Welcome December 2016!

It’s a new month. The last month of 2016. What did you accomplish? What do you still need to accomplish? It’s not too late.

Let’s enjoy the last days of 2016 and get ready to celebrate the fact that we made it. So many didn’t make it this year and we’re going to celebrate each and every 31 days of December with gratitude.

As you’re gearing up for the holidays with trees, shopping and cooking remember that you are blessed. You are loved. You are appreciated. Now, if we can keep the snow to a minimum, I will be ecstatic.

Happy December!

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I Will Try – And So Should You

I’m writing this post in response to Jacqueline’s Tuesday Trickle over at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales. Every Tuesday she does a ‘Thinking Corner’ sharing positivity and encouragement. Love the idea. So, here’s mine…

Sometimes I feel like enough is never enough. How much more can I give? How much more can I take? I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I’m drowning. I can’t seem to get ahead. I feel like I’m failing. Why can’t I seem to get through this funk?  I feel like giving up.

Anything sound familiar?

Yep, that’s what I was feeling until I read Jacqueline’s post this morning. I was driving into work this morning and talking to my best friend and explaining what was going on with me. I wrote a post today about how I feel like I’m failing my son.

I uttered “I feel like giving up” in a low voice. He said, “You can’t give up. You have to keep fighting. You have to keep going.” I mumbled “Okay” and got off the phone to listen to gospel music.  I started to pray in my car. With gospel music blaring and tears streaming down my eyes and the rain pounding on my windshield.

I was having a true “Come to Jesus” moment. I was praying and crying and driving (which I don’t recommend driving in hard pounding rain and crying) but God was interceding on my behalf. I just kept on saying “God, I surrender all”. Because sometimes that’s all you can do.

Surrender all. God allowed me to come in safely to work and read Jacqueline’s post and be inspired to know that I have to keep on keeping on. When the mountain gets rough and it seems impassable I have to remember that there are angels watching over me. That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

My message to you is simple…Try and don’t give up! We all get overwhelmed. We all feel as though we are failing, but I promise you that our break through is coming. We have to keep pushing on. No one said it would be easy, but I promise you like my grandma said, “Trouble don’t last always”.

Your being able to read this post today is proof of that. Wipe away those tears and know that you are not alone my friend. We will be victorious!

The Lost Art of Thank You Cards

Last week I was reading “The Insanity of Goody Bags and Thank You Cards” on Scary Mommy and laughed. Why? Because deep down inside I understood where the author was coming from. She thought that we should by-pass goody bags and thank you cards instead of trying to figure out what we’re going to stuff in them and having your child slave over thank you cards.

While I understand her concern because it gets ridiculous with the gift bags/favors, I think thank you cards are a requirement. I understand not having your child personalize every single card, but what about sending thank you cards with a collage of pictures from the party with your son or daughter signing each card? Great keepsake and your child won’t get carpal tunnel?

I get that it overwhelms some parents because you get through a huge party and you’re exhausted. You don’t want to take the time out to say thank you because you personally thanked every guest for coming and you think that’s enough, but I think there is just a lost art with sending thank you cards. How will your children understand the importance if you don’t teach them early?

Will they know to send a thank you card to a teacher who has written them a glowing recommendation for college? How about sending a thank you card to an adult who has inspired them? What about sending a thank you card to a potential employer after an interview? Children are resilient and they should definitely learn to appreciate writing a formal thank you, but I think it is incumbent on us parents to find creative ways to inspire them when they’re young.

Now, the favor bag insanity… I can agree with that as I scroll for the perfect favor for my munch’s giraffe themed party next month. LOL.

