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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

I got home a little after midnight from a long but happy day at work. I was fortunate enough to end my day with a Mr Holland’s moment from two of my tutors. I did not realize until after they gave me those wonderful moments how much I needed those moments.

I said hello to my sons, to my husband, and to my dog. The cats ignored me as they typically do. It was a good day at work and I had fun. It felt like a day at work from a couple of years ago, full of fun, but also productive.

And my older son said he was happy that I had fun at work today. He said he knew I had been sad at work lately and was happy that today was fun. He told me I should enjoy work. He then gave me very wise advice. He said choose a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life. And now I have to Google if it really was Confucius who said that, since that’s what the eleven year old claimed.

Okay, it is typically attributed to Confucius, but there are some raging debates that it couldn’t have been him. We’ll let it lie. Because it’s already out there.

I haven’t quite been sad at work, but it’s hard to explain to my sons without making them worry. There has been a lot going on within the boys’ lives and so it’s been very tricky to balance it all. My heart has wanted to be at home when they are home, but that’s not how the job description reads. I’m fortunate-I can take time off as I need to in order to handle much of what is going on. But I still worry while I’m at work.

I know, I know, worrying gets you nowhere. But I’m a mom. And tonight I’m a grace-filled mom and wife who had a fun day at work.

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Grace Revisited

Grace…that elusive quality and energy and way of being that I continue to work toward.  Today grace filled me easily and I felt good throughout the day.  I lapsed a wee bit when I got home…pop tart on the comforter on the bed, really?  I stayed in my graceful mood and swept, dusted, and avoided bugging my sons.  Even as I tucked older son into bed and he jumped into a deep conversation about growing up, I stayed filled with grace.  I realized, thanks to the moments of grace, that he may have spent his entire day summoning up the strength and courage to talk to me about tonight’s topic.  Then again, he may have wanted to soften the blow and not get in too much trouble because yet again my two sons fought while brushing their teeth.  Perhaps I should have two sinks installed when we finally get around to redoing the bathroom.  But grace prevailed and older son and I had an awesome talk.

Younger son still thinks he can’t write.  We’re working on it.  Last night he was writing a thank you note and he became so frustrated and angry.  Grace stepped in and I didn’t lose my cool.  I kept finding the words to encourage him to try to write just one more word.  He wrote them all and I mailed the thank you note this morning.  He is embracing his comedic abilities this summer, but I hope he reigns them in when school begins again (in a mere six weeks! Ack!).  We worked on a puzzle tonight.  We’re going to write a story together tomorrow night.

Grace.  Always walking toward it.  Stepping in it more and more each day.

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I am thankful for Hubby.

I am thankful for oldest son and youngest son.

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my church.

I am thankful for friends.

I am thankful for our pets.

I am thankful for my job.

I am thankful for game night.

I am thankful for making even the smallest difference for someone.

I am thankful for exhaustion.

I am thankful for sleep.

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Quests.  I’ve written of them before and I am sure I will write of them in the future again.  Tonight, gentle reader, I write again of achieving simple quests as a part of simplicity and grace.  Challenges come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes you face really large ones and other times the quest is comprised of many little ones, gathering force from the quantity of them.

Work can provide plenty of challenges.  At this time of year, for me, it’s the sheer quantity of tasks that need to be completed yesterday that create quests.  Quests to finish even one task in one sitting!  Doesn’t ever happen but one can aspire to have that happen.  These quests are seasonal and will return again next fall.

The quests at home are more fun at the moment.  We are still working on the K’Nex.  It’s gigantic.  We have about 95 steps left till it’s complete.  It’s a quest with an end in sight and it’s fun.  The boys and I do a few steps every few days or so and we’re enjoying the journey…just as they’ll enjoy playing with it once it is finished.

A quest that seems to have connected with my sons is keeping up with their rooms.  It’s exciting!  They also have been helping with the other parts of the house.  Granted, younger son created a little village of fear in the living room today.  As I pulled into the driveway he was heading into the shed.  I asked what he was doing and he said he needed more Halloween decorations.  We compromised on using some decorations from the attic.  He even asked if he could keep it set up for a couple of days till he was done constructing it.  Then we’d take pictures and he would take it down.

As we closed the shed he asked if he could me with anything from the car.  I beamed.  I hugged him.  I misted up just a bit that he asked.  He carried in one my bags and reminded me that he is really strong so he could carry an even heavier one.

Simple events, each one.  And each filled my heart with grace.  Remember–life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.  Lennon was right.  Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while you could miss it.  Bueller was right too.

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“We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and X never, ever marks the spot.”  Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Indy is speaking about enjoying the journey because if you only follow the map and only pay attention to the stuff that is right in front of you, you’ll miss something.  He likes getting another perspective and this is often when pieces of the adventure fall into place.

This continues to be a struggle for me.  Enjoying the journey and not worrying so much about the destination is not my strong suit.  Perhaps because I have ended up in some strange places in my life.  Pretty normal places, really, but places I never expected myself to end up because it wasn’t “in the plan”.  I watch others sometimes and they seem so very content and do not demonstrate an obvious map to their lives.  The cliche of the grass is always greener comes to mind, and I fear, gentle reader, this post will may more cliches to follow.

