Entertaining Angels

15 Feb

I grabbed the stash of cash I hid in my bedroom for some reason.  I didn’t think I’d be using it but hey, I had a feeling I needed to take it.  With my middle child in tow and the other two at home with daddy, we headed for the our shopping extravaganza.  In reality I hate shopping but my kids are growing out of their clothes at an alarming rate.  In the store parking lot, walking back to the van I put the clothes we just bought in the back when this woman rushes up to me and gives me a sob story.  It goes something like this, “Excuse me ma’am I’m so sorry to bother you but I need some money.  Everyone carries plastic and I need to get home.  I’m so tired.  So very tired and I live in ____.” Its about 30 mins away.  “I just need some bus fair to get back home and I’m so tired of walking….”  She went on and on.  First off, I pulled my daughter closer to me then looked around at my surroundings, its a busy parking lot and its daylight–I’m good.  I saw another lady, about my age I guessed, sitting on the curb like she was exhausted and lacked faith in the goodness of people.  Let me say this, I don’t like people walking up to me and asking for money especially when my child(ren) are with me.  Its happened before and I haven’t felt comfortable about it so I’ve walked off.  Once a lady asked me for money so she could eat.  I didn’t feel that she was telling me the truth so I gave her an unopened bottle of water a snack I’d just bought.  But I also want to say that the feeling I’m getting from this woman wasn’t danger or deceitfulness, she just made me very anxious.  I wanted to say no.  I wanted to lie to her and keep that wad of cash that I put in my pocket for me.  It was mine, not hers.  But I couldn’t.  It was as if the more I wanted to say no to her the thought of keeping that money to myself made me feel ashamed of being so selfish.  I felt like if I said no to her and walked away she would know I was lying.  I felt transparent.  This was my reply to her, “I don’t usually give random people money but–here.”  I handed her the money and she started to thank me but I interrupted her replying, “This money isn’t from me, its from Jesus.”  Then I walked away to the shoe store with my daughter clutching my hand not understanding what she saw.  Before we took two steps my five year old who had been watching the whole thing play out said, “Mommy she disappeared.”  I looked around and both women were gone.  No where in sight.  How does someone disappear so quickly?  We talked about it later and I told my daughter that usually I wouldn’t talk to strangers and give them money because its not safe.  But sometimes you need to do something that you normally wouldn’t when you know its coming from God.  There was a reason I took the money with me knowing I wouldn’t need it.  God knew those ladies would need it.  Later when I drove home I was upset, jittery, and kept thinking about the two women.  The anxiousness I felt wasn’t about me giving away money or being around the woman, it was FOR her.  I don’t know what she used the money for or if it was all a scam.  Honestly, the possibility of that is very high but I felt that this one time…whatever the reason she asked for the money,  I gave it to her.  I spread the love of Jesus by a simple act.  I’ve been asking God lately to use me, use me for His purpose.  I don’t have any idea why I’m on this earth but while I’m here I want people to look at me and see Jesus.  I called my friend and she reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought about.

“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”  Hebrews 13: 1-2

I’m not saying they were angels but I showed them the love that Jesus asks of us and in doing so, I reminded them where it came from.  Not me, but from Jesus.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”  1 John 3:17-18

Life is good, God is great, my kids are crazy

10 Feb

Very happy right now.  I decided on Sunday that we finally found a church for the remaining time we’ll be here in San Antonio and today the husband got his % back for his medical retirement and we are very pleased with them.  God has blessed us so much and in so many different ways.  Its only a few weeks away for us to move back to our hometown and find jobs and a place to live.  We will be buying our very first house!  Over our nine years of marriage (I totally just had to count on my fingers to make sure its been that long) we have lived in numerous apartments and post housing but now…a place to really call our own!  Walls I can PAINT ANY COLOR I WANT!  Put up shelves, do ANYTHING my heart desires!!  Its a great feeling and I’m sure it will be even better once we find a place lol.  

Now, for my funny story of the day.  Had she not been naked I would have taken a photo……

From the front room I hear in Khloe’s three year old voice, “Mommy! Moommmeeeeeee I need help (add in her Texas twang), Mommmmeeeeee! (a little bit of a crying) MOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEEEEE! (lots of crying) I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!” I run in there and she is standing butt naked and has somehow twisted the shower curtain as tight as possible with every bit of her hair caught in it. She’s crying and I’m laughing while trying to untangle her. Yep, that’s my Khloe.  The really funny part, her big sister was just staring at her like, “Huh, I bet that hurts real bad.”

