Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Caring can heal lots of things

On Sunday, we talked about caring and compassion in our Sunday School class. We have been using a book by James Moore and I love how he always has three points. This week, it was Caring can help heal folks physically and he shared a wonderful story about a 15 year old boy who sat beside a young girl who wasn't expected to live through the night. For hours, he talked non-stop saying things like, "Breathe Kathy Breathe. In the springtime we will make dandelion chains." "Breathe Kathy Breath. In the springtime we will go out on the bridge and try to count the minnows." Breath Kathy Breath - over and over again and the young girl's breathing finally slowed to a normal rythm and a miracle occurred. He cared! Caring can also help heal folks socially. I used an example I just read in the book "same kind of different As me." Denver was a homeless man and he was remembering a birthday party and it was a special story. Denver was healed socially by a couple of folks who cared greatly. We can also be healed spiritually because we have a heavenly father who cares about us more than anything. He created us. We are in his image. I am his daughter! His daughter!!! That is so amazing to me. God can heal us physically -whether on this side of heaven or the other; God can heal us socially and God can heal us spiritually and we are called to be his helpers. Look around you today . . . I imagine there is someone who needs to experience healing in some form or fashion. What can you do to be the hands and feet of Jesus?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My new favorite . . .

I have loved to read all of my life. I remember walking to the library with my sister and signing up for the summer reading program and I remember winning the "most books read" award several different times. Even though I have little time to read for pleasure these days, I try to sneak in a few extra books during Christmas and summer. Several friends recommended that I read the book, "same kind of different As me." by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. I had to request it from the Hoover library and it came in before we left for the beach. But I never picked it up at the beach . . . I chose to read fun mysteries by Barbara Colley and other writers. On Sunday night, I needed a book to read so I pulled "same kind of different As me." out of my trusty library bag (how geeky am I? . . . I have a library bag!!) and started reading. I didn't want to put the book down. On Monday night, I stayed up later than anyone else in our family and I was actually afraid I would wake Mark and Laura with my loud sobs. Yes, the book has some sadness in it. Yes, the book is based on a true story. Yes, the book touched the very core of my soul. Yes, the book was a healing experience for me. Yes, the book is wonderful. Yes, I think it is my new favorite. I have little pieces of paper stuck throughout the book marking quotes that I want to jot down. Listen to this one, "Just tell em I'm a nobody that's tryin to tell everybody 'bout Somebody that can save anybody. That's all you need to tell em." Or how about this one? I laughed out loud when I read it. "Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?" Wonderful wonderful book.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We're going to the beach . . .

We are at our favorite place . . . Four Seasons of Orange Beach. On Sunday, I passed four grown ups getting out of the elevator with all of their towels and chairs and floats and one of the men looked at me and grinned and said, "We're going to the beach! We're going to the beach!" (Imagine a sing song quality to his words) I couldn't help but smile back at him and say, "I feel the same way!!" I think that is what vacation at the beach does to me. Vacation brings out the inner kid in us. Give us a float and a sand bucket or a fishing pole and we are instantly transported back to our childhood :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Family Vacation

I remember the first family vacation we took after our children were born. They were very young - not quite two years old and we had to take so much stuff with us to the beach. I remember that we borrowed two portacribs which took up a lot of space in the back of the car. We had two car seats, two of this and two of that. A friend from Mark's office had a time share condo in Gulf Shores and had graciously offered it to us. We drove down and unpacked all of that stuff and finally got the kids to sleep and the next morning the national weather service issued hurricane warnings and we packed all of that stuff back into the car and drove home. Since then we have had many wonderful family vacations - - at least one a year - - and all but two have been at the beach. Can you guess where we went on the other two vacations? Disneyworld!! Anyway, this year starts a new chapter in the middle aged mom's vacations. This is the first family vacation we've been on without either of our kids. They are both working and can't go. My husband's family has been renting three three-bedroom condos at Four Seasons for years now. (We have stayed at other places - two trips after the hurricane before Four Seasons PIER was rebuilt) I can remember the first time that we allowed Laura to take a friend and I can also remember the year that we allowed her to take two friends . . . and I can also remember the years that we took Glenn's girlfriend. We've also taken my sister with us two different years. Can you see a pattern? On this "family" vacation, I'm usually surrounded by laughing teenagers/young adults. My niece, Grace and nephews, Paul, Ben and Thomas will still be with us this year and my three sister-in-laws and three brother-in-laws and even my mother-in-law . . . but our kids won't be with us. I love the sun and I love the beach and I even love most of my in-laws . . . but I'll sure miss our kids.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Advice from a daughter

Last night I realized that we have come to a new place in our mother/daughter relationship. Laura has always given me fashion advice. When she was a little bitty girl, she already had a great eye for color and she could put an "outfit" together. But last night we were talking about a situation and she gave me good sound "grown-up" advice . . . the kind of advice that a friend would give you. She suggested a solution to a problem and I must admit it is a great solution. I think it is going to be neat having an adult daughter :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sin? Who, me?

For those of you who don't know, I work in a church. Every Wednesday we have staff chapel where we all come together for a mini sermonette by one of the pastors and a time of prayer and sometimes a song or two. A couple of weeks ago, Suzanne challenged us to start journaling during our prayer time using a guide that she provided. One of the areas is, "Father, forgive me for . . ." Well, the first morning as I prayed I actually had a hard time coming up with sins I had committed the day before and the directions are pretty specific. You are to write down the actual sins and ask for forgiveness. I guess I actually was thinking, "hmmmm . . . what did I do yesterday?" I think we are all a little bit like that. Wait - don't jump on me yet. We are all so quick to judge the sins of others (and I'm at the front of that line!) but when it comes to our own sins, we think, "Sin? Who, me?" I did come up with some rather generic things but continued to think on this throughout the day. Of course, as the day went along I actually noticed when I was sinning. Sometimes that realization made me stop and other times I just barrelled on through whether it was the sin of gossip or gluttony or negative thoughts. BUT I was aware. I was actually thinking about it. On morning two, I sat down and started with the first step - "Father, I praise you for . . . " By the time I reached the section on forgiveness, I had no trouble listing my sins. So why is that? Because we are humans. Because we are sinners saved by grace. Because it is so easy to judge others but even easier to whitewash our own sins as "not so bad." Once again, I thank God for his love and forgiveness.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coach! Coach!!

Our son, Glenn graduated from Auburn in May and will start grad school back in Auburn in August. This summer he is a counselor at Camp Ozark in Arkansas, which is a Christian Sports camp. He has one of the dream jobs for a 22 year old young man. He teaches all shooting sports in the mornings - skeet shooting, etc. In the afternoons, he teaches the rope course, swimming lessons and some mountain bike lessons. He gets paid to play outside all day. Perfect job for Glenn. We only hear from him about once a week because there is no cell service at the camp. They get an "off day" every week or so and they drive into Hot Springs to do laundry, make a few phone calls, eat in a restaurant, go to the movies, etc. Yesterday was his off day so I anticipated his call!! He told me a funny story while we talked. His cabin consists of 13 year old boys and evidently they are all girl crazy :-) Imagine that? But during the day, they have tribal competitions and his tribe consists of 8 year old boys - the Osage tribe. By the way, they are undefeated!! There is a little boy in his tribe who said to him as they competed, "Coach! Coach! I've made some calculations. If we all throw the ball at a 32 degree angle, we can ring the hole." Isn't that so cute? An 8 year old boy "calculating" how they can all get that football through a hole in a board. I asked Glenn about his response. He replied, "I'll take that under advisement."

So this summer, Glenn is "Coach! Coach!" Laura, working at the preschool is "Miss Lawa, Miss Lawa" and I'm still mom - mother of two pretty much grown children and I'm proud of them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Energy vampires

Someone sent me one of those "forward" emails today - lots of quotes with stock photos and a harp playing in the background. I must admit this one was pretty enjoyable. There was one quote that really spoke to me. "Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away." Isn't that great? Granted, I am one of those people who loves to laugh and evidently I smile a lot. I have recently reconnected with some folks from high school and everyone of them has said, "I remember your smile." So often we all feel so tired and so drained. We run around like crazy folks most of the time and then we sit down and say, "Whew. I'm tired." From now on, I'm going to think about those energy vampires - sucking the life out of me and I'm going to smile and then maybe I'm going to laugh out loud!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today is one of those gorgeous summer days that I love so much! The sky is blue, the sun is shining and I keep thinking about the verse, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." So often, we feel like we need a special reason to rejoice. Since my mom died right after her 50th birthday, I've always felt that each day is a day for rejoicing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the "yuck" of the world, that I forget. Sometimes I react to things too quickly and get mad or frustrated. Instead I should just keep focusing on God - this is his day and he made me and I am alive and well and happy. This is truly the day that God has made.

This morning Laura and I ran lots of errands. A friend had given me a gift card to Kohl's. That was our first stop. It is always more fun to spend someone else's money (thanks Ann!!). I bought a cute yellow purse. My everyday purse is a wonderful name brand purse that Mark gave me for Christmas and I carry it all the time but it seems so heavy right now. If I knew how to put pictures in here, I would show you . . .but I don't. Then we went to the Summit. Laura needed a dress to wear to a wedding rehearsal in a couple of weeks. She wanted to look at Old Navy because they had advertised their dresses for $15. We were disappointed - they had about three dresses and they would have been shirts on Laura's wonderful 5' 11" frame. So then we went to Belk and we found a great dress at Belk. Laura has a very classic style - that Jackie-O look and we found just the right little black dress. Actually in between those stops we went to BBB - since Glenn and Laura are that "graduating from college" age, we seem to be buying millions of wedding gift. Laura found a cute gift to take to the shower on Sunday. Our last stop of the morning was at the Hoover library. I needed more books to take to the beach next week. I think my goal will be to read a book a day . . . .as I soak up some rays.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last Friday while driving home from the farmer's market, I decided to create a blog and even thought of the name at that time. I was thinking about our kids - now 22 years old. . . almost 23 - and was thinking about the different role I will be playing in their lives. My thoughts are sometimes erratic. They pop around in my head like the kernels of popcorn that I love. I imagine that my writing will be the same. To be honest, I doubt that there is anyone who would really and truly care to read this so I think I'm doing it just for myself (and then if someone else likes it, that is just icing on the cake!) So just what are my middle aged mom musings this day. Laura is interning at a very special pre-school here in town and I had been to visit on Friday. Seems like only a few years ago that she was the little girl student and now she is the "teacher." Today her class went to a petting zoo. I was able to locate a picture of Laura and Glenn at the same petting zoo when they were in preschool. She took it to school with her today to show the children. Glenn is away this summer working at a Christian camp. He is a grown man . . .on his own far from home.

Today starts the process - I have no idea if I'll write something every day - maybe prayers or something about vacation or scrapbooking - or if I'll ever write again . . .but today starts the process.