Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hydrated Fruit

Our new Mom to Mom year started yesterday at Rolling Hills. Vicki Davis, our Titus 2 Leader in charge of hospitality, planned a fruit theme for the brunch. Prior to the brunch she sent an email to all our Titus 2 Leaders reminding us of the opportunity to let the "fruit of the Spirit" pour forth from us as we connect with the younger moms this year.

I had to share with the other leaders that "my fruit" had been a little dry lately--not rotten, not crisp--just dry. I noticed some other heads nodding also. Our prayer was that God would hydrate our fruit--the fruit He has poured into our lives through His Spirit.

Perhaps you need to pray that God will hydrate your fruit also.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Between the Cracks

Many of you know I have a granddaughter named Hadley. As of May 19, 2009, she is five years old. She is a most adorable child (even if I say so myself). Not only is she physically adorable, she has such a sweet spirit.When Hadley was born, she weighed a whopping 15 1/2 ounces. You read it right--less than a pound. Her dad's wedding ring could slide up and down her little arm and never touch. Hadley was in the NICU for 108 days and many of those days we did not know if she would be with us the next day, the next hour, or the next minute. But after 108 days she went home with her mom and dad. What a joyous day!

It may seem like I'm changing the subject but bear with me. Since I retired, I have really enjoyed flower gardening. The same summer Hadley was born, a flower, more specifically an impatient, grew up between the cracks in my garden walk. No easy feat for a fragile flower. That little flower thrived all summer and fortunately no one ever stepped on it. I guess they couldn't since it seemed to rear it's little head and say: "Please don't step on me. I'm too beautiful." I named the flower Hadley because it had something in common in with my precious little Hadley. It was beautiful. It grew. And it thrived in the most difficult of circumstances.

Hadley's name means "one of wisdom." I just love that. And I do believe God will raise her up to be a godly and wise women after His own heart. I have given Hadley's name another meaning--"one who grows between the cracks." Though Hadley started out most precariously, she now thrives. Praise be to our great God!

I love you, Hadley. Keep growing!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It Doesn't Get Any Sweeter

As you read my blogs, it will become quite clear that I love being a grandmother. Mimi is my grandmother name. Last Friday was one of those times when my heart overflowed with joy and gratitude at being a grandmother.

I was caring for my little grandson, Leighton (5 months old). I was snuggling him close and giving him a bottle. He loves his bottle (an understatement). As he sucked furiously, I starting singing: "Oh how I love Jesus. Oh how I love Jesus. Oh how I love Jesus because He first loved me." He looked in my eyes with complete trust and kept sucking. His beautiful green/brown/with a tinge of blue eyes seemed to be saying: "It doesn't get any better than this, Mimi. Keep snuggling me. Keep feeding me. And keep singing to me." So that's what I did. However I began singing softer and softer, and his eyes got heavier and heavier until he stopped sucking, his little body relaxed completely, and he fell asleep. It doesn't get any sweeter than that.

Would be that every baby could at least once go to sleep in the arms of someone who adored him/her and heard the words: "Oh how I love Jesus" being sung ever so softly and sweetly. It wouldn't get any sweeter than that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Memorial Service (Continued)

It took awhile, but I'm back. Hopefully you read my story about attending the memorial service of the husband of a lady I worked with years ago in the Head Start program. Her name is Fay; her husband's name is Bob.

Bob's memorial service was not that different from other memorial services I have attended. However the people who spoke about him spoke things I needed to hear. First there were Bob's nephews and a niece. They shared about Bob's care and concern for the extended family. The memories shared were touching. Then Bob's two sons and one daughter took the platform. The lessons learned from their dad were many and good. They all agreed the best decision their dad ever made was to marry Fay. That brought nods and chuckles from all in attendance. Then several sets of grandchildren (some of the guys sporting "University of Tennessee orange" yarmulkes--Bob was a big UT fan!) spoke about their granddad. I remember two things from their sharing that I don't want to forget:

1. Know the difference between wants and needs.

2. Call your family and tell them you love them.

About Wants and Needs

Bob had taught his grandchildren that it was fine to want things and even to acquire things. But he also taught them when what you want gets in the way of what you need, refrain. So if working longer hours to have an expensive car takes away from your family, don't do it! You need your family; you don't need an expensive car.

About Telling Your Family You Love Them

Bob called his grandchildren every Friday evening to check in on them and tell them he loved them. I don't really know why he called on Friday, but I wonder if it had anything to do with the beginning of the Sabbath? If so, what a wonderful tradition! If not, what a wonderful tradition!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thank You, Fay

God has blessed me in so many ways. However some of the blessings have come in unusual packages. Let me take you for a little trip down memory lane. After graduate school, I began work with the Head Start Program in Knoxville, TN. While working as a Master Teacher, I became friends with a lovely lady, named Fay Gluck. Fay worked as a social worker in the program. And Fay was Jewish. You see, being a "little girl" from Jefferson City, TN, I had never known a Jewish person much less been friends.

When my husband, Lee, took a job in Nashville, I prepared to leave my job in Knoxville. We got an apartment in Nashville, and Lee left me behind to work out a notice. Who came to my rescue? Fay. She invited me to stay in their home the remainder of time I would be in Knoxville. Well if I had never known a Jewish person, I certainly had not stayed in the home of one. Staying with Fay, her husband, Bob, and her 3 children was a wonderful blessing. Not only did I enjoy their company, I learned so much about Jewish faith and traditions. And I loved their cook, Viola. She knew how to prepare food and keep everything in the kitchen kosher. The first bar mitzvah I ever attended was Fay's son.

