Shingles…and Stillness…and Running.

It’s no secret that I live a crazy life. My mom tells me repeatedly (and has for years) that I just need to slow down, just say no, just give up some activities. Funny thing is…I think she is right. In a way.

I feel just like the Apostle Paul…I keep doing the things I don’t want to do and don’t do the things I do want to do. *loose translation*

Take Stillness. I’m not able to quiet my mind very often; not during the day and, sadly, not during the night either. Takes me forever to quiet my mind at night so that I can finally sleep and when I do sleep, I wake up several times, my mind on full buzz overload.

I saw a poster on Pinterest yesterday…wait…you don’t know about Pinterest? Also known as The Collossal Time Suck of all Times? I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Anyway, the sign..

And in that wicked, crazy, mind spiraling way my mind works, I realized it was true. Well, the basic message was true, in any case. I always seem to give up exercising when I am stressed, out of time, overwhelmed. Exercising, along with my Morning Quiet Time, should be something I turn to…not from.

I was reminded of this again during my Quiet Time this morning…which was all about Stillness and Peace. I miss daily, regular, strenuous exercise in my life. In all honesty, like most things I do *thank you, OCD* exercise becomes an obsession. Lining up my ducks in a row in the morning…getting up at a certain time, deciding if I do exercise first or Quiet Time first, etc., becomes a strict routine that, when interrupted, sets me off. This time, however, I am determined to be a kinder, gentler, less obsessed Girl and, pardon the cliche…”Just Do It.”

One of the stressors in my life right now is the fact that our Pastor for the last nine years is leaving. He is also my boss. It’s a double whammy of loss. The next few weeks leading up to his last Sunday, August 26, are going to be brutal. After August 26, however, I figure I will really need my (less) obssessive, morning routine.

Oh, and all that stress that I have not been handling effectively? Led to a minor outbreak of shingles. I felt them coming on the week before the beach, but didn’t realize what it was. Thankfully, it was a minor breakout, but I do need to get a grip so that they stay away.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


A touch of randomness…

Y’all just don’t know the randomness that rolls around in my head day and, unfortunately, night.

Here are some snippets I reached in and yanked out to share:

I love music, especially country music. Bff, Beth, would make the most wicked face whenever she would get in the car with me and I would crank some country. She hated it. There are soooo many great new artists out there right now and some of my old favs are putting out some new music that is so awesome. Once you go country…

Chloe, aka Her Evil Highness, is finally settling into a loving, snuggle-bunny kitty. I am loving it. Apparently, Zack Wheeler has taken over her evil personality and is torturing my mother in Roanoke.

Beach week 2012 seems like months ago. I think beach week should be once a month. Who’s with me?

Since I published my last post I have written approximately 3,409 posts that I have not published.

Not really…more like 25. But still…

My Girl is just flooring me lately…absolutely, positively flooring me. So stinkin’ proud of that girl.

Quiet here this week…Big Boy still at Goshen until Aug 8. Wild Boy on mission in Puerto Rico until Saturday.  My Girl working. Hoping to have lunch with her tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow,  My Man and I are meeting with the assisted living people tomorrow at 2:00 to get a plan in place to move my father-in-law over. Prayers appreciated as we go down this road.

August 1st will bring a bunch of changes in my life, I hope. More on that later. *or not*

Time…years…moving too quickly. One week from today Wild Boy will be into football two-a-days and soon after, will start school as a junior. A junior. Mercy.

Who knew i would love so much a song entitled, “Pontoon.” Crazy. I mean, really…”party in slow motion…out here in the open…mmmmmmm….motor-boatin’.” Seriously incredible lines.

Struggling with some of the negative crud in my life right now. Comments; people; my own thoughts.

Really struggling with it. More on that later. Sigh.

Sunday in Worship, I was having myself a full-blown-pity-party and then I heard the first note of a song that speaks to me…the song that speaks to me during Worship. Love when He does that!

Okay, my fibro has been kicking my butt for a week so I am going to give into the fatigue and hit the rack. Chat soon!

Beach Week..the fastest week of the year.

The annual Smith/Secrist Beach Week has come and gone. It started out so slowly, but by Wednesday, it had “gone to plaid” *name that movie*

Some things I realized while there…

There has to be beaches and oceans and sun and breezes-that-blow-off-the-water in Heaven. There just has to be. There are very few places in this world (that I have experienced) that calm my very soul like being at the beach. Even though my mommy spidey-sense is in overdrive (constantly counting heads out there in the water), my heart is just content and full sitting in my beach chair. This year, for the first time in many, many years at the beach, I got into the ocean to actually ride the waves, float, chat, all of it. Normally, I hug the ankle deep water, maybe stepping in to dunk my head to cool off, but then getting right back out. Not sure when I changed from a teen who jumped off a sail boat in the middle of the Med to a sand lover, but this year I decided it was time to embrace the salt water again, and I loved it *while still counting heads and keeping an eye out for fins cutting the surface of the waves* Shocking my children by hanging out in the water with them all day? Priceless. Wild Boy apparently felt it was necessary to get photographic evidence, come to find out, when I checked photos that evening.

