Saturday, February 25, 2012

Please Update Your Bookmarks


I've been blogging at my new site, reflective of the changes in my life. Please update your bookmark for me to:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Change of Locale

Boy... when I felt like this summer was going to be a good time to get some things into focus, I had no idea what I was in for.

From this point forward, my new blog is the best place to find me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am equally guilty, but I've noticed a sharp decline in blogging of my friends. I miss what you have to say.

I spend far more time on Facebook than I do on my blog (obvious to you, no doubt). But, I got to thinking about what a tragedy it is if we trade our complete thoughts and happenings for 160 character blurbs. Sure, it's nice to be connected to more of the long lost from our lives. It fills a different need in me, though. I still need to think. And, some of you out there are brilliant bloggers who make me think.

Thank you.

Please don't quit.

Summer, Summer - Summertime

I hope you had a little Will Smith flashback from the title. That was Will Smith, right?

I'm now a week and a half into my summer semester. I recrafted my schedule to include two intensive classes (knocking out a whole 3 credit class condensed into one week of Mon. - Fri. from 8:00am to 4:30pm) and two online courses. I feel a little weight off my shoulders and am grateful for the time and space now to give myself some needed attention.

I don't mean that in a selfish way. I mean... "Man, have I got a lot of work to do on me to get to where I know I can be!!". For far too long, I've been too busy, too stressed, too sad or too distracted to get back to the basics and be the best I can. I don't mean these to be excuses, though I know they are.

What I've been given this summer is a gift of time to focus on aspects I've grown too weak in. I'm using Luke 2:52 as the mantra for it and have laid out a fairly detailed plan of attack for progressing spiritually, physically, socially and academically. I just hope I can have the discipline to stick to it.

It's a work in progress for me to comprehend that big things happen a little at a time. Maybe it's because I lack patience and am somewhat of a perfectionist. I want things to happen NOW. If I can't make it happen now, I decide I simply don't have time for it at all. I've always admired close friends who are much better at achieving big goals through accomplishing little goals, one at a time.

But... this summer... I'm Melinda Mae.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Space Between

I have a myriad of thoughts that run through my skull to which my self response is, "You should write a blog entry on it!". Moving and gearing up for (and now actively being in) school again have put my poor blog on the back burner. Be ready for a deluge of reactivity, though.

Back to the issue at hand. Space.

The computer I'm writing this post on is in the library of the university I'm now attending. After class, I came here and waited for a computer to become available (I don't bring my laptop to campus on Mondays). My wait was not long, perhaps 2 minutes. Right after arriving, I noticed a girl beginning to pack up.

I stood behind her, but at what I consider a comfortable distance, so she didn't feel like I was breathing down her neck or trying to rush her. I was probably about 5 feet directly behind her, with my eyes fixed on the chair. At the time I arrived, there were no others looking for an open station. After I was positioned to take the spot of this girl, though, a young man came in and stood right next to her as she was standing to leave. He put his hand on the back of the chair and looked back at me.

He must have read my confused (I sure hope it looked confused and not angry) look, because he nonchalantly asked, "were you waiting for this spot?".

"Yes." I replied. He walked away disappointed.

This happens to me frequently; in line at TJ Max or the self serve line at Kroger, in airport security lines, etc. It's got me really wondering if the problem is me leaving too great a distance between myself and the spot I'm going, or if people, in general, are just becoming less polite or patient. I like to think I'm sufficiently aggressive when needed. I can board a crowded Metro car in DC with ease or fight my way through a crowd. But, in less populated situations,.... am I too timid?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How Do I Know?

See those? Blurry, I know. But, those are nails. Fingernails. My own.
I started biting my nails in the second grade. I remember one of the fourth grade teachers stopping me in the hall one day and asking why I was biting my nails. She told me that one day, when I was older, I would want them to be pretty for a boy that I loved and I would stop. It was a lovely sentiment, but has thus far turned out to be untrue.
I spent a good 6 years or so with acrylics. This allowed me to have nice hands for a professional life.
BUT, magically, when I began my CNA class, I stopped biting them. It was not a conscious decision. I only discovered it on accident when I realized I needed to trim my nails. Holy cow!
Seven months later..... I have to trim and file them weekly. This is a whole new world to me, but very symbolic of my feelings.
I'll never know why I started biting my nails. I think it's because I saw someone do it and thought I'd give it a try. But, it became a 25-year nervous habit. I didn't FEEL nervous or stressed, but I think in the back of my mind there was a residual wondering if I was on the right path or making the choices to take me to where the Lord wanted me to go in life.
That feeling went away the minute I made actual steps and progress toward nursing. And... the habit stopped all on it's own.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To The Mothers Out There

I spotted this on Tracie's blog a little while back, and have wanted to share it too ever since. Thanks for finding it, Tracie!

The Invisible Woman, Excerpt By Nicole Johnson

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.

It started to happen gradually…

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?” 

“Nobody,” he shrugged. 

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, oh my goodness, nobody? 

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing. 

Just the other night my husband and I were out to a party. We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.” He just kept right on talking. 

That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think he can see me. I don’t think anyone can see me. 

I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more.
Can you fix this?
Can you tie this?
Can you open this?
Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being.
I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”
I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”
I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going…she’s going…she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out of style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped 
package and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription. “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read, no, devour, the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I would pattern my work:

• No one can say who built the great Cathedrals—we have no record of their names.

• These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

 • They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

 • The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”

And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece just push into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one else does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn, pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who will show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or monument to myself. I just want him to come home. And then if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it here.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.