Friday, March 21, 2014

Freaky Friday?... Nah! Fantastic Friday!




     I am changing it up today.  I love my Freaky Friday, but today is more of a Fantastic Friday so I am going with that!

     I have not felt good all week.  All of my health issues decided to flare at once and I have just felt awful.  I just rested and rode it out and after going to bed early last night I woke up feeling so much better.  I have learned when I have those bad days I have to just stop and drink tons of water and eat healthy and it will pass.  I am so glad it did because we have a lot of fun things going on this weekend and I don't want to miss any of it.

     My boys are having friends over and that is always fun.  They have the sweetest, most polite friends and it is always a good weekend when they have them over.  I let them take over the house and they eat, play video games, eat, play basketball, eat, ride the golf cart, and did I mention eat?!  I love watching growing boys eat.  It is almost a sport, but I like to see them eat.  They always do enough to work it off so it evens out.  In a few weeks my mom's pool next door will be ready so they can add swimming to their activity list!

     My dad had his second series of treatment this week so I am sure part of my feeling better is knowing he has this past week behind him.  It may hit him today and tomorrow and he may feel really bad like last time, but we know he will be better next week before he has to do it again the week after next.  They put him in the hospital for the 24 hour treatment, but they are very close to home and I think it really helps keeping him checked on and getting fluids during those hard hours.  It takes some off of my mom knowing he is being carefully watched while getting that heavy dose.  It just hopefully gets us one step closer to having him in remission for the stem cell transplant.  That is going to be hard, but every day is hopefully one step closer to having him healed.

     I love my Facebook. It is fun and I love being connected with so many family members and friends.  I am on there probably too much, but for some reason I looked at it not long after I woke up. I hardly ever do that.  When I feel that urge to look there is usually something I see that is important so I figure it is my intuition and I just go with it!  That was the case this morning!

     I have a dear, dear friend I love very much.  Our families have been friends for years.  Her dad delivered me, my sister and brother.  Her brother and my aunt were best friends in high school and still very close and I babysat her children and nephew.  There is just a friendship and love between our families that has been there for years.  She has so bravely fought ovarian cancer and recently had a recurrence in a lymph node.  She has fought this so hard and the treatments have definitely been a test.  But cancer messed with the wrong lady!  Right there on top of my newsfeed very first thing this morning I read she is in remission!  I felt such a relief for her and her sweet family.  She has been such a source of strength for many people going through their own battle.  As a lifelong educator, she is still educating, God is just using the gift He gave her of educating and encouraging others in such a special way.  During her own fight she has been a constant comfort to me while watching my dad fight.  I love this woman and her courage and I am very proud of her!  I know how happy her sweet family has to be right now.

     I guess I better get off my computer and get on with this Fantastic, Blessed Friday!  I am so thankful for every day with family and friends.  Things are not always easy but God is always there.  I have always heard that God doesn't give us more than we can handle and "if He brings us to it, He can bring us through it."  I have recently seen or heard many times something different that makes more sense.  God does give us more than we can handle because He doesn't want us to handle it ourselves but depend on Him.  I think this makes perfect sense.  The more I let go and let God, the more things just fall into place.  Not only is it better than me trying to make things work out, it is so much more peaceful.  Try it.  Let go and let God.  It is so freeing and has so much better results!

Happy, Happy Friday and I hope you have a great, blessed weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cancer Symptoms Women Might Miss



Cancer Symptoms Women Might Miss



     I just happened to see this article today and it has a lot of really good information.  Parents stay so busy and often times don't notice things we might should about our health or if we do happen to notice something we might pass it off as something else or be afraid to address it.  When my dad found his lump in the collarbone area it was last January and our family had passed around a cold.  He thought the nodes were swollen because of being sick but when they were still there a few weeks later he brought it up at a regular doctor visit. 

     A lot of times we notice things that don't feel right.  It is scary when we do, but many times it is something bothersome but not serious.  This article did a good job of listing other health issues that could cause the problems. My kids know my favorite saying is "better safe than sorry."  We should always get things checked out just to be safe.  If it is serious, the sooner the better and if it isn't serious it is still something that might prevent you from enjoying all the things around you that make life worth living.

     I was diagnosed a few months ago with Interstitial Cystitis.  It is a very painful bladder condition.  The pain feels like pelvic pain and is often hard to diagnose.  My doctor that is treating me for it told me it can take some women 3-5 years of living with it before they find out it is IC.  I thought mine was ovarian cysts. It definitely affects my quality of life, but I am being treated now that I know what it is and I have greatly improved.  Some health issues aren't fun to talk about, but sometimes sharing information is helpful to someone else suffering.  This is the best link for IC:  http://www.ichelp.org/
There are many foods and drinks that affect this condition.

     If you are interested, just click on the title or the highlighted word article above and it will take you to the article.


     A little humor never hurt anyone.




 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Freaky Friday..... Scary Kids




     I found this today and it fits in with creepy kids and things they say that freak me out.

When You See What These Kids Said, You'll Want To Run. Number 5 Is Horrifying.







...

           m.tickld.com




     Just in this last week one of my kids, I won't say which one asked me, "How much money does a hit man make?"  I am not joking.  I don't even remember what I said but, I haven't slept really good since.  I am sure it was just a hypothetical question.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Ring!




     It's not what you think.  Most girls dream about their proposal and wedding from as early as they know what a proposal and wedding are.  The ring I am talking about is what most boys dream about.  Especially high school boys.  Especially football players.  AND, their dads from the moment they know they are having a son.

     I am not talking about the NFL, but my 17 year old son's high school football team won the state championship and they got their rings last night.  This is a great group of young men and it was a lot of fun watching their excitement as they saw their ring for the first time.  It is also a proud moment for parents.  I am proud of my son in a lot of ways, but he had a great season.

     He was so much fun to watch play this past season because of his love and heart for the game.  He is a great player, but most importantly, he is a team player.  He is one of those that gets everyone pumped up when they need it.  He plays offensive guard so his position doesn't get much attention.  They are crucial for scoring, but don't always get a lot of credit.  He had a game during the season that was on a public tv channel and we got texts at the game from people at home watching because his name was announced a few times.  It happened again during the state championship game. That was really great for him because sometimes the linemen don't get a lot of praise.  He works hard, though.  He doesn't miss a practice and won't tell you most of the time if he is hurting.  He had an ankle sprain during the season and I knew he was hurting because he normally just sucks it up and keeps going.

     He is just a junior so he has another high school season.  My best advice to him is to enjoy every minute of the next year.  He has a huge heart for the sport, but he has an even bigger heart for the Lord. I am proud of him for so many things, but he wants to be a youth minister and that goal is what I am most proud of.  He is a great kid and I am sure God has some really great things ahead for him.  I always joke about his appetite.  Because he is so active, he eats A LOT.  It doesn't matter where he is and what meal it is, he is going to pray before he eats.

      All three of my kids are practically grown and so much taller than me.  I love when I get a glimpse of their childhood faces and ways.  I still know when he is in deep thought.  I was in his truck with him the other day and I saw that little boy for a second.  He did something that he used to do all the time when he was little with his ear and it was like he was 5 again for just a couple of sweet seconds.  It is always so sweet when he sits down in the den to eat a meal or snack.  I try not to let him see me watching, but he sits down and closes his eyes and prays before he eats.

     He has very strong convictions and a very strong faith and it is what makes him Shane.  I have been watching him the last couple of years and I am not surprised at all in what he wants to do when he is older.  He is an amazing role model to his little cousins and his whole family couldn't be more proud of him.  He was holding my brother's little girl one day and she was so funny.  He was holding and hugging her and she kept saying, "Stop" while all the time grinning and leaning into him. She loved it, but didn't want to act like it.  He knew and just smiled back and kept hugging her!


This was taken right after the game.  He was so excited.  He was in a daze the rest of the night.  He
played a great game!  When we got home we watched the game on tv. I had recorded it and was so glad I did.  We got to see and hear the announcer replaying the play he was praised for. 











This was taken last night at the ring ceremony.  They showed a highlight video, the head coach spoke, and it was just a great night for all of the boys.  He wore his ring from last year, but this year's ring 
has a whole different meaning for him.




Pretty handsome, huh?

I am so proud of you and love you very much, Shane.  You are going to be such a positive influence and greatly impact the lives of the kids you will mentor in the future.  You have heard God calling you to minister to young kids and I can't imagine you doing anything you would be better at or more rewarding.








***I have a great audience and I am trying to broaden it a bit.  If you haven't clicked on the side buttons to vote for me I would really appreciate it.  The buttons are the top one for Mommy Hot Spots and the bottom one for Top Mommy Bloggers.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I appreciate all of my views.  I have some posts in the future that I would like to reach as many readers 
as I can.  


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We Need James Bond and Batman




    My paranoia is working over time, but how in the world do you lose a whole, big plane?  I am not being funny, there are a lot of families just scared and frustrated that they can't find loved ones.  I just don't understand with all the technology there is today how something that big disappears?!

     We have all kinds of tracking devices. This plane wasn't a small, private one, so it had to have some kind of clearance or communication before taking off.  They said this morning family members are calling cell phones and they are ringing, but not being answered.  They acted like that didn't mean anything, but it doesn't really sound right.

     I saw something the other day on the news about new gps tracking for police.  Something shoots out all James Bond style out of the front of the police car and sticks to the car they are following.  There is a video you can watch to see this new Batman form of a police chase.

     It is almost scary the way people can track you now.  It am just freaked out by On Star.  At just the push of a button, someone answers, "Hello, Ms. Robinson, how are you today?"  It was always creepy when my kids were younger because I always wondered if they ever listened in. I was the opposite of most parents.  Instead of getting them in the car to discipline them in fear of being seen and judged, I would take them OUT of the car so I couldn't be heard!  I never did anything to hide, but one day I was at the grocery store and one of the kids acted awful the whole time we were in there.  I got them to the parking lot and fussed at him while getting him in the car.  This old man looked at me like I was the worst mom in the world.  He was going into the store and I just said, "You should have been in there sooner when he kept running from me." And then I think I said to myself, "like you have EVER been in the store by yourself with little ones, and if so you can't probably remember."  That was mean, I know, but I hate it when people judge when they have no idea about the situation.

Of  course, this wasn't the man and I was probably being a little paranoid that day.  I have always hated disciplining my kids in public, but this one went through a phase of trying to run from me.  I am sure the look wasn't really this bad, but it felt like it.



      I'll be honest, if I was an On Star worker and got bored I would probably feel tempted to do a little checking in on people.  Wouldn't you?  My luck I would hear a mafia hit or something and be REALLY paranoid they knew I knew. I wouldn't hear some couple in an entertaining argument, I would hear something awful and out of nervousness hit the button that talks to them. And if they are really good mafia, they would be able to reverse track me on On Star.  Good thing I am in my own little world and don't often come out of it.

     Seriously, though, I hope they find the plane soon.  This has to be awful for the families.  It just doesn't make sense.  If they can track volcanoes in the ocean surely they can find a plane.  They are covering a large area looking so maybe these families will have some answers soon.  I am going to say what has been said a million times, but when are they going to start making planes out of what they make the black box out of?  Which in this case, is missing too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Not Okay




     I consider The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Real Housewives series, and many other reality shows guilty pleasures.  It is crazy to try to make sense of any of them.  I think sometimes we get maybe a glimpse of the full picture, but editing makes the show more fun.  We have to realize these are real people with real feelings, but nobody forced them to put themselves out there.

