Sunday, May 31, 2020

A World on Fire

Today I looked up the curfew laws for Phoenix.  It's too hot to leave the house earlier than 8 pm.  It is so hot, in fact, that today as I was returning two precious little girls back to their parents, as I stood in the driveway, my better brand flip flops' sole melted off the shoe.  They are beyond repair.  I have many pairs of shoes so it was not a problem to dig another pair out of my closet. The problem is not the shoes.  There is a curfew order in a city so hot that we could bake food on the sidewalk.  We walk for our sanity, my daughter and me.  Am I to tell her that we will not be walking today?  Is is safe for us to walk around our block and our home?  What are my alternatives to not walking?  The world is on fire.  

Did you know that we continue to be in the midst of a pandemic?  Do you know that it is summer and nothing is like it was?  I walk around and it is a maelstrom of emotions, tensions, beliefs, with temperatures and fears creating a fire storm.  When the heat hits, just like my shoe, no matter the brand or how well it is made, things fall apart.  How are things worse?  How?  A curfew? Now?  Isn't anger like a flame?  It has ignited.  It is spreading like the wildfire that it is.  We are all affected now.  Maybe it is more than a virus that infects us.  I went to get some food for the kids.  Their favorite restaurant is not open.  We went someplace else and it is only open for take out... still.  It has not gotten better.  It has gotten worse somehow, so much worse.  

I can't talk about anger.  I can't talk about how it burns.  I understand anger well.  In fact, I have had some anger issues.  Anger comes about when we don't trust God to handle things in His perfect timing  We want the satisfaction of revenge by our own hands.  We want to see justice served.  Justice takes its time and we are impatient.  There is fear and out of fear has only come anger.  I have never seen a demon or the devil but I can see his handy work in this.  There are squeals of glee that can be heard in the midst of the storm that we mistake for pain.  Does hell really have fire?  Is there brimstone?  Hell's fire has reached this world.

James 4:7 says, 
"Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  

Isaiah 25:4
"For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his (her) distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,"

I will wrap myself in God's fireproof blanket.  I will listen to God when he says to wait on Him.  It's not easy.  But God isn't a genie that we wish upon, is He?  I tell my soul, "Be still, Soul.  Be still that God is on His throne and He reigns."  Elle!!!  Elle, aren't you angry?!  Elle, don't you want to do something?  ELLE!!!  Dear Friend, you really do think much of me!  I am but a small woman, a widow... really.  I have in my care but two children.  But I can whisper into the ear of a Big God and I know, I KNOW that He hears me.  There is a plan.  Who am I to mess with it?  Who are you to fix this broken world?  I would advocate for you to meet with the Creator, the Maker of the Universe and whisper in His ear too.  Maybe then, instead of anger and fear from the pits of hell, there you will find peace.  Try it.  Let me know how it works for you  Maybe I'm wrong.  I'm often wrong.  I don't have any other solutions to offer you.  May God bless you, Reader and Friend.  May the God (El-Roi) who sees, grant you peace to you and of your household.  Praise the Lord!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Children- Plural

I was teaching in a sweet little school in the South Bronx.  I had recently given birth to my daughter.  I recall coming up to the third floor and running into Mrs. Rodriguez.  She had the classroom at the end of the hall right next to Margaret's  They were such good teachers.  I learned with the best!  In any case, she came up to me and asked, "How are your children?"  It was the first time someone had asked after my children (plural).  I had two at this point.  I had one of each, a boy and a girl.  How in the world did someone let me walk out of that hospital with my two children?

After I had given birth to my son, they let me out..  They gave me my child and they let me walk through the front door of the hospital.  I was more concerned with keeping him alive than having the existential musings of having actual little humans in my care. I would stare at him and watch for the rising and falling of his little baby chest.  He actually fit in the newborn clothes I had bought for him.  He had this microfiber green track suit that was so impossibly small.  The dolls that I had as a kid were bigger. My daughter was different in that they released me prior to releasing her.  I remember dressing her for the cold New York City winter in a little snowsuit.  Even then I wondered if they had speculations on the health of each child they released out into the world with their parents.  I cried as I drove home with her.  I was the mother of children.  I had children- plural.   

All of these lost thoughts happened over 12 years ago.  I think about the different phases my children have gone through.  They are at the beginning of their adolescence now.  Is this the last leg?  Let me tell you, it goes by supper fast.  I was arguing with my son.  I thought about his little attitude.  Is he like this with everyone?  What does he need to learn yet?  Whatever I don't teach my children, the world with teach them without love.  It is my way or the hard way.  Sometimes you need the hard way, kids don't trust that you are telling them the truth.  They think there is a hyperbole present.  Or they tend to think that you are so old that you, me, we are out of touch the lessons of the world.  We aren't.

