Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

Black Friday

For some shopping on Black Friday is not even a consideration.  For others a little dab will do them.  The news media broadcasts the greed and violence that some experience while shopping on Black Friday.   However,  I do believe that the majority of people who go have a good time and that kindness is evident even when you are shoulder to shoulder with strangers.

I don’t even know how many years we have ventured out.  Let me just say that I don’t remember  a Thanksgiving weekend without Black Friday shopping.

Yes that is snow!!

When we arrived in MN on Thanksgiving it was warm.  However, as the day went on it started to snow.

Here we are heading out.

This is the first year my nephew decided to see what all the fuss was about.

It was also the first year we went for 10 hours before heading back to my sisters.  I did wonder how my mom ever kept up with us.  I cherish the memories I have of getting up at O’ dark 30 and there she was dressed and ready to go.

Galina and I remembered our Santa hats

We wear fun hats.  They serve two purposes.  First it is way easier to spot a hat when searching for each other and secondly it causes laughter.

I love to laugh.  Laughter is a universal language.

We are having fun even if we are freezing

you are one of the first 40 🙂

When we left IA it was in the 50’s and I had open-backed shoes on.  After waiting in the freezing cold and snow for Old Navy to open, the first thing I did was head to the boot department.  Brr.

There were people everywhere.  Just when I thought no way was I getting any closer (after all I do have space issues) –  I noticed that the people down in front were actually passing boots back to those behind them.  I called out ‘Size 8 please’ and wala someone handed me a pair of boots.  I stood there, in the background, for a while just watching that gentleman and lady grabbing boots from up high and tossing them to strangers.  Sad that things like that don’t make the 10 o’clock news.

Breakfast break.  Tradition has it that McDonald’s is the place to eat.  A little food and lots of caffeine and we are ready to continue.

McDonald’s gift to us for stopping for breakfast at O’ Dark thirty

 

All in all,  it was another successful and memorable Black Friday experience.  Successful because I easily stayed on budget while getting  some terrific deals.  Memorable because it was 10 hours with my sister, niece, nephew and ‘daughter’.    It is one tradition worth keeping.

til next time

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November 29, 2012 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

fun?

Sometimes life can be crazy and we can get caught up in all that has to be done.     Keeping our lives in balance can seem like a never ending challenge.  Sleep, work, family, fun, responsibilities, commitments can resemble a  juggling act.

While juggling the many facets of our lives, it can be easy to take things for granted.   — i.e.  A few moments of a power outage and gratitude for electricity comes to the forefront.  An attitude of gratitude is a good way to start each day.

Our life is crazy busy.  Those of you who have followed my blog know that my husband and I both pastor and are employed outside the church.  In addition to that, he just started a graduate level class.   Along with all that, our son and daughter (in law)  moved in with us in December.   🙂   We are no longer empty nesters.    Our other son is in college.  Yes our life is full.  There is a to do list that seems to be a mile long.

I was asked recently what I did for fun?

I have given this matter quite a bit of thought this week.  What do I do for fun?

As I thought about this I realized that I have fun every day.  I love to laugh.  I am easily amused.  Fun is a part of who I am not just something I do.

Oh there are things I like to do:  date night, having coffee with a good friend,  shopping, going to a good movie,  traveling ………………..

Sometimes it seems like those things are few and far between.  I am grateful that fun is something I can include in each day.  It isn’t hard to find things to laugh about.  Laughter is contagious.

Today, among other things I found worthy of laughter, Curt and I stopped by the local bakery and picked up some scrumptious desserts.  As we were walking home he dropped mine.  Yes it fell right out of the sack onto the pavement.  My response to his shocked face was laughter!  (One hand over the mouth and one hand on the tummy – laughter.)

I did retrieve said yummy thing and thought about the 5 second rule.  That is just how appetizing this item was.   However, I am a germ-a-phob and couldn’t get past the dirty, gross pavement.

