Monday, December 17, 2012

God is Still in Control

I have a student that needs your prayers.  He was diagnosed last week with stage 4 cancer.  The exact type of cancer has not yet been determined [as of the end of the school day on Friday] nor do I specifics on prognosis, treatments, etc. I do know that my thoughts have constantly been on him and his family.  I cannot imagine, especially as a parent, being told, "Your child has cancer."  My mind won't even let me go there.

I remember asking sweet, sweet Mickey Heyward about a student who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor [and is currently a sophomore in college and doing very well :)]  about what I should pray for: should I ask for healing or not to suffer?  Mickey's answer stuck with me [as did so many other things Mickey said], "You pray for God's will to be done.  He will be healed ~ either here on Earth or in Heaven ~ but he will be healed." So my prayer is for healing because I know God's plan is perfect. Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." [I am so thankful for Pastor Mickey.  Ultimately, he was healed upon entering heaven and I know he's having a very good time!]

God is still in control.

I was glued to my television this past Friday evening as the events in Newtown, CT unfolded.  Speechless.  I  was [and still very much am] dumbfounded.  The whole entire scenerio seemed unfathomable yet I was watching the news reporters talking about babies being shot...twenty of them.  School employees being shot.  I felt my own heart creeping into my throat.  I felt Emma's tiny hand holding mine.  Then, the one thought that kept pushing to the surface, no matter how emphatically my brain screamed to keep it hidden in darkness, came bubbling out: What if that had been my child? 

There is nothing that could [or should] prepare any parent for the nightmare being thrust upon these people in Newtown, CT.  The absolute senselessness of such a horrific act of violence is hard enough to comprehend [and I doubt anyone will ever fully understand] but to know that children, Gabe's age, were targeted is just heart wrenching.  Evil.  Pure evil. 

God is still in control.

Psalms 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  I know that my Jesus has never left the side of the mother who is mourning the loss of her child.  He's been there with the firemen and police officers, the medical examiners, and the survivors who had to witness such horror.  He is holding the father still asking why. 

God is still in control.

Today will be different at every school in America.  School will never be the same.  Lockdown drills will be practiced.  Students will ask questions with answers that seem to sting every time they leave our lips.  Teachers will cringe as they survey their classrooms and pray, "Please Lord, keep us safe  today."

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord

and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.

Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

God is still in control.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Saw Jesus

I returned [at 8:30 am after an ALL night ride in a small bus, pulling a trailer through NJ, Delware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina] on Sunday and I must say this was one of the very best experiences of my entire life.  I would absolutely go again if given the opportunity.

I learned how to tear out sheet rock, rip metal corner braces, remove linoleum, take up sub-flooring, break and tear out ceramic tile, and remove insulation like a pro!  I learned that a nail can be removed with a little persuasion and elbow grease.  I watched a toilet get squished into about a thousand pieces by a front-end loader.  I carried a ton of wood [no exaggeration] to the curb. 

My greatest job of the entire trip was being a front row observer as the men from our church were Jesus to so many.  I knew this was a wonderful group of men to be working with but I witnessed, first hand, how God worked through them to help these desperate people.  They worked hard.  They made me want to work hard.  They worked in the rain.  They didn't complain.  They drove the bus, even when tired [and dealing with the crazy NJ traffic patterns and drivers] without complaint.  They were patient when the women of the crew needed guidance or instruction.  They never complained.  

More than the physical work, they prayed for and with these homeowners.  They stories of the floods...stories of the memories from house ...stories of the things that were ruined.  They, with the utmost care, lifted pictures and picture albums that were still dripping with water, carefully into bags for the homeowner.  With kindness and compassion, they encouraged her to get the moldy and water logged furniture out of the house...they shoveled the mud and memories into trashbags.  I stood beside them as they laid hands on and prayed for a father, with 6 children and not enough insurance to cover the damage to his home.  I listened to their heart felt prayers for comfort and peace. 

I am very thankful for the opportunity and thankful even still, that God made a way for me to be a part of such an amazing group. 


The people of New Jersey and New York need our prayers.  They need to feel that hedge of protection around them as they face insurance and rebuilding and financial issues.  Please pray for them.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jersey Shore?

So I posted a couple of years ago [seems like I've been writing this blog since I was like 25.  So that was like two years ago right?]  about going to disaster relief training through my church.  I learned about recovery and how to use a chainsaw [scary], patch a roof, and clean up mud. There have been several opportunities for me to use these skills and do this work yet I haven't taken a single one since the training. Not one. I am ashamed.  Everytime the email from the NC Baptist Association would show up I would read about then move on. 

Not this time. If I am not mistaken, in a matter of 3 days after Hurricane Sandy hit, I recieved about 10 emails.  Each of them started with the desperate need for volunteers to help.  Around email # 7 I finally hit the "I Volunteer" button.  [I would love to say it was with passion but more like out of regret.]  Not really expecting to hear anything  [or maybe scared of what I might hear] I also emailed the contact at my church about any opportunities.  His reponse? "Can you leave this Wednesday?"

