Peace – not just for hippies :)

Missing all of you! Hope your summer is off to a wonderful start. — Melinda

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Peace, contentment. The ability to be still and hear the quiet whisper in the middle of the storm. 

To feel the onslaught of the hurricane rising up against you and to know that God is in control. To know that without Him, there is nothing, but WITH HIM, there is nothing you cannot do. 

To know the sense of peace that comes from doing something to the best of your ability and then letting go of it. 

To know that you cannot control how people act or react. To know that as long as you keep your eyes focused on God, your paths will be straight. 

To know that peace doesn’t come from avoiding the struggles. Instead, peace is moving through the struggles and still having joy, still moving forward, still trusting God. 

Peace – not anxiety, not stress, not pressure, not fear, not insecurity, not jealousy, not anger. Peace. 

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Why Is Bildungsroman Haunting Me?

How long do you run away from a new creative endeavor before you decide to give in and try it?

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photo credit: an untrained eye via photo pincc
 
 

Bildungsroman Is Attacking Me

It seems that everywhere  I look, up pops Bildungsroman. I can’t seem to escape it.

For those of you who are wondering what Bildungsroman means, the easy, dictionary definition =

a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.  (Dictionary.com)

There’s a literary definition (of course) that is much more drawn out, but a novel that deals with a young person’s formative years will suffice.

I don’t write YA. I don’t have anything against it, that’s just not my area.

And, yet, here is bildungsroman everywhere I look. Articles, blog posts, even in conversations with people (good grief!) there it is, rearing its head – BILDUNGSROMAN…

Do you ever feel attacked by ideas, concepts? If so, do you follow where they lead or just write it off as strange coincidence?

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Fountain or Drain – Which One Are You?

One of my most popular posts on this blog. Wiping away the cobwebs after my year long hiatus …

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The Fountain or the Drain?

 Fountains


photo credit: M.Angel Herrero via photo pincc

Some people make you feel more creative, more productive, excited about your future. These people realize there’s no limit to ideas, so they are free to share them. There’s no quota to projects that will work. If they have a good idea that they think is a fit for you, they share it. When you tell them about a new idea or a new project, these people will offer helpful suggestions, cheer you on, and help you however they can.

These people are fountains. Surround yourself with them. Nurture them, tend to them because they make you better by being in your life.

Drains


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You may not know at first glance that someone is a drain, but it only takes a few times of interacting with that person for you to feel…

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An Ode to Poison Ivy

An Ode to Poison Ivy

photo credit: Martin LaBar via photopin cc

Potent poison plant
Oils that attack
Make a swift motion to grab your bottle of lotion
Poison Ivy climbs my porch trellis like a silent spider, scurrying and hurrying
My itchy albatross,
Scratch, scratch, scratch
Poison Ivy will be the death of me
When will the itching end, all caused by this plant to which I must attend?

 

** Been missing y’all 🙂 Hope everyone’s soon-to-be summer is going to be a good one! **

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A year of YES …

Thanks to Traveling with T for having me as a guest and inviting me to mull over the business of resolutions.

I needed the push to make my ideas more concrete about what I wanted from 2014.

Go check it out, please, and let Tamara know you were there 🙂

The Power of Yes

And, if you made resolutions, what were they?

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I couldn’t be more surprised if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet…

If your holidays look more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or The Family Stone than White Christmas or any one of the Hallmark channel or Lifetime network Christmas movies, welcome to my world.

My entire house looks like Christmas has vomited all over it.

We have a nine foot Christmas tree and a base that is too small, so our tree fell over twice after we had completely decorated it, lights, ornaments, tinsel and all. New base? Not yet, tree is leaning against the wall. Feeling the awesomeness yet?

We are still in the process of remodeling our house, so I’ve just hung the stockings next to the fireplace that is missing a mantle.

The Christmas parade was rescheduled due to rain and pushed back to the same day we were hosting the youth Christmas “Santa Attacks” and pizza party. Decorate a float, ride in the parade, shuttle a van full of teenagers to the local nursing homes and the homes of the people in our church who can’t get out and about and deliver packages, back to the church for pizza and a movie all in one day? Absolutely.

Ornaments full of paint and covered in glue spread all over our dining room table? Yes.

But, I have a house full of kids who are happy, content and healthy.

I have an incredible husband who puts up with me hauling Christmas lights all over the front yard and adding “just one more” snow man to the collection.

I am one of those people who listens to Christmas music throughout December because it only comes once a year. I also make my family load up in our car and ride around the same neighborhoods repeatedly so we (and here I mean “I”) can look at the Christmas lights and decorations.

So, from my house to yours, I hope all of you are happy and healthy.

If you are reading this, I count you as one of my blessings.

Now, off to untangle the next string of lights I am soon to staple to the front porch.

Merry Christmas!

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My Dad, Elvis and Christmas

Our brains are weird, aren’t they? Or is that just me

My parents divorced when I was 9. My dad was pretty good about keeping up the visitation schedule until he moved 4 hours away, and then it was less and less (and I was harder and harder to deal with!), until eventually I didn’t see him at all for three years. We later had a great relationship, and I am thankful for that, but that’s not the point of this story.

What is the point? Good question.

My dad was a fan of Elvis’s music. I like it too. Particularly when it is Christmas time. My brain makes strange connections between memories all the time. Some of these memories and connections involve my dad, Elvis, Christmas and getting sick right outside my dad’s car, and yet, I still love Elvis Christmas songs and recall happy memories of my dad and that Christmas.

During one of the early Christmases after my parents divorced (I was probably 10), my dad picked me up from school when we let out for Christmas break. This was maybe the only time that happened because my dad was a coach at a different school, so he couldn’t be at my school at 3:30 while he was at work – time travel expert, my father was not.

Anyway, I used to have a horribly temperamental nervous stomach, and time with my dad was stressful. So I didn’t think it was unusual for my stomach to be upset when he came to pick me up from school.

Dad put on the Elvis Christmas tape (yep – tape, as in cassette. It was white with black writing, if you are wondering. The cassette case had a colorful picture of a very tan Elvis in a white shirt with a black scarf around his neck against a dark red background, again, just in case you wanted to know (: ). Dad started humming along to the music, singing along a little bit to the “woo ooo” parts. I started tapping my fingers on my pants leg along with the song.

However, I didn’t start feeling better.

I pressed my face against the car window. It was so cold outside, which was also unusual, since it very well could have been 85 degrees. I grew up in Texas after all. Thankfully though, it was freezing outside, and the window was nice and cold.

My stomach still didn’t feel better. About the time I figured out that something was really wrong, it was almost too late for Dad to pull over onto the shoulder of the road. But he was a good driver (he also taught Driver’s Ed ;-p) and I made it out of the car and into the grass in time to get sick.

I could hear the sound of Elvis singing “Blue Christmas” in Dad’s car and Dad asking if I was “okay,” which meant was I alright enough to make it back to the car to make it the rest of the way to his apartment without throwing up again. The grass crunched under my shoes, and I could smell the exhaust fumes from Dad’s car.

Once I was “okay” enough to get back in the car, I pressed my face back to the window pane and Dad started humming again. For some reason, I felt so much better, I knew everything would be “okay” – maybe not great, maybe not Norman Rockwell, but everything would be okay.

It is strange the comfort I get when I hear Elvis sing “Blue Christmas” or any of his other Christmas songs. I think of my dad, who passed away in 2008, and I miss him. And I hum along to the songs and think about how good the icy window felt against my check, and how I knew in my heart that everything would be “okay” one way or the other.

Christmas memories of my dad and Elvis

Christmas memories of my dad and Elvis

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