Reflections

Reflections: My Childhood Bedroom

This was originally published on my self-hosted blog, April 14, 2006.

Describe your childhood bedroom. What was the view from the window?

My sister and I shared an attic bedroom growing up.

The attic stairs were right across the hall from the bathroom and I remember skipping two/three steps down the stairs and barreling into the bathroom on more than one occasion. In fact, there were quite a few times I would scramble down the stairs so fast that I would overshoot the threshold and nearly land headfirst into the tub.

The stairs leading up to our room were steep and I remember my brother crawling up the stairs on his hands and knees to spy on us. Being the only boy in the family, he often felt lonely and would try and force his way into our secluded world.

When you reached the top of the stairs, you immediately stepped into a large room. We called that the “play room” because this is where me and my siblings spent a large portion of our time. All of the board games were stacked on shelves and we had boxes of toys sitting around. I think there was a walk-in closet but I wouldn’t swear to that. At the top of the stairs, to your left, was a huge attic fan embedded into the wall of the house. We didn’t have central air and that often kept the house bearable. It actually worked pretty good. We kept the windows open in the summer and the attic fan would pull air in and keep the house fairly cool. There was one window air conditioner unit in my parents’ room and I remember sneaking into their room to cool off when it got really unbearable in the afternoons.

The attic was big enough to accommodate a full-grown adult and I remember that no one ever had to stoop over when they came up. The previous owners had converted the attic into spare bedrooms so there was plenty of room.

I remember having disco parties in the playroom. We used to have one of those rotating balls that give off different colored lights as it rotates throwing various shadows and colors on the walls. We would play disco music (because that’s what was hot back then) and just act silly. I remember having various friends over and thinking we were really cool dancing our hearts out.

There were two windows at the front of the play room that offered a view of the front of our house. There were two side windows, one in the playroom, one in the bedroom I shared with my sister. I would often sit by those side windows and spy on our neighbors.There were four boys that lived next door and I had a crush on the oldest even though he was younger than me. They would often be outside, acting like, well, boys and I remember thinking some of their games looked rough but fun. (I was sort of a tomboy back in my day).

At the top of the stairs, when you turned right, you would enter our bedroom. It was a really cool room. It had jutting edges and protruding partitions. We had a white vanity dresser with pink piping. I think we got it from my grandmother (dad’s mom). I remember it was old even back then. It might have been an antique but I wouldn’t swear to that. That’s the only piece of furniture I can remember, other than our twin beds. Our beds were nestled in an alcove right underneath the two back windows. These windows were similar to the ones in the playroom and overlooked our backyard. We had three (four?) walnut trees in the backyard and I remember hating those trees because every fall we would have to go out and pick up the walnuts. We always had bagfuls to take to the shelling place where they gave us money for bringing them in. It was smelly and often left our hands stained for weeks. We would put then in paper bags that would wilt and fall apart because of the rotten walnut juice that seeped through.

Our beds were identical with shelves built into the headboard and I often kept books on the shelf. After a while the shelf became a catch all for trash, notes from friends, barretts, pencils and various other knickknacks.

We had a shed in the backyard, too. This is where dad kept his lawnmower and various other outdoor tools. I remember being a little afraid of that shed – it was old and the paint was peeling. It just had a creepy feel to it. It didn’t help that the shed was situated in the very back corner of our lot in the shadows. The times that I peered inside I got a whiff of lawnmower oil and freshly cut grass. Sometimes I would catch a whiff of something rotten, as if a dead animal had crawled under the shed (there was at least half a foot of space under the shed. The structure sat on boards), had gotten trapped and then died.

We had a paved patio with a privacy fence around the patio. Our whole backyard was fenced, but the portion around the patio (which took up about only ¼ of the backyard) was surrounded by a privacy fence. We often had BBQ’s on the patio. There was an old clothes line erected along the left side of the patio and I remember mom hanging sheets up to dry. There were stairs from the backdoor that led down to the patio. There was an elevated chunk of land surrounded by a concrete wall. I think we kept flowers or a garden in that area, but I wouldn’t swear to that.

