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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections Under A Blue Moon....

In less than an hour 2009 will be behind me and 2010 standing at my door. It's the time of year where I reflect on the past and look forward to the future. 2009 was an emotionally difficult year for me. The youngest of my 3 children turned 15, oldest son bought his first house and my daughter ventured out on her first deployement in the military. I've struggled with the question, "Where do I go from here?". It's my personal opinion the women probably have a little more trouble transitioning into this point in life; when your children spread their wings and begin to soar towards their own lives. This year that realization (for some reason) hit me square in the face and I'll admit I was totally unprepared. I don't know if it was seeing the last one enter high school or having the first one leave the country but it has been difficult. It's caused a domino-like effect with me questioning every area, every belief and every ability that I have. I'm still a little dumbfounded how someone with such a firm foundation can be shaken by the sight of empty chairs around the dinner table, but I think that's what it boils down too. I think it's kind of funny because I'm a very non-hoovering type of Mom. I thought that style of mothering would make this time of life less painful but I've come to the conclusion that I was wrong! Yes honey, you read it right (no gloating!). Anyway, that's were I am, or was in 2009. Now it's time for me to figure out where I'll be this time next year. My wishes for 2010 are... I want every day to be filled with excitement! No mundane, same ole same ole. I want to belly laugh on a regular basis, to see the sparkle back in my eyes when I'm applying my mascara in the morning and I want the old happy go lucky pants pulled up all the way up to my waist! No more walking around with my happy pants pulled half the way up. Their going all the way baby, all the way! See, I'm not complicated, these are simple, no-fuss wishes. Just to seal the deal I went for a long walk under the light of the blue moon (it's suppose to bring you luck). I think you're actually suppose to dance naked under the blue moon for luck but I didn't want to frighten any drunks that happened to be out at that hour. Since it's been snowing the light of the blue moon was actually blue as it fell upon the snow. It is simply stunning out there tonight, and you know that's just what this year has been, it's been stunning. Some of it has been stunningly sad, some of it has been stunningly happy and some of it has been stunningly shocking. You know what? I'm pretty sure that 2010 will be stunning too. Stunning realizations, stunning revelations and stunning resolutions. Yep, it's just amazing how things look under the reflection of a blue moon. I hope your 2010 is stunning too.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Heading For The Slopes

We're headed for the slopes! This time tomorrow I'm praying I'll be neck high in clouds of snow. Next to the ocean, nothing speaks of his Majesty like the mountains. Something about being in the mountains makes me feel like I can just reach out and touch the face of God. I wish I could boast of being a great skier, but just the opposite it true. A very good friend of mine claims I ski like a crotchety old lady and he is absolutely correct. You've heard of near death experiences and having your life flash before your eyes.... That's me the entire time I'm skiing. Growing up I was not encouraged to take chances, live risky, or even enjoy life, so doing something like skiing is going way out on the proverbial limb for me. This year I am determined to face my fears as I face the slopes. Besides, the worst thing that could happen would be I could have a face to face meeting with a large tree resulting in me standing in line at the pearly gates. I've always joked that there is a "No Snow Dome" located directly above my head. Year after year I hope and pray for snow and year after year I am disappointed. I'm hoping Keystone is out of "No Snow Dome" network and I have plenty of snow to romp around in. The kid in me is located fairly close to the adult facade I'm wearing and it won't take much snow to make it rise to the top. So if you're in the area, I'll be the adult catching snowflakes on my tongue and making snow angels in the front yard. If you're looking for ski competition you might want to look someplace else, if it's just pure fun you're seeking, jump out of the car and join me!

