Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Would You Respond?

Most of you that read my blog posts either directly through blogspot, email or via Facebook are either moms or know of a mom to whom this would apply and would LOVE your feedback in the bottom comment box below once you finish reading this post.

Let me start off with a slight recap of just how this weekend went, after spending a week being a "single parent" since hubby has been traveling to San Francisco for a work related project. On the heels of being what I could call "Do it all for you Mommy!" I find myself, overly tired, cranky, and barely able to concentrate to figure out where does the milk go? Oh yeah, I forgot not the cupboard, but the refrigerator!

Who knows what I'll find when I go searching for something I may have inadvertently "put away" this week! Yet, I press on. But after the weekend arrived, something I so desperately wait for because it means some of my "required" work, like home schooling and taking the kids to their after school activities, I can get a break. But ha! That's where the humor comes in. I scheduled a hair appointment after receiving a gift certificate almost a month ago for my birthday and my oldest daughter asks me if I am excited to "get away" to get my hair done. I stared at her and I'm not even sure if I blinked or not and said, "No not really because at this point it feels like an item on my already too full "To Do List."

She smiled and attempted to explain her point further to me, " Well if it were me, I would so be enjoying all that pampering and couldn't wait to spend some time getting my hair done!"

I'm not sure I blinked again. Seriously??

This is from someone whose idea of being busy is an overly full social calendar and having to choose between which she would rather do, head to Disneyland mid week or attend a late night movie premiere with her boyfriend and cousin?

I don't think I need to explain as all the moms know where this is probably headed.

I'm not sure what to think of the generation that now lies before us. The one's who fail to see that living at home rent free, bill free and having most of your meals provided for you whenever you make it home. The one's who wonder just who left that towel on the living room floor but won't stop to pick it up because it wasn't them who left it there. Here's an example of our frustrated conversation over who left out a can of orange soda,(mind you, it's still cold, so it has to be someone who is still in the house currently!)

Me: Hey guys? Who's Orange soda is this on the kitchen counter?

Oldest Daughter: Which can? (There is only one can of soda on the counter, so I politely point to the exact item in question)

Me: That one!

Old Daughter: Not mine. (and walks away).

Me: (trying not to roll my eyes and not shout) Hey! Who's can of soda is this?

No answer but the other two teens in my house continue to ignore me and keep playing with their phones.

Me: (now physically picking up the can and walking the soda can over to them and ask again, trying not to raise my voice) Does this belong to any of you?

They all look at me, the soda can, shake their heads no and go back to playing their games on their phones.

This time I think the eye rolling works because I bump into the counter on my way back into the kitchen to dispose of the can of soda.

It appears to me that unless I specifically inform my household what I want done, it won't get done. No one will do laundry unless it's their own laundry. Towels remain on the bathroom floor and people come and go in my house at all hours of the day.

I find myself not needing to work out anymore because as I explained (not so nicely) to my hubby that I can stay so busy enough, picking stuff up and cleaning up after everyone that I don't have a minute of free time. I can literally clean one room walk away to work on something else and come back to a mess that "no one" made!

It is during this time I can tell, God's calling me to walk away. Head toward the hills and escape for some quiet time. The major signal for me that this time is coming is that I can't deal with two things happening at the same time, for example the television on and someone talking. It really grinds on my nerves the ones that I have left that is.

If I don't get away for some serious ALONE time, I will evidently break down and cry. This is a clear sign to me that Mom is empty and in need of replenishment. Today was no exception either, on the tail end of a rough weekend I wake up to find hubby's first initial flight out was cancelled and he had to rebook his flight out this morning. My oldest daughter and her boyfriend made plans to head to Big Bear to visit with his grandparents and I'm left home alone once again to handle the weight of running a busy household of 5 while hubby is gone. Calgon doesn't even offer an escape plan.

So while hubby is phoning me from a busy airport telling me his flight is delayed for 4 hours, the kids are running in and out of the shower before I even have a chance to get in, thus a cold shower for mom. At the end of proverbially rope this morning I find this in my devotional:

"The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat." ~ Mark 6:30-31

My question that was posed to me during my Faith Step was simply this, Imagine Jesus is saying to you: "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." How will you respond?

