Speak The Beautiful

It’s easy to appreciate others from afar. What a game changer it would be if people shared their thoughts of admiration and appreciation out loud with each other! Words are incredibly powerful. You could change the course of someone’s day, week or even (not to be too dramatic) their life.

Going through my divorce was the most arduous time in my life. I felt unworthy of God’s love. I felt like I had failed my parents. I was overwhelmed with guilt about what my sweet, young babies were about to go through. I was unsure of my future and feeling utterly devastated at the turn my life had taken. It’s nearly impossible to pull out of that tarpit by yourself.

Thankfully, there are human beings in the world created with beautiful hearts and armed with kind words.

I was shopping for groceries with my girls. A woman I have never met approached me and said, “I hope this won’t freak you out but I’ve been watching you with your girls. You’re a great Mom. I just felt like I needed to tell you.” I just stared at her for what seemed like an eternity and then I burst into tears. I told her how much it meant to me and shared a small bit of my story. We hugged and she shed tears with me. Two perfect strangers in the middle of the produce isle, hugging and crying. All because she decided to speak what she felt.

Believe me, a compliment was the last thing I thought I deserved but it was tremendously impactful. It was my game changer. I’m not saying it was solid ground from that day forward. There were plenty more moments in the tarpit but I held my head up a little higher after that encounter. The power of compassion and the bravery to share, even when it’s a bit awkward, was the small spark I needed.

If you feel the tug on your heart to speak to someone, DO IT! You never know what they are going through. Your words of appreciation, affirmation or just genuine kindness may be exactly what that person needs. Why not let it be you to give them such a magnificent gift? Be a blessing and speak life into someone today!

Chicken nuggets and ketchup

By Saturday, March 18, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

It’s hard to imagine that, in just 2 short months, my youngest will be graduating from high school.

Ashlee was a challenge when she was an infant. She didn’t want anyone to take care of her but me. We spent many nights sitting in a rocking chair together. She was always my girl. Anytime I would need to run an errand, no matter how boring, she was the 1st to jump up and volunteer to go with me. She ate nothing but chicken nuggets and ketchup for what seems like 3 years. She still often choses chicken fingers when we eat out.

As I have watched her grow, she has changed physically but her soul is the same. She is a devoted and loyal friend. She is practical and rational about her choices. When she was about 12, she put every dime of her birthday money ($112) into the offering plate to help build a well for clean water in Africa. She didn’t even tell me she did it. I found out later from her sister. When I asked her about it, she said, “Those people need clean water more than anything I need.”

She loves kids. Especially the littles. Watching her unending patience, compassion and unconditional love she pours out on them makes my heart soar. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. I have no doubt that she will change the lives of the children in her future classroom. I am honored to call her my daughter.

 

New Year 2017

By Sunday, January 1, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

I don’t make NY resolutions. I’ve never really found any motivation to keep doing any of them. Instead I choose to focus on a word. The word “serve” has been repeatedly popping up. Nearly every week, over the past 4-5 months I have seen/heard it; in my bible reading, a study, a lesson or just in speaking to a friend. This is my goal for 2017. Serve. In whatever way God will use me, I will listen for His direction and I will serve.

 

25 Days of Truths

By Sunday, December 25, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Day 1: I have an obsession with fuzzy socks. Last year I bought several pairs as “extra” gifts for random people…I kept all of them. #fuzzysocks#canthavetoomany

Day 2: It’s 1:15 AM and I am still awake. And my husband is playing a video game. And I’m watching. And I have no idea why. #marriedlife#25daysoftruth

Day 3: I struggled with my emotions a lot today. I read a story out of Gatlinburg of a man & his son who had been searching for his wife and daughters after the terrible fires there. Their bodies were found today. Then I heard about the little boy in Tulsa who was burned over 80% of his body. He has a long road ahead of him. I spent most of my morning just heartbroken for these families. Then I went to a wedding this evening. It was so sweet and precious and full of hope and love. Afterward, we came home and my daughter and future son in law decorated the tree we gave them. I listened to them laugh and talk as they worked together on their tree. More hope and love. It’s what I needed to help me balance too much sadness from my morning. I should really learn to avoid reading the news.

Day 4: The last few minutes of this was intense. It was like watching a pack of wolves ready to pounce on that last piece. AP conquered. Yes, this is our glam life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Day 5: We finally got the big tree up! I kinda love decorating trees. I may or may not have 4 trees that are all decorated differently. Also, I may or may not have spent my gift cards from last Christmas on another tree. Ok, I do. And I did.

Day 6: Evenings like tonight remind me that I am so incredibly blessed. I am surrounded by amazing people. Whether we talk daily or rarely, thank you for being a part of my life!

Day 7: Tonight I used hand sanitizer as perfume. Also, people told me I smelled good. It was Beach Bellini from Bath & Bodyworks. I just saved you like $70 on perfume. You’re welcome.

Day 8: Truth is I forgot to write anything for day 8.

