What I Want for Christmas | Life through my Eight-year old Eyes

I want to see my life through my eight-year old eyes. Relive it or perhaps watch it once more as though watching a movie.


I want to see my grandparents old trailer back where it stood all of my 34 years.

I want to see the pussy willow tree back by the edge of the old driveway and feel its soft blossoms and then get in trouble when I tried to climb around within it.

I want to sit under the shade of the pear tree on a hot Sunday afternoon on the old rusty glider with its white paint chipping.

I want to ride my pink bike with the big banana seat up the gravel road and soar up the small hill behind the corncrib and weave in and out of the lilac trees.

I want to smell the combination of fried chicken, homemade rolls, homemade noodles and baked beans drifting through my grandma’s open windows.

I want to stand beside my grandma in the kitchen as she teaches me how to roll and cut those homemade noodles.

I want to sit on my grandpa’s lap and play the marble game of Aggravation on the wooden game board he made.

I want to play whiffle ball with my cousins and cards with my aunts.

I want to explore through the old vacant log house and spit grapes at my cousins.

I want to hear the laughter of a family that use to be and will never be again.

I want to jump off the old green porch and relive the lazy days of those slow Sunday afternoons.

I want to taste my grandma’s fried bread and laugh at and with my cousins.

I want to run through the clean sheets swaying in the breeze as they hang on the line.

I want to see my grandpa’s old garage and all his old license plates hanging on the door.

I want to lie on grandma’s old couch on a hot summer’s day while she watches her stories.

I want to make a big mess playing house with my cousin for hours and hours and laugh at my aunt who cleans it up the moment we stop to eat.

I want to taste my grandma’s homemade gravy that was so good, I would eat it with just bread.

I want everyone to come together around a small tabletop Christmas tree and exchange small gifts and enjoy being together.

I want to see my grandpa get mad at losing a game of yahtzee and throw the dice behind the stove and catch grandma cheating at a game of cards.

I want to taste grandma’s homemade meatloaf and help her make homemade coleslaw.

I want to help grandma snap beans and watch grandpa make sauerkraut.

I want to play in the snow with my grandpa and ‘roll’ it over the hills in his old red car.

I want to call home sick from school and then go for ice cream when grandpa picks me up.

I want grandma to chase us around the yard threatening to whack us with a pancake turner for saying something bad that she taught us in the first place.

I want to hear my grandma’s rotten laugh and my grandpa’s voice.

I want to hear the sound of the creaking floor as grandma walks down the hall.

I want to walk into the owl covered room and have the peace and comfort of feeling happy and being home.

I want to stand where the big hill begins to slope and watch the sun set behind the tall pine trees and have that child-like security of feeling things will never change.

I want time to slow down and the ability to hang on to each precious moment.


Most of all, I want families, intermediate and extended, to love each other and treat each other as so. I want them to continue to get together and celebrate their history, reminisce about the past and share the future. I want family fights to disappear and selfishness to be erased. I want children to hang onto their childhood longer and cherish it greater and for everyone to realize that time is a precious gift not to be squandered so enjoy and make the most out of each and every second.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Memorial Day Memories

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends..” – John 15:13
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IMemorial Day am fortunate to live in a community that still holds a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery to honor those who fought for our freedom. Every year, my family attends the parade and service. The service is small but efficient. There is an opening prayer, a speech from a local preacher, a gun salute by the veterans and the band plays a patriotic song and Taps. These are constants you can count on. Traditions. Memories in the making that instills the importance of Memorial Day in all who attend. After the service, we stroll through local graveyards as my father tells us all about each family member who has passed. Only recently did I begin to notice that our family had many members who served in wars throughout the generations thanks to the markers placed by Veterans’ graves during the holiday weekend. 

Dad and CJ blurAs my dad was telling my kids his favorite memories with his grandfather or uncle, I was snapping pictures of a history I never really heard. We found that many family members had fought in World War II, and others fought in World War I, Korea and Vietnam. Most of these uncles and cousins are distant in our family line and were gone before I was born, but my dad remembers many of them and is able to help share their legacy by introducing them to my children and I year after year. We have our fair share of fun during Memorial Day weekend but I try to teach my children why we celebrate this day and to honor it with this family tradition.

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I want to hear from you!

How do you celebrate Memorial Day weekend?

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Handing Over the Keys

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalm 56:3
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Key Blog 123There is nothing more frightening than adding your teenage driver to your insurance policy except for handing over the keys for that first solo drive. My oldest recently got her license and her first job all within the same week. These are two major life events that are sure to cause stress for any mother; stack them up back to back and we have the main ingredients for a nice little nervous breakdown cocktail!

There comes a point in every mother’s journey when she is no longer in control. A point where we hand our child over to the world and pray for God to be there every single second we cannot. When watching your 16-year-old driving away is a tear-blurred vision of that precious kindergartner getting on the school bus for the first time, we must allow God to hold us up. 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me….“Psalm 28:7

After several reminders to do not text or talk on the phone while driving, be sure to let us know you have arrived and a quick prayer for safety, off she went. One of the longest half-hours of my life was waiting for her confirmation of reaching her destination safely. Focusing on anything else in the few hours she was gone was basically pointless as I knew my mind wouldn’t rest easy until she pulled back in the driveway once more. I kept silently repeating the first scripture that ever captured my heart:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34

Although my worries were not about tomorrow and were very much in the here and now, I was able to settle down with the simple reminder that there is no need for me to worry. I strive daily to do what God wants of me; to do his will, and therefore I wholeheartedly believe he’s got my back. I needed a few moments to remind myself to trust in him and relax. Sure enough, my baby girl made it back home safe and sound and my prayers turned to praises.

