International Women’s Day

Mother Teresa

I saved my Wednesday post for Thursday this week, because today is International Women’s Day. While I’m not a women’s libber or a women’s rights activist (Not that there’s anything wrong with those who are, in fact, if that’s you, KUDOS! Keep it up!), I do believe women are special and contribute far more to society than they’re given credit for. So today I celebrate a few of the women who have contributed something to my life in the way of lessons learned or those I greatly admire. Those are:

Marilyn Monroe – She was such a beautiful, talented woman, and yet so conflicted. Sadly, Marilyn Monroe has proven that beauty truly is only skin deep and cannot buy happiness or true joy.

Amelia Earhart – Aviation pioneer – She has demonstrated that being a woman should never stop one from doing what one truly wants to do. If anything, she has shown that one should try even harder, pursuing passion with gusto.

Oprah Winfrey – She has shown that no matter what we’re born with and what our past holds, it does not have to define and shape our future. We have the power within us to do and be whatever we choose to be. And, as with Amelia Earhart, passion and perseverance can move mountains.

Katie Davis – Katie has shown that we’re never too young to make a difference. At 18 she moved to Uganda to work with the poor and has adopted 14 girls and made a difference to an abundance of people. She radiates joy, love, hope, and the Spirit of Jesus.

Anne Frank – Her statement, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart,” is astounding to me. She has shown that attitude really is 99% of what we become.

Kathryn Stockett – Wow! Talk about perseverance! After five years of trying to secure a literary agent and approximately 60 rejections, the author of the bestseller, The Help, never quit. Thank goodness she finally caught the attention of just one, because it’s a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

Jane Pauley – I grew up watching her on NBC’s The Today Show, and her simple beauty and love of being a journalist fed my love of words. Recently she has spoken openly about her bipolar disorder, helping to overcome some of the stigma surrounding the illness. Go Jane!

Maya Angelou – A woman who has overcome childhood trauma and used it to help others overcome through words. And the poem Phenomenal Woman? I need say no more. Simply phenomenal!

Mother Teresa – I don’t even know where to begin with explaining what this amazing Godly woman has taught me. She was the most perfect role model of grace, humility, and demonstration of love. Her simplicity and selfless service to others knew no bounds.

But the first and most influential woman in my life is my mother. She has taught me that hard work, faith, and dedication are the keys to success. She has taught me that taking care of and being present for my own family is the greatest gift I can give, and that to serve and follow Christ, I need not travel to another country to do so, but it starts in my own home. And she has taught me that laughter and joy are key to aging gracefully.

To you women, celebrate those women who have paved the way to make your life a better one. And to you men, celebrate those women who enrich your lives.

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.   Michelle Obama

Well-behaved women seldom make history. 
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

 

Women’s History Month Spotlight – Mary, Mother of Jesus

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As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. Little did I know back then, that role would far surpass any joy I’ve ever experienced. And that it would rocket my capacity to worry past the moon. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of nights of uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since my boys were born. And this month they turn 24 and 27!

Mary, on the other hand, knew she was going to lose her son. She knew she was going to give birth to the Lord of heaven and earth, and knew from Jesus himself what was forthcoming. Could you imagine? I’m not sure–no, I am sure–I would never have been able to handle that with such grace, such trust in God, such beauty, as she did. She was the epitome of what a mother should be.

I’ve kept journals for each of my boys until they were 12 years old. I wrote in those journals every day when they were younger, a little less frequently as they got older, but even then, at least a few times a week. I tried to capture the miracle of everything life gave them every single day – the joy, the hurts, the lessons. When I read those journals, it’s like experiencing those magical days of motherhood again. What a miracle! My boys have taught me the definition of real and unconditional love. They’ve taught me how beautiful it is to see life through the eyes of a child. And through it all, they’ve taught me to trust Jesus.

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Another miracle of being a mother? I’m a grandmother. And what a joy that is! 🙂

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Throwback Thursday–On Tuesday

I’ve always had a bit of rebellion coursing through my veins. Thank goodness it’s mellowed as I’ve gotten older to breaking only trivial rules–like deciding to post a Thursday post on a Tuesday. 🙂

I found another poem I’d written a very long time ago, shortly after the birth of my oldest son, Benjamin, who turns 26 (Zoinks!) tomorrow, March 25th. He’s grown to be such an amazing young man!

poem

 

A totally unrelated question for you as I ponder the future of the mystery novel I’m writing–what is your preference, self publishing, traditional publishing, and why?

Carpe Diem

 

The Best Days of My Life

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Twenty-three years ago today, March 17th, and twenty-six years ago on March 25th, were two of the best days of my life. The day my boys were born were the days I learned what it means to love completely and unconditionally. Each day spent with my boys from that day forward has been a “best” day.

When my boys were born, I began writing in a journal for each of them, each entry a love letter, that they may never have a single doubt ever in their lifetime about how much they are loved. That they may never for a second doubt their worth. And still, though they’re no longer little boys, there are days when I feel the overwhelming need to express my love, my gratitude to them, and for them, in a love letter that will someday find its way to them.

Boys

Every day as mom to these two amazing young men has been a magical journey, one with the most joy and laughter and also the biggest tears. When they’re happy, my heart rejoices. When they’re sad, my heart breaks. I’ve never worried more and I’ve never laughed more. And I wouldn’t trade a single moment of any of those experiences for anything else in the world.

A phone call out of the blue, a random text, hearing their voices say “I Love You, Mom,” and reading and re-reading the cards their little hands have made for me over the years, is the gift that keeps on giving. Over and over and over. And never grows old.

