Monday, September 19, 2011

The Lost Sheep...

     ::sigh::  Just about everyone knows the parable that Jesus told about the good shepherd who went and left 99 of his sheep to find the lost one (who was apparently injured and stuck).  This is a picture of Jesus seeking diligently after each and every person until He can bring them all back into His flock.
     The word "Christian" means "little Christs".  Well, even though I claim to be a "Christian", today I realized that I am not at all like Christ.....
     We (Amber, Josiah, Malachi & I) were in the checkout line at a grocery store.  Amber & Josiah (legs=disobedient mobility) were not staying with Mommy.  After threatening to leave them (why yell at your kid or argue with them when you can just leave??), Josiah finally climbed into the cart to entertain Malachi (the wonderfully immobile child) while Amber hung around the back of the shopping cart.  I kept an eye on her as she wandered back & forth (we were being checked out).
    All of a sudden, I see Amber screaming and crying and running as fast as she could towards the exit, calling for me! She ran right past me!!! I tried calling her name, but she was too caught up in the fear of losing me to hear.  The cashier tried calling for her, then asked if I wanted her to get Amber.  I told her (while I was desperately trying to hold back waves of laughter after seeing Amber run like the wind) "No, she's fine" (as she's still wailing by the front door...I was waiting for her to exit before I started chasing her).
    Well, I guess the customer isn't always right, because she started towards Amber.  About the same time, a customer (engaged in a not-so-deep conversation on her cellular phone) entered the store and (of course) headed towards the crying child as she abruptly ended her conversation ("I gotta go. I gotta go!").  Just so things wouldn't become more complicated than they already were, I walked over as the stranger scooped Amber up and promised her she'd help her find her Mommy. 
    Things would have gone alot smoother if the cashier just finished ringing up my stuff, and then I would have intercepted Amber on my way out.  Instead, I took the frightened child (after telling her "That's what happens when you leave Mommy") back to the check-out line (amidst a variety of on-lookers) and finished our transaction.  As we were leaving, the cashier asked if I needed help out to the car (I had...6 items and a shopping cart).  I told her, "No. I just need someone to take her" and pointed to Amber....but after reflecting back on this statement (and my behavior) I realize this may have been the wrong thing to say.  Oh, well. Maybe next time I'll go after the lost sheep (more like screaming banshee....).

On Chasing Rainbows....

     I'm sure as you read the title, you thought this would be a deep, though-provoking post about the meaning of rainbows....well, it's not...     Saturday was a wonderful morning for rollerblading (if you ignored the really cold temperature & winds). As I was on my route back home (wondering why I was attempting to skate in such high winds), I saw my answer-a rainbow. God had made a rainbow just for my morning jaunt (because He knows how silly I am).
     As I glided toward the beautiful sight, I could see that the rainbow was close to where I lived, so if I booked it (yeah, in the wind...) I could probably make it to the location & back home before JR had to be in work. Yes, I was going to touch a rainbow.
     My excitement built as I grew closer to where it started. I just hoped that I could reach high enough (I could see that it didn't touch the ground). I swiftly made my way (well, as swift as I could considering the wind) around the corner of the block and past where I lived....and then I paused....it seemed that the rainbow has disappeared! Oh, no!!! I glided further towards the assumed location, looking for just a glimmer of my rainbow....but it was gone.....
     No one had ever told me that visions of rainbows were dependent on certain angles. I almost cried as I slowly made my way home. All my hopes and dreams of touching a rainbow had been crushed (and this was after they had insensibly escalated because the highway that runs through our town is called "Rainbow Boulevard"-we see many rainbows, doubles & triples each year). Neither hubby nor the bff understand my devastation...but perhaps you will...


                            you can see the gap between the rainbow and the ground...





Sunday, September 18, 2011

Confessions Of A 3-Year Old...

