Slow Dancin and the #18th Grateful thing

Okay, so I admit it.  I stink at posting my official list for the 30 consecutive days of Gratitude.  I will do a run down maybe at the end, but the fact is, I have a list, It is a great one, and it has kept me grounded and finding things to be thankful for in the midst of some times this month when I’ve found that a bit of a challenge.

That said… I’ll move right along to today.  As I looked back over today, the moment that stood out in my mind was one that my whole being began to cling to the second my body relaxed into living IN the moment, not two beats ahead and one pace behind, doubling back to see how I could have played that hand differently.

I was standing in the kitchen and a low, slow beat, jazzy and swanky began to drift in.  The raspy voice of the gal was calling out to her lover boy, and I turned to seek mine.  In he drifted as if called.  I moved to him in a single step and he held out his arms to me.  In a move only accomplished with the ease of 18 years of knowing someone can bring, our bodies matched each move and step as the music ebbed and flowed.  We did no fancy steps, nor moved with matchless grace.  But our hearts clung to one another and we let ourselves slip away.

This sits in my Living room, a tribute of our moments together when the world is held at bay when we are held in each other’s embrace. (Sculpture by WillowTree)

Each passing second took us farther and farther from our world.  Closing my eyes, I lay my head on my husband’s chest.  His heartbeat steadily kept time with a rhythm we had set our feet to.  He had my left hand tucked into his, held tightly to his chest.  My right was caught in his hair, trailing down slowly across his broad shoulder and back again.  The kitchen was gone, the kids were outside, the worries slipped away, and all that was left was us… standing in the sunlight, the slow jazz flowing like a ribbon that tied us up together.

We needed this.  I cant tell you how much we needed this.  So much so that each time we broke away to begin moving towards things we needed to do, we found our way back to each other and into another embrace and another song.  We danced till our hearts were ready to tackle life again.

Today, on the 18th day of November, I am grateful to have a man I have been with for nearly half my life, and nearly all of my adulthood, to call my best friend.

Having met him at age 20, I can honestly say, not much of my life was all that adult BEFORE age 20.  I guess I wasn’t really all that adult till well after we were married at 22 and had our first child at 25.  Maybe I got to feeling a bit “adultish” in my 30’s.  Now that they are winding down in numbers, I guess I cant deny I am an adult anymore.  My kids are now moving into teen-hood and so I cant pretend I’m a young girl just out of college anymore.  Not with any sense of realistic sanity.

So babe… thanks for slow dancing with me, in the kitchen, and for letting the world slip away from us for a moment.  I love escaping into your arms.  It’s my favorite place in the world to be.  It always will be.  I love you.  ❤


Day #12 – A “Getting through the day” kinda Gratitude

Tonight has been chaotic and stressful.  There’s been stomping, screaming, slammed doors and tears, (and that’s just from me.)  Kidding, kidding!  Oh how I wanted to though!  But the sounds in my house are probably typical of any house with teens or kids running through them who don’t always see eye to eye with their parents.  I’ll admit to it, and not try to paint you rosy pictures. I’ll not lie. Life isn’t ALWAYS rosy.

As I stood in my kitchen leaning against my sink full of dishes yet undone, I let my head fall into my hands.  I wanted to just let myself give into the feelings that were so expressively voiced by my daughter just moments ago, that of helplessness and more than a twinge of hopelessness.  I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into when I gave birth to that precious girl nearly 14 years ago.  But I can say this, I’ll fight for her for the rest of my life – come hell or high water.  And I mean that down to the very core of my being.  She’s amazing, even if she doesn’t know it yet!

Lately, there has been a whole lot of fighting going on.  Fighting FOR her and with her.  She has needs and struggles that are hard for both of us, and truthfully I never imagined it was so hard to be a mom when I was dreaming of babies and nursery sets 14 years ago.  Not all is unexpected except in my own mind, however, as much of it is your typical mother-daughter stuff.  What I am finding the longer I am a mother is that MY mom was one BRILLIANT woman!  If only I was as smart tonight as it feels like she must have been when I was a teen…

My dishes?  They would wait…  I sensed they wouldn’t go anywhere without me.

Looking up through the ceiling I wove my way up to heaven and peeked in on God.  I sat down on my worn dinette chair and whispered, “How many times have I come to YOU, God, ranting and raving, yelling at you with my fears and my self assured failures that’s left you holding your head in your hands?  How much more must it hurt to be YOU and see us giving ourselves over to doubt, failure, and insecurity so quickly… all because it got really really hard one day.”   I wondered to myself if I looked at all like my tear stained teen had, standing shaky and lost before me just moments ago.

I imagined God came and sat in my kitchen with me.  I imagined it not because it seemed interesting to imagine.  I did it because it seemed incredibly insane.  WHY would the God of the Universe want to sit in MY kitchen, on a Mad Monday night, with my sink of dirty dishes piled up and my tears brimming over?  Why?  Because like my best friend, (who unexpectedly showed up out of the blue, popped in, hugged the heck out of me when I really needed it, then popped back out…) He just cares THAT much.

He wants to hear ALL of it.  Even the crappy part of it that makes us cringe. He really wants us to take the time to tell Him.  Not just the pretty moments that may seem we have our act all together.  He knows the truth anyway.

As we come upon Thanksgiving, everyone has things to be thankful for.  Some of us have sweet and beautiful pictures to paint with our thanksgiving lists, and some of us may just be thankful for another day with food and a roof over our heads.  The thing about God is that if you are just willing to sit in your kitchen, dirty dishes and all, and come to him and say, “Thanks for getting me through this day today,” God is blessed by your gratitude.  Be thankful for the little things.  Those are the things that make up daily life. Living grateful daily will allow Him to lead you to the bigger blessings along the way.

