I’m not a fan of alcoholic drinks; for years my family members and girlfriends made fun of my drink selections. In the past, I served Welch’s Grape Juice and Sparkling Apple Ciders. Last year I discovered FRE it’s alcohol-removed wine. It’s made and bottled by Sutter Home Winery, Inc. in St. Helena, Napa County, California. I found them in my local Jewel grocery store where they keep the regular wines. I still remember the look on their faces when they gathered around the table; there was awkward silence because of the bottles. They thought I had lost my mind, but when they read the bottles they knew they were in the right house. The wines are wonderful to drink and when cooking they come through exceptionally well.
The wines go well with desserts. The Red Blend makes and awesome gravy; if you’re looking to up your gravy game this holiday; add a cup of Red Blend to your gravy. If you’re looking for something different and safe for everyone to drink this holiday give FRE wines a try; for more information visit http://www.frewines.com. #notsponsored.
Since this is the first holiday meal. We tend to take special care to make sure it is well, special. Have you seen the prices of fancy oils? The prices are over the top the for sure. I make my own oils and I enjoy cooking with the oils. Below are my two favorite oil creations I use when I’m cooking for the big day. I hope you give them a try. Make sure to store the oils in the refrigerator and let me know.
The big day is getting closer and I need every bit of spare time to get things done. I don’t know about you, but I need them to feed themselves for the next few days. I don’t have the time nor energy to cook a meal every single day. This is what I did to encourage them to feed themselves. I made a pan of Italian beef and sausages; meatloaf and veggies and lunch meat sliders. When the meals were done; I put a note on each pan of food and continued on with my life.
Here’s an idea if you’re looking for something quick.
That’s another added stress during the holiday. People are probably calling the host asking about the attire. For us; the name of the attire this holiday is comfort! We are wearing sweat pants, sweat shirts and holiday socks. This should accomplish several things.
You don’t have to worry about a fashion show or the notorious fashionista. When people are comfortable in their clothing it seems to take the edge off.
The hosts can relax; the last thing I want to do after planning for a month, shopping for weeks and cooking for days is put on something uncomfortable. I want to relax; of course my hair is fixed and my makeup is done well, but that’s all I need for the holiday pictures.
If you have a shoe-free home. Guests can and will get offended when asked to remove their shoes, but if they know in advance to wear their crazy holidays socks and show them off. Well then that’s a family fun game and your floors are protected.
Buy spare crazy holiday socks from Sam’s Club, Walmart, Dollar Tree or any other store #notsponsored; I bought a pack for men and women for about $6.99 each USD from Sam’s Club.
That takes care of what to wear; coming up next post “We hungry.”
Time is flying by faster as the holiday gets closer. If you are a caregiver; you may already feel as if you’re behind. I feel the same; since I will cook this year and continue to caregive for my mother and brother; balance is so important.
If you’re entertaining and are starting to get phone calls, texts or emails regarding different diets. There is still time to change the feast to a potluck. Have each person who may be on a special diet to bring a dish for themselves and enough to share. It will give them an opportunity to show off their cooking skills and share with the family why they chose the diet or if the diet chose them during the meal. Make a game of it by having note cards. That should free up your time in the kitchen and give you the opportunity to not only host, but be a guest at the gathering. After all “many hands make light work.” I used to hate when my mother would say that; now I understand.
You may not have time to put a soundtrack together and you’re not sure if you’re ready to let sonny boy or girl DJ the gathering. Try Napster or Pandora they have tons of songs that should get you through the feast. #not sponsored. It worked for us last year; hopefully, it will work for you and your family.
The countdown continues! Today is the day to take care of yourself; especially if you work outside the home or a caregiver for your family member or members. There are 17 days to go…speaking of going; go get a manicure there are some salons that have discounts for customers on Monday and Tuesday. You can ask if they give discounts; as the holiday gets closer more people will begin to fill the salons; who has a lot of time to wait? Personally, I’m not a fan of the No Chip Manicure, but I did discover that it really does work and lasts no matter how hard you work.
