Going On A Trip

In my favorite rocket-ship…..

Ok this one one of the favorite songs my kids sang when they were little, thank you Little Eisensteins. This show was all about a group of really smart kids that went on fun adventures together in you guessed it; a rocket ship. As much as the show was make believe some of the adventures they went on had me wishing I was there with them. Ok not really, in all actually I just get excited whenever I get to go on a trip.

Here is work that comes with trips though, planning has to happen. When I was growing up, my family went on one trip a year. It was usually a week long and it usually was to a National Park. There were five people in my family, we had the Grand Torino with the third row seating facing backwards. We would pack up all we needed for camping. Tent, sleeping bags, clothing food etc. We would put it anywhere there was room and when it didn’t fit it as put on top or left at home. Once the car was packed the five of us would pack ourselves into the car. This wasn’t just our physical bodies but the stuff such as snack foods and drinks that we just had to have, as well as the travel games and books that were to keep us busy. All of this took planning. My mom did this part wonderfully, while my dad was tasked with packing it all in. If I had known there was a rocket-ship available to take us on our trip I would have begged to use that transportation.

Not much has changed when my family today goes on trips. We have one coming up in a couple of weeks. Our final destination will be a National Park. We will be packing our SUV with the supplies we need to survive a week of pure bliss. We just have to survive the trip together. Either I am a glutton for punishment or I am entrusting my sanity to my 3 kids, but we decided together that we would make the long 12 hour trip in one day. We figured with enough snacks, books and siblings sleeping on the trip we will all get there in one piece. Sadly my hubby can’t make this trip, but I wonder if he got wind of the plan and decided it’s safer to stay home. I bet if we had that rocket-ship he would be pushing us all aside just to get the the steering wheel. I digress, planning, this trip is going to take some planning. We have the gift of the internet and Google Maps. We can plan rest stops, gas breaks and lunch hours. We can keep track of how far we have gone and how far we have left. What we can’t plan is the adventure of the trip

We can’t plan the songs we’ll sing, the talks we’ll have. Yes we can try and plan fun stops but the adventure comes in the unplanned. Getting to the final destination will bring an adventure all its own. Instead of camping we have been blessed to share a cabin with aunts uncles, grandparents and cousins. We have a lake to play in, bike trails to find and hikes to accomplish. Wash family group will get to put on display some of their favorite meals to share. There will be s’mores and campfires. We will be in God’s masterpiece, and we will be with loved ones.

The kids in he show always had to solve some problem on their trips. It’s probably why they always got their rocket-ship, so they could have fun while heading to the problem they had to fix. If a rocket-ship means I have to solve a problem just to go on a trip, I think I will stick to my car, or maybe even a plane. When I go on a trip it’s to get away from problems that need to be solved. The phone gets turned off, the scrubs are left at home tucked away in the closet, and the flip flops come out. These next two weeks are a bit difficult, I admit, not because I am not happy with what I do daily, but because I know it two weeks, I have very minimal responsibilities and that flipping awesome! Until next time:

If happiness is a goal-and it should be, then adventures should be a priority

Richard Branson

Too Many Reasons

Yesterday was Father’s Day. It’s hard to miss when you are on social media, it’s hard to miss when you have a dad you love, or a husband who is a great dad. It’s hard to miss when you had a dad that was great but was pulled up to Heaven a little to early for your heart.

Dad’s play such an important role in their kids lives. They are the sole owners of the “dad jokes”, and they tend to always want to step in a fix whatever needs fixing. Over this last week I was reading this book about a boy who ended up in a foster home at a very young age. He would was first put into a boys home and then later into different foster homes. Eventually after a few attempts at getting adopted, he ended up in a foster home that ended up his forever home. This boy eventually became a man who became a journalist. As time went on he ended up writing a story about another boy who was abandoned, and who had dealt with abuse before being found and placed in the same home the journalist had grown up in. The little boy’s story was important but was woven into what ended up being the main story which focused on the ultimate power of a father’s love.

A father’s love can be as simple as teaching his child to ride a bike, and as complex as standing back to see what life decisions his child will make. Yesterday my kids celebrated their dad with cards, Diet Coke and Mint Mentos. It is a tradition now to make diet coke eruptions to let Tim know how much of a blast he is. Every day he shows up, our kids know they are loved, they are taught valuable lessons, some ending in moving large wood rounds from the back of the yard to the front of the yard (let’s just say, you don’t want to get caught mouthing off or lying). He has found what they are interested in and has made sure they can have the opportunity to get better at whatever it is. This ranges from finding the right bow and arrow set for Leah, letting Tabby use his laptop all day so that she can digitally create drawings, and has been to every one of Tyler’s soccer games. It’s not always easy being a dad. Sometimes tempers fly and there just isn’t enough time in the day to get all of the projects done, but when all is said and done our kids know they are loved.

If God can make light come out of a bug’s butt, don’t you think he made you just the way he wanted? Unc, one of the main characters in the book I read was full of one liners like this. Most didn’t make sense at first but then when you read further and got into the context of the story they made perfect sense. Growing up I knew I was loved by my dad, and I know I am still. He has become a grandpa now and every time he is with his grandkids he spends as much time as he can with them. I knew growing up I was loved and that God had made me the way I am for a reason. I didn’t know how much I was truly loved until I saw the way my dad was with my kids. I guess it comes down to the fact that while I was a kid I just knew he was always there, he was a staple in my life. Now that I am grown, married and have three kids, I see how he lights up when he is around them. I have a feeling that my kids will see their dad in the same way. He is and has always been there for them, so he is a staple in their lives. I don’t think they really see who he is really, but they will. They will when he is rocking one of their kids, or teaching them to do something fun.

Yesterday we celebrated Tim being a dad. I wish everyone had a dad to celebrate, and love, but I know that can’t always be the case. I am who I am for so many reasons but one of the biggest reasons is because my dad decided to be there, he decided to show up and teach us how to be decent human beings. He taught be the value of hard work and to have integrity. He wasn’t always a rough and tumble kind of dad, but I have so many wonderful memories hiking and camping, and playing without a care in the world because my dad was there as a solid foundation in which I could jump from. I know that Tim is that for our kids. He is a lot more rough and tumble, he will do his best to get a rise out of the kids, but when all is said and done he is a dad who really loves his kids.

Dad’s may not always be dads biologically. They may be grandpas, uncles, step dads, leaders in a church. When a man makes a choice to help raise a child he is taking on one of the most important jobs in the world, even Christ said “let the children come to me” We should celebrate our dads, and father figures more than just once a a year, heck we should celebrate our moms an mother figures more too. Take the time to reach out to your dad to thank them for helping you become who you are. I know I need to do this more than once a year, so while I still have more to say, you get my point, so why not do what I am going to do and schedule in times onto my calendar to call my dad more. Until next time:

“The bloom doesn’t come from up here”-he brushed away some crushed bark and loose dirt from around the roots-“it comes out of here”. He held the orange clay pot in both hands. “Care for the roots, and the flower will bloom all on it’s own.”

Excerpt from the book Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin

Are You Paying But Not Showing Up?

I got this! I looked on their website and I love all of the classes and what they offer. I even put it in my calendar to help me remember. When I first got married my hubby and I decided that we should join the gym. We went in, read the paperwork and signed the contract saying we would pay the monthly dues whether we showed up or not. We went religiously for a few months, and then we started not showing up all that regularly, and then not at all claiming many different reasons, but all really pointing to where our priorities lied at the time. We still had to pay that monthly due though. We learned it was easier to pay the dues than it was to show up.

Fast forward about a year, we didn’t show backup to the gym, instead we were able to have a friend buy our contract from us. When we signed up we really believed we could make it work, we were young, without kids and all the time in the world to do what we wanted. Our priorities were not set right though. Almost as if we bit off more than we could chew. I wish I could say that this was the last time I “paid for something and didn’t show up”. It may not have been with just money that things were paid for. More often than not it was time that was the currency, it was commitment, it was my peace.

When I was still in the mindset that I had all the time in the world, I would sign up to any and every activity or workday that my high school youth group planned. It was just something I did and I enjoyed doing whatever it was. In college it seemed time was a thing that was slowly going away even though there was still 24 hrs in the day. Work and school took a lot of time and I will admit there were nights when I really, really wanted to call in “sick” so I could spend more time with friends. Time becomes more valuable than money. Especially when it there just isn’t enough of it. Every time I get home from work I realize this fact. I end up not having enough time to listen to the different stories the kids tell me, when there is also schoolwork, dinner, and sleep. So what do you do? I actually had to acknowledge the fact that there is not enough time, accept it and then work to make the important parts of my life the priority.

This past month my daughter and I just received our “clearance” to start volunteering in the children’s ministry at church. I had to have a background check and both Tabby and I had to meet with the directors. One of the things they asked was how many Sundays did we want to work and if I wanted to teach. Tabby got off easy with being a helper. This came down to how much I wanted to commit to. My weekends are “sacred”. I finally don’t have to work on Saturdays….thanks Tawnia, so that means I have two days of “freedom” and I am being asked how much of that freedom to I want to commit to give away. Sounds easy enough except I don’t want to go down the road of “paying and not showing up”. Kids are amazing little creatures and are fun to be around as well as teach, so I committed to two Sundays a month and teaching on one of those Sundays. So far so good. It’s actually such a relief to show up and not do much of anything but be with the kids and enjoy the world through their eyes. If you haven’t tried it, your missing out of the imaginary tea you can have with your chocolate syrup balloon.

Peace all too often it can go away with the environment you find yourself in. Don’t believe me? Try waking up in the morning and while walking out to the living room to read you devotion you get asked 10 different questions in a 10 second time frame from your 10 year old son whose been up for the last half housing waiting for the whites of your eyes to show up. Nope, no peace there. Peace is a currency that can buy the most wonderful moments and can be filled with a joy that is a deep down to your soul joy. Peace is a currency you show be very careful in spending, when you give up some of your peace it should be for something very important. Sadly we tend to trade peace for worry. I am a huge culprit for this. I want to hold on to the peace I receive when I pray for my kids, my family, my marriage, but then worry comes creeping in the back door and steals from my bounty. Crazy thing is, peace also finds its way into parts and pieces of my life by just being in the moment, turning off the phone, TV, noise. Peace definitely follows and finds me in the woods, in nature. It finds me in the quiet of prayer.

Just as it is silly to pay for a gym membership and not show up to workout, it is also silly to spend your own personal currency on things and people that are not worth showing up to. I still wish I had more time, I hope that when I make a commitment people know I will stick to it, and peace is powerful. The more you have of it the more joy you will have as well. Until next time:

For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work,patience,love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service

John Burroughs

There Is Always Something

There is always a bill to be paid, there is always a meal to be made, or a kid that needs something even if it’s an attitude adjustment. The reality that we are always going up against something or going after some type of satisfaction, makes me notice that we are always trying to feed into life. We are never full, our thirst is never satisfied. We have been told that if we keep pursuing, keep dreaming we can obtain what we want.

I have to say I have had to come to terms with the fact that this just isn’t true. Especially when the things I would say I want are not necessarily things I can hold in my hand. I hunger and thirst for things that are not material. As a momma I hunger and thirst for my kids to know and feel love, not just from friends and family but from a future spouse, but most importantly to know and feel God’s love. I would have to play God for this to happen though, and I am far from perfect far from being that Holy. Thank goodness I can’t play that role, but it doesn’t stop me from worrying about my kids snd wanting more for them. My kid’s interests vary widely from bike riding to archery to Minecraft. Some of their interest do no line up with what I would like for them to be doing though. I had an epiphany happened last night where I would go to my lovely little ones and see if they would be willing to give up some of their less than desirable hobbies for one week to see if it changed their outlook on life just a bit. Of course I would have to make it worth their effort but I am over curious to see the results. I will admit there are days when I would love to go make to “My Little Pony” instead of Fortnite, and FNAF, but sadly I think those days are behind me which means I am holding on for dear life now, cause things just got interesting.

Do you ever notice when you try something new there is always layers that come with that? Whenever I start a new project I am hesitant to let others know about it until I know I will be able to finish it. We want people to be excited for us but are afraid that the opposite will happen. There is always something that holds us back right? What if instead we did whatever it is we are doing and we went forward no matter what other people thought. When I started to do my hospice and palliative care training I asked the veterinarians in the town first to see if they thought it would be a welcomed service. I got mixed reviews to say the least. I went forward anyways and, now that I am closed t o finishing my training I have learned from pet owners that it is a service they wished was around sooner. Part of my end game for my training is to of course use my new learned skills more often the the person in the practice I am in. It is not so easy when your role is a nurse and not the doctor, so what do you do? You keep going forward, you encourage your doctor to try a new idea, you support your pet parents and you give their pets the help they need. You push aside the naysayers and you go forward knowing that you are building up trust and respect for a service that is desperately needed. Layers, it’s always something.

Church yesterday talked about being hungry and thirsty for something, and when you realize what that “something” is you will then have the satisfaction you crave. The world says that “something” could be anything you set you heart to. The Bible says that “something” could only be Christ. So when you are a momma like me, you have to put your kids lives in Christ’s care. When you are looking to do something more for people you have to put that in Christ’s care. If you want to find satisfaction in your life with the people and events involved you have to put your trust in the One who cares. I wish life was easy, I know it’s never going to be. I want to have the right answers, I want peace, I want to have things the way I want them. Oh how selfish. I should be more selfless. I should let Christ be in control, and have more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control. That is a tall order. It’s even harder when others around me are not striving to have those things. I am so very thankful that I am told this in Matthew 11:28:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

And in Isiah 40:31:
But those who wait on the Lord shall nenes their strength;  They shall mount up on wings like eagles, They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Bees and Flies

Sweet vs. Garbage

Did you know that being nice will get you further in life than being nasty? Not everyone wants to hear what they have done wrong, or that they don’t match up to your expectations. While it has been hard in the last year and and half to show a smile behind the mask, it is still appreciated and can be “heard” in your voice and “seen” in the eyes. Bees have the lucky job of going from flower to flower to pick up pollen to bring back to the hive in which it will eventually be made into honey. Bees are hard workers and do all they can for the health of the hive and the queen. On the flip side, we have flies. I have yet to hear of a good work flies do other than their larva helping with the decaying process of dead beings. Normally we are swatting them away from our food, hoping that we don’t get them in the house, and can tell when garbage is around based on the amount of flies nearby. One helps with pollination and ultimately life, while the other deals with garbage and decay. They both exists in the same areas but if they could talk you would not hear the bees explaining to the flies why honey is better than garbage. They each just do what they do.

Wouldn’t that be nice if we as people could do that? Spread goodness and life around like pollen, and let the nastiness and negativity be blown with the wind. I met a client for the first time the other day. I was told he could be a little gruff and that he would appreciate that I have a title. I prepared myself for a grumpy guy, but found that I was just up against a guy who just wanted to see a smile. He was tired of the masks, he was tired of the separation that was becoming the new normal. He just wanted a person that smiled at him, showed respect, and knew that his dogs meant a lot to him. I will say it was very nice to be able to give him all that he wanted. After the appointment he thanked me for doing what I did. I was a happy little “bee” at that moment.

I will admit it is hard sometimes to remember the good, when a bad situation happens. I remember being told that I could have a day of good things, good thoughts, good actions, all be tossed to the wind by just one person doing something negative. It’s like stepping in poop, or getting gum on your shoe, it just sucks the joy out. It’s like a fly landing right in the middle of your dinner. You know in the back of your mind it probably was on that same poop pile you stepped in earlier, which then really makes you not want to eat the dinner you just prepared….ugh! See how it can be hard to look for good when bad can happen so quickly? This though is where you have to choose. Do you want to be a bee or a fly?

My last blog post Wildflowers talks about how wildflower bloom where they are. Most of the time it’s the bees helping them to pollenate and spread. Busy little bees help us have flowers, fruits, veggies. They have a purpose, they spread life, they create such a positive feeling, because of what they represent. They are too busy to be idle, they mind their business but if I were to see a bee as a human, I would see a happy hard working person. Someone who doesn’t need or want to have negativity around them or come from their mouths. On the flip side, flies would be the crotchety, nasty person who wakes up in a bad mood and has to make sure everyone knows it. I have a friend that just lights up when she talks about her bees. She is a bee keeper and has 4-5 hives in her backyard. She makes sure that her bees are healthy and have a good place to call home. Now if instead the bees were flies, I don’t think my friend would light up as quickly. I think instead she would be working hard to find the source as to why their are flies all around her area.

Ok so what does this all have to do with living joyfully? Well I would think it would be obvious. Don’t be a fly! Don’t be negative, don’t eat crap, don’t hang around things/people that cause you to feel less alive inside, don’t bug people, instead strive to be like a bee. Work hard, take pride in your home, be devoted to your loved ones, spread life, buzz around to the flowers and enjoy life. We have had a tough year and a half so far, we were never told life would be easy. You can choose the attitude you want to have about the circumstances you are currently in. If you don’t like something in your life, whether it’s a book, or the way you think about yourself, work to change it? Search for the flowers, search for the places where you can bloom and spread joy. After all, it’s what will ultimately help you grown. I loved that I was able to smile at the client I had. I loved that I could talk about his dogs, and that I accidently called his mom his wife (it wasn’t clarified in our system), we laughed about it and moved on. I feel more alive when I am joyful, when I am positive, when I can smile at someone. How about you? Until next time:

And the dandelion does not stop growing, because it is told it is a weed. The dandelion does not care what others see. It says, “One day, they’ll be making wishes upon me.”

B. Atkinson

It Looked Sweet

I tend to have fruit everyday. Actually I should re-state that. I eat apples almost always, with a mix of strawberries, rainier cherries and pineapple thrown into the meal plan when they are in season. I will admit that I am somewhat of an apple snob too. I really only like Jazz apples, and will eat others only when my son so nicely brings some home from the school lunches. Jazz apples have that tart but sweet taste and are the perfect amount of yummines, until you bite into a bad one. Have you had that happen? It looks perfect on the outside but there is this bruise that is waiting right under the surface, and you have just taken a huge bite right into it….yuck! It just takes the joy out of eating the apple. Even worse when it’s a strawberry or when you start cutting a pineapple up and it’s mush, gross!

Sadly we can be like my apples. We put on our happy faces, our put together pictures on Instagram, and we go throughout our days not letting on that we are not ok. Our skin looks good, our smiles are perfect but then if we are honest we know that there is a meltdown hiding right below the surface. I am a master at the “I got this”. and the “it’ll get done, even if I have to do it myself” sayings. I can keep up the pace for quite a while and then something small happens and the surface gets broken and I end up not ok. At that point all it takes is for someone to ask if I’m ok, or say something slightly off and I am a pile of tears. The imperfection shows through the skin and the blemish is seen.

I am a frustrated crier. Let me tell you, people around me don’t know what to do with me, when I am in a frustrated crying session. It’s like a dam breaking and the water that was held back rushes forth and takes out everything in its path. All that’s left is the destruction. A good friend of mine went through a frustrated cry with me recently. I had a hard time dealing with a situation I was going through and little things kept piling up, to the point that I broke one day. My friend was innocently in my path. She wasn’t even a part of the situation I was dealing with, but she gracefully listened to me as I fell apart. In a flash I was done, I collected myself and I was able to go on with my day. My friend was luckily no worse for wear. She remained calmed, let me cry and then allowed me to just be, to calm down, to see that life still goes on and that I will be ok again.


We all have something that lies just below the surface. For some it’s an addiction, for others it’s pain or hurt, the list can go on and on. The assumption is that we are ok because the imperfection isn’t seen at first glance. Like biting into a bad part of the apple, seeing others as bruise and broken isn’t fun, but realizing that the imperfection might not be all the way through helps us to see that there can still be good parts to both the apple and people. I wish so much that my go lucky puppy Charlie could see this. I came home today (actually this happens every day I come home from work) and since I was wearing my work clothes, Charlie started barking at me. I spoke kindly to her, I reached down to pet her, heck I even let her smell me, just to let her see it was me: mom. Charlie was not having it! A few minutes later though, when I had changed out of my work clothes, she was a different dog. She ran up to me, sniffed me, let me pet her and decided then and there I was a good person. It’s amazing what happens when the outer shell comes off. In Charlie’s eyes I was a very bad apple. I was there to take her soul, until I changed. Same person different look.

Did you know that some companies actually put a sort of film on the apples to make them look shinier and more appetizing? Did you know that eating an apple a day probably won’t keep the doctor away but it can help in getting rid of the crap in your life….literally. Apples are so good for us, the have fiber in the skin to help keep us regulated, they have natural sugars, and vitamins, they are also good for our hearts. These benefits are great, but one bad apple, one bad bite and the apple is thrown away no matter the benefits. What if instead we saw the bad, but chose to eat around it, to cut it out? We could do that with people too. I don’t know about you but I am far from perfect. I would hate knowing that someone decided not to get to know me or be around me because they saw my blemishes, my “bruises”, and yet I know I have done that to some people. See, not perfect. I will leave you with this saying I saw on Instagram. I wish I knew who said it but unfortunately it didn’t say. Until next time:

Butterflies cannot see their wings, but the rest of the world can. You. You are beautiful and while you may not see it, we can.

Wildflowers

Here in the town I live in we have a lot of sunshine. We also have random weather patterns where it is hot, the sun is shining and then it’s not. It is snowing and blowing. It can be quite annoying when trying to decide what to wear. These weather patterns have caused destruction, they have caused mayhem, and they have caused this girl to want to stay home under a blanket, but low and behold I step out into start the day.

On one such day, as I was driving to work and I started to notice the wildflowers in the fields. As I arrived at work these beautiful poppies had popped up almost overnight. They were these big beautiful orange glowers. They had overtaken the grassy area we have near our parking lot. The day started warm and sunny and by lunchtime the wind was blowing and rain was falling, and yet these poppies stood strong. The thing about these flowers is they are resilient while in the ground, once picked and taken from the environment they do not last very long at all. They would not make a good lasting flower in a vase. When you look at this flower it doesn’t care that it pops up near a parking lot or in a field. A seed was planted, it was nourish with nutrients in the soil, the sun warmed it up and the rain watered it. All it could do was grow. If the seed all of a sudden chose not to do what it naturally should do, it would pass away. Wildflowers grow where the seeds land. I have seen a flower thrive in a crack in a driveway. I have seen fields of wildflowers in the forest. I have cherished a handful of flowers given to me by one of my kids. Wildflowers in the simplest form can show us how to live.

Wildflowers come in all shapes, colors and strengths. They grow where they grow, some are resilient, while others last a day. When a field of wildflowers is found there is a rainbow of colors that are vibrant and pure. Even the flowers seen as weeds are beautiful. No matter the weather they grow and spread. Certain flowers are visited by the bees more, but they all benefit from the visits. If the flowers were people there would be no worries or cares seen or felt. The glowers are just there.

The worth of the flower is seen by the beholder and even more so by the creator. What if we were to become like the wildflowers. We grow where our seed was placed. Picture each morning you wake up and instead of thinking of the worries of the day you stretch and you soak in the moment of being awake. It’s like the flower turning its face to the sun to soak in all the warmth and strength of the rays. As you prepare for your day trusting that your needs will be met, that ultimately you are not in control, but you can trust that the one who created you is. The wildflowers never worry about when and where they will get the nutrients they need to survive, instead they grow and live, the bees pollinate, the sun provides its rays and the rain gives of its drops. How much more are we cherished by God as His loved ones, than the wildflowers that fade away? What if like the wildflowers we let our colors shine through? What if we grew and flourished no matter what our environment, or who we are around? Just like the wildflowers that grow in the fields around where I live, they have to survive the ever changing weather patterns. They have to be sturdy enough to survive. They grow in areas that can be harsh and rocky. Some have to grow next to trees that shade out the sun, while others are in a cluster of crops. The flowers did not get to choose where they sprouted, they did adapt and grow. How much more could we do in the same situations?

We can’t help the storms that pass over us, and sometimes consume us. We have to want to grow and flourish. Joy will come, and we will be able to turn our faces upwards. I was talking to a friend who found out that she soon she will have to take on being the caregiver for her momma who has dementia. This friend reminds me so much of the poppy’s in my work parking lot. She is bright and cheerful, and just the thought of her brings a smile to my face. She is struggling though, the storm she is in is taking a toll on her heart. She wants to be there for her sweet momma but she also needs nourishment for herself. The rain is great, but sunshine is needed. She is trusting in God though and knows she needs to bloom where she is planted. She is looking for and finding help for herself. She knows that even when she feels like she can’t grow anymore, God will provide the strength she needs. She is working on being a beautiful wildflower.

On those stormy days when I want to stay home covered in a blanket, yeah on those days I pray for strength and I decide to show up. I want the storm to pass, I want the cold to leave my bones (literally, why does it always have to be so cold 3/4 of the year?!?), I want someone else to take the burden. I also want to trust more, lean on God more, and know that when it comes to my life I really am not in control. When God looks at me He sees the wildflower, just as I see the wildflowers on my way into work. Though I know I am more precious than a flower, to know I am in God’s garden is all I need to keep blooming. How about you? Until next time:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow or reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why worry about clothing?  Consider the  flowers of the field, how they grow: they neither toil or spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.   Matthew 6:25-29

It’s All In The Name

It’s so interesting how many names are found in the Bible. Half of them I couldn’t even begin to try and pronounce. Some names are followed by a story that explains who the person is, while others are just mentioned and then seem to fade away into the text. Some names that are popular and come with great stories would be Moses, and Noah and even Esther. These people were far from excellent or special. They were average people doing everyday things that God chose to add to His story. In God’s great glory He decided that He would use people who were not perfect. They were tax collectors, people with speech impediments, and liars to unfold the story.

How wonderful it was that perfect people were not used in the Bible. It would make it very hard for me to follow or even use in my life. I have such a hard time with people who think better of themselves than they should, or who seem to have to let people know of the things they do. This is probably why I get so mad at myself when I do these things. Last week in my blog “Ooops I Did It Again!” I talked about how badly I wanted affirmation, I felt the need to prove myself. Not realizing that I already have a name in Christ: daughter

I absolutely love starting a conversation with “Hello Friend!” For some it makes them pause, while most others going forward with a smile that is a little bit brighter. It’s about naming the person as a friend. I figure even if they are not a friend right at the moment, by me saying what I did it opens up the possibility. Just the opposite can happen with a bad name , but if we are to live joyfully we don’t need to go there.

A name can say so much about who you are. It call tell of your background. It can tell of your heritage. It can tell of your occupation or if you are great (Caesar the Great). It can even let people know if you are a parent (Hey that’s Tyler’s mom!). But does the name you carry make you the person you are? Does it describe what’s inside your head? Heart? I am coming to a point in my life where all I want is for my name to bring a smile to someone’s face, for someone to think about me and have no drama attached to their thoughts. I want to know that I was a humble and peaceful person, but I also realize that drama tends to find its way into everyday life, and do I want to fall back to the one who alone can carry me, who makes me who I am: Christ.

How about you? What’s in your name? What is attached to it? Does it make you who you are? I hope that as you go through life you realize that it’s not “all in the name”. Until next time:

Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you

Dr. Seuss

Oops! I Did it Again

There are some pretty amazing women in my life.  I really have no reason to complain.  In all of God’s glory He knew that my head and my heart needed strong women to help me grow and become who I am.  This week I think I needed one of those strong women to knock me on the side of my head and tell me to “Cut it Out!”

I have this really bad habit of pushing myself, and trying to prove to people that I can do it.  I can take on anything that is in front of me and accomplish it.  I pride myself in thinking ahead, in trying to see what is next.  Am I ready?  Is the area around me ready?  Have I done all I can do?  And then there is this little voice in my head (and heart, actually) that whispers “will they notice?”  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I am doing, whether at work, at home, and at play, and I don’t need the validation of the world, no it seems that the validation I crave is of those around me.   When it comes from the people I admire, then I know it means something right?

I can wholeheartedly say no!  Though it feels good to get an “atta girl” or a “ I respect you highly”, they end up still being words in my parched heart.  The women that have said these things to me, mean what they say, and I say them right back to them, but they move on to other things and I feel as if I have to prove myself all over again just to get that response again.  A couple of nights ago I was helping my doctor with an emergency surgery at work.   We worked in fluid motion, I knew my part and she knew hers.  As we were finishing up, I was thinking ahead as to what this patient would need for the following day and into the next few weeks to be comfortable after surgery, literally thinking five steps ahead.  The doctor had lied down to rest (since the emergency was in the middle of the night), and I was finishing up the bill, so that I could head home.  I was tired of course, but the next morning the first thing I talked to my hubby about was how the surgery went, to say the patient was doing well, and how I did well at thinking ahead and man I hope the doctor approves.  “What?!? Really?!?”  I cringe as I write this out.  I needed validation that badly?  

