They have no idea (and neither do I)

I learned a concept about 3 years ago that changed me quite a bit:  I have no idea what is going on in the lives of the people around me.  Seems obvious, but its not.  I think that we all feel we can safely assume things about people’s lives based on what we see and our keen sense of ‘knowing it all’.  We label, we categorize, we stereotype.  But as I said, I truly learned this concept when several instances took place where I just could not figure out why certain people were doing certain things.  I came to the logical conclusion that that must just be who they are and I wasn’t sure that a friendship was worth it.  Then I discovered the real issue.  It was different with each instance but the truth was the same — their lives were falling apart and big issues were overtaking them and THAT is why they were doing the things that they were doing.  It took on a whole different light once I saw the whole story.

The problem is that we RARELY get the whole story.  Not just with strangers in passing but sometimes with dear friends.  Sometimes we can get bits and pieces and put it together like a regular Sherlock Holmes — other times the story falls in our lap and we get the A-ha moment of finally figuring it all out.  But most times we have no idea.

So I learned this lesson as I said 3 years ago and have made a very conscious effort ever since then to judge less – to look on someone who rubs me wrong and wonder if they are in need – to be more alert for how I can reach out.

And then I went walking through Wal-Mart one day and was on the other end of that rope.

See, it was Peyton’s 9th birthday and we were having 3 girlfriends over for a sleepover.  I was getting last minute cupcakes and goodies for the party before getting the kids from school.  My time was short since I had just come from the hospital and we had signed the paperwork to move my mom to hospice care the next day.  Hospice care is not in itself a hastening of death but in mom’s case it was, since what was sustaining her were IV fluids and protein.  She wasn’t eating or drinking on her own at that point.  We were draining so much fluid from her abdomen daily that once those fluids stopped coming in she would dehydrate very quickly.  The time would be short.

I walked with my cart a little slower than usual that day even though I was in a hurry and it felt like the world was passing me by in slow motion.  Every person that walked by I stared right into their eyes and thought “They have no idea my mom is dying.”  I had a cart full of cupcakes and fancy paper plates and to everyone there I seemed party-bound.  And I was….but I wasn’t.  The checkout girl did small talk with me and I had to work hard not to say “But my mom may die tomorrow.”  The Girl Scouts selling cookies on my way out had no idea.  When I got the scowl and fist from a lady at the busy intersection I thought “if she knew that I signed paperwork today to help put an end to my mom’s misery would she give me a little more slack for not running a late yellow?”

It shook me up being on the other end of it.  While the lesson 3 yrs ago taught me not to judge hastily and have mercy, this lesson taught me to have grace.  Grace with those who may react harshly (or indifferent) to me or others simply because they don’t know.  Maybe they haven’t learned the lesson yet.  Or maybe, like me, they did once and just need a reminder.

So this post is anything but a pity party for me — its a very real reminder that we truly have no idea.  We all can stand to show a little extra grace and mercy without knowing the full story, and we should all lay off on the fists and scowls. 🙂

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Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm  Comments (2)  

Back in the Saddle

58 days.

That’s how long its been since I’ve blogged on here.  58 days.

If you’ve followed this blog beyond the last 6 months you’ll know that that is nothing!  I’ve gone MONTHS without blogging before – in some cases the better part of a year!  But this is different.  Blogging in the last 6 months has become a bit of therapy for me – an outlet – a ministry.  So 58 days has felt like an eternity.  I have wanted to blog.  I have notes in my phone, notes jotted on scrap paper, things tucked away in my brain with the tag “blog this, and don’t forget”.  But hands down it has been the busiest/wackiest/most stressful/out of body 58 day stretch I have ever had and I just couldn’t get to the keyboard.   But now I’m back, and hoping to be regular about it and clear out these mental and physical notes everywhere of stuff that needs to be shared.

The cliff notes version of where I have been –> my mom went into the hospital on February 16, 2012 and never came out.  Scratch that, she came home for about 8 hours but ended up right back in.  Her 6 month battle with cholangiocarcinoma took a bigger, uglier turn and she was physically shutting down.   She had a massive procedure done on 2/28 that really took a toll on her.  I stayed the night with her on 3/7 and by that point her struggles were too much to bear, so we decided to go with hospice care on 3/10 and kept a 24 hour vigil with her in the hospital until she passed on 3/13.  Three days of whirlwind around here gave way to a 2 day drive to Michigan where we spent 4 days loving on our family and saying goodbye to Mom.  Now 4 weeks later we are embracing normal life again and I have a need to purge all the ‘A-ha’ moments and life lessons I have gleaned.

