Thursday, January 27, 2011

a little something: the pot calling the kettle black, and other things...

a little something: the pot calling the kettle black, and other things...: "i'm eating ice cream. vanilla. with heath toffee bits. it is so delicious. i am rewarding myself for cleaning my bathroom. my worst househ..."

the pot calling the kettle black, and other things....

i'm eating ice cream.
with heath toffee bits.
it is so delicious.

i am rewarding myself for cleaning my bathroom.
my worst household chore.
this is how bad i am with keeping my bathroom clean,
when i do clean it,
my husband ALWAYS says,
"the bathroom looks nice!"

today it was sooo time to clean it.
like, organize the cupboards and wipe them off...and all that.
so i tackled it.
the next thing i knew i was up on my bathroom sink wiping the light fixtures,
and unscrewing the glass globes to wash them.
and THEN, the next thing i knew, i was plunging my shower curtain
and window curtains in the washing machine.
i wasn't going to take it that far.
but once i'm in there, and i see how bad things are,
there is just no good stopping place.
and so, now here i am...
eating ice cream, and trying to ignore the yukky bathroom cleaner smell on my dry scaly hands.

i think the last time i posted, it was friday.
my kids were sick"ish" but i was all optimistic...bless my heart.
it turns out that ignorance really is bliss.
things took a definite downward turn after that post.

the weekend was long and sickly.
my mother came to stay for a few days while my dad was out of the country,
so she watched the sickies for clint and i on sunday evening so we could get out and breathe.
but monday afternoon found me piling my mom and kids into, what i feel, is one of the ugliest cars on earth.
a few details here ~
in the beginning of december, our van died.
i was never a big fan of our mini-van, but i remember it now with some fondness.
the man who is fixing a durango for us, has (kindly) lent us a vehicle to drive.
i have named it, (not at all affectionately) the egg plant on wheels.
it is exactly the color of an egg plant.
it looks like a car you would find a 60 something year old lady driving.
you should see the looks i get when i am emerging from that car.
people look at me like, "huh, i wouldn't have guessed..."
and i want to sputter...."yeah! tell me about it!!"  but i don't.
the only good things about the egg plant are that:
a. it runs
b. it is warm (i saw a few horse and buggies this winter, and i'm just saying, i'd rather be in the egg plant)
c. when my cousin joy and i go out on the town and we take the egg plant, everything is just funny.  i'm not sure why, but it is. 

but on this particular monday, as stated above, i piled everyone into the egg plant to go to the doctor.
ok, my mom piled herself in, but everyone else was needy.
i never realized how small the back seat of a car really is.
it is WAAAAAYYYY too small for three sick kids!!
you should have witnessed it.
such a scrapping and fighting and pinching and bawling....
all three of them!

i got lost trying to locate the doctor's new office.
i was lost in downtown harrisburg with three miserable children whining from the back seat.
it was one of those moments when as a mom you LONG for super powers.
although...maybe it is good we do not have them because, seriously, in moments like this one...
who knows what i would have done!

the funniest part of this whole mess happened when we were again all piled in close quarters.
this time, however, we were in the examination room, waiting for the doctor.
i was holding cheney on my lap.  a nurse came in to check temps.
she was a black lady.  and her hair was really sumthin'!
she had bangs and then the best way i can describe it to you is that the sides were long and curled up.
kinda like big old waves on either side of her head.  and it looked stiff as a  board.  like you could
break it off, not bend it.
cheney, my kid who says whatever she thinks,
stared at the nurse for a few minutes.
(i could see those wheels spinning.)
and then, cheney turns and looks at me,
wrinkles her little nose up,
and says,
"she's hair is WEIRD!"
(this coming from the kid who is currently missing 90% of her bangs as well as other assorted hunks of hair due to a run in with safety scissors.)
and i thought,
well now, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, i don't know what is!!
and i laughed and laughed.

it has been a long week.
doctor.  medicine.  grumpy kids.  coughing.  sleepless nights. 
all comes with the territory, you know.
and now the worst is behind us.

