Tag Archives: prayer

Ten Things of Thankful | Friends and Family Edition

What a couple of weeks we’ve had around here!

It all started with celebrating 24 years of marriage a couple of weeks ago. I am so thankful for my sweet man! I am blessed to have met him when I was 13 and married when I was barely 20. He is a wonderful man, husband, father, provider and friend.

I am also thankful for my bestest friend since high school, Kristi. She celebrated her birthday the day after our anniversary. She is someone who I don’t get to see often enough, but she is the hardest working, most generous, loyal, trustworthy and awesome person. She has been through a lot the last year and she never fails to give anything less than 100% to her family, her job, her church, regardless of what else is going on in her life. She is amazing and I am blessed to know her.

Kristi and me collage

mockingjaypumpkinThen, there was Halloween. My kids have always enjoyed dressing up. Each year they plan their costumes way ahead of time. Last year was the first year they did not trick or treat. It was a little sad, but they both still wanted to dress up, but they stayed home to pass out candy. This year, Halloween started out fun. Clyn cleaned out the pumpkin, Emma sketched a Mockingjay on our pumpkin (Y’all do know about Hunger Games, right??), and Jacob carved it. My contribution was the photo you see here! HA. It looked pretty cool and some people knew what it was. The true HG aficionados, anyway.  Jacob was dressed as Uncle Si, of Duck Dynasty fame and Emma was dressed as Dorothy. They both looked so awesome! We handed out candy for a bit and then Emma went over to her friend Harper’s house to pass out candy. We had lots of trick or treaters and ran out of candy a little before 8, so, along with Uncle Si, The Hubs and I headed back inside and turned off the porch light.IMG_5026

And that is where the fun ended. Because about 15 minutes later, I received a call from Harper’s mom saying that Emma has been bitten by a snake. A copperhead, which is native to our area. Emma stepped down the front porch steps to hand a kid some candy and felt something stick in her foot. It was dark on the steps and who in this world even begins to think that a snake would be hanging out on the steps?? Fast forward, and Harper’s family rushed Emma to the emergency room at our local hospital. I met them there and Hubby followed me in his car. I arrived just as they were wheeling Emma back. I am pretty sure that I got there in record time. God saw fit to make sure every every traffic light was green between my house and the hospital. It was pretty miraculous. A couple of hours later, Emma was receiving the anti-venom. And a couple more hours later, Emma was being transferred by ambulance to the large hospital in the next town (about 30 minutes away) that has a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), where she could be monitored very closely. We spent Halloween night there and the next night in the intermediate intensive care unit and then she was released late Saturday afternoon. She missed a few days of school, but she is slowly getting better each day. Yesterday, was her first day without using her crutches and I think she overdid it. Maybe walking around at the fair all afternoon wasn’t such a good plan. But today she is resting. Throughout the whole process, there was, and is, much to be thankful for:

  • It was Emma who was bitten instead of one of the little kids who was trick or treating. Venom doesn’t have to travel as far in a little one.
  • Emma received treatment quickly, thanks to Harper’s family getting her to the ER so fast, and ER staff who understood the seriousness of treating snake bites in a timely manner.
  • We were able to get to the hospital quickly to be with Emma…it is no accident that all those lights were green!
  • The hospital had the anti-venom in their pharmacy.
  • Emma did not have an allergic reaction to the anti-venom. And it did its job and halted the progression of the venom.
  • God sent people to treat and care for Emma in both hospitals who knew what to do and how to treat snake bites and who were wonderful with kids.
  • No surgical intervention was needed, as it sometimes is with snake bites.
  • My brave and amazing Emma, who kept her sense of humor and was so strong. She really is something special.
  • The massive outpouring of love and encouragement to us and the prayers of so many—it was just amazing. And meant so much to all of us.
  • The miraculous peace I felt throughout the whole thing.
  • Emma is getting better every day.

It is during times of crisis that you truly appreciate what you have and who you have. I could see the grace of God in the face of each doctor, each nurse. I could feel the prayers and love of so many.

As I looked around the pediatric intensive care unit and saw the lives of children literally hanging in the balance, I was overwhelmed with gratitude, knowing that my daughter would leave that hospital and she would return to life as usual, enjoying all the things she did before. I knew there were some families who would not have that. I met one such mama in the family waiting room as we both were getting some coffee. We can’t understand why things happen as they do, we can only embrace those who are suffering, give them a word of encouragement, and whisper a prayer for them. And never forget to be grateful.

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On the weekend, I link up with the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop to celebrate all the things I am feeling especially thankful for this week. You can join in the gratitude at Lizzi’s blog—Considerings.

Ten Things of Thankful

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Filed under Gratitude

It happened yesterday…

Jacob Trident w watermark

My boy went to college. And the tears came.

Just yesterday, or so it seemed, I took him to kindergarten and I wept openly as I left. Sobbing loudly down the halls of the school. I am sure people were staring, but I didn’t know. And I didn’t care.

There have been more tears over the years. Tears of frustration—on his part and mine. Tears of hurt and pain as we battled through the really hard days. Tears of wondering what are we going to do and how would this all work out. Tears of pride as I have watched him work so hard and grow and learn and become an incredible young man. Tears of relief and gladness as I watched him master one challenge after another. Tears of gratitude to God. Tears so bittersweet as I watched him graduate from high school barely three months ago.

And now, here we are.

College.

As I put him out of the car and watched him walk away, the flood of emotions came. Prayers out loud in the car to Jesus…Be with him Lord, because I can’t. Help him. Protect him. Grow him.

And the tears.

Tears. Oh, the tears of indescribable joy and pride and love and excitement for his future. And gratitude. So much gratitude in my heart to see where he is today, knowing where he has been—where we all have been as a family. My heart is bursting.

No, he hasn’t gone away to school. He is still here with us to support him as he studies at the local community college. There are still many unknowns. But that is okay. He is ready. He is so on his way.

He is my hero.

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Filed under Family, Jacob, Kids, Parenting

I just call it good parenting.

I remember when I was about 12 years old and I would spend all day in the summertime at the neighborhood swimming pool. I would ride my suh-weet pink 10-speed there, by myself, wind in my hair, towel around my neck, a dollar for some snacks from the vending machines, and BAM! I was ready to spend the day with my friends.

This was around 1982. When there were no smartphones and no way to really track your kid’s every move. At the pool back in the day, there were only lifeguards and the moms of toddlers and a phone, with a cord, attached to the wall.

I would stay there all day sometimes. Had me a really nice tan, too, y’all.

I look back on that time and wonder how in the world my mom let me do that. How many times have we heard our elders say: “Oh, but it was a different time then.” Okay, so now I’m the elder saying, “It was a different time.”

Because it was. It was a time when you could let your kids roam the neighborhood and ride their bikes around town. And stay out till dusk and just give a holler when it was time for dinner.

Maybe it was because it was a small town. Maybe it was because I was basically a good kid. Maybe it is because back then, you knew pretty much all your neighbors and everyone looked out for everyone else’s kids. People weren’t so busy with their own lives (or so afraid of someone else’s mama) to prevent them from calling out some child who was misbehaving. “Hey, you, I see what you are doing there! You better straighten up before I call your mama!” It really did take a village, and the village actively participated.

It was a different time. Not so, now.

Now, in the 21st century, with all the social media outlets, internet, cable television and smartphones at our fingertips, and with all the crazies out there, documented for us daily on the world wide web and the nightly news, and where we live in neighborhoods of transient people whom we barely know, we have to be different kinds of parents today.

she calls it stalking

I find myself hovering and asking questions and needing to know things and having to tell my kids things that I don’t think our mothers before us had to do. Oh, don’t get me wrong—I thought my mom was the most interfering mom ever!  She wanted to know who, when, where, and what. And she wanted me to call her and check in. Oh, the horror!! She was, and is, a good mom.

There are things happening today that did not happen when I was a teenager—at least not to my knowledge, or not in the circle of friends I chose to have. There are things I might have done, but was too scared to do because, “what if my parents found out.” I valued my reputation. I valued the relationship I had with my parents. I respected them. And I did not want to disappoint them. But I was a moody teen and was kinda sassy, and of course, I wanted to try to get away with as much as I felt like I could.  I know there were times that I made some poor choices and did disappoint them. It felt terrible at the time. I learned some good lessons, thankfully, without any long term repercussions.

I had an interesting conversation with my 14 year old daughter yesterday. Emma is so blown away by the behavior of some of the kids at her school. She has overheard conversations where young ladies are bragging about their exploits. Emma and I have talked about sex and God’s design for relationships and I have said so many times that once your reputation is ruined, it is hard to repair. Emma said, “Mom, they don’t care about their reputations. They are not embarrassed about the things they are doing. They will be talking about it like it’s no big deal and the people they are talking to are just laughing about it. They just don’t care. I don’t get it. They are just crazy.”

SIGH.

I say it’s just sad. I am so sad for those young ladies. And it breaks my heart to think about the reasons why they do the things they do.

I am thankful to have a daughter who respects herself and who understands that she is a child of God and holds herself to a higher standard. She is so much more together than I was at her age.

So as I am calling or texting Emma and reading her Facebook wall and wanting to meet her friends and their parents and the boy who wants to take her to the Military Ball and making sure our internet browser has a good filter and asking her all the who, what, when, where, why and how questions, she calls it stalking.

I just call it good parenting.

‘Cause what else is a mama supposed to do in this day and age?

We have to be vigilant. We have to pray for our kids. We have to talk to our kids and know what is going on in their lives. Even if it seems intrusive—or stalker-y. We need to make sure they know the truth.

I am not perfect and neither is she. We are both going to make mistakes. But we talk to each other and I will continue to stalk her—mercilessly. And pray without ceasing.

9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy… Colossians 1:9-11 NLT

 

(This post was linked with Throwback Thursday.)

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Filed under Back in the Day, Faith, Family, Parenting