Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days to a Happy, Healthier Fall ME!

In the past year, I have begun making a point of thanking God for the specific day....such as "thank you God for Monday, October 1, 2012".  It's a tiny way of trying to stay in the moment, to be fully there, and to appreciate the day.  

So, driving in this morning, I actually prayed the above sentence and in that very moment, it hit me - today is OCTOBER 1st!  September is done, gone, not to return for another 11 months!  If you know me well, you know that I live for the fall and holiday season.  I am literally a happier person, I smile more often, I laugh more, life is just sweeter during September, October, November and December!  So, to realize that one entire month out of the four is already finished and I am pretty sure I didn't even take the time to realize it was September a good part of the time was a wake-up call for me.

I've been running too fast these past nine months.  January started off with a big ole bang with Mack's back surgery and my mom's health drastically declining and I feel like I've been at a dead run ever since.  Don't get me wrong, I've had some wonderful moments with family and friends.  I am not complaining about my life - it is an amazingly blessed life.  I am acknowledging that I am tired and not fully enjoying most of my days.

So, first, I am going to make a conscious effort to begin to take better care of me - starting today.  I'm going to leave work on time and enjoy my evening at home.  I'm going to really think about some things that will make these last few months of 2012 even more special than they are by being intentional in what I choose to do when I get to choose.  Finally, I'm going to blog through it and if I can keep this up for a little while, I just might even let someone read it!

Happy Fall Y'all!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Going Home

Both of my parents were born and raised in the small town of Mannington, Kentucky.  Small means small in rural Kentucky - it means about 300 occupants if you include the chickens!   When they retired, mom and dad moved to "the lake" to partake in the good life.  Kentucky Lake is about an hour and half from Mannington and we spent many summer vacations at the lake before they moved there permanently in 1985.  I loved being at the lake each summer, going to the different restaurants, the beaches and spending days in the boat on the water.

Like any place, if you spent enough time there you tend to get used to it.  You forget to look around you and appreciate the view and the things that make it special.  I worked for Ritz-Carlton for several years and after a while, I didn't even notice the magnificent flower arrangements, the priceless artwork, and antique furniture that graced the lobby of the hotel.

I went back to Kentucky earlier this month to help my mom celebrate her 80th birthday.  Driving in I began to pray that God would truly use this visit for two things: one to bless my mom and let her know how much she means to me, but also to remind me of how much I have always loved the state of Kentucky.  The picture above is a snapshot of God's faithfulness.  It shows my parent's home, the Dinner Bell - a restaurant we always visited each summer on vacation that I LOVED and have such fond memories of, and my first cousin's garden, complete with a mockingbird nest that we risked being pecked in the head by the mama bird in order to take the picture!  I drove on those country roads and just remembered.  I remembered laughing with my best friend, Royal, and being sunburned to a beautiful shade of red.  I remembered eating at the Dinner Bell and shopping at The Hitching Post for just the right souvenir of the summer.  I remembered listening to Elton John driving down the road (and I did plug in my phone and listen to Elton John on my itunes).   I spent some time with my cousin, Jan.  She and I are two of three remaining first cousins and very honestly, we are about all we have left of the Pickering side of the family.  She IS Kentucky to me now - and I love that.  I went "home" and found out that you really can go there again if you want to.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hating the Haters just adds you to the group

I love my son's fb post yesterday "I don't know anything about politics and hey, did you know it's hot outside?"  Because my son got his sarcasm in equal parts from his father AND from me, I knew immediately where he was coming from.  Between the really, really hot weather here in Georgia and the Supreme Court passing the Obama healthcare tax, facebook postings were over the top.

I grew up in the midwest, came from a middle class family and my daddy was an over-the-road union truck driver.  If you were those things back then, you were affiliated with one political party.  The rich people were affiliated with the other one.  Today, the lines aren't so clear.  There is a lot of talk about liberal and conservative, left and right wing, and other less flattering terms. 

I will tell you that I am a conservative, that I tend to go more "right" then "left.  I will also tell you I try very hard to vote for the candidate and not a party.  Most importantly, I will tell you that my opinions and choices are just that - they are mine.  I may not agree with you, I may really question how you can think and choose the way you do, but in the end, it really is none of my business. 

I am saddened by so many people that evidently NEED to make sure those who don't think the way they do are complete and total idiots.  You can't really choose a "side" that is more vocal than the other.  Both sides have some growing up to do.  By all means, we all need to educate ourselves on the issues, research truth, and VOTE.  What we don't need to do is talk about the "haters and idiots" on the other side because all it does is add to the club. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

So that's what grace is all about........

Yesterday was a long day at work - some tough moments and no real answers as I left for the day.  On the way home, as I went through an intersection in a small town that I go through every day, I noticed an unusual sight for that area.  On the street corner was a young man with a sign that said "Homeless - I will work for food".  I've seen those signs before and they always tug at my heart.  Sometimes I stop and give a few dollars I have in my pocket.  Sometimes I just keep going and say a little prayer for the person.  Yesterday, yesterday that was my undoing.  I did not have ANY cash in my wallet and yet I kept hearing "I was hungry and you fed me" over and over in my head.  So....there I am, continuing to drive towards home frantically wondering "do I turn around and go back and find a way to give the man food, do I keep going, WHAT DO I DO"?  I literally am saying out loud (with tears running down my face) to God "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO - I NEED YOU TO TELL ME WHAT DO DO! WHY WON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO?!!" 

Truthfully, I still didn't hear exactly what He wanted me to do but I did feel a peace that if that young man is there again today, I will stop and I will try to help. Yesterday, though, it was acceptable for me to keep going. More importantly though, in a moment, this is what I knew:  God will never remember and chastise me for failing to stop and help that young man - that's what grace is all about.  That's what it means when it says my sins (if it was a sin) are removed as far as the east is from the west.  God will NEVER remember that.  Being obedient, going that extra mile, helping someone will  only allow God to "reward" me one day.  It might add a jewel to my crown but it won't take one away. That is a picture of grace that will stay with me for a very long time.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Starting Over

I've done a really lousy job of being a blogger - and I'm pretty sure I've missed a few opportunities to do some calming and healing of my heart at times.  The year 2012 has been anything but quiet and calm and I have actually used the expression "hanging on by a thread" when asked how I am doing.

I am stressed this morning; I feel over-used and I want to run someplace very far away.  Not going to happen.  Let me process and I'll be back tomorrow - hopefully able to process out loud and begin the calming of my soul.