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Going with the flow.

Going with the flow…a phrase you don’t often hear me say. And until 20 or so years ago, it was a totally foreign concept to me.

Going with the flow evokes a kind of spontaneity I’m totally unfamiliar with because I’m more of an orderly, scheduled person. The idea of flying by the seat of my pants, without a plan is both mystifying and at times uncomfortable to me.

But a few decades ago, it was lovingly brought to my attention that though being orderly and scheduled can be very good qualities, they can also be confining. They can stop the creative flow. And they can definitely get in the way of a spontaneous adventure.

Change has come.

I haven’t changed overnight, but I certainly have changed over the years and have come to embrace a bit of spur-of-the-moment fun. It doesn’t always come naturally or easily, but I find myself more and more willing to go with the flow of whatever is happening and enjoy the moment.

And just to prove how much I’ve transformed, I’m going to share something with you. Take a look at the two pics below. I’m not sure if you can figure out what’s going on but here’s the back story.

Last week, Greg and I spent the day with Kate. Greg’s plan was to paint Callan’s bedroom and mine was just to hang with our daughter. Knowing we would arrive at her house before she did, I came prepared to take a walk by bringing my exercise clothes: shorts, lightweight tee shirt, sports bra, and unders.

There was just one problem.

While changing into those exercise clothes, I discovered I had brought two unders and no sports bra. What a predicament. I really wanted to get my walk in and no matter how many times I looked through my bag, the sports bra was not to be found.

But since I’m much more able to go with the flow at this point in my life, I got inventive. And if you look again at the two pics, you’ll notice what I did: I turned one of the unders into a makeshift bra!

Once I felt fully covered and prepared, off I went, not at all self-conscious at all and actually feeling pretty good about myself and my great invention.

There’s nothing to worry about.

Really, don’t worry. I’m not going to let this become a regular thing or part of my walking routine. And it’s definitely not a new fashion trend I will be embracing. It was simply me being quick-minded and carefree enough to be able to take my walk.

And to that end, I’m claiming this verse from Exodus 35:35:

The Lord has given them (me) special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.

I think the verse really fits, too. After all…my unders were blue, somewhat woven, and I designed a new use for them!

I’m just having fun with all this.

It was just a silly situation that I made the best of. I was actually proud of myself for not giving up. I easily could have stayed inside Kate’s nice, cool house playing games on my iPad. But I was willing to think outside of the box, perhaps look a little unusual, and go with the flow to accomplish my goal.

How about you? Do you have any go with the flow stories you want to share?

Love you all, Mimi

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Does God want our kids mowing the lawn? A guest post from Jason Wright.

A friend recently shared this story with me and it’s a good one. Of course, I’m now sharing it with you. Please use this LINK, then skip over the FoxNews flash headlines and get right into the article that follows.

The author, Jason Wright, is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist, and speaker. He’s written lots of books and is a popular speaker. Some of his topics include inspiration, faith, and the lost art of letter writing. Want to know more? Just click HERE.

Let me know what you think about today’s post. I bet you’ll agree with me that this story reminds us some very important truths.

Mimi

I’m proud to be an American!

In just a few days the nation will be celebrating the anniversary of our independence. I thought it fitting that I share Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA. It’s just one of those songs that brings you to your feet in joyous acclamation for the freedoms we enjoy every day in this great land. Feel free to turn up the volume and sing along!

Happy(?) Father’s Day

How did you spend Father’s Day yesterday?

I’m sure many had special get-togethers to honor their dads. For me, I typically get to spend the day with my dad because we only live a few miles apart. But this year, we got to enjoy the day with my brother Rich and his family as well while on a little vacay in New York. Since Rich rarely gets to spend Father’s Day with our dad, this was very special indeed.

But while Father’s Day for many is a fun-filled day or activities or appreciation, I’m also certain some dads and their kids are separated by miles so cards and phone calls have to do. And I’m equally sure there are many households without any celebrations or remembrances at all simply because there isn’t a dad present due to death, divorce, or abandonment.

