The Greatest Of These Is Love…..

Among all the hate and vitriol that was on Facebook yesterday regarding the attack in Orlando, I found this. May we all strive to love each other, no matter what:

“Maybe he was tired or a little embarrassed or both, but the Muslim student I just dropped off at the Islamic Center didn’t really know how to react when I told him that as a Christian, I was giving him a free ride tonight as a gesture of friendship because of the horrific weekend that Muslims and our country in general have had. I hope it gets his week off to a better start.”

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MayDay Monday……

So I just grabbed a can of soup for an easy supper. One of those cans with a flip-top. I carefully lifted the tab as I had just manicured my nails. Every time I open a flip top can, I think, “Dear Lord, today is the day that, despite my best efforts at cleanly opening flip-top cans, I’ll lose control and soup will fly**SPLAT** onto the the living room carpet and land on my beloved MacBook Pro”.

Awesome.

Today was that day. Sort of. No I didn’t splat soup onto the carpet or my computer, but I DID manage to break the tabby thingy that you pull to open the top of the can, almost rendering the entire can useless. There was a moment that I thought of just drinking the contents, but then I wouldn’t have been able to consume the chicken deliciousness.

That would have been tragic.

Fortunately I was able to MacGyver a way to open the injured can using a regular can opener and a spoon.

Crisis averted.

So here is what I’m thinking–either A. this incident is indicative of how my week is gonna go, or B. I’ve gotten the bad part of my week over with and the next couple days will go smoothly.

For now I’m going with option B.

So to start Monday off on a good note, I offer a few words of wisdom:

1. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Seriously.

2. Ignore the haters and trolls. Someone wants to pee in your Cheerios? Move the bowl and walk away.

3. Connect with your inner-child. Do a coloring book (you can even color outside the lines 😉 ), climb a tree (with a spotter if you are of a certain age….can’t be too careful 😉 ), or run as fast as you can against the wind.

Cheers!

 ec3944ad-9e06-3d3c-a3e4-3bac5585e6bc

 Unlucky dog appears courtesy of google search.

 

Monday Motivation: The Best is Yet to Come….

I totally had a different topic planned for today. Seriously, it was almost finished, I had to run an errand and when I came back, I heard from the Lord that I was to write this one. So….

Hey you! Yeah, you reading this blog post. I know you are going through an excruciatingly hard time right now. I know it freakin’ sucks balls. (I also know that your mom probably doesn’t approve of that term, but dang it, when you are down in the pit, sometimes you just gotta say it! 😛 ).

But what I also know, what Jesus wants you to know, is that it’s gonna get better.

When? I don’t know. But dear friend, you need to hang on just a little longer.

I was in your shoes two years ago.

I hated going to work. I dreaded seeing my co-workers. I despised how I was made to feel during the work day. I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I’d be in tears when Chad picked me up at the end of my shift.

I was IN the pit. And I didn’t know when I’d be getting out. And I felt myself losing something that I once loved.

And it sucked ba…well, you get the idea. 😉

When I was down in the pit, it was so dark that I couldn’t see the light of my future plans, but the Lord could. And he drew me up out of the pit at just the right time (Psalms 40:2).

Fast forward 2 years. You know what?

Today I have a somewhat successful blog that helps to encourage and inspire people from around the world every day. And I’m using that painful time in my life to strengthen and motivate others, including you, who are mucking in the pit. Hey, it only has 87 followers currently, but you can change that by clicking the follow button right up there (on the upper right hand side of your screen above my glorious face 😉 )

And today I had an impromptu meeting with my artist friend. About the cover of my book that she’ll be designing.

Yes, I’m writing a book to inspire and encourage others in the pit.

To let them know that they are never, ever alone.

That is the Song In My Soul.

PS: My upcoming book now has a title. Song In My Soul: Humor and Inspiration From An Anxious Housewife  will be available for purchase sometime in 2017 and feature blog content found here and original content currently in production.

Blessed Are The Nurturers……

Blogger’s Note: To the woman who is sad on Mother’s Day because she has empty arms, you are loved, you have worth and you matter to the world.


Blessed are the nurturers,
Those who teach our children,
Who drive the buses to and from school,
Who make sure our tiny humans cross the street safely.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who had the dream of human children,
But live with empty arms.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who stay up all night,
Tending to a sick dog or cat.
Who worry about their fur-babies crossing over to The Rainbow Bridge too soon.

Blessed are the nurturers,
The nannies, the after-school sitters, the kind souls that step in
When a parent has to work long hours or just needs a break.

Blessed are the nurturers, remembered and celebrated on this day.
May we always appreciate all the do.

Amen!

