Mousetrap

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The childhood game Mouse Trap. mousetrap

This is my life.

It’s been so good to read back through my blog entries, reminding myself of some of my life purposes, and the lens that I want to have as I go tripping and colliding through my one, glorious, over in a flash, life.

I see moments where I have thrown myself full throttle into ridiculous situations, believing I can conquer all and (minus some bumps and bruises), come out generally unscathed, with a fairly good sense of humor. I have had a mindset nestled in hope and led by optimism.

Perhaps it’s experience. Or perhaps it’s all the adult things that I swore would never be the decision makers in my life. You know…house payments, slowing metabolism, 401k’s, health insurance, acne as a grown up. Let’s face it adulating is hard, and the world is uncertain.

Transitions are hard. The times where you feel like your appendages are tethered to four racing stallions, booking it through the cactus infested desert….all in opposite directions. My legs get wobbly. And quite frankly, I think they do because somewhere deep down, I want to be a fortune teller. I want to be able to know every outcome and how it affects my forever. Why? Because somewhere I’ve become afraid. I’d like to tell myself that it’s because I’ve become wiser, or more cautious. No. The word is afraid. Afraid of pain. Afraid of difficulty. Afraid of uncertainty.

And then I read back to times in this blog where I’m sounding the battle call for all to rise up! Embrace the struggle! It will all be ok! It’s about the journey, not the destination!

All of those things I still believe in my head. But somewhere along the line, caution….no let’s call it what it is…fear, has very sneakily become the legs of my heart.

*pssst*

Yes?

You lost me. This started with mousetrap. I can see the picture right there. Bold, primary, plastic pieces perfectly placed in my periphery.

Ah. Yes. (Very nice alliteration, by the way.) Mousetrap.

You see, I was talking to God about this very thing. This is how our conversation went, and thus, the connection:

Me: Help!

 God: Hey kiddo. I’m here. Don’t panic.

Me: So, uh…life. I feel up in the air. I don’t know which way is up and where I’m headed. I know you’ve led me to this place, but quite frankly, I don’t know what to do.

God: So you’re panicking because you don’t know the future? I get this concern a lot. I’ve got something to help with that. You ready? …..Mousetrap.

Me: The game mousetrap? uh…ok. Let me try to get where you’re going here. I need to take one step at a time, just like I would in setting up the board? Piece by piece. Ok. yeah, I get that.

God: Well…I like the step by step thing, but no.

Me: No? uh…

God: No, you are the mouse. I set up every single step. You sit. You wait. You be patient and know that I am setting up an exciting, beautiful plan. It is all behind the scenes, in the background. You cannot see what is happening, but in one swift moment, the plan will be put into motion and everything will connect seamlessly toward the place I am bringing you. But you, you must be patient. You must wait. You must confess your part in this…which is a small, little person, who really doesn’t have control of much. That fear you’ve been talking about…All the things you think you are afraid of. It comes down to control. You are afraid of not having control. Put that need down and trust Me. Life will become less of an assault and more like a child’s board game. Simple. Fun. Worth the time. Do you understand?

I so desperately want to understand. Better yet, I want it to seep down to where my little heart can stand on legs of trust instead of on legs of fear.

Thank you, God for this roof over my head and this home for my heart. Thank you for this body, and all the wonderful living and hugging it gets to do. Thank you for your provision over my life.

And thank you little blog for reminding me of where I’ve come and to where I am going.

This little mouse is going to continue to Live Bravely.

 

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High Quality H2O, Bobby Boucher

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Small.

Measurable.

Simple.

Somehow, I thought if a goal was too easy, it somehow negated it, but I am learning the beauty of short term goals.

Long term goal: Lose 45-50 lbs.

First small term goal: Drink water.

See how that seems like a huge, stupid chasm between A and B?

But, that’s how I think it’s gonna get done. Baby steps.

And I’m inviting you along with me if you would so choose.

I am going to be posting all my small, itsy bitsy steps. Truth be told, I’ve wrapped my mind around the reality that this journey will take until November…If I stick with it. If not, another year will go by…and pppffffbbbbtttt.

I am getting rid of excuses and attacking each one practically.

