Sunday, February 24, 2013

What the current contents in my purse say about me...

I was in middle school when I carried my first purse. It was a neutral color with a long shoulder strap and not very big. I didn't carry much: a brush, mirror, coins because I rarely had any cash, Bubblicious Bubble gum (think 80's and blowing big bubbles) and a picture or two.

Ya know that joke where the older you get the bigger your purse gets? Well, in my case, it is more like the older I get the more stuff I haul around in my same-sized, medium purse! I just can't bring myself to buy a bigger purse. And so the purpose of my bag is no longer about feeling grown up or a fashion statement or to hold my driver's license and ya know, tampons. Yes, I used the "T" word.

The contents in my purse as I write this?...
The usual
A wallet, brush with hair-ties, keys, sunglasses, cell phone, a mirror, women stuff, receipts, and lip gloss.

The necessities when I launched my professional career
A pocket calendar, paper pad, pens, breath mints, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, oil blotting paper, lotion coupons/gift cards/ or point cards.

Surprise necessities...around 2007 
1. An Epi-pen for when a wasp or bee decides to sting me.
2. Powdered sunscreen or some organic kinds: My skin is allergic to something in most sunscreens available.

The I wouldn't have ever had this in my purse before kids contents:
     1. Crayons/Activity books-need I say more?
     2. Hand wipes (for sticky moments and the mysterious white crud around my kid's mouths). 
     3. Sugar packets...for those moments when an unhealthy need for a pick up arises, just kidding. The packets were actually for a cup of coffee I had and wanted to sugar it myself so it wasn't so sweet. They are still in there from a week ago.
     4. Tissue- snotty noses and boogers, of course.
     5. Band-Aides
     6. A pacifier (when they were younger) and now? A car or action figure!
     7. My kid's insurance cards/information for the doctor, etc.
     8. Snacks such as granola bars, bananas, or cheese sticks.
     9. Occasionally, a pair of socks, a diaper or gloves have taken a ride.
     10. A "Mona Lisa" flashlight. Yes, you read that right. I am artsy and it was a gift given to help me find items in my purse when it is dark and or to see the lock at my door when it is dark.
UM, now it is actually another toy to entertain the restless natives at the store.

So, as you can see, I am almost prepared for any kid-like or kid-inducing event! The days of the young woman trying to anticipate and be ready for the cute guy or to be efficient at work is long gone.  Enter the super-adapted momma...ready for gunk, stickiness, owies, germs, hubby's headaches, boredom, and hunger pangs. Ka-pow!

Okay, your turn...what do you have in your purse that well, you know you wouldn't have had even a year ago?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mama Knows...Five Minute Friday

5 minutes on what momma did that made her my momma. (Join the blog party here: FMF)

Ready, Set, Go!
Momma Knows

Momma knows when I am withholding something from her. I know she can't read my mind, but somehow she read my unspoken words. Even up to her sudden passing, she was always willing to open her arms and hold my hands because even through her unhappiness and sometimes hurtful behavior towards me she loved me and my, she adored my little hands. The crooked pinky too.
I've never doubted her love for me. 
Sure, she struggled with loyalty, praise and kind words but not her love. I felt her deep love. Her longing to fix what she knew she broke. I was her youngest, her baby. I held that place in her heart and no one could take it from me.

My mommy laughed and made it a daily habit to involve others in the laughing. Even in the midst of the pain of losing her own mother, she found humor! We kept receiving chicken dishes: fried chicken, casseroles, stuffed; all the ways one could cook chicken was brought in a kind gesture. Momma couldn't contain her thoughts or her humor. When the doorbell rang she smirked and sarcastically said, "I don't want anymore chicken. If it's chicken, tell them, no thanks."
She helped us find joy in something so benign.

It took awhile to desire chicken for a meal. My hands have never looked the same. 

I've found that I share my mother's ability to see life's quirks with the same pair of eyes.Thank you momma for what you did...

Monday, February 11, 2013

In which I think I am ready to jump

My palms are sweaty, my heart's racing, while fear courses thru my heart and veins. There's never a moment that I think of jumping out into the sky...of letting it all go. He has strapped me to him. He has a parachute and so do I. He's got my life literally in his hands and well, he knows it is okay if we jump. Gulp. I don't desire it. I can't do it. He says I can. I don't want to, thank you.
Instead, I would rather be strapped to my chair until I touch ground. It's safer on the ground. My feet can touch and I have some control. 

To make matters worse, I have to jump twice. Um, yeah. Twice!

What if's run through my head. I ache. I am torn. What if I am hearing it all wrong? What if the jumping leads to injury that's permanent? One that I feel for sure I can't recover from. At least that's how it feels right now.

My first jump involves my first born child. He's five. School is looming. Decisions, deadlines, meetings, paperwork and defining choices hang in the air. Every inch I move toward the inevitable makes me ache. Like pushing through deep snow with a layer of ice on top each step stings. I've entertained home schooling, half-day kindergarten and we are signed up for popular schools with lottery systems.  I am not sure what is best for my child. Not entirely anyway. Some of of this I can't control and this is good. No control means God is in complete control.
This is what I really want.
 For God to be in control. Complete control. Here's my recent conversation, "God, you can go ahead and do all the work. You can go ahead and make the decisions for me. I will just sit back and be the chicken, wimpy mommy I am. Okay? Great."
        I also realize that not being ready to send my child off into the world without my hovering, without my protection isn't wrong. In my opinion, it is great. It makes me a loving mom. Okay, yes, I know eventually I have to let him grow up and grow away from me, but how long can I hold that off cause I only think I am ready to jump.

MY SECOND JUMP? It has more consequences than the first. Really!
It involves letting go of relationships where the two involved don't respect me. Where their selfishness gets in the way. They are volatile, unsafe and toxic. I mentioned in a post recently that I don't know why I hang on. This jump feels raw. It feels severe and yet, necessary. There is no point in keeping relationships with family or anyone where there is no reciprocating. Where investing only leads to more hurt, more agony. I haven't even spoken to one in over two years. 

I think I am ready to jump. I hold on tight as the wind of fear slaps me in all directions. God holds me close and whispers, "I know what is best for you and for your family. I hold a parachute of truth you can trust. Hold onto me, jump and I will catch you, always."

I close my eyes...

Your turn, is there some area of your life where you need to jump?

Happily linking up at Jen's Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The problems of defining Christianity...

I find it difficult to define Christianity. I get why those not of the faith get confused and or how we get on their nerves or worse they hate us. Actually, many Christians get on my nerves or shock me.
     Below is my best attempt at defining today's Christianity. My attempt can happen in stages as well. Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to insult anyone or be ugly here. Just wanting to get people thinking. I am sure someone will not enjoy reading this, but sometimes truth hurts.
I have been all of the below at some point in my life. I have been number 4 since around my 25th birthday (I am 38), thank goodness, but hopefully I haven't done too much of what is past that (see below) because that makes me sad and mad at me. So where do you rate?

1. The Seeker: Someone who is neither against God nor for him, but they are still curious and looking for something in life that is different from what they have now. They are at least partially open to checking out the Christian faith.
                                    A. I have to add "Semi-believer" here: Someone who hasn't accepted Christ with some kind of official prayer or coming out or anything, but believes in Christ and likes him, but doesn't understand him, the bible, etc.

2. The Newbie: (some call them Baby Christians, but I think that sounds insulting): Someone who has accepted the Christian faith and accepted Christ in their hearts (numerous reasons why they may choose this) for the first time.

3. Either the Sponge and or instead is the Fire Insurance Agent: Someone who has chosen to go deeper into understanding Christianity, the Lord and such and is more than interested in NOT leaving it at the newbie stage. Often this person chooses and or feels the tug of the Holy Spirit to establish and move into a relationship rather than a religious situation with our God Almighty.  OR...they remain saved by grace and have acquired salvation based on the gospel, but are merely in to avoid what we all call Hell.
A. Again I feel the need to add the "In-Limbo" here: Someone who is almost to number 4 and whom is in-between the two. Kind of a fan of Christ and perhaps afraid or not ready to commit, but not someone who is in it just for fire insurance.

4. Disciple or Follower of Christ: Okay, here is where it can get sticky and one has be careful and not get all judgmental or too into the law (legalistic).
                   This is a difficult stage to write about because unless you get to know someone well, they can claim to be a follower, but really are not. They can be following ideas, theology and rules that are not Biblically correct or sound. PLUS...Christians are not perfect so I feel there is immense pressure on Christians to never mess up or otherwise they really aren't a follower of Christ. With that said, yes, if we know someone well enough and we never see any growth or change in their lives...any, well, we might make assumptions, but if we are followers than like every other human, we are broken and in need of a savior.
    One definition: One who has acknowledged that they sin (make mistakes/bad choices), need a savior, has chosen to accept Christ into their heart, and chooses to daily walk, talk and learn about the other words has an authentic relationship with a loving, forgiving, grace-giving,  just and trustworthy God. They usually believe that the Lord loves us as we are (really), but works in us to change us and prepares us to do good works on earth.

Sometimes we have the above and here is where we get into trouble:
      1. We act like Pharisees and get all holier-than-thou and think we have all the answers.
      2. We act like we are God (all-omnipresent and omniscient).
      3. We give horrible answers to others about their questions about God and such.
      4. We give platitudes and quick fixes  (see the three above as to why).
And my  LEAST favorite:
5. We push rules and ways of living on others (esp. seekers) rather than loving them where they are!!! Ya know the cliche of love the sinner and hate the sin. We need to practice that hard!

Okay, your turn, what do you think of the above? Be honest, but be kind. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How I came up with my kid's names

Linking up at Mama Kat's today, go here

#5. Share how you came up with your kids names!

I have two sons. Schafer and Grant. I always thought I would be a mom to at least one girl. So of course I had girl names in mind, but obviously I don't have a choice about whether my child will possess a banana and berries or just a peach.

So after the ultrasound, I was a bit stunned. Okay, a little disappointed for like a minute. Honestly, I was excited just to have a healthy child so really it didn't matter-EXCEPT for the name. For the next three months, hubby and I did the What about...? NO!...that reminds me of so and so name dance. And I wish I could tell you that I was the genius who gloriously presented the name to my hubby. Nope. Hubby beat me to it! Schafer's name is a common last name and yes, you guessed it my dear spouse liked the way it sounded and asked me about it. I truly did love it. Unique, but not to the point of being made fun of.
 And we were cruel enough to keep the name from everyone until the day our sweet boy was born. Hey, at least everyone knew he was a he.

As far as Grant, well we did the same name dance and I stole his name from my cousin whose middle name is Grant. I was the brilliant one this time. His name is strong, simple and again not one that can lead to torturous roll calls in school. 

So there ya have it...and the lesson is that we are both super adept at picking names. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The likes and dislikes of Ground Hog Day...

Okay, Feb. 2nd. It is just a day, right? Not for me. Let me explain with a list (smile).

What I like about GHD:

1. It is one step closer to spring and warmer temperatures.
2. It is my late mother's birthday
3. A cute rodent is famous because of tradition.
4. Sometimes the said rodent predicts correctly and spring comes early.

5. You can eat too much chocolate and no one thinks that is wrong or weird unless of course a person is uber strict about calories and thinks sugar is evil. Okay, yes, I have proved that one can have a slight addiction to the white stuff, but I will never apologize for having my fair share of chocolate.

6. It is pretty much a neutral month with most people getting President's Day off (bonus)...except for Valentine's Day...which is nice because it is about chocolate and loving someone, but see below for what I don't like about this month. I am torn.

What I dislike about GHD:

1. It is my late mother's birthday. Read, a reminder that she is no longer here to celebrate another year of life.
2. It is one day closer to my birthday (May) which reminds me that although spring is coming, I am no spring chicken. However, I am growing old gracefully, thank you.

3. Valentine's Day-Blah. A day for others to show you they love you...shouldn't we always show others love? It is also a day to waste money on ultra-CHEAPLY made chocolate, silly stuffed animals that know adult really wants, and flowers that die. How depressing. Alright already, I will confess that I am a chocolate snob.
Honestly, my hubby or others should spontaneously win me over with chocolate at least once a month. Okay, I know that sounded selfish. Sorry, just being honest about my chocolate addiction fascination.

4. In most of the U.S. it is still winter (enough said). Sometimes the Ground Hog predicts more winter. Boo!

5. The failure of too lofty goals (some people call them resolutions) has shown up by now.
This is why I don't make them. Instead I take small steps to change me or I plan a reachable goal. For example, I might try exercising an extra day or for 15 minutes more or send one piece of writing to a publisher.
One year, I slowly introduced hubby and I to whole grains and whole wheat. We now eat mostly non-white carbs. Think whole wheat bread, tortillas, multi-grain or wheat noodles, and my personal favorite: whole wheat Jasmine or Basmati rice for my authentic Indian and Thai recipes, Yummy!

6. The lack of sun causes depression, my nails don't grow well and I am getting spring fever BAD!
Did I mention I love spring, summer and fall? Winter is pretty and needed, but it is not my favorite.

SO there ya have it. Your turn. Tell me what you like/dislike about Ground Hog's Day?

Friday, February 1, 2013

She taught me fear (FMF: Afraid)

She used to hide in the closet and wait for moments to scare me. It worked every time. My heart would palpate differently and for a minute the flight response was activated. I loathed these humorous moments for her as much as haunted houses. I didn't want to be afraid of either one, but how could I not? Someone or some thing lurking in shadows to entertain self or supposedly me.

She taught me to be afraid. Sometimes that saved my life, but I am not grateful. That fear tied to my worth and keeping my low self-esteem company. Manifesting into a me that didn't take risks or believe that I could do it. All lies. A generation passed on a lie in my heart.

Now, the self-confidence is stronger and my risks are ever widening, but I face a new kind of fear. Fear of success. What if all my risk-taking and striving actually works?

They still won't celebrate me. They are toxic and I am afraid to truly let them go. But I am wondering why I hang on.

And the devious side (although I am still afraid) wants to tell them what I really say, "It's not me, it's you...

Linking up for 5 minutes of real, not perfect writing at Tales from a Gypsy Mama

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