Finding Joy in the small things…

1. Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker, Stuck on You. I am totally and completely stuck on it.
2. Lionel Richie songs remind me of high school; high school reminds me of Turkey; Turkey reminds me of all the great friends I still stay in touch with all these years later; which reminds me how old we they all have gotten; all of which brings me great joy.

3. Purple toilets in my front yard.

4. My church family; cooking dinner with them; serving; cleaning up; all the while talking serious things of life; and the laughter.
5. Eric Church; his music adds years back to my life; or at least my soul.
6. My neighbors; they do awesome things like pay to have a purple toilet put in your yard; which you then have to pay to get out of your yard.
7. My Man opening the door and calling Her Evil Highness, letting her run out and then laughing hysterically as he closes the door saying, “bye bye Chloe.”
8. The things now that then would have sent my world into a tail spin. Now…not so much. Major life events that nearly destroy us put a whole new spin on the subsequent meaningless nonsense.
9. My Girl is going to be turning 21 in 12 days. Twenty-one. Wait…this one may not bring me as much joy as I thought.

10. Thinking about Andy; pain and joy at the same time.

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A question…

Will y’all help me out by answering a few questions for me? I’m doing research on a subject and would like personal content, as well. Answer anonymously, if you would like. Email me privately, if you prefer. I’m not looking to start a war here, I am just looking for your own personal experiences. Here we go:

1. Have you ever felt the presence of a deceased loved one or friend?
2. Have you ever been touched or tapped or otherwise been certain something or someone touched you, yet no one was there?
3. Do you hear or feel a deceased loved one speaking to you?
4. Have you experienced anything else unexplainable…such as objects moved when you are certain that you or someone else did not move them?
5. Anything else you have experienced that you would like to share?

Again, I am not opening this up for a discussion on good versus evil, or arguments on what may be right or wrong or true or not. IF you have an experience to share, please share. If you post things that are negative or inflammatory, those posts will be deleted.

Thanks so much. More to come on this subject.

*I’ve turned comment moderation on which means that you will not immediately see your comment on the blog post. I will review the comments as they come in before approving them to be shown publicly.

Hugs and love y’all.

Thank You, may I have another (DiNozzo head slap)

So, seriously, last Thursday I had a W-I-C-K-E-D day. Everything went wrong from the moment I woke up. I dropped the vacuum cleaner and it broke; *fyi…how does one even drop a vacuum cleaner???* I decided at the last second that I was going to seat us at our dining room table which was covered with junk and I needed to iron a tablecloth; I realized at 8:00 am that I had forgotten to make the cinnamon buns; the OVERNIGHT cinnamon buns; shut my foot in the door; *a door I was probably slamming out of anger and frustration* and there were six women showing up at my door at 9:00 am expecting cinnamon buns and coffee and everything in my usual OCD-orderness. *as if that’s really a word*

To top it all off, two of the said women showed up a few minutes early. I was totally freaked and stressed out. So I did what any woman-who-has-the-best-women-in-her-life would do. I handed the spatula over to L and said, “scramble these eggs” and said to D, “please set the table.” And I kept right on going.

Did I mention these women are my small group, aka The Best Women In My Life? *disclaimer: there are more women who fit into this category but they are not currently part of my small group*

These women have been lifting me up, holding me up, putting up with my crap for the last year or more and I truly have no words that could come close to adequately describe how I feel about them. But, in bullet format, I shall attempt to:

  • they have loved me when I was definitely a prickly pear;
  • they have loved me when I slammed doors in their faces (if not literally, then most certainly figuratively but some of them literally);
  • they have cried with me;
  • they have cried for me;
  • some of them have cried because of me;
  • they have brought me food;
  • they have brought me iced tea (aka known in the Smith household as “Liquid Gold”… it is that good);
  • they have texted me and expected (and received) no reply;
  • they have called me and I have not picked up and they have continued to call;
  • they have sent me cards;
  • they have brought me gifts (have I ever mentioned that my #1 Love Language is gifts?);
  • they have gone behind my back to check on me (my husband and children have been known to cough up the goods at the drop of a hat);
  • they have guilted me;
  • they have called me out;
  • they have loved me; not just fluff love…tough love…bible-thumping love.

