Thursday, December 2, 2010

I think I'd rather eat pumpkin pie than humble pie...

No high points of logic looming in the near future with a medicine-head brain, however, I felt the need to post something.  My lapse in blogging has been part ambivalence, the other parts are a combined effort of every other excuse I can come up with to connote just how messy the last 4 weeks have been. 

I found out yesterday that my Dad is now receiving hospice care so that we can brace everyone for the impending and inevitable demise of my dear old Dad.  Emotions that run the gamut on this one, from paralyzing fear to grief to joy of the life he has lead; ultimately, I have settled on bittersweet.  A life could not have been more lived than his own and to see him deteriorate as he has is not something I would wish on my most despised enemy.  To those that prescribe to the notion that there is dignity in death, I have to argue against you on all fronts.  There is dignity in LIFE.  Death comes to us all and in most cases the process to that glorious end ends up robbing us of all that we were in life.  The eulogy I would want for my Dad will not be a recap of his death but of his life, because that is where the dignity remains.  All this being said, there can be PEACE in death.  He has been endowed with an enviable unceasing faithfulness and belief that God is always in charge, this alone is the truest comfort that a child losing a parent can have.  I have peace because he has peace IN God's plans for him. 

I remain mostly resolute (there's that wishy-washy attitude, LOL) that all God's plans are to bring HIM good and in the moments where that resolute slides into doubtful, there is always something that brings me back to my balance I should have in life.  Usually one of my beautiful and amazing children is the person to bring me back to a humbled groundedness; this morning would be the perfect example:  while driving to school on a cold morning, the sun starts to peek through the clouds and Aden says, "See that Jay, that is the sun.  That is Jesus, the son.  He's coming through the clouds to show us he is there."  Humbled, down to my knees humbled.   Just when I start to think that I've got this all under control, I learn, yet again, that HE is in charge...of me, my Dad, my wonderful kids.  If he gets "it", surely I can too.  Here's hoping.

I have some amazing men in my life, don't I?


Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have had the distinct opportunity to have several moments of humility, wonder and amazement in the past two days and in sharing them, I hope you receive the blessings as well.

I have been looking for part-time work here and there to supplement our income enough to cover the school tuition for our boys to attend school and I was found via a website by a woman that wanted a tutor, yesterday was our first session. Humbled moment.  There I was with graduate education and my silver spoon fed upbringing and she taught me something profound in our first session.  Her story laid out a life full of dysfunction (to quote her), multiple moves from school to school while her parents drinking ran rampant and the eventual decision that she would just "drop out" and walk the ninth grade.  Fast forward to over thirty years later and at the age of 50, she decided to go back to school and earn her high school diploma. 

I meet her because she is in her first semester in college (at 52) and she is struggling to write her very first college English composition assignment.  She brings with her the first draft of this assignment that the college sent back with remarks (of course, all remarks are in red) and she is looking forlorn and says "maybe I shouldn't be doing this college thing..."  As she continues to talk and I read through her first assignment I become very conscious of just how damn lucky I am to live the life I do.  Please don't misunderstand, I don't feel pity for her, in fact I am awed by her courage and strength - it is just that there are times when I forget what a privileged life I have led.  As a child it never would have occurred to me to be grateful that my parents made me go to school, do my homework and graduate from high school.  There was no choice, it was a given.  Meeting a woman who's life has been so vastly different from my own and see how determined she is to achieve something I completely took for granted is beyond humbling.  She tells me that she hasn't told anyone she is going to college because she's embarrassed and doesn't think her family would support this venture, again I find myself humbled.  Embarrassed?  She's demure about asking questions because she doesn't want other people to think she's "stupid" and she tells me that she never really learned the basics of writing because she was never at one school long enough to learn anything.  She writes in a style and tone and grammar that is common to her, using vernacular and abbreviations that do not translate well into the formality of an English composition and she has confused looks when we talk about outlines and a thesis statement.  By the end of the hour we've used up pages of paper getting her ideas out and the first paragraph of her paper is written.  She looks proud and gets her checkbook out to pay me for our session.  This is why I don't ever make money on side jobs - how could I let her pay when I have learned so much from her?  Lesson for me for the day: a good dose of humility does you good!

Wonder.  I spend everyday with my boys and there are days, as any stay at home Mom knows, where I am spent by 3 pm.  It is very easy to get caught up in the errands, housework, meals, homework, soccer and such and completely forget to take just a moment to ENJOY the time I have at home with them.  Over the course of the last four months we have been having our share of challenges with our oldest son, whether it be telling lies or temper tantrums, it has been a daily battle of wills and test of patience.  So, this coupled with the day to day goings on and the fact that "Dad" has been gone for six weeks - I have been frazzled even more than usual and even less likely to sit down and ENJOY a moment.  This morning Aden woke around 5:30 and climbed in bed to snuggle with me and it was a welcome surprise because he has started that process of shunning the "baby things" and becoming "big".  I got up around 6 and he followed me into the kitchen to make the coffee and said, "Mom, when I get big, I am going to miss you."

I look at him and wonder what he's thinking that provoked this thought and I think of what we've been through for the past four months and I have the opportunity to take my 65 pound baby into my arms and hug him as tight as I could, and I do.  He lays his head on my shoulder and I am astounded at the love in his heart and the love that I feel for him as my child.  The boundless capacity of our hearts to love is still a wonderment.  The unconditional love that exists in my heart for these two little boys continues to be a wonderment.  On that same token, the love my parents and my God feel for me...a wonderment, particularly with how rotten, rude, mean, impatient, unkind and horrible I can be.  Real wonder at why and how God created a heart to love like that and yet we still have such hatred in the world?  That's a wonder.

Amazement.  I was listening to the radio, as always do, on the way back from school drop off and the "radio personalities" were talking with a listener about their "WOW God" moment.  This man called into the radio station to share and witness, and to paraphrase, here's his story:
I was having a tough time, a really tough time and I had lost my way.  I was not going to church, I was blaming God for all that had gone wrong in my life and I had gotten to end and decided that it just wasn't worth it anymore.  I got my gun, loaded it and walked down to the riverside in town and knew that this was the end.  I was sitting there with the gun in my hand and asking God why he had abandoned me. It was in that moment that I heard something behind me and I looked up and I saw a man coming down over the rocks, walking straight toward me.  I recognized him, it was a man I had known for a long time.  He came up to me and said, "Son - I was taking a nap at home and God woke me up and told me to get down to the river immediately! And now I know why."  He took me home to his house, ministered to me for three days and it was then that I found my way back to God.  He saved my life in that moment - God used him to save my life.  Had he come a few minutes later it would have been too late.  God used him to save me.

The story concluded and the next song played, here's the lyrics:

Teach me to number my days

And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

When it's all said and done
No one remembers how far we have run
The only thing that matters is how we have loved
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash
it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

Slow down, slow down
Before today becomes our yesterday
Slow down, slow down
Before you turn around and it's too late

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash
it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

Amazed.  Truly amazed at what God can do to save us, save me, reach me, teach me.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Do you ever feel like you don't measure up?  Lately I feel like I'm drowning in things that I just don't seem to get done and it leaves me feeling rather much like a mess.  I forget the details, get lost in a task and am so easily distracted that I don't remember where my car is in the parking lot.  The laundry piles up, the floor needs to be mopped and the kids won't stop fighting long enough for us to even share a meal.  The insomnia is making me befuddled all day long and yet there is always another task to do, meeting to attend, chore to complete, dinner to make, boo-boo to kiss, bedtime story to read...

Weary.  Very weary. 

My Dad is dying.  My husband is training for a new job and has 4 more weeks until he comes home.  New job means distinct possibility of relocation.  Moving again?  Moving boxes, packing up, purging before we pack, leaving our life here behind, having to start over.  My son is grieving for a loss and another one is coming.  My baby (okay, he's 3, but yes, he's my baby) is struggling to catch up for 2 years worth of speech development to the tune of $432.00 a week.  We're paying two mortgages, doctor bills, car payment, tuition while committing to our tithe and still needing to eat. 

