Sunday, January 27, 2013
Lessons I have learned from the basketball court! My daughter played a hard game. They were ahead through the 3rd quarter. Then, in the 4th quarter, the other team caught up, tied the game, and ultimately ended up winning. From the bleachers, it looked like the other team just really pulled out all the stops and were making their shots. However, when I asked my daughter about it, she said, "Mom, we just didn't Stay Strong!" They came out ready to win, armed with skill, played really well, and fatigue took over, and in the final quarter, they lost the game. As Famililes Change, I have realized that this is an important lesson to take from the court . After the funeral, divorce, wedding or farewell or Change of any sort, if we want to win, we need to Stay Strong. Lesson 2: It's better to pass the ball to someone on your own team! Know who your support network is---- and use them!! Especially when you are feeling weak and need to make it through the 4th quarter!! Lesson 3: Every play does not work in every game. Know a variety plays! After any Family Change, the team you are playing on is different with different challenges and obligations. So, what worked one day, may not work the next. You need a variety of "plays" to make it through. Lesson 4: Music pumps up the team before each game. The players shoot, run, pass and practice to music to get their heads in the game and their skills ready to play. I play music everyday!! It definitely motivates, inspires, comforts and even teaches me, so that my skills are ready to take on whatever the day may bring. On this post is a song by Hilary Weeks. Her music has moved me to action many times! Her music has kept my "head in the game" and for tha,t I will be forever grateful. The song I chose for this post sums up much of my journey through divorce, and reminds me that any Family Change or "mountain in middle of our road", is no excuse for failure and definitely not a reason to give up---- its the "price we pay" to see a view that can only be seen, by "keeping our heads in the game!" Lesson 5: The final score is not always the most important part of the game or life. Rather, learning from the experiences of the "game", that led to that ulimate score, is. And Staying Strong for the next game, the next challenge, and the next change. For, LOSS = CHANGE = GROWTH. And that's the "Beautiful" that can be found it every "Heartbreak"!! STAY STRONG!!!.........and enjoy the song!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Monday, January 14, 2013
Almost 18 years ago, our Family Changed, we went from 2 kids to 3 and decided to build a house. As a house warming gift, my parents gave us a gift certificate for $75 dollars to a local nursery. I really wanted a tree! It was quite a wake-up call, when we built this house, to realize that we had to also buy dirt and grass. So, I went into the nursery to buy a tree. As I browsed the nursery, I realized that it was going to be a very small tree, if I could find one in my budget. I asked an employee and he brought out a somewhat brown tree, in a dirty pot, that stood about 6 inches in height. He told me that it was sick, but if I could nurse it back to health, it would be a fabulous shade tree. So, I brought home my new tree and carefully planted it in just the right spot. Then, for the next few months, I watered it as instructed, everyday. The following summer, it stood about 12 inches tall. One night, we returned from a family vacation, and in shock, realized our tree had been cut off clear to the ground. I was devastated!! "How could this happen after all my hard work?" Within the next few days, a friend brought over their father who really knew trees!!! He opened the top of the trunk, which was now, ground level, and directly on the trunk put a little of this and little of that. Again, I spent the next year watering and caring for this tree. At the end of the following year, the tree had grown to about 12 inches high and it had one leaf on the top--- it looked just like a birthday candle!! The tree kept growing, against all odds, into an amazing centerpiece for our front yard. This tree, that once had little hope, has since gone on to provide shade for summer stories and picnics, a place of rest and relaxation for a neighborhood friend dying of cancer, a place for family pictures. And, a place for fun and games. We moved from that house about 6 years ago. It is located just across from the church we attend. One day, soon after my husband left, I was coming out of the church parking lot, feeling pretty down and discouraged. That tree stood before me, full of healthy leaves, tall and strong! I was touched by it's beauty----and inside I could hear the words loud and clear, "NEVER GIVE UP!" I realized, at that moment, that with lots of tender loving care, my family would not only make it----- but go on to touch lives, against all odds. I realized that it would take a lot of hard work and tender loving care. I was SO thankful for this divine message. I also realized, that if He can part the Red Sea, He can work miracles in me!!!! There have been many times since, as I have embarked on this journey of single parenthood, that I have wanted to throw in the towel. Many days of school that seem just too hard. Long nights that just get longer. A "To-Do List" that is never done. Then, I will head down the road to run this or that errand. There, I will see my tree, and those words loud and clear--- as if they have been embedded in its' trunk,"NEVER GIVE UP!"
