Monday, February 27, 2006

Saturday was quite busy. 8 hours of driving, a pick up at a birthday party, a funeral, a kickboxing tournament, and the rest of the day was a family day. The driving time was some of my favourite time. Just sitting and reading, or singing, or homeschooling about wind turbines, or talking ministry, or making animal sounds everytime we passed one. Derek was the best at that. Not bad for a city-slicker! We haven't had a real family day in so long. And, we haven't taken a trip out of town even just for a day with just our family in years! It was a welcome relief!

The kickboxing tournament was a valentine's day gift to my husband. We were special guests of the promoter, and could sit anywhere we wanted. I had forgotten to tell Derek that. We ended up sitting in the bleachers in a regular sized gym. But, shortly after we sat down, Kung Le and other grand master champions sat right in front of us! We were so stoked! We had watched Cung Le and some of these other fellas for inspiration when we were training "back in the day". Zion got down showed us a few of his new skills... too cute! DeVon walked up to the new feather weight world champion and shook his hand. The boy is not shy. He said he'd never wash that hand again. I'm afraid he might be right! It was a night our family will never forget. Derek was so grateful... and I'm so glad that he was able to do something that was soooo him! Now that I have a contact with the promoter, I'll be able to score tickets for other tourneys and have some contacts here so we can finish our training! Derek's plans are to take the youth to the next tourney... hehe... that's gonna be kewl!

I have craved a day at home... no responsibilities other than the ones at home. No appointments, no meetings to prepare, no classes to teach, no birthdays to decorate for... just a day to be home... take care of the home. Be a home-body. And, wouldn't you know it? Today is that day! And, just in the nick of time. Something smells in the kitchen...

