please). Some people have trouble being "real" online. That's not my problem; I have to force myself to maintain my boundaries. Although I love sympathy and encouragement, that is not why I wrote this. I just want to remind myself, the next time I am drowning in doubt, that on Saturday, January 16, 2010, I chose to believe. It's taking everything I have, but I'm hanging on to the One in whom I have believed, and I'm not letting go.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

As you might have noticed, I haven't posted this week. It's been a busy week--I'm working every day, and Justin has had to work later than usual, so I've been too tired to read blogs. Monday is a holiday, though, so I'm sure I'll catch up with you all soon.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Don't Wanna Work Out Like That

Yesterday I didn't get called in to sub. Which surprised me, because I got called the first day back after the holidays (but couldn't go in due to a doctor's appointment.) Amazingly, I was a little disappointed since after two and a half weeks off, I am ready to get back to work (and to get paid!)

I did some things around the house. I couldn't waste time on the computer, because our church was having a Fasting Day. I had decided to give up caffeine and recreational Internet use, since I was planning to work, and I can't be responsible for what I might do to a class of little stinkers without ANY food in my stomach. I figured doing without caffeine and blogs (and Twitter and Facebook, yikes) would be hard enough.

It was. I discovered that almost every site I read on the Internet must be defined as recreational. I checked my email: nothing interesting (and FYI, Victoria's Secret and NY&Co, I have no money to spend on your endless sales anyway). I read some, but Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall, while very well-written, is the story of Thomas Cromwell, the advisor to Henry VIII who made it possible for Henry to justify divorcing Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. And not to give anything away, but I already know how it ends, and it's not good for the protagonist.

(Spoiler alert: anyone who displeases the king gets executed. I just saved you from having to read a book. You're welcome.)

So I decided to work out. I need to tell you that I haven't worked out AT ALL for three six months. I just quit the gym because I was paying $35 a month to never go there. And our DVD player is broken, so I couldn't pop in an exercise DVD. And did you know that it's currently very cold here in Texas? Yeah, I'm so not going out to walk when it's 32 degrees (and that's the high for the day). I got out my underused iPod and broke out the few aerobics moves I remember from my college days and the many DVDs I've tried to follow. I jumped rope (personal best: 1 1/2 minutes before coming to a gasping halt!) I did squats and lunges and crunches and some Pilates moves. And I did it all to songs like "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart."

 I am positive I looked ridiculous. I do not know how to dance at ALL, due to being raised Pentecostal. Never have I been more glad that no one was around to mock me.

After I had done every move I could think of, I looked at the time on the iPod. Only 20 minutes had gone by.

Good enough, I told myself. After all, I haven't worked out in months. Gotta ease back into it.

And now that my job for today was canceled due to the district delaying school start times till 10, I have no desire to work out again today.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

National Delurking Week

I just found out it's National Delurking Week. Whenever a blogger asks her readers to delurk, I always try to say hi because it's fun to know there are some people out there reading even if they don't normally comment. So please leave me a comment to let me know you're out there, and where you're reading from and your blog name (if you want to tell me)!

In return, I promise to visit and comment on your blog. I've done a couple of small good things (as opposed to big nasty resolutions) already and it felt good. Making some new blog friends would be a good way to start this year!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #157

1. Last night we had appetizers for dinner, watched the movie Up and America's Funniest Home Videos and then watched the ball drop in New York and pretended it was midnight so the kids would go to sleep. Justin and I did stay up till midnight after they went to bed.
2. I am looking forward to making the most of this year.
3. The funniest thing is listening to my husband and children tease each other.
4. Here we stand at a where do we go from here?
5. He said tomAYto; she said tomAHto.
6. Every cloud has a silver lining and it's up to us to find it.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having takeout Chinese for dinner with my parents, tomorrow my plans include getting the house in shape before school starts on Monday and Sunday, I want to plan menus and get groceries for the week!