Choose fun!

Today I bit off more than I could chew. I needed to make more communion bread (not a problem) but then decided to make Hummingbird Cake. Also not hard but somewhat time consuming. I don’t know why I wanted to do that. I have no company coming and we will not eat a whole cake. What was I thinking?

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This is not my cake

Nevertheless I did all of that and am planning to give away large slices of the cake. Some people are in for a good evening when I take it to them.

Now I am really tired. This is what happens when there are many things to be done that you don’t want to do. Any way to escape. Now tomorrow I will have to tackle the things I put off but I have no other plans….so that will work.

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I think sometimes you just have to give in to a whim. It makes life more interesting. Just sticking to routine, no matter how comforting, can get boring. Don’t be afraid to jump into something you love. It will make life more fun.

Grow friendships

friends timeToday was the day that I finally relaxed from all the holiday, surgery, visitors, granddaughter’s accident stuff. I think I just let go. I am tired but this kind of tired feels good. It is nice to have all of that behind me and look toward what is next.

Routine is calming. As we get older calm and peace can be better than excitement. I still do things that challenge my status quo. It is important to not get stuck but, for me, a little bit is enough.

I depend on friends. They are the backbone I can count on. Life would be bare without them. We don’t need a lot of really close friends. A few will do. That doesn’t meant that we don’t have others who are an important part of our world. They just aren’t the ones who are part of the heart.

The only way that you find those kind of friends is by opening yourself to them. They will not stay close and grow with you if you don’t share your deepest self. If someone doesn’t accept that then you don’t need them.

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We also have to make the effort to communicate. Someone said don’t let the path grow up between your houses. Today our friends may not be that physically close but the idea is the same. Don’t expect others to keep the path open but do it yourself. We have to take the responsibility to keep reaching out. Friends don’t become close over night. The work must be put in to grow them.

Friends are a crucial part of life. Take the time and effort to share, communicate and help the link between you to grow. It is worth it!

Share joy, hope, love

It is night but after the night comes the morning. And with the morning there are new opportunities . There is so much to be shared. People who need love, hope, joy. Each of us needs to do what we can to bring that to others. Our sharing can make all the difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be physical things. If we have things we can share that others need that is a blessing. But to share ourselves is more important. For by giving love to others we enhance our own lives as well.

share joy

It is easy to get tangled up in “why do we do things? For ourselves or for others?” There is no confusion… we do it for both. We are not free from receiving good from the ways we reach out. It happens. But we can’t dismiss it as being selfish alone. Out helping others can bring them love, hope and joy. It can also bring the same things to us. That is not a wrong thing. It is just the way it works. God wants us to derive pleasure from helping others. It’s joy will remind us to keep on giving.

In my life I loved getting gifts. Interestingly enough, I now get more joy from the giving of them. There is something about the faces we see when we share of our belongings and especially of ourselves.

Share, share share. Don’t be afraid. You will not lose….you will gain!

My Guide to Helping Families with a Child in the Hospital — MommaInTheMountains with Intentionally Healthy Inc

This is a wonderful list of how to help families with sick children!

Before I continue our story I want to share more on how you can help. In the last few years between NICU, RSV/Adenovirus/Pneumonia stay, and this most recent round of hospital time, it has occurred to me most people don’t know how to help. Most people ask “Let me know if I can do anything”, […]

via My Guide to Helping Families with a Child in the Hospital — MommaInTheMountains with Intentionally Healthy Inc

Be creative..especially for others

Tuesday is a day that I always look forward to. On Tuesdays I meet with friends for knitting and conversation. We are a group who before starting this group did not know each other. We are all different. We are from different countries, different social groups. This makes the group inspiring and conversation is stimulating.

To add to it we are also being creative. One of the members is an amazing artist and does many pencil drawings for children to color. Each of us is creating something usually in yarn but not always. Most of the things we create are for others. We also offer free help teaching  to knitting for anyone who want to learn. This group is such a joy.

