Showing posts from March, 2010

Unsolicted Affection

Something happened the other day that completely smacked me upside the head. As he often does on his day off, my father stopped by to say hello and spend some time with my kids. Since the girls were at school and the baby was down for his morning nap, it was just my 2-almost-3-year-old-son, Declan. Papa loves all of his 8 grandchildren with great gusto. He has greatly rejoiced with all eight announcements of their arrival and would love for my sister and I to have even more! (In the hospital, as he held my second daughter on the second day of her life, he looked over at me wearily reclining on the hospital bed and asked when we were having the next one!) He loves to hold them as babies and feel their baby skin next to the crook of his neck. He even enjoys burping them and especially loves rocking them to sleep.  (Diaper changing...not so much). And, of course, he did all of this with Declan, and maybe more so because we parents were dealing with two other children when he was an inf

The Discipline of Frugality

Years ago, I read a book that stuck with me called The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. This is one of those books that had a major impact on my life. In a nutshell, the book talks about how we should not be afraid of or despise discipline. Rather, we should embrace it -- celebrate it even -- because contrary to our beliefs that we are stifling or restricting ourselves, discipline brings boundaries and self-control. And that's a good thing. While not one of Foster's disciplines, I believe that frugality is a discipline that we desperately need today -- more than ever. This financial recession we're in is brutal.  However, I believe that one of the unforseen blessings is the recognition of our society's wastefulness. I think most of us are aware of the need to recycle and conserve water and gasoline. Most of us do this because it's fairly easy to do and, let's face it, financially beneficial for us. However, we (and I mean me) have gotten reall

My Rebel Yell....

If you know anything about me, then you know that I'm a Type-A personality. Believe me, I've learned that this can be my greatest strength -- or my biggest downfall. One of these downfalls is that I really have a hard time being blindly ordered to do something. I've never liked it. Not as a child (and my parents nod their head in assent vigorously) and especially not as an adult. It really chaps my hide, goes against my grain, overall just lights my fuse. I'm certain that it's also partly due to the Bruton Stubborn Streak that runs in the family (you know who you are!). So when someone demands out of the blue, "do this," guess what I want to do? The complete opposite. I want to dig every last toe in the sand and start singing that old song from my younger church days, "I shall, I shall, I shall not be moved..." Which is why Facebook drives me crazy sometimes. Forget about all of the sociological applications of "friends" (who may o

Counting Your Many Blessings...

"Count your blessings ... name them one by one..." This is the refrain that kept going through my head the other day as we were on a family bike ride. I was bringing up the rear, so I literally counted up my blessings as I gazed at my husband and my four children (well, I had to look over my shoulder at the baby in his little seat behind me.) It was a perfect sunny day with puffy clouds and gorgeous weather. Everyone was enjoying the fresh air and view of the snow-capped mountains as we rode down the tree-lined trail. In my thirty-six years of life on this planet, I've learned that sometimes life stinks. The little worries and troubles that swirl in and out of our days can leave us thinking, "is this all there is?" At times these "little things" can wear us down more than the doozies of life -- after all, we are on the lookout for those. We expect them to happen. It's just a matter of time. But, I'm not sure that I ever gave a thought t

Burn the Ships

In 1519, the explorer, Hernan Cortes arrived in Veracruz, Mexico. After surviving for weeks with 200 sailors aboard a ship the length of about seven minivans, the crew was ecstatic to get off that wooden death trap. They probably planted their lips on that beach and vowed never to leave.   After all they were the lucky handful who had survived scurvy, epic storms, horrible odors (200 men remember), and probably severe boredom. You'd probably be surprised to hear that soon after they arrived, the same crew was trampling each other in their haste to get back on that boat of death.   Why? Because the brave new world left them less than brave. It was not the paradise they had been expecting. Waterfalls of gold did not abound. Instead of jumping at the chance of being their slaves, the Aztec people seemed to be rather resorceful and unwilling to be conquered. In short, this was no place like home.   Seeing that his men were on the brink of mutiny and dissertion, Cortes did what any