Thursday, January 31, 2013

Where Do You Bow?

It's the last day of January!  We are 1/12th the way through 2013 already!  I hope the year has started off strong for you and that you can look back on January with some satisfaction.

As I finish up my January Quest and look forward to beginning my February Quest tomorrow, I have to say this Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest has helped me start the year off in a completely new way and I am pleased with what I have accomplished for the past month.  I hope you feel the same way. 

If not, the beauty of this 2013 Year Long Adventure is that you can jump in anytime.  Even if you didn't join me in January, no worries, you are welcome to join me in February.  Set a goal or two for yourself to do every day for the month.  It's that easy!

Now on to my Quests for today.

Exercise
This morning I walked two miles on the treadmill and lifted my hand weights to finish out my Exercise Every Day Quest for January.   As I mentioned a couple days ago, I have decided to continue this Quest in February as well.  I feel good about the progress I made in adding planned exercise to my day every day and I feel like I have set a routine I can continue. 

While I walked on the treadmill, I watched a little news and read a couple blogs.  I finished off my exercise time watching Beth Moore teach on affliction.  I have enjoyed this series she has recently been doing during "Wednesdays with Beth" on Life Today. 

Something she said at the end got me to thinking...

Write Something
In the video I watched today of Beth Moore, this is what she said, "You're bowing anyway, choose where you'll bow."  This statement really caught my attention. 

As a Christian, my automatic response is, "Well of course, I bow to God."  But do I?  Honestly, not always.  Sometimes I bow to other gods...the TV, the computer, my ever present iPhone, people, stress, difficult situations, my wants...it's so easy to push God aside and focus on things of this earth. 

Other days I do better, I keep my mind, heart, and soul directed toward God and His will for me in this life.  Those are some good days. 

It's when I let my mind wander that things start to pile up and stress me out.  How many times have I claimed to have had a bad day, but then when I start listing all the things that went wrong, I realize they just aren't that big of a deal? 

When I think about that list of things gone wrong...it's just really not worth declaring a day "bad".  I just don't have it that bad.  I can always think of worse things than whatever is going on in my life at the moment. 

It's then that I realize I have my focus on the wrong list.  In times like that, I'm bowing to the pressure, stress, and all the perceived things wrong in my life.  Instead I should be focusing on all the good in my life and the One who has given me all those blessings. 

When our boys were little there were times they wanted something and we had to say no to their request.  They would get upset with our answer and declare how bad life was.  Hubby and I would roll our eyes and even sometimes laugh over their dramatics.

Of course that would just upset them more, but we were teaching them that what they placed their value on at that moment wasn't that important.  Just because they didn't get what they wanted didn't mean their life was ruined.

As they grew older, they began to understand and to appreciate the life they get to live.  Believe me...it's a pretty cush deal those two have going.  I mean when I was a kid....well, you get the idea.

This also makes me think of my sweet friend, Praise Girl.  I give her this name because honestly, you can just look at her and know she's praising God.  She just has that aura about her whenever anyone sees her. 

And trust me, this girl has not had an easy road.  She's been through some difficult times.  She's still going through difficult times.  As a matter of fact the last four years have been filled with very difficult times, and yet if you met her and didn't know all the stress going on behind the scenes, you would have no idea all that could be weighing her down. 

She doesn't hide her problems or pretend everything is wonderful.  No, she isn't that kind of person.  She's very authentic.  You just wouldn't know because even though she is going through a tough period in her life, she understands Who is in control of her life. 

She doesn't walk around hunched over from the burdens in her life.  She walks around with a loving gentle smile on her face.  Sure, there might be fatigue in her eyes, but it's a hopeful fatigue.  She won't allow herself to sink into despair.  She doesn't let go of the hope she has in her Heavenly Father to see her through. 

What I love about Praise Girl is that there are so many other things that she could bow to...the stress, disappointment, doubt, hurt, pain, worry...the list just goes on and on. But she doesn't. No matter what is thrown at her, she continues to bow to the God who gave her life and gave His life for her.

She reads the Word of God, she prays the Word, and she claims the Word for her family and herself.  I've seen her faith lived out up close and personal for the past seven years.  She is the real deal.  I know where she bows.

It all comes down to this.  You are going to make something the focus of your life.  You are going to find importance in something.  Where do you place your faith?  Where do you place your value?  In the end, will that be enough?  Or will your life be ruined?  What do you choose?  Where do you bow?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rosie Writer?

Like much of this area of the country, we have been riding out storms since yesterday evening.  Today just from this morning to the afternoon the temperature dropped 20 degrees, and now the wind is blowing like crazy!  We even saw a few snow flurries this afternoon!  Have I ever mentioned how I'm really not a fan of weather...

Thankfully our crazy Midwest weather has not affected my January Quests

Exercise
Last night turned out to be a restless night for me.  I'm not sure why, but I did not sleep well.  Of course it was no surprise to me that I woke up feeling tired, headachy, and just worn out this morning. 

After seeing Hubby off to work, I actually dozed off for a bit in the Hug Chair, which I don't think helped me feel any better...I'm thinking it just made me more groggy.  Knowing I had an Exercise Quest to accomplish, I headed downstairs to the treadmill anyway. 

Before I got started, I decided to get my Christmas decorations under control.  Earlier this month, I packed up Christmas into bags, boxes, and tubs.  Our boys were great to carry all of it down to the basement for me.  There they piled it in the middle of the floor - which, to be fair, is exactly what I told them to do with it. 

For several weeks that mess sat there waiting for me to get it stacked neatly in the corner where it goes.  Well, turns out the 30th of January is the day!  I'm not really sure what prompted me to get that done today, but I did it, and as a bonus, I got a little workout just getting all of that organized and in place.  I was already sweating before I even got on the treadmill. 

