Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Have You Heard These Christmas Songs?

When it comes to Christmas music, everyone has an opinion. The best, the worst, the annoying, the awesome... and so on...

For instance, I think most everyone I know would like "The 12 Days of Christmas" a lot better if it simply started at the 12th day! My kids even think "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is super-creepy- he sees you when you're sleeping! "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" drills a hole in my husband's head! And "Little Saint Nick" by The Beach Boys makes me want to pull my hair out! Ack!

On the contrary, songs like "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole, "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, or a good version of "Let it Snow" and "Winter Wonderland" whisk me off to a warm fireplace complete with hot cocoa in-hand, there are some others I'd like to share.

Have you heard these? Here are three songs to try out if you are tired of the same old thing. A touching story, a fun song for kids, and a reminder that the best gifts are from the heart. 

The first one is one I recently caught the tail end of and I had to look it up. I'm so glad I did. Heart-warming!

His Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights:

I remember hearing this song growing up so it has a touch of nostalgia for me. Maybe, it still airs on country stations but I don't regularly listen to those. This is a cute song that kids will enjoy.

Wilbur the Christmas Mouse by Ralph and Red:

This song is pure, tender, and sweet. A song to remind us that the best gifts are from the heart. The best gifts are not the pricey "gotta have it" things but instead, they are priceless. 

The Gift by Aselin Debison:

Merry Christmas! Smile :) donnamusing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Picture Perfect" doesn't exist...

"One thing I’ve learned is that being a mom is hard work, it is not all sunshine and roses, and cookies, and snuggles… I tend to long for a picture-perfect ideal that doesn’t exist." 
-Today, I wrote these words to my sMIL and caught the words "picture-perfect" in my mind for a moment.
What does that mean anyway?

Picture perfect is completely flawless. Picture perfect is all hopes and dreams coming true. Picture perfect is no arguments, no messes, no struggles, no heartbreak.

Picture perfect is... staged. In reality, it doesn't exist. I'm chasing an elusive ideal that I can never hold onto.

I knew going into parenthood that it would be hard, perhaps even harder than some, because our children are adopted but still, I hoped and even prayed for- something close to picture perfect. You know, husband & wife, dog, two and half kids, white picket fence, and walk-in closets. All to the tune of perfect order and function where everyone farts cupcakes and picks flowers instead of eats boogers. Yep, I'm pretty sure that it has taken me this long to finally realize that world doesn't exist. Not here, not anywhere. 

Sometimes being a parent is just plain hard. 
No fun included. 
I hate those moments. 
I'd much rather bake cookies and read a book with my kids on a blanket in the shade any day. 

One of the tough things about the hard times is becoming acutely aware of the things that need to change in myself. I hate that part. I hate the lessons. 
But if I'm honest, I like the other side of the lessons.

We aren't picture perfect. Not even close. Not even neatly staged with bunny ears. We are more like "Awkward Family Photos" - if you have ever seen those then you know they aren't pretty. Far from perfect. But those are real. Real life is messy, uncomfortable, chaotic, and a series of lessons. 

Real life is loving when you don't feel like it. Real life is helping each person pick up the pieces of broken hearts and mending them together. Real life is discipline, correction, and guidance. Real life is staying when you want to run away. Real life is the here and now.

Real life is not picture perfect.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It feels like ChAoS!

Sometimes God brings great trials before a blessing in our life. This stretches us, grows us, and ultimately prepares us to appreciate the blessing.

Other times trials come to teach us something. Maybe even to have a greater appreciation for what He has already blessed us with. Perhaps, to remove some junk out of our hearts.

I'm not sure what direction God is taking "this trial" in our lives. I can't see the ending point.

Sometimes, I have "feelings" or "vibes" about the direction a situation is going, even "peace" of what will be. This time, I don't have that. Instead, I have an ache. A painful, crippling ache in my heart. I am powerless to affect the outcome and I have no idea what will come forth.

Admitting that I feel this emptiness is humbling. I'm allowing my self to be vulnerable and out of control. I'm confessing that I am struggling. My hard exterior is crumbling away to reveal my gooey center. And there is nothing that I can do. But wait and believe.

I have to believe that God is in control. I know He loves all people. Everyone involved in this situation. In my flesh, that is hard to swallow. Yes, God loves EVERYONE in this situation. EVERYONE.

I have a lot of fears. Some are legitimate, some not so much. Regardless, they all feel real. Each jolt is valid within my mind and heart.

So for anyone thinking thatthink I'm perfect, you can rest assured that is all wrong.
I'm a wreck. I fail. Often.

I know that I should not be anxious for anything but instead I should pray and receive peace. Yet, fear sneaks up on me.

I trust God, yet I struggle with each footstep on the path.

God is definitely stretching me. He has a plan. I do believe that. I trust that. I trust Him.

For the moment, there is nothing I can do to impact this situation. It is out of my hands.
However, I can allow God to personally impact my heart. I can feel Him working in me.
It hurts. But a grapevine must be pruned to produce good fruit. So, I welcome the shears- tearing off the dead stuff hanging around in my heart.
I'm learning some lessons on this journey. Greater appreciation for what God has already done is one of them.

With sorrow, I can see clearly, things that I have needed to change in myself. Maybe if I had learned that already, this lesson wouldn't have to teach me that. Better to learn it now, than later, or never.
So, prune away. Even though it hurts.

Smile (at least a small one) :) donnamusing

I caught these lyrics recently:

Whatever you're doing inside of me 
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Here is the song:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

There's a hurricane a'brewing!

There's a hurricane a'brewing!

The craziness of my life right now falls in line with this hurricane.
What?! What hurricane? Where did it come from?
How many different paths could it possibly take?
How much destruction will come to pass?
How much heartache?
Where will it hit land? When?

So many questions surround this hurricane.
So many questions surround this new element unfolding in our midst.

