Monday, October 27, 2008

Faith Folk Cafe - Sunday Challenge

I was just over at Faith Folk Cafe, one of my favorite spots. Yesterday they began a Sunday Challenge. This week it is:

Sunday Challenge... It's simple...what are you thankful for?

To participate, or just read everyone's posts, go here.

As I sit here, I know I have too much to ever list. God has been so good to me.

I am thankful...

For Christian grandparents who saved my life... and the life of my mother, by bringing us to know God; and for teaching us to have faith no matter what trials may come... for life is full of trials, but it is also full of blessings, miracles, love, and beauty.

For a loving, caring husband who has stood by me through all the loss, pain, uncertainty.

For two sons that are so dear to me. Sons I was told I might never be able to have. They are my miracles, my heart.

For a mother and an uncle who, by their example, taught me that faith is not dependant on a perfect life, a healthy life, a pain-free life... that you can walk in faith in the midst of pain. Pain, failure, sickness, disability do not define us... we are defined by Christ alone. He is our source of strength.

For family, For friends, For wonderful Pastors, For strength for this day...

For unending hope for the future. No matter who becomes our next President, I can walk in faith, without fear, because everything... Everything... is in the hands of my creator... my Father God and His dear son Jesus Christ.

I am thankful that I can believe in a bright tomorrow. I believe while we are traveling there, faith will carry us through the rough times.

I am thankful, so thankful...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joy In My Journey

I have been having a few "bad" days with my MS. I had the worst headache I can remember having. It started Friday, and continued to get worse on Saturday and Sunday. I had told one of my very best friends about it.

When she went to church Sunday morning, they asked for all who were suffering with headaches to come forward. Since I was not there, my dear friend went up in my place. The pastor prayed for healing for me and that I would hear a song in my heart. My friend just told me about this an hour ago. The following song by Michael Card has been going through my head since Sunday evening. I've been singing bits of it around the house and when driving my son to driver's ed.

Joy in the Journey
Michael Card

There is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all who believe
Hope for the hopeless
And sight for the blind

To all who've been born of the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that's before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness
When you were lost

Cause there is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey
And freedom for those who obey

I love the music and the lyrics of this song! Oh, and my headache was easing off at noon and was gone by about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. This is what keeps me believing in the power of prayer. I didn't know I had been prayed for, but I know the results. I've been struggling with these terrible headaches off and on for the past three months. They last anywhere from 3 days to a week. They are resistant to pain medication, and they had gotten progressively worse. Saturday the pain was well beyond the "10" in the "rate your pain from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst you have ever had" and I didn't know what else I could do... then somebody prayed.

So, today I put myself on our prayer chain for the other things that are happening in my body. I try very hard not to complain (though I do now and then... being human and all!) so I had not shared everything that's been going on. My left arm went numb a few weeks ago, and this week the numbness spread to the left side of my torso. What's strange is the skin is numb, but there is still muscle and bone pain underneath. My muscle spasms in my legs and back have returned, so I have been forced to use a cane to get around again.

Even with all this, I know I am so much better off than many people around the world. I have a loving family who takes care of me when it's needed, I have excellent insurance and health care, I have a church family that prays for me when I ask, and I have a Heavenly Father that answers prayer... sometimes with a miracle. My head is pain free today, and my heart is grateful that I can always find joy in my journey.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Style - From Behind My Glasses

I just found out that we are only supposed to use works that are created directly from the prompt, not old works (which makes sense as it is a "prompt"). That means this is not an official Sunday Scribbling work. I've removed S.S. from the title and my labels. I'll get back to writing new works when things "change" (the new prompt) around here. I appreciated all the kind comments.

I am sharing a short memoir that I wrote about two years ago. I decided to shared it "as is" even thought it's a bit rough, so please ignore my punctuation boo boos. I've always wanted to have "style", but generally fall very short of it. I'm mostly a bluejeans, t-shirt, sneakers kind of gal, though under the right circumstances... when the planets are aligned just right... I might be seen in a dress and a nice pair of shoes. Anyway, here's my story:

From Behind My Glasses
I have a certain perspective on the world. It’s partly due to the fact that I have no perspective…physically that is. Well, not “no” perspective, but it is impaired along with my overall vision.

When you grow up looking at the world from behind a pair of bottom-of-a-pop-bottle thick, heavy lenses, it skews how you see things. I felt like a nerd. Perhaps I was one, or am one in the truest sense of the word. I had to continually grope for ways to interact in an accepted manner.

It wasn’t just the glasses. I was fashion challenged. My grandmother was the fashionista in our home. She would dress up to go out; hair just so, pretty little high heels, you get the picture.

I was getting ready for a big family birthday party. I remember trying to find a shirt or a sweater to wear with my skirt. The skirt was nice. Right in fashion for it’s time. It had a nice cream background with a dark brown leaf pattern. Busy, but definitely in fashion. I held up one shirt after another, getting more frustrated by the minute.

