Saturday, June 30, 2012

No Title Today

Has anyone noticed that I am very generic on my titles?  Very generic!!!!  I can never come up with a cute little title that begs for the article to be read.  There are probably several reasons for this:
a. the article isn't begging to be read or not even worth the time required to read it
b. naming things isn't my forte (our poor kids, if we ever have any)
c. I tend to ramble on posts so that a title would have to be long-winded and an article in and of itself to capture the full essence of the post.

Some days, I long to sit down and write long, sophisticated posts that are full of mental wanderings and ponderings and leave everyone walking away or clicking away going--Wow!!  She really made me think.

Other days, I want to sit down and type out a post that will leave your sides aching from laughter.

Most days, I manage to skip blogging altogether.

A few days, I sit down and just blog about whatever I think about that is appropriate to put on a computer screen.  I need to be okay with that. I will not be the deep, serious commentator nor the side-splitting comedian, but I just want to be me.  Happy and content to state a few things on here to empty out the story-writing side of my brain that wants an escape now and then.

Today, why am I blogging?  I have a few things rambling around in this brain of mine--not sure they will all come out on here or not. Also, I am sitting at McDonald's using their Wi-Fi and hoping it's faster than the library's where I just sat for 4 or so hours watching about a dozen files upload.  So far, much faster and I am also bitter.  Uploading much larger files here and I am already at about 2 dozen and have only been doing it for about 15 minutes.  Why didn't I come hang out at McDonald's first?  I mean with an iced mocha carmel, how much better can it get?  I would post a pic, but I have no idea how and don't feel like trying to figure it out.

You may be wondering why I am not using the internet at home?  Well, you see we have a limited amount of internet at home and I certainly don't want to be using it uploading files to some online back up program.  And I am sure if I mention to D about the superior internet service available at McDonald's, he would even volunteer to come babysit the computer at times too.

A mild form of humor for me from work was a call from an Amish gentleman that lives about 2+ hours from here.  (Side note: if you live that far away, do not call at 3:45 on a Friday when we are closing in 45 minutes and ask about having the Dr. look at your son's knee.  The nurse will blandly say, "Can that wait until Monday?" because she feels it is highly inconvenient to ask the Dr. to come in.  And really, when you live that far away, wouldn't it be just as cheap to go to a clinic close.  Yes, the clinic may charge you 3 times more than the clinic here, but aren't you going to pay a small fortune for a driver? End of rant and why am I trying to discourage business?)  He thought we were located in Neillsville, Wi on Mennonite Drive.  I have no idea where he got that, but I thought it was funny.  No, we are not that segregated from the rest of the world.

Which brings me to a more somber topic of conversation?  How separate should we be from the world?  I have discovered in the last few months esp. that we as Mennos can be very judgmental.  I knew that, but I have been seeing it through the eyes of someone else and it's sad.  I have been very guilty of this myself, so I have no cause to point fingers, but if someone goes more "liberal" on the outside where we see and where it "matters so much," we get nervous about being with them and start looking at them out of the corner of our eyes and wonder where they will stop.  If someone goes more "conservative" then we label them as trying too hard or some other thing.  Of course the whole liberal/conservative thing is judged based on where we are standing ourselves.  We don't stop to see them for who they really are, we just judge, think we know and understand completely, pass our judgments on to a few other people and move on.  If you look right, you must be right, then you must be okay and we don't delve into the hearts and concerns of the people around us.  I think this can be true in our own churches.  We look at our fellow church members and we see that they are dressing in church standards, so life must be going well for them, but whoa!!! let them come to church wearing something a little questionable or we heard they did something a little questionable (I am not talking going against the Bible in anyway, I am only talking man-made standards here) and we immediately jump on them.  Not to see where their heart is or what made them do what they do.  We know there heart is wrong and they are rebellious, we don't need to ask.  We assume and we make judgments, we punish and then we move on with narry a look behind to see how they are feeling.  How much of our "displays of rebellion" could be a calling for help, a cry to see if anyone cares about me, about my heart, about how I'm feeling and not done out of any true rebellion?  These are just random thoughts that have been passing through my brain at one time or another.