The first thing to do is to have a safety plan in place.
"God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1

The next thing to do is wait. You can't speed up or slow down a hurricane.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

When the storm hits, go to the safest place.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday." Psalm 91:4-6

Remain calm during the storm. (This one is often hard.)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be afraid. The winds may howl but have faith.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

There are many paths this hurricane may take, some making it last longer than others. Keep holding on.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

If you need help, ask for it!
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

Realize that the world is still turning. Rejoice.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Emerge after the storm. Continue to walk in faith.
"Walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people." Galatians 6:9

The storm will come and the storm will go.
Whatever changes the storm brings will alter life as we know it.
But I'm holding on. This ride of life is about to get a little crazier.
I don't know what the end result will be but I have to have faith that it will all be okay.

Smile :) donnamusing

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seeking HIM . . . Not "the plan"

I call out to you, Lord seeking your face but mostly wanting to know your plan. What is it, Lord that you have planned? Could you just let me see what is up the road? The waiting is hard. The uncertainty is crushing. But I know that you are strengthening my faith when you bring a journey that stretches me. You have given me a glimpse, a very small glimpse of something that "could be." I struggle to know "will it be?" "when?" "how?" 

Of course, I don't want it to hurt. I don't watch to stretch so far that I feel it. Can we skip all the hard stuff and just receive the blessing? Could you just allow it to be easy? 

What if I am "hopeful" for nothing? Is this carrot dangling in front of me something that I can grab on to? How long will we chase it? How tired will we be? Or will you simply lay it before us?

I know you only allow us to see your plan in your time, as you choose to reveal it. Am I being impatient? Will this require sweat and blood?

As a parent, I often only allow my children one piece of information at a time because I know what they can handle. Sometimes, I withhold all of the information and surprise them with a car packed down for vacation. Sometimes, I make them work for it so the prize will mean more to them. What is your plan, God? Why have you allowed this tiny glimpse? Will it become nothing and fade away, leaving me with an ache that never existed before? Is it even from you? Will I pass it by and always wonder what could have been? What is this?

In the midst of the struggle, a friend pointed out Jeremiah 29:11-13 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

With special emphasis on verse 13: "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." 

You have a plan, Father. But the plan isn't what my heart should seek, it is you that I must seek with all of my heart. As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee. 

Driving home tonight from coffee with a friend, my heart fled back to a song that God gave me to pen about ten years ago. Here I shall share the words:

You are the peace that passes understanding.
You are the calm in my storm.
Jesus, you are the Holy One. The one true begotten Son.
You speak, peace into my life.

You hold me when the storm is raging.
You catch me when my grip is fading.
You love me when I'm holding on.
You smile when I desire you.
You grieve when I've forgotten you.
You run to me when I run to you.

You are the light that guides me everyday.
You are the shelter when I pray.
Jesus, you are my Savior. The one and only sacrifice.
You speak, love into my life.

You hold me when the storm is raging.
You catch me when my grip is fading.
You love me when I'm holding on.
You smile when I desire you.
You grieve when I've forgotten you.
You run to me when I run to you.

You are my peace, my life, my strength. 
You are my calm, my shelter, my guide.
Whether this is something from you or a stepping stone along life's path, have YOUR way in my life, Lord.

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To "waste" food or "waist" food?

My two children are so OPPOSITE!

My daughter almost never over indulges, even if she is eating the most delicious banana split covered in chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream and of course, a cherry on top. She has amazing restrain to stop when she is full.

My son on the other hand will have finished his own banana split, to the point he is already miserable and will beg to finish hers off. Then, he will spend the rest of the afternoon begging God to ease the ache in his tummy, promising to never eat too much ever again.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. But unfortunately I do tend to "waist" food instead of "waste" food. Even if I'm full, if it tastes good then I'm probably going to find a small corner of my stomach to stuff it in.

This familiar scene with my kids played out the other day. I told my daughter that I wished for her amazing self-control. Which of course led me to explain the definition of gluttony. They were surprised to realize that over-indulgence is a sin.

During this conversation, a friend pointed out to my son and daughter, "Isn't it great that God loves us enough to forgive us of all the silly things we do?" That is so true! And while I'm thankful for every seed bearing plant He provided in the Garden of Eden, I am also thankful for banana splits and caramel lattes!

And let's be honest, as I've heard Lisa Whelchel say, "Carbs can't be all that bad or Jesus would not have called himself the BREAD of Life!" ;)

Maybe next time, my daughter and I should get one banana split to share. Less to "waste" and less to "waist!"

Smile :) donnamusing

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Personal (non)Fashion

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fashion diva...

Unfortunately, I'm quite the opposite. Somewhere in my mind, I'm stuck in the 90's grunge fashion. And fall is just the season for the grunge-girl inside of me to rear her ugly head! Yep, dirty ripped up blue jeans with a flannel shirt tied around my waist - that's me!

Comfortable shoes are a must- sneakers, flip-flops, clogs and clunky boots- now we are talking! Oh, and don't forget my BIG earrings, I'm talking about peace signs that are visible from across the street.

Unfortunately, my hair is natural 80's curl, instead of the long straight hair that would match my grunge look a little more perfectly. That's okay, that's what baseball caps are for.

After scouring the internet, I found a photo that suits my style. I would be the girl on the right - the one with the gigantic cross. (minus the dangerous skateboard, of course) And change her hair to my infamous curls and well, that's where I'm stuck with my fashion.

If I ever wore a dress- I was known to do the "babydoll dress with boots" look:

These boots would be "too high" for me (I don't do heels) but otherwise, this would be me- cutoffs and a flannel with some boots a little closer to the ground:

Okay, now that you've seen where I'm "stuck" at in my head, you can understand that it doesn't fare very well for a 32 year old MOM!

This is how I see everyone else around me and how I wish I could look:

Trust me, I am HARD to dress up! These ladies all look great but when I attempt something like this, it comes out more like:

Yep, underneath all that "outfit" is just an old cow!
Since I don't work in corporate America so the classy pin stripes can stay safely tucked away... I'm not in my teens anymore so I can't revert back to the age of grunge.
I'm thinking a subtle compromise is in order... let's say "classy grunge"
Something like...


OR: (minus that watch and with a slightly more flow-y shirt for my apple shape!)

I definitely am not a fashionable girl but I do believe it's only 10% what you wear and 90% how you feel wearing it!

