Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lucky 13?

2012 is finally coming to an end.  And I must admit, I have mixed feelings about it.  This year was full of ups and downs.  For the longest time, it seemed like the downs would win.

We started off the year with my Granddad ill, then hospitalized.  In February my kids got sick, and then we lost him.  (At least for now.  I hope to see him again someday....)  It was not a good start to the year at all.  His death started a chain of events that ripped through my marriage in a most ugly way for many many months.  That was hard.  We have had several other things happen with other family members that weren't easy for anyone as well.

For most of this year it seemed like a year of loss.  I lost loved ones, and I thought I was finally going to lose my marriage at one point.  I watched other loved ones and friends lose things that were important to them.  But something changed this year in the midst of all the hardships.  I think maybe, at age 35, I am finally starting to grow up.  At least a little.  Maybe....

I learned that you can't give up when life gets hard.  You have to fight for what means the most to you.  Never give up hope.  Just because things are hard now, doesn't mean it's not going to get better.  Keep hanging on.  Keep fighting.  Keep having faith.  It may not always turn out like you imagined, but it will turn out for good if you just hang in there.  And there is even a chance, it will turn out even better than you imagined.

 I learned that loving someone doesn't mean you have to like everything about them.  But it does mean you continue to show that love and compassion, even when it's hard to do it.  Even when you think they don't deserve it.  Love isn't about deserving it.  Love gives freely, even when it hurts.  You have to let love win.  It's worth it.  It's always worth it.

I have seen some of those that started out the year suffering the most, now in a position of hope and happiness.

This year did not start out well at all.  But I have to say, for me...  It's ending pretty well.  Perhaps 2013 will continue in the blessings I have seen both in my life and in the lives of others I care about.  One can only hope!  But even if it doesn't, I know that if I keep the faith, never give up hope, and keep on fighting to live another day; it WILL get better once again.  Every day has a dawn, an afternoon, a sunset, and a night.  Perhaps our years are the same way.  Maybe our lives follow that same cycle.  But if that is true, then it truly is like they say.  It's always darkest...just before dawn. 

So for anyone out there in their darkest hour...  hang on!  Your dawn could be just around the corner.  Who knows what wonders lie ahead in 2013.  It's wide open.  And I, personally, and am looking forward to seeing what it holds.

Happy New Year everyone.  It is my heartfelt wish and prayer that 2013 be full of blessings for you all.

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness

There are many reasons I love the month of November.  One being that my children only have one full of week of school the entire month, and that is the last week of the month.  I love having the extra time with them.

Another reason is it is the unofficial start to the holiday season.  I think the official start is Thanksgiving.  It's kind of like how Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, even though Summer doesn't really start until the end of June.  lol    The holiday season is my most favorite time of year.  So any start to it, is usually a good one in my book.

It's also the month I first became a mommy.  My eldest will be 11 this month. This fact alone makes it one of my most favorite months of the year. 

And then there is Thanksgiving.  The holiday in which we Americans gather together with family and loved ones to give thanks for all that we have, and have endured.  It's a time of reflection.  And as the name of the holiday itself states, a time of thanksgiving.

A trend I have taken part in the past few years is called "30 Days of Thanks".  It's an online trend, mostly on Facebook and Twitter, where you post something you are thankful for each day in November.  And you aren't allowed to post the same thankfulness twice.  Each day must be something new.  And I have to tell you, I love this idea.  I love participating in it!

At the end of each day, I sit and reflect.  I find just one thing to be thankful for, and post it.  Viola!  Done, right?  Well, kinda.....

Sitting at the end of each day and reflecting on it, finding things to be thankful for, is a wonderful way to end your day.  Even on the most trying days.  It gets your heart and mind in a good place.  It's kind of cleansing.  It also helps put you in the right mood/frame of mind/spirit for the up coming holiday season.

Some days you are easier than others.  Some days something so wonderful has taken place, you can't wait to jump on in the middle of the day and post what it is you are thankful for (example:  I am so thankful my spouse got a promotion!).   Other days aren't so easy.  Some days you are thankful for things like your home or health or family.  Other days you may really have to search to find something.  But it's there.  It's always there, no matter how little or basic you think it may be.  But when you find it, that thing you truly are thankful for, it warms your heart.

I love reading other people's thankful posts as well.  Some are down right funny!  For example, on one particularly trying day, a friend of mine was thankful for a cold beer at the end of that day.  lol   Others are heartbreaking.  Like a post about being thankful for the short time they were allowed with their child before the child passed away.  Some are very simple posts.  Like being thankful for hugs, or children's laughter, or even for the sun shining outside.

Each and every posts I see helps my heart in some way.  Each and every post I write helps me get to a better place mentally and emotionally.  I find that reading these posts, and posting myself, helps get the focus off of my selfish nature.  It helps to humble us in some ways.   It helps take one from selfish to grateful.  And when you start living your life with a grateful attitude instead of a selfish one, you see it begin to change and brighten.   You start to feel lighter. 

"30 Days of Thankfulness" is a challenge I enjoy being a part of.  It is a challenge I am going to start giving my kids (they don't have online accounts, but we can sit and talk every night before bed).  It's a challenge and cause that can be uplifting, and some ways, life changing.  It's a challenge I think everyone should try and be a part of.

Can you imagine what would happen to the heart of a nation, if every person in it took time at the end of the day to find something to be thankful for?  What would happen at the end of those 30 days, when selfish attitudes gave way to attitudes of gratefulness?  One can only imagine!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I have had hard year.  Not as hard as some I know and love, admittedly, but hard.  I haven't really aired a lot of my problems or issues.  It was really none of anyone's business.  And since I know others going through worse things, I am trying still not whine too much.

But things over here have to come to head, and I feel utterly alone.  I would love someone to reach out to me.  I mean, I'm' not real sure I want to talk about it all, but it would be nice to know that someone out there gave a damn.  Ya know?

I don't know.  I just really hate this year.  And I'm not sure if next year will be much better.  I hope it is.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shocked: Airing some dirty laundry

I saw a picture of someone today that once a large part of my life.  They no longer are and we have not been in contact for years (not that I haven't tried).  I wasn't even sure if this person was even still alive.  I was shocked when I saw the photo.  I'm not sure if I was shocked to see them still alive, with what was their new family, or shocked at the hurt and pain seeing this person caused all over again.  This person just up and abandoned our family never to be heard from again, leaving tons of answered questions in their wake (as well as pain).  This person, was my Grandpa.

This man was my late father's dad.  However, he was not his father.  My dad's biological father abandoned his family when my dad and his siblings were still very young.  At one point, my Grandma could not care for them and put my dad and uncle in an orphanage for a bit.  Eventually, my dad and uncle found their way home again.  I do not know the story of how.  My dad died when I was 11.  His brother wasn't too many years behind him, and neither was my Grandma.  It's a story I don't guess I'll ever fully know.

I do know that my Grandma met the man I always knew as Grandpa while he was stationed in Germany (where they lived).  Not sure of this story either.  Just know that they married and eventually moved here when my father was in high school (where he met my mom and later married her.  High School Sweethearts).

We lived right down the road from my grandparents and uncle for most of my childhood before my father died (we moved to another state after his death).  I can remember many summer walks to their house with my dad.  I can remember spending the night with them many times.  We loved visiting them.  We saw them a lot, a WHOLE lot.  After my dad's death, and our move, we made still made time to visit my grandparents and they made time to visit us.   

My Grandma's health declined after several strokes and being diagnosed with diabetes.  They never made it my wedding.  But I understood.  Shortly after my first daughter was born, my Grandma passed away. 

My Grandpa would still come visit us and we always looked forward to his visits.   Eventually my Grandpa met a lovely woman and remarried.  We all liked her very much.  She was quiet but very sweet.  She was family now.  And we loved her as such.

He eventually moved out west.  We could never afford to go out and visit him.  My husband and I were struggling financially with our growing family.  But it was always nice to talk to him.  And we still loved his visits (although they were few and far between at this point.  Maybe that should have been our first clue....).

About a year after our 2nd child was born, we got a surprise call around 8/8:30 one summer's night.  My kids were in the bath and about to head to bed.  It was him.  It was Grandpa!!  He was in town!  I couldn't believe it!  I don't remember how long it had been since we had seen him, but it had been a long while.  It was so good to hear his voice.

So what did we do?  My husband and I pulled our 4 and 1 yr old out of the bath, put them in their jammies, and took off to see them instead of putting my kids down to sleep.  We dropped everything and went to them.  My kids can still remember the dog and the RV they were driving.  They apparently had been driving around the country in that RV and stopped in town to see us.  We were very excited.  Tired, but excited.

We called my sister and her family and told them he was in town.  He got on the phone with them and we all made plans for dinner the next night.  My Grandpa offered to cook his stir fry for us.  It was always a treat.  And since they had an RV, my sister would come pick them up, take them shopping, and back to her house.  We had just found out my sister was expecting again, and her eldest was super excited to tell Grandpa.  We left that night with hugs and the expectation of seeing them the next day.

