My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Monday, September 30, 2019

An Ugly Enemy

The Nitty Gritty
Who: Me
What: VEEG
When: Aug 8-12
Where: University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB)
Why: TBD

 Fear is an ugly enemy.

 He sneaks into places that you think are comfortable, places that you think he is completely banished from. 

 He stays quiet and still, working underneath the world that is staying busy all around you. 

 He uses words that are not supposed to be his, actions that have nothing to do with him, waiting patiently for a moment when you are not prepared. 

 I hate fear. 

 I fight fear pretty well, most of the time. I have had a good bit of practice and some fabulous examples to help me along the way. Spiders and snakes don't really bother me now. Enclosed spaces that don't allow movement have become a beautiful space to pray. My hubby being far away, for long periods of time, encourages both of us to spend more time in The Word and to grow toward our Savior, and toward each other. Facing death with someone I love a whole stinkin' lot was rough, but Daddy went to be with Jesus and the girls he left behind are still an amazing team of strength, beating out the fear of the unknown together, all five of us. 

 But fear, and it's ugly, sneaky self, still finds a way to hurt me. 

 Memory is priceless. PRICELESS. 

 The Drew Barrymore movie, 50 First Dates, has some funny moments. A few that make you tear up. A lot of cuss words, just a heads up. But until you have looked that possibility straight in the face and considered that it could be you....well, until then, it is simply a movie. 
 Once you have looked that possibility straight in the face though- that your memories might cease to exist, that the people you love the most could possibly become strangers to you, that the children you would give your life for without a second thought and the man who makes you complete might not be the center of your world any longer - until you have looked at that and realized that it could truly be your story, you don't really understand. 

 Memory is PRICELESS.

 I lost almost all of two weeks in Aug. From the time I posted the FB prayer request for seizures, until the post I wrote on the 21st, nothing is solid. 

 I "recovered" from three seizures, responding to the questions the doctors asked, and recognizing "My Andy"- the first thing I could recognize every time, and a direct quote of how I described him every time- with passion but with no memory of it all. 
 My sister Kelsey and her crew came to visit me in the hospital- there is a picture of us eating popsicles-but that is all I have from that visit. 

 I came home from the hospital but have no memory of the work required to get the EEG glue out of my hair. I started taking a different dose of my meds, and apparently even filled my weekly medicine container myself. I assisted with cooking, and cleaning and laundry. I made an online deposit and paid several bills. 

 And yet, there is nothing there. Nothing. 

 "My Andy" and our boys have had to tell me these stories. 

 That is the place that sneaky little fear has attacked. The "what if" of losing my men. The "what if" of not being able to make new memories, or to hold onto old ones. 

 Fear is an ugly enemy. 

 I want to post Psalm 34:4 "I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me; He freed me from all my fears."... but truthfully I am not there yet. I am not freed yet. 

 However, I am clinging to the 23rd Psalm. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me;" ESV  
 I am choosing to focus on my Savior being with me, even in the valley. TPT says "Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for You already have!"
 I am on His path, even when it is through a valley of deepest darkness. Fear can't win, can't conquer. That is enough. 

 That is enough. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Brain surgery?

 I have been "sick" almost my whole life. Diabetes was diagnosed over 25 years ago.
 Sick is normal. Sick is just who I am. Sometimes I realize how different I am, but most of the time I just take it for granted. Perhaps everyone else does too? No one is truly average, right? We all have something that sets us apart. Something that makes us different than everyone else.

 I am struggling with what to focus on today, writing this up. Andy wants me to express myself more often. He wants me to share my emotions, like I did years ago on this blog.
 What is right to share? How much depth do people really want to hear?

 I guess I have this desire to be perfect. To only express the "right" emotions. So, what is right?

Strength... or the honesty of weakness?
Peace... or the honesty of fear?
Happiness...or the honesty of sometimes being overwhelmed with the lack of it?

 Joy, which is not happiness, remains constant. I would have not survived without the strength that comes from the Joy of Jesus being first place in my life. Happiness comes and goes.

 I suppose we should stick with some honesty.

 The IVIG, that I wrote about last (about 18 months ago) didn’t fix the seizures. It did, however, help me to stop throwing up, so I still celebrate it. We tried one other treatment with the doc at Emory, that I can’t even remember the name of, then, dad’s cancer came back and everything else, EVERYTHING, got placed in a back corner. We had almost three months of trying to appreciate every moment of life. Then we had at least three months of grief making life a blur.
 But, around June several of the people who love me most pointed out that I hadn’t been to the doc in far too long. Emory had done nothing to draw me back to them (they never called to say “where are you,” never emailed to say “we have meds for you”. Nothing) so I asked my family doc to place a referral to UAB.
 They got me an appt. on July first- the first day Andy was back from “camp”. Got me in the hospital for a VEEG observation Aug 8-12, and after getting to see three seizures, added me to the “pre-surgery” list.

