Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I'm assuming that the topics are the same? If so, here are my random facts.
A) Age: 43 in body, 23 at heart, 13 in mind.
B) Bed Size: King. Trust me. With my cold feet and the way he snores, we need all the room we can get. I once woke up with his finger up my nose. Not sure to this day if he thought he was picking his OWN nose or...?
C) Chore That You Hate: Cleaning the cobwebs from the ceiling. Just seems eerie.
D) Dogs: One, a mix breed, Roxie, that got her name from the movie "Ghost Rider." I was later asked by my neighbor why I gave her a "stripper" name.
E) Essential Start To Your Day: After prying my left eye open, I usually stumble to the kitchen and clumsily fling open a can of Diet Pepsi and eat a banana.
F) Favorite Color: Green. 'Cept when it's football season, then it's Black and Gold!
G) Gold Or Silver: Both. And I wear them interchangeably. And I accept both of them if you are in a giving mood...
H) Height: 5'3" Still too short to reach the top shelf in the kitchen that my old man designed "just for me."
I) Instruments You Play: All of them. And I suck at all of them, too.
J) Job Title: Toy Sales Associate. Hopefully not for long! I see Silly String in my sleep! And I still can't figure out how it ended up in my bra one day!
K) Kids: Four kids. Six grandkids. A couple hundred at work on a daily basis. I'm freaking tired.
L) Live: Southern Ohio. Where we all say "suh-WEET!" "thang" and count our blessings on our "fangers."
M) Mother's Name: Wilma Eileen. God rest her soul, she's been with the Lord for sixteen years now...
N) Nicknames: Spark frowns upon certain language on here.
O) Overnight Hospital Stays: Several. Mostly for having kids but there have been times I was in there for accidents or lupus-related problems. I, for one, however, loved the food. Anything I don't have to cook or clean up after is finger-lickin' good to me!! Just slap it on my plate!
P) Pet Peeves: When you're talking to someone and you start seeing their eyes wander all over the place instead of looking at you. (Or just one of their eyes...equally annoying.)
Q) Quote From A Movie: "Say 'ello to my leetle friend!!"
R) Right or left handed: Right-handed. But can use either one when it comes to clearing an obstruction from my nostril.
S) Siblings: Three older brothers, two older sisters. R.I.P. Steve. Miss you.
T) Tattoos and Piercings: Two tats. Looking for my meaningful third. Used to have a nose piercing until I ripped it out with the bed covers for the fourth time. Ears are pierced three times on each side and one is pierced for the fourth on the top arch. Recently pierced my left thumb with the box cutter at work the other day. Does that count???
U) Underwear: Not quite sure how to respond, but I enjoy wearing them, yes?
V) Vegetable(s) You Hate: Squash. Yuck. And beets.
W) What Makes You Run Late: Not to brag but I'm a pretty punctual person! When I AM late it's usually because I can't find my truck keys or I get freaked driving in the snow or ice!
X) X-Rays You've Had: All of them. Turn out the lights and I glow green.
Y) Yummy Food That You Make: Chicken Enchiladas and Lasagna. Southern Pecan Pie.
Z) Zoo: I love the monkeys. And the flamingos. But my favorites are the white tigers. Majestic and awesomely beautiful.
There we go. Easy three points!
God bless, everyone!
Friday, February 24, 2012
I am 43.
To some people, I am "older than the hills" (as per my young co-workers) and to others I am "just a baby" (as per my older brothers and sisters). But to me, I am, well, 43. Caught somewhere in the middle, caught at the beginning of some kind of transition that is coming, and then, on the tail-end of where I have been. I've been kind of "stuck" since the last job interview didn't yield the desired outcome I wished for. Maybe it kind of made me hesitant to put myself back out there again.
I'm no better than anyone else and realize that I have to keep trying, though. Today was sort of difficult for me because I doubted my own intellect. I doubted if I was even smart enough to try to keep bettering myself. (I'm definitely not smart with numbers. I still have to use a calculator even for the most simple multiplication. It's a standing joke at my house that I can't add or subtract and, even though I laugh along with them, it still bothers me sometimes.)
