Friday, April 15, 2016

It's the Real You I Love

A letter:

Dear sweet high school girl trying out for __________,  (insert your team name here)

I wanted to let you know that God really doesn't care if you make said team.  Yes, He gave you the ability to throw a layout full; pull a firebird right after you've done 8 turns in second; have the largest range in the choir; be able to debate the questions until your blue in the face; kick and catch any ball,  but that's not what He cares about.  He doesn't love you more because you've made those teams.  He loves you. Period.  Every little flaw you think you have, He created, and in reality it's not a flaw, only you just think it is.  He thinks you're beautiful and wonderful and His.

Have you ever noticed when people make or do something great they always praise God's name and quote scripture?  Have you ever heard anyone praise Him when they didn't get something they've trained years for?  When you've been rejected and told you're not good enough by the world's standards, can you stand up and say God is good?  When you have to do it, it will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but you will find something in the loss.  You will find Him and possibly His will for your life. Don't justify not making said team by saying 'well it just wasn't God's will'.  Ugh, I hate that.  To me that makes God sound shallow and fickle, and he is anything but.  God's will for your life involves His plans for you sharing His Word and kingdom.  Sometimes He allows us to have the desires of our heart to turn us back to Him.  Chew on that for a while.    

I'm going to tell you a secret.  Several in fact.  
1.  Life will kick you down at some point in your life.  And sometimes kick you again, just for good measure, while you're laying there on the floor.  You have to realize we are only passing through this life, and our main job on earth is to get up off the floor and share the love of Jesus with as many people as possible.  
2.  In 10 years, no one will care if you were a cheerleader, on the dance team, choir, debate team, or if you played football, soccer, or lacrosse.  What they will care about was how you acted towards people.  Are you a mean girl?  No one likes a mean girl, even those who claim to be her friends.  
3.  Remember that dancing, cheering, debating, playing sports is what you do & not who you are.  If your identity is wrapped in those things, you are going to be empty in the fleetingness of it.  At some point down the road your body won't be able to do the things it once could.  Your joints will pop and your muscles will be stiff.  It's just the way of things.  So find your identity in Christ, in whom and through whom you were created. 

Tryout season at our high school is pretty much over.  There have been heartaches and happy tears.  Congratulations to those who made the teams they wanted, and for those that didn't:  get up, practice harder, and tryout again.  But above all:  be kind, do good, have a oneness in your heart with God, and love His people, because God loves the real you.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Love Drips Down

(taken from the internet)
You know, before kids I was fine.  Things were easy.  (I was thin.)  I could keep my house really clean.  I could keep up with laundry.  I could get a lot of work done in a day, and I didn't have my emotions leaking down my face on a daily basis.

Did I cry at sad movies?  Yes, duh.  Steel Magnolias to 'ya, but crying at any other movie or at any other time for no apparent reason?  As if.  When I was little, I remember my mom taking us to see the Muppets take Manhattan.  At the end of the movie when Kermit & Miss. Piggy get married, my mom sat in her seat & cried.  I mean boo hoo'd.  We teased her unmercifully about it for years.  Who cries at a kid's movie?  Well, apparently, my apple didn't fall far from my mom's tree.

It's gotten to the point where I can cry at the drop of a hat.  I don't mean to, I just do.  I can be in church singing a song; watching a movie, video or commercial; listening to music; or just talking to my kids.  Love, joy, heartache, and longing...emotions leaking down my face just like my mom.

I think I know why my mom cried so much.  It becomes hard to keep love bottled up once you have children.  The miracle of their very being moved the very core of me and changed me.  All reason flew out the window.  When you have a child, and you feel the love you have for them, you have a small idea of what God feels for all of us.  He loves us, mess and all.  It is truly humbling.  

I adore my crazy kids.  When things go well for them, I'll cry.  When things go badly for them, I'll cry.  I can't help it.  Like I said, it's my emotions dripping down my face.  Heaven help me once there are grandchildren; I'll be a mess.  It will be a good mess though, and I'll buy stock in Kleenex.  Until then, I'll relish every tear that drops because it means my heart is still soft and affected by love.

Celebrating life and tears,


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rules are Rules

Rules are absolute, except when they are meant to should be bent, broken or changed.  I grow weary of hearing people in authority say they can't change a rule.  It's not that they can't change it, it's they choose not to.

Here's a perfect example.  The gist of the linked article talks about a young man from Iowa, who won a cross country race, but then went back to help another young man that was "turning white and holding his chest 20 meters away from the finish line".  Did the Iowa High School Athletic Association laud this young man for going back to help someone that could have been having a serious health issue?  Did they hold him up as someone to emulate?  No, they didn't.  They stripped him of his first place finish.  The finish he EARNED.  No one helped him across the finish line, he helped someone else after many runners ran past & didn't even offer to find help.

The IHSAA could have ruled to allow this young man to keep his first place finish, but chose not to, and you know what, it makes me sick.
It makes me sick that:

  • There is someone who put others above himself and is punished for it.  The whole "do unto others" thing is a pretty good way to live your life.  
  • In the spirit of good sportsmanship this young man is stripped of what he rightfully earned.  I could understand taking the win away if someone had helped him, but no one did.
  • All the runners that ran past weren't reprimanded for  at least finding someone to help the young man having trouble.
I have seen other situations where rules could be bent or even changed to help someone that needed it, but just like in this case, those in authority chose to do nothing.  When leaders don't stand up for what is right then it's time to choose new leaders.  I love what the Declaration of Independence says: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security".  It shouldn't matter if it's the United States government or the governing body of high school athletics, doing the right thing is never a mistake.  

I love the motto of one of the schools my children went to:  "We do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do".  I wish the members of the IHSAA would learn this.  I know some others that could benefit from learning this as well, but since I'm just a stay-at-home mom blogger, what do I know?  But I do know this,  "People of character do the right thing even if no one is looking.  People of character do the right thing even if it costs more than they want to pay.  People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by the world". (Michael Josephson)

Celebrating life & people who do the right thing no matter the cost!

Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm Watching You...Always Watching

Come close children, 
please draw near.
I have a cautionary tale 
you all must hear.

Your words and pictures 
that you post online,
You should assume it will be screen shot
and shared many times. 

Friends will see and share and talk
about what you have done,
And it is with one careless act you caused
your reputation to drawn through the mud.

If pretty is as pretty does,
and it's your character that matters.
You need to look in the mirror closely
because your beauty has been shattered.

Be careful then what  you post,
because it can ruin you in a blink.
Remember these important words,
and before you post, just THINK.

T~Is it True?
H~Is it Helpful?
I~Is in Inspiring?
N~Is it Necessary?
K~Is it Kind?

"The internet is written in Pen not Pencil.  Think before you post."

Image result for i'm watching you meme
I love Roz from Monsters Inc.
I'm just SMH.  Do kids ever realize that everything they post online has the potential (and probably will) be shared?  I mean come on.  Have they not seen what's happened to others?  Have their parents not warned them about what they post?  How many people's reputations have been ruined over something they've done on the internet?    And, if any young people are reading this, yes, people will screenshot your snapchat posts and share them. (or whatever is the latest and greatest app you have to share your selfies and what you're doing every minute of everyday.)

Be a nosy parent, and not just a little nosy.  Be a lot nosy.  Check all the social media you can, and have other parents joining you.  My  kids will show me, from time to time, what other children have posted on social media sites, and we as as a whole are not doing what needs to be done to help our children think before they post.  Some of it is downright shocking.  You know who some of the worst are?  High school & college kids.  Um, yeah, it's bad.  It's like they forget that there are repercussions to their behavior.  And don't think that I think my kids are squeaky clean.

There's also a ton of bulling that goes on at every social media site.  It is even happening in "private" group me's.  It's gotten out of hand, and unfortunately I don't foresee it getting any better.

I think I'll ratchet up being a nosy mom for my kids.  They can think of it my early Christmas present to them.  :)  My mantra will be #sorrynotsorry.  Because, said children will have to get a job in the real world one day, and employers look at your social media.  They want to know what kind of person they are hiring.  And, I may or may not have someone in my house that will get me to snoop for him from time to time.

So before you post, just THINK!

Celebrating life,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let Them Eat Cake

Yeah, I wish.  Cake is easier to make, well sort of.  Ok, not for me.  For me, cake is impossible to make as well as anything that is classified as a dessert.  Did you know that stressed spelled backwards is desserts?  For me it should be desserts (that I have to cook) spell stressed.

Last week Henry told me that for his French class today he needed to bring Mille-Feuille.  It's no big deal he said.  We could get it at Whole Foods he said.  Of course, I completely forgot about the M-F until yesterday when Hen reminded me about it.  Ok, no biggie.  I will call Whole Foods to make sure they have some handy & I'll pick it up & Henry can take it to school & we'll all be happy.

Because I'm writing about it, you already know that Whole Foods did not have any.  As a matter of fact, they looked at me like I had grown another head when I asked them about.  The bakers at WF had no idea what I was talking about.  Mille-Feuilles are also called Napoleons if you've every eaten them under that name.  OK, onto plan B, and I'm going to tell you, I don't like plan B.

Plan B entails me having to do a lot of precise measuring and mixing and cooking.  Bleh.  The band Foreigner, from the '80's for all you young people out there, always wanted to know what love is.  I'll tell you what love is, it's a homemade Mille-Feuille pastry made for a beloved youngest son.  If you've ever shopped at WF you know that it costs money just to breathe in the store.  I need a recipe, and it needs to be somewhat easy.  Thank you Google!  After spending $50 on puff pastry, heavy whipping cream, 2 vanilla beans and all purpose flour, we head for home.  I didn't buy anything else, just those 4 things.  Namaste.  Yeah, not!

2 Mille-Feuille cakes for
Henry's French class 
It's well documented that I do not follow directions in my cooking.  I just don't want to.  I like to be a rebel.  I like and need to break the rules.  It took me forever to make this dessert.  I was up until 11 working on it last night & then had to wake up early this morning to finish it.  (the pastry cream wasn't completely cool & was oozing out of the sides.)

After I looked at the picture of the recipe I have, I just realized that I layered it wrong.  Dangit!  I was going between a you tube video & my recipe & that's where I messed up.  At this point, I'm so not worried about it.  When people from different countries immigrate to the US, they Americanize their dishes anyway, so this is the American version of Mille-Feuille.

I'm hoping next time we get assigned eclairs or macaroons or how about a 2 liter drink?

Celebrating being done with my American Mille-Feuille!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One of Those Mommy Moments

I've had some really heartwarming mommy moments this last week.  One in particular I have to share.

Now, I will admit that there are some songs we sing in church that I like better than others.  I like them all, but some just move my spirit.  I was in church with Elizabeth on my left & Henry on my right, and this song started to play.  It's one of my favorites!  My heart was so full, and then I looked out of my peripheral vision.

My most fervent prayer is that my children would have encounters with the Living God.  I pray that He would touch them and they would know without a shadow of a doubt that He loves them and wants a relationship with them.  I pray that they will choose to follow Him all the days of their lives.  I know He is faithful, and has already given me answers to more prayers than I can count.  

I look and my children are singing and worshiping and smiling.  How could my heart not be full?  How could my heart not feel so humbled by my loving Father?  To stand there with my heart lifted and hands raised in worship, I just felt such overwhelming love for Him.  It was a beautiful peaceful moment, and I am so thankful for it!

Celebrating Life!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Old Lady in the Room

UAB Sigma Kappa 2015 Colonization Class
Today was an exciting day.  It was one of those days that you celebrate the joys of youth.  It was the kind of day that old people watch and smile and remember when it was their turn to celebrate and be celebrated.

Today my sorority colonized a new chapter.  Sigma Kappa is now part of the sorority experience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  I am so excited I can't even stand it. The young women in the room were beautiful, smart, enthusiastic and diverse.  A colonization class is special.  They are the trailblazers.  They will set the tone of the UAB chapter for years to come.  If what I saw today is an indication of this chapter's future...WOW, these young women are going to rock this sorority thing!

I was talking with all the alumnae in the room, and the really neat thing is, there was only one from my home chapter.  Alumnae groups are made up of women from all over the United States.  It's your love of your sorority that brings you together.  We were all talking about how contagious the new members excitement was.  While they were playing icebreaker and get to know you games, and laughing and cheering each other, it took me back to my pledge class.  (Back then we called ourselves pledges.)  My pledge sisters are some of the sweetest strongest ladies I know!  One alumnae texted her besties in her new member class just to tell them how much she loves and misses seeing them.  I miss seeing a lot of mine too.  Families & work sometimes get in the way.  ;)

As we were talking, I discovered I was the old lady in the room!  WHAT?!?  I thought I was 29, max.  My age snuck up on me!  OMG, I was the oldest in the room!  No wonder I was so nostalgic.  Just call me dirt, because apparently I'm as old as it is.  I can't remember when I've ever been the oldest, unless it's in a classroom or doing something else where I'm dealing with kids.  One new member made my day.  Because we were all still in our white dresses from the ceremony, she knew who the alumnae were, not that our grey hair or wrinkles gave us away. :)  She ran up and said "I need a selfie with each one of you!"  Um, I'm old enough to be her mom, and I'm not that cool.  But she insisted, so we all obliged.  It made the old lady in the room feel a little younger!

Elizabeth and I had a great laugh about my situation today.  If I didn't laugh, I would probably cry & life is too short not to take the good with you and check your age at the door.  And today was definitely a good day!  

Celebrating being young & young at heart!
Celebrating Life!