What was there to do but  go back to the bakery and buy another one?  The surprised waitress thought it was because I didn’t want to share.  Even that was funny.

Curt and I talked about it and I could have responded differently.  Sometimes we take things just way too serious.  Looking on the lighter side of things, seeing humor in a situation, or creating humor in a situation are all things we can choose to do.

Can you have fun without laughter?  Of course.   But can you have laughter without having fun?  Try it and find out.  I encourage you to look for things to laugh about.

Proverbs 17:22
“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

til next time

January 27, 2012 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, relationships | , , , , , | 5 Comments

i got your back

A lot has been written about friendship.  There are plenty of books on the subject.  As far as that goes there are plenty of opinions about just what is friendship.

For me this pretty much sums it up. ” A friend loves at all times”   Proverbs 17:17.  Pretty straight forward, fairly simple, yet its meaning runs deep.                 

              aug 29 2009

I absolutely love this picture.  What you can’t tell by looking at the picture is that we are laughing.  I can only imagine what it looked like as Tonya attempted to get this shot.  (yea for timers)  Good times!

As you can tell by our hair the wind is blowing.  This is quite symbolic for me because in life it can get a bit breezy or even down right windy.   I value friendships — I am grateful for those in my life who have my back.

I am blessed in my life to have people who love me no matter what.  This has been tested a bit more lately as I have entered into the nether world of pre- menopause.  Which, by the way, seems to come in tidal waves — or at times it may even be considered a tsunami.   Really trying not to make excuses but also trying to stay in the truth.  It is not a walk in the park — this entering into the next stage of life.  

Through the good times and the bad times, through laughter and through tears,  rejoicing with one another and travailing in prayer for each other — that’s just what friends are. 

To each one of you that has and is impacting my life — thank you.  I am blessed.

til next time

August 30, 2009 Posted by | menopause, perimenopause, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

as the day ends

It is the start of a new day.  It will be filled with many choices.  When all is said and done I will not be able to redo this day.  There are no delete buttons.   So as this day starts I am also thinking about how it will end.   As the day ends there are some questions that I will ponder.  God calls me to represent Him, and the day to day way I handle life is a reflection of my relationship with Him.

1:  Did I choose to walk in joy?  It really is up to me to decide to make up my mind that I will enjoy this day.  It comes down to attitude.  Learn to find joy in the simple day to day things.  Dreading anything is a real joy robber. 

2:  Did I make the best of my circumstances?  Everyone has things in their life they would like to change.  Did I do those things that I could and not get frustrated over things I couldn’t do anything about?

3: Did I laugh today or did I take myself too seriously?  For truly life does not revolve around me.  Stress and taking life too seriously go hand in hand.  I need to on purpose add laughter into my day.

4:  Did I live my life in such a way as to silence the negative talk of others?  I can’t stop people from lying or wrongly judging me, but I can live my life in such a way that it disproves those statements.

5:  Did I compromise?  In other words did I settle for what was good enough instead of what was the best?  This can be most difficult.  Good can indeed be the enemy of best.  It can be easy to settle, may I raise the standard and not be content with the status quo or worse lowering the standard (compromise).

6:  Did I waste time worrying?  So much of what people worry about never happens.  It is borrowed trouble.  It’s traveling companion is dread.  (see # 1)  It is the opposite of trust and faith. 

7:  Did I harbor ill feelings toward anyone?  Hate poisons the soul.  Yes, there are people out there who do hurtful, hateful things.  The key is to release it quickly to God.  He sees, He knows, and He will take care of it.  Learning to walk in love – ah, that is the goal.

8:  Is there any regret connected with today?  Regret can rob me of joy both today and also tomorrow.  May I learn from it and then let it go.

9:  Did I help someone today?  It is so not all about me.  I don’t have to look far to see something that I can do for someone else.  Did I take the time?

10: Did I spend beyond my means?  Doing things at the cost of going into debt is not wise.  How I spend my money is a reflection of what is important to me. 

til next time

February 28, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

how’s life?

