as my head finally hit the pillow, my eyes popped open quickly, again.
I forgot to blog yesterday.
Being that I was now breaking one rule I recently set for myself (thou shalt blog every day in some form,) I decided to keep another rule I set for myself, (get thee to sleep at a decent hour) in hopes that maybe that would somehow balance my oversight.
Sleep is everything.
A friend of mine at church always infuses me with the belief that I can do great things.
Well there are many things I can do. Answer a phone. Hold a conversation. Keep track of said conversation. Take notes. Write up a storm. Meet deadlines.
In my personal life, I am pretty domestic. I can cook, clean, sew, create, paint, sometimes play the guitar, organize, plan.
Back to my friend.
A thoughtful person and former journalist, she believes that I will one day be a syndicated columnist. I said well what on earth would I write about that would attract that much of an audience.
Every blogger, writer, columnist has key things of focus.
Attention to detail is our thing. So there is that.
Over the course of my career in writing, as well as other jobs I have had .. cashier, receptionist, secretary, registrar .. I have had the opportunity to meet various people whom I would consider successful.
People often say, well what would I do if money were no option, then set their sails for the impossible.
Were it not for the “belief” they had that somehow they would succeed, or just come close .. to reaching their goal .. they would have remained where they were .. before their goals and dreams blossomed.
As basic as seeing the stars in an indigo sky, yet as complicated as the inability to capture such light with the palm of your hand, belief can sometimes flee us as quickly as it is seen.
Then others believe in you. And that helps.
One thing I always taught my kids is that they could do anything on earth they wanted to do.
Let not social standing, finances, physical challenges, etc. get in your way.
Belief is as essential to success as it is in the prayers that we send up to God.
Belief is knowing that somehow, you will find a way.
By aiming for the moon, perhaps you will along the way, scoop a handful of stars.
What do you want to do with your life?
That is the question.
Have a blessed Wednesday. Sipping my coffee before this very busy day.
Two days a week are noted on my schedule as “off.” I am very lucky. Some people I know never really get a day off.
I was in the middle of kneading the dough for my chicken and dumplings recipe when it hit me that perhaps the reason we have so much stress in our lives is due to the fact that we sit.
In many “undeveloped” countries, and even just 200 years ago in America, the majority of one’s time was spent in survival mode. How to grow and cultivate, or raise your own food. How to sew your own clothes. Build your own house.
Now we sit and think.
Except for those who do manual labor, obviously.
They think while in motion.
Just thoughts today.
What one thing can you do to help you eliminate stress and feel accomplished?
I was sitting upright in bed at 5 a.m. one day, reading the book of Genesis, when something stood out from 1:14-15, (NKJV, The Study Bible for Women, Holman Bible Publishers).
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,’ and it was so.”
“Signs and seasons.”
I had recently prayed over a bunch of little things in my life, asking God for a sign.
Finally, I tore up two pieces of paper and threw them in my Bible bag, one with the word “yes” written on it, and one with the word “no.”
These were not decisions that involved or affected anyone else.
So I drew out the papers for each item I was praying over that morning.
And took note, of course.
After making my list, I came upon these verses in Genesis.
And I realized that at the beginning of creation, God planned for the Star of Bethlehem which would shine brightly, proclaiming the birth of the Holy Messiah, Jesus.
It takes stars light years to get to the point they are seen by us on earth.
Being that all of creation was made and continues to birth other things, such as stars, we do not know if the Star of Bethlehem was created at the beginning of time or if it was born, because of the creative processes God put in place, years or centuries later.
All we know is He planned in the beginning for that “Sign.”
There are also scriptures which condemn seeking a “sign” from the Lord, as if to verify that God is real.
And there are scriptures where simple beings like myself inquired of God for a sign.(Gideon’s fleece.)
I looked at my black Bible bag and then did some additional study online.
There is one big problem with the yes or no system, a paper drawing if you will, hemming God in to two choices.
He gave us a brain. A brain to decide. A brain to wrestle with life and make choices. A brain with a creative ability to think through an issue. Even every day simple issues like what will I have for lunch or what nail polish looks good on me?
Yes. A brain for all of it.
While it is noble to inquire of God for His guidance, He expects us to do our part.
So often we want to keep them from experiencing the negative consequences of their choices. We feed and bathe them, cuddle them, talk and read to them, teach them new things. Empower them, love them. You put all this energy into raising a child, who hopefully will be an even better model of you.
Hopefully they will learn from your mistakes.
The calls come in as they grow into adulthood. The first car crash. The flat tire. The hangover. The failed relationship. The feud with their friend. Love and money has disappeared. You want to fix it. Sometimes you can. If you have enough money, you can help them .. some.
Sooner or later, though, they have to wrestle with life just like you did.
Figure it out.
You have a brain. Use it.
A little Jewish mother I knew told me she once told her son, “I cannot put my head on your shoulders.”
Asked God to forgive the two pieces of paper in my Bible bag. Like I said, they were silly things to be addressing in such a way.
I was looking for a sign from God.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Sometimes He makes it clear what He wants you to do or how to approach whatever it is.
That is at the bottom of seeking a sign, occasionally.
Fear of failure. Fear that an idea will not work. Fear that the other shoe is going to drop. We end up encased in our fears, hemmed in by the seeming inability to make a decision.
How to master even teeny tiny choices you make?
Trial and error.
Figure it out.
If you make a decision and take tuna for lunch, and you discover tuna does not like you, well there. You cross it off your list and try something else.
May God be with you in the signs and seasons of your life.
Their chairs at home remained empty that day. Their book left beside the bed, their coffee cup left on the sink.
Family members would watch the unthinkable unfold on national television, knowing their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, would never return home.
Horror overtook the nation, dealing the One Nation Under God a death blow in mere minutes.
Grief set in.
Then came the resolve.
Everyone bought American flags, lit candles, wrote declarations of overcoming tragedy.
We, the People, changed.
Fear set in. Anger took over. War began.
Everyone remembers where they were that day.
Not a soul was left unscathed.
The world watched.
What will America do?
Today, we remember those who lost their lives that day. We honor also the first responders who marched forward, doing what they selflessly do every day, giving their lives and energy to save others.
Let us today, as Americans, honor our nation in word and deed. We all have different opinions, upbringings, philosophies, political alignments. Let us show the world that America really is the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave. That we, though different people, are United. That this country is our home. That we stand for peace, kindness, goodness, self control, loyalty, honor, truth.
Let us be kind to one another this day. Let us unify around our commonalities, instead of our differences.
Sometimes you have to look at the content you are creating, and ask why you are creating it, and is it helpful or just filling empty space.
Glitzyadventure.com started off as a blog to highlight creative living, positivity and so forth.
And I have stepped my toe in the water as far as possibilities ahead with my blog.
I love to write.
My blog thus far has been full of good days and bad days, and that is ok.
I am in a season where I am taking inventory of what I want to do with my blog, and with future books I want to write.
Many would say well, we are not looking for anecdotes.
Then I think of all the people whose transparency totally helped me get where I am now.
Glitzyadventure.com is about being positive.
So I ask for your patience as I ponder this transition.
I want to share scripture and things that bless my life. I also am well aware of those who take the opinion that people have to be perfect and sinless before they speak a word of the Word.
Over the last few years, my life has changed drastically for the better. My thoughts and beliefs have also changed in many ways. I went from being Pentecostal to Catholic (Episcopal), after being raised Baptist, serving in located ministry with non-denominational churches for about 9 years.
I guess what I am trying to say is I have to be true to me. My faith is part of my life, and along with that, I am not a perfect person.
I am not a Joyce Meyers, or Beth Moore.
I am Kathy Leigh and that is all.
It is time to love myself and realize that I have just as much right as anyone to share what brings me joy.
It’s 5:30 a.m. on a Friday, and normally, my week would be winding down for the weekend.
