Monday, February 28, 2011

Saw this on a license plate yesterday: In case of rapture, the car is up for grabs. Found myself thinking, "Is this really what it's all about?" I wondered how this represents Christianity to the one who is searching or to one of another tradition. It makes Christians look like the latest get rich scheme or some kind of exclusive club. This scares me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The season of Lent is coming.  In years past, I've observed it, but somewhere along those 40 days I tend to lose focus.  However, reflecting back I realize that it's all just part of the journey.  Since the last few months have been marked by a return to faith I'm going to give it a go again.

Want to know what I'm thinking about denying for the 40 days?  Facebook.  Yup, I said it:  Facebook.   I've noted before:  there are whole days that go by that I don't talk to another adult except for on the internets.  But 10 years ago I was fine without social networking.  Today I'm online more often than not.  It's brought me a little grief, nothing I can't handle, but I think it's time to step back for a bit here, be proactive and maybe get out of my house to talk to another grown up, or maybe to invite people over here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Even though I may blather on and on here, I am a person of solitude.  Yes,  I have 960 something people on my friendslist on Facebook.  I'm not sure how to trim that list down or even if I should.  It's been fun catching up and I value everyone I've met in my past.  I have had many an adventure and I know many people.  However, aside from work, church and other commitments on the weekends I tend to spend a lot of time by myself.  I've also made the comment before, there are somedays that I go without speaking to another adult except for on Facebook.  Although yesterday I didn't post much.  I didn't really have anything witty or charming to say.  And I still don't.

Maybe it's time to take a "social networking" break...

The whole idea that I have voyeurs that don't know me freaks me out.

Why don't you comment?  And I'm talking to those who don't know me... well, I guess those that do too...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 12

A picture of something I hate

I don't hate my yard.  I just hate the fact that it's going to take a lot to get it back to what it once was.  (See yesterday).  I guess we could say it's love/hate because I know it's going to be good for me.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

While in the ER I finally got to finish Jay Bakker's book, Fall To Grace. Some quick thoughts:
  • God's grace is unfathomable. 
  • Grace calls one to challenge one's core belief of what being identified as a Christian is. 
  • Grace compels us to love without finding fault and judgement. 
  • Grace compels us to love with a compassionate heart. 
  • Grace compels me to forgive.
  • Grace asks me to love in the same way.  
I suppose there will be more to come.  This is what I have for now.  Just wanted to get this out there.  

Photo Challenge - Day 11

A Picture of Something I Love

This was my yard June 15, 2009.  I absolutely loved coming out here everyday.  This is my goal for this summer.  It's going to happen.  Time to get some dirt under my nails.  Spring is coming!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 10

A picture of the person you have been close to the longest.

This is my girl Stacy.  We've been buddies since, well, Girl Scouts!  Stacy is my BFF to this day.  This is a picture of us right after she got her new wheels.  We were on our way to Santa Cruz to get out first tattoos. We did some fun stuff back in the day.  We still do fun stuff but with 4 kids in tow and usually an SUV to haul everything in.  She's awesome.  I am blessed.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I love Rev. Run's tweets. Here's his latest: Hating on others will hold up ur blessings.. Scripture talks about this critical spirit.... Its #wack

Recently I found out that there are people that read my blog who don't know me. They only know about me. They make fun of me when they read it... So I'm told. Wow. That's mean.

Stuff like this makes me come face to face with how ugly I can be to people. I don't want that for my life.

I write what I write because I'm trying to better myself and to help others to do so by being so vulnerable. Here's to loving more. Even the haters.

While taken sick this weekend I watched the following movies:

Loved this movie.  Favorite lines -

We have a whole life to live together you fucker, but it can't start until you call.  - Christine
(As me.  I can so identify with this).

I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it.  -Richard

Too Fat for 40.  Couldn't find a trailer link.  So here's a clip.  Funny stuff... but definitely not for everyone.

I will never get tired of this movie.  It's time to dig out A Mighty Wind.

Crazy good movie.  Wow.  Dysfunction at it's finest.

Photo Challenge - Day 9

I'm hoping this isn't a cop-out, but since I play by my own rules, here you go.

The person that has seen me through the most in my life.

This morning when I was all freaked out about the "coughing up blood" thing, my Mom was the first person I called.

My Mom rocks.
So this is where the part of being partnerless blows.  Do I take myself to the ER or do I wait to see the Dr sometime this week?  I got dressed and the last two times that I've coughed, it's been clear.  Have I been coughing up blood the last three days and just not noticed it?  I only noticed because I actually took a look this morning in the shower.  The coughing fits are less and less, fever and aches are gone and I feel surprisingly good today.  Although it could of been the good company yesterday that hung out and couched it with me all afternoon and evening.  I think I'm going to keep an eye on this a bit more today.  Being by myself though, my mind tends to wander...  I once thought I had leukemia for a good 5 minutes because I thought there was blood in my urine.  Then I remembered I had beets for dinner the night before.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 8

A picture that makes you laugh.

