August 31, 2012

The Way I See It

In 1998 I was diagnosed with Amblyopia. As a result of seeing double, I struggled to figure out which object was the "real" one. My mom recalls me saying that I could see two scissors when I practiced my fine motor skills. At times I would tell her that I saw two mommies. After a visit to the doctor, they said that I was almost legally bind in my right eye. My brain found it easier to stop using my bad eye instead of laboring to see out of it. We were also told that my right eye has Accommodative Esotropia, otherwise known as a Lazy Eye. Although this wasn't good news, we were blessed to catch it as early as we did.
Just before my 4th birthday I started Eye Patch Therapy. Wearing an eye patch throughout the day became the norm for me. My left eye was covered with the patch, and I was forced to start using my right eye again. This treatment helped strengthen my weak eye, and it also retrained my brain to use both of my eyes together. I can distinctly remember how painful it was to remove the band-aid type eye patch each night. Eventually, I didn't have to wear a patch anymore, but wearing my Bugs Bunny glasses was a must.

Fast forward to 13 years of wearing glasses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because I faithfully wore my glasses at an early age, I now have 20/40 vision. It is apparent that my left eye can see better, but day-to-day tasks are not hindered. I'm not allowed to wear contacts, but wearing glasses full time isn't the end of the world. My lazy eye is kept under control with the help of my glasses, and it only turns in when I am over tired. Recently, I was thrilled to find out that my driving is not affected by my condition!

I still have some trouble finding the right frames that will hide the thickness of my right lens. At the moment I am battling a glare issue with my newest pair of glasses. This kind of stuff can be so frustrating! They have replaced 5 pairs of lenses, and they still aren't right. I feel like I am irritating the owner of the store by attempting to fix the lens once again. My biggest fear is that my right eye will decrease in clarity as I constantly try to look past the glare in the bottom half of my lens.

There are nights when I lay in bed feeling stressed about my eyes. "What if I start to lose vision in my bad eye?" "What if something bad happens to my left eye?" Questions like this run through my head, and sometimes I end up crying out of fear. I find myself asking God why He gave me two different eyes. Life would be a lot easier if I could be "normal" like everyone else. This is when I stop and say, "God could have given me perfect vision, but He chose not to." I need to look past my jealousy, and be thankful that I can use both of my eyes so well. God does not make mistakes. I can trust Him to protect my eyes like He has in the past, and remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 139:14 

Medical Definitions
Amblyopia - An uncorrectable decrease in vision in one or both eyes with no apparent structural abnormality seen to explain it. The loss of one eye's ability to see details. Amblyopia is the most common cause of vision problems in children.
Accommodative Esotropia - A form of strabismus, or "squint", in which one or both eyes turns inward. The condition can be constantly present, or occur intermittently, and can give the affected individual a "cross-eyed" appearance.

Children who get treated before age 5 will usually recover almost completely normal vision, although they may continue to have problems with depth perception. Delaying treatment can result in permanent vision problems. After age 10, only a partial recovery of vision can be expected.

August 29, 2012

Back to School

The back to school aisles are dwindling, and that can only mean one thing. Summer is quickly coming to an end. It finally hit me that this is my last new school year. I only have 10 more months of school left? I'll admit, I do say that with a little excitement, but it also changes my focus a bit. I laid down last night and thought about what I would like to accomplish this year. This list could be a lot longer, but I also needed some sleep. Let's jump right into the bullet points, shall we?
  • Pass my road test on October 16th - I am on a quest to master the dreaded parallel parking!
  • Get into the routine of picking up the kids that I babysit from school everyday. This happens to be a big one...I'm almost positive their mother would not appreciate me leaving them there ;)
  • Stick to a set bedtime/morning routine - this is something that isn't so easy for a night owl like me
  • Get all my school work finished before 2:00pm 
  • Try to be more outgoing - being reserved is something that I'm good at
  • Start biking again - I haven't had a chance to take a ride on the nice bike trails this summer
  • Encourage others
  • Start reading more frequently
  • Have the Maranatha students over on Sundays - our church has adopted a group of college students that attend our church during the school year
  • Have fun being in youth group - who's ready to score some Sock Football touchdowns? We really need to play at least one game of Ultimate Frisbee before it snows. I'd also like to get better aim in Noodle Hockey! lol 
  • Stay in the Word - I find it easier to read my Bible at night when everything is calmed down/quiet. I just need to make sure that I save enough energy to do so
  • Have a consistent prayer life - this goes hand and hand with the last point. Sometimes I can get too busy during the day. When my devotional time comes around, I realize that I could have done a better job praying about things throughout the day
  • Keep this blog updated! Posting regularly without it becoming a chore is a new balancing act for me
  • Be spent for Christ
What are your goals for this school year? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

August 6, 2012

Pirates, Palm Trees, and Coconuts

I spent the last two weeks working on Vacation Bible School props. There were decorations that needed to be made, and I felt called to use the gifts God has given me. It took me four days to cover the cardboard carpet rolls with scrunched up lunch bags. I was so thankful that Mike came over to give me a hand with the tree tops.

