Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Hope Tree...

A couple of weeks before this past Christmas Day, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were leaving TLC’s casa one afternoon and decided to stop at Market Street for a few grocery items. MSH LOVES this grocery store. With all of his heart. (We don’t have one in our little country town—or Granbury—or Weatherford—or even Ft. Worth.) As we parked close to a tree, he noticed an acorn/pod on the ground near his truck. He reached down to pick it up while saying to me: Wouldn’t it be cool if we got this pod to take root? Always the one to enjoy a good experiment, I agreed it would be interesting! So he did. Pick it up.

When we got home that afternoon, MSH found a Styrofoam cup, punched a small hole in the bottom, and placed the pod in the cup, with dirt from our garden. He then put the cup into a coffee mug and set it in a corner of our kitchen. He thought it should be a dark-ish corner. We gave it water every few days—and began our quest to see growth.

At the beginning of this New Year, we moved the cup to our kitchen island. At this location, it’d get some filtered light. We waited. Nothing happened. In the middle of January, I moved it to my utility room window. Here it would get the late afternoon sun. Not too much, as we have an arbor on our back patio that prevents the hot, hot sunlight from getting to the back of our casa. We waited.

Three weeks ago, as I took the cup down from the windowsill to give it some water, I prayed this prayer:

Dear God Almighty,

We could use a sign of optimism. Hope. We could use an event that would restore our faith in small miracles. And I would love for my Nana Leighton to signal me she’s here—with me. That she knows my struggles and will help me to be strong. PLEASE let this pod/acorn grow in this cup. PLEASE.

In Your Son Jesus’ Name, I pray.

Amen.

On January 30th, I was taking a load of laundry out of the washer and putting it in the dryer when I realized the cup might need a bit of water. MSH had talked about the fact that our experiment was, more than likely, not going to work. As I picked the cup up, my heart SOARED with complete and utter JOY. There was a sprout! A precious, sweet, teeny, tiny sprout!



I went running into the kitchen to show MSH. He beamed from ear to ear! I then told him about my prayer. We almost cried.

Here are two more pictures of our future tree. The third I took late this morning. Now we’re not exactly sure what to do! We have decided we’ll give this little “Hope” tree to Little Leighton and Baby Elle. To plant in their backyard. Since it is from their “home” town.





I challenge each of Y’all to plan an experiment in the next few weeks! Attempt to grow something marvelous. Or see if you can encourage someone without them knowing who is behind the gesture. Have faith. Ask for God’s help. BELIEVE.

I pray Y’all have a FANTASTIC week, wherever in the World you are…

ta-ta for now…

p.s.: My Nana Leighton was a very gifted Gardener. She loved to grow things and sincerely possessed a “Green Thumb.” Pansies were her most favourite flower. She also had several African violets she was nurturing at all times. Then there’s her granddaughter—moi. My thumb? Hmmm. It’s kind of pale green. I never cared about gardening until I hit my 40s. I have some specialties I can grow—I guess. Periwinkles. Begonias. Ivy. Caladiums. I cannot, for the life of me, grow a petunia. No how/no way. Because I’ve lost money—over the years—when I try out new flowers, I’ve become unadventurous in my plantings. Also, the EVIL armadillos we have here in Texas and, specifically, at our casa, prevent me from planting flowers in the actual ground of our garden. I have to keep my efforts contained in pots. I positively, absolutely believe My Nana smiled and maybe got a teeny tear in her eye when she saw I’d discovered the new sprout. I believe she’s My Guardian Angel and I hope she’s proud of me. I couldn’t have survived what was my childhood and teen years without My Nana. Truly.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

i know...i know...here's my one post per month...i'm sorry, ELC!

So, bless ELC's heart. I sincerely have the most amazing Mom. She truly has taken care of our blog virtually by herself for MONTHS. This pregnancy has been a doozy. I probably would have said that about my pregnancy with Little Leighton--but this time: wow. I seriously mean it. I have several more weeks to go and cannot imagine how this little baby has any more room in there to grow. I'm plagued with restless sleep, crazy muscle aches and general discomfort. I moan and groan. I literally caught Little Leighton  (LL) doing the same things the other day when she was getting down from our couch. Oops. My pain tolerance is what one might consider insanely low. When I was in labor with LL, and not even dilated, my famous line, while impatiently waiting for the epidural to kick in, was: "I. Am. Over. This." (Said not so kindly.)

I feel more prepared this time. At least, I think I do. The nursery is finished, and I couldn't be more pleased with the little "gallery wall" I assembled over her changing table:


Several of the pictures were used in LL's nursery (and before that--MY nursery!). ELC and I found the "Though She Be But Little" picture at a cute store downtown, as well as the "Sid Dickens" block of the sweet baby. I ordered the embroidery hoop from Etsy (what did we do before Etsy? and Pinterest?). I've washed and washed and soaked, in Oxiclean (no matter how clean the tiny clothes from your first baby are when you pack them away, they inevitably yellow; however, Oxiclean is magic!), and washed again all the jammies, socks, blankets and burp cloths. Really--the only jobs I have left to do are packing our hospital bags, installing the monitor and sanitizing bottles, pump parts and pacifiers. I'm in good shape, right? I do have a sleep book I should be reading when I'm not sleeping. Sheesh.

We are all getting genuinely excited for Baby Elle's arrival! And maybe a smidge nervous. LL keeps asking what we think she'll look like. I can't wait to see. I'm betting we might have a LL twin.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Simple Remedy...

From Jesus Calling

February 3, 2016

I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone—nothing. When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts when today’s is set before you! Receive today’s gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me.

Romans 8:31; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Genesis 16:13-14 AMP

TLC and I needed this today. We need Jesus Christ Our Savior every day. Sometimes we’re, sadly, guilty of putting him on the back burner. On those (too many) days, we try to remind each other to pick up our Jesus Calling and read it. Think about it. Feel it. Trust Him.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, Sweet Friends...

Friday, January 29, 2016

ZOOM

It’s Friday. Woo Hoo! Yes, perhaps, when you’re retired, every day of the week is Friday. I guess. Yet, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I still celebrate it! We also LOVE Saturdays. And Sundays. (Not so much Mondays…old habits die hard…)

Here is what MSH and I don’t like:

How FAST time is ZOOMING by.

We both remember being young—little kids—adolescents—even high schoolers—and thinking some days/weekends/Summers would never, ever, EVER end. Of course, that was back when you had to find things to do to entertain yourself. No computers. Cell phones. Apps. Play Stations. 200 Channels on televisions. DVRs. Once your chores were done—or school was out—or you were home from a babysitting job or a job working at the pharmarcy/grill--you had to ask permission to goof off. Reading was ALWAYS big for me. Playing with friends in the neighborhood (up until the Junior High years...then it was all about finding a ride to a friend's house if you didn't have a car and couldn't use your Mom's...). Watching TV (while arguing with siblings about what you wanted to watch). Remember: That was when we had three channels. Four counting PBS. (Frankly, there wasn’t much on PBS that adolescents and/or teenagers liked…just sayin’…)

College—for me—often went by fairly slowly, too. Less than high school. More than the reality of working at a full-time-job after graduation. (MSH was married, the first time, at 19, and had three of his five children—BAM, BAM, BAM—by the time he was 25. He went to college and worked three jobs to make ends meet. I feel confident his college days flew by faster than mine.)

I married MSH at the age of 24. He was 34. I worked a full-time—often stressful—job and we had his four boys at our home nearly every weekend. Sometimes during the week. (Eventually, three of them would move in with us permanently.)

When I had TLC—at 30—and became a (for twelve years) stay-at-home Mom, I remember thinking she was growing and changing at a high rate of unwelcome speed. I didn’t much like it.

High school graduations—college graduations—wedding days—for all of our children—disappeared before we could even grasp what was happening. Grandchildren. Church activities. Work/Jobs. Social activities. Came and went at warp speed.

At Little Leighton’s (LL) birthday party last Summer, I couldn’t believe she was three. Already. She’s going to be a big sister and FOUR tomorrow. (Not literally. You get where I’m going with all of this. Both will happen before I'm completely prepared.)

I don’t like time ZOOMING by. Not even an itsy-bitsy bit. Not even on days when I’m in pain. Or I’m discouraged. Or I’m tired. I don’t embrace this aspect of our golden-age years. Honestly, I hear people of ALL ages talking about the passage of time. Children should never feel that unpleasant crunch. Never. IMHO.

Here is something that is a constant reminder of how fast time flies:


My medication container. I just filled this one a few minutes ago. That's what it feels like. At the most, it feels like I messed with that yesterday. Now it’s about to be empty again. I swear I can NEVER wrap my mind around the fact that it’s time to do this job again. (Most of what I take is OTC. Vitamins. Supplements. Allegra. Ibuprofen. Actually, for someone nearly 62, I’m proud to report I only take two prescription pills on a daily basis. And both of those aren't even in this box! MSH, who's getting close to 72 and who’s had two heart attacks, only takes three prescriptions. Not too shabby. We do feel lucky. We feel quite fortunate.)

I must scoot. Time (there's that evil word...) to fill up this ding-dang-dadgum box. So it can make me feel horrible/awful/scared in seven days. Because I won’t believe I must repeat this chore. Sheesh. (Picture my eyes slowly filling up with tears...Sigh...I'm serious, Friends...)

Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in the World Y’all are!

(Please don’t blink. It’ll be Monday before you know it…)