Sometimes we look ahead and we realize we can’t actually keep our eyes on the prize. We have to keep our heads down and just put one foot in front of the other or take it one step at a time because that “prize” is just too far away. Continue reading
Living with the blur
We all know there are times when you just aren’t sure exactly what the plan is and you don’t even know where to start to figure it out. I feel a little like that these days. I have nothing to complain about in the big picture of things so I won’t do that, but I do often wonder what the bigger picture actually looks like. This week has already been amazingly interesting and it was only Tuesday night when I started this and it’s only gotten more intriguing, although, I guess in fairness there isn’t much in my life that’s just quiet and slow-paced. Most of my life is lived in a bit of a blur and while I know there is constant encouragement from various places to just slow down and live in the moment I literally feel like this stage of my life is somewhat out of my control when it comes to the pace. I know I can choose to add things or not but quite frankly there is little I can take away at this point.
Okay so it’s been way too long since I updated my blog! A few things have happened along the way, probably two of the most significant events include starting school and becoming an auntie again! Funny thing is that both happened on the same day…weird to say the least. Over the last two weeks both of these events have given me opportunity for a great deal of reflection and added an element of emotion to my life.
At this point I don’t think I’ll have time or energy to get into too much detail but there are a few things I would love to share…
ON BECOMING AN AUNTIE AGAIN…
Lately I’ve been thinking about why my life is what it is! Sounds like a deep question right, but honestly it’s not! The last few weeks, in particular the loss of my sweet nephew, the changes happening in my career and schooling, and some changes happening at James’ work, have got me thinking about how my perspective has shifted. It’s little things I notice here and there, nothing major or dramatic but little moments that 2 months ago may have put me over the edge that NOW just cause me to shrug my shoulders and keep plodding forward.
So while we celebrate Father’s Day every June, we also celebrate the birthday of a pretty special guy! This year we were set to celebrate a pretty big milestone with my Dad. 60 glorious years of life! He may beg to differ on all 60 of them being glorious but it seems appropriate that this milestone deserves a bit of exaggeration. Needless to say that with the events of the previous month we were all finding it difficult to muster the energy and desire to put together a big shindig AND my father is not one for extravagant parties. He is the epitome of the “strong, silent” type. Instead we opted for a small, family gathering with just our immediate family. A fun, photo scavenger hunt was put together, teams were created, funky hats were distributed, 60 citronella candles were purchased and food arranged.
We had so much fun celebrating the man who has quietly loved us through life. My dad is an unassuming individual who has spent most of his life giving of himself so that his family would never go without. I don’t think I have ever heard him complain about how difficult life can be. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of stories we could share about his amusing antics, making us graham cracker chicken, making us eat outside or in the garage as a punishment for poor table manners or disobedience, an encounter or two with a belt of the leather variety, etc. Better yet, we could probably share some insider information on the fact that he’ll eat almost anything because his tastebuds are literally broken, he has a few grandkids but one little granddaughter has him particularly wrapped around her little finger, we mock him sometimes because he used to be so strict and the man we now see doting on his grandkids is not the same one we recall growing up. But the truth of the matter is that we love him so much and he has given us an amazing amount of memories and experiences that have made us kids, the people we are today. There are many attributes and character qualities that we can pick out in each other that remind us of the best we see if our dad. While it wasn’t the same celebration that we’d hoped to give him and we were all aware of the little missing person that should have filled the frame of many a picture, we know the memories we created on that day will give us each a great deal of joy as we reflect on who this man is to us and why we are so incredibly thankful and blessed for his presence in our lives.
I’ve included the link for the slideshow we put together to remember the day and I think it’ll give you a better idea of just how much fun we had being silly while we celebrated this very amazing man that I am proud to call my father!
I’ve said it before but I’ll gladly say it again…my husband is SO CREATIVE!!! Whether it’s being creative at work, creative at parenting or just plain creative with life, his mind thinks in ways I cannot fathom. The latest creative endeavor in our home has been sandwich bags made uniquely for each child.
Now let’s just clear the air from the start. There is no possible way for me to claim that this is environmentally friendly, in fact it’s probably quite the opposite. However the anticipation it creates for my children to open their lunches makes it easier for me to justify my contribution to global warming.
James came across a designer’s blog some time ago that had fun ideas for using your creative skills in your child’s lunchbox. He showed me some of the unique creations and then expressed the desire to do something similar with his kiddos. So he started one Sunday evening with one black and one red sharpie. The result was stunning…four drawings on a ziploc baggie for each of his kids. The picture was something special to them and a way for him to let his kids know that he thought of them throughout the day.
Three weeks later and said creative idea going strong, I decided to fill his “toolbox” with a whole set of colorful sharpies. The result was wonderful…
THE WORDS OF OUR HEARTS
In times of deep sorrow it would seem a wonderful blessing if the tears that fall could speak the words of our heart. Alas that is not the case and we are left to use mere words to share the moments, thoughts, and memories to explain the pain that settles in the soul. Today if my tears could speak they would ask questions. Why? Why now? Why at all? Why this? The list of “why” questions would be abundant, seemingly never ending. But in the quiet lack of response our minds grasp that the questions will remain unanswered, that the anguish and loneliness will settle deep in our souls and be a companion for a time.
I share a tiny piece of this story. The loss of sweet, sweet dreams and a lifetime of “if onlys”. The bigger story and deeper pain, the reality of lives forever altered and joys ripped away is borne by two individuals that I love deeply. One who shares the bond of family ties and the other who chose that bond out of love and commitment. Joel and Meghan have graced the pages of this blog before. They exchanged their wedding vows on our 11th wedding anniversary and watching their life together take shape has been wonderful. In so many ways all the things they have planned have come together so flawlessly. May 20th will be etched on our minds as a day that flawless became flawed.
This may seem like a silly reflection to some, especially since my grandparents have been dead for many years, but over the last month I’ve had some seriously intense moments of missing my grandma. For a little family background…my dad’s mom died before I was born so I never met her, my dad’s dad has been in and out of our family life for various reasons over the years so I don’t have a relationship with him, my mom’s dad died when I was quite young, although I remember visiting him in a number of care homes and the day he died, and my mom’s mom, my grandma, died when I was 13. That left my grandma as the one grandparent I had a lasting, memorable relationship with and still hold those memories dear.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”! For those who do not believe in God or the bible and for those who are struggling in their faith right now those words probably feel like a slap-in-the-face. I acknowledge that because as a believer who feels growth in my relationship with God I too feel like this passage is immensely hard to grasp.