Friday, December 21, 2012

#2 Feeling Pain through Poetry (Getting to know a girl named Carrie)

I usually write poetry when I'm really upset about a subject that is not yet confrontable. They aren't happy go lucky...but it's what I do to get my thoughts out. Here are some poems I've written, they range from 1-4 years old
The Judgement
why do you judge me?
what is it for?
once vulnerably standing
now face to the floor
am I better here?
I felt better out there
I've locked my soul in this little dark place
so your blinding light won't bury me in shame
why should I have shame because of you
deal with your own convictions
it's not me, it's you
with my luck you'll read this a moment too late
you've already judged the "food on my plate"
something so little you've made so huge
and now you're wondering
"Oh what do I do"
I'm not apologizing for who I am
where I come from
or my life plan
although it may be different from yours
we're all Christs children of whom he adores
so take a minute
step down from that horse
you're too high up to steady the coarse
and this
oh this
it's what I do to deal
with you and you and you
and all the pain I feel
so here's a thought
look at you not me
because I'm not perfect
and don't claim to be
I know you just need something to busy your life
to forget YOUR problems
to forget YOUR life
but why don't you stop knocking on my door
because in the end YOU"LL be on the floor
how sad it must be to live your life
judging me in The Body of Christ
He Drinks
He drinks...he drinks...and then he drinks again
the glass he holds on to his only lasting friend
his drinking buddies are good for one thing
just another drink
but when the alcohol runs out, they're off the scene
silently we sit by biting our tongues
wanting so much to say something, but nothing comes
we want to spend time with you, we miss our friend
but he won't know until his heart mends
one day he'll look back and see all he missed
but until then, he takes another sip
the pain is too real, so he'll just hide
behind a beer glass that's fogged from inside
it slowly poisons him, but he thinks it's fun
playing roulette with this loaded gun
what will happen, what might it be?
as this feeling inside he tries to flee
what is the fate that might land him one day?
maybe sooner than later...I dare not say
then we'll be left with the pain in our hearts
knowing we would have said something, if we were smart
so I know he's out there
and we're stuck in here
wishing he knew the love that we fear
Those who live by the sword
An attack on our Country, has started a war
thousands have died, what was it for?
sitting in an office, doing their work
while men out to kill, wait in the lurk
Heroes went out, to fight for broken lives
they died in this battle, leaving husbands and wives
children who are missing a parent or two
parents missing children, who've become forever blue
and who is this enemy we fight with such pride?
who makes his videos and never ceases to hide
bravely these men fight, to protect where we sit
day in, day out fighting, never able to quite
the thousands of lives effected that day
have continued to be, 10 years as we pray
10 years is long, some forget why WE don't hide
comfortable in their home, thinking, "Oh, it's just pride"
for every action there must be a consequence
so to me what happened makes perfect sense
you see, we're in a war which was started by him
and like many, he has died, my attitude's not grim
I won't apologize for my feeling of gratitude
for the men who defended our Country, the red, white and blue
see to me it's not a question of love and grace
he got what he put out, an end to this chase
maybe our true feelings really do come out in war
like who believes are rights and freedoms are worth fighting for
so please keep in mind as you sit in the house you chose
that this morning you peered into your closet and picked out your clothes
remember on the way to your job today
you picked the radio station or music to play
watching the television channels you enjoy
with the children you decided to have, that bring you such joy
spouting off what you think about our President
and criticizing how our military takes action and time is spent
remember that how you got that freedom of speech
is from our military fighting to keep freedom for each.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#1 The Perfect Day (Getting to know a girl named Carrie)

Hey there people being so far away from everyone often times I feel like I'm becoming a memory. I feel like my friends I used to know are changing as am I, but I have no idea of how or why. I don't know what's going on in their heads. Let's get right down to it...everyone could say they would e-mail me and let me know how life is, but life is busy and after the first or second e-mail you have other things to do...I totally understand. So I've decided to put together a series called, Getting to know a girl named Carrie. You can read this if you like and if not no problem. I will be posting different things that you may or may not know about me throughout the year. I will try to do one a week in between my other posts...but that is no promise. I miss everybody and hope you enjoy getting to know me.
Let me give you a run down of a normal day in my house so I can then explain what "The Perfect Day" would look like. I'm usually up sometime between 5:30-6:00am. I try to get up around 4:00-4:30 for a quiet time or workout, but that never happens. I usually get up and make the bed and get ready for the day. Then I start a load of laundry to soak while Preston an I have our hour coffee time, while I'm putting on my makeup. Most of you have heard me say this before but I suggest an hour of alone time with your husband on a daily bases. Preston and I have done this for years...even when he was a manager at a restaurant and would get home at 1am then have to leave for work at 7am. Even when we were pie bakers and we would have to get up by 4am to bake all the pies. This is a very special time that says I love you enough and care about what we have enough to make time for you. When coffee time is over Preston starts breakfast and I either start calendar time with the kids or have a quiet time. We eat and have family devotion and then the school day starts around 8:00-8:30.
I start the school day off with Raymond and at 11:00am we have an hour of teaching Joe and Caroline. Between 8:00-11:00 I pick up/clean bathrooms and hang clothes. At 12:00 we eat lunch and take a break. At 1:00 pm Raymond and Joe start back with school. Usually around this time I'm watching Judge Mathis and Judge Judy while ironing so the kids are working on things they don't need help with. Around 4 school is over and I let Caroline watch a series on 3-4 min learning programs on youtube that teach her about the alphabet, colors, counting and so on. Around 5:00 the kids are taking showers and finishing up projects for school if they have them. I start dinner at 5:00pm every night and it's usually on the table by 6:00pm (unless we have homegroup, then we eat a big lunch and snack for dinner). After dinner, it's time for clean up...the kids wash dishes and clean the kitchen mess as well as their rooms and the school room. Then we all either read or watch a little television depending on what they want...or what we want. All kids are in bed by 8:00pm. By the time they go to bed I'm usually exhausted and fall asleep on the couch by 9:30. It may not seem like a lot, but believe me, teaching is a full time job which can be draining, but I really do love it.
"The Perfect Day", for me, would have four extra hours so I could get everything done that I normally do and then have some extra "selfish" time for me. Also, I would like to add that "The Perfect Day" would not consist of me having headaches, which I have almost every day, sometimes so bad I'm sick to my stomach and have double vision.
The first hour would be spent on a quiet/bible reading time. I would love to read more of the bible and write sermons. I might also sometimes spend this time on listening to sermons so I get a better feel of how to write them and the different styles of preaching. I enjoy writing as well as listening and reading, so this first hour would just be dedicated to the Father. This would be a time of doing the things I enjoy with, through and for Him. I should really already be doing this, but often times I let life or Judge Judy get in the way...just being honest.
The second hour would consist of an entire uninterrupted hour of cleaning house. Preferably one room from top to bottom until it's spotless and beautiful. This may sound weird to you, but cleaning is a necessity here with all the dust constantly coming in. With the constant heat, headaches and everything else I'm doing during the day it's hard to clean like I need to. Granted I wouldn't need an hour every day for this, but on the days that I wasn't cleaning we could have a family/recreation time. So this hour would do double duty depending on the day.
The third hour would consist of an uninterrupted QUIET workout time. Whether it be an upbeat workout to get my heart racing or a slow workout to calm me down. This is something I want to have energy for, and need because as I get older, believe me when I say, I'm needing it. It can help with aches and pains I'm sure. Also, some time to myself working out may calm my nerves a little and would help me feel good about myself and my body. Not that I have huge problems with that, just that I know how good it feels to be in shape.
And the last hour...aaahhhhh...this hour would, again, be an uninterrupted hour of reading/studying. I would start off by studying an hour of Spanish a night, but when I had learned that I would switch to reading books. I prefer historical nonfiction (especially wars, historical leaders, historical events and the people effected by them) but I love many different kinds of books and would read whatever I had. I would read until I fell asleep and would get the much needed 8 hours of sleep...depending on how good the book was.
So there's "The Perfect Day" in the eyes of me. I hope you enjoyed learning something new about me. I would love to know what you would do with four extra hours, or what your perfect day looks like. Feel free to leave a comment telling me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Change in Tradition

"Jesus is the reason for the season", raise your hand if you remember this phrase (okay, you can put your hand down now...I can't really see it). It's so funny how much I actually think about Him being the reason for the season these days. When I think of how much I'm missing family this time of year and just the traditions we have in the States, I often have to step back and think about how much about me this season isn't. It just seems like I got it stuck in my head that Christmas, and even Thanksgiving for that matter, are supposed to look a certain way...and if they don't...it's not really the Holiday Season. It is though, no matter what is going on in my life, Christ was born and that should be celebrated with complete joy and happiness. Last year it was so hard for me to enjoy the season. On Christmas morning I didn't even put on makeup (which, if you know me, means I'm depressed)...I just sat on the couch in my pajamas all day and stared at the television. That doesn't seem like much of a celebration to me. It just sounds depressing. We tried to take the traditions from the States and continue them here, which just isn't realistic. So this year we decided we needed to do something different.