It seems there was paneling from the bottom of the wall to the halfway mark. After that we had this red poppy looking wallpaper that I think was fuzzy when you touched the flowers. I seem to recall our room being decorated in reds and whites and pinks. It was kind of a funky room, but that’s what made it cool – it was certainly different.

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General

Assuming a Persona Through Language

I know this video is a bit redundant, it’s supposed to be, but hang in there to the end because it’s truly amazing how many accents she uses and uses well.

I’ve ALWAYS been fascinated with accents. In fact, I would routinely walk around and talk in (what I thought was) an English accent at various points throughout my adolescence. Of course, I’m quite sure I wasn’t very good (spoken with an English accent).

I WANTED to be a English woman. I don’t know why, a large part of it had to do with the fact that they have the coolest, most concise sort of language, but I think some of it had to do with the fact that I think it’s just so classy, so refined, so posh.

Growing up in hillbilly country, though I wouldn’t exactly classified myself, or my family as hillbillies, I wanted a little culture in my life – and I thought the English just might be able to give it to me.

I would LOVE to be able to mimic so many different dialects. What fun to pretend you’re from a different country and living a totally different life.

I smell a story …

And acting, talk about LIVING your imagination.

Spot on, Amy. Good luck with your career. I wonder where she’s really from?

Can you assume any accents?

Monday Stuff

Weekend Top 5: Hot Water

weekendtopfive

Weekend Top 5 is hosted by Kristi at The Wheelz are Rolling

number Hot showers have really never been my thing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a hot shower, but overall, I prefer my water to be a little more on the lukewarm side. My body tends to run hot much of the time, so honestly, a lukewarm shower is more comfortable for me.

But this weekend, my showers have been so hot that my skin is actually starting to bubble in protest.

Okay, my skin is not really developing blisters, but our water is now so hot that it could!

The plumbers paid us a visit Friday. They replaced our 33 year old water heater with a slightly bigger, more energy-efficient tank and let me tell ya, that baby CRANKS out the hot water! In the past, we would have to alternate when we took showers because if we ever made the mistake of taking showers at the same time (you know, one person in the front bathroom, another person in the back bathroom), then we inevitably ended up stumbling out of the stalls shivering and blue because the hot water ran out after about five minutes.

But now. Wow. We can run both showers, the dishwasher AND the washing machine and STILL have a ton of hot water to spare!

The guys are in heaven, they love it. But me? Well, this sucker is SO hot that I have to nearly turn it all the way down to “C” just to get something a little more lukewarm. I’m not complaining; I just don’t care for sweaty showers because to me, that defeats the purpose of taking a shower! HA!

number4 The guys’ passports came in the mail Saturday.

Mine did not.

*blink*

Should I be worried about this?

number3 Kevin was forced asked to volunteer for the annual Sertoma Chili Cookoff. Sertoma stands for, “Service to Mankind” and it’s an event sponsored by area businesses to raise money for the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Springfield.

Businesses cook up batches of chili and customers can pay a fee to get in the door and sample these chilies. They then vote for their favorite and the winning company receives a trophy.

In addition to the cookoff, the event coincides with the downtown Mardi Gras pub crawl which means there are a lot of drunk, crazy people running around with tons of beads around their necks and sporting risque costumes.

Not exactly an event for children, but surprisingly, there are always a lot of children that show up.

Kevin was stationed at the back door to dissuade people from trying to get in without paying. He had to stand at the door for nearly four hours and turn away quite a few drunk people.

I didn’t go with him. I wasn’t about to pay $12.00 to fight these crowds:

crowded

Ugh. I don’t do crowds very well. I was really glad I wasn’t invited to volunteer. (Though I would have, if asked).

You can watch a video of the event, if you’re interested.

number2 And here we go …

I’ve been watching the pollen counts steadily creeping up in our area. Kevin and I have noticed a difference just in how our sinuses have been acting up, but I’ve been keeping a watch on this chart via weather.com:

Pollen Level

Right now, Cedar and Elm are high. When Oak appears on that list, I’ll have to dig out the Singular and Zyrtec and drug MK up.

