Pass Me on the Street

Hello friend of this great blogosphere. Let’s both sip coffee and have a chat here. 

I love to read, the land of the possible. Here, in this world, we learn and grow and achieve the impossible. 

I’ll give you a hug, we will like and share and smile. But our spirits have secrets hidden all the while. 

My mind may not know, but my soul will stop and laugh and greet. As we both go about our business, as you pass me on the street. 

Comfort in Nothing

Six year old Caroline tossed and turned in bed. The closet light was left on, the closet light was always left on. I heard a sound. A creak of the floor in the hallway. Probably my older sister was doubtless still awake.  But what if it wasn’t?  What if it was someone coming …someone coming for ME?  

What if it was Nazis?  What if the Nazis were coming to take me to a camp, a torture camp?  Or what if it was Freddy Krueger and his knife nails?  I had never seen the movie, but I knew he was something to be feared. 

That pretty much summed it up. The fears of my six year old life, Nazis and Freddy Krueger. But I was scared, I was TERRIFIED!  

How?  How could I escape them?  When they did, as they surely would, come for me, how could I escape?  I was pretty sure climbing into the attic would do the trick, but there just wasn’t the time. And besides, how would I hide the ladder that was needed to reach those heights?  Maybe if I punched them in the nose?  I saw that once on an Oprah episode my mom was watching, punch them in the nose and break it. That would work for Freddy, but the Nazis, they traveled in groups. I just couldn’t break all those noses. 

And then there was a lightbulb, a bright light from heaven shone into my brilliant mind. 

As a child we had a “bucket,” a small wooden container that my parents kept extra change in. Occasionally, I could reach my little hands into that pot of gold and draw out fifty cents. Fifty glorious cents to buy an ice cream at school. 

And there was my answer. If those damn Nazis came for me, I would tell them, “If you let me go, I will tell you where our money is.”  

I saw their conniving faces taking the bait. I saw them chosing those glorious riches over me. I saw the success of my plan. And I rolled over and I fell asleep. 

No. I think you absolutely definitely shouldn’t. Go for it, not yet. 

I want answers. I want to know what to do to be healthy, make money, raise a successful citizen, be a stellar friend, and how clean my house should be!  

When I said, “I do.”  I really meant I did.  But sometimes, more often than I want you to know, I looked more like I didn’t. I was, am, grumpy, rude, self serving, and just plain done. But I loved him. I still do.  

And when the nurse laid that 7lb 9oz miracle on my instantly smaller tummy, I cried and smiled and instantly changed, because she was everything, and meaningful, and poetic, and beautiful, and soft as beautiful. But sometimes, more than I want you to know, I get frustrated with a messy room, and stepping on pink Legos, and a sassy attitude. But I love her. I always will, even through the teenage years. 

When should I scrub and when should I play?  How many cups of milk should I drink in a day?  Should I sit on the couch and watch a show with James or read “Bringing Up Girls,” that should have been checked off my reading list six years ago?  Should I call up a friend or spend the day at home?  Is this the year to save or enjoy?  A bush or a floral beside the house?  When and how and where? Why?

Daddy, Father God, will you please tell me?  

Because it matters completely. I want to do and accomplish. But I have made mistakes. And I hear you whisper that yesterday does not matter. Right here. Right now. This very. 

One thing is the objective:  accomplish, do, succeed, but the greatest of these is love. Love. 

I Want to Drink Coffee

I want to write like Robert Frost, while I hold a mug. For all the world to admire and analyze my words.  Words born of moments. Moments of solitude, of cherishing love. Love reminds me of coffee. 

Sitting wrapped in the mountains, waking from the morning while I sip a fresh brew. I aspire to imagine like Beatrix Potter, sometimes I get a taste…a taste of coffee reminding me of an energizing spirit and happy clothed animals. 

I have made improvements on CS Lewis.  Oh yes, that is true.  Because when he said, “You can never get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me,” he must have meant coffee. I would never make a typo like that. 

