Monday, November 30, 2009

"Chicks With Tools, Rule...."

I hadn't heard the expression in many, many years, but as I reached for my cordless drill, it was like hearing it afresh.

I was replacing the exterior drier vent cover. The dog had used the previous one to teethe or something along those lines. But, as you would know, the screw holes from the previous one, and the new one, were not identically placed. So, off for the drill I went.

My father had quite a workshop when I was growing up. I learned about different kinds of screwdrivers and wrenches, pliers and saws and worked with his drill presses. He gave us some old stumps and a bucket of nails to practice hammering.

When he gave me a cordless drill as a gift in my early 20's, I thought he had lost his mind.... until I started to use it! That drill has long quit working, and been replaced, but the knowledge my father gave me lives on.

I'm sure it seemed odd at the time, the blind guy teaching his little girl about such things, but I am so grateful!

Chicks with tools DO rule! (Thanks Dad!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.....

We put up our tree this weekend. It's something that I love to do. I love to unpack all the ornaments, look at them, and remember where they came from. This year, my daughter joined in the fun.
"I remember when I did this!" she said as she hung a hand-colored paper bell on the tree. "... and THIS!" (her kindergarten school picture, framed).

Over the years, I have collected ornaments: the preschool craft-stick Rudolphs, and the tatted snowflakes, ornaments that were gifts and some that I've chosen myself. Each of the wooden ornaments we've received from Walk Through Bethlehem are on there.

Every year for the past eight, I have created a ceramic snowflake with the picture from our Christmas card on it. I have also created a framed picture of each of my children for the year - or two... some years, there are Pictures with Santa on there as well.

During the time that the tree is up, you'll find me taking a few minutes every day, lost in the memories of the decorations, grateful for family and friends and the Baby that changed the world.

This year, we had an extra set of hands helping us. We're grateful the kids cousin could come help us decorate this year!

In this picture, the mantel seems so bare... I've barely begun....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Birthday Number 8

My kids celebrated their eigth birthday on Thanksgiving Day. They are quite the pair and in this photo, the Girl-child is saying "HEY! He blew out MY candle too!"

They have been such a gift. Their laughter, their antics. Even some of their sassiness is kind of amusing (usually after the fact). They have taught me so much through the years: on faith, devotion, discipline, unconditional love.

It's hard for me to believe we're half-way to drivers licenses, and even closer to puberty. I feel like there is so much they have to learn, and so much I hope they never do. They remind me that there is much to pray for... even on days when I don't know any specific "needs".

They remind me that I need to model appropriate behavior even when I don't think they are watching.... usually I am wrong and they are.

They remind me of the importance of cooperation and co-parenting.

They need to witness forgiveness, respect, responsibility, boundaries. They need to experience love and joy and encouragement, and frustration and perseverance. They need to see surrender and awe and worship.

The thought of responsibility I have and the influence of my life and my mothering is humbling.

I am grateful to have a Heavenly Example, and a village, and for Philippians 4:13....

I sure can't do it alone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

God of Abundance....

One of the things that hit me this past Thanksgiving: Abundance.

We had so much food. Enough for leftovers, enough to send doggie bags.... But that is expected. That's a Thanksgiving "thing".... that I am fortunately enough to experience. I know not all do.

It was Wednesday, as I baked pies, and prepared vegetables. I spent a quiet day puttering around the kitchen, counting my blessings.

It didn't surprise me that Jesus fed the multitudes with a few fish and a loaf of bread - my 3 cups of "pumpkin glop" (pureed fresh pumpkin) turned into FOUR pies. I had just enough flour to make the crust for the apple pie, with some to spare for the gravy on Thursday.

Taking the day to realize how richly I have been blessed, really set the stage for the holiday itself. There's not a lot of money, or "stuff", but my cup runneth over with the little things that are truly huge things.

Yet, it wasn't until I prayed before our meal that I was really cognizant of it. "We thank you for your abundant blessings - even when we don't realize they are there."

I am not always aware of how truly blessed I am. I don't always realize how abundantly the grace and mercy of God flow over and through my life. In the midst of the day to day, when there doesn't seem to be enough (money, sleep, time, patience, you name it....), I don't always remember the ways I am loved, cared for and provided for.

It was good to have a day to count my blessings.... I ran out of daylight and evening before I'd named them all.

Thank You, God.....

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today is likely one of my favorite days of the year. A day focused on gratitude, on giving thanks.

