Finding one small blessing each day.

Blessings abound March 24, 2014

Filed under: Family — hiddenblessing @ 11:06 pm
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Today’s blessing is too good to not share. 

In early January, my fifty-something uncle, who is a runner, went out for his usual hour-long run.  This man is a RUNNER.  I mean a serious runner – one of those guys who gets stir-crazy if he doesn’t get a chance to run.  It’s his stress relief, his meditation.. just simply, it’s his way of life.  He runs like I write – he does it because something deep inside his soul needs it.

On that particular night, however, a horrible accident occurred.  He was waiting for a truck to pass a busy road in his metropolitan suburb, and the truck put its signal to turn.  It began the turn and my uncle began to cross.  What he never saw coming was the car that was directly behind the truck, and it hit him… full-on, at an estimated 40ish miles per hour.

The details don’t really matter so much as what happened to him.  He suffered serious, horrific injuries to his entire body.  Of the many, many injuries, he had two broken legs and a traumatic brain injury.  On that devastating night, I and a few family members drove the eight hour drive through the night to get to his bedside.  There’s no way to prepare oneself for that kind of accident happening to a loved one.  No way to prep your mind for what you might find when you arrive.  No way to “look on the bright side”, as I always do, except to continue to tell yourself “he’s alive, he’s alive, he’s alive.”  

Today – not quite twelve weeks later – I got some beautiful news.  Not only is he ALIVE, but today he was given clearance to bear weight, 100%, on both legs.  Less than ninety days ago, we didn’t even know if he would keep both legs… and today he is able to walk.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Thank you doctors, thank you nurses, thank you modern medical care.  Thank you for letting me live in a country with the best of the best, thank you for the hundreds of people praying for him, and very most of all, thank you, God.

We are so, so blessed.  


Songs that saved my life (Pt 1) March 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 2:26 pm

This is so good. I want to think on my songs now… what would they be? Definite fodder for my writer’s soul…


You’ve probably experienced this yourself at some transitional point in life – listened to a song, and its melody and/or lyrics leapt out to fill your mind with stunned silence, that weird missed-step feeling of Fate having a hand between your shoulder blades. Regardless of its release date, that song would then become synonymous with a fragment of time when, for a few moments, you didn’t feel quite so unique, or so alone and unheard by the world, depending on how you viewed it.

This is how music has always underscored different aspects of my life. Each year, I’ll find at least one song/album which can define the overall mood based on events, or my mindset. It’s been an ongoing game for a while now, one I believe to be integral to building something like a rapport with the artists involved (though they’ll never know my shadow, of course.)


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My glass is never too full

Filed under: Inspiration,Kindness,Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 12:52 pm
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I had an inspiration the other day.  I want to love everyone.  I don’t know a better way to say that sentence.  Those words aren’t quite right to sum up what my soul is trying to say. 

What I really mean is… for example, I have one sister.  THANK YOU GOD for her.  I cannot imagine travelling this journey without her.  There is no more honest sentence than that.  I was blessed.  No font can contain the gratitude in that one word.  But my Darling Nikki, she didn’t get to be born with a sister.  She wasn’t born with another soul to grow up with – to fight with, and laugh with and to crawl into bed with when she had bad dreams.  I had someone who knew me when I peed my pants playing “cow” in the back yard at age six, who knew me when I had buck teeth and skinned knees, who held my hair when I had the flu and held my hand when I put on my ivory dress to walk down the aisle.  And my Darling Nikki – her parents may have decided they only wanted one child, but I still was lucky enough to get her, too.  I wasn’t born to her – but I am connected to her and responsible for her and she for me. My life is so intimately entwined with hers that even though she grew up with no siblings, she now has one.  And I have her. I love her children and am their aunt.  My son thinks they ARE his cousins.  When her parents get sick, I share that with her.  She’s not an only child anymore; she has a sister to help.  And likewise, I was gifted with HER.  It’s a win-win.  You can’t have too many loves in life.  Really.  Like who ever says “I have too many friends.  I love too many people.”?  No one.  So I want to love everyone I can.  Because in turn, they only make my life more beautiful, more full and truly – at the very, very end of it all – it’s me who was blessed by getting to love all of these wonderful people who crossed my path.

Starting now, starting today, it’s my goal to try to love everyone just a little bit more.  To be kinder than necessary.  To go out of my way at least once every day for one person.  I’ve been given so many blessings and gifts in life; it’s the best way I know how to give it back. 

Love to you today, my friend.


Rainy, quiet, blissful Saturday November 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 9:24 am
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I want to write before I get too far awake, too far alert, and too far into my day.  Today is pure heaven.  I am sitting at this moment, in my bed, with the blinds open and the gray morning sunshine (or lack thereof) coming into the room.  I have a heating pad at my back, purely for the yummy comfort of it.  I have a cup of steaming pumpkin coffee next to me, and an entire day ahead of me to do anything I want.

Oh, and I just found a groupon for highlights and a hair cut for $45.  Perhaps that’s the reason for my happiness.

Just kidding.

I have found so much beauty in the world in the last two weeks.  I don’t know why.  I have no idea if God is purely putting beautiful things in front of me, or if I just happen to be seeing more of it, but it is just awe-inspiring.  I’m trying to figure out what it means.

It started the other day when I was driving down a two-lane road near my home.  I live in a big city, but I’m on the farthest outskirts of the farthest suburb, so there are still roads that are largely un-commercialized.  They are still tree and brush-lined, and some still have animals (horses, goats) roaming beyond their old wood and wire fences.  I was headed east, early in the morning, and up ahead of me in this particular area I could see the bright sunshine filtering in through the orange-red leaves.  It was one of those golden bright mornings that you’re nearly blinded by the sun.  As the car ahead of me started to drive through, the wind picked up and all of these brilliant orange and yellow leaves began to flutter down through the sky.  But it wasn’t like they were just falling; they were twirling, graceful, dancing, slow-moving, gently dancing leaves.  Like a snow globe, but in a particular section of the street ahead of me.  And then suddenly I was driving through it and the sunlight was sparkling and the thought literally occurred to me that this, this was like moving through angels.

I’m not one normally given to such fanciful thoughts.  But there it was, and it was true.

Then a few days later, I drove all the way to work (40+ minutes) and realized I had forgotten my laptop.  So I had to turn around and drive all the way back home.  This was a ridiculous inconvenience, not to mention causing me to miss an important meeting I had coming up, but you know me – always look on the bright side.  So hey, it means I get to listen to a few more chapters of my current book on CD.  (GILLIAN FLYNN.  If you haven’t discovered her yet, DO.  Mind-blowing girl, she is.  She makes me feel like a worthless writer.  I almost threw in a smiley-face there, but that’s no joke, peeps. She is Uh. Maze. Ing.)

But I digress.  Sorry.  Gillian Flynn’s talent really does do that to me.  Anyway… as I turned down a street somewhat near the first area, I started seeing all these brilliant, diamond-like sparkles off on the side of the road.  It drew my attention and so of course I had to look closer.  What on earth was THAT??? The day before, the weather had unexpectedly dropped from 50-ish to 18 degrees.  Some poor souls apparently still had their sprinkler systems to set to go and two or three homes’ yards were coated in the most amazing display of ice.  As a Midwestern girl, I’ve seen my fair share of ice storms, and they are all beautiful and a huge pain in the behind all at the same time.  You don’t even get to look at them too closely unless you’re safe and warm in your living room, because if it looks like that outside and you ARE outside, your eyes are firmly on the road with your hand on the gearshift, getting ready to shift into neutral. 

These people’s sprinkler systems had apparently sprayed a good 1/2 inch of ice over the trees, grass, landscaping, fencing, EVERYTHING.  And all of it glittered and sparkled in the morning sun.  The contrast between these two or three yards and all the green, orange and yellows of fall all around it was amazing.  I know, I know, I know.  These people, while offering me a beautiful view, had a giant mess on their hands and likely a ridiculously pipe-shattered sprinkler system now, but it was still gorgeous, non-the-less.


