Gratitude on Thursday

This week I have a ton of gratitude.

  1. I am grateful for the people in my circle.  They get me (for the most part) and love me.  They hold mirrors up for me and allow me to grow at my own pace.  They are my tribe.  Thank God I am finding these people.  I feel like I’ve spent my who life looking for people who “get” me.  It’s comforting knowing that they are really out there.  Thanks Ladies!
  2. I’m grateful for my family.  With Easter coming up on Sunday it’s been fun planning for the day.  Easter egg hunt in the morning for the kids followed by a yummy lunch.  I’m looking forward to eating good food and making memories with the kids/family.  I’m grateful that most of my family is so close and we are able to do these things.
  3. Without sounding crazy, I’m grateful for my “HOW”.  HOW stands for Honesty, Open-mindedness and willingness.  I am so grateful that I am at least willing to listen to suggestions made to me about me and my behavior/attitudes.  I’m willing to listen for ways to improve myself.  I’m willing to try new things that are suggested to me.  People have said that I’m honest to a fault… that may be true but I’m working on it.  I’m grateful today that I’m a work in progress and I don’t have to be perfect all the time.

Just A Little Wisper

This post is about a spiritual journey. If this is offensive to you please stop reading. I will not tolerate anything negative about this post and will delete any offensive comments, etc. Otherwise, please keep reading.

I want to start of by saying I am not religious. I am spiritual. I have faith because it has been tested and proven. I believe in a loving, kind, caring Higher Power. I refer to this Higher Power as God for the connivence of things. People know what you mean when you say God, as opposed to Higher Power. A few will understand all of this.

I am a lucky one. I have always believed in a Higher Power. I always knew God was out there. I was never afraid of him (again I use the male version for connivence). The way my family tells it, they thought I was going to be a nun when I was a child. Not that I was a pious child but I was always praying. I was always thanking God for good days and fun times. My Aunt tells a story about when I was little. We went to a pond near my paternal grandparent’s house to feed the ducks. My aunt found me with my head down and eyes closed. She asked if I was alright. I said “I’m fine. I’m just praying to God and thanking him for this wonderful day.” She was stunned. I ran off to chase the ducks. I was probably 7 at the time.

I was small when I begged my mom to take me to church. You see my family isn’t overly religious. My maternal grandparents were Episcopalian but not involved in a church. My father was raised Catholic, but wasn’t practicing. I remember visiting my paternal grandparents and going to mass with them. It seemed dark. I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t participate fully in the service. My mom found an Episcopal church near us and took me.

I remember one of the first time we went to the church. Mom made an appointment with the Minister at the time, Kitty. Yes, a women. She took us around the church and explained all the stained glass windows showing scenes from the bible. They were beautiful. She explained about the alter and the dressings. She showed me where on the alter cloth the women who had made it had turned one if the ivy leaves in to a dragon because nothing could be perfect. Only God was perfect. I remember it being cool, and quiet and dim. It felt safe. Almost like a heavy hug.

I got involved. I was able to participate fully because I had been baptized. I became part of the congregation. I loved learning and hearing bible stories. I loved listening to sermons even though I don’t remember paying close attention. I became an acolyte, which meet I got to dress up and participate in the service. I started reading passages during the service.

When Kitty left, because she had been given her own church, she asked me to come to the National Church for her service. It was a huge deal and I felt special. I was one of several from Our church that got to participate in the service.

When the new Reverend came, he asked me to read at his welcoming ceremony. I felt special and like I belonged. I wanted to be confirmed.

I was told I couldn’t be confirmed by another minister, because I was so young. But she was more then willing to allow me to baby sit her children. I remember her house smelled like dirty dishes and cat piss. I was devastated. How dare you tell someone what is or isn’t in their hearts. Why does it have anything to do with age? And so began my trouble with religion.

Ghandi has a wonderful quote “the problem with Christianity is the Christians.” I believe this of all religions not just Christianity. People get in the way. People get in the way of a personal relationship with God.

I spent the next 10 years searching for God.

I tried witch craft. That didn’t work for me. Too many moon phases and the idea of casting spells seemed far fetched to me.

