Sunday, June 10, 2018

38 YEARS

THANK YOU ALL for the anniversary wishes! 

Jim and I are enjoying scrolling through them, and remembering each one of you, and the part you have played in our lives. 

We laugh a lot in our family. At Jim, mainly. 

Just kidding...(but really). 

It’s just that when you have one type A+ person in the house...and 5 NOT type A people in the house...it can either be reeeeally stressful, or we could make it fun. 

I said something to Jim the other day, and it got me thinking about what it means to be a “help meet” to him. 

I’m no theologian, but I have a Strong’s Concordance, and it tells me that the first word of “help meet” can mean, “to rescue, to save, to help.” And the second word has a meaning of “exactly corresponding to,” which is like looking in a mirror. I should be Jim’s mirror opposite, and he should be mine. 

Like, I have half the qualities and attributes that Jim lacks. And Jim has half the things I lack. 

And so we fit. 

And so I am a “help-meet” to him in life...and I do that in my own way. 

Which brings me to the other day: I bought some dog trimmers, and told Jim that I was going to try to trim our dog’s hair between groomings. Jim goes, “well, what will you do with all of her HAIR (after you cut it)? And, in the spirit of being his help-meet, I casually said, “I was thinking I’d just sweep it into the pool.” 

Now, if you know Jim well, you know that he loves his pool. He FREAKS when a leaf blows into it, so when I said I was gonna sweep DOG HAIR in there...well, you’ve never seen a head whip around so fast. 

Unless you saw the exorcist movie...which, I never did. 

Now, I wasn’t really gonna put dog hair in the pool...I was just trying to “rescue” and “save” him from a long, boring life. 

Because while he says I lack in things like logic (whatEV)...I say he lacks in humor. But that’s okay...because he has an abundance of logic (yawn), and I have an abundance of humor! 

And we use our gifts and talents in different ways to help each other, and our family. 

Jim helps in serious and practical ways...like, making sure we don’t get too off-track, providing financial and physical security...and things like that. 

And me? Well I believe in majoring on the majors...and minoring on the minors. 

Jim’s glass is always half-empty, and my glass is always half-full...because that’s how I choose to see things. Realist vs Idealist. Realistic vs Delusional. Serious about everything vs serious about the serious things. Sees the facts...sees the people. Has a 7 year planner...HAD 4 KIDS. 

(CANIGETAWITNESS?)

Ying...yang. Ding...dong. 

This is why I sometimes have to push Jim to the edge...for his own good; to show him that not EVERYthing is so serious. I mean, I live in the serious, 24/7, but some things are just funny. 

This is why I sometimes park my car on his side of the garage, and I don’t tell him. And then, when he opens the garage door and there’s my car...for no reason, just cuz...well, that’s funny, right? 

Or why I sometimes purposely leave the light on in a room that I’m not currently IN (gasp!). 

Or why I burn a candle...IN THE SUMMERTIME. 

And it also may be why I sometimes set the stuffed “Barney” toy precariously on the shelf with the coffee cups, so that when Jim opens the cabinet first thing in the morning...It comes falling down on his head, and scares him half-to-death. 

Thirty-eight years today. 38 years of good times, and hard times; of laughing, and loving; of saying the wrong things, and [occasionally] saying the right things; of holding it in, and letting it out; of keeping score...and loving unconditionally. 

Thirty-eight years of sometimes being misunderstood; of letting Jesus have His way...but, more often, demanding our own way; of holding grudges...and forgiving; of hopefully learning from our mistakes; times of being selfless...and times of being selfish. 

Thirty-eight years of hard work, sleepless nights, tears, grief, joy, great friendships, family support, and lots and lots of prayer. 

There’s no one else I’d rather walk with thru life. Two completely imperfect people...saved, sustained, and strengthened by an Almighty God...this is us. 

Marriage is sanctifying.
"This explains why a man leavehis father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." Genesis 2:24

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FOR (ALL) THE WOMEN

Today I am thinking of all the WOMEN: The ones who gave birth, and the ones who didn’t; 

the ones with moms in heaven, the ones with moms on earth; 

the moms who have been separated from their children due to death, divorce, distance, estrangement, imprisonment, bad choices; 

the moms working at home, the moms working in an office, a classroom, a hospital, a store, or on a construction site; 

the ones who serve our country; 

the ones who made a choice because they couldn’t see any other way; 

the ones who are at their wit’s end, and the ones who long to be; 

the ones who have to hide in the bathroom to get a moment’s peace, and the one whose houses are quiet; 

the ones who kept their children, and the ones who gave their children to others to raise; 

the ones who gave birth despite great odds, the ones who are still waiting; 

the ones who traveled the world to expand their families, and the ones who gathered those closer to home; 

the women who feel unloved, unwanted, unworthy, used up...I SEE YOU; 

the ones who foster, adopt, teach, mentor, befriend; 

grandmothers, step-mothers, aunts, cousins, friends; 

all of you moms who struggle with extra-special children, and extra-difficult circumstances...I SEE YOU. 

