Restful Saturday at home

treeThere is something so deliciously satisfying about an afternoon nap; joyous partly due to the sheer infrequency you get to enjoy the pleasure.  There you are, adrift on the ocean of peaceful slumber so sweet, languidly waking, body warm beneath a cozy blanket.  Equally wonderful is slowly coming alive to the sounds of a fire and family; book pages turning, quiet conversation, a soft snore from someone enjoying the same wondrous pleasure;

Lazily peering over your publication of choice, admiring those whom you love, the scent of holiday baking and lunch left overs hovering in the air.  Relishing these all too rare moments, living in them, appreciating them.  Thankful that in this moment, there is no rush, no deadline and nothing on social media worthy of stealing this time of hushed leisure.

Time is ticking, hurriedly rushing forward to the next hour.  May we cherish restful times like these and the cherished ones we share them with.  It’s too easy to squander our time with loved ones during the holidays as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle.  We should strive to truly “be there” in every shared moment.

Happy December 1st,
Blessings,

Lisa

Left over cold

 

HydrangeasOkay, I know yesterday, I said to enjoy the leftovers; the sweet memories.

However, this morning, when I woke up with achy muscles, swollen glands and a headache, I was not the least bit thankful for the “left-over” cold my eldest brought with her to FL.  Her trip was delayed on the way down due to feeling ill, but I guess she had enough of it left to share.

Today was my first day back to work after over a week off and it needed to be productive. Lo and behold our network is down, so things just aren’t going according to plan.  My head is in a fog and all I want to do on this lunch break is go to sleep, but if I do, I’m afraid I will feel worse.  Since I am dedicated to my 30 day blog challenge, I figured I better get this done, while I had a minute because if things don’t change, I will be in the bed when I get off.

Prayers appreciated 🙂

Hope you are having a marvelous Monday!

Enjoy the leftovers

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As I looked in despair at the remaining Ziploc bags and plastic containers of left-overs in my refrigerator today, I thought about just throwing them away. Some of it looks like it’s starting to congeal and we are all to the point where if we never see another green bean casserole that would be fine. The economical side of me won out for now….or was it sheer laziness? So, the leftovers will survive another day and tomorrow the ham will probably find itself floating in some kind of bean soup.

I thought about the other things “left over” from the holidays that won’t ever spoil. The memories of hugs that say “I’m not sure when I see you again so I am holding you especially tight” or the ones where a mama hopes her child can feel the love that she is overcome with when she holds them. The laughter shared when Granny comes back with something unexpected when a child is playfully picking on her. The smile and perfectly executed wink unexpectedly returned from a precious grandchild. Yes, there are all of those warm left over memories that we will revisit time after time over the coming weeks.

My eldest and granddaughter left yesterday and I remember the ache that I had to push back down as I told my baby girl, “Don’t be sad. Remember it’s not goodbye; it’s see you later”. I told her that it wouldn’t be long before Nana found a way to see her again, which is true. But in the meantime, I’m thankful for the leftovers.

Pieces that fit just right

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The Prompt:  What is your favorite holiday memory?

My favorite holidays are definitely Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I have so many glorious memories!    As I was trying to remember my favorite holiday memory, I searched the recesses of my brain for that favorite gift or that one special memory, but to place one above another just doesn’t seem right.

The memories all fit together like pieces of one big jigsaw puzzle.  One piece brings me to another and without some, others wouldn’t have fit.  They are all different, yet together they create a beautiful picture.  Some lay the framework so that all the pieces in the middle will have a nice snug border.  Some are in muted tones and others share vibrant colors.

I have memories from early childhood of opening that easy bake oven on Christmas and feeling like the whole world had been handed to me on a silver platter.  A few years later, that Ultima 2 makeup set would rock my world.  Somewhere between teenage years and adulthood, the giving became more fun than the getting and it was about finding that special something. With my own children came teaching them the true meaning of Christmas and baking together and surprising them with that one thing they just had to have.

Thanksgiving always reminds me of cooking with my Mom, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade playing in the background.  After losing her, I had to learn to cook from her recipes and carry on the family traditions.  Sharing the food and fellowship at Thanksgiving has always warmed my heart and the season reminds me more than ever of how much I have to be thankful for.

We are truly blessed and I am grateful for each and every memory and looking forward to making more in a few short weeks.

Just a Happy New Year

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I am feeling a tad like the New Years Eve grinch tonight.

The fireworks are making all the dogs in my neighborhood bark.  I think they are having a contest to see who can bark the longest and loudest and to see which one can get the last bark in.

As for New Years resolutions, I don’t ever make them.  If I already realize I should change something, why wait until 1/1 ?  I guess some people enjoy having a set day and starting time.  To each their own.

I do think it’s good to reflect on your accomplishments as well as your failures and adjust the sails if need be, but why wait?  We should do that all year long.

Oh, and I’m a morning person, so this staying up to watch a ball drop never interested me.  I’m already getting tired, so hopefully the fireworks are over soon.

In all sincerity though, I do wish you a very Happy New Year!  May all of your goals be accomplished, may you excel in all you do, may you love more, forgive more easily, spend lots of quality time with family and prosper both financially and spiritually.  And, may you remember to write 2014 at least by February 😉

God Bless!

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Christmas threads

SONY DSC“Ma’am, may I ask you a question?”  The persistent young lady clutching a tube of sea salt, something or other, actually matched my steps for a few seconds as I hurried past the mid-mall vendor.  After my “no thank you” didn’t faze her tenacity, I tried “No thank, you I’m not interested” in a more serious tone.  When that also failed to weaken her resolve, I decided to just pick up my pace and ignore her.  She was intent on making a sale but I was determined to escape.

Moments later, I settled into a seat with my lunch to take a break and re-group.  I found myself feeling angry.  Why should my leisurely trip to the mall be interrupted by an incident that left me feeling like I’d done something wrong?  I don’t like to use my firm tone of voice and I certainly don’t like to ignore people.  My day begins with a prayer to show love to others, not return rudeness.

Determined not to lose my joy, I let it go, adamant in my desire to shine a little brighter for the remainder of my day.

I begin to recall memories of Christmas shopping in this very mall with my mom, my husband, my mother in law, my girls and many friends.  Some of them are no longer here, but I can meander through the memories and find the moments and share them again.

The heart of Christmas for me lies in my Christian roots; the reality of the gift given to the entire world on that Christmas long ago.  When we celebrate Christmas, it’s based on that love and although December can be hurried and harried, that is where the focus must remain.

As I began to look around a few stops later, I noticed the exuberant face of a little boy as he carefully selected ornaments with his mother.  She spoke softly to him, love and tenderness in her voice.  They were both young and creating “moments” together to be cherished for years to come.

I rounded the aisle and saw what appeared to be a family, according to their similarities in look.  There was an elderly woman in a wheelchair, being pushed by a younger woman, who could have been her daughter.  I paused to let them pass and they smiled in thanks.  Directly in pursuit of them was a younger woman, who was very noticeably pregnant.  I wondered if I was perhaps looking at four generations (one still in the oven).  They made me smile as they laughed and joked about who was “bringing up the rear”, obviously enjoying each other immensely.

We have to remember during all the hustle and bustle of the season to cherish one another and to savor moments and make memories.  Every moment, every event, be it large or small is like a thread, which when woven together with love, create a beautiful garment of memories, that can be thrown around our shoulders to embrace and comfort us time and time again.

And that reminds me of the comforting love of the Father – Have a blessed day and cherish those moments!

Thankfulness in forward motion

cookies

cookies

On this third day of November, I have already noticed all of the “what I’m thankful for” posts on Facebook.  I surmise that because November is the month of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all the things that we sometimes take for granted.  It’s encouraging and uplifting to see so many people thoughtfully posting their thanks throughout the month of November.

We are a blessed nation, even in the midst of some of our circumstances.  However, I want to encourage all of you, my friends, that as we are thankful, as we express our gratefulness we would be mindful that this is a difficult month for many.  As the holidays approach, there are those without family, those who are estranged from their families and those who aren’t feeling too particularly thankful at this time in their life.

I pray that we make it our business to search out, to find out who these people are in our neighborhoods. My hope is that as part of the demonstration of our thankfulness, we would reach out and somehow provide that feeling of home and comfort to the aged, the lonely and the downcast.

Many of us will bake and decorate, and our homes will smell of cinnamon and spices; we will surround ourselves with family and friends and feel that “thankful” spirit for our fellowship.  Let’s spread it around; let’s be mindful of those less fortunate.

We can do this by our prayers and by giving, but it’s also in the simple knock on the door of a shut-in or a hot apple pie delivered to someone who might not be able to see well enough to do all the baking they once enjoyed.

Please feel free to share what your plans are to give back or things that you and your family have done in years past to share the love.

If we all just reach one, there would be hundreds of smiles that might not be possible otherwise.

Love, Prayers and Happy November!

Valentines shoe box

Puppy Love Valentine CardsI remember when my girls were young and we had to buy or make valentines for the entire class.  There were big decisions to be made about who got which one.  Patience was a necessity as they carefully pondered the possible ramifications of each selection. “But mom, if I pick this one, he might think I like him”, and “Which one should I give my teacher?”

Some years we would carefully transform a shoe box into a glittering, shimmering, pink or red valentine mail box.  After the inevitable Valentine party with punch and cupcakes, they would bring it home and excitedly show me all of their cards. I would catch them perusing them again later in their room and maybe tucking one in the frame of their dresser mirror.

We used to make some of them together with construction paper and doilies.  We would cut out shapes, make drawings and pen our own verse, then deliver to family, friends and neighbors, often along with valentine cookies. Their smiles were the only reward I needed for my help. I imagine I could still find some of these treasures if I looked in the right boxes.

Time passes and those memories grow more precious to me as I try to hold on to every one of those sweet moments.  Love grows and changes and those precious little children, who captivated us at birth, weave their own unique and precious pattern deeply and permanently into our hearts.  Once again, I am so grateful for all the times I took the time to really enjoy them, to look in their eyes and listen to them.

Time flies and you never know what is waiting around the next corner. Live well and spend plenty of time with your family.

To watch or not to watch

Maxine comics

Maxine comics

Are you watching the Super Bowl today?  I am not unless my family is home and watching it and I just happen to be in the room (translate as I will watch with my family if they want to because I love them).  I used to, but along with all the other wonderful freedoms that come with age and maturity, I don’t feel compelled anymore to follow the crowd.  I wonder how many people out there today are planning to watch and really wish they were doing something else?  Been there, done that.

The bigger question for me is when did any type of event start to always turn into a huge monstrosity of a party for so many.

We can’t have sweet, simple little birthdays anymore.  Those become events when the child is around, let’s see…one.  We have to hire a circus, dancing monkeys or something just as fabulous to keep up with everyone else.  I’ve done it too; I’m not judging.  I just remember a simpler time and I miss it.

The new holiday items are on the shelves before we finish buying for the last holiday.  Everything is so commercialized and there is so much STUFF out there until when you do buy a gift anymore, even for a small child, you have no idea what to get because they really do have everything.

The electronic revolution has helped catapult us into approaching every new holiday or event with the mentality of honoring it with the best post, funniest tweet, most awesome pinterest folder, most unique desserts, best costumes and decorations and gifts.  We are prodded and poked with ideas, pictures, suggestions.  Even if we had a good idea of our own, we probably couldn’t eek it out of our already overstuffed brains sometimes.

Does anyone else agree?  Am I getting old or cynical?  Or am I realizing that while there are people starving and devastated and lonely, I am spending too much time on materialistic trivialities to bother taking the time to pray for them, to think of them, to do anything to help.

I am grateful for all of the ways we have to communicate nowadays, I really am.  My prayer is that I would use them to encourage and uplift others and to spread the word about truly meaningful events.

I do believe we have to have fun, relax and all of those things – I’m not “dissing” anyone who is truly enthusiastic about watching the Super Bowl today – may your favorite team win.  I’m just reflecting on my own priorities and wanting more than ever for them to line up with God’s will for me.   I want to place the correct and proper value on things and events, not the value that everyone else says must be placed on them.

 

Gone are the matching bows

Ribbons'n'Bows

Ribbons’n’Bows (Photo credit: starryeyez024)

I remember years ago, the day after Thanksgiving was the day for putting up my perfect tree.  There would be matching ornaments, bows, ribbons, tree skirt, you name it and it was beautiful.  I was extremely proud and looked forward to all the compliments I would receive on my fabulous tree.

I don’t remember what year it was exactly when my mother in law passed on some words of wisdom. Just FYI, she is a good mother in law and I love her very much.  She has provided me with wonderful advice many times over the years.  She told me that the Christmas tree should be filled with decorations that children would enjoy.  I don’t remember her exact words, but she let me know that she would prefer my tree be covered in whimsical, frivolous, not necessarily matching ornaments AND the kids should help do the decorating.  This was monumental for me; this was my thing and surely they would mess it up.  If my memory is correct, I heeded her recommendation that very year.  When the time came for the kids and I to decorate the tree, I had to bite my lip to refrain from telling them exactly where to put each decoration.  I’m sure I failed in that regard plenty of times and one of my kids will probably hasten to remind me of this. They are also aware that not all of their home made ornaments made it on the tree.  And, I know I still had issues with how the tinsel was applied.  It really does need to go on ONE strand at a time, you know?  But, all in all we enjoyed every minute of it and looked forward to doing it together.

Of course, as my mother in law already knew, the kids would enjoy this so much more and from then on every year I let them pick a few more.  Sometimes they would pick one to express their love of a favorite sport, or another interest, sometimes just because it was cute, but it was always fun to watch them choose.  I still have most of them and continue to use them, which is why my tree is now a mixture of old and new, pastels and brights, classic and trendy, childish and mature.  But, as a friend mentioned today when talking about her tree, there are memories with so many of them and memories of decorating with my girls.  Thank you, Nancy for your wisdom.  You are at least partially responsible for helping me mature from the selfish, silly girl I was in my twenties and for that, I am grateful.

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