Its been a super busy day and now that supper has been eaten, baths have been taken, teeth brushed, all three kids are now in bed.  Now I just need them to stop talking to each other and flashing their flash lights (they don’t like the dark) at each other’s doors.  Its been a while that I’ve gone to bed this content.  Its amazing how much weight has been lifted just knowing that the % is back and the signatures have started.  Life feels good right now and God has provided more than enough.  

 

Do I fail or persevere

29 Jan

I wonder if God feels disappointment when we fail. 

So, does God see failure like humans do when we don’t succeed or does he see the steps we take to defeat the problem, or to reaching our goals?

I believe God sees what we think are failures as steps to where we need to be.  We see failure, defeat. He sees perseverance.  He knows what is in our heart whether man sees the outward appearance.  I’m going to take this as a challenge.  I’ve been failing in the parent department.  Not making my kids read extra, getting annoyed or angry with them easier.  Kids are smart and they learn from our actions.  I want them to know they are important and that things like computers and working out aren’t more important than them.  Today, I challenge myself to try to do better.  I am praying for patience with my kids and husband.  Praying for their understanding when I fail, because I will at some point.  BUT I will dust off my pants, and regroup and try again.  Every day is a struggle to be the person I think I need to be.  If I think like Jesus and remember to walk with Him like he did with his Father, my task will be easier and I will do it with a more joyful and grateful heart.  My family is my blessing and sometimes when I am the only one cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc I tend to forget that.  Life likes to get in the way of what is important.  God has entrusted my family to me and I need to remember to look to Him for guidance so I can do right by them and myself.

“…Man looks at the outwear appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7    

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4 

Just my thought for the day.  

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You put the fight in me

22 Jan

This is for my friends who are almost to the finish line, for the ones who just started the race and for those of us who stuck around afterwards. Some of those that are waiting for their loved ones to come home wear the uniform too and could be the next ones to go. I hope that doesn’t happen.

The night that changed every thing

19 Jan

He came home later than usual but honestly, his work days were getting ridiculously long.  I could tell he had another bad day.  Most of his days were bad but denying the reasons why, he blamed it on everyone else.  I asked him how his day was going in hopes that I could make him feel better once he vented a bit.  His eyes were big, wide, and tears were forming in the corner of his eyes and his jaw tightened with each breath he took.  We stood in the front hallway entrance of our house on post.  As I listened to him tell me of his day I started shaking.  He wasn’t okay.  He was shaking, bouncing like a child throwing a fit.  He got loud, even louder and spun and punched the support wall, breaking it and the other side as well.  His fist made a hole the size of his head.  In fact, that’s the story we told the maintenance people in fear he would get in trouble.  See, thats what we did, we made excuses, told stories.  They seemed to believe it, of him tripping over a toy and smashing into the wall.  The maintenance worker kept his mouth shut.  He was smart enough to know things weren’t what they appeared and I guess he figured it wasn’t his business since we paid for the damage.  I know its not right but one will do anything to cover up their husband’s temper to protect them.  “It’s not a big deal, just lost his temper from a bad day of work, its not like he hit us, just the wall.  Oh, and that thing he broke, well, he paid for it so I can’t say anything but maybe I can replace the kid’s toy since they weren’t the one that broke it.”  This is what I told myself over and over, every time he lost his temper.  Every time he threw something against the wall and broke it.  Those kind of days happened more than not.  I didn’t know it then but my friends feared for us.  I was so accustomed to his behavior I thought this was normal.  This is not normal.

After he hit the wall his eyes were glassy, he had zoned out completely.  He didn’t notice his hand was swollen or the fact that there was a big hole in the wall.  He didn’t see the fear in the expression of our kids.  I still can’t believe he didn’t break his hand.  There was a moment when we just stood there and I tried to keep the kids out of the hallway and away from what was happening.  After several minutes he came back to reality and just looked at his hand.  He didn’t feel the pain and asked what happened.  He was still pretty upset and shaken, as was I.  This is where I tend to forget what happened.  I remember cleaning the kitchen and picking up the living room so he wouldn’t get upset about the mess.  The kids went back to their playroom and I tried with all my heart to act normal.  On the outside I’m sure I held it together because the kids didn’t seem to notice anything was off.  On the inside I remember feeling a terror, the kind I’ve never felt before.  Somehow I knew this incident wasn’t like the others.  I had thought at the time my husband had gone upstairs to change out of his ACUs.  I remember hearing thumping around and a bunch of banging, some yelling and cursing.  I wasn’t sure what he was doing but I tried to let him vent in peace.  After a few minutes of me cleaning and trying to calm down the noise upstairs stopped.  It just…stopped.

