Category Archives: Rambling

Hobbies for the Blind?

Here’s an interesting question that my son and I are just now discussing: what hobbies would you pursue if you were blind? Last I checked, my vision was 20/400 in both eyes, so this is something I have thought about for quite a while now. My best answer is to become intimately familiar with an instrument and learn to play by ear. Ian thinks it would be nice to work with modeling clay and create sculptures by touch. I’m thinking the tactile sensations alone would be pleasant and beneficial. What would you do?Eye Chart

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Sick and Sleepless

Baby handsI woke up early this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. My mind is full of the things that Ian has been studying. He is supremely interested in the Underground Railroad, but the stories of the slaves who ran away are so sad. Ian and I went to a Civil War exhibit over the summer, and I couldn’t sleep at all that night. There was a picture of a man who was wearing something around his neck to make it impossible for him to rest his head on anything – to prevent him from being able to sleep or even rest. I cannot imagine a blacksmith making one of those things with a person in mind, nor a slave owner being evil enough to use one. Who thinks of these things?

Now Thanksgiving is coming up, and we are studying the pilgrims and the Indians. And along with that story comes the inevitable questions: are there still Indians in America? What happened to them? And once again, we delve into the depths of broken promises and treating people like animals. Ian is learning just how evil people can be. Normal, everyday people who had friends and neighbors and went to church on Sundays. Because they thought they were justified in their actions.

So he is learning about the human condition, and our potential for evil, but there is still one topic we haven’t breached. One that is so heavy and so horrible that it seems that it should be the stuff of legends. Like once upon a time, there was a culture that was so evil, they actually condoned the slaughter of their own offspring. Their own!! And why did they condone it? So people could have sex anytime they wanted and not have to bother about taking responsibility for anything.

And don’t whine and cry to me about rape. Sometimes bad things happen to people, and I am sorry that they happen, but I personally just came through more pain than I ever imagined possible (not rape, but that is beside the point). I am not even a whole person anymore. If, however, I could have murdered my son to save myself from some emotional or physical turmoil, would I have been justified? It’s supposed to be a rhetorical question…

Don’t people realize that making the decision to murder a completely innocent person should only serve to compound the emotional problems they will face down the road? How can the sacrifice of your very own child do anything to alleviate the fact that you were raped? Do you think that child is not your responsibility just because you aren’t responsible? If someone placed a starving baby on your doorstep, would you feel justified in putting it out of it’s misery because you can’t afford to feed it, and you are too busy to jump through the hoops of placing it up for adoption? I just can’t understand how my own friends and neighbors,  how any real person, can condone anything like this.

Every day, Ian and I learn a little more about the selfishness of early Americans and how they closed their eyes and ignored evil to make their own lives more comfortable. I wonder when the time will come when I will have to inform him that the most evil time in the history of our beloved country is right now? That the human race is more depraved than it has ever been, and it’s right in his own back yard?

Keep Plugging Along

The other day, I visited The Impractical Parenting Almanac and read a nice post about how to overcome writer’s block. The author had a bunch of great suggestions, and I commented on the post to let people know another way that could be helpful. Here is my comment:

Blank PageWhen I get writer’s block, I will slip into first person and write about the fact that I have writer’s block and the things I’m struggling with in the story. Then I will start in on, “well, I could go this way with it, but then I will have such-and-such problem, etc.” It usually works itself out in the end. The act of writing is what keeps me moving forward. Even if I end up deleting all of it, I still usually get a good idea or two from it. It’s like thinking on paper, and then I can go back and decide what I liked and what I didn’t, without having to worry about remembering what I was thinking about.

 

Using the above method, I am usually able to knock down about 1000 words in one hour. I just keep plugging along. Even if I only keep half of what I wrote or solve only one major problem, I figure I’ve accomplished a lot more than if I just sit and think and stare at the blank page. Quick question? How many of you all are writers yourselves? And do you write mostly fiction or non-fiction?

