"The Prodigal Mom"?????

August 31, 2010

Whenever Freddie returns home from being gone all day at work, the kids are so excited to see him. They usually greet him with energetic exclamations of "Daddy's home!" They spend a significantly less amount of time with their dad than they do with me so they miss him while he's at work every day. Because he's gone most of the time, he usually also gets to be the "fun guy" instead of "the enforcer".

I know that my kids love me just like they love their dad, too. We just both have very different roles in our family. We play different positions on the same team, both equally important. My job is to make our house a home. I give them a safe haven. I make sure our home is comfortable. I am familiar to them. I instill routine from day to day. They know what to expect. They know I'm always there. How can I expect them to not take me for granted? They're so young.  Their dad, on the other hand,  has to go out into the world to earn a living for us. He spends most of his time away from us. I understand the excitement of him walking through the door. I want to run and jump into his arms, too, and scream, "Yay! You're home!" We spend a lot of time waiting for him. We all look forward to it. It is the high point of many of our days.

When I have the occasional opportunity to leave and return home, I rarely get anything more than a "Hey Mom, you're back", when I walk through the door. (With the exception of Aubree, of course.) My kids just don't have the chance to miss me because we are always together and I think they somehow take me for granted. I wonder how long would I have to be gone for before my kids would start to really miss me. What if I left for a weekend? Or perhaps it would take closer to a week. I really don't know. I must admit, I do have the occasional fantasy about being missed. I often wonder if I would leave, would they gain an appreciation for the things that I do that now go unnoticed? Would they yearn to have me back? Or would they adjust to a new life without me?

It shouldn't take someone being gone to be appreciated. We should make an effort daily to recognize those around us who enrich the quality of our lives. We need to make an effort the acknowledge them and all they do for us. So today, take a few minutes to think about who you would miss if they went away~ and make sure you let them know how much they mean to you!

"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him." Luke 15:20


Let's Go On a "Treasure" Hunt

August 30, 2010

I just finished reading a book called "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. I really enjoyed reading it. I do not necessarily agree with each point the author tries to make, or the beliefs that he claims. What I did get out of this book is something on a deeper level for me than where I have been in my spiritual life lately. I have consciously been growing my relationship with God. I have been focused, for the most part, on the area of moral growth. Some areas have been easy; cut and dry. Other areas are a little more challenging. This book has got me thinking more about biblical law and history; about how life was lived in the beginning, who begot whom (the family tree), the customs, and the rules.

There are many things the author has cited throughout the book that I had no idea about~ different practices and beliefs, a lot of it is Jewish, but there are also differences in Christian ideology as well. There is some very rich history in the bible. I am intrigued and my interest is certainly piqued. I am wanting to study the bible for different reasons now. I want to learn more about the WHY's of different religions. I am even beginning to question my own religious affiliation. {Nobody panic here! I am NOT converting, yet. Maybe never.} I now have a desire to discover for myself what I believe based on what the bible says. I am ashamedly admitting that I am in a religion because it is what my parents have told me to do. There are a few things that I KNOW that I believe with all of my heart. I know that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life on earth, was crucified, died, and was risen, and He will come again. I know that the bible is the word of God from God.

I am probably still going to be eating rabbit and crawfish. (Leviticus 11)  I probably will not be playing a 10 stringed harp (Psalm 33:2) or encouraging Freddie to take on any more wives like Jacob (two) and King David (eight) and Solomon (seven hundred).  I do want to explore the bible. I want to understand religious roots to the conflict in the Middle East. I want to know for myself if wine was wine (fermented) back then or was it grape juice as some claim it was? I realize that there is so much in the bible that I do not understand due to my lack of study. I want to be able to have an intelligent conversation with someone if they want to discuss the bible or religion with me. 

