An inexpensive find

My husband is a principal and we are often out shopping for gifts for the staff at his school. We are always on the lookout for something we can buy in bulk, visually looks nice, is useful, and is inexpensive. This is our week’s find for teacher appreciation and it is even in the school colors.

One green and white coffee mug purchased from the 99 cent store, stuffed with white tissue paper also from the 99 cent store, and last but not least a five dollar Starbucks gift card laid in the mug. Our little note attached on the outside (meaning to look like a tea bag) was a free download from http://cupcakeexpressinc.com and the ribbon was also from the 99 cent store.

Image

An inexpensive thank you gift

Total cost: $8

Mug: $1

tissue paper: $1

Ribbon: $1

Gift card: $5

Gift tag: Free

Advertisements

Finding Comfort

At the beginning of April, we had the loss of our third child due to a miscarriage. I was just around 8 weeks so the news of the pregnancy was still new and fresh. Word had trickled out already of the exciting new arrival. I have been receiving words of congratulations and inquiry of the due date even up to today. People have looked at my stomach, confused as to why they haven’t seen quite a bump yet or due to the wonderful pooch I currently have, they say comments of admiration of the pregnancy belly when it is really just the fat.;)

Through all of these congratulations and awkward stomach admiration I try to quickly save as much “face” for them as for myself and I tell them that I am no longer pregnant and have had a miscarriage. There are some times where I am completely fine and I try to make the other person not feel awkward about the moment. More often than not, in the circumstance, I want to run, hide, and have someone else explain to them what has happened.

Today, while at church, a woman came up to me and looked at my stomach with question in her eyes. I explained quickly, before anything was said, that I had a miscarriage. She looked at me with sympathy beyond measure and explained how sorry she was and accompanied it with a gentle hug. Those words and that hug spoke volumes to me because this particular woman had just lost her son to suicide a few months a go and here she was comforting me on a loss of a child. Wow, strength in the midst of weakness and the power of connection between friends! What comfort that moment brought me when I was just choking back tears because I just had to explain the loss moments a go with someone else.

I was thanking the Lord for that moment we shared though it was brief. As we sat down in church we had some friends come up to us and sit on either side of us and then we turned and another couple decided to sit behind us. We were surrounded by our friends. It happened immediately and none of it was planned by any earthly measures. Funny we actually all attend different services and never sit together. We proceeded to sing a song, “How Great is our God” by Chris Tomlin. Sitting there, thinking about the woman I had seen a moment a go, looking at our friends surrounding us on all sides, and singing one of my favorite reminders of how great our God is brought me to tears. In the midst of the heartache of loss, God wrapped his arms around me and there I found comfort in His arms. Here He is, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and He still finds those times to let me know, little me, He is there and He is in control. Where do you find your comfort? Look for those moments and let them be a treasure to you!

Image

My daughter went flower picking in the backyard today. It’s the little things. ❤

Today’s Treasure: Joy!

Today’s Treasure: Joy!

For the first time, our family took a trip to Farrell’s Ice cream in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. What an experience it was! The moment we came in the hostess began to laugh as we stood there, eyes glazed, mouths open, taking in the sights and sounds. The place was rocking. Every corner you look there were people singing, laughing, taking pictures, and even dancing amidst all of the scrumptious food.  The whole experience was a bit of sensory overload.
There were moments my daughter had to cover her ears because the volume was too much. I appreciated her sensitivity and know it was physically painful for her and yet to me it was such a wake up call. We are bogged down with everyday life and normal routine. We are overwhelmed by stress filled jobs and busy families. We are distraught by the travesties of the world around us. What can we do when our lives become that blustery, Winnie the Pooh type or even worse, the Dorothy tornado nightmare fearing you might just “kill” someone along the way?
Being in Farrell’s made me quite hungry and thirsty though I was surrounded by such wonderful treats. It wasn’t a hunger for food but had a craving for the joy. The happiness and joy in the people’s faces both working there and visiting were such a beautiful reminder. No matter what was happening on the outside of that restaurant, people found a place where they could relax and remember to appreciate the moments that were there ready to embrace.
Have we forgotten to “stop and smell the roses”? Are we so caught up in the whirlwind of life to settle down for a second? Are we in a disconnect with our social networking that we are missing the natural beauty of friendships and relationships? Let’s challenge ourselves to breathe, relax, appreciate, enjoy the seconds that may even be a whisper or drop of joy.
Go find your joy! Choose it! Appreciate the light within the darkness and run to it.  As said in a song by Jesus Culture, “There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning…”.
My joy comes from The Lord and He loves to give us treasures, moments where He speaks to us whether of peace, love, wisdom, or in this case joy. He met me today in a loud and crazy restaurant. Where will He meet you? Image

The Attic

Image Picture by Härmägeddon via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite poets, Shel Silverstein, wrote about an attic. An attic of not the usual brick and mortar type but of the human brain.

A Light in the Attic

“There’s a light on in the attic.

Though the house is dark and shuttered,

 I can see a flickerin’ flutter….”

Shel Silverstein A Light in the Attic

The majority of the time my light is on in my attic but to know how bright it will shine, well that is just a daily gamble. As a mom, some days my light is more of a dim haze due to whatever lengths I have taken to keep my family’s ship a float.

Seeing as how I am in the early mid years of life, still many of years to look forward to but many years to look back and glean from, I have gained a bit of a collection in my attic that is quite the assortment to sift through.

I grab my coffee or tea many days, hoping it will help crank up the wattage and get my brain working. My attic, where will it take me? A time of prayer? A snippet of a favorite verse, book, or poem? A family moment or memory? A replay of a movie, production, or TV show? Or one of those times where it takes your breathe away?

Everyone’s attic’s have those scary, science class, skeletons in them or the trash filled, moldy boxes, all of which we hope no one sees, fearing we will scare them or disgust them. Whatever you find in your attic, cherish it or throw it out but crank up the wattage and see what treasures you have hidden in there because you never know what you are going to find, I know I sure don’t.

Welcome to my attic. Pardon the cobwebs!