I love this quote by Erma Bombeck. Do you ever wonder how much you can do with the talent that God gave you? How many lives that you can touch? How you can help someone in need? What can we do individually and collectively to raise awareness, improve someone’s life or bring about change? I think that in 2014 we should all challenge ourselves to do more. To be better, for ourselves and for each other.
I wrote this piece a few months back in honor of a great leader, the likes of which will likely not be seen again in our lifetime.
This is going to be short and to the point. You see, I am feeling a bit under the weather, so much so that right now, I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck, then it backed up and ran over me again. However, I wanted to share this with you because it made dragging myself around today feeling like death warmed over a little bit more pleasurable.
Last night, due to my worsening symptoms, I went to bed early and let Big Poppa handle bed time. It was loud – something about a lizard – but it got done. This morning the Dynamic Duo came into my room, took one look at me and asked “Where’s Daddy?”
“Then who’s taking us to school?”
“I’m taking you to school.” I think I heard one of them audibly gasp.
“BUT YOU’RE SICK!”
“Yes, I’m aware,” I said, “but Mommies don’t get sick days.”
I paused and contemplated telling the truth. That life as they know it would come to a complete stop if I took to my bed and stayed there until I fully recuperated. There would be no snack in their backpacks. No double-check to make sure that they had their library book on library day. No one would remind them that it’s Thursday so they should be wearing their class shirts. No sweater tucked into their back pack (you know, just in case?). No lunches made with a handwritten note declaring my love inside the lunch box. Gym shoes on gym day? Forget about it! Papers signed? Checks sent in for various payments? Follow up notes to the teacher? No, no and no! And that’s just school. With after school activities three or four days out of the week (don’t forget Saturdays!), I am the keeper of the schedule. The only one with complete knowledge of what’s supposed to be happening, when it’s happening and where it will be happening.
Not to mention, who am I going to call if I take a sick day. If I’m the Chief Operating Officer of this operation, who do I notify that I won’t be able to fulfill my duties? Certainly not the Chief Executive Officer (that would be Bog Poppa) since he’s not really “in the trenches” if you know what I mean. That’s my job.
I didn’t answer them. I decided that it would be best to leave it alone, at least for now. So this evening, when Thing 1 said “Mommy, why are you still up if you’re still sick?”, my answer was the same “Because I still have things to get done and Mommies don’t get sick days.”
“Because how could I give you my daily dose of love?”
She smiled and we hugged and I’m sure that I probably passed on my contagious virus to her. Poor thing.
I’ve been having a hard time with the holidays this year. Thanksgiving was nice but, very low-key. All of the food was there, but not nearly the same amount of enthusiasm on my part. Now it’s on to Christmas and I’ve been feeling pretty much the same way in anticipation. There are a couple of snowmen lying about, but no tree, no twinkling lights and no, no presents. Don’t worry, I’ll get there, hopefully before Christmas Eve. I guess the best way to describe how I’ve been feeling is like I’m disconnected from Christmas. Like I’ve lost my focus. There is no joy in the anticipation of the next stress filled weeks trying to get packages sent, cookies made and hoping that I have picked out the perfect gift. I am not looking forward to hunting down that elusive “Beauty House” that Thing 2 wants. Does anyone out there even know what that is? Please, help me.
I don’t blog much about religion, yet I think that I have made no secret that I’m a Christian. For those of you that aren’t, I can respect that, but I’m going to ask you to indulge me for a few moments. I need to tell you about a conversation that I had with my two young daughters that had a profound impact on my bad case of Christmas Blues. And, it’s not just about the celebration of Christ’s birth, but also about how we, Christians, need to respond to others.
After school, Thing 1 told me about a friend of hers who believes in God, but not Jesus. ”Mom, he said that there is a God, but not Jesus. Is that true?”
“No, that’s not true,” I responded.
“Then why would he say that?”
“Because some people have different beliefs and different religions.”
Why? Usually, I don’t like that question because it’s never-ending. However, this time I welcomed a deeper conversation because it gave me a chance to not only educate my children, but to sow seeds of love. Notice I didn’t say to sow seeds of “tolerance”? I don’t care for that whole “tolerance” campaign, but that’s another blog post for another time. Anyway, it was about that time when Thing 2 piped up and said that she has a friend whose mommy doesn’t love God. ”Yes,” I said “There are people who don’t believe in anything. Not God and not Jesus. How do you feel about that?”
