Sunday, July 6, 2008

This Great Country


The United States of America. We live in the most wonderful, magnificent, beautiful country on this planet and Independence Day is a holiday that should be celebrated close behind Christmas and Easter. The most perfect area of the world that was created by our great God and we live here. So, what's wrong with that? I ask myself that every time I turn on the television or open a paper and see lawsuits, hear debates or listen to complaints about how our country is run and our government is corrupt. I'll be the first to speak up and say that we could use some major improvements and that there are certain aspects of our democracy that could use some questioning. What I don't like to hear is the constant complaining and bickering about everything that's wrong here. Look at what we as Americans have been privileged enough to experience. There are people all around the world risking their lives to get here and most everyone I know was blessed to be born here in a free world. A place where you have the right to live, work and most importantly worship our God as we please. We have the opportunity to build a house on a piece of Earth that is labeled as our own, have electricity and running water supplied in that home and food on our tables. And if you can't afford food, our government has put into place programs to make sure you are fed. Granted, there are some who take advantage of this but that should not undermine the purpose of such programs. In most other countries, if you found yourself without food, you'd most likely die of starvation. In most countries, if your home was destroyed by a natural disaster, you'd hope for helping neighbors or that another country like America would come to your aid. Here, we complain about how our country doesn't act fast enough or give enough to replace what we have lost. When did our principles and expectations become so misconstrued as to think that we are owed something to live here instead of thanking God everyday that we have been fortunate enough to be allowed to live here? And why is it that we have become so stingy and greedy about what we have? Why do some hesitate to help our neighbors in other countries? Perhaps this is where we should apply the logic of "What would Jesus do?" He certainly wouldn't let others suffer, starve or die while watching silently and "minding his own business." I have to admit that I have at times been frustrated, seeing our military die for people in other countries who may not even appreciate their braveness and sacrifice. However, I then realize how selfish that notion really is. When did we decide that our brothers and sisters in Christ are limited to one country? After all, did God not create the Earth? There's no mention of America in the Bible. Therefore, I have to believe that He meant for us to be one brotherhood, throughout the world and to love each other. And to love each other is care about others and treat them as we would our friends. Back to the subject - what's so wrong with this great country that we live in? We are the country that was founded by the principles that God created and we are the country who lends a hand to those in need, just as Christ would do. So next year, on the 4th of July, celebrate your freedom, this country and those who made sacrifices so that you can.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Don't take it for granted

Today was an ordinary yet unusual day. What I mean by that is that all 5 members of my family were home for the entire day together doing miscellaneous things. Although that doesn't sound like such a big deal, IT IS! It seems as though someone's always missing and its usually my husband. (At the Fire Department, of course). Or if he's home, one of the kids may be with MeMa, or I have to go grocery shopping; you get the point. Today, however was different. The first out of the ordinary event was the fact that I was not awakened with the sound of giggles or the breath of a child on my face before 8:30am. I can't begin to tell you how amazing it was to sleep that late! Quite refreshing to wake up on my own without any sort of wake up call. I'd like to try that again..... Our plan was for everyone to spend the day working in the yard. Actually, that was Curtis' plan and we reluctantly agreed to it in order to spend time together. However, God knew we needed to be a little closer than that once he sent the rain, the 5 of us sat together around the living room watching a movie. Once the rain stopped in the afternoon, Curtis went out while I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning inside. The kids were back and forth, being drawn to the cartoons on television while I pulled and pushed them out the door to "enjoy" the sun. Not long before dark, we had friends over for dinner and later sent tucked the children into bed. Now I sit here typing and watching television, alone because of a fire call, thinking about how simple yet pleasing my day has been. This is something that could easily be taken for granted because it was so ordinary. However, I'm very aware of what's its like to not have a simple but ordinary day and I hope that I never take that for granted. So the next time someone asks you what you did today and you say nothing much, realize how lucky you are. Each day has been given to us as a blessing and we should always appreciate it and NEVER take it for granted!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hobbies


If you had asked me about my hobbies a few months ago, I would have looked at you as though you had a third eye. Now that I have time to breathe, I've discovered that it would be possible for me to obtain a hobby. Although I am not really the type of person to persue hobbies, I have found several things that are of interest to me. More than that, I've discovered that in finding that these things interest me, I'm learning more about myself and what it is that brings me joy and satisfaction. So here are several of those interests, or hobbies if you'd like to call it that.
As you already know, I love to write but finding the time (and a connection!) during the day can be tough. Searching local papers and websites for free or low cost activities to keep myself and my children occupied this summer has become a big one. Just today, I found that you can go to the local movies at least once a month for FREE so we will probably go tomorrow. Oh, and a small popcorn and drink are just $1 each. When I find something like that, its exciting! I have never been one to read but I recently picked up a Nicholas Sparks book and have almost finished it. Quite relaxing before bed and my dreams aren't as active as they where when I watched television before going to sleep! Don't get me wrong; I still like my TV shows but I've started alternating them a little. Photography........ I absolutely love taking pictures, trying to get the best lighting, angles, and focus. I know that I share this hobby with Lyra, who is already taking pictures that look professional! I'm so jealous but don't worry, I'll keep practicing and hopefully catch up! And last but certainly not least: Learning. I love to learn new things - if they are of interest to me of course. I'm trying to learn about things that perhaps I have always been interested in but they were never a practical thing to spend my time on. Like cooking, which has also become a huge interest of mine. I'm watching and reading about it a lot to learn the proper and new ways to cook different foods. I'm learning about the foods as well. Where they come from, how to store, how to season and best cooking methods. This has all been a wonderful learning experience about myself and I suggest that if you ever have even a small amount of time to devote to yourself that you spend it doing something that interests you. You might be amazed at what you discover about yourself!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So Proud


Today, I chose to write about my husband. Most of us find that its so easy to talk about our children, to boast and to share, but rarely do we speak of others that matter so much in our lives. It's not because others in my life don't matter or because I am not proud of them: its just so easy to speak about my children and many people can relate to that. Anyway, back to the point. (See what I mean!) My husband got a new job yesterday. Not only did he get a new job but he did so much more than that and most people will not see that part so I'll share it with you. He accomplished a major life goal and saw a dream come true. Its so wonderful to experience a love for someone in which I couldn't be happier even if it were my own dream that came true. In a way, it did seem like my dream since its always been his and I wanted it so badly for him. He has worked hard at every job he's had and he truly deserves this. If anything, his new employer is lucky to have such an asset to their team and I know that they will never regret the decision to hire him. As with anyone in any job, he will make improvements and adjustments, always looking for a way to be better. Still, the learning curve will be minimal, I'm sure. Despite the fact that he has worked hard towards this goal and that he earned, we can't forget that we owe our thanks to God for his work in our lives. This is just one of the many blessings we have received recently and we are aware of what we have. I can only hope that my friends and family can experience this joy as we have and that we will continue to look to God as we go through each day from this point forward.
So if you see Curtis in the coming days, be sure to congratulate him so that he can show you his beaming smile that hasn't come off his face since yesterday. And in case you haven't heard, I'm now the proud wife of a FIREFIGHTER!