cassie went back to school today.
cheney was invited to visit with her grandma and grandpa for a few hours.
so hallie and i went out for lunch.  we did her health lesson while we waited for our turkey sub and fries.
sooo yummy.
it was good for us.
the week was hard on her too.
she was less sick than the others, but because she is my silent sufferer,
she took the brunt of the grumpies from the other two.

cassie is my violent-someone-must-be-punished-because-i'm-sick kid.
she lost her voice for a few days.
at first i secretly thought it might be a blessing.
it wasn't.
when she was in the tub and "needed" my attention,
she would bang on the wall of the tub until someone came.
i found out that cassie was actually pounding on hallie's head to get her attention.
poor hallie.

so, here we are.  all still alive.  with no brain injuries or what.not.all.

and, i found out that i have an interview at this beautiful little cafe next week.
i am most excited! 
my dear cousin, christy, commented on my fb post that God is never late.
and He isn't.

so i will eagerly await next thursday.  to see what God has planned.
to find out if He has my life woven into the fabric of a little shop called  the timeless cafe.

in the meantime,
i'll do what it is that i do.

i wish you all well!
quite well indeed!

Friday, January 21, 2011

a little something: and it came to pass....thank GOD!

a little something: and it came to pass....thank GOD!: "today i am blogging to remind myself that there really is a great big world out there... somewhere. i think. since i no longer have my coff..."

and it came to pass....thank GOD!

today i am blogging to remind myself that there really is a great big world out there...
i think.

since i no longer have my coffee shop job, my world feels quite a bit smaller.
when we began to have winter storms every other day, my world became smaller still.
and, lastly, when three out of the five the wolfe fam became ill...
you guessed it!
smaller still.
in fact, my world is now so small, or so it feels, that i'm tripping over my own feet just trying to walk.
now i'm just exaggerating.

the truth is, we've been blessed with very good health this fall and over the holidays...
so i really am not complaining. 
and the snow thing, i kinda like it.
although all of these delays and cancellations have left me feeling like we're in some kind of time warp.
and the job thing...
i'm still missing it.
rather terribly,
to be honest.
but i am trusting with more umph behind it...that God really does have a bigger and better plan for me.
i was tempted to go out and just get a job to have one.  but i knew that to do that, would be stealing from God's best.  and i want His best.  so i'll wait.

in the meantime, i will share what i have observed about sick children.
there are different types of sick children.
i have three types that live here at my house.

1. i have the angry punish-the-world-that-i'm-sick child.
(she rants and raves about how miserable she feels, and how she's missing out on all sorts of good things because she got sick. and seriously, it's like she just HAS to blame someone...anyone...that this dreadful thing happened to her. (i mean, never mind the small detail that the flu hits every.single.person now and again.) SOMEone, SOMEwhere, in her mind, is at fault.  big time. and the world should be lining up to serve her with a smile, whether night or day! ...only normally the world isn't around to serve her, and i'm on duty all by myself.)

2. the silent sufferer. (ohhhhhh how i love her!)
(you know these kids.  they are ok with just lying on the couch, watching pbs kids hour upon hour.  these kids don't demand anything.  in fact, you have to stop by the couch and say, "is there anything you need, sweetie?"  these kids know that soon they'll feel better again, so they are content to wait it out.  and they do not feel the need to make anyone else feel their pain.)

3.and lastly, the don't-take-your-eyes-off-me-for-a-second-cause-CLRARLY-it's-all-about-me sick kid.
(this is my three year old.  she is sooo the baby.  and when she's sick, she needs her entire family to watch her 24/7 and enter into her sickness experience.  she tells us constantly, " i feel sick."  like maybe we thought that in the last five minutes the flu magically left her.  she demands medicine, and drinks, and to be held.  if i walk out of the room, she yells after me "i feel SICK!" like how in the world was i even thinking about leaving the room?  the nerve?!!)

so...this is me, saying i am glad things come to pass.
life is seasonal.
all of it,
the kids are sick, and it's snowy, and i have no coffee shop job,
but all of these things are just seasonal. 
we never know how long a particualar season will last.
but it will always change.
it's about perspective.  perspective is huge.
trust is huge. 

so, what say, world out there...
shall we put some umph behind our trust?!
shall we choose perspective?

and now,
since i promised, in my last post, to send out some copies of perennial blessings,
for a little something...

