Living Life, Fully In The Moment

Laughing girl

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

We all struggle in this life.

I, along with you, want to live life fully…but, I confess I don’t know how on most days. I am a failed perfectionist. I like my life to be ordered and understandable. How many opportunities have I missed because they didn’t fit in my schedule? I hadn’t penned them in my Daytimer? I was too busy to slow down, and with that I missed some of God‘s most extraordinary moments for me. Although my life here on earth will never be perfect, and even though I mess up on a daily basis, God remains gracious. He gives me more opportunities to slow down and communicate with Him. More than I deserve.

Sometimes the day to day living gets in my way. My eyes are too eagerly set on my plans for tomorrow, to stop and enjoy the exquisiteness of today. I often times forget that I am but a pilgrim on this journey. This place is not my home. I was created for something so much more. God knows this. He reminds me of it, if I will only take the time to stop and really see…… to see His moments.

As much as I enjoy the beauty of this world, I am aware that this world is just a shadow of what is to come. In my quieter times, this thought crosses my mind. My breath catches in my throat and my eyes tear up as I contemplate what that truly means.

How many of us dare to live fully? I’m not talking about risk taking, or defying rules. I’m talking about slowing down enough to savor the wonderful gifts that God chooses to give us. To fully appreciate the joy of each day, regardless of the weather, how much money is in the bank, or whether or not  everything is checked off on the to do list. When was it that we fell asleep at the wheel?

Do you understand that life is really not about those  lists of things? Do you really? If you are like me, you say you do, but so many times I know I don’t truly comprehend the depth of it. So many times I rush head long into the day, never looking back, and then before I know it, it is time to go to bed. Where was the enjoyment? The abundance? The moments?  Oh, they were there. I was just blind to them.

When I think about that….it makes me cry. How many years have I wasted in my rush to the finish line? How much of  what God  offers, have I chosen to ignore?

Ann Voskamp, author of ONE THOUSAND GIFTS: A DARE TO LIVE FULLY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, says this:

Dare to Live Fully

Open your eyes to ordinary amazing grace. Life is sometimes dark, gritty, and tough, so how in the world do you find joy? How do you live really, fully alive? How do you see what God is providing right here? How do you find God?

 

The In Courage group is starting a book club. I think I’m going to join because I need the challenge. The dare. To live a full life. Will you join me?

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Help! I’m Stuck In Frozen Foods

A young girl and her mother shop for chicken e...

Image via Wikipedia

So, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post…I got up early and went to the grocery store(s). WalMart at 8:15 in the morning usually is not so busy. Today it WAS! Every body and their brother was schlepping up and down the aisles picking out “stuck in a snowstorm” food. It also did not help my plight any that whoever wasn’t shopping for snow food was shopping for Super Bowl food. Get out of my way Super Bowl people!  Put down those chips and cheese dip. I’m on a mission.

I wrestled somebody’s grandma to the ground for the last bottle of salsa. Okay, so that is a lie. I didn’t really do that. I wouldn’t wrestle a grandma for salsa. Ice cream maybe, but not salsa. I have my priorities.

In all seriousness, there were a lot of senior individuals out and about today. I felt sorry for them. They probably believed their early morning shopping routine was being over taken by storm shoppers…and they would be right.

I moved on to the next store. I got there 15 min. after it opened. By the time I got ready to check out, the line was all the way back to the freezer aisle! For the love of Pete! Storm shoppers are a hardy bunch. We are not deterred by long lines! We settled in for the long haul. I was enjoying the sweet scene in front of me. A little boy (about 3 or 4 yrs. old) was shopping with his aunt. I know this because he called her aunt several times. (Call me super sleuth)  He was telling her various stories about  his parents. (one of them had to be this woman’s brother or sister) It was a lovely story about how the little boy’s mom liked Chinese food and the little boy liked Chinese (the jury is still out on whether Daddy liked it). He asked his aunt if she’d buy him Chinese? She said, “why don’t we let mommy and daddy buy that?”  He said okay. “Mommy gets Chinese a lot, because she can’t cook it.” I smiled. The little guy smiled back. He reminded me of my son when he was 4 years old. He liked to tell stories too. Not about Chinese food, but you get the gist.