I want to do something, I want to care and yet I find myself being a bit of black-and-white person.  At work, everything is pretty cut and dried especially if it causes me inconvenience and that was started to worry me.  A friend did tell me that if they only saw me at work, they would think I was very cut and dried, but knowing me outside of work, they know that is not so.  That was comforting.  I have cried at the thought of the end being near for one of my patients, a dear lady I have come to really like, so maybe I do have a heart. I dream of being the kind of lady that people just naturally open up to--the kind of person who always has an open door policy, who doesn't apologize for the less than clean house, but just calmly sits down and pours a cup of tea or coffee and just really listens to what is going on in the other person's life.  But how to move beyond the judgmental Mennonite to the caring Christian? That's a transition I long to make and want to work on making, but it will only be made with the help of Jesus.  He's the only one that is going to be able to help me look beyond the facade that is our clothing and see into the heart of His People.

This is not a barrage against Mennonites.  I think there is something special about our culture.  I don't embrace everything, but I don't want to walk away from it either.  It's more a barrage against my own natural, human tendencies and what is a common failure for all of us.

Well, I think I have ranted enough.  I hope it made some sort of sense and that you don't walk away or click away and think I am a hopeless mess.  I probably am, but I would prefer God to call the shots on that, not another equally messed up human being!!:) :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Proverbs 31 woman

So, I really left this blog in an annoying and disturbed state of mind.  I am healthy again and have been for nearly a month.  Wow, I never realized how good it is to feel good.  I guess it's clear proof that sometimes you never know what you had until it's missing.

So, for the last several weeks, I have been studying the Proverbs 31 woman, using the course outlined here. I have really been enjoying it.  I don't know if all the descriptions is really how it was for this lady, but I do know it has really helped me to feel like I could maybe attain to some form of virtue.  I did tell D this morning though, that sometimes I feel like the only thing I have in common with this lady is the fact of hunting for good deals.  (She gathers her food from afar was given to mean, she went the distance to buy good, wholesome, and cheaper food than buying it at the corner store.)  But as I sit here on the couch, there are dishes piled on the counter that didn't get done last night.  I bought a $5 Little Caesar's unhealthy, high-caloric pizza for supper that we scarfed down, followed by more unhealthy substances of strawberries and ice cream.  So, I have many things to work on yet.

Yesterday, the talk was on how she clothes her household in scarlet and fine linen and makes bed coverings. The thought given to me was the Proverbs 31 woman dressed herself nicely.  The complementing verses were from I Timothy where it talked about not being unnecessarily adorned and I wonder how the 2 mesh.  I think they do.  I think as Christians who want to be a light and witness where-ever they go have a responsibility to look like like they care about life and about themselves.  Who is drawn to the person you meet in the store with a ragged shirt that doesn't fit right and baggy, sloppy looking jeans or a skirt that's all wrinkly and maybe even a bit torn?  You don't look at them and think: I want what they have.  I think sometimes, as Christians, we feel this need to look dowdy.  I don't know--does it make us feel more spiritual or is it the fact that we never learned how to be neat about it all?  I also don't think we need to be in on the latest fads and fashion and be decked out with jewelry either.  I don't know if this is making any sense.  But somedays, I would like to take a few ladies I see and say to them:  "Do you know how much better you would feel about yourselves and about life, if you had some clothes that really fit you instead of being long-waisted and short-skirted?" "Do you know how much better maybe even your husband would feel about you if you dressed neatly?"  Does it really take that much extra time?  Maybe they do like how their clothes fit, I don't know and who am I to judge?  This was just something I was thinking about over the last 24 hours.

I doubt the Proverbs 31 woman judged others either, so once again, I am left hanging high and dry in my attempts to emulate her.  The only thing for this week that was an accomplishment was I did laundry, folded almost all of it and did the ironing--all in one day.  Now, that my friends is almost unheard of in this house!!!  Shameful I know

Well, I must move on.

My Great Big God by Andy Holmes

Illustrated by Marta Alvarez 20 Bible Stories to Build a Great Big Faith This is a beautiful hardcover board book that tells 20 Bible ...