Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Indirect Communication 101

Me: I had a crazy dream last night.
*Insert/imagine dream summary here.*
Hubby: Sounds stressful. Did it make you feel like you needed to curl up in all the blankets?
(Emphasis placed on "all.")
Me: It was. *pause* Oh. Did I steal your blankets?
Hubby: Just looked at me. Didn't need to say anything.
Me: Oops. Sorry.

It's how we roll.

For the record: I am really not a fan of indirect communication. Therefore, when I want to complain about his snoring, I come right out and say it. *wink*

Karen

Monday, May 04, 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

This Week with Grandma

I have experienced lots of wonderful things while my grandmother has been living with us.
Reliving good memories (and making new ones!), hearing new stories, seeing faith in action, and being stretched (in good ways) - just to name a few.
This week I was able to see another wonderful thing. That is, the picture of a beautiful friend doing a simple thing, which made a big impact.
My grandmother has a friend - who is young enough to be her daughter. Over the years I have heard her name mentioned many times, and I've known she is special to my grandma. Because she is so kind. This dear woman makes sure that Grandma receives mail (And not just of the electronic type. She sends cards and notes regularly via snail mail, too.) and phone calls. She keeps in touch and helps keep my grandmother's spirits lifted.
Two weeks ago when they were talking, Grandma mentioned to her friend that she'd just finished reading a book and was confused about a couple things. Said she couldn't wait to talk with someone else who has read it, so she could resolve the questions in her mind.
So, Saturday this friend called for Grandma, and guess what? She had just read the book, and was ready to talk with Grandma all about it. They were on the phone for quite some time and as soon as she hung up, Grandma told me all about how sweet this friend of hers is. "She got that book and read it, just so she could talk about it with me!"
I've heard her repeat the story several times this week. She's told my aunt, the aide who comes to give her a shower, her nurse, and anyone else who will listen. That simple act - reading a book so a conversation could be had - meant so much to my grandmother. I think it made her feel loved. Like she mattered - and what she was thinking about mattered. Someone went out of their way to do something for her (simple as it was) and I don't think she'll ever forget it.

Makes me wonder how many opportunities we have to do "simple things" which would make a big impact. And how many times we walk right past them.

Let's keep our eyes open, shall we?

Karen

Thursday, April 30, 2015

MacBeth, a la Josh and Will

In the mood for a little Shakespeare?

My son recently had a school assignment which involved creating his own rendition of MacBeth. While neither Josh, nor his friend, was very excited about the assignment they sure had fun pulling it off. And I'm thinking once again that something in the film production industry might be in my son's future.

Roll it!


P.S. The item burning a the end was the script Will and Josh had written. A celebration of sorts to be finished with the assignment.

Karen

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

There is No Power in Prayer

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

It was my junior year in college (Or senior year, maybe. What's twelve months between friends?) and I was at a weekend conference about prayer when the speaker took to the mic and proclaimed, "There is no power in prayer."
And I'm all, Excuse me? Who are you, and what are you saying? Have you hijacked this conference to bring us some heretical teaching? Quick! Someone get the Theology Police!!!
But before anyone had a chance to start throwing things at the platform, and now that he had our attention (BTW,as a speaker, I really admire his clever introduction.) he made his point.
The power exists in and flows from GOD.
And prayer is our vehicle to access that power.
Admittedly, I don't remember the specifics of his teaching that weekend (*ahem* It was 23 or 24 years ago.) but I have never forgotten that statement. And as my faith and prayer-life have grown, so has my confidence that the power is in my All-knowing, All-seeing, All-loving, Completely-able GOD.
I think it is because of this confidence in what God can do, that so I love praying.

The thing is, I am not very eloquent with my words. Sometimes I forget that a person has asked me to pray for a particular thing. (Until God graciously reminds me with a prayer cue.) And occasionally I get discouraged because of my inadequacies. That is, I begin to feel like I'm letting someone down because my prayers aren't good enough.
Which is usually just about the time God's Spirit swoops in to save the day, by reminding me there is no power in my prayers. The power exists in and flows from GOD.
*It isn't up to me to say the right thing at the right time.
*I don't need to come up with the perfect suggestion for how God is to resolve a particular issue.
(I remind myself of this fact when I start listing ideas for Him. *ahem*)
*AND, I get no credit for the good things which occur in this world as a result of my prayers.

Please know, I am NOT saying prayer is ineffective, or insignificant, or a waste of our time. If anything sounding like that ever appears on this blog, please alert the authorities - because either I have gone crazy and need to be hospitalized, or someone has kidnapped me and taken over my blog.
What I am saying is the power is God's and all the glory goes to Him. God sees each of us in our individual circumstances, even while He sees the whole world and knows what is happening everywhere. In His perfect knowledge, God sees what is needed in each situation and, in His unhindered ability, God works out His plan.
And for some reason, in the midst of all He does, God makes Himself available to us - so we can talk to Him, and pour our hearts out to Him, and lay our concerns at His feet. Then we get to watch in wonder as God infuses His power into a circumstance and brings good from bad, replaces despair with hope, frees the captive, and breathes life into dead places.
Not because of our carefully crafted petitions, but because He cares.
So, let us not think of ourselves - the pray-ers - as remarkable, or worthy of thanks and praise. Rather, let us give our adoration to the One who moves, who answers, who is the Power and Source of all good things.
With that heart attitude I pray, and I look forward to seeing how God will act on behalf of Saeed, Julie's parents, Bo, Stacy's friend, Jennifer's friend, Chera, Angela, Edie, Elizabeth, Nick, Ryzen, the Shephard family, the Reeds, Kaira, Kim and Glenn, Amy, the country of Nepal, the city of Baltimore, Kimberly, my grandmother, and this broken world which needs Him so desperately.

The need is great, but HE is greater.

Karen

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ouch!

My tongue hurts.

I overheard a conversation between Josh and Brian last weekend.
They were discussing car payments.
That is, Brian was reminding Josh that it had just been payday and he was expecting Josh to make a payment on his Jeep. Which led to a I-thought-we-were-on-a-monthly-payment-plan versus you-said-you-wanted-to-make-payments-each-payday dialogue.
Which is totally true. Brian originally said he wanted Josh to make payments monthly (less accounting work that way) but for some reason Josh thought it would be better/easier/something to make smaller payments with each pay check.
So, anyway, I'm listening to them going back and forth on the topic. And Josh finally made the deciding statement. Payments will be made monthly because, "Since I have to go to the ATM to get the cash out to pay you, it's just more convenient to only do it once a month."

There I am in the other room, hearing my son say things which show evidence that he is coming to value time management. Things which make me think he might be beginning to understand why I won't drop everything and run when he wants me to go to the store and get something 'just because'. Things which reinforce my belief that my son is becoming a mother.
And I'm about to yell, "See? That's what I've been trying to say all these years. Every time you have wanted me to go do this, or go get that, when I was just out getting the other thing - or was planning to get it the next day - and you threw a fit because you wanted it NOW. And you couldn't understand why I was saying no, and you thought I was just being mean, and you got really mad at me. But now you're getting it. Now you're seeing things like I do. Sometimes it's just more convenient to get things done in one trip. See? I told you so!"
But I knew it wouldn't be helpful to let that little rant come out of my mouth. So I bit my tongue.
And now it hurts.
*wink*

Karen

Friday, April 24, 2015

This Week with Grandma

...has been a little rough.

My dear grandmother just hasn't been feeling well. She said to me Thursday morning, when I asked how she was feeling, "I'm tired of saying I don't feel well." And she is tired.
*Tired of feeling yucky.
*Tired of her aching legs.
*Tired of not being able to hear well.
*Tired of her hearing aids not working all the time. (Or is it her ears? Not sure. Will be getting her hearing re-checked when the weather warms up.)
*Tired of not sleeping restfully.
Just plain tired.

So today, rather than sharing a cute anecdote about life with Grandma, I'm going to ask you to pray for her. Will you ask God to bring peace and joy to her heart, even as you ask Him to bring her physical relief?
Thanks, dear friends. I appreciate it more than you realize.

Karen