Red Rubber Ball

One of my favorite things about the BlissDom conference– and YES I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT THE DANG BLISSDOM CONFERENCE– was the opening keynote speaker. Seriously, I wish you’d been there. The session was entitled “ReDiscovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Word…and Life” which frankly? Didn’t make me jump up and down. I knew if the BlissDom powers-that-be were bringing him in he had to be good, but I figured he would be some kind of ‘motivational speaker,’ and those words always immediately make me picture Chris Farley in that SNL skit :

“I live in a van down by the river!”

Also, when I saw that the title of his address talked about ‘rediscovering play’ I was a little suspicious that he was going to make us get in touch with our inner child by doing some sort of group games or something– you know like those kind they do at baby showers and you have to play along so everybody doesn’t think you hate babies and pregnant women but what you really want to do is just stand up and yell, “I don’t WANT to try to guess how many inches around her baby belly is! That’s kind of creepy and I don’t really care! Here’s my answer: BIG! Her belly is BIG!” Yeah, I am a lot of fun at showers, be sure and ask me to your next one.

Anyway,  I showed up for the keynote a few minutes late and plopped myself down on the floor at the verrrrrry back of the ballroom next to the power strips. That way, if it wasn’t riveting I could always just go on Twitter and make snarky comments or maybe ease myself back out of the door…

The speaker captured my attention immediately He was this kind of goofy-looking little African American guy with glasses named Kevin Carroll. He was animated and enthusiastic, and he was matter-of-factly telling the story of his childhood, which was horrible by anyone’s standards. Addict parents, ends up being shuttled to grandparents, left to raise himself. Oh here, let him tell you himself– this is a very short little excerpt from some other conference, but it will give you an idea– by the way, speaking of giving people ideas, I saw this first clip on Ali Worthington’s blog yesterday (she’s one of the founders of BlissDom) and that gave ME the idea to share it with you all:

Don’t you just love him?! Here’s another peek at a project he did involving another red rubber ball:

Isn’t it interesting that the grown-ups didn’t really take the opportunity to play with that crazy giant ball, but the kids ran straight for it?! I love the idea of using the ball to symbolize your passion, your ‘big, audacious, ridiculous’ dreams.  I know that these are not radical new concepts, but it is a very motivating way to get you to think about finding your own “red rubber ball” and chasing it to your heart’s content. Kevin’s words really inspired me to play more, enjoy the blessed gift of my life and continue to look for what makes my heart sing.

So, the obvious question that I would love to hear about from all of you is…

What’s your red rubber ball?

70 Responses

  1. tori

    It just occurred to me that maybe I ought to kick this thing off!

    Ok, my red rubber ball… Well, the first things that come to mind in terms of what gets me up in the morning and what I feel passionate about is my family, my faith and my writing. I have dreams of combining those things and maximizing my potential to communicate that passion to other people. I think I might have a couple of books in me… I am also starting to think that maybe I would like to do more speaking engagements. I’ve done that a few times and though it scared me to death, it was exhilarating too. So those are things that I’d like to start chasing a little more, I think.

    OK, your turn!

  2. delightedabroad

    Wow, that’s challenging – even more because I didn’t have breakfast yet…
    Let’s see – like you, Tori, I feel passionate about my hubby, my faith but as I think more about this I also feel like that when it comes to mediating/helping someone else to see a different point of view especially in conflicts. And this does not necessarily mean I’m good in it (to date) though I like this picture of building bridges.

  3. MostlySunny

    I love teaching the Bible. The most exciting part is when you see the look on someone’s face when they “get it”. The light comes on and something that they’ve stuggled with becomes clear in the light of God’s Word. That never gets old. I teach using the Precept Ministries inductive method – – I learn so much and I love it when someone in class says “I’ve always wondered what that meant!” Now go live it!

  4. MostlySunny

    Oh, and thanks, Tori, for getting this started. I read it last night and wasn’t quite sure where to go with it.

  5. tori

    OK, well SEE! I’ve already learned things about both of you that I had no idea about!

    delightedabroad– My family is full of therapists/psychologists/counselors/social workers (and Madi is making noises about becoming a psychologist), so I totally feel ya on that.

