Time, Energy, Hate, and Anger

As I get older, my time becomes more and more valuable.  I know my days, and therefore my time, on this earth are numbered.  I know that the time I have left on this earth is limited, limiting the time I have for accomplishments and spending time with my family.  I also know that at this point I am on the downhill slope, meaning that most likely more than half my time on this earth is behind me.

I also know that the amount of energy I have is limited.  I have been able to boost my energy level by changing my diet and exercising, but it’s still finite.  Most days my energy bank is full, and I can make it through without any problems.  Some days my energy bank is running on empty, and I have to make adjustments to make it through the day.

My energy has also become a valuable commodity and something that I have decided to spend carefully.  Continuing to eat a healthy diet and to exercise almost daily is something I continue because it’s like earning interest on your investment.  I might be spending some energy to do it, but it’s going to pay me back with more energy.

Just like the money I have in my pocket, I decided a long time ago that there are things I refuse to spend my energy on.  I refuse to spend my energy on hate and anger directed at other people.  Sometimes it’s a difficult thing to do, but I remind myself that it’s not worth it and what other people do is out of my control.  It’s natural to want to defend ourselves when we’re being attacked.  Often, the better course of action is to remove ourself from the situation than to spend our time and energy yelling back at someone that’s not even listening to us anyway.

Hate.  It’s just an ugly word all the way around.  Spending time and energy hating people is not a wise expenditure.  I’d much rather spend my time on actions that are going to make a difference than on inaction that is just going to wear me out.  The one thing we don’t hate enough is sin.  We would be different people and live in a completely different world if we hated sin enough to steer clear of it.

With the idea of reaping what we sow; hate, and you most likely will receive hate in return.  Love, and you most likely will receive love in return.

“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”  Rom 12:20 NASB

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305 lbs. The End of a Relationship

April was jam packed with activities, so it went by very quickly.  It wasn’t long before May was here and it was time to start working again.  I looked forward to seeing and being in contact with the people I worked with.  In some ways I knew what to expect, but I didn’t know what might’ve changed while I was absent.

My first day of work went by quickly.  I was offered a cell-phone to use for work.  I decided that I wanted to keep business life and personal life separate, so I accepted.  I was told it had been Mr. G.’s phone, but that didn’t matter to me.  Charles got the phone reactivated, made a call on it to verify that it was working, and then handed it over to me.

I spent the day doing safety courses on the computer.  It was a long, tiring day; but I was glad to be done with them and know that I wouldn’t have any to do for another year.  Things were slow that night, so I was able to go home about an hour early.

I went home and decided to examine the phone I had been given.  I used my personal phone to call it to see what the ringtone was and how to answer calls.  The phone itself would never ring, but on my personal phone I would hear a ringing sound and then a message saying that the voicemail hadn’t been set up.

I was perplexed.  What was wrong with this phone?  Over the course of an hour I made several calls between the two phones with the same response.  I had come to the conclusion that I would have to take it into work the next day and let Charles know that it wasn’t working.  I decided to try one more time.  This time a woman answered, “Hello?”  Surprised and confused, I said, “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number.”

I thought I had heard that voice before.   I checked the settings on the phone and sure enough, Mr. G. had the phone forwarded to his personal cell phone number.  I was horrified to realize that all of the calls I had been making had been going to him.  I decided at that point that I would send him an email and apologize as soon as I was in front of my computer.

However, Mr. G. beat me to the punch.  I had a phone call from him within 30 minutes, and he was hopping mad that I had called him repeatedly.  He was coaching his son’s baseball game and finally threw his phone across the field.

I apologized and explained that it was an accident.  Once he heard that I was working for the company that he walked away from, the volcano of hate and anger erupted.  Once I explained that taking this job was what I wanted to talk to him about a few weeks prior, I went into listening mode.   Just like the people of Pompeii, there was nothing I could say or do to keep this volcano from erupting and destroying everything in its path.

In the end, I was told to never contact Mr. G. again in any way, whether it be by telephone, text, or email.  I told Mr. G. that I was not upset with him and that he knew where to find me if he ever needed anything.  It was clear that this was the end of our relationship.