Cedar Shake Shingles and Prince Charming

Some people choose to live in reality, others choose to live in fairy tales; I choose the latter. I am a fairytale kinda gal. Big dresses, long hair and of course the glass slipper (fairy tale of all fairy tales because it centers around a shoe). At the mere age of 18 (exactly 28 years ago today) I married my very own Prince Charming. Our life together has been adventure upon adventure. Some adventures exciting, some adventures sad and many of them hilarious. One of those adventures was the house we lived in when we were first married (that house was just the beginning of our house adventures). This little house wasn't exactly the little fairytale cottage I had always dreamed of but you never would have been able to convince me of that. It was a little shotgun house that my Prince Charming bought to fix up before we even knew each other. The adventure part of it was the fact that he did so without input from a woman. This is a man (Prince Charming) for you. One of his first projects was to put a cedar shake shingle roof on the little house. The roof looked so stunning in the afternoon sunlight he said to himself "I believe I will add cedar shake shingles as siding so I will not have to paint". The house looked so charming and quaint he said to himself "I think I'll put cedar shake shingles on the ceiling inside the house to hide the sagging ceiling". Alas! The cedar shake shingles went up on the ceiling and how pretty it did look. Prince Charming looked at the ceiling and said "By golly! The cedar shake shingles looks so amazing on the ceiling I believe I will put them on the wall". The next thing you know the inside and outside of the house was covered from top to bottom in cedar shake shingles. After painting the trim in the house a deep chocolate brown he looked at the floor and said "I need carpet in here that matches the cedar shake shingles I have covered the house in". So Prince Charming goes out and purchases chocolate brown carpet to put in his cedar shake shingle house. Prince Charming did not like curtains because.... well I guess because he's a man. So he looked at the windows one day and said "Oh my! People can see inside my windows". So he took the deep chocolate brown paint he had painted his trim with and he painted the glass in his windows so no one could see inside the cedar shake shingle house. When Prince Charming brought home his lovely bride several months later she looked at the cedar shake shingle house and said "I love it!" (because love is blind and because she was a new bride and she only had eyes for him). Two days later when Prince Charming was at work, his new bride decided to carefully arrange her clothes (especially her shoes) in the closet they now shared as man and wife (eventually she would move his clothes out of the closet because she seriously needed more space). She turned on the light in the bedroom, but the light would not penetrate the darkness caused by the cedar shake shingles, chocolate brown carpet and chocolate brown trim. The new bride said "I'll scrap some of the chocolate brown paint off of the glass window pane to allow a little sunlight into the room". The bride scraped the chocolate brown paint off of the bedroom window but still the sunlight could not penetrate the darkness caused by the cedar shake shingles, chocolate brown carpet and chocolate brown trim. So the new bride scrounged around the cedar shake shingle house to find a flashlight to penetrate the darkness caused by the cedar shake shingles but the flashlight, the sunlight and the overhead light still could not penetrate the darkness caused by the cedar shake shingles..... Day after day the young bride had to use a flashlight to see into her closet to retrieve her shoes but she never complained because her Prince Charming was the only light she needed to light her world. Moral to the story, cedar shake shingles does not a castle make....A Prince Charming on the other hand can make any cedar shake shingle house a home.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Outside The Lines

If only life were as simple as color coded calendars... Sometime you have to color outside the lines and hope the picture remains beautiful in spite.

He knows me and loves me still

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shades of Blue

Color my world in
Shades of blue
Let every reflection
be a memory of you
As deep as the ocean
Floor and as far
So my heart is with you
Wherever you are
And forever will be.......

A Beautiful Love Story

The birth of our Savior. He was sent without being called, he was given without being deserved, he lived without sin, and he loved without hesitation. May this gift of gifts be found in the manger of your heart this Christmas. May it breathe the breath of life into your soul and be the beginning of a beautiful love story between you and your Savior.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Extraordinary Examples Of Praise

