Thanksgiving, Thanksblessings, and Buy Nothing

Source: Buy Nothing Day UK

You might call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” (I call it my birthday–at least this year). But what you may not know is that it’s also known as International Buy Nothing Day (Nov. 23 – Nov. 24). I want to put this at the forefront of my post today because merchants are going hard starting their Black Friday sales early, and I’ve got a different kind of message post on Black Friday. Continue reading “Thanksgiving, Thanksblessings, and Buy Nothing”


Thanks-and-Giving: She Calls Me Everyday

Source: Big Fish Yoga


For the past 8 months, my mother has called me almost every day to make sure I’m ok. It all started when I experienced my daughter’s explosive fits of rage last spring and was desperate for advice (my parents were able to keep me in line much better than I can do now single-handedly). I appreciate my hearing my mother’s soothing voice and her patient, listening ear. She is a natural exhorter, and even when she doesn’t have the answers, she always has an encouraging spirit. There’s no one else in my family like her. Continue reading “Thanks-and-Giving: She Calls Me Everyday”

Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?

Have you ever purposely changed something about your appearance–maybe your hairdo or a special outfit–and wondered if anyone (or a specific person like your partner) would notice?  Since my appearance has started to change from weight loss (17 pounds and counting), I’ve gotten some unexpected compliments from people who I didn’t expect to notice.

Upon arriving to youth ministry service one day about two months ago, I greeted the youth minister and he asked me if I was losing weight. I can’t remember his language verbatim, but he said could tell (the way he said it was complimentary). At that time, I had not noticed a change in my figure, so I was surprised to get the compliment.  Then a week or two later when I served again, his wife hugged me and mentioned that every time she sees me, she sees less and less of me because I’m shrinking (making gestures to indicate that I keep getting smaller).  Note that the youth minister and his wife are a good bit younger than me (I’ll touch on age in a bit).

It feels good to hear stuff like that. I love food, but there’s no food that tastes as good as being smaller feels. Continue reading “Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?”

Thanks-and-Giving: Closer


Earlier this year, my daughter started acting out. She’s too old to have tantrums, and she wasn’t having trouble in school.

Black mother and daughter praying
Source: Madame Noire

Her anger management skills were non-existent, and we briefly went to therapy to sort out some issues. But now I’m so glad to say that my daughter and I are getting closer. I’ve struggled with being a single mother for most of her life, but things are changing.

My daughter spent most of the summer in her hometown with my family while I stayed home, packed, travel, and took a breather. I went to see her for her birthday during that time, and I missed her so much. Her voice was changing, she seemed taller, and she definitely a little darker from daily swimming at camp. When she came back home–to our new home–I genuinely did a better job of giving her attention and spending time with her rather than being so tied to my work (I work from home). We do more things together that she enjoys. We make smoothies, enjoy “tea time” together,  and watch movies together (both at home and in the theatre). I like being at home (or someone else’s) the best, but I stretched myself to take her to *some* of the “kiddie” and family events that I don’t naturally gravitate to. We play games and occasionally eat out (not several times a week like before, but enough to make those times special and like more meaningful treats).  Homeschooling her next year will definitely mean more time together (all the time!!) and a closer connection. But I’m already seeing those benefits.

…and Giving

Giving Back
Source: Evansville Christian Life Center

I’ve also been fortunate to always meet neighbors and friends in the community who also have only children that are girls. One of them is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, but the family member who was supposed to come to take care of her only daughter is stuck up north (thanks to Hurricane Sandy). Like me, this young lady is a single mom of a spirited girl, and I know what it’s like to try to make travel plans that spread over school days. I didn’t hesitate to say yes when she asked me to keep her daughter for a few days. My daughter is going to love having a playmate!


Is there someone who you have gotten closer to this year (or away from), and your life is better for it? Who is it, and why?