Tag Archives: joyous times

Empty nesting


Most of the time I am pretty content in my life, I can spend my time any way I want to usually…with in reason. I’m a grownup ya know! Since our four children grew up, that’s the way it’s been and it is the gift the Lord gives you for a “job well done!”…or some kind of yadda yadda!

The only catch is (for which I did not see coming!)…the dreaded grand kid… they don’t tell you what this one little kid can do to you. It’s a scam I tell ya! You assume you are all finished.. the fretting, the worry, the knowing that at any given second there could be a huge explosion or landslide or any equally torrential act of God that could take your precious children to heaven sooner than you want.. or at least cause a trip to the emergency room! No one warns you about the next level.. the grandchild…the even more gut wrenching fears that are so absurd they don’t even make movies about it. How do we survive it?

I have been so blessed to have my beautiful granddaughter right next to me.. for seven wonderful years…..the hugs and kisses and jam hands have been a way of life .. everyday. The glue.. the sparkles..the stickers all over every thing you own; a never ending amount of sippy cups and drink boxes and goldfish cracker smashed in all the nooks and crannies of the couch as well as too much candy and the inevitable puke session to follow. And that’s only the good stuff! My sweet girl was always sitting too close to me, always screaming “MAMAW” when I came home and running so fast to me she nearly knocked me down. I would Buy her so much stuff that one child could never play with it all, spoiling her so bad her mother had her hands full. I’m sorry( not sorry)

But now she is gone…. Far away in a far off land. She moved .. they moved…for some reason she wanted to go with her Mom.. I mean she had me, her Mamaw and even better her Papa! But she wanted to move away .. I mean you spoil a kid rotten and they turn on you.. what nerve. She is perfectly happy too! What gives.. hot beautiful weather, the beach a swimming pool, Target and Chick-fil-A only down the street! So what.. I mean if you like that kind of stuff? I do wish a Chick-fil-A would pop up here in the ‘Burg!

Of course I’m happy for her and her Mom( don’t get me started on her Mom) there’s not enough words to express my missing her.. I’m not crying, you’re crying! I’ll move on. They are on an adventure of a lifetime, they are happy and safe; they are good. Even more than that I know that my Lord is with them, taking care of them better than I can. I had to come to the place of understanding and reminded myself that God loves them even more than I do. He has brought them this far, He has kept us all from the tricks of the devil. He has assured me that my babies and also my grandchildren will be of His highest priority.

So this empty nest I am in is even more empty, more than it’s ever been. (By the way, I ain’t hating it!)(did I say that out loud?) It’s ok, thankfully we have “face time” for which my granddaughter who I know adores me sits and plays a game ignoring me as she face times me.. um you called me missy! Oh well, I see her beautiful smile and her gorgeous hair that I love to touch and kiss her head. I know she loves me as much as I love her, she’s a tough little girl and I know the next time I see her in person she will probably be bored with me pretty quickly. These days 7 is more like 12 yrs old and I’ll be okay because I know I had those first 7 years( I had to share her with everyone else but I made sure I was at the top of her pyramid…. Most days!

I thank the Lord for my nest, my preacher bird, for my baby birds and for my sweet little chickadee. She is in good hands, with her sweet Mom, taking steps in faith for a wonderful life. They got this and even more Gods got them. I still miss the hound out of them!

Mother’s Day me and the preacherman!


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Oh Brother!


ImageGrowing up in a large family can be at best, the most awesome time of ones life and at the worst, the most awesome time of ones life! I can speak of this first hand since I am the youngest child in a family of five kids. Yes the answer is clear now……the reason why I am what I am….I am the youngest child which makes me….the BABY! The last and bottom rung of the ladder….the bottom step in the stair steps of young uns’ in our family. But, someone had to be the first step…the jumping off point, if you will, to the beginnings of our clan which brings me to my thoughts for this day.

This is the special day that my big brother was born…nine years before me…the leader of the pack! I can not even describe the amount of adoration I have always had for my brother. It was borderline sheer worship at different times in my life…..who could blame me? He is the only son, my only brother and as old as he is in reference to me…that nine years was a huge gap. A gap that has always been more like a “grand canyon-esque” hole and I spent most of my teenage years yearning for his attention. Sadly he wasn’t there….at nineteen he volunteered and entered the Vietnam War.

Needless to say It was very hard to see him leave. Timing is everything. This exodus coincided with the season of change our family was in. My father had left us, high and dry, so to speak, they sold my beloved farm and my Mom, Me and two sisters moved “to town”. Since we lived in the country it was a big deal, at least to me. City schools and city kids and a world of adventure as well as fear.It’s tough on those mean streets!

