Friday, March 30, 2012

Dumme Amerikaner

So as it turns out, perfect pronunciation of a language you don't know, doesn't get you very far. I gazed at the depths of the gigantic copier's touch screen and said "Ach, schplug." It seemed to squint back, "Stupid American."

Stumbling back to the computer for the fifteenth time, I attempted to change some settings on the also completely German control panel. "Well, 'papierstau' definitely seems to mean 'paper jam'...And 'automatische' this machine is not." I muttered aloud. A co-worker came over and began to use his force upon our obvious immigrant. Running through my mind and soon out my mouth were German songs from highschool.
"Do you know what you're singing?" He asked from the depths of a jammed-up paper tray.
"Of course." I replied proudly.
"Then can you please just read the manual, here?"
"Of course." I picked up the manual and began to read aloud, probably this, "Dieser Drucker wurde hergestellt Europa. Hergestellt in einem abgelegenen Ort, an dem jeder spricht zehn Sprachen, du dummer Amerikaner."
"And what does that mean?" He asked, rather perplexed.
"I don't know, really. But it sounds nice."
We eventually did conquer the printer, language aside, but it got me thinking.

Do you know the language of religion without knowing what it really means? Can you pronounce every thing just so and say just the right-sounding things, without truly knowing the reality of Jesus Christ? It seems like a rather obviously stupid thing to do, but so very common. You pick up the "manual" on Sunday and read some lines carefully as people listen, then walk into Monday speaking a different life language. What are you really doing?

It might be time to actually learn the language if you're going to live there. Pretending fools no one...but yourself. We must live our lives as meant to be lived. Jesus means business and we should get down to it.

Proverbs 9:12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Captain Obvious, to You, Sir

"I broke up with my girlfriend, again." He said it so sadly I knew it must be worse than usual. Seven years of breaking up with her has got to have taken its toll. I stole a look at him from the examining table. Sometimes my doctor can be very absentminded and I was hoping it wasn't so today. Sure enough, he was wearing the same thing as yesterday, and the same button that he had missed yesterday, was still unbuttoned.

"Hard night?" I asked him.
"Not too bad. Its the mornings that are bad." He chuckled. "I got kicked out. I told the family I was staying with that I was tired of what they cook for dinner. It is possible to have hot turkey sandwiches too often."
I sighed.

How is it that some people have no idea what will definitely get them into trouble? It is easy to look into the lives of others and wince before they make the stupid leap. But how often do I sensibly step back before I make the same leap, only in my version? How do we avoid dumb decisions?

  • Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

This is where we define two very different words often offered as synonyms to each other.

counsel is "to exchange advice, ideas, or opinions; deliberate; consult."
advice is "an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct."

We can receive "advice," but we can seek "counsel." Who is your safety net of counsellors and do you seek them out? Or, wait. Do you take counsel...with your self? Remember, we're only Captain Obvious with other people's faults.

  • Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A safe place of rest is ready and waiting, under one condition. Just come, and He takes care of the rest. In the place of true abiding we find a place of true rest.

  • Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
I'm not sure I could put it more simply. Love God and hate evil = God preserves you and delivers you. Bungee jumping with your brain and sense is actually less fun than doing it with your body. Hang tight to the Rock, because if you jump into folly, its mostly just a profound "tsk. tsk." from the top.

  • Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

And I couldn't pass up posting my current favorite verse. Passing up the Problem to focus on the Solver, actually brings the Solution. Imagine that.

Hello. Now you can be Captain Obvious to yourself. I won't say anymore on this because apparently, the rest "is plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge." (Check out Proverbs 8.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Smelling a Rat...Or a Bear

The breeze blew against my face and through me. I felt the regular rythym of my feet running beneath me, the swing of my Pandora station, the jingle of the dog's collar, and the beautiful silence of nature's music. "How could I be so lucky to get to run like this, here?" I asked myself, looking around at the nature skimming by me.

As my gps sounded out the third mile on my third lap through the tree farm, I nearly choked. "What is that horrible smell?" I needed all the oxygen I could get, and there was a shortage, replaced by the thickest, muskiest stench. I imagined a dump truck had been through and emptied a whole load of steer manure while I was off on the other side of the loop, but then again--that didn't smell like a farmyard. Instantly, I thought I knew the smell: a bear.

