Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Story..............

Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy.
 
 
 
 
 

 
The boy loved the girl and the girl loved him back.
They spent lots of time together and grew very close.
After dating for almost a year,
the girl and the boy found out that they
were going to have a baby.
The boy was scared and so was the girl.
Fear drove them apart and the girl and the boy
went in different directions.
The girl moved to Maryland
and the boy stayed in Florida and
tried to forget her.
By the time the leaves changed in the Fall of 1991,
the girl had a beautiful baby boy.
 
 
 
She named him Zachary and he was her world.
The girl worked very hard to make a life for
her baby boy.  She rocked him to sleep at night,
sung songs to him,
giggled and laughed with him
and marveled at how amazing he was,
 but she never forgot the boy she left in Florida.
He never forgot her either
and he was working very hard to change and grow
and prepare to win back the heart of the girl and be a father and a husband.
Through the miracle of God's perfect timing,
the boy and the girl were drawn back together.
The boy had joined the Navy and was stationed in Connecticutt.
He drove to see the girl and the baby boy every
weekend for many, many months.
By the end of the summer of 1992,
the boy and the girl were married
and they began a new life in Connecticutt.
.

 
 
The girl and the boy and their little boy were very happy.
 
 
The girl and the boy learned alot about eachother
and about how to be parents.
The girl and the boy didn't always do it perfectly,
but they loved eachother and their little boy very much.
They tried hard to make the right choices and
to do the best things for their little family.
They girl and the boy didn't have very much
and lived a life full of sacrifices,
but their home was filled with love.
The girl and the boy loved being parents and
their little boy was everything to them.
Soon the girl and the boy had another baby.
 
 
 
They named him Michael Isaac and he was very loved.
The two little boys were best friends and they
did everything together.
 
 
 
Soon God gave the girl and the boy another baby.  A little girl named Madison.
She was their first princess and their family grew to five.
 
 
The boy and the girl and could hardly believe
that God had brought such beauty out of very humble and uncertain beginnings.
 
From great struggle, God had brought amazing success.
The boy was promoted in the Navy many times over the years. 
The family of five lived all over America and were able
to do and see so many wonderful things
and meet so many great people.
The boy and the girl knew it was because they had trusted in God
and had longed to raise a family that loved Him.
They were very blessed.
 
Seven years after their last baby,
God sent another little girl.
They named her Brendell Faith
and she completed their family.
 
 
 

 
 

The family was now six.
Once again the boy and the girl were amazed by how far God had brought them
over the years.
They knew how uncommon it was for two people
coming from such opposite backgrounds
and starting a family as young as they did
to not only stay together through all of the hard things life throws
at couples and families on a daily basis,
but also to thrive.
To them it was supernatural
and was only because of the grace of God
that their little family existed
as an imperfect, challenging, heart warmingly beautiful unit.
 
God likes to take the weak things of this world,
the troublesome situations,
the under-dogs,
the ones society labels as unworthy
or challenged,
the ones with little or no means
to make it alone,
the ones who don't know real love,
the ones who are looking in all the wrong places to have their needs met,
the ones who are spiritually,emotionally and physically needy
and are starving for encouragement from others,
the ones who are written off by others,
the ones who are blinded by the lies
they have been told......
He chooses them and he
 comes up beside them,
invades their lives,
empowers them with his truth,
turns them around,
sends others to rally around them physically with tangible love
and spiritually with intercessory prayer,
and lifts them up
to bring glory to himself through them!
 
 
 
And now, because we know who holds our future,
who works ALL things out for good,
who despite our own weaknesses, failures, doubts and all out rebellious nature
 has invaded our life and has made something
far more beautiful than we could ever have imagined
and who promises to complete the good work he has begun in those who love him,
we rejoice in the addition of a grandson in the spring of 2013.
 

