Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9/11 Anniversary

It was 10 years ago that the United States had it's core shaken with an intensity that my generation will never forget. It was a Tuesday. I remember the day with a clear vision in the midst of an enormous fog. The day seemed to go by suddenly and crawl at the same time. I was on my way to work and had to flip the channel because they interrupted it for a weird news broadcast about something that was happening in New York City. Because I don't live any where near NYC, I was certain this had nothing to do with me! After all, I had an important appointment later that morning and I wanted to get some paper work done before my big day. I got to my office and turned the radio on and proceeded to get to work.

Again with the interruptions!!! I was getting kind of irritated by now. After changing the station a couple times I finally decided to listen to what was going on. I sat stunned for about 10 minutes before a coworker came in chipper and happy as usual. I asked her if she knew what was going on knowing full well she didn't considering her temperament.

I told her that there had been 2 planes just flown into the World Trade Center Towers in NYC. We sat for what seemed like forever just listening to the radio in my office - - stunned. After only about half an hour or so, I had to leave for my big appointment.

At approximately 11 am I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. As I was in the midst of such serious excitement, I was in fear of our country's current circumstances! How could I bring a child into a world that we are now in the midst of living in? My husband had just come home in June from his first military deployment in Kuwait. We hadn't even had our 1 year anniversary yet. We had just cancelled our plans to move to Wyoming after falling in love with the area on our honeymoon about 50 weeks prior to this devastating event.

What in the world is going on?!


Now here we are, 10 years later. I have 3 kids, a dog and a 3 legged cat. Sarge has managed to rack up 3 more deployments. Our country has done what it can do to rebuild and realign itself to fight the terroristic attacks that rocked our nation.

A lot can change in 10 years. The Islamic terrorists that once attacked our nation now get to have a mosque just blocks from the memory of their attack on our country and get to have it in the name of "freedom of religion." But if a child wants to pray to God in a school, this is frowned upon. What is going on? How did our country come to this?

And since I've mentioned God, how about I go off on a rabbit trail on those that speak of God as if they know Him. I know that I have not worshipped God my entire life. Shoot, Ive only considered myself to be a full on believer for about 8 years now and only been going to church regularly since January of 2005 - but I know enough to know that I know WAY more about God and His word than SO many people that get to speak of Him on television.
Lucky for me, I lean toward an "all or nothing" approach to things that I do and God was no exception. When I was ready to learn, I was on it like "hite on rice." I go to church Sunday morning and evening as well as Wednesday evening services. Ive taken all but 2 tests to have an Oxford approved Associates degree in Theology (as well as a Bachelor's in Psychology and Master's in Counseling). I am an educated individual. Aside from my education, I have revelation.

I have revelation of the fact that just because I took a college Chemistry class, this does not make me an expert in the field of Chemistry. This doesn't make me any more a "scientist" any more than so many people get to call themselves "Christian" because they attended Vacation Bible School as a child.  Yet, so many people get to have an opinion of God and what He is and is not and broadcast it to the whole world.

What saddens me is that I remember being on the other side of salvation and thinking just like the scoffers of the world. Thinking that God allows this destructive type of thing to happen and doesn't do any thing to stop it. I remember thinking "Why doesn't God do something?" or "If there really is a God, why does this stuff have to happen?" or even "There cannot be a God considering all the crap that is going on in this world!"

See, in my head; God was suppose to be this lovely, happy, feel-good spirit that lived in this fictional place called "heaven." He loves everyone  everyone and all of use get to go to heaven even if we did a decent job here on earth. Shoot! I obeyed some of the commandments even though I didn't consider myself a christian!

But then I got myself on the right side of thinking. I see that while God is all powerful and all knowing, He doesn't have control of the earth and all its happenings. He doesn't get to put a little bubble around all the good, Christian folks and protect them from ever being hurt by anything or anyone. EVERYONE is subject to the evil one that was cast down from Heaven to Earth because he got a little too big for his britches and thought he could take on God.

Now, as part of living on the Earth, we have to fight a battle in what seems like our minds -  but really, it's a spritual battle between good and evil. Do you go with God by studying His word? Do you go with God in theory even though you don't bother to go to church or read the Bible? Do you just use God as a fire insurance policy hoping that you never go to Hell even though you aren't sure there really is a Hell?

I believe that we have to fight the devil. YES! I said the devil. Do you believe there is one? I do. And I believe just exactly what the Bible says about him too. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. Doesn't that sound like an awful lot of the yuck that happens in our world these days? What if the devil was the one responsible for all of this? Does believing this mean that you would have to believe in God? Would it mean that one would have to consider trying to understand how this all goes together?