I am inspired. I am excited. I am on a mission! Who wants to join me? Who wants to discover all the hidden "treasures" of the bible? I know it doesn't necessarily sound like a fun adventure, especially when you stop and think about all the laundry piled up in baskets, dishes that are sitting in the sink, kids that have to be driven to this practice and that one, trips to the grocery store all waiting for you! When you do finally get a minute to yourself, you probably want to soak, neck deep, in a tub full of bubbles and then climb into bed and fall into an eight hour coma. But, I challenge you to give it a try. Think of one topic that you would like to know more about and make it your mission to find out what the bible says about it. Just see where that takes you. If you decide that you don't enjoy it, then so be it. You haven't lost much, or anything at all. But, you may just discover a "priceless treasure".

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God's commands with their own man-made teachings. For you ignore God's specific laws and substitute your own traditions." Mark 7:7-8

"Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and eager multitudes are forcing their way in . But that doesn't mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is stronger and more permanent than heaven and earth." Luke 17:16-17


Happy Anniversary, Freddie!

August 29, 2010

Dear Freddie,

I want to start off by saying that I have cherished each and every single day that we've spent together. They have truly been the BEST days of my life! We have definitely grown up together. Eighteen years ago we were both just kids. We thought we had it all figured out~ thank God we didn't realize just how much we didn't know! But, together, we figured it out. We waded through the muck and made it out no worse off for the wear.

You know how much I think of you. I have said it so many times before. I truly mean every word from the bottom of my heart. You really are my hero. You are my "knight in shining armor". You rescued me from living an average life, and have given me a fairy tale! 

You are my best friend. You are my safe place. You are my home. Wherever you are is where I want to be. Forever.

I could try to tell you how much I love you, but, there are simply no words strong enough to describe it. I love you with everything I have in me. I would do anything for you. I hope to spend the next sixty years trying to show you just how loved you are!

Thank you for giving me all of you~ Happy Anniversary!


Let Us Pray

August 27, 2010

Today I feel led to talk about prayer. This blog feels a little more difficult to write, not because I don't believe in the power of prayer.  I have spent many hours of my life in desperate prayer. I have seen first-hand my share of answered prayers. Watching your prayers being fulfilled is an amazing, exciting, faith building experience. I have also been on the receiving end of unanswered prayer (at least in the sense of not being answered the way I had hoped). This experience, if you're not careful, can be detrimental to your faith. But, we must always remember that "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)  And, sometimes, when we pray, God's answer is "No." We must be willing to accept the no's with the yes'. "Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (Thessalonians 5:16-18)  "Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong." (1Peter 3:17)

What do we pray for? I know that I  personally pray for God's blessings, God's forgiveness, God's protection, God's healing, and God's guidance. There are many areas in my life where I have learned to become faithful in knowing that God will take care of my situation without me having to worry and fret (which is a sin- that'll be a later blog). "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." (Philippians 4:6)  But, there are also areas in my life where I am holding on to things that I really need to let go of. Things that are causing me to worry and fret. Things that are keeping me locked in my past like a prisoner. Not only am I sinfully not trusting God , but I am letting myself be robbed of blessings. I also believe that we are to pray for others (intercessory prayer). "I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God." (Ephesians 1:16-17)  

When do we pray? Do we pray before meals? Do we pray only at church?  Do we pray only before falling asleep at night? Do we pray only when bad things happen and we need to be rescued? Do we pray prayers of thanksgiving? Do we pray for forgiveness? The Bible tells us to "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (Matthew 26:41)  I believe that we should constantly have a prayer on our lips, in our mind, and in our heart. We should spend our days in silent prayer, seeking God. "Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful." (Romans 12:12)

Who should pray? Everyone should pray for forgiveness. We should probably start our prayers asking for God's forgiveness~ always. We must be sure that when we pray, we are doing so with a true spirit. We should be sure that we are genuinely seeking God with a pure heart. If not, God will not hear us. "From now on, when you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not listen. For your hands are covered with the blood of your innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Let me no longer see your evil deeds. Give up your wicked ways." (Isaiah 1:15-16)  "The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29)  When we pray, we should be seeking God's will. We need to make sure that we have pure intentions, not selfish ones. "And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results."  (James 5:15-16) 

So, let's pray. Let's pray for forgiveness, for blessings and favor, for healing, for wisdom and guidance, for God's intervention~ and let's pray for each other!

Father, I come to you today asking that you forgive me for all the times that I have caused pain to you and others. I ask that you forgive me for saying things that should not have been said, and not saying things that should have. I ask that you forgive me when I have been less than patient and loving to others. I pray that you guard my lips and my actions. I don't want to do anything that would be hurtful to anyone else. I ask that you fill my heart with your grace, mercy, and peace. I pray that you help me to forgive others easily and remember to ask for forgiveness when I have done wrong. I ask that you put your healing hands on those who are injured, sick, burdened, and suffering. I ask that you be with our leaders and give them wisdom and guidance and place a burden on their hearts for good. You know the needs and desires of my family. I pray that you work in our lives, and continue to take care of us, giving us everything we need. Use me, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Tick Tock

August 26, 2010

I know I have talked about this before, BUT, we really need to get on some kind of schedule around here. I just cannot function with four kids all coming and going in and out of the kitchen as they please. They are total DIVAS (and/or whatever you call the boy version of a diva) acting like they run the show. I have had it! Time for me to take back my house. I have printed a schedule and posted it to the fridge. Everything is scheduled from what time they wake up to allotted times for snacks, meals, baths, etc. 

This will hopefully keep them from grazing all day long. This should force them to eat when they are scheduled to eat, hence, eliminating the occasion for them to pop in for a meal just as I am finishing up cleaning the kitchen. This should eliminate the protests when it comes to bath time. It should get them in the habit of brushing their teeth without having to be reminded. It should help them to keep their rooms tidy and in a manageable state of dirtiness. It should HOPEFULLY get them into a pattern of good sleep habits!

God wants us to be good stewards of our time. Everything has it's place in time. We should not be eating when it is time to work. We should not be sleeping when it is time to clean. We should not be watching TV when it is time to sleep. If it takes a schedule to keep you organized, then I say, "Go for it!"

"There is a time for everything, a season for evry activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Inquiring minds want to know....

August 25, 2010

"Momma, do you drink beer?"

"Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you." Ephesians 5:18

"We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires." Romans 13:13-14

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21

Drunk- one who drinks or indulges to excess; intoxicated; saturated

I am not proud of the fact that I have been drunk before. But, I have made a decision to not be drunk again. It's easy to keep myself in check by remembering that I have eight eyes watching everything I do. Once, when my kids were little, there was an occasion that I decided to have a beer with my husband. My kids were very quick to point out- "Mom, you don't drink beer!" They notice everything. But, you want to know an even more sobering fact? Even when my kids are not around, God is. He sees everything! Including the hidden depths of my heart (intention). 

I don't believe that one glass of wine will keep me out of Heaven. But, if I want to serve God and follow His commands, then I will not be getting drunk because it will lead to things that are not of God. Things that do not line up with His will for my life. And, yes, my kids are watching, too. I am to be a good example to them. I must behave the way they are supposed to behave. They should not be comfortable seeing me drinking, nor should I be. 


Shout to the Lord

August 24, 2010

Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I get bored with the monotony of one day bleeding into the next almost seamlessly. Sometimes I have a hard time motivating myself to get up and do the same thing today that I did yesterday. And then I look at my kids and I could just kick myself, because I am SO blessed! It's ridiculous. I get to stay home with my four awesome children every single day! I get to be the one to take care of them when they're sick, discipline them when they misbehave, laugh with them when they're silly, pull my hair out when they spend my patience, I'm the recipient of midday kisses and hugs for no reason at all. What the heck do I have to complain about? Sure, the laundry NEVER ends, somebody ALWAYS wants to eat, not everyone at my house can wipe their own behind, no one else can mop the floors, but, the alternative is definitely not better.

The alternative would leave the space between Freddie & I in bed at night empty, it would leave my heart yearning, it would have me at a job every day that I did not love. I have a husband that truly is my best friend, who is my hero, who is everything I could want in a man and more. My kids are healthy and smart and beautiful. I am close to my extended family. I have friends who love me, who I love back. 

