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Archive for the ‘About me’ Category

Recently, my daughter and I were reading Before I Was Your Mother by Kathryn Lasky. It occurred to me while we were on a long car ride and I was feeling nostalgic, that this would make a good writing exercise for me. My daughter loves to hear stories about “when I was a girl,” especially sad or scary ones, since she knows they end well. So…here is my version of the story. Feel free to play along and send me a link to your story.

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You know, I wasn’t always your mother. I used to be a little girl just like you. I had a best friend named Melinda, another named Connie, and a dog named Brownie. We used to pretend to be Nancy Drew and solve crimes all throughout our neighborhood. We baked mud pies in Melinda’s backyard. We formed the Clemson Tiger club; and Melinda’s mother made us shake hands and say we were sorry when we argued.

I wasn’t always your mother who tells you to be quiet when I’m on the phone or to remember to use your inside voice.

Once, Melinda and I sat on her bed singing “Delta Dawn” and “Da do run run” into her tape recorder at the top of our lungs. And then there was the time when Connie and I tried roller skating down the stairs and through her living room.

I wasn’t always your mother who makes a pajama run to school and goes everywhere in fuzzy Crocs until the winter snow piles too high or the summer heat comes.

Once I was a little girl who like to dress Brownie in Grandma’s old hats, who wore smocked dresses, and then graduated proudly to shiny patent leather zippered boots.

I wasn’t always your mother, standing on the ground watching you perform, waving, taking pictures.

Once I was a little girl who climbed high in the tops of her favorite trees, jumping down scraped and sticky with pine sap. I savored long walks in the woods with my mother, holding fast to her hand as we crossed the busy street and stole into Mr. Roberts’ woods. I treasured the tiny souvenirs she would bring home to place on the kitchen table…a pine cone, a pebble, a leaf.

I wasn’t alway your mother, glaring at you, asking if you need a time out, reminding you to be kind to your brother.

Once Aunt Cindy and I wrestled on the floor of our room til we drew blood — after we had taped a “yours” and “mine” “do not cross” line down the center of our room. We needed a time out. After we cooled off, we made up and laughed while we danced in the living room to “Disco Duck” and the Jackson Five.

I wasn’t always your mother telling you the darkness has no power over you and imploring you to practice going to sleep on your own — without me at your side.

Once I was a little girl who dreaded climbing the staircase alone — who played possum on Daddy’s lap so I wouldn’t have to — who turned off the bedroom light, then ran and took a flying leap so the alligators under my bed wouldn’t bite my feet.

Now I am your mother and you are my girl. I snuggle with you and tell you stories about when I was a girl who put on shows in the backyard, played freeze tag, caught lightning bugs, and climbed trees. We make up stories of what we’ll dream about — and I dream of the stories you will share with your little girl someday.

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I saw this meme over at Monica‘s, and it seemed to fit perfectly with this post about introspection I’ve had brewing for awhile.

I think I was probably born introspective. I was due on July 4, but I wasn’t born until over 3 weeks later (that was back in the day when they let the little babies percolate in there for awhile). My decision-making style is, shall we say, deliberative. As the youngest of 4 girls, I continued to develop my introspective nature. There was always something going on in the house to watch, analyze, or ruminate upon.

As I grew older and these innate patterns of thinking burned deeper and deeper into my brain, they sometimes occasionally frequently became a problem. Especially after I had my first child, fear often consumed me. (What if she dies?) This post describes where I was and where I ended up at that stage of my life, albeit briefly.

I slowly began to unpack years of unconscious behavior. I began to recognize and confess worry and fear. I began to cede control of my daughter’s life to her maker. She was His child and He would never leave her or forsake her. I clung tenaciously to Roman’s 12:2 and 2 Cor. 10:5. I think I thought that if I just introspected properly, all would be well.

Ironically, after a couple of years of blog reading and a year of blog keeping, I’ve come to see that some things are not worth the time we devote to introspecting upon them. Some thoughts, I just need to lay at the foot of the cross and forget. Some thoughts are not the treasures I once thought they were as I turned them over and over and over and over again and again in my mind smoothing and polishing, smoothing and polishing them.

This summer, my small group Bible study is reading and discussing Joanna Weaver’s Having a Mary Spirit. Weaver articulates this realization perfectly on p. 119:

“…it isn’t enough to take thoughts captive. According to 2 Corinthians 10:5, I must also bring them into obedience to Christ. Which means that, after exposing the lies with truth, I need to promptly hand them over to Jesus.

This is especially important for me, because I tend to place my thoughts under the microscope of self-introspection and study them so intently that I become captivated by the very thoughts I’ve captured. I overanalyze and over-scrutinize to the point that the thoughts I once imprisoned imprison me.

Back away from the microscope, people. I still believe in an examined life. And I still love to think and analyze things. But I continually rely on God to show me the balance between healthy introspection and unhealthy thinking that is simply a waste of my time.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Ps. 19:14

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Stealing this one word meme from Emily, since my thoughts tend towards the terse today:

1. Where is your cell phone? Counter.

2. Your significant other? Tall.

3. Your hair? Flighty.

4. Your mother? Creative.

5. Your father? Kindhearted.

6. Your favorite thing? Food.

7. Your dream last night? Wacky.

8. Your favorite drink? Cola.

9. Your dream/goal? Peace.

10. The room you’re in? Paneled.

11. Your church? Warm.

12. Your fear? Failure.

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Wiser.

