Sunday, November 30, 2008
Without thinking,... I told him "Grace".
Not just talking about it, but applying it daily to the kids we often get tired of applying it to.
Grace for the ones who stay on the path we have dreamed for them.
Grace for the ones who take a different one which we had hoped for them.
Grace for the ones who create their own path.
Grace for the ones who aren't even looking for a path.
It doesn't matter the age,....the 2 year old needs it just as much as the 20 year old, and come to think of it,..my brothers and I have continued to receive it from our parents,..even at our age!
Speaking this one tiny piece of advice to Eddie last week, reminded me to tell my girls this past week, that I do not expect perfection. It is a challenge for us moms and dads to make sure we deal with our kids based on what we know in our hearts,..and not respond to them because their behavior may hurt our pride. (Our child can not do that,..why,...what would others think?)
I'm pretty much past worrying what others think of my parenting skills of my two daughters. To be honest,..I've already been there, and it was awful.
I still worry about Casey and Abby.
I still nag.
I still get frustrated sometimes.
Some behaviors will require justice,..not mercy.
But I pray that I live out a walking talking example of unconditional love and support. It's not that hard, 'cause they are both incredible girls. I also know that they could be living in someone else's home right now instead of ours.
Holiday's are an excellent time to review the priorities.
A family which loves deeply is a treasure and I am grateful for mine.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Well friends,..for the YouTube video of the highlights from the Nashville conference,......I noticed that there were some ,...ahem,....not-so-nice videos in the sidelines of the YouTube screen. Therefore, I removed the post.
There are obviously other interesting videos with the words "Nashville" in the title, which then creates an entire list of "related"videos.
I will try to be more careful!
Monday, November 24, 2008
(that's Jeffers slang for bad words)
Even Abby is unable to get the pictures off of my camera. They'll just have to come onto here later.
Anyway,..here's some thoughts from the wonderfully exhausting Youth Specialities Youth Workers Convention that I was involved in this past weekend:
It was much bigger than I had imagined. There were approximately 5000 attendees (give or take a few).
I am now a David Crowder band fan.
I am now a Lincoln Brewster fan.
But I really a Shane and Shane fan. One of the Shane's is an incredible guitarist. The other Shane performed the entire concert in a carhart cap, tee-shirt and his hands in his jean pockets.
I know that most of you haven't seen the video that Ian (Youth Specialties Producer) created about Jae and the timing of a particular lesson I taught to the youth of Bayou Meto. Ian is supposed to post our video on YouTube as soon as he could get a few moments. I'll try to get it onto here.
I was thrilled that Tic (one of the YS leaders) asked Ian in their morning meeting if I was going to be present for the scheduled Sunday night showing of our video. When he was told I was leaving early, he instructed the production team to switch things around so that it would be shown Saturday night. Tic wanted me present as it played. (Thanks Tic)
It ended up being one of the first things of the evening program and get this,..he then called me to the stage! Ya know what? I wasn't really nervous at all! Tic asked a few questions about my work with the youth, he invited me back to next year's confernce (their expense!), and then he gave us a $200 gift certificate from their resource store!
When I got back to my seat, I asked Levi if I made any sense while up on the stage,..he just smiled and patted my shoulder.
(I'm afraid to consider what he meant by that).
Several people found me after the video. In fact, a couple of them approached me during the remainder of the session. Most had experienced loss,..a few were mom's like me,..some had heard of Jae and her death.
Another exciting thing happened when two couples approached me in the hotel lobby to comment on the video. They introduced themselves and I discovered that they were the lead singer and the agent of the band Everthird. Somehow,....my story was very personal to the lead singer, Shannon and his beautiful wife. They all had been moved by the story and felt compelled to find me and offer a free concert to our youth group at our church! WOO HOO! I can't wait to tell our kids! Almost every single teen in our group is a musician of some kind.
God is so good to me.
On Sunday afternoon, as I stood in line to get a Quiznos sandwich, I happen to let The Skit Guys cut in front of me. Of course, they made it a hilarious big deal by screaming to the 75 people behind me that "they just couldn't cut in front of all those people!" (right before they jumped in). Long story,..but they needed to eat and I knew they had only a few minutes before they were to lead one of the break-out sessions on drama.
They were wonderful and as we waited on our order and spoke of my daughters as well as their own. Eddie pulled me aside and quietly asked me:
"Becky,..you have three daughters. If you could give me one piece of advice about raising my little girls,..what would it be?"