I told him that I had at least 4 more years to teach him.  With Janet, I have 6 more years.  At this point, I'm correcting and explaining.  I pray that they love Jesus.  I pray that they follow the Way.  I pray that they learn from God's Word.  It's all in the Good Book, you have no idea.  I am not blind to the evil in this world.  Again... I don't have all of the answers.  I will not be with them all of the time.  I can only pray and hope in the wonderful plan that God has for us.  Believe, Friends.  I know it doesn't look good but believe and trust in God.  Praise the Lord! 

Thursday, May 28, 2020


What do I teach my children about justice?  

I'll leave that question hanging there for a moment.  

I'm afraid that I don't have any real answers.

I talked to them about this incident with George Floyd.  Since their father's death, they see death as death.  The way they make sense about it is that it was his time to go.  They believe this because I have taught them that God is sovereign.  Then there is the evil conundrum to consider. Because there is sin and evil in the world, the world is broken.  The miracle is that anything good can happen at all.  I'm afraid that I have contributed to the bad.  "Let he that is without sin throw the first stone."  (John 8:7) Well, I'm not in the "without sin" column, so I have no right to analyze the thought processes of every individual and all of their traumas.  Wrong doing merits consequences.  One way or another, there will be consequences.  Please Lord, let me not contribute any more evil in the world.  And try as I might, I really don't believe that two wrongs will make a right.    

I don't have all of the answers.  I don't even understand all of the questions. What I don't want is to teach hate out of all of this.  God commands us to love and we are to leave justice to those appointed.  The ultimate justice belongs to God.  He says, "Vengeance is mine." (Romans 12:19)  God sees everything. If it was my child, if it was my family member, I would be angry.  I would be tired.  I am tired now.  I understand that I am waiting for God to come.  I may die before the second coming.  I'm okay with that.  I get to go home.  I will attest that in this life there is evil.  In this life, there is pain.  I have felt it.  I have done it.  Anger hasn't helped me as much as forgiveness has.  When people ask me why I believe, I tell them that I believe because I have seen and felt God in my life.  It's something that I can't ignore.  And for if one minute, I doubt His existence, I don't have to go far to find it again.  I look at the sun setting and I know for a fact that there is a God and He loves me.  So I will follow Him.  I will follow Him like a sheep.  We are all sheep.  If we aren't following a shepherd then we tend to just be lost.  Well, I'm following.  You can judge me.  You can watch.  I am teaching my children to follow and to love.  So when someone comes to them asking for grace, they can give it.  When evil is done to them, they can forgive and not put any more evil out in this awful world.  

I will pray (as if my small prayers can do anything).  I will pray for God to bring peace and to allow for something good to happen out of all of this.  I pray for justice and validation.  I will pray for the families.  

Go on ahead and have an opinion if you must.  I'm putting this out here so I understand that you could and should criticize.  "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Touch of PMS

PMS stands for Pre-Menstrual Syndome.  I get a touch of PMS.  I'm going to take a minute to describe it to you all because I think everyone has their own shares of it.  About 14-10 days before the cycle begins again, it starts with a craving, usually for something cheesy.  In the better 2 weeks, I have an aversion to sugary stuff.  This is because when those cravings hit, I can eat candy like it is going out of style.  Santi used to call it BP... I call it BP, Bottomless Pit Syndrome.  I think that I will never stop eating.  If it was only the physical stuff, the bloating, the cramps, the exhaustion, then I would be okay.   But there is more. 

In the Harry Potter series, they have this thing called Dementors.  When they come around, it feels as if you will never be happy again.  They go away when you call on your own personal Patronus, a spirit animal that comes and chases the Dementors away.  After a run in, it is best to eat chocolate.  I figured that J.K. Rowling invented these creatures after having a rough bout of PMS.  Broccoli helps.  Chocolate?  Most definitely helps.  But Ms. Rowling got one thing right. In order to get through it, you have to call on the Spirit.  

When these dark moments come, I know they are not real.  I know the truth but the difference between knowing and feeling are continents away and I call on God.  I wonder what kind of trouble women who have PMS have gotten themselves into not knowing what to do to get through it all.  After praying it is best to have yourself some chocolate.  I am always thankful for God and chocolate!!!

