Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2012

Today I write to, and about our oldest daughter, who is embarking on an adventure away from us. It is not the first, nor will it be the last … but there are no tears.

I have often been teased (goodhearted) about not shedding a tear at her high school graduation. Really, although proud of the hard work she did, graduating was not an academic struggle for her. Oh, she worked her tail off, but graduating was never in doubt for her.

As she prepares, and boards the plane tomorrow for the East Coast (a reversal of her parents from their Easterly homes, to our present Western one), not a tear will be shed. Oh, she has worked hard all summer, some weeks working twelve hour days, but she is going on to a new adventure, one that will include extended family who she has never had the benefit of daily contact.

Over the years, though, there have been tears …

“Let my stories be whispered”

From when you were just a young child, I have been learning to lay you back into the hands of your Creator (A Most Desired Child). This lesson will continue to my dying day, and with many tears.

“I took the path less traveled on”

I remember a few years back, when you decided to go on a mission trip with your church youth group to Tijuana, Mexico. I was so excited for you to have that adventure, to help orphaned children and for you to see how God might use the gifts and talents He has given you.

But …

I was scared you would be murdered or raped or traumatized or kidnapped. So, I drove you to that train station in Seattle. I tried to absorb every last moment with you, fearing it might be our last. I hugged you, told you I loved you. Then I had to watch you walk … away … staying strong. Until I walked from the station, with tears streaming down my face … asking God to go with you.

And then when you told me, just a year ago, of your desire to go to India, to work with the children of Calcutta. I listened to your dreams, asked the right questions. But, when I was alone, the tears streamed down my face, as I asked God to give me the strength to let you live your life. And, one day, I will stand at the airport, holding you and telling you I love you, uttering best wishes, and watch you walk away to board your flight that will take you to the mission of Mother Teressa and the Sisters of Charity, and tears will stream down my face, as I ask God to go with you.

“this life is as fragile as a dream”

That night in April, of 2008, was a night that God tested me. As I stood at the back of a church, knowing only that you were in there, somewhere, after the floor of the church had collapsed (Starfield Concert). After the frantic search, the long drive home, the holding you in bed … I collapsed on my knees and thanked God for giving you to me for another day … and the tears were streaming down my face.

“Cause in this life you must find something to live for”

When you were only three, I remember your voice, as we both knelt at your bed, and you prayed to give your heart to Jesus. I remember feeling such privilege to be there to kneel on that holy ground with you … and the tears were streaming down my face.

And, He goes with you now. You ‘know’ all that that means … and He is something to live for. I need to shed no tears, because this is a new beginning, and He goes with you.

Go with God … or, as they might say in the East, adieu ma fille chérie.

“I’ve always heard, every ending is also a beginning, we just don’t know it at the time … I’d like to believe that’s true.”

This is what we raise our children for …

I think, my firstborn daughter, that you can read between the lines here … think of it as my melody for you these next months. (and there was the shedding of tears in the writing of this post … but they were, selfishly, for my loss in the ending of this phase).

Read Full Post »

A few years back singer, songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman invited us into his heart with his song Cinderella, inspired by his daughters. The song wooed all of us with daughters, into thoughts of our own little girls growing up so quickly, stepping from one stage of life to the next so very quickly, and reminding us all to take the time and opportunities when they are young to dance with our little girls.

But what about our boys, our sons? I know of one, almost thirteen year old son who would NOT have any interest in dancing around the room with his mother, to a song about Cinderella!

So, as I drove down the road, listening to the Cinderella song, I wondered what is the male equivalent of dancing with Cinderella, for my son? So, I looked at the lyrics to the song, and did some personalized editing 😉 …

He spins and he sways
To each play his coach says
Giving all to the football world
And I’m sitting here fretting
With the fear of him being hurt, on my shoulders

It’s been a long day
And there’s still laundry to do
He’s pulling at me
Saying “Mom, I need you

There’s a game at the field
And I’ve been practicing
And I need to know that you’re in the stands
Oh, please, Mom, please?”

So I will watch every minor football game
While he is still on the field
‘Cause I know something the coach doesn’t know
Oh, I will watch every football game
I don’t want to miss even one play
‘Cause all too soon the whistle will be blown
And he’ll be gone…

He says they’re all nice guys they just fake the frowns
He tells me his improved tackles mean more touchdowns
He says, “Mom, the game is just one week away
And I need you to make more pasta
Oh, please, Mom, please?”

So I will watch every minor football game
While he is still on the field
‘Cause I know something the coach doesn’t know
Oh, I will watch every football game
I don’t want to miss even one play
‘Cause all too soon the whistle will be blown
And he’ll be gone…

He will be gone

Well, he came home today with a dream in his head
Just glowing and telling us the CFL is where he will head
He says, “Mom, the league is still years away
But I need to practice my hitting
Oh, please, Mom, please?”