I want to shout out a huge Thank You! to everyone who has checked in, called, sent food, prayed and cared.  I hope to give you a glimpse or glimmer of the true hope and peace I felt throughout all of this time.  Hopefully you have seen that already through posts from the last 6 months.  God has been so good to me.  Nothing happens in vain.  Though most of us never get to see the ‘Why’ and bigger purpose in the trials of this life I felt like I have gotten the gift of seeing just a smidge of some of it, and it is beautiful.

I have missed you friends!  If you have missed me too then we’ll have fun getting re-connected and spending time again.  If not-so-much, then all I can say is that like a bad rash…I’m baaaaaacckkkkk!!!

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Its not about _______

Boy I’ve missed blogging.  Rough times right now with my mom have made even fitting in a shower difficult, let alone finding time to write!  But today I’m making it happen lest I run the risk of my head popping off from the ideas swirling in it.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have moved all over creation.  I think it was like 7 places in 10-11 years, or something like that.  The constant in that time was knowing that we were in certain places for a reason.  I fully believe that Acts 17:26 applies to us today – I am where He wants me to be for a purpose and I’ve seen those purposes play out in our many moves.  But living somewhere for 4 years now is a record for us and so this idea is taking on a slightly different meaning for me.  I’m not here for something to then move on to something else somewhere else — I’m here.  Still.  So now what?

A very off the cuff comment from our pastor at the end of a service several months ago hit me like a ton of bricks and Ritchie and I have since talked about it alot.

We are not here for _______, we are here for Him.  So how do we use ________ for Him?

This is where it funnels down to the day to day.  You could fill in the blank with a million things and it changes your perspective immensely!

I’m not here for the PTA …. so how do I use the PTA for Him?

I’m not here for shopping dates with friends …. so how do I use those dates for Him?

I’m not here for having a nice house …. so how do I use that home for Him?

If you ruminate on that a bit it could (and should) really rock your world.  There isn’t a thing — not ONE thing — that can’t fit into that grid.

I’ve contemplated getting a white board in the house with this phrase on it where we could dry erase on and off the issues of our day to see if we could take our eyes off the details long enough to see the big picture.  If you’ve been to my house you know it is being taken over by lists, posters, verse plaques and other signage to give me reminders, so I may have to get creative on how to fit this new one in!  😉

But here is where this train of thought has led us lately.  Baseball.

Our sweet boy plays sports back to back to back.  When one stops the next one starts (or like this week, the last week of one overlaps with the first week of the next!)  I am a rabid fan and his biggest cheerleader.  I come with video camera, still camera and extra big lens to every event.  I come home hoarse from screaming and sweaty from jumping around like an idiot.  I have a team hat, a team shirt and if those are dirty I at least find something in the team colors to wear on game day.  I am all in and none of that is likely to change, nor do I think it should.  But here is what I am also seeing….

We are not here for baseball, we are here for Him.  So how do we use baseball for Him?

As far as Grant is concerned, this is a discussion we constantly have with him.  He is gifted with athletic talent, but the purpose for these games is not only to hone a skill but to learn to be a team player, support and encourage others, show respect to your coach, be a role model and embrace humility.  He is only 10-1/2….he isn’t without fault….but he gets this and makes us proud beyond words with how he carries himself on and off of the field.

But Ritchie and I are both feeling a conviction over this for ourselves and so prior to the start of this new season we are getting some ideas on what that may look like.  The coach that we have….its for a reason.  We have returning boys on our team and new boys joining us.  Some we know and some we don’t…but all for a reason.  I will be at these games to cheer on my boy, yes, but for something bigger too.  I am praying that I will keep my eyes, ears and heart open enough to see what it is.  I will reach out to the other moms more.  We are hoping to plan some team functions so that we can ‘do life’ with these people a little more during this season.  I don’t want to be a bulldozer for God, plowing over these people in my path — but I want to SEE them instead of just be around them.  I want to LISTEN to them and not just hear them.  I want to truly LOVE these other boys and cheer them on as much as I do my own.

I want it to be about more than baseball.  I want it to be about Him.

So lets play ball!

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:08 am  Comments (1)  

I don’t want to be a whitewashed tomb

Whitewashed tombs.  What an oxymoron, huh?

By definition a tomb is something that holds the remains of the dead.  I picture dark, stinky, gross.  Being whitewashed on the other hand is pristine, clean, and anything but stinky.  Jesus refers to the Pharisees as ‘whitewashed tombs’ in the bible and warns us not to be that way.  You could dig into the meaning of that warning in very deep ways but one simple way is this:  Don’t put up a front like you’ve got it all together when truth be told, you’re a mess inside.

So now I start to psychoanalyze:   Where do I fall on this one?  Am I a whitewashed tomb?  Or do I display my ‘mess’ for all to see?  Or do I not have a mess to show?? (ok, that made me laugh….I’ve got mess alright!)

Here is what I know:  I have mess (as stated above) –>  I hate having my mess seen and known by others –> therefore, by definition I would prefer a ‘whitewashed tomb’ look to me –> but, I am wildly transparent about my mess (hence, this blog).  Soooo…..

I couldn’t stop smiling today when this little puzzle came together for me — my God is so gracious to me!  He knows how I’m wired and He knows my propensity for the whitewashed look.  He teaches me His view on things.  He listens to my prayers.  But instead of taking that propensity away from me, he adds transparency to the mix.  Then it becomes ball in my court.  Do I step out in that transparency and trust that it will bring good, or do I bury it and go on whitewashin’?  I LOVE THAT!!  He isn’t a cosmic magician in my life – making my faults disappear –  He walks beside me in grace giving me all the tools that I need to live past those faults!

Now I am no where near perfect on this – but here is what I have seen.  When I step out in transparency and share my struggles I am blessed for it.  With friends who share similar struggles and we can encourage and lift each other up – with deeper relationships built on truth and not facades – and with a peace and joy in knowing that I am overcoming that yuck inside of me to do what it is that He is calling me to do.

But here is the bigger point of this all:  Where else in life am I needing to apply this grace and walk with God through an issue?

God is in the business of transforming hearts, but not always in the way we think.  We tend to think upon 2 extremes – either 1) I will work hard to change me because I see the problem clearly, or 2) I will ask God to change me because I see the problem clearly and its one I can’t solve.  I don’t think it works either way.  God comes along side us and, without removing the problem, gives us tools to work through it.  Transparency to snuff out pride.  Patience to combat frustration.  Joy to overcome unhappiness.  Self control to win out over addictive habits.  Those tools are referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit.  They aren’t traits that we have (or even that God gives us), but are the tools of God in us that if we walk with Him in His grace He will display in our lives.

Looks like maybe I have some more psychoanalyzing to do!  It’ll go good with the usual Monday of laundry and mopping!

 

 

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Treasure Buried Upstairs

So Peyton is our family’s entertainer.  We always joke that people should get her autograph now since it’s clear that she will be on a stage or screen somewhere in her adult life! (Side note:  she also tells me often that she just may opt to be a ‘regular mom’ like me!  That cracks me up!)

In cleaning up the toy room the other day (like any good regular mom would) I found – buried under mounds of dress up clothes and hats – a song that Peyton had written.  I had heard her singing parts of it that day, mainly the end where she would belt out “You gotta play the game, boy!” so I busily assumed it was a sports song or something.  Who knows.  These kids have made up hit songs about Sprite and Grills and Mac & Cheese, so it could be an ode to anything!  I stumbled upon the song in its entirety and it made me smile.  It was what I needed to hear that day and just made me marvel and how her sweet mind works.  Here it is:

Win/Life’s a Game — by Peyton Deffenbaugh

You gotta at least play the game; You gotta at least try harder

You gotta at least show respect to yours.  That’s all that you don’t know

Chorus:

There are 2 ways in the game of life

God’s way and Satan’s

I follow God – What about you?

Oh wait….you don’t play.

You gotta try to win-win-win-win.  Win the game of life.

You gotta take a second chance;  You gotta help yourself out.

God depends on these things, without a doubt!

(repeat chorus x2)

Oh, in order to win you at least gotta play the game, boy!

That paper is now filed away on my desk for safe keeping.  Whether she ends up a regular mom or the next Taylor Swift I will keep it forever.  And either way, I continue to pray that she keeps playing the game.

Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 9:25 am  Comments (3)  

Swapping out lenses

About a year ago I had a powerful thought hit me during my quiet time – what if I were to change the lens from which I viewed life from the setting of MY life and onto THIS life.  What if I saw our kids as THESE kids instead of just MY kids.  And on and on.

Like anything, there are dangerous extremes here that would fully negate my point so I don’t want to advocate going off the deep end of irresponsibility –> “Its not really MY life so I’ll just sit back and see how it plays out!” but I guess I was more thinking of the other extreme of entitlement –> picture in your head the sound of a 2 yr olds high pitch scream “Mine, MINE!!”

When I only see things in terms of me — my happiness, my contentment, my well behaved kids and my picture perfect life I start to drift into entitlement territory.  I become convinced that if I do it all just right then I am entitled to positive outcomes.  If the outcome is not so hot, either I must have done it wrong or some sweet fool wronged me or there was a mix up along the way because that was NOT how it was supposed to be.  {listen close….you can hear that 2 yr old again, can’t you}

The problems with that view are not only obvious but too vast to list.  There are alot of “me’s” in that paragraph and the only mention of someone else is that sweet fool who screwed up.  🙂   If we camp out there too long we not only become bitter and self-absorbed but we run the risk of forgetting how to see beyond ourselves!  In times when life gets messy it is really easy in this mindset to park in the ‘Why me?’ of it all.  This isn’t how I envisioned MY life.  This isn’t what I was worked toward.  This isn’t what I want.  Because lets face it — we all know of people who have done it all right, who always put others first, who always took the high road — and life still didn’t go their way.

So what happens when we switch the lens to THIS and THESE.  This life.  Yes, I’m living it and have responsibilities in it, but I don’t have the tight gripped ownership that I once thought I did.  Things happen outside of my control and my plan.  Things aren’t all about me.  Sometimes the sacrifices and the hard times are to grow me — but sometimes they are not about me at all!  Sometimes they are there to grow others and sometimes (I really believe) they are just to make me take my eyes off of myself.

Life is not an if/then equation.  It doesn’t work that way.  We are given promises from a good God who wants good things for us.

He promises that He is always there for us… not that we’ll never feel lonely.

He promises that He loves us… not that everyone will love us.

He promises an end to the story that is perfect… not a perfect story.

I fully trust that I am in THIS life for a reason.  I have THESE kids and THIS husband and THESE friends for a reason.  And that reason isn’t ME.  It’s so much more!  I pray that I can hover somewhere safely between irresponsibility and entitlement to see how it all plays out for His purpose.  And in those times when I drift toward entitlement, will someone kindly put me in a time out please?

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 10:07 am  Comments (2)  

Secret Agent Woman

Sometimes that is what I feel like.  Like I am living a double life.  In one life I am the wife and Mom who is cleaning house, taking kids to and fro, working on things at school and living my sweet little suburban life.  In the other I am the medical facilitator for my Mom – going to appointments to decipher and explain the jargon, researching treatments online, setting up appointments, sorting benefit explanations and bills.  And I do an odd dance of bouncing between the 2, sometimes multiple times in the same day.

I am thinking of this mainly I guess because of this weekend.  Mom was in the hospital getting chemo.  Our Saturday morning started like usual with breakfast crumbs everywhere, nerf bullets flying, packing up the troops and heading to basketball games.  My mind was full with cheering on my gang – those heavenly/sinful burgers from the concession stand – and visiting with friends who were there doing the same thing.  Great day.  But as we left my family piled into one car to head home and continue the day while I got in another to make the drive to the hospital.  On my way there I couldn’t help but have this feeling that I was very literally switching gears.  Leaving one life to head into another.  Its an odd feeling.  Of course I told my mom about the basketball games and all that we had done that morning, but it was as though I was telling a story of someone else – like that all hadn’t just happened an hour before but in another life.  My other life.  Weird.

Then it happened again on Sunday.  Church, lunch, a drive in the country with the fam enjoying the sunshine made me forget about my other life for a bit.  Until I got a text that Mom had fallen out of bed and was in pain and staying in the hospital one more day.  Que that sound of a record screeching — an in your face reminder that I lead these 2 lives and the other one was calling.

I fear that I’m not explaining it well — it isn’t as though there are times that I FORGET that my Mom is sick or that kids are at home and need rides and meals while I am at the hospital — but it is some sort of mental categorization or something that keeps them just separate enough so that I can function well in both.  Maybe that is good.  Maybe its not.  But in an effort to be honest and transparent it is what it is.

And from my desk I am seeing laundry baskets pile up and people are asking for food.  Time for this agent to get her Mom pants on and get to work!  ❤

Published in: on January 16, 2012 at 10:22 am  Comments (4)  

The Art of Procrastination

The calendar showed that this week was set to be a busy one. A long radiology consult with Mom, hosting Bunko which entailed lots of cooking/cleaning/prep, and running the Reading Counts bookstore at school. With regular life stuff mixed in it was manageably full. Now add a 5 yr old who is snot from head to toe, having trouble breathing and running a fever for 4 days. Ugh. Caroline got hit with strep and bless her heart she was a mess this week. Yet I giggle and think that this wasn’t all that different from any other week in my life….life is just busy. Period.

However, even during the busiest of weeks there are moments/hours where I get to choose what happens and I am realizing that almost always lately fitness takes a huge backseat. I said after New Years I would get back to working out. It has happened once. 😉 It isn’t that I haven’t HAD time, but I choose other things instead. Today for example I have 2 hours till I need to be at school for the bookstore and I am choosing a 2nd cup of coffee and the blog instead of working out. The other day I cleaned the pantry. One day I did extra bible study. All good stuff. Nobody can ever claim that I am lazy – and I certainly don’t think that I am – but I will painfully find a million other things to do to avoid working out.

Funny thing is, I know that I will feel better once I do. I look back at our post-P90X pictures and remember how proud I was of myself and how ‘healthy’ I felt at the pinnacle. Because of where I am now vs where I was last time when we started I could be back to fighting shape in no time. The time is there (though I still claim “I have no time”) I just choose not to use it for working out.

So I guess I am wondering what it will take for me to prioritize working out? When we did P90X last spring I was diligent – I rarely if EVER missed a workout, followed the diet to a T, and didn’t slack or substitute videos or anything! I think the key is that I am a rule follower. It wasn’t self control and will power – I kind of stink at those – it was that I said I was going to do it and therefore I had to do it. The blessing/curse of being a perfectionist. A refusal to fail.

I guess the good news is that I am embracing a concept in a book I recently read called “The Relief of Imperfection”. I really don’t feel all that guilty for not getting back into the swing. Though I wish I wanted to work out I’m not beating myself up for not doing it. There is a bit of peace to be found in being comfortable with your decisions! And in a 2nd cup of coffee…Mmmm.

Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 11:33 am  Comments (2)  

Happy New Year!

Tis the day for reflection and refocusing, right?!  Twist my arm – here I go!

2011 had good and bad rolled all into one.  Not unlike most years, but maybe this one pushed the extremes of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ just a bit!  Ritchie and I took on the challenge of doing P90X last spring  — changed eating habits, worked out daily, got in great shape — something I’ve never done in my life and always wanted to try was finally accomplished.  That was good.  We have all 3 kids in school this year and they are doing great and loving it.  That is good.  We have friends who are like family to us and have stood by us and loved us in ways we couldn’t have imagined.  That is very good.  I have grown so much spiritually and am becoming more and more the person I am meant to be.  That is great.

And…we’ve had our share of bad.  Ritchie’s dad has been sick and had a roller coaster year of feeling better/feeling worse and trying to figure out just what is going on and what will help.  We’ve prayed friends through cancer treatments.  We missed out on a special trip seeing my dad & step mom.  Mom got a stage 4 cancer diagnosis which has led us all to more doctor visits, tests & hospital stays than in all of our years put together.  We’ve been stressed, we’ve cried, and we’ve hurt.

But in my way of math, Good + Bad = Blessed.

That is because recognizing your blessings has nothing to do with circumstances.  Several of those ‘good’ things from above (and many more that I failed to list) were direct results of having the ‘bad’ in our worlds.  One wouldn’t have existed without the other.  Its a matter of perspective and  choice and though I’m not foolish enough to tell you that I love the bad, I am trusting enough to know that it came for a reason.

So looking ahead to 2012 I can already see the same mix coming in to play.  One of our kitty sisters is having to leave our home this week.  That isn’t going to be fun.  Sicknesses and treatments are still ongoing realities in our world with outcomes unknown.  Ritchie’s company has undergone a buyout and we have NO idea what that will fully mean for us in the coming year.  This morning we are weighing in (literally) and realizing that much of our fitness gain from 2011 has been replaced by a different type of gain.  The list goes on and on….

…but so will the blessings.  So will the good.  I am excited to see where it weaves itself in and if I will be in tune enough to see it.  I pray that I am.

So I don’t have resolutions per say but ideas for this year and some itches I need to scratch.  I want to create more — sewing, crafting, something.  Last year that slipped away a bit and I miss it.  I want to take more pictures.  I would love a girls trip – or a road trip – or something.  I want to be a better wife – really bad.  I feel like I drop the ball there alot.  I want to continue dates with each of my kids to get that quality time in.  I want to dig deeper into this little calling I think I have and figure out how to get closer to fulfilling it.

Happy 2012 everyone!!!  May it be BLESSED for each and every one of you!!!

 

Published in: on January 1, 2012 at 11:00 am  Comments (1)  

What a difference a year makes…

Last year I got an amazing surprise for Christmas — my dad flew down to spend the holiday with us!  I had no idea.  We had plans to go to Christmas Eve services with my mom & step dad at the church they were going to and to have dinner together afterwards.  I couldn’t figure out when we walked into church why my mom was so overly smiley and giddy and INSISTENT that I sit near the end of the row, until someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “Is this seat taken?”  It was, of course, my dad who should have been 1200 miles away!  Blew-my-mind!  Maybe even more so was how he got there.  My mom and dad had been talking by phone for weeks planning the trip, purchasing the airline tickets, and devising this church service surprise.  And, because the best flight option for him was to arrive several hours before church they picked him up from the airport, took him to lunch and had him spend the day with them at their house.  Not all kids of divorced parents could share this scenario but the fact that I can brings me almost more joy than the surprise visit itself!

My kids were beyond excited and for the first time….ever….we got to spend Christmas with Papa Don.  We all said that this was worth doing again (minus the surprise part, of course!) and that next year we would make it happen and include my step mom who wasn’t able to make the trip.

Fast forward a year….

My mom and step dad who so actively planned this surprise and hosted a wonderful Christmas Eve now spend nearly everyday in a hospital or doctor’s office as my mom is battling stage 4 cancer.  There is almost nothing the same in their household this year.

We planned a trip for my dad and step mom to come celebrate with us and 3 days before the flight my step mom goes in for emergency knee surgery that has her in a cast from ankle to hip and now their trip is canceled.

This isn’t a pity party post but rather a real, transparent snap shot of  the fact that sometime life just stinks.  Period.

But if you know me at all or have gained any insight from previous posts you’ll know I can’t hang there for too long.  I never want to gloss over the ‘suckies’ in life because I have learned that that only makes me fester and stew on the inside.  I’m a bad fester-er.  It’s no good for anyone.  So instead, I state the obvious:  This sucks.  I don’t like it.  I wish it could be like last year.  And then, I make a conscious choice to switch gears.

I am blessed to have divorced parents who give a rip about each other.  Just as last year my mom worked hard to get my dad here for us, he was working hard to get here and see her when she is sick.  Makes my heart swell.  I am on a road with my mom that, though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, is the path marked out specifically for me.  It is for a purpose and I am growing and finding immeasurable joy along the way.  My faith is growing stronger, my friendships are growing deeper, and my vision of this life has expanded immensely.  Heart swells even more.

The pinnacle?  I am at Walmart and a woman in tattered clothes is buying a handful of staple items in the lane next to me with only a few bills and a change purse.  I was drawn to her like a bug to a light and watched the whole scene play out – not enough money, having to take things out of the bag, final total had her with literally pennies left in her hand.  As discreetly as I possibly could (because my biggest fear was embarrassing her) I folded a bill and tapped her on the arm and slipped it to her.  The reaction from her and both of our young checkers was dramatic and that was when my heart swelled to bursting.  I sat in my car afterward and wept.  What I gave her was NOTHING to me….but the world to her.  But by the grace of God that I don’t have to go to the Walmart with a change purse counting items and pennies!

So even though last year was magical and wonderful and all about me, the more I think about it I am really, really glad that this year is not.  Its a pared down version with focus on what is really important.  Man, am I blessed!

 

Published in: on December 14, 2011 at 11:03 am  Comments (4)