At last my employment with the Head Start Program came to a close, and I was given a farewell party. Fay and others had collected money for a going-away gift--a silver charm bracelet with two significant charms attached. One charm was the Head Start symbol. The other was a fish. Why a fish? Because Fay knew I was a Christian and respected me and my faith. Thirty-seven years later--and I still have those charms and they are both still special to me.

This past week my walk intercepted Fay's once again on a sadder note. I attend her husband's memorial service at the West End Synagogue here in Nashville. I had never attended a Jewish funeral service before just as I had never attended a Jewish bar mitzvah until I attended her son's so many years ago. I didn't get to talk with Fay. She might not have remembered me anyway. But I will never forget her and the kindness she showed me so many years ago. Thank you, Fay!

This story is not over. There is more to come soon. See ya then.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Snippets of Trying Times Now Make Me Laugh

Let me set the stage. It is a Saturday afternoon in Sarasota, Florida. I am at the home of my son and daughter-in-law, Chad and Candace. They have gone out to run some pre-Christmas errands. I (Mimi) am at home with Hadley (4 ½ years) and Shepherd (almost 20 months). Shepherd has just had palette surgery and must eat through a tube attached to a large syringe. Now mind you this little guy likes to eat and eating through a tube is not a cup of tea for him or for the one feeding him. But I, Mimi, am doing my best to get some pureed waffle down the little guy fast enough to satisfy him. He is continually giving the sign for “more” just one hint that I’m too slow, he wants more, or perhaps he wants something completely different. While I, Mimi, am pushing “food” into Shep’s mouth, Hadley is pulling a chair over to the pantry and proceeds to get out a container of Nesquick, insisting she really must have some chocolate milk. Within seconds the container drops to the floor and there now is a huge pile of Nesquick on the floor. No problem thinks my precocious granddaughter, I’ll clean it up. She begins wetting a slew of paper towels. My mind races ahead to a sticky, chocolately mess all over the kitchen floor so I begin yelling: “No Hadley. Don’t clean it up. Mimi will clean up. Hadley, please don’t bother to clean it up. Leave it on the floor. Mimi will get it. You did not mean to spill it.” Finally she transferred her attention from the pile of Nesquick on the floor to the blender her mom had left on the counter. The blender is directly in front of Hadley because she is standing in a chair (another precarious move). Next thing I know the blender’s motor is revving on high, and Hadley looks like she is about to jump out of her skin. Meantime, Shepherd is still begging for more to eat. Then I, Mimi, have a flashback to my days as a young mom with two young preschoolers. I thought how frustrated I would have been then in a situation like I was finding myself. But today it all I can do to keep from cackling out loud. The situation truly was a comedy because I know now these snippets of trying times are just that—snippets. They pass so quickly and it did! And all is well and I can tell you about it with great pleasure!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Peanut Butter, Poop and Alimentum

You know what peanut butter is. And you most certainly know what poop is. But do you know what Alimentum is? Let me describe them in the order of their odor. If you like peanut butter, the aroma can be pleasing at first. Poop—well there is nothing pleasing about the smell. Then there’s Alimentum. Alimentum is a formula for babies who have dairy allergies. It’s smell? HORRIBLE! Maybe even worse than poop.

Yesterday was my day to wear all three fragrances. You see I was caring for my grandchildren, Analayne and Leighton, while Leeanne went back to work—her first day back since Leighton was born.

Picture Analayne and me eating peanut butter and crackers. Not uncommon for a three year old, she gets peanut butter on her fingers and before I know it, she wipes the gooey stuff on my capris. So much for that!

Let’s move to baby Leighton. He is sitting in his swing—happy as a lark. I thought to myself he must be “pooping” because he is always cheerful when doing his business. When he starts to crank up his motor, I know he’s done. He’s thinking get this mess out of my pants. So being the good Mimi I am, I pick him up to take him to the changing table for a clean diaper when I realize poop is everywhere! It’s leaking from his diaper--all down his leg, soaked into his blanket, and dripping on the floor. The floor I could get back to; the rest required haste. Somewhere in the transport, I manage to get poop on the sleeve of my shirt. Now I’ve got gooey peanut putter on my capris and poop on my sleeve. If you know babies, what happens when they have a big poop? They’re hungry, like famished they would have you believe. So being the good Mimi that I am, I make him a bottle of his formula—Alimentum. I cuddle him close and begin to feed him. A happy lad he is! Then I feel something wet. It’s Alimentum soaking through my shirt. Remember what I said earlier about Alimentum? It smells horrible—especially when it dries.

Finally dad Russell gets home from work. I tell them bye and give the “babies” hugs and I’m on my way. When I got home, I was glad to exchange my “mimi” clothes for some non-smelly duds.

Do I share this story to complain about the “fallout” from taking care of my precious grandchildren? No, not at all. As I see it, it is just life in the day of a Mimi who loves her children and grandchildren.

It is a joy to be a mom and a grand mom. And for me that’s the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day.


P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to any of you moms who might be checking in!