Faith, motherhood

Beautiful flowers from a beautiful little girl…


The faith of a child also shows the innocence of a child.

My dear 7 year old daughter decided to buy these beautiful carnations for me, “…just because, Mommy.” How many people have the simple mindset of unconditional love like that? I know that I struggle with giving to others. It is not that I don’t want to give, but sometimes I put so much pressure on myself that I begin to worry what others will think of the gift that I plan to give them. How silly is that? My little girl did not think twice about her effort or idea of giving; she just put her mind in motion and did it. Spontaneous? Yes. But, she did think through her actions.

I could learn some lessons from my daughter, that’s for sure. I would love to “let go” of the millions of thoughts that swirl through my head, and just be free in my actions and my words. I don’t want to be careless, but I want to be less burdened by the incessant voice of conscience (good vs. evil) in my mind.

I will cherish these flowers as long as they are living in my vase. I will use each opportunity of admiration as one of encouragement as well. Be a little spontaneous, be more generous, reach out in love.


A place of perfect serenity…

20130724-191445.jpgThis is what I look forward to when I make my way back to my childhood stomping grounds: Beautiful Corona Del Mar State Beach in Southern California! I don’t get to visit here as often as I would like, but when I do, I am in total awe of the magnificence and beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

I live in a land-locked state that receives very little rain. So, any amount of water, whether it is from the sky or even a man-made lake, is welcoming to my soul. I think this is why I miss the ocean so much. The vastness and endless blue water seems to drown out my parched spirit.

The Bible is full of references to water. Water is life; water is cleansing; water is pure. Water is what makes up 70% of the world’s surface, and ironically, that same percentage is what we have in our bodies, too!

Water puts life back into something that is drying out. But, we must be careful, for too much water can be deadly. There must always be a delicate balance with water.

Above is a picture-perfect day at the ocean. It is a gentle reminder of a picture-perfect Creator, who designed this world with such beauty that I cannot do much more than just soak in that beauty. Thank you, Lord, for these sweet simple reminders of your faithfulness and love.

Health, Woman

3 survival tools for a woman: a cup, a chip, and a pill

20130724-191622.jpgIt would be a lie if I didn’t tell you that I take drugs. Yes, it’s this little oval pill that I call my “happy” pill. I also consume a daily cup of a legal stimulant that contains caffeine. And, yes, there’s a sweet little cacao bean that helps in a pinch when I can’t have the other two substances.

Yesterday was one of “those” days.

I was a woman on a rampage, and not a mission. I have my hormones to thank for that. “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman” is not only a line in a song, but it is OH SO TRUE! I felt so out of control, and all I could do was eat, whine, and be frumpy.

This is not a pretty picture of myself. I shouldn’t publicly declare my indecencies. But, I know as a human being, and especially as a woman, I am NOT alone. Every day, somewhere in this world, is a woman who is going through what I went through yesterday.

Thank goodness for a new day! I woke up this morning to a refreshing sunny day, and I took the time to put myself together enough to face the new day. I made sure I put in a 3 mile power walk before the heat of summer commenced!

I made a pot of coffee (just enough for me), I drank my morning energy shake/smoothie, and I even made a balanced breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, toast, and milk for my girl. I only ate the eggs, though.

Some days are just like that. You wake up, and there’s no warning signal. There are good days, and there are bad days. There are girly hormones that make you want to throw a fit (and that’s a gentle description). There are sunny days and cloudy days that drive your sinuses crazy. Some days are just not a good fit. But, most days are better.

So, in the midst of misery, I found my solace in a cup of comforting caffeine, a handful of chocolate chips, or in a little oval pill. I should have stopped everything, though, and just fallen on my face in prayer. But, I did doing some praying later. Oh yes, and I made a phone call to a dear friend ~ every woman needs a good girlfriend who completely understands her.

Can you guess what I’ll do the next time I find myself on a rampage? Well, hopefully, that won’t happen in the near future… but you can bet that I’ll have a cup, a chip, and a pill nearby to smooth out the edges and pull me away from the proverbial ledge of emotional despair.

PS – I am willing to give out a hug today 🙂

Education, Reflection, Woman

Vintage is in my blood


This little book has been far more valuable to me than I ever would have guessed on the day that I purchased it.

I had been on a lunch date with my husband, and then we decided to wander in the local bookstore across the street from his office. I wandered upstairs to the second level, and as I was waiting on my daughter (one of her many bathroom visits) I noticed this little book staring at me.

I picked it up and realized that I needed to purchase it. I had never heard of this title before, let alone the author’s name. But, something about the picture lured me to buy it. I was hesitant at first, but soon I realized that it would become a treasure to my soul.

I started to read the book, and I was finished within a week. There wasn’t anything spectacular about the novel per say; there were no vampires or children killing each other in the wilderness to satisfy Panem. It may or may not ever be a best seller, but it is invaluable to me for many reasons.

You see, the first time I read the book, I was caught up in the “idea” of vintage. I liked that the setting was in North Carolina; I enjoyed the main character’s role of being an “almost-college-graduate” who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to attain in her world. But, the biggest thing that I overlooked in the first reading was why the story took place: the main character, Dora, has a beloved grandma named Mimi, who suffers a stroke.

Exactly one week after I finished reading this novel for the first time, my own dear mother had a stroke. This type of stroke was the same type that Mimi had in the novel. But, my mother’s stroke was almost instantly fatal. As I realized this unusual similarity between the novel and my own life, I realized that this book was more than just reading for recreation.

This book has become a source of revelation, or rather, a source of healing for my spirit. Since it is never expected for a loved one to pass away so suddenly, the shock is completely incomprehensible, unexplainable, and shattering to the core. Just as Dora found out about her grandma’s stroke and had to endure the inevitable choice to let her grandma go, I had to do the same with my own mother.

In the month that my mom’s life has ended, I have picked up this book on an almost daily basis, and read a chapter or two to help my soul. There are no magical words or feelings that actually “heal” my emotional wounds, but just knowing that this was the final book I read before my mom passed has helped me to connect with that exact moment of her final days with me.

I do not believe in coincidence, so this book was definitely positioned to be in the right place at the right time. God knew that I would be eating lunch with my husband on that particular day, and that we would be wandering through the bookstore, too. He knew that I would be dealing with my daughter’s seemingly incessant need to relieve herself in a public restroom, and that this book would be strategically located right next to the restroom.

Yes, vintage is in my blood. I love all things that are old fashioned, express beauty, and are girly. I love that this book is about vintage clothes in a boutique shop in North Carolina, which was my mom’s birthplace. I love that this book was about enduring love between a grandma and her only granddaughter, whom she raised.

My mom would be proud that I am embracing the beauty of vintage. Nostalgia helps me to retain what I have experienced, and vintage is a classic reminder to continually embrace the beloved things that have made me who I am today. Thank you, mom, for installing this love of old fashioned style and grace in me. I will always love you.