May 31, 2010

Preserving the United States of America

I have spent a lot of emotional energy this year on Memorial Day.

Some of the reason for that is because at times I am overwhelmed with thankfulness, like yesterday in church when all of our service men and women were asked to stand so we could offer our gratitude and respect for them. Literally hundreds of people stood tall and strong, some in uniform and some not. Most had tears in their eyes it seemed...I suspect tears of honor, of deep love for our country, and perhaps some were tears of painful wartime memories.

Sometimes I am stirred, though, because I can feel the sting of many years of not realizing how much so many have sacrificed. I knew that many had lived their entire lives defending our freedom. I even knew that many had died in the very act of defending our freedom. But the fact is, for so many years, I took our liberty for granted. I never considered their cost, because it hadn't cost me a thing.

God, forgive me for being so selfish.

Now, it feels like I'm making up for all those years of not paying attention; not truly remembering people I don't know, those who made a decision early in their lives to protect my freedom to be self-centered. There is an awakening in me the older I get and with the more men and women I see in uniform...with their strong brow of commitment and determination, but tender eyes of compassion and patriotism. And they've known all along what may be required of them, but they serve with courage anyway.

There is one other recurring thought that I will leave you with this weekend:

Why are we, as a nation, now so willing to literally give away what they've fought so hard to preserve? 

God, please, help us wake up and be willing to preserve the foundation You prepared for this great country.

Karl Marx once said, "A people without a heritage are easily persuaded." Will we be those people? Will we be easily persuaded because we've allowed our heritage of patriotism and love of country to be displaced by love of self? God help us.

May 26, 2010

I've Fallen Off the Wagon

I couldn't resist any longer.

It's been a busy year, but with school coming to a pseudo-close, I got back on Facebook.

I know, what was I thinking?

I mean, sure, I remember the post I wrote about why I left it behind. But since the school year is winding down, and I'm no longer going to be "trying a new curriculum," you know, since I've already been doing it all year,
I think I can handle it.

Besides, this time, I know what to expect. I know where to draw the line before it gets insane.

No more Farmtown.

No more weirdo gifts to be obligated to pass around.

Sending a flying cockroach to my middle-school-childhood BFF was fun, but, it's been done now. No reason to do it again.

And absolutely no more goofy quizzes. Unless of course I find one that tells me what Mystery Science Theater 3000 robot I am. I might make an exception for that one.

Oh, and I'll pass on the Lil' Green Patch too. Sheesh. Do you have any idea how much time I spent watering, raking, and sending cabbage-patch-looking plants to people?

No more.

It's a Social Networking site, and that's what I intend to use it for. Anything else is just time abuse. See ya there!

May 14, 2010

Flashback Friday - Early Jobs

How old were you when you got your first (paying) job? Did you work during the school year? What stipulations, if any, did your parents put on spending, saving, etc.? What types of jobs did you have before you were, oh, 21 or 22? Did you go to college or a technical/trade school? If so, did you work while you were pursuing your post-high school education? What were your favorite -- and least favorite, if you wish to share! -- jobs? What did you learn from those early jobs?

I'd love to tell you that my first job was something cool, like a child actress at Walt Disneyworld or as an intern at NASA, or as a tester for Godiva chocolate. I'd love to say that I spent my first year after high school giving tour guides on the Mediterranean or cycling in Paris, France. The title "travel journalist" unfortunately has never graced my resume.

I flipped burgers for McDonalds. Life can be so cruel.

Shortly after I got the job, I acquired a second summer job working for The Go Round in the mall. It was a high fashion store in the late 80's that all the hip people shopped at. It capitalized on short-lived fashion fads, which is a stroke of genius being that fads come and go almost monthly. Especially in the 80's.

For me, it was a way to acquire a cool gnarley-dude-radical wardrobe and work with my best-ies.

Probably the most interesting thing about that job was the MC Hammer pants I used to wear to work. Most people would get fired for wearing stuff like this to their job:

But, believe it or not, we sold them.

The best part of the McD's job was the free lunches. For a poor high school student, you can't beat a free lunch.

That's what I did the summer before my senior year. After graduation, I went to college in San Antonio and worked on campus at the cafe by the dorms. That was a fun job. I got to know a lot of people who lived on campus that way, and I didn't have to drive to work...which made it a lot easier to be on time every day.

Especially in those up-all-night college years where one tries to sleep until exactly three and half minutes before one must be at work. Eh hem.

Anywho, the guy that ran the cafe had a catering business on the side, and he would pull from his staff at the cafe to serve at the weddings/parties he catered. That was a lot of fun, and it was the closest I ever got to waitressing.

I worked as a telemarketer for a while after that. I don't really want to talk about it.

Shortly afterwards, I moved back home and went to work for the USO. Yeah, as in Bob Hope. Only I didn't ship out to all the servicemen in all the world wearing little more than a half a coat dress.

But I did get to work at the Naval Air Station and serve coffee, freshly baked cookies, and cable TV to those on our base. Really, I worked in the office most often, but it was fun non-the-less.

And no, I never dated a fly-boy.

So anyway, I think I'll stop there. I could go on to the other jobs I had after this one, but they were mostly office jobs that, although I enjoyed most of them, they are not much to write about. Plus, at some point, these memories must eventually become non-flashbacks.

Hop on over to Mocha with Linda and check out some other peoples' answers for Flashback Friday!

May 13, 2010

Out of House and Home

I have a concern.

Let's just get down to the nitty-gritty of it, shall we?

Why is it that my 12 yo boy, who has recently shared with me that he now has hair under his arms, has suddenly reverted back to being an infant in a five foot tall body?

Observe Exhibits A, B, and C as follows:
  • He's a grump of epic proportion if he gets less than 10 hours of sleep. He actually prefers 12 out of the 24 he's given.

  • He cries at the drop of a hat. Or a baseball glove. Or a lego truck. Don't ask. 

  • My first-born wants to eat...literally...every two hours. Just like a newborn.

Seriously? Is this going to happen with all of them? Because I don't think my husband and I together could make enough money to feed them all if this is going to continue. That's if I made any money at all.

I think I'll search Craigslist and see if there's anyone out there willing to pay a salary for doing laundry. I'm really good at that. My experience here is colossal.

Silver lining: At least he hasn't reverted back to diapers. Yet.  
For this I can be eternally grateful.

May 12, 2010

The Real Reason I Miss the 80's

Our former President Ronald Reagan had some incredible insight. This was recorded in 1961, while still an actor and a budding political voice. Incidentally, he was saying these things during the same time his political views were changing; the next year he officially changed political parties and became a Republican.

Listen to what he says about socialized medicine. There's a line at the beginning that completely blew me away; let's see if you can spot it.

May 11, 2010

I've been two-timing, but I haven't abandoned...

Would you like to see what I've been up to in my silence? Well, at least one thing?

Check out my new blog for the Russia Mission team that is heading out next month! Be sure and read the Welcome post to learn about the trip and the place we will be going...

Please be praying for our team as they all prepare for the trip. I say "they" because I'm not actually going. {sniff} I want to SO badly, but it seems that this is not the right time for me. So, I am doing battle for them on the homefront by volunteering as their Prayer Captain. The blog is where you can find our prayer requests and reports about how things are going.

Please pray for us. Everyone on the team wants God to do a mighty work through each of us on this trip. Please pray that God's hand would be upon us, His spirit would abound in us, and His Word would abide in us.

Thanks so much for your prayer and interest in our mission.

Light to Desnogorsk Russia