Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good Manners: Not Just A Southern Thing

I was raised by a very gracious Southern lady who insisted my brother and I practice good manners. Not snobby manners of the upper class elite! Just good common sense of treating others with kindness. So...yesterday I pulled up to a gas pump at the local QT which was incredibly busy for mid afternoon on Tuesday. Well, the pump I was heading for had one of those plastic bags on the handle, no gas there. I immediately tried to back up to the pump beside this one but....a pick up truck pulled up and "beat me to it".  Exasperated, I pulled away in search of a free pump with gas. I cruised the pumps, only to return to the pump where the pick up truck parked. But the driver was not pumping gas. Rather, he was waiting in his truck and waving me back to the pump. This kind man had realized he had sort of bumped me and was patiently waiting, actually holding a space for me at the working pump, until I came back around. I gratefully waved, pulled up and hurriedly pumped my gas. The pick up man searched for an open pump elsewhere. Once I had calmed down, I was so blessed by the pick up man's kind gesture, I drove around and found him. He looked up as I approached and.......the pick up man was one of my cousins!!! He held the spot for me as a stranger, he did not know it was me, and I didn't know it was him when I sought him out to thank him. But I know who raised him! His parents instilled manners in him too! What a great end to a hectic afternoon of errand running! Thank you God for those who continue to put others' needs above their own. Thank you Cuz!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Captive Audience

John Maxwell, Christian motivator and author teaches "Talent in Never Enough". His book of this title helped me to focus on what I've been told is my natural talent, writing. This week, I had a positive experience that came about because of my writing.

My daddy passed away NOV 28, 2008, the Friday after Thanksgiving. During a seven week illness, he spent 12 nights in the local hospital, Wellstar Kennestone. In OCT 2009, I wrote a letter to the hospital to compliment a particular nurse for his sincere and caring efforts of Daddy and our family. That letter led to the nurse being recognized by Wellstar twice. A year later, Wellstar contacted me about reading the letter I wrote during a leadership conference for Wellstar leaders. So, I read the letter, with additional personal comments, to a group of 600 Wellstar leaders and received a standing ovation. I was so shocked and blessed by the warm response. If you know me, you know I love to talk and having a captive audience was divine! I believe my writing should encourage others and feel I did this with my presentation. I also paid tribute to Daddy. Wellstar has since asked for permission to show the video to others throughout the company. I am so honored! This is just further confirmation I am "called" to write. And if speaking opportunities are a side benefit, I'm ready!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our first grandchild has arrived.

Last night, Sunday, Januar 9, 2011, around 9:30 p.m., snow began falling, heavily. We were expecting it and were well prepared for power outage and no water.  We awakened to the phone ringing at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, our son telling us they were headed to the hospital. Because of the weather they changed plans and headed to the local medical center rather than the hospital their doctors practice from.

We arrived about 7:30 a.m. and waited until our first grandchild arrived about 3:45 p.m. Mother and baby fine. We held him and took some pics, then hurriedly left for home before the roads became impassable with icy conditions.

Praise God for He has given!!! To God be the Glory, great things He has done.

Our lives radically changed today. My prayer is that I will be as patient and loving as my grandmother was with me and I will impact my grandchild in positive ways as my mother and mother-in-law have our sons.

God bless,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day, 2011: A Point of Reflection

It's true, the older you get the faster time flies! This year, I've made a conscious decision to experience New Year's Eve and Day with a more positive outlook. So far it's working. You see, for years, I would get into this funk, a downward spiral of emotion and regret about all the things I did wrong, all the things I should have done, all the goals I did not meet in the past year, and fear of setting new goals only to fail again.

One January many years ago, I gained 20 pounds! I realized I was developing a pattern of maintaining my weight fairly well through the holidays but would pack on pounds afterward. Like most Americans, our family celebrates Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve and Day with lots of food and family gatherings. In addition, our youngest son was born on Thanksgiving Day (10 pound turkey), our wedding anniversary is DEC 4, my birthday is DEC 13, then January 24 we celebrate our oldest son's birthday. Wow! A lot of activity for any family, but for me and all of my sentimentality and motherly emotion, the 8 week time period became something I dreaded rather than looked forward to with joy.

But why? Thankfully, I heard this subject discussed on Christian radio where all of these special dates were termed  "points of reflection". Apparently my response to these annual celebrations, especially our sons' birthdays, was common. Mothers like me tend to look back and ask themselves did I do all I could have for my children? What about that scrapbook I was supposed to do by their first birthdays? Why didn't I take them to the park more?

The video taken of our first born's one year old birthday party I am crying on camera. Tears of sadness that our little boy was no longer a baby I could snuggle close but a walking and talking human being developing a mind of his own. How did that happen, and so quickly? But also tears of joy, the gratefulness of being his mother, of his healthy body and bright mind, and cute personality, not to mention his chubby legs and giant bright blue eyes.

Now our sons are 22 and 25, all grown up, and most likely having "points of reflection" of their own. My musings are more about me and Bear (DH) now than about our sons. Like did I spend enough time with my daddy after my retirement and before he died? And how can I still be over 200 pounds? Didn't I commit to lose the weight once and for all about 10 years ago? How did my Bear get to be in his mid 50's when just yesterday he was the strapping 20 year old who stole my teenage heart?

He still has my heart, 29 years later, and I still need to lose the weight. But this New Year's Day I am so thankful for so much:
my God, my salvation, my peace
 my 29 years of marriage
my widowed mother coping well
our sons, serving God with their time and talents
our daughter-in-law, who loves us and is delivering our Judah any day now
our financial security in spite of the great recession
my health
my home where we have raised our sons
my church where we all have our individual ministries
my very dear friends, most of 20+ years

Dear Heavenly Father, as we enter a new year, I praise you for all my many blessings! Thank you for your grace and mercy and for being the "lifter of my head". Lord I give you my fears as I face new challenges like being a grandmother, being 55, growing in You, improving my health and being the best I can be as a witness for You.

Thank you for another year with my Bear, my mother, my family and friends! I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, your son, my saviour.