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
We are leaving a legacy, everyday, like it or not! A young boy, at the elementary school I work at, suffered a heart attack during a soccer game, last week. This incredible event not only has left him, 11 years old, in a comatose state, but has created great cause for a school and community family to come together. Garrett, my 10 year old has spent the last few nights asking many questions. "Why does someone's heart stop?" "Is he in pain?" "Will he remember being in the hospital?"........and the list goes on. This could be any of us......our son, our family, our community, our heart! We never know what exactly, the future holds. None of us have a guaranteed "tomorrow", however, if you are reading this post, "today" is all yours! What kind of legacy will you leave today? A legacy of love? A legacy of service? A legacy of kindness? A legacy of tension? A legacy of, "in a minute"? A legacy of "maybe tomorrow." Since this event, I have encouraged my kids and myself to be a little kinder, work a little harder and be a little better. As I woke up this morning, I asked myself, "What legacy will I leave today?" So, I wrapped up little prize, put a bow on it, and added a note of encouragement. I slipped the prize into my backpack and headed to school. I had no idea who this prize was for, but asked prayerfully, that I be guided. I found the perfect friend, in day one, of class. We chatted, talked about school and family. Then, I pulled out my Legacy of Love--- the wrapped prize, just for her! I don't know if she even cared about its' contents, but the look on her face, as I revealed it, was enough to make me want to "give" everyday!! So, we have today, all are not so lucky. What will we do with it? Who will we touch? How will we make others feel? Will those we love KNOW as we SHOW---- by our words and our deeds? ----------------
What Legacy will we Leave, TODAY?
What Legacy will we Leave, TODAY?
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Part of my Saturday routine, usually involves getting to the grocery store. Yesterday, I went while my kids stayed home and watched a movie. It was 10 minutes of pure relaxation---- to not worry about who wanted to drive, who wanted to sit by whom and what song to listen to. So yesterday, I drove myself, I chose the song, I decided how high to set the heat, and I even chose how far back to adjust my seat, as no one was sitting behind me. By the time I reached my destination, I was relaxed, feeling pretty awesome, and pretty focused on ME!! I entered the store and began to wonder and scan every isle. After 45 minutes, my basket was piled high! I got in line, divided my purchases from the person in front of me and began to unload my cart------my favorite cereal, my favorite crackers, my favorite Veggie Straws, my favorite juice, a couple of t-shirts just for me. A hoodie on sale just my size. And, even a video, I thought I might enjoy, that night. Then, I received a call from my kids regarding a situation that needed my attention. My mother heart began to race, as I knew I needed to hurry home and "clock in"! I have always said that a formula for a great day includes something for my family, something for myself and something for someone else----. So, I quickly decided my shopping cart should reflect such priorities. I put back MY favorites and replaced them with OUR favorites. Kept the mini-bags of chips that would thrill the kids as they opened their lunch sacks Monday morning. I took out the "wants" and replaced them with "needs". I kept the gift for my cute son-in-law and the vitamin supplement for myself. I have to admit, it was scary to realize how fast I could lose sight of what was really important. I think Satan LOVES it when we think only of ourselves, and he shutters when we cater to the needs of others and our families-----as he is alone and wants us to be the same. As Families Change, so do our day-to-day priorities. Sometimes we need to be willing to give up the life we had planned----for the life that is waiting for us!! I have always enjoyed taking time for myself, who doesn't, but the balance of taking time for yourself, your family and others truly is a formula for success!!! Those Veggie Straws never tasted so good, knowing that I had things for the whole family and a secret surprise for my adorable son-in-law, for a job well-done!! So, on those days when you're not sure how it will all come to pass-------how the laundry will get done, kids homework, everyone to practice, fix and clean-up dinner------ double your recipe and drop off dinner for a neighbor, call a friend while you fold, or write a note to someone while you wait for kids to come out of practice.......and pinky-promise, you will find, miraculously, what needed to get done did!! Parenthood, truly was divninely designed for two, but when you are doing it alone, there is nothing better than being His hands while you raise His children!!
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Did you know that hand-me-downs and goals have a lot in common? Both are perfect, just a size too big and easy to grow into! And both, goals and hand-me-downs have seen us through some pretty hard times and helped us, as a family, not only make it, but look great while we are doing it!!! This week, I have been working on setting up the new calendars for the coming year. Adding in games, practices, performances, appointments and all the many obligations and opportunities that fill each month. It is easy to look at each day and feel overwhelmed or inferior. However, this year, as I gazed at my blank calendar, I realized that each day is merely another opportunity to get it right----a second chance. Each day a challenge to smile at those you wait in line with, in a waiting room with or pass in the halls or pick up for a carpool. Each blank day an opportunity to lighten someone's load-----then the miracle takes place and your own is easier to bear. Each blank day is simply the chance to make difference!! With a new year, the air is buzzing with new resolutions, diets, grand plans for the future. But, remember the hand-me-downs-----my 10 year old son would not look great in man's coat. No, not yet, but someday. For now, a size too big, to grow into, is just perfect!! And, don't let obstacles get in your way of making each day what you want it to be. Obstacles are just those scary things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Peter was totally walking on the water towards the Savior. He was doing it!! Then, he looked down at the tempest seas below his feet---- he took his eyes off his goal---he doubted, lost faith and sank!!! Inspiration can come from others, but determination comes from deep within ourselves. Determination cannot be given or taken---only discovered----- then used as a spring-board to grow into our goals, perfectly chosen just a size too big. We impose our own limitations and often set ourselves up for failure before we even get started. So, rather than impose limitations on yourself with self-doubt, lack of confidence or past failures----just KNOW your limitations then DEFY them!!! Families Change, challenges come, trails we will experience, but tough times never last forever-----but tough people do!!!