Thursday, November 24, 2011

Because Dareth is Right, We should be thankful

I gotta tell you, it's hard to get into the Holiday Spirit when trauma enters your life right beforehand. I feel like I am still reeling. I do not like living each day without Kaye here on earth. I have vacillated between anger, denial, and a desperate prayer that says, "Jesus, please come quickly."

I know the reality is that there is MUCH to be thankful for. So without further ado:

* Brody blowing kisses to Grandma K in Heaven. And then singing, "I love you - a bushel and a peck..." to Jesus.

* A daughter who loves fiercely and dramatically.

* Chris, who has been a rockstar, not only these past 2 1/2 weeks, but for the past (almost) 12 years. There's nothing better than knowing you are mine.

* My momma. It has meant so much to me that my mom acknowledges the huge influence of K on our lives. She could've been jealous. Instead, she has been grateful we had her and is sadden by our loss.

* My Dad. Words cannot describe what it has meant to watch him grandparent my children. Redemptive is too small a word.

* Great Is Thy Faithfulness, sung on a Sunday morning. A sweet reminder that He holds it all.

* The BEST girlfriends. We have had some sweet times! Fun road trips, silent prayers, telling looks - it's been a happy and hard year - birth, divorce, surgery, loss. I love the miracles we have seen, and I am saddened by the ones we asked for, but were withheld. But the Lord knew. He KNEW you were the people I would need to lock shields with. The many years I asked for close friends, you were all there, developing what is present today. I want to put you all in my pocket.

* My riches. I cannot even express how wealthy I feel. That my family would be graced to live in this country - it blows my mind. I really have no idea what financial struggle looks like when I measure it against the world.

* My God, who has been so GRACIOUS to require more of this daughter. He has made me take a look at who I had become, where my heart had hardened, and then offer forgiveness and an opportunity to do better. He has been a gentleman and shown me the Truth in a tender, loving way.

* My Sister. I don't know what to say except I love her.

* Hope. Because without it, I don't know how I could make it.

* Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha. Because I am shallow and adore a 100 calorie drink.

* Black Friday. Because I like texting Brandy and Dareth excessively and buying cheap pajamas.

* Kaye. And her family. They are SO MUCH HER. They radiate Jesus.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

another year

Today is my Dad's birthday. I wrote this post about my dad last year. He is the epitome of what a Daddy should be in my opinion. He is strong and caring and loyal and fierce. He stands up for what is right in a quiet manner.

Because my dad will never read this post, I can talk about him freely without embarrassing him. (He doesn't know how to use a computer and has no desire to ever try. He has probably never heard the term blog and he still calls social networking "the spacebook".) He is a simple guy who loves his family and wants to do better than he did in years past. He takes personal responsibility for his "stuff" and won't claim responsibility for other's. He has a quiet strength that I hope to emulate.

When I announced I was pregnant with Alivia, he became quiet and withdrawn. In my semi-hormonal state I was so disappointed that he wasn't more excited for me. He apologized the next day and told me, "I had a little girl, and she wasn't supposed to grow up." I knew in that one statement how deep his love for me ran. Watching me journey through a divorce was brutal. It ate him up. He made himself sick with worry. I only know this from others, he never wanted me to know. He offered his quiet support with a gigantic amount of self-control. I know he had much to say, but he allowed me to deal with any and every situation how I thought was best. He trusted that I was a strong woman who needed to own my decisions. He must have been terrified that I would make a choice he thought was harmful. But, he kept it to himself. He called me everyday to check on me and came by a couple of times a week just to visit. He never felt the need to fill the quiet with words. He just gave support with his presence.

I know the reality is that my dad won't always be here. Just typing that brings tears. I am ever so thankful for my dad. I am thankful for the father he is, for the grandfather he loves to be and for the example of loving, supportive parenting with boundaries. I will cherish every year the Lord sees fit to have you here with us.

Happy Birthday, Daddy! We love you more than words.