i need some addresses. (smile.)
rhonda and lisa, thank you for your real and honest comments.  it is so very good to know we are not alone!
please send me an email at with your mailing address, and you will receive a package soon. 
also, elaine martin, i would love to send one of the gifts to your daughter in law. i have been reading your fb posts about your grandson.  if you send the address of the hospital, i will send a package to her.  (or to you, if you'd like to deliver it.)
and laura, if you do not have a copy of perennial blessings, i shall bring one to church on sunday.
thanks everyone for your commments!!

celebrating the changing of the seasons!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

bouncing along in the back of an old blue pickup truck

today seems like a good day to blog.
it's snowy and blowy, and so very cold.
an inside sort of day.
today also seems like a good day to give away
some copies of Perennial Blessings with extra yummy hot chocolate.
i personally do not like chocolate, but i am trying to speak your language. (smile.)

so, at the end of the post, i will give instructions as to how you can be chosen to receive a package in the mail from yours truely.

monday was a hard day.
i quit the job that i loved oh so much.
for those of you who do not know what that job was...
i worked one, sometimes two, days a week at a little coffee shop.
it was so me!  i thrived!  the experience was so amazing!  the opportunities could have been limitless.  
in the five months i worked at the shop, customers who were strangers became my friends.  i looked forward to serving them, and sending them off with coffee and a smile.
i learned their names.  people love to be called by their name. did you know that?  i heard once that the word most dear to a person, is hearing someone call them by their name.

but there were issues.
issues that became a matter of integrity for me.  in order to keep peace and maintain my integrity as a person, and a believer, i walked away.  sooo sadly.
i drove home from my last shift at the shop on monday night, in the cold and in the dark, and the tears dripped off of my chin.
the faces of so many people that i had come to love,
that i had shared my heart with,
kept running through my mind.
i felt so confused.
i knew God led me there. and i did not know, and still do not know,
why He closed the door. 
i was not ready for it to close.
it didn't feel like it was time.

when i got home, my husband could see that i had been crying, so he
opened his arms to me, and of course...
the flood gates opened again!  more tears.
the tears came and went over the next 24 hours.
i knew i had done what i was supposed to do...
and my heart was and is committed to following God's perfect path for me,
but sometimes this thing i do with's just so...

the scene on my livingroom floor the other day.  which doll best represents my life at present?  the one sitting in the back of the old blue pickup truck.  just along for the ride.  who knew God drove an old blue truck??

can any of you identify?
this feeling of
"God, where are you taking me?"
"are you a safe driver?"
"am i going to end up at a good place?"

oh, i know.
i know that we "believe" that God is a good, safe driver, and that he is taking us to a good place...
and "technically" we aren't "supposed" to even ask those questions...

says WHO?

this is our life!
our very hearts are at stake.
we are going to feel.  (if we are real, that is.)
and just because we choose to believe that God is trustworthy,
and that He is who He says He is,
that does not mean that sometimes we will not cry and say,
"ouch! i wasn't expecting that bump in the road.
God, you sure you know where you're headed???  seems really bumpy back here!!  any chance, have an extra pillow up there...
to toss back to me.  ease the blow of the bumps, perhaps???
maybe toss a box of tissues along with the pillow, if you would."

seriously, do we really think that being a "good christian" means we never ask God what's going on?  or that we have to pretend it's all good, and there is no pain in this journey?  that we constantly live in the "happy place" of God's goodness?

because to me,
that seems like another mask.
another form of pretense.

i love God.  i do.  more than life itself.
and i will follow Him anywhere.
and i am committed to learning, and seeking, and growing.
but i will be honest, and tell you that there has been much pain along the way.
much confusion.
sometimes anger.
grief.  sadness.  sacrifice.

it's not been a smooth ride in a stretch limo.
not by a long shot.

but in all reality,
i don't think that is what God has promised.