So I will watch every minor football game
While he is still on the field
‘Cause I know something the coach doesn’t know
Oh, I will watch every football game
I don’t want to miss even one play
‘Cause all too soon the whistle will be blown
And he’ll be gone…

So, that is my ode to Cinderella, for my son, because soon he’ll be gone …

Read Full Post »

Summer cannot be almost over! My list is not complete!

It has been such a great summer break, and I have been so thankful for each and every day of it. But some of the most important things I wanted from this summer just didn’t happen, and so I think I need to request another couple of weeks. Where do I go to make my request?

Next week it is back to school for our kids (I ‘got’ to return this week), and back to routine, routine, routine.

Here are my top ten unfinished goals of the summer …

10. Have an adventure with our kids
9. Lose 25 pounds by start of school
8. Move stone from side drive (where it has been since early June … sigh)
7. Finish reno. on stairs (a blog post is coming on this one)
6. Finish closet reno. (a blog post is coming on this one too)
5. Replace the roof on my garden shed
4. Walk daily
3. Finish writing and editing book
2. Teach my son to ride a bike (not his goal, but mine)
1. A two to three day trip to a really nice place, with my guy

Sigh …

It was so depressing to get ready for work yesterday, knowing that the above things did not get done. Most I can ignore, but some have been hanging over my head for years, and one or two are simply things that I humanly so wanted to do/accomplish.

But, here we are, getting ready for the end of summer break, and the beginning of a new school year. Purchasing new clothes, new shoes and school supplies that will, in no time at all, be marked on, torn, outgrown and faded … just like this summer.

Oh, but what memories!

10. A day at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) with the family
9. A couple of nights with hubby while he did a wedding
8. A pool party with about seventy people from church
7. Lunch with my oldest daughter
6. Shopping with my youngest daughter
5. Sushi dates with my son
4. Projects that got started … oh how they filled my creative side!
3. Cannon Beach … ahhhhhh
2. Watching the sky for shooting stars
1. Making s’mores on the gas firepit night after night, as we talked, giggled and spent time … together

And now, what is to come?

I have learned that it is best to not approach a new school year with any expectations. Instead I simply enter in, and work to be open to whatever it might bring. And, ten months from now, I will end the year with a top ten of surprises, and a new summer list!

Read Full Post »

Eight weeks in, nine pounds lost. Some goals achieved, and some not so much.

As I look at the image to the right, I feel a bit disappointed. Although at four weeks I was seeing my body changing, I really stagnated at that point, as my weight made a climb up and then back down to where it was again.
But I am not giving up!
In the months to come I will return to the Weight Loss DiaBLOG, but not every week. I will update about every four weeks. Doing this will give me the accountability of a month at a time, and will, hopefully, provide greater changes to report.
I am also planning on sharing pictures of changes, and starting to take measurements, with the hopes that I will be encouraged by changes other than numbers on the scales of doom.

I truly love all of your input. The things that work for you can work for others, and the things that frustrate you also frustrate others. With each email, comment, or note I have gotten I have been encouraged that I am not in this alone, but I am part of a larger group of people who are trying to live differently, healthier.

This week, as I was interacting with another blogger about a topic vastly different from weight loss and exercise, I had a bit of an ‘ah-ha’ moment. We were discussing the things in our lives that we have put ahead of God, or in the place of God, and how we are learning about the rightful place of God above all else. For days now, since that conversation, I have pondered food as an idol in my life.

Food is a need for living. Food is pleasureful. Food requires time planning what to have, preparing it, serving it, eating it (suffering heartburn after eating it, followed by poor sleep). Food is very much a part of our every day. Do I spend too much time thinking about it? Do I finish one meal, and start thinking about, longing for the next? Do I live for it? Is it an idol in my heart, my life?

I may have had a eureka moment with this one. I think I need to keep questioning what height of priority I am giving to this beast, and start eating to meet my needs, and not my wants. This will be a work in progress!

For this first four weeks to come my goals are simply to get back on track with recording my foods eaten, and to get walking on a daily basis. Hold me accountable! If you think of me, send me a note and ask how I’m doing. If you see me, ask me if I walked yet today.

Read Full Post »

Art

I recently subscribed to a blog, and it intrigues me.

The way I ‘find’ blogs is that someone will ‘like’ or ‘comment’ or ‘subscribe’ to mine, and so I check it out. Often times I am amazed that a blogger would like one of my posts, either because our posts are so very divergent, or because they are so much more gifted a communicator (and they, unlike me, know how to handle grammar).

This blog simply intrigues me.