It was almost time for the guests to arrive. Grandma, tired of my slow inability to decide, came in and pulled a shirt out of my closet. It was white, with an equally busy bright orange paisley pattern. “Orange and brown look nice together. Wear this.” And, like the nerd I was, I let her convince me. I have a picture of me at that birthday party. I looked like a fashion nightmare! Not just a “don’t” like you’d see in a ladies magazine, but a “what cave did she just crawl out of don’t!” Hair slicked back behind a wide bright headband, ankle socks with pointed little slip-ons at least a size too small, and of course, my cat-eye brown glasses that I got in the fifth grade. What 13 year old wouldn’t want to lock herself in her room and never come out again? But I, in my perpetually nerd-like manner, sashayed around the house as if I was the hottest number this side of the Rockies. I had no clue at the time that Grandma, in the interest of having everything ready on time, had grabbed the first shirt she laid her hands on.

The point of sharing this is to prepare you for the complete and utter mess that is me. I wanted so much to be loved, to be fashionable, to be loved, to be talented, to be loved, to be popular, and let’s face it…just to be loved. I didn’t particularly see anything about my 13 year old gawky, uncultured, self that was worthy of any kind of love. And, forget about respect or popularity! Out of the question!

These were the days of the early 70’s. I was too young to be a true part of the hippy culture, and we were still a distance away from the John Travolta white leisure suits and disco hip! It was that confusing time of mini, midi, and maxi skirts. Hot pants one day and ruffled blousy blouses the next. From Holly Hobby to braless decadence!

Girls at my school had just been given permission to wear “pants suits” as well as dresses. That was a major coup! We had choices! If you did wear a dress and it looked too short, you had to kneel on the floor while a teacher took a ruler and measured from the floor to the hem. If I remember correctly, it had to be 2 inches or less between dress and floor. Some girls, not me, had to have the lady P. E. Teacher administer what was called the “pencil test”; if the pencil stayed in place you were required to wear a brassiere. Well, you get the picture. I was stuck smack dab in the middle of the conservative early 60’s mentality and the heyday of the love generation.

When you wear thick glasses, people have a way of not looking you in the eyes. Maybe the distorted appearance of the eye itself is disconcerting to them. Maybe the reflective glare of the lens sets up an invisible barrier they don’t want to penetrate, for fear of what lies behind. No matter, suffice it to say that glasses were to 13 year old girls as kryptonite was to Superman. Totally, and devastatingly, debilitating to any chance of a normal social life. And this, when coupled with my lack of any level of fashion sense, brings us to the truth of my status as a nerd.

The view from behind my glasses was both unreachable and intimidating. I remember thinking I’d look ridiculous in a bridal veil. The glasses just wouldn’t look right; therefore, no veil for me! Forget sports! My glasses would be in the way and if I removed them, I could barely make out my own hand in front of my face. I let the imaginary barrier become a wall that I couldn’t climb over.

I’m nearly 50. I find myself at times still hiding behind my glasses, holding the world at a safe distance. I can sometimes almost make myself invisible, and perhaps, if invisible I am also invincible.

Once in a while I find myself letting my guard down, coming out from behind my glasses; and being surprised that a world seen slightly out of focus becomes softer. I am forced to step closer to what I’m looking at to really see it. Life, and how I observe it, is merely a matter of my level of perception. Stepping in closer brings a vulnerability that, even now, I may not be ready for. On most days, I will probably still choose the view from behind my glasses.

Copyright 2006 by Owner of this blog, Created March 7, 2006, Final Version June 1, 2006

Friday, October 17, 2008

Giveaway at Pigtails & Snails!

There is a wonderful quilt give-away over at Pigtails & Snails and it ends tonight at 7 PM MST. Hurry on over if you want to enter. The quilt is lovely!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time For A Photo Challenge

The next Brenda Photo Challenge is soon! The theme is "Old" and is hosted by Donna of Made in Heaven. The due date is October 18th!

Be sure to visit the Brenda Photo Challenge site for complete instuctions and to view all the entries. To see my early entries go here. To see my most recent go here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mind Wide Open - "All Dressed Up"

This is the image we were given for this month's Mind Wide Open challenge. Such sweet faces! The prompt for this image was "All Dressed Up" and was a lot of fun.

Below is my entry. My project was to repurpose a stationary box. I turned it into a keepsake box by adding party hats to the little girls, vintage sheet music, lace, ribbon, buttons, and a photo of my grandmother and her sister. The image of the little girls made me think of sisters growing up together, playing dress up and sharing their dreams.

I also decorated the inside of the box. I can't show that to you since I still have no camera. I was able to get an image of the top of it by laying it on my scanner for this photo.

There is a lovely prize for the winner, so please visit the Mind Wide Open blog (photo link over to the right on my sidebar) and place a vote for your favorite.