Monday, December 27, 2010


Another Christmas has come and gone. Again the magic of Santa has filled my head and heart - I find each year there are presents under the tree that I either have no idea how they got there or that I have no idea how we afforded to get them. God always provides, but it seems like a magical presence of Santa. Once again we were blessed to have both kids home - I don't know how long it will be like that, but I know the time is dwindling. As they get older and have job responsibilities, the time home has grown smaller; I know when they have families, this time will change once more. I have relished, absolutely immersed myself in the enjoyment of their company, the sound of laughter, and the joy expressed through smiles on their faces. I do love my family! I have been overcome with heartfelt thanks that my husband has had some time off and been here to enjoy the memories made this year. It is the simple ability to provide and the time to be together that has made this Christmas so wonderful - the gift of love surrounding our table and sitting together in each room. I am so thankful, and I know it all only possible through the greatest gift - the Christmas gift - and I feel so undeserving. Another Christmas has come and gone, and there is a joy I feel through the memories made that will linger as the magic for me this year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am so thankful! I have been home since last Friday afternoon - a break from work - and I have been cleaning like crazy until yesterday. I have never enjoyed cleaning as much as I have those 3 days! Yesterday I began the cooking. I have been cooking and cleaning from cooking pretty much straight through but not at a frenzied pace. I have never enjoyed cooking and cleaning from cooking so much! My daughter came home yesterday, and my son will be here this evening. I am so happy to have the house filled with family and the kids' dogs!

I have been fixing our traditional Thanksgiving favorites, and I am so thankful we are able to put all this food on the table. God is so good to have allowed us to have it. As I prepare the favorites, I pull out my mom's dishes to keep things in until they're served tomorrow. The chicken salad bowl (the one she always used for chicken salad and marinated steaks growing up - I don't think I ever remember that dish having anything but chicken salad or marinated steaks in it) is now filled with chicken salad. It is not her chicken salad. My chicken salad or at least the one I make for Thanksgiving, has evolved over the years to be a combination of mom's and my husband's favorite - his mom's. I make several different chicken salads, but the Thanksgiving one is pretty much the same each year - the only question being whether it will have olives each year. Mom's sweet potato dish is filled with her sweet potato casserole - well, except it isn't her recipe this year since I didn't have oranges or sherry. I added Cream of Banana instead, and I must say, the test taste was yummy!!! The mashed potato bowl is filled with mashed potatoes - just waiting for the oven tomorrow to heat everything! We'll have Honey Baked ham but decided against turkey since it seems to be everyone's least favorite. Rolls, stuffing, green beans, carrots, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, and gravy will round out the meal. The pumpkin pie is yet to be made, but Liv and I will do that tonight, and everyone will help make the cheese pumpkins for it tomorrow -a tradition! The pecan pie is in the freezer. The brownies - well the second batch of them - are about to be started.

I called my precious mother this morning. I was lamenting the fact that my Williamsburg stuffing spoon she and my daddy bought me has corroded. It is such a good stuffing spoon. It will be sad not to have it tomorrow. I told my mom all about using her dishes to put our family favorites in for tomorrow's meal. I didn't tell her, but I think she could tell how much I love knowing I am using her dishes! I have such warm memories of my mom fixing different dishes in the kitchen. She used to love to cook so much! My precious mother wishes us a happy Thanksgiving and told me to tell my husband and kids how much she loves them. She said she loves me too. I love her so much and am so thankful to have had her in my life for so long!!! She is a rare jewel, a charm, a real Southern pearl, and I am blessed to call her Mom!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Seasonal teachings

It is fall - by the calendar, by the temperatures, by the leaves on the trees, by football, and by the amount of grading and time spent on school. It is fall. God is teaching me so much. I treasure things I took for granted - true. Lately though, the biggest lessons are in learning to allow myself free time, showing time and consistency to those who need it, remembering to just do the work - the work He called me to do, and allowing myself to savor moments.

Free time - I could spend every waking moment working. My house is a mess - I work. My closet needs weeding - I work. My base boards are dusty - I work. My body needs care - I work. My pictures need sorting - I work. My friends need letters or at least e-mails encouraging them - I work. My children need a text message letting them know I love them - or maybe I need that... I need the contact with them. They're probably just fine. I work.

I am doing the work I was called to do, and I know being in the center of His will is where I need to be. I need to be content with that and not dwell on the things I miss. I do need to take some time away from work though - my husband deserves my time, and I deserve some time. It is okay for me to take time.

Time and consistency - is there a theme here? I have a class that needs time and consistency, and I must not get caught up in the time and pacing of the curriculum guide. They need the skills, and I am afforded the luxury of allowing them the time to get the skills rather than having to keep pace with a certain calendar of benchmarks.

Do the work - His work. I just need to stay focused and remember I am blessed. He will not let His work go undone or not be done correctly. He will use me to get done what He has for me to do, and I need to let Him do it and not stress over getting it done immediately.

Thank you, God, for teaching me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sitting on the beach
listening to the waves
coming in, going out
I feel the stress melt away
with each coming and going

It's as if something reaches inside him
with the coming and
pulls and releases what he can't let go of at home
pulls it completely out of him
and pulls it back into the ocean where
it is dispersed through the water

This happens to me too
It doesn't matter how often I am there
With each wave - stress is released and disperses
I can feel my heart slow
I can feel my eyes relax
My breaths seem to take on the rhythm of the water

I know this is my home, my peaceful place
Do you see yourself? Do you even see the reflection in the mirror? Do you hear yourself? Do you hear the words that come from your mouth? I am amazed - but not at how utterly and ridiculously hard you make it for your daughter; no - I am amazed at my God! I am amazed that He thinks enough of me, considers what I am facing enough, or even cares enough about ME to make sure I am affirmed and encouraged after what you unloaded on me. He is amazing!! I thank you God for loving me enough!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

He is in everything

So, I've been struggling lately with my life. I don't want to be working outside the home, and honestly, it has affected my attitude. I am thankful I have a job - in times like these, one needs to remember having a job is a blessing. And that is just it - I have found I need to remind myself to count my blessings. I look for God in glimpses throughout my day, and He always shows Himself.

On my way to work at 6:45 when it is too dark for me to see well while driving, I get to watch the sky find the first shimmer of a new day. God paints the sky in the most beautiful colors, and really, He didn't have to make it that way. I love watching the color flood the rest of the world. It reminds me of how He floods my life with blessings and how He loves me and through me.

During the day when a student comes to me with a problem and is thankful I have an ear willing and ready, I am reminded He called me to where I am, and He has work there for me to do for Him. The times I get to see a student use the gifts He has given them to create something in class are nothing short of amazing! When I laugh with my students over something someone has said, and I can truly appreciate the sense of humor pervading my classroom, I know He is there - giving me more reason to be thankful.

I struggle - but mainly when I fail to start the day with His plan instead of my own. When I watch the colors spread across the sky in the mornings, I need to see that as His plan spreading across the sky and to send a prayer of thanks to Him for letting me play a small part in His work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

As the Clock Runs Down

Each morning I rise and face the day with you
Whether it's work or staying at home, it seems there's always much to do
I kiss your face just before we each get on our way
But I don't take for granted that we've been given this day

I used to drop the children at school before nine
And wait to pick them up each afternoon in car pool line
Now they come home just to visit - for what seems too short a stay
But I don't take for granted that we've been given this day

The hugs to say goodbye and the kiss on the cheek
Are met with full acknowledgment and taking the chance to speak
Of the love we feel for each and every one who fills our hearts
We thank God for the blessing of time that He imparts

For I never want to take for granted even one blessed minute with you
And I never want you to think that is something I would do
I realize each time we say goodbye or that each minute spent
Is the last of those we get unless more moments are lent

I know too many who've kissed goodbye their husbands, daughters, and sons
And thought they'd just come home again when the time away was done
Then the time came and they sat and waited, but the loved one did not
And the time they had was the all the time they really ever got

So I never want to squander time or waste a minute away
I never want you to think it didn't matter or that I didn't pray
For your safety and in praise and thanks for all the time we've shared
Please always know I love you and always know I cared

Monday, April 5, 2010

I had the most amazing weekend with my daughter last week. I give God the glory for our time together, our laughter, our talking, our listening to each other breathe, our eye for the unusual, our taste for pizza, our love of color, our heart for photography, our laughter, our memories made. I give God the glory for all He has done and is doing in restoration. I give God the glory for the time that has made my heart happy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Here we grow again

Wow - so, I was sitting at home the other night just watching television - Parenthood, I think it was. All of a sudden I break down in tears, sobbing really, over the fact that my first born is graduating from college this May. I mean I am happy for him and excited for what the future holds. He is an incredible man. I was just mourning the loss of raising children. I have heard we never stop parenting and never stop caring, but it just hit me how much is gone, has flown by, and how much wiser I am now to deal with what was when I won't need to deal with those same things anymore. It has been such a joyful journey raising these two incredible blessings God loaned to me.

It makes me wonder what is passing now that I don't realize, much as I didn't realize how quickly those years were going. I know I feel physically older than the calendar says I am, and I know how I want to work on that. I just wonder. I love my husband so much - he is truly my best friend, and I don't want to miss or waste time he and I can spend together. I know we are gifted to wake each day and be able to spend time with each other. I know we are gifted to like each other so much and love each other so deeply. I don't want to waste these days and years doing mindless things when we could be spending that time with each other.

I wonder if I will see grandparent-hood, and what will it hold for me. How much will I not know to enjoy or relish simply because, as people, we tend to live life each day - go through it - and enjoy it but not realize all each season means and holds until we are near its end. Oh how I wish my daddy were still here and my mother lucid enough to have these conversations with me and educate me. Their lives were so different than mine, yet I have to believe there is so much about which they could enlighten me through each season.

Here I grow again - wisdom after the ages.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There comes a time
when truth is really all there is
and facing up to it
is important

There comes a time
when truth is really all there is
and admitting it
is important

There comes a time
when truth is really all there is
and accepting it
is important

There comes a time
when truth is really all there is
and living it
is really all there is

Timely truth

I'd Rather Not Win

Winning - but with heart
Because winning without; it's
Not winning at all

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Class Writing Exercise

I am

I am His and born of water
I wonder who I will see in Heaven
I see the waves of growth
I hear the ocean's call
I want to live by the water
I am His and born of water

I pretend I hear the crash, feel the spray, and smell the salt
I feel calmed by the power of the sea
I touch the sand and salt
I worry about missed blessings - mine and others'
I cry when I see people discount their worth
I am His and born of water

I understand so much more now than I did
I say I can make a difference in someone's life
I dream of writing with the tides
I try to explain why they are worth so much
I hope at least one knows
I am His and born of water

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Favorite Things - Haiku

Fresh squeezed orange juice
Many birds at the feeder
Simple pleasures - life.