Morning dew and joy

rain drops on hisbicus

rain drops on hisbicus

The only light she saw was the blue dot on the DVR player and a soft glow from the computer screen.  At 2:00am, it was dreadfully dark and silent except for the sound of the ceiling fan as it followed its infinite circular route.

It was time; time for prayer and quiet reflection, time to stop suppressing the angst and the pain; time to release the fear and let it all tumble out in salty cleansing tears.

She doesn’t like to cry, especially not this kind of cry; the heart-wrenching sobs that had threatened like a black and dreaded storm cloud for days now.  She likes to show herself strong, capable, and unmoved by life’s jabs and pokes and knockouts.

But deep within, she knows that to give up on self, to let go and let God is the answer.  That is when the healing can begin and joy will return.  Not the “ha-ha” playground laughter kind of joy, but the deep-down to your soul kind.  On her knees, pouring it out in sobs that are interrupted by deep gasping breaths, she lets God right things.

Then, peace ensues and a heart at rest can finally rest.   The mind stops racing, and the once elusive sleep comes quickly.

Morning breaks with a sunrise of hope and goals and motivation afresh!  Yes, joy does come in the morning.

They hurt, so we love

Teardrop on Fire

Teardrop on Fire (Photo credit: tj.blackwell)

Why can’t we see that people are hurting?  Why do some people rush to spread bad news, but don’t bother to take the time to clear up a nasty rumor?

We are all touched by pain, turmoil and tragedy, are we not?  We all suffer so how do we forget what that feels like.  How do we forget what would have made us feel better and then not offer that instead of judgment and gossip?

Please know that I am searching my own heart as I share.  I hate gossip and try to stay far from it, but don’t we all get roped in sometimes?  Aren’t we also partakers even if we just listen?  Isn’t that just as bad?  And how does that help, what does it accomplish?

When I think on the times that I have felt ravished and torn by life’s trials and troubles, I quickly remember the friends who showed up, who covered me in prayer; the ones who stood up for me and my family.  I think of those who quickly discerned that it wasn’t a time for observation and speculation, but a time to show love and concern.  They realized that it was a time to love and hold and listen.

I have been studying the book of Job, and just like everything else God does, this was divine timing, because it has been helpful to apply some of what I have learned to hurting people.  It is teaching me to be a better friend.  One who understands that there is a big picture and I can’t figure it all out and I don’t have all the answers.  Sometimes the most helpful thing I can do is to pray for them and listen.  Notice I said “listen”, not always speaking, not always thinking I have all the answers.

Most of us, by the time we have reached my age, have experienced the death of a loved one, severe illness in ourselves or others, financial difficulty or even ruin, marital discord and sometimes divorce, problems with children and grandchildren, and the list goes on and on.

God help us to remember some of those times; the way we felt, the people who cared and the things that counted.  What made us feel better, what caused a smile to tug at the corners of our mouth and what made us feel loved and warm inside?  May we remember and pay it forward.

Eyebrows and Toenails

Pedi in Hawaii

Pedi in Hawaii

Today was a day I decided to just meander into town and do whatever I felt like doing, a “me” day, I guess.

After a couple of errands were out of the way, I found myself at the mall which was just beginning to open.  There weren’t many people there and I thought that from now on, early morning is the right time to come to the mall.  The only thing you have to watch out for is all of the elderly walkers who come here to have a safe, indoor environment to move those bodies.  Some of them are fast and you have to get out of their way.

My stop at Sephora was very productive, although a tad costly, but what’s a girl to do without her cosmetics?  I even allowed myself the luxury of letting the girl try some new products on me and got a new “eye look”.  She insisted primer is the key to keep that eye shadow in place.

Next, I stumbled on a huge dress sale, so of course, I had to stop.  After trying on about 10 dresses from the sale racks and one of the latest arrivals, guess which one fit?  Right, the latest arrival, which meant it wasn’t on sale.  But, it was too cute to pass up.

My next to last stop of the day was to redeem the mani-pedi gift certificate one of my daughters gave me for Mother’s Day.  I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but it’s a challenge for me to sit still and relax during this process.  I look at it more as a “necessity”; something you just do, get it over with and feel prettier because of it.  This time, I told myself, I would really try to relax (except for the waxing part as that is impossible!).  I settled in and closed my eyes, the massage chair already doing its thing.

Wouldn’t you know I would be perched near the lady who proceeded to regale everyone within earshot with stories about her and her husband’s feet.  She went on for approximately 20 minutes expressing her angst over her ingrown toenails and telling her friend how she comes to get them “dug out” once a month.  She enlightened us on more than we ever wanted to know about ingrown toenails, her husband’s bunions and a horrific trip she had to the podiatrist who drew blood.

Needless to say, I was glad when it was my turn to go in the back for eyebrow and upper lip waxing.  The pain of that would surely be better than the next topic she would thrill us with.

Finally, I was ready to go.  I got to my car to try to remove some of the gooey, shiny stuff they plaster all over your brows and lip after this process.  When I opened the mirror, I was horrified.  My new “eye look”, was stripped mid-way down from the brow and thanks to the new primer she used, I couldn’t rub what was left around to fill in the huge bare gaps.

At this point, I knew that the only place I could possibly go was Walmart to pick up my last few things, so I hurried through with a prayer that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew.  I saw one, but managed to avoid them.  It was for their benefit as well as mine (so don’t judge people for avoiding you sometimes as you never know the reason, hehe).  I was a puffy, red mess with goofed up eye makeup.

I got through there in record time and made it home undetected and unnoticed for the most part.  I’m feeling much better after a cold wash cloth, a glass of sweet tea and a piece of dark chocolate.  I’m thankful that my toes are still kinda cute, for a while longer anyway.

Just get me outta here

A changeroom in a department store

So, I finally got the okay from my hubby to cut my hair quite a bit shorter.  He has always loved it long but understood I just needed a change.  My appointment was relaxing and I’m very happy with the results (as is he)!

After the hair was done, I had about an hour to kill waiting for my daughter’s softball game to begin so what better to do than peruse the racks for the new spring dress contributions?  I picked up my normal size and headed to the dressing room to try on a couple.

I loved the first one I picked, it was red, white and black and displayed a very striking geometric pattern.  I had a little trouble pulling it over my head and down over my hips, but then it fit rather well; I was pleased and adored this little dress.  I probably would have purchased if the following hadn’t occurred.

I tried to pull it off over my head and I could NOT get it off.  Have you ever been in a dressing room, trying not to touch much of the floor with your bare feet, attempting to wriggle and wiggle out of a dress that is stuck somewhere in the middle as you attempt to remove it?  It’s like they make it really tight at the top and once you pull it down, it fits, but trying to take it off is a nightmare.  I don’t know about you, but on the few occasions this has happened to me, I feel like I am suffocating or claustrophobic or something.  For some reason, it felt like jumping up and down would help.  It didn’t.  I’m fortunate I didn’t break something or hurt myself.  And of course, in the middle of my panic, someone has to bang on the door and ask if anyone is in there.  Oh, for the nerve to open up and say “Help me, please!” I got to the point where I literally would have ripped it off and just paid for ruining it, if it would just go over my head.  It was about this time that I noticed the little hidden zipper on the side.  Well whaddya know, that sure made it simple after all.  I was so annoyed that I didn’t even hang it back on the hanger straight.  It didn’t deserve it!

The other dress won, of course.  It’s cute too, but not as trendy and whimsical.  It doesn’t have a hidden zipper or any other kind of zipper, button, belt or other hindrance.  It doesn’t make a bold statement and didn’t even yell for me to take it off the rack.  It’s a safe bet, will look nice whether up or down 5 lbs.  It’s pull on and pull off.  And the more I explain, the less enamored I am with it.

The red, white and black had lost all of my love and respect in just a few short moments but now that my anger is gone, I’d gladly take it back if I could.  Maybe I will return another day and try it on again after all 🙂

Love until it hurts

Who will tell them they are loved?

All the weary, worn and broken.

Will we merely pass them by?

Words of healing left unspoken.

No, Not I.  I said, “I’ll go.”

And heed their silent cry.

Take my hand and join me.

Let’s touch a life that’s gone awry.

homeless

Matthew 25:45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

We all know someone who could use a hug, a smile, some love and if we don’t it’s easy enough to find out.  This is just a reminder to myself and to others to give back, share your heart and whatever else you have to share.   Blessings!

Just do it (or not)

Magnolia

Just say no! Sometimes you have to learn that life will go on, even if you cannot possibly accomplish another thing.

Sometimes, I find myself overwhelmed and visiting the chiropractor more than normal, having more headaches and indulging in excessive comfort snacking.  It’s at these times I have to stop, take inventory of my schedule and make some adjustments.

Priorities can be sneaky little things and we have a tendency to get them royally mixed up at times.  In our desires to please others and be as helpful as we can, we cram our schedules (and our brains) to the point of overload.

My priorities need to look something like this for my life to flourish.   God first!  Get up, get in the Word, pray and so begin my day and keep my face like flint toward His will for my day and my life.  If I do this one thing, the rest falls into place automatically, but for the sake of getting in on paper and sharing, I will continue.

My family and their needs come next.  If I can’t keep them well taken care of and be there for them when they need me, then something is out of whack.  If I’m neglecting them, it’s not worth all of the meetings I could be attending, or projects I could be a part of.  Sometimes my daughter needs special attention and I want to be there.  My husband needs time alone with me too, not only when I have nothing better to do, but sometimes he needs to know, I choose him, in spite of other opportunities.

There are times that your life, health and schedule will permit you to go out there and embrace all kinds of projects and opportunities – There are so many worthy charities, clubs, associations and just doing good in general for others.  But, there will be times that for whatever reason, you need to realign things.

When you decide to slow down and make some changes, be ready for the naysayers and the people who will make you feel bad because you can’t be everywhere you want to be and get everything done that you would like.  Only you know what’s best for you, your health and your family.  Until people live behind your walls and walk in your shoes, they have no right to evaluate your choices.

So, do all you can do and be all you can be!  Wear yourself out for others; that’s the best kind of “tired”, but keep those priorities straight and know when to say no!

Wide awake in 406

Hotel Bed

The third night in a hotel is supposed to be the one where I finally fall asleep at a decent hour and sleep through the night (for the most part).  I guess it was not to be.

I did fall asleep early, snuggled in bed, ready to make my way to dreamland by around 9pm.

Suddenly, I awake to what sounds like a car alarm going off.  Groggy. I perched myself up on the overabundance of pillows and bed coverings (I think hotels think if they put 6 pillows on the bed it will make up for the fact that not one of them are a good pillow)  to try to get my wits about me.  My heart is pounding, like hearts do when woken up in the middle of the night.

Oh, I left the television on, that must be where the sound is coming from.  I search for the remote frantically thinking the quicker I can make it stop, the better chance I have of simply falling back asleep.  Found it, click.

Okay, so now it’s pitch black in my room, but the noise is still going strong.  I stumble over to the desk, thinking for some reason that the sound is coming from that area – is it the lamp?  Did a prior sleep deprived traveler leave some sort of alarm in the drawer?

Oh hey, there’s a window.  Let me find all 3 sets of window hangings and move them out-of-the-way so I can look out.  Maybe if someone is breaking in I will see them.  “Yes, because surely they would still be there hanging out after all this time”, I say to myself sarcastically  ‘maybe they will even look up to the 4th floor and wave”.

Sure enough, it is a car, no visible intruders, flashing and honking awake everyone on this side of the hotel who happens to be a light sleeper like myself.  My husband would sleep right though it.

Since there is nothing I can do and I’m sure someone has reported to the front desk by now, I decide it best to lay down and try to go back to sleep or at least be ready to when it stops.  I realize very quickly, sleep will be elusive for quite a while.

My half asleep but overly active mind begins to try to map out scenarios of what happened.  Did someone really try to break into the car, situated under a light in full view of one entire side of the hotel?  I decide it’s more likely that it’s an accident.  Then I begin to smile as I visualize a small child with keys dangling from their fingers and an evil laugh on their lips, singing na-na-na-na-na-na.  This makes me smile.

I imagine someone hanging their keys out of a 6th floor window, trying to stop the noise.  This makes me remember that these windows are locked and that makes me feel suffocated and imprisoned, contributing to my anxiety.  Maybe someone was bored and couldn’t sleep and decided no one else should be able to have that luxury either.

Then with my detective skills I have picked up from way too many episodes of CSI and Law and Order, I remember there was a tree directly over the car and I decide that something fell out of the tree and on to the car.   Case closed; now my mind can chill and perhaps I can sleep.

Some time in the middle of my musings, it stopped. I look at the clock and determine about 8 minutes have passed.  I rest my head on the lumpy pillow and try to get comfortable enough to sleep once again.  I was still checking the clock after 11pm.

It will be good to get home and sleep in my own bed.

Slow down

Clock

Clock (Photo credit: Dalo_Pix2)

So what if the beans don’t get done and the blog doesn’t get written.  This is what I told myself in the shower, although I didn’t really believe myself.  I thought I had to be somewhere early tonight and I was in a rush.  You know the feeling, when you feel your blood pressure rising a bit because you are frantically trying to figure out how to get an hour’s worth of tasks done in 20 minutes.

You work until whatever time and then you have a list of things to do (have you noticed this list never goes away, it just changes).  The way I plan things, if all goes according to plan, everything usually goes pretty favorably.  But, let something or someone throw a wrench in my plan it can go from smooth sailing to a tropical disturbance fairly quickly.  It’s my own fault because I don’t tend to leave much wiggle room in my plan; something I need to work on.

Have you ever blow dried your hair, while putting on lipstick and picking up a stray sock with your toes to sling it in the laundry basket?  Yeah, that’s how I roll.   How about brushing your teeth while throwing in a load of laundry or knowing exactly how much time you have to do simple chores in the morning while waiting for computer to boot up, or talking on the phone while doing dishes or cleaning the shower while you are taking your shower?  Nifty little multi-tasking, time savers but are they really necessary?

The thing is, there are not many things in my life that are truly so important that they are worthy of so much stress and rushing.  It’s not like I’m up against a multi-million dollar deadline or that anyone will be largely impacted by my being a few minutes late.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to plan ahead and have some goals and be on time.  However, if something doesn’t get done, what will the outcome really be?  How important is it?  Things to think about.

So while I was ironing my shirt (because you always find something you want to wear that needs to be ironed if you’re in a hurry), the phone rang.   I answered and continued to iron (no sense in wasting time) and the call was to inform me that I no longer had to be somewhere early.  See, all of that anxiety was for naught.  So, here I sit, hot tea in hand, comfortably and leisurely writing my blog.

Have a blessed, stress-free night!

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