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Busy Summer – Yes Indeed!

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Prior to March 13th, my schedule was very predictable.  I had come to expect my week to flow from a day of work, to a day off, to a few more days of work.  This routine schedule allowed for me to focus on some crafts when home, and to focus on patient care when at work.

After a few months off, I am now back at work.  My routine has changed.  I rarely have a weekday off now – I really do miss my free Tuesdays!  Normally, I wake naturally a few minutes before my alarm goes off.  This is really a nice, peaceful way to wake up, without the alarm beeping at me.  However, my body still has not gotten used to having to get up early on Tuesdays. So, every Tuesday, that beep (or on my phone it’s more of a fog-horn sound) startles me awake.

Our summer patient schedule is completely booked.  Several times a day, I am having to figure out how to fit some necessary patient treatment into an already busy schedule, all the while keeping to our office social distancing guidelines and avoiding overworking my awesome staff. At times I feel I am being pulled in all directions.  And, I know my staff feel that way too!  I think the entire office is looking forward to a slightly slower schedule once school resumes.

With the summer rush, I find this song “Breathe” really does describe the craziness of life right now. The chorus of the song goes through my head often each day and helps to calm my mind and remind me to “just breathe”.

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel You say just

(chorus)
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Wanna make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear You say just

(chorus)
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in fill your lungs
The Peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
Let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe

(chorus)
Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

Writer(s): Words and Music by Jonny Diaz, Jonathan Smith and Tony Wood

Be At Peace

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9

Finding meaning and peace in the midst of the chaos of 2020 has brought me to the verses above.

When reading these verses we need to remember that Paul wrote these words while a prisoner in Rome. Wrongfully arrested, he had every reason to complain, yet he focused on rejoicing. Both his teaching and example provide an amazing model. Every believer should seek to rejoice in the Lord despite difficult situations, just as Paul did.

In these verses, he notes believers shouldn’t be “anxious about anything.” This does not imply a complete lack of concern. Nor does this mean believers are going to live a worry-free life. Instead we should focus on God.

God’s peace is supernatural and unexplainable. It is truly amazing how God can and will respond during times of difficulty. Instead of dwelling on the difficulties of life, we should look at what is true, lovely, just, commendable, pure, excellent, honorable, and praiseworthy.

Paul’s instructions are not merely meant to be read, they are meant to be put into action.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

John 14:27

We need a return to Right & Wrong

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It’s hard to watch the news lately.  It’s hard to read Facebook posts lately.  It’s hard to understand how people can justify wrong-doing.

Wrong is wrong. 

Life is precious at all ages, in all colors, in all cities, all states and all countries.  

O’Lord by Lauren Daigle
 
Though times it seems
Like I’m coming undone
This walk can often feel lonely
No matter what until this race is won
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
Your strength is found
At the end of my road
Your grace it reaches to the hurting
Still through the tears and the questioning why
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
 
Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face This I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
(Right, so right)
Make it right
(Right, so right)
Make it right, right
I will stand my ground
I will stand my ground
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
Oh! O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right (take all what is wrong)
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
(Right, so right)
Make it right
(Right, so right)
Make it right, right
 

 

Becoming a Mom.

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Thirty years ago today, at 11:08 pm CDT, I became a mom.

That single day changed my life in so many ways.

Someone once told me that they felt sorry for the oldest child in a family.  Being the first child in a family kinda means that you are the “trial child”, the child on whom each parent learns what it means to be a parent.  Having no manual or rule book, we have to learn as we go.  However, while my oldest may have taught me the most, I feel that I have learned from each of my boys.

Over the past thirty years, I have learned patience, perseverance, negotiation, and many other life skills. These skills have helped me in all aspects of my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that planning is very important to be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day, all the while understanding that my plans may change at a moments notice.  This gave me the incentive to learn to be organized but adaptable – something that has been necessary over these past couple of months.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much energy they can have. This gave me the incentive to enroll them in sports and other activities and to help them to enjoy these endeavors.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that having them play outdoors helped to keep the house cleaner and the boys to sleep better.  This gave me the desire to learn more about plants so that I could be gardening while supervising their outdoor activities.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how to build forts.  This gave me confidence to build other things, like trellises and gazebos, and to tackle home remodeling projects.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much they could eat, and how expensive feeding them would be.  This gave me the desire to learn to bake, to cook, and to make my own preserves.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how busy life can be.  This gave me the encouragement to daily find time for myself, something that is still important in my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that I could not do things alone.  This has given me an appreciation for my husband and gratitude for his love.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly realized that every life at every age is precious. This has given me a gratitude for the grace shown to us by our heavenly father each and every day.

Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that my oldest was a newborn baby.  Other days, it feels like it was so very long ago. There are many ups and downs being a mom. But, I would not change it for anything.  Happy Birthday, Tim!  I love you.

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Family & Birthdays

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Yesterday was the twenty third birthday of my third son, Ben.  Happy Birthday Ben!

We were blessed to be able to celebrate the day with him.  Well, okay, maybe just the evening. I have been spending most of my time writing up protocols (Covid-19 Business Plan, Respiratory Protection Plan, etc).  All the government regulations can be a bit overwhelming. Ben spent his day doing classwork on-line and preparing for finals.

But, since he is at our home and not in Brooklyn, I felt we needed to do something special for him.  So, he selected a recipe for me to make – Vegetarian Ramen (Bon Appetit), I did some shopping and together we made the recipe.  We did need to leave out some things due to my allergies. This did turn out very tasty.

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Some pecan pie for dessert and a long family conversation with my sons who live out of town was an enjoyable way to spend my evening.

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Perfect Day

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Each day, I spend time watching webinars, reading research papers and thinking about the ideas on how to prepare for providing dental treatment when we are allowed to reopen, while still protecting my patients, my staff and myself.

But this time can also cause a lot of anxiety.  So, this weekend, I also spent some time outside working in my yard.  The weather was so much better than last Sunday.  Sunshine and fresh air is great for reducing anxiety. 

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On Tuesday, I had a load of mulch delivered.   Seventy five bags of cypress mulch to spread around the shrubs and trees.  And, ten bags of black mulch for the flower beds (I like how this mulch looks like dirt when spread around flowers).  So, this weekend, I starting spreading the mulch and making my yard ready for summer.  

 

I also pulled out my yard art and put them in the planting beds and planters.  It’s nice to have something lovely to lift my spirit.  

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A few weeks ago, I found a lovely flower wreath for my front door.  It really brightens up my entryway. 

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I even put out some new yard art that I made over the winter.  I now have a glass frog and a glass ladybug in my planting  beds. I’ll give some details on how to make these later this week.  

What really made today perfect, was reflecting on God’s creation around me.

  • The beauty of the flowers popping through the ground.
  • The delight of the bird’s singing in the trees.
  • The wildlife wondering through my life (well, maybe not the turkeys!). 

Everything is Possible

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Our church has been given the challenge of making 100,000 masks for local hospitals.  

This seems like a daunting task, but with organization everything is possible. The coordinator at our church has set up teams – someone to wash and iron the fabric, someone to cut  the fabric, someone to sew the masks and someone to transport items from each team member and back to church.  This seems like a major challenge, but I have decided to jump in and help. But, I have so much excess fabric (thanks to my mom and my sister) that I am working as my own team.  This should be a good way to use up some of the colors that I would ordinarily not use in a quilt.  The pattern is a basic pattern that is much simpler than the one I had used to make masks before.  So, it should be faster sewing.  

So now that I am done with some yard work, I will spend a couple hours making masks.  

Some good music to listen to will make the time go by quickly.

Cancelled, Not!

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Reflecting back on this past Easter weekend, I am struck by how different our celebration was, but also how much better our celebration and how normal our celebration was.

The difference was that we were at home.  There was  no need to get dressed up, no rush to get dinner ready after church, and no extended family gathering.

With so the church services on-line, we were able to have a better celebration by participating in several different Easter celebrations. Normally, I would not have even thought to check out other church services.  But, this year, my extended family shared links to their church services.

These links gave me a sense of normalcy.  We are still able to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  While many things have been cancelled, kindness around us is not cancelled. God’s love and our love for family and friends is not cancelled. Hope is not cancelled.  And faith is not cancelled.

Indeed, he is “Still Rolling Stones”.