Certainties of Christmas

Hey!

A few certainties I’ve learned about Christmas over the years.  Maybe, you’ve learned them, too.  Feel free to add to the list in the comment section.

1. Christmas comes whether you’re ready for it or not.

2. There is no end to shopping or deals or the one last thing you need at the grocery store.

3. Not everybody will be happy with each other at the family gathering or with all of their presents.

4. Too much consumption of something will make you feel bloated and miserable.

5. The face of a child at Christmas is precious, no matter their age.

6. People will surprise you by their random acts of patience, kindness, and love.

7. Starbucks won’t have any of their sea salt left for their salted caramel hot chocolates since they ran out first of November.

8. Someone will forget to buy batteries.

9. Most people know the first verse to Christmas carols.

10. Kittens and puppies can’t resist chewing on the presents or low hanging ornaments on the tree.

11. Fresh evergreens smell wonderful but when dried out, they make a mess and are sticky.

12. Christmas cards are fun to receive in the mailbox.  Those with a handwritten note are extra special.

13. Some will have a difficult and sad Christmas.

14. Jesus’s birth will be celebrated and remembered by many around the world.

Blessings,

Mimi

“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11 NIV Bible

Some secrets are worth sharing

luna mothHey!

Some secrets are worth sharing.  I’ve been keeping one relatively quiet until recently.  No reason.  The only possible one is I’ve been a hermit and therefore, have not seen anyone.  I’ve been writing a bible study.  I’ve written several but I’ve never done a study for publication. This time is different.

I’ve taught bible study at church for almost 20 years.  This fall, I decided not to teach and focus on writing.  Research came first and I did most of it during the spring and summer.  Unknowingly, my Sunday school class was the beneficiary of some of my research and study.  But my words and the actual writing and formatting started in September.

My pastor has been mentoring and encouraging me.  He says of my endless draft tweaking, ” you have to let it go at some point and trust God.”  I keep going in and out of writer’s block, writer’s frustration, writer’s depression, writer’s procrastination, and writer’s envy.  Of the last one, I kept seeing my thoughts on other writers’ pages or my ideas being implemented by another.  Pastor Steve says, “God uses many people with similar messages to get His purpose across.”  I’m believing that to be the case.

I made up a writing schedule complete with target dates.  Pie in the sky.  I didn’t hit my targets but the beauty of it is that I’m the one who set the schedule and I’m totally flexible to continue pushing at the current pace.  I’m hopeful for a January date but I’ve got to complete the draft.  The process and journey with God is far more important than an end date.

Spare writing moments with a busy family are a challenge.  Uninterrupted time a luxury.  That has been my greatest challenge.  I’ve been so thankful for my daughter to keep this blog afloat by writing a post here and there as well as cook meals to give me more time.  I’ll do my best to have a post or 2 each week but I’m not promising.  This season of my life is full and not all the juggled balls can stay up in the air.  I’m going out on a limb and asking you to be patient with the possibility of meaningless blog posts on the horizon in order to keep the site afloat.

I also ask for prayer for this study’s fruition.  I believe that God led me to this particular topic and has a purpose for it.  As the study continues to unfold, I’ll share more details.

Blessings,

Mimi

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV Bible

Summer Viewpoint

summertimeHey!

The lazy days of summer are quickly drawing to a close.  I’m ready for the changes of weather and different clothing options but I really like the relaxed pace of the summertime.  I hope to carry that unhurried spirit into the fall.

Most of this summer was spent playing, walking, training, bathing, feeding and loving my new puppy, Delta.  We rescued her at the start of the summer and she has grown!  She is 6 months old.  Although she is a mix, we think the two strongest breeds are Airedale Terrier and Labrador Retriever.

Delta Collage

To read more of Delta’s adoption story, click here.  Other news from our zoo: We said goodbye to our cat, Molly, (you can read more about that here) and we had baby birds on the front and back porch.

baby birds

Books:

I didn’t read as much as I had hoped but I did read a few worth sharing.

  • The Sisters Weiss by Naomi Ragen — A story of two sisters growing up in an ultra orthodox family.  One sister rebels and the other does not and the ripple effect a single choice can have upon others.
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery — At the request of my begging daughter to read her favorite book, I finally did.  Delightful.  “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
  • Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner — I loved her book, girl meets God, and this one did not disappoint.  She introduces 11 Jewish practices and compares and contrasts them with Christianity.
  • Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker — Jen Hatmaker is the wife of a pastor.  She teaches bible study, is on the speaker circuit and writes and blogs while not raising her 5 kids. This book is their  personal journey of moving from expected traditional Christian practices and personas to answering God’s call to more service and the marginalized.  “We were servants of the weekend attendees.”   On a side note, they also shared their home renovation on HGTV this summer.  Whew!
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry — A re-read for me- I needed a refresher before the movie.  If you haven’t read it, this award-winning book is worth reading.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman  — This book may or may not be your cup of tea, but the story is quirky, made me think of early M.Night Shyamalan movies, and has loads of symbolism; if you can deal with creepy, reality bending.  A man revisits his hometown for a funeral and becomes sidetracked by memories of his childhood that come flooding back as he goes in search of them.  We had an interesting book club discussion about this book.

Movies:

In the summer, I like fun action movies and my favorite was Guardians of the Galaxy.

