Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Good Morning Beloved Reader,
Today I want to talk about the topic of Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and many of you that may have been raised Catholic or are still Catholic know what Ash Wednesday signifies, but those of you who don't may have just seen people walking around with a black mark on their foreheads and maybe you thought they just got messy while making their fire that morning. 

That's not what the ash on their foreheads is about.
Before I get into a bit of history on the actual meaning of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent I would like to get personal for a minute. 

I would like to share my story, on why I celebrated the season of Lent as a child, and why at one point I didn't, and then now why I do again.

When I was younger I was raised as a Catholic, and not just your everyday average Catholic my parents both were very spiritual people. My dad was in the seminary intending to become a Priest and My Mom was a teenager who lived in a Convent for a time. Clearly, that didn't work out because otherwise I most assuredly would NOT be here. However, even though they were both Convent/Seminary drop outs they still had a very strong faith, and ever since I could remember we were having bible study or Catechism lessons in our living room, and going to church faithfully on Sundays. We celebrated Ash Wednesday and Lent every year and this is what I remember as a child about those days. 

One- Ash Wednesday was not my favorite because not only did I get this black stuff on my forehead that messed up my whole look, but I also had to give something up for 6 weeks.
Two- I didn't ever really understand  the WHY,  behind these occasions so they meant nothing to me.

 And C. -They were in my mind, almost like a punishment for being Catholic that I never enjoyed and certainly had no intention of carrying on once I was old enough to stop the madness.
The reason I think these are my memories as a child of this season is because I believe that 
somewhere along the way for my mom and dad these acts became just that, ACTS.  I'm sure if you were to ask them today they would say that they both were not doing these out of love and devotion to Christ, but out of duty. They just did what they had always done without really asking why?  It's important that we never forget the WHY behind the WHAT.
Why is a powerful word.

It was at this point that my sister Jenny worked with a woman who sought out her faith so differently, and my Uncle Gene introduced both of my parents to a new way of pursuing their faith in Christ. It was like God was working on their hearts all along for this moment in time, and the rest is my family of origins spiritual history so to speak. Needless to say, when they stopped marking my forehead I was beyond glad to end that silly tradition and I never looked back until....

About almost 4 years ago now I attended a church service that explained some things about these days that I never understood before.
If you want to read up more on Ash Wednesday
Here is a great link to read about Ash Wednesday's original origins American Catholic dot Org ;)
but for the sake of what I'm trying to say here I'm just going to say that somewhere along the way in my faith journey I realized that it isn't the outside that matters so much to God, but rather what's going on in your inners that HE cares about. And, it's not just once a year that we should take inventory of our faith walk but on a daily basis. 

What I'm saying is that, I know now
 to walk around in "sackcloth and ashes" and give sugar up for 6 weeks is not what God really wants from me. But, what does he require of me then? 

And that brings me back to that powerful church service 4 years ago where I realized in many ways I had thrown the baby Ash Wednesday out with the Bath Water Lent. 
Hee hee hee... I make myself laugh.

These acts in and of themselves are not bad, but rather the motive behind them.
If my motive is to be seen as a great spiritual person who can give up Coffee so that the world can stand in awe of me, then umm... I  might need a check up from the neck up, or down really... cause my heart is what would really need a transplant. 
But IF however I feel fasting from Coffee will help me realize my great need, desperate need, for God to give me strength and not that dirty drug Caffeine then I think I'm tracking what God is laying down.

We are told as Christ followers that our numero uno call or command is to Love God above all else. 
Which brings me to the word Idols.
That word has become a household acceptable name now with American Idol, but make no mistake that is a NAS- TAY word!! 
We can have all kinds of idols in our lives and they don't come in the form or the fashion of statues anymore. They come in Wine Bottles, Celebrities, T.V. shows and dare I say even in the form of Blogland. But oh beloved reader, they are not to be trifled with.
They come to rob, kill, and destroy our original design and purpose here. 
And I believe the only way we can even realize they are there is to get on our knees and ask God to reveal them to us. 
I now look forward to this time of year because I walk into it with Freedom.
Freedom to know that even if I say I am giving up sugar for 6 weeks and I goof up and have a donut one day, God doesn't really care. 
He doesn't require sacrifice and fasting anymore. 

