Make Your Bed

When I was little my mom used to tell me to make my bed. I hated to do it because I figured I would just be using it again in a few hours so what’s the point? I had better things to do like play outside, play down the street, basically just get out of the house so that I wouldn’t be asked to do silly things like make my bed. I carried that train of thought with my all through my school days until I moved away and went to college. At that point I had to share a room with a gal who was a bit more messy than I was and though it didn’t bother me a great deal it made me see that getting myself a bit more motivated to do even the smallest things, helped with the bigger things.

In my last couple of years in college I moved in with a set of girls that I loved. We were all different but that was exactly what helped us get along so well. School was getting to the more difficult stage when I was getting ready to graduate and I had to really focus on the projects and goals I had to accomplish, and at times I was a bit overwhelmed. I had read somewhere that if you just made your bed in the morning that simple task would help you feel accomplished throughout the day. Let me tell you it helped me. I was able to get up get ready for the day, and make my bed. I finished a small simple task. That helped me to move to the next task I needed to get done, and then the next and so on. I would get home from campus and go into my room knowing that at least in there I had control of what it looked like, what was in there and how things looked. Chaos could be going on right outside my door, but I could handle it better because there was order in my room.

Fast forward to married/family life. I love my family to no end. They are my world, but I still have to remind myself not to throw them out on their kesters because they once again left earrings on the coffee table, headphones on the kitchen counter, painting supplies on the radio and hand tools in the bathroom. Every morning as part of my routine I make our bed. When I need to get to a quiet place with some order I head to my bedroom. There is always noise and activity going on in our home and I love that our home is full of laughter, love and (not that I love this part) some raised voices. I accomplished a small task every morning, and that helps propel me into accomplishing more tasks throughout the day.

One day I know my kids will be on their own. They will have their own places to live and places to thrive. I know they will take some things they were taught with them, other lessons will be lost into oblivion. With how many times I asked them to clean their rooms and make their beds I hope they will see it wasn’t just because I wanted a clean house. When a small task is accomplished, it can give you a since of pride. When I went through a stage of my life when panic attacks were a constant, I had to find something I could control. I never knew when the attacks would hit, and at the time I didn’t really understand the importance of breathing through them, researching them so that I could have a small grasp at pushing through one because I knew what I was feeling wasn’t rational thoughts. It was a hard time, trying to be normal, and do normal things while being in a state of uncertainty. I got help, I left the place that ultimately was the start of the problem, but I learned to from the experience that we as individuals need something(s) that we can control. Something that we can check off that we did that in some way gave us normalcy for our day.

Mine was making sure I had a spot in my house in which I could escape to when I felt overwhelmed, when I needed peace, when I needed to be by myself for a bit. I needed to have a non-chaotic place and my bedroom became that once again. Try making your bed each morning, clear off your dresser and dust it, vacuum a rug, find a mundane everyday chore that can be done and just do it. It may not seem like it helps but if you go out and do your day, and nothing goes the way you planned, or the projects don’t get all the way done like you thought they should, you can come home knowing you got at least one thing done. It does help. It’s simple, but it may keep you from going crazy especially with the Christmas season in our mist. Until next time:

Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity and a greater sense of well-being.

Charles Duhigg

How Important Is It?

While on our walk this morning my hubby and I were talking about our youngest and how he can remember everything there is to remember about Fortnite even to the extent when the next big event will be and what he’ll have to do to make sure he has his computer time scheduled to be there for it. It’s an amazing thing how the brain works, even better how the memory works. Last night our youngest had his chore of the dishes to do. This job includes wiping down the counters, stove, and making sure that all of the dishes are collected and washed. This morning when we got back from our walk, and our son got up for the day, we had him wash the counters, stove and collect the dirty dishes that were missed from the night before.

Selective memory at it’s best. The dishes were not important to him and so they did not get done completely. Even threatening to take away some of his allowance didn’t change the fact that the chore is still not getting finished. It’s not just him that has the selective memory or hearing for that matter. Most people will do what is the highest priority to them first especially when it benefits them. I have learned the hard way when someone doesn’t see it as important they will do what they can to stall or find a way not to do what it is that is asked of them. Sadly this leaves the tasks for others to do.

This past week it was very difficult for me to get motivated to do my workouts. It’s not that I didn’t want to do them. I actually feel better after they are done, but it was the motivation to set up my mat, get the weights out and turn on the app I use. I had some nights that had been a bit more restless, and days where I doubted the job I was doing. That leaked into the activities I held in high importance. I was tired, but in a worn down type of way, I was allowing the worry that usually resides in the back of my mind to come to the surface, and I was letting the way others act get in the way of my joy. You guys, I really get a lot of joy out of working out. There is a routine call the flamingo in which you do Yoga moves all using one leg at a time. There is a lot of balance that goes into this routine, and a lot of strength required from each leg. It is a challenge, it’s rewarding when you can get through the whole routine without falling (I almost made it through one time), and it’s one that if you really get into it makes you realize how cool your body really is.

I could have chosen to just sit around until I had to go to work. I could have taken a break from working out for the week. I had to evaluate how important the time I used for working out was to me. Was it worth it to give it up? My priority had to be on keeping myself normalized so that I could face the abnormal around me. Devotions, working out, intermitted fasting, and reading books all keep me grounded. My family and my work are a normal part of my life but it’s the crazy part. I wouldn’t change it but by doing my activities that are about me, I can face the ones that include me.

The Christmas season is here. This is the first week of December and it has been declared by my middle daughter that now we can actually start talking about Christmas. The lights have already been put up, and in some homes the tree has too. The poor delivery guys are gearing up for all of the packages that need to be delivered. All I can think about is, what is important to me in this holiday season? What is my priority and do I have a selective memory/hearing problem? I can feel the rush of trying to get the shopping done (though every January I pledge to start my shopping for Christmas early). I can feel the anticipation of what the work Christmas parties will be like. I can hope that my kids will remember that the real reason for the Christmas season is Christ, and I can chose to pound it into their heads or show them in the actions I show them. I look forward to the Christmas Eve services at church just so that I can sing/cry my way through Silent Night while holding a battery operated candle.

How important is it to take care of yourself? Very! How important is it to do your job and do it well, whether it’s dishes or surgery? So very important. How important is it to show love through actions and words? As important as it is to breathe. Until next time:

So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.

Marillyn Monroe

Did this just happen?

This past week my middle child turned another year older, my hubby did as well and we celebrated another year married. All in the timeframe of a week. We also had Thanksgiving thrown into the mix because why not?

When I was growing up we would joke about the fact that April was busier than the holidays purely for the fact that almost everyone in the family had a birthday in April. This has shifted to November/December months for my family now. While we enjoy celebrating the birthdays and the holidays it also means there is more planning, more baking and more socializing. All of these are good things but when they come at you all at once in a time span of a 2 month period it can be a little much for a semi-introvert like myself.

This past week my wonderful hubby surprised me with a get away to a hotel in town. We both work, and the kids were home for the Thanksgiving break so he knew we had to do something local. The fact that he planned it is not all too weird, he likes to do these little getaways for me. I forget that he knows me better than I know myself sometimes. I have been in a kind of stressed state in which I walk the line sometimes on being overwhelmed. So he planned a hotel stay with take out Chinese food. There was a hot tub in the room which made the night so much nicer. We were able to talk, we were able to discuss family life, work like, our lives without the kids having to have our attention. It was a reset button for me, so that I could move forward less on the verge of stressing out.

I absolutely love the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. My middle daughter would say that the Christmas music needs to wait until at least December but I find myself craving it, especially when it’s sung at church. I get the chance to look beyond myself and see that there is more to life than work, and stress, and family and life issues. There is a celebration of life! Birthdays help with this each time they come around, but the birthday for Christmas reminds me that I don’t have to have life all together, I can just be me, trusting that Christ has me figured out and knows what my future holds. That is peace in times of chaos. Celebrating does bring a in the fact that need that baking needs to happen! Baking: the smells, the licks of the spoons and the beaters, the new recipes working out, I just get so excited to bake.

This year is no different. My eldest daughter had me bake a cake, which included cake pops. My middle child wanted Oreo bark and a cake for her birthday that looked like it was made out of stone. My youngest suggested pumpkin bread which was made but just had to have pumpkin frosting, and the leftover pumpkin turned into pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cheesecake. I “accidentally” bought too much cream cheese so that turned into Oreo cheesecake bites covered in chocolate. There is still the cinnamon rolls, the toffee, and the fudge. Sadly with all the baking, it can’t all be eaten by my family and I so my co-workers, and friends will have to help.

This past weekend we had friends drive through our small town so we planned a dinner with them and their kids. I didn’t have much time to bake, but that didn’t stop the homemade salsa and street tacos from being made up. This is the first of many little gatherings, I always look forward to them until the day of and the my inner introvert comes out and tries to make excuses as to why we should not be social. This has always been the case with me until the friends come and then I enjoy every minute with them . I love the thought of being a host, until I have to do it, funny how that is. We had a good visit, the tacos went over well and they were able to get a homemade meal which always helps when eating out happens more on the road.

December is going to go by quick. The kids will go back to school for maybe two weeks before they are out for two weeks. We will travel, and people will travel to us. Christmas parties will happen at our respective jobs and the kids will have some festivities at school. January will come sooner than what we anticipate. So the hope is that each moment is experienced and enjoyed. There is a hope that the recipes all turn out well and if they don’t that they are tried again with better results. Hope is high that when we get together with our friends and families that we enjoy each others company, that no one gets sick and that touchy subjects get left out in the cold. Until next time:

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. Psalms 28:7

So Very Thankful

This week made me wonder what it was that I was really thankful for. Actually it’s been longer than this week but since Thanksgiving falls within the next few hours I thought I would spout out what makes me so joy filled and thankful.

My faith is my foundation, it has kept me from having anxiety run full force. There is a peace in that. There is a joy in laying down my worries and fears at the feet of Christ. I get to have peace and a sense of Thanksgiving always. There are many sacrifices, but they are what bring me to my knees in prayer. The blessings drop me to my knees as well.

A few weeks back a family member had to start chemotherapy. Not something I should be thankful for, but I am so very thankful that the cancer was found and that treatments could be started. I am in awe of the power of the faith she has and through all of this she shines for the Lord and pushes on.

I am thankful for the wise women that have surrounded me. We lean on each other, laugh together, talk, pray, love each other and our families. We push each other to be better. I could not imagine going through life without “my girls”. They are fellow mommas, a sister who is a solid foundation, grandmas, wise friends, and prayer warriors.

Have I ever said how awesome my hubby and kids are? We are for from perfect, we are learning to grow together. Stress and worry cause grey hairs to flow. My idea of how my kids would grow up has been blown out of the water, but they were brought up with a firm foundation. We have each other. It is crazy how having 4 humans and 3 animals can drive me to insanity and calm me all in the same scenario. I couldn’t ask for a better family.

Have you ever had a job that you love going to? I get to go every day to a job that fills me with a sense of pride, I don’t see it as a burden to show up. It’s not always easy, there are ups and downs. There are snuggles with cats and twirling of floppy ears. The squak of a macaw is mixed with the squeak of a Guinea pig. I get to work with people I consider family, and sometimes I see them more than my actual family. We laugh together, cry together and stand up for each other.

Sometimes when life gets crazy and a bit overwhelming taking a step back and a big deep breath, can help, but when you start to count your blessings you can start to see all the things you can be thankful for. This morning I woke up, the sun was shining, the dogs were cuddled in between us, and I was warm. Simple blessings that are welcomed in a life that isn’t always so simple. What are you thankful for? Until next time:

Be cheerful no matter what;  thank God no matter what happens.  This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.  1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 MSG

In the Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye, or a least in the quiver of an eyelid my dog Charlie was let out of her kennel, was in between my hubby and I and snuggled under the blankets with my neck as her pillow. She was so happy. She is a simple dog, feed her, love her, play with her and let her snuggle in and she will love you until you come home from work in scrubs. Then all bets are off.

In the blink of an eye the weather in the southern part of the state I live in goes from beautiful, warm, sunny days that beckon you to go do something, anything really outside. We woke up this morning to 18 degrees. I have a blanket on my bed that is so heavy when I try and pull it up to the headboard in the morning (to just make my bed) I have to be careful not to punch myself in the face if I accidently loose my hold on it. My sweet hubby decided one day to dig it out of the hope chest so that we could have some extra warmth. You guys, this thing is a homemade quilt he made with his grandma that is all denim. It’s the original weighted blanket. Add flannel to the mix and you do not move, but I stay warm, and for my hubby if he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about being cold he’s happy.

In the blink of an eye an illness can escalate to hospitalization and worry as family watches their loved one go through tests and scans and all sorts of procedures to find out what happened. It’s scary and when the person gets to go home the worry doesn’t stop, but the joy of going home helps ease the load somewhat. Over the last week there have been phone calls and texts from different people and families telling of worrisome illnesses and problems that need prayer. As the recipient of the calls and texts you feel somewhat helpless in what to do. If you believe in the power of prayer (which I do) you continue praying. There is a sense of wanting to do more physically though. Bringing food, holding a hand, watching a child, something to ease the load for the person going through the ordeal. In a blink of an eye, all the things that seemed important in the moment get shoved aside to try and help the person in need.

In the blink of an eye, the leaves fall the Christmas decorations a put up, the baking starts and people start to realize how close the holiday is and how little they have prepared themselves for it. I absolutely love the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. I absolutely hate having to shop for them. Thanksgiving is easier of course because it’s about getting the right sized turkey and making sure we have a paper bag big enough to cook it in. Christmas though, the whole meaning of it seems to get lost in the commercialism of it. I am not going to get on a soapbox other than to say this. Spend time with your loved ones, instead of stressing out over the matter of what to get them. I can’t tell you what I received as gifts over the years as much as I can tell you about the trip to California with my family, the snow sledding day we had last year, the day we spend going out to the woods to get the Christmas tree. Material things will get forgotten, memories and the joy of time spent with loved ones will last.

In the blink of an eye, the year flies by, the kids are a year older, the grey hair has decided to show up again, the car starts acting weird, the pumpkin you have been trying to use up finally gets used. How are you dealing with the happenings of life? Do you stick you head in the sand (like I have wanted to do so many times), or do you face things as they come. Do you enjoy the moments, the snuggles the playtimes and the “real talks” with your teens? Do you worry and fret, or do you pray and continuously hand your worries over to the Lord. In the blink of any eye, can seem so quick when you look back, when you are in the moment it can seem like an time stands still. For joyous occasions what a joy to have time stand still, stamp those memories in your heart and use those times for when the soul needs rest. Until next time:

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great JOY for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Luke 2: 10-12

Baking season!

It’s a strange thing that happens inside my brain. I go into baking mode from November 1st, through Christmas. I dig out old recipes and find new ones on Pinterest. It is something about the weather and the ability to make so many different treats from breads to candies all in the spirit of the seasons.

This year a friend of mine gave my five pumpkins. Three of them went to the kids for Jack o’ Lanterns but the other two, they were made into pumpkin muffins, breads and rolls all with a touch of cheesecake or frosting on them to help add to the appeal. I love putting together fun treats and sharing them with those around me. Now if only I could get my family to jump on board and let me spend the whole weekend baking while they clean the dishes for a part of the baked goods.

When I was younger it was a treat to bake. We would usually pull out a recipe or two from our Great Aunt Lila’s stash and try and re-create what she probably could make blindfolded. One such recipe was for cinnamon rolls. Through the eyes of a young child all the steps that were needed to make the rolls seemed daunting. From getting the dough ready to having to wait the hour plus to let it rise. Then making sure to get the proper amount of filling made so that when the rolls are finally done the are oozing with cinnamon sugar goodness. Then when the task of making the rolls was done preparing the frosting that is smeared on top of each roll, oh man, it seemed so hard back then, but now it’s a way to spend time doing something you love.

Cookies were another treat we would make but honestly half that batter would end up in our bellies before getting baked into cookies. Whoever said don’t eat cookie batter probably just wanted to keep all the batter to themselves. As a grown up I am so much more responsible when it comes to raw eggs and batter, if the kids don’t see me eating it, all the better, then I don’t have to explain why they can’t =).

Speaking of the kids, you know what brings a family together when it’s cold outside? The smell of cookies in the oven and the invitation to help make Oreo bark, chocolate truffles, and pudding. It’s true what “they” say if you work for it you will appreciate it better. I usually let the kids pick one thing they want to make and then let them at it. One of my daughters loves making Oreo bark. When I asked if she wanted help crushing the Oreos she said no with a twinkle in her eye as she grabs the rolling pin and a gallon bag. The rule is: you make it you have to share but you get the first and last bite.

My son is at the stage where if it looks like it will taste good he wants to try it. Once he asked to have us buy him some orange marmalade because of a video he watched. Needless to say we still have that jar, and it is missing one spoonful from it. What does one do with marmalade anyways? His latest thing he wanted to try was pumpkin bread. Great! As I said earlier I have pumpkin. So I thought, why not do muffins instead and swirl in some cheesecake? He helped me make them, but then refused to try them because of the cheesecake and the fact that they were not “bread” sigh….

Did you know that pumpkin bread had pumpkin in it? I did in fact have to inform my son that it did, so when I did make the bread I made him try it. When he stated he didn’t like it, I suggested trying it with the pumpkin frosting I made, guess what? He loves pumpkin bread now, with a hefty dose of frosting on top of course.

My oldest is too cool for school so when it comes to baking with her, well I have to convince her that she should help out. I also have to convince her that exact measurements are always needed. I mean when a cup of chocolate chips is called for, it really is ok to add more than that. Same idea when it comes to cinnamon and sugar, frosting, or cheesecake. If you ever want to annoy her just start eating the batter before she is ready to cook it. I still have a lot to train her on I know. Baking is all about the process, the taste testing (to make sure the product is not poisoned of course ;)), the baking, the eating of the final product.

What better way to warm up the house than using the oven. What better way to spread joy than to share what you have made with others. I know my brain is probably remembering back to when I was a kid and the joy that came from baking. I love that I get to bake now and share the joy with my kids, share the goodies with others and create editable joy. I am excited for Thanksgiving to come, I will get to finally use up all my pumpkin. What are some of your favorite baking past times? What are some of your favorite recipes? Until next time:

Homemade with love, in other words I liked the spoon and kept using it.

Don’t be afraid to stand out

Weekends are for doing things with the family and getting stuff done that doesn’t get done during the week, at least in my family this is the case. Normally my son has all sorts of plans for things to do:

  • Go to the movies
  • Go to the dirt bike trails at the local park
  • Reserve the escape room
  • Play video games all day
  • Make a cake
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Play a board game

The lists can go on and on. We try our hardest to do most things he suggests because we don’t get to spend a lot of time together during the week and yes, I admit he is the youngest and at times I feel bad for him because he gets thrown into the semi-adult/adult world with having two older sisters and his parents mainly who he is around.

This week it was going to the movies. He wanted to see the movie “Clifford, the big red dog”. While we were in the car I asked him why this movie and he just said “because I liked the book when I was a kid”. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie, but figured it would be fun to see and spend some time with my little man. So with the biggest bag of popcorn and the largest slushy we could get we could get we found our seats and settled in for the hour plus movie

I forget sometimes (ok a lot of times) what it means to be a kid. This was a fun movie and actually it had a good lesson about standing up for yourself even when you’re scared or the situation is hard. A lesson I needed to hear for sure, I just didn’t think it would come from a movie about a bright red dog. Tyler and I don’t spend as much time as I would like together because to be truthful I suck at computer games and he is really good at them so he plays them a lot. I tend to sit on the sidelines and listen in to the conversations he has with is friends and the laughter that is shared. The movie “forced” me to sit and enjoy. I laughed and shed a tear or two and I did it with my boy. So about that lesson though, life isn’t always easy. Standing out and being different usually makes people uncomfortable. We like things to be the same, for people to act the way we feel they should act.

I feel like I have had to face more things in this last year that I didn’t think I would have to face. Some of it I deal with and move on. It’s when there is something so out of the norm for me, it seems to stick with me and stays in the back of my mind, causing my already almost full cup to completely spill over when I stop to think about it. I have wonderful friends and family that try and help when I feel overwhelmed, but to be honest, the thing that hits me the most is change, that and the fear of the unknown. Then a lesson is taught to me from a cute little movie my son wanted me to see with him.

Just because something is different and out of the norm, it doesn’t mean that we should force it into conforming to what we want it to be. Being different is one of the wonderful things about being who we are. When someone doesn’t like it, it’s because they are afraid of what they don’t know. I admit I fall into this trap, even though when I was younger I made it a point to stand out. I stood for what I believed in, I fought for who I thought was the underdog, when someone told me I couldn’t do something I would do it. I like to think I haven’t changed much from back then but I know that now I do these things but in more subdued ways. The one with the loudest voice isn’t the one we should always listen to. God usually whispers when He is trying to get our attention, if anything He should be the only one we listen to.

Stand out and be different. Enjoy the ride of life, but be smart about it, and above all know there is a time for standing out, and a time to ride out what comes your way. Until next time:

...and these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him!  Who then can understand the thunder of His power?   Job 26:14

What’s a little grey?

I was looking at pictures of myself lately and I noticed a bit more grey than what I thought I had. Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just a bit shocking since the mirror doesn’t show as much as pictures do if that makes sense? It could be that in some of these pictures I was with my daughter who doesn’t have a bit of grey, and she is significantly younger than me, which tells my brain that maybe just maybe I might be getting older.

With age comes beauty right? I think with age comes the ability to see the beauty inside. Flipping through the pictures in my phone I see the aging process happen and I love the outcome of the process. Yes I will probably still dye my hair, mainly because it’s fun, but it helps a little with my self care. I already feel tired and old, especially after a long week at work, I don’t need to look the part. I have actually seen more Instagram posts of people embracing the grey and good for them, they look adorable and beautiful.

Then there is the pug that is all the rage with the young people Noodles I think is his name. The gentleman that owns him goes onto his social media sites, and basically plans his day based on what his pug does. Now this is sweet in itself since the pug is older and this is probably a way for the owner to cope with the fact that Noodle may not be around much longer. The way it works though is this sweet, older, greying pug is placed on his bed or on a surface, if he stands and tries to get around it will be a productive day. If Mr. Noodles decides to just lay there and look cute the day will be a rest day. I really think there is something here, I mean I have said it in past posts, that we really should start acting like our dogs. This owner just took it a step further and showed us what that meant. Seriously though, maybe we should take the hint and follow our dogs examples more, plus you ever notice how endearing our pets looks when the grey sneaks into their muzzles?

Charlie our dog has no grey anywhere on her, she is pure white with a brown spot here and there on her body. She is a cuddle bug and full of energy. She loves to prance around the house when she has something in her mouth. The girl cannot lie! We know by her prance that we should go looking into her mouth to dig out whatever it is she picked up. Luckily lately it’s the random leaf that was found on the ground. She is pure innocent, wrapped in a bottle rocket of energy. She is the epitome of pure joy. She wasn’t always that way, but from where she was a year ago, to what she is today is amazing! So what if we were to mix the energy and the joy of Charlie with the contentment of Noodles? I don’t think we need a post to determine what way we should go.

What would it look like to be content with you life, waking up each morning deciding to live life with joy? I am not the same person I was when I was 20 or even 30, thankfully. When I have conversations with my daughters I get a glimpse of what my mentality was at their age. Going grey means I have grown up. I have had many more experiences and I have matured. This doesn’t mean I can’t have the childlike innocence like Charlie my dog has. There is just knowledge behind it now. Adventures cause me to get all gitty inside, but if there is a day that I can curl up under a blanket and read I will take that too. I chose joy on most days. Hardships in life try and take that from me, watching my kids make choices I don’t fully understand causes more greys to pop out. Hearing about friends being sick or getting hurt can put a kink in the joy, but then I remember that I am not in control. I need to protect the joy I have, get on my knees and speak to the One that ultimately is in control of everything. Grey can be covered (if you want to). Joy comes from finding the peace from knowing you don’t have to be in control. Until next time:

Negativity is contagious. Unhappiness is contagious. Fear is contagious. But so is happiness. So is optimism. So is love. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. And strive to be a reflection of what you want to receive.

Michelle C. Clark

Made to be Broken

Oh the weekend! I love when I get to Saturday. All week long, it’s go, go, go. We wake up early and go to bed late. Saturday though, we sleep in and take our time to get going for the day. It’s something to look forward to for sure. When it’s all said and done though, it’s about the routine.

Morning routines are what set us up for the day. In our home the hubby and I head out early every morning to take the dogs for a walk. When the alarm goes off the dogs know. They wake up, stretch and excitedly anticipate the journey ahead. Of course since they sleep with us, this means that not only did the alarm wake us up but the dogs movements as well. I am not sure anyone can sleep through that. We mix up where we go on our walks but I am sure the dogs know the way even without us. The coffee has a timer, the bed always gets made when we get home from the walk. Even the kids have a routine for the weekdays. It’s when the routine gets shifted that the day gets out of control

But the weekends! It is so nice to get out of the normal. We can have plans, or not. We can chose to sit on the couch all day watching the rain while reading a book, or plan an outing with the family that keeps us away from the house all day. It’s having the freedom to do what we would like to do. My favorite part of the weekends though is the quiet time. The girls sleep in usually and Tyler does his own thing, the time is mine. Since the hubby has perfected the coupon shopping thing he does his morning shopping sprees to stock us up for the week. So it’s me time. I love getting the devotions done, reading the Bible, talking with God (I really should do that more often). I love reading my books and writing about the random thoughts that pop in my head.

It’s at these moments that I can prepare for the day. On this past Saturday, it was raining outside, so I plopped down in my favorite chair to catch up on the week. I sent out emails, got our budget updated and there were many attempts from the dogs (some that were successful) to get me to play with them. My neighbor texted, and even the hubby and I talked about the schedule for the upcoming week. All things that are hard to get accomplished throughout the week.

In a house with loud people, and animals, with a job that is a constant go, it is so important for me to have the quiet. I can be me, and let down the constant go mentality to just be me. There is so much thrown at me during the craziness of the week if I didn’t have the weekends to unwind I don’t think I would keep my sanity.

And so as I sat and did what I did, I got myself ready for the day. As the girls woke and the hubby left to shop I was ready. I was grounded, I was focused on what the days ahead had for me. Amazing how productive that made me, and it was fun! I was able to take the pumpkins and make pumpkin puree for the bread my sweet son wanted. Added bonus: pumpkin seeds! I made snacks for the week and when it was time for dinner I was on a roll and that got done too. My kids had a day to just do what they wanted to do, and my hubby was able to clean up the yard of all the fall leaves before the wet weather set in. Routines are nice, but they are made to be broken when needed. Weekends definitely fall into the “when needed” category. So I say break the routine, ground yourself, enjoy the things around you and bask in the joy of the moment. Until next time:

If you want to be HAPPY, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up in the morning, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have.

Joel Osteen

Through the eyes of Love

I feel so cynical sometimes.

Do you ever get that feeling? It usually happens to me right around the time that I have been doing too much. I start to get judgmental and start to see people in a more negative light. It also happens more when I set expectations up for myself and the people around me, and then get upset when they don’t meet those expectations. How fair is it to them, especially when they don’t know that I have done this.

A friend of mine texted me one last week and said “hey let’s have dinner tomorrow night!” We met up at an Italian restaurant and proceeded for the following two hours to talk and eat. We talked about family and life in general. We didn’t try and solve life’s problems we just talked about them and got ourselves out of the tunnel vision life we were in. I didn’t realize until that point that I had been drowning in the worries that were in the back of my mind, the overwhelming schedule that I had had, and that I just didn’t get out enough with my friends. That night I was able to breath and take a step back from the judging and the cynicism and just enjoy. Two and a half hours later, the waitress we had was even getting into the conversation, we laughed, we cried a little and then when my friend left the table for a little bit I slipped the waitress the money for the meal because even though my friend didn’t know this she helped me out of my funk.

To be honest I would love to bottle up that feeling of just letting go, and just being in the moment but I think instead I could get that same feeling if I were just to look at people and treat people as if they were all my closest friends. What if instead of the judgement we changed our focus and saw the actions of people as simply them trying to do the best they can do in the moment and circumstances that they are in? This is a hard pill to swallow. We are so used to assuming the worst in those we encounter, and sometimes it is because we feel we have good reason to do this.

When Jesus was with us on this earth He would be surrounded by every day average people, but there would also be the sick, the people with questionable jobs and backgrounds, the outcasts. He had eyes of love and compassion for the people. Yes He would tell them to repent to turn away from the bad they were doing but He also healed them and listened to them. Oh how our world would be different if we tried to see people’s hearts, if we tried to love and respect each other. It gets so tiring trying to fit people into boxes that we have made for them.

I am so guilty of this, I want people the way I want them! If they just fit into the picture and expectations I have for them life would so much better. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! People are who they are because of the experiences and trials they have had in their lives. I am surprised all the time by people who I have judged one way to actually be totally different. Think of the person that dresses a certain way but once you start talking to them they are so different than what their appearance would say. Think of the group of people that always gets a bad rap but then it ends up only being a select few that have caused the stir in the first place.

Rose colored glasses are said to be used as a joke, but what if we actually had special glasses that we used to look at people. We would be able to look past the appearance and the walls that were put up and see the real person inside. What would happen if we looked at ourselves with those same glasses. When we are our own worst critics, we so easily criticize those around us to make ourselves feel better. Replace criticism with hope, even joy and we will see a change in our outlook on life and others. Until next time:

And suddenly you just know, it’s time to start something new, and trust the magic of happiness and joy.

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