Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random moments and greater things to come

It's just one of those days that I need to share my words. It's not that today(actually since it is so early, I really should say yesterday at this point) is any type of day in particular, but certain things have struck me today-both highs and lows-and so sharing through blog is a lot of times how I express myself. That seems really strange and unpersonal in some ways, I suppose, but it really does help.
 Yesterday I woke up at 4 am to do my Monday morning training run. When I woke up, it was pouring down rain. There was no lightning or anything, but it was raining so hard, I almost considered going back to bed. However, I thought to myself-"No, I'm in training. I will wait 30 minutes and see if it slows down." And it did. I actually love to run in the rain-if it's not freezing cold. So I dressed and was out the door at 4:50, headphones in. It turned out to be one of my best runs in a long time. It was so much fun!! I do have to pay attention to how many miles I am logging since I am in training; however, this run in particular I wasn't worrying so much about that, as I was about just enjoying myself. I am glad it was dark-anyone who would've seen me probably would've found me ridiculous looking. I was smiling as I ran. I sang a little bit with my music. I laughed as the rain came down harder on my face (the light rain turned to hard rain as I ran). And I lifted my face into the rain and let it fall on me...it was enjoyable . And it actually was one of my best mile times in a while....however that happened, I' m not quite sure. By the end of my run, I had hit my miles marked for the day, so I slowed down a little and actually splashed through the puddles. It is good to feel carefree once in a while. It is so rare I actually allow myself to be that way (sad, but true). I thanked God as I ran, for the beauty of the rain....and a rare 50 degree day in January (almost unheard of in ohio). I thanked Him for the way to start out the day. It was wonderful to experience His creation so early in the morning.
 It was a great way to start out my day.
 Really for a Monday, that was a really great start. I can't say the day lasted to be that great as I went along, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
 The morning proved to be a fairly busy one for me at work. I wasn't swamped, but I had enough drinks to make-as well as snacks to bag, and my (least) favorite-dishes to polish for a catering event. I was pretty busy. Well, as it neared closer to the lunch hour and more things needed done by that time, I was still feeling pretty happy. After all, I had started out great. And then I went to get the cookies to bag up for lunch. Long story short, I totally dropped 5 or 6 (but who's counting??) trays of the cookies....in front of the boss. Not that I wouldn't have told him anyway. Just, I think that made the circumstance more frustrating for me. I like my boss a lot. But it was one of those moments I would rather have never experienced. Really it boiled down to me being in a hurry and not taking the time to be careful. Oh, I learned my lesson. I humbly apologized, as there was really nothing else I could do. I took the remaining 4 trays (which don't go very far with as many employees as work there) to put together for the lunch hour. I told Nellie-the baker of the cookies-who really just laughed out loud and gave me a hug-and I moved along in my day. I am telling this story not because it was the most horrible experience really (although I hope to never have it happen again), but really just because it goes with how I am learning and growing. It's not to say I will be able to do this every day, but instead of crying about this event-as I typically would many times-I  knew there was nothing I could do except accept it and move on. It's not to say I can do that every time, but I am sure trying.  It was a God moment. One of not beating myself up, but of hearing His voice and remembering how I'd experienced Him in my run that day, and hearing His voice in the moment....there are much bigger things than dropped cookies.
 I also thought of mom a lot through my day. Some days I think of her more than others-though every day really she is in my heart and mind. I thought a lot about her yesterday. I thought about how It would be a day I would've loved to share with her. It would've been a day I would call her and laugh about my puddle jumping and likely cry about the cookies. I thought of her because a person who was pretty strongly in my life during the time she was sick and then passed away, but who hasn't been as much since, appeared in a funny way that day ( through a card of sorts), and it made me remember. I thought of her because I could hear her voice speaking what she would've said had we been face to face having the conversation about the run and the cookies and such. I missed her a lot through those thoughts. There were a lot of random moments in the day for me. A lot of times where I stopped and saw God.Where I stopped and heard mom.
I miss her some days more than others-though I am always missing her. Monday was one of those days. It was the random things-the moments when I'm not expecting to feel that pang of missing her-that catch me most off guard. Monday was one of those days.