During my walk, I chatted on the phone with my friend, the Dog Whisperer.  She is not only a wonderful friend, but awesome wife, mother, and grandmother.  I am thankful for her friendship and down-to-earth common sense.  She gives me wise counsel...and usually a good laugh as well.  And yes, she is also a very caring animal lover - always taking in any creature in need.  I'm glad she took me into her life when we moved here.

With the walk and the weight lifting complete, thankfully, I was a bit revived and ready to tackle the day's work - including Writing Something.

Write Something
Early in January, I shared with you that I was working on a series of Bible devotions related to Ephesians 5.  I am still working on it.  Initially, my idea was to do one devotion on a few verses from that chapter, but as I worked on it, I realized there was more to say.  I'm planning/hoping to share at least some of it with you next month.  Right now, it's still a "work in progress".

This Quest to Write Something Every Day was really an experiment for me.  While I have known most of my life that I am really good at talking, I didn't have the same belief or feeling about writing.  Honestly...I still don't.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I enjoy writing, especially when I'm telling a story.  I have also been touched by the positive responses I have received about some of the posts I have written.

Yes, I am aware I am not a perfect writer. I make spelling, grammar, and sentence structure mistakes.  Sometimes I purposely write against the rules of writing, because I want what I write to come off as if we were having a conversation.  I want my writing to feel like I'm just chatting with you.

This Write Something experiment has made me grow in ways I never expected. It's been fun, interesting, and even therapeutic at times.  I'm really really glad I took this Quest on for the month of January. 

Of course in the months to come, I will continue to write because I am committed to doing this blog.  I might not write something every single day, but I know now that I can...and even better - I know now that I have a desire and excitement to write, share, or tell a story.

Now...back to Ephesians...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

February's Quest

Looking at the calendar today, I realized we only have two days left on this January Quest!  Today I decided on my February Quests and I'm already looking forward to next month and the adventures that await us.  Are you trying this Heart & Spirit Quest with me?  Are you thinking about what you might tackle in February? 
 
Of course, January is not over yet and today I did accomplish my Quests.
 
Exercise
This morning I headed downstairs to lift weights and walk two miles on the treadmill.   I have to say I'm really enjoying my new exercise set up.  I watched a little news, then read my favorite blog.  I really appreciate the effort Hubby put into fixing up that area for me.
 
Write Something
As I mentioned yesterday, our Engineer and I went to the dentist.  (No, I don't have a funny Brian Regan video about dentist visits, but wouldn't that be fun?)   During my regular cleaning, my fabulous hygienist and I discussed the fact that I don't floss.  I know....  Sadly, it's true, I really don't take the time to do that...ever. 

So, you know what I'm going to say, right?  Yes!  As part of my February Heart & Spirit Quests, I'm going to Floss Every Day.  I know that will not make for compelling blog posts, so don't worry, there's more.

I'm also going to continue to Exercise Every Day and I'll be taking it up a notch some days as I train for my very first 5K run.  I made a commitment to my niece...then posted it on Facebook...and now I'm even posting it here, so I cannot back out!  Hubby and I have done the "Couch 2 5K" training before, and what I learned from that was that I do not enjoy running. 

Last time we didn't quite make it to the end of the training, because...of a lot of silly reasons, but this time I'm posting it everywhere and I have a goal to actually run a 5K.  I am told it will be super fun as it is a Color Run where they spray you with colored edible chalk while you run.  It always looks like fun in the pictures my friends have posted, so I'm going to jump in and hopefully have fun with it.

The Color Run will not be until April, so I have plenty of time to train and become a runner.  Wish me luck.... I'm sure I'll be posting my progress as I begin this Quest in February.

Finally, I will be looking for an opportunity to Share Love Every Day.  I have some ideas of how I will accomplish this including doing acts of kindness/love for family, friends, or even strangers, or sharing some stories of love here on My Rosie Outlook blog.  My main idea with this Quest is to focus on LOVE for the month of February. 

I have already heard from a couple of readers about Quests they have planned for February and I am excited for them!  What about you?  What Adventure might you take next month?

And if you have any ideas for me of ways I can Share Love Every Day, please let me know.  I cherish your encouragement!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Go Ahead and Rain

We awoke to rain again today, but thankfully the chill in the air blew away through the night.  Not only that, but by mid morning the rain was gone as well and we enjoyed an unusually warmish day in January in the Midwest. 

Our Engineer and I had a busy day with dentist appointments for both of us this morning followed by the final doctor visit for our Engineer's finger this afternoon.  We received good news at both appointments: no cavities and no more finger guard!  We both rejoiced that we can put the dentist off for another six months and after 11 weeks, our Engineer's finger is healed! 

After getting home from our round of appointments, I fixed dinner, we ate it, and then Skyped with our Scientist and Nurse. We had a great chat with them and it was good to look into their eyes and talk.  We encouraged them, and loved on them, and then sent them off to eat and study.  Finally, it was time to get to my January Quests for today.

Exercise
With my fabulous new set up downstairs, I bopped down the steps trying to decide if I was going to watch TV, a video online, or catch up on some online reading while I exercised.  I actually turned on the TV, changed my mind, started a video, then changed my mind again, and finally decided to read one of my favorite blogs.  I was about half way through reading the post, when Hubby came downstairs to chat. 

We ended up having a serious heart to heart while I walked over two miles and lifted my weights.  It was one of those chats that a girl gets with a guy every great once-in-awhile that means something sweet and deep and just makes you love him even more.  We shared laughter and tears.  It was that good.

So after my exercise and our awesome chat, I came upstairs and settled into the Hug Chair to share with you what I wrote yesterday.  As you may recall, I wrote the majority of this post yesterday, but needed more time with it, so after some rewriting today, here it is.  But I must warn you...I use the word rain A LOT and even though I tried to fix that...well...I just couldn't...so...enjoy the rain...

Write Something
As you may have guessed, I am not a big fan of rain. I'll admit I have some weird issues and weather is one of them. I think it just boils down to the fact that I really don't like any kind of weather.  I like sunshiny days with blue skies full of big white fluffy clouds. That's what I like.

A little breeze blowing the wind through my hair is nice, but not necessary - especially if it is going to bring sweeping winds. Snow is truly beautiful as it falls to the ground. I love to look at it blanketing the lawns and gently laying on the limbs of the trees, but when it makes driving dangerous and piles on the curbs turn dirty, I don't enjoy it anymore. I can't find anything positive to say about freezing rain, sleet, or ice storms.  I don't care for lightning or thunderstorms either.

While rain serves a much needed purpose in our ecosystem, I dread days that rain all day long. I do love the sound of pitter-pattering rain on the roof top and the smell in the air after a summer rain, but heavy downpours that bring storms and damage are of no interest to me.  Maybe I wouldn't mind it in very small doses...say for about 15 minutes.  That's probably my acceptable limit. 

I'm not certain where this great dislike for rain stems from, but it might be because when rainy weather moves in so do my sinus problems. I struggle with headaches and stuffed up sinus' - which is not enjoyable. When I woke up yesterday and today, I knew it was raining before I lifted my head from the pillow. First I felt it...then I heard it. 

Gloomy weather tends to make me feel gloomy and I really want to maintain a Rosie Outlook. 

And don't even get me started on what rainy weather does to my hair...if only giant frizzy bouffant dos were in style...

With my negative feelings toward rain, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that I normally think of rain as a bad thing in life.  There is a song titled "Jesus Bring the Rain" by MercyMe that talks about rain representing difficulties.


The song writer wrote this song after his son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. He says it was a simple reminder for him that God will get His glory even through the difficult times.

So while the rain represents the difficult times, the song writer points out that going through something hard doesn't change his love for God, because that relationship was set before the difficulty set in. Instead, the writer uses the difficulty as a opportunity to praise God for seeing him through the storm.

Besides the fact that rain represents "the something bad" in the song, I also love the message that when something bad (the rain) comes into your life, why should that change your feelings or relationship with God?  It's such a cool way to look at it. 

Often times, we - being human, want to blame God for the "rain" in our lives.  And while the Bible is clear that God does allow us to "experience rain" in our lives from time to time, He is also the one to walk with us in that rain.  I like to think He is holding the umbrella and guiding us through the storm.

Last spring, I was taking a Bible study where rain represented the positive side of life.  James 5 in the Bible talks about a farmer waiting between the rains. In this passage, the rain represents the good times, because in between the rains is the dry drought time or the difficult times.  The Farmer is waiting for the rain to nourish and grow his crops.  In this passage, rain is a very good thing.

Now I grew up among cornfields in the Midwest, and witnessed first hand how Grandpa watched the weather for rain or drought while he farmed his land.  And yet, I had never thought about this as a metaphor for our lives with the rainy times being the good times and the dry times being the difficult ones.  So rain can represent the blessings!  How amazing to think of it that way!

These truly are two beautiful ways to look at "rain" and our relationship with God. It certainly gives new meaning (and perspective) to that word for me. 

Meditating on the scriptures from James and listening to the words in that beautiful song, has changed my view on rain.  Now I can agree with MercyMe when they sing, "So tell me...what's a little rain?" 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have to Wait...

Waking up to rain usually makes me struggle with a Rosie Outlook before I even get out of bed.   Today it was cold and rainy.  To me that is not a good combination!  Thankfully, it is Sunday (my most favorite day of the week) and I just cannot be too gloomy on a Sunday.  So, I pushed aside the gloom that hangs over me on a rainy day, and focused on my January Quests.

Exercise
As I have mentioned in a previous post, once I started walking regularly again on the treadmill in the basement, Hubby and I worked on a little setup to entertain me while I walked. 

Here is my first setup - a netbook computer bungee corded to a ladder.  I was happy with it - it worked.


This afternoon, Hubby spent some time working in his workshop area in the basement.  Even upstairs, I could hear him banging and sawing.  It made me happy that he was enjoying some time with his tools.

Tonight, I headed downstairs to lift my little weights and walk on the treadmill, and this is what Hubby had made me this afternoon.  I guess I should say he made it for us, since he now uses the treadmill regularly as well.

Pretty nice, don't you think?  I sure do!  And now I really have no excuse to walk on the treadmill.  I can watch TV, browse the Internet, or watch a video.  It's just as good as being at the gym! And with such a great setup, this Quest will not be ending with January.  No, I will continue this Exercise Every Day Quest in February.

Write Something
This evening I spent quite a while writing my post for today.  Hubby (my editor) thought it was good, but maybe needed a little reworking.  I was already thinking I needed to spend some more time on it as well.  I knew what I was trying to say, but it was kind of "wordy" and unclear. 

Sometimes I rush what I'm going to write to get it posted before I go to bed.  Later, the next day, when I read it, I find errors or wish I had taken more time with it.  Today I wrote a post that I think you might enjoy, but I want to work on it a little more before I post it here. 

So while I did fulfill my Write Something Quest today, you will have to come back tomorrow to read it.  Hopefully it will be worth the wait!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

God Did That

Two words: Slept In.  ahhhhhhhh  Yes, today I got to sleep in a bit and it was glorious!  After cherishing some much wanted snuggle time in the Hug Bed, I got up after the sun! And the sun was shining brightly as well. 

