Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As I sit here on this beautiful Christmas eve, I think of all that I have been given throughout my years.  Outside as a cold, crisp, white snow builds upon my grass, my heart is warmed by the love that has been given unconditionally by so many of those around me.  Inside, it is warm and cozy as I hear Santa coming through the house, and I remember those that are alone and shivering on this Christmas Eve.  I type while a variety of emotions swirl through my heart. 

I think of my sweet children dreaming in their beds.  I long for the feelings I had as a child anticipating the miracle of a Christmas morning.  I wish for the love that I felt with family tonight for all those in the world that have a hole in their heart.  I pray for health and happiness for all of my family, friends and loved ones across this city, state, and country.  I rejoice for the God that gave up His Son for me and my house; and as a small amount of repayment for a gift that can't be repaid, we WILL serve the Lord. 

Merry Christmas to all of you!  I pray that your day will be blessed with love and kindness.

As I crawl into my bed, these words will chorus through my head...

O Holy Night~
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We have a friend...

The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings. ~Buddha

The Committee and I have a friend that is down and out.  He's near and dear to our heart.  He was in our wedding...he stood up for us on one very important day and said he believed in us.  He's one of us, whether he likes it or not. 

Anyway, he's had a rough month.  Repeatedly, things haven't gone his way.  He's given up half of his heart this December, and then just this week his whole house was ransacked.  It's been bad.

He needed a friend.  We needed to be a friend.  He needed to feel loved.  We needed to love.  And most of all, we needed to set the example for our boys that the Curlee Hairs love through thick and thin.  We needed to show them that in times of need, we are called to be stronger than the sick, sad feeling that others have in their life.  We want them to grow into men that step up and put out a hand to let those around us know that we will give until we can't give anymore.  It's what we do.  It's what God asks us to do.  It's what is expected.  It's what we did this last Friday.

We can't make everything right for this dear friend, but we can hope that things will turn around.  We can pray that he knows that we are here for him.  We can love him no matter what.  It's what we do.

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. ~Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, December 17, 2010


You know what they say happens when we make assumptions?  You know we make fools out of you and me.  How quickly we find this to be true the minute we jump out there with a generalized thought.  We all do it everyday.  We are positive something should be one way, when in fact, there is a 50/50 chance it will be another way.

Just imagine, a new mother walking down the street with a young child.  We all assume her life is one way, full of hope and joy, when in fact, it could be totally different.  We are not sure what is going on with her.  Or the woman that has just found out that she is expecting.  Oh, how quickly we assume that she needs to know every tidbit of advice that quickly flows off of our tongue.  Why can't we stop assuming about ourselves or others?

I always assumed that as a mother, things would fall into plan naturally.  Ha!! What happens to our soul when we assume our life should be one way, and we just don't seem to get there on our own??  We instantly become deflated.  We hang our head and our heart soon will drop too.  We begin to feel as though we can't get it all done...we aren't functioning like we assume everyone else is out there...we run ourselves around and around until we can't tell where we stop and where we begin. 

Each day, I have to remind myself that this month isn't about packing in all of the activities or buying as many gifts as possible.  We assume that December is supposed to be about Christmas...the Christmas that Black Friday or cyber-Monday has inspired.  How foolish we are to assume this. 

Christmas is a necessity. 
There has to be at least one day of the year
to remind us that we're here for
 something else besides ourselves.  ~Eric Sevareid

I keep telling myself that this month is about a baby born in a stable.  It's about a bright star that drew three wise men to the miracle being born.  It is about a mother not sure why she was chosen to be given a blessing.  It is about a father trusting that there was a God bigger than him with a better plan than his own.  They were following a faith that would endure.  I'm sure they weren't assuming that their faithful journey would be easy.  In fact, this young family's journey had just begun , and it would prove to be painful all along the way.  This is a month that is not about me and my plans.  It is about more than me, more than my family, more than my Christmas list.  It's about assuming the best, but realizing that assumptions don't always hold true.

{I love that this song helps me to imagine what this night was like for Mary}

Even though there are twinkling lights on every street corner, trees beautifully dressed with presents underneath, and kitchens filled with glorious smells, there are still people that are hurting and missing out on the miracle of Christmas.  Let's all reach out a hand to share our faithful journey, that is not always easy, with one another.   Never underestimate the difference your touch, your note, your vote, your voice, your call, your email, your influence, your listening ear, your giving, or your acts of service can make in the life of someone who is overcome with life’s mess and pain.  This year I pray I can rejoice and make this Christmas about the gift of a baby born to us in an unassuming stable rather than the latest shiny thing on my wish list.

Isaiah 9:6-7"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This past weekend, my mom, my three oldest boys, and I went to Memphis for some fun!  We were able to visit with grandparents, old friends, and walk down memory lane.  It was a wonderful break from our everyday life here in middle Tennessee.  I loved it!

But, let me tell you what I did not love.  We left Memphis at 1:45 pm on Sunday afternoon.  We knew that we might pass through some snow.  But, we had no idea what was waiting ahead for us.  We were about 2 hours into a normal 3 hour trip to Nashville when cars started to move at a snail's pace.   We were certain that things would move along shortly.  The snow was really starting to build up.  We were initially stopped at 4:35 pm.  We never moved more than a few feet until 11:44 pm.  It was crazy!!!

But, as awful as it was, it really wasn't all that bad.  Sure, we all had to tinkle in cups.  We all had to exist on marshmallows and capri-suns.  But, we didn't run into a ditch, run out of gas, or have our battery die.  We had fully charged cell phones, tons of apps to enjoy, and cozy sleeping bags for the boys.  And most importantly, we had our sense of humor.

We were able to giggle in the face of uncertainty.  We saw how much worse it could be by the cars that were wrecked all around us.  We decided to continue to plug along until we just couldn't any more.  We took it slow.  We didn't panic.  We made it home at 2:00 in the morning.  We realized that it wasn't the best situation, but it also wasn't the worst.

Isn't that what life is all about?  Sometimes you are in the best situations, sometimes you are in the worst, and most of the time you are somewhere in the middle of the two.  I know I have to take life one day at a time and try to live in the present as much as possible to make the most of each day.

It was a crazy Sunday.  But, we all made it home safely and that is truly all that matters!


Saturday, December 11, 2010


If you don't understand how a woman
could both love her sister dearly and
want to wring her neck at the same time,
then you were probably an only child. 
~Linda Sunshine

Today is about my sister.  You see, I dedicated a whole blog entry to my brother on his birthday.  It was easy to remember to do it.  He was turning forty...becoming an old man...moving into the range of a mid-life crisis.  But, then my sister's birthday rolled around, and nothing.  I wrote nothing.  I simply forgot. 

My sister and my oldest son share the same birthday.  I spent my day focusing on his sweet day.  I called her, but really nothing more.  Oh, you can believe she had something to say about that!

So, today is all about her. 

It's all about how she has always been a strong person dedicated to those around her that she loves.  Every single day of the school year, she selflessly goes to school giving all of herself to a roomful of special needs children that struggle with the most simple of tasks.  She never really complains about the physicality of her job.  She's a bird of a person.  It must take its toll on her body.  But, she doesn't mention it.  She goes about her life.

She is utterly devoted to her children.  No task is too big for her for her boys.  She was born to mother.  She is willing to put aside all of her needs to focus on them.  She was born in my family, and for this, I am beyond glad. 

We are several years apart.  Our personalities are different.  We grew up in different times within our family.  But, we are able to span the differences to reach out to one another.  We are able to understand one another and offer kind words.  We are able to "be" for one another and that is enough.  Love you Loring.  Hope today is happy for you! 

