Showing posts with label reflections. Show all posts

Weekend Recap: Not just existing...but living

Hello, everyone. This weekend I had the very sad task of supporting a friend at her mother’s funeral. Her mom was in her 60s. She wasn’t old. She was smart. She was well-loved. She was respected. She was gone. In the twinkling. Seriously, she was up and talking to her oldest daughter and then several hours later, she was gone.

The email that shared her passing was so raw, so painful. It read simply “Mom’s gone”. I knew what it meant immediately. My heart dropped when I read the words. Still, I asked “What do you mean gone?” And there was the conversation. A few days later, Saturday, I found myself and Honeybee strapped into carseats and seatbelts and on our way to support a young woman I’ve known for over 25 years.

At the funeral, I sat behind my girlfriend at her request. I willed her my strength and love as she rolled to the front of the funeral attendees and read a poem for her mother. The poem was beautiful. It was absolutely beautiful. But there was a line. One line that stopped me and has stuck with me ever since. She wrote to her mother “You taught me how to live and not just to exist”. That buried itself within me. It really did.

I’m 35 years old and, while I love the life that God has blessed me with, I had to ask myself “Am I living or am I existing”. I have to admit my life has settled into a rather predictable routine despite my desperate attempts otherwise. I get up about the same time every morning. I say my prayer, which is unfortunately not near as intimate as it should be. I get up, wash and brush teeth, and then get dressed. I walk into Honeybee’s room and pop on the light. The same greeting of “Good morning” greets her and she smiles at the routine. I hear Superbug walk toward his room and he gives his good morning hugs. I go through my routine. Making sure Honeybee potties. Making sure she’s dressed. Making sure the children eat. Making sure Honeybee says goodbye to her grandmother and father. Making sure I leave the house at the same time Superbug exits to stand at the bus stop. Sure enough there comes his bus and I wave as it drives by and he within.

The rest of the routine stays the same.  A drop off, an office arrival, email checks and meetings until work day end, followed by a pick up and a home arrival for dinner and whatever extra curricular activity lurks.  It's always the same.  It actually has me thinking...am I just existing?

Last July, I wrote this cool 35 while 35 list of things I'd like to accomplish before I turned 36.  While some of them are a bit outside of my comfort zone, most of them are 'safe' and predictable.  There isn't a legacy with them.  When I pass, whenever God calls me home, I certainly hope I will have left a positive impact on someone's life.  I don't want to leave a hollow existence.

So, I'm hoping to create a vision board.  Several close friends of mine use them and have had very great results with them.  I want to do one for long term goals and one for short term goals.  Let's see how it helps me. Let's see if I accomplish more and live instead of  just existing.

-WinterMommy









Explaining 9/11

Photo Credit:  Google Search
When the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, I was a senior in college and I was asleep. It was a Tuesday and I’d had a class schedule that meant my first class wouldn’t begin until 1PM. I hadn’t planned on waking up until much later that day, so I was more than annoyed when a girlfriend called and woke me up out of a restful slumber.

“Girl! Are you watching TV”

I remember sighing and asking her what channel and remember her asking me what channel I had. That shook me and I turned on the television just in time to see the second plane slam into the South Tower. I hung up the phone and ran into my best friend/college apartment mate’s room. I swung open the door and she stared at me wrapped in the arms of her boyfriend (now husband). Tears streamed down her face. I knew immediately it was no accident.

That day was a sad combination of raw emotion. I remember throwing on clothes and sobbing with relief as my mother picked up the phone from Jersey. She was at work, mere Life Flight moments from the destruction and could see the smoke from the roof. She begged me to stay inside because she feared more attacks and I told her I couldn’t because I had “a job to do”. I remember changing clothes, grabbing my reporter’s pad, and heading out. Somewhere along the line I ran into my male best friend and heart string. He and I walked together to the college auditorium where there was standing room only while our chancellor gave a speech about the tragic events, why classes would not be cancelled “because he would not let them win”, and how we needed to pray. I remember my friend praying with me and keeping me calm despite not hearing from his family at the Pentagon and in DC. I remember his walking me to my 1PM class and telling me to go straight to class and then to go home, that he loved me, and that everything would be alright. That was 14 years ago and I remember almost every detail like it was yesterday.

