Friday, August 27, 2010


I have discovered a new television show. The name of it is "Hoarders".  I do not intentionally watch it, but if I happen to see it come on, I tend to want to stay glued to it for hours.  Not sure why, other than being intrigued with the fact that people can actually live with garbage piled up all around them, even to the point they cannot get into their own beds and sometimes into their own homes.  Some have gone so far as to move out and rent apartments.  Another reason I do not intentionally watch it is because it makes me want to go clean out closets!!  Not that that would be a bad thing.

Whatever the opposite of hoarding is... that would be me!

My son moved out a couple of weeks ago leaving for college.  As he packed and cleaned out his room, we talked about some of the things he use to have and play with and I almost felt guilty over the lack of childhood toys, memorabilia, etc. in there.  I just do not keep things!! Oh, I still have some of their baby items, a few toys they played with, and some of the cards and pictures they drew when they were little.  Their crib is in the attic awaiting a grandchild, but for the most part as they grew up and went from one hobby, sport, collection, or whatever, I "cleaned house" so to speak.

As a matter of fact, I am in the process of cleaning out some things today in preparation to have a yard sale next weekend.  Now that my son has moved, it is time for me to clean out some things left behind and freshen up some paint and a few other things in his room, as well as, in some of the other rooms in my house.      

I walked down my hallway one evening this week.  Both of the doors to their bedrooms were open.  And I could not help but to remember them as they use to be.  They have at one time or another housed not only furniture, but also two precious lives and all that was important to them at that particular time.    Beanie Babies, The Little Pet Shop, A Rabbit, A Bird, Yellow, Purple, Green, Blue, Beige, Gray, Floral Prints, Plaid, Baseball Equipment, Guitars, Fencing Equipment, Paint Ball Guns, Fishing Gear, Stuffed Animals, Story Time, Bedtime Prayers, The Latest Fashions, Legos, Video Games, Dinosaurs, Baby Dolls, Halloween Costumes, Makeup, School Books, Stereos.... 





Thursday, August 12, 2010



By the weekend it will have grown to an astronomical size. So large that my breathing will be restricted, and the flood gates will break loose, the tears will flow, and the weeping and sobbing will begin.


On Sunday night or sometimes on Monday, I will drive away from my son, leaving him four and a half hours away from me (at college). I will come home to a house where he no longer lives and to a room where he no longer sleeps.

I have not really taken care of him (so to speak) in a while. He is 20 years old. But I have been here for ALL of those 20 years to see that he had a place to live, a bed to sleep in, clean clothes to wear, money to spend, food to eat, gas in his truck, doctors to see and medicine to take when he is sick, encouraging words when he is down....

I am afraid I am about to find out that the "Empty Nest" has little to do with the house and all to do with the heart!

A new chapter in our lives. One that has come TOO soon!

I will update as soon as I can pull myself together.


Last week my nine year old niece spent the night with me and we were able to get in a little shopping time.  And of course found ourselves in my our favorite store, T.J.Maxx. While being checked out, the cashier made a comment about my niece's birthmark.  She told us that her daughter had one that was almost identical, but located in a different place. (My niece has birthmark on the upper park of her chest.  She wore a cute little yellow halter top that day, otherwise it is usually not visible.) I shared with her that is was "God's thumb print".  She expressed some admiration for this explanation, but it was not her expression that concerned me.  I looked at my niece to see if I could read any embarrassment on her face. After all, it wasn't as if two people who did not know each other were standing there discussing her birthmark or anything like that! But, thankfully there were no signs of embarrassment or anything else. 

We left the store and never brought it up again.

We met my daughter and one of her friends for lunch next door at Pizza Inn.  They both commented on how cute she looked in her bright yellow top and the big yellow bow in her hair to match. 

During ONE of my niece's trips to the buffet line (in all fairness she was for the most part "sent" there), my daughter's friend asked me if she was ever self-conscious about her birthmark.  Without hesitation, my answer was no.  I explained to them about our encounter in T.J. Maxx and shared with her the "thumb print" story:  It was something her mom told her when she was very small and she accepted it immediately and always has.  End of Story! 

