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A Birthday Interview With Callan

Callan Turns 7

Callan turned 7 last week and this little guy has brought us so much joy, I thought I’d interview him for this week’s Mondays With Mimi story so you can see what fun boy he is.

Questions asked, in no particular order.

  1. What is your whole name? Callan Reid Dougherty.
  2. What is interesting about your middle name? Some of my family members have the same middle name: my daddy, my cousin Addison, and my new baby cousin Liam. Addison spells her name R-E-E-D.
  3. What city do you live in? Brandywine Drive…Florida…my house…and finally…Orlando.
  4. What is Orlando known for? Huh? Oh, Orlando City soccer. It’s hot here. Mimi’s house is here. Also: Universal, Fun Spot, Disney, SeaWorld, the beaches, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, Legoland, and the Orlando Eye. Oh and fun elevators.
  5. Have you ever been afraid of something? Yes, creepy clowns and elevators.
  6. Have you ever been brave? Yes, when shooting arrows (I’m shaking my head no…he’s never shot arrows) and going in elevators now.
  7. What is your favorite subject in school? Math
  8. What is your least favorite subject? Reading (Mommy shaking her head on this one as Callan loves to read).
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A “universal builder” including building roller coasters and amusement parks.
  10. What is your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing else to do? Play with my phone and watch YouTube videos about fishing for sharks.
  11. What is your favorite food? Pizza.
  12. What is a yucky food? Cooked carrots. He actually said carrots in liquid, but I knew what he meant.
  13. What is something you would like others to know about you? I have a big noggin. My head is huge because it accommodates my big brain. Mommy says that means I’m smart.
  14. Anything else you want people to know? God is very nice. He makes it rain. And…one of my bottom teeth is very loose and I can put my top teeth behind it…and…I’m cool.

To sum it all up.

I’m sure you can all see right now why I think Callan is a lot of fun to be with and yes, cool, just like he said. Today, after church, his PopPop and I took him to Firehouse Subs for lunch,to Twistee Treat for ice cream, and then to Target so he could ride the elevator with us like he used to when he was small. For some reason, a few years ago he became scared of all elevators and has been afraid to ride them until two weeks ago while on vacation decided he was now brave enough to ride them. So, he did. Just like that.

And finally we wrapped up the day with a walk by a culvert looking for fish, turtles, ducks and other treasures such as a a plant “puff” to blow apart.

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear about your precious grands. Feel free to comment below or send me a note. Having grandchildren brings wonder back into our lives in so many unexpected ways. What a blessing.

Mimi

 

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Time to stop and smell the roses.

April 2, 2018

Birthdays galore.

In our family, we experience many birthdays close to each other: Christmas time…Greg and me. Late Jan-early Feb: son and son-in-law, March: daughter, sister-in-law, Mom, daughter-in-law, brother followed by early April: grandson Callan and sister-in-law.

Whew! If you’re not careful, you’ll completely miss one in the busyness of life.

Life can get crazy busy.

In order to NOT miss a birthday or appointment or something on my to-do list, I rely heavily on all my calendars being in sync. This means my Outlook calendar must match my phone’s calendar because I’ll be printing it and placing it on the refrigerator. And if that paper calendar doesn’t match with my phone, something is sure to get missed.

First thing every morning, Greg gets up and looks at the paper calendar. I, on the other hand, rely mostly on the iPhone calendar and its reminder system, counting on a ding to alert me each time I need to do something. To be sure it all gets done, I also keep a handwritten list on my kitchen counter that glares at me until the last item is checked off and the list can be crumpled and thrown away.

Take time to smell the roses.

We all understand the meaning of the expression and encouragement to take time to smell the roses. But many times, we do the exact opposite. I certainly do. I can get completely caught up in the to-do list and can miss the small moments, the wonderful moments that surround us all the time…the smell-the-roses moments presented throughout our days.

