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Archive for November, 2008

The Daily Mercies: I AM Captivating!

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…And my name is not Mary Magdalene

  • The following is an excerpt from my personal notes on the book Captivating by John & Staci Eldredge, beginning with chapter 7 and forward.  You will find a continuation of these notes here along with those from various other books that have touched my heart.  I hope you will be blessed as you come to see yourself as the woman your Savior has created you to be.

Though my experiences are a far cry from the details of the many stories listed, my heart relates to the same pain in every way.  Not only have I embraced or walked through this rejection, I have certainly responded in the same, very wrong, fearful ways—as a little girl, lost, alone, & confused.

This excuses none of my behavior, only helps to understand it.

In this chapter I see myself as the hummingbird (or sparrow), flying quickly through what seems to be an open door or passage way, only to find myself bound and deceived.  Flying around in circles and crashing into the mirrors of what is a beautiful world on the other side.  As fear grips, my freedom uncertain, I continue to try to find my way.  The Savior comes, I fear His hand, leaving me to continue in my turmoil.  The fear inside so torments that I unwittingly crash and fall—finding myself in His healing hands once again.

I find my struggle to be with the fears and fightings within.  This is the deepest place I have ever been and I know I must trust Him as He offers healing and deliverance as listed in Is. 61:1,2 (NLT)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’S favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.

I know He will come for me.  My struggle is with my role and where I may fail again.  As I continue in this time of prayer and fasting, I long to come out on the other side.  I know He’s there.  I know He’s here to bring me through.  The question is with what He wants me to do.  This is where I must learn to replace fear and rest in faith that my Creator, not only can, but will, keep me and what I’ve committed to Him. (2 Tim. 1:12)

He will finish His work in me, as I know deep down there’s much work to be done through me.

Until such a time, I rest each breath in His grace and the hope of His promise.  He will bring us through.  My husband, my family, my friends, and I, we, will wait—sowing little seeds for a future harvest—one breath at a time.

I have hid behind my own fears, my own lies, creating a false image of myself and who I’d rather be.  Today I continue this journey finding myself and who He says I am.  He says, I am captivating!

With His peace,

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Visit Ginger’s blog @ heresmycuplord.wordpress.com.

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Give Him Thanks!

I’m sitting in the hotel room where Cammie is crashed out with Nana, Poppy and Sophie.  And lots of snoring is coming from the bed where Poppy and Sophie lay.  Lots of chip munching coming from Court’s direction.  Sweet sounds….

And Cammie’s combat boots sticking out from under a blanket…sweet sight… (Nana bought me a really cool t-shirt with a female soldier on the front and, “My Daughter Wears Combat Boots”.)

I’m givin’ Him  thanks!

In everything…EVERYTHING….give thanks….

…I thank Him for this visit, for the celebration, for the sweet hugs and salty tears, even for the snoring! 🙂

…And I’ll thank Him when I don’t want to let go, when there’s a huge lump in my throat.  I’ll thank Him for the protection I don’t see when my children are apart from me.  In September, a soldier from Cammie’s Company died.  His family was present today.  Please pray for them.  I refrained from sharing that news back when Cammie told me.  Now you know why I called the base as much as I did.  This young man did not die due to any type of neglegence from the base.  There were health issues.  Again, please pray for his family.

I cannot fathom their loss.  Nor the effect it had on those other soldiers.

But He IS God!  He IS on the throne!  And I will praise Him……..

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Where’d You Get YOUR Driving Skills—Courtney?

As I mentioned in Ginger’s Driving Skills Q & A Interview, Courtney studied hard for her written test.  I believe that’s helped her tremendously with her driving skills.  She’s a cautious driver.  I know it kills her to ignore beep after beep or buzz after buzz (vibrate mode) on her cell phone as she receives innumerable texts.  But she stays focused.  Most of the time.

However, like the rest of us, she’s had her moments.  Like when she pulled into the garage, thought she pulled up enough, then decided she’d pull up a tad more…

…so she pressed the gas a bit too much…

…and left this….

 

Can Poppy fix it?

Can Poppy fix it?