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Attitude Check

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. – Alice Walker

Lesson #1 – Attitude of Gratitude. I’ve spoken about this a couple of times and how I have an attitude of gratitude and I’m raising munch to have the same. Lately though, his attitude has been less gratuitous than I expect. He’s downright ornery and complaining about everything. Let me give you some examples:

  • Last Saturday my best friend and I had gone to Cracker Barrel (my favorite breakfast spot) for breakfast and I brought my munch along. This was his first trip for breakfast and he was fine eating out. Until…the waiter brought his orange juice and it had pulp in it. Munch hates pulp and the waiter said he would bring him something else. Munch requested lemonade. The waiter said that lemonade has pulp in it. Munch then requested milk. The waiter didn’t bring the milk for 15 minutes. Munch pouted and was upset about not having his milk. He said, “I’m really upset that I don’t have my milk mommy. Can’t we leave and just go to IHOP? I don’t like this place.” Finally his milk came and then his meal. I ordered one pancake and a side of bacon with three slices of bacon. Only two came on his plate. I notified the waiter and he said he would get us another piece. Munch was so upset and said he wasn’t going to eat until his other slice came out. I told him that was ridiculous. Eat now. He pouted and ate his food. The other slice of bacon never came. The waiter (whose service was less than desirable anyway) removed munch’s meal from the bill.
  • Later that afternoon on our way to my nephew’s first birthday party, my son decides he would like to give his cousin a special gift. (He apparently didn’t like that we donated to his college fund). So, I said, “What would you like your cousin to have?” “A book” he replied. I said “Okay, go get one” and he rushed back to his room to pick out a special book. He decided to give him the brand new book “The Lorax” that had just arrived from his book club. He signed the book and put his own card inside it and a bow on the book. He was so proud. Until…he told me that his cousin can only keep the book for two months and then he had to return it. What? He’s a one year old. He’s not going to read it and then return it. I explained how impolite it was to ask for a gift back that you’ve given to someone and that he has so much surely one book would be fine. He pouted the entire way to the party complaining about how that was his favorite book and he wanted to loan it.
  • Monday as we’re going to school and I’m quizzing him on his spelling words for his test he tells me, “I will probably fail.” I was asking him why he thinks he’s going to fail? His response, “Because I failed the practice test last night.” I told him to do his best. He said, “Okay”. He then decides to complain about how he is so upset that he can’t go outside and he is tired of playing in the gym during recess. I explained that the weather has been cold and snowy, but that the school would start letting them go outside later when there is more sun and less snow. I explained that spring is coming and that he will get to be outside soon. He said, “fine”. We pull up to the school and he complains as we get out the car that he almost fell into a puddle of melted snow because I didn’t park close enough to the curb. What?

I had it. I was done. Really? Is this  a stage? What is happening to my beautiful baby and when did he become such a complainer? I stopped him before we went into the school and I told him that we wake up each day thanking God for life. We have an attitude of gratitude because we are blessed. We practice saying thank you instead of complaining all the time. I told him to try and just be happy and be positive. Say please and thank you and know that your attitude determines your altitude. How high you fly depends on how much happy fuel (filled with love and gratitude) you want to put in your plane. The happiest children have lots of happy fuel in their plane and are in great spirits because they are flying high in the clouds enjoying life. They are grateful.  He looked at me and said “Okay, mommy.” I kissed him on the lips and said, “I love you munch. I’m proud of you and I’m happy that I’m your mommy.” He smiled and walked away.

Wow! I’m suffering from a case of the complainer blues. But, I’ve been known to do it too. I have to adjust my attitude and correct myself by getting a refill of happy fuel to keep in good spirits. We all do. But, I never knew how I could sound complaining until I heard my munch do it. It’s overwhelming to a listener. We have to do better.

I want to encourage us to be grateful for everything because if you can’t appreciate the small you won’t value the big things when they come. Gratitude is a choice. Be grateful. Be thankful and be happy.

Happy Birthday Dear Friend!

Proverbs 17:17 (MSG)

One Who Knows Much Says Little

17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
    and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

You may not know this, but I’m kinda neurotic and difficult. Gasp! LOL! For real though. I’ve been known to actually get on people’s nerves. My true friends know that I am like an onion whose layers you have to peel back to get to know. So, they take their time and encourage and support me as I do them. They break down the walls around my heart and assemble inside it and let me know that our friendship is true and just. I love having friends.

Today one of my oldest and dearest friends turns 40. I met him when I was 13 and had just moved to Powder Mill Village. Through good times and bad times I can always count on his loyalty towards our friendship. My friendships are important and knowing that I will always have someone who will see the best in me and encourage me to push through my pain makes me extremely blessed.

It was him who helped rearrange my life after my marriage ended. He was so worried one day when we went out to eat. I asked, “What’s wrong?” He said, “I’m worried about you. There are many things you take for granted in marriage like having someone to care for you when you’re sick that I worry…what will happen if you get cancer? Who will take care of you?” I laughed and said, “My mom and my girlfriends. Men aren’t equipped to see someone they love being sick. I’ll be okay.”

Weird huh? But, that is what true friends think about. Who will take care of you? I never doubt that if I’m sick that he won’t step up to the plate and care for me just like my son’s father, but I’m thankful knowing that he is concerned about me just the same.

I don’t have many people I can count on in my life, but God chose this man to be someone I can count on. So, I want to say “Welcome to the 40 Club dear friend! I wish you only the best for this day and all year through.”

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I Am My Sister’s Keeper

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood. ~Louisa May Alcott

I am my sister’s keeper. Not just my actual sisters (I have two), but my girlfriend’s too. I care about women and love my girlfriends immensely. They are the most powerful, inspiring, straightforward and loving women I have ever known. They listen, support, encourage and push me to keep my head up in spite of adversities. They are my support network. Better yet, they are my sistergirls!

My sistergirls have picked up my son from daycare or school when I was stuck in traffic and his dad was stuck in a meeting. They have kept my son overnight when I’ve been too tired to play mommy. They have kept my son when I have traveled out of town to their city for a date night. They have kept my son when I was an emotional wreck and had no family in sight. They have drank with me, shopped with me and gave me some of the funniest and best advice ever.

The bond between two women can be an incredible experience. You love the person and they become a beat in your heart. They don’t change your relationship with your significant other, they encourage it and remind you that no matter what…nothing will ever come between you two. They understand that you’re too busy to get together because you’re playing wifey or supermom. They cook meals when you’re sick so you can focus on getting better. They are just awesome!

Sistergirls are a requirement for any woman. You need that support. God has provided me an awesome network of women that do that for me and more. When I go to them with my “issues” they just listen and give me a non-judgmental and practical approach on how to handle things. “Whatever you want to do girl, you know I got your back” is what they say.

How encouraging is that?

Recently, I had a man tell me that he worries about me being everything to everyone. He said, “If you give of yourself tirelessly who will take care of you? What will you have left in the end?” I smiled and said, “Enough”. He looked at me puzzled. I said, “God gives me enough. Enough heart to love and strength to be the support that my sistergirls are too me. Yes it may seem like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, but the load I carry is not heavy. It is enough. I am enough and I can handle it.”

I need my sistergirls more than they need me. I’m always the one calling them with the latest and greatest thought, idea or piece that I wrote and I want their advice. They give it to me. Without hesitation. When I have a break-down and cry about a situation, they love me and support me and remind me that “God never gives you more than you can bear.” They are the ones that have encouraged my writing and they are the wind beneath my wings.

But lately, my sistergirls have been going through things that I can’t fix. Do you know how that annoys me? They make things better for me and I want to do the same for them. I know I can’t carry their burdens, but I share in their heartbreaks, disappointments and pain. I willingly love and try to inspire them with subliminal tweets, posts, texts and Instagram love. I want to be their rock because they are that to me. So, you know what? I will.

I don’t want a man telling me to not concern myself with their problems because that is not what sisterhood is about. We live, we love, we laugh and we cry. Shared joys and disappointments. If you are my man and you’re going through something, don’t you want my support? Yep! Absolutely! So, understand this…there is no greater love than sisterhood. I am my sister’s keepers.

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