Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Years!

Its here! The new year. Time for a fresh start and new adventures. It really is like any other day - or is it?  January 1 has a new feeling to me and it also has a color, even some sparkle. It's like you just cleaned the spots off the window and the view is all new.  So what are we going to do with this new start?
Over the  holiday we where at a Christmas/engagement party and in walks a couple that Joe and I had a falling out with years ago.  They went to our church, in fact it was the pastor and his wife.  The wife did nothing to lead to the trouble, it was more between me and the pastor.  A difference of opinion and I just happened to be a woman. It tore our life up for years.  I worked so hard on how to forgive his cockiness and pride.  Joe was even more hurt than me and the 2 of us worked for at least 5 years on forgiving and that is not an easy job when your world comes crashing down around you.

So we go to this party and who walks in but the pastor and his lovely wife.  I instantly saw that he looked distressed and weaker than I had remembered him.  My heart softened and I knew I had forgiveness in my heart. Wow! So, I decided after some time to say hello and merry Christmas.   Surely he also had been working on the same forgiveness towards me -  he's a pastor.  The room was also full of our friends that also had been very affected by this fall out.

So I walked over as they where talking to my good friend and I said Merry Christmas and put my arm gently around him for a compassionate hug which he responded to by jerking his hip to dislodge me.   I turned to his wife who looked very uncomfortable but was gracious.  My friend smiled and was happy to see me say hello. I asked the pastor's wife about their new grandchildren and congratulated them on the additions to their family.  She stumbled for words and then someone grabbed my arm saying Mindy!  How are you? and I was thankfully whisked away.   I was so surprised but felt so proud of myself for taking the first step.  While I have forgiven,  he, unfortunately,  is still the same. Other party-goers who new the situation were also watching and I hope it was a big healing for them, too.  It was the period at the end of the book for me and Joe.  Now I see him as he is and he did hurt me and our family but God has healed us and blessed us and I can forgive and move on.

Life is an amazing journey.   Last year does affect the next year and so on but being unforgiving stops you in your tracks.  No growth can take place until you walk through the hurt to get to forgiveness.  I am often asked how I was able to reach for my dreams and it seems to me, when I look back,  it was the painful, difficult and hard places in my life that I had to go through that helped me grow.  I went through them, not around them. When I have gone around them I have had to go back and do it again.  By battling the hurts and pains of life, you work on moving forward to success in whatever your goals are.  There is no way I could stand up in front of hundreds of people and make a complete fool of myself  if I had not gone through the strengthening of life's hurts and battles.

I have new issues to deal with in the upcoming year but I can put this one to bed.  It may have taken 6 years but I have moved one step ahead.  Thank you God for listening and answering my prayers.  I pray for you as I pray for my family and myself that forgiveness will rule our lives this next year.  That doesn't mean you forget or always look the other way -  it means you open your heart so you can move forward.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yes, It's Christmas

It's coming faster than I can keep up with.  Yes, it’s Christmas and I am not ready for it in any way.  I got the tree up last week just in time for Matt's arrival home for the holidays.   The lights on the house went up and the storm blew them down the next day.   This is the first year I had help from Joe putting up the lights .  Not that he wouldn't help me in years past, but he has always had the daunting Christmas chore of figuring out how Christmas was going to happen financially, and there were a few years there that I still don't know how we did it.  Joe has worked a lot of overtime over the years - like every Christmas but this year.   That's 28 if you are counting.  With his new position he now has been working from home for the last year which has given us a new dance to learn.  He is here all day long, morning to night, in my way, asking for food and other things we will not speak about.  My carefully choreographed routine has been disrupted this last year.   This routine consists of getting up, having breakfast and maybe going for a walk then getting to the studio and immersing myself in work. Then, about 3:30pm, I would quickly clean up the house, get out of my sweats, take a shower, do my hair and makeup and get all dolled up for my man.  4:30 - 5:00 he'd walk in and say how pretty I looked, having no idea how I spent my day.  I think he thought I was like this all day.  It was so sweet.  In this new routine  he soon started noticing the reality.  He asked me the other day if I was going to take a shower any time today.  I say yes, when my boyfriend comes home from work about 5:00.  So now he is home all day and my routine is changing but  it did come in really handy when putting up the lights. I didn't have to get on the ladder once.  He even ran to the store for me and got more extension cords (which we are always short of).

So the lights are up and the neighborhood looks very festive in the evening.  Even the Pakistani family has put up a very large snow globe on their front lawn.  Now they are true Americans. Our neighborhood is very multicultural for this part of California.  Except for the Russians,  I mean Ukrainians, who still are having trouble with all the holiday cheer and can't understand why we have dogs.

We use to have a family from Germany living in the 'hood for about 8 years. They always had great parties with wonderful food.  We where sad when they moved back to Europe.  But Marlis took our tradition of Christmas lights on the house with her.   I guess she was quite the hit in her new neighborhood in Sweden when she decorated the outside of her new home with Christmas lights. I hope they where the blinking ones. Leave it to us tacky Americans to have too much bling for the holidays.
It’s important to decorate because once you get the decorations up, it feels like Christmas. The job I dreaded was just what I needed.  Now I need to work on what’s on TV. We wanted a Christmas show last night, so I went to On Demand and under holiday shows, was RAMBO!?!   When did Rocky become Christmas.
Just shoot me now and get it over with. There wasn’t one good holiday show that didn't involve a murder or sex or some dysfunctional family with sick humor. Why????

So when you can't see it on TV or in the movies,  put some sparkly lights on your house and turn on some Christmas music, really loud so the neighbors know it's here and what is on TV is not what it is about.
Christmas in not about gifts, and who is buying cars for Christmas?  It's not about the decoration and lights but about a baby that was born to save mankind and boy do we need him now.   Well, at least I do!
Merry Christmas!