Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Mom Used to Think Vacuum was only Spelled with One U

"Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success." -James Dyson

If you have ever seen a Dyson vacuum cleaner commercial, you know who I just quoted. My brother and I always joke every time we see him on TV that he has no life because all he cares about is vacuum cleaners. However, Wikipedia just ruined that for me. Turns out he has a life and a wife and three kids. His net worth is $2 billion. He is a hardcore inventor. Anyway, I found this interesting quote and thought that I would share it with you. It took him five years and 5,127 prototypes, he finally sold his first vacuum cleaner. And look at him now--he's a success.

Some other quotes from Mr. Dyson are:
"I just want things to work properly."
"After the idea, there is plenty of time to learn the technology."
"Better to ask twice than lose your way once."

On a side now, when your vacuum cleaner doesn't work, you say, "It sucks." However, if it really sucked, you wouldn't have a problem.

You Can Get on Up or You Can Get on Down

...But you cannot just stand around.
My friends went to prom last Saturday. I got to pose with some pretty ladies. (P.S. I didn't go prom, but it's over with, so let's all get over it, too?)

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Than Just Old

In 2002, seven percent of the world population was over sixty-five years old. China has the largest elderly population (ninety-two million) but this is only seven percent of the Chinese population. In 2000, the United States population consisted of twelve percent over the age of sixty-five. Population experts say that over seventeen percent of America’s population will be considered elderly in 2020.

Lloyd said in Dumb and Dumber, “Senior Citizens, while slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can serve a purpose.” We are the generation of the future; we don’t really look at the generation that got us where we are today. Too often we overlook the elderly. We brush them off as old people who don’t know anything. Sometimes we forget that they need grace just as much as we do. Working at a nursing center, I have learned that elderly people may do wacky things, but they have lived hard lives, and most of all, they are people, too. I want everyone to see lives with value when they look at elderly people.

I only work in the kitchen at the nursing center, but in the eight months that I have worked there, I have grown attached to all of my elderly residents. Sometimes it is hard to have a positive attitude, especially when there are residents yelling at me for potatoes. I always put on a smile. When it starts out as a fake smile, it eventually turns into a genuine smile because my residents do wacky things. Some spit out their teeth and others just spit out their food. Sometimes it is downright disgusting, but sometimes it is heartwarmingly hilarious. They put the whole saltshaker in their prunes. The slightly confused elderly people say some wacky things, most of which I don’t understand. One of the residents who can barely hear or see once screamed that she needed light bulbs.

While I clear the dishes in the dining room, there are some residents who are waiting to go back to their rooms. At times I get the opportunity to talk to them. There is one resident who I especially love talking to. She is in her eighties and used to work in the nursing center as a nurse. She once told me that she never knew the meaning of working part time. Even though she sometimes falls asleep at the table and in front of the television, her favorite show on Sundays is Lawrence Welk and she doesn’t eat butter. She has lived a full life and learned to help and serve people. She doesn’t mind sitting by the residents who need a little more assistance, because she has an encouraging heart and loves other people. She has lived a life all her own and even though she lives in a nursing center, which is a hard adjustment for most, she has settled in and always seems content. I don’t know a lot about her life, though. I don’t know if she had a husband or if she had kids. I don’t know much about her, but I do know that long before I even entered the world, she was a nurse, helping and loving others.

One of the most important lessons that I have learned is that just because elderly people are “old,” they are still people. They have feelings, experience pain, and need love and encouragement. There is a resident that most of the certified nurses’ assistants don’t really like to work with, because she asks to go to the bathroom about twenty times in one hour, randomly starts eating other people’s food and because she can be a little annoying. However, I have found that when you say hello to her and ask how she is, she smiles and looks so happy. She just wants someone to care about her. She has the same desire that everyone has—to be cared about.

Recently a new resident arrived at the nursing center. She has a black and blue arm because she shut it in a door. It is obvious she doesn’t want to be there. The first night she was there, she didn’t say anything and was the last one in the dining room, even though she scarcely touched her food. The next night, her husband came to sit with her and feed her. It is the kind of relationship that everyone hopes to have, a love that hasn’t changed over time. Before it was time for him to leave, she looked at him with sad eyes, “Do you have to leave? Please don’t go.”

It’s strange to think that I used to be afraid of old people. I used to feel awkward around them. I thought that we had no common ground. There was no way anyone could be more different than me. All that changed when I start working at the nursing center. I never intended for it to be that way, I only wanted to earn money. I wanted to raise money so that I could go into college for ministry. I never used to think that a nursing center could be a place for ministry, until I got to know some elderly people in the nursing center. They need grace just as much as anyone else. Even though they may do wacky things, they have learned lessons through living their own lives and they are people of value, too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raising Your Hands

Now in my church, not many people raise their hands to worship God. If someone does, they are probably the only one. Yesterday during Sunday morning service, I saw the birth and death of a young worshipper. She is just six years old. She started by closing her eyes during the song and then she slowly raised her little hand and put it up in the air. She held it there for a couple seconds before she looked around. Then she saw that no one else had his or her hand up, so she slowly lower her hand. She closed her eyes a couple more times, but didn't see anyone else doing it, so she gave up. She sat up and down every now and then, but she just stuck to singing, no raising of hands, just the singing. And so, I am standing there thinking, how sad. I want the young ones in my church to develop a fire and passion for God and I want them to worship God with everything that they have.