I took a deep breath, leaned over the counter and watched my kids play waiting for him.  My husband came down the stairs still in his uniform and the look on his face was…off.  I stood and watched as he went in the playroom and hugged and kissed each one of our three kids.  He told them he loved them.  Then, he walked over to me, looked in  my eyes for a minute without saying anything, kissed me and said, “I love you.”

I am having a hard time writing this part without crying.  Although I don’t always remember things I remember this next part because its branded in my head forever.

“Hey, what’s wrong?  What’s going on?”  I followed him through the kitchen, down the hallway and up the stairs pulling on his arm.  He sped up, I lost my hold on him and he told me to leave him alone.  He had something to do and not to worry about it.  I hate when he tells me to not worry about it.  Before I could catch up to him he had locked our bedroom door.  I tried to open it but couldn’t find any of the keys that are supposed to be on the door frame and I couldn’t get it open with the other stuff I tried.  I talked to him through the door but there was no answer.  It was terrifyingly quiet.

To this day I don’t know why I left him alone for so long knowing something wasn’t right.  Any person in their right mind would have broken down the door.  Me…I went back downstairs and cleaned what wasn’t dirty.  I didn’t know what to do.  I felt so lost and unsure and basically freaking out.  I called three people that night.  I called my best friend but she never answered.  Later when we spoke she said that she never received a call.  I called my other friend who is the wife of my husband’s cousin/bff.  Her phone was on vibrate and she didn’t answer.  After I made a third call to a fellow military wife and my bff and again no answer I started to cry.  I checked on the kids and they were watching t.v in their room.  I paced the living room crying.

You know that feeling of total helplessness?  That was me. I made several more trips to the bedroom and just stood there with my ear to the door.  I don’t know what I was listening for.  I just stood there holding my breath and listened.  Still total silence.  There were a few times I talked to him but no response was given.

After going back downstairs to check on the kids I went again to the living room and paced.  I cried out.  I don’t know what I said but I felt this…push.  I literally felt a physical push.  I fell on my knees and cried out to God.  Time didn’t mean anything to me.  I prayed, I cried and oddly in that moment that turned out to be about an hour that I prayed, my kids stayed where they were; no one called my phone and no one came to the door and the dog didn’t bark.  There was absolutely no interruption.  I didn’t stop praying until I could feel peace throughout my entire being–which was the moment I gave everything up to God.  I knew that He was the only one who could save my husband.  I knew in my heart that my husband had no intention of leaving our house unless it was in a body bag.  Call it intuition or just common sense but during all the pacing I did I kept waiting to hear the gunshot.  That is just something a wife doesn’t want to think about.

All I remember after that was checking on the kids once again and heading upstairs.  Amazingly I found a key.  I swear I looked every where for one before but all of them were missing.  I’m not sure where I found it but I if I remember correctly it was in one of the kid’s room.  When I walked in our room I saw the destruction he had made.  His dresser drawers were pulled out on the bed and floor, some broken.  His clothes where thrown here and there and the closet was messed up.  I had to step over everything to head to the bathroom where he had locked himself in.  I knocked so he wouldn’t be surprised and I opened the door slowly to find him laying in the bathtub with a loaded gun to his head.  He didn’t see me at first.  His entire body sat frozen, gun at the ready and his finger was on the trigger to pull.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  I mean really, what does someone really do in this situation?  I sat on the toilet lid and prayed silently to God to give me the words to say.  Nothing came.  I had no words to say so I just sat there.  I gently put my hand on his arm that was holding the gun and he looked at me.  “Please leave.”  Those were the words he said to me.  I shook my head no and kept my hand on his arm.  It took too long for him to lower the gun.  He was crying and laid his head on the wall.  I listened as he cried and talked about how he could just end it now and leave me and the kids with the money we needed to survive.  He said it was more than he could give being alive.  We sat there in the bathroom for a long time.  I stared at his temple where the mark of the barrel had made its imprint.  Its an image I will never forget.  I guess it wasn’t until the moment he smacked his hand that held the gun against the tub that he realized what state of mind he was in and the fact I was now in there with him and he wasn’t the only one who could get hurt.  He put it on safety, unloaded the camber and emptied out the bullets.  I took the gun from him and he got up.  The rest of the night is a blur.

