Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What really matters in the grand scheme of things

The tragedy that took place on the 14th really has me questioning some things.  My parenting tactics.  What I do and do not tell my kids.  I had completely planned on not talking to my children about this tragedy.   They are only children once. It will be all too soon and they will feel the weight of the world on their shoulder....jobs, bills, responsibilities...why add to that before it's necessary?  I also did not want my children going to school in fear.  Though school shootings are becoming more common, they are the exception, not the rule.  I knew I had a difficult time understanding Friday's events.  How did I expect my children to understand.  I had no intentions of talking to them about it unless they came home from school yesterday talking about it because they had heard friends talking about it.

And that's exactly what happened.  However, I could tell that they had few enough details that they still did not grasp the magnitude of what took place so we closed the topic up.

Then this morning happened.  Not much different from other mornings and all too common lately.  Kids picking on each other until they are in tears.  Siblings being siblings and I laid in bed (Jeremy let me sleep in) thinking, "My God!!!  They do not realize the blessings they have before them!  Here we are in a season of Thankfulness and Christmas and my kids are SO ungrateful!"   All I could think about is that in Newtown CT, there were brothers and sisters WISHING they could play with their sibling one more time and it brought tears to my eyes.  I brought my two oldest kids to the table and sat them down.  I explained that a very bad man did do what Caleb's friend said he did.  I told them that 20 1st graders died that day.  Many of them had siblings.  I tried to drive home the point of just how blessed they are to have each other.  I told them (in tears of course) that we are not promised tomorrow and how sad would it be to never get to tell your brother or sister that you loved them or to hug them, or to have them to play with.  How sad would it be to know you will never see them again this side of heaven.  I told them there are 20 sets of mommy's and daddy's who probably already had presents under the tree that will not be opened this year.  I told them I was very thankful and blessed to have them and they should feel the same way about each other.

Ironically, the rest of the morning was pretty peaceful.  I made sure they gave their little sister a hug before they left, (they often like to leave her screaming for hug and then crying because she didn't get one).  Maybe, just maybe, they'll begin to understand the value of life and family.

This should be a lesson to all of us!  Life is too short!  We aren't promised tomorrow.  Do not leave relationships undone or broken.  It's a burden too painful to carry when you do not have tomorrow to fix things!
God bless

Friday, December 14, 2012

A time for mourning and a time to remember just what you have to be thankful for!

My day started off like any other day but I knew it would be a busy one.  Tis the season!  Typically, mornings are pretty stressful here.  Especially school morning.  I have 3 kids that are each 2 years apart and they are at a stage in their little lives that they feel their purpose in life is to see just how long they can annoy each other before their target explodes!  This morning was no different.  Madison is mocking everything Olivia is saying.  Caleb is taking Madison's baby dolls from her and running through the house and Olivia is screaming at the top of her lungs, "MOOOOOMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!!  SHE'S MOCKING ME!!!!!"  and I'm going about my business, making a hot oatmeal breakfast for these little ungrateful beings who are going through a season of not only teasing the fool out of each other but complaining about everything.  Everything is too hot, too cold, too itchy, too soft, too thin, too thick, too sweet, not sweet enough etc...etc...

Olivia, my oldest, does not know what the word "hurry" means.  She can not even fathom it.  She moves about her life at a snails pace.  Truth be told, she'll probably live longer for it but I'm sure to die sooner over the stress it causes. (so kidding, I'm NOT claiming an early death!...I am however trying to lighten what will soon become a very heave hearted post). So from the time I wake them up in the morning until the time they are in the care of their school, it is an understatement to say that our home is chaos.  I've tried routine.  In fact, we still have the same routine that we've had since Olivia started kindergarten.  Shower before bed, pray together as a family, sing a song, kiss and hug, tell them to hush and go to sleep over and over and over, finally...peace and quiet.  Then my work begins.  Dishes, shower, work, editing (which is part of my work), might catch up on a show or two while editing, look at the clock, exclaim "CRAP!  I better get in bed" as it's now 3:30 am and my alarm will be going off at 6:30 AM.  Brush my teeth, climb into bed for what seems like 5 minutes, then wake up startled to a loud obnoxious meep meep meEP meEP mEEP mEEP MEEP MEEP!  I go and wake up the kids.  Tell them to get on their uniforms, belt, shoes, socks (yes I have to be specific and tell them EVERYTHING they need to put on that morning.  Especially Olivia) and then meet me at the table.  While they are doing that, I'm filling up cups with milk, water, or juice...whichever their choice is. I'm either pouring cereal into bows, making oatmeal and divvying it up or scrambling eggs and making toast.  I get this all done and set on the table and call them in.  Caleb is already picking on Madi (though fully dressed like I requested....most of the time), Madi is complaining that she's hungry and thirsty and needs to go pee. (then go!!  Just be sure you wash your hands! AND flush...in the other order!) and Olivia has her uniform shirt on and that is it.  I get frustrated and tell her once again she has 2 minutes to finish getting dressed.  5 minutes later she comes out.  Still missing her shoe and sock and looking like a hot mess!  (she's in a cast right now and on crutches so only one shoe and sock and she still can't do this in a timely fashion.)  She sits at the table and complains that her cereal is too mushy or her oatmeal is too cold....I try to gently remind her that if she would have gotten dressed in a timely manner her cereal would not be mushy or her oatmeal would not be cold.  Caleb and Madi have about finished their breakfast (if Madi even eats at all...she's always hungry and never eats much.  LOL) and the teasing begins.

Any two of them together can usually play fine together but you have all 3 and they feel it's their job to see just how long they can pick on each before making someone scream.   I make sure their backpacks are ready all while telling Olivia to hurry up.  They are finally done and have put their bowls in the sink (If I'm lucky) and I instruct them to brush their teeth and hair.

School starts at 8:00 and we are lucky to be out the door by 7:45.  Thank God we live close by!  I kiss them and hug them and tell them to have a good day and wipe the sweat off my brow...shoo...that's finally done!  Maybe the rest of the day will be peaceful with only 1 left at home.

Then there are days like today.  Days where I said goodbye to them in the same manner as usual but maybe had been harsh on them for acting up.  I don't love them any less, they've just driven me to a point of frustration and I always feel bad about it afterwards.  Thankfully, those times are much less than they use to be...then my day is SO busy and I go about my day with not a care in the world.  I drop Madi off with a family member and go eat Christmas lunch with my handsome sweet 1st grader who didn't know I was coming to enjoy Christmas lunch with him.  The look of surprise on his face was priceless and it was SO special and beautiful to me.  We eat our lunch, we talk about his day so far and then I kiss and hug him and tell him goodbye and I'd see him after school.  I went and picked up Madison and we went to target to pick up some things we needed and to get our stocking stuffers (I hid hers in the bottom part of the shopping cart....down below on the VERY bottom where you can put packs of water and large and bulky things.)  We check out and I stop and get her something for lunch. (She refused to eat earlier).  We bring it back home and it's already almost time to pick the older 2 kids up from school.  We have just enough time for her to eat and for me to get on facebook and check some work things.  I could not believe the news I was reading.  Every other post was about it and I was brought to tears.  How could anyone shoot anyone let alone and ENTIRE classroom of babies!  My son was a kindergartener last year. My baby will be one next year and it near about brought me to my knee's.  Dear God!!!  how could something like this happen?  What could possible possess someone to take the life of a child?   To add to my hurt and confusion and frustration were those folks already using this as political propaganda to outlaw hand guns.

First of all, there still may have been family members who didn't yet know their child had been murdered at the hand of a crazed maniac who was obviously suffering some sort of mental break down, depression, possession...whatever it was that told him this was what he needed to do and people are already talking politics???  Really???

Second of all, I was once one of those who said guns would not be in my home as long as I had kids.  And then....and then I was shown a loaded gun by a man who was supposed to care the most about me and had fear instilled in me and forced me to do things with him I did not want to do.  Not until I was married, and had kids...daughters did I realize my feeling has changed drastically.  Over my dead body would any man...any one period lay a hand on my child to harm them physically, sexually, or in way shape or form.  I am their mother.  It is MY job to protect them and if someone stormed into my home with then intent to take my children, harm my children, harm me,  or anyone that is in my home, they WILL be met with someone prepared and willing to fight!  The momma bear rises up within me when I think of anyone trying to harm my babies!!! 

Then you take Israel.  A country that trains and arms their teachers to protect the children in their classrooms.  ARMED WITH SEMI AUTOMATIC GUNS!!!  Guess what?  You do not hear of school shootings in Israel.  You take all of our states in our country and the highest gun crimes are in states with the strictest gun laws.

But honestly, that's a discussion for another day.  Today....TODAY, lift these families up!  This town will have a huge amount of healing to do.  having lost someone extremely close to me...I still can not even fathom.....not my babies!  I can just hear these moms and dads crying not my babies!!!  That's what I would be crying.   So, instead of worrying about our current laws and so quick to readily give up your freedoms that many men and women fought and died for, stop....stop the bickering.  Stop the fighting.  HUG YOUR BABIES!!!  Hug them tight.  I can't imagine if this had been my kids today....after having a stressful morning and maybe hollering a little more than I should have...I can't imagine having that feeling that I left with words unspoken and tomorrow would never come...I could never take those words back.  Or go back and say, " You know baby, mommy was so frustrated this morning but I want you to know that no matter what...not matter what you do, I will ALWAYS love you!!  Nothing you could do or say could change that!"  I can't imagine knowing that I didn't have tomorrow........

