Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Post of Few Words

The recital is over and done! It was a success; my kids did amazingly well. I am so proud of them. The past few days have just flown by and tonight, we're on our way up north to prepare for Hannah and Daniel's wedding. The next week is probably going to be very busy so I wanted to post a few pictures of what we've been doing lately. Enjoy!

 One of my students' mothers made these for the snack after the recital... in fact, she made the music notes which decorate the cupcakes. They were sooo good.

If it hadn't been for this wonderful man, the recital would have been much more difficult for me. Before, I would have to haul the keyboard on my own or wrestle a fellow hauler out of someone. Haha! But he always carries my keyboard now... I don't have to ask. He just does it. Between him, Lydia and others, things were set up and taken down in record time. :-)

Another mother gave me this quilt. I have already designated it for wrapping up my keyboard when we have to move it.

 The finished deck. We're really excited and happy about all the added place. As soon as we get back, we'll have to have a deck warming and have everyone over. :-)

The sun finally came out!
Now, if it will only stay that way for Hannah's wedding. Mom says that the spot they wanted to get married at is a bit puddled right now. Lol! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Love is the silent saying and saying of a single name.  Mignon McLaughlin

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Post of a Tired Mind

Reading: The Book Thief. Written for teens. Gritty. Holocaust. About a 12 year old girl. Told from Death's perspective. Death has a sense of humor. The story feels poetic, free versed.

Watched: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. Love the music. Actors were amazing. The story was brilliant. Hilarious and dark all at once. Now I need to find out about Odyssey.

Change: Last day of teaching happened on Thursday (24th). I've been sad all day about not seeing my students every week. It's a good thing but a sorrowful thing... ::sigh::

Learning: About not complaining and being joyful. Loving my husband more and more.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Construction and Pictures Thereof

Construction on the deck...
Our house has changed a lot on the outside since we bought it.
My man.
Half finished!
I love our porch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Love is a friendship set to music. -- Joseph Campbell

We have the capacity to receive messages from the stars and the songs of the night winds. -- Ruth St. Denis

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not a truth. -- Marcus Aurelius

Because of great love, one is courageous. -- Lao Tzu

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beautiful Me

 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. -- Isaiah 61:3

Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as is the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed. -- Channing Pollock 

There is a trend that has settled so long on the Church that it has become a core belief of religious peoples. It goes something like this:

To think any positive or flattering thing about oneself is pride and, therefore, is a sin in the eyes of God.

There are so many examples of this, but one that I will always remember was some advice given in a girls magazine: "If you look in the mirror and have trouble with prideful thoughts about your appearance, you should get rid of the mirror." And what about the many women who dress in unflattering clothing and cover their head? No form is shown; no beautiful hair is let down; any desire other than a neat, tidy appearance is frowned upon. Men are to guard their thoughts about themselves just as sharply: no thoughts about attractiveness and definitely no thoughts about sexuality. The Amish are especially infamous for their strict guard upon their members; are the buggies too shiny? Could there be a smidgen of pride in the heart of the buggy owner? What about that apron or that hair cut or the roofline of that barn? Is it too different from the others? Could there be pride involved? Some Mennonite groups are also very similar in concept. The examples could go on.

And there is the other side of the coin: people never being content with how they look. People going through surgery to make themselves more attractive. People killing themselves because they are bullied or feel that they are too imperfect for this world. And what about people saying, "I am ugly" or other degrading statements about themselves. One thing all of these groups or individuals have in common is this: they believe they are acting in a meek and humble manner or that it's better/safer/more attractive spiritually to feel negative emotions about ourselves.

Before going on, I feel I must point something out: my thoughts are rarely conclusive these days. My current state is that I seem to always be searching for more answers and deepest truths. That being said, through the years I have seen a disturbing amount of unnatural thoughts and actions resulting from these beliefs and mindsets. I think it's time someone said something about it. Also I wish to digress by stating that I do not wish to judge others for their beliefs. All peoples are free to believe as they will, as long as their beliefs are not harming others. I simply seek to bring love and contentment to this world and I believe part of the change must come through seeing ourselves through the eyes of God.

