Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award

What a blessing to receive this award from one of the most "Kreative" people I know! Andrea at Arise 2 Write awarded this to me and I am honored to be considered her friend. I am amazed at how she encourages me and everyone else in her world. She is a wonderful person and a great friend.

I am required to nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and they are supposed to nominate 7 others. (Be sure to leave a comment on their blog about the award.) After they accept the award they are then asked to write a list of 7 things that their blog readers may not already know about them. I would like to pass this award on to the following:

Sharon ~ her journey
Today's Christian Mom
Inspirational Poetry of Joy and Peace
Graceful Abandon
Splashin' Glory
Seed Thoughts
LindyLou-Walking Through Womanhood

Here are 7 things about me:
1) I'm the oldest of 5 children (3 sisters after me and a brother-the youngest child)
2) When I was young I wanted to be a Psychologist.
3) I've lived in 5 states: Washington, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina
4) I'm 3/4 Irish and 1/4 German - My dad always told us girls, "You're Irish and you're beautiful; you're German and you're smart."
5) At one point in my childhood I knew all the words to Big Rock Candy Mountain, Down in the Valley and all the Clancy Brothers songs (They're an Irish folk group).
6) I took piano lessons for 5 years and taught myself to play guitar in my teen years - can't play either any more!
7) I believe in angels.

I hope you'll stop by the blogs of the bloggers I've tagged. You will be blessed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What Did I Miss?

"What did the boys play with while I was at school?" For many weeks, this was the first question out of sister's mouth upon being buckled into the car seat to ride home from pre-school.

She didn't say hello. She didn't want to know what was for lunch. She didn't want to know if we could play outside after nap. She wanted to know what she had missed! She wasn't worried only about what she had missed, but also if the boys had played with any of her things while she wasn't around to protect them! After several weeks of this, I shared with my mom how frustrated I was.

She told me "You big girls always ran into your rooms after school to see what the babies had played with while you were at school." (There were we three "big girls" born within 4 years of each other and then the "babies" a year apart four years after the youngest 'big girl') Mom recounted how we often came running with the complaint that the babies had played with our Barbies or how "they got out my (insert the prized possession of the moment)", etc. After that, I gave big sister a break!

Too often I worry about other people--what they have, what they say, what they do. I make judgments about them and their actions. I criticize (often to myself) how they live and how they conduct their lives. It's a human failing, I know! I just seem to have to catch myself way too often.

Instead of worrying about what I'm missing, I need to focus on what I should be doing! God has given me some pretty specific instructions: WRITE! Not only has He instructed me to write, He gave me a writer's DNA and a mission and a vision to go with it! He wants me to do what I'm supposed to do and not worry about anybody else's instructions, abilities, missions or attempts to obey God's call upon their lives.

We are all sinners, and as Paul so eloquently and unabashedly states in 1 Timothy, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." That also means I need to give others in my life "a break."

God wants us to look to the Cross before we judge others, and also before we beat ourselves up for falling short of who and what we want to do and be. He died for all of us -- my neighbor, my friend, my spouse, my children, my coworkers -- and even for me!

"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16 NIV).

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD" (Proverbs 23:17 NIV).

Friday, June 5, 2009


This past year big sister attended a two-morning-a-week nursery school at their church, about 1.5 miles from the house.

One one might be tempted to think that I would then "have a break" to be minus one child two mornings a week. Picture this: urge brothers to finish breakfast; urge sister to eat something--anything--for breakfast. Change diapers. Take one of the twins to the potty (the other one was having none of it!). Dress both boys, put socks and shoes on both boys. Get jackets on. Load all three children in the car. Are you tired yet?

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning the boys were so excited! They considered these days full of great adventure! They got to ride in Mary's car! They got to go somewhere! Sister and brothers alike made announcements along the route. "There's the school bus people," sister would point out, referring to the children waiting on the corner for the school bus.

"Truck!" one of the boys would shout! "Bus, Mary! Bus," the other would announce. By the time we made it through the neighborhood and on to the main road to head toward church, everyone in the car was quite animated! I can recall several times I even looked for something exciting to point out! Once on the main road, it was a contest to see who would spy the church first.

During the fall and winter, we could see the steeple through the trees. Most often, though, we passed several busses, trucks, and "van's like mommy's" by the time we turned onto the road where the church was. "CHURCH!!!" one of the boys bellowed every single time to we turned the corner to pull into the church lot.

The favorite part of the entire trip was the "double bump" right after pulling in to the parking lot (a speed bump). Every time we crossed the speed bump the boys giggled. Every time.

As I was riding to the other side of town today to attend a training, I drove past that same church. I traveled over the James River - very high due to all the recent rainfall. I passed neighborhoods I hadn't seen or noticed previously. I even noticed traffic patterns and places in the road where several inches of the extensive rain we've had lately had pooled.

I was alert and very aware of all the sights along my way. I realized that on a regular work day, I make my trip rather routinely. I don't generally focus on the simple things in my path. I don't make a point to enjoy some of the beauty of the trees, shrubs, gardens and other plants in yards and courtyards, parks and median strips.

So often we just "get through" our daily activities. We forget to stop and admire the beauty God has created all around us. We don't take the time to notice how amazing our world is. We fail to thank God for His world and everything in it. We don't notice the amazing clouds or the glorious sun on the horizon. We take for granted our blessings.

Jesus told us to become like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven. Today I was challenged to appreciate my little part of the world and everything in it. Today I remembered to thank God for the little things that make life worth living. Today I remembered three little children who continue to enrich my life!

"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mark 10:15 NIV)