Tag Archives: fear

#Linkinprofile

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I have always wanted to say that in my posts on social media without sounding like I am begging for people to come to my blog and read what I have written.  I have never been one to seek attention, good, bad, or otherwise.  (Wait, what would otherwise be??) Then I made the most delicious dinner the other night and took a picture of the post deliciousness and #checkmyblogfordetails & #inprofile happened.  Now, I have to make good on my promise to the 10 people who liked or commented on the picture and post the recipe OR maybe just the experience of creating the recipe. I don’t really know yet, you’ll just have to keep reading to see what transpires here. So a while ago I wrote a blog that was about dinner and how frustrating it is sometimes to figure out what to cook and how unhelpful my family can be.

Last night I didn’t know what to cook.  I had chicken and some homemade curry sauce in the freezer.  I also had some peppers and onions that needed to be cooked.  I decided to start with the peppers and onions and really I wasn’t sure where it would go from there.  I cut them up bite size (my bite size is usually to big for most people) and sautéed them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. From there I decided I wanted to cook the chicken and, wait, what is that?? Lo Mein noodles from Wegmans in the freezer? MMMMM

So then the magic started to happen.

I don’t know how to explain this magic as it has happened so infrequently in the last 5 years, since my sister’s death.  But when it does, I love it.

I love the end result when my husband says, “Did you write this down so you can make it again?”

And I say, “No.”

Then quickly pull out my phone to start writing the bones of the recipe down so I don’t forget that I magically created.

I know I will never be able to recreate it.  It is an impossibility to truly recreate a magic trick.

Often times that is what making dinner feels like, a magic trick.  One that, even I do not understand.

So here is my attempt to give you the recipe that was magical:

  • 1 yellow pepper chopped however you like it but small enough to cook all the way
  • 1 small red onion diced but not to finely
  • 2 average cloves of garlic (FRESH is best) cut up however you like
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
    • saute and set aside
  • Cook lomein noodles, rinse and set aside
  • cube chicken of your choice (3/4 of a pound or so) I used chicken thighs (5 of them)
  • cook in batches in sesame oil and olive oil with a little s & p to taste
  • the second batch of chicken add in 2 TBPS of soy sauce
  • when all the chicken is cooked toss it together with the soy sauce and let it steam for 5 or so minutes
  • toss the pepper and onions in with the chicken to coat with the soy sauce
  • SERVE over the lomein noodles

No pictures. I really, honestly, didn’t think it would be good so I didn’t take any pictures. While we were eating and my family was reflecting on how they really liked it and how I should make it again, I thought, “Well Gee!  I should have taken a photo for insta.”

And thus this post was born.

Maybe I will post about my cooking block that has last for 5 years.  Maybe I won’t, it is a hard subject to discuss because I really do love to cook.  No, really, I DO! I also love to do grocery shopping, but that is a post for another day.

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Faceless & nameless

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How many of us could say we were not even a face in the crowd?

How many of us could say no one even knows our name?

How many of us have no idea what our real age is?

There are few of us that fit into that category.

We are known.  We have a face that others want to see.  We celebrate our birthdays (often for a whole month) , anniversaries, girls/boys night out, & so many other things.

Could you imagine if that were not so?

What if no-one knew your name?

If I could make it right for the 36 million slaves to be known I would.  I feel like writing about it and talking about it helps a little bit.  It is like that starfish story from my classroom.  As long as I can save one.

Through this week I have learned of several domestic human trafficking organizations.  I have heard stories of people WITH names and faces who live in my county who have been directly touched by slavery.

I can make a difference and so can you.  Make a plan to learn about what you can do in your neck of the woods to bring awareness to this human tragedy that has lasted for ever and ever and can stop with us!

Check out these sites for more information:

Polaris Project

IJM

Redeemed Ministries

Restore One

Comment with others that I need to know about.  The more we know the better we are.

Pain of millions

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The pain of millions

benefits the billions

our joy riding on the backs

of those who cannot choose

when they wake

which way the look

where they go

how they love

who they love

if they love

#enditmovement

#endit

#slaverystinks

How many of us enjoy getting roses on Valentines (or any time for that matter)?

I worked in the grocery industry for 13 years and never knew about how roses and slavery were connected.  I am not sure if it was because I was “blind” to the idea that slavery still existed or if it was because the company I worked for prided (and still does) itself for humanely sourcing everything it sold.