 This morning's run was another good one. I did a speed workout which I really don't enjoy. But today it felt pretty good. And as I ran , a song in particular played that struck me strongly today.The words of the chorus are:
 There is no one one like our God
There is no one like our God
 Yes there is no one like You, God.....
Greater things are yet to come
 Greater things are still to be done in this city
When glory shines from hearts and lives
with praise for you and love for you in this city
Greater things have yet to come
 and greater things have still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come and greater things have still to be done here.....

Mom isn't here. But I can hear her still often-in those random moments sometime that I expect least. But there are still greater things to be done. And there truly is no on like our God. And I have yet things to do in this city. Like Relay for Life. Like bag cookies (LOL). Like ....who knows what? Only God. As I begin my day today and even have an event tonight for Relay for Life....I'll see what greater things He may have to come....for me. And I'll continue to look for Him (and for my mom) in the little things. And I will try to remember that there are greater things to come, hard as that is some days. One day at a time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful woman I've ever known: my mom.
 I only wish she were here to celebrate it in person. Mom would be 63 today. It is really strange not having her here on a day that was all about her. Mom was humble-never wanted any fuss about her being made. However, birthdays were always kind of a big deal in our house. And very fun, even when there was very little money to spend. Mom loved spagetti and strawberry cake. We (ok, usually I) always made a birthday sign to hang on our dining room mirror.It was pathetically drawn bubble letters shouting "Happy Birthday" with all kinds of silly coloring on it. We would eat and laugh and almost always play a game of some sort. Mom didn't care about gifts. She loved all our homemade cards; as I went through all the pictures for her funeral i found almost every card all of us kids ever made her.
 Last year on her birthday, it was bittersweet. She couldn't' really talk and she was pretty sick. But she had some smiles and she enjoyed the moments we had. I don't know what everyone else was thinking, but I knew it was likely the last we'd have to celebrate. There weren't a lot of gifts last year-just a lot of time,holding onto each and every moment.
 Today has been strange in some aspects. It would be impossible to go through this day without thinking about mom. Therefore, there was some sadness in some aspects. Just a gaping hole not having her here to hug and sing Happy Birthday to one more time. It hurts to even sit and think about the reality of it. However, there is joy with the day, too. Mom is having the biggest birthday party ever, I am sure. She is laughing harder than ever, I am sure. I didn't want to make cake for this day-something about it didn't feel quite right. So I ate donuts instead to celebrate. I shared them, though I didn't publicize the reasoning behind having them. I laughed today. I remembered today. My mom was so special, it is so difficult to put into words. Mom made me feel special in every way. Each time I'm sad or lonely, mom is the first person I want to call. I've never done the thing of picking up the phone to actually call, but I talk out loud to her still, strange as that sounds. Mom loved everyone and never wanted a fuss put around her. Mom's best friend was only 4 days older than she was. Her best friend was Aunt Pam to me (well, she still is ). Mom always loved a good joke and tease and she would always love to tell Aunt Pam that she was the older one. Mom never complained. She never wanted anything-and if she did, I never knew. Or if she did, it was something like a trash can for the kitchen or something like that. She loved everyone. She prayed faithfully. She taught children all her life. Mom loved games. Mom loved birthdays.
 I miss her today. But the ache of missing her is somewhat different than it was 6 months ago. God is good in brining healing with each day. Today mom would still not want a fuss put up about her. Therefore, I chose not to go to the cemetery to put flowers there. I chose to have donuts:). And I am choosing to spend the evening with a dear friend and my kids. I am choosing to remember all the fun times we had. I literally would laugh with my mom til we peed (sp?) our pants-or at least I did a little . (Gross, I know, but hey, I'm smiling just at remembering the hard laughter we had.) We shared many, many cups of coffee and sweet discussions about life and about God. We had a few shopping trips to Goodwill, where we found great deals and good stuff. We told ridiculous made up stories to the kids. I remember one time mom was in the hospital and the kids  picked a word and we made up a story and used that word and every time we said that word, mom would make a pretend trumpet noise. That went on until we were all laughing so hard we couldn't tell a story any more.I remember mom's prayers. I remember how she would tuck little notes in my lunch box every so often. I remember the ridiculous ways mom would stretch every penny we had, including but not limited to, some of the greatest most creative meals. I remember all the Snoopy birthday cakes mom made me. I remember her laugh. I remember her smile. I remember her caring for me endless times while I was so sick. I remember her hugs. I miss every single one of those things. I could go on forever. But I will close with a picture we took last year on her last birthday on this earth. And I will shout HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I MISS YOU!  Today she gets to hear the angels sing happy birthday. Now that would be a birthday to remember.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Well, it is a new year, and this is my first blog for 2012. I'm not totally sure what all my blog will hold this year, but I have decided to keep up with it, as I really enjoy it. I'm sure it'll still be a grief outlet for me, as well as other things.
