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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

   It has been forever and a day since I have done this.  I have thought about doing it..... And probably you have missed some really good and life changing thoughts from me..... but I have forgotten whatever they were.....!  No surprise to my children!
     Jack turned three on Sept. 13 and Owen turned 10 (!) month on the 15th!  Where has time gotten off to???  They are the light of my life.  Both can make me cry with how much I love them.  It is such an overpowering feeling, that is until Jack is at my house and I put him in time-out.  Then the 'teacher' voice part steps in.  But I still love him, love him, love him..
     Owen is still little (well sort of - he weighs 20 lbs and is tall for a little guy) and when I am at their house and it is time for him to have his bottle that is suppose to lull him to asleep, Molly hands him over and says "I 'get' to do this all the time..."  So we sit in his rocker and his head is up against my chest and his legs almost touch the floor, and all I can think of is that this little part of his life is coming to an end....  Luckily, he likes to snuggle, and hopefully he will continue to do so while I get weaned from holding him like that. He is a speed crawler, especially if Jack lays something down or is eating something.  Then he can hardly get across the room fast enough.
    So how does all of this have to do with Dancing with God?  I have seen bumper stickers, etc,. that say something about it is worth having kids just to get the grand kids...  I would agree!  I have loved Molly and Kat so hard, and just loved them and loved them.  True, Kat heard the teacher voice thing more than Molly, But they been the lights in my life before I ever even held them.  When Molly got pregnant,  I was like the 2nd time almost-mother who thinks' I love my first SO MUCH, will there be enough love for this one?" I didn't need to worry, there has been plenty more and then some.
     OK, back to dancing with God.  He seems to be so very present in my life.  In fact there have been times that I have wanted to ask Him to go and poke around in someone else's life for a bit.  I have restrained myself.
     Don't get me wrong, I like to dance with Him, although I get scared during the part where I am not in control, which is all the time.  What will be the next step?  Where will it take me? Will there be a cliff where I will have to jump over with a leap of faith.  I hate even thinking about that, but I know from experience He will be down there to catch me, or at least have an ambulance waiting.....
    I haven't enjoyed some of the paths I have been led on - very stony, with a steep learning curve in the hot dry weather. And how does this connect this whole page???
     I am not sure.  But my guess is that each time I am with my family, I am with those who continually teach me love, and encourage me to get out of my box that sometimes I hide in , and participate in the lovely dance of life He has put in front of me, because He loves me.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cleaning Out

     Christmas Day afternoon, I went to put up the sparkly purse I had carried to the Christmas Eve service Kat and I attended which was absolutely beautiful and gave me some calm and peace of heart.  So I opened my ‘extra’ closet door to put it up, congratulating myself for not leaving it out until this summer, and stared in horror in the closet!  Had all this stuff been in here when I got the purse outlast night?????  Did I not notice it? To put the purse away, I had to climb over the same stuff I had climbed over to get it…..  It didn’t bother me last night; I’d hardly noticed it so …. Why now?  I was appalled at what I saw in there.
     I admit that I am a clutter-y person and at times it gets to be too much, but REALLY?  My hands began gathering up all the clothes on the rod nearest the door and depositing them on my bed.  Where did all this stuff come from?  Hmmmm, I bought this or that when….for….. and how many years ago was that??? 10?, 15?, 20?, 25?, 30?, 35? years ago (I really did have one thing from 35 years ago!!!!) There are 6 long hang-up bars in my two closets chock full of clothes, clothes, clothes.  They were all stuffed full.  This does not count the stuff on the floor, the shoe boxes on the shelves, the baskets full of out of season shoes, etc.  I have another closet that I use, so to speak, to get dressed from every day.  This was my EXTRA stuff closet.

     I remember vaguely promising myself that I would not put any summer clothes in the extra closet until I had cleaned it out.  I am big on promises to myself and lax on keeping them.  This was before Christmas when school was still in session, and after school was FINALLY out, all I could do was rest and recuperate (besides wrapping, and other necessary activities that did not include putting even one bow on one present.) 

     I put the clothes on the bed and went to watch TV and wish that I was not out of ice cream.  When I did go into my room to get ready for bed, there were those dresses just waiting for me.  Bummer.  I really, really thought about sleeping in my extra bedroom, but it is made up for Jack with a railing that is hard to scoot out of the way. Ergo, the sorting began.  Into a bin for the FTW Junior League, into the black bag to go to whatever organization was coming the soonest to pick up in my neighborhood.  Memories flooded back, but not in a sad way.  I have to say that that first rod I did had just dressy clothes on it.  Some of it was a no brainer to get rid of, it was sizes too big J or too small L.  I kept all the nice dresses still in my size because I think ‘nice’ dresses are hard to find. So now there were piles on the floor, but I had a walkway to get to the bed and into the bathroom.