I want to write like the great authors of old, to publish books, sign copies, change the world through my words. It is my dream, my passion, my love. Writing is the art of my mind, my breath, my heartbeat.  I love to put pen to paper….but even more, I love to drink coffee. 

Ba Ba Birthday Girl Woof!

Yesterday, while I was sweeping the floor, Tucker snuck outside. That goofy dog ran up the hill, he ran across the street, he ran alongside the river, and he ran to the very top of the mountain!

It is a very good thing he was wearing his red sweater because it was a very chilly day!

He ran and he barked, “WOOF! WOOF!”

He galloped and he yelled, “ARF! ARF! ARF!”

It might just sound like a silly doggie to us, but the the bunnies raised their long ears and knew what he was saying, the birds chirped back, “cheep cheep,” kitties responded with many meows, the guinea pigs whistled and danced, and the geckos raised their curious heads and nodded in agreement and celebration.

Tucker spent the day barking and woofing and arfing.

Now, they have to keep quiet about it. They don’t want to let the world in on their little secret. But they have a favorite girl. She was born with a great love of animals. No kitty or birdie is afraid of Madison. She cares for and protects them all.

So her goofy doggie ran along the river and up the mountain. He let all the animals know. “It is the birthday of their favorite human! Bark! Tweet! Oink!  Party! Celebrate!”

So, today if you listen, if you observe the animals, they will all be chattering and meowing, and growling, oinking, and neighing,

“HAPPY arf chirp BIRTHDAY meow neigh! WE roar baa MADISON!”

A Resounding Gong Clanging Cymbals

Ouch! I love LOVE love my family, but I write this post with my tail between my legs. How many times am I the clanging cymbal?!

“Dirty clothes in the basket. Shoes in your closet. Feed the geckos….clang. Clang. Clang. Why do you always have to leave your shoes out?!”

I so badly want to be a loving wife and mother but I so often, so very often, fall so very short! I need Jesus!

Love is patient. Errr. I am not a patient person. It doesn’t take much for me to get irritated.

It is not self seeking. “Can I just have 5 minutes to myself?!” Head down, ears back, tail tucked as I think about how self seeking I am.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. “You always…” How often do I pull that list out on my husband?!

It is not easily angered. OK! I give up!

AND YES! That is where I need to be! I can not be a patient Mommy without Jesus! I can not be a wife that does not keep a record of wrongs without Jesus!

And that is what matters to me! To be the wife and mother that Christ calls me to be, to daily show my family how much I love them by letting Jesus be perfect love through me. Because I can’t! I fall so short of the
1 Corinthians 13 love!

Love is more than a feeling! Love is action. Love is changing for someone, love is choosing their needs above your own, love is being patient with my daughter in the morning before I’ve had coffee, love is staying in budget for my husband instead of demanding what I want, love is surrendering to Jesus because He is perfect love!

And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

LOVE NEVER FAILS!

I Corinthians 13

THAT IS LOVE!

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LOVE. The meaning of life. Love is the reason we leave our family of origin and begin a life with someone new. Crowds line up, women scream, and billions are made on love songs. It sells. It forgives. Love brings us to our knees, makes us crazy, makes us whole. Is there anything that love can not do?!

A young teenager, he had a simple appearance, smiling, and nervous. I don’t turn on the evening news very much, but there it was on the wall of my living room, and there he was in my home. A local boy, an orphan. “I will help with the chores. I always make my bed. I listen in class. I am a really good basketball player. I always play in the Special Olympics.” The anchor asked him if he liked school, “Yes ma’am.” He smiled and did his very best to please and have good manners. There was one thing he wanted. He was willing to go on TV and plead to anyone that would give it to him. Love. Begging to be loved.

Who can tell us what love is? Why do we sell our souls to be loved? Why do our hearts ache for the unloved? Why do we connect? Why does the world search and spend and sacrifice all in the name of love?

Culture wants so badly to be loved and culture has no clue what love even is!

