Good Grief

Good Grief

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Three point Buzzer Beaters!!

Thought I was doing good by going to bed early but then I wake up at 11:30 like it's 7am. So i decided to write what's swirling through my head. 
As the mom of the year that I am I realized that it was past time to take Sammy to the eye doctor. A few years ago he had a sports physical and I stood beside him while he covered one eye and tried to read the infamous chart. Left eye was fine, right eye...not so much. The next year, same thing. Fast forward to this year and we saw a doctor for his sports physical. The good doctor told Sam and I that he almost didn't pass because of his eye test. Dang! Mom of the Year!! That was even with Sam, ummmm cheating a bit by looking through spaced fingers using the eye that was suppose to be covered. Don't judge. He was passed to play the sport he loves...basketball. He's had a stellar year this year. 8th grade starter, even got to start a few times on the JV team.  He's played well, more aggressive than I've ever seen him play. He's making this magic little shot every. Single. Time. He's blocking and passing and I gotta say I enjoy watching him play immensely. 
He was out shooting his new gun he received for Christmas the other day and upon returning I was told he was having to shoot left handed because his right eye and the scope wasn't meshing so well for a good shot. 
Oh yea, mom of the year needs to make that appointment.
 He was out of school for MLK so what better day? Let me remind you-the boy had never had a real eye exam. So we luckily get in to see the new Dr. Herron. The preliminary test with the tech made me feel like the mom of the year that I am...horrible. My boy can't see. As a matter of fact the exam revealed he's legally blind in his right eye. WHAT??? Thankfully he can have 20/20 with lenses. Whew!
In Sam fashion, he hasn't complained, just squinted his way through life the past few years and squinted his way through a great basketball season. 
He's reluctant to wear glasses, maybe a lil more reluctant to wear contacts. I get it. I'm notorious about squinting instead of donning my glasses. Time didn't allow glasses shopping  or an appointment yet for contact lenses so that is at the top of the to-do list. Don't judge! Out of town basketball games, basketball practice and now let's throw in the first baseball practice, a yet-again rescheduled orthodontist appointment---there's just not enough time. And that's just one kid.
It's on the to-do list.  
Sam had a game in Ellijay against North Ga Christian Tuesday night. We traveled up there to watch. I thought on the drive up about how much of a better ball player he would be if he could actually see. Then I thought will his ability to see again mess his game up, since he's learned how to play partially blind? Had he adapted so well that new sight messes things up? 
Then the shot!!! 
There was maybe a second left in the 2nd quarter right before half-time.Sam had the ball about 10 ft outside  the 3 point line. He looks up , he shoots, the buzzer begins to fill the gym and swoosh. 3 point buzzer beater!!! I think he was as surprised as anyone. The crowd loved it, mama loved it most. I proceeded to tell everyone that we just found out he's legally blind in his right eye. They were shocked but all agreed he was doing good only half seeing. I know Sam will be more reluctant now to wear glasses or contacts wondering if his shots will change, will his depth perception be off for awhile? Will it change his game? I know that sounds shallow but stick with me here. 
I'm  laying here wide awake at 12am thinking about how this so relates to our spiritual life. How many times do we not do the right thing, change what needs to be changing, be obedient, move away from our sin, not seek God wholly because we know it may change us? Will it change us because we've adapted? Even if the change is for the better?? How many times do we stick to not seeing because we've learned to adapt to -not seeing? How many times do we continue to stay the same because we are scared of the way it may change our perception of things around us? Are we scared we will no longer be able to have those buzzer beater shots? How do we trust God enough to realize that there possibly could be more buzzer beaters, more precision to our game? 
The answer is simple...FAITH! 
If we gain courage enough to put on those glasses or contact lenses of faith I'm sure that life would be clearer, more abundantly beautiful. There'd be more free throw shots made, more 3 pointers in life and just an all out better game. I think we sell ourselves short daily by only half seeing the more clear picture of what Jesus Christ has to offer us. 
Are we willing to see clearly? Are we so scared of changing that we allow darkness to keep us separate from what God has to offer? Life eternal, richness in love, sweet closeness with Him. 
I know that once Sam gets the courage to pick out his new specs and his new contacts (blue ones) he will realize what all he's been missing by not seeing. Same for me, when I decide to be brave and step out in faith and do the things that allow me to draw closer to Father then I will see Him more clearly. I will be able to align my living according to what's right in His eyes. 
Sam, I know glasses and contacts are different, new, but do you realize how much better the world around you will look? Clear sight. May your heart continue to see God clearly through the blurred lines of life in our fallen world. May your physical eyes be corrected and may you see life clearer than ever before. Thank you for continually showing Christ clearly through your character. You amaze me-buzzer beaters or nah.  I just know you'll be a knock-out in your new specs🤓🤓

Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting on reflection

Another year in the bag guys. I usually try to close out one year and enter a new one with a blog reflecting on the past. A wrap up of sorts. 2016! Ummm only word I can describe is maybe --challenging. I learned much about me, about me and about my 3. We faced some issues that totally made me realize that people will always let you down. Always. People that claim to be god-lovin' are usually the ones that disappoint the most. I knew this already but was just reminded again. In dealing with some issues -mainly others questioning my kiddos characters, I learned that mama bear comes out in force and will stop at nothing at protecting her young. I also learned that depending on Gods grace allows you to be filled to the rim with grace as well. Grace to cover things said, and done, hurtful things. Grace to smile and move on. I learned that yes, these 3 of mine are actually pretty resilient. I knew that as well since they've already lived through a hell of their own, and continue to persevere. They showed grace and courage through much that caused disruptions in our lives of normalcy, circumstances that rocked our world. My 3 are superstars. But I knew that too!!
Mama made it through the oldest pulling out of the driveway solo for the first time. Watched as her junior walked into a brand new school, boldly and proudly. And let me just tell you...he's rocking the new school, great grades, actually loves going. One of those moments when you can look back on a hard decision made and know you did the right thing. Bingo. 
Watched my 8th grader continue on a good road. Voice cracks and all. He just closed out his 2016 basketball season scoring 20 points in a game and received the honors of All tourney player.  All I can say is Lord help me, 2 teenage boys under one roof is a lot for this mama, but we are doing it. 
Watched my baby girl walk into a new, much bigger school with reluctance and some tears. However, just watched a video her superb teacher took of her singing and dancing in class. She's succeeding and I'm watching her little by little become a tween and little by little helping her become not so dependent on me. 
Three out of 4 of us endured school changes, I went back to my beloved preschool and encounter 16 toddlers a week that love me no matter what. I can't believe I get paid to love babies. My cohorts and I laugh on a daily basis so I can't ask for much more than that. 
Basically, 2016 has been fairly good to us. Thankful for introspection, to be able to learn from life. I was having a conversation and was asked about my dreams and goals for the future. At first I'm like do 47 year olds still dream? Are we even allowed too? Heck the way I look at it 1/2 my life is over. So I took on the challenge to think about that. While I was disrobing my old house of decorations I thought--yeah I have small dreams. Nothing huge. More travel, maybe a ministry, but mainly my dream and wish is to help my 3 start life, then be disposable for each--when they need mama I want to be able to drop everything and run. That's been my life's dream-to be a mom. So I'm basically in the middle of my dream. Shallow?? Maybe. I also came to the realization that life, my life, has hindered dreams. I had them, then life happened so those dreams were put on hold, dissipated I guess. Then my way to survive was just living day to day. If you don't think too far into the future then you won't be as disappointed when things don't go as planned. So in realizing I may sound like the most shallow human ever I also realized that I trust God way more than I give myself credit for. In living day-to-day as I have I know His plans prevail. Whether I think they are good plans or not. I can smile knowing that I've finally surrendered myself enough to Him that I know He has my every second. Yes, I still worry and fret-it's my nature, but I know in the bigger picture that He's got me. I've been in a place, thankfully, where total dependence on Him to survive was all I had. How grateful I am that I still remember, recall and live today knowing no matter what His plans are they are so much better than mine. Even through my why's and even through my doubts. I know that He's my planner, He's my author of an ever changing story. So shallow or not I'm realizing I don't really allow myself to dream anymore- I'll trade my dreams on knowing that I trust Him more than I've ever given myself credit for. Trusting His will for my life for 2017 and beyond. This realization lets me face a new year and close out an old one with confidence and faith...knowing He's got me. Thankful! Blessed! I can get teary eyed knowing how he has, how he does and how he will cover me with protection, grace and guidance and trusting His plans are just perfect  for me. Out with the old-in with the new. Happy New Year! May this year bring faith, hope and love to you and yours. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ephesians2:10

