Today I used the last of our ham – well, the bone will still get one more round as a special treat for our Golden Retriever.
I was reminded of the blessings of growing up without a lot of money and with a Dad and Paternal Grandparents that experienced first hand not only being poor but living through the great depression. I am sure you have all, as have I ..heard stories of walking to school uphill both ways but the stories I have heard of my Dad’s childhood and my Grandma’s attempts to make ends meet are well beyond those old tales. Heart breaking and a reminder of how good I have it.
As I cooked the ham bone today in a wonderful broth and beans I pulled out Grandma’s cast iron skillet and made some good old fashioned corn bread.
I am thankful for my family, for the lessons in frugality and the bigger focus on our blessings.
May my children know the same.
A Throwback photo of Thanksgiving 2010
I know that somewhere inside me is a hoarder dying to get out, I know this because in every nook and cranny of my home I see someone that has touched me and the joy they bring me.
A quick scan of the kitchen and living room show what to anyone would be ordinary household things but to me they are memories of a moment captured almost like a photograph.
- The clock on the wall is not just a clock, that is my birthday dinner with Misty and Max the year Ace was born
- The brown egg is not just a dust collector that is a gift from an 11 year old Ryan’s most prized gem stone collection.
- The broken blind slat is not in need of repair, that is 2 year old Alex trying to get to the window in time to see the fire truck drive by.
- The home sweet home picture was a shopping trip with good friends years ago, one of them how now moved out of state.
I could go on and on. There are memories of so many family and friends represented throughout our home, I am sure the same is true of yours. Take a moment, pause and really look around at all that you have been blessed with and enjoy making more memories today.
My baby, Ryan; moved to the coast in Washington State for a new chapter in his life, a new school in an area he loves. I knew the day would come when the baby of our family moved out but on some level I was also in denial.
I have managed really well the last two weeks with only a few tearful moments a midst the many quiet evenings. I have talked to him almost daily and he assures me each time that he is not ready to move home.
Yesterday, as I was looking for something to take to work for lunch my eyes landed on the tortillas and I got “teary eyed”. Ryan’s specialty is tacos and the tortillas made me think of him and how I missed him cooking and making a mess of my kitchen.
When I made my daily call to Ryan I asked him if he was eating well and he said he had just made tacos at which point I told him how I had noticed the tortillas that morning and thought of him, we both chuckled.
Well here is my blessing but you need to know that Wade and I haven’t cooked a real meal since Ryan moved, instead we have managed to pick our way through each day but yesterday was different. When I came home my husband was in the kitchen cooking a real meal for us, Tacos! It was the most amazing blessing, it was like God heard my heart and worked through Wade to say “I heard you”
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can Train the younger women to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be submissive to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Titus 2: 3-5
This verse could have been written under the caption “Edith Tomlinson” wife of Lewis Tomlinson and mother of 9 children, 30 grandchildren and countless greats.
Being raised over 700 miles away with annual visits; I didn’t know this Grandma as intimately as I wish. What I do know is that all of her children and grandchildren revere her and that her daughter, Sissie (My Mom) is a beautiful person inside and out and that certainly she was molded by my Grandma.
What I wish I knew is her laugh, her interests, stories from her childhood, her dreams and her disappointments. What was the child in her like?
So today, I want to focus on the blessings of “Women”. We are the silent but absolute pillars of our home and communities; we encourage and support our families and give endlessly of ourselves in the hopes that others will feel better, do better and are better. We will drop everything at a moment’s notice when another is in need, we’ll give selflessly to make certain that person is in a better situation and we will cry silently when we are the ones needing support hoping our ‘women’ will see the unspoken need.
Here’s to all the women in my life that support and encourage me, that help me to enjoy the day, to laugh and be silly, that allow me to fuss over them if needed and fuss over me when I need them. May we all be more transparent and share more of who we are, on the inside.
Here’s to good women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.
Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16
As any who know me are aware, I am legally blind. It runs in the family so I am not alone but it sure isn’t a cool club to be a part of.
I lost my contact case two days ago, I think the dog ate it but my husband swears it isn’t so. I have looked everywhere and finally resolved myself to the fact that I have to wear my thick heavy glasses, everywhere for the next week or so while I schedule an appointment for a new exam.
As a full fledged procrastinator I have successfully managed to avoid having an exam for the last 2 years which means my Dr. has declined to fill my contact prescription unless I come to see him.
So I have two parts to my blessings today and neither were obtained through a path I would have chosen for myself.
First, I really truly absolutely, don’t want to wear my glasses everywhere. I have grown up some as I near the big 50 but on occasion when I have to wear my glasses, I still feel like the little girl that was ridiculed and defined (even if in her own mind) by those thick glasses. It set me apart early and impressed upon me an image of myself that is not true and not positive. No, please don’t try to tell me I am beautiful because I have grown past the illogical part of the inadequacy I feel /felt but it’s there, silently taunting me when an opening arises. I found one of those vinyl quotes that I have in my bathroom and says what I think every little girl needs to hear, “Be your own kind of beautiful’. I look at it every day including the last few days and this challenge for me when I start to slip back into that place, is to remember that I am my own kind of beautiful, I am loved by my family not for what I look like but for who I am. I mean, think of my grand baby’s they don’t care what I look like, they just enjoy my company and my hugs..
Second, I realized how fortunate I am to have health insurance that covers my exam and my contacts which are quite costly because of the strength and complexity of them. That I live in an era that I can go to an Eye Doctor that can match a perfect prescription for my imperfect eyes and have it ordered for me ‘at no cost to me”. Isn’t that a blessing that I might take for granted, to be alive now in this generation in this country full of Gods Blessings and abundance?