I hate chick flicks! Here is the setting for any modern day chick flick: Two people living separate lives. Almost always she is rude and self serving. This is supposed to be seen as successful and independent but she is concerned with no one other than herself. He is attracted to her. She is pretty. We get that. But they “fall in love” and have sex. “Happy ever after.” That is love. Or so we are told time and time again. It leaves us believing that the meaning of love is two attractive people having sex and being happy.

Love is about me. It is about a relationship that makes me happy, a person that has something to offer me, being turned on and giving into the heat of the moment. OR IS THERE SOMETHING MORE?

When James and I met, it was love at first sight. I wanted to be with him ALL THE TIME! Had I sacrificed, had I given anything? No, I was in love with the idea that someone would love me. I liked the qualities that I found in James. And I wanted to be with him. That is why I married James! I WANTED TO BE WITH HIM! I wanted to figure out this thing called life with James. I wanted to spend Christmases with James, wanted to wake up beside him, wanted to cry on his shoulder, to go on dates, and count up the anniversaries by his side. THAT WAS THE EASY PART! That worked for me!

What did not work for me? Spending money on what he wanted instead of what I had my heart set on. Spending hour after hour, time after time going through the forever decision making process that he always goes through every single time he makes a purchase. It didn’t work for me to get mad as hell at someone and have to lay down beside him at the end of the day. It did not work for me to discover that men and women are from two different planets and I did not understand what in the hell he was thinking most of the time. It did/does not work for me to discover that he is a messy person, while I am a perfectionist concerning our home. It did not work for me to have to work through something when it hurt deep in my heart and all I wanted to do was throw in the towel.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t work for James either! It didn’t work for him to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on medical bills. It didn’t work for him to wait months to see if his daughter inherited cancer from his wife. It didn’t work for him to work day after stressful day to use the money to buy canvases to hang on the wall and throw a birthday party for a bunch of little girls. It didn’t work for him for his wife to have to work through the emotions when he had already moved on from a disagreement. It didn’t work for him to spend Saturdays making repairs on a home when he would rather be at the shooting range. It did not work for him to paint the living room, just for a color change. And it most definitely did not work for him to sign someone else on to his checking account.

And THAT IS LOVE! It is awesome to hold hands with your husband of 12 years, while he whispers sweet secrets in your ear. It is great to get what I’ve been hoping for for my birthday. But I have felt the most loved when I have been a real bitch and James makes me coffee in the morning. I know I am loved when I am forgiven. I know love when it is not deserved and James choses to stay with me when he has better options.

Love is when it doesn’t work for me. Love is when it does not make me happy. Love is doing something for the one you love when you don’t want to, but it is the best for them. Love is time after time, choosing someone else above me. Love is when my heart does not feel it, making my actions do what is right when I do not want to.

God is love. What does that mean? Jesus had perfection. He was spending eternity in a place that is above and beyond anything we can ever begin to imagine. King of paradise island surrounded by servants and being a famous billionaire? Better than that! He was perfect. Never said anything mean, never did anything selfish. He had never messed up. And he chose to come to this screwed up, sinful world. He chose to let his accusers whip him and torture him and spit in his face. He chose to let them nail him on a cross, when just thinking a single thought, he could have released himself from all the agony and pain. He chose to die, to SAVE US!

THAT IS LOVE! He received no benefit, none of that worked for him! But it was the best for us.

And what did I do in return to thank Jesus? I complained. I wanted a bigger house and a newer car and a healthier body. I wanted more!

Why does he love me?! I do not know! And yet time after time, he forgives me and he loves me again and again!

THAT IS LOVE!

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

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I’m a Big Girl Now

From a little girl, my eyes were peeled, scanning the room for opinions of others.

Does she like what I am wearing?
Did my words impress them?
How does my hair look today?
Does everyone approve?

And on and on the list goes! I was looking, looking, looking to impress.

Fast forward. I am in my thirties. Caroline is on a treadmill beside her husband, surrounded by supermodels, and I am center stage at the gym. Since this time, we have joined the YMCA. Love the Y. This other particular gym held our membership for about two months. I think every member of the gym was a pro-athlete, model, billionaire …everyone except me.

