Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Drumsticks

One rainy Tuesday morning I was in the checkout line at Food Lion. It was an ordinary day - I was on my way to clean house for a customer and needed to pick up a few supplies. This particular morning I'd awoke around 5:30 am for no good reason. My morning had been full of worry. Worry about finances. Worry about the future. Worry about my own abilities (art / job / career - which have become all tied together into one knot for me). Although it goes against every Sunday School lesson I've been taught, I was facing worry about any, and everything imaginable. Between coffee and a scrambled egg sandwich I was able to get my act together and get on my way to work. Rushing though the store, I hurriedly filled my cart with what I needed and proceeded to the check out line. As I unloaded my items onto the belt at the counter I couldn't help but notice the lady ahead of me - she was purchasing a 24 pack of Drumstick ice cream cones. DRUMSTICKS. Without even thinking I blurted out, "Oooohh, Drumsticks! Those were my favorite when I was a kid!" (and still today, but I refrained from divulging that piece of very private information to a total stranger). The lady smiled a huge, proud smile and told me she was bringing those precious treats home for her grand children. She joked about how she had to hide some of the ice cream so it wouldn't be eaten all at once. Listening to her I remembered that once I had been someone's grandchild. Once I had been spoiled with ice cream treats. Spoiled with sweet smiles, hugs, and love. I remembered how special - how loved I felt when my tiny, 5ft tall Gran petted my hair and asked, "Did you have a good day?". All of these memories swirled together in a matter of seconds and all I could do was smile back at this complete stranger. We exchanged a few polite words before she walked out to her car. What I was left feeling is hard to explain......there have been times in my life when I'm SO very worried, immediately followed by an overwhelming calm, or peace. That is what I felt after meeting Drumstick Lady - peace. My "Three Little Birds Experience" all over again. At that moment in Food Lion I knew everything would be alright. Praise God. I will be eternally grateful for these moments, and will soak up each one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Concentrate

A while back I had a very real, very strange dream. Since my mother died in 2011 I have had only a handful of dreams about her, mostly in the first few weeks following her death. In these dreams I saw her as she was in her last days - not the very, very strong woman who had ruled my life for years. In these dreams (nightmares, really) I was reliving the hell that is stage four cancer. Reliving the fear of not being enough for a dear loved one who is suffering so terribly - the fear that I would fail as her only caregiver.
In this most recent dream of mine, she and I sat at our old kitchen table. You have to know, this is the table where she and I spent many an evening on my schoolwork. As a child who struggled with ADD her whole life, I knew that table well. The table where Mama sat across from me night after night - encouraging me, making up silly rhymes and songs to memorize facts, quizzing me before tests. Years later our dearest friends would gather here for lunch on the day she was laid to rest. This was the kitchen table in my dream - the dream where we were face to face and she spoke to me as her old (strong and healthy) self. I hung on every word. I knew this moment wouldn't last long. She looked me in the eye and said one word, "Concentrate". That was it. I was very aggravated. Concentrate on what!? How vague! How "mom-ish"! Funny thing is that now, I think I know what she meant. Concentrate on your life (it is short). Concentrate on your goals, passions, gifts, relationships. I do feel that she specifically meant "passions and gifts". She knew what mine were / are and she always pushed me to develop them.
I am easily distracted from what is most important, and I am so thankful for this nudge to "concentrate". Thanks, Mama!!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Clean

Today a very dear friend sent me a simple "thinking of you" text. Little did she know that it was just what my heart needed. The last couple of weeks have been very emotional for me...but when I heard the words to this song today ("Clean", Natalie Grant) I was reminded of who I am in Jesus Christ. 

There is nothing I can say except - Lord, thank you for sending your Son. I am so undeserving and you love me still. Thank you. Amen.

"I see shattered
You see whole
I see broken
But You see beautiful
And You're helping me to believe
You're restoring me piece by piece

There's nothing too dirty that You can't make worthy
You wash me in mercy
I am clean."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What do you do when you find yourself in a place you've never been before (physically, emotionally, mentally)? According to the Encyclopedia of Adrianne you make yourself so busy and so tired that you contract Mono for the second time in your life... but that's not a real answer (or a healthy one for that matter). Now then, let it be known - I'm ONLY speaking from my personal experience when I say this: don't take yourself too seriously. My Dad told me a while back  (paraphrasing), "Don't let your mind run away with you. People aren't nearly as concerned with your life as you think they are". (As a girl who is CONSTANTLY plagued with fear of what others are thinking, I have to try and believe this is true - if for no other reason, just for my own sanity). It's hard living in a very small town where everyone knows everything about you. So, what do you do? Do you hide in your tiny house with your cat? Do you bury yourself in so much work, and so many projects that you can't see straight? Do you manage your time in such a way that you can't be reached? Those have been my tactics, and as far as i can tell, none of that helps. The only option you have is to move forward with the strength of Wonder Woman. Forget the past. Move forward, and know that God has more in store for you than you EVER imagined. He has more in store for you than you're even ready to take on! Now THAT is an awesome feeling! Once you acknowledge that He has an amazing plan for you, all kinds of crazy doors will open.

AND don't forget the little things like wheelbarrows and kittens...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Showers

Tonight I had a meeting with some friends at church. I made it home just in time to beat this summertime rain storm we're getting. I LOVE rain. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing like a clear sunny day to make me smile, but there's just something about rain that soothes me. The sound, the smell, the very thought of washing the day away. I love it. On my way in the house this evening I felt so thankful for the rain because it would help my newly planted flowers get prettier and healthier. That got me thinking about "rain" in my own life...you know, something hard to endure, but in time it helps you grow. During this time there is most likely scary stuff like lightening, but in the end you are better and stronger than before. I realize I'm possibly over simplifying this process, but I'm a simple person...

These are just my ramblings to anyone in a "rain storm" time of their life. Whether you've lost your job, lost a loved one, or are struggling with depression or addiction, don't lose faith. I have endured a few storms, (and no doubt will endure many more since I hope to live a good many more years), as long as any of us hold on to our faith in Jesus Christ we will continue to grow from these storms. Praise God!

2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fancy Towels

As many of you know, in addition to working at Decorating Unlimited I paint rooms and furniture and pretty much anything that sits still. Most of this week was spent painting for a couple in Plains. Besides going above and beyond to make me feel totally welcome and at home, they are just adorable! They fed me a home cooked lunch and told me they "enjoyed visitin' with me". I assure you, the feeling was mutual. These folks are precious.
The second morning I came to work the lady of the house showed me where the towels were in case I needed one (I was working in the bathroom). Laid out in front of me was a very pretty set of monogrammed towels that I would not dare come near with paint on my hands. "I never wanted anyone to use these", she explained. "They were special because they have my initials on them, but now they've rotted because they've sat unused for so long." She pointed out holes in the towels and we laughed a little at the irony in that fact. As we turned to leave the room she laughed again and said "Why did I save them? It's not like those are anyone else's initials!". 
The idea stuck with me throughout the day as I continued painting. She saved something for use at a later time and yet, because it was unused it rotted away. I began thinking of the talents and gifts that God has given us, each one specific to us as individuals, like a monogram. Two people may have the same gift, but would use it in two totally different ways. Sadly, some of us (myself included) think we should wait for just the right time to share our gifts or talents, or to serve our community, but while we wait we are wasting time and wasting our God given gifts. The image of those pretty towels with holes in them will be on my mind for a long time and will encourage me to use my God given gifts as soon as possible.