    MostlySunny– I have heard of Precept, but never knew much about it. Their website is very interesting, I am going to show it to Russ– that boy loves to study the Bible!

    Keep ‘em coming!

  6. KellyBurton

    Ha! I so want to answer this… and you already know, it’s the same as yours! My writing has literally gotten me through some times in life that I would have bored or gloomed myself to death. Combining it with my family and my faith and all the bounciness there in makes me an actual Tigger… and the combination of the three seems to be where my ball is rolling.


  7. jonny

    Today’s My Utmost For His Highest seems to tap into where I’m at with this at the moment…

  8. LindaB

    OMG, Jonny! I love that! And it’s so true.

    I was just going to skip this blog entry—-after you turn the corner at 60, thinking about dreams and long range plans is just depressing. It’s too late for any major red rubber ball bouncing! In fact, “bouncing” is something I don’t even want to think about anymore! I’m more concerned with survival—–for myself and my family. But there were a couple red rubber balls I had once upon a time.

    I hesitate to even name them ’cause they are so outlandish that you guys will laugh! And even if I had the opportunity, I wouldn’t have the time now……nor the energy! God would really have to “raise the dead” in my case, Jonny! But………because I feel comfortable here and I don’t really SEE you guys in real life, and I can’t hear you laughing……….I’ll tell you. I would love to write, like you do, Tori! I know I’d never be as good as you are, (you know a lot more words than I do!), but it would be so much fun! I’ve always thought I write better than I talk! And, that’s not all (I told you it was outlandish)….I’d like to write song lyrics like you do too! (Shut up out there! I heard that snicker!). I’d like to write lyrics that make people think about things differently than they always have…… give readers a different point of view and change their thinking. I’d like to write songs that don’t use the usual Christian jargon that gets incredibly boring and meaningless after you’ve heard them a thousand times. And I even think I’d like to write country songs. Okay, now I’ve bared my soul. I’m embarrassed. But oh well, I’m over sixty and old folks are to be humored, right? I SAID QUIT LAUGHING OR I’M GONNA THROW MY WALKER AT YA!

    Okay, as long as I’ve gone this far, I’ll add these “balls”—–I would like to take art classes and paint pictures. I’d like to REALLY follow a diet and exercise plan and hear someone say, “Gee, Linda, don’t you think you’re getting too thin and toned up?” I’d like to have every room of my house decorated just like I’d like it AT THE SAME TIME! And one more thing—–I’d like to play Texas Hold ‘Em poker at one of those tournaments like I see on TV.

    Well, I’ve done it now. I’m gonna go hide in my closet and never come out again. It was nice knowing you guys! I’ll remember you fondly.

  9. MostlySunny

    LindaB – YOU ARE WONDERFUL!! The part that made me laugh out loud? TEXAS HOLD ‘EM!!! I’d watch even if it was pay-per-view. And you know what? Everything else on your list…you can do it! Haven’t you already stuck your toe in the lyrics thing with your ex-bleeding heart – jonny?

    Thin and toned – that’s so last year. Frumpy and lumpy is in from here on out! (Not that you are this, but it’s certainly OK to be [so I keep saying…]).

    Art classes and painting – I admire people who can do that. Grab that walker and take a class! Give it a try!

    Now for the rooms in your house – ask Tori. She seems to have good taste and can put a room together. Just make sure you put a card table in one for your poker practice games!

    Come out from that closet and keep your head up. This was great!

  10. LindaB

    Okay, I’m coming out of the closet to go to the bathroom and I have to answer MostlySunny because she’s so nice!!!

    Sunny, I’m totally serious about the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament! It looks like so much fun——lookin’ all poker faced, the adrenaline flowing ’cause of the small fortune riding on a couple cards, the thrill of winning…..ahhhhh, I can feel it all now! Gives me goose bumps. And it’s so male dominated, too. I like males. What’s not to like? But there are several reasons my dream will probably never come true——–A.D.D. is one of them. Apparently, you have to keep a mental tally of what cards are played and calculate the odds of the winning cards left in the deck being dealt to you. I can’t keep an accurate accounting of my own check book! I have to get out a pencil and paper when someone asks me how long I’ve been married! I don’t do calculations in my head!
    And I tend to laugh a lot…..over nothing in particular, I just break out in it unexpectedly when I think of something funny. So, the poker face thing—-I couldn’t pull it off. But I can dream…..and watch it on TV. I’m not too old to watch TV……yet.