So, here's to comfortable- the best fashion of all!

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Call That Changed Our Lives... Forever

On this date, three years ago, Matt and I woke up to go for a hike up Sharp Top- something we had not done since our first date six years prior.

On the way up, we stopped several times and honestly, I just wanted to turn around and begin the slow trek down. Nevertheless, we pressed on to enjoy the view from the top. Finally, we reached the top and the view was grand but the bugs were horrible. I let Matt go to the very top to snap a view pictures while I stayed near the cabin.

Then I noticed that I had four missed calls. On the way up, service was unavailable on my phone but at the top, standing on one foot and leaning just the right way, I could see that our adoption agency had been calling.

The past few months, they had told us about a sibling set needing a home but we were passed over twice for families that lived closer to the county working with them. Can imagine how excited I was over receiving the call that these same two kids were coming to live with us? -> ON MONDAY! 

Monday sounded perfect! It was Friday so we would have the weekend to prepare for a whole new adventure to begin on MONDAY!

Excitement, hopefulness, nervousness, anxiety, and so many more emotions began to flow through our veins as we began our downward hike. Both of us were fearful of being let down... again. We had already thought these two children would be placed with us previously and hated to think we would be let down, another time. Matt even said, "They better not be jerking our chain, again!" The good news mixed into our "let down" was we had prepared for exactly these two children in June 2009 so everything was "ready!"

As we started down the mountain, Matt's phone picked up a faint signal. He answered the call, although he had to walk off the trail and basically up a tree just to hear the caller. It was our agency again stating that they wanted to bring the the kids that very night!


It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, we were over an hour from home and both in desperate need of showers. Not to mention, it would take at least forty-five minutes to get down the mountain. Oh, and by the way, our house was a MESS!

We ran down the mountain as fast as we could. (Which I highly discourage doing, my legs were cramping for over a week!) We prayed for safety as we dodged the rocks and tree roots! What an adventure! Only once did I feel like I would face plant if it weren't for a tree that I grabbed- so thankful for its perfect placement.

Once we reached the car, we were both dripping with sweat! I began making phone calls while Matt drove. Our adoption worker planned to be there with us at 6:30 and the kids would arrive at 7:00. A couple of friends, my sister, and even one of my sister's friends went to our house to start cleaning up. In hindsight, the dirty dishes and un-mopped floors were of little consequence.

After we got back home, Matt threw trash on the back of his truck. Then, he came running in saying that he needed stitches. Yes, blood was gushing up from his arm and asked, "Can you just put a band-aid on it?" No, a band-aid would NOT do.

While Matt went to the doc in a box, I jumped in the shower. As soon as I got out, our worker called to let us know that she wouldn't be there until after 7:00 and the kids wouldn't be there until after 8:00. Whew... a little more time... before my life changed forever.

I remembered that after we painted their rooms, we never put the locks back on the windows so our friend, Mike tackled that for us. I was so afraid that the worker would check the windows and say they couldn't stay OR think my house was too messy and they couldn't stay OR say something about Matt having to get the stitches and think we were suddenly unfit. And somehow, I even had time to wish that my dog had been freshly groomed.

After Matt got back from the doc in the box, we inhaled some spaghetti. At this point, we were starved! We signed paperwork and then the kids arrived!

When they pulled up, we all headed out the door. Before I knew it, I was face to face with a handsome little boy who immediately began talking (and hasn't stopped since) and introduced me to his toy, "Larry the Lobster" - only after that did he introduce himself. He was so eager to get into the house and look around that he smacked right into the clear glass storm door. I ran to his side, rubbing his head, and asking if he was okay. He was fine- that should have been a clue to how hard-headed he would be. ;)

We went in the living room to meet Sunny-puppy. His tail beat inside the cage as he lapped up the new sights and smells of unfamiliar people. And then, the sweetest girl I've ever seen popped around the corner. "What's hims name?" she asked in her squeaky voice. Both kids were beautiful and the thought of them ever leaving me already terrified me.

They brought in their trash bag full of clothes and checked out their new rooms and toys. Alec brought down a new Lego set and it was then he called me, "mommy." To say it shocked me is a vast understatement. My heart snatched in my throat. It took me a minute to realize that this was his fourteenth placement and I realized that he called whomever was taking care of him, mommy and daddy. I hoped for a day when he would call me mommy and mean it.

The workers left and there we were. The four of us in our new reality.

It hasn't been easy. None of it. No part. It's been hard. Extremely hard.
From the certification process to the waiting for a placement to the fear of having them ripped away to the insane court processes to begging God for this boy to behave for one whole day to realizing the things I lost by taking on this endeavor to finding out they could stay but we couldn't tell them... It's been the craziest ride of my life!

But it has been a blessing. The journey. Being able to see God move and work in the entire situation. Finding hope in the most broken moments. Hanging on, when throwing in the towel would have been so much easier. Gaining a new identity while providing two very hurt kids with unconditional love.

Yes, October 9, 2009 was just the first day of our forever...

Smile :) donnamusing

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writer's Block...

After having "Writer's Diarrhea" for quite some time - keeping me up at night because I HAD TO WRITE - now, I've been stricken with the dreaded "Writer's Block." 

I've found "writing" to be therapeutic for me and, ultimately fulfilling. Even if I am the only one to ever enjoy the stories I have written, I delight in them.

I'm sure I will jump this hurdle and continue to finish this story. In the meantime, I had a dream last night that has inspired me with another story. The problem is that the story from the dream is twirling around in my mind disrupting my focus from my current project. 

One day at a time. One story at a time. One scene at a time. Until, one day it is completed. Eventually, these 32,000 words will double and I will reach the end. 

Find something that you love and do it, even if it's only for yourself.

Smile :) donnamusing

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unexpected Moments

I woke up this morning feeling awesome. I had just the right amount of sleep and comfort. I wasn't hurting and best of all, it was Friday! That means no school because we operate on a four-day week.

I had my whole day planned out, complete with a trip for ice cream while continuing to read book number three in the Narnia series with my kids.

Well, as soon as I went to get my daughter up to start the 'kids get ready' cycle in our house, my son burst from his bedroom door. He said he needed to go to the bathroom really bad and couldn't do our usual morning routine. Okay, no worries- go to the bathroom.