A few days later, something began to weigh on my mind.  How many blemishes do the rest of us have?  How many of these blemishes do we try to hide or cover up from others?  Sometimes we do a great job at it too.  It would be easy for my niece to keep her birthmark concealed from others, except those close to her.  Isn't it that way for us too?

I had a long telephone conversation this past week with a friend who has a lot of hurt in her life.  She has a son who has caused her and her husband much grief.  She made a statement to me: "It is time."  Time for what?  She went on to tell me that she had just turned 60 and for too many years carried around baggage filled with grief, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and so much more.  It was time to let go.  ( Not to be mistaken with time to stop loving or praying.  This never stops).  But it was time to let go of the shame and embarrassment.  Time to open up to others.  Time to allow God and others to help her work through her grief and guilt.  Time to share.  Time to allow Him to restore the joy in her life.  Time to live again. 

Unfortunately, I could relate to all she said.

This journey with my daughter has carried me to places that I would never have chosen to go, but to places where I have seen God's face many times.  Had it not been for this journey, I would have quite possibly never experienced those life changing encounters with Him.  No, this journey has been a blemish in my life.  One that has forever changed me and my relationship with God.  His hand has been on me through every step of way.  His hand has been on my daughter's life.  His hand has shaped and molded me into who I have become through it all.  And if He has thumb prints, then my life has unmistakably been imprinted with them.       

And I will use my nine year old niece as my example: To not be embarrassed. Never be ashamed.  But will  go forth and boldly and proudly display God's Thumb Print!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I will never take for granted or be ungrateful over the fact that my children respect me.  There are many reason I know this to be true, but I am not going to go into them on this particular post.  I am feeling awfully proud today because they desire to share "things" with me.  I will never take for granted that God gives me a glimpse into their lives (the parts that I never see) so that I know how to pray for them and how to council them.

This morning hearts were spilled out (as well as tears) all over my living room.  I spilled my heart.  He spilled his.  And all I can say is that it was not the "Good".  It was the "Bad and the Ugly".

And after all was said and done I have never been more proud of my son in my life! Ever! 

Friday, August 6, 2010


It was not until tonight that I discovered she (my daughter) had this story posted on her facebook page.  She wrote it on April 25, 2010 (the day after my birthday).  In her words:

This is one of those gut busting, hilariously funny, make you cry stories that is funnier told in person but we have laughed so hard about it I have to share.  To appreciate you have to know my dad.

One of the presents I got my mom for her birthday was a wrought iron cart filled with all kinds of goodies...A Tyler candle, lotion, soaps, bubble bath, coffee and a coffee cup.  Not just any ordinary coffee and cup though...Hallmark has a collection of pink and black matching coffee cups and coffee that have cute sayings on them.  The set I got said "The queen's caffeine".  It was so cute, made her gift basket complete.  I loved it.

7:30: I got to my moms and we were getting ready to head to New Orleans.  I was loading my stuff into her car.  I picked up the gift basket (which was half wrapped in a trash bag) and was making my way to load it up when I heard something drop and shatter on the concrete.  The queen's caffeine cup.  I was not happy but nothing I could do, was already with my mom and tomorrow was her birthday...

8:00: SO...I send my dad a text." I need you to drop what you are doing and go to hallmark and get mom a coffee cup.  It is pink and black and has "the queen's caffeine" on it."
My dad (already in New Orleans, texts back): "Where do they have them?"
Me: "ANY Hallmark store!!!"

My dad enters panic mode.  Frantically trying to finish what he was doing and get dressed to get to a Hallmark store before they close at nine.  Now this is the part of the story I need you to really picture my dad in your head.  He is in a panic mode.  The mall closes in 30 minutes and I have sent him out to search for a needle in a haystack.  He rushes in Hallmark:

Dad to worker: "Do ya'll have a coffee cup with THE QUEEN'S CAFFEINE on it?"
Worker (with astonished look on her face): "No"
Dad: "I thought all Hallmark Stores carry them."
Worker (wondering why he wants one so badly): "She explains that all the stores carry the brand but not necessarily the same gift packs.  They all come in different styles, colors, quotes, etc."