The line went quickly. I smiled at the cashier gentleman. I told him that he was very quick with check out and I appreciated that he was smiling and in a good mood even though he was swamped. He laughed. He said, “I expected that we’d we busy, just not this early!”

I got everything stashed and packed in the mini van. I did not drop anything…no cans rolled under the van. Not that, that happens to me. Purely, hypothetical. On the way home I did hear a loud crash and looked to see that a sack of soups fell off the seat and rolled around on the floor near the van’s side door. I’m so lucky. Now when I open the van door, all the cans will roll out into the driveway. Sigh. I don’t get paid enough for this wife/mom gig. Just sayin’.

The weather people are calling for a monster storm. Snow. Sleet. Freezing Rain. High winds. Some states. even getting tornadoes. Just watch. All this shopping and standing in line and we, here in rural Ohio, probably will end up with an inch of snow. That would be my luck. Whatever. At least I have enough hot chocolate and chips to last the family and me until 2012.

Oh, and by the way, I also have sweet smelling candles to burn…just in case the electricity goes out. (due to ice) We might all be sitting in the dark but, at least it will smell good. Then again apple, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice scented candles might make us hungry. That’s where the excessive amounts of chips and salsa comes in. A mom always plans ahead.

Just Give Me Chips And Salsa

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

Image via Wikipedia

I am having a massive brain drain today. I didn’t get much sleep last night and have been busy at church, all day. What happened to the times when I could stay up late at night and actually function the next day? Long gone, let me tell you.

Currently, I am not able to put two coherent sentences together, and yet here I sit on my bed just typing away!  I’ve written a couple of sentences and had about 50 typos. I went back and read what I had typed and thought to myself, “What is this? A foreign language?” So, in case I miss any of my typos please overlook them. It’s difficult to type when one’s eyes are beginning to cross and focusing becomes near impossible.

So, here in Ohio we are to be getting a big snow/ice/sleet storm this Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ve been keeping track of it, considering I am a weather geek and all. This means only one thing.

I MUST GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. I needed to go anyway but have been sort of putting it off.  Now, faced with a HUMONGOUS winter storm and possible stir craziness from being stuck inside for days at a time, I MUST  go shopping  tomorrow. Me and everyone else on God‘s green earth. I hate shopping anyway…much less when every Tom, Dick, and Harry is out buying bread and milk. That has always cracked me up. People hear a storm is coming and run to get milk, bread and eggs. If one is stuck inside, how much can be made with milk, bread, and eggs? I on the other hand get REAL survival food. Hot chocolate mix, baking goods, and pizza. I mean come on, that is so much better if you’ve got nothing better to do than sit around and look outside the window at the blizzard. By the way, if the electricity goes out, one can still eat chips and salsa by candlelight. Just sayin’.

 

 

The World Is Going Loco!

Drug War from my window

Image by guillermogg via Flickr

This morning I read a sad story about a mother in depression. Her husband is deployed….she shot her 2 teenage children and was going to then kill herself. Two teenagers dead, a mother in prison. A military man coming home to a family that no longer exists. Heartbreaking.

There are law enforcement officers being intentionally shot practically every day this past week.  What about the guy in Detroit who just walked in the police station and started shooting? Men and women who choose to put themselves in dangers way, on the front lines of all the craziness…..to serve and protect us. Who protects them?

A bank robber in Maryland, using an innocent bystander as a human shield. She didn’t wake up that morning knowing that she could possibly be killed by some madman.

The Mexican drug cartel, shooting and killing a missionary, as she and her husband ran for the border. Turns out the drug runners wanted the couples new truck. To the cartel a person’s life is of no value.

Multiple people killed in Egypt as the protests continues. A country in chaos.

Our world has gone insane. I know there have always been crazy, clinically depressed, or suicidal people among us. When people aren’t thinking straight they do unbelievable things. Those are just a few circumstances, but it seems like there is more and more rampant evil running amok…living among us.

Doesn’t it seem like the world is running at full tilt, straight to utter chaos? Straight to it’s total demise?

I turn on the news anymore and I want to cry. It makes me want to pull my family close to me and slam the front door shut…keep the world at bay. It is a scary place out there. I know one shouldn’t stay focused on all that…..but, pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t the answer either.

Sorry, that this post is depressing…but, sometimes that is just the way it is.

 

Blam Baby! You’re Caught.

Mouse Trap, the game

Image by cote via Flickr

The end of the mouse story….for now.

This is how the whole macabre scene went down.

Nikki saw her opportunity and pounced. She got the mouse in her mouth and carried it off to the front foyer. I watched. She was looking for someplace to drop it. The mouse was still alive. She pawed it and got it in her mouth again. The mouse ended up getting loose. At this point I had the broom in hand. The mouse ran behind the bag of dog food. I swatted it out the other side where Nikki was waiting. The mouse saw Nikki and did a 360 in the middle of the floor. My daughter and son came running when they heard their mother scream. We cornered the mouse, but for having nearly lost his life with Nikki, he was still very quick.

At this point the mouse was scared out of his wits and came charging (can a mouse charge?) right at me. I let out an ear piercing scream and gave him the smack down with the kitchen broom. It temporarily stunned him, but before any of us could do anything, he shook it off and ran into the dining room behind the piano. Oh great! We scooted the piano out and he ran into the half bath, under the sink.

At this point my daughter checked out the bathroom and spotted him behind the trash can. He then ran under the sink cabinet and my son and daughter cornered him under there. Billy the Exterminator would be so proud. I’m so glad we home school so my kiddos could learn strategy this morning. How to trap a mouse under the bathroom sink 101. After about 10 minutes of manipulating the glue and spring traps and waiting him out…the mouse tried to make a dash, only to be caught fast in the glue.

Daughter took the mouse and trap outside to let him loose in the wild—-away from the house! He probably had a nervous breakdown and will most assuredly have a limp, but at least he is outside. He has a second chance…or third? ……or fourth? at life. He better take it and run far, far away. Next time he might not be so lucky! If I had my way he would be in mouse heaven right now. Just sayin’.

It’s Behind The Refrigerator!

RSPCA cat & mouse

Image by Jo and Paul's pics via Flickr

The saga continues…

I came out to the kitchen this morning, flipped on the lights and turned the coffee pot on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the “dark shadow” zip behind the refrigerator. As I came around the corner of the cabinets I saw Nikki sitting there like a statue. Her eyes glued to the small area around the fridge. She heard it too. She wanted it. She licked her chops.

I hear it moving around behind the refrigerator. It has to come out eventually. Nikki will be waiting. Hopefully. I hope she doesn’t give up when we let the dog out (in 10 min.) to use the bathroom. Lonnie is always so energetic in the morning, he might distract Nikki from her job.

Have I mentioned that I hate mice? Seriously.

What if that varmint had run across my foot when I opened the refrigerator door this morning? I would have had a screaming heart attack. The family would have shot out of bed sure that the world was coming to an end….and for me if would have. I would have been laying dead as a doornail on the kitchen floor.

Nikki repositioned…the mouse is now behind the freezer. (We have separate standing refrigerator/freezer) I can hear the little sucker. I think he is watching me type through the vent in the bottom of the freezer, under the door. I thought I heard a snicker.

He’s probably scared. Poor little field mouse can’t find his way out of this crazy house, big cat waiting on him to make the wrong move, owner of house threatening him bodily harm and laughing manically. Whatever. This war is still on…’cause I’m still thinking about how much mouse poop is probably behind my fridge. Stupid, mouse.

There Is Always Quiet Before The Storm…

Laboratory mouse

Image via Wikipedia

It is Thursday evening, 7:3o EST, at my house……and it is DEATHLY QUIET.

I am not used to this. I can’t even really enjoy the quiet because I am so unnerved by it. My family has trained me that if it is this quiet, something must be going on. It makes me wonder. I have various scenarios playing in my mind right now. Scary ones.

I just heard scratching.

It’s just me and the mice in the attic. I DO hear the furry little vermin up there. As for my other mouse on the loose in the house. Still haven’t found him. He could be anywhere. Our house is like mouse heaven for hiding places. There is no telling where he is at…or if his near death experience in Joe’s mouth the other day caused him to run for the hills. I hope he doesn’t come back with a bunch of his extended family. Just sayin’.