Well, his trip to the bathroom turned into 'goof off in the bathroom' and 'make funny faces in the mirror' time. By the time I realized he was horsing around instead of getting dressed and brushing his teeth, our entire morning routine was shot.

You see, my dog had a hair appointment and I did not want to be late.

My son's rearranging of the schedule made us run out the door without breakfast. Instead, I had a bad attitude. Now, everything was ruined. All the "fun" I had planned was ruined.

I gathered myself together and realized that it didn't have to be ruined. We could go out for breakfast and then "on with the fun!"

And we did.

Yet, once we reached our destination for reading our book, the kids loved the garden area I chose for our story and to my dismay were more interested in "playing Narnia" than reading the book.

At first, I was indignant and frustrated that all of my plans were being ruined... All of these plans I had to make the day wonderful for them. I couldn't help but point out how they were messing up the fun plans I had for them. Unfortunately, I was too blind to see their little minds desiring to play and be creative. They have loved the first two Narnia books so much- begging me to read until my throat had gotten raw, just to see what happened next. And on this day, I had taken them to an enchanted land to read. 

We ended up having to move from our spot because a lady arrived in a beautiful white gown for her Bridal Portraits. Immediately, I offered us to leave and the kids were not happy. Finally, mom caught on and said, "You guys, we have to go, that's the white witch and she will turn us all to stone." Honestly, that was probably the most FUN thing I did ALL DAY! Of course, it only helped that there was already one statue in the garden.

Today I learned it's not always about enjoying the plans we lay out but capturing the moments that make life special.

The only thing that "ruined" any part of my day was myself and the best parts of OUR day were not planned at all but were the unexpected moments that allowed me to see happiness in my children's eyes.

Smile :) donnamusing

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Story

Here’s my story. (Warning: L-O-N-G!)

I must warn you that it isn’t pretty, no shiny paper with a big red bow. It’s not grand either. Once you tear through yesterday’s news you’ll find a plain girl longing for acceptance.

There’s also a confession I must make before divulging my story to the world… out here on the internet for stranger, friend, and foe to devour. That confession is I’ve struggled with jealousy when I’ve heard other people’s stories. Everyone else seems to have one of those shiny paper- big red bow tales. Everyone but me. I’m just a jumbled up mess in need of a Savior.

Here goes. As a child, we didn’t go to church. Well, if you count Easter, Christmas, and Vacation Bible School then we went to church. But not really.

Growing up, our neighbor, Mrs. Johnson would take us (my sister and I) to church sometimes. Looking back, she was a brave woman letting two giggly girls tag along with her. Her church wasn’t far away, walking distance, even. (More on the walking distance, later.) I also enjoyed the Sunday School there. Actually, the Sunday School teacher gave me my first Bible. Dated February 1989 – I was eight and a half. I don’t remember her name but I remember how she made me feel: special.

Through the years, we attended Vacation Bible School at my Aunt Joyce’s church and my Grandmother’s church. Occasionally, my Aunt Teresa would take us with her when we spent the night. I can only remember a couple of times that I spent the night on a Saturday night with a friend and we went to church. One of those times, I remember learning the song, “Father Abraham had many sons and many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you, so let’s just praise the Lord…” I’m certain that I drove a hole in my dear parents’ heads once I got home singing that over and over.

When attending VBS at my Aunt Joyce’s church, I can remember the first verse my sister memorized. (Mind you, I can’t remember the first verse I ever learned but my sister said hers over and over and over.) Her first verse was Psalm 147:1 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God for it is beautiful and praise is comely. Maybe in reality, that was the first verse I ever truly memorized.

Often, I would beg my parents to go to church. I loved it and I wanted them to love it, too. I even “ran away” to church one weekend to my neighbor’s church- the one within walking distance. It just so happened that it was daylight savings weekend in the fall and I arrived a whole hour early. I had to wait around for church to start because I wasn’t going to walk home and back again. After church, I didn’t want to walk home so I dawdled around downtown Rivermont- not the safest place for an elementary school-aged girl. Ugh, do I ever remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when my dad’s truck came around the corner and spotted me. Needless to say, I learned that running off was not wisdom.

Still I continued to beg my parents to go to church. One particular weekend my dad yelled at me, “Quit asking me to go to church! When I want to go to church, I’ll ask you to go to church!” Of course my little heart was crushed into a thousand pieces and well, guess where we went on Sunday morning? Church!
That was my experience with church up until age twelve. I’m not sure how we ended up going, that is probably a part of my dad’s story but we started going to church, regularly! We started visiting the church where my cousins, Tim and Jason were attending so of course, it had to be cool. I was so excited to make new friends and enjoy the church experience. There was this one thing I did that I later learned drove everyone else crazy. Don’t you hate those moments when you realize that you were that awkward kid annoying everyone else? (Maybe that’s never happened to you but hey, this is my messy story.) In youth group or Sunday School, whenever we went around the room to share prayer requests, I had to pray for everyone from the president to my friend’s sick cat. Seriously, I monopolized prayer time. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t for show. It was genuine and heartfelt because that poor cat was gonna die if I didn’t pray for it and well, our country would just spiral out of control if I didn’t mention that. (Perhaps I should have spent a little more time on my knees about that last one.)

One September Sunday morning, the topic of the message was on hell. I would love to say that the pastor preached a resounding message of God’s unfailing love that gripped my heart and allowed me to feel God’s compassion wrapping around me. But no, this was an old-fashioned “hell, fire, and brimstone” message. A “Get right or you’re gonna burn!” message. I can remember sitting on the left side of the church about halfway back in the bright red pews. (Of course, you know that pews were meant to be bright red because of Jesus’ blood and well, anything else was downright, unholy.) I battled the fear in my heart because I had not yet heard the verse that says, “God did not give us the spirit of fear but of power, of love, and a sound mind.” Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit was doing a work in my heart at that moment but the fear that trickled in was not of God. I distinctly remember slipping out of the pew and gingerly walking to the front, kneeling at the altar and asking Jesus to come into my heart. (Because of course, the only place you could ask Jesus in your heart was at the altar, right?) I didn’t seek anyone out and no one came to me. At that moment, I was glad. Only God needed to hear my prayer, no one else. But what I didn’t realize was that I needed discipleship. Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so messy if I had had some discipleship early-on.
When we left that day, I can still remember sliding across the seat in our station wagon wanting to say something, wanting to tell my parents. But I didn’t. I hid it all in my heart- just between me and God.
A couple of years went by and my parents and my sister asked Jesus into their hearts. I won’t get into all of that- that’s their stories. I will say that once my dad became a Christian, things changed at our house. They changed for real. And some of the changes, I didn’t like. There were even a few moments that the thought, “Why did I beg him to go to church for all these years, anyway?” crossed my mind.