 Yes, brain surgery.

I feel like I have spent all of September at UAB, or on the road between UAB and Troy. Andy says it is time to start writing about it. This is just the summary. I am going to try to write about what God is teaching me, what emotions are surrounding me, and what knowledge the medical world is passing along to me as we wait to figure this out.

 We are just waiting right this minute. More tests. More doctors discussing my brain. But maybe there will be someone else, somewhere else, who is looking at the same thing and needs to read about it.

 One step at a time.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Details, if desired

I don't know where to start. 

 I guess the beginning? 

 Type one diabetes is an auto-immune disorder. Your own body gets confused and "breaks" the insulin producing part of your pancreas. I was diagnosed at 12. 
 Graves disease is an auto-immune disorder. Your thyroid can't self-regulate and produces too much, or jumps all around. I was diagnosed at 22. 
 When I was 29 I started having "spells". I would stop everything, stand still and stare blankly. In my head I had gone somewhere else. A different world, with a repeating storyline. I started recognizing that world, and developed the ability to "fast forward" the story, but couldn't stop it completely. 
 At first they called them atypical migraines, then, after having a grande mal, decided that they were a type of seizure. 
 I don't think any of us were taking them very seriously still. Annoying, yes, but something to work around. 
 Topamax worked for several years. The spells were shorter, and less often, and sometimes even went months in between. 
 But Topamax wasn't strong enough after awhile. Between military moves and changing doctors I wasn't taking care of myself as well as I should and ended up having over 20 of my spells, my seizures, in a 3 day period. In Oct of 2011, at the end of those 3 days, I lost my memory. Just gone. I knew I was supposed to recognize people. But I didn't. 
 Thankfully, I was visiting my parents while Andy was away for training, and my dad took my children and put them to bed for me. My mom sat with me and told me the story of birthing my children and marrying my husband. She showed me pictures of my siblings and best friends. She told me what was important to me, what I loved. I cried.

 By the next morning it had all come back, but that was when I started taking this disorder seriously. 
 Sometimes meds work really well. 
 Sometimes they turn me into an unkind person. 
 Sometimes they make me just want to sleep all the time. 
 Several times they have left me begging God to please just let me die. 
 Once they even had me planning the math needed to make a Tahoe and a hill enough for that. 
 Meds can be very ugly. Don't get me wrong, they have been very helpful too, but they can be ugly. 
 Vimpat, the one I am on now doesn't seem to be working any longer. I am back to 7-8 recognized spells a month, and probably more that are more subtle, which leaves me exhausted and confused. At least twice in the last six months I have simply "lost" time. I have continued to function, putting away groceries and responding to questions even, but an hour later I "wake up" and have no memory of it. I was simply on autopilot. 
 I am tired of feeling lost. I am tired of being tired. 

 So, we are trying something new. 

 The latest theory is that my seizures are actually an auto immune disorder as well. My body got confused enough years ago to kill my pancreas and mess up my thyroid. Now it is making my brain misfire. It is destroying itself. For anyone medical, my anti-gad 65 was so high it was immeasurable. 

 The treatment I am starting is called IVIG. It is an iv drip of immune globulin. An immune boosting surge. The theory, the hope, is that the confused part of my body will spend time trying to figure it out, even fighting against these new things, and stop beating up my brain. 
 I have a 3 hour dose every day this week, boosting my body up and getting it started. 
 Today's went well. 

It will take months to know if it is helping my seizures. But today went well. I accepted the meds without any negative side effects except a slight headache... which is pretty much a constant part of my life anyway. I have hope. 
 Thank you, all of you, for your amazing support and prayers. I needed that. Hated to admit it, but needed it. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The birthday tradition post

 It has become a bit of a tradition for me to repost this for my birthday. It was originally written May 31, 2009.
A post from the road
We are somewhere in Louisianna, at a Comfort Inn. My parents and children are in the room next door. Two of my sisters and a friend are in the beds behind me. I should be sleeping, and preparing for another day on the road tomorrow.
But right this minute I am just so very full. Full of Joy. Full of Faith. Full of Hope.
I have to let some of it out before I can attempt to sleep.

A few days ago I was reading a devotional about Nehemiah. They basis of the reading was pointing out in the second chapter when the king asks him why he is sad, Nehemiah is terrified but his first reaction is to pray.
My absolute first thought when reading this was, "well duh!"

