Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Week 1: Dec 1-2

Tomorrow starts the Heart of Christmas Advent Blog Challenge.  Every Sunday, I'll post the topics for the coming week.  But, since this week starts on Saturday, I'm a little behind. (go figure!) 

I hope you enjoy this "exercise".  Participate as you are able and make sure to link up your post everday so we can share in what everyone is experiencing.  Remember these are just thoughts to get you started thinking.  Feel free to make your own "take" on each topic.

1.     Christmas Music – What do the holidays sound like to you?  Does Christmas have an anthem? Is there a certain person you like to hear sing a certain song?

a.       5 favorite Christmas albums – by who and do you have a favorite version of a Christmas song sung by a certain artist? What's your go to when it’s the holiday season and what "sounds of the season" makes it feel like its officially the holidays?

b.      Christmas music – do you listen to it in September, do you listen while you put the tree up, do you have a favorite station

2.     Invite someone to guest blog their holiday thoughts - I'll be participating in the Southern Girl Blog Swap.  Check out my post on Sunday on Razorback Britt.  Leave a comment and you and I both can be entered in a contest for a Starbucks gift card! 
Happy Advent,


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heart of Christmas Blog Challenge

This past weekend while I was driving home from Thanksgiving, I picked up a random Christmas station that was playing this song.

I know I've heard it before and I have for sure seen the Hallmark movie that was included in the music video.  But, as I was stuck in the car with lots of wide open Texas land around me, it gave me some good time to think and reflect on the month ahead of us.  While I do love this time of year, I really struggle with getting in the "Christmas mood". 

So, as a way for me to get in the holiday spirit, I'm challenging myself to a "Heart of Christmas" Advent Blogging Challenge and I'm inviting you to join me!  Celebrating the Advent season has become something that my heart craves this time of year.  So, why not celebrate it together?

I will post the topics weekly so you have time to prepare and get your posts ready ahead of time if you need to.  I'll also include a master list on this post so you always have it to reference.

**I do have one rule - don't let this be one more thing to stress you out.  My goal is to give you (really me, not sure if anyone is out there!) an outlet for reflection and solace.  If that means you pick and choose the days you join us, that's perfectly fine!  If that means you do the topics out of order, that's cool too.  If that means you are doing a similar challenge through another group and want to link that post up with us,you are welcome to do that to. 

Be you.  Grab your coffee, a warm blanket and just write from your heart.  The random thoughts as they come to you.  Be raw, be rare, be real.

Make sure you stop by each day to link your post so others can share in the magic of your Advent Season.

(because I'm brilliant and HAVE to make things easy, the "topics" match up to the date of the month...only way to keep it straight!  So, we'll start on Saturday, December 1st)

1.       Christmas Music

2.       Invite someone to guest blog about their holiday thoughts

3.       Christmas Pictures

4.       Christmas Tree

5.       Community Christmas traditions

6.       Looking at lights

7.       Finish this sentence: “Its Christmas When…” or “It feels like Christmas once…”

8.       Your Christmas charity of choice?

9.       What do you wish you did for Christmas that you don’t do

10.   Your thoughts on Elf on a Shelf. 

11.   Advent

12.   Favorite Christmas carol and memory tied to it. 

13.   Favorite Christmas cookie – share the recipe

14.   Christmas Ornaments

15.   What about Christmas makes you say Bah – Humbug?

16.   Gifts

17.   Go to Christmas beverage  – share your recipe

18.   Stocking stuffer ideas

19.   How has Christmas changed from your nostalgic view as a kid to your view as an adult?

20.   Christmas

21.   Nativity

22.   Christmas around the world

23.   One gift you are anticipating getting – one gift you are anticipating giving

24.   Christmas Eve Traditions and Christmas morning traditions

25.   Christmas Day Scattergories – I’ll post the topics

26.   Did you have to take something back?

27.   Its over now what?

28.   How long do you stay with your family?

29.   When do you take down the tree?

30.   New Year’s Eve traditions

31.   What’s your wish, dream, plan, goal for the new year?

Be a Blessing,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Papa!

Yesterday my sweet Papa and his twin brother turned 93!  What an amazing man.  Their 99 year old brother is still keeping things going as well. 

A local news station did a story on them last night.  They always celebrate their birthday at El Charro on the loop in Tyler.  Now that he can't have green foods the only thing that has changed about his order is that he asks them to leave off the salad.  Otherwise for 60+ years he has ordered the combination plate.  That's livin!!!!

Here's a link to the video." title="KYTX CBS 19  Tyler Longview News Weather Sports">KYTX CBS 19  Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

We have so much to be thankful for!!


Monday, November 19, 2012

turning the wheel

Yesterday, I posted about my awesome weekend with my friend Kate in Tulsa.  While watching her complete her marathon, I saw this guy not too far in front of her.

One of the interesting things with supporting a person in a marathon is that you begin to see the same people at each step and honestly as anyone is completing a race like this, they don't care who it comes from....encouragement is encouragement.  So, you find yourself cheering for anyone as they come by.

But, as I watched this guy at each stop, I found a completly pure and organic metaphor for where I am in life.

The moment pictured above was the first time I saw him and while you may not be able to tell by the picture, he was pushing himself up an on-ramp.  Of course, there was more going against him hindering him and making his climb harder.  That's the funny thing about gravity and climbing uphill.  Its going to be hard no matter what. 

I couldnt help but think about the week I had last week as I watched him roll his wheelchair up this hill.  It was inspirational if for no other reason than I could see myself in that chair. 

With every turn of the wheels, he grimiced.  When he turned a corner and saw the hill was still going, he drew in a deep breath and made one more turn of the wheel.  And, he kept doing that for 26.2 miles.

One turn of the wheel.

And then another.

And then another.

Corner after corner.

Turn after turn.

I'm so grateful that I captured this moment.  It is a visual I know I will need to revisit over the coming months.  Everyday is a turn of the wheel.  Much about the days before it will compel those days like the weight of gravity pulling against progress, but I just have to turn the wheel.  There will be marks along the way that designate progress and there will be moments that propel like the wind at your back. 

This man has inspired me...even more so knowing this is not his first race to complete. 

I know I can do it.  I know I can "compete" in the race in front of me.  Winning is finishing.  Accomplishment is determination. 

Charting the course is turning the wheel.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

tulsa marathon

This weekend, I took a much needed hiatus to Tulsa to watch my friend Kate complete her 5th marathon....yes, I said 5th.  Every time she says this is my last for a 365 days ago!!

It was the Route 66 Marathon.


She did awesome.  I'm always amazed when I watch these races.  Of course you know I watch all the details of the event and can't imagine the adrenaline that the event coordinators are all experiencing.  Yes, I see thousands of runners and what I notice are street baracades and event tents!  Hey, its how I'm wired.

But, it is always so fun to meander the city and try to find my way around all the street blocks.  Our plan is to catch each other at every 5 miles.  Sometimes its a challenge and sometimes, I'm a mad woman working my way through the city. 

Here she is at mile 10 (I failed at mile 4 and 6...she was running too fast!)...all smiles.

Still there at the uphill climb of mile 14....

It had changed a little by mile 21!

But, her finish line face shows tons of determination and the feeling of accomplishment!!!

I've not been there for all 5, but I've been at this side of the camera for more than one person and I can tell you I get emotional every time I stand at the finish line.  Each person is completing something.  An accomplishment that many put on a bucket list; one that some use to mark a significant day in their life.  Some complete it with a group or another person to have a shared experience.  Some complete as part of a journey to a greater accomplishment like 52 in a year or one in each of the 50 states.  Whatever their reason, the expression in their eyes is the same.

finish line = success, a benchmark, an endurance race pushing the body to its extreme potential, complete elation in a moment of utter exhaustion

Way to go Kate!  Thanks Tulsa for letting me tear up your city and consume calories in a way to support my friend who really needed them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I need thee oh I need thee

I woke up this morning with snot rags in my sheets. Which, I'm guessing is a sign of a rough night and that it was. Without going into details and trying to draw sympathy votes I want to say this.

I mourned.

Part 3 of the bigpittstop is documenting the journey of a single girl in a new city with a new job learning what a new life feels like in a new place. And by documenting, I mean being honest.

For anyone who has been there, you know what it feels like.

Today I heard from a friend that I was on her heart last night. Now I can tell you that I'll never over look that feeling. There is something in the heart that urges us. Beckons us to draw close to the Creator. The one who molded and made our heart.

Most days Prince of Peace is my favorite name of Jesus. In our hectic, busy, personally draining world, peace is something I crave. Something my heart is always seeking. Mostly because i don't think i really know how peace is defined.

Is peace contentment, complacency, or continuity? Is peace a quiet night at home, sitting on a sandy beach or hiking to a mountain top perch? Is peace having answers or wide open spaces?

Definitions of peace are listed as the absence of war or conflict and while its hard for me to think about emotional weapons of mass destruction, I'm most often seeking peace of mind, peace in my heart and soul. And when I evaluate my inner thoughts and emotions, WW3 breaks out once a week.

So, my next steps of healing involve evaluating my trigger points. What influences my mind racing to unhealthy and destructive places? How do I stop them? How do I control them? How do move past them?

Tonight it will be the same thing it was last night. Prayer.

When answers aren't enough there is Jesus and I need thee every hour were my lullabies last night. In thee I will seek refuge yet again.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Hangover

After seeing all the pictures last night on facebook of all my friends babies, I had to ask my dad to guest post the story of my first Halloween.  While I was there, lets be honest no one really remembers their first Halloween.  However the "messy" story of the first night has haunted me all my life.  Now, I'm grown up enough to think its funny...there were days that pooping your pants was not as funny as it is now!

Here's the story behind Keisha's 1st Halloween.

Mom has always dressed Keisha and her sister up every year. Keisha's 1st costume was a really cute Pumkin outfit with a green sprout hat and green leggings. Oh we were so glad and proud of our little pumkin girl. We got up early and got her all dressed and took polaroids (yes, polaroids) of our little girl, because we had to drive 25 minutes to get to work (Keisha went with my wife to a church school). Just as we were about to leave, the over use of the back of Keisha's Pampers didn't hold the overflow (he's being was a blowout!). Oh my word! We frantically got the costume off, grabbed the Fantastic bottle and worked away on the mess that happened (no pun intended).

But now the costume is soaking wet. Ah the solution: roll the leggings and bottom shorts up in the window and drive fast to dry out the clothes. Problem solved! That's what we did. Did we get stares? Did people honk? Did people point at the Pumkin Flag people? Yes! To this day, I think someone passed us and got the idea of creating flags to put in the windows to support their local teams. Just think, if Keisha had not messed up her 1st costume and if we had not rolled it up in the window to dry on the way to school, then someone may have never thought about creating Window Flags to support Razorback Fans- all because of Keisha's 1st Messy Halloween.

Guest Blogger, Dad

Oh dad, such a lovely picture.  He has such a way of turning a messy situation into an optimistic resolution.  If only he had thought of the flag idea, I wouldn't have had college loans!