Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Purpose

I started this blog four years ago for several reasons. The first was because it was a popular thing to do. Everyone had a blog and I wanted to be among them. The second reason was that I've always like to write. A blog seemed a perfect way to show my creative and witty side.

Now, four years later I've decided to re-visit this for such different reasons. I'd actually forgotten I'd even had a blog. I began an online search for journal software. I wanted a place to write out my thoughts and get them OUT of my head. I can't really even remember how the blog thing works. Do people still do this? Do others still read them?

With that being said I'm not sure where to start or what to say. I'm not sure if I should write like someone is reading it, or write for myself. I'm not sure how to make my thoughts clear, but if my purpose is to simply get my thoughts out of my head then they don't need to be in any order.

I keep thinking of the song by MercyMe "Bring the Rain" the first line says "I can count a million times people askin me how I can praise You, after all that I've gone through. The question just amazes me, could circumstances possibly change who I forever am in YOU?" I think this line better describes my life than anything I can write. And if I'm honest, this is why I hesitate to write so much of what I feel and think. Big picture, I'm great...big picture, my faith is rock steady...big picture, my hope is secure...big picture, I never doubt... big picture, I know that I am forever a child of God because scripture says that I am joint heirs with Jesus. It's not the big picture that keeps me up at night. It's not the big picture that causes me to need to get my thoughts out of my head. It's the world and the trials I face here and how they overwhelm my heart and life that cause me to feel like I'm going to burst. I'm scared that some would look at me on a down day and NOT see my hope in Jesus. I'm scared that when I begin to be honest about how I feel that it would in any way look like I don't have complete trust in my savior and that I know that He is working out things for the good in my life. But, I've come to realize that I'm not hiding anything from God. When I'm mad at Him, I tell Him I'm mad or sad or any other emotion. He created me, He formed me, He loves me and He knows me. And I know that I am most certainly not the only person to feel how I feel. So, I've decided I'm going to just write the truth. The truth about how things happened and how I feel.

It's ironic to look back on the few posts that I managed to post here. I posted about my family, my church, and my home. In so many ways I long to go back to four years ago.
Four years ago, I was living in a small single wide mobile home behind my grandparents house. My grandpa had fallen and fractured his back and needed us to help. It was a temporary move that ended up lasting ten years. It was a cramped little house and my kids were bursting out of the one tiny room they shared. I was stressed for most of the time we spent there and trying to remember to live life to the fullest while still caring for my aging grandparents, my kids, my husband, my college work, my job... Growing up I always had a special relationship with my paternal grandparents that none of the other grandkids had. I'm not sure when I realized this but by the time I was living next door to them I knew I had something special that I would always cherish. When Papaw passed away in 2007 my heart tore a little. My Aunt Laura and I always joked about how our family was just like the Kennedy's, only we weren't rich, successful, and good looking. We did seem to have more horrible events happen in our family than of those around us. My Uncle Charlie was killed in a car accident when my dad was twelve years old. My Mamaw slid head first into a depression that would rule her life until the day she died. My dad was defined by loosing his brother in ways that I can now understand more than I'd like. When we lost Daddy I was fourteen years old, my sister barely nine. I was sure that my life was over then, not seeing any way I could possibly live without my Daddy. But, I'd not taken into account how much strength God was about to give my Mama. She became our rock, working two jobs, keeping us in line and talking straight to us about how we felt. My Uncle Dick and my Papaw were more apart of our lives than ever, stepping in to make sure Christina and I always had a loving man in our lives. We loved those two men with such ferocity and like so many people who go through a tragedy like we did with our dad we felt safe. We'd had our share of grief and had nothing to worry about. Two sons in one family had been lost surely we didn't need to stress. Maybe it was this mindset that created a huge feeling of unbelief when we learned that Uncle Dick had passed away after a surgical procedure. My Mamaw gave birth to five babies and she buried three of them, and then a few short years later she buried her husband.

Through all this grief and loss my family did what families do. We cried, and mourned. We wept and screamed. We held each other up when one of us started to fall and we lived our lives. Brad continued to lead the youth at our church and I helped as I could. We made friends and lost friends. Each of us searched for God and His will for our lives. Both of our kids were saved and Ethan accepted God's call on his life to preach. Life became steady, although we had daily trials and struggles. Nothing, however, could prepare us for what has become the worst year in our lives. 2010.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sad Brad....

I snapped this picture last weekend on our way to the movies. It was Saturday morning, and after all week driving to and from work Brad had to fill the Tahoe up with gas. Simple enough right?? I know you can't see it in very well in the picture, but the gas gauge is at $99 and change...and he still had to pump about $20 more to fill the tank. Now, I understand it's and SUV and requires more gas, but come on $120 for one week???!!! At least we can make silly sad faces and laugh...if you don't have laughter, what do you have??

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday West Virginia

See that flag up there?? I love that flag!! I remember when I was a kid looking at that flag and wondering what the Pilgrims were doing on it! Now, as an adult I look at it and just feel the importance of the heritage that I was so blessed to be born into. Those to funny looking pilgrim dudes are actually representations of West Virginia's most popular ways of life, farming and coal mining. I'm not sure I've ever met a West Virginian who didn't have a farmer or a coal miner in their family, and most, like me, have both. It's funny, to people outside of the state the professions of mining and farming seem to have a negative connotation. Here, at home though we take such pride in doing things they way they have always been done. When I plant flowers in my flower bed, I use the same tools that my grandpa used in his garden when I was growing up. We here in West Virginia have a pride in our state that is seldom seen, (though my friends from Texas say they feel the same about there home state.) I've never known a place where a person's identity is defined by where they were raised like we do here.
Over the last few years there has been added attention focused on coal mining as a result of accidents like Sago, Aracoma, and Crandal Canyon. People look at the apparent dangers of coal mining and wonder why anyone in there right mind would do such a thing in today's modern world. Surely there is a better way to mine coal than to send men (and now women) into the middle of a mountain. Truth is, there is not a better way and while most of us here are accustom to this way of life, we are not blind to the dangers. We do what we do to maintain a way of life. A way of life that gives us the ability to live in this beautiful state and still afford the luxuries available in more populated areas. Like most hard working Americans, coal miners take extreme pride in what they do. They work hard every day, just like their fathers and grandfathers did to ensure that when we flip a little switch by the door the lights come on!
So bring on the "hillbilly" jokes, we think they are funny! Laugh if you must, but I love it here. I love the beautiful mountains that surround me every day and keep me safe from floods, tornado's, and hurricanes. I love driving down a random road and having complete strangers wave at me. I love knowing that my kids will always have someone in the neighborhood to look out for them when they are out of my sight. I love looking at old pictures of my town and seeing the way the coal community shot up around the mine. I love the fresh clean air and the rivers that run so clear you can see the rocks on the bottom. I love every hill and valley.
Happy 145th birthday West Virginia...I love you hear me?? I LOVE YOU !!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Land of the Living??

Geeesh! Has it really been almost a month since I posted on here?? Gosh and Golly!! Is is just me or is everyone have such a bad time with their allergies this year?? I think everyone I know has been battling the green snot monster. I know we all have. Ethan had to start back on his inhaler four times a day instead of two..... and me?? Well...I've had it all....

Three weeks ago I had what I thought was a stomach virus. Not big deal. Although it was nasty I could do it. Just hang in there for 24 hours and it would all be a distant memory, right?? No? Well, how about 48 hours?? Most viruses don't last over 48 hours do they?? Lets just say that on day three of living on the bathroom floor, (my newly painted bathroom!!) Brad insisted that I go to the doctor. I was so weak....and since I couldn't even keep down a sip of water to take my medicine, my blood pressure was sky high!! After being examined by the doctor she said that she suspected that I had a bad Strep infection. How could I have strep?? My throat wasn't really that sore...but she was right. Strep had invaded my tonsils (what are those things there for anyway?) and I didn't know it. It had apparently been there awhile and had spread to my upper stomach, which was causeing my stomach to reject any and all forms of food or liquid! I began antibiotics and felt better in a day or two, at least I had stopped throwing up every thing I ate. After a week, I was still fevered. Still stuffy in my head, my ears ached, and my once not sore throat was so so sore! Back to the doctor again, and guess what?? A sinus infection. Yippy! I really wanted a sinus infection!! Apparently the antibiotic that treats Strep doesn't work so well on the sinus junk. So I had to wait till I had finished the one antibiotic to start the other, and by the time I started it my head was so stuffy that my ears popped when I swallowed!

So here I am, three days left on the sinus infection antibiotic and still not 100%, but hopefully getting better. I missed almost two weeks of work, YIKES!! Anyone wanna buy my groceries this month!??!! :) But at least I am back in the land of the living...maybe...

On a happier note:::
Ethan and Kayla are almost finished with school!! Their last day is Friday. They have their awards on Friday morning, along with Ethan's Elementary School Graduation. Just cause I have a son that is getting ready to go the Middle school, does NOT, I repeat NOT make me old.... That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bathroom cleaning gone wrong, way wrong!

So after a rough couple of days, my sister seems to be doing really well. She is still in a fair amount of pain, but she is seeing an improvement every day. Thanks for all of your prayers and emails!! We both appreciate them!!

After a week of Revival, a week with my sister, and lots of laundry, I was really looking forward to a leisurely Saturday at home. Brad was working and it was just me and the kids. I was really excited about finishing the book I've been trying to read. I had good intentions, really I did. Big plans to just be plain old lazy! I had a few simple things to take care of Saturday morning. Nothing big, just giving our bathroom a slight cleaning, and going through some things in my bedroom. I got started early, (after waking up at 10:00am :) ) and was doing great. I was cleaning the bathroom when I noticed that our shower curtain was in desperate need of a wash. No big deal, just toss it in the wash, it was a shower curtain after all I could hang it back up while it was wet. Mistake number 1.

After I put the curtain in the wash I went to sort through the pile of stuff that had taken up residence behind the rocking chair in my room. Guess what I found?? The new shower curtain that Mom had given me for Christmas...that's where it went, I had wondered for a while. I opened the new shower curtain and smiled. "Perfect," I thought "I already have the old one down, I'll just pop the new one up and BINGO! new bathroom." Mistake number 2.

As I took the new curtain to the bathroom to hang, I noticed the dust that had collected in various corners of the bathroom. When was the last time I cleaned those walls?And that shelf?? So guess what I did?? Yep, you guessed it, I started washing the walls, shelves, floors.... Then I thought, "Heck, I've gone this far, why not just pick up a gallon of paint and give this nasty old-school potty room a new look?" Mistake number 3.

So, off to town I go, to get paint, rollers, a new clock, new light bulbs, new curtain rods, and possibly a new husband after he gets hold of the receipts for the day.

After getting back home with the paint I quickly got busy painting. It's a bathroom, how hard can it be? About half way through I remembered the perfect roll of wallpaper that I had picked up on the clearance rack at the paint store a while pack. It was a bold, country style plaid that would look perfect as an accent on one wall. Mistake number 4.

So I painted, and papered, and painted again, and messed up the paper and started over. Up, down, up, down, up, down....My back was a little sore, not bad but enough to make me take notice.

Then after nine hours in the potty room, I was finished. Done. Proud. Look what I did? I was proud, proud, proud. It didn't look half bad, or half good, but it was done. Yeah Laurie!!

Fast forward.....Sunday Morning...Church day, I wake up a little sore and stiff. To be expected, I worked HARD on my new potty room. The longer the day went the more stiff and sore I became until I was hurting so bad I could hardly move. Wasn't that bad enough? Then today, oh sweet Monday, I was getting out of the shower and doing my normal girl stuff. You know, lotion, powder, body spray...then IT happened. I was bending in the cabinet to get my hair dryer and all the evil forces on the earth and beyond concentrated their extreme pain rays onto my back. It hurt so bad that I cried. Not cried out, just cried like a baby...

But did I let that stop me? Heck no!! I forged on like a good soldier and came to work... Now, all I want to do is go home and fill my bath up with hot bubbly water and soak away all my aches and pains in my nice newly painted and papered and did I mention CLEAN bathroom...

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Sister

See this darling young woman?? She looks a little scared in this pictures doesn't she? Well she should...she is a kindergarten teacher!! She works with five year old kids, all day, and because she teaches at an extended year school she is with them all the time. You know what the really scary thing is though?? SHE LOVES IT! You see, this doesn't surprise me much. I remember when she was a little girl and would spend hours playing with her "My Little Pony's" and I would just look at my Mom and say, "Mom, Christina is really weird". When she got older she used to sleep like the dead. It took forever to get her up and awake. My favorite past time when I was a teenager was to wake my darling little sister up in the middle of the night and set her in front of the TV (which was NOT on) and give her and empty bowl and a spoon and tell her to eat her breakfast. You know what she would do? She would set there for hours, just staring at the blank TV and spooning nothing into her mouth, spoon after spoon. The next morning I would tell my Mom, "Mom, Christina IS weird". So, it's really not too big of a surprise to me that she enjoys spending her days with a bunch of wild five year old punks! because I've always know that deep down inside, my darling little sister, is WEIRD!!

Weirdness aside, we actually have a really close relationship. My perfectly calm personality, offsets her weirdness.... No, really, it does. I'm not joking here. I'm NOT!

So, here I set in my weird sisters house, in her spare bed room, sleeping on a hard as rock old college dorm room Futon. Why? Well because as weird as she is, I absolutely ADORE my baby sister, and I wouldn't be any where else right now.

Tomorrow morning at 7:15am, my baby sister will have a complete hysterectomy. She has really battled with endometriosis, and when the doctor said that she had exhausted all ways of treating her she suggested a hysterectomy. It took quite a while for Christina to let the information sink in, but now I think she is just ready for some relief. I don't know if any of you, or any one you know, has had endometriosis, but it's a nasty horribly painful thing that just depletes all of your energy. As much as I hate to see my baby sister have to go through this, I will be so glad when it's all said and done and I can have my weird sister back. She's weird, but so am I and I suppose I've gotten used to her now, so I'll just keep her, thanks!!

Here is a family picture of my sister, her husband, and her fur baby, Dusty. They will be looking into adoption soon and I'm sure that God has a perfect baby in mind for them, when He is ready. If you think of it, please pray for Christina. She's weird, but totally wonderful, just like her big sis!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Like Father, Like Son?

I'm pretty sure that it's the desire of every man when he gets married to one day have a son. A son that he can take fishing, a son that he can teach to burp, a son that he can pass on all of the manly traits that he received from his own father. When our son was born, B and I were just in amazement over every little thing that he did. It wasn't long after our son was born that he began to want to be just like his Daddy. Every thing that Daddy did, he wanted to do.

The other night at revival B went forward to pray. After a few seconds E went up to the altar and knelt right beside his Dad. Nothing was said. No words were spoken between them, and when they came back to sit down, B had his arm around E's shoulders. Yesterday I asked E about it. I wanted to make sure that he was OK and didn't need any extra help understanding things. He told me that he was fine, he just wanted to go and pray with his Dad and ask God to help his Dad with whatever he was praying about. I tell ya, I had a hard time keeping back the tears. It's hard sometimes watching my kids grow up. As a Mom I just want to protect them from all of the horrible things in the world. I want them to stay young and innocent. It hit me yesterday though, after my conversation with E. It's going to be OK. I'm not saying that B and I have it all together by any means, but somewhere we must have done something right. By keeping our eyes on our Heavenly "Dad" we have shown our kids how to follow Him, by first having them follow us. Not a bad deal if you ask me. And besides, with a role model like B, E is sure to grow into a smashing young man.