Today, for me, it’s for God meeting me in a kitchen full of dirty dishes after a chaotic day and telling me He still believes in me.  He still believes in you, too.  I know because He told me so.

Day 6 of Gratitude + “Where’s my sticker?”

Day #6 of Gratitude:  The freedom to vote as a woman and citizen both. No matter the outcome, having a personal choice and voice without fear is something not to take lightly.

Truly – the right to a vote is huge.  So many places in this world I would be voiceless.  Not just the little things I take for granted, like being heard in my own home, even on my sassy days, but in public and governmental ways in which the very fabric of our leaders is chosen.  In no way do I romanticize this.  In fact, sadly, I honestly looked at the choices for President and asked myself, THESE are the two best and brightest America has to offer us in 2012?  Really?  I wont go there – because I don’t do politics in blogs or on FB…  but I know of some amazing individuals out there I would love to see in the White House.  But anyway – it’s neither here nor there.  The vote is cast!

God will be God, no matter what MAN is chosen to live and work in the Oval office.  God is bigger than it all, and HE is still in charge last I heard.

Thanks to my friend Dori I just discovered that you can get STICKERS! when you vote – stating “I voted”. (sorta the adult equivalent of the “I went on the potty” sticker that would come home on our preschooler.) Why do I feel somehow unjustly jipped? Where’s my sticker? Huh?  I THOUGHT all votes were created equal!  Boy was I wrong 🙂

But don’t worry if you TOO got jipped!  Here’s a link to make your frown turn upside down…

I really DO post them!

Alright – Let’s get one thing straight… If a person REMEMBERS posting something, and they HAVE posted it SOMEWHERE – it SHOULD count in the “points gained” towards an end result.  Really it should.

This isn’t a “Going to do it better” blog – like as in a January rundown of all the things I am going to attempt to challenge myself to, till I forget I did a few days later…  No, this is a Thankful and Grateful for listing kinda post.

So – I am going to give them to you “as they appeared in POSTING” to the place I admit I do lurk via my phone or iPad a “few” times a day.  Don’t judge me.  I don’t get out much!  🙂

Day #3 of Gratitude… Quiet Saturdays with my family. I had “productive” plans for the day, then promptly abandon them in favor of snuggles and family downtime.  I felt torn and pressured till I realized it was all self imposed. Then I relaxed and settled in peacefully. Like a hippy would high five me for, if you can, always choose love and it’s peace.

The love of my life. So blessed. Day #4 of Gratitude Is for 16 years married to this guy and today (November 4th) makes 18 years since our first date. It’s been a wild ride but one worth climbing aboard for 🙂 Love ya Bear!
Photo: The love of my life.  So blessed. Day 4 of gratitude Is for 16 years married to this guy and today makes 18 years since our first date. It's been a wild ride but one worth climbing aboard for :-) Love ya Bear!
Day 5 of Gratitude – for simple things like the feel of a cozy blanket on my skin paired with a steamy hot mug of frothy cocoa with melty marshmallows on top, warming up my fingers. It really doesn’t take much to make me smile and be happy. Coziness and Cocoa. (and curls of real chocolate shaved on top thanks to friend’s powerful suggestion) ♥ That’s all. Mmmmmmmm…

Day 2 of “30 Days of Gratitude”

Day #2 – Grateful for the good days – I have so many of them now I’ve stopped counting good vs bad! What God can do with just a handful of months is amazing. I’ll never take health for granted. Ever.

That was today’s FB’s status update.  It’s never been so easy for me to say so much in such a few number of words.  But truly – my good days are so far ahead of my bad ones that I’m almost at a loss for words, and I am almost afraid to claim it yet as real.  But when God is blessing your socks off, I think it best to error on the side of gratitude and recognition vs denial and refusal to believe He has chosen to do good things.  That is no way to choose to live.  Ever.

So will my good days continue to be so prevalent?  I dont know… but I am going to bask in the glow of the healthy days where migraines do not prevail and over run my daily life… and my smile has more reasons to peak out of it’s slumbered hiding than not.

Thanks God, for helping me to find the right medicine combinations, doctors, and supportive family who’ve spoken with wisdom into my life and helped me reach this wonderful healing place.  You heard my wailing and turned my sorrow into dancing!

Psalm 30:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.


Day 1 of “30 Days of Gratitude”

Day #1 has to be for a working furnace. (Note it’s the date – NOT order of gratitude!) See, Nov 1st in the Campbell house means the furnace gets turned on for the first time.  I guess I am goofy, cheap in penny pinching with the gas money, or tied to some crazy idea each year that in Indiana, you can wait till after October is over to turn on the heat.  Knowing many dont have heat or cant afford it – I’m reminded how precious just flipping a switch is.

We almost made it an extra unplanned day, as I forgot it was November 1st until I remembered it was my Nephew’s birthday and that I should call (which I failed to do as well)  He’s just turned two today, so that fact keeps me hoping he will forgive me and not need therapy for any ongoing issues of auntie Christi neglect.

Emory Howard – 2 months old

Hey – That’s a BONUS thankful gratitude thingy!  My darling nephew Emory Howard is a crazy whole two years old!  It’s nuts to think of because he was just born – no, I swear it!  I have the picture to prove it – and I dont look a day older so I KNOW there’s no way he’s two years old!!

Happy Birthday Emory !