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 :)