Of course, I believe it's impossible to have a bad day when you get to sleep in and wake up to sunshine.  It didn't even matter that it was still crazy cold outside.  In my opinion, sunshine just makes everything better!

So after a restful sleep, I popped out of bed and headed downstairs.

Exercise
After lifting my little weights, I walked my two miles on the treadmill enjoying a video as well as catching up on a little reading online.  I was happy to get that done, because by then it was time to get ready and get going as we had a birthday party to attend this afternoon.

After enjoying some time with family, dinner out, and an Engineer chauffeured ride home, I was happy to get in from the chilly air, don my warm jammies, and settle into the Hug Chair.  And here I sit ready to finish my January Quest for the day.

Write Something
Recently I was struggling with something that I had only really shared with Hubby.  At the time, I think he wasn't sure how to respond to me, and was honestly, a bit distracted, so he pretty much just ignored me as I voiced my frustration.  As you can imagine, that added to my frustration. 

Feeling discouraged, I went to bed that night worn out from my doubts and fears, and a little annoyed at Hubby for not responding the way I wanted him to respond. 

Before we go any further with this story, I must admit...there have been times when I have put unfair expectations on Hubby regarding how I hoped he would respond to me. 

Over the years, I have learned that he and I are starkly different in many areas of our lives.  He is such a guy's guy.  It is no secret that I am a girly girl.  That probably makes us the perfect match.  Of course he's not always going to see things, feel things, or react to things in the same way I do.  Nor do I really want him to anyway, if the truth were to be told.

But then there we were that night.  I was struggling and I wanted him to comfort me...and tell me it was going to be okay.  He, on the other hand, had had a pretty rough day at work.  He had spent a good deal of his day trying to fix problems. 

There we were at the end of the day and he really just wanted to relax, laugh a bit, and forget the struggles of his workday.  I was in a different place.  I didn't want to laugh.  I wanted to talk things out and have him help me solve my issues.  No, we were not in the same place...

At this point in our marriage, most of the time we do find ourselves in the same place.  Even though we are "opposites" in many ways, we have learned to grow toward the middle and more and more we find ourselves making an effort to be together on whatever the issue of the day might be. 

But on this night...we were not in the same place, and while I was disappointed, I wasn't mad...I even kind of understood...but I was discouraged.

The next morning, I woke up still feeling discouraged.  As I went through my morning routine, I opened my email and there I found a very encouraging note from a far away friend, the Specialist.  Even with many miles between us, she has been a wonderful support to me. 

She had no idea I was struggling.  I hadn't shared it with anyone but Hubby.  And yet here was an encouraging note, that spoke right to my situation.  It was as if I had called her up and shared all those frustrations, doubts, and insecurities, and she had the perfect words to lift me up and set me straight.

Her words completely changed my stormy outlook, so that I could step back and see my situation with a real Rosie Outlook.  It was such an exciting moment, I wanted to shout it for all to hear...but it was 5:30 in the morning...and even earlier where the Specialist lives. 

So instead, I smiled, rejoiced in my heart, and quietly thanked God for meeting my needs through the kindness of a friend's words.  Later, when I thanked my friend and told her she had sent me just the words I needed to hear to be able to let go of my fear and doubts and move forward through the struggles, this is what she said to me, "God did that!"

I loved that response.  I know that she is right.  I am touched even more that both of us could see that to be the clear and honest truth.  Of course, I still thanked her for listening to the promptings from Him to reach out to me. 

You see even though the Specialist and I are friends, we don't chat every day.  We once worked together (and she is amazing at her job, thus the Blog Name she earned) and while we are very supportive of each other, we haven't seen each other in a couple years.  Many miles and a time zone separate us, but that doesn't stop us from being friends. 

This story inspires and touches me, because during a time when God was directing me into new territory and I wasn't sure about it, He chose someone to encourage me and support me to go in the direction He has chosen for me.  Instead of choosing Hubby, the one person in my life who knows me better than anyone else, He chose a far away friend who was unaware of my current circumstances.

As I thought back over why that might be, I believe, God was giving Hubby a break.  He had enough going on at the moment.  Also, I believe it was because God really wanted me to get it... He Did That.  And now I have no doubt that God did.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shoes in the Closet

This is going to be a quick post tonight, because after a busy day, I just sat down at the computer.  Today I am combining my January Quests because I was so inspired by the video I watched while walking.
 
Exercise & Write Something
This morning, after lifting my hand weights, I walked two miles on the treadmill and watched a couple great videos online. 

Have you ever heard of an amazing guy named Nick Vujicic?  He was born without arms or legs.  Despite this hardship, he has lived an incredible life and leads a wonderful ministry for Christ.  I watched a fantastic interview with him on "Life Today", and I just had to share it with you. 
 
Enjoy this video:  Nick Vujicic - Unstoppable
 
I have to admit, I was tired this morning and by the time I started watching this interview, I was about a mile into my walk and I wanted to stop.  Needless to say, a few minutes into watching this man, I certainly couldn't quit walking just because I was tired. 

I mean...my goodness...I have two perfectly good legs and I was too tired to walk a little further?  This is a man who has no legs and part of one foot, and yet keeps a pair of shoes in his closet just in case God decides to perform a miracle.  Those pair of shoes are proof that he believes God can do it.  Isn't that amazing faith?  And yet, he has also found happiness and contentment with his life as he is now.

Nick Vujicic is such an inspiration in so many ways.  Even though he is different from almost everyone in the world, I don't think there is a person alive that couldn't relate to him and be encouraged by him. 

