Here we are again, the dawn of a new year….leaving behind the ups and downs of the last year…looking forward to what’s next. I adore the opportunity for new possibilities, doors to be opened or roads to travel. Each one brings hope, some of them may be not so great but there is always that moment of question…anticipation…the unknown.
Like most Americans, I must acknowledge (..or at least act like I should!)….the need for a better diet as well as an exercise program which for me is…..just parking my car further away from the door; the hope for financial security and good health and my family to prosper. We all have in our minds, resolutions ….that we hold dear, hoping against hope that we make it past January without failure.
These resolutions or “goals” are many and the start of a new year jump-start us in the right direction. God bless our hearts for the effort! I have said for the past six years, in my heart, that I do not want to be in the same shape (in all areas) this time next year and I think this next year may be the winner. I have a hope that is beyond me. Beyond my brain and into my soul, my heart…..hope.
My anticipation is starting…what will it be first? Will it be the loss of five or fifty (it could happen!) Pounds? Will it be a true love for one of my four kids?(oops! Excluding my seventeen year old!)…Will it be the welcoming of many new souls born into to kingdom of God…I hope so!
Whatever “IT” is…..I look forward to the challenge. We got this ….we spunky Americans are stubborn and bold and will not stop till we get what we want. Yes, Hillary Clinton….it does take a village and we will always stand together against anyone who tries to push us around. Our individual families as well as our towns and country will always overcome.
Today I conquered a challenge, silly as it may sound, but I have for the first time ever….wait for it…….made/cooked dumplings, chicken and dumplingsactually. My sister did it first on Christmas day, they were de-lish! I know the secret now ……..so I tried it. It is ALL ABOUT THE BROTH!! This has been my probably twentieth try…..finally successful!
This southern girl needed to do this one….my mom was the pro at them, but sadly she will make no more of them, my granny who taught my mom was a ….card-carrying member of the southern woman’s chicken and dumplings cooking team. It could be an Olympic sport. SHE WAS A MASTER!
I now am proud to say I have done it…EUREAKA!!!!! Superbly I might add and I will brag about it……a Milestone-three hundred and sixty five more chances to do something great…..welcome new year!
I can’t leave the past holiday time without a reflection on one of the prettiest signs of the season…the majestic Poinsettia plant/flower. Just as the first signs of springs, the Crocus and Daffodils, poke their little head’s thru the hard earth, to reveal hope for the coming spring….so goes it with the Poinsettia. These plants scream…..MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
This year, someone very special sent me one, very dramatically I might add, from a real florist…all festive and decorated up, huge and fancy. I was taken aback…..I LOVE TO RECEIVE FLOWERS!!! It is my guilty pleasure….(well…. one of them) and I know it is a waste of good money ..blah blah blah….but, if something causes this much joy then WHY NOT? The drama was…. it is still a mystery who…. it came from….WHO DONE IT? I guess I could have called the florist and begged to know…but, why take all the fun out of it?
Many people took credit for the gift, once I thanked the secret flower sender on FACEBOOK …everyone chimed in, it was them….and that is okay too. It made the love feel even more huge. I have a sneaky suspicion who may have sent it….but, If they had wanted me to know they would have signed the card with more than...LOVE YA! But that is enough and what I needed to hear and feel so it was great. Sometimes this is the difference between hanging on or giving up…..I will take all the LOVE YA’S I can get!
So to my friend, whom ever you may be…THANK YOU for making my day and I hope that you get back just as good a friend as I have in you…whoever you may be…..and I hope I am that to you too……
Good bye sweet Poinsettia…you were on your way out and this cold icy frost did you in but it sure looks pretty on you!
It has been said that Time heals all wounds. I have to agree with this theology since I have had many wounds, of the cuts and scraps variety and yes, the skin eventually begins to scab (gross word) over and the air swoops in to clear up all the messy wet oozy stuff. What a way to start a look back at the year post, huh!
Actually it is, because there is no better analogy than a flesh wound(only!) (for all you Monty Python fans…) to describe the healing process.
Only time, with the right amount of air and cleaning and salve and bandages can cure what ails us. Boy, how time flies when you get older!
Looking back is rarely a good thing…I can only give exhibit A.Lot’s wife! For those of us that believe that The Bible is the true, inspired word of God, we must take this story to be truth, a fact. As a woman it gives me pause, heck even as a person it does. I, being not known for listening to other people and minding them, would be just like Lot’s wife...Mrs. Lot! The thought of leaving everything you had ever known and hear the missiles blasting in the background(paraphrasing!)it had to be hard to not look one more time.
So, there she is for all eternity…stuck as a pillar of salt. I wonder what Lot thought? He didn’t look back to see her there or he would have been stuck there too. She was a human cow-lick! Maybe that was God’s way of blessing Lot, maybe she was a bone of contention for the old guy. I would guess he just went on and never looked back, knowing he was spared a horrible destruction. Was he scared, wounded, hurt? Did time heal the loss?
Reflection may be a better way of looking at the past year. Reflection sounds more peaceful with no picking at the cuts and scrapes. Reflection is more of an image of what is real. That sounds better. Why dredge up the past ups and downs, the good and the bad and all the days of tears as well as joy.
I know why…..because that Bible that I believe is real, tells me to count the costs, and reminds me that even when those times are hard or good, whatever day it is, cloudy or sunny, I can reflect on how good God is. In him I can live and move and worship and cry and laugh. He has it all under control.
This year has been a doozie! Just as each year, it started out with the promise of a better world, a new chapter…the chance to make new choices, better ones. Our lives are so intertwined with each other. My life has so much of a effect on the people I know as well as theirs on mine. We are not islands…we are like peninsulas sprouting out all over the place. It matters what happens to me…us all, collectively.
For me, this year has been one of the hardest. I feel as if I have been doing “ten years to life!” There were days I did not know if it would ever end and days of great joys. God has done great miracles in my life and the lives of my family. I would be amiss if I let this year pass by without giving HIM all the glory for the miracle he has given me.
The funny thing about God is…he is never quite done….he leaves the door open for more. It is our choice or choices to make....choose YOU this DAY WHOM do YOU SERVE!! I know he is smarter than me but this free will business can really be a pain to us Mommas! I wonder sometimes if he is loving all the fretting I do…..I guess he knows it keeps me praying.
This year is about to be one for the record books…good riddance! Just as I know the next year will be full of surprises, twists and turns that I could not even imagine….I still have faith that it will all turn out ok! I have a feeling that by next Christmas one of my peeps(kids) will have a special someone, maybe I am hopeful because I feel a tiny bit of excitement after spending times with my great nephews over Christmas….one day my babies will have babies…a thought that I shudder at but, now I almost look forward to.
We need some fresh faces in our clan, any one brave enough to dare marry one of ours? I will pronounce on this day that I have the prettiest children of anyone I know, yep, I said it…they are and I don’t care if it sounds braggy….it is! They are also funny and smart and well read as well as crazy with a twist of aggravating….I tell the truth about them. But no one loves harder or more fervent than them.
Look out new year…I release all the blessings of God on my family and pray that the road for them is revealed to them in a God led way. I pray good health and financial prosperity and true love for each one of them as well as strength to fight the good fight and find wholeness in mind and spirit. I expect nothing less for my children as well as for each person I know and love.
Happy New Year to my family and friends……Blessings and Love and Health and Prosperity to all!
There is someone who is always glad to see me….always ready for a pat on the head or actually a kiss dead in the mouth! Not from me though….he enjoys the daily gulp out of the toilet….sooooo no thanks…maybe that is like fine wine to a dog but, not this girl!
This silly dog is a adopted street dog….he was actually left on the curb in East Nashville, the shady but up-incoming hipster area of town. My niece found him floundering…just a teacup size pup. Last great words, …..”he is probably going to be really small!” Well, he is only fourteen pounds but, leggy and has a bark as loud as any German shepherd! Take it from anyone who dares ring our doorbell…..yikes!
If anyone ever actually attempted to enter unwelcome, I am not at all sure he would bite, although my sons best friend may disagree, he took a nip once….but, as Buddy said……”that is his story!”..needless to say he is a good alert to stranger danger. Although when a doorbell rings on the television….here we go all over again. Nearly gives me a heart attack, but when it isn’t real he just gruffs back to his spot…on top of me.
He is only happy when he is laying on you, by you, touching you in some way. He is a very cuddly dawg and seems to need the attention. When I think of him wandering the cold city streets…alone, sad…hungry…crying and saying ….(to take a line from Babe the pig)….”I miss my MoM!…I have to just let him pile up on me. No dog has ever been so needy.
He has this weird habit though. He will sit beside me and somehow pull his back paw up and suck on it, like a pacifier. Seriously he has it in his mouth and just kinda leaves it there, not really sucking on it but like a thumb…for security maybe?….never in my life have I heard of this? It is funny and sad too, makes me wonder if dogsare really people too…every time I look into his eyes I keep thinking there is someone in there looking back at me.
So on this early morning, I have to give my little buddy…Buddy a big smile. Dogs are the most kind faces and the most grateful of all animals. I love cats too, they have their place..and if you don’t believe it just ask them, they are Independent if anything. Dogs are ever present and all over the place and ready to run and fetch or jump (for which Buddy does, at least five feet high every time he wants to go outside, such a nut!) and are there to hug you and lick your face.
They are definitely all our best friends and even though I gripe and complain and had to replace the carpet (in his defense, he does not have opposable thumbs to open the door to let himself out) and even when his hair sheds all over and he is under my feet in the kitchen ALL THE TIME….I love that scruffy little nerdy dog.
Also, I am sorry we can’t give you a chew toy for Christmas, I can’t be an enabler any longer. When you would rather have a toy or rawhide bone or whichever instead of eating or potty breaks or anything else…you have a problem. I would have to start a new meeting…DA (Dogs Anonymous) for your addictive personality. Yep, I know what you would say….it’s your Mom’s fault! I have heard it all before, get a new line!!!
Christmastime is upon me…I have been slooowwwly decorating, a little here and a little there. My passion for it all has been a bit tempered this year. I
am thankful for my youngest son….his beautiful heart continues to encourage me to press on.
I catch a glimpse of the Nativity and remind myself what its all about…..I am comforted by the miracle of one man who changed my life forever. So I forge ahead, digging a bit deeper into the massive amount decorations…..many are
old from the years when my kids were young…..and I thought life was difficult to navigate then!
Then I come across my precious Rudolph beanies and the mini-trees which bring a big smile. One of my favorite Christmas memories from my childhood.
Then I dig out all my tea pots and cream and sugar sets. I have two Christmas ones as well as many others. I sort of collect them and in actuality, I would have more but I limit myself. I LOVE them but the minimalist side of me knows that I have no room and there is a lot of cleaning involved with the upkeep and I tend to hate to clean so goes the dilemma.
Then there is the figuring out of the mantle; greenery or not?…..NO just clear and white and silvery and how bout some snowflakes and glittery ribbons….Ahhhhh YES! Candles, candles and more candles. Never can go wrong with candles. I love the monochromatic-ness of it all.
So there ya go….Christmas 2012 is all prettified…..my Christmas cards are done and mailed….table decorations are put out only to be moved when the food is served….my experiment with painting glass ornaments was a success! Now if only I had a half-dozen Poinsettia I would be finished. With one exception…..not one gift has been bought! …….yikes! I better get busy!
How many times have I said …”I just want to be happy”…..in my head? Even though I know this is a futile thought…even silly, it is still there…floating around…like a albatross around my neck. My brain knows that being happy is a relevant term, one that is a mind-set not a way of life. My spirit knows that it rains on the just and the unjust…(its in the Bible….for pete’s sake!)) as well as living proof all around me.
Who do I think I am to ask for happy? I can throw a rock and hit some other soul that would and has given their very lives for a moment with all their legs or hands or even someone they love back with them. The conviction runs rampant through my heart…I know I am behaving badly here. But today I am there….at one of those points of just sadness…..feeling all alone in the middle of a crowd.
