Monday, August 31, 2009

A Gentle (Much-Needed) Reminder

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

So, I have to believe that the Lord knew what was going to happen today. I opened my email this morning and saw my daily devotional email that I subscribe to. I don't know why I didn't read it. I just didn't. I had a decent morning, uneventful. And then IT happened. I won't go into detail about what went wrong but there was crying, lots of crying, involved. I just didn't know what to do. There is no quick, easy solution. There is no long, drawn-out solution. There is truly no solution that my eyes can see. I berated myself," God has been more than faithful, why can't you trust Him now? Why do you have no faith?" I wept and tried to pray, hoping that a magical (or more providential) answer would magically appear. I knew it was a little too early to hope for something like that, but still....

I pulled myself together and went about my tasks. It wasn't like it was life-threatening, there was no death involved. However, I just sometimes want things taken care of quickly. I wanted an immediate answer to prove that I did indeed have faith. Or, maybe I just wanted a fast response to prove that I indeed have no patience! Whatever the case may be, I was definitely distraught that I was not hunky-dory with the situation. Then I read the devotional in my mailbox that I definitely should have read first thing this morning. (You can find it here :

The author talks about birds in her mustard tree. Her mustard tree is her faith. "Birds" are little ways that she is reminded that she has faith and that God, of course, is always faithful. You can't have birds in a tree that doesn't exist. I guess I don't fully understand it, but I certainly realized one thing. There are plenty of areas in my life that I have exhibited faith. God isn't some stressed-out parent that is going to start yelling, "You never believe Me, why can't you remember everything I have done for you?!" at the first sign of my weakness. He instead is the perfect Father, reminding me gently of every blessing He has given me. But more importantly, today He chose to remind me of all the times I have been faithful. Every scary unknown where I have walked with Him instead of trying to see things on my own. All those memorial stones that He has set up for me to show me the times that I have relied on Him and not my own strength. What a precious thing! I fully expected a firm reprimand at the least. I had spent more than a few minutes wallowing in self-pity (ask my sister, I dragged her into my mud!) I didn't deserve to hear Him singing my praises. But I did.

I am so glad that I serve a God who doesn't give up on me. He doesn't get mad at me for dragging my feet for a few minutes. He knew that instead of bringing up all my failures I would be much more benefitted by being reminded of my successes. I know that I have a mustard tree of faith, and there are more than a few birds in it if I just take the time to look and listen. He doesn't expect perfection. Thanks, God!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Getting Excited...

So, obviously I haven't had a ton to post about. However, we are in prep mode for some of the things we have coming up. I am looking forward to:

1. Awana starting. They have asked me to direct Trek (the middle school group) and I am a little nervous, but mostly excited.

2. Seeing my sister! I know she thinks we are just using her as childcare so that we can get away, but I am really looking forward to being with her again. I can only go so many months without my "Robyn fix".

3. The Cavalry Ball. I get to wear a princess dress! Last time we had a ball I was pregnant- yuck!- so no pretty dress for me (in little, tiny Killeen it is hard enough to find a normal formal attire, much less maternity). I am definitely excited to get to dress up!

4. Can't forget "The Cruise". Yay for time for just me and Joel. I don't want to leave my kids but I haven't figured out how to take them with me and not actually have to care for them...:) Jocelyn would hate me, too, if I deprived her of her "baycation" at Aunt Robyn's!

5. My brother's new baby. I am sure he will be a doll! Maybe, just maybe, he will decide to arrive a wee bit early and on our way out of Louisiana after the cruise I will get to squeeze him a little bit! That would be too fun...

6. My JBF check. Definitely a twice a year highlight. It is fun to know that I get money for doing something. I love my volunteer work but every now and then it is nice to "earn" some money- even if it is just because I have an addiction to buying cute clothes for my kids.

