Dog Paddling In the Depths of Despair.

It's been more than a year since I retired this blog yet I found myself growing stale and devoid of writing inspiration, therefore being drawn back to my writing roots.  I am praying that my many troubles and roadblocks will result in times of growth and increased wisdom.  And that this dry spell of the heart will also yield a fresh outlook on the things we are facing as a family.  When I bow my head to pray and no words come.  When I feel like I have too many pent up emotions to continue on with my day, but can't shed a tear.  There is no better place for me to turn than to the promises of my Father in Heaven.  

Here are some of my favourite verses that inspire hope and peace in my darkest days:

Matthew 6:25-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Romans 8:38-39
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord". 
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
Isaiah 40:31
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as
eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint".
I know God promises to take care of our needs and desires to make us prosper. Unemployment and weariness have plagued us long enough so I'm waiting with arms wide open for the blessings to pour out onto our family.
Amen

Thank you!

I'm sending a big thank you our into the Blogosphere to those who read, subscribed, visited, and supported me in getting this blog off the ground 2 years ago.  Instead of letting this expire, I will switch back to a blogspot.com address before April 7, 2012. You may find my blog and the archived posts in tact, or it may be wiped out. Who knows. I've never done anything like this before.


I have moved on to greener and happier pastures.  Please visit me at Mimi's Humble Pie ~ http://www.mimishumblepie.com.

Welcome SPRING & Farewell to GRACE.

Welcome SPRING and the changes it will bring!

After two years of ramblings I will be closing the book on Mimi's Musings, AKA Grace and Me.  Seasons change and so do we.  I originally started this blog to connect with other people and to exercise my noggin while on Maternity Leave.  I have used this blog as somewhere to rant and express myself, while still protecting the PR friendly nature of Mimi's Humble Pie.  Having survived the depths of postpartum depression, and connecting with some great people, I opened a PR friendly blog last summer and called it Mimi's Humble Pie.  The new blog is less than a year old and seems to be thriving!  I had tried to commit to posting three days a weeks on each blog but can't keep up with it.   What's changed? I'm back to work in Early Childhood Education, chasing a 2 1/2 year old in my home time, and  trying to finish my ECE diploma in the next year.  Needless to say- staying up till 3 AM to post on 2 blogs is not helping my stress levels.  I never intended to have the blogs be another stress, they were supposed to be my outlet when I became a lonely stay- at home- mom.  Also, I have changed.  No longer lonely, or depressed, I have found my mom wings and embraced GRACE.  So I'm pruning the branches of my life to cut out the things I feel guilty about not keeping up with.

Thanks for reading, thanks for following, and thanks for supporting me through a rough stage.  I am not going to delete the blog immediately.  The domain expires on April 7, 2012, so I simply am not going to renew it.  So this is not a goodbye, merely a transition. I do feel as though I am closing a chapter of my life though.  This blog came to represent and house some of my darkest early days of motherhood.  And as time went on, it became a place to declare that GRACE had taken over where once there was darkness.


Connect with me on twitter, facebook, or google + 


See my guest posts on Our Family World blog.  

Standing Ovation for "Three Cups of Tea" by Mortenson & Relin.

http://www.threecupsoftea.com/
The first two times I tried to read Three Cups of Tea, I abandoned the efforts.  Why?  I tend to stick with non-fiction because I want to escape from reality. I can handle non-fiction in small doses, (newspaper articles, or sound bites in the news) but a full book wears me out and strains my emotions.  Three Cups of Tea, is a journalistic approach to highlight Greg Mortenson's devotion to building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The first school project came as a promise to his rescuers after a failed attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan.  He had traveled there to indulge in his mountain climbing hobby, and it turned into a 2 decade mission to bring education to the poorest of the poor.

The main points that moved me the most:
  • When you educate a girl you benefit her entire village because she will take her newfound skills home and use them for good.
  • Educating children in war torn countries inspires them to have hope for a better future, beyond being the next generation to pick up arms and fight like their father's and grandfather's.