Yeah, I think I really did.  Ya all know that I am a Christian and I know that my worth is found in the fact that I am a child of God.  It is hard sometimes to remember that though, when it is so much easier to get instant validation and praise from people around you, even better when it is from people you admire and respect.  Once again cringe as I write that.   The one person I should admire and respect above all others is the one that I tend to look to last for validation and praise.  I know that comes from a selfish desire to be seen, even when I say I don’t want to be seen.  Colossians 3: 23 says: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”.  

It’s a strange and tiring thing when you want to elevate yourself, even just a little, and try to become the center of the world you have created.  It is so much easier to take the gifts you have been given, ask God’s blessings on them so that they may be used to help others.  Validation is great but it is like those dandelion poofs that once placed in the wind quickly blow away.  The praise feels good in the moment, but then once it’s said and gone, the thrill of the chase begins.  My lovely husband thankfully stepped in and reminded me that my worth doesn’t come from getting praised.  My worth comes from knowing that I am who I am.  I am loved no matter what, and I know that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone.  The cliché saying is true:  My worth comes from knowing I am loved and a child of God.

When I sit back and slow down, I realize that the times when I feel I need to be “seen and heard” by the people around me, those are during times when I am the busiest.  They are found in the times when I haven’t made time for myself.  I haven’t made time to read my Bible, to pray, to just sit and listen.  I start my weeks off in a sprint fashion just to make it to the end of the week exhausted, telling myself I have accomplished so much.  I did my job well, I exercised, I studied, I mommy-ed well, I was there for my husband, on and on.  Nowhere in there did I rest well, pray more, or talk to God first.   I think, no I know if I would have put God first and all of the other things after I would have a peace, I would have done all of the things I do, not for myself or others but for Christ.   So I will try this week, to put God first, me second, and I will focus on what is ahead and not what is going on around me.  Until next time:

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training.  They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.    Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT

What’s In A Meeting?

Meetings come in all different sizes, shapes and topics, and names. Gatherings, lunch dates, parties, are all meetings, and they are cause different reactions, and responses. My favorites of course are the ones that involve friends and family.

Yesterday was a gathering of great minds. I actually felt as though I was the third wheel but not. I had lunch with two amazing ladies that have lived good lives but not always easy. They had knowledge and wisdom that surpassed my mind, and I loved to hear them talk, and remember back when they were younger momma’s. We ate lunch together, we laughed together and then we promised to meet up in a few weeks to do it all over again.

Other meetings I have been in have been informational, a place for me to learn new skills, practice those skills snd then get tested on them so that I can do more for the patients I deal with. These meetings are not always very fun, and there have been a few times when my family took pictures of me asleep due to the videos I have watched.

When I first started in the vet field, my boss would do evaluation meetings once a year. These meetings were epic, usually they included lunch and lasted about an hour, and have had so many accounts of people leaving their evals in tears. Sadly the meetings would be a years worth of good and bad things you did, and would have the bad be discussed more than the good. After going through these types of meetings for years, it’s hard to get out of your head that all work meetings are not bad.

My good friend noticed the stress I was allowing to press on me before a work meeting I had. She brought it up to me and simply stated, you know this meeting is a meeting with friends, yes you may be the employee but you are a friend first. I knew the meeting would have constructive criticism, but I also knew it would be given to me in a caring way. The stress felt was self inflicted. I have this inate drive to be the best I can be, and to not mess up. I don’t like when I get overwhelmed, and then to have to give criticism to someone else means possible conflict, no thanks! The other issue is the fact that I don’t feel like I have a right to complain, I mean others have done what I am doing and have done it just fine, why can’t I? Well of course, so much of this is based on the fact I am comparing myself to someone else. I am also comparing this work meeting with the only example of a week meeting that was bad. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. The people in my current work meeting I respect highly, and I know they only want the best for me as well as the business. That in itself is the difference.

So then what to do going forward? Meetings are always going to happen. Enjoy where you can, and chose to not allow the bad to create future stress. My work meeting went well. We talked about areas that need improvement. We talked about areas that are in need of streamlining, but mostly we came together with the same purpose of being better, and trying to help others be better too. I hope that each time a meeting like this happens that I will start to replace the memories of the past work meetings with the outcomes of these present meetings. Until next time:

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:10‬ ‭

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