Thursday, February 23, 2017

Life is not a snapshot!

If I can just get past this exam, I will be great.

If I can just get into a good engineering college , I will be fine.

If I can just get into 'an' engineering college, I will be good.

If I can just  make it past these 4 years,  life will be normal again.

If I can just find a job, I will be good.

If I can just get into grad school, things will work out.

If I can just make it past my thesis defense, I will party.

If I can just finish my residency, I am sure I will get a great job.

If I can just find a perfect guy, life will be a piece of cake.

If I can just get married to the nice guy without the world being at war with me, things would be perfect.

If I can just have a child, life would be super duper

If I can .....

We all go through those stages of life. Each stage seems uncertain and scary. It always seems like if you can just pass those scary stages, life will be perfect. If you can just pass this one crazy phase in life then all will work out.
But life is not a snapshot! Its not about that one moment of pain when you lose someone you love. Its not about that one moment of joy when you hold your child in your arms. Yes those are the special moments. But life is all the craziness in the middle. Sometimes in the midst of all the craziness there is a strong desire to press the eject button. My way of 'eject button' is to go into hiding. Stay low and let the wave go over!

The above statements describes all of me for the past 40 years. Initially stressing about each and every exam. Then the jobs and then getting married etc. Half the time I didn't know what I was doing.
To put it in F.R.I.E.N.D.S philosophy : It seemed like there was a plan ... everything was all figured out ..But now its just 'floopy'.
Actually ... if you look around almost no one has a clue of what is going on. Some are just getting rocked about by the waves of life and ... others are the waves of life!
But again with the F.R.I.E.N.D.S philosophy: It's all gonna come together and it's gonna be un-floopy!

Notice after the last line ... I kind of stopped....
If I can just have a child, life would be super duper

.... Once Isaac came, life was super duper for sure. But there were so many floopy moments still. Moments where I felt like I was going to drown. But some how it became un-floopy and I rose above the wave. It was around the time that Suresh's mom passed away. A big wave for me! Maybe my faith got hit more than anything and it washed me to the shore till I picked up and decided to dive back into the ocean called L.I.F.E. You can't sit on the shore forever! With the arrival of Ziva, I had another round of floopy to un-floopy. I had been wallowing so long in the self-pity of being a terrible mother that I was honestly terrified of baby #2. But the ease of being her mother made me realize - motherhood was not a snapshot. There were going to be floopy and un-floopy moments!

Life is not about losing that job or getting it.
Life is not about buying that dream house or moving.
Life is not about an empty womb or one abundantly filled.
Life is not perfect ... but if you rise above the wave each time... look around ...It's beautiful!

Before the morning - Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
Feel the things that hurt you,
If there's a God who loves you,
Where is He now?

Or maybe, there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would you dare, would you dare, to believe,
That you still have a reason to sing,
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling,
It can't compare to the joy that's coming

So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on, and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling,
It's just the dark before the morning

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why we are equal! #equality

So the thought keeps going through my head after my little blog on feminism and strong women.

We recently had a bible study where we are studying the word of God from Genesis and looking at it divided by events.
This week we were looking at the creation and the fall of man. For those who don't believe in creation... well too bad... You really cannot believe in equality or anything else! As it boils down.

So Adam was created and then made to realize that he was lonely. Don't you love God! He brings you to a point of realization  before He takes you to higher points.
Then God creates Eve and bring her to Adam. Adam's words  'At last! This is now bone of my bone!'. Adam was happy to find his EQUAL. Adam had fellowship with God. He had lots of company with the animals. But finally God created for him an EQUAL. Lot of people look at the word helper and try to tie down the woman's role as secondary. But the sequence and the events that went into creating both Man and Woman makes it clear. At last Adam had found his 'EQUAL'.
So how did this equality, gender roles and struggle for significance start. The CURSE!
Adam and Eve messed it up. They ate the only fruit they were forbidden to eat.  In response to the disobedience, God had to punish them.
The punishment for Adam
Genesis 3:17- 19
And to Adam he said,“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife  and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,  ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you;  in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;  and you shall eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said, ' I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;  in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to[f] your husband,   but he shall RULE over you.'

Ah! the wages of disobedience that we still bear as women. The fight for equality!

But the Aha for the evening was this point: When Jesus came and died on the cross for each of us - He lifted the curse off us! We are no longer under the curse. We are EQUAL!
So you got a choice - believe Jesus lifted the curse and treat all equally - or spend time arguing :).

#dontneedtoargue #biblesaysitIbelieveit #believe #God'slove #Jesushasliftedthecurse

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Don't look into my eyes ! #stillgrieving

Don't look into my eyes,
You'll fall in love with me!
Don't hug me so much,
You wont want to let go.
Don't let me follow you around,
You'll get used to my feet at your feet
Don't look into my eyes,
I see your pain and fears ... I know when you're happy and sad!
Don't pat me too often,
You'll never want to stop.
Don't let me lie on your lap,
You'll get used to my warm fuzzy feeling.
Don't look into my eyes,
Cos when the light stops to sparkle you will hurt!
Don't hug me too much,
Cos when I grow cold you will miss my warm hugs.
Don't let me follow you,
You'll miss me when I am not around!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Slow down

Slow down Amma ... dont walk away
Slow down Amma ... I want to watch time pass away
Slow down Amma ... I want to hear the birds sing
Slow down Amma ... I want to talk to the flowers a minute
Slow down Amma ... I know we have lots to do
Slow down Amma ... Because I want to enjoy each minute with yo


I'm not afraid of being alone
I'm not afraid of the silence around me
I can make my peace with no laughter
Sometimes silence can heal me
I'm not afraid of loneliness
I'm not afraid of stillness
I can make my peace with no craziness
Sometimes silence can heal me


The road is narrow that leads up to HIM
And I have fallen many times
But I must keep walking
The destination is beautiful.
The road is narrow that leads up to HIM
And I have slipped many times
But I hold on to the promise
The destination is beautiful
The road is narrow that leads up to HIM
And I will walk with you
Not side by side,
Sometimes you will lift me up and sometimes I will hold you up
The destination is beautiful

Hold on to...

Hold on to ...
Hold on to memories...
Pictures may speak a thousand words but memories last a life time
Hold on to ..
Hold on to a friend who keeps your secret. Many will want to help you and fix you ...But a real friend will know the value of your trust!

Hold on to ..
Hold on to a hand that lifts you up ...
There will be many who throw you down and trample you but the hand that lifts you up is strong!
Psalms 136:12
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Sit Beside me

Come sit beside me my little one let's talk
Let me tell you a story of when you were born
Let me tell you about the tears in my eyes when I first held you
Let me tell you of all the sighs I gave when I realized you were mine
Come sit beside my little one ... Let's talk

Through your eyes

Through your eyes the world looks innocent
Through your eyes the world looks peaceful
Through your eyes troubles seem just momentary
Through your eyes tomorrow looks promising
Through your eyes yesterday holds no regrets
Through your eyes today brings nothing but joy

Isaiah 54:13
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dogs ... cats and other critters! #petlovestory

I recently got jogged to the memory of the first pet I got for Suresh! I know right. Me getting a pet for him! Considering he is the animal lover and I am not much.

In August 2007 when we moved from Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore Maryland, we had two dogs and a cat. I still vividly remember the car drive from Richmond to Baltimore with a cat in the back seat that kept scratching the cardboard box he was locked in! I expected him to jump out of the box any minute and scratch my head for the terrible motion sickness he probably was feeling. Bhageera was one feisty cat!

We had an Indian family once visit us and say 'You both are an unusual Indian couple'. This happened as a result of seeing more animals than humans in our house. The lady of that family loved dogs and confessed that even though she had a dog in India, she could never think about a pet in the US, let alone three animals. The concept of having an animal living in the house was I guess something to get used to.

