Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

trust

                        TRUST
  • It’s easy to trust
  • when the sun is out.
  • It’s easy to trust
  • when there’s nothing to doubt.
  • It’s easy to trust
  • when the answer is yes.
  • It’s easy to trust
  • when there isn’t a mess.
  • It’s easy to trust
  • when you’re up on your game.
  • But when things change
  • is your trust still the same?
  • Trust is not really trust
  • til it’s put to the test.
  • I believe God.
  • He’ll work it out for my best.
  • With each new trial
  • my trust does grow.
  • God is in control,
  • that’s all I need to know.

til next time

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November 29, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife | , , | Leave a comment

black friday

So black Friday is tomorrow.  There will be people getting up real early to go fight for the 10 or maybe 15 items of that one thing that they just have to have.  People can really get crazy.  There are probably people already waiting in front of some stores.  Now we have been to stores before they open, but only by 10 -15 minutes. 

I love to shop.  I even love shopping on Black Friday.  It is great fun!!!  I love to people watch and I am not disappointed ever on the day after Thanksgiving.  Some people dress just for the joy of having people comment and stare, maybe even laugh – with them of course :-).  I have very few stories of people being nasty.  In fact for us, while waiting in lines that wind around the store, we have the most interesting conversations with people we will never see again.  No point being in a hurry at that point.  It is just going to take time to get to the check out.

I think I am beginning to show my age.  I remember when we (my sister, mom, niece and I) would strategize as to what time we were getting up to be at the store before it opened.  We would have our lists made out and it was pretty much down to a science.  It was nothing short of a marathon.  By 8:00 a.m. we would be exhausted and need to stop for breakfast to regroup.  Oh, we weren’t down by any stretch.  We just needed a nourishment break.  A couple of Dr. Peppers and I was good to go.

So this year, my in-laws had an accident on the way to my sister-in-laws for the holidays and are in the hospital.  Mom has a broken leg and finger.  Dad is bruised up from the air bag.  He was to get out today, but he is starting to complain of pain.  So they are keeping him another night.  This has put a bit of a damper on the festivities.  Hopefully they will both get out tomorrow.   

Yes, I am still getting up before dawn.  This is the one day a year that I seem to have no problem doing that.  However, I have no strategy.  I’m not sure if it is a pre-menopausal thing, in-laws in the hospital, drama, or maybe the fact that I can’t think of one thing I need, but it doesn’t matter to me where we go.  Shopping for me is really more about who I am with and the memories that are made.  I plan to do a bunch of people watching and of course I will scout for those deals of the year.   

If you are going to brave the crowds, I hope that it is a good experience for you.  If you are not a die hard shopper my advice to you would be to wait until after lunch or maybe even til Saturday.  Black Friday is not for the faint of heart.  🙂

til next time

November 27, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, perimenopause | , | 3 Comments

thankful or selfish

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  A time set aside to reflect on the things one is thankful for.   I’ve heard it said many times, “We should be thankful, not just one day a year but all year.”  I agree.   An attitude of gratitude is priceless. 

As I think about it, it is quite hard to be selfish if one is being thankful.  The flip side is also true.  It is hard to be thankful if one is being selfish.  When I am thankful, I am pretty much in a state of contentment.  When I am not thankful, selfishness is right on my heels. 

This does make me think of a song that is quite selfish in my opinion.

Whoever said music is just music was wrong.  First off, we memorize easily when something is put to music.  That’s one reason commericals have a little tune.  singing * Oh, I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be.  Cuz if……*    You wanted to finish it right.  🙂  Oh, what about *My bologna has a first name it’s …….*          I remember songs, word for word, that I haven’t heard for years.  Here’s one *I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when…*    or this one      *It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the….*   Or let’s go back farther, *I’m so dizzy my head is spinnin’, like a whirlpool…..*     Now I’m on a roll   *Please Mister Postman look and see if……*  or this one  *I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me, you get the picture?  Yes, we see. That’s when I fell for the…..*   ok last one   * come and listen to my story about a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer barely…..*

So you see, music does stick with us.  It gets into our head and stays there.  So what we listen to is important.  Ah, but that is another blog.

(oops, getting back to the selfish song – I do seem to get side tracked these days)  While I was working at IM, my co-worker (who loved country)  would always have the radio tuned to country.  Have I mentioned that I do not like country??   Now when she was gone, ahh, you know that radio was not on country anymore.  It was flipped to the Christian station.  Singing  *I will trust You Lord, when I don’t know why.  I will trust You Lord, til the day I die…..* 

So anyway, there is this country song that occassionaly runs through my head.  ugh!!!! (Thank you Cheryl)  *What about me, What about I, What about my….*    Now either the relationship he is in is just a one way street and all about her – in which case then he needs to wake up – or he just wants it to be about him.  I really don’t like this song, but the radio station sure played it a lot.

