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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Writing is a joy like no other. And after nearly a decade of dedication (I’m twenty-three now; I was fourteen when I finished Issym–my first book), it is still full of surprises. I sit down at the keyboard with no concept of what I want to say and yet words, beautiful, important words, come flowing out. And they ease the ache in my soul.

I’ve come face-to-face (yet again) with the reality that seasons end. Good, wonderful, God-blessed seasons do not last forever. That’s why they are called ‘seasons’ after all. So I’m closing some chapters in my life, most notably with my resignation from my beloved coastal church. Working six days a week and commuting over wintry coastal roads for early morning worship practice is no longer a viable lifestyle. And while I am disappointed beyond measure, I’m also supremely confident that God orchestrated this decision and so it is good.

He has been showing me the value of finishing well. Not focusing (for once in my over-achieving life) on what is to come, but instead focusing on doing the last few weeks of this season to the very best of my ability. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a major Eiffel Tower nerd. I’ve always been struck by how it was built to be temporary. Knowing that his creation was doomed for destruction, Gustave Eiffel still poured blood, sweat, tears, and inspiration into the now iconic tower! He wasn’t daunted by the certainty his creation was temporary. He finished well. And so will I.

12278732_10207210957488957_8617144566751611846_nAs for the holidays, we’ve had a few less Christmas movies or mass-baking evenings than the usual season, but we’ve still had lots of fun. Who knew it could be cold on Christmas Tree Day even without snow? And who knew how FREAKING TALENTED my brother-in-law and I are at picking out Christmas trees. (Isn’t it a beaut?)12219417_10207199026510690_5196170164171381163_n

We’ve celebrated a few less birthdays than usual too, thanks to cases of pneumonia and a deer that made contact with our family van. But the 12274458_10207199026950701_7812799157813826790_ncelebrations we have pulled off have been awesome, from flame-filled nights at the local hibachi to an entourage of people taking dear niece Evelyn to Build-A-Bear for Year 1 of a running tradition. (The writer in me couldn’t help but stick a note inside.) Yes, my niece–who surprised us all with a month early arrival–has reached the age of one going on thirty. Intelligent, persuasive, and highly verbal, she is already turning my world upside-down in all the right ways. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with that sweet little soul.

Overall I’m settling into a new skin–one that’s a bit less afraid of the telephone and far more confident in glasses and even more determined to keep on writing. One that is learning to let go and still savor every second of every season I’m in.  A few months back I wrote a song for my church and I think I’ll close with it here:

Verse 1: There is time for celebration. There is time for tears. You’re the God Who holds me through it all. You’re the God Who holds us through it all

Chorus: Hallelujah to the King of majesty. To the One Who calls me friend. Hallelujah to the One Who conquered the grave. And is coming back again.

Verse 2: The past, the present, and the future, Can overwhelm the soul. But You say “Do not fear for I am near”.

Verse 3: You are trustworthy; You are faithful. You number the hairs on my head. How can it be that You would love me through it all? How can it be that You would love us through it all?

Bridge: You are good, You are good, You are good. You are faithful and sure. For everything there is a season. In every season You are Lord.

 

 

 

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It’s been a long time since I took up my figurative blogging pen, but, in my defense, it has been just as long since I have reserved a corner table at the local Starbucks. The two are directly tied together. Thanks to some generous birthday gifts and, with any luck, a more peaceable schedule, I hope to get back to both.

So grab your favorite hot drink and join me for a little catch up…
Where to start? Coffee. I still love coffee. And my niece. She’s full of smiles that warm my heart. Oh yeah. I had a birthday. The best birthday so far.

IMG_0310I went into work one average Monday morning to find a scavenger hunt had been laid out for me. I admit to being a bit thick at the time of day and slightly stuck in a mire that had quenched both creativity and intellect, so it took me far longer than it should have to understand what was coming. As it turned out, my parents had booked a midweek get-a-way to NYC for hot-tubbing, shopping, eating really good food, and–most importantly–The Piano Guys first concert at Carnegie Hall (which also turned out to be a live recording… so cool!). I had dreamed about going to the concert in that savory ‘I’ll-never-do-this-but-it-would-be-once-in-a-lifetime’ way, especially because TPG was flying in artists from all over the world in a special celebration. But that my parents pulled the trip off in the middle of our busy lives and a WORK WEEK… epic.

So the very next day we headed down to New York, where I promptly found that Marvel’s Avenger S.T.A.T.I.O.N. was stillIMG_0362
very much alive in the Discovery Museum just outside Time’s Square. Who could turn down becoming agents or trying on Iron Man’s armor in a virtual sim that allowed for flight and weapon’s testing? And, yes, we had Starbucks in the city on a less-crowded walk before proceeding to Carnegie Hall for what will become one of my favorite memories. Showing my dad–who is definitely not a city guy–the M&M’s store and petting a life-sized Sven at the Disney Store was the whipped cream on my hot chocolate.

The Piano Guys exceeded my expectations and the whole trip had the effect of restoring good spirits and creativity to my seriously depleted stores. The proof is in the pudding: the very next day I had a writing marathon of 13,000 words (to give you some context, the aggressive NaNoWriMo program gets people to write 50,000 in a month).

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Flash forward to my actual birthday–one of cake and goofy faces and family–and I had all I could wish for. I could continue to go into great detail about the fun we had and the jokes we shared and the friend that took me to the movies that coming Friday, but I think I have probably used up enough words for the time being. 483 to be exact.

Thanks for joining me in a cup of joe and a good conversation. May your day be full of funny faces and joy. Your friendly neighborhood writer,

Jessie Mae

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1511349_10202812061319302_1758214462_nYes, I realize that I might be slightly obsessed with my nephews. But family is priority, the cream in the coffee, the resonance of a song. And kids… they are the hope of the future, the reason to keep on breathing. So you’ll have to forgive me if I reference the deep, strong, warm, repeated hugs Elder Nephew gave me on my birthday as my favorite part. And the close second? The mid-afternoon nap we took  in our living room. My sister and I fell asleep to the deep rhythms of her husband’s voice. It was a great big old-fashioned sleep party. Awesome.

Also for my birthday, my co-worker handmade me the best meatballs ever. They are a yearly favorite at the office Christmas party (and they almost never make an appearance outside the holidays). I was touched by the thoughtfulness of the gift. I really do love me some meatballs.

And so my birthday is passed and over. I am twenty-two. Twenty-two! How do I both feel so young and so old?

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Today is Younger Nephew’s fourth birthday. Four. Really? Wow. In honor of him, we journeyed to Middle Earth (otherwise known as Dennys). I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the Hobbit-themed menu, though I ordered more traditionally: a Belgian waffle with all sorts of yummy sides. And Younger Nephew received his favorite chocolate chip pancakes, along with an array of lovely treats from our wonderful waitress who really made the occassion special.

I love December. I love the random occassions to get together, stacked on top of each other until you don’t feel the absence of your family in the few quiet moments becasue they are around more than they are not. Yes. Sweet December. So let the snow fall, the productivity plummet, and the family reconnect.

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