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Monday, August 31, 2015

I'm a Homebody

My husband and I travel a bit. We like seeing new places and relaxing on a beach. But truth be known, in my heart of hearts, I'm a homebody.

Me hanging out at home with our dog, Kobi.
While I love our time away and visiting family and friends, I'm usually counting the days until we're home again. I love routine, the comfort of home, and sleeping in my own bed. I even enjoy the mundane tasks that go along with being home like laundry, doing dishes, picking up the mail, and attending my church.

Maybe I sound like the most boring person on earth. I might be. But I think there's something good about loving my life so much I can hardly wait to return to its ordinariness. It's called contentment. So, yeah, I'm a homebody. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

How about you? Are you a homebody or one who loves being away?


Friday, August 28, 2015

No Regrets

As you read this, I'm visiting my husband's family in Minnesota. His dad is 92 and we hadn't seen him for over a year. It was waaay past time. We weren't sure the finances would work out, but we decided we needed to make it happen. The only thing that costs more than stretching the budget to take a trip to see loved ones is living with regret. So that's how I'm spending my weekend. How about you? Any fun plans on the horizon? In the meantime, here's a picture of my cute father-in-law.

Bet you're jealous.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything. And when the timing doesn't happen when we think it should, it can be so frustrating and worrisome. That's where faith comes in. Trusting that God hasn't forgotten about you and your situation. He's not like us. He doesn't need prep time, so He can act at the last minute and still have the best result. So don't stress out wondering if God has His divine alarm clock set. He does. And it will go off at precisely the right time for your best outcome. Remember, you're His beloved child and He is always working for your good.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Get Off My Unicorn

It's Wacky Wednesday and it doesn't get much wackier than this. We're all a little crazy in our own way, aren't we? So let's extend grace to each other. And just smile and nod at each other's special kind of charming crazy. Life would be way too boring if we were all alike. :)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love and Gratitude

Love and gratitude. Two timeless things for this Timeless Tuesday. Breathe them in. Breathe them out. We could change the world if we all did this every day. Have a great day!


Monday, August 24, 2015

I'm a Thrifter

I am a thrift store junkie. Not a recovering one either. I fully intend to stay that way.

I didn't discover thrifting until my twenties. My bestie, Myra, and I loved what we called junk stores. There weren't a lot of thrift stores in those days, but there were some good, cheap places like Pic N Save and TG&Y, the equivalents of today's dollar stores. But they didn't carry clothes. And we liked cute clothes. Did I mention we were gals in our twenties? What we didn't like was the prices of said cute clothes. A dilemma, for us financially challenged girls.

Then along came Savers and changed our lives.

We had shopped Goodwill and Salvation Army, but they just didn't carry the cute stuff. It all seemed too old and too used. We wanted to be thrifty, not frumpy. Savers to the rescue! Racks and racks of clothes, all sorted by color, opened our eyes to the wonders of thrifting. Sure, you have to go through the racks to find the really cute stuff, but that's part of the fun. It's like a treasure hunt! And as if that weren't joy enough, every day there is a special deal of some kind, usually a particular color of tag that is half off.

We shopped. We bought. We came back again and again. We got twice the wardrobe for half the price or less. Not only that, Savers also carries fashion accessories, housewares, books, and toys. One stop shopping.

I must admit I love it when someone tells me they love my outfit. I'm a touch vain that way, as are most folks, from what I can tell. But the real fun for me is to tell them where I bought it and what a bargain it was. Their eyes widen and their voices go up three notches. "You're kidding!"
Uh, no. I'm not.

Seriously, there's no reason to go broke just to dress fashionably. So I'm forever a thift store junkie and proud of it.

Do you thrift? Give a shout-out to your favorite thrift store.


