Monday, July 18, 2011

"Hep, me, Momma...hep me!"

It’s hot!
How hot is it?
It’s hotter than a firecracker in July.
It’s hotter than Hades.
It’s hotter than an oven.
It’s so hot that I’m taking cold showers and it’s not for the normal reason!
It’s so hot that I’m thinking about Christmas!

Our daughter, Hannah Beth, was fascinated with our Christmas tree each year. Her first Christmas - age 3 months - I would put her in her 'Kangarockeroo' seat while I'd be working on some projects on the floor beside her. She would stare at all those lights for the longest time! If I moved her to another location in the room, she'd be checking everything out, then find the lights and stare again!

When she was older and talking a little bit, we would see a Christmas tree...any tree...and the conversation was always the same.

Me: ooooooh, Hannah Beth, isn't that pretty?

HB: uh-huh.

Me: what is that?

HB: (stern look on her face and shaking her finger) no-no-no!

Then there was the year that I'd decorated the tree, hoping that she would still just be fascinated with the lights. Every time she'd get uncomfortably close to the tree, I'd say: "no-no, Hannah...look with your eyes and not your hands." That worked. For a while.

Then her curiosity got the best of her! When I'd decorated the tree that year, I put the 'special' ornaments and any glass ornaments up pretty high so they'd be safe. Hannah Beth still knew to look with her eyes and not her hands, but Momma was on the telephone...and HB was in the living room. All alone. And there was a tree. And there were ornaments on that tree that had pictures of her in them. These were things she must see! In the midst of a long-distance conversation (does anybody still make long distance calls?!?!?) with my friend Ninkey, suddenly there is a crash. I threw the phone down and ran into the living room just as my beautiful little girl hollered, "Hep me, Momma! Hep me!" She had pulled a tall lightweight chair around, stood on it and must have reached up to touch some of those 'special' ornaments and pulled the tree over. Things lay there in this order: the floor, Hannah, the chair (which was tall enough to have her pinned in and protecting her from all those branches, etc. poking her in the eyes) and last - the tree. She wasn't crying. She wasn't scared. She just 'needed' some hep! She'll soon be 26 years old. And every once in a while, when she needs her momma...she'll know that I'll be there to hep her.

I am getting ready for a three-week trip...not a vacation...but a ten-day camp, some family visits and my 40th high school class reunion. Before I go there is soooooooo much to be done! I get a little overwhelmed sometimes as I think about leaving here in one week...not seeing my hubby during those weeks because he'll be here at home...and all the things I need to be doing to get ready. I need hep! I lean a bit toward the anal retentive personality and have to have everything 'just so' before I go. I have to-do lists, last minute shopping, and boxes that i'm filling and music that must be chosen before I ever leave home (because I'll be leading the music at this ten-day camp). Every once-in-a-while I get a little stressed thinking of all there is yet to do. Prayers on my behalf would be welcome and appreciated.

I have a prayer someone shared with me that hangs just above my computer screen and is a reminder of how really anal retentive I am! Allow me to share it with you...

Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

God, help me to consider people's feelings even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

And help me not try to run everything. But if you need some help, please feel free to ASK me!

Help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they are usually NOT my fault.

Lord, help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it EXACTLY right!

God, help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter parties and dancing.

God, I need patience and I want you to give it to me NOW!

Please help me not be a perfectionist in everything I do. (is that spelled correctly?)

And Lord, help me to finish everything that I sta

Guess I should say “Amen” on the end of that prayer. Okay, Lord...I know you'll empower me to get all this done, so I won't stress out at every turn. Thanks for the hep, Lord!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Monday, July 4, 2011


My nails and cuticles are a mess…and I hurt all over. But for all that, I have a sense of accomplishment, and that feels really good! Maybe I even look a little better, too. If you want to understand that statement, keep reading.

I’ll begin by explaining that I logged 997 miles on my Honda CRV’s odometer in the last week, starting with a drive to Ohio to celebrate my brother-n-law’s retirement from full-time ministry. It was a special time honoring 37 years of excellent shepherding and loving several congregations.

While in the Buckeye state I decided to pay a visit to the lady who was my sister-in-law for 18 years. I had two boxes filled with memorabilia I’d been saving many years for her grown children…things found in my parents’ home when we cleaned out their belongings. It was a wonderful chance to catch up with Audrey because we hadn’t been together for more than many years. After the divorce, I was (and still am) thankful to continue a friendship with her. Those boxes had been passed between my home and my sister’s home for about a dozen years so I was glad to pass them along to Audrey. It was time to ‘clean’ them out from the clutter I’ve managed to not manage over time. (…and I’m the one who used to teach Organizational Workshops! Note the key word here: used to.)

Next on the agenda while in Ohio, was to clean…I mean really clean…our little cabin at Camp Sychar in Mt. Vernon. The cabin is only 11½’ x 12’ but cleaning it still took a while! My neck and shoulders still haven’t recovered from washing the walls and ceiling! But when I move my things into the cabin later this month, I won’t have to do as much work as I usually do each year. It gave me a good feeling to have that behind me…

Five generations of my family have been attending this camp annually. My first trip there was when I was four weeks old and we stayed in tents back then. The tents have all been replaced with little cottages/cabins and the one my husband and I stay in was where my parents stayed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Next, my sister took it over when Mother and Daddy moved to a larger cabin. Now, it is our little “cabin, sweet cabin” for two weeks every summer. And since I was in Ohio anyway, I did what my mother-in-law called “deep cleaning” (did I EVER)!!

After a little R and R, I headed to Virginia to prepare our family home for a surprise birthday dinner for my husband. More cleaning. Lots of cleaning in a house that isn’t occupied regularly is a big chore. I worked hard and still didn’t get it all done. The birthday dinner went well and our family and friends got to have a nice visit. The next day, I resumed the cleaning after everyone headed home. And going through the cupboards and clearing off the counters gave me a good feeling. I’m sorting through things for the family members to look through. The big things are already claimed and moved out. And now I’m moving some of our things into the house and mingling our furniture, etc. in with the belongings of my mother and father-in-law’s. It is our home now but I don’t ever want to take away the feeling of ‘home’ that Mary Ruth and Roy built into the place where they raised their wonderful family. It has been quite meaningful for us to bring furniture and paintings that belonged to my parents into the Greenhouse! And everything seems to blend together really well…just like Joe and me! (insert smile here)

I drove home to Tennessee last night and guess what I had waiting for me? Yes, more cleaning…laundry…unpacking and organizing. My nails and cuticles are still a mess, but my toes are going to look great while I’m doing all this work. I’m getting a pedicure tomorrow!

My friend Carolyn Barker gave me a cute little wooden freezer magnet that speaks a great truth: “Housework makes me ugly.” That means I should hire a housekeeper so I can be totally beautiful! If it is indeed TRUE, then all the beautiful women I know either have housekeepers or really dirty houses! ☺

Remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!