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Posted by Trish Berg 2:24 PM 0 comments  



Over the River

       I had a dream the other night that I was back in my grandma Knoedler’s house, just as I am today, with my husband and four children. We were walking around the house, and found a secret door to a hidden basement, one that never really existed in real life. We went down there to discover oak furniture, household goods, pots and pans that we never knew she had.

            I am not a dream interpreter, and I know that many dreams are just dreams, not meant to be picked apart to find some secret meaning. But my grandma Knoedler has been gone since 1987, when I was only a senior in high school. But I think my dream has a lot to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and my heart missing my grandma.
            Grandma Knoedler was a woman full of life, energy and spunk. Every winter, she was the first one to throw on a winter coat and jump on a sled to slide down her back yard hill with us. Even when she was in her seventies, she walked with us to the nearby park to beat us at tennis. She would wrestle you to the floor if you got ornery, and was quick to put you in your place if you needed that sort of thing.
            My sister and my cousins always needed that. Not me, of course.
            But what I remember most about Grandma Knoedler was spending Thanksgiving at her house every year. We would make that hour long drive over the river and through the woods to her house full of food and family.
            The kids always had to eat in the basement rec room. She had a long table set up for all ten of us grandkids and a warm fire going in the fireplace down there. The grown ups got to eat upstairs at the dining room table in peace and quiet.
            But Grandma, she always came down to eat with the under fifteen crowd. I think she liked it that way. Enjoyed being with the chaotic kids rather than the quiet adults. And we loved having her there with us.
            Grandma Knoedler was not a gourmet cook. In fact, I don’t remember what she made on Thanksgiving. I assume we had turkey, mashed potatoes, yams and stuffing. A pie or two and probably bread and butter. But all of those details are simply a blur in my memories, a swirl of things that weren’t that important to me.
            But spending time with Grandma, now those are the memories that stick with me, the ones that bring tears to my eyes even as I type these words to you. I miss her. I miss the thought of her. I miss her smile and spunk, and even her wrestling me to the ground when I was too ornery.
            I think that’s why I had that dream the other night, why I was walking around in her house on the hill, discovering new treasures in her hidden basement.
            As I sit here and write, it occurs to me that the real treasure in her hidden basement has very little to do with oak furniture, pots and pans or household goods. The real treasure in her hidden basement is the love she showered over me and the memories I cherish of Thanksgivings with her in her very real basement in my very real life.
            I guess I am a dream interpreter after all.
            Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Trish Berg 4:49 AM 0 comments  



The 2nd Time Around



Some things are better the first time around, like a first kiss, the first morning cup of coffee and that first time you hear the words, “I love you” and know they are sincere. But school? I think school may be better the second time around.
I seem to be attending school…again…through helping my own four children with their homework assignments. The width and breadth of knowledge needed to be a mom is incredible, and there are evenings when I wonder if I ever paid attention the first time I attended school. I need to be able to help each of my children with their level of work, and bounce from helping Hannah with statistics, Sydney with Algebra, Colin with learning about the Civil War and Riley is learning Latin root words.
I keep thinking to myself, “I know I studied this at some point in my life. I passed fifth grade myself, so why is this so difficult?” Somehow all of this knowledge must have passed through my brain and may not have stayed long. Imagine all of the dates and information we have learned over our lifetime, and yet, trying to remember something like the Latin root for bear or carry is “fer.”
Over the motherhood years, I have helped turn a chocolate milk carton into an armadillo, traveled and photographed Flat Stanley in three states and mastered the art of the spelling word crossword puzzle. I have collected, ironed and mounted autumn leaves, made Mexican dishes for Spanish class, and even collected insects in my freezer for a biology class.
Oh it doesn’t stop there.
I have helped my children re-create the life of  Nellie Bly ( the first female investigative reporter), Anastasia Romanov (the Russian royal), and John Stith Pemberton (the inventor of Cocoa Cola). This adventure included creating costumes, writing a script, and helping them learn how to become someone else through acting, all for fifth grade living biographies. This year I can hardly wait to see who Riley decides to become for her own fifth grade adventure.
I have packed and unpacked luggage for my children’s week long adventures at Camp Wanake in sixth grade and Washington DC in eighth grade. This is all on top of the regular mom-duties of cooking dinner and packing lunches, grocery shopping cleaning and laundry.
You would think that having gone through each grade five times (once for myself, and once for each child) I would be so much smarter. I am not quite sure what happens to the knowledge as it seems to fall out of my brain and disappear each time I re-learn something. The first time around that is a reasonable assumption because, after all, I was a child myself. But as an adult, you would think I would retain some of this knowledge.
But I don’t.
So I just keep re-learning what I have already learned, and try to find the joy in searching through social studies textbooks to help my son complete his skills sheet. I do have faith that somewhere, in the depths of my mind, all of this knowledge is rattling around and if I really needed it, I could recall facts and figures that would blow your mind!
Some things are better the first time around, like a first kiss, the first morning cup of coffee and that first time you hear the words, “I love you.” School? That is better the second time around, mainly because I am not the one getting the report card.
And that makes being old a good thing. (Note: the Latin root for old is  “sen”).

Posted by Trish Berg 8:31 AM 0 comments  



November Breezes

            With the November breezes comes a time to remember what we have been given, the blessings of our life. Every November I am reminded of many blessings and many losses, and even in the losses are blessings. Let me explain.
In November of 1997, my dad passed away. He was young, only sixty-four. At the time, I thought he was too young to die, now that I am in my mid-forties, I know that he was very young to have finished his life on earth. My dad was not perfect, he was far from it. After my parents divorced, he left and moved to Florida, followed by Texas, California and New York. He was a project engineer, and he went where his job took him with little regard for the two daughters he was leaving behind.
He did spend some time in Ohio, and my sister and I did travel a couple of times each year to visit him. But needless to say, he was not very much of a dad because he was not very much present in my life.  I was missing a dad.
In his later years, my dad had a stroke, and we were left to take care of him. The dad who never really took care of us was now dependent on us. He had no one else. So we did what was needed, and we loved and cared for him until the day he died.
That was over fifteen years ago, and every November those memories still whisper in my ear as the breezes get colder and the trees become bare. And though these memories seem clothed in sadness, there is also a lot of joy in there if you know where to look.
As a child, my dad was my hero. He was everything to me. And he left. Those scars are still there, and even today they sometimes hurt. But the scars have also been healed over by my forgiveness. I was able to forgive my dad for not being the dad I needed him to be, and accepting the dad he was. He was the best dad he knew how to be, and I love him for that.
Through forgiveness, there is healing. I truly believe that God worked on my heart and helped me to forgive my dad, love and care for him. And in the end, my very proud dad who lived his whole life without Christ, came to accept His gift of grace and forgiveness the last week of his life. He was beaten down physically from the strokes and pneumonia, and he knew he was dying. In that knowledge, he was able to let go of his independence and become dependent on the One who mattered most.
Today the November breezes whipped around me as I walked to my car. I stopped, caught my breath and remembered my dad, and that cold November day when he passed away. I was sad for a moment at the thought of losing him, and that sadness comes and goes.
Every memory seems to have a place in my heart, and even when I feel the loss of my dad, I am reminded that even in the losses there are blessings. Like the feeling of finally forgiving my dad for not being the dad I needed.
And like the leaves dancing on the wind, the forgiveness dances in my heart. I guess there’s a lot to be thankful for.

Posted by Trish Berg 4:48 AM 0 comments  



The Many Hats I Wear



                If you have ever take the time to ponder the many unique hats you wear as a woman, as a mom, it is overwhelming , and quite impressive. We play many roles in the lives of our family and friends, in our jobs and in our communities. Most of the time we put ourselves at the very bottom of our list. We take care of everyone else around us. We worry about them. We feed, clothe and care for all those whom we love and yet we don’t take very good care of ourselves. It’s both a burden and a blessing to to be a woman and to wear all of these hats, and it is truly a part of who we are.
                We wear a nurse’s cap. When anyone in our family is sick, we pull out the thermometer, kiss their forehead and get out the Tylenol. We starve fevers and feed colds with warm soup. We call in sick to work to care for a sick child and run kids to and from the doctor’s office only to be told that it’s a virus, and we will have to suffer through.
We wear a baseball cap. If you have children who play sports, you have become their biggest fan, we sit in football bleachers, baseball stands and on the side of soccer fields. We cheer louder than any other mom in the stands and are there to dry the tears when the game is lost or the injuries are big.
We wear a bus driver’s hat. We spend countless hours driving our children to and from school, practice and lessons. We wait in parking lots for them to be done only to drive home a friend or two.
We wear a professor’s mortar board. We help our children learn Latin words, how to speak French, how to solve the algebraic equation and the history of the Peloponnesian War. We turn milk cartons into armadillos, create posters about alligators and study the quadratic equation. All before our second cup of coffee.
We wear a chef’s hat. We shop, plan and cook meals every day of the week. We make sure there is cereal for breakfast, preferably Lucky Charms. We plan packed lunches from deli to crackers and fruit snacks. We plan suppers in the crockpot and casseroles in the oven, and we feed anyone and everyone who walks through our front door. We serve dinner to the ungrateful crowd who quietly whispers, “Is this all that we have for supper?” And we try not to throw the mashed potatoes at their face.
We wear a Sherlock Holmes hat. We investigate crimes big and small, and try to discover the whodunit of every mystery in our homes. Who ate the last cookie? Who left the wet towels on the floor? Who took their sister’s earrings without permission? Who spilled the milk?
We wear a maid’s cap. We clean, and clean and clean some more. We pick up Cheerios and Goldfish crackers form the kitchen floor and dirty socks from the carpet. We make beds, wash laundry and Windex windows.
It’s no wonder we get so tired and no mystery why we have no time to take care of ourselves. I am not complaining, and I am sorry if it comes across that way. I love my life, I love my family, and I am blessed more than I am burdened by every hat that I wear.
That said, I think I need another cup of coffee as I find my hat for today.



Posted by Trish Berg 5:00 AM 1 comments  



A Few of Autumn's Blessings



                Autumn is hands down my favorite season of all. I love the cool breezes, pulling out my turtlenecks and sweaters to wear and making popcorn on the stove top and hot cocoa with marshmallows. In the fall, I love making Chex Mix and homemade granola, decorating our home with pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and autumn colors.
 Autumn brings out the best in me. The changing colors and early sunsets make for shorter days and enjoying a longer night’s sleep. Not that I get to sleep in, mind you. I just want to sleep in more.
One cold November, about ten years back, I decided to take the kids on a hike in the woods. I know, I know, that is way out for character for me. But the autumn breezes were calling my name and Mike was grading papers (a never ending job for teachers). So out we went into the great unknown.
The kids were eight, six, four and one, all young and toddling behind me as we went. It was actually a gorgeous day, until, that is, I decided to take a shortcut.
You see, the breezes were so cold, the kids started to complain. Their noses were red, their hands were numb and their fall jackets were not keeping them warm enough. What had appeared to be a beautiful fall day from inside of the house had turned into a cold November day once we were outside.
So back to the shortcut.
We were on top of the hill near where Mike’s parent’s live, and I could see our farmhouse down the hill. The shortest path home was directly through the pasture. Sounded good to me, with three crying walkers and one baby on my hip.
So we headed down.
Hannah veered a little too far to the left and that’s when her boot sank deep into a mixture of manure, mud and water. She pulled her foot out quickly leaving the boot buried, lost her balance and stepped to place her sock-only foot down, which then sank even deeper into the muck.
She immediately began to cry, and I immediately began to wonder what I had been thinking in the first place to take all four kids out in this cold weather.
Mike was grading papers in our family room, and since I did not have a cell phone with me (another brilliant mistake) I hoped he would look up from his red inked pen, out the window and see us stuck in the muck and come help get us home.
He didn’t.
So I dug deep from my dignity, put my hand in the muck, grabbed Hannah’s boot and tried to console four crying, cold, wet, manure-covered children and assure them we would be home soon. I had Hannah climb on my back, had Riley in my arms, and Colin and Sydney were each holding onto one pant leg as we stumbled and bumbled one inch at a time like a five-person circus down the rest of the hill towards home.
We got there just as the icicles began to hang off of their little noses. I stripped the down, and plunged each one into a very hot shower to scrub the experience off and warm up.
I love autumn, even when things don’t go my way. Even when the view from inside the house turns out to be a lot better than the cold on the outside.
Autumn brings out the best in me….most of the time.
But I guess that’s why they made hot cocoa in the first place.

Posted by Trish Berg 5:36 PM 0 comments  



My People

    I am a people person. I like to hang around folks, talk to them, and relate to them. When I am around people, I feel energized, motivated and encouraged. One downside to this writing career is that a lot of the time, it is me, my rear in the chair, and my fingers on the computer keyboard. No people whatsoever. I do talk to myself, but it doesn’t help much.

    I tend to feel isolated at times, and for a relational person like myself, that can make me feel sluggish and depressed.  And though I like all people, I really love being around women, especially moms. And age doesn’t matter, from young moms to grandmas. They are “my” people. They get it, whatever it is. They get me.

    They understand that sometimes the doorbell rings and catches you, well, “unsupported.” You suddenly have a split second decision to make. Answer the door with your arms folded, or make a mad dash for the laundry hamper to dig out a bra, sprits it with Fabreze and make do.

    They understand that sometimes you only have time to shave on leg during your shower until someone, most likely one of your children,  comes looking for you.

    My people understand that once a month you just don’t feel that good. You feel fat, look fat, are tired, cranky and grumpy. And they don’t hold that against you.

    My people understand why the pair of pants that you wore last week that you thought looked so fantastic are now in the Goodwill donation bag after you saw a picture of yourself wearing them at a family gathering and couldn’t believe how unbelievably bad you looked in them. They get that once a pair of pants betray you in print, they must be destroyed- or at least given away.

    My people get that when you are on the phone with a girlfriend, you will inevitably have to use the “powder room,” and will sit and talk simultaneously. Hey, it may be the only sit down time you have today!

    My people understand why there is a secret, hidden bag of chocolate covered pretzels on a shelf behind several serving bowls where only you can get to them, and that you sometimes sneak eat those treats so you don’t have to share.

    My people understand the need for Spanx to hold everything in without jiggling. In fact, ankle to eyebrow spanx may be the next thing I need, if they could cut in slits so I could see out.

    My people get that a guilt-free nap on Sunday afternoon is the best gift you could give on Mother’s Day, that is, next to a day at the spa.   
My people understand the value of clean underwear, soft slippers and a very strong cup of
coffee to make any day better.

     My people get the need for makeup to cover those facial imperfections, the value of deodorant (on me and my kids) and that the cool side of the flipped pillow in the morning are all necessities in a life full of chaos, kids and clutter.
    
     I am a people person. I like to hang around folks, all kinds of folks, talk to them, relate to them, and share my life with them. But women, now we are a different kind of breed. And there is just something reassuring and comforting about hanging out with my kind of people.

Posted by Trish Berg 1:48 PM 0 comments  



My Dream for You



Hannah was born on a rainy October night and from the moment she was born, I knew she would be a snuggler. As a newborn, Hannah loved it best when we held her close. That is when she relaxed most, sleeping on top of us, heartbeat to heartbeat. When we tried to put her in the crib, she kept us up more nights than I care to remember. Hannah was also a fast learner, walking at nine months, repeating our words at one year, and memorizing Goodnight Moon at just under two.


With Hannah’s birth, I became a mom, and suddenly it was as if my heart had grown legs and was out there in the great big world, vulnerable and unprotected. This month, Hannah turns eighteen years old, and I am awestruck looking back over the years we have shared.


It is the kind of adventure novels are written about. Life as Hannah’s mom is filled with joy and like a roller coaster, I sometimes am caught off guard with the ups, downs, twists and turns.


I have spent a lot of time lately pondering the eighteen years we have had with Hannah and the many more years ahead of her. I have so many dreams for Hannah, so many things I want her to experience.


I want Hannah to enjoy going to college next year, wherever she attends. I want her to find lifelong friends there, people she can share her journey with. I want her to find her passion, a career she can truly love.


I want Hannah to experience failure, and know that she can not only survive, she can thrive through those times. Failure is a part of life, and we grow deeper in our faith and dependence on God through every failure we endure.


I want Hannah to experience success, of acing the exam, getting the job, winning the game. There is nothing like that heart-racing happiness on top of the mountain.


I want Hannah to fall in love. Not that fleeting physical attraction, love-at-first-sight kind of love that fills Hollywood movies, but real love. Agape love. Love that is about sacrifice and commitment. Love that lasts a lifetime in a marriage that lasts a lifetime. I have been praying for her future husband since the moment she was born, and someday, I know we will get to meet him.


Hannah and I are a lot alike in some ways. We are both strong-willed, goal-focused, independent individuals who like to get where we are going on our own. But I want Hannah to know that it is Ok to depend on God, to know that He will always be there and that His grace is always sufficient.


Hannah came into my life on a rainy October night and she made me a mom. I know that I am far from perfect, and I just hope I have been the mom she needed me to be. I am so proud of the young woman she has become, the faithful follower of Christ. And though she may not remember all of the words to Goodnight Moon, I hope she remembers how very much her dad and I love and cherish her.


My dreams for Hannah are too many to recount because life is an adventure you can only experience yourself. No matter what life brings, one thing is for sure. She has made all of my dreams come true.


Happy eighteenth birthday Hannah.


Posted by Trish Berg 6:00 AM 0 comments  



Autumn Breezes

I love fall. It is, hands down, my favorite time of the year. As the temperatures cool off, the leaves change colors and the autumn breezes fill the air with an aroma of pumpkin and spice and everything nice. Well, that may be my candle scenting the air, but nonetheless, the scents of autumn are the best in the world.

There is something about autumn that warms my soul. I love wearing fuzzy socks and snuggling under warm quilts. I love making hot cocoa with mini-marshmallows and popping popcorn. I love wearing sweaters and turtlenecks, jackets, scarves and hats.

So many things have happened in my life in the fall. It is a real time of change for me, and though not every change is a good change, change is a part of life. Change might be the only constant we have to hold on to. Every autumn, I am reminded of those life changes as if they blow in on the cool breezes and whisper in my ear.

I left for college in the fall, and remember feeling scared and excited all at the same time. As excited as I was to be starting a new journey in my life, I was scared to death about being on my own. I could tell you it was a wonderful experience, but to be honest, my freshman year of college was sort of a nightmare. I had a roommate who was toxic and was more than two hours from home, lonely and isolated. I transferred to a different school before Christmas, and moved back home. Every fall those memories feel like old friends, reminding me that we do get second chances.

I met my husband, Michael, in the fall. He as playing football at Baldwin-Wallace University and we were in stats class together. From our first date to sitting at every football game cheering him on, I have so many wonderful memories from that first fall we were together. We spent time walking on campus, studying for classes and realizing that life together was much better than life apart. Meeting Michael changed my life forever and he is my constant in this crazy world of change no matter what season it is.

I lost my dad in the fall. After spending months running back and forth to several hospitals to be with my dad, he finally succumbed to his illness and passed away in November sixteen years ago. In many ways, it feels like yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago. Every fall, I am surrounded by memories of my dad, the times he played skip-to-my-lou on his guitar, the Jimmy Buffet concert we went to and adventures we shared in San Francisco, New York and Florida. My dad moved around a lot, and though I didn’t get to see him much, the time we did have together was precious. When he died, I had to let go of so much, and yet I hold on to the memories. They visit me every autumn.

The autumn breezes are rustling through the trees and the colors are changing by the day. I have stocked up on hot coca and marshmallows, and pulled out all of my sweaters and fuzzy socks. I bought a pumpkin and spice candle, and am anxious to get out all of my fall decorations to beautify the house. I just love autumn. And though some of my autumn memories are sad, they are mine. Like old friends they stop by for a warm cup of tea to share time with me.

