There is #grace for all, and #forgiveness is always extended, but the hurt is real for too many still today. Thank you to those who went running in when others were running out.
Happy Thanksgiving. This morning was pretty melancholy as I cried through the first hour of the Macy’s Day Parade. I love that parade and always have. Today it reminded me of two very special people we lost this year, my mother-in-law, Annette Richardson, and my dad, Cliff Hensley.
Early in my marriage, Annette (who grew up dancing), and I went to see the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. She liked to tell the story of a friend of hers who auditioned and danced with them. Dad always watched the parade and there were many phone calls through the years while it was on talking about this performer, or that band.
Today I’m also thinking about Melissa Webb’s boys who said farewell to their mom a few days ago, and Jackie Snyder’s family who is coming up on the one year mark of her passing. Jackie would be glad to know that by the time my family comes to dinner my home will be “first floor ready.” I loved her gift of hospitality.
Yes, this year has been full of loss. There is a battle in my spirit waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my current reality that I do have SO much to be thankful for. The tears are just part of getting through the cycle of grief.
I am thankful for a loving husband who loves us like Christ loved the Church and who works hard for us. And my son who has a kind heart and has worked hard in his first semester of college(#wku2022). I am thankful for my job at NCFL, and the opportunity to tell the story of many individuals who have overcome great obstacles for themselves and their families. But my over-arching point of thankfulness is for my faith without which I wouldn’t have the hope to hang in there through the storm, the capacity to love, and the drive to work.
I started a new breakfast tradition this morning making a homemade giant cinnamon and apple roll. As you can see, it was a success. Football is on and I’m hydrating for the salt-fest that is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
Thank you for sharing in my tearful moments this year. Please join me in moving forward focused on the blessings we all share.
So it’s July. Half way through the year. How are things going? Do you still feel as optimistic as you did on January 1st? Take a few minutes today to do something to recapture that optimistic-goal-setting-dreaming state of mind. What if you recapture that feeling, revisit your goals and spend the next 150 or so days working toward accomplishing just one of those.
Let me know how that goes for you.
When I want to veg-out on a Sunday afternoon, I can be found binge-watching the Hallmark Channel. The two-hour chick-flicks have pretty much the same format; pretty predictable. So why do we keep watching?
The stories are clean, warm and romantic. The families portrayed aren’t perfect. The couples aren’t bed-hoping. They are following their heart. They are stories of the human condition of wanting to be connected. They demonstrate both old and new love. And the sweetness both can bring. We the viewers are swept into these perfect worlds of falling in love. We get lost in the story hoping she chooses the right guy (there are always two).
Why do we keep watching? My guess is that most of us get caught up the freshness of new romance – the first phone call, the first date, the first kiss. The butterflies when caller id flashes Mr. Wonderful’s name. The courtship of the new romance. Every date you learn something new about him. Every date is a new experience. We like new beginnings.
In our own lives, there is something wonderfully comfortable about a long-term relationship. He knows me and loves me even after the bumps in the road and seeing me at my very worst. But if we are intentional, we can still find those extraordinary moments of connection. Those times when we look at our sweetheart and feel that thrill of what made us fall in love the first time. It takes effort sometimes to keep things fresh; to breakout from the routine and try something new. In doing so we create our own Hallmark moments.
I have a teen-ager in my house. Raising him to be a level-headed, productive, faithful adult has been the priority. In a few years, he will graduate and head off to college. My husband and I will begin the journey toward the empty-nest. This summer, our son was chosen to participate in a three-week music program. He would be away without our being able to visit. His departure meant we would have an empty nest.
I’ve heard of couples who really struggle when all the kids leave. No longer do they have a buffer or something other than themselves on which to focus their attention. They have spent years sometimes decades raising kids and functioning as parents. They don’t know how to be individuals and a couple.
I had no expectation about what our three weeks would be like. Would we fight? We don’t usually. Would we talk and spend time together or each find our own space in the house to spend our evenings? What would our weekends be like? No work, no activity with our son’s sports team. Would our conversations center around wondering what he was doing or anecdotes about when he’s with us?
We came home from dropping him off. The energy in the house was different. Admittedly, I felt a little antsy. I had no one to be responsible for. So, I took the dog for a walk. This gave me time to think. I decided to take on a couple of overdue projects while he was gone.
My husband was supportive of the painting and home projects and even suggested one of his own. And so our time began. Our weekdays were pretty normal, we worked. Our evenings were a little different. I tried to plan our dinners. We ate at home, but in front of the television. Several evenings I worked on my projects and finished them in the first week or so. We connected in conversation like we always do. We had a few more date nights then we would have. We laughed and enjoyed just hanging out together. In other words, I was very encouraged by our test run at empty nesting.
I think when the time comes, we will be ready. We will graduate into the next phase of our relationship smoothly. Our son is a blessing and a very special part of our family. But my husband and I like and enjoy each other as well. We are in love and are best friends.
In and of itself, our relationship is strong. We are as intentional about taking care of our marriage as we are about parenting. As parents, we are to raise our kids to release them to live full and productive lives. This is certainly easier said than done. But it’s necessary. Parents, when our job of raising kids is complete, our lives are not over. We will enjoy our son as an adult in whatever work he takes on. Together, my husband and I will have a new adventure in post child-rearing years.
By Tammy Trail
We all know that January 1st is traditionally the day that we make resolutions to change something in the coming year. It’s the reason gym memberships, Google searches for diets, and self-help book sales all go up at the beginning of the year.
My husband and I will sit down sometime in January to make goals for the coming year. Usually we set personal, financial, and household goals. Sometimes we are able to set the goal, other years we have failed miserably. I really started thinking about why we don’t, or can’t achieve our resolutions after the first of the year.
To tell you the truth, 2014 was a very hard year for us financially. My poor, hard working husband did not get paid for three months out of twelve that year. I was not working full time then, I am now. I don’t know how…
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