Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Left My Heart.....In.....

Got ya, didn't I?
You thought I was going to say San Fransisco. 
I love it there also. 
But for this post I'm going to focus on Seattle because...

Started off the weekend at a Seattle Mariners game.
Self-pics are such fun!

Pike Peak Market.
The pictures speak for themselves.

San Juan Islands in Puget Sound.
Wonderful friends live there.

We saw sea lions....

and whales from their patio.
Yes, the black dots are really whales!
More impressive in person!

Wine tasting at Chateau St. Michelle.

The wind.
The wine.
My guy.
Who could ask for anything more?

Ride the Ducks.
WWII amphibious landing craft.

I'm coming back home to you ...someday!
Not really my home.
But it fit with the song .
This was an anniversary trip back in 2009.
Priceless memories.
Thanks for taking the trip down memory lane with me.

*My personal favs. are the ones of Pike Market and the sailing photos. None are edited..obviously! :)**

Friday, March 25, 2011

Go My Child

Go brush your teeth and floss.
Go pack lunch, go to school.
Go help your brother pick up.
Go get your shoes and coat,
Go to church on Sunday morning.
Go feed and water the dog.
Go clean your room right now!
Go help your sister with math.
Go wash your hands (with soap).
Go take the garbage out tonight.
Go clear the table and load.
Go say prayers, go to bed.

I'm not that blunt each day
When I tell you to go.
I say please and thank you
But the message sounds the same.

Saying go do a million things
Chores to complete and finish quick
But did I say clearly that
Some "go's" are more

Go kiss your dad, squeeze tight.
Go laugh with crazy joyous zeal
Go walk confidently into the world
Go read a book for pleasure
Go travel far within the pages
Go stare at stars in amazement
Go hug your sister and brother
Go tell Papa a good joke.
Go give Grammy lots of loving.
Go help the ones who stumble.
Go eat fries by the lake.
Go blow big bubbles just because.

Go far into the world,child.
Go have adventures by the mile.
Please return and share your journey
With your mom who prays daily
That life for you is filled
With all the love I held
The first day I held you.

Inspired by:   Six Word Fridays~ word of the week is "go"

Who Likes Making New Friends??

Me! Me!
Come out and play at...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hopelessly Lonely

Like cattle being led to slaughter
she feels herself pushed closer to the double doors.
Aware of hard bodies pressed against her softness,
the ride of her shirt up her full torso,
the pinch of her jeans... her mothers choice... cutting into the flesh that spills over the top.
Feeling the silent expectation that her body fit into this piece of denim, conform to this size.

Her mind begins the battle that is waged daily..same time, same place.
A small salad, light dressing, is the healthy choice.
This she knew.
If not a healthy choice than no choice at all, she determined
as she burst through narrow doors into the vast room.

Eyes, like a missile, lock unto the bar filled with vegetables...cold, hard and unyielding.
Laughter, close to her ear, causes a sideways glance.
A cut of the eyes to the impossibly thin, effervescent girls to her left.
Feeling their judgement, trying to ease the lump building in her throat, she slides past the salads.
You've's no choice then!  Keep moving.
The voice inside her head whispers.

Her eyes catch a reflection of herself and the lithe girls reflected in the stainless steel.
Her body appears immense, her features swollen, her breasts overabundant.
Disgust, sadness, resignation wash over her like oncoming waves.
Her movements quicken, feeling the girls impatience pushing her from behind.
Blindly grabbing, she turns to survey the tables.
Tables filled with raging hormones, false bravado, illusion.
She doesn't fit.

Mercifully, she escapes....slipping into the bathroom....unseen.
Closing the stall door she perches on the porcelain seat.
Tucking feet up, she tries to make herself smaller....tries to make herself disappear.

Glancing to her hand she sees what she mindlessly grabbed.
So pretty in it's perfectly made.
Slowly lifting it to her mouth
She feels the cakey texture yield between her teeth.
The sweetness of the frosting dancing across her tongue.
The rich density sliding down, filling the hole so deep within.

This is the taste of friendship.
This is the comfort of companionship.
Feeding the hope that tomorrow will be different.
Tears trailing silently down her cheeks.

Inspired by:  Mama Kat's prompt~ Write a poem about hope.
                    The Red Dress Club~ write a piece inspired by this delicious shot.