We all have a heavenly Father.

If you are one of those without a dad to honor, there is good, good news. Because you still have a wonderful Father who loves you beyond words.

Don’t believe me? Well, read the following excerpts from a crosswalk.com article by Cindi McMenamin entitled 10 Ways God is the Perfect Father (in Case Yours Wasn’t). You can CLICK HERE to read the entire article on Crosswalk.

You will never have to earn his love:  You may have felt that you had to earn your father’s love and respect by accomplishing great things to make him proud of you. God is not a father like that. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

He has your very best in mind:  It’s natural for humans to be selfish and consider themselves before anyone else. So, if you had a dad who was unselfish and willing to sacrifice his own comfort for yours, you had a gift – a glimpse of what Your Heavenly Father is like. Scripture tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” ( Romans 8:32).

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus said: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” God not only has the ability to give you anything you desire (as long as it’s good for you), He also knows your situation down the road and what will be best for you in the long run, as well as eternally.

He knows you intimately:  It is one of the deepest needs of the human race. To be intimately known. Yet sometimes we hide who we really are out of fear of rejection or that someone may lose interest in us when they discover what we are really like, warts and all. Scripture says your Heavenly Father knows you intimately.

In Psalm 139, David said, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3). God knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them, and your actions before you carry them out. And with all that intimate knowledge of you, He continues to love you like the perfect Father.

Parting thoughts…

If you found yourself a little down yesterday because your own dad has passed away, I hope you were able to savor sweet memories. But if you don’t have a dad due to something else, my prayer is that you’ll be able to delight in knowing you have an absolutely amazing Heavenly Father who holds you in the palm of His hands and who loves you beyond measure.

Mimi

Fun in Safety Harbor along with a “Happy Birthday” to Linda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow is a very special day. Two of my precious loved ones share a birthday: daughter Kate and sister-in-law Linda.

In celebration of Linda’s birthday, the hubster and I drove to St. Pete this past weekend where she and her hubby (Greg’s brother) have a winter residence. And part of our fun time together was spent in beautiful Safety Harbor.

This sweet little community sits right on the water. It hosts a giant oak tree estimated to be 300-500 years old as well as a very beautiful water feature. If you zoom in, you’ll see several large Florida water birds made of metal. It’s really something in person!

Walking past the fountain, we encountered a fishing pier where we watched a cormorant (snake fish) wrangling a fish for an afternoon snack.

And it got even better…

…because after our walking tour of charming Safety Harbor, we found a nearby Dairy Queen and enjoyed some of their yummy blizzards!

And this was one of those times where I didn’t think at all about carbs, sugar, calories, or the fact that it was close to supper time. Instead, I just went with it and thoroughly enjoyed my DQ visit.

Family is everything.

The older I get, the more I appreciate family time. Jim and Linda live most of the year in Ohio, so while they are here in Florida, we plan on taking full advantage of spending as much time with them as possible.

Even though Safety Harbor and Dairy Queen were great fun, it really isn’t about what we do as a family; instead it’s about who we do it with. Time with Jim and Linda is a joy. It’s a God-gift of love to us both. And it’s always a reminder of how blessed we are to be able to see each other as often as we do.

So, happy birthday sweet Sis. We sure do love you.

Mimi

p.s. As an added bonus (and surprise to Greg and me) Uncle Jim called up our Kate and invited her and the family to meet in Tampa for a fun-filled Fossil Fest. So that’s the whole gang in the photo above.

Happy 40th to my first born.

This week I’m writing my story on Sunday because today is my son’s 40th birthday. We got to spend a wonderful weekend with him and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness to God for this precious gift to Greg and I. So, I thought I’d share a little about him with you.

Tim made me a mom.

Tim came along when I was 25. I thought I remembered how I felt during his pregnancy and birth, but after finding my handwritten journal notes from that time, I realize my memory had faded quite a bit.

Tim was our first. My only childcare experience came from having a much younger brother and doing a little babysitting as a teenager. So, I guess I felt ready and prepared. After all, back in those days, you took classes in “prepared childbirth.” Since I took the classes, I must have been ready. But it turns out I wasn’t at all prepared.

One journal entry a month before his birth mentions we had a crib and one or two onesies but that was it. There hadn’t yet been a baby shower and I hadn’t bought anything else including diapers. My notes mention wanting to meet this little one (didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl in those days until out they came!), but they also mentioned we weren’t exactly set up for the new arrival.

And once he did arrive, the notes talk about being depressed and feeling inadequate. My heart aches for the 1979 me. I can’t remember how it was, but it must have been lonely. I know I was thoroughly in love with my new baby, but I also read about how much of a failure I felt.

Thankfully, the depression lifted and Greg and I fell into our new parental roles with great, great joy.

About Tim

Timmy, as we called him, was adventurous, fun-loving, a sweet friend and protector to his little sister, and a delight. He had his own sense of style and on any given day his over the knee sox were either pulled completely up or rolled perfectly down to his ankles.

As a man, he takes amazing care of his family, loves them fiercely, continues to enjoy a great sense of style (though his knee sox gave way to black no-see-um ones), thrives on workouts at the gym, probably knows the songs to every Disney movie as his own little princesses watch them over and over again, and all in all makes this mama very proud.

Don’t blink.

Really, don’t blink. The growing up years are so hard at times. You want to do everything right but often do it all wrong. As a mom, you lament your mistakes and hope and pray your kids will forgive you and turn out ok. Sometimes you wish ahead, wondering what they will be like in their teens or 20s. You imagine them finding a special someone to love, having a great job they like, and then having children of their own. But if you do too much of that, you can miss the special every day moments that are precious gifts from God.

So, to other young parents, be careful about wishing time away. Treasure “the now” each day. Love hard on your kids. Forgive yourself, knowing your kids have a great capacity to forgive, too. Enjoy their sticky hands and artwork…even on the walls. Be understanding and sympathetic. Enjoy silly times with them dancing like no one’s watching, telling stories in bed at night or making shadow shapes on the ceiling.

Go to their ball games and listen to them make music, even when they choose drums and play loudly! Smile at first dates and give plenty of limits when they learn to drive. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and have high expectations. But don’t let those expectations keep you from enjoying the smaller successes along the way.

There are no do-overs.

This mother, at times, wishes she could have raised her kids with the knowledge and experience she now possesses. But there are no do-overs…until you have grandkids. Then you have that opportunity to shower all your “I-love-you-no-matter-what” kind of love on them and on your adult kids as they navigate parenting.

Tim is one of my great joys in life and I’m cherishing the opportunity to spend his 40th birthday weekend with him. To hear about one of my other great joys, stay tuned…because my No. 2 turns 40 next year!

Love to all,

Mimi

The big 4-0 has arrived.

Well, the first 40th birthday has nearly arrived. Son-in-law Chris turns 40 on Tuesday and son Tim will follow two weeks later.

So far, I think Chris is enjoying the celebration.

This weekend he got to play paintball and have an evening on the town. Then his parents took he and his twin (along with their families) to dinner.

And on Sunday, his boys presented their gifts. Each had made something for him. Callan went to a ceramic studio and painted a football helmet in Florida Gator colors and Konnor created a broken-glass picture frame. Using a hammer (which was a HUGE hit…pun intended), he smashed up some colored glass tile, then glued the pieces on the frame. A little grout, and a carefully chosen picture and voila! A gift for his dad.

Best of all…

But most fun for the boys was planning a treasure hunt for their dad so he could find his goodies. They wrapped and hid their gifts along with ours around the house, then wrote clues for Chris to follow. Both boys were proud not only of their gifts but in the enjoyable time they created for their Dad in finding his gifts.

Chris came into our family in 2003. And though I call him my son-in-law, long ago my heart welcomed him as another son. Our family wouldn’t be complete without him!

Happy 40th Chris. We sure do love you. Here’s to a wonderful, wonderful year.

Mimi