Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I woke up this morning (late, I might add) with a splitting headache, fingers like sausages, and eyes almost swollen shut. Needless to day, this morning's weigh-in was terrible. I don't know what I ate yesterday that had so much sodium in it that this morning I feel like a blown-up balloon. I checked last night's batch of fudge and it is too soft. My morning routine went right out the window and it is going to take a humongous effort to turn this day around. So, let's look at some positives.

I woke up breathing - always a good sign.
The coffee is hot.
The grungy jars I did last night are looking good.
Today is Sunday.
Got my blog done (thank goodness I typed the very long reflection last night.)
Each day - even each moment - is a new beginning.

My stats for today:
Type: none - maybe later
Route:
Time:
Average heart rate:
Maximum heart rate:

Calories burned:
Up 2 from last Sunday
0 activity points earned
Total points available today: 33
Points leftover:

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Today's weigh-in was not good. It looks like I am not going to meet my Covey goal. I am letting way too many outside influences affect my focus.

I have discovered that if I say no to anyone, no matter how nicely I may do it, I am perceived as being mean. This is a constant struggle for me because I am prone to letting what other people think rule my life. I have discovered that I need to be true to myself if I am to be effective in my life. In other words, if someone has a problem with my saying no (and I need to do this as kindly as possible in order to live with myself) then it is going to have to be that person's problem. I have people in my life who seem to want to make me responsible for things that they should be handling themselves. This is where I am going to have to steadfastly define my priorities. They are these in this order.

God
Family
Church
My personal inventory (my code of ethics and how I want to live my life)

If I am strapped for time, those four things must remain my utmost priority. Saying "no" does not make me a bad person. It took me a long time to learn that. There is a difference between being balanced and being selfish. I will no longer apologize for saying no when doing so keeps my priorities intact. When I say yes, and can wholeheartedly say yes without feeling resentment, then I will say yes. This includes coming in early for work when I already have every spare minute spoken for and a sub could be called in, staying late at the church doing non-church related things when doing so infringes on family time, reminding people of things they should be remembering themselves and getting yelled at when I forget to do that, and doing for others what they are perfectly capable of doing themselves. In short - I will no longer be a doormat. I don't have to be mean - just firm. In the long run, I am a much nicer person to be around. When I let others take over my life or define my priorities, I start to get resentful, followed by sulky - culminating in my actually being mean.

I think I am going to take a "putter" day. My friend Sabina calls it doing "happy things." I need to do some happy things today.
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Update on this morning's vent. At church a friend of mine suggested that maybe I need to clarify some things I wrote above. (Thanks, Barbara) As I re-read it, it sounds like I don't want anyone to ask me to do them a favor. This isn't what I'm talking about. I am not talking about watching grandkids, because that is not a favor, that is a joy. I am not talking about friends who ask a favor - because that is what friends are for. I am not talking about resenting helping someone in need - that is not a burden.
I'm talking about people who aren't really asking a favor so much as telling me what I am going to be doing - those who get upset when I have to say no as if they have more claim on my time and my life than anyone else. Those who, out of habit or some sense of entitlement get resentful when they realize that they are not the center of my world. We all have those people in our lives. They can drain our spirits and eclipse our joy if we let them.
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Word of the day:
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel

Mt 20:1-16a

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Thoughts from the Cornfield

Though the air is chill,
the shimmering halo
suspended above the purple horizon
. . . foretells the intense heat to come.
Heat that will thicken the air and oppress the spirit.
All is quiet
. . . though the marketplace teems with people.
People who wait as one silent, hopeful entity
. . . for the coming day.

And so the sun rises,
And so we wait.

As the shadows of the night
. . . retreat behind the mountains,
. . . . . .the landowner appear
. . . . . . . . .seeking workers for their vineyards.
It has been a bountiful year,
. . .and the great harvest awaits.

The crowd begins to move and coagulate . ..
. . . to separate . .
. . . . . . the chosen from the unchosen.
At this early hour,
. . . the landowners have the pick of the lot.
The silence of the dawning day
. . . is gradually dissipated
. . . . . . as voices are raised in negotiation

A day's work is promised
. . . and the day's wage is agreed upon.
The first of the workers leave the marketplace.
The lucky one.
The chosen ones.
. . . Our number has barely decreased.

And so the sun rises.
And so we wait.

It is now mid-morning
. . . and the air begins to warm.
The dawn's prophecy finds fulfillment.
Again the landowners appear,
And again our numbers decrease
. . . as the second-choice workers leave.
. . . We remain the unchosen.

And so the sun rises
And so we wait.

It is now noon,
The sun is directly overhead
. . . and its merciless rays
. . . . . . beat steadily down upon us.
The landowners are back.
Again they choose.
Again they leave.
We remain.
The hope of finding work today diminishes with each hour.
The heat begins to take its toll,
. . . but the air is no cooler elsewhere . .
. . . . . . and still there is hope.

And so we wait.

As the sun makes its way westward,
. . . another group of workers leaves.
The final shift.
The three o'clock chosen.
The last chance of finding work today
. . . has come and gone.
The landowners will not be back.
For those of us left behind,
. . . the only option remaining is to beg alms
. . . . . . from those fortunate enough to find work.

And so we wait.

On the horizon a lone figure appears.
It is too early for the workers to be returning.
There is still an hour left in this final shift.
But no, it is not a worker.
It is a single landowner.
He approaches.
"Why do you stand here?
Have you nothing better to do with your time?"
We answer,
"No one has hired us, Sir."
We look into his eyes.
They are kind.
He says,

"Come with me,
My holdings are vast
. . . and I need more workers.
. . . I choose you."

We don't bother to negotiate,
An hour's wage
. . . is more than we can hope to beg
. . . . . . in three evenings.

Night after night
. . . we are a hindrance
. . . . . . to workers eager to return home.
Most pass us by with unseeing eyes,
And to those who do stop,
. . . we are a burden,
. . . . . . a tax upon wages
. . . . . . . . . so laboriously earned.
No, we do not negotiate with the landowner and
. . . We do not wait.
. . . We follow
. . .. . . and we work . . .
. . . . . .. . . for one hour.

As evening approaches
. . . and the sun makes its descent
. . . in the western sky,
. . . the landowner sends his supervisors
. . . out to the fields
. . . . . . to settle up for the day's work.
We head toward the back of the line,
. . . but to our great surprise,
. . . . . . we are called first.

There must be some mistake.
We have been paid a full day's wage!
The supervisors say
there has been no mistake.
It is the will of the landowner
. . . that we be paid this amount.

As we leave,
. . . we hear the twelve-hour workers
. . . . . . raising their voices in protest.
They are angry
. . . that they have been put on a level with us-
. . . . . . the 5 o'clock chosen.
Yet, they have lost nothing.
If we had never been hired,
. . . they would still have received
. . . . . . the same wage.
How does our good fortune diminish theirs?

And will they notice
. . . that because of the generosity of the landowner,
. . . . . . there will be no one waiting to beg alms . .
. . . . . . . . . or hinder their journey home tonight?

from The Tarantella Dancers - copyright 2000, Mary A. Moeggenborg


God bless our troops!
we. . . we
. . . Another
. . . an

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