Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Magic came early this spring! 

My kiddo, who was supposedly doomed to a vegetative state until his predicted death by age 4, went to the Tim Tebow prom last month with a classy “typical” classmate in a hott pink dress, who donned him with a crown and made him king for the evening.

He turns 17 this April.

Security on the main floor was tight as a drum. We peacock-proud parents, along with well-wishers and assorted spectators, were relinquished to the balcony Atop the main floor of a local Episcopal reception hall balcony. 

Parents reconnected. Teens connected. Souls and dreams flourished…


Dear God, thank you that there is a place in Heaven and here on earth for everyone. 

Help us remember that regardless of health or illness, strength or infirmity, life or death, earth or Heaven, sane or insane, righteous or sinners, we belong to You. 

During this Lenten season, Lord, let us wrap our brains around Your concepts of letting go of convention and embracing what is different, foreign and changed.

Transform us, God, into what You would have us be for You, not for men or earth or the lives we know here on earth.

Shine Your mercy on us, Father, that we might slow Down and cherish every moment, with the faith of Your promises beyond.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.

This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.

The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.

So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.

But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons. 

Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success. 

I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!

There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you. 

Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!

Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.

And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.

My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.

The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain  tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it. 

His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:


And Merry Christmas with love to you all! 

May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.

Read Full Post »

Nostalgia for me brings up images of oddball things in my memory clanking around…the Lone Ranger plate they used to serve burgers on that I saved when the A&W closed and liquidated…my grandmother’s china she painted by hand…photos of me exploring the ruins of heyday motels flanking the Salton Sea (anybody? Remember those??!).

But for this challenge, I had to settle on the old family Bible. Someone, somewhere along the line, recorded everyone’s births and deaths dating from the 1700s. They had beautiful handwriting, too.

I couldn’t help but notice in the opening pages of the Bible, sketches of Bible stories/characters and one of David and Jonathan, the same names as two of my children, chosen the last decade without having consulted this stowaway Bible.

There was also a record of handwritten births, along with some old family photos including one of my dear Cousin when she was a child in Beirut, Lebanon, where my uncle was an international marketing executive.

But best of all, my mother had stuffed a picture in there of her sister and herself on their last visit together before her little sister (left), my aunt, died shortly thereafter…sisters cutting up, my family being family, through the centuries and decades and days, until today when this photo challenge prompted me to discover a bit of nostalgia in my own living room.

Thank you, WordPress!

img_7210

Read Full Post »

There is nothing like a move from complexity to simplicity to achieve a perfect and senseful state of underwhelm. The point is to eat the Cherry On Top so we can get down to the best of business, oui?

So, paradoxically, my cherry on top has been getting back to basics this year, one day at a time. 

This is the year I snatched the cherry off the top of the treat, savored it without abandon, then tied the stem in a knot with my tongue and placed it on my cocktail napkin, knowing full well it would wind up in the trash…keeping the satisfaction in my heart and head and being willing to part with the evidence of my talents and achievements. 

All for the sake of simplicity.

This year, I traded in my old hips for new ones and shed my old money pit home for a spiffy, new life full of order, less is more and Seriously Downsized Lifestyle.

It was time to put my money where my mouth was, that my children understand that it’s not about the brass ring or perfection or having instead of have-notting, that it is about making the most of life with what God gives us, whatever that may be.

Here is my new cherry on top, a sunset at the old, nostalgic dairy farm across the road from my new, simplistic life…

Hey, God, thanks for the simple things in life that set us free from the imposing cherries on top. Thank You for delivering me from the hell of complexity into the heaven of simplicity.

Thank You, God, for the cherry on top so that we are motivated to put it aside or behind us, sooner than later, in order to savor the Main Event of all that lies beneath glitter and gold.