    Oh, and you mentioned my song lyrics I offered up for Jonny……and I don’t think he liked them. THAT’S why I decided to switch over to country music——I can relate to heartache now, driving my truck (through Finland) while drinking beer……..lots of beer. (I’m a method writer!)

    If lumpy and frompy is in, where do I sign up for America’s Top Model? And do they have beer?

    You’re sweet, Sunny! I like you!

  11. LindaB

    Whoa! Sunny! I just reread your comment and remembered that you teach Bible classes!!! I just want you to know that I’ve never had a beer in my life! Honest. I just thought it sounded funny…..and very “poker-like”. (You don’t listen to idle gossip, do ya?)

  12. jonny

    Too late! You’re so busted, girl!!

  13. wendmark

    Thank you for sharing about the red ball. Thanks for leading us all off and getting us started. I love what everyone had to say. DelightedAbroad, MostlySunny,LindaB, Jonny (I love what Utmost For His Highest said), KellyBurton. I say go for it all of you!

    I love the Lord, my wife and our boys, family and friends. My passion is songwriting. I agree with LindaB, the song must say something and say it in a way that people haven’t heard things said before. My songs have a message and I hope that they make people reflect and think long after the song is ended. I have been writing my whole adult life but, just now am really starting to put them out there to be challenged and evaluated by sending them to known artists. I’m not holding my breath I submit them and turn them over to the Lord.

    Like Guy Penrod said, God’s got our number. So I say we all follow our dreams and our passions, put footwork to prayer and God will bring about those dreams and passions in line with His plan for us and we would be surprised how many dreams we share with Him.

    Thanks Tori! It is so nice to be reminded of these things. God bless you all dear friends!

  14. wendmark

    Oh I meant to say, I love Kevin Carroll, he is from my neck of the woods, Portland Oregon! Whoo-Hoo!

  15. tori

    kellyburton- HEY EVERYBODY– meet Kelly! (Kelly? Everybody) You guys will love her. She’s married to Rod Burton, they’re in SG music, they run the Branson Convention and, check it all out. She is absolutely delightful, it was love at first Twitter and we actually met in real life, too! (And they have two ADORABLE little girls!)

    jonny, I love that book and I ESPECIALLY loved reading that passage. Thank you.

    LindaB– Ok girl, I’m gonna have to call shenanigans on this one– you ARE a writer! I’ve known you, what, 4 years now? I have read your lyrics, I have read your poetry, I have read your essays (often cleverly disguised as emails– I STILL have the fake Christmas letter you wrote a couple of years ago!) Being published and being a writer and two different things– you can be one without the other! Also? I have friends who didn’t start painting until they retired! Hey, remember Grandma Moses? (And you know I bet they do have poker games at certain Indian casinos…)

    MostlySunny– OK, this totally cracked me up: “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM!!! I’d watch even if it was pay-per-view. ”

    WendMark– Dang, ALL of my readers are writers! TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!!!

  16. LindaB

    Yes, I do remember Grandma Moses! We went to high school together!

    You’re too kind, BTW. But I am flattered because YOU are the Queen Writer of the World! Enjoy it and go for whatever else you want to “bounce” around ’cause someday you’ll be old and goofy like me!

    (I’d so come and hear you speak!!!!)

  17. LindaB

    I mean, if I’m not in a poker tournament that day.

  18. LindaB

    I can’t wait to use this when the lady on the funeral dinner committee calls me from church and says, “Linda, can you make a casserole for Brother Smith’s funeral tomorrow? And help serve?” And I’d say, “Oh Sister, I would love to, but I have a poker tournament tomorrow! I’ve prayed about it and I feel it’s the more needful thing for me to do at this time. I’m trying to find my “spiritual gift” ya know! I’m kind of burnt out on cooking right now. I’ll pray though that you find somebody else in time!” ROFLOL!!!

