Proverbs 31 - A Wife of Noble Character

........Oh, to be this strong, this wise, this fair....that's what this blog is about after all...... Learning to live well and love well and to do all things for His glory...


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baby Talk

"Take me down to the little white city....."  That's SJ's version of Paradise City by Guns & Roses.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gratitude --- MORE

I'm behind on my list!  Somehow I got SO busy I didn't post for two weeks.  Well, here I go again...

27.  I'm so thankful that SCHOOL IS OUT FOR THE SUMMER.  If this list is still going in August, you will see an opposite post where I'm thankful that school is about to begin....but for NOW this is it!

28.  FRIENDSHIP - I won't name them here, but you know who you are!  You are the ladies who have been my friends through thick and thin, who have given my encouragement through the ups and downs of life (sometimes daily), and I truly love you.  I'm incredibly blessed to have you in my life!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Do I enjoy being "talked awake" early this morning by the world's most talkative child?  Do I enjoy hauling my cookies across town to watch my 90 year old grandmother slave away in the kitchen making lunch for the family?  Not especially.  But I'm reminded on this auspicious dawn of a day devoted to moms how very fortunate I am to have these people - sometimes inconvenient people - in my life.

I have friends who have lost their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and even their own sons and daughters.  I'm confident that each of them will spend time today not just celebrating the life of these beloved ones, but also mourning their losses.

It is with each of these friends in my heart that I will celebrate Day 4 of the Gratitude Challenge by loving the mothers in my life!

17.  My Mama - She taught me to cook and sew and laugh and what to pack on a picnic.  She taught me spontaneity and the value of planning.  She taught me to drive and how to buy groceries.  Where once she was a battleax full of useless opinions and advice, she is now a trusted friend and confidante.  Love you, Mama!

18.  Polly - My MIL is a dream among MILs.  She is more of a listener than a talker; more of an encourager than advisor, and I enjoy spending time with her.

19.  Nannie - My 90 year old grandmother looks and acts at least twenty years younger though she tends to move a little slower these days.  She showed me a model of what a woman could become all on her own LONG before it was cool. 

20.  Carol - My aunt Carol is unbearably cool, hip, fun and stylish.  Many mornings when I get dressed, I wonder if Carol would wear this outfit or how she would accessorize it. 

21.  Nancy - My aunt Nancy, like Nannie, was a role model of a self-made woman.  I remember working with her one summer when downtown Greenville was still a slum and not the thriving metro it now is.  We shared many meals at the Woolworth's lunch counter that year!

22.  Ruth - Auntie Roo married into the family when I was a obnoxious pain-in-the-ass precocious tween.  She somehow managed to ingratiate herself with me by flopping on my bed and discussing hairstyles and boys, and I've never forgotten it.

23, 24, 25, 26.  My great-aunts Hazel, Pat, Ina (RIP), and MaeVan (RIP) are Nannie's sisters.  Between them, I've learned the value of family and extended family.

So what if I had to get up early?  So what if I have to watch Nannie wilt in the kitchen this afternoon?  I have A LOT of "Moms" to thank God for today!  I hope you all have a wonderful day with your "Moms"!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gratitude Day 3 (AKA Motherhood)

It's Mother's Day weekend so you can easily guess what is high on my gratitude chart!  Today, it's simply MOTHERHOOD (#16).  If you know me well, or have followed my blog for a while, then you know that becoming a mother was no small feat for me. 

I married the Mr. Wonderful when I was 34 and we struggled with infertility for years before deciding that adoption was right for us....and then the adoption took almost two years from start to finish.  By the time we brought sweet Sophia home, I was literally a bundle of raw nerves popping anti-depressants and swigging Russian beer.  Quickly, we settled into a routine that revolved completely around the child [hmmm...this hasn't changed much] and opened my eyes to REAL unconditional love. 

Before becoming a mother I thought I understood what love was, but my definition was skewed.  Now, I am not certain that you can love another adult unconditionally.  If my husband were abusive and neglectful and another twenty adjectives describing a crappy spouse, would and could I love him unconditionally?  I'm not sure, but I doubt it.

I have friends I love and have loved dearly.  The one who stabbed me in the back? The compulsive liar?  The crazy drug addicted one who gets on my nerves with her constant neediness? Not still my pals. This certainly isn't unconditional.

Pets?  I've loved pets through the years.  I've tolerated litter boxes, fur on my bedspread, and mangled corners of furniture.  And then there was Skittles 2.0.  You remember the cat who thought it was fun to pee on every surface in my home?  I had his ass gassed.  Sure, it was a great excuse to get a new sofa and replace rugs, but unconditional?  Um, no.

Parent/child relationships are different.  Parent screws up; kid moves on; relationship grows and vice versa.  Every day she hurts my feelings and causes me to question my motives - and my sanity - but would I STOP being her Mama?  Never.  My heart is overflowing with the love and affection I have for my daughter and as we approach the adoption of #2, I am praying that I'll grow up to be the person Sophie already thinks I am.

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gratitude ~ Day 2

6.  Hearing - I LOVE music and would be sad if I could never hear the voices of those I love.  This morning I was regaled from my porch with a symphony from the birds.

7.  Roomba - That's right.  I'm thankful for a vacuum cleaner.  Actually, I am only thankful for this vacuum cleaner that works withOUT me!

8.  Dishwasher - Again, I am not thankful for chores, but for appliances that do them for me.  I despise washing dishes and do not ever want to live without an automatic dish washer.

9.  Air Conditioning - If you live in S.C. where the average relative humidity is 12,486% you already understand why.

10.  Hot showers

11.  A good mattress

12.  My ridiculously expensive pillow that helps me sleep like a kitten

13.  My cat who eats the rabbits who eat would like to eat the lettuce in my little garden

14.  Black mascara - I have been blessed cursed with blonde eyelashes.  Mascara keeps me from looking like a corpse.

15.  Mrs. V - My daughter's kindergarten teacher is a dream.  She starts every day with a smile and has helped SJ build a wonderful foundation for learning.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baby Talk

Prayers tonight :: "God, help Nana to have a good birthday in Heaven with a party and cake and everything."

Gratitude Challenge

My sweet friend Traci posted a comment on facebook today challenging us to name 1,000 things for which we are thankful.  Rather than journaling at midnight all alone, I've decided to focus my blog on this and see where it goes.

Day One ~ I am thankful for (in NO particular order!):

1.  My husband - JB is thoughtful and generous and good-natured.  He's honest and dependable and responsible.  He CAN be a pain in the butt, of course, but since he's willing to overlook my sass I guess I'll let his slide as well!

2.  My sweet daughter - SJ is the very light of my days.  She makes me smile and laugh and cry and scream and pull my hair out, but I wouldn't want to live any other way. 

3.  Coffee - You do NOT want to be around me until I've had my morning java which usually consists of at least 4 cups!

4.  My Bible - OK, my BibleS.  I have many interpretations and they are priceless to me.  I love that it is so relevant to my life.  Who wouldn't want a manual on how to best do life?  Not me!

5.  My home - I like my house, but it's the HOME part I'm most thankful for.  It's the little things like a picture of my great-grandparents, Sophie's first outfit, my wedding shoes and, most importantly, the PEOPLE in my house that make it a home.

More tomorrow.....


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mistaken Identity

As you probably know, we are in the process of adopting another child and Sophie has taken the liberty of choosing her sister's name. Thank Heaven she actually picks pretty names - last month was Miriam Elizabeth; today it's Liz Ann. One time she did pick "Namo" pronounced with a long in "Bingo was his NA-MO." I nixed that one.

Anyway, today she brought up names again and we were discussing the name Ann which I like because it's a family name. Sophie told me that her teacher and her Nannie were both named Ann. I responded that also her Granny Smith and her Aunt Mandy both have the middle name of Ann. And THAT'S when Sophie's eyes bulged and her mouth hit the floor.

"You mean Granny's name is not really Granny?" Um, no. You know my name is not really Mama, right? Same thing. "You are kidding me Mama. Her name is not really Granny?" Repeat question and response about 8 times. And that's how I spent my afternoon ;)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Live & Learn

Suck up. Not "suck it up". Suck up.

At my age (over 40, oh nosy one) and as the parent of a six year old "suck up" is something I thought was a LONG way behind me and a LONG way ahead for my daughter, but alas, the fine art of cozying, cottoning, fawning and (my personal favorite) bootlicking is alive and well in the "Let's act like we're in middle school even though we've got crow's feet" crowd.

On the one hand, I would love to list my grievances and the guilty sycophants, but that would be wrong. Oh sure, it would be fun, but it would plop me into the aforementioned "middle school" category and spawn a dozen comments quoting James 3:8. Instead, I will address bootlickers in general and the temporary insanity that prevented me from knowing a suck up when I saw one.

You see, I wasn't always this stupid. From the time I was young, I was a fairly good judge of character; not a perfect track record, but pretty good. I've had the same best friend since I was five so I'd say I get more than a handful of points for that alone. In general, I've usually been able to weed out "so called friends" from the real deal. Even as a teen, I could pick out the chick who wanted to borrow my clothes, the kid who needed a ride, the one who wanted to borrow my ID or money. Whatever IT was I recognized it. I'm not saying I was always prudent in my choices (insert guffaw and snort here), but the point is that deep down I KNEW I was being used. I've never been hypersensitive so it wasn't THAT big a deal. (Well, there was that one time when my entire family forgot my birthday. That was bad. OK, that was REALLY bad. But since then, I've never been hypersensitive.)

Flash forward a few, er, decades. In the meantime, I've married, divorced, remarried and held down numerous jobs and had a pretty successful career. During the course of life in the rat race, I have maintained friendships with many former coworkers, employees & employers. To be honest, there are many more whom I've totally forgotten and couldn't pick out of a police lineup, but that's another blog.

Recently, I had the privilege of working on staff at my church. From the moment I was hired, I recognized that many more people sought to talk to me and spend time with me than in the past, and I attributed this to my being more visible to and active within the congregation. During the time I was on staff, I worked really hard to build and maintain relationships with the volunteer base and considered several of them to be good friends. And THAT's my problem.

When I chose to resign, I found that literally overnight some of my "friends" not only were no longer "friends" but now couldn't be bothered to speak to me or even make eye contact when I dropped off my daughter for class. People who had been in my home and welcomed me into theirs now considered me some kind of pariah. While it's true that I'm guilty of many things, I didn't (and don't) deserve that kind of rejection. I'll certainly take any blame for things I've done or said that offended them and take any blame where I've acted out of line or let my pride seep in.

But honestly, I believe I'll just have to chalk this one up in the "Live & Learn" column. And I think I'll put an asterisk by a couple of those names just so I'll remember who and what a big suck up is.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Superbowl Contest

What do football & organizing totes have in common? Not a thing until NOW! Go to my Thirty-One Gifts facebook page and predict the Superbowl winner and total score. If you guess correctly, you can choose any one item for 20% off. If your item is more than $31, then you can use the February Customer Special and take 31% off a second item!