Saturday, September 26, 2009

And I thought I loved you then....

Today marks 11 years of marriage for me and my beau. Wow. It sounds so strange and old to say out loud. When people ask me how long we have been married and I say " Eleven years", they assume that we must be in our early forties. Oh, but rest assured, I am quick to tell them that we are ahem...only 34. (just in case they were wondering, that is.)

Lem and I were married at the ripe age of 23 years old. Our courtship lasted right at 2 years, and in that 2 years, 7 months of it was our engagement period. At the time, it seemed like we were the perfect age for marriage, now looking back it seems a bit young. I really don't think we could have waited much longer, we were finished with college and the time was "right".

As I think back to those days, I remember being so naive about everything. My wedding planning, my expectations, my finances....I was just clueless. Thankfully, God still blesses and loves a clueless girl.

A little about Lem...He is the perfect fit for me. God knew I needed a wise man with good character. No other man would do for this indecisive, care-fee, procrastinating, whimsical young girl. I needed a strong man that could tame this little heart of mine into reality. Perhaps it was being the youngest sibling and always being carried and toted and never really having to make a decision. That's exactly what my big sister was for. I didn't have to think or even talk at times, because she was there to do it for me. Bless her little heart. I still remember sitting on the potty needing to be wiped and my parents sending her little 5 year old self to help. She held her nose the whole time while I looked up to her with my big puppy dog eyes admiring her "big-girlness."

Then along came Lem. He was everything that I ever dreamed of having as a husband. Handsome, funny, witty, smart, educated and self-sufficient. I loved how he could work a room. We would show up at a party in college, my stomach tumbling, my palms sweaty, my nose getting a little oily around the edges, my knees shaking, clutching Lem's arm for support. Then there was Lem...fully confident, big smile, beer in hand, ready to roll. I still love this about him. He leads me and I am happy to follow. He has taught me a lot about "social" situations just by watching him. It just comes easy for him. As I head for the nearest corner, he heads to the nearest gathering. Oh, how I love this about my man!!

One of my favorite things that he does is call me on the phone and he tells me to turn it on a particular station. He always says, "This is my song to you, baby." I always listen intently and grin from ear to ear as I relish each and every word. The last time he did this was last week. The song is probably playing as you read this. It's Brad Paisley's, "Then". If you click the song up at the top right it will start playing. Enjoy, it's a beautiful song.

Lem never ceases to surprise me and he never ceases to adore me. I really don't know what he sees in me, but I will take it none the less. He makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the room every time. Now THAT'S a man that loves me.

Thank you, Lem for just getting better and better with age. Your love for me is like no other. I am grateful to God for the gift of "you." I really do not remember what it was like "BL". (before Lem). Nor do I want to.

We're only getting better with time, darlin'.

and i thought i loved you then,


Friday, September 18, 2009

Did he really say that?....

~Posing for the first day of school pics~
~First day of 4 yr. old Pre-K..the teacher took the picture...sorry for the blur!~
~My third grader and Pre-K-er...ready for the first day of school..August 5th, 2009~
~Birthday Party at Momma Jane's after school~

Kids say the darndest things. They really do. Mom and I were having a nice quaint lunch with my 2 loves, Joseph and Presley not too long ago. Joseph and I are sitting in the booth seat together across from Mom and Presley. The conversation turned to growing old, looking old, something of that sort. Joseph proceeds to ask me how old I am.

Me: Mommy is 34, darling.

Joseph: Oh, okay. Well, you look younger than that. (a big smile overtakes his little face, as if knowing that what he said was indeed a compliment).

Me: I love you, thank you! That makes Mommy happy that you think I look younger than my age.
( i sit up a little straighter and suck in a little tighter, proud that my boy thinks such a thing.)

As I am relishing in this compliment and dreamily thinking of possible ages that I may look to him.. 25, 26, 27 at the most? Joseph, the sweet soul that he is, scooches his little self to the very end of the long booth. He squints his eyes in such a way that he can barely see. After about 45 seconds of this, he says...

" You really look young from WAY over here, Mommy. "

He then scoots up close to me and opens his wide, knowing eyes, as if catching every detail of my face and says..

"When I get this close, you really, really look your age, though. From far away, you can't see these spots and lines. "
(as he is pointing, yes pointing them out on my thirty-four year old face.)

My Mom and I die laughing, and then Mom quickly covers her face and says..

"I don't want to know how old you think I look, so please don't tell!!"

You just can't make this kind of stuff up. Pure innocence. Honest, brutally honest, but innocent and endearing none the least.

proud of every last spot and wrinkle..i earned them well,


Monday, September 7, 2009

Seats in the balcony....

So much on my heart, not enough words in my vocabulary to convey. Sometimes, when I sit down to blog, I have no idea what I am going to write about until I just start typing...seriously. Sometimes, I just have something on my heart and writing in my journal or blogging is the one thing that gets it all out.

I suppose writing down my thoughts and feelings is something that I started as a wee little girl. My Mom and Dad could tell you many stories of notes slipped under their bedroom door asking them for their forgiveness or permission about something. Maybe this note writing thing was because it was not as scary as face to face conversation. Perhaps it is because I feel like I can hide behind the pen or the keyboard, whichever it is, it's my way of communicating and it always has been.

With that said, I am spilling out my heart. This blog is intended for my children to read and cherish one day as I retell stories about their childhood and funny sayings. 90 percent of this blog is for them, my Loves. The other 10 percent or so is for them to have a glimpse into Mommy's heart. A side that they may not know about me until reading this one day. I want them to know these things, just in case there is the small chance they may face the same battles, the same struggles.

My heart is saddened by the tragic deaths of some people in our circle. One was a 34 year old man who Lem went to school with. He took his life. He took his own life. Upon hearing this news, my knees buckled from under me...not physically, but spiritually. My friend and neighbor, Shannon, called me on my cell phone to tell me this horrific news. I didn't know him, but Lem did. None of this mattered though, whether I knew him or not did not matter. The fact was...someone my age was in such dire straits that the only alternative was taking his own life away.

I still can't wrap myself around this kind of despair and hopelessness. I have heard that anti-depressants may have been to blame. If so, I am even more saddened to know that it may have been prevented. Whichever the case, my heart has been troubled since hearing the news. My spirit has been stirred in such a way that I feel more than ever the need for loving the sick, and befriending those that need a little encouragement or just an ear to listen. My heart is stirring for the millions and millions of people that do not know Jesus. They have no hope, they have no reason to live when something terrible happens. They don't know the peace and the hope that comes with Him.

It's overwhelming and feels a bit daunting at times. Then, just when I feel this way, God assures me that He is leading. I just need to follow. Oh, yes! Follow...follow...follow....i must remember this. I get carried away with "what can i do?? what can i do???" I can almost see God shaking his head as if to say, " No,'s what I can do...not what you can do. I will work through you, just listen to my commands and follow me."

Unfortunately, I have never been good at following directions. I am much more of a "visual" learner. So, I ask God to give me a picture of hope and how to spread His love and His hope. I imagine that I am the one who is lost and in despair. For, it is not hard to imagine. I have been there, many times. Thank God for people who don't let me stay there for very long. I picture those people, this is my "visual". What are they doing? They are nurturing me, leading me, speaking love, truth and wisdom into my life. They are picking up the pieces and helping me to put it all back together without chastising me for letting the pieces fall apart. I love these people. They are being led by God, they are being stirred and prodded by the Holy Spirit on my behalf. This is my visual. This is my hope.

My friend, Beka, gave me a book that I often look back upon from time to time. It's encouraging, it's full of hope. It's called "Balcony People". I imagine the people in my balcony cheering me on when I feel like I can't go on another day. I imagine the love and belief they have in me as I face a struggle or a stronghold. At the very top tier of that balcony, I see Jesus. He is barely visible because of the light that shrouds His very presence. The warmth of His presence fills the whole arena, my arena. As I squint my eyes to get a closer glimpse, I see my "balcony people" clearer and clearer, though they are not what I was looking for. I feel myself trying harder and harder to just see Him. Then it hits me. I get it. They are Him. He is working through them. He loves me so much that He never leaves my arena at any given moment and never takes His eyes off of me. Yet, He is also using their hands as His hands. Picking me back up when I am down, and gently guiding me to level ground.

What am I saying? I am saying that everyone needs a balcony full of people cheering them on, believing in them. When the seats are empty or vacant, it makes for a lonely show. I hope that by the end of my life, I will be in the balconies of many. I want to rest in the peace that God used His hands to work through me, not for my glory but for His alone.

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands. " Psalm 90:17

reserving my balcony seats,