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scarf for one of my granddaughters

I have been knitting since I was a child. It reminds me of the my wonderful mother and the many things she taught me. The motion of my hands and the creating of something both beautiful (I hope) and useful have a calming effect. Knitting can allow the brain to rest (if not too complicated)  and the mind to let go of stresses. Seeing the finished product brings joy. Now that I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren it is fun to do things for them and for friends.

Go out…share your fears with someone

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This is a lesson I have learned well in my life. There are many times that I have sat and struggled with anxiety and fear. Even though the last thing I want to do is go out I force myself to get dressed and find someone to talk to. Just getting it out in the open helps me to put things into perspective. For me, fears shared and divided in half.

Please no more this year..for everyone

train in tunnel

Hopefully today there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hoping it is not a train. Our portion of the shoreline has been downgraded to “tropical storm” which we can handle. We have nor-easters here which are about the same. Nevertheless we will keep a close watch.

I still weep for the people in the Bahamas. I can’t even begin to imagine what it has been like to see that storm battering away for days without a break. I pray there are no more for them this season. What must it be like to have your home torn apart and not just yours but your neighbors and most of the island. I know that other places see this kind of devastation from earthquakes, tornadoes, fires etc. but it is always terrible.

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We all need to do what we can to help the recovery there. It will be a long time recovering.

Weather the storm

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I saw this quote today. I sort of chuckled and know it is true. When we lived at West Point we lived on top of a mountain called Stony Lonesome. I would get up in the morning to a sunny day and dress accordingly. Going down to the post to shop I would discover that I truly was above the storm and it was pouring down below. I actually lived above some storms.

However, when we are talking about life it is not always possible to get away from the storm. It can sweep into life and change things as we know it. Those kind of storms can’t be escaped but they can be endured and will pass.

I have been in some long lasting storms in my life. Some that I never thought I would get out of but I did. During the storm there were friends and family who shielded me from the deluge and gave me something to hold on to. I have been blessed that I have not had to face things alone.

looking out for friends

I hope for everyone that they can find someone to anchor them in life. It may be God, a friend, a family member….it doesn’t matter who. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Only the strong are willing to reach out. It is not a weakness to need help. Don’t suffer on your own.

Here on Word Press is one place you can reach out and know that you will be heard and answered. This is a loving and giving community at your fingertips.

An amazing manifesto from parent to child

This is from my daily readings by Richard Rohr. I find this truly amazing and wish I knew about it when my children were small. I plan on creating a copy for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My whole family needs a beautiful framed copy of this!

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Researcher Brené Brown knows the importance of vulnerability and open-heartedness. In her book Daring Greatly, she offers a parenting manifesto that can serve as a touchstone when we feel afraid or resist vulnerability. You might read it aloud to a child, someone you love, or yourself:

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.”

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Avery: 2012), 244-245. Visit brenebrown.com for a copy of the manifesto and other resources.

Treat people well

This has been a busy day. My youngest daughter and her family are coming to visit tomorrow and I am a cleaning fool. I keep reminding myself that this is family and everything doesn’t have to be perfect but oh well.

clean house

I remember when our children were young and someone would call and say “we’re in town and wondered if we could come and visit.” That was what we called “Emergency Clean.” Everyone knew what that meant and everything not in place was shoved in closets etc. so the house looked clean. In a funny was it was exciting to do. The kids pitched in and the house was a whirl.

You would think with just two of us the house would be clean all the time but I have never let cleaning come before people. My house is always ok. It may not be so you can eat off the floors but it is fine to live in.

For me, people are more important. If a friend calls and needs help I will stop what I am doing and help. My husband is the same way. We care about others and are willing to help where we can. Most of our friends are the same way.

do-good-to-others-2We are blessed to be where people care. My Aunt used to say “you get out of the world what you put into it.”  This makes sense. We have to do the right things. We have to respect others, treat them well, love them and care for them. Everyone may not behave the same but it is up to us to be an example. Maybe it will help.