Courtesy of Wedding Window

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


When my son was little, we were at church one day and he said, "Mom, Bro. Port is really old."  I asked him, "Why do you say that?"  And he replied, "Because he has old hands."

I stopped for a moment to consider this brother's hands.  They were wrinkled, and his fingers were a little twisted.  His hands were weathered, with some age spots.  I looked down at my own hands.  They were smooth, creamy... young.  I thought about the difference in our ages, lives, experiences.  He might have had "old hands" but they were kind, and the wisdom he had was something to seek after.  I hoped that one day when I had old hands that I might have a quarter of that wisdom.

When my dad was still alive, I noticed his hands many times after that instance. His hands were tanned, strong, steady, and kind.  As the years passed, I noticed the age spots begin to creep in.  As Dad got sick, I noticed the tanned hands were pale.  The strong hands were weak.  The steady hands were shaking.  But they were always kind and that wisdom... he had it.  Again, something to strive for in my life.

I posted a picture on Facebook tonight.  I wasn't happy to discover that my hands have age spots on them.  I considered them and I thought, "They are tan.  They are strong.  They are steady.  But are they kind?  Do I have wisdom?"

I'm going to try to be happy with my "old hands".  If they get pale, okay.  If they get weak, alright.  If they get shaky, so be it.  I'm going to worry about the important things instead.  I'm going to strive for kindness, and for wisdom. I think we need more of both in this world.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I had an epiphany the other day...

I have no idea if I can put my thoughts into words.

When I was 11, my brother and my sister both got married within two weeks of each other.  For me, the only child left at home, life changed drastically.  We went from a family of 5 at home, to a family of 3.  Change brought many differences in our lifestyle.  We ate out a lot more, did more "fun" things, traveled more, etc.

I'm not exactly sure why, but all of those changes, differences, made me forget what life had been like before.  As an adult, I can barely remember "family" life with my brother and sister at home.  I can't remember ever sitting around a table eating supper together.  I can't remember playing outside with them.  I can't remember doing ANY family things together.  I remember individual events.  I remember time spent with them, individually, but the actual family memories are gone.  I've often wondered if it was some kind of self-preservation... maybe a way of protecting my feelings when they moved on.

8 years ago, I had another life-altering experience.  I became a single (divorced) woman again.  Life completely changed, in the blink of an eye.  Suddenly, I had to figure things out on my own.  I had to go back to work.  I had to figure out how to raise my kids.  I went from having over 2000 visitors a year to 10.  There were many, many changes.   As time went on, something very similar happened to me, like it did when I was a kid.  I forgot.  I honestly could not remember so much of what "life" was like when I was married.  I remember tons of events and experiences, but general life is hard to remember.  One day, I realized that I couldn't even think of one snack my ex had liked to eat.  How odd that I'd forget something like that after 17 years of marriage.  Was it again a form of self-preservation?

About a year ago, I found our old home movies, but realized I had nothing to play them on, as our Mini DV camcorder had disappeared.  I tried to buy some kind of adapter, but they just aren't out there for my kind of camera.  I couldn't afford to have the cassettes put onto a DVD at that point, so I just kind of forgot about it for the time being.

A couple of weeks ago, my foot kicked something under my bed.  Now, first let me say that I don't keep hardly anything under the beds.  I have 4 paintings and a wedding dress under mine.  But that day... there was something else.  My video camera!  I have no explanation as to how it got there except to say, "God gave it back to me."  I began to watch videos...

I saw family Christmases, birthdays, fun times.  I got to see my Daddy again.  I watched my little kids as they grew, year to year.  I saw us fishing, climbing trees, playing in the snow.  I saw tickles and laughs and hugs.  I saw a FAMILY.  After all this time, I remembered the good times.  I remembered that things weren't always bad...  that they were good for a lot of years.  And that made me happy.

I realize now that satan, once again, was a thief.  He stole my memories from me. He made me feel like an idiot... like I'd been deceived by lies for 17 years and that I'd never had a happy home.  Like it was wasted time and I had nothing good to show for it.  But you know what?  He was WRONG.

