Thursday, February 14, 2013

Which way today?

Happy Valentine's morning to you!  Valentine's has always been one of my favorite holidays....not for the commercial reasons at all.  It was even one of my favorites in my young 20's when I acknowledged it by going to dinner with friends, dressed in black to 'mourn' our singleness.  I love hearts and the pink and the sweetness of it all.  Love wasn't put in your heart to isn't love til' you give it away!

I am about to pull my hair out trying to figure things out this morning.  I am scheduled to go to Dallas this weekend to TA for Empowered Parenting.  I was so excited to go.  Thrilled!   I talked to my boss early on to ask for permission to take tomorrow off.  I got permission and have been working hard to save comp time to use.  One of my most favorite people in the whole wide world is facilitating this weekend's class and that is one HUGE reason I want to go.  She doesn't even know it but she mentors me greatly just through her facebook posts.  Getting to be a part of the team she's on is a privilege, I want to be like her when I grow up!  Then, there are the other volunteers on the team that I am so looking forward to working with.  I have formed strong bonds with some of these people and look forward to building relationships with ones I don't yet know.  Most importantly, I feel so driven about the Pathways training as a whole and am in awe of how God uses us as his hands and feet to change lives through this program.  He even uses little ole' me to do this!  Honored am I!  Since my marriage and our family and our children have had their lives drastically changed for the better because of this I want to continue to give back by volunteering as much and as often as I can.  This particular training, (Empowered Parenting) combines Love and Logic (which I have loved since before I was a Momma) with a bit of the Pathways training.  For me personally it helped me understand the reasons for some of my parenting styles and has helped Nathan and I truly parent on the same page and our relationship with each other and with our children continues to grow significantly. 

Being a parent is HARD WORK.  Marriage is HARD WORK.  Personally, I am thankful for all the help I can get.  There is no book on every child, and there is no method that works 100% for every individual.  However, having a blue print of sorts, combined most certainly with God's guidance and a tremendous love for one another sure encourages us along the way.  To get to be a small part of helping people build stronger families and better futures for their children is my passion, of course I am happy to be involved in this training! track.  I WAS so excited to go.  Then life gets in the way and I find myself in the shower this morning singing "I surrender all" softly as I ask God for guidance.  At this point in life, I believe that God meets me where I am and that he is wherever I am - despite if I have made the 'right' or 'wrong' choice.  My fear of him punishing me for making the wrong if I were a chess piece to be manipulated on the no longer there.  Wanting to make the best choice for me and for those around me is still there.

The person I was originally to ride with (whom I feel totally safe and comfortable with) is no longer able to go.  The people I am to ride is sick, one is just getting over a stomach bug and they are leaving later than I am accustomed to.  (I love to have non rushed time to shower and get ready and look lovely).  The 'what if'' are having a little too much say in my head right now.  What if we are late?  What if I have to run in at the last minute looking disheveled and worse, feeling out of control?  What if traffic is bad and we arrive late?  What if someone gets sick in the car or their driving is terrible or........

Then there is my Mom....I haven't even told her yet that I am going.  (I will hopefully speak to her this morning before she she's this blog!)  I feel she is under a great amount of stress.  My Granny is not well right now.  My sweet Daddy has new and different needs to be met and my Mom needs more help than I have been giving her lately.  For this I feel guilty and wish I could do more.  I guess being a 40 year old woman doesn't mean I still don't want my Momma's earnest approval and understanding.

Then there are my Nathan, John and Stella and there is my stuffy cold and annoying post nasal drip.  Oh yes...and the dogs need a bath.

What am I to do?  Pray for clarity and confidence for me, please.  And have a super duper, excellent, full of love and joy Valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

wake up

Good morning!

I woke up in a bit of a stupor from a really deep that inspired me to write.  I need to keep a notebook by my bedside and jot these ideas down while I'm still in my dream state because 10 minutes after waking I'm already fuzzy on the deep thoughts I had to share.

