Journey of thankfulness – He’s making a diamond out of me!

I am so blessed to live in the beautiful city of Encinitas.  While many states within our country are experiencing the teens in weather we are enjoying making sand castles at the beach.  On Monday I got to go to the beach with all of my grand children – it was so fun.  The sand glistened with little sparks that resembled diamonds, the ocean waves produced a steady rhythm which matched and calmed my heart and the scent of salt permeated my senses.   There is something about the beach that causes me to breathe more deeply filling my lungs with the salty air, my toes scrunch in the grains of sands hoping to find those glistening diamonds and I giggle as I run from those rhythmic waves.  It was such a fun day with six humans who bring my heart joy.

The song He is making diamonds out of us has brought a sense of peace to my being, kind of the same I get when I spend some time at the beach.  The words allow me to breathe more deeply knowing that even though things are not well the most wonderful there is a purpose . . . . He is making a diamond out of me – He is refining me and producing a diamond.  Refining isn’t fun it is downright well YUCK!  But the outcome is always good – being crushed by love to uncover the hidden beauty and capabilities within me.  He is making diamonds . . . . . out of me!

 

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Thankfulness

*Hearing Jax sing during his nap “He’s making diamonds out of us”

*Experiencing the beach with six hearts I love

*Getting to see the mom whose beautiful daughter I got to babysit.  I cannot believe she is entering Kindergarten soon.

*Sunshine and gorgeous weather

*the ability to read

*a long term sub position – it is different but it will be good

* the beach and it’s beauty

*Handals ice cream – it is a dream

*laughter

*my pillow

*tea from London

* the sound of water fountains

*hugs

*having toddlers hands wrap around my neck saying Gaga I love you.

*Piper recognized me when I came in

* He’s making a diamond out of me!!!!

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The act of gratefulness

26731206_1768580663206743_3026569247014174787_nThis picture sadly makes me smile.   And then it made me think . . . the act of being grateful.  All three kids have an ice cream cone, they were equal; however, one chose to give a lick to another and it appears one was extremely upset that they did not get a lick. They were jealous . . . . how many times have I had the same opportunities and yet when someone else received a little something extra I have a ahhhh poor Nancy didn’t get a lick of someone’s ice cream cone.  I know I have been jealous of others getting jobs (even though I have been praying for one for a long time), people whose husband stand in worship and mine sits at home (I’ve been praying for a long long time), and seeing others have these great friendships and relationships.  Instead of crying – I need to be grateful for the ice cream cone in my hand.

Gratefulnees

*Set a fire down in my soul – it was the last song sung at church – I wish it were the first – this song is such a prayer in my thirsty soul

*having a one on one date with my little Charlize – we skipped, played on swings, put our toes in the sand, and ate lunch out

* meeting some very special friends for lunch (the sandwiches were so delicious) but this relationship means so very much to my soul

*my husband took me to the beach – he knows how much I love it there – it calms my being

*while we were at the beach we saw several dolphins playing in the water and two whales.  The wonders that God created in this Earth

* absolutely GORGEOUS weather today

*pizza delivered ~ yeah it was delicious!!!

*glass of wine during sunset

*iced tea today was fabulous

*being grateful helps my attitude

*a friend took a piece of furniture that well . . . was no longer needed in our little home.  It was a gift from my daddy so I was thankful it was going into loving hands.  She refinishes furniture and she will make it gorgeous and take good care of it.

*the art of sewing, my mama taught me.  It’s a lost art I feel.

*bubble baths are the best

*being able to read . . . . I love reading novels that allow me escape

*the passion that is within my heart to teach, some day I hope to have that dream be a reality

Journey of thankfulness

The journey of thankfulness can sometimes be hard.  This picture made me smile.  I took it while I was doing my student teaching.  img_1507

I did a lesson which a little on the wild side.  I had 30+ first graders get to create their own under water creatures.   The glee of excitement on these kids faces is one I will never forget.  The room was filled with complete chaos and I loved it.  Each student was filled with creativity, supplies, and excitement.  I am thankful for this moment.

Today I am thankful for the desire to read – I’m reading a suspense novel presently and I am really enjoying it.   Thankful for the eyes I have to do so.

Thankful three little monkeys went to bed easily and listened well.

Thankful for salad dressing, makes eating salad a little more enjoyable. Thankful for tea – it comforts my soul

Thankful my mommie taught me to sew – I enjoy it.

Thankful my husband made room in his office for me to have a little room to play.

Thankful for Princess Warriors – you know who you are – thankful for prayers

Thankful for a precious friend who holds zero judgement over me being negative nancy. Thank you for being there and your prayers.

Thankful for a warm cozy blanket

Thankful for my three amazing daughters – they love me

Thankful for the renewing one day of my faith, joy, strength, passion and mind

Thankful for bath and body candles, they smell divine

Thankful for bubble baths that some how allow me to escape

Thankful for opal apples – they taste so good.   If you have never had one you should

Thankful for tears – they cleanse my being

Thankful for a teaching job that some day I may have

Thankful for puppy dog kisses – they truly are the best

Thankful for rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developing a heart of gratitude

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Developing a heart of gratitude is not always easy thing to do but I truly believe having a heart of gratitude changes my perspective.