To the outside world we all grow old. 
But not to brothers and sisters. 
We know each other as we always were. 
We know each other's hearts. 
We share private family jokes. 
We remember family feuds and secrets,
family griefs and joys. 
We live outside the touch of time. 
~Clara Ortega

Friday, December 10, 2010

Creature of Comfort

I am a creature of comfort.  I like comfortable things.  Such as: mashed potatoes, warm corduroys, my cozy bed, rubbing my dog's soft ear, a warm shower, a beautiful flower grown in my yard,  my flannel pillowcase, and snuggling on a lazy Saturday morning. I don't live a very hard life.  I am able to take time out to relish the gifts and luxuries that I have.

However, I am starting to have a very short fuse for things that do not comfort me.  Such as: friends that complain over the minutiae, politicians that can't think for the affluent, the poor and everyone in between, those who can only see their own problems rather than focus on what is going on in our world, or people who turn out to be different than what you initially thought.  

It is hard to be let down.  It is difficult to leave that comfortable spot because something wasn't what it seemed.  I am starting to choose not to fall prey to these prickly situations.  I am avoiding the drama whenever possible.  It's not who I am anymore.  I'm no longer in it to win it, to endure the junk or clutter in relationships.  As one of my dear friends has always said to me, "I'm not always taking applications for new friends." 
I would like to think that I am older and wiser...but I know that is a lie, for I'm not very old and far from wise.  I tend to think that I am able to see what's important to me, what matters the most.  I am able to make time for most any and everything, but it is getting harder and harder to want to make time for that junk and clutter that I find around me every now and again.  A tremendous mother of four once told me that it was just too hard to put up with the excess when you already have so much going on in your house.  Maybe, my wagon is already full enough without the excess drama.

I don't really have a solution to this problem today.  I know the human race is not going to change all that much.  It's just where I am at this day and time.  It's who I am right now in my life.  I like comfort.  I want to be in my comfort zone.  It makes me happy.  It is where my heart is.  And today, I'll just follow my heart. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Life = A Mess

The Committee.  He's true to his word, he's true to his beloved, and he's beyond grown-up.  You see, I explained myself, the Rat's Nest, to you very early on.  I told you a bit of how I'm that mess and jumble of hair that never seems to get worked out.  I was not exaggerating.  You might be thinking...She's a true grown-up...She's got four children...She has a house...She stays home to take care of everyone. Oh, how wrong you would be! 

I am so far from a grown-up it is almost laughable.  It is not that I strive to be Peter Pan-ish.  No, I want, with all my might, to be responsible and full of grown-up-ness.  But, it isn't in me.  I'm a third child.  I never was one to see the truth in birth order, until I had four children of my own.  The third little miracle seems to float through the world on an emotional roller coaster living on a wing and a prayer.  I'm not that far off from that description.  Generally things go as planned (at the last minute!), but then there are those times (very frequently) when things seem to morph into their own progression.  The situation at hand becomes out of control in the blink of an eye without any effort from me. 

But, life for The Committee is just the opposite.  Almost everything he does is planned and executed as previously organized.  He's beyond responsible; I continually drop the ball.  He is always planning; I tend to only plan social occasions.  He is always following through; I lack stick-to-it-iveness.  We are opposites in most things.  But, somehow, thanks be to the Lord, we work. 

In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away. 

We are able to complement one another in the many ways that we are different.  We are able to meld together to get things done, not always late and not always early.  We can see our differences and appreciate them in one another.  It seems that the more that I know about him, the more I love about him.  Whereas, the more that I know about our world, the more lost I seem to be.  It is just the opposite for The Committee, the more he sees, the more he knows.  

I think the only way that we could have gotten to this place in our life is through God's grace.  Through His favor, my husband and I came together.  Something changed in me during the first few weeks that we knew each other.  I seemed to know a little bit more each day that this person was made for me.  We have worked hard to become better people and parents of four little people that are a combination of all of our strengths and weaknesses.  My life has never been better.  Through the faith that we have, our family is able to get through our days trusting in Him to deliver us to a better place.  My husband is the other half of my heart, and the love that I have for him grows more each day.  Happy Birthday, sweet man.  To you, I give all my love forever!