This video stuck with me throughout the day and I just kept thinking about those shoes in his closet... 

Oh how I want to live my life with that kind of faith and contentment!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Eye Exam....I Don't Want to Mess Up That Test!

Do you realize we only have one week left in January?  How are you feeling about the goals you have set for yourself this year?  I am feeling encouraged.

Today, I started thinking about February.  What will my February Quest be?  I have some ideas swirling in my head, and I haven't decided exactly how I will narrow them down yet, but I will give you a hint:  love.  My February Quest will definitely have something to do with love....
 
Having said that, I still have a whole week left to focus on my January Quests and I did that today. 
 
Exercise
Thankfully, I must have slept better in the Hug Bed last night, because I woke up, a bit too early in my opinion, but rested and ready to face the day.  Which helps a great deal when exercising in the morning. 
 
Once I had a little quiet morning time with the Twins and God, I was ready to head downstairs and hit the treadmill.  I lifted my hand weights first and then walked (at a bit faster pace) two miles on the treadmill.
 
You may remember me saying at the beginning of this Quest that I planned to change my exercise routine from time to time.  Even though that was the plan, I have been feeling fairly successful with the treadmill and weights and decided to stick with them the rest of this month.

In thinking about what to write today, I wanted to share with you something funny - at least it was to me.  So, using another phrase we love (borrowed from the Gourmet Hostess), "Here's a Funny":
 
Write Something
Yesterday was my yearly eye exam.  I have worn glasses or contacts since I was in the 5th grade, so I've had many years of eye exams and several different optometrists.  And yet...each exam has pretty much been the same routine for some 30+ years.
 
My first concern when I get there is always the eye puffer test.  Oh how I hate that test!  It's a necessary glaucoma test, but it is one of the most difficult parts of an eye exam for me.  How may times have I had to redo that test?  After years of struggling to keep my eye open during the puff, finally, a few years ago, a doctor told me to actually hold my eye open with my fingers.  Wow.  What a difference that made. 

So, that is what I did yesterday.  Yes, I am a grown woman, and yes, I have to hold my eye open for the eye puffer test.  And even then, I still jump every time.  Ugh.  Thankfully, my new eye doctor had a new faster machine and they were able to do the test on the first try - both eyes.  Come to think of it...that might have been a first for me.

After surviving the eye puffer test, the actual eye exam began.  This is where I start struggling with the giggles.  I totally blame comedian Brian Regan.  Several years ago we discovered his routine on the eye exam and it comes back to haunt me every time.  It is a great routine that nails the funny parts of an eye exam. 



So there I am sitting in the chair as the eye doctor puts the giant "glasses" up to my face and starts the "which is more clear #1 or #2?" phase.  In my mind, I can see Brian doing his routine as I try to decide which one I like better.  {giggle} "I don't want to mess this test up...."

Next comes the part where the doctor slides his chair up uncomfortably close and shines the very bright light into my eye.  Again, I hear Brian's routine in my head "Wanna a Tic Tac?" {giggle}

Then the best part of the entire exam comes when the doctor actually says this to me: "Did you know that you have a tiny bump on the edge of your eye?" {almost lose it, but manage to suppress the giggle} He continues, "I don't think it's anything to worry about."  {giggle}  I so badly want to say to him, "Do you just want me to feel self-conscious for the rest of my life?"

As we wrap the visit up, my doctor mentions that I am hitting the age where I am showing the early signs of Presbyopia.  If you are too young to know what that is, basically I'm getting older and going to have trouble reading and focusing on objects up close.  At some point, although I am not there yet, I might have to consider bifocal contacts or glasses. 

As I drove home, I could finally laugh.  All I could think about was Brian and his trifocals routine "Is that a book,  Is that a plane?  Is that a comet?"

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the Funny in your day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All the Feelings

We enjoyed a beautiful day here where the sun shone down and warmed us up just a bit.  Oh how I love a day with sunshine!
 
I ran errands and accomplished my January Quest goals for the day with a thankful heart for sunshine and good health.
 
Exercise
This morning I felt tired and unmotivated when I got up, but with some encouragement from our Engineer, I headed downstairs, lifted my hand weights, and walked 2 miles on the treadmill.  Although I was a bit tired, I was pleased I was back on track to where I had been before I came down with the flu last week.
 
While on the treadmill, I texted with my bestie, the Gourmet Hostess, which kept me entertained while finishing up my walk. 
 
Later while thinking about what to write today, I decided I wanted to go with a lighter topic than yesterday, and that got me to thinking...
 
Write Something
Our family loves to latch onto phrases and claim them to use over and over.  They can be used to describe feelings, remember funny times, remind us of places we have lived, people we have known, and places we have visited. 

The amusing part is that as soon as any of us uses one of our favorite phrases, we are instantly reminded of the origin of that phrase and why it became special to us.  It's one of those fun little things our family does that I just love.

When we sent our Scientist off to college, he did not know a single person on that campus.  As you might imagine, this momma did a lot of praying over the people who would come into his life during his college years.  A lot of praying.

Thankfully, he has made some wonderful friends.  One of those friends has become extra special to him and us.  You may remember me mentioning before, his special girl, the Nurse.  She is a very sweet girl who has seen her fair share of tough stuff in her young life.  She has learned to maintain a wonderful Rosie Outlook despite it all. 
 
In our time of getting to know her through stories from our Scientist, phone calls, Facetime, and visits to campus, we have learned that she is a girly girl who is a fan of glitter, flowers, and our son.  What's not to like? 

