Category Archives: Meanderings

Thanksgiving. Day 2.

Today’s post is an extension of yesterday’s.

I am thankful for air to breathe and for friends who remind me to breathe during those moments when stress seems to overwhelm everything that is good. I know I mentioned friends as my framily yesterday, but they really came through for me today.

Today was a triple whammy kind of day for me. First, things happened at school, then things happened regarding my son (he’s not injured just . . . growing up much faster than I want him to), and then things happened regarding an offer I made suggesting a fundraiser for a local organization I am a part of. None of this was life-threatening in any way, shape, or form. Taken on one at a time I would have no issue. But, it’s like they hit all at once: BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

That was my afternoon/evening. 

But, I know for others today was worse than any of us could have anticipated. We received some very stressful news regarding a project, or rather a series of projects, that we have coming up. Our projects were presented, and then we began the waiting game. For most of the last week, many of us have been finding ways to distract ourselves. Today the announcements were made via written letter of whether we passed, or need to rework and then re-propose.

I passed.

Barely.

By the skin of my teeth. 

But several did not. I know of one classmate whose story absolutely should have passed with flying colors but she didn’t. But, what I have seen today from my friends goes beyond just being a friend. They have rallied around those who have needed it. They’ve allowed people to vent, and yell in their faces about how screwed up this system is. They’ve been the open shore taking a beating from the impending breakers rushing in.

This hasn’t been done from obligation, or because “it’s the right things to do.” This has been done out of sincere concern and true, “runs deep in the bones”, friendship. So today, I am thankful for friends who don’t think twice about helping out a friend in her time of need – even when, and maybe, especially when, I am not the recipient just an outside spectator.

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When You Believe.

Whitney Houston - The Preacher's Wife

One of the most amazing voices in the music world is gone.

A tragic legacy left in her wake.

It amazes me somewhat, how very sad I am at her passing and, quite frankly, how ticked off I am at her as well. She had the resources and the support to get the help she so desperately needed these last few years. But, she didn’t. My mom summed it up best tonight when she said, “The heart loves who it loves” and, as saddened as I am, I see the truth in that statement.

Whitney Houston

There have been times in the past when I’ve wished I could be a person’s conscience. That voice of reasoning telling them right from wrong, and then consequently “forcing” that the correct choice be made. But I’m not. I’m no one’s conscience but my own. However, that thought gave me a distinct perspective.

Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard

God’s view.

God created us with free choice. He made us in His image but has allowed us to choose whether we follow the path He has marked out for us or a different path, made of more spontaneous, in-the-moment choices. I wonder sometimes if He sits there wishing, just like I have in the past, that He could “force” people into the right choices. But then the choice would not be freely made, and let’s face it, forcing people into worshiping something they didn’t choose is not the best way to get followers.

Whitney Houston

That is one of the best ways to make sure people resent you, forcing them to do something against their will.

Whitney Houston

I’ve also wondered at the heartbreak that would ensue with knowing beforehand the choices people will make, knowing their destinies could be changed at any moment.

Whitney Houston - The Artist

As much as I would like to be the one helping others choose the right choices, the fact of the matter is that none of us know what we would do in any given situation until we are actually staring it in the face. We all say, “I’d choose xxx decision” but reality is that we just don’t know.

Whitney Houston

Just like we don’t know the people we’ll touch.

Whitney Houston - The Artist

Just like we don’t know the days we’re allowed.

Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard

* * *

There are so many songs lyrics I could post that would be fitting for these circumstances but I believe these are the best. Whitney, you came into this world singing “Jesus Loves Me” almost from the time you could speak and you left his world singing “Jesus Loves Me”. I truly hope you are resting in Jesus’ loving arms.

Whitney Houston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfhb4S2tc1I

When You Believe

Many nights we’ve prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here
My heart’s so full I can’t explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I’d say
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe
They don’t always happen when you ask
And it’s easy to give in to your fear
But when you’re blinded by your pain
Can’t see your way safe through the rain
Thought of a still resilient voice
Says love is very near
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
Now you will
You will when you believe
You will when you believe
Just believe
Gotta believe
You will when you believe

(All images and lyrics found via internet searches utilizing the Google.)


Boys vs. Girls.

Not long ago I was in the doctor’s office with ZigZag and was struck by something I’d never truly considered before. Here was my son, waiting for his appointment, being a bit rowdy with the toy trucks and completely oblivious to the fact he’d taken over the waiting room from a quiet little girl who ran to her mom as soon as ZigZag began to play. Fortunately it was a slow day and we were the only people in the office aside from this little girl and her mom.

Maybe it’s because I have boys.

Most of the girls we know have brothers so they can hold their own but boys and girls are so different! I know. I know. That’s kind of a ‘duh’ moment for most of you.

This little girl was so completely shy. She hid under her momma’s legs and played with one of the smaller cars. By the time she was called back for her appointment she had stepped out a bit – she was playing ‘catch’ with ZigZag by rolling the cars back and forth to each other.

But it dawned on me, my son didn’t even notice her until I pointed her out. Not that I’m trying to marry him off at the age of five or anything like that but that he was so wrapped up in his world that he couldn’t spare even a moment to see someone else.

Often times we, as Christians even, get so entirely wrapped up in what’s going on around us – in our own little worlds – that we don’t notice those around us. Those people we love to keep up with on Facebook but only if their status update shows up in our news feeds. Or those who we see only at holidays or birthdays, family reunions or funerals. Or those we talk to only when it pertains to our own dire need right at that moment.

When is the last time you called someone just to say hello?

and truly meant it in a ‘just saying hi’ kind of way?

Or smiled at a stranger?

Or helped someone carry their items?

Some things I’ve learned recently by stepping outside of myself to check on the well-being of others:

Two amazing people are officially parents and bringing their son to his forever home as I type this.

One amazing young woman left her home for Wales to spend the next nine months training in a foreign country to be a missionary to Africa permanently at the end of that time.

Many of my friends are engaged or pregnant – too many to count at this point! (Thank you Oklahoma Blizzard!)

The point is

the world is bigger than you and me

Period.

It’s bigger than all of us and it’s time we set aside our own agenda’s and started actually caring about those around us.

I can hear you now, “but what can I do? I’m just one person”.

So is Jesus.


Mother’s Day.

My mom keeps asking me what I want for Mother’s Day & I keep throwing out random things (ie. Hillsong United tickets, etc) but in truth, I have nearly everything I could ever need or want. My family (kids, parents, siblings) is happy and healthy. I’ve gotten to spend some real time with my boys as well as take some time to relax. And a Heavenly Father who knows my dreams and desires. What more could a girl ask for?!

So, how did I spend it?

Well, first I woke up to a very warm 5 year old – ZigZag has been running high fevers all weekend – who was also complaining of a tummy ache and starting dry heaves, so I gave him his meds and we snuggled up in the big recliner and dozed while E-man watched cartoons until about 1130 (we did not go to church).

Then we ran to Reasor’s and got Grandma’s Mother’s Day cards and some other random things we were out of.

And then we visited a family we have become good friends with over the last year and helped set up their pool.

When we got home, we spent some time outside with Grandma and Pappaw then did our bedtime routine. Both boys are officially asleep – have been about an hour now.

Overall, it was very quiet and restful. And, just for the record, yes, I did keep an extra close on ZigZag while we they were splashing in the water.

So, what does Mother’s Day mean?

For us mom’s, there is no greater joy than knowing we have brought a life into this world, that God has entrusted us to raise His children. There’s a whole lot of responsibility that goes with that. We wear many hats.

Healer – boo-boo kisser

Chauffeur – driving to/from school, sports, doctor visits, playdates, and many other places

Organizer – really, who else do you know who can be on the phone, making lunch/breakfast, answering questions about where things are, and rattle off dates from memory about special events all at once?!

Financial Guru – most mom’s I know are the one’s who keep track of just how much $$ comes in and goes out each month, as well as can state the balance of accounts at a moments notice

Master Crafts(wo)man – from scrapbooking to sewing to bow-making to tutu making, mom’s can do just about everything

Environmental Conservationist – making sure things are cleaned up around the house, flowers are planted and healthy, and being as “green” as possible – yes, I do realize this does not apply to every household but it does to many of my friends.

Event Planner – from birthdays to holidays and school events, mom’s are usually the ones behind the plans; everything from food to prizes & goody bags to who has what allergies.

Most importantly, mom’s are the ones who allow their hearts to walk around outside their own bodies, who love their children unconditionally, and who move Earth when it comes to their children.


On Being Famous.

I get that celebrity’s, heir’s & heiress’, members of royalty, athletes, all those Disney chicks, etc., all have to live with the fact their lives are public and there is no privacy. Most of the time they accept this and gracefully endure all that we (commoners) throw at them. But seriously, why can’t we just let them be? Don’t they also deserve some privacy in the more intimate/familial moments such as weddings and childbirth, etc?

Take for instance William & Kate.

I seriously just saw a movie trailer for the “story of their lives”. Um, really?! Their lives have only just begun and really, their life together won’t begin for another few weeks.

Why can’t “we” (or “they” as the case may be) just be satisfied?

Now, there’s a loaded question if I’ve ever asked one.

I get the fascination some people have with the whole royal wedding thing and the girls who’ve wanted to be a princess their entire lives. I truly do. But at the same time …. Why can’t we just let them be? Why must we dig and dig and dig into their lives and try to find out every single detail BEFORE the event (which is being televised) actually happens.

