Sunday, April 19, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For

Rather recently, Eric and I began praying together most mornings. (Some mornings I don't get out of bed, so then we don't pray.) Last week Eric was pretty stressed about work and so we prayed almost exclusively about Eric and things at work each day. The very top of the top brass from their joint-venture company in Taiwan was in town for the week. They were in meetings all day every day. On Wednesday it was Eric's turn to lead the meeting. He spent the entire day making a presentation regarding a process they will be transferring from here to Taiwan. Eric is not "top brass", he does not desire to be "top brass" and he does not feel like he fits in with the top brass. He was mainly worried that he would look stupid, I think. So I prayed that God would grant him favor in the eyes of his audience, that his presentation would go well and that there would be good communication.

Wednesday night Eric was practically on a cloud. His presentation was extremely well received. Whereas in the first two day's meetings participants sat in orderly fashion and typed on their laptops throughout the meetings, during Eric's presentation the chairs moved in closer and closer and nary a laptop was open. Comments were made: "Best meeting of the week." Thank you God. You answered our prayer and granted Eric favor.

So then..... Friday night he tells me that the Taiwan top brass liked his presentation SO much that they might want him to go to Taiwan and present it again! Like, next week! I do not want to be flippant here. I truly believe God gives Eric favor at work; Eric's success is truly a gift from God. I really, really do not mean to be flippant, but a part of me is thinking "Maybe not QUITE so much favor next time?"

Anna received the news with about the same attitude as me: we are not thrilled about him going away. Ethan? He is glad about it. Why? "Because he will bring us surprises from Taiwan." Ethan - - the optimist?? Things are getting very strange around here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

School, school or homeschool?

Let it be known: I hate homeschooling. We have had fits and starts this year; good days and bad days. Days when I threatened to put Anna into public school (a very unwise threat - she was thrilled about the possibility) and minutes when I thought "I love this!" (Note I say "minutes". Never days.) I feel at the moment as if I will never come to the end of this year. I still have 26 math lessons left (about 5 weeks) and about the same number of English lessons. I am so sick of the process that I have slacked off far too often lately. There is no more room for slacking unless I want to spend my summer finishing off this year!

The question of what to do next year has been churning around in my head. Ethan must also begin an education of some sort next year. Could I home school 2? Would I want to? For a few insane days I thought perhaps I actually wanted to, and perhaps I could. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I could not would not on a train; I will not will not in the rain. Not in a bar, not on a car, not in a tree SAM LET ME BE! (Sorry, roughly copied from Green Eggs and Ham - my kids favorite book. I'm going a bit insane. Can you tell?)

Well, obviously, homeschooling is not an option. So now what? I have two remaining options. We could do what we WANT to do and put them both in private school. Of course, there is the little problem of tuition! I will need to work in order to pay for them to get into school. I have not worked for 9 years, have zero confidence in my ability to find a job and cannot even find an old resume to "update".

So my final option is public school. Something I have sworn I would never, ever, ever, E V E R do. I called the school today to find out about registering my kids. I think I need to register them so that they can go SOMEPLACE if I end up not getting a job. No need to make an appointment or anything - just show up I am told. I must say that alone does not inspire confidence in me. After the phone call I began looking around the school's website, trying to get a bit of a feel for who they are and what they do. I clicked on a teacher profile and found this:

"I want to show them that making mistakes is exceptable"