Very rarely does a book move me to re-consider my core beliefs. I consider myself an educator at heart and found myself wrestling with this question; Would I immerse myself in a Muslim world torn apart by war & fighting to bring peace through education?  Though I had a hard time getting my head into this book, I  have found a great appreciation for the sacrifices that Mortenson laid down to fulfill his promises.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
VIKING Hardcover 2006/ PENGUIN Paperback 2007
In Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time , Greg Mortenson, and journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book consider following the links from the Three Cups of Tea website.  The Central Asia Institute (CAI) will benefit from 7% of the proceeds from each book.

Links to find out more about the CAI and it's affiliated projects:


www.threeCupsoftea.com – “Three cups of Tea” book
www.ikat.org - Central Asia Institute - nonprofit
www.penniesforpeace.org -Pennies For Peace – children’s program




*This is not a compensated post. **Image borrowed from threecupsoftea.com

Sticker Attack #WW

A certain little girl got into a package of stickers ~ 150 smiley stickers I had been saving as a potty training reward if that wonderful day ever came.  I have been finding them every where that they shouldn't be...


On her hands and face~
in her mouth too.

Daddy's Arm ~
Gives tattoo sleeve a new meaning.

My dining room furniture.

Poor helpless meow meow.

Saying Good Bye To A Childhood Hero On This Day Dedicated To LOVE.

Since hearing the news of Whitney Houston's sudden passing on Saturday I have been too sad to write about it. Why? I've certainly never met her, she wasn't a sister or a friend in the true sense.  So why do we mourn for people we've never met?  I know my answer to that question.  People who are part of the entertainment industry sometimes spend more times in our homes then our extended family members.  I'm not going to jump on the gossip bandwagon.  I encourage you to choose kindness.  Death is never a joke.  She is someone's mother, daughter and friend and is loved and mourned by many.

My Memories:

The first time I heard Whitney Houston ~ I was 9 years old and someone brought a radio during a backyard camp out with some neighbourhood kids.  "How Will I Know" was being played every hour and I quickly fell in love with The VOICE.

I remember watching the Grammy's for a glimpse of Whitney.

I watched the music channel to see concerts and the weekly countdown that would certainly have one of her songs.

She hasn't been in the Top singles category in over a decade but my ipod carries her songs in my pocket.

An album collection from the 80's became a cassette collection, and is now a CD collection.  She has a permanent home in my stereo.

It's hard for me to pick one favourite song. When looking over her songs list, the common theme is LOVE.

How Will I Know (Merrill, Rubicam c.1985).
Greatest Love Of All (Masser, Creed c.1986).
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me). (Merrill, Rubicam c.1987).
I Will Always Love You (Parton c.1973) (1992).
If I Told You That (Jerkins, Jerkins, Daniels, Estes c.2000).
I Look To You (Kelly c.2009).

Here is one song, a duet she did with George Michael, that I was listening to just last week.  It came up on the playlist on my ipod and I got to hear the harmonies up close in my earbuds.  I found it on youtube.com because I wanted to share it in my tribute.



*****************************************
I pray for the Houston/Brown family during this terrible time of loss. May God provide peace that passes all understanding and strength to cope with this loss.  And may the tabloid blabber-mouths stop for a minute to think about what they are saying about one of God's children.



A Tribute to Mike: There's A Man Living in the Bike Path Underpass {Update}


Last Fall I wrote this post in tribute to a man I barely knew.  Since Winter set in he has been absent from the park and I haven't seen him in the downtown area in a very long time.  Last Saturday I found an obituary in our local Oshawa This Week paper.  Mike has passed on to a peaceful rest. He had been staying at an Extendicare facility in our region due to illness.  In the end he got what help that could be given and I truly hope he is at peace now.
Peacefully On Saturday January 28, 2012 at Extendicare Oshawa at the age of 57.
Mike, beloved son of Marjorie Webb and the late David Webb.  Dear brother of Marilyn and her husband Jack Thomsen, Bob Webb and his wife Tanya, Dorothy Corvec and Beverly Webb.
Father of the late Patricia and Cynthia Webb. Uncle to 14 nieces and nephews.  Partner of June O’Brien.
Very special thanks to the staff and volunteers at the YWCA and Extendicare Long Term Care Centre for the wonderful and loving care given to Mike over the years.  Cremation with burial in New Brunswick.
To Place online condolences please visit armstrongfuneralhome.net.