Different isn't bad.  Life is a beautiful thing, and I shouldn't be so afraid of change.  God can take the ugliest things and bring beauty from the ashes.  I'm a better person today for the things I've been through.  I hope I can learn this lesson as I move forward in life. I want to embrace change and never, ever forget.  But I also want to never be afraid to remember.

Always something new around the corner.

Friday, December 30, 2016


For the past two days, I've been consumed by the phrase "being present".  Being present... what does that really mean?  Don't I live in the present every day?

For starters, I've never had a problem going to sleep.  Many of my friends have struggled with that.  I know people that lie awake at night, dwelling on troubles, issues, problems, even just stupid stuff.  When my ex left, for three nights I laid awake, unable to sleep. At all.  I wondered what would happen to me and the kids.  Where would we go?  What would we do?  Would we survive this loss? On the fourth night, as I lay there worrying, God spoke to me.  It was so clear in my mind.  I felt like He said, "If you got up right this minute, could you fix anything?  At the present time, is there anything at all that you could do, right now, in the middle of the night?"  And honestly, the answer was "No".  There truly wasn't anything I could do right then.  And I felt a calmness, and a peace come over me, and I closed my eyes and went to sleep. That was the last night that I remember having trouble sleeping.

Many times since then, as I've lain down to sleep, I've had a worry or two creep into my thoughts.  And immediately, I will ask myself, "If I get up right now, is there anything at all I can do about this situation?"  Sometimes, the answer is "yes", like make a to-do list or something but almost always, the answer is "No". On the rare occasion that the answer happens to be "yes", I will get right up, do what I need to do, then lay back down and go right to sleep with peace of mind.  At those moments, I feel that I am truly "being present".  I deal with what I can, and then leave the rest for later.

As I've considered "being present" lately, I've come to realize that I am really only present while I'm working on a task, as I lay down to sleep, and in those first few precious moments when I first wake up in the mornings.  I've also come to realize how many times I am NOT truly present.  So many times as I'm chatting with someone, my mind is going in all different directions, sometimes even thinking of what I'm going to add to the conversation, or thinking of a story I'm going to tell.  I'm NOT truly present when I go out to eat with someone.  My phone sits on the table beside me.  Any time it lights up, either with a call, text message, IM or email, I look at it/answer it/deal with it, no matter who I'm with. Even though it only takes my attention for a second, I'm not truly present with my family member/friend/co-worker or whomever I'm eating with.  I'm NOT truly present when someone comes into my office because my mind is often on twenty different things at once.  How hard would it be for me to just really stop and listen to the person in my office?  I mean, really stop and listen... put them first. Be PRESENT.  Why can't I leave my phone in my purse while eating a meal with someone?  In an emergency, someone will call me.  I can miss a text or two.  After a friend's passing this year, I have really regretted not being more present when I was with her.

Even at this very moment I am struggling for presence.  I am writing/typing this blog post, listening/watching the tv, scanning the tabs at the top of my browser, noticing that I have 5 Facebook notifications, 4 Pinterest notifications and 3 unread emails, all the while wondering where Sophie is, how my friend's new cat is getting along with her dogs, what time I need to get up tomorrow,  how Wade's trip is going and what Sheridan is doing. I mean, I'm present, but not really present.

My 2017 resolution is this:  to try harder to be present.  For my family.  For my friends.  For my co-workers.  I think it will make me a better person all the way around.  I think I will be a better listener, a better communicator, a better friend. I think I will remember things better, because I've paid more attention when they were happening.  I think I will be more productive.  I honestly think that I will savor the moments and that 2017 will not rush by near as fast as 2016 did. As I get older, I have more of a desire for time to slow down.  Maybe time is not the problem... maybe it's me.  Maybe it's this busy world we live in...

I'm up for the challenge.  And I challenge each one of you to "be present" in 2017.

Matthew 6:34 says: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Let's do this... 2017, Here I come!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

An open letter to my ex...

