Thursday, August 22, 2013

CTC Help for Unit 2

Roll out your cylinder as per instructions in book. 
I didn't have wax paper so I used a light colored construction paper make a piece that fits your cylinder 
 I'm using my drawing marker it will bleed through. 

 Flip it over, see the backwards writing? 
 I'm enhancing it for you. 
 Wrap around your soft clay. 
 I taped mine it keeps it steady. 
 This did not work well, not even with wax paper. See my needle, I have an alternative solution. 
Use your needle to poke holes through the paper,
then take it off , scribe in the letters and symbols with your pencil. 
All done. you may need to re-roll your cylinder occasionally to help it keep it shape.
Let dry and roll into wet clay and you will be able to read it. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

itouch Trouble

Well we did 2 weeks at half speed and last week Auntie was here trapping me in the house. Meanwhile this week we have rebooted school but slowly. I'm finding it difficult to get Sweet Potato motivated. She just wants to play with her itouch all day long.  I thought we had it under control but Obviously it's not... I've been listening to Pandora for over a year and never once have I seen what I saw today. This morning disaster occurred Pandora cut off her free music. Oh the horror! To listen anymore this month she has to Gasp! PAY! cries of "Mom pay it, Mom please... " "Well dear do you have any money?" "NO but Mom its only .99 cents!"  "Yup it is, do you want to do some chores?"  "NO." "Well then I don't feel like paying either."  I'd like to personally thank the makers of Pandora for building in safeguards. I couldn't have been happier. I know she's been using the itouch outside of the guidelines I gave her, and now it has caught up with her. I didn't have to harangue, or fuss, or nag, it just happened to her because of her actions. Ahhh life lessons I don't have to teach.

I did put consequence parenting in the back of the tool box, but its kinda fun to just see it happen without my intervention.

Meanwhile I'm disgusted with Disney and the music videos I walked in during Sweet Potatoes vest time and saw a half dressed Selena telling some dude when he was ready, to come and get it. Come and get dinner in that dress No I don't think so! Ah well the cute teen has grown up, but my teen is not ready for that. Her cries of "But daddy said I could." were acknowledged and daddy came and sat with her and watched the videos with her. Upon which he banned all but one.Thanks Dad :-) I like not being the bad guy tonight.  Bwahahahahahaha Sorry it just so funny he says sure watch the computer videos with out previewing them and then nearly has a heart attack at what Disney deems appropriate for teenagers. My nightly prayer is Oh Lord help us navigate these perilous years.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Painting Big is More Than Just Pictures

I love our CTC group on FB it really gets my blogging juices flowing.

Now as a Missionary Mama living "simply" I understand tight budgets Which is why I don't use the really expensive watercolor paper, I can still have my kids paint big without a crippling cost.   Please don't get me wrong I'm not being critical of you if you paint small. This post is more about me working out why I want shout from the mountain tops "Paint BIG!"  I'm not saying "feel bad" if you paint small, I'm just sharing why we don't paint small. This is my personal journal and I just let you read it. :-)

So here is my personal opinion as to why children should paint Big.

First of all children have a tendency to paint and draw small. If you give a child a regular sheet of paper they typically don't fill the entire page. They tend to stick their image smack dab in the middle and leave lots of space around it. When you look at many fine artists they fill the whole canvas/paper, even if only with doodles.

When you take a large piece of watercolor paper and place it in front of a child, it is a bit daunting. They think I have to fill whole big piece of paper! Yet the project usually starts out by painting a whole entire background. Painting large involves a mix of large and fine motor skills. The child must make decisions, when do I start changing colors?  How much pressure am I  putting on my brush? They see short strokes don't look at all like long even strokes. If a child has a 11x14 paper making long even strokes takes concentration and some finesse.  A 5x7 sheet of paper doesn't have these challenges, nor do large motor skills come into play on suchs a small surface.

I'm not against cutting down a 18 x 24 ---> 9 x 12 (to conserve resources) but let me challenge you to think outside the box for a minute. If you have good watercolor paper the front will not bleed through to the back. Yes the back is not as rough but I would rather my children painted both sides of a sheet of  decent sheet of watercolor paper then paint small. Why I'm wondering in my mind why am I obsessed with painting big. I'm really really happy you are painting even if it is on 5 x 7 pieces of paper. Painting big resonates deep within my soul if I could I would shout from the mountain tops "Paint Big."

I have one child that enjoys these painting but she hates to draw. She has fine motor control issues. When she has to draw in the tiny boxes in the notebooks, it frustrates her. She tires easily. Yet she likes to paint, because painting on a large surface uses a mix of muscle groups and I think tho I'm not sure a larger portion of her brain. I know art is a emotional centered activity, but fine detail work is a logic centered activity.  For me painting big means opening up and touching the emotions in art. Letting our feelings out on paper. I have kids with Trauma in their background, getting them to express feelings on paper through art or writing is sooooooo good for them.  Making sure painting is NOT a Fine Motor Skill ONLY project for her smoothed the way for success. There are plenty of her paintings that did not make the blog. This is because I did not have her permission to put them up.  Altho plenty did make the blog, those she was happy and satisfied with.  This created a cycle of success. That success builds her interior life of self worth, not self esteem but rather how God sees us as wonderfully and beautifully made people.

Art is Art if you the artist likes it in the end, that is all that really matters.

Now how often do our children not like their projects especially the age CTC covers. They are of an age where they can see in their minds eye what they want, but execution may be much harder to achieve. If you give them a tiny piece of paper to work on and they make mistakes you will hear "It's ruined."  Lets face it, on small paper, a drop of paint can be very hard to "repair or recreate" (fix it by turning it into something else), yet on a big piece of paper you have the real estate to fix it.

Part of me says when we give our children the "standard" 8 x 11 or smaller paper we are creating a mind set of normal = small.  If I was given a half size piece of paper I would think this is small and not as important. They already lean toward drawing and painting small. Small paper for me says the child will think small, inside the small box not big as in "The sky is the limit." mentality.  Great artists paint big... ok I know great artist also paint on the heads of pins, but you have to admit painting on a tiny head of a pin is huge idea.  Big paper forces a child to think larger and big thinkers turn into visionaries and leaders.

For me this is more than large/fine motor skill issue, its is paradigm shift in their brain. Creativity should think big, and in our house that means you get the biggest paper mom can afford. I want them to have goals and aspirations in life and I want my children to paint life on as big of a canvas as God has given them. I don't think I could ever hand my kids a 5 x 7 piece of paper to paint on. It goes against this deep philosophical place in my heart that is linked to dreams, goals, and aspirations.

Part of me likes that these paintings do not fit well within our binders and notebooks because great ideas often don't fit. Fred Smith the Fedex guy was told his idea was not realistic, but who do we use when it must be there overnight?   Tho if all I had was a few pieces of paper I'd rather use both sides of the paper or do fewer paintings, than cut them down, because for me that paper represents far more than an art project, it represents a mindset for life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Faith When We Have No Faith.

This is a post about Feminine Issues so if you're one of my young homeschool readers looking for a watercolor post, I advise you skip this one :-). I've decided to take Mary's advice and be very honest in this post.

This is my behind the scenes post of how my life is just as messy as anyone elses.  Ahhh, I wish I had a photo of my own but thanks to Alley I have one!

Last week we were in prepare mode for The Declare Conference, My husband would be speaking to over one hundred ladies about the plight of women in Asia. Planning and gift ideas were all done, just the last minute details were needing to come together.  Then fear struck, on Thursday. As I'm calmly doing last minute packing, I realize my period is showing up early. I envy those ladies that can plan their life and know when Aunt Flo is going to arrive. In my mind she arrives for those ladies like they are in a tampon commercial. She is your personal trainer ready to take you running.  My Aunt Flo arrives willy-nilly pitchfork in hand with which she will proceed to chase me around the house stabbing me. Eventually I hide in my bedroom taking pain medication and napping, She decides to leave when my house is so dirty, to stay any longer would be pointless.  Altho I'm grateful when shes finally leaves, I'm quite annoyed with her because she makes such piles of laundry, dishes and the floors I can't even talk about the floors.

