Looking for Book Recommendations

I love to read (have I mentioned that I am a Janeite already? ūüôā ), and I love to share my faves.¬† I’d like to expand my list of faves, so please share your favorite reads – the books that help you balance the humor in this crazy life – the books that leave you inspired, feeling better about life and your place in it.

My top recomendation?¬† The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.¬† It is my all time favorite book and I have given out so many copies to friends over the years.¬† If you haven’t read – YOU MUST!!!¬† It is about a Dutch “elderly” spinster, living with her older sister and father, above their clock shop during World War II.¬† They participate in the resistance movement by hiding Jews in their home… well, I won’t share more or else I’d ruin the story for you.¬† It is an easy read and chock full of inspiration, charity, values, and heart.¬† I find something extraordinary in this book every time I read it.¬† The last time I read it it was with the perspective of a parent of a child with disabilities – and it helped my perspective develop in a better direction.

Please, share your faves with me in the comments – I’d love to find some new favorites!¬† Thank you, and peace to you all!

What’s In A Name?

A few years ago my youngest was learning his letters.  One of his teachers taught him that the Xs represented a kiss.  When he came home and told me about this, I taught him that the Os stood for hugs.  He was tickled with this information and made sure that his Daddy learned this vital information as well.

Months later¬†he learned to write his name.¬† He came home that day and announced that he had a hug AND a kiss in his name.¬† He held up a school paper to show me just what he meant.¬† He showed me the X and kissed it.¬† He pointed out the O and then hugged the paper.¬† He was so proud.¬† “I am the only one with both a hug and a kiss in my name!!!” he crowed.

On this Mother’s Day, my youngest crawled into bed with me and handed me a card.¬† Inside he had signed his name and drew several Xs and Os beneath.¬† He had me kiss each X and hug each O, including those in his name, then he gave me a hug and kiss for each as well.¬† My heart swelled.

My sweet baby, my darling son.¬† True to his name, he is full of Xs and Os… and blessings every day.

Ball Games, Peanuts, And Creative Packaging

We went to a Braves Game this last weekend.¬† I am not a huge baseball fan, but I can certainly appreciate spending a pleasant day in the stands, watching our team play a good game, chatting with friends, and enjoying the beautiful weather.¬† Oh yeah… and the food!¬† It just isn’t the same without the hot dogs and peanuts.¬† It is a wonderful American tradition.

Whenever I go to the ballpark and see those peanut shells I am reminded of a cute story from years ago.¬† One of my best friends has a boy the same age as my oldest.¬† We’d taken both families to see the Braves play.¬† The boys brought their gloves in the hopes of catching a fly ball.¬† We parents brought in a large bag of peanuts to share.¬† The boys practically dove into the bag, selecting their peanuts, then setting about the business of cracking them open (without spilling the nuts inside) and popping them into their mouths.¬† After the initial surge of nut popping activity, my friend’s son seemed to slow down a bit, pondering his peanuts as he twisted them open.¬† Then, after opening one and eating the nuts inside, he held the shell up for closer inspection.¬† He turned it around and around, then turned to his Mom.

“How do they do that?”¬†he asked.

“How do they do what, Butterbean?” she replied.

“How do they make the little waffles and get them around the peanuts?” he said.

That makes me chuckle to this day.  Peace to you all!

A Dose Of Friendship

I’ve been sick the last few months.¬† Not one continuous illness, but a series of no less than seven colds since the first week of January, with some chest pains (lungs?¬† heart?¬† Dr.s are still running tests to figure this out) in between.¬† This has worn me out and obviously my immune system has been compromised in some way in order for this to have happened. ¬†I’ve been so sick so often that my boss has taken to greeting¬†me¬†with a fond “Hi Sicko!” in the mornings when she sees me on-line.

This last cold was the worst.¬† I won’t go into the details, but last Monday morning I felt so horrible that I¬†thought about asking my husband to write down the hymns I’d like sung at my funeral (which would, by the way, include “Just As I Am”, in case any of my family members read this).¬† My husband had me wrapped up papoose fashion in an electric blanket because I couldn’t stop shivering. ¬†I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to watch much TV, and I couldn’t keep my mind clear enough to follow the plot in anything – even¬†on The Price Is Right.¬† And yes, for those of you asking, you only realize there is a plot to The Price Is Right game show when you realize that you aren’t able to follow it any more.¬† It doesn’t hit you until later just how scary that is :).¬† And if this doesn’t paint a pathetic picture already, let me add one more detail that is the real “tell”…¬† My husband put in my DVD of Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth, of course) in the hopes that this would entertain me… and I had no interest in anything having to do with Mr. Darcy.¬† I obviously had good reason to contemplate the musical score for my funeral.

That was earlier this week.¬† Now I am on the mend and today I¬†actually sat at my desk and worked.¬† Hooray!¬† And what got me from funeral planning to planning out performance management strategies at work?¬† Three things.¬†¬†First came the Z-pak antibiotic series – 5 days of pills that my Dr. prescribed for me Monday morning.¬† After three days¬†however, I hadn’t improved much.¬†¬† Unbeknownst to me stronger medicine was on its way.

The second thing came Wednesday when a friend of mine from church sent me an email saying that she missed me and wanting to know how I was.¬† None of my friends are the type to call every day and chat – most don’t even live in this state and we are all waaaaay too busy for casual daily contact.¬† Most of my friends weren’t even aware that I’ve been ill.¬† This one however is from my church and she knew I’ve missed some services and haven’t been singing in choir lately.¬† I wasn’t in services this last Sunday nor was I at a small group meeting Sunday night.¬† Even though neither my husband or I had reached out to tell anyone I was sick, this dear friend reached out to me.¬† Seems small, but¬†it was a therapeutic touch that¬†hit the spot.¬†

Then came the closer.¬† A woman in our neighborhood whose son is on the same little league team as my older son, who knew I’d missed more than half of the games this season (I’d missed again that Monday evening – first game of the end-of-season¬†tournament), sent over a plate of home made cookies around dinner time Wednesday night.¬† Wow.¬† This completely unexpected gesture¬†of kindness was a sweet balm that warmed my heart.

I hadn’t asked for it in any way.¬† Yet people missed me.¬† They cared.¬† God had opened his medicine cabinet and sent me some home remedy.

My cold made the turn that night.¬† The next morning I felt better and continued to improve throughout the day.¬† Today I feel even stronger.¬† I know the antibiotic was part of it… but the powerfully strong dose of friendship paired with the shot of kind sympathy¬†was the best medicine indeed.

Thank you!