They thought for a moment then Thing 1 said “Sad. Like they’re missing something”
“Well, they may feel the same way about you. How did you respond to your friend?”
“Oh, I told him to read his Bible and it would tell him all about Jesus, but he didn’t even know what a Bible was. So, I told him that I’d bring mine tomorrow and read to him about Jesus.”
“Was he cool with that?”
“Yes. Then we went and played on the monkey bars.”
They played together. I’m fairly sure that if that had been an equivalent conversation between adults of different religions, it would not have ended with them playing together on the monkey bars. I love the fact that she is confident enough in what she believes that she didn’t feel threatened or get defensive and she wanted to share it with someone else.
Just before bed I asked my girls if they thought it was okay to be friends with people of different religions and even people who don’t believe in God at all. Thing 2 looked at me like I had three heads and said “Of course it is! God is about love! He loves everybody! So how can you love God and not play with everybody?!” It’s amazing to me how children can see things so clearly that adults get screwed up all of the time. No need for separation and isolation. No denouncing or demonizing. Just go forth respectfully and show some love. I think I’m ready for Christmas now.
December 1, 2013
Well, it’s that time of year again and my job has got me back on the road. I arrived this afternoon, ate some Thanksgiving left overs (They. Ate. All. Of. The. Pie.) and caught a quick nap. Now, I’m relaxing and listening to some smooth jazz that this cool cat is throwing down. My good friend, Barbie, is letting me crash at her townhouse while I’m here. Should be fun – that girl loves to party! Not to worry, I know how to handle myself.
I don’t think anyone knows I’m here yet, which is good because I like to observe things before I get thrown into the holiday madness. They seem like nice people, but total SLACKERS! No tree, no Christmas towels, no pine scented candles…nothing! I’ll give them a couple of days to fix this before I report it to Santa. I hope we’re not headed to another Christmas of coal. The last time that happened I got really dirty, broke a nail and the kids tried to feed me to the dog. Not good. At least I got reassigned to a family that doesn’t have any pets. Anyway, I’ll be in touch soon!
P.S. Are you planning on making Peppermint Bark this year? I sure would love it if you do.
Over the last 27 days leading up to Thanksgiving, I have blogged a lot about things for which I am thankful. In this, my last post for the blog link up at Champagne to Crayons, 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for YOU, my readers. I am so appreciative of the time that you take out of your day to spend with me. I sincerely hope that there is something that I have said that you have found encouraging, comforting, amusing, informative or anything else that you may have needed at that moment. As you spend time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, please remember that you are never far from my thoughts and prayers and, again, thank you for your support and encouragement. Most of all, thank you for being you! Peace.
“A ring is round, it has no end, and that’s how long, I’ll be your friend.” Remember that from when you were a kid? That last time I said it was on my wedding day. Big Poppa and I were standing out side of the church waiting to take pictures and when I looked down at our rings (we were holding hands), it was the first thing that came to mind. I am quite certain that Big Poppa probably doesn’t remember that moment, but that’s okay because it was a pretty busy day…you know, since it was our wedding day and all.
Over the years, our rings have become as much of a symbol of our friendship as they are of our marriage. In your lifetime a lot of relationships will come and go whether they be boyfriends or best friends or casual acquaintances. Life is busy and complicated and sometimes we move on and leave people behind, both intentionally and unintentionally. However, our most important relationships we hold on to come hell or high water and shouldn’t our marriages fall into that category? Because the person that we choose to spend the majority of our time with, to share our bodies with, to raise children with, to expose our vulnerability to should be someone who we are willing to go through hell or high water with. It really shouldn’t be easier to walk away from our husband than it is from our girlfriends. Maybe, just maybe, we should be looking for a true friend in our spouse, rather than Prince Charming. After all, a lot of so-called Prince Charming’s are dressed as toads. There’s a reason for that..just sayin’.
It’s a very simple, but sweet memory and one that I cherish. A lot of things have transpired over these past ten years since Big Poppa gave me my ring, but our friendship has remained constant. He’s my hell and high water guy.
