Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Tale of Two Lists

So, the chickadees have been home for a couple of weeks now. I swear their summers away from me seem longer and longer each year.  Anyway . . .

As you can imagine, adjusting on their part, and on my part for that matter, has been a bit rocky. Kids being kids and mama being . . . well . . . a mama.

One of my children decided to complain about the rules and strictures of our home life. Poor sweetie pretends she doesn't know how good she has it.

Mama decided to remind her. With a list. Actually two lists. One was a list of expectations which has not changed upon their arrival home. It's the same list as before they left for the summer. The second list was a list of all the fun things and privileges afforded them upon returning home two short weeks prior. Before showing it to her, I titled the page that contained the two lists as, "Your Life Does Not Suck."

She didn't think the title was as funny as I did. But she DID get the point. Huzzah!

The privilege list was nearly three times longer than the expectations list. It was so long, in fact that I began to reevaluate that list. Am I rearing children to feel entitled? Am I expecting too little of them? The Affectionate One would be horrified to learn of these musings, I can tell you.

So, I am considering adjusting the lists. You know, beefing up the expectations so that it reflects more effectively the values and education I want my children to acquire before they fly the nest.

Shall I warn her of the new title? I think I might go for: "Your Life Might Start To Suck Just a Little."


Monday, August 21, 2017

A Lunch Encounter of the Anomalous Kind

Had a funny situation happen today at lunch and had to share.

I took my 14 year old daughter (The Affectionate One) to Olive Garden, her go-to lunch destination. The boys were out with friends on a special excursion to watch the solar eclipse. My girl had volleyball practice and couldn't go with them, so we had our own fun. Anyway . . .

Our waiter was pretty good looking (blush) and he was working particularly hard for a nice tip (he got one). There were jokes. There were compliments. There was an arm casually slung around the back of my side of the booth as he leaned in close. There was a wink when he offered to bring me wine with my lunch (um, nah, thanks anyway).

Afterward, my girl asked, "Mom. How come every time the waiter came by, you got all weird? What--did you think he was cute or something? Ew!"

I should have known that she would be quick to comment. I tend to be pretty transparent. "Well, I mean, yeah he was nice looking, but every time he leaned on the side of the booth, he leaned way close into me in kind of a conspiratorial manner."

"So? He was really nice. What was the problem?"

"Well, it's been along time since anyone has done anything like that. So, it was a teeny bit awkward."

She blinked a couple of times. Her stared became pronounced. She slowly closed her eyes and opened them again in another hard stare. "First of all mom, that's really sad. And more importantly, what does 'conspiratorial' mean?"

Oh, daughter . . .

Joyfully and with chagrin,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The God of the Unlikely

Recently, I read this post by my favorite author, Tosca Lee. In it, she reminds us that God is the God of the Unlikely.  It's a simple, thoughtful post about how life sometimes turns out differently than you expect and how that can be such a good thing. To have my all-time favorite author pen words that have cut to the quick of my wonderings is a relief and an encouragement.

I've been reflecting on her post. I know that God is a God of miracles. I am evidence of that very thing, having been born three months early and weighing 2lbs, 9oz just over 45 yrs ago -- survival rate with those conditions was nearly unheard of at that time.  (Good grief, I just announced my age to the www! Ack!).  But Tosca has put it in such a way to make me think about this with a different perspective. I needed to hear this because to think of God as the God of the Unlikely, well, it reassures me in an area that I keep hidden from most people I know.

Why does it resonate? Well, I'll tell you. But I must warn you that it's about to get all personal up in here on the ol' blog.  If you are at all squeamish about someone else's vulnerability . . . you may want to click out and wait for the next post.

I'm just sayin'.

I've never been a terribly confident person. There are areas, of course that I am confident and I feel good about.  But overall, I am a bundle of insecurities. In fact, some days they seem to rule my every action.

Especially after my divorce.

That event took pieces of me that I am still trying to regain. It humbled me. It gave me a new, more compassionate perspective. It also lead to a deeper relationship with my Savior that I will never trade for anything: not even my old life back. Those are the good things I gained.

But I lost, for lack of a better term, "the fairy tale ending."

It was bound to happen. No one's life is a fairy tale, of course. It would be exhausting to live that way, anyhow, wouldn't it? After adjusting to the reality of married life, the piece of the fairy tale that I had left was growing old with my husband.  The Bible talks about men cleaving to their wives and loving their wives of their youth. I lost that man. The man I thought I would grow old, fat and sassy with.
Instead, I have just grown old(er), fat and sassy. No use denying it. It is what it is, dear reader.

This has lead to my questioning the idea of ever growing old with anyone. Ever being the kind of person who will be accepted for exactly who I've become, baggage and all. The idea of having a best friend witness my life for all its ups and downs, wrinkles and vulnerabilities and still remain faithful; still love me anyway.

(Please hear my heart, this post is not a plea for compliments and reminders to be patient. It is an acknowledgement of a heart issue. )

Certainly, this is not the most important thing in life. There are many things of greater importance, of course. But it's a God-given desire and I am not ashamed of it, though it does leave me feeling terribly vulnerable to express it here.

So what am I taking away from all of this? I am going to hold on to the promise of Ephesians 3:20:

"Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." 

He is able. Does this mean I will find real, lasting spousal love? Not necessarily, because a spouse is not God's plan for everyone. But there is the promise of more, of better than what I had or cold dream of, the promise of faithfulness that my heart desires so much. And if that love only comes from God Himself, I am learning to become good with that. Content.

My God is a big God: The God of Miracles.

                                    The God of Second Chances.

                                    The God of the Unexpected.

And now, thankfully I realize
                                    He's The God of the Unlikely.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

It's Here! OMB Contirbutor in the House!

Well, it's been a bit of a tumultuous month, but so much of it has been good. There are several things that have been lurking on the horizon that have now come to fruition.

I started a new job and my kids are away for the summer. Boooo . . . Hiss . . . No, both are good things, just an adjustment for this mama.

Now, for the really good:

I have joined a writer's group that will help me further my career in writing. They are called Wordsowers. And they meet in Omaha. Excited about that, for sure! More details to come as I learn and grow in my writing.

When last I posted, I mentioned that I was going to be part of a Mom's blog community for the Omaha area. That has happened and my first post has been published. So excited about that. You can read the full post by clicking here.

Here is a brief excerpt:

"Grace: Unmerited favor.

I need it – a lot of it – and I recognize that, but sometimes it’s difficult to give the grace
that others desperately need . . .

[Grace], in fact, ornaments my life in beautiful and unexpected ways.

Like a soundtrack of perfect melodies for each day we are given, grace is the legacy I want my children to remember and embrace."

Hope you will click over and find a gentle reminder of why grace is so important.

Until next time, dear reader, may you be blessed a hundred-fold.


Monday, May 8, 2017

I have exciting news! I have been chosen as one of the contributors to the soon-to-be-launched Omaha Moms Blog (I will update with link as soon as it's available).  It will focus on connecting moms in the greater Omaha area.

I am looking forward to being a part of a fun, positive group of women who want to encourage other moms.  It will be all original posts, so you won't find duplicates anywhere else on the web.  Yes, exclusive content!

Hope to see many of my dear readers over there beginning in June 2017.