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Amplified Version.

This will be the fourth year of celebrating Lent with this new understanding. 
Every year I ask God what may have crept into my life and taken the place that only HE should have.
And every year HE has been faithful to reveal to me something that would be good to give up for a while. 
Beloved reader this space here, and all of my social medias are going to be quiet for the next 6 weeks while I soak in and soak up only HIM. 
I will still be answering emails, and your comments here through email, but you won't find me living here or on Instagram,Twitter, or Facebook.
For the next 6 weeks
I'm going to take this time to reflect, repent, and renew what it is God has called me to. 
I will miss you, and I sure hope you are still here when I return. 
I certainly gave you enough to read in this here  Book of a post. 
Sheesh... long winded much!!
I'm already having withdrawals can you tell?
Pray for me.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Flashback Friday

This week we had kind of a Matthew Broderick marathon with two of his older movies when he looked even more baby faced than he does now.
Any guesses for one of the movies that was a must see for a flashback movie of his?
Yep, you can't say Matthew Broderick without saying Ferris Buehler. 
In fact I think I thought that was Matthews name for the longest time.
I love this movie so much because it reminds me of my High School career. 
Shhh... don't tell my kids, but playing hookie was one of my favorite things in all of the world.
I got decent grades and was a good kid, but I definitely was and still am a home body. My mom didn't mind having me home though, she enjoyed the company I think so I was never sneaky like Ferris.
Still, this movie I might suggest watching without the kids. Learn from our mistake we watched it with our Fab 4 and one child in particular who is at a very impressionable age, ahem... Solomon my 11year old, tried very hard at the beginning of the week to follow in Ferris footsteps. It was actually quite funny. He is a home body too, bless his little heart,  just like his momma. So all my training and experience came in handy and I am happy to report he didn't miss a day this week. Tried as he might. 
The other Matthew B. movie we watched last night was Biloxi Blues.
I had never seen this movie and My Giant could hardly believe his ears when I told him, Nope. Never saw it! I started to realize about 2 minutes in why I had never seen it, because it is without a doubt a mans movie. It's about a bunch of soldiers who are going to boot camp for World War 2. Matthew plays the role of a want to be writer who journals everything that happens while he's in boot camp. They have all kinds of funny mis-haps and also a moment in the movie where as the momma of 2 young boys I was praying, "Dear God- please protect my boys from this" you will see what I'm talking about half way through the movie. Here's a hint- the scene involves a lady of the night. Enough said.
And now onto our Flashback Posts in the Blogosphere....
If you are new here first off Welcome and let me give you the 411 about this little link up I run.
It is for older blog posts. I used to ask that they be a year or older, but I don't have time to check all of that and besides I figure if you have taken the time to link up something you want others to read, who am I to tell you from what calendar year it has to be from?
The point is ... link up, have some fun, read and please comment on at least one other link up and have fun! Oh I know I already said have fun, but I really want to emphasize HAVE FUN, it's FRIDAY after all
*Oh, if you want a cute lil button to spread the word about this link up, they are over there on the right. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Where's the Beef and What's your Beef?

Does anyone recognize this cute lil old lady? She is the gramma for all those Where's the Beef commercials that Wendy's put out in the 80's or was it the 90's? Well, and she is my comedy relief today as I tell you about all the beefs I have been having with life lately. And, No I wasn't eating at Wendy's.

I'm noticing a trend lately in my life, I seem to be having a beef with everyone and everything. Can you say irritable anyone? Seriously, it has made me wonder if I am pre-menopausal. I keep asking God to help mellow me out, but I'm thinking I just wish they made a happy pill, so I could take like 100 of them and call it a day!! Let me give you a few examples of the beefs I am referring to;

So,I don't consider myself to be one that has road rage, but recently I have had a few real bleepity bleep drivers enter my pathway. No biggie, right? Everyone has jerk driver issues sometimes right? Especially, when you live in a big city.Well, the other morning this BMW driver cut in front of me ever so abruptly on our busy street here and then the funny part is(or the not so funny part) he ended up being a parent at my kids school.

What? What? Uh - huh! Needless to say, I was glaring at the back of his skull so fiercely I could have burned a hole right through it. As he drove in he proceeded to the drop off zone at which point he then GOT OUT OF HIS CAR (sorry for yelling but you needed to feel the shock and awe that I was experiencing at this point). It was to get his kids backpack out of the trunk and then button up his child's coat ever so slowly and THEN give the longest hug a parent could ever give... Fer real... It was like hugging was an Olympic sport or like he was never gonna see the kid again. Now I'm all for parent love and affection but there is a place for this. It's called a parking spot. SO ... clearly this guy didn't know about the "code" of the drop off zone. I mean call me crazy, but I think the words " drop off zone" should have given him a clue. Or maybe this sign ...

So here's my beef with this guy, not only was a he a grade A royal A%% hole driver but then he didn't even have the decency to pull in a parking spot to give his long farewell to his child. No, instead he made the long line of cars behind him wait while he was in the drop off zone. 

Ok.. Moving on

I received a letter of "concern" from the elementary school that my children attend. It was regarding how many days of being absent that my youngest Zed head, had. Which, I would like to point out is under 10. Ahem... ok, here's my beef with this one being at school when you are well is great, but what this letter conveyed was "send your kids to school whether they are sick and dying or healthy and happy we just want your money" This letter really bothered me. The more I thought about it the more hot and bothered I became. So, I decided to go talk to the principal. The more I thought about the principal the less bothered I became because I know her. I feel as though knowing and being known by your kids principal is a very important goal to have in all parenting careers, but that's a topic for another day. So the more I thought about our meeting I began to have some Holy Spirit led good self talk that went like this, Noël why are you going to see Melissa you know she didn't personally put out those letters and she probably feels the same way you do about them. They are a district mandated letter you know this.  

Still, I went to go see her and our conversation went something like this ;
"hi Melissa how are you?"
"great noël how are you "
" great I really just have a quick question for you about the letter I received regarding Isaiah's absences ?" 

At which point she rolled her eyes because she already knew what I was going to say.

At which point I felt like doing a Homer Simpson Doh!!

But I said... "the first thing i just want to ask is do you send those letters out as a school district mandate or are they a personal letter that the faculty here has come up with?"

Right away she put my heart at ease by laughing and saying, they were without a doubt a school district mandate and that she had even received one herself for her own child.

Whew... ok so then I was on to the next beef I had.

And so on and so forth. And are you catching the common thread here? 
The common thread is that I HAVE ISSUES!! I'm working on them, but sometimes just typing them out helps me to realize how silly I am and also why people resort to taking happy pills at this point in life. That's a joke, kinda, sorta. 

Oh and also I read this;
"Understand this my beloved brethren(or sisterthen)Let every man or woman be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to take offense, (or a beef,) or get angry. James 1:19

Double OUCH!!

The End... Pray for me and my issues... And thank you for this therapy session, the check is in the mail and.... have I told you lately how beloved you are? I have NO beef with you beloved reader, none what so ever.

I'm linking up here today cause clearly that's where I need to be;

Into The Word Wednesdays

Monday, February 04, 2013

From One Taxi Cab Driver to Another

Good Monday Morning Beloved Readers,
I am being featured over HERE at Brooke's place Covered in Grace.  If you have some extra reading time, go stop by and say hello.

Today though...

I would like to go down on record as the mom who warns all of you younger moms about something that no one ever told me about.
And that is that once your lils get into double digits something very strange happens to your life.
You no longer live in a home but rather out of your car.

Do you think I'm joking?
Well, I kid you NOT.
Ask anyone who has children in double digits how often they are in the car on a weekly basis, and then ask them if this has changed since their children were younger?

