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The Refrigerator Doors…

Recently in a house cleaning frenzy, I decided to clean the front of my refrigerator.  I removed all the items and quickly wiped it clean with a Magic Eraser.  If you are one of the few, who haven’t tried these wonderful cleaning pads you should give them a try.  They work great on just about everything, even motor homes!

But once again…..I’m a bit off track here, so back to the refrigerator.  After cleaning it, I realized that just removing the reminders, kids report cards and art work off of the front, made a huge impact…..It not only looked amazingly clean but so did the whole kitchen!  We were having a get together that evening, so I stacked the items from the doors and dashed them into a closet.  A couple of minutes later, the teenage daughter walked in and noticed immediately how the clutter free refrigerator made the room look bright and clean.  She couldn’t believe the difference, and I decided that I wanted to keep it clutter free. I wouldn’t be adding all that “stuff” back to the refrigerator.

It’s been a little over two weeks since the big change and I gotta tell you….I love it!  It really makes a difference in the cleanliness of the kitchen.  Thursday after work there was a school assignment for my youngest, and a phone message stuck to the front of the refrigerator, I noticed it right away.  I wanted to say, “don’t put anything on the refrigerator!”  But, I realized that since it was the only item on the door, it was a very prominent reminder.  The refrigerator had never worked for a reminder prior to this time.  There was just too much on there for anything to stand out and be noted.  So I left the assignment, it will only be there until the 17th when the project is due, and then the doors will be clean again.  It’s actually bothering me a little, but it is serving the purpose since I see it, and then I can remind “Miss M” to work on it.  To top off the week, on Thursday, my nephew brought home his college mid-term math test….he received the highest grade in the class.  I was very proud of him. And then it came…he said, “I thought you could put it on the refrigerator where you show everything off”.   Noooo!  How on earth am I going to get out of that?!  No possible way, so up on the refrigerator it went ….for a couple of days.

Tonight, while surfing the web I happened on this article  “What Do Your Refrigerator Doors Say About You?”    You know I had to check it out! I was already pondering why there was such a difference and what the refrigerator clutter did or did not accomplish, so maybe it would be interesting.

During the clutter stage, our refrigerator wasn’t as full as the pictures in this article, but it did have a wide array of items stuck to it with varying sized and shaped magnets.  After reading the article I don’t know that I have all the characteristics of the woman who has a clean refrigerator, but there are definitely a few I could relate to.

I do believe that everything should have a place in the house, finding things would be much easier, but in my house. Forget it!  There’s just not enough room and if there was….no one would put it away!

The clean door is a choice, but it’s not an image conscience thing….it’s more like a relaxation technique.  I’m weird and when things are clean I like it….it’s relaxing, makes me feel like there’s no work to do.

I would definitely like to have this large blank surface stay blank, but I doubt that it’ll be that way for long, as I have school projects and “things” to show off.

But the one thing about the clean clutter free doors that I did realize….I’m ready to update to a new stainless steel refrigerator, who isn’t? However, a stainless steel refrigerator is not magnetic….how would that work?  Oh..and there’s that one thing…coming up with the money for the stainless steel refrigerator??? And truly if I have the bucks needed to buy a new refrigerator….I’d probably replace the washer and dryer…Priorities!

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Her Comfort Zone

While on the way to school Friday morning, my youngest daughter shared that she was a little nervous about going to middle school.   I smiled slightly, she wouldn’t be moving from 6th grade to middle school for about 8 months, so I encouraged her not to worry about that right now.  I didn’t want to make a big deal out of the fear but I wondered where that thought came from, and what exactly made her nervous.  I asked her what she was nervous about, and discovered, that for the most part, it was the lack of familiarity and the fact that not many of her friends will be attending the school she’ll attend.  We talked a minute about how easy it was to make new friends but I also realized she’s been a little bit sheltered.

Her school has been on a year round track system, and although there are somewhere around 6 or 8 different classrooms per grade, each track of kids usually stays with each other throughout their elementary years.  So that means….that for the last 6 years of school, she’s had mostly the same kids in her class every year.  Plus, not only had she attended that school all of her elementary years, but she had been attending prior to kindergarten.  She’d been there every day, her whole life. Her older sister attended from the time she was born and by the time she started kindergarten she was a pro.

