Thursday, August 29, 2013

Testimony Revisited

All kiddos in, homework done, cell phones collected and next to me (yep!  I'm one of those mean mommies that won't let 'em text all night!) and we are locked up tight.  My favorite time to write....

Today was an emotional day.  A happy day.  The kind of happiness that came through tears.  I had a little chat with my brother tonight about how God is working in us and for us lately.  Ya know, even His miracles are in HIS timing.  I know this.  My God has always blessed us.  But, since I've stepped out in blind faith and given Him my complete times relinquishing life is completely changing.

Last March, I stood before my church, family and friends and rededicated my life to God.  I went back and read my words that Sam shared that day.....

Terri Baker
Sunday, March 10, 2013   11:11 am
Clay Cunningham, Minister
Sam Baker, Testimony

These are my mother’s words:

From the day I was born, my mom had me in church.  Raised in the United Methodist Church, my mother and grandparents were always “fixtures” there whenever the doors were open.  My Papaw even “opened” the doors for the majority of my life.  My fondest memories were growing and knowing Christ from the very beginning. I was baptized as an infant and later confirmed as a young girl.  After college, I served in Youth and Sunday school ministry for many years.  In theory, Christ was no stranger to me.

Like many….there were times in my life where I was separated from God. I will forever keep a photograph in my mind of those dark times so that I can never EVER return there again.  Some were at the hands I was dealt, and others were mistakes and choices I made.  Both forced me to live in shame and such regret.  Bottom line….I was lost. 

When my Sam started middle school, he was asked to attend Youth on Wednesday nights at FBC.  We were active strong members elsewhere and I am a believer that we “all worship under the same roof.”  But we compromised and Sam immediately became involved.  Soon thereafter, Sydney Clare followed suit and both were plugged in.  I reached a time when I felt the need for a new church home and it seemed like God was telling me strongly to come to FBC.  My children were here, most all of our friends were here….so I answered the call and immediately fell completely in love.  Some of my mother’s last words to me were “continue to raise your children in the company of Christian friends.”  God immediately placed FBC in our future.

              God is always present in our home.  When I am struggling, my children renew my faith, and vice versa.  From Sam’s reminder of Philippians 4:13 on his wrist, to Sydney’s verse reminders daily on the fridge….We are a team. I stand here today in a journey to make our family complete in the Lord.  I want to be the kind of woman that my son searches everywhere to find.  And the kind of example to my Sydney, that she wants to be the woman I am becoming…just as I honor and seek to be like my own mother.  I seek guidance from my God and accountability from my friends and church family.  For we really are a “Village”.   That the world truly knows “We are Christians by our Love”.  I’ve been reminded over the last year, that even when we separate ourselves from Him, all we have to do is turn our faces back to Him and He RUNS to us…arms wide open.  There is no doubt in my mind that He placed my little family exactly where we needed to be.  I couldn’t waste another minute and literally have been so excited about this day.  True redemption and salvation is leaving it all at the foot of the cross and no longer living in shame, fear and regret.  I am totally rededicating my life to my God and am no longer embarrassed of where I’ve been. Instead, I can be so incredibly proud of where I’ve come.  I want to tell EVERYONE about  Jesus!!!

              My flaws are visible.  I’m not perfect.  I have fallen short.  I’ve been a sinner.  I have been weak. But today, through His grace, I am His child and I am new…..just as He promised.  I know that He has plans for me.  He has work for me to do.  He has blessed me with my two precious children.  I’ve been given another chance at love . A job with Godly examples of Christian men to work for and with daily.  A loving spirit filled church home here at FBC.  He has restored my health. He gives me joy in simple things. Gives me eyes for true beauty.  A tongue for truth.  A heart that loves.  A soul that forgives.  A mind that reasons.  A sympathy that understands.  Friends who are like family.  And family who are friends.  A longing to be kind.  And this “village” to hold me accountable.  And at the close of each day…I will lead MY family to praise and glorify HIM.  And when I happen to fall short, my family will lead ME.   From Joshua 24:15:   “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”              
I was humbled and reminded that my faith journey is still very much alive.  I'm not where I want to be yet.....but God is teaching me how wonderful it is to continue my walk and that He is right here beside me.  When I separate from Him....He pulls me closer.  I'm learning to seek Him.  But more importantly, I'm learning to trust Him.  My cup simply overflows.  He is placing so many people along my path to lead me closer.  Maybe one day....I can be that light for others.  Oh, how I would love nothing more than to introduce others to my Jesus.  To truly make other disciples.  I am still working on my own discipleship and I'm not quite there fact, I've got a long way to go.  But, its awfully wonderful seeing how far I've come.
My joy is restored.  My heart is repaired. 
Yep.  It has really been a good day.
In Him,
Its nearing time for the Komen Race.  October 19 in Little Rock.  So I will begin sharing my team link from time to time.  Please consider joining my team and walk for your hero.  I will share more details regarding, tshirts, etc.  as the date gets closer.  I would be honored to walk beside you.
Here is the link:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No Gene!

Quickie update from the school line.....
See this phone call????  It changed my life. 
I've blogged over and over again about the stinkin' gene test!  You know, the one I've been trying to get the results from for forever.....the one that I've been terrified of for as long as I've been mature enough to know what it is.  Since its existence really.  Among other most recent one is here....
Got the call today....and I do NOT have the gene!  I was so excited....even through tears, I wanted to jump up and "twerk like Miley"!  Ok....just jokin, kids.  :)   Seriously, I was so overwhelmed.  I immediately went to the Lord in prayer instead.  <3
Both my surgeon and my oncologist had prepared me that the chances of me having either of the mutations were pretty high.  To quote, "I'd place my bets that you probably do."  Phsssssstt...  They now know how MY God works.  I called David, Deb and texted my family......and made a beeline to the Jr. High.  I couldn't wait until the end of the hold my babygirl and let her know.....WE don't have the gene.  As I listened to my friend, sobbing tears of joy on the other end of the phone, tell me not to wait...."GO TELL HER!"  So that is exactly what I did.
Right there in the hallway of the Jr. High....I finally felt like I was protecting my child.  I think she may have been a little more "celebratory" had I shown up with lunch or checked her out for the remainder of the day.....:)  That's my Syd!  But I know that I sent her back to class with prayers of Thanksgiving on her mind as well.  What a big 'ole burden lifted off of a 14 year old girl.
After our moment, I proceeded to let my closest friends and prayer warriors know.  Call it dramatics.  I know many in my life are tired of hearing about my journey. And rightfully so.   But this has been a hedge over me for the majority of my adult life.  But so many have been praying for these results.  And I can breathe much easier now.  I know this is a God thing.  I was not born with this gene.  Just MAYBE, I HAD the gene and God took it from me.  All I know is He gets the glory.  I can take most anything life throws at me.....with the exception of possible danger to those I love.  Thank you Lord.
I knew that no matter the results, I was assured that the same God loved me last year, last month, last week, and today.....and He would not leave me.  And He didn't.  And today?  He sent us really, really good news.  A good day.
Here she comes....bouncing across the parking lot about to tell me she is hungry.  So I gotta run.  Man, I love this child. 
When ya talk to God tonight.....please tell him thank ya for me.  He did a super cool thing for us today.
James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
In Him,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh Miley.....

Oh Miley....
I am hesitant to even waste my time writing about her.  To give her even one more ounce of publicity that she was hoping to get with such a stunt makes me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her until she gets it!  Oh.....after I toss her a bath robe and tell her to put it on her half naked body. 

What on EARTH was she thinking?  Poor Billy Ray....and his "achy breaky heart"!!!  I can't help but wanna hug him today.....and then shake him.....and then hug him again.  I really did say a prayer for these people today.  The ONLY thing that saved me from tossing the phone across the room today with all of the posts and clips from VMAs was that it apparently was "National Dog Day" or something......and being a dog-lover....all my friends' posts of their fur babies kept me sane.  Thank you. :)

Syd was a Hanna Montana lover when she was younger.  Hanna Montana, Cheetah Girls, That's so Raven, etc.  Gone are the days. bad decision and you tarnished it.  Forever.  Taylor, are you next?  I'm not much of a Swift fan....I personally don't think she can sing without "electronic help"  (its just my opinion...don't bash me!), but so far....she hasn't turned all Britney on us as she got older.  Britney, Bobby Brown, the list goes on and on.  Child stars.  God bless them.

We didn't watch the VMAs.  But of course, like a bad train wreck, after all the whoopla on social media, I "youtubed" it and was utterly and completely disgusted.  To my pleasant surprise, my kids were too.  And as a society, the whole "sex sells" premise didn't even apply here.  I would love to meet one person that saw the foam finger, her tongue wagging, her ugly shoes, the crazy faces, and oh yeah, all the "stripper moves" and thought:  "Hey, I wanna rush out and buy her album!"  Crazy. 

After my blood pressure went through the roof, and the mother in me wanted to spank her hiney and ground her for a lifetime, it hit me that everything I DID see was negative.  Of course, yes, I live in the heart of the bible of course most everyone feels like I do.  But I'm GLAD to see everyone in agreement with me that it was completely ridiculous.  So call it crazy...but Sydney and I had a long talk tonight.  We actually prayed for Miley.  That she be revealed what a talent she has and how her actions have robbed her of so many young fans.  I do hope we see a Barbara Walters interview in the near future of her dressed like a lady and apologizing to the world for her performance.  Please Lord....convict her and turn her around.  Before its too late.

My daughter loves to dance.  And as she has grown up competing in many competitions....I've watched for years as dance teachers (not ours, thankfully) but as they have put babies in seductive costumes.  Mid-riffs showing, and hineys hanging out.  Everywhere, daughters were forced to look much older and act much older and DANCE much older.  That said, my Sydney was always guided to use her talents gracefully.  She was a part of "class acts"....always.  Sex may sell, friends.  But what is it selling????  Good question, with not necessarily a good answer. 

We have to guide our daughters (who look to US for examples) to treat their bodies as a temple.  To honor God with our appearance, our dress, our "dancing", our actions.  That beauty comes from deep within.  Miley is a beautiful girl....that to the world is now so very ugly.  What disturbs that I feel like someone led her there.  Someone sold her on this.  Told her it would sell.  Crazy.  Though 20, she is still a child.   Sad.  Just sad. I certainly hope we don't see the art of "twerking" on stages, football fields, and school dances across the nation. 

I used this episode to talk to the kids.  Syd attended a birthday party of a younger friend over the weekend.  Most of the girls there were middle school age.  The friend's mother told me how sweet Syd was with all of them and how the girls were looking up to her.  Of course, I'm not comparing Sydney to Hannah Montana (OR Miley!) but I used that example of how we never know when we are witnessing or being a role model to others.  As Christian believers, our words, actions, and even our appearance can reach others....and our goal is to make disciples of our kids. 

Just THINK if Miley used HER audience to spread to love of Jesus?  Wow. 
Something to think about.  I'm certain MTV might have objected.  That, is what is scary.

I harp to Sam about ironing his clothes.  Yesterday, he left for church after us and after Sunday School when I bumped into him I saw that he looked like he wadded them up in a ball before putting them on.  Instantly, I felt that was a reflection on me.  And of course...that is something I harp about.  We ALL should want to look the best we can be on any given day.   But deeper, we need to clothe ourselves in the armor of Jesus.  Can they tell we are Christians by our love?  :)

We can only guide our children so far in life.  But while they are under my roof?  I am going to make sure they "get it."  It is soley up to me to make sure they are equipped with everything I can instill in them to prepare them for this "Miley world" we live in.  I'm so grateful for our village.  And for the remote control.  When we were kids.....we had to search to find the "bad stuff."   To our kids?  The "bad stuff" searches for them.  Satan has gotten creative. 

Ok, Rant over.  I also prayed for forgiveness for judgment of this child.  My heart really does go out to her.  Something to think about.

Colossians 3:23
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

In Him,

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Smell of Football

Saw this today....and it is completely stolen.....But definitely worth the share.  Thanks Dallas!  <3

The smell will never go away. After a hot summer day, cool evening air sets over the grass creating a light dew that glazes the blades. In the morning, the dew tickles your shoes. The heat rises. Another summer day begins. If you cut the grass the previous day, a light smell of gasoline and grass clippings rises from the dew. If the heat creates light perspiration, you begin to smell it...It's this odd conglomeration of morning dew, freshly cut grass, gasoline and sweat.
The smell of football.

Anybody who strapped on pads for the first day of practice knows this smell. The new practice jersey and uniform has a smell of freshly done laundry mixed with the remnants of previous players' stale sweat. From the moment you hit the field, the helmet houses the beads, the jersey gets the cuts, the pants get the dirt and the hands get the bruises. The cleats get caught in grass and the socks get slowly rolled down to the tops of the shoe. From that first line of calisthenics to that first hit drill; the dive drill...the blocking sled, the ball machine, the repeated routes, the perfected step-drops. You get to hear the whistles, the yelling of the coaches...and with it all you get the smell.

The smell lasts through double sessions: through the heat, through the shin splints, past the bum knee. You can see it on your undershirt, the stains on your pants, your jersey reeks, and the stench...that beautiful stench.
Football smells.

It may sound like helmets hitting pads, the wind of a running back getting sucked out of the summer air, or the leg of the kicker on fresh pigskin...but it will always smell more than it sounds. The stench sticks to your clothing for the entire season, no matter how many times you wash. It gets to the point where you wear the stench like a badge of honor. You go through the double sessions, the wind sprints, the three mile testing, the taunting, the fighting, the inevitable chew out during the film session.

You get hit. You get hit some more. You get flattened. You also hit others. You hit them some more. You flatten others. Two hour heavy sessions. Twice a day. Moments that separate the wannabes from the realities.
Then, the doubles end. The season begins. Nine weeks and a playoff push. You get hit. You hit others. Rinse, repeat...then, it stops. You can play pick-up games in every sport. You can go to a field and play a pick-up game of soccer, baseball or lacrosse. You can go to the gym and play basketball...for the players of other sports, you always have the opportunity to relive your past.

In football, once the end's over. The pads come off. There are no pick-up games. Just pictures, memories, and friendships. The only thing you have left from your days playing football are those memories.
And that smell.

As "stanky" as my Sam gets....I will certainly think twice before I complain.  Does he know that this is really the time of his life??  I intend to remind him.

In Him,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To Test? or Not to Test?

I've been trying for months to get the results of my genetic testing to see if I am a carrier of the BRAC1 or BRAC2 genetic mutation, i.e., the "breast cancer gene".

The test is $4,075 and I received news that I have an avenue that will allow me to get the results of the test. The very idea that there is a test out there that's results could help save my life and they won't tell me because of money?  Drives me up a wall.  But that is for another post.   In as little as 7-10 days, I will know. This has been weighing heavily on me for many years. In fact, years ago, I went through the genetic counseling at UAMS that is recommended prior to this testing because of its emotional risks of "knowing the results" and then decided to bow out of taking the test.

At that fears were that it was so new, I worried that insurance companies would discriminate (it is illegal now....but who knows what Obama may change!) or if I had the knowledge....would it worry me endlessly?  Would I sit around and "wait to get cancer?" Would I rush out and have a double mastectomy to prevent cancer? I decided to live by faith and not have the test. That, and it was so pricey I just didn't move forward. You all know the rest of my story.  Yes, I got cancer.  But if I had known I had the gene, I can't tell you if I would have lived my life any differently.  Hard to say.

Testing positive for the gene means having a lot of knowledge. The best most easy-to-read article that I've found is at the link below:

I learned a lot in researching this. Testing positive means that not only are you at a 50% higher risk than the general population of women of getting Breast cancer by the age of 50, and an 87% higher risk of getting it by age also raises your risks of all female cancers by 44%. That is a pretty scary thing. In fact, if I test positively, I most likely will have to think about a hysterectomy soon. Those are odds I can't take the risk on. Also, you can be carriers without getting cancer.  AND, males can be carriers too.  It's not just a girl thing.

If I test negatively, its is certain that my children will NOT have the mutation. That is my hope.  That is my prayer. But....if I test positively....there is a chance they will, as well as my brother, his children and my first cousins on my mom's side, and their children, etc......and that is knowledge that they may or may not want.

Because of my history....Nanny, Mamaw, Mom, and now me (two of us diagnosed before age 50). And the fact that my cancer was considered "triple negative" (tested negative for feeding from any of the female hormones....meaning no preventative therapies to date) my chances of having the gene are pretty high.

I've been pretty public about my medical journey. But it has been weighing on me that I need to consult with those close to me first before I just put it "out there" the results of my test should I test positively. As it affects many members of my family.  And their children. Its just not fair to them for me to force my results on them.  I have a choice to know.  And I want to make sure that they, too, have the choice.

I've had years to prepare for this.  They, have not. I recently reached out to them to please think about it. Pray about it.  Asking for their thoughts. I so want to be an advocate for early detection. But I care more about them and wanted their blessings first. I wanted to approach them before I even knew the results myself. And I will be in full respect of their thoughts either way.

Many may not understand the emotional ties to having this kind of knowledge.  To those I've approached -- two did not want to know the results.  At least now.  One of them was my own child.  So that said, I will not be sharing my test results publically.  I wanted to share that all women who have this history....anywhere within your family or close to you, to pray, research, and be aware of your feelings about knowing what's going on in your body.

I love my family so very much.  And I hope this ugly disease is gone from us forever. This may give us a leg up in the fight!  However, emotionally.....we all have to be ready. 

Psalm 46:10  "Be still and know that I am God."

In Him,

20 Bucks

Hang with me for a minute.  I'm gonna be one of "THOSE" moms and brag about my Sydney Clare.  For it is very deserved today.

I pick Sydney up from school in the afternoons because Sam has football practice.  I usually bring her back to my office with me since it is so late in the day.  We have a conference room with a couch and a TV, snacks and an outlet for a phone charger....ya know, the basic necessities for after school happiness. 

Sometimes she will sit in with me and yap, yap, yap about her day while I work.....and today was no different.  I must say, that if I'm busy, I will sometimes tune most of what she is saying out while I try multi-tasking.  I've gotten good at catching about every third word and still getting the point of the story.  Anyway, today....she prefaced this event by saying, "I did something really good today, Mom."  Which caught my full attention. 

Sam does take her to school in the mornings, and both of my children are fanatical about not only being somewhere "on time".....but early.  They get that from me.  I'm the same way.  Anyway, Syd hasn't been too awfully happy about "getting to school at the butt-crack of dawn" (her her snide, shrill, yet country voice) when "hardly annnnyone is there."  Apparently, parking spots are golden. 

Nevertheless, she sits in the truck for a bit before heading up the hill to the Jr. High.  Today, she hopped out of the truck when she saw people starting to trickle in and as she was walking she looked down and saw a $20 bill.  She looked around and no one was closeby.  Remember....they were there with the chickens.  lol  Still, she said, "Mom, I started to just keep it.  But then I thought it was probably someone's lunch money and I would hate it if they couldn't eat lunch today."  So she marched into the office and turned it in.  Wow.  I stared at her and tears were welling up with pride.  Bless this sweet child.

Syd has a bit of history with finding money.  Last spring, we were in Hot Springs and stopped at the Purple Cow to eat after the game.  It was late and we were the only ones in there.....complete with stares from the waiter as we walked in 30 minutes before closing.  Anyway, I had lectured the kids is tight, we are drinking water and ordering no appetizers.  We don't eat out often, but had no choice due to the game and the lateness of the hour.

After we ate, we were headed to the car and Syd saw something up on the grassy median up next the road.  She heads up there and it was a $100 bill.  Sam and David then started looking around and I think they found a $20 bill and maybe a few ones scattered about.  David headed to knock on the door of the restaurant but they "pretended" not to see us, already aggravated that they didn't get to close up early.  So, we let the kids have the money.  Sam was a little perturbed that HE didn't find the 100.  ha

That said, she was notorious for losing money too. And spending it!  lol  Once at Magic Springs, she lost $50 rummaging through the beach bag and not being careful.  So it goes both ways, I guess.

Anyway, back to today.  When she turned in the money to the office, the counselor wrote her name on it and said that if no one claimed it in a couple of days that the money would be hers for her honesty.  That was a sweet gesture as well.  While Syd was telling me that part....she went on to say, "Do you think they would let someone eat if they told them they lost their money?"  That was her focus. 

One of the many ways that I was touched my child today.  Wonder if she knows what an impact she has on me each day.  Thank you God for choosing me to be her momma.

For you my Syd......

Psalm 26:1-4 Declare me innocent, O Lord,
for I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and my heart.
For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
and I have lived according to your truth.

I am so proud of her.

In Him,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yep. I'm Fat.

I'm sick of being fat. 

There I said it.....My name is Terri, and I am fat.  I have a closet full of clothes.....actually, I have two closets, a huge Rubbermaid tub -- ok, TWO huge tubs,  two sets of "chest of drawers" full and some bags in the attic.....full of clothes.  Now, ask me what I can fit into?

About this time two years ago, I came to this realization and started a boot camp at 5 am in the mornings....3 days a week.  Picture this....Fat girl goes from the an hour of straight exercise.  And that fat girl is NOT a morning person.  At all.  But she is determined.

I threw up and felt like I had polio for about a week.  It was brutal and my body was hear me?  Pain.   But I muddled through the 6 weeks (missing a time or 2, but hanging in there after my friends who talked me INTO it bailed.....Yay me!).  During that time, the kiddos, David and I were meeting friends at the track each night to get a few miles in.  Shin splints, blisters....I pressed on.  This isn't a "cheer for Terri" post.  Because I'm gonna tell you how many pounds I lost during this 6-8 weeks.....4.  FOUR measly "LBS".  Ha!

I was ticked.  First time I exercised in years....YEARS....and nearly killed myself for 4 lbs????  You have GOT to be kidding.  I heard all the "muscle weighs more than fat" business....blah blah blah.  That much work deserves a little scale mobility. 

So I then sought out a doctor.  After all, I was 40.  I needed help.  So I got it.  With his help, a diet pill, no caffeine, and a 1,000 calorie diet (and enough water to float Noah's Ark)....I shed the pounds.  43 to be exact.  I felt like a million bucks.  I felt healthy.  I was a size 6 again.  I was way passed my "goal weight" that the doc set and only a couple from my personal.  Go me!

Then the good ole cancer struck.  Chemo, Steriods, Surgeries.....I blew back up like the good year blimp.  Not Fair. 

So, as I sit here munching on a nutter butter cookie.....and wondering why when today....I wore the same outfit as my daughter did the other day....and she looked SO tall and thin....and I look so round and dumpy. 

It doesn't help that my sweet man tells me everyday how beautiful I am.  And how my son says "You're not fat!  Why do girls ALWAYS say that?".  They are precious.  But I have a mirror.  And I can't breathe when I bend over to paint my toenails.....and I have to lie on the bed to zip my jeans.

I still have little energy.  And I still measure my life in "3 month intervals" instead of just living life.  I breathe each time I get that good report.  And worry until I get it.  Hmmmmmm......Time to change the focus.

Sigh.  Time to do something about it friends.  And soon.  Pray for me, will ya?  Because Twinkies are back on the shelves.  And momma likes to eat.

Song of Songs 4:7
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.

In Him,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Less Madness....More Grace

I'm happy. Not the "giddy, everything is perfect, bouncing off the walls, obnoxious" happy.  But the content, peaceful kind of happy.  I usually smile the majority of the day.

However, something has been tugging at me.  I love to blog.  Love to write.  And I have little messages from friends....texts, emails, or just dialogue in conversation that asks me when I plan to write next.  That's pressure folks.  lol  This blank screen staring back at me can be intimidating some days, hence some postings being about nothing at all.....unlike the profound deep places I tend to take this to.  So please settle in....I'm about to share some thoughts.

As I've shared before, I'm a facebook junkie.  I love seeing what my buddies are up to, seeing pics, and sharing our lives.  I've noticed in the last few months.....that negativity tends to breed here.  What I love the most?  Is the ability to seek prayer and the honor to pray for others in their needs.  I'm very aware that where God is? That dirty 'ole stinkin devil.....likes to breed.  I'm so scared that he is going to just take over.

What ever happened to just plain kindness and manners?  I've seen such ugliness from people.  They use FB as a weapon of sorts to pick on others.  Or to air grievances.  I've been known to get frustrated and rant or vent as well.  So I'm pointing the finger at myself in some instances.  But, Why on earth?  And the majority of things I see written, people would never have the courage to say to anyone face-to-face.  Its much easier to hide behind a keyboard.  To take underhanded little digs at each other.  To just be down-right nasty.....and be the first to say, "Who me??"

I've even noticed the little "feeling __________" that you can now place behind your status that goes FURTHER in clarifying the mood of the person.  ----Feeling Happy.  --------Feeling Blessed.  ---------Feeling annoyed.   Etc. etc.    My rule of thumb is that if I have to insert something here that is in the "angry, annoyed" etc. group....I might not ought to post it.

On my "friends list", I have 1,036 friends.  From high school friends, college friends, friends from the 4 cities I've lived in, family, church friends, and friends of friends.  I am careful to accept friend requests of only people I know.....but of course the majority are acquaintances.  My point is....over 1,000 people can see what I write on my page.  Every comment, every picture, every status.  Not to mention, the way FB is set up, folks who are NOT friends can see, too.

My words, however profound....or however silly....or whatever they are?  Can reach a bunch of folks.  Don't think for a second that I believe that they ALL read it. But the risk is there that they do.  If I have the ability to stand before 1,000+ people -- what is it that I want to say?  I certainly want to sound kind.  I want to share the real me.  I want them to "know we are Christians by our love."  I don't want to fight with my friends or family in front of them.  Or cuss and carry on.  If I were in front of that many folks....I'd definitely try to put my best foot forward.  Right?  Well, you'd think so.

I don't have any actual stats....but common sense tells me that social media is the most useful tool that we as Christians can use to spread Jesus.  That is probably the most dangerous.  It is up to us to use this tool for grace!  I just want to scream that at least 40 times a day.

Got me to thinking about my own life. 
I need to extend more grace to myself.  To forgive myself for falling short of His glory.  To make the changes...not wallowing in what has gone wrong.  "We all got problems."  Right?  You don't want to hear about mine, anymore that I want to hear you whine about yours.  Don't get me wrong.  Asking for and letting others know how they can pray for you is wonderful.  Letting people in on your life .....the vulnerability of the "real you" shows courage and is admirable.  At least, according to me.  haha...  I'm just writing what is on my heart.....not trying to preach.  I think I'm pretty clear about the intention of where this is heading.

Don't use facebook or any other media to be something you are not.  Don't use it to prey on others for sympathy or for your own personal gain.  Be real.  Be real. Be real.

I've been digging into Proverbs 31.  My long-range goals are to become that kind of woman.  I'm no where close.  And it's going to be a journey.  In which I'll share.  I've already started.  And I've seen the Lord work.  So cool it will give ya chills.

I need to extend more grace to my children.  They have a scary place to grow up.  This 'ole world is dark.  They are faced with so many more temptations and ways to "fail" than we were.  They live in a world where every one of their friends posts every new thing they buy.  They instantly know when they are left out of a get-together.  They know within minutes "who broke up with who".....or that "so-in-so" did this or that.  They don't talk.  Period.  They text.  They snap-chat. (even scarier than anything!), they tweet, they "IM"....etc etc.  Society as we once knew it.....has surpassed us.  And the devil is creeping in.

My Sam has had a "social media" free summer.  I was losing him.  I looked at the top of his head and had to repeat no less than 22 times a simple statement every time we talked.  He was constantly glued to that phone.  I made a believer of him during our vacation, when the first two days he was more consumed with the phone than our family.  That Iphone was stripped of everything but phone calls.  No texting, no facebook, no instagram, no twitter, no internet.  Nothing.

You know what?  I got my son back.  We have talked.  We have laughed.  We have had some wonderful visits.  One time, in two months, has he mentioned having it back.  I shrugged it off, and that has been a couple of weeks ago.  He has earned it back....but I've not given in just yet.  And I will definitely place limits on things.  I'm not smart enough to shelter my kids from everything bad.  But by pulling the plug....I've made great strides and my relationship with my son is something very worth it.  I plan to limit things as school starts.  I have ONE shot with these kids.  And I need to make the best of it.

I need to practice grace with my David.  We always hurt the ones we love.  We have an awesome relationship.  One like no other I've ever had.  And I'm spoiled rotten.  He created a monster.  lol  I'll just leave it at that for now.  He, too, has made changes and working to become a spiritual head for our relationship and in our future.  I love this man!  Don't let the tattoos fool ya.  This man is a man of God.  Inside and out.

I need to practice grace with my church.  With THE church, which its "parts" are so much more than the "whole."  Truly not a place for saints, but a hospital for sinners. 

Finally, I just need to practice grace.  Period.  When I think of where I'd be without it?  I shudder.  I see changes all around me.  In my life.  In my relationships.  And its the closest thing to peace I've ever felt.  Couple of milestones to get behind me?  And I'll be in the land of contentment. 

Grace and Kindness.  It's a peace that passes all understanding.

In Him,

PS.  2 for 2 on the "Tithing Journey".  I've placed more in the plate than I had left for the last two weeks.  The way the Lord has carried us and even blessed us will give you chills.  I'm taking notes to share later!  :)  Its a faith I've never experienced! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Slobs, Be Gone!

As I write tonight?  I'm hangin my ole head in shame.  Momma had a first class meltdown.  I admit it.  In all honesty, I really don't feel bad.

I've gotten really lazy.  When I get home from the office after an 8-10 hour day, I am virtually bed-ridden.  Other than getting out to water the grass here and there, I am a hermit.  Curling up with my DVR, my iPad, a glass of sweet tea, my fuzzy blanket and an old-fashioned box fan. 

When we moved in last April, it was 3 weeks before my diagnosis.  So pretty much my whole time in this house has been spent in the confines of my bedroom.  So it has become my little safe hidey hole...and basically my "habit".  The kiddos pile up with me to watch TV.  Tonight, we were all sitting in mom's bed, watching a movie and eating pizza.  "Bed picnic." We have a living room, a den, and everyone has a TV in their own room....but we pile in Momma's room. 

I will tell you, that while I feel more like myself than I have in over a year.....I still have the tiredness that I can't shake.  I don't sleep well, which in turn effects the rest of my day.  I need a nap every afternoon, and most days, I give in.  A nap that late in the day/evening....just makes for a grumpy mom. 

Yes, I'm totally playing the "cancer/chemo card" because it makes me feel a little better for being a lazy bum. But, these creatures under my roof are big ole slobs! My house is a wreck and its driving me crazy.  There was actually a toilet in my house with a ring around it.  ewwwwwww.......

I remember a time when I was the Super "Ninja" mom.  Hauling kids around while studying spelling words from behind the wheel.  Supper in the crockpot while the hum of the laundry going.  I came home to a clean kitchen and a bed that was neatly made with the throw pillows "just so."  The kids knew my little "quirks" like making sure the throw blankets were folded and in its basket, the shower curtain was pulled and the table was cleaned off.  And everyone knew to only eat in the kitchen and no shoes on the carpet.  Area rugs that "walked" needed to be straightened and rooms picked up.  Momma hates clutter.

For the last year?  We have muddled by.  The kids kinda doing their own laundry.  The house getting a good cleaning only when I had a meltdown, much like tonight.....or if friends showed up to do it, or if we were having company.  I hate to cook.  Hate it.  So thankful that David handles the majority of our meals.

I really feel like a loser.  When my home is out of sorts?  My life feels out of sorts.  Period.  My goal this next week is to get things under control, before school starts and my free labor is gone! hehe  To get the yard in tip top shape.  To spring clean.  To straighten the garage.  My kids are about to see a drill sergeant barking orders to get my sanity back.  I let them see a little of that side tonight.

To my kiddos?  This is your warning.  Momma's back. :)

1 Corinthians 14:40  "But all things should be done decently and in order."

In Him,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cardboard Ministry - Take 2

FBC re-posted the link today from the Card Board Testimony Service that the kiddos and I were honored to participate in last summer.  Every once in a while, I love to pull it up and look at it just to be reminded of all of the ways God is moving in others' lives. 

Today, I needed to see that again.  I know I have shared this before.  But I can't help sharing again.  Maybe someone else out there needs a I did today.  Here is the link, it is truly moving to watch.  You will see our story...about 3:20 in.  I love that I can add another cardboard that says...."SAVED AND HEALED BY GRACE!"  <3

We serve a huge God.  I've gotten to know so many of these people of the last year, and when I look back at how far I've come?  No doubt that God works if you trust Him.

Thank you FBC....for the reminder.

In Him,

Still prayin' for my Kim.  Love ya friend.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This is Terri...

More Random Tidbits.  This is me.  :)

I absolutely LOVE being a mom to Sam (16) and Sydney Clare (14). It is BY FAR my greatest accomplishment!! I really don't like it that my kiddos are growing up......what in the world will we DO when they are grown?????  They are my everything.  Period.  And so much fun!

I pray about everything in weird kids, my family, my pets, my finances, my life......even for a parking spot at Wal-mart -- in the bathtub, while I drive, in the school line, .....I mean EVERYTHING - EVERYWHERE!

I'm not a morning person.  I really don't even like to talk before 9 am.  Or at the very least, before I have a diet coke.

My car is an absolute pigsty.....we can clean it out every other day......does no good! Guess we're just in it too much!

I love the Christmas season.  :)

I'm a dork.  Its kinda tough being a dork sometimes.  The trick is not to care!  haha

I love love love the beach!!!  Its not a "real" vacation without sand and surf.

I think Garden Salsa Sun Chips and Twinkies are part of the food group pyramid.  And life will cease without either.

My daughter loves to dance. I am sometimes reduced to tears when she performs.......(no....not because of the money I've spent so she could do it!!!)

My son loves all sports.....plays all sports....and I am his biggest fan!!!  While other kids were watchin "Barney"....he was tuned in to Sportscenter.  No lie. 

I am always in a hurry....and rarely late. I HATE to be late and hate WAITING on those who are always late! Can you say....Road Rage????

I love reality TV, diet cokes, my comfy bed, my Ipad, Mac & Cheese from the blue box (eating it straight out of the pot!) and smell-good candles!  Those are necessities that could keep me happy for a lifetime!

I love the changes in my life that salvation has brought.  So cool to see what all God is up to next!

I am currently in a love-hate relationship with my hair.  Love that I have it. Hate that it isn't like it used to be.  Yet!   I have always said that I could lose everything and be on welfare....but would STILL budget for hair!!  Darn chemo....

I lost my mother to Breast Cancer at age 49. I miss her every single day.....She was my best friend. I get so ashamed of myself when I get jealous of my friends who still have their moms....hope they know what a precious gift that is....

College talk with my son makes me want to throw up. 

I am so happy to be a part of a God-loving, Spirit-filled church.  Above anything....My kids are getting it!

My greatest fear is something happening to my second greatest has always been cancer.  And still is.... 

We pray before we eat.

I have a BS in Accounting, with a minor in English from Arkansas State University ( Home of the INDIANS!!) ......Accounting is boring. I really wish I had gone to Beauty School....I would LOVE to do hair!!

I miss having a housekeeper........wonder if I could find one to do my car too?? and for Free?  hehehe

I love my Sunday School Class.  They are my "life group."  :)

I'm blessed with an awesome "baby daddy."  The greatest gift a mom can give her children is to respect their daddy.  We are blessed.

I love the fact that when I see my kiddos at the end of the day.....that their faces still light up when they see me for the first time......(they USED to run across the room to greet me in Preschool -- but I'll settle for their smiles now!)  Even being teens....they still love hanging out with 'ole mom.  I hope that never changes.  We have so much fun together!  We are buddies!

Its very hard on me that my son is "in love"......I'm finally accepting that I am no longer the only "woman" in his life. These teen years are rough!

I am addicted to Carmex. I have about 12 tubes all over the house.....the car....coat pockets.....etc. Can't go anywhere without it!

I love my iphone! Keeps me connected to everything.  In fact, I think I pretty much love and want anything Apple makes.

I take baths.  Rarely a shower (unless I'm not at home....ewwwww)

I listen to all music.  My kids know that in my vehicle?  Mom's the DJ.

My Sam comes to visit me at my office most every day.  He pops in with a drink or lunch.  I just like that.

I miss my brother.  Wish we lived closer.  He and his family mean the world to me!

I'm lucky to still maintain a friendship with my childhood best friend. Sandy knows that I would be there for her in a heartbeat.  And vice versa.  Ties that bind.

I loved growing up in a small town and am glad my kids are too! I wish they knew how much these memories they are making will mean to them later!!

I love opening my home to my kids' friends.....and my friends and their kids!!! Although....I do drive my family crazy getting my "fake" house on!!!! :)

I am a Chi Omega.  I wish I had known when I pledged how much my sisters would mean to me someday.  God knew what He was doing for sure.  I love my sisters.

I am addicted to popping bubble wrap.  I've even been known to buy rolls of it just so I could pop it!  :) 

I love the blessings that cancer has brought into me.  Friendships, love, and even a nudge to His grace.  Take THAT.....bam!

I'm broke.  Hate being broke.  BUT....I'm rich also. We have everything we need and most of what we want.  I'm saved by God's grace and what makes me happy?  Money can't buy.  Good stuff!

I hate drama.  Despise conflict.  And try to avoid it all costs. 

I'm in love with my best friend.  Thank you God for David!  I think its time for a post devoted to him! :)

Cancer sucks.  Nothing else to really say about that.

I love that my kids love their momma!  <3

I don't really feel worthy of grace.  But, I've learned to accept it anyway!

I think Candy Crush is the DEVIL!  lol  I will take him down!!!

I miss playing golf....although having a son playing competitive baseball has kept me off the course for some time.....I HAVE had a hole-in-one though! True story!

One of the greatest attributes of a Christian woman is her compassion for others. 

I want to teach my daughter that "gentlemen" are only attracted to "ladies."  Lot of truth in that.

I once went on a honeymoon....WITHOUT my groom.  Yep, a story there. 

I LOVE MY FRIENDS (old and new)!!!!! I have some of the best girlfriends in the world!!! I believe true friends "love you anyway" spite of yourself and your mistakes. Thank goodness I have true friends.....even if I had to learn the hard way to find them.....

I think I'm a skinny girl trapped in the body of a fat girl.  That darn mirror keeps reminding me! 

Cell phones at the table drive me bananas!  Put 'em down people!  Give those across from you some value! 

When I say, "I'm praying for you".....know, that I'm praying for you.

I wear a seat belt always.

I am grateful to God for 2nd chances.....and 3rds....and 4ths.....I thank God everyday for his grace and forgiveness......everyday.

I love "love."  So blessed that my life is so full of it.

I always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the worst, and a soul that never loses faith in God.

I am hungry and in total love with Jesus.  He is my light in this dark ugly world.  Not to spoil the ending for anyone, but God teaches us that everything is really gonna be ok!  <3

I can't imagine a world without laughter.....
Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
In Him,
PS -- Prayers for all my teacher friends and those entrusted to mold our children.  God bless you all!  (Especially you, Kim.)

Be Weird

I am approached often about my blog.  With the exception of my children, who think I'm is 99.9% positive feedback.  They don't count.  I can think back to my teen years....and if my momma placed in a public forum every move I made much like I do them...I'd think she was nuts too.  I keep telling them that one of these days, when I'm gone...they will cherish my thoughts about them....and everything.  Today?  They're not convinced.  I really don't care.  ha

I love the above caption and plan to make it my "cover photo" on my facebook page.  When I saw it?  I immediately loved it.  Because it fits me.  And it pretty much fits my blog.  I'm weird.  I'm random.  And typically don't filter what I write (with a few exceptions for obvious reasons).  People who write from an honest place will find that it really is therapy. 

Once I write and post....Very seldom do I go back and read them.  I may someday.  I keep thinking I will print and put them up for my kids and grandkids.  I say that....because I cherish my mom's journal.  I think it is up there with one of the most important things I own.  Her private thoughts.  Her words.  I go to it for comfort often. 

I've been approached to be guest writers for a couple of sites.  Friends have jokingly told me that I could write a book.  Well....they're crazy.  I'm a goofball.  I'm a mom.  I'm just a woman trying to make it in this world with day-to-day problems just like everyone else.  I'm not special.  I'm not inspirational.  I'm just me.  I'm random.  I'm weird.  I just put it out there for the world (ok...that's the stretch....I doubt the whole world reads....but I guess they could.) 

When something touches me, I share it.  When something is heavy on me, I share it.  Gosh, if I can lift one person up....that is icing on the cake.  If I can land my name in someone's prayers?  Then I've gotten something extra.  I write for me.  I don't know if I would be good at writing for others.  Its not something I can "force."  So I'll sit and pray about that a while.  I don't follow or read blogs of others.  I really don't know how to be honest.  So I don't know if my blogs are "good" or not.  My reasons for writing are pretty selfish.  They help me muddle through this earthly life....and separate my thoughts.

I love getting emails, comments, text messages and kind words.  They really inspire me that I'm not alone in this world.  I thrive for accountability and support.  I'm really an open book.  And its not always easy to show the world all of my weak moments.  But why hide them?  The thing I love hearing most is how "real" I seem to be in my writing.  When you allow others to see your "raw" let them in.  You build bridges, instead of walls.....and your relationships become strengthened in the process. 

I'm not trying to sound like I'm patting myself on the back, for sharing the nice things that have been said to me.  I realize that those who disagree aren't necessarily going to come to me to tell me.  Those kind of people find it much more fun to talk "about" ya than "to" ya.....but yes, I've heard whisperings of "this and that".....but as you can hasn't stopped me from writing.  It hasn't changed my writing style.  Nor do I really give a dang!  lol  That "dirty 'ole rotten stinkin' devil" can try all he wants.  (That's for YOU, Jay.) 

I repeat myself often.  But I am so blessed.  As I often do....I would like to share a song that I honestly want my my funeral.  I know that sounds morbid....but, I don't plan on kicking the bucket anytime soon!  haha  But, I find myself touched and raising my hands in worship every single time I hear it.  No matter where I am.....

Redeemer! My Healer! Lord Almighty......
My Savior! Defender! You are My King...

Friends, if that bridge don't move ya.....nothing will.  I will never forget the day Leah sang that in church and I think of her every time.  I'm sure the dude next to me at the red light on the way to work this morning thought I was having a seizure!   lol 

I know I'm rambling.....being "random" so bear with me.  My heart is a bit heavy and I'm sad.  Believe it or not, I don't write about "everything".  I need prayers in a big way over lots of issues.  So please pray for us.  But thankfully, I really do feel just the "sound of His name."  Nothing like His peace.

Please pray also, for one of my closest friends.....Starting a new job as a teacher, the mother of three, and has a very sick mom in the hospital.  "The sick are the sound of Your name."  She is a precious friend and so loved by our family. 

This song just says it all......encompasses all.  You go God!!

Thanks for the pure random-ness tonight.  Its fun to be weird.  I needed it.
In Him,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shame on Me.....

I have lots of friends.  Most of which have been friends of mine for a long, long time. Some as far back as childhood.  Some since I moved here, most are parents of my kiddos' friends, others are through church, and some we just make it a point to nurture our relationships because of love.  In all honesty, my close circle consists of friendships where we have been through a lot together. Divorce, illness, you name it. 

I am so very blessed.  Are they perfect?  Nah.  But neither am I.  When I have a bad day?  They love me through it or tell me to snap out of it.  Basically, any conflicts we face?  We face together.  As a general rule, we don't have conflict with each other or because of each other.  Several, I would trust with my life.  And basically have. 

God has given me a loving village of good Christian people to have surround me in times when I needed it most.  And I, in turn, try so hard to be there for them.  Even in the midst of my own struggles.  I have friends who are like family.  And some family who are my best friends.

I recently had a falling out with someone.  I typically don't "fight with friends."  Ever.  If I'm upset?  I may vent.  Or pout.  Or pull away. Or slap them upside the head and ask what the dang deal is?  But in all honesty, it happens so rarely that I honestly don't know HOW to handle conflict so to say I am proud of myself is a big ole stretch.  Because I'm not.  I'm sad.

To say I'm usually a "peacemaker" isn't really a true statement, because I usually try to stay out of others' conflicts.....but for lack of better words...I always want everyone to just "play nice on the playground."  I avoid conflict.  I give my opinion when asked.  And I'm blunt and to the point. Admittedly to a fault.  But I typically like to practice tact and deliver words lovingly, or just keep my mouth shut.

This time.  I failed.  This conflict quickly drifted from the issue at hand.  And went south as fast as concrete sinking in the lake.  While, sadly, I really did mean the things I said, my delivery went from a place of "love" to a place of "anger". And of course, I didn't say things in the correct way so I'm not sure they were taken they way I meant them. My intent didn't start out that way.  But after feeling attacked, I unloaded.  I rarely get pushed to the point of anger that the feelings of others become irrelevant.  But this time? I did. 

Don't think I'm being too hard on myself.  I'm certainly not taking all the blame.  Because the whole thing was completely ridiculous.  I still feel I had every right to be angry.  And if I were to take a poll (which I would never ever do).....I could find 50 people in 2.3 seconds that would agree that I had every right to feel the way I did.  The thing is?  That is not what the bible teaches us about conflict.  After a bit, my anger placed me in a frame of mind where I didn't lash out from a place of reconciliation.  It was a place to hurt.  And that is simply not me. I never have conflict with friends.  Or with ANYONE really.  So I guess, I really didn't know HOW to act.  This was completely new territory for me.

In church this morning, Pastor Rick ended his sermon series from 1 Corinthians (the love chapter)....on words.  And how to resolve conflict from a place of love.  Yep, that was me crawling under the pews feeling about an inch tall. 

There is a lot of history to this situation, that I choose to not write about.  But I think there are some people in this world that it is simply not healthy to be around.  When so many people (from different walks of life) feel the same way, and know nothing of your history with them.....there has got to be some truth in there somewhere.  But as a Christian woman, I shouldn't turn my back.  Nor, should I allow the past behavior to continue.

THIS?  is where I don't know how to move forward.  I've spent the afternoon in prayer.  Digging into the word.  Talking in confidence with my brother, who is the only person I've shared anything with.  And I felt led to write my thoughts tonight.  And share the verses that have not only convicted me....but brought me peace in this conflict. 

Luke 17:1
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come…” (KJV)

Ephesians 4:26
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (NIV)

Proverbs 15:1
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)

Proverbs 20:3 (NIV)
“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

Proverbs 13:10
“Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (NIV)

James 4:1-2
Submit Yourselves to God
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (NIV)

James 4:6
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV)

The bible is very clear.  Conflict is a part of love.  As Pastor Rick said today, if you don't have relationships with conflict, most likely they aren't very good relationships.  How true?  You have to first care, before you can reach anger. 

Anger is healthy.  But how we deal with our anger, is where following God's image is tricky.  I fell short.  For that? I'm sorry.  I was honest in my words.  But I wasn't loving in them.  The timing wasn't appropriate....but I fell completely into the trap that she started.  While I didn't go as far "below the belt" as I could have?  My words were hurtful.  And I feel badly.

- Be careful to think before you speak or act, don’t speak out or lash out in anger/bitterness…

Proverbs 16:18
“Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.” (NIV)

Philippians 2:3-4“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (NKJV)

Galatians 6:7-8“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (NIV)

Proverbs 26:17
“Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.” (NLT)
Proverbs 29:25
“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” (The Message)

After two days of the "tit for tat" via text (another bad idea), I awoke today still angry, but ashamed that I allowed another person to make me so angry, that I totally forgot how to turn the other cheek.  That I was slow to listen and quick to speak.  And not the opposite.  I extended a true, sincere apology for my behavior.  And it was accepted.  To which I am grateful.  I felt good that my own heart led me to forgive before I ever sent the text to her.  Before I heard Pastor Rick's thoughts.  Before I dug into the Word.  My journey of faith is still strong and even though I didn't expect a gracious reply....I received one, with an apology as well. 

Be quick to forgive, remember this:
Titus 3:3-5
“Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
But – “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” (NLT)

Matthew 6:9-15
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”(KJV)

Ephesians 4:26
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (ESV)

And please, please, remember – We all need each other:)! Final Thoughts & Prayers…

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (NKJV)

Romans 12:5
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (KJV)

Romans 15:5
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” (NIV) —Amen! God bless!

I really don't know where to go from here.  Momma used to say that prayer and time heals all wounds.  In the heat of the moment, I was ticked.  I couldn't believe that someone thought this way about me.  That at 42 years of age, I was having such a disagreement with someone else.   And that I allowed someone to actually "get to me".  And that she totally misunderstood why I was angry.  I'm pretty good at letting things roll off my back.  I usually do a pretty decent job of walking the high road.  But I'm ashamed I let my anger get the best of me.  For that, I'm ashamed. 

I know that I hurt her.  I'm not sure if she knows that she hurt me too.  I learned many lessons throughout it all.  Not really about her.  But about myself.  Not everyone is meant to be in your life.  Not everyone will love you unconditionally.  And maybe I don't do a good enough job nurturing those relationships that I care about the most.  To send my love for no reason at all.  I will do better.

Pray for me in my endeavors to do better.  And pray for her too.  That she learned something as well.  And that God restore the pieces of her heart that I may have broken.  That she know I have forgiven her....even for the things I taunted her with this weekend.  I hope she has forgiven me too.

In Him,

Friday, August 2, 2013

Helicopter Mom!!

I hope ya like the change!  I get bored with things fast.....bedding, hair styles, decor, clothes, etc.  Hence....the new look of my blog!  :)  (I love saying "hence".....makes me sound oh so smart!  haha)  I originally chose pink for a couple of reasons.....The obvious being the whole "breast cancer" color and all, which was the whole motivation behind me starting to journal.  And, it was one of the general templates available, and I was more interested in getting started writing than feeling my way around the website to build a custom one.  Never really liked the look of the page, kinda looked like Pepto I spent some time workin on it!  :)  Let me know what ya think!

Not really an eventful day.  Worked about 9 hours....Took a car load of dancing girls to lunch, broke up a brawl between Sam and Syd that literally ended in bloodshed, attended the parent meeting for football tonight, and came home to 4 giggling girls and sent Sammy for pizza.  The meeting got me excited about football season!  Last year, I felt so crummy so I just muddled through....but this year I'm so ready!  Jr. High games on Thursdays watchin my dancer.....Sr. High on Friday nights watchin my Panther.....and Razorback Saturdays!  Whoop!  Love it.

During the meeting, they had a college coach from Arkansas Tech visit to tell us some information on how college recruitment works....what to to prepare, etc.  While I don't expect Sam to really play football at the next level....He IS old enough to start looking at colleges, and thinking about preparations for after high school.  He is not big least right now.  But ya never I listened.  As we sat in the big ole auditorium.....all the Jr. High Parents to the right, and the Sr. High Parents on the left.....I glanced over remembered how much time has flown since I sat on the "right".  I thought I was going to throw up.  Bible.

I listened to the speaker as he talked about the recruitment process.  He shared the differences in high school ball, and college ball....many were obvious, some were things I learned.  Anyway, he felt one thing important enough to not only bring it up....but it was really a "bullet point" on his slide show!  "Athletes with "Helicopter Moms" are expendable."

He went on to explain what the definition of a "Helicopter Mom" was.  Those who "hover" over their kids.  Don't let them breathe.  Who are all over them at the end of the game or after practice.  Who bug the coaches about everything.  Who don't let them grow up on their own and "be a man."  Instantly, Sam and David both cut their eyes to me.  I even think my shins were a tad bruised from them kickin me.  Ok, not really.  At first, that bothered me.

First of all, I never bug his coaches.  Never question playing time.  Like all parents, I sometimes don't understand coaching decisions....or I wonder what it is that Sam needs to do to get better, or to be more valuable.  But you won't see me blowing up their emails, or making phone calls, or even hanging around practices asking about playing time.  Or questioning the coaches.  They are the coach.  And what he says goes.  Period.  Have I been known to disagree?  Yep.  Does it break my heart when my son is unhappy as a result of riding the pine? You betcha.  But I know my boundaries and I respect them.  Many life lessons are learned on the field.  Football...Baseball....every sport. 

I pray about Sam as a young man.  I pray for Sam as an athlete.  That he foremost is safe and for the safety of his teammates and their opponents.  That he exhibit sportsmanship on AND off the field.  That he lift up his teammates especially when the game isn't going their way.  To always "hustle til AFTER the whistle blows" (I always say that to him as he gets out of the car!  haha) And I've always taught Sam that when you do something...especially when using your do it for He who gave you those talents.  110%.  Give God the glory when he wins and praise Him when he doesn't.  We are blessed that Sam's coaches are Godly men who care about him.  In fact, when I think back....every man who has coached my son?  We worship with each Sunday morning.  I know that they, too, are praying for my Sam and his teammates.  They want him to grow and get better....just like I do. 

Do I hover?  Most likely.  lol  Sam is a self-proclaimed "Momma's boy."  He loves his Momma.  And I've always been involved in his growth through sports.  I'll never forget one time, I was yakkin in the stands to a girlfriend as the boys were warming up before a game, and David nudged me and said...."Wave your arms....he's lookin for you, Momma."  :)  Now that he drives, he gets to the ball field usually before me....and every game -- be it baseball or football -- I see him scan the stands until I wave.  I blow him a kiss and he gives me a nod with a smile.  It's kind of our thing.  And I love it.  Same thing with Syd.....its our thing.

After games....I am guilty of the drill.  I ask a million questions....about how he thought he did.  What he could have done better.  We discuss any errors and celebrate his good, catches, touchdowns, base hits, etc.  We basically break it down.  I always ask if he got any coach feedback...good or bad.  I know it kinda bugs him.  When he was younger....parents heard the "coach's talk".....I always knew what was going on.  Now?  Its hard to be in the dark.  So I'm gonna try to do better about analyzing his game play.  To let him decompress after games and practices and let him share with me what he wants. 

THAT SAID, I will continue to love, support, and be his biggest fan.  While I can't always "fix it".....I won't go away.  If that makes me a "Helicopter Mom" then I am dang proud to be one!  <3  At first, when the coach presented this label in a negative light....for which it was meant I'm sure....I was a bit offended by those wonderful men who love me pointed their fingers at ME. :)  So much so...that before I knew it, I found myself volunteering to be the Junior Parent liaison to the booster club.  Lol Really....I'm happy to really dig in and help this year....last year I was unable to do much.  Anyway, I'm proud to wear that title.  I'm guilty of loving him too much.  Of caring too much.  Of worrying about him.  But, am willing to follow the boundaries.  To let him grow up.  And to let him be the man God wants him to be. 

I am the same way with Sydney.  Placing her happiness at the hands of others is one of the toughest parts of motherhood.  Hence....(hehe), the need for prayer. 

Oh...the changes.  I'm a "work in progress" for sure.  Very grateful for God's guidance.  He hasn't failed me yet.

The kiddos and I at the start of the 2012 Season....:)  Love these two! 
Go Panthers!!
In Him,