Gratitudes for today

*hot tea

*morning kisses from my husband

*breakfast with the trio

*Sawyer helped me make scrambled eggs

*shopping with my Danielle and baby Piper, it was a success!!!!  Merry Christmas

*Lunch which also served as dinner

*candles

*sound of silence

*the love of reading – it always me to escape reality

*Murphy kisses after being gone all day

*I live in Encinitas

*thankful for wonderful parents, great brothers and their wives

*I have absolutely amazing daughters and they chose good hubbies

* I have another long-term sub interview tomorrow (not exactly what I dreamed but . . .)

*a glass of wine

*bubble baths

*Danielle gave me some lentils . . . trying out a new recipe

*taste buds. . . I love to savor my food

*Thankful for the memories embedded upon my heart today.

 

Broken crayon = renew

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Broken crayons still color some great pictures.   Of late I have felt like so many parts of my life are like broken crayons, the good news is broken crayons or broken portions of my life can still be useful and make beautiful pictures.  My word that the Lord gave me for 2018 is renew.   I realize through this word so many portions of my life are broken and need renewed.  I’m not the best at well . . . probably anything. . . . I’m broken.   I am not the best me, best Christian, best wife, best mom, best grandma or best friend.  Through renewing meaning I need to take the brokenness and try to make new.   Being the best wife I can be.   I know there are times I have not been supportive of my husband but I love him whole heartedly and want happiness for him.  I want joy to fill the vacant eyes.  After 33 years he is still part of the reason my heart beats.  I strive to renew ‘us’ and make him a priority in my life where he should be.

I am not and have not been the best mom in the world but I did my best and feel like I raised three amazing women. They each have wonderful attributes, are kind and giving individuals, and have good hearts.   I like to think I had something to do with that.  I know I did a lot of things wrong, but I gave it my best – I did a lot of it alone as my husband worked long hours and simply was not home.  I worked, took them to games, lessons, and meets.  I did my best but . . . as I’m sure many moms feel it was not enough – I am sorry for the times I was a not so good mom and put myself before them.  Renewing is hard here simply because I feel useless and not really needed as a mom presently – they are adult women and two of them are moms themselves.  They no longer need my guidance and or  advice.  I am learning to renew being a mom to adult children is simply different.

I am not the best grandma, I know there are many women out there who have it down. . . . I have been a grandma or gaga for a little over two years.  It’s a great title and I treasure that title.  I know there are times I have expressed my viewpoints on raising, my trying to be helpful seems like I am trying implore my views (I really am not just trying to help).  I love each one of my grandchildren and my desire is to have a great relationship with them as they grow older, one that they will treasure too.  I may not always give them everything they want but I don’t believe that is what a relationship is about.  I will tell them ‘no’  I simply want to leave my fingerprints upon their hearts that are filled with precious memories.

I know I have not been the greatest of friend.  Heck this past year I had someone tell me they did not want to develop a relationship with me because I was negative.  I did not even see that one coming but it is a perspective of me they had. This perspective of me hurt my heart as I don’t want to be thought of as negative.  I have lost friendships that were dear to my heart which need to be renewed.  I desire to be more in the moment friend.  To let my friends know they are treasured.  They are a gift to my heart and deserve to be acknowledged.  Thank you to my friends who have loved me through the ugly moments of my life.   I desire to renew even the best of relationships I have because you are a gem in my heart!

I have not been the best Christian, heck I don’t even know what that is.  But I know the Lord gave me the word renew because my faith needs to be renewed.   I need to believe Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  I need to renew my confidence in the Lord, I need to turn the pages in my Bible to do that.   I need to renew His joy in me.   My life verse Job 8:21- 1He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  I want His joy back in my heart and life which I know first I need that confidence and faith.   I want His joy to overwhelm my being.   I need to renew my trust in the Lord.  My Daddy’s favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5,6  – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. I need to trust the Lord wholeheartedly.   I need to be RENEWED in Him.

Broken crayons still make beautiful pictures.  The other day my daughter took a bunch of broken crayons and melted them all together making a “new crayon”.   When she was doing this I thought these crayons are renewed like what my life needs to be.  The renewed crayon brought forth new purpose and ‘fun’.  They make beautiful pictures, was something new serving a new purpose, they were desired and wanted . . . they were renewed.   I desire to be one of those broken crayons, put together and producing a renewed me.   I know I will never be the best at probably anything but I will do my best and will renew my heart and hopefully renewing many areas of my life.

The Anatomy of Fear

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Fear defined by Webster is a belief that something or someone is dangerous, can potentially cause pain, and or be a threat.  Fear can cause real emotional and physical stress upon our lives and bodies disturbing our real life function.  Fear can immobilize us from moving forward and experiencing life, fear can cause us to physically get ill from the stress that encompasses our being and fear can cause us to worry endlessly disturbing our ability to rest causing its own waking nightmare.

