The Jolly Garbage Guy (Gratitude: Day 13)

Last year I began 30 days of gratitude, and well, here I am a year later up to day 13.  I have a Manna Journal - much like a Gratitude Journal - and I jot things in there, but few make it to a blog post (you can thank me later :) )

Today I stopped to visit a neighbour and on the way home I had to navigate around the garbage truck.  This is a normal, everyday encounter - except I noticed the guy was semi-dancing, swinging the garbage bin, singing and laughing as he worked.  Sometimes they work in pairs, but today he was alone.  He had a huge smile on his face - and as dark as my mood might have been, I couldn't help but to smile broadly and wave.  Joyfulness begets joy.  His smile was contagious.

I made my way home and thought about him for the next few moments.  Dumping other people's trash may not be the most appealing job.  And yet all of us, in some way or another, have to do this at times.  If you're a parent, you probably have to do this a lot - and you don't mak…

Collecting Manna

It was a year ago about this time that I was feeling the pinch of trying to fill lunch boxes and serve decent meals on a tight budget.  These kinds of things are hard to share publicly sometimes, because I naturally resist people feeling sorry for me as some might, while others might lean towards judging how well I use or don't use resources (like, if we turned the heat down, and wore triple layer socks, wool sweaters and caps we'd all save money on the heating bill...etc. OR, if I went and got a job and worked during the day when kids are in school, maybe we'd have a bit more of a cushion... OR... you fill in the blank).  Lest you have any concern as I share these somewhat personal matters - it was/is an issue of stewardship and budgeting.  We could take a 30 year mortgage instead of a 15 year and life would be a bit easier for us, but debt would be longer.  I do not consider we are 'poor' by any stretch of the imagination.  I've not written much on finances …

This matter of race: A White Woman Reflects

If I had seen an article 20 years ago with ‘race’ or ‘racism’ in the title, I might have yawned and flipped past it.I had the luxury to do so – if anything caught my eye with these words, internally I would wonder what the big deal was.I’m thankful this is no longer the case.These themes have popped up all over – not merely in print media or news outlets, but in tragic circumstances, and in grocery stores and tales are told of interactions with strangers in public.That being the case, I have begun to pay closer attention – and it started just a few decades ago with conversations with my sister.

We had grown up together – fast friends and playmates – and I had, from the moment of my birth understood her to be the truest sister – even though her skin and appearance told me from the beginning that she was Chinese and I was a freckled red-head.I don’t remember ever thinking of her as different, even though it was plainly obvious.In fact, I lamented that I wasn’t like her, (as most younge…

People are like flowers

People are like flowers Dotting an otherwise monochrome plateau;  A landscape predictable and bare - A horizon flat, uninterrupted. 
Daisy, tulip, iris, snapdragon: Bright or mute, Unordinary or plain,  Invite the eye - They seem to say,  "Do you see me?  Do you really see? 
I splash color I raise my head I call for your gaze  To rest on my beauty.
From afar you see only my brightness; Up close,  my delicate, intricate detail - My unique design."
People, delightful and diverse,  Dot life's landscape Intersecting doldrums Painting days  Splash hues bold or discreet Blends never known to exist Winning my gaze,  Allowing my eye to rest On those whose invitation - Clear as a sunflower against  A crisp, cloudless sky - Speaks unabashed:
"Look at me.  See me.  Really see.  I welcome your unrestrained awe."

Why is my Dining Room Pink?

Why is my Dining Room Pink?
Pink is the colour of little girls and confident men Hues to catch evening's glowing warmth Reflecting hope of hours to feast In table fellowship with family and friends.
"No one paints a dining room pink" Not so...I do. A child's imagination never dies A woman harbours a little girl
"Come Gather At Our Table" Announces the archway Inviting and welcoming all  To sit in the pink surroundings To turn from the four walls to the faces before us
Tonight I will open my home _ My pink dining room Complete with gold-glitter 60's flooring (Soon to be no more)... And I will live a fairy-tale dream
A haven of warmth will shelter the guests Tea warm and steamy Banana Bread to comfort And Pink to be just a little bit different.

Clutter Saga Part 2 (Gratitude Excercise: Day 12)

So, yesterday I posted about the kind of interactions I sometimes have regarding the state of affairs, especially regarding clutter in our home.
(If you missed part 1,  click Here)

It didn't end there. Like I said, I do need a Lot of help and thankfully Jena came to my rescue. Not only did she write the funny response - but she was as much a friend in deed (out deeds, depending), to meet me in my need.

Today I am reminded though that Sam also came to my rescue, as it was a relative of his, he felt the need to also respond. As I look back at that, I am again so very thankful for the loving man God dropped in my lap (well, more like, in my house, but that's a long story you can read about Here).

Here is how he addressed this situation (this is long, but I put it here with only minor edits that may be too personal, because I think his words are worth sharing with a broader audience - we are surely not the only couple to struggle with household order!):

Dear ---,
We just enjoyed …

I get by with a little help from my friends (Gratitude: day 11)

In case anyone is in doubt, I'll just put this out there: I need a LOT of help. I am not type A or even type B. By the time you get to X, Y or Z...I'm in there somewhere. I've always been scatter-brained - I still have some of my report cards which repeatedly pointed out my daydreaming habits. So, I'm sure you will be surprised to find out that I struggle with a thing called Chronic Disorganization. Combine that with a thing called A.D.D., (I like to think of that as Alternately Designed Diva), and a few other acronyms and labels that are especially helpful in addressing my various issues, and you get ME.

That is my preface to the rest of what I'm about to put here. I'm posting this partly because it is so entertaining...but also because I am exceedingly grateful for the delightful person who wrote the response - who helped me out in my distress some time ago. Not only did she help me address a potentially riddled-with-relational-mines interaction, with hilari…