Heart Disease is a World-Wide Problem

“The prescription for heart disease is to love the way God intends us to love. Heart disease, the lack of love, causes us to be cold hearted, hard hearted.”

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 NIV

God asks you to love Him with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and ALL your strength – do not put your faith in idols, tokens that you assign meaning to – like a lucky rabbit’s foot, or a lucky hat, or choosing to put all of your energy into a video game, or a relationship … anything that takes your focus away from God.

This is why I have dedicated Sundays to God on this blog – to force myself to take a step back from my personal life, my work life, my hobbies, my distractions and remind myself there is a bigger picture here – and it’s wonderful, and loving and gives me hope, especially when bad things happen, like wild animals attacking small children.

Your happiness, your peace of mind, starts with your heart. What do you believe? How compassionate are you? Do you stop and make yourself see the other side to a story? Do you try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a minute?

Having the ability to empathize with people goes A LONG WAY toward feeling more compassionate about your fellow man.

So I ask you, take a moment and examine your heart. If you’re not happy, if you have little peace in your life, look to God. He’s there waiting for you to reach out to him. What do you have to lose by trying?

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.

Thanks for watching.

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Truth or Tradition Website
Facebook
Twitter
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iTunes
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Meeting Internet Friends

meeting-internet-friend

So here’s the thing, meeting people online, forming friendships/relationships, is not as weird or uncommon as it used to be.

Speaking as an older person, (ahem), I really can’t imagine doing that nowadays though I’m certainly not against it – in fact, back in the day when I used to read a lot of mommy blogs, I seriously thought I would attend some blog conferences and thought it would be fun to meet some of the people I had been reading online in real life.

I never did it though because ultimately, I didn’t care enough to follow through. I was curious, not serious.

But our boys, who have grown up online and who can’t imagine life without the Internet, are a different breed. It’s now the norm to meet friends online, in chat rooms, in forums, or recognize screen names from games.

I can’t confirm this, but I think that both boys, at one point or another, had online girlfriends though they never met them, to my knowledge.

I can always tell when Blake gets attached to someone online. His mood is happy, uplifting, he jokes around and laughs a lot.

And then I can always tell when something happens online, whether someone has disappointed him, or made him angry, or he has lost a friendship/relationship because he falls into a deep depression. He mopes around and sleeps A LOT. It always concerns me a bit when he sleeps so much – I know that’s his way of trying to get away from whatever is upsetting him. But I suppose we all have our ways of coping with unpleasant things.

Brandon is not like that. He doesn’t internalize as much as Blake does. When someone disappoints him, he just gets angry. I can’t imagine where he gets that trait from.

Brandon has a lot of online friends. In fact, he met one the other day and I found this out when I saw his friend’s post on Facebook.

The guy that Brandon met comments on his Facebook account. And I don’t know, I always assumed the guy was someone that Brandon went to school with. It never dawned on me that he was an online friend. When I saw the post on Facebook of Brandon meeting this friend, I was shocked.

I asked Brandon about the meet up when he and Blake came over for Sunday dinner. He said this friend was traveling back from Texas with his parents when they decided to stop in our hometown and meet Brandon. They met at a restaurant. Brandon said his parents even bought him dinner, which I thought was terribly nice of them to do.

Brandon and this guy have been online friends for about 6 years. After I got over my initial shock, I then freaked out a bit. I mean,  you hear all sorts of horror stories about weird people impersonating kids, or serial killers stalking their next victims and well … you just pray that never happens to your kids. But I guess they can Skype each other now and they can see it’s not an old man in his 60’s sitting around in his underwear.

(But they could always hire a kid, I guess).

Brandon also bought tickets to go to Vegas in October. By himself. He is going to some Final Fantasy conference and he’s meeting up with some online friends there, too. In fact, the latest word is, they are all going in on renting a condo for several days. Bran is supposed to be coming over this next week so we can help him book a flight. And I definitely have more questions about this condo, where it is, how much it costs, etc.

I know what you’re thinking – FREAK OUT MOMMA MOMENT. However, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, NO WAY ARE YOU GOING TO VEGAS. But on the other hand, he’s 21 and if he’s willing to venture out on his own, well, I can’t stop him. In fact, I’m sort of proud of him for biting the bullet and stepping out of his comfort zone. Nearly all of Kevin’s sisters’ kids have traveled the world, in fact, one of my nieces is in Spain right now living with missionaries for the summer, I think my kid can handle going to Vegas.

I’m trying very hard to be cool about this. I would rather he come to me and tell me these things than hide them from me. At least if he talks to me, I can help him prepare for the trip and give him advice on how to be safe while there.

Blake is talking about going to Japan to meet a friend next year. I have no idea if he’ll ever do it but he’s been thinking about doing this for a few years now. (I wonder if that was why he was interested in taking Japanese class in high school – it all makes sense now!)

Of course, we would help him plan. He already has a passport (which reminds me, we need to renew Brandon’s passport. His expired at five years instead of the ten for me, Kevin and Blake, because Brandon was too young to qualify for a ten-year passport at the time). I’m pretty sure I’ll be way more freaked out with Blake going to Japan.

As in, OUT OF THE COUNTRY, PEOPLE.

But we’ll cross that bridge if/when we get there.

We are also working on setting the boys up for a credit card. All they have now are debit cards and well, we all know how risky debit cards are. Besides, they need to start building credit and now is a good time to start.

I’m betting, if the girlfriend thing ever happens for either of our sons, it will be through the Internet. And in a lot of ways, I think it’s better that way. At least that way, they can focus more on her personality as opposed to the physical side of things.

Like it or not, online relationships are real and they are happening, whether we approve of it or not. We might as well get on board.

Father’s Day 2016

Father’s Day was non-stop here. Kevin and Roy mowed lawns, I did 3.25 miles on the treadmill, got cleaned up and picked up a Jimmy John’s sandwich platter for lunch. After lunch, Kevin, Roy and the boys went swimming at our rental house.  For those of you just tuning in, Roy is Kevin’s uncle (his grandmother adopted him) and he lives in our rental house across the street.

Kevin’s grandmother died in 2008 (?) and Kevin and his mom are Roy’s co-guardians. I wouldn’t say the rest of Kevin’s family wrote him off, but they don’t have a lot of interaction with Roy, Kevin is fully responsible for him, though Kevin’s mom does help out when needed. Roy lived with Kevin’s parents for the first five years after Kevin’s grandmother died and the relationship became strained – plus, Kevin’s parents are getting up there in age and simply can’t watch/take care of Roy anymore – so the responsibility lies with Kevin.

How do I feel about it? I’m a little resentful, I’ll be honest. I admire the hell out of Kevin for stepping up and taking on that responsibility, but I resent the fact that Roy has become part of our immediate family – the boys moved out, and Roy moved in, in essence.

Yes, I realize this makes me sound cold hearted and you would be correct in assuming that, I am a bit cold hearted – I really don’t want to be in this position, but then I immediately feel guilty for thinking that because if Kevin hadn’t stepped in and taken over Roy’s care, he would be in a home right now.

I have a lot of guilt for feeling this way.

But the situation really turned out for the best. We firmly believe God had a plan for us when the woman across the street passed away and her home went up for auction. And Kevin was curious, so we attended her estate sale. I remember feeling so, SO sad walking through her house and seeing all of her possessions laying around for people to nit-pick over. I remember feeling angry that there were people who would turn their noses up at her stuff, stuff that she was proud to have, took care, held memories for her.

And I remember feeling FURIOUS that Kevin bid on the house. Luckily, he lost the bid. I was relieved.

But again, God had a plan and one month later, the guy who bought the house contacted Kevin and asked him if he wanted to buy it – he said yes.

It was my birthday. Happy birthday to me, here’s a rental house.

We took out a home-equity loan against our house and fixed the rental house up. We tore up the carpets and put in hardwood floors. We completely remodeled the kitchen and put in all new appliances. We painted and fixed up the landscape. We got the pool up and running for about $600 even though “the experts” told us it would take about $12,000 to get it working properly.

And by “we” I mean Kevin. Kevin is a master of all trades and quite talented in figuring things out. He did a fantastic job of fixing that house up.