A-hem. I GUESS YOU WILL! The first lesson will be IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU CANNOT SPELL!!!!!!!!! Or use a word correctly. Maybe I am making too big a deal out of this. In my working days I was frequently unpopular with co-workers because I was so good at finding their writing mistakes. I was a secretary who typed up letters and reports for Assistant Property Managers, Property Managers and the Senior Property Manager, who was my boss. My boss was a stickler for spelling and grammar and he trusted me completely to edit things because he knew I was too. One particular assistant property manager was a REALLY NICE girl who could not put a sentence together correctly to save her life. She pretty much ended up hating me because I changed her stuff all the time. I probably had a bit of an attitude about it too... (who, me?) Then I worked at an international commodities trading firm where I was responsible for assembling all of the paperwork required by Letters of Credit in order to ensure we were paid in a timely manner. The trick about that job was that you had to throw your perfect spelling out the window - if the bank told you a document should say "we through a perfectly exceptable partie" then your document must say "we through a perfectly exceptable partie" even though you knew it would more correctly be "we threw a perfectly acceptable party". (Actually, the documentation was technical so there was never anything about parties, this is just to give you the idea.) During a particularly stressful period of my life I was covering for another employee who was on maternity leave, so someone else was doing my L/C's. Despite months of training, she had never really gotten the hang of the process so I had to constantly check her work. (Not my idea - my bosses. She had, without a doubt, the poorest grasp on written English of any American born person I have ever known.) One day while proofing her work I totally lost it. I mean, really. I went mental on the poor girl. It was ugly.

I digress... My point is that maybe I am a little too hard on people who cannot write, or spell. But REALLY, should not a TEACHER be able to spell? To use the correct word in the correct context? God help me! I do not want to send my kids to a school where the TEACHERS are illiterate! It is bad enough that the kids are obnoxious and the curriculum is offensive!

If you are reading this and you are a Christian then I guess here would be the point of this long diatribe: Please pray for my family. Pray that God shows us where He wants our kids. If for some reason (please, God no!) He wants them in the public school then I want to know that HE wants them there. Because it is not unimaginable to me that He may want them there for some reason. If that is the case it will not be without tears on my part - lots of them. If however He wants to go along with OUR desire that they be in private school, then I am going to need a job.

I think I would be a good proofreader!

Edited note: Having gone on about English and grammar skills, I am now a bit worried about this post. Is it correct? I have one particular worry that I cannot answer. I said something was my "bosses" idea. Seems to me the possessive form of boss ought to have an apostrophe in it. Since the word ends in "s" is it "boss' "? I tried looking in the dictionary. It shows bosses as a verb which means it would be a form of "to boss". I am pretty sure my word is wrong. I humbly admit I do not know the answer. Still, I am not a school teacher! Boss'? Boss's? "It was the idea of my boss." How about that?

Monday, April 13, 2009

My great thanks to Britiney for explaining how to get a youtube video into a blog! This is the EXACT version of Dallas Holm's song that I love, AND it shows a sunrise in DC - sort of where I live! The video footage is really not very good, but just enjoy the song.

Love in Christ,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

The power of God does not rest in governments. It rests in the FACT that after Jesus died he came back to life. That is something no other god, guru or government leader could do.

Here are some of the words from my all-time favorite song, which happens to be about Easter:

"Go ahead and mock my name. My love for you is still the same. Go ahead and bury me. But very soon I will be free. 'Cause I'll rise again. Ain't no power on earth can keep me down. Yes I'll rise again. Death can't keep me in the ground."

Go ahead, say I'm dead and gone. But you will see that you were wrong. 'Cause I'll come again. Ain't no power on earth can keep me back. Yes I'll come again. Come to take my people back."

Do me a favor and listen to it here. The song is written and performed by Dallas Holm. I wish I could post it on my blog but I cannot figure out how. Sorry, I'm still pretty much computer illiterate. I tried.

Have a wonderful Easter. Jesus is alive! He is risen! He willingly died so that you wouldn't have to! Have you accepted His gift? He's coming again to take those who love Him to heaven. I want to be there - do you?

