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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

S. Georgia

Sorry about the missing song at first. The last post got posted before it was ready - I even had pictures to go with it, but the internet would not cooperate. Blah!
I am in S. GA for a Dr. visit, and to play with my friends down here for a couple of days. I just wanted to pass along a Gifty update. Please, read Deb's blog, and keep praying.
Thanks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moments in life

 Andy sent me a song today. When we were dating  he use to "give" me songs on a regular basis. He rarely does that any more - I guess daily life just gets in the way, and time flies by... But he said he heard this one, and thought of our boys, and could almost hear me singing it to them. So, I will post it on here for awhile, because I can. When you hear it, think of the little moments that make life special. Like these...

When asked the other day what kind of pizza he would like, Zion replied, "Blue". 
 Not pepperoni, or pineapple, or plain cheese. "Blue." 
 I love three year olds! 

 Mom and Canaan were sitting outside a few days ago, and Mom commented to Canaan that she loved the sound of the trees, blowing in the wind. Canaan replied "They look like they are dancing." Mom agreed with him, and they watched the trees dance for a moment together. Then, in the wisdom that only a five year old can have, Canaan said, "I think the trees are praising God. That is why they dance - to praise Him." 
 It says in the bible that if we don't praise Him, the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40) so it makes sense that the trees praise Him. I am so glad that my little man recognizes that, all by himself

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prayer requests, again

My friends - it seems I ask you to pray quite often. But our world is full of hurt, and sometimes there is nothing we can do to fix those hurts except lift them up before the throne and ask our really big God to step in and work a miracle. 
 First, a praise report. Frank Kaleb has been able to come home from the hospital. His pneumonia has cleared up. Of course, the Lukemia is still waiting on God. But he is trusting, and we are trusting with him. 
 Now, prayer requests...
 My friend Naomi has a brother in the Army and he is in Afghanistan also. (but not with Andy, unfortunately - I would love for them to get to be together) He is on a mission this week and is unable to communicate with the family. Please, just pray an extra hedge of protection around him. Always, always lift up our troops - every day I ask you. But a special prayer for Micah would be greatly appreciated please. 
 Secondly, one of the guys in Andy's unit was told this weekend by his wife that their marriage is over. She is calling it quits and won't be around when he gets back from Afghanistan. Personally, she doesn't sound like she is worth keeping if she breaks off their marriage over the phone while he is in a foreign country, BUT, that has still got to hurt. I don't think either of them know Jesus, but both could use some guidance and love. Also, pray that Andy has wisdom in what to say, and how to be a friend in this situation. 
 Lastly, the little girl that we originally intended to adopt, Gifty, has been having some severe medical issues over the last week. 

 She still hasn't gotten a liver transplant, which led to severe vitamin D deficiency because of her liver not working properly, which has caused her to break multiple bones. You can read updates about her on Deb's blog. Please, pray that a liver makes itself available to her soon. She has fought so hard to survive. She has found a family to adopt her, and love her, and want to keep her forever. She deserves to have a chance. 
 She reminds me, once again, of how very very eager I am to bring our little girl home. Still nothing new there. Paperwork is currently stalled. For now, I try to wait patiently. Pray patiently. Have I told ya'll we decided on a name? We will call her Eden Gladness - trying to keep the sound of her Gladwys, which I can't quite pronounce properly, but still give her a name that fits with Canaan and Zion. 
 So, Micah, foolish woman's poor husband, Gifty and Eden all need your prayer. I am sure there are a thousand more. But those are the ones that are heavy on my heart right this moment. 
 Thanks for listening my friends.

Afghanistan

Andy sent me some pictures of his life, and I thought I would share them with ya'll. 
 The scenery is amazingly beautiful - breathtaking, if I may say so. 
 Look at those mountains. 


 Of course, I don't have to drive a truck across them, looking for insurgents, so I am allowed to only see the beauty! Besides, it is my job to find the positive, isn't it? So that is what I do... find the positive. Please, take a moment and revel in the beauty of God's creation. Andy took the time to take these pictures - even with his 12 hour shifts, 6 or 7 days a week those mountains are irresistible. (besides, an art major never stops being an art major, even when they switch to something else...) 
 Speaking of which....

Just thought that was cool to see - and glad it wasn't really needed. 
Thank goodness that is over with!!!  
 Last, but not least, I thought this picture was hilarious. Sometimes, when the planes are in the air, and the paperwork is all done, the crew chiefs have nothing to do for a couple of hours. They can take turns using the phone for the 15 minute, twice a week phone call they are alloted, or share the computer for awhile... but there are quite a few more men then there are computers. So, sometimes some of the guys just stretch out and take a quick nap. 

 See what happens when you are a heavy sleeper, and there are bored, immature guys all around you? Andy is really glad that he has kids, and thus has learned to be a light sleeper! Those are "Peeps" all over that guy. Andy said he ended up with "Peep" written on his forehead before he finally woke up. I said that was unfair, but Andy says that is the price you pay for being a sound sleeper! 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rockin' out

 This evening I went over to Corey and Carrie's house, and the Welchs came over too. Carrie needed someone to help finish off all the finger food from her party the other night, and Corey certainly wasn't interested in things like spinach dip and cheese log. 
 I spend almost all of my time, now that Andy is gone, with women. I hadn't realized until I was sitting there, listening to the bantering back and forth between the guys, that I miss men. 
 Of course, I miss Andy specifically - we are all aware of that -  but just in general I miss the strange sense of humor and different way of looking at the world and slightly less refined something that makes a man, well, a man. 
 My dad works all day, and besides, he isn't a "typical" guy. He would never, NEVER burp out loud at the table, or talk about the latest ball game, or laugh uproariously over my child's inability to pronounce a word correctly. (What does it sound like when Zion tries to say his stuffed dog's name... anyone know what I am talking about here?) 
 Men are just different then women. God made us that way. It is a beautiful thing, the way he puts us together as teams. Each of us with our strengths, so that we can support each other in the areas where we are not as strong. 
 I think that having a husband who is often gone has required me to develop strength in areas that perhaps I would not have automatically developed if it had been left up to me. That is what makes it beautiful. God knew that I had the ability - the physical, mental and emotional strength to be who I am. I was not aware of who I could be until I was stretched. 
 Sometimes I don't like the stretching, but I am always happy with the end result. God is making me into the Bethany I am called to be. 

 At one point in time tonight, I almost had to leave. Two really happy couples, who practically glow in their love for each other was almost overwhelming for a few minutes. And I could not bear to spoil their happiness. Just because I miss my love doesn't mean I don't want them to be happy.  Perhaps that is why I don't like to write negative thoughts on here either - I would hate for it to come across incorrectly. But honestly and openness has been encouraged, and the feelings are flowing tonight - so here it comes. 
 After we ate, when I didn't know what we were planning to do next, the thought of sitting there and just hanging out, talking, with two happy couples was so completely unbearable that I was literally standing at their kitchen sink gasping for breath, and trying to figure out if any of the kids were still on the back porch of if I could sneak out there and hyperventilate in peace. And I was praying, "Lord, please don't let me ruin this happy evening". 
 Then, out of the blue, Corey asked me some random question about Andy and suddenly I had a focus again and I was okay. I think that if Corey had asked me if I wanted a glass of tea at that moment I might have burst into tears, but asking about Andy was exactly perfect. In a small way, it brought him to the party too. It included him. It made me part of a happy couple, and I needed that. Just one moment of being a happy couple.
 But enough about that. 

 Let me show  you what we did, once the party really got started...

First, we let the kids have a turn...


This is not a very good picture, but it is the only one I got of Zion participating!

Let me just tell you, that girl knows how to play with enthusiasm! 

Then we put a movie on for them...

and got down to the real fun! 
 Adults, playing video games - Oh yeah!!


Jason, jamming a solo. 
Carrie and PJ, rocking out!

Me, laughing so hard that there is no way I could be playing!

Corey actually plays the guitar fabulously in real life, so we kept kicking him off the guitar and making him do the drums or sing... it is more fun to play when you make a fool of yourself! 
Last, but not least, the guitar

I tried singing, drums, and guitar, all with enthusiasm - let me just tell you I was not afraid to make a fool of myself

 As I left tonight, I glanced over and saw Corey and Carrie's hands linked together on the couch. For a split second, of course, pain comes with that sight. But stronger, and longer, and more importantly, comes an amazingly RIGHT feeling of happiness. I am so happy to have friends who love each other, and who love me, and Andy and Jesus. 
I cannot, except for a split second, begrudge them their hand holding happiness. 
 Rather, I will soak it up and let it hold me over. Sharing their joy makes mine seem closer and somehow more real. 
Thank you my friends, for sharing. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Writing on the Wrist

Andy sent me a picture today - a picture of his reminder to pray. 
 On his wrist, in black permanent market he has written FK (for Frank Kaleb). 
 Every time he looks down to turn a wrench, or fill out a form, or put his fork in his mouth, or whatever, FK is there to remind him to pray. 
 To pray for healing for Kaleb. To pray for God to move miraculously. To pray for God's guidance. As he remembers to pray for Kaleb, he puts himself, repeatedly, in the presence of the King. Over and over, throughout the day, he enters the throne room. 
 All because of a little bit of ink. 

 I remember when I was a kid we got in the habit of saying "God bless so and so" every time we saw a car that "matched" theirs. I suppose that some would see it as just something that we said, merely a habit, but every time those words crossed my lips, they meant something. I still find myself "blessing" people at random moments, simply because I see something that reminds me of them. 
 There are points in the roads all across this part of the state that bring memories- and memories prompt prayer. Places where I ate with friends. The exit off the interstate with my sister's ex-boyfriend lives. The stoplight where I had my first wreck. The bridge where I pulled over and gave a homeless man some water and a granola bar. 
 Each of those places holds a memory. Each of those places can become an FK on my wrist, if I let it.  
 When God grabs my attention, and points it towards a particular person, I am not going to ignore that prompting, no matter how small it may seem. I want to see the writing on the wall (see Daniel 5) and the writing on the wrist everywhere
 Sometimes God asks us to literally WRITE on our wrists. A black permanent market is a very physical sign, saying that we commit to pray over and over. 
 Sometimes God asks for something less tangible. 
 We are asked to come to Him with every concern, whether large or small. We are commanded to lay all of our burdens down at His feet. 
 Some of my burdens get picked up over and over again. I am not always faithful at leaving them resting at His feet. But, I hold to the promise always that He takes my burdens back, no matter how many times I have to offer them up. Committing to praying for something is not the same as worrying it to death - and I have to be aware of that. I am trusting that when God prompts me to write on my wrist, then it is something that deserves my attention. And always, an invitation to join Him in the throne room. How can I even think to turn that down?

 What is God asking you to write on your wrist? Don't ignore Him, please!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A funny story

 Normally I talk to Andy on Skype from about 1pm to 1:45. That is a really inconvenient time of the day to be always at home, always by the computer. But it is worth it for me to get to talk to him~
 Today mom wanted to go to Rome and run some errands, return some library books, just "stuff". We had water aerobics in the morning.  Zion had speech therapy at 12. So, around 1 she said, "Let's go to Rome". I said, "I have to talk to Andy....(pause)  Well, I guess I could skip talking to him today". To which she responded... 
"No, cause I don't like you very much when that happens! You're no fun when you don't get to talk to him." 

 So, my apologies to the world. If even my own mother doesn't like me on the days I don't get to talk to Andy, I am sure that the rest of you are sick to death of me! 
 Actually, I try not to blog on days that I don't get to talk to him. I prefer this to be a positive place, full of happy thoughts and feelings. One Andy-less days, sometimes positive is harder to find. 
 I miss him so much it hurts to breath some moments. 
 But we are making it. 
 There are plenty of happy moments too, I promise! 
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Museums and Campgrounds

 According to Andy, I have been getting behind in my posting. After looking through some pictures from the last few weeks, I realized that I did skip a bit here and there. 
 I didn't take many pictures when we went to the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the High Museum of Art. However, if you want to see some fabulous shots from that day, drop by my sister Emilee's blog
This is my favorite picture on my camera from that day. Isn't that an awesome bench? It is a solid log, with chair backs put right into it. I LOVED it. 

Another great adventure we had recently was our "camping trip". The same day we got back from Josh's basic training graduation, we went up to Red Top mountain where Emilee and Kevin were camping. We hiked, cooked over an open fire, and observed God's beautiful creation up close and personal. 

A beautiful sky, looked at through a beautiful canopy of green.
Now this is what Uncles are for....
Butch and Zion gathering firewood.

Poor Butch was all worn out after working so hard...

Canaan was very enthusiastic in his assistance with building the fire. Perhaps I should be concerned that I have a future pyromaniac on my hands? 

Oh, the energy and enthusiasm of youth!
Hail the conquering heros! 
Just a little piece of beauty, peeking out from under the leaves.

My Mommy and I
A beautiful Sunset, the closing of a beautiful day.

Can you tell that I like it out there? All those little bits of beauty, just waiting to be appreciated?

