Thursday, July 30, 2009

HOPE Ranch

“May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.”

Hope has always been a powerful, driving, and meaningful concept and reality of faith for me throughout my life. Just think of life without Hope? I can tell you it = depression at best!
I can't imagine surviving without hope. Some do, and I would imagine their days are not pleasant. When times get really really rough, I am not sure I could literally bring myself to survive without hope. During my most difficult days, that is all that has brought me through and kept me out of bed.And I haven't even lived through anything really really rough.
Hope keeps us breathing, gives us reason to get up again after we have fallen down.Hope is with us during times of uncertainty.Hope is God's sacred form of encouragement and peace.
That being said...I was happy to Welcome Hope Ranch into my life with open arms
..... more to come!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He's Ever Over Me

So, we are facing the potential for major changes. The way this plays out has various options, but we do know it is time to do things in a different way. The "why" question (is a good question) and what it comes down to is ...we feel an innate desire to place ourselves in an environment where we feel we are encouraged to grow, thrive, and most of all, are able to use our gifts and serve as we are meant to. We are not sure exactly where this may be, may be here... may be some where else. All we know right now is that there are decisions to be made.

Tonight I was feeling a tad restless and overwhelmed. I am not typically one to ask God to reveal specifics to me. I have been blessed that in the past, God has revealed himself and been with me in a way that I just know what I am doing is either right or wrong. However, I have recently worked with a few families where God has been very clear, in a not cheesy way, but a real way. This made me wonder, ok, so how does this whole call on God to ask him to "speak" to me thing work. So I decided, to take in all I have learned, from friends, family, church, the bible... and call on God, for real, for real. Whenever I do this, he listens (why don't I do it every day, I don't know, I am a fool, a human, a sinner, but praise God for grace!)

Anyway, I took the lead of fellow believers and decided to pray for a specific verse in the midst of my anxiety. It took many moments for me to re-adjust my thinking... "OK just keep praying, you are not crazy. Either you will hear God or you will not. Just try to keep your little ADHD body still and see if God has anything to say" ....Well, I can't really explain it, but just like that.. I heard Psalm 121. Meaning just that. I didn't know which Psalm this was, but I heard that and immediately responded. " Ok, don't know what this is, but I know I need to read it!" One thing I have learned is key is that when God talks... you better listen right away even if you just "think" you heard him. Cause when you respond, you realize, oh crap..., Yeah, that was God alright! I actually did hear him! Here is the Psalm, which turns out, is one of my favorites even if I didn't recognize the number.....

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I rest assured, that God always watches over me, even if I am a sleeping fool. Wow, that is an amazing God. And, I face life questions knowing that he is with me, and I couldn't ask for more peace than that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Popples, Wuzzles, Fluppies

What are these things.....

Popular toys from the 1980s, all of which were still living in my parents basement!

One high light of our summer thus far was helping my parents have a major garage sale at their house. They are re-doing a lot of the house and therefore keep discovering more do you say...junk? No really, actually a lot of it wasn't junk, but just incredible how much my very wonderful mother has kept. Mainly stuff from when my brother and I were kids. I am appreciative of her sentimental thoughts, but the time to go through all my toys was over due!

It was actually a lot of fun to go through and see all the toys which were dearly loved, but totally forgotten! Of course I could've recounted my favorites such as Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, Rainbow Bright, and Pound Puppies. However, there was a whole other mess of other creatures and characters. Such as the Popples, Wuzzles, and Fluppies. Any one else remember.....

Glo Worm
Hot Looks
Lady Lovely Locks

I am sure there are some others I am forgetting, it has been a few weeks since I sorted through kid-land in my parents basement. I had mixed emotions in response to this occurrence. Nostalgia of course. Remembering how exciting it was when Barbie's surf shop was finally put together or the joy that came from attaching all the strange little hair pieces to Miss Lady Lovely Locks. Gratitude was another... I had SOO much stuff! Seriously, were we at the toy store every week? Really it was probably large in part to the people who know kids toys best....Grandparents! Frustration.. why on earth did I have so many toys and why are they still here!! Those were two separate issues which I won't go into too much, but point being- so many children in this world don't even have one special toy. I was reminded of the little boy in Ethiopia who was ecstatic to get a tennis ball, the house keeper who was brought to tears when we gave her a small stuffed bear to take home to her daughter, and some of the adopted kids I work with who don't know how to play with toys because they have never seen them.

My intention is definitely not to criticize anyone for providing their kids with a multitude of toys to enjoy! This experience was for me, a good reminder of the vast contrast of children's play experiences across the globe. This is hard when we think about how little many other children have. However, it is also a reminder of how amazing children and their imaginations are. Sticks become bats, magic swords, or animals. Games might be born from cans, rocks, or cracks in the street, and trees become secret palaces and land marks. Certainly, whether locally or globally, it is not the toy that is responsible for the well being of the child.

We are not parents yet, I am sure we will be some day (no... we are not pregnant, because I am sure that was going through a lot of your heads...). When that time does come, I am sure it will be very hard to not get caught up with all the latest toys and trinkets little Jonny Jr. is begging for. And I am sure I will be equally excited about some of the funny little creatures that I presently pass up whille roaming through Target. I do hope though, that I will keep perspective and balance in mind. For those of you who are parents, I wonder how this experience has been for you?