Posted in Lessons He Taught Me

Praise & Thanksgiving

Do you find yourself stuck on negative thinking more than you are stuck on the blessings God has bestowed on you? Do you pray for God to renew your mind but wonder why it’s not happening? These verses are like a recipe to overcoming those feelings and thoughts. These verses have gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life because I was taught by some godly women to practice living this out. At times, I’ve had to force myself to thank & praise God aloud for every little and big thing that He has given me no matter how I was feeling. This includes thanking Him for my little 2 bedroom apartment which is our home & my oasis, thanking Him for my car that runs perfectly, for heated seats, my providing me with enough interpreting assignments to sustain my daughter & I, for time spent with my daughter scrapbooking, for the constant support of family, for the soothing salt lamp Mr. Drew got me for Christmas and the fresh aroma of french roast coffee brewing in the morning. And the list can go on and on as you know. After doing this and then beginning to pray for people He has placed on my mind, I feel like I am literally lite up, shining up at my Father as he’s shining down at me. My burdens are lifted and my trust in God is rock solid. Praise and thanksgiving is the best, but perhaps the most underutilized anti-anxiety medication out there. Just recently, I woke up feeling a little melancholy and I told myself, “Ok, I need to go sit on my couch and make time with God.” When I was done praying and thanking Him for every little thing I could think of, there was zero sadness left. Thanking Him reminded me of all the good things in my life from God and it pleases Him to hear me recognizing how he cares for me. We were created to worship Him. It keeps me connected to him and strengthens me to keep walking with Him. The worship is for Him but it’s for me, too. It’s pretty amazing when I think about all the things that are being accomplished as I sit on my couch to pray. This post is a great reminder to myself to do what I KNOW will help me connect with God and be healed every time the apprehension rears it’s ugly head. I’m so thankful to God, too, that he is healing the people he wants me to pray for as well. I pray this post will be an encouraging reminder to you also.

Love & peace,

Angie

Posted in Photo Inspiration

Procrastination (co-written with Joseph C. Bagatta)

 

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As soon as I get back on my feet, I’m gonna find good honest work, hold onto it and pull my own weight. The Lord whispered, “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”

The man did not hear him. While sitting on the porch at the end of the next day, he thought to himself, “As soon as this dark cloud lifts, I’m gonna pay down all my debt. Then I’ll feel better.” The Lord spoke softly, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”

The man felt a slight stirring inside him. He had more strength to accomplish tasks that needed to be done.  He lay in bed that night, feeling good that his spirits had lifted, though he wasn’t quite sure where it came from. He drifted off to sleep thinking, “As soon as my luck returns, I feel like that might be soon, I’m gonna pay back all those who have helped me.”

The following week, after he was given a month of electrical work, he began dwelling on things that had gone wrong for him and he mentioned to a co-worker, “As soon as I get out from under, I’m gonna pay it forward, volunteer and help people around me.” His co-worker replied, “Why wait, man? We’re not promised tomorrow. This life is fleeting. We’re here one day and gone the next!”  That strange stirring danced inside his chest again and he walked off trying to make sense of it.

A month or two later, he was talking to a friend at the diner about life.  After a long conversation, his friend said, “I don’t know, bro, as soon as I can get this monkey off my back, I’m gonna pay all of my past-due child support, reach out to my children, and work on healing broken relationships. None of it’s my fault anyhow but maybe I’ll do something about it.”  The Lord gently whispered to his friend, “Forgive as I have forgiven you. I will help you.”

The man heard but convinced himself he was just tired and needed to get home and get more sleep.  As he was on his couch drifting off he thought, “I don’t know what that was all about but as soon as everyone gets off my back, I’m gonna quit drinking, drugs, smoking and gambling. I can’t do that now with all their nonsense.”  The spirit of the Lord hovered over him as he slept, giving him dreams of becoming a better man who sought the Lord and felt a new zeal for life. He didn’t yet understand that the Lord was giving him a glimpse of his future.

A year later, the man and his friend were talking on their way back to their trucks after work.  The man started out, “I don’t know what’s been happening this past year but something is changing me.  I’ve been seeing how I neglect my wife and how I put off reaching out to my kid from my first marriage.  I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t know, man, I think it’s God leading me to do something about it.  I look forward to finishing work just so I can make it up to them.”  He stared at his friend for a second, thinking..  For the first time he told someone about his dream.  The Lord whispered to them, “Yes, do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

As the days passed, the friends found that their thoughts began to change.  There were fewer thoughts that began with, “As soon as this changes, I will..”  There was less blaming everyone else for their mistakes or putting off tomorrow to find ways to be better people and serve the Lord.  Amazing things were happening in their lives, no matter how big or small they appeared to other people.  God was moving, leading them to do the right things and they began talking openly about how God pursued them.  Gone were the days when they thought things like, “As soon as I’m living on easy street, I’m gonna..” The quality of their lives improved because they realized God was fueling them with strength. Each time their spiritual tanks ran low, God filled them up again, showing them the fullness of life.

 

 

Posted in Word Wonder

My Little Helper

via Daily Prompt: Cavity

When I was a student studying Diagnostic Medical Sonography, I took my daughter out to my clinical site to practice scanning.  She was so little at the time, only in Kindergarten. On our ride out, I explained to her that I would be taking pictures of her internal organs like her liver, kidneys,  pancreas, spleen, the abdominal aorta, gallbladder and so on.  She tried her best to understand but was excited because I made it sound like such an exciting exploration that most kids her age don’t get to see.  She’s always been the kind of kid who looks and learns about things around her with a lot of wonder and curiousity. I was banking on her being the same way with this and not getting all squirmy once up on the table.

Once we said hello to the receptionist, letting her know I had permission to practice doing studies there after clinical hours, we headed for one of the ultrasound rooms.  She looked around the room noticing how dim the lights were and then spotted the table she’d be laying on for mommy.

“OK, mama, I’m ready!” she said, lifting her shirt so her little budha belly was showing.

I explained to her that I would be tucking a towel under her shirt to keep it from getting messy from the gel and then tucking one over the top of her pants, too, for the same reason.

“Is the gel gonna be cold, Mommy?” she asked me inquisitively.

“No, the gel I put on your belly is warm because we keep in it in the warmer. And it smells like baby powder.  Doesn’t that sound nice?” I asked.

She nodded her head and watched me as I squirted some on.  Laying the transducer on her tickled at first apparently because she cracked up and tried to move her little body further away from me. To help her cooperate, I turned the screen so she could see and she loved that.  She got a little lesson on anatomy that day and learned how cool her internal organs looked. Unfortunately, her fascination didn’t last as long as I hoped but I did get some more practice in and the consolation that everything looked perfectly normal inside her abdomin from my newbee perspective.

 

 

Posted in Palpating Poetry

Eyes Wide Open

 

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His hands are soft and always warm.

His body radiates heat no matter what the temperature outside.

His eyes are full of jokes or encouraging words.

He strives to be a blessing to everyone in his life, eager to ease any burdens and ready to join me in my spur of the moment plans.

Together, we live out our faith, explore new places and are regulars at all the local Indian and Thai restaurants around us.

As we’ve grown together, it makes more sense, it’s gotten easier to adapt and we are comfortable in our differences.

We know God has made us who we are individually, there’s no pressure to meld into the other.

Only to become more of who He designed us to be, as a son and a daughter of the King.

Only to understand what God is leading each of us to do and to follow the path He has picked.

This is huge.

I’m so aware of God around us.

I want nothing more than to listen closely to the Father as He reveals the great adventure written for me and written for him.

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Miss Sassypants, Photo Inspiration, Ponderings

What Does Freedom Look Like?

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This morning, I was thinking about what freedom looks like to a believer and how we live out our freedom in Christ. I think we get stuck sometimes, thinking about the meaning of this from only one perspective. When we become believers, we learn that we are new creations in Christ, that our sins have been washed away and we have a clean slate with God. The chains have been broken and we are no longer tied to the “old man” that dictated how we live our everyday lives and we now experience freedom in the presence of the Lord, to follow Him and in essence, get a do-over. We have freedom to love and serve others sincerely as God guides us. We have freedom to be who God made us be without our past mistakes bogging us down. We have freedom to choose a godly lifestyle which really frees our spirit.

Then, I was thinking about the Mercy Me song, Happy Dance. Have you heard it? I just heard it for the first time a couple weeks ago. It’s such a great song! The message of the song is that sometimes as Christians, we get so caught up in doing the right things & perhaps coming across as always having it together, that we forget that freedom we also have to dance, to be goofballs & joke around, laugh and enjoy life like a kid! I love this song because it reminds me to not always take everything so seriously that I’m afraid to come across as anything less than perfect.  God is perfect. Human beings are not. While I strive to be more Christ-like, that doesn’t mean that I should never let my guard down or constantly look like a go-getter who’s never short on wisdom.

So, did you notice my wacky picture at the top of this post? This is me, mostly when I’m at home or working with my giggly deaf student at work. This is me being free to be funny, believing that I can be a true servant of the Lord AND let my quirks and sense of humor show.  I don’t want to live in fear that someone may notice my weaknesses or shortcomings.  God knows the real me and He knows who you really are. And He doesn’t grow weary of us. He loves us and is aware of how much we seriously need Him.

This is what freedom in Christ looks like!

Posted in Mom Life, Ponderings, Word Wonder

Daily Prompt: Tardypants and the Pickle Guy

via Daily Prompt: Tardy

When my daughter and I walked through the doors of the gymnasium, the kids were warming up, practicing their serves and laughing. We were ten minutes early for volleyball clinic. Parents and their children kept trickling in after the designated start time of 6pm.  I was happy to be early. There were plenty of seats to choose from which was much better than arriving even ten minutes late and having to sit on the hard floor.  I don’t have much of a butt anymore with my diet change and training for a half marathon. It’s kind of strange for someone who’s never been lacking in that department.

