hackers

The Pretenders

A week ago, I had to take some online training to prevent security attacks at my work. Homeland Security came in and wanted our network secure because the company I work with deals with gases. So, in an effort to keep things under lock and key, I had to do online training for a few hours to learn the red flags in emails and how hackers can get through when you use Wi-Fi. Hackers use a device called a “pineapple” to gain access to your data. When you are in a coffee shop or other area that has free Wi-Fi, the “pineapple” can put out a signal that looks like the store’s Wi-Fi connection. So if you are at a Starbucks and they use ATT Wi-Fi, the Pineapple puts out its own “ATT Wi-Fi” and when you click on it to connect, you are actually allowing the hacker to access your account. It’s a little more complicated than this, but fairly easy for any hacker to buy this device, go to a store with Wi-Fi and while you are logging into your personal accounts, they can get access to them without you ever knowing. You simply think you’ve connected to […]

homeschool-art

The Unconventional Homeschool Mom

Don’t expect me to be drinking a glass of wine and partying because my kid is getting on the bus. I’m not that mom. Never have been, never will be. I love that I get to homeschool my children (even if I do have bad days) and I love that I get to be on their team instead of barking at them to get good grades. I realize I have no one to blame but myself if they don’t “turn out”, whatever the heck that means, but I know at the end of the day, I did what God asked of me and that’s all that matters. But, I’m not a “school at home” mom either. I don’t like the idea of curriculum, although I use it. I don’t care that much for “books only” learning. And honestly, don’t get me started on college and how society thinks all kids must go. Psh. I’m a free-thinker and college is not made for free-thinkers. (Not that I’m totally opposed, but I believe one should get their education as cheap as possible and with as little indoctrination as possible). I’m really interested in Project Based Learning. Not that I’m giving up on academia […]

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Cold

I have lived so long On the cold hills alone … I loved the rock And the lean pine trees, Hated the life in the turfy meadow, Hated the heavy, sensuous bees. I have lived so long Under the high monotony of starry skies, I am so cased about With the clean wind and the cold nights, People will not let me in To their warm gardens Full of bees. From “Cold Hills” – Janet Loxley Lewis This poem resonates with me. I feel as if I have boxed myself in and to do anything else is beyond my reach, or at least, near impossible unless I change everything about myself.

community

How Do I Relate Well?

I’m in “relationship mode” right now. Maybe it’s because I’m always dealing with it whether it’s my marriage, kids, or trying to relate to others. I admit, I don’t often understand people and why I even need to be around them. I’ve heard over and over in churches that we need community, but what does that actually mean? How do you relate with people when you feel so distant? What about abusive people? When should you just walk away? Did Jesus walk away? If so, under what conditions? There is a whole slew of questions that can arise when you get into the topic of relationships. I’m not an expert at all, but I do want to share what I am learning here. I have a few books that I really appreciate. I’ll list them here: Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy Lane, Paul David Tripp Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch (Being sinned against in relationships) War of Words by Paul David Tripp (How we talk to others) What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp (Marriage) Discipline That Connects With A Child’s Heart by Jim & Lynn Jackson (Parenting & Child Relationships) Transforming […]

wagon-wheel

Get Off the Mental Gerbil Wheel

In the book, Unpacking Forgiveness, by Chris Brauns, he talks about a Mental Gerbil Wheel we all tend to get on when someone hurts us. We get hurt. We hurt back. We think about it over and over, becoming the victim, repeating the story to others and ourselves and nursing our bitterness. It’s a vicious cycle of misery and one I’ve been on at times over the years. It’s taken me a long time to jump off that wheel and live differently. If we are Christians, we will, in fact, live differently. The world is about revenge and pay back for hurts. Christians should be about forgiveness and love. But how does one do that? How does a person live biblically and rightly when they get hurt all the time? Hurt is very much apart of this life. How do we deal with it the way Jesus would? Start with Sanctification Sanctification is the process where we become more and more like Jesus Christ. My identity should be grounded and rooted in knowing Him. We are not defined by what people say or do. We are in the world, but not like it. Start by being firm in your stance […]