Bloated and feeling poorly, fatigued and overwhelmed, maybe that old serpent comes round again to convince us of some more lies, he's invented.  I caught him telling me that I will never be happy again.  He whispered to me with his forked tongue that I was nothing but a useless muggle.  Useless!!!  I will have you know that every day I wake up it is because my time has not come.  This means I'm still fighting the good war.  

My daughter who has started the cycle asked me why.  I read to her Genesis 3.  Her first response was, "That's not fair.  What do the boys have to go through?"  I read their curse to her.  She stayed quiet.  I will make sure she has chocolate for her dementor days.  I will teach her to call, not on some silly Patronus but on God Himself to help her through it.  Not just her dementor days, all of the days, but especially the dementor days.  Be kind.  Love your neighbor.  Eat your broccoli and have chocolate in the house.  Call on God.  He will answer you.  Watch out for those dementors.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memorial Day Musings

Memorial Day- it is a special day that we remember our fallen soldiers.  I think of soldiers now.  Pray for our soldiers, Friends.  Pray for the opportunity to find Christ.  Pray for the fellowship of Christ upon their lives.  You see, Dear Friends, yesterday I found myself blue (or having the mean reds ala Holly Go-Lightly).  Moments of my day were interrupted by Loneliness.  Don't worry.  I told him to buzz off.  He didn't, much like the flies that buzz around in the summer haziness that is approaching.  I pulled out the big guns.  I pulled out my prayer journal.  I pulled out my Bible.  I put out the bug zapper of God and I was relieved of the pests of loneliness.  Yes, God helped me.  After everything was said and done, I wondered how in the world people without God live in this life.  How dark do their days get?  How do they function?  I think that I can be a fragile and sensitive soul but how are people functioning? 

Yesterday being Memorial Day, I thought of those souls who have volunteered to defend and protect us.  Listen!  I don't care about your politics!  This has nothing to do about politics right now!  These guys are out there in the world following orders, regardless of what you think.  So... I was thinking about them, far from home and missing loved ones.  Heck!!  They may be missing their frenemies out there!!!  I'm sure that they can even miss their mail carrier if you let them.  I'm sure the flies of loneliness are more like pterodactyls attacking our men in the front.  I can't even imagine. 

Prayer works.  I pray for them.  I pray for their souls and their salvation.  This post started as something else but here I am talking about prayer.  Prayer gives us hope and power where desperation does nothing but sinks us further into the abyss.  No words?  No problem.  God is fluent in depression.  Sometimes all we have is the intention as we turn our face to God.  Sometimes all we have is "Jesus" on our lips to pray.  It is enough.  Don't believe me?  Try it.  I'm going to pray now.  Borrow my prayer if you must.  I'd rather you pray than not pray.

Dear God,

I pray for those who are in need of You today, Lord.  I pray for our soldiers who have volunteered their time and their lives to fight for our freedoms..  I pray for their hearts.  I pray for their loneliness.  I pray that You reach them and help them.  I pray that they learn about You, God.  I pray that they learn that it is You that fills the heart and the soul with good things. 

I pray for those who are not soldiers but who are fighting.  They are fighting with pain and loneliness.  They are fighting hopelessness and disease.  I pray that you be with them, those that know you and those that don't.  I pray that you be with them and help them in this battle.  I pray that they find words to call to You, Oh Great God!  Please LORD, be with them.  I praise You and thank You for Your goodness.  I love You.


Saturday, May 23, 2020


A friend of mine that I used to date had divorced some time last year.  We commiserated on his situation.  He's a nice guy.  It was a bad situation.  He had taken it badly.  He got over it and was ready to move on.  Today as I was scrolling through Facebook, his beautiful new girlfriend posted a picture of them.  It was a beautiful picture.  Her post was so happy.  And I am happy for her.  I am happy for him.  I am happy for them... now that I have had a chance to react, pray, pull out my hair a little.  It punched me in the stomach and I was not ready for it... Envy.

I'm sure I'm the only one who struggles with envy.  It's such a telling emotion.  It points to all the things we leave in the dark hidden recesses of our heart.  No.  Envy is best in pulling it out of its corners and presenting it to God with pained, hurt-filled tears.  It's then you realize the little and big lies you have been telling yourself.

I had stopped dating but I hadn't realized that I didn't stop hoping that I would find someone.  There was a part of me that waits.  I don't know if I should be waiting.  I can't seem to get used to being single.  It's like stepping into a pool of too cold water and hoping that you will eventually adjust.  I think ahead when my children have left the nest in pursuit of their own adventures and I will be left with the quiet.  I'm not sure if it taunts me or comforts me.  I find that I am afraid of this unknown.  Look at all the things that are already being exposed!

Knowing my children, another scenario unfolds.  Here they are brimming with life and adventure but they feel tethered to their single, widowed mother.  Regardless of how I protest, they stay behind and let opportunities go out of duty, obligation or guilt.  My heart breaks in just thinking of it.  No my children.  Go and see the world.  I want what God wants for them.  I want them to be brave and bold and to go forth.  If they stay it is because they want to, not because they need to. 

I think through the mental rolodex of men in my mind, giving consideration to each.  I literally shake my head, no.  And even if there was, would I be ready?  Again, I shake my head, no. A picture was taken of my flabby arms and short stubby legs.  I'm looking at it.  Yeah, it's a hard sell.  I can't imagine what it looks like to everyone else.  I imagine that most people see me as a colorful, bright wolverine.  Cute like a small bear but a little aggressive.  My chunkiness is part of how I am seen, part of who I am.  Adele recently lost a lot of weight and I found myself trying to recognize her.  Imagine a me you can no longer recognize.  Do I want that?  I don't want to have to... (lose weight, cut my hair, change my favorite color, stop being messy, stop reading, dye my hair a normal color, etc...) to have someone fall in love with me (that was hard to write).  Being real and keeping it real is hard.

James talks about it:
"Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  But the wisdom that is from above is pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."  James 3:13-18

That's not to say that envy doesn't happen.  Obviously it does.  I think it advises against keeping it in the dark.  I wish that this is the only envious circumstance.  It's not.  I'm telling you.  I'm a hot mess.  And apparently I may not write the book but I can write enough for a book on my hot mess-ness.  Pray for my envious heart, Friends.  I guess we are cleaning out everything!  That's all for now.   Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Promotions and Graduations

Today both of my children are promoted.  David goes to high school 😭 and Janet goes to middle school.  This pandemic has taken the wind out of my sails.  I would normally be on high movement and high emotion and today came quiet and peacefully.  Honestly, today I would not be able to take all of that emotion and I want to think that God understood that I needed a quieter transition than I normally would have had.  In any case, I am thankful.

On my timeline, pictures of graduations past pop up and I can't help but think that today would be graduation, TODAY.  I don't know how I would have wrangled everything together for both Janet and David.  I want to praise God in my unknowing.  I want to believe that this situation has worked out for me even though my babies will not have the moving up/promotion ceremony they were hoping for.

I think of the students that are graduating.  I have a big bunch this year.  I am in prayer for them.  I will miss them.  I have had some of them since freshman year.  I can't imagine not seeing them any more in the hallways.  I am happy for them.  Time goes by so quickly, Friends.  Soon, my babies who are living with me now will be getting ready to graduate from high school and college.  Other friends have warned me that it goes by quickly.  Soon, I will have an empty nest.  I don't know how to think about this.  It's sounds too quiet even for this girl that likes quiet.  I can't imagine. 

The Lord is with us, regardless.  I want to peek ahead but I understand that my mind can't handle that right now.  I will just hug my babies and worry about the things that are happening today.  God says that today has enough to worry about  (Matthew 6:34).  Okay, God, Let's just finish today and when tomorrow comes, You let me know what we are doing. 

Congratulations to those graduates, and students moving up.  God bless you.  Do great things!!!

Monday, May 18, 2020

The 18th of May, 2020

It's his birthday today.  He would have been 48.  He was only 45 when he passed.  That was his limit.  I keep on thinking that he will never age another day in his life.  I wonder if he says, "This is my second year of eternity!!!  Whoo Hoo!!!"  I thought about my children.  My daughter was the one who brought up this day first.  My son has not mentioned anything yet.  I'm hoping to think of it as National Donut Day.  One of those days that come and I don't really notice.  It's hard to celebrate my birthday nine days before and then hit this day.  This isn't the only day in May that is hard.  Our anniversary is the 29th.  We had a thing with 9s.

