Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day 2012 reflection: I do not think there was a day that went by over this past weekend where I did not think about today -- about Memorial Day. I know a part of me feels more connected and a whole lot more grateful for those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, mostly due to being a military spouse. And in part, I also feel humbled by those families who have been left in the shadows of their loved one that passed on for their sacrifice for our country -- their country.

With each military action movie I watch -- like Battleship, Independence Day, and even War Horse -- comes a more grateful heart to those who love our country, the United States of America, to have sacrificed their lives for what freedoms we hold dear. These movies serve as a reminder about how real war is, and even the possibility of what happens during war stricken times.

Please do not let their sacrifice be in vain, no matter what your beliefs are, no matter if you believe in war or not, they died for you to have that freedom of speech. For that, you should be grateful because in some countries this freedom of speech is not free.

How did you celebrate this weekend? How did you reflect on what today means to you? My husband, kids, and I spent almost all weekend with friends doing one thing or another. It was a fantastic weekend. To be honest, it is because of these particular friends that leaving here (when that day comes) will be so hard (saying we leave here before they do). I also spent time just thinking about the freedoms we enjoy, the widows, children, and family members to these soldiers.

Anyway, my husband and I went and did a little shopping today to get me a dress for a wedding we are invited to while we are visiting family. As we were pulling into a parking stall, I asked him, "Honey, do you know what the real meaning of Memorial Day is?" I continued and said, "To me, it is about those who have served and lost their lives for the freedoms that we have." He replied, "And to me, it is not just about those who have actually died for those freedoms, but those who have served and have been severely wounded for the freedoms that we have because they have to live each day as a reminder of that war." WOW! My husband's personal meaning of what Memorial Day is left me speechless.

Remember this: Memorial Day may be the day that we reflect on those who have served our country and lost their lives defending the freedoms of this great nation, but let it also serve as a reminder, just as my husband said:

"...It is not just about those who have actually died for those freedoms,
but those who have served and have been severely wounded for the freedoms that we have."

Photo from Google Image search.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Plans For A Future And A Hope: #2

This week was a week full of doctor appointments -- three consecutive days of doctor appointments for me. Tuesday was for an MRI and blood work. Wednesday was for a mammogram and breast ultrasound. Thursday was a follow-up.

The MRI never happened because as I was sitting in the waiting area in the MRI department, and paying attention to the conversation that was going on with the technicians, it occurred to me that my appointment more than likely was not going to take place. *The air conditioning in the MRI department of radiology is so junky that if the temperature reaches 85*, the machine shuts down. Well, since it uses electromagnetic pulses to capture images, and the machine is gigantic, of course it is going to be hot. OH! And the temps outside for that day was just over 100*. So, instead of waiting and waiting some more (since I was going to have to do plenty of this, and have done plenty of waiting over the last year), I spoke up and asked to have my appointment rescheduled. I was not upset at having to reschedule since I had to come into the hospital anyway for the blood work -- the staff obliged and even opened up the first week of July's schedule JUST. FOR. ME. How special am I?! ;)

Wednesday's appointment was a biggy. Long story short (or you could read about the beginning of it here), I was absolutely elated to hear that the results would be made available to me before I left the radiology clinic. That alone made me happy (even though I still had a follow up appointment for Thursday that I still had to go to). The results were even more exciting, to the point of having to blink away tears because I could breath. No more waiting. No more wondering on the "what ifs". I just kept saying, with a slight sigh of relief in my voice, "Thank You, LORD! Thank You, LORD! Thank You, JESUS!" There were OVER 100 people praying for this appointment and for a clean bill of health. Let me just say this: NO lumps. NO shadows. NO cysts. God heard every prayer!!

NOTHING was found on the film.

What is so puzzling is that the doctor, William, the radiologist technician, and myself all felt the lump. To be honest, the lump is still there, barely, but it has changed size (it is smaller) and not really hard at all. Puzzling? Yes. Amazing? ABSOLUTELY! That's how the GOD of my salvation works. I had prayed and shed buckets of tears prior to my Wednesday appointment.

I was prepared to walk in the battle of breast cancer with the LORD as my Commander.

I was persuaded that HE would get the victory over the illness. That each day's amount of grace would be sufficient. Yet, I am human and in my mind I was still a bit scared. I had thoughts about "what if it was cancer and it had spread and was progressed?" I had told God many times "I am not done here. There is still work to do. Therefore, You cannot take me, yet, LORD. As must as I love You, it is not time." **My heart opened up to you readers of how I truly feel and how I pray.**

God is about a personal relationship. There is no hiding anything from Him.