He has promised victory.  power.  love.  grace.  mercy.  strength.  truth.
but not easy.  God never promised easy.
anything worth having is hard work.  always.  so what's with this idea of wanting more of God, and life in Him, with the mentality that it will happen easily, and pain free? 

are there any fellow seekers out there who know what it means to yell, "OUCH, God!"
anyone who has had to double check that God remembers you are bouncing along in the back?  without a pillow???
maybe even a few brave souls out there who are willing to say that there have been bumps that have been so big,
they've nearly been tossed out of the back of the truck? 
i know those kind of bumps.

God does know we are back there.
i believe He does.
and He knows when the bumps hurt.  bad.
and i believe, i really do,
that if a bump comes along, that is sooo big, and the sheer force of it tosses us out of the back of the truck,
the God i have come to know
will stop the truck, turn it around, and come back for us.
He really is that kind of God.
and He could no more drive away without looking back,
than we could from our own children who need us so desperately.

so this is me.
bumping along.
waiting to see what is around the next bend.
believing, through tears, that God knows what He's doing.
this thing we do with God, the entrusting our very lives to Him...
it is so hard, yes.
but how much harder would it be to do it alone. 
without Him.

i'll take the bumps anyday.

and because sometimes "a little something" helps to ease the bumps...
i'd like to send a little something.  (smile.)
a little something can act as a pillow sometimes.  can't it?  (smile.)

i will be sending 5 copies of my book Perennial Blessings, each with some special flavored hot chocolate.
to anyone wishing to participate, all you have to do is
submit a comment, either on the blog, or comment on the link on fb,
and post the link to your fb profile.

this gift can be for you, or for someone you know who is having a bumpy time of it.  i will choose five.  the last day for the comments for this post will be a week from today. i will post the winners and ask for addresses to be sent to me via fb message or email.

and at any time, if God puts someone on your heart who you really feel could use a little something, an encouragement in the Lord, send an email to me at, or send a message via facebook, and i will make sure the need is met. 

 pressing onward,
in faith, HOPE, and love,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

a little something: switching it up

a little something: switching it up: "wow. i have officially fallen in love. with blogging. not quite love at first sight, but nearly. now, if i could only blog whe..."

switching it up

wow.  i have officially fallen in love.  with blogging.
not quite love at first sight, but nearly.

now, if i could only blog when i got a word from the Lord...
or if i had something to write that was ohhhh so deep and amazing...
i could only blog now and again.

and while deep is good,
and words from the Lord are oh so good,
so is lots and lots of "stuff" in between.
the stuff of life.

i do not wish to be different than i am.
because i am who i am.
i want to be the best version of myself.  that's the goal.
too many...
WAY too many girls/women do the comparing thing.
it drains me.
and saddens me.
it strengthens my resolve to be au.then.tic.

authentic (adj) >actual, certain, genuine, legitimate, original, real, true, valid

opposite: fake, false  

i think our differences should be celebrated.
where does this need come from...
to turn the people around us into us??
observation has led me to believe that there is a connection between insecurity and a judgemental spirit.
i have yet to see a woman who knows who she is, and is at peace within herself before the Lord, approaching relationships with that critical, judgemental spirit.
i really do believe that the more we are "ok" with who we are,
the more we are able to be "ok" with who others are.
it's pretty cool, actually.

so this is me being me.
i hate routine.
day after day of the same old thing.
but i realize many of you out there thrive on that.
cool.   routine away!!   (smile.)

but i have long since given up trying to follow a schedule of any kind.
i rebel against my own schedule after about day 2.  day 3 at the max.
i will do what ever it takes to switch things up.

i crave adventure.
my husband does not.  i'm just saying.  it can be tricky business!!
confession: i'm pretty sure my need for adventure scares him silly.

i adore spontaneity!  (i am soo glad that word was in my dictionary!)

spontaneous (adj) happening or done naturally; not forced or suggested by someone else

the very definition makes me what to whoop!
this is how deep my need to be authentic and spontaneous goes...
true story:
i took my crocheting along to church the other sunday and sat in the middle
of sunday school AND the service, and crocheted a scarf.
(my husband looked at me like i was NUTS! but i think he was secretly amuzed.  and maybe a tad bit impressed that i didn't care what anyone thought.) (chuckle.)

if i could bring about a change in girls/women today,
i would start by shouting from the rooftops that it is OK to be different!
authentic! original!
no appologies!
do you know that when we compare ourselves with someone else,
not only do we rob ourselves of the joy of being who we are,
but we also rob the other person of the joy of being who they are.

i will go to such extreme measures to switch up a day, like today for example,
that i will invite my two little neices over, and have 4 little girls at the kitchen table
covering pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed.  seriously. 
it might be messy and crazy...
but at least it's different from yesterday!!  (smile of satisfaction)

this morning, before the above stated mess took place,
i lit all the candles in my hurricanes on my quirkly little cupboard
...(that cost $12 at a sale and reminds me of something i would have seen in my grandma's house.  you should have seen the look on my husband's face when i pointed it out at the sale and said, "i'd like to have that.")
just because candles burning are beautiful. 
and because i wasn't burning candles yesterday!
and they add to the comfort and beauty of my kitchen.
why wait for company to light the candles?

ross is such a great place to shop!
the prices are great.
and you are not likely to find the same thing there
two times in a row.
their shelves, especially the house decor in the back,
are stocked with originals!  treasures!
things you are not likely to find in anyone else's home.
a great way to express who YOU are.

if i could afford a professional decorator to redo my house, i'd say, no thanks.
because, even though my house is not professionally is me.  looking around in my home, you will learn about who i am as a person.  it expresses my likes, my faith, my taste in color etc.  and i like that.  a lot.

i love meeting women.  learning about who they are, and what makes them...well...them.
becoming part of another person's life is a huge honor.
brightening someone's day is a delight!
blessing someone with encouragement is a blessing!
and i value that opportunity!
this blog is another way for that to happen.
i am going to provide an incentive for you to help me meet other women.  (smile)
i am going shopping tonight, and i am going to scope out the stores for treasures to post and give away.
i'm not sure how all the fancy bloggers do that...but i'll figure out something that works for me, and i will LOVE sending off treasures to show up in your mailboxes!!
and all i ask in return is that you post my blog link on your facebook profile,
or spread the word to friends and family who you think might enjoy "a little something."

in the meantime,
switch it up, or keep it the same...
whatever works for YOU! 
give yourself the gift of YOU.
and give others the gift of YOU!!

be beautifully you!

ann (aka) annie

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

safety sissors, college, and the eiffel tower

hello again.  so soon.
today i am going to compose a post that will most likely be, for some,
a breath of fresh air.
for others,
it may be rather shocking.
howsoever that may be,
i'll just write,
and let the chips fall where they may.

mornings and i are not super friends.
we've not really had a chance to get properly aquainted, you see,
because we are always joined by other people.
people who are small and loud.
did you ever notice that noise is magnified first thing in the morning?
like a quarrel, or a demand for milk, or a door slamming?  sooooo loud!
(maybe i should wear earmuffs for the first hour i'm up and around. hmmm...)

anyway, i would rather stay up well into the night, and then sleep until,
say 8 or 9.  but the small, loud people, they have forced me to adapt to a routine that fits their schedule better.  so it goes without saying that i'm not always miss sunshine first thing in the morning.  it's not even light outside,
and i am supposed to rouse my slumbering daughter for school?  she also does not like mornings so she fights me every step of the way.  if you were a mouse in our house, peeping through a hole in the bedroom wall, this is what you'd see.  (well, technically, if you were a mouse in our house, you'd be dead.  we have three cats who live in our basement and they kill an outrageous amount of mice.  but you know what i mean...)

so i trudge over to cassie's bed, (she's 10 now, but we've been doing this faithfully for 5 years.) and i poke her, and mutter,
"cassie.  get up.  it's morning."
she grunts and rolls away from me.
i nudge her with more umph, and hiss,
"CASS, get up!!"
she groans, "i don't want to get up. i'm still tired."
and i say through clenched teeth,
"do NOT wake your sisters!  i mean it!!"  (and i do mean it!)
then she does one of two things.
either she goes ahead and talks outloud...i'm convinced she does it on purpose to wake above mentioned sisters,
or she completely ignores me altogether and goes back into her deep slumber.
then i have no choice but to start shaking the mattress, or her. 
confession: i have, on at least one occasion, balled my hand into a fist and pounded her on the butt.  (as a last resort, of course.)

i am sure it will come as no surprise to you, when i tell you she much prefers her father to wake her for school.  he likes mornings. he goes to her bed and gently tells her to get up, and if he can't rouse her, he just scoops her up, blanket and all, and carries her down stairs.  how can i even compete with that??? 
he doesn't do that for me.  i'm just saying.

once miss cassie is out the door and off to school, the other two little misses and i get on with the day.  sometimes they ask to watch pbs kids for a bit, and i say yes. 
this morning was such a morning.
they were watching clifford, and i looked at the clock and saw that there was a good 20 minutes left before it was over.
i remembered how delicious my bed had felt, and i padded up the stairs and crawled back in.  not to sleep, of course, but just to rest in the quietness of my room for a blessed 20 minutes.  i rarely allow myself this little luxury.  i lay there, pondering the possibility of taking my three year old, cheney, for her pictures. i was wondering if i was up for torturing myself or not.

ten minutes later, i heard my 3 year old calling for me.  she was saying something about wanting to cut my hair.  i stayed quiet.  i heard her say,
"mommy, where IS you!?" 

she found me in my bed, shortly thereafter.
in her hand was a safety sissors.
she again stated that she wanted to cut my hair.  and i realized, promptly, that she must have enjoyed cutting her own hair so much that now she wanted to cut mine.

her bangs were gone.  the butchered look.
like hunks gone.  ohhh what a bad sight.  but she is my third child, and not the first one to take a sissors to the scalp, so i just sighed, and got out of bed, and decided pictures will need to wait a month or so. 

a bit later i told her in a firm tone that she must not cut her hair again.
her reply was an emphatic,
"yes i IS going to cut my hair again!  because i BIGGER!!"
when i would not change my mind, she said,
"you mean now.  i want another one mommy!"
(she always follows the word another with the word one.)
so she went on to tell me who she wanted for her new mommy, and when i told her that i thought if she went to live somewhere else she would miss me,
she got a strange expression on her face.  and she said,
"stop lookin' at me!"  so.  what can i say?  she is a girl who knows what she is thinking and feeling.  and, she is not afraid to verbalize it.

i realize how much i've changed over the years of mothering.
i over reacted something terrible with my first born child.  poor cassie.  no wonder she's so intense!
when cassie was three, she asked someone why their hiney was so big.
no joke.  it was...there are no words.  i covered her mouth and wisked her away before she could embarrass me farther.
now with cheney,
she just told my mom the other day,
"your body is stinky.  i don't like you.  and i not want you to come to my house!"
to which i replyed, calmly, "mom, she's three.  please don't mind her." 
i just learned that freakouts do not help, and i guess i am less concerned about how people veiw me as a mother.  i have stopped trying to impress people with my well behaved kids.  there.  i said it.
we do that, as moms, you know.

(if you look closely at this picture of cheney, you will notice that she is indeed the third child.  she dressed herself.  shirt is backwards. fly is open. and pay special attention to her footwear. classy! and of course none of you can see this, but take my word for it.  her underware are on inside out AND backwards.)

and moms also have this thing were they act like motherhood is just the most divine thing they ever experienced.  they get all sappy when they talk about their babies growing up, and how they want to freeze them at this age.  i just listen, and smile, but i'm thinking,
"are you NUTS???  you want to do this till you DIE seriously?"
i mean i have great moments with my kids too, but...

and then there are all those conversations about how parents dread the day their kids will go off to college. (i'm thinking of starting to pack cassie's bags any day now.  i mean she's 10.  why wait till the last minute??)
or the dad stories about how they cry just thinking of giving their girls away?
clint and i have considered putting a sign out by the road,
3 daughters. available for marraige to christian boys. apply within.

and yes.  i am laughing.
and yes.  i do have a heart!
and yes.  i do love my girls.

but that dosn't mean i do not think about the day when i can stay in bed and just relax with a book.  or take an uninterupted bubble bath.  or listen to MY music and watch MY movies.  or think.
infact, i dream about those days sometimes.
now i know that paul said he learned that whatever state he found himself in to be content...blah blah blah...

