From 2015: So You Got a Little Damp

BB–before blog 🙂


so, i’m standing outside in the rain this morning, waiting for the bus with Lil. we only have one umbrella. so i give it to her. i can get wet, but if she got soaked, she’d be miserable all day. at least i can come in and dry off. it’s cold and a little breezy, but not too bad. it was chilly, but if just a tad warmer, not at all terrible. it made me think of when i was somewhere between the age of 5-8. for the life of me, i can’t remember how old i was. but it was an experience i would never forget.

it’s raining outside and my sister and i come up with a great idea. let’s put on our bathing suits and go stand in the rain on the porch. what would mom say? OMG! she said yes. what?? so we put on our bathing suits and we go outside. all i can see is about 3 feet in front of me. it’s raining hard. no lightning and it’s quite warm. a warm summer soaker. it’s so hard to see. so we start pretending that we are waterskiers on the back of a boat and hold on for dear life. i think we even had a rope that we tied around the railing of the deck and that was our tow rope. we leaned back and ski’d like pros. i even had the sensation of bobbing up and down on the water, making jumps and doing tricks. what a powerful experience. my sister and i squealed and frolicked in the downpour and literally danced in the rain. i didn’t worry about getting hurt, i just enjoyed the rare delight of getting completely wet on purpose.

well, as adults we lose that ability to enjoy the storm. we think about our things that get wet, our basements, our stuff, our cars. we think about that leaky roof that we want to hold for one more storm. we think about how the storm might damage our flowers and plants. we wonder if the wind and rain will claim our possessions, houses, lives even, if it gets really bad. we wonder if the power will go out and if we will be left in darkness. we fear the thunder and lightning because we don’t know what will come. i can’t think of a time as an adult that i enjoyed the actual storm. maybe if i was inside, under a blanket and the rain was light. but i would never willingly stand in the rain.

i did get caught in the rain with my husband on the huzzah (pronounced hoo-za) river one year, in a canoe. it hailed on us and lightning all around. hail. and we were in a metal canoe. with lightning. i was scared to death and all i could think was to paddle like hell. we made great time after the hail started. never paddled so hard in my life. Guy was humming “Ride of the Valkyries” from the back. for a minute, even while paddling, i thought, “maybe we should stop.” but where was there to go to escape the rain? the banks were small, no trees really, no shelter. the people on the sides of the river were being rained/hailed on just the same. might as well keep going. just keep paddling. we’ll make it through or die trying. i’d rather be struck by lightning trying to get to where i need to go instead of waiting around on the side of a river and be struck by lightning. we were the very last team among our friends to make it to the end. worst experience canoeing ever. ever. many mishaps on the river that year. but we made it through and i can laugh about it now. at least we had a boat to float it out! and a dry ride back to camp.

but this morning i stood in the rain. and it wasn’t so bad. i can get wet and it’ll be okay. this is life. with God. he’s my umbrella. and while i may not dance around like i did when i was a child, i can still smile through the storm and know, it’ll be over soon and He’s got this. I don’t have to worry or be afraid. there will always be storms. there will always be rain. it makes things grow. like me. be thankful for the rain and don’t worry.

James 1:2-3
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

boy, does it.


If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

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Writing a book or blog article or play is very much like giving birth. There is immediate joy after the delivery and you forget how bad you felt in labor. But even in the tears, even in the pain, there is joy to be found and pleasure to be experienced.

Forgive me if I’m the mom who is making you look at all the cute pictures of my new spawn! LOL I’m just so excited to offer low prices (or FREE) on my babies!

From the Sunshine State

Job 8:16
They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;

Psalm 37:6
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 4:18
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Ecclesiastes 11:7
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

Isaiah 60:20
Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

I love the rain. But living in a mostly sunny state is good for one’s soul and body. I was just born in the wrong part of the country. 🙂 How can you be sad by the beach?

sunset marino beach 3

Christmas is Temporary

From 2014:

Christmas is fleeting. All year long, we wait in anticipation of the holidays and then we complain the whole time. It’s too crowded, cold, busy, expensive, gluttonous, hurried. I didn’t get what I wanted. I gave everyone a present and now I’m broke and alone.

The spirit. The spirit of the holidays. The joy of Christmas. What is it? Is it lights? Is it cocoa? Is it candy, presents, cookies? Is it the promise and hope of magic? But it never comes. We wait all year and it never comes. And then the lights fade and the tinsel is taken down.

Christmas is temporary.

But it’s not. What is it we are waiting for? What is it that we miss every year and chase after time and again? It’s Christ. That’s what we are really looking for and we’re looking in the wrong places. Is it in this tin of cookies? Is it in this neatly-wrapped box? Is it at the bottom of my second cup of cocoa? Is it at my 2nd, 3rd, 7th Christmas karaoke party?

An entire season is dedicated to what started out as a celebration of giving and hope. Hundreds of years have come and gone, each renewing the tradition of Christmas. But each year some family grows further apart. Each year some person grows more jaded, cynical, greedy and Scrooge-like. Each year our eyes grow more narrow and short-sighted. Each year we try to chase our pleasure, fulfillment and that indescribable magic that only caught us as children because we were bright-eyed and open.

Years ago, at the Blue Ridge Mall, they had a display. I don’t remember now if it was all the time or just at Christmas, but I remember it at Christmas. We were in line for Santa and the line snaked by a huge oil fall. It’s a waterfall except they used oil on strings. It’s like a waterfall in slow motion. It was magical, beautiful and a wondrous summation of the holiday experience for me. I lost myself in the endless strings dripping with glowing, hypnotic oil. I felt warm, silly and excited. I drank in the luxury of it all as I waited for Santa. I don’t remember Santa exactly, but I remember the strings. I wanted to reach out and grab them. But instead I swallowed my fingers and excitement over and over again at simply being near them. At that point, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I remember Mom and Dad close by. I remember my siblings there too. I remember the sounds of cheerful shoppers as they shuffled by and their muffled packages swaying back and forth in their clasped hands. I remember the soft mall lighting and the quiet aromas of furniture, leather shoes, popcorn, clothing, carpet and mall food. I remember feeling safe, happy, joyful. The mood was love. And everyone felt it.

Now, I’ve begun a tradition with my family. We try to see Longview Lake Lights. We’ve been coming off and on for a few years now. And the best part. They have a field full of trees made from lights. Those are my favorite. They remind me of the oil fall. Delicate pearls of light suspended in the darkness, soft purple and blue, hanging on invisible strings melting into the night. For the last couple of years, it’s the most peaceful and the most child-like capture of innocence and wonder I’ve known. I’m five again. I’m eight again. I’m me before all the bad. I’m in Christmas up to my neck and in love with the world.

I wish I could take that with me. I wish I could visit the lights every night. But I can’t. The lights are even closer now that we live here, but even so, I can’t see them every night. But I can look for Christ. I can look for him every day and celebrate his birth. I don’t have to wait for “the day”. And I can try to capture his joy, his love, his intention, his gift every single moment, all year long. I can look for it as I drive, shop, eat and talk. I don’t have to wait all year and miss it. I can look and find it. I just have to be bright-eyed and open. His love is hanging right in front of our faces on an invisible string of light, dripping down and mesmerizing us with the delicate, graceful fall and we just have to reach out and grab it.

Merry Xmas! Happy Holidays! May you find many joys and love.

Tiny Bites

You must live life in tiny bites
Not just one big meal
The individual elements
All lead to the big reveal

If you rush the course, you’ll miss, of course
The grandest of smallest detail
Prepared with careful hands and eyes
Crafted to perfection without fail

You’ll miss the sunrise, the moon and stars,
The beautiful changing tide,
The slowest snail or unmarked trail,
The hidden mountainside

Good food and life are causes to
Celebrate, commune, rejoice
What good is gobbling down
A lonely plate of misery’s choice

You must take your time, slowly chew
Savor every single bit
Swallow too fast or take a big gulp
You’re going to choke on it

#Winning!

This is the face of a winner!!

Craigslisters can be awesome or cranks. It’s a lottery. And sometimes? You lose.

Someone just responded to an ad of mine and they were harsh and flippant. BUT! I responded with kindness, honesty, sincerity and directness.

And they had no response!! LOL

#Winning!

That felt great. Whenever I respond with equal measures of biting humor (which I have no shortage of), I feel terrible. Eventually. But this feels awesome!

Level up! 😀

jackpot

Jackpot!!! Ding, ding, ding!

This is my happy face (Bitch)!

If this were a shirt for me, I would add “Bitch” to the end! lol

I was walking introspectively the other day, into the hospital where I deliver labs, and one of the doctors (lady in a lab coat) told me, “That’s not your happy face, is it?”

Look, I have piercing gray eyes and am often lost in thought about the universe and God. Leave me alone! lol I’m a writer.

I wanted to punch her.

I’m happy. I’m downright Zen, Bitch! But then that’s not a very Zen-like response, is it?

So, I instantly forgave her stupidity and assumed she was completely insane or insecure. Doctor or no. Then I pitied her. Had empathy and compassion for the idle-chat crazy. And then, I smiled.

See? Total Zen! LOL

Even if she wanted to cheer me unnecessarily, that was a rude thing to say. What if I am happy and you’re saying I look ugly? Sour?

You’ve just hurt me, Stupid. The opposite of your goal. I’m so sorry you have a degree to wear a lab coat and still can’t function in polite society. Get a grip, Doc.

I can write funny, but often have BRF. It’s in my genes. (My mom has to deal with crazies, too.) Deal with it! 😀

I don’t think people have to go around with a Buddha-like smile all the time to reassure those who are insecure or nervous. But I often smile at strangers. It’s just not my priority to make you feel secure. Sorry. I am very friendly to my co-workers and route clients. I don’t make mean faces at people. I don’t go out of my way to scowl. I just have an internal dialogue that often involves God. Isn’t that better than waving around my negativity??

Thanks for understanding.

seeds of joy

from 2014:

i was sitting in the line to pick up my daughter from school in the late afternoon. i had the window down, the heater on my feet, music playing and these sweet little seedy puffs of some kind of flower came floating thru and past my window.

with the sun back-lighting the tiny puffs, the cool breezes over my ears, it was a moment of heaven. these are the moments that i hear God whispering to me.

“i’m here,” he says.

so special and wonderful. a moment of peace just for me. thank u God. happiness is in the little things.

i imagined the tiny puffs as a multitude of smiling fairies on their way to a party, waving hello to me. there were just a few to start and then they kept growing and flowing.

glad they didn’t make me sneeze or fly in my mouth. lol

happy.