"Whatever." I said to myself and kept running. "It can't really be a bear. They don't smell that bad." I reassured myself. The collie at my left veered in close to my legs and stared at my face while we kept running. I suppose he was dropping hints. But I was enjoying myself (mostly), on a roll, and didn't quite believe what other's had said before me. Soon, I was in the woods. Yes, that area I never run in at night because its lonely, craggy, and looks like a movie set for something dramatic. Indeed, the scene was set.

A deep, loud, gruff snarling growl tore my silence and the brush began to crash towards (or around?) me. I froze. I forgot to pause my run timer and gps. The brave and gallant dog edged behind me and watched me, begging for us to go now. I began to back away slowly from the crashing, towards home, all the while grateful bears...are not completely like sin.

That's right. We run through life, enjoying everything we can for ourselves, easily ignoring the hints that the air itself gives. We easily avoid the warnings of trusted friends and soon wind up face to face with the consequences of our wrongdoings. Fortunately for me, bears often run away from people. But sin...You keep coming for it playfully, and it chases you down.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

It's true: the devil is your enemy right now and he wants to devour you. Not just tear a leg off and leave you bleeding out, but shred you up completely. Why do we run towards that eagerly in small areas of compromise, or knowingly put aside conscience or good advice in exchange for certain death? We own a place of security, still fraught with danger, but sure of ultimate security. Why pass that chance?

Psalms 91
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Facebook & Thinkibility

Now you can like and follow 
Think & Thinkibility on Facebook!

Your Unnattractives Are On Bright

Don't you love how everyone is such a catch? I don't know about you, but it seems everyone has an advertising campaign running on overload trying to get the word out about their amazing qualities. I can't help but think that if it were so, in most contexts it would be obvious and wouldn't need a flashing neon sign saying "I'm intelligent!" "I'm brave!" "I'm so gorgeous!" Are you proclaiming your goodness?

I'm not talking about a little natural, good-natured, human nature when a guy rolls his sleeve up just a little bit more or a girl laughs accidentally at a dumb joke from a wonderful source. My address is to a person whose heart ceaselessly searches for admiration or adoration, laying lines and flaunting a little to feel valued. Yeah, that's actually...most of us.

Proverbs 20:5-6 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

My little sister once toddled about the house and would say to herself what a wonderful job she was doing, how nice her work was, and how smart she was. I once paused her in her literal self-absorption and asked, "Why are you saying those things about yourself?" Her response was a little eye-opening, "Well, no one else is saying it to me." How often do we miss the opportunity to be the "man of understanding" who draws forth the deep waters in others and is found "faithful" to proclaim the goodness of others?

There is no manipulation in pure and simple adulation and congratulation. Yet, it is the fastest track to encouraging refinement, character, and kindness in others. Do we miss the chance to make a difference because we're too focused on ourselves?

Proverbs 27:21-22 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

So, I hit the "off" switch on my neon signs. Whatever really counts, shines brightly on its own. Most people won't notice the flashy lights either way while they are setting their own up, but I'd rather not be known for perfect boasting. What about you?

Proverbs 27: 2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

You are already worthwhile and worth it all. At least God thinks so, and that's saying something...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Letter to You from Me

Dear Wonderful People in This Crazy World,

I've been thinking about you and your amazingness and I've got to tell you something. If apologizing for yourself is truly your personality, I can handle it. Otherwise, please stop. You are you, and that's good enough for the rest of the world. In fact, you being you, is perfect. It is possible that no one cares about your insignificant faults but you, and drawing attention to them may be completely unnecessary. After all, that's awkward, too. In fact, if you think you're boring, someone thinks you're safe. If you think you're too large, someone thinks you're just right...and doesn't notice otherwise until you force them to acknowledge it in an uncomfortable conversation.

What if we were to think about other people, instead of ourselves? What if we were to forget our glaring faults that make us self-concious and exchange them for caring for others? If you met her and had a chance to talk with her before she left, did you ask Mother Theresa what she didn't like about her body or personality: what did she want to change? No, its perposterous to even think of asking her that. She is known for her love of others and we know its practically impossible to critique her appearance because it doesn't matter. But, empty self-focused people? Its easy to see the attitudes, the faults, the imperfections. Spend too much time scrutinizing yourself, and others will too. I don't know about you, but that doesn't appeal to me to be picked apart.

Where is your purpose and focus? Do you think of yourself first and subconciously? Do you hestitate to be you because you are so focused on you? It doesn't have to be. Let it go and love others: give without motive of self reward and I can guarantee you're flaws disappear because they don't matter. That's all.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hi! I'm an Important Nobody.

"Who are you?" It's a question that not many can answer. A while back a friend shot those three words across via text message and I've been answering it ever since. You are not what inspires you. You are not necessarily who you want to be. You are not what you love. You are a separate something. But...what or who exactly?

Sounds great! But...its "what" not "who."

Last week I sped down the interstate with a new friend, unfamiliar with my upbringing, hobbies, interests and thoughts. She turned in the passenger seat and stared at me somewhat perplexed then looked forward over the dash. I was curious.

"What?" I asked, half-smiling.

"Well...I was just wondering what culture you identify with, exactly..." she replied honestly and bluntly. A girl after my own heart who said aloud what she actually thought.

"Hello. I like you." I laughed back.

"No, really. You don't act Asian and you aren't an Islander, necessarily, and you don't talk Black and you're not White. What's up with you?"

"Whoa, girl! You better be glad we're alone in this car!" I joked with her. "But, you're on to something there."

Who we are is not actually a color, accent, or culture either. And thank goodness for that, because otherwise it would be hard for unidentified objects like me to "belong."

Do you remember being a teen and deciding who you were with mixed emotions and activities? I sat in the airport waiting for my flight and almost got up to walk away as thirty highschoolers circled and landed like a flock of noisy birds, all around me, filling every seat with stuff and the air with incessant chatter. I groaned and smiled to myself listening to them proclaim their futures to one another. Behind me a boy chirped, "I'll be a restaurant owner, or a landscape artist, unless I'm a botanist, conductor, or a zookeeper. I have so many options, with my skills." The girl closest to me went on and on with her hopeful visions, while her friends overflowed with agreeing accolades, "I will definitely be a doctor. My ACT scores were off the charts and I want to wear a stethoscope." Another crowd off to themselves with obviously modified uniforms piled themselves together and giggled about guys: all completely the same, but so different from the rest as they definitely knew they were marked by singular maturity. I put my sunglasses on, to hide my laughing eyes.

I know what I admire and what inspires. I even know what I want. I definitely know what I love and then what I like. But that is not "who" I am. I know my favorites and what I need to be healthy. I know what looks good on me and I’m learning when to say “no.” And thankfully, I am definitely not what I can do or accomplish. I know I don't have to be like others or have what others have. However, these facts about me are not me, either. Who are you?

But, before you get concerned about my sanity, I did find “identity” for myself. It sounds silly, perhaps...But until you have it, you'll look for it without knowing it is what's missing. You won't be happy and people will step around you with a confused look on their face until you realize the truth.

Personally and frankly, I discovered that I am actually no one—and it is so nice. I am supposed to be completely swallowed up in Someone else. It is just how I was created to be. I have been completed, by focusing on Christ. Now I can just be me without knowing or caring what it looks like to people—or who approves or disapproves. When you know this, “you” fades away into an extremely important and safe “nobody”. It is so splendid to be an onlooker without personal conflict, viewing the lives of people around me as they are, and not as who I am. Think about it.

Because finally, this is who I am…free. Take time to read this and believe it: because it is who you can be, too! The more you know God, the more you know you who have been made in the image of God.

• I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).

• I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

• I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

• I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).

• I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).

• I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

• I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

• I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

• I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

• I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

• I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).

• I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17,19).

• I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9,10).

• I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and

• I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

• I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).

• I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

• I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

• I am God’s child⎯for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).

• I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

• I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

• I am a spirit being⎯alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).

• I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).

• I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22, 25).

• I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

• I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).

• I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).

• I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3,4).

• I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

• I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

• I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

• I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).

• I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).

• I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

• I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).

• I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).

• I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

• I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).

• I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).

• I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).

• I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

• I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12;).

• I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

• I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

• I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).

• I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).

• For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

• It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

(Copyright © 2008 Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.)

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Flying Littles and Mine

I swung one bag in front of me and the other behind, and continued down the stuffy aisle. The bored stares of two hundred eyes helped me evaluate my predicament as I walked the gauntlet on quest to find the open seat on the airplane. Sure enough, there were two more seats available. One for me, and one for the distressed-looking gentleman behind me. He looked like he might start crying, when he realized that his seat would probably be the one beside the crying baby. I made his day.

Crawling over a set of knees, I slid into the seat option beside the baby with his daddy. With wide, baby-eyed shock the crying stopped as the little guy wriggled loose and lurched for my long necklace. I caught him and plopped him on my knees and he began to attempt slobbery ingestion of all my jewlery, hair, and attention. Thus began the four hour flight. Why did I choose this?

I'd like to say it was because of my sympathetic desire to keep the businessman from joining in the wail of tears, but honestly, it was more like I wanted to sit by the crying baby. Suddenly, I realized a real mistake. Earlier in the line to board I had allowed myself to play peek-a-boo with a large-headed Chinese tot, much to his hilarious joy. Now...he sat directly behind me. Pulling my hair and tapping incessantly with a straw seemed to be the best way to continue the game, since I was now playing with someone else.

Thus, I have a suggestion to make if you have attention deficit disorder: find yourself a baby or two if you have to sit for four hours. They like to change topics of conversation every thirty seconds and also want three new toys before you get off the runway. Here I was going to finish my design sketch for a client, but instead I got to sing every song I could think of, play with fifteen toys, clap my hands for a dedicated fifteen minutes, and play with little humans until we both collapsed into exhausted slumber...for five minutes.

Although, it is true: you may find yourself in a conversation arguing why you should not have a baby of your own post haste. The seat beside you may also tell you that when one "has a natural motherly instinct" they should procreate with or without marriage, though you explain and disagree louder than the offspring(s) you currently juggle. The humor of the awkward conversation of worldviews regarding making and having, might be enough to prompt proclaiming that the "baby needs changing."

So it with excitement I confess why I actually sat there. I cannot wait to see and hold my niece next month! I want to cuddle her little squishy self, in tears or joy, in laughter or screams. I just can't wait to see her and call her my very own Little.

P.S. To see more photos of fun Littles, go here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Press, Paparazzi, Protesters, & A Powerful GOD

I leaned back out of the way: again. "Can I take your photo?" clamored loudly, excitedly from every direction as the press, paparazzi, protesters, and fans squeezed in around us. They didn't actually want my photo, they just thought they did. I know it sounds odd, but people just are wondrously so. A piece of paper shoved towards me through the throng, followed by "Your autograph, please? Sign it to 'Bethany!'"

More amused than anything because I didn't look remotely like any of the celebrities I was with, I slipped securely through behind the Secret Service line, where it was quiet...most of the time. Sliding my aviators up, I said, "Hi...Thanks so much for what you're doing. You guys really are fantastic." S.S. John with the badge inclined his head professionally and indicated it was better than the desk. I started down a hall back towards our room and he politely raised his voice, "The presidential candidate is prepping, so I request that you go no further in this hall." "Of course!" I replied as I made an instant u-turn.

"What in the world was Johanna up to this weekend?" you ask. That I am asking myself, as well. But suffice to say my brother dubbed me via text a "celeb chaser" and they argued back that I was their "staff." But I was deeply impacted in another inspiring way...

Matthew 10:32-33
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 16:26

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Soon I found myself seated and listening to the Presidential hopeful campaigning from the platform. Wait, who was he campaigning for here? I was surprised and quickly looked around to see the expressions on the faces before me of a vast and varied audience and on the faces of CNN reporters, newspaper journalists, and a horde of media representatives. This politician was not just demonstrating his knowledge and ability to transform America, but also Christ's work of redemption, His position as Creator, and His power to save. I felt a twinge of guilt.

This is not common to speak of God like this in the public forum because people believe that others will take it wrong, which is true. But honestly, this man chose acknowledging God when opportunity presented itself, over praising himself. We can argue, and I just might, that this kills a political career...But I found myself asking myself "Who is really in charge? Who really does the impossible? Who raises people into power despite mankind?" Do I trust Him and believe His Word even in...politics? Who would you be, in his position?

This man I spent a few days with who honors the Lord with his words and actions may never be acknowledged for his true greatness as a leader among men. It is always an act of God to be elected President, yet he may never be Mr. President. But this I do know: he will be honored by the Power that Is, in greater ways than I imagine for so boldly acknowledging God before society. Would I be bold enough to take that responsibility and believe in the privileges it ultimately brings, possibly only in the world to come, despite the words of men and media? Besides...who says good men can't be put into office like He has done previously? I want to see God do His thing throughout all of time, don't you?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Neither Deify, Nor Defy

There is something to be said for common sense. Where would we be without those who know to work on the household sockets with the power off? Perhaps the natural knowledge passed down from simple daily truth ought not to be taken for granted. But there is something I would like to say emphatically. Neither deify or defy common sense: leave it common.

The human mind is the center of contemplation not just literally, but also culturally. It is glorified, mystified, examined...and attention so focused that the magnifying glass of a thought ignites a dangerous flame of over-examination. Wrapped up in intellect, we always miss greater things in faith, spirit, truth, and revelation. Rich in our science, logic, and reasoning we raise common sense and following our inner selves above higher wisdom. What a senseless place to be.

On the other side, there is a cultural craze for randomness. We enjoy random humor, and random arrangements of colors, furniture, or objects. Its a cultural laud to be dubbed "random" as if a spiraling genius is birthed from something like flashing disco lights. So thus, we find people, myself included, finding "amusement" (from the literally meaning "to not think") in defying common sense just because we can. Oh joy. What freedom in being stupid. Be careful of actively defining "avant garde" with the literal action "dumb." Do not defy common sense because in return for "fun," it leaves those who leave it.

So on this topic I will cease to speak. Just take it and use it: "common sense." We should all be aware of that sound practical judgment independent of knowledge, without exalting it above the hidden things of God.

She Said It

When away from family, I find myself missing the strangest of things. I become especially grateful for the individuality and craziness of my younger sister. She almost makes me feel like a normal human being. How I love her. Now when I sit in my quiet apartment on top of my king size bed, I miss sharing that little twin bed at home with the funniest little girl in the whole world. So, I open up the notepad on my Droid  and read some of the things she’s deadpanned lately, that stuck…
  •          Hmm. You smell good. That’s almost a plus.
  •          Well, no gifts for you under the tree and a day left ‘til Christmas. Looks like you can start crying now.
  •          You know we are only such good friends because we do bad things together, right?
  •          Oh! I know! You look like a couch cushion! That must be why I just want to squeeze you.
  •          I have a craving to make muffins.
  •          I’m getting bitter against the people who think I can do what you can do and do without you.
  •          My biography will be titled “From Diapers to Diapers.” Its not my autobiography, because obviously, I won’t be able to finish it myself.
  •          You know, its my fault you only think people like you.
  •          I drool on myself so people won’t think I’m capable of caring for my parents in their old age.

Needless to say, we have a lot of nurturing conversations to help guide this forming intellect. I have at times grown frightened that I may become more like her than she like the content of our frequent motivational conversations. However, it seems to have evened out enough so that people can only tell us apart by our midsection and hair. There is something to be said for working out. Now all I need is a new voice.

So as I work this week and plot my return home to hearth and home, I plan to enjoy every moment of her childhood. Its almost gone, really. Even though, thankfully, some people always stay a little strange. I’m hoping she’s one of them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't You Find It Odd?

"Overcoming odds:" it is what we humans do best. Are some difficult situations meant to be seen as otherwise? Before you find me odd to assert the preposterous, allow an explanation…

The day’s schedule has been plotted. Your mind has fully wrapped around the intensity of the scope before you. However, yes, this is also indeed the day your tooth brush breaks, the keys are locked inside, the coffee spills right before that meeting, and the neighbor’s ferret empties your garbage bin into the hedges.

Come what may, we push through the day, gratefully absorbing any sympathy or commiseration offered by apparent fellow Murphy adherents. But perhaps your day is like mine today…The pressure of a new job, home, time zone, and association is rivaled only by random changes to your schedule. I, however, would like to propose that these changes are really “random acts of kindess:” an otherwise missed moment to pause. Suffering aside, would you have really stopped in your busy day to slow down? Would you have taken the time to sit quietly, if it were not for the traffic? Would you have ever changed your clothes had it not been for that Cheese Whiz episode? (Nevermind that last question…But I yet hopefully think you get the point.)

Often it would seem, we turn our actual opportunities into a disaster by merely our perspective. And my guess is, a “disaster” was the last thing needed for your day. But was it really that? Before you tell me that I have no knowledge of how bad it can get, allow me to mention the occasions were upon I have experienced a need for flexibility. Actually, I decided I will not mention these as they include excessive self-incriminations that might falsely lead someone to doubt my complete sanity. Let’s just say that yesterday I lost my keys inside my vehicle for ten minutes, with my boss’ wife waiting as passenger and today after a paper-jam wrought morning doing design work for a hotel, I was rather suddenly caring for a sick friend in her home.

So I submit to you to view your day as full of opportunities not be missed, instead of dreadful interruptions of gargantuan proportion. After all, they can only be changed by you. Have a wonderful day!

Staging Around

Just a little of what I'm up to these days...
Some staging at a newly renovated hotel where I am working interior design!
Photographs by James Staddon at