Friday, October 31, 2008

Mom and Me at Whipp's Ledges

It snowed the day mom and I hiked Whipp's Ledges in Hinckley, OH. As you can see, I am now wimply because I live in the South and bundled up for the cold weather. Mom handled it like a Northerner!

I love this pic!

My Visit to Ohio

I had a great visit to Ohio. I got to spend time at home with Mom and Dad, visited with friends, some that I haven't seen in almost ten years. I also spent time with Ellen and my mom exploring Whipp's Ledges in Hinckley, OH. I grew up in Hinckley so I was familiar with the Ledges, but it was my friend Ellen who totally soaked in the beauty of the place and also the fact that it snowed. I couldn't believe it snowed!



In this picture set mostly you will see the beauty of Hinckley Park, and a few of Lake Erie. Interspersed are pics of family and friends.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be Still

Be still doesn't mean do nothing. It means have peace while trusting Christ. I have lost any sense of peace. Sometimes I find it for a moment. I have hope...but it doesn't last. What is wrong with me?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Manipulator

I have always been one to be transparent so here it is. I am falling from Grace. I have fought the battle and I have lost. This journey is over.

God Tested

God tested me today. He blessed me then tested me. I failed miserably.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bail out?

Today's Headline: "Markets in tailspin"

Okay, could somebody please explain to me the benefits of the great "bail out"?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Write To a Sailor

We've received word from Justin at Navy Basic Training. He is doing well and says he has the most difficult drill chief...I think every new recruit probably thinks that they have the toughest one! LOL

Anyway, he'd love to hear from you, so here is his addy:

SR Blakely, Justin, P
Div 803 Ship 09
USS John F. Kennedy
3415 Sailor Dr.
Great lakes, IL 60088

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breaking

God is dealing with me on things.

One person said to me yesterday, "Sue, I think God is breaking you."

Another asked me, "Do you pray for brokenness?"

I wonder, does it matter if I pray for it or not? If God is dealing with me, or breaking me, do I need to pray for it? Will He not accomplish breaking me whether or not I pray for it?

I keep getting things coming at me from all directions. There are thoughts and feelings going on in me that I just keep to myself, maybe because there are no words. Maybe because I am denying them. Maybe I am rebelling.

Mostly God is dealing with me in the area of my critical spirit, my judgmental attitude, my murmuring. Unfortunately, in the process it seems like it has intensified and my heart is unsettled, making me even more irritable.

Someone gave me a spiritual excercise to do when I feel the criticism welling inside me. It is not easy. It might actually be more difficult than enduring physical therapy, which anyone that knows me understands that is a HUGE statement.

When I feel the judgmental attitude stirred I am supposed to STOP! and then immediately ask God to realign my heart. I am to look at that situation and thank God for some aspect of it. The example given to me was if a driver runs the red light at an intersection and nearly hits me, as soon as I start thinking "That jerk! blah blah blah!" I'm to stop, ask God to realign my heart and thank Him for protecting me from an accident.

It is so much easier said than done.

One of the reasons Katie thinks we aren't getting along is because God has given her the responsibility of holding me accountable. She is helping me with this exercise and points out to me when my attitude needs realigned.

Do you know how many times this is? LOL It is a lot! Unfortunately. As a result, I get "snippy". She really shouldn't take it personally though, because it is difficult to have sin pointed out. I'm really feeling like filthy rags these days.

Just on our way to and from dinner she pointed things out. I get frustrated with myself. I really don't think I realized how bad my attitude had gotten!

I will get through this. God is breaking me and on the other side, He will be glorified.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How's This for Transparency?

I have a confession. The Sisters are no longer who we were when this site was created. Seeking to glorify God in all we do as sisters in Christ is no longer how we live together. So much has changed and I fear that if our focus does not get where it needs to be soon, that we may not even be able to call one another best friends anymore. I feel sad when I read our blog now and I reminisce of how things used to be. Times change. People change. God brings people into our lives for a season..and he takes them out. So, is one season ending and another beginning? Only God has that answer. I know I don't want it to. The last 8 years, in spite of the difficulties, have been the best years and I am thankful for the beautiful memories that I will always cherish! I don't know what God is doing, but I want us to respond appropriately. He is definitely moving and changing things...and it hurts. Please pray for us as we are in a time of difficult transitions (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically).

I Am

I am not who I claim to be on this blog.

