Category: Christianity

Favorite movies

My son posed a question to me tonight,”Mom, what is your favorite movie?” I am not sure I have a favorite but I have a short list of movies that I can watch all the time. I could watch these movies over and over. As sad as it was to my son Captain Underpants did not make my short list. Movies can do something to your soul. All of the movies on my list do touch my soul. Now they are not all huge blockbusters and I am sure some people will see this list and say WHAT they liked that movie. We all have our likes and dislikes and that is what is so wonderful but mankind. We are all different and there is something for everyone. I will say there is a big theme that runs through my movie choices and that is music. I love music. I am terrible of knowing song lyrics. My husband will poke fun at me that I work on the radio with music but have no idea what songs are “about.” It is true. I don’t think I ever have been able to hear lyrics enough even as a youth to get what a song is about but I love the melody and I love the beats. I personally love that there is technology now on my iPhone that scrolls the lyrics when I listen to the music.

I feel so much emotion with music. It brings me to tears. I can’t explain it but I can hear a song and it fills me. I feel it with the beat, I feel it with emotion that causes goosebumps. It can cause my lungs to fill with air and tears escape. It isn’t tears of sadness just emotions. At church certain songs cause the hairs on my neck to stand up. Raise hands to surrender. I need Gods help and there is a pull to raise hands to God and admit full surrender to him. Music can cause these feelings in me. Not every song does this to me. In fact days go by at work and I listen to music my whole day at work and I don’t feel anything but then Indigo Girls come on and yes the emotions. Eva Cassidy is another one that can bring on goosebumps.

I thank God I still can get this reaction from music. Since my hearing has dropped in past years music doesn’t sound the same. So much music sounds horribly off tune to me. Maybe that is why it is so special when I have those songs that still “get” me.

So my favorite movies are:

1- Mr Holland’s Opus

2- August Rush

3- Mary Poppins

4- Greatest Showman

5- Saving Mr Banks

Probably not movies that would be on most people’s list but that is the beauty of being an individual. I can have my favorites and you can have yours. What are your favorite movies?

Christmas

Christmas is almost here. A favorite time of year for me. I love the time to gather with friends and family. Times to see the beauty of the lights that are strung on houses and trees. I love to see the beauty that surrounds our saviors birth. 

With living in a larger house this year comes with putting up a larger tree. I am in love with the tree, the lights and the majesty. Ornaments that my children had made look beautiful. 


I have hung a few Christmas or winter pictures around the house. 




Outside is decorated also. We took an afternoon and filled and decorated milk cans. I love these old milk cans. Brings that vintage feels to an outdoor display. 


I am ready for this season. Presents are wrapped, cards are addressed. Christmas program practice is underway at church. This year I am helping the kids sign Silent Night. It should be a beautiful performance being done in sign language and being sung. 

I want to thank you all for taking a moment to read my blog. I want to wish you all a merry Christmas. I hope you all feel the peace of the season. 

My Name In Print

Months ago it seems I was approached by this wonderful woman in our area to write an article for her magazine.  Kathy, a friend, started and runs a woman’s ministry called Best Life Ministry.  She is based out in Western Minnesota but will travel to put on weekend retreats which can change lives.

So we are back to this past summer.  I was asked to write an article about being a hard of hearing mother that is a woman of faith.  Ok that title fits me now to get the words to paper.  This was mid summer and as any mom knows summers with kids are nuts.  We have swimming, camps, playmates, vacations and company.  I knew this article would be shoved back to the back recesses of my brain and the deadline date would come and go.  I sat down that night and thought and prayed and typed.  I typed just the surface of what it is like.  I talked about when my hearing took a dive, how I felt and how I reacted.  I was used to a mild loss I had since what I believe was childhood but was confirmed by an audiologist in my late teens.  This was a whole different game.  I was lost and confused, I literally felt like I was drowning.  I wrote these feelings down and how they relate to me being a mom.  I feel it is all related, how can it not be.  It doesn’t have to be a bad or negative thing but it is me.

I didn’t forget about the magazine but when months past it isn’t in the immediate present and other life things fill these spaces.  Last week I was presented a copy of the magazine.  Oh My Gosh to see my name in print was breath taking.  I couldn’t believe it.  I felt numb I didn’t know what to think or do.  It was so cool.  I actually thought back to 5th grade.  I had written a short story and it was published in a book that was a collection of short stories and poems by other Minnesota young artists.  At that time I was invited to the St Paul Landmark Center and read my story.  It was an awesome experience.  Just like this was seeing my name in print on glossy paper that held my words and my thoughts.  I am so thankful for being able to share.

cover

I pray that my words may touch one person.  They may not be hard of hearing or deaf but have another life challenge they are dealing with at this time.  I pray they can see that there is support out there.  A challenge isn’t a bad thing.  It can propel you to do great things.  It is who you are.

I love to write, I admit I may not be great at it but I love it.  I tend to be a shy person but I am really trying to be more outgoing but writing I don’t feel the need to hold back.  My feelings, fears, and dreams can be written down and I can choose to share them or not.  They are my words.  I hope I will have some more chances to write in the future.  I love this blog so this won’t be going away.  I was asked last month to write an article or two for a nationwide newsletter that deals with hearing.  I responded a big YES to the editor so I will see what comes to be.  To write makes my soul feel free.  To get out was was harbored is a feeling of freedom that I don’t take for granted.  What I do here many people don’t have the right to do.  We are lucky, very lucky indeed.

Have a blessed day and find a place your name can be in print.  It may not be in the ink of a paper but the handshake of a neighbor you helped, or the nail you pounded on a project.  We can all make a difference and leave our mark somehow, somewhere.

The Big Picture

speck pictures

Have you ever seen Horton Hears a Who?  It is a cute book, amusing childrens movie and a question that can keep you thinking for days on end.  Are we just a speck?  Are we just this small part of a big picture?  I have been thinking about this since last Wednesday at my Bible Study.  We talked about how we see the toil and strife that affects all of us.  Sometimes it just seems like we can’t get a break.  That is all of us, we are humans.  But when people say the phrase, this is all happening for a reason, is there a reason- a greater picture that this all works together?

I have a hard time getting my head around this at times.  I have had my share of troubles, sleepless nights.  Wondering how is this all going to work out or will it work out.  I think of the big things in my life now.  I think of jobs, money, my kids, IEP’s, hearing loss, a best friend with cancer, lice and the list could go on and on.  I wonder why there just can’t be a break.  Why people can’t just live the simple life, isn’t that the American Dream?  But then I see how some things that have been a roadblock, a problem can work out for the greater good of our family.  Moving to a town where I didn’t know a soul, heck I had never heard of the town before.  Now seven years later I no longer see this as a problem I see this as home.  I have more “family” than I had anywhere I had lived before.  I am more connected now with a church, school and other organizations.  There was a bigger picture and God knew this and he took care of us.  I can go through this whole list and after time has passed and the fog clears my head from the situation I see that there is a greater picture.  I maybe can’t see the whole thing but things do work out.  Things that we don’t understand can sometimes go into focus.

focus picture

So are we just a speck on this piece of paper of life?  All these things happen around us and to us and we have to trust that this big picture will all make sense.  Do I have the answers, NO.  But I trust in God and God knows ALL.  He knows how all these little things, the highs and the lows we will experience in life.  He knows how it will all work together and I have to try and get my simple human mind to accept that.  I don’t understand why there is hurt, why there are children that die, why mom’s get cancer.  I don’t understand, I don’t see the whole picture but I have to trust God does and he knows what is happening.

So listen for that voice, just like Horton heard from the Speck.  God is there for all of us and he cares about each one of us even if we are just this tiny speck in his universe.

How to ask

caution hearing loss

When to ask, how to ask, and who to ask.  These are all question that flood through my mind when I realize I am not getting what I need at an event or in a situation.  I will be an advocate for my children, and for a cause until the end of time but how do you become an advocate for yourself?  I had made a New Years Resolution that I was going to stand up for myself and make sure I can get what I need.  This post is my public display that I am not holding up my end of the bargain.  

I will tell people I am hard of hearing.  People may ask how much loss do you have, I will tell them I have a moderate severe loss and what that means.  I am open with that information but I don’t say what would make this conversation easier on me.  I have discovered that is incredibly hard in my book.  People hear the words hard of hearing they see hearing aids and they assume all is fixed and you can hear just fine.  WRONG so wrong, I need you to face me, I can’t have a noisy fan or other noise around.  I am not proficient in speech reading or in sign so I have to rely on the residual hearing I have.  

I have had a few instances that have come up recently that I should have spoken up to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest.  I didn’t speak up and ask anything and for that the fault all lies on me and my pride, or fear, or whatever is festering with this issue.  

Last night my daughter and I attended a movie at a little country church that is used for an outreach ministry in our area.  I attend a Bible Study at this church and it is a place of incredible peace for myself.  My daughter and I got to the church and got our popcorn and drink and settled in to watch the movie, Heaven is for Real.  Watching a movie in a candlelit century old church was magical.  It was a beautiful thing watching the movie on a sheet being held by clothespins strung across the front of the church.  What would have made the night better is if I could have heard the dialog.  I maybe heard 10% of the movie.  When I watch tv at home I either use closed captions or I stream the movie through an assistive listening device that goes right to my hearing aids, I love this option, I usually use both.  

surflink media

Did I ask for captions…NO.  Did I come early and ask to hook up the assistive listening device to the movie which would have taken two minutes…NO.  Why, I guess I just don’t want to draw attention to this issue.  I did bring my portable streamer unit.  I tried it but it mainly picked up the fans and I just got an amplified Charlie Brown teachers voice effect for the dialog of the movie.  I had a great time last night seeing friends and neighbors but I just had this kick in the butt feeling why didn’t you say something or stand up for yourself.  

I need help in this area.  I need a shot of confidence that I deserve to understand what is going on the same as everyone else in the vicinity of me.  I came home last night and my husband said to me, “Bet you couldn’t hear the movie tonight.”  No I couldn’t, he keeps telling me nobody cares if you ask, there may be three other people there that missed this line or that and maybe wouldn’t have minded captions.  

I need to learn how to do this at events like this or even a movie theatre.  It is just easier to watch a movie at home and not have to ask.  This is a huge learning curve I have found.  I don’t like to ask for something normally so this is just way out there for me.  I need to shove back my shoulders, hold my head high and get the idea drilled in my head that I deserve it.  

This I guess would be my New Years Resolution part 2 of just ask, stand up for yourself, you are worth it.  

stand up darling

Fun, Faith and Family

The past week has been an experiences of fun, faith and family.  I have decided to do this blog post a little different.  I want to tell the story of this past week through pictures and few words.  I think a central theme is water.

This past Thursday my dear daughter, Greta, decided to be baptized.  Greta was baptized as an infant but she choose to make that decision herself and I couldn’t be prouder.  She is becoming a wonderful young lady and she spoke with pose and intelligence.  A friend of mine took these wonderful photo’s and I am in wonder of Greta’s smile.  It was truly an experience for our whole family.

Greta Baptism water Greta Baptism

The very next day we travelled to my hometown across the state of Minnesota.  I grew up on the St Croix river which has experienced a lot of flooding this past spring.  So many things are under water and parks and homes are flooded.  We took some time this past weekend going to different areas on the river taking pictures and just enjoying our family together, laughing, and taking pleasure in watching all the baby ducks and geese.

flooding HudsonHudson, Wisconsin if you look out beyond the kids you can see the picnic tables and benches.

stillwater bridge bridge closed greta and the stillwater bridge

These pictures were taken in Stillwater, MN.  As you can see the water was quite high and the bridge is closed until this water starts to recede.  I have seen this area flood before but it gives you a whole new outlook on the power of water when you see it.  Driving around I saw childhood friends homes that had water up to their door and I am sure in their homes.  Just a sad site.  I have to laugh at the picture of Chad and the bridge closed sign.  Chad doesn’t want harm to come to anyone but he has a running joke that he calls Stillwater, Snobwater.  The size of the boats on that river I have a hard time dispelling that name except I grew up there and we didn’t even have a rowboat.

flooding beanies

This picture is the Marina and boat landing by my parents house.  This establishment is owned by church friends of ours and horribly flooded.  This is usually parking lot out to the dock you see you in the middle of the picture.  My heart is heavy when this is their business and this is happening to them.  I hope the river starts going down soon.

The rest of the weekend was very special to me.  My grandmother died this past fall and it was her job to keep the family together and get them together for life events.  Saturday afternoon my mom and aunt planned a party at the park, again at the river.  My sister and her family were there and my cousin and his family were there.  It was so nice to visit and see family again.  Family is so important to us all.  They were the first one in our corner when we were small and will be the last ones to be with us at the end.  It was a great picnic where we all made some great memories.  One special memory was at the same park many many years ago,  probably nearing 30 years ago.  At that picnic my grandma and grandpa were both there and we played a softball game.  My grandpa died when I was Greta’s age so yes a nice memory to think of again this weekend.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and making some memories of your own.  It was a wonderful few days of faith and fellowship of the water of baptism.  It was fun with family taking pictures around the St Croix River.  It was family who we were able to have a meal with and make memories with at the park.

 

 

 

Letter to my Daughter

100E2245My Dearest Daughter-

Today we had your 11th birthday party.  We had so much fun getting this planned and what a wonderful day.  I just had to write down my emotions and feelings of why you hold so much of my heart.  When I first held you honey you made me a mommy on Mother’s Day week.  You have always been a joy in my life for the last 11 years.

You have always been a girl to be on stage.  Since you were a little girl you loved to sing to us all and perform for all of us.  My heart is so happy that you want to sing for God now.  You are just growing up more and more everyday.  With the activities you want to partake in your general attitude of life.  I am glad to call you my daughter.

Today you had all your grandparents around you and they love you more than you can ever comprehend.  Today at your party you are so gracious and so happy with every gift you receive.  I am so happy that you appreciate anything given to you.  There is never a comment that something should have been bigger or better infact your comment today was, “I am spoiled and I am just so excited for every gift I received.”  I love that you would be happy with a paper bag is that is what someone thought to give you.

Today when you were swimming in the pool with your brother you are just so good with him.  I know brothers can be annoying but you are also best friends.  You are so good with your brother.  I know he can be a handful at times but you are his biggest defender.  You would beat someone up in an alley if they said something against your brother.  I love that your love for him is that great.  He has a built in superhero as a sister.  You two have love between each other I could only dream siblings can have.

100_2231

My dearest daughter you have given me such joy this past 11 years I can’t wait for the next decade and see what is in store for us and what new adventures we will have.

I love you so much and keep loving the Lord and life.

Love your Mommy.