and not meaning any disrespect to paul, of course, but he was never a mom.
you know what i'm saying??
now i know he was in prison, and blah blah...
but sometimes i wonder if a cell with a cot and a book, with my meals served to me, would be all that horrible.

and YES!  i'm kidding.  mostly. (smile.)

when my girls are bigger, and can get on without me for a while, i plan to go abroad.  to paris, definately...but other places too.
i want to see the world.  drink coffee by the eiffel tower.
and in my dream, my children are far away.  and unless he develops a passionate love of is their father. (smile)  don't worry.  he already knows he's not invited to go along with me to paris.  i think he is relieved.  i'll bring them gifts.  (i'm thoughtful that way.) 

what i'm saying, girls, is that i think it's ok...even MORE than ok, to admit that things are not perfect.  and we're not perfect.  that when pressed, we will pound our kids on the butt to wake them up for school. 

these masks we wear...
they just make us weary.
and who do we really think we are kidding, anyway?
i took mine off.
it's a relief.
i can breath more easily.
and the fresh air is glorious.

i say,
let's keep it real.

p.s. yes. i know that when all my daughters have left my house, i might miss them.  and wish they'd come back.  maybe even wish they were little again.  but that is just because i will have forgotten what it was really like.  :)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

blind either way

today is a writing day.
not all days are, you see.
well, at least not for me.
i am a girl who writes as i see, feel, and understand life around me.  for me to sit and write simply because i haven't updated my blog in a while, would be a big old post waiting to fall flat on its face.  it would be empty.  only words.  and i love words, but not when they are JUST words.  way too many people write and speak using ONLY words.  give me some heart people!!

anyway, i am happy to be back.
i found a bag of whole bean duncan doughnuts coffee in my stocking on christmas morning.  it has since been ground, and i am enjoying a cup as we "speak."  perhaps you might like to pause in your reading for a moment, and prepare a cup of coffee or tea for yourself, and we can fancy enjoying it together.  me here, and you wherever you may be.  there are no rules that say you must be sitting at the same table to enjoy coffee and a "chat" together. (smile)

today i looked for several words in my dictionary (because as stated before, i am a terrible speller) only to find that none of the words i was looking for were in my dictionary.  and no.  i'm not that smart.  my dictionary is just that small.  i guess.  so now...i have no choice but to go out to ...wherever,
(oh who am i kidding...i'll go to borders.  i have such a thing for borders.)
and purchase a more complete dictionary.  my dictionary must have the words i need, or it is, of course, of no great value to me.
or to you.
because let's face it...
you are the people trying to read my post. (smile)

so if all my blog readers had to pay a fee of $1.00 to read a post, i'd soon have myself a small stash in which to purchase above mentioned dictionary.  however, since i do not charge my readers, i shall have to come up with another way to earn my stash.  perhaps the good old fashioned way of tips.
i get tips at the coffee shop.  some days more than others. 
i have a customer turned friend, who is a handsome tipper.
(not sure if tipper is a word...but you get my drift)
and by handsome, i mean he tips generously.
(that he IS actually handsome is besides the point.)  ;)
anyway, the other day he was at the shop, and we were chatting while i made his green tea with ginger.  when he put a dollar bill in the tip jar, i took it out and handed it back and said,
"you don't have to tip me anymore.  we're friends now." 
i am SO taking that back!!
the next time he comes to the shop on my shift, i will be forced to say,
(in light of my pressing dictionary need)
"hey.  remember when you used to tip me?  what say we go back to those good old days?!"
if he would read my blog, it would just be so much less awkward. (smile and a chuckle.)
no, really. he won't mind.  he thinks tipping is cool.
words straight from his mouth.  no joke.

and now, just in case you are about to dispair that my post will contain anything that really matters...
(although i do, for the record, think lightness and fun are food for the soul)
i shall move on.  on to things of the heart.

this past year has been a year of intense introspection for me.

introspection (n.) 1. self examination:
the detailed mental examination of your own
feelings, thoughts, and motives

introspection can be a beautiful thing.
and by beautiful,
i do not mean pain free.

God called me into a time of introspection.  i really believe that.  a time to look closely, deeply, and intentionally,
at the things buried in my heart and soul.

who am i?  and why?
what am i afraid of?  and why?
how are my fears holding me captive?
how can i be free? 
truely free?

