Friday, February 20, 2009

Lessons from a Volcano

This morning, my son gave a book talk at school. The kids were instructed to pick a book, read it through and create a project to go with it, either a model, poster, diarama, etc. and then present it to the class and parents. My son decided to do his on volcanos because...well, he's fascinated by natural disasters, frankly.

Last week, we finished his volcano book together and the Lord showed me something really cool. This book was good and I learned a lot of stuff about volcanos I certainly never knew before. One of volcanos they showed was Mount St. Helens in Washington. That's a picture of it above. Throughout the book, it talked about the volcano's power and showed picture after picture of the devastation left in the aftermath of an eruption (incl the one above). Beautiful, lush landscapes and thriving villages utterly destroyed and left a dead, ugly wasteland. Or are they?

According to the book, while volcanic eruptions can bring absolute devastation, they can also bring renewal. Because of the minerals and nutrients in the ash, not only does plant life grow back quickly, it grows back even stronger than before the eruption. As my son and I read that, I sensed the Lord saying to my heart that that's what He can do in a life entrusted to Him.

I can think of several examples right off the top of my head of people whose lives have felt or currently feel like a volcanic eruption, feeling devastated by life's circumstances. I recently spoke with a woman who's been there. I asked her what she was able to hold on to during that time. The first thing she said was the Word of God - her Bible, sometimes literally walking around clutching it. She then said that in spite of how terrible the circumstances were, she believes that because of what God did in her through those circumstances, today she is stronger and in a better place emotionally, spiritually, etc. than she ever was before it all began. I didn't say anything about the whole volcano thing but it was if the Lord was saying to me "See? I told you; this is what I do."

Most of us with a sound mind would never purposely seek out painful, life-altering experiences any more than we would purposely seek to suffer the devastation of a volcanic eruption (with the exception perhaps of those who study volcanoes - called 'Volcanologists' in case you wanted to know, though it sounds more like a Star Trek term to me).

As hard as it may be to swallow, it's no secret that God sometimes allows hard times to come into our lives that would like to shake us to our very foundation. But, like the volcano, if we entrust our lives and those hard times to our always faithful God, He promises to give us "beauty for ashes" Isaiah 61:3.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Were They Thinkin???

UPDATE: Because one of the contestants who made the top 36 was ruled ineligible, FELICIA BARTON IS NOW BACK IN!!!!!!! There is no one who can who can mess with God's plan for His child - wherever and however He chooses for it to take her. I LOVE IT!!!!!

I have never been a huge American Idol fan but I've been watching ever since I learned that Felicia Barton was going to be on. See, Felicia is the daughter of our pastor from Virginia Beach, VA and I haven't seen or been in touch with them since we moved from there about 6 years ago. I couldn't have been happier for her getting on the show.

I missed her audition show but have watched faithfully since, hoping to see her and hear her incredible voice. Unfortunately, they sent her home tonight. What were they thinkin??? I was surprised a few times by the people they sent packing and possibly even more surprised to see the ones they kept! I don't know how long Tatiana's voice, however great it is (and it's pretty stinkin' good), but I don't know how long that's going to carry her. God bless her, but she's really annoying to watch. And Nathaniel? Oh.My.Word The blubbering has got to stop and that's all I'm going to say about him.

Instead, back to Felicia. In case you're not sure who she is 'cause frankly they didn't spotlight her nearly enough, check out the video below. This is what everyone will be missing. I think she's fabulous and know God has a wonderful plan for this child of His.

Be blessed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There's Hope for My Soap

I have a little confession to make. I'm a soap opera watcher - Guiding Light, specifically (and As the World Turns occassionally). My grandmother listened to Guiding Light when it was on radio, my mother grew up on it and continued to watch, and I, in turn, grew up watching it and got hooked as well. When I was in high school, it came on at 3:00 in the afternoon which was great. I'd get home from school, watch GL and when it finished, I'd go deliver my newspapers (this is back in the day when kids were still able to have paper routes). When I started working full-time, I understandably, had to stop watching though I would catch up on days off or when home sick or something. After I became a stay-at-home mom, I started to watch fairly regularly again.

As is common with the soaps, they all go through periods where they make a bunch of bone-headed moves like getting rid of characters that are fan-favorites and GL is no exception. They have certainly made their fair share of bone-headed firings or lame attempts at keeping favorite actors. The late, great Michael Zaslow comes to mind. He played Roger Thorpe, making that character bad guy you ever loved to hate.

Over the years, I've been disappointed numerous times by the actors they let go or the characters they killed off but none so much as when they got rid of Grant Aleksander about five years ago; he had played Philip Spaulding for the better part of 22 years(thankfully no one is ever really dead in soapdom). That was, to many GL fans (myself included), the worst move in a long history of bad moves. I continued to watch though (mostly online at night) until a little over a year ago when the storylines became just too boring to take and too many of my favorite actors and characters had disappeared (Jerry ver Dorn as Ross Marler; Paul Anthony Stewart as Danny Santos; Laura Wright as Cassie; Ricky Paul Golden and Beth Ehlers as Gus and Harley and others too). The powers that be over at CBS and Guiding Light were, in my opinion, causing a slow, painful death to my favorite and the longest running soap in daytime history and not doing enough justice to some of my remaining favorites like Ron Raines, Kim Zimmer, Robert Newman, Jordan Clark and others.

BUT, and the point of this entire, likely interesting-only-to-me post, a glimmer of hope has returned to my soap in the long-awaited return of Grant Aleksander. Yes, Philip Spaulding has returned to Springfield and though it's only been two days, I am delighted. I have been looking forward to this week for about a month, and, at least for a little while I think, I'm going to enjoy watching my favorite soap again.

Hope you've had some fun little something to look forward to this week too.

Be blessed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Here We Go Again

Have I ever told you that my husband and I have moved eight times in 14+ years of marriage? I would never in a million years have imagined that I would move that frequently. I am a native New Yorker (Long Island to narrow it down a bit). For generations, my family were native New Yorkers. Now they'll correct me if I'm wrong but my grandmother grew up, since infancy, in the same farm house that she later moved back into with her own husband and children and lived there 'till she died at 96 yrs old (of course by that time it was no longer a farm house though still a large house). Three out of her seven children continued to live in that same house and eventually added spouses and children of their own. Three of the remaining four were within a 30 minute drive (one of which was only a couple of blocks away and still lives there to this day) and only one left the state for South Carolina.

My point is that, for me, moving around this much feels unnatural. BUT, for better or worse, we've decided to do it again. Yes, we've put our house up for sale in good ol' PA and are hoping to head south again, possibly to FL or NC. We are so praying that we are sensing and following God's lead on this and would welcome your prayers for wisdom and direction. 'Cause otherwise this is a pointless, unfun challenge to my meager domestication abilities.

I am not exactly a housekeeping goddess and now with the house up for sale and in THIS kind of housing market, everything has be as near perfect as possible. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a slob or anything but under normal circumstances, if I go to work and the beds aren't made, no biggie; dishes left in the sink? I'll get 'em when I get home or perhaps before bed (the next day?). Laundry up the waazoo and not one pair of clean socks left? Well, Target's up the street if you're THAT desperate. Just kidding, but you get my point. Oh the pressure!!!

I will say though, the house looks pretty stinkin' good. I could actually live here...'till June, 'cause we really want to be out by June.

Be blessed.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Favorites

Ok, let me say right off the bat, I have not been terribly consistent with posting things on a specified day. Honestly life gets so busy and even with ADD meds, I can still be pretty flaky forgetful. That being said, under the inspiration of a couple of people - a blog I visited recently and a Facebook friend, I have decided to designate Fridays as Friday Favorites. Each Friday I will post about one of my favorite things; it could be anything - movies, food, songs, a childhood memory - anything. I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear back from you. Feel free to join in and add a Friday Favorite to your own blog and let me know 'cause I'd love to check it out.

My first Friday Favorite is........ My favorite scene from my favorite movie, Singing in the Rain. This was hard to pick too because I just love the whole movie and I couldn't very well put a two hour movie on my blog (could I?). Hope you like. This scene makes me smile no matter how many times I see it.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How's Your View?

And what's the view like out your door this morning?

Hope God wows you today too. Be blessed.