Look Again

So today I spent about an hour cleaning my daughters clean room…sound crazy?  It was. She, at 11, sent me a text message, from school, begging me to find her lost gift card because she wants to use it after school. Well, since I am the best Mom ever I decided to venture into her room to find this “missing” gift card. Her room was already clean (it’s required), so I really just tried to retrace her steps from two days ago when I handed her the gift card. She is such a free spirit not worrying about anything, except her fashion! As I cleaned the room again, I still didn’t find the card. I felt sad because I didn’t’ want to disappoint her.

This afternoon when she came home, I encouraged her to look again, and see if she could find it. After about fifteen minutes elapsed, I walked by her room and there she was, tears in her eyes, sprawled out over her bed. “Did you find it?” I asked.  “No.” She could barely speak because of the tears. Well I began some lecture about responsibility and the value of things, and told her to look again. She did not move off the bed. While I continued, I opened a drawer that I had just searched two hours ago and there among her shirts, was the gift card.

I picked it up, still lecturing (ha) and said, “See daughter, sometimes, you just have to look again.” Just like life, those tests, people, circumstances that cause you despair, instead of laying on the bed with tears in your eyes, get up and Look Again!

Happy New Look!!  🙂

 

Passwords

For the last two months I have been trying to remember my password to my school issued email account. The university sends out reminders that your password is going to expire and in that email they give you the option while reading the email to click the link and reset your password. Now, here’s the problem.  I was in the computer lab and did not have my journal to write down the new password, so I found a receipt in my purse and created a new one.  I should have used one of the generated ones and taken a picture of it with my cell phone, but no I wanted to be fancy and make up one that I could remember. Well I scribbled the first combination of letters, numbers and symbols that came to my head and created a new password. All was well until I received notification on my iPad I had a new email for the upcoming semester. Well, I touched the app and it launched and then the dreaded pop-up box appeared. “Please enter your new password.” I didn’t even sweat it, I went to my purse and looked for the receipt.

Oh no!!!!!!! I can’t find the receipt. I don’t know where it is. Did I throw it away? This can’t be happening, how am I going to fix this problem? Oh wait I know, I can hit lost password and reset it with no problem, except when it asks me to answer the security question, I don’t know the answer!!  AUGHHHHHH!!!! I panicked and attempted this daunting task. I hit the reset button and up pops the security question, and I knew the answer!! Success!  I reset the password, wrote it down in the proper place and thought no more about it.

I giggle when I remember the sheer fear that gripped me when I couldn’t remember my password. I mean I didn’t want to see those dreaded words, Access Denied appear on my screen, because then it would seem that I am not authorized to open this account. My identity and authenticity of ownership would be questioned. Although I know I am the rightful owner, the system did not recognize me without the password.  Our life has a series of passwords.  See, these unique combinations represent change and as I’ve grown I have given access to those that I want in my life. If today you have anything or anyone in your life that doesn’t quite fit, and your access denied box keeps popping up it may be time to change some passwords!

Happy New Life!

 

Write a Note

If you are like me, there is something special about a handwritten note. First of all, the person used actual pen and paper and thought about the message they were going to leave you. When I grew up, in the 80’s there were no mobile phones. Ok, there were except they were as big as your face and you could not Facebook, Tweet, or even text. So instant communication was pen and paper. When we would come home from school, our Mom would leave notes for us explaining what chores she expected to be completed when she came home from work. The note would be extremely detailed, leaving no room for misinterpretation of her expectations. Sometimes she would write(draw) a smiley face on the note. Now if you could imagine your mom or dad drawing, it was kind of like this. A huge circle, ( that was my head), two smaller oval shapes for my eyes, two dark big dots for my eyeballs,and about 5-6 lines for my eyelashes. Now to complete this, she would draw a huge smile ( no teeth) two half-circles attached to the side of my face for my ears, and some BIG HAIR!!! That image, no Picasso but beautiful nonetheless made me smile.

Words and images are so powerful. We take the advantage we now have with social media and abuse the reader by writing words and posting (drawing) images that damage all those who see. It almost seems like that the art of communication has been lost, because we forgot why we write.

My Mom wrote to provide instruction, guidance, humor but most of all love. When I became a Mom I followed her example and began to write notes in the children’s lunch boxes. I would use that moment to say to each of them what they mean to me. Most times after a conversation with each of them separately, the theme for that week’s note is made. The note is designed to make them feel special, to help them remember who they are, to remind them of their dreams, but most importantly to never let them forget I love them.  Taking time to put a few thoughts to paper was overwhelming at first. I thought with the schedule of the morning, I am not adding one more thing. But the first time I forgot a note and all three of my kids said, “mom where’s our note?” I knew it was more than just a chore, it was a connection.