Speaking of photography…my very first purchase, with money earned from my very first job, was a Pentax KX. I took it everywhere. Especially to the beach. And I took tons and tons of pics…color and black and white. I was on the yearbook staff and took photos junior year and was co-editor of our yearbook my senior year and still took pics, but like a ton of things I used to love to do, I just let it drift out of my life. The last year or so, however, I have renewed my love of taking pics and have been taking my camera to more and more places. The week before Beach Week, I handed my digital Canon to the Wild Boy and he took pictures every day during Vacation Bible School. I have loved downloading them and editing them. Did I mention that my man was a photographer on his high school and college year book staff and his declared major his frosh year was photography? We laughed that it must be “in the blood” because Wild Boy did an awesome job taking pics. I did hand over the camera to My Man a few times during Beach Week, but mostly…I had photo control.

It is difficult getting back into the swing of being home and having to act like a responsible adult. Ants have overrun the kitchen; laundry has piled up; the house smells like dog; every surface needs to be dusted and cleaned and vacuumed; work has piled up at the office; but…

It is good to be home. Even after the Best Beach Week Ever (which is every Beach Week).

Love you guys and chat soon…I promise!

The stuff we don’t talk about.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have some writer’s block going on. I have a ton of things to say, but I just don’t like it after I write it out. I don’t go back and do much editing, just a little clean-up, and that works for me. However, that is NOT how a writer is supposed to behave. So I’ve been doing some writing, then cleaning up, then editing and I just don’t like it.

So we’ll see how that goes, but for now, let’s talk about something that is bugging me.

Stuff we don’t talk about. We all have it. Family issues; personal issues; sex; politics; religion; the whole elephant-in-the-room thing. Our family is a talking family. Usually, one of us is talking over top of someone else. We always have something to say. Good or bad. Having said all that *pun* we don’t often talk about the deep, often important, stuff. We aren’t exempt from the deep, important stuff happening in our family, we just pretend it doesn’t exist. Or if it is mentioned, we all sort of stop and start backing slowly out of the room…not gonna go there.

It’s amazing how a tragedy in a family changes a family. Suddenly, we are all talking about all of the important things. I mean, what is more significant in a family than losing a child? We had to do a lot of talking; we continue to do a lot of talking. It’s like the flood gates have been opened. It’s a good thing, really, this new found love of discussing the important things. It has brought our family closer together. It has made us (that would be the “royal us” and I really mean specifically me) realize that skirting around the tough issues, the life stories that we all have, has to stop and we need to start talking.

I, for one, am more apt to ask the difficult questions to my husband, children, family and friends. More apt to say what is on my heart…get this, though…not what is always just on my mind. There is a huge difference, I believe. My mind is quick to be witty, sarcastic (no, really), often hurtful. My heart is not like that, truly. I think of it this way…measure the distance from your brain to your mouth and compare that to a stream. Pretty shallow in depth, isn’t it? Now measure the distance between your heart and your mouth. Deeper; fresher; calmer; truer.

The stuff we don’t talk about? Time to start talking about it from the heart.

Love you guys. Chat soon.

P.S. As I’m getting ready to hit “publish” on this post, I confess that I did no editing…just cleaned up some typos.

Just some thoughts…in bullet formation

  • why am I 51.5 years young and my face is breaking out like a teenager
  • my parents waited until they were in their 70’s to own their first cat…still can’t wrap my head around it
  • his name is Zach and he is a wild man
  • it makes me laugh out loud to think of it
  • I have finally embraced my big hair, thick hair, got-way-too-much-of-it, hair…mostly due to all of the straightening serums out there
  • beach week can NOT arrive quickly enough…although I also dread its arrival because it will fly by
  • I should, at this very moment, be doing a bazillion different things
  • instead I am watching the Downton Abbey Christmas Special
  • don’t judge
  • tomorrow afternoon, Brett, Sarah and I are taking my father-in-law, Alvin, over to Renaissance Gardens, which is the assisted living area of Greensprings…assuming we can find him…as he’s gotten older, he tends to wander and is rarely where he is supposed to be at any given time
  • please pray for him and my husband, who is bearing the brunt and stress of it all
  • I’ve encountered a bit of a bout of writer’s block…it’s not that I don’t have anything to say…I do…lots…but I just don’t like any of it
  • yesterday I had that moment when I was praying for someone to turn from their sin and I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard “but you have that sin, also, Susan” whispered to my heart. Umm…excuse me? I don’t…um…I didn’t…uhh…are You sure?
  • have I mentioned we have four days and a wake-up til we start beach week?
  • I ordered a book to take to the beach and it still hasn’t shipped…I’m thinking it will be after beach week reading instead
  • our back deck lights are all out of whack since the big black out of 2012…fixing them would require actually getting up out of Mame’s chair, walking down into the dungeon, manhandling the back door open and changing the timer…three hours off isn’t a big deal
  • yesterday I told My Man it was time to gut the house and get to work on it…he said he would get back to me on that…
  • I’m really excited for football season to begin…don’t get me wrong, I love MLB baseball…but football means fall and fall means cooler weather…I totally feel like we got ripped off last winter
  • I just started following several Downton Abbey stars on The Twitter…soooooooo excited!
  • recently, I have had no less than 5 people tell me, in one way or another, that I need to get a life…they all meant it in the most loving way, and I know that they meant…chill…tap back into my creativity…read more…write more…relax…all of the above and more
  • working on that
  • trying to figure out what that means
  • gonna start with beach week and see how it goes from there 

