Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

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."

Verse of the day

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Calling back

"If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back -
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dm, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and helped you where the very air was still.

Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and our feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin darkened sky -
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back -
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track."
Streams in the Desert, Dec. 19

The thing they don't tell you is that calling back sometimes requires looking back. And looking back reminds us of where we have been. There is still pain there. Even when the storm is over, and the wounds are healed, walking through the storm with someone else still hurts. It might not be your storm - the wind is not as strong, and the rain is not as cold. Perhaps you are even allowed to skip the hail all together. That is why you are there to "call back". To say that it gets better. That HE is listening, HE is still in control, HE is still God.
You wrap your arms around the one you love, or offer your ear, or your shoulder, or a punching bag so they can vent whatever emotions they need to get out.
But you still feel the storm, just a little.

If you really feel the need to know what I am talking about, you can read here. But the feeling is the same, no matter what your storm, no matter what God is telling you to "call back" about. I am a firm believer that absolutely everything bad can be USED for good. Not that God causes bad things - just that he uses them. So, take your bad situations, histories, memories - the things you have overcome - take them all and find someone to encourage. Use the bad, turn it to good.
You have faced your storm, and HE has helped you through.
Now call back to those behind, and cheer a heart.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I have missed you - oh my blogger friends.
I have no real excuses for being absent so long. Just crazy busy schedule, and a lack of desire to write. Also, a bit of mourning, yet again. When someone you love is mourning, you mourn also.

But today is Christmas. The birthday of the Christ Child.

The most wonderful gift in the world was given, freely and without reservation, years and years ago. And it keeps on giving.

We just have to share it.

So I am rejoicing. Surrounded by those I love, with good food in my tummy and warm clothes wrapped around me.

Merry Christmas my friends!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Miracles taken for granted

This morning when I went to take my morning dose of meds my daily dispenser was empty.
I pulled out my multitude of bottles and started pouring and dispersing.
Some days are "red days". Some days are "orange days". Some meds are for every day - they are usually plain white, or slightly yellow... but they don't count in the color scheme.

Canaan was helping me organize, and count, and make sure everything went where it was needed. I had to laugh after we were done.
How many six year olds spend their morning shaking pill bottles for their mother I wonder?

Truly, I don't HAVE to take all of them. Vitamins are just extra. One of my multi-vitamins is orange, thus the orange day - I added a B complex to that day too. My other multi is red. Cranberry caplets go on that day, continuing the red theme, and to try to prevent UTI's.... which sometimes works. Cinnamon caplets, which are brown don't really go with either color, but they usually stay with red. Cinnamon helps metabolize sugar, and as a diabetic that is wonderful. I even have a system cleanse right now, because Andy bought it, and rejected it, so I am giving it a try.

The ones I have to have are for seizures, and my thyroid. But even those I probably would not die if I was forced to live without them. Be uncomfortable, yes. Very unhappy, yes. But die.... not for a long time.

This, however, I would die fairly quickly without.

Thank God for modern medicine. We are coming up really soon on the 18 year anniversary of my use of Insulin.

There are still days every once in awhile when I ask God why in the world he hasn't healed me yet. There are moments on occasion when I despise living with diabetes. (like this week when I am on my second round of antibiotics for a very basic infection that my body is just too weak, or riddled with irregular blood sugars, to fight on its own!) But in all honestly, those moment are few and far between. I like my life, with all of it's physical weaknesses and faults. The mental and spiritual weaknesses on the other hand... well I am doing my best to work on those.

Diabetes, and the responsibility I was required to have in order to LIVE, have shaped me. Helped make me who I am.
I am so thankful for that.
I learned years ago to sing that old Twila Paris song "This thorn" and mean it, at least in regards to my diabetes.
Now I have to learn to sing it, and mean it, about Topamax and Lamictal.
One pill at a time.
One injection at a time.
One day at a time.

Always thankful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Giveaway that I would like to win!!

