Tag Archives: children

Shutting down the world

21 Mar

Sometimes I dabble at writing a blog. Frankly, if you follow me, it’s been a minute… I honestly don’t pick the topics. They roll around on my heart and stay on repeat in my mind until the only way I can get them out is to put them on paper. That is the case with the writing below. I am not a super Christian, nor do I play one on t.v..

The world is a crazy place right now. Legit, crazy. We are living in unprecedented times. No one really knows what they are doing… What we should be doing….I find it difficult to follow those in leadership because while we are supposed to be “flatting the curve” we have no way of really knowing if it is working due to the lack of tests available… In a matter of just a few weeks, we’ve seen huge layoffs, school closures and a shortage of toilet paper. If you would have told me at the start of 2020 that a virus would shut down the world, I would have thought that was an impossibility. Yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the Corona Virus is doing just that – shutting down the world.

It’s a scary time, no doubt. Worry and anxiety are at it’s peak. (At least it feels like it is at it’s peak – but let the chicken nuggets my kids eat run out at the grocery and I’m at a whole new level of anxiety!)

To deal with it all, I find myself diving deeper into prayer, into scripture, into places that I can latch on to other Christians to find hope before the curtain of darkness (which feels all to close) falls around us.

In my quest, I landed on a video where our church worship leader said something that just resonated deep within me. He said something to the effect of “We are all social distancing to keep the virus at bay. But social distancing is just unhuman.”

WOW!!! 

Yes….as Christians we are taught that we are created for relationship. Wayyyyy back in Genesis 2:18 we read  “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (NIV). We were not meant to be alone. Men, certainly were not meant to be alone. (I kid, I kid…)

Quote

Here is where I know I’ll lose some of you…but stay with me, ok!

Say what you will but I believe in the spiritual battle between good and evil. I know there will be some people rolling their eyes at this point, and maybe you’ll even stop reading. I get it.

I didn’t always know about this spiritual battle nor did I believe in it. But it is actually in scripture. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of the evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10.12, NIV)

Could it be then that this virus is a spiritual attack meant to divide our relationships? To cause distance between “them” and “us”? I’m not disputing that this is a REAL virus. I’m saying, could there be more to it? If you believe in scripture, this is not to much of a stretch.

So what do we do? How can we prevent the darkness from taking hold, from gaining ground?

1)  Spend time with the Lord. Let him lead you; calm you. My prayer is that you hear his voice. Dive deep into your Bible. There are so many resources out there if you are not a reader or find the Bible difficult to navigate. (I was there too – a good study Bible is everything!) I love watching Joyce Meyer, or Pastor TD Jakes. Find something that brings you closer to God. Pray on your walks around your neighborhood. Look for his beauty – and you will find it. Those are some of my sweetest moments….when I’m just walking outside, looking for something good – and God sends a special moment or ah-ha thought. Try it.

2) Be kind. Look for ways to help others. Don’t allow ‘me versus them’ mentality to take root. During a crisis, we will see the worst and the best of humanity. Be part of the best. If you have a few extra bucks, donate to a blessing box or food pantry. Offer to pick up groceries for someone who is high risk. Protect yourself but do what you can.

3) Spend time with your family. The ones that live in your house. Call or face time the people who don’t! Stay connected! Don’t let this time in quarantine be sucked up with hours of social media scrolling!

My grand-precious and I have a routine that she calls “relaxing”. It’s where I decide I’ve had enough of the day – and I go upstairs to the quiet of my room. I turn on the tv or read, but essentially all of my mom, work, and wife duties are over. I’ve clocked out. At some point during her five years on the planet, she has decided that she should join me in “relaxing”. This means that I’m not officially off the clock, but it does provide one-on-one time with my girl, and that is not lost on me.

Last night I said, “I think I’m going upstairs.” Her green eyes widened, and she said “I want to go with you! To relax! I can relax with you!”

Of course I said okay and before long she was snuggled under the covers with me on her Poppa’s side of the bed. She loves to learn (a child after my own heart), and we buy her these big learning books. She already sailed through the K5 book so we are onto the first grade book. This makes her sit up a little taller, as she says, “I can do first grade, Gigi!”. We get started on the first few pages, with me reading the directions and her doing the work. She has her blue crayon in her right hand, and she is giving it her all. Sounding out the letters “kkk aaa ttt …Cat!” and learning new words. At some point, ten-ish minutes or so in to “relaxing”, and she purrs, “I looove you Gigi”.

WorkThat’s it. That’s all it took to fill up my heart and wash away the day. We are created for relationship. We need it. I need it. Baby girl needs it. Hold on to your people and to God during this crazy time.

