The quiet of the dawn.

the promise of new mercies, fresh beginnings
realized;
the quiet whispers of potential;
anticipation.
regrets and guilt
silenced by dreams.
reflecting, planning
warm fire
burning away that which did not get done;
lighting the path to what can be.
embracing the calm
the still.
all is right
for a moment.
a choice to be made
will I choose the Light?
or will the darkness dog my steps this day?
who will I touch and leave my trace?
a smile?
a word left unspoken?
selfless?
to make a difference
family, friends
my love, my life.
chasing the Light
making It mine.
feeling It’s warmth
savoring
content.
giving back
arising.

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Seriously, random ramblings.

It is now December 22 at 9:26 a.m. and I have been goofing off procrastinating making a plan for several hours now. And reviewing what, if anything (nothing, apparently) I did all week, if the condition of my living room floor is any indication. I’ll spare you a photo but can tell you that it is covered with fur puffs, poinsettia droppings, gaming paraphernalia and cuttings from my Christmas gift projects. No buns have been made, no gifts have been wrapped and I still don’t like any photos for our Christmas New Year’s card.

So it stands to reason to ask this simple question…what in the heck have I been doing all week?

Here are a few things I came up with this morning during my Quiet Time:

…praying for friends, family and strangers. Losing a loved one never leaves your thoughts, but during the Christmas season our pain and grief explodes to steroid use proportions. I know it personally; I see it all around me.
…catching up on office stuff at church. Ordering supplies, updating the 2013 calendar, filing, etc.
…working on a handful of Christmas projects to give as gifts. I have loved making some things this year. Of course starting these projects was on my Outlook calendar back in September. I quote: “start making Christmas gifts.”
…also on my Outlook Calendar back in September: “begin making Cinnamon buns so you aren’t scrambling the weekend of Christmas.” And was a recurring calendar item every day to infinity. #eipcfail
…this is the weekend of Christmas and I have not baked a single bun.
…to scramble or not to scramble?
…the *insert a religious group that knocks on doors* people just came by. It’s 10:00 a.m., I’m still in my jammies and greeted them with my coffee mug in hand and they still dove right into it. I listened politely for 10 seconds and then told them to stay warm and have a Merry Christmas and shut the door. They, also, were polite in return. There’s no need to slam the door in people’s faces, y’all. The only time I get a tad short with door knockers and phone solicitors is during an election year and I have been known to tell them either “Russell doesn’t live here anymore” or “Russell is dead.” True story. Used it before the election. The phone solicitor didn’t even hesitate, “okay, we’ll try back later.” *apparently not as original as I thought or maybe they thought I said, “he’s only mostly dead.”* *name that movie*
…I just had to wrestle the package of “looks like real mice” mice out of Chloe’s clutches. Yesterday she dug through the open bag to pull them out and trot, proudly, around the house with them in her mouth. Today she tore open The Walmarts bag and ran around with them, taunting Tux. I put them in the critter stocking hanging on the mantel and we will see what happens next.
…No, I am not going to give them to her now…they are for Christmas morning.
…fyi, in typical This Girl fashion, this is actually post number 5 I have written over the last 3 days and I think I might actually post this one.
…I promise I will be funny again after the New Year. *pinkie swear*
…speaking of pinkie swear, y’all please pray for my sweet friend, Joanne. You can read about her here, if you don’t know her, but they are moving out of their house today and moving in with her in-laws. It’s hard, y’all. Hard. She and I have been texting daily and I was so ready to ditch my family for Christmas and go help, you just don’t know.
…and one last thing. Shout out to Diane at Living Proof Ministries. I ordered my Siesta Memorization Spiral notebook back on December 5 and hadn’t received it yet so I called to inquire. Diane asked me to wait a couple more days and call on Friday. But about 30 minutes later she called and left a message saying she was just going to send me out another one just to make sure it would arrive before January 1. Love this ministry and the wonderful people there.

Have I shared with y’all my love of buttons? This is just a tip of the iceberg, but I am using some of them for my Christmas project this year.

That’s it for now. Love you guys!

Quick Road Trip to Roanoke.

Yesterday, The Big Boy (we are so over his graduation and he is now back to The Big Boy) and I headed out a bit after 7:00 a.m. for a quick trip to Roanoke. We hit the grocery store, Subway (bleck) and Starbucks and got on the road. At 7:00 p.m. we were on the parkway and just a few minutes from home.

Quick. Trip.

But oh, so worth it.

We took a truckload of furniture and accessories to a friend of my sister’s who has fled her home, state and region of the country to safety on this coast. With three children. I cannot even begin to imagine the type of physical abuse that would require doing that. I was able to meet her yesterday and she had such a beautiful smile and happy spirit…safety and love from complete strangers will do that to a person, apparently.

And there’s the lesson for this Christmas, I think. For me, in any case.

Somewhere north of Harrisonburg, on the way home, I had myself a royal breakdown cry fest for my own pain and hurt and sorry self and than I was done with it and moved on.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to cry.