So what do we do?  What do I do?  How do I commemorate this day?  I am not one to count down would have beens.  This is different though.  These days... they tend to haunt me and I don't like to be haunted.  I miss him.   He is not here.  He has gone.  He would have been 48 but he isn't.  I'm the one that is here to age and celebrate another year of life.  I'm the one watching my children grow up and get taller.  Already I can count ahead and see the time racing by.  Someone mentioned my son turning 18 in 4 years and I almost started crying.  Looking back, I'm sad.  Looking forward, I'm sad.  Today?  I'm sad.  Well... I don't want to be sad!!  I want to eat gluten free birthday cake and live to regret eating it!!!  You know what?  I will eat cake.  I will celebrate living.  I will do what my children want to do to commemorate.  In this life, there will be days like this.

What I am learning is that there is fear that the day will be sad.  There is fear of the pain it takes to remember.  The pain is there anyway.  What I forget is that I don't walk this life alone.  I walk with God and He is close to the broken hearted.  Of course I didn't choose to be broken hearted.  But I am none-the-less and I have God walking with me.  We all hope for good days.  Well, as I am aging, I am learning that we hit a peak and then it's downhill, right?  Well... God is still with us to help us through it.  The Bible promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  So, I come into this day with prayer.  I walk into this day, mentally holding the hand of my God.  I face the day.  And I will teach my children to praise our good God who took Daddy home and one day will take us home for an eternity of good days.  Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Church through a Mask

I wasn't expecting the world to really open and it didn't disappoint.  I went to get some things on Saturday and found so many things still weird and off limits.  Several stores will not allow you to come in without a mask.  There were part of Phoenix that gave me dirty looks for not having a cool and trendy mask on.  I know that this may not be true but this is what it felt like.  My children and I currently have a type of mask to use should we want to go into a store and not have a mask available. 

I didn't expect church to open.  I really didn't.  I also didn't expect things to get stricter after the quarantine has been lifted.  In the midst of the pandemic I was able to go to work if I forgot something.  Now I am no longer an essential person and there are less people with clearance.  It feels like we are going backwards. 

We went to church.  I thought it funny going to church looking like an outlaw.  I really hate trying to breathe through those masks. There is no old normal.  There is only new normal, a concept I understand very well.  And yet... I sang.  I wasn't in the corner so I wasn't hidden away but I sang any way.  I worshipped God.  I heard the Word.  I saw my brothers and sister.  I didn't see all of them but I saw some of them.  It is good to go to God and worship.

I thought of the woman who attempts to live their lives in a burqa/burka.  I don't like wearing a mask!!!  I thought of those who worshipped God in secret and underground churches and here I am rolling up with my people like it was nothing.  I thought of those who really longed to come to church but just couldn't.  I even thought of those people who didn't know what it is like to part of a church.  To see your children grow up in a church.  To see people you know and who know you.  Today I went to church in a mask and it was a blessing.  Praise the Lord! 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Weird Things from the Pandemic

I'm sitting here anticipating how things will get back to normal, whatever that looks like.  There are some things that I will remember but most things I will lump into a haze and form an impression about it later.  I have decided that I don't want that.  So I have compiled a list of moments that I may have to add to but that I am thinking about currently.

-It hit for us really March 13th.  I remember going to the store and being upset because the only thing that was missing was toilet paper.  Little did I know that things would get a little more crazy.

-Going to the bathroom and being worried about toilet paper.

-Going to work to help out and having to wear a mask and gloves.

-Not hugging everyone I meet.

-Going to the store and not finding anything.  There was no toilet paper, no butter, no milk, no cheese, no rice, no pasta, no ramen, no popcorn.  I thought I would never have popcorn again.  I remember getting worried but then praying and finding other things with my children to eat instead of what we were used to.

-Driving empty streets.

-Working from home and attending a lot of video conferences.

-Writing less, not more.

-Walking 10,000 steps a day and going to the park to watch the sunset.

-Hanging out with my children.

-Going to church in the living room and finding that I miss seeing my people.

-Finding pen pals on Reddit and making friends with some of them.

-Finding new music to listen to.

-Finding new shows to watch.

-Coloring with pens.

-Making videos and posting to social media.

-Hearing about people dying back home.  It was so sad!!!

-Finding that Jesus still gives peace.

-Praying for people in different ways.

-Finding out how much people love you through letters and baked goods.

-Car parades.

-Marco Polo, Snapchat and Instagram love.

-Being thankful for things I didn't know I could be thankful for.

-Learning to let go of things.

-Leaning on my Bible Study People.

-Reading the Psalms and finding that people emoted a lot, even back then.

-Learning how awesome my kids are, despite being a single mama who is a hot mess.

-Easily getting used to the quiet... finally.

