Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Almost Missed

I put the CD in and am instantly transported back in time.  Josh made me this CD and here and there are sprinkled songs for him, not me, lol.  Now they are sweet reminders of the fun guy I love so very much.  He was sitting at our kitchen table on Molly's laptop burning music for his mom, all in black, as usual, that grin readily crossing his face.

Artistic types are this way, whether they suffer from a mental illness or not, they are moody, or have big mood swings.  But on the whole, my boy is, or was, pretty happy.  Happiest when with his children.  When Josh was little, almost every teacher he had said, "Josh loves life."  I promised myself this would not become maudlin, so, i'm just sayin'. 

Today i'm remembering the good stuff.  Through the years of true trials, even amidst them, there was this spark, this joy that would come across from him and spread.  He can make me laugh like no one else, even my brother, lol.  As most know, Josh is adopted, but no matter, if I didn't know better, I would definitely believe we share DNA.  We share heart DNA. 

I remember his period of "psychobilly."  He sported a proper pompadoure.    
He could spend an hour in the bathroom perfecting his look, rolled up jeans over heavy black boots, rolled up sleeves, and that hair.  lol  So one day he begged me to go with him to Eureka, CA for a psychobilly concert.  No way!  I talked to Dave online, he said, "you should go, how many kids ask their moms!"  I thought about it, decided he was right, and shocked Josh by saying okay.  We set out and talked the whole way, took some pictures of elk and the ocean on the way, it was wonderful.  And then we got there, it was in a bar, I didn't know what to expect, but it was unexpectedly inviting.  We played pool until the show started.  We were there to see Three Bad Jacks.  WOW!!  I was sold!!!  I LOVED the music.  And my bold son, went up to the band leader, Elvis Suissa before the show, motioned me to come up, and all the band came over and someone took a picture of all of us!  :)  I still keep in touch with Elvis a little, really a nice guy, family guy.  I play their CD often and think of Josh and that I almost missed that special time with him.  All the more appreciated in light of what has transpired.

So, when your children ask you to do something that seems so foreign to you, don't automatically reject the idea, you might miss out on a wonderful new experience, gain a new appreciation for something, and of course, most of all, miss a precious memory to carry with you always. ♥  Pictures to follow:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Hmmm....what to tackle today, the lost innocence of children, even on television, or near and dear to my heart.  I think the latter.

I started to notice it when first married to my first husband, that sentence laden with baggage, but when I would meet people they inevitably asked what "I did."  And when I answered "housewife", was usually met with condescending attitudes, or at the worst, pitiable ones.

Let me first say that I believe women should have the choice to be whatever they want to be, so long as their family doesn't suffer for their choices.  There are plenty of men, young men especially, ready and willing to support their wives in their endeavors and that means doing their part in the running of the household.  That's terrific, I know many. 

But there should equally, be no shame in opting for the role of homemaker.  My heart goes out to those single moms who absolutely cannot have that choice, though they yearn for that life with their kids.

When did being the heart of a home become so de-valued?  Earning power became more essential than a prepared meal shared together?  I know there are real needs that cannot be met unless both people work.  However, the people I used to speak with would claim this, but maintained far more square footage than needed and drove bigger and more expensive cars than they needed as well.  Why is it not okay to sacrifice things for relationship? 

I was my kids' mom and wouldn't have had it any other way.  I did work outside the home, very briefly when my kids were little, and their lives became disastrous.  I made the decision when a horrible incident happened with one of them, this will not happen again.  And to be sure, I must stay home with them.  I won't go into all that now.

My point is that I am happiest now, once again, to be an at-home woman.  My joy is folding and ironing clothes so my husband has what he needs to wear to work and look nice.  I am thrilled to stand at the kitchen sink and wash the dishes that don't go in the dishwasher, and look out the window at the little birds in the blackberry bush flitter here and there.  To clean the muddy paw prints off the floor after taking the dogs out for a romp, leaving them happy and tired.  Making a home clean and calm is nurturing to the family and being lost in many homes.  It is true, clutter makes our minds feel cluttered, there is no real rest in many homes. 

I feel what I do is important.  Dave works hard all week, I want him to come home to a peaceful environment and that doesn't happen on its own.  That said, it is the things that don't show that are of truest value.  To have time to sit and talk with your children or grandchildren, to be there to offer cookies and milk when they come home from a bad day at school, to read a book together and discover new worlds, etc., these are the deepest joys of being at home. 

Those years have come and gone for me now.  My grandchildren are coming this summer and I can't wait to have those moments.  But I can look back at my time with my precious, precious kids and be so glad, and so thankful, though it meant tremendous economic hardship for us, that I was there for them.  They have both told me how they looked forward to coming home and now that old age crouches at the door, that is a blessing that sustains.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Things Lost In the Fire

I'm not sure if it's the move, the season of life or what, but memories seem to be dropping in unexpectedly very often these days.  My first marriage, 17 years of my young life.  He left me for someone else, insisted on and won shared custody, which has scarred the 3 of us, Joshua, Molly & myself. 

As I watched my husband mowing the lawn through the sliding screen door last evening, admiring his form, his heart, I remembered the first.  The differences between the two couldn't be more extreme.  Here's the chain of my thinking, wow, we own a lawn mower, I owned one once before, and there you go, memories.  Thinking of all that was lost, lawn mower, furniture, "stuff" that has to be divided when divorce happens.

And even now, though healing has occurred, hard fought, hard won through nothing less than the blood of Christ, that feeling of betrayal and pain sprints across my heart momentarily.  And holding its hand across my heart's landscape, fear.  I mean I was sure of him, would've bet my life on him.  "What if Dave...", but no, there is a distinct difference.  David loves God, first did not.  And because David loves God, he has integrity, honor, and a love for me that occasionally takes my breath away when revealed.  He's not one to share feelings beyond "I love you," so when he does, seriously, I can lose breath at what he says.

But there were things that were lost, that have not been redeemed.  My sweet little kids' innocence, Molly just 3, Josh 7, when he did what he did.  Joshua would go through the house and put all the pictures he could reach of us, face down.  :(  Molly, too little to have a clue of what was happening, just went with the flow.  And every other week, when he picked them up, they not wanting to go, me not wanting them to go, I would watch the car disappear, Josh and I locked onto one another's eyes until he was too far away.  I would go lay on the bed and cry.  It remained that way until they left home. 

Josh sits in a prison cell today.  I make no excuses for him, our choices are our own.  I simply make the observation that when someone feels so betrayed by the one they should have been able to trust the most at such a young age, it will come out somewhere.  I had the Lord and as always, He was faithful.  Josh has rebelled and blamed God for the destruction of his home.  I keep praying, always will. 

Molly has her own deep issues.  But she does have the Lord and He will get her through, that and the love of a good man.

So what was lost in this firestorm was trust, innocence, safety, security and love.  I am praying for redemption.  Redemption of a part of my past that can still haunt me at times.  The sorrow of a mother's heart over her children's pain (there is much more to the story), the poverty we were all thrust into, etc.

But I know it was like some fires in chaparrals.  Because of the blaze, some things were birthed that would not have been otherwise.  A dependence on the Lord instead of people or things would not have taken place, a very good lesson to learn that will serve one well.  You find out how valuable friendship is and treasure it.

The Lord will bring us through anything if we keep hold of His hand.  And though the memories are there, the real sting is gone.  And this morning, I gaze out the window at a freshly mown lawn, with a heart filled with peace, and with love for the amazing, wonderful, sweet husband only He could give.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Ebenezer

Eb·en·e·zer Hebrew word meaning “stone of help”

While reading Stones of Remembrance: a Tale of Three Rocks on the incourage page on Facebook, there was an invitation to write about important stones or rocks to the reader.

For approximately 25 years or so I have held, rubbed, stared at, a small, smooth, shiny stone.  It is precious to me, and in the event of a fire or other such calamity, i'd grab my pictures, and my stone. 

When my first husband left me for someone else, my life was launched into an unbelievably difficult and lonely time.  I knew poverty like I had never known.   Me and my children, when they were with me, could barely survive.  If you looked at the circumstances and facts, we shouldn't have.  But God.  I clung to the Lord with all my might.  I would wake in the night, reach over to "his" side of the bed, to find it empty, sending me reeling again.  So I put my Bible in that spot, and when that would happen, I would feel this lifeline beside me, turn on the lamp and spend some time in the Psalms.  God saved me through this.  His care preserved me and my babies.  During another reading, I came upon I Samuel 7:12, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."  So this little stone is my Ebenezer, that's what I call it.  It resides within eye-shot to ever remind me that He has never forsaken me, never left me and always provided.  Sometimes just barely, but He did.

Many know that my husband (another miracle) and I are just coming out of what I call The Wilderness Years.  Six long years of struggle, without steady employment and very little temporary.  We both love the Lord and that is what held us together.  We continued to seek Him through this hard time, and He was always there, and yet again, provided.  Sometimes through means we couldn't have dreamed of.  We have miracles during this time that I am in the process of chronicling.  Things out of nowhere, one special miracle that was quite simply a gift from the Lord which helped us literally survive with some kind of joy. 

So since 1989, all my life really, I have watched the Lord be faithful.  Faithful to me, a woman who began this unexpected journey and who did not react well at all.  My faith grew and grew as I watched us stay afloat, even barely.  The lessons learned will never be forgotten, ever.  But really, all lessons can be summed up in Isaiah 41:10, "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."  He is with me no matter what.

There have been many things that I don't understand.  All I know is He is with me, and for me, no matter what happens.  So I keep my Ebenezer close and when I hold or see it, I see so much more than a pretty stone.  Years and years of faithfulness from a God who "thus far has helped us."