If you’re not into the salon manicure thing; I understand. Try setting aside some time for a good bath or hide at a friend’s house or library just for some quiet. You may feel slightly guilty for playing hooky, but you will feel better and less stressed.
My friend, please take the day to relax and take a few deep breaths. A decent sound track will be the topping on the cake.
FYI: music playing in my mind “As” by Stevie Wonder from Songs In The Key of Life album.
Well, here we are; officially counting down the days until the all you can eat feast followed by all you can shop feast.
To be honest, this year; I’m kinda looking forward to cooking, but at the same time I know I have limitations and I have to smart and careful. Looking back to last year my family hated the catered meals. When I say they hated them…they hated the meals.
So, this year my husband and I discussed it and I will cook for the family. Here are a few things I will do to make sure I stay healthy and enjoy the process.
This Friday; I will:
Budget, stick to it and not waver.
Menu written and ready.
Shopping for the turkey and ham to put in the freezer until; it’s time to cook.
Cleaning the kitchen, fridge, stove, and deep freezer.
Picking out my music! I’ve got to have a decent soundtrack when in the house and on the go.
More than anything; I must remember this is my gift to my family and that makes them and me happy.
Happy Faithful Friday my friend; I hope you find inspiration today.
I believe every job has its quirks; mine is no different. There are days when I walk away from the studio knowing that I did a good job and that I connected with our listeners. Then there are days when I leave the studio wondering what happened and always with a song stuck in my head; an occupational hazard.
A few years ago I was in an industry meeting in Chicago. The guest speaker was giving radio hosts a pep-talk because it can get a little draining sometimes. He said “Never bring your personal problems on the air; people don’t want to hear about your problems. They tune in to listen to the music to forget about their problems for a while. You are there to uplift your listeners not the other way around.”
I didn’t know how to take what he said; it was stern, but wise. You don’t want to put something “out there” that you can never take back; because it just may come back to bite you in the mic. That’s good advice.
I do like to feel a sense of kinship with our listeners. I want to know just by the sound of their voice who is calling. I want to know their names and ask about family members they have mentioned. Realistically, that’s not possible because a call has to last 30 seconds or fewer. That’s not a lot of time, so you have to make every second count. Listen attentively and then play the appropriate song just for that listener so it can touch his or her heart and let them know that they were heard. That’s music in the air.
FYI: the song that’s stuck in my head today on Music Monday: “Feel Good Music” by Da Chozen Brothaz.
This was a busy rainy Friday and I’m still working around the house. Have you ever had one of those days when the list never ends?
The day started off a little later than I planned; that set the motion for me talking to myself asking “did you remember to…” I made a decision that I wasn’t going to ask myself that question anymore today because it only lead me deeper down the rabbit hole. I honestly can’t count the number of times I was overwhelmed today, but I stayed positive.
The next decision I made was not to beat myself up because I couldn’t do everything today. The kryptonite for this Superwoman today was time and time won! However, I’m still going to count this day as a victory here’s why:
I did remember to spend time meditating (even though my day started late; I was not about to sacrifice meditating).
I did remember to take a shower (that’s important especially when going out in public).
I did remember to smile at random people in the stores.
I did remember to walk the dog and check on the critters.
I did remember to stay grateful even when I had to walk all over the hardware store to find something that (I felt) should have been in the front of the store.
I did remember to post because it brings me joy.
My list was unbelievable today; I didn’t get everything done, but that’s okay. I will remember to do it tomorrow.
I don’t know what it is about naps, but I freaking love them! They are the best on a cold rainy day, the best on a cold snowy day, the best on a warm summer day, the best during the fall and spring. I feel restored after a good nap. The king of all naps is on Sundays after I get home from the studio and church. If there is a game on that I’m not too invested in; it lulls me into the sweetest sleep ever in life. I don’t like it when my nap is disturbed. If the house, husband or dog are not on fire do not wake me up; it’s Sunday nap time for goodness sake.
