One Word Meme.

Twenty-two questions, one word answers It’s harder than you think to keep it to only one word. I really had to think. I tagged one person at the end…but I’m tagging YOU. And you know who YOU are! Let me know when you do it!

1. Where is your cell phone?
desk
2. Your significant other?
basketball
3. Your hair?
awesome
4. Your mother?
Roanoke
5. Your father?
computer
6. Your favorite thing?
children
7. Your dream last night?
wild
8. Your favorite drink?
Verona
9. Your dream/goal?
Peace
10. The room you’re in?
office
11. Your hobby?
writing
12. Your fear?
evil
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
here
14. Where were you last night?
friends
15. What you’re not?
thin
16. Muffins?
blueberry
17. The last thing you did?
ate
18. What are you wearing?
sunglasses
19. Something you’re not wearing?
hat
20. Your mood?
sad
21. Your summer?
long
22. Person you tag?
JillElLen

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Apparently, I am the Coolest Mom. Ever.

According to our 27 year old computer tech, that is.

Probably not so much according to my own, beloved darlings.

The computer techie popped in with my office CPU…brand new hard drive installed and operational.

Thank You Jesus, we switched to a server and networking awhile ago, so everything (almost) was safe.

So, as Mark was getting my life back together hooking my computer back up, he observed me 1) texting with my daughter. Repeatedly. Yes…she was at school. Yes…she was in class. No…they are not allowed to text during class. And, 2) talking on my cell phone with my oldest son.

Mark only heard my end of the conversation, of course, but basically, Shawn was trying to convince me to let him do something I had already decided to let him do, but was stringing him along a bit.

I do that sometimes.

Just to let him know I’m not that easy.

And, after a few motherly words of advice such as, “no drugs, alcohol or racing” and “don’t tease PJ…he can’t help it,” I hung up.

Mark was looking at me and said, “you are the coolest mom ever.”

Why, thank you, young man.

He went on to say that his mom…not so cool when he was a teenager. His parents had divorced when he was 2 and when he was 13 he decided to push the envelope a bit, get into a spot of trouble and move in with his dad who apparently WAS cool.

We talked a bit about different things…parenting and why his mom possibly hadn’t been so cool and why his dad possibly was more cool and why I try to recognize when to be cool and when not to be.

Just my way of imparting a bit of parenting wisdom on a living-with-his-girlfriend-life-is-good- and-he-has-no-clue-about-reality 27 year old young man.

Peace out.

We reap what we sow.

And sometimes that is death.

This is the true story of a man who lived a relatively short life. He was 55 when he passed away last month. I don’t pretend to know this man’s heart or where he was with God. I am not judging him. All I know is what I observed over the last 10 years and what I believe God has laid on my heart about this man’s story.

His name was David. He was married at an early age. He and his wife were both very successful in their chosen fields. They had two beautiful children together. They were married for over 20 years. His wife was able to be a stay-at-home mom once their children arrived. They had several homes. One locally, one on the Outer Banks and, rumor has it, a mountain retreat.

None of this was, apparently, enough for David.

He soon hired a pretty, outgoing, fun-loving woman to run his office. She was also married. To a military man. They had three beautiful children, all younger than David’s children.

None of this was, apparently, enough for Gail.

Soon, David and Gail began having an affair. It was no secret to anyone around them. It was quite obvious what was going on.

Before long, Gail had taken her children and left her military man.

And shortly thereafter, David moved out of his home, leaving behind his wife and their children. One child, their son was still in high school. Their oldest, a daughter, was away at college.

But not away from the pain. Or the hurt. Which was massive.

Shortly after giving up his homes, wife and family, David and Gail were married.

They were so happy together! The office was filled with the sounds of their joy. Their laughter. Their contentment.

For awhile.

Until David had a nervous breakdown.

The charade was too much of a strain. The apparent happiness, the outward joy, was too difficult to maintain.

The business had to be sold. Gail continued to run the office, but with another boss in charge.

David recovered in the hospital and then at home.

With his new best friend.

Numbing the nightmares, the regret, the guilt…alcohol soon consumed him.

After his actions killed his marriage, the trust and love of his children, the respect of his co-workers and friends, David allowed bitterness and alcohol to become his newest, and last idols.

And they, in turn, killed him.

It’s Not all Glam and Glory…

Lest you think a day at the volleyball tournament is all about glamour, guts and glory…here is A Day in the Life of a Volleyball Tournament (except for the tournament where a player on the opposing team totally blew out her ankle…blood, bone & all…sorry, no pics of that!)

Our tourney days always begin with two stops:

At the Tournament:


Hair Styles are important.


Spending time with bff’s…very important.


Dancing with the Volleyball Stars.

The Parents.


Focus on the game…or thinking about The New Boyfriend???


Lots of down time = lots of food.


Getting pumped to play.


Sitting on the bench has some pluses…chat time.


But the real fun is playing.



Jump serve: The Toss.


Jump serve: The Approach.


Jump serve: The Wind-up.


Jump serve: The Ace.


Celebration.

Getting a medal is the goal.


Taking Silver is okay, too.

Doing it all over again next weekend…

It was a Good Great Day.

Totally had a great day.

It started early…6:00 a.m. I was much happier when my man walked in with a big gulp size Venti Sumatra from Starbucks. Don’tcha just have days that you KNOW you could drink a big gulp size coffee from Starbucks? I went through a state where I would drink two Venti’s…back to back. Full-leaded, too. I was kind of…hyper back then. And grumpy. Definitely grumpy.

We headed to Maryland shortly after 6:00 a.m. because my girl had a (what else) volleyball tournament and they pulled the 8:30 a.m. slot because they were first off their net. (Top seed in their bracket…which was a disappointing “B” bracket.)

It was a great day for volleyball. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the weather. I haven’t heard thunder like that in a long, long time. And the rain was coming down sideways. Note to self: volleyball is an INDOOR game…no rain outs!

I have to say that, with some Divine Intervention, my girl finally has her mental game together. NOT to say that she doesn’t get ticked at herself…she does. But then she’s able to pull herself out of it. No big deal, you might be thinking…but it is a huge thing for her and, I have to tell you, God DOES care about my daughter’s mental game. How she handles it now…definitely impacts how she’ll handle it later. I know. From experience. My own.

So…Going for Gold turned to Settling for Silver this tournament. They won their bracket and placed second against the top seed in the “A” bracket. The girls played well. They had fun. The parents had some good chat time.

All in all…a great day.

Hold On Susan, You’re in for a Bumpy Ride.

This was a direct quote from God.

Okay, not directly, but pretty much. Sort of.

This and, “Susan, do you trust me?”

Oh, and, “Susan, do you believe me?”

When God says things like this to you…hang on.

Here’s the thing about staying in the Word every day…it enables one to better recognize God’s voice.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT audibly hearing the voice of God. I am not proclaiming to be a prophet. Just wanted to make that clear.

But I do feel Him speaking to me. I know you know what I mean.

I am convinced that this recent time of rest and refueling was all in preparation for a bit of a roller coast ride. I could possibly list all of the things hitting us one by one right now…unexpected whopper expenses, stolen cell phones out of locked lockers, having to pay the IRS a ginormous junk of change for the first time EVER, and I could go on. But I won’t. I’m not whining about all of this at all.

Truly, I’m not.

Because I was prepared (see above warning from Above). Unfortunately, The Man…not so much. As I calmly reminded him after the vacuum cleaner blew up this morning…yes…BLEW UP…

it is A Test.

One part of this test is that I need to be better communicating with my spouse. I saw this coming. I failed to mention it. He has really been stressing about it. I should have warned him.

I know that everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be fine. I know this because it has always been true in the past.

I know this because for the last two weeks, every bible study passage, every devotion, every Word in the bible I have read has led me to the following equation:

Susan=self-centeredness=disobedience=lack of faith=choosing to believe=obeying out of reverence=faith=blessing

He DOES prepare us for a time of roller coaster rides. But we have to be open. Seeking. Listening.

I knew it was all coming and that it was all going to be okay when I found myself, after saying for 5 years now that on our 25th wedding anniversary (which is September 10, 2008) I wanted us to have a big celebration, just the two of us…heading off to exotic locations….yadda yadda…and now saying yesterday that we can’t possibly go anywhere for our 25th anniversary! Shawn will be in college (cha-ching), Sarah will be playing her last year of volleyball and I want to see every game, Brett will be in 7th grade, playing football and I want to see every game, well…going away for our anniversary just wasn’t so important anymore. The important things were what I just listed. The things that bring me true joy. Spending time with My Man…yes…and being with these amazing children that God has seen to bless us with.

And as I was saying this to bff Lori, my beloved was transferring all of the money out of our 25th anniversary vacation fund into our checking account to cover all of the roller coaster expenses that seemed to hit us out of nowhere. When I found this out (this morning over a cup of Cafe Verona) I felt such peace and gratitude that we HAD that money socked away for such a time as this.

Yes, it’s bumpy right now and we may be eating a lot of pb&j sandwiches, but we’re going to be fine.

Because I believe.

I Was Born for This.

Hello Dear Ones.

Although I miss all of you terribly, I was right in what I thought God was saying to me about taking a blogging sabbatical. Okay, a sabbatical, totally. While the Pastor has been away on sabbatical getting refreshed and refueled, I have been able to do the same. My time at the office has been very limited. From home, I am able to check messages, check e-mail, basically handle just about everything. I pop into the office a couple hours each day and handle what I need to (snail mail, for example).

