Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little scripture for the soul....

1Chronicles 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

A Fresh Perspective

One nice thing about writing on this blog is that I look for things that fit into my theme and I'm constantly surprised by how much more observant I've been. Just the other day, for example, I witnessed a scene that in earlier days would have just annoyed me, but on this particular day, I was charmed.

Just a regular day at the grocery store for me, and I'm assuming, a regular day for the young mom and her little boy who are the stars of this story. She was pushing a cart heaped with a mountain of items and trailing along behind was pipsqueak. He was paying close attention to all of the yummy things that store stockers know the little ones will see and will beg for. Pipsqueak was doing his job just fine and was begging his mother for everything that wasn't nailed down. She was telling him no at the top of her lungs, and just to make sure he understood, would screech at him periodically and huff and puff. Of course I was thinking of my superior parenting abilities (sarc) and how I'd never, ever, talk to MY child that way in the middle of the store. (How quickly we forget, right?)

Anyway, Pipsqueak happened on some little jugs of blue juice and decided they were worth a shriek or two, so began to plead for them. Response: NO, NO, NO, I don't have any money, I'm not buying you anything else!!!! Oh, how much are they??? Only 5 for a dollar??? Ok, well then you can have 5. No more, just 5!!!

Pipsqueak saw the opportunity and put 5 in the cart, but ran right back for more. Double fisted, carrying two little jugs, he trotted back to the cart and went to put them in, but was forestalled by Shrieker. What? I told you only one more. Pipsqueak answered so innocently, I only have one. One in this hand and one in that hand.

Needless to say, I had to get out of there before I laughed out loud and destroyed this young mother's very tenable authority. I'm assuming Pipsqueak got his two extra juices and I got a lesson on perspective. After all, he did have only ONE jug. I see a law degree in his future.

The Days are Just Packed!

That's the title of one of the books my boys love. Calvin and Hobbes comics are the best and it's a shame there are no more new ones. That's not the heart of this post, though, but rather it's a commentary on my life these days.

Maybe I need to learn to say no, but in saying yes over the past couple of weeks, I have been tremendously blessed. From organizing the highschool track picnic to assisting in the planning of the baccalaureate service, to serving breakfast to graduating seniors, I've been hopping and could not be happier. During the months that BSF is in session, I limit my extra curricular activities so my focus can be on what God has called me to do at that point. When BSF is over, I can shift my focus and take on some other tasks and that's a little refreshing. This year I decided to help where I was needed, bloom where I was planted, make an impact in the area where God placed me. I've been planted squarely in the middle of a bunch of teens.

It's all good and I'm grateful that God has given me strength to do the tasks set before me. He's gifted me in a variety of ways and I'm not saying that to brag, but to acknowledge my strengths and thank Him for them. Maybe my biggest asset is to be like the Energizer Bunny and just go and go and go.

All that being said, I do look forward to the days that are a little slower. I'm not sure if I'll ever have a day like that again, but as long as I'm able, I'll try to serve with a smile on my face and be thankful that I'm able.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunny Days, Sweepin' the Clouds Away

I got a chance to spend a couple of hours outside this morning, finishing up some yard work. What an absolutely gorgeous day, one that reminds me of the summer days of my childhood. Then, we'd pack a picnic lunch, hop on our bikes and be gone forever. Now I'm not so free to ride off with a picnic, but digging in the dirt and setting out some beautiful plants is good too. I just had my picnic sandwich in the cool of the airconditioning so my perfect grownup morning was super.

Friday, May 29, 2009

God Ain't Done With Me Yet!

I had a difficult time feeling grateful yesterday. Tired, grumpy, name it, I felt it. I kept thinking of this blog and my commitment to think differently, kept trying to turn my thinking around, but couldn't quite do it, until I sat by the side of Jonathan and prayed with him and God changed my thinking. It's easier to be grateful when the focus shifts from the things that are so wrong to the things that are so right. Prayer is the key. Going to God, laying those bad things down and picking up the good things He offers is what makes the difference. Again, a lesson in realizing it sooner rather than later, and being thankful that God's not through with me yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A little bit of God's Word

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Jonathan's team won!

Going into tonight's game, our team had won a game, but lost 4. They are now at 2 and 4. Yippee! All the little squirts had a good game, scoring 13 runs altogether. Fun times too, sitting around making friends with the other moms. God is always so good to provide me with funny ladies who like to chat.

License to be Glad

Memorial Day was spent with family and friends at Crockett Park near Manassas,VA. Lovely day, great time. Came home that evening to find that my husband's drivers license was still at the boat rental place where he'd handed it over as security when he rented canoes for our adventures. Well, long story short, we returned the equipment, but didn't get the license. Should have been thinking, but weren't. No problems, I thought, as I had Tuesday free and could drive the 30 minutes back there and retrieve it. My mistake, as it turned out.