Thankful or selfish??  It’s pretty difficult, if not impossible, to be both. 

So I remind myself that I have much to be thankful for.  God has indeed blessed me with many things, too numerous to mention.  There’s a blog I read regularly and in one post, she talked about giving her husband a list of 100 things she liked about him. (check it out here)  Wow, I love that.  Great marital advice.  Focusing in a huge way on the positive.  Being thankful.  We could all benefit by writing down 100 things we are thankful for. 

til next time

November 26, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife | , , , , | 2 Comments

surprise!!

I love a good surprise.  You know the kind that you just had no inclination that it was coming.  Most of the time surprises get leaked out, at least a little bit.   People can find it real difficult to keep a secret. 

So today I go home for lunch and find Andrew and Zach playing video games.  Nothing too surprising about that.  Andrew had decided to cut classes today.  I think he just didn’t like the idea of Zach having the week off and he still had class.  🙂  I ask them what their plans are for the afternoon.  They are going over to Casey’s – again no surprise there.

I get home from work and the house is dark.  Then Ichris hear Andrew at the door.  He comes in like he is carrying something and has his hood up.  I should have realized that something was up, but not me.  He gets right up to me and then reveals that he is Chris. 

Surprise!!!  Yes, very wonderfully surprised.   As it turned out Zach and Andrew had went to get Chris.  His ride got him about an hour from home.  

What a good thing.  For me it was a huge hug from God.   God does know what we need.  His finger prints are everywhere.  

 til next time

November 25, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, relationships | 1 Comment

this warrior is a child

God is good.  Life can be hard, but God is good.  Wounds can run deep, but God runs deeper still.  Do I trust You Lord??  Do I??

I had a great conversation with a friend this past week-end.  We talked so long her cell phone battery died 🙂   At one point I mentioned that I felt I had turned a corner with the whole dttf (click on dttf which is found on my home page under tags – if you don’t know what that is).  However, with turning a corner – one never knows what is ahead and for all I knew it could be a brick wall.  I did say this tongue in cheek. 

Well, brick walls are pretty hard, and they don’t give an inch.  So if you find yourself there with me then I encourage you to take the time to listen to this medley by Twilla Paris.  It has seen me through many a brick wall.  When life hits you hard, remember that it is in the trials of life that we grow.  It is in the pain that we face things that must change.  Brick walls are not bad, just painful.

For now I lay down my sword. 

and in answer to the question Do I trust You Lord??   I join my voice with Twilla’s

“I will trust You Lord when I don’t know why.  I will trust You Lord til the day I die.  I will trust You Lord when I’m blind with pain.  You were God before and You’ll never change.  I will trust You!!”

til next time

November 24, 2008 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , | 3 Comments

Prayer for others

I’m not sure if my borders have been increased or it is just a sign of the times, but requests for prayer have mushroomed.  Years ago I used to keep a prayer journal.  It was a good discipline at the time.   I feel that it is very important that when I say I will pray – that I do. 

These days when I am out and about and someone asks me for prayer, I pretty much pray right there.  This does 2 things:  1st) the person is able to hear me take their request to God.  2nd) I don’t have to rely on my memory later.  Generally the people that may be around aren’t even aware that we are praying.  No where does it say one must fold hands, close eyes, bow head and wax eleoquent when praying.  Prayer is talking to God.  Prayer is inviting God into the situation or conversation.

Awhile back I added a prayer page. 

There are people that come to mind (sometimes out of the blue) and I’d pray – asking God to bless them.  I wondered if there was more that I could pray. I found my answer in the Bible.

These are some scriptures that I pray over people. 