And once again, I open my soul and welcome them in.

Posted by Trish Berg 7:04 AM 0 comments  



10 Things Google Can't Answer

Today’s the age of information. You can pretty much Google anything online and the answer to your most pressing question is at your fingertips. Watching Little House on the Prairie re-suns and wonder how many other shows Michael Landon starred in? Google it. Hungry for a hearty meal, just google to find out where the best burger place. Wonder what time Los Tios closes? Goggle away. Even if you wondered how many “I’s” are actually in the word Mississippi, it’s all there for you to find in a nano-second.

So I decided to see what the top Google searchers were and here goes. As of September 18th, the top searches include iTunes, Trent Richardson (thanks to the Browns), harvest moon, Survivor, national cheeseburger day and national talk like a pirate day. All the answers we need are there, if we simply Google it.

But there are some questions that cannot be answered trough Google. I have given this a great deal of thought and have come up with ten questions Google will not answer for you.

One. Why do we all want to be forgiven and yet we find it so difficult to forgive others?

Two. Why is it so difficult to get children to want to go to bed at night and yet so impossible to get them out of bed in the morning?

Three. Why do my appliances seem to collude with each other and all break down at the same time?

Four. Why does summer always fly by so quickly?

Five. How do I let my children grow up and become independent and still protect them from life’s hurts?

Six. Why does it feel like we have a lump in our throat when our hearts get broken?

Seven. Why do I feel like I am twenty-four on the inside but my body feels like I am sixty-four on the outside?

Eight. Why did I walk uphill both ways when I went to school, and why was it always raining?

Nine. Why do I always lose my temper when I am hurt and hurt when others lose their temper with me?

Ten. Why doesn’t God shine a spotlight onto our path and shout directions in our ears when He wants us to move in a certain direction?

I guess even Google doesn’t have all of the answers, even in the age of information. I might be able to find the best burger place on national cheeseburger day and how to spell Mississippi correctly, but I will never discover the real why’s of life on Google, no matter how hard I try or how great my key words may be. So where does that leave us?

I guess life is full of more questions than answers, and it is a struggle each day to discover the answers we are seeking. Life is messy. Get over it. Life is hard. Learn to deal with it. Life is a contradiction most of the time and we are left to find our way down a bumpy path lined with what if’s and where to’s.

Maybe instead of trusting Google, we can put our trust in God, who created us and loves us. Even in our questioning, if we can trust the One who does hold the answers, we can find a sense of peace. And maybe that’s all we can hope for.

Avast and shiver me timbers. You might even discover your swashbuckling swagger and avoid walking the plank. Arrrrr.

You gotta love Google.


Posted by Trish Berg 7:03 AM 0 comments  



When Life Goes Wrong

When life goes wrong, what is a mom to do? We face so many challenges each day, and we have to find a way to put it all together again. Like piecing together Humpty Dumpty after his fall, moms are responsible for piecing together the puzzles of life whether things go well or not. It’s a big job, but somebody’s got to do it – and I guess that falls to mom.

Sometimes the bump in the road is a fairly small one, like being told at nine-thirty at night that your child is responsible for bringing hot dogs and hamburger for the entire marching band for their tail-gating the very next night. Guess mom will make a grocery store run after work tomorrow.

Then there’s the missing homework assignment that forces mom to become Sherlock Holmes as she investigates all of the who, where, when and how, and ends up calling another student to obtain a photocopy of the assignment.

Oh, there’s the slip-and-fall on the rocks at Edgewater Park that bring mom to meet you and dad at the ER to hold your hand while you get stitches in your leg. There’s the broken oven that causes mom to get creative like Emeril and figure out how to cook everything on the stove-top burners or in the crockpot until there is enough money in the budget for a repair.

Oh, and yes, the bills and budget that seem to always be looming, calling my name, due dates that sneak up on us, unexpected car repairs, plumbing issues and appliances that seem to be colluding to all break at the same time.