The heavenly host could feel the signal they had been waiting for all night. The shepherds stumbled below being caught off guard by the sudden stillness then a gust of wind that seemed to come from nowhere. Even those who slept in town were suddenly awakened by what they thought was a nightmare that could not be recalled. What really had happened was heaven had just breathed life into heaven on earth and the long awaited Messiah had taken his first breath. At precisely the second The Messiah let out his first cry the angelic choir began their refrain. Thousands upon thousands of voices joined in harmony to proclaim the birth of the child. The sound was like a fragrant incense that hovered over the earth than rose to the heavens leaving a scent of worship and adoration that had never been seen or heard before. Those that were chosen to receive the message fell to their knees and began to spontaneously worship from the core of their being. They heard the message, they knew in their hearts all that was spoken was true. There was only one thing left to do... They must see for themselves... They must see The Messiah. Some unseen force pulled them in the direction of the manger. They didn't know where they were going, when they would get there, or what they would find, yet they went. They found themselves outside a nondescript manger. Sensing their presence a man came out to usher them in. He looked like he hadn't slept in days, yet there was something about him, an energy. He seemed eager to direct them inside where a young woman lay cradling a sleeping infant in her arms. She looked up at the strangers and with gentle smile she nodded for them to come forward as if she had been expecting them for hours. There was nothing breathtaking about her beauty, yet she was breathtaking. Perhaps it was the air of absolute peace that seemed to cover her from head to toe. The shepherds once again found themselves unable to remain standing and fell to their knees. In unison they began to worship, not just the shepherds, but the woman and man as well. Here in this common manger there were no words, for words could not truly express all that was stirring in their hearts. Here in this common manger, common people began to worship an uncommon King as he turned their ordinary lives into extraordinary examples of praise.

Love At First Sight

She gasped for air, she prayed for strength and she thought the pain would never end. For hours her body had been torn apart by wave after wave of pain. Sweat poured from her brow, her lips were parched from her rapid breathing and she didn't know how much longer she would be able to endure. The arms that had cradled her so gently earlier were now like a noose around her neck. She didn't want to be touched, she didn't want to be left alone, she just wanted it to end and end quickly. Joseph paced back and forth, wringing his hands in worry. Each time he saw her relax for a second or two he would kneel beside her, offer her a drink, wipe her brow then quickly step aside before the next wave of pain started. How much longer he wondered. Suddenly she sat up and took a deep breath. When she exhaled a moan escaped her lips that was so deep and so barbaric that it caught him by surprise. Her face became white as ash and her head dropped till her chin touched her chest. At that moment he heard the release of water and blood pour from her womb. In an instant the earth was caught in a large vacuum like all of the oxygen had been sucked from the air and then immediately a rushing wind swept through the manger, then silence. Nothing but silence. She reached down and picked up the pasty infant that lay between her legs. With her touch he let out a wail. His arms waved wildly in the night air, his fingers and toes were spread apart like he had just been dropped in ice cold water. He shook all over as he cried and quickly, so quickly his skin turned red. The softest of sighs came from her chest as she brought him to her cheek. The babe turned his head to meet her cheek as if to give her a kiss. For the first time in history, heaven met humanity and without a doubt it was love at first sight.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Heaven And Earth Meet

By the hundreds they gathered over the field, a whole host of angels. They could see the shepherds thoughtlessly going through their duties, the way earthly bound beings thoughtlessly went about everything. Some of the more cynical angels seemed a little disappointed that the proclamation they were prepared to give would be done in such a mundane setting, but those thoughts were fleeting. This was the night that all of heaven had been preparing for thousands of years. This would be the night that changed all of humanity for eternity. The angels could not help but wonder if the earthly bound beings would grasp the meaning of it all. They were so limited by their insight and knowledge of all things spiritual. Yet, that was not their concern. Their mission had been carefully planned, the announcement would be made as soon as the signal was given. That was another thing. Although the mission carefully planned, the announcement meticulously written the actual signal itself had not been described. They were simply told that they would recognize the signal when it was given. The angels had no trouble accepting this as fact and eagerly awaited the moment. The earthly bound beings may not know what was going on this gentle evening, but without a doubt the earth herself knew that all things would soon change. The shepherds had began to notice the ever changing sky and they stood like statues staring in awe at the sight that unfolded before them. The angels, the shepherds and even the sheep stood in anticipation, waiting for the moment when heaven and earth would meet in the form of a crying child.

