Saturday, December 9, 2017

I Need a Silent Night

There are just some things you can't post on Facebook.  There are just things that are safer said on the blog.  Agree?  Now, I know that since my settings are not private that anyone can choose to stalk me, but I prefer to think that I am talking to friends here. 

It feels safe here to say some of these things...

I am exhausted.  I'm beyond tired.  My job is beyond exhausting.  Last evening I went to bed at 9pm and got up at 9am.  Let me share with you an ordinary day...

Up at 6:00 (if I don't have to wash my hair. not so bad.  i can handle this.)
Leave at 6:30
Hardee's 7:00 (order, eat in car, put make-up on in car)
Arrive at work 7:15 (open blinds, switch sign to open, lights on, heat on, food for the day on, take out food for next day, coffee on, post menu for the day, check phone messages, check email, take out name tags for the day)
First member arrives at 7:30, Second member arrives at 7:45...
Get organized for the day...(schedule for activities posted for assistants with cognitive activities on table and physical activity supplies on table.)
Fix breakfast for members beginning at 8:30
Members to the bathroom at 9:00 (usually done by me because assistant has not arrived and these are the most difficult ones)  before Current Events, devotion, exercise. (I do current events and devotion which are the things I love the most!)
10:00-11:00 (Assistant does exercise and I may or may not do cognitive activity which is next on the schedule while continuing to redirect members, and direct and train activity assistant who is a young girl with 2 babies who may or may not be on time and may or may not be an activity assistant who needs assistance.  whew!  got me???)
11:00 Other assistant arrives...on time...ready...the best!.........pregnant now.  the best.  but had to go part time.  (sigh)  sad. sad. sad, but happy, happy for her because she's waited for years and now has a normal pregnancy.  She starts next activity.  Happy me.  Happy members.  They love her.
11:30 Begin preparing for lunch...

I've decided that you get the jest of why I'm tired. 

I spend my days, changing diapers, feeding, directing, redirecting, wiping mouths and bottoms, coloring, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, bathroom breaks, water breaks, cleaning spilled milk and crying over spilled milk...Need I go on.  My work space including the office, activity room, dining area, bathroom and kitchen is smaller than my kitchen and living room together. 

Prayers, I need prayers.  Honestly, this is where I am.  Without making the money that I make at this job, I would have to go back to Georgia.  Again, I know that God gave me the job.  I didn't ask for it. Was it just for a season?  Is there another plan?  I can't see God giving me something that I can physically not do.  I awoke this morning in pain.  I took a muscle relaxer and 3 advil and went back to bed on a heating pad for the back and ice pack for the neck.  I can't enjoy my children on the weekends because I'm too tired.  There's more to the job than I am at liberty to say.  Just pray for wisdom for me for us. 

I need a Silent Night, Holy Night. (by Amy Grant) Yes, that's what I need.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Looking Beyond the Holiday Mess

Boxes, broken ornaments, tangled lights, and wrapping paper strewn all around. What a mess!

I went  to The Marketplace on Saturday only to pick up one bottle of body spray for myself and an ornament for our Women of Covenant Christmas exchange. The traffic was a mess.  The parking lot was a mess.  I was The Biggest Mess before it was over. I quickly decided I didn’t need to spend $15 for one spray bottle while the world was buying 10 candles for $8.95 each. After a push here and a shove there, two hours which should have taken 30 minutes, a few horns blown (I confess most of it was me), I finally made it home. I declared to myself, “If this is what Christmas is all about, I think I’ll sleep through it. Bah Humbug.”

I’m glad my hope is not in the signs of the season but in the sign Isaiah said to look for- a baby born in a manager, Immanuel, GOD WITH US!

Yesterday we had a beautiful service at church, closing out the series by our pastor, Overwhelmed. Yes, I admit I have been a bit overwhelmed with just daily living stuff. I have been doing some Bible journaling of which I am not very good, however I can hear God speak to me in the mess. As I began to read I John 3:1 about the Father’s Love, I kept hearing the words, “He is not very far from each one of us.” I immediately googled Blue Letter Bible and found the reference, Acts 17:27. Paul was speaking about God’s purpose in His design of creation, that man may know Him.

I pray that during this Christmas season, I’ll be able to look beyond the mess and see the beauty of the True Gift of Jesus and  that I may truly know Him.

Just about ready to sit back and enjoy the season.
I'm trying to be more intentional this year about remembering the true meaning of Christmas.
I hope you'll join me.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Catching Up and Happy Thanksgiving

Warning!  Long post!

The following was a post I started at the end of October, post-retreat a month before.  I will add a few pics and start a new post. If you don't feel like reading, no worries.  Just let me say, Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe how much time elapses between each of my blog posts.  Honestly, I hate the pace that I seem to be keeping right now.  Just minutes before, I was chatting on line with a Verizon rep trying to get an update on my iPhone.  It took a hour to get an order processed.  It took changing my password three times, due to my lack of knowledge, accuracy or something.  At the end of the process, I just put my head in my hands and cried. My photos are taking forever to download and forward to email so I can share with you my going-ons of the past month. 

The Women of Covenant Retreat was wonderful, but just not long enough.  I needed more than a weekend.  Being the director means countless hours trying to get a planning committee together and on the same page.  Fundraisers are viewed differently by different people and money is always an issue.  I opted to find a beautiful setting with great accommodations which always means more money.  We believe in the end, we found the perfect place with the perfect speaker and music director for the weekend. 

Maybe next year, we can go later when the leaves are changing.  Can you imagine this setting in peak Fall season?

My desire was to have everyone together in the same lodge.  We housed and slept 27 women comfortably.

Bible Journaling classes were a part of our weekend.  
We laughed, we ate, we prayed.

We built an altar.
 We presented our request before God.

It was what we needed...just a little longer.
Pictures from the last month. 
For this I prayed...

God hath granted the desires of my heart.

I am thankful.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Home...a place in the heart.

When we first moved to Nashville, I felt like we were on vacation-pool, new apartment with all new, sparkly appliances and hardware, kids and ice cream whenever I wanted, AM coffee and caramel creamer as much as I liked and a 2-3 hour quiet time.  Hummmm.  The mountain view was perfect.  An outlet mall 15 miles one way and another 30 miles the other way.  Church with no commitment and my chance in 55 years to just "Be." I went to the grocery store and didn't see anyone I knew and it was nice.  Starting over in a place "where NOBODY knew my name,"  (SINGING to the tune of Cheers.)

A therapist once told me, "You've never left home."  With the move, I left home and was experiencing a new kind of freedom.  I heard recently that we all run from home, only to search frantically to find a way back.  Like going on vacation, we long to get away but are so happy to return to the familiar.

About 6 months into the journey, I began to long for home, the familiar, to run into someone I knew at the grocery store, to find a place of community.  I longed to go "where EVERYBODY knows your name."

We bought a new house.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a new home or rather, a new "house."  It wasn't "home." Grateful? Yes, but again, it wasn't home. The pictures on the wall were the same, a pink bedroom with my favorite pieces of milk glass and my favorite cabinet full of ironstone.  But. Not. Home.

There was a restlessness in me to go home.  But "home" was no longer there.  Mama and Daddy and the home place were gone and my little home where we raised our children was now occupied with new owners, a new little boy to run the small hall, throw a ball, and shoot hoops.

Please don't get me wrong, the children are home, but God is teaching that I can find "home" in Him alone. Still, holidays are hard.  The weekend of Labor Day the children were busy with children and homes of their own so we decided to leave "home" for a couple of days. 

Just a few miles down the road (an hour's drive), is Burgess Falls State Park. 

There's nothing like the rushing water to calm the restless soul.

We made several stops along the way finding rest in the cleft of a rock.

There was a fence to keep us from falling off the side of the mountain.  I'm telling you, it was scary at times and I'm not usually afraid of heights.  However, I've got to know that I have something or someone who is going to catch me if I fall.

Just when we thought we were almost there, we saw another hill to climb.  I asked a sojourners coming down how close we were.  Her reply, "Oh, not far.  About 1/2 there."  Really?
We could soon see the view from the top. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We began the journey back and the road was even and less rocky.  We relaxed and took a deep breath, we were headed home.
But this!!!  A baby copperhead. 
I learned a little bit on our trip away from home. 
1.  I thought at first that maybe we'd stay near the waters and just enjoy the rest.  Of course, there was more to see, something bigger than we could imagine.  God doesn't want us to stay safe.  Rest is brief and there will be more paths to walk and hills to climb before we get to the top.
2.  It's okay to rest awhile. When the journey gets rocky, he will hide us in the depths of His love and we will know the safety of the Rock.
3.  There will be more hills to climb before we get to the top, and beauty will be beyond what we can comprehend on this journey.
4.  On our journey "home," we must be sober and alert. I did have a thought that maybe there was danger off the path and I didn't dare wander, but when the road seemed easy, I became less careful.  Someone else observed the danger first.  Along the path, we need sojourners who will point out the pitfalls ahead. 
This weekend is our ladies retreat.  I'm so in need of retreat, escape, getaway to relax and regroup, rethink.  That's the RE in retreat, I guess.
My second born granddaughter, is always full of life.  My time now with the babies is less with me working but she drops by occasionally to see me.  She loves talking to our adult care members.  They enjoy her.  This was my birthday so it was an extra special because she came to see me.

David enjoyed Grandparent's Day.  I rarely get to attend any activities with the children during the week.  My job is very demanding, and I wonder sometimes if it's worth it. I love it, and I know that God gave it to me.  It's providing for our needs.  If I had not gotten this job, I imagine we would have been heading back to Georgia.  David was giving our situation until July to change.  I started to work with this new company on July 1.  I have to believe that for now, this is where I belong.  David is still missing "home." It sometimes honestly hurts me that he hasn't found "home" with me and the kids, but he's got to work through it's meaning just like I've had to.
Who can resist this smile?  I mean, really!  This is home to me!

My decorating is minimal these days.  Blogging will be more about the "home" of my heart.  I still try to make it feel like my other home, but this is the new and I'm learning that it's really not a place or a people. It's more what's in the heart, a state of peace...peace with our Father and His family...and of course, mine too.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Written 5 months ago.  Old news now...

I've been catching up on my blog reading , yes at 3am. Once again, a medication change. I'm gonna get through this one. I want to get better. I have fought the doc on this one for years because getting off makes my anxiety worse but staying on it causes symptoms of dementia and I've had lots of changes lately. I can tell a difference in just cutting down on the dosage. Tonight was my first night completely off of it and I am anxious and awake. I really need your prayers to get through this.

(This is from a draft written in April.  Since this time, I am off of anxiety medications completely.  I have quit The Loft and started a new job as Program Director of an Adult Care Center. All I credit to the grace of God.  I would not have ever imagined that I would be doing this at this time in my life.  I expected to stay retired, but that is not what God had planned.  I am loving my job and look forward to growing with an incredible, well-established small company who still believes in caring for its members first!)

We celebrated my MIL with a surprise birthday party in April. We went home but stayed at a nearby lake.  Not having to think about the home place and no longer having a home there made going home easier.

In June, we celebrated Connor's graduation from Pre-K.  He started real kindergarten this year and can't be happier.  I can't believe class starts each day at 7:15 am.  This is ridiculous and hard on a little boy and his family.  He seems to be adjusting so all is well.

In July, we celebrated Independence Day with the family and fireworks.

The kiddos loved it and were not scared one bit.  We had them all day.  That morning, they played under the sprinkler. 

We are teaching our babies that you don't need high tech to have fun! All kids need to learn how to play outside and enjoy the little things.  They seems to have a good time at BonBon and Grandy's without the need of technology.

Connor learned to ride his bike without training wheels. With all the cheering and applauds, you'd think he was in the World Series.  The neighbors were impressed with his family's celebration. 

This little girl's personality is a little me.  She has us in stitches much of the time with her many faces.

We attended a Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball game.  The kids enjoyed the concessions and all the hoopla.  Baseball is about family fun.  It's not always about the game when you have little ones.  I'd rather watch them anyway.

This kid!  Ahh, he's our only boy right now and he knows it!

Our miracle baby is growing up to have quite a personality.  Her mommy and daddy are getting ready to try again for another miracle.  I hope you'll believe with us. 

So, I'm gonna take the first Saturday morning I've had in months to drop by and visit.  I think of all of you often and hope all is well.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Blogging Less and Working More

I seem to be blogging less and less.  It's been a month since I've posted anything.  There are reasons for that.  I am working more hours at The Loft Outlet because we are short-handed.  When I'm not working, I'm working my Mary Kay business.  Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you.  I'm doing Mary Kay once again.  This is my 4th go-round.

I loved my booth.  It was fun doing what I loved at the time. It's just not easy to do here.  The cost of rent is unreasonable.  I don't go pickin' enough to make it profitable. I've always loved Mary Kay. I've used it off and off since I was 12.  I've found that so many in my circle here were either consultants or use the product and have no consultant.  I've already made back my investment.  So, here we go again.  You can check out my website  Bonnie's Pretty and Pink

I see the babies often.  They are growing.  I get the sniffles just thinking about them growing up.  Cora, my first baby girl, turned three this month.  She's mixture of beauty and mischief.  She is a girl after my own heart, a mix of many faces.  She swings from shrills and thrills to tears in a second flat.  She is a beauty and the spitting image of her mommy.

Her cousins on both sides play like they are all family.

I enjoyed seeing family and friends at the annual Top Nazarene Talent event at Trevecca Nazarene University (TNT at TNU). 

It made me miss home just a little bit.  Well, a whole lot!

I can't believe how very much the kids have changed in two years.  My nephew played a mean game of Competitive Frisbee.  He's visiting colleges.  I'm hoping for Vanderbilt but he's looking at University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.  His major will be Mechanical Engineer.  Right now he's rebuilding a motorcycle. 

Our miracle baby is a little bit of sunshine. 

She loves playing mommy and doctor.  
Bless her heart, with her allergies, 
she knows exactly what the stethoscope is for!

She begs her mommy to go to "Bon-Bon's house."

