Keep. The hub and I originally met online. We were both on this now defunct dating site at the same time during a two-week free trial. We like free.
On our first date, we met for lunch and then played 18 holes of golf in what I think had to be 150 degree weather. When he put his arm around me while we were riding in the golf cart, I thought I would melt not only from the heat, but also from embarrassment; I knew there was no way my antiperspirant had maintained the fresh feminine floral scent.
After golf we went to Blockbuster (when there still were Blockbusters) and selected a movie to watch while eating our favorite deep dish pizza from Papa Del’s. Six months later we were married.
On our first anniversary with not much money, we exchanged cards. When I opened mine, there taped to the inside of the card was the most heartfelt gift I have ever received (next to my two girls), the Blockbuster receipt from our first date. Keep.
Wait. Writing is like meditation for me; it calms me, it guides me, and it focuses me. This particular Five Minute Friday writing prompt had to wait as my baby girl turned seven this past Sunday. Thus, there were pig cupcakes to be baked (oh, how she loves her pigs), food to be prepared, and quality time to be spent with this glorious gift from above.
The hub and I had to wait 38 weeks to see our baby girl after a difficult pregnancy which included gestational diabetes, low amniotic fluid, and the Somogyi effect. After release from the hospital, I had nearly 48 hours with her at home before I had to return to the hospital for a week’s stay in order to combat severe preeclampsia where the wait to return home was excruciating.
Last night sitting alone while the rest of the house was asleep, I could not stop smiling while reflecting on the past weekend. I thought what a blessing this young one has been to my life and my hub’s life . . . definitely well worth the wait.
Share. Participating in Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s #fmfsnailmail, I have been able to meet some incredibly strong women. Some of these women have had to endure some hardship in one way or another, but have grown in their faith because of it.
In my inbox, I found an author who answered Ten Questions via my blog. This same author, Jennifer Cook, just so happens to be on my current #fmfsnailmail buddy list.
So, what better time than now to share her Author Interview so that you may, too, have the pleasure of making her acquaintance. Share.
Welcome. I think I have had this discussion about feeling welcome over fifty times in the seven years I have known woman blessing Sarah, my co-leader to two Girl Scout troops (only one in which she has a daughter), my co-coach in soccer, my co-teacher at church, and my co-yogi. In these endeavors, we always make it a priority to make the children as well as the parents feel welcome. We send invites to events we are attending outside of our scheduled events which range from VBS to Zumba at the library. We do this because in our conversations with one another we have discussed our experiences with the warm, nurturing feeling of being welcomed with open arms as well as the opposite, the loneliness which inevitably accompanies a feeling of being unwelcome.
We ended up at the church where we attend due to woman blessing Sherri who continued to welcome, invite, engage, and inquire whenever we saw her in the hallways during preschool pick-up. She is one of those people whom you feel as if you have known forever upon meeting her on day one. We finally succumbed to her advances and eventually ended up teaching Wednesday evening Bible studies to preschoolers under her direction. Now that was a warm welcome which created results.
As a child, I changed schools four times in three years as the aftermath of my parents’ divorce. As an eight-year-old, I can tell you how much a difference it made when I felt welcomed by students, teachers, and parents and when I did not. I think of this always when I work with children of all ages as well as adults (who inevitably house an inner child). Perhaps, they, too, once, twice, or several times have felt unwelcome. Wouldn’t it be incredible to be that person who allows him/her to feel welcome for the first time?
This evening I plan to welcome my Daisies and Brownies to the Cookie Rally, and I definitely plan to welcome my two volunteer Cookie Queen Goddesses with open arms. Whom do you plan to welcome today?
Adore. Reading Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on “Adore,” the last line really hit home with me, “‘Come, let us adore Him.'” I love hearing this song sung in church with perhaps less than ideal pitch (on my part), but much passion behind the words. This is a definite goosebump-worthy song.
Recently, my girls, hub, and I decided to write down all of the Christmas songs we could think of from memory alone. We were gathering these titles in order to play a game, found in Lynn Gordon’s52 Christmas Activities, where one player draws a scene depicting the title of a Christmas carol.
We had the best time trying to come up with song titles. All of a sudden someone would belt out the first line of a song, “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly!” and then not much else. We had the tune down, but more often than not, a loss for complete lyrics.
When one of our girls was unfamiliar with a song title, we would search Pandora on our television so that they could hear the song in its entirety. So, our evening was spent in near dark with only their Christmas scenes lighting the room and the sound of Christmas filling the air. Adore.
Can you guess the title of the song depicted in the picture at the top?