In recent years, I have shown Superbug pictures and articles of that day. I showed him the slide show that showed the destruction of the towers. I showed him the candlelight vigils. Last year, when he asked why the people didn’t come down the stairs, I showed him the captured of pictures of those who jumped because of the heat of the flames and being blocked from any other way.

When we discussed 9/11, we discussed people who executed a terror attack because they believed they were within their right to do so. He asked what I was doing on that fateful day, how I felt, and if I think about the day anymore. As he gets older, he doesn’t ask about it as often. I suppose it is similar to thoughts I had about Pearl Harbor. I was aghast at the attack and could only imagine what my great-grandmother felt, but I couldn’t quite relate and some how felt a safety bubble that it wouldn’t happen again. At least I did.

I hope and pray that Superbug and Honeybee never experience a moment of profound historical significance as 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. While it is always important to #NeverForget, let us hope and pray that the next generation won’t have such a moment to recall.

-WinterMommy

What a difference a year makes...



A year ago today, I was actively running around making sure every coworker, friend, family member, best friend, and associate had their flyer to aid in Honeybee's fundraiser.  I was biting my nails with worry because I'd already had a conversation with people who thought the entire thing "tacky" and "tactless".

I got angry and then worried that others would feel the same.  Then, I was embraced by wonderful and loving people who reminded me that it's rare that a family has an extra $$$$$ lying around.  If this assisted in removing some of the fees and stress, then so be it.

Slowly bit surely, posts started coming in.  People were sharing their photos of hot wings, sliders, and yummy appetizers from one of the local restaurants.  I was touched and humbled by those people who went and ate lunch and dinner on our behalf.

Though we only raised a small amount from that event, I was simply honored and appreciative of all those who took time out of their day for us.

Today, things are a bit different (insert smile as I write this).  Today, I'm watching my daughter hand books to her daddy to read.  Today, my family is sitting in the family room.  Spaghetti was on our menu tonight and watermelon.  Our music has been laughter.  It's been a wonderful and great day.

We still wait for the final letter decreeing everything to be legal, but we are just secure in our togetherness.  We are enjoying being a family.  A year ago, it crossed our minds that this may not occur as we wanted it to.  We were still in the midst of custodial decisions, but we still moved forward.

Today, we are thankful just to be.  May that never change.



-WinterMommy

CIBH: I just want to live

I've been very silent.  Painfully silent.  I've kept my opinions to myself, my voice to myself.  I haven't spoken aloud my thoughts, fears, or frustrations.  The numerous times I've wanted to do so on this blog and haven't are way too many.  I've wanted to keep it close to sterile, focusing on Honeybee and the process, our family, and the good of the world.  Then, with all of the things that have been happening lately, it has become more than apparent that this world that Honeybee and Superbug are going to inherit is looking very different from my views as a child.

This week, last week, and the week before the news have been heavily peppered with stories of unarmed African-Americans being killed or dying under mysterious circumstances.  Some were killed while worshiping.  Another died after a traffic stop where an arrest probably should not have happened in the first place.  The last was killed by a campus police officer in a video so heinous that ALL of his supervisors and the leaders in the city have completely and totally distanced themselves from the shooter.  While I believe one case was simply an overreach after finding someone who knew their Constitution rights and being upset that they wouldn't back down, the others have clear racial overtones.  It bothers me.  It scares me.

Life Lessons, Awesomely Inspired

I was once told that we can see God in everything.  I believe that.  I also believe that we are given the opportunity to learn from every interaction.  We can grow from an event or that same event can cause us to lose a piece of ourselves.  My internal prayer is always to laugh, to learn, and to live experiencing each day as an opportunity to better myself and my environment.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see that thought process live.


Yesterday, I went to pick up a cake for a farewell gathering at my office.  The bakery section was closing and there was only one gentleman there prepping it for the next day’s work.  I selected a cake and asked him if he would write “Best Wishes” on it.  He readily agreed.  I watched him silently and noticed that he seemed a bit nervous.  Before he wrote out the words, he mimicked them in the air above the cake.  Then he shook his head satisfied with the mimicry and wrote out the phrase I’d requested.  When he returned the cake to me, it looked like the attached picture.  The writing wasn’t pretty.  There was a misspelling.  It certainly wasn’t what I would have expected.  But I didn’t get upset.  I didn’t even bat an eye.

Here was that experience that we hope for in our everyday interactions.  This man was so apologetic and was so eager to please. He looked literally terrified that I would be angry.  It was almost as if he was trying to make himself smaller.  I know that look.  I hate it.  It reminds me on when I was a youngster and the “mean girls” would bully me because I was more interested in getting education than I was in being popular.  I wanted to erase that look from him.  So I chose to be and indeed was thankful for his willingness to serve when he was the only one available.  I heard his apology for not being the best writer, but I chose to focus on his can do attitude.  I was impressed that despite what others (including himself) would have deemed a limitation, he stepped up to do something when he could have easily explained that he wasn’t a sufficient writer and would not be able to provide me services needed.  Because of this young man, I will continue to use this bakery (another writer J), but I will enjoy being served by him. And I may just see if he'd be interested in being a rep for my personal company. Good customer service and earnest employees mean something today…especially to me. 

Thankful for life lessons in everyday situations.

-WinterMommy

What's your motivation?

This morning, I went to church with the family.

The sermon came out of 1 Chronicles where King David has conferred with all of the scholars and leaders and advisers and decides to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the people of God.  With the buy in of all the advisers, King David plans a HUGE celebration and the ark is carried on a cart drawn by oxen toward the city while everyone dances and sings around it.  When one of the oxen stumbles, a man by the name of Uzza reaches out and touches the ark to steady it, which is outside the command of God who has given specific instructions on the care and transport of the ark.  God, in His wrath, strikes Uzza dead.  King David is afraid and instead of bringing the ark to the people as originally planned, the ark is dropped at the home of Obed-Edom, a Gittite.  Now, I know there are TONS of different theological opinions of why David was afraid and why Uzza was slain, but our pastor gave this interpretation, which spoke to me.

Our Pastor suggested that perhaps David's motivation was not pure.  Of course there was a part of him that wanted to bring the ark of the covenant back to God's people, but there was also a greater part that wanted to show off to everyone.  David was dressed in royal robes and splendor.  He's organized a huge party.  He made a spectacle.  It was enough that perhaps God searched David's heart and so it lacking in certain areas and things.  Our pastor continued to discuss that in all that we do our motivation must be pure.  Are we doing it for God's glory or for our own.  Now, here's where all of this spoke to me this morning.  

FatherWinter and I recently had a disagreement about Honeybee's first birthday party.  I wanted to host a special themed first birthday party.  I'd scoured Pinterest.  I had the theme.  I even locked on the aid of a great friend of mine for assistance.  I was so excited for the plans that would be coming together soon.  FatherWinter disagreed and pretty much shot down a lot of my enthusiasm by reminding me that this was a party for a one year old who wouldn't remember it.  It didn't make sense to go all out, he said.  And I disagreed with fervor.  In fact, the whole discussion put me in a funk.  After this morning's sermon, I realized that there were some underlying reasons for my planning this party and it had nothing to do with Honeybee.

I grew up not having big birthday parties.  My birthday was in the summer and I lived in the country, on a farm, with no car.  My birthdays consisted of an uncle and aunt coming to the house with their two children (my little cousins) and our having cake and icecream.  There was no real pomp and circumstance.  No games, though I always looked forward to the day with enthusiasm.  We sat down at a dining room table, they sang, and then the adults visited with my great-grandmother.  While I was always grateful for the day, I remember feeling left out and sad when I heard of my peers having parties at skating rinks and pizza parlors and other places that I was never invited.  They'd laugh and talk about how much fun was had by all in attendance and I'd be reminded that, once again, I wasn't "cool" enough or liked enough to be included.  I'd always promised myself that my children would never have to experience that.  So, from ages 1-5, Superbug had amazing birthdays complete with themes and grandeur.  He loved it and each year I wanted to outdo myself the previous year.  After marrying FatherWinter, he suggested and I reluctantly agreed, to have milestone birthday parties and smaller family birthdays the other occurrences.  Now, here we were approaching the plans for Honeybee's birthday and FatherWinter was shutting me down.