I love what the author has to say about our ‘art’ … be it fine art or the art that is our profession (and anything in between).

I was intrigued with the video at the end, and how, in my mind, it could fit with his post … had he added:

“You are the salt of the earth,
but if salt has lost its taste,
how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is no longer good for anything
except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
Matthew 5:13

Our art, our passions, our professions are enhanced by the enhancement of the salt that we are through Christ.

Cristianmihai

Read Full Post »

A conversation a long while back still haunts me.

My daughter had the look of one who wanted to spill information that she knew, so we did some errands where we would be driving (nothing like the wheels of a vehicle moving to get a teenager to talk) a significant amount.

It took no time for the story to enfold.

She told me about her friend. Her friend, at the time, was a girl of just fourteen. She had a boyfriend. According to what my daughter said (because she is a question ‘asker’ and she had asked her friend what the two of them talk about together), her friend and the boyfriend didn’t spend much time talking, because there was not much for them to talk about to each other. The two had discussed the details (I guess they found a topic that they wanted to talk about), of when and where they would have sex for the first time. And so, when mom was out, and the house empty, they did IT.

The story does not end there. The next day the daughter asked her mother for oral birth control (I am not sure if she fessed up to mom about her recent sexual explorations). Her mother grounded her for two weeks.

So, now we have a young girl, who is dating a guy who she has nothing to talk about with, who is having sex, who is wise enough to know that birth control is a good idea, whose mother chooses to not only say no to, but, rather than sit down and have an exploratory conversation, grounds her. Yikes! It is the perfect storm of situations!

How is it that, in this day and age, a mother could be so uncommunicative with her daughter? How is it that, in this day and age, a girl could think that having sex with someone who she has nothing to talk about with (other than sex) is a good idea? I keep hearing the voice of the Virginia Slims cigarette ads saying “you’ve come a long way baby” and thinking … really? I keep thinking of the book by Laura Schlessinger “10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives” and thinking … will it ever end?

There is a line that I frequently quote to my daughters, that comes from the classic Louisa May Alcott book, Little Women, “I will not have my daughters being silly about boys.” Although they are fully human young women, I greatly desire that they grow up knowing that their value is not in temporary pursuits (and especially when it comes to young men), but in who God has created them to be, and the purpose and intent He has for their lives, apart from romantic or sexual relationships. They are, indeed, sexual beings, but oh, they are so much more! I truly believe that they must seek God’s best for them, as individuals, before they begin down the path of life with another person, and their life’s direction.

It is with fear and trepidation that I co-parent these two precious ladies … fear and trepidation that brings me to my knees! And that is a good place to be.

While on my knees I pray for openness of communication, and for wisdom to help them grow to be wise.

“I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good.
To be admired, loved, and respected.
To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married,
and to lead useful, pleasant lives,
with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send.”
Little Women

Read Full Post »

I have this desire that rarely gets fulfilled, but I dream of often. I awaken, later than normal (meaning pretty much any time after seven in the morning), only to the sound of my Beasty scratching under her ears. There is no hubby snoring away beside me, no teenagers needing a drive anywhere, or help to open the pool. I stretch, and sit on the side of my bed to find a note with my name on my bed table. As I reach to enfold it, the following is written:

We have gone out for the day, the whole day.
We will not call, or text or contact you.
Enjoy this gift of a day to enjoy the quiet of our home,
as you wish,
hubby and the kids

And with the reading of the final line, a realization hits me,

I am home alone …

Hallelujah!

(oh, and did you catch the reference to the Princess Bride? “as you wish” … a little romantic reference always makes me happier).

What happens next is a bit of the Tom Cruise dance from the movie Risky Business, and Kevin from Home Alone eating way too much ice cream.

After the initial euphoria is spent on dancing in my underwear (T. M. I … too much information!) and eating ice cream for breakfast I would spread myself across the sofa and smile my biggest Cheshire Cat smile … and smile a contented sigh.

Hey, it is not that I do not love my family, or that I would wish them away. They are four of the best pieces of my life! It is just that once in a while, the thought of being home alone is simply so very delectable to me. The thought of having every waking hour, all to myself, with no expectations of anyone else, just about makes me want to burst with excitement.

And what would I do with all of those hours alone to myself? Well, after the dancing and eating of ice cream … I would probably write a blog post or two (because I love it) … make my bed (because it is my habit) … clean the bathroom (because it needs to be done) … make cookies (because hubby and the kids would love to come home to them) … finish a project or two (because there is always a project or two that is undone in our home) … and weed the garden (because there is just never any desire to do it when others are home).

Hum, other than the dancing and ice cream eating, it really looks like a pretty normal day … but, I desire it so much!

