Friday, October 31, 2014

Daily Mundane #30 - Happy Halloween from Disney!

Just a little pictorial walk-through of my Halloween morning.
Loved taking a leisurely stroll of the park after teaching a workshop to 16 incredibly talented brass instrumentalists.  What a great morning!
Thank you, Jesus, for blessed work opportunities!









{One more little post tomorrow to complete my 31 Day Challenge...
One day into November but I feel great about it!
What an incredibly challenging challenge...but so worth it!)

Daily Mundane #28 - Autumn Days

I don't know if it's because my daughter is off to college and he feels sorry for me;
Or if he is maturing;
Or if his tastes are changing;
but my son was very much into decorating for fall.
He's been complaining about it for weeks, the fact that I hadn't even gotten the crate of autumn decor out.  I thought it would pass, but he kept hammering away at me.
"When are you going to decorate?"
"Mom, it's almost Halloween and we don't have anything out yet."
"I thought you said you were going to decorate this weekend, Mom?!?"
So my husband lifted the box down from the rafters on Sunday, and when Braden asked me when I was going to start, I told him, "I thought I'd do it while you're at rehearsal tomorrow night."

"Nooooooo!" he practically shouted to my complete shock.  "I want to do it together."
I tell ya', I'm not focusing on the why of this heart change.
I don't really want to know.
(Because I'll admit it...at this point, I'm not beyond accepting some pity decorating.)

True, my house is exceptionally postured for a fall look since those warm colors are the ones I love surrounding us with.  It doesn't need much to achieve the look.  (And thank goodness, because I haven't purchased one fall item in about a decade, and I've had to chuck tattered scarecrows and faded pumpkins year after year.  I'm down to the bare bones.)
Still, when you throw up some autumn leaves and a few gourds, it's amazing how comforting and extreme the transformation is.

Hope you enjoy our Daily Mundane #28...and I gotta give credit where credit is due.  Almost every decision, down to the 1/2 inch move of a candle position, was Braden's.


"Y'all" - a little homage to my roots...
Love this footed bowl and my mother-in-law's vintage tablecloth
Brae's design...he chose the plate holder in gold then went back and forth
quite a few times on the distance between candle holders.
LOVED watching his process!


Just add a few leaves & my dear Daddy's painting leaps off of the mantle!


Love that Braden put his kindergarten turkey in a place of prominence!
Each feather describes all of his blessings:
"Family, my talent for singing, my schools, aunts & uncles, friends, my cousins,
jokes & laughs, great food, fantastic neighbors, my talent for baseball."
So, so precious, these memories.

Love the "jumping into leaves" position
Braden put the anatomy man in.

Happy Fall...officially from GDMFTD!!



{Love my special boy.
Thanks for reading!}

Daily Mundane #29 - Turn the Radio On

Thanks, Toby Mac, for singing these poignant, uplifting words into my world as I drove to teach my classes Thursday!  I wrote a post nearer the beginning of this 31 Day Challenge about this very philosophy.  I know I continue to hear the song because I continue to need the reminder.  So today, just for you dear readers, I am sharing!  Enjoy!

Speak Life

Some days life feels perfect.
Other days it just ain't workin'.
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between.
Its crazy, amazing
We can turn a heart with the words we say.
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.

So speak Life, speak Life...
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life...
When the sun wont shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak speak speak...
You speak Life,(oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Some days the tongue gets twisted;
Other days my thoughts just fall apart.
I do, I don't, I will, I won't,
Its like I'm drowning in the deep.
Well it's crazy to imagine,
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion.
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest, darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak speak speak...
You speak Life,(oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Lift your head a little higher;
Spread the love like fire;
Hope will fall like rain
When you speak life with the words you say.
Raise your thoughts a little higher;
Use your words to inspire;
Joy will fall like rain
When you speak life with the things you say.

Lift your head a little higher;
Spread the love like fire;
Hope will fall like rain
When you speak life with the words you say.

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest, darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak speak speak...

You speak Life,(oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)
You speak Life,(oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)
Some days life feels perfect perfect perfect.



Songwriters
MOORE, JAMES L. / MCKEEHAN, TOBY / STEVENSON, RYAN DALE
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


Read more: Toby Mac - Speak Life Lyrics | MetroLyrics 



{Thanks for reading.
Now go speak life into someone's world today!}

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daily Mundane #27 - Shaking Things Up

I shouldn't have to say much on this post...the page should speak for itself.
If you are reading it from my blogger site, you will see how I'm shaking up my mundane.
If you are reading it from your email inbox, you have no idea what I'm talking about.
(Click here to get up to speed.)