What did I say to him?  What did I say to God?  Yes. I will go.  Here Lord, please send me. After all, I look around and I have a beautiful house, I spent Thanksgiving inside with family and friends, and I was able to rake 14 tons of leaves [no lie] out of my yard.  What right do I have to say no to helping someone else clean up what is left of their home...their town...maybe their life? 

I learned, that Wednesday night at M-Fuge two years ago, as I watched the youth in praise, that I spent a lot of time running from God's voice.  I didn't listen. [Not a shock to my husband or my daddy.]  Even when He spoke louder and more urgently I chose to ignore.  But that night I listened to His voice in my head and He told me to get it together.  To be a better mother. To be a better wife. To be a better person.  And He said that I should listen when He is asking things of me...and to stop living my life worrying about what might happen. 

I will be leaving this coming Wednesday for a 4 day trip to New Jersey to aid with mudouts and recovery.  I don't tell you this to fish for compliments.  I say all this because it is part of my is who I am.  Helping others is what I am supposed to's one of my gifts.  I believe that is why I am a teacher.  [Now I know the paycheck is outstanding but let's get some perspective here people.] So help others I will because doing it my way and living that life of not listening to God's call just wasn't working for me or those that I affected.  [My favorite coach calls that our bubble - we should take care of the people in our bubble.] I have been helped in soooo many ways in my life ~ why wouldn't I choose to help someone in need?  How can I teach my own children to respond to those who are helpless if I'm not willing to show them how that is done? 

Will I miss my family?  I cannot tell you how much it pains me to think that I will be gone from them for four days.  We are a tight bunch [look at Ducky Dynasty - us rednecks are close] and they depend on me. I have no doubt that Craig will take super good care of them but they still depend on me.  We depend on each other.  But I know that God's going to take care of all of us and that we're all sleeping under the same big sky.

My other concern was for my "other" children. [No...none that you don't already know about.] If you are a teacher then you are with me on this one: it ain't easy leaving sub plans and activities for your babies at me.  I have an awesome sub so I'm not worried about that part but finding things that my students will do and that will be worthwhile [hopefully not 3 days full of crappy worksheets] is the challenge.  I have a responsibility to facilitate learning [according to this workshop deal we are no longer "teachers" but facilitators of learning] and to make sure my job continues despite my absence. 

I hate springing subs on them when I know I'm going to be out so I shared what I was going to do with them...and I wasn't quite prepared for their reactions.  Several of them clapped [I think it was for me helping with clean up versus me being gone.  I'll keep thinking that.....], I heard several of them say, "That's cool" [which is like winning the lottery to a teacher], and a couple of them asked me what I might be doing up there.  God is good and he's eased my fears about leaving them....they will be fine without me for a few days.

One of them ask me was I going to visit Jersey Shore and Pauly D.  [I am ashamed that I even knew what they were talking about even though I've never, ever watched the show.] I told them that I had no intentions of meeting Snooki and her new baby or figuring out why the Situation has that absurd name.  However, if I were venturing down to Louisiana then I would most definitely have to meet the Robertsons and eat some of Miss Kay's fried squirrel brains [or probably not]. "No, I will not be meeting the idiots cast/crew of Jersey Shore.  Sorry to disappoint." 

Gabe asked tonight if I was going to come home before Christmas.  Bless his little, tiny baby heart. [It's no wonder the boy is rotten to the core ~ little, tiny, baby heart?] "Yes, Gabester I will be home for Christmas." He just smiled and gave me super sweet kisses all over my forehead.  Then he asked was he going to get a prize :)

As always, life as a Short is simply grand :)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Up....Sorta

I made an executive decision to officially retire from the triathlon circuit.  [Some of you are asking what in the heck an I talkin' about?]  I mean, I have conquered [I use that term vvvveeeerrrryyyyy loosely] the Ramblin' Rose - isn't that the very same as doing the Ironman? [Ummmm, in my eyes, yes.]

I just do not have the time or the money to invest in cycling.  I had a bike, on loan, but I didn't have the proper equipment to really ride distances. [Have you ever ridden a road bike for a distance without cycling shorts?  Let's just say it's not easy on the fanny.]  It's an investment if you want to be competitive cycling and I just can't invest in that right now. 

I really hate swimming.  I could be OK, if I practiced, but I just don't care to practice.  I am not a huge fan of the water [I do shower. DAILY.] and I don't see that changing.  Again, this is an investment of time and money because I would need a coach and again, I don't have either. 

But I can run.  I can buy running shoes. I can be good at running.  I like running. I can invest in running because I only need to buy the shoes every six months.  I don't need a coach but instead, some excellent running partners [I have those and they are awesome] that make it fun and push me [sometimes literally] to run a little farther. 

I think sometimes that we have to face reality.  My reality is that I am not good at cycling and swimming and I don't have the resources, at this point in my life, to be any better at either one.  I am OK with that because I know that I can be a better runner.  I believe God has provided me with an opportunity to do something with this way beyond myself.  I have had so much fun being the sponsor of Girls on Track and I am blessed to have had this opportunity.  I love being with these girls and encouraging them to be those "out of the box" girls that God wants us to be.   I absolutely love my running partners [we've dubbed ourselves Bosely and Charlie's Angels] and the time we spend getting better, together. 