My brother went through all his basic training and ended up becoming an ARMY helicopter pilot which no one was more prouder than me. But he gave up so much, he was in college, left his home and family but to him he probably chose the lesser of the two worlds. Life was hard for the oldest child back then, this beautiful boy who grew up fishing and hunting as well as being made to work like a mine mule. I think he was living the dream on one hand on our beloved farm but still having to “man up” to my father’s demands.

I was always intrigued by his bedroom and always wanted to sneak in there and see what secrets it held. I was reminded of his room many years later when I opened the door of my eldest sons room and there was an undeniable “boy scent!” It took me straight back to those days of standing at my brother’s door daring myself to enter in……chicken as I was I never did, but that scent of sweaty man boy was the same. Funny how things like that stick in your mind or should I say senses, just like the fact I can’t pick up a book without smelling it. Yep, I am weird! His kingdom was one that I had never trod but I desperately wanted in. The next few years were filled with anticipation and fear. I can not even bear to feel the pain our Mom must have felt knowing her baby was so far away in a War. This is one emotion I never want to feel. Breaks my heart for her but he seemed to take it in stride and had a big adventure….in case anyone ever wondered…he was the one who saved so many people as well as single-handed kept the bad guys at bay. He was/is an American HERO and there has never been any question about that.

When he came back from defending the American Way (Superman wasn’t the only one!) he went and met a girl and got married! About the time I thought he was coming back home…to ME! he gets married!!! Who does she think she is….. this hateful girl…I was not happy about this news and I was in a pout for a good while…even when I went to the wedding, I acted okay but I was mad on the inside. I had lost him for ever! I was never going to really get to know him. Probably a good thing because if I had ever learned of his frailties or human-ness I may have been crushed. In my world he is larger than life. Nobody had a greater big brother than me and if they ever tested that fact I would prove them wrong….I had my list of his bravery! I did get a few bonuses…the time he came home in his Shelby Cobra and he picked me up at high school….boy was that a thrill and I had to be the coolest Oakland High School girl ever! I eventually accepted this chick who stole my brother…..truthfully, I LOVED HER! She was kind and very sweet to me, I couldn’t keep from loving her. A few years later they made me an aunt and I was even more enamored with this beautiful little boy. Then they had another boy and these two were precious.

Later on they were transferred to a base closer to home which was great. I was able to go there to visit, stay the weekend and one time I was invited to go on base to a dance with them. Although I was a little disappointed because none of the guys gave me much attention…someone said it was because I was his sister and the word was…steer clear! So in that case, I wasn’t offended….even though I thought I was pretty cute back then…(ha-ha) it was even better that he was being protective. Ahhhh the best feeling ever! Though I think if my memory serves me I ended up figuring out how to bypass his protection….I was in college for Pete’s sake…a gal’s gotta flirt!

I have always been a little sister and have been blessed with great siblings who never really picked on me, they always nurtured me and looked out for me and my love for them all is BIG. My brother was always kind of mystery which probably was a preview to marrying a man…..seems like they all are a mystery to some extent. I always compared every guy I ever dated to my brother. Sadly my father wasn’t my role model, I loved him but he was absent enough to not be first and foremost. My brother was the perfect Man in my world. Oh the mocking I have endured because of my gushing about my brother. I just take it in stride and proudly laugh because I know he is amazing and I don’t care who I tell.

The years have kept us apart but he was there for me to walk me down the aisle on my most important day. The sweetest part was when I stated, as we were nearly walking in that…” I didn’t want to do all this!” meaning walking in and being stared at (the most embarrassing thing on earth) he quickly responded…”if this isn’t what you want we can go right out the back door!” AWEEE how sweet! “NO” I said, “I want to marry him I just don’t want to be stared at!” I really was bashful way back when!! So after I explained, we were good to go. he held my hand and I was so proud to have him by my side. It was just like I was a fairy princess. My favorite man was taking me to my new favorite man….it doesn’t get much sweeter than that. There have been other times in my life since then that he has been there for me…I have called him to pour out my heart, ask for help and counsel and sometimes just to shoot the breeze. Not that he is a big talker…but he is a good listener…not that he could get a word in edge wise with me anyways!

Distance and time has been the enemy of our relationship as it is for most siblings. We grow up and away, create new lives apart from our childhood, but I cant help but feel like the squirt kid sister when I am with them all at one time. I bow to their pecking order, keep my place and enjoy the placement of my step in this stair step world of brothers and sisters. We know each other in a unique way…we know each others history, real or like-real in our own minds. I know my fantasy life I built around my brother is mostly just that. But it is my memory and I can keep it in my heart just the way I want to.