     There have been good bachelors and bachelorettes and there have been bad bachelors and bachelorettes.  Then, you have Juan Pablo.  Not only did his accent and phrases lose their appeal towards the end, we ended up with what seems to be a  fake.  I know these girls are optimistic and looking for love, but anyone with any heart hates to see a girl taken advantage of and mistreated. Not only was Sharleen above him as far as maturity, but she ran circles around him intellectually.



the-bachelor-juan-pablo-girls-first-impression-rose-ftr
that'swhatwesaid

    
    It is unrealistic to think you can find true love this way.  It has worked for a slim few, but it would be hard enough to find someone new, fall in love and get engaged in a few short months.  You add in the fact that there are 20 something other girls around and it is a crazy idea. Everyone got upset with Juan Pablo because he used Clare and must have said something vulgar and offensive to her, then wouldn't say he loved Nikki.  I really don't want to take up for him in any way, but Nikki's dad said he wouldn't give his blessing until Juan Pablo came back and knew 100% she was the one and only for him.  He didn't want to say "I love you" until he was sure.  To be fair, if I thought he was being cautious and respectful I could see where he didn't propose and didn't say he loved her in that small amount of time, but I think it is just an excuse in his case.  It was a little hard to feel sorry for Clare because if he was as rude as she said he was right before they got out of the helicopter then she should have done like Andi and left.  By the way, I am excited to have an Atlanta girl that won't put up with any nonsense as the next bachelorette.

     Yesterday I posted about the #banbossy idea.  I was telling my 20 year old daughter about it and she said she wasn't sure she agreed with it. She said that sometimes girls come across rude with bossiness and we owe it to them to tell them.  I can definitely see that point, but I really think the purpose of banning the word bossy is to encourage young girls to be confident and independent.  Being rude is a whole other word and that behavior shouldn't be encouraged.  My daughter really had me thinking and I wondered if I was seeing it correctly.  THEN, I watch The Bachelor and see two girls clearly lacking self esteem and desperately need to speak up.  Clare did at the end, but she would have said yes if he had proposed.  Anger caused her to speak up not self esteem.

     It wasn't completely the girls' fault.  He was very confusing.  He didn't want to kiss anyone because of his daughter and he didn't want to kiss Renee because she has a son. But, he went to her home for the hometown date and sent her home after meeting her son!  He also pounced on the fantasy suite dates.  This was really bad since he had given Clare a hard time after their night in the ocean.

     Juan Pablo is clearly a confused little boy trapped in a rather attractive man's body. His hot factor had cooled off by the end of the season, though.  I just feel for the girls, especially Nikki who he continues to make a fool of.  What bothers me most is that he is raising a daughter and clearly doesn't have much respect for women.


 
 
I wonder what he is referring to?  Awwww, it's okay.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

#banbossy



     I don't jump on every popular bandwagon but when something grabs my attention a few times in a short period I take notice.  There is a movement going on right now called #banbossy.

     As women, we have either been called bossy or have called another female bossy at some point in our lives.  Unfortunately, most of the time when we have either been called or called someone else bossy it was at a young age.  The problem?  Besides the fact that this term isn't usually used with boys, it sends a girl the message she needs to back up and be quiet.  It isn't seen in a positive way as such words like confident and independent are viewed.  Bossy goes along with negative ideas as such as controlling and mean.  I have a 20 year old daughter, one nine year old niece and two four year old nieces.  I am proud to say all four of them are confident and know how to express their wants and needs.  I am also pretty sure they have been called bossy probably by the 7 boys we have in our family ranging from 3 years old to almost 18 years old.  Don't get me wrong, the boys in our family love our girls and are very protective of them.  As much as we need to ban this word for our girls, it is important our boys learn the difference also.





     The biggest reason we need to ban this word is because we want to encourage our girls to be leaders and independent.  Society doesn't have a right to stifle their assertiveness with a word that is related to negative ideas.  If we take advantage of learning to take this word out of our vocabulary, we also have a great opportunity to teach boys at a young age respect for women and their leadership traits.

     Just to take it a step further, boys should encourage the girls in their life to speak up.  Too often in a situation where there is domestic abuse or in any way a man is being disrespectful to a woman, some women may be afraid to speak up and their sons (as well as daughters) don't see these women having respect for themselves and demanding it from those putting them down and even physically hurting them.  Kids learn from example and we need to teach our girls to stand up for themselves while showing boys they will do so.