Yes, when life goes wrong, mom is there for you because that is her job.

But mom is also there when life goes right.

When you win the trophy for showmanship at the county fair, mom is there to take your picture, hug you and embrace your joy. When you lead the marching band through the halftime show by twirling your baton, mom is there to cheer you on as you shine. When you visit colleges trying to figure out where to attend, mom is there to listen to your heart. And when you run the race mom is there along the path to clap and encourage your every step.

Moms have great big jobs, and sometimes it is utterly overwhelming. I know I feel completely under-prepared for the tasks at hand and if I spend too much time pondering the job requirements, I want to crawl under a blanket and not come out until spring.

But I can’t – because I’ the mom.

It has often been said, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, and I can see why. Moms are the barometer of the family, and if we allow life’s demands to get us down, it will also drag our families down.

So, mom, chin up. Take a deep breath, let your shoulders relax, and take a step forward today. It may be an uphill climb, but you will get there, one step at a time. And when you hit those bumps in your road, when life goes wrong, remember that we were never promised a rose garden. Life is hard. Life is long and life is exhausting.

But when you get to the end of your day, you can rest easy, mom, when all of life’s wrong moments have been made right with a simple “I love you, mom” hug from one of your kiddos.

And that makes life so right.


Posted by Trish Berg 7:03 AM 0 comments  



Meet Me At The Fair

Why does it sometimes feel like I am running up a down escalator? I keep waiting to catch up on life’s demands, and the more I hope to catch up, the more I feel behind. I would love to reach the point in my life when I wake up in the morning and not have a to-do list haunting me even before I finish my shower or first cup of coffee. In fact, usually when the alarm clock goes off, I wake up to the thoughts of a mad-woman listing in her mind what must be done th9at day. Bills need to be paid. There is a cross country meet at four. Those papers I never graded were due last week. The oven stopped working and we need to order that heating element. The kitchen sink started leaking and oh yes, my newspaper column is late again.

I like to think of myself as a well-put-together woman, but the reality is I am a mess. I would like to have a constantly clean house, but the reality is it boasts that lived-in look with clutter here and there and laundry at various stages on every level. I would like to be able to get ahead of my to-do list, but the reality is that most days, my to-do list does me in.

Isn’t that the funny thing about women? We put so much pressure on ourselves to be so good at everything we do and to get it right that we never seem to measure up to our own expectations. I look at other women in my life and they seem to have it all together. They seem to have cleaner houses, washed laundry and less stress.

But let me tell you a little secret. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

None of us have it all together. Period.

We have just mastered the art of faking it.

To the outside world, I probably look organized, confident and calm. On the inside I am a cluttered, insecure mess. I just hide it really well.

So what does that mean for you? Well, first of all, I am hoping you won’t blow my cover. Secondly, I am hoping we can all give each other a break and not be too judgmental towards one another.

When you see me at Buehler’s in paint-splattered sweat pants with no make up on, just smile and know that I am doing my best.

When you hear that I forgot about some committee meeting at church, trust that I truly meant to go and feel horrible that I forgot about it.

So I will keep running even though it feels like the escalator keeps getting steeper. I will keep waking up to the to-do list in my head and try to at least get one cup of coffee in before I panic. I will try to face each day with a smile and the faith that can only come from God above.

Though I may not a well-put-together woman, my mess is my own, and without the clutter and chaos of this life’s journey, life would seem rather dull. I am reminded of the country song by Phil Vassar that says:

“Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise.”

So I will embrace my paradise.

How about you?

