Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Time for Socks

Ahh, sweet February is almost here. I love this month.  Not only because it’s short and has a lover’s holiday right in the middle but also because it signals to me the very essence of winter. Images of snow covered plains, frozen ponds and freezing temperatures float through my brain as I imagine what it would be like if I didn’t live in South Texas where it’s sixty degrees in the middle of February. Before we moved to Texas we spent a few years in Salt Lake City where the snow fell with force and I routinely had to dig my car out.

In Texas flip flops can be worn year round but when the temperatures fall, watch out, the winter girl in me takes over and I wear socks. I decided a few years ago that if it wasn’t going to snow, or even freeze once in awhile I was going to treat myself to some fancy socks to remind me of what winter is usually like. What I found was a great way to give a gift to myself and I didn’t even realize it.
I have my own personal sock store. I know the complete inventory and rely on my own stocking system to figure out which socks will warm my feet every day.  In fact my sock drawer is overflowing…with socks of all different colors, textures and fabrics.

I can’t help it, I’m a winter girl and even though you might be shaking you head wondering if I’m a little bit crazy, I know that my enthusiasm for socks is one of the little ways I can treat myself on a cold winters day. A little pick me up, if you will. Socks do for me in the dead of winter what sunscreen and a swimming pool do in the summer. They make me smile and make me feel like I’ve done something nice for myself. Definitely important ingredients for a quick little pick me up.

Sock wearing might seem simple but I’m curious…do you know what gives you that little extra hit of excitement or motivation when the whether outside has gotten you down? Or maybe when it’s been a long day at work and you are utterly exhausted? What do you do for yourself when you need a little zest? If it feels like you are running on empty and tired of the gray skies and frigid temperatures, it might be time to find a way to invest a little zest into your day. Consider asking yourself the following:

How can I pamper myself today?
What sounds like fun?
If I had five extra minutes what would I do?

For more information on how to give yourself a little zest visit my website: www.resurrectedgirl.com and contact me for your free 30 minute consultation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grace on a Thursday

Every year right about this time I think of my grandmother Rouse who used to make Thanksgiving such a special day. The following is a story I wrote a few years ago about her last Thanksgiving with us. May God bless each of you this year. Happy Thanksgiving

Grace on a Thursday

            When we feel unlovely we want to hide because we can’t imagine anyone could love us in those moments.  Let’s face it - we all have those moments, and that’s usually when God speaks the loudest.
            My Grammie was one of the loveliest women I have ever known, but one Thanksgiving she didn’t think so. Our tradition was to dress up in our Sunday best, dine at two and go to the movies. We all knew with Grammie being sick there would be no movie this year. Released from the hospital two days earlier, we were just happy she could be with us for the holiday. But now another storm was brewing.
            “Mom!”  My sister ran into the kitchen. “Grammie says she’s not coming to dinner. She says she doesn’t have anything to wear, her hair isn’t done and she is not about to come to dinner in her pajamas and robe.” Laura’s green eyes pleaded with Mom. “What are we going to do? We can’t leave her in her room all alone…not on Thanksgiving.” Nervous knots formed in my belly as I wondered what would happen.
            A few days earlier I had taken a trip to the hospital. My mind hadn’t comprehended the seriousness of Grammie’s condition until I stood in the doorway of her room and was struck by her frailty. I paused for a moment taking in the image of my sweet Grammie lying in that hospital bed looking like a small child. Without the benefit of going to the salon, her normally jet black hair had turned gray. Her milky white complexion had grown sallow and pale. Broken blood vessels from her IV etched the skin of her once smooth hand.
            The contrast to her usual self was startling.  Throughout my childhood, Grammie had come over for dinner on a Thursday after her weekly hair and nail appointment. Smelling of Estee Lauder perfume, she would sink into the sofa and beckon to me with her beautiful hands. I loved sitting next to her, and my heart would sing at the invitation to be near her. I breathed her in while listening to her soft, gentle voice tell me about the events of her day, and then she would ask me about mine. Her hands stroked my back or played with my hair.  She made me feel safe and loved.  But in the past few years the allure of college and my social life had kept me from spending Thursdays with her.  And now she was in the hospital.
            I moved closer to her hospital bed and picked up her IV pierced hand. She smiled at me and asked me about my day. It felt just like our old Thursday afternoons, only we were conversing over the starched white sheets of her hospital bed, with the scent of antiseptic lingering in the air. She couldn’t reach out and stroke my back anymore, but I could curl up beside her and stroke her hair and smell her sweet perfume. Even in the hospital she still smelled like flowers. I cradled her hand in mine while her words curled around my heart.  She loved me unconditionally and in that moment I saw Jesus.  Like Christ, she gave to me even though I hadn’t made her a priority over the past few years.
            The hospital released her for Thanksgiving and as the scent of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie filled the air, my sister and I watched our mother, wondering what to do.  Mom told us not to worry while she placed an apple pie into the oven. I could see her shoulders quietly shake as she tried to hide her emotion from us.
            “Mom, what if I fix her hair and put a little makeup on her,” Laura said. “I think that might help her feel better.”
            “Yes, I think that’s a great idea, but let’s do more than that.” She stirred the gravy and then a smile broke through the clouds that had covered her face. “I know…let’s wear our bathrobes to the table. We can surprise her!” Pausing for a moment to let the idea sink in she continued, “We can wear our normal clothes underneath and each of us can come to the table in our robes. That way she will know that she fits right in. What do you think?” Her face shone with excitement, and I knew we had our answer.
            Laura nodded her head in agreement. “I’ll go tell her that we aren’t taking no for an answer and insist that she let me fix her hair. Even though we all think she’s beautiful without being fixed up, knowing Grammie there isn’t going to be any other way to convince her.”
            We thought we would surprise her so we didn’t tell Grammie of our plan.  After a “We’re not taking no for an answer” conversation with my mother, Grammie finally let my sister Laura fix her hair and apply a little color to her cheeks.
            I will never forget how excited I felt when I stood next to my chair at the dining room table. I looked around the table at my family. We were attired in our Sunday best, our bathrobes draped over our shoulders. My little brother even had on his slippers and was grinning from ear to ear. We barely contained ourselves with the excitement of our secret and hoped that Grammie would feel a part of our family as she had on so many other Thursday afternoons.
            Dad wheeled her into the dining room, her normally robust frame wilting in the wheelchair. We stood quietly at the table until she looked up. When she did, we shouted “Surprise!” Her face went from pale gray to a soft blush, and a giant smile engulfed her face. She giggled my favorite giggle and for a moment she was my joyful, adoring Grammie again.
             Tears of relief rolled down my cheeks, she was with us again, and we were all overjoyed. Conversation bubbled across the table as we shared our Thanksgiving meal. I believe we were all thankful that our family was complete. It would not have been the same without our Grammie.
            Grammie died two days later. For her funeral we dressed once again in our Sunday best. I wished we could have worn our robes again. It seemed appropriate that in one of her final moments here on earth Grammie was more beautiful to me than ever, without the earthly adornments of hair color and makeup. Grace is God’s way of pouring out His love upon us regardless of our clothing, whether we feel lovely or not. To Him we are always lovely, a fragrant aroma and a blessing. He accepts us, offers us grace when we don’t deserve it and puts on our humanity out of love, every single day of the week.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Year in Transition