*that was for me…I was never a cryer until one day I cried and cried and scared the holy heck out of my children and decided I had to let them know it was okay to cry when hurt. Before, you know, it all came out On The Couch during a therapy session where all of their problems in life are blamed on the Momma. Apparently I succeeded as we always know what My Girl is thinking and feeling*

As this month has moved on at a rapid rate, and I have run out of time to buy everything I wanted to buy and do everything I wanted to do, this day trip is just what the doctor ordered. I chose to live in the moment, enjoy the time with Shawn and with my family. I could have focused on all of my have nots…extra money, extra time, a clean and orderly house, Katie, Beth, Flo and Andy…and I am able to name all of that so quickly because I actually was focusing on all of that earlier this week…but I am choosing to get over myself and my pain and hurt and wants and focus on what I do have…a great husband, hilarious and healthy children, my parents and sister and her girls, friends, a warm home…I truly could go on for paragraphs.

My royal cry fest on the way home was a release…mourning my sister’s continued grief as well as my own…and that’s okay, I think. Some days are easier than others. Some days the tears last longer than other days.

Helping a complete stranger, however, truly made me feel good. I don’t mean that in an “all about me way” in the least. I mean in an “all about someone else, thank God” way. Able to take my eyes off myself and put them on someone who is in true need.

Our hurt and pain lingers; always will. So very thankful, though, to be able to help someone else and I hope God continues to choose to put people in need in my life…keeping my focus on Him and all that He has blessed us with.

But I sure do miss these four.

Love you guys!

Some things.

The house is decorated.

The party is over.

Today The Big Boy and I are driving a truck load full of things to Roanoke, picking up my baby sister and driving to a not-so-perfect part of town to deliver it all to a friend of hers in need. I believe we will also stop at The Wal-marts to pick up a gift card to give to them, as well. Paying it forward. Blessed to be able to do so.

Christmas shopping is not complete.

The only gifts I have wrapped are those that my sister and parents took home with them after the party.

I still have some Christmas gifts I am working on.

Not only have I not done my Christmas cards, I don’t even have a picture yet that I am happy with.

Cards may, or may not, happen this year.

And, it’s okay.

Maybe I will join in the tradition of my friend, Lori and send out Valentine’s cards instead.

Maybe not.

I freaked out this morning with all there was “to do” on my list. I got snippy; snappy and snarly. And then I picked up two sweet kindergartners from school so that their momma could attend a funeral and they asked if we could go to McDonald’s for lunch. And, we did. The Big Boy, two littles and I. Their momma ended up joining us. The chatter and giggles and fun we had. Put things into better perspective.

Tonight we are having dinner with six dear friends. I do not have to cook or even bring anything.

The rest of the week will take care of itself.

Today I am choosing to live in the moment.

Love you guys.

Just a random pic of My Girl and I at the Tree Farm last month.

A short list of thankfuls.

So very thankful…

…that I could hug my children, those of my womb and of my heart, all weekend long. Praying for those who no longer can
…for a feisty, funny, full-of-life neighbor who blessed our lives these last 18 years. We miss her so much already and our street seems so empty without her. We love you, Flo and will never forget you

…for my church family who, when I put out the call for help, came running saying, every single one of them, “I will do whatever you need me to do.” And they did, and beyond. To say I am humbled is such an understatement
…that I stuck with a man all of those years ago, instead of filing the signed divorce papers I held in my hand
…my extended family drove for hours for a short, twenty-four hour visit to help us celebrate The Big Boy’s college graduation. We laughed until we cried. And cried because we continue to grieve. And it was wonderful

Love you guys.

When everything seems to be going wrong.

It is wicked crazy over at Smith Abbey these days. Like Perfect Storm wicked crazy. My People are walking on egg shells thinking I am going to go over the edge at any moment.

I, however, am surprisingly calm. *which is also why they think I’m going to blow any second now*

No, really…I am like Zen calm.

This morning on top of everything else, I discovered the server is down at work (i.e., church) and my morning plan contained item #1: work from home on prayer list, bulletin for Sunday and Flo’s service program. After not sleeping at all for round two last night, this was a recipe for a major blow-up.

Didn’t happen. Not gonna.

It’s only taken me 51 a few years to figure out that I need to start living what I’m preaching. I preach all the time, to our children, My Man, friends, family, etc., that everything happens for a reason; that nothing that happens is a surprise to God, Who has each of our days numbered right down to the amount of hairs on our head.

Of course I would be sick this week. The Graduate Boy is home to live and, please God, work; the Wild Boy is up to his usual Wild Boy antics; I’m orchestrating our dear Flo’s service and reception at church with, thankfully, a ton of help from my family and friends; the Graduate Boy has about 50 of his peeps coming over on Saturday to help him celebrate his Summa Cum by the skin-of-his-teeth college graduation; and I am in the middle of making Christmas presents, wrapping Christmas presents, and Christmas is coming quickly.

But, it’s all good.

Being sick on top of all of this just confirmed what I’ve been preaching to the choir: focus on the important things; the things that are needed and not the things that are just wanted. In other words, be This Girl…not That Girl.

Easy. Peasy.

Love you guys. Chat soon.