Read Full Post »

It’s been awhile, friends. I’ve missed y’all!
I did not abandon the blog, but have been pleasantly distracted by this, that and the other in life, like…
 

Monitoring my teenagers’ phones and finding stuff like this

 
 

Selling the farm

 
 

Easter Egging

  

Teaching young men to be gentlemen

  

Coming home to a fountaining water heater and getting a new one

  

Noticing odd photo ops

  

Finding out my kid discovered Photo Shop on my iPad

  

PMSing

 
 

Trying a lighter hair shade, going Garth-Blonde

 
 

Getting to see what my town looks like from the air

  

Getting one of two hip replacements

  

Doing a homemade color-by-numbers during recovery

 

Bloodletting

  

Barely getting out of the hospital alive (note listed allergies & plate)

  

Watching Mr. Lizard go a-courtin’

 
 

Mardi Gras parades & assorted residual loot

  

Being visited by a cardinal

  

Septic fun!

  

Coming home to find the silverware gnomes organized my silverware drawer

  

S’mores…

  

…over a warm winter fire dancing

  

Savoring thoughtful sentiments from little ones

  

Hot morning coffee in the cool spring sun

 

A winter walk on the beach

  

Turning 50

  

A little getaway to my favorite Suites

 
Thanks, God, for a long season of joy, renewal, hope and resurrection. Thank You for the dead of winter yielding to the lifeSpring of growth and eternal life. May my readers be thusly blessed in their seasons, as well. 

Read Full Post »

For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I spied a little spy who visually answered my question as to why/how he could possibly get his nose so filthy in under three minutes, as he spied in my bedroom window:

  
(a face only a mother could love…)

Thanks, God, for Your vision for us, for peeping in on us and always being here with us. Thank You for goofiness, silliness and good-natured fun. I know You have a sense of humour, Lord, for I have spied it! 

Thank You for loving us,  God, whether we are in reverent worship or yukking it up and being playful. 

You made smiles, God….let us use them to our greatest abillity!

Read Full Post »

A different take on “new” for this week’s Photo Challenge:

When you have dementia or Alzheimer’s, what’s old is brand new. Every day is a new day, every experience is brand new.

Most of us are inclined to feel pity or sadness for people who live out their last days with such a diagnosis, but really, you’d have to see the brand new joy it to believe it…

My mother with dementia became utterly enamored with the wind-up cymbal-clashing chimp she “gave” her six-year-old grandson this Christmas – the very gift she gave to me when I was three.

She had forgotten what joy such a toy brought, and when he opened it, she latched on to it, began to talk to it and babied it, wound it up multiple times and clapped with delight!

what's old is new

(take note of the fruitcake she was enjoying at the time, a gift her brother sent her…he sent the rest of us “mixed nuts.” We tried unsuccessfully not to laugh at the subliminal parallels…)

Meanwhile, our fourteen year old son with Down syndrome had talked for over a month about wanting nothing but a baby for Christmas. At first we thought he was bluffing or we were misunderstanding his convoluted speech, which is still at an infantile level.

We thought he was over the “baby” phase years ago. But he wasn’t kidding (here, his six-year-old brother helped him unwrap his gift):

joy

Again, what we thought was old or not age-appropriate, was brand new all over again – and brought new joys that we, in our worldly “wisdom,” never would have anticipated.

David was thrilled – and takes her everywhere he goes, is mindful to feed her when he eats, takes her to the potty when he goes, dresses her when he dresses, tucks her in when he is tucked in, and holds her hand together to pray when we pray. He makes for a very attentive daddy, despite his disabilities…

love

The lessons I learned from these who we might label as weak or incapable, were much larger than any lesson I myself could have taught.

The lessons being that

1.) It’s not up to us to judge what’s appropriate;

2.) You never know how something will affect or transform or touch another person; and

3.) What we consider old or outdated just may be the spark that someone else needs to embark on a brand new journey of joy.

Hey, God – thank You for an unimaginable 2014 and for the wonder that 2015 brings. Thank You for the blessings you brought, and for the unknown surprises You will bring us this year.

God, help us to have the courage to embrace things that are new – things that we didn’t see coming, things that may not match up to our idea of what’s right or appropriate or acceptable – help us to see that You operate out of the box more than any of us ever could.

Help us to be tolerant of new horizons, to be flexible and to face all things NEW without judgment, without fear and with curiosity and reverence, knowing that You just might be behind those things You have in store for us – that they are all part of the journey that hopefully brings us closer to You.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »