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Friday, October 29, 2010

Birthday Fun & Lifetime Memories


Last evening I had the pleasure of celebrating a good friends birthday with other good friends. With our busy schedules, sometimes it's hard to carve our "friend time". A birthday is the perfect opportunity to carve out that time and make some memories. Although the celebration only included shopping at Sam's and dinner, memories were made, belly laughs were enjoyed and the precious bonds of friendship strengthened. We have had the 
distinct pleasure of raising our children together. They are the same ages which has given us the added benefits of going through the different transitions as one by one the older ones left home. We struggle together to keep the lines of communication open with the ones left in the nest and who now feel like the only child. We have laughed together, cried together, prayed together, played together,rejoiced together and have mourned together. The greatest joy of all is getting to transition to the next phase of life together (even though we are fighting it tooth and toenail). Life's journey is just more fun when you share it with others on the same road. Having a friend to travel with makes the unknown a 
 little less scary and the good times are a little sweeter when shared. Happy birthday Lin!!!  You are the sister I never had, and my shoe fetish friend.You make a lousy accountability partner when it comes to my shopping and budget,but you have made a difference in my life and the life of my family. It's my pleasure to call you not just friend, but family because that's what you are to me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening My Boxes

Fallen

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this week. It was about the moral character of a person. I used to be of the mindset that everything was black and white, good or bad. Either you had moral integrity, or you didn't have it. Either you were a good person or you weren't. This thought pattern led me to pass judgment on people based on what I could see and how it fit into the white/black/good/bad category. I wouldn't simply put them in the black or white zone, I would put them in the right/wrong box and there they stayed forever and ever amen. For the most part I was raised in a church that did the same thing. When people messed up, regardless of the redemption they may have found at the cross, they could never quiet find that kind of forgiveness in the church and they especially couldn't find forgetfulness that cast your sins as far and the east is from the west. I suppose that kind of redemption is considered strictly Divine attributes of our Lord. My question is should it not be an attribute that we, as followers of Christ, should strive to obtain? The Bible does tell us to forgive.... I believe it says 70 times 7, but to be honest with you I don't know of many who practice that verse, myself included. I can forgive, but dang it, forgetting is nearly impossible to do. Sometimes it's not even about forgiveness. It's easy to see friends, family and people in the community make bad choices, we may not even know them, but when the rumors hit our ears, we don't hesitate to dump them in the bad box, fold the flaps and walk away. I once knew a woman who was a wonderful wife and mother. In fact I believe her and her husband received a "Family of the Year" award. shortly thereafter she began to change. I had lost touch with her but I know that these changes effected her marriage, her children and eventually led to the murder of her best friend. I knew this woman. I had gone to church with her, I had been to her house, she was a good person.... and then something happened. After she was released from prison I talked to her ex-husband who said she had gotten her life back together, had a job and was attending church again. He seemed at peace with things and I admired his ability to speak of her without any hint of bitterness or anger. I wonder about her often. She will forever wear the label of "that woman". The story of what she did will follow her forever. I suppose it's just the law of reaping what you sow, but I can't help but wonder if Christ wouldn't rather us embrace the "new and improved" version and work on forgetting the small window in history where she wasn't new and definitely wasn't improved. Several years ago I took the Beth Moore bible study on David. Of  her studies I believe I liked this one the most. The reason is because the bible specifically calls David a man after God's own heart. Yet when you read David's story it reads like a script off of Desperate Housewives. David failed time and time again. David made some horrible choices that also resulted in innocent deaths. Yet in spite of those errors in judgments.... The bible calls him a man after God's own heart. That is comforting to me. I require a lot of grace from the throne.... Not a little, a lot. I may not go out and commit murder, I may not conceal a crime, commit adultery, but I do believe the ability to do so lies deep inside each and every person... given the right circumstances. But for the grace of God go I. I heard a song the other day that spoke of this. The lyrics said.....

          Fallen
Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
You'll slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed
 (Sarah McLachlan)

That's how I've come to look at people.... Everyone is one misstep away from being forever labeled. Yet, to know that you can be wholly human, completely flawed and still be a man or woman after God's own heart.... Nothing short of amazing!!! Most people probably remember David for his failures and never stop to analyze his accomplishments. Why? Because as humans we tend to put people in a box, label, and fold the flaps. I'm just glad that Christ hasn't folded the flaps on me and in spite of myself. I can still be know by him as a woman after his heart... That's good news to this feisty gal, because we have all fallen and if we haven't then at some point in life we will. I'm working on unfolding the flaps of my boxes I've set aside, and releasing the ones that I've had trapped by judgment. Because when I fall, I don't want to be trapped in a box that I can never escape.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Unspoken Word....


Unspoken words have a language all their own. To the lonely, they may speak comfort or reaffirm their belief of worthlessness. To the self-assured they may further boost their ego, or unearth hidden insecurities. To the guilty, they may set judgment on their deeds, or redemption for their failures. 
To the righteous, they may elevate their lofty standards,  or devastate their high towers. To the insecure, they may manifest themselves as compliments, or reveal themselves as insults. To the lovelorn, they may proclaim enduring love, or expose disguised apathy.  To the broken, they may be the ointment of healing, or the sting of decay. To the healed, they may be a testament of wholeness, or a fear of rejection. To the ignorant, they may be a confirmation of intelligence, or a accusation of uselessness. To the clever, they may be an expression of discernment, or allegation of simplicity.
Many say that you should chose your words wisely for they can wound. The same can be said about the unspoken word as well. Sometimes words can be spoken yet they remain untrue. The unspoken word is subject to our interpretation. At times we inturpet the unspoken to denounce our fears, but most often we inturpet them to reinforce our deepest dread. We are given to vain imaginations, usually to our detriment. Do you want your strong affection to be misinturpeted by the one you adore? Put those unspoken words into a audible song of praise. Do you want your silence on a subject of 
dispute to be inturpeted as an nod of agreement? Make your argument with constructive debate. Sometimes it's not the words that are spoken that wound..... It's the unspoken words that wound and yes, those wounds can be a deep if not deeper. Silence isn't always golden.

GROUNDHOG DAY AT AFFAIR OF THE HEART



Twice a year a craft/exhibit show called "Affair of the Heart" comes to a nearby city. My girlfriends and I love to make it an outing but the last few years we've had a hard time getting our schedules together to be able to do so. This year one of my girlfriends asked if I could go.I realized I was taking a chance at another huge crowd event, but you gotta face your demons.
We've both had a lot going on and to be honest we haven't talked much all year, so I was looking forward to getting some one on one time with her and about a billion other women. The ooh-ing and the awe-ing is at an all time high at these things. Massive amounts of women of all ages and a few tortured husbands, who look like they are being dragged through estrogen hell, attend. The booths are "all things girlie", crafts galore, it's just an overwhelming amount of stuff. There are 7..... count them 7 buildings packed like sardines with mostly girl stuff! It's a total sensory overload!!!! First and foremost, we must find and partake in the strawberry crepe booth. I think there is actually a city ordinance about this requirement. My crepe had to have "extra pudding", cause I like things the way I like them.  When the sugar rush was in full swing... Let the shopping begin. Immediately I break the ice by purchasing 2 braclets that I could simply not continue my life without. Shallow? Yes, no doubt but that's just the way I roll. My personal gauge of whether or not you're having a good time is basically related to how many packages you are carrying.

We were both having a good time and our purses where beginning to weigh heavy on our shoulders. When we got to the middle of what I think was our 4th building, we turned a corner only to find ourselves on the same isle as we had just left. We doubled back and found an isle that looked new and fresh.... In fact I think we both bought bell necklaces on this isle before we realized that we had been down the isle before and never even seen the bell necklace booth. That's really not unusual considering how many people and booths there are, so we forged ahead. Then we realized that every other isle was an isle that we had seen before. We were in the middle of the building so I knew we hadn't been down all the isles.  We continued to double back searching, searching, searching for the isle that was after the isle before the one we were on now (exactly!! That's exactly how we felt. Say what?). We were very confused, it was like we were in some kind of science fiction continuum and stuck in girl stuff heaven with no way out. We couldn't figure out if we were just coming off the sugar high from the crepes (if so we needed more crepes), or if our Alzheimer's had conveniently picked this time, this place to simultaneously strike both of us.... Or on a more sinister note, it was some cruel Dave Ramsey punishment for throwing caution and budgeting envelopes to the wind.  Whatever the cause it was imperative that we find the exit and get our bearings. When we finally got out of  building from hell.... I think we were both pretty much done. Our feet hurt, our backs ached and we both felt.... Well, less than what we used to be. I told my friend we may have to start taking her teenage daughter with us just to lead us around so we wouldn't get lost. Better yet, we could invent a "An Affair of the Heart" GPS that would keep people like us on track. Little did we know that the building from hell opened up to the parking lot maze from hell. Seriously, seriously, are we being filmed by a hidden camera or something? Geeze-freakin-Whiz!!!! I thought we would never find the car! "Dear God" I prayed under my breath.... "Please do not let that be an example of things to come." We made it back home in one piece (well two pieces since there were two of us). I humbly came into the house with my head hung in shame. I asked my husband if he loved me. When he said yes, I asked if he could put an actual dollar amount to that love because he wasn't going to be happy when the credit card bill came next month. He wrapped me in his arms, like he always does, and told me what was done was done and he hoped I felt better (I hadn't had a good couple of days). Actually I felt a lot better I informed him. When I've had a bad day or I'm depressed, buying things soothes me... It's my drug of choice and yes I recognize that's not a good thing and will seriously work on it. I think that being transported into An "Affair of the Heart" that read like "Groundhog Day" totally reformed this shopoholic. At least untill February when the next one comes to town.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Amazing Women and Hormonal Episodes


A good friend of mine was having a really bad day one day last week. It just so happened that her bad day fell on my really good day, which is usually how it happens. I give her little pep talks when she is down and she encourages me when I'm down. When she is feeling fat I tell her she is beautiful and when I feel ugly, she tells me I'm really not that ugly (LOL, jk!). On those unfortunate days when we are both in a funk, we just pee and moan to each other as if the world was ending. I let my friends wallow all they want, because occasionally I like a good wallow too.  When we are both having bad days, we will see who can be the most pathetic, and who can wallow in their pity most effectively. I'll admit that she probably beats me on the wallowing thing, but then I'm not a very competitive person. LOL!! We constantly talk about losing weight and very often talk about binge eating everything in sight including the computer keyboard all in the same conversation.... "Gosh I just ate a whole bag of candy.... I need to lose some weight, we have to work out more." Sometimes she'll say that we are messed up and I have to remind her that we are no more messed up than other women who worry about their weight, their hair, their relationships, their marriages and their kids. We are women who have fluctuating hormonal episodes, which is perfectly normal. From the beginning of time women have been this way. If Eve hadn't been having a hormonal eating binge she wouldn't have looked at the fruit on the forbidden tree once, much less eaten the whole thing except the bite she offered Adam! She was a hormonal maniac. God made women very relational because he knew we would be a tremendous support system for each other. Let's face it, most men walk around dazed and confused when it comes to the moods of their women, but women totally get each other. We may not like each other very much sometimes, but we get each other. My friend emailed me the next day and said she was going to work on not being in a funk all day. I responded with "You can do it because you are an AMAZING woman." Actually we all are, we just have days when we don't believe it about ourselves.... And the other days we want to eat everything in sight, including our keyboard.... Cause we are women

The Abbreviated Version of Laugh Out Loud


I had a really good day yesterday!!! I can't explain it. It makes no logical sense (like most everything else this year). But I had a really good day. I felt like my old feisty self, the mischievous one, the one quick to make a joke.  I really have missed that Jac the last few months. She has made brief appearances, but never stayed long. I keep thinking that one of these days she is going to be back to stay (yay!). Until that happens, I'll enjoy the sparkle when I can catch it in my eye, and on those days it's replaced by a tear, I'll just let it roll and look forward to the day when I laugh out loud for real and not just in the abbreviated version. Yeah, that's a day I look forward to.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If Motherhood Was Easy, God Would Have Given The Job To Men


