Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Flies By...

Thanksgiving was wonderful for us. 20 of us spent the evening up with my family at Nana's home. Food, laughter and relaxing fellowship was the topic of the evening. We all made our contributions to the feast. Mom and Nana did the turkey and stuffing; while my cousin made scalloped potatoes and a yummy pudding fruit mixture. My sister-in-law did 4 amazing pies and I went over board with trying out new recipes. I made Cranberry Apple Chutney (pictured here), Ginger Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Chanterelle Green Bean Casserole and a huge batch of sweetened dinner rolls.

After feasting until our bellies were stuffed beyond belief, my cousin set us down and showed us her latest craft adventure, no sew Christmas Tree ornaments. I lost my surge of energy so mine is not quite finished yet. But here is my progress so far. It will be topped with a swatch of yo-yo coordinating fabric and then some ribbon for good measure.

It was such a treasured time to be together.  Some highlights included....Our foster son coming by to surprise us with a visit that turned into 2 days of relaxing together and catching up on happenings. A dear new friend was able to share in our celebrations and she has now been lovingly "adopted" by my whole family. My little Miss Angel-girl still knows her Auntie and blessed me repeatedly with snuggle hugs and showers of adoration.

Now the new week is about to start and we are quickly rolling into December. Icca Chou and I are working on the wedding plans. Funny how there seems to be tons of time left and still not enough time for February 12th to arrive. At times we feel just about ready and at other times overwhelmed with all the tasks left to do. Then I remind myself that the best way to tackle anything is one task at a time.

My current task is to sew these little 4mm beads onto the lace trim of her wedding dress. The dress already has baby pearl and sequins accents but adding the aquamarine crystals really brings a unique touch to the princess design.  By my calculations I figure to put roughly 120 bead accents on the dress and I am about 2/3 of the way finished. As with any project I do, I get so excited to see it all coming together.

In my other adventure, my cello practice is coming along. My instructor has given me a good handful of Christmas music to study and has been encouraging me to actually play before an audience. We usually do some sort of talent sharing this time of year, so I am trying to muster up the courage to commit to playing.  Or better yet, asking our resident violinist if we could do an arrangement together. I know God keeps telling me not to compare and that He is proud of me just the way I am. But I do have to admit to feeling a small amount of trepidation at the thought of my 8 months of practice in comparison to her 25 years of playing. She (the violinist), as well as everyone else for that matter, are all such encouragers. It is my own self that I have to get out of the way.  We will see what happens.
For the moment though, I see that the clock has clearly run away with me and my pillow is calling my name.

I pray that you have a blessed week in all that you do. While you set your feet and hands to all your tasks, know that you are loved by Papa God, creator of the universe. He did it all for you, to delight you and make you smile, to light up your world and cause you to know that no matter what circumstance you are in, you are truly surrounded by a never ending and unfailing love that holds onto you as the greatest treasure imaginable.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Never Say Never....

Never say never.......

I always scoffed at the idea of buying clothes for pets. Not that I look down my nose at those who do because what others want to do is completely fine. I just personally never wanted to have a pet that needed that sort of attention. Funny thought considering how much I baby my fuzzy boys.

Oh well.....
So little Mr Conguito spent the first 5 years of his life in Texas where the weather was always warm and it seemed to never ever rain. Now that winter is setting in here in the NW with its winds and damp chills, we are finding this little boy trembles a lot.

Recently I was in Walmart holding up three little sweaters against my chest so that my daughter could take a cellular snapshot and get family opinion on which comfy knit to purchase for my fuzzy.  A tall gentleman walked down the isle and stopped to size up our situation. He leaned over towards me and said, "They are all stylish for you but I am not sure they are quite your size."

I had to laugh as I thought of the funny implication and how God uses so many situations to teach me to watch my words and assumptions with that word....never.

I never thought I would not be baby-sitting my niece.
I never imagined I could actually pursue playing a cello.
I never pictured myself panicking at the results of a mammogram.
I never figured I would walk a 10 mile race.
I never believed I would be brave enough to get a tattoo.
I never thought I could get to this date, just a couple days shy of a year since Daddy passed, and not have tears fill my eyes with random thoughts of him.

When I look back over my experiences of the last year.....there are several things that I had labeled as an imagined never. They are things that I had put limits on. Thank God He has a different plan in mind that He has mapped out for me. He believes in me so much more than I give myself credit for doing. He sees me in my potential and giftings without limitations. As a matter of fact, He see us all that way.....complete and whole in Him.

Thank You God for your goodness and Your plan for us.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

18 Years Old

Is that a happy face or what?  She is thrilled for sure.
This is a snap shot of Puddin' that I took today. It is her 18th birthday. As if that wasn't enough, she passed her driver's test today and she also became a registered voter. So for all practical purposes, my Puddin' is now considered an adult by society.

We did a party tonight at my mom's house. The menu was all special foods requested by Puddin. It was the oddest combination of comfort foods  that are mainstays in our home and consisted of ricee (a sweet steamed rice flour dessert), manapua, grilled cheese sandwiches, mochi, and a veggie platter for good measure.  I also made a white and chocolate 4 layer cake for everyone to enjoy.  It was a fun evening and she is elated with emotion after a full day of fun, love and honor.

How am I with all of it? I too loved the day and am so thrilled for her. But secretly inside, I am wrestling with this thought of my baby hitting these milestones all at once. When the others that hold my heart hit their milestones, I celebrated each action as a rite of passage. I knew they would make independent decisions that might affect them in the negative and I chalked up the eventuality of it as a future learning experience. This time though, I want nothing more than to put my baby girl into a protective bubble.

Do I not trust her decision making skills? No that's not it.
I think it is because it is a milestone for me as well. When the others made their growing steps, I celebrated with them while in tandem keeping my focus on the younger ones that still needed me.

Do I think I am not needed any longer? No I know that isn't true. As much as I am now 40 years old and still look for the friendship and insight of my own mom, I know I am not about to be cast aside like a worn tennis shoe.
It does however mean that my role is quickly coming to a time of change.

I laugh at myself at this revelation that I always knew would come and yet here it sits on my doorstep with a big surprise bow on it. These seasons of change seem to be coming with more speed, like they are doing a tag team relay and I am the baton that must go each step of the way.

I am so very thankful though. With all of this speed and change, Thank You God that You are the author of it all and You know how it all works together to create a beautiful original work of art.

Here is a thought that I heard on the radio that really makes me pause....
What if only the things I was thankful for yesterday were the things I had today. Then what would today look like?

 My goodness, how much that makes me pause and between the "I need this and that" and the "I have to run now".....did I express my thankfulness for my plenty?


God bless you richly this week and know this: You are loved with a mighty love by God and you have a destiny of purpose that is filled with a hope and future.