In other words, they have loved me as they have been called to love me by God; as Christ loves me; as Christ loves them.

They would say (and have) that they are just doing what we do. We made a commitment to each other. Unspoken, but a commitment just the same. We will love each other.

Period.

Blessed beyond measure by these women in my life?

Doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
1 Peter 1:22  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 
1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
 Proverbs 17:17  A friend loves at all times…

 

    Joy

    Today is our Andy’s 24th birthday. I woke up this morning crying; missing him; feeling my sister’s pain; our entire family’s pain. Smiling, also. Remembering the joy of his birth; and in turn, the subsequent births of Andy’s cousins, Shawn and Sarah, and his sister’s, Courtney and Lindsay and finally the youngest of the group, my baby, Brett.

    This last year has been difficult. The last three years, actually. There have been days where seeing and actually feeling some joy has been nearly impossible.

    This morning, for example, I was determined to have a fairly normal day; a day where I choose joy. I was slammed with grief the moment I awoke from a relatively sleepless night. I embraced the tears, knowing that fighting the pain would just prolong the inevitable. I turned to my morning social media routine for solace…facebook, email, twitter…distractions all. They did not disappoint.

    My sister and I speak frequently of the losses in our lives. We always realize, in the midst of our grief, that all around us there are those suffering more. Ongoing battles with cancer and disease; drug addiction; marital discord; estrangements.

    We realize how blessed we truly are. When I learned this week that a friend of Brett’s, a member of his football team, is fighting cancer, I instantly thought, “Andy would never have been able to stand that.” He hated being sick; he was always the worst patient ever and we all would have heard about it nonstop.

    We have friends who are estranged from their child. Having gone through a period of this with one of our children, I know the continuous anguish this causes. They have been suffering this loss for years and years. Another family we love has a child addicted to drugs. Other friends who have lost their child to suicide. The suffering around us is overwhelming.

    On Good Friday, Russell, Brett and I sat with a small group of our church family and participated in the 2012 Secret Church simulcast. David Platt is incredible. He taught on The Cross and Suffering. When we sat down and I read what the topic was, I laughed out loud. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed…some answers to the questions I have asked of God. I will be downloading the audio from that night when it becomes available…and I highly recommend you do so, also.

    I know it has become cliche…in the midst of our suffering, there is always something to be thankful about; some joy to be seen, felt, and embraced. Or we can be consumed by our grief and suffering, 24/7; focused on our pain; ignoring…not caring about the pain of those around us.

    I’m choosing the joy. Sometimes it is a daily choice; often it is an hourly choice. But my choice it is.

    Love you guys.

    A New Game.

    There is a new game in town. And it has only taken me 16 years to learn it; 21 if I count the the years playing the old game with The Big Boy and My Girl.

    This morning, I opened the door to Wild Boy’s room and said, very kindly I might add, “we leave for the doc in 30 minutes.” I shut his door convinced without a doubt he would instantly obey knowing full well he would do nothing. I repeated this count down until it was 8:13 and I said, outside his door, “We leave at 8:15 and I’m heading to the car.” At 8:20, still no Wild Boy appearance outside. I turned off the car and went back in. He was sitting on the stool in the kitchen, not a care in the world. I made another cup of coffee and sat down in the living room. It was now 8:26. His appointment was scheduled for 8:30. His only comment? “Can we get something to eat while we are out?” Um…that’s a big fat no. He was dumbfounded that I wasn’t going to drive like a bat out of H-E-DOUBLETOOTHPICKS to get him to his appointment, late mind you, and me all stressed out and angry to the max. Again.

    Not happening. There’s a new game in town and I’m the Commish.*or whatever name they will choose to insert in place of Commish*

    Welcome to the big league, boys and girls.

    Day 7. Easter Week.

    morning quiet time comfy in Mamie’s chair
    watching the sunrise
    the birds slip in for a quick bite
    perching momentarily on the feeder
    dashing back out to their tree perch
    dust bunnies swirling softly on the hardwood
    when kitties glide by
    silently stalking
    dreaming of capture
    the house sweetly quiet
    just me and my God