Coffee Break; Cream, no Sugar

It has come to my attention that I have not been blogging very much as of late, so I thought I would catch you up on the Life and Times of Lisa Meister. So grab your favorite mug and let me pour you a fresh and hot cup of coffee. I will take mine with cream, no sugar.

Well, technically I have cream and sugar because I have the French vanilla kind that is crazy good with a crazy amount of sugar. But I feel better just saying no sugar. I figure that I am a hypocoffeedriac, meaning that if I believe that there isn’t sugar in the cream, there won’t be.

I have already blogged about my wonderful new job in
A Fun New Job and This Time I Get Paid. What is amazing is that I live in Indiana, USA but teach in China. I am teaching Chinese children, ages 4 – 12 English. There are so many wonderful children out there that are a lot of fun to work with. I really thought that China was mostly a third world country, but these children look to be from homes very much like ours.

But I digress. That rabbit trail started with my job, so I will get back to it. I am slowly building my student base and am starting to figure out what I am doing. My kids are very smart and by the end of a 25 minute lesson, I can already notice a jump in what they can understand. I work from 5 – 9 am each morning, with prep the night before. I have puppets, cheerleading pom-poms, birthday hats and blow toys, crazy hats, and a tamborine. Aargh, I digress again.

Okay, on to a new area. I am still homeschooling my youngest. It works great because we don’t start homeschooling until 10am. She does almost everything on her own now (a trait the homeschooling community highly prizes), with me there to discuss ideas, help with math, or to try to help with science.

I am also a blogger, a great love in my life. But as you can see, I don’t have a lot of time for it right now. As teaching gets easier I will have more time again.

My oldest daughter is graduating from College next week! That’s a “Yeah!” and a “Yikes!”. My 5 pound bundle of joy is now 23. Yes, the years vanished in a smoky “poof”, but I know I gleaned all the time with her I could because I educated her at home.

I have also started writing a new book, and am trying to find big chunks of time (well, not really, more like small chunks of time) to write. I have my topic, my research, my voice and am well on my way into chapter one.

Christmas is upon us, so I am taking time to think through all that Jesus has done for me and marvel at his loving decision to come to earth as a man. This year I have been thinking through all the prophecies in the Old Testament about his coming. I’ll have to blog some about that at a later date.

There is always church, God time, teen drama, husband, and health issues that I deal with on a daily basis; heavy on the teen drama. I think that is about it.

So that about catches you up on me. I would love it if you would leave a quick reply as to how you are doing. I have missed all of my blogging friends.

Look Up

Look up and see God’s Beauty instead of looking down at our problems.

By Lisa M Meister

Midst the turmoil of life
The terror of dreams
Mountains of bills
Kids in their teens
I stop and look up
The blue tinted sky
The cuddle of clouds
Dance in my eyes

How do I forget
To keep looking up
Instead I look down
Thinking not the right stuff
There always will be
Stuff that can snuff
The promises out
But enough is enough

This day I declare
Right here to you now
I choose to look up
Instead of the down
For whatever is true
Honorable and just
I will fill my mind
Its truly a must

For the sky is so blue
The meadows are green
The dandelions yellow
You see what I mean
God has given us much
To put ‘fore our eyes
Such beauty to hold
To treasure and prize

You Have Got to be Kidding!

What do we do when we don’t see God’s big picture?

Everybody identifies with poor Gideon. There he was, fearfully thrashing his wheat in the middle of the night, minding his own business, when he had an encounter with the Lord. Then God got a little crazy, he called Gideon a “mighty man of valor”, and everyone knew that wasn’t true. Then God calls Gideon to get the Mideonites out of the land.

God must have known what he was doing, but Gideon didn’t. So he had a couple questions while he had God’s attention for a few minutes.

  1. Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?
  2. Where be all his miracles which our father’s told us?

“But now the Lord hath forsake us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Gideon had good questions. He didn’t understand what was going on in their country and why God hadn’t fixed it. He really was confused.

God doesn’t answer Gideon’s at all. He just tells Gideon what to do. God said, “Go in this they might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites, have I not sent thee?

God doesn’t always give us the answers we want. Sometimes we are angry with Him for not intervening. But God just doesn’t answer our questions:

Deuteronomy 29:29 says

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God. But those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of the law”.

Some questions God answers, and some He doesn’t. So when life is rough and you are thrashing wheat in the middle of the night so the enemy doesn’t find you, remember this:

God ALWAYS has a reason, and His reason is perfect. Just trust. Gideon did and look what happened to him!

Taken from Judges 6


A poem about a flashback I had in front of a beloved aunt and uncle.

I sit in a darkened room
All alone with the pain
Knifing through my head

I flash through memories
Movies of time past
Ripping terror through my chest

Tears wash down my face
As confusion twists time
Stealing the present from my grasp

I hear the whisper
Voices filled with threats
Demonic hisses of days gone by

My eyes grow big
My body freezes
Violations testifying

I curl up on the floor
Back against the wall
Warily watching the empty room

I feel the floor
A wisp of air from the fan
Clutching of my Teddy

I see where I am
I have embarrassed myself again
Showed others my pain

I hate myself
They have no context
Insane they must think me

I throw my Teddy
across the room
Denying my comfort

Drying my eyes
Painting on a smile
Hopelessly walk out the door

So What am I Supposed to Do?