**Note**  I usually write two seperate entries for these sites.  This week I've been ill so I tried to combine the two prompts.  Thanks for your understanding and my apologies to anyone who is offended.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

...and the Oscar....I mean the Good Egg Award...goes to...

Wow! My first blog award....I feel as if I should be wearing a gown, and I don't mean nightgown, for  my acceptance.

Barbara, from Footprints in the Sand, was gracious enough to honor me.  In a week where I'm feeling more like a scrambled egg than a good egg, this gesture made me smile. Thank you so much!
She has an awesome blog about being an American girl living in France.  It's great fun experiencing life through her eyes. Stop by and say hi if you get a chance!

As for the rules:

1.  Thank & link back to the person who gave me this award
2. Share 7 things about myself
3. Award other bloggers
4. Contact these blogs and tell them about the award

Now on to the exciting part;  7 things about me, whether you wanted to know them or not:

* I live in the same little town I grew up in after years of living elsewhere.  As Bon Jovi sings, "Who says
   you can't go home?" My parents live here so right choice. Hands down.

*I have one wonderful husband, three lovable/exhausting teenagers, and one loyal Golden Retriever
  named Winnie.  Having a dog while raising teenagers is awesome because at least someone
  is happy when I walk in the door.  (heard that quote somewhere....loved it!)

*I used to teach elementary school until our second son was born.  Now I substitute, often long-term, in
  our local schools.  Perfect job for me....flexible and fun.

*My husband and I moved to Switzerland with our 3 children when they were 5, 3, and 5 months old.
  Lived there for 4 years....loved all our experiences. Well...most of them.

*I love a good glass of wine.  Who am I kidding? I love a bad glass of wine! I'm not picky.

*I dip my french fries in sour cream.

*I love having a good discussion about anything...books, psychology, faith, writing, traveling, family or
  sex...not in that particular order.

I'm a little nervous about the tagging part. I don't want it to be like a chain letter where you feel guilty if you don't respond because you'll have bad luck or horrendous menstrual cramps for 7 years.

So here's my disclaimer: 

Girls, I'm giving this award to you because I love your blog, your style, and your graciousness in welcoming me into this blogging world.  No strings attached.
 If you want to pass it on...awesome!  If you don't ....awesome! 
 I would still invite you over for that wine!

.....and the Good Egg Award goes to..... (drum roll please!)

~Galit Breen @ These Little Waves

Thanks girls for being so kind, encouraging and funny.  I hope you're dressed better than I was when you accept this honor.
Now...back to bed! 

P.S.  I have no idea why some of my sentences skipped midway through to another line.  Sorry if it's confusing....don't have the oomph to figure it out now. 
Proof that I really am "scrambled" this week!

Being Sick=Another Blog Hop

Join me at Mid Week Mingle

    I haven't been feeling healthy this week, hence my inspiration for writing has been low.  Not much inspiring about a "headache, upset tummy" week.  But I do like meeting new friends (especially ones who don't have to see me in all my flu like glory!) so I thought I'd participate in another blog hop.  
     Hopefully, after visiting some new blogs I will feel the urge to create. Especially the urge to create more than dry toast and dirty tissues.  Sorry....was that an overshare?
       Be blessed everyone~

P.S.  I tried to load the button to this blog.....the key word being "tried".  Just one more thing to add to my "how to" blog list.    :(

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meet Me Monday

Although I really have to get out of this house and get some things done, I thought I'd join in on this Meet Me Monday Blog Hop.  I love meeting new bloggers so I thought this might be fun.  Nice simple questions that even my sleep deprived self can answer today.

1.  What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
       ~ My engagement and wedding rings are the only ones I never take off.

2.  Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
       ~Twirl it! Finally have the knack although no one would mistake me for an Italian!

3.  How many siblings do you have?
      ~ Two older brother Paul, and an older sister Karri. 

4.  Were you named after anyone?
      ~ No, my mom just loved the name Kristi Ann.  I later learned that Krisit means "follower of Christ" and Ann means "full of grace".  So....a follower of Christ who's full of grace?  NO pressure there!   Guess I'm thankful my son's names mean "crooked nose" and "teardrop/ raven".  No pressure for them.   My daughter's means "grace".  Hmmm...little pressure? 