A Year in Transition

A little over one year ago my family and I moved from our home in San Antonio to a suburb of Dallas called Rockwall. Just a quick five hour drive north on I-35 and we find ourselves at home in the country, near cows and lots and lots of country critters. It has been an adjustment for all of us, and has presented us each with our own set of challenges but, we are finding our way. In fact, it’s more than that, this move is a gift.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved living in San Antonio, loved our friends, our church, our home and Zach and Kayla enjoyed their school and sports activities. And yet, there was an itch, for lack of a better description, a pull towards something but I couldn’t put my finger on it, except to just ask God to help each one of us to be open. After everything we had been through with Grant’s illness and his recovery, it made sense to me that we had entered a season of renewal, but it hadn’t occurred to me that this would include a move.

We found out we were moving the end of April 2011. We took a few weeks to put our house in order, which included painting, purging, lots of yard work and yes much prayer.

We sold our house in one day. One day…ONE DAY! My head still spins thinking about it. We had one showing, and one offer. And here’s the kicker, we had one week to find a house here in Rockwall, and the one we now call home we found on the very last day of looking and the price was perfect!

We had a 30 day close, which meant that from the time we put the sign in the yard to the day we left San Antonio only four short weeks had passed. Enough time to pack, have a yard sale, say quick goodbyes to friends and try our hardest to help Zach and Kayla to see this as an adventure, which it most definitely has been.

Over the course of the summer and into the school months last fall I watched our new life unfold. I decided to take the year off from writing and found myself immersed in making our hew house a home. I volunteered on the PTA board again and started taking tennis lessons. We found a great church and slowly began making friends. Zach started club soccer and Kayla swimming, and they both tell me weekly that they love it here. That this feels like a little piece of heaven, and they are happy.

Now, fifteen months later I can look back and see how this was our year in transition. A year of in between, a year to establish ourselves in a new place that goes right along with our season of renewal. This move is so much more than just about geography. It’s about a new life for Grant as he is healthy and thriving. A new life for me as a mom, wife, writer and life coach (and tennis playerJ). And a new life for Zach and Kayla who never cease to amaze me with their firm grasp on the things that are most important.

 I find myself dusting off my manuscript, and am actively seeking new coaching clients. I’m excited to be here and look forward to seeing what comes next. You can be sure that I’m staying open, the adventure is just beginning.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Just my Dog and Me

He sleeps on his bed in the corner of our room. A silent presence, watching. The slightest movement and his head raises. He finds my blanket covered form and he waits. I peek from beneath my sheets, wondering how many times I need shuffle my feet, before he will be at my side. Was not feet shuffling this morning, but the simple drop of my arm that beckoned him. 

Nuzzling my hand, begging for love, he turns in endless circles reaching for me, to rub the side of his face, his ear, his back. He licks my face, an invitation.

The coffee drips as he gobbles his food, and then he presses his nose to the glass in my kitchen door. The click of the deadbolt turning in the lock, pricks his ears and his tail bangs against my leg as I try to open the door before his wiggling frame. 
Sauntering out he leaps over rocks and grass before remembering me. A simple nod and he's off, bounding across the damp morning grass, chasing the birds and smelling the morning smells. Free, he shouts with every leap! Free, with every sniff and scamper!
Free! Free! Free! 

Settling onto the sofa, I curl my legs beneath me and sip. The sun casts a golden glow across the pillows and my heart is full. 
I hear him before I see. He bounds around the corner of the house, nudges the edge of my foot and then settles, sides heaving, tongue hanging. 
Just my Dog and Me.