Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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40 Things Money Can’t Buy

It’s been another busy week. As I am finally settling down to relax, my mind shifts to my surroundings and I think of all the money I have spent on ‘stuff’. Stuff that really has no other purpose than to make my home feel aesthetically pleasing.

I look around and realize that most of the “stuff” I have I don’t need. I can live without the mirror in the hall, I don’t have to have a picture/photo on every wall. I really don’t need all these trinkets/knickknacks on every shelf. I don’t even need the shelf.

No Money

This made me think of things that I don’t spend money on and how much joy I have by NOT spending money on “stuff”.

  1. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  2. Listening to the leaves blow on the trees
  3. Seeing “The Kid” smile
  4. Spending time with my mom and dad
  5. Listening to dad tell a funny story
  6. Listening to mom talk about her siblings
  7. Laughing with my sister
  8. Listening to music with my brother
  9. Seeing a beautiful sunset
  10. Having a great conversation with one of my cousins
  11. Learning something new
  12. Spending time in prayer
  13. Watching my great nephew play with his Papaw
  14. Watching the ducks/geese play at our local park
  15. Sharing a meal with a loved one
  16. Accomplishing a task  
  17. Helping my neighbor with a chore
  18. Opening up the windows and doors on a beautiful spring day
  19. The smell of a freshly cut lawn
  20. Watching the success of my niece and nephew
  21. Listening to my Mom’s siblings sing from old recordings
  22. Hearing a great sermon preached
  23. Taking a long hot shower
  24. Going through old photos
  25. Singing, even though I sound terrible
  26. Dancing in the kitchen with “the Kid”
  27. Making my mom laugh
  28. A good night’s rest
  29. A good day’s work
  30. People watching
  31. Making my “To-do” lists for the week
  32. Quiet time to reflect
  33. Taking a drive…..Yes, I know I spent money on the gas.
  34. Taking photos on my drive
  35. Taking a walk
  36. Writing a blog
  37. Seeing my family having fun and making memories
  38. Getting organized
  39. Listening to music
  40. Being surrounded by God’s creations.

As I write this, my house is open, the sun is shining through. I hear cyclist on the bike path, children playing on my street. A soft cool breeze is blowing through the house. I smell someone grilling out for the first time this year. I also smell one of my neighbors baking a cake or cookies. I hear “The Kid” laughing in his room while he plays an on-line game.

I have heard a great sermon and listened to some great music. I have made mom laugh today. I have achieved a few tasks and now off to fix food for my loved ones.

Could my day be any better?  I don’t think so. And I didn’t spend a penny. I have had a full enriched, joyful day. The best part, it’s not over yet.

How do you find your joy without spending any money?


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My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

ducks in a rowWhen a family is going through the tragedy of preparing for the final stages before the passing of a loved one, you tend to be overwhelmed and consumed with more important things. Being organized is the last thing you are thinking about.

The past few weeks have been chaotic to say the least for me. Just for my own sanity, I need to get organized. I NEED to have that sense of being in control of something, well anything. Getting my ducks in a row helps me do that.

Here are some things I am currently working on.

This past week I have gathered photos of mom, her family, Dad, us kids and the grandbabies to make a photo slideshow at Mom’s viewing (when the time comes). I have scanned all photos into my computer and have edited each one to make them better.

This was a hard task to do. But also very enjoyable. I got the chance to talk to mom about each photo, listen to stories I’ve never heard before. The best part was, it was like I was seeing these photos for the first time. Looking at them with new eyes. I never realized how pretty my mom is. She and my dad made the cutest couple. The biggest surprise was, I didn’t realize how much my sister looks like mom.

Now the only thing left for the slideshow is picking out a few songs to play while the video is scrolling through. Another tough challenge but I am up for that one. It should be fun listening to some beautiful piano music. Mom just loves a great pianist.

The other thing I am working on is a guest book (so to speak) for Mom/Dad’s house. Since all of kids work, we miss out on visitors to their house during the day. It’s nice for us to know they are not alone.

I was also thinking this is a great way to remember to thank the ones that have stopped by, brought food, helped out with chores or just volunteered to set with Mom while Dad ran some errands.