So now my coffee is nearly gone and I’m awake enough to be sucked into finding a new hairstyle for myself and my groupon, and I found a great crockpot French onion soup so I am signing off. 

I’ve missed you!



Perspective February 28, 2013

Filed under: Family,Inspiration,Kindness — hiddenblessing @ 4:34 pm
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I have been thinking about perspective for some time now.

It started when I went to order a new pair of glasses. It was the most ridiculous purchase ever – I already had a perfectly acceptable pair that I just didn’t like. I was out shopping with E, who needed a new pair, and while I was waiting for him, I tried on a pair of frames. I fell instantly in love.

I thought about it for a few days and when I still just couldn’t quit thinking about them, I knew I had to have them. That’s my qualifier for any really selfish purchase…. IF I have the money and IF I still want them after walking away for a few days, I know it’s not a purchase I will regret. So I tapped into my private rainy-day-slush fund (ok, so tapped isn’t quite right, depleted might be a more accurate choice) and bought them for myself.

I waited and waited and waited for them to come in. It was going on the far end of the 7-10 business days the optical shop promised and I kept checking my phone… did they call yet? No? Ok. Thirty minutes later… did I miss a call? It was ridiculous. I knew it was ridiculous! But I was soooo excited for these glasses to come in. These glasses were going to be SO AMAZING and so cute and make me feel so happy!

I walked down to the cafeteria to get some lunch and I heard a voice call out my name. As I turned in response, I recognized that voice and inwardly sighed a bit. It was a woman I had worked with a year or two ago who had had cancer. She and I had gotten through all the employment-related mess that treatments and absences bring. Now, after all was said and done, whenever I saw her she emphatically wanted to hug me and talk.

I am a hugger. I really am. I am a big fan of hugging and showing those you care about that you care – it’s just that… in the cafeteria, everyone is watching. And when you are an HR girl, you just can’t quite be a huggy person. And especially not at work. With your employees. The next thing you know, someone’s claiming favoritism, or harassment or God-only knows what else. Plain and simple, it’s just not acceptable for an HR girl to be hugging. People don’t even like to be caught talking with HR people, let alone hug them by the salad bar.

So she calls my name and I sigh, because I know that today is going to be one of those big, public hug-days and I kind of wish I could’ve waited another 30 minutes to decide to walk to the cafeteria. But as I turn and catch a glimpse of her face, something stops me in my tracks. She just looks off.

“Hi,” I greet her as she comes up to me. I’m searching her face to see what’s going on. She offers me a weak smile and reaches out her arm into a half hug. I hug back.

“How are you doing?” she asks and I quickly mutter a dismissive reply, pushing her question away. Her face tells me this is no time for water-cooler chatter. She started to talk and then she choked on her words, breaking off into silence.

I took her back to my office where she sat down and told me that she had just gotten a call. When her doctor was doing some routine followup with her, he found a “suspicious” spot. A “suspicious” spot for a cancer survivor is not an ok thing to have. Suspicious means Danger!! Danger!!, and a much bigger-badder danger than it would mean for a non-cancer survivor.

She stared down at her knees and said softly and quietly, “I can’t do this again.”

So I did the only thing I could do; I pulled HER into a big hug, and I held her as she sobbed.

I don’t know what you say in those moments. So I didn’t say anything at all.

When she left my office a while later, and I ventured back down to the cafeteria to get my forgotten lunch, I thought about my call. Here I had been anxiously waiting for a call about a stupid pair of GLASSES… an idiotic, selfish, vain THING, a PURCHASE… and meanwhile, on the same floor in the same building, another girl was waiting for a call about whether her CANCER was back. We were both anxiously watching our phones; but from completely different angles.

Talk about putting things into perspective.