Shortly after fixing it up, Roy’s relationship with Kevin’s parents went south. And Kevin had an idea – why don’t we ask Roy to move? He would pay us rent, Kevin would be able to keep an eye on him and someone we knew would be living there.

Win-Win-Win.

And then Kevin got another brilliant idea – why not move my office into the front part of the house and Roy would live in the back part of the house.

Oh. And how about turning the basement into a music studio for his band to use for practice?

I’m telling you guys, I’m married to a genius.

So that’s Roy’s story in a nutshell. And Kevin is usually at the rental house more than he is at our house, but that’s okay, it gives me a chance to do what I want to do and Kevin has his space.

Win-Win-Win.

Back to Father’s Day.

So the guys are swimming at the house. I don’t swim over there. I never have and I never will. I will not be caught dead in a swim suit in front of Roy. It just feels ……………. icky.

So I went to the mall. And while there, I returned this dress to Old Navy. I wanted to like it, I did like it, my body, however, had other ideas. And yes, I’m on the endless, frustrating cycle of trying to find clothes that will look good on me and keep me cool when we go to Bermuda.

(Yes – we booked the vacation).

I also went to Bath and Body Works to pick up some body lotion because momma loves her some body lotion.

And then I picked up the cookie cake that you see above. We don’t DO cakes in our family – it’s always cookie cakes.

I took it over to the rental house and the guys were ready to take a break from swimming and sugar up.

The fact that this is blurry makes me angry – stupid camera.

The guys lounged around a bit more after cookie cake, some more than others….

And then Kevin made curly hotdogs

and then we all five, me, Kevin, the boys and Roy, all played Lords of Waterdeep. It’s a Dungeon’s and Dragon’s board game – yes, we ARE that cool.

It’s a super fun strategy game and we will be playing that more often. The boys really enjoyed themselves.

Oh, I almost forgot, we surprised Kevin with Blue Puma sneakers:

blue-pumas

He had his eye on these the other day when we were shopping for me for (more) sneakers for work but he didn’t end up buying them. I went back later and got them for him because I knew he would never buy them himself.

Cool sneaks for a cool man.

It was a crazy, busy day but I think Kevin and the boys had a good time. He’s seriously one of the most awesome men/fathers and we are very blessed to have him in our lives.

We love you, Kevin!

 

 

My Eyeballs

I’ve gone a little overboard on buying reading glasses. (I bought all of these glasses, except for the second row, middle picture, through Coastal.com – no, this is not a sponsored post.

I shouldn’t even BE wearing glasses but my eyesight is poor today because of me.

Let me explain.

Back in the early 2,000’s, (that’s still seems so weird to type), I went to college. I went to college because 1. it was a life goal of mine and 2. I wanted to set a good example to the boys.

I loved college, but then I was in a place in my life that I COULD love it. I was a stay-at-home mom during the day, and worked at Wal-Mart at night. I went to class while the boys were in school. It worked out well. I had time to study, (not necessarily the energy to study) and I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Writing/Creative Writing minor.

I’ve never really been smart, per se, I have a lot of common sense and the ability to think logically so that saved my bacon when it came to studies. But I came up with this (not-so) brilliant idea of wearing glasses because it would give me a mental “boost” – I would FEEL smarter.

And it worked – I did feel smarter and I felt like I did better. I don’t know why I did this, it’s stupid and I DON’T RECOMMEND it, but again, I’ve never claimed to be overly smart.

This wearing glasses tactic worked as far as my grades but it ruined my eyesight.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t have needed reading glasses later in life anyway, but it would have at least delayed the inevitable by about ten years.

Now? I can’t see squat up close without them. And I can’t really see that great overall without them, but I’m too stubborn to wear them all the time. I can see fine far away, not so great up close.

What really concerns me is I have to renew my driver’s license in November and I’m really hoping I can pass the eye test without my glasses because I don’t want it to indicate that I have to wear my glasses on my license. Again, I see fine far away, but can’t see very well up close so wearing my reading glasses to drive would not be a good idea. I wonder if they will allow me to take the eye test with my reading glasses but not make it mandatory that I wear them on my license? This is all new territory for me.