For example, in this process, I know I can’t spend money on gym memberships or crazy organic menus. Since my money situation can’t be blamed, I’m going to do this…and all within my means….which is beans, people. BEANS.

So….back to water.

I’ve been “drinking water” since December 27th.

My energy has increased.

My sugar cravings are leaving.

I’m full sooner when I eat.

Should I tell them it helps my poops? Nah…better not.

I’m overall putting better things into my body.

Because of this little goal, it’s shifting things into alignment and gives me the jumpstart to the other goals. i.e. Exercising every day, etc.

I’ll give you the little tricks that have been helping me.

1) Determine how much is a required for your body.

It sounds insane and overwhelming, but take your body weight, divide it by two…there you go. That is the number of ounces you need to be intaking.

For example, this lil’ Hobbit is 170lbs, so I need 85 oz of water a day.

Don’t write it off yet.

2) Find a container that you want to drink out of & determine how many ounces it holds.

It may seem silly, but liking to drink out of something will help you drink more. For me, it’s a mason jar with a large pink, silicone straw. It rocks. I know that it is 32 oz, so I can log it easily.

If your idea of fun is a hat with two water bottles attached with sippy, curly straws that you wear all day. Do it. You may get some labels at the office. But do it.

3) Install an app.

I found an awesome one that is free!! There are no bells and whistles. It’s called Water Your Body.

You can put how many oz. your container is as a preset, and every time you finish, you log it. It’s faster than checking a text message. It also sends alarms to remind you to keep drinking! (It sounds like a flushing toilet, but hey, it works and it brings some joy 🙂

There are also other apps (that I will get into in regards to other fitness goals) that will have water intake as part of the whole schmorgasborg. But, sometimes, it comes back to the simple goal idea. I don’t need a million things dinging at me throughout the day. If I get annoyed, I stop. Plain and simple.

4) Get rid of your excuses.

For me, I didn’t like feeling like filling up a little bottle a million times a day….get a bigger bottle. Or, it would take me forever to get through a single serving….Use a straw. But they say drinking water is more effective if done slowly….that’s great, but then I won’t do it, so don’t beat myself up over it and just do it.  But it makes me have to pee all of the time….yup…at first it will be ridiculous, but don’t worry, it settles down. Look at that as an opportunity to get away from your desk…walk, stretch.  I’ve forgotten how much I’ve done… get an app.

5) Start

Pretty simple. And if you drink 8oz today, drink 12 oz tomorrow. If you miss a day, and drank 3 mojitos instead….fair. Just start. And start again. Start to keep track. Awareness can really help us to realize we’ve been drinking 3 cups of coffee a day and no water.

Til next time,

Hands in….ready, BREAK!

Makes my Tummy feel “Squirrel”ly

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Perhaps it’s not until most people’s teens that they realize, “Hey, maybe everyone’s family isn’t like ‘this’“.

I would have to say, this realization came earlier for me…because quite frankly, my family is kooks.

As I was about three years old when this incident occurred, I don’t have a personal recollection. However, this is a story that is often told at family reunions, dinner tables, and well, basically any other time I need to explain a little of why “I am what I am”.  It will give you an idea of the gene pool from whence I come.  Yes, whence is a word.

My dad is a member of NRA. My dad is not a supporter of PETA. So when you live in Denver in the 80’s when squirrels were not a “protected species”, then….well you can imagine the blood shed.

One of the most “memorable” escapades of man vs. beast came on an unassuming afternoon when the back, screen- door unknowingly got left open a crack.

Upon entrance of our back door, one would find themselves in our kitchen. Cupboards containing our morning breakfast buffet, i.e. cereal, were directly to the right of the door. This fateful day, the cupboard door had been left open as well.

Call it fate. Call it serendipity. Call it a cruel joke on some oblivious little vermin, but the events that were to transpire are nothing short of epic.

The squirrel that decided to enter our backdoor that day, must have been looking for trouble; its first encounter was that of my screaming mother. Following its instinct to survive, the bushy-tailed rodent found cover in the cereal cabinet. My mother, following her instinct to survive slammed the cabinet door, trapping the unsuspecting creature in a jail cell along with Tony the Tiger and Count Chocula.

As with many things growing up, whether it be my inability to behave, the never-ending running toilet or the squirrel in the cupboard, the words of “Just wait until your father comes home” were in the air.

