"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Saturday, January 10, 2009

We have not one, but TWO winners!

*Remember to scroll down and turn off background music before watching video.

video

My precious 'name drawer', A.J.

(I apologize for sounding like I'm yelling. I'm still struggling with the fact that my new FLIP's microphone is so sensitive and of course, right next to me when I speak. I really wasn't yelling.)


Congrats, Sara and Sherri! I hope you enjoy the magazine and get lots of great ideas from it for fun things to do as a family.

Next week I'll be posting a list of all the neat things you shared that you all do with your own families!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rambling Thoughts And Answers

I apologize in advance for typos and grammar. This was done as I was dressing kids and trying to get them out the door for school. I didn't get a chance to proofread.

Before I start rambling, I want to remind everyone that tonight at midnight, the comments section will be closed for the "LE'T'S CELEBRATE FAMILY GIVEAWAY!" Don't wait to leave your comment and be entered! You have great chances 'cause there's gonna be TWO winners!

Now, movin' on to the nitty-gritty. I want to say to you guys that you REALLY ROCK!!! I love your minds, your thoughts, your openness, your honesty and your willingness in sharing your opinions. I feel, as Jill said, that sometimes I'm sitting around the kitchen table with you guys having a cup of java. Thank you for your candidness and support....always!

Man! I got quite a few emails about the book, The Shack, and as you may have seen there were mixed reviews from those that have read (thought about reading) it. I wanted to explain to a few that questioned it that I had (and still have) some of those 'mixed feelings' that you did. Do I recant my opinion of it being a good book? Absolutely not. I really, really enjoyed reading it. Did I struggle reading some of it? Absolutely. But the main thing you need to remember is that it IS categorized as fictional. Just like The Da Vinci Code, which is a book with over 40 million readers and a even had a movie created from it. Did you believe it? That's up to you. Nothing I could read in that book, regardless of what "proof" the author offered, could make me believe it. Why? Because I base my beliefs on the word of God. The Bible. Period. End of sentence.

Going back to The Shack. I think what is so intriguing about it is the fact that the Holy Trinity is so very mysterious and so hard for us as humans to understand. But I don't think we're supposed to fully understand or for that matter try to analyze God. That's where faith comes in. Although, I do believe that it's only human nature to try and think of how the book portrays the trinity as a possibility. I really didn't want to get into my thoughts about what I didn't agree with the book because I didn't want to spoil anything for future readers, but to satisfy a few of you (those that don't want to hear spoilers stop reading now) I will give just a couple of examples.

First, I felt very uneasy right from the get-go that Jesus was a woman when Mack met her. That bothered me. A lot. Yes, I understood the meaning behind what the author was portraying, but again, going back to the His word (my one and only true belief) God, who is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, is just that...ABBA. FATHER. After reading the book, there's no way or will I ever be convinced that I will arrive at Heaven's gates and be greeted by a heavy-set black woman and call her "Papa". Can't wrap my mind around it. Ain't gonna happen. If it does and you guys are there before me, you can laugh at me when I arrive. :)

Second example and please keep in mind that it's way too early for me to think clearly and recall all about the book that bothered me, is as Sally mentioned in my comments about sin being it's own punishment. That's huge for a Catholic. We're the ones that believe in purgatory, remember? Yikes! When Mack went before God (yet again portrayed as another woman) for judgement day and he had to "choose" one of his children to be condemned to hell...the bothered me. Again, a lot! Jesus did die on that cross to wash away our sins. The Bible, the one and only true word of God, clearly states:

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

That one little line in scripture is probably my favorite. It gives us hope. It shows us what a merciful, sovereign Savior we have. God gave us His only son so that we shall have eternal life. There is no way that any fictional book would ever take that belief away from me.

Do I believe there is going to be a judgement day even if I believe we are saved? I sure do. And I'm glad I do, because that belief is a great way of keeping me "in-line". The Holy Trinity encompasses so much more than we could ever understand here on earth. Again, there's no way that a fictional book could ever truly explain it.

