Waiting On Peace

Waiting On Peace

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Waiting On Peace

Peace

Trouble flown

Breath savored

Thoughts quell

Harmony sings

Hush spreads

Calm flows

Tranquil grace

Beautiful still

-gina valley

 

I had a rough week.

Looking for peace and rest today.

I hope you find them, too.

Love!

-gina

Where do you seek peace?  Have you found it?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Happy Windsday!

Happy Windsday!

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Happy Windsday! Mary Poppins Spoonful Of Sugar Dance

Dance

Smiles at midnight

Two as one

Swaying gently

Rhythmic sun

Joining hands

Leaping high

Spinning round

Joy splash nigh

Twirling

Stretching

Jumping

Flash

Knit together

Memories last

-gina valley

 

It’s been very windy in Southern California this weekend.

These high winds make me think of Mary Poppins.

My kids love that movie.  Even my teens are captivated by it, although they won’t admit it. But, their staying seated in the room while it’s on, and telling our littles to be quiet reveals their motives.

When I think of Mary Poppins, I think of “…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” (even as I type that I hear the song in my head).

“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…”

Works for me.

Works for work.

Works for my kids.

Lately, the busyness of my life has caused me to forget to add the “sugar” when I’m doling out “medicine” throughout the various areas of my life.

The medicine of heading to the gym goes down much easier with the sugar of a couple peppy, new tunes move to & a new workout shirt.

My children receive the medicine of my corrections much more readily when they first receive the sugar of at least 3 praises.

When I include the sugar of verbalized gratitude to my assistants, the medicine that is my detailed instructions to them is much easier for them to accept and follow.

I’m a straight-forward, suck-it-up, get-it-done, no-nonsense, dive-in kind of person.  Sometimes in my zeal to get through the mountain of work that must be completed I forget that taking time to include that spoonful of sugar not only gets the work done more quickly, but also makes it much more rewarding for everyone.

There’s never enough “sugar” in the world. Take time to sprinkle it liberally.

Love!

-gina

What kind of “sugar” helps you the most when it is time to take your “medicine”?  How do you sweeten up the “medicine” in your life?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

When To Forget

When To Forget

by Gina Valley

Forgiveness is a beautiful thing.

There’s nothing like it.

We all mess up.  I’m practically Olympian in my mess up skills.  Knowing that my mess ups are forgiven is my saving grace.

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday When To Forget Forgiveness

I often have trouble forgiving myself for my mess ups.  Knowing that people who love me and the God who made me forgive my many, many goofs is freeing and life-giving.

Being forgiven is a wonderful thing to think about.

Thinking about forgiving someone else, though, is a whole different ball game.

It’s not easy.

Don’t get me wrong; I follow the example set before me, and forgive other people when they mess up.  It’s after I’ve forgiven someone that’s hardest for me.

That whole “forgive and forget” thing is great in theory, but much harder in reality.

How do we forget a serious wrong?  And should we?  Is forgiveness behaving as though the offense never happened?  Is that even humanly possible to do?

I had a close relative betray me a couple years ago.  This person’s behavior not only put my business and, more importantly, my children’s safety, at risk, but also revealed that this person was willing to lie and cheat to get her own way.

It broke my heart when I found out.  I actually was physically ill with grief over this person’s behavior.  I was so sad to realize that she was willing to put my children at risk, and to encourage her own children to be dishonest to help get what she wanted.

I also developed some serious anger toward this person, as I came to realize that I would have to do a lot of work restructuring in both my personal and business lives because of her behavior.

I did forgive her.  And, I told her as much.  I didn’t even wait for an apology from her for her terrible breach, which, as it turns out, she has yet to offer.

However, she has accused me of not forgiving her.  She says that because I am not treating her as though it never happened, I have not forgiven her.

That point of view gives me pause.

I generally think of forgiving in terms of behaving as though the offense did not occur, something I think all parents, particularly those of teenagers, are quite well-practiced in doing.

But, this is one of those cases where I don’t think it is possible to “forget” the offense.  I think it would be foolish, not unforgiving, to give this person the access to my familial, personal, and business information she once had.  I think the whole “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” thing applies.

I make it a point to be kind to her and her family.  But, they no longer have access to my home, nor direct access to my children.   They are all completely removed from any connection with my professional dealings.

My anger over this is long since gone.  I’m wiser.  I’m more vigilant. And, I believe I have forgiven this person.

But, I have not forgotten.

So, a part of me always wonders, “Have I completely forgiven her?”

I do believe the gift of forgiveness is received by the forgiver as much as by the forgive-ee.  I believe forgiving wrongs prevents bitterness and resentment, even when apologies are never even offered by the offender.  I think a life that holds onto wrongs sinks into mire and unhappiness, and destroys relationships.  So, it’s important to me to forgive and to let go.

How do you define forgiveness?  What prompts you to offer it?  How do you handle the whole “forgive & forget” premise when it’s a serious offense?  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think, and how you protect your relationships with forgiveness.

Love!

-gina

Be sure to shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.  And, as always, thank you for reading.

I’m wondering…

I’m wondering…

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday I’m wondering Life Decisions Sports
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Green

Breathe deep, my soul.

Bask in Beauty.

Soak in Light.

Grow in forgiveness.

Live in Love.

Breathe deep.

-gina valley

 

We lived on the soccer fields this weekend (and in the car, but that’s another column).  There’re more games to go this afternoon and tomorrow evening.

I love watching my kids play.  I love to see the joy, and determination they get.  I love to see them tear full speed down the field, and focus on blocking an opponent.  I love to hear them working out strategy with their teammates.

Not everyone is made to play soccer, but my kids are.  They love all sports, but they’re truly, obviously, in their element when they don their cleats and shin guards and charge out to the turf.  I feel God smiling when they do.   This is one of the things they were made to do.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing what I was made to do.   And, if I am, am I going about it the right way?  Am I playing the game I’m meant to?  Am I on the right field?   Am I in the right position?

As I watch my kids play, I wonder.

I want to know I’m on my game, so I know that I’m giving them a good example.   We all get just the one life to live.  I want to make sure I teach my littles to find they game they’re meant for, and to give it all they’ve got, and to know it’s the right one.

I want that for them, even more than I want it for me.

Love!

-gina

How about you?   How do you know you’re in the game you should be?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Remembering

Remembering

by Gina Valley

Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting 9-11 September 2001 Grief Loss Tragedy Gratefulness  Remembering Remember

Remember

May I remember to be grateful.

May I remember to be thankful.

May I remember great tragedy births great good.

May I remember we lost many, but many lost all.

May I remember life is fleeting and miraculous and beautiful.

And, may I always,

Always,

Always remember.

-gina valley

 

Hug tighter today.

Hold closer.

Remember life is short.

Not laughing today

-gina

How are you changed because of this tragedy?

Sit down!

Sit down!

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Sit down! Relaxing Down-time Day Off
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Song

You my lift burdens

And change my heart

You piece together memories

Long torn apart

 

You soothe my anger

And stir my guile

You bring me peace

For a precious while

 

You carry me

to faraway places

or deep into hearts

of familiar faces

 

You open my minds

And tickle my ears

You close my mouth

And bring me to tears

 

My heart is swelled

I can run

I can fly

No worries with you that life passes by

 

You take me to soar,

High, high above

You teach me of everything

Especially of Love

-gina valley

 

I find it terribly difficult to be still.  It goes against my nature.  I’m more of an action kind of person.

I know how important it is to take time to be still.  I can see how I am better, how my life is better, when I take time to relax.

I have no trouble recognizing the benefits of rest.  I advise others to schedule down time, and remind them of its many benefits.  Even God took a day off, and told us to do the same thing.

Still, it’s my biggest struggle.

Today I forced myself to take time off from everything.

Honestly, it was really stressful to relax.

My mind tends to go to all of the things that want attention.  My eyes see a hundred chores to do.  My body wants run.

But, I forced myself to rest.

I’m going to continue to force myself to take a day of rest every Sunday. Hopefully, as I get used to it, it will get easier.

I intend to be more thorough in forcing myself to take the day off each week.  For example, today I let myself check my email.  Twice.  I had to.  I was getting the shakes.  Next Sunday I won’t let myself check it.  But don’t tell me.  I’m sure I’ll freak out when I find out.

Rest is restorative.  I definitely need that.  I know it’s good for me.  I’m going to continue to force myself to be still for a day, at least once a week.

Even though it can be very stressful to relax,  I hope you’ll take time to be still as well.

Love!

-gina

Do you struggle to relax and be still?  What is the greatest distraction in your life to having a time of rest?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

I Lost 1000 LBS This Weekend

I Lost 1000 LBS This Weekend

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday I Lost 1000 LBs This Weekend Clutter Cleaning Organizing
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Fly

Cantering

Through crisp air

Above

Blue beckons

Clouds dancing

Freedom gasps deeply

Breath held

Thoughts of magic

Soaring

Racing

Enchantment revealed

Ground and sky married

Artistry erupts

And shines

And grows

Ever faster swimming upward

Tethers loosed

Unrestrained in beauty

Onward

Always onward

-gina valley

 

It’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, so, naturally, I labored.

In fact, I labored so thoroughly that, as of Sunday, I’d already lost 1000 LBS.

Yes, I’m eating healthily.

Yes, I’m getting tons of exercise.

But, the way I got rid of the 1000 LBS of dead weight was by cleaning out my closet and attic.

I don’t totally understand how our family has accumulated so much stuff.  I suppose a big part of it is simply neglecting to deal with the extra items as they outlive their usefulness.

I always assume I’ll have time to find a new home for unneeded items, but that time never comes.  Without purposefully setting time aside to clear out the clutter, it is destine to pile up.

I know part of the problem is my tendency to collect things I love, like sweaters and shoes, and to save things I treasure, like baby clothes and my pack’s school papers.

I’m also the only one who likes to travel light in a family of packrats.  I have to set the example, and also to enforce limits on what my family members can hang onto, or they would turn our home into the set for the next episode of Hoarders.  Sometimes I have to sneak stuff out late at night in black trash bags so they can’t see it and think they’ll miss it.

So, although I’m not even close to finished with going through all that I want to go through, I have made major headway this weekend in the war against clutter in our life.

I got rid of half of the clothes in my closet, many still wearing their tags.  I will probably get rid of half of what is left when I go through it again.  I just don’t wear most of it.  I donated dozens of sweaters and pairs of shoes, all of which were nearly new, and none of which were being worn or bringing me joy.

When I look at my newly sparse closet I don’t even remember the missing itms.  I just see a fresh, tidy space with lots of room to breathe.

That’s great to have in my physical world.

But…

It makes me realize that I have another cluttered place I need to clean out.

My life.

I’ve been hanging onto lots of things that I don’t need.  Things that I’ve collected over the years.  Things that may have made sense at the time.  Things that other people picked out for me.

It’s time to let go of those things.

It’s time to clear out grudges and bitterness and anger and sadness over past wrongs.  Saving those things takes room I want to use to store up joy.  I’m shoving all of that into a bag and leaving it at the curb.

It’s time to clear out guilt and other people’s expectations and regret.  I’m throwing those out to make room for growth and forgiveness and hope.

I want to make sure that I have plenty of room for love and joy and laughter.

I hope you do, too.

Let me know if you need some trash bags.  I got a big box from Costco.

Love!

-gina

Is your closet or attic cluttered?  What piles up around your house?  Is there something you’ve been hanging onto with your mind that you need to clear out in order to make room for all the good that’s trying to get in?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Just Breathe

Just Breathe

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday  Just Breathe Dealing With Stress
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Hope

In the rain and the rainbow

Singing and sleeping

The dew and the grass

 

In the twinkling of stars

Laughter of children

The smile of age

 

In the leaves of the trees

Sunshine

The coming dawn

 

In the music of springtime

Aroma of sweetness

The hidden blush of the bloom

 

In the beat of a heart

Breath of a hero

The eyes of love

– Gina Valley

 

It’s been a rough week.

Really rough.

Just the daily business of family life and the new school year starting can make for a rough week.

But, this week, I had the added trouble, the trouble that actually makes this a rough week, of someone purposely creating problems for me.

It’s painful to deal with that kind of behavior on the part of people.

It’s painful for me on many levels to realize and accept that there are people who behave in this way.  In this case, without getting into specifics, I had dealings with a man in his capacity as a public servant.  At the time I felt he was behaving in a discriminatory fashion toward me and my family.  I considered filing a complaint, but decided against it.

Now, I wish I had, as this individual has chosen to create problems for me and my family, I believe, out of spite.

“It won’t be a big deal to set the record straight,” my lawyer has assured me.  But, just needing to contact my lawyer is painful.  Writing the check for his retainer doesn’t feel too great either.

Hopefully, by the end of the week, this will all be behind me.

But, in the meantime, it’s painful.  Makes you grumpy, can’t sleep, can’t eat painful.

So, I’m remembering something my dentist says to me frequently while he’s working on my pearly whites, and is well aware of my tendency to panic while in his chair:

Keep breathing. 

You’ll get through it.  You’ll feel better. 

Just keep breathing.

So, this day, this week, as long as I’m dealing with this pain, I will remind myself to just keep breathing.

If you are going through a painful time, I hope focusing on one breath at a time helps you get through it, too.

Love!

-gina

Have you gone through a time of painful circumstances?  Have you ever felt like someone was deliberately creating problems for you?  Shoot me a comment.  I look forward to hearing all about it.

It’s Going To Be A Great Day!

It’s Going To Be A Great Day!

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday It’s Going To Be A Great Day! Dawn Newness Fresh Start
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Green

Breathe deep, my soul.

Bask in Beauty.

Soak in Light.

Grow in forgiveness.

Live in Love.

Breathe deep.

-gina valley

 

I’m not naturally a morning person, but I do love seeing the first light wash over our neighborhood.

There’s something magical about that time of day.

Everything seems fresh and new as our world slowly begins to stir from its slumber.

Yes, soon there will be running and giggling and likely some grumping as my household awakens.

But, in the meantime, I can gather my breath and prepare to start again today.

That’s what’s truly beautiful.

I love the new beginning of dawn.  I love that it is the start of the day, and that it contains infinite possibilities.

I know I won’t get everything on my To Do list done for the day.  I may not even be able to find my To Do list for the day.

But, first thing in the morning, it feels like I can, and, somehow, that inspires me.

It tells me that it’s going to be a great day.

Love!

-gina

Do you find the early morning inspiring?  Are you a morning person or a night owl?  When do you feel that you are most effective?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

 

Don’t Wait!

Don’t Wait!

By Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Friend Mine Friendship Don’t Wait!
Photo courtesy of J. Krueger – Used with permission

Fly

Cantering

Through crisp air

Above

Blue beckons

Clouds dancing

Freedom gasps deeply

Breath held

Thoughts of magic

Soaring

Racing

Enchantment revealed

Ground and sky married

Artistry erupts

And shines

And grows

Ever faster swimming upward

Tethers loosed

Unrestrained in beauty

Onward

Always onward

-gina valley

 

A friend of mine died last week.

We went to high school together.  He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.  He was a giant of a man, even back in high school.  A lot of the people who met him for the first time back then, especially other teenage boys, were scared to death of him.  He combined his size with an apparently gruff manner to, I think purposely, give an intimidating first impression.

He never fooled me, though.  Even back in high school his size and manner reminded me a bit of my dad, and I had no trouble seeing the gentle man inside the tough giant.

After spending time with him, his true personality came through to everyone.  This week I’ve heard tale after tale about how he impacted lives and created friendships during that time and since.

I hadn’t seen him for more than a decade when he caught up with me on Facebook a couple years ago.  I’m so glad he did.

He meant a lot to me.  He was one of those people who could always tell when I was having a rough day, and always asked how he could help.  He never gave me the “call if you need me,” instead, when he saw I was troubled he made a point of being there.  He was kind and caring and a great listener.

He made an impact on my life.

I have a big regret, though.

I never told him how much he meant to me.  I never mentioned that his kindness all those years ago in the little troubles of life made me better able to handle the big troubles today, and more willing to reach out to others.  I never made the time to stop in his town while I traveled to meet up for coffee or dinner or a beer.

My big regret is that I always assumed there’d be time for all of that.

Last week, I found out that, at least with him, there would be no more time, no more opportunities.

This week, I’m making it a point to remind myself, yet again, that today is the only day I’m guaranteed, and that expressing our feelings to those dear to us must not wait.

Time is short, and always getting shorter.  Spend it on the people you care about.  Don’t wait.  Tomorrow may never come.

Love!

-gina

How do you keep from putting things off?  How do you make sure you share your feelings with your dear ones?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.