Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To Make Him Proud

I've been planning to post something for at least a week now but wasn't quite sure what. I haven't exactly been in the best mood and I didn't want to be Debbie Downer by posting something negative that no one wants to read. As most of you know, I lost my Grandaddy last week and I miss him so much already. So, I decided I would try to focus on the good (as was my advice in a recent post)and look forward to the new year and I'll dedicate that to him. We can only hope that the new year will bring better things even if you have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful 2008. We should always hope and strive for better while being satisfied with what we have already been given. To reflect on this past year and what I have been blessed with- I finally got to stay home with my children and get to know them better. This year has been one of rediscovery and findings for myself. I've learned more about myself (some good, some bad) than I ever knew before. Finally, I was able to reflect on life and what I want out of it. Though I may not always get it, it still felt nice to be able to stop and examine life for a moment instead of seeing it fly past me. Priorities have been changed in my life and for the better. Keeping them in check is still a task but at least I know my goals. I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions because I think we should always try to be better people. However, I will throw that aside and publicly announce my "intentions" for myself and my family this coming year. I may regret this when I look back at it later and see that I actually put it in writing but maybe it will hold me accountable!
For 2009, I'd like to be more organized. I did really good when I first came home from work but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed again and that's not really a place I'd like to be. I want to get my house "under control" so that the maintenance of it will be less of a headache. Structure with the kids is something else I plan to work on. Although there's already some in place, it could definitely use some improvement and I think we'll all get along better! Income - I need some and that's all I'll say about that one for now. And, not to be a bummer, but I'd like to at least mention my Grandaddy. I want to continue to do as I would have before to make him proud. I didn't realize until he was gone just how much I depended upon him for advice and his opinion. I also didn't realize that after God, he was next in line of those that I wanted to make proud. His morals and values were steadfast and strong. I could always count on him for the truth and his opinion to be based on the principles of the Bible. Because he was such a strong christian and a wonderful, respected person, the look of pride and joy on his face when I or my children pleased him was absolutely priceless and nothing will ever replace that. And last but not least, I want to be a better christian and worker for God. There are things that I have put off that I should already be doing and I'd like to change that this year. I need to be a more active church member and speak up about my beliefs to others. After all, that would have made my Grandaddy very proud!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Because Disasters Make Great Stories

Don't you agree? You may not think so at the time of the incident but human nature loves to share negative information. Sometimes stories are told for dramatic effect and sometimes they are told for the humorous entertainment of others. When something happens in our lives that is unexpected and usually unwanted, we tend to share it more than when something wonderful happens. Other than winning the lottery of course! Often, our friends hear about something bad that has happened to us but never hear the positive outcome, which usually follows a little later. They may ask you at a later time what ever happened with so and so and its then that we realize we forgot to tell them it was taken care of! We are so quick to call and complain to them and display our problems yet slow to give them the positive updates. Why do we do that? I think its because we crave the sympathy, concern and attention. People tend to want to help us and take care of us by showering us with attention when we are in need. However, when times are good, there's a quick "glad to hear it" and the conversation ends shortly thereafter. So which side of the situation needs to change in order for us to share more good news versus bad? Perhaps it should be the side of the person hearing the negative or positive news. We should be sympathetic and caring to someone going through a tough time. However, we should be even more excited and share in the joy of the positive news more. This might change how we "ask" for attention. If we know that a good happening will generate as much attention, then we can start being more positive. And we all know that happiness can spread just as much as sadness. For the new year, try to start focusing more on the positives in every situation. Look for the happy things in our lives that we can share with others and be more excited about those same things in the lives of our friends and family. Who knows, it might become a "pay it forward" type of thing. The next time a "disaster" occurs in your life, try to play it down and share it less. And before ending this post, let me share some good news. Our familiy has been truly blessed in the month of December so far. We have received unexpected generosity in many different ways including support from friends and family, the gift of time and monetary gifts. To any of you who have contributed to our blessings, we thank you and hope to return the generosity back to you in your time of need.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Magic of Christmas

It took about 25 years to come back around but finally I believe in Santa Claus again! To make a long story short, I discovered the truth about Santa way too early (I was 5). I've always been a little upset over that because I feel like I got gyped and couldn't experience the "magic" of Christmas as long as most children get to. Don't worry Mom, it wasn't tramatic or anything, just disappointing! Christmas has still remained to be my favorite and most anticipated holiday. Everything about it makes me smile- the decorations, the shopping, the giving, the receiving, the chaos, the smells, the smiles, the family, the friends, and most importantly the reason. I look forward to Thanksgiving each year mostly because that's when I can officially start listening to Christmas music and put up the decorations. Unfortunately, some of the excitement was replaced by stress once I moved out on my own and it became more of a responsibility for me. Now, I had to worry about paying for gifts, cooking, cleaning and all those other things we do during the holidays. Don't misunderstand; I love doing those things but do not enjoy the stress of so much to do in such a short time frame! This year some of that should be alleviated due to my lack of employment. Now there are new pressures; financial ones that make us worry and many of you are sharing in that with me this year due to our economy. Each year up until now, Christmas has gradually lost some of its shine in my life. I still looked forward to it and enjoyed the things that come with it but there was more and more dread as well. This year, I was looking forward to the time I have never had before to get prepared and spend time with my family creating more traditions and continuing the old ones. But of course, I was still worried about where the money would come from. I found myself thinking, "I hope there really is a Santa Claus or I might have some disappointed children on Christmas morning". Those of you who are parents know that this thought is more devasting than if you woke up missing a limb! I realized that I have been slowing inching back to my own way instead of God's way. Instead of letting him keep the reigns which I had pledged to him a while back, I was slowly taking them back. So, instead of being in control, I found myself in a situation that I could not handle. I pleaded with him and gave him back the control. He proved himself again in less than one day. Yesterday, I received an answer that was completely unexpected but will provide. I am still in awe and do not quite have the words for it other than thank you. Despite what I read and believe, it always amazing to witness what God can do in our lives. Finally, the Magic of Christmas is back! "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God" Ephesians 2:8