Monday, June 27, 2011

Weddings and more

Last week contained a flurry of preparation for Bryan and Kristine's wedding...appointments...commitments, etc. My brain simply went on auto pilot. When I started the week, I had no idea how I was going to juggle every thing I had to do. By the end of the week, I had done all that needed to be done, plus more.
Bryan and Kristine

Belinda made a GREAT cake! the 2 Hillarys help out
How did I accomplish everything? There were two very important ingredients to tackling what needed to be done. Number one, I simply did one thing at a time. I didn't allow my mind to dwell too long on all the other things I had to do. Number two, I forced myself to let other people do what they could to help. (BIG achievement for me- being a very 'I can do it myself' type person) 
Hubby and me with the happy couple and Kristine's aunt

We do need each other. A burden gets just a bit lighter when others are there to carry it with us. A joy shines a bit brighter when we have people to share it with us. I saw this in action over the weekend. Bryan's wedding went smoothly because there were so many people who joined in to help. Each task was a little less difficult because there were others to take up the slack.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feature Friday- George Muller

George Muller lived a full life. He is said to have been an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. I've read several biographies about him, but his 'autobiography' which consists of excerpts from his diary is especially interesting. What better way to find out about a person than from their own diary.

George Muller lived a life of real faith. He trusted God with every decision he made. He trusted God for all his finances and for his needs. In so doing, God not only poured out blessings on him but on those who he helped. He was able to start schools, orphanages and support others. He never solicited funds and God always provided!  

Although his autobiography tells his own story, it is great to read other people's accounts of his life. They offer a different perspective of him. Also, many testimonies of God's provision are revealed in his own book and in the books of others.

When I first read a biography about George Muller, I was deeply touched. I have known people who have read his life story who have now gone on to do great things as a result of his example. His life is a great example of what God can do with a person who submits wholly to Him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tale of Two Blogs

In the past week, I read two different blogs- which actually had nothing to do with each other- but they each got me to thinking. The first blog entry which started my brain turning was about Memoirs by Annette Gendler. The other blog entry which continued to grease the cogs in my brain was about Enjoying life where you are at by Pastor Matt. As I said, both of these entries had very little to do with each other but they were like book ends in my thinking process.

The first blog entry clarified the difference between a memoir and an autobiography. A memoir being about an event, series of events, or a theme in your life. An autobiography being a complete overview of your entire life. I thought about how people are always asking me to write my memoirs- and I was thinking it would be hard to choose one particular theme or time period in my life. There has been so much I've experienced and done but what would you choose to write about?

After reading the blog entry, my brain rumbled along thinking about all the options in my life which I could highlight. This is when I read the second blog entry about how often as children we are made to look forward to things, with unrealistic expectations. We don't learn to just enjoy the season or period of life we are in. We keep thinking, "Oh when I finally start working..." or "When I finally get married..." There is always something dangling ahead for us, only we find when we arrive at our 'when I..." moments we discover the mundane and ordinary are interwoven amongst the amazing. Often we have to trudge in and out of day to day life.

How do the two blog entries tie into each other? The first one prompted me to think of writing about various events in my life. The second blog entry, made me realize that no matter what event or time period I chose there would still be boring bits. No matter what we go through in life, there are the days which are mundane and ordinary. 

I remember when I was offered an internship at the White House. I imagined changing the nation with my great researching capabilities. I thought I would walk in and discuss politics with my co-workers. The first day I was called into the office, my boss handed me a watering can and told me, "Now please make sure those plants along that window are watered." I was also 'in charge' of buying sandwiches in the cafeteria. There were other miscellaneous errands I was called on to run.

When I was offered an internship at a senator's office, I expected the same type of assignments. I went into the office fully prepared to run the same type of errands for the other workers in the office. To my surprise, the office manager put me at a desk and told me to start researching major issues. Time was spent reading and writing critical letters to constituents.

If I were to write a memoir about that time period in my life, I would definitely include both internship experiences. Although one consisted of mundane tasks, it taught me so many things. If I had not found happiness in the 'here and now', of that time, I would have missed out on the joy of being there in the White House. Walking through underground passage ways and meeting amazing people almost every day I went to work. 

We don't have to travel to the White House or around the world to enjoy life. Wherever we are, we have memoirs in the making. In the midst of washing dishes, scrubbing floors, and doing laundry, we can be making a difference. Every day is another chance to do something amazing in our own lives and in the lives of those around us!
If you were to write a memoir, what time period in your life would you write about? Or what theme would you choose to write about?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Driver's Ed 101 and 102

According to the dictionary, an accident is an unfortunate incident which happens unexpectedly and unintentionally. No one can predict when they are going to be in an accident. No one can possibly know when they might slam into another car. 