Here she was showing her unwelcome face just in time to attend The Declare Conference with me. *Insert primal scream here*  As I'm wandering the halls of Gospel For Asia in search of a clipboard. I was having a small interior pity party wondering if and how I'm going to survive this and begging God for mercy and menopause.

I run into Gay, she always has a smile for everyone and a hug if you want one.  I wanted one! She is one of those people you can always be very real with, so when she asked how I was doing I told her my fear! You see during our support trip in June I spent 4 hours behind our table one Sunday smiling and surreptitiously gobbling 4 advil at a time and hoping I wouldn't fall down because of the pain. I didn't dare take my real pain meds cause standing there asking people for money with a vacant smile on your face is never a good idea. I'm not sure the standing there with a smile on my face but pain in my eyes was all that helpful either.  My heart was sure history was about to repeat itself. Gay grabbed both my shoulders looked deep into my eyes and said "God loves you too much to do that, I have faith in Him."  My PMS emotional self said "Well I don't!"  She smiled and said "Thats ok I have enough for both of us." Then she prayed for me and sent me on my way.

Friday morning at 5:38 am Sweet Potato knocks on our door.  Oddly as so often happens my mommy radar was turned on and I was actually wide awake. I'd been sitting there in bed for 5 minutes wondering "Why am I up Lord?" So even tho I was groggy, I was not surprised she was up. After an hour of not admitting she was actually scared Mom and Dad are leaving for 2 days, she goes happily back to bed and gets to fall asleep for an hour. I'm now wired for sound at 6:30 in the morning (for those of you who don't know me, this is not my natural state), I tried to look on the bright side, at least I wasn't trying to catch a plane. Yes on the day of the Conference Aunt Flo is here and I've gotten a grand total of 3 hours of sleep. I knew I should have gone to bed earlier.  I had lots of apprehensions on how this day was going to go.

Friday and Saturday were wonderful! *happy dance*  history did not repeat itself.  I got to talk to lots of ladies about my favorite topics India and adoption. I had a blast ,and it was so much fun. I don't know how Gay did it but she stole Aunt Flo's pitchfork on Friday and didn't give it back till Monday night. (Aunt Flo is currently playing Just Dance with my kids and making a mess in my living room). Yes I took a few Advil while I was there, but God is so wonderful to show me even when I have lost faith in Him, others can and will help my disbelief.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Little Free Library

I was walking with my friend a few weeks ago and came across this:

 What is that??? A Little Library on the walking path!!

This is brilliant. 

Here is a close up. It's so cool! what a perfect place to get a book for vacation. If you lose it, or it becomes damaged who cares you don't HAVE to return that exact book.  They ask you to add books and write notes in them. My daughter got so excited.  We were doing spring cleaning at the time. She has lots of books she has outgrown and I dug through my shelves as well. I found a few doubles I could part with. 

 We took the cutie pie dog while Little Miss Sunshine carried all the books for both of us.  Mom got to carry the water it's hot!
After we dropped off our donations we took a long walk. On the way back we got one book for Little Miss Sunshine to read later.  I have to say I love, love, love this idea. I can see space appearing on my shelves as I declutter and purge lovely books I can't bear to toss. It is the librarian in me that can't bear to toss them. Now I can stick them in the Little Library to enrich the lives of others. Now how long can I resist bringing books home???  
I leave you with the cutest photo I have.
Cutie Pie Doggie has itty bitty feet and got tired so the bag came in handy! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Waiting Assignment

So Jeff Goins was the keynote for the last night of the Declare Conference. He gave us this assignment to write about a time you waited. So I am going be a good example to my kids and do my homework right away. I liked that his talk was about living in the "middle time, the in between time."  How we need to stop waiting for X to happen and get on with living, being content right here right now. Part of me is in the praying waiting time for adoption #3 Should we? Can we? Is our family ready? We need to move to a larger home can we afford it?  I'm not antsy, I feel deep down inside when the time is right God will tell us, and we can move forward. I have plenty of peace about it. What I wrote down on my card last night, during his talk was "property... adoption?" because that is what I am waiting on the Lord for.

