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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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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What’s Your Heart Condition?

Did you know I have a heart condition? Don’t be alarmed. We all do.  

When our hearts are out of sync with God’s best for us, He will reveal it to you in the most inventive ways.

I knocked lightly and popped my head in Jake’s room to say goodnight. His room was a disaster area. Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor. He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books. The bed was disheveled and the window blinds were all catawampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As in engineering live in this chaos?

When his face met mine, he wasn’t smiling. “Mom, got a minute to talk?”
“Sure,” I said. “Want to come downstairs?”
“Can you just come in here?”

I hesitated. See, I am not messy. My spices are alphabetized. My closet is color organized by sleeve length. The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield. I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday. Being in his room makes my brain freeze and my hands twitch.

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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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The Best Medication for Turbulent Times

I surveyed the dark red, single engine airplane we stood in front of as I listened to my new husband say, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate!”  

The airplane that now had my name on the title. The turbulence in my tummy was growing. I gulped. Visions of me soaring through the air filled my head … followed immediately by flashes of me crashing in a blaze of flames.

It seemed reasonable to know how to operate the radio. It even made sense to learn how to land the plane in an emergency, but to actually become a licensed pilot freaked me out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It looks complicated.”
“It’s not hard at all. I’ll teach you.”

You can already tell this will go badly, can’t you?

There is truth in the old adage that a husband should not attempt to teach his wife to drive. Driving lessons are a lot cheaper than a divorce, but this isn’t a blog about marriage.

“Okay,” I said, more out of a desire to be cooperative than adventurous. “Let’s do it.”

Learning to fly an airplane was horribly hard for me; all the technical, weather-related, and directional stuff vexed me. To top it off, my own flying made me sick. The joggling and bouncing in the little plane while doing the training maneuvers made my stomach churn.

Dramamine was a lifesaver for me. I swallowed pieces of little yellow pills for the first forty hours of my training before I successfully completed my testing to become a licensed pilot.

Can I get a whoop! whoop!?

I’m still plagued by motion sickness if the air is turbulent or if the waves are rough. If the swings are tall or the carnival rides turn me upside down. You can tell me it’s all in my head but I am still hurling into an airsick bag.

While Dramamine commands my upset stomach to calm down,
it does nothing to change my circumstances.

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