Making new friends has never been a problem for her, but this was making her nervous. I knew I wanted to empower her and give her the tools to handle this nervousness.  We talked for a few minutes about stepping out of her comfort zone and how that makes you grow. I explained how when you take small steps and find small success, then you start to feel stronger and more comfortable.  I joked with her and told her she’d lived in a bubble at her school. She was the big sixth grader that everyone looked up to but she was just going to have to grow up into a middle school student. By the time she got out of the car at school she was laughing and not so serious. That was a good thing but I know I need to continue to find ways to make her feel more at ease.

I do not like it when my girls have to step into something that makes them nervous. I want to rescue them and make it all better. But I realize that is detrimental to their becoming confident adults. So once again I have to step back, encourage her, help her, and pray for her and let her grow up a little once again.

Attitude Check

Have you ever known someone who just wears you out emotionally….for me, the most tiresome thing is a negative attitude.  I don’t know what to say to that person who can’t seem to find anything to be joyful about. Well, even if they could see a positive, bright side of things, once in a while, now that would be nice. You know, if being joyful is just too over the top. 

I think I’ve always been a pretty positive person, but once in a while, I would get in a rut. A couple of years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, I started to write down the things that I had to be thankful for, in a list form.  When I was in one of those down in the dumps moods, she suggested that I take it out and read it. When you’re down it’s sometimes hard to see any good. The list helped to remind me, that I am blessed and have a great deal to be thankful for.  It really works! It’s hard to stay negative when you have all of this good staring you in the face. Plus, the fact that you’ve already acknowledged that they are blessings, makes it pretty hard to discount them.

There are still those things that are not perfect, the things that I wish were different, but I choose to focus on the good.  I know, that the not so perfect things, are just as they are supposed to be, at that moment, because nothing happens on accident in God’s world. So I do my best to leave those things in God’s hands. Yes, sometimes I take them back for a bit, and worry, but eventually I will give them back to Him. My Gratitude list has kept my attitude in check.  I enjoy having an attitude of gratidute. The other day, I was looking forward to November so I could document something new each day until Thanksgiving. (Sorry I know some of you are saying, don’t rush it!)

Today, I suggested the gratitude list to “Ms Negativity”, she listened and said there wasn’t much to be greatful for in her life. I suggested she try, because she did wake up this morning! She smiled and I had some hope. I planted the seed in her mind, that it could work for her.  I hope that it’s in fertile soil!

Stillness

Last week in my bride on the road post I noted how time  has a way of flying by without us noticing.  Not only does it happen over the years but it happens to me every night!  Tonight I sat down to spend a little time catching up on the computer, both with work and with socializing.  I thought I’d be able to hurry through the quick updates and then still get to bed on the early side tonight. I was even going to leave a couple of dishes in the sink!  I don’t understand it, I always lose track of time, well actually, I lose track of a lot of things but time is something that I cannot get back! I want to fit so much into one day.  I have good intentions, I organize,  I just wish the day would cooperate and stand still for a bit.  I’m starting to think that God is trying to get me to realize that I need to be still for a bit. 

I have favorite bible verses and every once in a while one will just jump off the page at me.  The bible verse, Psalm 46.10, “be still and know that I am God”. Has been jumping right in front of me for a while now.  I see it everywhere!  It’s becoming one of my favorites, not only because it reminds me to be still and cherish the day but mostly because it encourages me to not worry, just relish in the thought that He is God, in control, all-powerful, my provider, healer, comforter and on and on.  He is everything I need, every day, and I want to be still and cherish the moments.

Take the time, enjoy yourself!  Relax! Be Still!

I’m out of time….gotta go, Blessings to you.

