I am a Present

God put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. God then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man.
I’m a present to my husband from the Lord.
I am a created gift.
God sees me as worthy.
profilePic  wpid-20140326_185436.jpgcropped-june-2013-265.jpgFamily Photo Shoot July 15, 2012 020
I find often that I’m striving to do more tasks for pretty myself up for others.  When in all actuality God has created me just as I am.  Learning to accept that I am good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me, I grow up even in my 30s.  I’m totally copying that previous line from a Saturday Night Live of ages past–Stuart Smalley.
Affirmations are not silly.  They are helpful.  We are worthy of praise because a praise worthy Father made YOU and ME!  There is enough in this world to make us question our worth.  Do not question it.  You are a gift to your friends and family.  Allow yourself to open up and enjoy life.  Be YOU!
The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be. - Edgar Allan Poe.:
Image Credit: Pinterest search of Genesis 2:21 led to Hannah on Tumblr
Dear God,
You created us as a present to others.
Forgive us for trying to alter our packaging.
Give us hope for today.
Give us love to share.
Amen.

Cub Scout Camping Revelations

After camping with the Cub Scouts this past weekend, I had several revelations during the weekend:

  1. I like my house.
  2. I love snuggling in a thick sleeping bag with my husband.
  3. Animals are amazing in their survival skills.
  4. The quiet is a good thing.
  5. Our kids love to play outside with no real boundaries.
  6. The trees tell stories.
  7. God is gracious in all his provisions.
  8. A good tent and primitive bathrooms are better than being homeless.
  9. Showers are a gift.
  10. Boys like to be loud, dirty, swing from tree branches, and plod across creeks.

Camping with the our Boy Scout Pack over the weekend was joyful.  I really enjoy camping.  I know some men and women are looking at these words wondering what?!!?  I grew up camping with my parents.  I think it is a magical experience to leave your neighborhood and venture into the woods with your family and friends.  It makes friends out of strangers as you interact together to make fires, meals, and help one another clean up camp or find a missing child.

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Children need experiences like this, AND so do we as adults.  Our world is fast paced, noisy, and full of desires for more “stuff.”  We need time to slow down.

We have a wide world to explore and our own hearts to check out more deeply. Click To Tweet

As an introvert I like the quiet spaces camping allows.  Time to walk, gaze at nature, and be where there is less noise.  Sometimes there is a bit more noise too.  That is the oxymoron I guess.  With a tent we heard a very bad storm pass over us on Saturday night.  It was a severe weather watch for the state of Florida.  We adults were up on our phones and talking about the weather while our children slept peacefully.  Child like faith is a bit better than our own adult adventure eh?  My husband had prayed over our family before bed, and we were fine.  There were only small puddles in the corners of the tent.

God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches. We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

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What do you like about camping?   If you have never been, why not?  I realize the weather is chilly in many parts of the world right now, but when you weather is right…please take a camping trip solo, with a friend, or with your family!

Dear God,

You created quiet spaces of our heart and world to be filled with Your presence.

Forgive me when I do not take the time to find quiet…to find You.

Thank you for our family moments.

Be with us this day as we carve out time for quiet and loving on our families whether they are near or far.

Amen.

 

Do You Have to Be on the Computer?

As I sat down to write my blog post today for Five Minute Friday.  Our youngest, Bryan, age 6 years came in sucking his thumb and saying “Do you have to be on the computer mom?”

My answer, “No…I do not.”

His reply, “Okay, good because I want you to do a yoga class with me.”

So I went.  I had the time.  It was only 6:15 a.m.  I usually have this golden hour of quiet from 6 to 7 a.m. to myself, but today we are ALL up early at the Cook house.  That’s fine.  Really it is.  I’m learning to be more open to “Hands Free” moments.  I finished the book by Rachel May Stafford: “Hands Free Mama.”

I’ve learned a thing or two.

Today’s Five Minute Friday post word was “TIME!”  How appropriate.  I made time for a 30 minute yoga class that was very jovial.  It included some moves I’ve never done before, and it let our Bryan feel the attention of his mama.  I then lost him to the lures of You Tube.  You see he was trying to set up some music for our class, but the ComputerNerd01 videos were a little too entertaining to miss.  He did sing and teach through one.  I learned about this funny video teen, and now you can too.  He does do some great parodies of hit songs.

Songs running, my husband said I could have the computer back.  I came to write this five minute post.  My time is up.  However, as I wrote Addison, our nine year old came to talk too.  “Mom, I sent you a google message with a link to my Flipaclip cartoon.”  I checked that out mid blog post.  It is only fair to give someone your undivided attention when they come to talk to you.  Screen down.  Fingers still.  Happy Friday!

Deciding to Do Less and BE More in 2016

I looked back on my resolutions from 2015.  I wrote them in November of 2014.  I’m a planner, but I’m learning as I age that I am less of a planner and more of a “take it as it comes” or one day at a time girl.

One day at a time is a good way to live, but there is also a need to look to the future in order to make good decisions about time management and to achieve goals.  So here is my list from last year with some comments on how it worked out in 2015:

I will take time to do a yoga DVD or go to yoga class once per week.  I was not the best at prioritizing time to go to yoga or loading a DVD in at home.  I hate exercise DVDs who was I kidding?  I did NOT attend a yoga class weekly, but I DID do some yoga weekly even if it was for some 2-5 minutes of time.  I like to stretch; I know the moves from class that are my favorites.  I did get a new yoga mat for Christmas from my sweet husband so all the more reason to enjoy BEING in poses any time I choose on a sweet comfy mat hand picked by the love of my life.

I will plan a storybook lesson each week for the kids at work.  I’m a pediatric speech therapist, and I love to read.  I did incorporate books more into my sessions with my kid clients.  I also had a sweet neighbor offer me old books to add to my office collection.  I give books away as gifts for kids who meet all of their goals, have a birthday, or cannot have the office tradition of a lollipop or sticker upon completion of a session.  Books are beautiful!  They are unique.  I don’t have to plan a storybook lesson weekly with Pinterest crafts.  I can enjoy BEING present to read books at work and at home.

Graceglimmers is giving away books in 2016! Click To Tweet

I’ll email you if you’ve been selected to receive one by mail.  I sent Inseperable to Tara at Christmas time because she was the most often to comment in 2015!  You can visit her blog at Praying on the Prairie if you wish to read more encouragement in a similar style to my blog–a woman writing to glorify the Lord and share a little grace about her own journey in this here time and space.

I will snuggle our sons more.  I did do this in 2015, and I fully intend to continue it in 2016.  Ours sons are growing up quickly.  I’m thankful they still will save me a seat on the couch and share their blankets with me.

I will leave my cell phone in a designated place.  I did better with this in 2015, and in 2016 I will continue to try to charge my phone nightly on my new little Googlefi stand.  I got a new phone in 2015, a new case, and a new number.  I’m digging the fresh start.  I’m also trying to be more of a “hands free mom” in the years ahead.  It will continue to be a word with added apps and social media temptations.  I want to be engaged in real life.  It takes intentional action to achieve a balance between all the pulls of parenting, personal wishes, etc.

I will try one new dinner recipe per month. I tend to make similar things for our family or jazz it up freestyle.  I did not try new recipes from cookbooks in 2015.  I’m terrible at pre-planning meals.  I did receive an awesome new cookbook from Mary Carver via a “Choose Joy” book launch contest.  It is the Pioneer Woman one.  I have heard she is amazing, and by the pages and pictures they do look amazing.  However, I have not found the pre-planner in me yet for meals.  AND, that is okay.  I am going to take the time to BE okay with my freestyle meals and if I’m bored I’ll read a recipe and make a list for the store before going for whatever strikes my fancy aisle by aisle.