This whole situation has been interesting.  I am respectful of those who are continuing to self-isolate.  I understand why some wouldn't.  All in all, I am sitting here in a spirit of gratefulness that Jesus has been with me this whole time.   Even when I have found that I don't need outside influences to misbehave.  To quote a Tyler Perry movie title, "I can do bad all by myself."  Isn't that the truth.  Praise the Lord!  God bless you all!  You are missed and loved.

Friday, May 15, 2020

So Close

So close... So close to this school year ending.  So close to finishing my last degree... So close to the graduation of my students... So close to my children moving up...  It feels so close... and yet so far away.

Soon the everything will be open again.  Soon we will see friends.  Soon we will find out what the new normal will be like.  I think of other things.  Soon I will get to go home.  Soon I will see family and friends that have gone on before.  I am faced with waiting and with impatience that life is so very short to have to wait for anything.  However, God tells us to wait on Him. 

I want to tell Him, "God, don't you know how short my time on earth is?  Already I am midlife!!!  Just yesterday I was a teenager wild and free!!!"  I wonder how many times God has been asked, "How long?" 

One of my children is patient.  I tell her, "We will go in about 30 minutes."  As a child, this sweet girl would say, "Okay." and hop on over to what she was doing to wait.  I looked for signs of impatience or defiance.  There was none.  She was happy to wait.  I am not like that.  My other child takes after me.  When we butt heads, I have to remember that it is that we are more alike than dis-alike.  He will question and be sarcastic.  There have been times when he will load the car and sit in a hot passenger seat to wait because he knows it will make me leave that much faster.  I love them so much, both of them!!!  What to do and what not to do, the model and the lesson.  I'm learning still. 

As things approach, I am both excited and overwhelmed.  I am both anxious and anticipatory.  I am fearful and trusting.  I unpack these emotions to look at them.  I see that the real issues are my humanity and God's divinity.  These are always the issues.  I would be a better Christian if I didn't have to deal with the issues in this life.  LOL!!!  Wouldn't we all. 

So close...  So close to God.  Every day He is so close to me.  So far and yet always so close.  Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

My Shoes

I have a thing with shoes.  I do.  And then, I have found that I could buy this brand of shoe, that teachers love, on clearance for a fraction of the price at the Outlet stores.  Here is the thing.  It is easy to buy good shoes here.  It is easy to buy a lot of things here in Phoenix.  We have a Last Chance here, where Nordstroms sends their final clearance items and returns.  I find it is a great place to buy shoes.  I have bought a pair of  Donald J Pliner cork sandals for $18 and a pair of cool blue Stuart Weitzman sneakers for... do I even say? 

I like shoes because they are easy to try on.  I am always on the look out for the perfect pair.  I wear my sneakers.  I break them in and when I finally get them where I want, they fall apart on me.  That's the thing, shoes don't last forever  They fall apart.  They fall out of style. They fall out of favor.  Last winter I found a pair of wedge boots in leather that I could wear with almost everything. I can't really wear boots in the summer so now I am thinking about shoes for the summer.  I don't need shoes for the summer.  Vionic, Fit Flops, Reefs, Rainbows, Man!!!  I have a shoe and a purse problem.

Here is the thing.  I am looking for something I probably will never find on this earth.  Are you looking for something you will never find?  The perfect purse?  The perfect shade of red?  The perfect man?  The perfect house?  We are all looking for something perfect when perfect doesn't really exist. I am looking at the pairs of shoes that I have and I am deciding what I like about them.  The shoes that I don't have anything to say about, I can sell or give away.  There is a plan in place.  Because there is only one that is perfect and good.  He's the one that needs to be greater in my heart than my shoe or purse idol.  And yes, confession hurts.

That's all for now.  Maybe next time I'll talk about my purses... or my costume jewelry collection...ooooo, how about my make up!!!  Oops!  I maybe need to work on more than my shoes as idols.   Pray for each other, Friends.  We all have the disease of... humanity. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mom Thoughts

I am sitting here eating leftover gluten free birthday cake for breakfast.  This past week I have not had so much cake in my life!!!  Relax, there is no sugar in my coffee.  In any case, I was sitting here and I realized that I really don't know a single thing.  I can't predict what will happen tomorrow.  I have never been able to predict what will happen tomorrow.  However, this morning, I remembered the past.

I was looking through photos trying to find one of my mother.  I didn't find it but I came across so many of my every day life.  Pictures I have posted and of people and events.  I looked at pictures of my late husband, smiling.  I thought, "You don't know that in a few years you will not be here.  You don't know that you will get to go home and I will stay here trying to raise our children."  There wasn't enough pictures of him.