After reading through the encouraging devotional concerning this subject I was actually in some ways disheartened. I was so saddened by the thought that there are some people, God fearing Christian people who love Jesus with their whole heart, who would not have their first reaction be prayer. What a sad, sad, thing to focus on fear, or any emotion really. How very blessed I am that I was taught from my earliest memories to place absolutely everything at the feet of God.

So, I have been thinking about this scripture, and prayer, and my amazing family a lot over the last couple of days.
After spending a lot of hours in the van with my parents and Kelsey driving to TX, I have had plenty of opportunity to NOT like my family. But none of those little nitpicky things matter. Honestly, it may drive me a little batty the way my dad drives, or they way my mom fusses at the way he drives, but those things don't change what really matters.
We were raised right. That is just a wonderful thing to have!

Now, on the way back to GA, we have Mary and her roommate Lindsay with us, and a second car. The van is loaded down with all the girls stuff, my parents, and my kids. The car has the four of us girls. As we were driving down the road this evening a song came on about God being our healer, and our portion, and something about trust. For some reason I just lost it. I was suddenly tired of being sick, tired of asking for healing. Tired of waiting for my sister to be well, and have a baby. For most of my life my parents have taken me to healing services, had me prayed over by anyone with that gift, asked repeatedly for God to step in.

The answer has always been Not right now.

The healing has always been for my heart, and my attitude, and my ability to cheerfully be diabetic, willingly use my disease as a ministry. I have had plenty of healing, and I wouldn't trade it for physical healing - not for a minute.

But for some reason this new disorder, these blackouts, or atypical migraines, or whatever they are - they are sapping my ability to cheerfully "deal". Added to that my unbelievable hurt for my little sister's physical and emotional pain, and the fact that my hubby is gone and our adoption is still delayed...
I guess I was a walking timebomb full of tears.

 But here is the amazing part. Kelsey reached over and grabbed one hand. Mary reached up from the back seat for another hand. And we poured out our tears to our Father. Fears and hurt. Hopes and dreams. Old and new. As a family, automatically.
We were missing one sister, but she was definitely included, and prayed for.

I am so very thankful for my family. I am so glad that our automatic response, to pain or joy, is to take it to Jesus.
Faith. Joy. Hope. Truth. That is what we have, as well as who we are.

Emilee and I

Then Kelsey came along.

Mary was a bit of a surprise, but a great one! 

Oh, I love these women!
Quite a bit has changed in our lives since I first wrote this post. New family members. Changes in location, and job, and health for all of us. Lots of new babies!

But many things remain the same also. Most importantly, we have faith in our Savior, and an unbreakable love for each other. 
I am eager to see what another year brings (even if I am not too excited to be getting another year older)! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pinchs all around!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! 

Although I am Protestant, I very much enjoy quite a few of the traditional Catholic prayers. 
The one posted below is a small part of St Patrick's Breastplate, which is worth taking the time to read and proclaim over your life. 

(This beautiful version of it was found at this blog)

Be encouraged my friends. Christ is in every single part of our lives, pouring out His love and life. Celebrate! 

It is also my dear husband's birthday, so we celebrate St Patrick's day with enthusiasm around here. 

Be blessed, 

Monday, March 13, 2017

An audience of one

 Sin is real.

 If you don't agree with that statement, you probably want to stop reading right here.

 But sin is all around, every day, trying to become normal and accepted and ignored. Some days, it feels like it is winning.

 Families are falling apart and divorce is barely considered something to be sad about any longer.

 Self love, placing yourself and your desires above others, is not only seen as fine, it is taught.

 Sex, which is beautiful and holy, has been turned into something dirty and selfish.

 Sin is real, and has consequences.

 This blog posting was triggered by Disney.


 There are some very well written blogs about the new Beauty and the Beast, and Disney's bragging about their "exclusively gay moment". (I can't agree with everything she says, but this one is worth reading. More importantly, I LOVE her friend's post (that she links to) on raising Daniels in a Babylon world)

 So, that is what made me start thinking about sin.
 But Disney is not what this post is about. I won't even pretend to tell you what you should or should not do about giving your money to someone you disagree with, because that choice has to be made multiple times a day in the world we currently live in. You need to follow your convictions. (For instance, I have given up Bath and Body Works, because they proudly support Planned Parenthood, which I cannot do. In contrast, I have not felt convicted to give up Target. However, my parents have, and out of respect for their conviction, I have severely limited my time and money spent there, even though I have not heard that instruction myself.)

 On a side note, you need to listen to your convictions in order to follow them. Just saying...

 But back to sin being real.

 This post is not about gay marriage, or divorce, or dirty sex. Not really. What I want to point out is that sin, all different kinds of sin, is simply not noticed in modern society.

 Sin, all different kinds, is what makes every single one of us need a Savior. If we were able to be perfect, we could "earn" heaven.

 We can't.

 I think Christians get a "bad rep" for speaking out against sin because they (we? me?) tend to be more vocal about sins that stand out. Christians, like the rest of the population, simply become numb to some sin.

 If you aren't a Christian, this post doesn't apply to you. But I think most people who bother to read this are trying to follow Jesus. So, guess what?

 All sin is wrong.  

 Some sin seems to stand out and be easier to notice. But all sin makes us less then perfect. All sin.

 If you are going to speak out against sin, which I hope you will, make sure you include it all.

 My refusal to trust Jesus about where the military will send us next is EQUALLY a sin with having sex outside of marriage.

 My lack of patience for the lady across the street whose lack of discipline for her children drives me crazy is EQUALLY a sin with some punk kid who steals and kills.

 My pride in the obedience of my own children is EQUALLY a sin to the man beating his wife and children or drinking himself into oblivion and ignoring them.

 It is all sin and all sin is wrong.

 The key is being sorry for it and trying, every day, to let sin control less and less of your day.

 Please, speak out against sin. But don't forget to include yourself in your audience.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

How I got here

 I was reading through old blog posts this weekend and somehow ended up in 2010.
 That is only 7 years ago, not ancient history. 
 But, at the same time, seven years is a long time, 
 So very much has changed. 

 At the beginning of 2010 my boys were 4 and 6, which is very, very different than 11 and 13. 

 Andy was still an AF enlisted crew chief, working the swing shift. 

 I was still mourning the loss of a child, then the loss of another child, and hoping for another chance. 

 I am so very glad that I wrote it all down.

 Here's the thing- we forget.
 The memories are there, in the background, but we don't pay attention to them. The events of right now take precedence.

 Which is expected, and normal, and nothing to be upset about... but still sad. Because we learn. We grow. We become better, and stronger, and more. Then we forget how we got here, and why we are who we are.

 We forget about the amazing miracles God made happen.

 We forget about the moments that made us laugh so much we cried, and the moments that we cried so much the tears almost overwhelmed.

 Almost... but didn't.

 We forget about the things that were completely unknown, just a foggy idea, lost somewhere in the future - because now they are known, and accepted, and taken for granted.

 I found a post in May of 2010 where I was talking about remembering, about reading old words and learning from them.

 It seems I have discovered this lesson before, and written this blog post before. 😊
Will I never learn?

 I am trying.
 Trying to remember.
 Trying to appreciate.
 Trying to learn.

 I will just keep repeating that I am so very, very glad that I wrote it all down.

 That is the encouragement of the week - write it down my friends.
 It doesn't have to be a blog, or Facebook, or even a journal. Post-it notes and the margins of my Bible have held quite a bit of history as well, and can do the same for you. When something hurts, vent it onto notepaper. When something is so exciting you can hardly handle the anticipation, transfer it onto a colorful, decorated, enthusiastic notepad. When scripture calls out to you, copy it, and carry it with you.
 Write it down. Let it out.

 Then, hours, days or weeks later, maybe even years or decades later, and hopefully more then once, go back and look at it again and remember.
 Remember and celebrate.
 You are who you are, and where you are, because of your past. There are always hurts, always mistakes, always dark moments. But they made you into you.
 Remember and celebrate.

Be blessed, (and seeing that blessings is a choice!) 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Don't blink!

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

(Also known as California...)

 When I was a brand new military wife, at our first duty station, and far away from my family, there was another military wife who took me under her wing. She was an "older woman" (probably 32, which at the time seemed so very old) and had two children, probably ages 12 and 2. She seemed to be in such a different world then I was. She knew military terms, had survived deployment, and raising children, and trying to be a mother, wife and employee, all at the same time. These were new to me, and she made them all seem like something I could survive.

 She took the time to introduce me to ideas. She had us over for dinner. I babysat her toddler a few times.

 I had my 23rd birthday right around the time that I met her, so I wasn't a child, but she seemed so much older then me.

 This week I realized that I am now her.

 I am the older wife, who has survived deployment, and military moves. I have raised kids in multiple locations, and learned how to make friends wherever I am. I have seen the ability to communicate with a deployed husband evolve, along with the conflicts he has been part of. (Any other of you "old wives" remember when our men had to wait in line to use a phone, with a 15 minute time limit, and video calls weren't even invented yet?)

 I am an experienced military wife, who has lived in both the enlisted and officer world, both the Air Force and Army.

 I got a reminder of my age a few days ago and it was quite striking.

 I recently mentioned the bible study group I am part of, about being a mom. One of my ladies missed our group time last week and I knew her husband was currently deployed, so I texted her, just to check in. Turns out she had ended up in the hospital several times, dehydrated, from Hyperemesis, which is basically really bad morning sickness. Or, in reality, all day sickness.
 I already had a soft spot for her. This is her first base, first pregnancy, first deployment.... she has a lot going on in her life right now. Adding Hyperemesis simply broke my heart for her.

 But one of my best friends had Hyperemesis during her pregnancy, so I had a walking encyclopedia, ready at hand. I tried to educate myself, and offered my morning to help her out. She needed food that was more likely to stay down (and less damaging if it comes back up) and was feeling too yucky to drive for the last few weeks, so I took her to the grocery, pushed her cart and loaded the heavy water bottles. Super easy, mindless help, mostly just so she would have company.

 While we were out Canaan called, to ask what he could have as a snack. After I hung up I joked with her, about my 13 year old always being hungry. Her response, "My 13 year old brother is exactly the same way!" gave me pause though. Her having a brother the same age as my son suddenly made me feel extremely old. And made me realize that she was probably very, very young!

 I was right.

 She is very, very young.

 When I turn 38 in May I will be double her age.

 She is only 6 years older then my son.

 And I suddenly realized, I am very old. :)

 I can't remember the name of the woman who helped me, all those years ago. Facebook had not been invented yet, and we both moved multiple times with military life and lost touch through the years. Her toddler that I babysat, Jacob, would probably be a junior in high school this year.

 The reminder that time flies is fresh.

 The importance of taking the time to enjoy every moment is pressing.

 Don't blink!

 15 years ago I couldn't have imagined the path we would have taken to end up here. There have definitely been some moments that I stressed too much in the midst of.

 But, all these years later, I am so full of memories; of moments that are worth remembering, and celebrating, and rejoicing in what we learned through them, even if they were difficult in the middle.

 I am thrilled to be the "older woman".

 Let's hope I can live what I have learned in a way that is helpful to these new, young, excited military wives. :)


Saturday, February 11, 2017


 I love how God reminds us that we don't know as much as we think. 
 Over and over again :)

 I am currently "facilitating" a ladies bible study on parenting. That is not the same as teaching - I am supposed to just keep it organized; ask questions, encourage others to speak, make sure we end at the proper time each week. 

 I called to volunteer with PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) for this semester less then two weeks before it was supposed to begin. I had been involved over the last several semesters, (making up for the lost time of the first 13 years of military life having never even heard of it) but hadn't been asked to facilitate again over Christmas break so assumed it was time for me to do something else. 
 Then I realized that they may not have asked me because I missed the last 6 weeks of the fall semester, in GA for family stuff, and they might think I was still out of town. So I called, just to check, and the adorably cheerful and enthusiastic coordinator bubbled over with passion talking about the classes they had chosen for this upcoming semester and which ones they still needed facilitators for... and I was hooked, of course.

 I don't think I would normally volunteer to lead a group on parenting. I am still in the middle of it. 

 On the flip side of that, I have been practicing for 14 years now, and I am still in the middle of it. I have been part of some amazing classes taught by women who have completed a phase in their life and are passing along the wisdom they have gained. However, sometimes the wisdom you need passed on is still being learned. 

 So, here I am, passing on what I am still in the middle of learning.  

 Because I am very much still learning

 And we will come back to that....

 I know most of you are FB people. I link this blog to FB, and that is where most people read it, and comment on it. With that in mind, most of you know that FB and I are often not friends. I am a lover, not a fighter. I seek joy, and desire to pass it along. I want to find the good in every situation. 

That is sometimes hard to do in a digital world, where everyone feels free to vent their frustrations loudly, and passionately. The reality of those passions, the pain they can and DO cause, is easily missed. Because digital words just don't seem as real as spoken ones, and things that I think people I call friend would never speak loudly and forcefully in person are typed in BOLD letters with multiple exclamation points. 

 My ability to find the good, to seek the joy, to pass along the love.... well sometimes it just gets overwhelmed. 

 Simple truth: I got my feelings hurt. 

 A generalization was made. People were lumped together in a group. I felt accused of being hateful, and uncaring, and mean, simply because of one choice. 

 And I got angry. 

 Which is rare, and complicated, and confusing. I don't know what to do with anger.  

 Then I got defensive. 

 I was listing things in my head to prove I was a good person. 
 Not just a good person, a better person then the person who had made the comment. 
 A loving person. 
 A giving person.
 A Godly person. 

 I was thinking of ways to type up how good I was. To show that I was worthy of love. Those words just ran around in my head, lists of my qualities, for days. 

 My identity was threatened. 

 Then God reminded of me of a simple truth. 
 I love how He does that, right when we need it. 

 Canaan and Zion were playing video games, like every afternoon. I was washing dishes and prepping for dinner like every afternoon. My worship music was playing on my iPad and life was outwardly calm. 

 Then suddenly, life was not calm. Zion was storming off and telling his brother to "BE QUIET" and Canaan was practically yelling the "SHUSH" sound, and listening to each other was not a desired goal. Listening was replaced completely with expressing their own opinions. 

 Both of their own opinions were healthy, and worth listening to. However, if both of them wanted only to speak, and not to listen, then neither one was going to be heard. 

 I launched into the automatic mom speech about taking turns, and listening to those around you, and sometimes putting your own opinions aside for a few moments. Then I stopped, in the middle of my speech, looked Canaan in the eyes and said, "You never get to stop learning this lesson, and it never becomes easy". Because I realized that truly, that is what I was doing. Listing my own opinions and arguments in my head. 

 They were worthy arguments, with some points that I am absolutely convinced of. 

 However, my own worthy arguments can't be heard if I am speaking at the same time as someone else. Their own worthy arguments can't be heard either. 

 All we are doing is both speaking at the same time, yet hearing nothing and learning nothing. 

 Obviously, the internet allows both to speak at the same time. 

 But, if neither of us, if none of us, take the time to listen to the words others are speaking, then absolutely nothing will be accomplished. 

 We all get to vent our feelings and express our passions. Facebook is wonderful for that. 
 But are we actually learning anything? Are we actually even trying? 

 By now, we all know that there are quite a few different opinions. Quite a few different ways of expressing them, too. There are, absolutely, always, going to be people who disagree with us. (Sometimes, just because they want to) 
 My feelings are still hurt. I am pretty sure they will get hurt again. 

 I still have my own opinions. Pretty sure people disagree with me. 
 But, I get to make my own choices, to go with those opinions. 


 That is my choice. 

 I am trying. 

 And those beautiful children that God gave me will continue teaching me what I need to know while I try to teach them the same. One day at a time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The son shining in my eyes...

 I started this post over a week ago, then decided to wait, to let things "calm down" in the world around me. But, they aren't calming here goes.

 There is a lot of angst on the internet lately.

 I suppose that can always be found, angst. But right now it feels as if it can't be avoided.

 During the Inaguration a few weeks ago different tv channels had different points of view and different ways of sharing that point of view. How they reacted to each word, facial expression and gesture was according to how they perceived it.

 One station compared Trump's speech to a Rorschach ink blot... saying that most people interpreted it according to their prior opinions and emotions concerning Trump himself.

 That got me to thinking- isn't that true of every single moment?

 Our point of view determines how we view (and react) to many things.

 Our physical point of view can be determined by quite a few different things; Where we are standing, if we are wearing glasses or a hat, if the sun is shining in our eyes, what distractions are happening around us.

 Our emotional point of view is similar. It can be influenced by our family history, our faith, our health, or our joys and pains... if the son is shining in our eyes.  It can change from moment to moment, from situation to situation, just as our physical point of view can.

 I have been paying attention to different approaches to point of view recently.

 With that in mind, I want to tell you two stories, both completely true, just from different points of view. Not serious, or important, but a truthful example of how we choose to look at the world.

 Story one: My husband made absolutely irresistible, delicious, fresh homemade potato chips last week. I was on the phone with my mom, so when he got hungry he left me in peace and started digging. He discovered potatoes that were starting to sprout and really needed eaten, so he washed, peeled and sliced them, then used up the last little bit of coconut oil to fry them up. He knew our growing boys need some protein too, so he found hotdogs and buns, and even got out the condiments to top them with. I am so very blessed!

 Story two: My husband made greasy, unhealthy, fried potato chips last week. He has no respect for my health. While I was on the phone he got hungry, and rather then asking what the plan for dinner was, he started digging around. He made a huge mess, splashed oil all over the stove top, and used the last of the coconut oil, so I can't make the cookies I was planning to make. He even finished off the potatoes, which I had planned to make mashed potatoes with! So much for that meal plan. Argh!

 The exact same thing happened in those two stories.


 And yet, they sound very different.

 The details I choose to point out and the attitude I presented them with changes the story.

 That can be true about almost every single story, and perhaps even almost every moment.

 I am not really concerned with how you feel about Trump, or the very un-ladylike behavior of the women marching with vagina's on their heads, or whether we should have guns, or a ban on people entering the country. That is not the point of this blog. I am not even planning to share how I feel about those things. (although calling someone un-ladylike is about as harsh as I get, so you can guess how I feel about that one)

 What I want to talk about is our personal response to things. Most importantly, my response.

 As I said, angst is everywhere.

 You can't go out without hearing it. You can't stay in without hearing it.

  Because, guess what?! We are all different; each and every one of us. Some of us have more in common then others. Most people who will read this have something in common with me- they homeschool, have children, love Jesus, love my family. Some people even have ALL those things in common with me.

 Still, we don't agree on everything.

 Because we are different.

 Beautifully, amazingly, powerfully different.

 It is wonderful!

 It is those differences that make this world exciting. Differences makes us learn more, feel more, try more. Differences make us challenge what we believe and why we believe it.

 Obviously, I love to hear about things we agree on. But that is easy. Hearing about things we disagree on makes me question the what and why. If I never question the what and why, how do I really know what I think or believe?

 Change always brings fear. That is an absolute and anyone who disagrees, well, they are welcome to their opinion, but I don't believe them. Whether you let that fear control your words and actions - that is the part that is adjustable. The part you have the ability to change.

 During this time of transition, of change, we all have some fear.

 We also have the freedom to face that fear with excitement.

 With HOPE.

 With the desire to bring good, and the strength to stand up and actually do something about it.

 We all have a different point of view. We all have different hope and dreams. We all come from different history, different blood, different desires.

 And yet, we all have something in common.

 No, strike that: Many things in common.

 I am doing my best, every day, to find the common. The make the things that are the same what my point of view notices.

 Then, to take those similarities, those shared passions, and find a reason to pass along a smile, or a hug, or an offer to meet for coffee and just laugh together.

 That is the challenge of the week- find the similar, then make the choice to help it grow!

 Blessings my friends! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where does the time go?

 I suppose that every day is an anniversary of something. It holds a memory, whether good or bad, of an event, or conversation, or even just an emotion that brought change.

 January 18th is an anniversary for me.

 Technically, it might be strange to declare it something to celebrate, but on the other side of that is mourning, and that is not accurate either.
 Even after 25 years, it is still changing me. Creating me. Defining me.
 But, in all honesty, I wouldn't change it. So what is left but to celebrate?

 I rejoice in my diabetes!

 Twenty-five years ago I was 12 years old. I had had strep throats a few weeks earlier and just couldn't seem to get well. I had lost weight, but my mom thought "must be puberty"... until I just stayed tired. So we were back at the doctor- And it only took one finger stick, one drop of blood, for the doctor to know.

 At 12, I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes. It was a foreign word that sounded just as scary as cancer or leprosy. So my first question was "Am I going to die?" (But very quickly behind that followed "Can I still have babies?" I knew my priorities even then.) 😊

 Then, almost immediately, diabetes became part of who I was. I have talked to people who hate that; Who fight against letting a disease "define" them. To me, making it part of my definition accepts it, rather than fights it... and let me tell you, fighting it will not change anything.

 So, I celebrate it!

 Things change, obviously.

 I grew up. Got married. Had those babies. 😊

 New medical problems were discovered, and treated, and became part of my definition.

 Twenty-five years later I am still learning.
 I am still growing.
 Some days I am, sad to admit, still fighting.

 But who I am, what defines me, is completely in the hands of God.

 How can I do anything except celebrate it!?

 My diabetes decided to rebel a few weeks ago. My blood sugar hit 500, and anyone who knows anything medical knows that is not good. For a few minutes in the middle of fighting with my body (for several days of a very frustrating rebellion) I forgot Who I belong to. I forgot that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I forgot that every part of what defines me is made for a reason. 

 All I had, on my own, was hate for my body. And a very strong jealousy of healthy people. 

 Thankfully, I also had a Savior who is full of grace, and family who is not afraid to point to Him, and His Word, when I need it. 

  The Psalms are my retreat when I am struggling. They seem so heartfelt and real- so aligned with my sometimes faulty human emotions- crying out for help. So I have read a lot of Psalms in the last few weeks. (And a lot of Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman, if anyone else is looking for someone to share in their emotions) 

 I have been reminded, over and over, that sometimes the need to wait quietly, when you would rather be yelling enthusiastically, is the answer. 

 So, through grace, and some intense time in the Psalms, the unexplainable peace has returned. 

 The ability to celebrate my faulty body is renewed. 

 And today's anniversary is perfect timing. 

 I am not physically healed. For that I continue to wait quietly, with my hope in Him. (Psalm 62:5)
 But my spirit is healed, and that is far, far, more important. 

Today, like every other day, is an anniversary. 

 Whether you see it as something to mourn or to celebrate is up to you. 

 Choose today, and every single other day, to find something to celebrate. 

 Choose Joy! 

Be blessed my friends! 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New year, new words

The desire to write has returned, and permission, even encouragement, from God has followed. The only thing missing is the remembering of how.
 How do I take these words running around in my heart and head and turn them into something understandable?
 How do I organize them to be, not just readable, but worthwhile?
 How do I weed out the ones that are not needed, and make sure to express the ones that are crying out to be heard?

 I am not sure yet, but I am working on it.

 So we will start with someone else's words.

"My God, behold me, wholly yours. Lord, make me according to your heart." Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

 I think I sometimes fall into a habit of behavior that, while not evil, is no longer striving for more. I have lots of practice at being a follower of Christ, and sometimes I am content to just keep doing what I have always done. Which is comfortable, and safe, and maybe slightly boring... but easy.
 Then I receive a reminder, usually from someone like Brother Lawrence, that I should be asking, every day, for God to make me WHOLLY His.

 Not just partially.


 That is the challenge for this new year. I'll keep you posted as I discover how it applies to life :)

 How about you? Does God have a challenge for you this year?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Party time!

 I have a 12 year old!!
 I think I struggle with this every single year. He continues to get older (which means I do too!) and I continue to be shocked.

 He originally wanted an Indiana Jones birthday party, but I struggled to find decor and games for that.
 We were going to go river rafting... but then it called for rain all weekend.

 So, he had to settle for third choice. But I think it still turned out pretty good!

 Jurassic Park was the theme. The new Jurassic World comes out this summer and dinosaurs are everywhere!

 We played "Pin the tail on the velociraptor".

 Zion "accidentally" pinned the original tail on his head instead. Made him quite an interesting character! 

Strangely, R2D2 Sorry was the most popular game. Nothing to do with Jurassic Park, but lots of fun. 
 So serious!
 Lots of laughter, which is the most delightful sound.

Ian (above) drew this fabulous card for Canaan. 

As always, Andy got creative. 

 Isn't that a fabulous dinosaur watermelon?!

 Beautiful Smiles!
12 candles!

We had almost as many grownups as children, so Andy and I had fun too.
I believe a "good time was had by all".

Life is good.... and now, four days later the internet is finally letting me upload pictures!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A few moments of memories

 Twelve years ago, right now, I was in California, about to fulfill my biggest life goal.
 I was about to become a mother.
 I had been attached to the little one growing inside me for months already, but I was finally going to get to hold him!
 He was a stubborn little thing, and waited until "tomorrow" to actually make his entrance though.

Before things got hard...

 May 15, 2003, just after 1 in the morning, he finally arrived!

 9lbs, 4oz, 20 1/2 inches

Proud grandparents

 One of my sisters got married just one month later, so he got to come to GA and meet a lot of my side of the family while he was very young!

 And his Uncle Josh on Daddy's side. 
 How could anyone resist that face?
Matching daddy

He was a well traveled little baby. 
 The Freeman grandparents took him to Lake Tahoe.
 My sisters took him to Florida.
 We visited my grandparents in Indiana, and stopped in Nebraska on the way home to visit wonderful friends. 

So for his first birthday we made him a cake of the USA, showing all the places he had already travelled. (If you count the ones we just drove through, he had already been to 9 states!)

He enjoyed it.

In the morning we will celebrate 12 years of loving him. 
I am so very glad that God allowed me to have my greatest desire. 
I am so excited to see the man of God he is growing into. 
 I miss those baby kisses, but the smiles I still get are just as sweet. 

I love you Canaan Andrew. 

Blessings my friends, 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Promotion time!

It's official. 
We had a party, so that makes it real!

Andy has been in Captain's Career Course since January, even though he wasn't technically a Captain yet. He has been training in anticipation. 
There were four other soldiers in class with him who promoted to Captain in May also.
We all joined together for a celebration.
 In alphabetical order :)
 Andy's parents came to visit and were able to "pin on" his rank. 
Happy times!

 I am so proud of my hard working man!
Such lovely smiles!

Sadly, I left my camera at home, the cupcakes I made were horrible, and my hair would not submit to me. 
Luckily, other people have cameras and are willing to share, other people made cupcakes that were delicious, and everyone is use to my hair. 

So, even with my less then stellar contributions, "A good time was had by all!"