Monday June 30, 2014
Monday blog time-ya know I love it!!
This week, we have a surprise coming our way, so let’s see what it is.
Thoughts and Excerpts —
Chapter 9—The Surprise
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“School started, and you and I were so excited,” I told Lizzy. “We were all grown up now. We thought, second grade, here we come!
October came, and the excitement of Halloween was all over school, as it should be. The week before Halloween, Dixieland Acres, where you lived, always had a party in the community playhouse for all the little kids and then a hayride. You and your Mother picked me up at my house that Saturday, and we had the most fun two little girls could ever have!” Little did I know, more exciting times were to come.
The next morning at the breakfast table at my house before we all started getting ready for church, Mother said she had a surprise for us, explaining, “We’re going to have another baby!”
I don’t remember the various reactions around the table, but I do remember Paddy jumping up and yelling, “Number nine—oh boy! I hope it’s a boy!” Aunt Lucy was there, of course, since she always picked us up on Sundays.
Daddy didn’t go to church with us but once in a blue moon. Even though he wasn’t drinking anymore, he still had a hard time with faith and the faithful, so he just stayed home on Sunday mornings. I think you call that a case of shame on him.
I’m sure Aunt Lucy already knew Mother was pregnant. After Mother make her announcement, Aunt Lucy had a solemn look on her face and simply reminded us all that we’d need to be more mindful of Mother and make an extra special effort to help out more at home. Of course, Lainey and Fay got a pass on the chores ’cause they were still too little for the labor force however, I did teach Lainey how to string beans over the next few months. I never was much good at that myself.
That same day though, when Aunt Lucy dropped us off at home after church, her parting words to Mother were “It’s not a matter of chance but of choice, Lily.” I figured that was some kind of grown-up code talk, but once I deciphered it, I figured that Aunt Lucy wasn’t too happy about Mother’s surprise.
Christmas was approaching, and we were all feeling the excitement and joy of the season. The little town of Grace Chapel was all about Christmas. All the decorations were up and lit all over town, an some evenings, Daddy would even take us ridin’ around town to see the lights, when it got dark. Hopefully HE would see the light, I thought.
The tree we had that year at our house was so big that it required a ladder to reach the top. I can remember all of us kids, including Fay, hanging something on that tree all at the same time. We had a ball decorating it.
“Hey, now, there’s a good memory, Lizzy-Girl” I said.
Mother was the happiest then that I could remember. Aunt Lucy was so good to her and took her on a special shopping spree for her Christmas present that year. To say we were poor was an understatement.The fact that there were eight children, fathered by an alcoholic gambler who had never contributed much to Mother’s income, just added to the level of poverty we experienced. It didn’t have to be that way and shouldn’t have been that way, but it was that way.
We all had each other, though. Other than that, nobody had anything really, but we all had plenty of nothin’ together, so no one felt left out. With eight children, Mother seldom got anything new, because there was always a kid who needed something more, and pretty soon, there’d be nine.
Needless to say, Aunt Lucy’s little shopping trip was a real treat for Mother—actually, for both of them. Aunt Lucy delighted in giving to Mother, and Mother’s delight was simply in spending time with Aunt Lucy. The twins were as different as night and day in some ways, but they loved and protected each other fiercely. Merry Christmas, Mother!”
Next week, we’ll get better acquainted with Lillian, the Mother of those nine Chillton children, in Chapter 10 — Lillian Fay O’Malley.
So what’s on your agenda for this week, I ask you? Whatever it is, I pray for good tidings, much joy and lots of laughter along your way. I was reading somewhere this past week of how to stay calm amid life’s storms…it’s pretty good advice:
“Nobody said life would be easy. It will knock us down and just when we stand back up, it will knock us down again. Adversity is a part of life. It is something we must overcome. Everyone will face a multitude of challenges and obstacles. But how we react to those challenges will determine the type of people we become and how our lives turn out. A dear friend of mine has faced much adversity in the past decade. Financial struggles, family health problems, job loss, and death have been just a few challenges he has overcome. Even though he has seem more than I can fathom, he is one of the strongest persons I know. He lives life with this motto: ‘If God led me to it, He will help me through it.’
However, staying calm and happy during life’s storms is a challenge, itself. It is easy to become depressed, discouraged and overwhelmed. Yet, when we stay calm and collected, we can battle adversity with a clear head and come off conqueror. Here are four ways you can stay calm during life’s storms:
l. Look Upward—You never have to battle adversity alone. There is always someone nearby, to guide you through it and help you win. God is your constant companion, but you must be willing to ask for help.He knows how to help you overcome your challenges. Continually pray, study the scriptures and attend worship services. If you do, you will receive strength you never knew was possible.
2. Take Care of Yourself Mentally and Physically—Challenges can put us in a state of depression. It can cause us to lose motivation for daily tasks such as taking care of ourselves. Even when our spirits are low, we must take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Eat a healthy diet, exercise
regularly and perform activities to engage your mind such as reading, playing games or putting together puzzles. When your body feels good, you have more energy to tackle the challenges that come your way. Exercise and a healthy diet can also help you battle stress, increase your happiness and turn away pessimistic thoughts.
3. Serve—When you put your focus on other individuals, it is easier to forget about your own challenges. Each day, find someone to serve. Find someone who needs your assistance. It can be a large service project or something small such as calling an old friend or delivering a plate of cookies to a neighbor. You don’t have to go our of your way to do something kind for a friend.
4. Look For the Hidden Lesson—In every obstacle and challenge, there is a lesson to learn. Even though it can be hard to find this lesson. If you look, it is there. As you battle each challenge, immediately try to find the lesson. This will give you motivation and the strength to overcome the difficulty, and it will help you see there is a reason for the adversity in your life.
Even though, at times, it may seem like we can’t go on, we can stay calm and win the battle. We can overcome and be a better person for the battle we are fighting. In every obstacle there is a lesson to learn.” — Courtnie Erickson
Ya know,some say God loves us if we change, but The Gospel says God’s love CHANGES us. Don’t let the troubles of life get ya down, because no matter how big the struggle, God has the power to conquer all things.
John 14:1 – Let not your heart be troubled;
14 – If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
18 – I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.
There’s no better place to put our lives, than in His hands…after all, He gave us this gift of Life, right?
Good tidings, much joy and lots of laughter…
GOD is Good. GOD is Great!
Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1