The same could be said for my mother.  I look at her pictures and she is brave and fearless.  You could tell that she is so strong.  She is fierce and beautiful.  I remember her to be the best mom.  I loved her hugs.  She was some sort of gift to the world, my mother.  She died from complications of Lupus at the age of 39.  I have outlived her.  I think of her.  God saw fit to bring her home as well and I wonder what types of conversation she has had with Santi.

I don't know.  Will my children think, "There are not enough pictures of mom?" It's funny what they remember.  When I hear their stories, they remember the worst times with fondness.  Do you remember when we got lost, Mom?  Do you remember when Janet threw up?  Do you remember getting mad at this party?  Here I am trying to forget and there they go remembering!  They won't remember that I didn't want to take a picture because I looked awful in that angle.  They will just remember their mother.  God, in His infinite mercy didn't leave me alone.  He saw fit to allow me to become a mom.  I look at them now.  How do I raise you?  My constant prayer is for help from above to raise them.  I am not alone.  I have friends, and family and church members giving and lending me so much help.  I can only be thankful.

I am honored and privileged to be a mom, to walk in the steps of mom-dom.  When I am told, "Happy Mother's Day" today.  I think to myself, "I'm a mom."  It is unbelievable.  I have to pinch myself.

Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Godmothers, Mom-Helpers, Sisters, Brothers- take the pictures.  Take all of the pictures and post them.  Love hard.  Forgive often because most of the time, it may have happened to you but it is not about you.  Take a moment and eat cake.  Not all of the cake!!!  Some cake!  Remember hard and write it down.  I feel like I'm living this life on the back of God's pick up.  I'm looking back while He's driving me forward and I trust that He knows where he is taking me.  I may have had some bumps but I'm still riding.  I'm enjoying the view and looking back through where He has taken me.

Happy Mother's Day!  God bless.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Learning Still

I have learned something about myself.  I have learned something about how I go about things in this pandemic.  I get bored when things are too easy and I shut down when they get too hard.  I'll give you an example.  As a younger person, way way back in the day (don't add to the trauma by agreeing), I liked to walk but I don't believe I was very fit.  I was fit in the way that young people are healthier and able to do more things but not necessarily athletic.  In my head, beauty meant Twiggy thin.  If you don't know what that means, it means very very painfully thin.  I would try all of these things in my teenage years to try and get that lean look.  It was hard.  However, I learned a lot about my body.  I learned that it likes to be fed.  I learned that it would rather work out then starve.  I learned that the scale doesn't necessarily tell the whole story even though it is data based (how many people are hating those two words!!!).  I learned to listen to my body.  So...  I am either going to go to an extreme or do nothing at all.  I need to learn how to balance. 

I think of Icarus.  He also had an issue going the medium route.  It's not easy to balance.  It's easier to go all the way in or nothing at all.  Balancing is harder.  So, I am learning to start slowly.  Do what I need to do and start off slow and gain momentum.  Am I learning from Physics?  Pay attention to when it gets hard and leave a bookmark there.  Try it again the next day.  If there is a day that it can't get done the way that I want it to, then try again the next day and don't get locked into putting myself down because it wasn't perfect the day before.  Makes sense, right?  Well, I have to tell myself the same things over and over. There are some lessons I will need for the rest of my life. 

I'm not going to pretend to know what will happen in the future.  There is every possibility that I may not succeed in any of my goals.  But... I am still writing them.  I am trying them.  I am adjusting and I'm working toward them with the grace of God.  I am thankful for opportunities.  If you take a moment, try an think about anything that you have learned in this time.  In the very least, take note of how you will remember it all.  Praise the Lord!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Cinco de Mayo and Celebrations

Yesterday was May the fourth.  I have such fun things going on in my birthday week.  Today was Cinco de Mayo, a holiday I'm not really sure of the historical significance.  In my head, I think, "Just another day to be happy about.  Another day to eat cake for."  Yay!!!

Here is the thing that you don't know.  This is the first year in a few years that I feel like celebrating my birthday.  My daughter was like, "You need to celebrate your 48th birthday, Mom."  48!!!  Who is 48?  Am I really 2 years away from 50 years old?  Man, I'm getting old! I still feel like I'm 27. 

