Category Archives: growing older

Where am I From?

I went to a blogging conference last weekend. http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ It was a little overwhelming, and exciting hanging out with a hundred other bloggers, and learning about things I didn’t even know existed. I had to really define my goal and reasons behind blabbering to all of you on a regular basis, and I think I did.  I definitely have my work cut out for me if I truly desire to share my life, help others, and point toward God with my stories and experiences.

One of the break out sessions focused on writing.  They gave us a template of the poem by George Ella Lyon, Where am I From.  Wow.  Several of the ladies filled theirs out in no time, and then shared them with us!  I was only on line three by the time we were supposed to be done.  I don’t know what that says about my creativity, but I was truly intimidated.  Being the good mom that I am, I printed a copy of the template and gave it to my son to fill in as a writing assignment.  He did it faster than me too.  Really.

The session leaders suggested that we put our poems in our next blog, so, now that I finally finished mine, I am sharing.  I asked my son if I could share his too, and he said, “I don’t care.” So here you go. A two for one from the Motmob.

From me:

I am from homemade clothes, from gardening, canning and religion.
I am from the single family home with the mattress, blankets & cuddles in front of the fireplace and corelle dishes that really do break.
I am from the strawberries that hide in the weeds, till my fingers ache.
I am from creativeness, sarcasm and the wringing of hands from Mom and Dad and Mommom Ruth.
I am from do it yourselves, the strong willed and the always right.
From Heaven is real and there’s never enough money.
I’m from Philadelphia and Ireland, beanie weenies, PB&J and mashed potatoes.
From the 500 Ford Galaxy that got pushed up the street at midnight for a moon lit drive on the beach and from being grounded for sneaking out and stealing the car.
From the ship yard, the seamstress, the lawyer and sunday school teacher.
I am from memories stored in boxes and albums, of every scrap of paper and photo from the past, that will be moved from attic to attic until there is nowhere left for them to go.  I am Jennifer.

From our 13 year old son:

I am from blenders and cereal bowls from Imacs and Bibles.
I am from every kind of ball there is.
The cinnamon stick in every room.
I am from the 18 rose bushes.  The cherry blossom tree whom long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.
I’m from 3 gifts on Christmas and going out to lunch after church. I’m from Mom & Dad.
I’m from cleaning up a mess and leaving the dogs outside and from sneaking a cookie.
I’m from not wanting a gift from Santa, but from my parents and never swallowing my greens with water.
I’m from Jesus loves me this I know and from getting a back scratch.
I’m from Atlanta, Italy and Ireland, chicken puffs, green beans and Friday night pizza.
From my Dad getting hit with a high heel by his mom because he broke a china glass.
The bunny ears behind the head, the box of toys under my bed.
I’m from a great family who loves me and I love them, from baseball to ballet, my family is awesome.

After all my thinking about my life, I think this was a fun exercise after all.  If you would like to do one yourself, here’s a link to a blank template: http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm and here’s a good one for your kids: http://www.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/t/Target_I_am_from%20poem.pdf  OR you can share some of yourself on the comment section below…. I would love to see where you are from.


Losing Weight…

So. I’ve entered a weight loss competition.  Of course, that naturally must mean I need to lose weight.

I was always a skinny kid.  I ate whatever I wanted, and never, ever thought twice about it.  Soda, french fries, cookies, ice cream…  oh dang. I digress.  Anyway, I never had an issue with my weight.   Even after all of my pregnancies, I would slip my pre-baby jeans right on.  All of that finally came to end, as most good things do, after I had a complete hysterectomy.  I swear, I gained 30 pounds in a month.  I walked and went to the YMCA off and on, but nothing too regimented.  I couldn’t loose a pound!  I’m a very busy lady, so, I just decided that the new added weight wasn’t that bad. It was a better deal than the pre-hysterectomy issues I had suffered with, and I still wasn’t considered obese for heaven sake!  I had only gone up a size or two.

Well, ignoring your body, and keeping busy is not a good idea if you don’t want to gain more weight.  I obviously didn’t get that memo, and my new best friend was Denial, so over the next few years, I grew and grew.  I grew until I stopped changing in front of the mirror.  I stopped hanging out in cute shorts, and I never got out of the shower without a towel already tightly in place.  I even wondered what my husband really thought, and secretly feared that he might not be attracted to me anymore.