I stopped by Target last night on the way home from work for a few 'essentials'.  The cashier was a young man that looked and felt familiar but I wasn't sure why. He was tall and thin with a largish head and beautiful big brown eyes that were set wide apart.   He spoke loudly, commenting often to customers on their products, "you have (fill in the blank), you know what that means!"  Then he would proceed to tell them just what that meant.  The people in front of me were a (very clearly uncomfortable) fiftiesh looking man and his teenaged daughter.  The cashier pointed out that BEER was an item amongst the man's shopping selections.  "What?", asked the man in an undoubtedly irritated tone.  "BEER", said the cashier, "BEER, right in front of know what that means?" The man did not answer, his face reddened.  The assumed by me to be daughter seemed to be holding in a giggle with a sweet smile...probably sensing her Daddy's discomfort.  (This is the part where you have to close your eyes and make sure you are picturing this scene so you can experience it with me).  The cashier answered his own question...'it means you could be an AL-CE-HOLIC!"  LOL! 

(If you haven't yet gathered it, the precious cashier was special needs.  I don't know his diagnosis and I wished the customer in front of me wasn't so uncomfortable.  It was that kind of discomfort that made me want to help him understand the beauty and humor in the cashier's childlike innocence - I wanted him to see the role this person played in our world and I wanted him to replace his discomfort with love and respect.)

Zoom ahead to my turn in line....I'm still trying to figure out why this gentleman was so familiar to me.  As soon as I got in line he asked me if I knew what today was.  I's Monday, it's Valentine's week, it's the Chinese New Year....."Yep", he said..."guess what else?"  "It's my birthday!"  He then sang proudly the Happy Birthday song.  We conversed and I found out he turned 38 years old yesterday.  Then it hit me why he was familiar.  I asked him if he went to Jenks. "YES!"  This cashier just happened to be a boy that I rode bikes with as a child.  He lived next door to some dear friends I grew up with.  Everyone at Jenks knew him.  He had a lovely sister inbetween mine and Nathan's classes and he was from a family who always supported, loved, nurtured and believed in him.  And I very specifically remember his joy, his smile, his innocence....all the things that made me recognize him today.  He didn't remember me but I got to wish him a Happy Birthday and tell the customer behind me that it was his birthday.  At that point, I even got to introduce him.  And that my friends MADE MY DAY!

So many things (little and big) have cemented for me the significance of the job I have taken at Sooner Start.  People are people.  Normal is a setting on a dryer.  Wake up!  Open your eyes and your heart.  Be kind, there are most certainly angels in our presence.

God bless.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's not always what I imagined....

Oh man!  I think if there was nothing else pressing to do I could sit and write for 48 hours straight and still not have cleared my heart and mind of all I'd like to share.

Tonight I wrote a long lost friend.  She and I were like sisters and had a 'falling out' in our early twenties.  You know the saddest part?  I can't even remember why.  I remember the emotions surrounding the time but have no vivid memories of details.  I'm betting whatever it was it was stupid.  (great linguistics, eh?)  She has written me a couple of times and I have not responded until now.  Like I told her, I was waiting for the 'right' words to who has a deviated filter anyway was waiting for 'right' words.  So disappointed in myself and praying for healing in this relationship.

I think something that prompted me to do this (Ahem...Holy Spirit) is that I've been thinking about the friendships I have lost and gained the last couple of years.  Some losses have been happened organically...the season was over.  I've realized it's not always healthy to have all 'friends' in my life and it's okay to 'separate'.  Others I have lost relationship with due to overblown circumstances, pride on either side or plain ole' being dumb and I still have a hole in my heart.  The thing I have been most deeply hurt by are the 'friends' who have not considered me significant enough to even talk things through with me...they've just dropped me like a hot potato.  (dramatic but that's an accurate description of my feelings).  I have processed and processed, examined my part in the demise, asked myself what could've been different and what will be healthier in future relationships and forgiven.  Here's the thing though...I am going to make every effort to not contribute to causing another human being to feel insignificant.  I am going to attempt to let every one in my path know why they are valuable to me (even when I am earnestly seeking that value).  I am going to LOVE my neighbor as if I'm loving myself well I will also pray for discernment, wisdom and trust.  I'm thinking, in not answering my old friend b/c I was waiting for the 'right' words, how significant did she feel?  And if I need to say goodbye to a friend (in love), I will pray for my God to give me what I need to do so and I believe he will.

Relationships are complicated.  But how sad life would be without them.

On another note, I've been feeling abundantly blessed lately.  Being around many children these past few weeks I realize how much I take my children's health for granted at times and how very WELL and beloved our children (challenging as they may be) are.  I had a moment of sadness while playing with a little toeheaded  3 year old boy with sparkly blue eyes.  He was BUSY BUSY BUSY and reminded me so much of John.  I was taken back in time and found myself wishing I had enjoyed those moments more (you know, the ones everyone told me would go so fast).  I wish I had written more details down because although I just knew I'd remember everything - I don't.  I wished I wasn't such an uptight basketcase who was so concerned about what others thought of our parenting and my son's passionate emotional displays.