For those of you that wrote asking my thoughts all I can say is that you have to read it as a fictional novel. Period. Take the good from it that you know and believe in your heart and make it big in your life (i.e.; Jesus' love for His children) and then take what you don't believe (i.e.; Jesus is an entity not seen as "Father") and blow it off!

Being Catholic, I've been taught a lot about religion, rituals and traditions. Don't get me wrong. I love my faith with every fiber of my being. But, having so many Christian friends of just about every denomination, I struggle with the Catholics' beliefs about Jesus and religion. My sister has a great shirt that says, "JESUS IS NOT A RELIGION". I love it! He's not. I don't think we will get up there and have to show our papers to prove what denomination we belong to. That's something I loved about the book. It did emphasize that Jesus was not a religion. That I chose to believe.

In ending, if I have any readers left after this (umm....what's that rule people keep telling me and I keep breaking? Ahh...never discuss politics or religion with friends) I am humbled you stuck with me. For those that wanted to hear my two cents, there ya go! I love you guys! You rock! Keep those comments coming because it truly makes me feel like I'm not talkin' to myself, which I so often do.

In His Name......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

O's Book Club Review

No, folks! Sorry to disappoint you. It's not Oprah's Book Club, it's Ohilda's Book Club!

Since Christmas, I've allotted time to myself to do something that I thoroughly enjoy and have not done in a few years. Read! I love reading. Most of my reading has been non-fiction, but with the leaving the worries to God thought, I figured I'd take myself on some fantasy journeys and hit the path of fiction for a while. So for those of you that like reading, from time-to-time I may end up posting about some really good reads.

My very sweet bloggy friend, Amy, from ...for such a time as this, recently read the book, The Shack, by William P. Young. Her reviews were extremely positive and the storyline definitely captured my attention. So, guess who gave Amanda the book for Christmas? (I know...slick, eh?) I finished reading it in 2 days. One day staying up till almost 3 a.m. to finish it.

After the first few chapters it slowed down a bit and I thought of putting it down, but then I thought about Amy's review and a few other people I have met since that have read it, and knew I had to continue. Am I glad I did! It was great. It gave you a totally different view of Jesus and allowed you to see the Savior as who He is and not as we (speaking of myself being Catholic) are taught to see Him. The book definitely left me with a feeling of wishing that the storyline wasn't fiction. Unfortunately, it is. But I believe in my heart that many of the situations in the book (sorry, no spoilers here) will be pretty accurate of how it will be on the day we find ourselves standing face-to-face with the King of Kings!

So, if you're looking for some light reading that turns into some heavy-duty, mind-pondering, wonder-if-this-is-what-it's-like type of book, pick up a copy of The Shack! You won't regret it!




(CLICK ON THE PICTURES ABOVE TO ENLARGE)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Solution to the Resolutions

2008 is behind us and although it brought many good things, I don't think it'll be a year that I will look back at and say, "It was amazing". Between the economy, the struggles with Anna Grace's attachment issues (which were pretty darn rough), surgeries, China closing it's doors to so many parents wanting a child (myself included), and my total lack of will power to lose the weight I wanted, I have to say it definitely wasn't what I had planned. And I think that's where the problems lay. They were all my plans.


I've decided my solution to the New Year Resolutions dilemma is that I will not make any plans this year. I am trusting and believing that God has plans that are perfectly laid out for me. He is just waiting for me to stop trying to do His job, which seems like something I keep wanting to do. I don't know why I insist on it, since there's no way that I could ever do His job, nor would I ever want to. But nonetheless, my hard-headed self just keeps butting into His business.

With all the disappointments that came in the past year, came good things. God showed me that although we've had some pretty tough financial struggles, he always provides. God showed me that although I asked him over and over while waiting for both Anna Grace and Kai to come home to please not allow us to adopt a child with attachment issues. That was my one fear. He allowed it because He knew I could handle it. I've learned to embrace it and have been strengthened by these struggles. I've found myself searching my heart and at times, reaching out to Him like I never have before. He allowed me to see through Anna Grace's surgery just a slight glimpse of what our future could be without attachment issues. For a few weeks life was great. Was the surgery the answer? Oh, no! But we did definitely move a notch up on the bonding ladder. As small as that baby step is, it is so worth it!

I've learned throughout the last year that I can't take things into my own control without botching it up at some point. You may wonder how I know what God's plans really are for me. I don't have the answer to that one. I do know not to expect God to place before me a huge billboard that says, "Good morning, Ohilda! Take this road today." and I know that He will whisper to me in the depths of my heart and open doors that will assure me that is where I should be going. I just need to "be still and know that He is God". I need to not put God in a little box, but instead, allow Him to be the God of all that I do.

Yet that said, I definitely feel like I am exactly where I should be in life. I am surrounded by the people He wants in my life. I am going through the experiences He knew I'd go through. Some I've learned from. Some I keep banging my head against the wall with. With some, He knew I'd take the wrong roads way before He created me, and I'm guessing that it's a pretty sure bet He knows the paths that I'll be taking in the future. So, does it make any sense to not let Him take the controls and be the pilot?

Therefore, 2009 will be without plans for me. I'm waking up in the mornings and proclaiming, "Lord! This is your day. I am your child! Please take control of my life and lead me to what YOU want me to do." I just pray that everything I do brings Him all the honor and glory that He is so worthy of.

I'm not planning for Anna Grace's heart to be completely healed in 2009. That's His child and if it is in His plans, it will happen. I'm not planning for our finances to be cleared and we be debt free. If He wants that to happen, He will open those doors. I'm not worrying about whether or not another child is in our future. He is in control of that.

I'm done making plans. I'm giving it all to Him. The only plan I'm making for 2009 is to allow God to be God and it sure feels good not to have to carry around that load!

Monday, January 5, 2009

In the mood to laugh?


Oh my gosh! A friend sent THIS to me today and I was laughing so hard (I guess because it's SO true) that I was crying! What do you think?

Also, if you haven't done so already, don't forget to sign up for the "Let's Celebrate Family Giveaway". The deadline is this Friday at midnight. And remember, they'll be TWO winners.


It's Monday!

The Christmas decorations are down, the kids are back in school (quietly yelled "Whoopee" heard in the background!), and things are slowly returning to normal. So, what does all this mean? This means it's time to head back to one of my favorite pastimes, Not Me, Monday! Yes, time to disclose all those embarrassing moments we'd rather hide, but know it's more therapeutic to share. Lucky you, huh? So, without further ado.....





It was not me that begged and whined asked Santa for a FLIP video recorder for Christmas and now has found it to be too time consuming to convert .avi files to .mpeg so has not bothered using her new toy. That would be ridiculous and a complete waste of money!


It was absolutely not me that told my sweet bloggy friend, Sara over at ...Make Music From Your Heart to the Lord, that I would participate in her new event, Project 365, but ended up not doing it. That is not a nice thing to do and I am hoping she still loves me. :)




It was not me that laughed hysterically when I exclaimed that I was thinking about "getting a job" and both Kai and Anna Grace jumped up at the same time and said, "No, Mama! You no get job! Daddy get job! You stay home and do nothing. Mama's only take care of babies. They no work!" It was not me that found it so amusing that my kids have already created in their minds what a Mama's role and a Daddy's role is. (Working Mamas please do not take offense, this just happens to be our situation and the only ones our kids know.)

It is not me that walks up and down the dining room looking at the still huge stack of unopened toys that Santa brought wondering where I am going to store all of it. It is also not me that has awoken the last three mornings filled with energy to clean the house top to bottom, only to find something to distract me (such as Scrabble on Facebook) and then throw caution to the wind and not to anything. That would be irresponsible and immature and that's not me!

Lastly, it was definitely not me who has been walking around ranting and raving every time she receives an email from #@*#!# YouTube saying that they have removed one of my videos because of copyright infringements, including but not limited to my video "The Call" of Kai's referral, Kai's surgery, Kai and AJ's baptism and the I've Had a Bad Day video that I made of all my kiddos. It still isn't me that gets infuriated when I think about the fact that I could see if I were making money off of somebody's song, but I'm absolutely not! GRRRR!!!!!


For more Not Me, Monday! fun click the Not Me Monday! button above and head over to MckMama's site.

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