Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You Do It Anyway!

What would a month of posts be without me stopping and sharing the song that is playing through my heart and thoughts.  This song seems to be finding me while I question life and rejoice and cry.  The joys of grandchildren and new marriage unions reminds me to go forward.  The struggle my Dad is facing...stroke, then seizures, reminds me that life can change in a second.  My husband finding his way in the mind field of resumes, job's interviews and filing out forms for the government, reminds me that even looking back isn't good.  So this songs seems to touch my heart....I would do it anyway.
Blogging is slow during all these transitions.  My first graders are a delight...my body is reminding me that I AM 52!!  Passover and Easter this year remains me of deliverance.....It is Finished.

You can spend your whole life buildin'
Something from nothin
One storm can come and blow it all away 
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream 
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This worlds gone crazy 
And it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all YOUR heart 
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away 
love em anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah I do it anyway, yeah, 

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway, yeah, yeah

I sing
I dream

I love anyway, yeah

Saturday, March 23, 2013

But WAIT!!! Just WAIT!!!

Have you ever run after someone with these words, "just wait, just wait, I have more to tell you?"  You usually can hardly breath and the listener thought the story was over.  The story might be one full of joy or one so full of struggles you can't believe what you are hearing.  Well I have both, but I am just keeping the struggling part of my story to myself...I mean, who wants to hear those anyway?

So  I am running to catch you after you read my last post with the next part of the story.

Thursday night, while I was at the end of my shift at work, my newly-wed-daughter poked her beautiful head into the room where I work with children.  She said very calmly and matter-of-factly...come to think of it, so not like her..."mom have you gotten Sarah's text?"  Well no!!!! I hadn't.   I had been corralling rowdy elementary school-aged-boys.  She turns her phone around to reveal an answered prayer so deep in my spirit that I literally thought my heart would stop.

Without any reserve I started to scream....and jump...and scream...and laugh...and cry...and scream and dance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes, there was no reserve in front of people I hardly knew and don't know....I lost it!!!!.  When something so wonderful is announced how can you keep it inside?

My heart has busted all week with little one coming home to his parents and now this!!!

The phone picture showed my little grandson with a shirt that said....MY MOM IS...then in his lap was the jar of Prego.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am going to be a grandmommy two times this  year.  My daughter-in-law, who has been fighting years of infertility,  is pregnant!!  So my new grandson will be a big brother in November.  Can my heart handle anymore?  Marriages and grandchildren...I would say a wonderful combination in this season of life, and just the piece of joy that keeps me from sinking through other struggles.  God is so gracious!

Due to the legal items on the adoption I will not be able to post the happy family for six months...just know he is beautiful and looks like our family.  He has hair like all mine had and brown eyes like his mother...he is a Wright!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dream Fulfilled

Years ago, we sat in the car listening to a Christian radio talk show named Focus on the Family.  I still can tell you the parking place we drove into and the time of  the day...it was sunny.  My heartstrings were tugged by every word the guest speaker spoke.  She was calling Christians to consider adopting just one child.  If Christians all over the world adopted one child, then the orphanages wouldn't be necessary, nor the foster homes.  My youngest of four was riding with me on the day's errands.  I had no idea that she was intently listening, too.  She jumped up as I turn the car off to announce, "Mommy, it is time we go get my baby sister!"

I couldn't help but want to agree with her.  Surely, adoption was in our future plans.  At this same time, another friend's heart was being tugged to adopt from China.  She already had four girls and she began to share her desire to adopt.  I also heard from another friend who had just adopted a child.  Adoption was being accepted throughout the Christian community in a whole new way.  My generation was witnessing a change.

God never had adoption plans for our family. Instead, we grew with two more biological sons.  However, my knees have bowed often as other friends adopted from all over the world.  Adoption had been placed in our hearts.

The friend with the four girls never adopted either.  Again, adoption was placed in the hearts of her children, also.  Her daughter has now adopted two boys from Africa.

That bouncing daughter who had announced, "well, let's just go get me a sister" was the instrument God used to bring adoption options into our world.

Sunday, our son and daughter-in-law had their dreams and parenting prayers answered as they brought home their 2 year-old-son.  All the legal items are still waiting to be done as the family gets to know each other.  That daughter whose heart was open to adoption at a young age is now an Aunt....I am a first-time grandmother.  Praise God that all those years ago He knew that it wouldn't be me that adopted, but one of my children.  I just love that Benjamin sees adoption as normal also.  His class of twelve includes two children adopted from Africa.  God's word that was heralded through the guest speaker on Focus on the Family in the early 90's has become a reality that I witness daily, as the Body of Christ opens its arms to those who need a family.

As soon as I am given permission, I will post a picture of the happy family!!  In the mean time, just know he is the most precious little man around and this grandmommy loves him.

I am TRANSITIONING...yes, my word for the year...to another part-time job.  I now have three part/part time jobs.  On Monday, I started teaching 1st grade for a two-day school.  Benjamin now has his mother as his teacher five full days a week....and I no longer have free time!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friends, You Gotta Have Friends

The definition of friends has changed through the years.  Facebook numbers have changed the whole thought process of friends.  Social media has its place, but real flesh and blood can't be replaced.

My daughter...(yes, still wedding stories... I might change next week)....she loves people.  When the wedding assistant announced that the 100 they had planned on having was now over 220, my daughter just lit up with excitement.  The more the merrier.  She would have more people to hug and greet.

I, however, have gone through so many seasons of life that I now know the true meaning of a friend.  As I walked into the crowded reception area, my eyes caught the faces of True Friends... Friends who have been with me through thick and thin and have remained friends. (Oh, how I wish I had had my own camera)

Each of us are truly blessed if at the age of 50-plus we have a handful of true friends.  Those are the ones who are golden.  My handful blessed me beyond measure by attending my daughter's wedding.  They have not only been faithful friends, they all wear the badge of  honor of being faithful servants of the most high God.

What makes them so special isn't just that they love me and have put up with me, but the true treasure is that ALL have gone through life's hard swings, and refused to denounce the Lord. The list of scars these women have endured through unwanted battles could bring even the greatest soldier to his knees.  Knees...that is where they went and came up still in praise.  Many times just one of these battles would make a person question their faith.......not my handful of friends.  Their walks with the Lord have deepened with each blow.  When they say I will make it, or they extend an encouraging word.... I receive it and they know it.  They aren't speaking from an ivory tower. They have seen God and His faithfulness firsthand.

So, as I sing along with an artist talking about friends.......I know what a real friend is made of.  My real friends were there to see my daughter get married.  They were there for me to hug and shed a tear with at the reception.  The funniest thing of all.......they were also the ones whom I drug out on to the dance floor for a line dance, while giggling our heads off.  One had had knee surgery, another was afraid she would split her dress...and we all giggled and did the friendship dance together.

To my Ethels.................I love you all!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Behind the Scene Stories

week of wedding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
Let me give you some background to set the tone of these stories.  If you have seen Brave, then you have seen my daughter.  The daughter in Brave is like my Nicole....give her rules and she will find her own way of getting around them.  She would also compete any day with the boys and probably win. That being said, here are the stories behind the scene....as we all said, "In Totally Nicole Style"

My daughter was in total control over her wedding planning. I was the labor with the duct tape over my mouth and my own hidden time table.  So in Totally Nicole Style, I found myself in the front seat of her small car speeding across the Metroplex on Friday, late afternoon, the last work day before the wedding on Sunday.   She was on  the phone...yes, putting her own mother's life in danger, while moving in and out of traffic to get to the wholesale flower store.  We were to pick up all the roses that "Ethel" and I would be using to create the bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding.  The place closed at 3 and it was already after 1....yes, too close for my comfort zone, yet a wonderful challenge for my daughter.  As we were driving, she and hubby-to-be were discussing their to-do list.... the marriage license was next.

WHAT?? MARRIAGE LICENSE HASN'T BEEN APPLIED FOR YET?!?!   I could just feel my anxiety swell up and then I started to giggle inside.  Oh this would be sooooooooooooooo like her.  I listened as he discussed that they just need to marry within 72 hours of getting the licence   I knew better...it wasn't get married within 72 hours, it was a waiting period of 72 hours BEFORE getting married!!!!!!!!  Now this conversation was going back and forth at 2:30 on Friday afternoon.  He calls the courthouse....they close at 4 o'clock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They dropped me off with all the flowers to run to the courthouse...the time was close to 3!  I got into my car just knowing that this story wasn't at an end... what they thought and what I knew were two different things.  I had a Chesshire-cat-grin on my face as I  drove home..............we all might be at the courthouse on Tuesday, but this wedding was still going to happen.
picture at courthouse
A few minutes after 4 pm, my future son-in-law calls to tell the story...he won't allow my daughter to tell it.  Yes, it was as I said...72-hour wait.  My daughter had almost lost it.  Then in a last minute save, he asked about a military waiver!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES, YOU READ IT RIGHT!  They were given their marriage licence with a military waiver....so Sunday would be both the wedding AND the marriage on the same day.....what a close save!!

The other thing going through my head was my daughter's command to have her ring cleaned before the ceremony on Sunday.  So hubby-to-be needed to add one more thing to his list.

