AVFM: Precious Moments…for when your little ones are all grown up

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

“Precious moments. . .sneak up on us. I don’t think it matters how young or old our children are.Sometimes it’s just a quick, funny smile, or a small gesture they make, that sparks that overwhelmingfeeling of total love.” – Shari Cohen, Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul

I got to see my grandchildren, Elizabeth and Alexander, in their annual school presentation last weekend. Their parts entailed making a biographical presentation of an historical person, including costume and 10 minute first person oral presentation.

They were brilliant!

lizzy as clara

Lizzy was Clara Barton

Xander was Nikola Tesla

Xander was Nikola Tesla

I enjoyed it immensely. . .almost as much as I enjoyed watching my eldest daughter taking in their work. It prompted memories of hours of Odyssey of the Mind competitions, volleyball and basketball tournaments, and academic honors ceremonies. That search for excellence is still within her and drives her daily. It makes her loyal to her husband and children and tireless in her faith. For this and many, many other qualities, I am truly proud.

On Saturday, I got to see my grandson, Crawford, and my new grandson, Roman. We joined my
daughter, Lora, and son-in-law, Dustin, at Crawford’s soccer game. It was a first experience with Roman, and a cherished one. Crawford was excited to have his grandpa there to watch the game and Roman was excited to pick the newly discovered grass from the field and place it in a bucket. Our parting moment, when he kissed my cheek without being prompted, ranks right up there with most beautiful moments in my life.

Lora Crawford and Roman

Roman, Lora and Crawford at the orphanage in Kramatorsk, Ukraine

I look at my sweet, sweet Lora, and so understand why God gave her the perseverance to rescue this child from his homeland. She has all the technical skills needed, certainly, but she and Dustin are the most consistent parents I have ever seen. If, as I believe, it is true that we can change this world one person and one act at a time, this desire to raise these two beautiful boys will make a huge change. What a legacy!

On Sunday, we joined my youngest daughter for lunch before she returned to an afternoon of homework as she pursues her Master’s degree in education. I watched her interact with others in the restaurant, taking in how beautiful she is and how charming she can be. She has a gorgeous love of color and surrounds herself in it. She teaches art, you know.

alexis

My beautiful daughter, Alexis.

She possesses an amazing talent—not just the artistic talent, but the ability to convey a joy of learning to the children she teaches. She has survived some traumatic emotional events, and continues to display an amazing amount of personal strength and determination. She is a natural caregiver, displaying a loyalty that few people ever possess. Give her a project, and she will accomplish it. Give her a challenge, and she will overcome it. I do so admire her inner strength.

I love this picture from her Junior Prom!

I love this picture from her Junior Prom!

Yes, it is true: it doesn’t matter how old or young your children are. There are those moments when you behold a smile, a turn of the head, a mannerism, and feel that total, unabashed love for your “little one”. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for my blessed family!

Blessings,

welch's

Me and my family….aren’t they beautiful?

Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.

AVFM: I Am Not a Winter Person…for when joy falls like snow

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

snowy bench

I am not a winter person. The cold weather and cloudy skies have a claustrophobic effect on me and I have a deep desire to hibernate like a mama bear until the jonquils bloom.

But this morning, when I arose, there was a pristine blanket on the ground.  Soft, white petals were drifting listlessly toward the sidewalks, and silence filled the air.  I sat on my front porch for a few minutes just taking in the grandeur of life’s simple joys.  I breathed in the chilled purity of a morning cleansed in snow.  It amazes me that such a small amount of beauty can quiet our world for just a little while, wrap it in serenity and give us a moment of peace.

The snow melted off during the day, but the afterglow is still with me.

It was a high performance kind of day. . .I got the taxes done, the office has been rearranged, my daughter will be home from the Ukraine in a week with our new grandson, my granddaughter got her braces off, I had a lovely dinner with my youngest child,  Jim is feeling a little better today, and our doggies are freshly groomed and beautiful.  I also got to visit with old friends this week, I’m on the last load of laundry, . . .on and on.

I could look at all these things in a different light and tell you it took forever to get the taxes done, I had to make some changes in the office, my daughter has been in the Ukraine a very long time, my granddaughter had to have braces, my child didn’t talk much at dinner, Jim has been feeling ill, the dogs were really looking scrungy,  . . .see how this can go in an entirely different direction?

I am not a winter person.  But one cannot arise on a magnificent morning such as this and fail to see the work of our Heavenly Father as he cloaks us all gently in white snow feathers.   To wake up each morning with a grateful heart and search for the blessings in the day is a way of life that begets itself.  Joy produces joy, appreciation grows gratitude, and love for one another is contagious.  Please Lord, let it continue to be so!

Blessings,

Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.

And then God sets the sky on fire…for when He sends rescue

It has been a hard day.

A day full of sad news and gushing vulnerability and being reminded about love.

A day when the words, “God is love,” were spoken to me in a million different ways, as if God himself were humming out the mantra.

A day when it was hard to believe it.

And then, just when my stiff upper lip was trembling and the exhaustion of keeping my chin up was rolling over me…just then, in that critical moment of weakness where decisions are made about who God is and how he loves us….just then…

God set the sky on fire….

sunset

via Pam Chupp

And it feels like it is JUST. FOR. ME.

And I know then that “God is love” and that “God does love” and it is real and good and beautiful.

AVFM- Goldilocks:The Modern Story

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

My Mom wrote this poem for me in December 2011 when I was working on a talk for a local women’s group called “Enough: The Art of Having, Doing and Being ‘Just Right’.” I sat across from her at lunch one day frustrated with the rate at which the talk was coming along and said “I need a poem…about Goldilocks…being enough.” Twenty minutes later, I had this.  I told you she rocked! Enjoy!

Goldilocks: A Modern Story

Once upon a time
In a land of twists and turns
There lived a girl named Goldilocks
With lessons to be the learned.

She found a store- ‘twas filled with books
On every subject known.
They called it “Bears and Noble”
For its fame had grown and grown.

She was a pretty little thing-
This girl named Goldilocks-
She had lots of shiny shoes
And ruffled fancy frocks.
Her jewelry box had overflowed
With baubles of all kinds and
She spent each waking day
Searching for new finds.

“So many things to want,” she said-
“So many things to buy.”
The world was filled with wondrous things
And though she knew not why,
She just to had to have some more
Of everything in sight.
“Happiness” was all about
The shiny, blingy, bright.

“Goldi” stopped at “Bears’ first rack
and gazed at all the books,
Choosing the most recent source
Of new and trendy looks.

Sipping at her mocha latte,
Bored with wanting more,
Our little girl decided to go on and
Check the second floor.
Now Goldi had so much to do
She oft was quite fatigued.
This guilty moment in the store
Should have brought relief.
The laundry wasn’t finished yet
There were errands to be run-
There were groceries still to buy
And cleaning to be done.

The dinner meal was not prepared
And shirts still needed pressed-
But here she was at Bears and Noble-
Who would have ever guessed.

She’d go in search of written word
To help her organize
The overwhelming list of chores
That made her days fly by?

Nothing on the second floor
Gave help to Goldilocks.
She looked up frantically to
Check the time upon the clock.

If she could only be the girl
Who was in such control,
She could organize her world
And be the best at all.

Now, standing in the self help aisle,
The choices filled the wall,
And in this room of great advice
There were solutions for us all.

If Goldilocks could read this one-
Her business skills could grow-
And this one helps with losing weight
And this one keeps the budget low.

Her closets will be cleaner now-
Her children will be gifted,
And if she reads through all these books
Her world will just have shifted.

Wait-there is one book on the shelf-
It stands in quiet light
And after all these random words-
This Book is, well….just right.

                                        -Carlene Welch  
                                          © 2011

 

Blessings!

Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com .

Gratitude is the best birthday present…

Wow!  A whole year has passed! What’s even crazier than that? November 20 marked the one year anniversary of Strings Attached Ministries on the web! Insane that time has flown by so quickly!

So much has changed, grown, and blossomed this past year it’s difficult to believe it all. I thank you for all of the prayers, guidance, support and love you have poured into this ministry and to me over the past year!

I won’t be posting much over the next few days as I will be off celebrating my life with my family! My husband has an AWESOME day planned for us on Saturday…an Improv workshop with Second City and then tickets to the Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue after! As an additional bonus we get to spend the day with our beloved Sock Monkeys– the comedy improv troupe that Charlie and I perform with.  I am so excited!

So I just wanted to spread a little gratitude as my birthday present to you…thank you so much!