Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Progress in photography

  I continue to work on photography, it's still a great deal of a work in progress. I am hoping to take a photoshop class through the same teacher that I took the photography class, so hopefully when he offers it again, I'll be able to get in to it (only 4 people are in the class). The goal though for me right now is to take good and eventually beautiful photographs without editing.

Here's a few that I've taken.

Work in progress, I am learning, I see progress most days and see where I need to change up things and adjust, etc.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Since moving back to Kansas we've been with only 1 vehicle, which means the kids and I are at home all day, everyday. Ultimately I leave once a week,on Sunday's to go to church. In general I'm okay with it, I'm a home body, we do school, kids play, our days are full, but what I've found out about myself is that when you live 30 minutes from post, aprox. 5 miles to the closest small and I do mean small town and 11 minutes from the next town, well you can get a little stir crazy. I am a homebody, but I also need some adult interaction and just need out of the house from time to time.

I simply put get lonely. I often feel forgotten. I have a friend who texts me from time to time who lives on post, to check in, but we just haven't been able to spend much time together. I am ready for Chad to get his own vehicle so I can have my van back and even if I don't go anywhere, I don't feel so trapped. I know I could obviously leave once Chad's home, but I don't feel like wasting gas just so I can "go".

I know the Lord has called me to this place right now, and although I don't completely understand it fully, I must find joy in it, and honestly I've not felt a lot of joy in my heart lately, but I think that may be why the Lord has called me to this place of solitude.

I want to be obedient. I want to be a good wife and not complain all the time to Chad, and I want to be a good mother, a better mom.
Use me Lord to be who you want and are calling me to be.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thanks to those who commented and have been such an encouragement to me. Saturday was a really hard day for me, pretty well all of last week was hard, but it all came crashing down on Saturday. Wednesday was the 13th anniversary of Jordyn's death and Sunday/Mother's Day was the anniversary of when we buried her, the last time I kissed her, touched her sweet face, saw her sweet face. Grief is hard, it hurts, and you know I have the hope through Jesus. I KNOW one day I'll be with my sweet girls again, and yet it brings me to my knee's. It's ugly, it's raw, and it can make a person feel like they're losing their mind. I was there on Saturday. Crying out for Jesus and honestly for anyone else to just say "I care, your pain matters, I haven't forgotten".

I have been so blessed in this life, and I sadly do need to be reminded sometimes of how blessed my life is. The Lord has blessed me with 6 beautiful and amazing children, 5 of which I have right here to raise. Yesterday at church our pastor was preaching on Proverbs 1:7-12 and the verse that truly struck my heart and Chad's was verse 8...to summarize fathers are to instruct their children and mother's are to teach. Such conviction and great instruction for both of us as parents and a reminder and confirmation that parenting is both of our responsibilities.
I have not been the best mom lately...from being too harsh to being lazy in my mothering. I don't want to look back with regrets, or at least not many regrets. Every day is a new start and blessing and it's time I stop taking for granted the blessings the Lord's bestowed upon me.

I hope my fellow Momma's will pray on these verses, let them encourage you, and seek HIS wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7-9
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools [fn] despise wisdom and instruction.
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's time

I finally made a decision that gives me peace. I've held onto so much anger, sadness, confusion, and just feeling unsettled, but now there's just peace. I honestly don't know if I'll be blogging anymore, I get just a couple people at most who even comment, not sure if anyone else even reads.

Friday, May 10, 2013


 I've never been much of a "trends" kind of girl, be it fashion, music, etc. I don't think I'm one that people would say "she goes by the beat of her own drum", but what I do, do is go by what I feel feels right, what I pray lines up with the Lord, and what's best for my family.

The trend I've seen the last week is something that really, really disturbs me and I find just sad. That trend? Dishonoring Mother's Day. Okay, now before you think I'm heartless to the childless, the grieving (um...HELLO), to those who are struggling with infertility, let me tell you now I'm not. My heart BREAKS for the woman, whose one constant prayer and heartbreak is not being a mother, who aches for the child that's yet to fill her arms. I do not know how that feels. With that though, I have been the Momma who on Mother's Day, on her 2nd Mother's Day had empty arms, because only 2 days prior I buried my daughter and THIS year, THIS Mother's Day, May 12, 2013 is the 13th anniversary of when I buried Jordyn. This is a sacred day for this momma, so my heart is there. What I see though in blog after blog is "don't throw it in non-mom's faces" "be careful when celebrating Mother's Day at church, when out to eat, when shopping". I'm sorry, but NO. We should be celebrating Mom's. GOD created Mommas and we should honor that gift. I am not saying screaming and carrying on here, I'm saying there is absolutely nothing more loving than our CHURCH body standing up and saying "Mommas you are loved, you are remembered, and today we're remembering you." I can tell you that every time Chad was deployed and missed Mother's Day, if it had not been for our church, the day would have passed as any other Sunday. Now I do not need gifts, but I'd be lying if I said I do not LOVE me some homemade cards and my kids greeting me with "Happy Mother's Day, we love you". I love it. Call me self-centered if you will, but it's honest. I am humbled and honored that after Jordyn died, the Lord has seen it fit to allow me to be a mom to 5 more children. I love being a mom. I am so thankful.

I want to encourage all of you to of course be gentle and loving to your friends and loved ones whose arms are empty, but do NOT be afraid to celebrate the Mother's in your lives, to hug your friend who just had a new baby, or the grandma in your church who doesn't get to see her children or grandchildren often and let her know she's special and she's remembered.

You know so often mom's feel under-valued, so often they don't feel like they're really contributing to society, they feel lonely, that what they do really isn't that important or that big of a deal. It IS just the opposite, and I'm one who often devalues my role as a mother, but then the Lord reminds me sometimes gently and sometimes with a great big shake...that this is the role he created me for. That I'm here to mother these amazing people and if he sees my value, who am I not to?

I beg you to love on the mother's in  your life and if that's also you, then don't feel guilted by this new trend of  attempting to make you feel guilty that you are going to be celebrated and appreciated on Sunday. Instead thank the Lord for the blessing of being a mother, that you have blessings that want to make you pasta necklaces, dandelion bouquets, and homemade cards. You are beautiful, you are doing a hard job, and you are appreciated.


May 8, 2000 at 5 AM EST I awoke to my little girl taking her last breath. I screamed out to the Lord, begging and pleading to let me have her back, not yet, I wasn't ready. I was alone...literally. Chad had left the day before to go to his Grandfather's funeral. I called a friend to come sit with me, our beloved nurse, hospice, but first I had to call Chad who was in Ohio to tell him his baby girl was in Heaven.
There are details that will forever remain etched on my heart and in my mind. When I try, I can still smell her. I can still almost feel her warm breath on my neck as she falls asleep on my shoulder, as I rock her and sing to her.
She'd be 15 years old now.
I am so thankful for those precious 2 years I had with her on this earth. She lived a difficult life in many eyes, dx with cancer 6 days before her first birthday. Her last year she was in and out of hospital, chemo, radiation, a bone marrow transplant. She had the most contagious smile, her eyes danced with joy, and her love for Jesus radiated from her.
Not a day goes by that I don't long to still be able to wrap her up in my arms. I loved her well, she loved me well. Most of all the Lord loves/loved us both well. He's never let me go, he's still Holy, just, powerful, and amazing. I'm still humbled that he calls me his daughter. I'm humbled that he allowed ME, this sinful, mess of a woman to be this amazing child's mother. That he allowed me bring her into this world and he allowed me to hold her as she left it. There is nothing more precious than that, my friends.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

In Sin

I read a blog tonight and was so saddened and honestly angry. The blogger shared of how she lied without guilt while in church, and sadly her blog post has been shared with a fairly popular mommy/"Christian" blogger.
When did it become acceptable to encourage lying in church? I know we're not perfect, not a single one of us and I guarantee I KNOW I'm not, I'm so far from it, it hurts. I also want my brothers and SISTERS in Christ to call me out in my sins. Do not pat me on the back for standing up in church and lie.
We should absolutely be graceful, loving, and gentle. We should not encourage, applaud, and celebrate our sisters and brothers in Christ, in sin.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Army Wife

I know I don't write a lot about our Army life, there's tons of blogs out there with Army wives who love it, thrive to write about it, but although I'm extremely proud of my husband's service and have VERY strong opinions on the military, it's just not the center of my life so much, but tonight yeah I'm going there.
We're at 19 years, we're at a point of counting down until Chad retires and we move to a new phase of life, most likely Chad will still be working for the government as in Government Service job, but he will no longer be active duty and just a year ago the thought of retirement was overwhelming and honestly scary, but the Lord has definitely changed my heart there and I completely look forward to retirement!
For those who are not in the military, you may or may not know there are a lot of military groups online for spouses, most are wives, although you'll find a few brave souled husbands. I think most posts (in the Army it's post, not base) have their wives pages and honestly most are full of drama, there are also the wide open groups...some are UGLY, they mock wives, (yes other military wives making fun of other wives....it's mature out there people). They take pictures of ladies at the commissary, PX, in their yards, picking up their kids at school (or dropping them off). Make fun of what they are wearing, what kind of purse or bag they carry, if they wear a military themed/support shirt or baseball cap, jewelry. They hold nothing back. They blast girls who have multiple relationships with military guys, those who cheat, etc. I have stayed away from these groups, because there's nothing of value coming from these pages. There's nothing glorifying to the Lord, all they do is make me angry or just overwhelmingly sad.
Today a friend of mine had commented on one of those type of pages and it was one I'd not heard a lot of bad things about, so I was browsing (aka just reading the various posts) and I just felt my blood pressure rising. I'd feel compelled to reply, only to find myself so angry at the other spouses comments, that I'd have to just close it out, no comment, no proof that I'd been on the page, just overwhelming sadness. Wives tearing other wives down who was asking for advice because she is trapped in an abusive marriage and doesn't know how to get out. Another wife who sounded like she was dealing with possible post partum depression, definitely over whelmed, married to what I deemed a immature husband who thinks that when he gets home at 5:00 that his work day is over and he can just play video games and go to the gym for 2 or 3 hours, while his wife who stays at home, does her best to stay on top of housework, while dealing with a 3 year old and a set of twins, and an older child, and is getting no help from her husband. Women told this wife to suck it up, yes...told her to suck it up, told her to be happy he's not deployed and home. It made me angry for her.
This is why I can not go onto these pages. Most of these spouses are YOUNG, well young compared to me. Many are in their early 20's and I'm in my mid/late 30's. Most are just starting their life with their soldier, while I'm at 16 years of marriage and 6 kids. I'm also VERY opinionated and just quite vocal. I'm sure these pages have redeeming qualities for some, but personally I don't see anything positive coming from them. I see a lot of bullies, a lot of women who obviously have VERY LOW self-esteem tearing other women down to make them feel better. I see hurt women looking for help, only to be slapped in the face by the ones who should reach out and love on her. I know that for me, these pages bring out the ugly in me. I want to lash out at the women who are hurting other women, which ultimately makes me no better than the ones I'm angry with.

I know what I HAVE to do, I have to pray for these women. The ones who are brave enough to put themselves out there, who share their imperfections of themselves, their marriage, their parenting, how they're struggling through a deployment, etc. I have to pray for the women who attack. I have to pray for the ones who run these pages and seem to thrive off of drama, who openly mock, who purposely hurt, who tear down, and then kick and scream. Lord I want to show your grace, forgiveness, and love. I don't want to hurt those who are hurting. I want to love like you love.

Being an Army wife is not always easy, it's not always rewarding, and it's most definitely not glamorous. It's not like the TV show or movies. It's often times lonely, it's extremely stressful at times, it's rough, and for some it's impossible. It's not for the weak or for the ones who can't handle being away from their spouse for at times long periods of times. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, is not just a saying, it's often real life. Distance can also destroy marriages...some simply just can't handle deployments, training, field problems, etc. Some can't handle moving every 3 years (some more, some less). Some can't handle being states away or countries away from family and friends. The military life is not for the co-dependent.

Chad and I have went through 5 deployments. I've learned a great deal about myself as well as my marriage and children through those deployments. I've learned just as much in between those deployments. The most important thing I've learned in my 16 plus years as an Army wife is that I can do nothing without Christ. I am no good to anyone if I am not leaning on Jesus. My marriage is a ridiculous mess if I don't dwell in HIS Word. I'm ugly, sinful, and just a wretched mess with Christ and I'm 100 times worse, without Him! With Him, though, I am forgiven. I am loved. I am cherished. I have hope. Without him, I'm unforgiveable, unlovable, undesirable. I'm not perfect and the Lord knows that, but I'm covered with the blood of Jesus, and what he see's instead of all my sins is the beauty HE created in me. I don't know how people in general get through life without Jesus. I most definitely don't know how Army wives (and military wives in general) get through the years in the military or more so married to a military man without Christ. I see the consequences of what life is like without HIM and let me tell you it's ugly, mean, and fully of broken women (and men).

My time as an Army wife is dwindling down. I've learned a lot, but the greatest thing I gained, is my Salvation. I pray that the women who post and read these pages will find their worth, their value not in the words of other broken women, but instead in the perfect and redeeming love and grace of Jesus Christ.