hiddenblessing

Finding one small blessing each day.

My glass is never too full March 23, 2014

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than enough November 8, 2012

Filed under: Family,Inspiration,Kindness — hiddenblessing @ 4:59 pm
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At work lately I’ve been noticing all of these posters up for “angels” and giving trees.  I tried to be an “angel” one year for them, but my employer apparently only gives out whole lists for children as opposed to letting you buy a portion of the list.  So if a child wants pj’s, socks, cd’s, video games and tennis shoes, you either have to provide ALL or let someone else be their “angel”.  I think that’s rather silly, myself… wouldn’t some of their list be better than none?… but it’s what they’ve decided.  So I’m finding a different way to be helpful this year.

 

One of my favorite blogs, Momastery, has something they do every year called Holiday Hands.  This year, they have this down to a mad science!  They have a board, per se, of readers who are in need.  I read the initial requests on there this morning.  It was things like… a coat for my two year old.  A bed for my child.  Help with dental work.  Help paying off a funeral expense.  Gift cards for groceries.  And then, other readers sign up to provide these things.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  And amazing.  And what a wonderful, perfect way to help.  You can look through the requests, find one that touches your heart, and help.  Or maybe you are the one who needs some help.  You can put it out there.  It’s kind of like a Craigslist for kindness. 

 

Then later today, Glennon, the blog writer, posted a comment on Facebook about one woman who requested on the Helping Hands board that she needed clothes for a girl, size 2T.  And within MINUTES, something like twelve women responded that they had clothes and were going to send them.  The mom was crying – at the outpouring of love she was getting within MINUTES.  She actually turned AWAY people offering because there was more than enough.  This led to a bunch  of other moms posting in the comments that they had boy clothes size 4T if anyone wanted them, and someone saying they needed any boy clothes for ANY size under 3… and on and on and on.

 

It was like a giant list of friends, helping friends.  Because that’s really what life should be, isn’t it?  My Little One has gotten bigger and as he has, I’ve returned most of the items that were lovingly given to ME, and bagged up all the rest and sent them on to a younger, brand-new mom who’s just starting out.  Because I love her and she’s my friend.  And that’s what we do.  Sure, I could sell them at a second hand children’s store or a garage sale.  I could list them on Ebay and see what I get.  But really – I was a young, new mom once, who had a friend who packed up HER baby’s clothes and gave them to me… it’s all about sharing the love. 

 

There is more than enough to go around.  More than enough.

 

Love and blessings and peace to you today, my friends.

 

The carpool line and a little dose of kindness September 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 11:43 am
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Yes.  I’m really going to write about the carpool line.  It has me shaking my head in wonder, so I just have to do it.

The carpool line is a fascinating enigma at my children’s school.  Let me start by saying that the design of the neighborhood, the street, and the parking/entrance doesn’t exactly lend itself to being pickup friendly.  The neighborhood is designed so that there are very few homes that are in walking distance of the school, and it backs to a very busy street.  Most families that go to this school live quite far from it.  We are 2.4 miles from the school, to be exact.  I know this because you have to live 2.5 miles or greater to ride the bus for free.  As a result, many parents drive their children, and it results in a line that extends for blocks down one street.

I’m not a stay at home mom, and I am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend who picks up and takes my child to school every day except Friday.  On Fridays, I do the driving.  This morning I was waiting, as usual, in the long line of cars.  The children were chatting in the back, I was thinking about my grocery list, and just moving slowly ahead in the line every 45 seconds or so.

Now I have read, many times over, posts on Facebook about the infamous carpool line.  It’s usually some dad joking about how he’s getting ready to take on the carpool line and others wishing him good luck.   Or my neighbor cussing about someone who cut her off in the carpool line.  Or someone else venting about why people JUST CAN’T GET IT RIGHT?!  Apparently, it is against the laws of Carpool Code of Conduct to turn left off of the main street that runs in front of the school.  Instead, you should go one street up, four blocks over, and circle back so that you are turning right, into the parking lot and then up to the school entrance accordingly.  I’m not kidding in even the slightest bit about this.