She also understands the need for a good cry, a hearty laugh, a hand covered giggle or shout of excitement.  The girl is not afraid to show a little emotion.  I have to say...I like that.

The Nurse also happens to be the one to give our family one of our new favorite phrases "All the feelings".  At the time she introduced it to us, she used it to describe something that had touched her greatly.  We have come to love this phrase and use it...well...for a variety of feelings - good or bad. 

If you have been a regular reader of my blog, then you may have noticed that I am not afraid to run the full range of emotions, sometimes in one blog post.  Hubby likens my feelings to a roller coaster - there are ups, downs, twists, turns, sometimes running full speed ahead, sometimes slowly clicking along, sometimes going backward, or uneven upside down.  In a phrase - all the feelings.

So when you come to this blog, please just jump in, secure your safety bar, keep your hands and feet inside at all times during the ride, and enjoy...with All the Feelings!  And to insure you experience the most possible fun...don't try to jump out until this ride has come to a full and complete stop.

From the bottom of my heart, thanks for coming along for the ride!  And please, do come again!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On Such a Day as This - There is Still Hope

Earlier today I sat in the Hug Chair watching (through our large picture window) huge snowflakes fall into a pile in our backyard.  It was beautiful.  It's also very very cold outside.  I'm thankful the Engineer and I could hunker down inside a warm home while we did school.
 
Today was the first day since suddenly coming down with the flu last Wednesday night that I have felt completely back to normal.  I was able to accomplish quite a bit today and I am getting back on track with my January Quests.
 
Exercise
This morning Hubby and I were back on schedule, up bright and early, to get him off to work.  After a quiet hour of reading, praying, and catching up on the news, I headed downstairs to walk on the treadmill.  I lifted weights and walked 1.5 miles this morning.  I'm hoping to push it back up to 2 miles tomorrow. 
 
Later in the afternoon, our Engineer and I finished up school for the day and around that same time the snow stopped falling. It's supposed to be a touch warmer tomorrow.  I hope so.
 
Write Something
Yesterday, I kindly asked for a bit of conversation from my readers, but either y'all don't feel much like talking or we aren't speaking and I didn't know it...  Either way, I'll leave it alone, but I do hope in the future, you will share a bit more with me.  I would enjoy it. 
 
Today I want to talk with you about something that has been on my heart for quite some time.  It can be a controversial topic, which is one reason why I'm not very excited to bring it up right now. 

But I truly feel today is the the day, this is the place, and now is the time.
 
From the beginning of the this blog, I have been open with you about my faith in God and my belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior.  It is a very important part of who I am.   My faith shapes who I am and why I believe what I believe. 

Being a follower of God guides my decisions, my actions, my choices, my words, and where I stand on the issues of the day.  This is how I choose to live my life.  My faith gives me reasonable boundaries and yet opens me up to a world of possibilities that only faith in our Lord and Savior can offer.

So it should come as no surprise to you that today, a date that marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision, is not a day I will celebrate.  It makes me sad.  It confuses me.  It breaks my heart.

Now, before I go any further, please understand, I am in no way judging any woman who has ever been through an abortion.  On the contrary, my heart goes out to her.  I can't imagine the suffering and pain involved.  

I also feel so deeply for those who are caught in the ripple effect of an abortion, the male involved, the would-be grandparents, and other family members. 

With abortion I do not believe anyone gains anything.  It only brings hurt, loss, pain, heartache.  I can't think of anything good it can bring to anyone.  

Tragically, abortion has been legal nearly all my life.  I am honestly surprised that with the advancement in both technology and science in the past 40 years, that people continue to support what is obviously the death of innocent babies.

With 3D imaging, you can look at the face of a child before he or she is even born. I think at this point we can all admit that what we are talking about is a life. There's no way to hide from that fact anymore.  I grieve with every women who has ever been through it and I mourn for every single baby our country has lost.
  

Fifty-five million. That's the number. Did you know that?  Are you shocked? 

Fifty-five million babies have been lost to abortion in America. Heartbreaking. Unbelievable, really.

Will someday a generation look back on this time in history in horror and shock for what we allowed to happen to our most innocent and defenseless in this nation?  I can only hope.

Hope.  Yes, hope.  That's the word I cling to when thinking of abortion.  I have hope someday our nation will wake up, and with eyes wide open realize what we are allowing to happen in the United States of America.  I really really hope we do.

I also offer hope to anyone reading this who has been through an abortion or supported someone through an abortion.  God is a loving God of forgiveness.  If you are living with sorrow, pain, or guilt, please go to God.  Pray to Him.  Tell him your struggles.  He knows your heart.  He knows you and He will forgive anything you have ever done.  For with God there is always hope.

Here's hope from the Lord in His own words:
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."   ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
 
I believe there is hope for our nation, but we have to stop rationalizing that abortion is somehow just a choice, and doesn't result in the ending of a life. 
 
I can't live my life silently looking away and wishing it wasn't the law of the land anymore.  In honor of those 55 million little voices, I must stand up and say for them:  Abortion is taking an innocent precious life. And legal or not, it is wrong.

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Time for a Good Conversation!

Happily, I can report that I am most certainly on the road to recovery!  Today I felt much better and was able to return to exercising!  Okay...the fact that I am excited and relieved about that says a lot about the success of my January Quest
 
I can't really ever think of a time I was excited to get back to being able to exercise before.  In fact, in the past, I would have used such an event - such as being too ill for several days - as an opportunity to put exercising on the back burner and then eventually just let it go for good.
 
Amazingly, I was ready to get back to exercising so I wouldn't fall any further behind in my progress.
 
Exercise
After taking it easy most of the day, early this evening, I felt I was well enough to get on the treadmill and take a bit of a walk.  Hubby joined me in the basement and did a little exercising and some other projects while I walked. 
 
