Reframe Memories To Rewrite Your Story

Does this happen to you? You’re cruising through your day, or your desk, or your drawers and you tumble back in time? You hear a song, catch the scent of an old flame, or find a photo from the good old days and your past comes roaring into your present. You can let the past haunt your future or you can reframe the memory to rewrite the story. 

While purging items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore, (or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my mature, more generously padded frame) I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.

It stopped me in my tracks.

For decades those shirts lay folded and waiting to be put in rotation again. Even more than a photograph or nostalgic song on the radio, the sight and feel of them took me right back to a time when we were young and bulletproof and all was well with us.

I kept them because they reminded me of my Hot & Hunky Hubz who died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 39. I kept them because I thought one of my boys, who were 7 and 4 at the time of his passing, might grow into them and I would see them repurposed, resurrected.  I kept them because I thought I would see a version of Hot & Hunky again.

I held onto them because a part of me couldn’t let go of that time when all was well.

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Approach With Caution!

Do you ever suffer a serious case of stubborn self-sufficiency? How about arrogance? Judgmentalism? Smug conceit? Ugly qualities, but I have to admit, I ran them all today. 

It all started when I lost my car keys. Also, my new barrettes (still in the package), two socks (not a pair), and my ultimately my temper. It wasn’t a world class Rumpelstiltskin snit; it was a slow-burning internal sizzle. 

Do you do that?  Pretend it’s all good, but fume inside?

I was snippy because I don’t lose things. I just don’t. I’m organized. I’m tidy. I put things away. It’s fair to say I’m even a little arrogant about my superior system for organized tidiness. There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place! But today I cannot find my things. 

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Are Burning Coals Falling On Your Head?

Do you have anyone in your life that’s a handful? You know, really irritating? Downright difficult?  Be careful how you treat them or burning coals may be falling on your head!

One of the most challenging people I have ever had to accommodate was Hot & Hunky’s dad. He was ex-military and an ex-cop. He bragged about riding motorcycles year-round in the ‘60s. “Heck, yeah, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold. We’d wrap our legs with newspaper as insulation under our uniforms. The department wasn’t full of wimps, women and weaklings like it is now.” 

After a series of crashes and altercations disabled him, he retired from the police department. Without a satisfying job and with little to do at home, he took solace in food and television, gaining a ton of weight, further handicapping his movements which made him cranky. 

He had some redeeming qualities. He was funny and charming when he wanted to be. He was kind to children and generous with his time and talent. He loved his family furiously, but he was a difficult patient for his sweet wife. We all waited for the day when he would pass, and relief would come to my mother-in-law.  

Then, POOF! She died. Just like that, it fell to us to take over his care. Hot & Hunky handled his finances and insurance, I took on the role of activity director and chauffeur. 

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God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

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Do You Trust God With The Impossible?

How good are you at trusting God with what’s on your heart and mind but out of your control?

Do you trust God with the impossible or do you fuss and squawk until there’s nothing you can do to make a difference and then slump into despair and worry? 

My son, Eli, graduates from bootcamp this week. It seems like only yesterday that he was toddling around the house in diapers. The years float by leaving a residue of precious memories to mark high state occasions. The first step. Every first day of school. Passing his drivers test. Watching him play football. High School graduation. His first job as a firefighter.

Each marker took Eli further and further beyond my ability to protect him. Joining the Air Force Reserves marked the final transition of my role from guardian to worrier, I mean warrior … of prayer.

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Is God Enough?

When you search for meaning in trials and demand a reason for difficulties, the question we ask is, “Why is this happening?” 

The question you need to answer is, “Is God enough?”

When life is hard and plans change, when futures seem forfeit, and life shifts unexpectedly, the question you have to settle is, “Is God enough?”

In the time before YouTube and Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.

These volumes were called cookbooks.

Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called “Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Jen’s plan was to double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.

Jennifer thought it was genius. I thought it was harebrained.

Until I tried it.

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How Hard Is It For You To Try Something New?

When a new idea is proposed, do you consider it with an open mind or is it hard for you to try something new? 

A girlfriend I’d been wanting to know better called and asked if I’d like to get together. Maybe go for a walk.

This is not a good idea, I thought. I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I don’t own yoga pants or exercise clothes. The closest thing to a walking shoe I own is a pair of Reeboks that I bought in 1988 for an aerobics class I never attended. 

I really wanted to spend the time with this woman.  It’s just walking, I figured. How hard can it be to try something new? 

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Holding Onto Your Past Creates Problems For Your Future

Are you holding onto your past?
Take a lesson from me, and jettison the junk.

 

 

I spent a good chunk of yesterday cleaning out the “toy closet.”

I haven’t had children at home for years.
Deep sigh …
followed by a leap for joy!
(Don’t judge, I am happy to have healthy, thriving, gainfully employed boys who’ve grown into men.)

I’m reclaiming all the real estate in my house previously dedicated to storing their paraphernalia.
I will no longer keep art projects from grade school,

football cleats from high school or dental models of lost retainers.

Yesterday, I cleared the last bastion of their territory … the toy closet.
Toys spanning the decades spilled out to be sorted and bagged up

in preparation of their move to someone else’s home.

Candyland, all the chess boards and the Monopoly game … out.
Beanie Babies, action figures and matchbox cars … out.
Glitter pens, coloring books and the potholder loom …  out.
Puzzles, sidewalk chalk and the abacus no one ever knew how to use … out!

Can I just tell you, it’s liberating.
I am giddy with glee!

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Want To Know A Big Secret Of Mine?

I’m not sure if I should brag about this or whisper it like the big secret it is.

I wore the same outfit everyday for the entire week! I wore it to the dentist on Mon., out to dinner with girlfriends on Wed., for a FB live on Thurs., to get my hair cut on Sat., to church on Sunday and around the house the rest of the week.

Same outfit every day!

It was so freeing not to have to think about it. And, no mountain of laundry at the end of the week!

There are other benefits, too. I don’t know about you, but I can get so bogged down with the smallest details that it that it keeps me from making real progress on anything!

The tiniest of decisions can hold my momentum hostage.

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Some Things You Keep

Is your house full of sentimental treasures?
Some things you have to keep, right? 

As I put the sewing box back in closet I spotted
three big white cardboard boxes tucked so far back,
I had to crawl in to drag them out.

Each of the dust covered, shrink wrapped boxes
had a large plastic window that displayed
a wedding dress bodice hermitically sealed inside.

The smallest of the boxes contained the wedding dress
I wore to marry, Jay or Hot & Hunky as I called him.

 

It was a high collared, lacy gown with long poofy lace sleeves.
Not the least bit sexy.  Zero sexy. I can only guess that
I was trying to get his mother to approve of me since Jay
married me just months after I quit my job as a Playboy Bunny.

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