Friday, December 31, 2010

What's Your View?

Brought to you by open doors.

I remember many New Year's Eve celebrations at my Mom and Pops.  My parents would head out for some party at some place with some group of couples and we would tuck in for the night at my grandparents.  I know there were warm tortillas filled with butter.  There was certainly neapolitan ice cream with the choice of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate since my grandmother wanted to make sure everyone was always pleased.  I'm sure there was a soft spot on a cool couch in a decked out basement of a huge home. 

The last night of the year wasn't about big memories or big moments or big realizations.  It was a small, silly, little celebration with some shouting and then some yawning and some rushing to bed at five after the hour.

But now, I'm grown up.  And the day is The Day.  And the night is The Night.  And the end of the year is The End of The Year.  And it's as simple as it is complicated.  I've learned things.  I've matured.  I've blown it some.  And then I've had some really big successes. 

I thought of listing a bunch of things I learned but you could browse through my blog any darn day and see a year's worth.  Today, what sums up This Today is that my view is the tree not the bus.

You see the bus ride.  I see the tree when the bus door opens.
You see a flat tire.  I see the stranger that stops to help.
You see me without a car.  I see living without debt and within my means and great adventures and bus rides and rental cars and new car smell and learning how to find the windshield wipers and Snarky Brother laughing at me when I don't know how to open yet another gas tank.
You see McDonalds.  I see a conversation with Ruth who desperately needs someone to listen to her stories.  Oh, and their Diet Coke is SO good. 
You see epilepsy.  I see firecrackers.  Uh, literally. And chance, and living like there's no tomorrow because there might not be.
You see my fabulous hair.  Well, it's just fabulous. 
You see no electricity.  I see a symphony of quiet.
You see a broken heart.  I see love peeking around the corner daring me to come out to play.

Sure, there are also parties and shopping and dates and kisses and lots of exciting things but my concern is, my thought is...are you seeing the bus or the trees in your life?  Are you taking the time to notice The Pretty?

Dear friend.  2011 is sitting right in your pretty little hands.  What's your view?

Much love to you at 9something on the last day of 2010. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stories from Skid Row: The Christmas Story

Brought to you by Stories from Skid Row and a precious, little animated girl.
Can I be honest? Uh, when have I ever not been.

God tends to lay thoughts on my heart first thing upon waking each morning. Today was no exception. I heard and felt, "GIVE." It wasn't audible, no but it was heavy and clear and I knew more than I knew anything else today that giving was something I needed to do.

Being the me that I am, I didn't pick up my mail again and had to run to the post office to go get a stack THIS BIG. Thankfully, the lady at the post office handed it to me without judgement for my continued neglect of all things organization. I ran through letter after letter and ad after ad and catalogue after catalogue and came across a huge bill that I was not expecting.  THIS HUGE.

Kick in the gut. Especially during the holidays. Especially when you're in the middle of spending money on book marketing things of the book marketing sort.

I sat at the post office and wept. And not only wept but said to God, "I'm just about done. I've had it. I'm done."  How do you give when you have no money to give? 

And then, I saw this video. There's this sweet little girl with her long hair that makes me cry just thinking about how much she reminds me of me when I was her age. No, I didn't have the long locks til later in life but we share the same animation for all things Jesus and nativity sets. Wait til you see her throw gold and spray perfume. Your heart will melt.

She may not have a bill to pay. Her needs are much greater. She needs shelter and food and warm blankets and the love of people that say, "You matter!" Suddenly, this bill seems terribly insignificant.

Many, many of you have been hit hard with these financial times. And you're paying things and altering your life to live within your means instead of outside your means and I am walking right along side you. I know sometimes it is not easy. Today though. Simply today, remember it's much, much easier than this sweet little girl has it.

And yet in the midst she rejoices in a nativity scene and a promise.

Much love to you as we continue to learn from the very young and very wise,
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