 

Conquering A Sleeping Bear…..

This morning I woke up to sore muscles. See, last night I decided to finally take the plunge and walk on our treadmill. I know you are probably thinking, “Oh wow! She probably stayed on for like, 20 minutes.” But you would be wrong-o. 😛

2:00. I stayed on the treadmill for 2 minutes. Total. I stopped once.

I was pretty upset with myself for getting this far off the fitness track. Although I think, fingers crossed, part of the issue last night was the belt on our treadmill appears to be a skosh off center, so it was running a bit slower. Maybe.

But my ever encouraging husband still made sure I saw the obvious: “I’m proud of you babe. At least you tried. You did it!” And thinking about it the next day, it’s true. I need to feel proud of myself for getting on the treadmill and doing what I could. Even if I didn’t go for 20 minutes like I had wanted, at least I tried.

It reminds me of something I did this summer. I went with my family to Michigan. One day we took a trip to Sleeping Bear Dune. It’s one of the biggest dunes I’ve ever seen. For those of you unfamiliar, a dune is a GIANT mountain of sand that, in most cases, can be climbed by people. This particular dune, from top to bottom, is 450 ft. That’s roughly the equivalent of a 40-story building.

We went there for two reasons, Chad had wanted to see it for a couple years, and my 6-year old nephew was with us, and we thought it’d be a fun activity for him (read: climbing a 450 ft dune is a good way to burn off the natural energy of a 6-year old. It worked nicely as he slept the entire drive back to our cabin).

When we arrived at Sleeping Bear Dune, this is what lay before us:

Sleeping Bear Dune 1

What you are looking at is the ground level up to the first plateau. When you reach the top of the first plateau, it flattens out again, then inclines to a grove of trees at the very top. Those that reach the very top are treated to a spectacular view of Lake Michigan.

My nephew asked me to come with him and climb the dune. I swear I will do anything that kid asks, so we brought my wheelchair and crutches along to give me options. After plenty of sunscreen was applied and I chugged some water, our climb began.

I started out on crutches. After parking my chair at the base of the dune. But the heavy sand made it challenging, especially with the heat, so I gave up the crutches and continued the climb on all fours.

Sleeping Bear Dune 2

Sleeping Bear Dune 3

Now, admittedly this is not my most attractive photo, but I was getting it done, not worrying about what I looked like. The first thing I noticed when I switched to all fours was, “Holy Hannah Montana the sand is HOT!” I didn’t think to bring gloves, but that may have helped.

Now, before I started climbing I was a bit nervous. With a history of anxiety, one thing I’ve learned is that if I exert myself too much, I can be thrown into a panic attack (I know, it’s a lovely symptom 😛 ). I didn’t want to have one in front of my nephew, but I wanted to see how far up the dune I could go. Chad and I took it slow. My goal was to reach the top.

Little Eden Sleeping Bear Dune

After what seemed like hours, and many breaks, we stopped for a photo. It’s kinda hard to tell here, but we were 5 stories up, all at an angle. See that red circle around that black object? That is my wheelchair at the edge of the sand.

At this point I listened to my body and it told me I was done. To head back. I gotta say I was disappointed. I wanted to get to the very top.

But you know what? I freakin’ climbed a 5 story mountain on my own! I moved my body more that day then I had in a LONG time!

Dear friend, if you’ve made a goal and only have gotten so far, don’t despair. We are only 18 days into the New Year. You didn’t get as far as you wanted today? Try again tomorrow.

And be happy that at least you tried.

I’m proud of you!

Cheers!

 

 

When Questioning Your Path: Trust and Obey

 It happened a few days ago when Chad and I visited friends who had a new baby. The baby, who we’ll refer to as our niece, is one of those babies. You know which ones I’m talking about; the tiny and cute ones. She even exuded more cuteness when she sneezed. I’m pretty sure glitter fell out of her nose.

Then I got to hold her. And it happened.

I don’t know what God did during the baby makin’ process to make them give off that aroma. You know the one I’m talkin’ about. That smell found at the top of their peach fuzzy heads that can make most women’s uteruses (uteri? ) leap around like a Jane Fonda workout session.

I swear, that smell messes with your head, even if you are adamant about remaining childless. I turned to Chad and said, “I need you to tell me something to snap me out of it.”

Chad took the “sleeplessness” angle. Well played, husband.

Here’s the thing, I tend to need more sleep then Chad. But he also needs a certain amount. He works with heavy machinery and if he got any less than what he’s currently getting, things could get dangerous fast. “Oh, well,” You say, “he needs to start drinking coffee!” I’m here to tell you that the amount of coffee this man drinks could be a whole separate blog post. Actually I think I’ll do one at a later date. 😉

When I asked Chad to “talk me out of it,” it was because I was having a twinge of doubt that we were on the right path. I had seen what our friends had and thought maybe the path that they were on was one that we could follow.

That is a dangerous thing to do. Especially when you know that God told you to take a specific path. Remember Jonah? God told him to go to Nineveh to talk to the people there. But Jonah thought he knew better and disobeyed. That’s how he ended up in the belly of a whale. Had he gone to Nineveh as he was supposed to, he would have never ended up smelling like fish guts when the whale finally barfed him up on dry land. (Sidenote: anyone else naturally assume that the whale was male? Food for thought… 😀 )

So that’s a bit of an extreme example. But as Christians, we are taught to do two things; trust and obey. Even if it’s a scary proposition.

I remember when I was still living in a big city in the south, after Chad and I became engaged, the question of where we’d live came to the surface (we had been long distance up until that point). I was adamant that I wanted to stay in the big city. I had a supportive church community, friends, and I was able to travel back and forth on my own via public transit. I thought it was the perfect scenario. Except for one thing. Jobs in Chad’s field were hard to come by if he were to relocate, and the current position he was in was full time with benefits. On the other hand, I only had a part time job with zero benefits (unless you want to count unlimited free soda at the sandwich place located next door to my office 😉 )

So there we were, Mr. Full-Time-Job-with-Benefits and Ms. There’s-No-Way-In-Ha-Ha-That-I’m-Moving-to-His-Small-Town.

Then one day we were having a conversation with a family friend. We were discussing who was going to move and our friend asked us both one question. Who had a full time job with benefits? The answer was Chad. Right at that moment it became crystal clear; I would move to Chad’s town. And honestly I was finally OK with that path.

Can you guess what happened 3 weeks after I moved to Chad’s town? Yep. He was let go from his full time job with benefits.

My reaction was modeled after the years of adult maturity I had under my belt; I internally threw a fit of Biblical proportions, just like Jonah. How dare God allow this to happen! At that moment I wanted to move back to my city. Back to my comfort zone (yes, I would be taking Chad with me).

But then a still small voice said, “Trust Me.”

Chad quickly found a new job that he loved and, as an added bonus, we were able to spend more time together. We were able to go to church and have a rich social life. A life that continues to flourish today.

Had I continued to look at the wonderful things others had in the midst of our crappy situation, I would not have experienced the blessings of God’s grace, love and mercy.

So back to my brand new niece. I can’t explain how much I love her. Each time a new niece or nephew is born, my heart grows. And I now understand my purpose and path; to show her how much God loves her through my actions and to be there when she needs someone to talk to. To encourage her parents to stay on the same path when things get tough.

Because the end result is more than worth it. All we need to do is trust and obey.

 

 

 

The World Needs More Miss Rumphiuses

Gun control. The Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. Obama. Ferguson. There are tons of stuff out in the world today that we debate and fight over on a daily basis. These debates and fights can divide us to the point where friendships end, resentment builds and tempers flare. So how can we counter-act these volatile issues? It’s simple; we need more Miss Rumphiuses in the world.

“Who,” you may be asking, “is Miss Rumphius?” Excellent question. She is the focus of my all-time favorite children’s book of the same name, written by Barbara Cooney and published in 1982. “Miss Rumphius” tells the story of Alice Rumphius who from a young age has a goal of traveling to far-away places and living by the sea when she grows up. Her wise grandfather tells her that there is in fact a third thing she must do when she grows up. She must find a way to make the world more beautiful. When she grows up, she in fact does travel the world and settles down in a house by the sea. But she is still needing to make the world a better place. In the end, she walks along the country-side, scattering lupine seeds. As the wind carries the seeds, they settle in far-away places and when they eventually bloom, the landscape is filled with brilliant shades of purple, pink, blue and white. It is in a word; beautiful. Alice earns the moniker, “the lupine lady” and in the end is shown to teach the next generation about the importance of making the world a better place.

So how can we apply the lessons from this book in our own life? Simple. By extending kindness to everyone we meet. By volunteering with an organization you are passionate about. By baking a cake for your new neighbor, regardless of their sexual orientation. By planting flowers in the yards of folks that can’t do it themselves. By thanking a veteran for his service to our country, regardless of your politics.

My challenge to you this week is, anytime you see something negative, be it by social media or out in the 3-D world, you’d counter-act it by doing something nice for someone else. Let’s all do our part to make the world a better, more beautiful place.

Cheers!

miss-rumphius-cover

*Miss Rumphius cover art appears courtesy: http://firefliesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/miss-rumphius-cover.jpg