Monday, October 31, 2011

a different perspective

I was SO dreading Halloween.

Halloween was MY holiday. My favorite HOLIDAY. I mean for pete's sake, I established Falloween for the past TEN YEARS to garner excitement for the day. I was the one who made elaborate treats, elaborate costumes, elaborate "excitement" for everyone involved. Even BEFORE I had kids.

So I was hurt this year. Hurt that the costume I had planned for my kids, and actually made for Kaya, was vetoed.

They are with dad this year. The ultra-sticker stabber of divorce. It made me sad. The kids told me that dad already ordered their costumes so my plans were out the window---because it was "dad's day". I wanted to say something, but kept my mouth closed.

I swallowed my pride and went to his house for "trick-or-treat".


it was kind of nice being the "visiting" parent and not have to deal with the costume malfunctions.

it was kind of nice being the "visiting" mom.....which made them so excited to see me.

it was kind of nice being the "visiting" parent...who had tons of fun with them getting candy but not the one that had to get them to bed after they had all of that candy.

it was kind of nice visiting with all of my "old" neighbors and enjoying them....without worrying about what my kids were doing.

Yes, it's hard. It's hard not having my kids each night......but I'm going to count my blessings tonight for all the GOOD THINGS that happened.

It is a different way of life, a different perspective....but it is all good....thanks to all of you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

all you need is love

Today, I was filled with a single mom, I'm trying to make an income. I'm working my book business as much as I can to make a comfortable living for myself and my children. But it is tough.....I still ask my parents, who are the greatest blessing, for help and I still am blessed by friends and the kindness of strangers to get what I need. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME.

This morning I got up at 5:00 even though I didn't "have to get up" until about 7:30. I got up to exercise, pray, and have some time to myself. While I'm praying I didn't have the "best" attitude. I'm angry with how life is going.....I want things to get resolved....I want things to go my way. But I read some scripture: Matthew 26:36-39. At first I didn't want to read it because I thought "God, REALLY I have to read Mattthew.......kind of ironic...but my DivorceCare passage said do it." But in that is the passage where Jesus prays before he is crucified and he says " My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

I'm not trying to say my "CUP" is a fraction of big of what Jesus was going through at that time....but that scripure hit me. I WANT my kids.....I miss them.....It kills my heart. Some may think I'm a wimp because I do see them at least a few times a week and sometimes 5 days at a time. But I am used to seeing them EVERY DAY......for most of their life. Splitting custody and only seeing them for days at a time instead of each day BREAKS my heart.

So today was my day to get them.......I was so excited. But also overwhelmed with guilt. I have a bookfair going on that I am working ( to make that money I was talking about) and the bookfair open-houses are tonight and tomorrow night......when I have my kids. I was so torn between working and spending time with my kids that my heart was aching.

BUT I had to take them with me. I knew they could behave. I took lots of stuff for them to do to occupy themselves. I even told them they could "work" for a book by passing out bookmarks and stickers. BUT I felt guilty.

BUT the bookfair experience went beautifully for my kids. THEY LOVED IT! When we left, Kaya said "Mom, I love going to work with you....can we do it again?" Zander said, "Mom, I just love Wednesdays when I get to spend time with you and I love working are the nicest and most fun mom ever."

Guess my "cup" is getting taken care of.

Then we get home. It is so cold here in Atlanta.....30 degree weather in October!! And I figure out my furnace burners and heat does not work now.......and it is too late for anyone to come fix it!! So, I tell the know what, lets all sleep together in mom's bed.....with lots of quilts. (I'm typing this now in my sweatsuit, robe, and snuggly socks because it is SO COLD in our house....a brisk 50 degrees). I also read to them the "Little House in The Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, about when they had such a cold winter that they all had to bundle together under quilts to keep warm. I told them that was what we were doing tonight. Zander just giggled and said, "Oh Mom, this is the BEST night of my life. I LOVE spending time with matter the problem, we figure it out." Oh he thinks we are living the "old-timey" life but I am warming all the quilts in the dryer......thank goodness we have electricity!!

SWEET BOY. I am BLESSED. I was so worried about being a working single-mom---and worried they would gripe about the heat.......BUT my sweet kids showed me my "cup" is being taken care of and all we need is LOVE.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

mama knows best

I wish my kids could figure that out. It really infuriates me when they say things like , ' Are you sure mom, that is how you spell " shall" with only one L..... really mom.

Or mom, I don't think it really matters if I bring my bookbag back to school......

But one mom knows best.......yep, the mom that has a 35 year old..... she knows why....I love you mama.....even when I THINK I know best.

Monday, July 25, 2011

patience & puzzles

I Like this quote I dislike this quote

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

It is going slow. It is going hard. For my friends wondering about me that is it. I keep thinking, "God, am I your modern-day Job? I'm not sure how much more I can handle?"

Not to dismiss the great struggles Job faced....I'm not there YET.....but I do wonder.

What is getting me through this? Puzzles. Truly...puzzles. Puzzles that I used to hate. Puzzles that I begrudgingly put together for my daughter who has a true talent for putting the pieces together. Puzzles---that my parents used to work on and I always thought, "How boring?"

But as I go through this divorce/custody issue.....puzzles are my lifesaver.

Like the one in the picture. A 1000 piece puzzle.....that I escape to when I just think I can't take it anymore.

Because as "put-together" as I would like to seem......everything is out of control. And puzzles are one thing I have to be patient with and they will soon come together to form a perfect picture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Road Not Taken

# 4
on top 500 Poems

User Rating:

9.2 /10
(722 votes)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

I took the kids to the butterfly festival at the Chattahoochee Nature Center a few days ago. Once we got there---they had a blast. Even with grumpy didn't take long for him to be in his element and love every minute of it.

But as I watched my sweet kids, I also noticed (for the 100th time) how different they are. Zan is the rule follower. He wants to check things out before he goes on ahead. Kaya, well she has a spirit of her own. Why would you worry about going on a path? Yes, there is a paved path but there is a whole world of adventure ahead!

She cannot resist a path. Even a less-traveled one. If there is a path to go somewhere she WILL take it. No matter if it is against the rules!

I finally made her stop taking the undiscovered paths. Just because the only way to get out of the last one was to climb a fence.
You can tell how happy she was with that decision.

I hope she keeps that spirit. I hope she wants to trek forward no matter what. So what if there is a fence to climb over? I hope and pray she still wants to go and overcome whatever she comes her way.

Trek forward sweet little girl. Take that path less taken---it will make a world of difference.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

the joy of friends

My insides are churning. I'm a nervous wreck. Court awaits me and I don't know what to expect & am uncertain about the certain changes that will happen. Soon. Very soon.

So I call some of my closest friends. I am so lucky. So lucky that I have a handful of girls that would fight to the ends of the earth for me. Yes me, little old me. That makes me so grateful. They seem like little angels of encouragement.

And one of those dear friends says something to me that was the most incredible compliment I have ever heard.
"You know they were talking today at church about joyfulness. About people finding joy in everything. And I kept thinking of you. You are always joyful, joyful, joyful no matter what- even with all of the terrible things that have happened to you." I started crying immediately---tears of joys, I suppose. That comment hit home with me because it felt so true. And it made me even more joyful to have a friend that knew that about me--I've been smiling ever since.

It was just the cup of "joyfulness" I needed.

After you read this, count your blessings. I bet you can find joy in all of the great things in your life too. I'm counting mine tonight. No matter what happens in my life I know I will have wonderful friends that always bring me joy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

the gift of grace

There is one week of the year that I always look forward to. Bible school in Kentucky! It brings back so many great memories and is such a cherished time with family. My kids wait for it year-round and can't wait to go get spoiled by their grandparents and of course see "Bible-School Kim", my cousin who has been known by that name since the first time the kids went four years ago!

But this summer I have felt overwhelmed. Today I was trying to figure out our crafts and special music--and yes, it begins in two days. I was driving back from Chattanooga tonight feeling like maybe I wasn't spiritually worthy to be in charge of crafts and music.

