Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Hodgepodge time Again

It's Wednesday Hodgepodge time and I'm back in the game.  Go see Joyce HERE and link up ~ you know you want to!  BUT FIRST: read my answers.

1. Do you think the world became a more dangerous place on September 11, 2001 or did we just become more aware of the danger? How has your own life changed as a result of that day?

I think there has always been danger in the world but we are more aware of danger when it hits so close to home.  Other countries have faced this kind of terrorism in the past, it just hadn't hit our soil until then.  Right after Sept. 11th I was afraid to go places where there would be large crowds of people, just not knowing if there would be another attack.  God has not given us a spirit of fear and I try not to live in fear. 

2. Did you think your parents were too strict when you were growing up? How about in hindsight?
Yes, growing up I thought my parents were pretty strict.  The one area they were not strict about was curfew, as long they knew where I was and when I'd be home they were good with that.  In hindsight I think they were probably just about right.  I was pretty responsible, the most trouble I got into was toilet papering houses.
3. Share one random but candid fact about yourself.
I wish I were as organized in real life as I am in my mind.  In my mind I know where everything in my house is and it all is in its neat little place.  In reality, I know which stack to find things, but they aren't put away and I almost always have a basket a mountain of laundry to fold and put away. 

4. Would your nearest and dearest describe you as simple or far too complicated?
Far too complicated I think.  I want to be simple, I think I'm simple...I simply want things to go the way they are supposed to.  Is that so hard?

5. What is your favorite stadium or carnival food?
Funnel cakes!  I don't get them often but they are oh so good!  My other favorite is a dipdog (corndog for those that don't speak southern).

6. Tornado, hurricane, many of these natural disasters have you experienced? Which event do you think would be the scariest?
Growing up in Florida, I have lived through my fair share of hurricanes.  The first day of my senior year of high school was a hurricane day and if I remember correctly, it ended up being nice weather that day.  We pray for hurricane days like kids up north pray for snow days.  When the twins were toddlers and we lived in Georgia we had a terrible tornado that destroyed the hospital where they were born.  There was a lot of destruction and by God's grace our townhouse wasn't hit, but the tornado track skipped around the street we lived on.  We were pretty scared.  It was night, the power was out and we had the kids in the downstairs bathroom in the tub with pillows on top of them. 
This was our Winn Dixie

A giant tree that was ripped up by the roots

Our hospital that was also hit by the tornado. 
Amazingly enough, there were only 2 fatalities with all of this damage.  It was a tough time for this small community, but everyone pulled together and helped where they could.  I still love that town and the cherish the friendships we made while we were there.  There are some precious people in that town.

Back to the question at hand, I've never experienced an earthquake so I wouldn't really know how to compare it with the others.  I'd say I'm most afraid of a tornado.

7. Labor Day weekend is approaching so a work related question seems appropriate. Growing up, did your parents assign you regular chores? Were you paid for doing those chores? If you're a parent do you assign chores to your own children? Why or why not?
My sister and I didn't have a lot of chores, but we did have to take turns loading and unloading the dishwasher and cleaning our rooms.  In the summer we had to do laundry and we all know how much I love to do laundry ~ NOT!  My mom always insisted that we use this thing called a clothes line.  I loathe that thing in the Florida summer heat where we were subject to thunderstorms every afternoon.  We had to hang the clothes out to dry and then watch the weather because if it looked like rain we had to run out and bring the clothes in to finish in the dryer.  If it rained on the clothes we had to start all over again.  I vowed that I would not use a clothes line when I was old enough to pay my own electric bill, which has held true.  I don't even have a clothes line.  I was paid for some chores, but my parents gave us money whenever we needed to go somewhere so it all evened out. 
My children are assigned chores.  They are responsible for taking the recyclables out, helping set and clear the table, cleaning their rooms, taking their dirty clothes down the hall to be washed and other things as assigned.  We took a note from Dave Ramsey and our children earn "commission" rather than allowance.  Allowance sounds like they are entitled to it whether or not they do the work.  Commission is earned based on the work they do.  They have commission charts that hang on the fridge to keep track of what's been done.  Payday is once a week and they have three jars to place their money : Spend, Save, and Give.  They can spend their spend money on whatever they like.  The save jar money has to be approved by us before they spend it, and the Give jar is for giving at Sunday School or some other place they may choose to put their money to help others.

That last question was inspired by a post Mindee wrote on Monday. Everyone go say hi to Mindee-she blogs at Our Front Door and she's funny.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It's great to get back into blogging after a month off.  I needed some time to establish a new routine with school starting.  Also, God has been working with me and dealing with me about some things and I needed time to process for myself before sharing with others. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healing Hurting Hearts

It's been weeks a month since my last post and I can hardly believe all that's been going on.  It's been such a busy time of finishing up summer and starting school and finally I feel like I am in some sort of routine.  In all of this, God has been faithful in providing what we've needed.  Prince and Princess have started first grade and they are in different classes this year.  Mommy has been more nervous about this than they seem to be.  All is going well and they have adjusted.  Mostly.  There have been a few hiccups, but they are happy and except for all of the homework and getting up and going in the morning they are glad to be back in school.  I began praying back in April that God would give each of my children the right teacher they needed for this school year and He is faithful.  I truly believe He did that, thus they are blooming where they're planted. 

One of the things I've been aware of lately is the needs of others and how so many are hurting around me.  Just last week I prayed with a mother in my office who was at the end of her rope with many circumstances out of her control.  There is a child from the same school as my own kiddos who has leukemia and is undergoing treatments.  We have had several deaths in our church family.  Lay-offs from the Space Center are leaving families in a tough situation and as prepared as they thought they were, there are no jobs to be found.  My sweet cousin had bleeding on her brain and had to leave college to have surgery to stop the bleeding.  Thank you Jesus she is on the road to recovery.  Another sweet girl I know had her baby at 31 weeks due to complications with her blood pressure and her sweet baby boy is in the NICU.  There are so many needs around me and at times I just feel overwhelmed.  I have been praying day and night and I know that God hears those prayers and that His love never fails.  As it is right now my prayer list is a mile long and I begin as soon as I wake up in the morning and pray throughout the day for all of those needs.  My heart aches for all of those that are hurting and I have known what that hurt feels like when loved ones are sick or die or to have your sweet baby in the NICU and be so out of control or to have illness come on yourself.  I have lived through all of that and I think that I big part of that is that I can now empathize with others in the same situation and see them through a different lens.  I also know that God always keeps His promises and that He never leaves us.  As all of this has come into my life, I have also discovered a new favorite song, which has come to mean a great deal to me. 

We never know exactly what God has planned for our lives.  We don't know what those trials will mean for us, but what if His healing comes through tears and we discover that the failures of this world serve to remind us that this isn't our home?  I am so thankful for all God has done in my life.  There is a reason he spared my life not once, but twice and I know that I still have work to do for Him.  No matter the circumstance, God has a plan and I have learned that it is much better than anything I could ever dream up.