Monday, February 27, 2006

Rose of Sharon

Well, since some people asked, and since some people were offended, I thought I would change some things and explain some things. So, here goes.

My first name is indeed Sharon. No big surprise to most of you. Since some people have complained about people hiding behind "handles" and not using their real names, I thought I would change things. You will notice that now at the bottom of my posts, it will say posted by Sharon L.

So, why Roseuvsharon in the first place? Well, first it's part of my name, Sharon. Second, when I first wanted this for a sign on for an email account that I no longer use anymore, all of the roseofsharon's were taken, up to over 500 of them. I didn't want a name with a number because I hadn't come up with something more original. So, I used the phonetic sound/spelling "uv" to replace "of" and it worked.

Beyond that, the main reason I wanted the name Rose of Sharon in some form is that I wanted to let people know that I'm a follower of Christ. Sharon was the name of a fertile plain in Israel. Just as a rose has to grow and bloom, so also we need to let Christ grow and bloom in our hearts. I had a song that touched me many years ago, as I was starting all of this roseuvsharon stuff, that said when Jesus gave His life for us, He was crushed, as is a rose, and that is when the fragrance of the rose is most powerful, as the petals are being crushed. A reminder of what it took to release the "fragrance of salvation" for us.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Snowed In

Lots of dry powdery snow in our community. Too bad we busted the sled last year! The kids tromped in it yesterday with Karl. They had a great time looking at all the tracks and marks left by all the little critters.

It's wonderful how several inches of snow can cover up all the dirty ugly and dead stuff of winter and make it look so clean and bright. And God promises to do that with us, if we let Him. It's pretty wonderful!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Aimee's World

My sister-in-law, Aimee, is a teacher in Southern California. She has some thoughts she gave me permission to share. Quite thought provoking. Sometimes it is good for us to be uncomfortable. It prepares us for the little emergencies in life. Jesus didn't promise us an easy road until He returns, but He promised to be with us. Here are Aimee's thoughts.

Our overnight sail trip has come and gone... had a great time... exhausting, but lots of fun. (This is the trip where we pretend to be sailors from the 1800s... they make the kids do all kinds of crazy things - climb masts, hoist barrels, scrub decks, etc.) I ended up with night watch duty this year - something I didn't have to do last time.... I had enough parents to cover for me, but I figured that I should truly experience it, just like the kids. =P By luck of the draw, I ended up with THE worst time - the 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. shift. Holy cow. I sleepily got the rest of my crew up, and out we marched - into the cold, COLD night air. We each stood watch on one side of the ship, rotating every fifteen minutes. One of the stations was inside the galley (kitchen), where the crew member was supposed to journal for the entire time...(Keep in mind, this ship stays docked the entire time, so keeping watch really means just watching the pier and the parking lot.) But it was neat just watching my kids during those two silent hours. (Talking or whispering isn't allowed; nor is any sitting or walking about, except to change positions...any noise above deck is thunderous to those below.) They all were quite stoic and matter-of-fact about the whole thing....they knew they were sailors, and they knew this was part of their job. Which is funny - because their parents didn't see it that way at all. I mean, in the weeks prior to this trip, when we were getting all the paperwork in and giving parents all necessary information, I had a lot of questions about the point of the night watch - how could we expect kids to stay up for 2 hours and not talk? Why would we ask children to do such a thing? Why would we wake children up in the middle of the night to do a pretend watch? Is my child really expected to stand still in the cold for 2 hours? But I blew off most comments with a pat answer about how it was just part of the program, and how it's the experience, etc. Which is true and everything - but having gone through it myself now and watched those kids firsthand, I now think I realize the purpose more fully. The point is for the kids to experience DISCOMFORT. Truly. And I think it's a GREAT lesson. I think kids these days are much more... coddled than they used to be. A lot of emphasis - in schools anyways - is put on everybody being made to be comfortable. Everybody's a winner, everybody's okay. Which is a fine philsophy with lots of merit; I just think it leaves us with a lot of kids who are used to being comfortable and catered to. I mean, I've had parents drive from work to home to school to pick up a pair of mittens for a child who called to say there were cold. (We live in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - how cold can it get?) I've watched parents scream and rant and rave at a colleague of mine because she told kids they couldn't eat during class; they just were SURE that their kids were suffering and deprived because they had to go from breakfast to lunch without a SNACK in between. (These are junior high kids, mind you - not little ones...) I've had parents do their kids' homework because their child had procrastinated on an assignment, and just couldnt stay up to finish it. So yes. I think we live in a society where we expect to be comfortable. And on this trip, you are not. It is not nice to be woken up at 2 a.m. It is not comfortable to stay out in the cold for two hours. It is not fun to stand in the dark, in the corner of a ship, with no one to talk to. But you know what - I never heard a single complaint from the kids about the night watch. Not once did I hear someone say how dumb this was, or how they just wanted to go back to sleep, or how they couldn't believe they were forced to do this. They knew it was their job. Not a fun or comfortable part of their job, but their job, nonetheless. There was no one else to take their place or cover for them - so what do you know - they did it. They were UNCOMFORTABLE for two hours. And they survived. Quite happily, I might add.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Answered Prayers

I've been praying a lot for my oldest son, Michael. He is really a brilliant child, but also has some problems with distraction. He reads very well, at an 8th grade level, even though he is only in the fourth grade. Well, we prayed that Michael would be able to control himself, sit still and pay attention. If possible, that he would be able to make it through the first round of the county spelling bee. Wow! Not only did he make it through the first round, he made it to the final round, repeatedly. He and the eventual winner went for several rounds, trying to get a final spelling bee winner. Michael was actually relieved that he didn't win, because he didn't want to have to go to the state competition. However, if something happens to the 8th grade girl that won, he will have to go in her place.

