"My business is not to remake myself, But to make the absolute best of what God made."

~Robert Browning

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Letter to My Friend

We have been friends together in sunshine and in shade.
~ Caroline Norton

My dear sweet friend,

We have known each other many years. I remember the day we really met. You were sitting on the back porch of Plummer Elementary. It was an instant friendship…just add tea. We were bonded together from that point on. You are a true from the heart friend. God had placed a gift in my life.

Through the years we have done a lot of things together. We have shared family time, cooked out together, lay out (I got burned many time, but it was so worth it), girl’s night out, vented to each other, cried, laughed until we almost wet ourselves and played Wii. Just to mention a few. You have always been there for me during happy and sad times. You have a way of making all things better. You and Britt must be related because you can say some of the funniest things…just when I needed it most.

During those times when visiting was difficult.…we knew we were still friends-friends of the heart. Life was taking hold and I let go. Thank you for not letting me disappear and fade away.

I can’t express to you what kind of friend you are to me. I can tell you I love you and consider you one of my closest and dearest friends. You are a sister to me. You are part of my family.

These past couples of weeks have been different. It didn’t feel right…you on your mini-vacation in another town with little communication between us. I even commented that something didn’t feel right. I was missing you more than normal. I guess it was our friendship connection….you know that friendship of the heart thing.

Your email to me said it all. My heart was breaking for you. I was so angry. I finally realized to be there for you with a pure heart and clear head….I needed to give it to God. Sooooo...that is what I did.

My friend....my sister….I am here for you. I am only a phone call or an email away. During these hard times, the not knowing and uncertainties of life...remember God is there and you are not alone. I am with you in my heart and in my prayers. You are with me in my heart and prayers. You have so many people that love you and cherish you. We are praying for healing and for a healthy life. I am (we are) praying for you and your family.

So my dear sweet friend….I miss you very much. We will see each other soon, but until then there will be prayers, cards, emails, phone calls and texts. Think good positive thoughts. The “shade” of life will not interfere with our friendship.

Take care of you,


Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Proverb 3:5-8

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Bad Mood Here.

You never know when you’re making a memory.” ~ Rickie Lee Jones

When I awoke this morning I was tired and running late. I wasn’t in a bad mood….I woke up late. I will be late for work and a bad mood will not change the situation. It isn’t my nature to wake up in a bad mood. I was once told…”you have the right to be in a bad mood, but you don’t have the right to force or impose it upon others.” I can’t remember the last time I woke up in a bad mood. I wake each morning looking forward to a new day of making memories. I wake up each day remembering something pleasant about my life. I am so Blessed. NO BAD MOOD HERE!  ONLY MEMORIES!!

This past week brought beautiful weather and moments...that are forever etched in my memory. These memories may not be mine alone. In fact, I heard from Michelle and Mandy about Friday night. They shared with me....which became my memory too.  They took Cali to the movies. They had a wonderful time. Both girls talked about how sweet each other is and how much fun they had (including Cali). Michelle ALWAYS talks of Mandy's sweetness and generosity.  I love that they spent time together.  It is so hard with work, soccer and Cali's games.  They gave me a memory without even knowing it...Love you more than chocolate.

Another memory I was given was listening to my sweet daughter Mandy talk about the good time she spent with her young cousin Haley. How they had manicure and pedicures…shopped and went to the movies. They ran/walked in the 5k at the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. They had such a wonderful time.  They brought me happiness and a fond memory without me being with them.

I also, have the wonderful memory of my sweet excited daughter Michelle calling to tell me she won the “Biggest Loser” weight challenge on her job. Okay, any of you that know Michelle knows she is not big by far. But she focused on eating healthier than normal and exercising. She lost nearly 18 lbs. I am so proud of her. She looks awesome. I thought she looked great before.  The sound of her voice is something I will remember.  I am so proud of you.

I have memories of the many conversations with Brittany throughout the week. She always has me laughing by the time we hang up. She is always in a good mood…even when it seems iffeee…she says something so profoundly funny you can’t help but smile and say “that is my Brittany.” You are my miracle.  I can hear you smile through the phone.  You are "my Brittany."

The memory of the thoughtful “shout-out” from Amber on her blog about her dad and I. Mike and I love our little outings and dates.  We love being outside enjoying nature.  (FYI...in response to your blog post…Everyday we kiss goodbye as our last act to each other....and kiss hello first…no matter what kind of mood we are in. You never know when it will be your last kiss.)   No matter what goes on throughout my day I know that I will get a smile and kiss as soon as he sees me.  Thanks for refreshing that feeling of unconditional love I have for your dad.

My mother, my (other) niece Hailey and I are taking an Art Photography class. It is so much fun. We have learned so much already. The teacher took the whole class on a field trip-photo shoot on Saturday. We went to take pictures of nature (blue bonnets, water, trees, cows, old barns). He turned us loose on nature. It was a fabulous experience. At one point I stopped taking pictures to feel the sun on my face (not to smart I came home with my face sunburned…go figure…guess it was the sun reflecting off the water). Anyway, I watched as my niece and mother walked around taking pictures. I thanked God at that moment. How blessed am I to be here and be with my Mom (and niece)…to experience this with them. I wish I could have all my loved ones with me experiencing it. We took plenty of pictures. Our assignment was to pick two good pictures and email to the teacher to be published in the Waxahachie paper. Then bring our two best and two worse ones to class this Thursday.   Our friend came out with her 5 month old twins....no blue bonnet pictures yet, but I took a lot of them in their stroller.  I love my Mom so much.  It is so much fun to hang out with her.  She is one of my best friends.

I love coming home. I usually find Mike and Grace in the front yard. They are watering or working. He always sees me and smiles…tells Grace “there’s mom…there’s Donna.” She gets so excited.  He must be excited to see me too....because EVERYTIME he gives me a sweaty hug and kiss....I secretly love it.  He tells me everyday he thinks I am beautiful...even when I have on no make up and been working in my garden.

On Sunday, Mike and I were invited to have lunch with Brittany and Wesley. We met at their home. They have been renovating for about 10 months. After a delicious meal at PF Changs and great conversation we went back to their home.  We sat and visited for a while...enjoying the outdoors and comfort of their home. WOW!!! They have done a lot, walls are gone, ceiling raised, 2nd floor has a landing now, hard wood floors downstairs, all rooms a different color, decorations are fab and a beautiful formal dining room. It made me a little sad to see my youngest; my baby is all grown up. She is so responsible. Wesley and Brittany are a true match made in heaven. They have such respect for each other.  They appreciate each other.  I will think back on this visit and always remember the warmth and comfort of their home and company.

This morning I walked down to let Grace out just as I stepped onto the porch a breeze went past. Wow!! It felt good. This was one of those mornings to sit on the patio and drink a good cup of coffee. I remember doing this with my grandmother Billman. What a wonderful and beautiful memory I have of her. This was a moment to take in the gifts from God. How thankful I am to enjoy these quiet little moments, to be thankful for my life, my girls, my husband, my family, my friends and to have my memories (and pictures).

I am looking forward to the next week. The anticipation of new memories has me in a great mood. Who has time to be in a bad mood?  Who wants to let a bad mood dictate your day/life? 

Father, Thank you for all the days of my life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Customized Bouquet

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.

~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

I have been told that amongst tragedy and loss there is something to learn or to be found. Something positive can be built. How true it is! With the passing of my friend I have found many “lost” friends. They were not really lost. I had just misplaced them. I let “us” fade into life. So I will work on reconnecting with my girlfriends. Friends are like roses….I will cherish, nurture and love them during all the seasons of my life.

We have had the pleasure of keeping our grand~angel a couple times recently. She is so much fun. Her innocence is to be treasured. Her intelligence can’t be tricked. Her smile is angelic. She and I made Easter Cookies for the Ladies Bible Study Group. After they were cooled she explained she only needed three of the cookies. Knowing her mother would get me for giving her three cookies I couldn’t help myself. It is the “Nanny” in me…I gave in. I watched as she gave Ganpa and her mother each a cookie. How sweet was that? I assumed she was going to eat all three and be on a sugar high. My heart was filled with watching her unconditional act of kindness. I asked her mother if I could give her two to take home for the next day. It was so refreshing to see this kindness…I want to have that refreshing child-like kindness…to give and expect nothing in return. This is a special memory (rose) for another season of my life.

Easter weekend was filled with children, family, laughter, fun, praise, worship and sunshine. A friend of my mother’s opened up her home for an Easter Celebration…okay it was more than a wonderful egg hunt, party, games and food….It was so much more than a party. I took a lot of pictures…see Prayers, Praise and Photographs. Watching all the children laugh and play was uplifting. I laughed a lot. The food was wonderful. Everyone pitched in to make this a wonderful time. My mother, my oldest daughter, my grand~angel, my two niece and my two great nieces were there also. We had a good time…shared lots of laughs. This will be a great memory for me and for everyone….all captured in pictures. This time will bring me a full bouquet of memories.

Easter Sunday was wonderful. Service was loving and special. Our sweet friend was able to make it to church. She wore a special mask decorated by her lovely daughter for Easter. This family is so filled with love. I love hearing about the confirmation they are receiving from God. Our Father, Our God is powerful! Please keep this family in your prayers. We are speaking life and praying for healing.  They are special in the bouquet of life.

I had the pleasure of my niece Haley going to Church with me. She usually comes, but this time was special because it was just she and I…girl time. Mike was taking care of things, so wouldn’t have too…he was with us in spirit. Anyway, I love showing off this sweet girl. Her birthday is in May…I can’t wait!!!! We had a wonderful dinner with Haley and the rest of her family later that evening. Lots of laughter love and great food went around the table. Another cherished memory to place in my bouquet.

Easter Sunday I started my garden. Mandy inspired me after seeing her beautiful flower bed...Thank you!  I planted my grape vines. Mike planted my live oak trees. I have laid out the pots for plants and imagined all my flowers in bloom. I can honestly say I have started my garden and adding more memories to my bouquet.

Start your garden!!!  Take in each memory....with love and happiness.  Nurture your garden and have your own customized bouquet for all the seasons of your life.