Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Madness

I am as big of a basketball fan as anyone else, and I understand what  a huge game UK vs. UL in the Final Four was.  I looked forward to the game all day, and am currently enthralled with the Ohio State vs. Kansas game, as this is who Ky will have to play in the National Championship.  I've laughed at Caleb's posts to his Uncle Mike Clemons throughout the day, some friendly poking at a U of L fan.  But...

It's just a game, folks. Celebration is called for, yes, and I'm just as happy as anyone... but really?  Rioting in the streets?  and what is up with the couch burning?  I guarantee those college kids didn't pay to buy those couches.  I just don't understand, which may mean that I'm getting old, and that's not a bad thing. 

I'm proud of this Kentucky team, but we as fans haven't expected anything less.  A group of teenage boys have held a state in awe... and yes, they are just boys.  Many can't make their own decisions, or the decisions they make aren't logical.  We watch the game and get upset when they miss baskets and miss rebounds and commit fouls... but they're just babies, really. 

So I'll be watching on Monday night, cheering on my Cats.  I do love Kentucky basketball, and I love the passion of Kentucky fans, I just wish sometimes maybe we weren't quite as overzealous.  And if that makes me a fair weather fan, so be it.  I'm still of that old school where sportsmanship is important... or maybe I've just grown up.  With that being said, go Big Blue Nation. C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats... Looking forward to #8!

Friday, March 30, 2012

What I Learned from A Flat Tire

I've never had a flat... until tonight.  I've always been afraid of having a flat.  I've been cautioned by my Dad and my Grandpa and my father-in-law about letting my tires get too worn out, even had my Papaw Paul buy me a pressure gauge when I first started driving, but with the busyness of life and running here and there, somehow getting tires changed just hadn't been on my priorities list. Until tonight.

There we were, cruising down I-64 at about 75 miles per hour, when the check tire pressure light came on.  Wallace pulled off and put some air in the tire, and we got back on the Interstate.  Me, being the worrywart that I am, kept looking at the tire pressure monitor.  Still within normal limits... Wallace pulled over to pass an 18 wheeler, looking at me and saying, "Don't worry.  We'll be fine.  You've got Wally..." and about that time, there she blew.  The back tire.  Needless to say, we ended up getting off of an exit and putting on the spare. Well, Wallace was putting on the spare. I was just standing there.

So, here's what I learned:

Do not panic.  In life, you will have blowouts.  Big ones, little ones, but things won't be perfect. Just hold tight to the wheel and say a little prayer. God will help you off the Interstate. 

In life, we can only take so much. That tire was worn out.  Finished.  It had been driven one too many miles.  We can be the same time.  When we get like that tire, about to blow, it's time to rest, step back, and change our perspective.  Sometimes we just need a little extra air put back in, but sometimes it involves changing the tire all together.

Keep a spare tire.  It may not be big or the best tire in the world. but it will keep you on the road until you can get to a Tire Store and have a better one put on.  Always keep something in reserve, ready to fill in if necessary. 

There are still good people in the world, and sometimes angels come in the form of guys named Brandon with a Walmart Tire Service Shirt on.  This gentleman pulled off, offered the use of his jack, and helped Wallace get the tire changed.  You can never go wrong in helping someone, and I'm thankful God blessed us with assistance tonight.

And, after said tire change, Wallace and I got back in the car and continued on our way.  No fighting or harsh words (even after he opened my trunk to see it stuffed full of nursing books and boxes and sweatshirts and who knows what else. And had to empty that stuff out to get to the spare tire.  The only words were, "This trunk will be cleaned out when we get home, understood?"  Like I was a little kid... but hey, I deserved it.  He's always harped at me for keeping my trunk clean.)  Guess after 15 years we're finally starting to get it right. Today, anyway....

Thank You, Lord, for watching over us and for angels that protect us daily.  We never know when we're going to need them, but You do. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kick Mrs. P out the door

I'm reading You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth. Just on chapter 4... and it's already amazing.  It really speaks to women and how we are constantly putting ourselves down, falling into the comparison trap,and just generally failing to see our own self-worth. Chapter 3 talks about lies women believe, and in this chapter, Holley introduces Mrs. P.

You all know Mrs. P.  She first introduced herself to me when I was about 11 or 12.  She's loud, bossy, and obnoxious (kind of sounds like how I acted when I was the age I first met her.).  She's always present with every task we try, especially if it is something new.  Sometimes she paralyzes me with fear.  Meet Mrs. Perfectionism.

Our society today taunts us with idealistic images of the perfect woman.  Somehow, we read Proverbs 31 and think that we can never be the woman God wants us to be.  These lies convince ourselves that we have to put one more activity on our plate, stay  up one more hour, fight to lose one more pound (ok, in my case, this is true... not just one more pound. Topic for a whole other blog... grin). Mrs. P. is always lurking in the back of our mind, reminding us of how our house is dusty and the laundry isn't done and I must really stink as a mother because I don't know how to build a Lego house or convert something on the Ipad. 

God doesn't call us to be perfect.  When perfect is used in the Bible, it can be translated as "complete" or "mature".  I am not complete and often I don't feel mature, but He also says that He will "continue the good work that He has started"... meaning that we are working toward completion and maturity. So, no, I'm not perfect. I'm far from it.  I can't cook and my house isn't the cleanest around, but if you come visit I'll be sure to offer you something to drink (Diet Coke or Capri Sun... you take your choice).  I may not be the best at speaking, but I'm working on making sure that the words coming out of my mouth are uplifting and encouraging.  I'm not the most extroverted person, but I'll smile at you and ask you how your day is and promise that I really want to know.  And if your day is bad, well, I'll say a little prayer that it gets better. 

We all have something to offer to the kingdom.  Our offerings may not be perfect, but I think God appreciates the effort.  Sometimes, in our messiness, is the most beautiful gift, and I can't help but think it makes Him smile when he knows that something might not have been the easiest for us to do, but we strove and fought and did it anyway to please Him, even if the end result is less than perfect. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Only Tuesday

I had clinical today, which usually keeps me oriented on what day of the week it is.  I had late night meetings yesterday (didn't get home until about 845), so I don't know if that's what threw me off track or what, but most of the day I thought today was Wednesday.