One change that happened was our music. That kind of stunk in my opinion. One day I came from school to find a little brown bag full of my contraband on the kitchen table. Dad wanted to destroy the cassettes (yes, cassettes!) but I begged him not to throw them out because they belonged to my friend, Crystal. Reluctantly, I returned the Motley Crue, Def Leopard, and Aerosmith. To this day, Aerosmith is my jam. If we are going on a road trip that is the first thing I let loose in the car. It probably drives my husband crazy but he knows I’m happy when I crank up the Big Ones album.

In June 1995, a funny thing happened on my way to the sanctuary. My pastor called me into his office to discuss a note that had been confiscated in which I had referred to another teen in our church as a dork. He came down really hard on me and although I should not have been bad-mouthing anyone, he did not handle the situation appropriately. He kept questioning my salvation because “saved people” don’t talk like this or do these things, etc. He spat scripture at me until I truly questioned my salvation. I don’t remember his exact words but the deal was that if I really wasn’t saved and I got saved right then, then he wouldn’t give the note to my parents but if I really was a Christian, then my parents would have to hear about this. Well, what is a scared, intimidated almost fifteen year old girl going to do? Get saved, that’s what.

I left his office and walked into the sanctuary and whispered in my mom’s ear, “I just got saved.” She looked at me and said, “I thought you already were.” To which I responded, “Me too, mom. Me too.”

My parents never pressed me about it and I continued to dig my hole to China, trying to bury the lie with more lies. I even traveled around singing Christian music sharing a false testimony. For years, it ate me alive. The worst part of it was having that pastor’s words ring in my ears, “saved people don’t do things like this.” And so it continued for years that every time I did anything wrong, anytime I felt the slightest pang of conviction of something I had done, I wrestled. I probably could be in the Guinness Book of World Records for most times asking Jesus in your heart because if I didn’t get Him the first time I asked, then how did I know that I got Him the second time I asked, or the third, or the one hundredth, or the ten thousandth. It got to the point where it became a ritual prayer, “If I’m not really saved, God, save me. I believe you sent Jesus to die for me. (check) I know that I’m lost without you. (check) I confess that I just __whatever it was for the moment__. (check) Forgive me and save me, for real this time. Amen.”

This cycle was killing me. Maybe not where people could see. I became pretty good at the happy face, always in a good mood, nothing’s wrong kind of girl. But inside, I was a disaster. A basket case eaten away by fear and misguidance.

One day, I was having my daily ritual prayer on the hour long drive to my Grandmother’s house. I was alone and literally let the tears fall as I begged God to help me, to really save me. You might call me crazy but clear as a bell, I heard God tell me to turn on the radio. Seriously God, I’m pouring my heart out here and you are telling me to turn on the radio?? For a moment, I hesitated but I could not shake what I heard. I know it may sound hokey pokey and cliché but this is my story. You don’t have to believe it; you don’t even have to like it. I turned on the radio and “What Sin” by Morgan Cryar was on. The words were exactly what my heart needed to hear from God. God was more real to me in that very moment than He had ever been before to me in my entire life.

I’d like to tell you that I never struggled again with questioning my salvation but that isn’t the truth. I wanted to tell my Dad the truth about it all but I still kept it hidden.

There was one thing I knew and that was that I needed something more. Something more than what I was getting at that church. (I’m not bad-mouthing any church, some incredible people were and still are a part of that community; I needed to move on. I needed more.) I approached my dad requesting permission to go somewhere else. I’m not really sure what reason I gave him, maybe just that I wanted something a little more contemporary. I honestly don’t remember. I imagine it must have been hard for him to allow his oldest daughter, a high school senior to venture off into the world but he did and for that, I will forever be grateful.
I attended another church for a couple years and it was a wonderful place for me to begin to grow. I made some lifelong friends there.

At some point, I made the transition to Calvary Chapel Amherst County where God put a leader in my life. Laura became my spiritual mom. She taught me about grace. I didn’t have to live in legalism. She taught me how to read my Bible and pray. We are still friends and I thank God for her leadership in my life. Until I met her and received some loving guidance, I remained a baby Christian. I had finally begun to grow. I started to fall in love with Jesus, not with church.

At age 21, I made a decision. I finally told my dad the whole story and what I had been going through since I was fifteen. As you can imagine, I cried like a baby the whole time I told him the story but by the end I was free. I was finally, truly free. No more dark secret hanging over my head. No doubt, he felt awful and wished that I had talked to him about it sooner. I wished that I had, too. Nevertheless, I finally felt free.

Does that mean the last eleven years of my life have been perfect? Nope.

Does that mean I’ve never made a mistake since? Definitely not!

What does it mean? It means that I walk in the freedom and love of Jesus Christ. I am a person full of mistakes and regrets. But I am God’s child. He loves me and lavishes his grace upon me. I am redeemed for eternity. Jesus wrote his name on my heart with permanent ink.

I think that many people have been led astray by actions that don’t resemble the heart of Christ. That is why Ghandi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” I agree with his statement but I myself have fallen many times to be unChrist-like. We must always point back to Christ and strive to do the best we can but show each other grace when we falter. I am not perfect, I am a mess; I am a disaster waiting to happen. Yet, God loves me.

So, that pastor affected my life in a way that he will never know. I have no desire to rub his nose in it. He made a mistake, a very painful mistake but he is forgiven by me and by God. It is a part of my story.

