Friday, June 28, 2013

In Between


Writing thoughts like candy gum drops-one sweet bite at a time till five minutes is gone.
Five Minute Friday is now with LisaJo Baker and the other lovely ladies and the writing prompt
is IN BETWEEN.

GO:

Before-here-there.

Behind-present-forward.

Past-Present=Future.

And so much is IN BETWEEN.

The In Between is full of planning, preparation, hope and sometimes worry.

So much of our time is In Between. Today I am prepping for a beach visit. It's one of those not-really-planning-activity-because-I-need-to pack days; I will be doing activity at the beach.

I feel the pull to write about living in the PRESENT and sucking in the sweet marrow of the moment.
For the rest of this summer, my current present, I feel the need for carpe diem.

My Winter and Spring were overflowing with term papers, research projects, and final essays about women in culture, culminating in a baccalaureate degree, a trip to Liberia that is certainly life-changing as I plan registering an NGO, and the life-stuff of two adult sons (now 18 and 20) a teen daughter and a tween one, husband, and a dog. Fall does not look any less full as I begin my studies for a Masters degree in English.

BUT-In Between are the blessed months of summer. 
Thank God for times of refreshing (Acts 3:19). 



Sweet tea, lemonade teeming with ice cubes, ice cream dripping down the chin, drive-in movies, splashing in the pool, and reading while swaying in the hammock.

Yes, thankful for times of refreshing, those in between times!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kid Hangover?


Are you a cranky Mom? Or more like me, a Mom who gets cranky?

There may be a very good reason for your grumpiness that you have not considered. I read Anne's blog post from Modern Mrs. Darcy this morning and want to share it with you. I think so many of us NEED to recharge in quiet, and not realizing that, nor pursuing this need creates a cranky atmosphere in the home.
First I will share my comment to the post:

 Yes! I am one too! I understand the kid-hangover and the over-stimulation. Has anyone mentioned Wal-Mart as a TRIGGER? I predictably get headaches from shopping there- bright, fluorescent lights and excess visual stimulation. One of my daughters is similar to myself, needing and enjoying alone time. But my eleven year-old is an incessant talker=Mom wanting to hide in bedroom. Since we are usually home together all day, I have made sure to incorporate some alone/quiet time into my schedule: a soaking hot bath and an hour to read before bed usual do it. 




This is not selfish time. It is necessary for either recharging or rebooting. Think of you computer: sometimes it simply needs to be turned off and revamped. While sleep does this for our physical bodies, and to an extent our minds, introverts need time to download the day's processes, conversations, etc. Being introverted or extroverted is not merely about how much we talk or exude energy but how we REFUEL our energy.

If you can relate read more of Anne's post HERE.
YES! I am one too! I understand kid-hangover AND the over-stimulation. Has anyone mentioned Wal-Mart as a TRIGGER? I predictably get head-aches from shopping there-bright lights and excess visual stimulation….one of my daughters is similar to myself, but my eleven-year old incessantly talks=Mom wanting to hide in bedroom. Since I am home usually all day, one way in which I had to give myself boundaries (from the audio noise) is to make sure I have an hour before bed-no-kids-time.
I am sure that you have mentioned before that introverted and extroverted is not merely how we exude energy but how we RECHARGE. Another safety-net feature to my life-hot,soaking baths (of course, by myself). - See more at: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2013/06/its-more-than-a-kid-hangover/#comment-26271

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Rhythms of Life- FMF

Today's prompt from LisaJo Baker is Rhythm. That word evokes a lot of music within my heart. I will write for just five minutes like the other ladies.

GO:
Rhythm and cadence and keeping time, marching. Step. Step. Step. Music flowing-with crescendos and rests.

The music of Life plays on.

Ten days past walking under bright sunny African skies and later listening from my bed the study pouring of


rain as the clouds are squeezed. Bright eyes and big smiles offering us hospitality and welcome. Round eyes dancing with glee as they play with balloons of every Crayola color. Two days of travel to arrive over the green, neatly manicured farms of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. In this respect the Liberians are correct, I think: from here, America is second heaven.

""Mama!" and more welcoming hugs and kisses. Incessant chatter and the "finding "of our luggage tied with yellow ribbons on the return conveyor belt where only two other passengers await theirs as well.

Immediate planning for the birthday of the youngest-turning eleven. The event rivals the arrival of Princess Kate's new royal one. Two parties this year-one for Grandparents and another for friends, makes for a week of planning and preparing.

VBS craft leader-I can do that; I already have that tune memorized. And it is Friday ALREADY.