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

Read Full Post »

I remember it like it was yesterday. The words that were said made my head spin, my mouth dry and my tongue unable to utter a response. It was the most baffling, disappointing and shake your head frustrating sentence to hear from another person, another Christian. It was the day that I heard a person in a leadership position say, “excellence is NOT what we are about.”

YIKES! I could not believe my ears.

Sure, as Christians, what defines excellence might be a bit different than how the world might define it. Maybe our emphasis has more to do with ‘being’ than doing. Maybe our emphasis is more on relational than technological. Maybe, though, it isn’t that different after all.

It was Winston Churchill who said;
“Excellence is…
Caring more than others think is wise;
Risking more than others think is safe;
Dreaming more than others think is practical.
Expecting more than others think is possible.”

I think that Mr. Churchill might be on to something!

The apostle Paul, when writing to the church at Philippi, said something about excellence too, but from a prison cell in Rome, and about two thousand years earlier:

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things …
true,
noble,
reputable,
authentic,
compelling,
gracious—the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.
Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

It doesn’t mean that we will always be the best at what ever we do, but if we fill our minds with all that is good, if we work as hard as we can to do all that we do with the best intentions and efforts, “you can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.” (Philippians)

Now THAT is the model of excellence … and I want some of that!

Read Full Post »

Two weeks from today summer will really be over. There will be great mourning and gnashing of teeth in our home. It will be with great regret that our alarms will be set, lunches will be made, and the trek to school will be taken.

As I contemplate all that this day means, I also think back …  w  a  y  back  … to when I was school student. I remember the new clothes (brand new fall/winter sweaters when the temperatures are often still reflecting the summer season), the new shoes (which always came home not so white, and feet requiring bandages for the new shoe blisters), the crisp clean lined Hilroy notebooks, the line-up at the pencil sharpener (because we all had new pencils), and the revelation of who would be our classroom teacher for the school year.

Just one month ago I was driving down a highway in Oregon, listening to a radio station, and they started talking about back to school. I just about drove into a light standard! Back to school was not something that I wanted to hear about in late July. But what they were saying about returning to school stopped me from doing anything too radical. They were encouraging people, parents, to print off a teacher appreciation certificate and take it to the school on the first day, as an act of supporting and encouraging the teachers of their children.

Now that I could get into!

I have tried over the years to be supportive to the classroom teachers of my kids. Working within the school system gives me an even more intimate understanding of just how appreciated (and, for those teaching high school, rare) words, acts and gifts of encouragement are to these teachers who spend more time with our kids each day than we do.

I think all of us can think back to at least one teacher who inspired us to live better, think differently, and who encouraged us in who we are.

Immediately I think back to my grade four teacher, Mrs. Kavanaugh, who was so kind … to everyone in the class. The thing I remember most about her is how she treated the ‘underdogs’ of the classroom. She was more patient with them than any other teacher. She gave them extra words of encouragement. She did not favor the smartest, the prettiest, the richest. You know, I do not remember one academic thing she taught us, but I think I took away something better, because she gave me the tools to be a better person.

She was not the only teacher that I think of, but she is the one who comes to my mind first.

How about you? Do you remember a special teacher? How about taking the challenge to encourage a teacher as your children return to classrooms, gymnasiums, and libraries? How about starting the parent-teacher relationship off with an act of  encouragement, of love?

It just might set the stage for a great year for your son or daughter, for their teacher, and for you.

Read Full Post »

This past week started with great enthusiasm to get back to walking, and to eat more healthy. Then I got sick … the walking didn’t happen much. One day when sick I did well to walk from the kitchen for more water then back to the living room to lie on the couch.

So, week seven and I have re-lost the three pounds that I had gained, and am now holding firm … well, actually there is little on me that is firm, but I am heading in that direction!

I was told once that we have two choices as we age, we can either be wrinkle free or thin, but not both. I am opting for the wrinkles (although if I actually achieve my  l o n g  term goals a little plastic surgery nip and tuck … heck, more like yank and fold … might be necessary).

As we have been experiencing a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest, food is of little interest to me. I have preferred water, Jumbo Freezies (only 100 calories for a Jumbo one, and no fat), and raw vegetables and fruit. So, once it all digests I expect to be pretty much a stick person!

I am not sure about those of you who are in this lifestyle change with me, but I have reached a bit of a plateau. Not physically, but mentally. I feel a bit like my mental get up and go attitude has gotten up and gone.

What do you do when you reach this point? How do you get the desire to keep going back? I would love your input!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Roadtirement

"Traveling and Retired"

Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

Theology is a conversation, and you're invited.

Sealed in Christ

Sixth Seal Ministries

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

FisherofMen

Giving a unique view and input on information to help individuals establish a concrete perspective on terms, words, topics and the world around them.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Raise Them Up

Parenting with Purpose