Here are a few things to get you ready for a good nap as demonstrated by our dog Elly.
Find a space that’s all yours; you might have to slightly mark your territory, but that’s a part of life. “You cannot not make an omelette without breaking eggs; any good cook will tell you that.” ~Colonel Mustard, Clue
Have a little snack; you don’t want to sleep on an empty stomach. Oh, keep some water near just in case you get thirsty.
Then let’er rip! There is nothing as sweet as a good nap.
Do you feel the same as we do about naps? I’d love to know.
Today; I choose goodness, victory, and mercy. A portion of goodness is defined as: “The condition or quality of being good.” That’s the kind of condition I want to have; not just today, but everyday even when it is hard and I want to go off on fifteen different levels. I choose goodness.
Today; I am grateful for the smallest of victories. If I can share a smile or a big belly laugh with someone; I will count that as victory.
Today; I choose mercy. Today; someone in my life may need a little mercy from me and I am willing to give it freely.
Surely goodness and mercy are small words, but they have a big victorious impact. Happy Faithful Friday my friend; I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Mom had her regular appointment with her doctor last Friday. I was communicating with her doctor through emails about any tests and the flu shot she need to take. He asked me when her last mammogram was; I couldn’t answer that question. So, I asked my mother; she said she couldn’t remember. Needless to say she needed to get it done as soon as possible.
When we were in the exam; her doctor said they searched her records and couldn’t find any prior exams. I was scared and slightly angry; before I began caregiving for my mom; she could go to the doctor any time she wanted, but apparently she hasn’t had a mammogram. I asked her doctor if she could go that day. He agreed made some calls and we were in the imaging center within minutes. She didn’t want to go, but we told her she didn’t have a choice especially since her maternal grandmother had breast cancer that was caught in enough time; it resulted in a mastectomy, but she lived the rest of her life cancer-free to almost 100 years old.
I received an email today; they found something in both of my mom’s breasts. We have to schedule another more extensive exam. I will talk to her doctor this week so we can get the re-examination and talk about options. This is real; do not skip breast exams. If you cannot remember the last time you had a mammogram—it’s time to get one. If your mother, sister and friend cannot remember they need to go as well.
Speaking of going; I had mine last year and it’s time for another one. When was your last exam? I’d love to know.
I guess the title should read Monday’s Holiday Soundtrack; there is no more denying; the holidays are upon us. Like it or loath it; we might as well get ready. First up: music for Thanksgiving. You need something playing in the background to get past the awkward silence between bites and to distract someone from saying something stupid.
I learned the hard-way; it’s good to set up your music when you are in a good mood and before the rush of buying food, cooking, cleaning and all the other things that will dampen your desire to entertain.
Here are my suggestions for Thanksgiving; Friendsgiving; I ain’t giving a ***beep*** Holiday music. You can build a custom playlist using Amazon or any other music app or source. #not sponsored by Amazon or any other music app
“Little Birdie” by Vince Guaraldi (a bit of table trivia: Vince also sang the song)
This song is a great distraction; the children will recognize it from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the adults will remember it from their childhood. If all goes well it should spark the “do you remember” conversations.
This is a nice collection to have on hand. Les Paul Roque’s trio of CDs
I hope you’re inspired to at least think about your upcoming holiday soundtrack. Let me know your music choices.
There are times when the changing seasons are more romantic than others; I love fall. The weather is cooling down and the temperatures are just right for a nice cup of hot tea; the fashionistas are forced to put on more clothing; I mean what’s not to like about fall?
I love warm soups and slowly simmered stews running over with vegetables and herby goodness.
I love seeing my husband put on his array of sweatshirts; that is one sexy man right there; keep back ladies; he’s all mine! (If you don’t see a post from me next week…)
The dog’s fur changes and sheds all over the place; it’s a wonder she has any left on her body.
The critters outside are busy getting their lives together.