Weary.  Very weary.

To lay it all out there like this is akin to that dream where you're giving a speech in front of a room full of people and you suddenly realize that you're naked.  Bare.  But, maybe one person will read this and know they are not alone, that there is another person out there that can relate. 

Now, stop and think about what it must be for God to see his children (millions of us) struggling along in life.  How is heart must break to see us distance ourselves, proclaiming independence when all he wants from us is to crawl up in his arms and GIVE IN. As hard as it is to get through this for me, there are people out there who have tragedy, sickness, death, sadness, only hope I can consistently cling to is that God is there.  Even when I don't feel it, he is there.  God can't come down and hand me money to pay my bills or fold my laundry but he did give me skills that are more than sufficient to take care of myself.  I am mired in a pit, consumed by the tasks at hand, over committed and overwhelmed because of the choices that I made.  But, he is still there.  That still small voice urging me on and asking me to believe that he does really love me.

Weary.  Very weary. But, there is a light that cannot be darkened, a love that can not be taken away, a life to live that walks with Him right beside me.  I will get there.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My heart was breaking listening to the story on the radio - 45% of people surveyed by researchers out of Baylor University are said to describe God as "distant" or "critical", had I been reading this in person rather than listening to the radio there would have been tears wetting the newsprint pages.  While my father lays dying of a disease that we cannot cure there are people out in this world that would have you believe that God "did it" to him...I pray for the souls of those that see God in this light.  It pains me so to see my children growing up in a "god-less" world.  Whomever you pray to - whether it be a Christian, Islamic, Judaic or Hindu deity is not the point in this matter, the point is - why on Earth would you embrace a God that is critical or distant?  I am puzzled at the type of person that would have ties to a deity that was helmed by a critical or distant being? 

Christ is in all that I do.  He (thankfully and mercifully) is not critical or distant in any I distance myself or place critical judgements on my actions, behaviors and thoughts?  Of course I do, but it certainly isn't my God and Savior that is placing those barriers to salvation and redemption in my path.  I do that because I do lose sight of how mighty, powerful and amazing my God can be if I am courageous enough to trust in Him alone. 

Would you trust or love or fall humbled upon the feet of a distant or critical God?  Yes, we are judged.  But the forgiveness is mightier than any of our faults.  He has already died for me on that cross over 2000 years ago.  My sin has been paid.

I am praying for our country to feel the LOVE and GRACE of God.  We need to be sharing our message and showing the love of our God in who we are, in what we say and in what we do.  I am raising my children in a home that teaches them to honor and praise God in all that they do...perhaps we have come into a time in our culture where faith and steadfast commitment to a value or belief are counter cultural - however, that won't change how I will teach my children to respond to God, to their family, to each other, to friends, to strangers...

This makes me weary...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Quran among other things

I would like to sit down with the "Pastor" of this church in Gainesville and look him in the eyes as he tells me that burning a Holy book on the anniversary date of Sept. 11, a day where we fell prey to the hate of fanatical and suicidal madmen operating under the guise of "religion", is not a message of hate. 

The story goes on to outline the propaganda on their website, claiming that Christians should return to the truth and stop hiding.  I would ask him what truth he is confronting with this message that is "not a message of hate."  It certainly isn't "love your neighbor as yourself"  or "forgive 70 times 7" or "turn the other cheek" and most assuredly it is NOT "love your enemies."  I am not in hiding.  I speak the truth of my own God and my own Savior and that is the truth. 

Interpreting scripture or verse of any Holy book to fit into your own agenda or to propagate your own causes in any faith is a perversion of that faith - their credo, their ideology, their theology, who they are and what they stand for is all in jeopardy when a person espouses their beliefs to be "truth" while neglecting the real truth of their particular Holy book.

So, in essence, I think that this incendiary and controversial action on behalf of this so-called church has it's very roots in the same ignorant-minded fanatical and perverse notion of "faith" that brought about that fateful day in our nation's history.

Why is it that the loudest and most vitriolic voices get heard when it comes to faith?!  Every faith base has in their tenets the concept of peace.  Tenets of Islam, read them Pastor Jones - outline a faith that is much like my own...and according to this man, his as well.  However, I believe he got lost somewhere in HIS quest to make a statement.  Very lost.  Very, very, very lost. 

So, to Pastor Jones of Gainesville, Florida - like the parable of the Shepherd and his Sheep, Jesus will come looking for you as you have strayed - strayed far...he is forgiving.  However, the people that you "know" you will offend with these actions may not - and it will be your own doing, for you have taught "them" all a lesson in "Christian" truth that was not HIS truth but YOURS. 

Pastor Jones, you fail.

Thank God he loves you anyway.  Can't say I have the capacity to do the same...that's why He is God and I am not.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't give it a second thought

The only thing you'll ever be able to completely depend upon is the love of God and his mercy that endures always.  I learn over and over and over that my trust in people, things, places, etc is misguided in the smallest and most mundane of cirumstances as well as the most dire...

If you have a thought in your heart about something, dollars to doughnuts it's there because someone bigger and smarter than any of us is putting that doubt in your heart - don't even give it a second thought.  Fear is not doubt - doubt is looking dubiously at a situation that requires more than just a glance and listening to that still small voice. 

To me, that still small voice is implanted deeply in our souls and does guide us to know, believe, say, do and act upon what is in our best interest.  Have you listened to your still small voice today?


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1st day of school

I walked the boys into school today and walked out alone...without children for the first time in over 6 years.  I could hardly believe how helplessly sentimental I felt in that moment.  I grocery shopped at Walmart and bought myself a mag to read but instead of relaxing and reveling in the silence I felt captive to that silence.  I sat there wishing for laughter coming from the playroom or a drive by snuggle from a very busy boy.  But, none came.  I suddenly felt the need to find something to do with myself - keep myself busy while the boys were at school.  More volunteer work is my initial idea.

Do you volunteer?  Where and why?  I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) that works with children that are in the child welfare system and advocates for them in the court system.  It is work that gives me so much back in return.  Returns in spades.  Helping a child is so powerful and fulfills me in ways I have yet to be able to explain.  These kids need a voice and I have the honor of helping be that voice - it's pretty great! 

God demands us to care for the least of these - how does that work into what we do outside of work, family, church, etc?  As a parent it has become so very important for my boys to see me do for others so that they may learn how wonderful it can be to GIVE.

Go out and volunteer - the feeling you get in giving is far more powerful than getting.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

He really must love me...

Watching one of my fav movies while eating Braum's ice cream and coconut macaroons.  The hub turned on the movie and sated my emotional eating with delicious goodies, none of which I needed.  He really must love me - the sweetness of sitting in my mess of a day and letting me revel in a foodie movie and eat sweets...he really must love me.

I was feeling rather overwhelmed today when I happened upon a quote:
"In our worst things in life, God gives us our Greatest Mission.": 

Food for thought as I watch my foodie movie.

Going to the dr on Friday after a worried doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment.  So as I begin the waiting game til next Thursday to know much of anything about this appointment I will reflect upon this "greatest mission" I have been on for longer than I would like and know that God has put all of this before me and He is in control.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

You walk into school, 5th grade...first day.  Your first assignment is to write a report on what you did that summer.  So, here's what we did this summer...

I awoke on a May morning to the sun shining through our faux plantation blinds and smiled knowing that this was in fact the first day of summer vacation.  I would like to say that I awoke all on my own, but apparently the boys did not get the memo that one sleeps in on summer vacation - the clock said 6:12 a.m. and here we were, ready to take on the day.  The remainder of the month of May was much the same, speckled with days where we slept until almost 7:30.  We went the the splash park, played squirt guns in the backyard and made chocolate chip cookies for snacks. 