Most importantly, I have found my prayer life growing exponentially.  I pray while I run.  [Yes, admittedly, I pray for the strength to make it up the hills] For my family, my co-workers, my students, the people who live in the houses I run past, my church, the folks driving the cars that pass me, our community, our country...I pray.  I try not to think about the time that has passed, the distance I've gone, or the that monster hill I know is looming...I just pray. 

Did I need to start running to be better with my prayer life?  Absolutely not but what an amazing plus and definite need this has been for my life. 

I thinking giving up on being a triathlete is addition by subtraction [one of my favorite sayings from my favorite coach♥] because I have gained so much more in my heart that I would ever get from the swim, bike, run...ever. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Will They Say?

Hello peeps and Happy Almost Thanksgiving!!!  I have been super busy [want some cheese with that whine?] and I haven't made the time to blog.  Craig and I get up at 4:45am to run so my nights of staying up late are O-V-E-R.  It seems like every day, by the time I get home and have time to sit down, I am too tired to get it all done.  I miss my time here on Step Away :(
I began my allergy shots about a month ago.  So far, so good.  I  haven't had severe reactions - just a lot of localized itching and swelling.  It's weird that I know the wasp injection as soon as I get it.  Not gonna lie...brings back some serious nightmares.  Each week the injections, fun, fun.  I get so nervous now with every bee sighting and I am always armed with the Epi

As I sat at the allergist today, I read the newspaper. [Now I love some magazines but the ones in this joint have been there since before I was born.  I think Reagan was still president in the Time magazines - no lie.] I always read the obituaries.  [I know its morbid but follow me.] I guess I get that from my dad.  He says he always reads them to make sure he doesn't see his own name...I suppose I have followed his logic.
The ones I read were so very personal and it really made me think about what my own will say when I die. [Some of you just labeled me as certifiably AND morbidly crazy.  I don't care.]  The obituaries that caught my eye were both for women that weren't really that much older than me. [I am not quite 40 yet.]  I guess the fact that both of these women were young made me think.
I hope and pray that my own legacy is one that reflects a life that was well lived.  I don't want to be remembered because I always kept a clean house [not likely] or that I was well-dressed [again, not likely].  I don't want to be remembered for being unfriendly or shallow. 
I want others to see Christ in me. I want to leave my mark on this world in a positive and inspiring way.  I have a long way to go but I hope, that even now, the people know what I stand for in this crazy world.  I love my Jesus, my family, and my life. 
That is how I want to be remembered.


Monday, November 5, 2012

We Are the Champions

[Grammar Disclaimer:  I was up, LATE, blogging because some things were on my mind.  I apologize for any mistakes that were here - I fixed them. Sue me grammar Nazis. And I realized, be it the hair dye induced stupor or the fact that it was late, that some of what I said didn't make a lick of sense. Not that it ever makes a lick of sense but once I read it again I tried to "fix" it.  Who cares really?] 

Sorry to just now be getting back to you with the official winner of the first ever Great Pumpkin Race here at the Casa de la Shortie but we've been a might bit busy.  [I know several of you have been on pins and needles, awaiting the outcome of this highly contested race.  Thank you for your patience.]  Thanks for participating in our contest.  And the winner is [insert drum roll] --------- Pumpkin A
Drawn by none other than our very own Gabe :)
I feel certain that Emma is going to feel somewhat slighted so I am going to use my mom card and tell her it was a tie. [She isn't one of my 7 lurkers so its all good in the hood.]

We've also been extremely busy celebrating the success of the latest champion in our house - Coop Dog!!  The middle school won the Tri-County Championship this past Wednesday!! 
Scoring the TD that helped us get to the championship...Coop is #52, just to left of #8

Sharing a precious moment with his biggest fan and best coach, his daddy. 
It was a magical moment for Coop.  He has certainly had his share of disappointments in the last several months so to watch him be so excited was just perfect ♥  God  picked this young man up, when he had reached the point of no return, and gently guided him out.  Every since he realized his worth was not found in this world but in the eyes of Jesus Christ my son has truly changed.  This one moment meant more to our family than anything.  If I let myself go there [and sometimes I do] and I think about what could have happened then I almost get physically sick.  We could have been "that family" were it not for the amazing God we worship, who "never let go, through the calm and through the storm."

Its moments like the one in the picture that put it all into perspective for me.  They [my favorite coach and my Shorties] are what matter most in my life.  I can have it all - the money, the car, the fancy house, the nicest clothes, the social status, the "stuff" - but NONE of that compares to these moments. Moments of love and joy and celebration. Moments that aren't tangible but only felt in the heart.  God given moments that remind me, so vividly, that there is absolutely nothing better than the hugs of my children.  Thank you Jesus for always reminding us about the things which truly matter.

My thoughts, at the onset of this blog post, were to write a scathing [that's a $2 word isn't it?] post about the upcoming elections.  I wanted to write rant about my disgust of politics but this one image, of my son made me change my mind....briefly. it one post about politics this year...or EVER!

I could really, in complete honesty, care less about who you are voting for and why.  I do not care if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or wishy-washy depending on the latest ad you just caught while watching Honey Boo Boo [which probably puts you into a class all alone if you are actually wasting time and energy to watch that crap called reality TV].  I don't care if you do not like our current president nor if you believe Reagan should be called up from the grave.  I don't care if you think Bill Clinton should've been impeached or if you hate the way George W. says, " 'Merica." STOP [all caps in cyber space means I am yelling and I am most definitely yelling] filling up my Facebook news feed, my time line on Twitter, and my ears with YOUR opinion.   DO NOT try to sway my vote by telling me who you voted for - that is just rude and condescending.  

DO NOT badger me to vote on Tuesday - I plan on voting and I don't need your prodding  
[another $2 word]. 

And please, for the sake of my sanity, if you are not of the age to actually cast a vote then stop spouting off at the mouth, in between your drama filled tweets and teenage angst, about healthcare reform and foreign policy - most of you can't even drive!  I will vote for whom ever I choose.  . 

Will November 7th get here fast enough? I may not agree with who wins but I will pray for these leaders. We need to pray for our country - its not just the people leading it but folks like us that need to take a step back and re-evaluate ourselves.  We can agree to disagree and move on.  Last time I checked, [and considering the 16 year old is taking honor's US history its usually a daily thing], we are one nation united.  Now, I know that sounds cliche, but its exactly how I feel right now. 

As always, [even when politics is being shoved down my throat], life as a Shortie is good :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Race

Three of my four children decided that they wanted to have a pumpkin painting contest this year. [The biggest boy declined the pumpkin painting festivities to play disc golf. Pooh on him.]  They are asking for your votes on best pumpkin.
Pumpkin A

Pumpkin B
Pumpkin C

Please leave a comment below to vote for your fave pumpkin. [Trust me when I say that they will be HIGHLY disappointed if all 5 or 6 of you that read Step Away don't take the time to vote for their pumpkins.]

Thanks and HaPpY HaLlOwEeN from the Shorties!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm an Angel ~ Honest

Whoa Nelly! [Not really the appropriate time or place but I wanted to use that at some point in my life.]  It's been a while.  Can you say warp speed?  My life hit it about three weeks ago and I ain't quite had time to do much of anything.  I've missed my blogging time.  You see, that used to come late at night when the Shorties were in Dreamland but I've been getting up at 5am so that I can go run so my late nights have turned into Help-I-Can't-Keep-My-Eyes-Open-And-It's-Only-6:30pm kinds of nights.  I know you've missed me...admit it.

This past weekend marked my second time being a part of Judgement House at my church.  [Now for those of you thinking I needs to check me spellin' the word is correct.] I was in my first one two years ago as an angel in the Heaven scene.  It was such a neat experience so I was glad when I was asked to be a part of it again.  I am a bonefide angel [as if we didn't already know that] with a white robe and wings to prove it.  One of my students that came through over the weekend told me she didn't realize I was in the play to which I replied, "But you were not surprised to see me as an angel were you?" Molly is also in the Heaven scene as an angel so we've been able to spend some time together.

My son got to spend his weekend in Hades Torment.  He is playing the character that chooses not to accept Jesus and ends up going to hell.  [NOT a reflection on my son by any means...just how he was chosen.] He actually does a really fantastic job with his character.  And I am OK with him "playing" the part because he is secure in his faith...he knows that he knows that he knows that Jesus is his king.  In fact, many of our youth have been put in some tough situations by playing those that are injured, dead, and even sent to hell.  It is a ministry for them and they are all doing such a fantastic job.  Many people made first time decisions for Christ this past weekend and many more re-dedicated their lives.  What an honor to be a part of this wonderful ministry ~ to God be the glory!!

As for the Shorties, I will leave you with this little Gabe factoid.  He loves to play with Craig's iPhone [funny thing...he could play with mine...but I don't have one....gave my upgrade to Craig...because I'm an angel like that....] and he apparently recorded himself singing.  [Apparently, he loves his name because that is what he is singing. That is, until Craig wants his phone back.]
Memo by Missy Byrum Short
We laughed so hard listening to this...over and over and over again.  He is a nut and I love him so much.  I cannot imagine this house without that sweet voice and crazy laughter.  I love all those Shorties.  Sometimes, I look around I cannot believe how very blessed I am with all of this love and God's grace just shining.  There isn't one thing I deserve yet I am so richly blessed with this amazing family.  Thank you God...Thank You.
As always, life as an Angelic Short, is good :)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

21,024,000 minutes and Counting

Last Sunday, my mom and dad celebrated 40 years of marriage. My sister and I planned and pulled off a surprise party.  We had such a wonderful time and my parents were totally surprised. 

I did ALL of the planning for this party late at night.  Late as in usually close to midnight and after. [Most of you know that I don't sleep a lot through the week - it only takes a few minutes to see the bags under my eyes to know that little fact.]  I stalked my mom's facebook to find people. I emailed many people and asked them how they knew my parents and if they would help me.  My sister and I came up with a huge list of folks - from high school to work to old dance buddies to church.  My mom and dad are both almost 60 and they've been married for 40 years....that is a lot of folks!! 

