What to do…what to do.

It is a stunning September day. As I write this, I am sitting on the back porch. There’s a bit of a breeze. Thermometer reads 72 degrees. I have a West Springfield Spartan Football sweatshirt on. Two kitties and a Golden are keeping me company. Perfection.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Can’t seem to turn my brain off. Had tons and tons of writing ideas pop into my head last night but I hate getting back out of bed because it disturbs My Man and he can’t sleep without me there. *yeah, right* There’s no shortage of snoring when I’m still working in the office and he’s in bed “not sleeping.” But last night I decided to just roll with the ideas, think them through a bit and, instead of getting up and writing them down or typing them up, I shot up an arrow prayer asking God to remind me of the ideas in the morning or whenever He felt it was time for me to write them up. After all, He is the Originator of them.

While thinking about all of this earlier this morning I realized I have no earthly idea what I am doing these days. I walk in the morning with Annette, I do laundry, cook, bake, clean, go to the church office and work, keep up with the Wild Boy, My Girl and the Big Boy and get all in their biz, but what am I, Susan, doing? My mom pointed this out to me, repeatedly *grin* while I was in Roanoke for dad’s surgery. She commented on the nervous twitch of my eyebrow and proceeded to lecture me on not doing anything for me, myself and I. Mom’s are allowed to lecture their grown-up children at any time, by the way. It’s the law. Remember that, Shawn, Sarah, and Brett.

Mom’s nudging had me mumbling under my breath, “I don’t even know what that looks like anymore.” Not as a whine or complaint, but as fact. I think we, as mom’s (and you dad’s out there, also) get pushed to the background as we focus on raising our children. Definitely when they are littles, since they actually need us. Less so, maybe as they grow, but by that time, at least in my case, I had totally forgotten who me was. Again, not a complaint and I certainly don’t regret focusing on my children; in fact, that was always how Russell and I decided we wanted to do parenting. He pushed his career aside after being on the fast track, and made our family his priority over career, money, etc. He wanted to coach our kids in sports, attend all their school stuff, announce games, etc. Now that we are on the other side of that decision, we know, for us that was the right decision. He is far, far away from where he would have been in his career if he hadn’t stepped back in 2000, but we firmly believe God will continue to honor our decision and has ten times over already. He has more time now to focus on his career and I have more time to…what, exactly?

So God and I are discussing all of this. I have a feel for where He is leading, but there are some things I know that I need to do first. Obedient and disciplined things. I hate those two words, by the way. They are the bane of my existence. Which is exactly why I must follow through on them before I will be allowed to move forward. 

In the meantime, while I’m working on my discipline and obedience, I’ll continue doing what I do best…drive my children crazy by asking them a gazillion questions about what’s going in their lives. It’s the law, after all.

Love you guys. Chat soon.


Coming Home.

Coming Home.

She runs from the pain; the grief; the too much.
Fleeing, she feels, is freeing.
Just me, she says; I can do it.
She leaves it behind her, she thinks.
Clinging to her very being, it stays.
For a time she is free.
The darkness is embraced.
The emptiness is relief.
She convinces herself.
She is alone, not free.
She is hiding, not living.
The grief, hard before, now unbearable.
Her freedom, now chains suffocating.
The stillness, now emptiness.
Darkness becomes endless.
Sighing, she remembers.
Joy, laughter, peace.
Her journey is frantic, but sure.
Lightness creeps in, each passing mile.
The quiet remains.
Not yet, it says. Not yet.
Touching each face with wonder;
a moment in time, she hides  in her heart.
Resting, she hears the Light.
Eyes closed tightly, she searches.
Unseeing, she believes.
Sorrow becomes contentment.
Darkness explodes with Light.
Believing, she is free.
Joyful, she is Home.

Susan Wheeler Smith
September 12, 2012


About three years ago, My Man and I were at the first session of a marriage class thingy at church. We had to go around and say one word to describe our spouse. We were at the tail end of this process so I had lots of time to come up with an awesome word for My Man. One that would be edifying and encouraging. When it was my turn I stated loudly and clearly, “selfless” and looked over at him to watch this amazingly incredibly wonderful word settle over him and lift him right out of that chair. He didn’t even hesitate after the “ess” was out of my mouth and stated very confidently, “focused.” *there truly were a few laughs from the rest of the crowd* Um. Excuse me? FOCUSED? That’s all you got? That’s the best you could do to describe your best friend…your lover…the mother of your three children…labor ain’t easy buddy and putting up with you…well, I never. I stewed the entire rest of the marriage class thingy and we never went back. *we really did never go back, but it wasn’t because of this, I promise*

On the way home I determined to not speak to him one. single. word. I made it to the bottom of the church drive before I turned on him and said, “what. the. heck. was. that?” He was clearly confused. He truly did not know of what I was speaking. “FOCUSED?? That’s your one word to describe me? I mean, you might as well have just said what you really meant…OBSESSED.” He tried to explain it away with, “I meant like with your bible study and quiet time and…”

I was having none of it. Obsessed. That is what he really meant.