Jeff did this great bit during the give away... making us hold our tickets and waiting with baited breath to know who won the giveaway. After the winner was chosen, he challenged us to rip up the ticket if we felt we were waiting for X and if we were willing to choose to live in the in between spaces of our lives.

I didn't rip my ticket.
Did I hear a gasp? 

I didn't feel that way at all. I am living in the now, my life is not on hold because I'm waiting for something... I have plenty of wondrous things to be doing. Jeff gave me confirmation that I'm doing what God wants me to do *happy dance* I'm not always comfortable. I'm not always happy dancing, but I do know IF I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will be content.

So to fulfill the assignment I will write about the "No Good Awful Waiting Time" in my life.

But... First let me go get permission from my child to tell her part of the story...

*Interlude music plays*

Ok sorry about the wait she said "Yeah you can."

So here is The No Good Awful Waiting Time Story...

Long ago their was a childless couple that chose to adopt from India. They took classes, went to seminars, read up on India. They loved India. They applied, they filled out paperwork, they prayed, they filled out more paperwork, they prayed, they paid, they filled out more paperwork, and paid, and prayed, and paid, and paid... (thanks to grandpa and grandpa helping). One day they heard, your child's guardianship decree will be signed in 2 weeks... That is my birthday!" said the Mom, what a great birthday present. The weeks passed quickly, but no phone call, no email, nothing... but... silence.

The next month friends of theirs who parents lived in India went for a visit. They generously took their dad the doctor, to go see the bundle of joy waiting to come home. They took her presents from mom and dad to be... but the orphanage stored them away. The clothing was to big and stuffed animals are too hard to keep clean.  Sweet Potato went into the hospital about a week later, she was sick. Dad prayed and cried and prayed some more. Mom prayed and worried. They waited and waited, was their little girl better? How was she faring??? All they heard was silence.

Weeks later they received a report, it listed a 2 day hospital stay, their child was fine.   Weeks of wonder, worry, and prayers for no reason. Meanwhile they have been waiting on the judge, why has the judge not signed the paperwork? All eyes are on email from India, when will it come???  The agency investigates no adoptions are being signed for anyone. The agency visits India and talks to the orphanage. The only judge who does adoptions has not been into work since that last communique of the fall saying the decree will be signed. He's retiring in December. He has no reason to work, is the rumor. Mom and dad continue to wait. An email arrives, Sweet Potato is in the hospital again,  Three weeks go by before they know she is ok. Finally the latest update arrives and to their shock they discover she was in and out of the hospital more than once!  The praying, the waiting, the all eyes on the child prize is wearing them down. All they talk about is the adoption that is not happening.

A new judge appears on the scene. Everyone is excited till they find out she can take up to 30 days to review her job. She's allowed another 30 days to review cases.  The judge uses all her days.  Sweet Potato is again in and out of the hospital, reports that are coming in are not good. She is not anywhere near the target for weight, height, or development. No adoptions means the orphanage is now understaffed and overpopulated. Eighty percent of the children are just waiting for paperwork to be signed so they can go home.

Mom and Dad recruit others to pray. Mom can't take it any more, her expectation of my baby will be home in 14 months, became 18 months, which turned into we just don't know. Feeling isolated, Mom goes up for prayer and cries on pastors shoulder. Firm words of God's love, and His plan are given, but not received. The waiting is unbearable.