What word/words would you use to describe your life?  Here are some words to think about: busy, stressed, rushed, agitated, frustrated, or could it be content, peaceful, joyful, exciting, abundant etc.

All of those words, at one time or another, would describe my life.  It’s a New Year and that always causes me to do some personal reflection.  What words describe my life right now?  Am I ok with those words?

Jesus came to give us the abundant life.  Abundant – more than enough.  He was referring to a life filled with all the goodness of God.  He is more than enough for whatever I face.  However, some days the abundant in my life would be described as more things to do than I possibly have time for.  I would find myself with an abundance of demands.  Yet this is not the abundant life Jesus was talking about.  He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I spent New Year’s eve with our youth group.  It was fantastic.  youth-overnight-021youth-overnight-036I am still amazed at how much fun it was.  Fun, now there is something that can get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle of life.  I was reminded that fun does take energy.  It can even be work.   Ah, but laughter follows the footsteps of fun. 

When was the last time you laughed?  For me it was this morning.  Our dog is truly living on borrowed time.  She is so naughty and adorable at the same time.  At least I am seeing some humor in her.

Last night Steve preached on God having a sense of humor.  All I have to do is look at some of the animals and I see plenty of humor.  The fact that Steve’s power point on God having a sense of humor didn’t work was also very funny.  🙂 

Some days just reflecting on what I have done can cause me to join with God in laughter.  I think that sometimes I am guilty of taking life way to serious.  This can rob me of peace and contentment.

How’s life?  Many years ago I started asking my friends this question instead of how are you?  It was a reminder to me and them that life is so much more than just how I am today.  Life is good!!  Sure it can be difficult, but there is nothing like the peace that God brings when situations come up.  Being a follower of Jesus Christ is exciting.  Each day is a new day to witness the wonders of God.  (That is if I am not to busy or rushing around trying to do way more than I should)

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad.”  I choose joy.  I am learning how to slow down in this fast paced world.  Some days are easier than others.  I am learning how to enjoy today because today is the day the Lord has made. 

So how’s life?

til next time

January 5, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

where they know my name

 “Where everybody knows your name.”  (remember the theme song from ‘Cheers’?)   There is nothing quite like getting together with people who know you.  Well, that is people who know you and love you anyway.  🙂 

I love to get together with a particular group of people.  These people are fabulous.  They make me laugh.    This group knows my name. 

They’ve seen me at my best and they’ve seen me as I struggle.  We are on this journey of life together supporting  one another.   It is a place where there is an abundance of care and love.  A place where you can be  a real jerk and later come back and find that love is still abundant.   You see this group of people realizes that no one is perfect and we all need grace.

This is better than a 12 step program.  It is here that I am truly accepted for who I am and where I am at.  I cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh.  Laughter is contagious!!   

church-with-frameWhere is this place? 

I’m talking about my church ‘family’.   Church where everybody knows my name.  Church where I join others in bowing before the King of Kings.  Church where God’s presence washes over me, refreshing and restoring my life. 

On any given Sunday we will laugh much.  We do enjoy ourselves.   It isn’t all about laughter though.  We are challenged to grow, to learn, and to change.  We are reminded that God has a plan and a purpose.   God is in control.  God is good.  All the time.

Church should not be endured but embraced.   It  should be an extension of your walk with God.  I don’t ‘have’ to go I ‘get’ to go.  (big difference) 

Whether it is during worship, prayer time or the sermon, God touches my life in a way that is different from my personal quiet time with God.   Sure I can be a christian and not go to church, but why would I want to do that?  Getting together with God’s people is a valuable asset to my walk with God. 

I am grateful that I live in a country where I can freely gather with others to worship God.  My heart goes out to those who see church as a drudgery or boring.  As in my personal life, so with my church family, serving God is exciting.  

til next time

December 26, 2008 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments