Friday, December 4, 2015

Yay! A Delay!!

Last night I had the best time with some friends at a craft night. We painted a piece of reclaimed wood for the holiday. So fun to enjoy some fellowship, painting therapy, and snacks. 
All good things come to an end, and I went to my car to go home. No keys. Went back in the house and looked for them, maybe they were on the bed where we all layed our coats. Nope. 

There they sat-on the seat of the car. The locked car. Hmmm, locked my keys in the car. Nice. After over an hour of trying to jimmy the door to no avail, a locksmith was called. $70 later, we are on our way. I think we all should become locksmiths. $70 for 2 minutes of time is pretty good money. 

I felt bad for my passengers who had to wait patiently for me to get the door opened back up, but I never got mad or upset. When I am delayed in traffic, because I locked my keys in the car, because one of my children needed to talk to me about something before I leave, whatever the reason for my delay, I don't get mad about it. I pray. I thank God for the delay. Why?  Well, I feel like the Holy Spirit is delaying me from something I don't need to get involved in. Protecting me from disaster. Protecting me from harm. Maybe we would have had a wreck if we left when we planned last night. Maybe my husband needed some extra alone time with the kids last night. Maybe my college daughter needed to just stay at home last night instead of driving back to her apartment. Regardless of the reason I was delayed, I am always grateful because I know God has my back. I'm grateful that he has my best interests in mind and takes care of me. Who am I to Question his timing for my life-to get mad at the delay?  To fuss about being a stuck in traffic. Maybe God wants us in traffic so we can spend a few uninterrupted minutes with Him. 

Delay?  YAY!!  May we all rejoice in our delays, for they give God time to mold us into more faithful people of we trust that He is in control. Jesus take the wheel. 

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  Enjoy the Christmas season!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Love Wins

In July, I was sitting in my lawn chair by the neighborhood pool scrolling through Facebook posts. I don't know why I stopped with a post about a dog for adoption because we needed a dog like we needed a hole in the head. That very day we went and got this neglected German Shepard, one year old, female. She needed us. Now I knew she had been chained to a tree for her entire one year of life. And she wasn't potty trained. But let me just say that I was mortified when she pooped on my carpet the first time. It.was.DISGUSTING.  Gave her the benefit of the doubt, moved on with my day, etc.  Then she did it again and I was ready to take her back. So I called the folks I got her from and told them I wanted to take her back. I was told I could just drop her off in the yard where I got her from. I couldn't do it. So, we got a kennel and started with kennel training. It went very well very quickly. We decided she was super smart. 

Since she was chained to a tree, she was terrified of other animals and we had two other dogs, one of which only weighs 4 pounds and this German Shepard was terrified of a 4 pound Yorkie. Like cowering in the corner terrified. What in the world?!  After a bit of trying and time to let her get used to our other animals, it wasn't working, so in a fit of desperation, I called the Humane Society who didn't have room for her, so I called another friend who said she didn't want her. We buckled down, pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and pressed on.

 Things got better until one day I got sick of how wild she was. So I called the girl I got her from and asked if she wanted her back. She said no, that she had adopted two other dogs since this dog left. So that was yet another dead end. The pattern here is that I would get fed up with her, call someone and try to find a home for her, and because no one could ever take her right then, we just pressed on. Pressed on with patience, discipline, and love. Yes, in the meantime I had grown to really love this incorrigible dog. What in the world?!  Shock collars, bark collars, attempts to socialize her, shock collar returned(didn't work for her), bark collar returned, training training training, love love love, gentle talks, Kong balls, frozen peanut butter, patience, patience patience...and ultimately an underground fence. 

Today I sit in my home on Melody Lane, with my big ole German Shepard laying beside me letting me pet her as the other animals lay next to her. I watch her chase tennis balls in the yard, I take her for rides in the car and she feels the wind in her fur. I needed her like I needed a hole in my head. And then I discovered she was just the hole in the head that God wanted me to have. She is my baby. I'm not looking for anyone to take her anymore. She is home.  She would be happy anywhere else.  As I sit here today I think of 1Corinthians and chuckle with God about how His words there apply to my dog. 

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Sounds just like all my feelings along the way with this ridiculous dog that I didn't need. But then later in that same passage it says:

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I didn't always have faith that I could endure her behaviors. I hoped it would be ok but many times it wasn't. But I loved her. The greatest of these is love. 

An unlovable dog, a willing heart, and more patience than I realized I had all turned into love. Now she is still wild sometimes, and sometimes you would think she would readily eat the cat, or someone who comes to the door, but with patience, My Baby will learn to trust. All because we have love, the greatest of these. 

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Dinner is Different for Us

We have always had dinner at the kitchen table, with the table set, and the bowls on the table.  Since our children were tiny babies we ate like this.  I remember when our oldest daughter was a baby, we set her in the high chair and ate at the table even though she nursed exclusively.  It was just what we did.  It was our together time.

Our children are growing up.  Almost grown.  Our oldest is a junior in college and our youngest is going to be a teenager this week.  Over the past three years, since our oldest left for college, things have been different with dinner.  I had a really hard time dealing with this. It seemed I never knew how many people to plan for, how much food to cook, how much food to buy at the grocery, etc.  There were a number of months there that I just didn't cook.  I felt paralyzed by the fact that I never knew if our son would be home for dinner or if he would come home with three friends to join us for dinner.  I didn't know if our daughter would drop in and eat from college.  Of course our youngest was always the constant.  She was always there for dinner.  So on any given night, it may be two-me and our youngest, or it may be 9-all 5 of us and 4 of my kids' friends.  There is a big difference in cooking for two and cooking for 9.

I let it go.  I quit worrying about it and I let it go.  Dinner is different now.  Gone are the days of 5 of us sitting around the table sharing the events of our day-together.  As our children grow and start jobs, and school sports and college, dinner is different.  I cook almost every night again.  When I grocery shop, I plan a couple of small meals and a couple of larger meals(quantity wise).  When it is time to cook, I try to guess which amount to cook and most of the time it works out perfectly.  I give God the glory for that.  He always seems to place it on my heart how much food to prepare for any given night.  If it is a night that I plan for three, and our older two come home to eat, then I eat a turkey sandwich without saying a word(as if that is what I had planned to do), or if they come in late, I tell them what is available to eat for dinner.  It works great!  And we still gather, those of us who are there, at the table or in the living room, eat dinner and share our day.  If someone comes in later, we all assemble and talk while they eat their dinner and share our day.  No one eats alone.  It's different.  And that is ok.  We change as the times change.

The fact that dinner is different makes me appreciate the times that occur now when all of us are around the table like old times.  I treasure those moments more now because I don't take them for granted.  If you children are little and still throwing food on the floor and making a huge mess, treasure it.  Because one day dinner will be different for you.  They won't always make a mess.  Different isn't bad.  It's just different.  Different is good.

Thank you for reading my blog!  Have a great day!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Most Beautiful Animal

Last year I took my family to Zoo Atlanta.  It is an exceptional zoo and especially is neat with the new baby pandas.  I could have stood there all day and watched them play.  Their mom was so protective and yet, she let the babies play together while she got some much needed rest.  They were great to watch, and certainly beautiful animals, but not the most beautiful animals.  

In another area of the zoo, it was feeding time.  The handler came out into the enclosure of the vultures with a tray of bright yellow chicks.  I thought I was going to have to leave.  Then the handler started her presentation.  Vultures are nasty animals, right?  I thought so until I listened to this presentation.  The zookeeper fed the chicks to the vultures while she talked and explained to us that vultures are the only animals that are able to eat "spoiled meat" that is likely contaminated with e coli, botulism, and all sorts of nasty bacteria that we can't eat nor can any other animals created.  Nasty animals?  Let me rethink that.  God created an animal that can clean up the road when an animal gets hit.  When an animal dies in the woods, a vulture cleans up.  They don't get sick from eating decayed, rotten meat.  What an amazingly, beautiful animal!  Maybe the panda is beautiful in it's own way, but so is the vulture. 

How many times to we shy away from the vultures of humanity?  The people who may not be the most attractive or beautiful or have the most magnetic personalities could be the people we are least likely to interact with.  God created them just like He did the vultures.  Do we take time to learn about those people and appreciate their talents and gifts they bring to our society or do we just pass by them thinking they are less desirable much like I was tempted to do as I passed the vulture enclosure.  Had I not stopped to appreciate the vulture for the most beautiful animal that it is, I would have missed the gift.  If we don't stop to appreciate the less pretty, less social, less polished, lesser abled people in this world, we miss their gift.  

God created people just like he did animals.  We all have a purpose.  May we all be more conscious of the vultures in our lives and take time to find out their gift so we can appreciate how much more beautiful the world is because of them.   

I am so grateful for vultures for keeping our world clean from things that most of us would not touch.  They are the most beautiful animals because their beauty is inside, not outside like the pandas.  May we all appreciate the beauty within all creatures and people.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Love Speaks

One regular Sunday morning run day, I set out with my group of running buddies and one new runner.  I introduced myself and she did too and we were going to walk with the rest of the group because they had done their long run Saturday and wanted to walk.  My new friend and I did not run on Saturday so we decided to take off and get some miles and meet back at Starbucks with the rest of our group for coffee after our run.  Then we all split up and go to church.

My new friend and I had a blast that day and it seemed we had known each other for years.  We talked about everything and nothing at all.  It was an amazing day with a great run and even better company.  We exchanged numbers and the rest is what they say "history".  We are best buds now and we rapidly discovered that God brought us together and the reason had nothing to do with running.  I have learned so much from her and her family.  They inspire me to be the best me that I can be.  The most important lessons I have learned from them come directly from her oldest son and her care for him.

You see, her son is differently abled.  His touch is like the touch of an angel.  When he takes my hand he has the most gentle touch I have ever felt.  He and I rapidly grew to like each other.  I could tell by his excitement when I came in the door.  He would wave and come out of his room when I came over to visit.  We listened to music together and talked about the sky and the water in the pool, and the warmth of the sun.  We swam together, enjoyed the fountain together, arranged the pool floats together.  Oh so rapidly, our like for one another grew into love.  More quickly than some forms of love, this love knew no boundaries.  It spoke no words.  It manifested in the form of a kiss on the cheek from my friend's son when I was about to leave.  He didn't say a word, just took my hand and leaned down to kiss me on the cheek.  I will never forget that moment as long as there is breath in me.  He didn't tell me he loved me, he showed me.  You see, my friend's son is nonverbal.  That means he can't speak.  He doesn't have to speak.  His actions speak for him.  Love speaks.  He didn't need to talk to get along in this world.  God saw fit that my buddy could have a fantastic quality of life without the ability to speak and without the ability to do other things.  Wow!  I feel blessed to have a front row seat to see what God is doing in this young man's life.  He has already done great things in my life just by having the privilege to be friends with him.

I watch his mom and dad care for him, have good days and frustrating days, need a break and be able to continue.  I see their love for their son and I see their fear from the prospect of growing old and having an eternal toddler to take care of as their bodies age.  I know God chose these special people to be super parents.  They wouldn't say they were super parents, but I do.  God does.  We are all special people but God chooses extra special folks to do extra special work.  I don't fear for their future because I have faith God will give them an extra measure of youthfulness to care for their son as he ages.

I wish you could meet him.  He has the voice of an angel.  It isn't often you get to hear what someone says through only their eyes and touch.  I love to talk to him every chance I get.  It fills my soul.

May we all see love speak today and every day.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you all have the best day ever!

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Matters Most

Wow!  It has been a while since I have blogged.  Looks like about three months.  I have been super busy with summer camp the past bit, so have been limited on my efforts with writing.  This weekend I had the best time I have had in a while.  Ironically, I was by myself on an adventure to Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race.  It poured down rain a good part of the time but I had a perfect time and came home refreshed.  Moms, take any chance you have to get away by yourself.  It makes you a better mom and goes a long way toward helping you recharge your inner battery.  I am quite refreshed today after my 3 days by myself.

