Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PROMPTuesday #179: The Senses

Wow - it has been SO long since I've blogged - and SO long since I've participated in a PROMPTuesday!

"Write a paragraph (or more if you’re a supahstah) describing where you are right now this very minute. Look out the window if there is one. Detail any sounds you hear, what you see, even what you feel. "

Right this very minute, I'm laying in bed, with my laptop on my lap (well on the really cool laptop lap desk thing-a-majigger that my grandparents got me for my birthday or Christmas one year - and it really has been a super useful gift!). An almost finished glass of Gewurtztraminer on my night stand.

One of my cats is laying next to my leg purring - she will most likely start her cleaning regimen at any second. Ew.

I have papers and folders all strewn about my bed because I was getting some work done, and trying to turn in before Midnight -'s 11:53 now...maybe if I hurry.

My husband is in New Mexico for work, so I get the whole king bed to myself tonight - but I'll most likely stay tucked on 'my side'.

I hear a hum of something, but not really sure what it is - and if I strain really hard I can hear the cars on the freeway buzzing along - unless it's a semi-truck - I can hear those pretty well.

I really want to meet my goal of getting to bed before Midnight, even if it is only a couple minutes - so I'm going to stack all my papers and folders and put them away. Shut the laptop lid. Shoo the cat out of my room. And hopefully fall asleep quickly.

Thanks Deb for continuing to do these PROMPTuesdays - especially for us wayfarers who get sucked into Facebook and entirely neglect our blogs - only to come back and find comfort in the familiar. <3

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Give...or Not to Give

I've found over the years, that when it comes to the topic of giving money to a homeless person, people are on polar opposites. There are those that will give no matter what, and there are those that will avoid eye contact and think that all they are going to do is spend the money on alcohol/drugs anyway.

My husband and I are those opposites. I feel that it is my obligation as a Christian to give, without caring about what it is that person is actually going to do with the money. My husband, on the other hand, does not feel that way. Now, in his defense, he has said that he would rather give them food, which he has done in the past. I have as well, but I don't always drive around with extra food in my car. Know what I mean? So I will usually give whatever I have in my purse and be on my merry way.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been reading Proverbs 31:10-31, these verses are known as the "Proverbs 31 Woman" or the "Wife of Noble Character". I have been trying to utilize these scriptures to help me grow this year, as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and overall better person. But to be honest, I had been completely ignoring verses 1 through 9. So, last night, I decided to read them, and came across these verses, starting with verse 6:

Let beer be for those that are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Now, let me also say this, I do not encourage or endorse drinking - but it's just a reality that many of these men and women on the street are depressed, and drinking is the only thing that makes that hurt go away and get them through another day. They don't have health insurance or the money to go get counseling and work through their issues. These men and women may be war veterans, a victim of child abuse, someone who has experienced a horrible tragedy and just can't quite get it back together. And while it is my desire that they would be healed from their wounds, and that they would be able to find a job, and be able to live on their own again - the sad reality is that it will not happen for most. And it seemed that the writers that contributed to the Bible knew this, over 2000 years ago.

These men and women want people to see them, talk to them, and maybe even offer to help. I used to see a homeless man at the shops around my neighborhood, and one day he approached me in the Savers parking lot. I only had hundreds in my purse, because I was getting ready to go to the bank. He asked if I had any spare change, and I told him I didn't. It was raining, and he had an umbrella. I had all the kids with me, and he said "Here, take this, I won't use it." And he gave me his umbrella. We walked into the store, and I could just feel that God wanted me to give him $100. I did not want to. We were cutting it close that month anyway because it was just after my husband had gotten out of the hospital from his motorcycle accident and he hadn't been working. $100 meant a lot to us that month. So I said, "Okay Lord, if he's still in the parking lot when I get done in here, I will give it to him." We finished up in Savers, walked out to the parking lot and didn't see him. I loaded the kids up in the car, and was driving out of the parking lot. Just as I was almost to the end of the driveway, I saw him and a buddy sitting on the sidewalk in front of an empty storefront trying to stay dry as the rain had picked up. I stopped my car, in the middle of the parking lot, jumped out and ran over to him with the money in my hand. I handed it to him and said "God wanted me to give you this, He loves you." And I jumped back into my car and drove off. I wasn't going to tell Aaron about it, but the kids did. And boy was he upset. But you know what, within days, we received an anonymous $100 gift card to a grocery store from someone at our church. And days after that received another $300 gift card from his grandma in Colorado. We didn't ask anyone for help, but God knew our needs and met them, in fact EXCEEDED them. (Ephesians 3:20-21) Several months later, I saw the man again in a Safeway parking lot. Again he approached me, and this time I truly didn't have any money, but I said "I saw you a few months ago, and you gave me an umbrella." His face brightened, and he said "OH! You know what we did? We went and got a hotel room and slept in a bed." I was filled with so much happiness, I just hugged him. I think I took him a little by surprise. haha We talked for a few more minutes about how he was doing, and then we said goodbye. I haven't seen him now for several years, but his umbrella is still tucked under the passenger seat in my car for a rainy day.

So, we don't know what someone is going to do with the money that we give to them. But, I'm of the mind that it's not up to us, it's just up to us to give out of the love that Jesus has for us. Like the video that I linked to below says, "You could've been their saving grace."


Monday, February 7, 2011

And the Winner is.....

Using, the Commenter that was chosen to win a signed copy of "I Dare You to Change" by Pastor Bil Cornelius is..........

Congratulations!!! We'll be getting in touch soon to mail out your copy of the book. Please let me know how you like it!

Check out the I Dare You to Change Facebook Page!

Thanks for everyone who commented - I really encourage you to pick up a copy of this book if you are ready to make some changes!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Dare You To Change - Last Stop on the Blog Tour

I am so excited and honored to be the Last Stop on the Blog Tour for the book, I Dare You To Change by Bil Cornelius, Pastor of Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, TX. I came across this blog tour through my friends, Alisa Wagner and Christina Ketchum (twin sisters), who are amazing women of God and who have been so inspirational to me. I have never met either of them in person - Christina redesigned my personal blog almost 2 years ago now, and then also designed my entire website for My Smart Hands - Phoenix, my baby sign language company. And then, I started reading her sister Alisa's work on Several months ago, the blog tour for I Dare You To Change was announced, and I was able to be one of the participating blogs!

Our local church that my family attends, Paradise Valley Community Church, has been stirring up change for the past couple of years. Last year, their main theme was "Metamorphosis", which means transformation. This year, it is "Catalyst", which is an agent of change. So, a life change has been brewing just below the surface for me, and "I Dare You to Change" made me take the practical steps to finding answers to the questions like "What areas of my life are causing me pain?", "What will happen if those areas don't change?", and "What will happen if those areas DO change?". And those were questions from just the FIRST chapter!

I kept a journal, just like Pastor Bil recommends, and it was a very eye-opening experience, to go back chapter after chapter and see the progress I was making at discovering what my dreams are, and what the practical steps are to being able to see those dreams become a reality.

As I began defining those dreams, and sharing them with my husband, he was surprisingly on board! I mean, all of these plans involve taking risks - and my husband's job has been shaky over the past couple of years. So, for him to be on board, even in those circumstances, really confirmed to me that God is the author of these plans, and not just something I'm trying to push through on my own.

I've been able to clearly define the things that I am passionate about, and in short, they are:

1. Being able to participate more in my children's everyday lives

2. Being a wife that demonstrates the qualities in Proverbs 31:10-31

3. Making a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children, as well as the lives of children with special needs

4. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family

5. Pursuing a business opportunity that benefits families and local communities

With those clearly defined goals, I will now be able to clear out a lot of the clutter that tries to take up the limited time that I have. When I was a Mary Kay consultant, I listened to the CD of National Sales Director, Pamela Shaw, and she made a simple statement, but it is so true, "Time spent in one area, is time away in another area." Pastor Bil encourages us in his book to filter out the things that do not align with our goals. It's much easier to say "No" to something good when you have a clear direction of where you are headed. There will be things in your life that seem like it would be good to do them, but if they aren't getting you closer to your goals, you may have to put them aside, even if just for a season.

I'll wrap this up by saying, Change is really have to want it, and be ready for it, and pursue it with all you have. You're going to stumble - anything worth doing is going to be challenging. If you have been doing something a certain way for a long time - such as having the tendency to argue with your husband just so you can be "right" (who me?) - reading Proverbs 31 one time, isn't going to all of a sudden cure you from doing that. It's the continous effort made day in and day out that will achieve the final result.

If you've been feeling that there are areas of your life that you want to change, but you just aren't sure where to start, or what steps you should take, I encourage you to walk through Pastor Bil's I Dare You to Change. Keep the journal, please don't skip that part. Go back and re-read the book a second time (that's what I'll be doing). And if you fall, get back up.

This book has been tremendously helpful for me, and you have a chance to win a FREE copy! Just post a comment here on my blog to be entered, the deadline is Midnight on Sunday, 02/06/2011. The winner will be randomly selected, and multiple comments by the same person will count as one entry.

Here are some links to more information about "I Dare You to Change" by Bil Cornelius.

I Dare You To Change Website
Sample Chapter
Book Trailer Link

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I learned to "Corner"

So, if you've ever been a beginner on a dirtbike, you're like "OK, going straight is cool...I can do do I turn around?" When I made my very first turn almost 2 years ago, I fell off the bike. I didn't know when to clutch, use the throttle, brake...anything. So, in making the turn, I gave it some gas...too much all squirrely and threw myself over the handlebars. Thud. Ouch.
What I started doing was making extremely WIDE turns, holding my clutch in the whole time, so as not to even consider applying power to the back wheel as I entered my turn - lest I be thrown off the bike again.
Well, this week I learned how to corner. I had been sick ALL weekend long, and stayed home from work on Monday. All 5 of the kids were also home, and so was hubby. At about 3pm, he was like "We can not keep these kids inside any longer" and loaded up the small dirtbike (mine) and the kids' quad. I popped some Dayquil and off we went.
At first I was just taking the kids around on the quad, and Aaron said "Get on your bike". So, reluctantly I did - but took it pretty slow riding in a really open area, where I could continue to make my previously described extra-wide turns. I started to feel a little more comfortable in the straights, so I picked up my speed, but then slowed it WAY down when it was time to turn around.
In the desert where we ride, a lot of people make their own 'mini' tracks - and in the area where we parked was one of those - a pretty simple loop, but with much narrower turns than I would ever want to attempt. Aaron said "Let's learn how to corner." Me: "I don't want to." Pout. "C'mon". "No, I'm going to fall." More pouting.
The corner closest to our car had a berm - meaning you are supposed to turn.on.a.hill. Ummm yeah. So, he started marking stuff on the berm with his foot - "You want to start slowing down here, stick your foot out here, then get on your gas here..." Riiiiiiight. But, I decided to give it a try. I looked like a little kid trying to ride a bike with no training wheels for the first time - with both of my legs sticking out all weird and my arms shaking on the handlebars. I didn't go anywhere near the top of the berm - I wanted to stay on flat ground. My first turn was bad.
But as I kept coming around, I started to feel more comfortable in the positioning of the bike. I was confident in the straights, picking up my speed - then slowing WAY down as the turn was approaching - but I found my "line" and each time made it a little bit further up the berm, and made it out of the corner a little bit faster each time. Dare I say...this
I kept going round and round that little loop track - and pretty soon I was going 'fast' (for me) through the corners. I got a little too confident at one point though, came out of the corner too fast, hit a bump and there I went again...over the handlebars. But I laughed! Aaron was proud, I was proud, it was a fun day. But boy am I sore.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Conversations with a 2.5 Year Old

So Baby Pants has been coming up with some doozies lately - her brain is just so creative, but it can be hilarious!

Baby Pants: "Mom, do you want a surprise?"

Me: "Yes!"

BP: (she leans in and whispers) "Do you like snakes?"

Me: "No"

BP: (more whispers) "Do you like presents?"

Me: "Yes!"


Me: "Really? What is it?"


Me: "Wow, that's cool."

BP: (now apparently done with that topic) "Fishsticks come out of AJ's nose."

Me: "Uhhh"

BP: "And sometimes I whack you on the head with this book." (WHACK!)

Me: "Ow! That hurts mommy!"

BP: "I'm sorry mommy, I didn't mean to."

Oy vey.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If you think I'm lost

If you think I'm lost...I'm not...I've just been sucked into the vortex that is Facebook.