So that is it. No cancer. No nothing. Life goes on as usual. Time to get our home ready for those orders to our next station --whenever that may come. *Just for the record, we do NOT have orders at the current time. We are just hoping and praying for orders.* Now I feel that I can get back on the exercise wagon that I fell off of two weeks ago.

Thank you, to each one of you who prayed for me. May God bless you greatly for seeking Him and carrying this burden with me. Praise the LORD for His mercy and LOVE!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

PSALM 23 (esv)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leades me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Plans For A Future And A Hope"

Have you ever realized how long you wait in life?

Maybe you are waiting for the birth of a new baby. You spend time waiting.

Maybe you are in the military and are waiting for military orders to a new base. You spend time waiting.

Maybe your loved one is away at an undisclosed location. You spend time waiting.

Maybe you are expecting an important phone call. You spend time waiting.

Maybe there is a vacation you are looking forward to. You spend time waiting.

We spend the majority of our days, our lives, waiting for something: a new job, babies, a home, friendships, family, love. Waiting is a must in everyone's life, whether you want to or not -- you have to do it. How do you fare while you are waiting? Do you moan and groan because you are tired of waiting? Do you get antsy and just move forward trying to take matters into your own hands? Do you try and occupy the time to make it seem like time is passing by even quicker? Do you prepare yourself for the unknown, so that you will be ready?

I have to be honest about something: There are many things we are having to wait on at the present time in our lives (my husband and mine). Orders to a new base. Possibility of a tubal reversal. Diagnosis of breast cancer or not -- most of you did not know this one, as it is a new occurrence (just found a lump (prayerfully a clogged milk duct or benign tumor), on Mother's Day -- May 13, 2012).

These three things are HUGE life changers. New base means a new location, new home, new friends. Tubal reversal would change the dynamic of our family's home life. Breast cancer would change many things about our life. Yet, all of these requires a great deal of patience. Waiting. Waiting. And more waiting.

Honestly, I am not the perfect person. Surprised, right? I say that with a lot of sarcasm. For some reason people always look at me as being so perfect. I promise you: I am NOT perfect. I promise. I struggle with waiting patiently, and many other things. For the sake of time (and waiting, well, reading, I will limit this to waiting patiently). Okay, so I start out well with waiting patiently. Then as time goes on, I falter so terribly. Towards the end, I pick up the pieces and remember:

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28 (esv).

And so I begin waiting patiently, again. Again. Again. Because this happens many times depending on the length of the waiting.

God has everything in the palm of His hand. He is perfect in every way; therefore, everything He does is for a reason, with a cause, and is perfect and good.

"This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him" Psalm 18:30 (esv).

I am waiting for my mammogram that is to take place next week. I will have to wait for the results (hopefully less than 24 hours since I did schedule a follow-up for the following morning). We are waiting to see where things go with the projected tubal reversal. We are waiting for orders to a new base in hopes to prepare for my husband's retirement from the military.

This morning, actually, today has been rough. VERY ROUGH. I am not a fan of the unknown because I am a planner. I like to be prepared. I do not like waiting. Yet, God reminds me that:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" Proverbs 3:5-6 (esv).

That means that in everything, including the waiting, to trust the LORD with ALL of my heart, because HE WILL make the path straight ... "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" Philippians 2:13 (esv).

No matter what happens, God is in control. I believe this. It is my salvation, the work of the LORD in me, that chooses to keep hold of what is Good -- Jesus.

So are waiting for something? How are you doing while you are waiting? God is perfect in EVERYTHING that He does. Sometimes the pain may hurt for a little while (including years), but the eternal rewards is so grand if you hold fast to His unchanging hand! No matter what happens "I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare [peace] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11. Sometimes the waiting can take a while. Do not wait in grumbling and complaining -- it seriously does no good. Praise Jesus' Name -- it makes it so worth it to know that HE is at work for my good because I have been called according to His purpose! To keep all things in perspective: I am human; therefore, I will fall short. I will complain from time-to-time. I will cry and be whiny.

I am IMperfect serving a PERFECT GOD who has my best interest at heart.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My mother. My "other" best friend: Pt. 2.

Since my previous blog post seemed a bit whiney, I thought I would take a moment and give a not so "whiney, I want to be with my mommy" approach.

Growing up, I can recall so many memories of my mom and me together. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my best friend. We would share our thoughts about life, the happenings of the news, girly-stuff, boys-stuff, church, and family life. She took me to open up my first checking account (YIKES). She would drive me back and forth to school, work, dances, etc. When the time came, my mama also taught me how to drive.

