Welcome to ZZCLAYTON.blogspot.com

It's funny how life affords us such wonderful experiences but we typically allow them to pass us by without sharing them with the world. Some of my experiences are life-altering, some are hilarious, some are disappointing, but I am committed to sharing them with YOU! I am encouraged by your feedback, so please comment. Thank you, and welcome to My Many Magnificent Moments!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Many Magnificent Moments: Keep It Simple & SMILE!

My Many Magnificent Moments: Keep It Simple & SMILE!

Keep It Simple & SMILE!

Sometimes life can seem so complicated. The stresses of the world threaten to "cloud out" the happiness we pursue so relentlessly. People often ask me why I am always so giddy, chipper or simply why I smile so much. Well let me share a little secret with you....

1.) Happiness is fleeting. We will never secure happiness because it is like trying to bottle a rainbow. We can only enjoy it for the moment, but cannot save it for later. Happiness is purely external. It is influenced by the right conditions, like getting some good news or finding a $20 bill in an old purse you haven't used in a while.

JOY is everlasting! It springs forth from within. Its effect is that, regardless of what happens, our hope and faith assures us that everything will be alright. We are strengthened by this joy; we are encouraged by it daily. It cannot be clouded by gloomy circumstances. That's why I smile!

2.) Life is not complicated...WE complicate it. Our lives are built on a series of choices. If the choices we make are based on a solid foundation and belief system, then suddenly our path becomes straight.
Our journey through life doesn't have to be the 'scenic route' through complicated, stressful quandaries that give us premature hypertension and chronic anxiety. We just need to remind ourselves to keep it simple.

If we trace back every complicated situation we've experienced, I guarantee that it is the result of a choice we made that was inconsistent with our established belief system...it was an exception to our rule...we ignored that little voice inside telling us not to do it. Don't worry; we've all been there! The key is to know how we got there and how to avoid it in the future. Here's a simple analogy: We will never reach our destination (where we want to go in life) if we keep changing maps (our instructions on how to get there).

Stick to the plan. Go back and examine the path that you are on. Be sure it is one that will lead you to your ultimate goal. If it isn't, then your VERY NEXT CHOICE is critical to get you back on course...It's just that simple!

3.) So, when life serves you lemons, don't make lemonade (that's sooo cliché)! Pick up that lemon and examine its shiny, dimpled, bright yellow rind. Understand what was required for that beautiful piece of citrus to grow: lots of sunshine, some rain, and some heat. We are not much different that that lemon. Yet even the fruit that we associate with unfortunate circumstances knows to stick to its prescribed plan and reach its destination! We can learn a lot from the lemon. What kinds of fruit are we producing in our lives? Okay, okay, that's another blog topic!

I hope this adds value to your experience while on your personal life's journey...it certainly has for me. If you don't remember anything else you read here, remember this acronym: "K.I.S.S.". It is the key to keeping the clouds out of your life and your pathway straight.

Keep It Simple & Smile!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Terrific Two's - Keeping Mommy Young!

Each Tuesday I enjoy precious time at home with my daughter, Quincie-Jade (or "Jadie" as we call her). I typically find myself cleaning my house, playing with Jadie and preparing dinner for my wonderful hubby. Today was particularly fun because I allowed Jade to help me do a little spring cleaning around the yard. She's two years old, so she likes to be mommy's little helper! So as we're walking the yard and picking up sticks and other debris, she spots an old, sun-faded kickball in the woods.
"Mommy, ball!! Ball....ball...." she exclaims and points at the ball. I try to dissuade her by saying that the ball is dirty and we can't play with it. "Ball, mommy?" she pleads with the cutest twinkle of excitement in her eyes as though she just found a treasure.

"Okay honey, but mommy has to get it. You can't go in there because there might be prickers" I tell her. She's practically leaping for joy at this point! As I start tip-toeing through the various trees, bushes, prickers and rocks to get to this dilapidated ball, I pray that I don't see any snakes. My eyes are meticulously scanning every inch in front of me before I place my foot down on the leaf-covered ground. "Crunch".....the dried leaves give way under my feet with each step. One step closer to the ball.

I had to stay focused on my destination because, of course, it wasn't a straight shot. I had to carefully plot my path around the rocks and prickers...and the potential snake! It was like I was an Army Ranger intrepidly navigating my way across the enemy's mine field. Halfway there...sweet!

Uh oh, Houston, we have a problem. Between me and the ball was what seemed to be a wall of pricker bushes blocking my path - you know, the big red ones with microscopic, razor-sharp thorns! They grab hold to your pants leg, your arm and get tangled in you hair! There was five feet of these evil bushes with their tentacles erupting out of the ground like fiery volcano lava. I couldn't see them from the yard because they blended in with the woods. What am I going to do now?? I suddenly understood why that ball was so faded...hahaha! Poor ball. Abandoned years ago by your playmate to be held against your will at Guantanamo Bay!

I turned and looked back at Jadie who had been watching me from the lawn with gleeful anticipation. The country may not have been at stake, but my daughter's happiness was far too valuable to abort the mission now. 'Operation Kickball Rescue' was in full effect! I quickly assessed the positions of the bush's thorn-covered branches in relation to the ball. I maneuvered under, around and between them using my Limbo and Twister skills. I stretched my arms out as far as I could as I balanced on one foot. My fingertips touched the ball...almost....a little more....GOT IT!

I gripped the partially deflated ball with one hand and hurled it onto the lawn (it didn't even bounce). I stood amongst the prickers watching as my daughter ran over to the old faded ball. She picked it up and turned to me with a huge smile on her face! My heart melted! She's so happy...I'm a hero, I beamed.

"Snap!" Suddenly something moved near my feet! "Agghhhhh!!!" I squeeled. In retrospect, I think it was just a twig snapping under the weight of my foot, but at the time, all I could think of was a snake. I no longer cared about prickers or rocks! I high-tailed it out of those woods so fast it made me wonder why it took me so long to get to the ball.

When I got to the lawn Jade was waiting for me. She had a strange expression of disenchantment on her face. "Where's your ball?" I asked, still winded from my sprint out of the woods. She just pointed over to the left and then walked away. Geeze, she's is so grown sometimes! As I expected, the ball was lying on the ground - rejected by Jade after she realized it had lost its air (therefore no fun to play with). I walked over and picked up the sad ball and shoved it into our trash bag. Jadie had moved on and began playing with a stick she'd found.

"Mommy jump!!! Mommy, mommy, mommy....." Jadie persisted.

"You want to jump on the trampoline??" I asked with amazement of how quickly she can become so zealous about another activity.

"YES!" she said definitively, and pointed up to the big trampoline.

"Okay, but you have to hold mommy's hand." This should be interesting!
And so went my Tuesday afternoon of spring cleaning...Saving Private Kickball and then jumping on the trampoline!!! Kids are awesome, and I'm pretty sure mine thinks Mommy is awesome too!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Moments of Breakthrough

Tears stream down like droplets of liquid pain

Cleansing my soul of heartache and shame

Holy Spirit fills my womb and burns from within

Activated by the soundless cries that escape from my lips

Envelop me in your love, Holy Father

I need you now, I need you now

Hear your servant's inaudible cries

Only you can dry my weeping eyes

And give me strength for the journey that before me lies

And suddenly - Breakthrough!

Hallelujah for my breakthrough!

I feel your love; my pain has dissipated

All glory and honour unto you are due

My Father, my Healer, my Strength

I love you!