I visited my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins while I was there.  My aunt and I sat and talked for the longest time about everything, or nothing at all.  We discussed politics, history, shopping, cooking, recipes, flowers, and friends.  We went shopping several times and just window shopped or we found things we "needed".  We spent time with my cousins and watched fireworks.  It was an absolutely perfect weekend.  What was the best part of the weekend?  My family.  Not the shopping, not the fireworks, not anything but spending time with the people I love.  It is an amazing feeling to realize that some of your family members are actually people that you would pick out of a crowd to be friends with.  But instead, they happen to be family.

In February my mother in law passed away.  I have heard for years and also read in the Bible that I should not lay up for myself treasure on earth.  It became real for me when I was there when as my mother in law passed and the funeral home came to pick her up.  The nurses at the facility she was in came and changed her out of her own gown and put a hospital gown type thing on her to leave in.  We gathered up all her belongings from that room and took them home with us.  She left us with absolutely nothing.  No money, no clothes that belonged to her, no jewelry, no purse, no nothing.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that "things" are not important.  I knew this in my head but seeing it play out and be real was an eye opener for me.  So what really is important if we leave this earth with nothing?  People.  That is what is important.  Family.  Friends.  People that cross your path every day.  They are what is important.  When we are on our death bed, we are not going to be wishing we had one more time to carry our Louis Vuitton purse shopping again.  We are going to want to hug our children, our family, our friends.

I treasure the time I had with my aunt, uncle and cousins this weekend.  People are what is important.  On my death bed, I will not wish I had another chance to go to the Vera Bradley Outlet and buy a bag.  I will want another hug from my family.

May we all remember that we leave this world with nothing.  May we eject ourselves from the rat race and focus on people.  They are what matters.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

A Note to All Adoptive Parents from an Adult Adopted Child

I was at the gym this morning minding my own business and ended up with a random guy in my workout group.  The crowd was sparse today, so groups were in twos today.  So it was me and random guy pumping some iron.  Not a whole lot was said along the workout until I made a statement about a little girl sitting on the sidelines waiting for her mommy to finish her workout.  I turned to my gym buddy and said, "That little girl is one of the prettiest little girls I have ever seen."  He agreed and we moved on to the next station.  Somehow he and I ended up in a big discussion about kids and genetics.  This is amusing because genetics is one of my favorite subjects to discuss.

Her eyes are the color of the ocean.
She is 6 months old.
Her adoption was final last week.

STOP  Stop right there.  "I was adopted when I was 6 months old too!!!"  I was completely captivated by his description of his baby from this moment on.  In fact, we missed one of our stations because we were talking about the fact that his daughter and I are just alike.  Both adopted at 6 months old.  Both adored by our parents, both so very special and so very wanted.

The gentleman was also captivated by my story and started asking me about adoption from an adult child's perspective.  Which led me to today's blog post.  I have a few words of advice to all adoptive parents.

Now here is where my parents come in.  They didn't do everything right I am sure they would say, but I can't think of a single thing they did wrong in raising me.  But, the one thing they did perfectly was made me feel special.  I never felt adopted, never felt an outsider, or different.  I have seen quite a few shows with adopted people in them who never felt right in their homes.  This is not my experience and I give my parents all the credit for how they raised me.  First of all, "adopted" was never a foreign word to me.  My mom rocked me and told me how special I was and how much she wanted me.  My dad constantly told me I was the best and I believed it.  They told me how heartbreak in childbearing for them led to me being their daughter and how grateful to God they were for me.  As years passed, they would continue to talk to me about how special an adopted daughter was.  They never sat me down and told me I was adopted.  That is the worst thing a parent can do is set the child down and tell them they are adopted.  Instead, breathe it to them as you rock them, talk about it while you bathe them, and it will just be a part of life, not a secret revealed when they are old enough to understand.  I understood being adopted from the day I was adopted.  I was 6 months old and had full knowledge of what adoption was.  Adoption was having a mom and dad who cherished me.  Always and forever no matter how old I get.

As I collect my thoughts to share with you, I am reminded of the story in Timothy when we are reminded that Timothy's faith dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice and now dwells in him.    Lois and Eunice did not set Timothy down and say, "We need to have a talk."  Instead, faith was just always something he grew up knowing and understanding.  Adoption is that way for me.  Always something I knew.  Whether I knew all the answers about adoption didn't matter just like knowing all the answers about faith didn't matter.  Timothy knew he had it, and I knew I was special and wanted.

I have never wanted to know who my birth mother is.  I still don't.  I have a very full life and I don't need to know who physically grew me, because my parents are the ones who gave me life.  When I was in college, I did pray to God that He place it on my birth mother's heart how grateful I am that she did not see me as property but as a life who deserved better than she could give me.  What a selfless woman that I do not need to know.

I am grateful for my parents who did everything right.  Especially making me feel like I am important.  From the time I was a baby, they told me I was kind, I was important, I was smart.  And I believed it.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Beautiful Ashes

I have been having lengthy conversations with a close friend over the past bit.  She is a lifelong friend.  Someone I have known my whole life.  We have been friends since I can remember friends.  It's fun when you have a friend that you can go a year without seeing and then suddenly see them and start a conversation like you never missed a beat.  She is that friend.  I am truly blessed.  I have to give this friend credit for today's blog post.  She didn't write the words but she inspired the thought because she brought the thought to my attention.  Thank you, Friend.

When have the ashes of your past been beautiful to someone else?  When have you been candid enough with someone who was struggling to give them tools from your own struggling that can help them as they experience hard times? We all have valleys in life that we wish we didn't have to navigate but when we get back out of the valley and file away the information we learned to get through the difficult time, it can be used to the greater good when shared with a friend.  Now, I am not at all saying we need to go around and lay all our problems out on a table for all to see and hear.  But what I AM saying is that when an opportunity comes to share a situation you have been through so that another of God's children can have strength for another day then we need to remove our veil, or mask for them to see that they are not alone.  The worst feeling in the world is alone.  To feel like you are the only one experiencing this pain, this loss, this agony, this problem.  We have such a unique opportunity with our circle of friends and family and coworkers to help each other feel like they are not alone.  What a gift.

Isaiah 61:1-5New International Version (NIV)

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

In Isaiah 61:1-5 we are told to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn and bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.  When have your ashes been a beautiful crown to someone else who was in need? This passage also says they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.  Oak trees are very slow growing but the strongest trees when the winds blow.  They roots are very deep.  When we share struggles with friends who have lived a day in our shoes, we create this great oak.  Slowly, deeply, and strong enough to stand the winds of trouble.

Make your ashes beautiful for someone today. Have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Do you know how to check to see if spaghetti is done?  Well, when you think it is done, pull out a piece and throw it against the refrigerator.  If it sticks, it is done.  If it doesn't, it isn't done.  That simple.  Foolproof.
Picture of It's Ready!
Sometimes when I am cooking spaghetti, I am in a hurry and hope that it is done and will pull out a few pieces and throw them hoping they will stick.  Other times, I KNOW the spaghetti is done and pull out a piece and throw it knowing it will stick.  How many times in our lives are we in a situation where it is ok to just throw as much spaghetti as we can toward the refrigerator just hoping that some of it will stick?  For example, with our children, don't we try to teach them everything that we can think of before they leave home hoping that some of it will stick?  We throw all the wisdom we can think of at the refrigerator of their lives and hope that when it comes down to it, some of it sticks?  Still other times, we are down to the wire of a situation and before we can throw the spaghetti we have to have an educated guess, a certainty that the spaghetti will stick when we throw it.  In these times, we can't afford error.  We HAVE to make it stick.

What situations are you dealing with or have dealt with that you tried to just throw as much effort as you could toward it hoping some of it was successful?  Then what situations are you dealing with where you can't afford error and you have to know the effort will be successful before you invest in it?

Let me know what you think.