**I can also remember the most yummy, iced Nestea she would make ... and being too lazy to make my own glass, I would either 1. sneak up and take a drink from her glass or 2. be sitting there at the table (in my teen years -- mind you) asking her for a drink from her glass -- something toddlers do. :) I can also remember her saying "I wish you girls would stop drinking from my glass." HAHA. Well, at least this is one daughter that doesn't do it anymore. Hmm ... we are visiting in June, mom ... better have that tea ready ..... ;)

I can remember hours upon hours where she would help me with science projects, book reports, gathering material for said reports, comforting me when I got a B on my report card (I know, I am a *nerd*). Shhh ... don't tell anyone, but I also remember a time when I had to write a report, then type it out, and turn it in the next day. I was so tired from school, work, and coming home to type out my paper. I am not sure how far into typing out my report I got, but my mom did the rest for me so I could get some rest. Oh! And this was during those days when we didn't own a computer -- we owned an electric typewriter.

My mom was (and STILL IS) very dedicated!
She's everything that I hope I am to my own children.

I learned a lot from my mom's spoken words. I also learned a lot from her unspoken words. This woman, whom I call mom, mommy, mama -- my mother -- is THE. MOST. PATIENT. woman I know. She has a heart the size of Texas. Actually, let's just make her heart the size of the U.S.A. She loves without condition. You do not have to do and give her things. She just loves. She loves unconditionally. She has definitely not lived an easy life, yet those who have mistreated her she loves anyway. She loves the way Jesus has called us to love: without condition -- with an agape love.

My mama is also a softy. This may sound mean, but I like getting the sappiest card and saying the sweet things that are on my heart to her ... because she shows her emotion through tears. I am positive I inherited this from her. *as I am writing these words, I have tears in my eyes* HAHA. What a funny thing for her to pass down to your daughter. ;)

And even though I am grown and now have my own children to an amazing husband, my mama still remains my (now) "other" best friend. She is still there for me. Still gives wisdom to whatever situation I may have a question about. She still is that same loving, generous, caring, softy I adore!!

Thank you mama for teaching me so much about life, children, friendship, caring, and most importantly about loving others. I love you more than you will ever know!!

P.S. I am looking forward to the day where I get to take care of you, just as you took care of me. Not that I want you to hurry up and get old, or anything. What I would really prefer is that we get to be stationed at the base right next door. Hugs and kisses to you always!! XOXO.

My Mother. My "other" Best Friend.

Mother's Day. The day that moms are celebrated. Moms get their own special days to be spoiled by the children and sometimes the fathers of those children, in their lives.

To be honest, even though I am a mother, I don't need a special day set aside to show me that I am special. Most days, our children tell me how much they love me ... and they even go as far to tell me why they love me and why I am special to them. I truly am blessed!

Confession: Even though I am a mother, I don't want a special day for me. Instead, since Mother's Day is a day that comes around one day, every year, I want this day to be with my mom. You never know how much you miss someone until you cannot see them all the time. Do not take your mom for granted.

*Do not take for granted  being a mother to your own children, either. They will remember how you cared for them and some day may have their own children -- your grandchildren.*

I miss my mom. She's still living -- PRAISE THE LORD, but being so many miles away from her makes me miss her so much more.

My mother. My "other" best friend

This year, instead of sending her something in the mail on Mother's Day, she has to wait a couple extra days. Why? Because I want her to know that she is not only special to me on Mother's Day, but every day of the year, too. If we lived closer to her, I would spoil her on her special day. Then, pick another day to show her that she's as equally special to me on that other day, as she is on Mother's Day.

**I became a mom July 11, 1999 -- the day our first son was born. Well, actually, I became a mom to our  unborn baby boy in October 1998. We now have 3 beautiful children -- all growing up so quickly. One day, I am sure (as one of our boys wants to go into the military), all of our kiddos will not be so close to home. I will remember and cherish the moments that I have with them now. I take LOTS of pictures to capture different times in our lives. Must be what I am preparing for, right?** ;-)

Remember: A mother's work is NEVER done, until that final day comes.  Compassionate. Caring. Loving. Understanding. Loyal. Nurturing. Devoted. Unselfish. Beautiful. My mommy is all of these and so much more!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day

I Am an Air Force Wife

I've noticed in my present job there is this tiny quirk
There is no respect at all, and it's not considered work.
Well I am here to show you another point of view
Just to give you an idea, of what WE really do.
Here is my job description, and to better understand
I've written it in the lingo of my Military Man.

I am the IG complaints come to me
I am the MEDIC, I bandage skinned knees
I am the JAG and COURT MARITAL too...
I decide the punishments, how much and on who!
I am SAFETY, inspecting all the junk
I am the FIRST SHIRT checking the bunk

I am SUPPLY in charge of food and clothes
households goods and heaven only knows...
I am the SP who secures the door
I am FINANCE, but giving out more
I am SERVICES who cooks all the meals
I am TRANS in charge of the wheels

I am MWR planning all the fun
I am the BUGLER announcing the 'Day is Done'
I am the CQ and Fire Dept too,
there isn't much that I don't do...I am the Instructor, also you see
Because everything that is learned is taught by me

I am the Flight Leader who knows his troops well
Sometimes the T.I. who really can yell
I am the 0-10 and the E-9 you see
cause everything must come through me
I'll never go to combat, but certain battles I will face
But rest assure when you deploy, count on me to guard the base

I am always on duty, I never take leave,
No Holidays off, It's hard to believe
I can never ETS, I signed on for life
My Primary AFSC is Mother, my secondary is AF Wife
For all my devotion to duty, my LES says NO PAY DUE
Because I am not paid in money, but in the words "I Love You"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;

31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Pic taken from!/2011/08/i-can-do-all-things-isaiah-4031.html

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One Or The Other

I have two doctor appointments this week. Two. Both for me. Oh! And they just so happen to be consecutive days (Tuesday and Wednesday). I have to tell you something: I do NOT like going to the doctor. I do not like going. I would much rather "play doctor" with Google. Come on now, I know you've done the same thing. :)

One appointment (Tuesday, today) is an ultrasound to hopefully shed some light as to why my menstrual cycles put me in so much pain. Such agony. Torture. The pain has gotten progressively worse, to which I cannot bare it anymore. The first 24-48 hours accompanies so much pain that I literally shed tears. This last one was not as painful, but the clotting was pretty grotesque. I believe this appointment will either do one of two things: 1. Reveal that everything is fine and the pain I just have to endure. Or 2. It will show that I must have my womanly bits removed.

The second appointment is for a tubal reversal (Wednesday). Yes, we are considering a tubal reversal. Why? We have no idea and cannot fully explain it. To be honest, it is quite exciting, yet very puzzling as to why WE would give much thought to this. Having another child would be like starting all over again. We would be in our 50's when the child is 18. I will barely be 41 when our (now) third child turns 18. To even consider this, we truly believe it something God has placed on our hearts for whatever reason.

Keep this in mind: We have been in our current city for 3.5 years. Prior to coming here we had a consult to see about a tubal reversal. Everything was a-go and when going back for the follow-up, the doctor actually asked us "Do you want to have it done now?" Back then, the technician who did the ultrasound actually noted that I "was a perfect candidate for a tubal reversal". Have things changed much with my body to make me NOT a perfect candidate for a tubal reversal? We shall see when we have another ultrasound done for my tubal reversal consult (Wednesday). OR the appointment on Tuesday reveals that it would be best to remove my womanly bits due to other health ailments. Health ailments. Yes. I will leave it at that. If you knew the health problems that have plagued my mother and grandmother, you would completely understand why.

Honestly, I have doubted that this is even a good idea since we are nearing retirement from the service. At the same time, this feels right. I also want to add that it is my husband who has been talking about babies A LOT lately. So I asked him if he wanted to see about a tubal reversal and he said "Sure. Why not?" I was a bit shocked, to say the least.

I will keep you in mind when I hear the results of what is going on with my menstrual cycles; as well as whether or not we can have a tubal reversal done or not. Never know, we may be able to. OR ... my Tuesday appointment may reveal that it is best to remove all of my southernly, womanly bits.

P.S. Womanly bits just sounds funny. ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy 32nd To Me

Happy 32nd Birthday to me ....

