She Sells Seashells

“She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous.”

I grew up in Florida and hurricanes didn’t bother me when I was young. They always seemed to hit in the middle of the night, so my parents just put us to bed. I might wake up a time or two to the sound of rain hitting our taped windows, which always made me think large volumes of people were clapping in our yard. Now that I’m older, I’m far less comfortable. Call it age or just plain reality, but I don’t like feeling vulnerable. Hurricane Matthew wasn’t going to change that.

This is a great drawing (credit unknown) that circulated on Facebook on how God extended his hand of protection.

This is a great drawing (credit unknown) that circulated on Facebook on how God extended his hand of protection.

Yes, Hurricane Matthew. The one that recently devastated Haiti and the Bahamas to then skirt the coast of Florida and flood places like St. Augustine, Jacksonville Beach, parts of the North and South Carolina coastlines. That one. The one many of are still grappling to clean-up and recover from.

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It’s all just a peace of cake

First, let me apologize for taking a HUGE break since my last post. We are now settled into a routine with the new house, business has been slow; however, my presence is always needed there. I’ve been busy as well with the non-profit Board I joined earlier this year, and to top that off, I’ve been a little more than distracted with all of the hoopla and whatever’s going on with our election candidates and processes.

I can honestly say that I have never seen so many vulgar, spiteful and mean spirited people (Christians included) who’ve taken to task to openly and relentlessly share their opinion about the impending election. There’s no words of encouragement, kindness and certainly, no peace. I can’t wait for November to be over, but somehow I believe this rhetoric will go on well past that. It’s rather disturbing, but I still recognize that God is in control and that His will, will be done.

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He gets it…

Can I just say upfront that God is incredibly awesome? Sometimes I struggle with topics to write about and other times, not so much. Lately with our home move coupled with the demand to be at my store more frequently, I’ve struggled with what to write and hence, the lag in getting the blog updated (I apologize for that.) As trying as that can be for me, this week God pointed me where I need to go. Sometimes, it’s in the middle of the night or like today, on my new shorter drive to work.

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Don’t be a pawn

Pawn: (noun) a chess piece of the smallest size and value; one that can be used to further the purposes of another.
Synonyms: puppet, dupe, hostage, tool, instrument, “a pawn in the battle for the throne”

Pawn 2Most people who meet me think I’m a fitness enthusiast. Not really, it’s just a vivid dream I have that maybe one day that’d be the case if I actually did some regular exercising. Growing up, I didn’t have much self-confidence and I longed to be athletic like some of my classmates. And as you’ll recall, I’m the ignored center-child and likewise, my dream then was to be a cheerleader. Yes, I longed to be the Paul Revere of town criers (or at least football rally cries) and the Nadia Comaneci (Gabby Douglas of the 1970’s) of gymnastic form and poise.

One thing I wasn’t and still am not, is a strategist. I could never grasp or even care to grasp the concept of Chess. My favorite game was called “Aggravation”, which was a simple roll the dice, move your marbles and hope you can make it to home base before your opponent, kind of game. Chess to me, required too much thinking and I’ve always believed that too much thinkin’ wears out your brain.

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When the big toe met a big God!

 

Rare dinner date with my dad and his mom.

Rare dinner date with my dad and his mom.

Growing up, my dad was a hard nut to crack. Pretty much like a hazel nut—hard on the outside, but soft on the inside if you were able to get through the dense layers. He was tough to talk to, equally tough to get to know and on more than one occasion, downright mean. But I recognize now that his past was difficult and for the most part, sad. That being said, I only have a handful of happy childhood memories of him and one of them was the ‘toe incident’.

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I’ll be your best friend

Holly & Me

“A friend is someone  with whom you dare to be yourself.” – Frank Crane

Growing up, I met my best friend Holly when I was 10 and she was 11. Our friendship carried us through the final stages of elementary school, junior high, and high school, and for her into motherhood. Even though her family moved a lot, we were never too far apart for any great length of time until she moved permanently to New York at 21. It was then that we lost contact.

She was the second oldest of seven kids and with that came a huge amount of responsibility to which I was happy to shoulder with her. I knew that if I didn’t, we’d never get out to do the things we loved most. In the early days, it was roller skating and bowling. As we aged into teens, it was walking the mall or strolling past the beach paddle board courts where we’d watch the guys play. On one occasion, I literally got stopped when I was engrossed in trying to look so cool that I walked into a parking meter. I’d hoped nobody saw it, but the immense laughter from the court said otherwise. Holly who was quick in wit and on her feet, linked us arm and arm as if it was a purposeful act as we walked out of sight. Then it was side splitting roll in the sand laughter for us both.

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A Penny for your Thoughts

kids-money1I’m a collector of found money. Not that I plan on being a millionaire one day with my knack for finding spare change, but I’m one of those people who’ll go out of their way to pick up a dime in the middle of the road. I find coins and the Executive (my husband) finds dollars—so unfair. The rhyme “See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck” just doesn’t sit right when his return seems to be better than mine, but none the less, I pick them up.

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Spelt…For-GIVE-ness

“But she wished she had had the guts to go up to him and say hello.
Or possibly break his legs, she wasn’t sure which.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

Meme & Jeff at fair

So cute with his pretty blonde hair and blue eyes and me with the mom jeans.

When I was a single mom, I had a lot of pent-up anger. One, I had a lot of previous life choices and disappointing situations that left me questioning my purpose in this world. Two, I was frustrated with myself for getting pregnant, but now looking back realize it was a blessing. Three, I was mad at my son’s father for lying to me about not being married when in fact he was. Also, when the little guy was 18 months old, his father sued me for paternity and custody. He had decided he wanted to be a dad after all; however, didn’t have his wife’s buy-in. It was a long, drawn out, ugly mess. There were many days I struggled with the assault on my motherhood and personal choices. Thankfully, I had a friend who talked me out of my desire to do sinister things to him like running him over with my car. The anger turned into depression and it stuck to me like chewing gum on the bottom of my shoe for the next seventeen years. Even though I had accepted a life with Christ, gotten married and went onto have another child, the anger was always percolating inside, and particularly when I had to see him every other weekend and hear his verbal insults come out through the mouth of my child.

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Standing in the gap, part 4 Let’s Make A Deal

When I would stay home from school on a sick or school closing day, I loved to watch the game show “Let’s Make a Deal”. Do any of you Monty Hall 2remember that show from the 1970’s? (I think there’s a newer version, but nothing is as good as the original.) I enjoyed watching the contestants jump for joy in their homemade costumes eager to make the deal of the day. Monty Hall, the host was so smooth in getting the animated contestants dressed as animals, clowns, boxes of cereal, flower pots and the like, engaged in the game. His goal was to get the players to make a prize choice based on several options that could render a huge reward or one that I’d call a “gag gift”. Monty prompts the player to contemplate their options all the while offering a chance to change their minds—in hopes they’ve not chosen the lesser of the prizes.

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Standing in the gap, part 3 – The Lost Son

When I was a little girl my mom would do this rather therapeutic thing. When she was frustrated or needed fresh air, she’d go for a drive. These little excursions usually took place at night and it seemed that I was her traveling companion. Read the rest of this entry »