Monday, November 21, 2011


I somehow just looked up and noticed that the month of November is almost over. Wow. I don't want Thanksgiving to go by without noting some of the things I am thankful for this year.

*God's unwavering faithfulness...especially when I don't deserve it.
*The lavish love of God shown to my family through others.
*A church family that pulls together amazingly when we had some really tangible evidence of how much we need each other.
*People in my life who go above and beyond for my little family.
*Evidence that prayer can be answered...even in the midst of disbelief.
*A little blue-eyed guy who melts my heart over and over again with a gapped tooth grin.
*A girl that loves deeply and fights passionately, who is already starting to grow into her own little person.
*Friends who get me, that will laugh with me, and at me, when I need it most.
*God's provision. He has fulfilled our every need and so many of our wants.
*A gift of memories made from my mom in the shape of an awesome family vacation.

I hope your Thanksgiving week is spent loving your people.


Monday, November 14, 2011

My K

I have written about my sweet K before, right here. And on November 3rd, Gma K very unexpectedly went to be with our Lord.

All I can think about is that I want to smell her perfume on Brody's head again. I want to watch him love her, and I want to watch her love him right back. I want to hear her voice call him Brody Man, and I want to see her feet stomp at him as he runs to hug her.

I want to watch her love her AZ Addie Grace (as she had an Oklahoma Addie Grace, too). I want to hear her laugh at Addie and Sammy's antics. I want to listen as K and Addie sit down at the piano and play together while Papa Phil cracks jokes in the background.

I want to have the conversation that we planned on having when she got back from Oklahoma. I want to hear about her adventures on the Pioneer Woman's ranch. I want to know the advice she would have given me about my family. I want to have the cooking day we planned- the one where we make "our kind of food." I want to swap recipes, and laugh by the pool, and do Bible Study together. I want to listen to her Godly wisdom and laugh when she calls me her "fashion friend." I want to talk about our Goodwill bargains, and her grandchildren, and love, and travel, and most of all, I want to talk to her about Jesus.

I want to thank her for giving our children a place to look for their spiritual heritage. Kaye lovingly grafted our family into hers. She poured into us, always joyful, always giving, always in a way that modeled Jesus. She allowed the Lord to use her to create a spiritual history of unwavering Faith where there wasn't one in our family history.

Kaye and I always had a good laugh over my dislike of the Proverbs 31 woman. Funny thing is that the truth of the matter is I adored the Proverbs 31 woman - Kaye was her.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Kaye, thank you for your legacy. I miss you so very much.


Friday, November 11, 2011

In an Instant

Last week, the kids and I were so blessed to have the opportunity to go on a Disney Cruise with my mom. We had 8 days onboard to play and hang out with characters and most importantly, just be together. It was a fabulous time for my little family and so many precious memories were made. In preparation for this trip, I worked the month of October away. This left all three of us in tears, at one point or another, over the feeling that we had so little time together. (I could write a bunch of posts on how AMAZING Timmarie was during this time. But save that for another day.)
We spent each day leisurely deciding how we would plan our day: meeting characters, getting autographs, eating ice cream, swimming, playing in the kids center, watching live shows or movies, and napping. Don't want to forget the napping :)The rest and relaxation were so good for all of us.

I received message from Brandy on Saturday that I needed to call her. I tried to keep the panic at bay as I figured out the best way to get ahold of her. In the minutes it took me to get through to her, I had run through a list of possibilities in my mind. Internal panic! She went on to tell me that a good friend, a beautiful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, spiritual mother and grandmother of our church, and just all-out fabulous Christ-loving woman had left this earth. Such a shock! I can't even begin to tell you what Kaye meant to me and to countless others.

I went back to the room and hugged my babies a little tighter for the next 2 days. My emotions vacillated between wanting to get home right.this.very.second and wanting to stay on that ship and pretend it was all a bad dream. But most of all, since then, I have just wanted to surround myself with the people I love and make sure that they know how very special they are to me. Life can change in an instant. And I don't want to miss any more of it's opportunities.