This blog is a lie.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hug a Sailor

I have always wanted to hug a sailor. I never imagined I'd actually get to. In a couple months I am going to hug a sailor and that sailor will be MY SON! WOOOHOOOOO! I CAN NOT WAIT!

I Won I Won I Won!

The women of All Access
are awarding me with the book "Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter" for winning the caption contest they had here.

I won I won I won!


But I don't have a daughter. LOL

I won I won I won!

Winning is the important thing. I'm sure I can find a friend with a daughter...oh wait...there is one right here in my house!

I won I won I won!

Oh my winning caption: "High and Lifted Up"

I won I won I won!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Transparency

This sight was designed when two sisters were best friends seeking to glorify God in all they do. Here's the truth, Sue and I have had a slipping away in our friendship and I have been fighting to keep things together. But, her heart isn't in it like it used to be. Tome moves on and I think God is taking us both

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brokenness

Brokenness.Broken Vessel

Brokenness is something I am not experiencing.

Dare I say it is something I want to?

Brokenness is a staple of true maturity in the faith, and when embraced is a most freeing experience. The process of being broken isn't necessary pleasant, and in fact can be very painful, but once embraced, the faithful can prosper in ways that are undescribable.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can never be acheived on human strength alone. These are fruits of the Spirit and only by embracing brokenness can one totally turn themselves over to God. In turning over ourselves, we allow God to do His work in us. In brokenness, like soil being turned, we become fertile ground in which a seed can sprout and fruit can grow and prosper.

Bucking HorseA wild horse bucks the rider off it's bareback, frenzied with fury of unbridled energy, yet once saddled, tamed and ridden, or broken, that beast's energy becomes focused and the horse becomes a useful force. An energized, wild, though immature Christian is less effective in His Kingdom than an energized, mature, focused and broken Christian.

In brokenness we become as clay, soft and ready to be molded into what The Artist intends to create.

I was there once. I was clay. I was a ball of energy focused and determined to please God. I was fertile soil and fruit was growing.

What has happened?

I learned a lot about brokenness while reading Embracing Brokenness: How God Refines Us Through Life's Disappointments, by Alan E. Nelson but possibly the most important thing I learned is that I am not living a life of brokenness. Not even close.

And I'm afraid to pray for it.

God's Love

God's love is amazing. His grace is truly sufficient. Today was a wonderful day! I only shed a brief tear one time this morning. I spent the day reorganizing Justin's room (something I have wanted to do for a very long time). It proved to be very therapeutic. I feel so much better. I am finding more pride than grief today. I hope Justin is doing okay.

Sue took me to see the Billy Graham movie today. I highly recommend it! It was a great movie! I don't know how much of it actually happened but it was still very inspiring. My sister has been a trooper for me through this whole ordeal. She will go to any length to see that I am happy. Today, she took me shopping for a toilet seat. Lots of interesting conversation can develop while shopping for toilet seats...especially with other customers. We had a few laughs...and bought an old, lumpy pumpkin!

God is with me. Whenever I cry out...he comforts me. Today, His power was felt in huge ways!

Beautiful Words From A Navy Mom Like Me

Dear Katrina,

This is a tuff time for moms..... every mom has felt as you do when their child leaves. You will be proud and when you seem him PIR. You will hold your head high,,,,shed your tears, and know that you too have survived... You Are a Navy Mom and the feelings you have are being shared by every mom standing beside you. You will know their fears and their tears and know that no one ever walks alone.... and guess what your sailor has learned the same thing... He never stood alone because his buddies will have been there for him...God goes with you and your son...Bless you and your prayer life. It is funny that we often forget that when our children are not with us that God sees them well, that the same moon shining over you is shining over them and when the sun comes up it is coming up over both of you... Send him a hug when it comes up and when it goes down....God will be with him