I tried Evangelical Christianity. I had a bible study leader tell the group that the problems with the world were all because of Democrats and Gays. I’m a Registered Democrat. I have a gay uncle. Another time she went on to rant about criminals. I had brother in jail at the time. I struggled with the fact that I knew she had committed adultery. And drank like a fish. But apparently those were “lesser” sins and somehow negated because she was a Republican. Needless to say I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy about Jesus, who was supposed to be my savior. But apparently not if I was a Democrat, Gay or a criminal. This didn’t work for me.

I took an Eastern Religions course in college. I loved it. My professor required us to visit a place of worship for one of the religions we studied. I chose a Buddhist temple. I was so interesting. I brought my mom along with me. The Buddhist were very welcoming. I felt awkward during the service. It wasn’t what I expected. I was intrigued. I did more studying. I love the teaching about the flame. We also studied Hindu during this class. There God are compare able to Catholic Saints. You pray to one for a certain reason the same way a specific Saint is supposed to help you with a certain issue. Hindus believe that all the Gods are a facets of one a God, And I remember it hitting me that we are all praying to the a same God. We just call him different names. We are all looking for a relationship with God and how to obtain that.

I continued to talk at God during this time. I prayed some. I don’t think I listened much. Except when a God shouted at me.

I have always had experiences in my life that I can explain as nothing other then a God interaction. For example, Just before I left to go to California I was struggling about what I should do. I was engaged to my future husband, who was serving in Iraq. I had arranged for an apartment out there for us. But I couldn’t get a job confirmed. I called and called. Emailed. Pestered. I couldn’t move to California without a job. I’m a stubborn girl and refused to not take care if myself. So one day I’m trying on bathing suits with my mom, lamenting about California and the job and what I should do. Finally my mom says “Sarah, have you prayed about it?” I was stunned. The thought had never occurred to me. So I said “Fine. God give me a sign. If I’m supposed to move to California show me how. If I’m not supposed to move. Fine. Just let me know what I’m supposed to do. Show me what you want me yo do.” Mom says I was shouting at this point. She says she was nervous about being kicked out if the store. LOL! I remember feeling calm after that.

And then my phone rang. It was the job. They were calling to offer me a position.

Now some people will say this was a coensedense . Luck. I say it was God answering my prayer. When I became open and accepting of his will he showed it to me. And I did it. I quit my stable, good job and moved across the country for love.

I have had other times in my life where I felt like I was being gently pulled through events by a string attached to my gut. Looking back now, I know that these are times when I was following God’s path for me.

Memorial Day- 2014

Summer is here!  The beaches and pools are opening this weekend.  Ice cream is cold.  Grills are hot.  Shopping sales are going non-stop. 

But let’s take a moment to remember what this holiday is really about.  Memorial Day is a holiday that celebrates men and women who have died while serving our country.

Arlington National Cemetary

I know that I forget this on a regular basis.  I have so much gratitude that I do not have to celebrate this holiday with a different meaning.  Matt, Aaron, and my other family members who have served have all come home. Many have not been so lucky.

Thank you to all those who have served, past and present. Thank you to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours. Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled BBQ and Lemonade.

I’m a work in progress

So I was looking over all the post that I have written on this blog and I realized how much I enjoyed them.  I apparently turned this in to a chore instead of a labor of love.  I do this with most things.  Anyone else have this problem? 

So today I will try again.  First blog post since March.  What?!  How is that possible?  I swear I haven’t been that busy or at least I didn’t think I had been that busy. 

Does anyone else have to keep trying again? 

So updates about life and me since March. 

We found out in mid-April that we are having a BOY!  He is measuring 2oz bigger than average and about 2 days ahead of schedule.  Oh goody!  LOL!  We still don’t have a name.  Nothing fits.  It isn’t like when I was pregnant with my daughter and just knewthat her name was Jacquelyn.  I am trying not to stress out about it.  I know he will have a name by the time he is born.  Maybe we will let him pick his own name after he is born, like Picabo Street.  Just kidding! 

Craft-wise I really haven’t done a whole lot.  I have been pinning like crazy on Pinterest. That counts as being crafty, right?!