So I Think I Am Going to Write…

It’s weird. So I got a job and started working. My life was already so packed that I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit it all in. Driving to radiation in the mornings, five days a week, an hour from where I live. Homeschooling my 10-year-old son. Teaching the local homeschool choir and showing up to Tuesday homeschool activities. Performing in a band that rehearses once a week. Playing the piano at my church three days a week. Then, of course, there were the people. The ones who make everything worth it. Teenagers and family and church people that my husband and I simply love hanging out with. How was I ever going to fit a job into all of that? But I really needed one, so I filled out an application at Applebee’s, had someone pull a few strings, and here I am. Bored to tears.

I find myself constantly looking for something productive to do. Mainly during the last hour or two of the day or while my son is working on homework. I wander over to the computer and look up ways to be productive, or ways to earn money from home, or anything that gets me out of the FaceBook world and into the real one.

I guess perhaps it’s because I am so busy that I don’t want to waste any downtime I have doing absolutely nothing. Netflix? Xbox? FaceBook? These are the things I would normally spend my time doing, but not lately. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever. So, I figured, perhaps I should do some of the things I’ve always wanted to do, but never had time for. Extra time? Ha! It had always seemed like a fictional concept to me.

So what is it that I really want to be doing? Well, it’s more a question of what I want to have already done in my life. Second language. Fitness and nutrition expert. AuthorTypewriter. I’m not sure I have the discipline to pull off the first two, so here I am shooting for the third. Now, I have written a lot in the past. I have even had a few articles published in a magazine. But to sit down with the anticipation of completing something that is more than a couple thousand words long? I’m not sure where to start. So, I think I’m just going to sit down and ramble for a while and see what pops up.

It occurs to me that there are thousands of devotionals on the market. Probably even thousands that are aimed at women. Since I am a woman myself, should I choose to write a devotional, my primary audience will probably be women. Now, I am tempted to narrow the audience to women who are experiencing a terminal illness. But that may very well be so narrow as to not pick up any sincere readers. Who in their right mind would want to spend their last year reading someone else’s thoughts about the last years of a person’s life?

So for me, perhaps this is just part of my own personal journey. Perhaps no one will ever read what I am writing right now. But then again, perhaps they will…

Problem number two with writing a devotional: most of what I have written is not there to make anyone feel good about themselves. It’s mainly to draw attention to the fact that we need to stop making excuses and just go for it. Go for what, you may ask? Our Christian duties. Loving people. Serving God. Abolishing sin from our lives. So this exercise is not aimed at making women, or anyone for that matter, feel good about themselves. Therefore, I am not likely to ever be published anyway, even if I finish what I start. Which maybe I will, for once.

So what do I usually write about? That would be a good jumping off place, in my opinion. A good place to start a full-length devotional, if you will. The articles that I have written for my own blog are the ones that stand out to me the most. They are the ones that truly came from the heart. The ones I was motivated to write out of a desire to get my perspective out to the masses. I have written about:

Why we should not allow our weaknesses to prevent us from serving God in the capacity in which we are called. (See “Not Real Good with Words”)

Why my own little world would still not be perfect had Eve never eaten of the forbidden fruit. (See “Eve’s Mistake, My Mistake”)

Why homeschoolers have such a bad rap with non-homeschoolers (See “Why Do People Hate Homeschoolers?”)

The difference between intentional sin and non-intentional sin (See “The Difference between Peter and Judas”)

The first two are my favorites, which ideas I have shared again and again, both personally and on my blog. I know the second two are things that people struggle with because they are the most searched for and most read blog posts that I have to date. Even though I haven’t posted anything new since I was diagnosed with cancer back in January of 2013, people are still finding and reading my articles in an attempt to answer the questions in their own lives.

That’s another thing I should address. Why haven’t I posted to my blog since my diagnosis? Not because I don’t care. Not because I don’t still have a million ideas. And no, not because of a lack of time, although that’s the reason I gave myself for a long while. In retrospect, I think the reason is because I didn’t want the blog to be all about me. I didn’t want a hundred people feeling sorry for me and worrying about the fact that I have (or had?) breast cancer. I wanted to maintain the focal points of God, homeschooling, and creative writing. Odd mix, I know, but those are the things that interest me, and the things I think I may be able to help others understand more completely.

So why am I talking about it now? Well, I believe that the new perspective that I have gained from having a potentially fatal disease will help me help others. And that’s what I want to be about. Not making money or marking things off my bucket list, but a true, innate desire to lift up our Savior so that others can see Him.

