A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marriage Lessons From Duck Dynasty

O.K., I admit it, I’m a huge Duck Dynasty fan. I actually watched the first episode when it started and was hooked from the beginning. I absolutely love that I can allow my little man to stay up and watch it and not have to worry about ugly words or crude humor. My sweetheart may not be the biggest fan, but he enjoys watching me and little man laugh and laugh at the antics of the bearded Robertsons and their wives.
But I really wanted to concentrate on what I’ve learned from watching Phil and Miss Kay about marriage. I love the twinkle they both have in their eyes when they talk to each.
1) When you put God first everything else falls into place. This couple shows us every week that God is number one. They pray and they place value on knowing the Bible.
2) They find ways to make each other happy, happy, happy. Miss Kay’s going to cook Phil’s favorite dishes (he’s gonna brag on her cookin’). Phil gets out and works the land and keeps it beaver free. They find ways to say, I love you, even in the little things.
3) They spend time together as a couple and as a family. One of my favorite episodes is when Phil and Miss Kay go out in the boat log hunting. After 50 years of marriage, she can still say she just loves being with him. He’s figured out that she just wants him to listen to all her remember whens, and his yep, yeah, and yes works just fine for her. I love watching how they both have their own “domain” and they respect each other’s space.
4) They back one another up. In an episode where Jase borrowed his daddy’s boat to go craw fishing, Miss Kay came out to check if he’d asked his daddy. I loved it. Here he is a grown man and Miss Kay is still making sure her boys are following the rules. I also loved that when the boys sank the boat, they didn’t look forward to coming home and telling either one of them about it.
5) Keep the romance and the spice in your marriage. When Uncle Si and the girls made her the apron I loved the two thumbs up Phil gave it and the flirting going back and forth. In a successful marriage, flirting and courting need to go on for a lifetime.
I love finding a reality show that makes me laugh and laugh with no foul language (except of course for the fowl language that comes with making duck calls) and promotes strong family values. They are helping us to remember what the wise man Solomon said:
Pro 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.
:16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you.
:18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
:19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scriptures that Comfort

**My heart is full this morning, two families have lost young men serving the Lord preaching the gospel. I know what it’s like to be one of the family members to get unexpected call with news you feel is 40 to 50 years too early. I can tell you I’ve seen souls won since we lost our dear ones, friendships turned into family, and sorrow into joy. What I can’t say is that I miss them any less, in fact, some days are harder…there are memories they are supposed to be making with us. I can say I’m thankful they never have to face the ugliness and pain of this world again, that they are where I long to be. I’m thankful for the promises of no tears and sorrow, for the promise of singing songs of praise for eternity. I didn’t know either family personally, but my heart breaks for them and what I know they must face. May they find strength and comfort as we did in the knowing that our God is faithful to keep his promises and that one day (Lord willing very soon) we will meet again never to part.**

In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion!
Psalms 71:1

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
Psalms 18:2

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Matthew 16:24-25

You will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13

The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. Psalms 145:13

The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart.
Psalms 28:7

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I’m sitting at home today by myself in the quiet (except for the roaring of the headache in my head) and I’m remembering the butterflies that filled my stomach in the days before October 8th ten years ago. I was scared, excited, and so full of what ifs. I can look back at those days now and grin and thank God for them. They where a part of my “birthing pains”. We had met with a beautiful young lady on two occasions and I knew she loved her baby with her whole heart, there was absolutely no question about that. She wanted a Mama and a Daddy for her baby in a secure home that would provide him with love and honor his Asian heritage. Who would have ever thought that all that dojo time would help us get our hearts desire? Our God works in awesome ways. I was so scared that once she saw that sweet boy she would change her mind, but her love for him was bigger than that. It was bigger than what would make her feel good, but so full and deep that her concern was for her sweet boy.
So, in the midst of her pain, she brought us JOY!! I want to shout that word from the mountain tops. Our lives had revolved around pain for 4 years…the pain of losing my sister and cousin and the ever present pain of the headache. When we got the phone call telling us our birthmother was in labor, it was as if a light had come on and the hope that had taken up residence in my heart began to glow a little stronger…yet we were still afraid to believe. You know how Sarah laughed when she heard the Lord tell Abraham that she would bear him a child in her old age…that wanting to believe yet not wanting your heart to be broken once again…that’s where we were. In fact, very few people knew that we were even in the process of adoption. We didn’t want anyone to have to grieve with us if this sweet girl decided to keep her baby. It took the social worker some time to convince us to call our parents and let them know that we would be bringing our boy home.
I’ve written about the time we spent pacing and waiting. It’s the joy I wanted to concentrate on today. You see when our sweet boy’s birthmother made the decision to place him in our forever family, she gave us the gift of JOY! My boy taught this pain filled lady how to laugh again and that we (my Sweetheart and me) could laugh even through the hurt. What a blessing he has been!!
So on Monday, he turns 10. He’s so excited to be turning the double digits, and yes, his eyes twinkle when he talks about it…and my sweetheart and I…well, we laugh. It’s wonderful, and I’m so thankful that he is strong and healthy and smart…and above all he’s growing spiritually. I know my boy is not perfect and we have lots of growing to do, but he has a tender heart and a love for the Father. He’s reaching the age where he says that’s not right and can tell me why, so we’re making progress and I’m thankful.
This turning 10 business is a little hard for me. He’s outgrown my lap a longtime ago, but he will still come snuggle. Mama can now embarrass him with things he used to laugh and clap over. So, I’m going to fasten my seatbelt and get ready cause here we come tweens and teens.

Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to love this child. Help me to meet his needs, and help me to let your love shine through me. Help me to have the wisdom to know which battles to fight and which ones to let slide. Grant me patience when the day gets long and he pushes my buttons, and give me strength to discipline the way you want me to in a consistent manner. Thank you for his birthmother and the choice she made. Give her comfort and peace as only you can. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Perfect Marriage

The topic of conversation I hear being talked about/chatted about the most is marriage. How do you get him to do what you want? Does he ever figure out that when I’m talking about the problems in my day, I just may not want to hear his solution? Why can’t he put his dirty socks in the clothes hamper? Does he not know how to carry his dirty dishes and trash to the kitchen himself? I’m sure I’m leaving some out, and I bet you can tell that some of the above questions are ones I’ve asked myself over the years. Well guess what ladies, I hate to tell you this but….there is no perfect man living on this earth now who is going to do everything we think we want him to do. Guess what? It’s okay, because I’m not perfect either and neither are you; somewhere along the way we all fall short.
In fact, I bet my sweetheart could produce a list of why questions too. Why does she have to wait for at least three loads of clothes to pile up before doing laundry? Why not fold those clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer? Why can’t a good, hot supper be ready to eat and on the table when I get home? Why can’t she give me at least 20 minutes of peace before talking my ear off. Do you see how it goes? Neither one of us is perfect, in fact, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re going to fail a lot. Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, So, what do we do and how do we go about fixing it the way God wants us to?
The first thing we must remember is we did not marry our sweetheart to change him. If you did, then you need to decide right now that you are going to be content with the decision you made and be happy. 1Ti 6:11-12 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. A very wise man once told me to put my claws away and pour on the honey. If there is something that you see that needs to change in your husbands life, then pray about it and above all DO NOT nag him. The fastest way to turn him off is to nag. If you read through Proverbs, Solomon mentions that a nagging wife is like a dripping faucet and that it is better to dwell on the housetop than inside with a contentious woman. The only time a woman can change a man is when he’s in diapers. Any other time, it’s his decision to make.
The blessing that comes with the above is the promise given in scripture. 1Pe 3:1-2 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. I don’t believe this scripture is referring to fearing your husband, but the reverent fear we are to have for God. If you go about your business with joy in your heart, then you without ever having to nag your sweetheart can help him to see that he wants more for himself. It maybe that you ask someone you know he respects greatly to talk with him, but if you do this decide that you don’t have to know what was said. So many of the difficulties that come with the first several years of marriage have everything to do with insecurity and jealousy. Ladies, we have to realize that God made men visual creatures and with the way this world works, its not an easy place for them. (This does not excuse sin but it is something we must be aware of and ready to take into account.) If your sweetheart becomes a little more possessive during those first years of marriage, realize that he loves you and he may be wondering why you chose him and if you are working outside the home or in school he may be dealing with some fear that you will find someone you like better.
It is extremely important for you to build his ego, but not do so flippantly. When you offer a compliment make sure that it is sincere and comes from the heart. If you constantly handout meaningless compliments, he will not know when you really appreciate something he has done. That being said, you can find something to thank him for and show your appreciation for everyday. We all like to receive compliments and behavior that receives a compliment will be repeated. If you’re wise you’ll learn this early on and maybe just maybe it won’t take as long to settle into a nice healthy routine.
Are you ready for this one?…Your husband is no more a mind reader than you are. I know it’s hard to believe. I mean when you read all those romance novels somehow that fella just automatically knows just what to say and do to make everything just right at anytime. This covers everything from how you cook meals and fold clothes to just what turns you on in the bedroom. He can’t read your mind anymore than you can read his. 1Pe 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. This can be very hard when you’ve been raised in a home where such matters were spoken of in whispers and behind closed doors. However, if you want to fully enjoy the marital relationship as God intends then you’ve got to find a way to communicate. If you can’t bring yourself to talk out loud, then right him a letter. It may be that you have to say let me show you and vice versa. My sweetheart and I have been married for 23 years now and we are more comfortable with each other now than we have ever been. The biggest reason is we have finally come to the realization that we must tell each other what we like. From sitting on the couch holding hands to what goes on in our bedroom behind closed doors.
One of the most precious memories, I have of our wedding night was our praying for God to help us figure out the process without hurting one another. There are no words to explain how special that moment was, and how thankful I was that we hadn’t totally blown all our innonce in the back of his car while we were dating. You are going to make mistakes, you’re human and that’s life. The big deal is to take the “D” word out of your vocabulary. If you don’t give yourself the option to quit, then you can tie a knot and hang on during the rough times.
My final piece of advice is loving someone will hurt. You can’t open your heart and soul up to another person and not get hurt. Once again, we must remember that none of us are perfect. I have made just as many if not more mistakes as my sweetheart. Even when your heart is torn open and bleeding, take the time to ask questions. Don’t assume the worst and be ready to forgive if it’s at all possible. Mat 5:32 "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. The only time you can divorce and remarry with God’s blessing is when your spouse has committed adultery. Many couples have been able to stay together after one has committed adultery. Trust can be a hard thing to win back but when forgiveness is offered and the love is there then much good can still come from the relationship for each other and for God.
I guess the biggest reason for writing this blog, is I’ve watched many couples who I never thought would separate end their marriages. Many times the reason they’ve given is we just don’t love each other any more. Well, I have to say that answer bothers me a lot! Love isn’t some passing emotion that just happens, it’s a decision that you make every day. You decide, “I’m going to love him today.” Guess what, you’re going to have days and maybe even weeks when you really don’t like him…and he will have times that he can say the same of you. But you MUST decide that no matter what happens today, I will love him, because I chose him and I promised God I’d love him for a lifetime. All those sweet, melty feelings they hang around. I absolutely love the silver that is coming in my sweethearts hair and his eyes…well if you’ve read my blogs you know they still give me butterflies…and we won’t even talk about how good he looks in a pair of jeans with his fiddle in his hand. See 23 years in and all those things still get me going, and the amazing thing is even with the weight and all the changes from the meds and the headache my sweetheart still only wants me too. So life is good. No, we don’t have the perfect marriage, but it’s one I’m thankful for and wouldn’t want to do without.
In the morning, Lord willing, we’ll sit together at church and we’ll focus our minds on the perfect marriage of Christ and the Church. We’ll remember the sacrifices he made for it and the home He’s preparing for her. In fact, we’re anxiously awaiting his return, when He calls his Bride to Him.
Eph 5:23-29 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