 Strangely enough, we didn't end up staying the night. The forecast called for rain to start around midnight. Since Em and Kevin, Mom and Dad had already stayed one night, we all decided to pack up camp and go home around 8pm. With two little ones, and a pop-up camper that will mildew if taken down when wet, staying out overnight just didn't seem worth it after the sun went down! 

 You can read more about it, and see a couple other pictures on Emilee's blog. She used my photo's, but I tried to use some different ones....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mail Call

I got something WONDERFUL in the mail today. 

No, it wasn't a letter from Andy.... 

But it was almost as good. 

My amazing husband has managed, while working full time, supporting a wife and two children, moving up in the ranks and deploying four times, to finish his bachelors degree. 

 His final class for his degree was actually completed while on this current deployment. 
 Now, it is official: 
 Andrew Ian Freeman 
is a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management.
 
 Doesn't that sound so official?
 Plus, he had a final GPA of 3.458 and was a member of "Who's Who", honor roll, all that jazz... 

I am so very proud! 
Please, a round of applause for my amazing, persistent, graduated husband!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A patriotic ending to my week

 This is my little brother. 
 Actually, this is Andy's little brother, Josh, but I totally count him as my brother too. I have several "little brothers" - none of them blood. But Josh was the first. I started dating Andy when Josh was only 14, and strangely enough, the first time Andy brought me home to meet the family Josh recognized me. I had already met him the previous summer, just by chance, when I had visited a friend of mine who was the chaplain at boy scout camp. They don't get too many female visitors at boy scout camp, so I had stuck out in his memory. That first time Andy brought me home, Josh told his parents, "I think I just re-met my future sister-in-law". 
 He was right. 

 Josh went to West GA, joined a fraternity, did the "college thing". For a little while, I felt like I didn't know him anymore. Of course, during that time, we moved several times, had two kids, and Andy spent time in at least four different countries. I guess he didn't know us either. 
 But always, always, he has loved our children, and they have loved him. Always, always, he has been a wonderful uncle. 
 Look at those faces! 
On Friday he graduated from Army basic training. On Sat. he flew to CA to begin his AIT. He will be learning Farsi (a Persian language) over the next year. 
 My little brother is all grown up, and I am so very very proud of him. 
Canaan's drawing of Uncle Josh    Josh and I in the classic "self shot"
My boys on the playground, while the grownups made up for lost time
I just loved this shot. Something about the way the sun was setting, and he was sitting just slightly off to the side. Still with them, but already separate. They are looking at him, watching him, but not holding on. 
 I love my little brother. 
 I love this picture. 
But it makes me want to go hold onto my boys, and tell them to slow down. 
Stop growing up so fast! 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankfulness

Truthfully, what more can I say, how can I say it better then to simply say,
We serve a Great God.
Even in my time of discouragement, HE remained faithful. Even when I let my flesh be weak and sorrowed, HE remained strong. Even when I just wanted to cry, HE filled me with joy (which is totally different then happiness, but so very much better).
My devotions for the last couple of days have just been so very fitting for my "mood". I LOVE IT when God takes something that I was already planning to read anyway, and makes it fit my situation perfectly. It is like He is speaking directly to me, through a book that was written years and years ago.
Listen to this reminder: "I trust in thy word." Psalm 119:42 I think I needed to hear that! Just a few hours before I read that, I had cried on Andy's shoulder... or at least as close to it as I could get through Skype. I was just so discouraged, and downhearted about Kaleb. Missing Andy on top of it was just adding to the situation.
My very wise true love reminded me of some things that I already knew, and just needed to hear again.
1) God IS in control, and has a plan for Kaleb. If he is supposed to be healed, he will. If he is not supposed to, we have to celebrate for him. Accepting that and being ready, NO MATTER WHAT is very important. It doesn't mean we quit asking for what we WANT. But it means we trust God, no matter what the outcome.
2) It is okay for me to lean on Andy sometimes, and let him be my support, but (as Andy pointed out) he is not perfect, only God is. So, I need to remember whom my true support is, and whom I am supposed to really be leaning on.
I thought it was really appropriate that just a few minutes after getting off of Skype, where we had this conversation, my scripture reading for the night was, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28
I think someone was trying to get my attention, and remind me that their shoulders are stronger then mine.... stronger then Andy's.... strong enough to hold the whole world.
I'm not saying I won't ever slip into the sin of worry again.
I can promise you I will cry in sorrow again.
I'm just so thankful that I was reminded by a gentle word that I know my Savior's heart. I am assured that His plans for me are in His hands. That is promise enough for me.