Not only that, if I don’t send Thank You cards out or miss someone, Mom would be disappointed with me. Mom is very proper when it comes to these sort of things. She always sent out hand written thank you notes within a week. I have some big shoes to fill.

I figured a guest book for their house would be a great easy way for me to stay up on all the visitors. This way the guests can sign in, let us know if they brought food, visited or helped in anyway. And I can be sure to thank them properly.

This weekend I will be bringing a notebook and pen to keep at their house so we can take notes on any arrangements that need to be made, write down songs she would like to have played, jot down anything we deem important or would like to remember and leave notes for the siblings.

I know all of this seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be honest, I thought it was kind of odd too. But I’m here to tell you, it helps. I am not searching my home or purse for that one little piece of paper that had a note on it that mom wanted me to remember.

I will not be rushing around the last minute trying to go through photos (that will tear me apart) to make a slideshow. I know for a fact how hard it is to look through photos just after a death. I have helped a couple of cousins with this. 

I won’t have to worry if I missed someone for Thank You cards. I will have my list. And you all know how much I love lists.

This is just the beginning stages. There will be more challenges ahead. But for this week. I feel like I am on my game. I’m probably not but I do love the sense of control I have with these steps I have taken this week.

I hope in the weeks/months to come I can stay on top of all the balls in the air. Only time will tell. For now this is good thing.

If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them. I can use any help I can get.


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Taking a Breath

time outWith so much going on lately I decided to just set and take a breath. I needed to reflect on….. Well, everything.

The past few months have been a wild ride. I started a new job, getting adjusted to job, there was a death in the family, Mom and all her health struggles, “The Kid” and all his indecisiveness, unfinished projects and this roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I realize that what is on my plate most people can slide on by without missing a beat. I do not have that type of personality. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders by choice. I don’t know why but I do. So here I am…Needing that minute to catch up and catch my breath.

I needed to get some perspective, grieve, get caught up and just breathe for a few minutes.

The past few days have been good. I have been able to get a few projects done, started a new project. I gave myself the opportunity to grieve for my uncle and really think about what he had done for me and the family. I had a great conversation with “The Kid” that was long overdue. I am getting more comfortable with the job.

I need to practice what I preach more often. I forgot to reflect on everyday and find the joy in each moment. I was being selfish and only thinking about what I was feeling or doing. I was having a pity party for myself. That is no place to be when you have so much going on. You forget about the little things and focus on the weight you are carrying.

That is not good for anyone. We all need to reflect and take a moment to breathe through the junk so we can find some peace in the crazy around us. 

Once I began to settle into my reflections I realized that I had missed a few blessings this week.

Mom, my sister and I had a great visit the other day. All 3 of us laughed till we cried. I hadn’t seen mom do that in years.  It was a sweet moment to watch and be a part of. It warmed my heart listening to my mom, my sister and I joke around, laugh and have a fun time. I’m going to miss that.

I had a few cousins and some family friends check in on me, just to see how I was doing. What a blessing to have people care for you that they take the time to show you how much.

My new friend at work has been very supportive. She listens to me while I share stories about my family and laughs with me at our goofiness. She is a sweet heart. What a blessing to have a new friend.

What a blessing to have one of my fellow bloggers reach out with such kind, loving words of encouragement. Thank you nopassingfancy.  Check out her blog at…….. https://nopassingfancy.wordpress.com/. 

I am hoping and praying that this week coming up I will be able to stop, take a breath and reflect on the good moments and not hold onto the heaviness of my emotions.

I encourage you to join me on taking a breath to enjoy the things around you.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Accepting

hugs

 

Onto the next journey which has already been in motion for a while. That’s the journey I am on with my parents.

As we know, when our parents get older the roles can be reversed and we begin to care for them instead of them caring for us.

If you have read my blogs about my folks you know that Dad is a heart patient and Mom has stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic) and a heart patient. Both are in their 70’s, their health is declining and things are getting harder for them to do.

It’s sad to watch such strong, independent, self-assured, and capable individuals decline. Even if it’s just a little bit and one thing at a time.