Tearful talks with Ms. Social Worker gives direction. "Go do something" she says "Anything! Find a new hobby, learn a new language, have times when adoption is not allowed to be mentioned in your home." They take the advice. They take a class in Hindi. Mom takes up the most obscure sport of curling, because she always wanted too. She finds out shes not good at, it but she likes to play anyway. Dad finds solace in music, and they wait, and pray, but still all they hear is silence.

So in the middle of February when they feel they have nothing to celebrate, they choose to celebrate anyway.  A weekend in the city where they honeymooned. Eating chocolate, fantastic chinese food and not talking about the child in India.  They find themselves again, they reconnect, they rejoice in each other.

Spring marches on:
Good news! The judge is looking at cases. Finally!
Bad news she is rejecting cases...
Tremendous news!!! Mom and dad are approved! one of only three cases she approved out of fifty.


Don't you just hate the but...

Mom and dad are missing a piece of paper. It expired while their eyes were on India and not on boring paperwork. All the other paperwork is going to expire if they don't get this one fixed ASAP. After 3 weeks of torture and agony *Yippie* Ms. Social Worker manages a slam dunk and fixes it.

Mom and dad breath in a big sigh of relief, they can travel. They finally meet Sweet Potato on Mother's Day, eight months after the first judge said he would sign the decree.

I'd end with they lived happily ever after, but this isn't a fairy tale, and well they lived like any other adoptive family... and if you're an adoptive parent you know what I'm talking about. 

I learned:
To trust God with my child's health and to know he is a the Father to the fatherless.
     I like Hindi.
        I'm not going to make the olympic curling team.
          To take walks and stop and smell the flowers.
            To start to let go and trust God to know what he is doing.
               I rediscovered my passion for my husband and that when our nest is empty
                 we will still be best friends.

So readers live in the in between times don't be afraid, don't wait for the next step, enjoy life today.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Res to Ref Unit one

We are taking this year at half speed so the workload isn't overwhelming Sweet Potato. Monday  was an eight hour school day (and we're talking half speed with additions of piano and Hindi practice added for one extra hour of school max time at the slowest pace should have been 4 hours).  Yes it really took her 8 hours to finish. I even said I would straighten her hair if she was done by 7pm. I'm not above bribery. I asked her at dinner how much of the delay was "confusion" and how much was "I don't want to do school in the summer even tho I get 3 extra weeks off in October and November." "Um... Both mom." was the reply.  "How much was confusion?" I ask. She holds out her hands 3/4 of an inch apart. "Ok How much was I don't want to?" She hold her hands 10 inches apart. *sigh*
A discussion ensues about how much time she spent delaying, 4 hours worth, and how much time she had to play a grand total of 10 minutes.  She promised to do better tomorrow the scene from Princess Bride where the Miracle Max's wife runs out from behind the curtain comes to mind.  I wonder what will happen if I say Humperdink Humperdink! ...  at least it was not 8 hours the next day, it was only 7 so Yes an improvement. Wednesday is chore day but I think I'll be springing school upon them, maybe half of Thursday's because of the Declare Conference, Friday will be a wash and we need 4 days of school this week if they are going to be "Off" when I we head to foreign parts later this year.  

Here are their notebooks from the first week. 
We decided to type our responses they look really nice that way. It cracks me up when Little Miss Sunshine says "Do I have to write more than 8 sentences?"  and she proceeds to write for pages and pages, where as Sweet Potato was sent back 3 times to finish answering all the questions and I had to help her arrange the story to get it to flow properly.  Finally after 2 weeks of school Unit one is complete. Whew!

I like blogging about My kids work because I find things like this... Uh guys... you were supposed to paint this!!!! Yes we cheated and used crayola modeling clay.  I wasn't sure how gluten free flour would do to make the air dry clay so we used up some of our stash of cool packaged clay. Considering the cost of gluten free flour mix I'm sure the clay is cheaper.

