Thursday, October 16, 2014

With This Ring I Promise I'll Always Love You

I got married in May of 1996 to the love of my life.  

We were so broke [and still are most days], with a new baby, and college to finish.  

In fact, we were so broke that I didn't even have an engagement ring.  There wasn't a formal proposal for us.  We had a baby and we knew we loved each other so we began to plan a wedding. We decided that later, when we could afford one [bahahahahahahahahaha] we would buy it.  I didn't care. Honestly. 

Little did I know that my better half was secretly stashing away the few leftover pennies [seriously, pennies people, pennies] to buy me an engagement ring. He didn't want me to not have one.  He surprised me with it by hiding it in a closet for me to find.  

Two weeks before our wedding, he placed this beautiful diamond on my finger and asked me [formally] to marry him in the kitchen of our condo. 

Yesterday, I looked down while teaching and realized it was gone.  

The diamond from my engagement ring was not there.  Empty space. 

I almost cried. [That's not really that unusual these days.]  My kids offered to look for it.  One boy asked was it a big diamond worth a lot of money. 

"No, it wasn't big but worth so much more than money."

You see, that ring is a symbol of the pledge we made to start a life together.  It is a symbol of struggle and sacrifice and laughter and tears.  We made some tough choices that had some tough consequences early in our married lives. Coaching, kids, jobs, finances, more kids, less money, moving, teaching piled up and changed us as a married couple.  

We had to learn to work at being married. Yes. Relationships, if they are going to be worth anything, must be cultivated.  Those vows and "I do's" don't mean squat if you aren't willing to work. 

That ring was a symbol of the sacrifice and commitment he was wiling to make to me.  Yes, we had a baby together. No, that didn't mean we had to get married.  We chose to get married.

Loved him then. [Told my daddy, after the first "official" date with Craig that I was going to marry him. I didn't lie.]
Love him even more now. 

He brings coffee right up to my window of my classroom. [Like a reverse drive through...]
He tells me, EVERY DAY, that he loves me.
He prays for me. Every day.
He makes me laugh. [Wit. Sarcasm. Stupid stories. Inside jokes. One liners. The man is funny.]
He is an awesome daddy to our children.
He lets me steal ink pens and gum off his dresser and rarely, if ever, complains.
He is a Godly man who is constantly searching for, praying for, and desiring a closer walk with Jesus. 
He cleans up the kitchen and lets me get away with keeping a messy dresser.

When I look at this empty space on my ring I am reminded that God took something messy and turned it into beauty.  He saw fit to make us Molly's parents [then Cooper's...then Emma's...then Gabes...we finally stopped drinking the water]. He allowed us to honor Him in front of our family and friends when we married. He sustained us when the power was cut off, the cupboards were bare, and the nerves were frazzled.  He became the center of our marriage.  He has been our refuge, our gracious friend, our biggest protector, and the redeemer we needed in our lives.

God hasn't ever forsaken us. Even when we doubted and didn't trust. 

Yes. My diamond is gone. I can replace it. [That is if I can actually get the ring off my finger.  So far, no luck.]  

But these memories, of all these years, being married to the absolute love of my life, they will never be lost.  Ever. 

With this ring I promise to always love you.  

And he has.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Running Hard and Fast

It goes without saying that I have been struggling.  

I see it in my own writing over the last year.  I see it in the mirror.  I feel it when I put on my clothes. 

My husband is really the only one that knows the depths of what has been going on in my head.  

To many of you, on the outside,

it looks irrational. 
it looks like I'm whining.
it looks like I'm disgruntled and negative.

Maybe I am all of those things.  Sometimes, I'm not sure.  Honestly.

What I do know, in the midst of all this confusion over why I feel this way, is that many people have been praying on my behalf.  I can feel these prayers. I know that my own husband intercedes daily, sometimes hourly, because he is a Godly man. 

Maybe it is time I share how I truly feel....

Our world is going to hell.  Quickly.  And that is a scary bit of information for a mom trying to raise four kids at different, high school, elementary.  I read this, sometimes daily: 
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

There are people out there that truly do not care about others.  I don't mean like you have to take on my problems kind of caring but just being a decent human. It has taken me 41 years of thinking the world was filled with wonderful people to be slapped square in the face with this one.  I'm not choosing to focus on these people but I observe them at every corner.  [If you read my recent post  you will understand this more.]  I'm not sure if I've just become overly sensitive to the actions [or lack of actions] by others but I see so much selfish behavior all around me. So where do we [I] fit in? Why are we so scared to step up and volunteer?  Why are we so scared to reach out to others? Why are we so scared to admit that we need to do more to help those that need us? 
  "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."  Galatians 6:2

Entitlement is ruining our schools and our society.  I am not an advocate for the everyone-gets-a-trophy or everyone-gets-to-play or my-kid-has always- gotten-straight-A's-so-it-must-be-you mentality.  When I hear these words at school, "Hey, that's not fair!"  I promptly respond with, "The fair just should've hopped the train."  Why does everything have to be fair when you aren't willing to work for it?  Ask someone who is facing a life threatening illness about fairness.  Ask a kid who hasn't eaten all weekend about fairness. Ask a parent who loses a chid to suicide over bullying about fairness.  I've said it before and I will say it again [for good measure]...Entitlement can go die in a hole. 
"But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48

You don't get to choose when you can be a part of my life and that of my family. Left out. Not by the choices we have made but by the choices they have made.  I struggle with this, A LOT.  The six of us Shorties stick together. We are tight. Thick as thieves. Got each other's back.  You get one of us you get all of us.  You disregard one of us then you disregard all of us. My children deserve better and I won't back down from that.   
"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD
The fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, 
So are the children of one’s youth. 
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; 
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

So I am running hard and fast towards Jesus. I want to get to a place where I feel good about myself.  I'm not there yet. [In fact, I'm a long, long way away.] But Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28-29,  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  

You may think I've shared too much.  

You may now think [or had it confirmed] that I've gone mad. Lost my mind. Am off my rocker.

You can think whatever you choose. 

Because I am remembering where my worth comes from and it has been one hell of an uphill battle.  

I will come out on the other side, much better.  

I am a daughter of the King. 
I am loved. 
I am worthy. 

I am Missy


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Open Letter to Kings Mountain Football Fans

Dear Kings Mountain Football Fans,

I am a coach's wife [which entitles me to squat...been doing it for 20 really means nothing to anyone but me and that is ok] and the mother of #50, the long snapper.  I come to football games just like SOME of the rest of you do, to support the football team.  As the coach said in the movie Radio, "I love Friday nights when you're lookin' for a win and Saturday mornings when you found one." I've been following Friday night football for over 20 years.  I love it.

But, I will be the first to tell you, that I love my husband and son way more than I love football.  In fact, just like most moms and dads out there, I am extremely passionate about my children and my spouse. That being said, as a coach's wife, I do tend to guard them [hover, get bent out of shape, get way more upset than I should, etc.] when we are at sporting events where they are playing and/or coaching. 

Sometimes All the time I do this to a fault. 
I am hypersensitive.
I overreact.

Let me share something with you. I have a unique perspective being that I am married to an assistant football coach and a head softball coach [yes, they are the same man].  I know the time that is spent away, from our family, to coach. When you sign on to be the wife of a coach you have to realize the commitment that will be required of your husband.  I spent many years frustrated because my husband was a way from July to November [ask my husband] and I didn't understand. Coaching is a HUGE commitment, by an entire family, if it is to be done correctly. 

So yes, when I hear "fans", [and, honestly, that word should be used very loosely these days in these parts] yelling at the players, [and whomever else is within earshot of some of their shrill voices], saying things like "Coach Lloyd don't care! He got a ring when he was at Crest!  He wants Crest to win! He don't care about KM! None of them coaches care!"  then yes, I'm probably going to say something to them.  

And to the woman [or women or whomever spoke loud enough for God and everyone in between, to hear them agree with the statement that the coaches didn't care.].  I mean, if you are willing to drop the F-bomb [not just once but SEVERAL times], loud and proud like it's sugar rolling off your tongue then I feel confident you, or someone ignorant enough to keep sitting beside you, were the one [or ones] in agreement with the aforementioned statement.  

Should I stoop to their level of ignorance by acknowledging their words?  I mean, they have just as much right to speak their opinions as I do don't they? 

Last night, at the Crest game, I chose to say something in the general direction of the crowd of people in obvious agreement with the statement about the coaches.

Call it what you want...stupid redneck ignorance, disgruntled wife, woman looking to pick a fight, etc.  

I'd had enough.  
Honestly, all I could tolerate. 
Tank was full. 
Stick a fork in me I was done.

The family that was shouting [and yes, it was people from the same family, sitting just to my right] those things about the coaches have NO IDEA what those same coaches have done for their kids because if they did, they wouldn't say those things loud enough for everyone to hear.  They would, instead of shouting obscenities, understand the commitment to their sons who play football, sometimes at the expense of the kids that actually belong to the coaches.  They would understand that last night's game was probably one of the TOUGHEST games this year and several of our starters were injured. If they had even the slightest clue then they would know that these same coaches have worked desperately off the field to keep one of their kids out of trouble so he could play this year. 

I chose to simply say, "Shut up" in the general direction of the serial cusser.

I'm not asking for your permission or forgiveness.  
I take on the responsibility that comes along with confronting someone.  
It's mine to own and no one else's.  

