Thursday, December 23, 2010

I had planned to send out a beautiful Holiday greeting. Cheerful. Pictures. Joyous. Wishing you, my one reader of this blog, a wonderful holiday season.

But I can't. I'm sorry.

The truth is that in the past (most of my past) when I am ever in a place such as this, I would hide. I would avoid. I would not answer my phone. I would not say yes to anything and I would cancel all that I'd planned.

Because no one should want to be with me or near me while I am in this not so pleasant place to be in. No one would want to be near this.

But I'm not so strong as I have always thought myself to be.

I think I'm on the mend. But I cannot move a step forward without holding firmly to the One I love, who knows the place I'm in, who only understands where I've been. But sometimes I'm too weak even to hold on. So, I'm asking you to pray that He will show me again and again that He is strong enough and will hold me.

Thank you and God bless.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Enjoying this nesting season?

That's what I keep telling myself anyway! Ha! We have been home, without our vehicle for the third day in a row now, due to the weather! How did my mom ever do it? Hehehe. She didn't even have the Internet back then, or a phone that was unattached to the wall.
It is a good season though. A season of a little pruning and refocusing and rethinking. A season where TRUE interaction with others becomes a lot more valued than I realized it hadn't been being. Is that a real sentence? Hmmm....
Here are some photos of our lives:
Photo Below was taken on our ROOF.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Give Grace

There are lots of things you can give people this time of year. Presents of all kinds, from all over the world, wrapped in cute paper, bags, with ribbons & bows. Handmade. Store bought. Online ordered. You name it, you can probably give that special gift to the person(s) you love.
I've already said how I feel about this whole shopping extravaganza thing. I'm not going to deny picking up some well-thought out deals or making special gifts for those in my life.
But what I've been noticing lately is that in my life, my everyday life, I make a lot of mistakes. Errors. Wrong turns. And what I'd like more than anything is just a little grace extended to me. Like a gift. Just a little grace gift.
Then I begin to notice all of the people around me. They make some mistakes too. I err on the side of my own frustration, yet know that they too, would like a little grace.
Everyone needs grace. When you have been given grace, it becomes easier and more understandable to give it. We have all been given grace, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. That is LOVE. Born into this world a precious holy child, that child became a man who taught us how to live, and how to extend grace to one another. He healed. He fed. He showed. He gave. He did a million things more. And every day He still does.
If we were all to just give a little grace to each other this month, when the oppurtunity arises, then we begin to live more. We share. We grow. We show that we believe.
Give the gift of grace. Even in the small things. It's what I desire to give and what I would love more than anything to receive. And I feel confident saying that God desires it too.
So, what does it look like? Well, from the lyrics of 33 Miles:
It's a little bit of hope and sweet redemption
Maybe taking time to stop and listen
Just being there show someone that you care
It's living a life with your hands wide open
Giving all you got to a heart that is broken
For heaven's sake whatever it takes
If you wanna know what grace looks like
Let love open up your eyes
It's not that far away
You might be amazed

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shadee

She was a good dog. Everyone said so. She was a great protector and faithful friend. She lived for 10 years and 4 months. The pictures below are when she first came to us, when we lived in our rental on Fountainbleau, her first home. She had the chronic disease, mange. She lived out her last five months of life in "retirement" at Bill & Sharon's. She loved us all. We all loved her. We know she is in dog heaven, and living out a wonderful eternity. We will anticipate meeting her again there.




Black Gold Documentary

Just finished watching this very thought-provoking movie:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Brielle!


It is so strange to think that three years ago Brielle came into our lives, in the most amazing way, and changed us forever.
This year, as she turns three we find her being sweet, sincere, witty, smart, amazing, beautiful, kind, generous, insistent, determined, and very vocal. She currently loves people, music, and creating art. She is tons of other wonderful things and loves tons of other things as well. But these are the ones that are in the top of my head.
We love her so much and celebrate her on this Special Day.
To read about her Birth as written in the Clarksville Family Magazine Click Here and scroll to page 14.
Happy Birthday Brielle!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing Loss with practical strangers

