Things are Pretty Cool….

Okay, no depressing rambling this time. Things are pretty cool. I mean, what do I have to complain about? I have a great job (new position, Ministry Loan Officer). I have a great family (the kids, of course, Deana and the Riveras, my awesome Dad…). I have a fulfilling life (thanks to my Lord, Jesus!). I have my health (ibid.).

So things are pretty cool!

Gina out!

Having a Teenager……Where are the Valium?

You know, I wonder why I thought to ignore all the warnings about teenagers. I mean, I have been told since my daughter was born in 1990 that the teenage years would be kind of tough. But here I am, amazed at the fact that they are kind of like what I imagine hell would be.

Not that I don’t love my daughter – I absolutely do! There are some things about her that make me smile to my soul – like the fact that she gets excited to tell her friends about God, or she wants to write poetry and be a journalist (maybe not like her old Mom, but that is something I used to aspire to).

However, most of the time I am sitting here wondering “what the hell?” For example, she tells me she doesn’t want to live with me anymore because “she doesn’t feel at home” at my house. This comes the evening following a morning where I made her change her clothes before going to school. Oh, and like a few days before Mother’s Day. And right after her father tells me we need to meet so that we can set Kirstie straight……

And then months later, after her room has been empty at my house with no one using it – and after I gave her plenty of time to change her mind – I decide to use the room for something else. (In this case, Deana’s brother who is going to college closer to my house). And what happens? Kirstie is shocked and thinks she is no longer part of my family because I did that.

Pass me the valium.

I have to remind myself, I am the adult here! I want to tell her she treats me like crap most of the time and then is OFFENDED when the world stops revolving around her. I want to scream at her and say she is selfish – she never even thought about what leaving this house would do to me or her little brothers. I want to tell her that I understand her way more than she realizes and I think about her at a level beyond trying to “be her friend” – I want to be her mother. I want to defend myself when she believes I don’t care, don’t love/like her, or that my rules are meant to torture her.

But I am the adult here.

And I love her more than she knows or will seemingly admit.

And my heart is broken.

Being a Friend (aka Loving your Neighbor)

Today at church we learned about loving your neighbor. If you’ve been to church more than twice in your life, you’ve heard the story about the good semaritan who helped the injured man on the road. Jesus showed how the most important things to focus on are loving God and loving your neighbor – so much so, EVERYTHING that the prophets and laws teach flow from these.

Matt 22:34-40: Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I have never thought about it that way before….that everything Jesus wants us to really DO flows from this. How simple, yet almost impossible to follow! I mean seriously, I can SAY I love my neighbors, but what about that jerk that cut me off on the freeway this morning (without even using his blinker!)? And what about my neighbor that never says hello and keeps their trash can out of the curb for days on end? Or how about those “heathens” in the world that I see everywhere?

It’s simple – I (and we) should love them.

But what is love? Is that praying for them? Is that smiling and saying hello as we pass?

Those are good things, of course! But how about stretching the limits a bit? How about “doing to others as we’d have done to us?” I mean, Jesus said to love others as we love ourselves!

I am by NO MEANS an expert on this! I need to grow so much in this area. It’s easy to be nice to others when they are nice to you. It’s easy to be kind (and generous) when things are going your way. But it’s another story, for me at least, when I don’t really like the other person or things are bad for me. So I am challenging myself in this area – maybe you can use a good challenge, too!

If you have great suggestions on how God is growing you in this area, post a note to let me know!


Sometimes it’s cool –

§ Like when you’ve lost weight and you need to buy new, smaller-sized clothes.
§ Or when you get that new haircut, a little wild, that you’ve been contemplating for so long.
§ Or when you are fortunate enough to have a CD changer or iPod and it moves to the next CD, for a totally different and refreshing sound.
§ Or when you look over the years of your life and realize the places where God has totally grown you.

Sometimes it’s neutral –

§ Like when you are going to a new place (home, work position, etc.) that is very exciting but the unknown scares you to death.

But sometimes it sucks!

§ Like when you look in the mirror and your face has wrinkles or sagging places.
§ Or the computer program has been “upgraded” and doesn’t act like it used to.
§ Or your kids grow up and don’t need you (or idolize you) like they used to.
§ Or something happens that cannot be changed back – a death, an injury, lost friendships, etc.

What to remember thru it all –

§ God is in control (Gina, read this twenty times……)

Life is pretty precious

I am amazed how we take many things for granted… our lives. Going on one week ago, the VP of my department was riding his bike home, somehow lost control, and flew into a light pole. He is currently in ICU with two breaks in his spine, trying to deal with both lungs having been collapsed. I have no idea if he will walk again, BUT HE IS ALIVE!!!

Yep, freak accident for a pretty careful person.

But who is to say we will have tomorrow? I can guarentee that tomorrow is not a given. Or that tomorrow will be just like today. I can assure you my VP didn’t expect to find himself in the hospital right now – on the eve of real issues that will affect his life (short term, long term, or forever).

But I CAN tell you this for sure – having Jesus in my life has made a huge difference. This is not a trite statement at all, nor do I have the words to expound what I am feeling right now. I am so…..overwhelmed by the knowledge of His saving grace, even when life sucks. But life IS pretty precious, and I am thankful that I have today… write this blog, to be with friends and family, and to serve Him.

More later….I am having trouble articulating what is running thru my brain.