These are a few of my favorite things…unhurried tears

This morning on the way to pick up snacks for this weekends event, I found myself crying to one of Amy Grant’s songs – not sure what it’s called, but I would title it “Why?”  It’s been a while since I’ve heard this song; the first time I remember hearing it was probably the same time of year.  It had been a year since some friends of ours had lost their baby girl shortly after birth due to a heart defect that was not solved by surgery.  It was a few days before or after Christmas that we attended the visitation for her funeral.  It’s usually around this time of year that Father reminds me to pray for them.   As the song says “Somewhere down the road, there’ll be answers to the questions.”  Loss of any kind can leave us with questions and doubts. 

So this rememberance of my dear friend’s loss brought on the tears.  And then my mind began to recall the pain that my own family members had suffered from losses in their lives.  And in my brief 40 years of life I’ve had my own personal pain of loss and dissapointments.  The quick recollection of the pain and grief associated with these rememberances of others and myself was surprising to me. 

Although I had pulled up to the store, I tried to be unhurried with my tears.  There’s been times in my life when I’ve exclaimed “I don’t have time to cry!!” and that in itself was painful (although not bearing the truth…).  And usually when I have begun to cry, I try to shut them down quickly, believing that in some way I’ve lost control or am weak to express emotion in this way.  Several months ago in church we had just sat down (a little late..) and begun worshiping the Lord in song and I immediately began to weep.  So disturbed with myself I asked my Heavenly Father “what’s up with this?  I look like such an idiot!”  His response was interesting…it went something like this, “Stacy, these are tears of joy for My Spirit inside you is identifying/rejoicing/celebrating/acknowledging Me.”  For He cannot deny His own.  Well, tears of JOY!??  I’ll take that!!!  And who am I to argue when He defines something for me?

 So today I’m rejoincing in allowing my tears to be unhurried.  No doubt I could have sat their longer and possibly even recollected more.  But perhaps my release of these tears was just enough to bring more healing.  And to recognize the compassion I do have for others, especially my beloved family.   

Shalom to my dear loved ones and myself. 

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These are a few of my favorite things….right turns and slowing down

Today was a busy day with a wrap up meeting for the Snacks and Snapshots with Santa upcoming event, and since it’s Mother’s Day Out for Sammy I am usually running errands.  It wasn’t my desire, nor intention, to be gone until time to pick him up, but alas, that was the case today.  Sawyer and I returned to Fazoli’s today for lunch and he got his own bowl of spaghetti (w/sauce) and ate it up like a bottomless pit!

Today I wasn’t always able to make “right turns” while running my errands, but normally, this is how it goes for me.  Especially traveling down the loop, I take care of everything on the right and then turn around and do it again!  For me this is easy and methodical, and it also saves time.  It got me to wondering about one of my frequent stops, the Granary.  Today I was able to turn right to get to it, but normally I’m coming from home and only left turns will get me there….well, unless I take a left off the Loop onto Bill Owens and then make a right into the parking lot.  Not much going on upstairs today, so there was room to think this through….Right turns, they are for me. 

Also, on my way to bible study last night, I was grateful to arrive in one piece.  I don’t know if it was the “holiday crazies” or what, but some people make it rather dangerous for others who are trying to get to their destination.  I was grateful for my peaceful driving – not in a hurry, and I’ll arrive when I’m suppose to.  This keeps me calm and hopefully benefits the other drivers around me.  Holiday or not, we need to respect each others lanes, thank you very much!

These are a few of my favorite things….food

I’m quite in the holiday mood!  My Bose radio in the house and car are tuned to 106.5 for 24 hour Christmas music.  So far my family has had the pleasure of enjoying me singing to “Feliz Navidad!”  My Christmas mugs are out for morning coffee and evening hot tea.  And since the cold weather has blown in, Sammy and I have enjoyed hot chocolate in our gingerbread mugs. 

I thought I would try to list a few of my favorite things each day or so until Christmas day.  The topic will vary.  It will be interesting to see what develops! 