5.  Coke or Pepsi?
      Used to be a Diet Coke addict but gave up all caffeinated beverages ~except green tea.

Wow...that's it?  Like I said, simple. I'm glad for simplicity today.~Meet Me Monday Blog Hop

Word for 2011

In January, when I first started to get serious about maybe creating a blog, I did some exploring. 
I found the idea of choosing a "Word of the Year" and claiming it for my own. 
Loved. This. Idea.

The word I chose?

What was I thinking!?!
I have spent hours trying to create this blog.
Hours that should be used taking care of my family.  I'm embarrassed to admit that it took about 5 hours just to learn how to make a banner on Picasa 3!
5 hours!
I could have cleaned a closet and made a gourmet dinner in that time.

The banner didn't even turn out the way I wanted. (whine)
Of course the gourmet dinner might not have either so that's a coin toss as to which was the better use of my time.

Seriously, I am wondering why I have become so devoted to this little blog.
I'm not trying to make money or collect 1000 followers.
(although I must admit I do love me some followers!)
So why am I doing this?
I guess I just took the circular way back around to the word.

I feel as if there are some things, and I'm still discovering them, that I need to express.
Whether this be through writing, photos, designs, or home decor it seems to feed something.
Something inside of me that has been quiet for a long time.
Looking back I suppose it was quiet because I was directing my energy elsewhere....primarily small children.
Now that my children are older they don't appreciate my butterfly sandwiches, Thankful Turkey displays, and splatter pictures quite as much.

My creativity needed another outlet. 
Hence, this blog.
Late at night, In the wee hours of the morning I have my insecurities.
I've never been this public about my trials and mistakes.
Yet, I know I will wake in the to my writing space....and one sweet person will have left a comment.
That's all it takes, and it will encourage me.
To try.
To fail.
To get back up.
To create again.

Because there is one thing I have learned for sure during this small time I've spent in Blogging World.
People I have never met can make a difference in my life.
They are the ones who have made me laugh and cry...
Through their stories... their encouragement...their lives.

"They" is really you.
The you that is reading this right now.
Thanks for showing this little blog some attention and giving it some love.
I'm happy to give it right back at ya!
With all of you around me I feel as if I can really live 2011 while honoring my word.

Even if my attempts don't come out the way I visualize...
I will carry on...
I will create...and
 I will get to bed before 3 AM....but it's going to be close!
Sweet dreams.... xoxo

How about you? Do you have a word for 2011?
I know! I know! It's March already.
But it's still not too late to start.
What would your word be?
I would LOVE to know!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Grand Unveiling

Sorry my first photo is a shot of my backview as I walk down 5th Ave. in NYC, but  since my husband is teaching me.... 
His help...his pick!
At least I'm learning! :)

Here's a front view just to balance things out! 

I think today is going to be a "play with blog pictures day".
I may even get really brave and create a new header/banner!
Stay tuned.
By the way,
 I am very glad to finally have a "face" on here!
Happy Saturday! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope Upon Hope

The earth solid, the day before.
Kiss goodbye and see you soon.
Off to school, stores, work, play.

The earth shakes and fear descends.
Waters swirl, smoke arises, buildings fall
Independence washed away in a moment.

Fear, uncertainty, disbelief, horror, shock, grief
Daddies die, mothers mourn, children wail
Life as they knew is changed.

So many dreams gone, dimmed, hidden
In the twisted rubble, churning waters
But hope is there, glowing gently.

Hope is to expect with confidence.
To cherish a desire with anticipation.
Await, hope for, watch for, expect.

Who are they watching out for?
           Watching for you, watching for me
What are they expecting will arrive?
          Expecting compassion, food, water, shelter, warmth
Where will this all flow from?
          Flowing from the land of plenty.

Yes the earth shook, waters raged.
But it's borders disappeared, melted together.
For today we're all one race.

The human race, with faces unique
Hearts beating strong, souls still stirring
We reach out and embrace Japan.

Hope... upon hope... upon hope....fulfilled.

Inspired by:  Making Things Up,~ word of the week was "hope".
                   Six Word Fridays

Shared on: Poetry Potluck

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lessons from Mom

1. Date your husband~ My mom and dad are not the mushy, never "raise your voice at each other" type of couple. They are feisty, real, funny....and they adored us. Yet, they never failed to make time for each other. I can remember watching my mom blot her lipstick on a piece of Kleenex leaving perfect kiss prints. With a spray of perfume, a word to the babysitter, and a smile as bright as the sun she would float through the door with my dad.  Sometimes it was Dance Club, or dinner with friends, or even a house party with adult laughter and dancing. Whatever it was I felt secure in their love as I watched them head out the door...and I knew that tonight was the night that I got to eat frozen Banquet Mac & Cheese for dinner. Yes! Life was good.

2. Faith~ The foundation for her life. Never preachy or judgemental. Just a steadfast belief that God was always with her...every step of the way. As I grew older and learned more about my mom's life and losses I was amazed that she survived with such grace and not a trace of bitterness. The reason? Her spirit is one with God.  Church was (and still is) her second home.  It became mine also.

3. Nurture your friendships with women~ As much as she loves my dad my mom also loves her girlfriends.  Some of my earliest memories are of those ladies laughing, crafting, playing games, drinking coffee, and always talking. She values her friendships, and now at 80 years old, has seen too many of those women pass away. There is the sadness, but overshadowing all of that, is the happiness they shared. Friendship is so worth the risk and inevitable pain.

4. Keep it clean and tidy~ Well....let's be honest. She taught this, I try to live it, but she is a Ninja cleaner. I can only aspire to be like her someday in this respect.  I loved having the cleanest and best-smelling home in the neighborhood. Bottom line is she taught me to take care of what God has blessed me with.

5. Different people show love in different ways~ My mom was not a speaker of  "I love you" as I grew up.  Actually my dad was the distributor of abundant affection and loving words.  My mom, having never experienced that as a young girl, wasn't as comfortable. Yet, I never doubted her love or even noticed that she didn't say the words often.  She showed it, with every fiber of her being, by lavishing her attention on all of us kids. She showed me that love is a verb. You "do" it...not just say it.

6. Give of strings attached~ My mom's legacy is going to be one of giving. She is famous in our small town for always having the time to send a card, make a visit, cook a meal, dry some tears, or organize any kind of event.  If I tried to describe what she gives in her daily life you would think I was exaggerating. Let me just say  She. Is. Amazing. 

7. Cook~ I know most of us think our moms are the best cooks in the world. Mine really is! :)

8. A few curls and a little lipstick never hurt anyone~  This line used to drive my up the wall! My mom always looks pretty and put together.  I, on the other hand, am very comfortable running into the grocery store sans makeup sporting a ponytail.  Even as an adult, when I see my mom she is likely to remark, "Oh honey, you look so pretty. I love it when you put a few curls in your hair." I think I've finally learned at 44 years of age, it isn't about the hair and lipstick. It's about the fact that I'm still her little girl and she wants to "doll me up".  Once a mom, always a mom.

9.Inner strength~
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” quote from Winnie the Pooh

Pooh summed it up best.  My mom tries to tell me this everyday in her own words.  Through her inner strength she has shown me mine.

10. I am loved....just the way I am~  I wasn't the smartest kid in my class, or the most athletic, or Homecoming queen.  I didn't win any scholarships, become famous, or earn a million dollars.  Yet, my mom's eyes light up every time I step in the room. She makes me feel adored....and isn't that about the best thing a mother can make her child feel? Although she knows my faults, she focuses on my strengths. She makes me feel as if I'm more than enough. I am her blessing, and in that truth I feel blessed.

*I know this is lengthy, and sentimental, and probably filled with a million cliches. Yet, I needed to write this for myself....and maybe for my mom.  At the age of 80 (almost 81) she deserves an entire book about how amazing she is.  I condensed it for this post! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Learned This Week

This afternoon I was clicking on different blogs, and I found Julie. I loved the idea of her "What I Learned This Week Carnival".  Thought I'd play along because random listing appealed to me today. Go check her out!  (But maybe say hi to me before you leave.  I could use a hi!)

* The snow will melt eventually. Actually, I relearned that.  I have to relearn it every March ( or May since we're in MI) because during the loooong winter I forget.

* Having friends over....sharing laughter, prayer, music, and food leaves a feeling of goodness and light in our home. ....long after they leave.