I don't always remember the peace that comes when I focus on gratitude. But, today, there will be my focus.

I am grateful for friends and family, my home, with the smell of pies cooking in the oven. Soon, the house will be full of the noise of children and extended family.

I have much to be grateful for. It's not always easy, nor the way *I* think it should be, but it is what it is.

And, no matter what ... whether the road be smooth or bumpy... God is with me. Before me, behind me, surrounding me, holding me, leading me, guiding me, comforting me, encouraging me.

Of THAT I am very, very grateful!

Have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving!

(and a happy birthday to my kiddos!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rejoice.... Rejoice....

I sit here, silently staring at the blank screen. There are no words.

In the back of my mind is the song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

It's one of my favorite Christmas Carols - that comes to mind throughout the year as well.

It is a message of hope, of joy - "Rejoice!" - yet, the music behind the lyrics is somewhat haunting and melancholy.

Israel is exiled and mourning, waiting and waiting,....yet they are reminded to rejoice.

I shall follow their example.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall ransom captive Israel

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When You Focus on What You Want....

It was meant to be inspirational, but when I saw it, I cringed inside. I had been searching for some "wall words" to put over my kitchen window .... a hazzard of spiffing things up a little bit with a dab of paint. Once the lid is off the jar containing all the things I want to do for my house, they all rush to the forefront of my mind.

So, this quote was doubly timely.

It pained me, physically, when I read it. My heart seemed to pause in my chest while the "danger, danger, danger" alarms sounded deep within. I realize its purpose is to remind people to focus on the goal, and thus attain it.

Yet, when I read it, I can't help but move the emphasis from "focus" to "want". And I do believe it is true that when we "focus on what [we] WANT, everything else falls away" - family, relationships, responsibilities, God.

Dreams, hopes and goals are wonderful things. I love to dream of the ways I'd like to update, rearrange and remodel my house. It's OK to "want", but my focus needs to be elsewhere.

Help me to want what You want, and to want You most of all....

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way...

I had a free afternoon, and one of my goals before Thanksgiving this year is to spackle and touch up with paint, the dings we have put into the walls of our home. Bumped with ladders or doors, knocked with toys or chairs, there were a few places that needed some attention.

Also in need of a dab of paint were the points where the railing (that used to be atop my cabinets) had met the wall. I'd taken those down when I moved in... nearly four years ago. Holes that were the only memory of pictures hung by the previous owner needed filling and painting.

They've been on the "to do" list for a while, but in "low priority status". Now, with the upcoming holidays - and several upcoming events in our home, they got bumped up a notch.

So here, on my free afternoon, I had the time, the supplies AND the motivation. I dabbled here and there, and found myself amazed. Who knew that filling a tiny hole and adding a dot of paint would make such a huge difference. It's like new!

Fear not, God did not miss this opportunity to speak to me. He reminded me of the changes I would like and need to make in my life. Sometimes I hold back because the action wouldn't be "enough", or wouldn't make a noticeable impact. Sometimes, I don't feel like I have time, energy, or resources to complete the entirety of the task, so I do nothing.

But, He showed me that, even though I didn't have the ability to completely repaint the room - as I would one day like to do - a little bit goes a long way.

He has encouraged me to take a few more little steps in other areas of my life.....

(Oh, and a little lemon oil on the cabinets works wonders too!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

God's Chisel - * WHAM *

I had a friend send me a link to a skit she wanted me to see. She thought I'd like it. She was right. She knows me well,... though I wish I didn't identify with it SOOOO much.

I am sure God and I have had several of these conversations at one point or another. I've been caught playing the "You're not God" game. I've attempted to carry on conversation longer than necessary, thinking that it would delay the work He wanted to accomplish in my life. On more than one occasion, I've been told "That's called control", and been asked "Do you see what you're doing?"

Yet, the thing that touched me the most deeply was when God was explaining about discipline and empty wells. By chiseling away at those bits of me that are not Christ-like, He helps me not return to the empty wells hoping to become filled.

I also found much hope in the promise He spoke: "This faith that I am producing will become mature". I just need to trust Him.

Chisel away, God..... Chisel away. I am willing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Movie Night

The kids were with their dad, and I thought I'd spend a quiet evening watching a movie. It would be a little change of venue for me, and something low key. I need that every now and again.

As I walked past the Red Box at the grocery store, I considered looking, but remembered I'd bought some of my favorite old movies when they were on clearance a while back, and hadn't watched them. I thought I had the movie Ghost, but I was mistaken. I looked through the bookshelf housing the DVD's.

"kid-movie, kid-movie, kid-movie.... ah, grown-up-movie... nah...." I flipped through one by one. I decided on When Harry met Sally. I remembered liking it so much when I saw it years ago. OMG. I couldn't get it off quick enough. I stuck with them from Chicago to New York and onto the plane, but I couldn't tolerate any more.

Instead, I reached for Fireproof. A romance of a different sort. I'd seen it before, but enjoyed it more this time, I think. I had detached Kirk Cameron from his Growing Pains role that I knew so well from my youth, and was able to envision him better as an adult this time around.

I connected all to well to the experience of Catherine and Caleb, and, yes, I cried as Caleb is down on his knees during the theme song and during his apology.

It's quite a movie. I'm grateful to have seen it yet again......

Friday, November 20, 2009

Taking Time - to notice and to speak

I was driving in the car, rushing to get to the interstate early one morning. Somehow the difference of about five minutes at that time of day makes the difference between a 20 and 45 minute commute. Doesn't quite seem right, but that's how it is. I wasn't sure which side of the "five minutes" I was on, so I was hurrying.

Then, this tree caught my eye. Gloriously bold in it's display of color, with the morning sun hitting it just right - as if to spotlight it. I noticed. I also noticed the joy that had filled me. Thank you God for the tree - and for drawing my attention to it.

That moment reminded me how important it is for me to take time to notice. It's important for me to get my head out of my plans, my worries, and my "to do"'s to appreciate the life that has been given to me - with all it's gifts and beauty. If I fail to do this, I miss out on much of the joy in living.

It is important I notice things in my Self, in my environment, and in others. In my Self, taking time to notice keeps me aware of where I am in life, how I am feeling. It helps me to realize when there is too much on my plate, and when there is peace and joy. It helps me know where my boundaries are, and when they have been crossed.

In the environment, it's like the tree - or the little boy I noticed on the drive to work, snug in his car seat, smiling contently at the ceiling of the car.

and in others.... it's taking the time to notice and to speak. Sometimes, it is a praise, or an observation. Sometimes it is reminding my son of how generous he is, or my daughter of what a sense of style she has.

But not always. Sometimes, what we have to say may not always be well received. Sometimes, it may instill anger, or resentment. Sometimes it shines the light on a dark corner the person is trying to ignore, but we still need to speak it.... with love. It is what God does with me. It is what I must do with others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Embracing My Imperfections

I was taught long ago to "embrace my imperfections". I have struggled with perfectionism, and have worked hard to accept my best effort. I still believe that "if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well", but I don't berate myself over my mistakes so much anymore.

Good thing, too! I keep finding situations that arise - especially in my interpreting world - that allow me to once again, embrace my imperfections. In years past, I would have quit. "If I can't do it "right", I won't do it", I would have said, totally disregarding the fact that I am still learning.

Today, I laugh.... embarrassed and praying the floor would fall out beneath my feet, or the time would come for Him to return and take me home. Yes, I still sometimes wish I had gotten it "right", but the old tapes that attacked the core of my being have been silenced.

Two Sundays ago, I talked about us not needing fancy bodies to worship God. This past week, I inserted my name-sign in place of Luke's. Luke, the physician became Linda, the nurse.

I've taken a ribbing about "The Gospel of Linda", this past week, and I am grateful for the people that are patient with me and willing to teach me and correct me.

I am also grateful for the women who, day after day, week after week, challenged me lovingly about my humanity. My imperfection. They encouraged me to show up and be "real" - mistakes and all. They showered me with love and grace until I could allow myself the same.

So here's to an imperfect day as a human woman, stumbling around within the perfect plan that is God's....

May we be blessed!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Internal Editor

Most times I am grateful for my "Internal Editor". I'm not sure if it's a God-given gift or a result of my father's insistence that "if you'd thought about it first, you wouldn't have to apologize afterward"..... or both.

The times when the booming voice - or the quietest whisper - speak wisdom to me JUST BEFORE I open my trap, I'm sure it's God-given. The times that I have listened to that voice, I have been very grateful. Long after the moment, I say "thank You, God...."

In the moment, is an entirely different story. Everything within me wants to ignore the message, or tell Him (so very kindly) to "butt out, I've to got react to this!" Those times haven't turned out so well. They end with me apologizing for saying things I didn't mean, or over reacting, or some such thing.... and kicking myself for not listening.

Sometimes it helps for me to repeat what I've heard - either aloud or in my head. Stepping back and saying "Forgive him, he knows not what he is doing", distracts the "are you kidding me?" long enough to at least clean up the language or the tone of voice so that I can respond rather than react.

I love my Editor, the Spirit of Wisdom, Grace, Guidance and Discernment.

May I listen. May I hear. May I obey...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reminders From the Tracker...

So, apparently, "Press into God" was a popular search these past 24 hours that led people to find my blog. According to the data collection, there were 4 people who found me through a search engine. Three searched for a variation of the theme of Pressing into God - the fourth, searched differently. But, interestingly enough, the post she was led to was titled "Press into God".

That, therefore is my reminder for the day. I shall try to be intentional about pressing into God.

I will lean into an on the support, strength and encouragement that He offers. I will choose to let Him be my shelter and my refuge.

In Him lies my peace, my hope, my joy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On Being a "Hero"

My daughter is completing her "Star Student" autobiographical poster. At one point, she said "Mom. You are my hero". I glanced her way. "....You know... someone who inspires me."

The first thought in my head was "no pressure". I don't know that I said anything.

It reminded me - yet again - that she really DOES look to me. She looks at how I dress, how I act, what I do. She notices whether I am polite and how I react when I am angry.

She observes how I interact with her dad, my mom, our friends and strangers we meet out in the world.

She notices how I celebrate birthdays, Christmas and Thanksgiving. She sees my priorities, and where my attentions lie.

She sees how I handle disappointment, my mistakes and the times when I am just plain wrong.

She is forever watching me, learning from my example - and from the world - what it means to be a woman - a Christian woman.

May I be a good example. May she realize, first and foremost that I am a human being - imperfect and flawed. May she see that my hope, my joy and my trust are in God alone, and through that I am able to be her mother...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When My Daughter is Thirty....

There was an interesting conversation at breakfast, the morning after the sleep over. One girl was asking my daughter how old she would be in 20 years. "28" she said. I laughed and said - "... yes.... and in 22 more years, you'll be THIRTY...."

I can't imagine. I realize 22 years is a long time away, but MY daughter at 30 years old is not something I spend much time thinking about. I just want us to survive to 9.

Also odd to me is that I have finally reached the age that I associate with my mother. 42. She was probably 42 when I made the connection that she actually HAD an age, or I was asked to tell someone how old she was. Needless to say, that was many years ago

Time itself just baffles me, and I am glad that I am not it's keeper. How we got to the middle of November already totally baffles me.

I've tried to speed it up and slow it down, but I can't. All I can do is live TODAY. If I am able to choose well and love well in the moment, the tomorrows and yesterdays will take care of themselves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls....

We're in the midst of the "Girl Party". We've had our pizza and our cake and I've tucked 5 girls into bed.... well, wished them good night anyhow. I doubt they're headed to sleep anytime soon. The lights are out and they're quietly watching "Hannah Montana: The Movie".

It's amazing to me how quickly they grow up. Wasn't too long ago that they were infants, toddlers, preschoolers. I know the years will continue to fly by! Soon will come high school, college, "real life".

So we celebrate - tonight with the girls. In two weeks we'll do this again, with the boys. On Thanksgiving - their actual birthday - we'll celebrate with family.

Life is such a gift. May it be celebrated and lived well!

Friday, November 13, 2009

God's Perfect Timing

I love the days when God seems to "show off". It was a Typical Thursday. Start the morning driving carpool, go straight to the Moms in Touch prayer group, pack a lunch, head to school for the remainder of the day. From school, it's another round of carpool, that ends us straight to gymnastics for the girl, then karate for the boy. This week, ended in a parent meeting with the Board of Education (and a kid-free trip to Wal*mart, since I had a sitter anyhow!)

It was a little different this week in that during the time I'm usually AT school, I had several PTO related errands to do, before the "enrichment" class I've been leading for some third grade students.

The day had started smoothly - it only took 10 reminders to get my kids up, dressed and fed, compared to the usual 30,000. I got to the prayer group just in time, to the school just in time. It was when I was at the grocery store, picking up the gift cards for delivery that afternoon, and the woman said "I JUST entered these into the system", that I realized HOW smoothly everything had gone. Far beyond my ability to coordinate and time events.

I smiled to myself. On my way back to the school, I glanced at the clock. As I pulled into the parking lot, the thought "I'll never get these all distributed" had not COMPLETELY formed in my brain when the phone rang.

Enrichment had been canceled for the day. "Thank you, thank you, thank you God!"

May Friday (the 13th) run as smoothly, as I tie up all the loose ends preparing for "The Girl Party".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Time Has Come

I knew it would happen eventually....The day would come when my daughter would express her differing taste in music.

Generally speaking, I listen to the local Christian radio station - or perhaps to my ipod. The ipod further limits the selection to those songs which I have interpreted on a Sunday morning, and a few that have just spoken to me.

My daughter has found a liking to Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and several other pop/country artist. Generally, we listen to her music when we're in the car. It gives me easy access to the volume knob. Not only does it keep the music from blaring, but it also gives me the opportunity to turn it off if we run into a song that I don't want to explain to a not quite eight year old. (I'm SO not ready for that yet...)

I don't believe in totally isolating my children from the world around them. They need to be able to negotiate their way through it. I know that this is just the beginning of a series of opportunities to discuss "the world" with my daughter.

On one hand, it's exciting - on the other, terrifying. I am primarily responsible for walking her through the next several years, gently weaning her from her dependence on me. She will grow and make decisions of her own more and more frequently. I can't stand back and hope it turns out ok. I must stand with her, beside her, in front of her, behind her; be her teacher, her mentor, her advocate, her mother.

May I use these years efficiently and appropriately. Equip me and guide me, and give to her a discerning spirit that continues to long to seek You.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making Preparations

I have begun the season of preparations: Birthdays (x2), Thanksgiving, get togethers with friends, Christmas....

Fortunately, I have the gifts of "planning" and "list making" (sometimes mistaken for compulsivity and control). Seriously - they can be double-edged swords. It all depends on how I used them and their ultimate importance in my life.

Used correctly, they can pull together a special event. Incorrectly, I'm on a solo mission, without God.

My daughter's birthday celebration is Friday night. I have ordered the cupcakes and the goody boxes, plates, table cloth..... invitations have been sent. The house still needs cleaning and the goody boxes need filling, but there is time yet... it will get done.

Ultimately, it's a party, celebrating eight years here on earth. Yes, I want it to be special, but it doesn't have to be perfect. It is not a life or death event.

May I use my gifts for good, with the proper perspective. May I plan and prepare without compulsion and control.

May she have a blast and know that she is well loved!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Illusion of Control

I spent some time talking with a friend - catching up on the goings on in our lives. It's a "Letting Go" moment for her, and she expressed some fear. I mirrored her statement with a reply indicating that her fear wasn't really about what she had named..... it was about giving up control.

I flashed back to all the times my dear friend Karen had said "You don't have to control it" or "Stop trying to control it." or simply "Let go." Over and over and over she had to remind me. If she were still alive, she'd STILL need to remind me.

Oh yeah - I still have my "plan", my agenda. And, I still get a little ticked off when God doesn't fall in line with that.

The irony of the whole mess: control is an illusion. I can truly control very little. My attitude is one thing - where I focus my attention is another. That may be about it.

I can't control other people. I can't control places, events, things....

So... why do I try? Somewhere between wishful thinking and stubborn pride, the answer lies.

But, even that is the wrong answer. That answer is my attempt to fix yet another problem that is out of my control. I'm always sure if I can UNDERSTAND it, I can control it.... or at least modify it more toward my liking.

The real answer is a paradox - one of my favorites: "We Surrender to win". As I surrender and follow along with God's plan - rather than heading out on my own - I find peace. I find hope. In the midst of God's plan there is peace and joy and hope and love. There is completeness. There may be pain and struggle as well, but usually, that is Him trying to get me to remove my hands from something I'm desperately trying to cling to.

It may seem like we're running straight toward a valley, when the more rational solution would seem to be taking the path that leads to the bridge. So like me to want to find the short-cut between mountain top experiences. But so true that it's in the valley that we grow and grow-in-Him.

I don't understand it. I can't control it.

But, if God's in the midst of it, I wanna be there too... even if it means letting go.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Laughing at Myself

Many years ago, I was taught to "embrace my imperfections". As you might imagine, sometimes that is easier said than done.

And sometimes, it's HILARIOUS!

