Sunday, March 10, 2013

I was around 20 when I first sat inside a school bus, and I am advanced in my 27th year as I first experience the reality of the thing they call, Spring Break.  To state the obvious, I'm a homeschooler.  A homeschooler at heart who is taking full time classes at a local school... so for the first time I'm experiencing "official" Spring Break.  It's pretty great.  And boy am I glad... my taxes need filing, I need to do some organizing and spring cleaning, time for extra practicing, and the best of all, I don't have to say goodnight at 9pm for a whole week. 

You cannot imagine the self discipline it takes to make myself go to bed so ridiculously early.   But then, you cannot imagine the ghastly feeling of trying to choke back tears in class because you're not "getting" the new concept that is being taught, all because your brain is exhausted, which makes you even more tear-prone.  No, I'll take the granny-time discipline any day. 

Actually, if I can get out of school without having an all out melt-down at school, I'll be happy.  Becoming a court reporter is difficult, so it's not at all uncommon to see ladies crying in the hallway while talking to a sympathetic teacher (it's disconcerting, I tell you).  Thus the high drop-out rate in court reporting school, and thus one of the reasons court reporters are paid well.

Pinned Image
800,000 WORDS
That really is how your brain feels.  And you never escape it, once you start.  It'll pounce on you at inopportune moments... while trying to sleep, while listening to someone speak,  in an instant you'll imagine how it would be in steno.  My teacher says this will only get worse, and I do believe her.  It also confuses your typing and spelling on a regular basis.

Practicing hours and hours is worth it for a job that is both profitable and flexible though... flexibility in a job is so important to me... that way, I can participate in the volunteer things I love, too.  Reaching the 225 words per minute goal line can't come fast enough.  Thus, my obsession with plunking away at my little steno machine these days... they say, the more you can practice these first two semesters, the faster you'll move through the other speeds.  I sure hope they're right...

'Cause otherwise.... this will be ME:

In other news, today I've worked through a lot of The Great Divorce by the brilliant C.S. Lewis (hooray for Sunday reading!!).  What a fascinating book!  Have any of you read it?  I hope to finish it tomorrow... as a matter of fact, I'm determined to finish it.  I've noticed a bad habit I have that I'm going to break... if I have a book I am really enjoying, I crawl through it.  I crawl through it because I like it so much, I don't want it to end, and I don't want to rush through it, I want to savor it.  So then, I end up with a ton of half-finished books laying around.  This must stop.  I need to just plow through, and remind myself that there are lots of other good books to enjoy next. Oh brother... I come up with some goofy habits sometimes 
Okay, I should stop typing now and wait for another day when I actually have something interesting to write.  So far, this has just been a ramble rant... which is just about all I seem to be able to write these days. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ladies Day Book entry... 2/3/2013

Outside my window...  It's bright, sunny, crisp cool air.  Perfectly typical Texas February weather. 

I am thinking...  That sin is so hurtful and destructive.. that I hate it, and I hate how it hurts people and relationships.  That school starts again in the morning and I need to set out clothes, prepare lunches, round up all my school books, and get my steno machine packed up.  

I am thankful for...  Family...  family laughter, family chatter, family love and friendship.  Friends who call or write to check on you.  For the book, Lena by Margaret Jensen... Mom gave us sisters a copy to share, and it's just really "hitting the spot" for me today.  

I am wearing...  "Comfy clothes"... the sort you wear on Sunday afternoons after you slip out of your church clothes... like a favorite soft pink jacket, house slippers, and a worn in polo shirt and shorts. 

In the learning room...  It's Sunday... all is quiet.  I force myself to do no studying on Sundays.  It's my way of setting aside the day to honor the Lord and rest.
I am remembering...  with the sound of the Super Bowl playing in the background, how the "football game sounds" bring back happy childhood memories of going to my Italian Great-Grandma's house for lunch on Sunday afternoons as a child.  When we walked into her house, the aroma of spaghetti gravy and the sound of the football game playing on tv greeted us, all warm and welcoming.
I am going...  No place tonight... To school in the morning... down the long country road, lined with ranches, cows, horses, and fields... it's a happy drive.

I am currently reading...  A biography about Hudson Taylor, Lena by Margaret Jensen, and The Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  And some school books.  But they are of no interest to anyone but me. 

I am hoping...  in the Lord.  And that some of those dear to my heart will receive the Lord's healing, hope, and grace as they walk through hard things.  

 On my mind... so many things... (like, isn't this almost the same exact question as, "I am thinking..."??)  that I need to take some time before the Lord and do a routine "motive check" on everything I'm doing... that I need to get our car listed on Craig's List (and what will I drive after that??)... that I need to keep fighting to be faithful in the small things... that I hate diagramming sentences... that I need to write a sticky email... and that I want to be like this dear Lena lady when I grow up. 
Noticing that..  I forgot to drink the coffee we made... horror!  

Pondering these words... from the book Lena: "What if that tree could talk, Lena? Think o f all the secrets that majestic oak could tell."    Laughingly Lena answered, "Oh, but that tree do talk.  It say, 'Lena, just stand where God put you, like I do. I don't fret and carry on to be a tall pine.  I just be standing here, unshakable, unmovable, a shelter in the storm, and a shade in the heat.'  Then I tell myself, 'Lena just be-- just be abounding in the work of the Lord.  Do your work as unto the Lord, for God sees the heart and is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.'  That tree be talking, Nurse Jensen, and I talk back.  I say, 'God planted you outside my kitchen, and He planted me inside this kitchen.'  We just stand praising the Lord together."
From the kitchen..   Andrea Bocelli is singing from the cd player... but we're getting ready to get in gear to prepare dinner. 
Around the house...  It's Sunday afternoon, so the family is meandering around... waking up from naps, reading books, checking emails, chatting, etc. 

One of my favorite things...   Eating a meal outside on a beautiful day.
Here's a few pics I would like to share today:
Sisters and long time friends... I love these girls!
Lea, Rebecca, me, Sarah, Hannah, Michelle

Getting to see Elisabeth Elliot Gren and Lars Gren at a recent wedding was the highlight of the year so far.  (Rebecca, Lea, me, Mr. Gren, and seated, is Mrs. Gren)
I owe a great debt of gratitude to Elisabeth Elliot, for her books and writing, which have shaped me in so many ways.  Mom used to make us girls listen to her radio program as part of school, and I am so glad she did.  (My mom has always had a really good grasp on the most important sort of learning.)