I have a lot of things to say tonight. It is rare when I come to my blog posting box with a lot of ideas.
This morning, my sister, Tonya, came to work out on our treadmill like she does most mornings. She exercises in the basement with the TV blaring SO loud. Which reminds me- last week, she was over exercising, and Tasha, my other sister, was upstairs in the kitchen with me because I was helping her with her Christmas card. (As you can see, my sisters just unexpectedly drop in some mornings, and this was one of those rare occassions when we were ALL there because then Melissa showed up 5 minutes later and questioned what was going on.) Anyway, Tasha commented, "It sounds like the Pumpkin Festival down there," which made me laugh, because it totally did. Those of you who are Mortonites and live w/i 2 blocks of the P Fest like me- you know what it sounds like. Loud, distorted, blaring music and screaming. Well, that's what it sounded like from our place in the kitchen.
Anyway, I'm escaping the point I really want to make. So today, while Tonya was over, I went to the playroom because I knew her kids would be there. Wrong- kid. I sat down on the chair next to Sophia where she was watching a movie.
"Sophia, where is Domy?"
"Domy at Skooool," she reported.
"Oh yeah," I remembered. "What is this movie? The Grinch?" I ask.
"Nooooo," she answered. She was right. I don't know what movie it was, but after close inspection, it wasn't the Grinch. Anyway, I started to stare at Sophie, because I LOVE staring at little kids. Why? Because they don't care. You could stare at them all day and they wouldn't think twice. Don't get me wrong- I'm not some sick, twisted pedafile who stalks kids, I just like to observe. I find it enthralling. I was watching her, thinking about how EASY she had it. It was 9 in the morning and she was sititng there watching a movie already. Then, she'd get to go home and play until lunch, take a little nap, play some more, get fed supper, play some more, get bathed, and tucked in.
(a picture I took of Sophia this June, my favorite one of her)
I thought back to when I as a kid: I used to fill my days with nintendo, dolls, and running around outside making imaginary friends and "clubs" with my best friend, Sonja. When I got older and went to school, my brother and I would walk home together when I was in kindergarten and 1st grade, and I'd get a chocolate pudding cup out and eat it while watching "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego." Every Saturday morning, my dad and brother would return from the paper-route with donuts from Kroger, and I'd bring my cat, Whiskers in, and we'd watch cartoons while eating donuts. Every night after supper, all of us kids would either have to do dishes or sweep.
The memories of childhood swirled around me in nostalgiac wisps, and I became "homesick" for my youth. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to the sweet innocene of childhood and relive every carefree moment.
My favorite memories of childhood:
1. My mom used to make me PB&J but with actual butter on it, too, or a balogna and cheese face for lunch
2. I would play in the sewing room where my mom sewed (she was a seamstress for her job) and one day, before pre-school, she told me I had to go on the time out chair because I didn't pick up my blocks fast enough (I was probably being onery)
3. My best friend throughout life, Whiskers, our gray cat who lived 16 long years and had to be "put to sleep" on March 14, 1998 because he had cancer in his eye. It was one of the saddest days of my life.
4. My actual human best friend, Sonja, who lived 2 doors down. We spent every second of every day together, and have many great memories. I was the leader in that friendship most of the time, and we actually shared a paper-route for 3 years or so.
5. Oh, the paper-route. It got handed down to me from my brother, and I had it for about 6-7 years. I don't miss getting up at 5 a.m. every morning. My dad faithfully helped me EVERY time.
6. When I was real little, my dad always had to tuck me in. I insisted upon it. I couldn't sleep without it.
7. Getting beat on by my brother. As much as I hated it, I deserved it. I was a classic "little sister," and he loved to use me as a punching bag to get a rise out of me.
8. Walking to school from kindergarten until my senior year in High School. All 3 of the schools I went to throughout my school career were w/i a 10 minute walk.
9. Our family trips to Arizona. All of us would pile into the station wagon, then the van, for a 2-day drive to AZ. THOSE were the days... oh, the memories. My dad wouuld always get so mad at us when we'd misbehave.
10. Going to get ice cream with my dad at the yogurt place at the 4-way stop where Domino's now is.
Ok, that's enough memories. Onto my next topic.
So, this is the spiritual part of my post. I'm going to write a little bit on temptation.
Here is what I was thinking. I am going to use an analogy. I am very blessed, because I love food, and most of my good friends know that I can sit some nights and eat A LOT, but I don't weigh 500 lbs. to show for it. I have a fast metabolism at this point in my life, so I usually don't think about the consequences of eating a lot of junk food late at night in a few hours' time, which is the worst thing to do if you are watching your figure. :) Anyway, my point is, because I don't have immediate or even really long-term consequences of that action, I am kind of careless about what I allow myself to eat. I don't feel guilty about it. Is this a good thing? Probably not- I mean, sure, I can get away with it, but that doesn't mean I should do it.
There's my lead-in to temptation and sin.
A lot of times in life, we are TEMPED. Tempted to do things that we know are sin, yet somehow it is easy to justify when we don't have immediate consequences. However, just because we may be deceived into thinking we can "get away" with this sin, that is completely wrong. It may be a temporary good solution in our minds when Satan has us at the brink of sin, but it is not true. There ARE consequences. We can be thankful that Jesus Christ died on the cross for those consequences. However, that doesn't give us the go to take advantage of that act and continue in our life sinning. We need to make a conscious effort to avoid sin as much as possible, and when we DO slip up, ask for forgiveness. One way to know that we are where we should be spiritually is if we geel guilty after we sin. A lot of times, we may stumble and sin consciously because we are human. However, if we do that and don't feel bad about it, sometime is really wrong. We need to be having those little guilt pricks, and we need to be feeling the stab of conviction. That is a sign that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in OUR life because we are in tuned to Christ and what we know He wants... so even when we do slip up, we are prompted to ask for forgiveness.
How does this relate to my food analogy? Just as I am careless about my eating habits because I don't see immediate consequences now, sometimes we can be careless about sin because we are able to subconsciously justify it.
Be careful. If you are starting to get careless with sin and you are letting Satan manipulate you into slipping up more often than usual, he will soon have you in the palm of his hand. He seeks who he can devour. He is evil.
"My dear brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
It gives a whole new meaning to patience!
1 Cor. 10:13
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. For when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."
How to fight temptation?
1. The minute it invites you, even if it is as simple as a thought, dismiss it. There is nothing more powerful than averting a thought process from even occurring if it doesn't have to. Don't even tell yourself not to think about it. That will only reinforce what you don't want to be thinking about/doing.
2. Recite Bible verses. That's what Jesus did. Use the Bible as a tool against him.
3. Pray for someone.
Ok. Enough for tonight. I love you all!