Saturday, July 3, 2010

Running on Empty

I was thinking about how true this title was for my life the other day. As I’m pulling out of the driveway, I noticed the gas gauge which showed “62 miles to E”. Awesome! Low gas and no gas money until Thursday. . . . um, it was only Tuesday. Ok, no biggie - I didn’t have much else to do until Thurs. so I’m sure I’d be fine. Besides, now that we’re really trying this whole ‘budget thing' I’m becoming quite skilled at running the car just a little bit longer before I fill up. I know how much I can go before it’s a vital necessity to refill the tank. I could surely make it to town a couple more times on that 62 miles. BUT needless to say, after a long day at home, a clingy sick toddler, cupboards and fridge becoming slightly barren and an almost empty tank of gas in my car, I was ready to be relieved of my ‘duties’ for the day.

But God had a different plan in store. We ended up having to leave our dinner untouched in order to rush Lukas to the hospital that evening after his fever shot up and he became slightly disorientated. We got scared and immediately loaded the brood into the car heading to the nearest ER. Could this really be happening right now???

My first reaction was to ask God, “Really God!? Do you think I can honestly handle this right now?” I was drained and now my emotions were totally frazzled!! But instead of continuing to ask God - ‘Why?’, I knew I needed to shift my focus to get through this. I instead began asking God to give me strength and to keep my tank going just a little bit longer; sustain me through the trials. In the book of Matthew, it states, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (Matt 16:33).

To make a long story short, Jesus did just that! He restored peace to me and the family as Lukas was able to go home shortly that evening with his fever reduced and food eventually in our bellies. It taught me that sometimes my comfort level is what makes me feel like I’m running on ‘E’. But God knows my heart and my ‘tank’ far better than I. He knows that when I’m at “62 miles to E” emotionally, I can hang on just a little bit longer. I just need to have faith and trust in Him. Then I’ll get through the trials with Him to praise & thank along the way. It’s not always easy, but we aren’t to take comfort in ourselves and what we ‘think’ we can handle, but in Christ Jesus who overcame the world and knows exactly what we truly can handle!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven's Door

Dear Lord,

I know I don't talk to you enough, don't display you enough in my life and I make daily mistakes despite having your Word to guide me. I try my best and always find myself failing in some way, shape or form. But I know that you understand your ultimate plan for me more than I could ever comprehend, which is why I plead with you now to please help me be steadfast in the wake of struggles.

Grant me patience when I have little to spare to those around me.
Show me your forgiveness and send me opportunities to forgive.
Allow me to find ways to help others, even when I remain un-helped.
Teach me how to love others more fervently, just as you love all of your children.

I don't ask for you to take my struggles from me, lest I forget your power and how much I need you. . . . just that you help me stand firm in my faith, use me for your will and temper my days with your unending mercy and love.

I pray this in your Son's awesome name. . . . Amen!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Confessions from the Unemployed. . . .

WOW – it’s been a LONG time since I’ve written. I’d like to say that I’ve been uber busy with so much to do because I’m so important, blah blah blah! . . . . . but I can’t. I’ve just been lazy! Sure I’ve had a lot on my mind and probably twice as much to say but I just haven’t connected it on this blog - sorry. :(

Truth of the matter is I’ve had a lot of ideas, hopes, desires and changes coming over me. I felt the need to make a move and do something different for our family. It’s really a case of coming full circle in that I spent many years being a stay-at-home mom while going to school, then I got a job related to my degree and have now opted to once again stay home. “Whoa- wait! . . . . you mean all that time going to school, student loans, job searching to find a great job and now you’re back to square #1??” you are probably asking. But I don’t believe that I’m back to square #1. I believe that I’m forging onto a new square that has other opportunities. Besides, what fun is life if you never question the status quo and don’t take a chance??

I’ve learned many things about myself over the last year and continue to strive to make my life worth something – not just for me but for others. I want my kids to learn that there’s more to life than money, career, material things, beauty, etc. Here are some lessons I’ve learned in the process of where I’m at now:

• God always puts you where he wants you – either for a reason, season or for the duration to do his work – and I want to put my gifts to good use.

• Life and what the day entails aren’t always about ME – there are so many who need a helping hand or even just a smile – and I can offer both!

• Sometimes the things we think we want aren’t always the best for us and I’m not going to continue trying to fit a square in a circular hole – so to speak! ;)

• Taking a step ‘back’ can sometimes drive you further forward in reaching your goals.

• My children are only young once and our time here is limited – I don’t want to miss so much that I spend my future in regret.

• Above all – it’s a true adventure to take a leap of faith w/out knowing what’s on the bottom – scary at first but all the more worth it in the end!