We ended up making four large palm trees that looked like this. I'll be the first tell you that these trees were built to last! Hopefully they will be used for years to come.

I found this chest at a thrift store for only $2.99! I spiced it up with some tape, decorative nail heads, and an old lock. I think it looked pretty neat on the banker table in the lobby.

It only took a few hours after church to decorate the auditorium with this coastal theme 

The palm trees even had some paper mache coconuts hanging from their branches! I had to laugh when Mr. Chris told the kids that they were "real-fake coconuts".

We had many faithful ladies that helped the children check in at our registration table each night

I am so thankful that we met Chris and Sara Chavez a few years back. It is always a blessing when they visit our church. It was funny seeing Mr. Chris talk to Polly the parrot. I never knew Mrs. Chavez was such an excellent puppeteer!

Did you know that there is a pirate version of I'm in the Lord's Army?

The kids were kept busy with songs, crafts, games, and a Bible lesson each night. It surprised me to see how many kids learned their memory verses!

The kids loved when Ship Wreck Sam visited Mr. Chris on his search for treasure. Every night he would tell us a cheesy pirate joke. Most of us felt the need to facepalm after each one.

God answered our prayers to see many kids attend - This year we had 60+ kids all together!

I absolutely had to take a few group photos of all the people who worked together to make this week so special 

"That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." Philippians 1:27

Sweet smiles made it all so worth it! It was a blessing to show the love of Christ to everyone that walked through our doors.

August 4, 2012

When It's Raining

Let's take a trip back to April - When sunny days were few, and the grass was still green.

"It's raining, Angelaaaa! Let's go outside!" shouts of excitement came from Lucy as she ran to the door. You might ask yourself why I allowed her to go play outside in the muddy backyard. The photo above says it all! The sound of raindrops hitting an umbrella can bring sheer joy to a person's face.

The storms of life are a bit different. Why don't our faces light up when we see the rain?  

Our comfort zones are a nice place to be. We enjoy the feeling of being "safe and sound". We like days with clear skies and easy decisions. It's not part of our human nature to enjoy hardships.

However, without the storms in our lives we wouldn't have to trust God. I'm sure that we would quickly grow complacent with our daily tasks. God allows trials and hardships in our lives to help us grow. For that reason, we should be thankful even when it is hard.

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." James 1:2-3 
Divers temptations describe trials that we all encounter. James tells us to "count" or consider our attitudes during trials. The idea here is to have inner joy in spite of external circumstances. God is still in control in the midst of a storm! He has the power to calm the raging sea with the sound of his voice.

"Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Psalm 107:28-29

What should you do when it's raining? Put on your rain boots and praise God in the storm.

August 3, 2012

Reasons to Smile: July 2012

 Finding joy in the little things!
  • Summer toes - this glittery nail polish last for weeks! Note: you can see my webbed toes here 
  • I had a blast taking pictures of this dry field with storm clouds above it
  • Someone played a harmless sticky note prank on my neighbor's car
  • Wearing a handmade bracelet as a reminder to pray for a little girl named Taylor. For more details check out
  • Now that it isn't 100° outside Guinness and I can hang out in the front yard again
  • Continuing the tradition of doing puzzles with my Gramps
  • My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this month! Mark:10:9
  • Grandma wanted to learn all about Jonny's iPhone - She even took a picture with him lol

August 1, 2012

He Cares for You

We all have things in life that matter to us. Responsibilities, goals, and deadlines often pull for our attention. Sometimes we desire to see a certain outcome, and it causes us to become stressed and worried. We take matters into our own hands and try to play God's role. We might think we know exactly what is best, but we forget to even consider God's perfect plan for us.

The book Crazy Love by Francis Chan states:
Worry implies that we don't trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what is happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, lack of grace towards others, or out tight grip of control.

"These two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin, and not to trust God because the stuff in our lives are somehow exceptional." - Francis Chan

What are we to do when we are overcome with the cares of life? I believe that we should cast them upon Jesus. In the context of God's strength our problems are microscopic! God does not look at our resources when there is a need to meet in our lives - He looks at His.

"Casting all your care upon Jesus; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7
When I read this verse I think of a parent's relationship with their child. Love for that child untimely will result in care for him. Often, that child does not realize how much  is sacrificially done for him. Yet, his parent will meet many needs for him daily.

The last part of 1 Peter 5:7 is so encouraging! We also have a Heavenly Father that loves each one of us. He meets our needs daily, even when we do not know the words to pray. We have a mediator that sits on the right hand of God and makes intercession for us! Romans 8:43

The next time you are burdened with worry or stress, cast your cares at His feet! He promises to care for you!