He had hit it right on the head and that is what really hurt. I do become obsessed with things and almost always it is a bad thing: food; stewing over something; worrying; hurt feelings; a wrong word or step out in public; eating; dieting; exercise; receiving a lukewarm greeting from a friend, or worse yet, My Man; forgetting that it was preschool picture day and letting the Big Boy pick out his own clothes and, oh yeah, shrugged off his massive bed head…you name it, I’ve obsessed over it. 

The American Heritage Dictionary describes it this way:

  1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
  2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.

For me, obsession is taking something very often intended to be good and making it bad. Being sensitive to what I say and do vice obsessing over what I have said or done; over-eating or starving myself to lose weight; exercising for several hours each day or obsessing that I am too overwhelmed by life, laziness, whatever, to exercise at all; being sensitive to other people’s moods and problems or obsessing that i have done something wrong to make them mad at me.

I’m trying not to obsess about things these days. I try to catch myself doing it and make a conscious effort to stop; to turn it over to God; to pray; to have balance. Some days are good; some not so good. But I refuse to obsess about my obsessiveness. Except for today…today, I am kind of obsessing about it and I guess that is why I am writing about it.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Love you guys. Chat soon!

Why I’m no longer funny.

This is post 387 that I’ve written over the last couple of days. This one just may make it to the Press Publish Stage.

I don’t write to be funny. I don’t write funny stuff on purpose. But I do like to crack people up. When I was That Girl, I had a wicked, often cruel sense of humor. I hated it. Yet, I continued to do it. (Typical Paul thing going on.) *I like that word…wicked…in a Maine-ish sort of way, not bad sort of way*

I do try to write from the heart. Sometimes my heart spews out pure crap. You don’t want to read that. I don’t want to read that. I’m a work in progress, like everyone is. The crap is still in there. Sometimes it bubbles to the surface. But more and more, I am able to ignore it, and even push it back down. I love that as we grow…spiritually, emotionally…we are more able to recognize the crap for what it is and even, dare I say, go days without even noticing it. *I just used the word crap more times in one paragraph than I have in the entire history of my blogging*

So lately, the thoughts coming into my brain and turning into words have not been good (successfully avoided using the word crap) and so, because I am growing, I have not really spoken a lot, let alone written. It’s all because I’m totally ticked at God. I heard your *gasp.* It’s okay, I think, to be ticked at God. For me, it means He is doing stuff (or not doing) that I don’t like which means, more than likely, He is trying to grow me. Growing is hard. Growing is painful. Growing stinks. It often takes me a few weeks days to catch on that He is purposely denying whatever it is I think I want. He lets me stew for a few days; gives me a false sense of “see? I can so do this without You!” And I actually can do it without Him. For a few days. And then it turns to crap poop. It eats at me. It churns my gut. My children look down when I approach for fear that making eye contact will release the monster that is their mother’s anger. My Man suddenly has to work a lot of late hours. Really…who can blame any of them? Even my text messages get ugly. After a bit, I totally just shut down.

But here’s the good thing. He woos me back. At first…I totally ignore Him. A kind word from a stranger; cookies left on my doorstep (not enough of that is happening, by the way), a call from a friend I haven’t heard from in for-ev-er. A pretty butterfly with amazing colors plants itself right in my path at eye level. And when none of that really seems to get my attention…He pulls out the big guns. Suddenly, I am hit with scripture from every angle. Not just scripture…but scripture that means something to me personally. A favorite verse or phrase. A song…one song in particular…pops up first thing on my iPod or Cheryl, our worship leader, just happens to choose it for worship that Sunday.

And it gets me every. single. time. I can’t ignore the scripture. Not for long, anyway. Finally, this evening, after pretending to not notice any of the wooing He has been doing the last few days, this popped up at the top of my timeline on Facebook:

Because really, wanting it my way; wanting to be in charge; wanting to completely run the show…that’s what my problem is. And trust me, there is no peace in my life or my family life, until I do exactly what bff Bethie says right there.

While I can’t say I am completely at peace this evening, I am a long, long way from the crap.

I love you guys. Chat soon.

Gettin’ on wit it.

Woke up this morning around 3:00 am, you, know…my usual wake-up time, and thought to myself, “I have got to just get on with it. So, I am. *disclaimer: I actually fell back asleep after an hour or so and slept til 8:00.

I stumbled down the stairs tripping all over the kitties, made myself a big, fat pot of coffee and was just getting ready to pour that first sweet cup of nectar of the gods when My Man and Wild Boy (who was barefoot, in jammie pants and tee shirt) walked in with Starbucks aplenty. They had just dropped off my…um…Wild Boy’s Red Jeep to have it aligned and stuff following the Big Eleven Hour Lift Kit Installation Extravaganza from Saturday. If I’m on facebook, email and blogging a lot after midnight tonight you will know it was the Venti Verona and pot of coffee from this morning.

It is currently 8:49 and I have wasted spent the last 49 minutes catching up on The Twitter, Facebook and my Google Reader list which includes way too many blogs. *mental note…cull blog list in Google Reader sometime in this lifetime.

I have a ton of things to do today, so I know all the caffeine will be put to good use, but I have yet to begin any of it. Mostly because, although I’m ready to get on with it, I’m mulling over school starting tomorrow, a wicked few days at the office getting everything done and leaving for Roanoke on Thursday for a few days. Dad is having back surgery on Friday, if y’all wouldn’t mind tossing up some prayers for him and for the three worry-infested women in his life, I would so appreciate it. I always say I’m going to take my time on the trip down 81…stop at the Amish Market, grab Apple Fritters at Johnny Appleseed, etc., but I usually make a bee-line to exit 150 with one quick stop in Staunton for gas and poddy break. Two stops if I’m driving the truck…which I expect to be since…”It’s a Hemi.” Dude, you have never driven a vehicle until you’ve driven one with a Hemi Engine. It has this magical mind reading connection with my foot and brain that even before I begin to accelerate it knows and kicks into Hemi-Light-Speed. Periodically, when some idiot is doing the speed limit in the left lane, I will finally blow pass them and will tell Suri to text My Man the following three words: “It’s a Hemi.” That’s all I have to say. He gets it.

So, back to all I need to do today. The other day I posted on Facebook all of the yummy deliciousness I am cooking and baking today. A handful of neighbor families, plus a few extras, are coming over for a cookout. It’s supposed to rain all afternoon and evening as in downpour and storm. We’ll make it work, I’m sure. But in case you missed my cooking/baking list on FB, here it is: Pineapple Sheet Cake, Crock Pot Mac n’ Cheese, Killer Baked Beans and Feta, Mozzarella Spinach Thingies. There’s a ton of cleaning and laundry to do because, did I mention…tomorrow is the first day of school!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know it’s been kind of heavy around here…but I feel like I have to be honest with y’all and tell it like it is. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember all of the good stuff going on and easier to focus on all of the ugliness smacking us in the face. I’m not saying it’s right and I’m certainly not saying it’s the way to go, but sometimes…it is what it is.

Love you guys. Chat soon.

Feeling a tad nostalgic with all the changes…

So much is going on this Fall. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just…different.

I don’t do change well at all. I suppose I never have. 

The kids are growing up.

The olders are getting older and have gone on to the other side. My parents are now the oldest generation in our family which means *yikes* we are the next oldest generation, lol.

Sarah has started working at a Christian preschool and started taking classes again.

Brett is a junior at WSHS and Shawn is in his last semester at Longwood.

Our Pastor of nine years has “retired” and I’m pretty sure is never coming back from “vacation” in Maine (shhhh…don’t tell his wife, Carolyn cuz she’s all about the South and warmth.)

Russell’s dad has moved into Assisted Living.

It’s just all too much stinkin’ change.

I keep trying to stop the spinning of change. I’ve even gotten angry with God about it. This morning I sat down for my quiet time and really had nothing to say and nothing I wanted to hear.

My plan is not The Plan, however and God (and Gannon Sims, our guest preacher) knew just what I needed to hear. And I listened and felt better.

After lunch with besties, I sat down to just chill and reflect and a random (as if) scripture popped into my brain…Proverbs 31…the Wife of Noble Character…

she can laugh at the days to come.

Because really, that is the problem. All of the changes happening are due to aging…mine; everyone’s; every thing’s. 

…she can laugh at the days to come.

She is embracing the days to come. She is joyful and looking forward to the days to come. She is content and sure of the days to come. Because she knows that she is not in control and, honestly, that is a comfort.

Every day is a change. It’s true that we don’t always look forward to some changes and certainly don’t embrace all changes, but my God is a God of change…ensuring that I change and grow and those around me, as well…and He is also the same today, yesterday and in the future, ensuring I am secure in that knowledge and during any changes.

Heady stuff indeed this first Sunday in September.