Thursday, October 6, 2011

The past few months

Wow...the past few months have flown by with a LOT of changes, and a lot of hurt and a lot of healing.

Dealing with child and family services has been challenging, frustrating and at times, exhausting.  But I am doing all I can to ensure that I get my kids back home.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How blessed can one mom be?

My favorite second son, Aaron, recently got married.  And into my life and my heart came Michelle, his wife, and Michael, her one-year old son. Mikey has big beautiful eyes and already wants his grandma whenever they come by to see us.  Of course, this will never both me, not one bit!

The blessing to me?  My son has gotten back into church.  Something that this mama has prayed about for many years. And, I am privileged to be sitting here on the sidelines, watching as God grows their marriage and bond to each other.

God is, indeed, good. All the time.

"Fit and Foxy by Fifty"

Wow. Hmm.  What a title, huh? And I know that you're wondering why I would title a blog like this.  So. Let me tell you a story.....

About two months after my mom passed away in 2009, my dad came to me and said he had a proposition for me and my husband.  He said that mom and he had been worried about my health and weight for quite some time and set up a challenge.  Well, I did pretty well during the given time frame, and managed to lose over 60 lbs.

And then 2010 came along and my husband was involved in a bad car accident, breaking his leg.  The ensuing months of surgery then therapy and hauling the kids around and doing all the driving put my weight loss desires on the far back burner. Way back. As in the pantry.

Flash forward to 2011 and the early morning hours of February 28.  The day I turned 48.  In that tiny place between sound asleep and slowly wakening, I sensed very strongly that I was going to be fit and foxy by fifty. Since I have learned to trust when I get those messages, I didn't laugh or giggle or reject it outright.  Instead, I got up and when I popped up my computer, I searched for Weight Watchers.  And the following day, when I went to see my primary care doctor, I was cleared to work out at Curves as well.

I jumped back onto the road to wellness on March 3, 2011 when I walked into my very first WW meeting. And, I haven't looked back. Not exactly, unless you count looking back at my tracker to see what is working. Because in 28 days, I have shed 15 lbs.  I am feeling better. And with God on my side? I can accomplish anything.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who are you to hold me accountable?

Over the past few weeks, I have had several instances where I've said something or even posted something on Facebook that garnered less-than-impressive comments. Ouch. "Constructive criticism" can be somewhat painful. Until the Holy Spirit showed up and I "re-listened" to what was said and re-read what was written.  And then I see it.  I've stepped outside of my circle of salt and passed judgment on someone else.  Without knowing all the facts.  Without being aware of the circumstances.  Years ago, while under the teaching of Brother Tracey Smith, he told us not to look to the left or to the right when we heard a message, but to let the Light shine on us in our circle of salt.  Because of our (my) human flesh, I sometimes play hopscotch in my circle.  I hear a message and think it would be great if my friend, husband, sister, brother, whoever heard it!  Instead, what I should be doing is soaking it in and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to my cracks and crevices. So that this broken pot can continue to be refined.

As Pastor Buren says, until I have my own universe, I am not God.  He alone can judge another human being.  My job as a Christ-follower? To listen to the Holy Spirit, sprinkle what I say and write with compassion, love and caring. Because that's what He's called me to do.  He'll do the fixing, I just need to tell the tale of the redemption available at the Cross. I just need to love those who are unlovable.  Because sometimes? I'm unlovable too, even as a Christ-follower.

So keep me accountable. Hold me responsible for the words I say and write. I promise that any sting I feel will be a flesh wound and will heal quickly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be anxious for nothing

Phillipians 4:5-7 says "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". 

Now, if you ask my family, they will say I am a worrywart. I will say that I used to worry about every single thing that rolled across my mind, whether the situation involved me and mine or not.  And then, Jesus came.  When He entered my life and I realized that the worrying I was doing was a sin because I was saying that GOD could not handle things without me, well, I worked to leave it at His doorstep.

In December 2006, my dad was hospitalized with a little "heart scare".  He was diagnosed with a-fib and also diabetes, something I had been diagnosed with a few months earlier.  So, his cardiologist started getting the rest of the testing done, which was delayed a bit due to the holidays.  He failed his stress test, which we kind of expected.  So the next thing scheduled was a heart cath.  My folks didn't want me to go sit with mom, but I wasn't working and told them it would make the time go faster.

On February 18, 2007, the Sunday before dad's heart cath, I was getting ready for church.  As clear as a bell, I heard "be anxious for nothing".  Twice.  I knew it wasn't the television and the voice wasn't my husband's.  So out loud, while drying my hair, I said "Okay Lord, not sure what I'm not supposed to be anxious about, but I'll trust in You."  And carried on with the day.

The next day, I met up with my folks at the hospital for dad's heart cath.  Mom and I had our crochet bags, something that helped keep us calm.  The plan was that once dad was okayed and released, I would swing by Truett's and pick up lunch for all of us and take it out to their house and spend a bit and then go home.  