So who was responsible for the influx of animals into the Joel household. I guess I shall slowly raise my hand and take blame. Going back to the first pet. About the year 2002, for Valentines day, I got Suresh a 'Hamster'. I guess it was our first valentines after we were engaged and I knew how much he loved animals and well  all the 'love' came out in the form of a hamster. My roomie who was used to handling the rat category of animals helped me buy the hamster since I was too terrified of even holding it. I guess it was good preparation of things to come. Suresh's roomie name the hamster ' Sukhwinder Singh'. I do not know why! But it was a cute name for a very cute pet.
Sukhwinder Singh went to hamster heaven a year later.

We had a lull period after that with occasional references to dogs and Suresh getting over-friendly and playful with other peoples dogs as I got over-friendly and playful with other peoples babies.

In 2005 we bought a house and a month later we picked our first dog from the SPCA.  As we drove to the SPCA, we started picking out names. Daniel the shepherd dog. Aka Danny. When Suresh went to pick a dog, the first choice was a yellow laborador. But the little guy had a foot long waiting list. The SPCA guy turned Suresh's attention to a cage full of puppies who were all available just because they were not pure bred. It was love at first sight as Suresh decided to take one! Any one of them. He still tears up thinking what may have happened to the other three pups.

Danny came home with a runny nose and some pink cold medicine. He was super cute till Suresh had to leave two weeks later for a conference. I then realized the term 'Alpha male'. He decided he was in-charge of the house and to show his disapproval to Suresh leaving decided to poop all around the house. 24 hours later I called Suresh and told him I had enough and was sending Danny back to the SPCA. A frantic Suresh asked for another 24 hrs to arrange some place where Danny could be put up  till Suresh got home. I guess I figured out Danny in those 24 hrs and got some good advice from my mom-in-law : newspaper Vadi. Danny did not have to leave the house and I showed him that even if he was the alpha male .. I ruled the house :)

A few months later, Suresh sent me a picture of a dog. The email read a sad story about the two puppies left behind by a mother who was probably abused. I fell! I said Yes! We were set to get our second pet in 6 weeks.
We were still getting over the thought of a second dog when we had a friend come over during Sunday service fellowship. She looked disheveled. Her neighbor had a stray cat who has two kittens. One kitten had gone missing and they suspected that it was probably a bird that took it away. They were frantically searching for a home for this little kitten. My friend already had about 6 pet cats and had adopted several stray cats in her neighborhood. Since the kitten needed an indoor home, her husband looked at us pleadingly. I don't know what came over me and I said Yes! Again!
That evening Bhageera came home with  a bottle of Enfamil and an ink filler to use as a feeding bottle and his poop box.

A month later a furry little ball of chocolate brown came home while I was at my physics conference. That weekend when I returned home, our house was filled with more prancing animals and one happy Suresh! We named him Baloo, going in the Jungle book style.

We had to give up Bhageera when we returned to India as we could bring back only two animals. We found a home for Bhageera where he could run up trees and chase rats and squirrels. He was an outdoor cat all through and was mostly found on top of trees, unable to come back down himself! I miss good old Bhags and the love that Ziva shows to stray cats, I know she would have loved him too.

While I did say 'Yes' to the pets entering the house, I blame Suresh for the love for animals he has instilled in me with over the years! There have been several times that I have thought of giving them away. I refer to the dogs constantly as Suresh's  dogs and have ignored them after the kids arrived!
But I do know that I feel safe when they are around. No one dares come close to your house with the two big brown balls of fur!
I know that my kids have enjoyed having the animals walk and wag their tails into their faces as they grow up. I know that in numerous mess cleanings, I have had the chance to experience animals I may never have ... had it not been for the pet lover and his love for animals.
I know the presence of these dogs (and the cat for Isaac) has enriched the lives of Isaac and Ziva.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Reading !

I will read your books
I want to know what happens in your dreams

I will listen to your songs
I want to know what's playing in your head

I will do the things that make you smile
I want to know what makes you happy

I will listen to your songs
I want to know what you are feeling

I will read your books
I want to be a part of your life