So here I am, sitting where I should be in the carpool line.  I happen to notice this guy, who clearly has violated the cardinal rule of carpool pickup.  He is sitting, looking at the line, as EIGHT (eight!) vehicles refuse to let him in.

Eight.

What is wrong with these people?  Yes, he should have gone the other way, like all the rest of us.  Yes, it’s annoying  that we have to wait in line and this guy just came careening on in like it was no big deal.  But really, is it that big of a deal?

Who knows what his story is.  Maybe he’s a grandpa from out of state who was taking his grandson to school that morning.  Maybe it’s his daughter’s birthday and he stayed home from work this one day to take her to school?  Maybe they just moved here, like I did a few years ago, and he’s just figuring it out.  It’s not like there is some manual they hand out to people that says THIS IS HOW IT MUST BE DONE.  EITHER FIGURE OUT HOW TO DRIVE THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD THE LONG WAY, OR ELSE.  MUAAH HA HAAA.

I let him in.  Of course.  And then I was immediately worried about the backlash that would go viral on Facebook if any of my neighbors saw what I had just done.  I actually expected to hear someone behind me honking angrily.  That’s the kind of craziness that carpool line starts.

So that’s my kindness for the day.  Which is ridiculous that doing that was even a kindness at all.

One other thing I just want to share because it was fantastic.  After surviving the carpool line, Little One and I went to the grocery store.  I was turning into the peanut butter/salad dressing aisle and I heard a voice say “Delores.  Want to race?”

I looked over and it was a little old man, sitting in one of those riding grocery carts.  He was probably in his late eighties, early nineties.  He was grinning up at an equally elderly woman with a walker.  She grinned right back at him and took off shuffling away.  That was a beautiful sight this morning.  I love when I get to witness wonderful moments like that.  It makes my heart smile.

Have a wonderful day, my friends, and an even better weekend.

 

Rockstar Ronan and beauty in the world September 7, 2012

One of the things I’ve talked about since this blog began is Rockstar Ronan, the beautiful little boy who died last year of neuroblastoma.  In fact, his mom’s blog is one of the things that got me onto WordPress in the first place.  I followed his journey daily, and then when he died, I cried along with the hundreds of other followers that have lived his story through his mama’s words.   I still check in on his mama’s blog occasionally, and I follow The Ronan Thompson Foundation on facebook.

This morning, I awoke to the most beautiful posting on facebook.  Tonight there is a special TV telethon airing that is dedicated to raising cancer awareness and funds for cancer research.  It is called Stand Up To Cancer and there are countless celebrities that will be performing during this telethon.  But… a huge lump wells up in my throat as I type this… Taylor Swift has written a new song, just for baby Ronan.  She titled it “Ronan” and she is singing it tonight on the telethon, for the first time ever.  For that sweet baby boy.  For his grieving mama. For his brothers that lost their sibling.  For all the hundreds of thousands of children who fight the disgusting monster in the night known as cancer.  For everyone.

You can find the article about the telethon and Taylor Swift here.

His mom said once that when this was all over, she was going to do something big.  Something HUGE.  Like get Pearl Jam in concert.  I’m summarizing here; it was something about Pearl Jam and I’m not taking the time to go scour the blog to find out specifically what she said.  It’s irrelevant.  The point is, MY GOD, look what she’s done.  Her beautiful baby boy is creating MAD AWARENESS.  His name will forever be known.  His story will forever bring awareness.

Thank you, Taylor Swift, and bless you, for being such an angel.

And Maya, if you’re reading this, Don’t Stop Believing.  

My heart is heavy, and full, with love today.  There is so much good in this world.

 

Dear Sugar August 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 12:31 pm
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Right now, whatever you are doing, stop.

Go find and read Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed.

I haven’t even made it through the sample of the book and I am already filled with emotion. I have tried not to cry, I have laughed, I have thought endlessly about a few phrases and I have thought YES YES YES! to a few statements.

Truly, this is my blessing that I found today.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon one too, but I didn’t have a chance to write. Baseball practice and back-to-school stuff took over my day. In fact, all of this stuff took over my week. I am so thankful it is Thursday, and I am almost to the weekend.

Yesterday morning, my dear hubby and I had a ferocious argument that stemmed entirely from exhaustion. That’s really what it comes down to. He was mad at me because the Meet-The-Teacher night ended before I could get home from work, and I didn’t have time to run to the sporting goods store for slider pants. I didn’t even know what slider pants are (I do now), let alone running out at night with three kids for them. But he was upset because he doesn’t have time to do these things, and it makes him upset that I needed him to do this. He also is stressed about when and where baseball practice is because, honestly friends, our lives are stupidly complicated and our schedules are impossible. And three nights a week of baseball practice on top of one game a week, plus two other kids and two other sports, means that we are doomed.

He was just exhausted.

And so was I. Because while it’s true that I didn’t get off work in time for Meet-The-Teacher night, I’ve been busy making sure that the clothes, supplies, forms, meds, lunch tickets, registration papers and immunizations are all ready. I’ve figured out when and where the practice is, and it’s me who sat in 95 degree heat with a two year old to watch the practice for an hour and a half. And I’m tired, too. Hearing all the ways that he is feeling I’m not holding up my end of the bargain doesn’t help this, at all.

We should never talk to each other when we are this tired. Or we should talk more, I’m not really sure. But I just know that when I feel like that, all I really want to do is have him hold me hold him and say, slow down. We’re alright. This is just today. Tomorrow will be better.

I walked into the office yesterday feeling worn out and sad. The admin smiled as she always does and I thought… I wish people understood how I’m feeling today. I need someone to be kind today.

And then, I stumbled upon this later in the day. Divine intervention. If you have a minute, check it out. It put my miniscule argument into perspective. And it also reached out a gentle, comforting hand to me – a hand that said “me, too.”

Which really, if you think about it, is all any of us truly want. Someone who says “me, too.”

http://bravegirlsclub.com/archives/2151

Hugs to you today, my friend.

 

Amazing August 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 6:44 pm
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My little blessing today is brief, but still something I want to remember.

I ran into a young mom in the restroom at work.  She was getting a paper towel as I went to wash my hands.  I remembered that she had had a baby about a year ago, and after greeting her, I said “So how is your little one?”.  I couldn’t quite remember if it was a girl or a boy, and definitely couldn’t remember the baby’s name.

She smiled beautifully at me and said, “She is amazing.”

Amazing.  That was the word she chose.

Most of us say, “Oh, good…” or “Getting big” or some other generic, nondescript way to answer to a semi-stranger.  But this mommy?  No.  She said her baby was amazing.  

I usually answer with something like, “Oh, they’re doing good.” Followed by this frantic thought process where I try to think of something interesting or unusual they have done recently that I can tell the listener about.  It’s never occurred to me to just say what they really are, which is, amazing.

She then went on to tell me how her little girl was very short, and was trying to learn to walk, which was so funny to her mommy and daddy because she was just so darn tiny.  And I smiled as I listened to her, not because of what she was saying, but because of the pure happiness and pride and love I could hear in this young woman’s voice.

We never really think about that, when we ask that simple question, “how are the kids? The family?  The husband.”  My darling friend, Wendy, says that we don’t actually want an answer to the question, we just ask it because it’s something to say.

I disagree.  I really want to know.  I want to see your face light up as you tell me about your little girl.  I want to hear how much you love your husband when you tell me how things are going.  I want to truly listen to you.  I want you to know I genuinely care.

Because I do.  I always have room for another friend, another hand to hold on this walk through life.  You can’t ever have too many friends.  When you want to talk about your family, or about how you feel, I hope that I listen, and I listen well.

Life is too colorful, too precious, and too fleeting to be generic and nondescript.