Thursday, November 26, 2009

Seriously? You laugh at what?


Thanksgiving with my family seems like a version of the movie groundhog day. Every year is the comfortably the same with the exception of us each growing older every year. There is always some little ones running around; older ones bossing younger ones; the sure fire family fight (this year was between me & Nick over putting butter on corn); guys watching football; and us reminiscing about years gone by.

My Meme was famous for her Chocolate Pie and since she died over five years ago we have never really had anything like it grace the kitchen. Oh, the German chocolate cake was still a guarantee and there are always cookies and pies and more dessert than should be legal, but the chocolate pie was missing. I have scoured the nation and ordered chocolate pie after chocolate pie to no avail. No One makes pie like my Meme. My cousin Tracey read a poem at her funeral and the chocolate pie was mentioned several times. It is one of those traditions that we loved about our Meme. She was a grouchy lady for the most part and always had a smart remark but we would fight over the last piece of her chocolate pie. Well, surprise upon surprise, Peggy (who is not known for her cooking, not being rude, just being honest {she knows this}) got the recipe and tried her hand at it this year. It is crazy how a taste can be a memory but it is. I could not believe that we were having Meme's chocolate pie, but there it was the buttery crust in my mouth, the meringue mingling around it dancing with the taste of the gooey chocolate. I was 10 years old again bullying my cousins and running through the house in my sock feet. I was immediately seeing that face with the twinkling eyes and curly white hair standing over the stove in one of her 'jogging suits' ready to smack the hands getting in the ham before time to eat. Kudos to Peggy for those memories and for the two pounds I gained eating WONDERFUL chocolate pie.

As we savored the pie my cousins and aunts and I began to talk about how fast our kids are growing and how apparently, Lori and I are now middle aged. Ugh, I am refusing to be middle aged. I am going to live to be 100 so I will not be middle-aged until at least 50 so I have 14 more years. . . LOL ~ The table is always filled with laughter and some of the same stories year after year. Sometimes we remember things not talked about in years like how we thought the grownups were dumb when they hid the easter eggs in plain sight in Meme's yard and they laughed and said, well we wanted it to be easy so it would be over quick.

Somehow we ended up talking about our family faux paus. We, well some of us, laugh at funerals. We have had to separate ourselves at funerals to not laugh and two of my aunts had to leave a funeral once because they could not quit laughing. I remember one funeral when we were glared at and we tried to contain ourselves. Why do we do this? We have no clue, it's a nervous thing. So talk moved to what we were going to do when my mom passes away. We all have to sit on the front row and that will be pretty bad to be sitting in the front row of my mom's funeral laughing at some point. I say this because I know I will be crushed beyond belief because even after 36 years, I am a Mama's girl. She makes me mad, she makes me laugh, she makes me cry, but no one can compare to who she is to me. As we laughed about this tonight, mom said, "In front of everyone, I give you all permission to laugh at my funeral" which was funny in itself. I told her we would just make buttons or stickers to hand out at the door that say "we laugh at funerals" so no one will be surprised or offended. . . . seriously, though, laughter is the best medicine.

Over laughter Nichole and I made up over our butter incident. Over laughter, we discuss disciplining our children, meeting our life's goals and memories from childhood past. Today was about laughter and memories and thankfulness for those we hold near and dear and don't tell them nearly enough.

Feel free to share some of your Thanksgiving Memories.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show us Your Life ~ Pets

Kelly is doing Pets this week on Show us your life and I could not resist this one. . .

We have, of course, two human babies that are 14 & 16 years old.

We have had hunter since Cait was 7 or 8, so he has been part of our family for over half her life and most of Logan's. He is the Alpha Male in this pack and sometimes needs to be reminded that we are actually the pack leaders. He is happy to lay on the couch or snuggle between me and Brad in the mornings.
Hunter loves to lay around, like, all the time!

Baleigh has been with us for about 8 months. She is around 10 months old and crazy as Hunter is calm. She is a lab/boxer mix and her affection for all things garbage related can sometimes be quite irritating. But her loving demeanor soon wins you back over and it is hard to stay mad at her.
Baleigh has a slight underbite (well not so slight) but she is too cute

Just when life seemed good in the dog department, I got stupid. Okay, I am a sucker for a pretty face anymore. I used to not be a dog person but apparently this has changed. Little Zoey entered our home about 3 weeks ago at age 4 weeks. She had to be taken from her mom early and was headed to the pound and when those brown eyes looked up at me, I was a goner. The family soon succumbed to her wiles and she is our baby.

Could you resist this face? Not me . . . .

We are not planning on adding to the dog family anytime soon, but who knows what this old sap will do. Stick around and read some blogs, I would love for you to follow our family as we walk this crazy journey through life.

Much Love,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

and again. . . .

One of my favorite things about God is that we can always begin again. . . . and again. . . . and again.

Pastor's message today dug at my heart. He talked about what our purpose is for the kingdom. I think that I am finally letting God back in where He wants to be because for the last six months I have leaned on God, I have held onto God, I have relied on God, I have been this pitiful small person before the Lord and in that, I forgot my purpose not only in the work of God but also in my personal life. In the wanting to shield my heart, I quit making myself available to God like I needed to. I leaned on Him but didn't allow myself to invest in anything except for my husband and kids and a few close friends.

Days have went by without doing anything at work but playing games or hanging out on facebook when I should have been working. Days have went by with no laundry being done or supper cooked. Not everyday, of course, but enough days that it is noticeable. Enough days that my work suffers and that my husband has to say, Hey Honey, "Let's catch up on laundry tonight" or the kids get excited because I am actually cooking and not doing Wendy's or the Chicken Strips and Fries that our FryDaddy cranks out on a regular basis.

I cannot remember the last time I cried so hard before God and the only words I could say were "I want to be different but I don't know how" "I want to work with a purpose but I don't know how" "Please fix me, Please change me" "I want to be different but I don't know how". All I know is that when I got up from the altar I felt like it was one of those again moments. I know that tomorrow God is going to once more, again, help me to find my purpose in the natural and the spiritual.

What do you need to begin again today? Is it with your family? Is it at work? Is it in your time of worship and prayer? Whatever it is, God is an again kind of God and He loves us, again. . .and again. . . and again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Fine Line

I walk a fine line. A line between moving forward in the wonders and majesty of what God is doing in my life today and how He is blessing me right now and how I know He is blessing my future versus not being able to forget the past hurt because it comes up almost daily in some shape or form.

As we prepare to go to court again on November 18th there is that part of me that dreads to see the face of the man who for all intents and purposes, was my family. The man who stole my identity and and destroyed my email accounts without a single thought to what that did to our family. The man who did everything he could for three years to isolate my family and turn friends against us. Then there is the part of me that likes to face it head on, knowing no matter what the outcome that God is still on the throne and that all will be revealed and dealt with in His time frame, not mine. The part of me that can walk in that courtroom knowing whatever happens, God knows the hurt and God knows the situation from the inside out.

Walking in forgiveness for myself is easy most days. Walking in forgiveness has freed me from the chains of hatred and bitterness that tried to form around my heart. The hard part of forgiveness is not even toward Shane but toward the situation and the fact that there are people who actually believe this guy, in his unrepentant state, can still be a leader for the Kingdom of God.

I know this is going to be controversial to some but the Bible says in Luke 17: 3-4 "If thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in the day turns again to thee saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." Those are the words of Jesus, the words of our Savior. How could the brother forgive if he had not been repented to and asked for forgiveness?

When the prodigal son returned to his father he said Luke 15:21"Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy site, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." This father was not left to wonder what was in his son's heart. There was repentance there. Romans 3:23 says "All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God." The fact that sins were committed is not the issue, the issue is that there are one of two scenarios in place here:

1. The person in question is under a spirit of confusion and does not realize that they were wrong.


2. They refuse to acknowledge the sins they committed and feel justified in their actions.

My deepest prayer is that people turn to God and not to a man in this day we live in. Belief in a man, a building, an earthly kingdom full of flattering words and empty promises will not get you one step closer to where God intends for you to be. Please pray that you are not deceived and that God reveals the truth for all to see before you are like Proverbs 26:11 " As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." Or as us regular folks would put it, Fool me once, Shame on You; Fool me twice, Shame on me.

I know this is not a pretty blog, but today it's who I am, it's how I feel and somewhere, someone is reading this feeling the same way and sometimes its just good for someone to identify with you for a minute. To know they too have walked your path. I am encouraged to know that others walk this line too as they walk through grief or divorce or loss of job because it means we are all human. To love a God who didn't heal the sick as we expected or to love a God who did not prevent a divorce or to love a God who did not prevent job loss astounds some people. But see when Job's wife told him he should Curse God and die he replied in verse 10: But Job replied, "You talk a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. God is a God of love but sometimes he puts things in our paths, hurdles to cross so it will glorify Him in the end and help us grow as individuals.

Dear God, Help me to put the past to rest and walk each day in forgiveness and continue to bless those around me with discernment for the situations they are facing today to your promise will hold true because your word says in Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."