Around 2 or 3 the next day, while our youngest napped, I got a call.  It was my mom and sister wondering if I had talked to my grandpa at all since the night before.  My answer was no.  I was expecting to see them after our youngest's nap, at their house.   Something was wrong. 

They had gone out to pick up my Grandpa and his wife, but they were no longer there.  And the RV was missing.  They had tried to call his cell phone, but to no avail.  My husband and I woke up the youngest, put our kids in the car and headed out to where we had seen them the night before.  After all, maybe my family was just looking in the wrong spot.  Right? 

We arrived to see them gone.  No RV.  No call.  No note.  We drove through every parking lot of every business in the area looking for them.  We thought maybe they had gone off shopping to kill some time.  We did not find them.  Neither did my mom and sister.  We all tried calling and got his voice mail every time.  

I then remember my husband's area code to his phone was different from the local one that most of us had, and my Grandpa knew.  So he called.  Guess what?  He got through!  My husband told him we worried and asked where they were.  He got hung up on.  My Grandpa never again answered his phone.  Not for any of us.

This happened 6 years ago.  We tried calling, writing, emailing.  Nothing.  We never got an answer as to why they just up and left.  We never got a goodbye.  We never got a reason as to why he offered to cook us dinner and then took off with out letting anyone know.  We still don't know why he up and abandoned us.  None of us have heard from him since the night my husband and I dropped everything to go see them at their RV. 

We were all so excited he was in town.  My niece most of all since she couldn't wait to tell him she was going to be a big sister.  In less than 24 hours we all went from excitement, to worry, to confused, to hurt.  The pain grew more over the years of failed attempts to contact him.  Eventually, I think I finally went numb.  That is, until today. 

I saw a picture of him and his wife surrounded by her family, holding a child around year old, if I had to guess.  I was surprised by the tears that filled my eyes.  He was alive!  But that meant he really had abandoned us.  There was no medical emergency.  He just up and left us, with no explanation.  It meant he intentionally ignored our every attempt to contact him through the years.  The pain came rushing back.

How could he just abandon us?  My father died, my grandma died, and then he did this?  What did we do to deserve this?  I guess we'll never know.  (perhaps you that have followed this for a whiile can understand why my mom's dad who recently passed came to mean so very much to me.  He became the ONLY father figure in my life after my father's death.  His passing still hurts like hell.)  You don't know how much I have re-lived that night over the years, wondering what we had done wrong or said wrong, or didn't do.  When someone you have loved and trusted treats you like this, it damages you on some level. 

A part of me feels bad for him.  He is missing out on some amazing great grandkids.  My three girls and my sister's two.  He has some pretty great grandson-inlaws too.  We never asked him for a thing.  Ever.  We just loved him.  I guess that wasn't enough for him. 

Seeing his picture today brought all the past hurt and pain flooding back.  I guess I wasn't as numb as I thought I was.  As I hoped I was.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All things possible part 2.....lyrics on video. You MUST read it to understand how much this means to us.

All Things Possible....Part 1

I don't know where to even begin.  I know I have blogged about our girl and her what was diagnosed as a hearing loss. Here is what happened next:

After getting the news, we went to Facebook and asked for family and friends to pray for our girl.  The responses we received were overwhelming!

We prayed every day.  Most of the time, several times a day.  Sometimes we quoted scripture, sometimes we prayed from the heart, and sometimes our tears were our unsaid prayers of our heart.

What started out as being scared and overwhelmed quickly started turning into resolve.  And then something funny happened, it started turning into faith.  Real faith.  Scripture says in Hebrews 11:1 says:   Faith being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.  And all of sudden we just KNEW it was going to be okay.  I kept telling people that the Lord was going to heal my girl!  And I believed it.  I truly believed it. 

My wonderful husband was believing for healing as well.  However, he did ask on a few occasions if I would be okay if the Lord chose not to heal our girl at this time.  I told him it didn't matter, she was going to be healed.  But if that was the Lord's will, we put our trust in Him and it would be okay.  Period.  I have never in my life been this sure about anything.  Ever.  Looking back, that's kinda weird.  lol  But then again...not.

Our girl's ears popped a few times and such during the 2 weeks between the original diagnosis and the follow-up appointment.  Between talks with her and observing things, we noticed it was like "someone" trying to find a station on a dial...tuning in.  It was very interesting to watch.

During this time our girl heard on a song on the radio that she got very excited about.  It was a new song, and we weren't sure of the name of it or the artist.  But I wish you could have seen how excited she was about this song.  She said it was "her song" right now.  It was really encouraging and speaking to her.  The song was by Mark Schultz and it is called "All Things Possible".  I will post it later.  It's amazing.  It was perfect.  And I was so proud of my girl.

Yesterday we had our follow-up appointment.  It was amazing.  The first person saw her old test results and called for another doc to come in and the do the re-test.  She did not want a thing to do with it.  That is not reassuring in least.  But the new doc was extremely knowledgeable and very well educated.  When the tests began I started pacing.  (my girl was in a room that resembled a safe.  She could not see or hear us, but we could hear her).  There came a point where I started to pray again, then I let it go and just waited.

After her tests we were told that her hearing now was on the low side of the normal range, but was in fact NORMAL and that she no longer needed hearing aids!!  My husband asked a ton of questions trying to get a reason for how this could have happened.  How in the world did her hearing get so bad so quick, but then all of a sudden be so much better?  There was no medical reason for it what so ever!!  She couldn't give us one!  In short, IT WAS GOD!!!  He healed her!!!  He stopped her hearing loss, and we are believing and praying that He is going to continue to restore her hearing!

I am in so name it.  You hear stories like this from others.  But you never really believe it can happen to you or for you.  I believe.  Now I believe.

I am a sinner.  I make a ton of bad choices and mistakes.  There are things in my life I'm not ready to give up or don't know how to give up (like control).  But it's so amazing to see that the Lord really does love us in spite of those things.  He says "come as you are".  He is bigger than I ever imagined Him to be.  He answered all our prayers where our girl is concerned.  Not because He had too, but because He wanted too.  It's one thing to hear of the miracles in scripture, or to hear someone else tell of their miracle (like you reading ours now).  But it's a whole other story to live it.  It really does happen.  Miracles really do happen!!  I promise!!  My girl's hearing is restored!!!  Praise the Lord on high!!

Our girl had issues hearing.  Of that I have no doubt.  She cried over it.  We had many talks over it.  Several different doctors confirmed it (three total I do believe...maybe 4).  There is NO medical explanation for her healing.  It was God.  To the Lord be all the Glory!!  These things really do happen!!  Don't give up hope for whatever you are believing in or going through.  Trust that He knows best.  

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

interesting 48 hours

It's been an interesting 48 hours.  Yesterday my girl said her ears popped.  Neither one of us could remember the last time they did that.  We rejoiced. 

Today, they hurt.  =(  I hate hearing that they hurt.  But we are holding out hope that this is all part of a miracle taking place to restore her hearing.  Keeping hope and faith alive!

Friday, July 13, 2012


The past 24 hours have brought a wave of emotions. 

When I first got the news about the diagnosis about my daughter's hearing loss, I fell apart.  I fell to floor, crying loudly and begging God to take my hearing instead.  He could take my sight too if he wanted, but to not my girls.  I just kept crying saying "No, no, no", over and over again.  I kept begging to be the one instead.  Then I started to calm down a little bit.  I knew I had to pull myself together and make some calls.

Some of the calls to inform close family of what was happening ended up being for me I think.  I found myself being encouraged.  And all the feelings of failure and defeat slowly started feeling the tingle of hope and strength. 

I have questioned why over the past 24 hours a lot.  I have not yet received a concrete answer.  I may never know why this has happened or what caused this.  I went back over my daughter's entire life in my head, nit picking at things I could have done differently.  Maybe this was somehow my fault.  Now I had guilt.  So fear, guilt, failure, defeat were all swimming around in me.  Each taking turns punching me in the gut and ripping away at my heart.  I felt like we were in this alone. 

At some point in time yesterday the fog of emotions start to slowly clear (I'm not sure it's all completely gone yet, but we are well on the way!).  I started to gain perspective. I realized my daughter was scared too.  She was not happy with this at all.  And what she needed most was support and for her parents to be strong for her when she couldn't be.  I found my resolve.  My pitty party was over.  I may not be able to snap my fingers and fix this, but I did realize what I could do.  I could be my daughter's advocate.

I immediately took to email and Facebook.  I asked for prayer.  I asked for family and friends who felt like it, to please lift my daughter and family in prayer right now.  I summarized what we were dealing with and asked for prayers of healing, restoration, strength, comfort, joy,peace...  That the Lord's will be done and that he receive glory from this somehow.  I decided to get my emotions under control, and to pray and stand in faith that my girl would be healed.  And that is what I am doing.  God help me!