Day 9: I have no idea who this picture is of but it accurately represents my face when you tell me you don’t like one of the following:
Chocolate
Christmas music
Or The Princess Bride…

It’s also accurate for the following statements: “I’m just too full for dessert” & “I couldn’t find anything I wanted at Target”.

Day 10: I literally sat in my chair in my pajamas, drank tea, enjoyed the fireplace, listened to Christmas music, online shopped and read from 1:00 in the afternoon to 7 in the evening. And I don’t even feel bad about it.

Day 11: I had a complete and utter meltdown yesterday. I was putting the last few items on the tree and found my younger daughters “baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament. I put it on the tree and finished up with the rest. About 10 minutes later, I’m cleaning upstairs and it just hit me. She will be graduating in a few months. Then her sister gets married. All of the sudden I realized that my house was about get very quiet, very soon. I started crying. I cried a lot. I’m talking snot dripping, ugly cry. For like an hour. My poor husband. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO excited for what’s ahead for them both but I am going to miss seeing them everyday.

Day 12: If there was a Trader Joe’s closer to where I live, my pantry would be full of Cookie Butter, Speculoos cookies and dark chocolate covered blueberries. Nothing else. Ok, maybe some pretzels to dip in the Cookie Butter.

Day 13: I don’t like any movie or tv show with a sad ending or that doesn’t provide closure. I want everyone to be happy, get what they’ve always dreamed of and go home with a new puppy. Oh, and if they break out into a song during the movie…perfection! My husband is the complete opposite. This is why we don’t see movies or watch much tv together.

Day 14: I need this sign! I make two pitchers of sweet tea a week! And I occasionally have to make my own sunshine!

Day 15: I have a small glass of water on my nightstand every night, just in case I get thirsty. And every night, if I don’t drink it, my 19 year old cat (who weighs about 13 pounds and is a complete klutz) manages to make her way across me to tip it over and spill it everywhere. Usually between 3-4 in the morning. You’d think one of us would learn our lesson.

Day 16: As I have said before, I love Christmas trees & over the years I have been given some very special ornaments. Today I added 3 new ones to my tree. They are each so special to me. They represent a relationship with someone who is or was a part of my life. They are wonderful reminders of how truly blessed I am.

Day 17: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen most of these 1st hand. https://www.facebook.com/skimonster.bg/videos/1575584372708155/

Day 18: I love my family. We have a good life. We occasionally fall off the rails but we help each other find our way back on track. So happy to spend another candlelight service at OHCC with these peeps!

Day 19: I can recite every word and sing every song in The Little Mermaid but I can’t remember to take my vitamins.

Day 20: I saw Valentine candy on shelves today. It was right next to Christmas decorations. The end of times is near.

Day 21: Found out today that our cat Leo has struvite crystals and has to have special food. My 19 y/o cat is on special food because she’s allergic to the world. But she can’t eat the special food Leo is on because it isn’t grain free. The glam life of The Staff just got a bit more complicated. And expensive.

Day 22: My husband & I wrapped presents tonight. He is a much better gift wrapper than I. He managed to wrap around 20 gifts. I wrapped 9. Two were gift bags.

Day 23: I just realized that all my comfy pants, sweat pants & yoga pants are dirty. This is officially a Christmas emergency. I have fudge to eat.

Day 24: I can sing, make goofy voices and dance around crazy in front of my students but making a video was so awkward for me! So here’s to awkwardness and crazy hairs sticking out everywhere! Merry Christmas!

Day 25: Nerf gun wars, matching hats, and a lovely church service made for a great day. Also, I was ready for bed at around 3:30 pm.

Happy Christmas!

Love. The End.

By Thursday, July 21, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

I just read another story of a shooting. This time it was in Miami. I’m tired of the daily lump in my throat and the knots in my stomach. My head is telling me to plug my ears and cautiously watch life through the cracks between my fingers. I feel lost, confused, like I’m wandering around some country I’ve never been to, with people speaking a language I cannot understand. My heart hurts. I’m scared. Scared for the civil servants. Scared for my black friends. Scared for my white friends. Scared for my gay friends. Scared for my democratic friends. Scared for my republican friends. When did it become racist to just disagree? What happened to respecting others opinions, even when they don’t match up with yours? And now we have this….This man complied. He was doing his job. Helping. Did you catch that? HELPING!!!!! I’m overwhelmed. I just cannot grasp why it is so difficult to be kind and to love others. But, I will not let this defeat me or make me lose hope in a chance for a better world. I will not let hate, divisiveness and bigotry steal my joy or blind me from all the good that is happening in communities all over this nation. I will pray. I will forgive. I will love with reckless abandon. Won’t you join me?

 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

— Leo Buscaglia

Fighter

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I share this with you. One of my kindergarten students has been diagnosed with leukemia. Makenzie is a fighter. She is sassy, tenacious and I am positive she will beat this terrible disease. Please be in prayer for this sweet one and her family.