 
The boy and the girl will now get the joy of watching the story of
their little boy and his girl unfold on the pages of their own book.
The boy and the girl are excited because they know the author of the story.
He is amazing!
He is creative, keeps his readers in suspense,
loves cliff hangers and edge of your seat prose
and his writings are always, always emersed in love.
He allows his characters much freedom,
resulting in constant twists and turns in the story.
This may cause some of his audience to doubt and fear,
but the faithful know the redemptive powers of the author
and they understand that undesireable,
 often self inflicted circumstances are always overcome by
forgiveness, love, grace and mercy.
Fans of this author know that although we will watch the imperfect,
 stubborn characters stumble and all may look hopeless,
 this author never writes those who love him out of his story.
Because he knew the entire story before he even picked up the pen to write the first word,
we can trust him through the scary parts where things start to look
like they are falling apart for our characters.
The best, most amazing and unique part is that this story is ALIVE!
As readers of the story that is being written on our own hearts
and on the hearts of those we love,
we have the awesome power to influence both the characters and the author himself
through our fervent prayers.
We can pray that the characters use the freedom that the author gives them wisely.
We can pray that the author showers grace and mercy on our characters
and blesses them beyond their comprehension.
It really is quite incredible to think that we can play such vital roles
 in not only our own story
 but also in the stories of those we dearly love!
 
I dont want to give it away,
but in the end love and truth wins!
(and later there is gold involved....lots and lots of gold! 
I hear the streets are even paved with it!....oh and plus love, joy and peace
that we have never known on this earth! sounds like a great ending to me!)
 
 
 
Enjoy the read
and remember the story is not over until
the last chapter is written!

 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Finger pointers

So the other day someone posted an article on facebook
about the newest way teenagers are trying to destroy their bodies.
Something about hand sanitizer and getting drunk.
It was a sad article for sure, but the saddest part was the comments.
Immediately a group of mom commenters
 began condemning the parents of teens who resort to this kind of behavior.
They must not care about their kids. 
They are raising stupid kids.
They don't know their kids and aren't in touch with them.
Their kids are acting out some deep-seated hatred of their parents short comings.
What is wrong with americas teens today must be parents.
hmmm.
I wanted to comment, I really did!
I wanted to say that I know my kids, I love them and care about them.
They are not stupid.
They have been taught right from wrong.
They were brought up in a home where their father and mother
are not perfect, but they love eachother and have the best 
interest of the family at the center of everything they do.
I wanted to say that my teens still make crappy choices.
They still do wrong despite knowing right.
They sometimes still go with the crowd when the crowd is not
doing the best thing.
Their thinking is immature when compared to how they will think
5 years from now,
but that makes them a typical teen,
not a stupid, uncared for teen raised
by parents who have no rules or morals.
If this chapter in my life has taught me anything,
it is that no matter how well you raise your kids,
they are not little robots.
While some may tow the line and rise above things like
peer pressure, temptation, depression,
laziness, disrespect and risky behavior,
all of them will not.
Some will take the hard road
despite mom and dad putting up warning signs
and shoring up the guard rails on life's path.
Some teens reach adulthood battered and bruised
with their hair all in knots and their clothes torn,
but they get there.
I have no idea why some kids avoid risky behavior
and some kids run headlong into it.
I don't know why kids who are raised in much the same way
can turn out so differently.
But I do know that awesome parents can be left to watch
their kids struggle well into their twenties
and parents who by definition we might lable as "morrally lacking"
seem to have kids who sail through
the teen years picking up scholarships and accolades along the way.
The truth is, we raise individuals who
 think for themselves
learn for themselves
experience for themselves
and
ultimately decide their own life's direction.
Believe me, I have tried every jedi mind trick available
to get inside my teens heads and think for them.
I have yet to be successful.
So, I guess my point is that the vaste majority of parents of teens
are scared to death.
We need support from eachother.
The last thing we should be doing is
jumping on eachother and pointing fingers
trying to make sense of the choices some teens make.
Parents of hard to raise teens
are most certainly going through the most emotionally draining
time of their lives.
They are already pointing the finger at themselves
and anguishing over every single decision they've made over the past
10 years trying to figure out what went wrong.
Nothing tears a heart apart more than watching someone you love
walk away from truth and embrace life altering lies.
Piling on more guilt from parents who have not walked in
these tattered and threadbare shoes is in my opinion
sad and heartless.
I know the sleepless nights well.
I understand the tears that are constantly brimming up in the eyes
of worried moms.
I know the voice inside that condemns you for not seeing
any fruit from your labor yet.
I know the pain of comparison
and the feelings of doubt that you ever did anything right by your kids.
But I also know hope.
I know that God has promised to complete the work he has begun.
I know that he is strong when I am weak.
I know that he is the God of redemption and deliverance.
I know he is loving and forgiving.
I know that he has a plan and a purpose for each of us.
I know that he knows what he is doing
and that he hears every prayer I pray over my kids
and sees every tear that falls down my face.
I know that he loves my kids even more than I do
and that he brings gladness from mourning,
strength from fear
and beauty from ashes.
And I trust him.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adventures with Ostich eggs