It's been a while since I have interpreted a church sermon in American Sign Language. But this week, I did. As I am still learning, my mentor took notes, to give me feedback at the end.

The pastor had been discussing the specifics of our church, and in part, how our church is different from some other churches. He also compared our contemporary worship style to that of years past.

Our church has a very laid back, contemporary atmosphere. I interpret in jeans and a black shirt, typically.... in stocking feet - only because "barefoot" seems a little too exposed.

The pastor was comparing the suits ("fancy clothes" in ASL) of years past to our casual dress of today. He said something along the lines of: "You don't need to wear a suit to worship God". What came of my hands was a little different. "You don't need a fancy body to worship God".

The good news?

Both are true statements.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ignoring vs. Letting Go

One of the things I love about some of my friends is that we can "go in deep". We talk about things. Serious things.

Sure, we laugh and joke, but we can get into some very interesting discussions that leave me thinking, and having a deeper understanding of things. Sometimes, it's the "spectrum of disclosure" (yes, I DID have to get that in - I love that phrase!), and sometimes it's things like the difference between "ignoring" and "letting go".

The thing that is amazing to me, no matter why we are discussing the issue - her need or mine - I learn.

In this most recent discussion, I was helped in articulating definitions of both "ignoring" and "letting go". It helped me to see that when I "ignore" something, there is an aspect of denial - I don't acknowledge it. I try to pretend it doesn't exist. I was pretty good at that for a long time.... and then I was shown how much it was hurting me.

On the other hand, when I "let go" of something, I acknowledge it. I may even have some very strong feelings about it - and I acknowledge them as well! - but I don't hold on to it. I don't carry the issue around with me, assessing it from every possible angle. And, I don't ignore it. I acknowledge it and decide to leave it be - or perhaps, hand it over to God to hold for me for a while. If I'm lucky, I choose not to take it back, though sometimes I do feel the need to do so (until I realize - AGAIN - how much time and breath I am wasting analyzing something I cannot control.

So, thank you God for my friends, and our ability to hold mirrors, and don steel-toed boots. Thank you for their ability to help me trust you more

Friday, November 6, 2009


I spent the day working on a unit that I once called home - well, my "work-home", anyhow! Several of the nurses were familiar, and we spent some time reminiscing.

One of the nurses is new since I changed roles, but we both previously worked at UNC Hospitals in their SICU. We never worked TOGETHER, but we have mutual co-workers.

We reminisced about the hospital, the staff, and the city of Chapel Hill. It's a little funny to me, we both commented on how much we loved Franklin Street, yet I know the Franklin Street that she and I both know are totally different.

Much of what was there when I was has been changed - much as been added. Yet, we both joyfully remember it....and feel connected in the experience.

I enjoy looking back, reminiscing. It reminds me of where I have been.... and where God has brought me.

I know one day, I will look back on today - on this season in my life. I am sure I will remember the joys of young children, and the struggles that go along with that....

May I face today with day, I will look back with thanksgiving


Confrontations are hard. The one I did 5 years ago was especially so.

I knew the truth. I also knew shining the light on that truth would be life-changing.

Honestly, there was a part of me that wanted to ignore it, wanted to continue living pretending I didn't know. But I couldn't... I just couldn't.

Every core of my being knew that the truth needed to be spoken. It needed to be acknowledged... and I was the only one who would be able to do that.

God, Himself, had choreographed the events of the previous two days in a way that I could not deny it. It was right there IN MY FACE. The who's, the whats.... and more support that I could ever ask for. More than I ever knew could exist.

On one hand, it was very, very hard - and it was life-changing. On the other hand, the days that followed were intensely filled with the presence of God. Every day, I learned of His faithfulness, His leading.

Five years down the road, I am grateful for my willingness to speak the truth. I couldn't have lived those years covering up and ignoring it. Confrontation is hard, but living with denial is infinitely more so.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let the Festivities Begin!

The season has officially begun. Halloween is behind us, so now begins our holiday season.

Not only do we have the upcoming biggies, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we also have the minor celebrations. For our family, that includes two sleep-over birthday parties, a Christmas cookie decorating party and an evening gathering / open house.

It seems so funny for me to think of that. Typically, I think of myself as very shy and reserved. I am the introvert. The one content to sit and people watch.

But just as happened to me years past, when I invited countless unknown people to my house for a "get to know you" gathering, happened when we moved here.