Love in Christ,


Thursday, April 9, 2009

"But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it. Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 'On the day when I act,' says the Lord Almighty 'they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.' " ~Malachi 3:16-17

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Repeat After Me: "He did not bow"

I have recently come to the conclusion that America's democratic experiment has failed. It was a grand attempt, it produced many, many good things for the world but it has ultimately failed. I think it had to ultimately fail because no government of man is ever going to be ultimately successful. The only government that will last forever is the kingdom of Jesus which will, someday, be set up on earth. I have twice received an e-mail which delineates the path of democracy. I remember when I read it I knew we were nearing the end but I don't remember the progression. I would like to see that e-mail again because I would be interested to see what comes next. I believe there was "dictatorship" in there somewhere but I don't know how close we are to that.

Since Obama became our President I have had the feeling that we were progressing quickly on our spiral away from democracy. Still, I was shocked last night when I saw that he BOWED to the King of Saudi Arabia. He did no such thing before the Queen of England. It sickens me. Absolutely, positively sickens me. This man is a fraud and a liar and.... AAAAGH! Do you know what is almost laughable? When I first saw the video of Obama bowing to the King the reporter who was doing the story said that Obama's people said "he did not bow". WHAT?? This is a SMALL example of Obama and his people. THEY LIE CONTINUOUSLY and for some reason the idiotic American people (automatons?) say "Oh! He did not bow. He did not bow. That was not bowing. He is not a Muslim. He did not bow." Isaiah 44:18 says "Their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand."

It is weird because I fully believe that God is in control of everything that is happening and I know that everything is for His purposes, and yet in the midst of that knowledge I just get so angry at what people are doing. At the stupidity, the lying, the blindness. I get so mad!!! But I guess that is okay. I believe King David went on a few rants before God. In the end he always spoke of God's love and said "Praise the Lord."

It's Always Good to have a Contingency Plan...

We had fish sticks for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

There is a particular thing that I have struggled with all of my adult life. Okay, not a "thing" but a "sin". I know God has tried to work with me on it. I know with certainty that there were times while I was being tempted that God quietly asked me "Should you be doing this?" or reminded me "You don't want to do this anymore, remember?" but I chose to ignore Him and go ahead with what I wanted to do. I did want to stop committing the sin, but I thought tomorrow would be a better time to stop than today. My Mom has told me that when God wants to teach you a lesson He begins gently. Each time you resist the next lesson gets more difficult. Even knowing that I kept choosing tomorrow to change. I guess I proved to God that I wasn't willing to make this change, so He has stepped in and is now forcing the change on me. Yet I do not feel that I have been taken behind the proverbial woodshed. Instead I actually feel content. This must be what it is like for a child who needs to know their boundaries. I have been allowed to wander way outside of my boundaries and I felt awful out there. Now that the boundaries have been fenced I feel happier, safe and secure.

I was thinking last week about the word content. It has always had a very negative connotation to me. It was a command. "You must be CONTENT!" Apparently I do not like being commanded to do things. But suddenly I realized that I am feeling content, and it feels good! Thank you God!

On another note: I am threatening to become domestic. I have been hungry for enchiladas but cannot find soft corn tortillas in any of the stores around here. So the idea hit me that I could probably make my own. I mean, I make lefse pretty successfully and the concept had to be pretty similar! So I found a recipe for corn tortillas and went to work last week. As I was churning out the tortillas I was thinking "This is going to be a disaster. These don't look anything like the tortillas I used to buy." I tasted one and it didn't taste particularly good. But I had all of the other ingredients ready to go, so decided to forge ahead with my plan and hope the dinner would at least be edible. (This is not a joke! I have made many dinners that have had to go into the garbage because they were truly not edible!) For clarification, my enchilada recipe gives the option of rolling them (traditional) or layering everything in a pan. I have always layered it because it's just easier. So I also call this dish Mexican lasagna. To my complete amazement, this was the best Mexican lasagna I have EVER made. It was fabulous! The difference must be my homemade tortillas. Who'd have guessed?

So this morning I made homemade doughnuts. Another huge success. Yum!

Tonight I will be making beef roast. Chances are good my successful domestic streak is going to come to a screeching halt. This is one of those things that has gone into the garbage. More than once.

Love in Christ,