Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Being Present

When we moved back to the U.S. in July, I found the whole cell phone issue a bit overwhelming. Plans and prices are much different here than they were in Spain. For one thing, in Spain you don't pay for calls that come into your phone, only calls you make.

After looking at prices, we decided to keep it simple and use Tracphone. We already had one phone from our last furlough, so we bought two more. All of our phones were under $20 each, and all came with double minutes for life. We enrolled in a family plan that costs us $19 each month for all three of our phones. The first phone gets 100 minutes and the other two get 80 minutes. So far we have never run out in a month.

Although I am pleased about the small price, the thing that makes me happiest about our phones is that they are not fancy, but they keep our life simple. Neither Troy nor I really need a smartphone for our  jobs, but I find that having "low-tech" phones also keeps us present. (My phone does have a camera, and I can get on the web but I only use that if I need to urgently.)

I like to people watch. One of the things that has struck me since we moved back is how often people tend to look at their phones, even when they are with other people, both in work settings but also in down-time. They check their email, they chat, and whatever other fancy things their phones can do. More than once I have watched someone sit silently while their companion pays attention to their phone.

Today I was in a meeting and we had a short break. I looked around the table, and probably 90% of the attendants had taken out their phone and were engrossed. For some of them it was probably work-related but I think most of us did not have phones given out by our employer, or emails that needed to be dealt with immediately.

I am not trying to say that smartphones are bad, or criticize the people that use them. But for me personally, I am glad that my basic phone keeps me interacting with those around me. I think I would miss out on a lot of great conversations and experiences otherwise.

What about you?

Monday, November 8, 2010


November marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. This year I am keenly aware of many, many blessings.

Psalm 16
 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
   you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
   even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
   With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
   my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
   nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

holy experience

362. A new job.
363. The news that we can keep our borrowed car until SEPTEMBER!!!
364. Great people to work with.
365. Kids who have transitioned well and who both made the A-B honor roll, as well as being highly appreciated by all their teachers.
366. New friends who make time and space in their life for me.

367. Watching hockey with my hubby.
368. The kids playing games together nicely.
369. A boy who comes home from school on Friday and without being asked, unloads and loads the dishwasher.
370. New coats.
371. Chances to minister to people.
372. New (used) books.
373. Planning Christmas surprises.
374. Blasting the radio in the car.
375. A full moon against an indigo sky and lacy black trees.
376. Aldi pizza nights.
377. Sitting around a kitchen table with new (female and my age) friends.
378. Not having to cook dinner two Friday nights in a row :)
379. An extra hour of sleep!
380. Waking up before the alarm.
381. Long time friends newly on facebook.
382. Looking forward to Thanksgiving and my birthday with my brother for the first time in MANY years.
383. Long lingering lunch with my friend Sabrina and wandering around Michael's afterwards.
384. A gorgeous, mild fall.

385. Parking spots close to where I need to be.
386. Christmas fairs at retirement homes.

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