So much has happened since this blog's inception three years ago.
First I planted myself here.
Then I created a new website for my writing. (closing soon...)
When the miracle of regaining my voice was rained upon me, I had to rethink the "Cynthia Writes" website and title since I was starting to work again in theater.
And don't forget about my gorgeous project, "Branching Out in Faith" - the iOS app.
So many things were happening.
I needed a concise space in which to display them.

So my sister, Theresa, in her infinite talent and ingenuity, created such a space for me.
(Hire her...she's brilliant!)
"Cynthia Branches Out" went live in July....
All of my special projects housed under one gorgeously designed roof.
Still, I wanted this space to continue to speak for itself.
To speak to all of you good people who stop in daily or occasionally to read these humble words and, hopefully, allow them to affect your day.

These last four months, however, when I've clicked over to this blog from my website, I've felt a bit jarred.
The look and feel of them are so different.
Thus in the last few moments of this 31 Day challenge, I wanted to take the opportunity to streamline the two looks a bit more...
To better reflect my desire for peace in all things.

The color and random graphics of my previous blog design served me well for three years.
And one day, I'm sure you'll find everything I do under one site.
But until then, I hope you enjoy the new look of this space as much as I enjoyed creating it.



{Thanks for reading.}



Daily Mundane #26 - Lessons in Food, Part IV



Before I close my series on daily mundane lessons in food, I wanted to share with you an amazing and much needed conversion that has occurred during my recent quest for wellness.

For some reason, since the death of my father, I have had NO DESIRE to cook.  
Now, to fill you in on the background, I have always loved puttering around in the kitchen.
From hearty, homemade fare to trying gourmet recipes; from decorating cakes to planning, preparing and hosting dinner for 40, I've loved cooking.  I've embraced it.
I was raised by gifted cooks.  
No formal training, just good taste and instincts.  My Mema and Poppy owned a restaurant. My Grammy was the personal cook for the church leaders.
My mother's forays in the kitchen are always spot on.
Cooking together has been a true source of joy for my sisters and I over the years when our families have gotten together.  
My children even inherited this love.  They were in cooking classes by the time they were tweens.

But something changed within my heart when we lost my dad.
I started feeling anxious about going to the grocery store.
I didn't want to boil a pot of water much less prepare an entire meal.
And forget about the planning.
My poor husband...every time he asked, "What do you want to do for dinner?" you'd have thought he asked me to turn my key to detonate a nuclear bomb.
I've been a mess!

But something beautiful transformed within me these last weeks as I've followed specific recipes since starting The Plan.
I don't know if it was perusing the shelves at the organic food market...
Or having everything laid out in such a way that I don't have to think...
Or if it's the chopping and slicing and dicing and seasoning and sauteing.

I don't know if it's the sight and smells, handling and anticipating...
Or the feeling that everything I am putting in my body is good for me - body, soul and spirit.
None of the reasons matter really.

What matters is that I'm once again engaged in something that, for my lifetime up until two years ago, has brought me profound joy.
And the humdrum doesn't feel like it.
It feels special again.
It feels right.
It feels somehow sacred.

So, as a close to my food thoughts, I'd like to finish with a sweet little prayer for cook's I found on the blog, "Reorganized Simplicity."  This verse puts a little form to my rediscovered love for the kitchen and all it's blessings.  Enjoy!






{Praying for all good things for 
your bodies, souls & spirits too.
Thanks for reading.}

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daily Mundane #25 - A Much-Deserved Celebration

So, here's the reason I chose to take a three day sabbatical from my challenge.
I was busy celebrating the life of my nearest and dearest friend in the world.
My Lisa.

Lisa and I met in 1986 where she promptly laughed her way into my heart.
We became roommates and lived together in 5 different locations with approximately 150 other roommates moving in and out (okay, okay, maybe 11) for the next 10 years.
Until the day in June of 1996 that I became a wife.
She was the maid of honor at my wedding...
Is "Aunt Lisa" to my children...
And, as she says, is my partner in crime.

She drove me everywhere for three years until I got a car...
(How did I not have a car in Southern California for three years?!? Yikes...)
Has worked beside me...
Danced beside me, both onstage and the Baxter's dance floor...
Sung beside me both onstage, in karaoke and in church.

She has lent me her ear and shoulder in the rough...
Her easy smile and warmth when I wanted to laugh...
Best of all, she walked beside me in everything, most importantly on our roads to finding faith and peace in Him. 

