Just some pics…

For the heck of it…

Circa 1979

My favorite photo of all of us. Russell was going to the War College. Brett was 3 1/2 and was furious we made him stand there…see the binoculars in his hand?

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Another Day…

Do ya know what I love about Jesus? His mercies are new every morning. I can have the worst day. I can toss and turn all night, worrying, fretting, praying…and the next morning…is a new beginning.

Like this morning. I actually had a great day yesterday, but last night…last night I doubt I slept more than two hours. My Man said I tossed and turned and whimpered and “made funny little noises” all night. I believe him. The fact that I am typing this at 8:07 am while my daughter is in Maryland, 50 miles away, warming up on the volleyball court tells you I am out of sorts this morning.

I got up with them, but I just couldn’t face an entire day in a high school gym having to make small (or big) talk with the other parents. Yes, Russell would be there too, but ya gotta be social at these things. Especially with all the goings on with the varsity coach and five varsity players (and their parents…that’s the kicker right there) at the tournament. They will all want to talk about it and frankly, I just don’t want to today.

And this, I know, is selfish. Because I know that truly, when push comes to shove, Russell and I know for a fact that everything that happens is God’s plan, not ours. The other parents of the varsity girls…not so much. I know we are to be the light. I know we are to walk our witness and tell them that we know Who is in control and our kid, no matter what, will be okay because she knows Him and loves Him.

So here’s the deal with the new every morning. I tossed and turned all night last night because I was stressing and fretting about all of the things I just told you I was totally unconcerned with! I couldn’t get it out of my head…the worry and concern I have for our daughter. I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW she will be fine. It’s just getting through to the fine part…you know…the unknown-I-don’t-have-control-part…that is difficult for me. And now that the decision has been made that our oldest will go to Longwood and not CNU, I have THAT to worry about! Longwood is much more liberal than CNU. He will be exposed to the liberal agenda no matter where he goes and I know that he has a solid base and foundation in Christ. I know it, I really do. But I can’t help but worry.

Which all reminds me that if I worry and fret like this because of my love for my children…what does my Father in heaven go through every single day? I love my children…He created my children (and me).

Thankfully, I came to Him full on this morning and poured it all out to Him again and I feel renewed, refreshed. Redeemed.

Oh, how I love Him~

I Have been Grieving, Y’all.

First of all. We had to put down our 13 year old Murphy this week. She was completely blind. Mostly deaf. Arthritic. Full of tumors. Still as sweet as the first moment we found her at the pound in Front Royal when she was a pup.

She shed unimaginable mounds of hair…every day. She loved to eat sticks of butter off the counter (and in the last few months…hers and our other dog’s poop).

We will miss her. The house is strangely quiet without her. Our other dog, Samantha, is moping and grieving in her own way.

Secondly. I have had a general plan for our children since before they were born. You know the one…they love you and obey you. They know and love Jesus. They do well in school and in sports. They graduate from high school and move away to college. They major in and find work in a field they love. They eventually find the perfect mate, the one God has chosen for them, the one you have prayed for since they were born. They get married, have children. Yadda Yadda.

I’m sure you recognized the fatal flaw.

I have had a plan. When am I going to learn that it is not my plan? It is His plan.

I am not in control. He is in control.

Our sweet girl has always struggled in school. She was diagnosed with ADD whilst in the second grade. Along with ADD and school struggles often comes self-esteem issues. She has struggled with that, too. Eating disorders. Yup. Been there. Self-confidence problems. Definitely. Especially on the volleyball court. The need to be perfect. Oh, yes. See it in her daily.

All along I have prayed for her. Begged God to release her from this. To rise her above it. Supernaturally empowering her with abilities. And I believe He has. Not always in the way I have wanted or expected.

He is in control. His plan is in action.

I think that I cling so tightly to her volleyball because it is something she is successful in. She is a very talented athlete. I know that, with a lot of studying and focus, she is able to attain good grades. I have always expected her to graduate from high school and move away to college. Possibly to play college volleyball. Even if it is Division III ball (she is a petite thing for an outside hitter, after all). Her high school coach, a former college coach and recruiter, told her and us that she is definitely a candidate to play in college.

And man’s plans continue.

While God often has another plan.

Over the last couple of weeks, He has kicking and screaming gently led me down the path to the realization that His plan is for Sarah to not go off to college. But to stay at home. Go full time to the local community college. Get her feet wet. Feel her way through the first couple of years of college in a safe and more comfortable way for her.

I have fought it. I have railed against it, denied it. And tried to take everyone along with me. Sarah herself finally convinced me. She wants the community college route. For now.

The final blow was learning this week that her varsity coach wouldn’t be returning next season. He has been her biggest supporter. Benching her for several weeks to make her a better, stronger mental player. Knowing her competitiveness would win out. And it worked. And we recognized it and thanked him for it. Eventually. And now he wasn’t coming back for her senior year.

And in the final reminder that yet again it is His plan…coach met with the girls after school yesterday to officially break the news to them.

He’s not coming back to coach them next year.

He’s moving on to start up a new women’s college volleyball program.

A local college.

A local community college.

The same community college Sarah will be attending in the fall of 2009.

I don’t know about y’all…but I don’t believe in coincidence.

I believe in Him.

Apparently, my Love Language is Volleyball.

God knows what my true love language is. I always thought it was gifts (according the official love language test). But God used volleyball to get my attention.

It’s not the first time.

If you are an even one-hit reader of this blog, you probably quickly figured out that our daughter plays volleyball and we are freakishly supportive of her.

We are totally a sports-driven family. Both my Man and I played various sports growing up.

Somehow, Brett got talked into playing volleyball, for the same house league Sarah played on years ago. As a 5 foot 8.5 inch 6th grader, we opted to move him up to the middle school team but that meant that the man and I would need to coach, with the help of both of our older children, apparently.

And here is the God speaks to me part.

You can not imagine the impact it has made on the parents of the kids we are coaching that our entire family is out there on the sidelines coaching, encouraging and cheering on their kids.

And I am so used to that…I almost missed it.

Sarah is also reffing volleyball for this league, but last night she was working a different school and missed the first match we played. She arrived for the second match and quickly took over. She is affectionately called The Dictator at our home.

The “love” soon came out…

Shawn: Sarah, move back, I can’t see. I’m trying to coach.
Sarah: Shawn, shut up. I’m the coach.
Shawn: Sarah, mom and dad are the coach. I’m co-coaching. You weren’t even here for the first match.
Sarah: Shawn, mom and dad are the coaches-on-record…I’m the REAL coach.
Sarah: MOM! Who’s the coach?
Shawn: MOM! Tell her to back up.
Me: I’m the coach. Your dad is the co-coach. Shawn’s our muscle and Sarah is there for the boys to go ga-ga over. Shut up both of you and move back I’M TRYING TO COACH!

The love was just flowing! lol.

Seriously, though…all of this was said with laughter and joking (and not a small bit of jockeying for position on the sideline).

The truth is…God has so daggone blessed me with this family and I continue to allow circumstance to overshadow that realization so much so that…well, I boldly jumped straight into the pit over the last couple of weeks and didn’t even WANT to look up to see Him standing there, His arm stretched out, fingers reaching, straining to grasp my hand and gently pull me to safety. To peace. To calm.

And when I finally looked up last night and saw Him standing there, I also saw this incredible family He has blessed me with. A husband who (for some insane reason) continues to love me NO MATTER WHAT. A son who clearly is on the path to becoming a man after God’s own heart. A daughter who is compassionate, loving, and just a bit mouthy. And she loves the Lord. After playing in tournaments four straight Sunday’s she was jumping up and down with excitement to be able to go to Sunday School and church for two Sundays in a row. And a curly headed child, who looks like a high school kid, who leads The Pastor’s Posse at church. Tutors kids in the city on Monday afternoons. And still sneaks up to his momma for a hug and a kiss whenever none of his siblings are looking.

Y’all…it does not get any better than this. So many parents came up to us last night to comment on our entire family being out there. Shawn (our child wanting to major in elementary education, who has coached kids in everything from baseball and soccer to basketball and volleyball now) gave each child his undivided attention when they needed it/asked for it. He pulled each kid aside to encourage him or give him individual instruction. Whooped it up on the sideline every time they did (and sometimes didn’t) make a play. And he cooks! The mom’s that have watched him grow up always talk about Shawn as “the boy I want my daughter to marry”. It does a mom’s heart good to hear someone talk about her son that way. Especially when said mom is in his bathroom picking up his dirty underwear and socks AGAIN that got tossed in the corner when he hopped in the shower.

The boys were absolutely ga-ga over the girl. Why wouldn’t they be? A high school girl talking to each of them, laughing, helping them with their game, playfully ruffling their hair, and giving it right back to them when they mouth off to her.

Can I just say that GOD IS SO GOOD! And thankfully, He does keep reaching down to pull me from the miry pit, every single stinkin’ time I jump into it.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9.

Can You Feel the Rage Love?

Several years ago, my beloved Interim Pastor informed me that I was a Type A personality.

That explains a lot.

When I gasped and said, “Huh? What? Me? Nuh-uh!”, he laughed and said, “you are a classic control freak.” Then he gave me a big old hug and told me that’s just the way it is.

Nuh-uh.

Since then, I have had it confirmed. By professionals. As well as my own beloved family. Most of whom should recognize my controlling tendencies since I got it from their gene pool.

Usually, I’m able to control my controlling tendencies. Oh, wait. I just read that out loud.

Seriously, though…I can usually hide it fairly well. At least in Susan’s Fantasy Make-Believe Non-Reality World.

The last few weeks, however, I have been in a tail-spin. I have not been able to control anything!

And it is infuriating me.

‘Course I didn’t know all of that until I decided to go back on speaking terms with God. And once He confirmed it, I stopped speaking to Him again.

And in that, no…you’re not getting off that easily way of His

He has been blasting me with both barrels.

I am in control of nothing!

Every single bit of my life is spinning out of control.

And it is really annoying.

I had totally planned on taking my own little sabbatical while my boss is on sabbatical.

I haven’t gotten a single thing done.

It came to me this morning that all of this going on is tied in with this. When I said to God that I was ready to be used by Him to do whatever He wanted me to…I neglected to turn the control over to Him.

I’m thinking that giving up the control to Him is going to be an integral part of Him being able to use me. And since I said, “use me” He is taking me at my word and forcing me to give up control.

Thus…my world spinning out of control.

I’m at the office now. The place is empty, but for me. And the sanctuary…both physical and spiritual…is calling. I’ve got to answer. I’ve got to obey.

And give up control.

But I’m not the least bit happy about it.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

And now…some gratuitous photos.




The first photo is of our youngest, Brett with his big sister, Sarah.

The second photo is big sister trying to hug on said little brother. Earlier, you know first thing Easter Sunday morning, she had been screaming at him, “IF YOU BANG ON THE DOOR ONE MORE TIME I AM GOING TO SMACK YOU!!!!”. Two hours later, she’s hugging on him.

The last photo is our oldest, Shawn with my future daughter-in-law. If I have anything to say about it. LOVE HER. They have a long-standing friendship…which neither seems willing to jeopardize by actually admitting they like each other. Since they are only 17…they have plenty of time to work that out. Call me crazy, but I met The Man when I was 15 years old.

Just saying.

Did I mention they might be going to the same college?

Ahhhh….The Quiet.

Other than Travis cranked in the background, my house is quiet. Peaceful. Heavenly.

Don’t get me wrong…I adore my children. And my Man. But it is so nice to have the house back.

We are such creatures of habit, aren’t we? When our schedule is thrown off by illness, company, children home from school all week, a husband off for a few days…well, I don’t know about y’all but I can get down-right cranky.

It was regrouping time this morning. In many ways. The Man was up and out without a stir from his slumbering bride. The kids were all up and out on time. I was up earlier than I have been getting up, but not as early as I need to be. God and I discussed that and many other things this morning. And it was wonderful to be on a first name basis with Him again. Not that I deserved it, but He was Gracious and filled my quiet time, bible study time, and prayer time with direction and proof that He is still here. Still loving me. Still wanting me to be This Girl and not that girl. For some reason, maybe because I am just coming out of the desert, I was thirsty for Him in a way I can’t even remember being in the past. I was open to Him. I listened when I needed to. I cried out when He urged me to. I drank in what He gave me through His word and through my heart. And the joy? It came flooding back.

Yes…it’s quiet here this morning. Quiet and full. And the best part?

Christ is Risen.

Christ is Risen, Indeed!

Painting…

I would so post pics of my Man painting…but I can’t get to the camera. Bummer. But let me just say that he is rocking the house with his painting! He has never been more attractive to me than right now…when the painting is almost done and I can even envision hanging things on the walls! After I paint the trim.

Weird trivia about me…I love to paint trim. I don’t always use tape because I like to do it so much that I take my time and really do a neat job. Sad, but true.

I hate painting walls. Drives me insane. Weird, huh?

Another weird thing about me. I apparently have people fooled into thinking I have it all together. And also that I am very much at ease with myself. Yes…who knew? One of my sweet friends on a board I belong to posted that to me today. I love her. I love all the ladies there. Check it out when you have a moment…

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-fbfitforties/?ctx=128

So that’s the big excitement here today. Oh, that and the girl and I went to Ross…Dress for Less. She found tons of shoes and clothes. And bought it all with her own money! That’s the best part, really. And while she was doing that, I went to Joannes Fabrics and the Pet Store and did my own shopping (didn’t buy anything) at Ross. I was going to color my hair…somehow that didn’t get done. But my key lime pies are all done. Tomorrow I’ll whip up some heavy cream to plop on top. Yum.

I hope y’all are having a great Easter Weekend. Check out Beth’s latest post about Easter. It’s a keeper. I’ve printed it out and will mull it over tomorrow and Monday. When I’m back on track with God. I actually pulled out my bible and my journal today. Flipped thru them both a bit. I’m not sure why, but I guess I was pouting and kinda mad at God. I know He can take it, but I’m not sure why I felt that way. Maybe I should ask Him.

Love you guys.