How much time do I really spend worrying about, thinking about, exerting precious time on… things that matter not one tiny little bit? When I sat on my laptop all last night working my SECOND job, as Little One watched repeated episodes of Dora and climbed into my lap and I got mad because he accidentally caused me to send an email to a whole contact list instead of one person… how ridiculous. How completely unimportant.

I need to readjust those new glasses of mine, and hope that I can keep some perspective on what’s really important.

It doesn’t matter whether you think life is half full, or half empty… it’s recognizing the precious gift of having a glass to begin with.

Cheers, my friends.


Silent night December 19, 2012

Filed under: Inspiration,Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 11:13 am
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Silent night…

                Peace.  Love.  Gentleness.

This is all I know how to do, to try to offset the horror that befell our nation a few short days ago.  Speak softly.  Kiss my children’s sweet sleeping faces at night before I tiptoe out of their rooms.  Gaze out into the backyard and look up at the starry sky.  Remember that there have been other tragedies, too.  Breathe deeply.  Trust.  Close my eyes and ears to the constant media coverage.  Reading it again and again only intensifies the sorrow; more details don’t make the tragedy any greater or any less.   Unplug from society’s chatter.  Really look at my beautiful children, and tell them I love them.  Spend time talking to them, enjoying them, soaking them in.  Put down my fears.  Rest.


Holy night…

                I went to church on Sunday.  It has been a long time since I’ve been there.  But I went because I needed to feel comfort.  I needed to remember I am a child of God, and be surrounded by others who share my beliefs.  Together we are stronger than alone.  I needed to put some perspective on this season, to remember the reason that we are celebrating Christmas in the first place.  To remember that Christ was born to save us.  There is no evil in the world, not even a psychotic school shooter, who can conquer God.   We will be ok.  Our hearts are broken and grieving with the families in Connecticut; we are now fearful to send our children to their schools where we thought they were safe, but in the end, God is still with us. 

At night, when I lay in bed, I hold a space for God.  I ask him to come into this space, where I will be quiet, I will just listen.  My soul hears what my ears and mind cannot. 


All is calm…

                This is a month of many fears, many tragedies.  Is there something in the air that is causing so much chaos and fear?  Something that’s not tangible, something we can’t see, but we are feeling in our hearts?  I wrote some time ago about letting go and giving it to God.  Having faith.  Trusting in God.  This is the most important thing, I think.  My beliefs have changed and evolved many times over the years, but right now, I’m circling back to my earliest Christian beliefs.  I was taught at a very young age that Satan wants to steal us away from God, to cause us to turn our faces from him.  He wants to tempt us into serving Ego, Selfishness, Greed and Fear. 

                I also learned that when the end of the world was near, Jesus would come from Heaven and save all of those who believed in Him.  What if… the horrors we are experiencing, the fears that are continuously being introduced to us, the warnings and the alarms and the dangers… are truly a test of our faith and trust in Him?  A temptation of Satan, to cause us to lose our faith, our trust… our joy?

                Psalm 56:4 

                In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?


All is bright…

                I look around at all the beautiful lights of the season.  The twinkling of lights on the tree in my home, the soft glow of the tiny white candle I lit in remembrance, the homes on the streets that sparkle in all their holiday beauty. 

                I will be a light in the darkness.  

This darkness that has put a cloud over the world may be large, but it’s not large enough to extinguish the light of the good in the world.   There are too many blessings, too much laughter, and too much belief in the power of Love for darkness to ever conquer.   Believe in this.  Have faith in this.   Look deep into your heart and listen to what your soul knows to be true.  Trust. 

We are loved.  We are safe.   The essence of what is really truly us cannot be harmed by anything, anything¸ on earth.  We existed before we were born.  We will exist when we no longer walk this earth.  There is no weapon, no chemical, no illness, no person who can ever change that.  And the same is true for our love.  This time spent on earth is just one rest stop on much bigger travels.


                1 Corinthians 13:6-7

                Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.




Merry Christmas to you my friends.  I wish you love, and comfort and peace… true, soul-soothing peace.. this Christmas.  Shalom.


Trust. Faith. And handing it over. November 20, 2012

Filed under: Inspiration,Kindness,Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 11:25 am
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Lots and lots of thoughts today.  But mostly, my thought today is … sometimes, I think you just have to let go and let God take over.  I don’t have anything particularly bad or stressful going on in my world.  Everything is fine.  The kids are fine, the husband is fine, we’re healthy, we’re safe and we’re dry.  There’s not enough money, but there never is – this is nothing new.  The dishwasher is failing and the furnace is questionable, but again… we’re fine.  Compared to some of my family and friends, I have NOTHING to complain about.  But all this being said, I have been having the hardest time with feeling this sense of worry and anxiety.


I’ve tried to pinpoint it.  It started the morning of the election – and before anyone gets all huffy about THAT – I am politically-challenged and can’t speak intelligently about politics. At all.  So I really don’t think it’s that.  We’ve got the holidays right around the corner, and of course that’s stressful but I love Christmas like I love sunshine – it is so wonderful and special and beautiful that it really can’t be that. 


Then there is the whole end-of-the-world-Mayan-calendar thing.  I have joked, over the last three or four years, that I would need to be on meds come December 2012 because it just FREAKED me out so much.  And as we crossed over into the New Year 2012, it did flit across my mind (just being honest here.  It’s my blog.  If I’m not at least honest with myself, this is a complete waste of my time! LOL.)  And it has crossed my mind here and there across this year.  But is that REALLY what is going on with me?  I hope not.  I will so laugh at myself if I wake up on January 1, 2013 and feel miraculously better. 


Sometimes I just think that the world is such a frightening place.  There is so much violence and greed and selfishness abounding.  I think perhaps I’ve been reading the news a little too much again.  I’ve got to stop doing that.  It’s like giving a hypochondriac free reign to read WebMD all day long.  It’s just a recipe for failure.  I’m not saying my ostrich-angle is a good one to have.  If we all stuck our heads in the sand no one would help anyone else, ever.  But I am saying that sometimes I think I tend to absorb the stresses and struggles of those around me, or those that I hear about.  Which is ridiculous.  Those aren’t even my problems to own.  It’s like I’m my own psychic vampire. J  Really, I need to be stronger than that.   


But even more importantly,  I have to have faith that the good that is in the world, that all the light and love and joy that exists WILL win in the end. 


I was talking to my mom about her impending potential job loss. And I said – well, I think your choices are this:  you could stress about it, worry day and night, lose sleep and develop an ulcer and lose your job.  Or you could trust that you can’t change what may or may not happen, sleep well, enjoy what you have right now and STILL LOSE YOUR JOB ANYWAY.  In my opinion, Option B is just such a better way to go. 


So last night, as I lay in bed thinking about this nameless worry I have – as my darling B came and climbed into bed asking to sleep with me – as I snuggled him close and thought about how his hair smells like cupcakes and THANK GOD that I still have these days – that my boy still WANTS to be cuddled and wants to sleep curled up next to me – I thought I just have to give it to God

                I will trust that He has a plan in place.  I will trust that in the end, all will be ok.  I will trust that I am just one person, and I can’t fix all the troubles in the world – that’s not my job, it’s His.  I will just take care of what’s mine, this cupcake-smelling boy and this beautiful baby and this challenging teenager and this man who loves me.   I will try to spread a little bit of love, a little bit of good and as much light as possible to those around me.  But if it happens, and it sometimes will because that’s just the way life is, that I don’t know the right direction to take or I get overwhelmed and scared at the enormity of the craziness in the world, I will take a deep breath.  And I will just Hand. It. Over.  I will trust.  I will have faith.


So today, that’s what I’ve done.  And I woke up so much lighter and calmer than I was when I went to sleep.  I looked at B’s sweet toes as I woke him up, where he was sleeping horizontally in my bed, and I took a moment to just say thank you.  Thank you for the sunshine pouring in my window, thank you for this beautiful child asleep in my bed, and thank you for simply another day.



I will trust.  I will have faith.