Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Surrender All (There is no Plan B)

I don't usually post this sort of thing. This goes way beyond my comfort zone. I like to be funny, to make people laugh. I like to be upbeat and be that someone who can lift someone up when they are down. I am usually terrible in expressing my feelings, so I just don't.

God has shown his face to me quite a bit here lately though and I just cannot not write about it. (English majors, back off. I'm doing my best here ;)

I've always been one of these people who thinks that if you've had a hard life or something terrible has happened in your past, just get over it. Start today with yourself and make it different. Don't be a victim. That's what I thought I was doing. I was over it. I was strong, independent. I could take care of myself and I didn't need anyone.

I became a Christian when I was a teenager during a rough period of my life. I went to church regularly with a friend and became reliant on God to change the things that were happening in my life. It wasn't in His plan to do so. I realize now that this is where I turned my back on Him. In my mind I hadn't done so but this is when I became self-reliant. I had to take care of me. I had to be in control.

Fast forward to the present and I am still fighting to keep my life in my control. This became apparent to me for the first time last year when we were on our women's retreat with the church.
Lisa spoke of Moses and about God asking him what was in his hand when He knew all along. Lisa asked us what we were holding and was it affecting our lives? God knows what it is, He just wants us to let go of it. (It's also here if you would like to read her Bible study)
I still think of that to this day, yet my hand is clenched ever so tightly. If He asked me what He asked Moses I would probably go as far as hiding it behind my back and answering, "Nothing, Lord. There is nothing there. I'm fine."
And it's not that I haven't tried giving it to Him, it's just the letting go part that I'm having trouble with. Will He really make things ok? My 13 year old self is telling me no.

Recently I have been having some problems with my almost-10-going-on-17 daughter. It has made me look at myself to see if I am to blame. That thing in my hand, the thing that was nothing. Apparently it is affecting the ones I love most. I have come to realize I am angry. I'm angry with my mother, with myself, Madeline's father, and maybe even God. That's scary to me to admit it. I often wonder though why, why didn't He answer my prayers? Why didn't He make it better?

I found myself walking on my route the other day and the chorus of "I surrender all" began to play in my head. I felt that He was telling me that before I can let Him be first in my life I had to surrender it all to Him. I wasn't sure how, (because still in my mind this is my life to control, right?) but I prayed that He would help me.

He showed up to me again last night as I was blogging. I'm not sure how I even found this blog but I do know that it wasn't an accident. I found Bring the Rain, the story of Angie and Todd Smith's daughter Audrey Caroline. (He sings with Selah) I sat here for hours reading and crying over the loss of their child. I knew it was God who sent me this blog when I came upon one of her posts that was titled I surrender all. Angie has an audio link of Todd singing this song which is to be on their next album. (To hear it you will first have to pause the song that starts when you first log on to her blog. Scroll down and on the left hand side click the pause button)
I hope if you don't know their story that you would start from the beginning and read through their journey. It was a blessing to read and has changed my outlook on trusting God and knowing that He will be there right beside me no matter what the road looks like ahead or even behind me. Angie said that even though they prayed for a miracle, they had a Plan B in case it wasn't in God's will to save her. She said though that there never was a Plan B. God had a plan all along. (Audrey's life has ministered to thousands!)

Sorry this was so long. Maybe I need a journal :)) Please pray for me that I will wash my hands of this "thing" and surrender it all to God. Pray that I will do away with my plans and let them be His plans for my life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Un-Funniest Home Videos

Do you ever wish that you could have someone follow you around with a video camera 24/7?
Well I do.
I would so win. (more on this later)

Have you ever watched the show Funniest Home Videos?
I happened upon one the other day (this is not one I Tivo believe it or not) and they had the same old hit-dad-in-the-crotch videos. Jack does this to Jamie on a daily basis. I'm not sure why we haven't invested in -

A) one of those plastic thingys that athletes wear
B) a video camera

This is the one time a 3 year old can cause an adult male to lay in the floor in a fetal position.
However, real life or t.v. video, this stops being funny after so many times.

Anyway, I thought I'd finally tell you my most embarassing moment in my 29 years of life.

Had this been caught on video I am almost certain I would be a millionaire today.
I'm sure there are still people who witnessed this event say "Hey, remember when that mailgirl.....". Yes. I'm still humiliated by the memory.

It was a lovely day about 5 years ago. I locked my mail truck and began my walking loop. (This is where I deliver mail walking. People seemed shocked when I tell them I have to walk so I just wanted to clarify)

Now just imagine the busiest intersection in your town. Ok. Unless all you have is a four way stop...that doesn't count.
Imagine its the busiest intersection in front of say the courthouse. It's also lunch time so it's even busier than usual. My left arm is cradling some mail and in my hand is a bundle of letters. The light is red where I'm trying to cross so I make my move. This move involves the oh-so-difficult step down and then step up, however, my brain and my feet weren't working together this paticular day. So, my brain thinks I've made the step when in fact the feet haven't caught on yet causing the top heavy bent-over walk/fall movement. (this is all in slow motion by the way)

As I was falling forward I thought that I might actually pull out of this one. I had completed a few steps in the bent-over walk/fall and was now directly in the middle of the street. Everything went down hill from there. Literally.

Not being able to break my fall with my left arm I crashed into the road knee/elbow/face first. The mail I was carrying went flying across the road in all directions. This is when time stood still along with all traffic in all directions. No one could go anywhere.

I saw a manhole cover and actually considered throwing myself into the sewer. I picked myself up and started picking mail up as fast as I could. It seemed like 10 minutes before I was able to get out of the road. NO ONE helped me.

I finally got to the other side with my bleeding knee, elbow, and ego.

I'd like to say that that was my last fall but I can't. None, however, has yet to top that one!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5 Ways to Avoid the Wal-Mart Meltdown*

1. Do not even drive by Wal-Mart if it is even close to nap time. (especially if you don't really NEED to go)

2. If you are foolish enough to do this don't even think about pushing the cart anywhere near the left hand side of the building. (This is where our toy section is for those of you with a backwards Wal-Mart). If you need something from Health and Beauty aid, gardening center, or the photo center just FORGET IT, TURN BACK NOW!!!!

3. If you do get close to the toy section and decide to give are wasting your breath if you have this conversation with a 3 year old.

Me: (getting eyeball to eyeball) Ok. We can look but we are not buying anything. OK?

Jack: Ok.

4. If you have had a conversation with your husband about buying Jack a bike and decide maybe you can go ahead and get it while you are there, immidiately attempt to run over your own toes with the shopping cart. Believe me. It will quit hurting momentarily.
Jack was too big for the smallest bike and that was The One He Wanted. We will secretly buy the bigger one later. (and yes....I did tell him we were not buying anything so now I'm giving him mixed signals.)

5. Never try to rationalize with a napless 3 year old who has been known to throw explosive temper tantrums when deciding not to buy said item.
I now wish I would have bought the smaller bike before the tantrum started, I mean, c'mon I knew it was coming. I could have taken it back later and saved myself from an hour of intense screaming. (Him not me....of course I wanted to....)

So, maybe this is all common sense to you.

Maybe you are saying, you should have known better.

Well I know.....*sigh* please tell me I'm not the only one who does stupid things like this!!!! (I also need encouragement that this will get better!!!)

*This child is not immune from good ole' fashion whippins. This instance, however, was entirely my fault. Any advice on tantrums is welcomed!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some things I learned in Mexico

1. I missed my children more than I thought I would

Does that sound horrible that I considered the thought that I wouldn't miss them? We left Madeline and Jack with their Nana and Pawpaw. Jack usually loves going over there and when we drop him off he never looks back. This time, however, he knew something was different when we packed the trunk with suitcases. That child has never clung to me so hard than he did when we were leaving. I felt like dirt. I had to pry him off of me and watch him screaming as we backed out of the driveway. I did call before we boarded the plane and they said he was fine but you know how grandparents are....they want you to believe they are little angels when they have them. Right......
Anyway, we missed them like crazy but enjoyed our time alone very much!!!!

Thank you Connie and Snuffy! We owe you one.*

*Restrictions apply. HA!

2. Don't drink the water in Mexico

Yes. I did know this before we went and I didn't drink any water that wasn' t on our resort or that wasn't bottled but.......I did drink some ocean water. I have always wanted to snorkel and our last day there we took this little chug boat about a mile out from our resort. I felt a little queasy from the boat ride but once we were there I was fine. We jumped out and everything was fine for a while. First of all, I didn't realize that snorkeling required so much work.

Does this person (not me) look like she is exerting herself? No. She looks like she's having a great time doesn't she???? Well my picture wouldn't look so amazingly tranquil and exotic. This girl is not wearing a life jacket. This is required and without one I would imagine it would be even more work trying to keep yourself afloat. My bulky life jacket was scrubbing my underarms and making it difficult for me to enjoy the barren reef we were looking at. Yes, I said barren. I was thinking where are all the fish???
Finally they started coming around but I started feeling sick. I was having to readjust my mouthpiece and every time I did, I would get a little salt water in my mouth. I finally told my friend Jennifer that I wasn't feeling good and that I was getting back in the boat. I started swimming toward the boat but didn't make it before I started vomiting.
Now, if you've ever vomited in water up to your neck then you know that the vomit doesn't have very far to go other than right around your head. You also cannot wretch forward with a life jacket on so it ends up just cascading off your chin. Jennifer called out to me and asked if I was going to be sick. All it took was one look and she knew. I still had chunks on my chin.
While this is all happening the Mexican on the boat is calling to me. He was saying "you ok. c'mon now. you ok." When I tell this in person my Mexican accent somehow turns to an Asian one. Why I don't know....anywhoooo....
I finally get back on the boat (at least 5 pounds lighter...Judith would have been proud....) and we all start back for the shore. There was a stranger that went with us and he asked me if I puked. (Maybe it was still on my chin?) He said, "Wow, is that why the fish started swimming around us???" I'm glad I could provide them with their dinner!
The boat driver decided to drop us off at the public beach where the local Mexicans swim (just a short walk from our resort) As we approached the shore Jennifer leaned over the side of the boat and barfed right in the water where they were swimming. You don't need to know Spanish to know that they were grossed out!!!! HA!

I think I learned more than not to drink the water in Mexico....I'm pretty sure that I'll never go snorkeling again.

Well I didn't realize it but this is turning into a novel! HA! I will break this down into mini posts. Here are some pictures from our trip!

Our balcony

The view from our balcony

More to come!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

IM FAMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My preacher's wife, Lisa , may have a book deal but does she have papparazzi????

I'm driving down the road trying to do my job and some guy jumps out of the bushes and starts snapping pictures of me. Can't a girl just be left alone? HAHAHAHAHA!

So, here I am, I've made my first newspaper debut! (Yes, it is on the fridge!)

Ok. Maybe this was all planned. Maybe there really wasn't a guy who jumped out of the bushes. But hey, a girl can dream right? Watch out Angelina Jolie the competition is moving up!!!

This picture was taken because we were getting ready for our annual food drive that we do. They told me to not look at the camera and not smile. So, how hard do you think that was? HA! I ended up looking like I was mad or disgusted! HA!

I'm still working on my Mexican review.........stay tuned!!!!!

Well I'm now going to get my lazy tail off this computer and spend time with my kids. Lisa made me feel like a total loser with her latest post. HA!!!!