Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The State of the Union

Some of my favorite points:

"We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

"America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the Nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed, and move this world toward peace."

"Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy."

"We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in its vital mission."

"America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another."

"Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing. ... Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?"

And my favorite:

"Human life is a gift from our Creator - and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale."


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

As a child, I would sing “Jesus Loves Me” along with my friends. Yet I could never really understand what it really meant. God loving me was a foreign concept. I wasn’t pretty or very good; I teased my siblings and forgot to brush my teeth. I was unable to understand how an omnipotent being could love an insignificant little girl like me.

As a teenager, I worked hard to be a good daughter and good student. I taught Sunday School and helped with AWANA. I memorized verses and prayed daily. Yet even then I could not fathom how God could love someone like me. After all, I knew I talked back to my mom and cheated on my math. I needed to be “good enough” to be loved by a powerful God.

Then, 10 years ago today, the truth finally became real for me. I had left an appointment and was driving to my husband's office to join him for lunch. I had just exited off the freeway when it came to me. It was as though God struck me with a lightning bolt. One moment it was not there, the next understanding moved from my head to my heart. I knew at that moment what I had struggled to understand all my life, what I had been taught from the day I was born until that moment. God loved me, there was no doubt. Not only did I know it was true, but I felt it in my soul. He loved me, not for anything I had done or not done or would ever accomplish. He loved me simply because I existed. Every part of me was loved because I was His creation. He planned me since before time existed. He planned everything about me from the mole on my hand to the lack of wisdom teeth. He planned that I would have a sense of humor and a tendency to procrastinate. He knew I would have my family’s tendency toward depression. He knew that I would learn and grow from the life experiences that would come my way. He knew that I would grow strong through Him and He knew that I would strive to become more like Him even with my failings. Even with all my imperfections and mistakes, He loved me because I am His.

In Psalm 139, David praises God for His attention to every detail of his being. God knows every move we make and He watches with care as we make our way through life’s pathways. And He is always with us each step of the way. His love is amazing and is beyond anything we can imagine.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!
Psalm 139:13-18

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Where have I been...

I found this over at Crazy Politico's blog and had to try it for myself. There is also one for the world. I won't do that 'cause the US, Canada, Mexico and Holland don't make much color!

Sunday Hymn

Take Time to be Holy

Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always,
and feed on his word.
Make friends of God's children,
help those who are weak,
forgetting in nothing
his blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret
with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
like him thou shalt be;
thy friends in thy conduct
his likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy,
let him be thy guide,
and run not before him,
whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow,
still follow the Lord,
and, looking to Jesus,
still trust in his word.

Take time to be holy,
be calm in thy soul,
each thought and each motive
beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit
to fountains of love,
thou soon shalt be fitted
for service above.

Text: William D. Longstaff, 1822-1894
Longstaff was born on January 28, 1822, in Sunderland, England, the son of a wealthy ship owner. He was a faithful steward of his riches and was known to be a most philanthropic and generous individual. He was a friend of Moody and Sankey, and also of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. He died on April 2, 1894, in his hometown of Sunderland.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The World’s Thinnest Books

French War Heroes
By Jacques Chirac

How I Served My Country
By Jane Fonda

My Beauty Secrets
By Janet Reno

Thing I Love About Bill
By Hillary Clinton

My Little Book of Personal Hygiene
By Osama Bin Laden

My Wild Years
By Al Gore

Amelia Earhart’s Guide to the Pacific

America’s Most Popular Lawyers

Guide to Dating Etiquette
By Mike Tyson

Spotted Owl Recipes
By the EPA

Bridge Travel
By Ted Kennedy

And the World’s Thinnest Book:
My Book of Morals
By Bill Clinton
with introduction by
Rev. Jesse Jackson

The Challenger

Many people remember the day Kennedy died, I don’t; I wasn’t born yet. But I do remember the day the Challenge exploded. It is hard to believe it was 20 years ago.
I was a senior in high school. My dad (the pastor and superintendent of our church school) brought in a TV for the day to watch the event. There were only a few of us in the room to watch the countdown. And then 73 seconds later, it was gone. The room was silent. We saw what happened, but were unable to believe our eyes. Surely there was something we missed. The rest of the day, I watched the coverage. Seeing the happy faces climb into the shuttle and then just a few moments later they were no more was a shock like nothing I had ever experienced. The feelings of seeing a national tragedy happen before my very eyes have not faded.

Today we see so many things on television that we are shocked no longer. We cannot allow ourselves to be jaded by the tragedies that we see on a daily basis. We must remember that each life is precious. Each person leaves loved ones who deals with the loss on a daily basis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Bs of Dementia Care

With the recent talk of Ronald Reagan on many of the blogs I read, I thought I would post something a bit different. When Mr. Reagan died, my feelings were that of saddness and relief. The world had lost a great man, but he was at peace. Alzheimer's Disease is a tragic disease for all involved--the afflicted and their loved ones. I work with people with dementia and train caregivers. I wanted to list my 10 Bs of dementia care. These are true in so many areas of life, but no more than in caring for people with short term memory loss.


  • Positive ~ Look for what the person is able to do. Work with a positive attitude.
  • Natural ~ Be yourself! Do not force yourself to be someone you are not.
  • Flexible ~ Let things flow naturally. Do not force things to happen on your own time.
  • Observant ~ Watch body language and facial expressions for moods before approaching.
  • Knowledgeable ~ Learn everything you can about the person you are caring for. Know who they were and who they are now.
  • Spontaneous ~ Be ready to do any activity the person is open to at any time.
  • Patient ~ Take the time to listen to the person and remember that some days tasks will take longer than others.
  • Confident ~ People with dementia feel safer with caregivers who know what they are doing and are more comfortable doing things with them.
  • Sincere ~ People know when your heart is not in your work. Don’t pretend.
  • Fun Loving ~ Enjoy your work! Have fun! You make a difference every day for those you care for.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Just for fun...

You scored as Journalism. You are an aspiring journalist, and you should major in journalism! Like me, you are passionate about writing and expressing yourself, and you want the world to understand your beliefs through writing.





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com

I think I'd rather go with the psychology though. The mathmatics at 58% really makes me laugh! Me and math, that's hilarious! Me and engineering is almost as funny.

Picked this up over at Chas Compilation.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Speaking the Truth in Love

But speaking the truth in love… Eph. 4: 15

I avoid conflict. I hate it. I loathe it. I will do nearly anything to not have a confrontation with those I love or even a mere acquaintance. I have read books on the subject and tried several tips they give about changing the word conflict to clarification and all that. The thing is, to me, clarification feels like conflict. A change in semantics doesn’t change my response.

Christ did not avoid conflict. He walked straight into it if it was for the benefit of truth. Imagine the day he cleared the temple of the vendors. Talk about conflict with a capital C. Matthew reports that he knocked over tables. He was angry at the desecration of his Father’s house and he let them know that they were in the wrong. He didn’t stand to the side and say to his disciples, “Well, you know, this really isn’t right so don’t be a part of it.” He got in there and got his hands dirty. He let every person in the outer temple know that what was happening was wrong.

God has been working with me on this. There are times when truth must be spoken even when it is painful. There are times when speaking the truth leads to conflict, confrontation and clarification. During those times, I must be strong and listen to His leading. I must approach the conflict with the love that only He can give. I am required to speak the truth, for to not speak would be a lie and endanger my relationship with others and with God. It is not an easy lesson by any means. I have a long way to go and only God’s love and practice will get the lesson through my rather thick skull.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A break in the weather!

There was a nice break in the weather today so we headed to King City for a new volkswalk. The walk led through a new development with a nice park of play structures and tennis and basketball courts. The homes are built with an alley going down the back of them for the garages. It made a nice view from the front--a steady line of homes, many with front porches. It brought to mind days gone bay. I could almost picture a summer evening with parents and grandparents relaxing on wicker chairs watching the children playing kick-the-can or riding bicycles.

Then we headed into the 55 and older section of town. There we saw Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and King George then we crossed Royalty, parkway, that is. We passed the King City Golf Course with its close-cut greens waiting the next foursome. The walk ended with a short jaunt across 99W to the parking lot with the waiting van. It was a nice break from walking on the treadmill or in the rain.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fun Quizzes

Your Gemstone is Aquamarine

Intuitive, tranquil, and trusting.

You inspire others to have faith in themselves.

You Are Spring!






Your Power Color Is Blue

Relationships and feelngs are the most important things to you.

You are empathetic and accepting - and good at avoiding conflict.

If someone close to you is in pain, it makes you hurt as well.

You try to heal the ones you love with your kind and open heart.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Favorite Hymn

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was an English pastor, preacher, poet, and hymn writer. He wrote about 600 hymns including When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, and Joy to the World. Considered the founder of English hymnody and children's hymnody. Published books of poetry, hymns, and three volumes of theological discourses.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

It's a GIRL!

Gerbil, that is.

In a previous post, I discussed my niece’s penchant for pets. I didn’t mention that it is for rodents in particular. I received a very excited call from T the other evening. She had gotten her newest pet, a baby gerbil. Her first choice was a specific hamster at the pet store. Needless to say it was removed from the list of possible members of the family after said hamster bit her mother twice. So the search continued until she held a brown and white gerbil. The baby girl curled up in T’s hand and by doing so in her heart, too.

The truth of the matter is this is not her first attempt at raising rodents. Her first was a pair of mice, a birthday gift from her brother (fitting, I think). Field, unfortunately, did not survive for long. T was heartbroken. She is very sensitive and had really wanted to raise them and possibly breed them in time. Her mother, seeing her pain, decided to take the sick Isabelle to the vet. She did not survive the trip. T learned a lot on that visit though. The vet’s daughter was working that day and is very involved in raising rodents. She explained a number of things about what the environment needs and other issues they can have. So, the visit which cost just a few dollars was worth the effort to both mother and daughter. On another positive note, her pets’ short lifespan caused her to head to the library and check out books about mice, gerbils, etc.

During T’s research about rodents, she discovered that the smartest rodent can actually learn its name and tricks much like a dog. The rodent just happens to be a rat. M did put her foot down about that. There are a number of people that will say that rats make wonderful pets, even some of our own family. M does not dispute the possibility. She does however take exception to having a rat in her house. Her first look at the pointy nose and bald tail sent shivers up and down her back. So, this time, mom put her foot down and said no. The new gerbil is actually a compromise.

Now, let me say that my sister, M, had a difficult time having rodents in the house that were supposed to be there. (She probably has similar memories as me--Dad with a broom chasing mice while Mom jumped on a chair telling him which way they had gone.) However, she, as a devoted mother, held her beloved daughter’s pets. She, as every parent does, did something that she never thought she would do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Life-giving Perfume

Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16

I am sure I had read this verse previously, yet reading to understanding can be as different as hearing to listening. Paul was speaking of himself and Timothy. Yet I believe it is also speaks of believers as a whole.

This reiterates to me the fact that God's people are not going to be liked by all. Indeed, we will be hated as much as death. So much that we will smell as such. Death has an aroma that is unique. There is nothing that can be mistaken for it. On the other hand, to those who know God, we smell of life. For this I think of the beginning of life, an infant. Infants have a sweet smell (most of the time). It is also very recognizable.

Does God give his children a sense to know when they come across a fellow believer or a non-believer? I really don't know. Yet, I have often met someone and felt a kinship with them to later discover we also share a belief in the son of the Living God. There are others that I feel a lack of hope even from the first handshake. As time goes by, I learn we do not share the same beliefs and our relationship does not deepen. I cannot tell if this is a God-given gift or simply a bias that I have.

As part of my resolutions for 2006, I will keep my baby smell clean and unfettered by filth. I will do my best, by the grace of God, to be the sweetest smelling child of His that I can be.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tooting My Own Horn...

Excuse me while I tell you what a fantastic auntie I am. It is a cold and miserable evening--raining cats and dogs. At 6:15, my phone rings and an 8 year old little voice says, "Aunt Juanita, will you do me a favor." She loves animals and has been researching mice, gerbils and hamsters. She knows the best kind of cages, food, bedding and anything else about their environment.

Well, in her search for the perfect cage for her future pets, she has been watching Craig's List. Tonight she found the perfect one and within her budget. However, it is close to my house and far from hers. So, T, in her sweet little voice asks me to pick it up. Now, I cannot say no to a request like that, even though I had just gotten home and I don't like driving at night in the rain.

I am back in my warm home relaxing. There is a hamster cage in the backseat of my car. I am truly the most wonderful aunt that ever existed.

Note: Please take this post with tongue firmly implanted in the check.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou with me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, First in my heart
Hig King of Heaven, My treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

An Irish hymn of the 8th century translated by Mary E. Byrne.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's raining, it's pouring...

However, the old man was not snoring. We actually got up early this morning to watch basketball. No, not the NBA. We watched a more mature league--DH's 8 year old nephew. Both C and his sister, L, had their first games today. We were able to see C's game. I'll tell you they handle the ups and downs of the game far better that any NBA player. There was not a single temper tantrum or swear word.

A little background--C & R are twins. C is playing ball, but R is not. R had heart surgery earlier this year and needs to stick to less strenuous sports. It is really hard for him to not play with C this season. His parents are very sensitive to his difficulty, so he was offered an position as the official scorer. R decided that he would rather be the videographer. So, he sat along the side line in several places to get some good shots. He nearly got run over by a player trying to get the ball once, just like the pros. He took it in stride though and kept right on recording. C did a great job. But it will take some more practice to get everything down such as well, everything. I am looking forward to later in the season when the boys get more skills and more confidence. This age is amazing to see the difference in just a few short weeks.

As I write, C & R are playing Xbox live with DH. It’s some kind of game like the old Keep Away. It has airplanes and they are trying to keep a chicken on their wing. All I hear is "Red team dropped the chicken," "Blue team has the chicken." Rather ridiculous sounding when you don’t know what is going on. Actually, it sounds crazy even when you know what is going on.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Interesting Interview

So, I had a job interview today. It was for an administrator position in a full Medicaid building. The building is a vision of a safe place for low-income people who need assistance with daily life due to a disability or aging. I did appreciate the directness of the interviewer in the issues the building faces—everything from behaviors associated with addictive substances to an old building to a variety of funding sources. They are looking for someone who will be there for the long term.

I already work in a very liberal field full of entitlement mentality, but this would surpass everywhere I have worked. The people are those who have lived on government services all their lives or have been homeless. I understand there are often extenuating circumstances, such as mental illness, yet I am a firm believer in free will and personal responsibility. My question to myself is this: Can I work in this kind of environment and maintain my convictions? Can I treat these people with the love and respect they deserve as members of the human race and yet really hate what they have become? Am I enough of a humanitarian to give up some of my personal comforts to take a position that does not have growth potential within itself? Am I looking for a way out of considering it or do I know that I am too sensitive and not strong enough for the position?

Interesting questions, yet still no answers. They want to continue talking to me, if I am still interested. I am interested in the challenges it would produce, but I am not sure I would be the person to do the place justice. I think I would be looking for something different all along. I wish I could do it. Knowing that you were willing to make sacrifices to make life easier for others who did not have the advantages you did. It would be amazing to offer a different point of view to the entitlement, socialist mentality to change one mind even for one minute.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The First Time

Today, as I was reading other posts and the comments, I came across a comment that had a great anger directed toward those who abuse young children. This made me think about aome things that happened to me many years ago. I have been writing about it with the thoughts of sharing my struggle with sexual abuse to help others. I had thought about posting some of my feelings, but today I decided it was time. I do not say who the abuser was, but it was not a family member and he has been dead for several years. Anyway, here goes with some of my first memories.
My memory is vague, but the feelings I associate with them are not.

