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Category: The Catch-All

Circle Around To A New Beginning

I am a trapezoid. I live an out of the box life. It isn’t as glamourus as it seems. Trust me on this one. People ask what I mean by the one. I’ll explain. A large part of my life I lived boxed in. Boxed in by expectations. Boxed in by fear. Boxed in my personal choices. Boxed in by stinking thinking. Boxed in by faulty theology. I longed for freedom. As an adult I crave it and have gone to great lengths, sometimes not healthy or wise, to achieve that freedom. The idea came to me that I was a trapezoid. Different angles and edges that explain my weird vibes and preferences. Creating this blog was a declaration of freedom – to be a trapezoid. To develop a life that was free from box like thinking. Over the last few years, being a trapezoid has morphed into a description of parenting. I have three kiddos that are definitely not boxes. (We are still trying to determine what they are.) Two of my children are Apsies (Aspergers Syndrome, a form of Autism) and one has a pretty significant anxiety disorder. They have challenged my notion of…

Bitter/Sweet

So, my oldest is a senior in high school! Over and over I hear this year is bittersweet. I recently thought about that word. If you divide it out to two words, bitter and sweet, they have different and very opposite meanings. What I recently noticed was that bitter comes first but then the sweet is last. Friends, that is profound to me! That which is bitter is horrible in the moment but the sweet part remains. Eating something bitter/sweet tastes awful but we enjoy the lasting taste of sweet long after the bitter hits our tongues. Senior 2020 is bitter/sweet but I love seeing my senior thrive…

To My Daughter on Her 18th Birthday

Today, my oldest daughter turns 18. So many cliches and sappy things I could say but that is not her. She is a great kid with a funny combination of sass and fras. Her journey is uniquely her own. She is the child who doesn’t think like me. I believe she is more like her father in mannerisms and thought processes. She has many talents that I do not own: drawing and speaking her mind courageously. We do share a love of writing but currently writing isn’t something that interests her. Her big passion is animals. She has a connection with animals unlike anyone that I have seen. She is more patient with animals than with her parents or siblings, really most humans. I have always admired her confidence. Middle school was hard, but she still maintained her sense of who she was. High school was hard, and I think she got lost a little bit. However, for three years, I watched as she gained her footing and now is talking about her future as a college freshman. There were days I wasn’t sure that would happen. She can be respectful and irreverent. She…

2019: Listening Like Elijah

Hi All: Thanks for hanging with me in 2018.  I appreciate all of you: your comments and encouragements.  More blogging in store for 2019. It is vogue to pick a word for the upcoming year. Being a trapezoid, I am picking a phrase: Taking Chances.  I am not a daredevil so don’t expect to see me jumping out of an airplane.  No, to me Taking Chances means moving forward with this blog and the book series and some other personal things. The Bible verse that I chose (or that chose me) is 1 Corinthians 14:33:  “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace…”  I skimmed several verses related to “taking chances”.  They were all good but this was resonated with me.  After turning 50 this year, I decided I need peace and want simple.  I crave it.  Chaos pretty much sums up parenting three teenagers, two who have Aspergers Syndrome and one who has a major anxiety disorder.  Oh, yeah they are all in three separate schools that are 20 plus miles from our home in central Texas.  This mom has many spinning plates in the air.  I need…

Memories & Memorials, Lingering Sadness and Exhaustion

  Brutal best describes the last six months.   The traditional stress of three children in three school as well as a lot of extra travel. I find myself at the end of the new year not nearly where I wanted to be.  I’ve lagged behind in my writing as well as other household tasks.  I am struggling to find the joy of this holiday season. I love Christmas and usually decorate with more than one tree and several other decorations. This year I simply put up a tree, a smaller one than usual.  It just felt right this year. This fall has been touched with a lot of sadness.  My maternal uncle died in August after being ill for some weeks. Now, my uncle and I were not as close as some.  Mostly because of time and distance.  I lived geographically far from both sets of families, so I had limited contact with most of my mom’s family and my dad’s family.  I do have many wonderful memories of my grandparents as well as many aunts and uncles. Back to my uncle … he was the third of my mom’s siblings to pass.  She is one of…