I encourage you that if you have been hurt or led astray by someone in a leadership position that you find grace to forgive them and keep your eyes on the High Priest, Jesus.

Walk in freedom. Live in God’s love. Grow in God’s grace.

And in case you didn’t know, God is crazy about you!

Here is the song God prepared for me that day:

Smile (A REAL SMILE!) donnamusing :) 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Who is More Expensive: Boys or Girls?

I've heard many parents complain that girls are so much more expensive than boys. The prom dresses, the make-up, the hairstyles, the shoes, the handbags, the cell phone bill... and dare I say, the wedding!

While I do believe that we, females, trump the deck in all of those areas. I still have reason to believe that boys are more expensive. Give me a moment to explain.

My daughter has never broken a light bulb with her bare hands, punctured a hole in her bedroom wall, destroyed carpet with markers, taken apart a game system just to see how it works (only to lose pieces in the process forbidding any possibility that it will work again), broken appendages from action figures because it is critical to have an amputee, scraped a rake across my car (just to see if it would leave a mark), attacked a camera with a light saber, ruined every pair of jeans worn on a playground... and dare I mention the FOOD!

Even if all of these things evened out in the end, I feel girls are actually LESS expensive because for the most part they actually take care of the things that we spend money on. I'd rather spend money on a handbag that will be used and enjoyed than replacing and repainting my drywall. I think you see where I'm coming from.

This all leads to another question: Are men or women more expensive?
Oh mercy, I better stop while I'm ahead. ;)
I will at least tip-toe into the water... Men are more expensive- the bigger the boy, the bigger the toy!
Okay, I'm not wading out any further. You can... if you dare. Feel free to share your opinion, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

This too shall pass...

This too shall pass...

We've all heard it when going through a trial. We've all said it to someone going through a hardship.
These four words are meant to bring comfort, to remind us that the sun will shine again.
This phrase reminds us that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

After "this" passes... whatever the current "this" may be... we should have gained some bit of wisdom that we otherwise would never have the opportunity to receive. However, if you are like me- you may miss out on other good things during the trial.

For instance, “the good things” too shall pass. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the current crisis that I miss out on the good things in my life.

“My kids’ childhood” too shall pass…
“My loving dog” too shall pass…
“Vacations” too shall pass…
“My current age” too shall pass…
“Life” too shall pass…

If you are like me, struggling, hoping, eagerly waiting for those bad times to pass don’t get so caught up in the hardship that you miss the blessings. Endure the battle but still hold the ones you love and enjoy every moment because each moment is a fleeting vapor.

I’ll end with this song. One of my favorites by Third Day: When the Rain Comes.

Friday, August 17, 2012


After our study of Virginia last week, I let my son choose which state we would study next. (I don't care what order we do them in as long as we get them all done.)

With excited glee, he proclaimed, "OHIO! I've wanted to learn about Ohio for a long time."

My quizzical brow popped up as I asked him, "Really? Since when?"

It was then that he reminded me that last year- in the third grade- he wrote a letter to a boy in Ohio as a class project. Silly mom, how could you forget something like that! ;)

This week, I learned a few things, too. Ohio had the first traffic light, police car, and ambulance. Ohio shares the same state bird as we do here in VA- the cardinal. Ohio is akin to VA with one of its nicknames as well. Virginia is known as "The Mother of Presidents" since eight presidents were born here. Ohio has given us seven presidents, earning the name "The Mother of Modern Presidents."

Even if you didn't know that Columbus is the capital of Ohio or that tomato juice is the state's beverage, I bet you knew the state tree. Yep, the buckeye tree. The tree attained the name from Native Americans who thought the seed looked like the eye of a buck. (Ohioans say that carrying one around in your pocket will bring you good luck!)

So, what's the best thing about all this new-found knowledge? Making a recipe, of course. I almost chose a savory dish for this week's study but who could turn down making Buckeyes?

Another name for Buckeyes is peanut butter balls, basically. Remembering the best peanut butter balls that Bill (a sweet old fella) used to bring us at the office; I also remembered his trick. He always put a little honey in the mix... so I did. It was a fun way to remember him but mine didn't taste near as good as his.

Well, this is where it got messy... and I must admit, I'm a little impatient in the kitchen and this recipe required some "wait" time. The middle mix was a bit runny and had to chill extra long.

In the end, they may not be as pretty as we envisioned when we started but they are yummy! The best part is we had fun learning together.

Smile :) donnamusing

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pea-Pickin' Cake

School is in session. Today marks the end of homeschool week number two for us.

Last week we started learning about our state- Virginia. As we learn about each state, we are making a recipe from the cookbook "Eat Your Way Through The USA" by Lorie Pettit. The Virginia recipe we chose from the book was Pea- Pickin' Cake. It's a very simple and quick recipe.

The kids had to answer questions about Virginia to get each ingredient open, poured, and finally, to be able to mix it all together themselves. My daughter's questions were easier than my son's since she is in first grade. She can tell you that our capital is Richmond, our state flower is the Dogwood, and our bird is the Cardinal. My son learned much more for his fourth grade study.

Here's the Pea-Pickin' Cake recipe:

1 yellow cake, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges

Mix all ingredients, pour into 3 greased and floured round cake pans (we did 2), and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Topping: 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, 1 16-oz. non-dairy whipped topping, 1 3.4-oz. box vanilla pudding

Combine pineapple and pudding, fold in whipped cream, spread in between layers and on top of cake.

The result:

Super easy and yummy. My kids and I enjoyed making it. Definitely a better way to review the state facts, much more fun than to do a boring old worksheet.

Smile :) donnamusing

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Faith of a Child

We started homeschool at our house this week. I know it's a little early but we have to start early because Fridays are our fun days! If we get all of our work done Monday through Thursday, then we all can have a three-day weekend every week. Okay, on to the reason for my blog entry today. On Sunday, after church, I asked my daughter to help me write their verse on our little chalkboard. We plan to use the same verse they are learning at church, along with the materials sent home from church as part of our weekly Bible curriculum. Currently, the kids are learning about God's grace and here is their memory verse. Ephesians 2:8- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. 

After Lora wrote it on the board, I asked her, "What does this verse mean to you?" She replied, "God gave us the gift of Jesus so we can have him in our heart and go to heaven."

Such precious moments.

We talked about it for a while and then she said that she wanted to ask Jesus in her heart. She prayed the sweetest heartfelt prayer. It wasn't a repeat after me prayer. It was raw, genuine, tender.

The first thing she did was run upstairs and tell her daddy. She is becoming a bit of a daddy's girl. Especially since they have daddy/daughter/iPad time together. ;)

Then, I asked her did she want to write what she did and the date in her Bible. Of course, she did. Again, these are her own words. I only stood by to help with spelling.

I pray her heart remains tender, compassionate, and merciful all the days of her life. And may her days be blessed abundantly.

In case you can't read the photo, it says:
August 5, 2012
Today, I asked God into my heart forever and I will never turn my back on Him. For He is my Savior and He is worth more than gold or anything else. ~Lora

She is such a delightful child, when she wrote "Savior"- she said, I wrote it with a big "S" because I think that's like God's middle name.

How blessed I am to be her mommy!

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chore Chart Overhaul

My kids' Chore Chart definitely needed an overhaul. 

We had used a simple page taped to each of their doors for quite a while now. Each chart consisted of what is expected from each of them every day, such as making their own bed, putting toys away, etc. Also, It reminded them of chores that are expected to be done as needed, for example, taking the trash out of their room and taking dirty laundry to the basement. Finally, each day had an assigned chore. 

At this point, Alec and Lora have both proven faithful with their daily expectations so it was time for a Chore Chart Overhaul!

Out with the OLD:

In with the NEW:

I started with a magnetic board, specifically- this is an Everyday Display by Creative Memories. There are three pockets. One for my son, one for my daughter, and a "DONE!" pocket in the center. All of the Chore Cards are stored in the "DONE!" pocket. Every morning, I will pull out a few chores that are expected of Alec and Lora, and put them in their pockets. After breakfast, their job is to check the Chore Cards left in their pocket, accomplish them, and then return them to the "DONE!" pocket. We pay our kids commissions for their work. If their work is slacking, then so is their pay. Trust me, they have only skimped on getting the job done a few times. 

We believe in developing a strong work ethic in our kids. They are expected to be productive members of the household just like Mom and Dad. However, we realize their abilities are in line with their age. As long as they attempt to make their bed neatly, then it is considered acceptable. On the flip side, when my son balls his clothes up instead of folds them, he has to start back over from the beginning. 

Here is a peek at some of our chore cards:

Of course, there are no chores on Sundays and special days are chore-free as well.
If this helped you have an idea of how to set up a chore chart for your kids, leave me a note and let me know!

Smile :) donnamusing

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Song In My Daughter's Heart

My daughter sings all the time, ALL the time. From sun-up to sun-down. In the bathtub, on the swing, while folding laundry, while running the swiffer across the floor (her favorite chore), even in the middle of a movie.

(Sometimes, I have to ask her to turn it off.) It doesn't matter if we have music playing, if she has a song in her heart then she WILL sing it over top of my Pandora station. ;)

She is always singing to God. Songs of thankfulness, songs of love, songs of praise.
She always asks if we like her song and proclaims that she knows God loves it. Of course, I wholeheartedly agree!

In one of her songs, she says, "We love you, God, because You are the only God we got."
What a simple lyric but so profound.

You see, my children are adopted. They've had a 'tougher' life than many of their peers. We are the 12th place she has lived- could you even imagine being moved 12 times before starting Kindergarten?!
She had several 'families' before us, her FOREVER family. Yet, through it all, she had one God- and so she sings what is in her heart: "We love you, God, because You are the only God we got."
She is a trooper, a survivor, and my little hero!

Through it all, she has grown thankful instead of bitter. She will proclaim that Jesus was with her through every move. She knows that God answered her prayers for a family, in HIS time. She speaks of God's faithfulness in such a way that challenges me to trust HIM more. And, she sings because she has a song in her heart. 

One moment when she particularly challenged me was a few nights ago- when laying down for bed and saying her prayers. She prayed, "Thank you, God, for my talents. Thank you for my good singing voice so I can sing to you. I love you, Lord. Amen."

Be challenged by her faith: What talents has God given you? Are you using them for Him?

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ramblings of a Birthday Girl

As a child, I would count down to the day with cake and presents. As a teenager, each passing birthday meant I somehow became older, wiser, and had more freedom. As a young adult, I still had a special year to look forward to. 26. Twenty-six marked my 'golden birthday'- the year I turned the same age as my birth date. After that birthday -in my mind- I remained 26. Well, that was six years ago and even though a cake today would parade 32 candles, (and mind you, there is NO cake!) inside I'm still 26. It's almost a shocking feeling to realize over and over again that I'm not that younger number but instead, I'm actually aging.

One thing hasn't changed through my Birthday years...
The happy feeling I get when I open my mailbox to find a card from my Grandma Lemar. Every year, I immediately recognize the card from her by her beautiful handwriting.
I smile big and feel her love radiating from the ink.

One thing that has changed is my sweet thoughtful gifts from my kids...
They give what they create or what they have but it is always from the heart. Here are some more treasures to add to my collection from their thoughtfulness today.
These small trinkets fill my heart.

As for today, God gave me a little "Happy Birthday" from His word.
When reading in Psalm 139, verse 17 stood out to me:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God.
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand.

Since I am not making a wish on a fire hazard of a cake, I will send up a birthday prayer. A prayer to grow stronger in my weaknesses, more attentive to my family, and to show more love to everyone.  

Happy Birthday, 26+6!

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Son, The Chef

When we adopted our two children, a friend gave me an inspirational calendar. Each day has excerpts from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O'Martian. Last Saturday, July 21st, it read: 

I pray that You would reveal to my child what his/her life work is to be and help him/her excel in it. Bless the work of his/her hands, and may he/she be able to earn a good living doing the work he/she loves and does best. 