“Father draw them to You.”   John 6:44

“Father I ask You to give to them wisdom and understanding, to be filled with the knowledge of what Your will is so that they can live a life that pleases You.  Help them to increase in their knowledge of You.  Give to them strength that will carry them through, not grit your teeth strength but strength that comes from You, glory strength, From glory to glory (2Cor 3:18)strength that will endure and will spill over into joy.”  (Col 1:9-12)

“Father bring Your refreshing, oh, that they would be strengthened, that they will be rooted and grounded in You.  That they will come to a deeper understanding of just how much You love them.  That they would be filled with Your fullness.  That they would bear fruit.”  Eph 3:14-20

“May You, the God of hope, fill them with all joy and peace, may they continue to trust You and overflow with hope by the power of Your Spirit.”  Rom 15:13 

til next time

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , | 1 Comment

memories

 What do you think of when someone says “What’s your favorite memory as a kid?”  I have lots of memories, most of them good.  Although my sister and brothers were 10, 12, and 14 years older than me.  So many of my memories are of tagging along with them or maybe I should say listening to them argue over who had to stay with me.  LOL

There was the time I got lost in the cornfield.  My sister was suppose to watch me and she wanted to go to the football game.  My brother Warren was chasing her to get her to stay home – when she ran into the cornfield.  He followed and I followed both of them.  Problem was the cornfield was way over my head.  So what was I to do???  Yup, cry and yell.  My brother found me, got me safely out  and stayed home with me.  My hero!  My sister said there was no way she was coming home til mom and dad were there.  Something about running for her life.  LOL 

me

I think I was probably about this age then.  Love the peddle pushers!  Still love capris.  This is one of my  favorite birthday gifts.  It was hot stuff.   I still remember feeling so grown up.  Yup, all that and a bag of chips!!

Hey, I think maybe this should be my next hair cut. 

My sister and I share the same birth date.  This did not endear me to her until we were both much older.  She was not amused to celebrate her 10th birthday with mom in the hospital and then to have to share her birthday from then on.sis-and-me1

Here is a picture of us.  See how I was trying to imitate her.  That didn’t impress her either.   I tease her that there isn’t a picture of the two of us together with her smiling until after I turned 15.

Memories,  it is fun to look back on old pictures.  I sure don’t want to live in the past, but it is entertaining to walk down memory lane.

After I turned 15 my sister became my friend.   I am blessed.  I know many sisters who are only sisters, never friends.  She is the kind of person who is there when I need her.  The kind of person who isn’t afraid to tell me what I need to hear,  who knows when something isn’t right, and she is not only a ‘good weather’ friend but a true friend.  (click here for our summer fun)

The holidays are coming and soon we will be making more memories.  Life is good!

til next time

November 20, 2008 Posted by | relationships | , , | 3 Comments

the place prayer has in my life

Thinking about the place prayer has in my life.  

Before I get out of bed – I pray.  It is surprising to me sometimes the things I will pray about early in the morning.  I do think it may even cause God to chuckle.  On those mornings when, for whatever reason, I don’t take time to pray – it is evident to me.  Talking with God first thing, for me, opens up communication for the rest of the day. 

My brothers and sister are 10, 12, and 14 years older than me.  So when I was 7 they had all moved out.  I begged mom and dad to let me sleep downstairs.  When finally they let me, I found out that it was kind of scary down there by myself.  It was then that I decided to talk to God as I tried to go to sleep.  So each night I would fall asleep talking to God.  I highly recommend it.  Some nights it is a rather lengthy prayer, but most nights it doesn’t take long and I am a sleep.

 Praying scripture is huge for me.  These are some of my favorites that I will use occasionally.  

“Lord, fill me with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding — that I might walk worthy of You and please You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You; and that I might be strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, being patient and perservering with joyfulness.”   (Col 1:9-11)

“Lord help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  (James 1:19)

 “Lord You have given me this day.  I will choose to rejoice and be glad.”  (Psalms 118:24)

“O God help me, Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, You are my Rock and my Redeemer.”  (Psalms 19:14)

I also find it very beneficial to cease talking and just be silent before God –  to just be quiet.  “Be still and know that I am God.”   (Psalm 46:10)

One of the things that I just love about riding the motorcycle is all that time with just the sound of the bike rolling down the road and being still before God.  It is peaceful and very refreshing. 

If it’s been awhile since you have quieted yourself before God. I encourage you to fit it into your schedule. 

Prayer – it is huge in my life. 

til next time

November 18, 2008 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , | 5 Comments

something has to change

It is so easy to say “something has to change” and so very difficult to make some of those changes.    It is so easy to say ” I wish I was ……” but another thing to actually do something about it.

When I was a young teen I wanted to play piano.  Lessons weren’t an option.  I would say quite often “I wish I could play piano.”  Then one day I decided to do something about it.  I played trumpet in band.  We had a piano at home, so I began to teach myself piano by using my trumpet books. 

Jump ahead a few short years and you will find me as one of the accompanist for the high school choir.   Jump further ahead to college and  I played piano for friends recitals.  Also, my senior year, at college, I did end up taking one semester of piano – finally some piano lessons!  🙂   (I was in a bad car accident and had to drop gym.  The only thing I could pick up at that point was some form of lessons.)  