 The last time I wrote, I fully intended to follow that blog with more thoughts on what I learned in 2011 and how that year changed my life. Now as we are 2 weeks into a new year, I really just want to move forward. It's not to say that 2011 lessons weren't important, because they really were. But I am working hard to make some positive changes in my life and I am ready to focus on some of those things.
 I sort of gave up on the words "New Years Resolutions" many years ago. I am a goal setter, if you haven't figured that out. But I used to set my goals so big and too high and then get frustrated when I couldn't meet those. So this year, rather than really set resolutions, I set 2 main goals to accomplish. Things I feel are reasonable. And in so doing, each one really encompasses more, but I'm not putting it down in bullet points in blood to stick to! I wasn't going to put it out there for everyone to know, but ...it kind of happens anyway,so I may as well blog about it.
 I have decided to run a full marathon-FOR REAL! I know I said that before, but I was really not in the right mind at that point (and it's really debatable if I am now, but that's beside the point). I have pulled up  a training plan and I am following it well so far. And I am really excited about it. Training plans are hard for my life, with everything else that goes on, but it is good,too. 4 a.m. is really becoming my new wake up time.  There are some days when that is tough, but I feel so much better doing it. Not every run is a great run, but that's ok and normal even. I am really excited to be setting out to do this. It is another piece of my journey in discovering myself some more and yes, still helps me to process my grief. I do still carry that conversation with me that mom and I had about my doing a full marathon. When that day comes May 6, she will be with me every step of the way still. In my every thought. The marathon journey holds that in it as well. I also have a friend doing this with me. I've never had a friend doing  a race with me every step of the way. We don't get to train together all the time, but we try to once a week. She has been a friend for many years, and we have both gone through some major life changes in the last year. we are both doing this run for ourselves-not for anyone else or for weight loss or to win any great times. We are doing this to move forward in our journey of healing. Ecclesiastes says 2 are better than 1-and I believe that can apply to more than one thing. Running included. Life's painful circumstances especially. Healing. It's a blessing and a privilege to be doing this with her.
 The second goal I have is to go back to school. (Okay, to go to school really for the first time.) I have always wanted to go back to college. I have been saying that for 2 years I would be going back. This is the year, and it is going to happen for real-this time I am determined. I finally really know what I want to do-I want to be an occupational therapist. It will probably take me years to accomplish this. But I have to start somewhere. And so the goal is to start with my gen. eds. in the spring. I'm going to begin this finally.

I have come a long way in my grief journey. I still hurt. And I still cry. But I also laugh more now. there are some monumental days to come in the months ahead. but I am going to continue just taking one day at a time. And trying to follow God each step of the way. And try to better myself each day. And try to be the best I can each day. One day at a time. i will say that 2011 really taught me that. Each day has value. I have a problem of worrying-it's always been a struggle of mine. But if I take one day at a time, it helps that a lot. If I learn to put God in each moment, it makes a world of difference. Is it always easy?? Oh, no way. But I am working on it. Not as a goal  or a resolution, but just as doing what God has called me to do-follow Him and trust Him.  Mom's life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6. I may have shared that in a previous blog, I really can't remember. But it seems appropriate right now, so I will share again. It's a verse I've heard my entire life. But it's become so . much. more . real.
 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
 or as the message version puts it: "Trust God form the bottom of your heart;don't try to figure out everything on your own. LIsten for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go.He's the one who will keep you on track."
Truer words have never been written. Mom lived this. I want to as well. One day at a time.