Tag Archives: Grandma

I win I win!

Very exciting news this morning.   I couldn’t wait to spread the word.  I just found out that I’m going to be incredibly wealthy!    And I didn’t have to do anything at all to win.

I had an email this morning that said “Your Email Address Has Won You 4.6 Million from UK Lotto”.    How fun.  I’ve never been to Britain but apparently my email address is working a night shift.  There is also a Prince in Dubai who wants to marry me so I can have his inheritance and help him flee the country.    I wonder if my spouse will mind.      And luck of all luck, an unknown cousin in Paris died and left me a million dollars!     I had to weed through emails promising to enhance various parts of my anatomy and quite a few random sales ads but there is the proof.  I’m headed to easy street.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother was convinced she was going to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and a couple other off brand contests.    In between canning home-made grape juice, playing endless card games with us kids and running around after my grandfather, she’d spend time filling out entry forms and moving sparkly stickers form one page to another sure that this time she’d win.

Invariably, on Christmas we’d each get a present that we’d have asked for (Grandma was one who believed in asking and delivering) but we’d also count on opening at least one bizarre present.   Each of the girls would get diamonette jewelry with sparkle dust.  Each of the guys would get books on healing yourself through herbal remedies.   We’d smile.  Grandma would laugh and explain she had to buy them to qualify for the next level of the contest.

I believe in hard work and saving and building a future.  So did Grandma.  Somewhere along the line though all us kids also caught on to the “maybe we’ll win’  bug.

I recognize that statistically its more likely that I’ll contract TB than win the lottery.    Oh wait.  I already have dormant TB.  And I don’t buy lottery tickets.    We spent a year doing financial counseling at a homeless shelter.  I will never forget the family who had a $400 dollar a month discrepancy in their budget.  When pressed, they said, well we do have our bingo money, but that can’t go to bills.   Sad.

When we were engaged, my husband and I had to fill out a budget during pre-marital counseling.    Since my parents and I  had a start up business which paid next to nothing at the time and my husband was a preschool teacher, the income side of the budget was extremely flat compared to the expenses side.   Not a good way to start a marriage.

So one day, about two months before the wedding, I was at Bi-Mart.  They were giving out free lottery tickets.     It was a game where if you won you got $1000 a week for the rest of your life.   It was called lucky for life.   I was convinced I was going to win.   I told my fiance and my parents that God surely had provided and we would be fine.    They both looked worried for my mental health.

We didn’t win.   I was shocked.

My mother, however, was not shocked.  She found a great place for us to housesit and we had the first eight months of our marriage with no rent or house payments.    Bought our first house with a borrowed down payment in October of 1999.    Dug in and worked like crazy.  Paid the borrowed down payment off.     Have not bought a lottery ticket since.  I think this is probably good considering my clearly irrational thoughts during the lucky to life game.

In reality, I deleted this mornings emails and I’ve moved to an email with a filter.   It did make me think though.  I’m so very grateful that at Christmas I know the truth.    The very best Christmas present was the very first Christmas present given.  A baby.   A promise.   I win.    And so can you.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.    Luke 2:11


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Wondering, Loving and Praying

5:00 Wednesday PM:   Headed home.  Grateful for 4 day weekend.   Praying for friends and family.  Wondering if the traffic could go any slower.

6:00 Wednesday PM:   Putting together chairs.  Grateful for new furniture.   Wondering if anyone will notice if they wobble.   Hubby notices.  Hanging upside down trying to balance chairs.  Huh…made in China.  Praying for the persecuted church in China.

8:00 Wednesday PM:   Still putting together chairs.  Wondering if anyone will notice my hands have permanently cramped into the shape of an Alen wrench.   Grateful for my father who has worked with his hands his whole life.   Praying the doctor can help him with the new treatment for his curled fingers.

10:00 Wednesday PM:   Tucking in my daughter.  Loving her eyelashes, loving her goodnight prayers.   Wondering if she’ll ever have a sibling.   Praying for Christine in Rwanda.  Praying this other daughter will have a good night.

11:30 Wednesday PM:   Making cranberry sauce.   Loving the smells of cloves and cinnanmon.   Loving the sound the cranberries make when they swell and pop.   Making cinnamon rolls.  Grateful for 16 years of cinnamon rolls with this man standing beside me.   Praying for the marriages of friends and family.

8:00 am Thursday AM:    Running a mile.  Cold.  Wondering if a mile constitutes actual excersize enough to work off the meal headed my way.  Grateful for sidewalks, friendly neighbors and a track at the local school.   Wonder if the school tuition in Rwanda is caught up.

9:00 am Thursday AM:     Getting ready.  Blowdryer.   Its pink. Praying for a friend facing tests for cancer.  Loving my daughter’s little toes and big smile.  Grateful for warm clean water.   Praying for the 18 people headed to our house.

10:00 am Thursday AM:    Breakfast with family.    Loving the cream cheese frosting on warm cinnamon rolls.   Loving Greek yogurt, bagels, fresh fruit.   Hoping next year sausage and cheddar are back in my diet.   Praying for family not present at the table.

11:00 Thursday AM:     Cleaning out a turkey with my mama.   Loving 35 years with this woman.   Wondering if the marketing departments know I’m aware that they leave the fat chunks for extra weight.   Praying I get to clean many more turkeys.  Praying for friends who no longer have their mamas.  Missing my grandma, first thanksgiving without her.

2:00 Thursday PM:    Cleaning out the garbage disposal.   Wondering why its only me that clogs it up.   Grateful the only time I cook is at holidays.    Praying for patience.

4:00 Thursday PM:   Nineteen people in our house.   Grinning at the pile of coats and shoes and scarves.    Praying.   Eating.   Loving the full plates and full tables.   Grateful for a place to include everyone.  Wondering where the pepper went.  Praying that these guests feel welcome and loved.  Praying that they know how very much God loves them.

10:00 Thursday PM:   Hugs.  Lots of hugs.   Putting away piles of games.   Wondering whose crystal dish I found.  Grateful for a country where prayer and thanksgiving are free.   Praying for our leaders.

4:00 Friday AM:   Turning off the alarm.  Why was I getting up?   Oh yes, its about the socks.   Wondering if it might not be worth paying normal price.   Grateful for friends who are as crazy as me.    Praying for safety.

1:00 Friday PM:   Tired now.   Wondering why the bank didn’t tell me I had a daily spending limit.   How annoying.   Grateful for a sister who has a debit card too.   Praying friends and family will enjoy the gifts.   Grateful for the first and ultimate Christmas gift.

5:00 Friday PM:    Eating pizza.   Loving pineapple and mozarella.   Grateful for old friends.  Praying for their teen group and ours.  Praying for wisdom for parents.

10:00 Saturday AM:   Running three miles.   Did I already mention the cold?   Grateful for coaches.   Praying I’ll be in charge of my body, not it in charge of me.

11:00 Saturday AM:   Eating a cinnamon role.    I think I already mentioned the cinnamon roles.   Really they are that good.   Wondering when I last blogged.   Praying for my niece and nephews.   Grateful for time to sit.

2:00 Saturday PM:   Craft bazaar.   Wondering where all the hats came from.   Wondering if its right to feel guilty for not buying a pot holder from the little Grandma.   Grinning with my kiddo at the tiny Christmas tree for her doll house.   Grateful for fun days.

5:00 Saturday PM:   Sitting by the fire.   Wondering if I can finish all my shopping this weekend.   Probably not.   Praying that in our house, that the miracle of Jesus doesn’t get lost in the ribbons and bows.   So very grateful for Emmanuel.  God with us.

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Little Notes, Big Impact

It’s my birthday.  I’m thirty five.   This is a very stable and confident sounding number.    It’s also halfway to seventy.   My maternal grandmother who is ninety one tells me that 70 is young.   I appreciate the encouragement.

I’ve always been the kind of person who thrives on atta girls.   I had a report card one time that actually said “needs too much encouragement.  Can’t work without outside approval”.    People say that those with a healthy self esteem don’t need others to prop them up.    While  I understand this theory, I actually think this is completely ridiculous.    Last night, running around the track in the dark I totally would have quit when I got a stomach ache had it not been for the amazing marathon runner beside me urging me on.   Encouragement keeps us moving foward.  It can keep us holding on when we don’t see a way through the dark.

Growing up, I loved the days at school where mom had put a note in my lunch box.  I got a note from her today.

I’m blessed today with facebook messages, texts, emails and I even got a fax.  This kind of encouragement just makes me smile.

I was missing my paternal grandmother today.  She died on New Years day, just nine months ago.  She never missed a single birthday my entire life.   She also never skipped sending thank you notes or congratulations cards.   I’m sure my love for the written note comes from Grandma.   This note sits above my desk.

When I’m frustrated with parenting or feel like I’ve blown it, I read this note and remember I come from good stuff.

I blogged last week about my teacher who gave me frowns all year.   This note showed up with a whole page of sticker smiley faces attached.

My daughter gave me one of my all time favorite encouragement notes.

It really does come down to that.   I love you.   That’s what people want to know.  Take a minute today, write a note.  Tell someone you love them.  Encourage them on.

My 91 year old grandmother has alzheimers.  She is doing well.  Still knows who we are.   Still tells us she loves us.   We’ve been writing her notes.     Someday she’s going to hear the the best words of encouragement ever spoken.  Word from her Creator.   “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”.

Be encouraged today.


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