Tag Archives: happy

Before You Know It

Happy Monday, folks. Well, I’ve had my coffee and have succombed to the morning, so it’s happy, but more so because I say it is. Plus, I woke up. That’s a bonus.

It seems my emotional state has been heightened lately. Maybe that is partly from not living on our own yet. I love his folks but not having your privacy takes it toll. And maybe part of that is being away from my kids. Maybe not being away, but realizing that they are all adults now. They don’t need me like they use to. They still need me, of course, but now it’s different.

I became a grandma in September 2012 and again in April 2013. Seeing my boys with their own children…that’s just a crazy feeling. People tout how great it is being a grandparent – and yes, it is all that but there’s another level that is often overlooked: seeing your child become a parent. The look in their eyes when they hold their child. The concern in their voice. It brings back memories of when I held them. And now, look at them, holding their own.

Missouri-139-v2 Mom use to tell me that you always worry about your kids, no matter how old. Man. Was she right. I pray for their marriages, for their kids, for their health, for their jobs, for the ability to make good decisions and cling to their faith. It’s never ending. And yes, Mom was right. The worry gets bigger as they get bigger. It’s no longer just a matter o worrying if they will scrap a knee or get their feelings hurt at school…

We also hear oh so often how “I’m turning into my mother/father”. Well, I definitely feel like I’m looking through different lenses. It’s like I’ve crossed another threshhold. Like when I watch my kids with their kids; I think to myself “So this is how my Mom felt.” It makes me miss her. My older siblings do not know how blessed they were. I was 33 when Mom passed. (And in that instant, I turned 5 again.) She didn’t get to see my grandkids. She didn’t get to meet Dave. She didn’t get to see me overcome my addictions and really make something of my life. I believe she is still around me. Albeit not the same, I find comfort in believing that she visits and knows how happy I am and how far I’ve come. I believe she sees that all the prayers she prayed for me, worked.

I guess what has gotten to me is, the realization that time doesn’t stop. Some threshholds are bigger than others… I can recall hollering for my mom to watch me do flips on the clothesline pole. I remember her opening the back door and hollering for me when I didn’t want come in from the rain. I remember her disappointment when I was caught playing sick at school and she had to come pick me up, when I stayed out past my curfew, when I dropped out of school. I remember her walking into the hospital room the day I gave birth to my first child. I remember her in her wheelchair, being there for my first college graduation. I remember that call at 4am that she had a stroke…I remember seeing her. It didn’t look like her. I remember her hospital bed in the living room and sitting on her bedside, crying when she asked what I wanted after she passed. Some day that will be me…I can only hope that I have a slue of grandkids, a book of stories, and all the aches and pains that come with age. And I can only hope that I’ve instilled good values in my children who will pass them on to their children, who will ultimately carry it forward after I’m gone. Maybe that’s why I’m so into photography. It’s a way you can stop time. Capture a memory, share it and relive it.

So, what’s the moral of this post? Heck. I don’t know. The old cliches just don’t seem to cut it anymore: ‘Live life to the fullest’, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, ‘Give it all you’ve got’…when we reach the end, who knows what happens next. All I know is, we will all makes mistakes. We will all have some type of regret. We will all fall down and hopefully, we will all get up better than we were before. We will all have good memories and yes, they will be sprinkled with some bad. I guess the moral is, own it. It’s yours. Take photos. Document your life. Leave behind something good. Be grateful for today, be grateful for yesterday and for as many tomorrows as you can get. Embrace the good and the bad and all the treshholds of life. It’s over before we know it.

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Seeing the Beauty

So. It’s a gloomy 8:13am in middle Georgia. The sky is spewing rain yet the air is warm. The trees are drenched and the puddles in the driveway expand. Grumbles of thunder loom in the distance. The rain stops and the birds start to sing. A couple of them zoom in on a puddle and start to bathe themselves. Spring flowers dot the landscape, just beginning to emerge with their bright and bold colors; an amazing fragrance fills the air. The green of the trees is enhanced as drips of water hit the moist ground. Then, the rain returns. Life is great. That’s pretty much it.

I guess that’s all I really want to share today: life is great, even though to some it may not appear to be. I am amazed at how great my life has turned out. I’ve had some pretty rough patches. I’ve been knocked down so many times in so many ways, but all that, all that has brought me here, to this amazing time in my life – and I am so incredibly thankful you cannot imagine. No. Things aren’t perfect, but, that’s the beauty of it. Nothing is horribly wrong, nothing is even remotely wrong. There is nothing in my life right now that I fear, and for that I am grateful.