Have I mentioned I hate this time of year? Yes? Then I’ll shut up about it. Suffice it to say, I’ll be GLAD when April is over. (Typically the time Oak trees bloom around here).

number1 GD and I spent nearly three hours making out his schedule for next year. Not because it was terribly complicated or confusing but because the boy simply wouldn’t pick any classes!! ARGH!

GD is the type of boy who will take the easy way out, each and every time. He doesn’t like to use his brain very much unless it involves some sort of game strategy that will increase his ranking status among his peers. And then? Watch out – the boy is sharp as a tack and BITES.

But the whole “this is important because this is your future” thing? Not so much.

I was proud of myself though. I patiently sat next to him as he asked about possibilities and I read the class descriptions to him. I absolutely did not give him my input, well, not MUCH input, anyway. I gently guided him in the direction that he needed to go, but ultimately, I didn’t make any suggestions or pick any classes out for him.

And this is why it took so long for him to make any decisions. Because in the past, he would ask me what I thought, I would tell him, and that’s what he would settle for. This go-around, he would say, “What do you think, mom?” And I would come back with, “Actually son, the question is, what do YOU think? You’ll be taking the class after all. Is this something you think you might be interested in?”

In which he would reply, “I don’t know.”

And so, we sat around while we tossed nearly every class listed on the form until he finally made some decisions. He got very frustrated but I think it was good for him to actually THINK about what sort of future path he would like to explore. The only time the boy perked up was when we talked about the computer programming classes the school offered.

Only, one of the prerequisites was Algebra II. Which he hasn’t taken yet, but is scheduled for next year.

He got very frustrated with the prerequisites. But it was an opportune moment to teach him the importance of careful planning.

Here’s what we ended up scheduling him for next year:

English III (required), Liberty and Law (required), Civil War (he actually picked this one and acted interested in it), Japanese II (he picked it, but is nervous because it’ll be more challenging), Algebra II (required), Intro to Computer Programming (this is contingent on if he passes Algebra II with a C or better), Biology (required), Computer Applications (elective), Personal Finance (required – and a good idea, IMO), P.E. (required – he’s just retaking the weight class again), and an ACT Prep course (elective).

It was recommended that we go ahead and look at some possible courses for senior year – which was fun because by the time he is in 12th grade, the only thing he HAS to take is one more English class. So, for senior year, he’s what he has tentatively picked out:

English IV, Technical Writing (which is basically business writing and yes, I suggested this one *ahem*), Psychology, Economics, Advanced Computer Programming, Accounting I (I thought this might be fun for him since Kevin is an accountant and though a busy class, it’s not a terribly hard class), Earth Science, Relationships (which he rolled his eyes at, but honestly, his choices were pretty slim by this time) and Contemporary Living (which teaches kids to be smart shoppers).

I have no idea if he’ll stick with those classes come senior year, but I feel pretty good about his choices as those are pretty well-rounded and yet practical at the same time.

They gave us a copy of his transcript so we wouldn’t accidentally schedule him for a class he’s already taken and I was very proud of his grades, so far. It looks pretty decent, if I say so myself. I hope he can maintain the momentum.

Two years. My baby will graduate from high school in two, short years. *sigh*

Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme – February 23rd

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

February 23rd Questions:

1. Does blogging make you fat? Do you find yourself sitting around and eating more since you started your blog? Or do you get so caught up in the whole blogging routine that you forget to eat?

2. The one topic I will not touch on my blog is __________. Why? What sorts of topics do you receive the most comments on? What sorts of topics do you receive the least number of comments on?

3. Spring is coming. How is your wardrobe? What sorts of clothes do you usually wear in the spring? Where do you normally shop for your clothes? How successful are you in finding clothes for yourself?

4. We should treat every day as a special gift – we’re alive, right? What made this past week special for you? (And if you’ve already talked about that special something on your blog, then think of something else – something little perhaps, but had a big impact on you or your loved ones).

