1. Ambulance Ride

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I clasped my hands tighter and tried to keep myself from trembling as I sat between the two paramedics.

“Do you want to go really fast?” asked the driver. I nodded, not sure why he was asking me. “How about the sirens? Should we make them loud?” I nodded again. Why was he asking me that? He was the driver, those were his decisions to make, not mine.

The other paramedic asked me how old I was. “Twelve,” I answered.

“And you speak Russian?” I nodded.

“Your English is great! How long have you lived in America?” I shrugged. Why do they keep talking to me?

“That’s really neat! I wish I knew two languages! You know that you can be a professional interpreter? They make really good money! You’re the youngest interpreter I’ve ever met!” He sounded impressed, but I couldn’t tell for sure.

 

Out of the corner of my eye I could see cars flashing by as the ambulance raced to the hospital.

“Is…is my dad gonna be OK?” I asked quietly. My knuckles clenched harder than I thought possible.

“That’s why we’re taking him to the hospital. There are some very good doctors who will take a few tests to find out what’s going on.”

 

The emergency room was ready for my dad. A nurse was talking through each step that she took. I wasn’t paying too much attention because my dad had regained his consciousness and there was no need to interpret anything. He looked helpless and kept offering me a weak smile each time I looked at his face. I jerked with a start when the nurse mentioned drawing blood. That I could not handle, even if someone else was getting the procedure done. The ominous-looking needle, the outstretched arm, and the strong sanitized smell of the hospital was almost too much. Shifting my seat loudly, I turned my head and closed my eyes.

 

Earlier that evening, the whole family had been gathered in the living room for the daily devotional time. We usually sang a song or two and prayed. My favorite part was when each person got to choose a random number and my dad would read that verse if that number was available from the page of the Bible that he’d selected. The goal among the siblings was to choose a verse that wasn’t on the page so that another choice could be made. Most choices = winner.  It didn’t take much to entertain us. All of a sudden my dad yelped and grabbed his leg. “Help! My leg! Something’s happening!” and he fell with his back to the floor and stopped moving.

 

My mom lifted her third-trimester belly and shuffled over, calling his name, shaking him, trying to get him to wake up. All the kids froze, just momentarily, then chaos took over. Some began to wildly jump around, others cry, and since we were in prayer position, still others began praying really loudly. In absolute panic I sprinted to my parents’ room and grabbed the phone. It took several attempts before my fingers landed on the 3 digits correctly and the line began to ring.

 

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”
One of the most dreadful feelings is when you need help, but you can’t request it. The words weren’t coming out of my mouth. It was like a bad dream.

 

“Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?”

 

“Ah! Ah! Help!” I croaked. It wasn’t easy trying to force words out and breath at the same time. “My dad. Help! Ah…Dying? Please help!”

 

God bless her heart; the operator told me to take a few deep breaths and began asking questions that I could answer with one or two words and the next thing I knew, she told me to go unlock the door because an ambulance had arrived and they needed to come inside. It wasn’t just an ambulance, there were police cars and fire trucks too. The commotion brought out all the curious neighbors. The medics tried to figure out what happened. I heard the word “seizure” a few times.

 

Since my mom’s English speaking skills were limited, I was the person to accompany my dad to the hospital.

 

I heard my dad call my name. I turned my head. His smile wasn’t fooling me for one second. “They’re done with the blood draw. Everything will be fine, you’ll see,” he said.

 

 

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Ephesians 5:22

Easier said than done. It’s not enough that we say we are renewed or born again, and no longer do evil deeds. We need to actively demonstrate the fruits of the spirit. Joy is particularly challenging or even impossible during tough parts of life, yet there it is. Listed right there. I think it helps knowing we are created for a greater purpose than just self-gratification here on earth. Sometimes when I’m tied down with the daily hassles of life, I forget to practice being joyful, and instead I act like Ms. Grumpypants. It’s a mindset that can be trained, and I’m still working on it 🙂

When our thoughts are like raspberries

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So far in my life I’ve had over two dozen jobs. One of them was working in the fields over the summers. What kinds of fields, you ask? Berry fields! Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, even some extra work in potato & cucumber fields. Cucumbers are prickly… worst thing ever to pick. The raspberry  field was very special, because one had to be a certain age to work there. The summer when I turned 14, (or maybe 15) was quite something, because that meant I could apply, and hopefully work in those fancy-shmancy ginormous field machines.

It was as glorious as I’d imagined. The job consisted of sitting and sorting raspberries from the conveyor belt. It was constantly moving, and raspberries kept coming. As they fell into each box, I needed to rotate the box around so there wouldn’t be more than like an inch of raspberries over the whole bottom of the box. At the same time, I needed to catch all the bad raspberries and toss them out. If I didn’t, the box of good raspberries would get “contaminated” from the one bad moldy one. Sometimes there were bushes where a ton of bad raspberries came through at such a rate that my hands were a blur trying to toss them out. Other times it was a very slow relaxed row or day where one had time to actually think thoughts.

Anyway, I recently remembered this job when I was thinking how our thoughts work. We have so many thoughts on a regular basis and if the bad thoughts don’t get tossed out right away they contaminate a little section of our brain. If we let it go, it’s like allowing a poisonous area to accumulate. Then our thought process is messed up, we think incorrectly, we have a terrible attitude, we have a skewed perspective, etc. I’m not going to list off actual examples; there are too many.

“We … take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5

Instead of allowing our emotions, feelings, social media, culture, etc. define us, or dictate how or what we are to think, we need to make sure it’s aligned with the Word of God.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

First blog post about my lunch

FullSizeRenderThis is my very first post. OMG. Seriously it’s like my 4th attempt at having a consistent blog where I write stuff. Who wants to bet how long this one will last?

Anyway, the prompt for this first post suggested telling readers why I’m starting this blog and its purpose. (Shoot, is there supposed to be an apostrophe there?) Well, two reasons.

1. Trying to break a record for how many times a person can begin a blog.

2. Work on my grammar because obviously the less I write the less grammatically correct everything is. Like that apostrophe problem above. But hey, at least I spelled grammar correctly! I will forever spell grammar correctly because in 7th grade I had a principal ask me to spell that word and I spelled it g-r-a-m-m-e-r confidently, even after he asked me “Are you suuuuuure?” several times. Duh, why would he even ask that if it was correct? (was, or were? Argh!!)

3. Apparently there’s a third reason. I need to get some of the craziness associated with being a stay at home mom of 2 princesses out!

So there you have it. The picture is one that I took on my iPhone. It was my lunch. My Princess 1 was feeling sick, I was feeling probably worse than she was (because 2nd day of guess what), and my Princess 2 was attached to my hip, so I absolutely deserved a Haagen Dazs ice-cream. To tell you the truth, I actually had 2. I HAD TO! SERIOUSLY! I had given one to Princess 1 (because she’s sick, and when people are sick you give them whatever they want of course) but apparently she felt so sick she only ate a bite. And throwing away Haagen Dazs ice-cream is a sin. They were two different flavors, so it was like an appetizer and an entree.

By the way, I’m absolutely terrible at conclusions. I have no clue how to end a conversation, or a blog post, or that last paragraph when I used to write papers in school, or anything like that.

Ok, well, it was nice talking to you! Isn’t that awkward?

So, thanks for stopping by, come again! Nope.

OMG I gotta go, bye! Maybe.

This concludes the sentences I’ve been writing above. I introduced myself, explained the purpose of this blog, and shared some personal details about my healthy lunch choices. Ew, no way.

Bye! Too abrupt.

I give up.