He's right though.  While this wasn't a motivation conversation, my motives were selfish.  I wanted to have this big event and do it bigger and better than what I had growing up.  I wanted also for someone to see if and perhaps ask if I could something similar for them and thus grow the business.

The point of the birthday party was supposed to be celebrating Honeybee's first birthday.  I was making it into a  redo of my life when I was younger.  That wasn't fair.

So, while I haven't lost my idea of themes and Pinterest ideas, I have scaled down.  Honeybee won't remember this day, but I'll have fun showing pictures.  We'll have pizza and wings and maybe a few surprises here and there.  But ultimately, it's just going to be a day to thank God for her first year of life.  If nothing else happens that day but just that, then it will have still been a success.

I think in life we have to ask ourselves what our motivation is.  In every action, every conversation, every motive.  What is the reason we feel the way, act the way, think the way we do?  What is our motivation?  If it is anything but pure, anything that could possible  be outside the will of God in feeling and intent, then we must adjust our thoughts and ourselves.

Not a sermon, not preaching.  Just my musing for the day.

Have a good evening.

-WinterMommy

It Could Be Worse

Wanted to share this with you guys.

I dropped my daughter off at daycare this morning, came into work, and was unbuttoning my coat knowing that I have a lot to do today and am on some pretty tight deadlines.  I put my hand in my pocket and felt the clip and pacifier of my daughter. Oh no!  I  told my colleague out of frustration and he replied that it could always be worse.  It certainly wasn't what I wanted to hear. I just sighed, looked at my cube wall where Philippians 4:6-7 is posted, said a small prayer because it looks to be one of those days, and called the daycare on the office phone to see if the spare (that I always keep in the diaper bag) was there.  It wasn't.   -_-

Fine, I decided I'd get it to her during my lunch hour as she only uses it as a go to sleep aid and not really then (unless super tired). Then, it dons on me that I called on my office phone because I didn't have my cell.  That meant I'd left it in the car.  It's super cold today and I didn't want to go back downstairs, but I keep my music on it and am able to use it with headphones during the day to block out people and focus on my work.  So I bundle back up, go outside, get in the car, and see...no cell phone.  As I know I had it during the drive in, that means it must be in the baby's blanket...at the daycare. Sigh.  So, I turn the ignition and start driving to the daycare knowing I'll kill two birds with one stone.  I'll grab my cell and give the pacifier to the baby while there. 

All at once, while I am driving, it hits me that I left my purse upstairs and inside the purse is the pacifier.  At this point, I am beyond frustrated.  I pull over, wait for traffic to pass by, and then pop a U-turn when it's safe to legally do so.  I get in the car and drive back to work without the phone and unable to drop off the pacifier.  I am hot.  I get out the car, realize that I left my juice in the car, turn around and grab it, and I am literally saying in my spirit, "This is one of those days that I should have laid my butt in bed and not done anything".  Then I growled.  I mean it.  You know those Homer Simpson growls of frustration when he is "Angry Dad". Yep, that was me as I walked across the parking lot.

Then, just that quick, I step on the sidewalk and step behind "Blessed".  "Blessed" is a colleague of mine who is truly an inspiration.  She is a Christian woman with the sweetest spirit.  She is a younger woman (about 30-40 something), married with children, and terribly infirmed with rheumatoid arthritis.  She has to use a walker
to get around.  She is bowed low because of the disease.  She moves in severe pain daily and always at a very slow pace.  Whenever I see her, I pray for her.  It's an automatic thing to desire her pain is ended.
She never complains.  She just keeps going and keeps smiling. Immediately after seeing her, I rush ahead to open doors and ease her journey.  I walk with her even at the very slow pace just blessed and pleased to be in her company. You can tell the cold is hurting her a great deal, but she doesn't say a word about it.  I am put to shame.