Oh my goodness, finally! The turkeys have grown! As we get closer to Thanksgiving the turkeys are trying to find a safe place to hide (ha)! They are part of family life. The turkeys will not be harmed; if they can just keep their little butts out of the driveway; they should have a great fall as well.
So, on this Faithful Friday I’m finding the joy in this new season. What do you like most about this new season?
Last year when my husband and I were on a quest to downsize to a smaller place in hopes of simplifying our lives; we searched and found the small place of our dreams. We were ready!
As it turns out we were not ready! Not even close to ready. We gave away a lot of things and donated a lot, but we had more than what our new place could hold. We got rid of more stuff and just decided to roll with whatever.
We have learned a lot about our place. The best thing about our place; we no longer share a closet. He can have his and I can have mine. We settled on the layout for the living room and had no choice for the dining room and zero (to me) space in the kitchen. Then there’s the spare bedroom. I thought it would act as a multi-function room. It could change into a guest room for guests, home office for office work, space for my treadmill and my big comfy chair for reading.
We put the bed in there and that pretty much ate up all the space in the room. We managed to cram a few more things in the room, but yeah, we will count that one as a loss as well. That meant that my big chair had no place to go; a few days ago my husband told me he was getting rid of my chair. I had to think and think quickly! So, I created a reading nook inside my closet. I didn’t tell him my plan in advance (ladies we all know why). I waited until the time was right for him to move my chair into place. He thought I was crazy and still does, but that’s okay. My big comfy chair and I are doing just fine in our space.
Is there anything better than a nice soundtrack to get you through your day? I may possibly be biased, but I say no; I love being a radio host; playing music with just the right amount of banter (hopefully) is a dream.
Next Sunday we will have listener’s choice on Sunday Morning Rise. Mark Chambers, a listener in Florida was chosen; we spoke briefly on the phone to finalize plans Sunday when I was in the studio. I’m looking forward to his music selections.
What music would you select if you were given the opportunity to be a DJ for the day? I would love to know.
It’s been a busy week for us; we had a lot on our plates with the house and the other things of life that needed our attention. I was trying not to get too overwhelmed and go into a negative “head-space.” We needed to work as a team to get things done. We went to bed every evening beyond tired; finally the clouds of demands are starting to lift (just a bit).
I was reading the Song of Solomon Chapter 2 this morning; verse 16 captured my attention. “My lover is mind, and I am his…” I read it over and over “my lover is mine, and I am his…” This reminded me that it was time to reconnect with David. We work and work hard during the week it is easy not want to be in the “mood for love;” but it doesn’t have to be a chore. The woman in the song was enjoying the process of being loved and giving love to her man nothing else was a priority. She benefited from their time of reconnecting as well as he benefited; it was a shared experience.
So, this Faithful Friday; I am grateful for the physical act of intimacy, being in a quiet space with just us. We can go for a walk, sit on the porch or do nothing at all. Here’s what I know for sure; tonight; I will be deliberate when I look into his eyes over supper. I will tell him how much I appreciate him and all we have together. I know what will happen after that; I will enjoy the process of our shared experience of reconnecting.
What will you do this weekend to reconnect with your love?
Let’s pick up where we left off last Music Monday.
I listened to John Coltrane’s “Dear Lord” trying to remember where I heard the song. My friend’s father asked me if I liked the song. That was the first time a song overwhelmed my emotions. I couldn’t explain what was going on with that particular song.
The pizzas arrived and I went back into teenage mode; still trying to understand why that song had such an immediate impact on me emotionally.
I talked to my mother about the song; she was not interested; she was not a fan of Jazz and didn’t play it in the house. I think the closest she came to Jazz was Johnny Mathis. I wanted my mom to feel the same way I did about the song; I wanted her to melt into the different levels as I did and more than anything; I wanted to share this Gospel Jazz experience with her.
