What story are you telling yourself?

What story are you telling yourself?.

“Do as I say, not as I do”

Dad & my baby girl (2)

This is “Bob” and my baby girl, Tanya back in 1981. He was my step-dad but the only “dad” I knew growing up. Bob died in 1995, but I can still hear him saying,

Do as I say, not as I do

!! I once had a psychologist tell me that when I had a thought ie; (message, life lesson) playing over and over in my head, that I should ask myself

whose voice it is

so I would be able to better judge it’s truth or validity. It’s been my experience that upon entering adolesence we begin to question the philosphy of our parents; their belief systems etc; Therefore when I was told

you need to…, or you should have…,

my come back was often,

why? you don’t do that,

or

you’ve always…

and I would hear,

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!!

Isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy? I think so! And if so, then shouldn’t I reject, rather than embrace the teachings/instruction of my parent? And what about myself as a parent? Did I repeat the mistakes of my parent with my children and do one thing, but say (instruct) another? This reminds me of a poem we had hanging on our wall when my children were little… it said:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

How many of us grew up being told not to smoke, but yet our parents smoked? Or how many of us grew up being told

drinking is bad

and yet our household was a drinking household? Or better yet (coming from this former Weight Watchers leader), how many of us grew up in a household eating whatever we wanted, were not taught any type of nutrition and yet as soon as we began gaining a few pounds were told we should go on a diet? 😉

If you are reading this, please don’t read BLAME anywhere in it. I am way past my

victim status/blame game

and have no need to blame anyone to feel better about the choices and decisions I made in life. I only wish I had done better sooner. But, in order to do so, I would have had to question the teachings of my upbringing sooner.

I’m sure some of you have discovered the same thing I have: I’M A MUCH BETTER GRANDPARENT, THEN I WAS A PARENT!! Or maybe, you learned some things from an older sibling, growing up?

I tell my grandson, Ethan (5 yrs old) almost every day,

don’t do that, Ethan, because Kash (20 months) is watching you and he is going to try and do it too! Your little brother is watching you, and he’s learning from you every time you do something. He doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, like you do. He’s still learning.

In closing: If you are reading this, you are reading the ruminations of an insomniac. Pondering is what I do when I can’t sleep…if you liked what you read, please spread the word – I would love to have more followers to my blog and would also love to hear your thoughts.

Quotes

Quotes.

What is wrong with you, Maw Maw?

I had the most obvious sign that I am “embracing” FULL GRANDPARENTHOOD, when my hubby at I were dining at Fisherman’s Market on Saturday.

A little ways from our table was a large group of adults and children. It appeared as if they had just come from a ballgame since the boys had ball uniforms on. Everyone except one boy (approx. 10 years old) were sitting at a long table. Behind their table this one lone boy sat with his back to everyone. Everyone was eating, including this little boy. He didn’t look back, and didn’t interact with this group. I FELT SO BAD, that he was being ignored while everyone else talked and laughed and enjoyed their “group fellowship”.

The other table was comprised of obvious parents, grandparents, and other kids. But none of them were having anything to do with this one little boy! Grrrrrr!!! He didn’t appear disabled or handicapped in any way. Was he being punished? Had he struck out in the game? Was he sick? I didn’t know, and I didn’t care!! I just didn’t like the obvious (in my opinion) mistreatment of this young man! It BOTHERED ME GREATLY!

I was facing this group, while my hubby couldn’t see any of what was going on. I described the situation to him and he thought I was fretting over nothing! And maybe I was – but I just couldn’t get past it. It really disturbed me and literally ruined my lunch!

Suffice it to say that hubby knows me well and so when I got up to go the restroom he gave me strict instructions to leave the little boy alone. I obeyed and felt better when before leaving I witnessed an older grandfatherly man that was with the group go over to the little boys table and talk with him. I don’t know for sure – but I think he was in a “time out” situation.

What I find so profound is that the mother in me wasn’t bothered by this situation, but the grandmother in me was!

What a sad, sad way to live…

Yesterday was TRASH day and so everyone’s trash in the neighborhood was at the curb awaiting pick up. While Kash and I were out for our morning stroll I noticed a young man (approx. in his 20’s) driving an old beat up compact car with no muffler. We walk an interesting “higher end housing” path thru the neighborhood that’s approx. 1 1/2 miles. The first time I witnessed this young man his car was idling, his driver’s door was open and he was rifling thru someone’s trash. (They had more than just normal household trash at the curb). I didn’t think much of it the first time I saw him, but as we continued to stroll thru the neighborhood we kept running into him driving up and down streets checking out everyone’s trash!!

My 62 yr. old brain said, “is he homeless”? “Does he live out of his car?” “Is he trying to feed his young family by searching for salvage?” Or, “is he trying to support a drug habit”? As a compassionate Christian, I wanted to ask him what he was looking for or maybe just witness to him.
But then I got what I would refer to as a “check in my spirit” – DANGER, DANGER, DANGER…beware.

So was the Holy Spirit leading me to speak to/witness to this man or was it the Holy Spirit when I heard “be careful, this man could be dangerous. He could have a weapon and you have your young grandson with you”?? I hate that when I don’t get clear and precise directions as to what to do – because I want to do the right thing. But I also don’t want to be stupid and endanger myself or my family.

