Apr 30, 2012

Tape

4 comments:
There are so many things that we take for granted... conveniences that make our lives easier. The television, the remote control, the telephone, the cellular phone, toasters, coffee makers... the list goes on and on. But there is one convenience that I am especially thankful for... tape.

Just think of it... the packages it seals, the moving boxes it secures, the repairs it makes, the wounds it helps to cover, the gift it helps to wrap, and the art it creates.

However, today I want to share with you the special purpose that tape has had in our home....

She sits at the kitchen table and the paper in front of her doesn't stay blank for very long. She lifts a marker, pulls off the cap and begins the process of drawing the lines; telling a story as she moves her marker back and forth. Sometimes it's a story about colour and at other times it's a story about a friend. The story today is a story of love... the pictures she creates are for her dad, her mom, and her little sister. She is euphoric as she completes the pictures. Only she knows that it is done. To a casual onlooker, you may not know what she is creating, as this skill is still blossoming. But her mom knows; the happy face, the rabbit, the rainbow and the letters... all the details are works of love.

She stops after creating several pictures.

"Can I have some tape?" she asks.

"What for?" her mom responds.

"To hang my pictures up."

Her mom hesitates. Tape and walls tend to conflict... visions of repainting the walls goes through her head. The hesitation is quick as she sees the pride and joy in her daughter's face.

"Yes, I will get the tape for you."

The mother follows her daughter around the living room and kitchen. She watches as her daughter deliberately selects places to display her art.

"There." her daughter announces. "Our house looks so beautiful now!"

"Yes... it does." responds the mother.

Tape is often used to enclose or repair... but in this moment it was so much more. Today tape helped to strengthen and build. It strengthened the relationship between a mother and daughter and it built a four-year-old's self-esteem beyond what anyone could ever imagine.

Today I am thankful for tape.



A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for inviting me to participate in this blog posting link-up.

  
 
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Apr 27, 2012

{this moment: basket of baby}

6 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!
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Apr 26, 2012

Holding Pattern

4 comments:
Have you ever wanted something so much but you had to wait a long time to find out if it would come to fruition? That's what I've recently been going through.

As much as I love blogging, my heart has been elsewhere. I have been consumed and embarrassed of the life challenges I have been going through. I will confess, my instincts when things aren't going too well, are that I bury my head in the sand. I avoid social contact. I avoid opening up until I eventually do and then it's a geyser that I just can't stop. In hopes that I can move forward, I've decided to share what's been on my mind....

Ever since I started my career as an Early Childhood Professional, I've had the vision of eventually being a university instructor of Early Learning in Child Care. Throughout my educational "career", I worked hard to achieve the highest marks and the best standing possible so that nothing could keep me from accomplishing this goal.

Back in July of 2011, I applied to a Masters of Early Learning & Education Program. I worked for weeks on my application. I wrote and rewrote my letter of intent. I gathered my references and I loaded my application with every academic and professional achievement that I've had in the last eighteen years. With a near-perfect grade point average and three fantastic academic references, I was confident that I would get into the program.

Then I waited and waited and waited... and waited some more.

A few weeks ago, I e-mailed the program administrator to see if any decisions had been made on the applications. The answer... she wasn't sure but she hadn't received any notification of applicants who were declined either. Then she dropped the bomb... they are struggling to make a decision over applications such as mine, as my degree is an applied degree, as opposed to a "regular" degree. 

My heart sunk.

She told me that if they choose me, I would receive an e-mail first, followed up by a formal letter in the mail. If they don't choose me, I will just receive a letter in the mail.

Why did she have to tell me this? I now check my e-mail at least fifty times a day (no exaggeration here)! When I see I have e-mail notifications, my heart jumps into my throat, but then sinks again when none of the e-mails are the one I have been waiting for.


Then there's the snail mail... I obsessively watch to see when our mail carrier comes to our door and then pounce on the mail box the minute she turns the corner. Flyers, magazines, bills... all huge annoyances when you're waiting on an important correspondence.

So it's been two weeks and I still haven't heard anything. I'm pretty sure I didn't get in because of a bureaucratic technicality. My family's future plans were hinged on this natural progression in education and career.

I keep looking to God... asking him why?! What plans trump this one?! What am I supposed to do with my life?! I feel like a petulant toddler stamping my feet and screaming, "God, give me answer TODAY so that I don't have to prolong this time of doubt and uncertainty!" I know the answers will come but right now all this waiting has been both exhausting and challenging.

Fortunately with every passing day I move closer to accepting that there's a good possibility I won't get into this program but it doesn't make the feelings I have any easier.  

So I continue in this holding pattern and await an official acknowledgement... accepted or declined. 


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Apr 25, 2012

Postcard 24

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard 24
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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.


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Apr 23, 2012

A Transformation

6 comments:
I absolutely LOVE a good deal. Really. It makes my day.

Earlier this year, I shared that I wanted to build a mud pie kitchen for my daughter. After months of thrift store shopping, I found the perfect "base" for the kitchen.