Quite honestly, I think that there are just too many people that think all of these questions but choose to do nothing about it. Church is for weird people, right? Besides, why would you want to do something different with your life. It would just mess up your partying on Friday and/or Saturday nights and be able to try to sleep it off on Sunday.

I know that this tyraid is all over the place . . . I feel like I'm a little ADHD right now . . .

I guess what I need to say is that saying your a Christian doens't make you one any more than standing in the garage makes you a car/truck/lawn mower/power tool/etc.

God doesn't just let bad things happen to good people. The devil likes to get in the way and has done a pretty good job doing it. But, I know that God wins because I've read the book.
Have you?

Friday, July 1, 2011

not in vain.

So, it has been a while since I've last blogged. As many of you can imagine, I have been quite busy.
School ended a month ago and June flew by! July is gearing up to be quite busy as well! I have a trip to Norfolk, NE to take today to see my dad and step-mom for her birthday. Tomorrow we are traveling to Ida Grove, IA for a wedding of one of Sarge's cousins. Monday we are going to Battle Creek, IA to see Chris's family some more and to celebrate our dear country and the freedom we all enjoy and take for granted. The next Saturday is Chris's family reunion (because we NEVER see each other!) that his mom is hosting!!! I love these family reunions. They are always fun! The weekend of the 16th may be busy as it is my dad's birthday on the 17th. The 23rd we are celebrating Jacob's 4th birthday - hopefully Sarge will be home by then!!!! (he better be!) and by the 30th - i am hoping we will be on our way home from our vacation traveling around iowa.

Over the past few months there have been so many things that have happened too! My brother and his 2 kids came to visit a couple weeks ago and my mom surprised me by flying in as well!
The girls had a birthday in April - Bradee is now 2 and Taylor is 9. The birthday was great, but a few days before the party, I remember thinking that things just wouldn't be right without Sarge. He has never missed a birthday of one of the kids yet . . . well, this isn't entirely true. Jacob's first birthday Sarge was on AT (Annual Training for the National Guard) in California so me and the kids went to Florida! We had a party when we all got home which was nice so technically, Sarge has never missed a party here in Iowa, until this deployment.

Which brings me to my next point that I alluded to in the first paragraph. Deployments can suck something fierce. I have totaled up the amount of time Chris and I have been separated due to deployments and the number totals . . . . . keeping in mind we've been married not quite 11 years . . . . . . our separation totals . . . . . .3 years. Think about getting pregnant (for you ladies reading this) and having a baby and then your husband leaves and doesn't come back until that child is 3  years old! Now, granted this time has been separated across 4 deployments ranging from 6 months, 7 months, 9 months and 15 months.

Now, for my soap box. I get a lot of people asking things like "why are 'we' even over there?" they say things like "we should just get out of there and keep our troops home" . .. . things along those lines.I know that there are people that don't understand what that means to someone like me. To say that to me it is like saying that what my husband is doing and what my family and I sacrifice is worthless.

For those that ever feel like saying this -  think twice. We have a purpose of being over there. It is to defend those that cannot defend themselves against the tyrants of the world. We are trying to help. The news media isnt and doesnt show the good that is going on. What good would that do? It would actually mean that the decision to fight this war was worth it! I understand that there are many soldiers dying - but if there wasn't someone willing to die for you and your freedom, you too would be under and tyranny. Year after year, war after war - people die. I have been fortunate enough that my husband has returned safe and sound from each of the deployments he has been on and I fully expect him to return back home from this 4th one. If something awful should happen between now and then - I am prepared to handle that. I had to be before he even left. But his potential death - along with all of the other deaths that have been and will continue to be are not in vain.

This is why we have bar-b-ques, fireworks and parades coming up. To say that those that have fought, are fight and will fight do not do it in vain.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

babbling with bubba

So, as many of you (and some may not be) know, Jake doesn't speak the greatest.
He has been in speech therapy for 4 to5 months I guess???
After discussing his progress within the past few weeks i realized a litle something . . . for nearly the entire year last year, Jacob was in the house with Sarge (a full time student and not a man of many words) and Bradee (a 1 year old who isn't advanced in the land of speech as well) - all day, nearly every day. No wonder this poor little guy wasn't developing in his speech development!
Since Sarge has been deployed and I work full time - Bradee and Jake are at a baby sitter's house all day - interacting with other kids and adults as well! He has grown leaps and bounds . . . but still needs therapy to help him express the ends of words and some other various sounds . . .

This brings me to my "babbling with bubba" . . . .
Driving home from church the other day i told Jacob that he was so cute and I asked if i could eat his face.
His response was: "no mama! da wou ow me!" (translation: No mama! That would ow (hurt) me!"

(WOW! trying to spell fonetcially in Jake-speak is kinda hard!)

Until next time. . .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You never know. . . .

Nearly 15 years ago I was a freshman in college. I dediced to skip class one afternoon and just after I layed down on my all too small of a dorm room bed, I got a phone call. It was a step-mother telling me that my father had been hospitalized. He eventually became diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy. Basically this means that his lower left ventrical of his heart was 4 times the size it shoudl be and that his heart was working correctly. For the next year, dad was in and out of hospitals and nearly on a transplant list. His cardiologist had a look upon his/her face at a yearly (maybe a 6 month) check up that my dad described it as a look to say that that dr. was surprised to see him alive.
During this time, my father quit smoking and had to get on disability (which was a huge struggle). Another major thing that happened during this time was that my father got saved. By continued prayers from someone we may not even know . . . or possibly my step-mom??? . . . my dad's life was spared. 
He currently has a variety of health issues . . . but when you consider the life he led for so many years, he's doing ok.
He is literally a walking miracle. Less than 1% of those diagnosed with his specific heart condition live 10 years without open heart surgery . . . the worst my dad has had to endure is an angioplasty.
He's fine. His heart is nearly normal. He is a miracle. Jesus gave us that miracle.

This brings me to the title of this story . . . "you never know" . . .
Today I will be going to a funeral of a man who did everything right. He was healthy. Lived a life void of a lot of physical labor (which tends to shorten our life expectancy) and appeared to take care of himself quite well. What he didn't know for a long time was he had a congenital heart defect. After finding this out, he had to have surgery. While at home during his recovery, this particular man didn't get a miracle.

How is it that my father - who did nearly EVERYTHING wrong - has survived this long and someone who did what seems to be EVERYTHING right passes?

While I am only 33 years old at the time of this writing, I contemplate my own life. I thank God every day that my father is with us and saddened by those that lose their family members too soon.

In no way, shape, or form am I suggesting that God killed this man . . .
I AM stating that I know without a shadow of a doubt that God healed my father though.

You never know . . . .

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Since my blog is titled "sharin' stories" i thought i might pass on a quick little story . . .
December 13, 2010 - i only remember because my brother in law came to help Chris install the rest of our kitchen floor that day and it happened to be his birthday - what a guy!
Anyway - i had a friend stop by the house as well and after she left, Bradee had been nagging me about something - not sure what as she doesn't speak too well just yet.

Picture this - a long living room with large windows facing the street (west) with a loveseat in front of it, a few feet farther in - a hallway to the bathroom and bedrooms (going south). just after the hall on the south wall, a regular sized couch with the entertainment center opposite this couch on the north wall. on the east wall of the living room is the door way to the dining room. I am at the door way to the dining room, Grant - the brother in law - is sitting on the couch and Bradee is standing at the front of the loveseat along the west side of the living room.

I ask Bradee if she wanted a drink - or something to that effect.
She looks at me with a stone cold face.

I say again - Bradee, do you need something in the kitchen? (as the kitchen is through the dining room and i was headed that way for her)
She continues the face.

I ask a THIRD time if she wants something from me.
AGAIN - the face!

I finally give up and say "forget it" and walk away.

I then hear Grant laugh so much that i turn away and ask what was so funny.
He proceeded to tell me that after i turned away, Bradee looked at him, smiled really big and put her hands up to her mouth, shrugged her shoulders and giggled!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's been a while

Hello all

so, its been quite some time since my last post . . . I guess life has a way of getting away from us at times. To bring you all up to speed . . . we - well, let me be honest - Sarge redid our floors in the living room, dining room, hallway and kitchen from a nasty carpet (living and dining rooms and hallway) that needed replaced 8 1/2 years ago when we moved in and an ok linoleum in the kitchen TO a gorgeous wood laminate. I think im about 75% sure i love it.
I must say that the carpet REALLY hid the dirt a lot better than these floor do. Sadly, all of the work that went into getting the floors installed isnt done and may not be done until this summer . . .
We have the door trim to be put up, transition pieces to install, caulk around the front door, getting a piece of trim for the back door to the deck and there is some other funky piece of something that puts a seal on the floor for the door that leads to the back porch and ultimately into the garage.

The reason for this is fairly bittersweet . . . Sarge is now being deployed to Afghanistan. This is his 4th tour of duty overall and all have taken place in a matter of 10 years. The first was just after we were married in 2001 and he was stationed in Kuwait for just under 6 months. The next was from May 2003 to January 2004 in which he spent time in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt. The third deployment - Iraq(the longest) was from July 2005 to October 2006 and now we are entering the 4th tour.

He is expected to be home sometime this summer . . .
so for now, I am a "single-mom" to the Littles.

Life is always interesting . . . telling Bradee to leave the cat and dog alone, telling jacob to stop yelling and asking taylor to help and asking for God to give me the strength to not kill one of them.