I felt so sad that it appeared this young man was trying to making a living by “trashing”. It is rumored that alot of drug addicts do that in our city and so I chose to exercise caution even though I really wanted to reach out to him.

I said a prayer that God touch this young man and went on with my day. What would you have done?

I want to be remembered for being weak

Linda & Granny 2

When I was up to my elbows in feces this morning for a woman who has done me no wrong and has blessed me with an awesome husband, I was reminded once again that when I die I want to be remembered for overcoming all sorts of adversity in my life! Having attended alot of funerals preached by some awesome men of God, a lot of nice things are usually said about the departed. Many times the things that are said, people in attendance DID NOT know about that person.

The family usually meets with the preacher before the funeral to share things about their loved one that the preacher MAY NOT have even known!! I would really like to write a book about my life (I know that sounds very narcissistic and egotistical), but ONLY as a means to IMPACT someone elses life in a positive way. I want to be a WITNESS, not just in life; but in death as well.

Paul said it best when he said, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Cor. 12:9-10

This little duty of taking care of my mother-in-law (for his sake) is small by comparison to some other things I’ve experienced in life. I receive high praise from many for being her full-time caregiver. To me it seems unwarranted, uncalled for, unnecessary and not at all a BIG DEAL. It’s just what God has called me to do, at this time in life.

Because when I read that scripture, especially the last part I hear DEPRESSION, DIVORCE, ESTRANGEMENT, JOB LOSSES, DISAGREEMENTS/ARGUMENTS, SICKNESS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS – shall I go on? They have all been a part of my life, and much of it very painful – but for what it’s worth – they have made me strong because of have relied on HIM in my time of weakness! I am who I am today, because of the things I’ve gone through. No victim here – but victorious in Christ Jesus!

Our “appreciate nature” stroll

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My 20 month old grandson, Kash and I try to get out at least 2-3 times a week for a morning stroll. It’s about the only “workout” I get these current days. We leave the house around 8:20 in the morning while his big brother, Ethan stays home watching Netflix with Paw Paw.

While strolling this morning I was pondering the importance of this little 30 min. walk with my grandson. The time is spent not just walking or riding in the stroller but talking and observing. I’m doing most of the talking and he’s doing most of the observing! 🙂 I’ve picked up pine cones and leaves to let him hold and said the words to him. When he grows tired of them he will toss them down to the ground. I comment about the “pretty flowers” and now Kash has gotten to where when we stroll by them, he wants to get close enough to smell them! Ha! We watch for the “birdies” and talk about them “flying away” and “what they say” – “cheap, cheap”. We watch for squirrels and see them run up the trees or scamper across the grass or road.

Kash knows a mailbox when he sees one and reaches out to “check the mail”, since he’s walked out to the mailbox with Maw Maw before. He’s such a smart little whip, and has a memory much better than my own! I call attention to the bugs when we see them – and he says, “buug”. There are lots of barking dogs in the neighborhood and so we have to say, “puppie” or “doggie” and Kash will remind me that whether it’s a doggie or a puppie, that it says “whoof”.

As rambunctious a young man as Kash is – I know he loves this little morning stroll, because he doesn’t protest being in the stroller for 30 minutes and doesn’t try to get out and walk. On the other hand, when we go to the stores, he doesn’t want to be confined in the cart (or “buggie” as we call it in Texas). He wants to get down and walk!!

I guess I’d like to think that when Kash get’s older he will remember and cherish these times and that his knowledge and smarts will be a direct result of this special time we spent together. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that your grown children & grandchildren don’t always remember things the same way you do. I can only hope that some of it will remain.

Suffice it to say, our “appreciate nature” walk at least FOR ME is more about appreciating quality time spent with grandchildren. I’m so glad I decided to support my oldest daughter this way, by taking care of her two youngest sons while she went to work full-time. It’s been an investment well spent.

A time of respite…

The term “respite” as it pertains to caregiving is defined as: a temporary rest period. Respite care is a temporary break for caregivers of the ill or disabled.

Every 30 days my husband and I are entitled to take his mother to the local Hospice House for 5 days of “respite”. This is a time for us to refresh, renew and recharge our batteries. Almost two years ago when Granny first came to us we had no intention of sending her away for 5 days!! It meant having her picked up by an ambulance and transported to new surroundings with strangers taking care of her etc; Perish the thought!! It was probably 6-9 months before we took advantage of our first time of “respite”.

After sharing our exhaustion with our social worker and some personality quirks we were noticing in Granny, we realized that “respite” could also be needed by the patient as much as my her caregivers!! We came to the conclusion that the trip to and from the Hospice House couldn’t do Granny any more harm than the change of scenery could do her good.

Now, every 4-6 weeks we take advantage of “respite” even if it just means we sit at the house and stare at the boob tube!

So yesterday, as we headed to Waffle House for a “respite breakfast” (NADA, no tracking, weighing, measuring food, or eating unusually “healthy” during respite – sorry!), we were excited to get on the road for a little trip to the Austin area to visit a son & daughter-in-law and 3 grandsons we don’t get to see very often.