I have a very nice life.  Why do I clutter it by worrying about silly stuff?  By seeking more than what I have already?  When will I come to realize that I am there…that very nice spot to sit and tarry a while?

Perhaps because I still feel a drive to do more within this world.  Hubby gave me two books for our anniversary (yep…I’m a nerd…books are a really good gift on all occasions and smart hubby picked up on this early in our 12 years together!).  One of them was about the butterfly effect and how every action you do has an impact somewhere, even if you don’t see it.  Makes sense he would give me a book about the butterfly effect.  First, he knows I’m grappling eternally with purpose in life and, as part of the chaos theory, the butterfly effect fits into our way of life.

I then wonder what butterfly effects could I be having?  Are they positive for the world, or I am sending out dismal influences that will haunt folks for generations to come?  By nature I am a worst case scenario-ist.  I have to go through all the worst possible end results to feel comfortable with a situation.  If I explore this idea of sending out the dismal stuff, I’ll work my way back to a more centered reality.

During this lunch, in which I hope there are no truly exotic foods, like in Temple of Doom, Indy and I would  talk about the digs, rights of the modern countries to archeological finds, and his uncanny ability to enjoy the journey.  Not only does he enjoy the journey, he does it with great style and in his own way.  One never really realizes how much you can learn about life from Indiana.  Ah, Dr. Jones, you chose wisely.

      Each day I hope I don’t choose poorly.

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Well, well, well, gentle readers.  I had a wonderful weekend.  We did so many things together yet nothing with a stringent schedule.  We just were together and doing things that made us happy.  Friday night Hubby and I went to a wedding and had good times, good times with family and friends.  The boys had their yard sale on Saturday morning.  Most of the money they made was because people thought it was sweet that young boys were having their own yard sale.  We put up the screen-gazebo and bought some new chairs for enjoying the outside with-happily they were even made in America.

We played air hockey, we went to church, we went to the baseball picnic.  We cuddled, we talked, we shared dreams.  The peace of the weekend was lovely.

Topic of the sermon on Sunday was about the idea of peace and being still.  As I wrote a few posts ago, peace comes in chaos.  Focus has been given to finding those moments of peace and it makes each day happier.  Humor also helps each day and this evening we were having fun with grammar.  My kind of fun!

I did throw my back out.  In my 41 and a half years I have never thrown my back out.  I attribute that to going to the chiropractor since I was 12.  Irony is oozing over this situation for me since I just celebrated ten years of marriage to my chiropractor.  Hubby was rubbing my feet last night and I fell asleep on the couch.  When I woke up at 5am to the joyful strains of the Brady Bunch, I got up to go to bed.  I grabbed the hand towels, the last bit of laundry in one of the baskets, and headed toward the bathroom.  I opened the door to the linen closet and bent slightly to place the towels on the shelf and out went my back.  The towels were the straw that threw out the camel’s back.

We had put up the gazebo, rearranged the family room, did multiple loads of laundry, and made several trips up and down the attic stairs.  My back said enough.  It hurt on the way to work, all day at work, and then on the ride home from work too.  Hubby worked on it and I’ll be taking some Advil PM.  I’ll stick some ice packs on it as I drift away to slumber land.

The moment of peace in this?  My sons making a date with me for tomorrow night to watch the newest Adventure Time on demand.  Youngest son asked me for the date and he acquiesced to letting oldest son join us.  Slumber land will be filled with sweet dreams of peaceful summer evenings.

                                                 

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I’ve been lucky enough to hear a wonderful tale a couple of times in church about what peace is.  My apologies if I miss a few details…but this is what I took from it.  My pastor told the tale (you may have heard it before) of someone creating an image of a peaceful moment and a man trying to create a picture of a calm and serene place.  Yet the picture he created (maybe painted…can’t recall details) that showed peace was a storm.  The peaceful part was a bird just being a bird in the storm, calm and ready to go with the flow.  Here is a depiction of the image titled “Peace in the Midst of the Storm”  by Jack E. Dawson:

As I continue my journey with simplicity, I find new moments of serenity within my day.  I imagine these moments are similar to that bird sitting calmly in the storm.  As we love to say, these are some crazy days.  They really are no more crazy than what generations before me dealt with, perhaps just a different crazy.  We keep our own peace marching forward in our family, trying not to overwhelm ourselves.  It’s been a big time of transition, taking things off of our plates.  We’ve done an okay job of it, I think, yet we still have kept the things that matter to us the most.

My sons, with all the boyhood activities, bring me peace each day.  Today the moment of serenity came in the form of two very sincere hugs and some quiet moments of conversation when I got home from class.  We only had a few moments since it was a night class, but it didn’t matter.  The moments were full of grace, simplicity, serenity, love.  I’ve had a warm fuzzy feeling all evening basking in the afterglow of those hugs.

Yes, once they were tucked into bed at 10:00pm, I ran errands to a store, came home and exercised while somewhat de-wrinkling the new curtains (what, the curtains?), and then took care of some laundry.  But here I sit, freshly showered after getting stinky exercising, with warm hugs still wrapped around me.

Calm in the storm.  Peace in the storm.  Simplicity and serenity swirling around my home.

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