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Showing posts from December, 2009

Give the Pounds Away

As I was perusing the articles at www.happynews.com, I came across a fantastic idea for everyone who has “lose weight” as one of their New Year’s resolutions.For the last two years, Weight Watchers has had a “Lose for Good” campaign in which Weight Watchers members donate one pound of food to their local food pantry for every pound that they lose. In a 7- week period, the organization donated approximately two million pounds of food to local food drives. I invite everyone who reads this article to do the same thing this year. For every pound you lose, donate a pound of food to the local food pantry. A pound of food is a can of green beans, a box of cereal, or a jar of peanut butter. It will help keep you on track for your own goals, and help you realize that food is primarily for sustenance, not necessarily for comfort or something to do or something to celebrate. If you’re in, please join the Facebook group, Pound for Pound, Lose for Good. I was going to start my own, but Joan…

New Year’s Resolutions

I know a lot of people don’t do resolutions, because they’re all broken within the first 30 days (if not 30 hours).I do them, and I actually spend some time thinking about it.  Even if I’m not able to keep any of them, it still provides goals for the future.  It’s more of a reorientation toward what and who I want to be.Of course, being the highly idealistic and perfectionist person that I am, I’ll create resolutions that can’t be reached, but that’s okay.In 2010, I want to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.Healthy:I want to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year.I want to exercise 3 times a week.I want to sleep 7 hours a night.  I want to not get sick.Wealthy:I want to start my own writing business.I want to tithe weekly.I want to pay off credit card debt.I want to create a budget and stick to it.Wise:I want to read my Bible everyday.I want to read books about starting a business.I want to read classic literature.I want to organize my house.  I actually can think of a lot more, such as do…

The Way It’s Done

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  Have you read the book or seen the movie?  I’ve loved it since I was a child. The book starts with the line:  “The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.”   The author goes on to describe the Herdmans- six children with virtually no parental supervision who are dirty, dishonest, uncouth, mean, and feared by their peers.  They end up in church looking for snacks, and find out about the annual Christmas pageant.  The story pokes fun at church traditionalism- the Christmas pageant has been done the same way by the same person with the same children in the primary roles for years.  When a family of children who knows nothing about church rules or even the Christmas story itself decide they want to be a part, the entire congregation is thrown into a tizzy.  The woman drafted to take charge of the pageant fears that no one will even come to watch.   The miracle is that finally, people do watch the pageant, a…

Take your Candle

I’ve witnessed it a dozen times, but it never ceases to amaze me.  The Christmas Eve service ended with candlelight.  The lights in the sanctuary were dimmed, and four individuals with tiny lit tapers made their way from the front to the back of the sanctuary, lighting the candles of the individuals standing on the aisles.  The light was passed from candle to candle.Although it was gradual, it suddenly seemed as if someone had turned the lights back on.  Instead, it was the tiny candle-flame-sized lights, a hundred or so, spread throughout the large room, that had illuminated the room to an unbelievable brightness.In the same way, it sometimes seems like our small contribution doesn’t make a difference in a cold, dark world.  A single candle in a dark room only illuminates a small corner.  Yet, when we share what we have- whether it’s love, joy, encouragement, or service- the light is shared among many and gets a little brighter.  As trite as it may sound, the world would be a brighte…

Holiday Wishes

I wish…Christmas candies and cookies were calorie free.Christmas gifts would teleport themselves to my home.I could read minds when choosing Christmas gifts.There was a special shopping time for just me so I could avoid the crowds.Snow stayed on the grass and trees and off the roads.I had more red to wear.For an automatic gift wrapper.Everyone knew that I love their Christmas cards, even if they’ve never received one from me.Everyone could be home for Christmas.All houses had outdoor Christmas lights.People still caroled to their neighbors.Everyone could be healed for Christmas.A new pair of gloves.A super-deluxe car scraper.An automatic car warmer.Safe travel for everybody.A Christmas Eve service to make you think.Joy to the world.Peace on EarthGoodwill to men (and women)

Talking Snow People

I was ill-prepared for snow at my in-laws’ house.  Even though I tried to step in my husband’s shoe prints, my suede flats were damp before I made it to the minivan.  As the windshield wipers pushed away an evening collection of snow, I noticed it was a heavy snow, the nice wet kind of snow that is perfect for creating snow men (or women).It has been years since I’ve tried to make a snow man.  Having an extreme distaste for cold in general, I’ve never found the right combination of mild weather, wet snow, and opportunity.  As a child, our yard would be criss-crossed with lanes in the snow where my two sisters and I rolled snow balls from baseball size to exercise ball size.  We never planned ahead, and it wasn’t too long before we were traipsing through the house in our snow-covered boots, asking for a carrot and a scarf and hat to complete the snow man.Sticks from the yard and rocks from the rock garden completed the look.  I’d position the arms and make eyes and a great big smile.  …

On the Road Again

Random thoughts while traveling down the highway on the way to a family gathering six hours away:What do truckers do on Christmas?Delilah on the radio says she’s going sledding and skiing this weekend, and wants us to take her along whatever we’re doing this weekend.  Is she going to have a radio on her while she skis down the mountain?  I doubt it.  How many different Christmas traditions are there?  Christmas lights, Christmas trees, exchanging Christmas gifts, baking Christmas cookies, Christmas parties, Christmas Eve services, Christmas cards, Christmas concerts… is it more admirable to be able to get them all done, or to do as little as possible?Why do business owners have “OPEN” signs if they leave them on when they’re clearly not open?“Am I toxic?”  asked the billboard.  I don’t know, but I’m not getting a colonic!Is a Christmas tree really a tree when it’s just a cone of lights topped with a star?I love that someone’s put words to Pachabel’s canon!  “On this night, on this nig…

Does He Exist?

Legendary figures have a hard time around our house.  Santa has to borrow our wrapping paper to wrap presents for our kids.  He also does not have elves equipped to make electronic toys, so a Nintendo DS is out of the question.  The tooth fairy is a late riser.  In fact, she sometimes wakes up after the child who has lost his or her tooth, and has to sneak in the dark hours of early morning while the child is busy in the restroom.  The Easter bunny doesn’t even come to our house, but goes all the way to my parents house to hide eggs for Easter.  The Great Pumpkin, Cupid, Father Time… my children don’t even know they exist.  What would childhood be like without all our fun friends?  What would it be like without staying up late on Christmas eve to try to hear reindeer on the roof, or trying to figure out why Santa’s handwriting on the thank you note for the cookies is so similar to Dad’s?  What would it be like to not believe that your teeth were really worth money to some winged colle…

Do Over

I love a fresh start.  I love the start of a new day, with an expanse of time stretched before me, a list of “To Do”s in hand that may or not get done.  I love the start of a new week, full of promises that I will begin a new habit, such as exercise, again.  I love it when the calendar flips and there’s a new month, with it’s annual celebrations and traditions.  I love a new year, a starting point for destinations unknown, a renewal of vows to accomplish new things.Even though I can’t travel backwards in time, there’s a sense of “mulligan” when a new period of time begins.  What has been done is done and can’t be changed.  What is to come, I have some control over.  Whatever I didn’t like about the way I handled a situation or managed my time yesterday or last week, I can do better this time around.  I can learn from my experience and make today better than yesterday.Of course, it’s probably one way I tend to procrastinate, also.  I’ll plan to start to work on that project or that hab…

Banana Bandit

It was my last stop for the day.  The parking garage at the hospital had been more crowded than usual.  I didn’t stop at the information desk but headed straight toward the designated elevator.As I passed an older couple going down the ramp, I gave them the usual nod and smile.  My smile broadened into a grin, however, when, the gentleman, trailing slightly behind the woman, pointed a banana at me and gave me the semblance of a menacing look.  I wondered if his wife knew that he was playing “stick up” at passersby with a fruit behind her back.  As I contemplated the incongruity of the situation and headed up on the elevator, I thought about how nice it was for someone to have a sense of humor in a place that can be marked by dour expressions.  As a dropped off a get well card for a resident, I noticed the family members gathered in the waiting room for the critical care unit.  I hoped I never had to spend a day there, waiting anxiously for news about my loved one.As I turned to get ba…

Motherly Focus

I was walking through the hospital entrance, and I noticed an adorable Hispanic boy, probably about two years old, with a red cell phone pressed to his face, his mother hovering nearby, monitoring the conversation.  I completed my business and headed back the same way about half an hour later.  The two were still there, keeping each other occupied.  I wondered what would keep a young mother sitting by the hospital entrance with her young child.  Were they waiting for a ride?  Was another family member visiting someone in the hospital, with the “no minors” visiting rule in effect?  Whatever the reason for the extended stay, the mother was perched on a backless couch right outside the sliding doors of the main entrance, surrounded with a diaper bag overflowing with toys and other child paraphernalia, totally focused on meeting the needs of her child.  She didn’t seem bothered by the situation, or the looks of passersby like myself.  Her concern was that child, and nothing else seemed to…

Y Not Here?

For some reason, writing at the Y while my daughter has basketball practice is harder than I imagined.  I’m not in the gym.  Cold metal bleachers were not designed for the human seat. Instead, I’m in the main hallway that leads to the aerobics and cardio rooms, seated on a tall stool at a tiny glass table with my laptop.  I’m watching some entirely too energetic people engaged in step aerobics.  To my right are old pictures from Y days gone by.  I see a bowling team, a calisthenics class or two, several swimmers, and team pictures of young boys that could be from today if it weren’t for the baggy uniforms and horn rimmed glasses.To my left is the service counter where four employees are talking.  They’ve started talking about computers, and I wonder if it’s because of me.  I always think people are talking about me.  I wonder how much they get paid and what their hours are and how much work they actually do.I’m feeling guilty for not thinking ahead enough to bring some workout clothes…