Plans to go to Canada in March to share the gospel with my bio family are still in the works. When you pray today... pray about that, will ya?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Looks like cupid puked in Wal-Mart. "Clean up on aisle four!"
Just got back from my hot date with my hubbie. Was so pleased to know he’d made plans. I didn’t care what the plans were... we coulda sat in the darkened park and sipped on hot chai. That would have been great. BUT... we knew we were going to the movies (free tickets... a gift from a friend at Christmas), so we hit the bulk candy section of Winco and stocked up on all our favourites. His were chocolate, mine were gummy and sour. Hehe. To be fair... I did grab a scoop of chocolate and yogurt covered raisins!
I had shopped all day for a new blouse. Found some trendy ones... flashy in colour and style... A couple of cool ones that I really liked, but were just not flattering.. A really nice conservative sweater - preppy... And one that my kids begged me to buy - a blouse with a built-in-necklace - fake diamonds and rubies. I kid you not! It was the tackiest thing I’d ever tried on! I went home defeated and put on my turquoise beaded tunic blouse... a favourite, wore jeans and high-heeled shoes. Curled up my hair and touched up the makeup. It would do.
We went to Chipotle... ate fajita burritos ... my personal favourite. We knew we didn’t have time to eat it at the restaurant, so we ate it in the car in the Movie Theater parking lot. Silly us, we forgot to grab napkins, so we scoured the van for one... and found just one... Derek sweetly sacrificed it to me. (He knew I’d need it!)
The movie was Pink Panther. I loved it when I was a kid... and I love Steve Martin. Was a great movie! Barely touched the candy... the unfinished burrito had stuffed me.
Coffee out is our favourite date. We plan out ministries... bring eachother books and I find great painting ideas, mural ideas and decor ideas in this modern library called Borders. We only had a half-hour. Derek ordered a mocha... I was still too stuffed to buy anything at the counter. It was my last day off the diet and my mind was screaming "NO! You fool! You must have something now or you won’t see a sugar-laden coffee dessert for months, maybe years! Order one now!" But... just the thought of washing down that fat burrito with a frappacino was nauseating. I walked it off in the store. I found a hair magazine and decided that I’d better get to picking a new style or colour since I’ll be going in to the salon on Friday. Right now I have a long, curly, layered style. Brown hair with red and blonde highlights. Was thinking I might go shorter... wilder. Derek wasn’t so impressed. He doesn’t like messy hair. Too bad... I was thinking it might go with the nose ring I’d planned for. Sigh.
So... all in all... we wondered out loud where we’d be in another 10 years. Kids will nearly all be out of the house. We figured we wouldn’t be at our current church anymore. But, we assumed we’d still be in ministry. (As the Lord allows, of course!) I hoped we’d be more effective, more grounded, more evangelistic. I knew we’d be closer than we are now... which is hard to imagine. I also knew that we aren’t promised another moment - as I have lost two sisters and my dad in the recent past. I reminded him that I was insistent that he re-marry should I be called home. That the woman be ministry minded, pretty and funny. He’d need that. And... that even though the kids would be grown... they’d need to have a say. He didn’t want to talk about it... but I needed him to know how I felt.
Dates with Derek are always uplifting. He listens, cares, laughs, wonders, ponders, considers. He’s wise, funny, smart, handsome, witty, talented, outgoing... a real good date. A great husband. I know... I KNOW I don’t deserve him. His dedication to me is difficult for me to understand... but I love him even without that understanding. I really didn’t know what I’d picked when I picked him 12 nearly 13 years ago. But I got a gem... priceless.
Valentine’s day has become so silly. So commercialized... much like the "love" you’ll see on t.v. Fake, flashy, short-lived.
I hope that christians will show the world what love really is. Make valentine’s day a christian holiday - and cupid can recover from his hang-over somewhere else...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just finished a book: How To Deal With Nasty People Without Becoming One Of Them. Finished in one night. It was short... don’t get too excited for me.
The writer, Jay Somebody-Or-Other, used the word "Invalidator" to describe someone who is... for lack of a better term: Nasty to folks... specifically to you.
Invalidation comes directly, i.e.: insults, temper, humiliating you or comes indirectly, i.e.: double-sided compliments, creating a sense of dependency through flattery then ignoring you, etc.
I have been struggling for over a year with a group of people who seem to have used every angle if invalidation with me, and up to this point had me under their control. I wanted revenge, I wanted them to be exposed for what they are, but tonight I found much more satisfaction in knowing that I could deflect their attempts at control and leave them ineffective.
There are specifically two mechanisms that I eagerly anticipate using: the first is to ask them to repeat themselves. This helps reveal their motives should they try to water it down the second time around. This works best with the underhanded attempts at invalidating. And, for the more direct manipulators, to use their own tactics on them. Like a mirror... reverse it. Usually an invalidator uses the techniques that would work best on honing in on his insecurities. This will take a greater amount of effort than the first, but it is an effective tool with a bully.
I have to be careful that my motives aren’t skewed. I need to be sure that I am not aiming at revenge or humiliation. My motives for now seem pure, but everyone can be an invalidator at some time and I need to be sure that I don’t begin to morph into my own living nightmare. After all, invalidators were bred by invalidators.
It was a welcome book in the midst of the other books I was reading. The other books have been incredibly encouraging - but the question of what to do with the bullies was nagging, tugging at my subconscious. It interrupted my thoughts, prayers and I became introverted as a result. Frustrated. Shamed. Ineffective. To have this understanding and available tools is so refreshing. I hate not knowing what to do. I hate doubting myself, assuming always that the problem is either with me or just a figment of my very own active imagination. I’m not nuts. Whew!
Vulnerability. Not so good with it. But hand me some tools (not necessarily weapons), and I’m good to go!
I had to get this out before I went to sleep. Other wise it would swim around in my conscious mind and keep me awake for much longer than it took to write it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm in my yellow Katrina Relief Volunteer T-shirt given to me by the Tammany Oaks church of Christ in LA. Seems like a lifetime ago. I was so focused... driven then. Seems like my life is just full of misdirection and distraction now. Not that my tasks are mundane... I'm just scattered... unengaged. Not complaining, just an observation. My computer continues to mess with me... I don't think I will continue blogging until I figure it out. Blueberry muffins in the oven smell done. Gotta run.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I was looking at my calendar for this month and next. It just dawned on me... I may be going to visit my tribe in Canada next month! YAY! And... WHOAH! Am I ready? Can I possibly prepare my kids for it? My sweet husband? (He only found out that Indians still existed when we were dating!) My reservation - the one for the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, is the ghetto of most reservations that I have visited. Derek and I lived on the Navajo Reservation for six years... but it was quite plush compared to the one I came from. What an eye opener it will be for my family! What a difference they will see between where I came from and where they are. It might even explain a few things to my sweet, sweet husband. To me.

So, I 've been reading John and Staci Eldridge's book: Captivating. And, it has been! Wow... last night I read the 2nd chapter that described in beautiful detail how God created woman to be the zenith of his creation! What a revelation to know that I am not an after-thought, a tag-along. I learned that the word ezer means more than help-meet or assistant... but rather the one he couldn't do without... the one he needs desperately! I KNEW IT! But... it doesn't puff me up with pride... rather it calms my spirit. A sense of understanding... like the completion of knowlege and direction in me. It placed light in my soul that hadn't been touched my light in soooo long. I have hope.


Is it a luxury? Am I supposed to live without it? Keep my nose to the grindstone out of mindless duty and sheer commitment? Or... is hope a fraction of the glory that awaits me for my faithfulness. Hope isn't a luxury it is a necessity!

I do what I do with hope today. Hope's rays have touched the darkest depths of my soul. Flood me with your brilliance, Lord...

Oh... and, Lord ... put your arm around my shoulder and a hand over my mouth. For now. :)


Saturday, February 04, 2006

I've just finished a pita-bread with hummus snack. Weird, but good. Really good. It was earth -friendly and organic. So it said on the plastic packaging that I threw in the trash can. Doh!!! My computer isn't letting me hit "enter" and make new paragraphs. Soitsarunonparagraph. But I think you'll get it. I have a friend who digs computers that has volunteered to come and fix it for me. In the meantime it's a test of my patience and of your attention span. Riiiight. I bought Stacie Eldridge's book "Captivating". Can't wait to get some quiet time to read it and journal in it. I need the encouragement. Lately I've been the encourager and I feel like I'm running on fumes. Don't know how many more people I can beg not to leave the church, their husband, their kids, their diet, their trainer, their friends... know what I mean? Why does everyone want to quit? Is it the post-new-year's-resolution time of year that brings such clarity of thought? Or is it late-January-winter's-gone-on-long-enough depression sinking in? Fortunately I've had my head out of the sand and I've been able to be there. Hope when my day comes that it will be reciprocal. My coffee shoppe rocked. Hosted lots of folks. New folks and old ones. Had the ol' campfire roaring. Blankets. All the treats. (None of which I sampled, thank you very much!) There was an antagonist... "Debbie Downer" (There's one in every church, isn't there?). But... that's just Satan throwing his fiery darts and I've been working on my bo-staff skills. Sweeeeet! My daughter stapled her thumb yesterday. I was on the computer, and I heard a "Oooooooooh!" followed by a "Aaaaaaah!"... I rushed out to see my 10 year old daughter holding up her thumb and crying loudly. Turns out she was attempting to staple the elastic back to the paddle-ball, and tried to open the stapler with her hand, accidentally placing her thumb on the staple side while pressing (and thus releasing) a fresh staple. The staple was red, so I was confused at first sight. It looked like a cut. But, when I realized it was a staple, I calmly pulled it out. (Both brothers were there to witness the blood squirt - "Cooooool!" - yet, still concerned.) We washed it and applied pressure... and "ta-da"! Middle child had bragging rights that night at Parent's Night Out. "Guess what I did today?" I heard her ask a few kids last night. Boys were fascinated, girls were sympathetic. Interesting reactions. I've been trying to re-claim my house. It seems like it hasn't really been mine in about 7 months. Now that I'm at home again... full time... I'm re-organising, cleaning, re-decorating, just... re-doing. Maybe I'm going through a nesting phase - who knows? ('Course the last time THAT happened... I found out I was pregnant! I should be so lucky!) Hubby has a test tomorrow. He usually is ready for these things and aces them, but like me - he has been busy ministering and putting out brush fires. I guess it's as good as an excuse as any... but I don't think he'll be satisfied with anything less than the A's he's been working so hard for. I pray that he's able to focus. He's had so much on his mind. Derek had the house looking great today. Sure, the kids helped, but I could see that it was his influence that really got it looking spiffy. Details. He's all about details. LOVE IT! Littlest one, Zion was hugging and kissing daddy g'nite, and I thanked daddy for cleaning the house... Zion (thinking I was talking to him) replied "No problem!" and skipped off to bed. Derek and I just smirked and looked at eachother. At the same moment, my oldest - the comedian - said... "uh, dad... I just slammed Zion up against the wall... Could you wipe him off?" Silly boys. Must go to bed. New book. Pizza lunch Sunday, gotta pray about Debbie Downer and Sister Holier-Than-Thou. Yes... they worship here too. Weird, eh? -Jennifer-

Friday, February 03, 2006

I know I should be blogging. So much is going on. But I'll just start where I'm at instead of trying to make up for lost blogs. Sigh. First of all... something's wrong with my computer. It won't let me hit "enter" to make a new paragraph. So, the structure of this thing is gonna drive you mad. It did me. I have coffee shoppe tonight. I'll finally paint the aprons for the volunteers. Haven't taken the time to create the mural I wanted, though. That day will come soon enough. My strong, German, massage therapist who lives upstairs is moving out today. Waaaaaaaahhhh! Sniff. Good news is... she's moving down the street from my church! Yay! Whew. This rollercoaster is gonna do me in! I'm not only into a new fitness lifestyle, my house is going on a diet. I moved from a large, LARGE, three bedroom house with four acres and a sheep and a goat and a two-car gargage to an apartment, no garage. It's been a squeeze. So... I pulled out one of my favourite books: Organising From The Inside, Out by Julie Morganstern, and another favourite: Confessions of an Organised Homemaker. Dunno who the author is. Picked up some dishpans today, labels and price tags. I'm also the queen of hosting garage sales. Gonna make some money off of this house-diet, make no mistake! Gotta go pick up the kids. Hit water-aerobics today... did a little shopping... gonna pick up some boxes from Kinko's to organise with. Have coffee shoppe tonight. Might be the only staff there, but I can hang! It's cool! My life is nuts.. pray for me! -Jennifer-