They’re just normal people. I mean really, the lives they lead are their normal everyday lives (well, Kate is being groomed for royalty but that’s a given and she’s already pretty graceful about it all).

Why the desire to know everything?

Let me ask you this. What if you spent that same amount of time you spend pouring over catalogs/magazines, entertainment news channels, the official royal websites, etc., digging through the Bible?

Ouch.

Yes, that hurt even me. I know I’ve not spent the amount of time I need to in the Word. Have you? Or have you been too concerned with what “the beautiful people” of the world are upto to realize that you’re a beautiful person too?

You’re Heavenly Father is the King of Kings. How amazing is that?!

That alone makes YOU a beautiful person – on the inside where it counts.


A Playset Raising.

Back in the pioneer days if a family needed a barn, house, or other necessary building built they’d have all of their friends, family, and neighbors travel out, camp out on the homestead in their wagons and work each day on building whatever was needed until it was finished. We did something similar recently.

Several weeks ago my dad bought this massive playset for my boys. You know the kind, made of wood with a rock wall, slide, swings, a too tall tower, etc. And then we had weeks of seemingly non-stop snow and below zero temperatures. So, building this was postponed until the weather was in a better mood.

It came in 4 boxes that remained stacked on our back porch through many weeks of snow and below freezing temperatures. Finally it was warm enough to build it completely. We thought it would be fairly easy. In theory, each of the 4 boxes was a complete section to be joined with each of the other 3 boxes once they were all together. Not so.

Each box was full of wood. So much wood. And all of it was numbered so we began by sorting the wood into matching piles based on whichever numbers were stamped on them.

Then we started reading the directions. Or rather, my dad read the directions and the rest of us did as we were told. Ha! I want that job next time! Our progress went something like this:

Putting the roof on was … interesting. We laid the whole thing over on its side in order to reach the roof area and to attach those boards. Made it a teeny bit easier to do than trying to stand on tippy-toes at the top of a ladder drill in hand. Once the first roof (yes, first – there were two) was all on we stood it up and called it a day.

On to day two. We started with the second roof – again by laying it down and drilling the roof boards on. One plus to laying it down: made it much easier to undo and redo the boards that slipped a bit out of line. And then came the picnic table. Yes, this thing has a built in picnic table. We were somewhere in the middle of securing the boards that would soon hold the benches when the wind picked up (somewhere around 60-80 mph I’m guessing) and the whole thing started lifting up! So what did I do? I sat on it. Okay, I wasn’t the only one who put my weight on it as there was no way we were letting this thing blow over and potentially destroy all our hard work. Oh, and for the record, the finished project is much more weighted and stronger as well as anchored into the ground really well so it won’t be blowing away any time soon.

Finally, it was time to add the “fun” stuff. You know, the swings, slide, rock wall, and a few small ladders to move between the three levels. Yes, in case you hadn’t see that in the pictures, there are three levels to this thing. The top one is roughly the same height as out attic floor. Aye-yi-yi! That’s tall! Fortunately, I know just how sturdy all of those pieces of wood enclosing the top level almost completely are as I’m the one who secured them all.

The finished product is so much more fun to play on than it was to build. Building it required reading many pages of instructions and sometimes disagreeing with how things went together; meant hitting myself in the head with the drill a few times and scraping my hand on concrete; waking up for a few days with sore muscles in places I’d forgotten there are muscles. It also meant seeing some of the biggest smiles on the boys faces.

Now we just need the weather to cooperate for more than five minutes so we can all go out and enjoy it!

Some thoughts I had while building this:

* Why can’t children come with a manual?! It would be so much easier to raise them if we knew what to say or do and when. Then I smacked myself and said, “that’s exactly what the Bible is”.

* I also thought about how God takes us and molds us to be who we are supposed to be for Him. If something doesn’t line up right, He works on us until we relent to His way and get things lined up again. I consider each learning experience to be the equivalent of each bolt and screw in the playset. Each one holds us to the memory of how God helped us in a particular situation just like each bolt and screw holds that playset together. Individually it seems as though there are just random pieces lying about but when put together they form a masterpiece that only the Master can create.


Image.

Let me ask you something.

  • Are you a nice person?
  • Do you yell at your mom?
  • Hang up on your ex?
  • Get cranky with your kids?
  • Roll your eyes when people ask what you deem “stupid” questions”?
  • Gossip with your friends?

I’m not asking you this to find out if you are truly a nice person or not. Stick with me here, I have another question for you.

If you said yes to any of the above questions, would you still do that if there were camera’s following you 24/7?  If you knew that your actions and your words were being recorded and blasted around the globe in various media outlets, would you still be the person you are today?

Is that the image you want people to see? Is that the person you want to be known as?

If you answered no to those last two questions, let me ask you this; why aren’t you the person you want people to see?


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