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I must write about this. Bursting at the seams. My son has had Crohn's. He was diagnosed four years ago. It has been a tough condition to watch a young boy deal with. I have prayed without ceasing that he would be ok. Yesterday we went to his doctor. All his blood tests came back normal!! That is a first in a very, very long time. He has received another miracle. My son is a miracle. Even she was in disbelief at how well he has done. There is no secret to his healing...110% assuredly God is healing him!!!
For some reason, I've not been able to write. I've missed it. Isn't it funny how a routine establishes certain habits for us and when we don't have that, we don't do it. I kept making note, to just write, even it was an email to myself. Well, that did not happen. I'm taking this time to welcome myself back! Hooray. Kind of like missing morning coffee, but not quite that bad. Here is something I realized while trying to find out why I couldn't pick a batch. I am technologically impaired. Not real swift at working out the glitches.
It is hard to go back and try to recollect a day that happened 25 days ago. I think that means there is too much in my life. Oh how I pray for simplified. I want to eliminate stress and clutter from my life, but I'm not sure how to do that. My husband claims it is the stage of life we are in. I would put "simplify" on my 'to do' list but I'm sure it would just get shuffled down to the bottom. I dislike being "busy" and not having down time, that needs to become a priority.
Thank you, God for helping me each and every step of my life. I know there is much that I do and without you, I'd never accomplish it. There are times I look around and think, how on earth do I plan to get that all done? I don't think God respects my 'in over my head' status, but I know He comes 'long side me and assists me. I kind of say it with pride but also with a tired sigh, not too many could run a mile in my shoes. Running shoes, not just for running...but living.
I don't believe our country is truly for small businesses. People like to say that they are, but in reality, it's almost like shooting clay pigeons when people see that another has went out of business...they are secretly happy because of the failure of someone else. I don't understand that mentality. My recent incident involved a large insurance company that judged my payment record...and without notice they told me to come up with a large sum of money within days or they were canceling my insurance. Fine with me, I went to State Farm, like a good neighbor.
The decorating is done, and I must say, I out-did myself. It all looks very pretty. I especially like the tiny lights above the beams in my kitchen. It just illuminates the entire house. I have to say a tree in every room might be over-kill but I once had a dream that is something I'd be able to do. I like my tree, with cardinals, my favorite bird. I like my firehouse village. I like my daughter's Purdue tree. I love the 'believe' sign above my Santa hats. Personalized, that's how I want the holidays to be.
Fork in the road. Don't you hate it? Yep, pick the best but you don't know what the best is? It's so difficult. So I wish I could just sit on the fork and rest awhile. Mine is that I'm tired of being on the merry-go-round.I'm tired of my hectic life. But to break free of some of the hassles means...new career, maybe; selling my home, maybe; redefining who I am, maybe...those are big issues to address. It is like your heart knows what needs to be done, but it can't cooperate with your head.
I heard someone mention the number of days 'til Christmas I panicked. I decided to jump in with both feet and get the shop decorated. Not nearly as elaborate as last years' theme. But minimal is better, right. It works. I honestly feel like I have these two worlds, home and my business and both are equally busy. I need toilet paper at home, I need toilet paper at the shop. I feel like I run two houses, two sets of bills, two sets of maintenance....I confess, I'm tired. And sometimes the people in each are equally demanding. Sigh.
My son has had girlfriend issues. How do you parent a teenage son? Trying to let him spread his wings and find out stuff on his own, but wanting to still guide and protect him. My daughter did not date, as a teenager, thank God. But my son likes ALL the girls. This last one broke up with him and letting him cry until he had snot all over my coat was difficult for me. Because what 'said girl' didn't know is that when you break my son's heart, you break my heart. And that doesn't make Momma Bear happy!
Shopping. Most women's fantasy pastime. I am not most. I despise shopping. That's why the Christmas season adds anxiety to my already busy schedule. I dislike the crowds. However, I must say, Chicago helped me through that. My daughter and I shopped all the time, while I visited her in August. One evening, I observed the bustling crowd in a discount retail department store, the lines, the mass amount of people and thought...I can only imagine what it's like a Christmas. So, the crowds at our mall looked miniscule. Facing a fear, I conquered another. I still dislike shopping.
Onto another holiday task, entertaining. I like to entertain. I don't like preparing, but I do like having people over to my house. I used to think being 'hostess' was a gift. Since I work way more than I used to, I'm not sure it is a gift, but it is something I enjoy. We've invited the men and their wives that work with my husband at the firehouse over for an Italian dinner. Once my house is clean, I am free and clear to enjoy. Planning the the menu, cooking, setting the table is easy-peasey. Ready for guests!
Nightmare on our street. In the middle of an already busy day, a phone calls stops you in your tracks. We have a well-known security system installed in our home. I received a call that our smoke alarms were going off. I've gotten calls that someone was trying to get in but in ten years, I've never had them call me for 'fire'. My son was taking his test to get his driver's license, my husband was with him. I left my business, drove the 25 minute drive wondering what I'd find. False alarm! Had to give God praise!
There's something about the movie "Elf" that makes my heart leap. I'm positive it's because the character in Elf is so uninhibited. He visits New York City in search of his dad and doesn't realize there's a code of behavior to which we civilized human beings are supposed to adhere to. I framed a quote from that movie and it hangs in my laundry room for all to see...it says, "Spread Christmas cheer by singing aloud for all to hear." We are all so inhibited, we refrain from doing fun things. I envy his over-zealous enthusiasm for life.
I went to help my daughter today. She is getting ready to move back home. I traveled the 2 hours to Purdue University, to help her pack her apartment. We went to campus so I could meet some of her friends. She knows everyone!! As she parked in the parking garage,she introduced me to Dave, the garage attendant. She also talked to me about attending a party at the President of the University's home. My heart explodes knowing she's 'important' enough to be invited to the president's home, but more so that she knows the parking attendant by name.
Onward...I apologize....I'm playing catch-up for you who write daily, we who run two, three, four days behind are probably annoying. And it's so hard, when you write like I do, from daily life experiences. Somehow, there was a glitch in my system with this website. I couldn't enter a batch I was working on. Not sure why. I'm not technical enough to figure it out. And it was nothing more than frustrating. I believe things happen for a reason and maybe I wasn't supposed to write daily. That's fine. Now, excuse me, I have words to create...
I will brag. I am probably the best blonde-haired traditional Italian cooks around. I was forced into it. I suppose I'd be just as good at German food, but considering my husband's heavy Italian heritage, it came with the package-deal. His mother, cooked her own sauce, so of course, it was a cardinal sin to bring home sauce in a jar. So, I, with fierce determination developed my own recipe, that earned his approval. Now, I've created a monster. He will not eat out at 'chain' Italian restaurants. Not as good as mine...ah, music to my ears...
I'm somewhat bold in coversation. I like to talk. I like to express my opinion. This evening at our dinner party, I encountered someone who dominated the conversation. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I think she was just trying to cover up for her own insecurities, but wow, to be able to shut me up during dinner talk takes great skill(smile). I promised my husband we wouldn't talk about those who were in attendance, when they left. I think that's rude. (Oh come on, y'all do it!) So, we nodded in agreement, when recapping the evening.
I got a call from a friend, who also helps me run my shop. Her mother had fallen, they thought due to a heart attack and had broken vertebrae in her neck. I felt so helpless. Her dad had just died in October. This could not be happening. Her mom had been battling cancer, but had just been announced cancer free. She had come into the shop just a few days prior to give my husband and I a thank you card for helping at the funeral for her husband. I hugged her, told her happier days were ahead. Pray!
Let me take a break from intense life problems, to move onto to the topic of stupid people. I know, cynical, but I think this is a great place to say a few words on the topic. I've never in my life experienced the movement of 'stupid people' like I have in the town in which I neslted my business(bad choice?...maybe). The demands are ridiculous, they want it now, they want it designer quality but want bargain basement prices. They somehow feel entitled to 30, 45, 90 days same as cash for a $30 flower arrangement. I'm frustrated.
I am feeling like the freight train coming down the tracks and the only place it's headed is a brick wall. I'm having family for dinner Saturday, nothing is cooked, nothing is cleaned. Christmas presents for the kids are not bought, much less wrapped. The shop is a frantic mess (minus one employee). I need a break. Not the time, this week. My husband helping at the shop, my daughter volunteering to do what she can to help...they see the desperate look on my face. The worst thing is, I always promise I won't be 'this woman'. I am.
The hope and prayers didn't work as we'd liked. A dear lady passed away. It has sent shock waves through our lives. Stunned. A family lost a mother and father in two months. That is a lot for anyone to bear. It places the entire 'season' on hold. There would be no words to help or for comfort. I felt helpless. I despise that feeling. I dislike what death does. It takes away all joy. It leaves people devoid of any hope. And it is so final without any room for 'just maybe', 'what if's', or 'don't give up'. Thief.