I will not grumble about tasks I chose to take.  I like to volunteer for things, but I am quick to lose patience with myself or others.  Grace.  Quiet.  I’ll did work on that.  I did say “no” to more “opportunities” in 2015.  It helped to say “no.”  I enjoy BEING with my family and doing what I want to do versus what I’m asked to do all the time.  It helps me grumble less.  There is plenty that we have to do that still incites me to grumble or yell, but I’m working on that too one moment at a time.

I will print out this list.
I do not know where the printed list is or was.  I did find it on my blog though.  Handy dandy search engines!  Thank you computer programmers who make this kind of magic happen!  I will not print this one out either.  I’ll save a tree.  I’ll enjoy looking at the trees.  I will allow for grace and peace to enter into me day by day in 2016.

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Sometimes trees tangle together. We tangle and mingle with people daily. We are each unique, beautiful, and growing. Let us have grace and peace with our neighbors.

Grace and peace are themes within a book I’m reading right now.  Trees appear on the cover and within the text of a “Peace for a Lifetime” by Lisa Murray.  I’m on the launch team for this fabulous book with the subtitle: Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness & Harmony Through Emotional Abundance.  The following is a preview of this fantastic book:

p. 37 “….the trunk of the tree gives strength and stability to the branches.  Nutrients make their way up through all of the branches and stems to the leaves.  Nourished by a healthy root system, the leaves are the beauty of the tree.  Likewise our relationships are the most beautiful part of the tree.”

How about you?  What are your plans for the new year?  Or, would you like to just BE okay with where you are, where you went in 2015, and embrace what today holds?

p.s. If you are interested in any of the book titles mentioned in this post or past posts see the sidebar.
I have links to Amazon for some of my favorite books.  We have Amazon Prime so that is the best place for me to buy books and download to my kindle.  Any book place is great though…I love our local library and used books stores as well.  But, for current titles…Amazon is my awesome go to source!

 

First Thing in the Morning is ME Time

Why do I get up so stinking early many ask?  It is because I love, love, love the early morning quiet.  I’m an introvert by nature.  I like choosing my own stuff to do without the pull of others.  I like having my morning cup of tea with honey and a candy cane bit.  I like browsing social media.  I need some ME time first thing in the morning.

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ME time is good ladies and gentlemen.  Find some time to carve out for you and only you.  I recently finished the book The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner she encourages the reader to take time out in the little snippets of time we moms have for ourselves.  Do what you love to do.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  Ah…the discovery that the fringe hours are meant for that…but of course!  This wasn’t a shocking book to me.  I’ve already discovered the glory of fringe hours.  I’m a queen of being busy, and being restful.  What helps you balance?

For me…it is a run with friends, an episode of Downtown Abbey with a hot lunch, a cup of warm tea and good book or screen time.  First thing in the morning is ME time.  I’m not going to do the laundry or dishes.

I'm going to focus on the things that fill me up before I can fill others today. Click To Tweet

Dear God,

Thank you for being our Holy Spirit within to whisper to us to slow.

Forgive me when I try to speed up and do too much.

Give me the wisdom to take ME time as needed so that I can be a better mom, wife, friend, etc as the day goes on.

Amen.

p.s. Yes, our Christmas tree is still up.  I’m fine with that.

 

Our Feeding Disorder–Chapter 15, “How is he doing with eating?”

Many close friends and family members know our story.  Bryan, our six year old son, has a feeding disorder.  He likes crunchy carbs, sweet chocolate, creamy peanut butter, and not a whole lot else.  We completed a month long feeding program at our local children’s hospital in November.  It was intense.  December was less intense, but every meal is kind of intense I’m not going to lie.

“How is he doing with eating?”  Grandparents and friends have been the recent inquirers.  I’m glad they ask, but I kind of do not want to answer.  Honestly, he isn’t do a whole lot better with eating.  He will nibble a few foods outside his preferred foods only with lots of prompting, coaching, cheering, and if then statements.  We have tried to maintain the gains from the clinic, but really there wasn’t much gained in terms of new food intake.

