Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to Business

Okay, I've stabilized. Not as close to tears all the time. I think watching My Fair Lady on DVD, with my daughter the other night, really helped cheer me up. I can't believe I still remember all the songs, all the words.

I've even danced around the house a little bit, in a light hearted way with heavy clumsy feet. But the key thing is to give in to joy any time it wants to spill out of you. And a couple of text messages from my son have given me the sense that we're really not miles and miles apart emotionally even if we are physically.

I have the feeling that this is going to be a wonderful year (and for me, the year seems to start in September with all the back to school, back to business type of movement that takes place). I'm already thinking of apple picking, making Chili, baking pies, Thanksgiving dinner new recipes that I can try- and I do try new recipes, much to my husband's chagrin, the day I have company over. I'm a daredevil. I'm adventurous. I'm up for a challenge. (That's my inner mantra going on).

God is giving me the spirit of an overcomer. And even though life is not just about overcoming obstacles and challenges, it does seem like you can't be too much of an Overcomer. There's no such thing as too much victory, I think.

Sweet Victory. Sweet Memories. Bright Hope. New Day. A Promising Tomorrow.

And throw in a luscious piece of chocolate cake (which I just ate), and you've got the makings of a happy camper who's about to take on another mountain...and with gusto.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Can't Write Much, I'm Cleaning

I'm a yo-yo lately: I keep swinging between an overall sense of well being and a sense of sadness that won't go away. I've had a great summer. Surprisingly, it might have been one of the best summers our family has had. Not because of taking any big vacations (we didn't) but because we had a lot of togetherness all summer- harmony, peace. Never has it felt sweeter to be a family. Joyous. Creative.

Of course now that our son is back at college, we don't have that "together" feeling anymore. Thus, the sadness. It aches. And I thought it wouldn't- because this is his second year away at college.
But I still miss him so. Terribly.

He tried to help me not miss him. The last two days before he left were a bit stressful and Alex did his best to remind me of what a pain in the butt he can be. But he's a beautiful, wonderful pain in the butt- and I miss him. Still.

So I can't write anymore otherwise the sadness will engulf me. I've got to get busy. Start cooking. Vaccuum. Those things always distract me. And if I clean long enough, it'll soon be Thanksgiving and then we'll all be together again. Family. Joyous. Creative. Making Pizza. Wonderfully Together.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Special Arrangements

I love Country Home Magazine and other Home and Decorating magazines for this very reason you see here: this gorgeous photo of a floral arrangement I doubt I could ever "arrange." But I'm good at staring at beauty and salivating over it.

I'm also good at arranging things such as dates, appointments, reservations when making a trip, prompt bill paying, and packing.

You should see the great job I did of packing up my son for college. He doesn't care about things like clean boxers and contact solution and medicines all labeled in a box. But I care. I care about these things. And I know he'll care when he gets a cold or runs out of clean laundry or when I get the phone call and he'll ask if I packed his contact solution because he can't find it. And I'll tell him, "Yes, Alex, I took care of all that. It's all there. It's all been arranged."

I'm a Mom- and like the title of this Country Home photo "Special Arrangements"- I make special arrangements every day. I'm proud to do so. I don't see them as menial tasks. These are the profoundly simple but beautiful things I do to show that I care. They don't have to see it this way- the people for whom I make all these special arrangements. I just have to remember that these simple tasks I do are for special people I love and arranged out of love.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back to School

This is going to be one busy week. I don't know why I am doing all this laundry and sorting and packing because when my son gets back to his college campus down south, it'll be the end to all that neat organized arrangement of things. His clothes will be everywhere. He will be everywhere (on campus and off campus on his jaunts to concerts). And I will be back here, up north, missing him, and wondering how he is doing.

But hey, I'm a veteran now. This is his second year away from home, at college. This is my second year of missing him but also enjoying the fact that my son is launched, off and running, on his way, and all those other cliches that let you know one era of life has ended and another has begun.

But I'm happy. I'm not crying or mourning the fact that he's leaving. He's as much part of my heart as ever, even though we spend more and more time apart. This is what it means for him to be an adult, and this is what it means for me to be the mother of a child-now-adult.

What it also means is that my praying has changed. How I pray for my son, now, as opposed to when he was a child, is so different. I pray for him to have wisdom, good judgment, sober thinking- because I don't need to pray that he'll enjoy life and grab it by the tail, cause he's already doing that.

And so I'm going to live well and strong as well. There's a lot more for me to learn and experience- even if I'm not at a college campus.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Autumn Aspirations

Because Fall is coming, soon- and you can almost feel it in the air-
I may just start:

-posting recipes for apple crisp and apple pie and apple turnovers

-getting out my boxes of fall/winter clothes and remembering what I have (it's like Christmas 'cause you're pulling things out of the box and exclaiming, "Oh, I love this sweater! I forgot I had it!"

- looking at new recipes for chili

- baking bread, again, daily- and not caring that the kitchen is steaming hot

- making a Christmas shopping list

- getting back to work on my book (it's a novel)

- thanking God that through every season we go through in life, He is there, with us, leading us ... onward.

