Lolly’s House…

Being a grandmother…now, three times over, the holidays take on a bigger significance for me.  After becoming a mother many, many years ago, things shifted to being about the children…my children. Holidays became a whirlwind of happiness and exhaustion!  Now, my children’s generation is experiencing that whirlwind first-hand, and I’m able to plan for each event with a little more energy since I don’t have to be up at night for the 3am feedings…

Even though I still have one child at home, I’m trying to find my new role as the supporter and enabler. My house is transitioning from “Mom’s House” to “Lolly’s House”.  But what does that mean for me as a woman…a person?

I’ve never looked at becoming a grandmother as a lesser-role. As far as responsibility and influence go, it’s like the rest of my life: as my age increases, so should my wisdom and influence…

And if that’s the case, then I have an increased responsibility to use that influence not just in my immediate family, but also everywhere I have a voice.

I think many women struggle to find their voice or their place as their nest becomes more and more empty. For me, I choose to tackle this by constantly filling my nest…

Every year my nest gets fuller, rather than emptier.  I could have never had biological children at all and I still could grow my nest and increase my influence.  

All women have a voice and a place regardless of their motherhood status.

So, how does this paradigm shift in my life affect my every day?  How does it affect my view of the holidays?

Well, of course, my role as “Lolly” is enriched by thinking about the holidays through the eyes of my grandchildren, but what if I didn’t have all these kids to help me find my role?

Halloween clarifies this for me every year.

If you know me, you know that I’m not a big celebrator of Halloween… The creepy and the scary is just not my thing.  In fact, when my kids were little, we basically just pretended that the day didn’t exist.  

Left to my own devices and in my own comfortability, I would just turn the lights out and act like no one is home…

But as I’ve gotten older and my influence has increased, I have begun to look at the world around me less from the perspective of my own comfort and more from the perspective of others.

Hospitality has become something that I cherish.  It’s become like an art-form for me.  So I don’t really feel that I have the luxury to not think about others during the holidays…

It’s not just about me anymore.

Nothing brings this fact into focus more than Halloween.

If it’s truly about others and making them feel loved and cherished, then I have to take a second look at this holiday.  The truth is that there is no other day of the year that people of all kinds come eagerly to my door…they bring their most precious possession: their children to my door and allow me to “ooh” and “aw” over their costumes, they let me give their little ones gifts in the form of treats…

They ask me to be hospitable and kind.

I have the privilege of showing them what coming to my house feels like…Lolly’s House. It may very well be the only visit to a grandmother’s house that they will get to experience during the whole of the holiday season. It may very well be the only kindness they experience all day…week…year.

I may be overstating the significance of this one day…but what if I’m not?

I’ve begun to look for meaning in life not just from being a mother or how many kids I have been blessed with, but rather how much of a blessing I can be to as many as God brings into my path.  And since I’ve begun to look for these opportunities, I’ve found my place.

So no matter how full or empty my nest is, I’m still “Lolly” and there’s always kindness to be shared at my house…Lolly’s House.❣️

And that makes me smile, even if I have to wade through scary clown costumes to do it!😱

Peace to you…

Angie❣️

Making the Mundane More Magical…

Having been a “stay-at-home” wife, mom and grandmother now for nearly 30 years, I’ve dealt with the pitfalls and challenges of finding purpose and meaning in the most mundane tasks. But the truth is, we all struggle with finding joy in the things that, on the surface, can seem ordinary and even boring…

Having the same “gig” for as long as I have also allows me to really get to know where my strengths…and weaknesses lie.  And for me, my weakness is definitely consistency…especially if it’s in the mundane and possibly boring category.

I don’t do mundane very well.

I do last-minute, heart-pumping, ride-or-die super well…it’s just that most of my mom-days don’t include a whole lot of moments that you might see in an episode of “24”.  

So while I tend to hear the sound-track of my life something like “The Hunger Games” or “The Sound of Music”…it’s more like an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Vidoes” most days…

But I love my life.

The challenge is in finding the magic in the mundane.

The way I’m learning to do this…and it’s definitely a work-in-progress, is to give myself permission to look at absolutely everything through rose-colored glasses. So, when I hear the Hunger Games music begin to play in my head…then, I need to act like it’s just that important.  And when Julie Andrews begins to sing, I can use that to motivate me to not just “clean” the bathroom, but to really make it more beautiful.

How I make the mundane magical is to look at it as my art form…my mission. Because the truth is, it really is that important.

This weekend Byron spoke about how creating margin…breathing room in our schedules allows us to be more generous in our lives.  So, if my finances are “in order” then I can be generous when there’s a natural disaster or a friend has a need. If my schedule is not maxed-out, then I can go visit someone in the hospital without grieving over the loss of a few hours.

For me, that was a reminder that every moment in my sometimes seemingly mundane day is important.  It may not seem important that I have a neat family room, but it allows me to be present-in-the-moment when a friend needs to stop by and cry on my shoulder.

It’s not always easy to feel approval or gratitude for the simple things that you do each day, but keep doing them and determine to really put your heart into it. Small things done with great love always have an impact.

I’ve had to realize that if I want to have a beautiful life, then I need to have beautiful thoughts and do beautiful things – and even the tiniest, most mundane thing can become beautiful if we see them as important and meaningful.

If I’ve ever questioned this, all I have to do is think about the sweetest moments in my life.  They are usually the simplest.

It’s not perfection that holds the most beauty…it’s progress…and peace.

It’s not always just about what we do, but how we do it…and doing the smallest things with the greatest love always has the ability to create magic!✨✨

Peace to you…

Angie❣

Inner Beauty

DSC_1780_2

Are you letting other’s rob you of your joy…your peace…your true beauty!  Or maybe the thief is your own emotions.

The truth is that Satan is a liar…and so are your emotions.

It’s not about what you’ve been, but about who Jesus was, is and always will be.

Seize the day – find your voice – make peace with one thing that causes you turmoil.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ― Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Just remember:  Inner peace is more beautiful than outward beauty devoid of peace.

You are more than you know…

Peace.

Living the Dream

ImageTwo years ago, my eldest daughter got married.

This is her “wedding party”.

Today this was what she wrote about that day, in light of our remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I’m pretty sure that this picture displays “The Dream” Dr. King spoke about. The majority of us in this picture, who happen to be most of my bridal party, are mixed with more than one ethnicity and we all love each other with no conditions. Our race is a mere detail…unless we’re celebrating each other’s cultures. We see each other for who we are and who we can be. I am living the dream.” 

Of course, I realize that the full scope of Dr. King’s “dream” encompasses more than just having friends from different racial backgrounds, but I also know that watching my children embrace and appreciate diversity is the beginning of getting to that “Promised Land” of which he spoke.

I also know that this is what heaven will look like…like a tapestry…

So when I look back at this day, this group of friends…or look into my brand new grandson’s eyes, I see hope for the future…

…hope for love.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – MLK, Jr.

Let us strive to be the light in the darkness and be the hope of love even in the presence of hate.

…because it does win in the end.

Peace.