We also put on a variety show.  [I would say talent show but there wasn't much talent me] My parents love WSGE out of Gaston College [Cooper always says that should be your first clue: never listen to a radio station out of a community college] so we set up the show to be like a radio show. Cooper was the announcer [7PM Tim] and we were the songs on the show.  Two famous and "former" members of society [aka dead folks] made an appearance...Jim Croce and Elvis. [Lucky me, I am married to both of them.]  Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings were also present, along with Jimmy Buffett, the Fifth Dimension, the crew from the Cosby Show, and some women with huge black drawers on [Baby, meet me with your black drawers on...]. It was so much fun watching my mom and dad laugh.  [Not so sure that everyone appreciated our humor but we had a ball putting on the show.] Summer and I wanted the night to be perfect...and it was!  The cake was amazingly beautiful, the food turned out great, and the eclectic guest lists totally surprised my parents. 

One of my favorite Broadway musicals is RENT and my favorite song from the show is "Seasons of Love".  It begins with, "525,600 do you measure a year?" That was my theme for the video we put together because 40 years = 21,024,000 minutes.  I wanted everyone to know that my mom and dad built this awesome marriage with hard work, dedication, commitment, love, and laughs. Ultimately, they put God at the center and allowed Him to work on them and through them.  I was so excited that the video turned out so well [and I totally loved adding several embarassing pictures of the two of them].  I love my mom and dad...they are truly amazing parents.

[Sidenote but one that infuriated me.  It was God's divine intervention that allowed my devotion to be about grace just before this happened.] In creating the guest list, I knew that I would leave someone out.  I certainly didn't try to do that but, honestly, short of asking mom and dad who I should invite, it was a shot in the dark.  Well, sure enough, a few folks decided to post, on Facebook [and we are talking adults here] about how they weren't invited.  You know what I say to those comments?  Build a bridge...please...and get over yourself.  It wasn't about you.  Don't take it out on my mom, in a public forum,  with nasty comments.  Put your big girl and boy panties on and realize that it was darn near impossible to invite everyone from their lives...not an excuse but a fact.

Outside of the party I have been so busy with school and kids and football and blah, blah, blah that I haven't had time to even think about blogging.  I will try to do better for those of you that like to keep up with the Shorties. 

As always, life as a Short is awesome :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hey Mama!

Kanye West sings a song entitled Hey Mama.  [Yes. I know who Kanye West is and I actually bought a CD a while back. This was before he said he was equal to Jesus and before he messed with my girl, T. Swizzle, on that awards show.  But, I like this song.]

Hey Mama, I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I'm so proud of you

My mom, who will turn 60 in November, competed in her 4th triathlon this past Sunday. Is your mom a triathlete?  Yeah, I didn't think so. [Of course, I don't know all of your moms but seriously...who can answer yes to that question?]  How awesome is she?  It's was just amazing to watch her and be able to cheer her on to the finish. 

My mom is pretty cool [Seriously...where did you think I get most of my coolness from anyway?] and my hero.  She is such a fantastic role model.  Her compassion and kindness is never ending.  She has taught me that it is always better to give than to recieve.  I am constantly in awe of her generosity with her gifts, herself, and her resources. 

Many people work a lifetime at a job and only expect to gain.  My mom is a nurse and she has made a life by giving to others.  She went to nursing school when I was in elementary school and graduated when I was in the 6th grade.  She earned her graduate degree when I finally recieved my undergraduate degree from UNCC.  She has owned her own business, is well known in the field of nursing for her publications and talents, and has traveled extensively to share both.  But, if you asked her right now, what are her biggest accomplishments in life  she would answer her children. She wouldn't even give herself credit for all that she has done but would, as she has so many times, shine the light on us. 

She really is a miracle. When she was 6 months pregnant with my sister, she found out she had stage 4 melanoma.  She and my dad lived across the country from any family because my dad was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego, California.  Cancer had plans for her.  God had bigger plans.  She is a 36 year survivor of stage 4 melanoma. My sister was  born a happy and healthy baby in 1976. [Sidenote: Support Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and ANY  and EVERY other organization that helps cancer survivors and their families.]

As I watched her cross that finish line on Sunday all I could think was that I hope my children look at me and see her. She is the greatest mom ever and I love her dearly.

