Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/11: UNITED

I have given much thought to blogging about the tragedy of 9/11/2001. 

As we near the anniversary of this terrorist attack each year, the television, news, and such always talk about THAT day in documentaries, "where were you when...", and the like.

Where was I? 
I was in England, nearing the end of our tour there, about two weeks to boarding an airplane to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, when the attack occurred.

What was I doing and how did I find out?
I was on the phone with the Community Bank asking for that day's conversion rate for dollars to pounds. While on the phone, the teller told me about it. She asked me to turn my t.v. on and to a news channel to confirm what she had been hearing. I did just as she had asked. An emotional flood started. I hung up with the teller and called my husband. That day we went on DEFCON (Defense readiness condition) Delta -- the highest security alert. Security checks of all vehicles entering bases were preformed; bags were checked when entering business; and a photo military ID was required.

What were my feelings?
All as I could do was say "Oh my God! Oh LORD, NO!" **I tear up just recalling those emotions.** How can the people that did this think that it is okay? That this is peace? I could not wrap my head around what had just happened. Our oldest child, two years old at the time, kept coming to me and giving me hugs as I cried huge tears of sadness, grief, and anger.

A day of tragedy turned into something greater ... 
We have memorialized that day as something of total sadness. A day of tragedy it surely was. It was also a day when America found out that we are vulnerable to the attacks that the 3rd world nations and middle eastern countries are accustomed to. It was a day America found just how much we needed one another. A day to stand by each and every able body. A day to learn what it meant to truly help a brother or sister in need.

You see, America understands that freedom is not free -- that it comes at a cost. America understands that when a tragedy happens, that means it is time to lock arms and stand together. *Too bad this does not happen on a daily basis, regardless of tragedy.*

How can we bring light to such a day of tragedy and memorialize it in such a way that it means something other than mourning? 

Most folks who were of an understanding age can recall that day without the graphic images of those planes being flown into the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and that Pennsylvania field. These folks can recall the emotions, where they were, and what they were doing. Why can't we move passed the mourning stage of that day, even eleven years on?

I met with a sweet and dear friend the other day for coffee and she said it best (I am going to paraphrase her words because my brain just does not seem to remember word for word like it once did):

"Each year, when we recall only the tragedy instead of where we have come since that day, they [the terrorists] still win." She is right. I still remember that day and all those emotions. I can clearly see those planes and buildings, the streets and the people. I have never thought to think about "where we have come since that day". I only think about the negative.

You know what? I have a hard time believing that those folks who lost loved ones in that tragedy have not moved on. I am positive that many have possibly remarried, had children, moved up in their jobs, and the like. On the flip-side, I am sure that there are some that probably have been grievously effected by this with nightmares, loss, and depression. These are the folks that have not moved on since that terrible day. All those effected by THAT day are in my prayers every year as the anniversary approaches.

Should we memorialize what happened? Absolutely. Why not?! But how we memorialize it is what we should at. Consider what memorialize actually means. When you see a memorial of battle fields, cemeteries, and such, do they look all broken down with negativity? No. Why? Because these things are hoped to be remembered in such a way as to remember the good things about it. To bring a light, a new feeling to what is a tragedy.
Image was copied from the below link. I am unsure who actually has full rights to the photo,
but I am not the author of this capture. 
I am not saying that we should not always look at the tragedy as a negative, but to move pass just looking at it that way. We should memorialize the good that folks did that day, look to what has occurred since this day, and look to the future as being full of hope.

Each year my prayer will always be for those service men and women who have fought hard in those foreign lands to preserve our freedom. Taking the fight to those who want to cause devastation. Each year my prayer will always be for those who lost their loved ones. Losing someone you love is hard to overcome. But, recalling the goodness is what helps heal the wound.

On a side note: Since we all may not be able to make it to the 9/11 memorial each year, in what way can you do something to memorialize it in a good way? Sending  care packages to our deployed military personnel is one way to memorialize and do good. Another way is by serving the community in a way that it UNITES the patrons of that community as one. In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance ( What community projects or local neighborhood projects could you do or be a part of? Believe me, from this year onward, I will forever look as 9/11 with a new pair of eyes. I will recall the tragedy for what it once was, but will do something to move us forward.

Remember ...

We are the UNITED States of America for a reason. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Graceful

This week's word, graceful, has me a little stumped.

The phrase that comes to mind is being 'full of grace'. The One that comes to mind Who is full of grace is Jesus. He died on the cross for our sins. He did not have to. But He did out of obedience. He did not have to die for my ugly sins that nailed Him to the cross. But He did out of obedience to the Father.
You cannot earn the grace that the LORD has already given. You cannot buy it, be good enough, or do right. His grace is already there. It is a gift. A gift always comes at the price from someone else. That means you did not buy it. It did not cost you a thing. This is exactly what Jesus did. The grace He has given you as a gift was bought and paid in FULL on Calvary.

Have you accepted His grace in your heart for eternal life in Heaven?

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" Romans 5:1-2.

Come along and write with us on Five Minute Fridays. You just may put some of those thoughts onto paper, well, the screen, that someone else needs to read. Happy blogging folks! 

Here's the rules: 
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


The doorbell rang. That dreaded doorbell (or sometimes a knock). I do NOT answer the door when it is just myself and/or our three children at home. It has been a rule of mine since way back when. To be honest, I believe it was the fact of living in England and knowing there were gypsies that could come in and "occupy" your home. So the door stays locked and I do not answer it.

On this particular day, however, I decided to go against my very own rule. I answered it.

I was downstairs in the family room with our kiddos. I approached the stairs and peeked up at the door. The front door is at the top of the downstairs and at the bottom of the upstairs. Confusing, huh? Not really. We live in a split-level built home. *Did I trick ya?*

Anyway, I peeked up at the front door and seen the silhouette of what appeared to be a "little guy" at the door. I waited a brief moment and to see if he would leave. Nope. He was still standing there. So in my big brain (<---that's funny. haha.) I thought to myself, "He's a little guy. I can take him." I had what I am calling the "big-little-tough-girl-syndrome". You see, every time the doorbell rings I am on my guard and thinking the worst possible scenario. I am seriously thinking that this comes from the fact that we live in a  HUGE city. I am NOT a big city girl. Just a little FYI. I like living in smaller towns and cities where you do not worry about having a security alarm; plus, probably stems from the reason given earlier.

Back to the story ...

I walked slowly up the stairs, slightly crouching down because I was still hoping the "little guy" would leave. He did not. He was still standing there. As I neared the top of the steps, I seen flowers and thought "Aww!! Flowers?!" I opened the door slightly, since our miniature ankle-biter had followed me up the stairs. As I peered through the door that was opened roughly a foot, and my eyes fell on the "little guy", a HUGE SMILE lit up my face.

It was my husband! He had gotten off work early that day and stopped and got me some flowers. Beautiful Star-gazer Lilies! I hugged him with a huge smile on my face, a heart that was racing (mainly because I was a bit worried that the "little guy" at the door could overpower me), and because this man thought about something that I love to receive and bought them for me. Unexpectedly.

Let it be known: My husband is NO "little guy". He can quite easily overpower me at 6' or 6'1" (depending on what the gov't wants to measure him at), 250 lbs, super strong arms and legs (<---he works out ;-)). Yep. This big-little-tough-girl would have had no match. I could not have taken him.

Wait! I already have. He's mine and I love him! I am eagerly looking forward to celebrating our 15th anniversary in February 2013!

*signing off with a twinkle in my eye*

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just One Day Could Mean Forever

Who would have thought that signing up and starting a team would make someone so emotional. That the mere thought of doing something good would pull on the heart strings.

Maybe it is not necessarily the fact of signing up and starting a team that causes the great emotion. Maybe it is the fact that two of my friends, one of which is one of my best friends, is the reason why I signed up and started a team in the first place.

I decided to change my Facebook profile picture to a "Support Leukemia Awareness" badge in honor of my two friends. Doing something so little is not enough for me. I am not one to just "paint Facebook orange" to show my support. I already had plans to do some research on Leukemia and Lymphoma to become better versed on what exactly it is. Granted, cancer is such a broad word and no cancer is exactly the same, to include how it effects someone. I understand this. Did you know that SEPTEMBER is Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness month? Will you do something to help someone who has this ugly cancer?

It breaks my heart when my family and friends are effected by something so big, something they have no control over, something that leaves them with days and even years of uncertainty. But, what I find amazing is that when you are faced with something so big, GOD IS EVEN BIGGER! When you are faced with something you have no control over, GOD IS CONTROL! When the days and years are so uncertain, "Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8. God does NOT change! He is full of certainty!
You may not be able to join our team on the walk, but would you consider a donation? Something so small can go such a long way. A donation of $5 could mean no Starbucks for one day. A donation of $2 could mean no gas station stop for a soda or that morning coffee for one day. Just. One. Day. of giving something up could mean saving some one's life forever. 

You can click on the link under the picture or click here to make a donation. My heart is big, but the team goal is set at only $100. I would love for us to surpass that number greatly! Will you please help us?? Thank you so much for your generosity, your time, and your support.

Love ~ Tina.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Change

Since I forgot that yesterday was Friday -- I did this many times during the day. I actually forgot to blog my Five Minute Friday. So it's coming to you on Saturday. Enjoy! 

Five Minute FridayStart!

This past year has brought about a lot of change. Change in friendships, to including losing friendships over pride, maturity, etc. Hubby coming home from a deployment which requires change to our routine, adjustment to regular life -- once again. Homeschool starting back up which will bring about change in knowledge, growth in learning, and changing our perspective to ideas that we thought we already knew about. 


It happens. In everybody's life. Change happens. Jobs. Lifestyles. Children grow and change. 

Actually, I was just thinking how much our children have changed over the last year. Do they really have to grow up?? :( 

I have changed a lot over the last year. My priorities have changed. Sometimes it's easier to let go of something than to hold on. No matter how much that change has to happen, it can still hurts. It's not always fun. 

As you can probably see, losing that friendship did hurt, but it had to happen. Change happens. I would rather move forward than to sit still at idle and a friendship not go anywhere. This friendship is probably the one thing that has changed this year which has effected me the most; or maybe it is because it the most current event of change that has caused hurt? I don't know.

One other thing that has changed is my ability to craft. I am stepping outside the box and learning new things in crochet. It is so much fun! I will share the craft items that I make here, on my blog. 


Feel free to join the "flash writing mob" over here. From Lisa-Jo Baker's instructions: "Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community."