    Somehow I am already starting to embarrass my 3-year old.  During "warm-up time" the other day, I was dancing (the kids are supposed to follow the teacher until "free dance") and Amber said, "No! I can do it myself!" and walked away from me!   Then today, we went on a really long hike. It was one of those "oh-this-sounds-like-a-good-idea-oh-wait-the-trail-keeps-going-we-got-time-lets-follow-it" hikes.  On our trek back to the vehicle, we were travelling down the windy path (I had the baby carrier on & was holding Amber's hand) when we saw two (male) cyclists who let us pass.  As we were walking by, Amber said, "no, Mommy! Let go my hand!" like I was (again) embarrassing her!
    I'm not sure how a wonderful Mommy can embarrass her just-turned-three-year-old, but it has happened.  So, to embarrass her further, I shall do what all embarrassing mommies do and tell you something about her.....
    Since Amber turned three, it seems like her nightly tuck-in is her confessional time (note that I always ask the kids how school was as soon as they get home).  Twice when I have tucked her into bed in the last couple of weeks, she has told me about receiving time-outs that day in school, and more recently she has been describing her day.  I don't ask, she just spills (sometimes a little too fast & unclear). I'm wondering how she can keep it all contained for so long without forgetting the details! 
    Maybe she waits until bedtime to tell me how school was because she knows she can't get into trouble for it then.  Or, perhaps she sees it as an intimate way to bond after the rough day she's given me (her attitude could rival that of any 16-year-old).  Either way, I find it sweet and soak up every word (even if I don't understand it).  And for now, her confessions are that of a three-year-old....I fear the day when they turn into the confessions of a 16-year-old.....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Making A Difference....Or Not....

   My youth pastor from when I was a teenager always quoted Jude verse 22, "And of some have compassion, making a difference" (it's actually his life-verse) which is basically saying to do good to other people (to make a difference).  Doing your "good deed of the day".  Well, I totally stink at doing good deeds of the day.  Oh, it's not that I don't do them, or don't like to do them, it just seems that whenever I do a good deed, it turns out to be useless or unnecessary.
    One week, I was on a roll.  My good deed had been deemed useless, so the next day, I saw an opportunity that I knew just couldn't go wrong, and I took it.  Our town was going to host the USA Pro-Cycling Challenge for a day, and the week prior I saw a van sitting in a parking lot with a sign that said "survey in progress". Well, duh.  They must be surveying the traffic flow of this particular road for race day.  Well, as my mind was wishing them well, I realized that there's a preschool on this exact road.  Since all schools were starting the following week (race-week), this guy was NOT going to have an accurate survey for the day of the race. 
     So, I decided to let him know that the traffic flow on this particular road, on that particular day, at this exact time (early a.m.) would be severely heightened.  After I told him this information and he thanked me, I felt better.  So much better (and happier-hey, I just saved race-day!) that I decided to let a few friends know of my good deed (how else were they going to know that I just saved race-day?).
     Even though my children do not attend that particular preschool, they have friends who do.  After talking with the parents of these friends, I discovered that my good deed was-once again- futile.  Even though most of the public & private schools were starting the Monday of race-week, this preschool (whose patrons would have affected the traffic flow) was not starting for another 2-3 weeks!  Imagine my devastation when I realized that yet another "good deed" had turned out to be not so good.....
    So, if you see me on the street and I fail to help someone across, or don't pick up a piece of trash or ignore that hurting person, please remember that there is a reason.  My "good deed" will probably back-fire and cause more help to be needed.  My not doing a good deed, I am doing a good deed.
     *Editor's note: Michelle will still continue to do good deeds, but do not expect positive results

Monday, September 12, 2011

Caught In The Headlights

   Someone should pay me to come up with answers for things.  I think I've figured out why it seems like deer "freeze" when headlights from vehicles shine on them.
    I've done alot of observing of deer on my morning runs (it's just one family) and they've done their fair share of observing me as well.  This morning after I almost ran into one, I realized that deer aren't actually frozen by the bright lights that turn on them.  The reason deer stop moving (and no, I am not a registered wildlife expert) when cars approach is a natural instinct.  See, usually deer are surrounded by nature that they (of course) naturally blend in with.  They freeze whenever an unfamiliar object approaches because they that they are blending in to their surroundings and therefore become invisible. 
   However, we as smarter-than-the-average-deer humans know better.  We can see the deer because as civilization has encroached upon their territory, they have less blendable objects surrounding them.  They, of course do not know this (perhaps they can only see in black & white??).  Maybe I'll let them know one of these days...if they stop running away....

Running Update

     Since summer is waning and fall is fast approaching, I've discovered that if I run before 6 a.m. (its even dark then) I need to take a flashlight with me.  I'm looking at a long, early days this week, so 5:30 a.m. runs are going to be the norm. 
    It was so dark when I left the house today that I could still see the stars!  The full moon partly illuminated my path this morning, along with some street lamps, but I used a pen-light for most of my journey. 
    As I neared the end of my route, a deer took off from behind the bushes and I realized I hadn't been paying attention to where I was headed-I almost ended up running into the deer's hideout!
    Running hasn't been easy for me this past week-last Tuesday I bruised my tailbone really bad when I fell while rollerblading (pushing a jogging stroller & watching Amber on her trike = not paying attention to what I was doing).  Apparently you can't run to fast (or far) with a sore coccyx, so I've been having to take it slow.  (Apparently these things also take forever to heal-boo....)