Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Can't Stop That Judging Feeling

A month or so ago I came into an awareness that I was judging people. I would never have thought this was so, but I read a blog post by Anomyous Thoughts in which she commented that she judged what people are like just by what they are wearing. Interesting, I thought. Not something I do, so I went on to other things.. However, this anonymous thought stayed in my mind like a pebble stuck in my shoe. As the day went on I had to stop and take this thought out and really examine it. You see, I haven't landed in a church family yet. Never did I suspect I was making judgements just based on how women wear their hair or the the type of clothing they wear, or the way they talk. I suddenly realized I was doing just that. Could that be why I hadn't connected or bonded with a church after all this time? I didn't even bother to talk to most women, and chose instead to just walk out after the service and decide I had nothing in common with them.

All of this church visiting, and walking away, and subconcious judging was going on all the while I was craving female fellowship. Nostalgic for the past, the amazing prayer meetings and accountability groups I have been in over the years, I've had a longing for the past in my heart.
So, I consciously chose this past month to engage with women that I normally wouldn't. I decided to stop my " just smile and slink away" behavior.

What I believe I've discovered from this experiment is this: my first impressions are actually accurate. What is that "commonality" that I'm looking for, for which I'm longing? It's a fire in the soul. It's a craving for the lost to be found. A Love that surpasses what's on sale at Kroger. It's a love that surpasses differences and fantastically makes our differences super cool and far out and fun to enjoy.
It's mysterious. It's a "seeing" that some don't see, and a "hearing" that some don't hear. Honestly, I don't know if they choose to not see, and choose to not hear, but the fact remains that no matter what I say or do, some will just look at me oddly, and then they will smile and just slink away.

.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Speaking of Evil

Feeling sorry for myself! WAH WAH! I am missing a most glorious day with an incredible blue sky and no wind. I'm stuck inside working on taxes. TAXES. I've heard people complain about how complicated the tax code and IT IS! I resent that I have to hire an expert to help me do my taxes and understand what I can and cannot deduct off my business income. So I don't hire someone, because I resent it. I have always prepared my own tax returns because the hard part is the record keeping. The record keeping is more than a nuisance. It is an outrageous amount of documentation and tedious. I figure once I have done all the hard part, why woud I pay someone to plug in the numbers I gave them? I can do that part in a couple hours.

Also, the preparer is not as motivated as I am to save me as much money as possible. I had a client tell me his accountant told him he couldn't take the second home tax credit because he didn't know how it worked. It's spelled out right on the IRS website. Not hard to do. Not hard to understand. Why would I pay someone who won't even read the IRS tax code?

I have worked from 11:0 am to 5:30 pm non stop preparing my records and I'm not even half way there. UGH. The only happy thing today are these adorable birds that keep coming near my window as I work. They are tiny like a hummingbird but larger, and they "peep" instead of chirp. They have a little black spot on their downy little heads and thier tiny beaks are like a hummingbird, too, but they aren't hummingbirds. I have no idea what they are. Their little visits to my window edge are greatly appreciated. I'm going to put out some water for them in an old flat flower pot since it hasn't rained in a month and there are no puddles around here for a bird bath

More interesting things to note later. I hope. Back to the tax records.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

there is so much evil in the world. it depresses me. so much innonence destroyed and violence and clamor and just plain evil. I saw a graphic on my son's computer that says "you can't spell slaughter without laughter" and it disturbs me that this little saying would even be considered for entertainment. Am I just of a generation that doesn't understand violent video games and music? A little boy was killed by his step dad yesterday. The little boy was so cute. I'm really bumming about the ugliness of life and that anyone would even chuckle about violence.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Discovery of Kevin

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Dancing on Air, Part 2 (9/14/10) - Video - NBC.com

So, I wanted you to see my son-in-law. He is dancer #2 on the Jimmy Fallon Show from 9/14/2010. Click on the "link" above to watch it.

Rachael and Kevin went to see the show as part of her birthday celebration. I got a text on Tuesday from Rachael that said, "you will want to watch the show tonight, Kevin will be on" I knew I woud fall asleep, and Sam fell asleep on the couch while Jay Leno was on. Luckily I set my alarm for 12:15 am and when it went off I woke up. I don' have cable or anything fancy so taping it wasn't an option. Sam didn't wake up and eventually crawled upstairs to his bed, unfortunately. But he watched it later online.

I woke up in time to see Jamie Lee Curtis and the Situation on Jay Leno. So when Kevin finally was on I was wide awake. The first guy danced, and I was like, "ok," kind of cute. Then when Kevin danced I fell off the couch onto the floor and I actually howled. I almost peed my pants, I am not kidding. I don't know if it's because I know him and that's why it was so funny to me, but Rachael even said the audience around her was howling, too. She said guys were slapping their legs and laughing out loud. So, I hope you enjoy the clip as much as I did!

I like to imagine that Jimmy Fallon will call Kevin and say, "hey, we liked you so much we want you to be a regular on the show twice a week, and we'll pay you real, live money," or something like that. Kevin does have a 4 year degree with a performance major, so I guess it sort of paid off, and got him free dancing lessons in NYC. LOL

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Decorated

This is a rare happening in my life. I decorated yesterday. I put up this wall display with the help of Mr. S. T. The "S" is for Seriously... just kidding.
The green candle was a gift from Agape Life. The birds and light house were purchased at the now defunct Schottenstein's, and they were $2.00 each and reminded me of the ocean, one of my favorite places. The plate was bought at Marshall's for $2.00 and it's brown and white and has birds on it. I liked it. The photo is a picture of "letyourgloryfalldown" and a group of Ohio ladies surrounding a very controversial mother of 5, Just the mention of this controversial mother will cause a stir, so I won't stir you up.

In my mind I have great decorating ideas. Carried out, they disappoint. I have low self esteem over my inability to decorate. It's like the silver valour curtains I hung in the guest bedroom. Mr. S.T. gasped when he saw them and said "that's something you find in a 1970's episode of "Shaft"! He's right. They do bring to mind the image of pot smoking and go-go boots.

It's assumed by people I meet that I can decorate since I'm a Realtor. Because I can tell you exactly what you need to do to your house and and stage it to get it sold doesn't mean I can decorate. I can stage a house lickety-split and it's one thing I am very good at. Looking at 65 houses a week with persnickety buyers has caused me to perfect that talent. I know how to "stage" my house very well. I know what I need to do: new cabinets, new floors, don't do laminate, always use natural materials when you can afford to, don't scream the 80's or the 90's or the 00's. Staging isn't decorating! Staging removes distractions when they take your eye off of a house's assets, and it addess distractions to move your eye away from a house's deficiencies.

Money has always been my excuse for not decorating, but the truth it's not money. One truth is I'm not patient. I realize with all talents and skills it all comes down to patience. The woodworker patiently sands his handicraft day after day after day. I, on the other hand, would get bored after an hour and say "Done!" The fact I've never decorated my home is a deep-seated painful "issue" I have. I've done some self-psycho therapy and I have a pretty good idea of why I have not decorated my home. I can't share the analysis here as I feel a need to protect the guilty.

With this new wall display in my family room I can tell I need to bring the shelf on the right down a bit. I don't know why I hung it up there so high like it's floating away.
Oh well. If I'm patient enough I'll move it down. That requieres getting the hammer out again. So I doubt that shelf will move anywhere, seriously.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

St. Francis of Assissi

My Amazon order arrived. I had had a strong desire to read actual writings of St. Francis for months and months. My seminary daughter did a paper on him last year and I couldn't stop thinking about this eccentric man. Was he crazy or was it real? I found a book on Amazon called the Writings of St. Francis of Assissi.



I'm not Catholic. I don't know much about Catholicism. My first reaction was, "of my! Francis was SO Catholic" LOL.



I had to put the book down after a couple pages and ponder this idea of Jesus' body being the communion elements. This is a bizarre idea for me. According to Francis I'm going to hell because I can't "see" the Lord's Body there. Well, I can "see" the Lord there, sort of in my mind's eye, like a representation. I treat it respectfully, but I'm having some serious problems with this first part of Francis' writings! I agreed and felt a kindred spirit with what he put forth, until I read the part about Jesus becoming, through some mystical practice, the actual elements. Being mystical, myself, I am not throwing this theory out all together. I need to think about it though. I'm not saying I don't believe that, but I need to think about it more. Francis says that in the "hands of the priest" it becomes Jesus' body. I am a priest. That much is perfectly clear to me.



Would I be considered a Priestess since I'm female? I remember hearing my friends argui over this doctrine and I always just shut up my ears to the arguing. What's the big deal? Who cares, I thought. Today, after reading Francis, I'm a little more interested in this Eucharist question. I do not think my eternal life is determined by this one belief, however. There are, afterall, orphans that need clothed, fed, and loved, and prisoners that feel abandoned and alone and need visited! Communion elements is the least of my concerns regarding religious matters. At least for today. Hopefully, I'll have more to report on Francis in the future.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poetry

AUTUMN'S CADENCE
by Marion Dianne Werra-Baburchak

There He breathes His season song
On shortened days and nights of long
With harvest bounty going strong
I cannot wait to join the throng
and dance to the tune of my Lover!

Something calls me to the heights
To come and taste the sweet delights
All the earth and all it's sights
Blazing trees and flaming lights
bright shining as my Lover!

Hush the howling winds ablow
Watch the dancing leaves aglow
Leaves liquidated, pour into my soul
Crimson like His blood it flows
-like the mark of my dear Lover!

Dark chocolate trees with organe glaze
Constrating hues-I stand amazed
Autumn rambles just leave me dazed
If this is Him, I love His ways!

This is just part of the poem written by Marion Werra-Baburchak and published in her book: "Reflections on Water" The rest of the poem is wonderful and contains my favorite lines.

You don't have permission to use her poem, sorry. You may purchase her book on Amazon, though!

Marion is the sister of a friend of mine who pastors a church with her husband. Marion passed away a few weeks ago. I got her book from Amazon a few days ago. I read some of her poems and thought, "The world needs to read these poems!" Encouraging. Uplifting. Taken from her introduction: "Some poems touch on the experience of despair...there are those that reflect on the pain of loss...other poems reflect the overwhelming exhilaration I have found in feelings God's presence in man, nature, wisdom, and life's simplest enjoyments..."

If you want this book, but can't afford it, or don't have the time to order, I'll buy you one and mail it to you completely free of charge. It will be my little gift to you! (PS I'm not a killer looking for your address either.) So you can email me at brenda.stevens@realliving.com


To Da Lou!

Thursday, September 2, 2010




Here are more pics of the first house I owned. Same cabinets in the kitchen, but I had them painted a soft yellow, and there was mexican tile back splash. The bookshelves and white shutters were in the children's bedroom when I lived there, too. That hasn't changed.
That's all there is to this house. Living room, dining room, kitchen, and two bedrooms. I'll show what the house I live in now looks like someday... For fun, I should pull out photos from when we all lived in this house.






Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Houses
















This is the first house I owned with a mortgage company. It's for sale now.


Here's the living room. It's cute isn't it. I'm going to go through it with my husband and maybe buy it and rent it out. Interest rates are so low we can swing it, I think. We'll see.