This little cart is perfectly child-sized at about 2 1/2 feet high. The wood looked worn, it had been lovingly coloured on, and was a little wobbly. At a whopping $4.99 (did I mention how much I love a good deal), I bought it and began the process of refurbishing it. My husband tightened all the screws and reinforced the legs of the cart. I painted it a lovely slate grey and white. We added plastic-coated cup hooks (to hang the utensils on) and gathered all the elements needed for a mud pie kitchen (pans, spoons, utensils, pine cones, rocks, etc.).


I absolutely love how it turned out and my four-year-old daughter loves it too! Summer, here we come!

It's amazing how something so mundane as an old piece of furniture, could be transformed into something so magical!


A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for inviting me to participate in this blog posting link-up.

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Apr 20, 2012

{this moment: sisters}

9 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!
 
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Apr 18, 2012

Postcard 23

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share is you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard #23
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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.


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Apr 16, 2012

Apple Pie And Memories

11 comments:

It's my husband's birthday on Wednesday. This past weekend we celebrated with his family and at my husband's request, I made him apple pie for dessert. I've made many apple pies before but this one was special....

I love baking. It's such a relaxing activity. I often go into a reflective state of mind. I could never be meditative while baking; my mind often drifts to memories of long ago. It pauses at happy moments, it floats through sad ones. It circles around memories of friends and family. It ebbs and flows through all the places that my hectic every day life doesn't permit me to visit.

As my hands rolled out the dough for the pie crust, my memories rolled out as well. I pushed the rolling pin and like a sea, the dough moved with my memories. My thoughts then stop to visit my paternal grandmother. A slight smile comes to my face and my eyes begin to water. Every time I bake, I have moments that I pause and think about her. A beautiful woman, full of God, who delighted in so much. Gardening, picking berries for pies, picnics, pressing flowers, singing hymns, bird watching, playing the tambourine, and baking... these are just a few of her activities which encompass some of my fondest memories of her.

As a little girl, I spent hours in her kitchen. Watching her move gracefully  from counter top, to stove, to sink, to fridge. When she baked, it was an elaborate sort of dance. Whisking, mixing, kneading, rolling... the apron around her waist could pass as a tutu and her dance partners, the wooden spoon and mixing bowl. She crafted divine recipes with ease. As she poured her batters or filled her pie crusts she hummed or sang hymns. Her kitchen was warm, full of love, and full of God.    

It seems odd to speak of the living in past tense. You see, my grandmother currently lives in a long term care facility and she has Alzheimer's. My heart aches every time I visit her. I long to sit with her, to bake with her, to talk with her, but her words are not her own. She only echos the words she hears. However, she can still sing. If you start a song, she will sing along, sometimes remembering the words before you say them. It's a beautiful gift that God has given us so that we can still connect with one another.

Tears start to run down my face. My mind goes back to the pie crust that I am pressing into the glass plate. I wish I could share my delight in baking with her. This only recently became a hobby of mine. How I wish I could ask for tips, share recipes, and stand in the kitchen with her... that I could show her my dance, the dance that I learned from her.

I also wish I could share my love of God with her. I can only imagine how much she would delight in knowing that I found my place in God's forgiving arms. Her heart was always full of God. She radiated a pure joy and love for Christ. She took joy in everything but delighted in the small things that most people would overlook... the ladybug crawling on a leaf, the bird hopping on the lawn, and the one cloud in the clear blue sky.

My mind wanders again to a summer over two years ago. My Grandma and Grandpa came out to my parent's lake lot. I was shocked at how the Alzheimer's had taken her. I hadn't seen her for almost four years and was devastated by the "loss" I felt. She parroted the words I said, but mostly she sat quietly in her chair. At the end of our visit I embraced her and said, "I love you Grandma." She looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "I love you too dear. You have a good life."

Those were the last "coherent" words I heard from her.

A smile came back to my face. I can hear her voice in my head. She's singing... "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine...."

Thank you Grandma. I am having a good life and I'm going to let my light shine... as I learned from a woman who's light shone brighter than the sun.
_ _ _



A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for inviting me to participate in this blog posting link-up.



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Apr 13, 2012

{this moment: ears}

6 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!

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Apr 12, 2012

I Quit Trying...

7 comments:
Before you stop reading because you think I'm going to whine and self-loathe... read on.

I am an introspective person. I am self-reflective almost to a fault. Some people would say that being self-reflective is a positive characteristic... that it's tough to be evaluative of oneself. However, I think there is a serious detriment to being too self-reflective; where self-reflection takes over the individual and smothers their very existence. There isn't a moment in my life when I'm not working to change some aspect or improve some area of my life.

Well, I quit. I formally give my resignation. 

The fact of the matter is, I'm awesome. No, this isn't arrogance, this is me deciding that I am awesome at being me. You... well, you are a failure at being me, but I know how to be me. At least I think I know how to be me. That's why I need to quit trying. I need to stop trying to be a better mom. I need to stop trying to be healthier. I need to stop trying to be a better wife. I need to stop trying and I need to be. I need to be still and savour the solitude and peace that comes with accepting who I am.