It was interesting, to hear the announcements at the beginning and the introduction by the word pronouncer. He said, there may have been no cheerleaders and pep rally before you left, but there should have been. Many of you are doing what most of us can't do. You should be recognized just for getting this far. After each round, there was applause for the people who were still in the bee. The top three winners were photographed, and were given certificates and envelopes with a little cold hard cash in them! Michael wasn't expecting that, but he certainly didn't mind!

It is interesting, how much our society places prestige and honor on athletics and hardly any on academics at the critical middle school/junior high/high school time in a child's life. We need to spend more time praising people for learning self control, in practicing for spelling bees. For having good study habits. For Learning and improving ourselves through knowledge. Why not applaud these things? Now, disciplining our bodies through physical fitness is very important. I'm not against physical fitness. However, I think that being able to spell words that most adults can't even pronounce properly deserves applause, just as much as being able to shoot a ball through a hoop (as the pronouncer himself said).

Just some thoughts, and a little bit of applause for Michael and a HUGE thank you to the Lord for answered prayers.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Fencing Exercise

Pride goeth before a fall. Literally. I was exercising, feeling great and enjoying some of my clothes that had gotten a little too snug before. Then I had the accident. A totally senseless accident.

There was this dog we were watching. A wonderful Great Pyrenees female named Tilly. She was a perfect nanny to the kids and we loved watching her while her owners were overseas as missionaries. But we did have to adapt a little to life with a dog. So, we created a separate front yard and backyard with my husband's genius of using as little fencing as possible.

After the owners got back and we said loving goodbyes to Tilly, we left the fencing up for a while. Then we realized it would be easier to mow and other such things if the temporary fencing we had put up were removed. Karl carefully removed the fencing and folded it up nicely (as nicely as fencing will fold) and set it carefully aside, intending to put it in the shed at a later time, as duty called and he had to go to work.

Neither of us thought much about it, as the fencing was out of the way. Then the storm blew through. Storms have a way of revealing things, including things that should have been taken care of. Things like a piece of fencing that is now lying partially on the sidewalk that all of us use. That's where my pride came in. I shouldn't have to move this piece of fencing, because it is someone else's responsibility. Each time I walked around it, I muttered to myself that Karl really needed to move that so no one would get hurt. Never once did I think to say, I could move this for him since he is so busy all the time.

So, one day it caught me. I was carrying a box to a friend's car, and couldn't see the fencing, and I tripped right on it and realized as my head snapped back that I had just done a lot of damage to my neck and spine. Sure enough, I was in pain for days, then weeks and months. No exercising. Lots of time trying to gently do neck exercises and pray for the pain to get better. Then hundreds of things happened and we were unable for me to see a chiropractor for some time. Finally, my loving sister scolded me. She reminded me that I take care of everyone else in the family and I needed to take care of myself. Finally, the appointment was made and I got some relief for my neck and back.

Why didn't I just move that piece of fencing myself? Why was I so full of pride? I'm not going to move it, that's Karl's business. Why hadn't I noticed the fencing before the storm? It could have been put away properly before it ever got into the danger area.

Perhaps I need a few more storms in my life, to show what hasn't been taken care of. To show me what things need to be fixed so no one gets hurt. Will I do it, or will I be full of pride and say it is someone else's job. I hope I have learned my lesson.

Sharon Leukert

Friday, February 3, 2006


Yesterday, we were very blessed to see some of the White Stallions of Lippizan performing. It was nice to hear European words pronounced almost correctly. Such as Dressage and Levade. I learned a lot about true horsemanship and was greatly enjoying the program. These horses and riders train many hours to perform their maneuvers and show their strength. It's amazing, to think you are in an arena full of stallions, and they are getting along and doing their job. Amazing!

There was one stallion, though, who didn't quite cooperate with his entire routine. Nothing major, but we noticed that after the matinee program was over, the head rider brought him out again and was going over the routine again, before their next program that evening.

Also interesting was the music. They used all classical music, except for one big band/swing number. The music was gorgeous. The horses were well trained and the riders were excellent, doing their job of making it look effortless. There were no flashing lights. No free t shirts shot up into the crowd. However, one family behind us couldn't handle the program. Overheard was, I never listen to classical music, I can't stand this.

Is that truly the case? Could it possibly be more of training? Have I trained myself to only be entertained by loud music, flashing lights and gesticulating body parts? Just a thought. If Jesus came on a white stallion, would we be disappointed, because it wasn't with flashing lights, loud music and free t shirts shot up into the crowd?