We chatted a bit about his plan to fix up our workout area.  I am pleased with his ideas and look forward to how it will turn out.  I also read a couple blog posts and watched an interview while I walked. 
 
Thinking it would be better to ease into it, I walked at a slower pace than I had been before I fell ill.  My goal was to walk a mile.  I felt so good and decided I could go a little longer, so I actually walked 1.5 miles tonight! 

I wasn't worn out and felt like I could have maybe even gone a little further, but due to the fact that it was my first day back on the treadmill since coming down with the flu last week, I didn't want to push myself too much.
 
I also lifted my little hand weights and although I thought that might be difficult, I felt fine with that as well. I was afraid it might be like starting over again after not doing anything for several days and feeling so weak and wiped out from the illness, but thankfully I don't think I lost too much ground.
 
Write Something
I pulled out my computer earlier today and hoped to write something, but I just stared at the blank page for a while.  Then I pulled up some other writings I have been working on and tried to finish one of them, but I couldn't come up with the right words, so I put it aside to work on later. 
 
Now here I am later, still struggling with what to write today.  I think part of the problem is that it feels like a one-sided conversation.  I do all the talking.  Yes, it's true that I do love to chat and I'm not afraid to fill the silence with my voice (Hubby's words, not mine), but I actually love the back and forth of a good chat, not just hearing myself talk. 
 
Having said that, I have heard from a few of you.  I have received messages on My Rosie Outlook Facebook page, and one email at My Rosie Outlook email account.  So I have had a bit of feedback.  And yes, occasionally someone will even post a comment below one of my posts here. 
 
Honestly, though, I would love a good conversation!  Why do you read this blog?  What makes you check in to see what I have to say?  What do you enjoy reading about the most?  Has anything you've read here inspired you, encouraged you, frustrated you, upset you, made you laugh, or made you cry?  Is there something you would like for me to write about?  Are you tired of reading about the Hug Chair?  Do you wonder about something?  Do you see an area where I could improve?
 
I'm truly looking for any kind of feedback.  I'm not sure I knew my goal of this blog in the beginning, but as we go along, I realize I really want to inspire, encourage, and hopefully entertain you a bit.  I would love to do exactly what I taught my students to do when they were writing about something.  I told them I wanted their words to make me feel...act...or...think.  I would love for what I write here to do the same for you. 
 
It's hard for me to know though...when the conversation is pretty much one-sided.  Does what I write make you feel, act, or think?
 
So even though this may not be your Quest this month...now I'm going to ask you to Write Something.  Not every day, but at least today.  Please, if you would, take a few minutes and comment below or send me a message via email or Facebook.  I would really love to hear from YOU.
 
*I have (hopefully) changed the settings to make commenting as easy as possible.  You don't have to leave your name, but in true My Rosie Outlook fashion, you are welcome to make up a "Blog Name" just for this site.*
 
So....tell me....I can take it.....What do you really think???

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sharing a Favorite Picture

Happy Sweet Sunday to You!  Oh how I love Sundays.  Our big outing of the day consisted of a trip to church and out to lunch. After that it was a pretty relaxing day while I rested in the Hug Chair with our Twins and played word games with Hubby while he enjoyed some football. I also read a little.  Sunday is normally such a blessed day of rest for our family and thankfully, today was such a day for me.

If you have been following me the last few days, then you know I am recovering from an icky flu which has altered my goals, but not my Rosie Outlook toward my January Quests.

Exercise
While I fully planned to walk on the treadmill, even donning my "workout clothes" after church, I soon realized that I didn't feel up to it again today.  I have heard from a few others that have had a similar flu bug, and this one takes a few days to regain your strength.  I'm beginning to believe it.

So I will have to be okay with the bit of walking and stair climbing I included in my normal activities of the day. 

We attend a fairly large church with a fairly large parking lot, and this might surprise you, but we tend to arrive moments before the service is to begin.  It just so happens today was no exception.  Which means we did have a bit of a hike from the back parking lot to the church doors.  Someday maybe we will get there early and enjoy a gloriously short walk from the car to the curb.  Ah...a girl can dream.

I used the stairway in our home a few times today, as well, and it truly felt like a bit of exercise...which is how I knew I wasn't quite ready to return to the treadmill.  Well, that and the fact that I have found myself a bit dizzy or shaky a couple times while up and about today.  This has been one crazy flu!

So, I'll say it again....tomorrow my goal is to get back on that treadmill!  Fingers crossed!

Write Something
We enjoyed some beautiful music at church this morning.  It can be a very touching part of the service.  One of the songs we sang at the service referenced running to Jesus' arms.  I love that picture.  It's a picture we can all imagine. 

Will you picture this with me right now?  You, running into the arm of someone dear and special to you.  Maybe it's your father, mother, spouse, friend, sibling, or even child?  You might run to them in happiness after being separated for a long while; or in fear, maybe you run to them for protection.  It could be in sorrow or hurt as you look for comfort, or maybe as a way to show them your love.  There are many reasons to run into the arms of another. 

Think about how it feels when those arms reach out for you...or even better...when they wrap around you.  hmmmmmmm.  It's the best, isn't it? 

I believe we can feel the love of Jesus through the arms of others.  There are times when God may call us to be his earthly arms of love to show His love to others.  You might at times be a recipient of that.  Isn't that a glorious thought? 

