Mirror-mirror…….

As we enter a wonderful New Year, please consider the quote in the pic below.  Take time to let go of things that don’t serve you & embrace unseen possibilities!  Unpack the emotional, self sabotaging, traps you’ve allowed to ensnare you.

Past failures should never be allowed to hold you captive, but should be considered teachable moments.  Failures have been one of my greatest tools for strengthening & course correction.  Past successes, regardless of how stellar they are, should be a memory.  What awaits each & every one of us in 2013 should be met with such anticipation, we may even lose some sleep!  Seriously!

Try this exercise for me!  It’s not strenuous, so don’t panic!  🙂  Go find a mirror & tell the person staring back how amazing they are!  I know this may be awkward at first because that person is you, but trust me…….once you love & respect yourself, things change!  Instead of telling that person how stupid they are for some of the crazy things they’ve done, validate their life & encourage them to push on toward becoming who God desires them to be.  Pick out some qualities you admire & affirm that person.   Tell that person what God says about them!  They are fearfully & wonderfully made & are the apple of His eye!   Let’s face it…..there are moments in time when you need to hear something positive.  Why wait on someone else to give that to  you?  They’re dealing with their own issues & may not be able to recognize you need their words. You want to know something awesome?  Once you begin validating who you are, you quickly recognize the look on others faces & can quickly validate them!  You become a mirror for them!

Many years ago I was beyond distraught & everything around me was crumbling.  Yes…..everything!  I quickly realized, as a single parent, my kids were my first priority.  Regardless of the depth of tragedy I faced, it wasn’t about me, so letting these things get the best of me wasn’t an option.  Not only was my reaction going to be an example for the present moment, but  I knew they would one day face challenges & hopefully could draw from this example for themselves.  Instead of allowing circumstances dictate my emotions, I focused the energy that could  have easily been anxiety into prayer & chose to walk in peace.  Now peace didn’t consume me immediately, but daily as I refused to allow my reactions to rule.  I learned I had a choice & peace was my choice. As I responded to this, things were easier to bear.  I tried this mirror-mirror exercise & while it was extremely painful at first, it quickly become an instant pick-me-upper! Now, years later, I love that person staring back at me.  I encourage & challenge her on a daily basis toward change.  YOU can do the same & I strongly suggest  it become a regular practice for you in the new year.

Blessings & happy, happy 2013!

One is a whole number!

g

better ahead

Serenity…

Good morning,

On my drive in to work this morning I was pondering some comments made by others & the Serenity Prayer immediately came to mind.  I looked it up immediately & have to admit, I have only known the first part of the prayer.  The rest of the prayer is what I needed to meditate on today!

While Christmas is my favorite time of year, as a single adult, I know it can be the worst time for some.  I have endured many Christmas celebrations where there was very little money. Except for someone showing generosity & adopting my kids, they wouldn’t have had anything.  The pressure of making sure children get what they want & trying to figure out what can go unpaid to do so is beyond stressful.  I remember when I discovered the blessing of utilizing the Christmas Club Account through my job at the hospital & it quickly became a lifesaver.  I spent money on things during the year that were completely a want instead of a need.  Then……December would find me panicked!  Why?  Why do we allow the most beautiful month of the year cause such anxiety?  Financial planning & discipline can make this year the most enjoyable.  But…..isn’t it more than the gifts wrapped under the tree?

My daughter’s family & I adopted a practice in 2010 that has been a complete blessing.  Giving the gift of presence instead of presents has eased the stress & created amazing memories.  I continued to give presents to Bryce & Sara as they lived in the same community & had just gotten married.  The first year, Russell, my son-in-law, chose Chicago as our trip.  I drove from Texas to Missouri to exercise our first “presence!’  We got up early the next morning, boarded Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago & had an amazing couple of days.  We walked the Magnificent Mile as Lilli & Kaelleb shopped at their choice of stores.  We ate at Portillo’s and Giordano’s.  The highlight, of course was Shedd Aquarium.   

It snowed the entire time we were there & the kids were amazing.  When we got home we made a Spongebob Snowpants snowman!  They commented it was the best Christmas ever.  There were so many memories from that trip.  My gift to my grands were their tickets to Shedd. I didn’t buy one present for them except for tickets to Shedd & the hotel.  Presence instead of presents.

The next year Lilli & Kaelleb actually asked for a room makeover in both their bedrooms.  I drove to Missouri & spent a week in the sweatshop!  The den in the basement became my sewing room!   We spent countless hours for days sewing, painting rooms & furniture, putting beds together all to create 2 amazing bedrooms.  We unveiled the results & the kids loved it. Today when I see products from that week, it still makes me warm knowing we gave the gift of presence.  We also spread the love by drawing names between our small family.

This year is a little different in that everyone has been in transition.  For the first time in 14 1/2 years my family now lives in the same state!  This, in itself,  is the greatest gift of all to me!  In July Russell & Summer moved from Missouri to Texas.  Bryce  & Sara are expecting a beautiful baby girl, Aubri Skye, who will make her appearance in February 2013.  In October I moved from my loft in the Dallas Design District to a house in Sachse. In the last couple of weeks Russell’s mom, step-dad & sister have just moved to Texas.  We planned a few trips, destinations, etc., that just didn’t comply with schedules, etc.  We’ve decided to enjoy the local Chinese Lantern Festival, draw names again & spend the day at my house having gumbo for lunch!  Some will then go to our new friend’s house for dinner, games & fun!

I know there are many single parents who are fretting over Christmas.  I made a choice, as an act of my will,  to fret not!!   In recent events that have taken place in Connecticut, I’ve learned life is simply too short to fret.  The love God has for us to have sent His only son, Jesus, as a gift is overwhelming.  I’m awed by the obedience Jesus displayed to have left His heavenly throne to come to a humble, earthly dwelling.  Somehow somewhere along the way we need to realize what makes the most impact to those around us.  A star led strangers, kings & commoners to a baby in a manger full of animals.  His presence has continued to change our lives & truly is the greatest present for all mankind.

I encourage you today as a single individual to re-evaluate what is truly important.  Our children spell love  T- I- M- E !!  Enjoy this prayer as it has blessed me today!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

One is a whole number,

Blessings,

g

Whatapizza

Spongebob Snowpants

Spongebob Snowpants

They were glued to the Christmas show at Shedd Aquarium

They were glued to the Christmas show at Shedd Aquarium

The back of Shedd Aquarium on a frozen Lake Michigan

The back of Shedd Aquarium on a frozen Lake Michigan

Portillo's

Portillo’s

Welcome!

It’s great to see you here!  My quest to write 2 books will begin here.  As we begin to know each other, let’s lay some house rules or really just my primary rule…….. Please be respectful of others when you write comments.   “The Power of Respect” by Deborah Norville  is the greatest source of understanding how easy it is to be disrespectful.  Respect simply means no foul language or badgering each other!  

I am grateful you are here & look forward to our journey!  

Blessings, 

g