Let Brotherly (Or Sisterly Love) Continue: An Explanation

Almost a year ago I pondered what my theme for my life and my blog should be for 2018.  I came up with No Regrets.   I always like to have a Bible verse or verses to go with it.  A quick internet search gave me: Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue.”  It comes at the beginning of a passage that encourages believers to keep doing good things. This verse has resonated with me all this year:  How do you continue loving people when they do unlovable actions? How do you love yourself when you don’t do lovable things? Last week I shared that a few difficult things hit me at once.  Doesn’t it always seem like that happens.  You are on the floor trying to catch your breath and get up and then Bam! You get hit again.  It takes your breath away.  Being bombarded with multiple trials will shake your faith to the core. My faith didn’t feel alive as it once did.  I started to ignore some important truths about my relationship with Jesus.  I took my eyes off Him and focused at other people.  I grew discontent with what I saw.  I disagreed…

How I Realized I Needed To Do More Than Clear My Plate

The journey to get where I am has taken about two years. A couple of really big things happened around the same time:   We changed schools for our three children (three new schools) because they needed a different educational environment.  A summer job that I had for 15 years came to a close.  By changing schools, I lost a support system that felt almost like a family.  The job situation was harder that I originally thought it would be.  It was hard to tell people that I was just a “mom” or that I was a blogger (who didn’t blog regularly).  I meandered along aimlessly trying to figure out my new normal.  Some days I felt like the Israelites who wandered in the desert for many years.  To say my plate was full was obvious. The summer before the school year, I intentionally took things off my plate. I didn’t sign up for certain things and tried to limit other commitments, so I would not overfill my plate.  This was a good move on my part but not one that I usually do.  I tend to pile more on my plate than necessary.  I am a “do-er…

Mom In The Middle

It’s August. School is about to start. My social media feeds are full of moms sending their kids off to college or kindergarten. Kind of ironic for the age spread. Funny thing about motherhood is that people react to events like school in such strange ways.  I remember having lunch with one mom as she sent her child to kindergarten. She had a margarita by 11 am.  She was so happy. I thought it was a strong reaction to having one less kid at home. Contrast that with another mom who cried for days when her oldest started kindergarten. Another strong reaction on my part. After contemplating the strange season that I’m in, I’ve realized I am a mom in the middle. Middle of high school with my oldest. Middle of the school years with my youngest kid.  I’m the middle child.  Even my birthday is in the middle of two of my children’s birthdays.  I feel middle age frumpy.  And most importantly I am in the middle of a strange season that I cannot name. I believe that God’s about to do something in my life. Sometimes…

Grace and Mercy From A Water Spout

Have you ever noticed the settings on a water spout? This summer in Central Texas has reacquainted me with the choices on mine. When I am watering my plants with a handheld hose, I can choose these settings: Soaker, Mist, Jet, Shower, Flat, Center and Cone. Soaker is the one I use when I want to drench a single plant. Mist is when I want a light coat on the plant. Jet is the one to use when I want to wash dirt off my porch. Shower does a nice job of covering a certain area evenly. Flat is a center line directed at one area. Center setting sprays from a central location to a perfect circle. Cone is a perfect circle outline to focus on root penetration. After a particularly eventful and spectacularly stressful week, I found myself thinking of those seven settings and God’s capacity for Grace (the free and unmerited favor of God) and Mercy (compassion and forgiveness offered when one could offer punishment instead). I mean the God I believe in – the one true God of Abraham and Issac and Father in the trinity of Father-Son-Holy Spirit – can offer His…

The Parallel Process

Mental health and geometry are not terms that people put together very often. Years ago when I was a graduate student in a counseling program, I was required to have a supervisor with my internship. I enjoyed the gentlemen who served as that for me. We would met every Wednesday and talk about the few clients that I had in a private practice.  I learned a lot about myself at that time. Joe (named changed) often spoke of the parallel process that goes on between clients and counselors. We as helpers would often find something in common with our clients. It could be as simple as birth order or marital status. Often it could be a similar trauma we shared. A skilled and effective therapist is aware of this and maintains healthy boundaries in the therapy process. Remember that one of the first tenets of counseling is “first do no harm.” I have applied this notion of “parallel process” to my family and friends. How often have a talked on the phone with a friend or sat across from a family member talking about a subject and have a sense of deja vu? You know that…