I am writing from personal experience. Each day I struggle through loathing, self pity, doubt, frustrations, depression, pain... Lately, especially so. My dearest Jesse and my God have been very close to comfort and hold me. But I am learning! I am learning about my humanness and God's omnipotence. I am learning about forgiveness and love. I am learning about what it means for a broken heart to heal. I am learning that it is wrong not to acknowledge the truth. God created you and me uniquely with beauty in mind. When you look at yourself in the mirror and think, "I am attractive," it doesn't mean you suffer from a pride filled heart. It can be as innocent as a simple nod to the Creator that he didn't make a mistake when he made you.

I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. -- Psalm 139: 14

 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. -- Psalm 27: 4

The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head. -- Proverbs 20: 29

There are as many verses in the Bible promoting beauty as there are verses warning against it. Where is the balance? There are verses that proclaim God's beauty and many more that tell us of his desire to create humans in his image. What does the Bible say about the image of God? In Ephesians, it refers to the glory of it. Colossians refers to the invisibility of the image of God. Other verses, as quoted above, refer to the marvelous beauty of the Lord. Scholars have discussed this concept a great deal. Most believe that this reference includes the creation of our spirits, souls and personalities, "the mirror image of God's essential nature." My personal belief is that it must be a balance of all: God created us, a human species, to have a certain type of appearance and He created us to have his personality, understanding and wisdom. Of course, all of these attributes work together to create something wonderfully rich in each of us.

Each day that I live and the more people I meet brings me more strongly to a certain realization: every person in the world has fears and insecurities. It might be about their appearance or their personality or people not liking them. There are some who struggle with their imperfections, because they can never be as good as they think they should be. These thoughts lead to depression and frustration; ultimately, unhappiness. All people in the world come from different walks of life: Atheist, Christian, Islamic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, agnostic, Hindu... the list goes on. But the fact of the matter is: we all think we're not good enough.

It is true. We aren't good enough. We aren't nearly good enough. We will never be good enough. But we are perfect. We each have a unique mix of qualities and different opinions. We all have the beauty of true unique perfection. We all deserve to be loved and accepted for who we are. That love and acceptance must start in each heart: God loves you; God thinks you are perfect and beautiful; God wants you to be lifted out of your frustrations and realize your potential.

"Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure." Meister Eckhart

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. -- Ephesians 5:22

I'm talking about you. How are you going to walk your path today? Are you going to look in the mirror and think how ugly you are? Are you going to miss an opportunity to bring the oil of joy to someone who needs it because you feel insecure? Are you going to selflessly love others? Or will you not be able to do that because you can't love yourself as God loves you?

There is the danger of sin in every aspect of life. We all fall into sin through our humanness. We could concentrate on that and mourn over our foolishness. I know people who can only talk about how sinful they are; they think this attitude is one of meekness. But I personally know others who have risen above the ashes of their pain and confusion to embrace whom God created them to be. You know what the Bible says? God loves a cheerful heart and that we are to rejoice and be glad.

Be happy today. Embrace the beauty that is you. You see, it is a choice.

Monday, May 14, 2012

life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes

carl friedrich gauss

Thursday, May 10, 2012

8 Months Ago...

It seems like yesterday... but also as though we've been together forever. 
Thank you, Lord.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Smelled It.

Yesterday, I was at the store and a customer came in. She had white hair, a gentle appearance, was very alert ... and she looked a little lost. I went to her and asked if I could be of service. Yes, she replied, do you have any lotion that could go under makeup? As we walked across the store, she told me she was 88 years old and, through the years, had seen so many changes in the world. I asked her which change was the biggest but we arrived in the lotion aisle before she could answer. We started looking at lotions that would be gentle on her skin and not too greasy for makeup. I picked up two different ones: Vaseline, unscented and Vaseline Chamomile; both were intensive rescue. Since my allergies react to strong fragrance, I had the presence of mind to smell the chamomile lotion. I did not want to send her home with a lotion that might affect her badly. However, my sinuses were not in smelling mode: I couldn't smell anything in that lotion. So, I squeezed the bottle. Just a little. There must have been an air bubble. Suddenly there was lotion on my face; in fact, there was lotion in my nose. It wasn't a lot but enough to make me jerk away from the bottle and get a rather startled look. The funny thing was that this lady started giggling and giggling. The more she giggled, the more I giggled. It was a good moment in the life of Naomi.

