Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Five Little Tidbits

I 'borrowed' this idea from a new friend and a soon-to-be new Grandmommy.  Please stop by and visit  A Season of Harvest -- be prepared for a blessing! 

Tonight Granddad is at praise band practice, and the 'Joe's are going about their bedtime routine with Lucy.  So, in case you never really wanted to know ... here's 5 little tidbits of information about Lucy's Granny (nothing earth-shattering, just a little bit ...)   

1)  When I was just a very young little girl, I saw my Great-Grandpa B die.  He was in the middle of preaching at our home church, and just dropped in the middle of his message.  Although so young, I still have vivid memories of where he was on the pulpit, how his body was facing ... This was long before the emergency 911, so to a little girl it seemed to take the ambulance forever to get to our church.  I remember standing outside with my cousins and some family friends while our parents were inside with Great-Grandpa.  I looked up in the sky and just knew that he was with Jesus, and that he was Home.  I will always remember that day ... my first glimpse of heaven. 

2)  I have probably been an asthmatic since my early teen years … but was just diagnosed in 2003.  I was having trouble breathing at the beginning of the school year, but was too focused on that being our daughter’s senior year of high school.  But the difficulties progressed, leading to many tests at the doctor’s office.  When the results came back that only 35% of my lungs were functioning, he asked me if I had ever been tested for asthma.  Never had. This was actually a relief for me because it proved (to me) that I had not been lazy in junior high and high school phys ed classes (truth be known, my asthmatic lungs back then just couldn’t keep up).  And also, it has actually motivated me to working out (although not as much as I know I need).  My lungs feel healthier and my whole body knows when it needs pushed to its limits. 

3) I am overly critical on myself – doesn’t matter for what … I am my worst critic. Yeah, there’s not much to say about this one.

  4) I absolutely cannot stand to fly.  Yet, we have flown several times to Orlando (Disney family here), flown to Japan (14 hours in the air during one leg of the flight), and flown to Mexico (several hours in the air).  Of course, Granddad would LOVE for us to go to Hawaii someday.  I told him as long as we can drive … well, maybe I’ll sacrifice ... just for him!

5) Granny does not do surprises very well at all!  I have no idea "why", afterall ... May 16, 1984 -- SURPRISE, we eloped!   then early June 1985 -- SURPRISE, you're pregnant (after being told we had a "none" chance at all!)  We have even thrown SURPRISE celebrations -- when Granddad finished his Master's degree; when Granny turned 30; when our daughter turned 10.  So, I just wonder now, why I don't do surprises ... I'll keep working on finding out the reason.  Who knows, I may just be SURPRISED!  

So now you know a few little things about me.  For some unknown reason Lucy actually believes her Granny & Granddad are exciting people ... so let's just keep this 'our' little secret.  She will find out soon enough on her own ...

Friday, October 15, 2010

From 1980 ...

This weekend is Granddad's 30th high school reunion.  It really doesn't seem like 30 years have past since his high school days.  Although we are unable to go back home for the reunion, I just wanted to post some of the happenings of 1980 ... 

Ronald Reagan elected the 40th President of the United States of America

Mount St. Helens in Washington erupted

"Sailing" by Christopher Cross was Record of the Year & Song of the Year
w/ "Christopher Cross" the Album of the Year

Olivia Newton-John's "Magic" was a #1 Hit from the movie Xanadu 
("Xanadu" is one of our daughter's favorite movie of all time)

"Miracle on Ice" between the US & Soviet Union 
(only Canada broadcast this live during the Olympics)

Who shot JR?

U.S. Open Men's Singles winner John McEnroe

U.S.Open Women's Singles winner Chris Evert Lloyd

John Lennon murdered

Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champions 

Season 1 "Facts of Life"
(One of Granny's favorites)

"Babe (I Love You)"  Styx

"Lonesome Loser"  Little River Band

And, just for Lucy, her Granddad's senior pictures from 1980 ...  

Graduation pic from 1980 yearbook

Mr. Pioneer - Homecoming

Graduation evening

Receiving his diploma
High Honors Award

Is it any wonder that 'new guy at school' would be the man of my dreams? And he still is!

(1980 brought a personal tragedy to my family -- my Aunt's life was suddenly taken by a drunk driver.  Life was not the same after her wreck. But I do see some of my Aunt's characteristics in my daughter who is her namesake.  I will post about this at a later time.)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tweet-Inspired Perspective

One social network I take part in is Twitter.  Although I really have no idea what to tweet, I am extremely passionate about certain areas in life (Christianity, politics, self-improvement, etc).  I've learned that through Twitter, I much prefer to follow headlines with links to full stories -- anything from the mundane to the more substantial.  Granny does get her feathers ruffled occasionally over the mundane (just read my post on hairspray) as well as the more substantial current world events. Twitter allows me to "follow" and keep current with any person, event, organization, or topic that I choose.  It's what interests me.

One such person that Granny 'follows' on Twitter is Mandisa.  I have so enjoyed this girl's voice and testimony to Jesus Christ since she was on American Idol Season 5.  (Personally, I thought it would be between Elliott and Mandisa, but ... oh well ... back on topic.)

As I read through the Twitter headlines yesterday, I ran across Mandisa's which read "Filled up @ Shell 4 $2.79. Drove 3 miles & saw it @ Kroger 4 20 cents less. Have I mentioned how grateful I am 2 evn HAVE a car? #Perspective".  I was struck! Of all things for me to focus on, that one word struck me: perspective.  But, wait a minute, Granny!  This struck you over a 20 cent difference at the gas pump -- you really need to put things into perspective!  (Like I said, from the mundane to the more substantial):  Mandisa earlier today -- "How God-ronic that I'm n studio recording a song abt trusting God on hard days while I'm experiencing that exact thing! #Perspective"

Each of us have our own perspective on many different aspects of life.  Granny has her own perspective as well.  Sometimes our perspectives are shaped by our experiences, sometimes by events going on around us ... any aspect of our lives can help give us perspective on things.  Even social media.  My Twitter list encompasses everything from (the more substantial) Christ followers to politicians to military to gossip columns (the more mundane) and just about anything in between such as bloggers, writers, artists and so much more. 

"Granny, why do you let a mundane, simple thing like hairspray ruffle your feathers?" Well, it's not as if the realization of testing new brands of hairspray actually did ruffle my feathers, but it was a release for me.  From my "perspective",  it was just a way to kind of vent and joke about it ... something mindless that could be used to distract from other areas that I may have been dwelling on too long.  I'm really not that shallow to allow hairspray to be such a high priority to me.  Yes, that word -- perspective.

So ... in order to put perspective into perspective ... along comes Pollyanna, the young orphan from the 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter.  (Several movies have been adapted from this novel including Disney's 1960 version.)  The orphaned title character "Pollyanna" comes to live with her wealthy aunt -- a stark contrast to the missionary life Pollyanna is accustomed.  This young girl's philosophy of life centers around her "Glad Game".  The game originated on the mission field one Christmas when the 'missionary box' of gifts arrived.  Pollyanna had hoped for a doll ... but instead received a pair of crutches.  Her father instantly replied that they should be glad for the crutches because they didn't need them!  Thus, Pollyanna began looking on the good side of things that came her way. 

We would play the Glad Game when our daughter was younger, and now look forward to playing it with Lucy as well.  Yes, there's been many times when the Glad Game was turned aside and pretty much left to gather dust.  But maybe it needs to be brought back out to help Granny (and maybe others?) gain a new perspective on life's events, circumstances, situations ... So, here's a short list of a few things in Granny's Glad Game today:

For my time to spend with Lucy while I have the opportunity.

For our kids who serve God & our country.
For Granddad's perseverance in his career that gives me the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Granny.

For my parents living within an hour and a half away from me.

For the ongoing relationship I have with my family who live several hours away from us.

For God giving me the opportunity to do various things in my life: business life, full-time adult student, school teacher, church volunteer.

For our health that I so much take for granted until the days of doctor appointments.

For you who have endured to read to the bottom of this post.

When Granny puts things into perspective, my Glad Game list is never-ending.  
Hopefully yours is too!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"All Good Things ..."

We’ve all heard the saying "all good things must come to an end".  Oh how true this is! I am preparing for the dissolving of a long-standing friendship of many years.  Over 30 years into a relationship, and I thought this one would last a lifetime.  Just like all relationships, we’ve had to give and take some … but never completely called it quits.  We’ve had a maximum hold on each other for the past several years, but now it’s just time to move on.  Time to break in a new relationship … oh, but the search for the 'perfect match' is the tedious part of the process that I just plain dread.  I feel rejected --betrayed -- all of my dreams now shattered -- the broken promises -- I just don’t know how I’m going to be seen in public without this perfect …

Okay, I’ll just come right out and say it … deep breath, Granny … deep breath.  You can do this – you can just release … it’s really not MY fault at all.  So what if I thought I would be in this relationship (or whatever you want to call it) 'til death do us part'?  I had no idea that was actually 'til discontinuation do us part'! No – not my fault at all.

Oh, did I mention that my favorite hairspray is no more?  I KNOW -- I KNOW  I can’t believe it either! How can a manufacturer just 'discontinue' a whole line of hairspray?  For weeks now I have searched all of the so-called 'big box' stores to no avail – there’s not even a tag on the shelves for my hairspray anymore! How can they call themselves 'big box' when they don’t even have a 'tiny box' of my favorite hairspray?!?!?  It’s a good thing that this ol’ Granny bought up all the cans she could find that had been hidden in the very back of the "new-line" of hairspray.  At least I have a few cans to go through before the search for the perfect hairspray begins … again.  Okay, so this is Wednesday night, so I should have enough to last through – oh my, I need to go out … soon -- at first light in the morning -- before first light!!!! 

I always wanted my hair to look like this (but keeping my natural blonde – well, until "that" age hit several years ago – but that’s for another post).  What manufacturer would have the nerve to tell this lady "Oh, we quit making YOUR favorite line of hairspray. But, feel free to test out any of the others we have that may work for you."

Okay, so I’m definitely not HER and certainly don’t have her hair … which may be a good thing for Granddad’s monthly budget (he already wants me to make a separate line-item for hairspray!!! – yeah, sure Granddad, sure).

In the next week or so Granny will be setting sail on her new voyage – searching for her lasting hairspray-mate.  Until then, well, if you see me out in public … please just smile and nod!

Monday, October 4, 2010

To Worry or Pray ...

Many people know that our family is facing changes.  The 'Joes will be stationed somewhere at some point in the future. We’re not sure when, not sure where … just not sure.  What we are sure of is this: though uncertain about the particulars, we are certain that change is coming --- and possibly sooner (or later) than we even think.  (Clear as mud, huh?)

Over this past year, I have had many people express their concerns over this change that will happen.  Most of these people we know personally, so their hearts are evident with their concern for us.  “I worry about you”  “I am very concerned for your family”  “I don’t know how you (Granny) will handle this”.  All of these concerns come from the very heart of people we love dearly.  So, I just want to take a moment for them.

Please do not worry … choose to pray. 

I have learned and am still learning that “worry” changes nothing – except for my stress level and blood pressure.  When I worry about something, I’m basically saying to God that “I have this under control God.  I can handle it on my own, and I really don't need You on this one”  And although I really don’t have it under control, I sure don’t want anyone looking at me as being weak.  So, the worrying sets in and takes up residence in my soul – my stress level goes through the roof because I am absorbed in worrying. My blood pressure hits its highest level that it hasn't in … well, forever.  My heart begins its arrhythmia beat --- boom boom skip boom boom boom skip boom … And, eventually I end up in a panic.  All of this because of that 5 letter word. Jesus Himself had these words to say about “worry”:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Matthew 6:25-27 

My King James Life Application Study Bible gives seven reasons not to worry, and I want to share them with you.  All of these are taken from Matthew 6: 25–34:

            The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of you life.
            Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today.
            Worrying is more harmful than helpful.
            God does not ignore those who depend on Him.
            Worry shows lack of faith and understanding of God.
            These are real challenges God wants us to pursue, and worrying keeps us from them.
            Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.

But by turning my worries in prayers …

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

These words from Paul are some of the most comforting words I have ever enveloped.  Yes, I do mean enveloped.  When I turn my worrying into prayers, I am saying to God Almighty:  Come into my heart, my mind and envelop every space within me – enclose  every space. I’m giving You every emotion, every control-driven part of me. You gave me my life, and I trust You. 

I will admit that the upcoming changes will be challenging.  And to answer some of the concerns I’ve heard – yes, I have grown “attached” to Lucy.  Who wouldn’t grow “attached” to a precious grandchild living in your own house?  No, I’m not sure what life will be like without her here every day.  As she runs around the house calling for “Strawberry Shortcake! Ginger Snap! Orange Blossom!”  Or when she looks at Granddad coming home from work “Hey, Granddad, you're home now!”  Or when she’s ready for bedtime, and she gives hugs, kisses and “noses” to Granny & Granddad.  “I love you, Granddad!  I love you, Granny!” comes out of her sweet little voice.  Yes, life will certainly be different in our house. 

However, Granddad and I have laid the foundation for our relationship with the ‘Joes, and with our little Lucy.  From the very first moments of her earthly life, we have been there.  Yes, she is a tremendous part of our life, and she will continue to be so, just as her parents.  Soon it will be time for the ‘Joe family to continue on the road that God has paved for them.  Just as it will be time for Granny & Granddad to continue on to the next chapter in our lives – empty-nesters.  Of course Granddad is busy with work,  we both have church activities, and Granny’s “to-do” list has been growing some various projects lately (from organizing photos to writing to working out to learning more about healthy eating to … well, as you can see, my list is growing).  And who knows where Granny will be next!

So, with this next step for our family, our family is not allowing worry to settle in.  All of us are just praying.  I heard many years ago from an online devotion:  “Prayer isn’t the least I can do, it’s the best I can do.”  We choose to pray ... not worry.   

“… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11    

And yes, who wouldn't become "attached" to her?

(This is the first time I have edited a post with a link, so hopefully it will work!  I know I've given Mrs. GI Joe's blog link previously, but she has updated some of Lucy's 2 year old pictures . Yes, more reasons as to why Granny & Granddad are attached!)