Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Blessings...

Hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.
I did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trying hard to be thankful...

First of all, I am thankful. I came from a beautiful, close family who raised me to know the Lord on a personal level. I married into a beautiful family who loves me. I now have my own beautiful family that humbles me everyday, with their love. I am blessed. And I know it.


that doesn't mean bad things don't happen to blessed people. We live in a CRAZY, Ugly world FULL of SIN. Bad things will happen. Sometimes my prayers are not always answered the way I want them to be answered either. God ALWAYS answers prayers. God DOES NOT create bad things to happen to me, but sometimes HE allows them. His ways are so much greater than mine, that my little brain sometimes can not begin to comprehend the "Whys" of this world.

I can, however, look back and take a walk down memory lane and realize after the fact, the BIGGER picture, the blessings that sometimes came from pain. I can see how I grew, what contributed in making me the person I am now, or how I grew closer to my Jesus through it all. I may never understand why my baby brother died when I was five. I may not get why I had to be the one to have scoliosis as a child and wear a back brace. It seems unfair that I had to lose three grandparents in one year. I will always ask what if I hadn't miscarried that one little soul before I even got use to the fact that I would be a mom again. I will sit in angry confusion as a friend, a fellow minister's wife dies too young, leaving behind a sweet young family. I will feel helpless as cancer is allowed to attack the bodies of both my husband's parents at the same time. I will still cry as my sister's heart hurts right now and needs love and prayers. I will still weep as as my husband loses a dear aunt, one week before Thanksgiving.

Someone told me at work one time, that I had the "perfect" life. She said I had "no problems." No one has a perfect life. Everyone has problems. It is how you deal with those problems that separates you from the world. It is about having HOPE.

It is about laying your troubles at the feet of the Lord, daily, no matter how little or big. It is about covering the people you love and care about daily in prayer. It is about knowing that trouble will come your way, sometimes it seems too often, but that you plead for strength from the Lord on an hourly basis. It is about knowing that God loves you.


when the storms come, the tears flow and you feel like you have no more energy to face whatever lies ahead, be THANKFUL. Even when the bills stack up, the car breaks down, children get sick or work is hard, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. ALWAYS.

It has been a hard few months for my heart. There is a family issue (in my extended family) that has left me broken and sometimes angry. There has been death in my hubby's family. There has been busyness. There has been situations at work and church that hurt my feelings. Material things have broken down and caused stress. There has been sickness. The ugly of this world has been looming. Yet, I chose to put my faith in the God of peace. He gives me Hope, daily.

When I am trying hard to be thankful, HE IS THERE. And that, in its self is enough to rejoice over.

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I pray you have the blessing of hope today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Last Picture...

The first part of October, Kevin and I went to a small family reunion at the park. It was his dad's side of the family. Every year they get together for an afternoon of visiting and food. I took my camera. My father-in-law had requested that I take pictures, so I was ready to face the small crowd of "I hate my picture taken" family rebels.

First click was Kev's Aunt Marsha. Now, I have to tell a little history here... Aunt Marsha is QUEEN of not wanting her picture taken. She will turn her head, stick out her tongue, put her hands in front of her face until you get tired of trying and move on. But that day was different. The first click was a smile. She looked straight at the camera and smiled. I even got a second picture of her with a cousin. Again she looked straight at the camera and smiled. I remember thinking "WOW!", but went on to hound all the other poor victims who had to put up with crazy camera lady that day.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday night. It was bonfire night for the youth group at church. We do it every year, the Wednesday before the week of Thanksgiving. I again was taking pictures. Of course the kiddos like to pose a little more than Kev's relatives. :) That night I was looking at the pictures I was taking and went forward too far. The first picture on the memory card was Aunt Marsha. I stopped for a moment and smiled. I then went back to the bonfire and teenagers, not giving that picture another thought...


My phone rang Wednesday night late. It was my brother-in-law needing to speak to Kevin. His Aunt Marsha had passed away from a stroke. She was gone. He went on to the hospital to see his uncle and I laid in bed thinking about all that had happened. And then I remembered the picture. It would turn out to be the last picture taken of her, that I know of. She smiled for one last picture.

She couldn't have known at that moment, yet I have to think that maybe, just maybe the thought crossed her mind..."I think I will smile this time." Thank you, Lord for what I believe must have been a sweet whisper in her ear. Her family needed that one last picture.

Aunt Marsha, you will be missed.

Please pray for my hubby's family. Our day was spent graveside.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Just Thought...

That once I said goodbye to October that things would settle down.

Let me see...
In the month of October I had three nights of football games a week, one to two days of soccer every week, church every Wednesday and Sunday of course, plus the extra church activities. Two band competitions, one which I went to, the other just was a late night picking up. There were THREE birthdays, two of those came with parties, the other one just made me feel old. And of course there was work and school and...don't know if I had much time for anything else.

I did enjoy it. A mom always enjoys watching her kids go and do the things they love. I am kind of living through my kids too, for I was NOT athletic or very musical and truth be told, NOT an honor student. I had to work for every grade I got, and some of those grades weren't very good. But even though you enjoy the activities, the same ones over and over can wear you out at times. So, I thought when October passed and the sports and marching band came to an end that things would slow down.

NO. November has it's own crazy schedule.
Full of All Region Band tryout practice, hand bells at church, piano lessons, hunting schedules, final soccer games, and holiday plans.
LOVE Thanksgiving!!!

Talking about Thanksgiving...I may sound like I am whining over my schedule, but I am really not. Truth be told, I am tired and I just want a little sympathy from the other moms who are in the same boat, but who like me, WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING.
For although I am tired and ready for a little Thanksgiving break, I am so thankful that my family is happy and healthy and can go and do and spend time together.

As for the holidays... I AM READY!!!
In fact, I already have half my Christmas shopping done.
Doing a little happy dance right now!!!
May even put my tree up early, so I can enjoy the lights a little longer.

I may just close this post before I ramble any more. I will close with this picture...

My baby at her last football game of the season. Sadly we lost Friday night in the playoffs, but she was happy marching band was over for the year.
Now we just have concert band...

Hope you have a blessed week as you go about your own busy schedules.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let the hunting begin...

My family hunts. I don't hunt. I couldn't pull the trigger on Bambi or his family if I tried. I am the gal who cried when she ran over a squirrel one day. I am the gal who can't kill the mouse even though it had invaded my space.

I eat meat. Just don't want to know what happened to it before it reached the frying pan. Some things are better left alone. I don't like deer meat either. I don't even like the smell of it cooking.
BUT my family sure loves it. And daddy knows how to cook it.

Did I tell you my family hunts? Did you know we are smack dab in the middle of hunting season? It is good cause I get some "Mama time," bad because everything has to be planned around the hunting.

I may not be a hunter but I have trained my hubby right. He took pictures for me today with his phone, just so his picture obsessed wife could see how cute the kiddos look hunting. (Sadly nothing was shot today.) I may not be all about the hunting, but I have to admit my babies look cute in their orange. :)

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sleeping with the radio on...

My family LOVES music. You will hear music flowing through our house any given time of the day. My hubby has taught his kids a love for music...all kinds (as long as it is clean and appropriate.) Being the Christian Student Minister that he is, he has told kids that for every style of music they love to listen to on the radio, he can find them a good, clean Christian version of the same style. And he can. Rap, country, pop, heavy metal, etc... he is up to the challenge.

I love that my kids have the ability to test their musical ears with various sounds and don't have to worry about the negative influence of the lyrics. After all, just because I can't stand "rap" doesn't mean my child doesn't like the beat. Thankful I have a hubby who has bridged that gap, so that now my daughter can listen to different styles while still harming mom's ears, doesn't harm her soul.

Yes, my hubs loves ALL styles of music. And his daughter takes after him. Mom here, well as hard rock as I got in high school was BonJovi and Journey if that tells you anything. (They are still my guilty pleasures if I am honest.) I am more just an easy listening pop kind of gal, like a little country and LOVE Christian praise.

My son? He is 13. You would think he would be jammin' to the latest hit, music blaring and in love with songs shouting profanity every 5 seconds. You would think...

BUT when it comes to music, he is an old soul, like his mom. He and I share a love for Chris Tomlin, David Barnes, and David Crowder. When dad has the car radio on a country station, he wants to switch it back to "klove."

His latest thing is sleeping with his ipod on all night. When we were kids we slept with the radio, but now he will hook his ipod up to his speakers and let the music flow. Every morning as I walk down the hall I am greeted with sweet melodies of praise. There is something so peaceful about that. There is something about it that calms my soul and prepares me for the day. Maybe my son is on to something...

I know his tastes might change as he gets older. I know that one day he might fall in love with the crazy music other teenagers his age listen to and we may even fight a time or two over it. But for now, I am thankful that he chooses to fill his head with sweet words lifting up the sweet name of Jesus. He ends his day with thoughts of praise and he wakes up the same way. That does a mommy's heart good.