After seven years, you'd think I'd have it all figured out, right?  Wrong.  I'm still learning... a work in progress.  This morning I woke with a strange sense of... realization? understanding? clarity? I can't exactly put my finger on the word I'm looking for.  Clarity might be it. 

I was lying in bed, thinking of all the good things in my life and I realized... I owe those good things to you.  So, from the depths of my heart, "Thank You."

The two very best things I received from our marriage were our kids.  God knew exactly what I needed in this life, and they are it.  Without them, I could not have gone on when you walked away.  So, first and foremost, thank you for them.  They are my heart and soul, and I wouldn't be me without them.

Also, thank you for the many enjoyments and times we had in our marriage. Even though it ended so, so badly there certainly were good times and I have many fond memories.

Thank you for giving me Grandparents.  My grandparents had all passed by the time we met, and yours took me in as their own.  They loved me and cared for me so genuinely.  And I felt the same exact way towards them.  I will always be grateful that our marriage brought me the blessing of them.

And now for the... other stuff.  

Thank you for leaving me.  Thank you for making me stand on my own two feet. Thank you for causing me to be brave.  Thank you for helping me to find myself again.

If it weren't for you I wouldn't have:

1) My Job.  After 17 years as a stay-at-home wife and mother, I found myself lacking.  I lacked confidence.  I lacked motivation.  I simply lacked.  Because you left me, I had no choice but to seek employment.  Man, it was so scary after being out of the workforce for all those years.  I started out at a very part-time job, just to get my feet wet.  And then God directed me to sub at the school. He helped me to be good at that, and to find favor with the administration.  And voila! Here I am today with a great job, and guess what?  I'm good at it!  I really am!  What a pleasant discovery.  So, thank you, for the confidence I have in myself now.

2)  My House.  When you left, I was adamant that the kids and I were going to stay in OUR house, that you would not force us to leave.  I won that argument, and stay we did.  For a year.  At the end of that first year, I asked the kids what they thought about moving in to town.  They were both super excited and on board.  With the help of The Lord, we were able to sell the house and build this one.  Talk about empowering!  I'm still amazed to this day that I waded through all the decisions, whether it be financially or physically, that got this house built. When I think about it, I almost faint in my mind it is so unbelievable. So, again, thank you, for the strength I found within myself.

3)  My family.  You didn't have strong family ties.  Your family wasn't typical when you were growing up, and you didn't feel the strong pull to be with your family like I did.  Unfortunately, being your wife and believing that you had the final say, I missed out on a lot of times with my own family over the years. There weren't very many family trips to see relatives.  We didn't spend weekends at my parents' house just to visit them.  We went when there was a "happening", but we missed a lot of just simple enjoyment with them, and with the rest of my family.  After you left, obviously, I clung to them.  And they were there for me... more than you ever were.  They loved me with a pure, unfailing love.  Since then, I have enjoyed so many times with them.  So, thank you. Thank you for giving me back my family.  Thank you, sincerely, for granting me the gift of time with my Dad before he passed away.  I will forever be grateful for that.

4)  My friends.  It's a funny thing when you are married.  Married people want to hang out with other married people.  Well, at least that's usually the way it works.  We hung out with EVERYONE.  People of all ages, whether married or single.  And yes, it was good.  Really good.  But, you know what?  I didn't feel like I had very many friends.  There is a difference in being friendly with people and having real, true friends.  You know, those people that will have your back, no matter what?  The ones that will be there for you, in the good times, but also in the times when you are a big bawling, slobbery, crying mess?  Yeah, those kind. Thank you so much.  When you left, I discovered who my real, true friends were.  Although I was so sorely disappointed to discover how many I did not have, I was also so incredibly happy to discover who the real ones were.  They know who they are, and I cherish them to this day.

5)  My cat.  Yes, I know, we always had cats.  You were very willing to allow me to have all the cats I wanted.  But never, in any reality, would you have let me have an indoor cat.  So once again, thank you.  Thank you for leaving me.  I love my Sophie-girl so much.  I feel real, honest joy when I look at her.