What a loser….here comes the self-deprecation, I am good at that one…..too good. Wallowing
is one of my specialties also…along with tears and fear. The tiredness of it all is palatable…groaning inside me, my heart aches. Lord give me that sign….the George Bailey…..the good ole Hail Mary pass. The reminder that no matter how hard life gets….it is still better than the alternative…never being born at all.
With Christmas upon me, I am finding it hard to be happy. With the obvious loss
of family members and the absence of others, the attempt to be cheerful is a broken down cliché. But I do know that thankfully I will not always be happy….everyday of my life. Actually that would be frustrating and positively obnoxious to anyone around me. I would hate me!!
One thing I do know for sure is that JOY is the goal…along with PEACE and most of all HOPE. I do have HOPE…..and just like George Bailey from “It’s A Wonderful Life, I too am full of hope that I know will get me thru these rough patches in life. Although my heart remains heavy, my spirit can rest in the knowledge that….”with God all things are possible!”..Matthew 19:26 and just like the virgin Mary found out so many years ago, each of our lives are here for a purpose….for such a time as this, Esther 4:14.
The LOVE of God is everlasting and the happy follows and flows like a river…sometimes there are rocks and a wood chuck builds a dam or it is a hot year and it nearly dries up…these are the times and seasons for us all to endure and be happy in the wisdom of those who have come before us. Had they been as whinny as me, nothing would have ever gotten finished. So I say with all gratitude, thanks be to GOD for my life and I will attempt to live with more joy…even when I don’t wanna!!!
As I settle in to an evening of watching my Christmas tree twinkle, I can’t help but think back to the days as a little girl. As with most children, the excitement that comes with putting up a tree each year is the biggest day of the season…well, the first in a row of biggest days, actually. Not to diminish the start of Christmas vacation from school and the biggest day, Christmas morning to say the least!
That day was special as my dad or brother would go and cut down a big old cedar tree on the farm that we lived. None of those big city trees for us, nope…no way. And boy was I glad…that tree smelled so good, better than the others, literally fresh-cut! The tree was always huge, perfect and ours. My mamma had these beautiful decorations that she got from Germany when my family lived there during the Korean War.
My daddy was in the Army and she went there to live with him. Bless her heart, she traveled on an Army transport airplane with two young children in tow. She recently told me about this trip, (these days she tells me a lot of stories from way back when, she remembers those better than what has happened today, bless her heart) when she went far away from home with these little ones all alone on a big “non luxury” plane that took her to my daddy, which made it all worth it. This was back when they were happy and even had a third child in Germany. Those were the best of times. I can only imagine the life she had there. Those decorations were beautiful glass balls and I had always loved what they stood for, beauty and adventure and a life that seemed so far away from what is was now.
We also had the huge light bulbs all strung up in the primary and secondary colors, stark and bright! Cedar trees aren’t exactly known for their sturdy branches so needless to say it was an effort in fortitude to get those decorations to stay and not droop. We also had the bubble lites which were my favorite…always were a mystery! The tinsel was silver and like aluminum foil all crinkled up on a string and the finishing touch was icicles. At different years(when we were older and could do it ourselves) we would make ribbon chains for garland too and had painted wooden ornaments. Our trees were the prettiest of any ones….no ones ever could compare, I am pretty much a snob about that, unashamed so. I have no apologies to give because rarely do I profess so much surety about something about me.
Even now as an adult, I will tell you if you ask me that I have the prettiest tree of anyone. A few things I know for sure and this is one of them, even though I no longer have a cedar tree, I am a city girl now and loving that fact. My sweetart husband did cut me one for our first christmas together…how cute was that? The second thing I know for sure, that man loves me, after that it is stuff like I know all four of my babies think the world of me, not bragging on me but them, they all have a tender heart and especially toward their mamma ( and dad!( I say they love me more..ha!))but We never doubt that one and I know I make the best potato salad….
Do I presume too much? I think not! This time of year brings out the brag in me and that is because I have so much to brag about…My GOD is so good to me….He has given me more than I could have ever asked for so I am only telling of HIS great love. This is my testimony of him. I am pretty sure he likes my Christmas trees the best too!