Tell ya later. This post is too long! :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
are packing for the Youth Specialties conference.
My mother-in-law,...she's not feeling well.
Something that has made me laugh recently
was my co-workers at lunch. We were discussing something and we all began building on one stupid thing after another. Julie is usually so quiet, so when she is overcome with laughter, I can enjoy the memory for a week. Daniel's laugh is loud, Glen's is fun, Levi laughs like a mischievous little boy and Deonna's infectious laugh will make even the biggest grump smile.
The scripture that I'm currently studying is
I'm supposed to be way deeper into the book by now, but just haven't made it. The Christmas story just never gets old, does it?
A song that recently captured my attention is
"Because" (you have to snap your finger with this)
Just because you think you're so pretty
Just because you think you're so hot.
Just because you think you've sompthin
that nobody else has got.
Though you made me spend all my money
you laughed and called me ole' Santa Clause
Well I'm tellin you honey I'm though with you!
Because! Just because!
(I sometimes have no idea why I sing these songs. My patients however,...quickly go down memory lane with them)
Something which scared me recently
was sending my in-laws into the VA Hospital. Mr. Russell needed to get set-up into that system. I let them out at the door and I wondered if I would ever see them again. It was comparable to letting them out at the entrance of the state fair. I circled the parking lot (I mean,..the city) for 45 minutes looking for a place to park the truck so I could go in with them. However,...there was no place to put a truck. People told me,.."there is a little shuttle to pick you up if you have to park a long way off!" But shuttles aren't helpful if you can't park the vehicle!
No median, no curb, no spot, no nothin.
I had to keep driving.
The thing that is stressing me is
getting the 3Cheerleaders end-of-the-year letter finalized, addressed and mailed.
I'm also wanting a comprehensive web-site. I can't believe we've gone this long without one.
I'm confused by
why I can not keep a vacuum cleaner working. I just don't understand. All my floors are hardwood. I only have one itty bitty rug and somehow I have to buy a new vacuum cleaner every year.
It's a mystery.
I'm pumped about
going to Nashville this weekend for the Youth Specialties Youth Worker Convention. I have wanted to go to a Youth Worker's convention for 25 years. (It's too bad that I'll be the oldest one there!) I'll be seeing The skit guys, the David Crowder band will be there, Tony Compolo, and others. Can't wait.
(The schedule goes until midnight for Pete's sake.)
that I won't be there to see the short (really short!) video that they have created about Jae and me. It will be on the screen on Sunday night, but unfortunately,..I have to leave Sunday afternoon. I've seen the final version and it's great at discussing the wonderfully amazing Grace of God. I'll try to post it on here someday soon.
that Levi (who is going with me) will be inspired to lead our teenagers for the next 25 years.
You pray for that too,...'cause Becky's getting kinda
Monday, November 17, 2008
(didn't mean to imply that some were NOT friends. It's just that some contacts were businesses or no longer working)
One of the unexpected things that resulted in that email was that it struck up new conversations with many people that I haven't heard from in a while. It has been wonderful to communicate with them again!
One was Rick who now lives in Texas. I saw Rick for the first time when we began 7th grade. He wore beads. A short chain of little blue beads. Suddenly, beads became the most absolute cool thing I had ever seen a guy wear.
One of my first serious crushes.
One of the addresses on my list was Anne's. This beloved friend of mine entered into Heaven about this time last year, but I went ahead and sent her the email anyway. I imagine she's way too busy to respond, but it felt good to send her something.
Another was Randall who still lives here and in fact, I was able to lunch with him today at my work.
His name has changed a bit (he used to be Randy) but he is still the same humble gracious guy that he was in high school. Being used for God in exciting ways.
Here's a snapshot of his work.
(He says it's really not work)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Long long day.
It stressed me. (hee hee)
There's a part of my class where I talk about how stressful it is when you are unable to give attention to the things that are most important to you.
When I get to that part of the Stress Management class, I always tell this story:
In the Spring of 2006, Bro. Jim Edwards was preaching at our church and announced his text for the Sunday morning service.
It was Haggai 1:1-9.
Now, to my recollection, it was the first time I've ever heard a sermon from Haggai.
(I had to discreetly turn to my index: Where in the world is Haggai?)
Anyway,...the story is centered around God chastising the Jews for all enjoying their individual fine houses while the His temple lay in ruins.