Well, plans change.  All the time.  And ours changed dramatically and drastically that day.  Roughly fifteen minutes into the procedure, a nurse came in and got us; they were unable to complete the heart cath due to the blockages. Dad was kept consciously sedated and I started calling my sister, brother, aunt and pastor. He was transported to Atlanta and another cardiologist attempted the heart cath.  All the tests indicated that he had two severe blockages and open heart surgery was scheduled.  For the following morning.

Remember what I heard?  Clearly?  Well, I have to say that I wasn't scared.  I had the awesome privilege of praying over my dad right before surgery, asking God to guide the surgeon's hands and reveal anything else that might be there.  Dad's surgery started at about 8 that morning and about 1 that afternoon, while I was alone, the surgeon came out and told me he was being put back together and that they had had a surprise when they opened him up! He had THREE blockages and a leaky valve, which they were not expecting....they were expecting two blockages.  

And then dad tossed another ball into the ring.  He didn't want to wake up.  By that Friday, they were doing CAT scans to see if he had suffered a stroke during the surgery.  Still no anxiety.  Still praying.  See, I know my dad.  He detests hospitals.  And he doesn't deal with sitting still very well.  So I believe that God kept him snoozing while He worked to heal his chest.  Because on that Sunday, after nearly a week of sleeping, they were able to wake him up.  

So the next time you are facing a battle, remember to be anxious for nothing.  Take it to God. He'll give you the peace that passes all understanding so that you can handle whatever comes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


No, it's not a fancy name my grandkids call me.  Or a nickname from some long-ago forgotten party.  Rather, it's MY reminder from when I was in college.  Yes, I went to college.  Surprised?  Don't be.  I am still five classes shy of my degree.  See,  I opted to get married and have kids.

Back to GIGO.  It was a term from my word processing class - garbage in = garbage out.  And that has had me thinking.  A lot.  Because if I am going to be the Christian I want to be, then I need to make sure I put in good stuff.

And that's not always easy in today's world.  Even billboards are oftentimes left of center, so to speak!  But my challenge for myself will be to put good stuff in so good stuff will come out.  More praise and worship music.  More quiet time.  More quality programs (well, that may be difficult because the selection is so limited!). Less junk movies that have suspect language (after all, if you hear something often enough, it WILL become part of your vocabulary, like it or not).

So I'm saying "NO" to GIGO.  How about you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love at first listen

I think that everyone has a song, sound or smell that, when it comes up, sends them back to a particular day and time.....

Well, I'm no different.  The day before my son shipped out for a six month tour on the USS Roosevelt, he called me and told me he was going to be a father.  Shock and joy warred with each other; he was single and I didn't know the mother.  All sorts of things went through my mind.  First and foremost was this - God makes NO mistakes when a baby is conceived, regardless of the circumstances.  I started praying for this little one who would become my first grandchild.

And because of the circumstances in her life, the mother moved to Alabama.  She drove here to Georgia so we could get to know her a little bit; after all, my position about family is this - we are all attached by strings.  Some are blood-ties, some are heart-ties, some are marriage-ties.  So I got a heart-daughter.  They knew they would never marry, and while that was hard on me at first, God worked there as well.  He brought her a boyfriend from her past and He brought my son a wife.  So I ended up with a daughter-in-love and a heart-daughter.  Wow.

But back to my story. A few weeks prior to her ultrasound, Bri called me to see if I would go with her since Tony was out to sea and her mom lives in Florida.  Hmmm.....go to the ultrasound to hear my grandchild and possibly know what Bri was having?  Twist my arm! So I went.  Alone.  For me that's a major feat; most of my friends and family can tell you stories of my ability to get lost.  I have a few famous ones.

We got lost going to the hospital ( above), but arrived at her doctor's office.  And then the important moment came.

Wah wah...wah wah.....wah wah.....precious little heartbeat.  I know God has been with this little one from jump.

And then the doctor says "look mom, look's a girl!".

Tears. Joy. Overwhelming feeling of peace.

My son was able to be there within 10 hours of Bri going into labor.  On March 28, 2006, I became a gramma for the first time when Maddison Belle Hood came into this world.  Because I was sick, I couldn't see her for several months, but the very first time I held her?  It was a homecoming.  She knew me and I her.  And as I prayed over that little one and she settled down from her crying, I realized that I had loved her from the first sound of her heartbeat.....months earlier.  Just like God loves us from the first time He forms us in our mother's womb.

Since then?  I have become "Moon and Back Gramma".  Why?  Because I made up a silly little song to help her remember me since she now lives in Florida.  And she often tells her mom she "needs" me, which translates to a phone call.  I've always loved being a mom, but now I understand when my mom would tell me that there's nothing like becoming a gramma.

Oh and that first-born grandchild?  She was my mom's first-born great-grandchild.  From her first-born grandchild.  I kinda think God has a plan for all of that......