So, in honor of almost 30 years of friendship, I say "thank you" to my best friend.
I say, "I''m praying every great and beautiful blessing over your life."
I say, "What would I ever have done without you on this long, wending road of life?  This road that has led us to His grace and love?"
You are simply the very best.

Happy 50th birthday, dearest Lisa!!
The first picture we ever took together!  How do you like that 1980's hair?!?


My 21st birthday party that, of course, Lisa planned for me.
Now we've celebrated her 50th!

My hair short here...and hers, red!  Enduring friendships even when hairstyles aren't.

So grateful Lisa loves my husband and he loves her!
He chose her as his sponsor when he converted to Catholicism.
No longer sleeping in on Saturday mornings after a  long Friday night of dancing.
Now we 
do things like get up early and feed the hungry at the Los Angeles Food Bank.  
Much, much more rewarding!  Who'd-a thunk it?


And, as always, we celebrate with one another!
A bunch of girlfriends at my Colleen's graduation party in June of this year.

Lisa was the first one there!




{So grateful for this friendship. 
As always, God knew what I needed when I had no idea.
Now go out and hug your friends.
Thanks for reading!}

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Daily Mundane #24 - What's Truly Important

I was on the 31 Day Challenger's Facebook page for a moment this morning and read a question posed.
"What have you learned about yourself and your blogging since beginning this challenge?"
As I reflected, I knew immediately what my answer was.
In fact, there are two answers.
And the second is the answer to why I haven't posted in several days.

I learned that if my aim is to write to the exclusion of everything, I am more than capable of doing so.  I could fairly easily find something to post about each and every day.
That's really good to know.

But the second thing I've learned is that I don't want to write to the exclusion of everything.
Because my aim in life is to Live.
Breathe.
Eat.
Sleep.
And mostly, help, serve & cherish those around me.

So...my mundane lesson for Friday is simply - I have a choice.
Ignore life and write all the time.
Or live life and write about those things I learn.

Yeah, I choose the second.


{Catching up from my gratefully chosen sabbatical.
Thank You, Jesus, for making Your choices for me clear.
And thank you all for reading.}




Friday, October 24, 2014

Daily Mundane #23 - Thursday Commute

Thursday lyric time!  

There are sooo many songs composed from across all decades, generations and genres that I love...
That truly speak to me...
That inspire me.

Then there are the songs that, in addition to loving them, I feel are really important.  
Important philosophies to embrace and absorb.
"Lead Me" by "Sanctus Real is one of these songs.
Ever since I heard this song months and months ago, it has planted itself firmly in my heart, the importance of the lyrics in our modern 21st century families beyond comprehension.  
It's a song that parents and spouses across the board could benefit from embracing.
But, even moreso, husbands and dads everywhere, I think, could understand and internalize.
There is a link attached to the title below.  
Give it a listen and if you feel  the way I do, I encourage you to share it - especially with the important men in your lives.

Love, love, love it!!

Lead Me


I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I am called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't you lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone


{Thanks for reading...and listening!}

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Mundane #22 - Food, Part III

In the Venn diagram of food:

God made kale.
I love God.
Therefore...

I love kale.
(Sauteed with olive oil and shitake mushrooms.)

Thank you God for superfood!



{Thanks for reading this lengthy epistle.
Have a great day!}

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daily Mundane #21 - Lessons in Food, Part II

One brief but profound lesson.
When I was so incredibly hungry at the beginning of my "Plan" journey last Monday, I could barely function.
I couldn't think straight.
I could hardly focus on getting myself what I needed...much less focus on asking Him for help...or communicate with Him in any way.
And that was with three protein-less meals and a snack. 

I thought of every person in the world who has nothing to eat.
Doesn't know where their next meal will come from.
If it will materialize at all.
And yet, many of these are starving people pray...seek...listen...answer...thank Him daily .
How great is that faith?
And how can we not do everything in our power to help them find that sustenance?


This picture I snapped at the Women of Faith conference in September
says in one sentence exactly how I was feeling last week.





{Thanks for reading.
Have a blessed &  full day.}

Daily Mundane #20 - Lessons in Food, Part I

(Spoiler alert:  This post has it ALL!  Intrigue, discovery, danger, daily mundane, autumn's season of change and the introduction of a new. best. friend.  Read on if you think you can handle it.)


The advent of this post was formed last Monday, but I needed to let some days pass before addressing it.  You see, I just wasn't in a position to write in an articulate and objective way regarding this topic.  
Where do I begin?
Hmmm...perhaps the background.

It all started last year with a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Kari Patterson, over at Sacred Mundane.  She was describing a book called "The Plan" which had been recommended to her mother as she fought and dealt with the ramifications of Parkinson's.  Kari committed to following the plan in support of her mom.
I was intrigued.

"The Plan" is a type of elimination food program. It's not a diet. More of a journey of finding which foods cause issues (such as inflammation, migraines, weight gain, foggy thinking, lethargy, etc.) and which are safe for the individual tester.  I felt that I was being called to make a change at that time, so I bought the book.
After reading it, I realized it would take an incredibly significant time commitment and searched the calendar for the appropriate 20 days that were clear for the testing phase.
My discovery?
There is never a good time.  There is always something going on.
I knew I had to just take the plunge, so I chose the requisite 20 day time period after my surgery in April...
Then promptly ignored it.
(Classic Cynthia...)

Let's skip ahead to last Monday.
I finally felt so awful in my earthly vessel that I was left with no choice but to move forward.
I started the three day cleanse.
(Now, don't freak out here.  I don't subscribe to wonky, deprivation diets.  This was not extreme as we think of extreme.)  
I ate three meals and one snack that day.  
It's just that the fare was very different than what I am used to.  
Translation?  Grown only from the ground.

One hour in, I had decided this was a terrible idea.
One day later, I knew I was in danger.
In danger of either losing my mind or committing "Plan" heresy by robbing my pantry of all salty snacks...better yet, someone just give me a piece. of meat. Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
Five days later, I felt clear.
Cleansed.
More energetic.
The vestiges of health returning daily little by little.
(Just don't ask about my daily 3:30PM crash.  I've almost got it figured out.  Sigh...)

Anyway, today, 8 days later, I am almost completely adjusted and actually craving some of the food I have been preparing.
Now, if I never had to see another piece of lettuce - radicchio, kale, baby romaine or otherwise - I would probably be a very happy woman.
But, truly, the food is really good, and I am getting used to my new daily mundane of preparing each meal.  
(Interpretation:  Chopping, dicing, grating and paring ALL DAY LONG.)

So in honor of this renewed sense of enjoying God's bountiful goodness "from farm to table," I'd like to share my favorite recipe so far. 
This is a lovely seasonal offering - it just feels like Autumn.
The best news is that it's really easy on the wallet.
After all, you can buy approximately 300 carrots for a buck and a half, so even those of you adhering to a budget can partake.

But before I hammer out the recipe, I want to introduce you to my new. best. friend.
Truly I couldn't have gotten through the last week without this friend by my side, taking care of most of the prep work for me.
Without further ado....


Introducing...the Zyliss vegetable peeler!

Making her God's Daily Message for the Dense debut...

(I hope I haven't embarassed her!  I just don't know what I would have done without her the past week!)



She blew through this stack of carrots in about 6 minutes.  Formidable, I tell ya'!

CARROT GINGER SOUP

1 1/2 lbs. carrots
1 zucchini
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
Raw ginger, peeled and minced, to taste
Cinnamon, cumin, onion powder to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 quart water

Chop veggies and simmer with spices in water (for thicker soup, use 1/2 quart of water) until soft.  Puree in blender or food processor.  Makes 6-8 servings

(My notes:  I omitted the onion powder.  And before eating a singular bowl, I add a few Tbsp coconut milk.  It's also great with goat cheese sprinkles on top for those of you who would like to add some protein!)

Please enjoy and feel free to share this beautiful Carrot Ginger Soup recipe.
It's easy on the tummy and, depending on how you season it, has a sweetness with a kick that I've really enjoyed!
Buon Appetito!!



Recipe credit:  Lyn-Genet Recitas, The Plan



{Told you this post had it all!
Thanks for reading!}


Monday, October 20, 2014

Daily Mundane #19 - Be Still & Know, Part II

[You may wanna catch up on Part I of this post before moving on...]

I'm a tactile kind of gal...
Also an auditory one...
Okay, visual too.
In other words, I'm most in tune - and have quietness of heart - when I'm guided by my senses.

For me, being still may mean lots of different things.
It may mean walking briskly by the bay, sun shining warmly on my back.
Here, the visual of the water calms my runaway brain.

It may mean listening to music; music that evokes melancholy or profound joy; 
is haunting or lilting in tone.
Here, the sound of the piano, violin, or mournful sax can quiet my anxiety.

It may mean burrowing down in the folds of my favorite blanket, curled into "my" spot...
my new chair by the window...
or on the chaise lounge in the dim of the family room.
The softness and warmth of the coverlet literally eases away my worry.
(I kinda feel like a dog with one of those Thundershirt anxiety sweaters on with this one!)

I need one or more of these elements to find quiet.
Find peace.
Find Him.

For the past few days, the song "Give Me Jesus" has been echoing in my head, 
this auditory prompt causing me to listen...be quiet and discern the message.
I realized this morning that it was all right there, His directive for me.
I spend SO. MUCH. TIME. trying to figure out my schedule...
My priorities...
My potential...
That I ignore this simple fact....
I am not my world.
He is my world...He is the entire world.  

"In the morning when I rise; in the morning when I rise; in the morning when I rise,
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus...give me Jesus...
You can have all this world.
Give me Jesus."

I sang this song multiple times while holding Daddy's hand in hospice two years ago; blessing his earthly vessel, all while trying to let him go from this world into the next.  
The song was for him.
But it was really for me.
It eased my ache, that melody.
It quieted my heart.
It does the same today.

The message?  
With Jesus, anything is bearable.
Any death...of a loved one or a dream.
Any challenge...both today and tomorrow.
Any frenzied schedule...both self-made or circumstantial.  
(And let's face it, most of them are self-made.)
Jesus is the balm that soothes the soul.

So for now, at 10:14AM on October 20th, rather than frantically going through my calendar, worrying over where I'm going to fit this or that into my schedule...
How I'm ever going to achieve "X"...
How I'm going to survive the upcoming crazy months...
I will know that NONE OF IT matters without His grace.
So I will sit for a few minutes, being still...
Breathing deep...
Feeling Him.
And knowing that all is well..all is blessed...in the quiet of Him.




{Thanks for sticking around for Part II.
Oh, that every answer should be this comforting.
Have a blessed, quiet day.}




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Daily Mundane #18 - Be Still & Know, Part I


Truth?
There ain't no bein' still and knowin' over here lately.
You kinda gotta actually be still before you can know, you know?
And the way things have been raining down upon us as a family and on me personally with all of my projects, there hasn't been a big opportunity to "be still" in any capacity.

It's all good though.
Uh, not in a 2001 type of "it's all good, homey" kind of way.
It. really. is. good.

Good.
Blessed.
Abundant.
Supported.
Encouraged.

It's all good.
Only...
It's just incredibly overwhelming...
Difficult to navigate...
And definitely close to impossible to keep organized all on my own.

Do you ever feel as though God has infinitely more faith in you than you have in you?

Three years ago, I made it a kind of mission to begin saying "no" to things.
(Well, not so  much of a mission as having to say "no" because I couldn't even get out of bed due to being in the pit, but...
Let's face it, the other sounds so much more civilized.)
And when I think back to that time and my extreme limitations, I can honestly reflect on today, with it's countless commitments and tasks, and know that I'm going to be okay...
As long as I let Him lead the way.

Even still, with God at the helm, what's a girl to do when there's simply too much for one person to handle on her own?!?




{Stay tuned tomorrow for the answer.  
Hope I have it by then!
Thanks for reading!}





Friday, October 17, 2014

Daily Mundane #17 - Low Stress Mornings

I seriously could not be getting ANY MORE MUNDANE right now.
Nor is this a God-lesson per se.
But I have learned a regular lesson this week.
Or at least one that He wants to me absorb, not just in my own life, but across the board in every area of my journey with Him.
Allow to me to lay the foundation...

My son is just the greatest kid.
I really mean that from the very bottom of my heart.
He's kind and caring...empathetic and loving.
It's only...well, he is a GIANT procrastinator!
(What is it that they say about our faults being the ones we most despise in our children?  Oy...)

Anyway, after a rocky start to the beginning of high school...
One with showers that lasted waaaayyyyyy too long...
(ESPECIALLY IN A DROUGHT!!!!!!!!)
Beyond the timer we set...
Beyond the pounding on doors and screaming for him to get out...
(Wouldn't you want to wake up like this each morning?!?  Good times...)
Beyond the thinly veiled threats and possible need for blood pressure medication...
I decided I was done.
Finished.
Kaput.

So I changed my approach.

I wish I could say that the change came in the form of a burning bush or a parting of our nearby Los Alamitos Bay.
But really, it came from the deepest part of me that simply hated the way I was starting each day.
With stress instead of peace.
Yelling intimidation instead of softly speaking live-giving words.
Heart palpitations versus a resting heart rate.
And I didn't even plan the change.
It just so happened that I had finished - in record time, I might add - everything I usually do to help prepare Brae for school.
So I sat down and started writing.

This 31 Day challenge has presented me with more benefits than I know I'm putting out!

The time kind of got away from me and I said to Braden, "We need to leave in 5!"
This time I sang it rather than screamed it...only because I was in a great mood from getting so much done by 7:20AM!
He was rushing around...shuffling those giant bare feet around the house...brushing his teeth while packing his main lunch course (a new do-it-yourself item I had assigned him only that morning...I'm easing him into more and more of his own prep as a final effort to self-care)...and there I sat, hammering away at the keyboard.

We left almost 10 minutes late.
He was kind of a wreck as he said, "Mom, I'm so sorry we're late."
I simply replied, "Thanks but I'm okay.  I'm not the one who will have to go get a late slip."
He just looked at me as he dashed toward his entry gate.
(Important note: He never dashes.)
I waved a cheerful goodbye, stuck in terrible "late family" traffic, but not minding a whit because my mood was still intact as I got lost in my mental creative list for the day.

It wasn't until I arrived at home that I took note of what had happened.
I've managed the last three out of five days the very same way and my mornings are so much more peaceful and productive.
I think he's finally cluing in to the fact that I'm not going to pick up his slack, yet neither am I going to guilt him into rushing.
I think I've finally realized things will not change as long as I am not leaving the responsibility for his life in his lap...as long as I continue to try and control everything around me.

You may be reading this today and not be able to relate in the way of morning child stresses.
Maybe you don't have kids - or may be the ones you've got are out of the nest.
Maybe you have a baby or a toddler and haven't experienced this situation yet.
Or maybe you have one, like my daughter, who was organized and compliant, for whom this was no issue.
But maybe you have something that gets your blood boiling in the morning (or the evening!)...
Something that you get wrapped up in and can't let go of....
Something that keeps you awake at night and that keeps you popping the Levatol.
If you do, may I encourage you today?

Change directions on it.
Change your focus to peace instead of stress.
Change your focus to life instead of heartbreak.
Change your focus from your feelings to His beckoning.
It may just seep in when you least expect it.



{Two blog pasts this morning, 
starting one before I took the boy to school 
& finishing by 10:45AM...
along with doing dishes, 
preparing for a meeting 
and doing four loads of laundry.  
Yeah, I'm kinda liking this new practice!
Thanks for reading.}






Daily Mundane #16 - The Words I Didn't Say (well, Didn't Write...)

I've decided that since my Thursdays are beyond crazy (cray-cray, as my son would jokingly say), that for the duration of this 31 day challenge, rather than an originally conceived post about that day's message or experiences, I will post song lyrics that have spoken to me during my big, fat commute.  And let's face it...you truly can't really get more daily mundane than Southern California traffic!  

Thankfully, though, I have The Fish to keep me company to Corona and back.  And though I'm often just distractedly singing along to whatever is playing, more often than not, my brain wakes up from the highway hypnosis that has rocked it to sleep.  Then I truly tune in to the lesson trying to connect through my synapses.  Here was yesterday's message...a Word that came to me on the way home after six successive classes and a student meeting.  

I hope this serves to fill up your day and your soul as my music classes do for me every Thursday!

Recording artists:  Sidewalk Prophets
Title:  The Words I Would Say
Album:  These Simple Truths


"Three in the morning, and I'm still awake 
So I picked up a pen and a page. 
And I started writing just what I'd say 
If we were face to face. 
I'd tell you just what you mean to me. 
Tell you these simple truths... 

Chorus 
Be strong in the Lord... 
And never give up hope... 
You're gonna do great things 
I already know.  

God's got His hand on You, 
So don't live life in fear. 
Forgive and forget 
But don't forget why you're here, 
Take your time and pray... 
These are the words I would say. 

(This was where my brain started to awaken...)

Last time we spoke, you said you were hurting 
And I felt your pain in my heart, 
I want to tell you that I keep on praying 
Love will find you where you are. 
I know 'cause I've already been there. 
So please hear these simple truths... 

Chorus 

Say from one simple life to another 
I will say come find peace in the Father. 


Be strong in the Lord... 
And never give up hope... 
You're gonna do great things 
I already know.  

God's got His hand on You, 
So don't live life in fear. 
Forgive and forget 
But don't forget why you're here, 
Take your time and pray... 
These are the words I would say. 





{Thanks for reading.}