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Monday, May 30, 2011

Partnership

Awe, the ending to a great three day weekend.  One of the best things about marriage is the team work. We've always worked well as a team. No fussing, no fighting, no harsh words, we just work well together. This weekend we worked together and got a lot done. I'll go back to work tired, but satisfied that we actually accomplished something. We didn't do anything big, didn't go any place fun, just enjoyed being together and doing things that needed to be done. The strength of a true partnership is in the daily things, the mundane things, the simple things. I can say without a doubt we got those bases covered.... And we're not too bad when it come to the spectacular things as well. It's all just very comfortable and good. Now if life would just provide more three day weekends....  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wrestle Not

It was gaping, wounded, bleeding,sore...
It called for closure, but longed for more...
With thirst it sought to fill the need...
With selfish want and endless greed...
No thought, no reason to the cost...
 No contemplating further loss...
And yet beneath the burning fire...
Of tempting fate and great desire...
Stood a cross that bore the shame...
Filled the void and healed the pain...
Restored the tender to the heart...
 Erased the sin and tossed afar..
And once again the soul to mend...
My Savior, Father, Mentor, Friend...

Ephesians 6:12


 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Going Fishing in a "No Fishing Zone"

I've come to the realization that during a lifetime there are things that although I might get past.... I will never truly get over.  I can't change the past, but I've been given the gift of now.  If you've ever had now almost taken away from you, you appreciate  it more than ever. I'm snuggling up close and personal to forgiveness... Not just spiritual forgiveness (and thank God for it), but personal forgiveness, toward myself.... Toward others. Maybe that's not a big deal to some people, but it's a huge deal to me. I would consider myself long suffering, but when I'm done with a situation or a person.... I'm done! I have a tendency to cast them into the sea of forgetfulness with no life boat or life vest in sight. I'm just being brutally honest here. I don't want to be that way. When my mind wants to rehash the over and done with, I'm learning to push those memories aside and lean on prayer as protective barrier.  People screw up, people hurt your feelings. Situations are created by screwed up, hurting people who have their own agendas. It's not intentional, it's just our nature. That being the said, I probably need to throw a life boat out to a lot of people and at lot of situations I've been in over the last 40something years.  Thank God, Christ tossed my sins in the sea of forgetfulness, instead of tossing me in, which let's be honest, would probably have been easier. I'm guilty of tossing the whole kit and caboodle... Forever and ever amen! Perhaps it's time to go fishing, in a previously posted "No Fishing Zone".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guarded

It's coiled beneath the surface,cloaked within my heart, in a maze of locked compartments,abstruse to outside eyes... Guarded with great passion, preserved with tender care, enshrined with many teardrops and solemnly revered. Surrendered rather reluctantly, forgotten not a chance, revisited with mourning, grieved with no regrets. The wall that now surrounds it, often breaks away and once again rebuilding, praying walls to stay. A fissure could mean failure, the damage would be great, to all that it endangers, to  those it posed to save. The process has been brutal, the cost too numerous to count, but for all apparent purpose, the reward will far outweigh. Unwavering steadfast progress, incessant stable course, unfaltering devotion, to fulfillment with no remorse. Daily the task awaits me, an ever present chore, a cloud that looms over, with silent threatening storms. At times I grow weary, of the constant need to guard, and often I've surrendered to the dark and looming clouds. But after the envelopment, I rise and take a breath, and don my faithful armor prepared to fight till death.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bringing It All Into Focus

I was looking at pictures at lunch of the flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana. It's so sad to see so much destruction and I'm sure the pictures don't do the scene justice. A few years ago we had two 100 year floods in a matter of a couple of weeks. I came home from shopping (imagine that) to find 4-5 feet of water in my basement. Years and years of photographs, some of the kids baby clothes and other items were water logged and ruined.During that same flood, refrigerators floated down the highway that runs through town. Water covered places it had never been before. It was amazing and sad to see the power, destruction and effect of the flood. When we began cleaning up the mess, I told my husband I couldn't imagine having that in your living area, yet that is just a smidgen of what others are experiencing today. In the last couple of years, there have been so many natural disasters that
I've almost become immune to the real impact. Entire towns wiped out by tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, it just goes on and on. I have to stop myself every now and again and remind myself these aren't just picture, or stories, this involves real people, real tragedy. Yesterday I literally backed myself up, felt their pain and prayed for their recovery. Maybe other people don't, but I often become so self centered with what's going on with me, I forget to do that. When I do, the insignificance of whatever little problem I am facing, at any given moment is quickly brought into focus and I realize how blessed I am. It's like wiping the lens of a camera so you really have a clear view of what you're looking at.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