My being has been enveloped in fear as of late.  The fear has caused havoc of my emotions.  I find myself crying at random moments; while driving, taking a shower, or simply doing the dishes.  Fear has caused my mouth be filled with canker sores – we are now at a total of five.  Good times.    My fear is as a result from choices that someone else has made.  My beloved sweet husband is extremely overweight which has caused stress and strain upon his body which therefore has had its affect upon his health and emotions.  The obesity has caused his body not function as it was designed to.  His obesity does not just affect him but affects me and the people who love him as well.  The doctors have told him the importance of losing the weight in order to live but he chooses to ignore it continuing in the life style of which he has become accustomed to – a life filled with poor food habits, stress upon his skeletal structure, and basic living.   His choice I fear will cause me to be a widow.  How will I manage and cope losing the one who holds my heart?

I fear not getting a job.  Several years ago I felt I was supposed to go back to school and obtain my degree and credential to teach.  As most know I went to school and accomplished this journey at the age of 57.  I was pursuing a dream, a dream that I know has been within my heart since the age of five.  I have done two stints of long term subbing for first grade and Kindergarten.  I know I am good at being a teacher.  I have letters of recommendations from about a dozen parents and even now a principal but . . . I have no job.  I have gotten this household in tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  Every penny I have earned subbing has gone to that debt – at times I wonder why?  Fear of not being able to pay the high bill causes sleepless nights for me.   In spite of the huge debt I incurred I do believe I am a good teacher, I have been told I have the ‘it’ factor, and when I teach it is as natural as breathing for me.

Having fear I feel at times is so ‘un-Christian’ like – as a Christian I am supposed to put my faith and being into the hands of the Lord.  I am supposed to fear not because He has it all worked out.  I am supposed to have faith and trust that He is preparing my path and it is good.  Lack of faith is not a good thing – I have prayed for and over many different things; however, so many of those prayers have been ignored and or unanswered developing a lack of faith. I have done things out of faith – like literally praying circles around a school believing for His favor.  His word says He has good plans for my life Jer. 29:11) – well I am ready for them.  I still believe but . . . . for some reason my prayers are not answered – at least not according to my desires – perhaps that is where the problem is.  Each year I choose a word to live by so to speak for that year.  This past year was JOY ~ I truly wanted and desired JOY in my life and heart again. I want and desire His JOY to overwhelm my being.   It’s November and it is not there – I truly do not know how to get it back.  I know my word for next year is Faith – maybe through the building of faith – Joy will return.  I truly do not know.

Through building of faith – faith will conquer the fear ~ this is my desire.   Fear is not of the Lord – He has come to give life abundantly   John 10:10 my mama’s life verse.  I think I need to begin living my own life verse Job 8:21 ‘ He will fill my mouth with laughter and my lips with shouts of JOY’ and allow my mama’s verse John 10;10 trickle into my life as well – He has come to give life abundantly  – I am ready to live life abundantly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of a Minion Award

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A coveted piece of paper in my classrooms (while I was subbing) was to receive a Minion Award.  A Minion Award is an 8 x 5 piece of colored piece of paper stating that the recipient was one in a Minion on that day.  The recipient got their name written on the award for doing various things such as: being a friend, cleaning up, being kind, working hard, or pushing in chairs.  Basically the recipient was caught doing something good without being asked or expected.  The recipient is called out in front of the class, I got to shake their hand, and the class clapped for them.   The smiles that these kids had on their faces when they heard their names being called out is embedded upon my heart.  These kids were so proud of themselves.   Many of my students have taken their coveted awards and taped them to their bedroom doors or refrigerators as a simple reminder of their ‘greatness’.

It amazes me the amount of pride their is behind receiving a Minion award to be recognized for demonstrating goodness without being asked or expected.  It shows to me the importance of simply recognizing others for goodness.  We, as society, are so quick to find the negative, complain, and or criticize about a situation, place, person or thing leaving a mark or cut not necessarily seen on the outside.  The wound from the negative is buried, sometimes deep, within our being producing emotional wounds simply not seen from the outside.  I am 58 years of age and have many of these wounds buried deep within my being, scars from the past completely affecting my being and outlook of myself.  What would have happened if I would have received a Minion award?

What would happen in this world if we said thank you for the simple things in life? What would happen if we smiled at strangers?  What would happen if we handed the homeless man an orange and said have a good day?  What would happen if we handed a stranger a flower?  What would happen if we told our kids they are terrific at eating their dinner, doing their homework, or giving great hugs?  What would happen if we told our kids we appreciate their smiles, expressed how talented and creative they are in their thinking or simply they made you smile.  What would happen?   I believe it is time to find out.  Let’s begin finding the good and expressing it!   Let’s recognize the good in people!  Let’s give Minion Awards daily and see the changes it will make!