My parents have always done things on their own. They have remodeled their home, built a garage, taken care of their property, repaired things around their home, planted gardens, raised 3 kids, taken care of 3 grandkids, helped others, worked in their church and have always been the ones called upon for assistance. My parents have been there for so many.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now my parents are the ones needing assistance. Granted they are still very capable of doing so many things, but need some help doing others.

As their child I am heartbroken for them. I know neither one of them want to relinquish their independence or admit that they need help sometimes. It has got to be difficult to ask for help when just a year ago they were capable. What a difference a year makes.

I can only imagine their own struggles they have. They say growing old is not for the weak. I am beginning to understand that statement more and more each day.

This journey I am on with my parents will be tough and heart wrenching. The one thing I am sure of is, I will not regret going on this ride. There have been rides that I have taken in the past and regret but this will not be one of them.

With their permission I will be sharing this journey we are on. Granted most of the posts will be about my journey and sharing a glimpse of theirs. I am not looking for sympathy or kudos. I just thought this would be a good outlet for me and maybe a way to help others that may have to jump on the same type of ride.

 Stage #1 (for me)-Accepting the fact that my parents are not invincible. As children and even adults we want to believe that our parents will be with us forever. The reality is most likely they will not.

Accepting that they need your help. I didn’t want to help because I was holding onto my parents were invincible. If I helped then I had to let go of the dream that they would never perish.

Accepting that my own personal priorities will change. My folks come first and everything else is second.

Accepting that my role as a daughter has changed and will continue to change.

Accepting the new emotional roller coaster ride I am on.

Accepting the reality that they are very sick.

Accepting responsibilities that my folks bestow upon me with grace and love.

Accepting hugs out of the blue.  

Accepting the blessing that will come from this journey.

Yes, I did say, “blessings” I know there will be because I have already had a few.
For right now it’s learning to accept whatever is thrown at us.

I know for me, I will do my hardest to find the blessings even in the emotional craziness that may consume me. I will do my best to accept whatever roadblock, downfall, bad day, funny moments, quite times and quality time I have left with my parents.

Sorry this post is not the most positive, I will work on that. I will do my best to keep you updated once a week on this new journey.

Please feel free to comment or share your journey with me.


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My Journey: New Job-17 Blessings

blessings

The job is going good. Still very slow progress in the actual ‘doing’ my job. But it’s getting better.

This may not be my long-term career and I am ok with that. But while I am here I have to say I am blessed. Here are my blessings:

  1. Slow progress is a good thing. Slow and steady wins the race and it gives me time to really learn the job and shine.
  2. No Stress: I walk out the office door and the job stays there. No a lot of people can say that.
  3. It’s paying the bills. May not have any extra but I am blessed to have my needs met.
  4. Not a big commute. I drive less than 30 minutes one way and only on the freeway for 2 miles. Got to love that.
  5. Close to home and family.
  6. No weekends. This is the first job I have had that started out with no weekend work.
  7. The hours are great. Normal working hours during the day.
  8. Medical benefits. They may not be great but they get the job done.
  9. Attire: Dress casual. I couldn’t afford a brand new wardrobe, but was able to afford the clothes I needed.
  10. No contact with the everyday public.  That’s something new for me. Kind of like it.
  11. No more customer service phone calls with crazy people.
  12. Vacation time already started. I didn’t have to wait 6 months to a year to have time off.
  13. No headset glued to my ears for 8 hours a day.
  14. Fast paced but very doable.
  15. Different type of work environment. This gives me the opportunity to handle something new.
  16. Making a few new friends.
  17. Opportunities to learn new things.

 I am very blessed to have this job. It may be awkward at times but the blessings outweigh the awkwardness. Who knows what the future holds for me but I continue to find the blessings in everything in my life.


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Searching For The Positive

postiveWe are surrounded by terrible stories, events and personal tragedies every day. Stories that make you weep for others. Personal issues that would make others wither.  These things can either soften your heart or harden your heart.

The way I see it, we have become desensitized towards things that we either don’t care or don’t bother to get involved.  We have become so sensitive that everything offends us or we are looking for things to offend us just so we can be heard.