Prepare. There doesn’t seem to be any way to prepare for all life has to offer: the gruesome death of a parent, the loss of breasts to cancer, the sudden onset of illness of your child. Just when one occurrence has been worked through and there seems to be a calm in the storm, another uninvited life event seems to rear its ugly head right around the corner. Some days it just seems like too much, and one may ask, “Why so much?” I know I do and have asked that same question over and over again.
Recently my hub’s coworker was killed when a semi tractor trailer driver while driving under the influence fell asleep at the wheel and barrelled into the back of his car. He was twenty-two-years-young and newly married. My heart bleeds for his young wife, his family, and friends. This is a life event which was unavoidable, did not have to happen. So, this begs the question, “Why did it happen?” I think of how his wife must be feeling; suddenly, a future with someone you love destroyed in an instant.
To be honest, I in no way want to prepare for the worst. Instead, I am a glass-half-filled kind of girl. I want to prepare for the best, everlasting Life, by thanking the Lord often for healing, forgiveness, and blessings.
Dear. I use the word dear a lot when I refer to my friends: loyal, honest, and ever present. This term may sound a bit dated to some, but this adjective works for me. I cherish these friends and love them with deep affection, and according to Dictionary.com, this defines “dear,” so I must be on the right track. A self-described old soul in an aging body, I embrace the word dear.
And, without a doubt, I think the most important time to use dear is in prayer with the Big One above.
Thank you for all of the blessings in my life even if it takes me a while to discover them. Thank you for all of the friends who have become family. Thank you for guiding me to Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s #fmfpartysnailmail so that I may encourage others through the written word. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of an incredible man’s life. Thank you for giving a dear friend the strength to do what is right for her and her children.
Give. Reading Kate Motaung’s post with the prompt, Give, really leaves a reader a lot to ponder. To appreciate the good, there is hardship, struggle, unrest, etc. This is a tough concept to accept. In the last week, my grandfather-in-law passed from cancer, my husband’s co-worker was killed by a driver under the influence, a friend’s mother passed, my mother was diagnosed with dementia, a dear friend told me her Thanksgiving was spent arguing with her husband, another friend spent the holiday nursing her two kiddos and husband back to health after suffering Type A flu, a loved one in debt, and on and on and on. With all of this take, the idea of give seems exhausting.
In a sermon last week, Pastor Dennis touched on this same topic in finding the joy in the every day, if even just a smidgen. Over time these small observances will accumulate into a large acknowledgement of joy. Thus, he ended his sermon with, “I wish you enough.”
So, this week I plan to trudge on and search for opportunities to give to others so that they, too, may have enough and discover their own inkling of joy.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Luke 6:38
Notice. As a kiddo, it seems to come naturally when one says, “Hey! Look! Look what I can do! See what I drew! Listen to me read! Watch me!” Loving parents, grandparents, adults, siblings, etc. then respond with their full attention in an ideal world. Children need that reassurance and, I believe, rightfully so.
I wonder why some people think this inner need dissipates as we grow older. In teaching young adults, I want them to know what they write, think, and say matters. If a student lingers after class to share with me an idea or e-mails me a short story written in his/her free time, I am elated. I want them to know I will gladly drop what I am doing because I am interested, and they deserve my full attention.
This feeling of wanting others to know they matter and my taking notice most definitely stems from my adult desire for others to think I matter, too. Now in my forties, I have learned reassurance and interest from others all but disappears. People are more apt tocriticize, complain, or simply clam up (yes, I embrace alliteration fully) rather than notice.
Today I noticed the man behind me in line at the drive-thru. He looked like he had a lot on his mind as he was shuffling through some sort of paperwork. He was driving a minivan, so I assumed perhaps he had children which may mean a full weekend ahead after the close of this work week. Inspired by a friend’s act of JOYing someone, I decided to treat this man to breakfast anonymously. Driving away I was smiling because I was hoping this man knew someone took notice of him today.
How will you take the time and show people you notice them today?
Still. I like this time of day, early morning. A fan of sleep, I never thought I would say this. All is still in the house with the hub, my two girls, and our dog sleeping. I am awake because our dog needed to go outside, but she returns to slumber with hardly any effort on her part. Instead of going back to sleep, this is my time to write, read, and reflect on recent events. The only sound I can hear is the light hum of the heater in the background and the mild snoring of my black Labrador.
I wonder . . . is God here with me now? Some days I can feel His presence while other days it feels as if He has left me here to fend for myself. If I am still, truly still, I know He is here through the laughter of my children, the embrace of my husband, the encouragement of my friends, the fullness of my heart. Other times, reading about Internet trolls harassing others, the slaughter of innocent children, the unkind words of one human being to another, I question His apparent absence.
So, I need this time carved into the early morning hours to be truly still.