Or so the song goes. The forecast for today is a warm 65 degrees and beautiful sunshine. It’s a much welcomed change in comparison to the past few weeks. I’ve decided that God is giving us a break to catch our breath and warm up a bit because I’m sure, the cold weather has not completely packed those bags to leave us this year. Rather random thought this morning. Somehow I am tying all that weather “stuff” to our lives right now, to our world right now. God reminds us, periodically, that he is still in control and that there is always HOPE for a warmer day.
I’m saddened beyond belief at the tragedy in Haiti. It’s hard to watch on the endless hours of news coverage and yet, I feel compelled to take part in their pain. I find myself praying as I watch and listen to the horrors that our brothers and sisters are enduring. And then…then…I see, or rather, God shows me, the good, the loving, the caring outpouring of love from around this so-called horrible world. It’s HOPE that I see! It’s God still working in the hearts of His people. We’re not a lost cause – we still have the ability to reach out and touch those that need it. The Sun is shining to remind us today that God is here – every…step…of…the…way.
The economic downturn over the last few years has finally trickled down to our little, sleepy town – and to our church. Some very tough decisions have been made to reflect the new “bottom-line”. It’s going to take a lot of bright sunshine today and in the days to come to remind us that God IS working and we must all remember our HOPE for another day. I pray this morning for understanding, hope, and peace with the new normal in our lives. Dear God, I know You have a plan and I know that You are faithful. The precious warmth of the sun today will remind me of Your love and the hope You give us every day – every minute. Hold us close, dear Father…we need you.
What were you doing the summer of 2003? I’ve looked back at pictures of my youngest child who was 2 at the time. My oldest was going to high school…we went to the beach…lots of swimming…family time…Auburn beat Alabama, Space Shuttle Columbia exploded, record high gas prices $1.72.
While we were enjoying our lives here in a free nation, many, many Americans were far away serving in a war that seems to go on without end. Last week, Chad’s uncle and a fellow Marine came to dinner after spending the day in the woods hunting. Somehow, the dinner conversation turned to their time, in 2003, serving as active Marines. Between the two men, they served our country for 40+ years. Most recently, they both had been to Afghanistan and Iraq. We listened for about 2 hours as both men relived their time with other men they call brothers. We listened as they replayed unbelievable conditions, and unbelievable camaraderie in the worst of situations. They were both very clear that they were honored to have served their country and that given their youth …they’d do it again. I don’t understand or can I relate to their patriotic spirit. I almost wish I could but…not really. It’s horrible what our young men and women are going through to keep us safe and to try and change thousands of years of unrest in countries that really don’t want us there! Yes, selfish and very American like…I think they should all come home.
Before Christmas, a very dear friend of ours was deployed to Afghanistan. It is only now that I’ve taken an active interest in our war effort. I hate the idea that he’s away from his wife and children. It actually makes me mad that he had to miss Christmas with his family. His wife had to decorate, shop, read Christmas stories…all by herself – as did all of the families of our military heroes. Now, the day to day meals together, school projects, hugs, laughter, EVERYTHING – they miss! And you know…they are all steadfast that this is something that he has to do – it’s his job….it’s important that we have servants/heroes to look out for those that can’t. He has an attitude to beat the band. I can see him smiling as he sends out emails that “life is good”. I’m proud to know this American family! Their attitude is one that I could and should learn from….but I still want all of our heroes HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
I started this post on your birthday and it’s taken me awhile to finish. How do I take 13 precious years and pen everything to paper? Impossible. Over the last 13 years, you, my sweet child, have been not only a breath of fresh air but a joy each and every day.
You came to us very early one Sunday morning after a very long, long night in Montgomery, Alabama. Actually, the three years prior to your arrival had been a very long, long wait. You and Adam would have only been 5 years apart in age instead of the almost 8 years apart if all had gone according to our plans. Ickkk – that would mean you would be turning 16! Let’s move on from that thought!!
About a week before your arrival, dad and I took a very bumpy (yet fun) go-kart ride at Maenette’s (Mamaw) house. Up and down her driveway, first with dad, then with Adam. Needless to say, I had to have some help getting in and out of the go-kart. We have pictures – proof! On January 4th, 1997, you decided to let us know it was time. You’ve always been such a gentle child and it all started that night. Most of the evening, after driving to the hospital an hour away, I spent sleeping. Daddy liked to tap me on the shoulder to wake me and let me know that I was having a contraction. Nothing like a little reminder! Long about 5:00am the nurses decided that you were breach and we were scheduled for a C-section.
You were the perfect baby. Unlike your big brother, you slept through the night almost immediately. You ate like the books said you should and passed all of your milestones perfectly. Your smiles lit up the room from the beginning. When we decided it was time for me to go back to work, you were going to stay in a home daycare. I packed a little Rubbermaid tote with all of your important items and a diaper bag that could’ve sunk a ship. The first day was a trial – for me…not you. It didn’t go very well. I sat in the car and cried for about 30 minutes. I came back inside to get you, we went home for another month.
In the short thirteen years you’ve been here with us, you’ve become a friend like none I’ve ever had. I look forward to seeing your sleepy head in the morning and your smile in the afternoons. My heart laughs with you and my heart breaks with your tears. From early days in the daycare where I sat beside you while you ate (to prepare you for my departure) to your first homecoming date – you are a light in this world that shines so very brightly. I thank our precious Lord for allowing me to be your mom! Know that you are loved and cherished by your family! Loves and kisses!
Here we go! Starting another year, again. As I’ve gotten older, the new year means less to me than each “new” day. I no longer have the excitement and anticipation of some unprecedented change to my life when January 1st rolls around. I have that same option to start anew every day that the good Lord allows me to wake and put my feet on the floor. If we’d only take that option and run with it – ~sigh~
What I do love about January 1st is that by this time, I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my ever busy family. From the week of Christmas until school starts back, we’re home together for the most part. It’s very simply – nice. We’ve enjoyed the glorious celebration of Jesus’ birth. We’ve eaten together, cooked goodies, caught up on some reading, watch family favorite movies, found time to play board games, slept late – at least 7:00am! It’s been wonderful but alas, we must get back to the grind…
Why is it a grind? We make the decisions to do every single thing that we do! We choose to run in one hundred different directions – all.the.time! Maybe that’s why we appreciate the breaks and holidays so much? Oh well, tomorrow will be the last day of the holiday season for us. We’ll all be counting the days until Spring Break and wishing for another day….