Tuesday, July 28, 2009

before vacation

I thought that I'd write a quick entry tonight, because I probably won't be able to write an entry for about a week. I'm leaving tomorrow for a short vacation. I'm going to New Mexico to see my older brother and his family, including my adorable niece and nephew. I'm really excited to see them, even though I saw them earlier this summer for about 3 days. I love any chance that I have to see them though because I usually only see them during the summer and at Christmas time.

It's hard sometimes being far away from them. I'd love to see them more often, but our schedules just don't allow for it, plus I cannot afford to fly out there very often (and my current car probably wouldn't make it that far). Lets just say when I do see them, I take lots and lots of pictures. I probably took like 100 when I saw them earlier this summer up in Minnesota (we were all there at my parents). I'll be taking a bunch more this time too. That way I can look at them between the times I actually get to see them.

I've been looking forward to this trip for a while. It should be a good time; we're not doing anything really exciting, maybe going to the zoo. I'm perfectly fine with that, because I'm going more to spend time with the kids than to sightsee.

Well I should be heading to be, since I have to be up early in the morning for my flight.

Take care and God Bless!!

In Christ-

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Are my "storms" really that bad?

Today's sermon at church is really was inspired this entry. The sermon was about the "storms" of life that we face and how Jesus helps us through them. This really made me reflect on my life, my reliance on God during the difficult times, and even the problems others face.

During the sermon the vicar shared a story of a family friend that had just lost their 6-month old son to SIDS this past Friday. This of course made me (and I'm sure many others) think of the fact that the vicar's 5th child was stillborn last fall. A huge part of me felt sad when he was sharing this story. I also felt guilty, because I know that I complain about so many things in my life and I feel like my life is so hard, when its really nothing compared to what these families have gone through.

I also have a friend, who is married, and lately it seems that her and her husband are having some difficulties. I'm supportive of her and am always willing to listening. But as I was sitting next to her in church today, I couldn't help but feel guilty. Are my problems really that bad compared to hers?

I just said to myself, I shouldn't make such a big deal of the things I have to deal with. A part of me knows that they are serious for me and everyone has their own and different difficulties and struggles. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, while this sermon made me reflect on some of the "storms" in my life, it also made me recall the problems of others. I think that I have a tendency to be a little too self-centered when it comes to my problems. Sometimes I'm so consumed in my own problems, that I forget that others are going through tough times.

I just pray that the Lord will help me to not only work through my own struggles, but to also be compassionate to others and their struggles and be helpful and supportive when needed.

When I'm going through a difficult time, I'll admit that I don't always immediately turn to God. Sometimes it escapes me for a while. I think part of it is an issue of trust. There have just been times in my life when things haven't turned out the way I want them to, so I guess I just find it hard to trust. Now I know that God knows what is best and answers prayers in his own way. It's just hard for me sometimes to be comfortable with the answers and not having control.


I want to say thanks to my first readers! It means a lot to me to know that people (now matter how few they may be at this point) are reading this. Thanks for you great comments!! I really appreciate them and your thoughts.

I'll post again soon. I've got a few ideas running through my head, so when I pick one, I'll do some more writing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Books I love to Read

Books and reading are somewhat of an obsession of mine. I love buying books, both for myself and for my classroom. It's always dangerous for me to go into a bookstore. Rarely do I come out of the store without a book. My classroom library has over 400 books; I'd say that I own at least 80% of them. When it's time for Scholastic Book Orders, I just cannot seem to stop myself from buying more books. My personal library at home is also full. My bookself cannot even hold them all. There are many books that I own that I haven't read yet (partly because I like to get books from the library, so I read those instead). There just isn't enough time for me to read them all, even with the large amount of reading I do.

It wasn't always this way. I didn't always love to read. It hasn't always been the way I pass so much time. Even thought I've always been a good reader, I didn't always read a lot outside of school. Growing up, I usually spent my free time in front of the tv. I still do that a lot of the time, but I'm usually not paying a lot of attention, because I've got a book out and am busy reading. In my family you were more likely to see my mom or younger brother sitting around with a book open in front of them.

The change really came about during college. I remember one May at the end of the college school year (it was either end of freshmen or sophmore) I decided that I was going to try and read more that summer. I was already making a list in my head of books that I wanted to read. From there things just took off. I read at least 30 books that summer. Many days I would read an entire book. If not that, books didn't take me long to finish. I just seemed to fly through numerous books.

In many ways, I haven't stopped since. Sure I've paused a few times, but never for more than a few days. There are a few times when I got through a little spurt of not feeling like reading. Overall though, I'm reading most chances I get.

Now what kinds of books do I read? I'd say that almost every book I read has some aspect of romance in it. Some are Christian romance, some are not. A few years ago when I really jumped into reading, most of the books were just regular romance. It wasn't until later that I really discovered christian romance, including love inspired and christian chick-lit. Ocassionally I'll venture back to the regular romance books, but my book shelves are lined with lots of christian romance books.

I think I'm drawn to christian romance books because it takes me to a situation that I've never experienced. I'm drawn into another world; a world were the girl gets the guy, a world so different from my own. Some of the books have characters that I can easily relate to, others there are very few similarities between myself and any characters. It usually doesn't affect whether or not I'll pick up and enjoy a book.

Now, don't think that I love every book that I read. There are some books that I just can't get into; I put them down and away before I finished. There are just some time that I don't enjoy certain books. I may pick that same book up later and finish it. Sometimes I force myself to keep going in a book and finish it. Sometimes I skip to the end, just to read the ending and consider myself "finished." Yet other times I'll skip to the end, just because I cannot wait any longer to know how it ends, and then continue to read from where I left off. Generally I don't like to start a book and not finish it.

Some people cannot believe how much I read. Numerous times I've been asked, "How do you have so much time to read?" or I've heard, "I don't have time to read." My response is always something along the lines of I don't have anything else to do. I'm not in a relationship, I'm not married, I don't have kids. My time is a little more open. I can read just before bed. I can read after I take my shower in the morning. I don't have the responsiblities that others have.

That brings up the question of whether or not I would trade in all my time to read for those responsiblities? For the most part, I'd say that I'd give up all the extra time for a story fit for the books I love to read. Unfortunately reading the stories of romance cannot replace the lack of it in my life. Sometimes I worry that it gives me unrealistic expectations of how my life may be. Overall, I just want to at some point be able to say that I have my own, though unperfect it will be, "happy ending."

Friday, July 24, 2009

another night alone

Again it is Friday night and I'm spending the night just sitting at home. No plans. No social life. I'm sure that I could have taken a more active role in having something to do tonight, but there are so many times when I just don't want make the effort, or I'm just tired of making the effort. Tonight is not the first Friday night that I've had nothing to do, not by a long shot. So many nights I sit at home with no place to go. Some days it's harder to deal with than others. Some days I'm okay with the not having anything to do, with being lonely. Other days I just want to sit around and mope and possibly cry.

It's hard because so many of the people that I know are at different times in their lives. They're in a relationship, married, and/or have children. They just have different responsibilities than me. While I understand that they have these responsibilities and that they don't have as much free time, its still hard when I feel forgotten.

My counselor has told me that one situation is not better than the other. They are simply different. She also said that people are most likely not purposefully forgetting me. They just have other things on their mind. The logical part of me understands that; it's just the emotional driven part of me that sometimes doesn't. I guess it hurts when I'm continually not invited. It's also hard when I know that these people are inviting others who are "new."

Let's just say that it's an ongoing war that I'm fighting. Some days I feel like I've won a battle. Other days I feel like I've been badly defeated.