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Monday, April 30, 2012

Bubble Wrap for the Heart

We had a wedding shower a few weeks ago for my son and his soon to be bride. I was talking to someone about their selections and was asked... "What the heck were they thinking when they put bubble wrap as one of their selections at Walmart?" Hmm, I hated to tell them that it was one of my son's favorite play toys. Who doesn't like popping the bubbles on bubble wrap? I think I responded with they would be moving so it would come in handy. Actually there are a lot of times bubble wrap seems like an appropriate tool to have handy. A friend of mine posted the following quote by C.S. Lewis....

"Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and probably broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.....The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

Who hasn't had their heart broken by life? When life breaks my heart my initial instinct is to crawl to my hidie hole and never come out. The urge to insulate myself by removing all risk, all relationships and all possibilities of failure seems like a great alternative to being broken and betrayed by my own behavior and the behavior of others... Or simply to wrap my heart in bubble wrap so it will bobble and bounce with the blows. When I sent my  little ones to kindergarten for the first time, I came home feeling like I had released them to the lions. How I wanted to keep them safe and sound in our quiet little den, surrounded only with positive influences, healthy instruction, and unconditional love. In fact even today, as my last teenager leaves the house, I'd like to throw a lasso around him and drag him back into my arms, because I know the world can be a very cruel place and eventually he will get his heart, his spirit, and his pride broken. Short of holding him captive forever, the best I can do is wrap him in a bubble wrap of constant prayer and trust that my God is bigger than the lions of this world. If you look closely at the brokenness of a heart, the nicks and bruises suffered through life, create a tapestry of beauty that is painted from the pain each has suffered and the obstacles each has overcome.
Prayer is the bubble wrap for the heart.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Does this Swimsuit Make My Butt Look Big?

"Does this swimsuit make my butt look big?"

You know I don't think I've ever asked that question when I was at my ideal weight. Only when I know I've gained a few unanswered pounds or skipped one too many workouts will I ask something I already have the answer to. I asked it the other day when I was browsing on my lunch hour. I came out of the dressing room and asked the shop girl (We were the only two in the store) if my thighs were too big to wear what I was trying on. I could tell she wanted to crawl under a rack, but she was honest with me and It was a win, win situation for both of us. She sold me a shirt instead, and I'm not walking around in big butted pants.

Romans 8:38
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them what are called according to his purpose.

It's funny how that little verse doesn't say anything about all things being easy to swallow, or tons o' fun to experience.
I sometimes neglect to recognize "all things" can be used in very constructive ways and "all things" aren't some cosmic conspiracy to make me go off the deep end. I can choose to use "all things"  to improve a situation or to understand a situation better,just like I can choose to go on a diet and shave a few inches off my butt, or just buy bigger pants. It's all about choices and whether I want to walk around in a delusional world wishing things aren't as they are and imagining them the way I want them to be... Or, I can take the facts and develop a plan that turns things from a negative into a positive. Sometimes it seems like turning a negative into a positive is against all odds, but against all odds, God can, does and will do great things. From the ashes of shame and conflict he is able to paint a beautiful picture of love and grace if only we will allow him access to our ashes and trust the brush in his hand. It's time to make a choice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Perfect World

I sat on the front steps this afternoon and watched as the elementary school on the corner let out. Little ones with their backpacks on, tiny fingers clasped tightly in the hands of moms as they crossed the street to their minivans with booster seats... It all seemed so sweet and innocent and oh so far away.  Seems like in a perfect world you would be allowed to hold them tightly in your lap forever, never letting go... But in a perfect world you wouldn't have to worry about letting them go, because no one or no thing would mean them any harm. This isn't a perfect world and forever in my lap isn't possible... But oh if it were, all would be right...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Color Purple - Popsicle Toes and Fingers

The one residual thing I was hoping wouldn't heal from the TBI is a return of my Reynaud's Syndrome. It's back :-( Purple hands and feet are now the color of my world. The one good side to the injury was my brain just didn't register hot/cold and the discomfort that comes from the extreme. After having to wear gloves at work sometimes, just so I could keep my hands warm enough to type, it was a welcome change. The different hues of red, white, blue and purple are part of healing I was was hoping wouldn't return. A guy in our office asked me the other day what was wrong with my arms... "Oh, I'm just blotchy", he didn't want to touch that one with a ten foot pole. But hey, I'm not complaining... Just happy to be here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Act Like You're Enjoying Yourself!

Fine, I will wear the crown, but I will not look at you
Let's just face it... As you get older, birthdays aren't all they're cracked up to be. Nothing really tells that story as well as the birthday pictures of my Bulldog Riely. This was her 5th birthday and she wasn't happy about the crown, wasn't happy about the camera, and wasn't happy about sitting still. My first Bulldog  was as photogenic as the ones you see on the greeting cards and would pose endlessly for me. Riley is not. I felt like I had been on a flying trapeze trying to get these few shots. She was much more patient with Momma than I was with her... "Act like you're enjoying yourself!" Not going to happen my friend.

Get the shot then let me get down

You're going to drag this out, I can just tell
Wake me when you're done
There is nothing natural about me wearing a crown

Two more shots and I'm outta here
Have your people contact my people, this is over
Where is my Assistant?
Rico, get the Limo

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Good Life Choices = Blogable Moments

Today was packed with more blogable moments than I could possibly write in one evening. For sure some of the moments will have to be saved for a later blog. First let me say, if you have neglected the luxury of surrounding yourself with wonderful friends, then it's never too late to go out and meet someone. I've said it again and again, but it could never be said enough. One of the smartest things I've ever done is surround myself with wonderful friends. My kids weren't raised by two parents, they were raised by a village of people who love them as dearly as if they were their own. Today my best friends in the world hosted a wedding shower for my son and his beautiful bride to be. They are a non-traditional type couple and are going for a non-traditional wedding. My girlfriends insisted on there being one traditional thing to the wedding and that was the wedding shower. The couple to be had their reservations about being showered as it goes against who they are to register for expensive gifts for other people to buy them, but after the warm reception they had today, I think they changed their minds. After opening the gifts and reading the cards my son thanked everyone. I piped up and mentioned that  "The Girlfriends" made  sure there was one traditional thing about their wedding. What my son said was priceless and oh so true. He said.... "If The Girlfriends aren't happy, it's like having 10 Moms that aren't  happy" and that is absolutely the truth. That child has been raised by more God fearing, fun loving, out spoken women than any child could dare dream about. Between myself and The Girlfriends there wasn't a topic, question or life decision that couldn't be discussed. He seems to have turned out quite well and it's a parenting method I highly recommend. Don't be afraid to allow other people to positively influence your children. It's the best thing you can do for them.

You can never have to many Moms
Million Watt Smile
Rolling pin can also be used as weapon in case he gets out of line

Love this, one gift he actually registared himself was bubble wrap.  Hmm, she selects pots and pans, he selects bubble wrap. This is true Seth-like behavior

A very traditional wedding gift

Less traditional gift of octopus dishes

When I asked them if there was a gift they really wanted but were afraid no one would get, I was told octopus dishes. My first reaction was....  _ _ _ _ _ _ _! But when I saw them, I just couldn't resist. I mean, how many people do you know have a set of octopus dishes that are just so absolutely adorable. This gift was given with the understanding if they decided to give away all their worldly possessions to spread God's word in some remote part of the world that would likely result in their death (as in "End of the Sword type place), these dishes have to come home to Momma or Sissy. Hopefully the very thought of having to give these dishes back will keep them living in the good ole USA even if they do live in a commune. :-) LOL, but not kidding.

I love my expanding family, they are the best!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Warning Label for Blogs

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about the medication we both are taking to help us sleep. I haven't had a good night sleep without the assistance of something since I gave birth to my first child, so that's only 28 years. You just get so used to sleeping with one eye open (which is really creepy if someone happens to be watching you sleep) and one ear open for all those things Moms get carried away about after you have children. We were laughing about things we had done while under the influence of our medication and how our husbands tend to get offended about things we say, or don't say, remember or don't remember. The other day my husband was acting all pouty and finally I asked him what was wrong (because I hold sole ownership of poutiness in this relationship). He told me he was a little hurt about something I had said a few nights before. Well, it was just silly, because I would never say that and I don't remember saying it so I shouldn't be held responsible. Let me add, if the tables were turned on that situation, this blog would have a whole different tone than it does today... Nough said bout that! I've blogged before about my tendency to sleep eat... No I'm not kidding I actually sleep eat and when I do I tend to eat A LOT!!! You know those silly warnings they add to the end of a commercial about a medication... Sometimes those warnings are for real. This is the warning that comes with my sleep medicine...

"Rarely, after taking this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake ("sleep-driving"). People have also sleepwalked, prepared/eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex while not fully awake. Often, these people do not remember these events. This problem can be dangerous to you or to others. If you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking this medication, tell your doctor right away. Your risk is increased if you use alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy while taking (insert name of med here)."

And yes,I have experienced more than one of those "rare" side-effects but this isn't a tell-all blog (it's an almost tell-all blog) so you'll just have to figure the rest out on your own, or better yet, use your imagination:-) The one thing the label doesn't warn about is sleep blogging. This my dear friends truly is a serious and possibly deadly side effect. The year after my injury I blogged a lot more often than I do now. It was for me what art is for others who are recovering from an illness or in my case a TBI. It wasn't necessarily healing for others, but it was great therapy for me. My husband made checking my blog his top priority in the mornings and on more than one occasion he would wake me up and have me delete, delete, delete or edit the heck out of something I had written in the middle of the night. I'm way better now about sleep blogging (although he still checks me out first thing in the morning)... Hmm, he reads my blog first thing too (LOL, you know that's funny)! I've learned not to generalize post so friends don't assume I'm talking about them when really I'm not. I sometimes link my post to a friend, if I really am talking about them or text them and wait for their approval. Also I've learned that dark, twisty poetry may be therapeutic, because well... It just is, but it can only be dissected by the person who writes it otherwise it becomes logical which totally ruins the whole point of poetry coming from a mind that is frantically trying to heal. I have a friend who is a lawyer, and think I should have him write up a contract so if I'm doing something that is absolutely bloggable, I can have whoever I'm doing it with (assuming I'm awake and conscious of what I'm doing) sign it so I can blog about it and they can't get mad at me for blogging embarrassing stuff. Instead I just created my own warning label...

Note: This post has been approved by all person/persons to whom it is directly related.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Panic Buttons are for the Clueless

The weekend my cousin and I went to the mall, we had to off set our spectacular eating talents with exercise so we could fit back into  the car when it was time to go back home. We did a blond workout routine because it just seems to work best for us. The trick to the blond exercise routine is to not pay attention to your surrounding, or the people who are A) Are looking at you strangely, or B) Scoping you out as a possible mugging victim. We left the mall at the exit we were pretty certain we had entered the mall. I say we were pretty certain because it was the exit closest to the shoe department of Dillard's (merely by accident I assure you). We walk into the parking lot and head for the car... Except we didn't remember where we parked. I drive a Nissan Cube and when it's tucked between ginormous SUVs everyone is compelled to drive these days, it is almost impossible to spot. A lot harder than the cyber green Bug I used to drive. We walked up and down the parking lot, re-entered the building and exited again like that would make the car magically re-appear the second time around. All the time we're walking row to row, I'm holding my arm in the air clicking the panic button on my car key fob. Dead silence! We walk and walk until my skin get moist (it would be called sweating on other people but I don't sweat I get moist in the most feminine of ways) and the plastic dress cover they put over the dress I bought started sticking to my skin getting me all tangled up. I'm wrestling with my plastic, we're walking and my moisture is getting stickier and stickier and just a little bit of anxiety is starting to creep up the back of my neck (or is that more plastic I feel), and I'm pretty sure that we're being stalked by someone wanting my new dress and really cool eye shadows when I hear the constant wailing of my little Cube. Finally there is hope that we will not forever be stuck in the parking lot of a mall, or skinned alive by some freak wanting to make his own dress of our skinned hides. You would think that the car making panicking sounds would draw a large crowd ready to take up arms and defend it from being defiled by some thief, but no.... Everyone just walked right on past the sad little car crying out in panic because apparently everyone knows that the alarm system on a car isn't really there to prevent theft, it's there for clueless women everywhere who can't remember where they parked.