Love you guys. Chat soon.

    Things I love right now…

    I know it has been For-Ev-Er. Sorry! No real reason. Just had nothing to say. *as if*

    Finished giving the house a good cleaning today. Knew I had things to say so I grabbed a Stella and decided it was time to write.

    Things I Love Right Now.

    1. Watching My Man and the Wild Boy riding in the Jeep in front of me all the way to Lexington, Virginia. Loved, loved, LOVED, seeing the animation in their conversation as their baseball cap clad heads would turn towards each other. The entire 2.5 hour trip I watched them interact nonstop. Seriously made my heart absolutely melt.

    2. Sitting at a table in Panera on a hot 4th of July morning with a handful of people who love and miss Beth Bryan every single day. Go here to see what we were talking about. Donate $50 or more and I’ll send you a tee-shirt. Donate $100 or more and I’ll send you a tee-shirt AND a sun care kit. Donate $500 or more and I’ll send you a tee-shirt, the sun care kit AND I’ll put your name on the back of our annual tee-shirt as a Sponsor. Read about our mission. We would love your help.

    3. Getting to ride in Big Red Truck with my Wild Boy as he told me all about his week at reCHARGE. His voice has gotten so deep and manly; the cadence of his voice smooth and confident; his thoughts spiritually focused and mature. I could barely contain my tears as he shared story after story about his own and other’s experiences. My momma heart is so stinkin’ proud of that boy.

    4. My Girl, anxious but determined, taking placement tests at NVCC and signing up for classes. She and My Man sat down today and worked up a budget first draft. We intend to help her with her expenses, but she is also planning on working. She would love to start working in her field, preschool/elementary teaching, as she starts back to school. If y’all know of anything, please let her (or me) know. She is very excited and I can barely contain my own excitement as we discuss it.

    5. A best friend of almost 40 years (!!) who loves my children as  her own and invests in their future.  Financially, as well as with guidance and wisdom. I cry every time I think about it.

    6. Boys of my Heart who realize they can’t do this life thing without God and who, even though it may not be “cool,” step out and make that public. Even after being blind-sided by tragedy, they are turning to God. What a mighty and powerful God we serve.

    7. Spending a much needed weekend with my mom and dad, sister and family. Not only did my soul need it, but so did My Man’s. Wild Boy and Big Boy were there. Two of my four (that’s for you Courtenay Mundy) nieces were there. My brother-in-law is pretty angry right now. He says the “kinder and gentler” Al is long gone, but I don’t believe it. His anger is understandable and justified. He has lost his only boy. His entire world turned upside down. Paths and plans totally took a U-turn. He says it doesn’t pay to be kinder and gentler. Then proved himself  a liar by helping a neighbor with cancer he barely knows.The kinder and gentler Al is the true Al. I know he is in there, under the pain, the hurt, the anger.

    8. Watching My Man stop in the middle of the Walmart parking lot, jump out of our truck, grab a couple of bungee cords and hand them to a young couple with a baby who just purchased a crib that barely fit in their trunk. The trunk wouldn’t close and the young man had run off to try to beg some rope or something off a Walmart employee. We could tell they had little money. The young man, Dougie, we found out, came running over to us as we started to drive away and attempted to thrust a couple of dollar bills in Russell’s hand. Russell’s response, “Son, you don’t owe me a thing,” made my heart sing. If I had had any cash on me at all, I would have tossed it at them and told Russell to floor it. I remember being young and broke and so many loving and generous people helped us out. It truly blesses us to pay it forward. And My Man is incredibly attuned to being on the lookout for anyone that needs help.

    9. Friends who continue to love me and my family and support us as we attempt to recover from a pretty horrific 18 months. No matter how often I push them away; how surly or short I get, they continue to come back for more, rallying around me and my family. I’m just so amazed by it all, I don’t even have the words.

    And because I hate odd numbers, #10. Two words: BEACH WEEK.

    If you couldn’t tell, I am feeling totally blessed these days. We are totally blessed. We know it. We are thankful.

    Love you guys.