Oh gosh! Motherhood is a difficult journey regardless if you're the one traveling, or if you are watching someone else travel. I have a co-worker who is preparing to pack her baby girl up and move her several hours away. As a Mom who has had that same experience, it hurts. When you carry a child in your womb, nurture and protect it, give birth to it and then raise it...... You are wildly attached to it! I know many men would disagree but growing a child inside of you gives you a spiritual and physical bond men just don't have. That's not to say that men don't love their children, it's just very different than the connection women feel for their children (of course this is just a woman's view). I know when my two older children moved away I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest and I was left with a gapping bleeding hole. Although I hurt, I rejoiced that they were physically, mentally and emotionally capable of packing up and leaving. Embracing my childs independence wasn't an easy task, but it was a necessary task.  After the fact I realized how blessed I am to have equipped my child enough to leave the nest, spread their wings and sore to heights that I have never seen.  My heart has ached for her as I've watched her prepare herself the last two weeks, in fact we have shared a few tears over it. But I know that she will live through this time, even if it is with a gapping bleeding hole and when she steps back to see how much her daughter has grown, that hole will be filled with pride at a job well done. I got your back Sister..... You will survive.

I'll Take Mine With Sprinkles

I'll Take Mine With Sprinkles


When I go out to eat, I like to place my order the way I like it. If I like extra this, or extra that I tell them when I place my order, no big deal. If I want my extra on the side I tell to put my extra on the side. My husband always accuses me of being just like Sally on "When Harry Meets Sally"....
It's no big deal, I just want it the way I want it. I'm a people pleaser or at least I was a people pleaser. My husband says I'm a little more inclined to bluntness in the past several months or so (we call it BF... before the fall... almost makes it sound biblical, huh?). I'll have to say.... I agree with him (don't let it go to your head honey, I'll not make a habit of it).  Hmmm, I think the head injury stripped the gears on my "sugar coating" mechanism. I've always attempted to be as honest as possible with people (as I'm a people pleasing machine), but I 've always tried my best to be as diplomatic as possible. At least that's what I would have said 10 months ago. Today I would call being diplomatic nothing but beating around the bush which I totally have no use for now. I'm not eager to hurt anyones feelings but I really think the part of my brain that whitewashes the truth no longer exsist. I was talking to a friend the other day when this subject came up. She quickly informed me that she, in no way wanted people to honest with her. Uh uh, that was not for her! She said... "I will get my feelings hurt and I just don't want to know". 10 months ago I would have agreed with her 100%.  Let it be known, that although I realize that most people feel this way, the uncoated flakes just pop out of my mouth now before I have a chance to sprinkle any sweetness on it. Don't get me wrong, I don't blurt out rude comments all the time, but according to my husband and close friends, I have more of a tendency to matter of factly spit things out a little more eagerly than others can really appreciate (or apparently swallow). So.... I'm working on retraining my tongue to stop-drop-and-roll, because people like things with sprinkles... Make mine with double sprinkles.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He Has A Very Special Gift!!!

You could have 20 kids and I guess each one of them would be as different from each other as they could be. Today I have the pleasure of  wishing my 3rd child happy 16th birthday. I seem to be way more impressed about this 16th birthday than he is, but he is extremely choosy about the things he gets excited about and that is just one of the ways he differs from his brother and sister.