But - here's an even better picture: 

Jesus is always standing with his arms open wide.  Just waiting for us.  Whenever we need Him.  Whenever we call on Him.  Whenever we decide to believe in Him.  Whenever we are ready to thank Him, love Him, praise Him, or ask anything of Him.  His is there to wrap his arms around us.  He is there to hold us close, to rejoice in our happiness, to soothe us from fears, to comfort us during sorrow, to love us, to protect us, to guide us, and even...one day...welcome us home.

Oh...that is a picture...I truly love.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Celebrating our Engineer

Oh My!  It's good to be back.  I missed chatting with you the last couple of days.  The horrid stomach flu took me down for a bit.  I'm still a little weak and shaky, but thankfully I am able to eat again, and feel like I am on the road to recovery.

The flu came on quickly late Wednesday night, and I found myself pretty wiped out Thursday and Friday. I spent most of the last two days in the Hug Bed and was quite thankful we had purchased the new mattress!   Even though I wasn't feeling well, I tried to do a little something to meet my goals of my January Quest!

Exercise
Thursday afternoon, when I felt like I could muster up a little strength, I did a few leg lifts in bed.  On Friday, I finally got up out of bed late in the afternoon, and trust me when I say, going down the stairs and later back up them to return to bed, was plenty of exercise for the day. 

Today I hoped to at least walk a little on the treadmill, but I soon found out that I was not as strong as I thought I might be.  We were out and about for a bit today and the walking I did get then (plus the stairs again and a few leg lifts) will have to be enough exercise for today.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to add a bit more.  Of course it was a bit disappointing as I felt like I was making good progress and even seeing some results from my efforts, but I am not going to let a few days of illness ruin my Rosie Outlook. 

So, tomorrow I hope to add more exercise to my day.

Write Something
Writing was actually more difficult for me the last two days because I had terrible headaches both days, and did not really sit up much.  I didn't feel like reading either, which is surprising for me.  I really slept most of the last two days.  I didn't even turn on my computer. 

However, I found I could connect with the "outside world" by using my phone.  I texted and posted a bit on Facebook, and although that is not truly the kind of writing I hoped to accomplish with this Quest, it was all the writing I could manage the past couple days.

Since I find myself feeling better this evening, I will share a little of our last couple days with you.  I think the most disappointing part of the past three days of illness was that it fell during our Engineer's 16th birthday.  That truly disappointed me. 

Celebrating birthdays is important to me.  Since the boys were born, I have always tried to make them feel extra special on their birthdays.  I usually decorate the house with Happy Birthday banners and signs.  I have made their birthday cakes myself every single year, and it's tradition for them to find a few carefully wrapped (in their favorite color) presents sitting on the kitchen table when they wake up in the morning. 

I'm pretty sure our Engineer knew I wasn't going to be feeling up to the all out birthday extravaganza that I usually pull off.  Thankfully, Hubby stepped into an area he isn't comfortable in at all and did a great job of making it a special day for our new 16 year old.

As I lay in bed that morning listening to Hubby wrap a present, it made me smile.  I loved that he was willing to do that for me.  Later I heard Hubby greet the Engineer as he came down the stairs, wishing him (in a very dad/guy way) a Happy 16th.  It tickled me that Hubby got to have that moment.

You see, Hubby's job has required him to be away during some of our important family events - including several birthdays.  I know it was sad for him each time.  On top of that, most years, I would be the first one to greet the boys on their birthday morning.  I usually got that little moment of being the first one to celebrate them.

This year, because I was sick in bed, Hubby got to have the quiet little moment with our son.  After breakfast, they both came up to the bedroom so I could enjoy watching our Engineer open his gift.  It was sad for me that I couldn't give him a hug or kiss or bake his birthday cake, but he's such a sweet tender soul, he just felt bad I wasn't feeling well.

Although it was a Friday, we had (before the flu knocked me down) planned to "take a family day".  Each year we have homeschooled, we have declared birthdays "school holidays".  Hey, it's a homeschooling perk.  Hubby was also able to have the day off and we were going to spend the day celebrating our Engineer.

Since I was not up for running around, I was very glad when Hubby and our Engineer (reluctantly) agreed the plan could go forward with just two.  They took off for lunch and the movies, then came back home for some gaming time. 

Finally by late afternoon, I felt up to getting out of bed.  Hubby had picked up a little chocolate cake, so we put candles on it, and sang to our teenager.  It wasn't quite the birthday celebration we had hoped to give him, but he sat there with a sweet smile on his face, enjoying it just the same.

Even our Scientist and his special girl, the Nurse, joined in by calling on Facetime to share in the celebration.  Although we missed them, I was thankful that we got share a bit of the day with them.  It left a smile on our Engineer's face.

Throughout the day, family and friends (near and far) called, texted, and messaged our Engineer their Birthday greetings as well.  There's no doubt he knows he is loved.

Later that night as I crawled back into the Hug Bed, I lay there thinking about how well the day had turned out anyway.  Our Engineer isn't one for a lot of noise and commotion.  He got to have some quality time with his dad, which was special and unexpected for both of them.  He saw how much we loved and cared for him and wanted him to feel celebrated, even if it wasn't what we planned.  And I knew he appreciated it.

Today, we were able to hop in the car and meet up with some of our family at my aunt and uncle's log cabin restaurant.  We had a wonderful time celebrating with family and enjoying delicious homemade food.  It was another special day that our 16 year old enjoyed and I was so glad I was feeling better and able to enjoy it with him.

Hopefully in the next few days, I will be fully recovered.  When I am, I will make his favorite meal (spaghetti with homemade meatballs and sauce) and his favorite cake (chocolate with chocolate pudding icing).  It will be a few days late, but I don't think he will mind.  We even have a few more family members to meet up with in the coming days, so the celebration will continue for a bit longer! 

And I say why not?  I'm so blessed to be his momma.