It's disappointing when you think you're one day closer to the weekend than you really are.  I've always heard not to wish my life away, but then there is that song "Everybody's working for the Weekend."  As a floor nurse, I didn't really subscribe to that belief, since I worked at least every other weekend, but since I've started this teaching job I'll admit that weekends and summers off are one of the best perks, and I truly do live for the weekend.  Not that I don't love my job and my students... I do.  I'm just lazy, and not ashamed to admit it.

So even though I am disappointed that I've got one extra day to go, it's a gift.  Life is a gift.  Every moment is precious because we aren't promised the next. So tonight, I'm going to face tomorrow the best way I know how... by heading to bed early and reading until my eyes fall together.  Back at it tomorrow with hopes to be productive and accomplish lots.  And what I don't get accomplished, well, God has it ready for another day.  He's known it was Tuesday all day long, and knows what every Tuesday in my future holds...

The Lord is My Shepherd- My Psalm 23

All definitions are courtesy of  In the risk of plagarism, I will warn you that I didn't cite all of them with quotes... but feel free to look up the words in bold. 
The Lord is my Shepherd (guardian, herder, protector, guider). 

I shall not want (feel a need or desire for... Oh, Lord, how I desire things when all I need is You. I shall not wish.  I shall not crave.  I shall not demand.  I shall not be DEFICIENT... You are all-sufficient El Shaddai).

He makes me to lie down (not stand up, or run, or creep, or crawl.  Lie down... where I am.  To rest)

in green pastures (green, fertile, good for eating.  Good for nourishment.  Good for contentment.  New life springs up green as it buds... He makes our lives green with newness).

He leads me (I don't have to make up my own way.  He already has a perfect path planned.  I don't have to worry about detours. He will show me the way.)

beside the still waters (still...remaining in place or motion, free from the chaos of the world around me, free from the sound of confusion. No rapids for me to rush through, no whirling waves to fight through.  Just still, calm, cool water of refreshment.  This is my God...)

He restores my soul (Oh, thank You, God, for restoration!  Putting the broken pieces together again.  Restoring me when I am exhausted, when I am at my wits end.  You are an awesome God if You can do that.. and You can, do exceedingly more than I ever imagined. You give back what I have lost.  You make new...)

He leads me in the paths of righteousness (I who have only filthy rags, have been made righteous through Him.  The Good Shepherd, who humbled himself for the sheep.  Righteous- justifiable, moral... which I am not in myself.  And as it is used in today's slang, "absolutely genuine or wonderful"... Isn't He truly RIGHTEOUS?)

For His Name's Sake (Ahh... the Names of God.  El Shaddai. Adonai.  Immanuel.... God with Us, as our Shepherd. I AM... Yahweh.  El Roi... He sees.  Jehovah Nissi, My Banner.  El Olam, Everlasting... For His Name, for His glory...)

Yea, (Yes. I.  Will. ) Walk through the Valley of the Shadow (Shadow- image, comparitive darkness... but is it really there, or just a figment of my imagination?) of death (final... How I shudder when I think of that word.  Confusion.  Hurt.  Grief.  Death... separation.  But it doesn't have to be, because...)

I will fear NO evil (nothing can separate me from His love.  No death or life or principality... nothing.  I will fear no evil because He has not given me a spirit of fear.  He says be strong and courageous.)

For You are With me (A very present help in times of trouble... a help now.  A help here. You are always there... because YOu are the Great I Am.)

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me (soothe, console, reassure... make joyful. Make peaceful.  I find shelter in Your wings.)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (I know I shouldn't feel this way, but that's a "take that"... because You are good and love me even when others don't.  You take care of me even when others won't).

You anoint my head with oil (consecrate, make sacred, dedicate to the service of God- can I get an Amen?  I am sacred... this means I need to act like it.  Hello, Lauren.  You.  ARE.   SET.  APART...)

MY CUP RUNS OVER (Isn't that just like God?  Doesn't just give us what we need... but He is more than enough. HIs grace isn't just sufficient. It's running over and pouring out so that we can bless others... yes, the excess isn't just for me.)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me (meaning that I must demonstrate these as well... there's the hard part) ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE (that means today, tomorrow, and the next day.  When I'm 50 and 65 and as I rock my grandbabies)

And I will dwell in the House of the Lord FOREVER (Is there any place you'd rather be?  Even so, Lord Jesus, come...)

Amen, Shepherd turned King David.  Amen

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Outward Appearance

Today I read in 1st Samuel for my Bible reading, and I read a couple of familiar passages.  The first deals with Saul after he had defeated the Amalekites.  God had told them to utterly destroy the Amalekites, but then Saul thought he knew best and spared the King and also kept the best animals "for a sacrifice" to the Lord.  Samuel was sent to tell Saul God disagreed.  He actually said that God regretted making Saul king.  "Why did you not do what God asked?" Samuel asked of Saul.  "I did..." and I love this... so like us, making excuses and rationalizing. "Then why do I hear all the bleating of the sheep?" Samuel asked. 

Point number one- you can't hide things.  Whenever you try to, there's going to be a sheep bleating telling everyone of your situation.

Samuel then asks Saul which is more important, obedience or sacrifice.  This may seem like a trick question, because a lot of times obedience MEANS sacrifice... but Samuel was trying to stress that sometimes sacrifice isn't necessary, or even desirable to God.  Sometimes He has a different plan; yet we cling to our sacrifices.  He actually points out that sacrifices at the wrong time, with the wrong heart, can be stubborn pride, which God hates.

Point number 2- Make sure your sacrifice is something God wants.  Otherwise, it's just for you and is doing noone any good.

This section goes on to show that God rejected Saul as King and sent Samuel to hunt out one of Jesse's sons.  This is probably one of my favorite passages in the Bible, even though I don't think of it much, because it can give us so much encouragement.It can also be a little scary "For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Point number 3- No matter how ugly or fat or worthless you feel, you're not.  You're beautiful.  God made you.  He knows how you look on the inside and out.  Lord, help me be beautiful... a heart worthy of You. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time Management

I'm sure I've written about this before, but as it continues to be a problem for me, I continue to try to figure out how to address it.  I am a huge procrastinator, and I am also a say yes to things even when I know that I shouldn't type person, which means that too often I'm stretched thin and feeling like I'm a loser.

At the beginning of the year, I started keeping track of my time.  I knew that I wasted a lot of time on Facebook, Pinterest, twitter, reading, etc., and I wanted to try to cut some of that out.  I kept this up for a while, but eventually got too busy to actually do it.  Then, last week, as part of an exercise for a workshop I attended, we were asked to try to estimate how much time our students spent driving, studying, working, in class, etc., and it made me conscientious of my own time once again.