I thought appeared and would not let go: "Open your home. Invite them...." And so I did. And I found that I loved it. I enjoy having people gather, sit, chat. My home filled with joy, with laughter...

I am grateful for That Voice, and Those Thoughts that don't let me go. They change my life immeasurably for the better!

May I listen...

May I follow....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Perspective is an interesting thing. I was reminded of this as I was driving back from one of my jobs. I was somewhat introspective - evaluating the nature of my good mood.

It was self-seeking, I'm sure. You know.... figure out the elements involved in feeling good and they can be replicated. Theoretically. My mood, like the weather outside, was a bit of sunshine after a week or so of rain. Not that I was sad, particularly, but I was apparently trapped (again) in my schedule.

And, as I was attempting to distill the active ingredients of Joy and Peace, I laughed. My schedule isn't any freer this week than last - really. It will lull briefly around Thanksgiving - as much as a schedule can lull with two birthday sleep-over parties in a month. It will pick up again and then lull around Christmas. It's the nature of the beast.

So, the difference? My attitude. My perspective.

Focusing again on gratitude.

"Thank You, God....."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Incredibly Weird

It was an incredibly weird feeling. I woke up, and after setting the kids on their way with the carpool toward school, I realized:

I feel good!

I feel joy!

I have energy!

I am motivated!

It's only 7:15!

I took advantage of the feeling of invincibility and tackled the laundry. One load running while I walk the dog.

It was on my walk, I considered the ingredients into this fabulous morning! Certainly the "extra hour" of sleep (which I took as awake time) helped. The bright sunshine and crisp cool air, I bet helps... The nap on Saturday I'm sure did.

I hadn't been feeling well over the weekend. Saturday it hit hard - and so did I: Echinacea, Vitamin C and sleep. After my hour-long nap, I felt better....much better. But I still didn't have my innate craving for sweets. (Which, I must say, is not a BAD thing on Halloween. It's just incredibly weird). To date, I have only been responsible for the disappearance of one mini candy from each child. That is nothing short of miraculous.

And on my dog-walk, I paused as the dog stared down a squirrel, shook my head and knew that was it... well, part of it anyhow. I had spent the last few days, essentially sugar free.

I've been praying for that "want-want-want" for something sweet to be taken from me. And, briefly anyhow, it has been...

May I remember how WONDERFUL the day can be....

Lead me not into temptation...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Remembering Days Past....

There are several things that have shown up in my life lately that remind me of days past. A couple are perhaps a bit haunting - reminders of a previous life that I don't want to resurrect.

But this.... This was delightful! My daughter's brownie troop went to see Little House on the Prairie - the Musical, with Melissa Gilbert as Ma. My daughter SOOOO doesn't get why that is so important. So, I tried to tell her....

I told her that, when I was her age, I wanted to BE Laura Ingalls. I wanted to live in that Little House on the Prairie. I wanted to run in those fields, with "Charles" heading the family. I wanted the quiet evenings by the fire and fiddle music filling the house.

I didn't spent as much time fantasizing about scarlet fever, indian raids or hauling water for the family "bath night". But, I figured it was a package deal, and it would be worth it to experience the Prairie Dream.

I have carried that story with me through the years. When I bought my first house, I dreamed of building it instead - the floor plan very, very similar to the Ingalls homestead. It wouldn't have had 160 acres. I'd sacrifice that for electricity and indoor plumbing.

Truth be known, that story still lives strongly within my heart. It must.

Within me, there is a girl very similar to Laura Ingalls Wilder. A girl who is bold and adventuresome, who loves the land and the wind in her face. A girl with fiery passion and an indomitable spirit.

She's in there. She appears from time to time in my life, until the reality of day to day life contains her again.

May she thrive and come forth!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Most Beautiful Colors

We spent the day at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. It was a second grade field trip that had been postponed a week due to rain.

Our adventure was warm and dry, though mostly overcast. From my perspective it was amazing. The colors, the gardens... For the second graders, not so much...

There were some scarecrows on display that caught their attention. Some of them were very creative and well done. Other were... interesting...

Aside from the outright battle that my daughter and I had in the midst of Eden, it was a beautiful day.

It always amazes me how beautifully the leaves turn every year. And, it seems every year, around mid October, I think, "that's it? Not such a beautiful autumn this year..." and WHAM a day or two later, it is incredible!

I'm sure that parallels the rest of my life as well.... "Yeah, well, this is all it is.. not so great this year..." and WHAM, another something amazing shows up.