Even fairy princesses have to learn how to potty. 

This would make her around 2 1/2 here.  Maybe a bit older.  My, we've been on our own for a while.    

Everybody Matters from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

  In my search for redemption from myself through God, I'm finding one of the byproducts of that is love in the ways of compassion, vulnerability, service... there's more.

I'm learning.
Ouch, ouch, ouch, and owwwwww!  Really?

Here's to the grace of God again.  My prayer tonight is that I continually learn how to love as He loves me.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 7

A picture of my most treasured item. 

Not just any heart.  My heart.  This one was a hard one.  I look around and I have some things that monetarily, they are treasured, but if I were to lose them, sure it would blow, but things are things.  Even my iPhone.  Yeah, I said it.  But my heart, without that I wouldn't live.  Physically I need it, so I try to take care of myself.  I know that I could be a little better at that.  Emotionally, I've been known to be a little reckless and well, we all know where that got me.  Spiritually, I took my heart into my own hands and I ran.  I'm learning though, and I know I sound like a broken record:  You can't run from God.  As I was thinking about this post this verse came to mind - 

Guard your heart above all else,
      for it determines the course of your life.
Proverbs 4:23

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tonight at The Well, this was one of our focus passages:

 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12: 28-31

Boom.  For real.

Our question for the evening:  Are we living out our calling?  Currently, yes and no.  I'm trying though.  The more I love, the less room I have for anger.  Anger is exhausting and ugly.  The more I love, the more I forgive.  It goes both ways:  forgiving and loving me and forgiving and loving the other.

I don't think I would of come to this on my own 6 years ago had I stayed in my current situation.  Like I found in a quote last week:  I can't run from God.  It's a good thing too, because I couldn't do this on my own.

This song has been speaking tons to me this week.  It makes for a nice meditation in the morning.

Photo Challenge-Day 6

A person you would love to trade places for a day.

So sue me! She's a powerful woman who seems to really know herself. Plus she's loaded.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Powerful stuff.

I've been thinking a lot about God's transformative power and grace. The grace of God, what I'm finding out to be, is unfathomable. He loves EVERYONE. Regardless of the fact of the mainstream church's view on sexuality is, God loves everyone. Shouldn't we? "Love the sinner, hate the sin". That's a cop out.

I'm coming face to face with some issues that I put off for a bit. Ani DiFranco said, "I got distracted".    Lo and behold, the issues are still there. God loves EVERYONE... even the people that hung him out on a cross in the past and presently. Still he loves. Shouldn't I?

Photo Challenge - Day 5

A Picture of My Favorite Memory

Miss Grace is brand new here.  She's my greatest accomplishment by far. 

The memories came flooding back with the viewing of this photo.  It is what it is.  Thank God for grace, peace, acceptance, therapy, love.  

I really hope to have a moment like this again one day.  It's only human, yes?  

Monday, February 14, 2011

I took pictures of my day at work.  

Wanna see what I do on Mondays?  

Sadly, Iron Bird was closed due to a computer malfunction.  I look so forward to my Mondays at the Iron Bird.  Cafe Corazon doesn't open until 10 either.  The two places with amazing coffee in Fresno were closed so Revue's Costco coffee it was.  I didn't get to read my book, however as a former employee of way back yonder (like 12 years ago) I had the opportunity for a bit with the same people that still hang there every morning since I was pouring their cheap ass coffee.  Other than Charlie shaving his facial hair off and NOT smoking two packs a day for the past two years not much has changed.  The Revue is constant.  That's what they have going for them.  Then I was off to work...

It's Valentine's Day as we all know.  A busy day for restaurants.  

I donned my pretty red flower from Maria at the gym to be festive and to fight the bitterness.  I found my cynicism to be funny.  I hope everyone else did.  

I posted this on Facebook:  a martini composed of water and an olive intended to entice the celebratory romantic folk or the lonely heart in need of an ear.  

The soup of the day:  Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque with Parmesan Toasts.  This photo does not do it justice.  In fact, it's looks nasty here.  However, and some would beg to differ, it was delicious.  

The world's most awesome neighbors read my my FB post and wanted soup.  A little self affirmation never hurt anyone.  I kind of felt like Ross Geller after this one.  

My first Valentine of the day.  Not really.  Bill didn't remember it was Valentines Day.  He just brings me eggs from his chickens when he remembers. Always a treat.  Unfortunately, Minnie the Kitty knocked these off the dining room table tonight.  Only four remain.  

Mr. Trayler.  Giver of the eggs, cross word lover, current drink:  vodka on the rocks, olive or a twist, my choice.  

Hot Buttered Kracken.  Delicious.  I made 5 of these today.  

Then the Valentines started rolling in.  

Flowers from Stephan. 

Chocolates from Larry and Denise.

Larry and Denise.  I LOVE them.  

Hearts from Jonathan the Southern Rep.  This man is renting out a movie theatre to propose to his lady.  Wow.  

Then it was time for ordering.

That would be Three Olives new flavor "Dude".  I'm not feeling it, but I did pick up a bottle for the bar.  We'll see.  Sampling is definitely a perk of Mondays.  

And one more Valentine.  Good question.  Can I be both?  

Day is done.  

Photo Challenge - Day 4

A picture of my night.

I missed it. What I should of taken a picture of was Minnie the kitty eating the flowers I received from Steph for Valentines Day after knocking the farm fresh eggs that I received from Bill Trayler, off the table. Freaking cat.  Instead I grumbled some mild obsenities and cleaned it up.  Again. Freaking cat.  Still, I love her so.

So here's your picture of my night.  

Story time with Miss Grace.  Once a week we take a trip to the library to pick out our nightly reading material.  I try to pick out the Caldecott Winners and all the old ones like Stone Soup and stuff that I read as a child.  We even read Willie Wonka a while back.  My Creature Teacher is Sophia's choice.  This has got to be one of my most, if not my most favorite time of the day.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We all got problems.

Sometimes though, it's hard to see when I walk into church and focus on what I only think I see:  happy, happy, happy (yes, a third one) people with no problems.

This week I took the dive into my first Bible Study in YEARS.  Like I'm talking 12 years maybe.  And not only that, it's a Bible Study for other Single Moms.
Yup.  I'm her.  And that would be me.  Surprisingly, I might add, nobody else was wearing a scarlet letter which I think I wear at times.

This afternoon I met other girls just like me:  girls that love God who are in the thick of it.

When I got to the apartment of the girl who leads it, I sat in my car for a few minutes psyching myself up to go in.  I almost left because honestly, it's easier to hole myself up in my house, in my room, in my huge comfy bed with the covers pulled up over my head (sans Miss Grace who is with her Dad) waiting for Monday to roll around.   But I didn't.  I went in and I met 5 other girls who are in different places in their lives but just like me.  I'm so happy that I didn't chicken out either.

We're going through a study on Jonah, A Life Interrupted.  Here was a man who was asked by God to do something who chose to not do it.  Instead, he ran.  Jonah's life was interrupted.  It was rather uncomfortable for him to obey, so he didn't, and we all know what happened.  In the end he wound up obeying but only after having to learn the harder lesson.

We were asked, "How has your life been interrupted lately?"  Lordy.  My life has been interrupted for sure!  However, I'm not going to go into that.  I still struggle with wanting to lay it all out here, but here is not the place.  That's what I have Angie for on Tuesday mornings.  The author of the study made a good point, "A life interrupted is not a negative interruption, it's a divine intervention".  When I think about it in the terms of it being an intervention I'm reminded of that show "Intervention".  The addict is at rock bottom, surrounded by loved ones that want nothing else but for that person to get healthy.  This completely puts a different spin on events past.  God gave me a bottom line.  My life was determined from the beginning.  However, some years ago I decided that I would do whatever it was that I wanted to do.  Yeah.  That hasn't worked out so well.  Slowly but surely I find myself on the right path again.  It's been a rocky route to get back to right here.  Whatever though.  I'm happy.

Photo Challenge - Day 3

A picture of the cast from my favorite show.


Modern Family.  This sitcom has me chuckling from start to finish.  Thank goodness for Hulu and my DVR otherwise I would be missing on the hilarity.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just got back from the ballet with Miss Grace, Marisa and her nephew Brian.

On my way home I stopped to take a picture of the Sierras with my Pano App on my phone. It does not do it justice... AT ALL.

If you haven't done it yet, drive out to the edge of Fresno and/or Clovis and check the beautiful mountain range out. It's not going to be clear like this in a couple of months.  What a beautiful day!

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 2

A picture of someone I miss.

This is me in 1994.  That would make me 19.  Of course I miss all the other people in the photo, but with a couple of them, it's nothing that the magic of FaceBook can't fix.  Who I miss is my 19 year old self.  She was unjaded, idealistic, full of hope... 

Oh my God.  What am I saying?  