I am having a hard time crocheting and I don’t know why.  Not physically, I’m just not interested in it.  I have plenty of projects started just no motivation to work on them.  As we speak I have all my supplies in my locker and could be working on a granny square afghan for my mom.  Instead I am working on this blog and doing research for my spray tanning company.  I think it is because I was sooo sick over the winter with what I now know was morning sickness and a horrible stomach flu that I equate crocheting with nausea. Opps. I guess I’ll have to force myself to work on it and prove that it doesn’t make me nauseated.

I have been looking in to embroidery machines. I am dying to buy this one. I can’t stop thinking about all the cute monogrammed things I could make as gifts and for myself/the house. I can’t cough up enough dough at this point to actually buy one so I keep pinning things on Pinterest so I don’t forget when I finally buy my machine.

We had a wonderful unexpected visit from my mother in law, Lisa, last week. She helped us put in a vegetable garden and small flower garden in our backyard. Matt has been seeding the yard constantly in an attempt to get all the bald spots where we ripped up concrete last fall. It is starting to come together. We have had one fire in our fire pit and have enjoyed our new Adirondack chairs on the back porch. We have had one family BBQ with the new grill. Matt loves the charcoal grill. Nothing fancy just a good old fashioned round Weber Grill.

Weber Grill

We are loving Game of Thrones on HBO. It is getting so good this season. I am sad that there are only a couple episodes left. Any other GoT lovers out there?

Other than that we are just doing life. Living each day as they come. Life is good. Real good. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had time to blog about all of it. I’ve been too busy living it.

Gratitude on Thursday- Friday Style

This week I am grateful for…

1.  Crocheting.  Now that I have learned I can’t stop.  It is easy for me to get lost in a project and it keeps my hands busy.  I feel productive when I am crocheting.

2.  My Hubby.  He has been amazingly supportive and loving recently.  I am truly blessed in the Husband department. 

3.  Baked potato soup.  I made my mother in-law’s recipe last night and it was a huge hit.  It is like comfort in a bowl.  Matt even complemented me on getting the texture just right.  He said that leftovers today were just as good!  Gold star for Sarah! 

Would you guys be interested in a tutorial/the recipe for the baked potato soup?  Let me know!

Gratitude on Thursday

This week I am grateful for…

1.  My family.  I am so grateful that we live close by them.  Monday when I needed to go to the hospital and Matt was working I called my mom.  Mom and Dad came up to the house.  Dad took J to their house and mom took me to the ER.  I am so grateful that I didn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who to call or have to call Matt home from work to take care of me.  I am so grateful that I come from a family, where family is first.  Thanks mom and dad!

2.  Phenergan.  This stuff does wonders for my upset tummy.  It also knocks me out for about 8 hours.  After puking for 2 days this stuff was a God send this week.  Hopefully I am over the worst of it and won’t be needing it anymore any time soon. 

3.  Friends.  I have a ton of them.  I only ever realize it in a crisis.  I had so many people checking on me and making sure I was ok and if I needed anything.  It was amazing to feel so connected to people.  You all are much better friends then I am, so thank you.

Gratitude on Thursday- New Years Style

So this is the first Gratitude on Thursday of the New Year.  I am excited for 2014.  It has to be better then the way that 2013 ended.

This week I am grateful for:

1.  The people of Huntington, WV.  They bent over backwards to help us when we were stranded down there.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  You will never know how much your kindness helped us deal with all the drama we encountered.  I hope that I will be able to repay all the kindness by paying it forward and helping someone else in trouble one day.

2.  I am grateful for my friends and family.  Again, they have helped so much with all the end of year drama.  Even if they were just a shoulder to cry on.  Just knowing that we aren’t alone is an amazing feeling.  Thank you.

3.  Crafts.  I am so grateful that I am crafty.  I know that I have blogged about this before but being able to create beautiful things even when our lives are crazy has been sanity for me.  It has helped me to get out of my head and just focus on what is in front of me.  When you are crafting or being creative you have to be present.  You can’t be distracted because mistakes are made.  I also love the feeling of being in the Zone when I am being creative.  Any artist or athlete, etc will know what I am talking about.