Shortly thereafter, I received a long text from Mr. G. explaining why I was now the enemy and how he never wanted to hear from any of “us” again.  I was hurt, but did not want to fight fire with fire so to speak.  Instead, I sent a short text back letting him know that I would always be grateful for the support he had given me the past year.

I was deeply hurt.  Not so much by the fact that our relationship had ended, but by the way it had ended.  Later, I became fearful.  I had come a long way in the past year, but I still had considerable ground to cover.  I was not convinced that I could get to my destination without Mr. G.’s support.  I was so thankful that God had brought the right people into my life at the right time.  He had done it before, so I continued to pray that He would do it again.

305 lbs. A Word on Depression

About 10 years ago I was talking with a friend who works with people with addictions She was telling me about the woes of someone she knew.  She finally came around to saying that this friend suffered from depression.  It didn’t sound like depression to me, it just sounded like life.  My remark was, “That’s just life.  Life stinks.”  She got down in my face and told me that she thought I suffered from depression too.

That really was a surprise to me.  I never even entertained the idea of depression.  I just really thought life stunk.  There were many times that I thought it would be a lot easier not to be here, but I had children that relied on me for their daily existence.  I could not let them down.  I used to think that it took a lot of guts to end your own life, but I now believe the opposite.  It takes a lot more guts to stay here on earth.

I had tried talking about it to a friend or two over the years, but it was clear that they didn’t get it.  They dismissed it right away with disgust.  I didn’t expect to ever meet anyone that understood.

I received an urgent phone call from Mr. G. one day asking me if I could take over for him right away.  He was clearly upset and told me that he would be in touch the next day.  I was able to do so, so I did.  Later, he told me that he suffered from depression.  When I told him that I understood, he seemed very relieved.

For the first time in both of our lives, we had a friend we could talk to who understood.  We were our own little support group holding each other up at times.  Depression isn’t something anyone wants or asks for.  It’s just there.  It’s a part of you just like your hands, feet, and nose are a part of you.

I have found, for me anyway, that depression was an iron deficiency.  I’m not talking about the kind you put in your mouth, but the kind you pump.  When I started the Couch to 5K program, I was going to seven workouts a week–sometimes twice a day.  I can remember as the program was nearing its end telling Mr. G. that I never felt better my whole life.  I think this was a part of his decision to join a gym.

It was true.  I was far from being Miss Universe, but I was fitter than I had been for decades.  I had lost a substantial amount of weight and had drastically changed my eating habits.  But the one thing that keeps those dark days away, is exercise.

If you ever have someone try to broach this subject with you, remember that they’re just looking for someone to talk to.  The best thing you can do for them is to listen.  Please don’t dismiss it quickly or make them feel ashamed.  They did not choose this and have nothing to be ashamed of.  Who knows, you might make a new friend.

305 lbs. Raising Someone Up

January 2016 and the new year was here.  I was signed up and ready to go with the Commit to Get Fit program again.  I made sure I got Cole as my trainer, and I now had a new work out partner–my oldest daughter.  By the time Commit to Get Fit started, her daughter was just old enough to go to the childcare, so that made it possible for her to come too.

I had gotten spoiled the year before for having Cole all to myself most of the time.  This year, we had several people in our group–all of varying ages and abilities.  My daughter was definitely the youngest.  There was another young mom, and a few ladies that were older than me.  The program was also shortened to 8 weeks this go around instead of 12, so that was definitely a disappointment.  We were also supposed to weigh in every week, so I felt like we wasted time weighing and using the machine to get our BMI that could’ve been used working out.  Still, we had full access to the community center, so my daughter and I came almost every day to work out.

At the end of January, I attended a meeting for work.  I and all of the drivers were required to be at this meeting about the future of the company we worked for.  I knew something was coming down the pike, but I didn’t know just what yet.  In September, Mr. G. had told me that another company was going to “partner” with us.  Just what that meant or looked like I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to pry.  Also, Mr. G. had made a few trips out of town, so I worked some extra days.  I knew these were business trips and that changes were coming.

What we learned was that there was no future.  The company had filed for bankruptcy the year before, which we all knew, and now had been sold to a larger company.  There were two representatives from the new company at this meeting, Charles and Jeff.  Charles was a down to earth country boy from Oklahoma.  Jeff was a business snob from the midwest.  I soon learned that all these business trips Mr. G. had taken were with Jeff.

