Thursday, December 30, 2010
Like I have pointed out many times, I made one New Year's Resolution many years ago. It was never to make a new year's resolution. I have done a pretty good job keeping that one safe. One of the reasons I do make them is because I know I will never keep whatever I resolve. If it is enough of an issue in my life that I admit I need to change something, then I should just change it and not put it out there for every one to know it bothers me when I do whatever it is I say I should not be doing.
However, in searching through all of the blogs and websites I come across, I am constantly looking for entires that make me want to respond. One that moved me, JC Wert shared a plan he has for the year 2011. He calls it the Mustard Seed Year. http://www.jcwert.com/2010/12/16/mustard-seed-year/
I can not claim to have that equal committment as he, but he spurred me to seek changes in my life.
So, here are areas I HAVE TO ADDRESS this year. Not to be cool or be like anyone else. But by not addressing these areas, I can do myself tremendous harm, physically and otherwise.
1. Address the health situation. I should not just sit there and watch the Biggest Loser each week, feel sad for the eliminated contestant and be inspired by every one's story. I have to make some changes in my health situation. These are more than aches and pains any more. They are life affecting symptoms. I need to do the Big Two when it comes to healthy eating. I HAVE to EAT LESS and MOVE MORE. What a concept.
2. I love the books of Michael Connolly, James Patterson and Robert Crais. But in order for me to grow as a person, I HAVE to read more meaningful books this year. I have a short list of books I need to tackle this year that includes Mike Batterson, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Chuch Swindoll, John Macarthur, Ben Arment and John Burke. I pray I am not just dropping names but I truly seek out what they have to say.
3. I like to pray. I like to let God know how He is doing. I like to let Him know what I need and expect from Him. I HAVE to learn how to be a better listener. God is telling me stuff every day. My hope is that I learn to listen.
4. God has put Jean and me in a church that feeds us very well and allows us the opportunity to serve in many areas. We are blessed in what we do. We drive onto the campus and feel a sense of protection. God is letting us know that every thing is okay and He is control. I HAVE to make myself more available.
5. I HAVE to become more of a Second Chance person.
6. I HAVE to find myself a mentor. Every one needs an idol, a mentor, a friend, a partner and a pupil. I HAVE to be open to finding that mentor.
JC Wert has jumped into his Mustard Seed Year. I hope and pray 2011 is a year of change and growth for every one
Posted by Yarmouth House at 12:55 PM
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I am sitting here, enjoying my apricots and pistachios that Santa has added to my stocking for so many years, reflecting on 2010. One thing I have learned as I have aged is that there is no such thing as New Year's resoltions. Or turning over new leaves or Old Lang Synes. January 3rd is a day in my life just like October 3rd and April 21st. Days that God has given me to do what I can and lament over what I should have.
But we all take time to look back on our year and I am no exception. One thing that stands out this past year is that death visted me more than any other year. Early in the year, my grandmother died at 101. It was not fun watching her die. It was not fun watching my mother watch her die. I realized that as my grandmother got older and more dependent for help, and knowing my mother will need more asistance now, it sure would be nice if we were younger so we had the strength to better help them.
I did not watch my friend Rick die. It was sudden, shocking and, to this day, so dificult to believe. There isnt a day goes by that something does not remind me of our times together and what he meant to me.
Right before Christmas, another kind of friend died. We watched him die. Our dear Sheldon got hit by a car, doing what he loved to do, Run. It has been a tough time for me. God gave me Sheldon to keep me company while I was out of work. It is ironic that God took him away after Sheldon knew I was safely back to work. He was mommas boy and my buddy all rolled into one.
At the end of this year, all of our children still do not get IT. They are all wonderful people and, in their own ways, are very loving. I pray that God will touch their hearts and cause them all to make that leap of faith in 2011. I love them all or I wouldnt pray that.
The biggest disappointment this Christmas season was the Spielberg, Action Figure, Kapowie build up for the Christmas eve services by so many churches that I follow around the country and respect so much. It is, afterall, one of the most important events to celebrate as a Christian. No need for such a build up.
Those are five areas of disppointment and concern from my year. But what a great year it was. I am back to work. Thanks to the prayers of family and friends and hard work of a few friends, I am back at ASU. I am happy for that.
Out of the death of our friend Rick, I was able to reacquaint myself with some very dear friends from the way back machine. For that I am grateful.
In spite of the unnecessary build up, I think the Thanksgiving and Christmas eve services at Central were wonderful. Sometimes, I am glad that they remember that we really need some good time as a family. And, in the eve, eve service a gentle invitation from Jeremy for others on the outside to be able to join the family. And, oh what a family it is.
This was not a perfect year. We are not a perfect couple. We do not have a perfect relationship. But I can not believe that any two people can be more in love with each other as Jean and I are. I cant believe she loves me and I can not believe how I fall in love with her again every morning. Being with her just makes all the negative not so bad and the good times even better.
I look forward to more ups and downs this coming year. But I know God will be there through it all.
Posted by Yarmouth House at 2:29 PM
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Looking at this thing, I see I havent made any entries since the end of October. It is not that I did not have anything to say. It is that I have not taken the time to write those thoughts down.
Today I have so many thoughts going through my mind and my heart is crying, again. Today we said good bye to our boy, our doggy, our puppy, our little friend. The guy who stayed with me all the while I waited to find a job. He slept with us every night and was always here when we walked in the door, tail wagging, telling us what he did while we were away.
We got Sheldon from the pound. He had been running through traffic and the police said they had to spray him twice to subdue him enough to get him to the shelter. That is probably one of the reasons he was always a little leary when my male friends from our Bible Study walked in each week.
My brother and a few others have already said God gave me Sheldon to get me through that time I sat at home, waiting, hoping. He kept me out of the deeper depression I would have gone into if we didnt get him.
But Sheldon was a momma's boy. He would snuggle next to Jean on the couch, in bed. He would wait for her outside the bathroom when she was in the shower and if the door was open, he would put his nose around the curtain to see that she was okay.
Sheldon was a prayer warrior. Every week at Bible Study, we would be in discussion and at exactly 8:20, he would begin to, well it wasnt a bark and it wasnt a growl. It was more like him telling us, OK it's prayer time.
The one thing we were so afraid of is when he had the chance, he would out the gate and run through the neighborhood. We knew if he ever got out on Southern, it would be dangerous for him. He loved to run. He would do laps in our back yard. He was taken off the streets running. He would had run to his death if we didnt have him this very short time. Last night he ran. It was dark and he got disoriened. He ran out on Southern and was hit by two cars. Jean and I both saw him get hit. Nothing we could do. He left us running, something he loved to do.
God allowed us to save him from the streets and from the pound. And while he was with us, we believe our boy saved me from a deep depression.
This was our house, Jean and mine, before Sheldon got here. Now that he is gone, it is still our house. While he was here, this was his house and we just got to stay here. He gave us back our house and after the tears are dried, he has left two people very much in love with each other, and with him, with many happy, happy memories.
Posted by Yarmouth House at 10:59 AM