Monday Morning Meme Participants

1. PhoenixTheBloggingMama
2. Vicki
3. Rose
4. Jodi
5. Jennifer @ Rundpinne
6. Marianne
7. Kimberly
8. Judy
9. GiGi Diaz
10. Jennifer
11. Mrs. Cox
12. Rachel
13. oregonsunshine
14. pinaymama
15. Andrea
16. Janean

Learn more about Monday Morning Meme here.

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Life

Baby Steps to Being Debt Free

Being debt-free is hard. One must be willing to make sacrifices, to be inconvenienced, to be patient, consistent, vigilant, and determined. It requires focus, discipline, time and planning.

But honestly, being debt-free is the only way to go. There is NOTHING like the peace of mind that comes with not having to worry if there is enough money to pay the bills or not.

Will there be enough to pay the mortgage? Will there be enough to make the car payment? The utility payment? And will there be enough left over to, you know, eat?

My folks did not have a lot of money when I was a child. There were times my mother only had $50 to last the entire month after all the other bills had been paid for, but somehow, she did it. We shopped at thrift stores, we ate day-old bread, we used coupons (religiously!), my mother made our clothes and we learned the value of stretching our dollars out as far as they could possibly go.

As a result, I’ve grown up cheap. And not afraid of a little hard work. And I’m so, so, SO thankful that my parents taught me to be responsible with my finances.

My parents taught me that if I don’t have the money for something, then don’t buy it. They taught me that when I had the money for something, did I REALLY need or want it? “Wait,” they said. “Don’t buy something on impulse, walk away and think about it. Give it 24-hours. If you still want it after 24-hours, THEN buy it.”

And you know what? Eight times out of ten, after waiting and analyzing whether I really needed/wanted the item, I found I simply didn’t. So, I didn’t buy it.

I’ve worked hard my entire life. I started out at a fast food restaurant and worked my way to junior management. I loved my job. I loved the sheer physical work and time went by so fast, and I made so many friends, that I didn’t really think about it being “work” after a while. When they wanted to promote me to senior management and move me to salary, I quit, because I was unwilling to have a company own me – as is sometimes the case when you move to salary.

Though I loved the management aspect of the job, I wasn’t sure the restaurant industry was what I wanted to spend my life doing. So, I bit the bullet (I was SO nervous!!), and applied at a bank. To my complete surprise, I was hired. I worked as a teller for many years (that’s where I met my husband), and then moved to consumer loans. Which I loved. That was such a challenge to me. I learned the blue book value of cars and discouraged customers from paying more for vehicles that would depreciate faster than they were worth. I loved the paperwork. And I enjoyed the people I worked with.

But the banking industry began to change and they started requiring us to sell more and selling is simply something I’m not good at, nor enjoy. I don’t enjoy trying to persuade people to buy something they neither want, nor need. That simply went against everything I believed. So, with great reluctance, I quit. I still miss it to this day.

But it was good timing. Because my first born son came along and I was starting to feel terribly guilty pawning him off on my grandmother-in-law (whose health was rapidly deteriorating) and I knew, in my gut, I simply could not handle placing him in the hands of strangers – I would fret and worry about him too much.

So, I stayed home. And then my second born son came along and when he was about six months old, I had had enough. Staying home all the time was driving me crazy. I felt claustrophobic and I completely lost sight of who I was. I was someone’s wife. I was two little munchkins’ mother, but where the heck did Karen go? I grew resentful and unhappy, and that put a huge strain on my marriage.

During our married time together, my husband had graduated from college, had passed the CPA exam (man, was that time period stressful, for both of us), had gotten a job at a public accounting firm and started making good money. We weren’t rich, but we were comfortable. When GD came along, my husband became very unhappy with his job, not because of the work (which he enjoyed), or the people, but because it required a lot of traveling on his part and he simply didn’t want to miss out on our children’s lives.

So, he quit. And went to work for a privately-owned company. And though he didn’t have to travel, he still had to put in long, STRESSFUL, hours. I WISH I could tell you just how stressful this time period was for Kevin, but of course, I can’t. Suffice it to say, that when you have a job where everything, everything, hinges on your decisions and actions and you’re responsible for the entire company succeeding or failing, it’s a BIT stressful. He lost a lot of weight. And all of this was happening during the time period that I was being selfish and stupid, which only added to his stress, honestly, I don’t know how the man survived.

But during all that time, I watched our money. I used coupons. I didn’t spend more than we could handle. We both drove old cars. We rented our first house and saved up enough money for a down payment to buy a house. And when we went house hunting, we did not look at anything we could not afford. Period.

Oh sure, we WANTED a big, nice, impressive, brick house, but we weren’t willing to pay $2,000 dollars a month. NOT to mention, we couldn’t AFFORD to pay $2,000 dollars a month. So, we didn’t look at them. We stuck with what we could afford. We were patient. We looked at a lot of houses before we settled on a ranch-style home, a little less than 2,000 square feet. It was nothing fancy, but it was comfortable.

And we still live in that same house today.

I went to work for Wal-Mart when GD was two and MK was six months old, for two reasons, actually. One, to get out of the house because I just needed something more than being a wife and mother (selfish, I know. But there you have it). And two, so we could pay off some bills. But again, I simply couldn’t leave my kids with a daycare, I simply could not do it. So, I worked nights. That way, I had the kids with me during the day, Kevin had the boys at night (which put additional stress on the man during a time period he DID NOT need it).

I worked the 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. shift. I started out part-time as a cashier, but because of my banking experience, management moved me to the cash office where I remained for seven, long, years, full-time. And when I say long, I don’t mean it was long because of Wal-Mart, everyone was great to me there and I really enjoyed the work and the people, but long as in, I ran on virtually no sleep for those seven, long years. I got home in the dead of night and then I was back up at seven (if I was lucky) every morning to take care of the kids.

Those seven years … wow. I can’t even describe to you the stress we endured in our marriage. I was tired all the time. I was cranky. I was irrational and then to top it off, I was listening to a bunch of bitter women at work who did nothing but bad-mouth their men that I allowed that to affect my attitude with my own relationship.

It’s a wonder that our marriage survived at all.

Oh, and did I mention that I also went to college on and off during that entire time period while the kids were in school? I had always dreamed of graduating from college. I wanted to feel like I had accomplished something in my life. I wanted to set a good example for our boys.

To say it was tough would be putting it mildly.

At the end of that seven-year stint with Wal-Mart, everything just became too much for me to handle. I finally quit and concentrated on getting through college. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing in December, 2003.

And through that college experience, I learned how to build websites. And through a plea to volunteer to take over my sons’ elementary school website, I stumbled into my current job – designing and maintaining school websites.

My husband and I have endured a lot in our marriage. We have scratched, clawed, and cried our way to where we are now. But we’re stronger people because we didn’t give up. As a result of all of our hard work, we are debt free.

We never accepted any handouts. We never asked anyone for help. We did it on our own and hung on, even when our marriage was hanging by a thread, we persevered. Everything we have now is because we worked our asses off for it. And though we have more now than we have ever had, we’re still extremely careful about what we spend money on. And we make everything we have stretch to the near breaking point before we replace it – like our 15-year old carpet. Like our 33-year old furnace and water heater. Like t-shirts that get holes in them before we throw them out. Like appliances that simply quit working because they are so old. Like our ten plus year old cars (my husband’s truck is over ten years old, my car is a little over one year old, but I had driven all of my cars for no less than seven years before trading them in over the years).

I’m telling you all this because I get SO ANGRY when people start whining about not having this, or wanting that. It infuriates me when people expect something for nothing. I seethe whenever I hear people whine and complain about their financial situation and yet aren’t willing to make sacrifices in order to get out of debt (do they REALLY need that Blackberry? Or that SUV? Or the designer clothes? Or the house with the three-car garage? Are they even AWARE how much money the government takes out of their paycheck every week?)

Why do we feel entitled to something we haven’t worked for? Why? Why do people feel so envious of others? Do they know the stress and hardships those people have endured to get where they are? That’s like hating a woman because she’s too thin – do they realize how much time is required to look like that??

It’s all about sacrifices, working hard and taking responsibility for our lives. Everyone has a choice – they can either do it, or not. Sure, it’s easier for some given their backgrounds and situations, and yes, that sucks and it’s not fair, but is that a reason to give up? It’s just another reason to work harder.

And if people are not willing to work harder, and make those sacrifices to reach whatever level they want, then by God, stop bitching about it.

I’m sorry to go on and on about this; I don’t mean to sound preachy. I hadn’t intended to write this much, but this is something I feel very strongly about because I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have nothing, to be frustrated, to be mind-numbing tired. And I’m more than prepared to go through it all again if I have to. And if we have to trim the fat from our lives, again, in order to be debt free, then by golly, we’ll do it.

But I won’t apologize for what we have or how we live our lives now because we’ve earned it through our sweat and blood to achieve it.

I’ve included the below video on how to become debt free. I thought it had some pretty powerful advice and thought it might help those out there that are willing to make the sacrifices to get out of the debt choke-hold.

Thanks for reading.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Possibly the Worst Day of Jesus’ Life

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

You don’t think of Jesus as having a bad day, do you? Nevertheless, I want to look in this study at what was quite probably one of the worst days of Jesus’ life, and how he handled the challenge he was faced with.

Matthew 26:36-39
(36) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
(37) And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
(38) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
(39) And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].

Have you ever been so depressed that you wanted to die? That’s how Jesus felt on this day. There is no record elsewhere in the gospels where he felt so bad that he told any of his disciples about it, but that’s what he did here. And, he didn’t bare his heart before all of his disciples; he went off with only Peter, James and John into the Garden of Gethsemane, where he sometimes went to pray, and let them know how he was feeling. He didn’t try to put on a good, “spiritual looking” front for them. He was honest with them about how bad he was feeling.

Now here’s something to think about: If Jesus was so depressed, what was he doing wrong that caused it? Was he focusing his mind on the wrong things? Was he failing to look at things from God’s perspective? Was he failing to exercise proper control over his mind?

We know even as we ask this question that Jesus was doing nothing wrong. There was no sin or guilt in his life to pull him down. There was no shortcoming or failure in his walk with God that could have caused this. He was as fully committed to God as always, and as disciplined in his walk with God as he had ever been. And he was still so depressed that he wanted to die.

This lets us know that depression is not always the result of something you or I have done wrong. Depression can occur even when we are doing things right. If Jesus could get depressed in spite of his perfect walk with God, perhaps we should not be so quick to condemn ourselves or others when depression occurs.

Now being depressed is one thing; handling it the right way is another.

How did Jesus handle his depression? Did he seek for comfort at the bottom of a bottle? Did he look for recreational herbs to numb his mind? Did he gorge himself with food, or seek to forget his troubles in the arms of a woman? Did he seek out entertainments? Did he cut himself off from those around him? Did he curl up by himself somewhere and sleep for hours on end, unable to do anything?

How did Jesus handle his depression? He prayed. And he did something else that you never see him doing throughout the gospels: he asked three of his disciples to pray with him.

Can you imagine being Peter, James or John and having this weight dropped on you? It’s hard enough that Jesus is depressed; it’s another thing entirely to be asked to pray with him about his problem. The disciples had prayed for other people; they were not strangers to prayer. But praying for Jesus in a crisis situation was something entirely new — and, no doubt, frightening — to them.

What would you do in that situation? Wouldn’t you be on your best prayer behavior? This would be the most important prayer you’ve ever prayed. The farthest thing from your mind would be taking a nap. Yet, when Jesus returned to them after going off a little way to pray, he found them all asleep.

Why was Jesus depressed? Verse 39 gives us a clue. Jesus knew what it was that God wanted him to do, but he didn’t want to do it. There was a conflict here between the will of God and the will of Jesus. But rather than running off and doing his own will, Jesus went right to God in prayer.

What was the conflict? We don’t have to guess about this. The Scriptures tell us.

Hebrews 5:7
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

To put it quite simply, Jesus did not want to die. The “cup” that he asked God to let pass from him was his death.

God’s plan for the redemption of mankind was for Jesus, the one sinless man, to die in the place of sinful man, and for God to raise him from the dead. Now let’s be frank for a moment and forget that we’re talking about Jesus Christ. What kind of plan does this sound like to you? If God’s plan was for you to die and for him to raise you from the dead, how excited would you be about the idea? Would you follow right along, no questions asked, because of your trust in God? Or would you have some serious questions about whether it was really God who was talking to you, or whether you had understood Him correctly?

Read the rest of the article here.

Want to know more? Watch the below video and learn what else the Truth or Tradition ministry offers:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page.

Thanks for reading.

Life-condensed

Seeking Shelter

Tornado season is nearly upon us. And that means one thing to us Midwesterners – shelter.

GD and I were at the mall yesterday (MK was playing in pep band at a volleyball game) buying the cool hat I had promised him if he made a B on his Geometry test (I’m so proud!) when we stumbled (literally, it was set up in the middle of the of the walkway) across a huge steel box.

It was a storm shelter.

We walked in, turned around and walked back out. The box was about six feet high, and about five feet by eight feet wide, just enough room for six average-sized adults.

I grabbed a brochure. Why? Because this is something we’ve been seriously considering for our family.

Hey, don’t laugh. When you live in tornado country, and you live in a house with no basement, you think about these types of things. And you sweat about these types of things when those ear-piercing sirens start going off.

Do you KNOW how scary it is to be in the path of a tornado and NOT have any safe place to take shelter? It’s terrifying. Tornadoes are wild, unpredictable and very powerful – if you’re unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of one, all you can do is grab on to something and pray.

Kevin did cut a hole out of our pantry floor so that we could access the crawl space without having to go outside but let’s be real here – a crawl space is really not the place to be if a tornado rips into your house – the whole structure could collapse on top of you. Well, technically, it could do the same thing with a basement, too.

Our current option? Either huddle in the pantry, which is barely big enough to hold all four of us (especially now since the boys are bigger), or grab a blanket and crouch in the hallway.

Yeah, not great options, right?

So, we’re thinking about a storm shelter. It would likely be a flat-top underground shelter because above-ground shelters don’t make any sense to me. Sure, they’re extremely durable and heavy, but I’m betting if a category F5 tornado were ever to hit your area, that steel box would be reduced to a child’s wooden block.

I’d rather have a flat-top underground shelter so it would be a little less noticeable, something we could sort of disguise and keep from being a neighborhood eyesore.

Do any of you have a storm shelter? What do you do when a tornado warning happens in your area? Where do you go? Do you have a plan?

Seriously, if you haven’t thought about it, think about it. It’s always better to be prepared than not.

VideoPlay

Call for Video Meme Ideas

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Call for Video Meme Ideas on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

(By the way, I purposefully picked the stupidest thumbnail I could because truly, could I LOOK any dumber?? LOL)

Recap:

Meme name suggestions?

Meme day?

Mentioned in video: Table Topics. (Pst, I’ll be giving a fancy, glass Table Topics cube to one lucky winner during 5 Minutes for Mom’s Ultimate Blog Party!)

ADDED: Another reason to participate in a video meme? Your kids. Your grandkids.

Let me explain. My parents moved to a different city shortly after I graduated from high school because my dad got a new job. And instead of writing letters, my grandmother and aunts sat around the kitchen table together and talked into a tape recorder and sent the tapes to my mom – they exchanged audio letters, if you will.

My mother cherishes those cassette tapes. She loves to take them out and listen to them from time to time. And they mean even more to her now because my grandmother is no longer with us.

So, think of participating in this video meme as your way of leaving a bit of yourself behind for your children and grandchildren. How cool would it be to WATCH mom/grandma talk about issues close to her heart?

Anyway, I felt I needed to explain the purpose behind this idea of mine. It’s not because I enjoy watching myself on video – gads, far from it. But because everything I do on this journal, everything, is geared toward leaving a bit of me behind for my future generations. My goal is not to gain readers (though that would be a nice bonus), or to become super popular, but to help make documenting our short time on this earth a little more fun. Nothing more, nothing less.

I hope you’ll consider joining me. 🙂