I would go through seasons of “trying” to do something about it, but life would always get in the way, and that dear friend, Denial, would remind me how important my responsibilities were. Busy, busy, busy.  Even when my cholesterol hit 400… I got a prescription, grabbed my friend Denial, and went out to dinner… I would usually fix my frustration by shopping for a new outfit.  New clothes can make you feel good, but apparently that only works the first time you wear them… for me anyway.

So here I am.  I’ve got a closet full of clothes, and I’ve sent Denial packin.  I took this opportunity to enter a competition, not only to lose weight, but to do it from the inside out. This is about life change, not another diet.   I am competing against 19 other people from my community, but my toughest competitor will be me.

I do this knowing that I can. I don’t need anymore clothes and my husband adores me no matter what my dress size.  Denial keeps calling, but I’ve changed my number.  I know I can do anything I set my mind to, and the time has come to set my mind to this…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13…Really.


A Week in the Life…

This week was eventful and uneventful…

My mood ranged from ecstatic to forlorn… stressed to carefree, and disappointed to satisfied.  You could say it sounds like I’m a mom, but I can’t monopolize the roller coaster, as anyone could have a turn…I will share some of my week, in hopes that you can relate and share yours with me.

I finished a book (Weird) and started a new one (Heaven is for Real), and went to my women’s group study to watch a Beth Moore video, and fellowship. I made it to a few business appointments that went well, and learned some things about the community where I live.  I participated in lively conversations about homosexuality and christianity, as well as government and morality, and didn’t loose any friends in the process.

One of my kids needed lots of reassurance, and one needed hope, one needed cash and they all needed time.  I visited a doctor, and a hospital, and watched my sons be brave.  I met a “new” potential girlfriend, that I actually really liked, and I had a couple soul searching conversations about the future.  My daughter surprised me with her new tattoo and then I had to social network my “approval” of it…

I ate really well this week, and was rarely alone.  I had a few fabulous lunches, with good friends, and even a date night with my handsome man.  Some marvelous live music was part of the week, from a jazz band to an oldies band. I even attended a birthday party, and made some new friends…

The homeschool expo was in town, and I got out with just a few purchases… my bag was less than 10 pounds… I think.  I visited a non-profit that deals with homelessness on levels that I’ve never seen.  I gave a few dollars to a jobless man sitting on a corner.  Both experiences convicted my heart, and made me reflect on the billions of blessings I have.

I prayed, studied, cleaned, cooked, shopped, banked, and did some laundry. I even tweeted, texted, emailed, facebooked, checked in, and linked in…The bills got paid, and the account is balanced, although my desk is still a mess, and my file pile should have it’s own zip code.  I watched some stupid tv, and some not so stupid…mostly stupid.

I did enforce some rules, and debated some negotiables… I lamented over my youth when physical exhaustion took over, and I lamented over my children’s youth… because they are just so dang grown.

I entered a weight loss contest, and finished a huge project that has taken months of my time… and now, I attempt to blog.

I’m sure I forgot something, but I’m too tired to reflect any longer.  My life is good, and I don’t take it for granted.  Even when the trials come, I know how blessed I am and my gratitude list is long… Really.

How was your week and what are you grateful for?


Am I really a grown up already?

I spend a lot a time talking about parenting, and how my kids have grown, but last night, while watching my 13 year old try to take out his new contact lenses, I got a sudden “chill” of realization that I’m grown up. Maybe remembering being a teen wrestling with my own new contacts caused this “familiar” revelation… I don’t know if you know what I mean, but every now and then, out of the blue, I realize that I am a real adult, and it’s weird.

We spend our childhood wanting to be older, and our teen time wishing the years away.  Then one day, all of a sudden, we notice we have responsibilities, debt, and lots of lists…   Do you ever stop and ponder that for a second, or am I just on my own with this one?