Happy Birthday Big Brother! I love you and am proud to know you. You have enriched my life more than you will ever know.

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Payin’ it forward…


About the time ya start to think the days of pondering the next dreary moment is going to be the high lite of your day, out of the blue (code for GOD) something happens to reveal how much HE really does love you and has the ability to refresh even the worst of days.

This has been the turn of events for me these past few days when my hopes were dashed in the joyous times of a new appliance. Silly of course for most folks, something breaks, go buy a new one. For me it has never been that simple and not blaming anyone but myself, actually not even blaming myself. I make no apologies for the life choices I have made. I promise when it is all said and done — I won!

There is no replacing the moments and days and years of joys and the sorrows (she says with a grimace!) that I have enjoyed over the past many years. That fancy career I am still waiting for hasn’t shown up yet….hmmm maybe it has?

But anyways, a big item like an appliance is BIG in our house. Only to be compared to the time long ago when our family, I was probably about four or five years old, got a phone in our home (on the farm). Not sure if the cool part was the big black telephone or the South Central Bell worker man who came to install it.

We didn’t have many strangers back then show up at the farm. Interesting for a bunch of kids who hovered around waiting for this link to the outside world or at least the latest party line. Jeez this really dates me….ugh!

So after my current dilemma with the three revolving fridges, I felt comforted by the fact I did end up with a brand new one at the same price as the “open-boxed” (code for used junk) one.

I had to channel my inner Ramona for that one. Ramona is my sis in law who passed a few short months ago at a too young age, but only after many years of teaching me how to get things done — and boy could she! By now she would have already been given stock in that large retail outlet. Relentless was her name and getting satisfaction was her game, or mission in life! When she was ever done wrong by a store. She is my new alter ego in my Sybil-esque life I lead. This was a common joke between us two, our Sybil-esque lives. We had to have a “getaway” in our life of raising kids and husbands!

Back to the point, I now have a new fridge and it is glorious, and given to us by a great friend. A new (used from a new home, way newer than mine, stainless steel) Dishwasher!!! It was installed by another great man and friend and bless his heart it took him a while. The old one wasn’t even grounded, which means, um, I don’t really know except he said we should have been electrocuted by now! Good to know!

So it was a process and he was so sweet and patient and would not take a dime for his labor. People really do stuff like that these days? Wow! BUT — drum roll please — get this news!!! This kind man who installed the beautiful dishwasher, which I love as much as the new fridge, who by the way works for a fancy appliance place in a fancy part of town here in Nashville, who I know he is not wealthy (in financial riches, well I think?) but is very wealthy in godly riches as well as his wife, had a BRAND NEW STAINLESS STEEL OVEN DELIVERED TODAY!!!!!!!!!! O.M.G. Can anyone out give GOD?20120214-140807.jpg

Nope and I am humbled and a little embarrassed about the kindness and generosity of this family to us. This was a random act of kindness on top of the already done kindness and it just blows me away!!! No words are grand enough to express my thankfulness and the crazy part is we got two more words of great news from two of our kids that will totally change the future of one of them which is a direct gift from GOD! Proof, as if I needed it, that HE does take care of his servants. And I can not even fathom the extent of what this miracle will do for my child. Praise the Lord!

Now for all the people who are under the covers afraid to even lift their heads out, I feel the pain, that is me. I have a knee jerk reaction most days to do the same thing. And it wasn’t a week or so ago I was there? I am not a woman of extraordinary faith. I am frail and weak when it comes to that gifting. I am the mother of four kids (that alone can kill you!) and a wife (strike two) and a preacher’s wife (bullseye!) so I should’ve been dead a long time ago. I am as whiny and crybaby as the next guy. I fail myself and God daily and I get as frustrated and bored and defeated and anyone else. BUT I do know from where my redemption comes.At the end of the day, I have a true sense of freedom in the knowledge that I am not the one running this pop stand. That is all I need.

My need to control everything around me falls to the ground in the light of HIS love for me. And sometimes hearing of other people’s blessings can be offensive and hurts even worse, even when I put on my big girl pants and not let it make me envy. Yep, sometimes I do envy — for a minute — I am human to the MAX!

I have to testify to the fact that even when I may not be the best at handling life, HE is the best at handling me and my life and for that I will always be HIS. I thank God for my life, my husband, my kids and for the people who HE has out there to love me back.

You know who you are and I pray blessings back to you. You have paid it forward, as I will continue to also.

 

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