1. I was born in 1980.
2. I started church at 7 years old.
3. I come from a large, but small family. It is too complicated to explain.
4. I love with my heart on my sleeve. Please be nice.
5. I am an unconditional friend. I am your friend without condition. You do not have to bribe me. I am there for you anytime you need me.
6. I (secretly) love my dress, hair, and facial expression in my kindergarten picture. I wish I had the picture, I would show you.
7. I got married with a parent's permission from the notary.
8. I was 17 years 9.5 months old when I got married in February 1998.
9. I married my husband, to whom I only knew four months prior. We have been married 14 years already! Time flies when you are having fun, right?!
10. I have three children. Two of them should be twins. At least they act like it. The oldest is my mini giant. He is taller than me and is only 12 years old.
11. I started college in June 2004. I have taken roughly a total of 3 years off from college. I still do not have a degree. Yet.
12. I think my daughter and I are a lot alike. It makes me happy.
13. I am a lot like my own mother. She is my "other" best friend.
14. I have an unwritten rule as to how many best friends I can have. I have to be able to count them on one hand. Silly. I know. ;)
15. I started back to church and in a relationship with Jesus in September 2005. Jesus is my first love. Yes, He replaced my husband. THAT is the right order. <3
16. I am a military spouse.
17. I love my military man. I would do this lifestyle for the rest of my life. Over and over again. I support him more than he could possibly imagine.
18. I have lived in England twice for a total of 7 years. I miss it a TON!
19. I love four seasons. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.
20. I dislike that the desert living only has 2 seasons: Spring and Summererer. Summer lasts too long here.
21. I got "my" first vehicle at the age of 31. A Chrysler 200. It was sleek!
22. I LOVE to cook.
23. I LOVE to bake.
24. I do not cook or bake as much as I would love.
25. I am so excited to move to our new duty location (God knows where - seriously, I would love it if He would tell us where).
26. I cannot wait to start my family child care business.
27. I am such a planner. God made me this way. :)
28. I am NOT looking forward to the day when our kids move out.
29. I am looking forward to my husband and I retiring to spend more time together. Something we talk about often. <3
30. I miss my mama more than words could ever describe.
31. I am thankful to have met so many sweet friends. It is the bittersweet part of being a military family.
32. I am looking forward to the coming year. Life is an adventure. So much to always look forward to.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Freedom and Salvation. There is a difference.

One of the things that I LOVE is when God gives a revelation to something that you never gave much thought to before; whether you are either listening to something on the radio, hearing a message on a Sunday morning, chatting with a friend, and the like.

Something new. Something fresh. Those "ah-ha" moments. I. LOVE. THEM.

Last Wednesday I was on my way to a friend's home. While I was listening to a Christian radio station, a short message called "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau" came on the radio. The title of the message is "He Gives You Eternal Life" and you can view the message here in its entirety. This particular message brought about a question I asked in my spirit and then received an answer I believe that I got from the LORD. A revelation to the "why".

John 10:28 
"I give them eternal life.
They will never perish and no one can snatch them out of my hands."

Bunny trail: Me being open with you about one of my beliefs:
While I have always known AND believe that Jesus died for my sins (and the sins of the world). While I accepted Jesus "into my heart" at age 7 at church camp, only to later walk away from Him. While I completely understand that "once saved always saved" is something that some denominations preach -- this is not what I believe. I do believe that you can turn your back on Jesus to the point of losing your salvation, even after being "saved". Yes -- this belief is something that has caused division in the church. Scripture speaks very clearly.

As the Bible is ONE Book, ALL scriptures must be taken together IN CONTEXT to understand its meaning, given through the Holy Spirit. This link is a great example and explains more clearly the Scriptures in which I am talking about (from my bunny trail). Every single view expressed in the link is not directly represented as my view, but it is close.

Anyway, after hearing Luis Palau give a short word on "He Gives You Eternal Life", I asked the LORD: "Why is it so hard for people to grasp that YOU died for THEM?" And it was like He replied to me with "Yet, it is so easy for people to accept that the military have died for their freedom."

It was as clear as day. No clouds in sight. Completely. 100%. Clear.

Some may actually know someone in the military who has given their life on the front line for freedom. Yet, many do not know a single person who has died for their freedoms, and still they accept the fact that these military folks have laid their lives on the line for their freedoms. These freedoms are temporary. Have you realized that these freedoms that our military fight for are temporary? At any moment in time our government, the same government that our military works for, can take away many of our freedoms that we enjoy.

However, the freedom of eternal life in heaven was bought and paid for, by Jesus, to which NO ONE can take away from you. Not a single living soul can take YOUR eternal life [in heaven] from you. It is a gift. It is a choice. It is only yours if you receive it. Not everyone will.

It is a choice.

So many cannot and/or choose not to accept that Jesus died for their sins to give them everlasting life in Heaven with Him, when our time on earth is done. They cannot accept that ONE SINGLE MAN did this for them. Yet, it is so easy to accept that our military men and women have died for our freedoms -- people we cannot meet. Jesus we can -- through Scripture and prayer -- we can have a PERSONAL relationship with Him, and someday we will stand before Him (to which we WILL MEET HIM face-to-face) to which we will know whether we will have eternal life with Him in Heaven; or, eternal life without Him in Hell.

Have you accepted Jesus as your personal LORD and Savior? Have you accepted to walk with Him in a personal relationship?

I apologize for such a long blog post, but I had to share this revelation. Something that I haven't given much thought to. Two things which I have known. But never have even compared. Makes perfect sense to me. I hope it does to you, as well.

Remember: Freedom is temporary. Salvation is eternal. Eternity is forever.