I Notice How AWESOME You Are

Despite the saying, words do hurt.  Believe me;  I know.  Unkind words hurt adults just as they can truly damage a child’s self-esteem.  For me, I am a lover of words, font, text, etc., especially when they are placed together in such a manner with the goal of improving someone’s day.

The other day while celebrating a dear friend’s fortieth birthday, we were perusing a local independent bookstore.  While there, I came across some business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.”  This, of course, brought to mind a business card I once received in my mailbox which was attached to some Girl Scout papers which I needed to process for our troop, not one of my favorite jobs.  Yet, I sat at my kitchen table that evening working on those papers with the hugest grin on my face.  That card with those words had made all the difference.  Such a simple ripple can result in quite a tidal wave of happiness.

awesomecards

Last night, volleyball practice began for my second through fourth-grade players.  Club Serve at Troy United Methodist Church teaches volleyball skills, but also focuses on serving others.  Each practice ends with a homework assignment in the form  of  a service project, one which is geared towards the age of the child.  I laminated homemade business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.”  After giving each player a praise card due to his/her amazing participation, effort, and encouragement of one another, I handed out an identical card.  This card is meant to be distributed by the player to someone he/she finds “awesome.”  I offered suggestions:  a sibling, teacher, coach, Grandma, etc.  I added it was okay to leave the card anonymously.  Immediately hands were raised asking some truly thought-provoking questions:

Is it okay to give it to my best friend?  Yes!

What if I took it in my lunch box and gave it to someone at recess?  Yes, as long as it’s okay with your teacher.

Which card should I keep, and which card should I give away?  You choose.

Can we give it to someone right here, on our team?  Yes!

Not ever knowing if an activity is going to be a keeper or a bust, I was thrilled to file this one under “keep.”  I’m looking forward to hearing to whom each player gave a card (part of the homework).  In fact, I was so encouraged by the players’ reaction that I decided to give an employee working in the drive-thru a card this morning while I was purchasing water bottles I had forgotten to pack this morning.  My daughter’s friend giggled and said, “That’s weird.”  You know what?  I’ll take weird.  Weird is good.

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Halloween, Halloween . . . Trick or Treat

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and this is just the way my hub, Michael Myers, and I like it when it comes to Halloween.  Our teen neighbor joins in as we attempt to scare the local kiddos on their hunt for candy.  This year the hub constructed a black screen on our porch to block the trick or treaters’ view of the bucket of candy.  They had to pass through a gate, walk past a moving witch, and then peer behind the blackness.  Hey, we like to make squirts work for their treats.

IMG_1279Today fellow parent volunteers and I are scaring the first-grade students in my daughter’s class with an Ooky Station complete with dried ears (pig ears), tongues (dried apricots), fingers (turkey jerky), bloody intestines (spaghetti with sauce), warts (raisins), bloody skin (lasagna noodles with sauce), eyeballs (garlic-stuffed olives), and bones (thick pretzel sticks).  Needless to say, Halloween is by far my favorite.

Tonight we will Tent or Treat at Troy United Methodist Church, and tomorrow once kiddo activities are complete, we will shop the bargain racks at spooky stores in search of ideas for next year’s celebration.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Sunday Thanks

I am thankful for . . .

the girls’ excitement over being in the same Sunday school class.

Sunday morning squeezes from some amazing women blessings in church.

my stomach not imploding.

the wisdom of my BFF.

an amazing chapter book written by my youngest squirt.

my oldest daughter’s laughter after a mechanical cat jumped out at her at the spooky store.

For what are you thankful?

Listening to Tim Price’s sermon several months ago at Troy United Methodist Church, he encouraged us all to pray without asking for anything, but instead praying a prayer of complete thanksgiving.  This gave me pause to think we should devote our day of rest and all days to thanking our Creator.  So, every Sunday consider participation in Sunday Thanks.

Please reflect on today, the past week, or one incident in particular.  Share what you are thankful for in the comments section below.  Perhaps, your sharing will encourage someone else to realize how much he/she has in which to be thankful.

 

thank·ful
ˈTHaNGkfəl/
adjective
adjective: thankful
  1. pleased and relieved.
    “they were thankful that the war was finally over”
    synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved

    “she was thankful that the evening was over”
    • expressing gratitude and relief.
      “an earnest and thankful prayer”
      synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved

      “she was thankful that the evening was over”

 

Sunday (a little late) Thanks

Busy yesterday simply savoring the time with my family, I failed to post my Sunday Thanks, but did not fail to be thankful.  My girls have recently gone back to school, and I missed them those two days they were gone last week.  In the summer, we are together morning, noon, and night, and that’s how I like it.

I am thankful for . . .

Kryptonite Boob Sweat (breast cancer survivor here with new and improved kryptonite boobs), the naming courtesy of my friend in Virginia, woman blessing Christie.  Having destroyed a third cell phone (by accident, of course) in a matter of four years, take or leave a year, I had to break down and ask my friends to text me so that I could add them to my contact list.  Admitting that storage of my previous phone (may it R.I.P.) in a sports bra while climbing Monks Mound is not conducive to technological longevity was humbling, to say the least.  Adding my friend’s humor to the situation made it all worthwhile.

witnessing a man in his seventies climbing the stairs repeatedly at Monks Mound (I need to step it up a notch).

two surprise “packages” (cards) in the mail.

amazing mission trips completed by the middle and high school students at Troy United Methodist Church.

a loved one’s body finally at peace.

 

For what are YOU thankful?

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Finish

Finish . . .  Reading Lisa-Jo Baker’s response to Finish makes me think of my own “passing the torch,” so to speak, on a not grand scale at all.

In October of 2011 I went on a women’s retreat with an amazing group of women blessings from Troy United Methodist Church.  Prior to this weekend, I had my first mammogram at the age of 40 which called for an ultrasound and then a breast excision.  So, my upcoming surgery was definitely on my mind.

The women’s group leading workshops at the retreat published Between the Lines.  Inspired and refreshed from the weekend, I read through the magazine and decided I wanted to have a similar publication for the women at my church.  Also, I thought the creation of Ruby Magazine would make for a welcoming distraction for what turned out to be a diagnosis of breast cancer.

ruby20140508_070533

 

The magazine/blog ended up having an amazing three-year run with women blessing interviews, personal essays, recipes, and prayers, but I felt it needed to come to a finish this summer as the contributions dwindled.  It was time to finish.

When I put out a request for someone to take over, woman blessing Steph went above and beyond by creating The Gentle Yoke, an open faith forum and digital magazine.  Now, I have the pleasure of reading her posts and responding to them.  So, my finish was really just a blessed beginning.