Dear God, yesterday in church Pastor J was talking about Ephesians 2:10-you know it because you wrote it--
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." While I love  this verse and love thinking about how you thought of me before I was even an actual thought, this verse makes me nervous in a way just as Psalms 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." I love that it's reassurance that you loved me even before I was here to love, I love that it means to me that you know me and that I am enough. I'm thinking the reason it makes me nervous is because maybe, just maybe, the life I've lived. Was it truly your intention for me to be anxious, fearful and untrusting? Did you really make me that way? Or did you make me that way so that I would be dependent upon you? Did you knit me together to have this chihuahua like heart about me? The fear God, the questions, the thoughts-did you intend for me to be this?? While I'm asking some very pointed questions did your plans really include the suffering? Was that also a way to turn me toward you? When you thought of me did you have in your plans that I'd one day be a widow and mom of 3? Did you include that in my life plan to use that for your glory? If so God I need direction. I need direction in knowing how you want and desire for me to do "good works." I'm caught in the middle God, caught in the middle of moving forward and staying still. If I stay still it looks as if I "can't get over it" or that I'm " wallowing." If I move forward how do I/we use what we've endured for your goodness? How do I talk about how you've been there when I'm desperately trying to move forward and move on. How can I talk about the time in my life that brought me closest to you without looking like I'm hanging on to a dead mans memory.  Can you direct me? How can my fear and discontent be any good to you? How can the fear of being left -either by death or choice- be how you intended for me to live? Tell me, is my day to day living enough of "good works?" I can't see it because I fail daily. Enlighten me God, if I can handle it, enlighten me and help me not feel nervous about these versus and help me know what my purpose is. Help me know the purpose of what I feel daily, what I've endured and what I've suffered. Guide and direct me. Help me appreciate that you made me this way, that you saw my life before I was even life. Help me grasp that and help me grasp what you have for me. Help me know what my "good works" is for you. Help me move forward and sit still at the same time. Help me know that you have been and will always be all I need. Thanks for letting me be transparent with you God. Thank you for letting me not have to jockey for a position with you as I do with people.  Thanks for always knowing my heart before I even speak the words. Thanks for "getting" me because you made me this way when others don't get me at all. Thanks for loving me just the way I am. Help me do what my purpose is. Reveal much God. Reveal and let me grab and run with it. I love you and thank you for loving me. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer restlessness!

