Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doing Right

Trusting people to do right. That is how I was brought up: trusting people to do the right thing, make the right choices. Sometimes I have been accused of being too trusting. "Too trusting?" I would think about that. Hmm. Is there such a thing as too trusting? No, I don't think so. Sometimes I have been accused of being naive. "Naive?" I would think about that. Hmm. Have I been naive? Yes, possibly. But is it something I would want to change? No, I don't think so. Why not? Because I still inherently trust people to do right - to choose right.

Now, let me tell you, when someone does something that I don't think is right it can really throw me for a big ol' loop de loop. This especially happens when it comes to my kids. Occassionally someone will make a decision that goes against everything that seems right to me. When this happens it tests everything that I believe in and it tests that trust which I hold so dear.

Just last week a situation presented itself that completely went against what I thought should have been a "right" decision. So, how did I react? I'll tell you. I went numb. Then when I was alone I yelled, I cried, I tried to deal with the adrenaline that shot through my body at the injustice of the decision. Then I hit my knees - to pray.

Do I always make the right decision? No, of course not. I try to always do my best to be trustworthy, to stand on the side of right, to build a strong character, to make good choices. When I don't, I try to learn from where I erred and seek forgiveness if need be. I pick myself up and try to do better next time - to be better next time.

My hope is that when others make poor decisions that they learn from them as well. If I screw up and try to make better choices, then I have to trust that others will try to improve on their bad decisions as well. I have to trust in humanity.

One of the short prayers that touches my heart to its core is the five word prayer "Jesus, I trust in You." If I truly trust in Jesus and His great love for me then I need to relinquish the feeling that I know what is the best in every situation. I don't know what is in store, but I must trust that however I am effected by someone else's choice that I will be able to come out stronger on the other side of it. I need to trust that God knows what is best at any given time.

When someone does send me on one of those big ol' loop de loops the sooner I can get myself upright and steady the better off I am. If I'm guarded and second-guessing what everyone is doing then I will become jaded. If I expect the worst from people then where is the hope in my day? Instead, I choose to trust. I'll trust that God will help to get me through anything so I am better and stronger on the other side of it. I'll trust that people innately want to do what is right. 

So, am I too trusting? I don't think so. Am I naive? Possibly. However, I pray that I will always trust people to do right: to do the right thing, to make the right choices. I'd rather live in the light.

"It takes the best in each of us to bring out the best in all of us."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yesterday and Tomorrow

Tomorrow I take my oldest child, my oldest daughter, to get her senior pictures taken. Yesterday, the doctor held her up to me and said, "It's a girl".

Yesterday, I held her in my arms and spent hours just taking in every detail of her face. Her beautiful, round eyes would stare at me as she nursed at my breast while her little hand clasped my finger. She would fall asleep nursing and I would recline the chair and we would sleep peacefully together. And we had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

Yesterday, my daughter would squeal with laughter and run into my arms as we played chase in the living room. Her sweet, contagious giggle would fill the room with music more beautiful and melodic than has ever reached your ears before. We rolled and laughed and played through the days. And we had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

Yesterday, the school bus pulled in front of the house to pick up my daughter for her first day of kindergarten. Her new backpack hung nearly to her knees and her excitement for school and new friends and learning just poured out of her. The step into the bus was so high she had to stretch to get in. I turned from the bus and cried as I headed back to the house. And we had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

Yesterday, we attended the first musical production T was in. She danced and sang and we sat so proudly in the audience not daring to believe that the adorable blond on stage was indeed our daughter. Her smile filled the room and her excitement enveloped everyone around us. And we had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

Yesterday, T began taking driver's education. She couldn't wait to get behind the wheel and I hoped I wasn't the one who would have to take her out driving. This young lady smiled and grabbed her permit and asked if she could drive. What happened to that little one I held at my breast? Suddenly, we no longer had a whole lifetime ahead of us.

Tomorrow, I take my oldest child, my oldest daughter, to get her senior pictures taken. She's a young woman now. A young woman with an easy laugh and a kind heart. I look at her and remember the little one who used to climb in bed and snuggle in tight with me. I look at her and think of the teenager who climbs on the sofa to snuggle in tight to watch a favorite show. I look at her and can see glimpses of the woman she will be.  I look at her and suddenly, I realize that we only have moments ahead of us.

Yesterday, I held a sweet baby close to my heart and cradled her firmly in my arms, drinking in her wonder for what felt like forever. Tomorrow, I take my oldest child, my oldest daughter, to get her senior pictures taken and will have to loosen my grip a little more. Today, I realize that although we no longer have a lifetime ahead of us, that the moments that are ahead of us will be beautiful. They are beckoning to me to come closer. They are comforting me as my daughter grows up and away, "Have no fears, these moments will be the wonderful yesterdays that you think of when you reminisce. These moments are what make up a sweet lifetime of memories."

"Every cliche about kids is true; they grow up so quickly, you blink and they're gone, and you have to spend the time with them now. But that's a joy."  Liam Neeson

Friday, October 7, 2011


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We all have heard that over and over growing up, didn't we? And we may repeat it to our children now. But I must say that I absolutely think breakfast is the most important meal of the day when you are having it with girlfriends. I may not be the best breakfast eater here at my house, but if you throw the idea of sitting down with dear friends I can't wait for the eggs and hashbrowns!

Every couple months I am fortunate enough to meet up with some girlfriends for breakfast. When we set a date, I excitedly put it on my calendar and look forward to the time when we will sit at a booth and eat together. It is a magical time. It is an energizing time. For that hour or so around the table with girlfriends I become a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. Amazing what can happen during a meal, don't you think?

"It's just a breakfast," some of you may scoff. "What can make a bowl of cereal (or pancakes or eggs or whatever breakfast item of your choice you'd like to insert here) such a magical time?" If you were sitting at another booth and watching us you probably wouldn't see anything magical happening at all. We would appear to be just some friends sharing a meal. Well, let me take a moment to share with you the magic of breakfast with friends.

Here is the secret: we sit together and talk. Yep, that's it. Well, I guess that isn't everything, but that is the crux of our time together. We hug, we sit, we eat, we talk, we laugh, we listen, we cry, we share, we support. We talk about husbands, children, extended families. We talk about hair, weight, clothes. We talk about struggles, joys, triumphs. We talk, well, we talk about everything.

So, "where is the magic?" you ask. Did you miss it? Didn't you see it? It is that time around the table when we are talking about anything and everything that the magic happens. All of a sudden I don't feel like I'm the only one dealing with the challenges of teenagers and overworked husbands and school schedules. All of a sudden I don't feel like I'm the only one relishing the excitement of watching my child do well at a meet or the fun of randomly breaking out in dance with the kids to their favorite song.

When we are down, we are lifted up. When we are up, we share the joy. Whether we are up or down, we laugh with each other and cry with each other. As our leisurly breakfast comes to an end, we pay our bills, leave the restaurant, and embrace - each going where we need to be for the day. But as I turn to go home I am never quite the same as I was when I entered the restaurant. Something has happened. The magic of friendship and love has enveloped me and changed me. That magic energizes, encourages, and refreshes me. The magic whispers in my ear, "You are not alone. You can do it."

And this is why, my dear friends, that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Maybe it is time you got out your calendar and scheduled yourself some magic today.

"A real friend is one who helps us to think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, and to be our finest selves." Anonymous

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why God's Gifts?

My daughter is blogging for school. When I mentioned that I had been considering writing a blog for a while she told me that I should. So, here I am. I began my blog and immediately became stumped when prompted for a title. Hmmm. What should I name it? What will encompass a little of me and what I think about and how I view the world and the random thoughts I would like to share with those who may decide to read a bit of what I write? Hmmmm. That is a tough one.

As I sat and pondered this big decision my daughter chuckled. She advised not to get too worried about the title because I can always change it as I go along. True. Very true, indeed. However, that isn't how my brain works. So I sat a little longer.

Years ago I would write a weekly random thought. It would be a reflection of something that happened that week and then would conclude with a quote or short inspirational writing that somehow connected to what I had encountered that week. It was a joy to do, because while I sat down to write I would look to try to find out what I learned through what had happened, how had it changed me?

Sometimes our lessons are small and sometimes our lessons are big. Sometimes what we deal with day to day is wonderful and inspiring and sometimes what we come into contact with hurts our hearts to their very core. What I would like to explore in this blog is how everything - and, yes, I mean everything - we deal with is a gift from God. I hope that you find some of my meanderings enjoyable. I hope that some of what I write may inspire you to think about things in a different way. I hope that some of your comments will get me thinking of new things and viewing life from different angles. I hope that we can learn from each other and discover all the ways that we are touched by gifts from God in all the things we do.

So, with my daughter's prompting, here I am in the land of the bloggers taking a risk and putting myself out there. Maybe more of us need to get out there and take a risk or two:

To laugh
   is to risk appearing the fool
To weep
   is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another
   is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk
   exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before
   the crowd is to risk loss.
To love is to risk
   not being loved in return
To live
   is to risk dying
To hope
   is to risk despair
To try at all
   is to risk failure.
But to risk we must!
Because the greatest hazard in life
   is to risk nothing.
The man, the woman, who risks nothing,
   does nothing,
   has nothing,
   is nothing.
                            Author Unknown