Friday, November 29, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
2. Preparing "Man Sandwiches" (Manwich) for my family -- a menu that I didn't have to choose. :)
3. Preparing for a client visit tomorrow. Thankful for the business -- and thankful it is the last activity before settling in for Thanksgiving Day!
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
2. Booty shaking in the front yard that embarrasses my family. Thankful for a booty to shake and a family to embarrass. :)
3. My niece, Hannah, trying to convince me to tell her what we bought for Grace's (her sister's) birthday present. Funny that she thinks I will believe her when she says she "won't tell". :) Thankful to share a laugh on the phone.
Monday, September 23, 2013
1. The car with no radio and no phone. A sanctuary on wheels.
2. 5 a.m. and everyone is asleep. Getting dressed with no interruptions.
3. Laying in bed with my loves watching a movie. Not total silence, but my heart is quiet -- and full.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
2. Charlotte drawn thank you notes that will finally make the mailbox this weekend. The joy they will bring makes me smile.
3. Thankful that I can always draw on a firm foundation of faith.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
The emotions are running high -- buzzing. Sometimes that works in my favor for writing. Today, I am not so sure. But, this message is critical. I just left the house of the mother of my stepchild. She was beyond rude and out of control. She made me feel stupid and small in front of her child. Apparently, she was upset because I picked up her daughter for soccer (as she directed), but then I stayed for practice. When she found out her daughter didn't need her cell phone in case she (mom) was late because I would be there with her daughter, she became hysterical. That led to a completely nonsensical tongue-lashing that I received from her in front of her daughter. I am embarrassed, but I am more sad for my stepdaughter -- and sad for her mother.
If you are a mother of a child with a stepmother, and that stepmother sees your child as much as you do, please know that I have the utmost respect for the heartbreak that you have come to know. As a stepmother, I understand that I will never understand the carried-for-9-months, out-of-the-womb bonding that you know. And, I can't imagine how it feels to not have that bonded child with me 100% of the time. I only know the pain because I see it in my husband on "transition day". But, because I am called on to pinch-hit. Because I have a responsibility to care for another's child 50% of the time with her father. Because I made a commitment to be part of a family with my stepdaughter. Because I genuinely love to be in her life and watch her play, I leave you these thoughts.
Moms, your sons and daughters love you unconditionally. Their love for you is because of the bond you share. They will never love another mom-like figure more than they love you. There may be plenty of mom-like figures in their lives -- grandmas, aunts, teachers, friends.... Just because that mom-like figure might be your former husband's wife does not change how your children see you. Your role in their lives is never threatened. Even if another woman tries to forcibly step in and usurp your authority. It just won't work. Their love for you is that strong. You will ALWAYS be "Mom".
Failing to understand this results in misdirected anger and frustration -- and the only ones who really get hurt are the ones you love so much -- your children. So snap out of it! Most often the real source of that threatened feeling is your inability to love yourself. Moms of kids with stepmoms, please understand this clearly -- God Loves You!! He wants you in a relationship with Him so that He can fill you with all the love and grace and wisdom you need for all the stuff that life brings on. He is the only one who can heal the pain, and be the emotional Source that you need every day. If you want a phenomenal relationship with your children, understand God's incredible love for you and trust that your children love you unconditionally.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013
My dad said it to me the other day -- "this too shall pass" -- as we were discussing an issue that was grating on me. I instantly remembered Amy's voice and reminded myself not to wish life away. It is just so short. Embrace the bad with the good. In a short time it will pass.
This week I learned of a dear friend with kidney cancer. Shortly after hearing the news, one of my best high school friends announced the death of her father. I wanted to shout at life, "Wait! Stop! Slow down! How can this be happening? I need more time!"
I watched Charlotte run off with her friends in indirectly supervised boundaries. She would return for a check-in and a quick hug, then flitter away on her scooter. She is growing up so fast. "Wait. Stop. Slow down! How can this be happening? I need more time!"
Time is passing, indeed. The weeks move so quickly I find myself speaking in terms of months not days or hours. I certainly feel the tug of intentionality to value the moment.
1. Favorite red mug that holds my coffee.
2. Reading Unfashionable and connecting with my mom and sister every other week.
3. This blog written for my heart to review my journey and see God's touchstones in my life.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
As you may or may not know, after eating healthy, working out five times a week and not losing weight, I hired a nutritionist in January. On top of the lack of changes externally, I was exhausted, achy and not sleeping well. Sounds like old age, right? That's what I thought too. But, it turns out there is a cure for messed up hormones and some effects of the aging process (at least there are ways to make getting older easier)! Doc Sage Campione helped me identify the issues and work toward getting healthy.
I also had a goal of being pregnant by my 40th birthday. My whole life I have wanted to have kids and raise a family. Doc Sage is on it! She has been super encouraging. I have been eating like a rockstar. My hormones are balancing. The supplements are helping me feel better. For the first time in my life my body actually has the capacity to have a child.
What I didn't tell Doc Sage is that I made a deal with myself after my divorce that if I didn't get pregnant by 40, I was done. It would be fine. But, that time in my life would pass and it was a good cut off point emotionally -- it wasn't meant to be.
So, on the occasion of my 40th birthday, I STRUGGLED. I mean really struggled with getting older. Right at the time I had opportunity to have a family, my time was up. I had set this arbitrary timeline to help me deal with the emotion of not having a family, when in fact it set off a completely different set of emotions surrounding fairness and timelines and numbers.
Silly, right? Right. But, the drama was worth the full circular understanding that everything is alright. God is still in control. He still has a plan for me. He still loves me beyond measure. He has blessed me beyond understanding. And, children or not, He always gives me what is best for ME. ...What is best for me..... The very best. And, He has the amazing ability to give me the best and at the same time give the best to my loves -- because He loves them, too. And, so, again I rest in His amazing grace.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
1.) Eating healthy. Results are always worth it!