 

…which was imprinted by this….

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Good times!  So… while you’re laughing at our mishaps, we’d love to know, where’d you get YOUR driving skills???

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Driving Skills Q & A: Interview With Ginger

Q.  Let’s “drive” this interview home.  You’re almost 36, you don’t drive, but you have a driver’s permit.  How long have you had your permit?

A.  Dunno, it’s been so long.  Guess I’ll have to look that one up.  Seriously, I’ll go look. (Checks purse.) The original issue date of my permit was June 2003.  It expired January 2007.  I renewed it.  (That’s nearly five and a half years.)

Q.  How long did you study before taking the test?  How well did you do?

A.  Not long because I had taken a Defensive Driving Course and knew the answers, so I did pretty well.

Q.  Unlike many teens and adults who study just enough to pass, Courtney was determined to retain what she learned from the study book and the Driver’s Ed classes.  She’s corrected me on the meaning of several road signs as well as rights of way at certain intersections.  I’ve seen first hand how she has applied what she learned from the written test as well as the driving test.  It has certainly affected her driving skills in a positive way.  Would you agree that your determination to know the letter of the law pertaining to driving will give you an edge you haven’t considered? 

A.  Well, I won’t say I’m as focused as Courtney, but I do feel it is important to learn those important details as she aspires to.  She is a great example to all of us, who would probably be a good teacher.  In specific to street signs, if you dont’ know what they mean, how can you be assured you will follow them as you should.  Putting that out front in the beginning sets the proper foundation for strong driving skills.  I haven’t really considered all, I am just determined to be the best driver I can.  As Mom always encourages me, and Jerry reinforces the necessity of paying attention, I am sure I will do fine.

Q.  How has your inability to drive affected your family?

A.  Jerry has to be my chauffeur, as you, Mom, and others can relate.  This has proved an added stress to all his responsibilities, while it has limited things I can do with the boys, family…etc.

Q.  Your boys will be of driving age before you know it.  What are your thoughts on that?

A.  The same as when we joked of Jamie, Cams, Courtney… Will they be getting their license before me?  If they can do, I can!

Q.  What would you say is the primary reason you have not moved forward with driving?

A.  Complacency and underlying fear.

Q.  On the other hand, what “drives” you to not give up?

A.  The faith that replaces that fear and shows me what I cannot see.

Q.  It sounds like you have a clear picture of what’s holding you back as well as what will “drive” you forward.  Wouldn’t you agree that ultimately, as followers of Christ, we must overcome fear?  Otherwise, it will not only bring torment, but can often times become debilitating and  wreak havoc in our lives.  I believe you’re ready.  NOW, it’s time to STEP OUT OF THE BOAT as your family and friends pray and cheer you on.

A.  Yes, I agree wholeheartedly!  As addressed in my original post, I must not only overcome for myself, but I must do so as a testimony to my boys—my family—and all who are standing with me.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

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The Daily Mercies: Fort Jackson Bound

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It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:  great is thy faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-24

It’s official!  Cammie called me Thursday evening to share the news.  She graduates Wednesday.

It’s been a roller coaster ride the past two months with enthusiastic highs—”I really think I want to work at YCP (the Youth Challenge Program she graduated from),” and “I’m seriously thinking about staying in the National Guard (meaning, signing up again after her six years are up).”

And dramatic lows—”I don’t know if I’m gonna’ graduate.”  Her words are barely understood as she mumbles between sobs.  “I can’t even do one push-up.”

Well, they DID say that many of them were taught the wrong way to do push-ups.

More lowes—”A bunch of us got in trouble for going to two church services.  I might get an Article 15.”

Okay…that one stumped me.  Seems crazy to me that going to two church services would be cause for punishment.  Isn’t Sunday a free day?  On the other hand, there just might be more to this story.

And then there was the wild upside down loop in the roller coaster ride—”I’m pretty sure y’all have to bring me to AIT, Mom.  In fact, I’m like 100% sure.”

“Uh, no, Cammie.  I’m certain they transport y’all.”

This was followed up on my part with a phone call to the base after I read on the website that although the Military is responsible for transporting the soldiers, family can transport them, but there are restrictions.  It was followed up on Cammie’s part with a letter to me stating, “I don’t mean 2 be a baby but that was probably the worst phone call I could imagine for someone at BCT.  You didn’t even sound happy/excited 2 talk 2 me & I thought at least someone in our gigantic family would be happy 2 bring me 2 Virginia.  I’d give as much gas $ as I need to.”  Oh, the text message generation.  Apparently grammar no longer matters.

That letter was followed up with lots of prayer from the Mom and lots of fighting the urge to give in to guilt.  An apology letter from Cam also followed.

Fun times.

In the midst of all this drama unfolding, I spent time browsing the Fort Jackson website.  I’m not sure whether or not I’d recommend that to a Mom with a son or daughter entering basic training.  Oh, there are lots and lots of pics and details about the three phases they go through.  It’s filled with words like, gas chamber and live grenades.  It’s informative; I’ll say that.

Then there was this phone call, “I HATE this!  I wanna’ come home!”  Followed by huge sobs.

THAT was the reason I called the base again.  Oh, cut me some slack people.  It’s over and done with.  After all, they DID mail a letter to me with several numbers to call if I’m concerned about “the welfare of my son/daughter”.  So!  I called.  And I learned what happens to a soldier if they DON’T pass the PT test.  The thought of Cammie having to start all over with this process kept me on my knees.

And she improved…  One letter she sent me had the prior weeks stats as well as the current weeks stats.  They read:

Push-ups:  last time-1; this time-17; what I need to pass-19

Sit-ups:  last time-46; this time-63; what I need to pass-54 (PASSED)

2 Mile:  last time-24:20; this time; 18:57; what I need to pass-18:54

HUGE difference!  God is AWESOME!

But then another low… “The whole platoon got in trouble so we couldn’t call home.”

Turns out many of them were fraternizing (YESSS, I found out because I CALLED AGAIN and they let her call me.  I KNOW, I KNOW… HINDSIGHT!).  The whole platoon got punished.  Cammie wasn’t among the ones called out.  And I won’t go into details, because…well, she’s coming home one day and will read this blog.  But let’s just say “someone” might have confessed that they, too, were guilty.

There was talk of restarting the entire platoon.  Followed by more prayer back at home.  I got a letter stating that they were not going to be restarted, but they lost the privilege of calling home.  Next, she would spend one week in the woods at Valley Forge.   So I waited some more.  And prayed.  And then, I got the phone call from Cammie this past Thursday.  She will graduate!

HUGE sigh of relief.

During this process, I continually reminded Cammie on the phone as well as in my letters to stand firmly on the Word and refuse to give in to emotions and circumstances.  The whole time I was here at home struggling with this very thing.

One of the biggest blows for me was finding out that Joe wouldn’t be able to get off work to go with us.  I was devastated.  Obviously, I want him with us.  But my main concern was for my daughter.  She had a difficult time understanding that other members of her family were unable to get off of work.  I didn’t want her to be crushed.  I soon realized that she would have many disappointments in life.  This would be an opportunity for her to trust God and not lean on her emotions or understanding.

And she did.  I was amazed how well she took the news.  Much better than I.

I’ve been humbled.  As I’ve walked this out, I was reminded of the peace that comes with surrender and acceptance of whatever the Lord’s will may be.  I know Cammie arrived at this point many times throughout this process.  One of her last letters detailed the circumstances of her Platoon and the trouble they were in.  She was quick to apologize, recognizing that she was “selfish and foolish”.  If they had to be restarted, she would just have to accept it.  That was her attitude.  And honestly, that phone call that she was granted after I called the base the third (AND FINAL…) time was a clear indication that she was not being ruled by emotion.  I know my daughter.  I remember the sound of her voice, how calm she was.  She prepared me for the possibility of her not graduating.

After that call, I knew I had to let go.  I wanted to call back later that week to “make sure she was graduating”.  She even encouraged me to.  But I refrained, per the advice of her Big Mama as well as a friend in the Air Guard.  And you know what?  It wasn’t difficult once I surrendered to the Lord.