Friday, August 07, 2009

From One Season to the Next

I'm sporadic in my posting lately, I know. It's just that I've been busy, racing around, involved in a lot of things. Instead of the lazy hazy days of summer, I am experiencing more of a Spring time renewal. Things are growing: like some new relationships I have, possibilities for income, my Meyer Lemon tree sapling my brother Mark gave me, and my appetite (for some reason I want corn on the cob almost every night for supper, and then lots of salty popcorn later on in the evening).

In less than a month, our daughter will celebrate her 15th birthday, my husband will drive our son back to college (a lo-o-o-ng 14+ hr journey) and my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I'll probably be playing that song "Celebrate good times" loud and clear.

I'm encouraged by the newly found interest my son, Alex, has in good health- and hoping that we won't have any trips to the emergency room this coming year because of his asthma or bouts with pneumonia. Not if my Dad can help it: he has loaded Alex up with bottles of vitamins and fish oil pills, and I'm sure the bags of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits will be coming next. It's a good feeling when others are aiding you in your pursuit to strengthen your child- even if your pursuit is practically pushing good nutrition down their throat (it's all out of love, trust me).

It's almost mid August, and I'm not sorry at all that summer is coming to an end. It's been a good summer, a healing summer. We never did get to the ocean for our annual vacation. It was tight financially for a while. But it was never tight or thin with lack of love. There's been a lot of joy, togetherness, pizza making, celebrating (even if its just celebrating the little things). It's been a rich summer, golden and bright with hope.

And Fall being the Harvest season, and somewhat visible already, has me feeling very expectant, very alive with hope, and very much glad to be alive.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dangerous Prayers

These last couple days I feel like I've been galloping on a fast horse, hanging onto my hat, and yelling out, "Whoa!" as I go thundering through interesting terrain at a hundred miles an hour. I'm not calling out Whoa so that the horse will stop- it's actually more an exclamation of surprise, wonder, exhilaration and a bit of mystical fear- all at the same time. Amazing things have been happening in my life lately. Absolutely amazing and surprising things. It's been an exhilarating ride.

It could be that I have been praying dangerous prayers, not realizing that they are dangerous. I don't mean dangerous as in bad, but dangerous as in risky, explosive, powerful. I didn't think of myself as a Risk Taker with a capital R, but I've stepped into the realm of Faith and miracles and unexplainable occurrences. And it all started when I delved into the real meaning of faith, doubt, skepticism, and unbelief. I found out where I am in that rushing current- and discovered that though I am prone to being skeptical and mistrusting, I don't want to be that way- and that counts. It counts as being one step closer to walking in Faith.

It really does matter what you want to be- even if you are not already expressing that reality. I want to be a trusting child, quick to perceive and believe the good that God has in store for me. I am becoming that trusting child- even if I am forty something years late in the process.

I looked back through my journal this morning and discovered that over the last couple weeks I was praying about Faith and deciding to walk in Faith; deciding to not only be a believer but be a big, bold believer. Here's some of the prayers I've been praying:

"I believe in Your perfect timing, Lord. I trust that You arrnage things perfectly. Please be pleased with my faith, Lord"

"I'm going to declare, Lord, that 'I hear the sound of abundance of rain' even though I'm speaking this in the midst of a drought." (1 Kings 18:41)

"Open my eyes to see the unseen realm of Your resources, Lord"

"I am ready to believe you Lord" (John 20:27)

"I am going fishing, Lord- even though I am discouraged" (John 21)

"I will launch out into the Deep- because I believe You, Lord"

"I will pursue knowing you, Lord" (Hosea 6:3)

And the most dangerous and explosive of prayers is when you declare this- because you really, suddenly, truly believe it-
"I really do believe that with You anything is possible!"

(And by the way, these are just the prayers that I've been praying. Who knows what others have been praying for me?!! Oh, the things we don't know and the things we don't yet see!!)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

And You Shall Receive

Yes, it's true: we often have not because we ask not. But then again, we often find when we're not even looking- because sometimes we just don't know what we're looking for.

I am always looking for answers, I know that. It's just that sometimes I don't know the questions I am subconsciously asking God- and thankfully, He does. He does know what I am always looking for, what I am in need of, what I need right now.

After my phone call, the other night, from my friend who was in need of some serious prayer, I got thinking about how her problem with her teenager began, at some point, and she probably didn't know a problem was beginning. She couldn't really "see" something bad beginning.

But lately I have seen that I don't often see when my Answers are beginning- the Answers that I have been praying for, as well as the Answers that I didn't know I was requesting.

God reads our signs for "Help" no matter how misspelled they are or how misplaced they are. He can see when we are asking for help even when we don't realize we are. I am seriously encouraged by that.

I've begun to get quite comfortable with asking God, approaching Him, requesting help from Him. I'm becoming an Ask-er. No, that's not right. What do you call a person who asks God for help...a lot? What do you call someone who goes speedily to Him without worry that they are bothering God? What do you call someone who has no problem approaching God with every little thing that is on their mind?

Maybe you just call this person His child- His very loved and precious child. And that's what every single one of us can be. Just ask Him -and He'll tell you it's so.

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