Happy New Year!

I’ve missed being here in my own little corner of cyberspace!  I had intentions of beginning again when my little people started back to school, but an unexpected accident (are accidents always unexpected? Was that redundant?…I apologize…I’ve been through a bit of trauma in the last few days and am hoping to have my wits about me again before the end of the week…but who knows?)…anyway, I’ve been in and out of the ER, doc’s offices, and surgical center with someone in my life this week.  I’m looking forward to some peace and quiet (does that really exist?) soon.  Maybe.

So, I’ve been thinking since the opening of 2013 on the blessings I receive through the generosity of others and how recognizing their kindnesses gives me energy to go out of my comfort zone and bless the lives of others.

Take last week for example.  I spent one day having a friend and her children visit…and, while we chatted in the kitchen, she grabbed a rag and began wiping down my stove.  She inquired whether or not it would bother me (and it didn’t, so she continued).

We also were able to have dinner with some dear friends in their home.  They let our children meander through various activities (including helping with dinner and dessert preparations) while making our family feel welcomed, valued, and loved.  And my heart was full.

So, the next day, as I thought of a friend who was suffering with sickness in her home, I prepared a meal to take to her family.  I felt so happy and grateful to be able to spread around the kindness and feelings of love that had been recently extended to me.

As we have had this trauma experience as of late, I have continued to be grateful for the helping hands, encouraging emails or phone calls, and the prayers offered in our family’s behalf.  We have been blessed beyond measure through this experience.

I hope that 2013 finds you well and happily filling your days with love and light!  Sending hugs to you and yours! (I’ve missed you…and writing…and blogging…and hearing your stories!)

Give and Take

Sometimes we try to give more than we have…sometimes we take more than we should.

When we are children, we often take…and take…and take some more.  We take knowledge from teachers, wisdom from parents, and energy from the world.  We take life, money, hugs, kisses, tears, and habits from those around us willing to give.

When we have children, we give…and give…and give some more.  Sometimes parents feel no end to the constant giving of time and energy devoted to raising our children, loving them in the way they need to feel love, and disciplining in a way that is meaningful to them, as well.

When we are sick, we take…and take.  We take medicines, energy, and support from our caregivers.  We take healing from prayers and hope and faith.

When we are well, we give…and give.  We give treats to neighbors, kind words to those feeling lonely, carefully typed comments on someone’s blog.

When the holidays come around, we give.  We give canned food to shelters, toys to children, and money to charity.

When we get married, we give…and take.  We give ourselves to one another in the name of union and love…and we take companionship, love, connection (which hopefully is shared more than taken).

Where are you on the continuum of giving and taking…and which feels more fulfilling?

I follow the posts from HONY (Humans of New York) on Facebook…and the post came yesterday that Brandon is taking a trip after no breaks for two years.  He has given many people a view of New York through its people that we could not experience without the power of his photography and the internet by which he shares his images.  He has given for two years and (hopefully) will now be able to take a break and bask in the blessing of the gift he has given the world through this creative project he has undertaken.

My husband asked me the other day, “What do you find most challenging?”  A flood of thoughts poured into my mind, including my writing challenges, keeping up with kiddos’ schedules and homework assignments, making time to refill myself so I have something to give…but my reply came simply, in one word.

“Balance.”

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Christmas is coming; the geese are getting fat…

Do you remember that song?  I didn’t ever know what a hay-penny or a half-penny was until singing that song one day and wondering.  So, I did what I thought I should.  I asked my mom.  It’s what people did back in the day when we didn’t just Google all our questions.

Speaking of Googling questions…I have sick people in my home.  One actually woke me up around 2:23 a.m. to say she felt crummy and couldn’t sleep.  An hour and a few doses of medicine later, she wanted a shower.  Finally, about two hours later, she was headed to sleep, while one of her younger brothers found his way into our room.  I will spare you the other details, but let’s just say we didn’t sleep much last night.

Back to Googling, though…my dear husband is home again feeling yucky, as well (and, after little to no sleep last night, who can blame him?), and, when I sat down at the computer to begin my typing for NaNoWriMo this morning, he said, “If I were there, I would Google home remedies for colds/flu.”  I was curious, so I Googled the topic.

And guess what?

The Glorious Internet Fountain of Knowledge (through WebMD) said we should drink lots of fluids, take Vitamin C & garlic, use steam to clear sinuses, and take some cough medicine and Advil or Tylenol for pain.  Really?  We’ve been doing most of that for over a week, and still people are feeling gross.

Well, maybe I should take a moment and be grateful that most of my children are well and still going to school…and my cute preschooler is bubbling with energy (which really is a blessing…except when I want a nap!)…and I’m only about 1,000 words behind for NaNoWriMo…and still writing!  🙂  Life really is good.  And, I get to spend a little extra time with some cool people I love…helping to deliver cough drops and OTC medicines and watching movies.  If I can stay positive in light of all that is going on, then I will be okay!

Hope you are healthy and happy and still reading and writing, too, as the holidays approach!