That is no way live. Yes, there are terrible things going one in our world and personal lives, but this does not mean that we have to succumb to the negative things around us. We don’t have to be numb about everything and we don’t have to be so sensitive either. There is a middle ground called positive thinking.

Positive thinking allows us to be in the moment to weep for others but also be blessed knowing that, that ‘story’ could be us.

Now don’t take that the wrong way. I don’t want you to think I don’t care. Because I do. Let me put it this way.

My mom is very sick. It’s hard for me to watch her health decline. It’s an emotional roller coaster with lots of low thoughts. You know what, I would not have it any other way. Because I know it’s my turn to take this journey. I am grateful that I don’t have to be on the path by myself. Grateful that I have family to help me. Grateful for everyday my parents are still here.

Where there is a negative there will ALWAYS be a positive.

I am a realist at heart. It’s easy for me to see the negative first. But, I also search for the positive in any situation. If I can deal with the negative, I know for a fact there will always be positives too.   

We just have to stop and search for the positive. We may not always see the positive at first. That’s why we search. For instance: if you are working on a jig-saw puzzle, sometimes it’s better to turn the picture on the box upside down or the puzzle upside down to get a new perspective. It doesn’t always work but we were able to fit a few more pieces together in the puzzle because of a new perspective.

Searching for the positive takes some energy if you are not used to doing so. But I will tell you, it is well worth the effort.

Practice this the next time you are in the car and find yourself frustrated because the guy in front of you is doing 45 in a 55.  Think of it this way, now you have the time to enjoy that beautiful sunrise, or maybe that is God intervening and saving you from an accident. Either way that is a positive. It will be fine that you are a few minutes late for work.

Things happen and it’s up to us to deal with those things in a positive manner. Which means we have to search the positive first in order for there to be a positive reaction.


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Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New YearWOW!!! 2015 was a roller coaster ride for me. Lots of highs and lows. As I look back on 2015 I realized that I have grown. I have been challenged spiritually and emotionally. I may not have come out of these things the victor but yet I have managed to grow.

2015 had more lows for me than I have ever faced in the past. A couple of deaths in the family that hit me really hard. There were a few cousins that had some illnesses that were/are very scary. My parent’s health is declining.  The struggles of being a parent of an adult child living at home. Not working for over a year. There were lots of reality checks in 2015 that I wasn’t ready to face. Several bouts of depression. The struggle of finding a job.

2015 also had a few highs. A cousin that had two surgeries back to back and recovered nicely and is cancer free. Another cousin changed his life by trusting God. I started the blog and wrote a book. I found a job. I realized that I am tougher than I thought. I have found out that I have so many praying and supporting me.

As I look back on 2015 I realized that I am blessed to have gone through all those emotional high’s and low’s. I am blessed that I have survived all those things. I am blessed that my parents are still here. I am blessed that my cousins love and support me. I am blessed to have the ‘kid’ home with me. I am blessed that I have found a job. I am blessed to have such wonderful siblings and in-laws. I am blessed to have a fantastic niece and nephew and a great nephew.  I am blessed to have amazing Aunts and Uncles in my life. I am blessed to learn that I am strong and I will survive. I am blessed to have had some great adventures in 2015. I am blessed that I have followers and supporters for the blog.

Overall 2015 wasn’t so bad. It could have been so much worse. And I know some would have given anything to take over my highs and lows.

Just like any other year, we think that year was either the best or worst yet. I am blessed that I do not know what this earthly world has in store for me. I am up for the challenge. I can’t fail with so much support and love surrounding me.

I am looking forward to a new year, new challenges, new adventures, new beginnings and more blessings.

I do not do resolutions. But what I want to strive for in 2016 are things that I know will make me a better person.

  1. Recognize my blessings more quickly.
  2. Forgive others and myself more frequently.
  3. Have a servant’s heart.
  4. Be more patient

There are a few other things that I would like to see happen in 2016 (for me).

  1. More followers/supporters for my blog.
  2. Write another book
  3. Grow in my photography skills
  4. My photos will start to add actual income for my family

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed and fulfilling 2016. Tell me some of your resolutions or hopes for 2016.