*This post is in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, a mash-up of Day 23: A Special Day, Day 24: Jewelry and Day 26: A Memory, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.
*This post is in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 22: Faith, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.
Thanksgiving is pretty much synonymous with the Four F’s: Family, Friends, Football and Food! I love, love love the Thanksgiving spread and have no problem admitting that I look forward to this meal all year. The turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy and on and on and on. Oh, wow! And then, the food induced sleep. Best. Day. Ever. The blog post topic on Champagne to Crayons is 28 Days of Thanks, Day 21: Dessert. You know I can’t just talk about just one dessert. Soooo, here are some links to a few dessert posts (just click on the photos) that I have done previously that I think are perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. All tested and approved by Big Poppa, the Crew and some invited guests over the years. Go grab your coffee, tea, whatever and enjoy!
Make sure that you read the entire post because the German Chocolate Cake recipe is at the end!
“Epitaphs used be to three words: “Mother. Sister. Wife” as an example. If you were writing your own Epitaph, what three words would you want to be your legacy and why?”
This was the question posed to me and my fellow bloggers in my Rising Bloggers group, by Amy over at The Reinvention of Amy. As fascinated as I was by her question, I have to admit that I had absolutely no clue how to answer it. I really haven’t ever given it much thought. Well, and people tend to remember their loved ones differently based on their own personal relationship and experiences. I know that each of my siblings and I had very different relationships with our father so, while the general story is the same, the details are different to each one of us. Therefore, our recollections evoke different emotional responses. I’m sure that my children will have the same reaction when I’m no longer living, however, I pray that they won’t have to deal with that for a very long time.
Just three words….but life it so complicated.
At different times we are required to be different things to different people. For instance, we begin this life as babies needing care from our parents, but often by the end of our lives, it is the parent who’s in need of care from their children. As a wife we are a friend, a lover, confidant, cheerleader, defender and advocate for our husbands. As mothers we are doctors, nurses, nurturer, cooks, teachers, psychologists, hairdressers, etc. To top it off, a friend of mine recently noted that we are now responsible to provide our children with “cultural enrichment”. Yep, pile it on! Prayerfully we have strong bonds with our siblings; we are valued and trustworthy employees; and we are loyal friends and neighbors.
No, three words are not enough to do my legacy justice. My legacy? Yes, my legacy.
Three words would never be able to adequately convey how strongly I feel about parental responsibility. Or, how I tear up each and every time I see my girls perform in their dance recitals (for different reasons). No three words could explain how I love to watch my husband sleep, particularly when he’s had a rough week. I think my heart actually swells. There are no three words that can completely describe how I felt each time I sat at one of our older children’s high school or college graduations. Or how I don’t care that my mother doesn’t know who I am any more, I’m just happy to see her. Three words won’t tell you how important my friendships are to me and that margaritas always taste better when I have them with my BFF. Or how much I miss her. Would you know how important I think it is to give of what God as given to you? Your talent, time and money. Would you know how I feel about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Yes, Him. I love Him with all of my heart.
There’s more, a lot more. Far more than three words could convey.
Then there was the great Rainbow Loom Catastrophe of November 19, 2013. One of the looms broke and my daughter was devastated. If you don’t know what Rainbow Loom is, it has something to do with colored rubber bands, a loom and a hook. If you Google it you will find out more than you have ever wanted to know. I was sure that I could fix it, but I couldn’t. Thing 1 was insistent that we go out right at that moment to buy another but, it was late and the store was closed. However, Thing 2 was far more understanding, probably because it wasn’t her loom. She hugged me and said, “That’s okay, Momma. You tried to fix it. You always try really hard.”
There it was…three words.
I’m not perfect and I don’t always get it right. In fact, sometimes I fall flat on my face, but I do try. I try to be a “good” wife and mother and sister and friend and neighbor and whatever else I need to be. My intentions are always good and, usually, my heart is in the right place. I’m honest and I try to play fair and I believe in second chances. So, I guess if there’s anything that I want people to remember about me, it’s that I gave it my all.
She really tried.
If you would like to read the other posts on this link-up, click here.