Little did I know it when one of my most special Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby, and I had our first swim this summer that it might also be our last of the season. Life hit her hard with a family medical emergency while she already splits her time between two states caring for her mother who suffered a stroke last year. Though we normally spend several lazy summer days lounging by the pool, we haven’t made it back since this photo. I didn’t post it originally because of how cooky my hat looks plus the readers on top of my head! Not a good look!. But now that my kiddos head back to school tomorrow and she’ll soon head back to her hometown since the medical emergency is thankfully under control, it makes this moment more memorable ––– cooky hat, glasses and all.
As summer break winds down for many of us, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and find ways to mark the meaningful moments. For me it’s posting a pic that I normally may not. Not only as a way to mark the last day of summer break, but to be intentional about expressing gratitude for my many blessings, like time with a special Swan Sister who helps me to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best life.
There have been a lot of posts about my 50th birthday. Full disclosure –– I feared it would be a hard one, full of a particlar D (barrier or challenge women face). In the form of depression. But God knew my heart and made sure it was a great one. In His graciousness, He enabled me to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best life –– 50 years blessed!
So while I’m so incredibly grateful for all of the love, support and yes, gifts I’ve been given, I’m even more thankful for the givers. Especially GOD, THE GIVER.
May you be the recipient of God’s good gifts today.
Thank you, Lord, for your goodness in helping me find my inhaler!
A few weeks ago, I posted about losing my inhaler after using it only a few times https://pinkcollarsavvyandchic.com/2018/06/18/spilled-milk-crying-over-it-to-get-over-it. Replacing it would cost $400! After posting, several readers expressed empathy and one sweet reader of my novel, Seasons of Her Soul, Myra, even offered to mail me her inhaler! Then, Saturday I found the inhaler –– in the handbag I’d searched! When my Zumba sister/mentor, Marina, asked about it before class that morning, I told her I’d update everyone. And here it is Thursday and I’m just doing it. So often I find myself lamenting life’s losses, yet I’m not always as as quick to express my gratitude for the good things. May we all be more intentionally thankful!
It’s Day 193 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and it’s Thanksgiving Day. For a woman who’s been too sick to leave the house this week, it was packed with fashion, a feast, and a family friendly film that left me feeling full of wonder. While my immediate blended family celebrated early Thanksgiving last Sunday, today was spent with my husband’s family. I slept until eleven AM to have enough stamina to make it through the day and boy did I need the rest to make it through all the festivities!
For a lady who loves an excuse to dress up, it was so much fun donning festive holiday attire to wear to our niece’s gorgeous home which was decorated beautifully for the occassion. My sisters-in-law are all great cooks, and one of our nieces’s makes a mean mac and cheese (I try to avoid lots of dairy and didn’t indulge in that). Since I’ve been out of commission, my hubby and I provided drinks and store bought desserts – but there were no complaints! With my stepsons and children with their other parent, for once we all fit around the table and enjoyed a fabulous feast catching up with family.
Because our niece and nephew have young children and he still had to make it to his family’s gathering (mom stayed in with the infant and toddler), the evening ended fairly early. Having been sick and shut in for so long, I wasn’t quite ready to call it a night. Reluctantly, my hubby agreed to go see the movie “Wonder” with me. I won’t do a review here since I covered “The Star” last night, but I will say my often reticent husband had plenty to say about this film which is based on a popular children’s novel. Though I could discuss any number of emotions the film evoked for me, wonder seems the most fitting today.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom who gave birth to my children never expecting we wouldn’t spend every holiday together, I’m in wonder that Lord is gracious and merciful enough toward me that I can still enjoy the children in my life and be thankful for them today. As a divorced wife of an abusive wasband, I’m in wonder that God answered my prayer for a godly husband in the form of my best friend, for whom I am eternally grateful. As a child whose earthly father was taken far too young and whose family is so dysfunctional that I don’t have much to do with them, I’m in wonder that God has adopted me into His family and calls me His precious daughter. Considering all of this, it’s no wonder that I’m full of wonder this Thanksgiving.
What about you? What has you full of wonder this Thanksgiving?
Day 191 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was early Thanksgiving at my home and it has me feeling grateful, thankful and blessed in my blended family mess. The messy part is that divorces have created a situation where my stepsons will be out of town with their mother for the holiday and my children are with their father. In order for us to be able to celebrate with the former, our Thanksgiving gathering was today. And while I wish my babies could have been with us, I was in my element preparing to host. Setting out my pumpkins stirred up feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. Soon I realized how blessed I am in the midst of my mess.
