Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween is a Horrible Holiday

Yes, I'm going there.  And I'm coming right out and saying it, too.  I've begun to hate Halloween.  I'm not sure what genius thought it would be a good idea to celebrate spookiness and create a day where being scared is supposed to be fun, but I think they ought to be taken out back and saddled with a whole passel-full of preschoolers who are terrified to walk past houses because they've been decorated with ghosts for Halloween.

I can't say I've ever really been one to enjoy being scared.  Horror movies have never been my thing.  I don't watch violent shows while Tim is gone because it makes me too creeped out at night.  And as much as it drives me crazy that Reuben seems to have this pathological fear of the dark, deep down, part of me totally gets where he's coming from.

So forgive me if I don't get all excited about having a whole day out of the year devoted to scary things like witches, ghosts, and vampires.

Don't get me wrong.  The whole concept of everyone handing out candy to any child who knocks on their door is actually an interesting study in generosity.  As a kid, I loved going out and getting my annual haul of chips, chocolates, and random candies.

But I think the world is starting to overdo it a little.  Houses are being decorated weeks in advance with cobwebs, ghosts, tombstones, skeletons, and other things designed to frighten.  For the last week or so, every time I turn on the television for the kids, they are being bombarded with spooky shows, talk of costumes, and commercials advertising said spooky shows.  And thank heavens I didn't take them to Canadian Tire with me last week because the displays they had up of all the decorations they have for sale were enough to make me hurry along and get to a safe department, like housewares.

Reuben keeps walking around yelling "Boo", trying to do anything he can to scare me.  Kaylee covers her eyes and says "Scary" every time she sees a house with a ghost on it.  (For the record, I did not teach her that.)  Both of them have learned to avert their eyes when we pass certain neighborhoods because I've told them I don't want them looking at houses who, in my humble opinion, have just gone completely overboard and will likely give my kids nightmares if they stare too long and look too hard at the various decorations littering those lawns.  (Go figure, one particular house is right beside a stoplight that without fail, we always have to stop for.)

I'm all for handing out candy to kids, but why are we trying to scare them in the process?  Since when is it fun to create fear in little children?  And why in the heck are we spending weeks out of the year preparing for this annoying at best holiday?

Curse commercialism, curse consumerism, and curse the boneheads who think it's a good idea to make scary fun. 

Because it's not.

(Sorry, that got rant-ish at the end.  Can you tell I'm sick of Halloween and SO ready for it to be over?)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Reflection

 "1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
   sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
   proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvelous deeds among all peoples.   
4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
   he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
   but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
   strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
   ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
   bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
   tremble before him, all the earth.
 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
   The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
   he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
   let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
 12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
 13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
   he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
   and the peoples in his truth." Psalm 96

 Today, let us worship our God, the Creator of all.  He alone is worthy of our praise.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ponderings on dumb drivers

Yesterday, I posed a rhetorical question: why do some drivers think they can ignore the rules of the road and traffic signs that have been posted for a reason?

I won't attempt to answer this question because it would probably need to involve some convoluted psychological drivel using big words that I wouldn't understand anyway because I took sociology, not psychology, so I wouldn't even know what I was talking about.  And besides, the answer to the question isn't really the point.  I'm just venting at certain drivers' idiocy.

Let me explain a bit further.

As some of you may be aware, they've been doing some sewer work in the major intersection near our home for about two months now.  This construction has involved the closing of most of the lanes that make up this intersection so that there is only one two-way lane going through it in either direction.  It has also meant that the left-turning lanes are closed, and the intersection is littered with no left-turn signs because as a major intersection with only one lane going through it, if one person decides to stop and wait for the intersection to clear so they can turn left, well, it creates traffic havoc for everyone waiting behind them.

It might also be worth noting that the construction information signs state that the work will be going on from September to October 31 and to "Expect delays." 

I don't need to tell you that this has created some minor annoyances for us because generally, we have to turn left from the one main road onto the other main road in order to get to our house.  We've had to take detours for the last two months, and it's getting a little old. 

Anyway, back to my frustration at stupid drivers.  You recall I mentioned the no-left turn signs?  Well, it seems that there are a preponderance of drivers out there who think that they don't have to obey said traffic signs.  You can't tell me they didn't see them because when I said the intersection was littered with them, I meant, the intersection is littered with these signs.  They are

And yet, without fail, nearly every single time I come through that intersection, I see at least one person turning left, either in the lane opposite me, directly in front of me, or some moron behind me.  I have laid on the horn for at least two or three turning directly in front of me.

Just yesterday, while on the way home during a particularly busy time of day, (which means traffic gets backed up for over a kilometer just because of the sheer volume of vehicles), I was waiting first in line at the light.  I noticed the driver behind me had his turn signal on, and I watched in disbelief as the light turned green, I proceeded through the intersection, and he/she sat and waited to turn left as everyone else behind him also waited.  Needless to say, I was the only one to make it through that particular green, and I'm sure everyone behind that driver cursed.

But with all the insanity and annoyance at the stupid drivers who get away with their thoughtless misdemeanors, there is some justice in the world.  I got a ridiculous amount of thrill and pleasure the other day as we waited once again in that line to get through the light.  We weren't moving, and I could see that someone was waiting with their turn signal on to turn left.  The light changed, the intersection cleared, and the driver proceeded with their.  Right at that moment, as the car was in the process of going around the corner, the unmarked police car behind them proceeded to turn on his lights and pulled that person over to give them (I hope) a ticket with a hefty fine.

I laughed out loud and applauded that officer.  It made my day to finally see a driver get busted for screwing up traffic.  I wish all those annoying drivers would get tickets.

But that's not likely to happen, so I will content myself with honking my horn at them when I can and hoping beyond all hope that they finish with the construction by their October 31st deadline so our driving habits can go back to normal.

A city construction job finish on time?  Is that even possible....?  More rhetorical questions that I'm not even going to get into...  Ever. 

And I feel a little better after venting about this.  Really people.  Just obey the traffic signs.  The world would be a whole lot happier, and the traffic wouldn't be any more screwed up than it already is.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A rhetorical question

So I had an entire post all planned out in my head for this morning, and then life happened, and my kids needed my time and energy, so you all will have to wait until tomorrow.

But I did want to give you at least something because I know it's been a few days since I last posted, so I will leave you with this somewhat rhetorical, just me venting a bit, question:

Why is it that some drivers think they can just ignore the rules of the road and traffic signs that have been posted for a reason?!

More on that tomorrow...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apology to my Morning Coffee

Dear Morning Coffee,

I like you a lot.  You greet me every morning with your caffeinated goodness.  Your warmth snakes it's way through me and gives me energy to face the day.  I don't know what I would do without you.

But I have to apologize today.  I forgot to buy white sugar when I got groceries two weeks ago, and my sugar bowl is completely empty.

So I had to put brown sugar in you this morning.

I know.  I'm so sorry.  I felt like I was committing a sacrilege.

But don't get me wrong.  I still love you, and this is all my fault.  You still taste pretty good, and I find myself wondering why people don't use brown sugar in their coffee more often (because isn't brown sugar supposed to be less refined than white sugar?  Maybe I'm wrong...excuse me while I go perform some Internet research...)

Okay, so I'm wrong.  Turns out brown sugar is just white sugar with a bit of molasses thrown in.  Maybe that's why you, my precious coffee, taste slightly different this morning.  But I think it's a good different, and it certainly doesn't mean I like you less.

So, Morning Coffee, I wish I had better news for you, like that I'm going to get groceries today and will get more white sugar then.  But I'm not.  Grocery day is still two days away.  So you're going to have to make do with brown sugar until that happens.

I think we will be able to survive.

With thankfulness that you really have no say in the matter,
Your faithful coffee consumer

Sunday, October 23, 2011

For Reflection

This week's women's Bible study passages have been from Exodus about Moses.