Just another day in my journey doing my best to fully rely on God.

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I want to hear from you!

How did you feel when your teenager drove away for the first time?

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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Bully Blah!

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” – Matthew 7:12
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BullyingScut Farkus used to be the image that would come to mind when I heard the term, bully. You know, the redheaded, coonskin-cap wearing bully from The Christmas Story. I used to hear the word bully and immediately chuckle with the image of Ralphie, Flick and Schwartz leaving little Randy behind as they ran from Farkus and his toady. Sadly, recent events have brought new images of bullying to mind. In the past few months, I have experienced bullying from many different angles. Honestly, at first I was quite baffled that we have such an up and rising problem with bullying in the small community where I live and surrounding areas. I have heard about elementary girls being cornered, best friends of over ten years turned public enemies and even my own child has come to me in tears after being grabbed and called names.

We all know that bullying isn’t a new issue. I think about the physical and emotional bullying that  Jesus endured during his last hours on Earth.

“The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ And they said many other insulting things to him.” – Luke 22:63-65

We could even go as far back to Cain and Abel.

“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” – Genesis 4:2-8

To me, this passage summarizes the source of bullying; feeling rejected, inferior, under par or longing to be accepted. Sometimes when folks feel so terrible about themselves or their life in general, the outlet becomes bullying. I truly believe by making others feel bad, they make themselves feel better in a small, misunderstood way.

Sadly, not long ago, it was brought to my attention that one of my own children was being a bully. Of course I was crushed that my child would behave this way. In our home, we truly do enforce treating others nicely and showing God’s love. My children know that bullying is not acceptable and so we had no choice but to show tough love and discipline him. With an offense this serious, numerous punishments were given. However, the first and foremost was that humbling and humiliating experience of calling the child who was bullied and apologizing to him and his parents. Admitting you are wrong and asking for forgiveness is tough for anyone to do and I think exceptionally so for a small child who is still trying to understand the meaning. Upon further investigation, we discovered the bullying was occurring because another child was behaving the same way and ultimately, it was a matter of picking sides. I am sure this also is a frequent circumstance; join the bully or choose to be bullied.

TracksWe all know the problem exists. We may even understand why it occurs. My question is, how can we stop it? I am sure we all have our own opinions and I am positive there are experts out there who promise to have the answers. My opinion; it begins at home. Parents, step it up and know what your child is doing. Talk to others often about how they behave when you aren’t around. It isn’t fun to hear bad things about your children, trust me, this I know, but it is better to know if something is going on and nip it in the bud! Lead by example and show God’s love. Correct bully-like behaviors in your child and don’t ignore the problem. We have all heard on the news too many times when a victim of bullying can handle no more and takes drastic measures to end the problem themselves; sadly, usually by taking their own life. The expression ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is ever so true since we all cannot be with our kids all the time. There are several sites listed below with loads of info to help with bullying no matter what side of the tracks you are on, check it out and share if you know someone who could use the help.

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StopBullying.gov

BullyHelp.org

Helping Kids Deal with Bulllies

Deal with a Bully and Overcome Bullying

Cyber Bully Help

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I want to hear from you!

Have you, your child or someone you know suffered from bullying or been the bully? If you feel your testimony may help others, please share it in the comments below. Please do not be specific with names and locations. Thank you!

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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My Story – Discovering Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

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486287_471714099532921_708343599_nToday, I am happy to say that I love Jesus and feel he and I have grown very close over the last few years. As with any relationship, there have been ups and downs and all arounds but our foundation is strong and the desire to grow is ever-present.

However, it hasn’t always been this way. I wasn’t raised in church nor did I grow up hearing God’s word or learning God’s ways. I have a few snapshots of memory that take me to a church or two with my late grandfather but nothing vivid enough to give me that ‘AHA’ moment where I was first introduced to God. No, I have nothing concrete or exciting to share on how it all began other than this one innocent childhood moment that sealed the deal.

I mentioned that my earliest memories of church involved my late grandfather, and I only held onto a small glimpse of what must have really been since I was so very young when those moments occurred. My grandfather passed away a few short days after my 9th birthday. From what I remember, I handled it fairly well for a third grade child who was grandpa’s girl. What I didn’t realize was the very small seeds he had helped plant on those few occasions when I tagged along with him to this church or another.

IMAG0324Up until late in my third grade year, I had very long, super thick, wavy strawberry-blonde hair that was often difficult to manage. Personal appearance was not high on my list of priorities back then so I generally just kept the mane at bay with a simple plastic headband. On a good day, the headband might even match what I was wearing. As with hats, jeans, etc., I had a favorite headband that fit just right and held my hair the way I liked it. Imagine my distress when I was rushing to get ready for school and could not find that headband. I was distraught. I had no idea what to do. I searched and searched and could not find the headband anywhere. I simply could not leave the house without it.

As cliché as it sounds, I had the sudden realization that all I had to do was pray and ask God to help me find it because I couldn’t find it on my own. So for the first time in my memory, I knelt at my bedside, stressed and alone, and closed my eyes. I don’t remember praying about anything other than asking God to help me find that headband. I didn’t thank him for everything I had. I didn’t pray for others. I am not even sure I closed with an ‘Amen.’ I only selfishly asked him to help me find that headband. Sure enough when I opened my eyes and started to look around, there was that headband sitting on my nightstand in plain sight. Now sure I realize that it was probably there the entire time and in my frantic state I simply over looked it, but that moment was enough to seal the deal. It was that moment that I realized God heard my prayers. It was that moment when my faith spouted and began to grow. It was that moment I met God and decided to walk by faith.

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**This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **