Had to Share This.

Somehow, I ended up here a minute ago.

But this is what I was meant to be there for:

…but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31

This was so meant for me today. Thank You, Sweet Jesus.

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The Desert.

~~UPDATED~~T reminded me that I wanted to mention one specific thing He has give me during this dry and arid time…
faith
focus
follow-through*

Hey Sweet Girls. I just need to talk to you for a moment.

It’s been kinda quiet here in This Girl land, I know. Oh, I have had a lot to say. Tons, really. But none of it important. Until this morning. I want to make this brief and informative so I believe I’ll do it this way.

:: I’m spending some time in the desert. I knew it was coming. Have known for awhile.
:: It’s been hard.
:: It’s been incredible.
:: It’s been a blessing.
:: I’ve learned some major lessons.
:: God’s love language is obedience.
:: He doesn’t want my excuses. He wants my heart.
:: He doesn’t want me dragging my feet. He wants me running to do His will.
:: He doesn’t care that I’m busy.
:: He wants me to slow down.
:: He wants me to simplify.

There is a whole bunch more, Sweet Girls, and there will soon be a time when I will be free to share more.

But for now, my focus is on Him…
my husband…
our children…
this life that He has blessed us with…
created us for.

And the blessings…oh, they are going to be beyond anything I can even begin to imagine.

*NIV Life Application Bible.

Today. A few thoughts on where I am, what I’m doing and how I’m feeling…

Today. What will I choose to do with this day? Some things are out of my control…Sarah is at work (she’s working at a vet clinic…she LOVES it and apparently has a steel coated stomach, able to withstand all she’s seen AND done so far) and she will need to be picked up around 12:00. But her vet also wants us to bring in our girl, Sammi so that he can look at her ears. For free. After spending $450 two months ago on this dog at our regular vet, since Sarah works for a vet…he’ll see our animals for free. I love him. We have a high maintenance German Shepherd. With allergies. And ear issues.

Sorry…went all ADD for a moment…

It will come as no surprise that we are busy. Shawn has his fourth baseball game in as many days tonight. He has another tomorrow but he’ll be at the beach. Please pray for his mother. She’s feeling anxious about him going. Did I mention he is taking her car? Her mini-van to be precise. Her baby driving her baby with other momma’s babies inside. Oy.

Brett begins football camp today. Brian Mitchell Football Camp. The big show. Just in time for the heat and humidity to move back in. Today is their fun day…no pads, cleats or helmets. Signing in, running a few drills to see where each kid places and getting pics taken with Brian Mitchell and any other football players that he brings along. Brett is psyched. But also bummed. Because there is A Girl. Her name is Caroline. Who else but A Girl would make this boy get out of bed at 7:00am on a Saturday morning to shower and get dressed and be down at the pool to watch her swim in a swim meet. None of my children are swimming on the swim team this year, but my youngest child has been hanging around at the pool a lot. Here is a pic of Brett and Caroline when they were six.

She is now a stunning 12 year old beauty with long dark hair. All three of my children go for dark haired stunners. As did my spouse…(big grin here).

I must speak out about twelve-year-old boys for a moment. They are heart-breakers. Mom’s heart, that is. At least mine is. I forced him to give me a smooch on the cheek Thursday morning before he headed out on an overnight beach trip. He begrudgingly did it. But who does he call the moment he arrives back home? Who does he run to to give a hug and a kiss too? His Momma, of course. So I’ve learned to take the diss with the kiss. Love that boy. I told him he can’t move away because as the third child it is his responsibility (by law) to live with his parents and take care of them, especially his momma. It took him a day or two to figure out that other third children adults he knows isn’t doing that so it CAN’T be a law. Lol.

Speaking of stunners, Sarah’s new guy is stuck at school three hours away this weekend. He doesn’t have a ride home and his parents couldn’t squeeze in two six hour round trips this weekend to get him. So last night, Sarah and Trey were on the phone together while she made oatmeal cookies here at the house and he made them in the dorm kitchen. At the same time. While they were talking on the phone together. His idea. Seriously…this guy is an angel. In fact I now refer to him as Angel Boy and Sarah told him the other day that clearly, her parents would rather HE was their child over HER. Not so…well…maybe…no, definitely a firm no.

Several months ago, God began preparing me for a time of change, a time in the desert, a time when I would have to rely solely on Him and to let go of trying to do it myself. That time has arrived. Thankfully, He has surrounded me with the most incredible women (especially) and men (a few, to include my husband). Women who have the gift and ability to tell me what I need to hear and to not hold back. As much as I love that, I also hate that. It is forcing me to be reflective, to turn inward in order to turn upward.

I so covet your prayers.
Selfishly.
Desperately.
Thankfully.

The Resemblance is Very Cool.

Several years ago, as my parents were beginning to clean out their house to downsize to a smaller home in the same town, my dad gave me this picture. It is my dad when he graduated from PMC back in 1959, I believe it was.

This is my oldest child last week:

You can be sure I am going to take a photo of his right profile to really compare, but even he says his resemblance to his maternal grandfather is pretty cool.

And no…he looks nothing like his dad did when he graduated from high school…which I’m including here:

In fact, the only one of our three children who looks remotely like their father is our girl:

Although maybe she looks a little bit like That Girl when she was a senior in high school:

Or, maybe not.

The way I thought it would be. It wasn’t.

You do it, too. You have in your head how it is going to be. How it is going to look. The way it is all going to turn out.

And then it doesn’t.

So you have a choice.

Do I whine, pout, stomp my foot in anger? disappointment? frustration? selfishness?

Or do I just go with it?

I have heard so many times the thought that life isn’t as much about what happens but how we react to what happens.

Today didn’t turn out as I had expected. The things I wanted to happen…didn’t. The people I wanted to be a part of it…weren’t.

And I wish I could say I didn’t whine. Or pout. Or stomp my foot. I was angry. Disappointed. Frustrated. Selfishly.

For a very brief moment in time.

And then I chose to just Be. Over. It.

And I am. Over. It.

Okay, I’m holding onto some of it for a bit longer. To figure out what exactly I am supposed to now do about it. To seek what to do about it. If anything.

I can tell you that my handsome, gorgeous first born son graduated from high school today. And I am so proud to call him my son. And ready to smack him upside the head. But that is the norm in our relationship.

I can tell you that I am thankful that my husband had the brilliant idea to photograph said first born son last Thursday when he brought home his cap and gown and tried it on for us, with his medal and Quill & Scroll cord. Those few pics are the only ones we have of him in his cap & gown.

I can tell you that it poured like the sky was falling as graduation ended and we were unable to get any photos together and now his cap & gown are soggy, running and ruined. So there will be no more photos.

I can tell you that a few people really, really disappointed me today. And that this just might be the last of the 70×7 I have left in me. Not that I stop loving them. But I no longer reach out, accept, tolerate like I used to.

I can tell you I will continue to pray about it.

I can tell you that my best friend from high school, whom I’ve sort of distanced myself from lately, has come back into my life because we have both changed. And it’s good. And we’re supposed to be there for each other. And she has been, as best as she is able.

I can tell you that I didn’t cry at all during graduation today, that it continues to be all bottled up in me, ready to let loose at any moment.

And lawsy…is it ever going to be UGG-LEE. But it is also going to be O-KAY.

And, I can tell you that I am ready for some major change.

It’s not just that our oldest is leaving and going away to college for the first time. Although he is.

It’s not just that our middle child, my beautiful girl, is going to be a senior in high school in the fall. Although she is.

It’s not just that my youngest child, my baby, my momma’s boy, is going into the 7th grade in the fall. Although he is.

It is time for me…Susan…to make some changes. Not just to go with the flow. Not just to ride the wave. But to live intentionally.

I had such a great week. Yes, it was wild and crazy and busy. But I hadn’t been that happy, that full of basic, pure joy in…well…forever it seems like.

Even though most of my days didn’t go as I had planned. Most of the events didn’t turn out the way I had planned.

It wasn’t my plan anyway. It was His. And He totally knew what He was doing. Again.

I love that.

Oh, and…bonus! I got these today to wear to graduation…aren’t they the cutest!?

You KNOW that change is afoot (get it…shoes…afoot) if This Girl is posting about shoes!

Determined to be Different.

It’s not that I had a bad childhood. It’s not that anything ‘happened’ that scarred me. I just wasn’t a happy kid. I felt disconnected from my parents and my sister. I was rebellious with a capital R.

By the Grace of God, I was saved from my destructive tendencies by a God who had a larger purpose for me. A God I neither recognized nor wanted in my life. A God I finally cried out to on December 10, 1986 in a moment of desperation when I was 25 years old and on the brink of making the biggest mistake of my life.

Teri reminded me yesterday that the distance may seem insurmountable between God and I.

I may have pushed Him so far away that I don’t even feel His presence in my life.

But He is always there with me. Waiting for me to turn my head towards Him and make the tiniest gesture to Him and He comes running to me. Not to do my bidding. Not to wave a magic wand and make everything right. But to wait, patiently, for my crying to end. My confessions to cease. My repentance to begin.

He did that on December 10, 1986 in the hugest way. As I was staring at the paperwork, pen in hand, to sign the slip of paper that would allow the courts of Virginia to pronounce my marriage ended…a commitment, a vow, a covenant made before Him, before my family and friends, null and void…I felt Him there with me. Taking my face between His hands and encouraging me to be still. To seek. To listen.

I didn’t sign that paperwork. Instead, I shocked the hell out of my husband, family and friends by not so boldly (in fact…I wasn’t even sure how I got out there) marching down the aisle, announcing aloud my commitment to the one true God, and quietly and calmly looking into my husband’s admittedly sceptical eyes and silently promising him that I was determined to be different.

Different than what I had been before falling to my knees in desperation. Different than I had been growing up. Different than I had been the day we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. More different than I could ever begin to conceive.

Along with that promise was the unspoken commitment to raise our children to be different, as well.

Thankfully, gratefully, blessedly…so far they are. That could change tomorrow…we aren’t so naive to understand that. And if it did change tomorrow, we would continue to love and serve our God. The God who is the same today as he was yesterday and will be in the future. The same God that has called us to be different.

Some Kind a Day.

Brett – 6th Grade Graduation


Shawn and Amanda


In the limo…heading to dinner and then to Prom!


Sarah


Sarah and Matt…all for show…I totally had to pin the boutonniere on!

It was a great day. Brett’s graduation in the morning. Lots of errands. Relatives arriving. Thankfully, my two cousins (in their early 20’s) arrived just in time to help Sarah with hair and make-up. They had a blast doing that.

Shawn was his usual laid-back self about everything. The look on Amanda’s face when she came up the stairs and saw Shawn…it brought such joy to me. She was so excited. So looking for his approval. He gave her his big-old-grin of approval. It was such a sweet time.

Dashing back to our house to wait for Matt to arrive. I was saddened to see that his parents didn’t come to take pics and I recall that they didn’t at Homecoming either. I’m hoping they met them over at the house where they were all meeting up. If not, I’ll send them some pictures. He was so shy and tentative. When he arrived, The Older Boyfriend was actually at our house. In another this-guy’s-a-keeper move, Trey let her come out to greet her prom date alone, and he (Trey) slipped out the side and away very quietly. He came straight to our house from school (two hours away) to see Sarah and drop off the cheesecake he made her last night. From scratch. In the dorm kitchen. I could tell Sarah would have rather stayed home and hung out with all of us. And Trey. But she was smiling and gracious and I know they will have a great time tonight.

The family hung out at our house. I had made lasagna and a Texas Sheet Cake. We laughed and caught up and drank Chianti and totally had a blast.

Life is good and I am thankful to my God!