Thursday, June 27, 2013

Whatever It Takes To Win

It all started when my boss came to me with a request at work. He asked me to do something that felt as if I were being singled out from among my peers to be the only one to adhere to a new policy.  There was a temptation to take offense, and I felt every telltale symptom begin to rise inside me.

I was indignant.
I couldn’t take my mind off the situation.
My outrage grew, and it began to upset me.
My shoulders tensed.
My mind raced, and my heart pounded.

All the while, I sat silently at my desk with a professional air carrying out my work. But be not mistaken. There was war going on in me.

My pride had been injured, and the urge to retaliate was intensifying with every passing moment.

I strategized ways to challenge the request, at least indirectly, and the arguments “for” and “against” began their dialogue in my head.  

Confront it--you will feel better. At least you will make your point. He’ll know you know. This is unwarranted and unfair. Fight. Back!

But how does that help you? You’ll still have to comply with the request. Is this worth making waves?

But you can’t just take this on the chin silently.

I was almost too far gone when I realized this was a crucial moment. I knew what I must do.

The rest of the story is at  Laced With Grace.  Join me there. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Home: Honey From the Comb

I grew up where the seagulls circled overhead and oyster shells crunched under car tires on our long shell driveway.

I knew nutcrackers were for eating crabs and shrimp belonged in omelets at breakfast.

I knew the welcome of the live oaks that twisted their way in divergent directions toward centuries.

Who can blame the Spanish moss for embracing such outstretched arms?

I knew that most people's jogging routes didn't include a gulf of saltwater and a lighthouse.

I knew not to take it all for granted.

In hindsight, I did.

It's rather impossible not to.

One who is full loathes honey from the comb,
but to the hungry, even what is bitter tastes sweet.
~Proverbs 27:7

Photo Credits: Mike González, who is visiting my hometown without me this week.
Lighthouse by Adrian González, who is finding songwriting inspiration in my old haunts.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The View From Here

Lately my words have retreated to my personal prayer journal, the place where Jesus keeps me sane enough to face this busy life. I've been working on locally published pieces too, and well, that means the blog has taken a very distant back seat.

I've published this and and two other pieces that only appear in print in the last few months.

Speaking of my prayer journal, I'm working my prayerful way through Praying the New Testament with Elmer Towns. This book is revitalizing my sad and tired prayer life (and prayer journaling). Best thing that's happened to my faith in a while. Thank you, Mr. Towns.

Summer reading is in full-swing around here. My oldest loved to read until he learned that he loves music. So he became a writer—as in songwriter. He gets a pass for not reading anymore since he writes. After all, all writers are readers, but not all readers are writers. And besides, he's graduated, so it's the first summer in quite some time that he hasn't had required reading.

He's graduated. Did you see that? I snuck that right in there. That's kind of how it happened to us in real life, too. Just snuck right up on us. Some of my favorite images:

With graduation I digress. I was supposed to be talking about summer reading, remember? So Adrian's all graduated and a lost cause as far as books go.

Noelle's and Reagan's taste in reading tells the complete story of those two sisters. Noelle has read two books all year; Reagan has read five novels in the first two weeks of summer. Noelle loves the Disney Kingdom Keepers books, but only when I force her to read 60 pages a day. Reagan, at 13, is dabbling in the adult section with crossover authors like Nicholas Sparks and Francine Rivers. The last two weeks of school, Reagan read five novels, started Divergent during exam week and finished the sequel and four more books since summer started. I can't keep this girl in enough books. Here's her stack for youth camp next week and a trip to her friend's lake house the week after.

I'm hoping these six will last her the whole two weeks since she'll actually have to live some of her own life in between the pages. That girl and her reading habit--she's worse than me, be only because she reads faster.

On another note, Mike and Adrian have already left for youth camp to prepare some of the logistics at the camp site. It happens to be in my hometown, and I happen not to be going this year. So Adrian's been texting me pictures by which to live vicariously. I try not to be jealous, but so far his pics have made my mouth water and my feet feel like running and my nose smelling the Gulf water in the air.

Fayard's roast beef po-boys, dressed and pressed. They're on the short list whenever we make it through town. It occurred to me when Adrian sent the picture that Cuban sandwiches are pressed on a grill too. Both our hometowns know how to press a po-boy. Though they don't call these sandwiches "poor boys" in Cuba, they could.

And that lighthouse? Well nothing says home like the Biloxi lighthouse for me, except maybe the old pier in the Back Bay at Paw Paw's house. We lived a mile west of the lighthouse and three blocks inland. To the left of the lighthouse in the photo are the two opposing lanes of Highway 90 traffic and then sand and the Gulf of Mexico. This was my jogging route more times than not. Who could blame me?

And they have now seen our family restaurant in the small craft harbor since it reopened a year ago for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. It's been elevated and the views are even more magnificent than they were at ground level.

The girls leave tomorrow after church with the rest of the youth group, which necessitated a rash of shopping and the largest clothing conundrum east of the Mississippi.

I've locked Boomer in his crate so he won't leave me too. Just kidding about Boomer. He's faithful. NOT! This morning, while I was still the only one awake, he forgot completely who feeds and bathes him and who's his momma, and wandered upstairs to the girls' bedroom door and laid down right there, not even deterred by the fact that the door was closed denying him access to the cozy children were all snug and warm in their beds. That's Boomer. He's faithful, even through closed doors.

#556 ~ 575

~ a resident songwriter, music-maker, and former reader
~ graduations: endings that masquerade as commencements (you're not fooling a single parent)
~ hometowns and smart phones that take pictures that can be texted and a son who knows how I wish to be there
~ the Biloxi lighthouse and fond memories
~smells that stay with us, like the Gulf in the air, and freshly mowed grass in summer
~ good food
~ extended family
~ youth camp
~ anticipation
~ summer reading
~ road trips and living out of a suitcase
~ sisters who couldn't be more different nor love each other more
~ overflowing dresser drawers
~ Boomer the (un)Faithful
~ prayer and morning devotions
~ blogging
~ fireflies having a party in my front yard at dusk
~ healthy girl food while everyone else is gone this week
~ staked heirloom tomatoes
~ the view from here

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