I am so thankful that I was outside and in a place that I could help her this morning because navigating with the size of the walker can be troublesome.  I'm thankful that's where God had me. I understand that perhaps that was His plan for me this morning--to be in a place, time, and position to help one of His children.  I am thankful I was able to be used.  But I am so ashamed that I complained about my "problems" in the first place. I've already asked forgiveness, but it doesn't erase the fact that I am disappointed in my thought process.

I write all of this just to say no matter what is going on, how crazy of difficult your situation may be, no matter how much it bothers you, or annoys you..Remember, it could always be worst.  You never know when you delay or frustration is an opportunity to be a blessing to others.  Be blessed in the moment you are and flow in the Spirit.  God will ALWAYS direct our path and work those situations out for our good.

Remember that if nothing else... No matter how frustrating, unfortunate, or unhappy we are in our present state, it could always, ALWAYS be worse.

Love you, all.

-WinterMommy

This is not the world I grew up in...and sometimes that worries me

I've been sitting here this week watching the news.  I know.  I know.  I can already see the eye rolls and hear the groans, but I am a news nut.  It stems from my grandmother turning it on before we got ready for school in the morning, in the afternoon when we came home, and at night before we went to bed.  We used to talk about what we'd seen.  The practice carried itself with me when I went to college and chose to major in a Communications field.  I still watched the news all day, every day.

This week, I've been watching and seeing that this world is not the same one I grew up in.  I was watching a story with accompanying video of a female student who attacked her teacher after being told to get off her cell phone during class.  The student threw a chair and book at the teacher and the teacher retaliated.  The student's family was demanding the teacher be fired for not behaving "professionally".  They blamed the teacher for retaliating.  They are talking about suing the school system and the city.  But, they never made any acknowledgement anywhere that their family member was wrong for physically assaulting the instructor or even thinking it was okay to do so.  Ummmmmm.....I'm sorry.  I have a problem with that.

I was raised in a family of educators.  I was also raised with good morals and taught to respect my elders and those in authority positions.  I may not agree with what they say.  I may not agree with how they say it, but I am certainly not allowed to put my hands on them just because they tell me something I don't agree with.  This is the same way I teach my son and will teach my daughter. I mean...has the world changed so much that it is okay for children to assault adults and the child is not disciplined for that?

My husband and I very much STILL believe in the old ways.   My son still holds doors open for women and elderly.  He still says yes sir and yes ma'am.  He looks people in the eye when talking to them.  If he says "yeah", instead of yes when talking to an adult, we have a problem.  He is allowed to play on the street in front of our home and down to the end of the same street.  He may not do even that without permission to be outside. I don't think my husband and I are being unreasonable with our expectations of his behavior and while Superbug is sometimes joked for having "strict" parents, we have yet to have an educator tell us they have a problem with our son's behavior (minus an occasional age appropriate distraction).  Moreover, we usually hear compliments with regards to his presence in the class.  If our child did what was done in that classroom, I can assure you the conversation held in front of the camera would not have been calling for the dismissal of the instructor.

Now, to be fair, I don't know the entire story.  I only know what I saw on the camera.  I am well aware that some teachers can have agendas against parents and take them out of students.  But even then, there are ways to handle it.  Let me share a true story with you.  A close relative of mine had to have words with her son's teacher after the teacher kept trying to hit on her husband.  After the husband made it clear that he was not interested, all of a sudden there were bad reports made just about every day.  The relative complained to the principal, but it was hearsay.  It wasn't until a cleverly placed audio device captured the teacher and her antics was the teacher let go.  So, as I said, I know those cases exist.  But even if that were the case in this instance, throwing a book and a chair and launching oneself at the teacher is not the way to handle the situation.

This world is getting terrible.  My faith tells me that these are birth pangs of the world.  I believe that with all of me because some of the stuff that we have going on today was never allowed in my time--the blatant disrespect, the constant killing of youth by youth, the shooting and killing of unarmed citizens by those sworn to protect and serve.