No Ordinary Night

The night was as still as they had seen it in a while. Not a breeze could be felt as they lay around the camp. The older of the shepherds had already drifted into their nightly slumber. Since they had seniority they got the first hours of watch, the one in the early evening hours. They left the early morning hours to the young shepherds. The older shepherds had seen all of the strange early morning happenings, heard all of the alarming noises that accompanied the darkness. As far as they were concerned the young ones needed the experience in determining the difference between real danger and imagined danger. It was funny the tricks your mind could play on you when all you had was the moon and the sound of the earth to keep you awake. Besides, watching the young ones get used to the dark hours amused the old ones immensely. The young ones would not wake the old ones unless they knew there was a real threat. They were tired of their over reactions being the topic of every village meal once they returned home. After a while it just wasn't funny anymore, at least not to them. The shepherds like the rest of the world had been lulled into somewhat of a spiritual slumber. Stories of the coming Messiah was part of their heritage, something they grew up hearing about all their lives. The 400 years of silence had brought some Jews to cease the anticipation of the long awaited Messiah. Many had gone about their daily lives as if a Savior would never come. Among the shepherds in the field that night, many of the young ones had never given it much thought.... That was until the sky began to lighten as if covered by a white mist. At first they stared in total shock, there was no way they would wake the old ones because the sky was turning a hazy white. Then as they continued to look the outline of the angels began to materialize before their very eyes. Ever so gradually angel after angel appeared, transfixed between heaven and earth. Although the stillness never ceased, an atmosphere of anticipation began to sweep over the country side awakening the older shepherds. Their eyes popped open like wild prey was standing over them. Immediately their eyes turned upward to see the appearing of what looked like angels... If this was a dream it was no ordinary dream and if this wasn't a dream then this was no ordinary night.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not A Typical King

The wings of the angles spread out touching tip to tip creating a barrier around the young couple. They had been given strict instructions about the amount of comfort they could give. Their presence provided cover from the evil forces that searched throughout the area looking to interfere with the Father's plans. The head angel had been the one chosen to deliver the message to the young girl in the beginning. He remembered how young and innocent she looked as he relayed the message of the coming events. For just a second he wondered if he had misinterpreted his instructions and was giving the news to the wrong girl. Surely this could not be the one the Father had selected to bring the Savior into the world. A quickening in the heaven's got his attention and he continued to recite the news to the girl who stood mesmerized by his words. Tonight she looked totally different than she had the day he first saw her. It seemed she had aged 10 years. No longer did she look like a child, tonight she looked like a woman in the travail of giving birth. Being selected by the Father doesn't mean the journey will be easy, that's why such care is taken in those he chooses. Tonight the Father's instructions were very pointed. They were sent to provide protection, strength and encouragement. They were prevented however, from relieving the couple from any pain or trouble experienced in a typical earthly childbirth. It was difficult to stand back and not intervene. The best they could do is prompt Joseph with encouraging words to offer Mary and to give them both strength that had been sent with them from above. Still it looked to be a very agonizing process, this birth. The angels staunchly held their ground and trusted that the Father knew best when it came to the process of saving the world. This wasn't what they imagined when they were given the assignment of protecting the couple as they delivered the King of Kings.... This was much more humble and these people more common than they expected . No, this couple was not the typical royal family most would be looking for, and their son would prove in every possible way that he would not be.... a typical King.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Other Half Of Me