Join me in prayer:

Dear Lord,
I don’t even know how to deal with this Corona Virus. I don’t understand its presence in our world. What I do know is that you are not caught by surprise. Lord, help us through this. Strengthen our hearts and our immune systems as we put on the

“full armor of God…standing firm…with the readiness that comes form the gospel of peace.” We “take up the shield of faith..to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”…and we carry ”the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Just like you did Lord during Passover this very time of year so long ago, please allow the virus to pass over this house. Over our friend’s and family’s houses. For you are not a God of favorites. If you’ve done it once before, you will do it again. Lord I ask for your peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for your guidance, your protection and your wisdom during this trying time.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

xoxo – Lady Chats A Lot 

 

Chats A Lot

21 Aug

"There's always something to write about. If there's not, then you need to live life more aggressively." - Min Kim #writing #quotes #inspiration

My then seven year old, energetic, bouncing ball of energy wasn’t himself when I picked him up from school that day. Head hung low, shoulders slouched, he avoided my eyes as we talked. When he finally gathered enough courage, he passed  a folded sheet of lined paper from his teacher into my hand.  It required my signature. Scanning quickly, I sighed.

Pausing between sentences, I said “T, why are you talking so much? …..   Is it because you are bored ? …..    Do you really have things on your mind that you need to say?….  Do you just want to hear noise?” My hands on my knees, I bent over to peer into those saucer sized green eyes that housed his spirit.

Sheepishly he responded, “I’ve got stuff on my mind. I need to get it out.”

Nodding knowingly, my shoulders and eyebrows rise with my inhalation.

I get that.  I respect it.

Growing up I was told that I talked to much…ALL the time. It was written on every single report card.  So much so, it made me question if I was worthy…worthy of having an opinion on any and everything, and all things in-between. My mind never stops analyzing, tweaking, working…Should I keep quiet until I’m an expert?

What followed were years where I consciously chose to temper my voice.  Internally, I was miserable, feeling severely misunderstood.

Fast forward a few years…(More like 25)….

Putzing around my home, doing absolutely nothing important, I distinctly heard in my spirit :

“I created you to speak.”

It was simplistic voice. A simple sentence. No emotion. Direct…without explanation to the meaning or the why….And, it wasn’t my own, the bossy voice I hear regularly who tells me what I should be doing.  It resonated from the pit of my soul and echoed in my ears. It was so strange that I twisted around quickly to see if someone snuck in my home and was about to attack me.

Nope. Just me. In my pajamas.

Whaaaattt???

MAJOR CONFUSION.

Whether you chose to believe in “those things” or not, is yours entirely to ponder. This is my truth. I heard what I believe is the voice of God from deep within my spirit.  Honestly, it left me more confused than comforted…and yet it was strangely freeing in that I knew, that I knew, THAT I KNEW, I needed to speak. My voice was and is important.

So what am I to speak about? Who knows. Certainly not me….not yet.

I do know that I have constant chatter in my head. In an effort to get the hamster off the wheel, I birthed this blog and named it Chats A Lot. Appropriate, I thought. This has become a place where my thoughts and my voice can run wild.

Life is complicated and wonderful. It is a culmination of all the things you decide it will be.  Sometimes who you think you are and the actions you take, are in conflict.I blog to explore those things that are complex.  To celebrate, to dissect and construct my future days. To become the person I want to be.

I blog because I secretly hope it inspires you to find your own true self. Whatever that means to YOU.  I don’t hold the definition but I hope this blog provides a window that will leave with the desire to search.

I blog because I  when it all boils down to it,  we all go through the same types of issues,  with different people and unfamiliar faces.  People tend to shy away from exposing their crazy.  I am decidedly the opposite.  I fling back the curtain in the name of growth. I hope you find encouragement here in knowing you are not alone. I, in turn, find strength when you ‘like’ or comment. It reminds ME that I’m not on a solitary journey.

I blog to find peace, for change, for growth.

I blog because I can…and…I have stuff to say.
writing quote from Joan Didion. Amen to that, I totally do this.

The season of thanks

28 Nov

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The season of thanks and of giving is so much fun. Having a month that revolves around expressing gratitude is right up my alley. To top it off, it is followed by a month of giving to those I love. I simply couldn’t ask for a better combo.

As I prepare to sit around our table, stuffing my belly, I want to say thank you.

I’m thankful to be an American. I can’t imagine living any where else. I’m thankful for the opportunities that come simply from being born here, rather than in a third world country. I’m tremendously thankful for all those fighting for this country and standing up for freedom. You are my hero.

I’m thankful for my husband, aka bacon maker. I attempted to make my own bacon this morning and burned it. I guess I need to keep him around another 16 years! All kidding aside, he is actually so much more than my bacon maker. He is my biggest supporter, best friend, confidant. I would be lost without him.