My answer: Lead the way!!

I think the point is that as moms we have a tendency to commit to our own ministries of taking care of our families to the point we have nothing left to offer when we collapse in bed at midnight. We have to remember that while Jesus calls us to serve, he also calls us to rest. So don't feel guilty for taking a nap, a time out, a quiet moment to just be still and refresh and let God renew you and refill you to overflowing. What would that look like in your life?

I'd love to hear your answers and anxiously await the end of my busy day to rest and lay my head down and just listen to God sing me to sleep tonight.

Prays appreciated my dearest friends. Not to mention I found out that my hubby's aunt lapsed into a diabetic coma yesterday on top of our snow ball express!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrating First Day of Spring 2012

Little did I remember when I awoke this morning besides being another beautiful Southern California sunny day, that it was the first official day of Spring for 2012. Spring is a great time of year because it shows us of God's plan for resurrection. Just when we think things are dead and asleep for the winter, spring comes along and reminds us that only God determines what is final. Spring provides renewal and hope despite what things may have looked like before, dismal, lost, unbelief, grief and even death.

Spring shows us that God will renew everything again, that there will come a time, when things look to be their absolute darkest and then God will turn the light on situations and reveal the beauty in it all. I thought I would share some of my pictures I captured today with you along with my favorite scriptures that I hope will inspire you and give you hope that this is just a temporary stop in life for believers. We are just passing through on our way to our eternal home. Heaven awaits!

"it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy." ~ Isaiah 35:2a

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. ~ Matthew 6:28

I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” ~ Psalm 77:12

"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land." ~ Song of Solomon 2:12

"Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy." ~ Psalm 96:12

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" ~ Matthew 6:26

Happy First Day of Spring 2012!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Getting Ready To Write A Book!

I've longed for the day when inspiration will finally hit and I can begin my dream of writing a book. Every time I've ever shared anything I've written from a simple email, to a song, poem or short story, I've been told that I should write a book. Even my husband teases me that I should hurry up and write a book so he can quit his job and we both can work from home. Ha!

I guess for me the answer is always, I'm waiting on God's calling, and for the life of me, I've been waiting for some kind of divine inspiration or a desire to be able to just sit down and write. But I have been also thinking lately, that God's given me the gift to tell a story, the ability to write or type and time to do it, so I'm thinking, He's sitting back just asking me, "Well what are you waiting for?"

So now I just need to consider what to write. The advice I've always heard was write what you know or perhaps I need to do a bit of research. I've had the wonderful opportunity over the last three years to share the love of reading what other amazing and talented authors have been writing and now I am preparing myself for that giant leap forward.

The best part of writing in the "Christian" genre, is that I've met some incredible authors who are more than willing to help me on my writing path. These are the author's I've admired and whose genre's are the same for what I'm leaning to in regards to what I feel like writing. So as I prepare to take that leap this summer, and finalize all the 7th grade home school work I'm tackling for now, I'd love to hear your thoughts from my readers on what you think? I've been writing on and off on my blog for almost 4 years now and would love to know what books speak to your heart?

I used to be able to say that my favorite genre books were Historical Fictions, Amish Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, all within the Christian genre, but lately I've been so exposed over the years to many amazing and talented authors I would never had the opportunity to read if I stuck to my comfort zone.

I guess my challenging question besides just begin writing the book is what are some things to be concerned about and how does one go about being published?

I look forward to your comments and suggestions as I begin my undertaking and will be blogging about it every step of the way. Hoping you are all having a simply wonderful weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

RIP Toshie Man - Prayers Needed!

Oh how I am so sad and melancholy today! It's been just 48 hours since the passing of our young cat, Tosh that died suddenly on March 3rd, my birthday of all days. While Facebook was supposed to make me feel better with all the updates of birthday wishes and blessings that day, it was a bittersweet day, one spent filled with tears and grief.

So how could this happen so unexpectedly and where were all the answers to the questions of why? Well let me go back and fill you in a bit more. This will also help when I need to look back on the day and hopefully not feel as sad and lonely as I do today.

We woke up Saturday morning at about 7:00am with my oldest daughter promptly waking us up to tell us that something was wrong with Tosh and that he wasn't moving. I vaguely recall hearing one of the cats meowing just before she came in and thought they must have had a conflict over something. We both raced out of bed to find him just laying on his side just inside her door, not moving at all. We called out to him and tried to revive him, tried moving his head or legs to see if perhaps he had had a stroke, but his eyes remained unmoving and his mouth was open. It was then that my husband noticed he wasn't breathing any longer. He tried to give the cat mouth to mouth while my daughter watched just crying, hoping that something might help. After a few moments, he said he's still not breathing and we both realized, he had passed away. The only thing I could think of as we continued to stroke his super soft fur was "Oh please no! Not Tosh!" The only thing I can think of is that he must have had heart failure because it was so sudden, even though he never had any breathing problems or was diagnosed at a young age.

I looked over to my daughter and sadly told her I believe he has died and watched her run down stairs to get her boyfriend and then the crying began for all of us. Our youngest daughter woke up to us all crying and we had to unfortunately tell her the same thing.

Oh what a day to begin with. We carried him downstairs and wrapped him in his favorite blanket and placed him in a box and buried him. The kids made memorials and brought him flowers. Even though I know he didn't suffer, doesn't make the loss any easier to bear. The only thing we know for certain, I believe, is that we will see him again.

I mean God created animals for us in the Garden and it certainly doesn't seem like he would allow them to die for us to never see them again. They certainly are his creation and I don't believe God would allow His creation to never exist again. God also went through the provisions of making sure that one of each animal would be allowed on the ARK even though he planned on destroying the world. He wanted them to gone on. That is my hope certainly and one I desperately cling to even today.

But for me, this is my first loss of a pet and definitely one I didn't see coming. I am grieving so hard for the cat who made my life a whole lot more richer just by him being here. Even at only 3, I have to hold on to the fact, I had him for 3 years to love and adore. He made our lives a better place by being in it. As a rescue kitten from the pound, he gave us all his unconditional love. He loved Johnson's baby lotion and if you put it on your hands, he would lovingly grab them and try to like and nuzzle your hands.

He was also fond of chocolate. He loved smelling it and we had to make sure at all costs, he didn't eat any, although he loved scooping them out of the candy dishes and even found him licking an M & M at one point. He loved to jump up on my vanity in the bathroom as I got ready for the day and loved for me to brush his face with the round brush. Not only that, each time we opened our mini blinds and curtains in our bedroom, he was the first to jump to the top of our headboard and check out the view til we were done.

He gave us his all every single day and now there is such an empty hole where he used to be. One of my Facebook followers commented that the hardest thing to do, is see where they used to sleep and realize they are not there. How true that statement is! We would find him sleeping on our loveseat on his blanket just looking out the window or curled up on my pillow on my side of the bed if you went looking.

If you called him, he would float down our stairs and wait for you on the landing. He loved to be outside, whenever we would take him out and let him wander in our back yard garden. He loved sleeping under blankets or simply lay in the windows.

Oh how I look around our house and feel the emptiness here. The worst part is our other cat Bella seems to be searching for him. They were as close as a brother and sister could be because we adopted them at the same time so they grew up together. You can almost sense her deep sadness and she has been meowing for him and searching for him under the blankets where he used to be.

So today I ask for your prayers for not only myself and our family but also for Bella, his sister that each day will find hope again and the sadness with gradually decrease. We've all been asking God for help during this time and it seems like He is silent even though I know deep in my heart He isn't. We need sleep and are plagued by the morning of his passing each night as we try to sleep. I am hoping it gets better and again thank you in advance for your prayers.

Rest in Peace, Kitty Soft Paws in Jesus' loving arms! You will be missed deeply!May you wander in God's heavenly gardens until we are all reunited one day!