Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Hiatus

My Beautiful Children




In an attempt to actually interact with my children, I will be taking a break from posting for the summer.  Unless something truly interesting happens (which, face it,  99.95% of my blog posts have not been about anything interesting), I won't be posting.  I also will not be checking my email regularly; I plan to pick one day a week to check my emails (by then I'll have hundreds, but oh well).  So.......if you would like to contact me, you'll have the old-fashioned choices of either picking up the phone to call me or (horror of horrors) writing me a letter and sending it snail mail.  

As I step away, I will be in prayer regarding whether this blog is something that will continue.  I was only doing this blog as a step of obedience to what I felt the Lord was calling me to do two years ago, but I know for certain that His plan for me was NOT to abandon my children as I became more and more addicted to checking my email and keeping up with blogs (both mine and others).  As my children grow and go forth into their lives, they won't remember if I answered every last email or text, or if I kept up with posting or reading the many blogs I've come to enjoy, or if I always had some witty, little saying for my facebook status, or if I cared about twittering, blackberries, instant messaging, or online devotionals.  But my children will remember if I took the time to play that game of Sorry, or to walk to the library, or to read out loud to them, or to visit family, or to swim, or to roast marshmallows, or to just sit down face to face with them and really, I mean REALLY, listen to them.  

I am ashamed to say how long it's been since I've given myself to my kids.  I meet needs (sometimes); I wash clothes and buy groceries; and I'm in the same house with them, but I am not WITH them.  There is great value in being fully present in the here and now, and I'll be really honest and just tell you that that is a struggle for me and how my brain is wired.    I don't care where I am or who I'm with, my brain is going a hundred miles an hour, thinking of anything and everything except just enjoying the current moment.  Lack of engagement (disconnect) is also a part of my battle with depression.  I am praying that the Lord will help me to be able to change and overcome this.  I would covet your prayers regarding this issue.  

I am the only mother that will be standing before God accounting for the training, parenting, and loving of the  four precious children He has given me.  I don't think I will hear "Well done," if I have neglected my husband and children because of my over-involvement with keeping up with emails and blogs.  I am choosing to step out of the technology fast lane (well, with me and technology, it's more like stepping out of the right hand, slow lane on the freeway, but you get the point).  

I am feeling such a sense of empowerment by making this choice, but I also wonder about those who may email me and not get a response right away.  I do not have an "auto respond" with my email address, so I don't know how to let people know I'm not being rude, but that I'm only checking my emails once a week.  I know that others have become accustomed to me checking my emails multiple times a day, but I just don't want to do that anymore.  I think I have "Disconnect Anxiety,"  which is an actual disorder now, I guess.  Click the link for a very interesting article that I just found when writing this post.  I guess the pain of continuing to be chained to my email and computer is more than my worry and anxiety about hurting someone's feelings or missing something important.  

So, my friend, I bid you goodbye for the summer.  If you have children, please join me in evaluating the amount of time you spend being with your kids, but not WITH your kids.  

Thanks for joining me in the journey for these last two years.  I consider it an honor that you have given some of the measured moments of your life to traveling this path with me.  I most earnestly pray blessings, peace, and health for you all.  

In His name and for His glory,
Gena

Oh, and in case you think I'm overstating the case that my family needs me to be more attentive and involved with them, just take a look at this.



Yeah, I thought that would help you understand.  :-)

Health Handbook - Good Thoughts

Today I am posting something that I copied from a site on the internet a while ago.  I had pasted it into a Word document, but for the life of me, I can't figure out the original source for it, so if someone knows, I'd be more than happy to give credit where credit is due.  I googled several of the phrases, but never found the original site.  Take a few minutes and read through the following list.  What would our lives be like if we truly lived by these suggestions?

Health Handbook

HEALTH

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food manufactured in plants.

4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games.

7. Read more books than you did in 2008.

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

9. Sleep for 7-8 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minutes’ walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

PERSONALITY

11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. 

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the  curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you earn will last a life time.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

SOCIETY

25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

LIFE

32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come.

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

40. Don’t just read this; apply it to your life! 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Words of Life & Mish Mash Monday

  • If you have the time, Beth Moore wrote devotional for Life Today, and it would be well worth your read.  You can check it out HERE.  
  • It was so exciting to hear about Jimmy Webb's cross country trek to raise money and awareness for Teen Challenge.  You can check out his progress on his blog HERE.  I love that he and Cindy have a quote of the day at the top of the posts.
  • Dave would love for me to use iCal (a computer calendar system that lets us sync our individual calendars), but it just means extra work for me.   I take my regular calendar with me everywhere to be able to make appointments and so forth, and then he wants me to come home, get on the computer, open the program, and put all those events on iCal.  And.....I usually have many more events on my calendar because I am coordinating my schedule along with all the kids events.  I've tried, really, I have, but it's a constant struggle for me and I really don't like having my calendar only on my computer.  I'm old fashioned, I know, but I like a hard copy that's easy to take with me.  Coordinating our schedules and keeping one another informed of our various activities, meetings, and events has been a pretty constant struggle for us throughout our marriage.  How are you all handling that?
  • Loving this weather!  I guess the warm weather is on the way, though.
  • Missing my Hannie.
  • Praying that I can get my life more in alignment with Philippians 2:3-8.  Dave spoke on these verses on Sunday.  My "attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."  Ouch.   Wish I could say that was true of me all the time, but I'm asking God to help me grow in that area.  How about you?
  • Happy Monday to you all.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Mish Mash Mondays

Thoughts on this beautiful Monday:
  • My boys LOVE being out of school!  Eric slept on the trampoline last night and Peter has a friend over; oh yeah, it's Summatime!
  • Dave and my older two are headed out to do some painting for a woman who needs some help; a sort of still-Servolution project.
  • Dave's message yesterday was totally what the title of my blog is all about.  He even titled his message something similar, "Loud Together."  He should have just called it, "Traveling Together."  ;-)  It would have been a great plug for my blog; not that anyone would know that though..........except for you who are reading this......but then you already know I have a blog; oh my, circular thinking at its best! :-)
  • Some thoughts from that message:  
  1. I am broken and flawed, and I need a Savior.  Boy, how well I know this.
  2. When we are grace receivers, we become grace givers.  This is proven in relationships, and when we give grace, it leads to peace.
  3. "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God."  Phil 1:3 - Totally how I feel about my New Life family!
  4. God gives us confident hope.  Thank you, Jesus!
  5. God's given us the church (the body of believers) so that His love can overflow into our lives.  His people are the distributers of His love in our lives to keep the fire going.
  6. An ember pulled out of the fire, dies.  An ember in the midst of the fire, revives.  This is why we need one another.
  7. We can only learn to dispense grace if it is actually needed in a relationship.  If there is never a situation that requires grace from us, how on earth would we ever learn it?  I don't think Dave said this, but it was something I wrote down on my note-taking sheet.  You do that, you know, when you sit through multiple services.  You begin to add your own notes as you build on what you've heard already once or twice that morning.
  8. God has things to teach us that we can only learn through "the church," meaning other believers.  (Wow!  I had more notes written on my note-taking sheet than I thought!  :-)  It was good stuff, though, so I thought I'd share my take-aways.)
  • Servolution post event meeting is tonight.  It's where we give and get the lowdown on how everything went.  There's always tons that went right to celebrate and tons that didn't go quite-so-right to be re-evaluated.  
That's it for this installment; until next time......