Sunday, March 17, 2019

Monday, July 30, 2018

There is always a cost.

It's very easy to wander through life without a clear understanding of what people give to keep your  family safe. Sometimes it is those that make the least that do the most for us--and we often don't know their names or what they have given up for our safety.

We are in the midst of terrible fires here in California, for the umpteenth summer in a row. My amazing son-in-law is a fireman for the California Forest Service and we could not be more proud. We know what it means because just this week, several firemen have given their lives trying to save others' homes and families. It wrecks the heart to hear of these deaths--a fallen tree or a flashover that kills with swiftness. These men have families waiting for them. Wives that keep going at jobs or at home with children hoping and praying that they don't get that knock on the door.

I know and love men in the blue uniform that literally put their lives on the line every single day of their work life. That takes a different sort of human being in my mind. These people are sheepdogs--unwilling to let another do the work of saving lives in their place. We have lost several just this week to crimes that pale in comparison to the loss of a precious young life loved by many.

These are the servants that give until they have no more to give.

Then there are those in the service of our country; our brave men and women in uniform in all levels of the military. I am keenly aware of the sacrifice because I have two serving. There isn't anything that gives you clarity like knowing your children could be one of those in a foreign land standing up for those who cannot stand for themselves. My son begins his Crucible tonight and in 54 hours will have earned his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. My daughter is a Marine already learning to serve in her chosen job. There are simply no words to fill this space that can describe what it feels like to be a mom to brave and amazing children. It is the ever-present mix of fierce pride and joy in their capability and that terrible ache knowing what could be.

If I was not a Christian that utterly and unreservedly embraces the sovereignty of the Living God, Jesus Christ in risen form, I might be overcome. But I can be more than a conqueror through Jesus. It doesn't mean I don't struggle or fear or worry because I am human and I absolutely do all those things. What it means is that I can, each and every day, go back to the Risen Lord, confess my sin, and ask for His everyday help to keep going. I know that while there is life, there is hope in Jesus, and that He is in charge, sovereignly moving in all areas of the world and each and every life, every single minute of every single day. He is my rest and He is my joy. I am so grateful.

So tonight, and for the rest of the days of my life, I will pray to the Lord for the life and salvation of my children and those that do not yet know the peace of Christ that passes all understanding. I will walk each day knowing that God will give me what I need to walk in, and it will be for His glory, and my good--every single day of my life. I am so terribly grateful for this life. So terribly grateful for the breadth and depth of the love of Jesus to those that seek Him. Do you seek Him? He is found by those that do.

Seek the Lord while he may be found; 
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
-Isaiah 55:6-7

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.