I guess Nashville is becoming home.  

At least, it feels like it when the kids are there
or we are hanging out together. 

It doesn't feel so much like home today. 
I lost my daddy in March 5 years ago.
My brother died in March and his birthday is April 14.
If you don't know the story you can read it here.

Connor man doesn't really care for baseball. 
He'd rather wait for the treat at the end of the game. 
He's ready for soccer. 
His mommy registered him for Kindergarten last week. 
I don't think she's ready for this. 

For Lint, I was going to give up Caffeine and Diet Sodas.  
The first two weeks were great.  
I got up every morning and walked on the treadmill, 
had my quiet time, ate healthy
and then I was hit with a headache like I've never had before. 
I missed work and went to the doctor twice.  
Needless to say, I fell off the wagon.  

I'm getting back week.

I start a part-time job of being a companion to a 
precious lady in our church.  She's a beauty.  She like to have
her nails done and enjoys walking and eating out. 
I'll looking forward to spending time with her.  

May you be blessed with a peace and joy during this Holy Week.
Remember, He became like us, so that we could become like Him.


Monday, March 6, 2017

I Have a Bipolar Cat

I'm as mad as a wet-setting hen,
as my mama used to say. 

I'm sitting here petting the cat and she (Her name is Callie.  Right now, she is "SHE.")
SHE grabs a piece of my arm
and clamps down, leaving a trail of blood. 

I have a bipolar cat! 
This happens often, sometimes more than twice a day. 
She has not been nice since the move. 
She is jealous of the grandchildren, the phone and the computer. 

I seriously don't like her!
We are both allergic and I want her gone!

Sorry, cat lovers, but I've had it. 

I honestly think, the sedation and move traumatized her.

My daughter's move traumatized their dog. 
He is now on Klonopin and Prozac. 
Insurance doesn't pay for!

Let me calm down and play nice. 
She's hiding under the bed. 

This morning I walked on the treadmill, had my quiet time, 
filed a claim for the second time for two $100 transactions
with Extreme Well and Pure You Shops for that fat-slimming
stuff that doesn't work.
For the second time, "A debit will show in your account in the next 2-5 business days,"
stated by Trey today and by Sheshaw (no, she didn't spell it) on 1/13/17.

Whew, it's a Monday.

Did a little crafting this weekend

with cloth that I got from The Nashville Flea Market.

I stripped and dyed some of the fabric with tea bags. 
Easy, peasy.

I tied the white strips to a line of twine.

I decided against the dyed strips and added burlap instead.

The little sign (that I also found at the flea market)
 wouldn't stay level so for now, it's on the ladder. 

I am feeling better and able to get my thoughts together. 
Maybe it's the sunshine. 
I gave up on Winter and snow. 
I'll take the sunshine and be grateful for today. 

I'm coming out of the funk. 
Maybe the cat will too. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Glimpse of February

Surprise!  Two days in a row!
I guess I'm really needing to connect.
At least, I've moved from the sofa to the chair today.
That's a big step.

In the almost two years that we've been here, 
I've done little decorating. 

I had hoped to share my "pink" bedroom, 
which is actually gray, 
during Valentine's week.

I didn't add anything except the side table and lamp, 
but it made me feel good to make up the bed
if only for photos.
Hee! Hee!

I used pink in my wedding. 
It's always been my favorite color of choice
as most of you well know.

I think, 
and pink!

I love the ambience here. 

This decor always makes me smile.
It will always be my favorite room. 

I had intended to share everyday in February with you, 
but of course, life happened.
So, you'll just get a glimpse.

Somewhere between then and now, 
this little girl grew up. 

When did this happen?  How did this happen?

This is my niece ready to go to her 8th grade Sweetheart dance. 
I can still see my little girl behind the make up and glam.

She has a piece of my heart, 

as these have my heart.

We kept the girls last Friday for the the mommies 
and daddies to have some time together. 

They had so much fun! 

Grandy enjoyed some one on one time with 
our oldest baby girl.

David is beginning to find some connection. 
He has been officially appointed Youth Pastor. 
The thought scares me to death. 
Being a PK, I know the expectations
the church has for its leaders.

This is a big step for him. 
He's an introvert by nature,
but a quiet, strong leader. 

It's intiminading when you're surrounded 
by seminary pastors, doctors and professors, 
educators and the educated. 
I told him, "They have the education.  You have the experience."

Doing youth ministry in the big city is not like 
doing it in a small town among a core group of leaders 
you started doing ministry with 35 years ago.
It's a challenge that we are looking at as opportunity.

These kids are precious. 
They are small, but mighty warriors for God. 
God is growing the church and that is exciting to watch.

It's not been an easy February.

This is how we do crazy when the whole family is sick and shut-in for days. 

Gonna start speaking some positive affirmations DAILY!