I wasn't real sure of what my online assault to family and friends would bring. Would I be offending them?  You know what?  I didn't care.  All that mattered was my girl.  I knew we had to try.  And since then, I have been brought to tears too many times to count.  Not because of what's going on with my girl, but because of all the love and support we have found from this. 

People you never thought really (or expected) to be there for us have come out of the woodwork.  I have old friends and new friends rallying behind our girl and promising to pray for her.  I have had people I have known for years, and others I only have known through online connections, rallying to pray for her and standing in faith with us for healing for her.  Some have re-posted to friends and on social networks, calling for prayer for my girl (and getting it!!).  Others have gone to their churches asking that my girl be added to their intercessory teams' prayers or the church's pray groups.  

What does one say to all this?  Thank you just doesn't seem to be enough.  Every time I receive another email or message, I am once again brought to tears by the support, caring, and promises of prayer we receive from them. It's all so overwhelming, but in the best of ways.  "Thank you" just doesn't seem to be enough to say (and what do you do?) right now.  What these friends and family members are doing is amazing.   They are taking a part of their lives to pray for our girl.  They are taking time out of their busy lives to stop and encourage us, and give us strength for this journey.  I wonder if they even know how much that means to us?  Do they know what a big deal this is, for them to do this?  I really am humbled. 

When you see the news, you begin to wonder about the kindness of man kind, and whether it still exists.  You wonder if anyone out there cares for anyone but themselves anymore.  I'm here to say they do.  There is kindness in the is world.  Sometimes, in the most unexpected places.  So much of it, sometimes it takes your breath away. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The day our world changed as we knew it

I have so many thoughts and words going through  my head this night:  Weary.  Scared.  Angry.  Why?  Defeated.  Tired.  All words that my mind keeps trying to push aside this night. 

Things have been rough lately.  And today, well, let me see if I can start to paint the picture for you (I'm not proud of ANY of this mind you, and am actually kind of embarrassed to put all this out on the "net", but you need to have a good idea).  So here it goes.....

This year has been ... rough.  I lost my Grandfather in Feb.  And due to many different reasons, this lead to a huge hurt and left a scar in my marriage.  So things have been rocky.  We hoped a job opportunity had opened up for my husband at one point this year.  It would have brought a much needed change into our lives, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Then there are the medical "oops"es.  My husband has been the ER twice this year (early on).  Once for hacking his hand with hatchet, and once for blowing out the end of his finger by accidentally hitting it with a mallet (meat and all).  I had an ER visit as well along with one of my daughters.  Her ER visit, however, turned into a few days stay in the hospital.  And all this before our astronomically high deductible was even met (and it's still not met.  =/  Yes our deductible went up this year and so did how much we have to pay just to have insurance.  *sigh*)   So you can imagine our medical bills right now.  We owe THOUSANDS!!  And now they are coming after us for full payment because what I can send them all a month is no longer good enough.  Every day we are dodging calls.  So life is real fun.

My husband got a "promotion" at work.  We have come to find out that it is really no promotion at all.  His pay never increased.  In fact, they made it harder for him to make any money at all.  Fun when you have bill collectors on your butt.  =/   In fact, he got NO perks what so ever.  However, he is now working harder and more hours than ever.  Not fun for a marriage that is trying to get past some major hits.

In fact, things got so bad I had made an appt. to see an attorney.  In fact, the appt was for today.  Which is kind of odd....  But I'll get to that in a minute.   So we have had emotional stress, marital stress, and financial stress all at once this year.  We have been working on the marital stuff.  It's not easy, but we are doing it and making it work.  I think we are both very happy that I had cancelled my appointment with the attorney.  We have learned to communicate better and are learning to know each other all over again.  We are even learning to encourage each other, support each other, and lean on each other when needed.  It finally feels like we have some real intimacy finally (not all intimacy is in the form of the bedroom people).  I would say that our marriage being back on track couldn't have come at a better time.  For today (the day I was set to see an attorney and start talks of a separation) we got news of a new battle on our horizon.  One we will need each other for more than ever.  One our children need us for.

My eldest daughter is 10.  And she is funny, quirky, smart, and just plain amazing.  Her favorite things to do are listen to music, sing, and write.  She is an amazing writer.  Sometime the end of May of this year she started complaining that her ear hurt.  Before I knew it she said it was hard to hear out of her ear.  So off the doctor we went.  They found "nothing" wrong and said she'd be okay.  Give it some time.  So we waited.  Over the passed several weeks it's gotten worse.  Her ear no longer hurts, but she said the loss of hearing was worse.  And we started to notice too.  We would have to call her name several times and get loud about it for her to hear us.  We'd have to repeat things for her.  I was getting concerned.  Then this week a ringing started in her ear.  We saw the dr. again this morning.  I had enough of "waiting".

The doc said it wasn't good.  The ringing was cause for concern and she had some scar tissue in her ear.  He sent us to see an ENT (ear nose & throat) specialist this afternoon.  My girl failed 2 out of 3 tests.  Both the technician and the doctor agreed, my girl was losing her hearing and it looked like she would need hearing aids in BOTH of her hears. 

WHAT!!!  Are you kidding me? 

They couldn't tell us why this was happening, or if it would get continue or even get worse.  We have no answers at this time.  They want to retest her the week after next. 

My girl is only 10.  And she is frightened.  And I don't blame her.  I wish I could take this away for her.  I wish there was some kind of medicine I could give her for this to fix it, but I can't.  One doesn't exist.  I can't fix this.  And all day I have questioned every thing I have ever done and wondered if it was enough.  As a mom, a part of you feels like a failure when you can't fix it.  It's part of the "mom" gene I guess.  I just want her to be better.  I want her to be okay.  I want her healed.  But most of all, I want to be whatever she needs me to be for her right now.

All the words above have circled my brain endlessly today.  But through all my tears, I am trying to pull myself together.  My daughter needs me strong, not scared.  And if she does end up with hearing aids, well, we are going to celebrate that and she is going to rock those little devices!  lol  (btw, did you guys know that insurance does NOT cover hearing aids?  I think that stinks!  That cost thousands of dollars.  Not sure how we are going to swing that one if needed.  Praying that IF this is God's will, He will make a way).

The truth is we don't know why this is happening.  And depending on the tests in two weeks, we'll know how rapidly the loss is progressing, if it's progressing (which they suspect it is), and what this may mean for us all in the future.  I feel lost in limbo.  It feels like I'm in the middle of some kind of waiting game that is cruel.  Judging from what I have seen and heard and been told, things do not look favorable for my girl and her hearing at all.  Today may very well be the day our family dynamic changed.  We'll see.

You know what though?  It's going to be okay.  I'm praying a lot right now.  And many friends have rallied in support and prayer with us.  It's been amazing and we are all deeply touched.  How awesome are they?!  We are praying for strength, comfort, joy, peace, healing, and restoration.  And I'm believing that my daughter's hearing will be healed.  My God is a BIG God.  With Him, NOTHING is impossible.  I believe in miracles, and I believe in the One who makes them.  I am trying very hard to stand on this right now.  It's not easy.

 I'm still in some shock over today's events.  I go from feeling defeated in life this year, to standing on the promises of God.  Wishy washy.  That's what I am.  But that's not what I need to be.  I need to strong, for my girl, for my family.  Hard to feel like you can be strong when you feel beat up by life sometimes.  It has not been an easy year so far.  However, that is where the prayer for strength comes in.  I believe He will give me the strength (and I pray the grace) to be what I need to be for my family during this time.

Our biggest prayer is that, no matter what, God receive glory from this, one way or another.  I'm not sure how, but I know there is a way.  God has a plan.  And I have to believe it is for good, even when I don't understand. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Change, fear, and the still small voice

Change has hit my family once again.  The kind we have no control over.  The kind others bring upon you.  The kind that has the potential to either be great, or totally devastate us.  And yes, I'm scared. 

Change is always scary.  It's different.  It's takes out of our comfort zone.  And even when our comfort zone may not be all that comfortable, we tend to want it more than we ever do change.  At least it's familiar.  At least we know how to function in "the zone".  Change is scary because we never really know what it's going to mean or what is going to happen next.  Sure, we may have some idea sometimes, but the truth is it could go either way.  And it's the fear of it turning bad, of it being failure, of it being devastation; that can paralyze us.  The fear of not knowing, of not being comfortable anymore, not having a guarantee of success; not knowing is scary.  And yes, I'm scared.  Fear is definitely present.  And yes, it is just about paralyzing.

I keep thinking I hear that still, small voice that I have come to know over the years whispering to me that it's okay.  He's got this.  And when I stop and just think on that, I can literally feel the blanket of comfort and peace start to come over me.  But then fear rears it's ugly head again.  And it's voice is so much louder.  Sometimes it even seems to be shouting.

What if I'm wrong?  What if it isn't the voice of Him who loves me?  What if I'm being deceived?  What if this all "goes to hell in a hand basket"?  Ah fear....  the doubts it brings are awful.  And it always makes you imagine and start believing the worse.  *sigh*

I think that the immediate feeling I get of comfort and peace says a lot about that "still, small voice".  I think that I am right in trusting in it, in Him.  I don't know how this is all going to work out, but I have to believe that the Lord has a plan for us.  And I have to believe it's good.  (Jerm. 29:11  11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.)