The house was never quiet, certainly not at my bedtime, being one of the youngest in the group. Yet I do not recall specific noises. I remember an ebb and flow of noise, like the surf coming in and going out.

We were in the bathroom. I was old enough to care for my own needs and independent enough to want to do so. But he said he should help, so I let him, after all he was older and if he said it was so then it must be. He reached his hand down with the toilet tissue and wiped me after I had urinated. I felt strange about it. No one else did that for me anymore, mama didn’t even come into the bathroom with me unless I asked her to. I looked at him and wondered why, but did not vocalize my thoughts. After all, adults know best. He just smiled and said it was okay. He was sure I could do it myself since I was a big girl, but he just wanted to help.

I left him then and went on to bed. I curled up under the blanket and held Teddy close to me. I really did not want him to come in and say good night, but he came anyway and sat on the edge of the bed. I stayed as still as I could. Maybe he would think I was asleep and leave me be, maybe he would understand that he made me feel funny. He stayed for a time; it seemed like hours, although it was probably only a few minutes. Finally he was gone. And I slept.
This was the beginning. It is a time when the pedophile "grooms" a future victim. He prepares the child for the day when he crosses the line into direct abuse.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Me, from A~Z

Just a bit of fun I stole from Nettie!

A is for age: 38
B is for booze of choice: Drink very seldomly, occasionally a Fuzzy Navel
C is for career: Healthcare, working with seniors in community based care
D is for your dog's name: Casey
E is for essential items you use everyday: Toothbrush, Cell Phone, Computer, PDA
F is for favorite song at the moment: Pretty Vegas, INXS (Got tickets to the concert in Lincoln City!)
G is for favorite games: Not much of a game person, but I’ll never turn down a rousing game of Greedy with my siblings!
H is for hometown: Currently, Aloha, Oregon. Has been Twisp, Washington; Libby, Montana; Forest City, Iowa
I is for instruments you play: None. Still want to learn to play the piano
J is for jam or jelly you like: Marionberry! (Oregon Blackberry)
K is for kids: Love ‘em, have none, want none (36 nieces and nephews is enough!)
L is for last kiss: “Come here, honey!”
M is for most admired trait: Resisilience, Joy, Compassion
N is for name of your first crush: Peter D
O is for overnight hospital stays: 1, after TAH/BSO in 2003
P is for phobias: Spiders! Yuck!
Q is for quotes you like: “Older is always better as long as I have my health.” By a 96 year old lady.
R is for biggest regret: Not finishing my degree (Still working for it, never thought it would be so hard to go back after marriage!)
S is for sweets of your choice: Dark Chocolate
T is for time you wake up: Sometime before noon!
U is for underwear: Yes. Do you really want to know more?
V is for vegetable you love: Broccoli
W is for worst habit: Procrastination
X is for x-rays you've had: Broken Thumb from Rollerblading, Foot & Ankle, Head MRI
Y is for yummy food you make: I don’t cook, but my Low Fat Fudge is truly a delight
Z is for zodiac sign: I could not care less!

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Day of Football and Research…

DH’s brother-in-law is never going to let him help him with the office pool for the bowl games again. It hasn’t been pretty.

Between watching football plays, I was doing some research on the internet. After four months of unemployment, it is time to seriously consider starting another business. DH’s business doesn’t bring in a steady income, but he is great at it so we want to keep it going. Anyway, we have a couple of ideas of how to combine businesses and have a steady income. His sister is also trying to get us to move to Maui, where this could also be possible.

Back to the research—the internet. It wasn’t that long ago that it would have been a pain to do this much research, especially today, a holiday. A few key words typed into Google and I was off. Rules and regulations, real estate, grant possibilities, competition, Chamber of Commerce were all there in seconds thanks to high-speed internet. Before, it would have been numerous phone calls and several visits to the library to get a fraction of what is now stored on my laptop. It is amazing!

The rest of the week I will continue to work on a business plan and see if all this is feasible.