The Trial

I’ve been watching the Casey Anthony trial since yesterday.  In all honesty, I haven’t been able to turn it off.

My sister-in-law wrote a post last night about how it bothers her that everyone just automatically assumes that Casey did it without having any actual evidence.  She didn’t say that Casey didn’t do it, but she wasn’t going to say she did, either.  I have to say that I agree.  Yes, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence.  Yes, she has a lot of explaining to do, but isn’t our judicial system supposed to provide a fair and unbiased trial?  And isn’t the accused innocent until proved guilty?

I went to high school with Casey.  I didn’t know her very well; I think we only had one class together, but I always thought that she was a really nice girl.  She was always looking out for people and nice to everyone.  I wish that someone could have shown her what her life would be like four years later—maybe none of this would have ever happened.

Thankful

I’m so thankful for friends who let me “steal” their babies for a little bit.  It’s like giving Motrin to someone with a fever… baby fever that is 🙂

I’m so thankful for my dental hygienist who was able to get me a ton of free toothpaste and toothbrushes to take to Malawi with me.

I’m so thankful for encouraging comments when I am feeling blue.

I’m thankful for quiet time alone.

I’m so thankful that God is bigger than my unbelief.

Plain Wisdom

Plain Wisdom is a unique book written by two very different authors: Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud.  Cindy has written several successful works of fiction that center around Amish life, and Miriam is an Amish woman.  This book talks about their friendship and gives the reader a glimpse into Amish life.

I can definitely say that I was surprised by how much fun the Amish are “allowed” to have!  Almost every book I’ve read that has the Plain people as main characters paints a very rigid picture.  Granted, the Plain (aka Amish) life is very structured, but I was glad to know that there is also a lot of fun built in.  Plain Wisdom shows just how important family is to the Amish people, and that the Amish life is more than just following legalistic rules and regulations.  I was also surprised at the number of mixes (i.e. Bisquik, cake mix, etc. [there are a few recipes included]) that the Amish use.  I just figured they cooked and baked everything from scratch.

This is not a long book, nor is it something that you have to read all in one sitting.  Actually, it would almost be better to read it over the course of a few days or weeks.  The chapters are very short and can be used a quick “pick me up” because they are full of encouraging words.  It’s not a book that will revolutionize your life, but it is very sweet and I was glad that I learned a little bit more about the Amish way of life.

You can pick up a copy for yourself at Amazon.com.

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Vote for my review on the Blogging for Books website!!

Stream of Consciousness

I’m feeling a little sad this weekend.  I would say that I’m not exactly sure why, but I do know exactly why.

One of my best friends moved away on Friday.  A very traumatic thing happened to her and she chose to move to be closer to family.  It was the right decision for her to make; I would do the same thing in her shoes, but I miss my friend and I grieve for what she lost as the result of some very difficult circumstances.

I’m sad for another reason, too.  One that I won’t share with the blogosphere, though it’s pretty generally known to my close friends.  It’s just something I find myself having to give to God moment by moment—though often unsuccessfully.

I’m trying to read a lot.  I finished one book yesterday and am already halfway through another.  Even before I start a new book I already have a list of about 5 more that I want to read.  It’s a good thing that I’m not in school.

A friend of mine recently told me not to go back to school yet, because once I have kids I’m not going to want to focus on school and career, but on being with my children and investing in their lives.  It’s good advice.  I think I’ll put grad school on the back burner, even if it does mean having to get a DNP one day instead of an MSN.

I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of money and supplies I need to raise/bring to Malawi.  On top of the $3,000+ to cover my trip, they also want us to start asking for donations to take with us.  Now would be a great time to be a super couponer.

I don’t want to get the typhoid vaccine.  When I told this to the group leader, he smiled slightly and I said, “I’m one of those.”  Here’s hoping that it won’t be a problem.

Our air conditioner broke on Friday.  I was immediately near tears (it didn’t help that I had just said good-bye to my friend) because I was afraid that we were going to have to replace the system.  Fortunately, we just had to pay for a repair—costly, though not what it could have been.  The A/C guy did inform us that most older units blow chlorine into the air.  Perfect.

I get to see Skye and Henley again tomorrow.  I love them.  It is such a breath of fresh air to see them and it always melts my heart when Skye remembers me and runs up to give me a big hug.  I miss taking care of Skye and Summer.  I love them so dearly and I can’t imagine loving a child any more than I loved them, but I know that will all change when I bring home my son or daughter someday.

This sounded really whiny.  Sorry about that.  Tomorrow should bring a peppier post.

Persuasion

I just finished reading Persuasion by Jane Austen, and probably to no one’s surprise, I loved it!!

Persuasion is different from Austen’s other works; I found that there were a few more twists in the plot lines than I expected, and I was actually left wondering what the outcome would be!  I think that I was more engaged in this book than in most of the others by Austen, so much so, that I very nearly cried at during the climax of the story–a first for me in an Austen book.

I’d love to write a deep and insightful review… but I have at least temporarily lost my writing abilities… so in short… read this book if you haven’t already!

My Little Sister

I have a little sister, well, two, actually, but I’m talking about just one: Tracy.  She is a senior at UCF with a heart of gold, a zest for life, and a passion for reaching the world for Christ.  She is moving to Paris in the fall to work with Campus Crusade for Christ, and I am so proud of her.  She is leaving home to fulfill the calling that the Lord has placed on her life, which isn’t going to be easy, but I know she will do it well.

Campus Crusade does not pay their missionaries a salary, instead, missionaries and support staff are usually required to raise their own salary through the generosity of friends and family.  Tracy is now being tasked to raise over $40,000 USD to pay for her living expenses while living in France (a much more expensive place than the USA).  This is a daunting number, but she trusts that since the Lord has called her to this, He will provide for her.

With this in mind, I give you her words,

When I began my senior year at UCF, I knew I would get questions about my future almost immediately. I decided to commit a lot of my conversations with adults about marriage and regrets in life. The thing I heard most went something like this, “If I was young and single, I’d just go somewhere!” Fortunately for me, I’m young AND single! On top of that, there is a desperate need for people to hear the gospel in every part of the world.
Campus Crusade for Christ, an interdenominational Christian missions groups I’ve been a part of at UCF, sends adults all over the world to work with college students. The program within Crusade I will be doing is called STINT, and it is a one-to-two year commitment internationally to share the gospel and develop a movement on a college campus. I met with staff and they shared that the greatest need they have right now for STINT is in Paris, France. I originally was assigned to a team in East Asia, so I was shocked when they approached me about switching to Paris. But to my surprise, the current team there is the only team they’ve ever had in Paris. Even a very worldly America is more Christ-centered than Paris. I’m told that the things that happen in the dark here, happen in the light there.
Before I leave, I need to build a team of ministry partners, who can help support me financially on a monthly basis. I need to have this team built by August 1st in order to report to my location. This covers ministry expenses, insurance, housing, food, social security/FICA/other taxes, etc. and then I have some special needs such as covering the cost for language school and flights.
If you would be interested in meeting with me to hear more about my ministry or have questions, please email me at tracy.brock@uscm.org. If you’d like to make a one time gift or join in supporting me financially on a monthly basis, you can sign up to give at www.give.ccci.org and my account number is 643733.
Thanks for reading about my sweet sister 🙂

Mild Hysterics

This is my month for doctor’s appointments: MRI, neurosurgeon, dentist, oncologist, primary care, and I still need to schedule an appointment with the optometrist.  The MRI went well, as did all of the doctor appointments until yesterday morning when I received a call from my primary care physician’s office.  “Your blood glucose was slightly elevated,” the medical assistant told me, “and Dr. Delgado wants you to repeat it in three months.  I’ll call you back in a few months to remind you.”