The Sound of Silence

The only time I ever experienced true silence was the night I spent with my friends in the country. I guess I was about ten years old because it made quite an impression on me. I was laying there awake, straining my ear for any sound at all, finding none. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed at the nothingness. It seemed to be screaming at me! I don’t know whether my mind was inventing an ominous sound because it didn’t know what else to do, or whether my ears actually started ringing. But my silence-sound wasn’t high pitched, it was low and buzz-like. And it wouldn’t go away! The silence was so loud that I couldn’t go to sleep…

Versatile Blogger Award

Thursday started out terribly. I found something that I only knew how to interpret one way. I worked my mind into a muddle as an idea infected my soul and ate away at me. I was well nigh depressed, and that’s a word that’s barely made its way into my vocabulary. Very out of character for me.

However, there was one small ray of light that morning. In the midst of my self-inflicted tribulation (I later found out I had jumped to the wrong conclusion), I received an email from a new acquaintance. Kay, a fellow blogger, sent me the Versatile Blogger award. We had just recently found each other, so receiving an award from her took me by surprise (actually, receiving an award at all surprised me).

You should check out her lovely homeschool blog. I first came across it on October 5th. She had asked a difficult question that many of us may avoid thinking about as much as possible. What is going to happen to your children if you die? Jesse and I have thought about this, a lot, but have not been able to reach any definite answers. Then, just Wednesday, she referred her readers to a wonderful site that allows you to print free handwriting pages. Since we are trying to scale down our spending this year, I have been investigating all of the free learning sites that I come across, and this one was a huge success with Ian. I have been trying to get him to write smaller letters for a while now, and the site that Kay recommended allows you to select the letter size for your custom handwriting sheets. Amazing! Thanks, Kay, for the award and for the tip!

Here is how the award works:

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them: check

Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.

Give this award to 15 recently discovered bloggers.

Contact those bloggers and let them in on the news.

So here goes. Seven things:

I always wanted to marry a preacher. That didn’t happen, as many of you know, but God has his own ways of making us blissfully happy. I appreciate Jesse so very much, and I couldn’t ask for a more understanding, forgiving, redemptive husband. He is truly a picture of Christ in my life.

I am an aspiring writer. I don’t know if it comes through in my ramblings, but someday I’d like to write for a living. Books, not just magazine articles. Stories from my own head, not just how-to manuals. Yes, I’m one of those people.

I was a music major in college. And yes, I’m still paying on my student loans for a pretty much worthless degree. I do teach homeschool choir, so at least I am using what I learned in conducting. I could have taken a few more classes and gotten certified to teach in the public schools, but I didn’t want to stick around that long. Once Ian is completely independent, I may go back and pick those classes up, but I would rather get my MFA in creative writing.

If I had a million dollars, I’d buy a farm. Then I would hire people to teach me how to run it. I would love to be self-sufficient one of these days. Preferably out of choice, and not because a weakening economy demands it. One of my grandmothers was so poor, she never even knew the Great Depression hit because her family was already living on as little as possible. I wanna be like that.

I can’t do automatic things if I stop to think about them. I don’t even know which toothbrush is mine unless I grab it without thinking. Most of the time I get by alright because I do tons of things automatically, but when I’m really tired, upset, or generally confused, I’m pretty helpless. I tend to ask Jesse a lot of stupid questions.

I am a homeschool mom of one. Two if you count my niece, but I feel like I must stand out like a sore thumb in our current homeschool culture. I can’t honestly tell you that there’s not enough time in my day, because there is. If I don’t get everything done by the time my husband comes home, it is generally because I slept in or otherwise wasted my time.

I share a home with my two best friends. My husband, Jesse, and my son, Ian, are so cool and fun to be around, that sometimes I feel like I’m hanging out in a college dorm with my two best buds. We’re all of us inquisitive, easily entertained, and just plain silly!

My fifteen favorite recently discovered bloggers:

Okay, well, after searching through the blogs I follow, I have nowhere near that many blogs that I can list here. So I will just list
those that have made the largest impact on my life:

Ever On Word

Home’s Cool!

Elisa Michelle

suehealy

Lola’s Blog