It Has Been Far Too Long

Today marks exactly four months since I have posted. That is far too long.

I just celebrated my 51st birthday this past week. I am still not quite sure how I feel about being 51, not that I have much choice about my age. The saying about time not stopping for anyone is true. Although some of my days have seemed long, the years have moved swiftly.

There are things that I am passionate about, and other things that mean very little to me. Over the years I’ve learned to be more mindful of what I say and do in my daily life. I actually attempt to slow down and ask myself, “Is this important? Is is relevant to me? Will it make a positive difference?” And yes, long before I ever heard of Marie Kondo, I’d ask if this action is bringing me joy? With that being said, I am going to share some of those parts of my life that matter.

  1. People matter. Relationships. Talking with my husband. Cards from my mom. Texts from my sister that make me laugh. Watching my kids as young adults, making decisions. Grandchildren that I would do anything for. Coffee with a friend. Smiles from complete strangers. Listening to other’s stories. Responding to people. Hearing them. Really seeing them. This network of people that hold the strings of life together.
  2. Time is valuable. What do I choose to spend my time on? Finally realizing after all these years that it is okay to take time for me, to relax. To be quiet. To read. To just breathe. It is not a waste of time to do nothing in particular. Some days that is the best way to spend valuable minutes.
  3. My relationship with Jesus. Not just a church icon. Not the Sunday School picture version of Jesus. Not church ritual or a holiday necessity. Jesus, the only Son of the living God. The One who knows me by name and sees me in both my good and my bad and loves me. I am reminded of what it means to be a follower of Christ. It is not always easy, in fact most times it is not easy. People laugh. They shake their heads. I want to see them as Christ does, people drowning in their own selves, not even aware of their need for a Savior, but loving them anyway. Years ago I was that person. In a broken world, full of hurting people, I need to be light in the darkness.
  4. Do my passions align with my time is valuable? Relationships are important? Following Jesus? I don’t want to waste myself on things that don’t really matter. I give my time to advocacy for those with disabilities, bringing awareness to human trafficking/sex trafficking especially of minors, education and research on vaccines and medical freedom, and teaching children how to be lifelong learners. I will never be rich from my passions, but these things definitely light up my spirit. What things make you a warrior?

No matter your age, what are some things that make your life better?

When Life Threatens To Bust Me Wide Open

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The things meant to sustain us, are often the things that drain us…

Some days break me. Crack me wide open. I feel exhausted and moody. Eeyore has nothing on me. You all know what I’m saying. We’ve all been there.

It is not one thing in particular, but many small things that chip away at me. The cat puked on the couch. My grand daughter is not interested in hugs and kisses this morning, even when I desperately need her sweetness. My students are not into the lessons I am trying to teach. I am pouring myself into the Revolutionary War and all I get in return is a blank stare. My college classes are drowning me in assignments that I try to squeeze into the cracks of my otherwise hectic life, and my resentment toward my <innocent> professor grows. I am behind in typing my home school summaries. (Parents, please forgive me!) Messes I didn’t make. Muck I didn’t create. And Misunderstandings that I hate.  Life is hard. And all I really want to do is curl up in a blanket, read a book and forget about schedules, deadlines, and craziness.

Just when I was feeling like I was going under for the third time, and life was looking bleak, my husband reminded me of something. He said, “Dawn, remember your one thousand gifts. Remember your practice of writing all your blessings”.  “Yes”, I barely whisper. Blessings. Things that God chooses to gift me with. All the small but great. The subtle but sensational. The soft, and wonderful and silly. I write on the good days, to sustain me through the bad ones. To remind me through the hard. The jagged and broken. On those days when I am fragile and cry over running out of green tea.

When life threatens to bust me wide open, or worse when it punctures me leaving a slow leak of joy….emptying me. I will choose joy.

Today I choose joy. I choose life. I choose to be thankful.

*Rainy Saturdays *Cool Fall-like weather *September *Fall is on the way! *Sleeping in *Wearing leggings and an oversized t-shirt (comfy clothes) *Reading my Chasing Slow book *Quiet house *A husband who loves me even when I feel unlovable *Safety for my children *A grand daughter that turned one a few days ago. *Excellent lab results *The smell of coffee brewing. *A God who whispers to me, calming my soul. *Friends *Second, and third, and fourth chances at getting things right. *Smiles *A new haircut *Old quilts * Dog licks *Netflix *Dancing to music in the kitchen *Gluten-free pizza *Family *Texts from my sister *Laughing

 

25 Things My Mother Taught Me

I don’t know who originally wrote this list, but it is pretty funny.

Happy Mother’s Day!

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.

“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me about GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE

“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”