I remember watching the premiere of MTV, now I watch the news, and care. I remember big hair and bell bottoms, and mocking my little brother for wearing parachute pants.  Now, comfort trumps style, always.  We really did come in when it got dark and no one was worried about it.  Now, I always know where my kids are playing, and I check on them periodically.  Kids talked on the phone, and didn’t mind being connected to a wall.  Now, the art of actual talking is fading into the land of abbreviations.  We used to wear our “Sunday best” to church and liked it.  Now, it’s all about looking relaxed, because apparently, Jesus loves us no matter what we are wearing.  Too bad a potential employer doesn’t share that philosophy… Fast food was a luxury, and dinner around the table was the norm… Really…My kids think fast food is a way of life.   I used to dream that I would marry Shaun Cassidy and I loved Donny & Marie… I married someone way better than Shaun, that exceeded my dreams, and no one has yet to replace Donny & Marie… Life just seemed easier.   This world that my kids are growing up in, is a very different place than the one I experienced.  I like to believe that this generation is made for such a time as this.

Sometimes I feel like it happened so fast!  When did I become this “responsible” parental kinda girl in this seriously material world?  I think I’m just too young to be this old… But then I look around at all my blessings, shake off the “chill”, and smile, because I am. Really.

Carly Simon put it this way-

I remember a time, rompin’ through the woods

Sun against our skin instead of clothes
When we felt hungry we would eat, when we felt glad we would dance
And whenever we felt drowsy we would doze

It was so easy then never takin’ any stands
It was so easy then, holdin’ hands

I remember a time when our fears could be named
And courage meant not refusing dares
I remember when we took such cares to step never on the cracks,
No only on the squares
Or else we’d be abducted by the bears

It was so easy then never makin’ any plans
It was so easy then, holdin’ hands

And now we are grown, with debts and regrets
And broken hearts and sentimental schemes
Now every tender failure seems to overthrow old dreams
Love can lead a normal woman to extremes

It was so easy once, holdin’ hands without a plan
It was so easy once holdin’ hands
Just holdin’ hands

 


My Birthday

My birthday was last week.  Let’s just sit on that for a second and think about your own birthday.  Are you one of those who lie about their age or never wants to tell anyone?  Or do you just smile and blurt it out to anyone who asks?  My mother-in-law is 39, even though she lived though the depression and has great grand-children. (I’ve been advised by my counsel the ramifications of that sentence. I’m hoping her sense of humor has grown with age)

I must admit that I have always been shy about my age.  Not because I’m old, but because I’m young.  Crazy huh?  I think it comes from having children so young, and having that “you’re tooooo young” response.  The 2 weeks between my son’s birthday and mine was always the time I prayed that no one would ask my age, because if they did the math, they would figure out that I was 15 when I gave birth, instead of 16…like 16 is so much better? Anyway, I’m 43 and you’d think I’d be over it by now.  I am for the most part. But I still have my days.

I wanted to add a top ten list to this post about birthdays.  I thought the funniest list I could come up with would be “top ten worst gifts from your husband” but then I thought that wouldn’t be fair, because my husband has only given me a few really bad ones and this year, with the help of my daughter and friends, he outdid himself. So, given the awesomeness of this year’s celebration, even if I know the helpers did all the work, I don’t want to throw my man under the bus, so I will go with the “top ten ways you know you’re getting older”…

  1. You can’t focus on conversations in the car if the radio is too loud. (or even on in some cases)
  2. The radio is always too loud, unless you’re alone, and you’re trying to stay awake or you’re really in a praise and worship mood, and then you don’t care who sees you singing your heart out at a red light.
  3. Dinner and a movie are rare date nights, because after the dinner, you’re full and ready for bed.
  4. Eating fast food really does make you feel like crap.
  5. Jumping out of bed in the morning is a thing of the past.  Now you stretch, snap, crackle and pop before you roll on out.
  6. Your friends are not all getting married and having babies, now your friends kids are graduating, getting married, and having babies.
  7. You’ve realized that recreational and school sports are just games.  The outcome will not permanently affect anyone’s life.
  8. You realize that PBS & the History Channel do have some good programming.
  9. You check the weather forecast regularly. (although I still don’t know why)
  10. You’ve realize the importance of listening, sharing and patience, and that time really does fly, and you don’t want to waste any of it.

So there you have it.  I know this list could really be a top 100, but I can’t sit here all day.  I love growing up. I don’t even mind the gray hair coming in.  God was so sweet to put these verses in His Word for us;

Proverbs 16:31 (NIV) “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”

Isaiah 46:4 (NIV) “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:3b-4a LB I have created you and cared for you since you were born. I will be your God through all your lifetime, Yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you.”

If you have something to add to this list, please do!  Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, whatever age you are…