Many of you know how our Thanksgiving went from our post in Big Picture Missions feel free to read if you haven't already. Usually this time of year we would be making hundreds of pies and by Wednesday evening I would be exhausted, but brining a turkey non the less. Thursday morning, as was tradition, Preston would run out and buy donuts and we would have our first glass of eggnog and donuts while watching the Macy's Day Parade. Usually I would also be preparing food in the kitchen and we would be at a designated family members house by 2ish (we alternated years one year with my family and one year with Prestons family). Then when we got home still exhausted from pies and now a day filled with family I would go with a friend, Shayla Parker, to catch some Black Friday deals. To be honest, I just liked being out in it...I know I'm a freak. It was the true kick off to the season for me. Half the time I didn't even really buy anything that I couldn't have gotten later, but it was the excitement of it all. Seeing all the decorations, meeting frazzled people, laughing at the people who didn't take the needed last glance in the mirror before running out the door, having coffee with my bestie while falling asleep in an isle...good times. Then getting home and taking a nap, if the kids would let me, and in the evening setting up the Christmas tree. Then going to the store and everyone picking out a new ornament, and returning home to decorate, while listening to Christmas music, with the kids while Preston and I had a glass of Lambrusco. It's so funny how quickly I got caught up in what a season is "supposed to look like" to make it a season worth celebrating.
Living in a different Country and trying to recreate these "traditions" ended up causing a funk that seemed to get deeper and deeper with every breathe I took. It was unrealistic for me to think everything would be the same, but for some reason I thought it would...or maybe I didn't really think about it at all which is why it hit me like a ton of bricks. Well this year that is changing, we are making new traditions and truly remembering the reason for the season. Also, I just want to throw in that I miss cool weather in the winter...or just having seasons at all. Do you know how hard it is to describe seasons in a place where there are non? (okay, that ADD moment has past, moving right along then)
This year our Thanksgiving traditions started on Monday when we went to the store to get the necessities for our Festivus Pole. We got the idea for a Festivus Pole, obviously, from Seinfeld.
The below quotes are taken from Wikipedia
Frank Costanza: "Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."
Cosmo Kramer: "What happened to the doll?"
Frank Costanza: "It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!"
Kramer: "That must have been some kind of doll."
Frank Costanza: "She was."
We don't actually celebrate Festivus which I have found people actually do...but we needed a new tradition that was affordable and still kept true to our need for filling the house with pretty Christmas decorations. A tree just isn't very realistic for us here. First of all they are REALLY pricey and bulky, second of all I'm quite sure they are a haven for mice and scorpions. We figured a Festivus Pole could be decorated like a tree but was small enough to move around and sweep under. Plus, who wants to wake up on Christmas morning, grab a gift, and get stung by a scorpion...NOT ME.
all the items needed for an amazing Festivus Pole
The new traditions continued on Tuesday when I rode the bus by myself for the first time to get the ingredients for the eggnog I would be making. Wednesday evening I made eggnog, since you can't buy any here, and we went to the store to get all the ingredients needed for our Thanksgiving feast (and a box of American Donuts for the morning).
Recipe will follow at the end of this post
Thursday morning when we got up we had our eggnog and donuts while watching the Macy's Day Parade
When we were finished with that we got dressed and took some Christmas pictures
On Friday evening we decorated our Festivus Pole while drinking Carlo Rossi mixed with Gingerale...since it's $15 for a small bottle of Lanbrusco here
We hung the stockings mom and dad brought when they came in February on random nails in our livingroom
Then we made another random decoration and hung lights. I must say this year has been great.
Cooked Eggnog Recipe
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
16 ounces (1 pint) whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. nutmeg
In stand mixer bowl, beat egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until completely dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Return everything to pot and cook until mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from heat and pour into a pitcher.
This recipe was inspired by Alton Browns recipe on the Food Network