A simple prayer but profound. What a gift, to love the work you do. So many people are miserable with their job/career and wish they had sought out something different. Many times, it takes years of study to earn a degree that isn't used for anything more than a wall covering. I want my children to do a work they love.

My son, Alec wants to be a Chef. He is now nine and has said this for the past three years. He loves to cook (and eat). He has plenty of years to change his mind if he wants to but for now, this is what he loves to do. So, I let him cook. There are plenty of lessons for him to learn in the kitchen. He has to use his math skills for measuring, his reading skills to comprehend a recipe, he knows that a good Chef always has clean hands, and a tidy work space. I will throw a bug in here for where I found the books Eat Your Way Through The USA and Eat Your Way Around The World. We will be using these as part of our homeschool curriculum this year. For each state/country we study, we will make a dish to go along with the lesson.

Whether or not my son grows up to be a World Famous Chef, Restaurant Owner, or a just a man who knows how to cook, I want him to love his career. For now, my job is to help him on his journey as he discovers the things that are important and interesting to him.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10a

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. 
Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 
1 Corinthians 10:31b

Heavenly Father, In your perfect time, reveal to my children what their life work will be. May they each excel and earn a good living doing a work they love. May your favor rest upon them through their years of training. May they each work with all their might, for your glory. Amen.

Smile :) donnamusing

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love the Haters in Your Life

Today marked week two in our study at church titled, PARADOX. The message addressed a challenging topic, Love Your Enemies with the main scripture from Luke 6: 27-36.

I've read this scripture plenty of times before. I've justified myself more times that I can count. Well, God, I'm not "hating" anyone by avoiding them at all costs, right? Interestingly, God has a different view for the "haters" in our lives.

vs. 27~ But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, Do good to those who hate you.

Am I listening or making excuses? Is avoiding someone at all costs showing love or doing them any good?

vs. 28~ Bless those who curse you, Pray for those who mistreat you.

I should bless the driver that cut me off, not bless him out? I should pray for God's favor on the business man that ripped me off? Really, isn't that a bit too much, God? I mean, I didn't even get what I paid for and yet, you want me to pray for your blessings on them?

vs. 29-30~ If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

I should just stand there and take it? Um, now I'm starting to see why this is a paradox... So, to the girl who stole my little wooden bible as a teenager, I should not hold a grudge but in my heart "give" it to her?

vs. 31~ Do to others as you would have them do to you.

I want God to show me grace and mercy when I fall. Do I extend this same grace to my neighbor? Isn't this "the golden rule" that we teach our children. Am I following this on a daily basis, myself?

vs. 35~ But Love your enemies, Do good to them, and Lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

There are those same two phrases that Jesus started with: LOVE and DO GOOD. I know that when I repeat things to my kids, I do it because it is important. This is a big deal to God. That last line catches my heart: He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. I'm glad He is kind to me when I have been found ungrateful, undeserving, unfaithful.
vs. 36~ Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus ends with mercy. Mercy is not getting what is deserved. So, even though someone may speak all manner of evil about me, it is not my job to do the same. God is the judge, and vengence is His. My job is to show mercy, speaking words of life and blessing instead of death and cursing.

Now, that I've shared what God has spoken to my heart today. I must confess that I have failed in all of these areas at one point or another. Even as I sat there listening to Pastor Jon, my heart played "billy goat"- you know, "but, but, but"...

Me: But you know I've tried, I wave to them every time I drive by, while that entire family still looks away.
God: Are you waving with your hand or your heart? Do you have love?

Me: But he promised three inches of asphalt and now it's cracking with only one inch.
God: Have you prayed for his business? Is this a time when you could show mercy?

Me: But, But, BUT....

Me: Yes, Lord. Help me to show love, do good, bless others, pray for, give to, and show mercy to the haters in my life. Mold me to be more like you. Give me strength as I know that the tests will come. Bring your words of life and blessing to my heart. Make me more like you. Thank you Father for your love, goodness, blessings, and mercy that you pour out upon me. Make me more like you. Amen.

You will be able to find the podcast of Pastor Jon's message at under media, title Paradox, Part 2, 7/22/12.

Smile :) donnamusing

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love for Writing

I love to write- whether it is in my personal journal, in a scrapbook, or in one of my kid's memoirs.

There is also Facebook, this blog, and two novels I'm currently working on.

Writing is one of those things that I do for me. Most of my day is spent serving my family. (Don't get me wrong, I love it but I do need something just for me!)

My day starts in the kitchen, cleaning up any last minute mess from the night before or unloading the dishwasher so I can repeat the process all over again. Then, I prepare breakfast for my family, usually in stages. Matt and I eat first, then I get my sleepy girl up and moving. When she is done in the bathroom, then my son takes his turn. I prep my hubby's water bottle and protein shake for the day. Then, breakfast for the kids and sending Daddy off to work. While the kids eat, I usually chit-chat with them while doing more kitchen work or sneak away to check my email.

The day continues this way with household chores, lunch, dinner, kid activities, and this fall will include home-schooling. Again, I am not complaining. It is such a joy to serve my family this way. Being able to stay home relieved a lot of stress on our whole family in so many ways.

But when I have a free afternoon. An afternoon without appointments, grocery shopping or library visits- it is my time. My kids love it because I let them watch movies while I disappear into a world I've created. Sure, I'm just in the office, they can come running if they need me but I'm somewhere else living out a tale of adventure. When working on a novel, my fingers fly across the keyboard revealing to me the twists and turns in my story.

Journaling is therapeutic for me. I believe that Alzheimer's is one of the worst diseases, robbing the elderly of precious memories. If nothing else, my story is written in my journals so that I can re-read it or perhaps someone can read it to me.

Secretly, I have always wished that my GranMa has written all of her grandchildren a special letter for us to read when she passes. (Which I pray is YEARS away!) After feeling so hopeful for that, I decided to keep a hand-written book to each of my kids. The books began even before they were adopted and have continued throughout our journey. There are many things I'm sure I've missed along the way but I try to write down funny stories and special times for them to recall.

I hope that everyone finds something to do that brings happiness. Not fame and fortune, but happiness.

For now, it is 2:20 in the afternoon and I have a date with Earl Gray and my laptop.

Smile :) donnamusing