But here I am, these are my surroundings. I have my ears plugged, listening to music, and running. My husband (who does fit the hottie stereotype that I am surrounded by 😍) is running (much faster) beside me. I see his lips move. Oh, I pull out my earbuds. I turn to hear what he is saying to me. Running. Running. Turning my head. …I am not that coordinated.

SMACK! Caroline is trying to do too much at one time. I’ve lost it all. Desperately gripping the two bars beside me, it is all that keeps my face from smacking the moving treadmill. However, my legs are not so fortunate. They continue to drag on the still running treadmill.

It seems like eternity passes. This is what I hear as I go down: Deep, sympathetic oohs and ahhs as everyone watches me wipe out. Completely wipe out.

After eternity, James pushes the off button. Every single eye in the gym is on me. Waiting for tears. Waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Waiting for me to run and hide and never be seen again.

What do I do? I stand up. I return to my treadmill. I look at James and I make a realization, I say, “I am not embarrassed.” I step up and I continue running.

This was a point in my life. Lots of moments have led up to this point, but here I realize, “I could absolutely care less what other people think.” Not in a rude mean way, but in a I don’t get embarrassed anymore way.

What happened? So very much!

After showing “all” to bring a baby into this world, after being infinitely loved by the most perfect man alive, after walking through life with the badge of Cancer, after picking my nauseously sick body up off the floor and giving all I’ve got to face another day, after the God of the universe shows me his glory and realizing that I am a princess of the king of kings, after wearing five year old homemade jewelry in public, yelling in Target at the top of my lungs because my toddler disappeared around the corner…after surviving this life and this story that I’ve got, I have learned what really does and does not matter in this life.

I guess I am a big girl now.

 

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

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We are NOT Morning People

We are not sugar people. Oh yes, about half the teeth in our bodies are sweet teeth, but in the name of healthy living I have opted to never eat sugar ever again. I’ve seriously lost track, but I believe I am around two years. It just isn’t a temptation anymore. I never eat (processed) sugar. Ever.

Being a Momma, I watch sugar directly entice and then punish my daughter. Prior to Christmas, she was “off sugar.” Healthy 7 yr old girl. Holiday: Cookies, candy, cupcakes, candy, hot chocolate, candy. Everywhere. And I see it. I see her little nose begin to run and turn red from being wiped and wiped and wiped. After Christmas resolutions: Back to limited sugar. Runny nose disappears. Fact: Bodies are weakened by sugar.

All that to say, this morning: Donuts. “Donuts For Dads.” A school sponsored event for the kids and dads of the school to join together and eat donuts.

When a sweet toothed girl, with a mom that limits sugar, found out that she and her Daddy would be attending the sugar feast, she proclaimed, “Tomorrow is going to be the BEST DAY EVER!” Singing and dancing and unable to hold in her excitement.

All in fast forward: Bedtime. Snoring. Alarm breaks the morning. Momma wakes up Madison.

“This is the WORST DAY EVER!” Madison proclaims as she stands in my bathroom, getting her hair brushed, tears streaming down her face.

How did we get here? What changed?

Simply the time of day, my friend, simply the time of day. Us, Hendrys are not morning people.

I am trying to teach our daughter that in the mornings she needs to learn to just stay quiet for a while. But until she learns that, she will walk around crying and shouting out “worst day evers,” and everything else that her Daddy and I are thinking, but we’ve learned to keep out mouths shut….by inserting coffee anytime we think about saying something before 8:00.

Coffee, ahhhhhh, the fuel of us not morning people. I wake up and my first thought is “Coffee.”

So, as James and Madison are driving to school (this was written yesterday, Friday) …..so, as James and Madison are driving to school, I am sitting here with my first cup of hot coffee in my hands, with one profound thought in my head: Hendrys are NOT morning people.

 

I AM PUBLISHED!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Cnull%2C256

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