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Not Sure of Myself

  Is there any verse more comforting or memorable than Psalm 23? Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me What was David’s confidence in when he could say with such certainty, “I will fear no evil”. How did he know? How could he be so sure of himself? Today we went to church and I just found myself being very thankful. I was thankful for the music. Thankful for the sermon. Thankful for turning around and meeting a woman going through similar things as I am. Thankful I left the church feeling at peace. Thankful for the absence of drama. Thankful for being in a new church with people who are striving towards Christ, not religion. I was just a whole mess of thankfulness. (On a side note, that didn’t stop me from arguing with my husband on the way home over a miscommunication. How short lived our thankfulness is!) I got home later and just shot off a quick note of encouragement to the pastor–“Great sermon. Sorry I didn’t make it over to tell you that in person, but thank you“. Just a simple note of […]

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Seek Thy App Store

The older I get, the more I feel like I live in the twilight zone. I am all for technology and making things easier, but today I came across this resource and my eyes wanted to roll in the back of my head. It’s called the 7 minute Prayer Challenge. Because apparently Christians can’t make time to pray for 7 minutes a day. This is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen, right up there with WWJD bracelets. For $2.99, you can be an Intercessory Christian! If you need an app to remind you to pray like a good little Pharisee, then think you have more problems then just not scheduling prayer times. If you are interested, here’s some key features (with my snotty comments): +The Prayer Group — Invite your friends and track each other’s activity. This is key to praying consistently. Nothing works like accountability. Note that the Prayer Group is optional and completely private. Yes, the key to praying consistently is because “everyone is doing it” not because God called you to. +12 Prayer Templates — Choose between 12 different guided prayers all taken from Scripture. Nothing like praying someone else’s prayers. It’s so hard to talk to […]

words

The Grace of Learned Helplessness

    I’ve been reading a parenting book called GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids. It’s a very interesting take on parenting, with messages we don’t probably think about a lot. This quote stood out to me (From Chapter 16: Shame): Shame can look either positive or negative in different people. Those who live in a positive shame cycle endlessly try to live better, perform better, and not let others down. They frequently become perfectionists in order to hide how they really feel about themselves….This is always at the price of self-honesty. On these occasion she actually believes this is what accurately describes her. In this state, she ignores how controlling, angry, self-centered, unforgiving, and judgmental she is…she believes the world would be a better place with more people like her. But that’s just one aspect of shame. There is also a negative shame cycle: …a shame-based person in a negative shame cycle believes or feels she is unattractive, stupid, disliked, afraid, lazy or incompetent. In this state, the person ignores her generosity, accomplishments, kindness, popularity, or any other aspect of “goodness”….Those who live in a negative shame cycle try to hide, defend, and blame away their mistake as a […]

dying-leaf

Stop Saying Death is Good

My husband and I watched The Matrix last night. I had seen the movie before, but forgot the details of it. I fell asleep half way in. (I’m such a party animal.) In one scene, Neo is offered the blue pill or the red pill. The blue pill will take him back to his blissful ignorance and blindness. The red pill will show him what really is. He chooses the red pill. He is taken to a world that is real–no cover ups, no smoke screens, no lies. All of this, previously veiled. Now he sees what is real and it makes him sick. Eventually, he’s able to face reality, never to return to the world he once knew. Sometimes I feel this way too. I could swallow the blue pill and pretend not to see the truth–that people are disappointing, hurtful, and draining. That the world is dying. That people I love have died and the ones I know will one day find their place in a grave. It’s easy to escape into TV, fiction, or the internet and pretend these things don’t exist. But it’s too late because I swallowed the red pill. There’s no going back. I know […]

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Peace in Knowing

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud By William Wordsworth I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils. I could spend an entire day in the woods–hiking, exploring, wondering. I love to think about the history of a tree, watch a bee pollinate a flower, or wonder about the name of plant. I love walking through trails of […]