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Scripture Sunday: Here I am…

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Quick background on my Religious journey. I was born and raised in a Catholic home (Catholic school, Mass every weekend, the works). I did the typical college thing and tried to rebel and not go to Church; that only resulted in me working in a Church nursery at the Church of the Brethren where I ran a basic Sunday school for the under 5 year olds while the adults were in services (yeah, so much for rebelling). Then I met The Husband who introduced me to the Greek Orthodox Church. Let me just say, most people who really want to rebel often want to loosen the tight structure of the Catholic Church; but I rebel like no other. Those who think the Catholic Church has strict guidelines…well, they don’t have anything on the Orthodox Church.

i say that because many of you know me from the Orthodox ways and, those who do, know that Orthodoxy relies on chanting through the service; no hymns, no hymnals, no “this week let’s sing these songs to go along with the service”. It’s beautiful. I think the chanting is truly what first brought me to appreciate the Orthodox Church. That said, growing up Catholic, we had the different hymns each week. I remember very fondly getting excited when I looked through the hymnal at the beginning of service and found that they were going to be singing “Here I am Lord”.

For those of you who have never heard this song, or just want something good to listen to, just type it into YouTube and you will find plenty!

That song spoke to me. That song defined me even at a young age. I didn’t really realize it, though, until I was older. Then I looked up where it came from (knowing that there was a Biblical refernce) and found the verse Isaiah 6:8. Here am I; send me.

As I mentioned in my last Sunday post, I know that I am doing right in my work. I do know that I was called to make my corner of the world better. I wake every day knowing that what God has put into my path, what He has called me to do, I am doing it and will do it. I find my life is better, happier, easier, when I follow Him. I find that when I tell Him I am ready, he shows me the next steps. And, can I just say, WOW! I am always amazed at what He leads me to do. I truly believe that this verse is another that defines the work I do.

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

So, do you have a favorite hymn?

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Wordless Wednesday: late night at work

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The Husband: Finding Common Ground

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The Husband: Finding Common Ground

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The story continues…(yes it’s been a while, but we aren’t talking about that). Where did we leave off? Oh, right, The Husband interviewed for a position as a teacher for the two-year-olds classroom at the center where I was a toddler teacher. Yes, in case you missed it, he was hired.

Shortly after he was hired, I was coming leaving for lunch as he was coming back from lunch when my eyes were drawn to the precious item in his hands…a Fins cup! If you are not from San Diego, you have probably never heard of this place. Who am I kidding, most of the people I know in San Diego have never heard of this place. But for those of us who know of them, this is the finest fish taco place you will ever find. Yes, Rubio’s is okay, but it is nothing compared to Fins. Their shrimp tacos are to die for!

But I digress. So, in he is walking with a coveted Fins cup. “You know about Fins?!?!?” was my exact response. Of course he did! The best place to eat. At that moment we made plans for that Friday to go get lunch together; it was payday and we were both having lunch at the same time that day. Perfect plans.

It is important to note that I STILL have no interest in him at this time. I was just excited that someone knew about Fins and wanted to go there for lunch.

So we went. Immediately after we returned from lunch I was visited in my classroom by another coworker who cornered me questioning, “Are you interested in Bob?” My exact, very emphatic, response was “Noooo! He’s Baaaaaaa!” Indignant that anyone would ever even begin to think that as a possibility. Little did I know that those three words would come back and haunt me years later (you’ll have to stay tuned for that story). Needless to say, that coworker responded, “Oh, good, because I like him and have been trying to set something up with him.”

I should have realized then that I must have had some sort of feelings because (1) see the very emphatic indignant response that can only be characterized as a girl trying to convince the world she isn’t interested in a boy and is only fooling herself; and (2) the exact thought that crossed my mind was “Yeah, he’d never go for you.” which is, of course, the exact response of a girl trying to convince the world she isn’t interested in a boy and is only fooling herself and doesn’t even recognize a very jealous thought in her head.

So, one Fins lunch turned into a payday tradition. Nearly every payday while I was still working at that center The Husband and I would go to Fins. I’m sure everyone around the center realized what was brewing; but no one told me about it. Half of them were still trying to support that other coworker’s antics in trying to date him. The other half probably either didn’t care or were just enjoying our love story unfold.

Stay tuned for next week when I explain the moment I knew that he was “The One!”

On the “question of the day” front: if you have found your one, were you in total denial or did you jump in head over heels first?

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Scripture Sunday: Charity or Love

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I don’t remember the first time I ever read the passage in the Bible 1Corinthians 13:1-13. Coming from a Catholic family and attending Catholic school, I can remember often times reading it through the years. I do, however, remember when it first began to resonate with me and I began to become obsessed with it.

When I was in college, I started running summer and winter Church camps for the Church of the Brethren. It was there that, as I was developing curriculum for 3rd-5th grade summer camp that I ran across an activity that brought this verse to life for me. The version I was using at the time was the “New International Version”; the activity works the same no matter what version you use. The activity is simple: read verse 4-9 and substitute your name for the word love.

That activity is what started my obsession with the verse. I don’t know why, but it took me a very long time before i looked it up in the King James Version. We’re talking years! More years than i want to count because my obsession started in college and it was just this year that I went to the King James Version. If I count the years, I have to admit that college did not end last year and i am not that old!

At first my mind had to adjust to reading the work charity where (in my mind) love should be. However, as I contemplated, read and reread, and really reflected on the verse, I love the King James Version much better. I think even more this verse resonates with me. This IS what I do, who I am. I mean, I found my calling working in a homeless shelter giving to children and families. My spiritual self was restless and questioning how I lived my daily life until I began working there.

I was once “accused” of wanting to save the world. Not a bad accusation, but the accuser thought it was an insult. I don’t think I can save the world, but I know I can make a difference.

This verse, this is who I am:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV
[1] … Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. [2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. [4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, [5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. [10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. [11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. [12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. …

Do you have a favorite verse? A verse that just resonates with you and stays with you always?

Introspective: control yourself!

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I have a very hard time speaking my mind at times. Not in the way of not saying what I am thinking rather than just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. Since I am a Program Manager I did it more important to stop myself before I blurt out the wrong thing. I am successful about 95% of the time. The other 5%? Well…

I think I can pretty much say that I have only really offended one person in two point five years (that show how much restraint I have, in other jobs and positions that would me offending someone about every two point five minutes…maybe hours on a good day…I’ve grown a little!!!)

Really, what it means is that I have learned to “read and now my audience”. That one person I offended was actually listening in on a conversation I was having with someone else who I KNEW would laugh with me and not go running away…actually, he returned the inappropriate comment with an even bigger one so, you know, know your audience and check for eavesdroppers.

My struggle now, however, isn’t holding my tongue, but apparently one of my staff is a serious mind reader because for the last week she has said out loud every single in appropriate thing I have been thinking.

What, you want an example? Okay! One of my employees sadly lost her husband to cancer. I was taking a collection because staff wanted to do something…card, flower, something. In talking to some of them I came up with the idea that instead of flowers, we would pay for a dinner to be delivered; you know, one less thing to worry about and really thoughtful.

Well, I said “I figure this would be nicer than flowers because flowers don’t last”. Inappropriate staff member, without missing a beat, says “yeah, they just die, and her husband just died, and that’s just sad”.

Kid you not, the EXACT same heartless thought was going through my mind! But, kudos to me, I have learned self control! A comment like that just comes off better from line staff and NOT from management, don’t you think?

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The Husband: Predating, preinterest, preschool

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As I mentioned last week, I met The Husband taking a summer course for child development. It was the summer of 2000 when I had first moved back from college. The class met on weekends one to two times each month. It was a cooperation between four child development centers coming together for a great training on infant/toddler practices. Through the class we learned a lot about ourselves and the other participants.

After the class ended, I never thought I would have any interaction with any of the participants other than those I work with. I mean, it was a nice connection with everyone, but no reason to see each other in the future.

I was the lead teacher in the toddler room; children 18-24 months. When children turned two they moved to the next classroom.

About six months after the course ended, there was an opening in the two year old room for a lead teacher. Since my kids moved up to the next room I had a very vested interest in who the new teacher would be. It would have to be someone who would continue my work towards fostering independence and critical thinking with the kids. There was always a full trial day where the candidate had to come in for the day and take over the class. It was a good opportunity to learn how that person fit in with the rest of the center, parents, and most especially the children.

As the teacher of the children who would be transitioning up, it was part of my job to “check out” the candidates. So, one day there was a candidate for the two year old room. There was a note “warning” parents about the “male” candidate in the room (a whole HR mess if he hadn’t gotten the position I am sure as they never announced the female candidates).

I was given a moment to go check out the two year old classroom when, much to my surprise, there he was…The Husband!

It is important to note at this point I had NO romantic interest in him. Seriously!!! I respected him as a colleague in the field who has a great respect for children, but really had no romantic interest at all. I highly recommended him for the position.

I knew that in a center where I felt like I was in a constant uphill battle to do right by the children, he would be another teacher on my side and would advocate for those things that I knew would be for the best…and he always was and still is…even though i have been long gone from that center…

We still fight for the best for all children together.

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Exception to the rule

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I hate spending money. Apparently I never got that girls gene that enjoys shopping. I hate it! We’ve talked about this.

However, there is an exception to every rule. And the exception tommy hating shopping involves shopping at two places: grocery stores and Costco. Nothing gives me more pleasure than walking up and down the isles at the grocery store or cruising around Costco.

It’s not even the free samples or anything. I think it’s the challenge. I love trying to get the most for the least amount. My mother in law complained the other day when The Husband gave me my budget at the grocery store for….$40! She was seriously ticked off!

Me? I love the challenge. Now,if indeed more, he would have told me more, but to feed the two of us on $40 a week, and it’s still good food…I rock! I’m just saying.

Of course, there are the days/weeks/trips that I spend way more, but that’s when those “staples” need to be replenished.

So this weekend was a Costco trip. We stopped at the MIL’s first and then headed over. Then we hung out, had dinner, all that. Someone was putting all the freezer items away temporarily in MIL’s freezer, I was putting the refrigerated items temporarily away. Lets just say someone forgot a very important item.

It’s okay, everything still tastes good, even if it looks funky:

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