I really do love being home with my kids. It's not that I don't know how lucky I am. I never, ever, not even for one second, wish that I had a different life. It is just that sometimes, I forget to practice active gratitude. I have been given far too much to not be actively grateful EVERY day! 

Father, forgive me! Forgive me when I feel this way. Forgive me for taking for granted the very thing I have wanted most in my whole entire life (even if only for a few seconds)! Forgive me for not constantly praising you for the opportunity to live my dream because there are so many others who do not get to. Forgive me for not shouting out how truly, mind-boggling amazed I am at how You have poured out your blessings on me. I am humbled by Your love for me. Thank You. Amen.

 Psalm 100
"Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation."


"I Do, Forever!"

August 23, 2010

"What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

My wedding anniversary is in less than one week. It will be eighteen years that Freddie and I have been married. That, my friend, is a long time! As I sit here, I think back on all that we have been through as a couple over the past eighteen years. We have struggled to get to the place where we are today. Not all of the years have been blissful. We have faced many trials, many disappointments, we've lost people we've loved, we have found new friendships, had babies, changed jobs, had a car totaled, had a house totaled, juggled bills, rejoiced in blessings, made each other cry, made each other laugh, we've given and we've taken, and we've made compromises.  

When I was first married, I would look at couples who had several years "under their belts" and think to myself, "Wow. They have such a good marriage. They don't fight. They love each other." I was quite envious. Freddie and I were so young, we had so much to learn. It was hard to figure out how to be a couple. I am very glad to say that we have finally figured it out! We have a really good marriage~ not because we never fight; not because we are always loving & kind with each other. That would be wonderful, but not possible. I've discovered that "those couples" with the seemingly perfect marriage who never fought actually do fight.  They've just figured "it" out, too. A good marriage is not perfection. It is loving each other through not only the good times, but the bad ones, too. It's sticking around when you don't want to because you cannot bear the thought of leaving. It is being so in love with him that you let your heart be absolutely vulnerable and destroyed when he hurts you, and even more broken when you hurt him. It's forgiving and being forgiven when it's not deserved. It's looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. It's never giving up. It's being inspired to be more than you are. It's putting yourself aside when he needs you. It's falling into his arms when you need him. It's learning how to choose your battles carefully. It's ten minutes here, and forty minutes there that add up to the best years of your life. It's waking up to find him staring at you while you were asleep and you don't need words to feel how much he loves you. It's looking at your kids and seeing as close to perfect love as you can on earth!

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand it's own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1Corinthians 13:4-7


Get Back Up

August 19, 2010

Is the glass half empty or is it half full?

I choose to see the glass as half full. It is all too easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for yourself. What good does that do? Does it inspire you? Does it create a feeling of positive self-worth and value? Does it allow for an attitude of gratitude? No! Feeling sorry for yourself only brings you down. It's kind of like being your very own, full-time, personal bully. You have a conversation with yourself that only puts you down and tells you how low you are in life. There are plenty of people out there in this world who are more than willing to belittle you. Do not do that to yourself! You frankly don't need it.

When I begin to hear those innuendos of self-pity I quickly dismiss them with the simple fact that there is always someone who is worse off than I am. Not matter what! It's not to say that things don't get bad from time to time. We all go through difficulties in life. But, we are not so special that we are persecuted more than all other humans on the planet. We have our crosses just like everyone else does, and God gives us exactly what we need to be able to carry them~ and that when we get knocked down, we get back up again!

How do you want your children to handle life? Do you want them to be confident that the trials they face will pass? Or, do you want them to get so bogged down in the "why me" syndrome that they miss out on all the wonderful things that they have in their lives? I want for my children to seek out the lesson in each disappointment and struggle they encounter. I want them to train themselves on the growth of life, and not be paralyzed in fear and hardship. I want them to know that no matter how they are tested and tempted, they are beautiful, loved, and special. I want them to live their lives knowing that while they are no better than anyone else, there is no one who is better than they are.

It is our job to model for our children. We must live our lives as an example for them, much like how Jesus lived as an example for us. So, next time you are tempted to go head to head with yourself in a battle of put downs and low blows, simply back out of the argument. Turn and walk away. And pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

"For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures- for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering." Romans 8:16-17


Keep the Change?

August 18, 2010

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you were unhappy with circumstances you were in~ whether it be your job, friendships, marriage, or family relationships? Many of us find ourselves there at different times in our life. How do you deal with it? Do you get angry and frustrated and give up? Do you end up feeling resentment and bitterness? Do you lose something that you once held so dear?

I have found that the easiest way to inspire change is to make a change. I am not saying that it is an easy thing to do. I am saying that "if you keep doing what you have been doing, you are going to keep getting what you have been getting". That's it. Plain and simple. No frills, no bells, no whistles. YOU must take the first step on the road toward where you want to be and you will be surprised to find out that "whomever" will follow you there! (They may arrive a little later than you do, but, they will get there, too!)

I have experienced this first hand. I have been in a situation where I expected and desired the "other person" to be different than "he" was. So, I began with prayer. I prayed earnestly that God would change me to become what "he" wanted and needed me to be for "him". I surrendered to the idea of becoming different than what I was. I fought the human urge to resist. I didn't give in to the argument of "Why should I have to change if 'they' are not willing to change?" I am so glad I did. God made me exactly what "this person" needed me to be at that time. And you know what happened? Over time, "he" was inspired by my commitment to "him" and our "relationship" and my willingness to become more of what "he" needed from me that "he" began making changes, too. I didn't even voice what I needed. It was as though it was clear as day. I believe that we both allowed God to work in us and we are both better off for it today than we once were. We are both better people, and we like ourselves more for it, both as individuals and as "friends".

"At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you with power, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person." 1Samuel 10:6

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is." Romans 12:2


In the Shadow

August 17, 2010

I have mentioned before that Brant is Freddie's shadow. He follows his Daddy around wherever he goes whenever he can! Brant LOVES Freddie. A younger version of me would be seriously jealous at how much that boy adores that man! He would crawl into Freddie's body if he could, just to be closer to him. I cannot emphasize the extent of the affection that Brant has for Freddie. Human words are not enough.

Freddie realizes it, too, and is actually kind of afraid by it. He knows that his son is watching his every move waiting to mimic him. That's a lot of pressure on a person. Having kids is a big enough responsibility under normal circumstances. But this. It's more than either of us could have ever anticipated.

Our other children love Freddie, too. They even love me. But, there is something about the way that Brant sees Freddie that is like nothing else. It's the way that we should look at our heavenly Father. We should want to occupy the very same space that our Lord does. We should want to mimic His every move. We should want to be just like Him! Too often, we take the easy way. We don't work as hard as we should. We aren't as nice as we should be, or as patient, or forgiving. We should earnestly, diligently, and constantly "shadow" our heavenly Father! Unlike us, He is perfect. He will never make a false step or lead us astray. He will never fail us.

"For my part, I followed the Lord my God completely." Joshua 14:8

"Teacher, I will follow you no matter where you go!" Matthew 8:19

"All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them." John 12:26



August 16, 2010

"The Lord rejoices in all He has made!" Psalm 104:31

Today, my nephew and his wife are at the hospital awaiting the arrival of their first child. What a wonderful day in their lives. They will never be the same from here on. Today, they become parents. I think back to the day that Freddie and I became parents. It was arguably the best day of my life. Sure, I had some wonderful things happen before that day. I had accepted the Lord as my Savior as a teenager. I had met and married the most wonderful man in the world. But, this day, I began the only career I ever wanted!

It was a Wednesday. For some strange reason, I had thought that my baby would be born on a Wednesday. Not necessarily this Wednesday. My due date was still 2 weeks away. First time mothers usually do not go into labor very much before their due date. I had read everything I could get my hands on to prepare me for labor. I had taken Lamaze classes because I was determined to avoid an epidural. When people heard this they would all say, "Yeah, right. You are never going to be able to do it. You are going to beg for an epidural. There is no way. The pain is horrible." This only fueled my fire. If you know anything about me you know that the easiest way to get me to do something is to tell me that I can't.

Anyway, fast forward to about 12:30 am on Wednesday, April 7, 1999. I woke up sitting straight up in bed gasping to catch my breath. I had been having contractions and they woke me. I thought about waking Freddie, but I decided that if I was going into labor that he'd probably need his sleep. So, after a few contractions I managed to fall back into an uneventful sleep. I woke up to sunlight, and dismissed the events of the dark, going about my normal routine. Around 9:00am I had a contraction that just felt "different". Not necessarily more painful than any I've previously had, just different. I thought it was strange and began to pay attention. I called my sister and we had a nice conversation. A little time passed and she began to notice that I was not able to continue talking during my contractions. She told me that she thought that I should call Freddie to come home. I really was not convinced that I was in actual, "for real" labor and that the contractions would stop just as quickly as they began. After much begging, pleading, and threatening, I finally agreed to hang up and call my doctor's office for advice. I told the nurse about my contractions and she asked me if I could come to the office now. I said that it would be an hour or so before I could get there because my husband worked 45 minutes away. She suggested that I get someone else to drive me there and have Freddie meet me because my doctor had a meeting at 1:00pm and he was seeing his last patient now and then would be heading out soon after. So, I arranged for my grandmother to take me. Freddie said he'd come home and get my bags then meet us there.

My grandmother showed up at my house in her IMMACULATELY clean car with bath towels on the seat. I offered trash bags and said that I cannot make any promises for my bag of water to make the trip! She declined. We engaged in small talk along the way, and she began to get very nervous when she realized how frequent my contractions were. I may or may not have asked her to shut up along the way. (blushing) She put on her hazard lights and pressed on the gas pedal. I begged her to turn them off, but, she sneaked them on anyway. We crossed Freddie on the way to the doctor's office and she was certain to flash her lights rapidly at him as a signal to hurry up! We arrived in about 15 minutes and I got out of the car and stepped up onto the sidewalk and my water broke! I was panicked for a moment. What would I do? Should I go home and change? I couldn't walk into the office all wet. Could I? My grandmother was trying to comfort me. She said, "It doesn't show." I said, "What do you mean, it doesn't show? My socks are wet!" I decided that I would walk past the waiting room straight into the nurse's station. When I arrived the nurse's were quick to let me know that I didn't look so good. I said, "I just lost control of my bladder." They said, "Get the doctor!" I said, "I have to go to the bathroom first." Don't ask me what I was thinking, but, before I left my house I had put a washcloth in my panties, "Just In Case". In case of what? I have no idea. So, I took the washcloth out and threw it away and went into the exam room. I removed my bottoms and the doctor came in to check things out. He said, "You are every OB's dream. Your bag of water has broken and you are dilated to 6cm." The nurse came in with a wheelchair, but, I insisted that I put on my soaked panties before getting in the chair to be wheeled up to labor & delivery.

When we arrived on the 3rd floor of the hospital no one was prepared for me. They were extremely busy and did not have a room ready. The nurse handed me a lovely gown and said, "Take everything off, the gown opens in the back. I'm going to get a monitor down the hall. I'll be right back." So, I dutifully removed my pride and rolled it into a ball in the small closet of my hospital room. I climbed into the bed and after a couple of contractions (literally every 3 minutes) I looked at my grandmother, who had delivered 5 babies without the option of pain medication, and said, "Please don't let me wuss out. I don't want an epidural." She began, "Sha, if you need it then get it. Don't do that to yourself...." Before she could finish urging me, I stopped her mid-sentence and said, "Go tell the nurse that I am pushing!" Her eyes were as big as saucers and she was torn between leaving me alone and getting help. She didn't have to go far and the nurse bolted in the door and screamed, "Don't push!" I said, "I'm not, the baby is coming on it's own." Things got VERY crazy and jumbled from this point on. The nurse pressed the call button and instructed the nurse's station to call my doctor, stat. She began getting things ready for delivery. I was screaming something about defecating and she was screaming something about NOT PUSHING! By the time my doctor got to my room I was saying things like, "I cannot have this baby without my husband!" They were saying, "You may not have a choice." When Freddie finally walked into the room the only thing touching the bed was my head on the pillow and my feet in the stirrups. No Joke.

Some poor, innocent student nurses were in my room to observe my delivery and when I caught sight of them I almost stood up straight in the stirrups and pointed at the door and screamed, "What are all these people staring at me for? Out! Get out!" (I sent a card of apology the next week.)

People were running around. You couldn't make heads or tails of anything. I felt like I was on a runaway train, very out of control. Then, all of a sudden, in the midst of the commotion, I yelled, "STOP. Everybody just stop. I need to breathe for a minute." My sweet, loving doctor looked at me and said, "You have to push. Now." Twenty-eight minutes and two pushes after I arrived in my room on the labor & delivery floor of the hospital, my beautiful Karli Blayne was born 2 weeks and 1 day before her due date at an even 7lbs and 20" long. I was a MOM.

I am sitting here while my 11 year old daughter is in her room watching television. I wonder if she knows how much I love her. I wonder if she knows that I really would do anything for her. I wonder if she knows that she is the reason I was born.

I feel the same way about all four of my children. I rejoice daily in them. I praise God for sharing them with me. I take it seriously to teach them about their heavenly Father. I take it seriously to teach them all they need to know to be as happy as they possibly can be. I make it my business to make sure that each one of my kids feels like they are my favorite!

There is only one today. I want to make the most of it. Ordinary, or exciting. I want to savor each moment I have with my children. And I want them to grow up and have children and realize how very much they were loved!


Get Blessed

August 13, 2010

Normally, I sit down to write a blog with not much in mind. Sometimes, I type out a few sentences, and then realize that it's not intended to be a blog "today" and I delete it and start over. Usually, I have one sentence and the rest of my blog flows from there. Almost always, the title is the last thing to be added. No matter what, though, I can always find bible scriptures to back up what I've written about.

The lesson here is that no matter what you are facing in your life~ good or bad~ you can always turn to the bible for encouragement, assurance, and guidance. God made sure to provide us with a complete manual for "life". We just need to open the book and search for the answers. They are all in there.

This blog has definitely blessed me in many ways, but, I think the most special and surprising way has been how much I have enjoyed opening my bible every day to seek out what God has to say about a certain topic. I am learning so much more than I ever thought I would. It amazes me that when you read the bible with the right heart, the words have a clarity and meaning that they may not have had before. I have tried to "Read the Bible in a Year" before, and I must admit I have never been successful. But, now that I am reading it with a purpose~ searching for specific insights~ it is fun, enlightening, satisfying, and meaningful.

Next time you are faced with an "event" in your life, open up your bible and search its pages to find out what God has to say about it. You will be blessed~ I promise!

"If you need wisdom- if you want to know what God wants you to do- ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking." James 1:5

"In him lie hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3


Tropical Disturbance?

August 12, 2010

I don't watch the news much, but, I think that there was a tropical disturbance or something this week. They said it wasn't going to hit our area here, but, I think the weathermen got it WRONG! It hit right on our house and lasted for the past four days! Thank God our school week is over. I feel worn out right now from the difficult days of dealing with this storm (aka my youngest son). I tell you, that boy has got one of the strongest wills I have ever seen! He certainly gave me a run for my money when he was a toddler, too. I learned very quickly that it did not matter what I did to him, he was not gonna break! He was going to outlast you, even if you ripped his arm off and beat him with the bloody end. (Not that I ever did that, but I have had fantasies once or twice. Just kidding.) He would not shed one tear and he would definitely not back down! It has been a while since I have seen that side of him for this many days in a row. It makes for one whipped Momma.

I have had my share of practicing patience and tolerance this week. Notice, I said practicing. Sometimes I managed success by the skin of my teeth, other times the frustration turned into yelling. Once it gets to that point it is extra difficult to get the "attitude" back to a level conducive to learning. But, by the grace of God, we managed to complete all assignments, and did them fairly well, I might add.

What have I learned this week from my experience?
*The "terrible two's" CAN sneak up on you at any given time, well past age two.
*I am convinced that the weather has something to do with the disposition of little boys.
*I don't want to relive the "terrible two's".
*It's always better if I can keep my cool.
*Mommy's sometimes need a time-out, too.
*I still have a genuine love of homeschooling my children, no matter what.
*Next week will be better!

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us- they help us learn to endure." Romans 5:3


Can YOU walk on water?

August 11, 2010

There is a story in the bible about one night when Jesus' disciples were out on a boat and Jesus went into the mountains to pray. A storm brewed up and they got scared. They saw someone walking on the water towards them and they were afraid because they thought it was a ghost. But, Jesus called out to them and told them not to fear. Peter told him that "if it is really you, Lord, tell me to come to you by walking on the water" and Jesus said, "all right, come". So, Peter stepped out of the boat and began walking on the water towards Jesus. He was doing just fine for a while, then he took his eyes off of Jesus and let fear begin to well up inside of him because the storm was fierce and the waves were so big! As soon as he did this he began to sink. Peter cried out to Jesus begging Him to save him and immediately Jesus reached out his hand and saved Peter. Then they climbed back into the boat and the wind stopped and they all worshiped Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-33)

How many times have we lived a scenario much like this one in our own lives? I know that there have been many times where my faith was strong and I followed Jesus without fear or question, but, as things got "rough" I let doubt enter my mind and quickly began to "sink", too. But, like Peter, every time I cry out to Jesus, He takes my hand and delivers me safely where He would have me.

Trusting in what you cannot physically touch or see can be very difficult. Throughout my life, though, God has proven to me over and over again that He is faithful. There should not be any room for doubt in my walk with Him. He has proven Himself to me more than once by His mercy and His grace. Mercy is God's compassion and Grace is God's love~ neither of which any of us have earned or deserve! He is just that good and love's us that much!

Just as in this story, every leg of our journey is not going to take place under clear skies. God's will can and does take us through very scary terrain and circumstances. But, as long as we keep our eyes focused on Him, we are going to be fine. We have His power on our side. And life is not much more than our journey to heaven (or hell). The setting and characters are constantly changing. We have new goals and new obstacles along the way. But, the destination is always the same. We just have to keep our eyes fixed on the prize!

"Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires." Psalm 37:3-4

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory." 1John 5:4


A Breath of God

August 10, 2010

Oftentimes, as I lie in bed at night waiting for sleep, I have a thought that goes something like this~ "You were just here last night, in this house, in this bed, thinking the same thoughts. Another today is over. Remember, not that long ago, lying in this same place, wondering about the baby in your pregnant belly? Your baby is 2-1/2 years old now. Wow! Time is flying by way too fast." I have to actually stop myself from thinking the next thoughts that try to enter into my mind~ thoughts about what it will be like when the kids are grown with kids of their own and Freddie and I are old and gray, because I am afraid that tomorrow night, when I lie down, those thoughts will have come true. It is actually a little frightening to me.

Have you ever heard the saying, "the days were long, but the years were short"? Well, this is exactly how I feel. I want to slow the clock down somehow. I do look forward to my kids growing into themselves and having all those exciting experiences along the way as they create families of their own. But, I don't want the time with them in my home to end.

I just get so consumed with the tasks of each day, that I often take for granted that they will never be this age ever again. I want to try to make an effort to breathe them in a little longer each day before it ends. I want to make sure that I hold on to that hug for a few extra seconds when I sense them (or me) first begin to pull away. I want to make sure that when they talk to me, I stop what I'm doing and really pay attention to them so that they know that I hear them and that what they have to say is important to me. A few seconds delay in housework is not going to make a difference in what time I go to bed at night, but, it might make a difference in how my kids feel about themselves!

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath." Psalm 39:4-5