2.) Releasing the things or circumstances I want the most. Sometimes I have to keep releasing them. But I can rest assured knowing that the God who loves me with such great intentionality has it all figured out. What I want is always insignificant compared to what He has planned.
3.) Living away from my family. Yet I uncover parts of myself I wouldn't have known otherwise.
Monday, June 24, 2013
1.) Bent over from laughter with my husband.
2.) The relationship my parents have is beautiful. Thankful they still enjoy one another's company after 45 years.
3.) I am daily humbled at being deeply loved despite my tremendous shortcomings.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Here is the thing about my dad, he just loves me. That's the gift. Every interaction he has with me exudes love. He accepts me just the way I am. He gives unrelentingly. He loves unconditionally. He totally gets me. He loves spending time with me. He is gentle when I am brash. He speaks truth to me when I am not thinking straight. He is a rock when life is upside down. He loves Jesus with all of his heart. And, even when we don't see eye-to-eye, he doesn't take it personally, he just encourages me to figure it out.
And his love doesn't stop with me. He genuinely loves Mark and Charlotte. He always asks about them. He embraces them openly. He is engaged and intune with their lives, even from a distance.
When it comes to Dad's I really got the best one. I mean, I know lots of people think their dads are the best. But, mine really is. If there was a superbowl of dads, mine would win year after year.
I could give detailed stories, but there aren't enough pages in the world to cover it all. And, by the time I was done, there would be nothing but a puddle of gratitude tears left of me.
I don't deserve the dad I have. But, I am exceedingly grateful for the grace that made him mine.
Friday, June 14, 2013
1.) Thank you note and gift for love poured out without expectation.
2.) Kisses from Mazie after coming home from a long week in Minneapolis.
3.) A new boss, new to the division that really gets our team, what we do and the challenges we face.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
2.) Empty hands upturned and expecting.
3.) Empty baskets of paperwork that needed sorting -- now put away. More to do, but progress made.
1.) Erin Keeley Marshall's blog http://www.erinkeeleymarshall.com/another-childhood-favorite-revisited-nancy-drew-is-it-time-to-grow-up/ that made me delight in her and her family while missing her all at the same time.
2.) Ann Voskamp's musing from a few days ago. Thankful I am chased by God's goodness and mercy. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/08/when-you-are-finding-it-hard-to-keep-up-chased-by-grace/
3.) Reading Darth Paper Strikes Back with the girl.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
2. The scars of my sin made beautiful in the redemption of Jesus.
3. The pain of an abusive situation that is encouraging honest conversation.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
2. At a funeral over Memorial Day weekend, reminded of the GREAT hope we have in heaven. I just can't stop reflecting on it. When I think on redemption and my sorry self, I am overwhelmed.
3. My husband has been amazing at giving me lots of praise lately (words -- my love language -- like mother like daughter...). Today, he praised me to someone else and I wasn't even around. Awww. He DOES love me. :)
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Monday, June 3, 2013
And through it all, I didn't panic. There was that sweet voice in my head saying, "everything is going to be okay." And, at the beginning of June, I can honestly say that "everything is going to be okay." Perhaps all of the drama of the last 5 years has finally convinced me that in the midst of the drama is that steady voice of the Savior saying, "Yep, I've got this."
One thing I am sure of, as Voskamp muses, that everything is grace. We breathe in and we breathe out, the eucharisteo, as she describes it, a constant giving and receiving of grace that begins with Thanksgiving. But, the one thing that I still struggle with is being thankful for tragedy or evil. Not that I don't see the blessings that can come from such events -- but I have a hard time being thankful for the event itself.
I can be thankful for my divorce. I can even be thankful for the years that seem wasted when I was married to my first husband. I am thankful for the pain. I am thankful for the lessons learned and the new life I found. I am thankful for the change in my relationship with God as a result of my divorce. I get that.
But, to be thankful for the actual loss of a young life, for example, that is hard. Maybe it is something that comes in time. Or, maybe we remain thankful for the fruit that comes from pain and we are never thankful for the event. And, yet, it seems somehow if our God is the Giver of the best gifts, and understands the infinity of time -- even allowing tragedy in this world that is so short-lived -- then thankfulness for all things is the only response. I am not there, yet. I am only pondering.
It is for this reason, that I am so grateful for the gift of counting gifts. For the opportunity to acknowledge and develop a free flow of Thanksgiving to the One who loves us enough to give us gifts that are in our best interest. We just don't always see from His perspective -- and we never will at least until we no longer plant our feet in clay.
1. Even my teacher friends struggle with "new math". I am definitely not alone in my helplessness when supporting my second grader.
2. I am a blessing to my customers, even when I don't feel like they should feel blessed.
3. Long talks with my best friend (and husband) are always underrated. :)
"Let your words always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." -- Colossians 4:6
Sunday, June 2, 2013
1. My favorite character impression "Captain Crazy" that includes booty shakin', arm wavin' and loud singing. My family LOVES it -- well, not really, but it does embarrass them and I enjoy that.... :)
2. Chasing Char and her friend Nicholas at the park.
3. Mazie chasing squirrels in the backyard that she will never catch. She gets soooo excited and intense.
I would love to write more about the book itself when I have more time. This post is to set up the future posts of gift counting. Voskamp publishes a monthly schedule of a gift "scavenger hunt". It is simply an opportunity to look for the gifts that are around us -- sometimes in the most common ways.
I would love it if anyone reading would join me in my scavenger hunt. It is way more fun to see gifts together -- it only magnifies God's work in every life. So, feel free to post a comment with the gifts you see today and every day!