     The whole idea of #banbossy is to replace the word bossy with words such as independent, confident, brave, and leadership.  You can go to Blogher and read more about this.  The next part of this movement is to tell a personal story about being called bossy when you were showing leadership and in charge skills.  When I was in elementary school, me and a group of friends wanted to start a club.  I just kind of made myself president and came up with the rules.  Some of the boys didn't care for my assertiveness, but they couldn't stand it, and it wasn't long before they wanted to be a part of the club.  When I was a senior in high school, I was President of the Beta Club.  I guess those days in elementary school prepared me for my later days in high school.


This is the official website:  http://banbossy.com/  There are very inspirational videos and
Instagram photos for this campaign. See which stars are participating.



                                     


     If you are confident enough, being called bossy didn't stop you, but why take that chance with our young girls today.  Let's just #banbossy!     Why?       Because I said so!  Haha!


What is your personal bossy story?  Did it inspire you or cause you to step back?  Did you call someone else bossy and wish you could take it back?










Sunday, March 9, 2014

WEIRD, But No Coinkidinks




     I said a couple of posts ago I don't believe in coincidences, and I don't.  I don't know how you would spell it, but my sister calls them coinkidinks.  I think our God works in mysterious ways, not haphazardly.

     The preacher who did the service for Donald (my relative that passed away last month) told an interesting story at the service.  He is my grandparents' preacher. They are my mom's parents and Donald was on my dad's side.

     Donald's office sits right in front of a local city hall.  The preacher came out of that city hall one day when a man in the parking lot (Donald) asked for his help.  His cell phone wasn't working at the moment.  This preacher got to know Donald that day, then later found out he was a relative of ours.  Some of us had known Paul, the preacher, for a few years, but Donald had not met him until that day.  He said he had no idea that day he would meet this man and later do his funeral service.  It is a story that sticks in my mind because God is always working and if we pay attention, we see Him everywhere and in everything we do.

     I went to Lifeway bookstore the other day to get mom and dad some books and crossword puzzles to have while my dad is going through his treatments.  There will be periods of time in the hospital and at home that they will need to pass the time.  Especially for my mom if dad is in the hospital and sleeping.  I did a book discussion on The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel a while back on this blog.  I had some private messages and some private participation, but I really enjoyed reading the book and the questions it prompted me to ask myself.  While looking for books I found two more books by this author.  I didn't hesitate buying both of them.  I started reading the one titled Weird this morning and just finished it a few hours later.  I was trying to explain some revelations I have had over the last year, but didn't feel like I quite expressed what I wanted to.  This book is exactly what I was talking about.  I started reading it and couldn't stop because it completely confirmed the feelings I have about my relationship with God.  It hasn't been good enough for me and the book did a much better job explaining my thoughts while giving me a lot of useful information.  The title is Weird and the author, who is a preacher, challenges us to be "weird".  In his words, normal isn't working so we need to be weird.  As soon as you begin reading the book, you understand what he means by this.




     The author gives his own stories, but examples in the Bible as well to express his ideas about checking on our relationship with God.  There are so many thought provoking ideas such as the idea that God doesn't give us more than we can handle isn't exactly right.  He wants us to need Him.  He won't let you be tempted without a way out, but He wants us to learn to depend on Him rather than ourselves.  The book addresses our busy lives and how we can help others.  It talks about blessings and what we consider burdens.  I love the way this author expresses his thoughts.

     This is in no way a paid critique nor do I benefit in any way from others buying the book.  I have tried to talk myself into using my blog that way, and I have joined a few programs, but I don't want to be obligated to write a post about a product when there is something else I want to write about.  I like helping others and if someone asks me to talk about a product I will let them put it on my facebook page or I might mention it with the hopes that I will broaden my audience but my blog is too special to me and I want to be able to write what I want to. If someone mentions my blog on their website in any way, I will do the same in return out of appreciation. In my Thanksgiving post, the lady that I had as a guest post contacted me and asked me to collaborate with her.  I made sure it really was her and saw that she had asked a number of other bloggers to do the same. I did it, but she was just going to put our posts on Twitter to get us a little more traffic.  Easy, innocent, and fair enough. I found she didn't put anything on Twitter and I was a little concerned about the links after I lost a little faith in her word.  I just don't like to be taken advantage of so I deleted her part.  I may at some point take my blog in a more advertising direction, but right now I like the freedom of saying what I truly believe in and what interests me to write about. 

     I found this book at just the right time and not only did it explain what I was trying to say so much better, it taught me a lot and thought it might do the same for others.  If there is interest in another book discussion I would love to do another one.  In the meantime, the book is entertaining as well as informative.  There are chapters that are helpful for parents in dealing with the topic of sex with your kids. I am also very excited about reading the other book, Soul Detox.

     I don't believe in coincidences and I really believe I was led to this book this past week.  Groeschel adds a few quotes to the book to get his point across.  Here are a few:

"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you."
Robert Fulghum


"Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don't believe they should be given homework."
Bill Cosby


"No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else."
Charles Dickens


"Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection."
Martin Luther King Jr.


Let me know if you read this book or if anyone would like to do a discussion on it.  I would like to know your thoughts on keeping a close relationship with God with our busy lives.  We know what is most important, but can get lost.  What do you do to keep God first?


Friday, March 7, 2014

Alright, Alright, Alright!



I got this in an email today.


NOAH'S ARK LESSON


Noah's Ark:  Everything I needed to know, I learned from Noah's Ark.

ONE:  Don't miss the boat.

TWO:  Remember that we are all in the same boat!

THREE:  Plan ahead.  It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR:  Stay fit.  When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE:  Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX:  Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN:  For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT:  Speed isn't always an advantage.  The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE:  When you're stressed, float awhile.

TEN:  Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN:  No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.



                                          Sheffield



     I am behind on so many movies.  I want to see Son of God and then, when it comes out soon, Noah's Ark.  I love movies and have some catching up to do.  Speaking of movies, I didn't watch the Oscars this year.  I like to watch it, especially seeing what everyone is wearing, but I missed it this year. I love Ellen and I bet she did a great job.  She cracks me up! I also love the speeches.  I caught some of them on Monday morning.


     Of course Jared Leto talking about his young single mom in the early years just made me want to cry.  He had such a sincere and gracious message.   Matthew McConaughey had to have the best speech in Oscar history.  In my opinion, what makes a good speech for such an award is thanking God.  (Check!  He did that first.)  Next, acknowledging those at home who support you. (Check! This is the part of his speech that got him a little choked up.)  Then, show humility. (Check! His story about chasing the man he wants to become was really good!).  I like stories in a speech.  I know the winners are overwhelmed and in shock and are just trying not to forget anyone, but Matthew completely kept his composure.  The story about his dad showed his down to earth, genuine side.

      Hey, I am a huge fan of his anyway.  He could have gotten up there, gave that smile, and said "Alright, alright, alright" in his sweet southern accent, walked off stage, and he would have impressed me but he showed his true character (ha, ha, no pun intended!) when he spoke.  That sweet accent was just the sugar on top!


                                                  Matthew









Thursday, March 6, 2014

Let Me Be Clear

    I want to elaborate a little on what I wrote yesterday.  First of all, I don't feel like I have to take my blog in any certain direction anymore.  I normally write about what is on my mind at the time and that is what I enjoy and will continue to do.  The title of my blog makes it appear to be just about single motherhood, but it is my life as a single mom.  It is how I see things through the experiences
I have had becoming and being a single mom.  I enjoy writing about different things and not being limited.

     Part of me felt like I needed to give more information and put more emphasis on being a single parent.  I could use this as a place for resources and my experiences with the legal system, but I really don't want to do that.  Putting it bluntly, the system sucks and there isn't much anyone can do about it.  What we can do is focus on the big picture and let God handle our worries.  My faith and prayers will do a lot more good than any resources I can give because the system is unpredictable.  God is not.  I prayed and thought I was being a good Christian, but looking back I would have saved myself a lot of frustration if I had just given it up to God.  He took care of us anyway.  The way things unfolded, a year ago today the kids were able to change their last names to mine.  The way we were given a judge that was not supposed to be our judge that day to being put in a small court room with only one other case that day it was completely evident God was in control.  Some things have happened since that day last year that have showed us even more that God was taking care of us all along.

     It was about a week after this day in court we found out my dad had Hodgkins Lymphoma. During this last year, I have done more thinking on a spiritual level than I have at any other time in my life.  I have looked back at many times in my life and have seen things in a whole different way than I did at the time.

    My dad lost both of his parents to terrible, painful cancer deaths.  The last word I heard my grandfather say was my name.  I can still see the pain in his eyes, but him trying not to let me know how much he was hurting.  My grandmother was very brave, but her last year was just awful.  They weren't offered hope with their illnesses.  Maybe an inch with my grandmother, but my grandfathers was very fast once we knew what was wrong.  My dad has been given a lot of hope.  They are still trying to cure him and if it doesn't work there are options that have kept people around for years. He has started the process this week for a stem cell transplant using his own cells. We are not anywhere near the first or last to have to go through this.  It is going to be a hard process for my dad and very hard for us to see him go through it.  When the fear and sadness hit I just tell myself this is in God's hands and plan.  What is scary and new to us isn't to God.  We just have to trust and know that all of this is happening for a reason and it will be ok because it is His will.  I don't believe my dad is done here, I think God is taking us in a different direction and I just want to pay attention.

     I wanted to clear up that while I have had some ideas become very clear to me, I am not or was not before a complete Christian idiot.  I knew before that my life is for God and I have a purpose here.  I have known all my life that the goal is to get to Heaven. I have just had things become very specific and crystal clear.  Being a parent, especially a single one, I am like everyone else.  I know these things, but life gets in the way.  There are daily activities we have to do, I have just had the light bulb come on that I let some things in those daily activities cloud my purpose of being on this earth.  I want my house to be clean because of health reasons, but there are some things that just don't matter.  My kids have to do their homework, bills have to be paid, but there are many things in the day that really can wait.

     God just wants us to give each day to Him.  Things can't be so busy that we don't include Him in our day.  I need to wake up, give my day to God, and keep Him with me all day.  Just praying before dinner and going to sleep isn't enough.  If we start our day with God and talk to Him during the day like we do our family and friends, then He will make sure those "have to" activities fall into place.  I will go back to this many times in future posts especially as we go through this difficult time, I just wanted to say that there is a difference in how we keep God with us daily and how we keep Him with us all day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This is the day that the LORD has made...

     I have taken a bit of a break from my blog.  I have been thinking about the direction I want to take with it.  I believe everything happens for a reason and I think everything I have gone through being a single mom happened for a reason.  There is something I am supposed to do with my experiences with just being a single mom and my miserable experiences with the court system.  I don't know what I am supposed to do with it, but I do know there was a purpose in everything me and my kids have been through.

     I really enjoy talking about my family.  I get worried about the safety issues of placing pictures and stories of my nieces and nephews, but they are just too dang cute not to post pictures!  I don't think telling about our fun adventures would be the same without their pretty faces as a visual.

     We have been through a lot this past year with my dad and are about to begin another process with him which will hopefully and prayerfully end this battle.  If it doesn't cure him, there are other options but we are praying to beat it this time.

    Life is hard and there are always obstacles along the way.  I love writing on this blog because I usually just write about what I am feeling or what is going on at the time.  I get inspired by issues, my family, and TV.

     My dad has many phrases and sayings.  It is always funny hearing my kids and nieces and nephews repeating those phrases. Sometimes he will say, "I have had an epiphany, if you will..."  That saying is one of my favorite!  Using his words, because of the things I have been through in the last few years, "I have had an epiphany, if you will."  I turned 43 last month and I have had an awakening.  I feel kind of stupid saying this has just became clear to me, but it has. 

     My family has had a rough few weeks.  We had to place a family member (that was technically a cousin, but much more like a grandfather) into hospice at the beginning of these last few weeks.  Although his mind hadn't been right in well over a year and a half, he was still with us. The roughest part of the last few weeks began in the last week of January. In the span of 14 days we went to the hospital with this family member knowing we were going to lose him at any time to putting him in hospice, my dad found out his Hodgkin's Lymphoma was back, to our "grandfather" passing away, having his funeral service, my parents flying to Houston to make sure my dad was aware of all options out there at MD Anderson to them returning home finding out that the best place for his treatment is here at home.  When I look back at those 14 days, to be completely honest, I just get sick at my stomach.  We are very thankful that my parents are able to be home for dad's treatment, that was the very bright light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

     My parents don't even go on vacation without us so thinking about them being away at the worst time of their lives was just awful to say the least.  If that is what we needed to do, we would have, but thankfully the best place for dad is here.  They are still trying to cure him and are very, very positive, but we just wanted to make sure what was out there and have peace in knowing we had a second opinion. Fortunately, there is a lot they can do for him and we definitely have a hard process ahead of us, but there may be a great outcome and if not there are other options. 


     Through these past few weeks, we have had some very deep conversations with each other and a lot of prayer.  I don't believe in coincidences and we have had things happen that just confirms what we already knew, God is in control.  This is where my epiphany comes in.  Life is hard.  It is also very busy.  It is filled with to do lists and work and raising kids and just so much going on.  There are times we remind ourselves of the big picture, but then our kid forgot they had a project due the next
day or the many other things happen that put us right back into the daily activities and the big picture fades away.  With losing our family member, the idea that this world is a stepping stone to get to Heaven became very real and clear to me.

     I have recently put this in perspective.  We have to work to provide for our families, but our main goal is to live like we are supposed to in this life to get to Heaven.  I know A LOT of people are way ahead of me on this one, but it is a huge relief to know that most everything I can stress about here really does not matter.  My dad's dad was also full of sayings and his best one was "A hundred years from now, no one will know the difference."  He would always say that when we were fussing about something that really did not matter.  It is very liberating to just let go of all the little things.

     I am one of those people that believe in "the principle of things."  If I don't feel something is right, I have to speak up loudly and say it isn't right.  I also speak just as loudly when I make a mistake.  It will drive me crazy when I do something that I realize might not have been right and I will work until I make it right.  So, this letting go thing might be a little hard for me at times.  

     I am still not sure what I am supposed to do with my experiences, but I have an idea.  I can't change anything.  I can work every single hour trying to make our system right, but it won't work.  Especially in my area.  We are so behind there is no way to make a dent in the process.  The only judge I have any respect for is the one who changed the kids' last name.  Not because we got our way but because he listened to them and validated the fact that they had been mistreated.  He gave them the respect of letting them take control of the situation.  That is all we wanted was for someone to listen, and he did.  The others just don't really care but I can rest in the fact that one day they will be judged on how they have treated many, many kids.  That judgment is the only one that really matters
anyway.  The only, and most important, thing I can do is pray for and with these women (and men) who aren't treated fairly.  Whether it be through volunteer work or something else, helping them on a spiritual level will make a difference and in the end it is what truly matters anyway.


     Everything we do in this life is working towards the next and working for God.  If I keep in my mind and heart to use every day that The Lord has given me for Him everything else will fall into place.  Like I said before, there are many who have already had this epiphany, but that is ok.  It isn't something you can tell someone, they really have to come to this idea on their own for it to make a difference.

     My daughter's favorite saying is "Everything happens for a reason."  I definitely believe it.  We
may have surprises in life, good or bad, but they aren't surprises to God.  I can say I have honestly paid as much, if not more, attention to my many, many blessings as we are going through this rough time.  I remind myself each day that "This is the day that the LORD has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it."



Have you had this epiphany?  (You won't make me feel bad, I promise!  I would love to hear about it and I am pretty certain it will be appreciated by others as well.)