31 December 2007

2008~it's going to be a really great year. I've decided that. And deciding is half the battle. We have a choice each day. To make it better, or to wallow in everything that's wrong. I have bad days. I have days where I can't speak without stuttering and days where I can't remember words or put sentences together. Those are the days I try to stay alone so that I don't have to see pity and sympathy in the eyes of those that love me. Johnny wants to think these days will get better. I think it's going to be a way of life for us~the 'new me', if you will. If it passes, great! If it doesn't, then we'll deal with it. Either way, it will be our choice.

My dad used to say there are only two things we have no control over. We all have to die, and we all have to pay taxes. Everything else is a choice. There will be things out of our control and actions will happen that we can't stop. But what we can do is control our reactions to them. Do I have regrets? Shoot yeah, but because of my choices, I am the person I am today. And although that person isn't perfect, I like her. She's stronger, she's more intuitive to another's pain, and she's far wiser than she was a few years ago.

Dad also used to say, "time stops for no man". It doesn't. As much as I wanted time to stand still so I could hold on to Jenny and capture forever that sweet smell behind her right ear, I couldn't. As much as I wanted time to stop so I could tell my grandmother just one more time how much I loved her, I couldn't. And as much as I wanted to hold my dad in my arms as he crossed over, I couldn't. Time marches on. And it carries us with it. We can, however, choose the walk.

I choose to put my hand firmly in His; my footsteps directly within His; and, my eyes on the beautiful place I know is there. I am so excited with this new year. There is this feeling in my soul that says it's going to be such an awesome time for our family that I simply can't wait to see how God is going to present it all to us. May 2008 be just as good for you~

30 December 2007

25 December 2007

These two sweethearts came into my life March of 1983~and they've remained through laughter and tears, challenges and victories, births and funerals, and the beauty and sadness of life in general. They have blessed my life in ways they'll never realize and brought smiles to my heart when it needed comfort. I know now, as a parent, I can look back and wish things had been different, words had been said or not, actions been done or left undone~but through it all they have grown and matured into beautiful young ladies . I am so blessed and so proud to be a part of their life. Stacey, Leslie, I promise to always be near, to always love you, and to always cover you in prayer.

19 December 2007

Nativity scenes. I've always loved them. Growing up, we had one that my father brought back when he returned from overseas. It was very simple, just Mary, Joseph, the baby, and an angel. One cow and a sheep, that over the years lost a leg. I loved finding it when mother would bring it out of the attic with the other decorations. Now, I don't know where you worship or what you believe, but as my father aged he began to resent seeing nativity sets during the Christmas season. He had his reasons and they were valid. To a point.

I know we should celebrate His birth each day and that we should also celebrate His death, because in dying, He arose. I know all that and I believe it wholeheartedly. But, in his attempt to get the point across to us, he didn't want Christmas carols sung either. To do so, in his eyes, would be to appear worldly. And in his swing away from the scriptures the World tried to place on Christmas, he missed the whole point of what a beautiful story it is. And if this is the only time that most of our world ever takes the time to hear it, then we need to share it. And not be afraid.

While shopping with Jenny downtown recently, we came across a beautiful nativity set. She asked Ian who the baby was. He promptly said, "Moses!" She couldn't get him to say it was the baby Jesus. Now I don't think that's any fault of Brandon nor Jenny. I thought it showed knowledge on Ian's part that there was another biblical figure who's story began as a baby! But sadly, this is the only time each year that some children see parents hovering over a baby in a straw manger, with animals nearby, shepherds, and men bearing gifts. I'm sure they ask questions and I pray that they are given a patient answer, if no other than "that's how Jesus was born". And just maybe from that planted seed, more questions will follow and someday someone will have the answers to bring them to the Lord.

Share the nativity story. Share it with the holiness it deserves, the excitement of this miracle, and sing with feelings the beautiful hymns normally reserved for this time of year. And may your Christmas be filled with His peace, His grace, and His mercy. And if you have questions of your own, I pray that you will find someone to help you with the answers.

11 December 2007

I remember getting up long before daylight and thinking no one would hear me if I crept very quietly to the Christmas tree. Did I really think mother wouldn't hear me?!

I remember just quivering with excitement and wondering what would greet us when we were finally allowed to get up and go to the tree. You see, Santa didn't wrap any presents so gifts were always laid out with such care. The only wrapped presents would be taken later to grandparents and cousins. Oh the awe of that first sight of everything Santa brought!

I remember thinking that in the pre-dawn light, a tree couldn't look more beautiful. That is until~I saw our Christmas tree mirrored in my young daughter's eyes. Then I realized the real meaning of the magic of Christmas.

07 December 2007

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy. The United States Of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan. It is obvious that planning the attack began many weeks ago, during the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American military forces, I regret to tell you that over three thousand American lives have been lost. No matter how long it may take us to over come this pre-meditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Because of this unprovoked, dastardly attack by Japan, I ask that the congress declare a state of War.

Admiral Yamamoto: I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.