  19. LindaB

    I’m sorry, Tori. I really am.

  20. jonny

    SHE IS NOT!! She enjoyed every single key key punch of it!! You are sooo right, Tori. She is nothing but one big ole juicy LIE-ER!! = ) = ) = )

  21. rachelbaker

    I’m so glad I checked in here this morning. These comments have been the most entertaining thing I’ve seen for ages!! LindaB … go for it (well, the writing and the art anyway). Actually I can see spontaneous laughing becoming the new ‘poker face’. No-one will ever know what you’re thinking if you’re giggling. (I suffer from the same affliction, I can laugh at the most inappropriate times).

    OK, mine, exactly the same as Tori’s, in the same order, but I admit that at the moment the rubber ball of family is taking a lot more chasing than that of writing which I’ve let roll away for a bit too long.

  22. delightedabroad

    That’s exactly what I wanted to say, rachelbaker, you guys know how to brighten my morning… :)
    LindaB, you’re not too old ! My mother-in-law started taking flute lessons when she was something over seventy ! Anyway, each time you write a comment I know it is interesting/funny/heart-warming so I’m looking forward to reading this. And to back you up a little – I think I didn’t mention that I’d love to have a voice to sing songs which touch people’s hearts

  23. LindaB

    Oh Jonny, ye know me too well! (It takes one to know one, they say.) I AM sorry, just not enough to make me quit it!

    Delighted, you made my day! You and your mother-in-law, the seventy year old flute player!! LOL I don’t have enough wind to blow out my birthday candles without help! I can’t imagine playing a flute, or any other wind instrument! I’d have to hire someone to do the blowing part! Does she play in public, like at church or something. I think I love her!

  24. MostlySunny

    Oh, golly! These comments are starting my day our just right. I’m still giggling…

    LindaB – I am part American Indian…and my little tribe does have a very tacky casino. I think I can get you in…

  25. MostlySunny

    Yes, “starting my day out…”

  26. tori

    MostlySunny– Honey, don’t let LindaB’s cute-as-a-bunny exterior fool you. She’s a ringer. They probably have her picture next to the door at ALL Indian casinos, just to make sure she doesn’t come in and wipe ‘em out. Poker will just be her latest world to conquer… (If she does ever start playing, I say we all show up as a ‘bloomr cheering section and sit right behind her!)

  27. MostlySunny

    …with matching t-shirt and everything!

  28. jonny

    Sorry, I double key-ed earlier! It was around five in the morning though, if that’s any consolation = /

    And it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to lie!! You yourself have given me the open door here, the ‘out’ on that one Former! Remember, those with autism don’t have the ability to be false in any way… = ) Even to the point of being brutally honest… Just like when I tried to point out your drinking problem to everyone last Autumn… And now you’re FINALLY spilling the beans YOURSELF, and in front of a Sunday school teacher, or teacher of the Good Book, who is also part Native American!! Wooh! Mercy!! Do I finally feel thoroughly justified now, or what!!

  29. delightedabroad

    LindaB, she’s not playing in public, just for her own fun and to be able to play with her granddaughters at Christmas (they both play accordeon). Though I have to admit it’s not so fun hearing her practise :-/

  30. delightedabroad

    Lol, jonny, you’re killing me :-)

  31. KellyBurton

    :Waving hello:

    :and maybe jumping up and down a little bit:

    LindaB – 3 words, and they come from the part of my heart completely inspired by… Rocky Balboa: GO for it!

  32. Laura Plott

    Ok, so I have to admit that I read this last night but was afraid to post a comment, but since others did I will too…I have a lot of dreams I would like to follow, but for one reason or another haven’t been able too…I would like to write, up until a few years ago it was one of the few things I thought I was actually good at, but now I am on a medication that sort of takes away my creativity and no matter how hard I try, I can’t write like I know I can. Second, I want to be a teacher, or maybe a child psychologist, social worker something like that…but can’t afford to return to college. I have this fear that I’m going to get to be 50 or 60 (I’m 27)and realize I never got the chance to do these things. For now I am trying to be content at the work I do that does involve a bit of teaching here and there.

  33. delightedabroad

    Laura Plott, I can understand you so well ! I also have to struggle with health problems which restrict me; nevertheless I can encourage you to just try what is on your heart – I’m about a decade older than you and despite all this limits I have started a second training. God (and the prayers of those guys around here and ‘at home’ :-) ) leads me through.

  34. jonny

    Well, I just turned 46, I’m neurologically different than most, physically impaired, making it physically impossible to maintain a full time job presently, and probably the rest of my time here on earth. I’m single with no woman I’ve come across in years who is even remotely interested in a more committed relationship with me, and I’m really not able to take proper care of myself. Still, I’m content, able to keep up with a lot of the basics I’m responsible for, and even a few extras from time to time. I’m good. And, I have wonderful friends to talk with, hang out with, do things with, and some impressive people supporting the red balls I get to throw out from time to time. God is indeed good.

  35. LindaB

    I love your “atitude of gratitude”, Jonny! Our pastor’s wife used to say that adversity comes to everyone eventually, and it can make us bitter or better! It has clearly made you better! Good job, Friend!

  36. jonny

    Thanks, friend. I believe the apostle Paul hit the nail on the head when he stated that the greatest riches we are able to posses in Christ is in contentment in all things/situations/circumstances. And in many ways a lot of what happens to us down here is truly irrelevant. What’s happening with our hearts, souls, spirits, minds… vital. Where we are in, and with Christ, highest priority. Working everything out in love, Life supporting, sustaining.

  37. jonny

    Oh, and not growing in trusting Him thoroughly, completely with all things, a death sentence. And sorry, noticed your capital “F” Friend after posting my last Say it!, Friend!

  38. auburn60

    I’m picturing Linda running around a casino,passing out homemade meatballs and slices of cake before sitting down to a hand of cards…

    I had to give this whole question a lot of thought. I had a career that I loved and feel that,in spite of the overall depressive nature of being a social worker that there were a few times I made a difference and had chances to both teach and to learn. I have been loved and loved, so if I died tomorrow I would have no regrets.

    If the Lord lets me go for another 50 years,which is my plan,there are a few things I would try. I used to want to sing and actually gave that a shot when I was younger. But it was too much work and that ship has now sailed;I have some esophagus damage that pretty much limits that possibility. I think the world will go on, however, without my voice in song.

    I also think I have at least one book in me and the longer I deal with my in-laws and my husband’s side of the family I think it would be a shame not to share all that drama with the world. I’m taking copious notes and when everyone involved dies and I know I won’t be sued I expect to have a best-seller on my hands. It would be a sin to waste all that hilarious dysfunction. So yes, I also would like to write.

    I’d like to take a shot at stand-up comedy. I think that is just a way of being a good storyteller and Lord knows,I GOT STORIES.

    I’d like to present workshops on communication and interpersonal skills. My friend and I used to do these for the agency we worked for in Florida and they were alot of fun.Making a group of people comfortable and getting them talking is a challenge, but I really like it. I don’t mind talking to a group of people–as long as I know my stuff.

    I’d like to become a better photographer. I got a new, kick-a**, camera for Christmas and I want to learn how to photograph the images I see in my mind’s eye, the kind that make you catch your breath, the ones that tell a story or convey an emotion.

    I guess that’s enough for now. These should keep me busy for the second half of my life.

  39. Barbara M. Lloyd

    At the risk of sounding redundant, my passions are exactly the same: faith, family and writing. And I used, to add cooking, decorating and entertaining too.

    I definately am able to express myself much more easily in writing than verbally. But I’m starting to believe that one is either a talker or a writer…and only occasionally is anyone both.

    But I have to be motivated to write and then I am able to sit down and let it flow; otherwise, I struggle with every word. I write humorous stories for a post on Gaither’s boards…all make-believe and fun, using everyones’ names who live in the Neighborhood. I’ve written published articles of no importance two or three times in my life. There was a time I talked about writing a book…but raising children seemed to wipe that out of my mind. Perhaps if my passion has been burning with a little more flame….

    But now, at this time in my life, I am content…and, in the end, perhaps that was my goal all of the time.

  40. LindaB

    Ya know what? I always remark to my family that I think American Idol should have a “Senior American Idol”———older people can sing too! I’m kind of miffed and insulted that they only take kids 28 years and under! I couldn’t compete with those kids that can move around and sing at the same time without the benefit of an oxygen tank, but I could compete with other seniors whose voices are not what they used to be, but they can still belt a song out! I can’t hit the high notes I used to, but I could do a pretty decent job of singing a song or two. I think older folks would LOVE the Senior American Idol, and isn’t the majority of our population over 50? Of course, they might have trouble voting with their cell phones, but they’d manage. Maybe they could cast their vote for their favorite Senior Idol at their doctor’s offices!

    They’d have to do away with that whole camping out thing for the auditions, and the strenuous rehearsals in Hollywood. And they should have teleprompters for the lyrics cause us seniors have trouble remembering things. I can’t remember a four digit pen number, for goodness sakes, much less all the words to a song!

    Alyson, let me know where you’ll be appearing with your stand-up comedy act, and I’ll be there! I JUST BET you got some GOOD stories! And I love stories!

    “But now, at this time in my life, I am content…and, in the end, perhaps that was my goal all of the time.” Oh my goodness, Barb! That is SO INCREDIBLY WISE!!! You could write fortunes for those Chinese fortune cookies!

  41. jonny

    When I was home last time, a couple years ago, we had Christmas at my sister’s and her family. The kids were into a hit song, with a dance included, popular at the time. Well, they wanted to have a contest seeing who did the moves with the song the best. The kids had been practicing for days, their father had also worked on it a bit himself, but my mom and dad at around 67 and 68 got the most votes. My mom had some little extra rhythm wiggles, jiggles and moves she embellished in with the required ones, and my dad, aka ‘grandpa,’ didn’t fart once throughout his entire routine!!

  42. LindaB

    ROFLMBO OVER AND OVER!!!! Good job, Grandpa!!! See! The over 50 crowd has it goin’ on too!

  43. jonny

    LindaB wrote…


    YES!!! I knew I could get you before Tori popped up another subject!! = )

  44. LindaB

    “And in many ways a lot of what happens to us down here is truly irrelevant.” — Jonny

    That, I believe, is so true. I’ve always wondered how different our lives, our attitudes, our priorities, and our hearts would be if we could be transported to the throne of God for just ten minutes………if we could hang out in the courtyard’s of Glory for a short while…..and then be transported back here. ‘Cause I think once we get a glimpse of His Holiness, and Righteousness, His Omnipotent power, and the reality of Grace, it would change everything about us! Now we see through a glass darkly, but face to face, (like high definition TV here), we’ll never be the same! We wouldn’t be able to take our minds off of that vision, and it would change everything about us after that. I don’t know why God doesn’t do it like that? Let us see Him first, then live our lives? Sounds good to me! But He didn’t……maybe because we couldn’t get anything done in this world after tasting the other! He did say that those of us who’ve never seen Him are more blessed. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’m sure it’s good.

    Okay, end of sermon. Resume what you were doing.

  45. LindaB

    I should have said “those of us who’ve never seen Him YET BELIEVE are more blessed”!

    Why do I always proof read my comments AFTER pushing the “Say it!” button??? Duh!!

  46. MostlySunny

    You all just make my day! We can go from hilariously funny to deep and serious in no time on this blog. I love it!

    “But now, at this time in my life, I am content…and, in the end, perhaps that was my goal all of the time.” Barbara M. Lloyd – aka “Wise Woman”…I’m gettin’ there!

    On another, more personal, note – this is my month! I told you a couple of posts ago that I am retiring. Well, today is my retirement luncheon, tomorrow is my husband’s and my birthday, Saturday is my work anniversary, and next Friday (26th) is my last day of work (at least on this job). Looking forward to what God has in store for me in this next chapter of life! Making plans, and He hasn’t shut the door on them, so we’ll see.

  47. LindaB

    So….Sunny, do you think, collectively, we have a touch of A.D.D.?

    Wow, Girl!! This IS your month! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and your beloved! Enjoy your retirement luncheon! And congratulations on your retirement! And may God lead you into a wonderful new and exciting field of endeavor! We are lucky to have you here!

    I just watched the movie about Temple Grandin. It was AWESOME!!! The actress that played her should get an Oscar!

  48. LindaB

    I can’t quit thinking about that movie about Temple Grandin! (She only ate Jello and pudding…..just like my nephew who only eats corn and french fries!) I looked up an interview of Temple after she had a successful career and became an advocate of Autistic people, and I thought this was very interesting:

    “Interviewer: How about famous people historically, who would you think had autism or Asperger’s Syndrome?

    Temple: I think Einstein had a lot of autistic traits. He didn’t talk until age three – I have a whole chapter about Einstein in my last book. I think Thomas Jefferson had some Asperger’s traits. Bill Gates has tremendous memory. I remember reading in an article that he memorised the whole Torah as a child. It’s a continuum – there’s just no black and white dividing line between a computer tekkie and say, an Asperger’s person. They just all blend right together. So if we get rid of the genetics that cause autism, there might be a horrible price to pay. Years ago, a scientist in Massachusetts said if you got rid of all the genes that caused disorders, you’d have only dried up bureaucrats left!”

    I know that autism was the subject of the last blog entry, but I wanted you guys to see this.

  49. jonny

    Thanks for sharing = )

  50. LindaB

    No problem! There’s no Poker Tournaments on TV tonight anyway! LOL

    But there is quite a competition in the men’s figure skating at the Olympics tonight! I’m watching that right now! The top two contenders’ mother’s were trash talkin’ on TV this morning! Ya gotta love that! LOL

  51. tori

    LindaB– I TOTALLY did the exact same thing! Last night, after watching the Temple Grandin movie again with the whole family I went on youTube and watched the very interview you quoted (and about 30 more!) She is absolutely fascinating, isn’t she?

  52. LindaB

    YES! Absolutely!!!

    I googled images of the real Temple too! Clare Danes did an excellent job of taking on her “look” too! I can’t quit thinking about it—–the way her mind works and the way she “sees” things in her head! It’s so totally logical, minus the ability to socialize that we have. It reminded me so much of my nephew. He takes learning so seriously——-and his mind is like a steel trap! He researches things on the computer and then tell you exactly what he learned months from now——every dang detail. But he can’t look you in the eye and say a simple “I love you”. He doesn’t understand our emotional needs.

    This whole thing makes me think how incredibly awesome the human brain is! We can learn and invent and reason, but also relate to each other. Our Creator is magnificent! We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made!

    Gee, that Evan,(the men’s figure skater from the U.S.) sure is TALL!! What a beautiful graceful program he just skated!

  53. LindaB

    Okay, now I want to be a figure skater! (Is that ice reinforced REAL good? I’d hate to crack that ice!)

  54. tori

    And yes, I am watching figure skating too– we are leading parallel lives!
    Except for that whole poker thing.

  55. LindaB

    Good! I’d hate to come up against you at a poker tournament! You’d make me laugh and I’d lose my serious poker face!

    Did you see that skater’s lace that malfunctioned? Shouldn’t someone make sure his laces are sturdy and tied right? Where is his mother?!?

  56. LindaB

    Hey, ya know when the skaters do these “triple double quadruple blah blah blah jumps”? Who counts the turns? They are spinning so fast, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times they’ve turned completely around, but the announcers immediately announce, “He did a double triple such and such jump”? How do they do that?

    I’m goin’ for a snack now. How ’bout you? Wanna get back before the Russian skates! Just something a little salty.

  57. LindaB

    EVAN WON!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. rockin robyn

    This is a very motivating subject… Thank you Tori for sharing and starting this inviting conversation.

    I am a very quiet natured person, shy to the enth degree… but even in my childhood I can remember always being the helper, the worry “wort”, the “it’ll be alright” person. I was always very backward and introverted and I use to hate myself for that, that I couldn’t be like “so and so”… They are soooo popular!

    But in my quiet sheltered life I learned to look out and observe people. People interest me and intrigue me. That is how I learned to trust people and be-friend them. Before you become my friend I have to get to know you and trust you. And today I truly have some wonderful friends, life long friends.

    I think that is what gets me out of bed today. As I got older I don’t hate who I am anymore because I know that was God walking with me and keeping me away from harm. So in my heart I just always wanted to help people and guard them from trouble or problems. That maybe He guarded me, gave me this caring heart so that I can do His work and help others. Sometimes I feel guilty that I didn’t get into counseling or something of that nature to follow my heart.

    Because I love music so much, perhaps today it is through this obsession with SG music and the message of hope that it gives people that maybe I should be doing something with this feeling in my heart. Ya just don’t know what you are meant to do.

    My professional life has nothing to do with any of this and in fact all it does is keep me hidden from my heart.

  59. tori

    YAY! U.S.A. gold!
    (Scott Hamilton lives around here, I see him at neighborhood restaurants all the time! He is a wee little smiley bald guy.)

  60. delightedabroad

    Hi, I’m back in time to find out that there are other figure-skater-lover ! Alas I didn’t have time (yesterday and up to now) for watching TV because I attended a course to become a first-aider.

  61. LindaB

    Delighted, GOOD FOR YOU! They’ll be showing Evan’s performance on TV for weeks! I bet it’s on UTube already! But learning first aid is really commendable! I might need you someday!

    Robyn, you said you were always a quiet and meek person, wanting to help people. Well, Girlfriend, YOU are in good company—–“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am MEEK and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”.

    But you’re also wearing some “bling” you might not know you are even wearing! God mentions in His word “…… the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious”. (1Pet3:4) So, Dear One, you not only share a personality trait (meekness) with Christ, but you’re wearing a precious bedazzling jewel that He can’t take His eyes off! Enjoy the attention!

    And surely you know that being a counselor or “something of that nature” is not the only way to help people. You can help folks wherever you happen to find yourself “professionally”! Some people will never see a counselor in their entire lives, but they know YOU! They see YOU everyday and they are going through something right now. Just ask the Spirit of God to help you help them. It works, believe me! You’ll be so busy “counseling” and showing off that “jewelry” God gave you that you won’t have time for regrets.

  62. delightedabroad

    LindaB, I’ll offer you my help where and whenever needed – she even instructed me how to use a defibrillator… :-)

  63. LindaB

    That’s good! I need one handy every time I step on my scales.

  64. LindaB

    Hey! We have one of those shock collars for stubborn dogs. Would that work as a defibrillator if there’s not an official one around?

  65. delightedabroad

    I’m awfully sorry, no, that would not work. Here in Germany you will find them ever more often in train stations, in gyms, some public buildings ans so on. How’s that in the US ?

  66. LindaB

    They are becoming more available at places where crowds gather. That’s a good thing.

  67. delightedabroad

    Do you also just call it ‘defi’ ?

  68. LindaB

    I haven’t heard that word “defi”, but then again, I don’t get around much! I’m just learning the meaning of the term “Wi Fi”.

  69. rockin robyn

    LindaB – WOW! Thank you for that. Those words of encouragement brought tears to my eyes. I will carry them on my heart – for a lifetime, sister – to serve as a reminder that I am special. And so are you, my friend.

    Tori this blog is a sacred and blessed area of the internet for sure!! Man!!!

  70. LindaB

    (((Robyn))) See! I don’t have a counseling degree……….or a degree of any kind! I’m not even a professional poker player! But I was able to offer a few words of encouragement to someone I don’t even know—–nor ever met. I simply sensed from your comment that you were a bit “down” and asked God to help me give you something to lift you up a little! And He did.

    There are so many hurting people everywhere! And most of the time they just need someone to listen to them with a sympathetic heart, and maybe a couple encouraging words. No degree necessary. No paycheck either…..until you get to Heaven.

    Robyn, I bet when you reach Heaven you find a lot of folks who were helped and encouraged by this quiet, loving, compassionate lady they knew from work, or church, or the neighborhood…….named Robyn! Remember, Jesus said we can’t even give a cup of cold water in His Name without the “accountants” in Heaven noting same and increasing your “Heavenly retirement fund”! I really do.

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