On Being 47.

Four decades plus seven
Married twenty-five years
(not sure which shocks me more…the age or the years married)
hanging on to this extra weight
desperately seeking organization
scared I will never find it
wanting to live intentionally
to live with intent
with purpose
with focus
to love
to bless
mother of three
living with less fear
wanting to live with no fear
living with more faith
wanting to live with complete faith
beloved of God


My Baby Boy is 12.

Twelve! I can not believe it.

I so remember the joy and giddiness of finding out (after one whole month of trying) that I was pregnant with you. Your dad…well…shock is a better word. He thought he would have more time to get used to the idea of maybe having a third child. Five years after our second child and 6 years after our first. Shock. Pretty sums up his reaction. At first. But don’t think he wasn’t overjoyed. He was. That Man loves his kids.

Pregnancy with you was a dream. Easy. Little tummy trouble. Little pre-term labor. I. Felt. Good. Six hours labor and delivery from start to finish. And the joy of having you the day before my birthday. No one could ask for a better 35th birthday than I had! The entire wing was empty. My bff, Beth, was working the desk and keeping the over-zealous 22 year old nurse out of my face. Life. Was Sweet.

Well, except for the screaming. You came out screaming. You screamed for three years. After three years, you stopped. Coincidentally when your dad left for the War College in Rhode Island and we stayed here. You really just wanted to sleep next to your momma at night. And so you did while dad was gone. Shhh. Don’t tell him.

You were an early walker and an early talker. By 14 months you were putting words together. By 18 months you were speaking in sentences. We, and your pediatrician, were floored. You were also the one we couldn’t leave alone. For a second. Only you have had to have stiches. Only you have had to have x-rays for possible broken bones. You are our best, all-around athlete. We know that if you choose to, you could easily letter in three sports in high school. But football and basketball are your passions.
You are already as tall as I am. If not a bit taller.

You hate math. Hate, hate, hate it. And it shows in your grades, unfortunately. But you promise to do better. I totally believe you.

You switch back and forth between the following life-time professions: West Point Military Academy so that you can invent and/or improve weapons. Or University of Miami to play football. I’m not sure which one scares me more.

You have an amazing singing voice. You loved taking piano lessons. But you hated to practice.

This is your last year in elementary school. We have had a child at your elementary school for 13 consecutive years. I’m not so sure they won’t be happy to see the last of us!

I love that you still sneak a hug and a smooch from me. I hope you always will.

Interview with a twelve-year-old:

So, today is your birthday. Did you wake up thinking about it? No. I didn’t even know it was my birthday because I’ve been sick for awhile.

What do you want for your birthday? A cell phone.

Think you’re going to get it? Maybe.
(he’s not)

Who do you like better…me or dad? laughing…I can’t choose.
Why not? cuz you’re both so awesome.
(safe answer)

What do you want to be when you grow up? Pro football player.
Will you say, “hi mom” when you’re on camera at the super bowl? yeah.
What team do you want to play for? Redskins.
What kind of car do you want? 1971 Black Corvette, Sting Ray
Can I drive it? yes.
Can I have it? no.

How many children do you want to have? Three.
Boys or girls? Mix
What’s your favorite tv show? Spongebob.

Who do you like better…Lucy or Philip? Sigh. Philip.

Is it because you’re afraid he’ll beat you up if you don’t say him? No, because he’s my same gender.
What is gender? Like male or female.
Just checking.
What’s your favorite animal? A hippo.
Why a hippo? Because they are big and cool.
Is there something you need to tell me or want to tell me? Nope.
Are you a republican or a democrat? I don’t know.
Who’s going to be the next president? I don’t care.
Do you like George Bush? Ouch (spilled hot tea on leg.) Yes.
What’s your favorite movie, ever. I haven’t seen Meet the Spartans yet. The Spongebob Movie.
What your favorite meal? Breakfast. Bacon, eggs, sausage, little cute biscuits, and that’s it.
You don’t want to go to IHOP for your birthday? Shakes head no. (we’re going to TGI Fridays)
When you’re a rich and famous football player, what is the first present you’re going to buy me? 50th Anniversary Corvette.
And that’s why he’s my favorite.

Monday Night Bible Study. Part Deux.

Four of our Monday Night Bible Study Home Girls are also part of this group. We had been getting together for the last couple of years for prayer time, bible study, fellowship, life-sharing. Last year, I felt God was leading me to take back that weekly time for my family. Thankfully, we all attend the same church and see each other still. We speak on the phone and now and then all get together. These four women are still meeting on Tuesday mornings. I miss that time with them. But I know that, for a time at least, I had to stop meeting with them each week.