So don’t feel sorry for me, celebrate with me “being my own kind of beautiful” and God Bless the USA.
How God Can Use Your Anxiety for Good….can never flourish in an environment where fear of failure is the guiding motive
The study that found women are 60 percent more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime. Perhaps the higher frequently is due to women’s desire to control certain aspects of our lives; perhaps it lives in the same gap we all do, between expectation and reality. Either way, an anxious life is a hard one, and the less we talk about it, the more isolated we feel.
Telling Christians that our anxiety is pointless and foolish and pointing to a list of verses as evidence doesn’t serve to create community; rather, it perpetuates fear: fear that there is something wrong with me, fear of being seen (and rejected) for who I really am, fear that I will never trust God enough. An attitude that says, “The Bible Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It” will never get us very far in conversation about anxiety, because it effectively ends that conversation (and usually ends up creating more anxiety for those who already struggle with it). We Christians need to grow our capacity for uncertainty and vulnerability, treasuring those means of connection as we also submit to God’s truth
The other side of the coin here is one I know very well. Left to my own devices, I would wallow in fear and anxiety for most of my days. I know this because I’ve done it. The truth is, though, that while healthy anxiety can breed creativity, unhealthy anxiety will kill it. Unhealthy anxiety demands perfection, and creativity can never flourish in an environment where fear of failure is the guiding motive. Living in unhealthy anxiety will paralyze me and draw me into comparison, envy, and fear.
Healthy anxiety, though, can remind me constantly and fruitfully of my joyful dependence on and confidence in God. When I feel fear, I can allow God’s good grace to draw me to him and be reminded of his sufficiency in all things. I don’t need to draw a direct connection between my spiritual health and my experience of anxiety when I trust God to use my anxiety for good.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, they called it. GAD. Which, somehow, seems fitting. GAD, which reportedly affects about 3 percent of the U.S. population, is characterized by frequent, constant worry with little or no cause. A GAD sufferer will generally bear a daily burden of anxiety not tied to any specific threat. Through no choice of our own, we live in a state of anxiety that is largely disconnected from the reality of our otherwise normal circumstances.
Which is why I was glad to hear about the publication of The Anxious Christian (Moody), by Rhett Smith, a marriage and family therapist based in Texas. The subtitle alone is worth the price of the book: “Can God use your anxiety for good?” Never had I thought about anxiety as a tool that God could use to shape me. On my best days I thought of it as a pesky trial, something that God allowed me to experience; on my worst, I thought it was the absence of God due to my total lack of faith.
Many a well-meaning Christian had trotted out Philippians 4:6 when I confessed my struggle: “Do not worry about anything,” writes Paul, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” The underlying message here seemed clear to me: Pray more. Give thanks more. Don’t focus on your anxiety.
Yet as Smith writes, “When we discourage from safely expressing their anxiety, then we are essentially saying to them that anxiety is a bad emotion …. It communicates to them that perhaps something is wrong with their Christian faith.” Smith goes on to talk about how God may be using anxiety to draw us closer to him, allowing us to recognize our need and limitations as anchors to the One who is sufficient. Focusing on the way Jesus set boundaries in community and kept a constant line of communication open with his Father, Smith helpfully and practically reconciles the experience of anxiety with the reality of God’s goodness.
Today my sister and I spent about an hour and a half searching through the racks at our local second-hand clothing store. I am thinking the spring board from here is an all-out “clothes swap and wine”, well I had to fit wine in somewhere right?
On a personal note, as I learn to recognize blessings in my life, I was able to spend this favorite past time of women with a loved one, she also has a family and a full time job so finding time doesn’t happen, instead we made time.
Today I was feeling very casual so the things that really spoke to me were casual as well including the $24 to die for, Vera Wang purse which I passed on. Somehow $24 on a purse was simply too much to spend at my local thrift store although I easily racked up over $24 with a pair of 7 for mankind jeans that retail around $80, a brand new pair of $50 shoes and two adorable shirts, the time with my sister, priceless.
I am not sure why some people choose not to shop second hand or they are “closet shoppers” and hang their head when they see someone they know enter.
The whole someone-else-wore-it-first thing can turn some people off, but if you follow these easy tips, buying previously worn clothing can be guilt-free treasure hunt.
1. Have a plan
Like with all shopping, know ahead of time what you actually need. Secondhand stores can be a bit overwhelming, so focus on black pants one day and loafers another.
2. Be open
That said, keep your eyes open for any surprising deals. With secondhand shopping you never know what you’re going to get, and the entire experience can be hit-or-miss. Come with a plan, but stay open to the unexpected gift that might be waiting.
3. Think quality over quantity
A rule of thumb when secondhand shopping is don’t buy clutter. Filling your closet with items you’ll never use is a waste of money. Instead buy fewer items that are high quality, and always ask yourself whether or not you really need it.
4. Try Things On
Always try things on. Just because it looks amazing on the rack doesn’t mean it will look amazing on you. Vintage sizes also often fit a little differently.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask
Just because you are not at a high-end department store doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Many secondhand stores get new items unexpectedly, so if you’re on the hunt for something in particular, ask an ask an employee to keep their eye out for it.
Overall, shopping at secondhand stores is a great way to add style and save money. Take a day your next free weekend to explore the thrift stores in your area and see what you come up with! You can also consider throwing a clothes swap party with your friends and family and bring the secondhand shop to you. Read more here on how to throw a clothes swap party here.
Whichever way you prefer, think twice before driving to your local mall and consider and reaping the fashion, financial and environmental benefits of secondhand shopping.