My Life Verse

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not undo your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Thursday, February 11, 2016

So there is this boy...........

 There is this by who stole my heart 23 years ago and he calls me mom. Jay was 21, (then a brand new AIC in the military) and I was 19 years old when God gave us one of the greatest gifts one could ask for.  He gave me the privilege of being a mom of this amazing boy.  At 9:03 am on February 12th, 1993 a baby boy was born and we called him Hunter. That day the first chapter of his book of life was beginning.  He was born two days early. Yep that is right he was due on Valentines Day. He was very sick and almost did not make it.  He was born with group b strep which is very dangerous for newborns.  There was a angel that literally saved his life.  I will never forget her name...Lt Col Carpenter. She was the pediatrician on call that day.  Thankfully she has just seen a case of it not to long before and knew all the signs when he was born.  She started treatments immediately that literally saved that sweet babies life. After a few hours at the hospital he then went to the NICU  across town for two weeks to receive the antibiotic treatment that would make him better again.  We were only able to see him twice a day for 15 minutes at a time.   I was only 19 but I knew someone had to fight on his behalf.  This nurses in the nicu spoiled that boy because he was one of the few that wasn't as fragile like so many others in there.  They would carry him, rock him and just plain spoil him.  I am so grateful for them because they filled in when I could not be there.  I remember praying and pleading with God if you will let him live I will do everything in my power for this kid and he gave him a spirit to fight.  After two weeks he was healthy enough that we could bring him home.  We thought that would be the end of it for a bit but then shortly after we brought him home he got his first ear infection.  Jay and I made a decision together for me to stay home him with Hunter.  Over the years with how sick he was I am so thankful we did because I would not have been able to take that time off from work.  When he was younger there were times when Jay worked two jobs. His military job and a paper route, or a pizza route and went to school part time to get his degree.  We did whatever it took so that I could stay home to raise this sweet boy.   Fast forward to 2004, there had been nine surgeries.  Five sets of tubes, two adenoidectomies, tonsils removed, and dead sinus tissue removal and food allergies this 11 year old boy had finally outgrown just about all of it.  They removed his final tubes at age 11.  He was doing things that summer most kids take for granted, swimming, showering without having to worry about water in his ears and starting to eat foods that he could finally eat without getting sick.    

     As many parents do I made mistakes in my parenting.  Sometimes to harsh and other times to lax.  I would try to teach him right from wrong, pray for his heart to be protected and not to be broken.  Sometimes we put them a bubble and then other times let them out of the bubble to learn some hard lessons.  It doesn't matter how hard you try, what you do you can't always protect them.  No matter what the circumstances if he did good or bad, if he was happy or sad I always wanted him to know that we loved him no matter what.  He truly was the best kid anyone could ask for.  He always minded when he was younger. We made it through elementary with no real big problems.  We made it through middle school, with the acne, heartbreak from girls, not understanding what the teachers were explaining, but again with no major incidents.  We then hit high school and I fully prepared myself for anything that would come our way.   We had more heartbreaks from girls, same thing with each teacher doesn't know what they are doing says the teenager but he started JRROTC and he excelled at it.  We moved 6 times during his school years.  He would start his junior year at Choctaw High School in Oklahoma and would continue ROTC.  Like I said he excelled in it.  Probably because the "military" lifestyle is what he knew.  Having a uniform around him was a normal everyday attire to him since his dad was in the military.  He graduated in 2011 and there is was....we made it through high school without any major incidents.  I wondered how in the world did we get this lucky lol.

     In August of 2011,  Jay and I drove our only child to Norman, Oklahoma to attend OU where he had chose to do AF ROTC.  Oh my gosh I remember how my heart broke the day he drove off for the last time to start college and we had orders to move to the opposite sign of what felt like the world to Washington DC.  When he drove out of sight I remember my knees buckling and sitting on the sidewalk so incredibly heartbroken and sobbing so hard that my baby boy was grown up and leaving the nest.  As I type this, that emotion comes flooding back, if you are a parent that has had a kid leave the nest you know exactly what I am talking about.  For 18 years, I kept that promise to God the best I could as a human with flaws, to protect him, to fight for him, and raise him to be a God fearing kid, husband and father one day.  In a matter of driving across the Oklahoma state line in our move I felt like I could know longer physically protect him.  Where would he go when he was upset, who would he have to comfort him, how would he cook for himself and how would he survive.  I look back and think we have all had to make that move on our own but it is different when it is your kid.  This world is a hard  in this day and age.  Before we knew it four years flew by and we made it through college with no major incidents.  Matter of fact that boy made the dean's lists most of his semesters and graduated with honors.

     On May 8th, our son Hunter, was commissioned as 2 Lieutenant Kalin into the United States Air Force as a Logistics officer, following in the footsteps of a wonderful example he has in his father.  The next day on May 9th he graduated from college with a Business degree.  On October 5th, 2016, my once little baby boy that fought for his life, his healing was prayed for by many, who has one amazing heart, was at his first duty station and officially on his first day of work.  Like so many milestones before I was so blessed to take that cross country trip with him to his first base.  I remember getting up in the TLF (base hotel) cooking him breakfast and hugging him to send him off on his first day of work.  As I watched him drive off through the window I broke into tears....there I was again, sending my now older boy in to the real world to start his own life.  This time is was for real.  It was not college where he could come home every Christmas break, summers etc but truly into the real world.  This is where my son would start his chapter in this thing called real life.  As I reflected that morning on moments as he grew up, my heart was truly feeling so many emotions all at one.  I thought of so many milestones and moments while he was growing up.  I laughed, I cried,  I took a sigh of relief that we made it this far (he turned out pretty good lol) and then I cried tears of gratefulness to God.  My heart felt so much pride that God chose and allowed Jay and I to raise him. The boy that was born so many years ago very sick had turned into the most wonderful young man that a mom and dad are so incredibly proud of.

