Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The House That Built Me...

I stopped by my mom and dad's house one night last week and was really caught off guard by the overwhelming emotions I felt as I walked through the door.  The walls were bear, some of the furniture had already been moved out, and the sound of our voices echoed as we talked. 
I absolutely adore Miranda Lambert - her voice, her honesty, her way with words... 
I had not heard this song in forty forevers...and wouldn't you know that as I hopped in my car to leave that night - it began playing on the radio...
The past few weeks have been bittersweet for my family.
Bitter because, the house I grew up in now sits empty.
Sweet because, the house my Papa Jack lived in is full of life once again!
As the old saying goes, "When one door closes, another opens..." - after 28 years of living and raising three children in the home that my dad built with his own two hands, my parents flipped the page, packed up their belongings, moved up the road, and are beginning a new chapter in the book of life.  While there is much to be said about the beautiful transformations that have been made to the home that my grandfather also built with his very own two hands...I wanted to take a trip down
memory lane and reflect on "the house that built me."  
This is the house...
I lived in from the time I was almost two years old until my early twenties.

Where I lost my first tooth and got my first puppy, Tico.
In the front yard, my dad taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels.

Where many tears were shed and many booboos kissed.

Where I threw a little girl hissy fit, slammed and locked my bedroom door
resulting in my dad completely removing it from the hinges!

Where I grew up playing, fighting, and making memories with my two sisters.

Where my dad built a swing set and sandbox for his three girls.

Where I helped my dad plant his vegetable garden and helped my mom plant her flowers.
Where I accidentally broke my dads lawn mover by running over a tree stump.

In the back yard, there is an animal cemetery where many pet fish are buried; along with numerous little birds, bunnies, squirrels, etc. that didn't flutter or scurry out of harms way in time.  

Where the driveway is a bummer for roller skates but awesome for snow sleds!

Where the prettiest and most perfect Christmas tree was decorated every year.  It's a tradition that my dad always strings the lights, my mom carefully places the homemade popcorn strands, and my sisters and I hang the ornaments!
Where I had countless sleepovers and slumber parties with my friends.

Where one-of-a-kind birthday parties were thrown and family gathered to celebrate holidays.

Where my mom, dad, sisters, and I sat at the kitchen table and ate dinner as a family.

Where my dad cooked a "daddy breakfast" every Sunday morning.

Where my mom tried to teach me how to cook!  (Unfortunately, it has never been my cup of tea!)
Where I had my first kiss.

Where I didn't always get what I wanted, but I was given everything I needed.

Where I fell asleep every night knowing I was safe and loved.
This is the house...  

That Girard and I will be moving into very soon!

...And, it is in this house that I hope to make many more beautiful and priceless memories!

. . . . .
"There's no place like home."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

God Understands...

The big white puffy cotton ball looking clouds are my favorite!
The sky was full of them a few days ago.
The sun was shining bright and "Jesus Rays" were peeking through.
It was a gorgeous site, for sure! 
So gorgeous that I had to pull over on the side of the road to take a picture!
The sky was so blue - like, Caribbean water blue - and as I sat for a minute admiring the beauty above, I couldn't help but to think that the rays of light shining down to Earth so perfectly through the clouds looked as though they were coming straight from Heaven.

I think about Heaven a lot.  I think about the people I love and miss...who have already graced the pearly gates.  I try to imagine the streets of gold...and I wonder if all the angels have wings.
I think about God...and wonder what He looks like...what color His hair is.
. . . . .

So, needless to say, when I got home...thoughts of Heaven and God were fresh on my mind.
My sweet husband greeted me at the door, I kicked off my shoes, and we sat down and talked about our day for a few minutes.  That's pretty much our daily-after-work routine...and I love it!

After we finished up the summaries of what we each had done since last seeing each other,
Girard pulled out his phone and said, "You have to watch this."
It was a video he had discovered thanks to one of his Facebook buddies who posted the link.

Logan is an amazing young boy and his words are some that
each and every person can benefit from listening to...
The video is a tear jerker - so grab a Kleenex!

'Logan - the Sky Angel Cowboy'

God understands pain.
God understands sadness.
God understands grief.
God understands anger.
God understands confusion.
God understands fear.
God understands me. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Have Heart...

"Judith, sometimes your heart is too big..."  ...That should be a compliment, right?! 
However, in this case - it wasn't. 
They were words that certainly meant well, being said to me as I sat in tears... 
Tears that fell because my feelings were hurt,
tears that fell because my mind was overwhelmed,
and tears that fell because I couldn't understand how people can be so mean... 
My heart was hurting.
A hurt and broken heart has got to one of the worst feelings in the world. 
It can feel down right gut wrenching at times...
Like many is a feeling that I am no stranger to.

I'm no angel and I certainly do not walk on water...
But, I try - I try really hard to be a good person. 
To be a good friend. 
To encourage and build others up. 
To help anyone (or animal, for that matter) that may need it - to the best of my ability.
To not be so quick to judge and accuse. 
To have manners and show respect.

So, when I feel that I haven't been treated the same way in return - naturally, it hurts.
Sometimes I can brush it off...and at others, it gets the best of me.
Sometimes I can forgive and forget...and at others, I can't.

When something or someone turns my smile upside down,
I usually ask myself this question:

"In five years, will this still matter?"

...And a lot of times - no, it won't. 
I've mentioned the day to day "crises" before - the ones you shed a few tears over, maybe kick and scream a little, and then you put on your "big girl panties" and get over it... one ever really tells you how to deal with the "something or someone"
that will still matter after tomorrow...
How to deal with unfair judgment, unjustified bashing, and inexcusable hatred...
How do deal with being "stabbed" in the back & "slapped" in the people you trusted...
People you'd take a bullet for...
How to deal with being so let down, disappointed, and just plain...HURT.

Life doesn't come with a magic erase button...although, how nifty would that be?! 
A button that with a single click would allow you to undo, backspace, and delete
whatever or whoever you choose...
Poof, gone, disappeared, erased from your memory completely.
Wishful thinking...

...And sure, in most cases, removing yourself from the situation or "deleting" those people from your life is the obvious answer...  But, there are also many cases where that isn't an option and is much easier said than done...

I read this quote a long time ago and it has stuck with me:

"Should you find yourself the victim of other peoples
bitterness, ignorance, smallness, or insecurities,
remember this - you could be one of them!"

Sad, but true.

I know and most certainly believe that there is something to be learned from every situation we face, every curve ball thrown, and from every person who does us wrong...

Perhaps...sometimes it takes being on the receiving end of the judgment
to fully realize the impacts it can help us fully realize that
we don't want to make anyone else feel that way - ever.

I'd much rather have a heart too big and that cares more than it should at times...than to not.
You live and learn, I suppose...
Yes, much disappointment and hurt comes with the territory...
But, I also know that having a big heart isn't always a bad thing!

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