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”Exodus 33:12-14

May we, like Moses, ask God to teach us His ways so that we may know Him better, and may His presence go with you today, dear friends, that He may give you rest.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Update on "Get Dressed" Challenge

I had in mind to try and find something interesting to say this morning, but once again, I find myself at a loss for words.  Ironically, I've learned that it's not a good idea to say anything about w*riter's b*lock on a blog because there are trolling programs that look for anyone who's having trouble writing blog posts so a certain company can email them to tell them about their company that can provide content for their blog -- hence the reason I'm typing those words a bit funny this time around...*insert eye-rolling*  I can't even imagine how awful it would be to have someone else writing my blog posts for me.  Geez. 

Anyway, so I figured I'd do a little update post on how my week with "Getting Dressed" has gone.  I've done a pretty good job of getting decent clothes on by 6:30/7:00 every day, and I even squeezed in an extra shower!  Also, I found an awesome sale on jeans and picked up two new pairs, so I can officially cut up my old ones for the quilt I'm making.  I've brushed my hair every day, although I haven't figured out any new hairstyles yet, and I think I'll take care of the haircut next week.

I haven't done anything like take pictures of myself dressed up everyday because I'm not wearing anything special like a nice skirt or dress or anything.  It's just jeans and nice shirts, but at least the jeans don't have holes in the knees anymore, and I threw out all my old shirts.

So there you have it.  Goals for next week: wear a skirt at least once and get a haircut.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This trusting thing...

This morning, I am clinging to His truths. This morning, on this day that He has made, I am turning my thoughts toward Him and trusting in His promises, that He never leaves nor forsakes.

May my heart feel the peace I know only He can bring.

Just a simple verse, but when I asked Him for an encouraging word, this is what He brought to mind, "When I am afraid, I will trust in You." Psalm 56:3

I will trust in you.  I will do this.  I will set my mind on Him, and I will cling to His strength, and I will remind myself over and over of His unfailing faithfulness.

Because doesn't His Word also say, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, bring your requests to God."

It's that "with thanksgiving" part that's important.  When we come to Him with our anxieties, with our worries, with our worldly cares, we need to lay them at His feet and then thank Him for everything He has done.  It's this thanking that helps us to set aside our fears as we remember all the ways He has come through for us in the past and all the things He is doing for us in the present, and it is in thanking Him that we can know that He will continue to carry us through whatever faces us in the future.

So I set my mind on thanking Him today.  I will turn my fears over to Him, and I will remember His faithfulness.

And I will trust...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The "Get Dressed" Challenge

So I'm giving something new a try.  It's called The "Get Dressed Challenge", and you can check it out by clicking on the cool linky picture here:

The Get Dressed Challenge!

I'm not saying my problem is getting dressed in the morning because, frankly, I don't think I've ever spent all day in my pajamas ever, except once or twice when I've had the flu, nor do I own a pair of comfy sweats that I just love to lounge around in. (Although I do have a couple pairs of jeans with holes in the knees so big I have to navigate my feet around them when I put them on in the morning...)

So for the purposes of this challenge, I'm saying good bye to the hole-y jeans. I found some Christmas money from last year (!!) in an envelope the other day, so I'm going to buy some new pants, hopefully, not jeans, but something like khakis or cords or something.

Also, I will admit, some mornings, I don't actually brush my hair before I put it in a ponytail. This has to end.

And...(cover your ears if you don't want to hear this -- it's slightly shocking)...I probably could stand to shower a little more frequently.

So here's the breakdown of my goals for this challenge:
- get a haircut at some point during the challenge
- stop wearing hole-y jeans/buy new pants
- brush my hair every morning
- shower at least one more time a week than I currently do
- maybe even branch out into wearing (dare I suggest it?) skirts now and then...

There you have it. If you know me in real life, or even just here online, feel free to ask me how it's going. A little accountability goes a long way...

