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A fresh start.

Recently, daughter Kate sent me a photo of a little project she completed and her caption was “Never throw away that which can be repurposed.” Immediately I could imagine our Lord saying this about us. He never gives up on us and always views us with the eyes of Someone who knows what we are becoming or what we are capable of becoming. And He sees beyond what’s currently there and looks instead on the potential to come.

Old to NewJust look at the photo. What was once a very old metal kitchen colander that most would throw away has been transformed by Kate because she saw its potential. A coat of primer followed by a fresh new topcoat and that colander has become a beautiful, purposeful planter.

We are reminded in Scripture that this is exactly what God does with His kids. He doesn’t see us as cast-offs without a future. Instead He repurposes our lives for His purposes.

Reminder from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT): This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Feeling rusty? Feeling like a has-been? Feeling a bit tossed aside and useless? Cheer up, my friend. God isn’t finished with you. And a new life has indeed begun!

Mimi

A Minor Inconvenience

jumping joyIt’s been about four weeks now since the scooter incident that resulted in a broken left arm and I have to say, while I’m a relatively good patient, I’m also relatively impatient with the healing process.

I would love to think I’m transparent enough to share photos of me doing things with one arm. But I’m not quite there yet. Instead, let me try to paint some word pictures.

The Basics

Underwear. Any men reading this can simply skip ahead to the next section.

My occupational therapist daughter shared early on that when dressing the injured limb goes in first. So while putting on most clothes went fine, I found the upper underwear a bit tricky. A standard bra wasn’t going to cut it. The answer? A sports bra. And it worked fairly well. By putting in my injured arm first, then following with the right arm, and all sorts of strange contortions and twists I am able to get the thing on and shimmied into place. Of course, at night I have to reverse everything. More bending over, twisting, and scooching arms out…you can see why I took no photos.

Hair. As you know, I have straight hair worn in a short bob. And while it looks simple enough, truth be told, the hair is 61 years old and stubborn. It needs to be loved into place after each shower. And that involves blow drying and using a large curling iron. I never realized it also takes a two-handed technique. The answer was to do everything with one hand with lots of equipment changes. So first up is a round hair brush to try to get the wet hair to turn under. Then the blow dryer is used while bending over, then straightening up with a big backward head bop so the hair would flip back into place. Blow dryer down, hair brush again while leaning to the left or right so I could get the brush under and hopefully curl the hair under. Repeat and repeat until done. Then do the other side. Took three times as long as with two hands but it worked.

Then, of course, I had to do similar stunts with a wicked hot curling iron in hand to wrangle those straight hairs into a slight bend. Let’s just say for all these weeks I’ve been sporting an extremely modified slightly turned under bob. And I’ve gone from “doing my hair every day” to doing it only when absolutely necessary.

Typing. Ok, I know this is bragging, but it’s the truth so I’m gonna tell you; I type about 100 words a minute. Yup. I do. And since I think fast, too, it works well for me. But one-handed typing is slow and tedious. Until that wonderful day when I learned I could remove the splint, I was typing with my right hand only. Thought retired, I stay busy on the computer assisting a friend in her business. Thankfully I was able to slow myself down and get some work done. And on top of that I discovered Microsoft has a built-in voice to text feature that works quite well. I would have never know about this but necessity is the mother of invention and led me to the internet in a search for voice to text tools. Who knew!

Cooking. Oh my, try to slice a potato or carrot holding a giant chef’s knife in one hand but without a second hand to steady the vegetable. After several failed attempts I asked the hubster to assist. But that didn’t always go over well with my independent spirit, so I began experimenting with wedging the item in a corner or against a wall. Not much better. Finally, I resorted to placing the item on a cutting board and simply whamming down the sharp knife against it hoping for a slice that didn’t send the food soaring across the room. Yup, out of all methods, this worked best…but unfortunately not well at all. Oh well, instead of salads we ate cooked vegetables for a week until I started removing the splint while prepping food.

In all of this, I realized how my very minor inconvenience seemed to interrupt my well-planned life. I saw again how inflexible I can be. Ah hem…how stubborn I am.

I thought of my friend Jan who instead of being inconvenienced by being blind has turned it all around and simply found alternate ways of doing things. I thought about someone who lost a limb to cancer but instead of lamenting about the loss of limb was instead rejoicing in being alive and in remission.

I thought about how easy it is to gripe and complain when things don’t go our way when instead we should be grateful for each day, for each breath, for each blessing, for each moment in life, for each triumph, for each loved one, for each freedom we share, for forgiveness of sin, and for life in Christ.

Truly those are the things that matter and no minor or major inconvenience should ever stand in the way of being grateful for those things and so much more.

Need a reminder from God’s word? How about this one from Psalm 1 (Bible version: The Message):

I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart,

I’m writing the book on your wonders.

I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;

I’m singing your song, High God.

Mimi,

Your temporarily broken winged, one-armed, but happy and rejoicing friend.

 

 

 

Mondays with Mimi or Fun Days with Mimi?

The boys' suncatchers.

The boys’ suncatchers.

It’s been so long since I’ve written a post. And it’s only recently that I have started putting my finger on why. I think it’s because I’m no longer babysitting on Mondays due to a change in my work schedule.

Things are changing. And while change isn’t necessarily bad, it’s still change and change doesn’t always feel very good.

My identity since Konnor’s birth has included being Mimi. First to one, then two, then three, and very soon I’ll be Mimi to four grands. Wow! How wonderful is that.

And part of my identity has also been on being the Monday babysitter to two fun, sweet, precious grandboys. Babysitting isn’t coming to an end but the regularity associated with it for five years is. And though I am still available each week, their mommy’s work schedule has also changed so my availability to watch the boys doesn’t always coincide with Kate’s work days like it did in the past.

But though I may not be with the boys each week, I will certainly be with them from time to time and I will still want to record my thoughts. So I’ve decided I need to continue to write…which was the reason I started this blog way back when—to remember, to record, to enjoy the wonder of God’s sweet creations.

So here goes.

I did get to spend the day with the boys yesterday and what a great day we enjoyed together. Gotta love Target. There’s just so much free fun to be had. Stop in to the bakery to grab a cookie, then off to the toy department for 15 minutes of play. Yesterday there were several others enjoying this same treat because the toy department aisles were crammed with kids along with all sorts of sounds: hi-pitched sirens, growling monsters, shooting laser guns. It seems like nearly every toy has a little open hole in the packaging with the words TRY ME next to it. So that’s just what children do.

We also enjoyed another freebie – a visit to Petsmart where we spent another 30 or 40 minutes looking at the kitties, parakeets, reptiles, fish, bunnies, hamsters, etc. But the best part was interacting with the large green parrot. He was a talker and noise maker. And while we never did understand much of what he said, you can believe we all cracked up over and over again when he would throw in a farting noise every now and then. It was pretty hysterical.

We also go to enjoy a fun craft together – the results you see in the photo. I found the idea on Pinterest and wanted to share the original website with you but apparently didn’t save it. To make these cute suncatchers, you cut out two circles of clear contact paper for each project. I used the lids to my kitchen pots and made two sets, one slightly larger for Konnor.

We first took a short walk looking for treasures – flat items such as grasses, leaves, ferns, tiny flowers, etc. Callan held the bag and gladly stuffed it with all sorts of items.

Then it was time to assemble the suncatcher.The most difficult part is peeling the backing off the contact paper, but once that was done I put one on the floor for each boy. They proceeded to add some of their treasures to the sticky side. Once everyone was satisfied with their artwork, I put down the remaining contact paper, sticky side to sticky side, sealing everything in place.

It wasn’t perfect but a pair of scissors and a quick trim took care of that. Then you need to rummage in the back of your junk drawer for the elusive single hole punch so you can punch a hole in each item. Of course while doing this it’s always fun to have the little one find the ribbon you plan on threading through that hole—and have a blast unrolling it.

All wrapped up!

All wrapped up!

When your little one is finished playing with the ribbon, cut off a bit, thread it through the hole, tie a bow or knot and hang it up on a suction cup hook. Don’t they look great!

Observation: it’s never about how much money you spend, it’s how you spend your time. And being with my family (specifically my grands) is always precious to me. It may seem as though I’m imparting so much into their young lives. But truth be told, I think I get much more out of it as I’m reminded afresh that God creates each of us, made in His image, but unique and wonderful at the same time.

Mimi

Addicted to Pinterest

Pinterest

Ok, I said it. I admit it. I LOVE this website.

For months I’ve been trying out new recipes…all thanks to Pinterest. I even cleaned hubby’s underarm stains on his tee shirts. Thanks to Pinterest. And hubby and Konnor turned the freezer into a snowman. Yup, thanks to Pinterest.

With Pinterest I’ve found out new uses for old things such as using my contact lens case as a pill holder, enjoyed killer Boston Cream Poke Cake, found a great paint color for our recent bathroom re-do, organized a closet using a multi-compartment shoe bag holder, and my pantry and bedroom closet wire shelves are now nicely lined with peel and stick tile so items stay put!

Not only is Pinterest great fun to explore but it’s handy – all your “pins” (things you see and don’t want to forget) are organized and easily accessible by your smartphone whenever and wherever needed.

The only downside I’ve found is that it’s so addicting I can no longer enjoy Pinterest right before bedtime—as there have been several nights when hours have passed with me happily pinning away only to discover it’s now midnight, or 1am!

Technology has changed drastically in my lifetime. Remember having to go to the library to do research before writing a report? Not matter what the topic, the one encyclopedia you needed was always missing! Now I can use the internet on my phone and find instant answers. (Good thing, too, because I would probably forget the question burning in my mind by the time I got home!)

Pinterest is great fun for grandparents, too. You’ll never be at a loss for a craft or fun thing to do while babysitting.

If you haven’t yet checked out Pinterest, give it a try…but not before bed!

Mimi