Today is a few of my favorite things….food, specifically homemade.  Since the cold weather blew through I picked up our favorite soup fixings yesterday for 7 Can Soup.  My dear friend, Leslie D. passed this to me many years ago and we’ve been making it ever since!  It freezes well.  Also, I’m changing some of my food habits and picked up my beef (frozen) at the Granary.  It is from Darby Farms which is in East Texas.  Tony was cooking when I walked in and it had a great aroma, crumbled up well and Tony said probably had a little more fat than the lean cut you might usually choose.  Tasted great.  Here’s our recipe:

7 Can Soup

  •  3 Cans Cambell’s Minestrone 
  • 2 Cans Ranch Style beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can Stewed tomatoes (we chop up or puree 
  • 1 lb. beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beef and onion; salt and pepper to taste.  Dump cans into soup pot (be sure to drain and rinse ranch style beans – changes the taste if you don’t..).  Let simmer for 30 minutes on low.  Good with corn chips or corn muffins and can add cheese on top.  Freezes well. 

The reading bug is still biting, so I’m off to read! 

BFK plus blessings

I’m not sure if it was a good idea or not – even at this late hour, to have taken the kids into the biggest shopping day of the year.  I do know that my motivation was this – I miss doing some things (sometimes) that I previously did before I had children, i.e., shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  Actually, no, it wasn’t the need to shop, but the desire to be out and about!  At least I had some form of restraint to not load up the kids and take them with me to the movie – another one of my past traditions BFK (before kids). 

Also, if I’d known there would be a great adjustment to the amount of sleep I’d be getting after I had kids, I can almost guarantee I would have passed on having children.  My mother bought me a sleep shirt one time that said “Nap Happy” – and that indeed sums me up in this regard; happy when she’s had a nap!  Fortunatley, I usually do get a nap when the kids go down (though not much else gets done since I do that).  It’s the night-time sleep that I lose.  For the most part, I’ve gotten over it and trust God to provide for me.  However, sometimes I slip and throw my own private tantrum.  Now you know.

 However, if I’d not had children, there are a few things on my list of favorites that I would have missed:  Sammy sprinting down the Brookshire isle  – this indeed makes me laugh just thinking about it; he doesn’t do this at Wal-mart, which is good!, hearing him say “I wuv you, mom” as he twirls my hair lying next to me in my bed, hearing him say “This is terrificious!” as he was eating something I’d made him yesterday; he had to repeat it several times for me to understand what he was saying (a combination of terrific and delicious), his excitement over making his own car carrier with all of his emergency vehicles, his kindness, gentleness and caring for his baby brother.  Goodness me, the list could go on!  Oh, and his laughter, he has a hearty laugh just like his Momma!

Now Sawyer has a smile that lights up the room!  You can tell he loves his family by the beautiful, beaming smile he gives us.  And he has always been facinated with his big brother.  I so enjoy how he pats my shoulder when I pick him up – his way of saying “Thanks, Mom!”  He’s willing to try anything food.  He’s got a precious giggle.  And his feet.  Well, I’ve simply adored both of my children’s sweet feet.  And it has always been deeply enjoyable to me to watch his endearing response to Sammy (although there are some not-so-endearing responses, as well!)

I did manage to get some shopping done yesterday, although only a little bit was for Christmas.   I prefaced the shopping experience with a visit to Kid’s Station since Sammy had earned it.  He had told his MeMe on Thanksgiving Day, “I need to go to Kid’s Station!”  We ate lunch at Fazoli’s – my thinking was spaghetti would be a good eat for my Sammy.  Sawyer quite refused his jar of chunky babyfood and insisted eating my Ragatoni something-or-another, which was wonderfully flavorful, hot (I like my food temperature hot) and cheesey!  He also enjoyed bread sticks dipped in sauce – nummy for him!  Sammy’s bowl of spaghetti with no sauce, sprinkled with parmesan cheese was quickly gone and then he was eating on mine.  I think I can safely get him the larger size next time.

My favorite goof of the day was almost turning in to the old Target location.  And my leisurely part of the day was twice taken by enjoying my iced tea after eating our lunch (this was indeed a new experience while dining out with my kiddos) and stopping for coffee at goodday books and coffee in Kilgore for some coffee to go and enjoying it in the car while the kids took a much needed nap.  After some peace and stillness I drove through the Historic neighborhood – always enjoyable to see old houses.  Then it was off to Wal-mart….Sammy was asking where were all the people and since it was about 6pm I told him they’d gone home!

Tony spent the day doing security work in Kilgore due to the shopping frenzy.  He was just as tired as we all were when he got home last night.  It was to bed for all of us ASAP!

Well, I think I’ll head back to bed now.  Maybe I’ll get a few more hours sleep and wake up a joyful mom!

Learning to sit down

Well, in my effort to slow down the hurry in me, I’m learning to sit and basically refuse to get up unless absolutely necessary!  This is indeed a process and with two pre-schoolers one would sometimes think it is near impossible.  This morning I was up much earlier than I intended and when my feet hit the floor at the same time as my 3 year olds, I’m in for constant movement.  I was praying awfully early for God’s grace as my morning did not start out the way I had planned or wanted.  He was faithful to provide peace and the calming of my nerves and the ending of my grumpy. 

My time to sit came at 9am when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade came on.  This is my favorite parade and actually the only one I (try to) watch.  My dear husband (and mother) have teased me for years about watching this parade.  However, about 2 years ago Tony told me it was his great desire to take our family to NY to see the parade b/c he knew how much I would enjoy it.  And today as we sat down to watch it, he said “SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, we are going to all go there!”  I was only able to watch about 45 minutes of it, and although it wasn’t an uninterrupted 45 minutes, I did manage to maintain my composure on the couch for most of that time.  Yea for me!

Blessed time with family today eating cajun food!  I asked my Sammy this evening what he was thankful for (to see if his list from yesterday had changed…candy was at the top of the list yesterday).  He said “Shrimp!” – he really liked the shrimp in the gumbo today – didn’t we all!!!   

Medusa has briefly appeared…

My house just got quiet about 11:45pm.  To say that I probably look like Medusa with a headband this evening is humorous to think about!  Tony has just gotten over the “crude” (actually, he still has a bit left, but he’s much better) and now he has a stress fracture in his foot and needs to stay off of it for it to heal.  That makes the load rather heavy in the evenings, but I managed to run out of the house for a 45 minute respite at the store!  This also changes our plans for this weekend and I’m disappointed we won’t be traveling to Dallas so I can attend my friend’s son’s wedding and then visit with the Grissom’s in The Colony.  Nonetheless, my day was quite lovely, thank you very much!

My children along with my Mom headed out this morning to deliver meals to folks in our community, compliments of the HiWay 80 Rescue Mission.  I first came into contact with this mission when I was a probation officer and referred several of my homeless clients there.  Through my Sunday school class we have often participated in cooking and serving meals for their evening dinner.  It has always been such a joy to connect with the faces as they go through the line.   Since having small children I have not been able to participate in that way, so I was grateful for the opportunity to help in this manner.  My Sammy had his volunteer nametag on and he carried the desserts to the door, while I carried the meals.  I think he only asked one person for candy….he was a precious helper and said “Mom, this is hard work!  I’m working hard today!”  We were grateful to share in their lunchtime meal today.  Since the kids were wiped out we decided to take ours to go.  They loaded us up and gave us a beautiful pecan pie with homemade crust.  This crust was so beautiful, it looked like a ribbon all the way around – that I got the video camera out and captured Sammy saying “bake pie after pie” which is a line from one of his favorite pumpkin books.

Tony and the Kilgore Police Association delivered meals to several families today in the community.  It was interesting to share our stories and feelings at the end of the day about our experiences.  As he ran off with the camer this morning (which meant I couldn’t take it….), I realized our family was taking time today to share with others.  This is important to us and makes us grateful.  God provides in so many ways for each of us. 

We are looking forward to being with family tomorrow.   

One other thing in regards to the book I mentioned yesterday, “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It was as I was drifting off to sleep and I was thinking about why I enjoyed the book so much.  It was her style of writing that was enjoyable to me as I sense that mine could be somewhat similiar in presentation of words (if that makes any sense to anyone, including myself…) 

I must do my Neti Pot and read few lines in my new read – I already forgot the title.  Maybe tomorrow!