TV:

  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • My Big Family Renovation
  • Extant
  • Project Runway

Music:

  • Word Crimes — Weird Al
  • Chim Chim Cher-ee, Wild is the Wind — Esperanza Spalding
  • Infra 8 —Louisa Fuller, Natalia Bonner, Nick Barr, Ian Burdge,& Chris Worsey
  • Wave —Beck
  • A Cool Cat in Town  — Tape Five
  • Me and My Broken Heart — Rixton

Other news:

We had success in the garden this year.  Here is what we harvested.  All of it.  Okay, we actually had 2 more tomatoes and about 20 jalapeno peppers.  Clearly, we need help!

blueberries

tomato

Last, but not least, I attended the Becoming Conference with my cousin.  We had so much fun.

I’m linking to Leigh’s What I’m Into and Emily’s What We Learned.  Come check out what others are sharing at these two wonderful blog sites.

Blessings,

Mimi

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”  Psalm 24:1  NIV Bible

Hatching a Dream

Hey!

Several weeks ago, a Carolina wren and I struggled over territorial rights to a hanging basket near my back door.  Not the safest of locations for her to consider as a nesting site since the area is heavily trafficked and our cat loves to perch in the windowsill nearby but that mama bird was determined and even possibly, desperate.

She busied herself daily making a nest.  She kept coming back day after day, oftentimes twice in a day, to build doggedly and establish a ‘home’ for her babies.  Her urge to nest must’ve weighed upon her heavily.

Then, one morning, I awoke and found she had laid a single egg and a day later, another joined the first.

eggs in nest

The wren had a purpose, a desire that couldn’t be suppressed.  Ideas are like that sometimes.  A dream, a wish comes into our hearts longing to be hatched into fruition.  We begin to lay the support twigs and the padding as we build that dream into a reality.  Occasionally, we encounter difficulties along the way but with perseverance, courage and commitment that whim of fancy turns into a reality.

baby birds

At times, we want to skip over some of the slower steps like incubating the dream.  We long for action.  But a dream, a wish, a hope takes time to grow, mold, and gel into a tangible entity that can be shared.  Once birthed into existence, that hope, that wish, that figment longs to be filled with the food of dedication, perseverance, enthusiasm and passion.

The real fun begins as we grow and learn new skills and we hunger for more.  We chirp out for everyone to join our team.  We long to have our voices heard and those that have their ears attuned to our particular frequency will hear our chirps, our songs, and like the mama bird will come and join us in the nest.

baby birds 2

We perch on the edge of our nest, looking outward towards the fulfillment of all that we have dreamt and then… the dream takes flight.

bird nest

Have you nested and hatched a dream recently ? Sing it loud and sing it proud!  Be heard.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”  Psalm 63:7 NIV Bible

The Recess

Dear highly esteemed and most valued Reader,

Due to an unplanned and highly chaotic state of being, I have been unable to post my weekly musings of mundane suburbanite domesticity.  I had fully intended to post said writings but the days came and I found myself unwittingly the victim of a severe case of new-puppy-love-itis and of the equally centrifugal force of summer sunshine pulling me into the vortex of languid days filled with relaxed schedules, no deadlines, and a beckoning bedside book stack enticing me to stop and gorge upon the written word.  I have attempted feebly to withstand these coaxing charms but alas to no avail I have failed.  So, dear reader, please do not depart for I will return on occasion during these dog days of summer to tantalize you with my view of life as I know it from the humid, sultry south.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2  NIV Bible

 

Busy Times and Yard Visitors

Hey!

This week has been C-R-A-Z-Y!  I’ll be back next week with more details and life happenings.  In the meantime, I had a few visitors in my yard this week.

garden snake indigo buntings

Aren’t the indigo buntings pretty? Hard to catch a picture of them, they’re skittish.

Blessings,

Mimi

“He is your praise, he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”  Deuteronomy 10:21  NIV Bible

Ugh, Jury Duty…

Hey!

Have you ever received a summons for jury duty? Do you dread it?  I received one a couple of weeks ago to serve for this week.  When I told people I was summoned, almost without fail, everyone said {with a grimaced face, I might add} something along the lines of “Ugh, jury duty“.  Maybe, the system needs a revamp if they want happy jurors serving.

Raymond_Courthouse {photo from Wikipedia — Hinds County Courthouse, National Historic Register}

I’ve been summoned 7 times for jury duty since I was eligible and I DREAD IT!  How is 7 times a random drawing when my husband has never been summoned once, I ask?

The more I thought about jury duty, the more anxious and stressed I became. One of the major reasons for my stress was that my daughter’s graduation from college is this Friday and I was afraid I would not be excused from duty.

Why do we dislike it so much?  I’ve listed my reasons below.

My Reasons for Disliking Jury Duty

  1. Jury duty is an interruption to my schedule.
  2. It’s boring.  I sit for a l-o-n-g time while the sorting of people takes place.
  3. I don’t get paid at least minimum wage for my time.
  4. I can’t take in my phone, a magazine, a book, or snacks to help pass the time.
  5. I have to sit in really uncomfortable chairs in tight spaces which makes my knees ache because of my arthritis.
  6. Small talk is required, in order to pass the time, with the other jurors, who are just as miserable as I am.
  7. I feel like I’m made to do it instead of choosing to do it.
  8. I don’t want to have to decide the fate of others.
  9. Comfy clothing is not an option. I’m required to trade in my jeans and flip flops for something stiff but fancy.
  10. My family suffers because I suffer. Happy Mommy = Happy Family; Miserable Mommy = Miserable Family
  11. You have to act interested…it’s not even the good gossip (not that you can share it anyway).
  12. Parking is notoriously awful; if you’re not the judge…you’re parking way in the back.

How do you feel about jury duty? Relish your civic duty or fear the jury dirge?

Blessings,

Mimi

“There is only one Law-giver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.  But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV Bible