Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day.  A day of remembrance.  A day to remember the fallen and their families.

I have to say that before I married the army, I don't know that I really knew or understood what memorial day was really about, what it really meant.  I think somewhere in history, probably during the cold war, it's meaning was pushed away in the corners of time.  It became really big again with the 'new wars' of Iraq and Afghanistan but still I wonder at the confusion.

Sometimes we get it a little confused with Veteran's Day another important day to observe on it's day.  Honestly?  I really think that we should be thanking our veterans EVERY day.

On Memorial Day though, I think we need to really remember the fallen and their families.  I was reading earlier today about the history of Memorial Day.  In years past it was spent remembering by visiting cemeteries and memorials.  They had family gatherings.  They decorated graves with flags and their homes as well.  It was a day of remembering.

Many often go and help place flags on graves today too and they gather with family and friends for BBQs and cookouts.  It's the unofficial first day of summer.

Today, I want to remember all those who paid the ultimate price for our country and also their families.  There are 3 special soldiers and families I wish to remember.  I think of them often and I pray for their families.

Col. John M. McHugh 5/18/10 
SGT Amanda N. Pinson 3/16/06
SFC Charles M. Sadell 10/24/10   

I am thankful for their lives, for their willingness to serve and for their families who shared them with our country.  I'm praying for you all.
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in the Spring

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Hero

The guy on the right is one of my heroes.  I only have a few but this one is super special to me.  He is an amazing guy.  He is driven and focused.  When he sees what he wants he works HARD to achieve it.  He is truly amazing.

He loves music and theater and is totally into physical fitness.  In fact, he scored a 300 on his PT test before he left for Basic Training.  When he was 10 years old, he decided he wanted to learn to do pull ups.  Now, he can do them forever. 

He doesn’t take the easy way.  He has no problem taking the rough roads or making tough decisions.  He gives life his ALL and is stronger because of it.

I’ve heard what some people say about him and all I can say is that I’m sorry you haven’t really gotten to know him.  He is fun, loving, super smart and his faith runs deep. He is loyal and dedicated.  He makes me proud to be his mother.  

Yes, he’s made mistakes, haven’t we all, but he’s also learned from those mistakes and they have made him stronger and more determined. 

He is figuring out what he wants in life and is working toward it, even if it’s a tough, hard road he has to take to get there, and I know he will achieve it.  

When he left for college, I told him to go and do great things and that is exactly what he is doing.  He is seeking to make a difference in this world and I happen to believe he has already and will continue to do so.  

I know you will never see this but, I love you, Spencer, you are my hero.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude

This morning I was posting on my Facebook Page about being thankful.  I've been trying to learn to use hashtags, so it's #ThankfulThursday.  Anyway, I really started thinking about how being thankful and having a grateful heart can really change us.  It can change our attitudes at the moment or it can change our lives forever if we can hang on to it.
Ephesians 5:20 reminds us to, "give (ing) thanks to God the Father at all times for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I was reminded of a song from the movie "White Christmas" where Bing Crosby is singing to Rosemary Clooney about counting her blessings when she is worried.  He sings, "When my bankroll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all..."  Putting things into perspective.

I was reading an article this morning about a dad struggling when sending his son off to college and he thought to himself, "what am I crying about? Some parents are sending their kids off to war."  It's all about perspective and having the right one.

It's a choice we have.  The way we choose to look at things in life makes all the difference in how we feel, how we look, how we live and who we are.  I've been working on my perspective a lot over the last year or so and I can see such a change in the way I feel.  My moods are better and less... hmmm... volatile... no, that's too harsh but let's change the perspective and say they are much more steady.  Lol I'm working on it!  I'm much happier, life is less complicated, I smile more, laugh more and have more to share with others. I worry less and I'm just happier, much more content.

Anyway, being thankful is something we should all work at in our lives.  It makes us feel good and reminds us where we are, who we are and whose we are.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Transitions of Life

What a weekend.  My darling daughter was busy with dance, dress rehearsal and recital, and my darling son was finishing his sophomore year in college 2 weeks early so he could leave for basic training yesterday.  It was a weekend that pulled at my heartstrings.  It was a weekend of transitions.

I'm working on a sermon on transitions.  Our lives are full of them.  We have transitions as our children grow, we have transitions in our marriages, with our pets, in our jobs, with our friends, in our neighborhoods, in our churches.  Transitions are just a part of life.  They are everywhere and for me, they are hard.

This weekend was a really hard transition for me.  We sent my darling son off to Basic Training for the US Army.  He'll be gone about 4 months.  4 months!!  Kids growing up is a hard transition for mommas.  We love our kids and want to see them grow up and start lives of their own but at the same time we want to keep them close to us!  That whole letting go thing...  it's tough.

I wasn't a fan of my son joining the military.  I've already lived that live for the last 20 years and am kind of done but when he told his dad that he knew the military was where he is meant to be... well, it pulled at my heart strings again.  I suddenly heard the words from Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for him declares the Lord, plans to prosper him and not to harm him, to give him a future with hope." (Loosely translated by me.)

It gave me comfort and peace.  It is making the transition a little easier for me.  Don't get me wrong!  I cried.  I bawled my eyes out.  I see a photo of him, I walk by his bedroom, I see his favorite foods and I immediately think to myself, "Oh I miss him" as tears well up in my eyes.  Then I remember how much he wants this.  I remember that we raised him right and well and then I remember Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Same translation as above.)

It all gives me a bit of peace.  A bit of comfort and helps me to trust in God throughout these transitions of life.  God's got this.  He's on my side.  He's on my son's side.  He knows the plans, plans to prosper and give a future and hope.  Sounds pretty good to me.  Sounds pretty comforting too.  I love that He is there to comfort us when we need it most.  Those quiet words, verses he puts in our minds and on our hearts to help us through the tough transitions of life, well, it's pretty awesome.  It's helps me deal.

What helps you deal with life's transitions?