Thursday, June 07, 2018

There are days...

It's a different life when your children grow up and live adult responsible lives. It almost makes a person feel superfluous, but not entirely. I know that where my adult peeps are is where they are supposed to be because I believe in the mighty sovereignty of God. No matter where we are in this great wide universe, God is still at work in each and every one of us.

It is important that I remember this when I feel down, and I feel down tonight. I feel down because I miss my son. He's doing something simply amazing right now, and that's where he should be. I have a second Marine Recruit! But if I am honest, and not complaining, being real as a mama, it's still a hard thing. I know what it means to say goodbye to a child and not know when I might see them again. That's where I am living right now, but it is where God would have me living--or I wouldn't be here.

I had a lovely night with a dear friend--a friend who has loved me though a great change in my life. A friend that is able to say, I hear you, even though I don't always understand where you are and why you had to go, but she gets my heart and we are sisters. It's hard to express what I mean without divulging things I cannot, but some changes must be made and we have made them. I am grateful for people that love no matter what. It is rare to find such a person, but you will know them when you find them. Friendships are gifts.

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
-Proverbs 18:24

Love your children, friends. Love them and be there for them when they are in your home--and when they are not. I look back and while I know I was not the most amazing mom, I LOVE the time I had with my children in our home. I don't regret a single moment of that. LOVE them. ENJOY them. Be there. The time is fleeting.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

There’s something different about a Memorial Day when you have children serving. I am grateful they are not on the front line anywhere at this time, but it does make the many many sacrifices of warriors that have gone on before us particularly real. Those rows and rows of headstones signify someone’s son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister, and someone’s friend. They are real people that left real loved ones behind when they served. There isn’t any way to properly thank them for what they gave, but we can never forget them.

❤ Remember that some gave all. ❤

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day Thoughts

It's the little things that take me back. Sorting and purging twin sheets did it today while looking at all the little penguins on the flannels I had carefully folded to put away for the summer. These sheets were purchased so many years ago to keep my little people warm in the winter. I remember.

As I sort through the sheets, I realize that in a week, I will only have two precious bodies to fill the many twin beds in my home. My babes have turned into adults and are growing up and moving on--living the lives they were meant to live.

Though they will always be my children, they are no longer my responsibility. This is a huge change for me. Just yesterday, as I was driving, I thought back to when I was in their place, on the cusp of my marriage, ready to take my own life by the horns, and live it to the fullest. I remember that feeling, and that's where three of them are. I remembered that I had a little sadness leaving my mom, but that really, I was more excited and ready for my new life than I was sad--and that's the way it was supposed to be. It was a strange and important realization for me.

I never want to be the one to hold them back. I never want to be a drag on their lives. It is very hard not to be needed like I once was, but it is the end goal to a life lived with purpose--to set them free and watch them soar. Painful it is, but I remember the many years I was privileged to be with them--and I am GRATEFUL for each and every day.

So while I cry as I purge sheets I will no longer need, I rejoice in the knowledge that for a little while, God allowed me to pour into my children the things that were most important, and by His grace, I had the distinct honor of being their mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful mother friends.
Enjoy each and every day you have. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Marine Corps Bootcamp - 2018 - New Beginnings

So my beautiful, amazing, strong, brave daughter leaves for the Marine Corps tomorrow at 4:30 am. She will travel to Parris Island, South Carolina, to start her new life as a Marine. There are no words to adequately express the tumult of emotions fighting for supremacy inside my heart. She is fiercely loved and we are very proud of her.

This was supposed to happen on Wednesday of last week, with less than 24 hour notice. By the grace of God via the ice storms on the east coast, we were given a few days' reprieve, and a few more days to say goodbye. It was a mercy to us. I was not prepared to let her go so quickly. I am not sure that any mother is really prepared to say goodbye, because I wasn't totally prepared for the goodbye that came when my oldest got married almost two years ago--even though we loved her fiance and knew it was the right life choice for her. It is terribly hard to say goodbye. 

I have now lived as a mother longer than the years I was without children, and my life is enmeshed in that role and way of living. The severing of that place, in the day to day, has been harder than I ever though it would be. I entirely embraced my role as a mama and would not trade places with anyone for anything for those 23 years of my life. It is hard though, to say goodbye. It is hard for things to change. It is a tearing away of what was to create what is and wow, is it ever painful. 

But it is right and good. God designed the family in such a way to lay the foundation for the rest of the lives of our children. We are only temporary guardians for these precious gifts we are given in our children. We are only temporary, but He is eternal. He is their eternal Father and the One that guides them in their paths - even when they don't know He is doing it. God is all sovereign, and all supreme.

I was overcome with sadness this week. My friend shared the truth of God with me:

Keep remembering Who has all of this stuff wrapped up, pre-planned, and WON already. Rest in Him. Find your peace in the Lord. She is in HIS hands and that is a very good place. 

God is able, all the time, to do whatever He wishes for our GOOD and His GLORY. As she leaves tomorrow, I will try very hard to rest in that truth. God is truth, and His word is there for us to rest in. 

Friends with little ones - love them; enjoy them; pray for them. The time you have is very short. Remember the gifts you have while you still have them. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving, 2017

First Thanksgiving is always the weekend before the "real day" but it helps the whole family see more of each other and then see our spouse's family. Here are some photos from our fun event. Not everyone is represented here, and I wish in hindsight that I'd taken more photos!

So many of my babies are grown - three out of five are now adults. Life comes at you fast!

It was lovely to see the aunts and uncles and my cousin Byron and his beautiful wife, Judy, were also there in addition to other cousins. It's a real blessing to have family that love each other. I know not everyone does. We will get to spend actual T-day with more family on my husband's side. God is a giver of good gifts!!

I hope your Thanksgiving is as lovely as ours was. May your focus be on the good gifts that come from above.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cranberry Orange Bread

We are prepping for our annual early Thanksgiving weekend and I am in charge of all things cranberry. That means cranberry bread and cranberry sauce as well as some form of rolls that do not involve any cranberries at all. I am still mulling over that one.

One of the many pluses of blogging is that when I cannot locate a recipe in my gigantic recipe holder, I check my blog. Many of my favorites have been shared here and this is no exception. :D This was posted WAY back in 2013 when I had all five children still at home!

This recipe has been a family favorite for many many years and I make it every year. It is hard to keep our hands off of it when it comes out of the oven it is just SO good. If you love oranges and cranberries together then this is for you.

So, for you lovers of cranberry out there, I give you my Cranberry Orange Bread. Enjoy!