I have spoken about them before. But I want to touch upon each of them today.

One of these sweet women is from West Virginia. Now, I love West Virginia. It IS Wild and Wonderful and beautiful. Unfortunately, WV has gotten a bad rap and some folks like to jokingly tease our sweet West Virginian about her home state. I, of course, am not one of them. She takes the ribbing very well and even makes her own comments about WV. She has such a wonderful heart. Raised mostly in foster care, she is giving back and has foster children of her own. Her life can be described as wild and wonderful. And not just a little stressful at times.

Another of my sweet friends is pregnant with her long-awaited, much-anticipated second child. A boy child to make her family complete. Of all of us, the Pregnant One is probably the most sensitive to the lost. She has a heart and God-given desire to reach those that don’t know Jesus. And God has placed her in places where He is able to use that desire. I am often astounded by her ability and heart in this area of ministry God has called her to. She is truly following God’s call on her life.

One of these lovely women came into my life (and the rest of ours) at a time of great need in her life. For whatever reason, she was going through a period in the desert and spent a lot of time in her home. Recognizing it for what it was…a time in the desert…she turned to God for guidance. Comfort. Peace. And to us. For encouragement. Fellowship. Food. (It’s ALWAYS about the food.) She has since left this desert place and doesn’t hesitate to share what God did for her during and now after her time there. She is also our can-do girl…give her a paperclip, some duct tape and a pencil and she can make or fix anything.

The last, but definitely NOT least, of these bff’s of mine, came to our church already one of us. She was the dear friend of another church member and from the time we first heard about her coming until she and her military husband and family arrived…she had already become assimilated. We never gave her the option nor the opportunity to even look at another church…and her husband finally gave up, threw in the towel and they all joined our church membership. I feel as if I have always known her, although it’s only been a few short years. She has an incredible voice. She is the VBS Queen. There is talk of her leaving Virginia this summer. But I’m ignoring it. Not happening. Can’t happen. Won’t allow it.

So there you have a bit more info on the Amazing Women I do this bible study thing/life thing with.

NOT that any one of them was upset that they weren’t written about the first go around. Nope. Not a one.

(You know who you are.)

Monday Night Bible Study.

I was having my quiet time yesterday morning, praying through my prayer list, and my thoughts touched upon each of my Bible Study Home Girls. This is the group of women I have been doing bible study with for the past couple of years. We meet Monday nights at 7:00. As my thoughts touched on each one, I realized what a blessing they are to me. They are, in the typical way a group of women tends to be, eclectic. A huge range of ages, professions, religious backgrounds and personalities. I wanted to share a photo of some of them with you. Although four or five of our regular girls are missing.

One of these women I have known for 13 years. We met at the corner where our streets connect on the first day we both put our first child on the kindergarten bus. I was 6 months pregnant with our youngest, her youngest was 8 months old (they are now best buds). She has three boys. I bow to her regularly in unworthiness. She and I were both raised in the Episcopal church. Going Southern Baptist has been challenging, but rewarding, for both of us.

Another woman is Australian. A chaplain’s wife. I love her Aussie accent. Especially when she reads, because, as she tells me frequently, “I learned to read in Australian.” She now leads our Women’s Ministry. She is so down to earth and I adore her.

One of us attends a Catholic Church. But has been coming to our Beth Moore bible studies all along. She challenges each of us in our spiritual thinking and walk. She has had me thinking all last night and today with this question, “But God protects and loves the Jews who are not Messianic, right?” After all…they are God’s Chosen. We talked about the Remnant. We talked about the way to the Father is through the Son. But what about God’s Chosen? And also, how do we know that when a Muslim prays to Allah, he isn’t praying to the One True God? I know that we challenge her, too. That’s what it is about. Our bible study would NOT be the same without her.

These are just a couple examples of the wonderful group of women I share a passion for Christ with. Most of them were surprised to hear I had a blog and, like our Pastor, questioned my trust that the women I blog with are, in fact, who and what they say they are. We did have a lively discussion about blogging and the Internet last night. Not surprising since our ages range from 35-60 (give or take a year and not that you would even imagine any of us are that old!).

