Our Family

Our Family

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Queen

January 14, 2010

Tonight you, my sweet Abi, walked in to the kitchen all dressed up in the fanciest dress-up gown that you own. It was a huge pink sleeping beauty dress. Your hair had been fixed in a random dis-shuffled up do with a crown sorta falling to the side of your head. Your shoes were very fancy and gave you blisters… but you said ‘that’s okay, cause it hurts to be pretty’ just like I have always taught you.
I looked down at your sweet face and said ‘well, hello princess’ – your eye brows lowered and your eyes squinted in a forceful fashion as you said… ‘I am the queen and I am in charge of this palace.’ I thought I was going to wet my pants. I said ‘oh really?’ to which you replied quickly.. ‘Sure, and if you do not obey my rules you will go to jail. I have two jails, one is in a closet and the other one is in another closet.’ I tried to have a blank face however I was taken back by your stern leadership in your palace.
What I love so much about you is that you are not intimidated by what society says you would be. It is common and expected that the second child would be a follower. That is not so for you. You have always asserted yourself as a leader and make sure that all know that you are the boss.
Being the boss is good in the right time and right place. It is just as important to be a good team player and be able to adapt to other leaders. A great leader is only as good as their greatest follower. If you are leading and no one is following – you are not a leader at all, just a lone ranger.
It is my desire that you always treat people with respect and honor as you lead them. I pray that you will always have a sweet dispositions as you guild your royal subjects through the palace courtyard. As you lead always remember that you must be a good following before you will be a great leader.
Mediate on Hebrews 13 verse 17 as you grow into your Queenly role as leader of the palace. It says… Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
There is no greater joy kill than to try to be a great leader and have some smarty pants that thinks they are ‘the boss’ try and sabotage your leadership. I want you to always know that you must be a blessing as a follower before you will ever be known as a magnificent leader.
Please don’t think that you will not be Queen if you settle for being a follower… no no my sweet baby – it is clear that you are indeed destined to be Queen – you just gotta pay your dues first… so do it with joy so that your time as a follower will be short and your time as Queen with be GREAT and greatly received by your royal subjects!!

I love you - Mommy

Thursday, January 14, 2010


January 14, 2010

Today I began thinking about transition – transition is a tricky thing. Lots of people look at change as a great thing… not me. I do not like change for the most part. I love things that are predicable and safe in life. The move from Ohio to Texas was the first big transition that I can remember.
The day this big transition began will always be etched in my memory as the day my step father showed me how much he really cared about my feelings and the things that were important to me. Remember that this is my version of what happened… as a parent myself, I know it is a version that is diluted with my 4 year old tears.
It all began with the big garage sale… fire truck explosion… and then on to the packing of the moving trailer. It was a little trailer that Bob had packed full of his tools and other prized possessions. I thought that this move would not be too bad… sure I was leaving all of my friends and everything that was familiar to me but I would make it. I am strong!
Everyone was packing in the car getting ready for us to pull away… but wait, I thought, my big wheel isn’t packed. You see I was indeed, Luke Duke and my Dukes of Hazard big wheel was a ‘must’ in the packing process. I loved that big wheel and all of the memories I had on that big wheel. I yelled out for my step dad to pack it away and tears fell from my face in a sobbing fashion…. He said NO, and gave it away to one of his Hill Billy friends. I was devastated – the one thing I truly wanted was tossed out like it was trash and now I was sure that I was NOT going to be okay with this move. I was not strong – I was broken.
Things are just things… and I know now that my big wheel probably was not as great as I remember. My parents probably thought they could replace it … not thinking of my fragile little feelings during such a big move, they got rid of it. Now that I am a momma I think that I probably would have done the same thing out of ignorance for a little soul.
I still have some pretty raw emotions about that day. I find it interesting that today I hold onto possession and their memories --- too much of the time. I make a special effort to hold on to my girls toys till they are old enough to get rid of them for themselves. I never want to be guilty of tossing one of their ‘special toys’. I know that’s so silly – but I would give anything to have my big wheel back. It was my safe place… and held lots of memories for me of the ‘better days’.
As I reflect on this memory I know that holding onto the secret bitterness of a junked big wheel is not what God wanted for me. I know that God wanted me to have the desires of my heart and He wanted me to find safety in Him rather than possessions. I am still working on this truth even today.
I want to be a woman that is not attached to ‘things’. I desire to find the value in the principals of God more than I do in gifts and stuff. I want to have a stronger desire to follow the heart of God and not the ‘sale sign’.
A perfect example of a mental thought, which I want to grow old with resounding in my mind is that of Proverbs 11 verse 4 – it says… Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. I want to be a righteous woman and I want my girls to be righteous… sounds like a ‘goodie two shoes’ thought… but my heart really wants to do the right things at the right times in my life. I want to store those experiences up for judgment day and not be wrapped up in accumulating wealth that will surly all be burnt away.
Why is it so hard to do the right thing? Our society has made it so easy to lie, cheat, steal and live rich doing it. I want a blood line that is rooted in doing the right thing in all situations… I still need to work in this area. Ahhhh – how hard it is to look in the mirror at your own sin however; one day we will not only look in the mirror but we will look into the face of God and give account for our righteousness or lack of.
Transition is often the tool God will use to show us the sins in our own hearts. It is transition that more times than not the vehicle that drives you into a blubbering mess as our lives fall apart. It is transition that shows us what we are truly made of. Transition is the mirror that lots of times shows us what we are wrapped up in. Don’t hate transition… embrace it, because this transition just might be the one that reveals the worthless wealth you have stored up in your heart…

Proverbs 11:3-5 (New International Version)
4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Texas Snowman

January 8, 2010

Today is the coldest day we have had in literally – forever! It is 23 degrees outside and was lower during the night. I have not checked into how low it got… but it got low low for Weimar Texas!
It was tricky getting the girls ready for school today – it is all toasty in the house and it is so hard to convince them that it is burr winter outside. After it was said and done… they both had two coats on and were ready to take on the day.
As I was driving home I tried to remember the coldest childhood memory I had endured. It was difficult to remember cold; however I did run across a memory of snow as a small child. I was probably 6 years old and it snowed in Weimar. Not only did it snow but the snow actually stuck to the ground and covered our yard in a thin blanket of white snow. Well, maybe the blanket was really thin and it was more of a grey than a white.
I was still very excited to see snow even if it was so minute that it was hardly recognizable as ‘real’ snow. I didn’t even realize then that it was not considered ‘real’ snow. It was falling from the sky and was white while it fell… so to me it was my first snow and it was amazing.
I have a pretty clear memory of my sister and I building this snowman in the snow. I am sure the memory is so clear because we took a photo and through the years I have this memory that is attached to this photo. Real or conjured… the memory of this snowman was amazing! My sister and I gathered as much snow as possible to build this sad little representation of a snowman. By the time we finished rolling the snowballs around on the ground, as we had seen in all of the Hollywood movies, this ball was filled with dried grass and dirt from the ground. Our snowman was very much a dirty ole’ soul. We gave him eyes, arms, nose and a scarf. I remember feeling so proud and like life was complete now that I had experienced snow and was first handedly had knowledge in building a real snowman.
This morning as my eyes started to sparkle with the childlike joy of that day I began to think --- Why do I have such great memories of that day? It was awful, really. There was not much snow; it was not fluffy and white at all. The snow was dirty and the snowman was tiny and ragged looking.
The truth is that so much of life is like that dirty snowy day I experienced at a young age. We have fairytale dreams of experiences and life lessons that are just not reality much of the time. We watch movies and we begin to think that our life is incomplete if we don’t acquire this or accomplish that. That is just not true.
Life is what we make of it with the resources we have in our hands. It’s cheesy but the old saying… ‘If life gives you lemons… make lemonade’ is so true. In my case… ‘if you live in Texas and it snows… praise God you get to build a kid size rustic snow cowboy.’ – It truly is how you look at it.
When I was little and I began to story the memory for that day –I was ecstatic and super proud … why, because I was a kid in Texas that saw snow in her own yard --- not only in my own yard but then enough to build a snowman. I easily could have been angry that it snowed and was too cold to play outside then I could have gotten angry or disappointed that the snowman was not very big… I could have even been so upset that I just didn’t build one at all. What kinda memory is that… YUK! It’s so toxic…so many people walk around with these toxic thoughts that kill the great memory opportunities.
We have to take responsibilities for our own thought process. We either choose thoughts that push us into storing great memories regardless of the circumstances or we choose thoughts that breed toxic fumes and turn our memories into a black stinky mess of gunk.
I want my girls to know this… that we are in control of what we allow in our hearts and minds. If we take the time to store up The Word of God in our mind and hearts it is living and active… it will grow and shape us. It will form memories that are centered in Christ. Something I am not that great at is storing up the Word of God.
Learn from my mistake… Memories it and love it… eat it and devour it… knowing God word will save you from so much heart ache. I am reminded of a scripture in Hebrews that talks about the word of God being like a sword judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It is so true – if we will fill ourselves with Gods word then when a memory is being formed the word of God will judge it and bring it into its right place keeping it pure and full of life. You will be a spiritually and emotionally healthier person if you allow God word to live in your thoughts and heart.
I love my memory of that snowman… its because it was real and true to me – I saw the positive in the snow …I never saw the dirt or the smallness of the little man till I was much older looking back in pictures… for me – it’s the greatest snowman I had ever built. Its all in the attitude of the heart when a memory is stored.

Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version)
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Passion paired with Knowledge

January 7, 2010

After spending the yesterday remembering that pretty pink house, I was reminded of the last day I ever spent at that house. It is a very clear memory and one that I think of often. What seemed to be a normal day turned out to be a day that would alter the entire world around me.
Our suitcases were getting packed and loaded onto a trailer. My mother put all of our other possession on the street and began to have a garage sale. She was selling everything and I was desperate to put the pieces together… what was happening? She was selling everything we owned and we were moving to Texas the next morning. I was crushed. Truly heart broken. I loved our life and could not understand why we were moving.
I spent the day running and playing in the front yard, that last day in Ohio, with my brother and sister. I had just learned to say the word Preparation H. Actually I had been bugging my mother so much that she told me I was causing her to need some Preparation H… I asked what is that? Why? …. She told me that I was a pain in her ass --- I didn’t understand… but I was obviously excited that I had learned this new word and went to the street and yelled it at the top of my lungs at the passing cars… Prep-A-Mention H!! I thought it was so funny. I then heard loud sirens and enormous horns honking as a huge fire truck turn under the bridge at the bottom of our hill headed up the intersection blaring its horns to clear the way. I was so scared but I yelled at the fire truck… Prep-A-Mention ….. When I watched another fire engine miss its turn, jump the medium and crash into the other engine and smashed itself all over the place. It was literally right before my eyes…. I was stunned and in shock.
I believe that I remember that last day I spent at my princess pink house because of the horrific image it left in my memory bank. I also know that I would have missed it all if I had not had the passion deep inside of me to share with the world my new discovery of the word Prep-A-Mention H! I think that too often we have just a little passion and drive; just enough to get us up in the morning and get ourselves to school or work. I never had ‘just a little passion’ – nope, not me. I think I was born with so much passion for life that I was physically unable to contain it. I always had to speak my thoughts and ideas from the mountain tops. Sometimes that is received as a good thing…and lots of the times it is… not so much!
I really love that I carry so much passion – I am often frustrated by others in my life that do not have the same level of passion for life. For example, I want to wake up in the morning and take the bull by the horns – conquer it and enjoy its horns as my trophy. On the other hand my husband sees life in a much calmer aspect. He would rather sleep in late, hope the bull gets all its energy out early so when the time is right he can maneuver the bull where he wants it. I am bored and frustrated with this mindset… but guess what – it works for him. Me… I cant control it .. I have to give life my all – I just have to.
What I have learned in my life is this… just like I was passionate about the new addition to my growing vocabulary and creamed it from the mountain top causing an awful wreck – there are those that have a quieter approach to life. It takes wisdom to bring your passion to a productive level. I think it is important to have passion… and be able to scream it out loud – however; it is just as important to hold it in till the right time to scream it out… or gently whisper it. Proverbs 19:2 and 3 speak of this perfectly – if we take our zeal and pair it with knowledge… it is money in the bank. We have to know what to do with our zeal to make it work for us and others around us. The saddest thing I have seen in myself and others is being foolish and making dumb decisions that bring ruin to my life… and then being angry at God for what a mess our life has turned into… it’s not His fault that I chose to be full of zeal with out knowledge… don’t blame God for how life turns out – we have such a huge part in what is happening around us.

Proverbs 19:1-3 (New International Version)
2It is not good to have zeal without knowledge,
nor to be hasty and miss the way.
3 A man's own folly ruins his life,
yet his heart rages against the LORD.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hello from my cell phone

The Pink House

January 6, 2010

Today I began reflecting on my earliest memories as a small child. It is hard to conjure the memories that you have pressed down for so many years and bring them back to life --- but here I go.

I have slivers of several memories before I was 4 years old and as I started digging them up I found it is amazing how the memory bank works differently for each person. I have several brothers and a sister and we all have a different set of memories of our childhood. They are so different that I often ask myself, ‘Did we have the same childhood?’ the answer is simple – NO, we did not have the same childhood.

I have been shaped into the person I am today because of my ‘perception’ of the reality that I lived. I’m saying this to say --- my reality might not be the most purest or most accurate reality… it happens, we skew and distort the truth to fit in our mold of what we ‘feel’ we are experiencing… as you continue to read my story just remember that this is only my point of view of what happened.

Now, back to my earliest memories – I was 4 years old and living in Akron Ohio in a big beautiful pink house. It is amazing to me now what memories I kept of this house. I loved it – I know now, as an adult, that it wasn’t the house at all, but the sense of family and completeness I felt in this house. All of my memories in this house were relatively good and pre-abuse years of my life therefore I think I glamorized the image of this house in my memories just a tad; when in reality the house probably was nothing spectacular at all.

This house was a sweet powder pink with metal siding. This two story home felt like a princess house to me. How could any four year old little girl live in a pink house and not fantasize about being a princess. The house was two stories with a basement and many storage closets. Now the most exciting part of this house was the secret doors and passage ways. This is where I am not sure if reality bleeds into fantasy or not. I have a hunch that what I remember was more of make believe and the secret mystery games, we would play, coming out in me. I remember a secret door – but I also feel like I might be remembering a game we played that was not real at all; however my imagination was so active that it feels very real to me. Funny thing is that my brother remembers the same thing… have we conjured up these memories together? I don’t know – but it’s about the only positive memory of my childhood and I choose to hang on to it.

Our pink house sat on a hill overlooking a busy intersection in Akron Ohio. Just below the hill under the bridge to the right was a little candy store. I remember this because there were times we were in big trouble for going to this store. What a dream come true – to have your very own candy store in walking distance. In the winter time we would ride the sled down the hill and sneak over to the candy store before our mom could catch us. Sometimes I would have to be the ‘watch out’ girl for my older sister.

We had some great friends on that cobble stone street. The sad thing is that we couldn’t play with them unless we were very very sneaky. This was the late 1970’s and my step father was not too excited about mixing with ‘the coloreds’. He has since been enlightened to his ignorant ways and is very much okay with people being people no matter what color of their skin. In 1979 in the north… it wasn’t so much okay to him. I can not remember their faces… except my sister and I were drawn to them… maybe they were two sisters too – I don’t know. I remember one of their names was Plum… maybe it was Cherry. I remember this because my parents always called them something else… it was something ridiculous like – Dewberry or Sassafras. I liked those girls and we had fun together. We would ride bikes together... but I didn’t know how to ride a bike so the only way I could play with them is if I would ride on the back of their bike with them. I can remember one day playing with them and riding double on the bike…. And up pulls our step dad – I was terrified because he had told us A) don’t play with them… and… B) Don’t ride bikes double – it’s dangerous on this hill. When I saw his truck pull up (He was a truck driver) I knew I was in deep trouble. My sister and I ran for the house and tried to act like we had not been playing… but he knew.

I think it is so important for my girls to know that God created everyone – everything. He made it with His heart and He loves His creation. When we choose to follow Jesus we give up our own ‘rights’ and our own ‘impulsions’. The New King James version of 1Corinthians 6:19-22 reminds us of who owns us. Not only did God create us and therefore we belong to Him but when we surrender our hearts to him and commit to follow Him and his ways – we have chosen to sell out and He has indeed bought us. He paid the biggest price of all time for us – with The Blood of Jesus we were purchased that day on Calvary two thousand years ago. I tell my girls all the time and I pray they remember this… ‘We don’t get to choose if we love or not… We don’t get to choose if we are kinds to friends on the play ground or not… etc.’ We belong to God and so we have to do what He says. We must obey God. Do I always… NO! Do I want to? YES! I want to think about what God demands of me as a woman of God first… then react. Easier said than done… but when done, it is a powerful thing.

1 Corinthians 6:19-22 (New King James Version)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Wow – 2010 is here. Today is January 5, 2010 and I am amazed that another year has come and gone and a New Year is here. It’s the time of year that everyone reflects on their regrets of the last year and their resolutions for the New Year. I have just one regret – not keeping my resolutions from last year.

This morning as I was working out with my good friend we chatted up our plans for the New Year. I have many dreams and desires… this morning as I was sharing with her my regrets of 2009 and resolutions for the New Year as I had a moment of clarity and certainty in my heart. I knew the only person that can make things happen for me is ME! If I have a passion to accomplish something, I am the only person keeping that from happening.

Here is my regret: I regret not writing this book years ago… I have had a burning in my soul to write a book – not just any book – but a book to my girls, for my girls. I want my little girls to have a piece of my heart to hold to long after I am gone. I want them to know the things in my past that made me who I am, the principles of God that brought me through the tragedies that I have endured. I want them to know the choices I made in my life that were good, bad and just plain ugly. I want them to know the real woman that they knew as ‘momma’!

Today I begin this journey – each day I will write a note to my girls… sharing the special moments we share, reflecting on my childhood and embracing the principles of God through each experience.