Father, I come to you tonight admitting I'm scared.  I don't know what our future holds, but You do.  Yet again I am reminded that control is only an illusion here.  I really have very little of what I think I have.  And I give up what control I think I have right now to you.  I place this change and our future in Your hands alone oh Lord.  Be in this.  Guide us.  Protect us.  Help us make it.  In Your hands I know I can trust whatever happens to be for the better good.  Please help me personally through this.  Help me be supportive.  Help me not give into fear.  And please forgive should I slip, and help lift me back onto the path that is Yours.  This is Yours, Lord.  We are Yours.  Take care of us, please.  I may not trust in man, but I do trust in You.  Help me to continue to hold fast and build in that trust in You.  I pray this is a blessing to us (and somehow to your kingdom).  I thank you for answered prayers.   In Jesus name this I pray, Amen.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I just need my place to vent tonight.  I need to get things off my chest.  I'm running out of.... I don't know what.

I have three beautiful children.  I do.  I love each of them more than I could ever attempt to put down in words.  They are my life.  Both literally and figuratively.  But since summer break, the bickering has gotten at least 10 times worse.  It's driving me nuts.  I don't want to be a mean person, but I have finally threatened to keep them in their rooms if it doesn't stop. 

My youngest has a nasty cold which makes her very cranky and temperamental.  Not to mention clingy.  So that's fun too.

I have burnt my wick at both ends lately.  My husband has been working btwn 60-70 hours a week for the past few weeks (since his promotion) leaving me to deal with everything alone.  The kids miss him, I miss him.  And since all this has happened, I have held 3 different events at the house to prepare for and host.  Not to mention getting all the gifts ready for the kids (yes plural) birthday parties.  I'm exhausted physically and emotionally at this point.  Not to mention lonely.  And loneliness can be a b*tch.

This promotion he got has turned out to be the worst thing in the world for our family.  He works more than ever and is under more stress than ever.  Oh...and like I increase in pay.  Which is not good for the several thousands of dollars in medical bills we owe and can't pay.  Some have even went to collections already.  This sucks.

I'm doing everything I can to keep my husband upbeat and encouraged both with home and his job.  But it's getting harder and harder to do that.  It's getting harder to support something I am coming to loathe and despise.  But he doesn't need this from me.  He needs me strong and positive.

My husband drives a 1993 Toyota sport coupe thingy.  It doesn't fit the kids in it.  So when we need service on the van, I can't just take his car.  I'm left without a vehicle for me and the kids.  We thought we had found a good, reliable, safe car for our family and were very excited about it.  But that, unfortunately, fell through too.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  I know this.  I have my 3 beautiful girls.  I have a wonderful home.  I have family that loves me and some of the best friends a gal could ever hope for.  We may not have money in the bank anymore and we may not know how we are going to make it financially next month, but I know we have each other.  And that helps.  I really am trying to stay positive.  I am.  But like I said, I'm stressed and exhausted.  And I just needed a place to vent some of this out.

I didn't get dressed until after 3 pm today.  I was feeling defeated.  But I realized I can't just sit around and wait for something good to happen.  I can't wait for some magical change to happen.  I'm just wasting my time if I do.  I have to be proactive.  Even when I don't feel like it.  Even when I don't have the energy.  Especially during those times.  Other wise....  Well, it's just not good for someone's spirit to that.  You know?  

I'm trying.  And I'm going to continue to try.  I'm not giving up on anything or throwing in any towels.  But some days are harder than others.  And this was one when everything just seemed to go wrong.  This was one that kinda beats you up.  But I'm still here.  And tomorrow is a new day. 

This is my life.  I have to take control.  I can't control everything.  But I can continue to try and control how I'm dealing with it.  Things don't seem likely to change for the better any time soon.  And that it was it is.  I can go on feeling defeated, but good does that do anyone?  I'm better off doing all I can to keep myself busy, and the kids and my husband positive and happy.  At least that's a start.  I just pray the Lord give me the strength to endure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another step on my journey

I have heard, seen, and even posted all those sayings about faith. 

~  Faith is believing in what you cannot see
~  Faith is taking the first step when you can't see the whole stair case
~  Let your faith be bigger than your fears

and so on and so forth....

And today, I got a little taste of what all this really means.  Just a small taste, but I have a feeling I am going to get more understanding in the near future.

Something was going on and I was in prayer about it while out and about today.  I prayed for the Lord's help.  I recited scriptures about how all things are possible through Christ who gives us strength and how with the Lord nothing is impossible.  It was an interesting outing to say the least.  I found myself loading the kids in the car and I prayed a very specific prayer with timing involved.  Shortly afterwards, on the way home I found myself wanting to take matters into my own hands...just in case.  I even prayed about that:.  This is kinda how that conversation went:

"Lord, should I just......  ?"  

"What did you ask for?"

" (what I asked for)"


"Okay.  I am going to believe in that."

That was not easy for me to do at all.  It went against everything in me that wanted to take control of the situation.  But you know what?  He answered my prayer that I asked for.  I didn't need to take control of the situation.  I just had to believe that once I prayed and put in God's hands, that He heard and wouldn't let me down.  Do you know how hard that is for me to do?

 I feel like everyone in life has let me down at some point.  And to be honest, the ones I count on the most, let me down in some of the biggest ways and the most often.  So believing anyone will actually come through is really tough for me.  Perhaps some of it is my past that influences this.  Who knows. It's hard for me to really trust anyone.  Especially when it counts.  I expect to be let down.  And today I realized that this also includes God.  I expect Him to let me down too.  That's why I wanted to take the matter into my own hands.  Not a fun thing to realize about yourself.

I was terrified to put all my trust in Him in this minor thing.  But I resolved to do it.  And I did it.  And it all worked out.  And I was shocked.  I don't know why.  Scripture says He will reward our faithfulness.  But for the first time, I really counted on someone and I wasn't let down.  You have no idea what that feels like.

So here I am.  Taking baby steps once again in trust and faith.  I thought I had resolved all this last year, but apparently not.  It would appear as if I still have some issues with faith.  But I think I took another step today on the journey of really having faith.  And I am excited about it!

A lot is going on in our lives right now.  We need to save up for a fence before our dogs cause anymore havoc.  However that's kinda hard to do with birthdays and Father's day coming up.  Yes...birthdays.  ALL. Summer. Long.  June and August being the worst. 

On top of this we are very unhappy with my  husband's employment right now.  He has worked there over 10 years and ....   Well lets just say I am still trying to remain supportive, but it's getting harder and harder to do when they don't appreciate my husband and all his hard work.  I want more than anything for him to have another job, but it has to be the right job.  So again, I am praying about this.  We'll see what the Lord has to say on it.  I fear they are going to run my husband to early grave if he stays where he is much longer.  But like I said, we'll see.  Maybe the Lord will move him somewhere else.  Or maybe he will open the eyes of his employers to see all the hard work he does.  Time will tell.  I just have to pray and really believe that Lord has a plan for us.  Even if I can't see it.  And that we will be okay.  That's hard to do.  We always want to know what's coming next.  We want to know, plan, prepare.  We want control.  Having control makes us feel secure.  The truth is, we have very little control in this life over anything or anyone but ourselves.  It's an illusion. 

I want to put what I feel I have control over into the Lord's hands.  I know if He has it, then it will all be okay.  If I have it, God only knows the mess I could make of things.   This is so much easier said then done.  But it's something I'm working on, letting the Lord be the Lord of my life.  And that means giving Him control.  That means believing his promises in scripture are true....even for me.  Even when I don't deserve them.  All because He loves me.

I'm still working on all this.  This is a journey I started last year.  And I think it's one that will be on going for the rest of my life.  I hope and pray as I get older, I can go deeper.  But for know I have to trust in His timing and take this one step at a time.  Making up my mind every day to renew this dedication to this, to put things in His control, and to truly believe we are in safe hands.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reflection: Hanging in there

I sit here tonight thinking back on my life these last five years or so.  And wow...what a roller coaster it has been.

A few years ago my marriage was struggling, we had hit a rough patch.  Then, despite what my doctor said, we found ourselves pregnant with our third (and very unexpected) child.  And the economy was taking a turn for the worse.  And my husband's job took a hit.  He took about a 20% paycut.  And for a family just barely making it, that was enough to send us over the edge.   So pregnant and hormonal, we filed for Bankruptcy.

That year, Christmas was so hard for us.  We couldn't afford to get our kids a thing for Christmas.  And we felt guilty as hell about it.  We felt like they were going to suffer for our mistakes.  It broke our hearts.  I'll never forget the kindness of our family and loved ones that year.  They gifted us the money to buy Christmas for our kids.  And it was the biggest blessing I had ever received.  We never asked or expected it.  They saved Christmas for the kids.

However, shortly afterwards, the bankruptcy went through.  We found ourselves renting a place smaller than our home had been.  It was smaller and we were expecting a baby.  Fun times right?  You can not even imagine how badly it took it's toll on me.  Pregnant woman can be quite hormonal anyway.  Well, I took it too extremes (not intentionally though).  The stress of life was really weighing down on me.  In fact it was weighing on both  my husband and I. 

We were grateful to have a roof over head.  We were also grateful that my husband never lost his job, even though he was working awful hours.  That didn't help much either.

Yes, looking back over the past few years, I'd say we hit rock bottom on so many levels.  There were times it looked so dark for us.  We prayed, A LOT!!  When life seems dark, what else can you do?

Funny how your prayers can change.   Our prayers at this point weren't for specific things anymore.  Instead they had morphed into more of a "Lord, please take care us.  Meet our needs.  Help us." kind of prayers.  But they were very sincere and heart felt.

Looking back, it was hard to see at the time that God had a bigger plan for us.  Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before we get to place where we give up what we thought we wanted, and allow God to do what's best.  And that's not an easy place to be.  And it's not easy thing to do.  I think I had to do it just about every hour at first.  Gradually I was able to give it all to him once a day.  And I honestly think the only reason we made it through was by the grace of God.

We have since built a home we love.  We are making improvements as we can (like a new patio and patio furniture for example).  We even added another "member" to our family.  We adopted a dog from the local animal shelter.  And just last over the weekend, my husband got a promotion.  If you would have told me a few years ago that we were going to build a house, and that all this was going to happen and that we'd be very happily married; I can honestly say there would have been no way I would have believed you.  It was too far fetched.  It was to big to even dream. I was just trying to survive each day.  But now, what I could not even fathom or even dream of, is now my life.  Is it perfect?  Well, is your life perfect?  No.  I have come to the conclusion that life will never be perfect because it has this sneeky way of dropping horrible things on you (economy going to crap, death, money issues, jobs, ect).  But I am happy.  I am to the core, happy.  I don't think I can ever remember being this happy since I was a kid.  And that is saying something.

Our trials and tribulations rarely seem worth it while we are in the midst of them.  We can't see the future.  All we can see is the pain, the anger, the confusion, the worry, the stress.  And when our vision is clouded by those, it's hard to see anything else.  I have been there.  And sadly, I'm young enough to be there again some day.  But once the storm is through and you are at your rainbow, you can look back and say:  "Wow.  If I had only known!  It wasn't easy, but it was worth it".

My family went through hell.  We lost it all.  And we almost lost our marriage too.  And it wasn't easy.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through (and I've been through some stuff).  But if that is what it took to get to where I am now, I'm grateful.  I'm grateful for the grace and strength I somehow had to make it through.  My marriage is stronger than ever.  And we are happy, and we are safe. 

What would you go through to really be happy?  Would you be willing to go through hell to get there?  Not an easy question to answer, is it?  To be honest, if you would have asked me this a few years ago, I would have said no.  And if you would have told me all I would have to go through, I still would have said no.   But looking back, I'm glad I wasn't given the choice.  I may not have chose to go through it, but I did choose how to go through it.  And for me, it was to lean on my faith and loved ones.

Some of you may be in the middle of one of life's major storms now.  To those I'd say: 

Hang in there!!  I know it feels like you are drowning.  I know it's hard and your exhausted and scared.  But hang in there!!  I PROMISE's worth it.  There is no way to see that now, I know.  It's too dark.  But I promise you, it is going to get better.  One step at a time.  Just take it a moment at a time.  And then soon you'll be taking it a day at time.  And before you know it, this too will have passed and hopefully, you'll be better for it.  You'll be stronger, wiser, more patient.  And hopefully, you will be at place where you too are happy.  But it takes faith and not giving up.  And you don't have to do it alone.  Lean on your friends and family and loved ones.  That is what they are there for.  And try to have some faith.  I know it's hard. 

It's okay to cry.  It's okay to yell.    You will have days when you just don't want to get out of bed.  And you will have days when you are ticked off at the world.  HANG IN THERE!!!  This will pass.  This will get better.  IT WILL!!!  You just need to go through it to get there. And you don't have to go through it alone.

Sometimes I can't believe where we are today.  Do we deserve it?  NOPE!!  Not by a long shot.  But we are so grateful for it. 

It's funny the ups and downs life can take, the loop-d-loops, the sharp turns.....  Sometimes life's ride can make us sick.  But thing about this ride is, you never know what's going to happen next.  One minute your down and the next your up.  And when my ride comes to stop, I want to know that I did the best I could.  I'm so thankful for all those on this ride with me.  Thanks for helping me through the downs and being there for the ups.  I'm so thankful for where we are now.  And it's in part because of all those on this ride with us...loving us...encouraging us...helping us.  I'm so glad we don't have to do this alone.   

Thank you God for the loved ones in our lives.  Thank you for answered prayer.  Thank you for the times I didn't have the words but my tears and moans spoke for me.  You were there.  You were with me.  I wasn't alone.  And you gave me others to help see us through too.  Help me to remember that no matter what life throws at me, that I can trust in You to help see us through.  It may not be easy, but I know if we are in Your hands, we will be okay.  Thank you for where we are now.  Help us to continue to grow.  Thank you for your Love.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amendment One

I currently reside in North Carolina.  I have lived here for the past 22 years.  We moved here after my father died when I was a little girl.  After being here so many years I consider myself now a Carolina Girl.

I am also, by definition, a Christian.  I believe that Jesus is God's only son.  I believe he was born of the virgin, Mary, and was crucified and died for my sins; rising to life on the third day thus defeating sin and death.  I am not perfect.  Nor do I strive to be.  My faith does not expect me to be.  It just expects me to do my best.  My faith says I'm loved JUST THE WAY I AM. All this being said....

I voted against Amendment One.

As a Christian, yes  I do hold the belief that the "alternative" life styles of the gay and bi community are sinful.  I do believe they are against God's standard set forth in the "good book".  However, it is not for me to judge people.  That is not my job.  That's HIS job.  He commanded me in Matthew not to judge others.  In fact he told me to remove the plank from my own eye before worrying about the sawdust in someone else's.  (in short, I need to worry about my own sins before thinking I'm good enough to worry about what others are doing).  In fact, the whole message of Christ is not to judge others, but to love them.  I'm tired of people using the bible as a tool to condemn others, judge them, and bolster hate.  Do other Christians really believe that is what it's for?  *SMH*  (shakes my head)  It is a tool to help each individual on their own journey.  It teaches about love and forgiveness.  It tells us NOT to judge others.  Some people just really confuse me.

Growing up, I knew several gay people.  I loved them to death.  They are exactly the same as any other HUMAN BEING!  The look the same.  They laugh.  They cry.  They hurt.  They rejoice.  They bleed.  They have good days and bad days.  After being married we moved next to a gay couple.  They were some of the nicest people we ever met.  And in my neighborhood now, there is a couple (although I do not know them personally).   Never I have looked upon any of them with disdain or contempt.  I just see at as they live their life differently than I do.  So what.  They are still people.  And doesn't my faith command I love all people?  And as free people of these United States, shouldn't they be allowed the same freedoms as others (to inquire of the medical health of a loved one?  or Cover them in their health care policy?)

I am deeply sadden by the vote of the people of my state.  What I don't think many of them understood was the North Carolina already has a law saying Gay Marriage is not legal in this state.  This amendment really had NOTHING to do with that at all.  However, because of the wording of Amendment One, it has opened up a doorway for many potential bad things.

The only union now recognized in our state is marriage.  So I'm sorry if you have lived together for 20 years.  You may now no longer be allowed to be a part of the benefits your significant other has at work (no matter your sexual orientation).  Sorry.  Many are worried now that children of unwed couples will also lose health care.  Think I'm crazy?  One county (Mecklenburg) already has a councilman on the war path to start declining coverage for gay couples.  This is only the beginning.  If you do it for the "gays" you have to do it everyone.  Because after all, isn't it illegal to discriminate?  Isn't discrimination why we, The United States, exist to begin with?  Weren't we discriminated against?

I am so disappointed in the people of this state.  Their fear has gotten the best of some of them.  Others are so deeply rooted in religious piousness that they can't see or think straight.  They pick and choose which parts of Bible to follow (forgetting Christ commanded we love everyone).  Others had no idea what this amendment really meant.  They thought it was all about gay marriage.  It wasn't.  That was already illegal here.  Others were confused.  They thought voting FOR the amendment was voting for gay marriage rights.  *sigh*  I wish people with the right to vote would have done their homework.  Several news stations did stories on Amendment One.  There was stuff all over the internet.  You just had to sit down and devote the time to looking it up.  It wasn't fun.  I know.  I did it.  I wanted to be an informed voter.  Others did it.  And yet, so many were so misinformed.  And now many people are going suffer.

