The human crisis

Oh hey!  It has been a busy summer…obviously since I haven’t updated since May! I have been trekking along through my reading list which has now become an end of the year list rather than just summer! I have also started student teaching this semester and am having a baby in March!  Needless to say, it has been nuts at my house but that is not what I want to talk about today; I want to talk about what is breaking my heart these days.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

The refugee crisis.  If you don’t follow the news or live under a rock, due to terrorism, civil war, and some are coming along for a better life, there are currently 12-19 million (different reports) refugees fleeing into the European Union.  Just for perspective – in 2014, there were only 10 million people living in the state of Georgia. Also for perspective, I will replace the word with the definition throughout this post.

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If you don’t follow Humans of New York, stop what you are doing and follow them any and every way you can. Lately, Brandon of HONY has been featuring refugee people who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster stories like this one:

Call it pregnancy hormones or my bleeding heart, every single one of his posts bring me to tears.

WARNING: Some may find images and topics distressing.

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20 books I will be reading this summer

In my last post I said I wanted to read 20 books this summer, several people have asked me what is on my list.  I am going to count the books I am finishing so I am sure to get to 20 (my list, my rules 😉 ). Many of them are Classics simply because I own many books I have not read yet or want to reread with more appreciation than I had in middle or high school. After finishing each book I plan to write a post on it.

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Friday Letters 5.8.2015

Dear Friday, I thought you would never come.  You see, this is my last week working every day for the next 14 weeks!  Starting next week, it is Monday through Wednesday for me.  Looking forward to sitting on my porch reading all day next Friday.

Dear Red Cross, I know you want my platelets and I will happily give them to you next week LIKE I TOLD YOU TWO MONTHS AGO. I visit you regularly and allow you to poke and prod me and steal my blood and platelets but this has been a crazy semester (like I said, every single time you call me).  I will try to make up for lost time this summer, just please stop calling me.

Dear Red Box, I need you to have good choices when I stop by to pick up a movie for my platelet donation.

Dear AK, You can not wear long sleeves when it is going to be 90 degrees.  No matter how many times you say it is going to be 6 degrees, it just isn’t.  You live in Georgia, no long sleeves until November.  Also, just because you dream about eating outside and going to the beach doesn’t mean I am dreaming the same thing.  I love those things too but shouting at me telling what I did or did not dream last night isn’t going to change anything.  Also, thank you for the Mother’s Day picture you worked so hard on, it was very sweet, you make a pretty cute butterfly but you might want to tell your teacher that graceful doesn’t really describe me, awkward might have been a better choice or undexterous! Both words have Rs in them.

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Dear Face, I know it has been a stressful time the last few weeks and I tortured you with that new face wash.  I promise to never use it again. We have got to get some things straight. I am not a teenage boy.  I am not eating a bunch of junk food, I even cut soda completely out of my diet.  I don’t do meth.  Can you please get it together and stop torturing me?  I can’t handle the breakouts, it is getting really old.

♥ Elizabeth

Five ways I avoid negativity

I have a confession.

I am a pessimist.

I am a pessimist with anxiety issues.

I am not just the glass is half empty but I am the glass is half empty and there is a water shortage and what if we run out of clean water and then we will all have to start carrying water from streams and running it through homemade filtration systems made from panty hose and water bottles.

Oh, you already knew that? Glad we sorted that out.  I have to make a conscious decision every day (and sometimes several times a day!) to look for the best in all situations.  There are several ways I have learned to deal with negativity. I have recently been reading in Galatians 6

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (ESV)

1. Be Bold

Verse one encourages Christians to “restore him a spirit of gentleness” anyone who is caught in sin.  Keyword here being gentleness!  And let’s not forget the second part of that verse – KEEP WATCH ON YOURSELF, LEST YOU TOO BE TEMPTED.  Gossip and negativity go hand in hand and it is so easy to get caught up in it.  It starts out as one small question like, “I wonder where so and so has been?”. This question may start out as innocent but you or someone else might answer, “Well I heard they were doing this or that with so and so”.

This is your chance to BE BOLD. You have several choices here, you can engage in the conversation about so and so which usually spirals downward into a mindless dribble of all the gossip you have heard about your mutual friends until no one has anything nice left to say OR you can stop it.

Let me tell you, I am guilty as the next southern belle for having a love affair with gossip.  My name is Elizabeth and I like to gossip but lately I have felt convicted about it.  When someone slides up close to you to tell you something that is none of your business, I want you to flip open to Galatians and say, “wait just a minute!  I have to keep watch on myself or I am going to be tempted to participate in this slander” and if it is me scooting up next to you, can you restore me with gentleness?

Next time someone is being negative around you, be bold and ask them why, there might be something else going on they might need to talk about with you.  They might just need to be gently restored to the spirit with some scripture, kind words, or advice (or all three!).

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I am here because two women chose life and one man chose death.

Imagine you are an unmarried woman in your mid-twenties in 1967.  You are just starting your life, maybe working at your first grown-up job, dating someone, just enjoying your life when you realize you are pregnant.  Imagine the panic you would feel, the hopelessness.  What are your options?

Would you consider an abortion?

Now imagine you are a couple that has prayed for a baby for years. You have been faithfully waiting for God to bestow the gift of a child.  You a growing weary in your waiting but someone comes to you with the opportunity to raise another’s child.

Would you consider an adoption?

I know all of these people, they are my grandparents.  two I have never met, I do not know their names, and two I love dearly.  The woman chose life and allowed my grandparents to adopt her child and complete their family.

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My Pawpaw has sweet Elvis hair, right?! He is the same one I wrote about in this post. I am thankful for all of them.  I am thankful for my mother’s biological mom for living through nine months of pregnancy, staying healthy, and probably experiencing ridicule, a rude comment here, a side eye at the grocery store for not having a ring on her finger, friends or family questioning her decision.

Delivering a baby and then giving her away.

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Someone showed me the fruit of the Spirit

In chapter five of Galatians, Paul writes to the church encouraging them if they walk in the Spirit, fleshly pleasures will not satisfy them but when we live by the Spirit we will produce the fruit of the Spirit.  This fruit is what we should strive for in our daily lives through walking with the Lord and spending time in his Word.

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You can get this beautiful free printable from Sincerely Sara D. Be sure to check out her site! 

I struggle with all of these at one time or another, especially patience, gentleness, and self-control (just ask my family!). I can count on one hand the people I know who consistently show all the fruit in their daily lives.  I recently lost one from my family.  Last week we said good-bye to my Nanny Barb.  She was my step dad’s mother who showed us what a Proverbs 31 wife looked like and someone who walked in step with the Lord.

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Friday Letters 4.17.2015

Dear Blog, I have not abandoned you!  Classes are almost done and I am working on a few posts that need more attention than I can give until next week.  Don’t worry, come June you will be tired of me since my GA position is not available through May.

Dear Church, I don’t know why I am always blown away by your generosity.  When there is a need, you jump.  So many members helping in so many ways, I am proud to be a member of Comer Baptist Church.

Dear friends having babies, Just keep doing what you are doing.  Thanks for helping me hold down the baby fever until I am done with school.  Just keep on letting me hold those sweet squishy babies for one more year.

Dear AK, Please stop praying for a baby sister, ain’t nobody got time for that right now. You are just going to have to wait like the rest of us.  Also, thanks for telling me the story about what you told your friend who said, “that’s not fair”, I can’t believe you have listened to us so well and remembered we don’t say that in our house.

Dear Mom and Reych, Thanks for being flexible in our mother’s day excursion and working with us so we can have other adventures… y’all are the best.  AK has made up songs about next week all morning, I think she is excited.

Dear April, Way to come on strong with the April showers this week!

♥ Elizabeth

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday in pictures!

My view for most of the weekend as I finish the last two weeks of class, busy writing about critical literacy and blended learning.  I am on my 4th cup of coffee and going strong!  Loving our new patio set we finally ordered with our Christmas gift cards from Dad! We ate dinner last night, breakfast, and lunch out here!

My assistants aren’t very motivating…

Sleepy head woke up from her nap and wanted to do homework like Mommy.  She has been practicing writing her name with these free printouts I found on Pinterest.

Waiting on Eddie to come home and go eat Mexican for dinner and the weekend will be complete.  Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

♥ Elizabeth

Friday Letters 4.10.2015

Dear spring semester, I am going to need to get the most out of the next two weeks, got a lot of stuff to finish.  Two more weeks and then freedom for a month before taking three classes this summer! THE END IS IN SIGHT!

Dear Friends, Thank you for the supportive texts, messages, and emails I received regarding sharing my struggles this week, it is nice to know people there are so many people who care!

Dear missing chicken, Thanks for all the eggs over the years, I am sorry you met your demise this week. It was probably the neighbor’s dogs.  I will keep a better watch on your friends!

Dear AK, I have been super flexible with your clothing choices, even as flexible as allowing you to wear a crown to school but I am drawing the line at two different shoes.  Just because you can’t find one sandal and one princess slipper (WHERE ARE THEY???) doesn’t mean you can wear one of each. And by the way, they are both left shoes.  Also, no stripe shirts with stripe shorts, that is just getting too crazy.

Dear Running, Sorry I neglected you lately.  Pollen is bad. Allergies are bad.  I am going to suck it up and drag myself back to you, begging for forgiveness like cheating ex from a country song.  Please go easy on me!

♥ Elizabeth