Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summertime fun

My friends, I hope by mid July you are all seeking and finding some summertime fun into your lives.  It is so important for the body, mind, and spirit to lighten up a bit and partake of what the season of summer has to offer.  Yes, the days can be long and hot and tiring, but somewhere in the midst of all of that, there is fun to be had.   Maybe you are carving out special time for family vacations or just some lazy days off (when schedules permit) to just BE.  Hopefully, a combination of both would be fulfilling.  

For me, I have always enjoyed summer.  As a kid, I loved the long days of hanging out with girlfriends and heading to our local community pool.  There was always something to do or somewhere to go to keep us entertained in ways that were very simple and meaningful.  I also enjoyed a lot of quiet time just reading or listening to my music or playing the piano.  As I grew older, I worked but still found time to immerse myself in the richness of the summer season.  

As time marched on and we grew our own family, summertime took on different phases, so to speak.  Having little ones under toe all the time, the long, hot days were a challenge in some aspects.  It took forever to get everyone rounded up and ready for the day ahead as we set off on many adventures.  I went with girlfriends and their children to parks, children museums, beaches, and indoor play areas for needed reprieve.  We also spent fun times at each other's houses in the pools, sprinklers, and getting drenched from the water gun fights.   We ate loads of yummy Popsicles and simple picnic foods.  The mommies bonded and shared life with kids under foot while the daddies toiled at the workplace.  Sound "traditional"?  Yes, it was.   Life was great.  

Just recently as our family (now 4 grown young men) sat around our dinner table, we talked about the memories of past summers.  The boys each shared some of their favorite memories, and my heart was overjoyed.  They were saying how happy those times were and how thankful for the opportunities which we provided.   WOW.   Mommy had to take a deep breath and savor that moment.   Sometimes, it seems to be the smallest of things that can make a large impact on our soul. 

Currently, my days of summertime fun are hit and miss at best.  I can no longer tolerate sunny days at the beach or a lake.  I have to walk quickly in early morning and then hopefully have a longer stroll on our local Boardwalk in the evening.  I have to stay inside and cool which can make me feel a bit ansie. 
The summer weather patterns are huge M triggers for me which are totally out of my control.   Packing up and going anywhere is a bigger deal for my needs than packing up four young toddlers back in the days!  Lol!  Well, it is what it is, and I do the best I can.  I will continue to set my intentions to focus on the positive and let go of unnecessary expectations.

Just this past week, I found my happy place being surrounded by my four young adult sons who happened to be home here all at once.  Yay!!!  We had a really treasured week together.  It was kind of challenging for me as I was not up for all of the activities due to my continual and most annoying uninvited guest, but I finally threw him out the back door!   Overall, our family shared many laughs and crazy moments that were sacred silly.  Praise God.  

May you find silliness, stillness, and peace during the rest of this summer season. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Encouragement---Could you use a little of this today?

"Blessed be the God and Christ, the father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God."    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I know most days I sure can use some encouragement.  I read God's Word and find it there.  I then feel inspired to offer it back out into my little world.  Let's face it, we ALL could use a little no matter what season of life in which we find ourselves.  Some days and moments are harder than others depending on what we are currently walking through, so a little bit of kindness and encouragement really go a LONG way.  

This past week was a particularly difficult for me in a number of different ways.  Mostly, I was physically side-lined due to my chronic M symptoms, and I grew weary and exhausted from the daily-ness of it all. I had "plans" and life to attend to, darn it!  But, none of it was happening in "my way" at all.  Not.One.Bit.  

However, I sure received some absolutely refreshing gifts of encouragement from family, friends, and places that were God's continual show of His love and mercy and grace for me.  They were all a salve unto my tired and painful body and soul.  I received uplifting text messages and songs from dear hearts who accompany me on this journey as well as smiles, gentle hugs, meals made, errands run, and sons who retrieve my ginger-ale and ice packs!  Many of my prayer warriors were attentive in offering their blessings and prayers.  

I must give a particular shout out to my new headache specialist, Dr. Grosberg.  As I stated before in a past post, he is simply an amazing doctor but more importantly, his kind-heart speaks volumes of his character.  He told me that he "has my back" and not to worry as he will help my through this journey.  He even went as far to say, "thank you for letting me take care of you."  W.H.A.T.??  Did I hear him correctly?  Oh yes I did.  After I thanked him profusely for his care, he said those kind words to me at least three times at the visit.   Let me tell you, I was reduced to tears right then and there.  My hubby was quite full of emotion as well---shhhh, don't tell anyone. :)

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for even in the midst of our hardest times.  

As I receive kindness, love, and encouragement, it is my honor to offer the same to others in need.  My prayer is that God will always place before me who might need it in a special way each day.  It doesn't take long to receive a clear answer from the Holy Spirit.  That is what gives me purpose to my day.  

I invite you, my friends, to think of at least one offering of encouragement you can send out into this hurting world of ours.  Each day is a new opportunity to shine our light of hope.  

May you all have a most blessed day!!  

    Beautiful flowers from my neighbor's garden 
    Pretty encouragement!