Faith · Family · Fitness · Perspective

A Few Wednesday Reflections

Reflection #1:
I did a fair amount of traveling in the last week. My sisters and I drove eight hours (@60-75mph) to our cousin’s wedding, celebrated, then drove eight hours back. We piloted three states of roads. It’s been years, probably close to a decade since we took a “sisters only” trip anywhere. It was refreshing.

img_0475My sisters are highly intelligent. When wading thru the mundane conversations of life, the spark of a quick-witted and sharp dialogue breathes life back into my brain and soul. That was more apparent when I came back to the mish-mash of people that make up everyday life. God paints this planet with people in a variety of talents and levels. Without this variety, life would be dull and monochromatic. It is however, a nice spritzer to converse new ideas and relive memories with my sisters.

Reflection #2:
I need to figure out my direction for serving others. I want so badly to throw myself into a million different places to help and serve others. I’ve always had a heart for adoption. There are multiple children adopted into both my mom’s and dad’s sides of the family. I don’t know that this is the right time for us. We both have to be on board as a united couple. We’ve discussed fostering, but with our current schedules, we aren’t sure we could give the focus necessary to be healthy for our children, the child in need, and for ourselves. 

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There is a new opportunity for us to get more involved with providing the needs of those just outside the realm of social services – connecting directly to families who need things like clothes of a certain size, a mattress, $50 to cover an electric bill so they don’t lose electricity, etc. The idea is to provide help before the family falls down into the rabbit hole of kids going into care. It is called CarePortal and links churches directly to needs. The call then goes out to those who may be able to help in some way and hopefully that need is filled.

Helping and serving others is a thirst I need to quench, but I believe it will take a lifetime of service to help satiate it.

Reflection #3:
I’m traveling again this weekend. We’ve made the childcare arrangements for our littles. I’ve started printing out our itineraries. I fly a couple of times a year. I hate flying. It makes me want to vomit. Talk about a level of trust… I’m putting all my cells literally in the hands and competency of the people who built, service, and fly the plane (and I don’t even know them). Obviously I am trusting them – I will get on the plane. But… Ugh. Once you are up there, there is nowhere to go but down… Pray for me please.

Reflection #4:
This is Us. Is anyone else watching this show? I’ve been watching/ listening to episodes on my computer at work during breaks. The stories of these people are so beautifully raw and intertwined. Last night’s episode had me sniffling at my desk this morning. Fabulous music. The characters and emotions so real. The sites of Memphis. So so good – and this is coming from someone who watches maybe 2 hours of television a week. Maybe. Usually less. Check it out, but start at the beginning. My husband tried to watch it with me a few weeks ago – midseason. He was confused by the flashbacks and it soured him on the whole show. He’s missing out… but he also didn’t appreciate my attention for Downton Abbey or my years of Grey’s Anatomy...

Reflection #5:
I broke my toe last week. I’m astonished at how fast the tiny bones heal. It is still a rainbow of earth tones, but I am wearing running shoes today. I gave it a few trial jogs while the kids and I have been out enjoying this incredible and un-February-ish weather. I have a 10K planned for St. Patrick’s Day weekend and I need all my toes for it.

Favorite song on my playlist today:

 

 

Faith · Family · Perspective

Simple – Daily Prompt

via Daily Prompt: Simple

Have you ever had that moment when you are just absolutely sure that God is telling you something? I’ve had my fair share. And I’m getting a message LOUD and CLEAR this week.

SIMPLE.

I need to simplify. I’ve been reading “The Best Yes.” It is about discerning what is not just a ‘yes’ in my life, but my ‘Best Yes.’ Could I volunteer for one more thing? Probably, but it would take time away from event A and stretch me a little bit more.

For example, last night was Bible Study. Our church does a winter study. It starts at 7. I typically get home between 5:45 and 6pm. I then orchestrate dinner, homework that requires parental presence and attention, try to have an actual dialogue with my kids, put away groceries if I’ve made a trip to the store, turn my attention to my husband for a few snippets of conversation when he rolls in between 6 and 6:30pm, use the bathroom, possibly start a load of laundry, and then settle down to sit with my family for a little bit before we start the bedtime routine… bath, pajamas, snack, clothes picked and laid out for the next day, backpacks ready, teeth, prayers, snuggles, and I’m out by 8:15pm to capturecontinue with adult things like folding said laundry, hanging with my husband, and reading.

I absolutely want to attend Bible Study, but I’m so limited in my evening time with my family. So I chose my family as my ‘Best Yes’ last night and started the lesson for the Bible Study at around 9pm on the couch.

I say that I’m getting the “simplify” or make things “simple” moment because as I’m finishing “The Best Yes,” I had two separate friends give me two more books on prioritizing and simplifying to find peace.

I swear I’m not walking around with a crazy look in my eyes. I’m not blabbering on about all the things I have to do. I do juggle quite a pile of events and responsibilities for myself, my family, and my job. I do put a lot of miles on my car with preK pickup and 1st grade carpool and work and appointments and trips for parts and supplies for the business.

It seems there must be a better way. I am going to keep praying about it and looking for ways to make it SIMPLE.

 

Family · Perspective

The Christmas Letter – Pt 1

The Christmas Letter. Do you write one? As a 30-something, I remember the excitement of getting the letters in the mail. They came from cousins, aunts and uncles, and family friends. Handwritten of course – it was the 80’s and 90’s. They told of family vacations, births, deaths, graduations, and the highlights of the year. They were part of the Christmas tradition.

I do still write the traditional letter. Some friends have shifted to just a card, some go email, and others stick an update on facebook. I’m NEVER the first to get the letter out and occasionally don’t get it mailed until the end of the month. I get giddy when I open Christmas cards and display them happily on my desk for a full month. They start at the beginning of December and usually end mid-January. The number varies by year.

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Fast forward to 2010. That was the year we had our first child. Suddenly, I had something to write about. Before that, all my friends and I were doing the same things. We were almost all married, but none of us had kids. We enjoyed tailgating together and college football and basketball games. We traveled on spontaneous vacations that had no set stopping points and flitted from one place to another. There was no point in writing about any of this because we actually rendezvoused more than once or twice a year.

2010: after a very long (ok so almost all pregnancies are the same length…) and fun filled (lots and lots of all day vomiting – no “oh you’re pregnant!” glow for me) pregnancy, our first child was born. The months FLEW by and suddenly it’s Christmas letter time! Do I smash it full of pictures of our little guy? Of course I do. They don’t want to read about me vomiting or how I’m now an expert on baby poop colors. The masses just want to see pictures of this kid! So I obliged with pictures and short captions.

2011: more pictures and a few cute stories.

2012: Baby #2! If it’s possible to believe, there was more vomiting with the second child, but I left that out. I was the most pregnant lady at the pool on 4th of July. It was so hot and I was just a few days shy of 40 weeks. Some friends and I took our crew to the DQ for ice cream before the pool. I couldn’t fit in the booth. Yikes. That actually did make the Christmas letter… I also smushed a TON of pictures of my two littles into the Christmas letter that year.

2013: More kid pictures. More cute stories. She’s walking. He’s building things and jumping off of couches. Tra la la la la!

2014… 2015… You get the picture. And here we are 2016. What do I write? Do I go timeline? Do I go humorous? Do we focus on the kids and gloss over my husband and I? Do I go with the traditional Christmas pictures or mix it up with refrigerator magnet pictures without a Christmas message? So many options!!!

I guess I’ll just have to see where my mood leads me. That’s part of the joy of being on the receiving end of one of our letters. You get whatever I write and mail accompanied by a few toothy grins in nice clothes.