This time has been incredibly relaxing for me.

I have been doing this every day:

If my children come home and I have no flour remnants on my clothing they wail and gnash their teeth.

I’ve eaten several of these all by myself. Sometimes with cinnamon and sugar swirls.

Sometimes just slathered with butter. Or toasted with a couple of fried eggs on top.

And I’ve been eating way too much of this:

I’ve been spending time each night with Shawn (aka our first born soon to be off to college) working on this (he LOVED any and all puzzles as a child…it was his idea to work on this):

All the while listening to this guy continuously:


But most importantly I have been spending gobs of time here:

I am so thankful for this time I have had. I had been feeling so distant and disconnected from God lately. Even when I sat down in Mame’s chair with all of my materials around me to study. Or when I put it all aside to pray. But worse yet, when I would get on me knees and be quiet.

And hear nothing.

When I finally cried out to Him, loudly…reading scripture aloud…speaking aloud (sometimes crying out loud)…verbally confessing my sin…that is when I heard the soft, comforting, still Voice again.

He and I have taken quite a roller-coaster ride together the last few weeks. My shock, anger, confusion at Nick’s death…the raw, agonizing pain Nick’s mom is experiencing…the confusion and pain in my own sweet children…

All of this He has used to remind me of something I had long forgotten, if I ever truly knew it. My family is my first ministry. Immediately following Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength… family is my priority. Their needs are the first needs I must meet. Their pains are the first wounds I must tend to. Their joy is my life.

Thank You, Jesus, for reminding me…

I was born for this.

Side-Out Volleyball Foundation.

Even though I’m still on bloggy sabbatical, stuff is happening that I need to share.

My daughter, Sarah, plays volleyball year round. Not a news flash for the three of you that read my blog, I know, but I had to start this conversation somewhere.

One of her previous coaches began the Side-Out Volleyball Foundation to support breast cancer. His precious Momma is a survivor. 2008 marks the 4th annual tournament.

Sarah competed in the tournament a couple years ago with a friend. Their team was moved to a higher division. Where they were soundly beaten. And cried. A lot. Because they were beaten so badly. You’d think that would have ruined the experience. But, no.

Last year, Sarah signed up with another “friend.” A girl that Sarah tried to reach, tried to get through to, but couldn’t. On the day of the tournament, Ashley was no where to be found. Sarah didn’t get to compete. You’d think that would have ruined the experience. But, no.

This year, Sarah is competing with her bff, Sipple. Most of the girls are called by their last names on the team, except for my daughter who is called Goose. Because that is what her dad calls her and all the girls think it is hilarious. So Team GooseSipp is going to take the gold. How do I know this? Because Sipp is the #1 setter in the district and my daughter is an outside hitting beast. Not that I’m partial or anything. Not a bit. Okay, I’m partial. But still. They are good. But it’s not about winning…it’s about raising money for breast cancer research and services.

So, here’s the deal. Team GooseSipp has to raise $75.00 in order to actually compete. Of course y’all know that Sipp’s parents and the Goose’s parents aren’t going to let a small amount like $75 stop their girls from competing, but I will just add the link here and also in my sidebar in case anyone wants to check it out. Or donate. Or both.

And, thank you.

When We Get it Right.

After my quiet time this morning, the Lord laid this on my heart.

When We Get it Right

I wish it were more often,
that we get it right.
More often than not, I fear,
we do it wrong in His sight.
We never stopped to consider,
to do it any other way.
To hug, to kiss to say I love you,
each and every day.
Oh, the times that we have blown it,
too numerous to bear.
He will make it right, I pray
in this I must not give a care.
The choice was not theirs to make,
and yet they rarely push us away.
Begin today, sweet friends, right now!
Don’t let them stray a single day.

Watching our children grieve this past week has been quite an eye opener for us. What we take for granted…hugging our children, holding their hand, crying with them as we all grieve together…other parents were astounded by. I found that to be very sad and heavy on my heart.

Russell says we never gave them a choice. I like to hope that this is the choice they made.

Blogging Sabbatical.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers. This has been a very difficult week. Very sad. Today is the funeral. Last night was the viewing. Our sweet friends are holding up, totally by faith and by prayer, I’m convinced. As Steve said to us yesterday, “this is the easy time…when we are surrounded by everyone. It is when we are alone and able to think…”

I wanted to share with you that I am taking a blogging sabbatical…in fact, I’m going to really restrict my computer time to 99% business related only. I will not be checking blogs. I will not be e-mailing, as a rule.

God and I have a lot of communicating to do. I am not hearing him as I should. I am not obeying as I should.

Taking a break feels…right.

I’ll be back. I’m anticipating around May 1.

Oh. I’m not taking a break from my phone, however.

So call me!