     Each day since, I have, at some time during the day, taken the next rod of stuff and put it on my bed.  And there it is waiting to be done before Nattie, Rosie and Gracie and I could get in my comfy bed.  As of today, I have one rod left in the closet I use all the time.  However, I did seven drawers today and took all of my shoes out of both closets and they are piled on the floor waiting to be paired and sorted, tossed or not.  Even then I will not be finished as there are a few boxes under the extra bed and I have no idea what is in them.

    I did all this sorting for four days before I ran into a friend and told her what I was doing (quite pride-fully I must admit). Then I heard myself say, “I am finally getting rid of my old life.”  And it hit me – yes, that is exactly what I was doing.  I had dragged all these hundreds of pieces of clothing  around for the last almost 6 years and through 4 moves!  My life is so different then it was “in the day” (I really hate that saying…).  I am at a different place (literally and figuratively) with different goals and most of all with a new life that fills me with joy.  Part of me thinks I should have done this long ago, but the little voice in my head tells me that I am finally doing it because only now am I ready to live my life in the present moment.

     What a journey I have been on since I started to drag all those clothes around with me, intentionally moving closer to God and the beloved child he has meant me to become.  My biggest challenge for the next few months will be to NOT go out and refill all those empty hangers!  (I am going to count them when I get really through.)  But I am needing less and less ‘stuff’ to fill my life and am slowly embracing the “less is more” outlook on life.  My life is filled with my sweet family, Kat, Molly, Jeff, Jack and Owen, my new friends in general and especially my Belize Mission team (we’re going again in June! J) cohorts and my Thursday Sisters group at church.  

     I am beyond blessed.  I can think of nothing I desire that God has not already given me.

Monday, November 21, 2011


More about that soon!

Learning to Play

     Last Monday, Nov. 14, I took Molly to her OGBYN dr. appointment.  We were both nervous, I think.  She had had very high blood pressure the week before and was put on semi-bed rest.  A really hard thing to do with a 2 year old.  Jeff's mom and I took turns either being at the house to help with Jack or we took him home with us.  I have to admit, it was sort of a long week....  However, it all worked out fine.       In fact stupendously better than fine.  On Friday, I took Jack to a place called 'Pump-It-Up,' a place that is filled with those bounce houses you can rent.  They had some really big bounce-able activities there.  It was a little overwhelming for me at first.  Jack, however, was totally in his 2-year-old-lets-run-and-be-crazy mode and was delighted!  He naturally gravitated to the really big pieces and all I could think was "he will get stuck and scared and will have to rescue him!!!!! and I don't know if I can do that and then what will I do.... I am old, I am still in my post-foot operation shoe, and oh my gosh I have to take it off and follow him around...please God, don't let anything bad happen to my foot...and, oh yes, or Jack too"
     God was surely listening and Jack finally settled on a more manageable house.  So do I let him go in by himself or do I have to go toooo???? He crawled in and came to the front screen and in his funny little way said to me, " c'mon Mimi"(supposed to be Grammy, but who cares), and uses his little signal of curling his fingers into his hand, and I was caught in a dilemma; what will happen if I don't go and what will happen if I do....?
     So, as I always do, I did what Jack told me to do and crawled into a short tunnel (did I mention that I am claustrophobic?) that was pretty much kid size, and I was in.  There was a dad in there with his daughter and he was bouncing to bounce her and, of course, Jack and me too. I hurriedly looked around and settled (sat) close to a sort of corner.  Jack started careening into me, squealing with delight when I threw him against the wall and he toppled back into me and the fun (and it was really fun) began.  We were rolling all over the place and pushing each other (I never stood up! I am not the most coordinated person in the world and in a bounce house...  Horrors!) but we were both were breathless with laughter.
     After that we did tackle a huge, gigantic slide where you had to go up this latter thing... Jack would slip down it while I was (carefully) going up it so I basically pushed his little bottom up as I went.  We were collapsing with laughter.  Who thought a sort-of ladder would be so much fun???  We finally got to the top and it was a long way down.  Altho I don't like heights, Jack is all for them, so we sat down, held hands and went down down down....  Luckily, there was a big cushion thing at the bottom that we plowed into to stop.
     There was no stopping, as such, us after that. I finally looked at the clock and I could not believe we had been there 1 1/2 hours!  Jack did not want to leave, but I began to wonder exactly how my body would feel the next day....  To tell the truth, I was a little relieved to put my safe, but ugly, after- foot-surgery shoe. It was late so I decided to stop at our favorite Sonic to get a grilled cheese.  Jack fell asleep on the way there and I had to wake him up to eat and then to put him down for a nap.
     I did not play much as a child.  My house was a scary place to be and once I began escaping to read, I played even less.  So basically, I never learned to play and have fun.  That is sad.  Jack has filled my life with opportunities to learn to play, Jack style.  God has been oh, so wonderful, in giving me such a delightful playmate.  And now there is Owen.  I wonder what it will be like to have 2  little boy playmates?  What fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Being Graced