Friday was allowance day! I already knew what I was gonna do with a portion of earnings. I went straight to the record shop; yes, we didn’t have the ability to go online to buy the music; we had to search for the music on foot. I was so excited to have the album in my hands. I couldn’t get home fast enough to play the song for my mother.
When I got home with my prized song possession my uncle was there; I told him to listen to what I bought. I began playing the song. I noticed the look on my uncle’s face he said “where did you get this?” Before I could answer; my mom came into the living room screaming “turn that off Wendy; I don’t want to hear another sound out of it or you tonight!” “Get that out of my house now!” I was trying to tell her that it was a Gospel Jazz song. She was not having it at all; she started walking towards me; my uncle stood in her path and I’m certain at the moment saved my little teenager life. I could not understand what was going on; I wanted my mom to feel the same as I did about the song. She felt something for sure, but it was not what I expected her to feel.
I went next door to my grandmother’s house. That’s where I typically went when I was in trouble and mom needed her space. I told my grandmother what happened and that it wasn’t a bad song, but mom went off the rails; I couldn’t understand. A few minutes later my uncle sat next to me on the sofa; he asked me if I was okay. “All I wanted to do was to listen to that song; I remember it, but for some reason; I don’t know.” My uncle looked at my grandmother she nodded and left the room; then he told me about that song.
More next time…
What songs do you remember playing at home that caused a stir in your house growing up? I would love to know.
There is no doubt about it; pets have an important impact on our lives. Having a pet gives us something to think about besides ourselves.
They are loving companions and they can keep a secret. They will never tell what you said about anyone.
If you are a pet owner—you know what I’m talking about; sometimes they are protectors, inspectors, provide comic relief, nosy, noisy, destructive balls of fur and we can’t imagine our lives without our pets.
This Faithful Friday let’s celebrate our pets! What is your life like with your pet?
It’s okay. Listen you are human; you have a lot on your plate taking care of someone else or sometimes two family members. You are running around picking up prescriptions, buying their groceries, reading mail, paying their bills, organizing their prescriptions, making sure they take the medicine, cook, clean the house and sometimes clean the family member.
It can get overwhelming and depressing especially when you have to go home and make sure your own house is in order. The loss of your personal time and basic rest can cause anyone to lose-their-cool. There are no secrets to avoiding anger while caregiving. The thing is; you don’t want to end up repeating the cycle that’s not good for you physically or your family member(s).
When you get angry; ask yourself why am I angry? If something is not working; take a step back to see how it can work better for you (the caregiver) and how it can benefit the family member.
If you’re feeling angry from being overworked; ask for help. I know I sound like a broken record, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help. You are one-person; get over the superhero complex; know your caregiving kryptonite and learn to take a break.
Taking a break from caregiving is not a sin. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about the family member or members. You will be surprised how much better your mind will work when you look at the problem from a different angle.
What ways have you discovered that helped you to deal with the caregiving anger dilemma? Let me know in the comment box.
When you think about the all the genres of music there are in the world; which would you pick as your personal favorite(s)?
My personal favorites are Gospel and Jazz. When the two are combined; I am in listener’s heaven. That is why I enjoy hosting Sunday Morning Rise radio program on WNUR; a radio station located on Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus. I love what I do because being a program host has its advantages.
Let’s go back to the first time I was introduced to Gospel Jazz it was through my friend’s father. Their house was the teen hangout; our parents knew that we were safe; so us being there was never an issue. The hosts were welcoming and for some reason enjoyed having a house full of teens. We’d gather in the dining room to play board games, card games, talk, and of course eat. My friend’s father was always in the living room listening to records and watching our every move. My friend’s mother was in the kitchen watching us from her angle. We were well-supervised.
It was common to have their father’s music selections playing in the background. One particular night he was playing a song by Billie Holiday; for some reason the song caught my attention. I went into the living room and asked about the song. He showed me the vinyl’s album cover; we talked about how she looked, but the thing that stood out (to me) was how she sounded. He listened to my interpretation of Billie’s song and said; “let me play something else for you; I think you can handle it.” I sat on the floor close to the speakers and watched as he carefully slipped the album out of the jacket and placed the album on the turn table and gently placed the needle onto the album.
The moment the song began to play the love was immediate. The song was familiar, but new to me at the same time. I closed my eyes and could see the music. I asked him what the name of the song was; he told me it was “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane and that it was a Gospel Jazz song. I was hooked and never looked back. I will share more of my young journey into Gospel Jazz next time.
If you want to hear “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane look it up on Google and let me know if you like the song.
There is something about being in the house when it’s raining that I never got over as a child. I love the sound, the smell and even the noise. To me, it’s peaceful and romantic except when I have to go out in the rain. Then it’s a different story.
I’m not a fan of getting wet especially my shoes and feet (to me, that’s the worst). I give up on my hair because I know it will fall flat; then balloon into something only a professional can repair. Traffic is a mess; I am uncomfortable. What happened to the wonder and splendor? It’s the same rain I had so much affection for; why am I not enjoying the moment in the rain?
That’s the way it is with life’s situations. It’s better (for me) to watch and quarterback from a safe place where I won’t really have to touch or deal with what’s going on because it’s messy; I don’t feel warm, dry or safe. Being in the rain is uncomfortable and challenging. Is it the same for you?
I have to work when I go out into the rain. Watching where I step, being mindful of not only my movement, but someone else’s movement there is responsibility when I’m in the rain. I will question “why am I out here?” I scold myself “I should have done this when the weather was nicer.” When I am about to give up and into my emotions the rain stops. I quiet my thoughts and move on with the day’s tasks.
When I get home it starts to rain again; I’m relaxed, quiet, warm, dry and safe. My hair is still a mess, but that’s okay; “it will be fine;” I tell myself because it’s just something about the rain.
There is no denying it any longer. Now that summer is over; school, home and work lives are in full-swing. Some mornings run smoother than others; whether you are a family or single. Everyone has struggle mornings. Here’s a quick way to get fed and out the door.
You already have everything you need. Here’s how to prep:
Clean Mason jars.
Typically, Sunday night prep for the week works well for my house. Once the kitchen is clean; get out the different cereals and Mason jars. Fill the jars with the different cereals and before you know it breakfast is prepped and ready for the week. All you need to do is to add milk, spoons or bowls.
Feeling fancy? Let’s amp it up a bit if you or someone in your family has more time to eat add a quick piece of toast and fruit.
The thing I love most about this idea is that it seems crazy, but it works. Go ahead give it a try and let me know how it works out for you and your family’s busy mornings.
Every morning just as the day is dawning. I open the front door to look out; not really expecting to see anything in particular. It is my way of starting the day knowing that I am grateful extremely grateful to see another day. It doesn’t mean that the day will run as smoothly as I wish or that I will get everything I want or done on my checklist during the day. It simply means that I choose gratitude every single day. Sometimes it lasts throughout the day and other times it is a struggle to stay positive, but I know a new day is dawning and I get to choose gratefulness for another day.
You knew it was coming (no pun intended). Let’s dive in: when you are a caregiver of a family member or members wanting to be intimate with your mate is the last thing on your mind.
A majority of the time the caregiver is thinking “please, Lord, not tonight; I just want to shower and go to sleep.” Although, the caregiver may not say it verbally to his or her mate the sentiment is there, but the mind is not connected in that area enough to allow the caregiver to want physical intimacy.
How can you clear your mind over things like their medicines, their appointments, their insurance battles, their needs, their needs and their needs? It is draining and if you’re not careful it can and will drain your desire because let’s face it; as a caregiver you see too much and the last thing you want to see at the end of the day is another one.
Here’s my advice to bring intimacy back into your life. When you go home; you are home. That’s your time to do whatever you want to do with your life. Turn the caregiver switch off. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but the more you practice the better you will become turning off the switch.
Take a bath or shower to wash away the day
Brush your teeth it seems silly, but you will be surprised how your mood lifts as well as your confidence
Make the bed
Put on some nice music
Go fancy with the meal even if it’s take-out serve it just as if you made it yourself
Sit with your mate; have a conversation (nothing serious, just carefree banter)
Flirt with your mate during the meal
Give your mate hugs and gentle kisses on the cheek and neck
Sit on the sofa and watch television while holding hands
Finally, go for broke! Tell your mate that you’re still in love and want to make love! Even if you don’t feel like it; fake it until to make it!
I found something I thought I lost nearly 30 years ago; almost to the day! It is amazing; it is my “Faith Study Guide.” I remember I began writing it for a teaching series and for my future magazine I was planning when I was in the pastorate, but I never had the opportunity to teach it in church. When it was nearing completion everything blew up in my life. My marriage ended, I was lied on, my ministry ended, friends chose sides, job gone, car repossessed, house gone, and monies were gone seemly overnight. Talk about needing faith during that situation (teachers teach thyself). I was an absolute heartbroken mess! The icing on the cake was when my apartment caught fire and I lost the last remaining evidence of physical wealth you know (designer clothes, shoes, purses, furniture, and computer with all my writings). Your girl was stripped bare! I was in survival mode and yes, I was angry real angry, but I’m much better now (ha)!
How did that Faith Study Guide survive all those catastrophes? How did it end up in my box of “old stuff?” I thought I lost it, but my Faith and Faith Study Guide survived to be printed 30 years later in FLM Magazine! Wow, talk about full circle! Below is an excerpt (may not be reprinted without my expressed written consent)
Can you think of a moment in your life when you didn’t hear music playing the background
I can’t either; every joyful moment, every sad moment, and even during the bored teenage years music was playing. There were times it seems as if the singers were looking into my window, singing my feelings even when I wasn’t sure of what I was feeling at the time.
How many of you out there are willing to admit when your favorite song played you grabbed the nearest object that quickly became your microphone. You sang the song better than anyone in your imagination (being on key didn’t matter); it was about the feeling of freedom and being transported to a different place. Those of us who are of a certain age will know when we were younger; we had to use our imaginations while singing along. We didn’t have to use our imaginations if we were fortunate enough to catch our favorite singers on variety shows (back-in-the-day); and shows that kept our faith elevated like Jubilee Showcase (how old and I?) that’s not the topic. We are talking about the transformative power music can have on us. Do you remember when music videos started? We no longer had to use our imaginations. The music was right before our eyes.
According to my mother music is and has been in my life since conception; (I have always thought the last part was too much information). It came as no surprise to her when in my later years I became a radio DJ; she looked at me and said “you are your father’s daughter.” Meaning, I inherited my love of music from my father. I enjoy the process of programming; interacting with artists and listeners. Sharing new music on New Music Sunday, walking down memory lane with sweet soulful gospel music, and pulling out the best gospel jazz I can get my hands on. I still get the jitters the night before my program; I’m almost certain that I will continue to get excited before a program. I’m looking forward to sharing music with you on Music Monday. Every Monday I will share new music as well as lifelong favorites. My most recent program was dedicated to the music memory of Aretha Franklin. You can catch my radio show live Sundays at 6:00 am CST on WNUR www.wnur.org and rebroadcasts on Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/wendy-leighton/
How do you silence the outside noise that interferes with your life? How do you silence the noise in your head?
The noise level in our culture is a bit much at times. Current events are noisy, the news cycles are noisy, our work lives and co-workers are noisy, and let’s not forget that our loving families are noisy.
There are so many distractions in our culture today that are designed to “take your mind off of it for a while;” but you’re really substituting one level of noise for another. How will your faith survive all the noise?
This Faithful Friday let’s discover a few fun ways to maintain our faith when the noise wants to takeover.
Tell the noise to leave a message: you don’t have to listen to everything that comes your way. You don’t have to bury your head in the sand either, but you have the option to choose when you want to listen to outside noise.