First time I have done this, but I really want to win.
One of my "online friends" is hosting a giveaway. She has a beautiful nativity set, and as anyone who has been to my house at Christmas time knows, I really have a "thing" for nativity sets. In fact, even people who have been to my house not at Christmas time may have noticed my love of nativity sets, considering there are a few of my smaller ones that stay out year round!

I was going to take some pictures of my sets and post them here, but I left my camera plugged into the computer, "uploading" all night, (although it was done in about three minutes... I just forgot to unhook it) so the battery is dead. Maybe next time. For now, here is a picture of the Willow Tree one. You can find it anywhere~ I don't have the "stable" piece, just the stars.
I really can't pick a favorite, but I do love this one a lot for two reasons. I collect Willow Tree figures already, so having the Nativity is just a bonus. Also, my sisters (who at the time were in highschool and college) all went together and bought this for me the first year that Andy and I were stationed in CA and weren't able to come home for Christmas. It has always been a link to "home" for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My favorite (early) Christmas present

Four years ago today there was an ice storm across northern GA. School was closed. Milk was sold out in nearly every store. Lots of wary southerners were holed up in their homes, avoiding the roads.

I was not at home.

I was spending my day recovering from a very busy night.

Oh, what a wonderful, busy night!

I love this picture - I think it looks like Andy is in labor too!

Our first family picture with four in the family.

Zion is four years old today. He came into the world a strong willed red head, at 8lbs, 9oz, 2 1/2 weeks early. I thought he was born a little after 1am, but I looked in the baby book and Canaan was the one born at that time. Zion's time isn't in his baby book. Which shows with such clarity how much he is the "second child". I think he was a little after 3am. Oh well.

He sure has brought a lot of joy in his four years!

One of my favorite pictures from the first weeks.

I am pretty sure this was taken the Thanksgiving before he turned one. I can't find any pictures of his first birthday party - who knows where they are saved?!

Easter, when he was one.

Once again - no pictures of the second birthday either. We didn't have a party, but I know we at least made a cake and sang to him...

Cuteness, during the year he was two.

Look at those cowboy boots!

Seeing Santa for his 3rd birthday.

Exactly a year ago - Wow, a lot can happen in a year!

This was when he first saw his "big present" (and only present from us!)

And here it is, sort of. I wasn't a very good photographer. Mary C was taking better pics, of the party, but I don't have them yet. You can see the really awful cardboard castle I warned you about in the background. Don't look too closely!

All in all, I think Zion had a good year. I know I feel very blessed and amazingly glad to have him as part of my life.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The countdown

The last few days have been pretty hectic. Tomorrow there will be approximately a dozen little knights and princesses running around our house - inside, because there is an 80% chance of rain. The in-laws are coming in from out of town at 11. The party is supposed to begin at 11.
All those Christmas decor boxes that I pulled out of the attic just a week or so ago have all been stuffed back up there. Every single possible item that could be moved to the side of the garage has been - so that we can send young ones out there, instead of trying to cram them all in here!

There are shields and princess hats ready to be decorated. The Holy Grail has been bought and spray painted, so that it can be hidden, guarded by a friendly dragon, (thank goodness for friends with laid back teenagers!) and eventually discovered by our little adventurers on their quest. The giant cardboard castle was built this afternoon by the two LEAST artistic people in the family. There will be pictures eventually, so keep in mind when you see them that Zion who is not quite four, and I, who have absolutely ZERO artistic talent created it. Just saying....

Homemade rolls and soup and veggie tray are prepped. The lunchmeat and cheese and chips are just open and serve. Paper plates and bowls and napkins have all been bought. Those are not things that are usually in stock around this "green" house.
One of my best friends is making the cake.

The room for the in-laws has been cleaned, and the air-mattress was pulled out of storage. I vacuumed. I teased around at dusting, which is as good as it gets around here.

Why am I still stressed out? Why do I feel like I am forgetting something terribly important?

I guess I will figure it out tomorrow when whatever it is turns up missing!

