Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

How was your Thanksgiving? As you may have seen, I was a little bored part of the week, but I was afraid that would happen. It was worth it. That part was necessary if I came the weekend before to catch up with some friends. I hadn't seen them in far too long, and it was absolutely amazing! I miss seeing them, I miss playing with their kids and seeing them grow up. I miss the town I used to live in. That doesn't mean that I want to move back, but those friends and that place are a part of me that I am so grateful for. I would not be who I am today without them.

Once we got into the actual Thanksgiving holiday, I was much better off. People weren't all running around doing other things, so we got to spend time together and it was great. My sister and I saw to it that the entire Thanksgiving meal had no more than 1/4 cup of sugar added, and that included dessert! We didn't start off with that intention, but most of the stuff didn't need sugar and the stuff that did, didn't need much, so we worked to keep it there once we saw that was probably going to be it. I made a sweet potato pie. That's the first time I'd ever done that, and it was good. The sweet potatoes had enough sugar in them that added sugar was not particularly necessary.

Can we also talk about how my much younger sister (as in, she could have been a flower girl or a junior bridesmaid at my wedding if I had gotten married when everyone else was) told me about her boyfriend this week? I had to remind myself when I did the math that she's plenty old enough, and he sounds like a nice guy. I truly am happy for her. It's far too soon to say that it's serious (as far as we know, and she isn't saying much about that). I wouldn't change a thing. For her. It did poke a few tender spots for me at times, but surprisingly not as badly as it could have. I am grateful for that. For me, I am just tired of doing this things called life alone. I just want someone to share it with. Okay, enough of that.

I did put up Christmas decorations today. I know, not very Advent-y of me, but I can't say as I care. While I did it, I was listening to a podcast about mold (I know, how festive, right?) Anyway, for several reasons, I have already been thinking of moving. But after that and thinking of the basement flooding problems, I'm not sure that I want to stay here when my lease is up this summer. I have no idea if I can find the kind of place that I want, though, or not. We'll just have to see. I both love and hate the thought of moving. I love the idea of downsizing. I don't need all the room that I have. Maybe I could make things a bit cheaper, though moving is always kind of expensive. However, it's such a pain all the time as well. I would be able to take the opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff, so that would be nice at least.

How was your holiday kick off?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weirdly Bored

I have not been bored for a long time, but today I definitely am. Usually I'm home and have lots to do. I'm currently visiting my family, and my brother's doing homework, so he's no fun. My dad and sister went to the big city to get some shopping done, but I said no because I was not about to spend more hours in the car after all the hours to get here. My mom's running errands, and I'm bored. As you can see, it is somewhat my own fault for not getting back in a car, so you are under no obligation to feel bad for me. Also problematic is the fact that I don't want to sit AT ALL, so reading and watching movies are possibilities, but no, thank you. Technically, you could do both of those things without sitting (and I have, or I sat on the floor, or I stretched while the move was on), but I'm just not feeling it right now. I did walk for 1.5 hours earlier, so it helped some, but I have really not moved enough in the last couple of days. It's amazing how much visiting involves sitting and not moving! I am standing now as I type this, though it's still killing me a little to be this still. (Yes, I'm fidgeting. No, it's not enough.) I was hoping to help my parents with stuff on their acreage, but the weather is NOT having that. So, here I am.

Anyway, the fun part was that I got to see a bunch of friends and their kids. One of the 5 year olds watching me at meal time exclaimed, "You eat a lot!" She had no idea why we laughed. I told another 5 year old that he couldn't lick his own elbow. His eyes got huge and he set out to prove me wrong, but he could not. The best was my friend's 2 year old who asked if I could stay at her house for "happy Thanksgiving." I would have been so happy to say yes!

Okay, my mom's home, so we'll start cooking now, I'm sure. Hope you're all having a good Thanksgiving week!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

God's Plan

I've written things about God's plan before. I'm not going to link those posts here (because I don't remember exactly when I wrote them, and I'm too lazy to go look). Anyway, the gist of it all is that I think that sometimes we take the idea of God's plan too far, as in, we start to see everything as an act of God; thus reducing God to some divine puppet master and as puppets, it reduces our free will as well. I stand by that, because I can't see God causing someone to choose drunk driving, leading to someone else's death. I can't accept that God sends a tornado through a town and kills people with it. And so forth. It's not exactly what people mean when they chirp, "It's all a part of God's plan", but sometimes I think the meaning can devolve to that on some level.

However, I am feeling led to rest in the tension of the "both...and" right now. People of God are often called to become comfortable in the tension of paradox. On the one hand, God is not a puppet master pulling the strings. He is not directing natural disasters, nor causing sins and mistakes that cause pain and suffering. On the other hand, He does have a plan, in and through all of it. It is all a part of His will. Even if we make a distinction between what He actively plans for our lives and what He allows to happen in a fallen world that can lead us forward, it is all His will.

I am thinking of a friend of mine who lost her 2 month old a year ago. I cannot possibly think that God would actively cause a baby to die like that. However, if my friend's suffering is not in some mysterious way a part of His plan, then that would make it meaningless. It cannot be meaningless. Her child's life, his death, her suffering and that of her family, and his life now in heaven are full of meaning, purpose, and redemption. In some mysterious way that I cannot begin to understand, it is a part of His will, and a part of his plan.

Likewise, when something extremely good comes out of the midst of sin, it's hard to understand. How can a good God's plan include sin? Again, it comes to the "both/and". It is never His will for someone to sin, but His grace can still abound in the midst of that. His saving plan is not threatened by that sin. It can still be His will that things happened the way that they do.

I don't fully understand it all. I just know that if I am going to be able to trust God fully, I have to see His will in all of it. Every messy piece of it. Not as a puppet master, but as a loving Savior, who is redeeming it all.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What's Going On Here

That's not a question, that's a statement. The obvious answer is not much. That's only true, though if you are talking about what is going on in my house this weekend.

One thing did happen in my house. I was cleaning, and I didn't want to move my rocking chair to sweep and then move it back. I decided it was in the way and put it in my back room (where all of the extra crap is). I love it this way. I haven't sat in it for months anyway, but I would set things on it and use the footstool for a desk of sorts when I was sitting on the floor. I didn't think I was ready to get rid of it until I got a table for the living room. However, it is gone now (or around the corner, anyway), and I LOVE it.  See, I have been sitting on my couch too much (because I always sit in the same position, and not only is it the same position all the time, but it's a terrible posture). I couldn't figure out why I was too lazy to sit on the floor, but let me tell you something. Now that the chair is gone and I have the extra space, I have spent the day sitting on the floor. And stretching and rolling out and trying different movements. I didn't realize that the chair was acting as a physical and mental barrier until it was gone.

Speaking of different movements, I was hiking down some icy spots this weekend on the trail. One of the ways to do this is to step sideways. I did that with my right side facing down the mountain at first. Then I decided that I'd better make sure to even myself out, so I started down the next icy patch with my left side on the downhill side. Holy moly! My upper body- almost of its own volition- kept trying to twist back the other way. I could hardly do it! I found that if it wasn't too stiff or if there was no ice, it was easy to side step to the left first. It's only when it was more challenging that I had to fight my own body. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but I have a theory. The eyes have a lot to do with a lot of our movement, and a lot of us tend to neglect the left side to some degree (I'm just barely beginning to get into some of this, so I can't tell you much more than that as to why, though I think... neural pathways??) Anyway, I have clearly not used my left side as much and I think that's why when there were all the challenges, my body wanted to use the more practiced side. That's not how I roll, though. Left side needs to do some work!

Wow. I didn't mean to get side tracked into all of that. The really exciting thing this weekend is that my brother and SIL had their twins this weekend. They had to deliver a few weeks earlier, but everyone is doing REALLY well!! I have also found out that I live 1,069 miles away from my brother. I honestly never cared before this weekend, but now I care a great deal. I am also extremely, extremely thankful that there is digital media and my brother can send whatever photos whenever. Awesome! Like the one of my little niece who apparently currently has a preference for sleeping with one leg in the air. Whatever, sweet little weirdo. In this family, that is likely just the first of many quirks! (I wonder if my SIL really knew what she was getting into...?)

This has been extra special on so many levels. It is the first niece and nephew on my side of the family, it's twins, they, like so many people, have struggled with sub fertility and miscarriages. They haven't shared a lot of their struggles with me personally, but thanks to so many of you being open about your feelings, I have some idea. I think my absolute favorite photo (okay, one of) is the one of my SIL holding both of the twins. The joy on her face is so priceless.

I will say, in the grand tradition of blogging TMI, that this has all been made even more interesting due to some timing of PMS. Thankfully, this did not pull away at all from the wonderfulness of all that is happening, but it did highlight all that is not happening in my world. Things were extra stark there for a couple days especially leading up to their birth. Thankfully now that they're here and I'm distracted by their sweet selves as well as the hormones being less stupid, I am now able to get excited about movement and such again, but there were a couple of days there...

Now, I'm going to finish this rambling post with a little observation. As I've been getting rid of crap, I had some DVD's that I got rid of without a second thought, but others that I have saved to re-watch so I could decide if I wanted them or not. Today "Sleepless in Seattle" came up. Can someone please tell me why that one's a classic? I used to like it, but in watching it today, all I could think was, "She's bat crap crazy, and he's an idiot not to get a restraining order!" It is leaving the building.

How's your weekend? Are you adjusting to the time change?