Friday, August 10, 2012

View from the Porch Swing

So, the other day my mom handed me a book.  At first I was thinking...great...another book to read on my list of books I already have.  To make matters worse, she wanted it back by a certain time. This meant that my other books on my list were going to have to wait.  I started reading the book and I had a hard time putting it down.  Needless to say, I have felt bad for my initial reaction of my mom handing over this book. 

It is called View from the Porch Swing by Becky Freeman.  It was my first Becky Freeman book, but definitely not the last.  It is not about anything specific.  Mostly, she talks of ridiculous things she has done and how to not take yourself so seriously.  She says it like it is and doesn't care if she sounds stupid or crazy.  Honestly, she reminds me a lot of myself.  She is also a former teacher like myself and now after reading the book, I am certain as to why my mom wanted me to read it.  Even though it isn't about much of anything, I have learned things from it.  I am a person who takes things too seriously, misses out on the blessings provided to me all the time all day long because I don't take the time to be thankful and I don't take time out to find peace in my day.  I also make things way more complicated than they need to be.  Lately, I have found myself trying to be more simplistic instead of more complicated which is also what this book is about.  Here are some things I have learned:
  • Take time each morning and throughout the day to be thankful and find the little moments to be thankful for.
  • Remember that God is the gardener and there are different "gardens of life" but He is ALWAYS there.
  • Give God whatever is going on in my life and let Him deal with it-isn't He sovereign anyway?
  • Remember that when things don't go according to my plan there IS still a plan!
  • Take time outs.
  • Turn off the TV and turn on the music!
  • Understand I am human and therefore I am a faulty person and that is OK...God loves me in spite of myself.
  • Take time each day to read.
  • Spend time with kids-they help keep me young (even though I have many gray hairs from my teaching years!!! :)
  • Do everything with a smile-remember who I am ultimately doing it for-GOD!
  • When I just have one of those days,weeks,etc-just give it up and throw in the towel...take a break.
  • Write in my journal.
  • Remember that in hard times, when I persevere there is joy in the morning.
  • Spend time with my animals.
  • Be gracious instead of  out to be a winner
  • Listen instead of talk all the time
  • I can't fix everything so LET IT GO!!!
  • Live for God's approval...not for others
  • Enjoy life to the fullest! I've only been given one!
These are just tidbits of what I have taken away with me from reading this book.  I hope that if you are reading this it can help you make your life seem less complicated and more hopeful!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

soap box

Since when did using your freedom of speech and sharing your personal opinion mean you are a bigot, hypocrite, and hater?  I am so tired of all of this.  I am of the personal belief that same sex marriage is wrong and not what God intended for His people.  Does that mean I don't love or like gays and lesbians? No, it doesn't.  I have some gay friends and they know where I stand.  They know I do not agree with their lifestyle but they also know that I care about them.  I am not a bigot because I don't agree with their lifestyle.  Yes, we all sin and yes all sin is the same in God's eyes.  The difference here is when I sin I ask for forgiveness and try to change that part of my life.  I will not sit here and approve of a lifestyle that I know is wrong in God's eyes...just like I don't sit and approve of the wrong I do in my own life that goes against God's will.  God gave us free will to choose the paths we want to take and He is always waiting for us to grasp onto His hand.  I think we need to stop calling each other names because that is just as hypocritical some people are claiming those who speak their personal views to be. 

Yes, I support Chic-Fil-A.  First of all, Dan Kathy was making a personal statement of his belief, not the company's.  Yes, they are a Christian organization but they do not discriminate who they hire and they do not discriminate those who walk into their doors.  I have worked for Chic-Fil-A and it is one of the best run establisments I have ever worked for where the workers are loved and cared for and that reciprocates to the customers.  Second, we all have the right to say what we want.  It is called Freedom of Speech!  Dan Kathy was only practicing that which he has every right to practice.  Third, I support marriage  between a man and a woman. 

I am not writing this to upset or hurt any feelings.  Just getting it off my chest! I am practicing my freedom of speech.  You don't agree with it, fine!  I don't expect everyone to agree.  That is our GOD given right as an American.  We can think and feel and say what we want and shouldn't be backlashed because of it.