In being sure I buy cards, find the perfect gift, arrange a visit to the birthday person, prepare a special cake, etc., I can lose the joy of the occasion which is to honor and celebrate someone I care for deeply.

In fact, we can do that with anything: holidays meant for family and fun can become a chore because of the enormous amount of preparation needed to ensure a perfect event; having friends or family visit in your home can lose it’s joy when you pressure yourself to have it spotlessly clean; vacations filled with wonder and discovery can get bogged down by endless research to be sure you visit all the best places.

What to do?

S-l-o-w  d-o-w-n. That’s it. Or at least, it’s part of it. And it’s so very hard to do. While on our hamster wheels of life, we need to slow down to appreciate people important to us, to enjoy the things and people God has placed in our lives and in our care, to marvel at His amazing creation.

Remember…happiness is often found in the little things, in the everyday things, in the ordinary things of life.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of not wanting to lose the moment. To-do lists are a part of my nature and being organized enables me to function better. But I’m more determined than ever to slow down and finally start smelling those beautiful roses God has grown all around me.

Mimi

It’s just so exhausting…

First 5K

I love these before and after pics. So typical of life experiences. Nearly 7-year-old Callan ran his first ever 5K race in early March. The left picture shows a happy, excited kid about to embark on a race with his mom.

The right side picture shows him “exhausted” (with a smile on his face). Tired from running but filled with joy at his great accomplishment.

And though no medals were awarded that day, a big shout out to Amazon. You can order anything from there, including a very nice all metal 5K race medal. Something that made Callan very happy.

Sometimes life feels like an uphill race.

Our lives often feel like endless uphill races. We’re on a never-ending path that always seems to encounter hills and potholes. We’re just looking for a little respite of a level or downhill roadway, an opportunity to catch our breath and enjoy just a bit of rest from all our efforts.

Callan’s Mona Lisa smile in Picture 2 reminds me that tired as we may be, finishing the race and claiming the prize is always worth it: the sense of accomplishment, the reward of not giving up, receiving the medal or the proclamation of “Well done, faithful servant.”

Perseverance will be rewarded.

Some reminders when life is hard and we’re weary of running the race:

  1. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So, run that you may obtain it. (1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV)
  2. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:14 NLT)
  3. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

We each have our own race to run. And yes, some races are much more difficult than others. But may I leave you with encouragement today: you can do it! Know that God is with you; lean on your Christian brothers and sisters for added strength and support; if you tire…rest and start again.

Finishing the race.

And, at the end of our race, after collecting our prize, like Paul, we will be able to say “I have fought a good fight. I have finished the work I was to do. I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Mimi

Happy Birthday Katie Leigh

A Letter to my Daughter

Dear Katie,

As you know, today is a very special day…it’s the anniversary of the day you came into our world and immediately doubled the joy of being a parent.

Your brother Tim had come just 13 months prior and though a little unexpected, here you came right on his heels. I often think if the timing of conception had been any different, that baby would certainly have been welcomed and loved, but he or she wouldn’t have been our sweet Kate. And I can’t imagine my life without you.

A Life Filled With Joy

From the beginning, you have filled our lives with joy beyond measure. Energetic from the get-go and with a smile that lights up the room, you found joy in just about everything. Skipping was often your preferred mode of transportation which to this mom showed me a youngster who was absolutely full of delight.

And though you certainly would dress up in purple and pink outfits and wear hair ribbons, you were most often in the dirt, climbing trees, digging under rocks, playing sports all out, fishing off the dock, and hanging with her brother. You shared the same friends so it’s no surprise that if the boys were doing it, so were you!

The Future

When you and your brother were little, I would often try to imagine you in your 20s or 30s. Wondering about your future schooling, your chosen careers, if you would marry and have children. So, while I didn’t have a clear picture of who you would become, as I look back now and look over the thousands of pictures we took of you, I can see the glimpses of who you became: an independent, strong woman; a goal-setter; an achiever; a caregiver; someone who always lands on their feet; a person able to reinvent herself; someone who refuses to give up or back down; a person who generally sees the good and not the bad; an encourager; a leader; a woman who can be full of sunshine; a daughter who loves her mom and continues to provide me with joy beyond measure.

To This Day

Kate, you captivated ours hearts while growing up and continue to do so to this very day. God chose you just for us; and we are so very, very thankful.

Love you, Sweet One. Happy Birthday.

Cookie (and Dad)

Look out!

A wonderful friend, faithful blog reader, and frequent blog commenter, recently shared some laughable pictures, suggesting I might be able to do something with them in an upcoming Mondays With Mimi post. And boy, was he right!

Out of all the pictures, this is the one I loved the most. Just look at this industrious fellow painting his walls. Concentrating as he “cuts in” neatly where the ceiling meets the wall; he’s ever so careful to create a straight line so the end result is just perfect. Taking his time. Being fastidious. Doing a job he and everyone will be proud of.

What could be wrong with that?

Well…everything, if he’s doing it like this!

I can so relate to his circumstance. Someone recently remarked that I’m like a hummingbird, flitting around doing this and that. I think that person is correct in a way. While I can certainly waste time with the best of them, when working, I make my list, going through it one by one, and so enjoy getting things accomplished and checking off each and every entry until I’m finished.

There’s a problem with that?

Oh yes, there can be big time problems with working like that. Often, in my hurry-up way to get things done, I’ll skip common sense (like the man above) to save time or effort. I’ll throw caution to the wind, or safety to the skies, and proceed. I’ve been known to climb on counters to clean a top kitchen cabinet shelf, use a long handled wooden spoon to coax something off that same tall shelf, tipping it over so it will fall (hopefully) right into my waiting hands. I’ve used rolling office chairs to reach something up high, climbed on a bed to better reach an area of cobwebs.

You catch my drift.

Rather than take the time to find the appropriate ladder in the garage (which would take all of one minute!!!), I just find whatever’s handy and get to work. But safety? Oh no, my friend. That’s a forgotten word.

So, while I laugh at the absurdity of the painter standing on an open door to reach the ceiling, I can still relate. It’s comical to see his silliness, but at the same time breath-holding knowing it could lead to injury.

Even our guidebook, the Bible, speaks directly to such foolishness in Proverbs 14:16. “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.”

Big gulp. Boy, that has me pegged.

Out of balance? Time to slow down.

How about you? Ever find yourself in a similar position? Taking short cuts, throwing caution to the wind, figuring it will all work out in the end? As one who often operates in the extreme of over-planning, I can lose out on the joy of spontaneity. So, I’m talking about balance here.

In the long run, some things have no eternal value, such as painting a wall, choosing a color for your new car, deciding where to vacation. But for the things that matter, such as relationships, my prayer (and goal) is to never lose the moment to the planning for the moment.

What do I mean?

If my life is over-planned and I’m unable to put those plans aside, then I might miss out on spontaneous moments of doing hair and makeup with my granddaughters or making finger shadows on the ceilings with my grandsons. I might miss getting together with a neighbor over (gasp) store-bought cookies thinking the visit won’t be the same if I can’t offer fresh-baked ones. And I could miss out on one-on-one time with the hubster if I’m unwilling to put down the laundry and just take a ride to nowhere with him.

You see what I’m saying?

There is not a thing wrong with planning. And in the case of the above painter, better planning would have been a great idea. But let’s not let our methodical planning ever get in the way of relationships. In the end, a completed to-do list is just that. But time spent with others can truly have eternal value.

Let me know what you think? Can you relate?

Mimi

Oh, the stink!

While opening the pantry the other day, I bent over to look on the bottom shelf when wham! I was hit with a stink so bad it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

I knew that smell. No identification needed other than the familiar and very nasty odor. A rotten potato (or two).