God used that accident in more than one way.  I would have never taken piano lessons.  Yet it was during that brief semester that I learned how to chord and sight read.  It has been very beneficial for ministry. 

Getting back to changes.  We can reach a point in our lives where we know something has to change.  Just what that is can be hard to determine.  Just how to do it can also be a challenge.  Yet if all we ever do is say something has to change but don’t follow it with action what have we gained?  Frustration is what I think.

So today was another frustrating  Monday at work.  I’m not sure when or if we will ever be running a full crew at the eye clinic.  I am so far behind that I could work every Saturday between now and Christmas and maybe just maybe get caught up.  It would be really nice to have one job that has a beginning and an end – where it doesn’t seem like I just finish one thing only to see a mound of things piled up.  Thus I have been saying to Curt for quite awhile that ‘something has to change.’

I did decide – just today –  a couple of things I am going to do different.  It should make a tremendous difference.  I’d sure like to say that they are God inspired – only time will tell.  The key is that our actions and our words should match up.  It makes a difference if we get over into the solution or if we just stay trapped in the problem.

                            aboretum-water 

                            aboretum2

You might be wondering what these picture have to do with my blog???  🙂  Ah — they are reflections of beauty.  It is a reminder to me that life is good.  Frustration is bad.    Letting go of the frustration and embracing life is worth the effort.  It does take effort to make changes.  It takes no effort to grumble or murmur. 

For me it is making that daily choice to enjoy life.  Sometimes I even have to give myself a pep talk in the middle of the day.  There are things and people out there that can really put a damper on a perfectly good day – if we let them.   Misery does love company.  We don’t have to join them though.

til next time

November 17, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , | 4 Comments

Coincidence or God??

Coincidence or God??

Two and a half years ago Andrew was going on his first solo hike in preparation for the Appalachian Trail. When he arrived, he noticed two things – his cell phone was dead and the pay phone at the state park wasn’t working.

At 9:40 that night we received a call from the ER at Prairie Du Chein letting us know Andrew was there, he was now stable, but would need someone to come and drive him home. What????  Stable???   ER???

Here’s what happened. While Andrew was hiking in he got stung by a bee. At first he thought nothing of it. (He felt some satisfaction at having killed the bee) When he began to break out in hives, he knew something wasn’t right.  He knew he needed to get out.  He hiked out still carrying his 50 pound pack.  It took him over an hour.

At the start, he weighed his options of taking or leaving his pack behind.  He decided to take the pack due to the value of the contents and the possibility of needing what was inside.  At one point he figured there was only a chance that he would even make it out.

He made it to the car but had to drive into town to call since the park phone was broken. He arrives at the gas station, heads over to the pay phone, starts to dial our number when the phone begins to spin and go blurry. He heads up to the register to ask them to dial 911 and falls down. This created quite an excitement in that little gas station. (they were still talking about it when we went to get the car many hours later)

The ambulance arrives and they begin the process of stabilizing him.  Later the nurse at the hospital told us that Andrew was completely covered with hives and swollen. They pumped him with a lot of drugs. (He was still puffy when we arrived.) The nurse expressed over and over the unusualness of this case. The amount of time and exertion that his body went through was truly amazing that he didn’t just pass out way back on the trail. The fact that he drove himself to the gas station was also surprising.  (Even though he gets his determination from his father I do believe God was watching over him.)

One little bee sting changed the course of his life.  No Appalachian Trail now. Only later did he realize that the run in with that bee would keep him out of the military.  (The course for his life had just taken a drastic turn.)

He carries an epi pen when outdoors and the doctors tell him that pen will buy him 20 minutes to get to an ER. 20 minutes – What happened the first time (way more than 20 minutes, no epi pen and the physical exertion of jogging out???)

Coincidence or God?

Jump ahead – Andrew is riding his motorcycle to college. He wears long sleeves even on warm days for protection against bees.

The other day he gets to class and looks down. Ugh! There is something on his shirt. Wait, it is a dead bee with its stinger stuck in his shirt.  It got past the jacket and just ‘happened’ to hit him in the hollow where his pecks meet – not touching the skin.  Coincidence or God??

I believe that when we commit our lives to God, then our lives our indeed in His hands. He is in control. I trust God!! I leave my sons in His keeping. He is always with them.  I believe God is in those things that seem like coincidence.  

til next time

 

November 15, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, spiritual reflections | , , | 6 Comments