 So my husband went to Whole Foods.
By himself.
Now I am sure that when he saw this larger than life
porcelain like egg
that he had flash backs of the Amazing Race episode
where the teams had to devour an ostrich egg in order
to move on.
His adventurous side must have overtaken him and
he probably thought it would be cool
to try something that they
had to struggle through.
You know, just to see how we would fare.
Plus I am sure he felt rather experienced in the culinary field
when he rolled up to the cashier with this baby in tow!

I already know how we would fare on any food challenge
on any reality show
that would involve my husband
trying anything slimy, hairy, previously crawling,
crunchy or smelly.
One bite in
quickly followed by one projectile bite out
aaaaaand that's a wrap!

So that is why I was a bit surprised
when he pulled this out of the bag.
But, he does love to experiment with different
unusual food combinations
and he enjoys cooking
so I have to give him props for
standing right on the edge of
his imaginary exotic food line in the sand.

Getting this thing into the skillet
is apparently an art form.
And it requires power tools!

 
 

The egg is sitting securely on a blender lid
so as not to move while David
drills a pilot hole.
Yes, our dinner this evening
requires a pilot hole.





and there it is.
Pilot hole success.
yay.



Now it's time for the serious drill bit.
I honestly have no idea how these baby birds even hatch!
It took way longer than expected and much more force than expected
just to break through the hard shell and expose....
*drum roll please*
 the membrane.


Yes, we have an exposed membrane.
At this point, I felt a little knot in my stomach.
Something about the word "membrane"
associated with something I am about to eat
is just about as appealing as it sounds.
Now you have a knot in your stomach too,don't ya?


Going on the advice of a friend from work,
we decided to pour the contents of the ostrich egg into the blender.
I imagine the conversation went something like this...
David: (casually and feeling a bit exoctic)"Yup, picked up an ostrich egg for dinner tonight."
Friend: "Oh you know you gotta put that thing in a blender, right?
And you need a good drill bit and a pilot hole!!"
David: "Absolutely!"
He comes home and tells me about his new found knowlege
and having previously googled what to do with this thing
and finding no mention of power tools or blenders,
I did doubt his methods.
But who am I to question employees of the Office of Naval Intelligence?
For all I know this is super secret information
and I should feel honored to have been enlightened.

A blender is supposedly the best way to keep it mixed because it tends to separate.
And it did work,
so, if the word "membrane" didn't deter you
and you want to try an ostrich egg yourself
that is a little tip for your brave soul. 



Ok, see this photo here is quite deceiving.
It looks preety standard as far as egg innards goes.
But before we even got to the yellow yolky liquid,
we had to endure about 20 minutes of clear oozing slime.
Yes, I said slime.
David shook that thing until his arms were about to fall off
and still it took that long!
Needless to say that the knott in my stomach
was threatening my appetite big time!

Once we finally got to the yolk,
it oozed for another 10 minutes.
I know this because Madison and I
were able to watch exactly half of
Fashion Star which we had DVR'd.
Not impressed with anything from that episode
 by the way.
Except for the cute flowy dresses
from the asian guy.... and they weren't even bought!
bummer.



So sometime while Nicole Ritchie was
telling that guy not to use floral in his dude shorts
we had finally filled the blender with ostich goo
and had seasoned it with salt and pepper
just to make us feel better.
We scooped out enough for one omlet at a time.



I tried to fool the knot in my stomach
by telling it that even ostrich goo
can benefit from bacon, cheese and ham.


See how much lighter the ostrich egg is
compared to chicken eggs.
It's very airy. 




Bacon!
We almost never have it,
but when we do it is nibbled on until it is almost gone before we even sit down to eat!
I know you understand.