We each have 168 hours a week.  I've been thinking that I need at least 8 hours of sleep a night... I really do feel better when I get enough sleep.  (I've also figured out that my best sleep comes from about 4 AM to about 10 AM, which has worked out great since I've been teaching evenings.  This may be an issue next semester when I go back to 8 AM classes...) So, 8 x 7 is 56, leaving me 112 hours to do all that needs to be done.  I'm scheduled to work 37.5 hours a week (that's figuring a 30 minute lunch), but I usually average at least 40 hours a week (and that is lowballing it.  I stay online a lot, and grade late into the night.  But we'll go with 40).  That's 72 hours left... to eat, read my Bible, walk (at least 30 minutes 5 days a week = 2.5 hours).  Church on Sunday and Wednesday... family time... and then there is all that time wasted. 

Anyway, I've tried compartmentalizing my time, and that just doesn't work.  I can say I'm spending so many hours grading care plans, when in reality, I may have my computer open and be checking out Facebook every couple of minutes.  I also started out the year saying, "I need an hour a day, plus Wed. and Sunday churchtime."  How dare I put my time with God in a box?  On a schedule?  What I realized today, as I walked, is that He numbers my days.  He owns my time.  I should eat, breathe, and sleep Him.  If I do this, everything I do will be to His glory.  When I make Him my focus, the other things demanding my time sort themselves out.  And if they don't, well, maybe it wasn't His will, after all.

Are you managing your time well?  Why not stop worrying about being a manager, and give your time to the Greatest Manager of all?

Rainbows and Happiness

Today was Friday, which usually puts me in a good mood.  I also got to have lunch and catch-up time with one of my favorite people in the world, Jenna.  And me and Wallace got some quality time together on a trip to Booneville (our best time is in a vehicle.  He can't get up and move... grin). 

So all in all, it was shaping up to be a good day.  I desperately wanted to take a nap before the big U of K game, but I'm also trying to do better about walking.  I decided to go for a quick 30 minute walk.  It felt great outside, with just a light mist... that soon turned into a downpour.  I had only been going about 15 minutes, though, and I REALLY did not want to go inside and get on the treadmill.  (I have a love/hate relationship with our treadmill.  I love to hate it.)  I pressed on through the rain... and it was worth it.  The rain started slowing down, the clouds started moving out, and there, right over Twin Cedar Road, was the prettiest rainbow. A double bow... stretching as far as you could see.  So bright that it seemed like I could reach out and touch it.  I so wanted a picture for my picture a day album.  So... I ran.  Yes, this girl ran home.  I was huffing and puffing by the time I made it up the porch steps.  And, as you might have guessed, the rainbow had pretty much disappeared by the time I got back.  However, as I kept walking, I could still see the shimmery color.  Not as bright, but it was still there.  And I felt like I was loved, like I was special, like God put that little color in the sky right for me.  To remind me that it may not always be bright.  It may not always be obvious, but He's always in the background.  His promises are true, and I can count on them.

Thank You, God, for small reminders, for lunch with a dear friend, for time with family, for a win for the Wildcats... and for your grace and mercy that makes all those things insignificant in light of what I can hope for.  Promises are not made to be broken... but they are a sure thing because of a covenant born of a rainbow and finished at a cross. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When You Know You Shouldn't

Here I sit, almost midnight, no sign of going to sleep.  Granted, it's Thursday, and its my online office hours, where I stay online on Instant Messenger so my students can contact me with any questions.  Yet last night I did the same thing.  At the beginning of the year, I resolved to get more sleep, and I'm still sitting up half the night.  I'm a night owl by nature, though, and have been able to sleep in a little in the mornings since I don't go into work until later.  Tomorrow, though, I have to be in Hazard for an early morning meeting, so I know I won't get my full 8 hours of sleep.

We make choices every day. Some good, some bad.  Last night, I chose to stay up until 130 reading.  I was tired and sleepy all day today.  However, it was my choice to do that.  The moral of this little story is this: when you know you shouldn't do something, but do it anyway, don't complain about the consequences.  In a way, you asked for it.  You made your bed, now lay in it.  and that's what I'll do, lay in my bed, staying on this computer and probably stay up to see who wins the Marquette//Florida game.  There's big money on these brackets, you know... and I guess I can't complain if I lose, either, because they were all  my choices =)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Right

Today my three things to be thankful for were something salty, something sweet, and something just right.  For something just right, I wrote down cinnamon rolls warm from the oven.  My something salty and sweet were white chocolate covered pretzels.  Since I cheated, and put two as one, here's some more things rolling around in my head and heart tonight. These are "just right"...

Sunshine, warm and bright, and blue skies without a cloud in sight.  Rain clouds rolling in and the sound of thunder, with just a few sprinkles to cool it off (cooling it off... and it is only spring).  Green trees budding and birds chirping and a squirrel darting across the gravel as the gravel crunches underneath my feet.  My muscles aching because I've decided to get my butt moving again.  Silence as I waken late, and the rustle of my Bible pages as I read in Hebrews.  Hannah's mother heart in 1 Samuel.  Time with Mom and Kami, and laughter from Caleb.  Sitting next to my Dad in church, hearing him laugh during the lesson and "Amen" during the more serious parts.  Wallace twirling, twirling my hair, even though more than likely it will be tangled in the morning.  Friendships that span the test of time and miles.  The hope and excitement of my future. 

Thankful that I've been given another day... "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For When You don't Want to

Life isn't fair.  That statement has been rolling around in my head for a couple of days now.  You think that after 30+ years of life on this planet, I'd have figured it out, but somehow my head is thick and things don't sink in very quickly.  So, I'll say it again... Life.  Is.  Not.  Fair.

We have to do things that we don't want to do.  Sometimes it is trivial things, like get up early when lounging in the bed seems like a much better job.  Or ironing clothes. Or picking up the living room.  Or answering what seems like the millionth "I have a question" (if he wasn't just so cute when he said it, I would probably be much less tolerable...) Or exercising.... you get the point.  I'm sure there are things you don't want to do, either. 
Ideally, I would lounge by a swimming pool or on a beach for the rest of my life, soaking up the rays of infinite sunshine while reading whatever book floated my fancy. And I'd have unlimited Amazon funds.  And I'd be able to eat as much mint chocolate chip ice cream I want without gaining an ounce... yeah, I said ideally.  But we don't live in a perfect world... you get the picture.  Life isn't fair.

Tonight, I was reading in Hebrews.  I must admit I have never read all of Hebrews.  I've read bits and pieces of the faith chapter (By faith... so and so did such and such, all these Biblical figures from years ago who don't have anything to do with my life now... or do they?  Their lives, too, were unfair...).  The first few chapters are trying to convince a largely Hebrew population that Jesus is greater than Moses, greater than the angels... greater than anything.  And in Hebrews 5:7-8, there's a little nugget of truth that tells us that Jesus, our High Priest, our Advocate, recognizes that things aren't always fair.  "10While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God's Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do."- The Message. 

When you look up in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus had built His foundation on Prayer.  Communication with His Father, though far different from what He was used to.  So as He faced death, He cried out in pain. He begged His Father to take the cup away from Him.  He didn't really want to die.... but He did.  Even though He had done nothing wrong.  He did it because I have done wrong.  I continue to battle with doing wrong... bad attitudes, grouchiness, unforgiveness.  He did it because He loved... and He was obedient.  Even though it wasn't fair, even though He wasn't the one that owed... He did it anyway.  So that we may understand that He knows how we feel when we are tempted.  He knows how it feels when it just isn't fair, when we don't want to do it, whatever it may be.  And He gives us strength, just as the angels strengthened  Him as He faced death.  That same power is in us... we just have to accept it.  And while that isn't fair, don't we all want something that puts us at an advantage?

Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect example. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Learning our Lesson

A couple of days ago I was reading Judges, the story of Samson.  Samson was a pretty cool guy.  Ordained as a Judge from his mother's womb, she had explicit instructions on how to raise him.  Then, like us. Samson was a man who was weak.  Samson's particular weakness was one of pride... and of not being able to tell himself "no".  In today's terms, Samson was a womanizer... and he didn't like the word no. 
Samson desired a woman of the Philistine race, which was his first mistake, as God had instructed the Israelites not to take a woman from another tribe (and no, this isn't against interracial marriage.  All God's people are all God's people... this was for their own good, because eventually it would be their downfall.) He told his parents he would be with that woman, because it "pleases... well".  Mistake number two... Life isn't always about what pleases us. It's about what pleases God.  Samson's wife was a master manipulator (after all, she was a woman, grin)... and used it to get Samson in trouble. "Samson, you don't love me because you won't tell me the answer to your riddle."  Samson gave in, and was poorer for it.  He ended up getting mad at her and getting rid of her, actually letting her marry his friend.
Enter Deliliah, who we all know about.  She sang him to sleep on her lap and got him to tell her his weakness.  Oh, he put it off and put it off, but she pulled out that old card, "If you loved me" and Samson, full of love (or lust) gave in.  As a result, he was captured, had his eyes gouged out, and was forced to grind in the prison.  His story did end in victory, as he called on God to strengthen him one last time, but his story is still a sad one. Because it could have been different.
If only Samson had learned his lesson from his first wife.  If only he could have recognized manipulation at its finest.  We can learn a lesson... manipulation is all around us. We need to open our eyes and stand firm in God's strength. 
I guess the whole reason I wanted to expand on this, though, was to comment that had Samson known how to treat a woman, none of it might have happened..."If you had not plowed with my heifer, You would not have solved my riddle" he said about his first wife.  It's a wonder he didn't get his eyes gouged out sooner...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And the Aye's Have It

Today has been one of those days that should go down in the books as wonderful.  I started it out in church, had a good Children's Church (when Caleb can actually tell me in his own words what we talked about, it's a good sign).  I lounged on the trampoline reading and taking a nap, soaking up the sunshine like a Mama cat.  I spent time with Caleb- we drove to Spencer's and got milkshakes with Aunt Lisa E., then spent a couple of hours relaxing on my Grandma Bert's back porch.  Caleb truly brings my grandparents joy...

Caleb got vetoed because he wanted to stay inside.  "Everyone who wants to go outside, say "Aye""  Caleb, of course, said "Nay", but because it was 3:1, outside we went.  We had a good time rocking, enjoying the breeze, and playing with Grandma's dog.  My Uncle Dennis came up for a hair cut. and Caleb voted for Lisa to gap him...thankfully, it was a tie with two "Ayes" and two "Nays", so Dennis came away with a good looking haircut.  Caleb amused himself in only the way a little kid can...

Grandma's back porch is concrete, and is slightly sloped from top to bottom.  I'm pretty sure if there is a utensil or tool that you need, you can find it somewhere on her back porch.  Caleb got an old office chair and decided to put it to good use... rolling down the porch toward the vehicles.  Grandma and I got a good laugh... and when Uncle Dennis decided that I try it instead of telling him to stop, Caleb about lost his breath.  (and the office chair about pitched over...). 

Time with Kami, a walk with the mother-in-law, a long hot bubble bath,and Amazing Race with Wallace, and I think that I'm ready for the coming week.  Everyone ready for bed say "Aye"... AYE!!! Have a blessed week =)

Nothing to Say

Ever had nothing to say?  No clue what to talk about?  Sat in uncomfortable silence?  Happens to me all the time.  A self-proclaimed introvert, I am not a conversation starter.  I don't mind to smile at someone, or ask how they are doing, and I'll answer back and shake someone's hand and even pat them on the back.  I don't mind holding open doors, or picking up something dropped in the floor.  But ask me to sit and carry on a conversation with someone that I don't know (and often times someone that I do know) and there I sit... a knot on a log.  Quiet, searching my brain for something, anything to say that will fill the uncomfortable void of silence.

I've always been this way, but it may be worse now that I am married to such an extrovert.  Wallace can strike up a conversation anywhere. I mean anywhere.  Standing in line at Disney World for Splash Mountain, he exchanges numbers with a guy.  At a restaurant, he talks to the couple at the table next to us.  Pumping gas, an old man needs help out of his truck... Wallace jumps in to help out, and ends up talking to the guy 15 minutes after he pays.  Caleb is just like him...never meets a stranger.  At Best Buy, offers advice to a lady about the best cell phone.  At American Eagle, he makes conversation with the salesgirl.  And I stand... or sit, whatever the case may be.  Smile on my face. 