After shopping, cleaning/decorating, and then cooking, I paused right before everyone arrived to take a picture of the dining room table where appetizers were set up buffet style. Getting one afterward is impossible because they fall on the food like they’re starved! Looking around my home and at the abundance of food – a feast really – prepared for my family, I started to miss my children but again shifted my focus to having an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for what I do have instead of what I don’t.
The day was overcast without much natural light so this picture could considered gloomy. With a grateful, thankful, blessed attitude, I see even cast in shadows it is lovely.
Consummate athletes, my hubby and stepsons are not enamored with my Shabby Chic decorating style. Because I moved into their home and needed to make it feel like my own we’ve had our challenges with this over the years (I’d come from having 100% decorating freedom to living in what amounted to a Sports Central Lodge). Thankfully, now that they’re older with two of them having their own places and one of them living here only half the time, it seems how I decorate means less and less to them. While I stick with my aesthetic, creating an atmosphere that makes them want to come home means a great deal to me. Making their childhood home inviting, warm and welcoming is my goal. Judging by the wonderful time we had eating, watching football (the Bengals/Bungles win was a pleasant surprise), playing Golfopoly (Monopoly for those who’d rather be golfing), and NOT looking at phones I’m proud to say, it seems mission accomplished.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet who saw her ex-mother-in-law for the first time in a decade at the grocery store this morning and her wasband waiting as she checked out, while I sometimes wish for my children’s sake that their family was intact, I’m very grateful to have been grafted into a family where I’m accepted and loved for who I am. Even though in many ways my hubby and the boys and I couldn’t be more polar opposite. Even though we don’t always understand each other. The difference is I’m no longer abused or mistreated. Of course my big fat blended family isn’t perfect. None is. But when we have days like today, I feel nothing but grateful, thankful and blessed. That’s when I don’t see us as a mess. I just see us as mine.
How about you? What “messes” do you have in your life for which you are grateful and thankful? How do they bless you?
Day 178 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project is my first full day out and about since I got sick nearly a month ago, so I looked forward to spending it with family, eating good food, and having fun. After reading several articles in the newest edition of Artful Blogging and a chapter of my latest novel last night, I slept relatively well and awakened feeling more like myself than I have for weeks. So much so that I did some juege-ing in the laundry room to make it more inviting (will post pics when I pull it together), then did a little holiday/ gift shopping. By the time I needed to head over to the family birthday party, I still had plenty of energy. And though I ate a bit of pizza, I was cautious and didn’t add my usual peppers or peppercorns. My hubby and I also split a nice salad. It was so fun celebrating my youngest sister-in-law’s birthday, especially since I’ve had very little socialization as of late.
One of the articles in Artful Blogging was about developing an attitude of gratitude. It reminded me of an old saying I used to hear around the church where I grow up, that went something like “You don’t know how good it feels to be well until you’ve been sick.” This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been really sick, but because of my blog, I’m more mindful of the experience. And I believe I’m more grateful to be feeling better than I may have been in the past.
Not only was I more mindful of that, but I was keenly aware of the season my husband’s niece is in. Like mine, her girl and boy are close in age. I’ve always referred to my daughter and son, who are only nineteen months apart, as my Irish twins. Because of a divorce and changes with parenting time, they aren’t around for many family get-togethers, but I vividly remember the days when I was exhausted and overwhelmed with mothering very young children. This made me intentional asking how mom is doing and offering to lend a hand any time she needs it. My prayer is that this sweet young couple and their children never experience the ravages of divorce. But even if they remain as tightly knit together as they are right now, I hope they can see past the fog of exhaustion and being overwhelmed to hold on to the memories that make up the threads of this precious, fleeting time. The late nights, the chaotic days, and all the mess makes up the beautiful tapestry of their lives.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chic who is dealing with medical challenges, I’m thankful for them because they bring gratitude. And clarity. They also make me want to capture it all in a way that I, my children and my family can look back and remember. Writing about my first full day out and about with family, food, and fun may not sound blog-worthy, but maybe, just maybe, someone will read my words and see the pictures I’ve included and it will encourage or inspire them. Somehow, it may even point someone to God. If that happens, then it’s worthy after all.