(And for the record, this morning, I got up extra early when Tim and Reuben left to deliver Tim's backhaul, which means not only did I get in that extra shower, but I squeezed in a workout too! Go me!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

For Reflection

From my readings in Ezekial this week:

"1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
 2 On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— 3 the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the LORD was upon him." Ezekial 1:1-3

And from Isaiah, a verse that started running through my mind as a song this morning:

"1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." Isaiah 42:1-3a

 If you feel like the Israelites in exile, as if God is far away from you, may you know that the hand of the Lord is upon you and may you hear Him whispering in your ear, "Do not fear.  You are mine."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just another Fall morning

The sky outside my window in the mornings is all black now.

When did that happen?

I knew fall was coming, but how did it get here so fast?  The days are a dichotomy of warm temperatures and leaves falling like rain.  There are long stretches of grey days and unending drizzle followed by long stretches of days with pure sunshine that call for shorts and mornings spent planting bulbs in my garden.

I fear those days of warm sunshine will soon be coming to an end, and we'll be left with days of bright sunshine that does little to combat the cold of winter and snow.

My soul feels a little weighed down lately.  The women's Bible study I'm participating in is focusing on revival; this past week's session talked about how easy it is to be asleep in our walk with God, and how the Christian life is not about doing things, participating in the right rituals, serving in the right way.  Instead, it is about a relationship, and without that deep relationship with Christ, it can feel like we're in a desert.

Don't worry.  I'm not in a desert.  But some days it feels like time passes so quickly, and before I know it, I've forgotten to have that quiet time with Him that I so desperately need, and once again, I find myself begging forgiveness for not drawing near to Him when I know full-well that I can't get through this life without Him.

Sometimes, I think He lets us have those days when nothing goes right just so we can be reminded of how desperately we need Him and His marvelous grace.

Anyway, I'm rambling.  The sky outside my window is becoming a shade of midnight blue, and through the trees that line our back fence, I can see the construction workers arriving to begin work for the day. 

I will begin my work for the day soon, too.  Dishes, laundry, dusting, meals to cook...  May I remember to bring Him along with me as I walk through this day that He alone has made.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Readers

Dear Readers,

I've done a couple letters on here venting frustration to various things around me, like the construction workers in my backyard and the raccoon that eats my garbage.  This letter is not to vent frustration, but rather to apologize for the lack of posting. 

Some bloggers would say I shouldn't feel guilty for not giving you something to read.  And I wouldn't say I feel guilty per se, more just a sense of responsibility to those faithful few who check in here almost daily hoping for something new.

My reason for silence?  I have to admit, it's nothing earth-shattering.  In fact, there isn't even really any good reason at all.  I just haven't had anything particularly interesting to say; I haven't felt overly inspired by anything.  Even today, this letter, is me forcing myself to get back at the keyboard and put forth at least something.

I think I might have writer's block.

Well then...

I'm sure the cure for writer's block is probably something simple like what I'm doing now, forcing one's self to write.  So we'll give it a go.  It might mean there are more days in between posts.  It might mean I make some kind of pledge to write a post every day for the next week.  (I don't actually see that happening -- sorry for getting your hopes up.)  It might mean I have to change the time of day that I do my writing.  Currently, I do my posts first thing in the morning after the kids get up, but their sleep habits have been changing slightly, as in, they wake up slightly later, so I have less time to do what I want before our day gets started.

Anyway, once again, dear readers, I'm sorry for my long stretch of absence.  I am hoping that it won't take me quite so long before I come back again on a more regular basis for you.  But if it does, well, just know that I'm probably fine, and I'm only trying to figure out how to get over the writer's block.

Peace to you,
Your not-so-faithful-lately blogger

Sunday, October 02, 2011

For Reflection

I was doing some reading in Isaiah last night.  Here's a few favourites:

24 “I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself..." 44:24b

7 I form the light and create darkness,
   I bring prosperity and create disaster;
   I, the LORD, do all these things.
 8 “You heavens above, rain down righteousness;
   let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
   let salvation spring up,
let righteousness grow with it;
   I, the LORD, have created it." 45:7-8 

3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
   all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
   and have carried since your birth.
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
   I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
   I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  46:3-4 

May you remember today that One who has known you since before your birth, this One who sustains you and carries you through every trial, He alone has created all things.  My God, He is great and mighty to save.

Peace to you, my friends.