So, let it go on record that you heard it here first,
having double digit children = living out of your car.
You can now add Taxi Cab Driving to your list of careers. 

Now, I would not just leave you with this bomb shell of information without some helpful tips.
Some of these things you may already know or currently have in your car, but just in case you don't, let me help you out.
First off, keep pens and pencils handy because children of this age are always needing you to sign something. It used to be that I kept a good amount of pacifiers at the ready, well now I just replaced that spot with pens. All kinds of pens, because they often get snagged for homework and come in handy when you are reading your "go to book" and need to underline where you left off.

Which brings me to survival tip Number two- Always have a "go to book" waiting in the car. At this season in your life you find that you wait outside for events, and other functions quite a bit so in all that waiting, even if you do have your smart phone and can check your email sometimes it's just nice to pass the time waiting with a good go to book. It can't be a book that is hard to get back into. It has to be one that you can leave at a moments notice and pick right back up again a few minutes later. I usually go to the Sweet Potato Queens for this book because they make me laugh, and because they are easy to leave when I need to go on to the next event.

*(But, I must warn you about the Queens you might have to wash your eyes out after reading some of their stuff cause those ladies can be naughty.. funny, but naughty. I should point out a disclaimer here, if you do find your eyes knee deep in a Queens book  I would like to say I don't whole heartedly agree, or advocate what they say. They just make me LOL... so don't judge)

Speaking of the next event, you may have noticed by now that you will be in the car for some time, and you might get hungry so that brings me to  C.  keep a good stash of snacks handy.  I find that pickle flavored sunflower seeds are my favorite, and granola bars are the kids favs. The reason I like the seeds are that they are not high in calorie, but helpful in making you feel like you are doing something with your hands when you are waiting at the lights. Oh the endless waiting. The eternal red lights!!
Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. You will go from one place to the next just to wait some more. The scenery will change but the action will not. Do I sound bitter? I'm really not. I have come to terms with waiting. I think me and waiting are on a first name basis. Mr. Patience and I have a pretty good relationship, but every now and then I like to show him who's boss and get the first cup of coffee before the coffee pot is done pouring. I just get right in there with my cup and say, "Yeah... take that Mr. Patience!!" Ok moving on...

The final note of advice I have for you rookie Taxi Cab Drivers is to keep the essentials well stocked, lotion, wipes, kleenex, chapstick, and sometimes even nail polish. Ahem... yes fixing the chipped nail look can be done with this job sometimes... ya know multi taskers unite!!
And beyond that I would only advise that you keep your Playlist OH SO happy!!
and remember that all this busy means you have healthy, happy children who are able to go from here to there and that my friends is something to smile about.
Your fuel tank bill.... not so much.

Don't forget who told you first. 

I would love to know if you other taxi cab driving mom's have some tips for me that I didn't list here?


Friday, February 01, 2013

Flashback Friday

Last night we had a real treat for our Flashback movie this week.
We watched Batman The Movie, filmed in 1966, it was so campy that... well, I gave up on it. 
My family was protesting about 20 minutes into it and I could tell this would be one old movie that wouldn't make it into our library.
Still, I think I gave it a good solid 35-40 minutes before My Giant switched to a documentary. 
I can't really say how it ends or if it got any better, but I will say that the interactions between Batman and Cat Girl was THE most entertaining part of the 45 minutes that I gave this old flick.
Seriously, they really were so funny!!  
And now onto our Flashback Posts in the Blogosphere....
If you are new here first off Welcome and let me give you the 411 about this little link up I run.
It is for older blog posts. I used to ask that they be a year or older, but I don't have time to check all of that and besides I figure if you have taken the time to link up something you want others to read, who am I to tell you from what calendar year it has to be from?
The point is ... link up, have some fun, read and please comment on at least one other link up and have fun! Oh I know I already said have fun, but I really want to emphasize HAVE FUN, it's FRIDAY after all
*Oh, if you want a cute lil button to spread the word about this link up, they are over there on the right.

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