Posted in family, grace, happiness, kindness, Life, strength

The Hub

As I sit here sipping a large coffee and watching Good Morning America, thoughts of my maternal Granny’s kitchen popped into my head.

The memories are not just of the incredible southern food that came out of that small kitchen, but are also of her kitchen cabinets and their hardware.

The hardware on Granny’s cabinets was perfect for opening Coke bottles. There was one drawer in particular that everyone used to open their bottles.

Over the years and many Coke bottles later, the perfect indentation was created. Your bottle fit perfectly and opened smoothly.

If Granny cared about the cabinet drawer she never said a word. It was just a part of her homey kitchen.

The kitchen was the hub of her home. It’s where she seemed to constantly be standing at her stove cooking up something delicious while everyone was gathered around the kitchen table talking, laughing and catching up with one another.

It was a kitchen filled with love with the head of it one of the strongest, loving women I’ve ever known. Man, she had a big heart.

My Granny was quick with a joke, loved to stir the pot a bit and then sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Most of all, though, she loved her kids and grandkids fiercely.

I wish I had a kitchen as full as Granny’s. What I wouldn’t give to be at her kitchen table just one more time and see her standing there. I miss her so much.

It’s funny how certain memories come to you at the most mundane times. I’m really happy this is a memory I’ll have for a lifetime.

Diane

Posted in happiness, kindness, Life

Kindness

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of social media posts on being kind. I have contributed some as well. It’s a refreshing change that’s filling up my newsfeeds.

The definition of kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. It’s so easy to be kind yet not everyone is kind. I can’t help but wonder why that is.

Is unkindness a product of nurturing, the influence of life experiences or hiding behind a keyboard bullying? I unfortunately can’t answer this question.

I truly believe there are more kind people in the world than the unkind ones. I’ve witnessed firsthand many acts of kindness and I believe I’m a kind person.

It’s not within me to be intentionally unkind to someone. That doesn’t mean I don’t get irritated because I do. We all do. I suppose it’s how we deal with people even when we’re irritable or irritated by something or someone that matters.

Even on the worst of days I try to be kind or keep my mouth shut. There are things in my life that could make me unkind, but I choose kindness instead.

If we disagree we can do so with kindness and respect. I’m not going to be a mean girl no matter our differences.

I grew up around kind people, was taught to be kind and to this day I surround myself with the kind hearted. Perhaps that’s the key; to keep the kind people close and try and be kind even when someone else is not.

That doesn’t mean I don’t stand up for myself or let people treat me unkindly. You can be kind and still possess the ability to kick butt when need be.

There is so much unkindness in the world that it overwhelms me some days. I just throw up my hands and ask why. Then I’ll see or read about an act of kindness and my faith is restored.

The world needs more kindness and more people to speak out on kindness. I’ll do my part and encourage others to do the same.

What a wonderful world it would be if it were filled with only kindness. That’s a world I want to live in.

Diane

Posted in Life, self care

Panic

Last week, I felt off kilter for a few days. Panic attacks were daily visitors. Exhaustion my enemy; sleep my friend.

I wrote the following when I was in the midst of a panic attack to try and distract myself and to document what happens to me physically when one occurs:

  • My ears are ringing.
  • My hands are numb.
  • My vision is blurred.
  • My stomach is churning.
  • My head hurts.
  • I feel dizzy.
  • I can’t get enough air into my lungs.
  • I feel something horrible is about to happen.
  • I want to flee my home.
  • I’m in a full blown panic attack!
  • There’s nothing anyone can do to make me feel better. Time is what I need. It’s time I want to speed up, but I can’t make it do so.
  • I just took medication to help, but the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to start working is really going to suck.

Yes, it really sucks to live with panic. I am lucky in that I have a strong support system in place. Mainly my husband who knows while he can’t stop the panic he can be patient and loving while it’s happening. That’s a big blessing to me.

The difference between anxiety and panic is anxiety is situational while panic comes out of the blue for no apparent reason. One minute I’ll feel perfectly fine and the next panic strikes. I have both anxiety and panic.

I’m usually a happy, optimistic person except on the dark days. During that time I’m all over the map emotionally.

I know I’ll be alright. During this time I need to rest and get back into a positive mindset as I know this too shall pass.

Diane

Posted in family, Life

A Dozen Saves

On Sunday morning while a lot of families were attending church, I was at the bowling alley with my husband and son. “Are you sure you want to go on a Sunday with all the other heathens?” my husband asked jokingly.

Speaking of church…when I was around 12 years old, for one summer, I joined my aunt, uncle and cousins at a church in our hometown.

Sunday mornings my dad played his gospel records and sang along. When I asked why he didn’t go to church he would say “You don’t have to go to church to go to heaven.” I believed him yet I chose church on Sundays.

The church I attended had a very fire and brimstone preaching style, which scared the daylights out of me. The preacher would get so worked up during his sermon his face turned as red and wet as a vine ripened tomato sweating in the Georgia heat.

What really frightened me though came at the end of service. After we were told for 90 minutes we were headed straight to hell in a hand basket, the sermon would end in prayer and the saving of souls would begin.

The congregation was asked to raise their hand if they were sinners and wanted to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. The preacher asked these questions for what seemed like hours.

Being a frightened kid, I would sheepishly raise my hand hoping the yelling would stop. To my surprise, after the congregation was asked a few more times the yelling did, indeed, stop.

I felt like the clergy had been waiting for my hand to go up. He must have known I was the biggest sinner of all. At least that’s what my child’s mind believed.

Those of us who raised our hands were called to the front of the church to be counseled by elders and the preacher would come by and ask each of us to be saved by accepting Christ.

Several deacons would stand by the doors so no one could leave until all us sinners had been adequately counseled and saved.

Every Sunday that summer I would raise my hand and get saved. It must have been a dozen times!

The experience of this particular church left a bitter taste in my mouth. It turned me off to church completely until I was grown. I preferred to stay home with my dad listening to his gospel music.

It’s interesting how an experience from childhood can stay with you well into adulthood. This is a memory that I can’t forget.

Though I’ve been out of the church for a number of years, I would like to find a church home where I feel safe, supported and uplifted. In the meantime, I will continue to pray and thank God everyday for my life and everything in it.

Diane