Until then, I suppose I ought to at least try to get some sleep, so I can be alert and functioning for the party, right?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Corinthians 13

This is perhaps one of the most well known chapters of scripture - the love chapter. But how often do we really let it sink it? How often do we take the time to remember how important it is?
Please, devour the Word.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

It is in your hands. Now go and live it.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What is Whack?

I told Andy yesterday that I just felt "out of whack".

So of course he asked, "What is whack? Is it short for whacky, cause you aren't short on that. And if it is an abbreviation for whacky it's not a very good one - it is only one letter shorter. That doesn't save you much effort. Where did it come from, this whack. Don't you have to HAVE it in the first place to be out of it? Can I go somewhere and buy you more, since you are out of it?" and on and on....

I laughed, and I felt less "out of whack" then before.

So, whatever whack is, laughter replenishes it, at least in me.

When I was a teenager we had a neighbor with a heavy thick southern drawl. She would spend weeks in her house, not coming out at all. But when she would reach a moment of freedom she would always come out rejoicing. I remember her thick southern voice talking about being in "oppression" (meaning depression). I think I have been oppressed lately. Not really depressed - but heavy. For someone like me, who is usually perky and bouncy, it has been noticeable.
Andy finally looked at me today and said, "Stop. I just can't take it any more." That really hit me!
My job has always been to lift others up, and I have failed miserably lately. But I think I am done.
Today we found Canaan's missing glasses, so we don't have to go buy new ones. (They had been lost for 3 days!) We worked on a Christmas craft for a gift, and I discovered that sewing is much easier when you don't have a six year old "helping" you, but it sure is more fun with him. I searched the internet for ideas for a Knights of the Realm birthday party for Zion, and found some cool ideas. And, I cooked a real meal, did laundry, washed dishes, and Andy got up early enough in the day that I even made the bed.
Making the bed is something I have missed so much now that he works all night and sleeps all day. Today just felt good, having that one simple chore done.
I played Christmas carols on my piano, read a couple chapters of "The story of St. Nicholas" to my boys, and stood in the front yard talking to the neighbor.
Simple pleasures.
See- my positive attitude is back.

I have missed me.

I hope you have missed me too, cause I am back, and full of whack.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Music

Today has been yet another emotional one.
I heard someone refer to the adoption process as "paperwork pregnancy".
I seem to have hit the "uncontrollable emotions, cry at the drop of a pin" stage of the pregnancy.
Last night while Andy worked I climbed in the attic and pulled down the Christmas decorations,
tree, and gift wrap - with only the help of a six year old and a 3 year old. Not Andy's fault, but it
sure is enough to make me tired of his 12 hour swing shifts. This morning the boys and I set up
the tree, started the decorating, (they are LOTS of help, let me tell you, especially while trying
to keep quiet so Daddy can sleep!) and I threw in some Christmas music.
This is one of the first songs that came up.

And we wonder why I cry? Last year I remember listening to this song, crying a bit and thinking -
"It's too soon to have her yet, but next Christmas, she will be home."
Not so much.
This year, I wrapped beads around the tree and bawled.
But next year - next year is still something to hope for, and dream about. Somewhere, deep down
inside of me, there is still that spark. That joy. That peace, and a piece that looks forward -
To next Christmas.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A first!

Today was a big day for my bigger "little man".

Canaan lost his first tooth!
He has been wiggling and wiggling over the last couple of weeks, making me do a wiggle check every day. He has really enjoyed grossing his Daddy out, since Andy can't stand the feel, or even the sight, of a wiggling tooth. But, tonight when he went to brush his teeth before bed, his tooth simply popped right out. Luckily, he caught it - rather then letting it go down the drain with the toothpaste. Near tragedy averted, it is neatly saved, waiting for Daddy's praise and approval. I told him the tooth fairy will have to wait a night or two, since his special tooth holder that the dentist gave him is in Daddy's truck, and Daddy's truck is at work with him all night long.
Canaan doesn't mind. He is too excited about losing his tooth to care about trading it in for a prize. He has discovered that the one next to it is loose too - joy joy!!

Our Christmas pictures this year are going to have a couple of "gaps". Fun times!