I then proceeded to mild mental hysterics.  “I don’t want type II diabetes!!  I have to eat better and lay off of the carbs!  Oh, my gosh!!!!”  Silly me, I didn’t ask what my number was.  I would tell anyone else in this situation to find out what the actual number was and then to abstain from carbs the day before the test and not to worry.  Do I follow my own advice?  No way!  You see, I’ve been told that I have PCOS which is often associated with insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and infertility, so hearing that my results were elevated caused me to freak out more than usual.

However, I had to drop by the office today to pick up a prescription for the anti-malaria pills that I will need while I’m in Malawi, and had enough sense to ask the receptionist to look up my results.  The normal range for fasting blood glucose is 70-100.  You know what my number was?  101.3!!!!  Seriously!!  That’s what I was freaking out over?  Well, no more!  I’m going to follow my own advice and cut carbs the day before they draw blood and just not worry about it.  Yes, it is high and I definitely want to lower my risk for diabetes, so I will try to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and reduce carbs, but I now laugh at myself for being so worried.

Good grief!

Water for Elephants

I just finished reading Water for Elephants about 10 hours after I started it.  Though it’s a long book (400+ pages), it was a surprisingly quick read.  When I first saw previews for the movie, I didn’t really know if I wanted to see it/read the book because I thought it was all about an affair, but when a friend from work was reading it and said that it was actually really good, I decided to give it a try.

I liked it!  Although, there were some very graphic portions that I could have done without.  It’s definitely not a book for kids/adolescents.  I found out that with a recent Amazon purchase comes a complimentary ticket to the movie, so I’m excited to go see it; I just hope they at least tone down the explicit parts.

Life Without Limits–A Review

Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life by Nick Vujicic is not quite what I expected.  I think that I was anticipating an autobiography, but what the book actually is is an inspirational/motivational book with the autobiography thrown in.

I had heard Nick’s name a few times recently; he came to Orlando not too long ago and a friend of mine heard him speak, and then my sister-in-law read this book and really liked it.  The story is amazing.  Nick was born without arms or legs but has managed to achieve great things and is being used by the Lord as an evangelist and motivational speaker.  He obviously has a great sense of humor because he tells some funny stories about his past and the fun he has had with strangers who just don’t know what to make of him and there were some parts that were really fun to read.

My favorite quote is when Nick talks about fear,

“Don’t let fear keep you from chasing your dreams.  You should treat fear like you treat your smoke detector.  Pay attention to it when it goes off—look around and see if there is real danger or just the alarm ringing.  If there is no real threat, put fear out of your mind and go on with your life.”

I thought that those were some really wise words.  I also really liked the last chapter of the book “Make Giving Your Mission”.  In this chapter, Nick talks about how giving of yourself is a great way not only to help others, but to also help yourself.  It’s hard to loathe yourself if you can see that you are making a positive impact on the lives of others and it’s a great way to shift from a “me” mentality to an “others” mentality.

There was a lot about this book that I really liked, but there was also quite a bit that left me scratching my head.  I couldn’t tell who he was writing this book to—Christians, or non-Christians.  He always made mention to the Lord and how he himself was completely reliant on Him, but he also talked a lot about “self” stuff that sounded more like motivational speaking than anything else.  I don’t think it is a bad book at all, I was just a little confused at some points.

One thing that really bothered me was that when he referenced the Bible, he never gave a reference; instead He would quote whatever passage he was talking about and never say where exactly it was from (e.g. see page 69).  He did the same thing regarding several research studies, which, from a scientific standpoint, really bothered me.  I like to know where someone is pulling their information so I can check up on it if I want to.  I also wasn’t a big fan of the paragraphs upon paragraphs of cliches.

All in all, the book was pretty good.  Would I recommend it to just anyone?  Probably not, but if you need a light read and a very positive book, then this might be the one for you!

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Vote for my review on the Blogging for Books website!!