If These Walls Could Talk

Bittersweet feeling today having accomplished a lot in one day. I got my nooks and crannies cleaned, eradicating all dust bunnies that were present and accounted for.  When my husband got home from work at noon, he suggested we tackle a long awaited project.... Tearing down the tree house in the back yard. When we moved into this house 16 years ago (this month I believe), my husband built a tree house in one of the pecan trees. It was a double decker house tucked back behind the cedars. I remember arguing with him that  a simple, basic tree house would be good enough, but no.... It had to be more complicated than that. The project that should have taken a weekend, turned out to be an ongoing, unfinished work in progress. My son and his buddies took up the task adding a fireman's escape pole, netting and rope ladders. It's been years since anyone has played in that tree house and the Oklahoma wind had taken quite a toll on it. It was a breath shy of collapsing and taking our fence with it.... It was time for it to go. It's one of those things that you don't think about as being emotionally diffcult until you get in the middle of it and the memories come flooding back. With each board that was taken down today and each little addition that had been added, my mind couldn't help but wonder back a few years. I remember looking out the window and seeing nappy headed, barefoot boys (or at least my child was barefoot), plotting and planning, schemeing and concocting big plans and lots of mischief.  As I carried the boards away I wondered out loud if they sat up there in their secret hide-away and planned how they would one day go into business together. Was that where their dreams of traveling to foreign lands and spreading the gospel originated from. If the walls of that tree house could talk, what stories might it tell? If I only knew...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Scars Tell a Story

Saturday is my cleaning day.... Has been for years. I usually have till noon to myself which gives me time to crank up the radio and tackle my dust bunnies. We have been blessed to live in a very old house that was built in 1927. Fortunately the house had been occupied by the same owners for 50 years when we bought it. Unlike a lot of home of that age, the interior of our home remained pretty much untouched by "updates". The original oak trim remain unpainted, the oak floors with walnut inlay remain intact. The house was even fortunate enough to have the original light fixtures throughout much of the house. Except for the kitchen area which we reconfigured, we have been very reluctant to change anything of substance in the house. When doing the kitchen our main priority was when it was completed it look as if it was still original to the house. We really feel more like guardians than owners. So, every Saturday I get up close and personal with my hardwood and tile. There are many, many scars on the floors, nicks on doors here and there that we haven't "fixed" because something about those nicks and scratches seem to tell a story... Not only about us, but about the time before we lived here. That's what we love about old homes. The history they hold in the walls, the architecture, the floors. When we were buying the home, the Grandson of the owner showed us through and explained some of the scars that were apparent on the hardwood floors. Something about those stories just make it impossible for me to "fix" the flaw which in my mind would cover up the story. It takes a special kind of person to live in an old house. Someone who is comfortable with the past and can over look the less than pristine. Some days I would love to come home to a nice new home with carpet and central heat and air. But on Saturdays when I'm cleaning my drafty home and dusting the endless nooks and crannies, I cherish the old and I look at the scars as works of art from a generation passed. My heart is a little like the hardwood floors in my home.... It has a lot of nicks, scratches and scars. Each scar tells a story and is a testimony that life goes on, regardless of what happens, life goes on. It also gives me hope that although my heart may not be pristine and flawless, it is a work of art and an expression of a faithful God who never promised we wouldn't have hurts, but has the ability to weave each and every hurt into a tapestry that tells not only our story, but the story of His love for us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coming Home

The clouds have tumbled in today bringing much needed showers. Though it may be raining outside, there is sunshine in my heart! My daughter just received her orders through the Navy to move to Oklahoma City for 3 years of shore duty as a recruiter. She has been hither to yon in the last 6 years.... From sea to shining sea. I am oh so happy that she will soon be living in the same state instead of cruising the waters of the Persian Gulf. There are fireworks of praise being raised today!!! Thank you Lord for keeping her safe and bringing her back home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

His Eye is on The Sparrow

They are doing a little re-arranging and re-decorating at work. The work has involved a lot of hammering, pounding and general noise. In addition, they have decided to replace the old louvered windows. The louvered windows make a perfect nesting place for birds. Each spring I watch the birds bring housing material as they begin to build their nests... They make a really big mess! Today the workmen began removing the louvers. I looked up a few minutes before lunch and saw several birds in various throws of death. They were hopping around in the parking lot like a pan of Jiffy popcorn. Being a bleeding heart for anything that breaths, I  didn't think I could walk to my car amid a mine field of dying birds. I asked one of the workmen if they could please clear the parking lot before lunch and They kindly agreed. The birds reminded me of the song "His Eye is on The Sparrow". I have felt like a little sparrow before with a broken wing,a broken leg and more recently, a broken spirit. I believe that it is difficult for the Father to watch us struggle during those times when life throws more at us than we feel like we can bare. Thankfully, he doesn't just sweep us to the side with an out of sight out of mind mentality. I believe he sees our hurts, feels our pain, and holds each tear we shed in his hand. Not only are those times painful for us, but I believe they are painful for him to watch. I intentionally turned away from the window as they swept the birds away, but I take comfort in knowing that he has never turned his back on me.
  "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care." Matt. 10:29

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Imaginary Friends

I used to get on my little trike and ride around the yard lugging an old Avon briefcase with me. Inside it had some samples and some out of date books. I would park my trike at the front steps and boldly ring the doorbell. A lady would answer the door with a surprised look on her face as I said.... "Avon calling. Would you like to look at a book?" She would open the door wide so that I could stumble inside with all of my Avon gear. She usually held a dishrag in one hand and would throw it over her shoulder as she sat down to see what beauty products I had to offer. When my sale was made I would thank her, climb back onto my trike and head for our next door neighbors house. When I went through the imaginary friend stage she never missed a beat....  "What is your friends name?" she would ask..... "Susie I would say." Then I would tell her that Susie was very sick with "Sugarbeeitis" which my grandmother also suffered from. During that time when Susie was always around I would come the the dinner table to find that Mother had a place for her at the table and she was allowed to eat with us as normal as can be. Just like it was perfectly normal for every kid to have an imaginary friend. One day while we were on our way to the store I informed my Mom that I needed to get Susie a get well card because she had died of "Sugarbeeitis". I didn't get any lectures about how Susie wasn't really dead because she really wasn't a person, instead Mom took me to the card department and let me pick out a suitable card for the parting of a friend. As we left the store I told Mom how silly I felt for buying Susie a card because I didn't even know anyone named Susie. I never mentioned Susie again. When the time was right..... Nature just took it's course.  Today's typical moms are a lot different than the moms of yesteryears. Today it seems that moms feel a lot of pressure to make their children perform, be involved in every activity possible and instead of allowing them to play in the dirt and have imaginary friends, their time is strictly scheduled with practices, games and clubs with very little down time to just be kids. On this Mother's Day I'd like to say thank you to a Mom who allowed me to be a kid. I was never pressured to perform or be something I wasn't, it was just my responsibility to be a kid for as long as was possible. It's amazing what good old fashioned imaginary playing will do for you. Thanks Mom for allowing me to use my imagination and for putting down your dishrag long enough to imagine with me.... Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fountain of Joy

It bubbles all around me...
Like an effervescent spring...
It drives away the darkness...
Allows my heart to sing...
Like an ever present fountain...
That dances to a song...
The praises drift toward heaven...
To the foot of His white throne...
And though I'm far from perfect...
Unfinished work of art...
My praise is a fragrant incense...
That wraps around His heart...
He smiles with acknowledgment...
I've much to celebrate...
His joy has been restored to me...
And I'll dance with song and praise...

Just My Nature


I was printing a document the other day and was standing at the printer waiting for it to print. A piece of paper slid out and as I reached up to grab it, the machine sucked it right back in. Ugh!!! Then I noticed the flashing message on the LCD screen that said.... "Do not grab the paper until the job is complete!" The document being printed at the time wasn't mine,it was someone else's two sided document. I just had to laugh. It's pretty sad when even the machines around you know your nature. I'm pretty much a grab and go kind of gal. Why drive 45 when you can drive 50? Why hunt a hammer down when the sledge hammer is handy? Why measure something when you can eyeball it from across the room, or better yet, just keep drilling holes until the picture hangs just right? This is what makes my husband roll his eyes and refer to me as a bull in a china cabinet. Apparently the copier got the memo about my nature and although it may be just my imagination, it seemed like it was slowing me down.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Is That in The Driveway?!?!?

Yesterday I had one of those most embarrassing "You're a bad Mom" moments. I've had a lot of those over the last 28 years. I was sitting at break enjoying a game of brick breaker on my cell phone, listening to my co-workers chat about this and that. I wasn't paying close attention, just enough attention to add my wisdom when and where I thought it seemed appropriate (so mostly I was sitting there with my mouth shut). The subject turned to school activities, when one of the girls asked me what grade my youngest was going to be next year. hmmm, uhhh, regardless of how hard I thought, I couldn't remember. Than one of them asked... "Was last year his first year of high school?" I know I had to have looked stunned when I said... "I don't remember anything about his school year last year." and they certainly looked stunned. Hey! I was trying to recover from that stupid head injury! The rest of the afternoon I sat at my desk trying to dig out some remnant of memory I had about school last year. Notta, zip, zilch! And The World's Worst Mother Award goes to...... Me. On their death beds Mothers are suppose to remember every pet name you had for every little thing. They are suppose to remember the month, hour and second of when you got your first hair cut and have snippets of hair with details of the event written up and preserved for your childrens childrens children to read. Any yes, Moms are suppose to remember what grade you are currently in regardless of how much of their brain is or isn't functioning. That's just what is expected of good Moms (insert pouty face here). When I replayed break for my husband after work, he wrapped his arms around me and tenderly assured me that I was a good Mom (in spite of my pitiful memory... my words not his). This morning I hesitated at the breakfast table while I was on my way out the door. I reminded my husband that our baby boy (who is currently a sophomore in high school), would be headed to Oklahoma City to work with his brother at The Plant Stand after school, and that he would be gone all weekend. This is his first out of town trip by himself and I am a little uncertain about it. He carefully ran over all the reasons why everything would be fine and why this would be a good experience, then asked me what I thought.... "Well, I don't even think he should be allowed to drive because he's just a little baby.... That's what I think!" He laughed and said it did seem like just yesterday when he would pick him up from daycare and give him little Star Wars characters as an afternoon surprise. He's growing up and we have to start letting go. "Fine, just fine!" I thought as I walked out the front door. I may not be the best Mom in the world but I'm pretty certain that if I lay prostrate in the driveway so he would either have to run over me to leave or just stay home this weekend, that he likes me enough not to floorboard it and plow over my pitiful self. But then again, I'm not really certain I should take that chance. Ugh, being a Mom.... even a mediocre Mom is difficult.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You Are More!!!!



YOU ARE MORE


There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love"

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it

That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers

And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?


You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,

You've been remade.


You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,

But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,

But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade

You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.

Perfectly stated..... Thanks Tenth Ave. North for the reminder.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Morph & Bella (March 2011)





Reenlistment















The Oath


We stood upon Mount Soledad last spring, reading the memorials to the men and women who have given their lives for our country. My daughter stood along side me. The day before she had returned from a 9 month deployment. Just a few years earlier she had been in college working toward a degree in interior design. She had been accepted in Design school at OSU when she decided she wanted to do something different with her life. Now she stood beside me, a woman who had seen the world, who had walked foreign lands and had made unbelievable sacrifices for the protection of the freedoms we enjoy every day. As we read the memorials she said...

"You know Mom I never understood what would make someone willing to give their life to protect our country. After being in foreign lands and seeing the different cultures and the way people live, I totally get it now. We live in the greatest nation on earth! I totally understand because what we have here is worth giving your life to protect and I absolutely would."

I can honestly say if she had graduated from the most prestigious college and become the most famous designer in the country I would be no more proud of her than I am now. I know what she has given up to do the job she is now doing. I know the emotional toil, the personal struggles and the physical demands she meets every day of her life. Today she will once again raise her hand and take an oath to protect and to serve each and every American. There are no degrees, no accolades, no accommodations or recognition that is more honorable than that. Does this sound like a Mother speaking??? Maybe so, but more so, this is an American speaking not just for her, but for every person, past and present who has made the same oath. It's because of people like her that we enjoy the freedoms we do. God Bless American and all those who serve. Job well done Sissy, I love you!