After the death of my husband's Mother, we realized how important family can be. Although my husband and his sisters don't share a terribly close relationship, mainly due to the age difference, they came together during my mother-in-laws illness. It's at that point that I realized that regardless how different siblings are, they offer comfort and support for each other in a unique way that no one else can provide.  After her death we began discussing the benefits of having a 3rd child. When I got pregnant we were thrilled. It had been been 8 years since we had a baby in the house and I was excited to experience the joys of having a wee-one around again. For some reason I just felt like I was going to have a girl. Why? I have no clue but we were going to name her Chloe Victoria and I had made a beautiful pink frilly blanket and little sleepers.  A few weeks before his birth, I went shopping in Norman with a friend who had just had a baby and another friend who was expecting shortly after me. My friend in Norman happened to be a nurse and while we were out shopping we swung by the hospital so she could do an ultrasound on the both of us. She lay on the table and ran the ultrasound wand over her belly and said "See the thing right there that looks like a turtle? See the little thing that looks like the turtle's head? That means it's a boy. That's my little boys turtle!!!!" I was excited to see what we would find out on me. I had an ultrasound earlier in my pregnancy but we really couldn't see anything. She lay me down on the table and applied the cold gel to my stomach. As she began to run the wand over my belly, black and gray gobbley goup appeared on the screen. I never understood how on earth you could make heads or tails out of that mess. Suddenly she got excited and pointed to the screen.... "Oh look Jac. You've got a turtle too!!!!" I swallowed deep and knew immediately that I had some planning to do! That pretty little pink rosebud blanket with lacy trim was not going to wrap around a turtle in the same way it would a rosy cheeked baby girl. When I got home that night I headed to church and made it just as service was starting. My husband played bass on the praise team and I was bursting at the seams to tell him the news. When praise and worship was over, he slipped in the pew beside me and I slipped a note in his hand that said "I have a little turtle and it's going to be a boy." He grinned wide and handed me back a note that said "COOL!!!". The morning of the 18th I went to my doctors appointment, totally ready to get show on the road. Even though it was still two weeks before my due date, I was tired and ready to hold my new little one. The doctor told me with confidence that it should happen any minute and told me not make it tonight because he had been up all night last night with a delivery and he was in no mood to lose another nights sleep. He didn't know it, but the worst thing he could have done was to boss this pregnant lady around. I went home and called my Daddy to see if he felt like going for a walk with me. I was tired of being pregnant and thought maybe all my little turtle needed was a slight nudge. So Daddy came over and we started out. My Dad has back problems and his back had really been acting up.  When we got half way around the block and Daddy was several steps ahead of me, I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it for a full walk. We turned around and walked home.... I could barely move!! The kids came home from school and I started dinner. During dinner I looked at my husband and said, I think I'm having contractions, a statement that he seemed really unimpressed by. We got the kids tucked into bed and with more urgency I said, "I think I'm having contractions!" So we sat down, me on the couch, him in the rocker across from me. He had his stop watch and pen and paper in hand. Every time I had a contraction he timed it and wrote it down. The whole time I kept telling him..... "I think we should just go to the hospital." to which he responded....  "I don't think so hon, I'm afraid they would just send you home because we still have two weeks." After doing this for a while, I raised my voice to a more anxious level and told him we needed to go to the hospital! He had the nerve to say..... "I don't think so...... You need to be more consistent with your contractions. See here..... It was 1.5 minutes here and then here (as he pointed to his little chart), it's 3 minutes. They are going to want there to be more consistency before you come in or they will just sent you home and I'm afraid that will upset you." What was upsetting me was his little pen and his watch!!!!!"inconsistent" I was being to which she kind of agreed with my husband..... Then I told her that this was baby #3 for me. She calmly asked me to come in immediately!!!! Ha, him and his little chart. Quickly we called Mom and Dad to come sit with the kids and get them ready, and we headed to the hospital. A mere 3 hours later the sweetest sound on earth filled the delivery room.  My rosy cheeked baby boy made his debut into this world with cries that were like a fresh breath to these two proud parents and grandparents.  They lay him on my stomach as my husband cut the cord and my Mom tip toed to see over the nurses head to get a glimpse of the grand baby she would get to live in the same town with. When they moved him over to clean him up my Mom got a shoulder in between the nurses, because no one was going to get between her and her new grandson.
God knew exactly what he was doing when he designed Caleb. He knit him together in my womb knowing that I needed a calm, quiet, low maintenance child.... For once in my life (no offense kids). From day one he only cried when he had a need to be met or a schedule to be kept. When he began to crawl, he would crawl to his crib and shake it until I put him down for his nap (I'm not even exaggerating). As a toddler he had all of this cars separated from his dinosaurs. He would play with one group, put them back in their place and the play with the other group.... The two groups could not be mingled (no I'm not kidding). As he got older and played with Star Wars characters, they too had a separate place as did their weapons. If one was missing he was like the shepherd who left the 100 to look for the lost sheep... It needed to be put back where it belonged. This weekend as I was cleaning the house I opened the door to his room and everything was just as neat and tidy as always. Even though it seemed pointless, I vacuumed and dusted and wished to heavens that the rest of the house looked as neat as his room, then I was shamed because it didn't. He may not have much to say, but I assure you those still waters run deep. Of all of our children I think he is the least like me and the most like his Daddy as well as his oldest brother and Grandfather Patterson. He is quiet and organized (unlike me who can be rambunctious and messy). He has his Grandfather Patterson's smile and voice and well.... He is pretty much a mini me of all things Patterson. He has been a joy to raise and I know that the years will fly by even faster now that he is 16. I smile in wonder as I watch him mature and I wait we anxious anticipation at what my heavenly Father has in store for him. Whatever it is I can be assured he will tend to it with the meticulous measure he was gifted with. Oh what I'd give for just a tad of that gift!!!

   

Friday, October 15, 2010

Refresh My Soul


Lord refresh my soul anew
bring me back Lord to the side of you
Like ocean waves on the sea side shore
Crash over me, Lord make me more
Purge the selfishness I hold inside
Destroy the things I try to hide
Restore my strength to stand against
The world, this flesh I cling unto
Put them behind the power of you
Though broken and battered I seem to be
Restore the one you made as me
The things that are temptation sore
Just blind my eyes to see no more
When the voice that bids me come aside
Your whisper rise above the tide
From the ocean floor Lord, bring me up
Help my heart to rise above
Those hurts others have intentionally done
The ones I've yet to overcome
Just put them far beneath the sea
Far from the memory which resides in me
And though I may feel tossed aside
No desirable use others may find
I know for a fact Lord value you see
A purpose for even one such as me
A plan of use for the kingdoms sake
A difference in heaven yet to be made
Gird my mind Lord with this truth 
True value is found only in you
Washed and cleansed and made brand new
Give me purpose Lord, a reason to rise
above the pain, above the tide
Draw me close Lord into your arms
Where your presence outweighs 
The sound of the storms
 Turn my eyes from those who have caused me pain
Let forgiveness pour down like rain
 Uproot the bitterness found within
Which has cause the scar, increased the sin
And just like the ocean forever new
Refresh my soul with the fragrance of you





Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patience Is a Virtue


Patience is a virtue, and something I don't presently have much of. I got home from work today and found a DSW shoes rewards coupon in the mail. My first instinct was to head out to the City (1.5 hours away), and buy a new pair of shoes..... Then I remembered A) My family expected me to fix dinner tonight B) The stupid "Dave Ramsey" envelope budget thingy C) If I got held up in the City shopping and couldn't make it back to work tomorrow my boss  SO wouldn't understand. Then I realized.... God must be trying to teach me patience and I'm think to myself "After 47 years.... Why bother?" I remember when my daughter was a wee one, scooting around the house in her walker (my gosh I don't even think those things are legal any more).  One of my vows of motherhood was that I would never put my nic nacs away. My kids were just going to learn that there were some things they could not touch.  My daughter would scoot up to a little pretty knowing she was not suppose to touch. She would sweetly look at me as she reached her hand toward the "no no".  In my sweetest mommy voice I would say..... "No, no. Don't touch" and she would quickly draw her hand back. Seconds later her sweet little arms would once again extend to the "no no" and she would glance at me and back to the "no no" again. Those little fingers would ever so slowly arch toward the "no no" and as they did her chubby little fingers would stretch as far apart as they could and she would wiggle each one in turn as each little finger longed just for one touch of the forbidden "no no". Isn't that just like us all. Whatever is just out of our reach or "forbidden" is exactly what we are craving at that second. Do I need new shoes? Ha!!! You have got to be kidding me.  I could wear a different pair of shoes every day for probably several months and still not run out. Still, that coupon is burning a hole in the pocket of my purse. I don't need shoes, but I want them so very badly. I hung my head and proceeded to the kitchen with coupon in hand. What should I fix for dinner? Then I see it!!!! The expiration date on the coupon isn't until November 14th!! That gives me almost a month to siphon money from one "Dave Ramsey probably knows best" budget envelope to my very own "Dave Ramsey doesn't know EVERYTHING" budget envelope. I have time to... ummm, Budget new shoes!!!! Yes in fact I believe the Lord may be trying to teach me something..... I'm not sure I've totally learned it yet, but I have accepted the fact that he is trying to teach me something. They say every journey begins with the first step and I plan to start my journey in cute shoes. You know... Sometime next month. For those of you who are wondering.... All 3 of my kidsn (for the most part)  never crossed the nic nac boundaries I put in place for them. Today those sweet little fingers sail the ocean blue and have occasionally been wrapped around a N240 machine gun as they protect our freedoms. So yes, eventually the lessons are learned and after the fact they are a sweet memory of life's journey.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whole New Meaning to "Put Your Big Girl Panties On"


This weekend I went to the City with several friends. Friday night we were waiting in the lobby for others to arrive. The three of us were sitting against the back wall and we were just chillin, watching people who were coming back from a concert down the street. I assumed from the way they were dressed, it must have been a concert for the "younger" generation. They Didn't look like the people you typically see at a James Taylor or Eagles concert. The three of us were half asleep or in that comfortable, got my belly full and in in a daze kind of state. While staring straight ahead the lobby doors opened and I instantly caught my breath. My mind could not fully comprehend what I was seeing. I just remember muttering in a low moan.... "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, would you look at that!" (without moving my lips as not to be obvious). At exactly the same time the guy that was with us did and said the same thing. We couldn't take our eyes off of the object of our fascination.  His wife who was sitting between us had clearly not seen what we had seen.  We both turned to her at the same time and said "Did you not see that?!?" She looked at us in total confusion and said "What? What are you talking about?" Neither her husband nor myself have ever been known to be at a loss for words.... Except now! Finally, he gathered his composure to explain what we had seen. When he got to the critical part, I felt the urge to jump in with a more vivid word picture ..... The jest of the sighting was this.... A plus sized (and I'm talking several sizes plus some) girl, probably 20ish in age, wearing a nondescript white tee-shirt that was loosely belted at her hips.She had on fish net stockings and black panties with white ruffles. That was it. As unbelievable as it seems..... My eyes never made it past the ruffles to observe what kind of footwear she had on. Trust me the fact that I didn't notice her shoes even though I have a huge shoe fetish speaks volumes to how she was dressed. Did she leave her pants at the concert? Did she even realize she wasn't wearing any pants??? These are all questions that really should have been addressed by someone in her party. Were her friends too embarrassed to tell her she didn't have any pants on? Was she one of those people who didn't want to be told she had no pants on? If it had been a giant sized bugger, would they have not told her about that as well? Come on people!!!! Please, please, please.... If I ever leave the house with just my ruffled panties on, please someone clue me in!!!!! I'm not a prude.... Not even close. I can't even tell you how upset I was when I the EMT people cut my favorite jeans off and proceeded to my Victoria's Secret panties. But I like my cute panties under my pants!!!!! Hench the term UNDERWEAR. My people watching this weekend gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it." She had her big girl panties on and everyone else was having to deal with it. Oh for heaven's sake!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Scary Hole


I went out on a limb this weekend just to see how well I could balance my brain. Since the TBI  I have been experiencing sudden anxiety attacks especially when around crowds or when I'm around a loud environment. I really wanted to go on this weekend trip but I was terrified that if an anxiety hit me, there would be no place for me to hide until it passed. The trip was important to me for several reasons. It was a breast cancer walk and I was walking with one of my best friends who had breast cancer late last year. I knew it would be a fun time and I wanted to see how far I could push my boundaries with this fear thing. The anxiety has gotten so much better than it was a few months ago, but still it has a way of sneaking up from behind, catching me unaware. I am feeling so much better!! There are still a few things that need tweaking (patience would be one of those things).  Since the accident I've been pretty careful about putting myself in social settings and isolated myself for a variety of reasons. This weekend I thought I'd push through and see how it went. I made it through Friday night much better than expected even though there were a lot of people with us and the restaurant was very crowded.  My Son and his friends joined us for a while at the restaurant and I enjoyed getting to visit and catch up with him. Saturday morning went great. It was a sea of pink as far as the eye could see. It felt good to be a part of something positive and it felt good to see people whose loved ones had not come out on the winning end against the disease, being represented. About 3/4 way through the walk the stifling cloud caught up with me along with a raging headache... I had to get out of there before someone noticed the tears and the ragged breathing.I needed  just a few minutes alone to gain control before I could get back to my group and enjoy the rest of the walk. I ran back to the hotel, got something for my headache and took a few minutes to calm myself and reassure myself that the anxiety attacks, although inconvenient, were becoming less severe and soon they would pass altogether like most of the other symptoms. When I got back to the group I was fine, exhausted from the aftermath of overwhelming anxiety, but for the most part fine. A hole certainly would come in handy during these times.... A portable hole I could climb into that was lined with soft silky fir that would wrap around me like a warm blanket. Instead I climb back into cold hard reality and put one foot in front of the other until finally I'm back to my safe place.  When I got home my husband asked me how it went and I fell in his arms with tears rolling down my cheeks(he has gotten pretty used to this)..... "I just want the old Jac back, I want to be her again." He held me and assured me that she was coming back in little pieces every day and that I would just have to be patient. I told him I was pretty sure everyone was getting tired of my quirks and didn't understand the struggle. He said "Jac, when people hear what happened they expect for you to have some kind of visual scars they can see, you don't have any of those on the outside.... The damage was all inside. From the outside you look just as normal as if nothing has happened. You are better every day and you can't let these little episodes set you back." These episodes don't set me back, they terrify me! I become paralyzed with fear that they will never go away. I liked the person I was.... we were friends, I understood her. This new person can be hard to read, easy to offend, and has the patience of a gnat. I'm not crazy about this person and if she angers me I know she angers others. He continued to reassure me as he always does. He held me tight and suggested I take a nap(always a good idea). I'm not sure how I would have made it these last few months if it wasn't for my husband. He has been so supportive and loving, much more than I deserve. During this whole ordeal I've never felt like I was fighting alone, he has been beside me every step. When I get discouraged, he lifts me up. When I get overwhelmed, he carries the load, when I get scared he reassures me,when I fall into the black hole, he reaches in and helps me out, never judging,never criticizing. But most important of all, he loves me 100% unconditionally and never fails to calm my fears.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm Having a Mess Reduction


I wish I had a dime for every time I heard someone say..... "And I thought they were suppose to be a Christian!". This statement is usually said with a somewhat scrunched up nose,typically a little side to side head bob, and in a tone of utter disgust. This is the part where I usually bite my tongue (till blood is trickling down my chin), take a deep breath and just try to remain calm and not cry. Why??? Because if there were ever an imperfect person to carry the title of "Christian" it would be me. The only thing that keeps me going, is the knowledge that well people don't need a doctor, nor a hospital. I know I'm sick at heart and the only place to receive true healing is at the foot of the cross.... That's why I'm called a Christian, not because I'm perfect, but because I'm not. I honestly think a lot of people believe Christians claim to be perfect. Trust me I've run across a lot of Christians who believed they were indeed perfect, boy are they in for a big surprise. Every single day of my life I wake up fighting against every fleshly instinct and desire. EVERY DAY!!! My definition of a Christian is someone who does exactly that.... They are fighting with everything they've got not to become everything they shouldn't be and to become everything they should be in Christ. Proclaiming to be a Christian is a hard fought battle.... It is not for the weak at heart. Part of the reason it is so difficult is because if you carry that title everyone around you who doesn't is just waiting for you to slip up..... Waiting for you to fail... Just so they'll have the opportunity to say.... "I thought she was suppose to be a Christian" I'll sadly admit that I myself have been guilty as charged. I've looked at other Christians behavior in distaste and wondered how they had the nerve to set foot in a church. I was raised in a church that believed if you followed the rules and teachings that they put together in a little pamphlet then you were good and could be called a Christian, if you didn't you were damned to hell in a hand basket.The older I've gotten the more I realize that everyone struggles with something. Some people struggle in the dark hoping no one will find out that they are struggling, while others struggle out loud so that no one will be caught by surprise if they find out they're not perfect (I would be the one struggling out loud). Some days I feel like climbing to the roof with a sign that says "I'm fighting for my life". When I lay my head down at night I smile quietly to myself if I think I haven't been a total embarrassment to Christ. On the nights when I know that I have, I hang my head in shame and vow to do better tomorrow. My Christian walk is taken step by step, day by day and none of it is taken lightly. The amount of grace that has poured over me could fill the ocean and the sins that I have been forgiven of would cover the it's floor. I'm a total mess.... If you don't think so, just ask my husband. But my mess is made less by Christ so I can be more in Him. If you're a mess too, I know a place you can go to have a "Mess Reduction".... It won't make you perfect but it will lighten your load.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hand in Hand, Arm in Arm, Together We Stand Till A Cure Is Found


Late last year I posted a blog about my friend having cancer. Before her mastectomy we threw her a Bye Bye Boobie party (see 9/29/09 post). To say this last year has been a journey for her would be an understatement. She was lucky enough not to have to do radiation or chemo, but still had to take Tamoxifen which in itself caused a multitude of problems. That being said she has weathered the storm and can now see light at the end of the tunnel. Having her with us is such a blessing because this lady has been a light to everyone around her, before cancer, during

cancer and certainly after cancer. She has not let her breast
cancer define who she is, but has allowed it to reaffirm whose she is. How did she spend her time this last year through recovery????? She spent it by working tirelessly in missions, volunteering for the red cross, training for CERT and volunteering for the local election board. Cancer may have slowed her down a little but it did not hold her back. In fact it may have made her even more passionate about helping others and bringing the gospel of Christ to those who have not heard the good news. Tomorrow thousands of people will gather in downtown Oklahoma City at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure race. A team of

loved ones and family will be there walking for and with my friend, wearing tee-shirts dedicated to her. I am excited and proud to walk with her. I thank God that my friend is here and physically able to represent other

survivors on what will hopefully be the end of a challenging journey for some, and sadly the beginning of the journey for many others. We walk as a unit, hand in hand, arm in arm, until a cure for those who are hurting has been found. If you can't walk with us in person, walk with us in prayers. Together we make a difference.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Honey Colored Highlights


Last night I decided to bite the bullet and dabble with painting the den. Well, actually I thought I'd play around with the paint and see what combinations looked best. I used to paint a lot more than I do now. Discovering faux painting techniques got me started using bold colors.  Sometimes it works better than others. Our den is pretty small so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I had a new gadget that I had used on some walls a couple of friends. I decided to do the den in a honey and mustard type blend. I was just going to do a small patch while I watched survivor. My husband has always made fun of the way I paint. I get paint all over me, sometimes before the can is ever opened. I don't know how that happens, it just happens. He can paint the entire house and not get a spot of paint on anything including his hands. When I paint I get in my hair, face, clothes and you don't even want to know what the floors look like. Yes, of course I have rags and yes I cover things, but paint has a magical way of going where this woman never intended it to go. My husband was reading upstairs and my faithful shadow lay in the hall watching me. I carefully did 1/4 of a small wall before I stood back to see how it looked. Seemed fine to me. I begin to put my stuff up and decided I'd tackle it this weekend. I looked down on the floor and paint drops were everywhere. Sailor looked up at me and even she was covered with drops of honey/mustard paint. How did I manage to sling it all the way over there? It didn't seem to bother her, of course nothing usually does. I quickly cleaned everything up because I did not want my husband to see the mess.  I'll  wait until I have time to tape and cover everything before I tackle the whole room. I'll check into getting Sailor a Hazmat suit to wear so she doesn't get painted as well.  I'll have to admit, Sailor's new honey highlights look really pretty against her amber coat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time Warp


I love the way technology offers answers with a click of the mouse, but I hate it when the equipment becomes bogged down with whatever it gets bogged down with. I guess I must not have a lot of patience.... Or at least lately I haven't had much, because I could simply just pick the thing up and throw it through the window. I want the little hour glass to come and go in a twinkling of an eye, and heaven help me when it doesn't. This afternoon I got so fed up with it's little message saying "Do not turn off computer, it will automatically shut down when update is complete" That I totally ignored the warning and crawled under my desk and just jerked the plug from the back of the computer. I really wanted to smack it around a little but decided against it since I already have a bad rep causing destruction with everything within my path. Between the lack of speed on my computer and my shattered,bleeding cell phone screen, I'm a little out of sorts today. I'd like to re-boot my day, but I'd probably just get stuck in some time warp continuum and never make it back to reality.... Come to think of it, maybe that's where I've been the last few months.... You just never know.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just A State of Mind

I was sitting in the den this evening watching football with my husband. We have been working on the den (or I should say my husband has been working on the den.. I supervise) and all of the furniture is moved around and the place is just a big mess with step stools, tarps and plaster and stuff. My husband was laying on one the the love seats and I sat across from him in the other love seat. My dog lumbers in the room and notices that I happen to be in her spot. She could have easily been offended, but no.... She climbs up on the love seat and cuddles up in my lap..... Well, as much as possible. She is an English Mastiff that weighs somewhere between 175 and 200 pounds. I actually don't know how much she weighs because I don't have a vehicle large enough to transport her to the the vet. She still thinks she is a puppy and should be able to sit in my lap while I drive.... It just doesn't work for me anymore. But hey, how you gonna tell a 200 pound dog that? Have you ever looked at something and seen it totally different than everyone else around you? Occasionally, I'll look at a situation and listen to those around me discuss it and I'll think to myself..... "Are we talking about the same thing?" I'm happy to admit that I don't always look at things head on, sometimes I like to take a step back and look at things from a different angle, but I'm not sure others really see the necessity in a wide angle view. The other day when I was in the swamp or marsh (whatever you call it) I saw beauty, but if I had looked close up, I would have seen a lot of muck and bugs and I did but I chose to ignor that view. When I see vivid contrasting colors, others may just be seeing a black and white photo.... or different shades of gray. I love to play devils advocate when watching crime shows. I love looking at things and imagining how I would defend or make an argument.  I should have been a lawyer cause my husband says he's hasn't won an argument with me in 28+ years. Of course there are plenty of things I see as one sided, but in large I try very hard to be somewhat balanced (shoe fetish excluded). Not everything is as cut and dried as we'd like it to be. Not everything is as simple as it should be nor as complicated as others make it to be. Oddly enough everything has a way of turning into what you imagine it to be.... Even if it's only in your own mind. Sailor's size certainly doesn't indicate she's a lap dog, but in her mind she is just the perfect size. I guess I could enlighten her and save myself some bruises, but I actually like to cuddle.... Even if it is a little painful and with a giant dog the size of a horse. It's all just a state of mind......

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't Mess With My Thunder!!!


Friday afternoon my boss comes into my office to warn me, (with a somewhat smug grin) that "He stole my thunder." Alrighty then....  I had no clue as to what he was talking about. But I do know one thing,.... Nobody touches my thunder!  It didn't matter what he was talking about he had just dug himself a tiny pit and was fixin to go down with one nudge of my dainty little hand. He laughed and said the last time he had taken a co-worker to Louisiana he had neglected to buy her anything to eat while they were there. Those day trips tend to be long and grueling. She silently suffered through trying to be a good traveling partner but came back and let it be known (like only a woman can) that she had starved to death all day. The guys had given him a very hard time about it. So I guess he thought he'd jump the gun this time and beat me to the punch by outing himself before I got the pleasure.... Oohh really? He should have known better than that! In his defense, I did get one meal on our trip and it was to die for wonderful. After lunch we flew to New Orleans, rented a car, trudged around in the swamp,me in high heels and sweating in the most feminine way.  He did stop for a bottle of water on the way to the airport,  but that was mainly because we had to try to find a way to get the oilfield clay off of my shoes. Midway home and several hours later I was pretty sure my stomach was consuming itself. I hadn't thought to pack a protein bar or anything. I looked over and he had a sucker sticking out his mouth.  "Where'd you get that sucker?" I asked looking as pathetic as I knew how to look. He said he had swiped it from the counter in the airport because all of the breast cancer awareness cookies that had been there when we checked out the rental car were all gone.... So it looked like I wasn't the only one starting to feel the pain.  Earlier in the morning he had offered me a mint so I asked if he had any mints left. No, they were in the back with his laptop...  Trust me, I'm in no danger of being malnourished but by the time we landed I  felt like I had been on survivor without the benefit of winning a million dollars. All I can say is it's a good thing I don't get cranky and really desperate when I'm hungry or I would have been sizing him and the pilot up.... (a plane can't be that hard to fly right?). When I got home I went straight to the freezer and grabbed a fist full of banana popsicles before going upstairs. I was  telling my husband about the trip while eating popsicles as fast as I was talking  (I assure you I can talk  pretty dang fast when I get wound up) when he asked... "Didn't he take you out to eat?"... Even he was in shock and awe that we had eaten lunch but didn't grab something that night before flying out... You know considering it was such a long day. The next morning I was exhausted and ran a little late getting out of the house. My husband peaked out from under the pillow to tell me good bye. He mentioned my lateness and I told him I didn't care how late I was, I was running by and getting a biscuit. Once I got my tummy full I was a happy little camper and my memories of starving were way behind me.... I actually hadn't even considered telling anyone about the lack of consideration until he strutted into my office with his little grin and the "Stolen your thunder statement" like he had just beat me in a marathon or something. I just couldn't let it slide, especially when my co-worker insisted that I let everyone know he had not only done it once.... He now had done it twice. Here's to stealing my thunder Buddy.... Your reputation for starving your employees on business trips are now well known throughout the office and abroad and I wasn't even the one who let the cat out of the bag. Remember to keep a woman happy you must keep her well fed.... Well that's just one of the ways... Shoes are your other option and for the record I wear an 8.5.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Changes Things


I look outside and the weather is wonderful. Slowly but surely the cool winds of fall are chasing the stifling heat of summer away. Soon the leaves will change to brilliant colors before they fade and drop to the earth to be recycled by nature. I feel a hope deep inside that I usually feel during the spring. This year has been difficult in many ways. I've watched a friend walk through the recovery of breast cancer. My husband has struggled with the release of a ministry he had spent years pouring his heart into, and I've fought to keep my head above water as I've recovered from my head injury. I thought about all of these things as I sat in the car and felt the sun warm against my skin and the cool breeze blowing my hair. Things change.... It's just a fact of life. You don't have to like it and you don't have to see it coming... But come it will. Sometimes change comes slowly like the fading of the leaves. Sometimes it comes like a tidal wave on the beach, knocking you flat; but change will always come. Some changes are easy to wrap your mind around, others shake you to the core of your soul. Some changes come for the better, while other changes seem bitter and cruel.... Some, a mixture of both. I know that the changing of the color on the trees, leads to a time when they will  soon look barren and drab. It's necessary for them to shed their leaves so they can spring to life with new growth.... New hope. Perhaps that's why I've felt a little melancholy about fall. In some ways I feel like my leaves have faded and are beginning to shed. I'm preparing myself for the bleak days of winter, but I know that new life, new hope and a new season is just ahead. What's the saying.... "Out with the old, in with the new." I know something exciting is just around the corner and I've gone through these changes in order to prepare myself to be blown away in a wonderful way by life! Yes, fall changes things.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dress Heels + Swamp=Very Bad Wardrobe Choice

Yesterday was a long....honkin....day! It started unnecessarily at 2:00 a.m. and went on for what seemed like forever. That being said, it was an interesting day and a great experience. I flew to Lafayette on business with my boss attended a meeting, had lunch then flew to New Orleans to check out a location for our Company. Although I was a little nervous about flying on a small plane, everything went well. When we took off I was checking out the plane. There was an ashtray looking thingy on the wall beside me, I gave it a gentle tug to see if it really was an ashtray but it didn't budge. There were two inset pull handles next to the "not an ashtray, ashtray", one handle was red and looked like it had seen better days,the other handle was just silver. I reached up and started to give the red handle a little tug, just to see what it would do. Luckily my brain engaged just a second before the tug and I thought to myself..... "Red usually is a warning of some kind" and "Do you really want to pull a handle that you have no clue what it does, while you are in the air?" Then I noticed the small print just at the bottom of the pilot's window. "For Emergency Exit, Pull Handle and Push Window." I just tucked my hands into my lap, leaned back in my chair and gave a little chuckle. My boss was just getting settled in to read and asked me what was so funny. I told him I had considered pulling on the handle thingy just to see what it would do but thought better of it. I explained to him that that's when I usually get myself in trouble. He said..... "Oh like when you broke that one F16 when you were in San Diego?"..... "Exactly!!! That is exactly what it's like!" While touring USS Midway in San Diego a couple of years ago I wondered off from my family out of sheer boredom. My husband was explaining every little aspect of the planes to the kids (probably down to the nuts and bolts) which bores me to absolute tears. So I was just wondering around (unsupervised) and was looking at this F16. I noticed it had a little door, just like the door to the gas cap on any car. So I thought I'd just open the little door to confirm that yes it was the door to a very ordinary gas cap. No big deal right? Wrong!!! The second I touched that little door it just completely fell off in my hand. I was stunned. I totally expected those military planes to be more durable (it's true you just don't get much for your tax dollar these days). I nervously tried to put the little door back on and glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone had been watching. Sure enough there stood my entire family, legs spread apart like the principal of a school, arms crossed over their chest and my daughter (who is in the Navy) with a horrified look on her face..... "Mom!!! What are you doing? You're going to get us in trouble!" No amount of stammering or explaining could convince them that I did not intentionally destroy that plane..... I was just curious and it broke... Things happen. But yesterday, gratefully they did not happen. Get this mental picture....... Large mahogany conference table. Tall leather conference chairs. Newly painted walls with pretty pictures adding just the right accent. Sitting around the table were 10 big burly oilfield men, 3 or so engineers (think pocket protectors), all talking about mud, BOP, BHA, logs and fluid loss. You got it!!! I got to sit in on a STUD meeting... OOPS!!! Typo there.... That's a SPUD meeting (I don't care who you are... that there is funny). After the meeting we flew to New Orleans to check out a location. This location was so cool. First of all I've never been to Louisiana much less the swamps of New Orleans. The location is surrounded on all sides by swampy area. The spanish moss hanging from the trees made it look a little like the swamp that Yoda lived in on Star Wars. It was really beautiful. The lease had already been leveled and tons of river sand had been put into place. I was wearing heels and my boss told me I could just sit in the car while he looked around, but I was like... "No way!" I pulled up my dress pant legs, and clomped around in the sand straight over to the edge looking for something with two beady eyes. Nothing, notta, dangit!!! It looked like the perfect environment for a croc and they had talked about them in the meeting and three had already been caught, but of course the day I was there NOTHING!!! When I started to get back car I looked down and found my shoes where completely covered in gunky, brownish/gray sticky stuff clay. I'll admit it. I'm an Oklahoma girl born and raised with red dirt and red clay... I was a little intrigued with brownish/gray clay. It just doesn't take must to amuse someone like me. If I learned one thing yesterday it would be.... Dress heels + Swamp = Very bad wardrobe choice
See, you're never too old to learn something :-)