Think about the kitty’s litterbox and what goes into it; if the noise is on that level…well you know what to do!
Take a wonderful bath!
Have some astonishing sex (with your spouse); leave your mark on his or her world! My husband loves number four; when I am stressed and searching for a quiet space he is one happy dude. If I do it right. He’s quiet for the rest of the week. I’m almost certain he can see God and his faith is renewed (ha)!
Go for a walk; log some miles on that fancy Fitness Watch. I did that recently and it was amazing. I had forgotten how nice it was to take a simple walk in nature and pray. My faith was renewed, my mind was clear, and it felt good.
It’s Friday. Enjoy the weekend, keep the faith, and block out the noise.
I asked for help. I had no other choice, but to call in the reserves from my hospital bed. They came through. I was and still am eternally grateful for those beautiful souls who came to the rescue.
Listen, if you are a caregiver build a team with family members. Create schedules; create a phone-tree. Using today’s technology you can have a team assembled and reachable in an emergency or when you simply need to take a break (everyone needs to take a break it is not a sin). Of course, some family members will not want to do the daily tasks, but it is important that you have people that are willing help when you need help. Did I say help enough times? Let me say it again, ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness; asking for help does not mean you can’t handle caregiving. It means you are human. You are one person. You cannot take care of other people and not take care of yourself. Remember from the last post “you have to put the oxygen mask on first, before you can help the person next to you.”
If you are overwhelmed and family members are unwilling to help there are agencies that can cover for you while you take a break. Go to https://www.aarp.org/caregiving they have great information and tools to help you get started building your network. In addition, check into your family member’s insurance. Just know that insurances vary, but they do have relationships with home care agencies that can help you when you need help.
I’m still recovering; I still have a lot on my plate caring for my mom and brother. It stretches beyond making sure they are bathed, fed, and medicated. I still have to buy groceries, get prescriptions filled, take them to doctor appointments, cook, and clean; but I’m not alone (not anymore). I learned the hard-way; I have help. Things are not perfect and I’m okay with that; I don’t try to micromanage how things are done when a family member pitches in; I let them run the show. They are in charge during that time not me. I know they know what times meals are eaten and they have medication schedules. It is not easy letting go, but I do; because I need to breath.
All too often when caring for a family member or members. The caregiver will put their personal needs aside; they tend to skip doctor appointments in favor of taking the person they are caring for to their doctor appointment. The caregiver will opt out of getting their hair or nails done, spending time with friends over a meal, taking a leisurely bath, having intimate time with his or her spouse, or something as simple as reading a book; because they feel guilty and worry about outside judgement from other family members.
This is wrong and will ultimately result in the caregiver feeling like a overworked overwhelmed martyr. Feelings of resentment will happen followed by feelings of guilt. This is a rough cycle to break once it starts. Often, it happens at a slow pace; the caregiver doesn’t realize what is happening or does know what is happening, but chooses to brush it off until it is almost too late. Once the caregiver is near mental and physical burnout its tough trying to find the strength to continue.
This is why all caregivers must take time for themselves. The saying is true; “you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help those next to you.”
When I first began caring for my mother and brother; I was told repeatedly; “take time for yourself; if you don’t; you will burnout.” I didn’t believe the warnings and I refused to listen to my own body. I was determined to give my mother and brother the best care to make sure they stayed together that there was no way I could ever burnout; after all; my undying love for them was enough to keep me going forever—talk about lying to myself in grand proportions! Love had nothing to do with it! It wasn’t until I woke up in the emergency room with heart failure that I realized it was true. I didn’t take care of myself. I found myself not being able to take care of them. What did I do?
The last of the holiday guests left this morning; now it’s time to take back the house. It is time to clean, plan, purge and organize, but first I will listen to the calm and quiet of the house. Sit in my comfortable chair in my bear feet and enjoy the fireplace my husband built for me for my Christmas gift and have a sip of alcohol-free champagne… a sip, a sip? Who am I kidding; I’m gonna drink the entire bottle!