Last week, I was in our vehicle with my husband and daughter. We were waiting in a long line of cars at a red light. We were laughing together, thinking the day was looking rather wonderful....BAM...a Ford Explorer rammed right into the rear of our vehicle. The impact was unexpected and unintentional, but it was forceful. The driver had no insurance. 

Lesson number one: Always have insurance before you get behind the wheel of a car. No one thinks they will ever get in an accident; after all, everyone is so careful when they drive. Pardon me while I stop for awhile and have a laugh!

When we turned around to see who and what had hit us, the driver in the Ford Explorer was frantically putting away her cell phone. She was just as shocked as we were at the fact she smashed into us. She probably was in the middle of a text message or a call and had no idea we were stopped. 

Lesson Number 2: Do NOT text and drive! 

We have only one vehicle, so now we will have to rent a car while the van is being repaired. My husband sustained whip lash when the van was hit. In between his already busy schedule, he now is fitting in doctor's appointments. The accident is definitely something you cannot always prepare for...however, if lesson number 2 is followed, it might be something which could be averted. If lesson number 1 is followed, it might make the whole 'taking care of it' problem a little bit less painful. If everyone would just learn their lessons!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feature Friday - Cheaper By the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen was one of the first memoirs I read as a child. I remember laughing the entire way through the book. My imagination ran wild trying to picture this large quirky family.

The father of the family is an efficiency expert who believes he can run his own family efficiently and cheaply. The mom is his right hand 'man' but doesn't seem to be much of a disciplinarian. Toss in a dozen kids and you get quite this hilarious account! 

The antics of the children and the experiments of the father make for some very enjoyable reading. I guarantee a smile will cross your face at least once during the reading of this book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

friendships and friendshifts

Friends and coats are alike. They both make you feel warm and cozy- except sometimes they feel like they are smothering you. When you wear a coat during the middle of summer, the coat  makes you sweat. If you don't realize the seasons have changed for you and your friend, you can feel equally uncomfortable. 

There are different types of friendships and different seasons which friends go through.  There are those friendships which feel right no matter what time of your life you are in. Those friendships are like the all weather coats; they come with the inner lining which can be removed or put back. Isn't that just like an all weather friend; one who knows when to remove something or put something back.

Years ago, I read a book by Jan Yager about friendships and how they shift. She had some really interesting ideas in her book. One of her main themes is that it is okay for a friendship to shift. If we keep trying to hold on to 'what was' we won't be able to enjoy 'what is' (my paraphrase).

I heard it once said, "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." I have a lot of those friends and I sure do love them. There are other friends who haven't a clue what my heart is singing. We've all had those friends, haven't we? You'd think we need only the ones who know the song in our heart-but actually friends on all levels are equally important in our lives. We, in turn, are equally important in their lives. We just have to know what kind of friendship we have and what season that friendship is in.

Jesus is my best friend and no matter what season I am in- He is always there for me. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

 'A' simple blogger has allowed me to post a link to his daughter's poem on friendship. It showcases the very essence of friendship.

Who is your best friend? Have you ever gone through a friendshift in your friendship?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Hurrier I go...the Behinder....

Every day I think..."maybe next week will be less busy." ...and then next week comes....and I am just as busy. :) So I sit and think, "What am I actually busy doing?" I think I am busy just being busy-- listening to people, attempting to be organized, working on projects, squeezing in family time, and occasionally blogging.

My daily planner looks like Picasso painted across the pages- you know those shows where someone is murdered and the detectives come in to look through the victim's things? I've always wondered what a detective would do with
my daily planner- they would need a deciphering code to figure out what all the scribbles are about. I even have some of my notations in my own special code- I invented it years ago and tend to use it when I don't want anyone to know what I'm writing.

The detectives should not even bother to look for a pda or at the calendar on my phone- because I've always stuck with the old fashioned written daily planners. I tried the pda for awhile (a few years ago) - I would forget to check the updates and I missed appointments. that I'm thinking about it, I even have missed appointments with my hand scribbled daily planner. Oh well, I guess the next entry needs to be:

June 13th 2011- try not to be so busy being busy!! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feature Friday - Eric Liddell

Most people have seen the movie, "Chariots of Fire"...and so they know about Eric Liddell...but the movie only shows a glimpse of this man and his inspiring life. I've read a few biographies about his life and I must say, each one has never disappointed me.