6)  My free will.  As a child, I grew up totally knowing that the day would come that I would marry, and when I did, that my "job" and "role" was to be in subjection to my husband.  I knew that he would make the rules and the decisions in our home.  So, I willingly gave up my free will and my freedom of choice.  I lived without it for over 17 years, sometimes not so willingly.  So, thank you, for giving that back to me.  You can't imagine how freeing it is to decide whether I want to cook or go out to eat on any given day.  You can't imagine how it feels to think, "I want to watch tv" and turn on the cable that you would never have allowed us to have.  Or even to type this letter... I couldn't do that without the internet, which is also something you wouldn't let us have.  If I want to go bowling, or to the movies with friends, I can.  If I want new clothes, I can go buy them without having to ask anyone.  I can wear all my junky jewelry.  I can dye my hair.  I can go get a pedicure if I want to.  I can make friends at work, I can travel, I can do anything I want to do. There is no way that you can understand that because no one has ever taken away your freedom of choice, your free will.  So, thank you.  I love having it back.

You know, many times over the past seven years, I have not wished you well.  I have been unable to feel kindness towards you.  Thankfully, I kept most of that to myself.  I tried my very best not to say cruel things about you in front of our kids.  You might not have deserved that kindness, but our kids did.  But this morning, as I lay in bed considering all these things, I can honestly say that I wish you well.  I hope you find happiness in this life.  I really do. 

Once again, thank you for leaving me.  If you hadn't, I would never have been able to become the woman I am today.  I'm strong.  I'm smart.  I'm confident. I'm capable.  I'm genuine.  I'm sincere.  And you know what else?  I'm okay... and it's a good life.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

You may have heard the expression "It take a village to raise a child".  In fact, I used that phrase just this morning in regards to my own children.  As I went through the day, that saying just kept going over and over in my mind.  I've come to realize that it can pertain to many aspects of our lives, not just in raising our kids.

We've also heard, time and again, that we should help others... that we should show care towards our fellow man (or woman).  Now, let me stop here and say that right now, I don't have anything specifically that I need help with.  But I have in the past... oh man, yes I have.  Case in point:

Two summers ago, I just could not get my lawn mower to work.  I'm sure many of my friends heard my sob story, over and over that summer.  I like to think of myself as fairly self-sufficient, but geeze... that sucker about put me over the edge.  Try as I might, it just wouldn't work.  And that meant that I had the. worst. yard. in. my. neighborhood.  Hands down.  It was extremely embarrassing. 
And it was frustrating.  Oh, so frustrating.  As someone that is both the man and the woman of the house, and with limited funds, I was so overwhelmed.  I felt utterly helpless.  Today, as I rode my really nice John Deere mower (thank you mom!), I thought about how nice it would have been to have came home two summers ago, and to have found that someone had been by and mowed my yard, completely out of the clear blue, as a surprise, because they simply felt like it.  I'm here to tell you, I probably would have burst out bawling like a baby in appreciation.   That being said...

I wonder how many people out there are like me.  How many need their yard mowed because they have no mower?  How many have branches piled up in their yard because they trimmed their trees and have no way to haul off the cuttings? How many people have a broken window that they need help replacing?  How many have a car that needs the oil changed and they can't afford to take it somewhere?  How many people have an electrical socket that doesn't work and they don't know how to fix it?  How many need stuff put up into their attic but they can't lift it? How many need a piece of furniture moved?

How many?

It's not just the single people.  There are many that work two jobs and just don't have time.  There are some that are too sick to do the household chores.  Some people are too feeble.  And surely, there are some that just don't know how to do something.

Myself, I'm not handy.  I couldn't change their oil, or haul off their branches.  But I could organize their closets.  I could clean out a shed or garage for them.  I could help them balance their checkbooks or set up a budget.  I could help them have a garage sale. I could do their grocery shopping.

What could you do for someone?  Just imagine, if each one of us did one thing ever so often for someone else, how many things could we actually accomplish for others?  And then, what if they paid it forward to someone else? How much joy could we bring to someone that feels overwhelmed, or is sick or simply frustrated because they can't fix their weed eater.

You know... they aren't going to ask you. Or me.  Even if we make a blanket offer right now, "Let me know if you need something, blah blah blah".  I'm telling you, from experience, they aren't going to ask.  They aren't going to call you.  You (and I) are going to have to ask them, over and over again.  You may have to ask something specific.  "Can I come over and fix that broken window for you?"

It takes a village to raise a child, but I tend to think it takes a village to simply make it through this life...

Friends... let's make a change.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's that time of the year again...

A time of ending. A time of beginning. A time to look back. And a time to look ahead. First off...

... a look back.  This year brought a lot of changes to my family. My mom sold the family homestead, which brought with it a summer of craziness getting her ready to move.  Wade started tech school and moved out.  Sheridan started her Senior year.  I started a new position at the school.  I quit my 2nd job.  I got (another) new car.  I left behind some old, bad decisions, and moved forward.  I lost some that were very dear to my heart.  I've realized that sometimes, people are just selfish.  They will hurt your feelings, or leave you out, or simply not show care to you.  I've seen my kids fall by the wayside because of a lack of care and compassion towards them. That is a bitter pill to swallow, and I'm still reeling from some of it.  But, it makes me want to be better to others, and let God take care of all the rest of them. He is just and they will surely reap what they have sown. 

It was a challenging year.  I can't say that I'm sad it is over with. 

Some insight...

When I was a child, a teenager, and a young adult, I was under my parents' rules and guidance.  As a 20 something adult and as a 30 something adult, I was under Bob's rules and guidance.  Now, as a 40 something adult, I realize, that for the first time in my whole life... I'm under my own rules and guidance.

It's up to me! 

That is both exciting and frightening at the same time.

That realization has brought with it a lot of thought, prayer and soul-searching.  You know what I discovered?

Somewhere along the way, while living life and being under everyone else's rules and guidance... I lost myself.

Sandy was just... gone.

It's taken me 5 years, but friends, I'm about to get there.

It's actually pretty freeing.  Every day, I ask myself, "what do I think about such and such". And you know what? I'm the only one that gets to answer that question! It simply does not matter what anyone else thinks of my answer. You know what else?  I kind of like the "me" I'm finding!

So, looking ahead to the future.

I'm going to find myself again. That is my New Year's resolution. I'm going to figure out who I am, what I want to do, and where I want to be (figuratively because I'm not moving anywhere). 

And I'm not going to answer to anyone but myself.  Because I can.

Look out world! Here I come!

Happy New Year !!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not too long ago, I read a terrific article that was titled, "20 Things A Mother Should Tell Her Son". I am putting the link on here, as truly, everyone really should read it. It is awesome.

20 Things A Mother Should Tell Her Son

Man, that article has gotten me to thinking... and I just can't quit. Haha!

So, in addition to those wonderful, fabulous 20 up there ^^^, here are 20 more that I just know my son (and others out there) will really need to hear one day, even if they might not know it yet:

1.  Wait for the one you can't live without. It will be worth it.

2.  Don't wear wrinkled clothing.

3.  Don't smoke.

4.  Women love to be winked at.

5.  Respect your elders.  They have been there, done that, and know way more than you do.

6.  Don't procrastinate.

7.  Be the type of man you would want your daughter to marry.

8.  Bad things happen to good people.  Be good anyway.

9.  Admit when you are wrong.  It is never too late to say I'm sorry.

10.  It's okay to ask for directions.

11.  Everyone comes with baggage.  Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack.

12.  It's okay to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life.  You have the rest of your life to figure it out.

13.  Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

14.  Love hurts. Love anyway.

15.  Hold her hand and walk her to the door.

16.  When a woman says she is "fine", chances are, she's not.

17.  It only takes a few minutes to ruin your reputation.  

18.  Real girls do not look like Victoria's Secret models.  

19.  Don't wait to be asked. Offer to help.

and finally, last but not least...

20.  Always buy the orange properties in Monopoly.