Regardless, I want to celebrate each day leading up to the 9th.  I'm eating gluten free strawberry white chocolate cake that is so good that my daughter, who can eat any type of gluten she wants, is jealous that I can eat this cake.  I like being 47.  I like who I am.  Even if it's just this week, I walk with a bounce and my long curly hair blows in the breeze.  It's cool. I'm  cool.  And I'm thankful.  God has allowed me to see another year of life.  Why shouldn't I celebrate the week, the month!!!

Be safe, Friends!  Miss you.

Monday, May 4, 2020

May the 4th

Today is May the 4th, as in: "May the Fourth be with you."  It is the unofficial Star Wars day.  I have a lot of friends of mine that are uber fans.  Me?  I like the movies well enough but I would not categorize myself as an uber fan.  I like Princess Leia. 

I remember my Titi Mina taking us to see Star Wars.  I remember that the line was so long and how cool it was to see the words go across the screen the way that it did.  I was about 5?  Maybe I was older.  The line to get into the movies was super long.  I think it was the second movie I had ever been too.  The first movie was "Sleeping Beauty."  I will confess now that I slept during the movie and I didn't watch it again until I was an adult.  I have found that I enjoy movies immensely but I'm not a fanatic of them either.  It's good to find out these things about yourself. 

I remember watching Episodes 1-3.  You will disagree but they are my favorite.  I finally understand more of the plot.  I liked watching Darth Vader begin the transition.  I am a person who likes sequence and endings.  I haven't seen the ending yet.  I'm taking my time with this series.  I don't know if I'll like the way it ends things being that I have not made my peace with the way the order was presented. 

I love the themes of Star Wars.  I like the idea of the Dark Side and Light Side.  I like the enthusiasm shown to fight and the idea of having a cause.  Star Wars started something.  The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc... it presents a group of characters as the heroes with their varying roles.  People in offices and in teams can relate to the misfit, or the mean princess (😃😁), the mentor, etc...  I think there is even an MBTI chart corresponding to the various personality types of Star Wars. 

I have a Princess Leia action figure that I liked and bought on sale at Game Stop.  I think I have a sweatshirt somewhere.  I'm not a die hard fan but I like the story enough to rep some gear and partake of the festivities, if I'm allowed.  There are other things I would like to talk about this week.  I'm going to sign off right about now but... May God's force and blessings be upon you today and I always pray that you choose Light over Dark when you are looking at sides. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

May Thoughts

Today is the first day of May or May Day.  I just got a gift from my dear friend, Harriet who made me something sweet.  This month, a lot of things are going on.  In about a week I will be turning 48.  The day right after is Mother's Day.  I think the governor would have done well to open up Arizona on the 10th instead of the 15th.  There are graduations this month.  My late husband's birthday would have been this month.  Did you know that we met this month?  I was a baby at 22.  We started going out on the 29th.  This is my month. 

I look into the mirror.  I can start seeing it, the vestiges of time making its appearance on my face.  There is a looseness in my jaw, there is something different about my neck.  My dear sweet friends always tell me that I don't have to worry about aging yet.  Here is an honest thought.  I look at my friends who are aging with me and they are happily with their husbands who loved them when they were young.  They don't see their wives as aging.  They see their wives the way I saw my husband when he was alive, as the young handsome guy that swept me off of my feet when I was 22.  I wonder what people see now...  I always imagine people seeing all the things I try to hide.  The way that I don't know what to say when approached.  My chunky legs, the ones that I have are what you see first, right?  The arm fat that I can't seem to get rid of and that will probably be there forever.  I breathe in.  I breathe out.  Some times when you think too hard, you can get yourself in trouble.  I tell myself, "Elle, be happy.  You'll be home soon."

I bought a cake mix to make with the kids.  I treated myself to a fancy perfume.  It will be a quiet happy weekend.  I don't know.  I don't know what will happen.  I think that this is what has me apprehensive.  I don't have a lot of plans that extend past the next few months.  I used to imagine what it would be like to get married.  I then used to imagine what it would be like to have kids.  I used to imagine what it would be like to watch my babies grow.  I have their graduations to look forward to and their weddings and their babies.  I have a while to wait.  There is nothing close on the horizon.  It's just the three of us that have set sail on our adventure and there appears to be no land in sight..  There is but quiet days of growing and waiting on what God has for us.  Maybe there is a measure of "ho-hum" added to our days.  Here is another hard thought: I may be afraid to hope for more than what is ahead.  So... instead I will focus on my happy May thoughts.  I will celebrate my birthday month and when June comes, I'll worry about that month then.  God tells us not to worry about tomorrow, so I guess that means I'll just praise Him today.