God help us!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Learning to be a nurturing Godly mom in an ungodly world

One thing I've always struggled with is parenting.  We aren't given a manual when we have kids and even if we were, what's right for one isn't always right for the other.  When I found out I was pregnant with our oldest, I started thinking back to my childhood.  What would I change if I could.  What would I keep the same.  What did I wish were different and what was I glad to have had?

First of all, to clear the air, my mom usually reads all my posts and I'm sure this one will be no different.  I love my mom and today, she is one of my best friends.  We had to make it through a very difficult time together and ironically, something so very hurtful brought us closer.  My mom was a great mom but there were things that I felt I missed out on that I wanted to change for my children.  I'm so very grateful she was as strict as she was...my father too.  I'm sure there were times back then that I didn't feel that way but they did a pretty good job of protecting my innocence and keeping me safe.  Having 2 girls and remembering what it was like to be a girl growing up, I knew though, that there were some changes to be made. 

When I was growing up, my daddy was the "nurturer".  Which is not common for most men.  Even those daddy's who's little girls think they hung the moon.  Very few of us daddy's girls had daddy's that talked to us when we were going through breakups or were just really sad or just needed a listening ear....but my daddy did.  A role that moms usually play, my dad stepped in and played.  Not because my mom wasn't a good mom but my mom's personality wasn't the same as mine.  Very few people have family members all with the same personality.  My mom was a busy woman.  I was the youngest of 5 mouths she had to feed and the youngest of 5 kids she had to do laundry for and clean up after.  Not only did she have the "yours, mine, and ours" 5 but she kept everyone elses kids too!  She loved and she loved big but she loved in her own way.  Looking back (and I'm saying this with ALL love mom!!!!) I fell like she was kind of burned out.  She was the second born of 8 kids and the oldest of the girls so ALL of her life, she had a lot on her plate!  All the chores that came with being the oldest born girl raised on a farm.  She was momma #2.  One of her baby sisters even told people that my mom was her mother.  hahaha!!  Then she went through a marriage that had it's hardships.  I won't go into those details but there was a lot of hurt there and a lot of trust lost.  She had daycare in her home so she could be home with her kids so in my younger years, during the day, she was taking care of everyone elses kids and at night, she was taking care of all of us and getting dinner on the table for when my dad got home, making sure everyone got their baths and did their homework so sometimes, I felt like I got lost in the shuffle.  I didn't get to be in the kitchen making cut out cookies with my mom, I was playing with and entertaining babysitting kids.  I remember my dad and my sister and my oldest brother helping me with my preschool books getting me ready for school the next year.  I remember my sister and my Aunt Becky playing with my hair, playing barbies with me, playing "dress up" (mostly just makeup) with me.  I remember my sister walking me to the park and putting flowers in my hair.  Things a little girl wants to do with her mom from time to time, I felt I was getting from my sister Lori, my Grandma, my Daddy and my brother Doug.  Again, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my mom!!!  But I did miss doing those things with her.  I don't feel we had much one one one time when I was growing up.  It was my dad that came into my room when I went through my first ugly break up to give me a hug and wipe my tear and tell me everything was going to be OK and I should stay away from those hairy legged boys anyway because they are nothing but trouble.  He told me I should wait until I was 30 to get married and he would dance at my wedding.  <3  

My parents (neither one of them) told me about...."growing up".  "the Change".  Thankfully, they covered that pretty thoroughly in 4th and 5th grade so when that time came, I knew what was going on.  My parents (neither one of them) sat down and talked to me about sex and how babies are made.  That talk was pretty much summed up like this at home...."Sex is bad outside of marriage so don't do it.  If you do, bad things will happen."  Period.  End of story.  haha.  No in depth birds and the bee's talks.  Thankfully, my home Church had a GREAT "Worth the wait" program and they also covered this topic at Youth Camp.    I pretty much knew I wanted to wait until my wedding night.....unfortunately, that choice was taken from my hands by a man that thought I was his property.

I don't remember getting to much information on finances and how to manage them.  I wasn't shown how to do laundry.  My first experience in laundry was in college.  I had watched my mom separate the colors so I knew to do it that way and thankfully, college washing machines are like laundry mat washing machines so if you can read, it was pretty self explanatory.

So, when we had our children, I learned from how I was raised what I wanted to repeat and what I wanted to change.  I know I'm far from perfect.  I have a little bit of my mother impatience (she doesn't remember getting short with us and yelling but I have a VERY trustworthy friend back up my claims and says mom is just suffering a memory issue!  ;)   ) It wasn't just her....if my dad got upset enough he would yell at you that he wasn't yelling. LOL!!!  What I wouldn't give to hear that just one more time.  It always broke the tension because it would make us laugh. It was quite funny that you can sit there and yell that you aren't yelling and not realize you are really yelling.  : P  I find myself doing the same thing. Though much less frequently now that I've realized it.  And lets face it...sometimes you have to yell just to be heard.  Have you ever hear 3 kids who are all 2 years apart going at each other at the same time or trying to tattle at the same time?  It's one loud chaotic mess and no one can hear anything.  So, I've consciously made an effort to find my happy place before correcting my children.  I try to make a conscious effort to allow them to help in the kitchen from time to time.  I've started teaching them to sort laundry (though I should have them do that more often).  I try and make an effort to pull my kids onto my laugh and let them know I love them and that I'm proud of them and why I'm proud of them.  I've even had to already have the "growing up" talk with my oldest!  She's showing signs that it won't be long and I wanted her prepared before it just happens and she took it very maturely.  One thing that little talk taught me is that when we show enough trust in our kids to hand those types of discussions maturely,  it opens up a door of communication and they are more willing to come to you with things they want to talk about.  I LOVE that! I pray that stays that way.

But it's not just our past we have to learn from and fight.  Our society! Our world!!  WOW!!!!  The things I loved doing as a child are now almost extinct! Playing dolls and barbies, building forts, riding bikes, climbing tree's!  It's all being replaced by TV, movies, game boys, PSP's, DS3's Wii's, iPods, iPhones, Computers and on and on and on. We live in an electronically crippled world. Not crippled because we are lacking in it but crippled because we rely on it too much!!  From the time Jeremy and I got married until Olivia was 6, we never had a game console in our home.  Now we do.  We recently changed the rule to no Wii on school nights because our kids fight over it! "He killed me on purpose!  She stole my penquin!" (super mario here ) and the fighting got AWFUL!!!!  I was losing my sanity!  So, I took a step back and analyzed what was going on and decided that we are really hurting our kids by letting their time be filled with games and television!  If it weren't for my hubby's adamant protesting, I'd be ok with not having a TV.  We are grown up and now how to view our favorite shows on line should we choose but our kids are only kids once.   We've been trying to make a conscious effort to kick them out more.  As in out in the yard to play! To get them in scouts and activities that will help grow their imaginations and love for the outdoors instead of turning them into Hollywood fed robots!  Learning to be nurturing is one thing....I naturally have a big heart but sometimes I expect Jeremy do more of the "coddling"  when someone needs some extra attention.  I'm stopping that cycle.  I'm going to not just be my kids mom but their friend too!  There is a happy balance.  There is a time for "momming" and a time for "friending" and hopefully they'll always see me as both but having to fight outside influences isn't always easy.

My biggest piece of advice (to myself too!) is limits and responsibilities.  For us, that's no TV or games on school nights.  If  homework is done in time, outside you go.  (this season is a little different. some of the best Christmas movies are on during the week).  Quality time is a HUGE key!!  Date your kids!  I think little boys need one on one time with mom and one on one time with dad. Same with little girls!  Have family game night!  Do things as a family.  Don't get so busy in YOUR electronics that you leave your kids to entertain themselves and each other.

If we put more of God IN and the world out, we'll be Godly parents raising Godly kids in this ungodly world!
God bless~

There's Healing in the Tears

     As usual, it's the quiet times I hear Gods voice.  It's those times He continues the healing process.  My bath time is where I have my prayer closet.  It's where I go to ponder life's circumstances and it's where I come with idea's to save the world. 

     I've always pondered writing a book.  I tried writing snippets about me and my best friend but I found it difficult to keep writing.  When I thought about why, it was really quite easy.  There was no way I could just write about our relationship because she was a very big part of EVERYTHING that's happened in my life so far. We've been best friends since births.  We are sisters from another mister...another mom too! haha  The point is, they we have not one drop of the same DNA, we are just as much family...sisters....blood as any other siblings you will find. If I were to write about "us", it would end up being a novel...an autobiographical novel from the second I was born until today.

     I wouldn't know where to start.  That all got me thinking about the fact that IF I were to write this novel, it would unveil a lot not just about me but other friends and family and I would have a LOT of people to go acquire written permission from before I could publish it. Though I know most would not hesitate, there are a few that would probably like their lives to remain anonymous.  They are very private people.

     THAT got me to thinking about the people that were once in my life that have since passed on....and the tears began.  I started thinking back to the very first time I ever experienced a deep loss of a loved one.  That was my Great Grandmother Winnie Miller.  More affectionately known as Granny Miller.  Some how, my memory retains stuff from back when I was very little.  I know this because I have fond memories of my Great Grandmother.   I remember her cooking chocolate pies, the BEST chocolate pies EVER!  She would set them in the window to cool.  They were SO yummy!!  I remember going out to the garden with her and getting some veggies for that nights dinner.  I remember her mud room where she kept canning supplies and where she did laundry.  I loved her great big cast iron (I think it was cast iron) farm sink that was out there.  But even after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we still had an amazing relationship.  Even when she was so far gone she couldn't remember her husband.  To her, he was one of the hired hands that was hired to work on the farm.  I know that had to be difficult on him but he stayed by her side and she never went to a  nursing home.  Between him and my Grandmother and my Great Aunts, she was able to stay at home until she passed.  But even during her last years when she didn't know who we were, she and I still had a grand time.  We would "study for tests".  We would walk through fields to school.  We would recite nursery rhymes together and she was the reason I could first say my alphabet backwards. (I can't anymore...I'm sure I could but I'd have to take a while to do it! haha).

