I'll be posting later than usual today. I went out of town yesterday and am still on the road home.
Do you ever stop to think about how far you've come?
Most of the time, I'm thinking about how far I still have to go. I get a little discouraged when I see mountains up ahead and I think, "I'm gonna have to have to climb those suckers?? Yeah, right."
And then something comes along. Maybe a conversation, or a sight or a smell that reminds me of the past and where I've come from. I remember the challenges I've faced in my faith and the mountains I've already climbed. I remember the silly grudges I've held and the times when I've failed even myself.
Somehow through all of that there has been a Faithful God.
He's changing me. Molding me. Creating something new.
With each failure, with each victory, with each passing day, I'm not who I was.
OK. I don't always know who I am TODAY, but I sure as shootin am not the same person I was yesterday.
That's because He's taking the garbage I bring him and making it into something beautiful. I can't always see what or how or why He's doing it, but He is.
Spend a few moments today reflecting on just how far you've come. Forget for just a minute where you think you ought to be, and take joy in being right where you are. Right where God wants you to be.
See. You're not who you were, either.
Today's Small Thing is about reflection. Take a few minutes to clean the mirrors in your home. Get them all shiny and clean! And as you do, reflect on that girl in the mirror and the Faithful God who's never given up on her.
POINTS: 40 for shining up all the main ones
Want to share? Leave a comment or write a blog post about not being who you were. If you blog it, be sure and let us know so we can stop over!
Boy, I didn't do a whole lot of marching yesterday. It just so happened that my work project kept my derriere glued to the chair all day and well into the night. I did stop down to eat a healthy mid-morning snack of cheesecake (I'm not proud of myself) and I broke down and had a Pepsi (and chips) with my lunch. I will spare you the details of my stress-ridden diet yesterday and suffice to say that I'm feeling a bit sluggish today.
But in the spirit of getting back in step, I checked out YouTube for a 5 minute workout that I would have No Excuse for not doing. I found Geralyn Coopersmith had a great little workout that inspired me to get moving.
Hey, even I can find 5 minutes, especially if I won't have to sweat too much.
I don't have the stretchy thing, but just doing the movements along with Geralyn was helpful. Plus, she doesn't suffer from Over Perkiness or Over Excitedness, two conditions which commonly ail most exercise instructors. It hurts me to watch many of them. Poor, poor things.
Today's Small Thing is to spend five minutes doing some simple exercises. You probably know your own trouble-spots without me having to tell you to do a few butt-crunches or tummy-crunches. But more important than working the trouble-spots is to just get moving...on purpose. Get your heart-rate up a notch with some big movements and remind the old Bod that oxygen in the blood feels good.
POINTS: 30 for a 5 minute "workout"
BONUS: 10 if you can get someone to do it with you. And yes, little people count.
40 pts max.
Do you have an exercise routine? What do you do to stay in shape?
I love a good marching band! This song is one of my favorites...it's so catchy it kinda stays in your head. There's nothing like seeing and hearing a great university band, with the drum line and tubas marching in precision with the trombones and trumpets and clarinets. How do they do that without running into each other?
Well, there's always a director, high up on a stand, swinging his arms in gigantic motions so that everyone can follow his rhythm. Without him, it would be chaos on the field...a massive wreck of instruments and people in really tall hats, all tangled up.
It reminds me of the rhythm that goes into making a household run. There are things that require a repetitive beat, week after week to keep things from falling into chaos. The laundry, the meals, the dishes, the picking up, the sorting, the bills, the errands. You can get real tired of the constant drum beat of things to do, but there is beauty when things work like they should.
I've got to be honest with you and tell you that I'm still working on finding my own beat. My schedule changes from week to week (that's my excuse) and I've dropped my rhythm more times than I've marched in perfect synchronization with my family's needs. Somehow this weekend got away from me and I didn't get any laundry or cleaning done so I'll have to catch up.
Today's Small Thing is to find your rhythm. If you've fallen behind on the laundry or cleaning or groceries, why not use today to catch up on one thing? Instead of beating yourself up over it, just find your place and start marching! Before you know it, you'll be back in step and making music.
POINTS: 30 for finding your place again and working on getting caught up. You choose the beat and the activity your family needs most.
What are you catching up on today?
The days are long gone in which the population of stuffed animals at our house was that of a small city. Those cuddly pets started arriving before the first baby came home and they just proliferated from there. With every birthday, holiday and hospitalization came new species of animals, in all shapes and sizes.
At one point, my man built a shelf that ran the perimeter of the girls' room just to house the critters and keep them from overtaking every inch of the floor.
As the kids got older, I managed to pare down the zoo to a manageable number of favorites. A friend asked Elle why on earth she named her favorite bear, "Pinky," when he was a lovely shade of dingy gray. He got loved on quite a bit and Elle hadn't even noticed that he wasn't pink anymore.
Now that's true love.
And Em had her Tigger and "Slimy," a green, bean-filled mole that was a constant companion for many years. Slimy was great to tote around because he was so slouchy and relaxed. He's lost a lot of beans in his lifetime, but he's still good to go with a couple of stitches here and there.
Even G.T. had Buddy, a soft little stuffed boy that kept him company at night. We didn't mind him having a buddy...just don't call him a doll.
These days, the last remaining stuffed animals are all crammed into a large basket in the corner of the girls' room. It's a little sad, seeing those mementos of a childhood gone by. Darn it, now I'm going to start crying! Let's just keep it moving here by talking about Today's Small Thing.
Today's Small Thing is to rein in the herds of stuffed animals and organize them a bit. They really don't mind being corralled and if you ask me, they seem to like having boundaries.
Do you have too many? Consider sneaking off with some of the less important ones, but NOT your child's favorites no matter how shabby they've become. Those are for memories and for reminding you of the fleeting wonder of childhood. You'll be glad you saved the ones they loved best.
POINTS: 30 for calling on Animal Control to pick up the strays
You'll have to pause the music on my playlist for best viewing.
You don't have to endorse Bud Light to appreciate the "Dude" humor of this ad campaign. Somehow they've managed to sum up the universal language of men into the word they all understand.
I've been married to a Dude for almost 25 years and I've gotta say there's still a lot I don't know about Dude-ness. There are many things I take for granted, like the fact that he's in charge of the lawn-mowing and the mechanical stuff. But there are other things that go deeper inside that Dude heart of his that I hope I appreciate as much as I should.
Dudes get a bad rap these days. They are the butt of jokes and the apes of sit-coms. Commercials make them look like complete idiots. Talk shows make the most out of their short-comings. It's easy to roll your eyes at their Dude mistakes or their lack of feminine sensitivity.
But if we haven't beat it out of our Dudes already, what they have to offer us is so much more than we can muster on our own. We want to tame our men just enough, but sometimes we go a little too far in our expectations. It's really not all that important that he be able to wrangle a bull or fix a motor or sip tea from a china cup.
What really matters is his heart, and his commitment to the life you have together. He may not wear his Dude heart on his sleeve, but he still needs to know that you love and appreciate who he is and what he's doing for your family.
Today's Small Thing is to find ways to appreciate your Dude. Let him know that you're still crazy about him and that he's the kind of guy that makes a girl feel lucky. Even if ya ain't really feelin it....your actions will mean more than you know.
POINTS: 50 for loving your Dude in a way you know he'll enjoy today....you choose what to do!
That's right. It farted.
Again and again. Loud, juicy "phhhhhts" of extruded gas.
I looked down at the bloated bag hanging from my shoulder, and knew immediately what had caused its flatulence.
One aisle over, doubled over in laughter, was my son (age 14). In his hand was a small remote with a button for activating a little portable machine which he had recently acquired at the church garage sale.
A remote-controlled Fart Machine.
Which he'd secretly placed in my purse.
"It's going off by itself! I swear!" he said through his laughter. "Look!" He held out his palm and the fart sounds just kept on rolling from my purse without his thumb touching the button.