I have a boy, a little brown boy, who came to me several months ago and told me the little boy down the street won't play with him because his father told him he wasn't allowed to play with little brown boys.  My son didn't understand as I explained that some people are going to judge him because of his skin color and because they are making assumptions about him.  He was only seven years old at the time.  That was not the conversation I wanted to have with him.  Nor was having to explain what the word "racist" meant when he asked after a day at school this year.  Apparently, he was invited to play a game called racist and refused because he didn't know what the word meant. That wasn't a conversation I remember anyone having to have with me at seven years old.

My husband and I teach our son the faith of Jesus Christ.  We teach him to love all people, even those who hate him.  We teach him that he will have to face some hard truths in his life, but as long as he keeps Jesus at the forefront of all of his decisions, everything else will fall into place.  But I must admit, there are times that this world and all that it is becoming weigh heavily on me.

What will this world be for Honeybee?  I pray that it is a prosperous.  I pray she will always know and be surrounded by love.  I hope she will always know great things and that she never doubts that she is a core of our family.  I hope she knows that her heart strings tie intricately to all of ours, that she is a part of us.  I hope she always knows that we love her.

-WinterMommy

Of Fear and False Evidence


Fear is NOTHING but False Evidence Appearing Real...

     So, I just so happened to look at the calendar today and realized the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) court date is rapidly approaching for our Honeybee.  Immediately, my heart did one of those flips that I didn’t appreciate.  I am certainly not a fan of those.  To me, they mean nervousness or fear.   I have to say while I am not a fan of the heart flops, I am a fan of what came to my mind a half second later.  Several months ago, our pastor preached a sermon on Fear.  He used an acronym to remind us that Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.  We see a situation that looks like it has the potential to destroy our dreams, our desires, and/or US and suddenly there is a panic.  We don’t mean to panic, most of the time.  It’s a human reaction.  It’s our flesh.  But in those times, we must remind ourselves that God has charged us to “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the one who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)”. These events and situations come as no surprise to God and He has already made provision for an outcome that is to His glory and for our good.  Psalm 56:3-4 reminds me that “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56: 3-4NIV)  The Word of God is absolutely correct.  There are a lot of uncomfortable and undesirable things that can happen in our journey to become Honeybee’s adoptive parents, but even in those occurrences, I truly believe that God is walking with us and will not allow us to fail.

     After I had my moment of “FEAR” and watched it be chased away almost as rapidly, I took another look at the impending date.  On one hand, I am pleased to see the TPR date approaching.  If all goes as expected, we will be one step closer to finalization and our little girl becoming a member or our family forever.  On the other than, I am filled with great compassion for what I know could possibly be the reaction of Honeybee as she grows older.  I was raised by a great-grandmother several states away from my mother and father, who were not together.  I know very well the ache of self-identity as I tried to wrap my head around why it appeared I wasn’t wanted, why there was no father in my life, why my mother’s hugs and kisses were not my constant companion.  I know very well asking what my birth father looked like and being told to look into a mirror.  I also remember very well standing in front of the same mirror and trying to see him within me.  

     I feel so much compassion for those conversations with our Honeybee.  I don’t ever want her to feel some of the emotions that I felt and with the upcoming TPR, I will want her to understand that in this process there have always been a host of people who love her, pray for her, and want her.  But explaining that to her could be heartbreaking as she is older, because I don’t believe any child ever wants to hear they were loved so much they were allowed to be loved by someone else in another home, in another location.  I know how she feels.  I do.  That was my journey.  It ended well for me and I pray the same for her.  There is still another side that remains.  I feel such love, adoration, and respect for Honeybee’ s birth mommy.  This woman truly loves Honeybee.  She does.  She wants to make sure that her Honeybee’s life is full of love and life.  She wants her to have wonderful memories and experiences.  I can’t imagine what she goes through day to day thinking and knowing her daughter is being loved and raised elsewhere, but knowing that the decision is so selfless that it’s sacrifice alone signifies the totality of her love for her babe.  I love her birth mommy so much never having even laid eyes on her.  My prayer is when she sees the documentation announcing the TPR, she knows that we are indeed praying for her and covering her with our love.