So, in the meanwhile I have to find a pair of shoes for my dress, finish my packing list for the kids, and find someone to take care of PWOC responsibilities... well, it will just make the time go by faster as I look to all the fun that is in store!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Start of Something...Normal

Not much to post about lately, life has been busy but I don't think anyone is really that interested in hearing about marking my kids' clothes for the JBF sale (by the way, if anyone remembers that far back, I started blogging at this same time last year and actually did post about that!) or the latest PWOC board meeting or the latest thing I have thrown out in my quest to rid my house of all clutter (going, but not great). However, life has just been, well, normal. To some, that might translate as: boring, dull, unexciting. To me it is exactly what I have been waiting for since last September.

Yesterday evening we had dinner, took the kids out to swing and then came inside and had tasty brownies. We watched reruns of "Ace of Cakes" and "Iron Chef America" and brushed teeth and went to bed. It was marvelous, every minute. I know that most of us are smart enough to enjoy a night like that. But for me it almost seems like a miracle. To have all of us together, to not be trying to force something out of every minute because we only have a few weeks, or a few days, is just so wonderful. I don't ever feel like I have taken time as a family for granted. I know that we are just as likely to be apart as together. But sometimes you get so used to not having something that when it comes along you don't even know how to behave. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am so used to crazy that now that calm is slowly returning I don't know quite what to expect. But I am willing to try...

Monday, August 10, 2009


If anyone is wondering why I dropped off the face of the blogosphere (AGAIN!), it is, of course, because Joel is home. He arrived in the wee hours of the morning on Friday and had the next few days off. He was supposed to be home at 10:30 pm on Thursday, then it got moved back to 11:30 pm. Jocelyn and I left the house at 11:10 pm. Carson was asleep in his bed, smart boy. (Don't worry, Jessica was still here and she stayed with him.) We weren't very far away from the Special Events center so it only took a few minutes to get there. We arrived and found literally hundreds of other people waiting. We were excited but mostly tired. We had spent the whole day cleaning and cake-baking and painting a sheet to hang on the post fence by the highway. I knew that there was a possibility that things would be running behind.

Boy, was I right! We waited, watching all the people. Who knew that there are people who come to every welcome home event? Veterans and other people from the community make sure that they are at every ceremony, no matter the time, to enthusiasticly greet each soldier. How impressive! They had a movie screen set up so that we could see all the guys departing the plane. We must have watched that video 5 times and never saw Joel! It is hard to tell who is who when they are all dressed alike. He is pretty tall, but there are a lot of really tall soldiers. (Some super-short ones, too, much to my amusement.) We waited, and waited. Everyone was trying to keep their energy up but we waited over an hour and a half! It was so noisy, they play really loud, upbeat music. That is fine at 2 pm, but a little hard to take at midnight. We kept watching the doors where the soldiers come in. Every time someone would move near the doors, you could hear people saying, "Get ready, they are coming in!" After hearing that about 15 times I finally decided I wasn't moving until I heard the announcer say something. Sure enough, she soon did. That they weren't going to be there until after 12:30 am! Well, some might say that I had already waited all those months, what is a few more minutes? A lifetime, I tell you!

We chatted with the people around us, Jocelyn slept off and on. We took a few pictures.

Then they started the smoke machines (I'm telling you, they make it a really big deal). We started to get a little more excited. Then, after about 10 more minutes (a toe-tapping eternity!) the announcer had everyone stand. And they all marched in! If everyone in the crowd was excited, I can't imagine how excited the soldiers were! They had spent the last two hours filling out paperwork and listening to lectures. The chaplain prayed and the commander said a few words. Then both sides collided, a huge wave of family on one side and soldiers on the other. It reminded me of that Life photo from World War II. People were screaming and crying and hugging. Josie and I just stood in the middle, waiting. I knew Joel would find us. And he did! I would love to say that we laughed and cried, but after a kiss we just hurried to leave behind the craziness. We had to run collect his bags from huge piles of Army green duffel bags and backpacks. I have no idea how he knew which ones were his, besides the dull spray-painted letters everyone has on the bottoms. But finally we were on our way home. It was too late to do anything more than glance at the posters and cake we had made. But, of course, none of that was important. Joel was finally home!


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