* Letting go of control especially when it comes to teenagers can be sanity saving.  I had a wonderful Saturday afternoon with my 18 year old son.  I just enjoyed him for who he is right now ...not for who he used to be or who I pray he will become.  Reminding myself that he is writing his own life story, and I can't write it for him, freed me from that need to control help.  Laughter, great conversation, and chili cheese fries...a winning combination.

*Beanbag beans from a broken beanbag are a nightmare to clean up.

*I'm obsessed with the show Parenthood.  I had an actual moment of mourning when it wasn't on last night.  My friend and I sat in front of the tv and just stared in sorrow.

*Giving and receiving comments on a blog can be addictive.

*Sometimes there is dog poop under all the glistening white snow.  Life is like that.

*I need more discipline when it comes to many things. This week I was going to start writing my list of blessings inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts.  I only made it to #11....not because I don't have them but I find too many excuses not to write them down.

* I can ramble on and on and on while I'm writing.  So, this is me ....being quiet now.

Picture Envy: It's Official

As I was blog hopping this morning, checking out all the ones I follow, I finally admitted to defeat.  I've been battling the feeling for weeks, and today I just decided to come clean. Admit I have a problem.
Picture envy.

I know... I know...that envy is not a good thing in any form.  Yet, as I scroll through these blogs I feel like a flat-chested 12 year old at the bra store. 
I know it will happen eventually but I want it now!
It's a nice envy, friends.  I'm glad your pictures are so beautiful, fun, crisp, clear, and...
heck, I'm just glad you HAVE pictures on your blog.

I'm starting to feel as if I'm in the Witness Protection Program.  I'm the blogger without a face.  The one that shows up in your Following list with an anonymous chalk outline for my profile pic.
 The one that's just a little bit creepy.

am going to have pictures!  Really, and truly, and cross my heart.  I just need my husband to be home long enough to help me figure out this new program installation, printer, and such. 
He seems to think it's more important that he's earning a living.  Hmmm....go figure!
Seriously, he does want to help me.  Our goal is this weekend.

Until then, I'll keep on being the creeper soaking up  inspiration from all of your lovely photos.
I'll try to keep the envy to a minimum.
Picture Envy. 
Who would've known?

Be blessed~

PS  Big thanks to those of you who stop by, "see" me (so to speak), even leave a comment or two and never mention my flat-chested picture-less state! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singing the Sunday Night Blues

     I'm so glad that it's 12:30 am on a Monday morning because that means that Sunday night is over! Why, you may ask, does that make me happy? I'm happy because the dreaded Sunday night "blues" are over...for another week.  Can I get an "amen"?! 
    I wonder if other households, all around the world, experience this phenomenon. The "blues" are sneaky. We can be experiencing a beautiful Sunday together, full of dinners with Grammy and Papa, playing games (or watching games depending on the sports season), walking outside, or any of the other "Sunny Sunday" things we like to do. But then comes... 
the witching hour.

   The "blues" appear in different forms depending on the age of the infected.  My husband usually starts with a small frown....just a slight furrowing of the brow accompanied with a  downward turn of his lips. Seeing the signs, I ask, "Is anything wrong, honey?".
To which he promptly replies, "No...why do you ask?" 
See! Those "blues" are so stealth he doesn't even realize he's contracted them yet. But I see it...the quietness, the vacant stare, the wandering around the house. He's got it bad.

   My oldest son starts to exhibit his infection by looking out the window frequently and checking the weather report every 10 minutes. All of a sudden I become a "bookie" answering his questions.  "Mom, what do you think the odds are that we'll get enough snow for a snow day?" & "Mom, what do you think the odds are that we will get a cold day? Like, how low does the temperature actually have to drop?" It feels like Vegas every Sunday night...without the fun!

  Number two son shows the "blues" by reporting actual physical symptoms. This usually begins with a cough, or maybe a hand held to his stomach, and possibly even a run to the bathroom...just for extra drama. He's being thoughtful you see. He's preparing me for the 3 am text he will send saying he hasn't been able to sleep and he is reaaalllly sick, and he's not faking, and he realllly needs to stay home from school. I have begun to require an actual viewing of the vomit before I grant his request.  

  Last, but not least, is the girl child. Her blues are hard to detect because they get all mixed in with the "moody 13 year old hormones" so I'm not quite sure WHAT I'm dealing with till I look at the calender. Her eye rolls are just a bit more emphatic, her voice just a tad higher, and her tendency to realize that she has homework that she HAS to do NOW..on a Sunday 9:00 pm....and that she has a certain shirt that she HAS to have washed by tomorrow...and that she HAS to..well, you get the picture. Those are certain signs that another one bites the dust.

  I'm starting to think that I need to escape...and Sunday evening would be just about the most perfect time ever! I love my family, I truly do, but when the "Sunday Night Blues" start drifting through our house...I think it's time for mama to drift on out the door.  They'll be ok...really they will! They have each other, and if there is one thing the "blues" love, it's company.

  As for me, I think it's only being a prudent mom to keep my distance...just to make sure I don't go down with it. So if you need me on a Sunday night, don't come knocking on the door. They are all quarantined in there. Instead, grab a glass and a bottle of wine and meet me in the garage. We'll stay healthy out there..together!

(Can anyone guess what kind of Sunday evening I had? Yep, I thought you could!)



Friday, March 11, 2011

Wonder? Really?

I wonder why this is hard?
Did I use all my words
In a week full of writing?
Discouragement finds me critical...of myself.
Write six words...only six words!
How hard can that be? Untalented!
Lacking! Stupid! Just give it up!
Stubbornness is a legacy from mom
So I sit defiantly and type.
Nothing profound, still hearing negative voice
Yet, the word sings within me.
Wonder is a wonder unto itself.
I wonder why I don't quit?
Because I know there's wonder surrounding.
Sparkling, beckoning, singing it's lyrical song.
Even when eyes don't see it.
Even when ears don't hear it.
Wonder is there, always and forever.
For truly, It's A Wonderful World.

(Yay! Stubbornness overcame lack of confidence.
Thank you, beautiful mom, for perseverance.
Now I'm returning to warm bed.
A snow day! Relaxation! Rest! Wonder.)

Inspired by:  Making Things Up~ Word of the week was "wonder".
                    6 Word Friday

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Move Or Not To Move? This Is The Question....

What would it take for you to get up and move?
                                   ~Mama Kat's Workshop

Hmmmm....not a whole lot!
I should have prefaced that by saying I absolutely love raising my children where we are and have never regretted giving them these past 10 years to visit grandparents, experience small town living and put down roots.
What can beat the feeling of a Friday night football game in a small town? (don't answer that!)

My husband and I grew up in this little town but we left for many years.  15 years for me to be exact.  We chose to move back out of love but I'm starting to experience a problem now....
itchy feet and the yearning for adventure. 
The  most amazing thing about this is that I am a homebody.  I'm not fond of changes in any form.

But I've had a taste of that adventure, and I lived to tell.

14 years ago we packed our belongings and children (we didn't actually pack them!) and moved to a little village outside of Zurich, Switzerland.

We lived there for 4 years....experiencing Europe on "The Toddler Tour"!  Our children were 5, 3, and 5 months old when we headed back to the Old Country leaving all of our relatives (and potential babysitters) behind.  So anything Denny and I saw, the kiddos also saw! 
It was crazy...and I mean...Crazy with a capital C!  Many stories to share about the culture shock we experienced...most of them hilarious.
But I digress.
The original question remains...What would it take for you to get up and move?
 Two answers...depending on the day.

Reality based:  Aging parents we love, teenagers to graduate, jobs, roots that need to grow deeper for just a bit longer. We stay here.

Fantasy based:  I'd be on a plane with my sweethearts in a minute....ready to breathe it all in and shine it back out.  The adventure, the excitement, the growing, and the joy...even the tears and homesick moments...I'd take it all.

But for now... I will turn on the Travel Channel, mix up a mojito, slice up some Swiss cheese served with  French bread.
 I can have my virtual cross-cultural moments right here, right now.... until God decides it's time for us to pack 'em up and move 'em out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ugliness Transformed Through Grace

*Describe a time when you saw something ugly, then found the beauty*

I see
 Machines, tubes, coils of wire, and a plastic box that holds a little being, a little soul, a little life.
A tiny needle pierces her soft scalp, tape on her face firmly holding the tube inserted down her throat.
I hear
 Electronic sounds that swoosh and beep, echoing through my entire body. No cry from my babe whos vocal cords are stretched by a ventilator...only tears tracing a path down her face. Silent wailing.
I smell
   The sharp antiseptic smell that reminds me not to touch nose twitches. The sweet fragrance of newborn skin absent.
I feel
 My hands tingle, spots of red where I scrubbed hard, trying to scour away any trace of bacteria, disease, possible infection that I carry just by the sheer fact I'm living.
 Tears, stinging my eyes and a throat impossibly tight with the effort of holding back sobs.
 My hands pressed against the smooth, hard plastic that separates us...for the first time in 9 months.

Being wheeled into the room, my postpartum brain only an hour old, my senses are assaulted. 
 I see, hear, smell, and feel.
 This is not where I am supposed to be.  
Somehow this ship docked in a different port. Not the sun warmed beach of my intended destination. Instead I've been washed onto the land of a frozen, cold foreign place......and I am sad,confused and angry. "I am not supposed to be here!" is the wail that longs to escape from my  mouth.


God's grace sweeps in ...without my invitation...and alters my senses.

I see
 Machines, tubes and coils of wire that sustain life for my babe. 
 Blue eyes that are impossibly large on a rounded face. Rosebud mouth, tiny nose, ten fingers, ten toes, seashell pink ears.
Other mothers eyes that hold mine in empathy.
I hear.
Steady beat of a heart, breath being breathed into tiny lungs, murmuring medical voices, soft lullaby falling from my lips.
I smell.
I feel.
Thankfulness for the medical care that surrounds, comforted by the caring nurses.
Blessed by the wonder of our newest miracle, and cradled by the wings of my guardian angel.


Promise transforms into ugliness which contains beauty. 
Seeing with our heart, with faith eyes, the beauty that is always there.
Sometimes hidden.... but always there.

Inspired by: The Red Dress Club
Shared on:  Poetry Potluck

*That "little babe" is now a healthy, happy, sweet, and sassy 13 year old. (in case anyone was wondering)  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sabbath: 2011

Just the word.....Sabbath....brings back memories... of Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons.  It also makes me remember one of my favorite books, All Of a Kind Family, which featured a Jewish family living their lives on New York's Upper East Side before the outbreak of WWI. 

To me that fact alone shows me that I view the Sabbath as something old fashioned...not relevant to my world today.....and that makes me sad.  I think the word Sabbath is a beautiful one.  A word that invokes feelings of peace, dinners shared with extended family, honor, and ......guilt.  Ahhh yes, guilt! Because I know in the pace of our life we don't seem to embrace the Sabbath as we should.

Too many times our family Sabbath is a time of catching up on for the next week.....just plain ole' busyness. Or we separate. Each of us finds an activity that we like, and we retreat to our corners (or various rooms as it may be) to engage in the alone... for hours... alone!  It's easy to live this type of Sabbath  because it is how most of the people around us celebrate it.  Yes, we do go to church in the morning...and sometimes even do another church related activity. But is that really at the heart of what God said when He commanded us to "Honor the Sabbath Day"? 

In my world of  "do it all, be all, and help all" I think I've lost what the heart of the Sabbath is.  In my world I don't even call it the Sabbath but rather Sunday...another day of the week.  And that makes me sad....because, deep in my heart, I know it's more than that.

I don't want to romanticize it, make it another "event" that I have to shine up or perform within. I definitely don't want to make it an empty ritual that I feel guilt-ridden about. I just want to feel it....and in taking the time to be in the moment, really feel it, I believe I will feel God Himself. I will be at communion with Him...and be able to receive the very refreshment He longs to give me.

This sounds very pretty....and even pretty religious.  But that's not what I'm striving for.  I want to be practical, real, authentic.  I want to experience the Sabbath in the year 2011...right now...not like the Waltons or the Ingels. I want to experience it as Kristi....with my husband and unpredictable teenagers.  As simple as that sounds I'm a little lost as to what this means.  Maybe I need to pray more on a bit more...and really let God teach me what that means.

Taking back control of our Sundays...our Sabbaths isn't going to be easy.  But then nothing really worth having is.  My Sabbath dream is just that ....a dream of cozy family dinners after church...of a day without the interruptions of texting, phones, computers, televisions and all the other  things that can come between real human to human contact...a day of prayer and play...a day of walking closer with Him and letting Him fill me up with His wonder....a day of connection.

