This week some of my colleagues and I discussed "traditions" of yesterday. What is a tradition you remember growing up? Is this a part of your life today, has it morphed into a new tradition, or has it passed away just like the time?
A blessing and tradition I believe is less common than when I was in school is sitting around the dinner table with your family. I remember growing up and the laughter, discussions, and rebukes that occurred over "pass the potatoes". Due to my Dad's schedule we might eat later or earlier but eating together was always a priority. A priority my parents still have today. Their tradition of table talk continues to the next generation.
I am one blessed woman because of my parent's desire to continue family dinners. On the nights when my roller skates are rolling in multiple directions at high speed, we are usually invited up to my parent's house for supper. Oh yeah, we are blessed. Some of my dear friends say I am spoiled but like my Gram Mary used to tell me, "She isn't spoiled, just loved a lot." Teehee...
Most working moms struggle to have dinner on the table each night, so trying to organize a dinner and a time when everyone will be home can be as challenging as world peace sometimes. Most homes have two working parents and children scattered in as many different directions as there are kids.
So when the opportunity arises, what does a family do? It requires time, effort, and a willingness to "sit". I am guilty of this myself on the days when we might all be home for dinner together but I am so tired, I don't cook. I think this is why my parents cook so much because they know the value and importance of sitting together and enjoying each others company.
Table talk is a time to know your family on a personal and intimate level. Our kids experience so much each day at school, they need to be asked, "What did you do today?" or "What did you learn today?" or "What was the highlight of your day?" If you don't ask, then they aren't looking for opportunities to grow. These simple questions are one way we invest in our children's lives.
Another valuable aspect of this family dinner time are the opportunities to invest in your husband or wives life. "How was your day?" or "How was the drive?" or "You look like you had a ____ day, tell me about it." Invest in each other, your marriage is worth it.
The next time you are tempted to go through the fast food drive-through, remember, if your table talk is on the drive-through then so might your relationships. I am not trying to condemn anyone or make you feel guilty. I too am guilty of this poor choice at times too but my admitting my own guilt, I am more conscious of my decisions.
I was raised in a close-knit family and I pray this for my family too.
Tomorrow's blog will have photos and highlights of the Mexico High School's "Little Women" performance this weekend! Be sure to check it out!
With each step closer to the release of
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey,
the realization of the TEAM effort this involves
remains one thing I am most thankful for.
Last night I gathered with my wonderful writers' group.
They are such an inspiration to me and a constant reminder,
we can't do this alone. We need to keep our eyes focused
on God and remember Who we write for while utilizing
the resources He blesses us with in the process.
As I started to compose a list of my team
I realized you all wouldn't fit in one blog
by name so in some respects,
it is by area of support you might be.
Let me share some of my teammates:
God ~ Nah...He is the Coach of this team
Prayer Team ~ many continue to pray for Heidi, me, and our entire family but now they include my writing and speaking in their prayers.
My Parents ~ Their love support, and encouragement are limitless
My Husband ~ Of course his love, support, and encouragement are a blessing but he deserves HUGE kudos because he bears the grunt of my sleepless nights and long hours
Our daughter ~ Oh my gosh - she is all of the above with my parents and Ed but with an inspirational aspect that always motivates me
My Friends and Family ~ I couldn't do it without each of them
My fellow writers, authors, speakers, and bloggers ~ Their talent and unique styles challenge, inspire, and educate me
My writers' critique group ~ Their honest and detailed suggestions always improve and enhance my writing. The encouragement and friendship are an added blessing.
My Editors ~ Wow...you worked through my terrible PUGS and modifiers and continue to teach me how to be the best writer I can
My Own Geek Squad ~ this is said in love, my book trailers are amazing and your skills continue to amaze me and others share new tools, resources, and programs to enhance my writing and speaking
Cheer Squad ~ Blog comments, Facebook posts and private messages, emails, notes in the mail, and phone calls...blessings
Publisher ~ Spending time both online and the phone to help me understand the process and the each step as I move forward
My Employer ~ That believes and supports my writing and speaking
My Angels ~ Please know the surprises from colored steno pads and sticky notes to coffee and creamer, or even jewelry, are appreciated.
My Multiple Hatters ~ Some fit in more than one of these areas
My readers ~ For your prayers, support, and encouragment.
Thank you all!
News to report:
*The reading, editing, and revising of the proof book should be complete this weekend. The gift of a 3-day weekend is a bonus.
*Feedback of the book continues to be an encouragement. A new review to be posted in the near future. I had a spelling error in one of my Scripture verses, the woman reading said she found this to be a blessing in disguise, "When I went to "look up" the verse I realized not only did I have to look for my Bible but when I found it, it was covered with dust. Thank you. I have wiped the dust off." Only God...Thank you.
*In addition to finalizing this round of revisions I am preparing for two speaking engagements in December.
*At writers' critique group last night we celebrated. Four of us had books released in 2012 and mine is scheduled to be released in 2013. There is a blog and photos coming in the near future to introduce you to my wonderful friends and their new releases.
*Heidi Allen Remembrance Garden: After last year's kissing ball fiasco my parents decided something different was needed this year. They spent the afternoon setting up to surprise me. It is beautiful. A blog about this will be coming soon too.
*A sequel to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey is brewing in my head with thoughts to release on the twenty-year anniversary of Heidi's disappearance but this is still a working thought. (With chicken scratch notes and Scripture verses as God gives them to me.)
*My second book is in progress too with a goal release date on September 14th, 2013 but this again is still an idea. I put it out there because I work better when I talk it out loud. lol
Our Tuesday blogs are titled, T.0.P.'s Tuesday
and will provide you with information relating to the release of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. It might be an upcoming speaking engagement, the cover, an excerpt, or bizarre tidbits about the publishing process you may not be aware of.
Why is is called T.O.P.'s Tuesday? Great question!
Heidi played volleyball for the Bishop Cunningham Jr./Sr.
High School until it closed in 1992. On February 14th, 1992
the Palladium Times (an Oswego, New York newspaper) named
my sister, Heidi M. Allen athlete of the week. This was exciting and we were all proud of her but it was the name they gave her
that stirred the most attention, "Tower of Power".
Oh my gosh, doesn't this picture just make you smile? I know it does me. Sadly, I don't remember the puppy's name and Mary isn't home to ask so for today, she is "puppy".
We all need someone. When Mary was a peanut she wanted a puppy, as most kids do. This is her first pup, a cute little beagle. She loved that little dog and the dog adored her but at the same time, the puppy was too much energy for even this adorable and active toddler. Although they loved each other and enjoyed their time together, neither understood when it was time to take a break from each other.
Mary wanted to play but this purebred puppy wanted to hunt. What to do? This was one of our first "difficult" parent decisions. We had a choice. We could continue to watch the cute times between child and her puppy and ignore the rough play times that harbored potential for injury OR we could take a proactive approach.
We chose the proactive road. Neither Mary or her little puppy saw the times of conflict as a risk but as parents, we did. In order to foster this new relationship with healthier boundaries, we found the puppy a new home. Mary cried as she watched the eight-year-old boy climb from his daddy's pick-up for his new puppy but then she amazed us.
Mary leaned down and kissed the puppy on the nose. "I love you. Be good for him. I don't think he has a blanket for you to chew so you will have to chase rabbits." Although she didn't want to give her puppy away, she understood the reason. The puppy ran to the boy instantly and they chased each other around the yard while the parents talked and Mary watched from the window.
As the truck pulled out the driveway I told Mary, "Wave good-bye to the puppy." She looked at me and with the innocence and sweetness of a child, "I'm tired." and she went in and laid on the couch. Priceless.
Sometimes there are unhealthy situations and/or relationships in our life. While it might be a difficult decision or hurt for a time, safety and joy are a priority. Have you ever made a difficult decision only to have confirmation afterwards that you made the right decision? did you hit yourself on the forehead and say, "Duh, why did I wait so lone?"
I think we have all been there. Feel free to share below.
As promised (or teased as some worded it), here is an excerpt from my first book,
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey.
I have shared little snip-its here
and there in the past couple years.
Some of the same excerpts I have shared
with you have changed a bit
and others remain the same.
As the second round of revisions nears
completion and the next proof book
soon to be sent, today's excerpt
may vary (slightly) from the book
you will hold in your hand
this coming April, 2013.
Today's excerpt is taken from chapter thirteen.
Please share some feedback in a comment below.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
A time to kill…
Exhaustion and grief consumed my heart, mind, and body. The physical and mental strain became an invisible weight on my shoulders. I was exhausted but unable to sleep. It was easy to get lost in the crowd. Once I passed a mirror, and my reflection mirrored the deep sorrow and emptiness I saw in my parents’ eyes. My attempts to hide my stress failed...
...As the parents or sibling of the missing, it is common to have cameras following you in hopes to get a break or the front-page byline...My parents strove to keep the cameras and media at bay throughout the case to protect me from their sometimes hurtful and painful questions...
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
But the LORD delivers him from them all;
My protection was not necessary. Mom and Dad calmly responded: “I don’t know how to put our feelings into words and I hope you never are in the same position.”
I remember asking my Mom, “How do you respond so calmly as if they asked you about the weather?”
Dad answered. “Each interview is an opportunity to have Heidi’s picture and information released to the community and beyond. Every time her picture and the phone number are seen, the more likely we are to find her.” I had a new appreciation and respect for my parents.
My parents’ rapport with the media, along with their ability to suppress their emotions was an inspiration to those watching. How did they do it? I envied their strength.
I felt shut out and excluded from the process of finding Heidi. I understood they lost a daughter but I lost my best friend and only sister. I understood their loss was great and could not imagine their pain or grief, but on the other hand, no one ever asks: “How is Heidi’s sister doing?” It is always: “How are her parents? I don’t know how they do it.”
I did not want to be leading a press conference, but at the same time, I wanted someone to understand. Someone to recognize me, someone to ask me how I am doing. Did anyone realize there is more to Heidi than her parents? I felt that if I acknowledged these feelings, I would sound selfish, unloving towards my sister, and disrespectful to my parents.
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Lisa M Buske
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