I am thirty-seven-years-old and I haven't taken time to enjoy who I am without trying to alter who I am. Why? Why can't I be happy being me? Why can't I rest in the fact that I am who I am... and accept that who I am is okay?

I spend so much time and energy on self-improvement strategies. I'm sure if I let go of those efforts, that I would have more time and energy to be me. I'm also pretty sure that in being me, the extra time and energy would allow me to be a healthier woman, a better mom and a better wife. 

Have you ever noticed that that worst thing about housework, is the anticipation of doing housework? Usually, when submerged in the tasks, it's not as bad as you expected it to be. Well, I liken my constant self-improvement to the dread of doing housework. I'm spending all my time primping my cleaning supplies and making a plan to tackle the chores but I never just get in there and do them.

So, I quit trying to be better and I'm going to start being me. I imagine at some point, self-improvement strategies will creep back in... as this is my nature, but hopefully by taking a break from constant change I can gain more confidence in being (and liking) me.


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Apr 11, 2012

Postcard 20

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard #20
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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.


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Apr 9, 2012

Words

3 comments:
Words. You read them. You write them. You speak them. You sing them.

They can be encouraging, devastating, enlightening or soothing.

Purposeful or not, what would we do without them? Without them, communication would be challenging... an effort beyond what I could ever imagine.

How would we thank a friend who helped out in a troubling time?

How would we teach?

How would we learn?

How would we celebrate?

How would we write a sympathy card?

How would we connect with loved ones who live miles away?

How would we praise a job well done?

How would we parent our children?

How would we express our love?

A few words can heal all emotional wounds or crush a relationship forever. As quickly as words can form a friendship, they can isolate and destroy with a swiftness beyond comprehension.

Words are in the everyday... the emails we receive, the assignments we write, the signs on the road and the directions we give.

Words are in the creative... in the music that we hear, the poems that we read, and the books that we get lost in.

Words are in governance... the laws that we follow, the politicians' platforms, the petitions we sign, the cases that are plead and the verdicts that are passed down.

Words are in our spirits... the thoughts that we think, the meditations we dwell on, the praises we sing, the sermons we hear, the Bibles we read, and the prayers that we say.

Words are the beginning and the end. From our first cry to our last goodbye. They connect us, they inspire us, they allow us to communicate what's on our hearts and minds.

Words are everywhere.

Today I will not take them for granted and I will use them with purpose. Today, I am thankful for words.

_   _   _

A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for inviting me to participate in this blog posting link-up.



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Apr 6, 2012

{this moment: bubbles}

8 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!

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Apr 4, 2012

Postcard 19

2 comments:
100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had the chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard #19
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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.
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Apr 2, 2012

The Blue Chair

3 comments:
I have a special place in my home. It's the blue chair.

You see, I regularly sit in this chair. The times are rather predictable; 10:30 pm, 2:00 am, 5:30 am, 7:30 am and miscellaneous times throughout the day. The blue chair is located in my baby's room and it's the chair that I sit in while breastfeeding her.

It's not the most comfortable chair but it is the perfect height and firmness for a breastfeeding mom.

When my first daughter was born, I tried breastfeeding her in all sorts of places. Laying down made me want to fall asleep, I could not manage in the rocking chair, the couch was too distracting for both her and me.

The blue chair filled the need perfectly.

However, the blue chair has become so much more than a supper table for my baby... it is my place.

As I settle in with my baby, I usually begin my reverie by looking down at her. I admire her perfect beauty and marvel at the miracle of her creation. Sometimes, I look around the room. I gaze at the picture of her as a newborn, I look at the crib and the white bedding that covers it. I admire the soothing, taupe paint that enrobes her room and I pause to contemplate the imperfections of the drywall and the sharp contrast between the brown of the walls and the white of the ceiling.

Then my mind begins to wander. It travels to distant places and memories old and new. I think about how much my life has changed. I may reminisce about the birth of both of my daughters... and how life was before and after their births. I think about family and happy moments together. I ponder life's celebrations, special occasions, trips and adventures.

But more recently, my mind goes to another place... a place where I meet with my saviour. A place full of peace and joy. As I sit in the blue chair, my mind goes to a thankful place, a worshipping place, a praying place. I may meditate on God's word or I may pray for the loved ones in my life. I may pray for strength, for clarity, or a miracle. I may pray for family, for friends or for a world full of people I haven't met. My words are small, my whispers don't nearly cover what I wish to express but He knows me, He knows my heart, He knows my desires.

Tears often fill my eyes in this place. Sometimes they're tears of sadness and grief but more often they are tears of humility and overwhelming gratitude that I have found a home with my Lord. A place in His house and a seat at His dinner table.

This is my place. This is my chair. This is my seat in the presence of the Lord.



A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for inviting me to participate in this blog posting link-up.





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