Bride On The Road

My hubby and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary this week. It just amazes me.  Someone actually informed me, that in that amount of time, I could be on parole from a life sentence in jail for murder!  Of course, I laughed, it’s so true, and actually…, sometimes I’ve felt like killing him!  But really, I’m sure he’s had those feelings about me too.   Ok, so it’s not really an urge to inflict bodily harm, as much as a level of frustration, but the feelings are comparable. Over the years I’ve relaxed a little, and today my hubby and I can laugh about those moments of “frustration”.  Today, I know that when I’m feeling frustrated about something…..it’s usually because I’m trying to get MY way.  I need to take a step back and relax…laugh a little.  I’ve learned much over the years, but I have to say one of the most important things, was to learn to laugh at myself…I was WAY too serious!

28 years, in terms of a period time, seems like forever, but time has a way of passing right before your eyes, without you realizing.  That’s exactly what happened!  I can remember some of the details of that day. They just stand out in my mind.  Some vivid memories are of worrying and arguing with my family about the details of the day. Every bride wants her day to be just right on that momentous occasion. 

On the way to our anniversary dinner celebration, Hubby told me about a scene he came upon today while out running errands. Today was a hot day, and as he rounded the corner by our house, he noticed a couple of cars pulled over to the side of the road.  One car, a limousine, had its hood up and the driver was working on adding water to the car.  Frantically working, I would guess, as a bride in her wedding gown, along with her bridesmaids were waiting outside of the broken down car.  After many fleeting thoughts, he wondered if he could do something to help, but then he realized that the second car WAS there to help!  He thought things must be under control and continued on with his errands.  “OH NO” I exclaimed!  Can you imagine?!  It was so hot, and the poor thing was in her dress! I’m sure this was not in that brides wedding day agenda…..God help the driver!  I bet she was frantic…thinking the day a disaster and I’m sure it felt like one to her, but at least there was someone to help and take her to the wedding if the limo couldn’t. Thank goodness for cell phones! 

Had this happened on my wedding day 28 years ago…..I would have had to walk to a pay phone to call someone….Yes, a pay phone, you know those phones on the side of the road that you put a dime in and were able to make a 2 minute call.  And, had it been me, I wouldn’t have been able to get a hold of anyone… because they would have all been at my wedding!  Again, the no cell phone issue.  They would have thought I was a no show, but really it would have been the car problems….

I KNOW this bride was thinking…really bad thoughts, she had to have been.  Even though she was lucky she was getting married in 2010 and not 1982, I’m sure she wasn’t really thinking about how lucky she was!  I thought about her a few times that evening and said a small prayer for her. My hope for her is that one day 28 years from now (or maybe sooner), after it’s all said and done, she and her husband can look back and laugh….that they will know that even with ALL that “disaster”….they made it!

As a newbie to the traffic world I can tell you that I’m not adjusting well!  The worse part for me is the fact that every day is unpredictable!  There was a time when I told my husband, who also didn’t drive in traffic on a daily basis, that getting upset wasn’t going to help!  I knew when I started working that I would definitely be in store for something foreign. However, I also thought that I would eventually be able to figure out the time that I needed to allow to get there, and then I would be fine. You see, I’m one of those girls who just accepts that it will take a certain amount of  time and that’s ok with me.  The problem begins when one day it takes 30 minutes, and another it takes 50 and once in a while, it takes 67 minutes.  How are you supposed to adjust?  No wonder people are crazy drivers! Thank goodness I have some freedom when it comes to my arrival time or I just might become one of those crazies. Just kidding, I hope I never do!

After 3 months I’ve figured that there is no rhyme or reason to the madness.  But I have figured one thing out…..THOSE ELECTRONIC SIGNS ON THE FREEWAY THAT ARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU AVOID TRAFFIC…..THEY CAUSE IT!  I noticed that while traveling a particular freeway, one that others state “sucks”, (if you’re from where I am you know the saying) the traffic began to move at the same place every day.  And the sign…said the same thing every day, 9 minutes to the next freeway interchange. Everyday the same time, 9 minutes,…no variation.  I thought it weird, even when there were accidents, the sign said “9 minutes”, then, shortly passed the sign traffic broke and away I drove 60 miles per hour all the way to work.   And then one day, traffic was unusually heavy, I was wondering what was going on. Was there an accident? Maybe the sign would tell me, it’s coming soon, and the sign said ……Wow, it’s different, 12 minutes.  BUT  everything cleared after the sign and away I went. I thought…could it have been the sign?  Was it the new information and everyone was slowing down to read it.  That peaked my thought process, and I started to take note. Every day I paid attention.  I know, it’s really bad when you are studying traffic but I was going so slow that I had nothing better to do!  I’ve come to the conclusion, that when the sign is in any way different, traffic slows considerably, so the drivers can read the details.  Most of the time….”THE DETAILS” DON’T EVEN PERTAIN TO THE FREEWAY I’M TRAVELING!

One day it happened that my eldest daughter left the house after me and ended up at school (farther than my work place but in the same general area) before I arrived at work.  I couldn’t believe it!  The side of the freeway we traveled always looked jammed packed  in the direction she chose. But that was the straw….and in my frustration with the unpredictability of my situation, I took the suggestion of my wise child. She assured me that the traffic broke up after 1 freeway exit.

She was right.  After about a mile and a half, the freeway traffic magically clears right after the first exit, and it’s smooth sailing, all the way to work! …..Can you guess what’s just before the exit?   Yep…A traffic sign!

At least the sign only affects me for a bit!  And now….the boss is considering moving the office, it will be closer to my home, which is good!  I’m wondering if there’s a sign somewhere on he way, I hope not!

Picking up the pieces

The other day I was thinking about how blessed I was to have found Jesus.  I remembered how, for lack of a better word, “broken”, I felt.  It wasn’t one of those things where I knew I wanted God in my life.  I didn’t.  I didn’t have an aversion to God, I was taught that there was a creator and that Jesus was God’s son and he died on the cross. However, I didn’t understand the “died on the cross for me aspect of God sending His son.  

I never thought of what that meant for me.  In fact, it was a total surprise to me that Jesus could love me just the way I was, with all the mistakes I had made!  It was also, a surprise to me, that on that day, I found myself raising my hand to accept Jesus as MY personal Lord and Savior! I could have said, “I don’t even know what made me do that”.  But I’ll tell you what, as much as a surprise as it was for me, it wasn’t a surprise for Jesus.  That one decision, was the BEST decision I made in my life, and has evolved over the years into a one-on-one daily relationship with my Savior.

It hasn’t always been like that, you know, the relationship part, but as life has changed for me, God has used certain situations, good and bad, to draw me near to Him. Trust me there have been many “situations” during the last 15 years where I truly have drawn close.  The bible say’s in James 4:8, to come near to God and He will come near to you”.  I try to remember that!

For years I had a wooden plaque hanging in my house.   The plaque, made by my daughter at bible camp, was special to me, not only because it was given to me by my daughter but also because it had a saying that I loved.    The saying “God can mend your broken heart, if you’ll give Him all the pieces” expressed exactly what had happened for me.  I remember, often thinking about how true it was and how pertinent the message.

Today, one of the things I think about often is how the world doesn’t think that God can make a difference to them personally.  I know so many who would testify with their personal experience otherwise and yet, those who don’t know Christ can’t see how it would help.  Some, having no aversion to God, may even feel like they have to get themselves together before going to church.  Like me, they may feel not good enough.

As I look back, I realize that I thought I had it all together and yet on the inside I knew all my sin and inequities. Not to mention I was totally insecure, I knew me!  I would have never admitted how I felt and I guess, I was lucky. I didn’t have time to think my decision through, I just found myself in the right place at the right time. For those who are thinking that they need to think God through, you’re missing out.  You can’t think God through, but you can come to Jesus just as you are, in all your “brokeness”. He is the one who can heal all the pieces, but you are the one that has to give Him the pieces to heal.  “The pieces” mean, your insecurities, your marriage, your addiction, your children, you! He’s the one who can help you see how you need Him.

Today, I’m not perfect, nobody is, and I make mistakes, still.   That’s why I need Jesus. Will I ever feel perfect? I doubt it, but perfectly imperfect is ok with me. 

As for my heart…I live in this world…it gets broken every once in a while.  But I know I am a child of God, and he loves ALL of this children. He wants the best for me so I’ll keep giving Him the pieces to pick up and put back together. I trust that He knows what’s good for me.