Thursday, September 27, 2007

8 Factoids About Me

My friend Jan Parrish tagged me to tell you some things you may not know about me. Feel free to post 8 unique things about yourself!

1. I love cute stationery even though I rarely hand-write letters. I do send a lot of thank-you notes, but any other correspondence from me typically comes via e-mail.

2. EVERY time I fly I have to go through extra security screening at the airport. Just last week I had a TSA representative take each item out of my purse and swab it for explosive residue. She said there is probably someone with the same name on a security watch list. Lucky me.

3. I am a magnet for natural disaster. I have been in an earthquake, a storm at sea, was in a house when it was hit by a tornado and was in a different house when it was hit by lightening on two separate occasions.

4. I love the idea of scrapbooking and have all of the supplies, but actually making the pages just isn’t a priority right now!

5. I hate having chemicals in my food, so I spend most of my time at the grocery store reading labels.

6. I planned to go into the Peace Corps after college, but since I didn’t speak Spanish they said I would be sent to Africa – the only place I didn’t want to go! Of course they didn’t mention this until after I had gone through the entire application process, had two interviews and gave them three personal references.

7. If there was no type of food in the world but Mexican, I would be just fine.

8. I finished my college coursework in 3 ½ years, but it took 4 ½ years to get my diploma because I interned for a year doing public relations for musicians and comedians in Los Angeles.

Attention Bargain Shoppers!

Last night I had a bizarre dream. I was staying in a fancy resort hotel with a couple of girlfriends, when we became aware of a bargain. There was one room in the hotel offered for the amazing price of just $5 a night. However, the price reflected the fact that this room contained the worst the hotel had to offer. The cleaning staff found cocaine on one of the mattresses, thereby condemning it to room 477. The other mattress made its way to the room after receiving water damage in a hurricane, and there was no guarantee that mold or mildew did not exist inside it. The room itself became the holding place for the hotel’s rejects after someone was murdered in it and the cleaning crew was never able to completely remove all of the evidence of the tragedy.

So my question to you is this – what are you willing to live with in order to take advantage of a bargain? What would you let your children live with?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Travel Trouble

There is no easy way for a mom to leave her children when she goes out of town. I am preparing to head out for the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) annual convention, and I can feel my children’s growing anxiety, even though I am home fore three more days.

The first year I went to the convention I tried telling them several weeks in advance so they could get used to the idea and ask questions before I left. They seemed appalled at the thought of any mother choosing some old meeting over her precious children. The next year I didn’t mention my trip until the last minute, thinking I would spare them the weeks of worry leading up to my departure. That didn’t work either. My youngest daughter held me tightly around the neck as if saying, “You tricked me into this and I’m not letting you go!” The fact that the sky-cab was trying to take luggage out of my hands didn’t bother her a bit. She was not at all embarrassed to hang there like a necklace while I stood on the curb at the airport.

This year I did not make a big deal about my trip, but casually mentioned it about two weeks ago. My youngest child keeps asking me when I am leaving. I think she is afraid I’ll pull another “trick” like last year. My oldest daughter simply asked, “Is this the last year you are going?” I sure hope so – I don’t know how much more of this leaving stuff my heart can take!

Do you have any tips or strategies for when you leave town without your kids? Please share!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Breathing Deeply

"The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." – Job 33:4

For the past week, it has been difficult for my four-year-old to breathe due to a virus. We only leave the house for short jaunts, since we can’t miss her scheduled treatments with a nebulizer. The medication she breathes in causes her to swing wildly from sleepy to hyperactive with only a moment’s notice. Thankfully, she has progressed to the point of being able to sleep through the night without the interruption of a treatment.

This experience has me focused not only on my daughter’s breathing, but also on the gift of breath itself. It is such a fragile thing – so easy to break, or stop altogether. Yet God blesses us each day with the exact number of breaths we need. He lets me breathe in life, fully and deeply. He blesses me with nostrils filled with fresh, clean, restorative air the morning after a rainstorm. The scent of home fills my heart and lungs when I breathe in the aromas of the kitchen. I breathe in thankfulness for each puff my daughter takes, as we sit together in the cloud of steroids steaming from her nebulizer, grateful for doctors and medications and God’s grace that will eventually restore her ability to move fresh air through her little lungs. And I am so blessed to feel His presence covering my family during this scary ordeal.

Sometimes I notice I am short of breath because I run around from one task to the next, never taking a break. Sometimes stress feels like a weight on my chest and I can’t quite seem to fill my lungs the way I’d like to. And other times I hear God telling me to be still and know He is God, and I am blessed with a glorious, calming, refreshingly deep breath. Are you breathing deeply today? Tell us about it!