May you have a blessed Lord’s day, and may we remember that only one perfect man walked this earth and He is now reigning in Heaven with the Father. May we strive to be the best Christian wives we can be, and may we search out the positive in our husbands and our children and encourage them to live a life of joy in the kingdom.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How We Greive As a Couple

**This blog gives some background on how my sweetheart and I have dealt with the different types of losses we've dealt with during our marriage with a special emphasis on the loss of my sister and cousin along with the "Samantha" before the headache.**

Over the last 23 years, my sweetheart and I have had lots of ups and downs. We chose to do things the hard way. We got married 6 days after I turned 18. We left from our honeymoon with a phone number of a couple we’d never seen or talked to before with hopes of a place to stay, but my love knew that at the end of the week, we’d at least have the first month’s rent for a home that we had yet to find. We were young, in love, and determined to prove we could leave home and survive. These are good memories now and we learned to depend on God and each other along with the love of other sweet brothers and sisters who had walked similar paths.
The learning to depend on each other has been vital to our survival. (Mat 19:4-6 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.") Only putting God before each has been more important. Financial struggles have always been apart of our lives. We are “used” to those. It’s but so long as you are healthy and you know that you can use some talent God has given you to stretch things just a little further then you’re good to go. But what happens when all of a sudden your sweetheart, your knight, at the age of 27 begins to deal with heart attack like symptoms, and he can’t get a full breath. You sit in the ER and in doctor’s office after doctor’s office, tests are ordered and run and yet…there’s no real answer.
So you watch your knight, the man with an iron will come face to face with his mortality. You begin to wonder why us? You want to help and fix it, but there’s nothing to do but pray. Oh, how very powerful prayer is, yet there are times when it can make you feel helpless. Especially when you’re 24 and your faith is still young. So you become angry, and he pulls away…and you sit in the back of the building on singing night alone and cry. (Psalms56:8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?) Thank you God for sending your servants to help us in times of turmoil. One of the ladies sat beside me and asked about my sweetheart, and she said she’d pray for us. I know she did and others too because my sweetheart made a full recovery…not even the heart specialist now at the age of 44 can hear the slosh of the mitral valve that was a small part of what he dealt with. (James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.)
From there we went on to deal with a major health crisis for me and a financial setback. It was as if God was giving us a training ground for the really hard days ahead. We did better this time, we asked others to pray with and for us. We talked more about how each felt. Maybe it was easier because we’ve learned that when my sweetheart grieves he needs to be busy. So he stayed busy taking care of me. We also learned the value of relaxation exercises and meditation. Once again, we were very blessed and I made a complete recovery. I missed a semester of teaching, yet God placed me in a school in the county we lived in and though the first year I moved from room to room, I had a job.
It was January of ’98 when we got “the” call in the middle of the night. It was the one, where my sweetheart said, your mom said we need to come home and I don’t know what happened but it’s bad and we need to go. So we threw on some clothes, put a few things in a bag and headed from Millbrook to BayMinette. When we reached Evergreen, we called the house and got Daddy and the news that my sister and cousin had been killed by drunk driver on their way home from Mobile. We made phone calls to people at church, so they would know where we were and then the shock began to wear off and we cried and cried and cried. My love pulled over until he could see to drive and we made it home. No parent should have to deal with what mama and daddy did, it’s my prayer that you never have to hold your mama and daddy as they weep the loss of one of their babies, to never hear them say, I’m sorry, as you hold them. Praise God, for the strength He gives us as we mourn the loss of those taken from us; without it we would fall.(Psa 86:15-16 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant)
After that, it seemed to get easier, we got busy taking care of mama and daddy. My sweetheart stayed with daddy every step of the way that he wasn’t with mama, and I stayed with mama or delegated out directions to my brother and baby sister. Looking back, I was probably too bossy, but I was determined that no one was going to say or do anything harder for her. There were some rough times during those days, but we took care of people. We’ve found that’s one of the ways we deal with grief as a couple.
If you’ll bear with me I’m going to fast forward some. Our weekends were spent in Bay Minette. This allowed Daddy to work his weekend job without Mama being home by herself, and my sweetheart was remodeling Mama’s kitchen. It was almost like we had moved back home, we were very busy. The “baby” graduated from high school, my brother got married, and we bought a house.
After that came the 24/7 migraine that I’m still dealing with everyday. Yes, there’s grief that comes for the Samantha that used to be. The things I was able to do, plans made, foods eaten, and activities enjoyed. We also had to come to terms with the fact that we would not have any biological children of our own. We had always planned for a large family with 2 or 3 biological children and then many more adopted and foster children. We had even sketched the house and the bedrooms with the built-in study nooks and game room. We grieved the loss of the dream. This time, we went about it differently. My sweetheart became very involved in his martial arts, his music, and some cycling. I dealt with the pain, school, and became very fixated on beginning the paperwork process for adoption. It was time and I felt it was an urgent to begin. I also began going to visit the sick and shut-ins with a friend from church one night a week. So once again, we got busy…we just didn’t always see a lot of one another.
Grief is something that everyone deals with differently. There is no right or wrong way and there is no specified period of time that is either too short or too long. We can know our heavenly Father cares and that it does not bring Him joy when we grieve. 2Ki 20:5 "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD." I do have some recommendations I’d like to make. (Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary person without a degree in counseling. I believe that counseling is good and if you find yourself in a place that you need help with then see a counselor that is a member of the church, so you will be guided by Biblical principles.)
1) Find someone who will sit and listen, hold you, or your hand when grief begins to feel like an ocean wave that will pull you under. Just like the child at the beach, the parent’s hand will bring them to safety. So can having someone else willing to just be there as you mourn and weep, it will give you the comfort and ability to deal with the emotions that are too scary to deal with alone. Just knowing that someone is there and willing to help you hold on can allow you to let go and deal with the emotions that you feel would drown you alone.
2) Find things that make you laugh. Find a friend and share corny jokes with them. Find music that brightens your day and listen to it.Pro 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
3) It’s o.k. to deal with your grief a little bit at a time. Take out a small memory deal with that and then be ready to move on.
4) Above all, spend time in prayer and study. The devil loves to get us when we are weak. He will take advantage of any opportunity to bring us down. 1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. When you can’t pray for yourself, ask someone else too. There are times when our hearts are so full of grief (and sometimes anger) that we just don’t feel that we can pray for ourselves. When you feel that way, ask someone to pray for you. Jam 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I deal with my grief on a daily basis. Some days, it’s the grief that comes from the restrictions placed on my life by the headache. Some days, it’s the missing of my sister and cousin and the fun we had growing up. The sitting around sharing the stories of do you remember when we…, There are many “adventures” the three of went on as children that no one remembers but me now, and that’s hard. Some days, it’s the grief we have as a family that we would have liked to have had siblings for my sweet boy so he would have stories to tell. But above all, I know that no matter what happens this life is temporary and the place to which we are going is so much better that I can be homesick for a place I’ve never seen. Our God is good and He wants good things for His children. We just have to be patient and follow His lead.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Does Loves Look Like?

I may not know how to define it,
But I sure do know when I see it.
You see there really is no doubt,
When you are out and about
Just when you’ve seen some LOVE.

I saw IT today, as my little man started his,
Still warm and groggy from bed,
His “Morning, Mom“, as he plopped down beside me,
Said so much more than hi,
You betcha, I saw LOVE today.

I saw IT, as my sweetheart came through the door,
Hot and tired and covered with sweat, yet waiting,
To hear a little man, yell, "Daddy's home" and be attacked.
He cooled off a bit and picked up my list... to grocery shop for us.
Did I see LOVE today? Oh, YES in the very best way!

I saw IT again, as we went to comfort a friend,
And we watched as he comforted his family.
While they were hurting, he got on his knees,
And he helped them their hurt to grieve.
Oh yes, I saw LOVE today.

I saw IT when two sweet silver heads,
Bowed their heads in prayer with clasped hands,
And heads pulled near, a tear on each cheek,
As they prayed for a young couple just beginning their journey.
It’s beautiful to watch LOVE this way.

I saw IT on the face of an anxious groom,
Waiting to see his bride,
I saw IT on Daddy’s as he gave her away,
And the bride was a glow with IT too.
I saw LOVE just beginning - all brand new.

I saw IT as a young lady makes a hard choice,
Her heart open and bleeding, but wanting much more,
Not more for herself, but for the wee babe,
She’s learned she’s going to have, she’s chosen life
YES, I see LOVE, sometime’s its hard here.

I see IT again, a couple with arms longing to be full,
Their hearts breaking because it just doesn’t seem to be,
They hold each other close, here IT is again,
And they pray for strength and comfort and grace.
Here’s LOVE again filled with tears and just a dash of hope.

The young woman has chosen a family for her wee babe,
The couple with arms longing to be filled are waiting just for that,
I see, IT, as she labors…and as they pace the floor.
Sweet baby make your entrance here, OH you shall see IT too!
I see LOVE as Birthmother gives Mama and Daddy baby.

I see IT when friendship is offered,
Not without having to prove one’s self,
But simply because a friend is needed.
I see IT when children smile and run and play and sing.
This is LOVE that sets apart the pure of heart.

If I look back into the past, I can see IT once again,
On a Hill where three crosses stood, and Christ bore all my sin.
I see IT in every stripe, in every ragged breath,
The pain the Son of God endured was to help me see,
That while I think IT might be easy, His is LOVE perfected.

Gal. 6:14 "May I not boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Headache History and Pride

Wow! The summer is over and school is back in session and all the writing I had planned to do…just didn’t get done. We were blessed to complete our second full year of home schooling, run the Fun Run part of Agape’s Run for a Mom, send little man off to camp for a week, see some sweet friends that we haven’t seen in forever, completed 4 weeks of swimming lessons, and last but not least went to Art and Science classes at our local hardware store for an hour each Wednesday and Thursday. The best part is the headache cooperated and I was able to do the chauffeuring.

Praise God for the new medicine combo I’m on now, I can actually handle traveling a couple of hours without having to go to bed once I get there. So things are looking better pain wise for us too J Instead of living with the level 9 or 10 , it now stays around the 7 or 8 level. We do deal with spikes up further than that, but we are also blessed with short periods of time with it lower too. It’s been a long time since I’ve really spent anytime sharing the pain battle and why I use the word we when I talk about it. When one person in the family deals with chronic pain, then the whole family does. Our schedules, the lighting in our home, laundry getting done, and how we play are all determined by the headache.

One of the hardest things, I’ve had to come to grips with is that the migraine does put limits on what I can do. It also, along with the meds, affects my ability to say what I want to say when I want to say it. One of the meds has turned off the filter in my head…you know the one that says don’t talk about that you can hurt someone’s feelings…or hey shut your mouth for a few minutes and listen to what the other person has to say. It also has made me more grouchy and I get frustrated much quicker than I normally do. These side effects are not new to us, we had tried a med combo very much like the present one but one of the meds caused even more cognitive and behavioral “glitches”.

Needless to say the 2003-04, school year was a difficult one. I think I was going through just as many mood swings as my 7th graders. Pride can be a terrible thing, I kept most of the struggle to myself. (Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.)My sweetheart was running two small business and we had an infant/toddler in the house who got all of our “extra” attention. In fact, I had been dealing with quite a bit of paranoia and irrational anger that I was able to keep the lid on at home and for the most part at school. However, I found myself becoming more and more out spoken and I couldn’t seem to put the brakes on my mouth. Here’s where the pride thing comes into play, because I have always considered myself to be a peacemaker. I could put my feelings on the back burner and deal with the situation at hand and it was really no big deal. Well, it became a big deal. I now know that many chronic headache patients on Topamax deal with these changes..it’s been labeled dope-amax on the Head pain sites by patients and many of them dealt with swift changes in mood that ultimately lead to their being fired or even for some led to divorce. In my case, my contract wasn’t renewed. I can look back and see why. But maybe…just maybe if I hadn’t let my pride get in the way things may not have happened the way they did.

I’ll say this, it’s a scary thing to not be in control of your emotions when you’re used to being in control. Learning that I have no real control is another lesson the headache has taught me the hard way. It has literally brought me to my knees, pleading in prayer for the pain to end. (If you happen to be one of those who believes that my faith is just not strong enough and I’m not praying in faith ..,yes I’ve heard this before…then I suggest you need to take a look at the life of Paul and God’s response to his begging for the thorn in the flesh to be removed.) I now understand there is no me, there is only God and His power working in me. (2 Cor. 12:9 but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, because strength reaches completion in weakness.“ I will therefore boast in my weakness most gladly, so that Christ’s strength will remain upon me.) If it were just me, I would have taken my life a good 10 years ago while going through withdrawal from prescription meds that I was taking as prescribed.

It was another point of pride with me that I was able to finish college with good grades while being married and be labeled as the world thinks “smart”. It becomes very humbling when you realizes that people can’t understand what you’ve said either because the migraine has words coming out in a jumble you don’t intend, the words are so slurred it sounds like you’re drunk, or you know what you want to say but cannot get the words to come out of your mouth. On top of this, my eye would droop or twitch for no reason, my mouth would pull down on one edge, and the act of brushing my hair would actually hurt. So here I am teaching, high school math, to teenagers with all this going on; and they are looking at me like I’m the side show. But my pride kept me from mentioning that I felt like someone was watching me always, and that every step I took was painful…let alone that my teeth were beginning to break if I ate anything remotely hard.

So, we get to the last 2 or 3 weeks of school, they tell me they aren’t going to renew my contract…and all I can see is how are we going to keep the insurance going in all this mess…and I better go see about every little thing between now and September. I found out that afternoon I had stress fractures in both heels thanks to the med. Combo and no teaching position to go to for the next year. Actually we sat and cried together and I finally let my sweetheart know to what extent I was dealing with the paranoia and anger. We prayed and as always God provided just what we needed. Not just job wise, but for our marriage as well. He gave us the quiet before the storm to help us charge our batteries, and He put good friends close by that we could lean on even in the hardest of times.

I’d love to say that we no longer deal with pain every day. I do. I also know that the med combo I’m on now is very close to the one we dealt with that school year. So I deal with glitches in speech, I get grouchy easy, but so far we’ve been able to manage it. I want the people I know and love to know where I’m coming from and instead of trying to hide any issues this go round… I’d much rather they be out on the table so we can stop them if they get ugly.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that God will work out all things for good for those that love Him.(Romans 8:28 We know that to them who love God, the ones called according to his purpose, God works all things together for good;) Notice he doesn’t promise the way will be easy and good, but that he will use all those things in our life for good. Finally, my prayer for myself and you is that we will take the hard times…those moments when we feel like God has turned His back on us…and know that He is refining us and using us so that through our weakness others may see His strength. (1Peter 1:7 Your faith (which is more precious than gold which perishes, being proved by fire) has been tested that you might be found in praise and glory and honor at the disclosure of Jesus Christ.)

N.T. scriptures are quoted from McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel. O.T. scriptures are quoted from the NKJV.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage and Mary and Martha

“Whose that old fella you’ve got hanging around with you?” It’s a question some of the sweet older gentleman at church ask me. I know what my response is supposed to be…in fact I know what it used to be. “Just some old fella I picked up on the side of the road and decided to keep around.” Well, I’ve decided to change that up some because would I want my sweetheart to answer the question that way?! No! In fact, my feelings would get hurt.
It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the negative. James3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. The young girl, my sweetheart dated would not have said anything negative about the love of her life, let alone allow someone else to. What changes when we get married and have that ring on our finger? Why do we feel like we no longer have to work to please the sweet man who makes us swoon? (smile, wink) Do you remember that first year of marriage, when if dinner didn’t turn out just right you would sit down and cry; and bless his heart, he would try to eat whatever it was you fixed because he couldn’t stand the tears.
The gentleness and the mercy were hard at work back then. What about those dirty socks that would be piled up beside his chair or the empty glasses that never made it back to the kitchen? Did you happily carry those to the proper place and be thankful that you were the wife and keeper at home. Do those same things irritate you now? I have to be honest there are days it does; and love his heart, he’ll come home from work to a foul tempered wife and have no idea what happened between when he left for work and when he got home. So I’m sowing seeds of discontent instead of peace and the fruit I’ll reap won’t be peace.
I’m going to say something that some of you may not agree with, but it’s not your sweetheart’s job to make you happy. His God given job is to love you. Colosians3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Ephesians5:28-29 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. Happiness and contentment are a state of mind. You can have the most attentive husband, the nicest house, the perfect children, and the newest car and still not be happy. Choose your friends wisely. If your girlfriends complain about their husbands, it’ll be easy to follow the crowd. Decide that the only person you can change in your marriage is yourself, and quit trying to change your sweetheart. Remember that you can catch more flies with honey, put your claws away and heap on the sugar.
The best piece of advice on marriage, I received from my Grandmama on my wedding day…”Love doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision you make every morning when you get up.”Titus2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. There will be times in your marriage when you may not like your husband, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up and leave. It means, it’s time to get busy working on what needs to be fixed. Do you feel like you don’t know him anymore? By the time he walks in from work are you so tired that you want to dump the problems of the day in his lap…and then wonder why he spends more time at the gym, track, hobby, or work? (This is the one I struggle with. I’m blessed with the fact that my sweetheart gets to come home for lunch. I noticed he started cutting his lunch short. I needed to make that time at home more pleasant.) Proverbs 21:9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. We know what pleases our sweethearts and what doesn’t. (O.K., sweet ladies, I hear you, I’m doing all the work and my husband doesn’t even try, so I don’t think I should have to try anymore. Sorry, wrong, you choose to marry this fella and so long as you stay married to him you are commanded to love him…not lust, but agape love. The kind of love Christ has for us, the kind that put the sinless son of God on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins.) So, Let’s decide to be happy and content. I’m not going to compare my marriage, family, home, etc. with anything but the Bible. If I do that then, I’ll have more than enough to keep me busy working on changing me.
God made our husbands sensual creatures, and I know that when we have newborns, toddlers, teenagers with schedules that don’t seem to ever quit, and in my case chronic pain sex is very often the last thing on my mind. Trust me, even when your sweetheart is tired, it’s on his mind. If you have small children a scheduled bedtime is important because that’s mama and daddy time (be careful not to use this time to plug into FB) even if you’re too tired to do anything but sit on the couch and hold hands that touch is important. Wear clothes you know he likes, even when they may not be the most comfortable “mommy clothes”. Find small ways to touch him intimately during the day. You’ll find that this will help you warm up and be ready for intimacy.
Finally, the hardest thing of all is choosing between several good things. I love the story of Mary and Martha, because I’m a Martha. I find myself getting caught up in the details. Luke 10:40-42 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." It’s so easy for us to get caught up with the projects at home, at church, in the community, and with school. In and of themselves none of these are wrong, but are we allowing ourselves to become worried and troubled in the process. Do we get so busy with wanting things to be just right at home and school that we lose sight of why it’s important to us to begin with? Is our work in the community pulling us away from our family so that they don’t see us? Do we get so busy caring for the souls of other families that we’re not sure where the souls of our family members stand? We must be careful not to use our children as an excuse not to go to the nursing home, gospel meetings, or Bible studies; however, we must be certain that we are caring for those souls that God has given us direct care of in our home.

So now do you want to know how I’ve changed my answer to the question at the beginning of the article? I pull my sweetheart back over, and I say, “Insert Name, Look into those eyes, don’t you see the ocean when you look into his beautiful eyes! Every time I look into those eyes, I fall in love all over again!” Guess what ladies, it’s true. It gets better and better. My sweetheart still opens my door for me everywhere, we hold hands whenever possible, and at the end of the day while we watch T.V. he puts his head in my lap and I play with his hair or rub his back. I love this man, we’ve had some rough times and I’m sure there will be more…that’s life…but you decide that no matter what you don’t have an out. The “D” word is not in your vocabulary. The best part about the rough patches is you come out stronger and more in love on the other side….if you decide to. May God help us to be the wives He wants us to be, and may we bring Him glory in all we do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Letter to My Future Daughter In Law

This is a blog I've had written for almost 2 weeks on paper, but with the crazziness of the end of school and the special plans surrounding Mother's Day and Gotcha Day...I'm only just getting this typed up. I'll have more to come next week about Mother's Day and Gotcha Day celebrations this year. Right now, it's all so close to my heart it's just hard to share.

Our family has had some pretty big birthday's this year, and they are all reminding me that before I can even blink my precious boy will be driving, then graduating from high school, and then college, and Marriage. OK, so I'm getting a head of myself, but he does turn 10 this October, and I know that my time with him is limited. So I thought I would share with you some of what goes on in my head when the headache doesn't allow me to sleep.

To My Future Daughter-in-Law,

This has been my favorite time of year with Mother’s Day and Gotcha Day so close together. I’ve been praying for you since Samuel came home from the hospital with us, and for your parents too!

My prayer has been and will continue to be that you are being raised in a home where God comes first, that you’re learning about God’s plan for marriage by watching your mama and daddy, and that you have a love for others and doing what’s right. We’re working hard to raise a Godly gentleman. A man who stands strong in his convictions, yet has a tender heart easily touched by the needs of others, along with the desire to serve God in all things.

He’s a perfectionist and stubborn (just like his daddy). Those are traits that will make you proud at times and crazy at others. Lord willing, you will have a husband who will open your doors, hold your hand, and above all lead your family to heaven.

At the time of this writing, your future husband is an only child. As a family, we have longed to have it grow and you just may be the answer to that prayer. I know there is no one like mama, but I hope to call you daughter. You see, I’ve been praying for me too. It’s my prayer, you’ll look forward to seeing me, that God will give me the words to encourage and not to tear down. I hope that when something’s not going like you think it should that you’ll tell me so I can get out of the way, or better yet put me to work to help like I should. I won’t want to step into places not wanted, but I want to help and be busy as much as I can.

I pray that you’ll accept a piece of my heart and hope that you’ll be able to share your’s with me too. I’m praying that God blesses you with children and that you’ll give me the opportunity to be grandmamma too. To help shape and mold more precious souls will be better than treasure untold.

I’m praying that as you approach the teen years that you’ll guard your soul from all sexual sin. I know that it’s hard, but with God’s help I know you can do it! We’ll be encouraging that same behavior from your future husband as well.

Much love to the future daughter of my heart,
Mama Moore

Pro 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Painting Souls Today

I’m Painting Souls Today

Help me hold the paint brush Lord
I’m painting souls today.
The snuggles of this precious babe
Are the soft sweet colors that make the light shine
On this precious piece of art that you've made mine.

Help me choose the colors Lord
To show this toddler of mine
That while he wants to paint in reds and dominate this time,
Give me words that form bold straight lines,
So he can know what I expect.

Help me choose the tools Lord
That scrape away the stains.
Father guide me as I choose which traits,
To help make the way more clear,
This little boy is changing fast and needs me as a guide.

Help me choose the colors Lord
To paint this gangly youth.
Once again he wants to paint in reds as he stubbornly holds the line.
Guide me with sweet words of wisdom
That a sunset we can paint.

Help me hold the paint brush Lord
I’m painting souls today.
The wee babe I painted in gentle hues has almost become a man.
Father guide my hand as I paint the lines,
May they be bold and straight and softened by your love.

Father my part is almost through,
The painting of this precious soul will soon be his to do.
Help the foundation colors and the lines I’ve helped to form,
Become the portrait you desire to see as he grows up and leaves.
Father may he reflect the light of all your love and glory.

I know that God is the creator of souls and the choices that we make determine who we reflect. Do we show Christ to the world or do we show it’s evil? As Mamas, God has given us the task to train and raise our children.
Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Eph 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
God is the Master Painter…the Master Designer and we need to open our hearts and engage our children so that they may be open to the plans of the Master Designer.
Isa. 64:8 But now, O LORD, You [are] our Father; We [are] the clay, and You our potter; And all we [are] the work of Your hand.
Rom 9:20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed [it], "Why have you made me like this?" :21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make

Father, please be with us as mamas and help us to say and do those things that will bring our children to you.
Samantha Moore

Monday, February 27, 2012

What does God look like?

I've been wanting to sit down and write for so long and I've had many things I've wanted to share, but once again the headache has been my enemy. So the following is something that I've been working on for a while and I'm finally ready to share it. Someday, I hope to put it in book form and at least read it to my grandbabies. I've been house bound for most of the winter and I'm praying that God will take this mean ol' thing away, but if it must be endured I pray it will at least let me attend worship services, Lads to Leaders convention, and some baseball games. We covet your prayers! Our family lives with the headache and we each have things we don't enjoy because of it. I love hearing my sweet boy pray for it to go away every night, and we've learned many lessons from it. But we'd love a "YES" here and now instead of later. God sees the big picture and holds the blueprints for our home, so we will wait in faith for his answer. Now that I've done my usual ramble here's the reason I'm posting tonight.

What Does God Look Like?

“Mama, what does God look like?“ Asked the sweetest pair of big brown eyes.
Well I’d have to say He looks like love.
But Mama I can’t see love, so I can’t see God.
“Hmm, my sweet boy, let’s sit and think…Do I love you?
Oh, silly Mama, of course you do!
Ok, precious you know I love you, but just how do you see that love?

When I’ve been running and I trip and fall, your sugars fix it all. You clean it all up, and put on the bandaid, and then you hug me and say it’ll be okay.

Very good, my little man, are there other ways to know I love you?
You fix me my food and bring home my favorite snacks.

You make sure to clear the monsters from under the bed and out of the closet after prayers are said.
I think you’ve got the idea now… love and God are not people to “see”, but I know they are just as real as you and me.

God’s love is so great that it covers us up…just like when you have a nightmare and snuggle in with us. He makes sure we’re safe and holds us close to his heart. He kisses away all the tears and our fears.

His love for us is so very special because He shared His son to bear all our troubles. He sent Jesus so that one special day, we can go live with Him in His mansion in heaven.

God’s love is so great there’s nothing you can ever do to separate yourself from the one who made you. If you ever think you’ve done something to cause Him to leave, just tell Him your sorry and He’ll forgive you, just like Mama and Daddy do.

Mama, just how big is God’s love…does He have enough to share with us all? My sweet boy his love is wide and so tall, so long and so deep it will never run out. His love is like the ocean when we go to the beach…it seems to go on and on without any end.

God’s love is so great that He wants you to be safe forever and always, so He sent His son Jesus to live here on earth. To teach us to love and to serve others and Him.

But Mama, I was listening to what the preacher said today…He said they killed Jesus and He was raised again. He lives in Heaven with God once more.

Those sweet little eyes were overflowing with tears, you see he’d been listening even closer still. Mama, he cried, I want to be safe…I want to go to heaven and I want to be His!

Now tears are pouring down a pair of faces, and he buries his face in my neck, and I promise him that he is safe that little children have nothing to worry about. God’s love surrounds you and He won’t go away.

But Mama, I love Him and I’ve been telling my friends, can’t I get baptized just like you! Sweet boy, when you can tell me His plan for you and what you must do, to tell me what sins you need forgiven too…I promise you that special day, your daddy will take your hand in his and ask you the question that will change your life. Then on that day, you’ll see God’s love as you never seen it before…and you’ll want to share Him now even more.

But the very best part of God’s love is knowing from that moment on you’re not ever alone, and your best friend Jesus is always going to be there to help you through the hardest of times here. He’ll keep your soul safe, if you’ll let him lead…like walking in daddy’s footprints at the beach.