Friday, March 21, 2014

My Gnomies

One reason why my daughter wanted to be in girl scouts was because she wanted to have friends like the ones she saw on Girl Scout recruiting posters. And, wanting her to have those friends is why I was game to start a troop. Well, I was apprehensively game. I knew it was going to be a lot of work!

Through our awesome little troop my daughter has been blessed with more than she could have hoped. She not only has the strong friendships she wanted but she also gets to do so many fun things with her sister scouts. She and her friends already have deep bonds and I know in my heart than many of these friendships will last a lifetime. That is so exciting!

My daughter was my focus for getting involved in Girl Scouts. I never imagined that I would also find myself building strong friendships with other moms. That is exactly what has happened. There are five of us moms that have grown quite close. In fact, all the moms in the troop are becoming thick as thieves but there is the core of five that seems to hold everything together.

Of the five "gnomies" - as in "Hanging with my Gnomies" - it is El who I would classify as our leader. She has three older children in addition to her scout so she has been there and done that...and done it again...and again. She is that friend that will tell you straight up how it is whether you want to know or not. I love that about her. With El there is no doubt where you stand. She is also that person you look at and start to laugh at the most inopportune times. It is with her that an uber girl scout will give you the "shame, shame" finger for trying to stifle giggles during the somber reading of financial accounting.

Aye is our lean, mean eating machine! Aye can pack away more food than the rest of us four combined. She is built like a reed! She is tall and so thin I imagine she sways in the wind. Aye has an amazing gift of hospitality. Whether she is planning a class party for 30 or a sleep over for four she does not hold back. She pays attention to each detail and makes every event extra special. Aye could make you feel completely welcome in the most hostile territory. She would have cupcakes and lemonade ready to comfort your weather
beaten soul. I have heard she sings a mean - really terrible - karaoke. I have not experienced it myself yet. It is just a matter of time I am sure. Aye's oldest daughter and my daughter have become peas in the pod...or rather..."the candy coating to each other's M&M's."

Em is also reed thin. If gale force winds swept through the valley Aye and Em would land in Oz. They would be long gone. Em has three children and is finishing up her teaching degree. She is busy yet she is always willing to help whether it be some Girl Scout function or helping a friend move. She will even toss your full-blown trampoline over the roof of her van and drive it to its new home. Em is a mighty force packed into a tiny body. 

Ess is like me. We like to watch the action unfold but not necessarily be a part of it. We wouldn't thrown down punches anymore than we would throw down white sheets in the mud. Ess has a huge heart and thinks of everyone more than herself. She is mom to two blonde haired cuties. Ess works hard as a single mom. She juggles many balls and always with a smile on her face. Actually Ess has a stunning smile that is traffic stopping.

Me? I am just one of the group feeling lucky to have such good friends. I don't think a person can have too many friends. Some may be closer than others but good friends are like a gift. They are wonderful to discover and a blessing to keep.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Where have all the nice people gone?

Where have all the nice people gone? The people that hold the door open for the person walking behind them? The people that wait for children to pass through the crosswalk before speeding through? The people that don't rage on the road when they are two cars back at a stoplight?

There is a serious lack of courtesy in our world. People are not nice anymore. They are tired, overwhelmed, overwrought, and nearly over the edge. The smallest misstep can cause havoc in their day and they will unleash their fury on those nearest them.

I try to spread as much joy as I can but, I have to say, sometimes it is exhausting. The world is full of joy vampires! They suck out your joy and leave you empty and tired. And, sadly, they leave no more joyful for all that suckage!

What is the rush? What is the purpose of meanness? What is the point of being snarky? I can't believe that rude people find happiness in being crotchety. Maybe they don't know the despair they spread? Maybe they are not conscious to the fact that people stare at them in disbelief of their comments or run when they see them coming. I actually shocked myself by doing this! I saw a constant complainer out and about and I momentarily froze in my steps before bolting up a flight of stairs. I zigged and zagged my way past people to exit the building through another door. As I pushed open the door out of breath and bewildered I scolded myself for being so rude. But, it had been a tough day and I could not take on another person's woes.

When I drive I see people flipping people off, laying on their horns, and rolling down their windows to screech at other drivers. Seriously? I see sales clerks accosted by customers and customers accosted by sales clerks. Why? What is it about this world that makes people think they can blow steam at anyone and everyone? What happened to kindness? What happened to simple humanity? There is snarkiness in the air and it brings with it melancholy. 

I wish some people could shake off entitlement and embrace kindness. Quit expecting things for nothing and stop getting bent when those things don't come. Don't bust a vein when you have to drive .2 miles further and make a u-turn because you missed your exit. Don't take it out on the clerk who has nothing to do with pricing when the sign you thought you saw said your grapes where 2 cents less than she charged. I wish people could handle situations with kindness. Spread joy not bitterness. Make someone's day, don't ruin it. Lift a person up, don't tear them down. 

I believe the world is loaded with good people who are just overshadowed by the bad. It is time to infuse the world with happiness and let the miserable seek company of a few rather than many.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pyramids, and dinosaurs, and strangle lights...oh my!

There are many phenomenons we can't explain as humans. There are aspects of this world we can't wrap our minds around. Crop circles, dinosaurs, the great pyramids, mysterious lights in the sky. As Christians many of us struggle to determine how these wondrous things fit into creation.

In my limited, unscientifically trained mind, I have pondered this. I think the answer is that they don't fit. Our minds are limited. The earth, in my opinion is millions of years old.That doesn't jive with Genesis and the six days it took to create the world...or does it? We know that God has always existed. There was never a time He was not here. That is a difficult concept to fathom. That very notion shows that God works on a very different plane of existence. Six days to the very Creator of the universe may translate to thousands or millions of years. Perhaps some of the first animals He created were dinosaurs. Man was the last thing God created on this earth before He rested. We don't know how long it took in human time to complete both tasks.

As Christians we believe the unseen. I have never seen the face of God. Despite this I believe mightily in Him and His promises and word. Sometimes I wonder if things like crop circles are here to mystify us. We believe in the unseen so maybe from time to time we need to disbelieve the seen. Maybe there are unexplainable things about this world that are here to challenge us and cause us to doubt. Or, maybe they will be easily explained by the mind of an astrophysicist who is not yet born.

As quick as some are to believe in aliens I am not so quick to cast aside my faith. I am sure that some are boggled by the person who believes in a supernatural creator of all. I wonder how one cannot? When I view the intense beauty of Yosemite or the depth and vastness of the ocean my heart floods with a sureness that God does exist. So, no, I don't know how dinosaurs fit into the grand scheme of things. I can't even come up with a theory on how the pyramids were built. And, crop circles blow my mind! But my God blows my mind even more. Every day we face the unbelievable and we accept it...I think it is time to truly believe in our believable God.