But Florida reporters have eyes on Hurricane Dorian, and so does the rest of the state.
We all remember Hurricane Charley in 2004.
Everyone makes fun of spaghetti models, colorful predictions of where the storm may go.
Nobody sees the hours of calculations and science that goes into the ability to do that spaghetti plot.
When Charley hit, we had just a few hours to get prepared. As Floridians, we underestimated that storm.
By day, at Lake Wales Medical Center, I was a customer service rep.
But all of our business office titles changed.
Disaster duty for us, it was.
None of us complained. We wanted to help. It took the edge off our nerves.
I filled many hats. Talked to employees and their kids congregated on the floors in the hallways outside the cafeteria.
As the storm roared, the walls of the large building began “breathing.”
A group of food service workers began singing. People were praying the Lord’s prayer. Children were fussy.
“Hey, you’ve got to come see this,” said one of my friends. “We’ve got horizontal rain.”
That was a first for me.
Suddenly, a man and his wife literally blew through the front doors, soaked to the bone and frantic.
They had come to the center of the state to get away, and were in the middle of it.
There was a dead silence in the middle of the night after Charley passed.
Disturbing, the quiet was.
There were no cars. No lights. No air conditioners could be heard. No distant factories.
Daybreak was welcome. None of us slept. That was before my journalism days, though.
Walked out to Highway 60 in Lake Wales.
Usually a busy highway, populated with business, medical, housing developments.
“It looks like a third world country,” I told my coworkers at the hospital.
For a week, none of us went home. I helped manage the daycare for employees’ children. Did not sleep for three days, and when I started to fall in the hospital dining room, a coworker caught me and said, “you are going to lay down now.”
No sooner than my head hit the makeshift bed on the floor, than I was fast asleep.
Hurricane memories abound.
For those of you in Dorian’s path, stay safe. Stay calm. Be nice to one another.
And we will have many stories to tell of how we all made it through.
We all have a day where we feel grossly unprepared. Maybe a day when you should have taken a sick day, but you opt to show up for the work day anyway. A slow news day is nerve wracking for any reporter. Calls are out on projects before you, and you wait, research and so forth.
Note to self: You have, and most reporters have, seen this kind of day. Tomorrow will be better.
Dorian is on its way, barreling, it seems, toward the state of Florida. And already lines are weaving the tell tale story: people want to be prepared.
Note to self: Pick up crackers and Boost shakes. We are in for a ride.
Things are about to get rambunctious.
A woman on the ministry team stands at the altar to present “The Elements” for morning Eucharist. Wearing a well tailored dress, it is obvious she has some sort of exercise routine.
Note to self: must exercise.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. The first 2 hours of my day, I dedicate to waking up, meditation, personal journaling. Reading.
Although it would be beneficial to exercise in the morning, I have to hit the road by 7:30 to make it to work. A 45 minute drive.
I reflect on my to do list. I think about coworkers who seem to have read 100 pages of news by 8 a.m. I think about the fact that I want to be more prepared, better rested, fit as a fiddle (actually, I would love to learn to play the fiddle as well), prayed up.
And suddenly, within my spirit, I hear two words.
“It all matters,” I answered.
Best advice for anyone who has a day, a week, a month, like this.
Make a list in your bullet journal (or notebook, dayplanner, phone etc.) of goals. Decide what is reasonable.
Most of all, understand there is always a way to better yourself. Although I have published a book, and spent 12 years in full time journalism, have numerous accolades, somehow I still look at others and think to myself, wow I wish I was as good as they are at what they do.
But that is the point, really.
Truth is, I have gifts too that I oft overlook.
Be present to the moment. Learn all you can. Make time to nurture you, especially if you are pouring out to the rest of the world. Quit making excuses. Even if you don’t have time to go back to school, the internet and libraries are great ways to increase your knowledge.
As for the important: My most important time of the day is prayer. I make no apologies for that. And on days that I do not take that time, either because of illness, extra errands, etc., it sure shows up in my life.