Then, holding a precious 1 month old girl I thought of my Stella being a baby.  A very sad thing to me is that my stroke stole many sporadic memories and the first few months of Stella's life are very muddled.  I hate that.  It makes me cry.  So...I look at pictures and remember the things I can remember...there is still great joy. 

Both of these little people bring me many gifts every day.  My encouragement to you....treasure the moments.  They really do zip on by. Life isn't always what I imagined but living life is always, always, always a gift.

God bless.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

What's holding you back?

So unsettled today, yet still feeling peaceful overall.  Not sure how that's possible but I'm going to take it as is.  Maybe my unsettled is just what I need to set myself in motion and move forward.  A huge thing I must do today is pay bills.  One would think that this would'vebeen my priority but I believe if I make me a priority and write first I will do the 'necessities' with a clearer head and more focused heart.  I had a billion things to write about and as I sit here I am having trouble narrowing down exactly what it is that I need to say.  In the fashion of the trust and surrender I so desperately seek, I'm asking God for a little calm and direction and we'll see what comes.


I love my new job, LOVE it!  Love my boss, love my desk mate and my new and old friends there, love that I get to serve, minister and be ministered to.  I love that I get to meet many angels unaware and share joy and sorrows with others....and I LOVE the Keurig.  I can't believe I've only been there for a month because I feel incredibly comfortable in it (not cocky, comfortable).  I feel so excited for upcoming trainings and for meeting new people and for connecting with the hearts at my workplace as well as the families I am building relationships with.  I feel a purpose there and it's a really good feeling.  I struggled with going back to work full time.  I believed that if I stayed 'safe' in my little world and was in control of as much as I could control, I would be guaranteed health and calm.  Did I really and truly believe that?  Probably not.  But hey...we all like a little illusion of control now and then, right?

I am trying hard to be self disciplined and find balance.  Laying out clothes for the week on Sundays, planning meals, taking family time and me time....this is my challenge.    In addition, making sure I am staying connected with my Nathan, our Stella and John, my Mom and Dad and my sisters, my brother, my nieces, my nephews, my friends......yadayadayada.  And I was doing so well at eating well and guess what happened.  Somewhere around last week my self control got lost in the blink of an eye and boom, here I am again!  (Here I am mad at me for choices made and determined to not let those choices determine my new moments...determined but not so confident)

Which brings me to something I read this week that pinged my heart in such a big way I knew I'd be sharing about it soon.  Here it is..."It's not who you think you are that holds you back, it's who you think you are not."  It immediately brought to light the ways I am still living 'two faced' and not completely in God's light.  For every thought I have of who I am, I have a contradictory who I am not (and usually a why that goes with it.)

The Truth...I am wise, I AM constantly learning and constantly teaching.  I am valuable and significant. 
The Lie... If I share my wisdom or knowledge I run the risk of seeming know it all-ish.  I often do not consider my  thoughts valuable enough to share.  I AM NOT worthy nor significant.

The Truth...Life is erratic.  Life is beautiful and joyful and also sad at times.  I AM healthy and capable of taking care of myself.  With God, we will make beauty out of ashes.
The Lie...I AM NOT meant to be fit..  I can stay cocooned and guarantee my health and security.  The world does not need me and I'm so stressed I can't be expected to consistently make good choices.  I am NOT meant to be a 'fit' looking person nor a physically healthy person.

The Truth...I AM capable of creating and sticking to a family budget to help us realize our family dreams and life plans.
The Lie...Credit cards (enough said), wants are the same as needs, planning takes too much time and it will all work out (on it's own)  I AM NOT ever going to be wealthy, so why make money a priority?

You see?  The list goes on for days.  Starting now, in this moment, I am going to begin to retrain my brain and heart to be who God made me to be. 

I AM a brave, worthy, loved by God, truly happy, whimsical, whole and surrendered woman basking in the warmth of God's sunshine.  This is me, at my core.  This is who God made me to be.  I will remember to live as I believe I AM and not as I am not.  I will live in the belief hat He has made me to be a new creation in him and I will soak that in.  Who are you and who are you not?  What is holding you back and what can you do different?

Whew!  Now I can go pay those stinkin' bills.....

Be blessed!