(freedom comes at a high price.  but true freedom is priceless!!  does that make sense?  in my mind it does.)

there were some fractures in my heart.
oh nothing that i couldn't hide from the rest of the world...
but fractures i knew exisited.
and how did i know?
because every now and again, i would encounter something that would
put a strain on the fractures, and i would double over in pain. 
and just like a real fracture, if you tend to it, maybe wrap an ace bandage around it for a while,
treat it carefully...
it seems like it healed.  for the most part, at least.
but then,
one day, without forget to protect your weak area...and
OOhhhh...the pain!!

i didn't want that to happen to me anymore.
i knew that God created me to be limitless. 
to soar.
to be...
(dare i say it?  dare i risk it even though some of you will be tempted to shake your head and click your tongue, and say, that girl is proud!)
there.  i said it.
i was created to be amazing!!  (and i am smiling!!)
(so were you, btw.)

so began a journey. the most painful i've ever been on...
looking deeply into my heart and facing the things that were broken and hurting.
the things i hid with a smile.

no more hiding.

introspection is hard, hard work.
rather, dealing with what you find, through introspection, is hard work.  and not for the faint of heart.
but to me it was worth it.
to know i had not left any rocks unturned.
to know i was no longer running from fear, but looking it in the face and saying,
somehow, somehow...through the power of Jesus Christ in me, i will face this, and i will over come this!

and so, for months and months i looked inward and pondered over what i had found.
and it was good.  good to know and understand myself more fully.
good to find out what i'd been hiding from myself and others.

and then, as this year came to an end, and a new one began,
i felt God calling me to turn from my introspection, and look around me again.
i felt Him calling me to SEE the world.
with new eyes.
and it was a welcome invitation!

see (v) 1. perceive with the eyes  2. meet or visit somebody
3. understand  4. imagine  5. consider  6. make sure  7. discover

not that i had ever completely stopped looking around me,
but it is a challange, during intense introspection, not to get stuck inside of oneself.
introspection is only helpful if it propells (one l or two?  i'm sure i do not know!)
us forward.  otherwise, isn't it just a waste of time and energy? 
the entire time i was exposing the dark places within me,
i knew i was doing it for more than myself.
i knew that if i mustered up the courage to heal,
many would benefit.
it's just the way it goes.

and feeling myself become stronger and more assured of who i was/am...
my heart responded to the calling of God to SEE.

is there a greater gift to be given to someone apart from actually seeing them?
no matter who we are,
we long to be seen.
and by seen,
i mean perceived not only with the eyes, but with the heart and spirit as well.
to see someone fully means to embrace who they are.  recognize them. 
when we perceive others with our hearts, we love.
when we perceive them with our spirit, we understand.  we give grace.

there are a few people in my life who really see me.
they "get" me.  they do not get hung up on my mistakes because they know my heart,
and have chosen to believe in the goodness of my heart and intentions.
and when i need perspective,
and someone to listen...
you better believe, i reach out to those few who see me.
there is no judgement.  no harshness.  just grace.  and love.  because they see.
they make a choice to see me.  and my heart loves them fiercely because of it!

just last night,
i was talking to a girl who was expressing such a deep frustration, which was in actuality, pain,
because she had moved here from out of state, and the people here did not "get" her.
she expressed sadness and loneliness.  grief.
because she was not being seen.
and my heart ached for her.
so i saw her.
and i know it gave her courage to keep being herself.
being seen gives us courage, you know.
i really believe that.
the need to be seen goes oh so deep.
and it is a need that everyone, no matter the what gender or race,

what a beautiful opportunity.

what a beautiful opportunity.

but choosing one without the other,
leave us blind.

if we are running from what is inside of us,
we are blindly "seeing" the world.
and if we are consumed with what is inside of us,
we are blindly "seeing" the world.

the two together, create beauty and opportunity.

may we always have the courage to face what lies inside.
but may be never, ever forget to see those around us.

until next time then,
i leave you with a smile.
the real kind.
the kind that are not hiding anything,
but come straight from the heart!
with a sparkle in the eyes for good measure!

~ann aka annie