Posted in Happy Little Photos, Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Word Wonder

Affection & Wonder

20180112_072541via Daily Prompt: Wonder

This little girl of mine fills me with so much adoration and wonder. As I watch her off and on throughout the day, I’m in awe of who she has become. I think back to her quirky days as a toddler and the funny things she used to say as she was first developing language.

“Mama, I can feel my heart beeping!!”

Or how she would recognize the appropriate time to show appreciation and joyfully exclaim, “Thankum!” (Which meant “Thank you!”)

And I remember her at around 2 years old when she would speak so quickly I’d have to interpret for my friends because they had no idea what she just said.

One afternoon in the spring there was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years older than my daughter, who started playing with Makayla in our yard. They tried to strike up a conversation and after a few minutes the little girl looked at me strangely and asked, “Is she speaking Chinese??” It was funny because Makayla wasn’t quite 2 at that time and whatever she said to the neighbor girl really did sound like Chinese to me, too.

Now, she’s going to be 11 in less than a month and she’s so articulate. Since she was 4, people have noticed what a great memory she has for things and a vocabulary that you wouldn’t expect from someone so small. At almost 11, people don’t notice these things as much because she’s older now and it sort of goes along with her age.

She’s more independent than ever and knows exactly who she is. There is no shy bone in her body. She can definitely hold her own. And she is a bright, radiant light. I look at her full of love and wonder. It’s still hard to believe she’s mine.

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Lessons He Taught Me, Mom Life

In My Shoes

If my daughter was in my shoes right now, this is what I would tell her,

IMG_1337“Everyone needs some time to themselves. It’s perfectly normal. People push our buttons sometimes and a little break to do your own thing is healthy. Most likely, it will improve the relationship you are feeling frustrated with. There’s no reason to feel guilty when you just don’t feel like talking. Or maybe you want to talk to someone else that you haven’t talked to in ages. Also, normal. We’re all so different from each other. There are things we like about people in our lives that draws us to them just as there are things about the same people we’re not crazy about. We just need to have grace for each other but also be honest with ourselves when we need to pull back. If we don’t do it, you’ll have to do damage repair later. Some people don’t take honesty well. They just want you to not feel how you feel and get over it immediately. Most people need time so you take the time you need and remember to give others time to themselves too when they feel hurt by you. If you don’t or if you do, it can make or break a relationship.

Limiting the time you spend with one person can also help. You have more to talk about later when you come back together. The energy you get from being with a variety of other people can breathe life into that relationship that sometimes gets a little strained. It also fosters more positive feelings and conversation.

What’s most important is being restored by God and having enough opportunities to be restored by Him! Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. If there’s not enough time with Him for your personality type (and I need a lot of time with Him), it will affect your relationships with people because your patience for people will start to diminish. You might start saying the first thing on your mind. You might just throw the towel in out of frustration and miss them later. And, then, you’ll also remember God’s command to encourage one another and build them up, realizing that you didn’t do that because you leaned back on your own wisdom.

Take some time to yourself, Makayla, when you know you need to be restored. Try your best to tell whoever that person in your life is, that you need time to yourself and time with God. Pray beforehand that this person will understand it will benefit them, too. That they will love you enough to give you what you need and that they’ll be confident enough in the Lord to trust Him. You serve God first and foremost. This is what you need to focus on. God’s plans will still prevail.”

We need to talk to ourselves with the same love and compassion we would have for our children when they are overwhelmed.

Posted in Mom Life, Photo Inspiration

It Runs In The Family

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It’s true. It runs in the family. We look like contortionists when we sleep. And it’s not just the females in the family. My father does it, too. Maybe my daughter & I got this unusual flexibility from him. When I was a kid, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons like this except my left leg was bent too with my left foot propped up against my right hip bone.

When we sit on the couch or at the kitchen table, instead of sitting with our feet flat on the floor, we’re sitting sort of Indian style but our right leg is flipped over the left instead of both feet tucked under. My father, my daughter and I all do this without giving it a thought. Maybe we should have tried out for Cirque du Soleil?

Posted in Ponderings, Word Wonder

Ruminations of a Sign Language Interpreter

via Daily Prompt: Rube

I was standing at the corner early one morning, waiting for the go ahead to

city-cars-vehicles-street.jpgcross the busy city street.  The corner was packed full of people. It was raining and foggy out. I stood there patiently waiting with my black pok-a-dot umbrella, sipping my luke warm coffee.

A few people sauntered up to the crowd and started debating something. I couldn’t decipher the words until the conversation got a little louder. I kept looking straight ahead as though I heard nothing, something I am accustomed to doing mostly when I work in the city.

As I waited, I starting paying attention to the variety of umbrellas and rain boots people were displaying as they shuffled off to work. I stopped hearing the conversations around me, lost in my observations & thoughts. I got jilted back when a woman lost her temper shouting, “You know, you’re nothing but a rube! You have no idea what you are talking about! So naive, I can’t even stand another minute talking to you. I’m walking to the next block. Don’t follow me!!”

“A rube, ” I thought, “what is that?”

The sign changed and we all quickly walked across the street with our poker faces in place. A couple of men passed me speaking Russian, a guy flew past on his rented City Bank bike, splattering street water on some executives.

I had no idea what a rube was but I knew I’d google it later and that it was clearly not something I’d ever call someone. Still, it’s interesting how just walking a mile and a half to work can broaden your vocabulary.

Later on in the day, back at the train station, I read the train schedule for the Hudson Line and walked to track 13. I found a seat and called my mother to see if she could bring my daughter to Girl Scouts that night. While we were on the phone, the conductor made an important announcement informing us that they had to “change some equipment” on our train and that we needed to board the train at track 33 instead. As I power walked to track 33 with everyone else,  I overheard a couple of people reading Metro North news on one of the TV screens in the station, “Now there was a fire on the train somewhere?” Strangely, it didn’t phase me. These trains are more than 30 years old.

It struck me that if I was deaf or hard-of-hearing, I wouldn’t have gotten that message from the conductor. I would have seen everyone on the train getting up and exiting quickly, wondering in this day and age, what in the world was going on. I would have followed the group from my train car, paying close attention to if they were mostly all going to the same place. That is, if I wasn’t sleeping. We (people who can hear) take information that we so easily receive for granted.  And most of us don’t stop to think about the people who are not getting that same pertinent information.  We don’t always do it on purpose. We just make this subconscious assumption that we’re all on the same page.

Then, I thought about that woman losing her temper and calling someone a rube. I thought about the vocabulary that I’ve acquired from reading and hearing other people in their conversations. We take incidental learning for granted. Countless hours are spent teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing kids things we all learn without trying because we just happen to hear it. It made me think about an elementary school student I work with every week and all of the vocabulary that comes up in lessons that she isn’t familiar with.  She remembers the things that she learns with her eyes and the way it feels to talk about things in American Sign Language and she’s just learning to read.  She’s not hearing any of these words, we are showing them to her on a page, then showing her how to sign the concept and use it in signed conversation.  It requires a lot more work for a deaf child to retain English vocabulary than it does for kids who can hear & hear it often.  Also, remembering how to use new vocabulary words in ASL is much different than being able to recognize the written word & remember it’s meaning.

Just some random musings of a Sign Language Interpreter at the end of her work day…

 

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

 

Heartpillow17

 

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”.