And tonight, nothing really important to write on here... nothing really worth reading.  Except this... no matter what our personalities, we all have a place, a job to do.  Sometimes silence is necessary.  Sometimes what a person needs is for someone else to sit and listen.  Actively listen.  Sometimes there are no words that are enough... so I guess it may not be that bad that I rarely know what to say.  We must learn to be comfortable in our own skins, in our own personalities, and stop comparing ourselves to others.  And that's all I've really got to say tonight =)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"I know sometimes what messes our life up most — is the expectation of what our life is supposed to look like. Entitlement can leave you feeling entirely empty."- Ann Voskamp

Entitlement- the act of being entitled... entitled- giving someone a claim or right to something. 

Living in Easten Kentucky, I have often complained about entitlement.  In poverty-stricken areas, we have many who have a sense of entitlement.  I really don't want to step on any toes, but I've too often seen people think they deserve something... just because.  Because of who they are.  Because of what they have.  Because they don't have something.  Because that's just the way it's always been.

I've never thought of entitlement as something that is a problem for me, until tonight, when I read this quote. "The expectation of what our life is supposed to be"... is entitlement.  And as a young girl (or guy), we dream and think about what life is going to be like.  I'm going to grow up and... go to college. Marry my sweetheart.  Live in a nice house.  Have a baby or babies.  Be able to go places and do things and see the world and meet interesting people and take pictures so I can brag (or share) all that I've been blessed to do.  And so far, I have been blessed, and God has allowed me to do many things.  But I shouldn't expect it.  Every day is a gift, every opportunity could be my last.

Entitlement breeds jealousy, because when you think you have the right to something, and someone else has it and you don't, it makes you angry.  Jealousy breeds pride, because we start trying to figure out how we can in fact show that we are better or have more or are happier, for crying out loud.  And we all know about pride... Pride cometh before a fall.  God hates Pride... God, the God of love, who is love, HATES pride. So that makes me think that maybe He hates entitlement, too...

Thank Your for opening my eyes.  I've tried to be grateful, tried to concentrate each day on what I  have and what God has given me, but somehow my vision still is bad.  I still keep seeing what I don't have, what I can't do, places I haven't been able to go.  Help me, Lord, embrace the gifts that You give me, and not think that I deserve things that You don't.  Haven't You already given me more than enough???

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let Patience Have Its Perfect Work

I'm not patient.  Far from it.  I've gotten so accustomed to the hurry up, run run run, instantaneous life that we all live that I find it very hard to wait for things.  With cell phones and internet, we no longer have to wait for much... its at the tips of our fingers.  Time is money, and sadly, for a couple of years that is exactly how I felt.  I was a wife, a Mom, a college professor taking full time classes toward my Masters degree while working part-time as a nurse every other weekend.  I didn't have much free time.  So when people got on my nerves, or took up time complaining or just messed up the schedule I had made for myself, I got perturbed.

Today, I found myself falling back in that trap.  Wallace quickly reminded me... "Remember, everyone's going through something.  Be patient."  And so tonight, as I sit here thinking about this day that God has given me, and realizing that often I waste my own time, maybe I do need to let patience work. Maybe grace extended to others is really grace extended to me.  Today, for example, I let myself lie on the trampoline and be warmed by a bright, buttery yellow sun. I read for a while and then closed my eyes and took a nap. There's nothing like sleeping in the sun to make a girl feel rested.  And then, the real world hit and it's not just about me, as much as I would like it to be.  It's about those around me and their needs and their wants and grace... grace given to me, God being patient with me, means that I should be patient, too...

So Lord, I'm asking for Your help on this one, cause it's not something I can do myself.  But that's where You shine, because in my weakness, You are strong. Thank You, Lord =)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whatver They Felt Like

"At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing."- Judges 21:25, The Message

I'm not up to this verse in Judges yet; probably won't be for another couple of days at least.  However, in the introduction to the book, this verse was mentioned, and throughout my reading tonight it just kept coming to mind.  In Judges, the Israelites are in the Promised Land, but they aren't living free.  Anything but... they live in cycles of oppression and victory, and the key to the victory is when they remembered Whose they were.  This made me think about the above verse. 

People did whatever they felt like doing, because there was no accountability.  No king to tell them what to do.  No big brother looking over their shoulder.  No repercussions, or at least none that they considered at the time they were doing what they felt like doing.   A live in the moment, take life by the seat of your pants type society.  Sound familiar?

We are living in a country right now where anything goes.  Literally.  Whatever you feel like doing, there must be some kind of hidden trauma or something in your past making you feel that way, and by all means you need to work through those issues, so do it.  We have noone to answer to.  Little to no repercussions.  We, in all sense of the words, "do whatever we feel like."  As that got Israel in trouble, I'm thinking we better start remembering Whose we are and start living like it...

On another note, I did read about Deborah.  Pretty cool that God used a woman as a judge all those years ago.  Women's Lib? Not revolutionary.  When asked if she was going to go along for the battle, Deborah replied,  (paraphrase) "Um, yes.  I'm going to go so that they can see God hand it to them by means of a woman."  Tell me women aren't powerful...Grin =)

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Good Monday

The end of Spring Break always means the hurry up rush of the end of the semester. Yes, we still have eight weeks left, but time seems to fly after spring break. I don't know if it is the time change or what, but it just seems to go a little faster.  I was sad to go back to work just because my boys were off, but I went in with a good attitude and got lots done. 

There's something about pulling up a blackboard shell that had 60+ assignments to grade and see that you knocked off all but 10 (and those 10 weren't due yet) in a couple of days.  I worked hard today, crossed off much on my to do list, and came home that much more exhausted for it. 

Life is too short to worry about things we don't get done... but when we can get caught up, and go to bed knowing that we aren't behind the next day, it's a good feeling.  Oh, I've still got lots to do, but the 12 hour day I pulled today helped me put a dent in it and get caught up. And I came home to a hubby sorting socks, which is never a  bad thing. 

Here's hoping tomorrow's just as good.  Hope your day goes great, too!


March Madness- one of my favorite times of the year!!! The Bates Family Bracket Challenge...

Since the early days of my marriage, Wallace and I have enjoyed friendly wagers on the NCAA tournament.  We started filling out a bracket about 4 years ago.  Caleb got in on the fun a couple of years ago, and I was amused by how he chose his teams: Miami (because his cousin Landry loved the Hurricanes), Ohio (because his cousins Corinne, Maddox, James, and Olivia live there), Georgetown (because his aunt Naomi lives there... even though it was the wrong Georgetown)... I only wish I had written down his logic.  Last year, he had Morehead going all the way.  This year, we'll see...

We've expanded and let Kami join us, even though "she is not a Bates", as Caleb was quick to remind us.  Which is funny, because he's always telling everyone she's his sister.  Winner takes $50... every year it has been Wallace. Last year, I came close.

So tomorrow when I go into work I'll print off our brackets. We'll fill them off.  I'm addicted to ESPN during this time of year, looking to see who was knocked off and who was able to upset.  This year, of course, I'm cheering for Kentucky, but I'd also love to see Murray State make a run for it. And, whoever plays Duke. 

I'll keep you posted.  I already know what I'm going to buy if I win... some more books for my Kindle.  Just what I need, but March Madness means that summer is just around the corner, and a girl can never be too prepared!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

When Reading is Hard

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to read the Bible all the way through.  My sweet sister Holly bought me a Chronological Bible for Christmas, and I set out determined to see it through.  Then, I got to Leviticus... Numbers... Deuteronomy.  All hard reading.  I struggled through, knowing that everything in the Good Book is for my example, and I can surely get something out of it.  I fell behind, though, as I read through the census and the names of all of those Israelites, which I have no clue how to attempt to pronounce. 

Then came Joshua.  I've always liked the book of Joshua... seeing God's promise fulfilled.  However, I was struck this time with how final God's judgment was. In order for them to get their Promise Land, someone else was displaced.  And in this situation, displacement meant death, because they had transgressed God and defiled his law.  Tough stuff to swallow.

We often see God as an all or nothing God. I like to envision Him as my Daddy, kind and loving, a present help in time of trouble. And He is that, and so much more.  He loves because He is love, and is full of mercy and lovingkindness.  However, He is also a jealous God.  He is a God who requires our love and devotion, and expects us to follow His commandments.  After all, it is what we were created for. 

In tough times, many ask how can a loving God stand by and let bad things happen?  If He's omnipotent, why doesn't He stop things?  We don't know the answers to these things, and we are taught not to question, even though at times this is nearly impossible because of our fleshly thinking.  We are also told that all things work together for them who love Him (Romans 8:28). 

The Israelites had to do some things they didn't necessarily want to do to receive the Promised Land.  They had to work for it, to fight for it, to claim it.  Likewise, we have to do the same.  Joshua 18:2, "How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?"  In other words, we have to MOVE to possess what God offers.  We often have to take the first step, after much prodding by our Father.  He does have a plan and a purpose for us, even if we don't understand it.  And if we are willing to take that step in faith, we will receive His promises, all of which are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus.  (2 Corinthians 1:20).  When we make that move, we will see fulfillment of His promises- Joshua 21:43, "So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.  The Lord gave them REST all around..." ( I capitalized rest because that's what I'm looking forward to). 

This isn't where I was going when I started out writing.  I wanted to point out that when I got to that part in Joshua, struggling through all of those lots to the children of Israel, my eyes once again glazed over at all those names.  However, like the Israelites, I kept on moving in the direction that God wanted me to go... and eventually I received His promise to me is that I will get rest.  Eventually... just got to keep struggling through.  Thank You, Lord, for a fresh Word even when it is sometimes stuck in between words I can't pronounce. You are too, too good...

The Sound of Silence

Right now I'm sitting in my living room by myself.  The television is turned on to a  DVR'd show on the Disney Channel.  My family is notorious for turning the TV on and then leaving, with the remote control on the other side of the room.  I hardly ever turn the TV on when I am at home by myself.  I'm usually reading or working on grading or notes, and I find it distracting.  I used to be one of those people who needed noise in the background all the time.  Now, it's just aggravating.

I think we need silence.  It's not something we are comfortable with.  When faced with silence, we usually want to say something... anything... whether it is of any substance or not.  Two of the devotions I read tonight dealt with keeping our silence, citing verses from Proverbs and the chapter from James that is so hard to swallow, dealing with controlling our tongue.  This hit me especially close to home, as this morning I did nothing to keep my tongue in control.  Wallace was up at 7 on a day off, the phone rang at 730, and from there my huffs and puffs led to a full blown argument.  I dwelt in my anger and frustration pretty much all day, pouting and not speaking... not the kind of silence we are supposed to keep =)

I have good intentions of keeping silent.  I catch myself as I mouth off and think, "You probably shouldn't have said that."  But I rarely heed my own warnings.  I quarrel and gripe so much sometimes that I'm like that endless background noise, aggravating and just distracting, but noone really pays much attention.  This makes me feel unappreciated, which I feed off of, and before I know it, I'm in trouble again. 

I don't think I'm the only person who deals with this... so if you are in the same boat, I want to encourage you to practice silence.  Silence in the car... silence without earphones in, silence without the TV on.  Just sit, and absorb.  When someone says something and you don't really know an answer, be silent and think rather than just spouting off.  And especially in your anger, bite your tongue.  I think we'd all agree that the best words are the ones that are well thought out, and those that really mean something.  Silence is golden...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


If you know anything about me, or read this blog at all, you know I'm a big sports fan.  Football is my favorite, but during March, March Madness gets the best of me.  There's something about tournament time in the Mountains that gets your blood pumping.  That all or nothing, do or die philosophy... watching kids leave it all on the floor and hustle because they know it may be their last chance.

I cheer for so many teams that sometimes I get confused.  I actually yelled out the wrong team a few weeks ago, much to Kami's extreme embarrasment (she was sitting next to me). Sadly (or happily, as it would have been), that other team wasn't even playing. I don't think anyone noticed. I'm especially glad that Wallace didn't notice... he probably wouldn't have liked it.

 So yes, I'd consider myself a bandwagoner... however, here is my theory behind it.  I'm not an obnoxious bandwagoner, changing and only cheering for the winning team.  I'm not that type that gets mad and changes teams, either.  I cheer for those I love, with the realization that in high school sports, every kid is a kid regardless of how much you love or hate the coaches, refs, or that kids parents. 

I cheer for Jackson City, obviously, because those girls (and the guys, even though I don't know as many as well) are our own and because I love that crazy girls coach.  I cheer for Breathitt because that's where I literally grew up, and it's in my blood (you don't do something for 30 years and just stop).  I cheer for Owsley because we know a lot of people there since Wallace coached there.  The past two years, I've cheered for Perry Central Lady Dores because of Kendall, one of Kami's best friends and one of the best girls players I've ever been priviledged to watch.  After the storms went through, I find myself cheering on Magoffin County's girls team, because let's face it, it's tough enough to win without having to think about your county being ripped apart.  Recently, I jumped on Buckhorn's bandwagon... they are a small school whose kids have played together since 2nd grade.  They lost last night to Knott County in the finals of the 14th region.  We won't even go there, because I am still too upset over what happened Monday night to write a post that would not be completely unfair and potentially slanderous...

