Category Archives: Uncategorized

Alligator Mouth

I’ve let my alligator mouth overload my tadpole rearend about a hundred times in the last few weeks concerning our place of worship.
Okay, a hundred times is a bit of an exaggeration…more like twice, but still.
And my heart aches and I cringe every time I think of what I’ve said and how I’ve mishandled the issue.
I’ve torn it down even further, with my alligator mouth.
And, so here I am, begging for forgiveness, embarrassed, angry, and humbled all at the same time.
And then God gives it to me:
“Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the alter of The Lord that had been torn down”.
1 Kings 18:30
I read that verse and one word grabbed my attention: repaired.
Elijah was repairing the alter for sacrifice after the people that were intended to use it had torn it down, because they didn’t need it anymore…they were serving idols.
Repaired equals restoration.
Elijah restored it.
He placed twelve stones representing the tribes of Israel there at the alter in the name of The Lord.
And then…
Fire fell.
So, I’m reading this and I must ask myself a hard question:
What idol am I serving that is tearing down my place of worship?
I can very easily answer that…
I’m self serving.
And as a counselor I cannot begin to tell you how that makes my insides feel…but the truth is the truth.
And as a follower of Christ, I know nothing in this life is about me.
One good thing about the truth…it’ll set you free.
And that’s why He came, so we would be set free…

Lord, thank you for knowing my heart and for your forgiveness and for your revelations.
Thank you for restoring your church unto yourself.
Lord, let me not tear it down any further with my words or deeds.
Lord, help us repair it.
And Lord, let your holy fire fall down.
Amen.

My today is his yesterday.

“My today is his yesterday”. 

That’s what my friend said to me about her husband who is serving a tour of duty in Korea. 

What a beautiful revelation of time. 

Time. 

It’s what both plagues and blesses the military spouse. 

It surrounds every aspect of our military lives.

How long will he be gone? 

What time is PT? 

How long will we be stationed here? 

When are you coming home? 

When is the next four day? three day? 

Training holiday? 

What time is it there, where he is? 

What day is it there, where he is? 

What major mile markers will he miss during his time away? 

Holidays? 

And when you know he’s leaving, you count the months, the days, the hours, the seconds and you absorb them as much as you can. 

And it’s the same when he returns: You countdown time. 

How many more years until he can retire or get out? 

Time. 

It’s something no one can escape. 

It’s something no one should take for granted. 

And I am so thankful and humbled to know that I serve a God that knew me and my husband before the foundation of time. 

My God, who remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

I serve a timeless God. 

And I pray that you do too. 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day

It’s fast approaching and unfortunately for us, we have added three more names to our list of remembrances and they’ve all three been since the beginning of the year. 

My friend who lost her husband only 3 short months ago has one major concern: That people will forget her. Obviously, that’s preposterous to me, but I understand. 

His name flashed at the bottom of the screen for a brief second and life moved on. 

But, she’s still in the interim of grief and a new normal. 

A normal, that really will never be normal again. 

And she’s right…that’s a sacrifice that should NEVER be forgotten. 

So, this Memorial Day:

Enjoy that barbecue and the extra day off, but DO NOT forget why you have it. 

Explain to your children why we have it.

Pray for the families that have lost their soldier.

Remember them, always.

Thank them. 

And if you are blessed enough to know one of these families, send them a note. 

Let them know that you haven’t forgotten them and that you never will. 

That old man, with his WWII hat on, with all the badges, sit down and talk to him. 

The Vietnam Vet, the one who came home to a country that maybe wasn’t so nice to him…talk to him too.

I bet he knows a few names on The Wall.

And the young guy missing a limb…talk to him.

Let’s make an effort to remember on this upcoming Memorial Day.

Let’s never forget together.  

 

 

His Hands

Image

His hands…they’re my favorite. 

They’re big and strong. 

Callused from hard work. 

Gentle. 

Firm. 

Quick. 

Slow. 

I pray for those hands…

to be a blessing. 

to protect. 

to be protected. 

to be used for the kingdom. 

to lead our family and to lead his men.

to dial my number, so I can hear his voice. 

to type an email, so I can read his thoughts. 

to write me a letter, because he knows I love those unexpected things.

I pray for those hands as he picks up his bag to leave. 

And I pray for those hands as they embrace me upon return. 

“Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me”. -Psalms 144:1-2

 

 

The Morning After

Naturally, we congregated and there we sat, the morning after, still in a daze.

Confused.

Shocked.

Remembering.

Grief etched on our faces and heard in every word spoken.

God?

It’s hard to see You through this pain, this grief, this wailing wall,

this interim.

This interim of time between grief and heaven.

Because we all feel it, right? At some point or another, we are in that time. That time of in-between.

Remember in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the day after Jesus dies on the cross?

In Matthew, it just says that the priests (the same priests that yelled “CRUCIFY”) went to Pilot to have the tomb where He lay, sealed and guarded.

That’s the only account of the in-between Jesus dying for you and the resurrected Jesus to give you life more abundantly.

What did the disciples do?

Well, we know they congregated, because on the third day, resurrected Jesus was among them.

I bet they were the same as us: dazed, confused, shocked, grief-stricken, wailing, hopeless.

Remembering.

Questioning.

Still following, but maybe struggling with the follow.

Waiting.

Waiting for the in-between to be over.

One of my most favorite verses in the Bible: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.

Some versions use the word “trust” instead of “wait”.

They that trust.

They that trust in the in-between, shall renew their strength.

So, whatever you’re in-between…

Sickness.

Deployment.

Terrible twos.

Marriage woes.

Divorce.

Finances.

Grief.

Trust Him.

Wait for Him.

Hope in Him.

Sometimes it’ll be hard.

But, keep on keepin’ on.

Because you know what?

On the third day…

He rose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boy.

You just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

He has hair!

What a blessing, as not all babies have hair.

He’s so small. Fragile.

You nurse him. The bond is strong.

You thank God for him.

His first smile is saved just for you.

His face lights up when he sees you.

Your voice is the one that calms his cries.

You hear his first word “da-da”. His happy sound.

You know he really meant to say “ma-ma”.

You hold him and you hold him tight.

You rock him to sleep.

You change him.

You bath him.

You feed him.

You pray for him.

You love him.

You watch him grow.

Toddling turns to walking.

Walking turns to running.

Boys are active!

You chase him.

You entertain him.

You teach him.

You sing to him.

You answer him.

You watch him.

You play games with him.

When he falls, you pick him up.

Clumsiness turns to confidence.

Words come easily.

Up, up, up he grows.

He’s too big to pick up when he falls now, but you’re there anyway.

When he’s sick, you nurse him back to health.

His body is changing.

His voice, deeper.

You are proud of the man he is becoming.

You protect him.

You watch out for him.

You continue to nurture this growing child into a man.

You squabble, a little, but he respects you.

He does what you ask.

And before you know it…it’s time.

It’s time to let him go and be a man.

It’s time to let him live his purpose and fulfill his destiny.

Reluctantly, you let him go.

You watch from afar, now.

And he goes.

He soars.

He does everything and more than you ever dreamed.

He’s healing the sick.

He’s raising the dead.

Demons tremble in His presence.

He’s The One.

He’s prophecy fulfilled.

You always knew He was.

But, you still expect to see Him toddle around the corner.

Your son, the Son of Man.

Here to save us all.

But, you hear the rumors.

You hear the threats.

You feel the tension.

You don’t understand because He’s the one.

He’s the one they’ve been wanting.

He’s the one they’ve read about.

He’s the one they’ve waited on their whole lives.

He’s here, flesh and blood, He’s here!

He’s the one, you know He’s the one.

The Angel told you He was.

And He’s yours.

Blessed.

That’s what they said when they knew you were carrying Him in your womb.

Blessed?

Blessed to see the very lives He came to save, curse Him?

Blessed to see them beat Him?

Blessed to see Him near death?

Blessed to see Him nailed to a cross?

Blessed to have your heart ripped out of your chest?

Blessed?

Blessed to hear Him speak to you as He died?

Dear woman, here is your son“.

John?

You don’t want John!

You want Him!

Why doesn’t He just do what you know He can do and come off that cross?

It is finished“.

And you watch them pierce His side.

Haven’t they done enough?

He’s gone.

Pain. You feel pain.

The grief is too great to bare.

They drag you away from Him.

You’d stay there forever.

Blessed?

This isn’t blessed.

But He’s the one.

You know He’s the one.

Blessed?

It doesn’t feel like you’re blessed.

Not in the way you want to be.

But you knew.

You knew.

Deep down in your soul…you knew.

He had to die.

Time is standing still, as you remember.

You remember the runny nose that you wiped clean.

You remember the rocking of the babe to sleep.

You remember picking Him up.

Holding Him.

You remember every detail of His tiny face.

You remember every detail of His man face.

You remember searching for Him when He was a boy and finding Him in His Father’s house.

You remember later depending on Him.

Dear Woman, My time has not yet come“.

Remembering brings waves of grief.

Grief turns to despair.

Despair turns to angst.

You didn’t think it was supposed to be like this.

You mourn.

You groan.

You long for your son.

Death is so final.

This cannot be the end.

Blessed?

 

 

They come to interrupt your grief.

He’s what?

What do they mean “He’s not there”?

Where is He?

Risen?

Wait.

What do they mean?

Risen?

He’s not there?

 

Confusion turns to understanding.

Understanding turns to joy.

You smile.

You rejoice.

He said “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up“.

That’s what He said!

Yes, of course, He’s Risen!

Blessed?

Yes, now you understand.

Yes, blessed.

Blessed as the vessel that gave life to The One that would give His life for all.

Yes, blessed.

Blessed to see Him fulfill every scripture.

Blessed to know He is risen.

And yes, blessed to see Him die, though the grief was overwhelming.

Blessed to be a part of a life that would change the World forever.

 

 

 

 

 

The Commissary and Coffee

They call them “rumors”, but I personally feel they should be called “threats”.

Threats to take our retirement away, threats in pay cuts, threats to close commissaries, threats all around.

And now, I guess it’s just a matter of time based on what I read here…because I see NO WAY the commissary can stay open with a $1 billion dollar hit!

I drive exactly 30 minutes to grocery shop at our commissary.

I go for the savings.

I got tired of the drive a while back and decided to shop at Publix, which happens to be a few miles from my home, just to see how big the difference would be and to make sure the gas I was using to drive the 30 minutes was worth it.

I have never been so embarrassed in my life!

Why?

Because I walked away from the cash register and told the cashier to put everything back.

My budget allows me to spend NO MORE than $250 at one time on groceries per paycheck. That is completely feasible for us and solely based on shopping at the commissary (come to find out). My Publix trip was at $335 with the conveyor belt full of what was left when I walked away. That was FOUR years ago.

Publix, yes I know, is a more expensive grocery store, but the convenience was enticing.

I’ve tried Wal-Mart as well. Didn’t work out there either.

My absolute favorite purchase at our commissary is Chock full o’ Nuts coffee. Why? Because it’s the best damn coffee that has EVER tickled my taste buds! It is smooth, creamy, and I would pick it over a $5 cup of coffee any day of the week! It’s A-MAZ-ING!!! Why everyone doesn’t drink it, is beyond me! Because I promise—if you are a coffee drinker and you try it just one time, you will NEVER look back!

Moving on…

At Publix, it’s $10.99 per 11.9 oz can and sometimes $11.99 and Publix is the only place around here that sells our brand.

At the commissary, it’s $6.99 (for the same sized can) and SOMETIMES, they will put it on sale for $5.99!!!

SAY WHAT?!?

AND rarely, and I mean VERY rarely, I will find a coupon for it and OMG at the savings!!!

Yeah, I know, it’s just coffee.

But WE LOVE coffee and not just any coffee…we LOVE CHOCK FULL O’ NUTS!!!

That’s our thing.

When my husband is home, our most treasured times are spent sipping coffee together before the sun comes up and the kids get out of bed. I could never formulate words for how important that time is to us…and it’s all centered around our cups of coffee.

But, when the commissary closes, we will still spend our mornings together drinking coffee, but it won’t be the same. Why? Because we won’t be able to afford the brand we love. I bare minimum buy as it is and I meal plan to a fault. If the commissary closes, our lifestyle will drastically change. There will be no way I will be able to maintain our $250 budget not shopping there. So, we will have to readjust and see what we will need to give up. House? no. Car? no. Phones? no. It’ll be little things like cable and coffee.

And you know what pisses me off the most about it?

This article right here.

Congress spends about $2 million on coffee and pastries—and that was written LAST YEAR!

If the commissary closes, it will give me so much comfort to know that my tax dollars are being spent on THEIR coffee, while I will no longer be able to afford mine—said NO ONE EVER!!!

This is ridiculous.

OUR MILITARY MAKES UP LESS THAN 1% OF OUR POPULATION!!!

LESS THAN 1%, CONGRESS!!!

And you cut the commissary budget?

And our COLA?

And possibly our retirement?

And we get a pay cut?

How about you pay for your own damn coffee and pastries!?!