The Simple Life
Easter week! What a great week to spend time with the kids. Warm temps are predicted all week. We have never had a spring like this in Michigan in my memory. The grass is even turning green. Now if we had just a little rain. We walked about a mile south of our house last week, and picked up all the trash along our road. The next day, we walked the other direction, doing the same. Just think if everyone walked along their mile, picking up all the trash at least once a month. I always take a couple plastic grocery sacks, just in case.
If you possibly can, remember Easter for what it is. Christ's resurection from the grave. He died for our sins. He only asks that we accept him as our savior. Open the door.
Attend church, sing the hyms of faith. It's not about the church, or the people, its just you and him. Look him in the eye.
"Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ''tomorrow'' on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ''If I had my life to live over again. ''Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."~ Og Mandino
Substance Abuse Part 2
Nancy was at college, away from her family for the first time. She was getting straight A's and working a part time job. Then she met a boy named Aaron. He was really nice. But not long after they started going out, he invited her to a party where there was a lot of drinking. Soon she was drinking more than she ever had. It became harder to get up in the morning and go to work or classes. But her friend Aaron was so much fun! It never occurred to her to look for another friend.
Midterms came along and her grades were slipping. She lied to her father about her grades, thinking she could bring them back up, if she studied harder. When Aaron wanted to go out that weekend, she told him she had to study. "Fine!", he told her. Maybe I will find someone who does want to have a good time!" She went. She didn't even realize she wasn't really having a good time. After a couple weeks, her grades weren't any better. She knew her father and mother would be upset if her grades fell. Sometimes she was calling in to work, when she didn't feel good.
Nancy didn't know to watch out for the signs when alcohol was becoming a problem. When drugs or alcohol start affecting your life in any way, they are becoming a problem. If they 1. affect your relationships, such as neglecting your children, or not getting up with them in the morning. Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk with your buddies, for example, even though you know your wife will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink, or drinking because of pressure from others. No one wants to drink alone! 2. When drinking or drugs affect your work or other responsibilities, for example, performing poorly at work, flunking classes, or skipping out on commitments because you're hung over. 3. Using alcohol in situations where it's physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication against doctor's orders. 4. Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or drunk and disorderly conduct. When Nancy got her grades, she was devastated. She was going to have to take one class again, and her other grades were awful. She barely passed. Now she would have to really buckle down to graduate with her class. Fortunately for Nancy, she had a good friend who invited her to lunch. When Nancy heard herself talking about her situation, it made her realize that Aaron had way too much influence on her. There were other guys who were interested in her that were also serious about their studies. They had goals for their future. Nancy went home for break and was honest with her parents. It wasn't easy. But Aaron wouldn't be returning to school.
It was hard to return to school, sometimes seeing the friends from the parties she had gone to, but without Aaron's influence, she was able to get back on track. She hadn't lost her job, so her attendance was back to perfect. She would cringe, thinking of how she could have lost everything.
Nancy was fortunate. She made it out before everything was ruined. But it was a close call. Many people don't - they lose their family, their jobs, their cars, some never get to start.
Matt started doing pot and then other drugs when he was 14. He has lived in dumps his whole life. He went to prison for 3 years for having a Meth lab. He has a daughter he doesn't know. He's still in and out of jail. His best job now is picking up bottles from the side of the road. If he does make a few bucks, he spends it on alcohol. He recently got a job, but after the first day, he lost it because he couldn't get up for work.
We all know people like Matt, who never gave himself a chance. He's been on a downward spiral since he was young. He has successful siblings who would help him if they could, but he doesn't want help. When a friend of Matt's died, his family didn't even claim the body. He'd never owned a home, or even had a telephone. Matt is afraid he might end up the same way.
Was there a point when Matt could have left it all behind and started over? Lots of them! But now he thinks he's gone too far. He feels hopeless. He's only in his 40's.
Its never too late to ask for help. Maybe one of his siblings will come along and offer to give him a place to stay, if he will go to detox. He's afraid to ask. They are afraid to ask him. If there is someone you love in this situation, let them know there is a standing offer for help, if they are serious. But they have to follow through first. Even if your family has given up on you, don't give up on yourself. It's never too late to turn things around. It will take time. But maybe you could have a relationship with your kids, or family. There are hotlines and drug abuse chapters everywhere. Ask. It could be the beginning.
Easy Spring Salad
Spring says salad to me. I am making a nice 7 layer salad. I haven't made this in a while, but everyone loves it when I do. Layer your favorite lettuce leaves in the bottom of a big bowl. Spread thawed peas from a bag from the freezer. Spread with a layer of salad dressing. Now add layers of cheese, chopped eggs, bacon, onion, celery, or anything you like.
Keeping it simple,