14. Where were you last night? Couch.

15. What you’re not? Snooty.

16. Muffins? Chocolate chip.

17. One of your wish list items? Couch.

18. Where you grew up? South.

19. The last thing you did? Grumped.

20. What are you wearing? Cut-offs.

21. Your TV? Large.

22. Your pets? Sweetness.

23. Your computer? IMac.

24. Your life? Mine.

25. Your mood? Restless.

26. Missing someone? Best friend.

27. Your car? Honda.

28. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes.

29. Favorite store? Meijer.

30. Your summer? Flying.

31. Like(love) someone? Husband.

32. Your favorite color? Yellow.

33. Last time you laughed? Kitten.

34. Last time you cried? Gone.

35. Who will repost this? You.

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The blog, people, the blog!…My one year blogaversary has come and gone. I started this blog one year ago on Father’s Day. I was looking for companionship, community, intellectual life (ha!), and a blog that would honor God. I have found many of those things, but I’m still not sure where this ole blog is going.

That intellectual life I was hoping for has just not been happening of late; or should I say that where it is happening is not so much connected to the blog. I’ve agreed to help our church assemble its first library. I’m participating in in-depth Bible study, and find myself in two summer book clubs. If I know anything, it’s that Bible study has got to be a top priority during this season of mothering.

Perhaps it’s just the demanding phase my 3 year old is in, but it’s all I can do to fire of a quick twitter and check in on my peeps before we’re off to the park or I’m schlepping peanut butter crackers to him yet again — let alone step back far enough from the aforementioned slim intellectual pursuits to share them on the blog. Yet, I don’t want to completely give up taking time to document the sweetest moments of motherhood or chewing over a blog post for several days.

And the bloggy spiritual life…I love that you guys love “God Posts,” but they’re kinda drying up for me (probably b/c I’m spending so much time perusing frugal blogs). But Emily’s recent find did suggest the idea that I let you guys share what you see God doing in the blogosphere. But I’m not sure what kind of schedule I should adopt for that. And I really did enjoy praying for you. I could enjoy doing that on a regular basis. But I’m quite sure my blog would have to take on a monthly publishing cycle vs. a weekly one; and that seems like such a loooong time in the blogosphere.

I love the bloggy treasures (that would be you) that I have found along this journey. I’m just not sure what to do about the fact that by the time I wade through my feed reader, I’ve barely any time left to blog myself. But I’ve learned tons about couponing and other clever ways to save money and about mystery shopping, which is such a great bonus.

And this, in a nutshell, is why it’s been so quiet here for so long. Well, also, the husband went to Indonesia for two weeks, which turned into three weeks away from home b/c we went South to visit family while he was gone. I’m still too paranoid sensible to share such things with you the whole Internet while they’re actually happening. But I will have some sweet pictures to share with you from our trip. Later, friends.

I leave you with a photo of my dad and my boy in honor of Father’s Day 2008:

Jeremiah 17: 7-8:

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

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Catch a glimpse of the elusive Lainey over at Chic Critique. I know. You saw this, and you thought I wasn’t pretty. I love how God worked it out so that I had just gotten new sunglasses and just had my hair done when Megan called and asked for a picture.

Note to self: wear sunglasses at all times.

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My new bloggy friend Michelle tagged me for the 7 random things meme, which I’ve done once before here. Since it seems to take such things to get me to write a blog post these days, I will gladly participate.

1. I am a whiner. Sadly, my kids are too. I’ve mentioned that I’m the youngest of 4 girls. When I was little, one of my older sisters (*cough* the one who wanted to make sure everyone knew she was not the baby *cough*) used to call me “Elaine the Pain.” How could you not whine when that happens? See? It’s happening again. At least my kids don’t cry as much as I did.

2. I am a good mom. I’m trying to give my kids the tools they need to move beyond their whiny heritage.

3. I am, finally, after 13 years of marriage, a good cook. Last week, I threw together a little home-cooked comfort-food meal of baked chicken, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls within an hour. No one was harmed in the process (I don’t even think there was any whining!). When I was first married, that surely would have taken the whole afternoon. I did not inherit a complex culinary heritage from my mom.

4. I am a mystery shopper. I started picking up a few local mystery shopping jobs in February after reading about it in my frugal blogging travels. My husband says I’m the perfect mystery shopper. Probably because I’m one of those people who flies low under the radar. You wouldn’t notice me. And I’m detail oriented and have a good memory. Which could mean I’d be really good on ‘Survivor,’ except for that whole whining thing.

5. I love small things. In a really big way. So does ‘Nell.’

6. My husband and I are thinking of opening an Etsy store selling his pottery and sending a percentage of the proceeds to various relief efforts in Rwanda. You could pray about this.

7. I love making new bloggy friends, especially when they read my blog faithfully even though they don’t know why. I feel a new tag line coming on…

If you need blog fodder, consider yourself tagged. And since I still need blog fodder, I’ll be accepting your questions in the comments.

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This is my new swimsuit (as if I’ll actually be able to wear it before June here, but I thought I’d better buy it before all the cute suits in my size got snapped up). Mine is turquoise…to match my eyes.  ; ) And mine has a removable halter strap. It has been so long since I had full coverage of all “the areas.” I must say, it is very nice. I recommend it.

Last year, I resigned myself to the “mommy skirt,” which I wore with a bikini top; and sometimes a t-shirt. But when I saw the photos, I was not impressed with “the stomach” peeking out and “the thighs” ever-growing in the back where I wasn’t looking.

So, let’s take a moment and reflect as I enter into a new swimsuit era. Thank you, body, for all you’ve done for me. I promise to cover you with shirring, and swim skirt, and sunscreen until winter returns.

FYI, you know I’m “frugal,” so this little number can be found for about $30 at finer Wal-Marts everywhere

Please tell me you care.

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