June came in forcefully and sooner than later we were staring down at our first baby turning 6.  We were honored to host two wonderful visitors and eat Batman birthday cake.  The realization that my child is growing up without my ability to S  L  O W  things down  was almost more than I could take as I saw him blow out 6 candles on his cake.  It becomes more and more cliche every year when I sit down and reflect on just how fast it all goes. We shared our home amd lives with my niece for the month of June - it was everything I knew it would be and then some more.  The ups and downs of taking care of three kids was a good lesson as I continue to attempt to deny the baby pangs that are calling my name.  The boys simply adored the extra attention and  fart jokes that she supplied - mostly it was a good time had by all - mostly.

We headed home to Tennessee for July.  It was a trip like no other, unfortunately not for the reasons we had hoped.  The trip was scheduled because I intended to spend time with my ailing father and my siblings that have come in from states asunder to have time with him and time together - this was put into place months before we got word of Chris's Dad's stage 4 cancer diagnosis.  But as it would happen, the world came tumbling down while we were in Tennessee.  There we were buried under a family size mess of emotions and dealing with the complexities of life, death, health and sickness.  Life lessons of life altering proportions made a call and we were tested.  As we watched breath leave a father's life - it gave us pause.  As we watched will leave a son's life - we felt the grief.  As we watched strength leave a husband's life - we clung even more to each other.  As we watched love leave a grandfather's life - we learned (again) how hard it is to make sense of life...and what it means when it is over. 

We also watched a great man travel further towards that end stage of his life.  A great man that had saved lives by pumping a heart with his own hands lay there powerless to heal himself.  His son, the doctor, scrambling to find a solution.  His wife, the nurse, praying for a way to make sense of it all.  A daughter left feeling ravaged by what life had offered and begging for a reprieve.  A grandson wrestling with what it means to miss someone for the rest of his life.  A son-in-law warring against what life would be like without a father, or even a father figure. 

The summer has held so much in the way of lessons I would rather have learned in an easier way...and while I am certain, 150% sure, that God has his hands in every occurence, somehow it still aches in my chest.  There is an emptiness that pangs in my soul when I stop long enough to recognize the echoes as the cries I have yet to release, the sadness I have yet to feel.  Just as any other time in my life, of course, the juxtaposition of emotions is maddening.  As I gaze at the volumes of emotions I have shelved this summer, I am also forced to recognize how much joy there remains in my life - despite the tragedy, death, sickness...
there is JOY.  It is much more palatable to grasp for joy than to taste the tears of grief.  When I take part one of my two volume set of my 2010 edition of summer the emotions run over me like waves crashing into the shore - I am knocked back, breathless and begging for a rescue.  When I hasten to return it to the shelf I find it just a little less heavy then when I first lifted it up to take it out.  That is GOD at work - lightening the burden each time I confront it.  If only I had the courage to confront it all and let God take each and every part...but just when I feel my weakest, I find myself enjoying the joy of laughter, success - a glimmer of that silver lining.  Amazing.

So, one week left of blissful summer and I can say that this summer is one I will never forget.  Last moments shared, words of love spoke as though you know you may never get the chance to say it again, and evermore the learning that God is in control - another opportunity to ask for redemption and rescue and submit myself to what is so much bigger than myself. 

I fell in love all over again with suntanned skin, the smells of sunscreen and running through the sprinkler, eating popsicles and fighting the OK heat to finish it or wear it :-)  Watching the boys tucker themselves out splashing in the pool.  Spending time with lifetime friends and laughing at stories that you shared long before that moment while making new ones IN that moment.  Hugging sisters, brothers, neices and nephews and the laughter that happens when you're among family.  Sharing a goodbye to a good man that loved hard and will always be remembered.  Hearing another good man say his I love you's while he still can.  Taking it all in - good, bad, ugly, sad - all of it. 

Summer vacation - shew, what a couple of months!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I find myself at odds with the inner workings of my own mind when it comes to finding the inner peace that I so eagerly seek.  As my hub and I lay in bed last night sharing in a devotion on the visibility of God and the nature of Christian commitment the question that was posed was "how have grace and peace made a difference in your beliefs, attitudes, priorities and relationships?"

Good question.

Regardless of your faith base and belief system, there is a commonality or unified vision in all faiths (theologically speaking) to seek a peace in your own life.  Christian faith leads its followers to seek that peace from the Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ-  "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”(- John 14: 27)  My Jewish brothers and sisters believe, at least in part, that peace comes when the person embraces the tension that exists between the body and the soul and finding meaning in your struggles.  Islamic beliefs dictate that peace is arrived at when they submit to the commands of their creator- "Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.”(- Quran 13:28)

I think, even though I am soundly resolved in my faith as a Christian, we can all gain so much in seeing how other faiths see this eternal quest.  For me, peace is a battle between your body and soul and I do genuinely believe that in my Lord I will find rest - so I guess we all have it right when we put our heads together. 

Grace is a different animal. 

I believe the only way to receive grace is allowing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ into your heart and life, and when I start to pontificate on this very matter I cannot separate the concepts of grace and peace - they work in compliment with each other in my life.  For me, without grace, peace remains elusive.  So, when peace is difficult to find, grasp or feel it is apparent that I have distanced myself from the grace of God. 

Undeserving.  Worthless.  Sinful.  Broken. 

This distance leads to so much more turmoil than just the lack of peace.  Moving myself away from or back into the fold of God's grace is my own action or inaction and I stand before Him undeserving, worthless, sinful and broken.  His grace and peace that flows so freely is there to be boldly received and taken but bravery and courage are often conquered by weakness and fear.  Oh but the courage to trust Him more.  This very battle is where grace comes in to slay the undeserving, worthless, sinful and broken nature of man.  We become anew in HIM.  When I find myself close to God's grace all my human nature falls away and I am only His child reaching out to her Father needing His love that knows no bounds. 

Deserving.  Valued.  Forgiven.  Whole.

So, where do I see grace and peace?  How have they changed me?  I see it in every moment and I am irreparably transformed again and again, only but by the GRACE of God do I go on.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Mom is coming

We are eagerly anticipating the visit of my Mom/Mimi just a day before my "I am so grown up" child turns 6 and it cannot come soon enough.  It seems that this upcoming arrival has prompted us to go into high gear getting all the things we've put off around the house done so that she can arrive and be totally impressed - ha!  But seriously, it has put a fire under our hiney to take care of things we've been procrastinating on for months, always with a semi-legitimate excuse, but nevertheless these things haven't been done.  So, we will welcome her, Lord willing, with things as they should be...or we will welcome her with things as they are at this very moment. 

I have been thinking of some decor ideas and have come up with very little considering our access to these such things is limited by distances of 90 miles or so, all I have to go with is Walmart...hence the decor dilemma.  We have some pieces around the house and a deluge of photographs that we can frame and hang up, so that is a start.  While I have been doing some decor googling I am learning that the "cross wall" is the thing right not sure how I feel about the cross symbol being a trendy home decor idea but whatever floats your boat, right?  Don't get me wrong, I would love to do something like that, but the idea that its trendy is what bothers me...does that mean that there's somehow less meaning in the display if you put it up because it is the trend of the moment?  Anyway, I I am thinking a big clock and a few well placed mirrors are in order for our wall space as well as a area rug for our living room and definitely an improved choice of chairs for our table -  but the issue still remains, where do I go buy all of these things without driving to the "city"?  I don't think I am going to be able to avoid the car trip. (sigh)

It still is difficult for me at times to look at our home and feel at home here- sometimes it feels like this is just a place we're living between other places and as much as I do really love my granite counter tops and hardwood floors and backyard remains that I feel like this is us living in someone else's house until we move again.  Which brings up the latest- we're looking at opportunities outside of McAlester for the next step in our lives.  That doesn't mean that we're leaving nor does it mean that we necessarily want to leave- but the doors of opportunity are open and we're taking a peek to see what's out there...that is our big leap of faith for May 2010- we'll see what happens.  So, while this is home, we intend to make it appear as "just so" as we are able for my Mom's arrival.  We've got a lot of work to do to get there - here's hoping!

Better get moving. Blessings!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tanned as in Honey Baked

I have vowed to spend the summer regaling in the freedoms of childhood right along with my two amazing little men, and thus far (only but a week in) we have done so with the grandest flair!  I am not ashamed to admit that I am enjoying it as much, possibly more, than they for I know that the summer will end and they will continue to grow to the point that summer vacation is only but a memory. 

Summers in my life are quite nostalgic.  Swimming and pizza and slumber party sleepovers.  Tan lines and staying up past your bedtime and sleeping in until you wake up.  Summer, as a child, allows for your collective person to exhale.  I don't remember being anxious or irritable (while I am sure my mother would disagree with my remembering) - I remember wishing summer would last. 

Splash pad at 9:30 am, why not? Cold pizza for breakfast, absolutely okay with me....cause it really is all relative.  These moments will escape me one day so I am resolutely determined to enjoy the blissful freedom that summer vacation offers in childhood.  I will delve into my new knitting hobby and end up honey baked and tan and I will eat popsicles on the back porch while playing with squirt guns and I will sleep until the boys get up and got to bed too late just because I can and I will wake up each morning with a deep sigh of contentment. 

I have been reading my Bible and learning so much over the course of these last few days and I have found that the stresses and demands of life and family and pain have been holding captive my whimsy, my free spiritedness, my willingness to stop and enjoy the moment - so summer is the perfect opportunity to free those characteristics from my self imposed prison of perfectionism and compulsivity and allow myself to breathe fully in the spirit that God lets flow through you.  I have also started a new campaign in our home to banish negativity, unkind words and the grumbling complaints of every day life while also committing to daily devotions that pack a punch in as little as 5 minutes and the compilation of these factors have all created a much more harmonious, relaxing and much more unburdened feeling in our home.  Praise God for the work He does in our lives even when we're not paying attention. 

So, here's to summer and the blessings of family and suntans and devotions and knitting and pool time and childhood...I am going to love every minute.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God's hand might not always be where you think it should be...

I am conquered, defeated...beaten.  I lay in hospital bed flanked by nurses and a worried husband and amidst the pain that would not cease the words of Casting Crowns song "Praise You in this Storm" keeps running through my head- reminding me that God is with me in, around and through it all. 

As I begged for a cure, through tears and desperation - I kept thinking of that song. 

That is God's hand in my life.  Even when the devil could come in and take over - he has me praising Him through the pain, the tears, the worries.  HE is there!  I wanted to be cured - he reminded me that my job was not to beg for my own causes but to praise Him, no matter what. 

God is there, maybe not answering your prayers the ways you want them to be but that doesn't mean He isn't there- watch, listen, pay attention and then sit back and watch God's plan unfold. 

A good friend told me once not to pray for patience because then your patience will continue to be challenged - she recommended that I pray for understanding.  Good advice.  So, instead of praying for a cure, I pray for the strength it takes to praise Him in my storm.


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Ever had one of those days (or weeks or months) where it seems that you started with one issue, crisis, problem and then another and another and another until there was this massive collection of issues, crisis and problems barreling down on you and as fast as you run, it is still gaining on you?  Like the cartoon snowball that starts out small at the top of the hill - as it goes downhill it gains momentum and gets bigger and bigger and bigger and then suddenly the person running from it is suddenly "in" the snowball...that has been the month of May here in the Beatty house.

It is May and I am inside the big snowball.

Cancer diagnosis, terminal diagnosis, degenerative disease, distance, heartache, loneliness, disillusionment, disappointment, worry, doubt, more doubt, frustration, anger, fear, exhaustion, pain, tears. 

The sunshine that melts that snowball: kindergarten graduation, laughter of your children, holding the hand of the person that you love, hearing just the right song on the radio, opening my Bible to a verse that clearly was shown to me at that very moment because God knows ALL, the friendship of women and men that inspire me. 

The "son" clearly shines his glorious presence in my life - even when in the snowball.  He is the beginning and the end - he is where the snowball finally stops rolling down the hill and I find myself at the foot of the cross.  And I see his pain, his suffering, his agony and I am humbled - it is I that forsake him, it is I that condemn him and I am just one of many that he is dying to save.

Snowball or not, I do know I am not alone.  Someone sings a song about Jesus taking the wheel - I guess here this month it is Jesus steer the snowball away from more snow.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where does teenage angst eminate from?  And what did we call emo kids when I was in high school?  Just putting that out there.

I see teenagers that can bear to smile and I wonder what is so bad about being 15?  Then I remember what it was to have braces and a weight problem at 15 and I know the answer.  Then again, I don't remember being unable to conjur up a smile. 

All this aside, I watched 4 teenagers get baptized last night - with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts.  So, teenage angst isn't necessarily epidemic - good to know.  It was such a great gift to get to see these young people give their lives and hearts to Christ.  AMAZING.  I guess the answer to my question above could be that the angst eminates from a separation from God - so today I will take a minute and pray for our youth that HE can be the joy in their hearts - the smile on their face! :-)


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Someone comes up to you and says, "I've got good news and I've got bad news, which one do you want first?"  How do you respond?

I am always wanting to hear the bad news first, call it jaded, cynical, etc...but I have never had the knack for that whole glass is half full thing.  It just isn't my nature.  I was raised by two very practical people and even as a child it seemed easier for me to just see things for what they were; that doesn't mean that my childhood was unhappy, I have always just been more pragmatist than a daydreamer.  I am the kind of person that would rather know what the bad news is cause usually it isn't as bad as I've already imagined it could be.  Sounds pretty depressing I guess but that is just part of who I am.  So, as I brace myself for the bad news I have already anticipated the worst anyway, so getting the bad news first lets the good stuff follow.

This week was not the bad news first, however. 

We celebrated a small achievement for our oldest son this week as he "graduated" Kindergarten.  It was precious.  They sang, recited scripture, signed the days of the I said, it was precious.  They also wore a cap and gown and got a "diploma"  I was a proud Momma that night.  He was adorable in his cap and gown and there were moments that I stood there is complete amazement at how BIG he is and at the very same time thinking about what it would mean for him to do this again at 18.  Very tender moments for his Mom and Dad.  We were so proud.  To celebrate his achievement we let him pick out a cake to eat up after the ceremony and as we were walking through the check out line at Walmart I got a phone call from my Mom.  I was anticipating the call as a congrats for our "grad" and instead it was to inform me that my Dad's latest DR appt yielded a very depressing prognosis.    So, good news first, bad news last.  Quite the reverse. 

As I stood there, taking it all in - it was all too much for my sentimental ways.  Having my baby get "big" and knowing my Dad won't be here to see that baby really graduate at 18 - a proud moment juxtaposed by real sadness....very bittersweet.

I have had a few days to marinate and take it all in and I am still left feeling the sting of sad and the joy of seeing my son growing into just the person God would have him be.  While reflecting on these situations I find myself realizing that the differences between sorrow and joy, good and bad, sweet and bitter - its kinda like the differences between a Republican and a Democrat, at the end of the day, somedays you can't tell them apart. 

Those feelings, emotions, situations are what connect us as human beings.  If there was no sorrow then would we know the real joy of joy?  If there was no bad news then would the good news be as "good"?  If all of life was bitter, how sad would it be to not know the sweetness of your child's smile, the sweetness of a friend's hug, the sweetness of getting to love my spouse? 

I have discovered that sorrow and joy are inextricably linked.  I have sorrow and joy seeing my son grow - sorrow that he will not always be so little and joy that he is growing to be the person that God would have him be.  I have sorrow knowing that my Dad will not always be here to tell me silly stories or make my kiddos laugh and also joy knowing that his life has been a gift, knowing that his legacy will live on, knowing that he will save a place for me in heaven.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enlightenment at the stop sign

We were at my least favorite store in the world (but the only one to really shop at) and as we were leaving with a trunk mostly full of pop, paper towels, juice and goldfish crackers we drove up to the stop sign where there was a man holding a sign that said "just need a little help." He waved to me as we made eye contact and I waved back...but no money changed hands. Heartless?

This man and I had become acquainted one very long night in the ER at the local hospital. As I sat in the wheel chair for hours that night in pain I could no longer bear I met this man. He stumbled in with his back pack and a tattered coat - it was very snowy, I wondered how he had stayed warm. He was clearly under the influence of one thing or another as he plopped himself down in a chair and began loudly talking to whomever would listen that he was going to treatment. This disclosure, needless to say, did not surprise me. There is a treatment location in town that he was aiming to be admitted to, my guess was this was more motivated by a need for a warm place to sleep then to get "clean" - not that I blamed him, there was inches of snow on the ground. When we finally were taken back to the ER to a curtained off bay I soon heard his voice again in the room not too far away. Apparently his blood alcohol level was too high to be admitted into treatment, so he stayed many hours to sober up enough to get clean.

I have seen this man on many times since then and he is always at that corner, holding that sign. Some people are fearful of these "beggars", some refuse to look them in the eye because for some reason once you make eye contact you feel somewhat responsible and then guilty for driving away. I make eye contact or smile as appropriate and there have been times where I have been very willing to stop and give "a little help" but with him, I drove on. I feel so opposed to aiding him in his addictions, whatever they are, that keep him living a life of chronic homelessness and dependence upon his drug or drugs of choice.

But, today- it was as if I was reading the sign for the first time. "Just need a little help" I very well could be the one carrying that sign on any given day - as could almost everyone I know. However, as the case may be, we don't ever walk around with a sign announcing to the world what our particular problem, crisis, issue is for that day - wouldn't life be easier if we all carried a sign like that? When you're having a bad day your sign could read "need a little help not losing my mind today, whatever you can do to help is appreciated." Or how about, "need a little help today not disliking my boss today...anything you can say that makes me dislike him less is appreciated." Or for a mom, "need a little help today with my angelic children that are acting like complete monsters and now I can't get a thing done around the house, a coupon to take them to McDonald's for a happy meal so I don't have to cook would be appreciated."

I sat there at the stop sign thinking to myself how glad I was that I didn't wear a sign that announced to the world how much help I needed at any given moment...what would people think of me if all that was presented in such a fashion? Suddenly as the light turned green and I was able to pass through the stop sign it hit "sign" is always in my heart for God to read and it is He whom I would benefit the most from in receiving "a little help" So, that's a pretty big gift for me today from the homeless man, I will pray for him that he can be reached by God and helped in ways that pocket change could never compare.

By the way, today my sign would read something like this: "Run out of gas, on empty. Just need a little help to see me through today. Any prayers are greatly appreciated."

How would yours read?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I could trust this Monday...almost

Today began like any other Monday...with the snooze button being forcibly shoved into submission and quieted for at least another 5 minutes, soon followed by the first and then the second sleepy boy that finds Mom and Dad's bed to be much more snuggly in the wee hours of the pre-dawn morning; finally the silence was broken by the dog whining to be let out his crate to water our backyard...and that is our typical Monday morning. Today was mostly ordinary and rather routine except for the presence of THE DAD on a school day, a Monday...which NEVER happens. So, that was nice.

We've figured out how to stream netflix movies to our TV (my apologies to the technical gurus who scoff at my ignorance until now) and so after the school drop off we sat down to a myriad of movie choices and bumbed around in comfy clothes watching movies til lunch. Ahhh, that's the life, right? I did my pilates routine followed by a jaunt on the treadmill where I showed my singing talents (or lack thereof depending upon whom you ask) and sang along to some very bad and shamefully "pop"esque music of my teens...J was particularly taken with one of the Nirvana songs! LOL! I cooked supper, it was delish: spinach, ground turkey and cheese calzone. And then it happened...DAD aka the hub got called into work. Poo. I almost trusted that day.

I have to say - now that it is Tuesday, I can reflect and say overwhelmingly that Monday was a good day. Here's to today being that good too! :-)

So far - it looks that way!

Friday, April 16, 2010

itunes, blogging and coffee

Ohhh, listen to the music...gotta love the Doobies. Sitting on my back
porch, relishing the joys of little boy laughter, good coffee and the freedom that comes with taking a day to bring it all back down.

There is something to be said for taking the time to FIND renewal, cause-in this life, it sure isn't happening on accident. Most people make much of how busy they are, how many responsibilities they have, how they just don't have enough TIME...however, I find that so much of that is our own doing. If we don't MAKE the time to seek out the quiet spaces in between all of our calendar commitments then we will always come up short. If we don't MAKE the time to spend time connecting or re-connecting with our loved ones, friends, even ourselves then we will always be lacking. If we don't MAKE the time for devotion and prayer to our God - the contentment and fulfillment that only HE can give will always be elusive.

Doing this does require a willingness to UN-COMMIT yourself from keeping your calendar full. Sometimes it means saying no when you always say yes, sometimes it means passing on the dinner party, golf game, volunteering, baseball practice, dance class, etc- I know that is where it gets complicated for some. I have learned two things in doing this:
1. The world will go on and someone else will fill my spot if I say no
2. Busyness is often times a cover for a great level of dissatisfaction with being still - read that however you want, but if you really stop and think about why some people always seem so busy, there is usually a reason why-beyond their sense of responsibility, philanthropy or otherwise.

Being still, making time to be in the moment and not let other things take over sometimes makes us be still and in the moment with things/feelings/people that we would otherwise want to avoid for any number of reasons. But, in this stillness, in these moments is when we can really grow, feel, reconnect, etc.

I have learned to enjoy it all, even when it makes me squirm or makes me feel as I sit here listening to my itunes play jazzy, rocker, or bluesy tunes and sip really good coffee- I can pontificate and hear my kiddos enjoying our day off from it all.

Blessings to you out there - hope you can find moments in your day for the same kind of peace.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I have just had the opportunity to witness once again the enormity of love that I have in my marriage and I am once again humbled at the love that God can create in a relationship if only you let him in to do HIS work in your life. This (atop the page) is going to be a book I buy since her books are what led us to seek and find God at the center of our marriage.

I am married to an amazing man and I never knew I could be as fortunate as I have been to have been blessed by God to have him in my life. God has his own way of doing things and amidst the storms of bad relationships in my life prior to meeting my husband, HE was teaching me so very much about where ungodly behavior and godless men would lead me. I finally did arrive at the doorstep to this enlightenment, but not until I had been battered and bruised, literally and figuratively. I stood before this man God brought to me utterly broken.

Through healing and his love and our enduring quest to see each other for who we truly were, are and will be - I am conquering the woundedness of that brokeness and only but by the grace of God, have I been able to emerge anew. I thank the people in our lives that I have cheered us on in this journey, especially those that have bandaged our wounds with words, prayers and actions of great kindness - I am forever in your debt.

The marriage of my dreams is my life everyday now and I am allowed and afforded the opportunity to bask in the glow of a love that I never could have imagined. It was beyond my imagination because I could not bring us to this point, HE had to - and for that I thank HIM, my God, everyday.

I pray that all that relationships are as blessed.

Have a good day out there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The best marriage books we've read yet, what we're reading now and what is next to read :-)

The Omartian books have changed our marriage - in ways that only God could. These books were like marriage and prayer manuals that I wish we had 7 years ago but I am not complaining, it was divine providence that we happpened upon these books and made the breakthrough that we have.

The Charles Sheldon book you will find the origins of the WWJD phenomenon...I had no idea where that "trend" began but now I do. It's a great, easy read and the challenge the story holds is one that might be one we should all consider. Can you always ask "what would Jesus do?" before EVERY choice you make in ALL areas of your life? There's something to chew on, right?

Last one is one that my Mom and Dad recommended, The Sacred Romance. Really looking forward to delving into it with the hub when we are thru the Sheldon book. Something about seeing your relationship with the Lord as a Sacred Romance sounds so appealing and fulfilling, so I am eagerly awaiting when we can begin the book and study.

Gotta run - pizza and movie night awaits.

The Car

We sold my Mom bus and as silly as it sounds part of me was very sad to see it go. It might sound crazy but somehow I had attached a certain fondness to my car - it was big, roomy and comfy to sit in. The DVD player was my best friend on our long car trips to TN and back. There was more than enough room to pile in friends, family, etc. I loved that car. BUT, we sold it.

I had been rather mopey about the whole thing until today. What changed? Well, the money we got for the car by selling it to CarMax (shameless endorsement) was deposited into our bank account and today I was able to pay off a slew of these "we're paying on it monthly" bills. Suddenly, I didn't miss my car that much anymore. The liberation and freedom from the every month making incremental dents in ridiculous medical bills is overwhelming and I love it...way more than I loved the car :-)

So, the money we save this month will go to purchasing a DVD player for the new ride. Yes, that is me giving in...over half a day in the car with two little boys and no means to entertain them would be tortuous, right? As I type that I laugh at myself because that is what everyone before us did - long car rides playing games, cards, punch-bug and all without the technology of movies in the car. But, now that we are utterly ruined and spoiled there is no going back - LOL!

Looking forward to a glorious weekend with beautiful weather and making the most of's to you doing the same!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mediocre Minds

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein

Wow, what a genius comment?! Mediocrity to me is the same as compromise but to be mediocre is almost pejorative; while compromise is just a euphemism for giving in. Why do we characterize two words that really do settle on the same meaning in such different ways?

I have spent the last few days in an uproar over battling with mediocre minds and I have come to the realization that the battle only exists in my mind because to a mind of mediocre settling and compromise there is nothing worth battling over.

Where did the spirit to encounter, fight for and conquer the world disappear to? It is just to un-PC to be that person anymore? Regardless, that is what I am teaching my children to me - GREAT MINDS that will fight for what they believe is truth in our world. I pray everyday that they have the strength to fight that violent opposition.

Genius or not, Einstein had it right years and years ago. Who will you be? What will the legacy of your life be?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tickets, Pilates and Donuts

On the way to the dr I was pulled little ride-along buddy in the back was saying "oh Mommy, you're going to JAIL" as he approached. He came to the window with sunglasses ON (it was 9:30, windy and cloudy), so you can kind of see where the "COP" attitude was gauging that morning. Officer Too-Big-For-My-Britches gave me a stern talking to like I was some sort of recalcitrent child...yeah, me in my glorified station wagon, listening to KLOVE, all buckled up...heck yeah, I am a REBEL. Ugh. Misuse of power, that is all I have to say. I did get a "warning" for something that I was completely unaware was a law in OK or any other place for that matter. I guess it was just my luck and I think it made the illustrious OFFICER make himself feel better, so at least there was some good that came of it...the silver lining, right? For us it is becoming a true test to see the silver lining it all that we face, but at the end of the day- GRATITUDE is so powerful, so here goes another check in the straining to have gratitude list. I am grateful that the officer that pulled me over got an ego boost by being able to give me a "warning" his chest puffed out and he strided just so.

So, the doctor gave me the sentence I was expecting, so no new news there. Essentially he told me that the fate of all of this back stuff lies in my ability to discern what I can and cannot tolerate in my daily life. Putting it plainly - what are you willing to put up with? Depends on when you ask! LOL On a Monday morning, tired, before my 2 cups of coffee...uhm, not much! HAHA. Seriously though, it is a wee bit depressing to think of what looms out there in my future. I have to get myself in fighting condition if I am going to be able to get through what will here's to weight watchers and pilates being my means to getting my big ol butt going while decreasing the size of said hiney. Grateful lesson here- I can still walk, function and be present in the lives of my loved ones...albeit, not as much as I'd like but it is better to be THERE than not.

Pilates is all that I have heard it was and I shame myself for not considering it as a means to get some level of exercise until now. I have all but closed the door on exercise since my injury has deteriorated my physical ability to do almost anything...when giving the kids a bath feels like cardioaerobic activity, the rest of it seems almost impossible. However, just a few days in and I think this might be exactly what I need. Granted, I will never be lithe or sinuey but less chubby works for me at this point. Gratefully so, I was stretched out there with both kids doing their best to "workout with Mom" - motivation can come in many forms, can't it?

That being said---weight watchers and pilates aside...I got a donut this morning and a HUGE cup of coffee. Life isn't worth living if you don't take the time to appreciate all of it! Enjoy the day and do take one moment today to be in gratitude, you'll be surprised how much it improves your impression of the world and what it has to offer.

grate·ful   /ˈgreɪtfəl/ –adjective
1.warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful

Thursday, April 1, 2010


So, in my solo time I have become a Redbox renter and have watched two movies that were both highly recommended by friends to see- one was Couples Retreat and the other Observe and Report.

Let me first say I am not a movie reviewer, these are just my own opinions. That being said, they both didn't quite measure up. Couples Retreat wasn't really that funny - Vince Vaughn played the SAME character he always does in movies and I guess I just didn't see the humor in seeing marriages in crisis. "We're getting a divorce...ha ha ha!" Hmmm, see - not so funny. I guess there were a few humorous parts but overall it was nothing to spend $10 on a ticket for, glad I only spent $1 at the Redbox.

Now getting to the other one - ashamedly I will admit that we saw the mall cop movie with that guy from King of Queens. It was silly and hokey and cheesy but in a family film type of way. This movie however was as foul mouthed as any movie I've seen in a while. It points out all too well how unattractive it is to use the f-bomb every other word or to curse when you have other words you could be using instead. I couldn't even finish the movie, it was that bad.

I guess as I get older I become more and more prone to disengage from what "the world" deems as funny or intriguing or whatever else. Listening to my kids tell inane, ridiculous and completely made up on their own jokes is much more funny than watching a movie featuring a flasher in a mall parking lot. I don't see the appeal in horror films - watch the news once in a while - if that isn't enough to strike fear into your heart then WOW, cause that is all it takes for me. I don't see the appeal in reading the text messages that Tiger Woods sent to his multiple mistresses or hearing about how Jesse James is going into Sex Rehab. Don't get me wrong, I have laughed my hiney off at movies with potty humor and potty mouths...many times. The issue I guess I have here is how gratuitous it has all become. Gratuitous sex scandals, gratuitous f-bombs, gratuitous everything.

My mother would interject here a comment on conspicuous consumption and she would be completely correct. Gotta run and take a movie back to the redbox...thinking of getting Julie and Julia (or is it the other way around) again - loved that one!

Have a blessed week everyone - and a glorious Easter weekend!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flying solo

I have spent the last 10 months living in wedded (mostly) bliss with my hub and our two boys here in Okie and the year we spent where I was a married single parent and he was a married bachelor seems to be in the distant past BUT as we approach another separation the memories of what it took to "run" it all alone has been creeping up behind me and ready to bite me in the butt. I was working, parenting and volunteering and all while I was parenting our boys and holding it all together while the hub pursued his career and made it possible to have the life we have today...AND it was some of the hardest months of my life and his and our kiddos.

So, here we are facing the potential for a long stretch apart and I am much more aware of my vulnerability here. Yikes. Scary prospect. I was sleeping alone last night as the hub was out of town taking care of his Dad and I left almost every light on in the house and woke up at every sound. Where's my Mom when I need her? :)

Yesterday was a long day of making it work and getting through the day. I guess that will be how we manage day at a time, or maybe somedays just managing an hour at a time. As long as we get through it, that's all that matters, right?
So, if that means we eat cereal for dinner some nights or get pizza delivery once a week...then so be it! The perk of living here is that retail therapy is not a real option for coping with the distance, so that will help our bank accounts- LOL!!

I do get to sleep in the middle of the bed when I'm solo...there's a plus! Haha- love you CHRIS!


BTW, New York and Company is having a HUGE online
and Old Navy is selling cute cardigans for $15, shop

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The food diary of a "points" eater...

I am back on a life-changing quest. With the chronic pain I know that I cannot exercise the way I'd like but I can watch what I eat with more vigilance and hence the decision to get back on the "points" plan. It works and I've done it, if this time I could make it a real lifestyle change then I'd be set. How many people when they "diet" really do make REAl life style changes? I'd hazard to say not many; me, being one of those people. Some saying about the best of intentions comes to mind. BUT, this time I have to really commit to it because I can't just run it off anymore. In my past when the pounds crept on I would just "hit the gym" with more vim and vigor; but now, that's just not an option. So, I relegated to the land of the "dieter" for evermore if I want to stay at "chubby", otherwise I am headed to the land of just plain old "fat." I will never be a skinny girl- I accepted that long ago. I have gone up and down with my weight many times- usually it correlated to the stress levels in my life and of course, my penchant for buttery popcorn or chocolate. I also had two HUGE babies which warped my body in various ways, most notably the pizza dough belly. I own the cottage cheese thighs- I can't blame that one on the babies, can I?

Anyway, I digress. So, since my birthday, I am down 12 pounds and over 6 inches. Here's to more pounds and more inches - my goal is to look stunning as my best friend's Matron of Honor and to lose about 20 pounds more. I am hoping it will ease some of my pain as well as make me look less stuffed into my clothes. :-)

I read somewhere there is a diet book for Christians and the idea is that you use the power of God to lose weight...might have to check that one out. Right now, the points are keeping me motivated as is the weight loss and sudden appearence of my waistline - LOL!

I figure if I blog about it, maybe someone out there will hold me accountable and or give me tips, motivation, pep talks, etc. If anyone wants to join me in this quest, let me know. I would be glad to walk this road with a friend.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The name of the game?

The name of the game this week has been "hold your tongue" I was reading in my Bible the other day searching for some sort of inspiration as to how best handle the tough situations that you encounter in life that leave you ready to shoot your mouth off- and as I read through the psalms there was a verse that said, paraphrasing, holding your tongue stops wickedness from escaping from your lips.

I encounter situations almost everyday where there are times when I am given the distinct opportunity to practice restraint...some days I amaze myself, others not-so much. The rude check out girl at the only place to shop in our small town, the acquaintance that is whispering condemnations about people you know in tones you can still hear, the family member that thinks its appropriate to say what she thinks even at the expense of your feelings...

I feel a sense of righteous indignation when I come upon these types of situations - how do I profess my Christian values and beliefs when there are times I feel compelled to set the record straight and in doing so, give these people a piece of my mind? I consider myself an honest person and uphold those values in my home with our children; but, there is a fine line between honesty and taking the filter off your mouth and saying whatever comes to mind. Is it right to censor a honest thought, observation or retort if it means that you stop "wickedness" from your lips?

In our studies of being a praying wife/praying husband one of the cornerstones of the study is understanding what power your words have over your spouse; and in our case, this is most assuredly true. As we have grown together as a couple we are much more aware of what words we use when we are expressing any emotion- especially when we're frustrated or is easy to let honesty come out in wicked ways if you aren't careful.

So, I guess this could apply to all relationships as well. However, how does one deal with the compulsion to fire back at an attack, be it from the rude check out girl, family or friend? It is so much easier to give what you get; but then again, if you aren't the one to stop the vicious cycle of UGLY, who will?

Today is my day to be the one to stop it. Have a great day.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exhaustion...there's nothing like it! Feel free to come by and take mine for yourself, I would gladly give it away...

I am exhausted. I would gladly give my sleep deprived and utterly too pooped state of mind away to anyone that is interested in inheriting my current miseries of back pain, insomnia and other things that don't bear mentioning in the blog- feel free to take the lot!! Sitting here, sipping the Schuchs select vintage of red wine and blogging while listening to my kids argue over bedtime, I am even more exhausted with each inhale and exhale. In my current state it has become more and more arduous to be righteous, grateful or even amiable; in fact, I find myself more grouchy, quick-tempered and less patient.

I have spent the last several weeks in devotion in attempts to draw closer to God and in my path for salvation, find the strength in HIM to continue on...and while this is a noble quest it is fraught with all sorts of situations that I had not anticipated. For example, the need for more self-reflection that I would have liked. I am quickly learning what a SINNER I am and thus the need for more devotion. I am also learning that mercy, grace and gratitude have been sorely missing from my life. It is this that I have been focusing on most recently and it has brought me to this very point right now: gratitude is life changing.

I am not grateful for back pain, insomnia, exhaustion or anything of the like. However, in my state of mind I am allowed the opportunity to reflect on a life I lived before the limitations I have now...and it astounds me at all that I took for granted. The simple tasks that I griped about doing are now things I wish I could do on my own. Humility is another one that God has been putting in my face - EVERYDAY! Pride is a bitch to swallow. I digress...when focusing on gratitude for all the BIG things you sometimes miss the opportunity to be grateful for all that you have, do, etc. It never occurred to me to be grateful that I could empty the dishwasher, EVER!! And yet, here I am.

Even in gratitude the devil tempts me to be grouchy, less patient and all together unpleasant- and I fall prey to something so much bigger than myself. Then I reach my hand up- ask for the love that surpasses all understanding to fill my heart and renew my spirit and bit by bit I work my way back to gratitude and a happy heart.

I guess the exhaustion and ensuing crabbiness is there to teach another lesson- so maybe I should keep it until I do? My family would vote to get rid of it all together, I am sure! :-) Until then, I am going to go to bed early and pray before I go to sleep to be grateful when I wake up in the morning! Geez, shouldn't we ALL be grateful when we wake up in the morning. Each day starts out that way if we're lucky, right? So, tomorrow will be better simply by default.

Blessings y'all and have a great week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quotes for the week:

"At least you're not one of those people that are content to sit on their fat ass on disability forever and ever- its good to see someone motivated to get better. Now, next exercize, glut squeezes, ya know, squeeze your butt..."

"Mom, you're not a're a Mom." Hence why I guess its not okay to walk in on a GIRL in the bathroom, and yet, I haven't been able to take a shower or pee by myself in almost 6 years.

"You have a mess going on in your back, God, I'd hate to see you at 45" WOW.

"Mom, is your back all better now?" "No," I respond. "Then what did the dumb doctor do? I missed school for this??"

"Don't pee on my head and tell me its raining..."

"Don't piss in the wind or it will hit ya in the face"

"I don't want to take the ash cross off my forehead, it shows the world that Jesus died on the cross for me" Pretty astute and one lucky Mom to have a kid with a heart for God like that.

"J, where is your gum?" "Gone," he says. "Gone where?" I ask. "In my tummy, I swallowed it so I could see it later in my poop." YES, he really did say that!

Yes, with three males in the home: peeing, pooping, boogers and toots are all topics of conversation in my home on a daily basis. God love em, even at the dinner table.

So, that's a wrap on the week for me: some good, some bad and some all together ridiculous. Have a great weekend ahead.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am sitting here trying to decide why I blog- it is quite possibly the most narcissistic thing in which I participate. To think that anyone out there in the world really gives a darn about the thoughts that come out of my head is rather arrogant, isn't it? And yet, look at how many people out there in the world participate along with me. I read somewhere on the Internet that narcissism is the new up and coming diagnosis in mental health for us Gen-Xers and all those that have come since we reared our "me" attitudes on the world. So, my question is where did this new trend in "me, me, me" come from?

I think my age group was among the last to receive trophies only for winning, if you didn't win- you watched the other team get them. It made us want to try harder to win the next time. Now, everyone gets one just for participating, so it doesn't matter if you win. Does this lend itself to the delusion that we are all "winners" and that thought that everyone out there must really be interested in my every thought? This false sense of a level playing field, this ridiculous notion that everyone will always have the ability to be heard, the desire for instant-gratification and the utter selfishness of pursuing only "my own happiness" - all these I believe are a by-product of our new socialization in America.

We've been fed lies to appease our mentality which has been dumbed down again and again to account for our lack of good education, strong families, engaged parents, involved churches, and responsibility in government. We are now taught that it doesn't matter who wins, that somehow just by default of being American that we're entitled to everyone having the "same" of everything...because, that is what is FAIR; that its okay to want everything NOW and if you don't have the money then just use that plastic. But, the truth is there are people who win out, there are people that are going to be better than we are at making money, finding career success and raising their family to be olympians and astromauts. We are not all the same so we cannot not expect what we receive to be the same- can we? I see people out there in the world doing what they have to do make themselves happy, paying little mind to the homeless man sitting panhandling on the corner or the single Mom weighing out whether she should buy food to feed the family or pay her electric bill.

The narcissism is pervasive now in our culture. When you see these faux stars reading about themselves in the latest issue of the trash mag, that is the definition of being self-absorbed. Or absolutely anything on reality TV- I can't bear it. How does someone on a reality TV show become a "star"? Heidi and Spencer....need I say more? So, we're not only narcissists but also voyeurs? Ugh. I was talking to my Dad about how much has changed in his lifetime (73 years) and it astounds me daily to even think about the fact that he lived without electricity, running water, TV, cell phones, facebook...he was blaming my generation for voting in Obama. It was an interesting conversation because I can really only point to my Mom's generation for the spiral we have taken as a culture. As she burned her bra and stuck it to "the man" everything started to change. My generation was parented by the originators of Woodstock and acid trips and pot-laced brownies and then as they converted and became soccer Moms and gray-headed accountants we were left to navigate through the mazes of life with parents that needed their kids to be the ones to change the world because they had not. So, they started planting the seeds of Stuart Smalley theology and telling us all we are "winners."

So, where has our winner generation taken us? The defining moments of 2000-2010 were tragic, amazing, blessed, shameful and everything in between. But, as we look at that decade and what came to rise what do we have to show for all our "self-confidence"? A nation in debt, a country that cannot take care of itself, and now a new generation of our kids that are righteously immune to any sort of real instruction or criticism or correction of any kind. I refuse to parent this way. My kids will be raised to know that they will have to work hard, they will have to earn their successes, small or great. My boys will learn that happiness comes from within and God will always be there to provide that even when the world cannot. Most importantly they will learn that it isn't always about them...there is a big world out there and they need to see their part in it- not what the world owes them...but what they can do for our world. My parents instilled me a deep faith in God and that has seen me through the fads of my generation...that being said, I have fallen prey here and there to the things of the world. Hello, I am blogging...prey. I only hope that my children are able to change the world to see beyond themselves cause I think a lot of us Americans live in our own bubbles.

But, hey- what the heck do I know? I just want my voice to be heard, cause I know it, a blog rant- that's a first.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Best Foot Forward

We've stirred things up here at the Beatty ranch and the last few weeks have left us spinning-
My big kid started "real school" at a private Christian school that came very highly recommended from one of our closest friends here in OK and it has been a blessing to him in many ways...I cried the first few times I dropped him off and J is still stomping his feet all the way back to the car crying for his "Bubba" to come back home with us. I knew that someday this moment would come and he was ready, Mommy on the other hand wasn't quite so sure about letting her baby go.

Sending your children off and knowing that there is no way you can protect their heart while they are not with you- it's almost more than this Mommy could bear. I prayed for weeks about this decision and even as I walked him in for his first day I was weary.

I counseled him on how to approach his very first day by saying, "Honey, the best thing you can do is to always put your best foot forward."

He looked at me and replied, "is my best foot this one (pointing to his right foot) or this one (pointing to the other)?" I couldn't help but look at my son and want to hug his neck- I laughed out loud and tried to explain what that expression meant to no avail; for now he had me laughing and once you've made Mom laugh, it's over. Now, each day as he departs my hand-help grasp he points to a foot and says, "this one is my best foot today..." he smiles with glee at his joke and walks away with confidence and assurance that today will be a good day at school.

Do I miss homeschooling him? ABSOLUTELY!! Do I miss my kid? His silliness? His antics? YES!! However, he was was the right time to make the switch. I will always hold on to the memories that we made while I watched those "A-HA" moments occur...I am blessed to carry those with me always. I pray he will look back at that time and keep some of those same moments in his heart. He still amazes me everyday with his kindness, with his heart...we were having our daily prayer time while driving him to school one morning and he stops and says,"And thank you GOD for making me your child and help me to stay in your command." I sat there stunned at his depth, his sincerity and the faith exuding out of this little boy and all at once I knew that any doubts I had about school, how we've raised him, where his heart was....all was answered. He is right where God would have him be and we send up praises everyday for this child we have been given.

On the flipside of this decision there is the fact that now I have J all to myself most days. He is an energetic, lively, and silly little boy who's smile could warm a room. His passion for EVERYTHING is amazing and is intense in ways I never thought a 3 year old could conjure up, but he does all with great fervor. His anger and his love, his hugs and his slugs...its always 150% with J. The world "stubborn" doesn't even touch his determination to do things his way, to fight for what's right, to stand in the face of opposition and make his point. He still struggles with his speech delay and the frustration resulting from having to tell someone three or four times his point of view before they can translate what he's trying to communicate. God love his little heart, he is spitfire and spunk wrapped up in too-big-for-him hand-me-downs. He melts my heart with impromptu hugs and "Mommy, I love you so much" or "Mommy you're so pretty!" He knows how to work his Mommy, that is for sure.

The hub keeps plugging along at work and makes so many sacrifices everyday for this family, I am constantly amazed at how much he gives to us. I know there are days when he would rather stay in bed then be at work at 3 am - who wouldn't? But, in his desire to support our family and provide us with the luxuries we enjoy- he keeps on doing what I could not. For that and many other reasons he is our hero!

We have started a new group study at our church and it has been very beneficial to our marriage. Anyone out there that is looking for a transformation in their marriage should look into this study... "The Power of the Praying Wife" and "The Power of the Praying Husband" In just a few short weeks God has used this study and our prayers for each other to rekindle a love for God and for each other that we had lost somewhere along our journey.

I still battle daily with my back injury and the resulting pain; there are days when it gets the better of me and takes me down a road of sadness and despair. Those are the days when my family and friends pray for God to save me from my moments where I forget to let God take my hand and lead me through the pain. I struggle with my faith during my moments of pain that are so intense that I just want to give up...and I am so blessed to have family and friends that see me through those times. Please pray for healing and an end to the pain. Prayer can bring miracles and I would love one of those for me! And for Patrick, John Henry, Alicia and all those out there that keep fighting the good fight.

Truly, in our life, God has continued to graciously bestow upon the Beatty family the blessings of His love and grace through His Word, through the friends he has given to us in life, through each other, through our families. We remain forever in his loving care and pray you do the same.

Blessings abound everywhere you look, just don't be too busy to notice.

Love to all.