So, I decided that I wanted mine scrambled after seeing
that Bren's omlet wasn't holding together very well.
David thought it tasted like sponge cake.
Madison thought it tasted like soggy bread.
I thought it tasted like ham, cheese and bacon
because I ate around most of the egg part!
If we hadn't added bacon strips, biscuits and grits on the side
it would have been pizza night!



*

Friday, March 23, 2012

Perspective

creeeeeeaaaak!! 
That's me opening up the door to my blog.
Everything is dust covered and cobwebbed.
I've certainly been absent for a while.

To say I have missed it would be an understatement.
I. have. missed. it.
I think that in my effort to protect myself,
I have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

I write my life. 
I write what is going on in my soul,
what makes me laugh
and cry
and think.

I write my perspective on everyday things.
I try to write as honestly as I can.

The problem is that at this particular season of my life,
I am finding that being an open book about some subjects
is not what's best for everyone around me.

This is so hard for me, because when something consumes
my every thought,
it is next to impossible to not write about it.
No, it is completely impossible.

And in certain situations, restraint and patience might be better
than spilling my guts in a public blog.

So, I've been silent. 
 Just on paper though.
I've been writing things in my head furiously
over the past year....
but that's where it remains. 
In my head.

I haven't trusted myself to blog about life in general
for fear that my issues would creep in
and taint my words and possibly hurt other people.

I would sit down to write an innocent blog post about
the mild winter we had
and end up ranting and raving
about my latest fear
 and perceived failure.

This is dangerous because
today's rants and raves,
if given time
can be tomorrow's success stories
or funny anecdotes about the time
I thought the world would surely end,
we would all live a life full of regret
and nothing would ever be the same again.

I'd rather skip the emotionally charged triade
and eliminate the risk
that my words
however truely felt at the time
would come to haunt another
and  instead get right to the success story and
the funny anecdotes.
Or at least to liveable resolution
and acceptable compromise.

But because I miss it so much,
I have decided that even if I have to blog about
clouds or traffic or cinnamon rolls to keep myself
out of vulnerable subjects,
I must blog.

The lessons I am learning in my life right now
will be shared.
They should be shared because I am certain that I
am not the only person on this earth to ever have encountered
such confliction of heart and mind. 
Such fear that I am completely wrong in every single one of my choices.
Which of course naturally leads to consuming dissapointment
and rising anger.
Such worry about what the furture will bring
to those I love who cannot see the freight train coming
despite the bright orange flag I seem to be constantly waving.

But these lessons will be shared later.
In another season when space and time
has resolved some things that right now
I think may never be resolved.

Perspective will change perspective.

I will be in a much better emotional position
to blog about this season of my life
when this season of my life
is less bitter and more sweet.

After I've learned the lessons and survived,
I will be much better equipped to
speak logically and compassionately
about things and will be more of an encouragement
and less of a whiner.

So, consider this my very vague, cryptic
re-introduction of myself to the blog world that I have missed so much.
Although I will not be diving into the depths of my current issues,
it will be impossible not to sprinkle some little nuggets of truth
that I am learning along the way
among my "day in the life" posts.

Speaking of,
I've got a great post about decorative cookies coming up soon!
And it will not include a recipe
since those that know me
understand completely that my eye for beauty
and actual execution of such beauty in
sugary dough form
does not match.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Change






Change

It sure is the season for it

isn't it?





You'd think that being a Navy wife

I'd embrace change.

And I have.





But I'm not talking about a change of scenery here.

I'm talking about the kind of change

that sneaks up on you.


The one you realized happened

while you were either looking the other way

or living in denial.





This isn't one of those posts that mourne the

inevitable growing up of children.

It's not about regret or trying to hang on to

something that is very surely slipping

through your fingers.





It's a post about change.

Something of which I thought

I had become an expert.

But I'm finding out that

maybe I'm not.





Change is running through my life

like a freight train lately.

And it doesn't even blow a warning horn!



It's the kind of change that

makes you realize that life as you know it

has morphed into something that

although you love and cherish,

you don't really recognize

and you hope that it

morphs into something easier

very, very soon.





I look into the eyes of my son

who will be 20 next month

and I see someone who

except for food and shelter

does not really need me.

But I hope he wants me.

Oh do I hope he wants me.





Right now though,

he neither wants or needs me

most of the time.




He is the main decision maker in his life now

and that scares the heck outa me.

He respects our rules, but really

he is on his own path.

No warning horn.




At almost 18 and soon to be 16,

Michael and Madison are right on Zach's heels.

In just 2 and a half years from now,

we will be the parents of 3 adults and a middle schooler.

Absolutely no warning horn.

At all.





It became evident to us this summer

that we were most assuredly

in the throws of change

when all of the sudden

we became a party of 3

instead of a party of 6.



The older kids were so busy with work,

summer trips with friends

and things that they wanted to do

and we were busy with our own summer

activities centered around

the outdoors with Brendell.


I wish I had known that the summer of 2010

was the last summer we'd spend

doing things that the teenagers

wanted to do with us.

Did you hear a warning horn?

Yeah, me either.



And so this change,

this thing that makes my kids second guess

my advice

and brush off my attempts at

deep conversation.

This thing that has them

saying a quick,

"bye Mom, I love you!"

on the way out to work

or play

This thing that has me watching tail lights

and waiting for headlights,

This thing that has me trying to remember

what being a teenager was like,


This thing that has awarded

them more responsibility

and more choices

This thing that keeps me up at night

hoping that they make good choices

This thing without a warning horn....

I don't like it very much.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roses and Chicken Nuggets

The impact that a father has on a girl's life


is no secret.


It cannot be over stated,


emphasized enough


or exagerated.


Every girl needs an excellent Dad!



This vital need is more evident today than ever.
With so many broken homes and absent fathers
a large percentage of our little girls are growing up with
scarred hearts.
For these girls,
the precious and fleeting years that should have
been filled with her daddy's
steadfast adoration and heroic protection
are instead filled with the agendas
of selfish adults
or with the confusion that
comes from having such a deep need and no real direction
as to how to fill it.
Our girls are struggling
to realize who they are.



Within the heart of every girl

no matter what her age,

is the desire to be

loved, needed, appreciated, wanted

and cherished.
This need was put within us by our heavenly Father

whose everlasting love can meet

those needs beyond our comprehension.

How we as little girls perceive our

earthy daddies
will mold the way we think of our heavenly Father.
Dads, this makes you just about

the single most influencial player in

our lives!!



For those of you Dads out there

rocking it out as

excellent Fathers,

Thank You!!!

You have no idea the impact you are making

not only on your daughter's life today,

but on all of the lives she will touch as she grows

and also the lives of your grandchildren as well.

Every gentle word,

every prayer you utter on her behalf,

everytime you decide to spend time with her

instead of on something trivial and temporary,

everytime you take a moment to encourage her

you are building a better future for

her and the woman she will become.

You cannot begin to imagine how your efforts today

will pay dividends in the future!

As a mom of two teenage boys,

I pray that the girls they chose to date

have strong, loving Fathers in their lives

to teach them what precious young ladies

they are and to build into them

the ability to confidently know who they are

and what they are worth.




For all of the girls out there who may not have

this kind of Father or none at all,

there is hope!

The same God who created you
is the one who put that need for love inside of you.

He longs to be that Father for you!



Psalm 68:5 says that He is the Father to the Fatherless

and a hero for all times!

Isn't that what we all want girls?

A hero for all times!





God calls us his children

dearly loved,

accepted,

united with the Lord

and one with him in spirit,

bought with a price,

set apart,

adopted as His child,

redeemed and forgiven,

His workmanship,

free from condemnation

and unable to be separated from His love!

Just ask Him and He will be there

never leaving or forsaking you!

He will fill that nagging need inside of you

that the enemy would wish you to fill

with temporary and distructive things.



For all of you girls with awesome Dads...

don't let another day go by without

letting them know how

thankful you are for their

positive influence in your lives!

An excellent father is a rare and beautiful thing!

Those doing it well

need to be honored.



For all of you Dads who haven't been so awesome lately,

it's not too late.

Plan a date night,

write a note,

give a hug

hold a conversation

say something positive and affirming

to your little lady

(or not so little one)
I bet you will see the spark of forgiveness

and delight begin to shine in her eyes!

Don't give up...

after all, you are

our hero
and heros fight for the love of their ladies!



*

(Thanks Chick-Fil-A for creating an enviornment

of affirmation for daughters and daddies everywhere

with your daddy daughter date nights!)



*

Monday, May 30, 2011

A hero on the pool deck....



I met Brian and Rachael a few weeks ago


on a Caribbean cruise I took with my mom.


Before I even noticed Brian's leg,


I was struck by the obvious adoration between this couple.



Rachael just glowed in Brian’s presence


and seemed to have a protective nature about her.


Brian definitely looked like a man in love,


but there was also a certain sadness and hesitation about him.


They were both settled into sun chairs on the pool deck


when I first saw them.


A few minutes later when he moved his beach towel


I saw Brian’s leg.


It was a curious contraption of metal and sockets


with a brown sandal fixed to a plastic bare foot.





Mom and I happened to be sitting pool side


a few chairs from Brian’s when the cruise director announced


a "Mr. Sexy Legs" competition.


I had no sooner turned to my mom to tell her that I hoped Brian would enter


when I saw Rachael encouraging him to put his name on the list.


He kept shaking it off,


but mom and I supported Rachel with a “thumbs up”


and vigorous motioning for him to get up.


Reluctantly, Brian put his name on the list and got in line.







We watched several men strut their stuff down the deck.

Some were funny,

some were embarrassing,

but none of them had the impact that Brian did when he his walk began.

At well over six feet tall

I imagine that Brian probably wasn’t very graceful on two legs,

but as he made his way down the deck

with his newly learned gait,

he became more beautiful with each stride.




Almost everyone on the pool deck stood and cheered for him


and people were lined up against the upper deck railing


most of them with their hands in the air clapping for Brian!


At that moment


Brian was our friend,


our son,


our brother,


our husband.


He was every soldier who didn’t come home


and every soldier who was still there fighting.



We all wiped away tears


as he made his way over to where Rachael was sitting


and gave her a big kiss before getting back in line


to await the judge’s decision.


I spoke with Rachael as we were waiting


and she told me that Brian had lost his leg only seven months ago


and that he was still insecure about learning how to move around


in his prosthetic leg


which he got for Christmas.


This cruise was her way of celebrating how far he'd come


and to lift his spirits.




What we originally thought would be good for Brian,

turned out to be an amazing lesson for all of us watching.

We saw a hero whose bravery had remained strong

through the physical battlefield of Iraq

and through the emotional battlefield

of recovery.




His heroism inspired in us


a new appreciation for the price of freedom.


We shed tears as this American hero


took several steps toward healing himself,


but what we didn’t count on


was that with each step he took,


something in all of our hearts began to heal as well.



Many of us were brought face to face


with the silliness of our own insecurities


as we watched this soldier face his in a big way.


After what we saw on that day


how could any of us ever again say


that we can’t do something out of fear


or because of the risk of embarrassment?


Courage inspires courage.







Many men in the audience were veterans of past wars.

Their bodies bore the scars that told the stories

of the price of freedom in their own lives.

Grey headed wives stood beside these men,

their scars of worry were better concealed

but still as painful.





Like so many intangibles


the bond between people who have gone through similar tragedies


is as evident when they talk to each other


as it would be if they were tied together by a big unbreakable rope.


When you witness people with this kind of bond,


it is undeniable.


It is also essential to our emotional well- being


to relate to other people on the deep level of shared experiences.


Hearing “I’ve been there son”


from war veterans must have soothed a part of Brian


like nothing else could.





Brian received a metal that day for winning the "Mr. Sexy Leg" contest,

but his biggest gift was being embraced by an audience

whose appreciation was evident in their glistening eyes,

their standing ovations,

their hugs and handshakes.





In the middle of the Caribbean Sea


amidst steel drum bands


and umbrella drinks,


I watched a broken man be put back together


one "thank you" at a time


and I watched a hero


make better Americans of us all.





The change in Brian was immediately noticeable.

Over the next few days I rarely saw him alone.

He was always greeted with handshakes

and engaged in conversation.





That hesitancy that I had seen in him before

was replaced by a broad smile,

a head held high

and what looked like pride to me.




Later that week

on the very same pool deck that he had introduced himself

to a ship full of strangers,

Brian got down on one knee

and proposed to Rachael.

She said yes!