Aaaargh! There is way too much I have to do today. I have to read my Bible and pray; take care of my family; referee the fights to keep the kids from killing each other; take care of the dogs; do the housework; all the homeschooling events to participate in; and get involved working at church the way God wants me too; and I need a present for my husband for our anniversary on Wednesday…

Now my heartrate is high just thinking about it. Not that I would get all that done anyway, but that list is always going through my mind like a hampster wheel. After a while I don’t know which end is up and get lost in what God wants me to do and what I am thinking about all the things that won’t get done if I don’t do them.

I have been at this place soooo many times, just ask my husband. But then I think of my favorite verse in the entire Bible:

Micah 6:8 I have showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to love do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.

Did you notice God’s list is a little shorter than mine and has no condemnation next to it? As the super men and women in the world we feel like whatever we do will never be enough. (Well, maybe it’s just what I think.) This puts us in the mode of always adding just one more thing into our schedule.

So this is what God is telling us to do:

  • Do justly: Some translations say “walk” justly. We need to walk through our life in such a way that we are kind and fair to everyone we meet. That means no lying, stealing, takin advantage of, or taking anger out on someone.
  • Love mercy. I really like this one because my daughter’s best friend is “Mercy”. So I always check that one off because she’s such a sweetheart. But I think God is telling us to forgive over and over, no matter how painful it is. It doesn’t mean forget or to not take care of criminal type behavior, but the day to day hurts and jabs from others.
  • Walk humbly with your God. Have an intimate relationship with your loving father. This is way more important than ANTTHING else you have to do.

When I am on overload, this is my goto Scripture. It always gives me peace as well as perspective.Then I can clear my schedule of the unimportant and keep in what is important. Life will be is much simpler.

What Scriptures do you use when you get overwhelmed? How do you get through those patches of having too much to do? How do you keep from gettint too involved?


Another Day Lost

I lost today.

Let me define “lost day”: A day in which I am not living in such a way as to make decisions, live life the way I want to, accomplish anything, and/or unable to be a wife, mom, or friend like I would like to be.

Today I have struggled with a very bad migraine.  It’s really been most of the week, but starting last night it got to a level 7 to 8 on the pain scale, with a 10 meaning childbirth without epidurals.  When it gets like this, medications don’t touch it and you just have to wait it out in any way possible.  It is the point where you have no care about how you come across to others.  So if you have to stay in pajamas all day because clothes hurt, or you don’t brush your hair because it makes the pain worse as it pulls on your scalp, or if you don’t really communicate to anyone around you because it just takes too much energy, you do it and really, really don’t care how others perceive you.

12540816_10204065876647388_4781534934774637520_n This is what I have looked like today.  The hat is a brilliant invention called an “Ice Kap”.  It cost $60, which is crazy, but the inventor really ought to be a millionaire.  As a migrainer, life is expensive on many fronts.  The problem is that you are so desperate for relief, you will try almost anything.  But this really works.  There are gel ice packs throughout the entire hat- you head completely wrapped in it, and it lasts for 45 minutes.  Plus the style is kinda cool, although I would have preferred pink, but that would have hurt my eyes.  Speaking of eyes, I just ordered a $120 pair of Theraspecs sunglasses.  They have been working well for migrainers and they fit over your eyeglasses and wrap the shade to the sides of your eyes to keep the sun out there, too.  It’s a good thing we just got our tax refund…

So this is a look at my day.  3:00am. I get up and get a bite to eat so I can take muscle relaxers and Xanax to try to calm down the head.  My body feels like cement and my head weights 300 pounds.  At 5:00am I get up and make a cup of caffeinated coffee and use the icekap.  I root myself in the plushest recliner (the headache recliner, the other recliner is better for gastro issues), put my head in the position of least pain, and stay there for hours.  At 11 I go get more muscle relaxers and back to bed.  I drift off to sleep after a while.  At 3pm I get up and move back to the recliner.  I get my icekap back out of the freezer and eat some “lunch”.  It’s now 6:30 pm and I feel good enough now to at least blog.  Now I can salvage the day with at least accomplishing something.

I have been playing with the idea of getting a drill and drilling through the left side of my head.  I really think it would release some of the pressure.  I tried the idea of a head transplant but my neuro said no.  I wonder what he’ll think about the drill…

My kids know without my saying anything that they are on their own, again, for dinner.  This is a sadly normal occurrence.  They are getting their own laundry run through, and they are taking bits of time either loading or unloading the dishwasher in between their runs to work, college, etc.

Since this is my serious day and I am giving you a glimpse into my life, I will mention that the house is a mess.  And always is, just ask my friends.  While people don’t really know what goes on in our house, they don’t really understand the state of mess we deal with here.  Along with migraines, I have struggled with CVS (Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, trust me, you don’t want me to go into the specifics of that), PTSD, and more.  Thus I am almost constantly in a state of not being able to accomplish physical tasks due to the variety of issues I deal with.

It makes me sad.  I was an over-achiever in high school and college.  When a good friend of mine, my high school English teacher, told my daughter about me being a perfectionist, my daughter’s jaw had to be picked up off of the floor.  I still am on the inside.  I see the cobwebs about I would love to get, the linoleum I ache to give a good scrubbing, the meals I want to make…

So, kudos to Patrick and the kids for being so understanding through all of this.  They really are amazing and deserve huge treasures in heaven.  I am so thankful for them.

So the sum up: I will have a better day, and I will greatly enjoy it when it comes.  In the meantime, there is a really pretty tree outside my window.  Thank you God for giving me something to enjoy on a day like this.