And despite a solemn atmosphere for such a great season, I insisted on family night. Everyone got to pick something they wanted to do. Although my daughter is 20 and my son is 16, I just had to keep to my plans to work this into our bratty schedules. My son wanted to eat out, we did. My daughter wanted to look at Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate, we did. My husband wanted to pop popcorn on the stove and not in the microwave, I bought the popcorn but we didn't get it done. Me? I just wanted family night.
Something small saved me through the messes of the holiday season. A song. O Holy Night became my favorite Christmas hymn about 5 years ago. I think it is when I took the time to read the words. Wow!It became personal. We finally decided to set the radio station at the flower shop to a Christian station that played non-stop Christmas music. In years past, it was rare to hear, O Holy Night. This year, at every appropriate moment, this song would come on. It stilled my busy soul. It comforted my anxiety. I listened with my heart.
I've always loved, always loved Christmas Eve. The sense of anticipation, the family gatherings, the memories. This year fell flat. Hurts to say that. My family dinner had a stick thrown in it. Those in attendance were happy to be here, so no gripes there. I knew there were no surprise gifts waiting for the kids. It just seemed more 'planned' and 'canned' than genuine. I dug deep. Looking past the hurt feelings and failed best intentions, the Spirit tried hard to be revived. I knew better. I knew the reason lived within me. It was a challenge, at best.
I love you dear Lord for sending your Son. I give you thanks and praise for His birth. I know that a love relationship with you is the best gift ever. I'm aware of the very reason in which you sent him to earth. I am thankful for the opportunity to know the true reason for Christmas. I am more than honored to spend it knowing you sent your Son to me. I ask that you quiet me with your peace and comfort me with your Spirit. Let not my heart be troubled, today and everyday. Let me celebrate YOU.
Shut the shop down today. Hooray. Well, kind of. We ended up doing flowers. My fellow employee and myself enjoy doing flowers in the dark. Well, it isn't really dark, but we don't turn on the front lights, we stay in the back and just do flowers. Not being opened to the public saves our sanity. It is peaceful to just be alone in your thoughts and with the task at hand, which was doing funeral flowers for some sad family. When not answering the phone or waiting on customers, we are able to see the true beauty of flowers.
Today, worked for awhile, played for awhile. I went with the kids to do some errands, a little shopping, treating ourselves to our favorite foods...just being together. I savor this more than ever. I feel like I ran away. I am so thankful for my kids. I know everyday how blessed I am. My daughter, who soons turns 21, still likes me. She's a junior at Purdue. My son who is 16 and just got his license, thinks I know nothing about girls. He's a cadet in a firefighting program. Because of them, all is right with the world.
Our December weather for living in the midwest has been SO mild. I thank God daily for this. I despise the cold and the snow. Today I went for a walk. Looked down along the road and I saw a dandelion. Not a dead one, a bright yellow dandelion, and another, then another. I laughed at myself for getting excited over seeing dandelions. We still have three long months of winter weather, but someone had failed to tell these hardy little flowers. It was a smile from God, a little wink that said, "Hey, everything is going to be ok."
Do you become nostalgic as the year winds down? I guess I do. This year was one of those I don't mind if it ends. But I am also quick to add, 'things could have been much worse'. I'd sum it up as how mild frustrations can completely knock your life out of whack. Nothing earth shattering, not necessarily life and death (besides my mom), but like little irritating, frustrating hassles, issues and problems. I am ready for new. I always am. I do have huge decisions facing me this year. I need to approach things boldly and with confidence.
Today, grrrr....my chosen profession did nothing but get on my nerves. I told my husband that when I went through the drive through to get a coffee and a LARGE ice water and they handed me a cup of water that came with the kids meals, I probably should have turned the car around and went home. I also whispered this to myself(for no obvious reason, then).."this town isn't going to bully me." It did. Every call, every customer, every dealing that I encountered was irritating, and frustrating. Nothing easy, nothing simple. I'm so tired of it.
I went to my mom's for New Year's Eve. We played BINGO(I hate BINGO), but I enjoyed every minute of BINGO this year. For the past few years, I'd sit at my moms and think...there has got to be more to life. I need to be at a fancy New Year's Eve Party. The difference, I almost lost my mom, this year, to a heart attack. There's no other place I'd rather been than playing BINGO with her. I've learned a valuable lesson...my attitude determines my contentment. It put the fancy New Year's Eve party in perspective.
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