So, that makes me look at my own life. Am I worshipping God with all within me? I am not saying that you need to raise your hands or even that music is the only way to worship, but why don't I raise my hands and surrender? Can you surrender with your hands down? What about adoration? Can I adore someone with my hands safely resting on the pew in front of me? Maybe I don't raise my hands in church because I don't want to stand out and I don't want people to look at me. Maybe I don't raise my hands because I have gotten comfortable in church, it is my routine to just sing the songs. I do know that God requires all of me.

"So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands" (Psalm 63:4)

"Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven" (Lamentations 3:41).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

State Capitol Building Trip

Yeah, we went to the State capitol building yesterday. It was pretty fun. Nothing too exciting, but still fun. We sat in on a committee that was talking about gay rights. The room was super packed. Then we ate at Pizza Hut and got bad service. Then we watched some Senate time. Dixie and I enjoyed this one guy who felt passionately against the bill but no one was really with him. Poor guy. Then we went to the museum and since we had cameras, it was quite fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Children's Story--I Fail at Life

If inspiration were a well, mine would be bone dry. If inspiration were a human, it would be six feet under right now. Do you get the idea? I have no inspiration. To make matters worse, I have to write a children's story for my writing class and I have no idea what to write about. I don't remember what it was like to think like a child. And while talking to kids, they just make me play Transformers. That doesn't help me come up with story ideas. I don't know any good children-like conflicts. I have some ideas, but I can't build on them. As soon as I open that Word document and the blank page laughs me at saying, "You fail at life. Too bad you aren't that same third-grader that wrote a story about a janitor who stole all the basketballs." Of course, if I remember correctly, I reread that story and I wrote it before I knew that you had to start a new paragraph everytime someone said something. Yeah, it was a big mess. And I can blame my first grade teacher for only letting me four colors of crayons, but that didn't stop me from being creative. In the first grade, I grew hearts with faces and earrings. (Yes, my friend told credit for the idea and I didn't NOT see it as a form of flatery.) I should start with writing about my school lunch. You know, take advice from Anne Lamott.

At any rate, my children's story is due Wednesday. Time is running out and my creativity isn't kicking in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just To Let You Know

A Word to Husbands
To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.
-Ogden Nash

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waiting for That Kiss

Puritypeople.com's Candace interviewed Maria and Antti Kettunen, who shared their first kiss on their wedding day:

"When people asked why we made this decision I came up with these points:
1. It might not be wrong to kiss but we want to do things as good as possible. We want to do more than what we HAVE to do, and this is the way we show it to God who we love. We can't deserve love with this but we can show how much we love him.
2. This makes it easier for us to have a pure relationship. When you kiss it's natural to go further, if you don't kiss it's easier to draw the line.
3. We think that IF we won't end up married there is no need for us to kiss. Then we can continue saving our kisses to our future husband or wife. And IF we end up married why can't we wait to kiss until then? I mean really why? We have the rest of our lives time to kiss each others. We can use the time now to get to know each other.
4. We just felt we need to do this, and this is what we want. You better listen and obey if God speaks about something to you.
5. And by the way, doesn't it make my husband EVEN more reliable if he can control himself and not to touch me, the woman he loves. If he can do THAT i believe he can be faithful and not to cheat with a strange woman. I mean I would trust him anyway, but this makes him even more reliable. I think it tells a lot about man's self-control."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I apologize for not really taking any time out of my week to care for my blog; I’m sure you have noticed and are about to call missing persons just because you are so worried about me. ...Not. (See? I am so from the 90s.)

I just want to update you on some things that are going on in my life. Nothing too exciting, so don’t get your hopes up. I am just still living and still trying to keep my head above the water. Even though it is spring break at the college, I am still busy with high school (yes, I go to the high school, just because you see me not at the high school during the day doesn’t mean I don’t go to high school). I should really be filling out scholarships right now, but I just don’t know how to describe things in 500 words or less. I also should be writing a children’s book (an assignment for the Writing for Publication class I’m taking at the college), but I lost all my imagination in the first grade where even though I had a 64-color pack of crayons, they only let us use green, blue, red and yellow. Granted I am in a library and could look at some children’s books for inspiration, I still have no idea what new ideas I could say that little kids would want to read.

I am still not planning on going to my prom, even though I might regret it. I don’t like thinking that I regret anything, but I do. I regret not going to Close-Up (the only reason I didn’t was because I went to Africa last year too and thought it was selfish to find money for both), but it is in the past so there is nothing I can do. Too many adults have told my mother that it is very mature of me to realize I shouldn’t waste money on prom, so I would sort of feel like I am lying to everyone if I decided to go now. Because, I know this probably sounds crazy to everyone except Josh, but I really think that God is calling me to not prom. Maybe I am just hearing voices because that is what I want to hear. But, whatever, that topic depresses me.

I am really hungry right now. I don’t know why, either, because I ate breakfast. Oh, well, I am going to go roam the hallways because I am a senior and I do what I want.

Monday, March 2, 2009