Monday, January 17, 2011

To Do List ~

In 2007 Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in the movie The Bucket List (one of my favorites). The gist of the movie is that they were both dying and there were several things that they each wanted to do before they "kicked the bucket" so to speak. However, it is my observation that neither of them had really thought about time running out. One was preoccupied with his job and the other just didn't have the money to think about it.
Well, in my case it's both. I'm so preoccupied trying to make ends meet that it has been a long time since I've dreamt about doing anything or going anywhere. I don't know what happened but somehow the end of the tunnel opened up and I saw a bright light at the end. All of the sudden I started dreaming again of all the things, big and small, that I want to do. By the time I will actually have the means to do some of them I'm sure the list will have grown exponentially. However, I want to share some of them with you now and I'll add to it later. These are probably not in the order they will happen and definitely not in the order of importance.

1) Africa
2) Tour the town of Hershey, PA
3) Get a huge bed with a great mattress
4) Decorate my walls with paintings from
5) Go car shopping without thinking ONLY about gas mileage and monthly payment.
6) Spend a day at a real day spa
7) Volunteer somewhere meaningful
8) Go get a skunk egg in West, Texas
9) See Europe
10) Get Tug up to date on all his shots and get pet insurance
11) Get yearly mammograms even if my insurance doesn't pay for it
12) Disney World
13) Run a 5K
14) Stay in a grand hotel
15) Landscape my back yard
16) Get central heat & air for my parents
17) Paint a couple of walls in my house

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Eyes are on You ~

This past week was a doozy. Actually the past couple of months have been full of doozies but I have neglected my blog for so long that you never would have known if I hadn't just now told you. I know that everyone has troubles and I'm not going to sit here and tell you all of mine. It was just your usual stuff - finances, relationships, job issues, that kind of stuff. Stuff that probably everyone faces in a lifetime, if not daily. Then a couple of months ago, a few days before Thanksgiving, I had this mystery rash that appeared. You would think that is a minor thing, it sounds like it to me. Just put some cream or ointment on it and get over it, right? But that was not the case. I had this rash that covered my entire body except for the bottom of my feet and my face. It was even on the palms of my hands. Over two months I  have been to the ER twice, I have seen my family doctor, an internist, a dermatologist, a psychiatrist, and an allergist. I have been prescribed at least 10 different medications. I have taken oatmeal baths, baking soda baths, and even purchased the ridiculously expensive lotion that was suggested which didn't even have the decency to smell nice. I bought scentless/colorless laundry detergent and washed all of my bedding and clothing. I spent quite a bit of money trying to figure all of this out.
At around the 1-month mark the rash part went away. No more hives on my back and butt and no more speckles on my arms and legs. The only thing remaining was the itch. Just imagine that you are clothed entirely in wool. I mean wool socks, wool underwear, wool bra - you get the idea. I don't know if you are sensitive to wool but I am and it feels like thousands of pins pricking me at the same time, here and there, all over my body.
So the ordinary stuff coupled with this horrendous itching has been biting at my heels for close to 2 solid months now. Then last week I was at work and I noticed I was breaking out in speckles and hives again. That's why I said last week was a doozy. When you think you have almost beaten something and then it crops up again, it has a huge impact. I know it isn't as bad as what some people have. No, I'm not battling with cancer or some other life-threatening illness and praise God for that. But after itching and hurting for almost 2 months straight and then thinking it was almost over, it was the last straw. I have a low pain tolerance and apparently I have a low itch tolerance too and this was putting me over the edge.
One day I was reading a book my aunt gave me for Christmas. The book had nothing to do with what I'm talking about now but there was one line in the book that sparked my interest. It quoted a verse in II Chronicles:
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You."
Something snapped when I read that line and I knew I had to look it up in its context. I don't know all that much about Jehoshaphat and I spent a good part of any spare time each day learning. Come to find out, Jehoshaphat was a godly king, the King of Judah. He was at peace with all of those around him, he had a big army and was prosperous, and had put everything in his kingdom back in order. He was an all-around good guy with the exception of a couple of mistakes which any one of us could have made. Then one day, for some reason I have yet to find out, the Moabites, Ammonites, and Me-unites all decided to gang up on him and attack him. It was a vast army, many more than Jehoshaphat's army had the power to face. In a round-about way, Jehoshapat questioned God.
“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance." 
But they all stood before the Lord -  the men, their wives and their children with their eyes upon God. And God told them that the battle was not theirs. And Jehoshaphat instructed them to sing to God and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness. And the people did and guess what they found when they reached the battle ground?
"The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped."
The armies had all killed each other and Jehoshaphat's people didn't lift a finger! Not only that, but the loot they found there was too much for them and it took them three days to get it all!
After reading this, I have to believe that God is going to fight my battles for me. My finances are a mess and I am still itching like crazy. There are days that I worry so much I think I might be sick and I need to give those over to Him. I have resolved to do my best to give these battles to Him, to sing to Him and praise Him for all that He is. Otherwise, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on Him!