Dear Lord I’m Tired

    • This month is Poetry Month. I’ve tried writing poetry but it just doesn’t work. However, my girlfriend is quite gifted at it. I suspect you will agree. This poem is quite appropriate for my life right now as well as appropriate for Good Friday. see what you think.

    • TIRED

      Dear Lord I want to ask you a question ’bout my life…
      The struggles and the trials and the pain and all the strife;
      I just can’t see and end you know, heaven seems so far away;
      Dear Lord would you hurry up and bring the judgement day?

      All I want is to go home and see my Saviour there;
      I know it must seem selfish when lost souls are everywhere.
      But Lord you know I’m homesick and I’m tired and worn out;
      This world of sin is so mixed up, Lord, what’s it all about?

      Did you ever feel this way when you lived as a man?
      Did you ever tell the Father you’d had all that you could stand?
      Did you ever for a moment wish you weren’t so all alone?
      Did you ever want to give it up and just go on back home?

      I know you know just how I feel and to admit it is no sin;
      So is the battle ever over and do Christians really win?
      Is the master of deception ever really bound in hell?
      The lies he’s told about me are too numerous to tell.

      Will anyone ever like me or even think that I’m ok?
      Enemies are everywhere there’s a new one every day.
      How can I go on like this and hold my head up high?
      Lord you surely don’t expect me to go on and try.

      Dear Jesus, did you ever find it difficult to pray?
      Or did you ever scowl at the dawn of a new day?
      Or did you resent the fact that you hung upon a tree,
      And died the death of a criminal to save someone like me?

      Dear Lord help me remember when things get really tough,
      And all I think or pray about is that I’ve had enough;
      Please remind me that you were shamed but didn’t hang your head;
      And please remind me that it was also for your enemies you bled.

      Dear Jesus please remind me in your gentle loving way
      That you never once complained about the price you had to pay.
      And please keep my heart in tune to all you want to do
      In the lives of my enemies who need to know you too.

      Melody Powell Rindfuss
      Copyright ©1995-2012

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No More Bench Sitting For This Mom

My newest obsession for my family is FOOD!!! I started doing the week night cooking about 3 weeks ago. And I haven’t said “I hate cooking” or “I dread cooking tonight” a single time. Those comments were regular comments I would have made prior to this phase of my life. But one night it just hit me that I’m feeling better these days (thank you, Advocare) and there’s no reason why I can’t take up some of the slack from Ron. Ron is a great cook. He loves making things up in his head. And honestly in the last 3 weeks I’ve made one thing that was a flop. And right now I could tell you what went wrong and that if I made it again I could correct that and it would be better.

So cooking has slowly turned into a hobby I enjoy. I have added a page here on my blog called “Foodie Blogs I Love”. I have written a blurb about each site to give you a little idea of what you will find if you look there. I’m adding about a site a day right now. People are recommending sites to me and of course I’m finding them via Pinterest. I have a board on Pinterest titled “Pins I’ve Tried”. So if you look at that board you can see a quick comment about how it worked for us when I tried it.

When I was growing up I spent nearly every weekend and holiday at my grandparent’s house. My grandmother was one of those southern women who loved to cook. She rarely let anyone bring a dish to family dinners. She wanted to fix it all. I’ve always been disappointed thinking that my grandchildren wouldn’t have that memory of me when they come to Mimi’s house in the future. It’s always bothered me. But now I don’t think they would be able to say that anymore.

Last night I made a super yummy dish that I found on Pinterest linked to Joyful Mama’s Kitchen blog. I will post the process in just a second. But Ron gave me the greatest gift when he said “Your Mamaw would be so proud of you. She would love this.” I cried! He’s right! And that’s what keeps me going – my wanting to be like her.

Ok – here’s the recipe:

Chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce
*These are seriously so so good*
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

shredded chicken mixed with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and wrapped in tortillas

Making the mix on the stove top

Pour the mixture over the enchiladas and top with more shredded cheese

Bake for 22 minutes at 350 and 3 minutes on broil to brown the cheese on top

A square of pure yumminess on the plate

I also made our neighbors with the baby that just came home from NICU this weekend a meal. Veggie soup! Apparently it was a big hit. Their 3 year old boy had 3 bowls of it.

Yummy Yummy all around!!! I’ve discovered the joy of taking care of my family in every way. Most of the last 10 years I have been in bed and they have all been taking care of me. I’m loving being the wife and mother to the fullest! They are my gift, we’re all a team and I’m excited to be the team leader for a while instead of the team member who sits the bench. No more bench sitting for this mom!

Join My Family

Everyone around the blogging world has been mourning the loss of Google Friend Connect (GFC). I totally understand your loss. However, wordpress.com blogs have never been able to use GFC because of the javascript in it’s coding – which really ticks me off – but that’s another story. However I have come across a new (to me) service for readers to keep up and follow The Journey Leads Home. If you look to your right on my HOME page you will see a box under my blog button called Network Blogs. There is an option to “Follow My Blog”. It will open up a profile in networked blogs where you can then click “Follow”.

I feel like I’m a real part of the blogging community now. I feel like we are all a member of a big family. So if you read my blog then join my blog family!

A Father Whose Been Changed

Because NaBloPoMo’s theme this month is Relatives I realized that I had written this series about my dad a couple of years ago. This particular post sums him up quite well. So I thought I would repost it for today’s Relative post. He has come a long way from his cancer battle. Several references are made to that period of time in this entry. If you are interested in reading the series i wrote about his fight with cancer you can do so by clicking these links:

My Dad, My Hero – Part 1

My Dad, My Hero – Part 2

My Dad, My Hero – Part 3

My Dad, My Hero – Part 4

If you remember my series of 4 entries about my dad from a few months ago then you know what a trying year it has been for our family and for my dad.  I realized that the last one ended with my Dad just about ready to finish up his radiation treatments.  Well, the last four months has brought about healing and a lot of continued waiting.  He finished those treatments and then patiently sat back and waited for God to finish healing his body so he could move on to the next steps in the healing process.  More about that in a couple of paragraphs.

I’m gonna get really honest about my family in this entry.  When I was growing up  everything wasn’t always sunshine and roses in our home.  You can probably say exactly the same thing about your home as well.  Noone’s home is truly what we make it appear to be if you’re downright honest about it.  THAT is another entry entirely.  At any rate, patient is not a word I would have used to describe my dad back in the days when I was growing up.  I saw a lot of impatience actually and a lot of anger – traits that I carried into my adulthood as a result.  However, I can honestly say in the last 18 years or so I have seen my dad do a 180 degree turn.  He is not the same man he was when I was growing up.  We have all done a lot of growing and changing in our personal lives and in the ways we relate with one another – not only within our own families but with people in general.  Noone is perfect.  But while I have seen him grow and change a lot in that period of time I have seen him change even more in the last year.

The last year has taken away his control over nearly every part of his life.  While the changes have been gradual as his papilloma condition has gotten worse over the years, the last year has brought him to a grinding halt in so many ways.  He has lost control of talking, at times breathing, singing, preaching, socializing, independence, tending to his own hygiene, exercising, doing his own home repairs/maintenance, driving at times…just to name a few.  For a man who has always fought to be in control that is a lot of loss.  For a man who has been independent and proud that is a lot of humbling.

He has spent a lot of time being quiet and waiting.  He has had to wait for diagnosis’ many times over.  He has had to let us make some decisions for him when he was not physically able to make them for himself.  He has had to accept a lot of medical procedures that he never wanted to have to endure.

But I have watched him let go of the reins.  I could see none of it was easy for him.  One could watch him sit and think and see the mental tug-of-war in his mind and in his spirit.  He has gone from being in complete control to losing most of that control.  It has been a long road – a very long road.  While we have all thought we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel many times he was realistic and guarded his heart from losing hope.

There have been so many steps in this ordeal.  Each step he has had to let go of the reins a little more and a little more.  But earlier this afternoon the sign of completion of the process came about in the form of a phone call.  The last step in the process was getting a handsfree talking device installed  – which happened today.  Earlier today my cell phone rang and I saw his picture show up.  I answered the phone and it was my Daddy – my humbled, changed and healed Daddy.  Praise the Lord the light we have seen at the end of the tunnel was indeed the light of healed completion of the process.

The next step is up to him.  He finally has some control back again.  He has let God change him in so many ways.  Now it is up to him what he does with the new work that God has completed.  He will be re-entering society and the world of speaking again.  One day I’m convinced I will sit in a church pew somewhere and listen to my Daddy preach again.  And I guarantee you that he will bring praise and glory to God for the mighty work He has done.  Because a miracle has been performed. A new man has been made.  My Daddy is back.  And I can’t wait to see the results of all the hard work that he and God have done together.

Where Do We Learn How To Mother?

I asked each of my family members — including my parents – what they learned from their mother. I got answers from my Michael and my mom. I thought a few moments of focusing on what a mother’s job is might help us to remember what we have learned about mothering.

Mothers are the nurturers in the parental unit. They are the ones, whether they work inside the home or outside the home, that are credited with the physical well being of taking care of the children. Traditionally if a child is sick mom is the one taking care of him. They are the ones who generally take care of the home. Many mothers have the option of staying at home in order to make those jobs easier. But some must work outside the home because of financial reasons. While hugs and kisses are wonderful pay for a stay at home mom they don’t go very far in buying groceries. Those moms who have to work outside of the home really have TWO full time jobs and should be given credit for that.

Our mothers teach us how to take care of our homes by cooking, doing laundry, taking care of younger siblings – basically how to run a home. Someone needs to teach our young people that family is the most important part of our lives. Sadly when that doesn’t happen children grow up with the idea that they are not part of a family unit and spend a lot of time searching for a group to belong to which leads to trouble. I love to bond with my kids’ friends – especially those whose parents are absent in their lives or don’t have a loving home to feel safe in. Those are the ones that I’m drawn to. I want them to see what a loving family unit looks like and how it works. Mostly to see that “home” can be a safe, fun and loving place to be. That may be why the kids at school call me Mama Hunter. This is the mom’s “job” – to be the driving force in her children’s lives. Sometimes her children are not even children she puts to bed at night in her home.

Our mothers teach us how to love, interact with the opposite sex so when it’s time for us to search for a spouse we have learned what to look for, what to say, what to do. Their job is to raise children to be good citizens, Godly spouses and Godly parents. They teach us perseverance in life with love. We all need that lesson – continuing on with life when you want to just give up. There have been times when Michael and/or Lauren have wanted to quit something they have committed to whether it’s a sport or another organized group. We have refused to let them quit. I may have been killing myself running them here and there at all hours of any day or night. But that, too, was part of the lesson. I’m willing to do my part to make sure they keep their commitment.

Unconditional love…..that should be part of the Webster’s Dictionary under the word “Mother”. We all fail those we love at some time but a mom will always love us regardless of the poor choices we make. Our children say hurtful things to us, they take us for granted, they hurt us by disobeying us but in spite of all of those things we love them unconditionally. Children learn how to love others by watching the love they see in their homes. Mothers guide that lesson. They teach us how to be sympathetic to those who are hurting, how to empathize with those around them, how to reach out and befriend the friendless and how to help those who need an extra hand. But they must see all of those things from us. We are the nurturers. We teach them how to nurture others as they are growing up and someday how to nurture their families as well.

Mothers are a blessing and a necessary part of the home. God made us that way. We spend the rest of our lives living out the lessons we have learned from our mothers growing up. I hope you say I love you every day. They give up a lot of themselves for their children. They spend a lot of their lives teaching lessons that they were created to teach. It’s our job to appreciate them and learn those lessons.

So, what lessons have you learned from your mother?

This Is What Family Does

This month’s NaBloPoMo theme is Relatives. I agreed to participate and THEN I thought about how many days I was gonna have to write about my family. 29 days! That’s a lot of family. I then began thinking through various ways to write about family and what I might say about each one. It became a daunting task. But then I thought about what is going on around me. We have had quite the eventful month on our street.

We live in a young subdivision on a culdesac. Our culdesac makes up a wonderful group of friends who care about and support one another like family. When one of us needs something all we have to do is ask. Each home represents a branch on the family tree. I’ve always said that good friends are the family that you choose. In this case God chose each of us and planted us in houses next to each other. Now there are some “family members” who choose not to participate in “family” activities. But then that’s really not much different than a family related by blood, is it?

As I said earlier, we have had a lot going on in the court the last few weeks. One family in particular is really struggling right now. I wrote a few weeks ago about one of our neighbors whose 3 year old son had a seizure. This same family is going through another indescribably difficult time now. To remind you Katie (the mother) had thyroid cancer in the early stages of her recent pregnancy. She was able to have surgery to remove it but was unable because of the pregnancy to treat her with radiation or other treatments. A couple of months ago is when their 3 year old had the seizure, which I wrote about at the time. In the last 2 months of the same pregnancy they discovered that her cancer had come back. A week ago tomorrow she had the baby – a healthy baby girl at birth. However a couple of days later the baby began having some problems and was moved to the NICU where she is still staying. In the last couple of days her husband and their 3 year old son have come down with RSV. So, let’s get this straight Mom discovers that her cancer has returned, the healthy baby girl goes to NICU, the dad and son have RSV and is unable to visit. Katie is staying at the hospital with the baby.

And this is where our Cul-de-sac family comes in. We are currently putting together a plan for meals and a means of getting items from home to the hospital for Katie. That’s what family does! When a family member is having a crisis then the other family members step up and pick up part of the burden to make the load lighter.

I really can’t explain quite how great each member of our family is and how vital each family is to the care of the overall group. I’ve never lived somewhere like this. We are bonded. We are family. And this is what family does.

February Relatives

A new month has rolled around. I love to venture around the blog-i-verse and see what kinds of blog challenges I can find. I love participating in monthly blog challenges because it gives me a reason to write regularly and it gives me a chance to reach out to other bloggers and bond in our common goals. I still have a few challenges I want to explore today, as the first day of the new month.

But one of the writing challenges I have taken part in a number of times before is NaBloPoMo. The theme for February is “Relative”. This will give me a great opportunity to dig a little deeper in the lives of some of my relatives that I don’t get to see very often anymore. Mom & Dad, be ready for all those questions and requests for pictures. In the last year I have written about certain family members. I hope to revisit those family members as well as explore new ones. I also want to learn more about some of Ron’s relatives because they are not only my relatives now too but they are also blood relatives of our children. Someday I hope this blog will be a source of information that MIchael and Lauren can use to learn more about our family.

So I am excited to start NaBloPoMo today. I’d love for you to join us. NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month. You can find more information about it by following any of the links or clicking on the button here in this entry or the one in my sidebar. It will be up for the month of February. If you are looking for a great tool to use to get you writing then this could be it. Visit the BlogHer NaBloPoMo site and join in.

NaBloPoMo February 2012