Original Post date September 23, 2011


What has been keeping me awake this week? There is a man living in the underpass tunnel on the bike path near my building.  He isn't new to this city, but has migrated East.  For eight years I went to work at a Charitable Organization in my local Downtown area.  And he was a daily fixture in the homeless group that gathered in pairs or singly under the awnings of nearby foreclosed buildings. Mike appears to be mute, either by choice or by physicality, and tends to be a loner.  He wears two heavy trench coats, no matter what the temperature, could be in his mid-thirties, walks with a pronounced limp and bent back.   For the last three months Mike has been near the bike path underpass.  I hadn't seen him in almost two years, well, since leaving that job. Everyday I walk to get a coffee and some exercise. Sometimes he is sitting on the public bench with face up-turned to the Sun and eyes closed, other times walking the path.    

He has a beat up shopping cart that goes EVERYWHERE.  It's loaded with miscellaneous plastic bags, he has food, clothing, books, and bedding. His cart is carefully covered with his green sleeping bag which I have seen him wash in the creek near the bike path.  Never in ten years have I seen him ask for money, never have I seen anyone stop to talk to him. He doesn't hold a cardboard sign with pleas for help.  Everyday I walk, I wonder if Mike will be there. And yes, I pray for him.

I have a philanthropic nature, but also have a strong sense of personal space (my own and others) and don't generally approach strangers.  My husband also worked in the Downtown Business Area for 12 years, and befriended a few of the homeless crew.  I met him for lunch one day, and we passed an older man wearing slippers for shoes.  We stopped to talk to him, I asked if I could buy him some shoes. He said; "Why?" I said; "Because you're walking in slippers." He said; "So! If I wanted shoes I'd get some."  Lesson learned...Never assume that homeless people are helpless, uneducated, mentally ill, or dangerous. We have chatted with other homeless friends who choose the streets because their home life was more dangerous or unacceptable. Eventually street living just became the only way of life they new.  Like "Ray".  He has been in and out of group homes in Durham Region, shelters in Toronto, Bachelor Flats and rooming with friends.  Ray always ends up back on the streets, he said he just doesn't want to be bound by landlords or Supervisors.  He'd rather choose when he wants to go to bed, eat his meals, and read a book.

The older I get, the less bold I become.  I'm not wreckless. I know my hard core Evangelical friends would scorn me for not living fear-free.  There are acquaintances' that have no problem shouting God's love from the roof tops.  Just being honest here, I have never been able to be that bold.  There are many times that I betray my own genuine desire to help people and show kindness.  I am so afraid of doing the wrong thing that I tend to do nothing.  On Wednesday's morning walk it occurred to me. Why has Mike moved this far East?  It's a good 30 minute walk from his previous hang out.  I saw him nearly everyday for eight years when I went to work.  Now I see him nearly everyday on my walk.  I have no issue with him being there. He is not loud, he doesn't leave trash around like the people that pass through on their way down the bike path. If anything I worry about his safety.

So these are the questions that have kept me awake this week.  Should I bring him a sandwich? A coffee? A Gift card for groceries?  The best way to find out would be to ask, but how to get around the mutism?Yesterday when I went for my walk, Mike wasn't on his bench. I wondered where he was and remembered that it had rained quite hard the night before.  On my round trip heading home, I used the sidewalk on the overpass.  I stopped to look over and saw Mike was soaking up the sun with a smile on his face.  He may not need me to do anything but leave him alone.


Image Credits: Ontario Bike Path