Saturday, January 31, 2009
Evidently, you can go home again
A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with a recently transplanted friend from church. She made the statement that their frequent trips "home" were probably making the transition to living in Florida more difficult, rather than easier.

There's a lot of truth to this statement. But I remember one of the more miserable times of my own much-relocated tween/teen years when I saved my pennies for a trip back to visit friends. It was nice...but not the same. Life--and the relationships I thought were so firmly established--had continued to move on while I was gone. Without day to day contact, the foundation for those friendships crumbled. This pattern repeated itself with every relocation.

This hasn't been the case with my adulthood, where I feel abundantly blessed with quality relationships. I recently had the privilege of returning to Phoenix to speak at a conference for my publisher. I was able to catch up with so many friends...and it was like we had just seen each other days, not months or years, before. I was encouraged, refreshed, and blessed.

What made the difference? I'm doubting that it's our relative "maturity" or even the addictive convenience of the Internet or F*cebook. Rather, the friendships I've been blessed with as an adult are by and large built on the foundation of Christ's love. All of the friends I reunited with in Arizona share the knowledge that the earth is not our home, and that someday we'll all be "home" together.

Personaly, I can't wait. But in the meantime, big thank-you hugs to all of you out in the desert.

It felt just like being home.

  posted at 9:58 AM  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Wordless Wednesday: Rock On!

  posted at 11:29 AM  

Monday, January 05, 2009
This is a great idea! I always appreciate a good laugh at my own expense. Thank you MckMama!

It was certainly not me who got in a tickling match with my dh the other night, only to elicit the comment from her TQ that, "We have bedrooms upstairs!" (Insert teen eye roll here).

It was definitely not me whose three year old begged for a Lunchable (Ugh...could it get grosser) and then exclaimed when denied that "But they're TASTY and they're good for me!". It also wasn't me who burst into giggles at this announcement and couldn't wait to call my husband and share it.

It wasn't me who parked said three year old in front of for an HOUR while I did a call in radio interview.

It also wasn't me who booked a face painting gig on the same night and time that I'm supposed to be at our church's women's ministry meeting. I'm never that scatterbrained or disorganized.

It's also not me who has a child waiting to be read a story while I'm on the computer. I'd never be that neglectful.

Happy "Not Me" Monday!

  posted at 2:32 PM  

Sunday, January 04, 2009
Happy New Year
On New Year's Eve, I was sitting at a table with a lovely group of ladies, sipping drinks and nibbling yummy appetizers while keeping half an eye on the rambunctious three-year old. (Aside: This would be a great place to talk about how lax we get with our "babies". You NEVER would have caught me letting any of the the other kids stay up to welcome the new year, even after a very long and late nap!)

We took turns reviewing our year. Not a pretty picture. Between us, we had experienced job loss, house flooding, health issues, loss of a parent, business difficulties, and home foreclosure. We took a moment to toast a heartfelt (and don't let the door hit you in the backside) farewell to 2008.

Less than an hour later, after welcoming 2009 with champagne, kisses, and warm wishes, I sat snuggled against the night chill on the lawn with my youngest in my lap. Together, we exclaimed at both the fireworks that we could see from the surrounding theme parks and the ones that our friend's teenage son was lighting in the street (much to the delight of the other children). My husband walked up behind me and kissed the top of my head and I experienced one of those "warm and fuzzy" moments when life feels simply perfect.

Almost in the same moment, I felt the Holy Spirit rebuking me for choosing the path of negativity earlier in the evening. I felt it again when TQ was having an emotional moment about how difficult our year had been. However, instead of focusing on the negative, this time my speech took a different turn. Yes, 2008 has been hard. We've lost a job, struggled financially, totaled a car, and literally had the ceiling fall in. Still--God gave me a book this year, an unexpected and glorious gift! And, as much as remodeling was difficult and painful, I'll take it over chemotherapy any day...chemo left me with residual pain, scars, and side effects. "Hurricane Kenmore" left me with a wonderful (and adequate) washer and dryer, the removal of my hated former carpet, and a beautiful (and much more "me" kitchen). Compared to 2007, the last year was a walk in the park.

In the midst of all of this, I (along with Amy, Susan, and others) was looking for my "word" for the year.

On New Year's Day, my in-law's were visiting when I received a call from my sister. She knew that I was struggling with replacing our battered (and holey!) couches. (We had started to look and had seen a "might" work on deep discount, but were discouraged). She and her husband told us to kick the old couches to the curb--they were buying us the cute "stopgap" couches to have in the living room until we found what we really wanted. The stopgaps would then move upstairs to create the lounge/game space I've dreamed about for my teen (and tween)!

For a moment, I struggled. We've received so much, others have so little. Then I was stupidly jealous--there was a time in our lives when we could bless others in an equal magnitude,and I miss being able to give that way. Then I was simply so awestruck and humbled that all I could say was choke out a soft "thank you" as my dh and his dad prepared to go and pick up our gift.

Then I opened my gift from Susan.

It was a word. My word for the year.


I'm going to hang the word near my mirror, where it will reflect on me each morning as I prepare to face the day.

I want to bless others this year. More so, I want to be acutely cognizant of (and grateful for!) the blessings that are handed to me daily, t0 focus on them and "battle for joy" as my pastor so eloquently worded it this morning.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. --Ephesians 1:3

May your new year be blessed.

  posted at 7:04 PM  

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I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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