Early Monday morning, Poppy, Nana, Courtney, Sophie and I will head to Fort Jackson.  Please pray for our safety.  And if you have tips for traveling eleven hours with a toddler—by all means, LEAVE A COMMENT. I won’t have time to search WFMW posts.

God is faithful!  I’m a proud Military Mom.  And I’m so grateful that through the little contact I’ve had with Cammie, she has shown tremendous growth and trust in the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Click on the link below to share your testimony of God’s grace in your life. Please note:  Previous links are still listed.  You must click the link to view the list of posts.  Be sure to leave a comment!

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Stay Tuned…

Stay tuned for upcoming posts… at a blog near you…well, actually, right here AND Ginger’s blog!

Driving Skills Q & A:  Interview With Ginger

The Daily Mercies–Fort Jackson Bound (scheduled for this upcoming Sunday)

Where’d You Get YOUR Driving Skills–Courtney? (with pics, or maybe one pic…but stay tuned)

And now… a word from our Sponsor:

“Are you plodding along through your daily activities with a lack of enthusiasm?  Are you in a slump?  Bored?  I can help!  Start a blog.  THAT’S RIGHT!  I’m talking to you.  YES, you!  You, who steals away enough time daily to read your favorite blogs.  Well, start your own.   Oh, I was you, once.  Hanging on those every posts.  Delighting in the humor, embracing the encouragement and advice, laughing at the pictures…

Then I started my own blog.  And you know what?  Ordinary happenings became the stuff of posts.  Great posts?  Hmm… you decide.  Who knows if last month’s hit and run won’t make for an awesome post?  (Hey, that’s coming, too!)  It’s fun, it’s informative, and it’s a great way to communicate with others who share many of your own struggles and questions.  Fun, Food (well, in the form of recipes and pictures), Fellowship and sharing the Father and His Word.  Hey, I like those F’s.

Get started… And let me know when you do.  I’d love to visit.

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Where’d You Get YOUR Driving Skills—Cammie?

I’ll be picking on Cammie and her driving skills today.  Because that’s the kind of mom I am.  Picking on my daugher while she’s away at basic training.

Cammie planned to wash her car one day this past summer and wanted me to move mine and Joe’s Mountaineers out of the garage so that she could pull in and vacuume hers.  I told her to go ahead and move my car out.  The look on her face screamed, “ARE YOU SURE?  IT’S REALLLLLY A TIGHT SQUEEZE….”

I ignored that look.  Moments later, she came back inside with a different look.  A perplexed, yet guilty look.  I followed her outside.  First, she points to the metal stripping on the side of the garage that has peeled away and is flashing like a neon sign:  BEWARE OF TEEN DRIVERS!

With a questionable serious look on her face, she points to the long piece of stripped metal and asks, “was THIS like this?”

SERIOUSLY?  “Uh, no Cammie.”

But it gets better.  She then escorts me over to my Mountaineer that is now parked in the driveway and points to the driver’s side of the bumper which is now sporting scuff marks and a few scrapes.  She manages the same look as moments before, and asks, “was THIS like that?”

SERRRIOUSSSSLY?  “No, Cammie.  No.  THAT was NOT like that.”  I wasn’t sure what else to say after that.  I scratched my head and asked her if she “remembered” anything happening while she was backing out.  Clearly it was just too traumatic to recall.

She managed to buff some of the scuff marks off of the bumper while I pounded the metal strip back in place.  “Just wait a while and I’ll tell Joedaddy.  It’ll be fine,”  I reassured her.

A few small nails later, and you can barely tell the “accident in question” ever happened.

Funny thing, though… even after our clean up, Joe noticed rather quickly that “THAT was NOT like that before”.  Guess he’s more perceptive (Okay, I’m not sure that was the right choice of words!  But I think you get the point…it was a bit late when I posted this.  SOMEBODY had to go and do a blog scavenger hunt that kept me up hunting realllly late…. Go check out Shannon at rocksinmydryer.  Sorry…no link…I’m tired!  Told you I was up hunting…)  than Cammie.  After all, she did have to point it all out to me. 😉

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