You’ve all heard that life is what we make of it. True, but it goes much deeper than that. If you want something, you have to believe. If you want something, you have to work for it. Ok. Some people don’t work for it, which I think is a shame, because without working for it, you don’t gain the appreciation of having it. This world has become too ‘gimme’. We are a society who feels indebted, as if we somehow earned happiness as a birth right. Well, we haven’t. Some don’t have it as hard, some have it worse. While it may seem unfair, life has this natural balance. It’s hard to ascertain a person’s level of happiness just by looking at them or reviewing their bank statements. We all do it, but stereotyping someone is the biggest fail. Some emotions do not have a face. They are felt so deep inside that they are hard to judge. Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone smiles, doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone has ‘things’ doesn’t mean they are enjoying life. Some of the wealthiest people are having the worst time of their lives. Wealth isn’t in ‘things’, it’s inside. That’s what makes us unique. Some people do not look deep inside, the expect happiness to follow them, to come to them in the form of another person. I’m learning that ‘happy’ is a state of mind that starts inside. Peace isn’t the absence of pain or trials, it’s knowing who you are in the midst of it. It’s working for what we want and appreciating who it makes us in the process. For all I have inside, and out, I extend my deepest appreciation.

Thank you, Lord, for watching over me. I ask that you watch over my children and help them to succeed in this life. Show them true happiness that does not fade. Shower them with your unfailing love like You do the flowers and the trees. Thank you for the nuturing you provide my soul. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today, for the realization of what greatness lies within me. Thank you Lord, for the beauty that surrounds me, even if at times I cannot see it as clearly as I do now. Help me to continue to grow and be this person I always knew was here. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me through my faults. And thank you Lord, for the rain, and the sunshine.

~Amen

The Village Starts Within Your Own 4 Walls

I’ve had so much I want to write about lately but there always seems to be an excuse. I forget, get busy, can’t remember the main points I wanted to express, or I just plain feel too tired. So, let start with an update….

My youngest turns 18 tomorrow… Yes. I feel it. But it didn’t spring up on me; I’ve seen it coming. She’s always been a good, fairly responsible kid (c’mon, she’s a teenager after all) but ever since she got her driver’s license, I’ve witnessed her independence grow exponentially. She works and goes to school, always concerned with homework being done before bed; consciously packing her course schedule in order to graduate with Academic Honors, planning her career path with counselors and teachers carefully and thoughtfully. While I do have times where I miss my kids needing me on a daily basis, I admit this ‘new’ way of living holds such new excitement for me. C’mon! It’s been 22 years! I’m already experiencing being a parent to ‘adults’ with my oldest son being in the Army and my other son moving there to work on base. We’ve dealt with the ‘first apartment’, the ‘first serious girlfriend’, the ‘first serious breakup’…and I am proud to say, no matter what the issue was/is, they have come to me to talk, to get advice, to vent, to ask for help or to get my input. I’ve always had an open door, open heart policy. It’s definitely a different ball game, but…nice.

Through this I have realized that we never just stop being parents once they ‘come of any age’ – we just parent differently. We don’t demand near as much – cleaning your room is your business so long as you are paying the bills…but that doesn’t mean I won’t suggest a visit to the Laundromat or the value of investing in new kitchen sponges. (hee-hee!) The game is different now. Now we must prepare them for the real world and all its loopholes and rules – like what it means to sign a contract, how to manage a budget, what jobs to accept or turn down, how to know when you are ready for marriage, when it’s time to walk away or how to let go of someone who wants to leave…and so forth. Of all the things I’ve taught my kids to this point, I thought I was doing fairly decent – no one is perfect, but I was feeling pretty good. Then, I was caught off guard by one major, life changing event I thought I had prepared my daughter to avoid…

She came to me as I was going to sleep and confided in me that she thought she was pregnant. She has been on the pill for several years now, she knows better. Right? This can’t be. All I could think of was all the ways we could invalidate a test back in my day: shake it, touch it…a false reading was so common, surely she messed up. I had her take another and it came back negative…**sigh**. Although false, it gave me a sense of peace and I was able to salvage some sleep, yet…I had read the instructions and you are not suppose to over drink in order to ‘take’ the test. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘somehow the 6 positives she had gotten before telling me, HAD to be wrong’.

That morning, we woke at 5:30a…POSITIVE. I cried. What about her future? Her education? I remember all the times I struggled, feeling alone, helpless and out of my league. She is far more than I was at her age, prepared and ready to take life by the horns – a superior student with college goals?? She has everything to excel: smarts, looks, personality, spiritually, education – I called my sister who is 15 years my senior and much like my second mom growing up. She told me, “Angie, think about it this way, you can’t put it back. It’s here. Consider it a blessing.” And THAT was the turning point for me.

This news was not about death, it’s about LIFE. No. It’s not the right time, but thank God we no longer live in an age where the scorned mother has to go hide somewhere until the birth and thank God the Dad is an active and willing participant. Now, let me say straight off that I don’t approve of getting pregnant before marriage – it’s a hard and rocky road for both the parent and the kid. I was lucky. I had very supportive, loving folks. I wouldn’t have made it without them, and in turn, I wouldn’t have been driven to succeed like I have without my kids. I never gave up on them and they’ve never given up on me, and nothing is going to change that. Not only is our family built on love, it is built on determination, courage, strength, and faith. I will support my daughter just like my folks did…even more because I know how invaluable they were to me and my kids. It DOES take a village to raise a child, and that village starts right there within your own four walls. No. I won’t be her on-call babysitter and I won’t bail her out of trouble every time she calls, but I will be there, leading this little village of ours as I continue teaching her, guiding her, loving her and showing her how to fully embrace and enjoy the greatest responsibility and highest degree of selfless love that comes along with parenthood. There ain’t nothing like it. She can do this…I just know it. This, my friends, is a blessing. Thank you Jesus!

(SIDE NOTE: Keeping a baby might not be the best option for everyone. Before deciding, contact a professional who can guide you through the choices so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances. God bless. :))

There’s a New Cloud in Town

I notice this happens often…a word, a phrase, an image, an object, or something will grab my attention over and over again. I didn’t really notice this one at first – my facination with clouds; beautiful, infinite clouds. They come in many forms; puffs of cotton, huge mountains, ripples of cresting waves and so on… There can be a single cloud, or a sky vastly full of them. Clouds are just too cool. I love to photograph them, to look at them. (Yes…I’ve even been know to trip while aimlessly walking and looking up.) I don’t know what it is, but they just make me smile inside.

So, I’m thinking, this must be something God is using to communicate with me. Then, as I’m driving, it hits me – when I recall people talking about clouds, it’s almost always negative. Somehow clouds got the bad rap for gloom, doom and depression, like the commerical where the girl is moping around with a cloud hanging over her head. But, I think God is showing me there is good in everything, and I’m looking at the right things. No matter what you are going through, there is a purpose…I know, I know. Hearing that gets old, but it’s true. No matter where you are right now in life, you are there for a reason. Maybe to learn, maybe to teach…or maybe to just be still and trust God.

I’ve been going through some stuff, but I realigned my focus and realize I’m really learning a lot about myself. It’s not easy…easy would be to label and diagnose everyone else (ha-ha!). We should never expect that bad times will just disappear. That’s how we remember to appreciate the good times. (Remember that next time you get over a cold…you’ll know exactly what I mean. We forget how important the simple act of being able to breathe can prevent us from falling asleep. )

You all know God is doing a work in me. That’s the purpose of this blog. I can’t forget that. And I see I’ve been fighting. Still wanting what I want – I’m only human. But I’m making great progress. When you give your heart to God, changes won’t just happen overnight. It’ll hurt…like hell sometimes. But it’s worth it. I just know that. Shedding the old doesn’t mean it just falls off…it’s peels first; some flakes, then like snake’s skin, one day you wiggle out of it and leave it behind. You remember it, but that’s all it is…a memory. I’m seeing that transformation happening. I think this process allows us the time to mourn the reality of the old us, while learning what it is we don’t want to keep. Eventually, we gladly say good-bye to the old as the new and improved emerges. I’m not who I once was…but I’m exactly who I need to be.

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” ~ Psalm 16:8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”~ 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” ~ Ephesians 4:22-24

I Smile

Love this song. Let’s list some things we are happy for today:

  • People who read my post, leave comments, email me encouraging messages or prayer requests 🙂
  • People who trust me (love me, think about me, etc.) 🙂
  • People at my church when they sing and pray 🙂
  • People who tell me to write a book (But…where do I start?!) 😀
  • People who use or repeat my FB postings 😀
  • My children – when they need me (even at 21), when they smile, when they are who they are 🙂 😀
  • When other people smile 🙂
  • When I get flowers delivered to my work (and I didn’t pay for them) 😀
  • When it’s pay day! 😉
  • When I think about how far I’ve come 🙂
  • When I think about my special friend 😀
  • Knowing the best is yet to come! 😀
  • When I think of everything God has seen me through 🙂
  • When I think of my parents love for me 🙂
  • When it’s Saturday! 😉
  • When I think of my future 🙂
  • When I look at my past and can walk away with a lesson 🙂
  • When I think about the direction I am going 🙂
  • Laughter! 😛

I could go on and on but you get the idea. Enjoy this bubbly song and think about all the things you have to be happy for – things that make you smile! Even if your day sucks, give happy 10 minutes…it could change your day!