Summer and the  beach has come and gone, starting of school staring us in the face, another birthday for me. Restlessness is setting in. As much as I remind myself to stay in the moments of right now, the moments of life in a constantly changing state-little to big things- changes in schools, changes in jobs, changes in emotions, it's hard to not become restless and stay in the moment. I can talk a big talk to others when I say 'enjoy the here and now, take it all in, feel blessed for where you are,' I find it very hard for myself. I've fought anxiety for sometime now and I've learned to deal with it better as time goes by, however, the restlessness of life seems to feed the anxiety which reminds me that I'm not depending on the One that has proven before that He can calm it all for me. He can calm my runaway thoughts, my undue worry. If I let Him ordain each moment I can better live in the moment. 
I find myself wanting to hit the pause button on my 3's growth and aging. I feel like if I don't pause it that I will lose control and before I turn around again they will all be gone, grown and I'll have missed it. So as summer seems to be racing by at a faster pace than I'd like I want to just pause for a second and let God control my restlessness. It seems, though, when I sit for just a moment to collect my thoughts, reflect a bit, that is when the thoughts start spiraling out of control. ~ I haven't spent enough quality time with my 3, do I talk to them enough, am I being the mom I'm suppose to be, is my impatient self ruining our days, is sitting here writing my thoughts really what I should be doing when I should be re-doing Molly's room that I promised her we'd do this summer? 
 Am I giving my all to a relationship that means the world to me? Am I more of a burden than one that brings happiness? Am I enough? Will I always be enough?   I promised myself to do more for me this summer, to exercise, spend time with God in the early morning. I wasn't going to be so rushed as we are during the school year. I was going to get the house back in order before the chaos set in of single-momness set in. I've done none of this and summer is getting closer to over. ~ All these thoughts feeds the restlessness and then the guilt that follows makes it worse even still. 
I don't want to look back and have regrets and wishing for do-overs, I don't want to miss out on my 3 before they are grown and gone. I want to cherish every moment, every second, mundane to exciting, and soak it every bit in. I want to go from one season to the next knowing I did what I could and feel really good about it. How can I accomplish this? How do I not want more when graduations finally happen, when they drive out of my driveway packed for college,when my baby girl walks down the isle, when in time yet another in my life leaves earth? How can I know that it was all enough? Living  in the now is harder to do than say and I'm learning this too well. As I type this, this verse is all I hear-
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34

I'd like to start his sentence with a capitalized BUT, but if I do use that word BUT then that clearly shows that I don't believe what Jesus has said. How do I not worry about tomorrow, August 2nd the start of new schools, new school year,how do I not worry if I'm doing what I'm suppose to do? How do I not feel restless, how do I not want more time? How do I not want do-overs? I clearly don't know the answer to any of these questions or I wouldn't be writing this blog. 
Thankfully, when I write it out-it's out there, my words tend to hold me accountable, and I'm held accountable by those that read my thoughts, even though you have no idea that just by reading my thoughts you're actually holding me accountable. I'm praying and working on turning my restlessness into peace I can only find in the comfort of Jesus. I'm desiring for His love, that's held me together as I've felt I may fly apart before, will again and still hold me together again. I'm desiring for Him to slow my thoughts, calm my anxiety and help me to live for today and be thankful for today. To trust Him with my tomorrows-and whatever those tomorrow's hold. Thankful that I've lived and learned how He can and will hold me together when I can't do it on my own. Praying that I practice what I preach-and I live and love in the here and now, enjoy the big and small and trust Him with every second. And at the end--have no regrets. Restlessness...just be gone already

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pathways

It's late Thursday night and my Beach Departure Depression has set in. Moreso than usual this time it seems. After many years of frequenting PCB, B.S(before Shane) and then starting back 6 years ago, I regretfully admit to never visiting Shell Island. This year we were able to do just that for an ALL day excursion. We loaded up everything we needed for a day at a secluded beach, even apprehension for those of us that like toilets and amenities of modernness  and such. We arrived on the bay side unpacked with all the kiddos help and set up for a day. I was told that there was a little pathway over to the ocean side. Little did I know that pathway lead me to an encounter with Gods creation like no other time. If you know me, then you know my love for the beach, how I feel closer to God, how I find peace and comfort in the massiveness of the water, the control of the tides, just everything. Today, as I dodged thorns and such on that skinny pathway, the excitement mounted the closer I got to the other side. I could hear the water-no other sounds, I could see the pure whiteness of the sand and then the bluest purest green water I'd ever seen. Gods best just waiting for me. Only a few people were there along with us and then they left so it was pretty secluded. I was able to just sit for a moment in the sand, face toward the sun and was able just to soak it all in. Every bit of it. I literally could have cried thinking about the similarities of the crossing over from a perfect place seated on the "bay" side down a thorny unsure pathway to what God really has to offer us in life. Yes, I would have been satisfied and just as comfy to have stayed at the waters edge and never have chosen to "see" what was on the other side. Thankfully, I chose to take that path of uncertainty and walk, one foot in front of the the other over a pathway to something even more spectacular. Later, same thing. We boated a little further down the island to a spot not frequented as often. We took a boardwalk from one side to the ocean side. Once we started walking  on that boardwalk we discovered missing boards, exposed nails and lose bowed boards. Each step we took was a step of uncertainty, but oh the reward we received once we got to the end. Another pristine beach, with absolutely no one around, just water the color of emeralds, sand as white as snow, Gods amazingness was for us to see and enjoy. 

Isn't that just how life is? Pathways of unsure steps, lose boards, exposed nails and just hard stuff. Isn't it nice to know that if we are faithful enough to trust God with our paths that He will show us His finest, offer us His best. 
So thankful that today that I chose these pathways and thankful that I've trusted God along some pathways I didn't quiet choose in life, and some Ive  chosen. The thorns, the yuck of them are always rewarded with His sweet blessings, sometimes in the form of close-to-heaven beaches, sometimes in the form of encounters with people, sometimes in the form of just a great place in life. Pathways are good. Praying I continue to trust His paths for me, that I can live through the uncomfortableness of some of those paths and that I always recognize the blessings at the end. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Walk with God

Sleep has again escaped me. Unfortunately, when things of life, heart matters, decisions face me, sleep leaves me. This morning, woke up way before alarm went off. I tossed and turned, tried to pray, tried to listen and none of those were working out. I saw the sun peeking through my window as if to ask me to join him. I did. I laced up my new kicks the kiddos got me (with my credit card) put on my sweatshirt and headed out. No earbuds to distract me, just me, the wind, the sun, birds, and the sound of my feet meeting the pavement. As the wind blew the cold on my face I could feel tears rolling down my cheeks,not because I was crying but because of the cold. Then it hit me. Jesus was telling me to cry, to get it out. So the tears from the cold mingled with the tears of my heart. So much yuck surrounding me-decisions, change, exhaustion, that oh so unsettled feeling that takes over now and again. I had a little JOLT from Jesus this morning. That jolt reminded me that I'm in the midst of arguing with my Father. I feel He is telling me one thing while my heart and head is telling me another. As I walked I talked. 'But God this is what I want and I thought you wanted this for me to.' 'God you said you'd take care of me but why do I feel alone.' 'You said you'd help me raise these 3 alone and I feel I'm doing it all by myself.' I stopped talking and...NOTHING. Only the sounds of my feet, only the birds and only the wind. Made me even angrier with Him. I literally wanted to stop and stomp my feet and shake my hands toward the blue blue sky. Instead I kept walking. I rounded the corner to notice the neighborhood pool has been drained. For months we've seen the grossness floating on the top covering the even grosser stuff in the bottom. Then I heard Him. "Im trying to drain you of you and your grossness, your dirt, your insecurities, your fears, im trying to drain you of you DeAnn! I'm trying to bring you back to me and the clearness of what I can do. I'm so much more than you can even fathom. I'm even more than you experienced with me 6 years ago through sickness, death and dying. I Am the Great I Am. If you will just let me do what I want and need to do it will be clear as that pool will be when cleaned with chemicals. Clear. I will give you answers but only when I seen its time. I will help with your insecurities, with your unsettledness, I will protect you and I will Father your fatherless children. You just have to BE STILL." 
I heard him, didnt like it. Sometimes I wished I could physically feel Him, like Jacob did when he wrestled with Him. Maybe if God just held me down and told me what He wanted for me then I'd get it. But no, God is gentle and loving with me. He finds me on cool morning walks, He Jolts me with a bit of Jesus with wind and sun. He tells me that I don't have to be insecure or question love for me as I do with humans. He is my portion, the one that fills my empty spaces, the one that makes me feel secure. When it gets right down to it He reminds me with visuals of empty pools that He! He is all I need. His cleaning chemical is His love for me. The very love that placed His son on the cross with my name on His lips. The One that had sustained me through some serious pain, loneliness. He's that same God, it's just the grossness of life has made it not so easy to see.  Father God, thank you for urging me up out of bed to walk with you this morning. Thank you for knowing when my spirit needs cleansing with good, sad, confused tears. Thank you for giving me visuals of how Your love works in me. For empty pools, for Jolts of Jesus. Thanks for reminding me that you are still the same God that held me, loved me through something I never thought I'd make it through. For being the same God that will hold me through more hurts and trials. Thank you for letting me stomp my feet and argue with you but being so very patient and loving while I'm pitching my hissy. Thank you Father God for knowing exactly what I need and when. Thank you for reminding me to just sit still for a minute, just wait. Thank you for speaking to me this morning on my walk with you. Thank you for preparing my hear to worship and praise and openly be totally in love with you. You, my God are all I will ever ever need. That, I'm thankful for. I love you. ~d

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 16, 1995

I've said many times before that I blog mainly as a journal so one day my 3 can read them. 
JSM-here's mom and dads engagement story. It was Easter weekend, I was working for Dr Smith and he gave us 1/2 day for Good Friday. Your dad & I reluctantly went to Jacksonville that afternoon with Pooh & PawPaw to see their new house, to check on Shane doing some classes there for summer. It was a bittersweet day. Pooh & PawPaw excited to start a new chapter, leaving behind Calhoun, moving back to the little town in which they met. I felt like it may just be the end of your dad  & I. Him moving an hour away, new school-I felt our relationship was doomed. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it for the most part. We headed back to Rome for a Friday night dinner at Longhorns. We had to wait so we sat at the bar and ate peanuts. I was a little miffed because Shane kept talking to Pooh, leaving me out I felt. Little did I know. We ate, said our goodbyes to Pooh & PawPaw & called it a night. Shane had a big game against Shorter the next day. 
I'm not sure why-but I didn't go to that particular game that day, rarity but something else was going on. Fast forward to Easter Sunday, April 16, church then to Plainville to Granny's for lunch, egg hunt with Tyler. I left to go to Pooh & PawPaws for Easter with them. When I got there, there was the immediate family, and then some. When I walked in Shane grabbed my hand and took me straight to his room, strange, especially as everyone else followed. When I got inside, there sat a white decorative bunny with a small pink box sitting on its paw. He just looked at me and said open it. I did. Inside was a beautiful emerald cut emerald with diamonds on each side. I looked at him confused and then he asked me..."will you marry me?" Of course,  you know what I said. Yes! Everyone was soooo excited, hugging us, wishing us well. Until...we got back to Rome. Mimi wasn't as happy about the whole engagement. She actually looked at my non-traditional ring and asked me what it was. It wasn't that she didn't like Shane--she just felt like she didn't know him. We'd only started dating in October, so it was 6 short months. She eventually apologized and eventually fell head over heels in love with him. 
Apparently, when I was feeling all left out as he and pooh talked at Longhorns he was telling her he wanted to propose and he needed a ring. He knew I'd always wanted an emerald so he asked his mom to help him. He had 1 day to get a ring because he wanted to propose on Easter Sunday. Thankfully she knew several jewelers in Calhoun and they allowed her to take several rings with her on approval,  to Rome, to a baseball field. When she got to Shorters field(where Rome plays now at the levee) she called him out of the dugout-he saw  the one he wanted and proceeded to finish the game. I'm sure Coach Shartzer was none too happy-seeing how I was already to blame for "getting into Shane's head" and "messing up his game." Oh well. He made his choice of the ring and in me and the rest is history. He finished that season of ball, moved to J'ville for the summer after many tears on mine and his part. He returned to Berry in the fall to finish his accounting major while I started planning a wedding for May 18, 1996. 21 years ago and many things have happened. If that day hadn't happened where would I be- I'd be without you 3, and without the assurance of a loving God. Always remember -Gods plans are perfect and you were a part of those plans--even 21 years ago. One day I hope to help you boys and help you Molls with the beginning of a chapter in your life that's oh so sweet. Hope these memories will allow you a picture of what love is, that true love prevails-even through separations and circumstances that work against you. What's meant to be will be. 
1 Corinthians 13! Xoxo