Quick Thought For The Evening

"...Our pain is not a threat, and our pleasure is not a promise." ~Frank Berliner


I Have Other Back Stories To Finish Writing About But First Things First:

Yesterday was Sunday.
Before heading out for more volleyball (G's team made it to the playoffs), we went to church at  11 AM at the Oratory.
The chapel was full--standing room only--and it is a small chapel--it seats about 100 people.
The priest was standing in the back waiting to march down the aisle.
His position was creating a bit of a human quagmire for the rest of us standing near him.
One woman seemed particularly anxious to get around me--but I could not move until the priest processed.
She kind of bumped me, not meanly, but clearly intent on getting somewhere.
It sort of reminded me of being in a mall in Manila.
As soon as the priest started moving forward, I was able to get out of the woman's way.
She scurried and scooched herself into a pew.
"Ah." I said to myself.
"She had her eye on that space and was determined to nab it."
"No wonder she was bulldozing anything in her path."
Just as I was getting ready to launch full blown irritated thoughts directed at the woman, a funny thing happened.
The woman suddenly turned around to face me and motioned for me to sit beside her.
(she actually somewhat bump-slid the people in her pew with her butt to make room for me. I smiled at her and declined.)

I was taken aback.
First of all, I was not even aware that she was aware of me--
and secondly, her gesturing to me and thoughtfully making more space stopped my negative thinking instantly and allowed me to focus on the mass.

This morning I was pondering that interesting experience and realized a couple of things.

1. I've read numerous times that what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves.
And that everyone we meet is our mirror. That the traits that we don't care for in others is usually something we don't like about ourselves. (there are exceptions to this of course: animal torture, child abuse, murder, etc...I am pretty sure do not fall under this heading)
The good news is, supposedly the fact that we get annoyed is a sign that this buried down trait has bubbled to the surface and is ready to be healed. And it can be healed if we are honest about it and ready to let go of that trait.
So here I am accepting that I have a personality trait that can bulldoze things in my path to get what I want. I hope that I won't be that way anymore.

2. Our thoughts are all very connected. I am pretty sure that I was not the only person the woman bumped to get to where she was going--however, perhaps I was the only one that got irritated.
That she singled me out and offered me a seat makes me remember just how powerful thoughts and vibes are. Thoughts are our prayers. This is why we should think kindly.  The universe hears our thoughts and responds accordingly. God is in everyone, yes even in annoying people.


Don't Dread, Don't Dwell: Just Do It.

Yesterday I got up at 5 AM and walked Pax. I had a long day ahead of me.
The Diocesan.
G's big race up a big hill 45 miles away.
Once the dreary forecast seemed imminent, I actually drove out of my radius last friday night and bought two large camping tents to help keep the runners warm and dry. I also made sure to pack umbrellas.

(Instant camping tents by Ozark Trail)
Product Review: These tents are so easy to set up! I'm a believer! I can do an infomercial on them! And they are incredibly reasonably priced compared to my tent from REI.

It was very windy, rainy, and cold.
The tents withstood the elements but unfortunately, not my umbrella.
It got so windy at some point that my umbrella actually disintegrated. Frame snapped off the thingy.
So I had to throw it away, mid-rain. I'm laughing right now, just remembering it.

I was so uncomfortably cold that I don't really remember all the details of the day.
But I did make a conscious effort not to complain about the cold.
Not complaining is like taking the medication Versed. You feel the pain but you don't remember it after it's done.
The children did well (G got 27th place!) and they all seemed to have fun.

Did I mention that it was muddy? I broke down the camp after 6 hours out there.
Do you know that despite how easy it was to take down my Instant Camping Tent by Ozark Trail, it is not so easy to put it back in its carrying case when it is wet and muddy?
I did not know this.
So I just stuffed the tents  into my little car in all its muddy glory.
Not complaining made the packing up go smoothly.

Before we parted ways after the Diocesan, the parents presented JB and me with some really thoughtful presents. They were very nice gifts that I unexpectedly teared up after receiving it.
It was, by far, the mother-of-all-coaching-presents.
I think the cold and wet conditions made me emotional.
Anyhow, feeling appreciated as a coach reminds me how important it is to always express my appreciation to others.

We left the Diocesan and I drove like a mad woman to get back home to  change into warm socks and out of my muddy clothes,  unload the muddy tents, and let the dog take a bathroom break before heading out again.
This time we were on our way to meet CK and company.
They had invited us to go zip lining.

I was tired and cold when we jumped back into the car.
It was drizzling.
I texted CK: Rain or shine?
(I was secretly hoping she would cancel because I was exhausted)
I should have known that her simple response would be: yes.

None of us had any idea of what to expect with the local Boy Scouts sponsored Zip line in a camp ground that I had no idea existed 5 miles from my house.
Camp Guyasuta.
The low budget signs advertising the zip line made us think that it might be for little children.
We were pleasantly surprised as
It was not a lame zip line.
1000 feet long, 130 feet high was not lame at all.
Will mark my calendar for October 17, 2015 because we plan to do this again.
After being unexpectedly pushed out of our comfort zone, we had dinner at CK's.
We did not get home until 11 pm.
In total I drove 100 miles yesterday.
This is so unlike me to double book myself because I always factor in cocoon time in between events.
After a really great evening I realize how important it is to just ALLOW LIFE TO HAPPEN.