     I'll NEVER forget the day she passed away.  I was sitting in school (6th or 7th grade wood shop class) when I was called to the office.  I pretty much kept to myself and stayed out of trouble so I knew something was wrong.  I didn't know what and I didn't know who but when I was told my dad was there to pick me up, I knew it wasn't good.  As soon as I saw my daddy I knew immediately it was my Great Grandma.  I lost it.  I was so heart broken and sad.  While my mom packed for us to go to the viewing and funeral, I sat in our love seat and drew a picture.  The picture was of me and her sitting in my great grandparents recliner.  It was so hard to say goodbye to her.  One thing I learned about myself that day is that I need the viewing and I need the service for my closure. I always worry about how my kids will handle death and so far, have sheltered them from it.  But one day, it will be someone they love so dearly that I can't shelter them from it and they will learn about themselves how they best deal with death.  Some are content to stay away from viewings and funerals for fear it will be the way they will forever remember them but for me, I need that last goodbye.  That is one reason the deaths that have happened in my life in which I could not attend the services have been the hardest for me to get over.  My Grandmother Thompson.  My Uncle Lester.  My cousin Mark.

But those weren't the only ones.  While all of this is playing through in my mind another loss came to mind in which no one got closure.  I'll leave his name out for the family's sake.  I don't know that would want all that out there but he was my birthday buddy.  It was once a joyous thing.  You see, my cousins (the ones in this family in particular...do to circumstances) where more like brothers and sisters to me.  We were together more than we were apart.  So, sometimes, we'd have a birthday cake together.  But whether we were together or not, he'd ALWAYS come to mind.  Today is no different other than the fact that it's bitter sweet.  SO many fond memories of our childhood together but still a void.  Someone I loved like a brother that I never got to say goodbye too.  He went missing years ago and it wasn't too many years ago we learned that he had passed a long long time ago.  So March 13th isn't a day of celebration for me.  It's a day of remembrance....of missing him....of reflection of years past.  He had a smile you could never forget and the biggest brown eyes.  The tears started flowing at this point and memory after memory was visited.  Forts at Granny and Grandpa Hardings.  Baseball up on the hill.  Tag.  His art work.  His laugh.....

And of course, my daddy was the most difficult loss I've experienced.  I've blogged a lot on that so I'm sure you all know how I felt about losing him.

Remembering all this had me in tears.  The tears got me to thinking about crying.  There was once a time I couldn't cry.  I felt I needed to but I just couldn't. This was not long after my dad passed.  I knew I was taught that God bottled our tears but what happens when our tears dry up?  What if we have no tears left to cry?  Why could I not cry all those years? I learned that I had bottled up so much grief that I had built up a wall.  Kind of put myself in an emotional bubble to avoid pain.  Problem was, I had bottled the pain up with me.  This pain was a darkness that followed me around for years.  That is until I realized I had never truly dealt with all my grief.  I just recently started dealing with the bottled up grief.  I'm slowly pouring that bottle out and guess what's happening?  My tears have come back! Healing tears.  Tears that wash the deep wounds clean.  If God truly bottles up our tears, I fear I'll have gallons of them waiting on me.  So you see, crying isn't for the weak.  It isn't just for babies. It isn't just for women and kids.  Tears are for the healing! Tears are for the hurting.  It's cleansing the soul and the mind and the heart.  When we bottle up our fear and hurt and anger and pain we are like a blister.  When you have a blister in your finger that festers up and fills up with fluid and pain.  As long as we leave all that in there, the pain never goes away. We try and find things to dull it or temporarily take it away but it always comes back.  BUT, if you take a needle and prick that blister and let that infection out, we get relief!  The pain eases up and over time goes away!  That's how we are.  That's is how we are! If we don't deal with  that pain, it just festers up and festers up and until your release it, it just builds up more and more and pain.

So, when you  feel the need to cry, cry!  There is healing in our tears!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Why I REALLY don't do black Friday!

     So, my facebook status reveals our new family tradition of "Do nothing black Friday".  We may in years to come (like last year) go chop down our family Christmas tree on black Friday but other than that, I choose not to leave the house unless I have to that day.  Jeremy has to work this Black Friday so he has no choice but hopefully, by the time he leaves for work, the traffic won't be so bad.  Everyone will be home balancing check books, budgeting for paying off maxed out credit cards, wrapping their new found treasures or at least hiding them.

But the REAL reason we do not get out on black Friday is this.  1.) People in our town can't drive properly anyway and SO much rudeness and road rage....can you imagine if EVERYONE in town and all the surrounding area's were out on the road today???  2.)  I've gone out twice before on black Friday (yes you read that right TWICE in my 35 year long life!).  Both times just added to my my loss of faith in humanity.  PEOPLE are RUDE!!!!  Very rude for it only be 1 day after we were celebrating Thankfulness.  It just eats away at me and I want to back hand all the people that push little old ladies, or run over someones kid with a shopping cart, or takes something from someones cart...or better yet, their HANDS!!  3.)  I value my life (read #2 for explanation of how my life may be in danger that day.  #1 applies too!  4.)  I'm competitive.  But I'm also very polite.  Those 2 don't mix on Black Friday.  Can you just see me sprinting to the back of the store where all the good stuff always is...electronics, luggage, toys...and stopping to apologize and help up everyone I may "accidentally" knock over?  I've never needed happy drugs but if Black Friday became something I "had" to do, happy drugs would be needed as well.  I'd feel so bad about getting the last big screen TV when the next person in line for it was little old many who had a hard time seeing.  Not bad enough to hand it over to him but bad enough to feel guilty every time I turned my newly acquired treasure on.  So, Black Friday is not a day that a polite competitive person can keep grasp of her sanity.

The last time I went out on black Friday, I got in line at 12:00AM at home Depot who wasn't going to open until 2:00AM.  Yes there was already a line and it was COLD that year.  I will say, out of the few places I went, that was the most pleasant of them all and who wants to get out on a day and stand in line at hardware store when you know, if you could be at Victoria Secret, you could get a free bag with goodies in it valued at $50.00 with a $25.00 purchase?  I guess that would be me.  The woman who wanted to be sure her man got what he wanted that year for Christmas.  Tools.  But you know what I found really ironic? Naturally, that line had more men in it than women and on that one day a year, men are MUCH more polite than women.  That day, for women, is equivalent to the mens national championship college football game or the Super Bowl for pro ball.  I see LOTS of ugliness from the men that day!!!  But Black Friday,it's crazy!!!  A bunch of women fighting over ear muffs! Yes they may be 80% that day but is it really worth a shiner?  Or a tooth implant?  So, IF I decide to do black Friday in our town again, I think I'll be happy with whatever I can find at Lowe's or Home Depot!

All that being said, I'm going to try my hardest to be home (Oklahoma) next year for Thanksgiving.  IF we can make that happen, I wouldn't mind leaving the men home with the kids and going out with my sister and nieces and my bestie or whomever wants to go.  A divide and conquer method and then we all meet in the middle with our loot.  I could probably only survive this with my sanity if this happened every other year.

My polite sane side and my competitive side battle over this often.  The sane side of me is content to sit home and enjoy our "do nothing" day.  The competitive side of me wants to get out and see how many of the most desired over all items I can get before they run out and if can get more "targeted" items than anyone else.  hahaha

So, in order to keep my faith in humanity (and my sanity), I will stay home with my kids and enjoy Christmas movies, games, and some outdoor play.  Next year, when I'm surrounded by all the women of my family, that may be a VERY different story!!
God bless us everyone!  (Please, for the love of all that is pure and good, do NOT forget today what it was you were thankful for yesterday!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Are you Ready? It's about to get tough!!! A call to prayer for believers!

I KNOW everyone has seen the reports going around about what is going on right now in the Middle East.  I just wanted to share a dream I had with you back when I was a teenager and is currently a reoccurring dream for me.  The one I had as a teenager, it was as if I were actually there.  Like I could feel myself running through streets and hiding in buildings while bombs and gun fire were going off all around me.

The dream I had as a teenager...wow...where to start.  In this dream, I was sitting in my living room floor watching the news.  The world was in upheaval.   It was a true "religious" war.  I don't know what started it but I do know many of the Muslim nations were calling for the death of all Americans.  Christian Americans were killed more painfully and brutally if they were caught.   Christian Muslims were as well.  They were classified as traitors...imbeciles.

The time of year was Fall and it was nearing election time.  It seemed as if the span of this dream covered a couple of week time frame....maybe longer.  In the dream, I was watching some kind of pageant and the election numbers were running across the bottom of the screen.  Then an emergency broadcast from the local news station interrupted and started telling of bombings and shootings.  The entire Middle East was at war.  With each other, with anyone they came across from other countries, specifically Americans and Christians.  Then the location of my dream changed and it was if I were there amongst the fighting.  I remember being "protected" by 2 men.  It was actually as if these men were showing me something.  Warning me of things to come.  Almost like they had taken me forward in time.   During all this time, we were voting on a "Muslim" president here in America.  I know there is controversy over whether our current president is a Muslim or not but I can tell you, I'm reading his book.  From the heart the mouth speaks.  You should read it.  Maybe if more Americans read it, we could get more people praying and you know what the Word says will happen when God's people will humble themselves and pray right?  Think about it!!

I never saw the outcome of the election.  I just know that so many people were "blinded" by this presidential candidate.  So when I saw these things start taking place on 9/11 I got goose bumps.  I started praying.  I pray for strength for our Christian community as when things get the worst, they will get the blunt of the violence.  But we know that.  We've been warned of that in Gods Word!

Anyway, as these 2 men take me through the streets, I find out I'm in Israel.  These men keep telling me that time is short.  Be sure Gods people are ready!  I never really thought of the importance of these 2 men or who they might be.  In my dream, they were also of middle eastern decent.  But in my heart, now, I feel I know who they were.  I'll leave that for speculation.  I am in NO way trying to predict Christs return.  No man (or woman) can know that.  Only God knows that but I'm telling you!  People!!  Get ready!!  Because harder times are coming!  We haven't seen anything yet!!  If you are a believer, prepare your kids!  Try and find a way in which they will have peace about it...not fear.  I know when I take my last breath here, my eyes will open in glory!  I want my kids to see it that way too!  I've had dreams about the tribulation and the end times since I was 4 years old!  Yes you heard me right FOUR years old!!  It's not something I fear for me but I fear for those I love and care about and if they will be strong enough to stand.

This dream is now reoccurring.  I can't count the number of times I've had it or very similar dreams in the past month!  Now is NOT the time to be living a luke warm life.   Now is NOT the time to be living for fleshly desires.  Now is NOT the time to be walking the fence.  We can't have 1 foot in the world and 1 in Heaven.  It doesn't work that way.  Jesus said, You are either for me or against me!  The word says, "Choose you THIS day whom ye will serve!  As for ME AND MY house, we WILL serve the Lord!" Joshua 24:15.  We are to be the light of the world.  Not just on Sunday!  Every day!!!  How are others going to see our light if we living in darkness Monday through Saturday and just let our light flicker on Sunday?.  Is your heart desiring things of God or things of the world.  We are to be in the world, not OF it.

So, if I seem a little bit passionate about my political views, and about my Faith, you are right.  I am.  God has given me dreams and visions for a reason.  I can't NOT share them.  I won't NOT share them.  I've ran from what God has called me to do long enough for fear of rejection.  I've ran because I don't have enough confidence in myself but I'm now standing and I'm now telling you get your homes and hearts in order!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Parenting Backward! No wonder it isn't working. Another AH HA moment!

Today in Sunday School we started a new Study and we were talking about how first God establishes His Authority, then He blesses, then he gives directions or commands.  I see Gods relationship with us and Our relationship with our Children as a mirror effect.  Meaning, the way God "parents" us  or guides us is how we should parent and guide our children.

Our teacher used the example of the children of Israel to go along with the establish authority, bless, direct.  God did not tell them, "here are the 10 commandments.  Prove to me that you can follow them first and THEN I will lead you out of slavery."  He established His authority to Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Israelites by showing He IS God.  He then led the children of Israel out of bondage and THEN gave them the law.

Too often, we don't "establish" our authority as parents.  We COMMAND that we are the authority instead of leading by example.  Then we ORDER our kids to do this or do that and then IF you do this or do that THEN I will bless you with this or that.

A light bulb went on in my head.  If we were to establish our authority by leading by example and explaining our actions to our kids and then blessed our kids they would in turn be inclined to follow direction.  Naturally they are kids and will buck the system at times.  Just like the children of Israel complained even though they had just been delivered from the hand Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  They lost focus of God.  Our children are children and will lose focus.  However, instead of saying if you don't do this or don't do that, you don't get this or that.  How about do something nice for your kids or give them words of affirmation before giving them a command.  I think we'll find more times than not, things will go much more smoothly.  It's harder as parents to change that cycle because as humans we are programmed to find out whats in it for me before completing a task and in turn, we use that in our parenting skills as well and "bribe" our kids to do what they should be doing in the first place.  Clean your room and then you can go out and play.  How about instead we start approaching it like, "You may go out and play for 30 minutes."  30 minutes later call them and thank them for playing so nicely together and tell them it is now time to go clean there room.  I'm sure until everyone gets used to it there will still be some fighting among the troops but I can see now, by seeing Gods example, how changing the way we parent can completely change the dynamic of a home.  I'm anxious to put this to test.  I'm just trying to come up with examples of "blessing" our children. I have some ideas in mind.  I'm just working out the details in my mind and coming up with a game plan.  If we wait to give direction until direction is needed, more often than not, we are doing more harm than good.  Lead by example and then our children know why we do this and why we do that.  They learn their boundaries and learn to live together peaceably as opposed to living in strife and anger.

We (Jeremy and I) are too quick to lose our cool with our children.  I don't like to yell but when you have 3 kids all yelling at each other, you tell yourself the only way you are going to be heard is to yell above them.  That does nothing but make them shut you out, raise your blood pressure and everyone walks away in an ill mood.  SO, we are working on Establishing our authority, blessing, and then giving direction.  :)

Just something God laid on my heart today and hopefully it speaks to someone else too!
God bless,~Mary

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dreams......a deeper meaning and a message to Christians

I'm one who believes that sometimes, dreams are trying to tell us something.  I also believe that some of our dreams really are out of body experiences.  Have you ever had those dreams where you could feel, smell, taste what is going on and the next morning felt as if you hadn't slept all night?  I've been having more and more of those and I think God is trying to prepare me for something.

When I was a little girl, I often dreamed of Christians being kill for not denying Christ.  These dreams started at such an early age that no one can claim I was being "infiltrated" or "Brain washed" by my parents.  I'm talking 3 and 4 years old.  At that age, I was believed to not have an "understanding" of such things.  I was let to be a kid and do kids things.  I wasn't sat at a table and told about what we'll one day go through or what my parents believed we would one day go through.  Church considered me too young to be a part of the "left behind" movie nights and I was shuffled off to the nursery but even at such a young age, I would often dream of being shot or beheaded for standing my ground and not denying Christ or for being the child of parents that stood their ground.  I often dreamed of the rapture happening.  These dreams never scared me.  I felt I was being prepared and given peace for what would one day come.  They always made me aware of my surroundings and my decisions.  I watched more intensely the world change before my eyes.  I knew when I heard the story of Roe vs Wade that even when those involved didn't know, it was also a spiritual battle.  Not just a "rights" battle.  I remember when we stopped praying before class in school and I knew it was a spiritual battle.

I SAW spiritual warfare happen in my own home.  I do not feel robbed of my childhood because of this.  I still had fun and climbed tree's and splashed in mud puddles and made "salad" (a concoction of leaves and rolly pollie's, and acorns, and sticks....) to go with our mud pies.  I rode my bike until it was pitch black out.  I went to neighbor kids birthday parties and went swimming almost everyday of the Summer.  I had a normal, healthy childhood.  I just saw things and felt things.  I believe on some level, children are more in tune with the spiritual realm.  They are innocent and pure and see things for what they are.  It's black and white.  No grey area.  They listen more and aren't so rushed.  It's amazing what you can hear when you simplify life, slow down, and listen.

I still remember details of some of the "dreams" I had as a child.  I remember standing there and suddenly feeling my feet get light beneath me as I arose and met Jesus in the sky.  It gives me goosebumps and brings happy and homesick tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Well, I don't remember what age I was but sometime in my adulthood.  fairly early on I believe....maybe mid to late 20's, I stopped having the dreams so frequently.  When I stop to think about it, I think it's when my life got so busy I wasn't focused on God as much.  I was working 2 jobs...going to CNA school, focusing on my body image and spending my awake hours at the gym.  Worrying about relationships gone bad or new relationships.  When my life started focusing on me and my needs instead of God and the needs of others.  When I was no longer listening......

Well recently, I've started having dreams again.  I mean EVERY NIGHT for the past 2-3 weeks, I'm having dreams of some sort.  Most of which I can feel a deeper spiritual meaning.  I'm sure most of you read my LONG status the other day about being prepared for what's to come and watching out for wolves in sheep's clothing?   Well my dream affected me so deeply I was physically ill and burdened to pray about it.  I've only told 1 person this dream so far because it was just a difficult one for me to experience.  It wasn't much different from the ones I had as a kid but I was more actively involved in it and I will now share it with you.

The dream started off with me being in a van with a group of people from Church.  When I say Church, it doesn't mean the Church I currently attend or the Church I grew up in.  A lot of times, my dreams will have another Church and other people...often people I don't know in real life and it's as they are a general representation of things to come as opposed to giving me specifics.  This was no different for the most part.  In fact, in most of these dreams, my family isn't even in them.  It's as if I'm truly experiencing an out of body experience and I'm hovering watching things happen or I temporarily take on the identity of someone else....where I still feel like me but the me in the dream has no memories of my current in real life family and events...I'm me but I'm someone else if that makes sense?  Well in this dream I was in one of 3 vehicles car pooling back from a missions trip or project.  I don't know exactly what we had done but it was something within driving distance.  We were in the lead vehicle and I was with one of the "leaders" of the Church.  I got the impression he was the music minister or a deacon....someone really involved in the church but he wasn't the pastor.  We would often stop for break or to wait for one of the other vehicles to catch up and when we did, this man carried on normal conversations with us and seemed like he was just fine.  At one point we stop and he even buys ice cream for those of us in his van (we were waiting for the other 2 vehicles to catch up).  The trip was pleasant and filled with conversation about the what we had just experienced and excitement for the future and what God had in store.

We get back to the Church and that's when things drastically change.  We all start off in a large main room and the "leader" wants us to wait for him for a few minutes.  He needs to go "freshen" up.  He goes to his office and changes his clothes.  he comes back wearing all black.  It felt unexpected but not alarming.  Black jeans, black t-shirt, black leather jacket, black boots.  When he walks into the room it was as if an evil presence entered with him.  His whole countenance changed.  (To fill in a detail I missed earlier, there was one family on the trip I DO recognize from real life.  A good friend of mine and her husband and kids.)  This man starts separating us.  The group that rode with him was to remain in the room we were all in and everyone else was to go to a large room down the hall.  Now that I'm recalling it again, this part of this Church was laid out just like the children's wing of the Church I grew up in.    A long hall with large rooms on either side.  We all looked puzzled and wasn't sure what was going on but we trusted this man and we obliged.  Suddenly things got VERY different.  The man went into a rage.  I'm not even sure what about but I knew this man was not who we all thought he was.  He had been deceiving us all for a long time and his true colors were now coming out.  He walks into one of the rooms across the hall and emerges with what appeared to be some sort of semi automatic gun.  Reminded me somewhat of snipers rifle.  He had a machine gun in the other hand.  I began praying....out loud.  I was sobbing and worried about everyone in both rooms.   He locked the door closest to the exit of the church and left the other door open as he went back and forth between rooms.  He never truly left the hall so that he could keep an eye on both groups.  For some reason, he chose me as his "aid" I guess you can say.  He would give me orders.  Keep them all quiet.  Don't let them leave.  Come with me.  Get back in the room. I just remember feeling like his "gopher" and didn't understand it.  He asked me to come with him and I did and he stood in the doorway of the room where everyone who wasn't riding in his van was.  He asked a man to stand up.  The man stood.  He then asked the man to deny Christ.  The man looked just as confused as I was and I think at first, he thought, "Oh this is a test...He's making us practice what we believe and what we tell others...to stand our ground and to be strong." but how wrong he was.  The man refused and the next thing I know I hear the loudest most awful noise.  Like a firework had gone off in my ear only much louder.  The man asked to renounce Christ was on the floor.  Blood spilling from his head.  The room was filled with screams and cries.  There were children in this room too.  I don't remember children being on the trip so maybe they were at the Church with a child care worker waiting on us to return...not sure.   This man we had all once trusted now appeared so evil and full of hate.  He sends me back to "my room".   The next thing I know I hear him holler my name.  I step out into the hall and he sends a little boy running to me.  I realized I knew this little boy.  I knew his parents.  His mom was a dear friend of mine and I scoop him up and start sobbing.  I wrap him in my arms hugging him and not wanting to let him go.  Once we were safely in our room, I hear my name being hollered again.  I put the little boy in the arms of another lady and step into the hall.  He motions me to come to him so I do.  As I get to the door of the room where this nightmare is taking place, he takes a baby bundled up from someone's hand,  I notice it's the sibling of the little boy that just ran to me and my heart sank.  I knew what was about to happen.  He handed me the baby and said, "when this is all over with, you need to find these kids a new home."  How or why he was concerned about the safety of 2 children, I'm not sure but in one sense, it was a relief...in another, it was a nightmare.  I KNEW these kids were about to lose their parents.  I knew I would have to call up my friends parents with the news and deliver their grand babies safely to them.  I cuddle this baby close to me and walk back to the room sobbing.  Why has this man done this.  It wasn't much longer and I start hearing more gun shots.  The little boy tries to run to his mom and dad.  I catch him the first time but his second attempt is successful.  He escapes and I take off after him with his sibling in my hands.  The little boy runs past the gunman and over to his mom and dad who are hovered down in a corner crying.  I was thankful that at the moment they were still alive but the gunman was occupied with someone else at the moment being asked to deny Christ.  I see a chance and I hold the baby down and told them kiss the baby or hug the baby or say their goodbyes...whatever they needed to do.  They mouthed the words "thank you" and with tears rolling down their face kissed their little ones, told them to be strong, and that they would see them again one day.  The gunman notices what has happened and tells me to "get the kids out of here".  I manage to pry the little boy from his mothers arms and with tears in our eyes, I walk him back to our room.  I hear what felt like an unending amount of gun fire.   After that, details are a little sketchy as I had started waking up.  I do know I was allowed to leave with 2 kids in tow.  I still don't know why he "favored" those that were in his van.  Maybe it was because he heard so many personal details about our lives and we became personified to him...he saw us as someone other than "those Christians..."  I really don't know.

What I DO know is from the moment I awoke until just yesterday, I have been SO nauseated.  I've had the symptoms of a "tummy bug" if I would eat or drink anything.  I couldn't really talk about the dream....because I felt I had LIVED it.  I was there!  I wasn't just asleep laying in my bed.  My spirit had been shown something.

I truly believe our Country.....Especially the Christians in our Country are about to go through some very trying times.  We will have to stand strong.  We will be persecuted and hated.  Also be vigilant and alert.  PRAY!!!  Be aware of those who say they are servants and Shepherds of Gods Children.  We will be seeing wolves in sheep's clothing.  Listen to your spirit.  Listen to the voice of God.  Train your children to be able to stand strong even when things look scary.

I've had a really difficult time with this impending election in November and here are my true feelings and thoughts on it. 1.) don't ever back down. VOTE!!!  If you don't like what's going on now, vote for change. but 2.) I feel no matter how we vote, things are going to keep going down hill.  I think Obama will be re-elected.  Maybe not legally but look how many dead people voted last election.

Do I think Obama is the anti Christ?  Absolutely not.  The anti-christ will be trusted by more.....by most.  Even Christians in the beginning.  Obama has lost supporters.  Do I think he wants to lead us to a 1 world government or that he believes in socialism and communism?  Absolutely!!  If you've studied Marxism at all and the list of what it means to be a marxist and done any amount of research on him or read any part of the books he's written, I have no doubt in my mind that he wants our country to become socialist.  Do I think he's inherently evil?  No not necessarily.  I think he's a product of his upbringing and that he truly believes that it's a "better" way.   I think he's deceived as well.

What I DO know is that as Christians, we have to be prepared for anything.  Our kids need to be able to stand strong!

This was just 1 of my many dreams and experiences.  I have another one that makes me smile.  I feel it was preparing me for heaven.  If I can explain it in the proper way, I will put it in a note at some point as well.  Be strong and get prayed up and prepared!  War is coming....if not a physical war, for sure a spiritual one!
God bless!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

sometimes water IS thicker than blood....

Since the day she was born, Stevi and I have been best friends.  Our moms are best friends so we were raised together.  It's an amazing blessing to have a friend like that and I sometimes am sad when each school year, my daughters best friend changes.  From what I gather of other children that is normal but I always wanted her to have a friend like had and still have.  Someone that goes through everything together.  Even those times you aren't there for each you, are still hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they rejoice.  Most people don't understand our relationship unless they've had a best friend since birth as well.  To me, she is so much more than a friend.  She is my sister!  My biological sisters were quite a bit older than me so we weren't always close during my younger years but Stevi and I, we were like pea's and carrot's!  :)  As close as we were, we still as different as night and day.  As was the out spoken and social butterfly.  She was quiet and humble and didn't always like being around a lot of people.  I LOVED sports and church camps and overnight youth outings.  She preferred to be at home.  Our family dynamic was different.  But that didn't matter.  We always have been and always will be best friends.  We would stay up late at night planning our future.  We were going to grow up, meet our prince charmings, get married and we'd all move to Texas and live on a ranch!  One of us would have the upstairs with our family and one would have the downstairs.   Sometimes I wish we would have written down our plans so we could look back on them now and read them and laugh.  We were young, dreamers, and the world was our oyster!  I never could stand going to Southerland Lumber or Home Depot, or Lowes.  Unless Stevi was with me.   Why did that make a difference?  I'll tell you why.  In your young minds and imaginations, every isle we went down was a new opportunity to "plan" our dream home.  We loved the idea of claw foot tubs and pull chain toilets.  We'd pick out whimsical light fixtures and choose our wall colors.  It was different when we were together because then, we were shopping for US!  Not our everyday in real life homes because a pipe busted.  We were the same way at the grocery story.  There were times we'd be at the grocery store with our moms and the whole way through the story we were so excited and had great anticipation of going down the baby isle.  Yes you heard right.  The isle full of diapers, wipes, onesies, pacifiers, bottles, etc.  We had no interest in the toy isle. JUST the baby isle because we could shop for our "babies".  (Our dolls of course!).  Our babies had real diapers.  They had real bottles and real pacies.  Our babies had real baby brushes.   This wasn't because we were spoiled.  But we had huge imaginations and in all honestly, back then, it was cheaper to buy the real deals than the toy ones.  We both came from low income families so that was always a factor.

As we got older, there was a time we grew apart.  Not because we didn't still care and love each other but life just happened.  I was spending all my time in sports and worrying about a sick daddy and she had life of her own going on.  There were a couple of tragic events that took place in our lives...important people lost and we both had our dating lives.  We would catch up on the phone occasionally (I still remember her childhood number!)  :)  When the time comes for us to marry, that's when life started pulling us back together and now, it feels like we were never apart.  You know you have a life long friend when years can go by and when you are together again, you can pick up where you left off.

I thank God for crossing our moms paths all those years ago!  Everyone should be so blessed as to have a friend that isn't only a friend...but a sister.

(In telling my life story, I had to stop and write about our friendship because it's always been an important party of my life!)  <3

Sunday, July 22, 2012

just an ordinary girl with a big dream.....

A post on my wall on facebook made me realize that all too often, people misunderstand other people.  They don't understand why someone feels the way they do or why they believe the way they do.  A lot of hurt feelings happen over misunderstandings and I've felt like my life has been an open book.  I've posted the good, bad, and the ugly that has happened to me but after reading back over it, it's been in bits and pieces.  So with that in mind, I've decided to start from the beginning.  Please keep in mind that anything I say in this blog are my true feelings....How I perceived my life and anything that took place in it and is not meant to hurt any of my family or friends feelings.  I'm just keeping it real.

I really had an ordinary life.  Life was care free, happy,amazing.  My earliest memories start back at 2 or 3.  Though I don't remember much that early, there are some things I do remember.  I came from what we always referred to as a "Yours, mine, and ours" family.  Meaning, my dad had been married before and had a son and a daughter.  My mom had been married before and had a daughter and a son.  Their first marriages broke up.  They lived on the same street.  An East side neighborhood.  After much pursuing by my father, my mother started dating him.  They get married and merge two families.  It wasn't much longer and I joined the crew.  My earlier years were very happy and carefree.  Exciting and fun.  I was only a toddler so of course, to me, life was grand.  I had a back yard to play in, cousins to play with, neighborhood kids to play with.

But the more I think about it, other than pictures and holidays and Sundays.  I don't have too many memories of my daddy at that young of age (2-3).  I have plenty of my mom, my brothers, one of my sisters, my Aunt and my cousins (some of them lived with us and or spent many nights with us during this time).  My dad was a very hard working man.  We were a low income family.  My mom had in home daycare so she could be home for us prior to going to school and then we we left for school and returned home.  The way my parents raised us, I never realized just how "low income" we were.  We had hand me down clothes, there was a period we were on food stamps. We didn't eat out and we never had big lavish things or new cars. I don't recall too many of our cars even having air conditioning.  Now that I'm grown, I hear stories from my mom...how there were times they didn't know where our next meal would come from. 

My dad was a high school drop out.  He had a rough life himself.  His dad died when he was 7 and my Grandma did the best he could raising him and his 3 siblings.  When I was young my dad had 3 jobs.  He worked at a machine shop, he had a pest control business and I don't recall what the other job was.  2 of his jobs were full time. (I think the machine shop and the pest control).  I recall trying to stay up until midnight or later so I could kiss my daddy and tell him goodnight.  Most nights I succeeded.

My dad was 12 years older than my mom so when I was born, my siblings were somewhere in the range of 16 or 17 (my oldest brother), 14 or 15 (My oldest sister), 8 (my other big sister), and 6 (my other big brother).  So at times, there were 7 people in a 3 bedroom 1 bath home.  As a little kid, it didn't feel crowded at all but why would it?  I was born into that.  :)  And it was never just the 7 of us.  At any given time I had an Aunt or an Uncle or cousins living with us as well.  My mom was one of 8 kids so some of her siblings were around the age of my older siblings.  When they would reach the age that they would leave home, our place seemed to be the popular resting spot.  :)  It was a home full of love....that is for sure.

It's amazing how a family can have so little (monetarily) and yet the children feel rich.  Of course that is all in how we perceive things when we are young.  Everything is fresh and exciting and new and innocent until someone tells you different or crushes your imagination or dreams.  We very rarely ate out.  We couldn't afford it.  We didn't have cable TV.  We had the basic 3 or 4  (channels 2,6,8, and 11)channels with bunny ear antenna's that we watched on a TV my parents had saved their pocket change for YEARS to buy.  I remember the rolling of the coins.  It was a family affair.  If I remember correctly, once they were all counted out and rolled, they were taken to K-mart to make the "big purchase".  It was SOO exciting.  It was exciting to maneuver the antenna's just right so we could get reception.  Sometimes it would require tin foil on the antenna's.  lol 

I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents had us in Church every time the doors were opened.  Prayer meeting, revival, social, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night.  Some Wednesday nights were just mom and us kids because dad would be working.  He didn't work on Sundays though.  That was family day.  I made so many good friends in Church.  Even as a toddler I was in the nursery helping our nursery worker with the even younger babies.  Because my siblings were all older, I was in many ways, wise beyond my years and matured quite quickly for my age.   My dad was a great example of always doing for others.  He would give the shirt off his back if someone needed it.  He would give up his portion of food for someone that had none.  His hurt were for the hurting, the homeless, and the down trodden.  He was a hard worker.  It didn't take long for me to realize that this man was my hero.

I very rarely got into trouble growing up.  Though I was/am a strong willed person, I also have the desire not to let those I love down.  I made good grades.  Not because I just LOVED school but because I wanted my parents...specifically my daddy to be proud of me.  Any sport I chose to play, I succeeded at.  Not just because I loved the sport (which I did) but I also wanted to show my daddy that I would work hard and be the best I could I be and always give 150%.  My parents firmly believed in spankings and I know there are many today that do not but before anyone gets outraged, I promise you, I was never abused.  I never felt abused.  I was never frightened by spankings.  I was more upset that I had let someone down than I was over a spanking.  I have mixed emotions on this topic.  I know each and every spanking I received (which I can count on 1 hand), I deserved.  I deserved more than I got most likely but I could always feel the love and hurt that it caused my dad when he would spank us.  If what we did was something that angered him, he would send us to our room, he would go to his room or his "study room" and pray and cool down first and then come to us and talk with us and discuss why what we did was wrong and make sure we understood why.  The Bible does say, "Spare the rod, you spoil the child."  I think there is a time and place and a way to handle everything and I NEVER felt my father did so inappropriately.  There were never marks left and you could see the pain in his face once it was done.  I'm not saying all this to start a debate over whether spanking is appropriate or not, I'm just telling my life story and in my life story, I was fine with it.  I preferred it to be grounded or writing sentences.  It was done and over with in a split second while still getting the point across where being grounded and writing sentences were pure torture to me.  And I also realize every child is different.  Spankings are effective for all children just as time out and re-direction aren't effective for all children.  There is no handbook when you have kids and you have to pray and do what you feel is best for you and your family without judging (unless someone is truly being abused) what is best for another family.

Getting back on track, as I grew, sports became a love and passion of mine.  I played soccer from the time I was 4 until I was in the 6th grade.  Then I played basketball from 8th grade and on into college.  I lived, breathed, ate, drank, slept, and dreamed soccer and basketball.  It probably kept me out of a LOT of trouble when I was in my teenage years.  haha (to be continued....)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mourn at Birth, Rejoice at Death....

I often heard that phrase growing up and was told it's in the scripture (but it's not....there is one scripture that is similar but it's not the same at all).  I used to wonder why in the world would someone rejoice at death and mourn at birth.  And then.....

And then I lost my father.....and then I had my children.....and then I understood.  My father suffered a long time before he past and it was the most painful thing to endure and to watch and though I still miss him terribly...SO SO terribly, once he passed a sense of relief came over us.  He was no longer in pain.  He was no longer hooked up to tubes.  He would no longer smell of death.  He would no longer go through spells of confusion.  Watching someone you love suffer so deeply and so long is the most painful thing your can endure so when they pass on, though you are deeply saddened for them you are also relieve that they are no longer suffering.

When I had my babies, it was the happiest days of my life!  Quite opposite from mourning actually but one thing you realize once you become a parent, and this hits parents (especially moms) at different stages of parenthood is that this beautiful miracle you brought into the world will now one day face heartache.  They will feel sad, fear, loneliness, possibly depression, they may have an illness that causes them physical and emotion pain and once you realize this perfect little bundle of joy will one day hurt, it hurts your heart!  Don't get me wrong, the moments of happiness and joy far out way the moments of pain if you are fortunate and blessed but it doesn't make the pain of watching your child hurt any less in the moment that the pain is happening.  Thinking about these 2 scenarios made me think of when God, for one moment in time could not look upon His own Son.  I often hear people say that it's because at that moment, Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself.  But I have to wonder if God could not look for that reason or if it was really because he could not, as a parent, bare to see the suffering that was being placed upon His son's shoulders.  If you stop and think about any, all, and every sin that has been, could be, ever will be committed and to know that if at that very moment, all of that was being covered by Jesus' blood....as a parent, I feel that maybe....just maybe, God couldn't watch not because it was sin but because of the pain and anguish it caused His one and only Son!!  I can't even fathom watching my child bare the burdens of a sinful and fallen world.  I can't even bare to watch my child have a broken heart because a sibling or friend called them a name.  I can't bare to watch my child suffer in pain when they are sick or hurt but to multiply all that pain times infinity and I think my heart would shatter right out of my chest.

So, though I've not found that saying in scripture, I do now "get it".  I can understand that sentiment and way of thinking.

I will now try to resume my slumber.  I was trying to go to sleep and I'm not sure why this topic even came into my mind while trying to drift off to dream land but I couldn't not type my thoughts as I knew I'd forget them by morning.
God bless

Friday, February 3, 2012

Caleb..."servant of the Lord"

The first blog I've posted about my children was about Madison.  This one is about Caleb and really dear to my heart.  Please read below to find out about my precious Caleb.

"servant of the Lord"  is the meaning of  Caleb
There is a man that was dear to our family.  He used to do Bible studies and Prayer meetings in our home but he also lead a revival at Bethel. He once told me that if I had dreams with snakes or serpents in them to start praying over them and pleading the blood over them because it's often times a sign that someone is trying to use witch craft against you or curse you.  Last week I had a dream I was at a park at night with the kids which is in and of itself odd but anyway, I was talking to someone and Caleb (my 5 year old) climbed up the slide. It had a tunnel over it. He started screaming and came running down the slide. He had a bite mark on his cheek that had 2 holes in it. I looked up in there and there was a snake up in there. I woke up after that but I started praying over Caleb. I don't know if you ever heard the story of what I went through when I was carrying him but satan really tried to keep him from entering this world.

A couple of different times when I was carrying Caleb, I had symptoms of a miscarriage. From the excruciating pain all the way to the visible signs. The last time it happened, my Dr. sent me back for an ultra sound. I should have been about 8 weeks. The tech starts the US and can not pick up a heart beat or see a baby. She does an internal US and same results. She tried for 30 minutes to try and detect a hint of a heartbeat or see any signs of a baby and could not. I could tell it didn't look good. My Dr. calls me into his office instead of back to the exam room so naturally my heart sank to my shoes. Jeremy was there with me and the Dr. said, it appears you've lost the baby but the sack is still there. So we need to talk about scheduling you for a D&C to clean out what remains in there. He said, we drew blood when you came in and the results will be back in the morning and from what I'm seeing, your HCG levels should be dropping back down now. Come back in tomorrow and we'll go over you blood work and get your D&C scheduled. That night I'm so upset I can't think straight. I called my mom sobbing and told her what was going on and told her, you can tell the family if you want but I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to have to repeat this story over and over. I need to deal with it myself and I just can't talk to anyone about it right now. Tell everyone I'm sorry but I will not be answering my phone tonight. Jeremy held me and I cried myself to sleep. The next day I woke up in a better mood but still down. About halfway through the morning I felt led t start quoting scriptures over my belly. I would quote ""Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
and the one that says "Ye are the righteousness of God in Christ" only I would say "Caleb is the righteousness of God in Christ. He was formed in God's image and has a purpose. He shall live and not die."
Psalm 118:7 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. only I would say, "Caleb will not die but live and proclaim what the Lord has done." I would keep repeating these verses and prayers over my belly throughout the day. We get to the Dr.s office and my Dr.'s nurse pokes her head  out and says, "would you mind repeating the US? Your HCG levels are still increasing." I have a nervous laugh and say of course I don't mind. So again, the Dr. calls us back to his office and says, I just want to dot my i's and cross my t's. I don't want to schedule you for this procedure without 100% certainty of what I feel has happened and these numbers have put a little doubt in my mind. It still doesn't look good based on the US but I could not sleep at night if I wasn't 100% certain. I go back for the US and could see the tech was not looking forward to this session. I imagine it's difficult giving expectant moms gloomy news and having to be the "definitive" answer. I lay down on the table and less than 3 seconds she says, " Um...wait a minute....is that?....I have a heartbeat!" I started crying hysterically and she's trying to calm me down so she can continue. A couple more swipes over my tummy and there he is. Measuring at the perfect gestation just floating around in there and seeing that little heartbeat was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I knew he was called and destined to be here.

This was my 1'st experience with the devil trying to take his life. The next time, I was at a used car lot looking at vehicles. We had a small car and was fine for the 3 of us but Caleb was a couple months from being due and we would need more space. For some reason, Jeremy took the car to work so that left me with his old Ford pick up. I had dropped Olivia off at the day care and went to the Lemon Lot to look at what was available. It was early in the morning and no one was out there. I pulled up Really close to the cars on the lot. The Truck was facing East to West and the cars on the lot were facing North and South so the Truck and the van I was looking at formed a T. I put the truck in park and stepped out. I left the drivers side door open so I could just get back in really quickly. Well, I'm checking the van out and make my way to the front of it to read what the sign in the window says and the truck slips into reverse on it's own. It pins me between the truck door ( the tip of the door is pushing in on my belly) and the front end of the van. It was squeezing on both sides of my belly. The door of the truck on one side and the side of the van on the other. All kinds of gruesome scenes play through my mind and then I gain my wits and somehow am able to pull my belly out and my knee gets pinned instead. I yank my knee out and run around to the passenger side and slide in to move the truck forward thinking it's going to keep going and squish all the vehicles into each other. I stopped the catastrophe from happening and drove myself to the hospital. Very shaken up. They were more worried about my knee and I was more worried about Caleb. They hook me up to monitors and he's just fine.

THEN, after he was born, his PKU test came back abnormal. They repeated it 2 or 3 more times and again they came back abnormal and we are sent to the Children's hospital in Birmingham. They explain to me they are testing him for a condition that is commonly referred to as "wasting disease" or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Basically, the body can not process the salt it makes and causes the baby to dehydrate and die. It's very common in Jews (my husband is half Jewish) but typically, unless both parents are carriers, the baby is only a carrier but the fact the he had failed 4 PKU tests concerned them. I had to carry my baby into this cold sterile room and watch them try to insert an IV into him. His veins are so tiny that it's not working so they stick the bottom of his foot and SQUEEZE 2 vials of blood from his little foot. He screamed, I cried...then they tell me they would have to repeat the test 2 hours later. I guess they inject something into them to see how the babies body responds and if it processes it properly. So the second time, I hand him off to Jeremy and told him he had to take him back, I couldn't watch them do that to him again. Well, long story short, test came back fine and he is just a carrier of this condition.

Then, when he was 3, a friend and I had gotten together and taken our kids to our Church's Fall festival. Our Church is REALLY big on ministering to the kids of the inner city here so there are a lot of families from what they call "the bottom". That show up that night. Madi was a baby and was crying and I bent down to give her her paci and looked back and he was gone. Again, my heart dropped to my shoes. My friend stayed in the lobby with my girls and her boys as I walked around the fellowship Center crammed pack of people and kids in costumes. All I could do was pray that a predator did not see an opportunity and take advantage of it. I had told the kids if for any reason they got separated from me to find some one they knew and trusted and just stay put. After about 15 minutes ( that felt like 15 hours), I found him at the Sr. Citizens booth. I've never been so relieved.

I said all that to say that I know he has a purpose and a calling on his life. I feel like he is attacked more than any of my other children were or are. He has the most tender spirit toward things of God and things having to do with forgiveness. We watched the Grace Card as a family and at the end he BAWLED!!!! I asked him what was wrong because I didn't think as young as he was that he could really comprehend what was taking place in the movie. "He says, I'm happy and sad." I said why are you happy AND sad? He says, "I'm sad that the man lost his child but I'm happy that the daddy forgave that man. He didn't have to do that. That was really nice of him." Naturally, I lost it and started praying that God would guard and protect that side of him. That he would always be sensitive to the things of the Spirit. SO, when I had that dream, I woke up and started praying over him immediately. I don't know who or what would want to attack him but this momma plans on being vigilant and will not back down from praying a hedge of protection over him.

I love my little man so much!  He and his sister are an extension of my heart walking around and growing on the outside of me.  Whatever God has in store for him, I know it's something great!!

How does God speak to you?

Have you ever wondered if God speaks to you and if He did how would you know and would you hear Him?  I used to wonder that as well until I truly experienced hearing His voice.  Usually in the form of dreams but there have been times that I have been wide awake and it was if He were sitting next to me carrying on a conversation with me.  I couldn't see Him but I could sure feel His presence and hear Him. 

It was prophesied over me once that I would see things in the spiritual realm.  I didn't really comprehend what that meant at first or know how I felt about it but as I get older and see more and have more stirrings within my spirit, I'm starting to understand it.

More and more as the years go by, I'm having spiritual dreams and inclinations to stop what I'm doing and pray about something.  One dream I had, I was told to write it down.  I did not because I can never forget this dream.  Sure I may forget small details but the gist of the dream is unforgettable to me.

In this dream, I owned and ran an orphanage.  The children within it were like my own.  I loved them dearly.  One day while talking with another adult, I had one of the babies with me.  He couldn't have been any more than 1 1/2.  He was running around my feet as I was talking.  Suddenly the earth opened up and a beast appeared from a fiery hole in the ground and had fire flaming from his mouth.  I remember I immediately went into prayer mode....I knew I was up against spiritual warfare.  I asked the beast, or serpent if you will what he had come for.  He pointed to the precious baby at my feet.  I said it is not possible!  Why would you take him.  He is not yet at the age of accountability and can not make that decision for himself.  The serpent did not answer and spoke no more the rest of the time he was there.  The life of this child became a spiritual tug of war.  The serpent would tug and I would pray harder.  I could see the spears of my prayers were hindering him.  I prayed harder.  This tugging felt like it went on forever.  Finally the serpent went back into the hole in which he had come from.  I looked at the child at my feet and he was covered in burns.  It was then I awakened from my sleep.  I was disturbed beyond measure.  I kept praying and asking God, how could satan wage war on the life of an infant who is yet beyond understand of the things of God.  Who can not yet grasp salvation and forgiveness.  How  was it even possible.  Some time went by and I could not get this dream out of my head.  I ran into the man who had prophesied over me that I would see things of the spirit.  He listened intently to me replay my dream for him and then I finished with, "But I do not understand how this can be...he was but a child!"  This man stopped and prayed with me and then says, "What you were seeing was the battle of a baby Christian.  The baby in the dream was representative of a new Christian, not a true physical infant.  You will be the mother of many.  A spiritual mentor and will be waging spiritual war for the souls of those you come in contact with."  At that moment, it did all make sense.

Not long after that, I had been with a group from my Church on a mission trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  We spent much of our time ministering to the homeless youth.  They called themselves "gutter punks".  The majority of them had been brought up in Christian homes.  Some were P.K.'s (pastors kids) who turned from the faith because of the hypocrisy they saw at home and at church.  Though we made a lot of progress there, the one I'll never forget....I never could get his name.  It was so loud where we were that it was amazing we could even understand each other at all but me and 2 others saw this guy all alone on Bourbon Street.  I don't know if you've ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans but it's very difficult to "be alone" on Bourbon Street.  LOL The street is literally packed like a can of sardines and you have to inch your way down it.  Anyway, he stood out to us and we made our way to him.  He entered into a little pub and we followed him in.  You could see sadness and fear and depression all over his face.  When we approached him and asked if we could pray with him, you could see a really small glimmer of hope in his eyes.  He allowed us to and then we got to talking to him.  More like hollering because like I said, it was REALLY loud!  He started asking question and by the time we were done, we were able to lead him in the prayer of salvation.  It was the most amazing feeling I've ever had.  You could see it all melt away...the pain, the fear, the depression.  He even sat his drink down and left it behind and followed us out of the bar.  We were able to get him the names of some places around that could help him and get him started on the right path but you could see this was going to be a struggle for him.  The bad thing about those trips is that in situations like that, you usually have to leave the person without any contact info because of the situation.  All we had were our memories to rely and some really loud streets and a bar to contend with.   All we could do was to remember him in prayer and pray that someone would come along and continue to help him in his walk with Christ.  As I returned home from that trip, my dream came to mind....this young man could have very well been the "baby" in my dream and it led me to pray for him even more over the next few months.

Last night was not without dream either. 
I dreamed we (Jeremy and I) were with a group and had our kids out on a field trip. For some reason, we all got to ride in a fire truck. As we were on our way to our final portion of the field trip, we passed by a horrific accident. It appeared some apartment complexes had caved in and caught fire. Possibly from an earthquake...I don't know...our driver started to pass it because there were already something like 40 fire engines there. He decided to stop and help out. When he came back to his engine, he asked our permission to skip the final part of our field trip because he needed to regroup from all the tragedy he had just seen. I think our world is in for a shaking....maybe not physical, I don't know but for sure spiritual. Are you going to be strong enough to endure the tests and trials and persecution that come your way? Just something to think about!
Listen to what God is telling you...in whatever manner He speaks to you.  We are coming upon a time when you will need those communication lines with God to be open and strong.  You will need your faith like never before.  It will be a time where God separates His warriors from his pretenders.  If you are just "going through the motions" you won't be able to stand.  I pray that you would search your heart and see where you can grow stronger.  
Matthew 5:12   New Living Translation (©2007)
Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
Rejoice - In the testimony of a good conscience; for, without this, suffering has nothing but misery in it.
Be exceeding glad - Αγαλλιασθε, leap for joy. There are several cases on record, where this was literally done by the martyrs, in Queen Mary's days.
Great is your reward in heaven - In the Talmudical tract Pirkey Aboth, are these words: "Rabbi Tarpon said, The day is short: the work is great: the laborers are slow: the Reward Is Great: and the father of the family is urgent."
The followers of Christ are encouraged to suffer joyfully on two considerations.
1. They are thereby conformed to the prophets who went before.
2. Their reward in heaven is a great one.
God gives the grace to suffer, and then crowns that grace with glory; hence it is plain, the reward is not of debt, but of grace: Romans 6:23.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Insomnia-what it's like and why YOUR solution does not work!

So, I saw a facebook book post that made me decide to write about this topic.  I am one of the unfortunate many that suffers with insomnia.  Yes I said suffer.  My husband and many others think the solution is as simple as shutting everything down and climbing into bed.....IF ONLY it were that easy.

There are medical conditions to which insomnia is a side effect.  2 of these conditions I just happened to have been diagnosed with.  I don't know if that gives me a double whammy of insomnia or what's going on but it seems to get worse as the months go by.  There are a few days in which sleep comes easily...a few days a year!  I LOVE those days. 

"The Simple Solution".....or IS it??
My husband, a long with many other annoyed, or non sympathetic, or unable to understand or (insert whatever feeling someones spouse may have about their other half not sleeping) seem to think it's as simple as turning off the TV or the computer or putting down the book and climbing into bed and closing your eyes....IF ONLY!!!!!

Here is what happens when we do that.
<dialogue in our mind>  "Hmmm, that place in my back really hurts tonight.  I should probably call the Dr. and let them know the pain I've been having and not getting answers regarding for the past 3 years didn't magically disappear....it's still very much there.  When was it this pain started?  Oh yeah, nearly 3 years ago now.  Along with so many other symptoms that have no answers.  When did all these symptoms start?  Seems to me it was after I had our first kid.  That first kid we weren't supposed to be able to have.  We tried for nearly 2 years before getting blessed with her....Well, some days feel more like a blessing than others.  I'll sure be glad when she gets over this not paying attention phase.  I'm not sure where she get's her OCD from.  It seems to be a recessive gene.  It hit my sister as well but Olivia is MY daughter, not my sisters so how did it jump from her to my daughter?  I wonder what my sister is doing.  I sure wish she would call more often.  It's almost like I've fallen off the face of the Earth and she's forgotten about me.  Oh yeah, that reminds me of what I forgot.  I need to add milk to the grocery list.  Speaking of groceries, I wonder what I should make for dinner tomorrow.  We are out of ground beef but there is some shrimp, some chicken breast, and some Talapia in the freezer.  Speaking of breasts, mine sure do hurt right now.  But that all goes back to my medical issues.  My body makes cysts for the fun of it and they are so painful.  Speaking of fun, I need to think of something fun  to do this weekend as a family.  Speaking of family and weekend, I can't forget I have a photo shoot this Saturday at 3:30.  Hmmm....I wonder who else I can hit up to buy some girl scout cookies.  I sure do miss being back home with family.  God, it sure would be nice if you would drop a house, and a job out of the sky for my husband so we can move back home.  Speaking of back home. I sure do miss my grandparents.  I wonder how they are doing.  I'm afraid they won't be around to much longer.  They sure are getting tired and slowing way down.  I just pray I get to see them a couple more times before something happens to them.  I sure do miss my daddy.  I wonder if he is Heaven's chef.  That man sure loved some food!  He loved to make it too!  Sometimes I feel like he's standing over my shoulder telling me what to put in my dishes and they almost always come out perfect!  I wish my kids would have had a chance to meet him.  Speaking of kids, I have GOT to make them clean their rooms tomorrow and if they don't, ALL their toy's are going to Goodwill.  But, we know that will never happen.  Too much money has been spent on those toys and we can't afford to replace them.  Man!  Is it hot in here or is it just me?  I don't mean that in a haha way, I'm REALLY sweating bullets here.  I sure hope I'm not going through the change!....Oh, look at the time.  I've been laying here with my mind wandering for an hour now.  I sure wish it had an off button.  Dangit!  I need to go to the bathroom......is it just me or is it cold in here?  How can it feel  like it dropped 20 degrees in the past 5 minutes.  I wonder if he messed with the thermostat.  I sure hope our heating and cooling unit isn't messed up.  OH!  I need to get dog food and pullups tomorrow.  What else was it I said I need to get tomorrow?  I knew I should have written it down when I thought about it but then I'd have to get out of bed and then I would have been wide awake again.  Who am I kidding, I'm STILL wide awake.  I wonder if anything good is on TV.  Man, I hate being awake this late.  My stomach is growling but I can't eat now....it's not good to eat this late......."
and On and ON and ON it goes.  If it will stop, no one knows.

So you see, it's better for us to be watching something or doing something or typing something or reading something.  ANYTHING to get our minds to SHUT UP!!!!  lol  I've literally laid in bed and gone through my entire medical history in my head trying to figure out when my body started failing me.  I've rehearsed speeches in my head and I may or may not ever be asked to give ( like the miracle behind all my kids being here but more specifically that Olivia and I are still alive after a traumatic birth and that we even have Caleb at all....he was supposed to have been a miscarriage)  Or the fact that we even have kids when Jeremy was told he wouldn't have kids and I had been diagnosed with PCOS and many PCOS patients never have children of their own.  So we can either lay their in bed for hours and try and solve the worlds problems and plan our future for hours or we can give our mind a rest and let something else do the thinking for us.  At least the TV or facebook, or a book is letting something or someone else do most of the thinking or gears our thinking in 1 direction instead of all over the place. 

You know how when the heater kicks off in the winter or the AC kicks off in the summer and the fan is still running?  That is kind of what insomnia is like only it lasts MUCH longer.  Our bodies may be laying in bed all comfy and relaxed but truly, we are not relaxed because our brain won't shut down long enough to relax.

Now you've read OUR side of the story.  I still don't expect everyone to "understand" it but maybe this will shed a little more light on the subject.  haha!  and I'm sorry you had to hear all the pointless ramblings that may or may not run through my brain on any given evening.  That was just an example.  There are MANY MANY more things our brains try and solve or plan or understand while we are laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and praying for just 1 night of relief.....of rest!