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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, March 22, 2012

Romans 8:28

A little over a week ago we had a really bad day. Or, at least our poor car had a really bad day. We, as a family, really don't have that much to complain about.

 Not having the car you owned, with the buttons memorized, and the comfy seats you loved the feel of - well it's no fun. Both my boys point out every red Tahoe they see, in sorrow and mourning. But...

 Every week for school we have a bible verse of the week. They are slightly random. I don't know that I have any rhyme or reason as to how I find them, God just points them out. On the Monday after our accident God quite clearly led me to Romans 8:28.

 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes."

 How very perfect is that?

 I love how He works!

 I was talking to Canaan about good things, and bad things, and how they often work together. Sometimes we get to see the results. Sometimes we don't.

 But there is a beautiful story I love to tell of a wreck that led to good.

 When Andy was 19 he put on his good clothes and headed down to the Coast Guard recruiting office - planning to sign up for a stint protecting our shores and rescuing beautiful maidens from drowning.

 There had been lots of rain that week. Slightly appropriate for signing up for a coast guard job, isn't it? Unfortunately, on back country roads where his parent's live, it isn't always conducive for driving. He drove through what he thought was going to be a puddle. Unfortunately, the road is slanted there, and the side he was on - well, the puddle was closer in size to a pond.

 That car wasn't going anywhere. (I don't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure he flooded the engine, and I don't think that car ever drove again.)

 He waded through the "pond", got picked up by some old guys who knew his grandfather (and laughed at him) then took him home.

 The car was towed away.

 Andy's parent's had another chance to talk him into giving college another chance.

 So, instead of the coast guard, he came to Shorter, met me, and the rest is history.

 Yes, he had to get laughed at by old men.

 Sure, he had to drive his Mom's old Grand Caravan to college.

 But he got me, and two amazing boys.

 He got the AF, then the Army, in career fields he has enjoyed.

 "In all things God work for the good".

 I am pretty sure Andy couldn't see the good when his car was sitting in the middle of a puddle the size of a pond.

 But I sure am grateful for it now.

  I completely have faith that, although we may never see nor hear about it, every event, every day, every single moment works for good. One way or another.

 Now isn't that something to be grateful for!

Blessings, 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shamrockin'

 I am, for a short time, NOT Andy's "old lady". For a little over two months every spring we are the same age.
 On Saturday my Leprechaun had his birthday and officially joined me at (gasp) 32.

 During our ten years of marriage he has been gone, for one reason or another, 6 times on his birthday. There was a rumor of him leaving on his birthday this year (just for a training exercise)... so last Sunday we went out to eat - sort of an early birthday. You remember how that day ended.

 Thankfully, he was HOME for his actual birthday this year. So we partied.

 Shamrock trays that have been around since Andy's childhood. Thanks Ellen! 
 A very green room. 
The boys had a blast, hanging streamers and shamrocks throughout the entire house. 
 We had a multitude of muscle men, ready to show off - 
See?
That Shamrock hat has been around since Andy was in highschool.
 A glow in the dark, laser shamrock...
 fascinating...
I think I like it!!!
Yep!

Since I have been vehicle-less this week, my ability to search for tiramisu has been thwarted. When I mentioned my frustration about that early Sat morning "Oscar the Grouch" immediately volunteered to make a run in search of Andy's favorite dessert. 
Unfortunately, there wasn't one to be found in a 20 mile radius. So at the last ditch stop at Walmart, the three year old got to point to what she thought "looked the most like Tiramisu". It seems that Chocolate Brownie Icecream cake won. 
 No complaints here! 

Yum, Yum! 

I even got a picture of the birthday boy, almost smiling for the camera. 
I call that a successful day! 

Blessings, 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sounds

 I think that at some point in time every mother has had a moment when hearing their children crying is the most beautiful sound in the world. Because it means that they are breathing.

 And at that exact moment their breathing is the most important priority in your life.

 When they are born, and they take that first gulp of air. When they fall from the top of the playground, knocking themselves silly. When they wreck their bike and you can't even see where they landed.

 Broken bones, blood gushing, those thoughts start creeping in second later.

 But breathing is a first priority, and when it proves itself immediately, you can breath also.

 So crying is the most beautiful sound in the world.

 I had a moment like that this weekend.

 Truly, at first you can't hear anything. Then the first little peep of fear that only a six year old can produce pops up from the backseat, answered immediately by his big brother, and it's just enough to bring you back to reality. To let you know that they were alive.

 Then sounds start coming from every direction.

 Your very angry (at himself) husband telling them to get out (just in case) means he is okay - and as you hear their doors open and their feet follow, you know that they can move.

 That's when you realize - your door won't open, and you're not sure you could get out even if it did. The airbags make that terrible squealing sound as they finish deflating. And the miscellaneous parts of the car that use to make it move, now growl. Steam rises all around with an almost beautiful sound of it's own.

 Then metal scrapes and complains as that 6'1" tower of muscle who loves you makes it obey, refusing to leave you in your seat, or make you climb over another seat with a busted knee. The door opens enough to slip through, the knee works enough to get to the grass and (of course) you sit down directly in an ant pile.

 And the sounds continue. Firetruck. Police car. Ambulance.

 Slightly amusing really. After the ant hill fiasco, I limped my way over to the back of the Tahoe and managed to sit on the back of it. When the first responders, the Firemen, got there they had an icepack for my knee. But I was bleeding from my thumb. Just a tiny little cut, but because it had been bleeding for several minutes it had pooled up. My children were very concerned. The firemen didn't actually have bandaids. Something to pack in a gaping wound? Got you covered. A tiny cut on your thumb... not so much. However, I am a mom. With a fully stocked (although fully wrecked) SUV. So I looked around and luckily my emergency bag hadn't gotten thrown too far. Alcohol wipe? check. Bandaid? check. Neosporin cream? check. Help from a friendly fire man to wrap my thumb in a self provided bandaid? check. Children who were very much calmed now that mommy wasn't bleeding any more? Check check!

 Care to see some pictures?

 The tow truck, loading it up. 
 I think this is the one looks the worst.
 Driver's side wasn't so bad..
And truthfully, the back has hardly any damage at all. 
 My babies were protected.
Buckled up, in the booster seats - even at 8 and 6. 
 A small pile of left-over pieces.
 And that- that is what we hit. (coming from the opposite direction, obviously, since the passenger side is what hit)
 20 mph. Not texting. Not changing the radio station. His hand simply slipped on the wheel at the exact wrong minute. Not a chance to brake, nothing. Cement doesn't give...


 We had cleaned the Tahoe out fairly that afternoon, waiting through all the details of firetruck, ambulance, police report and towtruck. Actually, let me say that properly. Andy and the boys, and then later when she came to rescue us, my friend Kirsten, cleaned most of it out Sunday afternoon. Books, DVD player, umbrellas, picnic blanket, emergency first-aid kit, toothbrush, sewing kit, safety pins, diabetic supplies, etc etc. I simply sat on the back, held an icepack on my knee and said things like "did you remember to check the pocket in the side of the door" and "did you get all of the quarters from the console". Luckily, I carry grocery bags with me too, or we would have had some trouble containing it all!
 On Monday after I talked to the insurance agent they told me I needed to make sure I got everything out of it, because they would be towing it to their storage facility several hours away. So Kirsten, once again, saved the day and drove me out to the temporary storage place.
 And I got my first real look at it.


 I simply stood there and sobbed, for just a second. 
 I'm not exactly sure why. 
 Thankfullness that we are all okay? Sorrow for my car, which I have loved? Purely and simply overwhelmed? 
 Earlier I had heard the sound of my children crying. My husband yelling. The metal creaking, airbags squealing, steam whistling, sirens wailing. Voices all around asking questions - and my voice answering them. 
 God and I had even had a beautiful moment of comfort, where I got to hear His voice reminding me of His care. 

But I hadn't really seen it yet. 

Now with sight, the sound that was needed that moment was very quiet. Without interruption. And with a touch of finality. 


I removed the license plate, military tags and even managed to scrape off the trinity sticker Andy made for my car. It is not re-usable, but I couldn't stand the thought of it rotting in a junk-yard. 
And we are about 98% sure that the Tahoe is not coming back. Sigh.
Time for something with better gas milage?

X-rays show no broken bones in the knee. Lots of swelling means just keep ice on it and enjoy the black and blue. So we rejoice in our many many blessings. 

Rejoice in yours too!  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Split second

 Andy leaves early in the mornings. Early. At least for me.
 As he was leaving a few days ago, around 5:40, I got up to use the bathroom. In the dark that still haunts that time of the morning I tripped over the cord of the space heater.
 Now, I love the fact that we have a space heater. Getting out of the shower without it in the winter is slightly torturous. But at 5:40 in the morning, barely awake enough to walk, the cord was a safety hazard just waiting to happen. As I stumbled I imagined my chin hitting the tile, the mess that would make when blood gushed everywhere, the inconvenience of waking the children to go get stitches.
 And then my hands caught the counter, my hip hit the heater, and all was good.
 But all of these thought had already run through my head in the split second it took for me to catch myself.
 And the next thought I had was, "Thank goodness for modern technology." Amazing how the mind works, isn't it? Yes, it was modern technology that almost made me fall - but it would have been a cell phone that made Andy return two minutes after he left.
 12 years ago when we first started dating I had a cell phone. But it was for "emergencies" only. I almost never used it and was slightly scared of it. Then, not even three years after we met we were stationed in CA and the cell phone, with unlimited nights and weekends, free long distance, and a friends and family list was my link to home. I nearly wore it out.
 Each time he has been deployed I never knew when he would call. So I have carried my phone with me everywhere I have gone. To Doctor's appointments, giving him updates about our baby growing inside. To Florida, for the first time our son saw the ocean. To the bathroom, just in case. And every night, plugged in close enough that it would reach my bed. Sleeping with the telephone is not just a song - it is a reality.

 These newest cell phones are more then just phones. They are address books, calendars, entertainment centers while waiting in the doctor's office, even a portable book when I forget to grab my kindle on the way out the door.
 It contains my entire life, all in one small rectangle. And it is very easy to get completely lost in. Belonging to myself only.
 Scary.

 After my split second wave of thoughts, then my moment of thankfulness, (both for not falling, and knowing that Andy had a cell phone, if I had fallen) my last hour of sleep was filled with unsettling dreams. In them people were looking for things and were unable to find them. No matter how hard they searched, they couldn't figure out how to get to what they needed.

 In my dream, I had what they were looking for, and no matter how hard I looked for them, I couldn't find the searchers. I knew they needed me, and what I had, but I could't figure out how to get to them. We were all searching, and none of us could find each other.

 How does all of this connect to cell phones? I'm not really sure.

 I think it comes back to the "entire life, all in one small rectangle". As people it seems we spend less and less time face to face. Technology allows us to send information at lightning speed. To text and E-mail and Facebook all at a moment's notice. But are we forgetting to notice the people right next to us?  

 This afternoon Brandon Heath's "Give me Your eyes" played on my Pandora station.

 "Give me Your eyes" is about choosing to see people in need - in need of love, in need of cheer, the "broken hearted" is how he puts it - through God's eyes. Which means we love them unconditionally and try not to miss anyone.

 I am going to do my best in my little neighborhood right here. But at the same time...

 I'm not much use in the "real world" right now. Because of my uncooperative body I don't do much driving, thus I have met very few people. My ability to go to events is pretty small. But I am going to do my best to use His eyes to see the broken hearted in the little - or rather, HUGE - world of technology.  To move beyond the world of people contained in my address book, "all in one small rectangle." Just like I was thankful for my phone that morning, I will be thankful for the world wide web. Hopefully, the searchers and I can find each other.

 Please, feel free to let me know how I can show you His love. I don't want you to be searching, unable to find when I have exactly what you need.

 This has been a rambling post, but I mean what I say. If you need me - to pray, to encourage, to help work through a problem keeping God in the middle - my E-mail is always open. Always.

 Blessings,