As I was watching the girls do sprints and run around the gym, my eyes scanned the room. Where was my neighbor friend Gina? She bailed on me. When she shows up tardy for volleyball practice, I’ll have to ask her if she got caught up talking to The Pickle Guy at the grocery store. That guy was unusually passionate about selling pickles. Don’t get me wrong… We enjoy pickles with our chips and sandwiches but he liked them so much he talked abt them everyday, all day for a living. It kind of makes me wonder if he secretly despises them at this point.  Or if he’s sick of being referred to as “The Pickle Guy” like I am when people call me “The Signing Lady”.

 

 

Posted in Palpating Poetry, Word Wonder

Moments of Shock

via Daily Prompt: Shock 

The look that spreads across your face when a person answers their video phone in their tighty whities..

The feeling you get when you pick up the remote control, deciding to learn how to use your video phone, accidentally connecting to a Sign Language Interpreter that could have been one of your colleagues… and you’re wearing the smallest towel you own..

The moment you remember you had chicken sausage cooking on the stove and now they look like little poops in a skillet..

Or the time you took your daughter to the diner when she was 2 and she dumped an entire bottle of syrup on her pancakes in the 2 seconds you turned to talk to your friend..

It’s the moment you get the news that you got the job you’ve been vying for..

And the second you find out your daughter shares the same shoe size as you..

The night the mammographer tells you that your mammo & breast ultrasound are normal and they don’t need to see you back for a year..

And the morning you wake up to the smell of coffee and breakfast that you didn’t make yourself after how many years??

Oh, the many ways shock comes into our lives, disguising itself as something new.

 

 

 

Posted in Mom Life, Palpating Poetry

Why Do You Run?

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I run because it makes me feel alive

Because I love proving to myself that I can beat my personal time

Because I like to sweat

And I like to feel sore from the hard work

And I like to succeed at doing something that wasn’t easy

Because it feels so exhilarating that I didn’t quit

Because it beats out the stress

And it helps me to enjoy the simpler things when it’s time to rest

And I need that tangible success

I run because it helps me believe I can make it through anything

Because I’m a warrior when I run

Because I prove to myself the fight is still in me when I’m sick

And I believe I can be cured if I live life with a healthy frame of mind

And I know that God is by my side giving me strength to persevere as I unwind

I run because it makes me feel alive

Because He died so I could live life abundantly, not like something in me has died.

 

 

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews

Book Review: How to Be Married by Jo Piazza

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Title: How to Be Married- What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage

Author: Jo Piazza

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: Harmony Books

Pages: 276

REVIEW

In my humble opinion, Jo Piazza’s book, “How to Be Married” is a good read but not the type of book that’s hard to put down.  The book is well-written, funny, informative and honest but I had to read the book a couple chapters at a time.  Off and on, I was tempted to find another book to read. It could be that this is really the kind of book that would better keep my attention if I was listening to it on Audible while I was cooking or cleaning the house.  It may not be the same for you.

I really liked her journalistic approach to warming up to the idea of marriage, learning strategies to deal with disagreements and also finding solutions to working together as a team. She really put a lot of heart into learning how to have a successful marriage which was really endearing. My favorite advice was from a Chilean couple who were approaching their fortieth year of marriage. When she asked what made their marriage so successful, the wife replied, “We dance together every week. We’ve been dancing for forty years. When we dance, we become one. He sees me and I see him.  Everything I know about him, I learned while dancing.” (pg. 19) I instantly thought this was great advice.  Doing something together once a week that both people enjoy, which forces you to really see the other person and have fun is so important.  There are plenty of examples such as this to store away for future use.

What lost me was all the history and culture relayed about each country she traveled to. It just felt like too much and it would end up losing my attention.  In some cases, a little explanation of the customs which helped make their marriages successful was needed but in other instances, I would have preferred fewer details. When Piazza shared her private thoughts about which advice she should try to apply to her marriage and to what degree, showing that at times she was conflicted about how the women chose to live, I felt this was easier to relate to as I could see myself also feeling conflicted. I also liked her openness to changing her perspectives and being flexible to compromise as well as letting go of some of her pride in order to show love to her husband in the ways that were important to him. In conclusion, I feel that the book would have flowed better with less on an anthropology lesson.

Though this isn’t the type of book I would read more than once, I do plan on keeping it to refer to.

I give this book a 3.5/5.

I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com.

Posted in Miss Sassypants, Word Wonder

Daily Prompt: Carve

via Daily Prompt: Carve

The teacher asked, “Where are your hearing aids? Did you bring them today?”

The elementary school student hopped up pretending she forgot them, “Oh! Just a minute!” She skipped to the closet to check her lime green backpack with her hand over her mouth, muffling a giggle.

Returning to her seat with her turquoise hearing aids with tye-dyed ear molds in her little hand, she signed, “They’re broken. The latch for the battery won’t close.” The student pretended to be disappointed, but the adults in the room weren’t buyin’ it.

As her Sign Language Interpreter watched the conversation, she thought to herself, “I bet she’d like to carve out a hole in the wall and drop them in. She really dislikes those things.”