And wait we did.

I suppose in my mother’s mind, my dad would come home, and shoo the lil’ buggard out the door to continue living his little squirrel life. Easy.

Conventional is hardly a word to describe my father.

Home he came and his solution involved a BB gun.

Now if I were to leave the reader with this without any further explanation, one might assume that my dad would sneakily trap the rodent, transport him out into nature and (as humanely as possible) put Chip (or Dale) out of his misery.

Reader, you would be wrong.

Without even opening the door to the cupboard (at the risk of letting his captive escape), my dad unleashed a spray of BB’s, through the cupboard door, and into every Kellogg’s box we owned.

The cabinet could have been a shadowbox portraying one of Freddy Kruger’s killing sprees. The blood and guts could have belonged to any number of living things. But today…oh, today they belonged to a squirrel. Mother Hubbard, your cupboard is definitely not bare….

After the extensive clean up, replacement of the cabinets and restocking of Fruity Pebbles, the realization was made that an easier solution could have been reached. Perhaps, if my dad had a “do-over” for that scenario again, he would do things differently.

But then again, knowing my dad, probably not.

 

The Pursued & The Promise

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My heart has been restless for a while. Sometimes I think this is God’s way of pursuing me. To push me to the place where I come completely to Him. This is a daily journey.

This seems to be my life. The way that it ebbs and flows.

I run until I’m exhausted. And I find myself needing a deep and thorough rejuvenation.

Rest. A word that seems to evade many people. Those who are wise enough to know that they need it often yearn, but never taste.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.  For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith

 Now we who have believed enter that rest… Hebrews 4: 1-3

This verse recalibrated my heart today. God challenged me. I finally stopped.  I put on some worship music and sank into a creative place with Him.  Though no Picasso, the following is an overflow of my time with the Creator today.

Faith Collage

The Key to Rest

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
What is the thing that you’ve been wrestling with for a while now? The Thing that clenches at your heart, mind or energy?
It could even be a Thing that you pray about everyday. You “Take it to God”, but you have yet to let Faith in him bring you to a place of rest with it.
 
God wants to give you rest.
 
He wants to see you set the load you’ve been carrying down.
Take a moment to listen (Waiting Here For You by Christy Nockels). Let this song play, and listen to the Father’s voice.
 
He promises that his Children hear his voice and that when you seek Him with your whole heart you will find Him.
 
I’m cheering for you dear friends.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
 
Rest Bravely.

 

 

Too Good not to share

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I am part of a generation of men and women wanting to get married. To find the “one” and spend long years of marital bliss together.

The ideology and desire are still very much there in most of the singles I know, and yet the trend of getting married and staying that way is a dying lifestyle.

As a woman who believes strongly in a man pursuing the woman, I often become frustrated. If I had a dollar for every time one of my guy friends says, “Hey, why haven’t you been snagged up, yet?”, I’d be a very rich woman. I often want to reply, (and sometimes do) “I don’t know, why don’t YOU tell me.”

I have a hunch that the contents of the following link holds the keys to my answer. Now mind you, I don’t just feel this is a “man” issue…but we live in a society where it has seeped into the woman’s world as well. The travesty is that many people don’t talk about it.

A facebook friend posted this article….I think it’s too good not to share.

Read the article….This takes ones religion/value system aside and focuses on hard, cold, scientific facts.

Ready, Go….Don’t wait…read it now…it’s good stuff. Come back here afterward and we can finish up our conversation…..Let me know your thoughts!

As a Christian, I hold saving myself for marriage very seriously, and have had the “why” conversation numerous times. Our world has evolved into a place where lines are blurred and excuses are constantly being made in regards to purity.

If you’re a young person wondering why God would ask us to do things that just make Him seem like a “party pooper” then take a look at this. God’s requests of us are not so that we become the “perfect children”, but the requests He makes of us are because He’s a perfect Father and wants to protect us.

See, I believe that God is a believer in awesome, “rock your face off” sex. And He’s created the perfect formula for that, so….

Stay Pure, Bravely!

Time to Say Goodbye

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I had only about 45 minutes before my students would start arriving for the “Instrumental Rental Night”. My stomache was a ball of nerves, excited to meet parents and to place in students’ hands the key to unlocking a new way of thinking and language.