We were all told about the new company and that we had 48 hours to fill out a job application online if we were interested in going to work for them.  They fed us lunch, and it was a very pleasant meeting.  Jeff knew an awful lot about each and every one of us which I found a bit creepy.  It was obvious that Mr. G. had spent a substantial about of time with Jeff and telling him about each of us.

As the meeting was winding down, I shook everyone’s hand and thanked them for their time.  Jeff said something to me to the effect that Mr. G. had told him how I had “saved the day” more than once.  I was grateful that he had heard good things about me and was hopeful that this would help in the hiring process.  The next thing he said to  me was, “Put your application in and we’ll see where it goes.”  I knew right then and there that Jeff had no intention of hiring me.

Even though my friend says that my gut is never wrong, when it tells me these things, I hope against hope that I’m wrong.  I went ahead and put in my application and within 24 hours I had a phone call from Jeff saying that they weren’t hiring any part-time people right now but that they might change their mind in 60-90 days–whatever that meant.

I sent a text to Mr. G. that said, “I guess my application didn’t go very far.”  I immediately got a phone call from Mr. G. apologizing profusely.  I told him that it was ok.  I wasn’t looking for a job when I got this one.  It was business, and I understood that.  These were good words for him to hear, as he had been spewed with anger and hate all week from many people in the office that had lost their jobs as well.

At the first of December I felt like God was telling me that he was going to remove Mr. G. from my life.   As I often do when God tells me something I don’t want to hear, I hoped against hope that I had a “hearing” problem–that somehow I got the message wrong.  I spent the month of December begging God to not take Mr. G. out of my life.  He had been a great support to me the last several months, and I in all my selfishness felt like I still needed that support.

Finally, in January I changed my prayer.  I asked God if He was going to remove Mr. G. from my life, for Him to bring someone bigger and better.  It was hard for me to imagine that there was anyone better out there, but I knew God could raise someone up.

 

Reflecting on Hope

As the year comes to a close and we are about to embark on a new year, we often take time to reflect on the past year.  I have only done a little reflecting as there is still time left in the current year–so it seems.  I’m sure the new year will be here before I know it.

I know that I am lighter and stronger than I was this time last year.  I have not lost as much weight as I would have liked, but I feel that the part-time job that I worked for six months was a major derailment to my weight loss and my health.  I am glad to be off that crazy train and back on the road to health and well-being.  Getting stronger was not necessarily a goal or something that I intended; it was something that came about with the training that I’ve done.  It’s a good thing, so I’ll take it.

I spent January and February at the gym and was able to start running again in March.  I ran my first 5K of the year in April and ran a 5K every month except for July this year.  I did the Couch to 5K program again this year, but at a much better athletic ability.  I was able to continue to run until the last few weeks, so I’m spending more time at the gym now instead of outdoors.

My biggest fault in diet are the social gatherings.  I do not have a handle yet on portion control or just saying “no” to those yummy foods that pack on the pounds.  I have made some strides simply because I cannot eat as much as I used to.  This is something I really want to focus on next year.  I would like to go on vacation/holiday without putting on several pounds as well.

This time of year we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  His birth, death, and resurrection gives us hope.  I have hope of eternal life and one day being the person He intended me to be.  Hope of one day being reunited with family and loved ones that are severely missed.  Hope of never having to step on a scale again or log every morsel that goes into my mouth.  Hope of holding babies that I never had the opportunity to hold.  I pray that you too may share in the hope that the Savior brings.

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Why Does Common Core Require Teaching Islam? ⋆ The Constitution

If this won’t convince you to homeschool, I don’t know what will.

However, Common Core really originated from the Connect All Schools program, which is part of the “One World Education” initiative orchestrated by Qatar Foundation International (QFI). The director of QFI’s Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics is Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Hassan al-Banna who was the founder of The Muslim Brotherhood.

via Why Does Common Core Require Teaching Islam? ⋆ The Constitution.

Book Ends, the Movie

Here’s a short movie (about 15 minutes) made by young man from our church. It has a great ending and is well worth your time.

Another Reason to #Homeschool: The Love of Learning

Education - Abu Dhabi NY University.
(Photo credit: Luca Barcellona – Calligraphy & Lettering Arts)

In general, home educators try to give their children a well-rounded education.  This can be done by teaching various subjects, going on various field trips, etc.  At the top of our list, is reading.  If a person can read, they can learn anything.  Underneath it all, I want my kids to love learning and have the desire to continue to learn throughout their lifetime. Without the love of learning, there will be no desire to do so. Without the desire to learn, one will never become a mature christian.

Unfortunately, our government schools don’t always foster this love for learning. Some of the local schools here have begun requiring homework for kindergartners. I can’t help but wonder what they do in class all day if they are now sending homework home. Those that appear to be bright are encouraged to go through testing to determine whether or not they qualify for the “gifted” program. The kids and parents are put under a lot of pressure by the school officials and told that this is a big deal. If the child misses qualifying by a few points, they are pressured to take the test again.

This is done all at the age of 5 or 6, and for many it is their first experience in a school environment. Why would any of these kids want to go back to school? Why would any of them have a positive impression of learning?

Thankfully with home education this can all be avoided. Children can be encouraged to learn at their own pace. Each student can have their own specialized program tailored just for them and not worry about being in special ed, the gifted program, or anything else. They are accepted as the beautiful individual God created them to be, while being stretched and pushed a little by their teacher who knows them better than anyone else in the world. They can actually enjoy learning and develop a desire to learn throughout their lifetime. With that, the possibilities are endless.

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Remembering a Dear Friend with Handicrafts

I like making these trivets as wedding gifts.  They are quick, easy, beautiful, and will last longer than many marriages.  Many couples register online anymore, which makes it a snap to go online and see what dishes they select.  Using that information, I can choose the two complimentary colors for the trivets.  So far, they have always been received well.

Under the guise of “there is nothing new under the sun,” I have a dear friend that showed me how to make these years ago.  Whenever I make these, I can’t help but fondly think of her.  We had a rift at one time but were able to patch things up.  I was blessed to be able to serve her and her family in her last days as she was battling cancer.  It does my soul good to know that all was well between the two of us when she passed.  That experience has made me more conscious and more deliberate of mending fences or at least doing everything I can to mend fences as misunderstandings occur.

photo

These days, handicrafts are more of a hobby than anything else.  Still, they are great skills to teach in your homeschool.  They can lead to inexpensive gifts, a customized cover or case for that gadget, or even a home business.  Who knows, it may one day become a family heirloom.

8 Year Old Removed from School Because She Looks Like a Boy

The grandparents and adoptive parents of an 8-year-old little girl have been told that she can no longer attend the Christian school she goes to unless she meets some conditions.

Did she bring a gun to school or make reference to a gun?  No.  Did she do anything violent or bully other children?  No.  Did she bring drugs or a knife to school?  No.

Sunnie’s parents were told that she looks like a boy and that some students have been confused over whether she is a boy or a girl.  (A simple solution to this problem would be for the confused students to be told that Sunnie is a girl.)  Sunnie’s parents were told that unless her boyish appearance changed, that she could no longer attend this school–all in the name of God, of course.

Doris and Carroll Thompson are Sunnie’s grandparents.

They adopted and raised the little girl and took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received the letter from the K-8 principal.

“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment,” the letter stated.

It goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or a girl. It specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity. It even referenced specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs.

“We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female, and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education,” the letter goes on.

The Thompsons said they have no desire to re-enroll Sunnie in the school.

via Grandparents take girl from school after objections to clothes – KCTV5.

Clearly, the idea of rigid, zero tolerance has entered the Christian schools. I can’t imagine how this must make this little girl feel and how this might permanently effect her feelings for God and Christianity.

I was a tomboy myself. I don’t remember ever being told that I looked like a boy, but at some times I had long hair and at others time short hair depending on what was the popular style. Anyone remember the Dorothy Hamill?

My number one playmate until 5th grade was the boy next door. I had Tonto, the Lone Ranger, Silver, and Scout. He had GI Joe and a Hot Wheels racetrack. If it was warm enough, we were outside. And my belief as a young child was that if he didn’t have to wear a shirt neither did I.

None of us were scarred. None of us turned out weird. None of us ended up with gender identity confusion. At the young age of eight and below, gender and anything to do with sex was the last thing on our mind. It wasn’t important. It didn’t matter. We just wanted to be kids, and the adults in our lives were happy to let us do just that.