Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday

Trying something new today that I read about at If you blog...try this out!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word on the prompt, “Still.”
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Get a little crazy with encouragement in the comments of the five minuter who linked up before you.

Here goes...the topic   STILL

I still love that teenage boy I spotted so many years ago across the baseball field catching fly-balls in center field as I was supposed to be practicing softball one field over.
I still get butterflies when I see his name on the caller i.d.
I still love to stay up late and have deep conversations about God and life.
I still melt inside when his soft lips touch mine.
And even though it's not always happy,happy, lovey-dovey...and we often argue and throwdown (not literally)...I still LOVE making up even though I make him say sorry always more than once.
So there it is...5 minutes...that was challenging!!

Monday, July 18, 2011



Go ahead and JUMP!  

Don't know exactly what David Lee Roth is referring to as he sings these lyrics and Eddie rocks it out on the guitar and keyboard....

I do know that my husband LOVES this song and the way Eddie can pluck out those riffs on the neck of that sweet  Charvel from the mid 1980's (he lets me know).  

I also know that I actually miss the metal hair of the 80's and really wish I could have seen some of these rockers at their hair salons with their hair wrapped tightly in pink rods drenched in perm solution with plastic caps holding the heat in while they sat under dryer hoods with elderly ladies next to them getting their weekly roller sets.

And I also wonder when yellow zebra jackets went out along with leather chaps and fish net...??

Sorry, back to my point....


I used to love to jump on my cousin's trampoline when we would visit every summer down in Eastern Kentucky.  The thought of a security net never crossed my mind as I bounced for hours at a time.  I would gaze down at the rusty springs and up into the surrounding hills and imagine myself in a circus or better yet maybe even the summer Olympics with Mary Lou Retton as I would flip and twist.  I would envision a picture of me in a red white and blue USA leotard and a gold medal adorning my neck on the front of the "Wheaties" cereal box.

Dreamily and fearlessly bouncing...  

And I have been thinking about this lately as I watch my children play.  

How carefree and fearless they are.

I've been remembering how I used to be that way too.

What happens to us as we age?

Fear has crept in and kept me captive holding me back....inhibiting me....restraining me so I am unable to just,


(I need to) "just go ahead and JUMP"

and who better to inspire me, this middle sister all grown up and tied up...than my middle child, Micah Joseph who just LOVES to JUMP!!!

Take the plunge and enjoy every second of it!!!

Matthew 18:3

New International Version (NIV)
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Broken Pieces

We woke up to a muggy Michigan morning.

The temperature was rising not only outside but in the house as well.

Jonah can't stand the golf attire I pick out and Ayla has been through 3 outfits and the crocodile tears are rolling and my voice is raising and my patience is long lost.

I know that later I will be consumed with guilt but am caught up in the moment.

We finally get out the door and on our way to drop Ayla off to preschool.  

Clouds rolled in and I wondered if the day called for rain.  (I never watch the news or weather forecast)

Nevertheless we make our way to the boys' golf lessons.

Jonah is his mama, he is not one to enjoy and marvel in the excitement of any kind of storm.

We arrive and the instructor tells me that he has them for 2 hours, rain or no rain.  They will take shelter if necessary.

And I think about that cherished 2 hours and how excited I am to shop at Target and Meijer, kidless.

And while I am unpacking the groceries after my visit to both,  guilt overtakes me as I gaze out the window.

I grab the keys and jump in the van.

I push back the panic as I peer through the windshield at the shifting sky.

My rubber tires roll over the blacktop drive of the public course, lightening blazing in the distance.

I spot the boys running up to the van, golf bags draped over their shoulders with metal clubs clanking together hanging out just waiting to absorb a good jolt of lightening.

Once again I push back the panic and thank the Lord as the boys jump into the van and I safely tuck the bags in the hatch.

Water pours hard and fast and the wind whips the van around on the road.

I hide my fear from the boys as we head home and say a silent prayer for our safety.

Jonah's face has no sign of fret.  I whisper a "thank you Lord" up to the heavens.

I had promised them that we would stop for free Slurpees (7-11-11) and felt bad going back on my oath, storm or no storm.

We pull into 7-11 and jump out drenching ourselves in the downpour.

The clerks look at us like we are crazy and I respond,

"We REALLY wanted our free Slurpees!"

Rain soaks us again completely as we run back and hop in our seats.

We have to make one more stop to pick up Ayla.  By the time we pull under the carport the rain lightens, of course.

I buckle her in and pass back her free pina colada.

She smiles and I think to myself how she has no idea what I went through to get it for her.

And my heart swells with love for my precious children who are all safely belted into their seats, bellies filling with sugared ice.

And I utter another prayer of thanks to my God who keeps me safe in all of life's storms.

And I think of how I should commune with Him like this all of the time, not just when I'm pushing back the panic.

I ponder on the fact that I should praise Him during each and every smooth sunny ride of my life.

And I make yet another resolution to try harder to do this as I pull into the driveway.

We walk up into our house and I look out the back window.

My patio umbrella was left up and the wind swept it up cracked off the top.  The table was blown over on it's side and glass lays in a million pieces on top of brick and mulch.

And I am reminded that not only should I have communion with Him during the storm, I need to be grateful for it as well.

And how hard it is to be grateful when my table-top is broken into pieces and my life feels like it is too.

When I feel like a horrible mama for yelling and being so impatient with the ones I love the most.

And I am reminded of the book that I read a few months ago.

Of her words, "eucharisteo always precedes the miracle"

How "thanksgiving during the trials, when most difficult" always comes ahead of divine intervention.

And I utter a prayer of thanks for when I am weak...

And when  "I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."   (Rom.7:15)

And these broken pieces of my flesh, my humanity...they cut and hurt.  I hate them yet I continue to pick them up and use them over and over.  Because I am weak.

That is when "His grace is sufficient for me for his power is made perfect in my weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)

And I thank Him again even though it is through clenched teeth (I liked that table and umbrella and how am I going to clean up all of those pieces?...) because He takes my brokenness and glues it all back together through His grace and love.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


"Put off today what you can do tomorrow" 

My philosophy this evening as I gaze around the house, ignoring the slight increase in my heart rate. 

 Suitcases filled with the children's clothes adorn the hallway upstairs and have sat there for the last week and a half, since we came home from our annual vacation.  

My freshly painted bedroom that I vowed to keep tidy is piling up and the master bath is actually frightening to say the least.  

Dishes are waiting patiently to be done...  

Carpets are crying to be cleaned...

Toys are tired of being tripped over...

And Mama is too tired tonight...

And I am coining this new phrase...

"Put off today what can be done tomorrow" 

I seriously thought this was the quote, probably because I wished it was.  

But once again I was mistaken and the original quote by Thomas Jefferson reads,

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today"

Just my luck!!!

Hopefully I will be able to sleep in knowing this new piece of information!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

An American Soldier

I published this post originally 2 years ago on July 4, 2009....

My dad's older brother Gary joined the Marines at the peak of the Vietnam War. He wrote this letter to his pastor four and a half short months before he was killed. On this 4th of July I would like to honor his memory and thank him and every single soldier like him who has sacrificed his/her for the sake of our freedom.

24 Sept. 1967
Dear Rev. Jones,

You'll have to excuse me if I started this letter wrong, cause it's the first time to a man of the Gospel. I really don't know what to say, but I'll try anyway.

To get things straight, my name is Gary W. Holbrook, son of Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Holbrook, 2216 Grange Rd. Trenton. If you will remember I talked with you a few times before I left for Vietnam.

I guess that most people getting letters from the men in Vietnam, would like to know a little about what it's like over here. This is the way I think of Vietnam.

The mountains are beautiful even if they are Vietnam mountains, and the water in the rice paddies is so clear you can see yourself in them. The sun is like a great light that never ceases to let you know it's always on the job. And at night the beauty of this far eastern country is unexplainable. I guess you might say it's like one of Walt Disney's Kodak Colored Pictures. That's what Vietnam appears to be like. Only God and the men that are over here giving up their lives truly know what Vietnam is like. to them it is always hot, wet, muddy, and above all lonely. All the outward looks of beauty that pertain to Vietnam's landscape and Vietnamese people is just a falsehood which hides death or destruction behind every bush or from the vast low banks of the lonely green paddies. During the day when the sun is shining brightly above and sending life to this ever expanding vastness of green foliage and jungle terrain. The fighting man must be especially leery because from these beautiful grass lands and majestic jungles there are those who would take his life if given the chance.

During the night when all is still and peace seems all around you, (for Vietnam doth truly seem peaceful at night) once again you find the American fighting man awake and waiting, for during these hours of blissful peace and constancy is when the enemy takes advantage of our fighting men, for at these beautiful times he sometimes lets his mind wander back to his loved ones far across the ocean, he asks himself, "Is it all worth it, being over here amongst all this beauty which is only a front for death?" He asks himself, "Is the price of peace and happiness for his loved ones too dear to pay with his life?" All these questions and many more run through these brave young mens' minds and there is still the same answers with God on our side and us being a free people and believing in Him, He will stand by our side no matter what the price. For I'm an American fighting man and will do my best to serve my God and my country. And although Vietnam is truly beautiful, it is just as deadly and even more so lonely for the American fighting man. Well I guess that's enough of my philosophy about Vietnam.

Well Reverend, I guess there really isn't much more to say except that I'm pretty sure I am not the only one that has a strong and compassionate feeling for Nam and it's people. I would certainly appreciate it if you would pray for all of us over here, and maybe some Sunday you could give a sermon on Vietnam, so people can do a little more about it then just say, "Well Vietnam's way over there and I am over here." I believe they should be made to realize that there is a little of each of us over here living and dying to help us all free and save, for tomorrow the sun will surly shine on a free and God-fearing people. I will also send you my address in case there are a few people in the church that might want to write. Thank you very much for listening to my problems. I only hope God heard them as well.

L/Cpl. Gary W. Holbrook U.S.M.C.

P.S. Feel free to tell others what I wrote, maybe it will give them a better understanding of what goes on over here. 

Some final thoughts,
I hate war. I was always taught that it is a necessary evil, and maybe it is. The pacifist side of myself is totally against it yet the logical side of myself deems it as justifiable. Hopefully, one day God will answer all of the questions I have on the issue. But just like during Vietnam, I do believe that we need to pray for each and every soldier fighting for us, even if we don't agree with it. Just as my uncle cherished every prayer uttered on each American soldier's behalf, I think our troops today would as well. So will you join me in praying for our soldiers?

Happy Independence Day!!!!