Where is home anyway?

Yesterday I learned about the passing away of my friend, Lisa Menard. Last month, my Father-in-law, J.P. also died. My youngest child said this evening, “why is this happening all of a sudden?” I told her that it happens all the time, it’s just that now it’s touching people dear to her and she’s old enough to somewhat understand and process the attendant emotions.

Got me thinking…what exactly is it about this finite earth that we hold on to so tightly anyway? I think of the expression: “home is where your heart is.” So where’s my heart?

I can say honestly that since my mother went to heaven, the mystery of death has somehow lost its grip on me. I was not fearful about dying, just…suspicious. It seemed so mysterious; so many questions, not enough answers. Yes, I’ve known for a long time that there’s an eternity beyond this existence and that I’m destined to spend mine with Jesus (yay!), but that space between then and now and the transition process always left me scratching my head. Now, not so much. Not because I suddenly figured it out all, but I stopped trying to. I just really don’t care anymore about the hows and whats. It’s enough that I know where I’m headed, and why.

I think about Mummy… J.P… Lisa… They are finally at rest, healed, complete, perfect. Then I think of their legacy, what they left behind: Mummy – beauty and godliness. J.P. – wisdom and love of family, Lisa – child-like faith and genuine love for others. These among many other qualities. I picture them all the way I think they should be, only better. Makes it hurt a little bit less. Makes me happy in a nostalgic sort of way. Makes me long for “home.”

That’s where my heart is!

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Clawing my way back…

I feel like my writing muscles have atrophied over the past few months! I took stock recently and realized that I need to make a few changes with regard to how I spend my down time. How easy it is to come home from work, hastily throw together a meal for the fam, and vegetate in front of the TV until it’s time for bed! That’s been me pretty much the past few months. Time for a change.

Thanks, Marnies3kids, for the notes inquiring about my welfare and letting me know you missed my posts. I’ve missed them too.

I’M BACK, BABY! I think…

Rules for living

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

I love that about God – He has given us simple rules for living. No more wondering what or how. Just do it!

Would it still be a Merry Christmas?

What if there were no presents under the tree this year – or no tree even, to stack presents under? What if your loved one can’t make it home for Christmas because they are incarcerated or fighting a war many, many miles away? What if there’s no turkey or mistletoe to help to make the season bright? What if Santa Claus didn’t come to your town?

 This year, more than others, I have been listening more intently to the words of Christmas carols. What, for you, would make this a merry Christmas? For me, it’s having my family together. My son has been away in college and has not been home since July, but will be here this Christmas. The other day, my youngest child told me that she didn’t care if there were no presents under the tree this year, as long as we could have a family dinner together on Christmas day. That brought tears to my eyes, especially coming from a 12 year old!

 My husband and I have been burdened lately by people facing personal tragedies, especially at this “most wonderful time of the year.” From celebrities in the midst of pain, divorce and tragedy, to everyday people who have lost hope and are struggling under the formidable weight of adverse circumstances.

This Christmas, please spare a thought for those around you for whom Christmas is not a happy time. You may not have the means to give financially to someone in need, but some of the best gifts have little or no monetary value anyway: a prayer, a hug, a phone call, a couple of hours volunteering at a local charity, church, hospital or retirement home. The possibilities are endless – all it takes is a phone call or quick search on the internet. For all you know, you might be someone’s ‘Merry Christmas’ this year!

 So whatever dire circumstances you may be facing right now, take your focus off what you don’t have and put it on what you do have, however small it may seem to you – family, friends, health, time… If  nothing else, enjoy this fleeting season when people are in a good mood because of “Christmas cheer,” whatever the heck that is! Before you know it, it will be gone beginning January 2nd, when the credit card bills start to arrive 😦

 Whatever you do and wherever you are, don’t just wish, make it a MERRY CHRISTMAS, for yourself and at least one other person.

Remembering to breathe…

breatheHow is it that we can fill our lives up to the last minute of the day with stuff to do, even without the obligation of a 9 to 5 job? Or is it just me? These last few days…weeks…months – oh, I don’t know; they keep blurring together! – I seem to be going on fast-forward constantly. So much that I have to remind myself to breathe.

Then I got to thinking…what exactly am I breathing in when I do breathe? Our lungs need air, but not just any air: clean air! Imagine working out on a spinning (indoor cycling) bike in a room filled with smog. You may be able to stand it for a little bit, but it won’t be long before you have to stumble out of there in search of clean air. That smog won’t sustain you for the task at hand. In the same way, when my life cranks up to warp speed, I have to stop often and take a breath in God’s presence so that the smog of life doesn’t choke me. It’s so easy to do the fast-food, drive-thru version of my time with God, but I must remember that garbage in, garbage out. Any compromise on the quality of my food, spiritual or otherwise, is a compromise on the quality of my strength.

Excuse me while I take a breath…

Uh-huh, it’s my birthday…

 

My birthday cakeToday marks the day I was born, many, many, many, many years ago – or so it seems! When I look back on my life, I feel like I’ve lived many lifetimes. And I’ve loved each one of them. Maybe not necessarily while they were happening (for some of them), but certainly after the fact.

It was a quiet day, spent at home with the family (not counting the couple of hours at the gym), with good food and good company. Plenty of time to ponder my many blessings, take all my birthday phone calls and respond to each of the umpteen Facebook birthday greetings I got (yes, I’m weird like that). I feel so blessed! Sure if I had it to do over, I’d script a few things a little differently. For example, I’d have washboard abs and better hand-eye coordination. I’d have my son home for the weekend from college. When my Dad called from Nigeria, I’d get to also hear my Mom’s voice, instead of sending her hugs and messages through God. I’d have answers to some of the questions I’m asking God during this season of my life…you know, stuff like that.

For now, though, there are many things in the script of my life that I am most grateful for. Things like good health. A family I love, that loves me back. Friends who care. A car that’s old, but paid for. A nice roof over my head. Food in my fridge and pantry; a fridge and pantry! Nice clothes and shiny, pretty things to wear with them. Oh, and the shoes…yeah, I’m a shoe girl and I like my shoes. For these, and so much more, I am truly thankful.

On top of all of that, it’s Friday – booyah! 🙂

It’s been a minute…

…but I’m back! Took an unplanned hiatus from blogging, but here I am now.

I’ve got a renewed approach to the whole blogging thing and it’s been quite liberating. I used to blog being somewhat consciously aware of other people reading my blog, but now, frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. Now if there IS anyone reading this, don’t get me wrong. Not that I don’t care about YOU, but I’ve decided that I will blog as an outlet for some of those thoughts that clutter my mind. Kinda like an online journal, rather than a platform from which I must write something cute, profound or clever. This means that sometimes I’ll make sense, and other times I’ll ramble incoherently. Either way, I’ll give those words that pop up in my head (ok, some of them) freedom to roam without restraint in the vast abyss that is cyberspace. After all, I’ve gotta make room for the many, many others that are vying for stage-time in the grand theater that is my brain.

So if I choose to, I can blog multiple times a day. Or I may not blog for days or weeks. I may include a nice graphic or photo. Or I may not. I may be deep in my musings. Or I may be shallow and blog about…oh, I dunno…nail polish! Pressure-free, expectation-free, authentic expressions of thought.

Ahhhh….my kinda blogging!

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