Posted by Trish Berg 7:02 AM 0 comments  



Running Behind

Why does it sometimes feel like I am running up a down escalator? I keep waiting to catch up on life’s demands, and the more I hope to catch up, the more I feel behind. I would love to reach the point in my life when I wake up in the morning and not have a to-do list haunting me even before I finish my shower or first cup of coffee. In fact, usually when the alarm clock goes off, I wake up to the thoughts of a mad-woman listing in her mind what must be done th9at day. Bills need to be paid. There is a cross country meet at four. Those papers I never graded were due last week. The oven stopped working and we need to order that heating element. The kitchen sink started leaking and oh yes, my newspaper column is late again.
I like to think of myself as a well-put-together woman, but the reality is I am a mess. I would like to have a constantly clean house, but the reality is it boasts that lived-in look with clutter here and there and laundry at various stages on every level. I would like to be able to get ahead of my to-do list, but the reality is that most days, my to-do list does me in.
Isn’t that the funny thing about women? We put so much pressure on ourselves to be so good at everything we do and to get it right that we never seem to measure up to our own expectations. I look at other women in my life and they seem to have it all together. They seem to have cleaner houses, washed laundry and less stress.
But let me tell you a little secret. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.
None of us have it all together. Period.
We have just mastered the art of faking it.
To the outside world, I probably look organized, confident and calm. On the inside I am a cluttered, insecure mess. I just hide it really well.
So what does that mean for you? Well, first of all,  I am hoping you won’t blow my cover. Secondly, I am hoping we can all give each other a break and not be too judgmental towards one another.
When you see me at Buehler’s in paint-splattered sweat pants with no make up on, just smile and know that I am doing my best.
When you hear that I forgot about some committee meeting at church, trust that I truly meant to go and feel horrible that I forgot about it.
So I will keep running even though it feels like the escalator keeps getting steeper. I will keep waking up to the to-do list in my head and try to at least get one cup of coffee in before I panic. I will try to face each day with a smile and the faith that can only come from God above.
Though I may not a well-put-together woman, my mess is my own, and without the clutter and chaos of this life’s journey, life would seem rather dull. I am reminded of the country song by Phil Vassar that says:
“Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise.”
So I will embrace my paradise.
How about you?

Posted by Trish Berg 7:02 AM 0 comments  



Sweet SIxteen



How could this be? How could my precious little girl be sixteen years old? I am not sure where the time went as years seem to have passed and they felt like days. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You had all of this dark hair on your head and chubby cheeks. You were such a content baby, always smiling, napping on schedule. I figured God gave you to me so that I might, if even for a moment, believe that I knew what I was doing as a mom.
Your favorite place to be was on a blanket on the floor kicking your feet and giggling. I wanted to hold you close and snuggle, and you wanted your freedom.
Now you are sweet sixteen and I feel the same way.
It’s funny how so many things have changed and yet so many are still the same. I guess that’s how it goes. I can look back now and see that the personality God created in you was there from the moment you were born. You were this easy going baby, and you are this easy going teenager. You have always liked to be on your own, and you still do.
When you were about ten months old, we decided to let you cry yourself to sleep to get you to sleep through the night. I will never forget how hard you cried, and every time I checked on you, you looked at me with this sad little tear-stained face, begging me to hold you. I would pat your back, assure you that I loved you, and walk out of your nursery. The crying started again, for you and me. It was so hard to let you go.
When you finally fell asleep that night, you were sitting up in the corner of your crib with your chubby little arms and legs sticking out of the bars. I laid you down, kissed your cheek and said a prayer over you.
Today, I am still praying for you each and every day.
You have become such an amazing young lady, and you are such fun. I watch you flip flop back and forth between being a woman and a little girl. You hang out with your big sister and go to dinner and movies. Then I watch you walking your goats with your brother and am so thankful you have become friends. Later you get out the American Girl dolls and play with your little sister. You have so much love to give to all of us, and you always meet us where we are.
I have watched your faith in Christ grow over the last few years. I love that you and I were baptized together, a memory I will cherish for many years to come. You reach out to others in ways I never did at your age. In many ways, you are mature well beyond your years.
It’s funny how so many things have changed and yet so many are still the same. I guess that’s how it goes. I can’t imagine what God has in store for your life, and I am so blessed to be along for the ride.
And though I still want to hold you close, I know you need room to explore the world in your own way.
Just remember that Dad and I will always here to kiss your cheek, say a prayer and welcome you home.
Happy Sweet Sixteen!

Posted by Trish Berg 7:01 AM 0 comments