     Regardless, we are indeed approaching a milestone in the adoption process for our Honeybee.  With this one event, the momentum of the process will kick start and we will experience an entirely new portion of the adoption puzzle.  I’m looking forward to placing the pieces.

-WinterMommy

Of Birthdays, Of Reflection, Of Praise

So yesterday was my 34th birthday.  Yep.  Thirty-four.  It doesn’t matter how I write it, numerically, phonetically, word sentence…thirty-four just seems like a large number.  I find myself absorbed in the largeness of it, in the grand scheme of all that has been accomplished, and in all that yet remains.
I remember when I was younger, I was obsessed with the “big” birthdays—the milestones.  I couldn’t wait to be 10 because I was double digits.  I couldn’t wait to be 13 because I would be a teenager.  I couldn’t wait to be 18 because I would be “grown” and able to make my own decisions (HA!)  I couldn’t wait until I was 21 because I would be legally able to do any and everything I wanted to do.  I would officially be a woman in my own eyes.  Until I discovered I couldn’t rent a car without extra payment, then I couldn’t wait to be 25 lol and finally couldn’t wait to be 30. 

Funny how we spend a lifetime of waiting to be the next age.  The next big thing.  Until we hit a certain mark and we find ourselves wishing that time would slow down just a little.  A little slower to enjoy flowers or loved ones.  A little slower to enjoy energy and less responsibility.  I mean, one day you wake up and you realize life is something much bigger than a number and if you don’t slow down, you’re going to miss the point of it all.

Today, I chose to walk around with a HUGE smile on my face as I celebrated all the great t hings that God has done for me in 34 years.  I am alive!  I have several very great friends and associates who did not live to see this day and I weep for them in my heart.  Still, I believe wholeheartedly that I will see them again.  I don’t take it for granted that I’m here.  When you lose someone who is as healthy as a horse, with a spirit just as unbreakable, at the tender age of 23, you recognize that time is fleeting.
I have a family!  I grew up an only child.  I remember sitting and wishing for an older sister to protect me from  bullies.  I remember hoping to one day meet a father who would wrap me in his arms and love me and protect me from the world.  When I grew up, I was blessed to receive all of that and more.  I have so many sisters either through blood or marriage that it is ridiculous.  I not only have a great honorary father who loves me as his own, but I have a wonderful relationship with my birth father who dotes on me when given the chance. Add to that, a dynamic praying mother, a tell-it-like-it-is phenomenal honorary mother, awesome spirit-filled and loving in-laws and more nieces, nephews, godchildren, and family that I could ever sneeze at and I am exceedingly blessed.  Now…top all of that with a husband who is truly a man after God’s own heart, a son who is my very heartbeat, and now a soon to be precious princess daughter, and I am more than blessed in all things.

I have a reasonable portion of health!  I wake up every morning and have the activity of my limbs.  I can walk.  I can talk.  I can touch.  I can wave my hands and my tongue is able every morning to say “Thank you, Jesus!”.  I am so happy to be able to look at 34 as so much more than a number. 

Finally….I am loved.  I really am.  I just got a call from my front office.  As I walked outside my office, I see my husband standing in the hallway.  He has a HUGE sheet cake, this beautiful balloon bouquet, and the most perfect card I think I’ve ever received from him.  This is a big deal because my husband doesn’t do birthday deliveries to work.  We usually celebrate our birthdays in private (minus my proposal/surprise party several years ago).  For him to take the time to gather these items, deliver them, and then return home to “prepare” a birthday dinner mean more to me than anything simply because he took his time to do so.
I think I have to summarize my birthday with the words of one of my favorite songs….

I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb
I've had some weary days
And some lonely nights
But when I look around and I think
Things over...all of my good days,
They outweigh my weary days - I won't complain….

God has been good to me
He's been so good to me
Better than you or this old world could ever be
He's been so good, He's been so good to
me...


Happy Birthday to me!!!!!
-WinterMommy