I guess another reason I am drawn to Eric Liddell's life story is because his last years were spent in the same Japanese Internment camp in China where my mother was. Reading through the research done for a book about my grandmother, I came across many references to Eric Liddell and his exemplary life, while in the internment camp.

Some people have insinuated that the books about Eric Liddell attempt to idolize him or make him out to be more of a saint than he really was. I think this is not the case, he was a man of great integrity and from what I've read in books and accounts written by his fellow internees, he was an honorable man. 

The best biography about him seems to be out of print at this time- Running for a Higher Prize by Renee Taft Meloche. There are a lot of other biographies about Eric Liddell which are still in print. I highly recommend any biography written about this man.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My heart daughter- Neisha

Neisha and my granddaughter, Kailynn
Allow me to introduce you to a very special young woman. Her name is Neisha and she is my 'heart' daughter. 

What is a heart daughter? Well, my other children came out of my body...I carried them ...they had no choice but to be my children (bless their hearts). I love them with all my heart.

Now Neisha, on the other hand, came into my life via my eldest son. He met her- he fell in love with her and he married her. (There is actually a story behind this- but I'll leave that for another post). Love brought me this daughter of mine. She is a daughter born out of my heart- I love her, admire her and am so proud of her!

Neisha is one of the best wives I know and as far as being a mother- I only wish I had been that organized! Not only does she take care of Sean and Kailynn, she also started a card making company. Designs by Neisha are lovely cards she designs...she crafts custom made cards...Right now she has a special deal for her summer cards. All cards ordered before Monday June 13th get a 20 % discount! 

Sean and Neisha
Neisha is a very special young woman, indeed. I may not have carried Neisha around in my belly- but I sure do carry her around in my heart!

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Band Aids, Please....

I saw two homeless boys walking down the street. One was teaching the other one about what to do. The teacher pointed to a shop and said, "You can get free food from that place." As they walked further, they spotted a can for disposing cigarettes. I don't know what they expected there, but they opened it and pawed around in it.

They continued on their walk. Laughter, smiles, an occasional motioning with the hands to indicate some other bit of news about the surroundings. They could easily be mistaken as just two young boys on a walk...except they were carrying their lives on their back.

The sight of these two 20 something year old young men brought a myriad of questions to my mind. Where were their mothers? Where were their fathers? How about siblings? were they really happy being homeless and wandering about poking in trash trays while sourcing out free places to eat? What can I do to help find a place for them to stay? Would they want to stay in a place I offered?

It is cold. It is rainy. My heart feels sad for those two young men and their mothers. If I knew my son was wandering the streets, I would be so sad. I am sad for those two young men and for all the other young men, women, children, and older people who are homeless. At our church, last year, we distributed 'care packages' so that when we met someone in need we could talk to them and hand them a package. It had some essentials- if was hot there was water, food, information on free medical clinics and some tissues, etc.  When the weather turned a bit colder, the packages contained socks, warming pads, and food. These packages were great but they are mere band aids.  I want more than a band aid cure for those in need.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feature Friday- M.M. Kaye

You may be surprised to know that M.M.Kaye did not just write "The Far Pavilions"...."Shadow of the Moon" ...and "Trade Winds"....Her lesser known books: "Death in...." are equally fascinating. They were constant companions of mine when I lived in Delhi. In fact, my friend Ruth Valdez and I would read to each other as we were falling asleep..."Now it is your read the next chapter..." I can't look at an M.M.Kaye book without thinking of Ruth!

If you think her fiction is great, you will be in for a real treat with her autobiographies. There is so much to tell of her life, she has broken down her life story into three parts. Each one more intriguing then the one which comes before it.  

You have to start with The Sun in the Morning. M.M.Kaye starts her memoir with such vivid details and great memories. When you get to the end of this first part of her autobiography, I guarantee you will be wanting to dive right into the second half of her life story.

Golden Afternoon will not disappoint you. In this part of M.M.Kaye's life story, you find her returning from Boarding school and renewing her love affair with India. It is in this volume where you get a glimpse of how she was able to go on to write her famous books. 

In her third volume, Enchanted Evening, M.M.Kaye  is forced to leave India and go to China with her father. It is in China, she finds her artistic talent and she explores her independence.  The author excels in relating her memories. She definitely does not disappoint the reader!

These three volumes are a 'must read' for anyone interested in memoirs or autobiographies.

Where do I begin?

(written on March 28th 2018) For someone with so many words...words that just tumble out even when they are not wanted...words that jump h...