Easy enough to deal with, too. I pulled out my basket of potatoes and tossed them in the sink. If you look at the top picture quickly it might appear as if all is well. But zoom in (see the second pic) and you’ll see one tiny one-inch potato looking kind of smushed. Yup, that was the one. That very small tater caused so much stink in my pantry, I had to air out the closet and wash off the rest of the potatoes just to remove it. (And, of course, I tossed out the offending one in the process!)

Being Just a Little “Off”

It’s such a clear illustration of how just getting a little “off” in our Christian walk can affect absolutely everything. Allowing in just a little of the world or allowing just a little sin taints our thoughts and actions. It may be barely noticeable at first, like the smashed potato. But as we continue to allow what shouldn’t be there to remain and fester and decompose, soon enough the stink of what we’ve allowed becomes noticeable. And then before we know it, wham! It takes over and covers up all the good to the point that all we or others are aware of is that which stinketh (my own King James emphasis).

The potato stink didn’t appear overnight. It kind of snuck up. Same with sin. It often makes a subtle entrance, weaving its way right into our lives. Sometimes we are unaware and because so, we do nothing about it.

Sometimes we are quite aware that we should be standing clear, yet because we don’t feel God’s judgment at the moment or the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we can end up thinking it’s no big deal so we do nothing. Until the stench becomes so bad that it forces an action on our part.

I believe at other times we begin to be aware of the smell but aren’t ready or willing to turn away. We try to cover it up, make it look pretty, pretend it’s not as bad as it seems. With sin, we may end up ignoring the Holy Spirit trying to get us to turn away from the sin and instead of running from it, we end up embracing it, incorporating it into our lives. At times, even defending it and making excuses for its presence or why we accept it.

The deep sorrow here is that our hearts can then become hardened. We may stubbornly refuse to deal with the sin. We may become so dependent on it we start believing the enemy’s lies that it needs to remain. Or we believe the lies that say there’s no way to overcome, forgetting that while we may be unable, there is One who is more than able.

None of us intentionally wants to keep the stink. We know it keeps us separated from our heavenly Father. We know it’s wrong. And we know it’s detrimental for our Christian walk.

So dear friends, while we know there’s always hope and help in overcoming sin, perhaps the best response is to never allow sin to take root in our lives. Ask daily for the Holy Spirit to help us be aware and watchful. Repent sincerely when sin is pointed out. Humbly present ourselves before our Lord, asking Him to reveal any wicked way so it can be quickly addressed.

What to do?

  1. Recognize or acknowledge the sin. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
  2. Repent of the sin. This means to turn away from it, leave it behind, have nothing to do with it.  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
  3. Receive God’s forgiveness. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
  4. Remember that in this world, trouble is here to stay. But we are in relationship with the One who has overcome and his power is available for us as well. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
  5. Rejoice in God that He has provided a way past the sin. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Mimi

Life sure is messy.

Do you ever think to yourself, “Boy, my life is a mess?”

I sure do. And just like the above picture of my messy computer wires, right now, I’m really feeling it. While my own life is relatively smooth (for the moment), I have countless friends whose lives seem to be falling apart: sickness, legal trouble, family issues, broken relationships. You name it, and I seem to know someone who is experiencing it big time.

As a friend, as I’ve stated before, I always vote for the trouble to disappear. But as a true friend, I pray for others and try to help in any way I can. However most times, there’s no fancy dessert, offer to clean a house, or even a monetary gift that will bring about the desired change or answer to prayer.

So, while I consistently pray for my family and friends, I also actively have to trust that God is in complete control and knows what He’s doing. He loves them more than I do and is always after our hearts and the big picture. So thankfully He is completely trustworthy, even when things seem dark.

Whether your life is a mess right now or you know someone else who is experiencing tragedy, don’t give up the fight. Find ways to serve them but your prayers are mighty and so very important. Often the one in the middle of the fight is so overwhelmed they can’t pray as they should; but that’s where you come in. You can.

So, stand firm on their behalf, and pray, pray, pray.

Trust in the Lord forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (Isaish 26:4)

Mimi