Saturday, April 21, 2012

Random thoughts of the day. . .

I've never been accused of thinking along normal lines. Which payed off in third grade when I got put into the advanced program, but also almost got me institutionalized. Apparently, I wrote a very graphic tale about a girl whose dad turned into a werewolf (which I believe she was aware of) and she killed him. . . I really wish I could find that story now because I bet it would be a good read, but I'm pretty sure its in a dumpster somewhere. Just another casualty of foreclosure. Poor little story, never even knew what hit it. Oh, well. At least it will decompose naturally.

See what I mean about not thinking along normal lines? To me, the world is full of connections. Everything connects and I usually find myself passing off odd comments about things that connect to me, but not to others as "jokes" or "sarcasm". . . Its somehow easier to think that people just don't understand your humor than to think that they don't appreciate your thought patterns.

I need to remember this, though. Because it looks like my oldest daughter is going to be like me and then some. This year, in first grade, she was put into the target program. And last week, she brought home a drawing of what she wanted to be when she grows up. Apparently, she wants to be an FBI agent and "catch the killers". I'm pretty sure that she got that from Criminal Minds, which I love but don't watch with her. . . but my dad has been known to fall asleep watching ncis and not wake up until Criminal Minds is over. She was quick to reassure me that the school counselor saw her picture before the blood was added, but to my chagrin I found myself telling her she should be drawing pictures of rainbows and fairies and princesses and happy, girly things. . . because she's a 7 year old girl. Its funny how quickly you forget where you came from. Less than 20 years ago, I was that kid that thought along different paths. Does she think along abnormal paths because she is my child or did God give her to me because she thinks along abnormal paths? Its like what came first, the chicken or the egg, LOL. Either way, I should be the first adult to appreciate that in my child. Because I'm sure there will be plenty of adults who don't.

Like the teacher that sent me home info about an ADHD breakfast. My child can sit through a movie without blinking if she likes it. She read a 200 page chapter book in a week. She can concentrate on things if she's interested in them. But she reads at a 3rd grade level and they teach at a first grade level. Of course she bounces off the wall. She's bored. And she thinks along seemingly random paths like her mom. I can totally see how that looks like ADHD. But it isn't. She's just a deep thinker, too bored to sit for 7 hours a day and be bored quietly and I am grateful for that. I just wish I had noticed it and appreciated it before now.

I bet you're wondering what brought this thought to mind, what connection led to this path? Well, there are a few things that have led me here. First, Pastor has been talking a lot about being real and sharing our struggles and not just sugar coating reality so its more palatable, which made me think about how I pass off my different thinking as not *real* thoughts, but jokes or sarcasm. Also, I have found myself thinking a lot lately about how much I've changed and how much I am still the same. Like last week, I was getting ready to go to work and found myself looking for something "conservative" and "modest" to wear, which totally cracked me up because I work at the same church that I enjoyed dressing provocatively at while I was in middle school and high school and I thought "what would the people who knew me in high school think of me now". That is a misleading thought, because it probably makes you think I care what people I knew in high school think. The funny thing is, when I wonder what they think, I'm not really wondering what my friends from high school would think, but what the people who didn't like me in high school would think. They didn't know me to start off with, just how I dressed and I really don't care what anyone I knew would think, but it amuses me to think that my current level of amiability and propriety would probably scandalize those who once knew of me. . .

Anyways, those are just a few of my random thought processes of the present. I'm sure I'll be blogging again soon enough because I've got plenty more to say that is still processing. . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We are meant to be COURAGEOUS

We were meant to be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. We were meant to be Courageous. I know that song was written about men and I do think that men are meant to be courageous as the leaders of the home. However, in the absence of courageous leadership (and even in its presence), ladies we were meant to be courageous. For our kids. For ourselves and most of all for our God. We are called to do EVERYTHING as if for the LORD. WE are meant to be courageous.

Courageous, not quitters or fearers or haters or downers. Not whiners or enablers or a bunch of other things that I could waste my time listing, but I won't. Because it is a waste of time and because I find myself quite childlike at times, in terms of finding myself apt to lean toward doing what I'm not supposed to do. Yes, I can be rebellious. Its a pain in the conscious.

But back to the point. . . We are meant to be courageous in Christ. If we are in Christ, we are meant to be courageous in Christ. If we are in Christ, Christ is in us and we are meant to be courageous in Christ. We are meant to do the right thing in all that we do and there are times when that comes naturally and is easy and there are other times when we are surrounded by opposition and doing the right thing takes an incredible amount of courage. defines courageous as "not deterred by danger or pain; brave." If you look up the word "courageous" on, 14 verses come up. The first 7 verses are the Lord commanding His people to be strong and courageous for God was leading them to the promised land and would be with them wherever they went. 13 of the 14 verses are in the Old Testament, written during times of war and turmoil and the last is 1 Corinthians 16:13 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong."

Be courageous and follow God. Obey his commands and statutes. Do not turn from them to the left or to the right. Do what is right. Do not be deterred by danger or pain because if God is for us, who can be against us? "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32. I'm not saying it will be easy, because I'm sure the times of turmoil and war in the Old Testament weren't easy for those who were going through it, but God never said it would be easy. Instead, He warned us that it would be hard and He encouraged us to be strong and courageous and He promised he would be with us wherever we go. So be strong and courageous. Be who you were meant to be in Christ.
There was a time when I thought I would be able to blog every day. I mean, every time I posted "I'm really gonna do it this time", I really thought I was going to do it. But the truth is, I think I was just suffering from temporary insanity and temporarily forgot that I have 4 kids, very little sleep, negligible energy and little if any time left at the end of the day. As a result, I find myself ruminating over what to post for days, sometimes weeks before I ever get around to posting it. I guess that probably makes for better reading and I've come to realize that that's all I can do at this point in time.

These days, I am concentrating. On everything. My kids, my attitude, their attitude, the influences I allow in our lives, doing the best I can in all that I do, doing everything I do for the Lord and trying to inspire my kids to do the same.

I'm struggling these days, but I continue to press on because God didn't build me to be a quitter and I thank Him for that. I have been watching Courageous and Facing the Giants lately, not because they have the same guy in both, but because they both have important lessons that I need to learn from.

I watched Courageous for the first time last week. It made me cry. And if you know me, you know that it takes a lot to make me cry. I wept like a baby while I was nursing Rory and it took me 10 minutes to get it under control. I was so broken because my bad judgement is what got us here. I chose my ex. No one forced him on me. I could have run screaming for the hills, but I didn't. I should have, but I'm glad I didn't because I love my kids. To me, they are proof that good fruit CAN come from a dying tree. Our marriage may have ended, but no matter what happened and what happens, I praise God for the beautiful, wonderful children he blessed me with. But I am broken because, after watching Courageous, I cannot deny that fathers are important and my kids might as well not have one. Which makes them more likely to suffer and to cause suffering to others in the long run. I pray to God that my children being fatherless is a blessing in disguise, as I often say. And not just a burden that will cause them to be less than they would have been if he had stuck around.

I pray that God will use these trials to make my kids stronger, to enable them to better serve Him, and to help them to make wise decisions in their lives -- regarding marital and non-marital decisions. I pray that they will realize that their decisions will affect others and that they will make their decisions -- big and small -- accordingly.

I pray that God will raise up a courageous man who will be a good father figure to my children when they need a father.

Which brings me to the lesson from Facing the Giants. There is a story they tell in the movie about 2 farmers who prayed for rain -- 1 who got his field ready for rain and 1 that did not. I pray that God will help me get ready for the blessings I pray for. I don't really know how to get ready besides by reading my Bible and continuing to forgive my ex and work through my issues and try to better myself, all while keeping in mind the type of person I am looking for so that I do not use my bad judgement any longer, that I do not allow myself to make another bad choice that will adversely affect my children. God, help me to do my best and to be a courageous woman for you while I am waiting for you to raise up a godly, courageous head for my household. Amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thoughtul Parenting

I feel like a lot of my posts relate to living purposefully, but lately I have come to realize that making purposeful decisions and making thoughtful decisions are not always the same thing. We all have moments when we wish our kids (or husbands or dogs or fill-in-the-blanks) had come with an instruction manual. Some handy, consisely written pamphlet that covers any situation we might ever find ourselves in and also has a handy, always manned, toll-free number that we can call if anything out of the ordinary occurs. A number that will connect us to the expert that can clear up our every curiosity and tell us how to resolve any problems or clear up any glitches we might encounter in the course of life, whether our days be routine or strange beyond strange.

We all want this manual because we want to know what to do without doing any of the legwork or experimentation or though-process ourselves. Because all of that is just too messy and we might have a setback in the process or even -GASP- fail. We might no do everything perfectly and that's scary. That's why moms generally want dads to use the instruction manuals when they but something new or fix something old. And that's also why dads are a necessary part of the parenting process. Because they tend to be hard wired to think outside of the box and experiment confidently with parenting.

So what do you do when life is not ideal and you want to reach for that instruction manual that does not exist? Reach for th one that does. It has been said that the Bible is a universal instruction manual, that it can instruct you in all manners of life. And so far, I have yet to find a problem it won't help me with. And whenever I am just to frustrated to read my manual, I hit my knees and talk to the expert. He's just a toll-free (price paid by Jesus) prayer away.

As one of my friends posted on Facebook the other day, no one ever makes a lock without making a key and God doesn't allow problems in our lives without a solution being there, too, even if that solution is just as simple as calling the expert.

Today, I encourage everyone to practice thoughtful parenting. No cookie cutter was used to make us all and there isn't always an easy fix, but check out your instruction manual and call on the expert and do your best. Only you and God know what that is and only God can help you tap into that best, whatever it may be. And while you're at it, live thoughtfully, too. I am a firm believer that we would not deal with all the problems we deal with if everyone thought before they did. Have a great day in the Lord.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I had a lot of time to think on the drive to OK and on the drive back. Much more than I would have if I hadn't driven all but 4 hours of it. Not that thinking is a bad thing, but thinking while I was driving somewhere I had been to before to be with Joey, which also happened to be the place where he met the woman he left us for. . . It made for too many thoughts about him. And her.

People can think up some crazy things when they have been hurt. Like wounded lions, we can all give in to our baser instincts and lash out when we are hurting. The important thing is not to give in to our crazy thoughs. At least, not while they are still crazy and pain-laced.

Most of my thoughs centered around a vengeful plot to post ads in OK and TX craigslist personals, including their pictures. . . His and hers PSAs to warn people in the surrounding areas of the type of people they are. Something to the effect of "don't trust him, he is a narcissistic sociopath who will charm the pants off of you as long as it suits him, but has no actual loyalty to anyone but himself and will only keep you around as long as you serve his purposes and then he will leave and never look back." Looking back, that's not really a PSA. Hers. . . Something to the effect of "warning, this woman is a chronic slut who trolls bars around military bases (typically Fort Sill), looking for soldiers who are about to receive large bonuses and using her sexual prowess to trap said unsuspecting idiots for as long as it takes to drain them of their bonus and then moves on to the next unsuspecting idiot. She has no regard for marital status (hers or theirs), only for an anticipated pay day." But maybe that's just me being petty. After spending hours fantasizing about posting these PSAs to every craigslist in TX and OK, I decided maybe that's not the best course to take, but I did still want to post a PSA, so here goes:

Women, there are men out there who will say what they think you want to hear to "get" you and then after a while they will not be able to follow through because it was all a lie, at which point, they will cut their losses and run for the hills. This is why long courtships (without the complication of sex) are good. It takes time to see the true character of some people and when determining whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, its good to take your time. Your life is a long time. Don't waste it on the wrong guy.

Men, there are women out there who are technically not hookers, who will sleep with you in order to convince you to spend money on them. They may even get pregnant in order to trap you. They probably won't care if you are married or not, but even if you are and they know that you are from the beginning, they will probably still expect you to marry them when they get pregnant. Once you have no more money to give or life gets sufficiently hard, they will find someone else to leech money from and they will move on. They are loyal to money, not to you. I know indiscriminant sex seems fun and harmless, but sin often seems fun for a season and afterwards produces pain and consequences.

Everyone, look at the people you are considering spending time with. None of us know how long we will have on Earth and none of us can extend that time beyond what God has determined we will have. Look at the people you are spending your time with. Look at them carefully and determine what kind of person they are and if they are the right kind of person to spend time with, much less your life with. Do not tell yourself that the way they have acted in the past is different from how they will act with you "because they love you." People are creatures of habit. They may act like the person you want them to be fore a while, but eventually they will revert back to reality and you will see their true colors. Wait it out. Be sure before you consumate your relationship. Otherwise, you might end up pregnant with your 4th child, abandoned by the person you thought would stick around forever "because they love you." Its not a fun place to be.

Beware of the people you let into your inner circle. Make sure they belong there before you let them have free reign there. Guard your heart. A broken heart is a nasty wound to try to heal from. Especially if you have an ever-present audience of children to remain strong for.

I hope this PSA helps someone since it wasn't that easy for me to write, even after 40ish hours in the car and countless hours afterwards spent contemplating it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Road Trip

I've always wondered why some people call every trip they take a vacation. . . I mean, some trips are vacations for sure. Like going to Hawaii all expenses paid, not having to worry about anything but making sure you don't forget the sun screen. But other trips. . . not so much. Some trips are just road trips. Road trips can still be wonderful opportunities and some parts of them are even fun, but that does not make them a vacation. They are typically too stressful, too much like reality or too worklike to be a vacation.

That said, I'm pretty sure I stopped vacationing when I started having kids. Or maybe I am just having "working vacations" now. And I'm pretty sure that term is an oxymoron.

All kidding aside, though, this has been a hard trip for me. And not just because of the barfing in the car. Or starting my period for the first time in over 2 years. Or the typical stresses and hazards of driving for 20 hours straight with 4 kids in the car. Or because my great aunt died while we were here and we won't make it home in time for the funeral. It has been hard because I've been here before. Literally. We made this drive to Fort Sill for Labor Day 2010 to spend time with Joey. I remember the anticipation and excitement, happy expectations, joy to arrive and the enormous pain of having to leave. It was so easy to drive there and so hard to drive home. I got lost a lot on that trip, too. And that trip included driving through Dallas. (Dallas is like Atlanta only the roads are worse and the drivers are, too.)

This trip is hard because it makes me think about that trip. It was a good trip. We had a great time together. I thought we were happy and I thought we would be happy forever. And then it all blew up.

Its still hard to think about the good times. It still hurts. I still haven't learned to separate the good from the bad and discard the bad while benefiting from the good. Life is too much like oranges for me. I love the taste of oranges, but can't stand the white stuff between the orange and the peel. I spend way too much time peeling the orange and scraping off the white part and can never quite get it all off. It irritates me. For me, separating the pain from the good memories is about as easy as getting all the white stuff off of the orange. But its something I'm trying to learn. Life would be much easier if we could all find the benefit or the valuable lesson in each situation we find ourselves in. Imagine how much better off we'd be if we could use all the good we are ever exposed to to enrich our lives without letting it be diminished by any of the bad. I guess that's what we'll be like in heaven, only I don't imagine there will be any bad there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Personally, I find Valentine's Day a pointless holiday. God doesn't value money or possessions and it seems to me that so much of this holiday (most holidays, really) revolves around money and things. Commercialism tells us that true love can only be expressed properly by spending the money to buy the things to make your significant other feel like they are important to you, whether they really are or not because every kiss begins with K. . . and kisses generally make for a happy ending (or the beginning to a happy ending) on Valentine's Day. The end justifies the means, which requires absolutely no thought and only the effort and cash flow to run to Kroger at 7 pm on February 13th to buy a box of chocolates that will go straight to her hips and a dozen roses that will be dead in a week.

We went to the grocery store last night and I was shocked by how many people were there last minute to buy chocolates and flowers. There was a tent in the parking lot and all that meant for me was less parking spots. I wondered how many people there were buying chocolates and flowers because they knew that's what their significant other enjoys and how many were buying them because society tells us that those are the appropriate Valentine's Day gifts. I wondered how many significant others would enjoy their gifts and how many would not. I wondered how many people were out buying gifts for their significant other for Valentine's Day because society dictates that today is the day to express that you care. . . and how many of them will not choose to express that they care again until the next Valentine's Day. Or birthday. Or Christmas. I wondered why people think its worth the effort on the "big" days, but not worth the effort on the little days in between. In my mind, since the little days outnumber the big ones, they should be more important, but clearly not everyone agrees with me. Which is saddening.

And so, I find Valentine's Day pointless. I find most holidays pointless. And yet, I was at Kroger last night to buy Valentine's Day cards and candy for my daughter so she would not feel left out at her school celebration today. We were going to make origami hearts and butterflies for her classmates, but as is typical with 7 kids under 1 roof, the kids got caught up playing and time ran away from us. So we made the last minute dash out to Kroger to get what she needed to enjoy the holiday because even though I think this holiday is pointless, my girls think this holiday is fun and having happy children is worth the less than $10 and the bit of frustration I endured at the store last night. Because I love them. And making this day happy for them in turn makes it happy for me.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed celebrating with your loved ones and when tomorrow comes, I hope you are just as happy to celebrate your love with those you love. Because love is what its all about. Love is important. Love is what held Jesus on the cross. Love should be celebrated daily, hourly, momentarily. . . not just on the big days and it should be celebrated because it exists, not because everyone agrees that it exists or that it should be celebrated. Buying perfunctory gifts without love in human relationships is the equivalent to perfunctory time spent with God. Love is about personal relationships and time and other resources should be spent out of love not out of a feeling of obligation. If your heart isn't in it, it just doesn't count.

As for me, today my Abba Father gifted me with a wonderful, relaxing trip to the grocery store (which is saying a lot considering I had my 3 youngest children with me), 4 children napping at the same time (so about an hour of uninterrupted me time), and an overall wonderful day. . . So even if Rory doesn't sleep through the night for her 3rd time ever (which would be sweet), I am very grateful for this day.

And frankly, I'm glad I didn't have to share it with someone who doesn't care about me. I am happy to wait upon the Lord until He decides to bring someone into my life. Because the person He has created for me is the only one I want to be with and I am happy to wait for that day and today, I am happy if that day never comes. Today was a good day. I don't say that often, but I hope to start saying it more often.

This is the day that the Lord has made and I am glad in it. And I hope you are, too.