Dealing With Hardships During The Holidays- living with the unimaginable!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

There is a video in this post. Please click here to see the entire post to be able to view the video. 

I've had several posts that I've wanted to write about this time of year and how hard it can be. I know so many people are going through such hard times.

Marriages are crumbling.
Families are facing Christmas with someone missing.
Friends are dealing with cancer.

R's birthday was Monday. I have been doing so well. I thought I was ready. But, I was wrong. It was a really hard day. After 5 years, it was still a hard day. He would have been 56. But, he never even got to see 51. That is a hard reality to sit with sometimes!

I was lucky to get to spend the past weekend with M. We were going to celebrate her dad's birthday just like we did last year. And, we did. There was a lot left unsaid. We knew. We just know. Sometimes there are just no words.

One very special thing that we did for ourselves was to go see Hamilton. I would go again to see it today if I could. Yes, it is that good!!! I really didn't know anything about Alexander Hamilton before going. Rest assured, I'm reading a biography now. Although his life's story is fascinating. His wife, Eliza, is the greater story to me. I love hearing the stories of strong women!!! I think throughout history, every story has a strong woman who sat quietly in the background and lived a great, inspiring life.

Alexander Hamilton had an affair which Eliza found out about. Soon after, their oldest son is shot and killed. Eliza is faced with living with all of this. At this point in the musical, an unbelievable song, "It's Quiet Uptown" is sung. That song did for me, what live theatre is meant to do-- It brought me to tears. Even in our nosebleed seats, I felt so connected with the characters and had tears streaming down my face. I haven't been able to get the song out of my mind. Lin-Manuel Miranda knew about hardship and grief when he wrote that song.

The great thing about Eliza Hamilton's story is that even after Alexander Hamilton's death, she went on to do great things. She learned to live with the unimaginable.

So I write this today, knowing that so many are hurting this holiday season. I just want to reach out and let you know that you are not alone. I know this can be a lonely time of year, but the real meaning of this time is so personal. It's not about the get togethers, it's not even about family- not really. It's about a lonely night all those years ago, and the implication that this one birth has had on the world since. It's about Jesus. That is where we find out hope. That is where we find the peace that passes all understanding.

I'm not saying that our hurts are not valid. Hurt can overshadow the most wonderful of moments. I'm just saying that for me, I need to sharpen my focus on the one thing that really matters this time of year. Not the food, the gifts, the decorations, the loneliness, the sadness, the family, the hardships, the beauty, the celebrations because those all co exist together this time of year.

It's the Christ. My focus needs to be on Christ. 

It takes work to change our focus. It isn't easy, but it can sure make this time of year more bearable.

If you are living with the unimaginable, I pray that you will try to focus on Christ. 
It is only through Christ that we find our healing.

Airing My Dirty Pantry

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Place For Everything And Everything In It's Place

I really do believe this quote. I especially believed it when my kids were young. My house wasn't messy, but it certainly wasn't perfect when they were little. I always tried to find the balance of a tidy home and a fun life for all of us. But, I'm in a very different stage of life now. I was in the process of organizing all the pictures, newspaper clippings, report card etc of their childhoods that had been thrown into plastic bins in our hurried lives of raising kids when R passed away. After his passing, it was too difficult to deal with all those memories. Now that I'm in a better place emotionally, I feel ready to take on all those mementos.  

I am trying to be better organized! I organize areas in the New Mexico house and when I travel back to Texas, I try to spend some of my time there organizing. This past week, I organized the medicine cabinet and my bathroom cabinets in Texas. I feel so much better!!!

Before I left for my trip back to Texas, I worked on cleaning my pantry at the house in New Mexico. I had organized the pantry a few times, but I discovered that without baskets or bins to use in organizing, nothing stayed straight. It had really gotten out of hand when I decided I had to do something to keep it organized!!

I ordered these wire baskets from LTD Commodities. I also used other baskets that I found at Tuesday Morning. They all made a huge difference.

These are the before pictures of the pantry.

And here are the afters:

It is amazing how something as simple as an organized pantry can change how you feel, but it does!! I'm ready to tackle more!!  What I'm finding that for me when I have a space organized I won't buy more because I have nowhere to put it!! Now I just need to have that attitude in my closet! Why is clothes shopping so much fun???

I'm eager to find more organizing tips!! One of my goals for the new year is a completely organized home!! What are some of your best organizing strategies?