Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May-in-Review Hodgepodge

It's the HodgePodge-- you know the drill.

1. What news story are you following right now?
Lots. Checking a couple of different news websites each morning is part of my daily routine.

I'm following the story of the Sudanese woman who has been sentenced to death for her Christian faith, and who just gave birth to her daughter in prison. Praying that international pressure will help her situation.

Also, I'm super frustrated with the case of American Saeed Abedini, the pastor who is being held and beaten in an Iranian prison for being a Christian. My heart goes out to his wife and two young children in Idaho.

I'm waiting to see what's going to happen with the U.S. Marine in custody in Mexico. I enjoy oversimplifying things, but I think it should go something like this:

"Hey, Mexico. We give you a lot of money. Give us this guy or we wont anymore."

 2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

An answer to this question.
3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

Spain can't do a good hamburger. And we lack a grill here. I am really looking forward to grilling out this summer and visiting some of my favorite restaurants in the States. Red Robin is a favorite with us, and they refill your fries. And now my mouth is watering.
Spanish food is good, but sometimes you just need the flavors of home, especially after a year and a half away.
4. How have your priorities changed over time?

I am in an ever-present struggle to keep an eternal perspective in a very temporal world. Some days I do better than others, but I want to make decisions and have reactions based on the question: "How important will this be on the day that I die?"

The list of things that don't really matter grows longer every day: Where I live, what kind of house I have, how fashionable are my clothes, what grades do my children bring home from school, how much money do we have, what kind of car do I drive...almost everything under the sun.

What's left is loving each other well, time spent together, enjoying our blessings, and a chance to try again tomorrow.

Parenting provides an immense number of opportunities to put this to the test. I assure you that before I was a mom, I was quite certain that my mad mom skillz would net me some super well-behaved children who were always polite and got along wonderfully.
I realized after a while that I was really just trying to get my kids to put on a show in front of other adults, and I wasn't really dealing with their heart issues. What a challenge it is to really and truly try to root out the natural selfishness that is deep inside all of us. We are daily in the trenches of this battle, because it is a priority.
Not that they appear as perfect angels, we lost that battle long ago, but that their hearts move toward love for others.

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

As a military kid, I didn't get to spend much time with my grandparents, so it was always a treat when they would come to visit. My "Nauny" would make up bedtime stories with characters with our names, give us 'slips' of her coffee, and generally we would just laugh a lot together.
We also made many a trip to Michigan to visit all of the grandparents and I always remember that being fun, and getting spoiled.

 6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

0. I just can't do it. I even have to go into a separate room when I talk on the phone, because my mind can't keep up with a conversation when anything else is going on around me.

 7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

Like a roller coaster. May is our last full month living in Madrid, and in addition to feeling the weight of an impending move, we also had lots of events on the calendar.
Josh and Alex went to Paris, they both had birthdays, Alex had her class trip, I was teaching Sunday school for the month, Josh has been plugging away at all the time-consuming details of getting us from Point A to Point C, with a long layover in Point B.

So we've been happy, busy, sad, and frustrated by turn.
Así es la vida.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We're moving over to the hotel in 2 weeks and 1 day. The hotel has a gorgeous roof-top pool, and it dawned on me that I will be required to don a bathing suit.

For the benefit of those who will be around me, I thought maybe I should try to tighten up the middle section a bit.
After all, I have not set foot in a gym since I lived in California. Which happened to be the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve.

Now, I don't plan to go crazy, I just thought maybe I should take a few minutes each day and do some crunches and maybe some pushups for the 'ol bingo wings.

I started on Monday.
I woke up on Tuesday morning at 4:30 thinking that I should have started a little slower. I am so out of shape!

This is what life in Spain will do to you ;)

But I still recommend it highly.


A Joyful Chaos said...

Love the answer you have for the priorities question!

Cranberry Morning said...

Such a great opening paragraph for #4. And I'm with you on those news stories. Those are the ones that matter and the ones the mainstream (although I think they are becoming less relevant as time goes on ) media is working at ignoring.

Joyce said...

Ha-definitely great minds! Some people put their answers on their blogs on Tuesday and I never visit them until I've answered the questions myself. I am easily swayed in that way.

I called it the ex-pat 15. It's just like the freshman 15, except when you're a freshman you can drop 15 pounds just blinking. At least in Europe you are walking a lot and everywhere. Not so much here in the US. You're rockin' the blue pants in the post before this one btw : ) Keep moving forward. Returning stateside in the summertime helps.

Mary said...

I just spent the past 30 minutes reading your older posts! My husband's parents last post was at Ft. Rucker, so that's where he considers home. I don't envy you moving to Montgomery in the summer!!! :)

Zoanna said...

Excellent and eloquent answer to number 4. And I chuckled at many points. Bingo wings! I hope your transition back to the states is smooth.

Sally Henry said...

LOVED your answer to #4... and will keep you in my prayers as you transition back to stateside. (But hey, SO glad you got to meet my sis-in-law before you left Madrid! What a small world - and what a fun adventure!)

Denise said...

Good answers.

retired not tired said...

Keep up the good work.

one of us said...

You forgot the promised family picture in this post! Have fun packing (again)!