the little ones who bring us great joy and many silly tales.
What Not to Wear, Corporal Cutie and Dirty Jobs
What Not to Wear was really representin' this day. Note the one pant leg tucked into the pink cowboy boot.
I love these kids and their friendship. It brings my heart much joy.
Due to circumstances of the past couple of weeks, the Racer and I haven't spent much time together and our kids hadn't gotten together for their very regular playtimes. On Saturday, they stopped by our house and we had a reunion of sorts. It was all too adorable when What Not to Wear and Cpl Cutie went running to each other, squealing, arms wide open and embraced. They have a flair for the dramatic, ya know. Dirty Jobs wanted in on it and came running full force toward them. Then in typical boy fashion, he blew right by them and headed straight for the playroom. It brought some much needed smiles to this mama's face.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
There is no sugar-coating it. So, I am just going to say it.
My 8 month old nephew passed away unexpectedly in his sleep.
It is hard for me to even say it. It feels so surreal. Even though I have walked with them through each step of this, it feels simultaneously unreal and more real than anything else.
I need to document it here. I have to try to process through.
I received a call at 4 am. My best friend and sister to me, says, "I need you to be calm. Baby Boy is gone. I need you to pray."
I didn't even have words to pray. Over and over, I just kept saying, "Jesus." And had I not already been awakened by the Cutie before receiving her call, I may have thought it was just a bad dream.
The nightmare has continued as I have walked with my very best friends as they have chosen burial plots and made funeral arrangements. I have offered support as they have had to make decisions that any parent, especially grieving parents, should never be expected to make. But, through it all, the Lord has sent His provision. He has sent people along the way to help walk them through this. There was the man at our prayer service only 3 days before who felt led to pray for their family, out of the blue. There was the detective who happened to be a friend. There was the flower delivery guy who prayed with the father as he dropped off flowers at their home. And there have been the many friends who have just been there. Just been there to listen or to talk if needed. They have been there to bring food and even run out for toilet paper. And, most importantly, those who have been praying. We have felt their prayers. Seen them holding them up when they could not stand.
Our God is big. He is bigger than this...and this is huge. He has provided each moment of each day. And, I know He won't ever stop.
But, it hurts.
Please pray. Pray specifically for the mother and father of this sweet angel. For his big brother, who is 4 1/2. For his grandparents. And, for my Cutie. Those boys are the closest thing she has to a sibling. And, I want her to remember him.
Hug your family close today. This life is but a whisper.
Posted by Dareth at 10:45 PM
Friday, March 21, 2008
On the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, our family suffered from it's own shock and awe.
Please pray for my very large, very shaken family.
Posted by Dareth at 7:54 AM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Well, I have been absent for a couple of weeks. There have been a few different reasons for this, but the one big reason is that I have gained. I have discovered that this is not a good reason for me to stay away. I need the accountability!
So, here I am to admit to all of you that over the past couple of weeks, I have gained 5 pounds...ouch!
There are a couple of reasons for this, some legitimate, others, not so much...
I was sick for a month and was eating little. This sparked a big weight loss.
Then I started eating again. This sparked a weight gain.
Then I started eating everything I could get my hands on.
And I didn't stop.
Here I am today committing to getting back on the wagon and holding on.
Starting weight: 188.4
Today's weight: 156.0
Total loss: 31.6
Goals for the week:
- more water, less diet soda
- eat more at home
- take healthy snacks with me in the car
Posted by Dareth at 8:21 AM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
...also known as, more random stuff that I think about.
- Can a 2 year old taste caffeine?
- Does caffeine even have taste?
- Why didn't it occur to me to check the bottom of the shoe for dog poop instead of re-checking the clean diaper 86 times?
- Did someone drop by today and mess up my house while I was gone?
- Is someone going to stop by tomorrow and clean it up?
- Why does watching weight loss shows make me want to eat?
- Come to think of it...why does everything make me want to eat right now?
And, it has been a while since we have had any random posts.
You know you have missed them :)
Posted by Dareth at 4:05 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
I need to process somethings. So, I am going to type it out here in hopes that my mind can begin to wrap around them.
I don't think that I hid it very well that my husband's deployment was an incredibly stressful time in my life. Actually, I didn't try to hide it. I was basically a trainwreck. I have been shocked to discover how healing it has been for me in so many ways to have him here, safe in our home. Apparently, having a husband in a war zone is a little stressful even when you try not to think about it. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we haven't had our adjustment bumps, because we have. It was expected. But, I have felt love for my husband in ways that I didn't only a few short months ago. Each day I have a greater appreciation for just who he is, bumps and all. He is a romantic. He loves me deeply. He is playful. He is passionate. And these are only a few. Most of all, I have fallen in love with him as a dad. He is a natural. He is active in our Cutie's life. He plays with her. She makes him smile. It's a beautiful thing.
Anyway, this is not at all what I intended to write about. I just wanted to give my husband some overdue props.
All this to say, I am so glad to have him home. We have been praying for a situation that is very near and dear to our finances, and it seems that the Lord has answered our prayers. He is faithful to do so, you know. In all honesty, He answered in a way that I was not thrilled about at first. There are many pros, but there is one big, fat con. If you have talked to me about this topic, then you have heard me say, "I know the Lord has purpose and a plan for this." And I believe that. I really do. But, is it expressing doubt by even just phrasing it that way?
Then, I went to church tonight. They are doing the study on Peter, "You Can't Walk On Water If You Don't Step Out of the Boat." Let me just tell you that the title alone brought me some serious conviction. But, as our pastor spoke briefly, I felt a burning in my heart. Truly, my heart was racing. Racing. I wonder if the pastor thought I was having a heart attack. I kept putting my hand over my heart and breathing deeply. In a moment, I had seen clearly.
I had taken matters into my own hands.
I have been standing on truth, biblical truth. That is good. Here is the problem, I have been unknowingly interpreting it in such a way that makes sense to ME. And, I don't know about you, but the way I think things should go down, doesn't always seem to line up with the Lord's plan. Let's just say, like, most of the time. It was in that moment that I realized where I had gone awry. I hadn't seen it all along, because I believed that I was fighting for something good and right. And it is good and right. But, just because something is good and right, does not mean that it fits the course God has for your life. And just because something is hard and doesn't look like I planned, does not mean that is isn't the course He has set before me. And, this is not the path that the Lord has set for me today. He has some lessons for me yet to learn. And in my rebelliousness and apparent self-preserving state, I have yet to take hold of them. Do not get me wrong, I do not think that the Lord is punishing me in any way. Quite the contrary, I believe that in His abundant grace, He loves me enough to give me more chances to learn lessons that He knows I need. Lessons that will serve me well later in life.
Posted by Dareth at 7:10 AM
Friday, March 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Here is a typical scene at our house... I get the Cutie dressed. I tell her she looks pretty. She says, "Show Daddy pretty." Then she prances out and says, "Daddy, look me." All the while with a big smile on her face. He tells her how pretty she is and they embrace. Then she wanders off to her next task with a huge smile of satisfaction on her face.
This morning, she has been climbing up and down our recliner. She is showing off her mad balance skillz. And she's got them for sure. All the while, she is says, "Daddy, watch me!" He reassures her that he is watching. Then she does it again. Each time, she reminds him to watch her. Then she does her next trick and waits for him to encourage her.
This little girl loves to show off for her daddy. I am intrigued that already, at the age of two, how important his approval is to her. I find it especially intriguing that they have been physically separated for so much of her life, yet she still has this strong desire to please him. It has been a good earthly reminder to me of how God made our hearts to desire Him. He made us creatures who desire to please our Daddy...our Heavenly One and our earthly one.
I read a book by John and Staci Eldredge once that states that it is the father who helps the child develop their identity, in both boys and girls. Boys need their dads to tell them they are good enough. Girls need their dads to tell them they are pretty.
I am so thankful that my little girl has a dad who encourages her and tells her she is pretty. But, I am even more thankful that she can grow up to know the One who made her with that desire. Because while, unfortunately, her earthly father will disappoint her, we serve the Father who never will. I pray that Major Hunk and I remember to always point her to the One who will never disappoint her and will always tell her she's pretty...just the way she is.
Lord, thank you for bringing this man into my life. As I watch him navigate the tricky waters of parenting, I fall in love with him more each day. And thank you for a little girl with a tender heart. I pray that it stays that way. And Lord, please help us to remember to live our lives in such a way that we continually point her to You. That we will live our lives in such a way that she can model our desire to please our Father. I pray that Your grace will cover our mistakes and that our little girl will grow to know, love and serve you all of her days. Thank you Jesus. Amen.
My Deadliest Catch and I have been in prayer and conversation for a long time over a big move. We have been debating, for what seems like forever, moving to Texas. There were many, many factors to consider, primarily where God wants us to be. Some of the secondary factors were him transferring through work, Dirty Job's placement into a new preschool and the services provided in a different state, family location, plugging into a new local body of Christ, building or buying a home, etc.
This journey of prayer and dialogue have done some rather awesome things in mine and hubs relationship. I just love how the Lord will use things like that to improve our communication and because of that, our overall relationship. I know when I feel like I'm being heard and I'm able to verbally communicate better, it make me feel more connected to my spouse. Such a sweet spot to be in!
Through these times, the Lord has also been so faithful to reveal some blind spots in our lives. I used to dread that, but this has been such a blessing for us individually and as a couple. Taking responsibility for some sin areas in my life has brought such freedom. And I gotta say, when I take responsibility instead of trying to defend bad behavior...well, that's just an honest place for my heart to be. For me, an honest heart is able to have joy even through the trials. I had heard of that, but I don't know if I had ever been able to live that out loud in my life. I am so appreciative for this season of growth in our lives. (I do not think it coincidental that we are doing the Believing God bible study during this time).
We have finally closed the door on this discussion...we are staying here for the time being. There is still much growth to be had here in this place, many miracles in our lives for Him to perform while we believe Him in this season. So while my heart still longs for a little more country and some wide open spaces, I also find great peace knowing we are exactly where our God wants us to be. And that trumps all.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Maybe someday, but today is not that day.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
To my very core, I am a relational girl. I like to cultivate relationships and connect with friends. I feel it is a strong point in my life. But, I had a conversation with someone today that got me thinking. I converse, I talk, but do I really connect? How much of what I say is of any real value? How much is, "How are you? Oh, fine. And you?"
During Major Hunk's deployment, I made new connections and lost some. I connected with other women who were going through similar life experiences. Their friendships were invaluable to me. I also, at times, found myself living on the edge. I was living overwhelmed, everyday. One more life stress could have sent me tumbling over the side. During this time, it was more difficult to cultivate some of my relationships. There were strains.
Now that life has begun to take on a familiar pace again, I find myself reflecting. Do I really know what is going on in the lives of my friends? I know the surface things...the daily ins and outs of their momdom. But, do I ask the right questions? Do I really ask and then listen to how their marriages are? Do I follow up with them when they share struggles? Have I asked about the good things happening in their lives today? I am afraid the answer is not often enough. Just because they haven't brought it up doesn't mean that everything is just dandy.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about just this. I felt as though I had really disconnected with her. Her response to me was that she didn't feel that way at all and was surprised to hear that I did. This is exactly the point. We don't even realize we have disconnected. When was the last time we had a conversation about something personal in either one of our lives? It happens while we are busy living our lives.
I am so grateful to serve a God who gives us many chances. He loves me enough to show me the disconnect and to convict me to do something about it. Go out and share something with a friend today. Share something important and be vulnerable. She may be desperate for a connection today. It is risky, but it will be worth it.