She snuggled up beside me
With a giggle and a grin
I am a little taken back
Where did she come from and when?
You know me well, she calmly states
We go back from the beginning of time
We used to play in the yard when small
You know, your yard and mine
I looked at her with piercing eyes
No recognition at all
No hint of remembrance, no faint memory
This girl I clearly saw
The sound of her voice, the way her words were formed
Her blue green eyes, her hair,
Nothing struck a cord with me
Not one single thing we shared
Tell me more, I quietly asked
Searching for some kind of clue
How do we know each other
I don't seem to remember you
Her smile didn't fade, her eyes didn't blink
She took no mind at all
That I had forgotten our long lost connection
That I could not recall
She touched my arm and sighed a sigh
And searched for words to say
I thought she would tell me stories of us
The games we used to play
I'm not surprised, she finally said
That you do not know my name
There's hardly a resemblance left for you
To know we are the one and same
I am you, so long ago
Seems like forever and a day
Way back when you were really young
And your heart was way more tame
You are but half of me the half most people saw
The half you used to please the ones
Who raised you when you were small
A much different girl you've become
A much different woman you are
Than the one that you present to those
Who seek to judge your heart
Just one request I simply ask
If I might be so brave
Don't forget the side of you
That has always kept you safe
I'm the one whose judgement you used
When you were young and free
All I ask as you search yourself
Always remember me.
Never forget the things we were taught
When we were but just small
And never look back and regret the things
That we cannot change at all
Just go forward, continue to grow
In knowledge and strength and love
The time we are now experiencing
Is something we'll rise above
It's new for us, this life of ours
It's nothing we planned to see
The ending to the dreams we dreamed
The things we thought would be
But that's alright, don't be alarmed
It's just a point in life
Where the things that were and the things that are
Get tangled within the heart
I'm right here, I'll always be
We're together and always have been
The good, the bad, the tame and wild 
From the beginning until the end

From Here to Eternity

Waiting beneath the weight of silence
Wondering what will become
Listening for an awakening
Ready to sing your song
Preparing myself for the brokenness
The end will finally bring
Unwilling to face reality
Most painful of anything
The future seems so uncertain
The past a distant fog
The moment I'm currently standing in
Is someone else's viewed from afar
I have searched but found no answer
listened but heard no voice
Prayed but found no comfort
Cried with no remorse
The shadows will forever haunt me
Of things I've left undone
Of those I've disappointed
And the ones I've knowingly wronged
The hope I currently long for
Is that forgiveness and grace will be
Bountiful and long reaching
From here to eternity

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Which Realm Are You Living In

Having touched something that cannot be held
I stand with empty hands
Having tasted something that cannot be savored
I am left incompete
Having heard a voice that has no body
I continue to wonder
Having smelled a fragrance yet find no bloom
My garden remains barren
And yet will I
Reach out to touch again
Bring to my lips the taste of that
Listen for music in the wind
Cherish the thought of spring
Could anything be so beautiful
As that which I continue to dream
Truly most things of beauty exists 
Outside our realm of reality
Yet our reality holds beauty we have not seen
Which realm are you living in????

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Cheer??

The emails I get from Sissy continue to be positive. She seemed to really enjoy the last port they stopped at...
got to do some neat stuff. She says it's easier missing the holiday while on deployment since everybody is "in the same boat". Unfortunately I have a little tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I go about my holiday preparations. This Momma is really missing her little girl who shares her love for the holidays and all of the holiday prepping women do. This year in an effort to keep the holidays from being so sad without her, we've planed a ski trip the week before Christmas with several of our best friends as a family gift. I'm not missing the stress of doing the holiday shopping but I am missing getting to wrap my color coordinated Christmas gifts (it's just one of my quirky obsessions). In spite of my inner sadness I'm determined that I will put on a smile and not let the boys see it (they would never get it anyway). My husband (who is a saint) has become quiet used to walking in a room only to see me weeping for no reason at all. It's not like a woman can really explain it anyway to a man whose loins have never been ripped apart in childbirth. At times like these it would be nice to have the Que Sera Sera way of coping that most men enjoy. I love being a woman but sometimes the intensity of the emotions we so aptly display can be a little hard to handle and absolutely impossible to explain. I know all of you Navy Moms understand that especially those with daughters. So I'm putting on my "Holiday Cheer" although most of it is nothing but put on.... Next year will be a whole different story.