There is a lot more to this story that continues on to the present and there is a lot I didn’t tell you that led up to this night.  My husband didn’t get help and the army didn’t make him see anyone after his deployment to Afghanistan.  I knew he had PTSD but I didn’t know what to do about so I learned to be the safe place for him.  I learned his moods, kept the kids out of his way and knew when to shut up or help.  I thought I was protecting him.  I wasn’t.  After that night I decided no matter what he was going to get help.  Honestly, I was scared to death he would hate me.  I went in secret to talk to someone about it but I turned to my best friend and fellow army wife.  It was her husband that got the ball rolling.  We all knew it was bad but that night became a life or death situation.  It was a battle after he started counseling and frankly it still is some days.  That night was the beginning to help him heal and now after many set backs and yet another, although short, deployment his PTSD is recognized and so are his other medical conditions.  God has provided for us and my faith has kept our marriage together.  This life isn’t easy but with God, we are making it.

To this day I believe this wholeheartedly— 

 I remembered to come back to Him.  I truly believe there is a reason no one answered their phones and why I couldn’t find a key to open the door sooner.  The only one I could rely on was God.  I felt Him.  I needed to give everything over to Him and when I did, I felt peace in the worst storm in my life.  I won’t ever forget that urge, that physical push I felt.  Its moments like this that make it hard for me to believe that people don’t know the Grace of God or even believe He is real.  He is real and He can do what is impossible for humans.  I know people have a right to their opinion but I will live my life for God and hope that people can see Him through me.

This is my testimony and oddly enough not too many people know this side of the story.  They know what my husband has told them but I’ve never even told him what I saw and felt that night.

I’m sorry this is so long but I felt maybe it was time to write about what got us to the point we are at now.  A lot of my friends have husbands coming home in the very near future from their deployment.  I’m excited for them and praying that they don’t experience what we went through.  This deployment they are coming home from is the one that sent my husband over the edge and broke him.  The deployment he never should have been allowed to go on and the one that he was sent home from early.  It was the one that God used to help prepare us for the rest of our lives.  My husband has the help he tried to get before and failed.  He has the support of those around him.  This is our blessing for our faithfulness.

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There will be a day

19 Jan

This song isn’t new to me but today I guess I just needed to hear it. Sometimes, a lot of the time it feels like too much. I guess I just needed this reminder. There will be a day….”He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21: 4

We’ve never met but…

20 Dec

I want to save you, make you feel better but I can’t.  You are in physical pain but my heart hurts for you.  The stories you have of making it numb, being alone, not giving a care; I wish I could show you how much He cares.  I know you say you don’t believe, but I believe for you.  My prayers, my faith for the stranger I wish I knew; someone I would like to call friend, I have hope you can find the truth before the end.  Is this selfish of me to care so much for someone I’ve never met?  If its weird, doesn’t matter to me.  You want the pain to subside and feel better again; reach out and take His hand.  The world is one of flesh but Heaven, that’s where you will feel no pain, no reason to seek for something more.  Sitting at His right side and filled with joy and peace.  Just reach out for His hand and you will see; He awaits with open arms and calls you beloved child.  The gift of His grace is free but paid by the blood of Jesus. There is no reason why you can’t say you aren’t worthy of it; its the reason for His being.  Forget what society may say, He will guide your way.  He isn’t too far; just waiting for your okay, for you to call Him yours and take all the doubt away.

I call on you, O Lord, for you will answer me.     Psalm 17:6

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

So here it is….it has taken me a long time to get where I am in faith and as the person I am.  I sin, everyday, sometimes the same sin over and over.  I have a hard time digesting the fact that a lot of people don’t believe in God.  I also don’t ever want to throw my beliefs down anyone’s throat.  I try to live everyday being the person God wants me to be but I struggle with that and my imperfections.  Some days are easier than others.  When my life comes to an end, I know where I will be going–even if others think I’m nuts for believing it.  Even if there was no promise of Heaven, living my life like it exists is enough for me.  What would I have to lose if I’m wrong?  Imagine what I gain if I’m right?!  I believe that every person receives God given abilities.  Mine, well, ask anyone who knows me and I have this uncanny ability that my friends have learned to trust.  Its weird, people might thing I’m crazy but its true.  Maybe one day I will tell a few stories that will give you goosebumps.  I may not like everyone or agree with what people say or believe.  I will, however, try my hardest not to judge, hurt someone or be who I am just to please people.  I don’t really know why I wrote all this but I’ve been worried about a few people (some I don’t personally know) and it breaks my heart that I can’t do more for them.  I can spread God’s love and His word.  There are people I wish I could meet and call them  friend but I know that probably won’t ever happen.  I wrote that (I guess it would be a poem) before this and it was to a certain person I hold close to my heart.  There is no explanation why a stranger means so much to me except that God has crossed our paths for a reason.  I sit here reading as I type and I must sound like a nut case to some people.  I guess that doesn’t matter.  I just hope my blog helps anyone who needs it.  I’m not anyone special to most people but I know that God loves me and calls me His own.

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