Single, married, widowed, divorced; those being celebrated today...and those who are overlooked; 

FRIENDS, never feel less-than because a child hasn’t come from your body. You are important. You are enough, and we need you. We all need each other.

"We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord." Romans 15:2

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gratefulness and My Grandma Ellen



I think having a spirit of gratefulness is so beneficial in life. I realize that, for many, it’s hard to feel grateful when you’re in the middle of difficult times. 

We’ve all had bad days, amiright? 

But think about this: at our worst, at our very, very worst...Christ died for our sins. Yours and mine. He took OUR place on the cross, in order to provide a way for US to spend eternity with Him. #grateful 

Periodically, at choir practice, our worship pastor will ask us, “tell me somethin’ good.” I can almost always think of at least one thing. A few days ago, it was our niece, Macy’s, birthday. So many people commented on how much she looks like my Mom...people who knew, or had personally met, my Mom...or people who just noticed the resemblance, from the photos I post. That people noticed, and commented...that they remembered my Mom? Well, it made me all kinds of happy. 😊 

Today’s “somethin’ good” is this: my grandmother was born 100 years ago today. She has spent her last 14 years in Heaven. I miss her every day. 

Growing up as an Air Force brat, we never lived near our family. My grandmother? She missed pretty much everything in our lives...the big events, the small ones, and the every day ones...because of distance. But she loved us, and we loved her. And even tho we saw her maybe once a year, it always felt like home when we were together. 

This gives me great hope for the future, if I don’t get to spend as much time with my other grandchildren...as I’ve had with Rhodie. 

The impact my grandmother made on our family is immeasurable. As a young mom, she did as she had been taught by her mother: she took her kids to church...every Sunday. I read a statistic that said 85% of people who come to know Jesus, do so before the age of 18. 

And while church attendance does not save your soul, that simple act put my Mom in a place where she learned more about Jesus, and what He did for her...and she committed her life to Him at an early age. What my grandmother did with my Mom...ended up being the greatest gift she ever gave me, because I am certain I will see both of them in Heaven one day. 

The other greatest gift she gave came to us because she had a heart that was tender to the voice of God. She was pretty set-in-her-ways, even more-so as she got older...but her heart was full of compassion. And that compassion led her to make decisions that changed the make-up of our family...and I’m so grateful. 

My grandmother didn’t leave us wealth, as the world sees it. What she left us is a legacy of strength...of working hard and loving family and perseverance in difficult circumstances. She outlived two husbands, some of her siblings, countless friends, and her only daughter. She left us a legacy of faith. She changed my life, and the lives of my family, for eternity...and I’m forever grateful. 

Happy Heavenly Birthday to my Grandma Ellen.

"Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Powerlifting and Losing Focus

We drove up to Fayetteville for a Special O Powerlifting competition. 

Joshua’s meets are usually first thing in the morning...on a Saturday. This meet was in the afternoon, on a FRIDAY...and that put Joshua in an unsettled state from the get-go. 

Add to that the extra time it took to set up the room, and get volunteers there to help (because this was a school day, and the volunteers were students), and Joshua was D-O-N-E before the thing even started. 

And so, for the first time in, well...forever...he struggled. 

It got me thinking (which could be a good thing, or not!) about how this experience is, many times, just like life. Or, like MY life. 

Because I have plans...you probably do, too. 

Joshua had a plan for his day. He had prepared for it...he was ready. He was physically ready. He had trained hard. He had set a goal to make a personal best. 

But things weren’t going according to plans, and he lost his focus in the waiting. 

HE LOST HIS FOCUS IN THE WAITING. 

He got weary...distracted. And then he had a misstep, and he got discouraged. 

Anybody? 

Anybody relate to having a plan that doesn’t work out? To working hard for a goal that you don’t make? To getting distracted, discouraged, and weary in the waiting? To experiencing a bump in the road, and just giving up? To sometimes, maybe, just “phoning it in”...not preparing or working hard enough, because we’ve been there before, and “we’ve got this?” 

I mean, where does the line form, amiright, people? 

No, it was not the best meet ever, but it was still a good day. We had fun being together, and he brought home 3 gold medals. 

More than that...lessons were learned that will hopefully last longer than the events of this day: perseverance, determination, grace for ourselves and others, taking responsibility, encouraging others in THEIR attempts, being grateful. 

Lessons for many areas of life. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12: 1-3)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, Muffins, and Back Pain

Happy Monday, y'all!

I somehow jacked up my back last week. I don't know how I did it. It wasn't an "ah-HA" moment, where I did something, and felt it immediately. I just kind of woke up with it messed up.

I've tried to do the stretching exercises my P/T friend recommended. Of course, she told me that, since I have a history of back problems, I should be doing them every day...and not just when it starts hurting.

And I SAY that I'm going to do them every day, but then I don't. I'm a slow learner, I guess.

Anyway, I was supposed to keep my baby grandson today, and I was praying that my back would be "good enough" for that. With Joshua here to help me, I wasn't too worried.

I typically don't sleep a lot. I am usually awake once during the night, for no reason at all...and then I wake up very early. I always try to go back to sleep, but I'm not always successful.

This morning, I woke up at 3:30, or something outrageous like that. I finally started settling down, and then my husband got up a little after 4 to go run. I mean, seriously? I stayed awake while he was gone. I planned on getting up when he left for work at 6:10, but Holly texted me that she'd been canceled for the day, because their census was up (she's a nurse in the NICU)...so that meant I wouldn't keep Rhodie today.

Jim told me to look at it as a gift, because this would "give me the whole day to rest my back and take it easy."

Which, we've been married for almost 38 years, and I'm realizing that he STILL has no idea what it takes to run a home and all of that.

Because I HAVE tried to rest my back, and use the heating pad...but I've also done 4 loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, and changed the sheets on two beds (so far). I warmed up and served lunch to Joshua and Holly and baby Rhodie...and cleaned up after. Not because I'm some sort of martyr...but because it needed to be done.

I gave the housekeeping fairies the week off.

Every time I've sat down in the chair to rest my back with my heating pad, all I can think of is, "I need to touch up the paint on that trim," and "I wonder if these shelves would look good painted gray," and "if I moved that small china cabinet into the entryway, I might have room for the pictures of the kids on that wall."

Oh, and "the dryer just stopped."

Which, none of this is really the point of my story.

I rarely have a point to any of my stories.

If you've read here long, or followed me on Facebook or IG, you know that Joshua is a creature of habit. He loves routine, and his routine is that we have muffins on Mondays. Nothing fancy, or anything. Just blueberry muffins from a box. NBD.

But we must have them on Mondays. Or some kind of muffins.

Well, after Holly told me she got canceled, that meant I wouldn't keep the baby. Jim told me to go back to bed, and try to rest. So I did. I went back to lie down. I had the lamp on, and the TV on. I was not asleep.

In about 30 minutes, Joshua peeked his head in the door, and asked me where the baby was...and if I had made muffins. I told him we weren't keeping the baby today, and that I would make the muffins in a minute.

He said, "do you need my help getting out of bed?"

Um. NO, I DO NOT. PLEASE GO AWAY...is what I THOUGHT about saying, but I responded in a much nicer way. Please don't think he was worried about me and my sore back. He might have been...but it was a teensy-tiny bit. He was mainly concerned about the muffins: where were they, and when could he expect them to arrive on his plate.

Ha.

He left, and I thought he had gone back upstairs to his room...but in a minute, he was back at the side of my bed. He said, "I got the muffin pan out for you."

REALLY?

And then he kissed me on my head.

And then he went back upstairs.

A few minutes later, I heard him at the top of the stairs. He was sniffing the air...trying to see if he could smell anything cooking. He came back downstairs. I was in the kitchen, making the muffins. I told myself, "don't look at him...don't make eye-contact...just see what he does." He walked in the kitchen, and surveyed the situation for a minute. Then he turned around, and went back upstairs, muttering the whole way...ithoughtthemuffinswouldbereadybynowbutiguessnotiwonderwhy...

It was at this point when I started wondering if he had put me on his small group's prayer list.

Apparently, his small group, at church, has a group text, where they share their needs and concerns with everyone in their class. We found out about it last week, when Rhodie was sick. Joshua disappeared up to his room for a long time. When he came down, he said, "I put Rhodie on my small group's prayer list." I said, "you did?" He said, "yes," and looked all proud about it. He said, "right now, there are 2 people praying for Rhodie...as we speak."

His phone goes, "ding!" He read it, looked up at me, and smiled. "Make that THREE people praying for Rhodie."

We were all thinking, "OHHHHHMYYYYYWORRRRRRD what has he been sharing about us?" Because Joshua doesn't always get the "gist" (or the facts) of some things we talk about at home, and he tends to blow things out of proportion.

I told Jim I could just see him, in his room, with his phone, "tick...tick...tick...please pray for my mom she is still in bed and won't make my muffins and I'm starving to death thank you."

This guy...I love him. He keeps us all on our toes.

And now I must go and fix dinner, because I KID YOU NOT...I'm sitting at the kitchen table, doing some writing, and he came in here, and started putting out plates, napkins, and silverware.

It is 5:18 p.m.

"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4: 6