As always [being the daughter of a triathlete] is awesome.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Consumed and Loving It

If You Say Go ~ Rita Springer
If You say go, we will go
If You say wait, we will wait
If You say step out on the water
And they say it can't be done
We'll fix our eyes on You and we will come

Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid
Are good and true
If You call us to the fire
You will not withdraw Your hand
We'll gaze into the flames and look for You

Rooftops ~ Jesus Culture
Here I am before you
Falling in love and seeking your truth
Knowing that your perfect grace
Has brought me to this place
Because of you I freely live
My life to you, oh God, I give

So I stand before You God
I lift my voice because you set me free

So I shout out your name from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am yours

All the good You've done for me
I lift up my hand up hand for all to see
You're the only one
Who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth
The beauty of Your Holy Word

So I kneel before You God
I lift my hands because you set me free

So I shout out your name from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All that I am I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Here I am, I stand with arms wide open
To the one, the Son, the everlasting God
Hey Jesus ~ It's me again!  Just wanted to say a ginormous [I know You know what that means but these blog stalkers don't get my made up words means big] thanks for all that You've done for me.  I wouldn't be who I am, right now, if it hadn't been for Your persistence.  You didn't give up on me, even when I wanted to turn as far away from you as possible.  I feel like I let You down, daily [more like hourly] but I am working on that and I thank You for loving me despite knowing me [incidentally I think I've said that to other people a time or two].

Thanks for entrusting me with such a wonderful family.  I look around and know that this wouldn't be possible if we didn't put You at the center of our lives.  Yes, we stumble, but You pick us up and let us know that grace and mercy are real. [Funny story...Gabe asked me tonight what mercy was on the way to church.  Emma piped up and said, "It's like when you do something you aren't supposed to do and you don't get fussed at."  I couldn't have said it better myself.]  Wow and thank you for making me mom and wife to such a wild and crazy bunch like the Shorties.  Thank you for the countless times You kept us afloat, kept us sane [well there was that one time...or those couple of times...and that fourth time maybe....well, You know how many and what happened], and kept us coming back for more.

Jesus, I come to you, to ask you to consume me still.  This hole in my heart, created by desire to have the world's approval, is becoming smaller. Just as it says in Colossians 3:23,  I am looking upward instead of outward. There isn't anything out there that I want more than being closer to you. Consume me. I cannot be all that You have planned for me if I stand in the way.  "Come be the fire inside of me.  Come be the flame upon my heart." Consume me. "I need you Jesus to come to my rescue.  Where else can I go?  There's no other name by which I am saved." Consume me. 

Thanks for listening Jesus! I know usually these talks are private but tonight I felt this tug on my heart to share my prayer [and I give You the credit for that tug] with the world [or at least the 2 people, besides my mom, that read this blog] ~ TTYL :)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Food, football, and Facebook

Tonight is the first night I have had time to actually sit down and string together an intelligent thought.  It's been a very busy two weeks since the wasp nearly took me down. [Killed 'em dead by the way...] Gabe has managed to do OK at school [but home is a completely different story...boy is giving us a run for our money]. Everyone else at the Short house has managed to have a good start to the school year but we are super busy.

I had this idea [OK...I stole this idea from Pinterest....don't judge me] to make our lunches a little more appetizing and healthy this year.  It's been a hit with my family [except Coop because he eats so much that I would need to make three lunches for him each day...he prefers to fix his own] and so far, I've managed to keep wowing them with my combos.  [Yes, I took pictures to show on my blog.]

It makes lunch fun:) Craig has even commented on how full he gets [we cut out the bread] and that he enjoys not knowing what he is having for lunch.  Honestly, we cook dinner at home every night but having leftovers when you have Gigantor eating doesn't usually happen.  This takes me no longer to fix than sandwiches and stuff.  [Plus, I must admit, it's been kind of fun coming up with combos to put in the containers.]  Good stuff!!

Since college football is in full swing Craig has been sitting [literally] in his recliner for the last two weekends.  [If I would allow him to urinate in a two liter bottle from the chair he wouldn't have to get up.  So far he has not won that battle.  He won't.]  Last night App State played on ESPN 3 online so we had [please note the sarcasm] to hook up Molly's computer to the flat screen, flip between that game and several others, and watch something else on the iPad.
Yes. Our house looked like the TV aisle at the Wal-Mart. And that blue cup you ask?  Hmmm...that's a cricket holder until Craig decided he was going to let the poor thing go outside.  College football or bust is his motto...and he sticks to it.
[You may want to exit at this point because I am about to bring out ye old soapbox and stand squarely in the middle.]  Apparently it is OK to just say what you want on Facebook, with total disregard for anyone else.  Its also, apparently, acceptable to make a statement that blankets a group of people and puts them in a very negative light [like the football coaches at the high school] without speaking to them first.  Now don't get me can say's a free country.  But just because you can doesn't mean that you should.  And you should use a little bit of tact when making such a negative and bold statement about a group, from this community, if you are choosing to post your statement in a public forum. 
It simply irritates me to see parents that want to do nothing but make assumptions about the coaches.  I live with one of them.  I know how hard he works to do his job.  Does that make him perfect?  Heck no.  Does that mean that every single decision made on the field is the absolute correct one?  Heck no.  In fact, [I do know a thing or two about football] there are a lot of Fridays when I say, "Hey why did or didn't  ya'll do this or that?" And his reply? "Well we don't have the personnel to make this happen." Or "We tried something new." Or "This kid has never played this position." Or "The execution was not good." However, I've NEVER heard him say, "Well we just didn't have a game plan." Or "We don't care if we win or not." 
The other thing that perturbes me about this situation on Facebook is that it was made in a public forum for the whole world to pass judgement on without knowing the facts. To make a bold statement like these coaches are  "unsportsman like" was way off base.  Again, if there is an issue then speak to someone in private and get the ENTIRE story.  If you have an issue then take care of it like an adult.  Yes, I have kids and I will fight to the death for them.  We stick up for our kids.  But throwing others "under the bus" without knowing everything is not very mature. 
What you don't know when you are talking about how the coaches don't do this for your kid or that for your kid is this: They spend numerous hours [for free, on their time] planning for games, making sure uniforms are washed, painting,  cutting, and caring for the fields, before and after practice, watching film, discussing plays, driving back and forth to games, making sure pre-game meal is ready, and countless other details that the average person doesn't even begin to understand. They don't cuss the players. [There are some schools, close by that cannot say that.]  They try to get to know the players and help them out when there are issues, even off the field.  At the end of the day, when its all said and done, their OWN children and families pay the price.  Yet, we see that they love what they are doing so we are willing to support their efforts to teach character, discipline,  and yes, a little football to these young men. 
They, as coaches, make mistakes on the sidelines.  They make mistakes at practice.  They are human. But year in and year out they work, year round, to make sure that each player on the team is a part of something that means more than wins.  You see, I can say [with 100% certainty] that coaching is more than Friday nights to every single one of them.  I can say [because as a coach's wife there is alot of venting from my favorite coach♥] that they wear any loss, any mistake, any situation on their sleeve and it eats them up way more than those of you who aren't "on the inside" would EVER know.  Support them. Tell them thanks for giving of their time.  [Honestly, that goes for EVERY coach your child may ever have while playing sports.]  No one will ever agree with every single thing that is done by a coach...that is OK. 
You are entitled to your opinion but don't spew negativity all over Facebook before having the facts.  Coaching is a hard job and they need support.
[Soapbox put back neatly until next time.]


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Frustrated Doesn't Even Cover It

Monday afternoon might be one of the most terrifying days on record for me ~ EVER.  [Now I am slightly overdramatic and tend to not handle a crisis very well.  However, this was not the case on Monday afternoon - I promise.]

I was trimming a bush in the front yard. I was almost finished when, out of nowhere, a wasp [which I at first thought was a hornet] stung me, through my shirt, on the right arm.  I immediately screamed, ran into the house, grabbed an ice pack, and walked to the carport.  About the same time I walked outside Molly pulled into the drive way.  She got out of the car and I started to tell her about the wasp sting then it happened.  From the top of my head all the way to my feet I began to feel a sensation like my body was on fire.  My heart was beating so hard I could feel it in my arms and stomach.  I started getting queasy and I told Molly that I felt like I couldn't breathe and to call her daddy.  I felt myself sliding down the side of my car and I told her that she was going to have to take me to the hospital...I thought I was dying. 

Calmly [and I am still amazed at her poise and demeanor - she never even flinched] she got in her car, talked to her daddy, and drove me to the hospital.  By the time we got to the hospital [which is probably right at 1.5 miles from my house] my entire body was swollen like a big red blob.  I walked straight to the front desk and told the woman what happened.  By this time, I could barely open my eyes and my body was itching so bad [in places I didn't realize could itch] that I couldn't scratch hard enough.  I was immediately taken to the back [thank you God], given an IV, and shot full of Benedryl, Pepcid AC [which enhances the effects of Benedryl - nice little nugget of information], and some sort of steroid.  Immediately [as in the medicine was flowing from the syringe into my vain] I could feel the itching and swelling stop.  It was like a miracle took place right there in my body.  What an absolute relief to feel like I wasn't going to die.

Turns out, I wasn't quite out of the woods with the whole allergic reaction.  About 30 minutes into the ordeal at the hosptial I started to itch and the hives were back.  Again, more Benedryl came my way but the itching would not stop.  Apparently my blood pressure was also doing crazy things [like dropping really low] and my oxygen saturation level was in the low 90s [which is not a good thing I hear].  Finally, after two rounds of Benedryl via IV the nurse gave me a shot in the rear [and it hurt so bad] and the hives were finally conquered.  Four and half hours after the wasp stung me I was finally able to leave the hospital armed with steroids and Epi Pens and strict instructions to continue with the Benedryl, follow up with my own doctor, and see an allergy specialist.

Fast forward to today when I called the doctor's office that I have been a patient at for almost 12 years.  I wasn't expecting an appointment today but just some time over the next few days.  I was told, immediately, that my appointment would be considered a follow up and not an acute visit.  My response? [I knew you would want to know!]  "Ummmm...doesn't almost dying in the front yard constitute an acute status?" Her reply?  "Well let me call to the back and ask."  Hello?  Are you serious?  You have to ask if anaphylactic shock is an "acute" illness? Her response after asking?  "Well it looks like we'll have to schedule that appointment for September 18 and the next thing she has is later in October.  That is the best I can do for a follow up." [At this point I am fairly certain I laughed, OUT LOUD, into the phone.]  "So you mean to tell me that I had an extremely serious allergic reaction, was then told that I could die if it happened again, and then told to follow up, IMMEDIATELY with my primary care doctor to make sure I am OK, and you can't see me till October? Is this some kind of cruel joke?" "Well, ma'am, we are short staffed at the moment so we are only seeing acute patients. Maybe you should go to urgent care or back to the ER." At this point, I am quite certain that had we been face to face one of us would have been getting up off the floor...and it WOULD NOT have been me.  "No. I won't go to urgent care or back to the ER.  I will not wait until October to see a doctor. And this will be taken care of - today."

The way I see it is this:
1. I am an established patient.
2. I wasn't asking to be seen today ~ just some time soon.
3. Anaphylactic shock ain't no joke and if the ER doctor told me that it would be in my best interest to follow up IMMEDIATELY with my primary care doctor AFTER he told me I could die if I got stung again then I WILL follow his directions.
4. Do not tell me to go to urgent care like I called you about a splinter in my finger or poison ivy.

I was so fed up that I found a number for the corporate office of CaroMont health and I left a message with the executive director and I told her exactly what I thought about everything.  Funny thing happened...about 5 minutes later the office manager from my doctor's office calls me back to let me know she recieved a complaint from the corporate office that she is following up on.  "Is there anything we can do to help you?" Hmmmm...let's see....yes. You can let the receptionist know how to handle situations with patients instead of telling them to visit urgent care or the ER if it is that serious.  You can look back in my file and that of my family [and my extended family] and see that we've been patients through FOUR office moves, SEVERAL different doctors, and the recent departures of the doctor who started the practice and our FAVORITE nurse practitioner of all time.  We are loyal.  We know these people and trust them.  But every since CaroMont took over the place has gone down hill and FAST.  "Yes, you can help me.  You can explain to my why this has been such an ordeal to get an appointment for a serious issue." Apologies...blah....blah...blah. "Well, can you come today at 3:30?" Are you kidding me?  I was just told it would be October. "I can be there."

Fast forward to 3:30 today. I actually arrived early to the office.  I was taken right back to the room and the new NP came in around 5 minutes after I set down.  I would say maybe 5 minutes later she was finished with me and gone.  Five minutes.  The entire appointment took less that 5 minutes.  According to my math [which can be a little screwy] that is $7 a minute for her to tell me NOTHING!  I paid $35 for her to do nothing but listen to me breathe and tell me to follow up with the allergy specialist.  In fact, I was given a summary of my visist [that she had to finish at some point AFTER seeing me] in a record 30 seconds upon checkout. What a joke!  What an absolute joke.  The only reason she saw me was because they made her after I complained. 

Healthcare is a joke.  What a farce.  Its all about the almighty dollar.  CaroMont Health could absolutely care less about patients or they wouldn't treat people like I was treated.  They have ZERO customer service and making money is obviously the most important thing to them.  If I have to drive to the other side of nowhere to find a doctor NOT affiliated with them I will do that.  Our doctor's office used to be the place that we could see the doctor and feel like they cared.  I felt like they knew my kids and knew me. But that has changed. There are good people that are still there but the feeling has changed.  The people that do care are overworked and the people that don't care have taken over. 

I haven't quite decided what to do.  I have to get my family into a doctor's office because if someone gets sick they won't see us unless we are established patients.  With four kids I can't run the risk of not having a doctor.  But I won't go back there. EVER. [I suppose there is always urgent care...or so I've been told.]  I plan on doing some research over the next few days and getting us all in to see the doctor very soon.

What a wacky way to begin the first week of school!  Praise God for all of the things that did work out Monday night ~ Molly pulling up when she did, getting to the hospital, being taken right back, and having multiple people helping to get me better.  It really hit me today, as I was carrying my Epi Pen while walking my first 4 plus miles in a few days, that had those things not have happened in the way they happened that this could have had a very different ending.  It is sobering.  I have thanked Him so many times over the last two days and I give Him the glory. 

As always, life as a Short [though frustrated] is awesome.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Whew...what a busy week!  We are back to work [school officially starts on Monday] and its been a crazy week for the Shorties.  6am Monday morning is going to come super early but I am sure it will be good.  My bet is that there will be some very tired kiddos come Monday afternoon :)

Two weeks ago Craig and I created a chalk board for prayers.  My thoughts were that we could pray for the things that were written up there.  We will do that but something cool has actually happened.  We've been leaving each other scripture to look up.  God always has a plan because these verses have been very fitting and timely.

I love the fact that my husband is a Godly man [not perfect but forgiven] and that he left the first verse for his family.  He takes his role as the spiritual head of our family very serious.  I love that man ♥.

The kids had to stay home all day on Tuesday because Craig and I both had meetings [and they were  GREAT meetings].  When I came home I found Bibles laying around and Emma found a verse from Matthew to share with the family.
Molly seems to have hit some adversity this cross country season.  She has her first true injury that has forced her to completely stop all activity until she can heal.  She is frustrated.  But she knows that even in adversity there is reason to be thankful.  Today I came home to find her verses on the board.
There is power in scripture.  There is power in sharing scripture.  There is power in a God that gives us His word just when we need it.