Wedding day comes....all the nervous and anxious feelings that come with a wedding were flowing.  My daughter giggled and got a little sharp with her mouth.  My future son-in-law got quiet and more sentimental.   We came to the last detail of the day.  Rings were to be tied onto the Bible my future son-in-law had used in his proposal to our daughter.  Benjamin would have the honor of carrying rings and handing them to the pastor for the ring exchange.  We put the groom's ring on the Bible and waited for the wedding assistant to retrieve the bride's ring.

She comes in and looks Nicole in the face and very sweetly says, "well, Nicole... there is just one little problem, but we have it worked out.  Michael forgot your ring, but we have one that looks like it we can use today.  There just won't be any ring pictures today."
This is me in the left hand corner!!  

I was behind her when she got this message.  I said, "no, hold on."  I pulled my wedding ring of 33 years off my finger and slipped it onto my daughter's hand...a GREAT fit!  We tied my ring onto the Bible.

My daughter was married with my wedding ring!

She facebooked and instagrammed their wedding pictures the following morning.  Beautiful!
We didn't take any pictures with my ring on her hand.

There was just something so special to this little forgotten thing.  I felt funny without my ring all through the reception...while grinning that my only daughter married with my ring.

As they drove off in a vintage car....I forgot to get it back!!!  So instead of zero conversation the following day, we were arranging how I would retrieve my ring before they left for their honeymoon.

Now if two stories weren't enough, there just had to be one last one as a great ending.

To save you from all the details.............they only escaped about 1 mile from the wedding venue when they ran out of GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In Marine style, he got out of the car with a grin.

All the wonderful stories and at the end of the day they were Mr. and Mrs.!

ps for a future blog: My grandmommy visit was the greatest!!!  I can't wait to have more time to get to know my first grandchild....a two-year-old precious, little boy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pity Party to Praise!

I can't tell you the last time I have been so tired...and it isn't just physical exhaustion, I am emotionally drained. During this journey there are times the "pity monster" comes and sticks his nose up against me and I just fall into his trap.   I know better.  I know scripture.  I know the Lord loves me....and yet so easily I will succumb to the invitation with my RSVP...yes attending, the Pity Party. 

The last six months have given me plenty of reasons to say "yes" to the invitation to the Pity Party.  I attended, then felt sick over my reaction. I picked myself up and turned the pity into praise. Today I want to invite you to my shaking off the dust of pity and turn into Praise Party.

One of my pity parties was over the lack of money to enjoy my daughter's upcoming wedding in the fashion I wanted. I just knew that after the young couple had paid for their own wedding that I would be attending looking like a rag-muffin. Now we know better. God knew my heart and He knew what could be done. He supplied me with more than I could have imagined...and I didn't look like a rag-muffin. I am sharing my pity party exchange with you.

Outfit for Rehearsal Dinner - New Dress - New Shoes...and a bounce in my step. Total Cost for Outfit - $25.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shoes $15.00 and Dress $10.00 Thank you Ross and TJ Maxx

Now for the wedding outfit. My poor husband heard my unbelief in this area as the wedding galloped closer and closer. God in His mercy didn't discipline me with a harsh "No girl, you have rent to pay." Instead He took me to a sale!

My dress - $38.00....thanks to Dillards sales....shoes that were still like new in my closet matched the dress.

Wedding day taken care of for me. Benjamin was the ring bearer. The tux rental for him would pay our electricity for a month. Thrift store shopping we went...because it will never be used again. Blazer, black dress pants and black dress shoes....total $10.00! Our biggest expense was his red bow tie...$7.00!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, I don't have pictures in yet....so give grace on this phone picture...but you can see how handsome Benjamin was as a ring bearer. I must say, they all were just so handsome and beautiful to this mom.  The three in white ties walked in front of the Bride and her Dad and the one in the black tie was a groomsman.

Hubby hasn't worn suits in years, due to changes in jobs. His were out-of-date and a little tight. Thrift store again for the Father-of-the-Bride.....$10.00 That is right...we all went to the wedding in style. What a different way of shopping than our son's wedding where.we rented four tuxedos and bought one bride's maid dress and shoes.  Could anyone tell the difference at this wedding? I think not! Now when you see the pictures you will know the story behind our clothes..............then tell me if you could tell we didn't spend our rent money. God is faithful.
  When I stop the pity party He takes it and turns it into a Praise!

yes there are still more wedding tales....get ready to laugh...and see more pictures
I also get to see my grandson for the first time this weekend...he  should be coming home to live permanently with my son and daughter-in-law soon.  They become first time parents to a beautiful  two- year- old!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tears of Joy and Gratefulness

I can truly say I am so tired that my eyes hurt.  My eyes have been shedding tears of joy and sorrow over all the events of the past two weeks.  The last two weeks I prepared for my daughter's wedding...tears of joy, while also hearing daily reports on my father.  One week before our daughter's wedding my father had a stroke...so tears of sorrow.  Each event ended in tears of gratefulness.  The wedding was a "TOTAL GOD" thing and my Dad arrives home today continuing his recovery...an answered prayer also.

Her three oldest brothers marched down the aisle in front of her and her Dad.  Her two youngest brothers, one a groomsman and Benjamin the ring bearer.  My Ethel saved the day by coming to my rescue and helping from sun up to sundown to prepare all the decorations for both the rehearsal dinner and wedding.  She is the definition of true friend.

So through my tired fingers I am leaving you with some of the first pictures.

We now enter our second unemployment period in six months, while looking back at the beginning of this roller coaster ride and recounting God's faithfulness.  Standing in the reception room, which was overflowing with 220 guest...we only expected 100...we stood as a couple amazed at the goodness of our God and "oh how He loves you and me!"

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Today is the DAY, She Becomes a Bride

Mrs. Katherine Nicole Wilson - lace from my wedding dress sewn into the hem of hers

Dearest Daughter,
I have struggled with what to write to you about marriage.  As I look around, I see the struggles that marriage brings to so many families and so many don’t cross the line of “ til death due we part.”  There isn’t any judgment toward those who don’t keep their vows for a lifetime...life can really be hard.  However, I do look to those who have been through many, many of life’s struggles and continued their journey in marriage.  For me, this heritage is mine through my grandparents, Bill’s parents, my sister-in-law and my own parents.  Each could write books of the struggles their marriages have walked through and, at times, crawled through.  As Deanie once said, “you just didn’t leave each other in my day. Even if it got hard, you stayed.”  There is something so simple about that and yet so true.

As we approach Christmas, I think of Joseph and Mary.  Their journey of marriage couldn’t have been easy from the beginning.  Joseph had to hear the word of God himself and he had to be obedient...taking his wife and newborn child away from danger.  Through all the years, they heard the voices of people who had to have believed that Jesus was a child from another man that Mary had had relationships with before marriage.  Their union couldn’t have been easy...and they were human just like all of us.

So my words of advice....you are in this for the long haul.  There will be seasons of complete excitement in which you feel your feet never touch the floor.  There will be seasons of complete struggle that only leaning on the Lord will keep you together.  There will be seasons that you really like each other and seasons that you will not like each other.  Each season is a time in which the Lord takes two people and molds them into one.  Any two different materials molded into one only happens through some form of heat or pressure... or both.  Your wedding bands were produced through heat and pressure.   The scratches and worn places on your rings through the years will testify to the process God is doing in both of your lives, as He molds you into one.

I look back on my grandparents and Deanie and Lefty...they were one when the Lord called the husbands home.  I look to my parents and Betty and Gerry...both couples are one...this didn’t happen overnight... they both share 50-plus years of marriage.  I look to your Dad and I and see God still adding pressure and heat to make us one...my prayer for us and for you is that you will allow the Lord to add the pressure, the heat and the unbelievable joys and challenges that it takes to make you one.  Don’t give up until you see His reflection in your relationship.  I see His reflection in the relationships that are yours and my inheritance.

I leave you with poems from Ruth Bell Graham..another one who walked through her marriage journey until the Lord called her home.

let me be all he ever dreamed
of loveliness and laughter,
Veil his eyes a bit
because there are so many little flaws;
somehow, God,
please let him see
only the bride I long to be,
remembering ever after-
I was all he ever dreamed
of loveliness and laughter.

Here are more of Ruth Bell Graham’s words and  her prayer on her wedding day....they are my prayer for you also, my only daughter.

“With this ring I thee wed…” your strong, familiar voice fell like a benediction
on my heart that dusk; tall candles flickered gently, our age-old vows were
said, and I could hear someone begin to sing an old, old song... timeworn and
lovely, timeworn and dear.  And in that dusk were old, old friends – and you,
an old friend, too (and dearer than them all).  Only my ring seemed new – its
plain gold surface warm and bright and strange to me in that
candlelight…unworn – unmarred.  Could it be that wedding rings like other
things are lovelier when scarred?

Never let it end, God, never – please – all this growing loveliness, all of these
brief moments of fresh pleasure – never let it end, let us always be a little
breathless at love’s beauty; never let us pause to reason from a sense of
duty; never let us stop to measure just how much to give; never let us stop to
weigh love; let us live – and live!  Please God, let our hearts kneel always,
love their only Master, knowing the warm impulsiveness of shattered
alabaster: I know You can see things the way a new bride sees, so never let
it end, God, never – please.

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