I've seen books on this topic and although I don't want to hide in another "how-to" book I must admit that books inspire me! So I'm debating on ordering this one....or maybe this one...or this one....or...

See how easy it is for me to let activity take over the process of just being?!
 No answers today...just questions..
.but maybe, just maybe,
 God is smiling
 because I'm taking the time to ask them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Might or Might?

Might...a word that swallows much.
Minutes, days, years, siphons off joy.
Indecision in such a subtle form.
"Might" rather than "do"?  Life smothered.

Might...a word that signifies strength.
Energy, confidence, fortitude to fly high.
Unlimited horizons...dreaming with purpose, courage
"Might" rather than  "powerlessness"?  Life celebrated.

The choice is ours...each day.

~Inspired by: Six Word Fridays, Making Things Up~ Word for the week "might".

Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Follower

I have a follower....can I get an AMEN?! That's it... just had to share the joy!
Thanks for listening!

Week of Inspiration

What inspired you this week?
            ~Mama Kat's Workshop

Hmmmm...I had quite a bit inspire me this week. Although I may not have a lot to show for it I have so many ideas bouncing around my head!

I'm new to this blogging world so like any tourist I've been busy running around...trying to see all the sites I can...following the blogs that I know I want to come back to again and again...then spending endless time clicking on link after link after link....  

"...and go round and  round and the circle game...."   Joni Mitchell's my top 4 list for the week....drumroll please!

  1.       I was VERY inspired by this! Love, love, love it!! Did I mention that I loooovvve it!?  Alas, loving something so much does not necessarily give me the confidence to attempt it myself....but I'm seriously thinking about it.  The idea of a gallery wall that includes photos and words is MY idea of perfection. This is definitely on my "inspiration list"!
  2.      This book has been a very new inspiration since I just purchased it 2 days ago. I have, however, read the first 4 chapters, and I can safely say that I'm motivated to live my everyday life with eucharisteo~ grace, thanksgiving, joy.  (and I'm also inspired to make my own list of 1000 gifts!)
  3.       I have been stalking  visiting this blog.  Creating a mini-destination while using what I already had in my home really inspired me.  I drafted my big, strong son and his friend to bring down an unused table from our bonus room.  I nestled it in our great room next to the stone fireplace. Pulled up one of my favorite big, overstuffed chairs and placed upon the table a pretty lamp with a pull chain, a plaque featuring a quote I love, a stack of my grandparents/parents old books, a globe set high on a silver base, and my laptop computer.  Voila! I now have a beautiful writing  nook...someplace where I can sit, dream, write, & create. The reason I tried to paint a word picture  is because I still don't know how to upload photos to my new computer and blog!!  I long to post some photos so those of you who stop by can see I'm real...with a real home...and real dirty dishes!  Someday my photos will come....(sing to the tune of  "Someday My Prince Will Come..")
  4.      Finally, the soundtrack of my week has been this.  I have loved Lori McKenna for years! Her simplicity and the beautiful reality of her songwriting inpires ME to be simple, beautiful, and real.  Take a listen if you can. She is musical poetry.
There, my friends, is what inspired  ME this week.  How about YOU?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Beauty of Each Moment

Whoop Whoop!!  I'm excited!
When I started reading One Thousand Gifts yesterday I thought I'd be reading it
Which is fine....that's how I usually read.
But then this morning as I was checking the blogs I follow I realized that (in)courage has an
book discussion going!
And the cool thing is that the author, Ann Voskamp, is part of it.
Listening to her and the other women discuss her words..her lessons learned....has made the book come
for me.
I have read, underlined, written, starred, and "heart-ed" my way through the first 3 chapters already.
The book club is on chapter 8....but that's ok.
I'm just going back to the older posts and proceeding at my own speed.
So now I don't feel so
So now God is able to speak to my heart, not only through the beautifully written words,
also through the laughter-producing, tear-jerking video clips and posts.
I feel as if I have just made some new friends to journey
along with...
so with that said...

One Thousand Gifts
1. a beautiful book speaking words of grace, thanksgiving and joy

How about you? Are any of you out there taking part in this wonderful journey? Let me know....  :)