But I am smart enough, in OTHER ways. I have to remind myself that I am strong enough to keep trying, no matter HOW much past experiences have hurt me. I can't allow my inner dialogue to rule my actions or what I want from my future. I dear friend told me today, "There is a world out there. Check it out. It wants you." That struck home in a big resounding way. It made me hold my head a little higher, my chest a little bigger (rhetorically, sigh) and made me think. Okay! If the world wants me, then I need to show it what I've got!
Ugh, though. How?? Where do I even begin?? I've been stagnant in my freelance writing and my commissioned artwork. I've allowed my current job and its weird crazy hours to get in my way. I also have been having health problems that zap alot of energy from me. So, therefore, then (bear with me as I like to talk myself through things) that tells me there needs to be a change with my work habits. I didn't really need this job financially so therefore I need to change my work availability. Right? So, if I tell them that I am only available during "these" hours on "these" days, then I find some kind of stability in that area. Thankfully, this particular place will allow its employees to do that! I can use my time that I am off to decide what I want to go back to school for. (I've been thinking of something in the pharmacy field...but I have to find out if I will deal with numbers. Lol.)
Then I have to get back to the doctor and deal with my hypokalemia and lupus instead of trying to do it on my own. It's not working out this way. I have learned that doctors really do know best.
Okay. I don't have to make a commitment right now to EXACTLY what it is I want to do with the rest of my life. I just have to take a step. FORWARD. I don't have to stand still and bite my nails. I don't have to do anything that I don't want to do. And I still want to work with those kids...but if I can't find a job working with them, what's to keep me from VOLUNTEERING to do things with them?! Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! I love talking to myself with you guys...
But in all honesty, I'm a little scared. Of rejection. Of failure. But I think we all go through that, right?? It's just at my age, I have to get it right once and for all. I WANT to get it right, once and for all. My life isn't over by a long shot and I still have a lot to offer to others. I've had 43 years of life experience. Forty-three years to love and be loved. Forty-three years to discover my talents and my strengths. It's not been for nothing. I am who I am, numbers-dumb and all because that's who God wants me to be! It's all about finding my niche in my little corner of the world.
In the world that wants me. That needs me. So, ya know what??
I think I will check it out.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
When I woke this morning, the early light coming through the slats of the window blind was shining in a funky way. Stretching, smiling, I threw the covers back and slid on my fuzzy pink slippers, lazily making my way to the window. Fresh, powdery snow adorned the earth on all sides of my house and it was still falling in a slow, whimsical way, peaceful. Picking up my Bible from the desk, I clumsily fumbled for my bifocals (yes, I've reached that milestone) and made my way to the chair. The house was quiet, as usual at that time of the day and I opened the well-worn pages, noticing the earmarks, highlights of specific verses and notes that adorned each available free space.
I noticed that the Book had fallen open to a specific area, 1 Corinthians, and I asked myself, "Could it be??" and yes it was. My favorite passage in the whole Bible. 1 Corinthians 13. I can recite it by heart. In two different versions. But I felt compelled, like a magnet to read it again. Wrapping my robe closer around me, I smiled again, pushed my glasses up tighter on my nose and read these words:
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a (wo)man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Just what is it that draws me to this passage, time and time again? I have always and forever been a romantic at heart, even delighting in the love stories of the Bible. Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Zipporah, Hosea and Gomer, Jacob and Rachel. And who can forget the couple that faced the most challenges, Joseph and Mary. But this passage always spoke the most to me because it poses the most poignant questions in my personal life. How to love others even when loving them was difficult? How to love others when they were angry with me or I was angry at them?
One of my favorite sentences is, " It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Look at Abraham and Sarah. They did not have it easy. They faced a long move away from home, jealousy and the challenge of infertility. Yet they made it. Moses while in exile from Egypt, married Zipporah and was berated for having a foreign wife but she showed great and undying respect for his faith. And Hosea and Gomer...their marriage was tormented with infidelity and many difficulties but the power of forgiveness and its necessity showed that love is stronger than any tie that binds.
There are many types of love...brotherly/sisterly love, romantic love, neighborly love, parental love. The scripture above seems to fit each and every one of these types and that is why I hold it dear. It has always and will always bring me a sense of peace. From the Song of Solomon 8:6-7: "Set me a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." Love is more powerful than any drug, any high, any emotion on this earth.
Tell someone you love them today. It may be just what they need to put one foot in front of the other. Then tell someone else. Keep the flame of the Lord going and watch its flashes light up the faces of the people who are in front of you. When you love, you shine. Be a beacon for someone who needs to see and feel the spark IN YOU.
Oh, and by the way, I LOVE YOU.
Just sayin'!! :)
Friday, February 10, 2012
I saw this in on my SparkFriend MISHKALA's page:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."
Wow. I think I am going to leave it at just that.
Food for thought, huh?
Thursday, February 09, 2012
May 3rd, 1991.
That's the day I first saw her. Dark blue, loud, brassy, bossy, the interior screaming of Pink Floyd (or the Scorpions, I can't exactly remember) and buffed to a delectable shine. She was sitting up high on a lift kit that extended her height by another three inches and when the owner of this 1987 Ford Bronco flung open the door and told me to get in, I struggled breathlessly to get my short frame into the passenger seat. Ohh, she was gorgeous...but the owner was breathtaking.
She had all the bells and whistles. Stereo system, speakers, plush carpet, air-conditioning, you name it, she had it. About two weeks into my boyfriend's (Brian) and I relationship, I was given a sponge and soap water and invited to get to know her more intimately. As I washed her doors and windows I became intrigued by the very thin odd blue stripe that lined her body. I asked him what color of blue it was and he smiled boyishly, eyes glistening through tousled bangs, and said, "That would be Mexico Blue, cupcake. There aren't many people who notice that but YOU did, didn't ya?"
That's when she got her name...
It wasn't long before Mexico Blue, Brian and I would go off to the old Buckeye Furnace and hit the mud-running trails. It was a maze of curves, hills that went straight up into the air and valleys that gave you that bottomed-out feeling in the pit of your stomach while hitting them at break-neck speed. We were junkies, dare-devils of the off-road rush. I can't count how many times we got stuck in the mud and would just sit there for awhile, talking about our future, how many kids we wanted to have...or just listen to music. We didn't care that the sun was going down quickly. Sometimes we would just kiss and let the day fade away in a blissful blur of embraces and whispers...
But Mexico Blue peacefully tolerated our excursions. Her gorgeous paint job faded over the years but responded well to a little TLC. Her grandeur would return during lazy Sunday afternoons at the hands of her adoring owners who lovingly bathed her and dried her slowly in the warm and glowing sun. Patiently, she would wait in the garage until the next outing in which she could prove she was up for the challenge. Perhaps she enjoyed listening to the laughter, delightful screams of her owners as we raced on the back roads, went fishing and piled her back high with goodies from the home improvement stores. And if I may be blunt, she was where my beautiful Breanna came into existence.
Yet, life began to happen. The excursions became less. Other vehicles came into the picture. My love of motorcycles began to form and less attention was paid to Mexico Blue. She slowly began to droop in the dark corner of the garage, her little blue stripe fading, but every now and then Brian would go out and slowly caress her, start her up and rev her tired engine. A few years ago I asked him if we could take her out, for old time's sake and he said that she wouldn't make it. But he would never sell her. He could not do it because that is where he fell in love with me. He vowed to fix her up, give her new life. Wiping the dust from the cursive words "Mexico Blue" that were painted by me on the small corner of the driver's side door, he looked at me, intently, with wrinkled, older eyes and smiled. "I can't let her go. I just won't do it. You see? I'll never let her go..."
But a year ago he did.
Many times I think of her. I miss her so much. Odd to say that I miss a hunk of metal and noise but I do. I think I would give anything to just go riding with her one more time...just one more time. For old time's sake.
Please keep Brian in your prayers this Friday. This is when he is having heart surgery. Again. I think I might dig out the old pictures of Mexico Blue tomorrow and show them to him. Maybe we can talk about the good times we used to have with her, how much we loved her, how much she meant to us. Maybe we can, if just for a day, smile and realize how much she gave of herself to give us those times together.
God bless, everyone. Have a beautiful evening...
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