While in midstep of my running around, there was a knock at the back door to my classroom. Opening it, I saw my mom. My face spread quickly to a smile, thinking she had shown up in support for one of my many firsts as a teacher.

“Grandma isn’t doing well. She’s in the hospital”

My smile faded. It was a moment where you knew.

“Your aunt, uncle and I are driving to Denver now. I wanted to drop by to let you know. Here’s her direct line to her hospital room. You should call her.”

Hugs and then the door shut.

My lungs were struggling to take in air past the lump that was forming.

You should call her.

I dialed.

Hello?

Her voice was weak.

“Hi Grandma. It’s Wend. I just talked to mom. How are you?”

It’s those moments that habit combined with not knowing what to say kick you in the mouth. I knew the answer to the question.

 I’m tired. *breath*  Did you get the locket?

Growing up, Grandma had a gold, heart-shaped locket, which housed a picture of her and my grandpa on their wedding day. As a little girl, every time I climbed up on to her lap, I would open that locket and gaze on the younger versions of my grandparents with imagination and starry eyes.

As a teenager, Grandma had pulled me aside one day and said, “When I die, I want you to have my locket.”

A week ago, it had come home with my mom from a trip she had taken to be with Grandma.

Did you get the locket?

“Yeah, Grandma, I did. Thank you..” The lump was getting ready to seep tears.

Well, I just want you to remember how much your Grandpa and I loved you.

Words weren’t coming. “Thanks Grandma,” I choked out.

I’ve told Ione what songs I want sung at the funeral….

I wanted to ask her not to talk like that.

Nurses are here to get me ready for surgery, so I need to go. Tell Amy Lynn I love her.

I love you, Grandma.”

I love you, Sweetie. Goodbye.

“Goodbye, Grandma”

And she was gone.

The clock. ticked. to a stop. My room was dark, except for the emergency light flickering above the exit. The room was silent; I was waiting for an exhale.

I knew that was the last time I would talk to my Grandma.  

This was the song that provided me with comfort as I sat in my classroom and allowed the sweet tears of loss to cleanse my heartache.

Nothing comforts like sitting in the presence of Jesus. In His arms, we can

Mourn Bravely.

“This isn’t fun any more”

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My heart quite literally broke today.

“This just isn’t fun any more”

These are the words of one of my students.

We have just come off of a marching competition where we received terrible scores.

We went over the notes yesterday and had rehearsal today. “Don’t be frustrated…fuel the Fire”. This is what I told them. It landed on deaf ears. Today, moral is low, they don’t want to do what I’m asking them, and I can tell they don’t want to be here.

I’m not quite sure what to do.

I see before me students who are talented. Capable. Music lovers.. They enjoy marching. They are fun and enthusiastic and excited about life. I want to help them couple those qualities with skill and  translate them to the field. Some barriers that get in the way are lack of focus and lack of commitment….So…I want to push them. I want to say “Yes you can!” “You can be excellent!”.

At the first sight of adversity, I feel like they are giving up.

Today, I have angry, frustrated students who are shutting down and holding some ugly stuff in their hearts. What do I do? I know that my student’s attitude reflects my own. I know that I can’t expect them to be what I myself am not willing to be?

So what am I willing to be? I will not just survive, but I will thrive. I believe that we can become excellent. I refuse to let all the outside junk speak to who I am going to be as a teacher. And I don’t want judges scores to determine who these kids think they are as musicians, students, or people. We are more the scores. But we will know  what it means to work hard.

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke

To some degree I feel like I have found my students’ mental limits, so I need to pull back. I know they have more in them; baby steps. A little at a time.

I am praying for grace from my students in the moments, that as a new teacher, I don’t quite know what to do. I felt coming out of our competition that the best thing was to be honest with them. I was told by a mentor never to sugar coat things for students…that they would see right through it.

So I didn’t.

Now these kids need a pick me up.

Educators, Musicians, artists, parents, lovers of Jesus….I need your help. I need advice. I want these kids to see my genuine love for them. I want them to enjoy what they are doing and still be ok working hard toward a common goal. I need a bit of a miracle.