Friday, August 31, 2012

The Liebster Award ('thank you, thank you very much.' )

My good friend, Ryan, over at The Man Who Would Be Knight blog has bequeathed me with an award. The Liebster Award.  How very nice indeed.  I am quite quite honored.  No one seems to know exactly what the award means, or why it is awarded, but we are all deeply honored to receive it, nonetheless. 

This is, however, an award with responsibilities, ones which I do not take lightly.  They go something like this:  
-List 7 or 11 random things about yourself
-Answer the 7 or 11 random questions asked by the awarder (yes, I do like to make up words).
-Pass the award on to 7 or 11 people who have under 200 followers, and
- make up your own 7 or 11 random questions for them to answer.  

So, are you ready? 

Seven Random Facts about yours truly: 

1) I tend to notice hands. (could be because i grew up in an Italian family that can't talk without them) They often tell things about the person attached to them. 

2) I get a sort of high from being at the airport.  The buzz of being in the bustle of movement and anticipation, combined with the constant flow of unique people to watch makes it a fun place, in my opinion. 

3)  I have a fascination with courtrooms and law.  The closest I can trace it to watching movies like Twelve Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird as a child.  I am looking forward to the day when I will actually get picked to be on a jury.  Every great once in a while I entertain thoughts of becoming a lawyer. 

4)  Random pieces of conversation cause me to break out into randomly related songs or movie quotes, more often than the average person, according to my sisters.  My sister, EDNA, thinks this is so strange. 

5)  I am a political junkie.  I look forward to election years like a football junkie looks forward to the Super Bowl.  During election seasons, most days don't go by without my tuning in to talk radio, which is where I get the majority of my news from. 

6)  While cleaning the kitchen, sometimes I throw my dignity and worries to the wind and embrace my inner Broadway Star, complete with all-out singing and dancing to fun music.  It's ridiculous (so the "you're weird" looks all my sisters give me indicate).  But it's always fun. 

7)  I found out today that I am an INFJ brain type.  What's yours?

Now for the very intellectual questions posed by The Man Who Would Be Knight:

1) Do we, in fact, need more cowbell?  

Oh, YES, by all means.  It's exactly what the world needs. 

2) To be or not to be?

That would depend entirely on what you wanted to be or what you wanted not to be.  I for one, want to be, and so I would say, by all means, be.  Unless of course it is wrong.  In that case, most definitely do not be. 

3) If you had the time, what would you learn?

Many many things... how to speak Italian is near the top.  If you included both time and money, the list would be endless... and it would include learning how to fly an airplane (so that my next career could be a crop duster pilot, obviously).

4) What does your blog mean to you?

My blog is a haven of sorts where I can put my thoughts on virtual paper... a bit of a luxury that I afford myself when I carve out extra time. A blog evolves from time to time... but for now It's a place to sort or share my thoughts.
5) What is the first thing you are going to do when you get to heaven?

Fall on my face, probably. 

6) If you had a super power, what would it be?

To fly.  Reading minds would be nice too... womens intuition is only so reliable.  

7) How many roads must a man walk down?

That all depends on where and how far he wants to go.

Now, my turn to ask YOU. 

1)  What aspect of life do you view as hardest? 

2)  What instrument would you like most to play?

3)  What retro sitcom character do you most identify with?  (i.e. Lucy?  Ethel? Laura Petry?  Rob Petry?  Mr. Muenster? etc.?  :)  

4)  There was a dish in China called "The Most Delicious Dish", which turned the conversation to what each cook considered their "most delicious dish"...  what dish are you famous for among your family and friends?  
5)  Do you like to solve problems at night or in the morning?

6)  What is your favorite way to start your mornings?

7)  If you could visit any country, which would it be?  

I humbly pass this award on to: 

My Forest Cathedral
As Thy Days
The Chatterbox
Heiress In Training
Beloved's Bride

Learning Late In Life (has already been tagged, but here's a double tag)
My Home On The Range...Texas 
No Place Like Home

But I really would love to hear answers to this randomosity from any gentle reader or sweet friend who happens upon this post, tagged or not, blogger or not (blogging in a comment is acceptable in this case, most definitely).  :)

Thanks again to Ryan for a good excuse for a lightheartedly fun post!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

chased by grace and other randomosity

I'm sitting outside on the front porch, watching the dragonflies circle, admiring the morning sunshine, feeling the Texas balminess in the palms of my hands, drinking green tea, and generally gleefully procrastinating studying for my CLEP test tomorrow.  It's College Composition, and will require two timed essays.  Which means I have to write lots of practice essays about fairly pointless things.  I don't want to write anymore until the test, and I am trying to tell myself that I probably don't need to.  But, I probably do.  I am of the writing tribe that likes to type quickly, but stop often.  Just to think and ponder and look off into the distance for a bit.  And then after I write, I prune and tweak to my hearts content.  That is therapy, but it is not a remarkably quick process.  It is certainly not the sort of process that will get you through a College Comp test with any sort of passing grade.  And so, I have now written myself into thinking that I should at least write one more essay, at least before the day is over with.  And study for the question portion of the test... there is that too...

And in the midst of it all, I hope that I am doing the right thing in pursuing this degree anyway.. I hope that I did not misundertand the direction I was to take... I wonder this, and then I wonder that, and then I feel the icy fingers of fear grip my soul, and then I pry them off with trust, and then I wonder why so many emotions have to encircle the soul like the rings surround Saturn.  Emotions are odd things.

Yet, in the midst of everything, heavy on my mind is to be intentional to choose joy and thankfulness.  I stumbled upon this blog post last night... it hit the spot, so to speak.  That part of the soul that gets weary sometimes... and needs to be reminded about the goodness and mercy of the Lord.

Your whole life can feel like you are running for your very life, like you are trying to out run a tsunami of stress.
Trying to stay ahead of everything that’s nipping hard at your heels. Whole decades can be marked by exhaustion. can think goodness and mercy just follow you, but the Hebrew word for ‘follow’ is radaph’ and it means to “to pursue, to run after, to chase” or, quite literally, “to hunt you down”. 

  And I found myself this morning sitting and smiling hard and tickled pink over the simple joyful fact that I have arms and legs that work, when so many don't.  Such a gift... so many gifts.  They are all around us.  I am chased by grace today... what a blessing. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

broken rythmn

I am taking a break from studying, replying and sorting through emails, updating my computer, addressing envelopes, taking care of business emails, writing assignments, preparing for tonight's Bible study lesson, returning phone calls; all things I've been trying to cram into the past few hours that I have sat here at the office.  I will have to leave from here in a few minutes to go to the post office, the store, and then the Chinese mission.  But first, in a burst of rebellion from my to-do list, I am going to put up a quick blog.  Not because it has a deadline attached to it, by golly, but because I am on a quest to live well and sometimes that means doing things that aren't completely necessary.  But then, on the other hand, who  is to say that taking time for mental health moments isn't neccesary? 

In the midst of the busyness that fill my days, I more and more realize that one thing that does not fill my weeks is rhythm.  This is something I struggle with as a single adult... the proverbial green grass, where having a family and being a full time homemaker lies, beckons to me with a steady beat of rhythm.  Being a single adult, at least being me as a single adult, involves a lot of hats to wear, while performing a juggling routine.  The pressures I place on myself to do my best at being a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a mentor, a friend, a volunteer teacher, a business professional, a student, a decent housekeeper (in training), an aspiring gardener (very much in training), all while keeping the car repaired, the bills payed, getting enough sleep, helping with whatever needs helping with, exercising, knowing when to stop and "smell the roses", and all the other odds and ends of life can pile up.  The pile-up leads to a constant mental pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your brain.  You know the feeling, right?   Because I am trying to do all these things at once, I am constantly trying to catch up... except, I never do.  I am so busy completing tasks with deadlines, or trying to catch up, that I rarely have a steady pace in my everyday schedule.  I don't like that.

I love the sweet way my mom raised us...  a slow pace... weekly piano lessons in Small Town... monthly nursing home visits... school at home every day... and playing outside or chores all inbetween.    We had a slow, steady, and sweet rythmn... we knew what to expect each day, usually.  There was a peace and calmness about it. 

Surely we were created for a steady rhythm and a majestic calmness?  Or perhaps there are seasons of both schedule steadiness and seasons of schedule schisms, each in turn?

Whatever the case, joy must be found in the dance of the everyday- whether the music I dance to is agitato or tempo semplice.   If joy cannot be found in one, what makes me think it will be found in the other? 

Oh well... it will all work itself out... in the mean time, I have a Helper.

Behold, God is mine Helper.  (Ps. 54:4)

And that's all I really need to know for today. 

Okay, it's off to the post office and beyond!  The therapy of pen of paper, or fingers on keyboard, never fails. 

(I don't have time to proofread, so I apologize in advance of the error of my ways.)