Humanity

I imagine most of you have seen the news story about the events last weekend in Waco.
Nine men lost their lives. Countless others were injured.

Photo by Peachy Weasel
photo courtesy of Peachy Weasel

 

As I read story after story, I couldn’t help but think.
Each of those men belonged to someone.
He was a son.
Maybe a brother, or an uncle, or a father.
Or husband.
Certainly, a friend.

Chances are, I would not have approved of their life choices.
Chances are, they wouldn’t have approved of mine either.
Does that even matter?
Does that make either of us any less valuable?

We are the same.
We are mean.
We are selfish.
We are timid.
We are stupid.
We are weak.
We are ugly.

We are different.
We are kind.
We are generous.
We are bold.
We are smart.
We are strong.
We are beautiful.

 

Maybe we should stop looking for reasons to alienate.

Maybe we should start seeing the reality – the humanity.

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2015 Goals

I’m not one to make resolutions for the New Year. However, I have learned that I don’t do well, or rather, don’t do anything beyond my comfort zone, if I don’t make goals. I don’t want to fritter away something as precious as time. I want to be mindful of where I am spending my time and energy. I want to work toward betterment personally, as well as, for my family.

goal

So here are a few of my goals for 2015 including updates for January.

Scripture Memorization
2 verses/month = 24 verses/year

January Verses

  • Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16
  • Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. ~Isaiah 60:1

Home/Hospitality
Try at least 2 new recipes per month. (24/year)

January recipes

  • Nadine’s Filipino Chicken Adobo – an out of the ballpark home run! We all loved this one. I’ll share the recipe in February.
  • Chicken Pot Pie – a winner for the kids. It’s not something Hubs would like, so I made it when he was out of town. I tweaked this recipe to suit what we had on hand. The kids are still talking about it. {wink}

Reading
2-3 per month = 30 for the year minimum
4 marriage books/4 parenting books
Finish some of these books on my “To Read” Shelf

  • Make It Stick (nonfiction)
  • You Are Not So Smart (nonfiction)
  • Writing Habit Mastery (nonfiction)
  • Freakonomics (nonfiction)
  • Mistakes Were Made (nonfiction)
  • Happier at Home (nonfiction/biography)
  • Year of No Sugar (nonfiction/biography)
  • Making Good Habits (nonfiction)
  • Love & Respect (again) (nonfiction)
  • You & Me Forever (nonfiction)
  • His Needs, Her Needs (nonfiction)
  • Boys Adrift (nonfiction)
  • The Teenage Brain (nonfiction)
  • Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child (nonfiction)
  • The Book Thief (fiction)
  • The Lightning Thief (fiction)
  • Wild (fiction)
  • Mom’s Night Out (fiction)

January books

  • Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say (nonfiction) finished 1/21
  • Miracles and Massacres (nonfiction) finished 1/22
  • The Age of Edison (nonfiction/biography)finished 1/30
  • The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (fiction) finished 1/1

Writing
Let go of perfection.
Your story matters.
Do your best, then click “PUBLISH.”
There is an edit button for a reason.

One Word
I also selected my One Word for the year. The concept is, “Choose just one word. One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.” 

My word was selected to focus my attention on light. To seek light, to be light, to reflect light – therefore to SHINE.

Can I tell you how excited I am about Dayspring’s new line? It goes right along with my word! And, oh my, how CUTE!  Now to drop hints to Hubs…

And now, even though I’m certain there are eleven-teen errors. I’m gonna click “PUBLISH” anyway.

What about you? Did you make resolutions or goals? Did you stick with them?

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Beautiful

Toddler Man and I were about to head out the door. It was the typical hustle and bustle of a normal morning. Doing what needed to be done and getting on with it.

As I followed him through the house guiding him to the car, he stopped dead in his tracks. I nearly ran him over. With wide eyes and gaping mouth, he noticed the new sprinkler sitting on the counter.