So I’m not ‘downgrading’ myself or ‘limiting’ my career options – I’m writing a new chapter in my life and doing what I’ve been scared to do for too long. . . . . I’m following the pull of God on my heart and looking for places/people to serve to make a difference!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

But I want it NOW!!!!!!

Has there ever been something you've wanted so bad that it literally was on your mind 24/7 and you just HAD TO HAVE IT?? I remember being a kid and loving to tag along with either of my parents to the store. I'm surprised they didn't pull out their hair with the constant, "Can I get that?" or "Dad, I want to get some of these, PLEASE!!!!" Sometimes patience is a virture - right?! I'm sure a dose of patience is what they had to keep letting me go with them, even if I didn't get what I wanted each time. ;)

Unfortunately, I really don't think we outgrow this reaction even as adults. I get urges like this quite often - as I'm sure most do. Not all urges/desires eat me up inside and plague me in my sleep, though. But there are many that instill constant twinges, nonetheless. Most of my wants are pretty benevolent, such as having a tasting for some form of carry out (sushi!!), maybe a new pair of shoes or top, grabbing a 6-pack. . . or two *wink*.

But what happens when the want/desire isn't so easy to quelch? Those are the hardest to deal with because they don't go away so easily. Eating a snack temporarily dilutes the desire to order sushi carry-out, right? See, that was easy. And when I would shop with my parents and ask for something, their response would mostly be, "Not this time. Maybe next time". That method totally worked for them because being a kid, I would usually forget next time, move on, and be onto asking for something else. . . . just to get the same response. :) The whole theory - Out of Sight, Out of Mind completely fits this scenario!

But what about things that aren't so tangible that we want? Maybe wanting recognition from someone who offers little is what pains you? That is a harder pill to swallow! Or maybe you feel stuck in a rut in life with work/relationship plateaus and you strongly want/need/desire a change. These are the wants and desires that literally hurt from the inside and out. I have experienced these types of hurts occasionally in life and sometimes there's no temporary fix. Applying emotional 'band aids' only make it burn more. A constant sting that you just have to endure until the wound heals or you figure out how to manage and get through the day, or week, or maybe even month. :(

So as I feel a twinge coming on, I shall just close my eyes and silently tell myself . . . "Not this time. Maybe next time".

Saturday, May 1, 2010


As my daughter would put it during an IM session, "Wow, Mom - really?!" I was just thinking after I got done with a little online chat with Sen - a chat where we were both in the SAME house; just in different rooms - how literally absurd it was to even be engaging in online chat when we're both in the SAME HOUSE! So in the enlightening words of my daughter, "Wow, Sen - really?!" Are we really becoming that disconnected as individuals, as a family and dare I say. . . as a society?

Has this type of communication trumped all others in the grand scheme of things? According to a 2009 article about texting statistics, approximately 72% of cell phone users had a texting plan in early 2009 - which equates to about 203 million Americans - plus the article noted that on a monthly average, texts are leading phone calls by a count of 357 texts to 204 calls - WOW!! Hell, there has to be an obvious reason why the government has to ENACT A LAW banning people from texting!! What about the teens supposedly getting carpal tunnel from texting so much?? Do we still not get it??

It's becoming too easy to hide behind our screens, texts, etc. and keep ourselves hidden. "Yeah but I'm so busy, I don't have time to get into long phone conversations". . . blah, blah, blah! Sure - I've used that one too. ;) I understand being on the go and an occasional text, email, etc. isn't that harmless. But what I'm talking about is the intent. Are you texting to just say a quick blurp and get them off your back? Are you too much of a coward to tell the person you're with that it's not working out - so you text that the relationship is over? And are you saying something online that you would never dream of saying to a person's face? That is when the whole realm of texting, IM'ing, etc. becomes a compromise to overall relationships and how we deal with people. It may be a bit far fetched, but if we keep up at this rate, we won't even know how to carry on a basic conversation. :-0

Maybe I'm old fashioned - though I'm really not much of a phone person myself - but I like to see someone's eyes, their smile, and hear the tone in their voice when I'm talking to them. It makes the conversation that much more understandable, deflects some conflicts since we can more readily get the gist of the tone in the message, and is overall a more intimate way to interact with someone.
So though I'm cheap for the time being and don't have a texting plan anymore, I hope that when the time comes for me to re-up into a text plan. . . . I use it wisely :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wanting to live OUTSIDE of the 'box'

I haven't written in awhile on here - partly because I've been busy and partly because, given the content of my last post, I've been mulling/contemplating/marinating on a few things to say the least. One thing I've been really soul searching on is the idea of my purpose here. I believe that we're all 'wired' to have certain characteristics and gifts that we can use to do great things - so what's mine?? Still not sure some days. Sometimes I feel like I have a way with sensing someones mood which may/may not help me be compassionate towards others who are going through struggles. If I sense you're hurting, I want to help; if you're angry, I want to make you laugh so the anger subsides; if you have a problem, I want to help brainstorm a solution.

Maybe I'm too much of a people pleaser at times. . . . but maybe that's what I'm called here to do?? Of course there is the exception of pleasing/accepting things that are unjust, etc. because even helping others too extremely can lead to such problems as enabling someones bad habits, etc. That I am not so cool with! But I surely can be cool with being a chameleon of a servant - helping differently for whatever the situation calls for. ;)

One action I've been compelled to take is to find something where I can help on a larger scale then just what my family tries to do for our church. I honestly believe that we don't help out in our church and community enough! There are travesties all over the world and the most I do is watch the story on the news, comment how awful it is, and then go about my merry little life. That sucks and is totally selfish of me!

One of the pastors at our church, Riverview (, mentioned another pastor in Simi Valley, CA by the name of Francis Chan. I looked him up and came across his blog and this one post he displayed back in 2008 had me in tears. Check it out:

The excerpt under his youtube post said, "why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?"

Maybe it's time for me to live my life 'outside of the box' and put myself out there to do things that I normally hold myself back from out of guilt, fear, and selfishness! I have been blessed with so much and I believe that it's time for me to start putting my faith into action.
I just continue to pray that God gives me the strength and courage to do so!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ready to leave Victim-ville. . . . . or do you plan to set up permanent residence there??

I recently started reading a book titled, "Bad Childhood, Good Life" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It's not the first book about dealing with childhood baggage that I've read but it still had me thinking of things in a different perspective. It's easy to point the finger at someone and blame them for how things have turned out in my life - trust me, I've done it many times! But it takes real maturity to realize my own doing in it all. . . YES, sometimes I AM at fault too. ;)

Let me elaborate by saying that growing up was not always easy. It's not something I readily share but to put it in a nutshell, both of my parents struggled with different addictions for many years while I was growing up. Though they are clean/sober (have been for many years), I've found in many instances of adulthood that my past, and my attitude towards it, has thwarted me in many situations - due to hurt, fear, anger, etc. I've done a lot of reading, soul searching and praying to get to a better place over the years.

But one thing that hit me in the book was when Dr. Laura describes our parents not as flawless individuals on pedestals; more so as adults with an 'inner hurt child' inside of them as well. I began to see them as 'human' per se, vs. this huge entity of 'parent' looming over me. They had hurts from their past as well and struggle with anger, fear, rejection, insecurity, feeling distant and/or not good enough. I'm beginning to look at them for who they really are and not what I've always wanted them to be. They may have botched things at times, and still do - lol! - but NO PARENT IS PERFECT! Sometimes it takes growing up and being a parent yourself to realize that. And there is a lot that they do get RIGHT! <3

Above the mistakes, and even through the times of joy, the one blessing my parents gave me was planting the seed of GOD in my heart! We went to church briefly when I was little and then stopped for years. But all of that changed when my mom suffered a brain aneurysm and almost died. She went through numerous surgeries and became a survivor! It was during that time that my dad prayed with me for the first time as I lay in bed - we prayed that mom would get better. Once my mom got over the surgeries and realized that the scars on her head resembled a 'J' and an 'M' (what we said was Jesus' Miracle), things changed. . . . not instantly, but they did change nonetheless.

So where do I fit in this equation and what about 'Victim-ville'?? Simple! I have two choices in life: 1) To continue to be angry from the past and take it out on everyone around me as I sit and marinate in 'Victim-ville' OR 2) I can move out of 'Victim-ville' into 'Reality-Land' where I realize that we are all flawed and regardless, there's something to be thankful for everyday!! GOD truly does have a purpose for us, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Whatever happened in the past is done now, PERIOD! I do have a right to be angry at things but I cannot spend my whole life angry and I realize that what happened in the past wasn't my fault. But the way I live my life now IS my fault. I have a lot of negative emotions that, when freed up, can be used for a better purpose and it's my choice to use them accordingly to help vs. hindering myself and to bless those around me.

My parents are good people and I love them with all my heart!!
And I've come to realize that it's time to leave 'Victim-ville' ;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm SuperMom - I can do it all. . . . . just NOT today :-P

Ok, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret . . . I'm not perfect! YES, a travesty to all to admit such defeat, I know. I try many days to put on and maintain that 'I've-got-it-all-together' air but I can only withhold that mirage for so long before I begin to melt. Someone has to be truthful so here's my chance.

It has certainly been a hard juggling act going from SAHM (stay-at-home-mom for those not familiar with the acronym) to now working mom, and I don't even work FT! Besides, I've never been a real fan of actual juggling let alone life juggling. How do you FT working women do it!? Seriously - any and all tips are welcome! Though I've gotten the routine down a bit better now, there are still tough days and I believe this was one of them. Someone is missing something somewhere in my sphere of daytime/nighttime endeavors. For the most part, I can truck along and keep up the pace like a champ - a true SuperMom on her A-game. But when I come off the high of riding over the mountain peaks to the valleys of struggling with being overwhelmed, my whole outlook on things change. Should I do the dishes right at this moment or in 10 minutes from now? Can the floors go one more day without being vacuumed lest I find vegetation growing behind the couch? Do I need to get to work 15 min. earlier than yesterday, or stay 15 min. later? Add to that the never ending piles of laundry regurgitating from the hampers, constant 'Mom!?!?' chants from my little ones and endless days of breakfast/lunch/dinner routines!! Whew! Makes me tired just typing it all! :-0

Those mundane questions/concerns of routine begin to turn into more deep issues such as. . . Did I spend enough time with Caleb doing his homework? Will I be able to work in any 'girl' time with Seneca throughout the day? Did I take the time needed to refresh my relationship with my husband? Should I have given one more hug/kiss good night? My family are the ones that should matter most to me throughout my day, but again - I'm not perfect and I lose sight of that goal. Though there are winners amidst my day, someone has to lose out on something - i.e. my time, my patience and worst of all. . . my love. <3 It's not so easy to love when frustration, tension and crying kids come to greet you as the day is supposed to be winding to a close.

I've been on both sides of the fence - being that of Working Mom and SAHM. However, I believe that being stuck somewhere in between like I am now is more of a struggle. I'm not a FT worker and some days I don't feel like a FT Mom. . . I'm not a FT ANYTHING!! And I'm constantly pulled in so many directions and expected to be so many 'things' to so many people. It's exhausting and sort of like being in a triangular struggle between work, home and Ashley (but who has time for 'me' time anyways, right?!) and here I float somewhere in the middle of the vortex hoping someone will pull me back to sanity. :-P

I will end my ramblings with this quote from the Bible:
"A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands" - Proverbs 14:1
I will try to make sure my daily goal is to build and no longer continue to tear down!

Thanks for listening :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blast from the past. . .

Awhile back I was cleaning out some papers, junk, and misc. items from under my nightstand when I came across my old poetry book from high school. I used to write a lot when I was younger since it was easier to write what I was feeling vs. sharing with someone. I tend to be a bit more private about those 'touchy, feely' emotions. But it's amazing as I read through the poems now - catching a quick glimpse into my teenage heart back then. So much tension, confusion, heartache, etc. while going through the motions of trying to find myself and love. I can't necessarily say that I've got it all figured out many years later, but at least I can still reminisce of how it was back then. . . .

Internal Conflict - written 10/1/96
Confused by all I feel
Reality seeming unreal
Confined by the past
Debating if this will last
Believing in who you are
Afraid to go to far
Immobile by your touch
Wanting it so much
Looking for a resolution
Knowing there's no solution

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Go Shorty, it's yo birfday!"

Well the day is slowly creeping upon me. . . . on April 11th. I'm not really that anxious or freaking out because I'll be passing the realm of the big 3-0. I didn't do a big bash last year for that milestone and this year will be no different. I must say that it isn't so much the number for me. It's all about the experience. . . what have I learned in the last year to make turning 31 worthwhile?! That's what matters to me. I'm not they type who will have a long bday list with jewelry, shoes, clothing, blah, blah, blah!
I told hubby and the kids that I'd be fine with sushi carry-out and a 6-pack, lmao!! YUP, I'm a simple gal looking forward to the memories that the time between age 31 and 32 have in store for me. :)

p.s. Hmm, maybe change that 6-pack to a 12-pack and we'll call it good! ;)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Easter Bunny works for 'The Man'!!

Yeah, that's right I said it!! The Easter Bunny is a total sell-out in my opinion and has turned this holiday into a consumerist vortex - like all the other Holiday icons! It's a total shame because the whole meaning of Easter is lost on a fictional critter running around dropping off eggs, candy, gifts, and more candy into our homes and distributing to our children.

Now let me just say that as a child I was totally a 'Team Easter Bunny' fan! What kid wouldn't be a fan of something/someone that drops off an overabundance of candy at your home once a year?? For me, Easter even rated above Halloween because at least with Easter, I didn't have to go out and peddle my own candy - Easter was a freebie!

But now that I've moved over to the parent realm of things, I don't see this event in the same light. I'm still a little fuzzy on how a holiday to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus = Cuddly bunny with candy??? Apparently, when googling some things (a new favorite past time - *wink*) I've come to find that the whole 'bunny' thing is a result of European and Middle Eastern pagan religious celebrations/customs of springtime fertility. WOW! Still can't see how it's connected to Jesus. But it looks like it's a common practice in many instances of history - you don't like something about religion so what do you do?? . . . . you go, incorporate your own watered down, irrelevant customs and call it something totally different to accommodate your own selfish beliefs/wants/etc.
So what does this mean for the modern day 'Easter Bunny'?? An annual holiday slathered in an endless array of candy, candy, candy, BUY, BUY, BUY! . . . . oh and of course Easter ham, coloring eggs, and a plethora of other Easter items on sale at your disposal - like at Wal-Mart where you can get $2 bags of candy. *sheepishly grinning at my own guilt*

YES - despite my cynicism on the whole event and my aversion to continually feel obligated to spend more money than I'd like on my little munchkins - it is still a slightly fun holiday. I am still reluctant to admit - but sometimes I am guilty of all the consumerism that shrouds the meaning of this holiday (and even Christmas) but that doesn't mean there's no hope for me. . . or you. ;)

This Easter Weekend is as good a time as ever to make sure I'm instilling the real meaning of the holiday and sharing the sacrifice and blessings that Jesus gave to us all with my children. Maybe along the way, I'll grow in my own faith and need the security and chocolate that comes along with the Easter Bunny a little less next year!!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Are you happy? What is 'happy' exactly? Some days I feel just so numb that it may be happiness at the fact that I'm not falling apart on the floor or melting into a corner in my room. . . . or maybe it's just lack of sadness. It's really hard to pinpoint. I think the word has a different meaning for different people but overall the same idea. I just don't know what idea it is for me sometimes. Is a healthy family, good job, not being bankrupt yet a reason to be happy? - Well, yeah but is it enough to sustain what happiness is??

It appears that many other people don't get or experience the idea of happiness either. According to some stats on anti-depressant usage, Americans have doubled our usage of the 'happy' pill since 1996 with women being twice as likely to utilize anti-depressant meds. . . . WOW! Even more shocking is the fact that according to this website's stats, as many as 4% of preschoolers are considered to be clinically depressed and on some form of anti-depressants!!! Are you kidding me?!?!

Now I don't know about you, but that last statistic is not only shocking but it also angers me in a way! Are we really that depressed, anxious, 'unhappy' or are we just overdependent on the 'happy' pill to make anything difficult go away? Are we shoving these meds down our kids throat vs. really finding out what the problem is? Maybe the problem is US - the parents? But I guess we'd never think about that would we? It can't be the parents who give their kids all the money, clothes, game systems, cell phones, laptops, Iphones, etc. because they give those things to their kids because they 'love' them! :-P

Look, I may not have all the answers (and don't claim to for that matter) but one thing I do know is that my happiness doesn't come from me or even those around me. It comes from my faith that no matter what happens to me in the day - good/bad - God will give me the tools/guidance I need to handle it. It may not be easy, and I know some people truly do benefit from anti-depressant meds, but for me I want to take a different route. I don't want to numb myself to the not-so-happy days. I want to experience it head on. . . . even if it means I fail. That's what I'm here on this earth for - TO EXPERIENCE LIFE! . . . . . And I challenge you to do the same. ;-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enter 'The Brash'

Ok - so I'm totally new to this blogging thing and figured - "What the hell!" Might as well give this a try, express myself and maybe even get a comment or two along the way. :) There have been a few blogs I've read here and there. Some give me a nice little chuckle and others. . . . well, let's face it - they suck! Either way, whichever category mine falls under I just hope I can have fun. Well, and maybe get some relief by getting some things off my chest - and I don't mean my push-up bra either! :-O I just have stuff that I gotta say, even if it is 'Brash' at times.

Besides, who wouldn't want to hear about family dysfunction, the perils of parenting, social ills, life, work, stress, religion and God, pet ownership, relationship issues, celebrity jargon/morons, FEELINGS (special insert here for the ladies!), politics, food, movies, book commentaries, etc. . . . all by yours truly. . . . The BRASH!! I think we all have a nice little mixture of the above in their life so let's share, shall we??

Ok, ok. . . . *sigh*. . . if you're still fully awake from all of this excitement then you'd best hold on to your panties, or briefs for the menfolk! I think this blog is just getting started! ;-)