They had their priorities all wrong and they were paying for it!
Bro. Jim, then had us all get out a piece of paper:
"Write out the top three priorities in your life" he said.
He told us to assume that God would always be at the top of our list, but to pick three others. (Bless him. He knew we would all be in an emotional quandary,...we would all secretly think,...."God is supposed to be at the top,..but is He? Should I lie? Is that a sin? What will others think if I tell the truth?..)
I listed my top priorities.
1. Ralph, Casey, Abby
2. Mom and daddy (who needed home care)
3. Jae's memorial scholarship
Then Bro. Jim had us make a second list:
"Now list the things which keep you from giving time to your priorities".
Mine was simple.
It was my job. My job kept me busy every day,..all day.
Bro. Jim told us
"Deal with the second list!"
"Get your priorities right!"
I was incredibly convicted.
My job was keeping me from the most important things of my life. How in the world did I let that happen?
I went in that very week and requested a transfer.
At that moment,..I think I would have gone somewhere and flipped burgers to attend my priorities.
I still do that whole exercise every once in awhile. I list my priorities and then evaluate anything which may keep me from giving them my attention.
Hopefully, I will not find myself in that kind of situation again, 'cause I think I would be a terrible burger-flipper.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Nope. Not at all.
I was reminded that He's not overly taken with our knowledge.
He surely doesn't give any attention to our possessions. (they are really His anyway)
Our regular church attendance, committee work or special music is simply not that big a deal to Him.
What impresses God,..the Creator of this vast universe?
What makes the King of Kings pause and look upon us with great affection and pride?
A humble and grateful heart.
In John 21:17, Jesus is asking Peter for the 3rd time,.."Peter? Do you love me?
Peter, probably recalling his betrayal, has a heavy heart as he replies to Jesus,..."Lord, You know all things. You know I love You."
It's a scary thing for God to know our hearts when we are hypocritical or out of His will.
Woo boy. I've been there.
But it's comforting when we are truly trying to follow Him.
I am grateful that God is impressed each day with a heart that seeks to follow Him.
Thankfully for me, God looks less at my actions, and more at my heart.
What a relief 'cause I'm passionate every morning and a prodigal by sunset.
But like Peter,.. I can say,.."Lord You know all things. You know I love you!"
Sunday, November 9, 2008
However,...my camera is nowhere to be found.
You've probably seen similar ones. My new book is entitled "Blogging for Dummies".
Some of it is way too complicated (hee hee).
It has shown me new ways to do things:
**how to link to other posts of mine (like you just did in the first paragraph!)
**underline? I can now do it by editing my html! (whatever that stands for)
**create bullets lists:
Of course, you already know that I can add a video link:
However,...the main thing that this book tells me,...THE MAIN THING, they
yell say over and over,..is to write things that people want to read.
I think that one reason people enjoy blogs is because they connect us to one another. We don't always slow down enough to really communicate, fellowship and enjoy one another.
Get this,...Abby calls blogging a "myspace for old people".
I answered by wagging my head, rolling my eyes and saying valleygirl style,...What-everrrr"!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Until the Spring of 2004, I don't think I even knew such a group existed. Then one horrible day, their monthly newsletter arrived in my mailbox. How did they know I needed a life preserver thrown to me that day? How did they get my name?
I still don't know. I guess somewhere in Little Rock, there is another sad mom who is assigned the job of reading local obituaries and putting freshly broken-hearted parents on the mailing list.
But I recall reading that newsletter and being so encouraged that "I'm not alone!"
I did not got to any meetings because they were way on the other side of Little Rock. Miles and miles and miles. Too hard. Way too hard.
Then some of my friends decided that we needed to get a chapter on the North side of the river. We had talked about it for a long time. We needed a Bereaved Parents group for all of us in North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Cabot, and everywhere else "out here".
There's just too many of us.
It seems we're everywhere.
I hate it.
Jim and Cindy Stricklin took on the job. They had survived the loss of their son in 2000, and they felt strongly like they could begin the group.
One year later,..we have 20 or so people attending. An unbelievable amount of pain all contained in one room, but oh my goodness,..you should feel the love!
My friends that I have met in the pit of grief are cherished like no other.
They are strong, affectionate, transparent and all bound and determined to get past this hurt.
I barely know most of them, but feel as if I truly love them.
Believe it or not,..it's a great place to be.