4 AM Thoughts

Maglilimang araw lamang ang nakalipas na nalaman naming na ang anak na babae ng aming kaibigan dito ay ginahasa ng kaniyang kakilala.
Siya ay labing anim na taon.
Umiinom sila ng alak.
Nangyari ito sa isang bahay kung saan ang mga magulang ay hindi nakabantay.

Ang mga pamilyang apektado ay nakapagusap na.
At sinusubukan nilang gawin ang pinakamabuti para sa dalawang bata.

(I had to somehow get this out of my head and will write more about this when it is not so raw.)


Occupational Therapy II

I was asked to make nine souvenir posters for G's team for their 8th grade recognition night.  I made them last year for the 8th graders on G's team. I did not want to make them this year. But I was asked. As it turns out, it ended up being occupational therapy for me as I processed and prayed my way through a disturbing event that has hit my community. 


Prayers Work

We recently tackled an unpleasant situation that was happening at G's school.
G was getting bullied at school.
But unlike most bullying cases where someone is bullied by someone in their peer group, this was not the case here.
G was being bullied by a teacher.

Apparently this is not uncommon.
You can read articles about teachers bullying kids: here  here and here.

It had started toward the end of G's 7th grade but I decided to try and let the summer break heal the situation.
That teacher had just finished the school year being accused of treating another student unfairly, and I did not want to pile on.

Plus I was aware that the teacher in question was wrestling with some personal issues.

Unfortunately, it was clear in the first few months of G's 8th grade that the teacher was not treating G any better.

At first, G was reluctant for us to do anything.
I explained to her that we were going to do this, not just for G's sake, but for other students in the future. 
I did not want to ruin the teacher's life but I also felt that by not saying anything, that I was complicit in allowing someone to keep doing something that was harmful to other children.

So after discussing things with Steve, we agreed that the first step was to inform the school principal.
After listening to a few examples I shared with her, the school principal was extremely concerned.
The next thing Steve did was to write a calm and straightforward letter to the teacher-- and then he asked for a meeting with both the teacher and the principal.
We promptly got a letter of apology from the teacher and in the same letter, she agreed to a meeting and suggested a day at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, I kept praying for guidance and reassurance that we were doing the right thing.
While I was praying, I chanced upon a bible verse that I had never really noticed before:

"My friends, not many of you should become teachers. As you know, we teachers will be judged with greater strictness than others."
~James 3:1

That evening, I informed Steve and G that I was going to pray that the teacher was going to resign.

Steve said, "It's not going to be that easy."
However, he did suggest that we move the meeting sooner rather than later in the week.
The rest of the details are not known to us, but it is clear to us that whatever subsequent discussions transpired between the principal and the teacher--the teacher decided not to push through with the meeting with us and instead, she turned in her two weeks notice.

I had initially met with the principal on the evening of Sept. 22. 
By Sept. 25th we were informed privately that she was going to be gone in 2 weeks. 
When I told Steve that the teacher resigned he said: "I was not expecting that."
I was not expecting it either, but yet I was not surprised at the answered prayer.
In fact, I was awed.

Yesterday it was announced to the entire school that she was resigning to take care of the needs of her family.
G came home completely shocked. (Steve and I had not told her what we knew)
Today was that teacher's last day.


Occupational Therapy

Last week, I dropped G off at her 1 hour and 15 minute long once a week tumbling/gymnastics class.
Instead of driving back and forth, I decided to give myself a pedicure while waiting in the parking lot.

I spent one day over the weekend altering a dress for a young friend of mine.
Her parents bought us a delicious dinner and then more friends helped us with a complicated furniture move.

The coldish weather has put me on a soup kick.
So far I've made homemade beef and cabbage soup, and homemade chicken soup.

Spent tuesday at the doctor's office.
It has been determined that G's sudden temporary loss of partial vision during volleyball practice was due to an opthalmic migraine. Nothing life threatening.

Also on a tuesday, we socialized.

I've been trying to purge.
I have been getting rid of clothes.
I have also been purchasing new ones. (new to me anyway)

A very late ending to a volleyball evening last night.
I am trying to  curb the disorder in my home.
Physically and mentally.

Today while awaiting the results of a situation that we had attended to--I decided to tackle matching all the unmatched socks in our house.

I shall cook salmon tonight.


Romans And Friday

"We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those to whom he has called according to His purpose." ~Romans 8:28

The book of Romans in the Bible is St. Paul's most thorough letter of instructions to the early followers of Jesus.  He stresses the importance of faith and how being reliant on God during both the ups and downs of life bring us closer to God.
This closeness to God, or this pervasive dependence on God, brings peace.
If we are to believe Paul, then the difficulties we encounter are all part of a Divine plan.
If we have unwavering faith, living a life in constant peace is within our reach. (really??!?)
If we let God, we can be transformed inwardly by a complete change of our mind.
We will be able to trust God's will and in effect, please Him.

Hmmmm. When SHTF, who would not want the ability to experience tranquility and calm?
So today I apply some Romans.

Just like in Romans 8:38-39,  I believe that
Nothing can separate us from the love of God:
Neither a troubled teacher nor a busted tire
neither the temporary loss of partial vision, nor the misuse of a kitchen spice
neither the present or the future....or even the long commute for volleyball on a friday evening--
nothing will shake my faith in God.

I may get angry for a few minutes, I may entertain feelings of dread but if I consistently attempt to live with faith and love in my heart, I believe that all will be well.
(it's called expectant faith)

Aside from applying Romans...did you know that making a paste out of ground nutmeg and water and applying it all over the forehead can relieve a migraine and promote sleep?
I did not know this.