The sad thing is, I can already see this being the platform for our next election in November.  It's not going to be the budget crisis, or the economy, or jobs.  Nope.  I am so afraid it's going to come down to where you stand on someone else's choice on how they live their life.  Our president as come out and supported gay rights.  And of course, his opponent will not.   And many people will cast a vote based on this one thing.  What does that say about our country?  That people are so damn nosy that will vote for the candidate that judges others the same way they do?  That many will not vote on issues we really need answers and fixes too?

Men in Black said it best:  "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."    I believe this wholeheartedly. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning experience

I had plans yesterday.  Unfortunately, my body decided to revolt.  I spiked a temperature, my throat began to hurt, my back and head were killing me and if I was shaking with chills, I was sweating.  I was miserable.  This morning the doc confirmed a diagnosis of Strep Throat.  I got to tell you, I cannot remember Strep ever feeling this bad.  I won't get into too much detail, but yeah, MISERABLE is good word to describe how the last day and half have been for me.

I keep trying to stay positive though.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I'm sure after today's rounds of antibiotics and tomorrow morning's dose, I should start feeling a ton better.  =)  I guess you could say I'm counting it.  And I'm thankful that this was strep and not something else like the flu.  I am trying more and more these days to find the silver linings of things.  It's not always easy, but I find it helps me keep perspective.

But I have to tell you something about this experience, my kids have been amazing.  Truly.  They have made me cards, colored me pictures, and have tried to wait on me.  They have brought me ice water, asked if I needed anything (over and over again).  My eldest even got online and researched strep throat and ways to help someone feel better.  lol  She's had it more than anyone!  But the fact that she even cared enough to do this....  Wow.

My kids can be, well, kids, a lot of the time.  They bicker like most siblings.  There are times I have to tell them something several times before it sinks in and they do it.  They like to be loud as well.  (aren't most kids?)

But I learned a lot about their character today.  Despite being in the throws of childhood, they have empathetic, caring hearts.  When my fever spiked again tonight over 102 and I was at the pinnacle of pain and feeling crumby, my eldest took it upon herself to make dinner for her and her sisters.  She did NOT have to do that.  But she wanted too.  She wanted to help.  The girls worked together to pick up after dinner as well.  And my Superstar even read to me to "help me feel better like I do for her".  How sweet is that?

Sometimes, we wonder about how our kids are going turn out.  Sometimes we wonder if they are actually getting what we try to teach them (Especially when they have picked a fight with each other for the up-teenth time in a day over something that is really not worth bickering over).  But I have to tell you, it's times like these when I am the most proud of them.  I never asked them for a thing.  I wouldn't have dreamed of it.  They just sprung into action.  And they did it out of love.  They wanted to help.  They wanted to take care of me.  And that has really touched my heart. 

I guess I learned a little something about my kids while being sick this time around.  Who would have thought that a really bad case of strep throat would have been a glimpse into my children's hearts?

I may be sick tonight, but I'm feeling incredibly blessed.   My kids are so amazing.  I love them so much.  Sometimes I forget how awesome they are.  Tonight, I'm glad for the reminder.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

God's Timing

A friend posted this tonight on facebook:
We can count on God's timing.

That is something I need to learn to trust. God's timing... I won't pretend to not complain and get butt hurt when things don't go my way . I feel like I'm not in control but the reality is, I'm NOT in control... God is. I need to surrender.

  All I could do was stare at it.  Wow.  Just when I needed it most.  Funny.  Today I posted this picture: 
I do believe her post was my sign.

I have been more than upset lately.  I have been in prayer over something for over a decade.  Something important.  Something life changing.  No it's not to win the lotto (although that might be nice.  lol).  But it is of a personal a nature. And lately, life has thrown it in my face again how this one very specific, very important prayer has yet to be answered.  Lately, life hurts.

I don't know if anyone who may actually read this knows what it's like to pray for something so hard for so long.  There have been times I have been in tears, screaming at the Lord over this prayer.  It's not something I'm proud of.  I'm just being honest.  After all, the Lord already knew what I was feeling and thinking.  But he does want us to tell him (I wouldn't suggest screaming at Him as a first choice.  But sometimes, life gets the better of us.  I need to learn to control my emotions more and not let them control me.  But that's another post for another time).

Lately, this unanswered prayer has come to light once again.  Lately, I have become hurt all over again.  I would be lying if I said the thought of "God's timing" hasn't crossed mind.  It has.  But then I get even more angry because how long do I have to hurt?  How long do I have to pray and hope and stand in faith?  When is enough, enough?  Why is He waiting so long?

I don't have the answers.  I wish I did.  I do know that as much as I'm hurting, I CAN trust Him.  Scripture says he collects our tears.  I may not like this.  Not one bit.  But I have to trust that there is a perfect time, and one day, it will all make sense.  Sometimes that is really hard to do.  Especially when you are hurting, when you're let down and disappointed again.

Today I got a reminder of God's timing being perfect in a way I had not expected.  And although it had nothing to do with my prayer, it was a great reminder to trust in Him.

For years I have held a facination with Standard Poodles.  We own a small dog now, but I always imagined owning one someday.  For the past several months I have been looking for a female, black, standard poodle.  WOW!  They are expensive!!  And no one in my area has them.  I would have to travel several states away to get one.  =(  Oh well.  I started to give up hope.  Then I got found a woman in my area selling puppies!!  And she had a beautiful one!!  The girls and I named her Stella.  But unfortunately, timing did not work out.  I gave up after that.  I figured when the time was right, it might happen.  That time was today.

I got a call today about a black female standard poodle that was surrendered to our local humane society.  She is less than two years old, great with other dogs and children.  I talked to my husband about it.  Long story short, we adopted her.  We pick her up tomorrow.  And do you want to guess as to what her name is?  That's right.  Stella.  Her previous owners named her that.  Crazy huh?  That's God for you.

Sometimes, we have to let go and let God.  And you know what?  It's never easy.  We want to be control.  We want what we want and we want it now. And we don't get it, we tend to get angry or hurt or both.  Sometimes we don't understand why things happen as they do.  Sometimes we wonder why our prayers go unanswered.  Is there a reason?

I'm sure there is.  I'm sure the Lord is stretching us sometimes.  Sometimes He allowing us to grow in some areas.  And yes, sometimes that isn't easy and can be painful.  Sometimes it's just not his perfect will or timing.  But I have to trust, even if I don't understand in the moment, that God's reasons (whatever they are) are good.  Scripture says he has plans for good for us, not evil.  To give us a future and a hope.  I believe that in my heart. (Jerm. 29:11)  And sometimes I need to remind my brain of that.

I'm not a "good Christian".  I mess up, a lot!  I make a ton of mistakes and poor choices.  But I do believe.  And I do try.  And if I believe in Jesus and the scriptures, if I love Him, then I need to trust Him...even when it hurts.  Even when I don't understand.  Even when it takes 13 years and counting. 

Honestly, I can say that praying over this over the past decade or so has brought up things in me I saw I didn't like.  Some things I'm still working on.  Maybe he wants to better me.  I don't know.  But even when it hurts, I must trust.

Thank you for the reminder tonight, Lord.  You are truly faithful!!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mixed Emotions

Saturday is my Grandfather's remembrance service (memorial).  Sitting here tonight I have so many mixed emotions and thoughts.

One part of me cannot wait to see my family again.  I look forward to that part, per say.

Another part of me is dreading this.  How I wish we could be getting together for something else other this.

This is it.  This makes it final.  There is something about this that brings closure and makes this all so real and final.  I'm not sure any of us are really ready for that.  How do we say goodbye to man who met so very much to all of us?  How do we all come together again to say goodbye to yet another loved one?  And of course this line of thought takes me to thinking of my Grandmother.  She has been so brave.  So strong.  But Saturday will make it all final for her too.  How do you say goodbye to your spouse of over 60 years, your best friend?

I thought I saw my grandfather at a birthday party not long ago.  My first thoughts and instincts were get up and go sit with him.  But then half way from rising from my seat, I reality hit me.  I felt so foolish.  It was all I could do not to sit there and cry.  There is somewhat of a hole in our lives that he left when he died.  I say "somewhat" because in a way he is still here.  His love carries on in each of us, in each of our memories.   We are still left those, those and the lessons he taught us.

He taught us that family comes first.  It is the most important thing.
He taught us to be generous.
He taught us humility.
He taught us all that hard work and dedication get things done, and get you things in life.  No one is entitled.
He taught us integrity.
He taught us respect.
He taught us strength.
He taught us patience.
He taught us forgiveness.
He taught us perseverance.
He taught us gentleness.
In a word, he taught us love.

I truly believe there are no words available or any tribute good enough for this man.

I'm not sure how you say goodbye to someone like him.  I keep telling myself this isn't goodbye.  I keep replaying the last words I ever heard my father say before he died: "Don't say goodbye, say see you later".  This isn't goodbye.  It is a see you later.  I do know that.  It's just that this pain brings up the pain of all those who have passed before him as well.  Not only do we all have this big gaping wound created by his passing, but the scabs have been ripped off the wounds of my father passing, and of my two cousins passing long before their time.

This is hard.  This is so damn hard.  I keep trying to look at the positive side, seeing family again.  Being around loved and friends is the plus here.  We are all trying so hard to make this a celebration of his life.  We want to honor him.  That's what this is about.  But we all know it's also goodbye.  I think maybe deep down, I may not be the only one struggling with this.

Granddad, thank you.  Thank you for all your love and leadership, generosity and forgiveness, patience and love.  Thank you for being the man you were and for meaning so much to all of us.  I know you are pain free and happy now.  And I know we'll be seeing you again someday.  You left a hole no one could ever fill.  And that's okay.  We will keep your memory alive, just like daddy's, Tommy's, and Chris' in all we do.  You will forever and always hold a special and dear place in our hearts.  And until we meet again, just know, I love you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I feel the need to do this publicly since I vented publicly.  =(  I need to repent!

I vented about my how poorly my husband's job treats him and how hard it can be on us all.  I took out all my frustrations and, to be quite blunt, I was wrong.  I was being ungrateful.

My husband is employed!  Hallelujah!  So many people aren't.  And not only is he employed, but his job affords us life insurance and health insurance.  It affords me the ability to stay home with my kids right now.  It pays our bills and gets us groceries.  How dare I be so ungrateful!

Sure, things are hard sometimes.  And yes, it's difficult to see him being unappreciated at his place of work.  But I have got to seriously start shifting my way of thinking.  I need to start having an attitude of gratefulness.  I have so much to be grateful for.

Father, please forgive me for my anger and ungratefulness.  Help me change my way of thinking.  Replace my selfish spirit with one of gratefulness.  Help change me from the inside, out. 
In Jesus' Name I Pray~Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Something to be thankful for

Okay, so I went on a bit of a tear on my last entry.  But something else is weighing on me as well....

I am ever so thankful for wonderful husband.  He works so darn much and still comes home to mow the lawn, do the dishes if needed, change a diaper, and just play and be with family.  He is so awesome.  He sacrifices so very much for us.  And I am forever grateful.

And this thought got me thinking of something earlier to night....  "grateful"......

I was at my sister's when the national news came on tonight.  The highlights were:
1.  My area hosted a Vietnam Veterans memorial
2.  A shooting in california leaving 7 dead and 3 hospitalized.
3.  The war over seas and Iran in general.

I sat there seeing the footage of cities over seas in turmoil.  I sat there watching rebels fight and cities be bombed.  And you know what?  I actually told my mom and sister I was thankful that wasn't us.  I am so grateful that I can go to the market and not worry about if we will be caught in the cross fire or be bombed.  I cannot for the life of me imagine what life must be like for those people over seas who's lives are like this.  And what about those in parts of Africa?  There is hell on Earth in so many places (Haiti is still trying to recover for starters....I could go on and on), and my biggest worries are gas prices and paychecks.  Really?

I have three beautiful, healthy girls.  I have a husband I adore and who adores me.  I have a beautiful home.  I have friends and family who mean the world to me.  I have money in the bank (even if it's not a whole lot, it's still there).  We pay our bills.  We have love in our from one another and from family on both sides.  We have cars, food, clothing, ect.  We have it so much better than so many out there.

Life isn't always easy.  We each get thrown our hurdles to overcome.  We each have our own difficulties.  And I'm not saying that they aren't hard at times, because believe me, life can down right suck sometimes.   But when I look at the bigger picture, I'm reminded of all I have to be thankful for (and it's alot.  I could sit here and list things for the next hour, but what good would that do>  lol)  Sometimes when things take an ugly turn in life, it's good to take a long look at what is going right and what we have to be thankful for.  It might not fix the "ugly" we are going through, but it might give us perspective and hope.  And that can make all the difference.

What do you have to be thankful for?

Oh the joys of a bullshit job

I need to vent.

My husband works a local car dealership.  His pay is not much.  It would put us on welfare in a heartbeat.  He makes his $$ really through his bonuses.  Bonuses are paid out on how well the dealership does. 

They have him in a management position.  He works his tale off.  He works from 8:30 a.m. until around 10 pm easily 4 nights a week.  He works several Sundays a month, but not all.  He really only gets one day off week when he works Sundays.  =(

The people higher up complain they want him to concentrate on his one job as manager.  But, they still also have him doing new hire training, VIP sales, Race team sales, "Heat Cases" (he has the wonderful task of dealing with pissed off people), and doing inventory.  And you know what?  He does it.  He does it well and without complaining. And he still sells an average of about 10 cars a month on his own (and he is NOT salesman!)  Anyone who has a problem or question goes to him for help and answers.  He easily does the job of 3.  And yet.....

Every time he seems to finally get a really good bonus, the people higher up want to question what he does and/or "re-establish" his pay plan.  What does that mean?  It means they ask what he does all day (hello!  duh!) and then make it even harder for him to make those bonuses that allow us to buy our groceries, pay medical bills, buy birthday presents, and live.  He doesn't even have time to talk to me for 2 minutes most days.  He stays that busy and pulled in so many directions.

I'm just so tired of them not appreciating him.  I'm so tired of every time he FINALLY gets a good paycheck, the higher ups wondering if he's worth it and changing his pay plan.  Why can't they see how hard he works?  He has been there over 10 years.  He is loyal to a fault, both to the company and to his bosses.  And yet the continue to do this to him.  When my grandfather died, they told him he couldn't leave to be with me.  WTF?

Please God.... Please... Help him.   Help his bosses see what an asset he is.  Help him be appreciated and respected and compensated.  And if they can't or aren't willing, then please move him elsewhere, where he will be.

Do you know how hard it is to raise 3 young girls with a husband who is gone almost all the time?  He works so damn hard and is gone so much.  I know it's hard on him.  And it's hard on us both when no one seems to appreciate him, or his work.  Why should we all suffer when no one appreciates what he does?

He doesn't get the nice cushy job of sitting on his butt all day and making the big bucks.  He is pulled in so many directions from every department and makes less then those who have been there less time and sit on their butts all day. 

I have always held out hope that his bosses would come around and see what all he does and what he is worth.  But it seems as if they never will.  It seems as if they will keep taking advantage of him.  I mean, I guess they are the same as everyone else.  Why reward the hardest worker?  Just keep beating him down until he breaks. 

Lord, I think we're ready for a change.  My girls are ready to have a real dad in their life.  And I'm ready to have a husband.  And I know he's ready to be appreciated.  Help.

Friday, March 23, 2012

=) =) =)

TGIF!!  Thank Goodness It's Friday!  My kids only have a 1/2 day of school today, so they'll be home for lunch and I am soooo excited about that!  =)  I can't wait!  And since they are calling for rain most of the weekend, when I'm out running errands in a bit, I'm going to stop by the Redbox Kiosk and pick up the movies I have on hold for us!  I even have cookies I may make this weekend.  =)  I love having them home.  I can't wait for summer!

Last night, I made an entry that many may think me weird for.  *shrugs*  That's okay.  I am who I am.  Well, last night my husband came home from work and gave me two nuggets of good news:

1.  He was able to secure something really fun and nice for someone who could use "nice" right now and I am just over the moon excited about it.  I love it when things like this happen.  It makes your heart smile when something you or a loved one does to put a smile on someone else's face. 

This alone, made my night last night.  But then told me something else.....

2.  We get to take the kids back to the GWL!!  ( Great Wolf Lodge!)  For anyone that doesn't know what that is, it's a themed hotel and indoor/outdoor water park.  In the summer they have an outdoor pool that's open.  But the indoor water park is open all year around to guests staying at the lodge only.  It also has an ice cream parlor, restaurants, gift shops, spas for adults and children, story time at big tree, and something they call Magiquest.

We took the kids 2 years ago and they loved it!  They have mentioned wanting to go back, over and over and over and over (well you get the gist here) again.  I can't wait!!  We just need to narrow down when to take them.  My youngest is going to love it!  She loves water now!  The first time she was just a year old and wasn't sure what to make of it all.  I can't wait to see what she's like this time!

We opted not to take a "real vacation" this year for several reasons.  One being we have plans to start improving our backyard for the summer so we can entertain (extend the patio, get a grill, get patio furniture, maybe a gas fire pit and a tent like gazebo thing, ect).  That takes money.  And I really hope we can get it all done.  It would mean a lot to me.

The other reason is that we would like to take the girls to Disney next year.  So we're going to save up for that.  That means no vacation this year.  We were a little bummed about not getting to go anywhere this year, we need a family vacation.  So now, getting this little nugget of information, put my already good spirits even higher!  When we went two years ago, we talked about how it was like a vacation!  We may be in our home town, but it feels like we're miles away from everything.  It was just a time of good family fun!  We loved it.  I can't wait to do it again!

So maybe I am little weird, or superstitious.  But when that songs pops in my head (from the last entry) for seemingly no reason, it seems to mean something to me.  And whether you count it coincidence or something else, makes no difference to me.  I just know that I am thanking God for both these things today. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Somethings Coming...

So about a year ago, I made a post about this song that just popped into my head out of the blue.  I hadn't watched the movie it was in, in years!  I found it odd, strange.  And I had hoped there was some meaning to it.

Here is the link to it:

So today I'm at my sisters and we are talking and watching some show and I get up to use the rest room, and what pops in my head? 

"Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!" 

It's from that song.  I have NO idea why it popped in my head and I started singing it.  But after singing some of the song, it hit me that this same thing happened last year.  And last year, we got a house.  So yeah...when this song hits me completely out of the blue, I do wonder what it may mean.  I guess only time will tell.....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Today has been yet another one of those days that you can add to the list of days that really sucked this year so far.  I have had a lot of those.  More than usual.  More than I want.  More than anyone would want.  But, so many others out there have it so much worse than I do.  If these are my problems, I should be thankful they aren't worse.  For example:

I got super upset when something we really wanted and thought was an answer to so many prayers of ours didn't work out for us not long ago.  But they say everything happens for reason (btw, don't tell this to a person who has been devastated by something.  It only makes them want to smack you.  Wait until they are really in a place to hear it).  A friend of mine told me this not long ago (it was after the initial shock of the devastation, so she was good.  lol).  I could not for the life me understand what that reason could be.  And it didn't seem as if the Lord was going to answer me about it either.  I felt like nothing was going to be good enough anyway.  Boy was I was wrong.  And I have to tell you, I actually cried today at how selfish I was about it all and how foolishly I reacted to it.  I felt so badly about it.

You see, my husband got a phone call here at home today from a total stranger, while he was out doing our taxes.  She was given his name as a contact to help with a fund raiser for little boy that's 2 1/2 years old and is dying from brain cancer.   The little boy's name is Carter.  And I have been following him on both Facebook and on his Caring Bridge page.  He is a local boy.  And what he and his family have gone through the past 6 months since getting his diagnosis have astounded me.  His mother's faith is inspiring!!  I cry every time I read an update just about.

Little Carter doesn't have much time left.  In fact, they thought they were going to lose him about a week ago.  But he's still here.  Still fighting.  He is so brave and strong.  Such a fighter.  He's coming home soon.  And the community is having a fund raiser for him and his family.  They want it to be full of things Carter likes.

I had no idea this was going on, as Carter's family doesn't know.  So it's not in the updates.  When the phone call came today for husband about this fundraiser, I was floored!  My husband would not have had a clue about anything, as I have not told him about Carter and he is too busy working to follow it.  But I knew.  I knew his story.  I had been following it, shedding tears and offering up prayers along the way.  So it was good that my husband wasn't home to get the call.  God works in mysterious ways!

I got all information I could from the caller.  When my hubby got home I got to explain to him about this brave little boy the age of our youngest daughter.  Then I told him about the phone call.  He got right to work making calls with contacts and seeing what he could do help.  I'm not sure he would have been in a position to do that had the other path worked out.  If this is the reason we are on the same old path, I can handle this.  This is worth it.  This is worth every heartache we have ever had on this path if it helps out Carter and his family.

It's things like this that get me thinking.  Life is going to be hard.  And we are going to go through periods of rough times.  But my rough time is not having to make funeral arrangements for my dying toddler.  My rough time is not having to watch as my child goes through hell and all I can do is hold their hand and pray for miracle.  It really gives you perspective.

Life may not be all wonderful right now, but it is going to get better.  And I get to decide if I want to keep looking at what is wrong and letting it get me down, or if I want to look out into the horizon at the hope of tomorrow and every day after that.  I get to decide on how much I let things get to me.  It's my choice.  I can choose to stay miserable or I can choose to try and be more positive.  If energy begets energy, then I want the energy I'm putting out into my life to be positive energy and not negative.  I surely don't want a double dose of that!

No matter what problems I am facing right now (whether physical, emotional, financial, whatever), I know that one day things will change and get better.  I have faith in that.  And if I have faith in that, then why stay so glum?  I have family I love and whom love me.  I have friends I adore.  I have a beautiful home.  And we pay our bills, have food in the kitchen, and clothes on our backs.  We have vehicles, and a dog.  We are all relatively healthy.  My husband has had the same job for going on 12 years.  We have health insurance.  So if we have issues of any kind, I have to keep perspective.  In the end, I have it pretty good.  And I shouldn't take that for granted.  None of us should.  It's okay to have a bad day or rough period.  But we can't let it consume us.

Yup.  Things are going to get better.  I just know it.  ;-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gray Matter

I was catching up on a show I DVRed tonight.  (One episode left and I'm caught up!  YAY!!)  And although the actual show is all make believe, and based on such, it got me thinking about life.  My post on FB (Facebook) tonight was this:

Catching up on a show tonight. Makes me think... Funny how everyone wants life to be black and white. And how quick people are to judge. But they don't always have all the facts. And yes, right is right and wrong is wrong. But I do believe there is a gray area that God sees. A gray area we all get lost in from time to time. Maybe that's where grace comes in....

It amazes me how quick people are to judge others.  I'm not saying I have never judged.  I have.  I'll admit it.  I'm not proud of it.  As life moves forward, I find myself trying harder and harder not to judge others.  I remind myself that I don't have all the facts about any given situation, that there are 2 sides to every story always.  And somewhere in the middle of those two stories is the absolute truth.  Our truths are not always the absolute truth.  No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes.  And even though, yes, right is right and wrong is wrong, I think that gray area effects us more than we know.

Lets say you find out a neighbor is having an affair.   What do you think of them?  Are you quick to judge?  Let's say it's the wife this time.  Do you think she is an awful person and her husband deserves better?

Now what if I tell you that the husband beats her behind closed doors.  What if he has threatened the life of her and anyone else she is ever involved with should he find out.  What then?  What if she tried to leave before and was beat within an inch of her life?  What now?  What if the wife didn't plan on it, but did finally find a love that was real with her affair?  Does that somewhat change your view of the situation?  Yes, it's wrong, but now you have understanding and perhaps feel sympathy for her.

What if it was the man having an affair?  Would you think scumbag?  Or perhaps "way to go!"?  What if I told you that his wife worked long hours.  And when she came home she had no time for him.  What if he had been neglected emotionally for years by her.  And she didn't care.  What if he never set out for the affair?  What if he just slowly over years built a friendship with someone and then that turned to more.  What if this woman truly cared for him and him for her?  What if the husband was torn between the two women?  The one he married and made vows too, and the one he loves will all he has in him?  What then?  Any difference in your thinking now?  What if the husband and wife had tried all they could, and she was unwilling to change?

Here is one for you:  What if him being married led him to the love he was always meant to be with?  Do to choices made by the other person, things didn't happen as they should have and this was the only way for them to get together?  Do you believe in that?

Don't get me wrong, affairs are horrible!!  They are wrong.  Period.  But as this show made me think, sometimes we don't have all the facts and we judge.  We judge without walking a minute in this other persons shoes.  And we judge based on who we are and how things effect us, not on who THEY are and how things effect them. 

Gray Matter.

What if a man was arrested for murder.  Burglary gone bad.   He beat a man to death.  The home owner.  What do you think now?

Now lets say that the man arrested was laid off over a year ago and despite his best efforts couldn't find work.  He was losing his home.  Lets say he was a widower, with 3 young children.  Lets say he ran out of government help and needed to feed his kids and knew this house had more than enough.  All he wanted was food for his kids.  What if he reasoned with home owner, and the home owner pulled a gun on him anyway and it was a struggle for life and death.  Not just his life, but that of his kids as well.  Because if he dies, what will happen to his kids?

Yes, theft is wrong.  Period.  But desperate people do desperate things.  What if because of circumstances we cannot even imagine, he was driven to this?  What then?  Yes he was wrong to break in.  The death was accident.  The man who died had no compassion.  Does it even make a difference in how you see the situation at all?

Gray Matter.  It's everywhere.  We all have made poor choices because of it at one time or another.  And if you haven't yet, God bless you.  Someday, you will.  When we are ruled with emotions, we can't always see black and white for what they are.  Sometimes it's all gray and blended.  Sometimes we just want... an escape?  A way out?  To be loved?  To be be thought of as important?  To take care of our loved ones?  Whatever it is....  one day I think everyone will face it.  I pray that is where God's grace comes in.  I really do.  Because I think we all get caught up in it at one point or another.  I pray we learn from it if we are caught up in it and let it makes us better people.

I wish things were always black and white.   But the truth is they aren't.  There is gray, whether you admit it or not.  And until you have lived that gray area, you have no right to stand in judgement of anyone.  After all, we are all human.  We all make mistakes, right?

Gray matter.  No matter what it is, no matter how big or small, I think it stinks.  I think it can ruin lives if we let it.  OR, we can learn from it and move on.

Gray matter.  I wish everyone would remember it's out there.  I wish everyone would remember that they don't have all facts before they pass judgement on others.

Gray matter.  It's there.  Whether you like it or not.