Friday, August 21, 2015

7 Perks of Getting Older

By the time you read Monday's post, I will have turned another year older. I've never been one to mind birthdays. I mean, they're a gift, right? Every year gets a little better as far as I'm concerned. So yeah. I'll have 56 years under my belt. Here are some of the things I don't mind about it. In fact, I'm downright giddy about a few of these.
  1. I'm comfortable in my own skin. Never mind that it's not as taut as it used to be. It's mine, and I love the person God is molding me into. However flawed I am at this stage of the molding process, it's okay, because I'm still on the pottery wheel under the gentle touch of the master Creator.
  2. I've got a year's worth of practice ordering from the senior menu. It took me a while, but I am finally remembering that yes, I am a senior in most restaurants and yes, I can order from that cheaper menu with the more reasonably sized portions. And it's legal.
  3. My marriage is sweeter. I've always had a pretty good marriage, but with more time to ourselves now that the kids are mostly grown comes more time to dream, relax, work on projects, and just hang out together. There's a nice, easiness between us now that wasn't always present in the busier, more stressful days of raising kids. 
  4. My spiritual walk is deeper. Relying on God is less of a struggle in these middle-aged years than it used to be.  I am very much aware of how inept I am in many areas of my life. I have to depend on Him to bring me through. I've learned first-hand how useless worry is.
  5. I get to see my children grown up and thriving. All those years of parenting, correcting, guiding, loving my children? Worth it! Now I get to see the fruit of those hectic days and it's so rewarding. My kids aren't perfect. Neither is their mom. But I can see the wonderful people they are and know that all those endless hours, days, months, and years, added up to the sweetest success I've ever enjoyed. And I'm so proud and thankful.
  6. Gray looks good on me. Seriously, I'm too lazy to dye my hair. You can read another blog post I wrote about that here. But I'm finding a comforting satisfaction in seeing myself in the mirror and thinking, "Huh. So this is what you look like at 56." I am no super model. But I am made in the image of God and that's gotta be pretty good.
  7. I've learned to be a confident Grammy. Fourteen years ago I wondered what kind of grandma I'd be. My first grandchild came when my youngest child was only five. I wasn't sure I was ready for another little one again so soon. I was wrong. Let me be clear. I.Was. Wrong. I found out God equips new grandmas the same as he does new moms. He pours an overabundance of love into our hearts and never looks back. And wonder of wonders, grandchildren didn't make me feel older, as I'd feared, but younger. So now I lean into that role and love every minute of it. I've become confident in who I am as Grammy, just like I did as a mom.
So getting older isn't always so bad. Commercials may try to sell us things to make us look or feel younger, as if being older isn't something to which we should aspire As for me, I'm perfectly happy with middle-age.  I'm older, wiser, and happier than when I was a youngun'.

How about you? Are you happy at the life stage you're currently in? What are some of the perks of being your age?


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Life Goals

I'm pretty close to living this kind of life and I can tell you it is the best. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy going on vacation, but I'm always more than ready to come back to my regular life. Nothing glamorous about it, but it's comfortable, filled with purpose and people I love. 

I'm praying you have a life you love as well. And if you're not quite there yet, (and who is completely there all the time?) here's hoping you can get away on a vacation, or even a staycation, to relax. Have a great Thursay!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Smoking Information...or Not

It's Wacky Wednesday, and I just had to share this meme I saw on Facebook. It made me laugh. Hope it does you, too. Have a great day! Make someone smile in your corner of the world.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Leaving People Better

Leaving people better than you found them never goes out of style and leaves a legacy of love. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that. Happy Timeless Tuesday!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Swimming is Overrated

Maybe it's because I grew up in Arizona where backyard pools are a dime a dozen. Or perhaps it has to do with a scary early childhood event when some older boys held me underwater, but swimming is overrated as far as I'm concerned.

I just don't enjoy it. Mind you, I CAN swim and I can even swim with my face in, but I don't like any of it. I think part if my dislike of swimming is that it's such a hassle.

My cute new swimsuit I got before
our vacation to Hawaii that I 
never even wore.
First, you have to change clothes. And not just change clothes, but change into a swimsuit. Ew. And really, my dislike of changing into a swimsuit doesn't even have to do with how I feel about my weight or appearance in general. It's just such a pain. And swimsuits make me feel self-conscious because so much of me is exposed. Double ew.

Then there's the issue of a towel. If I remember one, it's great, but that's only about half the time. So then I have to sit and drip-dry. Or try to get that wet swimsuit off, but then, where's the towel again? Oh, yeah. At home where I left it.  We won't even talk about if you have to go to the bathroom when you're still in your wet suit. Getting that thing back on is about as easy as putting panty hose on an elephant. No, thanks. I'm not into that.

And if getting into the swimsuit isn't enough hassle, there's the hair business. Wet hair is sort of okay. But the look after it dries makes me a little crazy. My hair is short, so it doesn't look all that bad. But it feels different, not like it should. Too flat, too straight. Too chlorine-y. All that can be avoided by not going swimming.

Don't even get me started on the use of sunscreen. It's a must, I know. And I use it because I'd be stupid not to in the Arizona sun. But again, I'm not into inconvenience. Or sticky, shiny stuff all over my white, exposed body. And someone has to apply it to my back and I'd rather not have people touching me that much. Only my husband can cross that line and I barely even like that. But thank you, Honey, for keeping my back from burning. I really do appreciate it. 

I think I've made my point. I don't like swimming, or even swimsuit-ing. But here's the clencher. I love the beach. So next time you take a beach vacation and see a middle-aged lady on the beach in her capris and tank top, wave. I promise to wave back.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Super-Tired of Super-Hero Movies

I don't know about you, but I'm super-tired of super-hero movies. I mean, really, how many more can there be? To me, they already seem like the same story line with different characters plugged in. Come on, Super-writers! Come up with a new idea, for crying out loud! I feel the wrath of the nerds already breathing down my not-so-super-neck.

I enjoyed the first few Super-movies like Captain America, Superman, The Fantastic Four, Spider-man. But now, over ten years later, the movies keep coming, sequel after sequel. It's not that they're bad movies. They're just becoming Super-cliche. No originality. Same song, second verse. And actually, I'm starting to question the intellect of those who still enjoy them. There. It's out. My Super-judgmental thoughts out there for all to criticize.

Where do you stand? If you're one who still can't wait for the next installment of your favorite Super-hero, can you please explain to me the fascination? And if you're as exhausted of these movies as I am, let me hear from you, too, so I'll know I'm not the only one.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Waiting Before God

The verse below sounds so easy. But it's one of the hardest things for me. Quietly waiting. (I'm a much better noisy waiter--whining, complaining, worrying.) Trusting that God is working even when I can't see it. Hoping in Him for an outcome, knowing that He always works for my good. Not easy stuff. But so worth it. And it's always the right thing to do. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Mother's Homework Prayer

I saw this meme on Facebook and just had to share it with you because I so related to it. It comes from the awesome website I don't have kids in school anymore, but I recall the frustrations of school homework just like I'd stayed up helping with it last night. So for all you moms out there starting a new school year with your kiddos,..deep breath, big hugs, smile on, lots of can do this!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Forever Love

Today's Timeless Tuesday is dedicated to long-lasting love. Whether it's a marriage, friendship, or a parent/child relationship, choosing to be there, long-term, is a gift to both the other party as well as yourself. It never goes out of style.


Monday, August 10, 2015

I'm Claustophobic

You may not know that I'm claustrophobic because I didn't know I was claustrophobic until about a year ago.

I went in for an MRI on a hip I was having trouble with. I filled out the paperwork prior to my appointment. One of the questions innocently asked, "Are you claustrophobic?" I had a feeling I was mildly so, but not so much that I thought I should check the little box that said "yes." If I got a little nervous, it was simply a matter of mind over matter, right? I have a very even temperament. I'm not overly emotional or easily upset. No problem.

They explained the procedure and strapped me down so I couldn't move, including bands across my forehead and legs. My heart started to pitter-patter a little faster. They gave me headphones and asked what type of music I liked. I opted for a Christian music station.

Then the hard table of a bed I was laying on began sliding toward the MRI tube. I closed my eyes, The closer I got, the more panicky I felt. My heart pounded wildly. I struggled to breathe. It was all I could do not to scream. I. Freaked. Out.

I have never felt so scared and out of control in my life. But I was right about one thing. It was mind over matter. I listened to the radio playing in my headset. I told myself to breathe in the peace of Jesus and breathe out fear. A long year or two later, I was finished. I had made it through. I hadn't even screamed.

Where did that fear come from? I have no idea. It's irrational. I was in absolutely no danger or pain. But I know I'm not alone in this fear, not that that knowledge helps me at all. It's a piece of me that I wish were different. Maybe someday it will be. But for now, for today, I'm claustrophobic.

How about you? Are you claustrophobic? Any other fear that took you by surprise? The comment section is begging for you to tell us about it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

How Much Daddy Loves Me

My granddaughter just had her fifth birthday. I'd been texting my daughter that morning since they live out-of-state. Here's what she had to say about the birthday girl.
"She was the first kid up this morning and has greeted everyone by asking if they have a present for her. Thankfully, she isn't disappointed, just excited! She may be disappointed though when she realizes I have been very serious every time she has told me she is so excited about her daddy getting her a pony for her birthday, and I have told her otherwise. She always gives me a look like, uh, you don't even know how much he loves me."

At first I laughed. The absurdity of it all! Then as I thought about it, I saw the glorious sweetness, that a child should feel so loved that she doesn't question even seemingly impossible requests. 

Isn't that the perfect picture of what our relationship with God should be? What would it be like to be that trusting child believing fully that my doting Daddy is going to come through for me? I guess that's why Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Let’s live like children today. Believing beyond all doubt, confident in His mighty love.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Little Me in the Hands of a Big God

As a writer, I can easily get discouraged. My own mind tries to sabotage me. Does anyone read what I write? Does what I write even matter? Is this just a hobby? Then I see a quote like this one by Mother Teresa and my whole perspective is brought back into proper focus. And it doesn't pertain only to writers.

It applies to mothers, too. Even though no one sees all you do everyday and how you're in the very business of molding small people into the image of Christ, it matters. Your selfless acts of doing laundry, chauffeuring kids, making meals, disciplining children day in and day out, checking homework, changing diapers, cleaning, running errands, and all the other things you do that could fill the blogosphere--all those things? They're God's love letter to your family, your piece of the world.

So never give up. Never think no one sees. The only One who matters knows how much you do. And it's valued and appreciated.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Getting Started in the Morning

I saw this Poem for Mornings and had to chuckle. The thought of a steaming, fresh cup of coffee with a generous splash of sugar-free hazelnut creamer is all it takes for me to get out of bed most days. What about you? Are you a hit-snooze-ten-times kind of riser? A cheery morning person or a get-out-of-my-face sort? Regardless, I hope you have a great Wednesday! You're half-way through the week!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Overnight Changes

When I read this thought, it made me think of parenting because of a conversation I had with my older brother. He lives across the country from me and we were talking on the phone. I was struggling and was worried about one of my teenage children. He listened, then calmly said, "If there's anything I've learned as a parent of teenagers it's that things can change overnight." 

He was right. I've seen it happen many times since then and I'm sure a great deal of it has to do with prayer. We pray. God hears. God answers. And sometimes it's nothing short of miraculous. A child's plans for the future take an unexpected turn for the better. An attitude adjustment happens out of nowhere. Something you worried your child might do never happens. It may have seemed like it was locked down, a done deal, no hope in sight. But then what you never saw coming yesterday is suddenly there today. The sun shines, and hope returns.

There's no explanation except answered prayer. Nothing left to do but lift a song of praise to a loving God who loves our kids even more than we do.

Sounds familiar? Sound off in the comments. And thanks for reading.


Monday, August 3, 2015

I Struggle With My Weight

It's time for another Me Monday and I'm about to share something with you that you may or may not know about me.

I struggle with my weight.

The hubs and me at our favorite Mexican food
 restaurant earlier this month.
I didn't have this problem the first 45 years of my life. Even after birthing three children I was relatively slim and trim and never really understood what the big deal was. But then came menopause. Hot flashes, sleepless nights, night sweats, and lo and behold, slower metabolism. I've read that most women put on weight at this age because suddenly they need to eat less. Who knew?

I'll make no excuses for the weight gain. I like food. It tastes good. And it doesn't seem fair that my husband, though he's five years older than me, is still able to eat the same and stay trim. What a raw deal.

Anyway, I'm betting there are more than a few other gals out there who relate. What to do? I've made some healthy changes in my eating. I really have. But the weight stays. Honestly, I don't even care. I feel healthy. I can't even say I feel fat. As my sister once said, "I think I have the opposite of anorexia. I look in the mirror and always think, 'I look great!'" Somehow, I don't think that's a bad thing.

I'm adjusting to this new normal of being a middle-aged woman with a few excess pounds. I don't mind looking like a grandma because I am one, and am proud of it. And my gray hair? Don't even think about covering that. It's my crowning glory. When I look into the mirror and see a few new lines, I smile and make them show up even more, because they're proof that I've lived. I'm wiser, happier, more comfortable in my own skin than ever before.

So maybe I don't struggle with my weight so much as I do with a society that tells me I should be slim and trim even at age 55. Some can do that with ease. Others can't. But either way, let's be thankful for these bodies God blessed us with. Whatever they look like through life's stages.