John 1:16 ~ From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let There Be Peace

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.  As a young girl, I would sing this song each year in our school Christmas pageant.  It always evokes sweet memories of innocence and simplicity for me. 

As I was driving around running errands today, I heard this song on the radio sung by a young child.  I was instantly taken back to the days of my youth.  I thought how easily the words rolled off my tongue as I sang along.  I also began to think how easily the words were said with very little meaning. 
It made me think, is peace beginning with me?  What am I putting out in the world?  And if peace is supposed to begin with me, where am I supposed to start?  Should I think big?  Or would it be better if I took baby steps toward my goal of peace? 

Well, I am much to tired and cold on this December night to think about starting with a bang.  I know, go big or go home, but I just can't go big tonight.  So, I will begin to think about baby steps.  What about here in my home? 

Just tonight, I huffed and puffed when answering the Straight Hair.  He turned to me and said, "I'm sorry you are tired tonight, Mommy."  Eeeekk...that's not the best foot forward on my walk in the footsteps of peace.  If I'm not showing my boys peace and responding in kind words, I might as well not put my feet on the floor in the morning.  So there's a place to start...Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me here within the walls of my home.

Where can yo start?  How will peace begin with you?  Feel free to leave some thoughts....

Take a listen...Let there be Peace on Earth: The Choirboys

Friday, December 3, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I truly would be remiss if I let this thankful season of Thanksgiving get by me without mentioning a word of thanks.  We had a wonderfully, busy holiday season.  It was filled with great friends, family, and food...the full trifecta!! 

We started the holiday with seven little friends spending the night for a sleepover.  I've never had a sleepover before, and I must admit I was a bit nervous if I would make a good sleepover "mama."  But, come to find out, we did pretty well.  It was tons of fun for all of us...the boys especially, but I will say that The Committee and I mostly enjoyed watching our boys interact with their friends...I could easily be a stalker mom because I love to watch my kids in everyday situations!! 

{Even The Tiniest Hair is getting into the mix.}

 {The kids had never seen Twister before}

{The Committee dominated everyone in a game of four-square.}

Then, we went on to my sister's new house in East Tennessee for a family Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  The day was gorgeous...the weather, the food, and the fellowship.  My family was so excited to get there to see her family and roam around their beautiful new home.  We were able to spend the day with my father and stepmother.  It was a treat, as we do not get to see them as often as we would like.  We were thrilled for the blessings that have been placed in my sister's life over the past year.  They moved to Knoxville on a dream, and God has made sure to make everything in their life wonderful...for right now, as my mom says for we never know what tomorrow will hold.  It was a great day that we will all remember.

Then, on Saturday, we welcomed my husband's family to our home along with my sister's family and my mother.  It was another gorgeous day.  All of my boys were able to run wild with their cousins on both sides of the family.  The jumped, wrestled, and laughed their way through the day.  There is nothing sweeter for me than standing in my kitchen window and looking out to see my children frolicking with friends and family in our yard.  These carefree moments for my children cross-off any hardship or stress of providing a good life for me and The Committee.  I would sacrifice any physical want in order to see them be children enjoying all of God's blessings.

Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing… a grateful heart! ~George Herbert

It was truly a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a holiday that I was and will be thankful for for quite a while.  

These precious days made me think how thankful I am for the small messes around my house because of the little people that make them.  I am beyond thankful for the marriage spats that I have with The Committee because it means that I have a loving husband that comes home to me each night.  I am thankful for the "stressful family moments" because it means that I have family surrounding me in my life.  I am thankful for the sleepy mornings because I am blessed to be given a baby that needs me to tend to him.  I am thankful for the worries for our future because I am blessed to have a God that I trust in and can confide in to watch over my life.  I could go on and on...but, for someone who once worried and stewed over the insignificant is now realizing that I am beyond blessed to focus on the friends, my family, and my faith. 
I am beyond thankful!!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy