Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cardboard Box

If I had a cardboard box
I'd fill it up with things.
I'd pretend they made me happy
and fake the joy they bring.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He'd fill it up with love
His finest gifts he'd give to you
From the Father up above.

If I had a cardboard box
I'd make you feel real bad.
I'd yell, I'd scream, I'd wave my sign
You killed what you could have had.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He wouldn't make a sign
He would write the words
I love you on it and hold it way up high.

If I had a cardboard box
I'd find myself some glue.
I'd make a giant castle
And never invite you.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He'd turn it into gold.
Build you a shiny castle
And make your shack a memory of old.

If I had a cardboard box
I'd trade it in for money
I wouldn't help anyone
I'd spend it all on honey.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He'd make a travelling stand
He'd use it for everyone
To give a helping hand.

If I had a cardboard box
I'd pretend it was a picnic basket
I'd feast on mountains every day
but wouldn't let you have it.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He'd make it so very sweet
He'd feed the ten's of thousands
To make sure they all had food to eat.

If I had a cardboard box
I would not use it for good
I would spoil it's value
and use it for what I never should.

If Jesus had a cardboard box
He would treasure what's inside
He would never let it's value
Find a place to hide.

If I had a cardboard box
I should not use it for me
I would take my little box
and make it what Jesus wants it to be.

A Moment of Thanks

When I first started writing this blog in '08 it was purely to appease my husband. He is so wrapped up in reading blogs, Twitter and Facebook. I enjoy these avenues of expression but would live a pretty happy existence without them. I think my husband enjoys them because he is able to see into others thoughts and mind sets. It helps him understand people a little better and it's a great way to learn. This only comes from the people who use it for communicating of course and not just for creating drama. I don't fault my husband for his love because I understand his obsession. There are so many people in this world I would love to capture and lock away and get inside their heads. My approach to this needs some work but all in all my point is I enjoy finding out what makes people tick.

I just babbled for a paragraph to make this point. If it wasn't for my husband I wouldn't be doing this. That isn't me confessing I don't enjoy writing because if you know me well enough you understand that I am forever journaling and in a deep conversation I need to walk away pondering, scribble on a scrap piece of paper and come back to tell you my thoughts, feelings and expressions. I get this honestly, I wont tell you from where but it's in my blood.

I never expected that this little blog of mine would be read by anyone other than my husband but now that it is expanding to family members, friends and people who stumble across it I am excited. I appreciate the time that my readers have sacrificed to see what I am feeling, thinking or living in this moment of life. SO thank you for taking time to read... You inspire me to write and use the gift God gave me.

LJ

Friday, March 26, 2010

True Living

Today I was asked to be artistic. Fortunately for me and the inquiring party I am. At the core of my being I am a song writer, a singer, a painter, a photographer, a cook, a baker and a poet. I appreciate art and understand that I have the ability to be a word smith.

Today I got to use my talent. I was able to create a picture in my mind. I could see the film scrolling by as I heard the music play. I know that I have the ability to make this vision become a reality.

Today I am refreshed. Someone asked for me to be myself. They recognized my abilities and saw an opportunity for me to use them.

Today I honoured God.

The importance of being true to one's self has more than earthly significance. Living in truth to who we were created to be not only enables life to move forward but allows God's plan to be acted upon.

LJ

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

Last night my husband and I had to be out of the house. This is a rare occasion. It was for nothing special but the fact that my husband and I went somewhere together without our child is miraculous. Usually my husband (who's name I don't like to use in my posts. Right now he's a character and someday he will get a formal intro... stay tuned! ) is working and I am at home or vice versa and if we do venture out we have our Ti-man with us... our life exists as a family.

We went, we came back. We picked up our son from a great evening with his awesome Uncle B-Rad and took him home. I think the highlight moment of my husband's parental career happened. Our little guy, sound asleep, cuddled in so deep and just wouldn't break the cuddle. It was cute to watch.

I am not a cuddly person. I enjoy my moments, but normally I feel like shouting, "let me go I am suffocating". My husband could live life cuddled. If we all lived out our days in a cuddled heap he would be alright. He would need those moments to break away from the group and catch his breath but he would come back. So for a significant period of time our son cuddled with his dad. A priceless moment, Master card commercial worthy. My husband was on a high. These things don't happen often for him. I guess it's a lack of time he has to spend with our son, not his fault, but I experience the hugs and kisses from Ti-J more than he does, so to see him get caught up in that embrace was nice. It makes me thankful I can give my son his father.

I am thankful for lots of things but something I am truly thankful for is that someone on this earth was intelligent enough to invent the technology of the PVR. Now all the things the PVR does is unknown to me. My understanding is this:
I can go away and come back and watch something that was on TV while I was away. The beauty of this is I can fast forward through the commercials. It's like a modern day VCR that is hooked up to my satellite receiver so I can pause TV. However it works it's amazing.

SO regardless of being out last night I still got to experience ANTM Cycle 14. Last night Ren went home. Was anyone shocked about this? The girl who moaned about the drama in the house and how she just wanted to go home. She wasn't bringing anything to her shoots and I think through this experience she realized that she needed to be honest in her life and confront those things that make her unhappy and find a way to reconcile with her mother. Hopefully things work out for her.

Next week, Brenda's gone. And I am sorry but WHAT was Alasia wearing? Better yet, did Tyra forget to put on her clothes or was the full body spanks the outfit? There were so many things that happened this week that I just didn't understand. I think I might have been a bit disappointed with this weeks episode but I realized that in the end it brought my husband and I together. We watched, we bantered and in the end we spent a whole evening together, like adults do. I enjoy those moments.

The stage of life I am in right now is one huge lesson. I am learning that if every moment of my life was consumed by my husband and child I wouldn't appreciate who they are. I wouldn't see those things that make them stand out and define them as the individuals they are. Quantity of time is great - sometimes in life, but right now I am learning to be content with quality.

One of the most beautiful moments I had this week happened this morning. It was about 2 minutes long but started my day on a high. My husband and I got ready for work, dropped our son off at Nan's house and drove to town together. This is a pretty standard occurrence and some days the only time we see each other during the day. After we parked the car and were about to seperate for the day I decided to get a coffee. The next two minutes of walking with my husband and chatting was nice. It's the little things in life that make the biggest impact. Thanks dear husband for taking the time to walk across the parking lot with me.

LJ

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear __________.

There is this person I know
Their life has been so heavy
All the things they have endured no one ever should.

Life seems unfair to them
Their hurt has been so great
But as the pages turn for them redemption lingers near.

Maybe it's unknown to them
But their strength is to be coveted
The burdens they have handled are far more than a lifetime.

As pain courses through them
Their heart a broken mosaic
Alone in a sterile place wishing someone else was there.

I can not be that someone
Truly that rite is not mine
But deep within my soul I break down and cry.

I wish my prayers meant freedom
I pray my wish to be true
Right now I send my God to hold on to you.

Your friend
Leah

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Self image, the number one killer these days. I don't know that this is a stat but I am standing by it. Maybe it doesn't physically kill but it kills emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Everyday another person falls to their death bed because they feel they don't meet the standard.

This is a topic I don't do well with. I am not an expert. This musing is me preaching to the choir. Endlessly I am verbalizing my dislike for my body, my face, my skin, my feet, my voice, my hairiness as if I am the only piece of imperfection that graces this earth. It's horrible that somewhere along the line I went from being a little girl who revelled in life and appearance was the last thing on my mind to someone who can't leave the house unless her clothes are perfect or her hair is just so. Where did we go wrong?

It is nothing to walk down the street and see people, men and women who have fallen into the lie that they are ugly and worthless. Because in our society beauty is currency, so obviously if you are ugly your life holds no value. Wait, that is wrong, sex is currency and there is nothing beautiful about that. How do we let these people validate themselves based on brand names and dye jobs? When did we become so fake that we tell people who clearly are dying inside that they look great even though they have this incredibly fake exterior that disables us to identify their skin colour. When did we become so fake that our ability to reach out in love, to help someone embrace their individual uniqueness passed us by and we created this unrealistic cookie cutter image that if not obtained makes your whole life void.

I'm not saying their is anything wrong with sporting brand names,or having that sun kissed look on your cheeks. There is no fault in looking presentable and we can't go so far the other way that we don't care how we present ourselves, because image does play into self esteem, but there is a limit. There are people sacrificing their futures because they aren't skinny enough, tanned enough, tall enough, short enough. This image isn't attainable. The people who "have" attained this look haven't really. They have perfect six packs and amped up breasts thanks to surgeons and computer editing. Nothing about them is physically real.

It's sad to see people define themselves by this image. It becomes a drug, a sickness. They become extremists and at some point extremists die. They are called terrorists and they are terrorizing themselves internally and their fake exterior is the result we see.

I'm not condemning. Like I said before I have a wish list of improvements to make, but at what cost? I don't think I am willing to loose my self so that I can have triple E breasts and perfectly cut abs.

God help them...

My Weekend & The Invention of Lying

Yesterday was my day off. It happens every week. I work Tuesday through Saturday and then my "weekend" comes. Sunday is never restful. Running to church and being out for the day is never relaxing, not that I don't enjoy it, it's just with a 1 year old it becomes a little more of a chore making sure he has things to occupy his time, food to munch on, clean diapers and butt wipes, enough drive time to get a nap in and extra clothes just in case. So this weekend my Sunday passed by quickly. We had a great day. We spent our afternoon re-connecting with a dear friend who has been detached from our lives and us from hers. Rewarding, but man I was ready for bed that night.

I awoke and it was Monday and I felt more than exhausted. My little guy is cutting teeth and if you are a parent you understand what that statement means. Lots of crying, anything accessible gets chewed on, now he bites, pain killers are his best friends and who am I trying to kid mine too. My sweet angel boy turns into little grump-a-lou!

After a long night of very light sleep and a ruckus morning of no nap-time for Ti-James, I was finished with him. My gracious, loving husband decided he would step in and take my little monster away for a while. I was so grateful. This meant many things for me. One I didn't have to attend the doctor's appointment for my son, I could lay down and do absolutely nothing and if I fell asleep it didn't matter my child was not going to get electrocuted or pull large objects over onto himself. The thought of alone time is truly a peaceful one.

As a mom I am starting to learn that quiet time, alone time, whatever your label is for it is a wonderful thought but in reality it is the most confusing moment in my life. When I am separated from my child (work excluded) I am lost. For me anyways, I sit there thinking of all these grand things I could do. I could paint the entrance way, I could catch up on laundry, I could shower alone, I could nap, I could vacuum, I could read or watch that show that I just don't feel right watching in front of my one year old. I could pluck my eyebrows, I could draw, I could play the piano, I could go for a walk. I find myself circling the house uncertain of what to do. Pulled from one activity to the other. I guess in my mind I want to make sure I do that one thing that has been calling out for me to do and I want to maximize my time with that activity and make sure that I put everything I have in into those few sacred moments when it's just me and the tweezers. After a few moments of brain fog, I decided. I walked out to my very out of tune piano, and I began to play. I played as loud as I could. I sang at the top of my lungs. It was glorious. Then I caved. I stood up, walked back to the couch and laid down.

I guess destiny overruled in that moment. I spent my afternoon watching re-runs of television shows that I have no rite knowing exist. Maude, All in the Family and then I decided I would catch Ellen because she's funny. Then all of the sudden I saw a black SUV roll down the lane way and my "me" time was over.

That sounds like a sad moment but I assure you it wasn't. My little guy went to bed last night at 5pm. Wonderful! For the first time in I don't even know how long my husband and I had an evening, just the two of us. It was lovely. We watched the movie "The Invention of Lying". I liked it. He didn't so much. I liked the idea of a world where only truth could be spoken and lies couldn't even be described because the idea of untruth was inconceivable. It seemed so pure. Everyone was so innocent, childlike. When lies were introduced to the world everyone was so open and accepting of the lies because they believed only in truth. It wasn't that concept that broke me. It wasn't even the movie that got to me. There was one scene that made me weep like a baby.

Jennifer Garner's character meets a little boy in the park. His name is Ryan and he is eating ice cream. A group of boys come up to him and call him big fat Ryan. Anna, Garner's character walks up to the little boy and addresses him asking him who he is, and his response is big fat Ryan. She smiles and looks into his eyes and responds with, No you are Ryan with the nice smile. I cried!!!!!!! I guess because I have been Ryan and there are far too few Anna's in this world. Not only that, all I could think of was my little guy asleep in his bed upstairs. I pray he is never Ryan or the mean boys, I pray he is always Anna and in those moments when he is Ryan I can be his Anna.

My evening after that was full of tears. I just couldn't stop. Motherhood is hard. It's not romantic, it isn't full of lolly-pops and long walks through the park. Don't get me wrong, I love it and those moments exist but they are tangled and weaved through a mess of heartache, hard decisions, uncertainty, self control, acceptance, breaking points, talking yourself down and tears. I have this boy who is mine and no matter how hard and long I look around for this kids parents to show up and relieve me, reality says his parents are there with him and that child's mom is me. This little being who struggles through teething is going to struggle so many more times in life. He is always going to be faced with decisions and heartache and all I can do is loose sleep, cuddle him, correct him, be there for him and make sure he knows that he isn't James whatever the world labels him, he is James the boy with the nice smile.

Those "me" moments are amazing. I get pulled in different directions and confused about what should consume that time but what I learned yesterday is that those moments should be filled with whatever I want them to be. I need to take that time for me, so that when I am ready to embrace my son and my husband again I am fresh and new, so that when they need me to look them in the eye and say, "No you're James with the nice smile" I am ready.

A moment to rave about my husband please. While I cried and thought about these things my husband made me a lovely supper. We ate it together and I didn't have to mush bananas and try to get my little guy to consume meat, I got to be me. I enjoyed my meal, some dutch fridge cleaning dish I think he said... and I got to just be... and of course we watched Hiccups... and laughed!

All that said I think I had a great weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For the Love of Good Cookies


A few minutes ago I had coffee break. I went for a brisk little walk up to the Door Next Door Cafe in our town and ordered a coffee. While waiting for my coffee to be poured I eyed a lovely little sign that said

Werther's Cookies $1.00

I caved. I purchased one. I walked back to my store, sat down and devoured the delicious treat.
Cookie dough and Werther's Candies are sent to us from above. This little tasty treat added some cheer to my day.

Next time you see a candy think of all it's possibilities.

Love, Football & ANTM

Last night my husband expressed to me his true, intimate love. It was special. He was able to reach in and touch my soul. One of those moments that after it happens you have to journal about it in case you never experience that type of emotion again. There was some build up to this expression. It didn't just happen. Let me explain.

The other night at dinner I asked my husband if we could pick a TV program and watch it as an interactive show that we could talk about and critique while watching. This idea came after chatting with a friend who told me that their family does this. He agreed and thought this was a great idea.

Normally our interactive television experience happens while watching football. My husband cheers, tells me whats happening, yells something at the players or the refs and I sit there asking questions trying to sound somewhat intelligent. Every so often my husband shouts out, "I could be the coach and call the plays." I agree with him but this may be shocking news, I don't know much about football. I am making an honest effort at trying to learn. So far I have concluded the following things about the game:

1. They line up, the run, they fall down, they do it again.
2. Tight pants are good.
3. I like Matt Hassellbeck
4. The Saints won the Superbowl this year.
5. Tom Brady is beautiful.
6. There is not enough hand sanitizer in the world to make the Steelers OK in our household.
7. Walter Payton is the best. We named our dog after him.
8. GO Bears GO!
9. The stripy helmets are cool.
10. Tony Dungy is a great coach.
11. Omar Epps coaches the Steelers. :)
12. The Seahawk's colours are pretty.
13. I know that Peyton Manning is the quarterback for the Colts, but I must confess I like Eli better.
14. Brett Favre thinks that once the season ends you retire and then you come out of retirement the following season.
15. Touchdown!

After compiling that list I pat myself on the back. What a huge effort I have made as a wife. I have poured myself into a game I don't get because my husband lives, breathes & coaches football.

Maybe it's just the woman in me but I expected that he could reciprocate. Since it's the off season for football, I chose a different kind of show for us to watch together.

I am an avid fan of America's Next Top Model. I haven't missed a show since Cycle 7 or 8. It was probably Cycle 11 or 12 when my husband began to watch. He always starts the season by declaring he isn't interested in the show but by episode 3 or 4 he his hooked. It's like watching modelling as a sport. He is calling who is getting eliminated, and who's photo shoot was good and who's wasn't. He critiques their walks and looks. How they present their faces. It's really fun to watch.

Last night was episode 2 of Cycle 14. I had tunned in last week to see the season premiere and I found that none of the girls really stood out to me but I discovered some interesting characters whom I had to watch this season. So after dinner we curled up on the couch and turned on ANTM. About 5 minutes in my husband declares that he isn't into this season. He doesn't like any of the girls, and starts flipping through the guide. At this point I am frustrated. This is my show and he is going to watch it. This is interactive TV time! In my snippy little tone I tell him we are going to watch it. So we sit there, and take it in. All of the sudden it happens. Jim starts to talk. "I don't like her." "She doesn't have a good look." "Is that the plus size girl?" My heart flutters... it's happening! Break through!

We continue to watch and then the most glorious moment in television history happens. It's runway time. The girls get dressed in their Rachel Roy outfits and it's time. The fashion show begins. Now this wasn't just your average fashion show. This, for most of the girls was the first time they had ever walked the runway. Not only were they walking the runway for the first time they were also faced with the challenge of swinging pendulums. As they strutted their fierce-selves down the runway they had to avoid being hit or running into the massive swinging pendulum. Deep down I desired for someone to be hit by the pendulum. I really just wanted one of the girls to get clocked by it and flung off the runway. (That's the deep angry side that lives in the repressed corridor of my soul...) I expressed this will, put it out to the universe and the most magical thing happened. The plus size model, Alexandra, appeared at the top of the stairs. She descended towards the runway and the magic happened. She wipes out! Falls down the stairs. Oh the hilarity. Jim and I burst into laughter. Alexandra jumps to her feet and carries on. Honourable. I would have melted in that moment and eliminated myself from the competition but not her. Next she hits the runway. She escapes the wrath of the first pendulum just by the skin of her curvy figure. The next pendulum has no effect. Her face is like hardened plastic, her eyes bulging with anger and humiliation. She poses, she turns, and then it happens. WHAM! The pendulum grasps her buttocks and flings her off the runway. She falls... she screams. It's beautiful! She climbs back onto the runway and marches away. Ripping the Rachel Roy gown.

At that very moment Jim and I burst into hysterics. The universe delivered. It was beautiful. And in that moment I realized all my hard work, and patience watching football paid off. My husband was into MY sport, and in that moment he touched my soul. He reached deep down and without a word spoke to the inner most part of my being and whispered, "This is forever." Looking into his eyes my heart spoke back to his saying, "True Love". So intimate, so raw. It was a beautiful expression that I will cherish forever.

LJ

Some other shows we enjoy watching:
*Hiccups
*Cake Boss
*Ellen
*Family Guy
*Canada in the Rough (it's a hunting show)
Disclaimer: These shows do not have the same effect on us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sweet Heavenly Moments

This past week has been one of great changes. It seems that over night my small helpless infant has grown into a strong willed, independent little boy. I realize that overnight is a stretch of the imagination but it doesn't seem possible that a year has passed.

To celebrate his first year of life (or maybe it was the celebration of his parents getting him to that point, we all know about Walter) we had a gigantic party for the little man. The seems of our home were busting and yet we crammed a few more people in the mix. 51 people gathered to celebrate James. As a mom it is touching to know that 51 people care about your child. I know there are more but to have it physically displayed is touching.

So, one year has passed and my glob of gooey cartilage and helplessness is grown. I kid you not, over night he decided he was going to walk. He became more affectionate, more content with himself, interested in playing with big toys like trucks and tractors and I love it!!

Last night after a fairly long day at work, completely at the end of my rope, ready to go to sleep I was manning the house and the child on my own. Secretly I longed for my little guy to want to go to bed so I could lay in a state of unconsciousness while watching shows about over populated homes and mediocre talent striving for stardom, but of course he didn't. As the night played out he tired and became grumpy, and then it happened. My little boy fell down and hit his head.

I am not saying this was the highlight of my evening but normally in these situations he screams and pulls away. He desires no comfort from his parents, but not last night. I picked up my screaming boy expecting to be pushed away and unexpectedly he curled up under my chin and wrapped his little chubby arms around me. It had finally happened, my boy was able to show his love for me.

This moment took me back to the first time I held Ti-James. He was just born and he curled up on my chest and cuddled in. I loved those moments. I miss those moments. For a few months they were gone but they have returned. There is something so special about your child clinging to you. It's sweet and heavenly.

All the stress and frustration from my day washed away in that moment. Nothing else mattered except for this little boy I was embracing. I sat perfectly still afraid that the moment would end. For 15 minutes my son and I cuddled and I loved it and knew that this day would be ingrained in my heart forever.