We decided to make the Big planets out of paper, looking back I think we should have done the centimeter ones. they would have been way smaller.  I helped out making Uranus and Neptune using my handy dandy pinky and opposable thumb to make a Compass out of my hand. You turn the paper its pretty fun! if everything goes right it all works out! 

Here is the mighty Jupiter! We worked together to make Jupiter, we used a string and a pencil... not perfect but it made a HUGE impression on the kids as to how small our planet is in contrast.
Oh well I know Sweet Potato hates change and all this dawdling and infighting will cease next week when we go back on vacation for a week or 2. I think I'll try to get one school day done next week by spreading it out over the whole week. I keep thinking every school day we accomplish now is one we do not have to do later! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Comedy of Errors

I named this blog after Shakespeare's  play because we started reading The Tempest in school today. I'm headed to the Declare Conference at the end of this week. Whoo hoo! Recalling my embarrassment at the Allume Conference last year when I did not have cute business cards to pass out like everyone else, I was determined to have some this year. So for the past month or 2 I have been idling away my time on various web printable sites.  Not ever finding exactly what I wanted. I just kept wasting time looking. I have a degree that was heavily focused on graphics I know I was being picky. Not to mention 30$ for 50 cards seemed way too expensive. So here I am, its Monday, and the conference is Friday.  My Knight in Shining Armor tells me he had some Official Gospel for Asia cards printed up. Woo hoo... they are nice, but... he only had 50 printed.

Flash back to Allume where a table of 8-10 women sat down and before the meal began, they handed out blogger cards to everyone. I'm calculating 4 meals 8 cards per meal that leaves um 12 for meet and greets and to pass out as I'm working the GFA table. "Honi... Um Honi can you make more?" "No dear that is all you get."  Ok I can understand only getting 50, he went out of his way special because he knows what a procrastinator I am loves me.  My wheels are turning this is not that hard. Lets put that degree to work for me and make some of my own.

So I decided last night to push the easy button, just get "something" made as a back up. I looked in Word templates and found a not too ugly bad looking card I could live with it. Change the vignette color, switch the font to Garamond. Add my info and do a test print. I must have had stars in my eyes, can't see the forest for the trees, a little to happy I had done it myself? I showed it to my Knight in Shining Armor and he said are you sure you want to do this? Yes I nodded, Please can't you see me batt my eyes.  He says ok. He said some nice things but did not proof it.  Uh Oh... 

Monday morning rolls around I decide to do school today because its 103 degrees outside and I want to work on my project. I copy off the worksheets we need for Discovering Music and notice the black ink is grey. No problem I think to myself, when I go too buy cardstock I'll buy more ink. I get the girls all hooked up and ready for independent work text my Hubby his lunch is on the stove (turned off).  He says he will be there in 2 minutes. Happily off I go to the craft store and office supply store.  I dawdle enjoying a brief moment or 15 of childlessness in the craft store.  Pick some papers to use for my business cards, get to the checkout counter and discover I left my wallet in my gym bag. The very kind check out lady holds my stuff.

Text hubby "eeep check gym bag, missing wallet!!!" He finds it and we have a (non driving) texting contest of how often can we incorporate Doh! into words. (He wins).  I drive home retrieve wallet, he reminds me to only buy the inks we are missing, not the boxed set. We don't need anymore yellow! I drive back to the plaza with all the stores, buy my paper and run over to the office supply store. I'm in a bit of a "How stupid can I be today?" fog. I let the guy in the ink aisle talk me into buying the boxed set. (dumb de dum dum dum!!!!). Drive home. Whew I can start in on my project... no I can't... Sweet Potato is in great need of my attentions to her mixed up mish mash of a narration. 45 minutes later I'm all set to print out my first test copy. Once I put that ink in... Oh I should have listened to Hubby, I need the big black ink cartridge! The small black one is full.  The boxed set only comes with the special black ink only used for photos. DOH!  Guess who is driving back to the store??? Come on Guess... yup me...