Thankfulness

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prayer requests

Sorry about my post earlier. I think I was in a bit of a funk still. 
 I am working on it, I promise. 
 In the meantime, I have a couple of prayer requests that I would really like you guys to lift up for me. For those that I love. 
This is my Andy - in his full goofy glory. I love him in every mood, in every shape, in every form and fashion. But this lighthearted, laughing teasing fellow is the one I miss the most. Because he is the one I never get to see anymore. 
 Right now Andy is deployed at a base that has multiple branches of military all serving together, as well as military from other countries too. 
 In the six weeks that he has been there, the US Army has lost three men. Three guys that ate in the same dining hall as him, and breathed the same air as him, rode out to do their job and didn't come back. 
 That hurts. 
 
 I struggle on my side, or course, with fear. But that isn't overwhelming to me. Andy stays on base, and does his job, and I refuse to let satan waste my time with needless worry. But sorrow can be overwhelming sometimes. I know that thinking about the wives and mothers of those young soldiers - I hurt for those women. 
 And even though Andy would never say so, I think that he is hurting too. Breathing the same air with these guys, attending the memorial services - three times in six weeks - it has been rough. He didn't know them personally, but they are still a part of his team, and thus, a part of him. 
 Pray for him, please. 

 Secondly, this is my friend Frank Kaleb Jansen. He is the founder of the ministry that my dad volunteers with, Bibles for All ministries. This picture was taken when I stayed with he and his wife at their home in Norway, the summer I turned 19. 

 He is an amazing man. Smuggled bibles into Poland. Created Bible for All ministries, and has worked tirelessly to try to fulfill that goal - Bibles for ALL. Has helped develop international relationships between Norway and N. Korea. Started a Christian television station that broadcasts across Norway. Has traveled across the globe, met people all over the world, and still took the time to connect me to the right person, so that I could start the process toward adopting our daughter. He even officiated the first part of our wedding, so my daddy could walk me down the aisle. 
 He has four beautiful daughters and a son, along with their spouses and the multiple grandchildren they have provided him. 
 
Today we received a call to let us know that he has been diagnosed with a late stage lukemia. 

Please, please, pray. 

God has healed him before from other things, and most certainly can again. 

 Right now I just need a little faith boost. So please my friends, join me. Be my faith boost, and lift this man of God up, please. I am not strong enough to pray on my own tonight. Pray with me, please.  
 Thank you

Snap

Well, last night the internet would not cooperate - my pictures would not load. So, while I was waiting, quite impatiently, I started reading a book....
 I read, and read and read. I think I started the book around 10:30. I finished it around 3:30. 
 I still got 4 hours of sleep - not bad for a grumpy start to a night. 
 The pictures never loaded, but I seem to have gotten over my bad mood. 
 Here is the post I had written pre-book, and here are the pictures, now that they finally decided to load. 

I have been in a funk today. 
 My husband is deployed and I miss him, DREADFULLY. 
 My daughter is still miles and miles away, months and months away, stacks and stacks of paperwork away. And she doesn't know that I love her. 
 My kids have been up late several times this week, and thus slightly grumpy themselves. 
 My blood sugars are out of whack, even though I take plenty of insulin, and that annoys me.
 I have gained three pounds over the last few weeks, and that just stinks. 
 Even with those three pounds yelling at me, the only thing I really want to eat is chocolate.  But I have severely limited myself. 
 The limiting of chocolate sure didn't help the funk any. 
 My friend Carrie came over and kept me from being depressed for awhile this afternoon. I think she may have saved my sanity. 
 Then my daddy took me to Home Depot and bought me a hoe, some fresh cover soil and cucumber and carrot seeds. 
 I have a project to look forward to. 
 But first, tomorrow has to come. I have to survive tonight, and my empty bed which seems so very very lonely.  
 
 Praise God, I have a forgiving savior. He forgives my repeat performances of forgetting, again and again, that HE is enough. And always, always, He reminds me of the beautiful pieces of joy that He has put in my life to hold me over. 
 Let me show you just a few of those beautiful pieces of joy that hold me over.  


Papaw and his boys.

Zion and his Noni, searching for eggs.

Canaan took this picture - didn't he do fabulous!
How cool is that? 

I just love this picture!
This one too! 
 My children are blessed with such wonderful friends,
and I am blessed with wonderful mothers of those friends...