Today, I'm going to drive across the state with Mom and Kami to cheer on a team that I'm really hoping can bring home the state championship.  I only really know one person on the team.  I know that they've been working hard for this all year long.  We know they are taking on the number 1 team in the tournament.  They are currrently ranked #3.  It's going to be a tough game.  That's why they need all the supporters they can get... I just hope they don't mind three bandwagoners going along for the ride.  Kendall Marie, this one's for you.  Go get 'em, Dores!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project Wallace

Every boy's hero should be their Daddy.  There are a lot of Daddies out there who don't deserve hero status, but then again, their not Daddies in the true sense of the word.  Caleb is blessed... Wallace isn't perfect, but Caleb loves him like he is.  And that's how it should be.

This year, Mrs. Little asked her class to choose a subject in or from Breathitt County and do a picture project.  The kids had to be the one who took the pictures, and they they had to write an essay on the pictures. Caleb had thought about writing one on my Uncle Granville, who is a beekeeper.  Caleb had recently visited one of his hives and learned first hand about bee-keeping, but a the last minute Caleb changed his mind.

He decided to write about his Daddy.  Specifically, his Daddy in the Reserves. This weekend, we went with Wallace to Louisville, and on Sunday, Wallace took Caleb into his unit and introduced him. Caleb took my camera and took pictures.  We put off doing the project because to be honest, I forgot about it.  It's due tomorrow. 

Now usually it is a fight to get Caleb to do anything in a rush.  Not tonight.  We pasted the pictures into the Word document and he proudly typed up descriptions of each picture. This was one project he truly enjoyed, and it was one full of love.

Wallace Bates is a lot of things to a lot of people.  Cocky, arrogant, loud-mouth, funny, "something else"... these are all words I've heard used to describe him recently... some kids hate him, most kids love him.  But the most important kid of all thinks there's nothing like him... if only we all could be so lucky. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Growing Fat (and sassy)

"But for right now, copy down this song and teach the People of Israel to sing it by heart. They'll have it then as my witness against them. When I bring them into the land that I promised to their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey, and they eat and become full and get fat and then begin fooling around with other gods and worshiping them, and then things start falling apart, many terrible things happening, this song will be there with them as a witness to who they are and what went wrong. Their children won't forget this song; they'll be singing it. Don't think I don't know what they are already scheming to do, and they're not even in the land yet, this land I promised them."- Deuteronomy 31:19-21

This morning as I was reading my Bible a verse jumped out at me.  I've quoted above three verses, and I'll write a little about what I thought about all three, but the main verse was verse 20.  In this section of the Bible, the Israelites have been wandering around the desert for 40 years, and Moses has finally gotten them where they should be... despite all of their best efforts. Talk about a group of sassy people... they always had something to complain about!!! Sometimes God allows us to wander around until we can figure out who is boss.  Moses knows he can't go into the Promised Land, even though he saw God face-to-face, and knows he is getting close to death.  This is His last message to the Israelites. He is prepping them to be victorious, reminding them of the covenant they have with the Lord.  And in the middle of this verse, God is speaking.  He says, to paraphrase, I've brought you here into this land and given you EXCESS (more than what you need).  You've not even had to work for it.  And as you continue in this land, you'll become COMPLACENT, and grow FAT on what you have.  You'll start worshipping other things.  You'll forget who got you here, where your blessings came from, and when you get in trouble, this song (the words Moses is getting ready to speak) will remind you.

Last year, I completed a Bible study Kelly Minter called No Other Gods.  It basically defined a god as anything that takes your devotion away from Jesus, or prevents you from worshipping the one true God.  I also read about half of a book called Made to Crave, which focuses on replacing our food cravings with prayer, because we are really craving more of God when we think we are trying to fill ourselves with other things (not necessarily food).  I stopped reading halfway through because honestly, who wants to work hard to not crave food? 

This has been an area I've struggled with.  I've always been a picky eater.  I survived high school on McDonalds fries, chicken nuggets, nabs, and apples.  As a cheerleader, I practiced every night we didn't have a game and I was so busy that I was constantly on the run. Then, I graduated... and forget about the freshman fifteen.  It was  so much more than that.  Childbirth and bad eating habits and more on the go eating, and here I sit, more overweight than I want to admit.  I've tried diets, I've tried exercise, but because I don't like a lot of foods  and I don't have a lot of self-control, I've given up easily, caving into the cake (or cheesecake.  or Girl Scout cookies). 

This weekend I listened to a video devotion about how even when we feel like we don't have self-control, we do, because once we are saved, we have the power that was given to us by the Holy Spirit and part of that is in the Fruit of the Spirit, one of which is self-control.  And this morning, I read that line in the Bible "and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat" and it hit me in the gut.  Hmm... that could be me.  No, I don't worship food, but I do enjoy good food, especially sweets.  I also like to splurge on things that I don't really need.  I would consider myself thankful, but am I really thankful enough?  Can my self-control be part of my gratitude?  Doesn't it all work together?

So back to my above verses.  Here I sit in America.  The land of plenty.  I look at the world around me, many of them struggling for clean water and food, and I've got more than I need.  I am complacent.  Not ungrateful, but not too mindful, either... and I've grown fat.  I've not really had to work hard, not manual labor, anyway... and maybe that's part of the problem.  A little too much sitting at the computer and not enough getting up and moving.  Fat and sassy... a bad attitude that comes from feelings of worthlessness because I know I'm not living up to what I could or should be..

I think God wanted me to read that.  I think God wants me to move a little more and eat a little less.  I think God wants me to be intentional about my actions, putting Him at the center always.  I think He wants me to reach within and pull out that self-control that He's placed in there, self-control that hinges on HIm being in control.  Lord, please help me.