     Like so many of us he has walked through love and been broken hearted.  He has seen how hard work pays off.  He has seen how his parents tried to parent the best way we knew how.  My prayer is that he can see how much God loves you, to seek him first always and how thankful we are to God that we were chosen to be his parents.  He may not just be in the next room anymore, he may not be just a drive away, he may not be my little boy physically anymore but in this mom's heart he will always, always, always be my sweet baby boy.

     23 years ago at 9:03 am you stole my heart......23 years later you still have this mom wrapped around your finger and always will.   Hunter, I love you and to say that I loved you to the moon and back doesn't seem enough.  In the famous words of Buzz Lightyear....I love you "to infinity and beyond."

     Happy Birthday to the most handsome, funniest, wittiest, kind hearted son that a mom and dad could ask for.   We love you to infinity and beyond, forever and always!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tattered, torn and broken wings.....

God threw a wrench in my family life when he sent my hubby on a job for a extended period of time.  I am in a position that I would not be able to go with him.  Recently, I have moved to a new location to enjoy some time near family which we usually never get with a military lifestyle.  This year is proving to be a rollercoaster ride as there has been up and downs.  In the beginning, I threw myself so many pity parties but then a swift kick in the butt from God reminded me pity parties are okay for a bit but you can't stay there.  There is so much beauty in God's creation but with life circumstances we tend to miss them. I have started to to be intentional and really appreciate the little things around me.

     On my back deck I alway have some beautiful birds, dragon flies and butterflies.  Recently I bought a camera and love playing with it so all these animals give me the chance to learn my settings etc.  A couple days ago I saw this sweet butterfly sitting on my deck...I immediately ran to grab my camera and snap some pictures.  What I love about the camera is the lens allows you to see details that a naked eye can't always see. I have taken pictures of many butterflies on my back deck but as I started taking pictures when it wings were up then when they were down I noticed this butterfly has a piece of its wing missing but even with that how beautiful it still is.  All of the sudden so many thoughts came over me and I wanted to put it to "paper" so to speak.

    In that moment my thought was so clear....I think so many of us can relate to this butterfly.  We all around with our "wings" up so no one can see how broken we can be or are.  We walk around with wings up so people can't see or ask about our hurt, sadness, anger, bitterness, betrayals, and the list goes on.  If we walk around with our wings up that doesn't allow people to come in and add to that list of damage or if we allow them to see the damage we think they won't like us anymore.  I can admit I am so guilty of those walls.  Those walls are our armor, our safety and our comfort zone.  However over the years I have learned that staying in our comfort zone.....that is like holding hands with the devil.  He wants you to be comfortable, he wants you to believe you are truly broken, that you can never be restored and he wants you to walk around with a broken wing.  I don't know about you but I am tired of walking around that way.

The reality is this.....we are all broken.  We are human, we all have had to deal with hurt, sadness, anger, bitterness and betrayals.  It is what we choose to do with those situation that matters.  Every single thing we walk through in life has a story, a emotion and a outcome.  Sometimes that outcome is what we want or maybe not what we want but in the end we know God's plans for us always prevail.  Our stories are our/Gods testimonies.  Some of the stories turn out good and some turn out bad. What I do know is that God uses everything good and bad for his glory.  We may not see that while we live on this earth but they are proof we serve a loving, wonderful, merciful God.  I can look around and see so many people I know (to definitely include myself) that walk around with broken wings...some are missing more on their wings than others.

As our paths cross with new people we keep our wings up until we get comfortable then we slowly let them down.  As they get lower we start to share the story that caused that tear, rip or piece totally missing in that wing.  Other times we let them down but never share that story or the outcome of that story for fear of losing a friend or loved one.  I have been in that situations when I have shared a story and lost friends.  I was crushed at the time but I look back and realize a few things.  Either is was not the time to share that story,  that person was not in a place to receive the story that I thought they could relate to or they truly weren't a friend in the end.  Those reactions from people tend to cause us to put those wings right back up.  My challenge for all of us is to be more transparent and share those stories of our broken wings to help others heals theirs.  My prayer for me in the past few years are that God will lay on my heart when the time is right, the purpose of my sharing truly has a purpose, sharing it to the right person but above all share it so it gives him the glory not gives me self glory.  

I can't help but think if we could see ourselves through Gods eyes we would see a perfectly beautiful butterfly.  He sees the brokenness, hurt, anger, sadness, bitterness, betrayals etc. but he sent his son to make those wings whole again.  People say God never gives us more than we can handle but I strongly disagree with that.  Those broken wings are a reminder that God gives us more than we can handle in this life so that we learn to lean on and trust in him.  If he never gave us more than we could handle we would sit complacent.  In the words of Jimmy Carter "I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ." 

~Until next time