The intake of food has not changed, but his attitude toward knowing the NEED to try has. Click To Tweet

Bryan has been coaching his younger cousin Jackson to try new foods during the Christmas holidays.  He says: “Have you ever tried it?”  “You do not know if you like it until you try it a few times.”  Other kids have trouble trying new foods also.  We are not the only family with a picky eater.  Bryan recognizes the difficulty in trying new foods, and he also explains the importance of trying new foods out.  It is easier to TALK about the RIGHT versus DO the right things!

Bryan has matured enough to KNOW he needs to try new things, but he still has difficulty DOING it.  In thinking about his case, I realize that he has had food struggles for six years.  Six years is a long time.  As he matures, as his sensory system changes in his mouth, and as the social pressures to eat with others increase he may be able to embrace some new foods.  He was likely having ongoing GERD for five of his six years without medication.  It may take five years with medication for his body and mind to be comfortable with new textures and tastes within different food groups.

We are still trying.  His plate looks different than those he sits next to in terms of what is on it.  However, he is trying is best.  We are continuing with outpatient occupational feeding therapy once a week for 45 minutes.  There are still psychological and physiological/sensory issues to tackle.   He continues to take 2 of the 3 medications we were given by the GI doc.  We pray; we wait.  We love him.  The food issues continue, and our feeding disorder journey is not over.

Be sensitive when asking others how their children with disabilities are doing.  Disorders do not magically disappear. Click To Tweet  The disorder is a part of you, with you for life, and we adapt to the world’s standards with professional help and patience.

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Dear God,

Thank you for creating us each unique.

Forgive me for wanting our sons to be perfect.

Your grace is covering us each up with realism and love.

There are smiles to be had, and there are lots of big issues in this world.

Feeding disorders are mild in the grand scheme of things.

Thank you for giving us two boys that are uniquely talented and oh so loving.

Amen.

You’re Loved. You’re Enough.

Last night I listened to our nine year old son talk with me on our ride home from my mom and dad’s house.  I’m the mom now.  I’m loving our sons.  I’m enough.

When he said he’d had enough of screens and was ready to talk, I turned down the radio to do just that.  We asked each other questions and talked.  “Where would you like to go in the USA if you could go anywhere?”  I learned that he doesn’t want to go to New York City.  He said, “I think I’d get lost there mom.”  Nice to know he still needs me to not feel “lost.”

When I asked him, “What is your favorite song?”  He pondered a bit.  He paused.  He said “I like lots of songs.”  Then a few moments later he said, “I like that Clap! song by Sugarcrash Kids.”  So I spoke to my handy blue tooth music player and we played Sugarcrash Kids in the car.  I bet you haven’t heard of them.  My friend, and fellow speech language pathologist, Amy has a husband who works in ministry.  They have two (almost three) children.  He wanted to start a band for children’s music, and he did.  Sugarcrash Kids

The Sugarcrash Kids make lovely music.  There are fast and slow songs.  I bought the album for our car.  Our kids and I love it!  Last night we listened to Clap! for Addison and then I let the album play through.  My favorite is “You’re Enough.”  Hence the blog title today.

The Sugarcrash Kids have music and podcasts that will change your heart! Click To Tweet

What would you title a song to your child?  I like the statement “You’re enough.”  I tend to expect more of my kids, myself, and my husband than is realistically possible.  Our heavenly Father accepts us just as we are.  “You’re enough ______ (insert your name here).”  Take a moment to click on the links for Sugarcrash Kids and go listen for free on their website.  The lyrics inspired our rule driven and cautious child to come home and brave a new bike ramp with impressive angle.  When we came in he said, “Mom I did what the song said…don’t be scared to fall.”  Fear is just a lie.

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God made you special in his eyes.  You’re enough.  We are here for you.  Don’t try to be something that you’re not.  Just go out there and give it all you’ve got. –Sugarcrash Kids, You’re Enough

Dear God,

You love us so openly and accept us just as we are.

Forgive me when I don’t accept myself or others for who you made us to be.

Help me to accept more, love more, and remember that in You we are enough.

Amen.