Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hunger Games Trilogy

If you haven't heard about this series yet you need to get you some new friends! Ha! Seriously though if you're looking for something intriguing and captivating you have found it. If you're not a big reader maybe you should start reading the first page of the first book and just see what happens. I DARE you not to get hooked right from the start!
I was consumed by the characters, the Capitol-controlled world, the Hunger Games, and the sadness. I marveled over the idea of living with real hunger every day. By the time I'd finished the third book all I could do was sit there and feel empty. I was so sad this journey I'd been on was over. A part of me had been longing for a fairy tale ending in which true love won out and my hero, Katniss, the warrior princess would emerge victorious over all, including her own demons. I had been pulling for Peeta since the very beginning and just knew he would come out on top though I loved Gale dearly all the way through as well. I have to admit I felt disappointed when I came to the conclusion of the love triangle but I felt it was realistic rather than trite and I liked that about it.
The first two books, through gripping story lines and deep character interactions had me mesmerized and I quite literally couldn't put them down. I sacrificed a lot of sleep as I went deeper and deeper into the world of the Hunger Games. I found myself comparing our world today and thinking how we aren't that far off from this new kind of reality.. a little more government control, a bit more violence, a smidge more reality-tv and there we are.
The third book, however, I found to be chilling, heart-wrenching, devastating.. even depressing. I wanted good things to happen to my beloved characters and instead it just continued to go downhill in a way that I couldn't have imagined. I flew through it out of a sheer need to see the resolution. Getting to the end turned out, for me, to be the worst thing of all. It broke my heart but I think it was absolutely perfect for characters who were so damaged and disturbed by war and death.
I think these books are brilliantly written. They are suspenseful, daring, and tragic. I absolutely loved reading them and already want to start again. These are about as highly recommended as I can express. Read them all! And then come tell me how much you loved them too! ;)

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recap of the week

My new thermal scan is on the top. That's
 my old scan on the bottom-from March.
It's been 6 months since I began and
while I'm still in crisis care, the
improvement shown here is just amazing.
It's been such a busy week. I had a professional day on Monday where I received child abuse training.. definitely not fun ;( tho sadly necessary.. and then we went bowling which included some fun team building activities. With my rib being out the past few weeks I was weary of the bowling, so I went straight to the chiro after. This being the 3rd adjustment on it I was really sore. Thankfully she was able to get the rib further in and I am breathing easier now. The pain has gone from stabbing to just plain annoying. I went again a few days later and had a rib out on the other side too. Great. The positive side is that my neck is finally loosened up and I have much more mobility. The expensive pillow seems to have done the trick. So nice to not have pain when I move my head around now.

Friday some of my teacher-friends & I went to OKC to hear the amazing Larry Bell on high expectations raising student achievement. He is the best public speaker I think I've ever seen and it was an encouraging, motivating session. We enjoyed a delicious sushi lunch and stopped for some Marble Slab on the way home. It was a really great day! I spent the evening out with the fam at my in-law's house.
Saturday started the Firefighter's 48 hr shift so the kids & I slept in and enjoyed some lazy time together. The Diva had a birthday party to go to and then the 3 of us headed over to a friend's house for some girl time for me & playtime for them. My Ladiez & I ate finger foods we'd brought while we passed around the new baby and talked and laughed and eventually watched Bridesmaids. Girlfriends are the BEST therapy.. :D

Sunday I enjoyed a powerful sermon on living beyond reproach from 1 Timothy 3. I felt convicted about the idea of living a life along the edge of sin. It really got me thinking about how close to that line I have a habit of being. Pastor Jason pointed out that a bad day may cause you to stumble and how close you already were to that line is what makes all the difference in whether you cross over it into sin. Also I contemplate what my life looks like to others because that is what represents me. If I am too close to that line it may make it hard for people to see which side of it I am on.
After church the kiddos spent the day at Pappy & Nana's while I went with some Book Club gals to go see "The Help." It was really good, even to us who really loved the book.
Now I've gotten the kids off to bed and am looking over my schedule. I am double booked way too many times. Wow. What a crazy month this is going to be. We've got weddings, a whole slew of birthdays, and 2 showers coming up. Thinking about how everything is going to work out makes me tired. Think I will head to bed. I've just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy which leaves me feeling a huge sense of loss that it's over. Guess I will start on the next Book Club selection which I'm supposed to have read by next Tuesday. Good night all.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Testing..

It's a time of testing. I wish I'd have known that 2 weeks ago when it first began. I feel like maybe if I'd have been more prepared?.. but no, we never know when we will be under attack. We are supposed to be guarded and armed with the Word of God at all times for a reason.
I find myself wondering how I've done in the big scheme of things. I feel as if just surviving was quite the accomplishment but I don't know how much actual truth is in that. The truth is probably more like I could've handled a few things better. I could've been more Christ-like I'm certain. I think my problem lies in the fact that I rely too much on myself instead of falling at the foot of the cross and accepting that I can do NOTHING without Him. Clearly God is showing me that I am stubborn and it takes a lot to bring me to my knees in complete surrender.
Why do I think 'getting by' is enough? In the middle of a complete break down I became aware that I was under attack on all fronts. I was completely surrounded so to speak. I'd fought off emotions and tried to appear "normal" throughout the miserable moments as if pretending would make it all go away. Without too much detail about the people & confrontations involved, I can see now how my defenses were weakened.
For one, I've been in physical pain. My tmj hasn't been too bad besides the headaches but I have a rib out that makes it difficult to take deep breaths. No matter what my chiropractor has tried, it refuses to give. Secondly, there was a complete communication breakdown that prevented me from being comforted by the person I turn to for everything. Messages &  phone calls were never received.. and only from that one person. Strange coincidence? When we were finally able to talk in person, Satan seized the moment to say the least.
I have also dealt with a lot of petty drama which caused quite the distraction. And of course my anxiety has been off the charts. It is usually something I can manage but it has overtaken me. With my mind reeling and my heart hurting I have stumbled and fought thru one of those times when nothing seems to be going right.
I'm so thankful for dear friends who've prayed for me, spoke truth into my life, encouraged me, and just been there beside me while I cried it out. I've been so self-absorbed and haven't been a good friend lately I know.
I can't confidently say that things are going to get back to normal now, for all I know it may be just the beginning, but I am feeling real peace for the first time since this started. I know that my Heavenly Father knows what's best for me and that my comfort in the moment is not always what's best. I feel safe in His loving arms and under His protection. I will keep praying for HIS WILL over all and have Faith that I'm on the right path. If not, He will redirect me I know.

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My Remedy

I know where to go
To heal my heart to sooth my soul
When everything's spinning out of control, I know, 
I know just living life can get so crazy day and night
But I've got somebody by my side, by my side
Everytime I cry and I wanna hide
Feeling like I'm damaged on the inside
You know just what to do

You've got what I need
You're the remedy
That's why I'm keeping You close, You close
You know what's best for me
My only therapy
Jesus, your love is my hope, my hope
You're my remedy, You're my remedy
You're my remedy, You're my remedy

On point, off-track
One step forward, two steps back
Some days are gonna be just like that
Just like that
You're my medicine
Relieve my pain again and again
Always take me back no matter where I've been, where I've been
Everytime it hurts and it doesn't work
Feeling like it never could get any worse
I go running to You


And everytime I come knocking at Your door
You make me feel like I'm the only one that You adore
The only one You do this for
The only one that You call Yours, I'm Yours

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30 Days to Understanding the Bible

Ever felt frustrated with trying to read the Bible? Maybe you set your New Year's Resolution and quickly found that from starting in...