Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Joyfully overweight

girl eating cupcake while sitting beside woman in blue denim distressed jeans
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A lady came for her weekly appointment at a nutritional center where I once worked. After I took her blood pressure and weight, she leaned into me, almost conspiratorially, and whispered, “I know why I gained weight. I’ll tell you when we get back to your office.”

The lady talked about how her family unexpectedly called to ask if they could stay with her for a few days between their travels. She said, “I’m not your stereotypical mom or grandma. I love my family, but I dislike hosting overnight guests.”

Thinking this lady was using her backstory to divert from discussing her weight gain, I guided the conversation by saying, “Betty (name changed), I can imagine with all of your culinary skill, your guests appreciated your home cooking!”

She offered a knowing smile and said, “Of course, but after they left, I understood something bigger. Initially when they called to ask if they could extend their visit, my patience and compassion levels were stretched. With two adults and children in my home for three days, I know I’ve built stamina muscle and you taught me that muscle weighs more than fat.”

She continued, “Through hospitality, I realized that even though my creature comforts and wants were temporarily compromised, the love in my heart grew. I figure that between gaining muscle through repetitions of patience and compromising, plus my heart increasing in love, this 2 ½ pound weight gain is worth my joy!”

To my reader, I invite you to personalize your own FROG lesson from the lily pad of your life!

Joyful holidays from a chilly pond,
Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized

Shopping ideas for a minimalist

I practice material minimalism. “Less is more and even less is even more” appeals to me (I try not to practice this minimalistic approach when it applies to patience, kindness, generosity…).

Christmas and birthdays can invite a challenge because people ask, “If you don’t like extra material possessions, what am I supposed to get you?” Consumables and outings!

Below, I’ve listed my favorite gifts. At the end, I encourage readers to offer their creative non-material present ideas!

anniversary birthday blur bokeh
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

My favorite things

Citrus or bakery scented candles (no lavender, rose, or perfume smells)
Dark chocolate (especially when blended with fruit or nuts)
Target and Wal-Mart gift cards (the only places I shop to replace shoes and essential clothing)
Blue, Purple, or Green Bic Roller Pens (no gel or felt tip jobbies)
Postage stamps (I really like this year’s FROG ones)!
Note cards and thank you cards (blank inside)
Retreat center stays
Grocery store gift cards (love to cook and bake! I have recipes to last for eternity)
Workshops/Classes/Seminars/Conferences
Music concert tickets
Cabin vacations
Theatre tickets
Figure skating shows
Fellow dream chaser to experience 1 of my 100+ lifetime dreams with me (so far, I’ve gotten to achieve 64 out of 107 from my Dream List)
Donation to humane society, dog rescues
Dunkin Donut coffee
Turtlenecks in every color (the kind that go all the way up the neck)
Double sized bed flannel sheet sets (I can never be too warm)

Readers! Your turn! What are your creative ideas to give someone who defines themselves as a “non-materially interested minimalist”? 

Leaping into the holiday lily pad of life from the FROG Blog,

Christina

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized

Voice Texts

When communication methods shifted to an electronic wave, I found myself saddened by a loss of personalized connection. This sadness surprised me because as an introvert I require abundant quietness. I thrive with large margins of isolation, but I’m not  accustomed to loneliness.

I socialize through snail mail cards, one-on-one walks, or phone calls. People who used to exchange phone calls started answering voice mails with texts. Sometimes within a minute of my voice mail, I’d receive a text, “Thanks for your voice mail. It was nice to hear your voice.” Based on their quick response, I figured the person was available to talk so I immediately called them back, only to be greeted by their recorded voice mail message.

marketing office working business
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Our son travels for his job and often there is a three-hour time zone difference between us. He and my husband exchange texts. I send cards and emails, but because of these time zone variances, we’ve missed “live” communication.

Last time we talked on the phone, our one-hour visit was flooded with updates and we hung up with still more to say. Neither of us are fans of lengthy phone calls so sometimes it’s weeks between verbal conversations. Our son understands why I’m unable to text and we joke that as soon as he handwrites a letter to me, I’ll text him back to let him know I received it.

Instead of continuing our communication gap, we began “voice texting.” We agreed to call each other Monday through Friday and leave a one-to-two-minute voice message. These messages may include a question to ponder, a funny story, an inspirational quote, quick family news, or a song that reminds us of something.

He knows I take lunch between 11:30-12:30 Eastern Time so when he sees my number come up during that time, he knows I’m leaving a “verbal text.” After work, I turn off my phone and when he gets home late in the evening, he leaves a return “voice text.” These daily two-minute investments have yielded stronger return than our bi-monthly marathon phone calls did.

I’m grateful for this unscreened connection that has built our mother-son relationship. H

Happy Thanksgiving week from the lily pad of life,

Christina

Frog Blog

Weight Off My Shoulders

A sneak preview from my next book in the FROG Blog series (believing it’ll release early February!). Life on a Frozen Lily Pad

In Numbers, the Lord met Moses at an intersection of famished and fed up.
Moses is in the desert, exhausted from leading an estimated 2.4 million murmuring Israelites filling him with hot air pressure. God extends His mercy and graciously supplies 70 elders and authorities for Moses’ trip to the Promised Land.

Numbers 11:17 displays a trifecta of God’s love. First, He comes from heaven to minister to Moses. I try to picture God stopping by my Martha and Mary Writing Studio. How would I react if He knocked on my office door to help write today’s FROG blog?

Second, the Lord transfers some of Moses’ spirit onto 70 faithful authorities. The text doesn’t specify if this spiritual transaction referred to Moses’ weakened spirit or to his spirit of anointed leadership. The crux is that some pressure was lifted from Moses.

Third, by receiving part of Moses’ spirit, 70 elders were promoted to co-manage a God-ordained task force. The elders’ commissioning package included approximately 2.4 million naysayers who were impatient to reach the Promised Land. The Numbers’ passage doesn’t indicate if those 70 authorities were part of the grumbling crew prior to being called to assist the understaffed Moses.

In my walk toward the eternal Promised Land, I have served on Team Moses through teaching and leading roles. I admit I’ve been involved with Team Israelite and “shared” my prickly witness. Like God did with Moses, He has been faithful to send people who shoulder my burden (and knock the burden chip off my shoulder). God’s physical presence appears through compassionate people sharing His generous love.

Jesus, thank You for showcasing Your presence through others. I’m grateful for wise mentors and elders who guide me toward You. Guard me against murmuring and complaining. Protect me from wilderness wandering so I can finish Your earthly mission with graceful testimony.

From an elevated lily pad,
Christina

I will come down and speak with you there. I will also take some of the spirit that is on you and will bestow it on them, that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself (Num 11:17).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T EQUATE ATTENTION

From my book, “FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad.” Available on Amazon and Kindle.

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL ATTENTION

A lady who shares my favorite walking route paused this morning to ask what I do as my profession. She promised herself that the next time she saw me walking, she’d gather the courage to stop wondering and ask me how I used my days. She explained that she was fascinated to hear my answer because she frequently sees me wearing comfortable but stylish dresses walking with a contemplative expression blended with peaceful thoughtfulness.

I thanked her for her detailed observation and caring enough to ask. When I told her I am an author, life coach, and editor, she exclaimed, “I wish I had interesting jobs like that before I retired from 45 years as a machinist.” It was my turn to be intrigued by how she interpreted her career and perceived mine. She said when she was in school, math was her least favorite subject, so she was surprised when she spent her life working in a precision-driven math-related field. She loves to read but all research jobs she wanted required post-high school education and she didn’t want to pursue continuing education.

I anticipated her reasons for not pursuing future certifications could be age or finance related. She explained that she had twelve years of perfect attendance but collectively probably less than a full year of perfect attentiveness. Schools physically housed this lady but mentally she created a homeless shelter for her attention status. She didn’t make excuses or hold regret for her lack of attention in formal classrooms. She simply appreciated how she was able to faithfully work as a machinist while being able to turn her detailed attention toward hands-on learning.

Attendance and attention. How often do I show up for morning quiet time physically attentive but spiritually and mentally absent? My Teacher is present, but His student daughter is lost in thought about what happened yesterday and what may happen today. He is my Lead Machinist and I’m tooling around talking shop in my own mind!

This lady was sensitive to pay attention to her walking route surroundings. Her alertness created accessibility between us that wasn’t originally detected. A familiar faced “stranger” left as a new acquaintance named Janice (and her dog Zoe) because we both paid attention to our surroundings. I was awakened by her inspirational lesson to pay attention to my Professor who is in continual attendance. I need His ongoing education no matter what profession I hold.

Teacher, please unite my attendance to my attention. Align my responsiveness with Your presence. Like Janice’s alertness, give me the courage to act upon my observations.

With heightened awareness, Christina