 Btw, Vaseline Chamomile Intensive Rescue lotion does actually smell good... and it's not strong at all. I know. I smelled it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why Jesse is Driving Me to Work This Morning

Welcome to Saskatchewan "Can We survive All The Water" 2012.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bad Cat

To begin, I detest cat vomit. Kid vomit is not nearly as gross as cat vomit. Jesse disagrees. He says he'll clean up after the cat and I can clean up after the kids, if we have them. But Jesse wasn't here today and the fact of the matter is, cat vomit is disgusting.
Our cat, Snow, often throws up when he comes back inside from using the great outdoors. The reason for this is that as soon as he gets in, he heads for his food dish and eats too much way too fast. Unfortunately, he doesn't *always* throw up, otherwise we'd be waiting and ready for him. But he does it just often enough to be completely annoying. As the old adage goes: a watched cat doesn't vomit. Probably the least annoying thing about this habit is that usually, he leaves a nice (?), semi dry pile of cat food vomit that simply has not settled in his stomach.
Today, as I was cleaning up the kitchen and porch, I let Snow inside. It must have been half an hour later when I heard the dreadful sound coming from the livingroom. I rushed from the office so fast that I stubbed all of the toes on my left foot. And guess what? He ran. Snow ran through the living room, vomiting. He vomited all the way from the pink couch to the bottom of the stairs: leaving a 12 foot trail of cat food, grass and stomach acid.
Oh joy. I had students coming in less than an hour. The creature ran upstairs and hid under a bed. He knew he was in trouble and I hadn't even expressed my distaste. Well, to be honest I had stated calmly, "You are a very bad kitty." I didn't want to say or do anything else than clean up cat vomit. I was too mad and I never like to act on anger. It's bad policy.
So, I cleaned up the mess, got un-mad, gently coaxed the cat back outside again (so he wouldn't do a repeat while the students were there), tried to wipe the new stain out of the already stained carpet (the previous owners had dogs and kids) and cat vomit is still the most disgusting thing in the world...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Winebibbers Inc.

Just a couple of random thoughts that have been first in my mind all day...

Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. (Matthew 9:10) 

The son of man is come eating and drinking; and  ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. (Luke 7:34) 

The older I get the more I realize that holding ourselves apart from the world and "sinners" is not the way to spiritual enlightenment or becoming Christlike.

My greatest desire is to become more like Jesus. I want to have the same attitude and feelings towards the entire world. I want to learn to love like He did.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dakota Is The Key

Yesterday, we went to the United States to renew my passport. My passport has been expired for 6 years (and an odd number of days), plus I have been married and had a name change in my absence. To top it all off, I haven't been to the states since grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary in July of '09.

So when the very big, African American border guard took one look at my passport and asked us to come inside, I wasn't surprised. When they had us empty our pockets, looked through Jesse's wallet and my purse and searched the car, I still wasn't surprised.

What did surprise me was when they started apologizing. They didn't ever come out and say, "I'm sorry." It was more like, "You'll soon be on your way... we just have our protocols, etc., etc." "Well, it's just that with your passport being so outdated, we simply have to verify who you are." They started making little jokes and we all laughed together. It was awesome. :-)

The last thing they had me do was fill out a card declaring if we had any tobacco (no), fruits or vegetables (no), bringing anything down to sell (no), firearms or weapons (no), money over x number of dollars (no) and our destination, which I wrote down as "Minot, SD."

Now, there were two border guards and my husband both peering over my head as I wrote that. No one said anything. No one even noticed. It wasn't until we were back in our car and on our merry way that I said, "South Dakota, eh?" and my husband looked at me strangely and said, "We're not going to see Mount Rushmore today." Haha!

Ah! Minot, South Dakota, you exist, even if just in my mind.