Take time to tell those you love, those you are working on loving, even those you don’t love right now, the truth through pin and paper. Use those words to reflect what you need to do, and how you want to change the relationship. It may be old-fashioned, but today I wrote you a note!

Happy New Life!

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The Beauty of Hope

I have a blended family. When my husband and I married I inherited four children, two girls and two boys. His children are older than my daughter and to say I was nervous about our union would be a drastic understatement. Being a mother, I was not worried if I would be good enough, I was only worried if I could show them how to love, the way God loves each of us.  Within three months of our union, my son’s (16 and 14 at the time) came to live with us. I was shocked, overwhelmed, nervous and excited. I always wanted to have son’s so this was my opportunity. However, what has happened over the last year has radically altered my life.

Imagine being newlyweds, with one child and then suddenly adding two more to the mix, and did I mention we were still newlyweds? How in the world, do you adjust, how do you make it work, how do you not lose hope? I have never raised a teenager, and matter of fact my son’s were almost raised when the arrived at our home. I have never had to deal with the pressure of high school graduation requirements, transferring from another state and school, finding opportunities for social engagement, and then adding our Faith into a cloud mix. I was drowning in my own life. I felt like I was losing my mind. How in the world am I going to work, be a mom, a wife, a cheerleader, a confidant, a guide, a disciplinarian, and still love? I was hopeless. I was scared.

My oldest son, now a Senior graduating May 24, 2014 was hopeless that first day of his junior year last January. He stood in our kitchen with tears in his eyes, the report from the guidance counselor was, there is no hope, you will not graduate with your class next year. My heart sank, how in world, when in the world, Lord help me right now….what do I say, what do I do?  I felt hopeless in that moment, so I relied on God who is Love,  and wrapped my arms around him, and said, this is not your life, this is only one moment in your life and you will graduate next year.

As an adult, blessed with family and friends that pushed me, encouraged me and supported me, I never worried about high school, college, travel or my career, I always believed I would and I did. But standing in my kitchen I did not know what would happen. In life there are moments that we just don’t know what will happen, and losing hope is the first option we execute and sometimes the only option.

The last year contained many fights, sleepless nights, constant meetings with teachers, administrators, testing liaisons, late night talks, and prayer. I sometimes question did I have enough faith, can I really believe God, can I really help my son believe he can do this? The only answer I could hold on to was hope.

Today, my son and I met with his Dual Credit adviser and a miracle occurred. She informed him that because of his performance over the last two semesters, he would not only be eligible for a scholarship to pay 100% of his tuition beginning Summer of 2014, but with work he could graduate with his Associate’s degree in 2015. His face lit up, and it wasn’t the news, it was joy knowing God answered his prayer and he was now going to become whatever he liked. We left the office running to our car like little kids, entered the house and he said, ” Mom, with a smile from here to China, I just want to say thanks.” We hugged. In that moment I remember what happened in the kitchen, I remembered how scared I was to inherit four children, I remember how many nights I cried, how we fought, how I wanted to give up, and then tonight, I experienced the Beauty of Hope!

Happy New Life!   P.S. 103 School Days until Graduation!!!! 🙂

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

So, I am sitting here at my computer writing this note and the only light is the glow of my computer screen. Growing up, my parents would always say, “you’re not afraid of the dark, go to bed.” I used to think, Yes I am!!!! But now I wonder what was I really afraid of? My room looks exactly the same in the light as it does in the dark, right? Nothing changes, so than what I am really afraid of, less light?  These questions rattled my brain for years and tonight I finally answered myself.

The dark, an absence of light, does not change what the light illuminates, it only casts a shadow over the things that are already known. The dark means I need more light in order to function, just as I do when I have light. It means although I know my surroundings, I must be careful not to take for granted my sight. When it’s light I don’t necessarily pay attention to anything, because my eyes know my environment well. But those same eyes, adjust when there is only a shadow of what it knows to be true and sends a signal to my brain to proceed with caution to avoid injury.

Funny, how we spent our childhood avoiding what as adults we want to live in, the dark. We think that our ability to adjust to shadows will in some way keep us from dealing with what is known in the light. We plot revenge at night, plan to leave our homes, children, employment, at night, we fight at night…why because in the dark I only have to see a shadow of myself and those I intend to injure.

I confess, I am afraid of the dark, not because of what I can’t see, but what I do see. It is a good place to hide, it’s lonely, sometimes it feels good, and I never have to deal with the truth. Unfortunately, I learned tonight that darkness doesn’t last. Its strength, power, and control is severely handicapped because light is always ready to return. See when the sun sets, it is making plans to return. The sun (the hottest burning star) provides time for darkness to enter but not remain. Don’t fear the dark, destroy it. Use your eyes for vision, use your life for purpose, live in the light!

~You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14~

Happy New Life!