But as a mother and a true fan and the wife of a coach [and a whole lotta Lincoln County redneck] I turned, pointed at a woman sitting a few rows behind me [who has been very vocal, outspoken, and to be honest, just plain rude during her son's tenure as a player], and told her to shut up.  I acknowledged her complete lack of respect for the men who are coaching her son with a shut up.

She threatened to come down two rows and whoop me.  [And if I'd had my wits about me I would have responded with, "Bring it don't sing it. Nothing between us but air and opportunity"] Then the man in front of me, along with his daughter, called me racist. I told him I wasn't a racist and left. [I won't even address that one at all. Not. At All.  I am not a racist.]

Truth be told, many, many Kings Mountain fans are just fair weather fans. Many of you are not truly interested in supporting KM football [or basketball or softball or baseball or really any sport].  Many of you are simply there to see how loud and obnoxious you can be.  

You enjoy belittling the coaches. Really? What cowardice.  Say it to their faces instead of around everyone but them. There is a huge difference in a fan disagreeing with a coach's play calling and a fan that yells at the players that their coaches don't care about them at all because, and I quote "he already got his ring."   

You enjoy yelling at players on the sidelines and the field.  Do you even think about a player's family and friends that might be sitting around you?  Let me answer that for you: NO.  And what kind of adult yells ugly remarks at a high school student on the field anyway? Let me answer that one for you: An idiot. 

[True story from last night:  My son hurt his knee last week.  He is the main long snapper for the varsity so his job is important, especially in a game like last night's with a lot of punts.  He wanted to play but he cannot run yet.  Before the game Coach Lloyd let the Crest coach know that Cooper would only be snapping. He would not be blocking or running. In fact, he would snap with his head down and hit all fours if the play came towards him.  He did as he was told, by HIS coach.  A man sitting on the hill yelled down that #50 needed to get up and play instead of sitting on all fours. Most of you don't have a clue.] 

Many of you are not there at all to be a true fan.  

True fans, thick or thin, stand by their team. No matter what happens. 
True fans support the back-up quarterback with every throw.  This young man has more heart and tenacity than ANY OF YOU.  
True fans [or any decent adults with an ounce of self-respect] don't yell obscenities at the top of their lungs with small children sitting in front of them.
True fans don't use Twitter and Facebook and other social media to bash coaches and players.
True fans don't send hateful emails about playing time.  [Please, parents, if you want your son to be number one and you want everyone to know that by bashing others, take up golf.  It's much harder to yell and get away with it at a golf match.]

So, all you so-called "fans" of Kings Mountain football, please learn the true meaning of the word fan.

Or, better yet, stay home.

Sincerely yours [with a true fan backbone],


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I am writing this blog because I like to write. 

It is therapy.  

I write it, most of the time, late at night when the Shorties are fast asleep.

I write from my heart.   

I write about things from my perspective. [And yes, my opinion.  It's MY blog.] Often, I don't get it correct, I don't say things the write way [see what I did on words and all], and I am certainly not the authority on anything [except the Shorties].  Never said I was.

I do allow things to bother me that I shouldn't and I have to pray about those things. 


Sometimes hourly. 

Often, in the past, I allowed others to tell me how I should or shouldn't feel about things going on in my life.   

I can think for myself.  

I am certainly not looking for affirmation from anyone when I post about how I feel.  I personally, really, and truly do not care if a single soul takes anything to heart when I am ranting on about how I feel when it comes to this or that.  That is the beauty of will.   

I spend a lot of time [as I very well should] looking inward and asking for God's mercy and grace to save me from myself.  I read and re-read scripture, often just looking for the right words to use when I write and when I speak and when I listen.  But I need to read more and study more and live the scriptures more. 

Writing is cathartic [bet you won't hear a carnie using that word at the fair] for me. I'm not good at talking.  [What?  The kids in my classes think I drone on and on and on....]  I'm not good at letting others know how I feel about things, especially when my feelings are hurt.  So I write.  

Maybe I should keep it to myself  [like a secret journal] or be more private with my emotions.  I have found, though, in being honest and open that MANY people out there struggle with the things I struggle with so that makes me feel somewhat relieved. 

  • Relieved to know that lots of people pray for me and with me.
  • Relieved to know that other people's lives [as magnificent and wonderful as they make them seem on Facebook] are faced with as many challenges as I am being a mom to four, a wife, a sister, a daughter, etc.
  • Relieved to know that its ok if I don't receive any validation for my thoughts or if I get criticized that the Good Lord will still allow the sun to shine.

I write all this to say that you don't have to agree with me or see things my way.  And I'm fine with that...really. 

In my last post I wrote about my children and some things going on that bothered me.  I debated over those words and if I should share anything about how I felt.  Words typed are not like words spoken and emotions can get tangled up.  

I decided I was ready for the recoil. 
Like it or leave it.