But being alone in my mini-van also made me alone with my thoughts and talks with God. I could actually feel Him telling me "Are you really going to be that ungrateful?"

Me. Ungrateful? What??? I am constantly pushing stumbling blocks from my life out of the way lately. I never thought this would be my life at 34 years old. I never thought I would be ending a marriage and figuring out how to live as myself again. When friends ask, "How do you stay so strong?" I answer with conviction, "With God. I've prayed more in the past 6 months than in my entirety of my life." So how would I seem ungrateful?

Because some part of me keeps forgetting to be a gracious recipient of His grace. I started thinking, would I feel if I gave my kids a gift that cost me everything and they constantly refused it saying, "I'm not worthy of that gift", "I should have been a better child yesterday", "I need to stay focused on what you want me to do, Mom".
Yep. It would devastate me.

So I'm taking the gift of grace with glee and enthusiasm. I will be grateful. It was given to me and I'm going to use it during my times of frustration. I'm going to use it when I criticize myself for my attitude or actions of the day. I'm going to use it to forgive myself and to forgive others. I mean, that is what it is there for.

I may not have the perfect music or the most dazzling crafts for Bible school this year. But I do have a gift that means so much more. My heart will be filled with grace and love & hopefully the kids will see how much that really means.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Maybe it is the cold weather. Maybe it is the sickness that keeps creeping in my house. Maybe it is too many years of staying-at-home. Whatever it is, my mood the past few weeks has been funky---not super. Which got me to thinking, "If I were a supermom, what would I do?"

S--Shower daily. ALONE. Supermom would have her beautiful children engaged in some enlightening, educational activity while she had her daily shower. She would not turn on a show and say "Watch this!" and then be interrupted mid-shampoo because someone needed help wiping.
U--Use time wisely. Supermom would have an organized planned day. She would go forward with her errands and life with such ease. She would not waste time by forgetting where she put something (so she would remember where she put it). She also wouldn't escape her plans by checking facebook 3 (okay 7) times a day just to see what the rest of the world was up to.
P--Pray for Patience. Supermom would remember to say a prayer of serenity each morning right before she stretched up to welcome the glorious morning. She would not stumble out of bed, with the goal to make that coffee as fast as she can. She would deal with whiny baby-talk and wash the vomit-filled sheets with a sparkling smile.
E--Exercise. Supermom would exercise faithfully and be full of energy. She would not think, "Oh, snuggling with Kaya so she will take a nap is so much healthier for me."
R--Read. Supermom would read to her kids at least 20 minutes each day. She would also read for her own pleasure. Okay----check!! I am Super in that area.
M-Memory. Supermom would remember everything. She would not forget to send in field-trip money on time. She also would remember where she put that list she made to help her remember what she needed to do.
O--Only speak with a calming voice. Supermom would speak calmly when correcting those adorable children of hers. She wouldn't want to melt into the floor when her kids were out of control.
M--Maid. Supermom would have a full time maid. Enough said.

Monday, January 24, 2011

the chore store

This morning, as I checked emails, facebook posts (because that is a necessity), and downed my coffee---I heard Kaya in the pantry scratching around. She had spilled some cereal and told me she needed to "broom up and mop up her mess."When I saw her, I remembered how much I love our new plan of action---The Chore Store.

I started this at the beginning of the year because I was sick and tired of doing everything around the house. I had used chore charts before (including the one below) but start losing enthusiasm.....don't follow through.....and my kids of course, followed my lead.

But I was done. An enthusiastic housekeeper, I am not. And an enthusiastic housekeeper who was beginning to feel like a maid picking up after everyone, I definitely am not.

So The Chore Store was created.

Each week we decide on chores Zander and Kaya can help with. When they complete the chore the get a penny to put in their Chore Store Jar. If they initiate helping on their own they get a nickel----and I praise them with huge enthusiasm! Whatever house is slowly becoming less of a cluttered disaster..

They love getting their money! Once a week, they can shop at the Chore Store. Amazingly, they stay out of it. They do remember the rule: The store is only open in the Living Room, when mom opens it. It stays in a kitchen corner when it is closed.

There are 3 drawers in the "store". They can purchase items for 10 cents, 25 cents, or 50 cents. I haven't had to purchase anything yet to stock the store.....I found all of the treasures in closets, forgotten boxes, my purse....So this has been great at getting me to sort through some clutter in the house too!

This is great for helping them get some sort of money sense. It is almost impossible to get 50 cents in a week so they have to make a choice: spend now or save. I am so impressed that they do want to save sometimes! Of course, they are 4 and 5, and sometimes instant gratification is what they are looking for!

After many attempts at keeping some order and trying to install some family responsibility, this seems to work for us! And I've stuck with it for longer than two proud of myself! Maybe I should get to shop in the chore store....

Do you have a chore plan you use? I'd love to hear what works for you!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

just a reminder

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up about an hour before I needed to and thought I'll just get up. My plan was to clean some of the files off of the computer so it can work a little faster and I can read email once again.

I first took a glance at some of my old pictures and found this picture taken exactly a year ago today...

My sweet little boy. Helping without complaining. Ask and he will nicely do---

Boy, I needed that reminder. Because fast-forward to now and YIKES!!! My prayer each day now as I get him ready for school: Please God, give me the patience and strength not to slap that smart mouth. So far, the prayer has worked.....but barely....

Thank goodness he doesn't act like that at school yet. But boy, I have to nip this attitude-thing or I'm afraid he will. Kaya and I will be having a perfect day and he comes in the door and lets us know how much he doesn't like us, how everything is so stupid, how his life is just so horrible.... I feel so privileged that he saves his obnoxious behavior for us at home.

I have ordered the book Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? that a friend suggested and it can not get here soon enough. I just want my sweet child back. I want my child back that realizes that people don't want to be around him when he complains about everything, makes ugly faces at everyone, and just acts like a jerk to those who love him the most.

Until then, I will look at these pictures that seem so sweet. To remind myself-----he CAN be kind, he WILL be kind, and this too MUST pass.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

be still and know that I am

Each year I make tons of resolutions.....a new year is time to get started on a bigger, better me. Like most everyone I'm pretty good at keeping them.....for the first week or so. I am usually still running on adrenaline after prepping & carrying out all of the duties for the holiday season.
But this year, God had other plans.
Of course I volunteered to be room mom for Z's class. Of course I was planning a special holiday party. Of course I took pictures and bought 120 Christmas cards to send out. Of course I was going to make a million cookies for everyone I knew. Of course we were going to have the picture-perfect Christmas.
And then of course, I got the flu.

I'm not talking a simple cough with a low-grade fever. I'm talking high fever for several days, chest congestion and wheezing, a headache so bad it hurt to blink my eyelids. And it would be way too easy for just I to get it---the kids had to get sick also. I was dreading the call to my mom to tell her we couldn't come up for Christmas....but she beat me to the punch and called to say she had the flu.

So everything I had planned.....immediately stopped. But I did get a crash course in prayer and meditation. What else was I going to do? Well besides play Bejeweled Blitz, Fluffy, and Cafe World on Facebook.

I've had a rough year. An emotionally draining year---maybe one day I'll have the heart and bravery to blog about it, but not today---but I made it through. But I never really took the time to be still----and listen----to what God has to tell me.

God told me all right. Be STILL and KNOW that I AM. Everything will be okay. Just look, your presents were delivered late. Your Christmas cards still aren't finished. Yes, you are behind with your Usborne business. You still have not shampooed the carpets. You did not read all of those books to the kids you were planning to read. You have 700 emails to sort through.
But everything is fine. It is okay. Be still.

So instead of making a spreadsheet of things to accomplish, planning a monthly menu, developing a fitness plan, or promising to do something every day: I will be still. Every morning. And focus on what God wants be to do for the day. And if I can't figure out what He wants, I will just enjoy the moment and the life I live.