I couldn't help it....I started laughing with him and we had to hang on to the DVD racks to keep from falling over. With each new "phhhhhhht" we tried to suppress our giggles, which only made it funnier. We exited Blockbuster without a shred of dignity.
My purse lost a bit of weight when I took the guilty machine out, but it's still far too overweight for its bone structure. It just keeps eating things like paper and receipts, and you KNOW what too much fiber will do. A slimmed-down purse is far more attractive and much less likely to have gas.
Today's Small Thing is to help your purse shed some weight by cleaning it out. Reduce the excess tonnage by removing everything but the bare essentials. Try using small ziplocks to contain things like cosmetics or other small items. I'd say it's time to let the receipts from Christmas go.
POINTS: 40 for avoiding Purse Flatulence by nipping bloating in the bud
You know, a girl can put up with a lot of things.
She can put up with little people taking two bites of their hamburger and then saying they're full. She can put up with people throwing perfectly clean clothes into the laundry because they are too lazy to hang them up. She can even put up with shoes left out, empty milk jugs in the fridge and toys all over the floor.
But it's the little things that can make her go crazy.
Things like looking for a pen which actually writes that is actually near where she might want to use it.
Is it asking too much for people to not walk off with workable writing instruments? Must the only things available to jot a phone message down be eyeliner or lip pencil? Even a crayon with a tip that isn't broken off would be appreciated.
Today's Small Thing is to throw away all the dry pens, broken pencils and crayon nubs that you have to paw through to find the one good one that works. Why do we keep these things around? Just in case?
Just in case we want to use them as weapons? Yeah, you might be able to stab an intruder with a dry pen, but it's unlikely to happen. Face it.
All contingencies aside, toss out those good-for-nothing pens and add "Package of Pens" to your store list. Then the only problem you'll face is which good one to use first!
POINTS: 20 for throwing out old pens, pencils, markers and crayons
BONUS: 10 for adding them to your shopping list if you need new ones
Are you starting something new in your life? It's easy to be intimidated by the size of a new project, a job change, a brand new baby or a housekeeping goal. You might be thinking, What have I gotten myself into??
I think that every time I stand in front of a blank wall with a paint brush in my hand. How am I going to pull this one off? I'm torn by self-doubt and fear of failure.
This week, I'll start a different type of work project that I've never done before. I feel small and insufficient. I lack the talent and the degree to be fully confident in myself.
But maybe that's where God wants me. Insufficient in my own strength and fully dependent on His.
When the task seems too big, a small start seems awfully insignificant. But God rejoices to see the work begin when we commit our plans and ways to Him. Our job is to take that first step and let God do His part by seeing us through to the end.
Even if you've started before and failed, use today to take another run at it. It takes work and patience to begin something new, and this is no different. Respect the process of learning and growing, and then allow Him to give you the grace to succeed.
Today's Small Thing is to print off Zech. 4:10 and put it where you can see it. When you start feeling discouraged, use it to remind you that God is working in you, helping you and rejoicing over you.
Don't worry about the outcome--remember, that's HIS job!
POINTS: 30 for putting April's verse up somewhere
How can we pray for each other this week? Feel free to let your Company Girls know.
But you don't need a translator to understand hospitality. It's in a warm smile, a soft hug, a cup of tea, a motion to "please, sit down!" Hospitality is an attitude of sharing and giving, and you can feel it as soon as you step inside.
Actually, hospitality is communicated before you even enter a home. It starts outside at the front door.
Today's Small Thing is to take a look at your entryway and view it as a guest sees it. Is your porch a home to spiderwebs and a pile of leaves that blew in? Is is littered with newspapers, muddy tennis shoes and skateboards? A few minutes to sweep and gather the miscellaneous stuff will give your home an instant facelift!
I love to see pots of flowers by the front door and I hope to get some planted this weekend. My daughter, Elle, spruced up her apartment entry with some fresh marigolds and petunias and she's inspired me to get going on my own "welcome" pots.
So shake out the rug, tidy your stoop and throw your arms open to your world. Say "Welcome" in a language everyone understands!
POINTS: 40 for creating a hospitable entry in a few minutes flat!