So on the day they were born, the day they celebrate another year older, I celebrate another year of having the privilege of being their mother. Another year of “best” days.

St Patricks Day

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

My top three for the week:

3.)  Watching my 22-year-old son play in a soccer tournament. I love to watch him play. His speed, skill  and agility are delightful to watch and I’m so proud of him.

2.)  Opening the door one evening to find my 25-year-old son and my 16-month-old granddaughter standing there, both smiling from ear to ear. Sheer delight!

1.)  A heartfelt, meaningful conversation with one of my boys on life and relationships. Being a mother–and grandmother–truly is my greatest joy.

I would love to hear what you’re grateful for. 🙂

And now it’s back to my last week of camp, (camp NaNoWriMo)  to get some serious writing in and pack things up. What a fun and productive month it’s been!

Back off to the wilderness.

Back off to the wilderness.

 

Thankful Thursday – The Lives and Health of My Boys

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I clearly remember the phone call I received from my 16-year-old son while I was nearing the end of a workday.  “Mom, I saw someone shot.  They aren’t moving.  Mom, there’s so much blood.” And the line went dead.

I attempted to call him back immediately, my fingers numb and not even feeling the number keys.  No answer.  The thought of praying escaped me while I was consumed with fear._MG_0597

After calling 9-1-1 in a desperate attempt for answers, the dispatcher assured me my son was fine, to remain calm, and to keep calling him until he answered.

Calm?  Not a chance.  My adrenaline was speeding far too fast to slow down, much less be calm.

As I look back on that day, how he happened to be driving on a road at the very time two men were attempting to carjack several vehicles, the bullets that splayed past my son as the two suspects were shot by investigators, an officer stopping my son and telling him to call 9-1-1 while the officer kept his gun on the suspect, I realize God was in control.  Of that particular situation and of my son’s life.

And I am so thankful for his life and his health.  And for a God who protects and saves.

My son’s comment as he tried to process such a horrific scene as best a 16-year-old can, “It’s not like it is in video games.  There’s so much blood.”  And my response, “You’re right, son.  In life there are no do-over’s when it comes to death.  It’s for real.”

A hard lesson for a child.

I remember the phone call I received two years later about my other son, then 17 years old, as I had just gotten settled in the stands to watch a Colorado Rockies baseball game.

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“Ben had an accident at the pool.  He’s okay but they’re taking him to the hospital with a head injury.”

“He’s okay” and “head injury” in the same sentence created sparks of conflict in my mind.  Besides that, he was a lifeguard.  How could he have an accident? I tried to reason without success.

On a 30-minute car ride to the hospital that felt more like 3 hours, I arrived in time for tests to reveal it was more serious than they had thought.  He had brain bleeding and two neck fractures.  He was whisked off to a trauma hospital with me not a half of a step behind him, jumping in the ambulance beside him and the paramedic.

And once again, I realize God was in control of that particular situation and of my son’s life. And once again I am so thankful for my son’s life and his health.  And for a God who protects and saves.

The neurologist’s words, “A person normally doesn’t live from such an injury, much less walk again. You’re very lucky.”  And my whispered words, “God has a plan for your life, son.”photo (25)

I wasted too much time feeling sorry for myself, horrified by all of the “what-if” scenarios my mind circled around;  time wasted that I could–and should–have been praising Him for His presence.  For not “almost” taking my boys from me, but completely shielding them from real harm. For giving them protection and life.  Twice.

God gave me my boys not once, but twice.  He gave His own Son so that I may have mine forever.  Thankful?  Words cannot even begin to express.

English: Rainbow

Here’s to a heart of gratitude from a parent for the lives of her children to the ultimate Parent of all.

All is Grace.

Healing Words

Today, July 8th, marks eight days of celebrating life, and each day hereafter, yet another.

A year ago, I posted a blog entry on life circumstances that have made July a very difficult month to get through. I had mentioned how each year I would find myself holding my breath just waiting for July to end, giving birth to August, and I never quite released that breath I was holding until 12:01 a.m. when August was fully born.

This past year has reaped so many blessings and stitched so many miracles through my silky web, that I feel like my soul has been given new birth. Not once have I measured the minutes in the day by the pain I’ve endured, by the “almost’s” that nearly happened, nor have I x’d out each day before it ended, eagerly waiting to ‘x’ out the next–and the next.

Pen

I’ve traced the beginning of the real healing to writing. Writing has released repressed emotions, thoughts, and ideas that have led to newness and wholeness, and a brand new life.

Writing brings light when the day begins dark; when sadness strikes, it brings a glimmer a joy; it brings clarity out of confusion, and draws gratitude out of the simplest things; when isolated and alone it brings company through blogging friends and make-believe characters.

Writing pen to paper – or fingertips to keyboard – has facilitated healing and freedom from the traps the enemy has tried to catch me in. And what a blessing that is!

“It’s ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious.” – Diane Ackerman, author and poet

This month, as I’ve mentioned in my post last Friday, my son was married, which brought joy to soothe a lifetime of pain. Chalk up another July bonus.

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The happy – and gorgeous – couple.

This is one happy and proud mama!

This is one happy and proud mama!

And now, my friends, it’s back off to Camp, another July bonus, where I’ll be mixing fun with healing in one neat little package. Well, okay–I guess it could turn into one sticky little package if I get carried away with the marshmallows and s’mores. And what is camping without that? 🙂

Back off to the wilderness.

Back off to the wilderness.

All truly is grace.