As to the rest of the verse, another thing that really struck me was how God was setting them up for failure.  He KNEW they would get in there and forget him... yet He gave them the victory anyway.  He knew they would become ungrateful (after all, isn't that why they wandered around for 40 years in the first place?) yet He led them in to the Promised Land.  He KNOWS.  Our fleshly tendecies.  What we want that maybe we don't need, and when we respond in a way that maybe we shouldn't.  Yet He LOVES us anyway.  How beautiful is that?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Blank Slate

So many thoughts circling my head tonight, but nothing really has a common theme, so I guess tonight's the night to just brain dump.  Sorry it isn't cohesive, but it's what's on my mind and much too long for a status update on Facebook =)

West Liberty, Magoffin County, and Menifee County- I am still heartbroken.  The devastation I've seen in pictures blows my mind.  I don't know how they know where to even begin to pick up the pieces.  I want to help, but I'm not sure how.  Right now, I 'm just petitioning the All-Sufficient One for their needs.  My prayers are with all of the victims, the EMS workers, Red Cross workers, Volunteers, Medical personnel, Police, and Insurance People.  Dad had a long day today in Salyersville; said he'd met some interesting people and all of them were just thankful... thankful to be alive, thankful to God.  That's true thankfulness, staring down the barrel at losing everything that you have.  Lord, sometimes I'm so selfish.

On the other end of the spectrum, ballgames- 14th region tournament action.  Kami will be cheering on the Cats... I love tournament time... March is here and that means March Madness.  I'm a bandwagoner of the biggest sort, so I'll be cheering on the PCC Lady Commodores and Kendall as they make their way to Bowling Green.  Hopefully they'll bring that trophy back to the mountains.  Praying Kendall has an awesome tournament... there isn't a more deserving young lady.  I can remember when she was little bitty and she took all of those boys up there at church to school in the gym.  I can't help but think that Dr. Todd is looking down on her right now with a big smile on that face...  I'm also cheering for Magoffin County in the 15th Region... kind of hard to think about roundball when your town has been hit hard, but these ladies did work today and I'm hoping that they can do great things.

Caleb Bates- my shining star.  Had a great weekend with him... cheesecake, new shoes, swimming, shopping, more swimming, the Lorax in Imax 3D, more swimming... lounging around a hotel room, spending two hours in a bookstore.  He's a great kid, so funny, and I'm so glad that he's mine.

So here I sit tonight in my bed, getting ready to turn out the lights (actually, they are already out... Wallace is worn out from Reserves and running with me and Caleb. We forget he's actually working.)  It's supposed to snow, and I can't help but hope that it does so my boys can have a snow day... although I was wanting pretty weather for my Spring Break.  One thing I've learned this weekend, though, is that I don't have anything to complain about.  My mind may be racing, but I"m so very thankful that it is full of good things.  Hoping you can find something good, too.  Continue to pray for our communities... God Bless!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Time to Listen

"Mom, look."  "MOM."  "Watch this, Mom."... and a loud splash as sunshine streams through the window.  Water everywhere, hitting my chair and my phone and my open Bible and notebook.  Frustration coarses through me and I look up to see an expectant little boy looking up at me, eyes brown like mine behind those glasses, down on the bottom of his nose as he peers over them.  Hair wet and plastered to his head, smile on his face.  "I need you to watch me, Mom," he says, oblivious to my frustration.  "There is ice in this swimming pool and I'm trying to hang on but it is just too cold.  You know, like the Titanic... have I ever told you about the Titanic?"

Can't he SEE that I've got my Bible open, and I'm behind on my daily Bible reading?  That I need to read the Word and get close to God?  Ahhh... and then it hits me, as the sunlight hits his face and he dives under the water to complete a handstand... getting close to God isn't just about what I do... or don't do.  It's about how I respond.  It's about LOVE  and faith and taking time to be all that I'm supposed to be.  Living in the moment, and giving glory to Him as I go about my day as a Mom, as a teacher, as whatever I may be doing when I'm doing it.  And at that time, what I really needed to do was listen, watch, love through action instead of hurrying him up.  Bible closed, phone dried off, I leaned into to listen to him tell me about the Titanic and how it sunk and how they were trying to resurrect it.

It's that same realization that made me, shivering, take a deep breath and dive into that semi-cold pool.  To swim up and down with him on my back, his arms around my neck, an in-water dance that won't last long.  My boy is growing up... I saw that as we entered the mall and the stores he wanted to go to were Hollister (all dark with loud music... always makes me feel old) and Hot Topics and Journeys.  He's got his own sense of style... Converse All-stars and Sperrys and American Eagle jeans, layers of shirts and using gel in his hair.  He's growing up as he orders at Great American Cookie company and asks for ketchup at the hotel front desk.  But then, as he sits in the dark theatre watching a movie, he still reaches over and takes my hand... for this moment.  And I'm glad that I took the time to listen about the Titanic, because he won't always want to tell me.  Now, think I'll go read in Deuteronomy in a while... got some catching up to do. 

Thank You Lord, for him, and for all of my blessings.  I so don't deserve them, and I make messes... but you make a message out of every mess I make, and I'm grateful. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stormy Weather

Caleb has always been fascinated by the weather.  When he was little, if it was 5 PM, WKYT and TG Shuck had to be on the the TV, regardless of what else we were doing.  He has always talked about tornados and thunderstorms and snow. 

Today, as we raced across Kentucky trying to beat the storms, I felt like a storm chaser.  Black clouds rolling around Louisville, and reports of tornados on the ground across the Commonwealth.  Caleb just looking out the window, taking it all in.  The weather reports had been bad... we had severe weather on Feb 29th, with a tornado hitting in nearby West Liberty, and members of The Weather Channel were moving into Central Kentucky to report.  I don't think anyone knew what to expect... and then it hit.

At this time, reports of 4 dead in Menifee County.  West Liberty reported to have received massive damage, as was Salyersville.  Hitting close to home?  I think so... and somehow when you look at all that devastation, it makes it hurt a little bit worse when it is people in your own backyard.  Tweets coming for help from EMT, and the National Guard moving in.  I don't know a whole lot of people in those counties, but I do know a few.  I've been there for ballgames.  My Dad is the Farm Bureau Claims Adjustor for Magoffin County.  I can only imagine the devastation he will see.

My heart breaks.  For all those things that money can't replace... pictures, family heirlooms, peace of mind.  For those things that maybe money will replace, but in Eastern Kentucky, where so many are impoverished, this might be money we don't have. 

The storms are still moving through.  Jackson has been spared, God's hands watching over us.  Please join me in prayers for all those who have been affected, in Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, and my Eastern Kentucky.  It's dark now, storm clouds are still moving in, so it's really untelling how much damage has actually been done.  Prayers for peace and comfort... in the dark tonight.  Psalm 139:12, "Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!       At night I'm immersed in the light!"    It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;       night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you."