No.  I take this back.  I don't miss my 19 year old self.  I was naive.  I think I  just miss that time in my life. There was a lot of innocence in that picture.  We were at an Audio Adrenaline concert ready to rock out for Jesus.  Sure.  It was a great time, but I was unjaded and idealistic.  Where did my idealism get my 36 year old self? Feeling sorry for myself.  That's where it got me.   But that's changing though.   I'm not exactly where I thought I would be at 36:  married, kids, career, "perfect life" (whatever that's supposed to be).  That's totally what I thought I was going to have.  I'm not kidding you!  If anything I'm learning to be less idealistic and to really trust God.  Married, kids, career:  "the perfect life" does not equal happiness or mean that I have finally "made it".    Again, I have no idea what "made it" means anymore.  The truth is, I'm happy right now.   Yes, I've said it before, it's less than ideal circumstances, but God's hand of providence and sustenance is in it all.  I wouldn't be who I am now without the trips I've taken, the mistakes I've made, the jobs I have had, the people I have lived with, the heartache I've experienced. It's made me who I am today.   So no.  I don't miss 19 year old Miriam.  

While working on this post this song came up on my playlist.  Originally it's Sheryl Crow, but this guy redid it and occasionally it's played on the radio.  Seemed to fit with the post.  

Alrighty.  So I don't think I met today's challenge.  Who do I miss?  

Still working through this one.   

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pho Fridays with Miss Grace
What I should of done was taken a picture of the "No camera or cell phone pictures of our food or menus" sign.  I'm currently amassing my collection of forbidden photos.  I'm a rule breaker.  

Miss Grace with her Mini-Mango Smoothie.

Thai Basil and Mung Bean Sprouts

Love in a bowl.  

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 1

This is me at my computer located so conveniently in my kitchen.  

10 Facts

1.  A Presbyterian Cocktail always gets a twist.  I am a stickler about this.  
2.  Cats sleep from 16 to 18 hours a day.  I average about 5 1/2.  A snail can sleep for 3 years.  Impressive.
3.  The first known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 B.C.  Grody.
4.  Women are 37% more likely to go to a psychiatrist than men are.  We should all seek out talk therapy.
5.  I am a damn good cook... most of the time.
6.  The science of kissing is called philematology.  "I believe in science".  - Esqueleto from Nacho Libre.
7. Left-Handed people die sooner than right handed people. On average, right-handed people live nine years longer than left-handed people.  I am a righty.
8.  A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
9.  In the movie "Toy Story", the carpet designs in Sid's hallway is the same as the carpet designs in "The Shining."  Creepy!
10.   My name is Miriam and I am addicted to Pho.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

The 30-Day Photo Challenge guidelines:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 - A picture of someone you miss.
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of your night
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory
...Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of yourself taken today

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tonight at The Well we began our new series on Jonah.  The speaker was laying the foundation for the study and there was a whole lot of history in the message.  Admittedly, he kind of lost me for a few moments there.  I'm excited about it though.  Here's a person who ran from God... much like myself.  Except I didn't get swallowed by a big fish.  I got swallowed up by my SELF.  While looking for background information on Jonah I came across this quote tonight from a child:

Whether it's three hours in your room or three days in the belly of a fish, the lesson is the same, says Patrick: "You should never run away from God."

I'm going to remember this one.

So tonight I prayed for healing and peace.  While I know I'm well on my way, I don't think I have blatantly just asked for healing.  I know there are steps that I need to be taking, i.e. loving myself a bit more through taking care of me spiritually, physically, and emotionally, I think I just needed some affirmation that I'm doing just that.  I think that's it.  Anyway, during worship while singing the Desert Song they flashed a verse up on the screen.  Isaiah 54:17.   Good to know.  But it's not like I feel like I'm "at war".  It's more like a battle of the self.   After church Miss Grace and I swung by China To Go to pick up some Woh Wonton Soup.  While we waited she played on my phone so I whipped out the Good Book to reflect on the verse again.  Instead I read on.  Isaiah 55 rocks.  There was my answer.

2 "Listen to me, and you will eat what is good"

Ohhhh, that's right!!

3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.
      Listen, and you will find life.
   I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
      I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

Life isn't passing me by, it's here right now.

8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
      “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so my ways are higher than your ways
      and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

So He is in control.  That's it really.  I get so wrapped up in how things haven't gone necessarily as planned, but my plans will always fail if God isn't in them.   For a long time, a long time - God wasn't in my plans.  So why all the hurt and resentment?  I'm human.  I'm also a child of God who has been saved through Grace.  It's time to start extending that same  grace to others.

I like the promise in 12 and 13 especially (vs. 10-13):

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
      and stay on the ground to water the earth.
   They cause the grain to grow,
      producing seed for the farmer
      and bread for the hungry.
 11 It is the same with my word.
      I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
   It will accomplish all I want it to,
      and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
 12 You will live in joy and peace.
      The mountains and hills will burst into song,
      and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
 13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
      Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
   These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
      they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

He promised.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My friend Kerry posted this to her profile tonight. It's a strong and beautiful statement. That's all I got. For now. This picture speaks for itself.