Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming…

I sit here, with “Fear of Walking Dead” streaming on my phone next to me, still unkempt from a typical crummy night’s sleep.  I’m waiting for my laptop to update (this thing is in desperate need of a reload!) and thinking about where this week is headed.

Wednesday begins the new school year.  Parents everywhere are rejoicing in this wonderful time of year!

Don’t get me wrong – I love my children with all my heart, but I’m so glad to get back into the regular routine.  I’m even feeling the negative effects of sleeping in too much and staying up too late.

I’ve been blessed with kids who have never had separation anxiety when it comes to school.  They’ve willing parted from me with a new excitement!

I now have a 13- and 12-year-old…things become increasingly “grumblier” as each new school year approaches.  It’s comical, really, because I think back to all those “first day of school” I endured as I was growing up.  As an adult, how I wish my only responsibility was good grades.

My kids don’t know how good they have it!

I look forward to this year, it’s my daughter’s last year in junior high (O. M. G!) and, due to the district’s plans for consolidating grades into two schools from three, my son’s last year of junior high is this year, too!

This whole summer revolved around horseback riding and lessons for my daughter, Scouting events and activities for my son, bike riding and many church activities as a family.  They’ve grown so much in the past few months, they are clearly not babies anymore.

This fall will push them even further into young adulthood with my daughter gaining more experience with babysitting and a wonderful program through her school she was chosen to participate in – she’ll be working with the special education kids throughout the school year.  I can’t wait to see the opportunities with that group.  My son continues to plan for an international trip with the Boy Scouts of America next year.  To think he’ll be heading to another country at his age just makes me so excited for him!

I’m thankful for all the opportunities we’ve all had this summer, but I’m ready to get back to the old routine…get up, get ’em out, and get on with the day!

Good luck and many prayers to all the kids back in school or awaiting their first day back.  I pray it will be full of opportunities and success!

Image Credit:  Christ Covenant Church

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Just a bit…stressed!

If you happened to glance at the tags on this post, they wouldn’t all make sense.  I think most of them are positive words that contradict the “stressed” portion of the post title.

Many good things are happening and it’s leaving me stressed.  To the point of weird dreams!

My husband and I celebrated 15 wonderful years of marriage (we’ve only just begun!) yesterday and we are marking the occasion with a vow renewal at our home in just a few days.  We host a big party or two each year, and this counts as one of them, so we are quite exited!

For whatever reason, though, my subconscious is driving me batty!  I woke up this morning from a dream that only a few invitees showed up – but, as I was trying to figure out why most didn’t show up, I realized in my dream, our event was taking place the wrong day.  Why was everything prepared on the wrong day?  Why were certain key people there when they know it was the wrong day?

I blame my insecurities.  They haunt me every minute of every day.  There are so many times in my life I’ve been energized by the notion of doing something fun – just to have no one show up.  It’s hard not to take that personally.

While I know for sure there will be many people there with us on our special day, my subconscious will continue to assault me with it’s special brand of torture.

I wish I could destroy it.

Image Credit: QuickMeme.com

I Survived the 30-Hour Famine!

OK, OK, OK! I was no where near dying, but after a decent night sleep after more than 24 hours with your youth group – that’s how I feel!

What a remarkable time – and to think, 112,000 other people were right there along with us around the world. At least 14 countries participated in the 30-Hour Famine this weekend.

As exhausting as it is, and while it’ll take me and my partner in crime in the Christian Ed department at least a week to get our bearings and regroup with the calendar, I can’t wait to see how we can make it even bigger next time.

The goal for me is MORE ADULTS! This is eye-opening, not only for the kids, but for the adults who get swept away in life-taken-for-granted.

Pray for us – we Christian Ed leaders and our group of kids, our church, all the others around the world who voluntarily went hungry for a while to gain some knowledge, and especially for all – past, present, and future – who have suffered hunger and were burdened with not knowing when or if there would ever be a next meal.

This problem is not God’s doing. This is why we NEED God.

Can I get an AMEN? 🙂

30-Hour Famine…25 hours in

Still feeling pretty great, aside from being very tired.  Body’s kind of sore from a lot of walking around, standing around, blah, blah, blah.

We had a fantastic time with our service projects today.  The first  was heading out to a rather busy intersection near the church with our “Honk for Hunger” signs and counted how many cars honked at us…over 200 for the day!  Last year it was around 120.

Then we came back to make simple sack lunches.  The kids made 27 lunches and we headed downtown to Central Park and handed them ALL out to 27 people who took us up on our offer.  We had so many people request we give the lunch to someone who needs one – the kids were discouraged, but soon realized how refreshing that honesty was from complete strangers.  We felt that all the people who took lunches truly needed something to eat and were very appreciative.  I think we all learned a lesson today.

We just finished up with a bit of downtime.  Now for the last game of the famine, some discussion and devotion, praise songs and then we’re off to break our fast (yay!) with some pizza and bowling!

I made it another year…and even more excited for the next 30-Hour Famine!

Image Credit: TheWellnessChoiceCenter.com

30-Hour Famine…17 hours in

It’s 7:00 AM.  We went to sleep somewhere around 1:00 AM.  I didn’t sleep much, if at all.  It was too quiet for this brain.  Not feeling all that hungry.  I only missed supper, which isn’t the first time.  I was able to skip home for a bit to shower and hydrate with the water necessary to take the meds I forgot to bring with me.  Doh!
The kids must have been super tired because once the lights were out, it was quiet (although, I did threaten their morning cracker if they weren’t!).  I’ll prefer to think they were just tuckered out.

It was a full evening – games, PowerPoint presentation, videos.  Lots of information thrown at these kids and they respond!  We have a great group of kids in this church and community; I’m so proud of them.

We have more games, a few service projects around the church and community, and what we’re all looking forward to – breaking the fast with a pizza party at our local bowling alley.

The harsh reality is, those who suffer from hunger can’t just break their fast.  This church does a great job collecting food for local food pantries year round.  My department, in particular, collected over 1,000 pounds of non-perishable items in a few months last year.  It’s an important mission to not forget those in our own communities who we would never imagine are hungry.  Our own school districts have homeless and un-/under-employed just a paycheck away from poverty.

Here are some facts we shared with the kids last night (straight from World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine):

Hunger Facts

The number of hungry people in the world may shock you. In fact, it should.

Fact #1

In 2012, more than 18,000 children younger than 5 died every day — most from preventable causes. It’s estimated that nearly 8,000 of these deaths were tied to hunger. That’s about one every 10 seconds.

Most of these kids died not from starvation, but from malnutrition — meaning too long without the right kind of food. Eating just enough to stay alive weakened their bodies so much that disease could strike the final blow.

hunger-facts-bus*Based on the most current United Nations data available during creation of 2015 Famine materials
**Based on an average bus capacity of 85 people

Fact #2

Worldwide, 842 million people — about 1 in 8 — are hungry.
That’s over 2.5 times the population of the United States.

hunger-us-map

Many families depend entirely on what they can grow, so they’re never more than one natural or manmade disaster away from hunger.

Fact #3

Nearly 1 in 5 people survive on less than $1.25 a day. And the poor spend most of their money (up to 80 percent of it) on food. How do you pay for shelter, school, healthcare, and clothes with what’s left? You don’t.

hunger-money

Related:
Just how big is this Famine army of hunger-fighting students?
What does extreme hunger actually do to your body?
So what is malnutrition, anyway? (This activity will bring it to life.)
Where do most hungry people live?
How the funds your group raises actually fight hunger.
People like you helped make big headway against hunger in 2014.

So, the next time you see Sally Struthers on TV, take her out of the equation and focus on what’s really important – making fun of her or making it a mission to help those she made the trip to see?  Do something – give to your food banks, donate money world-wide, take a mission trip and make a difference first hand.

SOMETHING is better than NOTHING.  AMEN!

30-Hour Famine…9 hours in

We’re almost 9 hours into the famine.  No one is really complaining (they didn’t last year), however, we’re down to one cracker every few hours after the special games.  We hydrate with about 6 oz of water or juice every few hours, too.

I’m more tired than anything, as I’ve been on the go since 6:30 am. *yawn*

We have our signs prepped for our walk along a pretty busy neighborhood street – we’ll be in two groups and we’ll see which groups gets the most honks!  Fun, huh? 😉

I’m looking forward to some shut-eye…I’m quite exhausted.

Image Credit:  Me!  Don’t take my signs! 🙂

Part 2 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

Yesterday I began the fun adventure through the article 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert.  Aaaaand onward we go!

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.

I think the image says it all.  Ha!  I love to have fun and party and drink and be a little nuts, BUT if there’s mostly people I don’t know well enough to completely let my hair down – FOR. GET. IT.

I clam up, I shut down, and everyone who DOES know me well is all “What’s wrong?”  The hubby is a people person, and usually he ventures off and there I am – alone with myself fake smiling all night, when I’d rather just be clinging to his arm all night.  Sure, there are some rare instances where I’m just feeling down and I’m not at my peak party ‘tude, but more often than not, I’m just uncomfortable.

My dream parties are those in my own home where I have control of the guest list.  There are no unknown variables or 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon that I’m forced to entertain.  The people I love the most and trust the most are in attendance and I have the best time with every single one of them.

I am kind and polite and do my best when the situation is out of my control, but, yes, sometimes I am thinking of all the internet time I’m missing out on – go figure, strangers in my computer I’m OK with.  😛

It’s my biology, sorry!

Image Credit:  Buzzfeed.com