Rain was falling pretty hard and I parked the car at the edge of the park (you have to hoof it in as cars are not allowed within the actual park perimeters.) Anyway, hoofed it in, got to the rental place and guess what??? The place was shut down for the day due to the weather. Grumble, grumble, grumble! I waited a bit, poked around a bit, looked at the beautiful view which reminded me of Maine on a misty day, and eventually went back to the car in a huff. That was Tuesday.

Wednesday arrived along with a call from Chaz at the rental place. He's calling to inform me that he has John's license! Who knew??!! I asked if they would be open today or whether a few raindrops were going to shut them down. I probably wasn't at my sweetest at this point because I knew what I was up against. Driving another 30 minutes to the park, parking, hoofing it in, maybe finding a human being, and then back home again. Isn't that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Got there and made it to the rental place and found all in apple pie order. Got the license and began my trek out, when I remembered I was supposed to be grateful in all things, so began to think of ways I could thank God. My safety on all of these journeys, the exercise I had been able to get as I walked the trails, the charming little woodpecker I saw hammering away at a tree, beautiful views of the still misty lake, all of these came to mind. So I was a little inconvenienced. So what? I had nice drives in the country and the money to put gas in the car to do it, so I did have many things for which I could be grateful. Now I need to work on realizing that sooner and quit the grumbling a little earlier.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Day at the Beach

Along with the arrival of spring every year comes my desire to plant something. I take my grand plans along to the nursery and stock up on all sorts of plants, forgetting that I'm basically lazy and want something for nothing. I want my deck and yard to look amazing with minimal work, but we all know that it doesn't work that way.

This particular day, the 2nd in mucking around in the dirt, my little neighbor, Caitlyn, was watching me from the adjoining fence. "Whatcha doing?" she asked. "Planting flowers." was my response. "Why? What colors do you like?" So forth and so on as I continued to plant. Caitlyn is 5 and digging in the dirt looks like loads of fun to her. Meanwhile I sat on my haunches, swiped sweat off of my forehead for the umpteenth time, and looked at all I still had to do. And boy, was it ever hot! I told Caitlyn so and told her I was ready to be done, ready for a cold drink and a shower. Then she said this...."I'm just pretending I'm at the Beach. Don't you like the beach?" Immediately I knew I was looking at my efforts from the wrong perspective. I absolutely LOVE the beach and if I just pretended I was by the sea this entire time, things would be looking up! So, I did. I finished my planting, grateful all the while for Caitlyn and my "day at the beach."

Fusses and Funerals

Once again the house was littered with shoes, dirty clothes, backpacks and a multitude of discarded papers and once again, I was ticked off! The grumbling began after they all left for school. Why do I do this everyday? Why can't they ever put anything away without being told? What will they do when they are out on their own and not even have the ablity to take the trash out? Stomp, stomp, stomp around the house I went, aggravated. I had a little lesson to learn.

I treated myself to some Chick-fil-a and got on the road for some errands only to come to a complete stop at the first intersection. What in the world was going on? A wreck up ahead no doubt, but I was happy enough chomping on my chicken sandwich. I began to notice the cars passing in the lane next to me, cars with tags in the window that said "Funeral" with their lights on, all part of the procession carrying some poor soul to the cemetery. I began to notice the people in those cars. Nearly all of them were young, probably not much older than my own 18 year old. Then I remembered. On Saturday night, a young man, maybe 19 or 20, had hit a tree head on and had died on the spot. Rumors of drinking and of speeds of 100 mph had spread around the community and I was here, at this moment, witnessing the last transport of his earthly remains.
God is very intentional. He needed me there in that backup so I could see the grief that others were experiencing. He needed me there to remind me that a little mess in my house is the least of my concerns and that I should really be grateful that my three messy boys were alive, healthy, and still on this earth to be loved and cherished. The young man who was buried would never again be able to mess up his mother's house, or leave food out, rather than putting it back in the fridge and I know she would have given anything to have him walk through the door one more time and do just that. Even that!

I'll remember to be grateful for my children.

People are Praying

A group of ladies are praying for me this summer, at my request, that I would be grateful in all things. I know they are praying because I have been under attack in the week since I made the request. I have been so ungrateful, looking at everything as a burden, an inconvenience, a bother. But, and this is the best part, because they have been praying, I have been able to turn those thoughts around and have found something for which I can be grateful everyday. This blog will chronicle my journey toward being grateful in all things.