Night 2

I had a rough start to the day today. I work at a church so I was able to take some time out at the altar this morning. I cried out to God and asked Him for comfort and strength for me...and so much more for Justin. I do pray that somehow Justin hears me say goodnight and feels the prayers going up for him. I spent the first half of my lunch break crying, then I got out the scripture book for soldiers that a friend gave me. I must get a copy to send to Justin. It has scriptures on certain subjects, then a page to reflect for today to help tomorrow. It really helped me so much and my day turned around after lunch. I felt much more motivated to get things done. When I prayed I asked God to restore my joy (as this is the hardest of many heartaches this year). I have felt pretty good tonight. Oh, my heart still aches beyond anything I can put into words...but, I'm not crying and I haven't cried for hours. I think I might be getting past the shock and now I'm beginning to accept things. I know that as long as I don't get a phone call, Justin is doing well. I do trust that he's in good hands. He's in God's hands. I just miss him so much. I wonder what he's doing and if he's thinking about home at this moment. I can't wait to talk with him. I really think I will do so much better when I can communicate with him again. I just keep holding on for the moment when I will see my son in his uniform...a full fledged soldier. The last time he hugged me, he was wearing the shirt that will soon arrive in a box. The next time he hugs me, he will be in uniform...a sailor. I just don't know that I can imagine how proud I will be on that day.

Day 2

I'm still quite emotional but a little bit less than yesterday. I asked Justin to take out the trash this morning (out loud) just to hear my voice saying it. Tiffany and Sue just carried on without saying anything. The trash is still in the can though (not much different than when he was home LOL). I guess I'll take it out for myself after work today. I also open his bedroom door each night and tell him "Night, Justin, I love you". I hope he feels it when I say that.

Bootcamp Blues-Night 1

It was a tearfilled emotional day. I went grocery shopping and passed by his favorite foods that I won't be buying much anymore. I am thankful for the Navy for Moms website. I have made so many new friends and I am building a very much needed support system. I think one friend put it appropriately when she said I am still in "shock". I think she is right on target. Yesterday my son was my dependant. Today, I can't even communicate with him. I am completely cut off and there is nothing I can do to change it. I feel powerless...and hung out to dry. But, I know that this is for his good so I will tough it out with him...and pray my head off...and cry alot. Father, give Justin strength, wisdom, and peace. I pray he will sleep well tonight and be ready to meet the challenges that tomorrow will bring. Amen.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bootcamp Blues - Day 1

I have been a single mom for 8 years. I have prayed so much for God to place a call on my son's life. He answered that prayer. My son has always dreamed about being a warrior. Now he is one. Yesterday was day 1 of Navy boot camp for him and day one for me without him. It's bittersweet as my heart is swollen with pride...and pain. Things sure are different now. We miss him so much.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

From one Soldier to Another

Today at church, we welcomed a soldier back from Iraq. He was given a warm welcome and a standing ovation. Little did I know, that when this soldier left a year ago (a very tearful goodbye), my son would be sent off by him today. My first born leaves for Navy Basic training Tuesday morning. Today, Daniel offered him encouragment and then, as brothers and sisters in the faith gathered around, Daniel offered a special prayer for Justin. It was a beautiful, bittersweet time of tears of goodbye, joy and pride. This mom never knew how hard it was for loved ones to say goodbye as those dearest to their hearts left to sacrifice for our country. Today, I felt the pain that Daniel's wife felt a year ago. I didn't have a clue how heart breaking it would be. This has truly been a year of letting go. Father, I give Justin to you...be with him in my place.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pictures From the Framily Trip to Nashville

Justin is about to ship off with the Navy. In fact, he leaves us next week to begin his life's journey serving our country and we are so proud!

One day a few weeks ago, Katie and I were driving around Nashville, lost. We drove by TPAC, the theater in the city, and on the marquee was an advertisement for a Bill Cosby show. When we saw it we just knew we needed to have a framily day out for this show because Bill Cosby is one of Justin's favorite entertainers.

We surprised Justin this past weekend with a trip to Nashville to see one of his "heroes" and we had a great time. Here are some pictures from that day in the city. Most were taken at the memorial downtown for all sorts of servicemen and women. It was a fabulous day!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Psalm of the Lost

Try something different and read the 23rd Psalm in the "negative". Seems funny at first, but, then think of the reality of what it means to the lost.

It is no longer funny.
Psalm 23 revised:

The LORD is not my shepherd, I shall always be in want.
He does not make me lie down in green pastures,
he does not lead me beside quiet waters, he never restores my soul.
He does not guide me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will always fear evil, for you are not with me;
your rod and your staff, they do not comfort me.

You do not prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You do not anoint my head with oil; my cup is empty.
Surely goodness and love will be far from me
all the days of my life, and I will never dwell in the house of the LORD.




A psalm of the lost.

A Day Made Better

ADMB for Adoptaclassroom.org

I got to be one of the people surprising a teacher today! Woohooo!