For some reason, I have withheld my blog from the majority of this group. It is not that I am hesitant in sharing my thoughts and heart with them. They certainly know I do during bible study and at other times we are together. I’m not really sure why I haven’t. A couple of the women do read my blog and have from the very beginning. I met with them for another bible study on Tuesday mornings for a couple of years and when I felt I needed to take that time back for my family and all that was/is going on with them, I still needed a way to connect with them and had hoped my blog would do that.

So…here we are. Out in the open. I’m sending them all an e-mail inviting them to check out my blog and the picture The Man took of us last night…

After a Healthy Day of Eating…

What can drive a 46.9 year old woman to devour this in 10 minutes flat?

A day spent at her daughter’s volleyball tournament, that’s what. I’m not sure what was more difficult…watching an extremely talented team of girls self-destruct or have to listen to the parents around me commenting on the self-destruction.

The only good side to the entire event was that I’m home at 6:30 instead of 9:00. Since we didn’t even make it into the playoffs.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post some pics from the tournament but right now…I just want to wash my face, put my flannel jammies on and veg.

This Girl, Out.

Here She is…Miss Millie.

Isn’t she pretty?

Here she is on the wall…notice the princess crown hanging on my dresser mirror? Yup. Me…totally a Princess. My bff’s gave me that.

Also notice the yucky color of the door frame. We have lived with that yucky color the entire 14 years we have lived in this house. Don’t get me started on my husband and painting. He hates to do it. But we’re painting and redoing our bedroom this year. Woo-hoo! After all, Miss Millie shouldn’t have to live with the yuckiness.
Thank you again, Joanne! I love Miss Millie!

Cough. Cough. Ouch.

That’s my life right now. I cough. I hurt. My throat. My chest. Ick.

But I’m not letting it stop my Get My Act Together in 2008. No sirree, Bob. (Who IS Bob, anyway, and we do we always tell him no?)

I worked on the home office on and off all day. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was doing laundry in the basement. And while I was down there, I was also barking orders at our oldest to move this, get this outta here, yadda yadda. He owes me. He’s on MY LIST. His admissions officer at Christopher Newport flat out told him exactly what he needed to do to move from “wait listed” to “accepted”. Good grades for the semester. Period. She flat out wrote it herself on his “wait listed” letter. He pulled a D+ in trig. For the semester. That means two quarters combined and he pulled a D+. He hates math, I get that. But he blew the math SAT away! He is awesome at math. I could strangle him. Still might. In my mind. Oh, all right. I really can’t and won’t even in my mind. But he’s going to pay. Yes sirree, Bob (had to encourage Bob a little). He’s planning on a big old fat beach trip with the boys to Myrtle Beach after graduation. Guess what? No acceptance to CNU…no beach trip. That’s right. You heard me. One must pay for one’s total lazy senioritis, mustn’t one? The original deal was all A’s and B’s this quarter and the next two quarters. He’s blown that, clearly. But his dad, who is all about lettin‘ the boy have some life experiences, really would like to allow him to go to the beach. So, The Man came up with the compromise and I agreed. Because I’m all about submission.

Not sure how I got off on that little rabbit trail. But I feel better after venting a bit.

Also whipped up a batch of these. Minus the nuts. Added chocolate chips. They have been a huge hit wherever I take them. Tonight they are going to Lucy’s volleyball party/sleep over. If they last that long. The dough is good. The cookies are even better.

It was a HUGE mail day for me today. I so look forward to the mail these days. Soon, in about 6 days, I will cross over from 46.9 to 47. And the gifts have started arriving. I’m all about gifts. Have I mentioned that before? It IS my #1, by far, love language. If you haven’t taken the love language test yet, you need to. You and your spouse.

I haven’t opened up any of my cards or gifts yet…but a particularly interestingly feeling one arrived from bff, Joanne. I can’t wait to open it. Not sure I’m going to make it for 6 days. I’m the kid that always dug through the house looking for my Christmas and birthday gifts. My mom finally gave up hiding them and just left them sitting on her closet floor in bags and told me to ruin the surprise if I wanted to…it was up to me. Talk about a let down. The best part is the hunt! After that, I was no longer interested in snooping for my gifts. Christmas has never been the same!

Cough. Cough. Ow.

My Home Girl bff‘s are taking me to dinner to my absolutely fave restaurant, Mike’s. For Lobster Bisque. And whatever else I want. I hope we can all go. We haven’t all gotten together in ages. I’ll take my camera and share pics. Have I mentioned that the youngest kid’s birthday is the day before mine? The year he was born, was the my best birthday. Hands down. Third child. Had the hospital wing ALL TO MYSELF. My bff, Beth, was working and she called all the nurses off me and told them that I would call them if I needed anything. So it was just me and the new kid for 48 wonderful hours. It was incredible. He’s still my favorite. Don’t tell the others. Of course I tell ALL of them they are My Favorite.

I’m absolutely flooded with tea. This is my favorite tea.

Ehv-er. I’ve had so much today that I had to switch to decaf Lipton because I’m afraid I’ll be awake all night from the caffeine.

Spiritual Stuff: Go here and partake of this.

God (through Beth) is hammering from two sides lately. David: 90 Days with a Heart Like His and Stepping Up. Before I begin each morning, I ask God to give me understanding and to show me His Rhema. The Rhema He has just for me. And let me tell you…He really has done it. It’s been so convicting. But so wonderful. I’m looking forward to it everyday. I’m going back over it every morning. I’m journaling and re-reading. I’m loving it. My point would be to definitely stop and ask Him to speak to you every time you read your bible, every time you have a quiet time with Him, every time you begin to journal.

That’s it for now, girls. I love you and I am so thankful for each and every one of you!

It’s Know & Tell Friday!

Question 1
What is your favorite fairy tale? Beauty and The Beast. When we were in Disney last month, I made the family go with me to see the show at MGM. Just like we’ve done each time we’ve been to Disney. I still loved it and got lost in it, as always!
Question 2
If you could be guaranteed a spot on the reality show “Survivor”, would you go? Confession: I have never watched Survivor.

Question 3
Meanest thing you ever did to a sibling??? I know…. what kind of question is this 🙂 Confession: I was positively EVIL to my younger sister. She knows I love her and adore her now…she’s my best friend! Please forgive me (again), Jenny!

Question 4
Best Fashion Era… 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or now…? 70’s, of course!

Question 5
Have you ever skipped to the end of a book before you finished reading the book? A couple of times when I’ve not liked the book and knew I wouldn’t read it through.

Bonus Questions (I found these questions through a website, and boy are these challenging…)
Question 6
What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year? Help me get my act together…get my house clean out and cleaned up and organized. Get me back on track with keeping up with everything.

Question 7
What is one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God? See answer to Question 6! That would calm my heart and soul more than anything at this point!

It’s Thursday and it’s Random.

It’s official…I’m a coffee snob. I’ve been trying to drink some non-Starbucks coffee I was given for Christmas and I just can’t. It’s just not as good. I went back to Starbucks yesterday and picked up some Cafe Verona. It was so wonderful to drink this morning. Except that I can hardly taste it. Because I’m sick. Cough.

Our youngest is VERY sick. Flu sick. 103 temperature kind of sick. And it’s the last day of the school quarter and he really needed to be in school yesterday and today. But I couldn’t send him with a fever. I’m glad he’s only in 6th grade. And not missing exams and all that as our two older ones would have been.

I was on my knees praying for our daughter this morning. Oy. She gets so overwhelmed, just like her momma. So overwhelmed in fact that she forgets to do the things that made her feel so overwhelmed in the first place! Such as the presentation she has to make in her International Marketing class this morning. And her part of writing it (group assignment). But she’s presenting. She freaked last night when she had a call from one of her group peeps asking if she was ready and to share her part with the rest of the group via e-mail. She was heading out the door for volleyball practice. With extra hitting practice following the regular practice. Which means she would be home around 9:45. But our God, knowing all of this in advance, had A Plan. When the team showed up for practice last night at the elementary school…there was a strings concert getting ready to start in the gym! Woo-hoo! They couldn’t practice. She was home by 7:15 and worked on her presentation until 11:00 and felt really good about it this morning! Tell me THAT wasn’t God-ordained. So I have been praising my God this morning and asking Him to be with her this morning as she was presenting. (She was only concerned about her appearance this morning…she had to get dressed up and look professional…not the presentation!)

I, too, have felt so overwhelmed lately. I, too, have been forgetting things. I can’t seem to get my act together and that’s my theme for 2008…Susan! Get Your Act Together! You know it’s not going well when you can’t memorize scripture because you forget that you’re actually supposed to be memorizing scripture.

So during my quiet time, bible study time this morning, I leaned back in my chair and asked God to lead out. And of course, He did.

Psalm 30
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help

and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;

you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;

praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,

but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,

“I will never be shaken.”
7 O LORD, when you favored me,

you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called;

to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What gain is there in my destruction,

in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;

O LORD, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.