I have sad news. Recently, the Director of the Preschool where Brielle attends twice a week, lost her husband. I didn't see her for a week there and I have been praying for her family (she has three boys still at home, I believe) occasionally. She was there Monday when I went to drop off Brielle. Her teachers suggested I talk to her and tell her the news that Brielle's last month would be this one, November, which I had told them a week ago. They said they already told her, but that I should also. I thought that was strange, probably because selfishly I didn't want to have to talk to someone who was grieving so deeply. But I glanced around for her on my way out and happened to see her talking to the Donald in the kitchen. Instinctively, I first hugged her. Now, I don't really know her, so that caught me by surprise that I would do that. Then we talked about Brielle and as I went to leave I just rubbed her arm and she reached out to hug me again.
I walked out, quickly.
Tears began welling in my eyes.
Before I was out the door they were falling and as I began driving I was fully bawling.
And all I could think was, "I don't even know her."
And I don't. I really don't.
I kept crying for a good ten minutes. The pain was so intense and I couldn't hardly understand why I was feeling it. But in a way, I did know.
God moves through His people.
Sometimes it is not like we expect.
Sometimes it is to take the tears that we are just too tired to cry anymore. To take the pain that we are just too week to feel anymore. To share it with another, who isn't deep in the confusion. Sharing in Christ's sufferings. Sometimes that can take on a whole new meaning.
I hope she knows it wasn't a seemingly thoughtless act, that hug.
I hope she knows that the Holy Spirit is taking care of her. I hope she feels her burden lifted some, by each and every act of grace that He gives. It amazes me how He loves us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tis the Season for whaaaaat?

Every year I get a little better or worse for the holiday shopping season. Better as in: I get better at snagging deals. Worse as in: I snag deals. How can they both be good and bad? .........I don't know. It's like all of these sale ads float around in my head and I start to get dizzy and missional. My world starts spinning and I start thinking, "where do I want to go?" "who am I getting gifts for?" "what would they really like?" The last question is the biggest one. I'm so tired of buying plastic for my children (and others) that is going to just get broken or discarded due to lack of interest one day! No, I'm beyond tired of it, I'm fed up with it! Not at the kids, of course, innocence victims of my thriftiness and the industries' pushiness that they are. I'm mad at me, the consumer. Am I buying anything they really need or care about (for more than a week - if that)? And if I get such a good "deal" on it, will it really last any length of time? But then, I argue with myself, what? Don't get them anything? Only one gift? Three? Like Jesus when he was born? And every family is different and has different incomes, ideals, and traditions. I've read ideas that you can take a trip, do something special with your family that they will remember, instead of giving more presents. Sounds great, but I'm not sure how we transition into that.
So, for now, I'm just going to pray that I will make wise choices. Frugal ones that even if they are a rocking good deal that I wouldn't buy in haste (especially if we can't afford it), but that God's Holy Spirit would show me how to spend wisely, and how to let go of any worldly pressure to consume. I know that might sound a little strange, but I can't do it by myself! I wish I were just blase about it all, like some people I know. But I struggle. I like good deals and I like to use them to bless others, even if it is a birthday 8 months from now.
I hope that God, in all His wisdom and because He can, will show me and my whole family a deeper meaning of the value of this holiday season. There is a greater gift to behold than the craziness I sometimes cannot see past and I want to just relax and receive it, selfish as that may sound to me. I hope that is also the gift that I am most able to give. And I pray that we all just ENJOY the people in our lives, who they are, and our time with them. Even if, no---especially if---, we see them everyday. God bless the Holidays.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The mess we made

Today was super Friday. I named it that just now. It's the once a month gathering of our MOPS table that was (in previous years) our 2nd MOPS meeting of the month. Our table has met once before, outside of our MOPS gatherings, at a local park. Our children are starting to know each other. We went to Jump Zone, six of us moms, nine of our children. Total fun. When our time had expired one of the moms, who seemed much more like a controlling sibling at that moment, demanded to know if we were going to go eat lunch someplace or just talk about the possiblity of doing it. Ha! So, some of opted out (for perfectly justifable reasons) and some of us headed to the unsuspecting services of Taco Bell. Four moms, six kiddos ranging from 20 months to age 4. What were we thinking? Who cares? We were hungry and had hungry children. I'm sorry if you were on your "adult" lunch break and happened to drop in there. Nah, I'm not really. Eating out is a treat that we rarely pay for, and while we tried our best to keep it tidy, there were workers there who had very good attitudes about helping us out and actually "working their job" (thank you workers for all of your help). And yes, I have worked in the fast food industry.
Speaking of attitudes. With that many kids 4 and under, there is bound to be a point of escalation. During ours, one mom was getting frustrated and we were trying to help, all the while I was hoping she wasn't wishing she hadn't come. I totally knew how she felt. Then a child's drink crashed to the floor. Moans rose from us all. Was this really worth it? Fortunately, there was a lady mopping not five feet away (coincidence?). Then at the other end of our long table another drink crashed to the floor. Giggle. Chuckle. Laugh o u t Loud. We had to! It was too funny, and besides there was nothing better to do.
Stop.
Freeze Time.
Click.
This is the moment when you realize: We just aren't in this alone. Laughs. Cries. Spills. Giggles. We're all moms, spending time together for the social good of our kiddos and for the mental social good of ourselves at great costs sometimes. We all know what it is to be challenged, overwhelmed, unsure, and misunderstood (even by our own selves) in our parenting and in our character. We know it, because we've felt it, done it, and dealt it. There are days like that, moments like that. But when we can think about the bigger picture and piece it together with each other, it seems more befitting to laugh at ourselves than anything else.
When one of the moms retrieved extra cupcakes from her car (leftover from her daughter's school birthday party) and brought them in to share with us, we all cheered!!! We went through the endless stack of one hundred napkins in the middle of our table before we realized that none of us had put them there. (???) mystery worker?
Here is a vague example that Julie took a picture of, which I agree when she says, "It totally doesn't do it justice."

Turns out that the messes today provided the most joys.
For everyone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tenth Avenue North


One of my favorite Christian Music Artist Groups is Tenth Avenue North.

They just released their new Album and you can buy it at Itunes for $6.99 I think (promotionally) but if you do nothing else today, put your headphones on, turn the volume up, and watch this video by them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two days: No Facebook

It feels longer, honestly. At first it was hard. Facebook really puts you on a guilt trip. Why do you want to leave? (Yes, "I spend too much time on Facebook" is actually an option to choose.) It warns you that everything you've ever done on Facebook will no longer be there if you deactivate your account. Then it shows you pictures of five random people. It says, "Donna is going to miss you!" above her profile picture and below it says, "Send her a message." Like you are going to get so distracted you will just end up forgetting what you were doing and never leave. Then you have to type out the weird letters and finally when you do get deactivated it tells you: Don't worry. You can always come back. Just type in your same user name and password. Wow.
Then it was FREEEEEING! Wahoo! I don't ever have to worry if I am missing some new status update, because I can just know that I am! I don't have to think about what my next status update is going to be...because I'm not going to update it. I can email and call someone if I want to connect. And I do. I talk on the phone and I meet with friends.
Then I find I am lonely.
No one is emailing me....(they are all on FB)....I only check my email during Brielle's nap time and nothing except emails that are Reply to All's. That's okay. I write emails to people. I write this blog. I upload pictures on here. I learn a few new things. I hope I'm connecting with others. But then I remember reason I closed FB (and why I'm only checking email once a day and slowly lowering my daily Internet and phone-talking time) is so that I can focus on what is in front of me, the life that God has given to me. And so that I can hear Him.
Monday night Tyler and I rode our bikes to his basketball evaluation at the local community center. About 8pm we were flying back, in the dark, under the stars, cool air in our lungs .... and it was a m a z i n g.
I've also been praying more for the people in my life and listening to more music. Cleaning & baking as usual. And soon I will begin the list of projects I've got in mind. I have already started a couple and will just listen to how God tells me this is the way it is to be. I like being aware. Of others. Of myself. Especially of Him, and I want more. That's what is on my heart right now.


Disclaimer: Shortly after posting this a dear friend who has been recently on my heart did reply to an email I sent her with a thought-provoking one. (I like that she challenges me.) And yesterday I did have an in-depth and at-length conversation with someone who's current situations have been greatly on my heart (she's doing amazing and giving God all of the glory). I have to believe that these (even once a day) are more important than spending an hour each day on reading updates and looking at pictures (see why I had to leave?) even though the people posting them are SO important to me, I am just going to have to trust that I get to connect with them despite FB.
I have to remember this, because I know there are going to be lulls...times when God intends to draw me out to Him alone. There. I am waiting in anticipation of this rhythm.

Veterans' Day

Waiting and watching for the Parade




She waved the flag at everyone in the parade




Can you find Josh?
















November is turning out to be beautiful weather after all!!!

Josh White just released Nov. 9th




Have you heard of him yet? I hadn't. (Apparently he was in the band Telecast, but I didn't recognize their name) I get these free downloads in an email spam thing and so I always take them (hey after a few months it's like getting a free CD!). Is it ancient of me to type "CD?" We all still know what those are right? I mean, I'm glad they are being faded out, less trash.
Anyway, back to the album. It has been a very very very long time since I've purchased music of any kind. Think-- Budget. Confession: I have bought several $.50 paperback books. But not music. That's because I can listen to it free online...or I just think if I am meant to hear it, God will get it to me (and yes, I've heard of the Library). Well, I think He got this free song to me "The Wall" by Josh White and I am going to say that I actually feel compelled to buy the whole album off of Amazon. I can't believe I'm saying this. But I've never heard anything quite like it, therefore I'm qualifying it. I just have to scrounge up $5.99 first (even if I have to sell a few books). If you've got the $ and you like Organic Earthy Jesus-Loving music like I do: I'm going to highly recommend it.

Sweet pictures

Brielle in Clarksville, TN:
Silly Bands and stockings and time to brush our teeth (no, I don't like the Disney Princess thing, but we don't refuse other peoples' offerings) and fresh from her bath.

Can you believe she is almost 3???

I love spending my days with my children (yes, it would have matter if I would have been asked about an hour ago - right before nap time).





Monday, November 8, 2010

On the other side of the Lens

Yesterday we needed to get something we had signed up to bring to house church gathering and newspapers (for coupons) so we set out on our bikes. Josh & Tyler went on theirs also, to go to other places in the same area, and Brielle and I headed down the Lane to behind the Shopping Center that Aldi is located in. We were riding along the long stretch of empty backshop doors where trash and cardboard are taken out, where the trucks are usually pulled up to load in the merchandise. It was calm on this Sunday afternoon though. As we were flying along I caught a glimpse of my shadow along the pavement because the sun was to the side of us. There was my hair blowing wildly in the breeze, my long skirt flying (I also had on long pants) and the outline of Brielle's shadow riding on the back of my bike. I looked up into the warm sunlight and smiled.
It was at that moment that I felt like God, my Father, was right there, snapping a picture of me. Like He had been waiting just up ahead of me, just watching, ready. Like He saw us coming and thought, "oh, that's so beautiful."
I say this in the most humble way. As a person who struggles with insecurity and self esteem, it was amazing to feel God seeing me in that way. Just like when we see our children (or friends or friends' children or whoever) and we pull out our cameras because we are thinking, "that's so adorable. that's so worth capturing. that brings me joy! I want to remember that."
We all need to feel God seeing us in that way! Because He does!
So, my challenge to you this week is this: look for when you feel Him watching you, delighting in you, enjoying you, capturing you. Enjoy how it feels to be His child!

Note: After I wrote this blog, I was walking (jogging) with Brielle later that day and ran ahead of her to snap this picture. It seemed to capture somewhat what I was trying to convey, only with God it's of course even more amazing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Facebook No More

If you and I are "friends" on Facebook, you may already know that I am closing my account tomorrow. I am waiting to see if anyone lets me know they still want to keep in touch via email, you know...just in case. I really do want to stay in touch with all 186 people that I have as FB friends (I mean that, because last month I loosed around 100 people who I never really talked to - ever - or who repeatedly said unmindful things (meaning, mean). Is this important? Probably not. The point is that I just cannot control myself! I mean, I check my email, respond to whoever, and then get some email from FB so I click over there to reply to a msg or something, then I hit "Home" and next thing I know it's an hour later. There are people who do NOT have this problem - who are on FB. I know there are. But I am not one of them, and I am not the only one who gets sucked in like that either!
The thing is that there are results in my life that I desire. The first being that I desire God's presence in my life, and I desire to know what His desires are and what that means to me. Then there are like 25 things underneath that umbrella! (Yes, I have written them down) It's just never going to happen if I am distracted all of the time. And not just FACEBOOK...there is: checking email, phone conversations, reading blogs, shopping/comparing online, and probably many others I can't think of. Then, when I don't want to be distracted anymore I look around me and think, Okay---what can I do with what time I have left? It needs to be the complete other way around. I have been hearing God prompting me to do this for several weeks now, and I really think He has been VERY patient with my bantering with Him and justifying all of the reasons why it would make sense to keep it "just to check once a week, or every other day, or daily, or twice a day, or............hmmmmmmmm...." Yeah.
It may be different if I were single, or my husband were in the military and deployed, or I didn't have three kids at home...or if I were housebound. I don't know. But I just know that I need to listen and I need to allow some things to be pruned from my life...so that I can hear my Father, just in case He chooses to whisper.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Series of Life: Three

After school:

Because they are on the front of a train that is flyyyyyyyyying down the tracks:

Working on the Railroad:

Tyler :)

A trainyard in Fall is quite lovely:

Series of Life: Two

Cutest thing of the whole trip by far was Brielle giving the goats bottled milk to drink. They only got two suckles each then she yanked it from them and went off to the next one that she force-fed. It was hilarous!

This guy asked Will, "what do you think about taking me home with you?"

My kids find fun anywhere:
Perusing through history:

Isn't the next one adorable?

Series of Life: One

This is Brielle's new comforting mechanism: pinching her upper lip. Here we are at Josh's Raiders competion for Northwest Highschool's JROTC program (event took place at APSU). Unfortunately, yesterday Josh found out that this was his last competition of this year, because 1st Sgt. will not allow him to be in both Raiders and play basketball. Josh thought about it all day and I was praying throughout the day for him. He may not get much playing time in basketball, but that is what he chose and we are so proud of him for making the team. Well, we would just be proud no matter what. He also did awesome in the Raiders competitions!

This is Brielle after MOPS when I tried to apply what I learned:

Titans Fan in the making:

Anheuser-Busch Tour in St. Louis, MO:

Used our Groupon here:

The Deals This Week!

Every once in awhile I am so inclined to post about the great deals that I get on sale with coupons. I get really excited when the savings actually work out! There are lots of times I spend clipping coupons and printing lists only to find that the items are sold out on the shelves (another frugal fanatic got to them before me!). So here is what I bought and what I paid. Disclaimer: I plan to recycle much of the material you see. I'm not a fan of mass consumerism, despite what the items below portray, but when I get items for free (or get paid for taking them) I will do my best to reuse and recycle.
Walgreens: $57.32 worth below - I paid $7.96 and got $9.00 in Register Rewards to spend next week (I also used some RR from last week's on this purchase).

Kroger: $58.34 worth below -- I spent $15.25

Walmart: $34.22 below -- I spent $3.98!

So, if you've added it up I spent $27.19 (price includes taxes) on everything pictured above (which is worth a whopping: $149.88) and saved $122.69!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Simple beauties

I am enjoying what I believe to be the last few days of line drying our laundry on my back porch. The temperatures are perfect and the sun still reaches the back of the porch where the lines are strung. In a short time there will be no sunlight at all on our back porch, not until Spring. I know this because we have lived 9 winters in this home. We have a lot of laundry. It will only increase in the next months as our clothes become larger and heavier to warm us through the colder temperatures. I had a thought yesterday to appreciate this laundry. There will come a time soon enough that I will not have five peoples’ clothes to attend to. And do believe me when I tell you that I will quickly fill that time with things that are not getting done now. I plan to enjoy that season too, though it may be a hard transition, But more importantly, I think enjoying this season now is so very important.
It’s Brielle’s naptime. It coincides with Tyler’s arrival home from school, which is great so that I can stop whatever I’m doing and talk/listen with him. Today he asked me cut open the pineapple, over which we talked quite a bit. It’s the little things. I ride my bike to the grocery store not only because it’s great exercise and better for the environment, but also to save some change in gas costs. But I’ll get in the truck and go the half mile after dark to pick up Josh from practice at school, because it’s the only time he really talks to me. If anything is fresh on his mind, that is. It’s these small things that I'm learning are worth enjoying.
I’ve started an even more frugal means by which I am choosing to live by. I remember not long ago when I used to think that living frugally meant shopping at Aldi. Now, I realize it’s more a way of life. I thought using coupons on sales was extremely frugal. Now I know that it’s a helpful tool, but you can spend too much money saving money if you aren’t careful. I like to donate stuff, so I don’t think it was in excess like hoarding, but definitely requires attention (for example I still have 9 tubs of frosting and only 1 cake box left in my storage). I’ve learned that not spending money requires more at home baking, more food planning and preparation, and lots more TIME.
Time eludes me. I know it’s ticking away even as I type this, but entire days can go by and the huge overflow of dishes could be washed, but the sink becomes full right again! Baking, cooking, and cleaning take a major portion of my time. I never knew life like this. My dishwasher was disconnected when my talented husband replaced our sub floors and laid the laminate tiles. During that time, our sweet daughter pulled on the pipe that bent and rendered it in need of repair. Therefore, all “nearly from scratch” cooking and baking bowls, pots, and dishes must be hand washed--along with the usual plates, cups, and silverware. Paper plates have not been on hand during the past few weeks either. It’s really amazing to learn how much time it takes to work life and be frugal. I’m not sure I’d even be considered frugal in other parts of the world. And yet, I’m the most frugal person I know in real life. (Although there are others who come VERY close and I call them my friends! lol)
Brielle is nearing her 3rd birthday. This has meant (in our everyday life) that she no longer feels very tired around the 1pm time that she used to. She rarely just goes to sleep unless I lay with her. With all of the time I feel I’m loosing in a day (and this is of course totally the wrong way of looking at it) I don’t want to loose more time by lying with her in the afternoons. If I don’t, she gets up and plays quietly in her room. Yesterday I let this happen, and of course around 6pm she was one cranky, unhappy child! So today, I worked much of my chores, incorporating her help. I did stop several times to help her, play with her, paint with her, and play-dough it with her. Around 2pm, I thought we will just read a book and then lay down. As I was cuddling with her she put her arm around me and started singing me a lullaby to sleep to. Tell me there is anything more enjoyable, more important, more precious than sharing that with her at the age of 2, which soon she will no long be.
There isn’t. Because it’s in the obvious. Which I tend to forget or ignore. How can a person treasure a hundred of even a thousand obvious moments a day? The front window behind me is open and the back door as well, so that a beautiful breeze blows through my house right now. I’ve been longing to type for so many days…weeks now…to update my blog. And here I am now, in my wonderful, quiet home, on this beautiful day spending the time that God allowed me to write to my heart’s content. Living with joy, meaning we really appreciate the great and wonderful gifts that we have been given, has to matter for something. Maybe for everything. And it’s not just the peaceful “good feeling” stuff. It’s in the work, sometimes in the struggles, and perhaps even in the middle of chaos that we can behold a new realization or appreciation for what is or what can be from a situation or experience. I say this from the most humblest means. There is an evil that is quick to try and destroy that joy! I should know as well as anyone that as soon as I start praising God for the awesome things He has done in the great and the seemingly small…that there will be some interruption, some distraction, something that wants to drive a wedge to kill and destroy. Unfortunately it sometimes takes a long time for me to get to a place where I learn to appreciate things. I spent an entire year last year involved in so much that busied and distracted me. It was fine for the time, but I know that God wanted me to grow in something that I did not understand or comprehend.
I’m not na├»ve enough to say, “oh…take a deep breath and just inhale the blessings of God.”
I’ve been to a place where I could not conceive of that notion, a place that was broken and difficult. I’ve been to different places like that where the smog was so thick distracting that I was just walking around in some kind of haze of ambiguity in which I strangely just continued to make worse on my own. Does this make sense? If you go around long enough like that you are going to get burnt! Sometimes badly. And I certainly did. It is life-changing to discover that there are truths, there is hope, and there is a LIFE GIVER that I need to be clinging to pull me out of that eventual hell.
And when I’m out here…and I can see the simple beauties around me like what you are reading (if you‘ve stuck with me long enough through this post)…I can say with clarity and honesty and pure appreciation, “oh…take a deep breath and just inhale the blessings of God!” I can only hope that I remember that in ten minutes, two hours, and maybe if by grace alone: tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Unexpected Run

I didn’t make it to the Downtown Market this past Saturday. I woke up at 5:45 (normal) to take Josh to Ft. Campbell for a run that his JROTC Sgt. had told him about. We arrived at 6:20am, giving us plenty of time to register and wait for the run to start at 7:00. I parked a ways away and since Josh had forgotten his phone I decided to walk with him down the hill. Once there, Josh found his JROTC friends and I found a good spot to observe everything from. I quickly realized that this run was for FALLEN SOLDIERS. A lady announced from a speakerphone that there was a memorial of 366 flags set up to her right in honor of the soldiers that have lost their lives since 9/11. I found a spot to sit down. Observing people is like a hobby of mine, but usually I'm "with" someone else (mostly my 2 yr old) and I just can't pay attention to what is out of my sphere, at least not carefully. I observed for a good 30 minutes before the announcer stated that the run would begin at 8am. What? That was an hour away! Josh had clearly been misinformed. I observed a group of soldiers, families, and other individuals and groups. I thought about why they were coming out to run today. Most had running bibs pinned to the backs of their shirts that proclaimed who they were running in honor of. Some had T-shirts that said specific names or divisions. Many had written on their papers “In honor of All of our Fallen Soldiers". I thought about one person that I knew personally whose helicopter went down in the Philippines not long after 9/11 (there were nine other soldiers aboard that flight. His name was Foshee. I never heard anyone call him Jeremy. He lived with one of Will’s closest military friends (and his wife--the Nickos) for a least a year, so we saw him quite a bit during that time. He was a good guy, he told a lot of army stories, and he liked being a soldier. He died at age 25. I figured it was never too late to run in honor of someone who I knew and who had lost his life while serving our country. So I got a bib, wrote his name on it, asked the quiet girl pushing her fingers into her phone if she would pin it on (she did), and waited like everyone else. I talked to the girl for awhile. Her husband was deployed. She was planning on walking the four mile. I got in line with the walkers, but when I started going I felt that it really wasn’t enough memorial for the soldier that gave their LIVES for our country (and Josh was running one mile, not four, so I knew I was only going a mile total). And along the same note, what about all of the soldiers that were out there right now fighting for our country in another place? 12 month deployments? Leaving their families behind? What of their sacrifices? What of their spouses and children’s sacrifices left behind? All I had to do was go a mile...it suddenly seemed almost trivial. So I ran the way back when I broke out of the walker crowd and walked up the steep hill with Josh while we talked about what the run represented. It was good to spend time with him too. I told him about Foshee.

Reflective moments in life sure can come when we least expect them too!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Life Today

This morning I went out to walk/jog at 6am. This is the scenery that greeted me:









I walked 3/4 of a mile, then jogged a full mile straight. That's the most I've ever jogged at one time. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best thing for my shin splints, and I didn't find that out until I returned home.
I was amazed by this beautiful SUNRISE! Isn't it just Glorious?

After my jog, I came home and spent too much time on my computer, while drinking my favorite coffee. Then we got it together and went on a bike ride. About a mile past our house we found these cute horses. Well, I'm not sure if they are ponies or miniature horses. Either way, they were cool! We rode on to Aldi:
$6.00 even for everything in my bike basket:




After Aldi we rode the bike over the bank. I rode it right up to the drive through (yes, I did!) to cash a check. It just seemed more logical than unpacking Brielle & the basket to go inside to do business. I didn't know what the teller would say, but she said, "Great day for a bike ride, isn't it?" Then we rode over to Walmart to get lunch meat, then home. I'd say we covered at least three miles on the bike. Below is Brielle at Tyler's dentist appt. (no cavities! yah!). She has to have the dinosaurs with the trucks because that is what makes them "Monster Trucks!" LOL!

Now today the plan was for us to ride our bike to Brielle's new preschool (more like a Parents' Day Out program) and turn in the paperwork. She was up all night last night, so I'm trying to get motivated. The weather just seems to irresistible though!
I was inspired to sort of "picture document" my day like this because of this blog: Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. LOVE IT!!!!