Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Fires

I haven't been taking an intentional break from blogging, just no time lately to even think about new posts. I have, however, been absolutely blessed to have been in the company of good friends sitting around pleasant autumn fires the last two evenings. I came across this poem yesterday, and it seemed so fitting for these fall days.

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

~Robert Louis Stevenson (A Child's Garden of Verses)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The first time I saw the "Fight like a girl" slogan, I thought it was genius. What a great phrase and campaign for breast cancer. I often think about how many women have had to fight. Women I know, women I don't know. Stories I hear or read, or stories I tell. But I love to know that we can fight.

My first reality hit with breast cancer was when I was almost 11. It was the week after Christmas, and the week of my birthday. I had just gone back to school from Christmas break, and was called to the office. I wasn't quite sure why, until I saw my mom. She had tears in her eyes, and a look of urgency about her. She told me that my Grandma Betsy was about to pass away, and that we were going to say goodbye. It was a long drive, and by the time we reached our destination, my sweet grandmother had already said goodbye.

She had fought a hard fight. Twice with this enemy. There had been signs, but let's face it...this was 20 years ago. Women with pain or lumps, simply kept going. They didn't complain. They didn't go to the doctor to actually talk about symptoms, and heaven forbid if it had to do with their...shhh....breasts.

When Grandma Betsy finally did begin to fight, she had chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and probably more that I don't even know about, and still that wasn't enough. She was 59.

I remember not getting it until I saw her that day. Not realizing how real this "disease" called breast cancer was. But seeing her in the bed, I got it. I knew how much I wanted her to have peace. Rest. Victory. And she did. However, I wish that I could have celebrated with her still here. I wish that she had had a t-shirt that said "Fight like a girl!" For she surely did.

Today, I went into a shop for something, and one thing led to the next, and somehow the store clerk and I ended up talking about how both of our grandmothers had suffered through this disease. Hers had made it through two battles, and was continuing to fight. Mine had not. We chatted about the struggle, and desire to support others on this journey, or in this fight. Then, she asked me. She asked me if I had gotten a mammogram yet. I was so thankful to be in the day and age where a store clerk would have the guts to talk about this thing that in the past would have been hushed. Or where people would have ignored the lumps under their arms, just to simply keep face, and not be embarrassed. But instead, we encouraged each other in early detection, and confronting and possibly disagreeing even with doctor's advice, to be checked early.

Today's my Grandma Betsy's birthday. I wish that I could have been at a 79th birthday party for her. She would have sang beautifully and then blown all those candles out. She would have played a song on the piano with her bright beaming smile. And she would have had something dynamic and pink on.

Celebrate with me this month. Do it for someone you know. Do it for someone you don't know. But let's press on to always fight like girls. My little way of bringing awareness is trying to wear something pink everyday for the rest of this month. It helps me remember to
think of and pray for those fighting this battle now.

To help bring more awareness, check out any of these sites for great ideas and products.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Date Night

Have I mentioned here, how I love to celebrate life? Just kidding. So, lately, my Tuesday evenings are a really fun thing around here. Wanna know why??? My hubs and I have started a new tradition. (I'm making myself laugh out loud right now, just typing that.) "Tradition....TRADITION!" (Sing along with me! It needs to be my theme song.)

We do lots of laundry, but usually don't get a chance to fold it right away. We let it pile up into a huge heap (all clean thank goodness) on the sofa in the living room. Then, after the kids are in bed, we make coffee and watch Office reruns (and sometimes other shows like the Biggest Loser) and fold all our laundry.

Yesterday, I saw all of it in the pile, and I said, I may need to make tonight my laundry night. Hubby said, "Is it Tuesday?" Yeah, it's a tradition.

It's great to be able to actually look forward to doing laundry. And the folding and putting away is the most dreaded part, anyway. But not anymore! Throw the word "date", "coffee", or "Office rerun" in there, and WHAM! It's a new favorite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Monday Kind of Tuesday Morning

It was one of those mornings.

You know the kind. You wake up late. Your husband has an early morning meeting, so you're on your own. Your kids don't want to wake up because they stayed up too late the night before. They finally do, only to be grumpy and whiny...and not to mention SLOW!!

You forgot to pack the kids lunches the night before, so you do it while reading the book that you forgot to read with your Kindergartner the night before. You don't have time to take a shower, because you forgot to get your aerobics stuff together and the stuff for your morning meetings. And to sign the papers in the backpack.

You yell at your kids for taking too long, and roll your eyes at your daughter's all out drama fit...about her eyes hurting and how she can't help but gouge it out with her fist. Then you try to be more patient by telling her she can "help it". That she "can do all things through Christ who strengthens her" because I'm demonstrating that so clearly.

You keep hitting start on the coffee maker, only to realize there's no water in it. Finally you put water in, but don't even have time to drink any. So you pour it into a to go cup, but because you're in such a hurry, you don't take the time to put the lid on properly. So you spill it on your white blouse as you're rushing out the car.

You're so angry by this point that when your 2 year old son is asking to hear his favorite praise song the second he gets into his car seat, that you yell, "NO, I'M NOT PUTTING IT ON!! I just need to talk to God!" Because you know, praising Him is the last thing you want to do.

You get your daughter to school late, and you're rushing so much when you leave the car pool line, you almost get sideswiped by a huge SUV. By this time, you're ten minutes late to meet your 8 o' clock appointment you've had set for a week. With your coffee stained shirt, sloppy hair and barely any makeup on, you confess that it had been a hard morning with a drama queen for a 5 year old. Fortunately, his response was a chuckle accompanied with, "We've all been there. I have 3 girls." You want to say, "Bless you!" but you know if you say too much of anything, you'll just start crying, so you just chuckle back.

Thankfully, the morning got better. I took a deep breath, finally had some of my coffee, vented to a friend who listened so intently and then prayed for me, had another appointment that went much smoother, had lunch with a dear friend who let me laugh at myself and encouraged me simply by being in her presence. I tell you, I couldn't have picked a better day to see these gifts. I mean friends. And in the midst of it all that I "happened" to run across this...

"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Yes, Lord, I will bless you. Yes, Lord, I know I didn't this morning, but would you help me. Would you send your Spirit through my pressed lips of frustration, and help me have praise continually be in my mouth. Help this mess of a girl, know your grace and your gifts today.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Little Joy

When I was pregnant with Asher, we were excited to choose his name for it's meaning. His name means "happy; joy; blessed". That, he is.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The other day, Asher and I were playing outside with bubbles, having a grand time. I was looking at him, and not really noticing much in the yard. Everything looked the same. Same as it always does...not much grass, nothing spectacular, just splotches of green here and there. You know...same as it always looks.

And then something compelled me to look up. And I saw this...

All the time I was standing down in my spot, I had no idea what was above me. I had no idea of the colors and the splendor of what was happening right above my head. (they're really much more beautiful and vivid than that, i just don't know how to take very good pictures.)

It reminded me of how our Father works. Sometimes we can't see what He's doing. We might not even know He's working at all. And then, maybe, we look up. And just maybe we see but a glimpse of His glory. The splendor of His majesty working in our midst all the while.

And all we have to do is look up.