So this time I'm thinking it will all come together, once I return the wrong box of ink and follow the directives dear ol' hubby gave me. I drive to the store and come home with the correct ink.  I install it and do a test run.  My initial idea of using 80# watercolor paper causes me to spend a few minutes with the backside of the printer unjamming it. Ok lets try the other cool papers I bought. They print like a dream. Now I spend well over an hour with my creative memories paper cutter and my handy dandy exacto knife from college, cutting out the cards murmuring under my breath "A few hash marks would be nice." but how do I add hash marks to a word file??

So I take my completed stack of cards to my Knight in Shining Armor and present my not to bad looking business cards.  He looks at them and points out my cell phone number is incorrect. Well it's not like a call it!!! I had to look it up to put it on there! OH NO! at least the paper is 6 for 1$ this week. It is not like it cost me a lot in paper.  So yes you can see it coming can't you, I get in my car and drive back to said craft store to buy more paper.. Bawhahahahaha... go ahead laugh! Laugh with me cause I sure am laughing. (I've stopped being mad)

While I'm driving I'm thinking what is God trying to tell me? This day has just been one thing after another. It came to me. I was settling for second best, a easy button "push" which caused me more trouble than it was worth. I realized I'm really not happy with the look of the cards. So I decide lets try this again from scratch. Hubby is perplexed, your starting over? Yes dear I know what I want in my head, I think I'll crack open Indesign (which I know how to use) and create yes actually create my own cards. 25 minutes later he picks the one he likes the best out of the options I've made. He proofs it and declares it all good. I step and repeat it with hash marks and make 50 very cool personalized cards that take next to no time to cut on my tiny paper cutter. I don't dare calculate the cost of gas into these cards but for the ones that worked it was 1$ plus ink to make 50 cards at home.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Childhood Messages

Well I've been thinking about these lies our heart tells us about ourselves. I'll list some of mine so you can see the childhood messages that lurk in my brain. We know in our hearts they are not true, but deep in our right brain we fear they are true. When faced with them, we often fall into those old neuro-pathways. It's as if we are pulling out an ugly tattered coat to wear to a celebration when we have a new beautiful sweater in the closet.

You're a mess.
You're ugly.
You're frustrating to be around.
Only sissies cry, being tough is the only way to survive.
You are not smart, you're really stupid.
Nobody wants to be your friend.
You're a freak. /misfit/strange/weird/not normal. This list goes on forever... 
You're childish not childlike.
I don't deserve good things.

But lets face it, some people will always view someone, with at least one of those childhood messages in the forefront. All people embody at least one of those traits at anyone given time, we're Human after all. Judgment comes much easier than compassion for many.

I'm often surprised when someone calls me pretty or beautiful.
Are you sure your talking to me?
I'm always shocked on the inside when people say I'm smart.
Doesn't everybody read non-fiction?
Many days I look at my Knight in Shining Armor and I'm so grateful he married me, that he loves me with all my faults. I'm so amazed this diamond in the rough wanted to marry me. 

I've come face to face with the reality "Unconditional Love is an ideal not aways a reality. A thing God accomplish's everyday, but humans not so well. We can have it as our goal, and we can try and often succeed on a daily basis, but lets face it, our "baggage" will often get in the way. We will fail and ya know that is ok. I know I do not love my kids unconditionally every moment of every day. I do the best I can with what I got in my emotional storehouse that day. I know when I seek Christ and the inflowing of the Holy Spirit I do far better than when I try to stand on my own strength and "just do it" like Nike tells us to. 

I think this is why God says his mercies are new every morning. We can chuck the no good, very bad day of yesterday... apologize, repair the wrongs and start fresh.   I'm so glad my God doesn't keep a record of wrongs.  All those vocal memories lurking in my brain I'm taking you out, scrubbing you up, and hanging you to dry in the wind. When I'm done with you I'm packing you back away in my logical side of my left brain where you can't jump out of the woodwork at me!