Monday, February 21, 2011

New Years Resolutions...revisited.

I'm almost two months into 2011 and feel that it is time for an update on my resolutions. It is kind of depressing when I reflect on them, since I've made little or no progress...updates in red.

1. Lose weight. I did...then gained it back already. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.


2. Get organized. Bwhahahaha. Right.


3.Sell a crocheted item or two, or more! Haven't done anything toward this.


4.Cook four nights a week, and cook different things! Yay!!!!! I have been doing this!!!!



5. Read 25 books this year, and document them on this blog.Well...I read a Mary Higgins Clark mystery and am in the process of reading A Year of Living Biblically...so, that's something!
6. Blog twice weekly. Doing pretty well on this.


7. Attend a genealogy workshop. Summer, perhaps? Nada.



8. Memorize scripture. Zip.


9. Do something different. Try new things. Zumba, pottery, Bunco, wool spinning...just a few of the things I'd like to try. They are all "fun" things, so why not? I don't have a plan for this. Yet. I think I have enough on my plate for this week. I have ideas. Zilch.



10. Get back on the Financial Peace train. I think it ran me over during the holidays. :) I will admit that I don't have a plan here either. Next week??? Zero.

Like I said, really depressing....maybe the spring weather will jump start something!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

E-Mealz

Okay, so I've been raving about this E-Mealz thing on Facebook, and a bunch of people have asked me what I'm talking about. It is this awesome service that sends you a weekly menu with recipes and a grocery list, based on what's on sale in your preferred store or based on your kind of diet (Weight Watchers, Low Fat, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, etc...).

There is a button under my "About Me" box (or at least I hope there is...) that will take you to the E-Mealz site. I hope it revolutionizes your meal planning!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Learning Targets

As a teacher, I have to plan my lessons beginning with the end in mind. I know the kids are going to ask, "Why do we have to do this?"  I need to have an answer ready. Our district has adopted "Learning Targets," which is just a fancy term for the objectives of the lesson, or what we intend the outcome to be for our kids. The learning targets are often a topic of derision among the students, and sometimes the teachers, too. While the kids don't  always  pay attention to the targets, they really do point exactly to the intended outcome of the lesson. Students don't always see the connection, or the relevance.

I confess that I am not unlike my students. I often question God. "What exactly do you want me to learn from this? Do I really have to go through all this? Can't I just read the Cliff Notes version of it??" Sometimes I'm a spiritual wimp. An unruly child.

I recognize this as a weakness and I am working to overcome it. I'm praying daily for discernment. I try really hard to look for the lesson in the things I encounter. If only the Learning Targets were written somewhere!! Oh, wait....they are....

There is much wisdom to be gained in the scriptures, but sometimes reading them is a difficult task in itself. Again, I pray that God will help me learn the lessons I need to learn. A great scripture that I've been considering lately is in Psalm 119. The whole psalm is about learning the ways of the Lord and living a holy life. Verse 125 is David's specific request for insight, "I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes." My favorite part follows:

129Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.

130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

132 Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.

133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

134 Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts.

135 Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.


If we ask God to help us learn His ways, He will open our eyes and teach us so that we can learn and follow Him more closely. It is with that hope that I press on and continue to study the Bible, asking myself and God what I can learn and how I can apply it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello, Sunshine!

The sun is shining today, both literally and figuratively. We've had cold, dreary winter weather for a LONG time. The forecast for the next eight days shows that we'll reach the 60 degree mark by the end of next week. I am thrilled. Today, the sun is shining so brightly that I have to squint even inside my classroom. I am not complaining about it. It is spectacular!!!

It isn't just the big yellow orb that I'm talking about, though. I have been in a major emotional funk for the last several weeks. Stuff has just really worn on me, both personally and at work. Especially at work. I just couldn't snap out of it, either. I was grouchy, mopey, and just sad. I think the lack of sunshine played a big part in it. It was an unexplainable darkness inside of me that reflected the weather. I had reverted to my Debbie Downer ways, and I was miserable. Worse, I was making everyone else miserable, too.

I woke up Wednesday morning and felt like the fog had lifted. I could think clearly again. I could concentrate and make decisions. It was a great feeling. Now, I've gotten some rest, had some time to think, and all the stuff that was making me feel so sad seems to be just trivial, or at least things that I can handle. I'm glad. I'm still a little cranky, but that is who I am! If I were nice all the time, people wouldn't know what to do with me.

I'm ready for that warm up next week. Who knows what the sun will bring?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You're getting veeerrry sleeepy...

My grandmother loves to sleep. She has divorced two husbands because they interfered with her sleep. Derward was a sleepwalker, Clarence snored. I am not making this up.

I inherited her love of snoozing. John says it is a talent. If I sit down, I'm asleep within minutes. My head hits the pillow and I'm out. When life gets tough, I take a nap. It is comforting and refreshing.

My mother, on the other hand, thinks napping is a waste of time. She has often accused me of sleeping my life away. She has a very high energy level and I really believe her body just doesn't need as much sleep as mine does.

As much as I hate to admit it, she might be right. Right before his arrest, Jesus left his disciples alone while he went to the garden to pray. When he came back, rather than finding them in prayer, too, he found them all dozing. Would I have been one of them? Most likely. It was late, still, and quiet. Perfect conditions for a nap.


Paul cautions us in 1 Thessalonians 5:6. "let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake." We have to maintain our awareness, no matter our circumstances. No matter how cozy we might be or how complacent we become, we can't let ourselves go to sleep. We need to resist that temptation and stay fully alert to the Lord's calling.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Instant Gratification

I'm sure we've touched on this before. I don't like to wait. I want what I want, and I want it now. Yesterday would be better, but now would work. And, of course, I don't dare pray for patience because we all know what would happen then., but I do work toward disciplining myself to be less demanding of God.

I was reading the Beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. I'm not sure how well I would have taken these words had I been in the crowd, especially when I was a young, immature Christian. Here's how the NRSV interprets these words from Matthew 5:

"1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:


3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The kicker in this sermon for me would have been the repetition of the phrase, "will be." I would have been saying, "So, when WILL we BE comforted? Huh? Cause I got things to do, Jesus. I need this comfort right now. And as for inheriting the earth or the Kingdom of Heaven. A reward in heaven? That just seems like it is going to take a lot of time. Can't we get started on this now?"
 
Over the years of my walk with God, I've learned, sometimes painfully, that His timing is perfect. It is mysterious. It is clearly NOT my timing.  But...it is perfect. God doesn't do instant gratification. While I'm still not a patient person, I'm kind of glad for the delayed gratification. When I get what God gives me, the waiting makes me appreciate it so much more . His gifts are so great, they are worth waiting for!