Displaying memorabilia like photos and items that hold significance to you and your loved ones is important because it has the powerful ability to create a special and nostalgic experience. Whether during times of struggle or celebration, catching a glimpse of your favorite memories as you pass by should remind you that although life is full, your hearts are even fuller.
Bringing hope to everyday lives!
- SET ASIDE TIME TO PLAN YOUR WEEK (MEALS, SCHEDULE, ETC.)
Back to school season is hectic. In order to prevent your family from unraveling, consider placing a family calendar where everyone can see it and include activities, assignments, and meal plans for the week or month.
- TURN ON YOUR VOICE RECORDER
Use your voice memo phone app to record everyday conversations with your children. Push the record button while they are eating their after-school snack, while driving to sports practice, or during your bedtime routine. (The conversation flows better and is more genuine if they don’t realize you are recording. Be a ninja!) If your phone is regularly backed up those recordings will be safely secured on your computer or hard drive for years to come! Record yourself from time to time too - this is part of your legacy that everyone will appreciate.
This week, Dad took us on a vacation to Destin, Florida. The sun is shining (maybe a little too much), and the afternoon showers never fail to make an appearance. The sand is soft, and the water is refreshing. But you are missing.
Everyone who has lost someone they love may not feel the same way, but for me, when we go on vacation, I can’t help but notice that our number for dinner reservations is one shorter than it used to be. The whole family can’t be here anymore. On top of that, there has always been something about beach trips that makes me think of losing you, and I’m finally starting to understand why.
I created this blog – From My Heart to Yours – a couple of years ago as a tool of self-expression and to get the myriad of words out of my head and onto paper – or keyboard as the case may be. I have never hesitated on the topic or regretted posting any of them. It’s doubtful that I offend anyone since I direct any and all criticism, growth, mishaps, or challenges at myself. Always. I choose truth in transparency, seeking always to bring glory to God in the midst. His strength in my weakness and failures.
So I’m not certain what the difference is in this one. Why the hesitation. Maybe because it’s so intensely personal… like you are reading my journal… like I am exposed. Maybe because it isn’t uplifting or has no real ‘take-away’… but it is real and transparent. About grief. I read it to a handful of ‘safe’ folks who are on their own grief journey… and they encouraged me to share it. So, here you have it.
6:00 a.m. The deck is shady and cool. The coffee is hot. The neighborhood is quiet except for my cardinal friend singing at the top of his tiny lungs. He is never satisfied to be in the lower part of the tree. No, only the very top of the 40-foot evergreen for him. Every morning. He is proud and beautiful and facing the sunrise as if to say, "Good morning, God. You did it again!"
I love listening to the birds, especially their early morning chatter, trying to figure out if there is a pattern to their song. And as I tune in (pun intended) to this friend I shall call Chirp, I am struck by the fact that... not only does he have multiple patterns, but at least three - maybe four - different songs! He never worries if he is on key or as good as those around him. Doesn't ever wonder if he even has a song on a particular day. He just sings.
I want that... not the treetop experience as I have a fear of heights, but his confidence... the singing and the 'being' simply because that's what God designed him to do and be.
Sometimes there are television shows that teach us something meaningful about life & offer nuggets of truth that we can tuck away. Downton Abbey is one of those for me. [Spoiler Alert for anyone who has not watched the Season 4 Premier as there will be scenes I talk about specifically.]
One of the primary characters named Mary (pictured left above) is six months widowed. On the day she gave birth to her first born son, her husband Matthew died in a car accident. About a year ago, Branson (pictured right above) lost his wife Sybil, Mary's sister, during the birth of their daughter. Grief & loss is a common theme in this first 2 hour episode of Downton & the paradox of joy in the midst of suffering
my 2 year old son & I after my wisdom teeth removal
This is the beginning of a new series for Hope at Home this fall. There are a few families who have given me permission to share bits & pieces of their story of parenting through sickness, as both the sick parent & the caregiver in upcoming posts on this topic. As I speak with IOH families through the year & during retreats the common theme that emerges is that the parents long to be well enough to care for their kids in simple practical ways as they used to & enjoy daily life together; such as baseball games, dance practices, and making their lunches for school.
Some moms & dads go through various seasons in remission or treatment where this is more possible than other times. It is a rollercoaster of emotions in the ups & downs. In this series we will begin to unpack some of those emotions that arise when sickness prevents one from parenting the way we may desire & provide some tools to cope with these frustrations, for both you, your family members, & your children.
I long to find rest at home. To be still. To be with those I love. To feel settled.
How do you define HOME? It could simply be a place to eat & sleep when you get home from work, a space to decorate and make your own, a prized possession that must be sparkling clean at all times, a retreat from the outside world, an open door for people to come & go as they please, a chaotic mess of broken relationships and hoarded belongings, or even a place inside your heart that feels like your own to refresh.