Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Quandary

I want a pumpkin. Not just any pumpkin, but one that will look great on my front porch until we carve it into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. In the past we would get three, one for each of our children. Then a couple of years we actually missed it and didn't get any. One year we got a pumpkin but didn't carve it. This year we only have one child still at home - so one pumpkin it is.

My quandary is where to get the pumpkin. Usually we get it at the grocery store or Walmart because it is significantly less expensive than going to the Methodist pumpkin patch (by the way - how come every Methodist church youth group I know sells pumpkins for their fundraiser?). However, the church pumpkins are usually better quality and last longer. Once I got a couple when it was the last day or so at the church and I got the pumpkins half off - which made them comparable to the grocery store (which had sold out) - but I only had them for two days before Halloween and then it was time to throw them away.

Of course now it's only 9 days until Halloween - so how long does it need to last? Maybe I should buy extra so that we could carve one but then have the others to sit and look "harvesty" until Thanksgiving? What's a girl to do (and don't suggest I buy a ceramic one, that would have to be stored and I'm trying to cut down, not add to the stuff in my basement and attic).

I know in a world full of challenges and significant problems this is nothing, but I want a pumpkin!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Malaria and Ebola . . . Do I Care?

I read recently that more people die in West Africa from malaria than Ebola - yet because of the panic about Ebola now, efforts to combat malaria (easily preventable) have just about stopped.

Some say it's because America has focused attention on Ebola, because it is now a "threat" to us. People are even making their own "prevention suits".

Nobody here worries about getting malaria, you don't see anyone walking around swathed in mosquito netting.

This makes me wonder about our motives in caring. Do we only care about the things that we perceive to threaten us? And does that constitute caring or just self-preservation? And why does even the idea of a threat throw us into a panic? Do we live so self-absorbed that we only pay attention if something touches (or threatens to touch) us? I would venture to say yes, most of us only care if it's on our front door step.

Does this mean I want to live with the weight of all the world's problems on my shoulders? Should I live in fear of all the bad things in the world? Or should I throw myself into every worthy and legitimate cause around the globe? I would say no, that would be too overwhelming and I would accomplish little to nothing being pulled in multiple directions. I believe in letting God speak into my heart the issues that I need to be actively involved in. But I also believe I should exhibit compassion and understanding to any issue that comes across my radar screen -whether it be domestic or foreign.

Most of all I believe I should not panic about any of it - whether it be Ebola, malaria, stock market declines, changing society values, or even the fact that Christmas is only 65 days away.

I will work my little piece of the puzzle of life, whatever it brings, and it will be enough.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One Small Change at a Time

Having this great time away has been wonderful. It has been great to spend a significant chunk of uninterrupted time with my husband. We've been able to talk, learn about each other again, and re-energize our relationship.

I am rested and refreshed. With this has come various revelations about myself - some I am ready to address, some I choose to ignore (for now), and others that I am willing to test around the edge.

Going home after vacation is always challenging to me. I go back with such good intentions. I'm going to keep my house clean, I'm going to clean out and live more simply, I'm going to be more energetic, I'm going to learn new things, I'm going to ......

This time I'm not going back with such big and/or all-encompassing goals. I think I'll pick something simple. Something like, I'm going to throw out all the socks I don't like and/or don't wear. Then I can move on to something like I'm going to read a book by one of the Bronte sisters (okay, I might not go that far - I've tried to read Wuthering Heights about four times with no success) or I'm going to try and wash the make-up off my face every night.

I wonder if I'm too old to change. I know in my heart I'm not, but my head isn't quite convinced yet. Fortunately most of the changes I now seek in my life are more subtle, and I'm willing to take baby steps and count each step made along the way as success.

So, here's to going home from vacation and taking baby steps!
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