So my dad leaves the store and thinks he is off the hook.  Sends me a message that they did not have one. He goes to P.J. Coffee Shop and orders himself a venti coffee and is ready to go home.  Well, my OCD is not going to allow me to give my mom a wrought iron gift basket with coffee in it and no mug to match.  Desperation kicks in and I send my dad another text telling him to get any kind of cup.  A pretty pink one with flowers or something will do.  At the time (8:45) he is walking out of the door of the mall to go home.  He does a 180 in search of another cup.  When he gets BACK to Hallmark he notices a note on the door, "No food or drinks allowed." This is the point when his panic stricken state really kicks in.  Not wanting to waste the ginormous cup of coffee he just purchased and with only ten minutes to spare he starts pacing around in front of the store drinking  guzzeling his coffee so fast it would make your head spin.  (My dad does not drink coffee on a regular basis, only occasionally, so his head probably WAS spinning).  By this time, I am sure the workers have called security to watch the crazed coffee obsessed man desperately looking for a queen's caffeine coffee cup.  He finished his cup in 2.5 seconds and with knocking knees goes inside Hallmark once again and starts looking for another cup.  I can only imagine what is going through the worker's heads.  Wondering why this man HAS to have a Queens caffeine coffee cup, goes and gets coffee, drinks it at the entrance of the store pacing back and forth, and then frantically rushes back in only to look at more coffee cups.  All of this happens in a matter of ten minutes.  "This crazy man must be fixated on coffee!!!!!!"

8:55:Dad: "Anything else you need me to find before the stores close at 9:00?  A llama hair scarf?  I can even find a specific color for you like watermelon tangerine.
Me: I need a cookie jar with her initials engraved on it.  Lemon lime color.
Dad: "OK. I am off to Timbuktu.  The Dalia Lama has one.  Be back next month."

(By the way, he bought a pretty one with flowers on it that read, I love you mom.  He did a good job.)

Monday, August 2, 2010


And, no, I am not talking about a water park or this HEAT WAVE we are having here in the Pine Belt. Although, I should be. My car thermometer read 103 yesterday, and that was in the shade!!

A hand, or in this case, an arm gesture is the wave I am referring to. There is an elderly lady that walks in my neighborhood. This morning was not my first encounter with her. I see her almost every morning as I am driving out of the neighborhood headed to work. And today was no different than all the other times I have ever passed her. She waved.

This lady appears to be full of spunk and almost bounces as she walks. She is very petite. As a matter of fact she has one of the smallest frames I have ever seen. Even her hair is cut in an extremely short style. Every thing about her is petite. Everything that is except her wave!!

Here are some things I have especially noticed or wondered:

1. Her enthusiasm. Hers is not just any old wave. It is not a wave leaving you wondering if it was even a wave at all or if she was just swatting at a bug. She throws her tiny little arm up in the air and moves it back and forth with all her might at every single person who passes her. She does this looking straight ahead never missing a beat as she walks. No, there is nothing small, petite, or wimpy about her wave. She puts her entire body and soul into it.

2. She has never NOT waved. And yet I can't help but to wonder if she sometimes does not feel like waving, but does so anyway. If so, it doesn't show. They are always the same. Wholehearted and full of gusto.

3. They speak to me. Every single time. They say,"Howdy neighbor". They say, "Acknowledging you is extremely important to me because you are extremely important". They say,"I would never consider otherwise, no matter what". They say, "Have a great day today wherever you are going and whatever you will be doing. They say all of this and so much more!

4. Does she have any idea how she is affecting the lives of those around her? Many times her small gesture in the form of a friendly wave was the only thing on that particular day that lifted my spirits, even if it was just for a moment. I don't even know her name and sometimes I have wanted to pull my car over, get out, and hug her. Who knows, maybe one day I will. I don't know, but I do know this: I look forward to seeing her. I miss her when she is not out walking. She makes me smile. How many people's lives has she touched with something as simple as a wave?

5. Her spirit is contagious. As soon as you spot her on the road, you know it's coming."The Wave". And then you cannot help yourself. You just have to! You want to! You can't imagine not! You have to make sure she sees you. You wave back. And not just any wave back. You do it with the enthusiasm you know she would be proud of! Wandering why you can't be the one to give someone else a smile, the one to change someone's day, the one to wave first!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


And it's already August. See post dated 6/29/09, "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden".