Celebrating Opportunity

My husband is home, my daughter is sleeping, and I am sitting down to rejoice with you.  We have waited over a year for my husband to have certain opportunities at work, and the Lord is opening up the doors right and left!

One such opportunity is the chance to attend “jump school,” a.k.a., jump-out-of-a-perfectly-good-airplane-in-the-safest-manner-(and cheapest!)-possible.  So I heartily approve.  Now we have to jump over the hurdle of the required physical fitness test.  Please pray that his sore muscles and turned ankle can get him a passing score, and that he’ll be able to take this hot seat.  I’m so proud of him, and so anxious for him to be able to do the things he desires.

And coming up, my sweet sister’s wedding, which means a 10-day vacation to Florida for our family!  Hooray for getting siblings and parents together all at once, and hooray for weddings, and hooray, hooray, hooray for Fridays!!

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things."Finer Things Friday"

To Remember With Thanks!

“We often forget what we ought to remember, and remember what we ought to forget.”

- Dr. Del Tackett in The Truth Project

Remembering what we ought to forget.  How many of us hold onto bitter memories that would be best–for us and for those involved–forgotten forever?  On the other hand, how often do we forget what we ought to remember: sweet memories, precious times with friends and family, and powerful lessons of God’s provision?

A friend of mine once reflected that she believed her parents’ success in childrearing (she is the oldest of eight, all on the straight and narrow), lay in their “continual rehearsal of God’s goodness.”  Remembering what God has done; parenting!

So without further ado, I’d like to remember a few things for which I am extremely thankful:

1. My husband who loves Jesus and loves me and works so hard for our family.

2. My godly heritage and amazing parents who raised me right (so far).  :)

3. My little girl, who is growing every day and challenging me to rely on God for parenting skills.  Oh the things I thought I knew!

4. My precious siblings, one of whom is getting married in 10 days!!!

5. My dear friends from childhood, who have stuck with me through thick and then, and prayed with me (and for me) through it all.

6. My home, which does not have a leaky roof and DOES have a dishwasher, and for the bathroom project which is nearing completion.

7. A buyer for our cargo trailer, which enabled us to pay off a debt, hallelujah!

8. A church family where we feel safe, loved, and have the opportunity to grow and serve.

9. A job that, though stressful at times, pays the bills and fills me and my husband with pride.

10. (This should be #1) A Savior who rescued me from myself and transforms me into His image a little more every day.

What things are you remembering?  Tell them to your children!  Pass them on.

This post is linked to Thankful Thursdays at Momdot.com

Do I Have to Pick?

“Booking Through Thursday” posted today about choosing one genre for the rest of your life.  Could you choose?  Here’s the original post:

God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.

What genre do you pick, and why?

*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that He is real.

So, my conclusion?  I’d have to select Christian fiction.  I can’t get by without my C.S. Lewis, Bodie & Brock Thoene, and, just maybe, I can squeeze Jan Karon onto the list.  I think I’ve learned just as much from reading some of these authors as I have reading their non-fiction counterparts, and I definitely have a harder time putting them down!

How ’bout you?"Booking Through Thursday"

Married to the Marines

Just to spread a little cheer and share a little of my life:

The Top Ten Things I’ve Learned as the Wife of a Marine

1. I’m actually not the wife of a Marine; I’m the wife of the Marine Corps, the whole shebang.

2. I have learned (from #1) that I am not in charge of the universe (and this is a good thing!).

3. There is a steady paycheck, no questions asked (until somebody messes up the LES).

4. My life is always an adventure!

5. I have met some of the sweetest people I have ever known, and their enrichment has changed my life forever.

6. My husband gets the chance to jump out of an airplane, and I don’t have to worry about how we’re going to pay for it.

7. He looks really hot in his dress blues.  :)

8. Free gym, free library (no overdue fees!), free health insurance, free parking at the beach.

9. I get to experience “firsts” every time my Marine comes home; we get a fresh chance at our first kiss, our first cry, our first date, our first parenting drama….

10. I have the pride and joy of knowing that my husband is serving and protecting our country, and that is my favorite thing of all.  My heart swells every time I think of who he is, what he stands for, and how he sacrifices for our freedom.

If you’re the wife of the military, what’s your top ten, or at least top one?"Top Ten Tuesday"

A Stepping Stone

Last night I was reminded that, unlike the postmodernist, I believe in a meta-narrative.  “Meta” means larger, or overarching, and “narrative,” of course, means story.  The overarching story is God’s story, and I might not have read every chapter or understand each phrase, but I know He’s written it and I’m part of it.

That said, I often forget my role in God’s story.  This blog, I must admit, was my idea, my scheme really, and though I like to tell myself its goal is to help people, I truly and secretly hoped it would become an income and propel me into fame.  I want to publish a book, and perhaps this could be my springboard.

But last night, I was reminded that my goal is to be a stepping stone.  I have found my place in God’s story, and my ultimate purpose in life is to enjoy that role that He has given me, to bring glory to Him and what He has written, and to introduce His story to those who have not yet encountered it.  In that vein, my story is not isolated from others’ stories, and, in fact, my story derives its importance only as it leads people to the Great Storyteller Himself.

So your story is important to me.  If you would, share a little with me.  Send me an e-mail or post a comment below.  I want to know about how you have discovered your place in God’s story, or, perhaps, why you don’t believe you  have a role to play.  You are important, and I need your story as much as I hope you need mine.

Time Changes

I think when you become a mom, your body clock does this weird shift.  The biggest indicator of the shift in my life has been my desire to go to bed early.  Before pregnancy, 11:00 seemed an average, if not somewhat early, bedtime.  Now, even with a nap, I begin feeling tired before 9:00.

The other indicator of the “mom shift” in my life displayed itself admirably this morning: Wayne left for work at some unholy hour, at which point Naomi woke up, he brought her to me, and we both fell back asleep.  What seemed (and very well may have been) hours later, I awoke feeling as if I’d overslept, and had, in fact, gotten TOO much sleep.  Do you know the feeling?  It’s almost like a headache, almost like a bachache, and you don’t really want to get out of bed even though it doesn’t really feel good anymore to lie there.  Not a fun feeling.  So I finally roused myself, Naomi & I got dressed, and the two of us meandered out to the kitchen for breakfast.  Lo and behold, it was all of 7:18 am!!  Wow.

At least I then felt the freedom to talk myself out of feeling over-slept.  :)

TGIF

Brief posting today, as my little girl has been napping for two hours and will wake up at any moment.

I’m just realizing how thankful I am for all the traditions I have been involved in over my lifetime, how those traditions have shaped and encouraged me, and how many of them originated with Big Mommy.  At the very least, we could say that the tradition of having traditions began because her heart longed for her family to all stay connected.  Miracle of miracles, we have!

Some traditions held fondly in my memory:

Sunday morning Dunkin’ Donuts were Dad’s special treat, and then he started making homemade chocolate chip pancakes instead.  YUM!

“Friday chores.”  Our weekly chore chart instructed that certain tasks (vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms) happened weekly…on Friday.  Thus, “Friday chores.”

Mom in her rocker reading aloud as we folded laundry each evening.  I remember particularly the Redwall books, and Laddie.

The original tradition of choosing all three meals on our birthdays, which later morphed into Cream Cheese Braids for breakfast, whether you like it or not.  We all liked it.

Stopping at the blue rock on the way to Big Mommy’s house, and then having lunch a couple hours later at the Suwanee River park.  Expecting cookies and other treats to be waiting in the cookie jars, and Big Mommy herself to come out squealing, “Look who’s here!”

Waking up to the sound of traffic through the screened windows, then hopping out of bed to go feed the cows before breakfast.

Breakfast at Big Mommy’s: biscuits (or “biscuit,” which was her version of the plural), bacon, eggs, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and yummy palmetto honey.

So many memories, so many repeated memories.  That’s what tradition really is, I suppose.  Memories that are repeated continually and ingrain themselves in our personality, our life, our essence.

I miss Big Mommy, but her traditions are part of me forever.

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday by Amy’s Finer Things."Finer Things Friday"

Death and New Life

Long ago and far away, three girlfriends and I formed the “Walk to Remember Club” after seeing the above movie.  We had cried together during the movie, but more importantly, we ourselves had taken a walk to remember.  I still keep in touch with those girls, though our walks are now spread across the world.

Though I do not necessarily endorse Nicholas Sparks’ books or movies, my husband and I recently watched another.  It reminded me of “A Walk to Remember” because in the end, one of the lovers dies.  It seems that in almost all of his stories, Nicholas Sparks begins with two individuals, creates a romance between then, and then must lose one in order to redeem the individual who is left.  “Why does someone always have to die?” I asked my husband.

Then I remembered that today we celebrate not only Jesus’ resurrection, but also the fact that He died for His bride.  The ultimate story of love features a barren woman, lost and ashamed, courted by the Bridegroom of all bridegrooms, who then comes to the world in human form and, believe it or not, dies.  And it is only through this death that we have hope and life and a love that surpasses life and death.

Speaking of new life, my seeds sprouted this week.  And that reminded me again of the concept that death brings life: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)  My seeds died, and now I have beautiful evidence of the life that comes from that very death!

Praise the Lord, our risen Redeemer!

Baby tomato plants.

In Which I Like Gardening

So, for the first time ever, I have truly tried my hand at gardening, and I love it!  First, I started off the morning by planting tomato and corn seeds in egg cartons:Planting seeds in egg cartons.The tomato seeds should take about eight weeks before they’re ready to transplant, and the corn should be ready in two or three weeks.  The next step, garden-wise, is to get the actual plot ready for planting, so we can go ahead and plant some beans and potatoes!!!  Yummmmmm……

Next gardening adventure: I repotted a butterfly bush that we bought my daughter for her birthday.  We aren’t sure how long we’ll be living here, so I figured keeping it potted for a while would be the wisest option.  :)   While I was at it, and with the little bit of potting soil I had left, I also planted one of my onions that had sprouted.  The other plants in the picture were already potted; the flowers in the white pot were my daughter’s birthday party project, which all the kiddies got to take home.  She, at one year old, contentedly drew all over her pot with purple and pink markers.New plants lined up.And a close-up of the “Kaleidescope Butterfly Bush”:Little Girl's butterfly bush.And what it will look like one day….Picture and link to purchase Kaleidescope Butterly BushHooray for flowers and vegetables and getting my hands dirty in God’s good soil!  I like gardening.