So here you go…

Four boys rescued from a rose farm

Roses: symbols of love or symbols of suffering

I realize the second source is quite a bit older but that lends to the longevity of the problem.

Many years ago I told my husband that I didn’t like roses.  The thorns were not worth the beauty of the flower that was so fleeting.  Also, I had worked so many hours and so many Valentines with the wretched flowers I didn’t want to have to deal with them at all! I asked that when he wanted to buy flowers for me he purchase potted plants instead.  He complied with my request and I got plants for quite a number of years.

Later in our marriage he began to purchase roses again and I found myself oddly happy at the sight of the flowers.  I think that there is a push, a need to be alike others and to compare our lives so we feel the same and accepted.  I took pictures of the roses and posted them, so proud of my gift.  It was bought in love and it did make me happy.  Often the roses lasted “longer than they ever have!” and we enjoyed them for 7-10 days.

Now that I know that roses are often carried on the backs of small children I cannot, anymore, enjoy them unless they are in my garden.

I wish I had a solution to the roses problem.  I know there are farms that grow roses with kindness to the environment AND humans.  I just have to locate them.

Dressember in April

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So I told you that you would hear about this whole “slavery” thing again and that it would likely be a recurring theme across my blog from time to time.  Well, here it is popping across your feed again.  Recently it came to my attention that IJM was doing another awareness campaign.  They have called it #stand4freedom & it is a 5 day campaign to let people know that slavery in the modern age needs to end.

I have decided to take this campaign and do a #dressemberinapril campaign since I cannot stand for the whole 5 day campaign.  I have to work. While I do stand a lot when I work I do not stand for the whole time.  So, in lieu of standing all day I will be wearing dresses and writing every day this week.

Here is my epiphany from the last two days…

Christ died.

Christ has risen.

Christ will come again.

He came for ALL of us, not just the few elect and prestigious.

But he also asks what have we done for the least of these.

What have we done for the hurt and the sick.

That what we have done for the least of these we have done for him.

I am still trying to figure out how I can really, actually make a change in the world where slavery is concerned.   I know awareness is a very tangible way to bring about change.  How can you change something if you do not know about it?  So I am making my small step toward making my little part of the world aware of slavery and it’s impact on our world.

This week my classroom of students begin to wade its way into the research project that I have decided needs to be a social justice project.  My students & co-workers will see me AGAIN wearing dresses.  They will again hear me talking about slavery.  They will hear me talk about ways to combat slavery right here in our own town.  I’ll fill you in on that as it progresses. (it will last till the end of May so bear with me).

When I was posting in December the number of slavers was estimated at 27 million.  It is now estimated at 36 million.

I have learned that one of the best and EASIEST ways to combat slavery is to buy from the thrift store.  No money goes back into the store you bought it from or subsequently to the plantation that grew the cotton. AND many thrift stores are local and help around your neighborhood.

BONUS!!

PS if you want to see my pictures from this week you have to head over to my instagram (imacurlygirl), twitter(syndlazo), or facebook profiles.

Where am I

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So I am embarking on a journey.

I want to be a writer.

I feel called to write.

I will write.

I AM A WRITER!

My daughter is my accountability partner as she is a writer as well.  An amazing one that that.

She is in an out patient treatment facility and has asked that as practice and exposure I write for her blog for the next few weeks.

I have practice writing every day (remember Dressember??) but that was super-hyper focused writing and had a concentrated purpose.  Now I am kinda flailing and not writing because I am not sure what to write, how to write, grrrrrr.

So frustrating.

ANYWAY, everyday is a new day and a chance at renewal.  So you can check me out blogging at cathyterranova.com

vertigo & understanding bosses

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So last night while I was blogging the room began to spin and my fingers forgot how to type.

This morning I got up and went to work, still spinning.

When students have prepped for a presentation and the teachers isn’t there to see and grade the presentation then some trust is lost between the two. Plus, I didn’t want to write lesson plans! We are two days from a break & I wasn’t feeling bad enough this morning to call in so I went to work.

During first block my brain wasn’t connecting to my mouth and I felt sluggish and dizzy. I had them do vocabulary while I tried not to fall out of my chair.

Luckily 2nd & 4th block were presenting their career research and I just had to grade their work as they presented.

I came home during my planning, (after I finish with students) crept to the basement and slept for 3 hours.

I am blessed (always!!) to have a boss and family that care about my well being.

When I messaged (I had to rewrite the email a few times due to finger brain lack of communication) my boss to let her know I was headed home due to extreme vertigo she asked if I could drive and also to take care and rest.

I have worked at the school for 9 years now.  At my old work, which shall remain nameless, my last boss was heartless (for the record I had more AWESOME bosses there than this last one but he is the one who drove me out!).  I would have to justify absences and it was often easier to go to work and stay for an 8 or 9 hour shift and put up with him than listen to him passively a aggressively complain about my absence. It is so nice to work for a boss who cares.

As soon as I got home my son came out a greeted me at the car to see why I was home.  He also asked to make sure I was OK and to see what he could do to help.  (My boys! I tell you I am raising an awesome pair of men.) My husband and other sone went and got dinner.

Now it is the end of the day.  I am going to work at my second job (I teach online school too).  Then bed.

My vertigo is annoying more than anything. For instance as I look at the keyboard, it is moving back and forth like a boat on the water.  It makes me nauseous. I can’t talk properly.  There are other problems that the vertigo poses too. That is a post for a more lucid time.

What became clear today is that I have options.

I left my old job because I didn’t like the boss.  Is my new boss perfect? No-one is! But is she understanding?  Yes.  She knows I get my job done and take care of my students.

I have choices.  I get to choose to wear a dress to work or not every single day!

Today I made the choice to wear black and white houndstooth leggings, a black and white dress, with a velvet-ish jacket that has flowers on it. I added a green scarf to the ensemble.

I make choices everyday.  Some are good & some are meh. But the point is I still get to make them.  I own them.  No-one makes me do things I do not want to do.

There are so many people in this world who do not have that luxury and many of them are in bondage.  In slavery because they needed to feed their family and this long term solution seemed the good thing to do so their family can be fed. In slavery because their parents sold them due to a promise of a “better” life.  Working for pennies a day unable to see the end of the tunnel, plan for retirement, a vacation, a sick day, a mental health day.

My vertigo changes my day.  I am unable to do things I want to do.

My boss changes my life.  I do not call in sick for random things nor do I call in often.  But when I do I am not afraid to take the day to watch my kids or to heal myself.

Check out what IJM does for people to free them and then after they have been freed from slavery.  A bondage that they could not escape without our help.  My Dressember donation site is a good place to give.  As a collective we are raising $500,000 for IJM.  That money will go to help so many people discover a freedom they may never have known. Of course you can also pray, always, for the enslaved, the people working to free them, and the people who are helping the free in after care.

Uncompartmentalize

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In life I have been so busy at times that I compartmentalize my friends and the “church”, “work”, “school”, and so on. Friends never came home with me.  And if the truth were to be told I never wanted to let them in.  I had a full life with my family and the outside friends made the other components of my life nice but I didn’t want to be burdened with them in my home.  They are all excuses because I have now realized that I do need those relationships (well, some of them) outside of their compartments and I like them too.  I am trying to be more intentional now that I know.  Being a good friend is hard when you are also a compartmentalizer. I have to learn to uncompartmentalize in order not to treat people in a manner that I do not want to be treated.

This is the beginning of a blog I wanted to write 7 months ago. Now that I re-read that paragraph I see that I have been a little more intentional recently than I every thought I would be.  I have allowed more people to enter my life.  Like, in a real way not just surface.

In November we had a house guest. Nope, that’s a lie.  We had family come and stay with us for a week.  The reason why I said she was a guest is because, though I call her my daughter, she has never slept at our house before.  She chose us to be her parents after she was well into adulthood and married. She came to celebrate our familyhood for a week prior to the crazy holidays of owning a bookstore.

Having someone stay in our house is not something “we” do (as a family rule).  It allows people to see who we really are and the facade may fall a bit and you may see us for who we really are.  We have had other family live with us and that didn’t go very well.  One of them moved out 4 and 1/2 years ago and now we really don’t speak.  The other moved out and now has a job that keeps her busy so we don’t see her either.  Now, granted they stayed for a year or more….but it still was family who stayed with us and it didn’t end well.

Allowing someone we cared about to stay with us, even if just for a visit, was a stretch.  But, it went well, I think.  She hasn’t stopped talking to us and has mentioned coming back again ❤

We are having dinner guests tomorrow.  That is also a stretch for us.  We are relatively private people after we get home.  We like our space so much we don’t even really know our neighbors.  But we have a meal planned and we are excited to have a family we care about to our house.

I know for myself the compartmentalizing was easy for a long time.

My work was miles away from home and I didn’t really have the same lifestyle as the people I worked with.  I had young children and a mortgage, they were single and lived in apartments.  It was a different phase in life for the people who were in my circle.

My church was a place I went on Sundays only.  The people all worked and I didn’t want to bother them during the week.  I was very involved with my church and loved it and the people but it didn’t leave its cubby hole of Sunday mornings.

If I am honest this way of living is still the easy way out.

Now, I foray out and try to incorporate people into my life. I am finding that my eyes are opening up to the fact that there are things and more important people outside of work, church, home, repeat.

I am seeing that there are needs outside the little circumference that I run around in like a hamster (most weeks).  They are needs that I can fill most of the time.

Dressember has started to help me see more often that I need people just as much as people need me.  We need to support each other outside our out comfort zones.

While you are enjoying what this season of joy and stress has to offer spend a few minutes praying about your compartments. Who do you need to start letting in a little more?

Think about the people who I have blogged about this month who are enslaved and don’t have the luxury of compartmentalizing.  Pray for them. Learn about their plight. Better yet, help our the dressember donation campaign to help release people from slavery.

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It is day 16 and I am more than half way done with my campaign. Make sure you check out IJM and Dressember to learn and support the cause.

Exhausted on day 12

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I am exhausted. Like take a nap at work exhausted (I didn’t BTW). There is no reason for me to be exhausted. None at all, but I am exhausted. I started my day planning my nap.

I woke up this morning so tired. I was also cold.  I stumbled out of bed and to the shower.  Turned it on so the water, warm in the basement, could travel up the pipes, cold from disuse for the past 24 hours, and be moderately warm when it hit my back as I washed myself for the day ahead.  The water covered me with warmth like bed sheets keeping me from the cold December morning. I don’t remember most of my shower. My eyes were burning like I hadn’t slept in days. I felt like the morning after being up all night for finals, a baby who wouldn’t sleep, or any number of other reasons people don’t sleep and feel tired in the morning.

I thought about that nap all day. I left work on time and went to my mom’s to take a nap but instead ended up doing other things. When I left to go get my son at school I napped(-ish) while I waited for him to come to the car. Then headed to target for milk (I have teenage boys,  need I say more?). Finally. I get home and to my bed. A nap!

But that was to be put off so I could help get something from the carport and into the basement. Finally, after wanting a nap since 545 this morning….at 455 this evening I get a nap. A laying down, under covers, pillow under head nap. But I could only rest for 20 minutes because I had a wedding rehearsal to go to.

Normally this sort of day would be one to complain about due to having to cram so much into one day. But reflecting on my purpose this month I have no reason to complain.

I get to choose all of those things. I have the luxury of napping. I have the luxury of buying milk for my children. I have the luxury of attending weddings and celebrating beautiful things.

All of this because of a nap.  I wanted to just nap.  I had the blessing of working with students all day at a job I enjoy.  I could quit if I wanted to do so.  No-one would track me down if I quit.  I would be able to find another job with reasonable ease.  I may even make more money at the new job.  I am truly blessed.

In case you haven’t noticed I am raising money for IJM to free people from bondage.  People who do not have the luxury of showers, warm comfy beds, jobs they want to go to in the morning, weddings to attend, and so many things I often take for granted.

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Today’s dress is a repeat.  I am already deciding what next year’s campaign will look like.  I don’t know if in a year I will finally be brave enough to wear the same dress 31 days in a row.  That is a big commitment with all the holiday festivities and teaching high school.  Making the commitment this year to participate in the adventure has been eye opening and refreshing for me.  I am so glad I am not even half way done and more is yet to come. The writing every day is helping me stay focused to my purpose.  If even one person can be freed during the campaign then that one starfish has been saved. I don’t want to take things for granted any more.

That being said, I am still exhausted and I have another long day ahead tomorrow.  I am going to bed.

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday the 11th day of dresses

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If today’s dress looks familiar, that’s because it is.  I wore it on Saturday.  I have had people comment on how they don’t have 31 dresses or how they just could’t do this because they would be uncomfortable.

Last year, I thought the same thing and that is what kept me from participating in Dressember last year.  Quite frankly, if this Dressember event was only about fashion or a dress I wouldn’t be participating in it.  I am not one for being fashionable (enjoying fashion is another story!  I love seeing amazing designers work come down a runway).  I am typically a “is it clean? I’m wearing it” kinda girl.  It really doesn’t even matter to me if I match, Because matching is, well, overrated IMHO.

I also don’t like to do things because the crowd does them.  This however, is very different.  I am wearing dresses because other people in the world are disenfranchised and need a voice.  I have a voice and it has an audience.  It may be a small audience of 10-15 per day but it may grow it ways I couldn’t imagine.

Here’s where I tell the starfish story.

Each year in my sophomore class I have my student’s do a county required research paper.  Topics have included but are not limited to: what college do you want to go to, what do you want to be when you grow up, where do you come from, how to buy a bed (or other furniture), etc.

Anyway, last year I began to hear more and more about people around the world who were hurting.  Why hadn’t I heard about them prior to this or maybe it just didn’t register with me (self-centered often?)? In January of 2014 I got the book The Locust Effect and I have to be honest, I have yet to read past page 20 it is a raw and tough book to read.  All the sorrow and suffering contained in those first few pages was enough for me at this point (I will try to finish it because it is important information).

I shared a few statistics from the book with my students because last year I decided the random research paper needed to be something of worth and my students wrote papers about social change.  They were in awe with the statistics and the paper idea.

To encourage their teen abilities (because they are larger than we give them credit) I told them the starfish story:

A couple was walking down the beach in the coming darkness of evening.  Every few minutes the man bent over to pick something up and throw it in the water.  This happened 5 or 6 times before the woman asked, “What are you throwing in the water? Shouldn’t you put that in the trash?” The man didn’t immediately answer but continued walking and leaned over again shortly to pick something up and showed it to the woman. “See, it’s a starfish.” And with that he threw the starfish back in the water.  The couple continued walking along the shore line and again the man bent over to pick up a starfish.  The lady asked, “Why are you wasting your time?  It is likely that the starfish is already dead.” The man took the flash light that they had been using to help them see a few feet in front of them and show the beam out farther down the surf.  “See all the other starfish that are out there? What if they aren’t dead yet and just need help getting back in the water? They all need help. While I may not be able to save all of them, if I try and save one or two or as many as I am able, I have made a difference for those starfish.”  With that the lady bent over and picked up a starfish and threw it in the water too.  “Now there will be twice as many starfish that will be saved” she said as they continued to walk along the beach picking up starfish and throwing them in the ocean as they went.

You may have heard that story before. My students hadn’t. I embellish it and change it a little bit every time I tell it but the basic story stays the same: you only need to rescue what you can and that will be enough. My students took away the biggest part, they can be world changers even if they only reach one person with their desire to make change in the world.  You never know what will happen with that one person, how far their reach will go.

IJM does what it can but it can only do so much without the help of people like you and me.  We are the other person and IJM is the man throwing the starfish.  We think he is crazy for a few minutes and then realize his work is important to the greater good of the world.

What greater good will you do today?  Will you learn more about IJM’s purpose?  Will you pray about the people that IJM helps free from suffering and slavery?  Will you donate to the cause through my giving site on dressember? Will you find and read The Locust Effect? (link to my daughters bookstore website is HERE) What will you do?  Please help in some way. There are people out there who need a voice.  Be their voice.

Day 10

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Today is the beginning of a very busy set of days for me.  I won’t bore you with the details.

I have nothing profound to say today.

I feel bad for that.

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Me and mah honks!

 

 

What I do have is support.  A feeling that I am cared for. A knowledge that I am loved.

That in and of itself is a profound statement.  If you have that you have a lot more than many people in the world have.

That is what I have for today.  I know it isn’t much where the written word is considered but it is a lot in the grand scheme of things.

There are people in the world who don’t even have the support of their parents or other family members, let alone friends who they can count on for love and support.

Support is a big deal for everyone on the planet.  It reminds us that we are important, because we are.  Every one of us is important (yes, even the ones we don’t like). We all have purpose and will impact someone on this planet.

If I could have a wish granted (that didn’t have all the movie caveats) it would be that the world would be free of slavery by the time that the pope has proposed and that all the people who are now free would have support.  That they would have at least one person they could look to and say, “They care about me. I matter to them.”

But what do they say about wishes? If wishes were horses, beggars would ride?

Instead, we work tirelessly to work toward justice.  To find a way to support those who cannot support themselves.

The way I am working toward this end is by wearing dresses this Dressember.

How can you help?

Check out the IJM website to learn about advocacy, donate to my Dressember campaign, and or pray.