I know this kind of poem has a name, but I have no idea what it is.  I created this when I was actively working through the Artists' Way by Julia Cameron.  I love the idea, the thought of grace and how God so mercifully blesses us by raining down often undeserved kindness and favor on us.

Graced by much.

Graced by much surprise.

Graced by much. Surprise over
 and over again.

Graced by much.  Surprise over
and over.  Again I feel precious.

Graced by much. Surprise over and over.
Again I feel.  Precious feelings swelling.

Graced by much. Surprise  over and over.
Again I feel. Precious feelings.  Swelling over
my heart.

Graced by much. Surprise  over and over.
Again I feel. Precious feelings.  Swelling over
my heart and running down.

Graced by much. Surprise over and over.
Again I feel. Precious feelings.  Swelling over
my heart and running down all the way to my toes.

Graced by much. Surprise over and over.
Again I feel. Precious feelings.  Swelling over
my heart and running down all the way to my
toes that make me jump for joy. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I promised a picture of Jack.  He is undoubtedly the cutest (naughty) 2 year old EVER! 

He is totally into guitars and music.  This one was from his Grammy!  (me)

His parents are ok too!

And here is Jack's Aunt Kat!

What else can I say about them??????

On Becoming Authentic

     Authentic.  Sounds like a powerful word, one I am trying to live into.  I found a good, working definition of authentic today in one of the devotional books that I read, Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning:  To open yourself to another person, to stop lying about your loneliness, to stop lying about your fears and hurts, to be open about your affection, and to tell others how much they mean to you.
      I have had a very hard new experience lately.  I had foot surgery about 1 1/2 weeks ago.  I was SO fearful about having it.  So scared that I updated my folder with "End of Life Instructions!" and told Kat where it was just in case.... That is really over the top!  I scared myself.  I nearly had a panic attack at my pre-op (and pre-pay a bunch) appointment and then almost again when I went to pre-check in (and pre-pay a bunch again) at the surgery center.  What was gong on?  I even told Molly and Kat, and I usually try to spare them that kind of stuff.  Mothers aren't suppose to be scared and telling their children about it are they?  Mothers are suppose to be ... the mothers.
     I prayed alot about this a lot, asking God for answers, to show me why I was flipping out over this pretty routine surgery.  I had gone to the grocery store, pet store, etc. It was all set up, all my ducks in a row, so to speak.  I had it taken care of.
      Molly, Jeff and Jack were gong on a trip to visit a cousin and Jeff's brother and would be gone when the surgery took place so I went to tell them 'bye' and I was leaving and Molly told me they would be holding me in their prayers, I realized what was going on. And this was it....  When I was married, when I went to birth the girls, when I brought them home from the hospital, the times I had gone for day surgery, or in-office surgery, my now ex-husband never took me or picked me up. I had to arrange my own rides, both going and coming home. It was totally up to me to survive the experience the best way I could.
     It did not happen that way this time. My Thursday Sisters group prayed over me, Kat offered to take me to the surgery center and a dear friend offered to take me home. Kat sweetly came back after work and spent the night with me.  I did not have to ask. They were just there. Kat came by every day after the surgery for a week.  Just to see how I was. People called and checked... In other words, I had gone from being totally in charge of all of it to having people in my life who lovingly offered to help. It was hard to let them care for me. It was so very foreign and HARD. 
     God has spent a lot of time this year trying to teach me to let my children and others love me and do loving things for me.  That I was more than deserving of this love from them. That like Him, they loved me just because.... not because of anything I have done or said, but just because.
     Authentic.  What I started with. I got to work a little on each part of that definition. This experience has been all about me moving towards being more authentically me.