I’m thankful for my boys. They have taught me every thing I know…they are in fact, geniuses. (wink, wink) They remind me that I’m not in control as much as I think I am…and yet everything still works out okay… I mean, they still have of their limbs and all… They make me smile from the pit of being. It fills my heart until it spills around my face. I’m a proud momma and I love them more than words.

I’m thankful for family, mine and my husband’s. Where would we be without family? It is where we first learned to love and to be loved. They love us through it ALL!

I’m thankful for my friends. Each unique, you hold a special place in my heart. You make me laugh until my belly hurts, pick me up when I fall, and are honest even when it hurts. Thank you for loving me and for allowing me to be a part of your life.

I’m thankful for my co-workers. I truly work with amazingly smart, talented, people. They make it easy to come to work every day….and enjoy it!

I’m thankful for the unconditional love I receive from my puppies (all 3 of them). I am the pied piper in this house. They follow me from room to room. They make me feel special and loveable, even on my worst days.

Thank you for reading my blog. I know, I know….I’m not a REAL writer but, I love the process… I muddle my way through. Thank you for your notes of encouragement, your ‘likes’, and for your support. It honestly means the world to me. I savor each one.

Above all else, thank you for being you.

It is my prayer that you are blessed and blessed abundantly. That in turn, you are able to be a blessing to others.

Wishing you all a wonderful season of thankfulness and of giving.

thank you

Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee

30 Sep

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Oprah’s Life Class is one of my favorite, favorite shows. I can’t begin to tell you the number of ‘ah-ha’ moments I have experienced in my PJ’s watching t.v.. However, I tend to let the shows pile up on my dvr until I’m emotionally ready. Sometimes, I just don’t want to face the music, confront a fear, recall the past, examine my warts and all the ugly that resides just beneath my skin that only I can hear, see or feel. I’m really good at stuffing all that junk away, disguising it with sarcasm and a smile….But there are times that I’m brave and willing to slip on my amour in the name of growth.

Last weekend I watched Brene Brown on Life Class. She is a researcher, publishing and speaking on shame, vulnerability and living wholeheartedly. Yes, wholehearted living…that is the word, the definition of what I’m longing for. In short, the theory is that because of shame we build walls to deflect how vulnerable we are. Yet, we are not able to live wholeheartedly if we are not vulnerable. The essence of wholehearted living is putting your WHOLE self out there for relationships, for experiencing the unknown, for building creativity…none of these things, she rations, can happen if you are not vulnerable. I’ve bought the book….it is on my to-do list.

What I’m currently focused on is the idea of shame. There is a TED talk where Brene does a remarkable job outlining shame…check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0

Where does shame come from? Why does it linger in our hearts, around our minds, whispering in our ears? Why don’t we talk about it with our friends? It is almost as if we are ashamed of shame….I’m not prepared to answer all the questions about shame or even claim I’m an expert…Maybe Brene Brown can do that for you. What I will tell you is that once the veil of shame was lifted, there was a realization that shame is rampant. It can start at a young age from our well-meaning, loving parents, when they say those little phrases for behavior modifications…”Boys don’t cry.” “Good girls don’t wine.”..and if you do, you are bad…you are shamed. After a life time of hearing you don’t fit in here, you can’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, why can’t you be quieter, why can’t you express yourself more…trying to be someone we are not. The layers of shame are so deep we don’t even recognize it as shame, but as a way of life…It leaves us battered, worn out, changed, lonely, and fearful.

Over the last month or so, my younger son has been wearing tall knee socks —with shorts. I love his individuality and I encourage it. He now has three different pairs of superman socks (one complete with a cape), along with several other solid colors. He is fortunate to go to a very small school where the children are more like family than just a school. When asked why he wears them he replies “That is just the way I roll.” When asked where he purchased them, he replies “Awesome.com”. This makes me smile broadly. I’m super proud of him for stepping out and being his own ‘man’.

Today I took him to a doctor’s appointment at a new office. As we were walking up, a lady squishes up her face while lifting her brows and with disgust in her voice says, “boy, what is with you and those socks??”….

Um, do I know you??

Before I could evaluate what was happening, I saw my son’s face fall, his eyes down at his feet…I thought OH NO YOU DON’T…you will NOT SHAME him for his socks…

…Because he defines coolness differently than you…because what he wears is out of the norm and makes YOU uncomfortable…

Want to see me go from zero to crazy?? Mess with my children! I squared off, looked her right in the eyes, and with a curt smile I put her shame back where it belonged. On her shoulders. I did so politely and with out saying a negative word. But under no uncertain terms, she knew she had crossed a line. As we walked away, I reached across my son’s shoulders, giving him a slight squeeze… “You are so super cool.” I said, “Man, I love those socks.” He smiled that big toothy grin, eyes dancing.

We adverted the shame slinging today, barely…but we did it.

When you know better, you do better.

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