Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, My Son...


Dear Lucas,

You turn 6 today and as I reflect on how much you have grown and what you have already experienced, my mother's heart is both proud and aching. I wish I could shield you from the pain and hurt that you will go through as you continue to grow. I wish I could explain to you why this world isn't fair with something besides "it just isn't." I wish I could leave you out of my life's drama, but you are a part of that life and sometimes, through no fault of your own, you will get dragged into it. And for that, most of all, I am sorry.

Your heart is huge. Your capacity to love and forgive is neverending and man, how I pray the world does not change that about you. It is going to be hard, though. I wish I could say it will get easier. Your heart is going to be broken by friends and family and girls and I am going to want to fix it, but I can't. I can, however, promise you that you will survive. You will carry on and heal and find out, through it all, what real friendship is, that family can be hard but they will always be family, and that there is one girl out there that will love you for all that you are. Just be patient.

I want you to find strength in one thing and one thing only, and that is God. Only He can carry you through the times when you feel most like giving up. I want you to know the love that comes from trusting Him and His plans, no matter how hard that may feel at times. Know that His faithfulness has carried your momma through some rough times and only by His grace have I made it through with joy.

And, sweet boy, always be kind. No matter the circumstances, lead with a kind and loving heart. I want you to be a light in this world and show people what I see: an amazing, loving, gentle, giving soul whose capacity to love is abundant. Do not give in to the frustrations of the world and react to other peoples negativity - show them kindness or just walk away. Never, ever start a fight. But never let someone else belittle or abuse you or someone else in your presence. Be the person who stands up for the little man. Just do it in kindness.

Finally, my son, remember how unbelievably proud I am of you. No matter where life takes you, no matter the career path you some day choose, know, without a doubt that I love you. I haven't always done things right; I know I've screwed a few things up. But so far, I think, you are no worse for wear. :) 

I love you, to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever.

Love,
Mommy


Every year I have been asking Lucas the same questions and keeping track of his answers.  Here are his 2015 Q & A.... Some answers are the same, some are very optimistic and others just make me smile... :)

2015 Birthday Questions

What is your favorite color?              Orange
What is your favorite toy?           My dinosaur transformer I'm going to get for my b-day.
What is your favorite fruit?                Bananas
What is your favorite TV show?  Miles from Tomorrowland
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?            Turkey, cracker and cheese Lunchables
What is your favorite outfit?               Sometimes gray - sweat pants & T-shirts
What is your favorite game?              Mario Bros. (Nintendo & Wii)
What is your favorite snack?             Ranch Doritoes
What is your favorite animal?             Lions
What is your favorite song?               Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
What is your favorite book?              The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Who is your best friend?                   Sophie
What is your favorite cereal?             All of them
What is your favorite thing to do outside?            Ride my bike and other ride on toys.
What is your favorite drink?              Lemonade
What is your favorite holiday?            Halloween
What is your favorite think to eat for breakfast?            Waffles
What do you want for dinner on your birthday?            Macaroni and cheese
What do you want to be when you grow up?                   A train conductor

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm Still Here!

Well, I have no "real" excuse for slacking on my blog as of late.  Although I will tell you that the main reason has been my greater commitment to writing poetry.  I have been faithfully writing at the very least, one poem a day since the beginning of August.  For the most part, however, it is more like 3-5 poems a day, which, for me, is amazing.  I went for YEARS writing one poem or none. 
 
And that is a very sad thing for me, seeing as my gift - my GIFT!! - is writing poetry. I was wasting my gift with excuses.  Now I am making time for it and I am so thankful.  So if I have not been on here as much as I would like to be, I apologize, I do.  It took me 25 years to write then publish my first book of poetry and there is no way I will repeat that.  I'd like my 2nd book to only take me a year or two.  ;)
 
 
I think I am ready for a new year, too.  2014 has been a roller coaster and I am ready to get off and try something new.  I hope ya'll stick with me through this ride.  I may not be on here as often, but I am around.  Writing... writing.... and writing some more.  You can find a few of my pieces on Instagram - feel free to follow me.  ☺ You may get some uber cute photos of my son, too.
 
 
Speaking of which, he is passed out on the couch and I fear that means I have to lug his 50 pounds of boy to his bed... again.  I did this last night and whacked my forehead on the top bunk.  My head is still killing me.  This is my life. 
 
So I will bid adieu for now... Thanks all for sticking by me...
 
 
Counting it all joy,
Angela

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Awareness or Attention Seeker

I get it, raising awareness for a cause.  And I commend the amazing job that the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has accomplished with the job of raising funds for research for ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  I think it's amazing, I do.  I have friends and family who have completed the challenge and have contributed to the organization.  I commend them for their commitment.

However, I am left wondering if they know exactly, where their money is going.  What, exactly, their money is being used for.  How it is being used.  Or were they caught up in the hype of the "craze" that has taken the world by storm?  Celebrities are doing it, Former Presidents are doing it, Newscasters are doing it... I mean, everyone is doing it!  

And yes, a lot of the videos are pretty darn humorous, I'll give you that much.  I would be lying to say I didn't have a few favorites.  

But....

I have Crohn's Disease.

How many of you know a thing about what ails me?
How many even care?
How many people have seen the ads on television for IBD - Irritable Bowel Disease?
How many think it is just about using the bathroom a lot?
How many think it is just about an upset stomach?
How many know that there is no cure for Crohn's Disease?
How many even care?

Yeah, what about me and the thousands of other sufferers.

No, I'm not devaluing the importance of supporting ALS, but I think you should have a valid reason for donating to a cause other than it is the "in thing to do."  If people were posting their video stating they were accepting the "Ice Bucket Challenge in Support of So & So" I may be a bit less of a negative nanny.  But that has not been the case, at least not in the majority of the videos I have seen.

So, here's my challenge to ALL of you: Support a Cause that is dear to your heart and by the word of our Father: "Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you." ~ Matthew 6:1

If that cause is ALS, wonderful.  If it is the American Cancer Society, amazing!  If it is the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, THANK YOU!

Whatever your choice is, do it with a glad heart!  

I would love for the CCFA.org to be inundated with donations because I really want a cure.  I am tired of being tired and in pain 90% of the time.  I don't want to have more surgery on my gut.  I don't want to, one day, have to have a ileostomy bag.  I don't want to suffer anymore.  But, until then, I'll keep my head up, stay strong and support my fellow "bellies."  


And you, well, I hope you support the cause that means the most to you.

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

He's A Kindergartener

I watched him walk off to the entrance into his school this morning, my 5 year old kindergartener, and my heart hurt.  It was his second day at school and it was worse than the first. I guess it is something I will just have to get used to, as this is the new "normal."  


The past few days he has been wearing on my last nerve.  What is it about children that when they are home, they drive you nuts, but as soon as they are gone, you miss them?  Well, I miss him, but honestly, the quiet is kind of really... AWESOME.  ☺  Did I just admit that?!  Yeah, I totally did.

I am sitting at my computer desk actually typing without a child climbing all over my chair every 5 minutes asking for a hug and a kiss.  (Which I love hugs and kisses, don't get me wrong, but OMG!  He ONLY does that when I am on the dang computer!!)  The television is off so the house is, seriously, QUIET.  It's marvelous.  I'm in heaven.

I can do anything for the next 3 hours.  I'm kind of loving this.

So, yeah, I miss my son but I'll see him later and he'll tell me about his day and we'll have some quality time then because I'll have gotten what I wanted to do, done.  Yeah, this can work.  This mommy is HAPPY.

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Saturday, August 16, 2014

20 Years & Forever a Wallflower

I recently learned that my high school graduating class is having a 20-year reunion next Friday.  I only learn of these things because I am friends with a few people I graduated from high school with and they have been "talking" about it and were mentioning an event page and such.  I have no clue where this "event" page is, I have not been invited to anything.  No huge surprise there, I bet most of them don't even remember me attending Junior and Senior year with them.  The joys of entering high school in my final two years.  Oh, and did I mention I entered from a totally different state and I didn't fit in AT ALL?!  

Yeah, some things will never change.

Which leads me up to something that I AM super proud of: I finally (FINALLY!) published my poetry on Amazon!  Yay!  25 years of my writing in one super long but superbly priced e-book that I hope you all will check out!



I began writing when I was 9 but didn't really keep track of my poetry until I was 13 so the book covers my poetry from 1989-2014.  There are some years where it dwindles off and there are maybe 1 or 2 or, in some cases, none at all.  You can kind of see the season of my life through the entire book.  It is a look into my heart, a look into my soul.  
It was really difficult for me to publish this, even though it has always been my dream to have others read what I wrote.  You have to understand that I reveal most of who I am through my writing, especially through my poetry.  Every deep-seated emotion comes through my poetry.  It began when I was a teenager and continues as an adult, although the changes in my writing is evident, the challenges in my life are still prominent.  

I would go into who and why I chose now to publish but it's a little more personal than I care to divulge at the moment.  And I have learned that some things need to stay close to the heart and between who needs to know.

I do want to apologize for those that normally read my blog for being MIA for so long.  I was trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school started down here in the South and then life happened and things got stressful, but that is for another blog post.  So expect to see more of me.  Until then, please check out my book and share it.  It started off the first week in the Top 10 of Amazon's Top 100 Women's Poetry.  Now it is in the Top 75.  Still good, but not as exciting as it was!

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Monday, June 16, 2014

Help Me Get to Haiti

I am ecstatic!  Why?  Because my church is doing a missions trip in March 2015 & by all intents and purposes, I am going!  But I need your help!  The cost to go is not as great as some places, but it is still high & I need to raise $1700.  

With that said, this is Phase 1 of my fundraising strategy:
 
Help me get to Haiti! ALL my prints (and most are NOT on Etsy yet as they charge me and take a percentage of my sales so you can view them at Angela's Heartwork on FB) are going towards my missions trip to Haiti! All the Scripture and Inspirational Quotes are going to be $5 each or 3 for $12 with $2.50 shipping. All Poetry prints will be $7 each or 3 for $18 with $2.50 shipping. Help me get to Haiti in March! Just browse my PHOTOS then message me or email me at angelasheartwork@yahoo.com with what print or prints you wish to order and the quantity and I will send you an invoice via Paypal. It's that easy. 

Some of my work includes:





Thank you for your support as I strive to check off one of my "bucket list" items and share the gospel with the children and people of Haiti.

More information on Phase 2 to come...  ;)

Counting it all joy,
Angela

Monday, May 26, 2014

How Can We Allow Ourselves To Forget?

I overheard a lady on Sunday, as I was hiking back from visiting a rather popular waterfall in the Smoky Mountains.  She was with her family, enjoying the long weekend.  She said, "This is such a great holiday!," with so much joy in her voice.  Now, maybe it was because I was dead tired from hiking 4 miles and still had another mile to go to be done with this torture, but her comment really irritated me.  If I wasn't still trying to catch my breath, I would've turned to her and said, "Really?  Such a great holiday where we remember all the hundreds of thousands of men and women that died for us to live in this country?"  I was tempted, but I let it slide.

Now, you may say I am a hypocrite as I was out hiking, too, and enjoying the weekend.  I DID have a great weekend camping with my family but I also took the time to explain to my 5 year old WHY we had Monday off, WHAT Memorial Day was and why it was SO IMPORTANT.  Maybe this lady did the same thing, I don't know.  Maybe that is why I felt it best to bite my tongue.  I don't know. 

The point is: We have a number of "Holidays" here in the United States.  But do we always teach our children what the REALLY mean and try to make them understand that, yes, it's awesome that we can spend quality time with our family and friends and do some wonderful things together but there are some people, some kids, that do not have that luxury.  Let us remember THEM, too.

There is a great deal of sacrifice that is WILLINGLY laid down for us every single day yet most of us take that for granted.  Memorial Day.  Veteran's Day.  Then there is D Day & Patriot Day - Better Known as September 11th.  Do we, as parents, talk to our children about these days?  How about MLK Day?  Or President's Day?  The list goes on and on.

My issue with her comment was this: Memorial Day is NOT a "great holiday."  I have friends and family that have lost loved ones to wars.  I have friends and family that have experienced the side effects of war.  I have friends and family that survived war but did not "survive" war.  No, Memorial Day is not a "great holiday."  It is a time to be thankful for these men and women AND for their families.  For sacrificing so much.  For willingly sacrificing so much.  Not everyone is cut out for the military.  These men and women are the ones who deserve the accolades.  The men and women and children who survive the military lifestyle, they, too, deserve the accolades.  It isn't easy.  But is a price that many pay for all of us.  

No, freedom is not free.  But ask many of them if they would do it all over again, and they would say in a heartbeat.  So thank a soldier, whether active or retired.  You will make them feel good, even if their tough exterior doesn't show it.  ☺



Counting it all joy,
Angela