Monday, June 25, 2012

Aren't Summer Loves Grand

Come on – you remember summer camp…  Cute boy, bonfire, movie night, holding hands walking back to your cabin…  There is nothing like a little summer romance.  As summertime takes over 2012, my fervent hope is that sentiment stays true - no matter what age! 

In high school at camp, there was “the waiting game”.  We all had crushes on fellow camp counselors (or staff members), needless to say.  Counselor canteen started 30 minutes after lights out and was simply hanging out at “The Place”.  The friendship, fellowship and flirting was alive and well at the end of each day.  The last 2 people awake, that outlasted everyone else, "won" the waiting game and got to steal goodnight kisses.  Oh the silly grin on my face as I recall the innocence of youth and share that vivid memory J.

These days my nieces are camp goers and I know they have a wonderful time each summer.  They have found the love of a place that few people know and we now share.  But beyond that shared love of a special thin place between heaven and earth, my ardent hope is that they each have summer loves (perhaps new, year after year) that excite them, cherish them and adore them!  Until one day, a guy comes along and “gets it”.  That’s what we are all want for our loved ones, right?

But oh, the fun of flirting… of visiting a special place… of the anticipation of the person you want to know better in the long days and cool, sticky nights of summertime.  While camp was many, many years ago, it is still nice to think about interests that come around and make you feel fun & alive.  As adults, we find new “camps” – places of common interests and passions in our lives.

#ThisJane Says find your summer romance – whether reawakening flirting feelings of you college summer love and now wife, or still on the search for God’s plan...  Maybe at Pops in the Park, a day on the lake, a night out with friends, or a neighborhood cookout – make summer love grand!

"Summer lovin’ had me a blast, summer lovin’ happened so fast." (anyone else notice a constant soundtrack in my life?  Always a tune to accompany the moment/thought/sentiment/feeling :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Look for How God Works in Your Life

Last night I prayed for help with some specific things – forgiveness with a friend I recently let down, help forgiving a couple of friends that hurt my feelings, help to see my role (if so) in it, and the right words to coach someone at work. 

Along with being mortified, I feel awful about missing my friend’s daughter’s christening, especially for no good reason.  I just lost track of my day.  My hurt feelings by some friends has burdened me and is heavy on my heart.  Of course, they may not even know as I haven’t found the words to talk with one and the other hasn’t returned my calls.  But anger, hurt, sadness - those feelings weigh me down completely.  And the kid at work, her lack of maturity infuriates me as she addresses me in a condescending way all the time.  I just want to help her be successful as that is my job – to develop recent college grads to be great in their careers at the bank.  So I specifically prayed for forgiveness, help forgiving and the right words so the kid at work can hear me and grow.

This morning, I woke up to the following devotion from Bread for the Journey:

Right Living and Right Speaking
To be a witness for God is to be a living sign of God’s presence in the world.  What we live is more important than what we say, because the right way of living always leads to the right way of speaking.  When we forgive our neighbors from our hearts, our hearts will speak forgiving words.  When we are grateful, we will speak grateful words, and when we are  hopeful and joyful, we will speak hopeful and joyful words.

When our words come too soon and we are not yet living what we are saying, we easily give double messages.  Giving double messages – one with our words and another with our actions – makes us hypocrites.  May our lives give us the right words, and may our words lead us to the right lives.

Camp St. Christopher
So when people ask me if God answer prayers and talks to me – I unequivocally answer yes.  It took years to learn my role in our relationship - looking for how God works in my life is required to see those answers and hear His words.  Of course, I need reminders of that grace regularly.  But I am truly thankful for the unconditional love God gives and help through, well, anything I am facing.  It means never being alone or without someone who is there for me.  That is pretty awesome indeed.  “Seek and ye shall find” is right – Alleluia. (I love that song :-)

#ThisJane says listen because God can talk to you from anywhere, through anyone and in any way.  He wants to answer prayers and comfort and love all of us - just because He made us.  We just have to be open, look for it and receive it.  Can I get an amen...?  :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dress Up to impress a 3-year old

Emma and I are best friends.  Her mom was the first person to voice that in referencing Emma and I to one of her fellow moms.  That sentiment still warms my heart.  Yes, I am 38 years old and understand saying “best friends” may sound silly or trite.  But my precious 3-year old bestie, Emma, and I are two peas in a pod that adore each other and that is a rare, special thing.  I would even argue that at 38, I know how valuable a connection that is in today’s transient, disconnected world.

So when her birthday is approaching, my question to her mom is how can I make it special?  And I love that her mom already knew!  “It’s a princess party- want to come as Cinderella?”  No doubt I do!!!  Such fun for me!  I love any excuse to dress up but Cinderella?  Game on! 

Princesses Adrienne and Emma with Cinderella
Day arrives and I thought I was prepared.  Costume, check.  Hair band, check.  Long gloves, check.  Choker necklace, check.  Not glass, but special shoes that match the magical blue dress, check.  I even practice the song – just in case.  “A dream IS a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep”.  

But the kiddos and the birthday girl herself, aren’t quite sure what to think. "Is Cinderella really here" expressions and hesitations, while sad for the kiddos, COMPLETELY make my day…!  I’m passing for Cinderella…!  Sweet!  After awhile, they get comfortable with the princess in their midst (and yes, I fully realize the jabs I am opening myself up to with that comment), and we take pictures, swing, eat cake together and so forth. 

Two things made this Cinderella’s (if only for a day) day: 1 – being a part of a family that is so very special to me and truly takes care of me as their own – especially making precious Emma’s birthday an unexpected treat.  And 2 – After all the kiddos had a go at the tiara piƱata, I was on deck to finish the deal.  Quietly whispering under my breath, “I’ve been dating since I was 16, where is he???”, I have my turn and bust that crown wide open for candy delights for all!  Win – win!

#ThisJane Says go all in for the kids in your life and do it with all the love in your heart!

Last quote must be credited to Charlotte on an episode of Sex and the City.