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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time to Fly

Photo Credit:  Cooee from
It’s time to fly my little ones – oh my, how you have grown,
To think that God gave you to us…for our very own!
To love and to teach - His words along the way,
First days of school are bittersweet, all the moms will say.

I won’t look at your baby pix, nope, won’t even dare,
How I’ll miss your little laugh, the sweet smell of your hair.
Oh, come on now, it’s okay, I wipe away MY tears,
Can’t believe how fast they flew – you know, that thing called years.

“Are you nervous, little one?  Grasshoppers in your belly?”
“You got it, Momma, you’re so right and also very silly!”
I wonder if you’ll be okay – will others treat you nice?
Why DID I put my make-up on?  I’ve put it on now twice.

Good-byes are the hardest, but I know you’ll be just fine,
You’ll read and write, play and learn, and count to ninety-nine.
For you must know, my love, that nothing is impossible,
For the word itself becomes the phrase, “I’M possible.”

Just be yourself, be who you are, let Him guide your way,
Bring some sunshine to a friend – it’s sure to make your day.
Listen to the teachers – let them see your heart,
For teachers are a gift from God – their lives you’ll be a part.

Please try hard, give your all, and do the best you can,
Not one of us is perfect, though – no woman and no man.
Give thanks each day for all you have, for all that you receive,
Offer struggles to the Lord, He knows that you believe.

If you’re sad or lonely, while you are away,
Know that you are on my mind and just for you, I pray.
Through all of this my little birds – the nest is always here,
You’re always welcome here at home, remember that, my dear.

Now, go out there and be all...that you were born to be,
Make new friends, learn great things – you mean the world to me.
Even though it’s time to fly, I see your newborn face,
But, keep God first and things you do will fall right into place.
Mom and Daddy can be taught a thing or two still…so,
Knowledge is learning something new…while Wisdom...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Packing in the Dark

Photo Credit:  Xenia from
Last week, we went on our final little summer getaway before school starts.  I did what I always do.  I waited until the last possible second to pack.  I hate packing.  I don’t know why.  I just do.

It seems like such a daunting task.  Packing for one gets me in a tizzy – multiply that by five peeps – AAAAHHHHH - Crazyville!!  I do find it interesting that everyone out there packs so differently.  There isn’t a perfect way to pack.  Some just take the clothes on their back and a toothbrush.  Many pack enough underwear for a year and the whole medicine cabinet, too.  Others don’t care what’s in the bag, just as long as their favorite snuggy, pillow, or lovey makes the trip.

Since I waited until we needed to be in the car pulling out of the driveway to finish up the job, I was highly agitated when the electricity went out for thirty minutes.  Try packing in a dark closet.  I can’t even tell you how many times I attempted to flip on all the light switches in this house out of habit.  Grrrrrrrr.  And, you know how I like it nice and chilly in the house?  I felt the temperature risin’…quickly.

I know, I know.  Laughing is healthy – it’s like jogging on the inside, BUT I just didn’t feel like laughing at that point.  I wanted desserts because that’s what stressed is spelled backwards.  I also thought about ham and eggs and how it’s only a day’s work for the chicken and a lifetime commitment for a pig.  I was temporarily going crazy mad.  Bwaahaahaa!

No, seriously.  The vacation was fabulous!  The packing…was not.

It’s funny what we all “pack around” or hold onto as well.  The other day I was having a particularly grumpy day.  I just couldn’t get over it.  As much as I tried to move on, forget about it and start anew, I couldn’t find the means.

Also on that particular day, I stopped by a friend’s office and saw two things she had on her desk that spoke directly to my cranky, grouchy, crabby little heart.  Peace started to flow in as I gave myself and others a fresh start.  In that moment, I forgot about my failures and theirs.  I threw the unimportant stuff out of my “suitcase.”  I felt the need to travel with a lighter heart. 

I will share the special words with you because they just might help you when you are having an irritable moment (um, or day or week).

by Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Author Unknown
There are two days in every week which we should not worry – two days which should be kept free of fear and apprehension.  One of these days is “Yesterday,” with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.
“Yesterday” has passed forever beyond our control.  All the money in the world cannot bring back “Yesterday.”  We cannot undo a single act we performed.  We cannot erase a single word we said.  “Yesterday” is gone!
The other day we should not worry about is “Tomorrow,” with its possible adversities, its burdens, its larger promise.  “Tomorrow” is also beyond our immediate control.  “Tomorrow,” the sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise.  Until it does, we have no stake in “Tomorrow,” because it is unborn.
This leaves only one day – “Today.”
Any man can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two eternities of “Yesterday & Tomorrow” that we break down.
It is not the experience of “Today” that drives men mad.  It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened “Yesterday” and the dread of what “Tomorrow” may bring.
Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.

I hope these two pieces move you as much as they moved me.

And, just like the teaser channels that Dish Network gives us and then quickly takes away…let’s remember that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow either.  Make the most of today.

How will we “pack?”  Will we hold onto things that weigh us down?   Will we let go of all that insignificant stuff?  Will we attempt to pack in the dark or will we let the “Son-light” shine in to make our packing less burdensome?

We choose how we will pack.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

31 Seconds

Photo Credit:  lorettaflame at
It’s almost time for school to start.  I can always tell when it’s getting close.  Around August 1st of every year, my children start getting bored and they create strange new science experiments.

Our poor Baby Alive doll – the kids mixed up some Ovaltine and water to feed her just so they could watch brown poo come out on the homemade diaper they constructed of paper towels and Scotch tape.  Gross.  They mixed baking soda and vinegar to feed her too.  Don’t ask about that.

There is one thing that HAS kept their attention though – the Summer Olympics.  My kids have thoroughly enjoyed watching them.  They are amazed by the feats of endurance, strength, stamina, and determination.  When they are really impressed by something, they make their best attempts to emulate.  Here lately, there has been a drastic increase in couch roll-offs, jumping rope at cheetah speeds, and bouncing off of walls in this house.  All acts end in a proud, wide open “V” formation with their arms!

This would also explain the new event that they came up with – Swimming Pool Gymnastics.  Last week at the pool, my older two said, “Mom, we’re going to do some flips and other cool moves in the water and then you can give us a score – either good, great, or awesome.”  I love the optimism here – there isn’t even a category for “so-so” or “improvement needed.”

It’s so interesting how impressionable young minds truly are.  My cousin’s 5-year-old son became a fervent Lochte fan all of a sudden and his mother, Donna, was genuinely puzzled.  She asked him why he liked Lochte so much and he explained the AT&T commercial to her.

With awe, he said, “Because, Mommy, he swam over there—all the way over there.”  In the commercial, Ryan Lochte appears to swim across the entire ocean to get to London.  After the 31-second commercial, the little boy was hooked.  He was Lochte’s number one fan.

Donna tried to explain to her son that Lochte did not literally swim all the way across the ocean to get there.  It just meant that he practiced so much, worked so hard, and had done so many laps in pools over the years that it was like he swam there.  She promised her son that Lochte went there by plane, but isn’t quite sure that she convinced him.

There are so many heroes to follow during the Olympics.  We watch.  We wait.  Some cheer.  Some cry.  We jump up and down.  Some get emotionally vested.  On the first day of every Olympics, my friend, Kendall, even makes or buys whatever food has its origin in the host city to help kick-off the games.  She and her family wake up at all hours of the night to watch most, if not ALL of the events as well!  LOVE. THOSE. OLYMPICS. MUST. NOT. SLEEP.  (hee hee)

But, sometimes heroes are born closer to home - within our own cities, our own neighborhoods, our own families.  I have many heroes in my family.  This time I want to focus on just one of them - my 11-year-old niece.  She was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes two years ago when she was just beginning her third grade year.

As her aunt and godmother, I have been amazed by this beautiful young lady.  She checks her blood sugar with a finger prick eight to ten times every single day of every single month of every single year.  She gives herself an injection of insulin four to five times per day - everyday.  My sister-in-law even checks my niece’s blood sugar level in the middle of the night.

My niece loves drawing fashion designs, dancing, and hanging out with her friends and cousins.  She has an upbeat personality and a contagious smile.  You’d never guess that she has to deal with diabetes every day of her life.  A hero - my hero.

When I asked her if having diabetes stops her from doing anything, she replied, “Well, it does prevent me from eating when I want to and what I want to.  But, it doesn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams.”  How about that for an 11-year-old!

I thank God for her.  I pray for her.  I pray for a cure for juvenile diabetes.  I am thankful that people like her can be heroes for people like me.

In our own corner of the world, I think we each have a unique opportunity to be a hero for someone, in our own special way.  As the author, Henri Nouwen, wrote, “Did I offer peace today?  Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?  Did I say words of healing?  Did I forgive?  Did I love?  These are the real questions.”  As a matter of fact, I think they are questions of a hero.

In 31 seconds, a small child was moved by something he saw.  What can we stand up for, encourage or do in 31 seconds that can make such an impact?  What can we do for someone else that has them saying, “I see Jesus in you.”  You have 31 seconds – GO!

P.S.  No Sips next week, but don’t forget to spread your sunshine!