Last evening was spent receiving lots of hugs and kisses, some playtime before bed and bathtime, enjoying a home cooked meal (that I didn’t cook) and just catching up with the daughter-in-law while hubby and son watched Swamp People etc; LOL

Today, while hubby spends his day with his son (daughter-in-law working/grandsons in school) RESPITE for me means sitting in a motel room enjoying a little peace and quiet. I can blog, watch TV, curl up with my Maeve Binchy book, take a quilting tutorial online, take a poop when the urge strikes (without worrying about who else might have taken a poop), or just get back in bed and take a nap! AWESOME!

Tonight we will take the family out for dinner since they cooked lastnight. Us girls are leaving it up to the boys to decide where they want to eat. The son has to be up early (4 am) for work in the morning (Travis County Prison system), but we will spend time with the daughter-in-law and grandsons before heading back home. We are in no hurry, since we’ve taken Sunday off from church responsibilities. We may do a little antique store browsing on the way home. We might even stop somewhere else along the way and spend another night in a motel or take in a movie. No plan – we are flying low and just enjoying the scenery as we go. After all, it’s East Texas! We just gotta be home in time to watch “Call the Midwife” Sunday evening. Grandsons will be back Monday morning and Granny will be back Monday afternoon.

I have to say – not terribly exciting, but I have had some really “unique” Mother’s Day Celebrations. Aside from this very relaxing one, I recall one in which my two daughters and I got together and scrapbooked all weekend! That’s was truly fun and memorable as this one will be.

God is Good!

Some girls prefer diamonds…

And although I’ve had my fair share of diamonds in the past, what pleases me most is when my hubby remembers something I’ve mentioned and surprises me with it!

Today it was an ironing board cover!! I know, most women would not be thrilled by the acquisition of an ironing board cover. I had mentioned in coversation one day that I REALLY needed to GET a new ironing board cover for all the seams on my quilt patches I had been pressing open. I was afraid that my old teflon ironing board cover that is more than 20 years old was going to leave stains on my lovely quilt fabric.

First, let me explain. My husband and I have our own seperate finances. My intention when I made that statement was to make a run to Walmart before he went fishing today to get the ironing board cover. But, before I could – he showed up with one! What a sweet man! Not only did he save me from having to get dressed and go out – he paid! LOL I was thrilled! Okay, I know I’m pretty corny, but this is what I like!

Better yet, two days in a row he’s done this. Yesterday he came home with shine spray and Job fertilizer spikes for my houseplants! Once again, just something overheard in conversation and my need was met! I had tried to find them last time I was in Walmart to no avail, so he saved me alot of frustration and aggravation, not to mention time! That man of mine is so thoughtful and sweet!

He’s done this with much bigger, more expensive items as well (microwave oven, food processor, blender, iron – blah, blah, blah) I know – you see a pattern, don’t you? Well, for all you naysayers – he doesn’t wrap them and give them to me as gifts – he’s just meeting the need.

Alot of women wouldn’t stand for it! Like I said – they prefer/want/need DIAMONDS! Or something else for that matter!! It’s the thought behind it that is most important to me. If you are still grousing about his choices, let me also state that this is the same man who has bought me the most beautiful shoes (that he picked out unbeknownst to me) or has gone against his very nature by buying me a dress at a second-hand store (not because he was cheap) but because he knew it was exactly what I would like! He hates resale shops and garage sales – but it was hanging in the window calling his name.

One time he bought me a book on GRACE and wrote the most beautiful note on the inside cover. Thank you, hubby! You are the only diamond I need!

Change your focus!

Change your focus!

After just getting paid the other day an acquaintance said to me, “I’ve got $80 left and I just got paid!” Hmmmm…So, I asked, “rent’s paid, right?” The reply was “yep”.

I’m not wanting to seem judgemental at all and I know times are tough now, but really? Shouldn’t we be thankful that we still have a roof over our head and the bills are paid?

$80 may not be much/or even enough to get this person to the next payday – but my only point – much of it is in our attitude. It’s worked for me!

God finds ways to supply our every need and provide for us when we need it the most. I’m living proof of that! But, I think there is a much greater chance of that…if we keep the faith! (A positive/upbeat attitude can take us far).

I’ve had my fair share of tough times and had $0 when the bills weren’t paid!! I struggled to stay out of God’s way. Although tempted to run to the bank and take a loan or borrow from a family member, many of those times – I just STOOD STILL! When we are constantly working out our own dilemmas and trying to bail ourself out of our own fixes, I believe we sometimes deprive God of an opportunity to show Himself and His miracle working ways!

I have gotten in God’s way more times than I care to admit. But, I’m a work in progress and He is faithful to stay the course with me.

We can’t envision ahead of time how God wants to bless us or what He will do or not do. That’s what faith is all about! “it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT seen”..(Hebrews 11:1)

So, as much as I wanted to say this to my friend – I knew she would take offense and think I was “preaching”. Honestly, I’m not! I’m just tapping into God’s word and those 62 yrs of experience I’ve had in the School of Hard Knocks.

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