I have eight pairs of reading glasses. I know – that’s excessive. But I sort of became obsessed with Coastal.com when a friend of mine at work told me about the free pair she got through Coastal.com. (I really must stop talking to friends at work about stuff – it ends up costing me money).

So I went on to the site and started looking around. Then I uploaded a picture of myself and spent HOURS trying on virtual glasses to see how they looked. And then, Coastal figured out I had made an account and started sending me promotional emails about deals and well – eight pairs of glasses later, here we are.

The biggest reason I have so many glasses is because it’s fun to shake up “my look.” I wear scrubs all day every day, I GET BORED. And the only thing I can do about it is switch up my accessories once in a while.

The two pictures with the starburst in the corners are my favorite glasses. I wear those the most. I also feel stupid wearing the cheetah-looking glasses, (top row, last picture on the right) but I always get a lot of compliments from co-workers and patients together when I do. Maybe they all really hate them and don’t want to hurt my feelings. ha!

It’s been two years since my last eye exam. (I feel like I’m confessing a sin here). And honestly, it’s probably about time for me to have another eye exam, but so far, my glasses are doing a pretty good job of maintaining my eyesight and I won’t even tell you how much I’ve spent on glasses (hint – none of those pairs, well maybe one pair, was more than $50) and I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of them yet, so I’ll hold off on a new eye exam because I’m sure the prescription will come back that I need stronger glasses and I’m not ready to drop another fortune on glasses just yet.

(Side note: my left eye is weaker than my right eye – that’s weird, right?)

Kevin’s eyesight is worse than mine. His prescription is for actual glasses, not just for reading. He’s getting pretty sick of wearing glasses and has made an appointment to have his eyes checked for contacts. He actually looked into laser eye repair but they told him that since he can see far away but can’t see close, that type of procedure would not be helpful to him. They could do one eye, but not both. Not sure I understand the rationale behind that, but okay.

Kevin’s sister wears one contact so that she can see both up close and far away, not sure I could handle that but she seems to be okay with that solution.  I’m not sure how they will fix Kevin’s problem so that he can read but still be able to see long distance with contacts, but we’ll see what they come up with.

I honestly don’t mind glasses. I’ve gotten so used to them now it’s weird when I don’t wear them. But Kevin has gotten tired of always having to have his glasses close by and he says he doesn’t have a problem with sticking something in his eyeball, so we’ll see if contacts are a better solution for him.

Me? No way. Just the thought of touching my eyeball makes me heave a hairball. I’ll just stick to multiple pairs of glasses, thank you very much.

 

Just Write: His Consequence Followed Him Home

I love this video for a few reasons:

  1. The dancing is outstanding. These dancers are pretty amazing – I first learned of their talent in the Slip video. For those of you that don’t know, I’ve always wanted to be a dancer – there is no way now, and quite honestly, I don’t think I was motivated enough to really pursue it when I was younger, but I admire the hell out of dancers in general – for their artistic talents, for their hard work and dedication to their art. I could (and sometimes do) watch dance videos all day long. They inspire me.
  2. What about the mood music? It’s happy, go-lucky, innocent tune when he is home and turns sinister when he’s at his destination and fooling around with his lover. If you’re in a situation where sinister music is being played in the background, you shouldn’t be in that situation.
  3. The story in this video. It’s a story about a man who crosses the line and his consequences quite literally follows him home. It may not happen right away, but it will happen and it will be ugly. Is it worth it?

So story idea – how does the wife react when she finds out his lover followed him home?

How would YOU react if your wife/husband/lover brought his/her love affair home one day?

Don’t think, just write.

God is Love and Sacrificed His Son for Atonement

This teaching is a little more technical, if you will. John explains how Romans 3:25 has mistranslated propitiation: appeasement of an angry God should actually be translated into atonement – which means bring taking two entities and making them one. It’s a better translation and depicts God as a loving God, not as an angry, wrathful God, which is how many people think of God nowadays.

That thinking/assumption is incorrect.

It’s a great teaching on how God is love and wants to love you, if only you will allow him.

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.

Thanks for watching.

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Truth or Tradition Website
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes
Online Store

More from Write From Karen