Next week I expect the tune to slow. I need a SELAH to take in the last month.

I am thankful for the kaleidoscope of rhythms.


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Friday, June 14, 2013

Listen

I say it every week with some incredulation (yes, if you write the words-you can even make some up to fit your purpose): It's Friday already.

Last Friday I sat in Liberian humidity, hair soaked from roots to ends as I typed the LOV post. This morning, I am being refreshed by the too-cool-for-mid-June morning air wafting through my kitchen window, wearing thick comfy socks and a robe on top of pajamas. So I did not literally melt in Africa, but there we many times that I was sure I would end up in a puddle to be drunk by the ever-thirsting terracotta earth. I feel like shouting-I survived Africa! ( :   

But honesty prompts me to confess that I DID have an air conditioner in my bedroom (though with continuously open windows and it not being turned on in the daytime, the room maintained the ever-moist atmosphere), a shower whose weak flow only gave out twice while my head was lathered with shampoo, electricity in the Guest House (albeit also went off at inopportune times), and access to the internet.

Those of you who know how high-maintenance this chic is, will have some appreciation of my trip-and I didn't even complain! except when I think about being smooshed in a United economy airplane seat with a toddler sitting behind me kicking my seat and wailing for a good part of the trans-Atlantic flight (who decides who has the right to the shared arm rest? The bigger elbow? After leaning seven hours to the right, I claimed  the left arm rest when the passenger beside me went to the lavatory by maintaining elbow position).

Yes, beyond all reason, I still put on make-up everyday, knowing that all but the waterproof mascara would be rubbed off by my sweat rag-a.k.a. wash cloth (which I was happy to learn that most everyone carries one with them, even to church, though at a "nicer" church that I visited, I noticed that most of the ladies used white handkerchiefs; I just used mine twenty times as much).

I did have ICE (yeah for filtered water!!!) and even ice cream in Africa. So I am thinking that I cannot sing a victorious survival song till I go into the interior-with no running water or electricity (does anyone know of a solar-generated fan? please let me know!). Next visit!

Now that I have shared THAT- Today I write with the ladies who visit LisaJo Baker's blog where this unique cookie-cutter gives us a ONE word prompt with which to bake up a theme recipe in five, flat minutes.

Today the prompt is LISTEN.
GO:
 

It takes three days for my auditorially-challenged ear to tune in enough to understand maybe fifty percent of the Liberian English dialect spoken with soft-leathery tones in sing-song cadence. My head becomes too quickly tired from making sense of the every five words that I do understand. English can be spoken in as many flavors as there are Ben & Jerry's icecream.

I listen. Till like a newborn who falls asleep when there brain is overloaded with stimuli, I relish the quiet breaks.



Women. Empowered women. Courageous women. Women with visions to make their home country a restored, healthy haven after the ravages of a fourteen-year civil war destroyed governments, homes, bodies, and hearts.       






I listen to how lives have been changed by the benevolent work of many. I hear their plead for more help as the need seems bottomless. Haven is the dream desire, but they will settle for clean water, every belly full, opportunity for every child to gain an education, a place where victims of thoughtless violence can receive counseling.


I listen and consider what ACTION I can now take with the words that I have heard.

STOP.
 

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Fall

Friday already! I have sooo much to write about our trip here in Liberia . . . but I cannot place it all into words right now. I wish that I could upload the pictures that I have on my phone. Please come back next week and visit LOV, by then I will be home.

So I am glad that I can participate in LisaJo Baker's writing prompt that she offers every Friday. We sit and just type the words that flow for five short minutes. Maybe I can give you just a tiny glimpse into the environment that we visited yesterday.

Today's prompt is FALL.
GO:
60,000, probably many more bodies in make shift homes of corrugated tin and cinder blocks-cinder blocks if you are doing well, jammed like sardines in less than a quarter square mile.

The women come to the office room to meet with the "whi-woma-" faces shining like ebony glass. The tape rolls on my phone and she explains life in West Point as the other women nod in agreement.

"Twenty girls a month come to see us. They have been raped. Some of the parents do not want them taken to the hospital" . . . because their offenders are friends and uncles of the family. The girls that do get taken to the hospital by these volunteering women are checked and tested for AIDS and other deadly diseases. They soon return receiving some counseling from the women at the Center, to return from whence they have come.

There exists no other alternative.

They have been made to fall- to feel the terror of victimization.

Right now I can only pray that they will discover that He can pick them up out of the ashes.

STOP.

Please pray for me as I prayerfully consider what manner my ministry can be of future hope to them.


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