Sunday, August 23, 2009

School Starts Tomorrow!

It's been a long (looooong) time since I've been able to say that for me. Twenty nine years and eight months to be exact. I'm excited (translation: hyperventilating, nervous, scared, tummy rumbling, excited) about what is in store. I don't believe this semester will be all that tough but next semester will be a challenge.

I'm beginning my internship (yep, it's been a long time since I've said that, too). I'm not sure exactly what that will look like but it will be in addition to my job.

This morning in our worship time one of our elders asked all the support staff of a school system to stand up. Then he asked all the teachers, administrators, principals, etc. to stand. Then he asked the students to stand. I felt excited and a bit silly standing with all the students - - from the very young

It reminds me of a story I heard from a friend. His mother was considering going back to school to get her master's degree. He encouraged her to do it. She said, "Yeah, but, I'm 62 years old." He dryly said, "and how old would you be if you DIDN'T go back to school."

So, here I am. Fifty years old (51 next Saturday) going back to school. What have I done with these feelings this weekend? I've painted, of course.

This painting is of another koru - - Maori symbol meaning new beginnings, growth and peace. The lime green symbol means "to attain one's goals." Seemed fitting.

My number 2 pencils are sharpened, my notebook is new. I think I'll fore go a bookbag. :)

Aiming for an A!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

God's Opportunities are Everywhere!

This week has had a lot of wonderful serendipity. OK, the hitting my head and toosh on the rocks wasn't so wonderful but other than that, a lot of wonderful.

Today I got my nails done by a new lady. We had the most wonderful conversation. She's only been in town two weeks and misses her home in the DFW area. We discovered many shared interests (piano, guitar, singing, art, writing to name a few). We talked non stop the whole time she was working on my nails. Sadly, she told me I was the only client who had talked with her since she'd been here. What? Why is that? I saw the Lord in this beautiful lady today.

Earlier in the week I met with my friend, Roxanne. She is a very gifted artist and is going to paint a mural on the outside of our inn (after the painter paints it in a couple of weeks.) We talked about possibilities for the mural and then launched into the most beautiful God breathed conversation. What a touching relationship she shares with our Father. I'm giggling as I recall some of the things she shared with me. Roxanne put flesh on our Lord for me that night. Our time together made me realize I was on holy ground.

One afternoon this week I was out on the hunt for some items for our Silent Auction at Wesley Court. We're working to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. I stopped in Abilene's new store, Emerge on Southwest Drive, and had a delightful conversation with the new owner, Nicole Nunez. That's a great store and their make up line is fabulous! Nicole told me her primary focus for the store is to use it as a ministry.

Wow! Opportunities to share the love of God really are e v e r y w h e r e ! It's exciting to see God shine the spotlight on them daily.

Eyes wide open,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Call Me Grace

Vann and I have a million funny stories about our dating experiences. Most of them involve my clumsy nature and his taking care of me.

Well, a couple of days ago I was working up in Blue Heaven. The ceiling in this room is slanted because it is an attic room. Well, I stood up from my desk and WHAP knocked myself silly. The front part of my head is still sore!

Then yesterday, I just walked into a door frame. I'm sure I'll have a long, lean bruise from my shoulder to my elbow.

Today's experience took the cake, however. I'm still not laughing about this one. Vann and I were moving an entertainment center out of the inn. We had just placed a different one in there. I was backing up around our big rocks around our waterfall and slipped and hit my tooshie on one rock and the back of my head on another rock all the while the entertainment center is landing on top of me. Talk about a lightning jolt!

Well, you know how heads bleed and bleed it did. We went to the walk in clinic that was supposed to close at 9 p.m. (It was 8:55) and most of the lights were out, the door was locked and Vann saw someone in there who saw him and they backed away and turned out more lights. Hey folks, not like my head is bleeding or anything! urgh.

I've just kept an ice compress on it and I'm fine. I think I'm going to be a bit sore, though. I'm thankful it was no worse than it was. And to think...I wanted to be a ballerina. : } Guess that's why Momma signed me up for piano.

Hard as a rock!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Compassion wears a Maintenance Uniform

Today I had the task of letting one of my favorite residents (yes, favorite) know that her dearest friend (another resident) had died. Her friend had been having health problems and went into the ICU yesterday.

As I told her the sad news, she cried. She told me the last time her friend went in the hospital, she knew the "gig was up." Soon after, a knock came to the door. Louis, one of our maintenance men popped his head in the door to ask me a question. When he saw this resident in there he came on in and told her how sorry he was about her friend and gave her a big, burly hug. I witnessed this gentle giant hug this precious lady while she wept into the chest of his uniform. Unashamed tears. Comfortable grieving.

Yes, I work alongside gentle giants. I want to be more like the people who surround me. Thank you, Father, for Louis and his heart of tenderness.

Humbled by greatness,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Dream is Free

The dream is free, but the journey isn't. That's why dream believers are common. Dream buyers are rare.

John Maxwell posted this on his Twitter.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's My Birthday Month

Oh, I know. You're supposed to celebrate it quietly and not mention it. I worked with a wonderful joy mentor when I worked in Atlanta. Her name is Rita. She had a contagious laugh and loved life. She celebrated her birthday the whole month of April.

I thought that sounded like a great idea, so I began sending out an e-mail to my co-workers reminding them when my birthday month began. They giggled and I thought I was a bit eccentric. But then every August 1st, they expected it.

Last Friday (July 31st) I sent an e-mail out to some friends to remind them that the next day (Saturday) was the beginning of my birthday month. I knew they would be disappointed if I didn't do this. (smile)

This morning one of those friends told me she had gotten my e-mail and wanted to begin wishing me a happy birthday month. Our Executive Director was with us and doesn't know me that well yet. He said, "Oh, you're one of those kind of people." I asked him if he meant I was one of those kind of people who enjoyed every opportunity to celebrate life. He smirked and I told him, of course I was one of those types of people. We all need to be celebrating.

Do I expect gifts all through the month? Nah. It's mostly just to remind us to celebrate...something. There is ALWAYS something to celebrate, something to be thankful for.

Loving my birthday month!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Live Large or Go Home!

My youngest daughter uses this expression a lot and I've come to like it! Live large or Go Home! Yep. So true.

Tonight we celebrated National Watermelon Day at Wesley Court with not only eating some watermelon (delicious but a bit boring) but with a Watermelon Seed Spitting contest! We had some great participants. Jim, who is close to 85 won by spitting a seed 10' 5". LaNell got the prize for the most creative by picking up her seed and throwing it. Even Barbara (90 years young) spit a seed about 10'.

Vann asked me before the event if I was going to do any spitting myself. "Why, of course!" I answered. "You've got to Live Large or Go Home. "(Thank you Caroline for that wonderful piece of advice.)

My friend, Judy, has always been a great one to do spontaneous and fun things. She's been a great example of living large. I remember one time shortly after we moved to Abilene I was having a group over to my house for Bunco. That night I was feeling particularly sad and missing our former city and friends. Well, in pops Denise, Donna, Lori and Judy (lead by Judy) all wearing green and orange wigs to remind us to Live Large or Go Home! It was at that moment that I knew I was going to love Abilene.

Piet Hein said, "Living is a thing you do. Now or never. Which do you?" Life is delicious. It's a gift. The opportunities to love and laugh are everywhere. Can't find them? Find a friend who lives large. They'll show you the way. Afraid? Don't be. People will want to follow you.

Joyful abundance,