He reached out and remarked in awe. “It’s so boo-i-ful.”

lawn-sprinkler

I asked to clarify, “It’s beautiful?”

In breathy toddler voice, “Yes. It’s so boo-i-ful.”

We spent the next five minutes appreciating the beauty of a sprinkler.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful,
for beauty is God’s handwriting.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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WFMW: Affordable Prescription Glasses

I’m a featured guest on Kristen’s blog, We are THAT Family, today. Be sure to visit!

 

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Yesterday afternoon, we went through a semiannual ritual, a visit to the eye doctor for the boys. This was the first year when both were scheduled at the same time. (Yay, me!) The check up went well. Then, due to substantial changes, both boys received a new prescription for their lenses. Ka-ching!

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In years past, I would shell out hundreds of dollars there in the doctor’s office for new frames and lenses. I did so, because I thought that was my only option. After choosing new glasses, I would shell out nearly $200 per boy, and that was with insurance covering part of the cost. The children would skip with glee to the car, while I would limp with my bruised wallet.

Then, Toddler Boy came to live at our house. He had NO idea how to deal with glasses. Which meant he broke Woody’s frames the first week he was with us. I called the doctor’s office to see if I could order a new pair. Yes, I could for $450 and 7 days. I could.

I thought there had to be another option. Enter, iclickoptical.com.

I found Woody’s frames listed on their site. I entered all of the pertinent information. Then held my breath as I clicked the “add to cart” button.

$18.90

What?!?! A new set of frames for his glasses was less than the cost of a family trip to Chick-fil-a?!?!!! Woo-hooo!!!!

When I added lenses, it was $21.90. Yeah.

– – – – –

So when we walked out of the doctor’s office yesterday. I was able to skip with glee, right along with the kids.  We drove home, pulled up the website, clicked through hundreds of options and found what they wanted.  I added the non-scratch coating, the UV coating, and the anti-glare coating. I even ordered both boys two pairs of glasses.  I ordered 4 pairs of glasses. My final total was $102.36 with free shipping.

That works for me!

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PS: I have no affiliation with iclickoptical, other than I am a satisfied customer. No compensation was received for this post.

Mess {Five Minute Friday}

We call it Five Minute Friday. Where everyone writes for five, unedited minutes all on the same prompt. This week’s prompt is “Mess.”

Five Minute Friday

Really? Only five minutes? Have you seen my house? {insert raucous laughter}

But seriously. Mess. Man, I have used that as an excuse to get out of so many things in the past.

Someone wants me to lead a group? Oh sorry, I’m dealing with my own mess.

Someone needs a ____. Oh sorry, I have my own mess to deal with.

My kids want to do XYZ. Sorry guys, Mom has her own mess. We can’t do it.

You need someone to step up and serve? Sorry, my mess is too big. You obviously don’t mean me.

In the past, I have been great at saying “No” – making an excuse when I was asked. I vowed this year would be different. Back in January when I was looking for my One Word of 2014, I chose “yes.” This would be the year of yes.  I promised that when I was asked to be uncomfortable, when I was asked to serve – I would say YES.

(snort.) Oh, if I had only known…

So much has transpired since February 21st – the day we said YES to adding a toddler to the family. That day when God asked if I would do this, I remember shaking to the core when I called my husband to tell him. But his steady voice on the other end of the line reassured me. When I gave him the details he said, “It is up to you. Whatever you choose, I’ll back you up.”  When I told him that I thought we needed to be “Jesus with skin” and say YES, he said, “Okay, let’s do it.” (Have I mentioned how much I love this guy?)

Saying yes, in the midst of my mess changed my life. It changed my husband’s life. It changed my children’s lives. It changed the life of the little guy we said yes to.

It hasn’t been easy. The mess I had has grown considerably. There are new messes to deal with, too. It seems there is a wrench thrown into the works almost daily. But, I know without a doubt, God called me to say YES.

Yes, even in the middle of my mess.

Yes, even if it made my mess messier.

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