Thursday, June 28, 2007
Ok...yesterday just must've been "one of those days." I'm the only one in the office the rest of this week, as the Gregory's are on vacation, so I'm trying to keep things together. Shouldn't be too hard, right? Well, who knew the sky was going to fall? Ok, not literally. Yesterday afternoon while taking my break, found the neighbor's house on fire....I went over to see if I could help the widow lady and make sure she didn't go back inside. She was so upset and beside herself. While waiting with her, I got stung by a wasp. Shouldn't be a big deal, but I had an allergic reaction. Ok, so here I am, the only one here at the shop and my arm is the size of a softball, red, and hurting and I'm getting nauseous. I go inside and take a Benadryl and put some ice on it. Finally 4pm rolls around and I call the doctor...he's not in...great...so they sent me to the ER...great. Just what I wanted to do tonight. They check me out and give me a shot and send me on my way. By 5:30 I'm crashed out leaving Mal to fend for herself. Today is a new day! Let's see what it throws my way....
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
....here comes Mallorye! It's official...Mal is a driver. I took her this morning and after a few fiery hoops (I'll explain in a minute) we have a piece of paper that says she can take the wheel....I'm thinking more like the song...Jesus, [PLEASE] take the wheel. Ok...now to the fiery hoops.. I left work to take her this morning and we get there, stand in line, we reach the ever-so-nice-and-polite police lady and find out that a copy of your birth certificate won't work...must be original. I, being the wonderful mom that I am, hop in my little red van and drive across town to get it. Back at the testing center, we get back in line and wait our turn. Our turn comes...birth certificate...check....ID...check...school form.....ok, I brought the sealed envelope from school only to find that it has her transcript in it...not good enough... We need the form that says she has at least a C average. Excuse me, I thought that's what a transcript did?! Back in van, drive across town again ....get form from school. Guess what? Exact information that was on the transcript, except it's in a form style....aaargh!!! At this point I'm thinking my hormone pill is not working, cause I'm 2 seconds away from blowing a gasket. We stand in line...AGAIN!! Yeah, we have all necessary papers and documents. Mal sits down and takes test, probably scared to death because I've threatened her life if she doesn't pass after all of this. She's done in 8 minutes. Yes, I timed her. Passed...(sigh) 1-1/2 hours later...I make it back to my desk at work....and they think the soldiers are the ones that have it rough....try being the spouse of a deployed soldier.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Hello everyone! Sorry I've been MIA....Blake had his USSSA State Baseball tournament in Greenwood, AR and we've been gone for several days. I'd love to report that we cleared the fields...but...we played 3 games...lost 3 games. Blake had an awesome catch in left field. One of those run, reach, and catch. Batting wasn't quite as good. He did finally get on base when he hit a high pop fly to the pitcher and the sun got in the pitchers eye...thank you God for the sun! We had a good time. It's always nice to get away for a few days. We caught a movie...Evan Almighty...I was actually pleasantly surprised. It's a great story about leadership and influence...and funny! I laughed so hard just in the first 5 minutes. Everyone needs a good belly laugh every once in a while. We drove home late Saturday night...got in around midnight...so we tried to take it easy yesterday...not an easy task on a Sunday. I got all the laundry washed back up and repacked Mr. Blake....he left for Louisiana this morning to visit a friend. He'll be gone till Friday. I already miss him....he gives the best hugs and doesn't mind cuddling with mom on the couch. Mal thinks she's too big for that lovey stuff. Q is busy in Iraq packing for his R/R....that sounds sooooooo good. He blogged today...so you can check it out. Well, that's a quick update on the Bales' Family....I'll try to get some pix of the ballgame posted later tonight.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
....you know..the one with the big "S" on it? I've now spent 3 whole days in meltdown mode. Not a pretty picture...and not a pleasant place to be. I guess I'm realizing that I can't fly...I can't bend steel...and I can't jump tall buildings. Which is all ok....I just have to readjust my way of thinking. It's amazing....when you take off the super cape ( or mask or whatever you want to call it) ....how vulnerable you feel. I've just spent the last hour reading in Psalms...I read 34 chapters if that tells you anything. Psalm 30:5..."joy comes with the morning." I'm clinging to that tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. I am not going to spend the next 2 weeks fretting and feeling all pitiful. I have something to rejoice about. My husband will be home in a few short weeks! So, if anyone sees my Superwoman Cape....do me a favor...burn it.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I was watching Oprah today and listening to her guest, Bob Greene, when he posed a question..."what do you want your life to look like?" Hmmm? Seems like a simple enough question, but is it really? As a little girl, I wanted the fairy tale (didn't we all?)...the white house with the white picket fence...2 kids...2 cars in the garage. Now...I just want normal, routine, life. I want to wake up in the morning to a sweet kiss from my husband. I want to come home at the end of the day and cook dinner with my family surrounding me...laughing and talking about our day. I want Friday date nights with the one I adore where we talk, laugh, dream...together. I want lazy Saturdays with the kids snuggled in with mom and dad. I want to worship God with all that I am, kneeling at the altar with my Beloved. I don't need or want material possessions. I need happy moments with my family....love...acceptance...laughter....spirituality...fun. I need to know at the end of the day...no matter what life threw at me....I have a safe place to land. And that my husband will be there to hold me when I cry...to comfort me when I hurt....share my joys and laugh with me. I need him to just be there. So many times we take that for granted. I know that I have. Now, I know the true importance of family...love...and of being there. So, don't just show up....be there...be present. What do I want my life to look like? Contentment.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
It's one of those nights again. Fear has the strangest way of creeping up on me...just when I think I've conquered it....it rears it's ugly head and all but paralyzes me. I know that my husband is OK...that he's fine....and that he's really there, ...but days like today I just have a hard time processing all of it. Don't ask me what stirred the pot today...I haven't a clue. I just wanted to stay in bed all day...and pretty much that's what I did. I couldn't even bring myself to get ready for church this morning until I heard from Q....even then I wasn't motivated. Now, here I am, at nearly 11pm and I can't sleep. The house is too quiet...too empty...too lonely. I can't bring myself to crawl into that big bed again...by myself. Contemplated the couch...but my back is already aching...so I'm stuck here...on this computer....which I have a very strong love/hate relationship with. Love---the fact that it keeps me in touch with Q. Hate---because it's the only way I can communicate with my husband. I know...sounds crazy. So, what to do...ramble on the blog. I keep telling myself it's just a few more weeks...and he'll be home....but I still have this fear inside of me. How do I let him go back? How do I keep doing this? Questions with no real answers. It's always the unknown. The mother of all fears...not knowing. And so it is with me, I fear all the unknown variables in my life and try to cling to the fact that God has it in control...( not an easy task for a control freak ) ....and I try to sleep, even though my mind does not.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
...I have a new list on my blog site. I'm an avid reader and usually have a couple books in process at a time, so I thought I'd keep you guys up on what my current reading finds are. Who knows, if you love to read as much as I do, maybe you'll see a title that sparks your curiousity. Currently, I'm reading in the book of Psalms with our church (we're reading through the Bible together as a body), a new book by Karen Kingsbury titled "Sunrise," and an old fave, "Every Woman's Battle" by Shannon Etheridge (ok...this one's really a Bible study..but it still counts). One post is not enough space...although I guess it could be if I wanted it to be....to write about each book...so I'll just stick to one for now and fill you in on the others later. "Every Woman's Battle" is a book that has transformed my life. I went through the study a few years ago with 3 very dear friends and we walked the fire together. I really think that it changed all of us for the better. I'm going through it now with 2 of my friends who's husbands are also deployed to Iraq. If ever there was a time for accountability...that time is now. It's just nice to have someone that's not afraid to ask the tough questions and that you know understands that women do struggle. One thing I learned this past week is that being tempted is not a sin...Jesus was tempted....it's what you do with that temptation that matters. I'm so thankful that I have the tools from this study and God's Word to fight Satan's attacks. Praise You God! The whole focus of the book is on emotional and sexual integrity. Now, don't tune out on me...women struggle just as much as men...we're just better at hiding it because it usually goes on in our head. I've learned that the battle starts in my thought life and if I keep my mind stayed on Christ and my heart in check..then my body follows suit. If I allow even one aspect to become swayed, then I have to really watch out...'cause Satan is ready to pounce on that situation. I think that every woman should go through this study. NOBODY is immune and if you think you are, then you're just the one that Satan is going to attack next. Check it out. It's a great book and a great way to start an accountability group.
Monday, June 11, 2007
I was reminded this weekend of the beauty of true friendships by a couple of instances. One was that an old friend and his family came in for a visit. It was nice to reconnect and catch up on the past 4 years....as much as you can in an overnight visit. I was so glad that I could welcome them into our home without it being a stressful situation. A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to do that...the house would've been a mess and I would've just been way too stressed. I enjoyed getting to meet his wife and family for the first time...a beautiful blessing for him. Another instance was at church yesterday. A dear friend came to me with tears, realizing how we've become disconnected and prayed for that reconnection in our friendship. You know, life is full of trials and tribulations, but when you can share the journey with friends that you can call true...then it's so much better. And...as we learned this weekend (or were reminded of)...trial by fire is how God proves our faith and strengthens our character. I honestly want my character and faith to be proved genuine...even if it means that I have to endure some tough times. I know God is with me and will walk with me and He has provided friends like these that will walk beside me. Isn't God great? Yes, He is!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
The kids and I had such an incredible night at the Relay For Life....our team was the 875th Charlie Angels...isn't that cute? We won 1st place for Team Campsite and had a blast connecting with our "soldier family." We reunited with some old friends that had been MIA lately and connected with a few new faces that we hadn't met yet. Over $100,000.00 was raised through 28 teams for the fight against cancer. This years theme was "fighting the war on cancer at home and abroad" and it was so neat to see all the different teams not only uniting for a cause, but also giving tribute to our soldiers. This community has been phenomenol in it's support. You expect that from a military community, but this is a civilian town, and I wasn't sure that the level of support would sustaing throughout the entire deployment. I'm pleased to say that for the most part...it has. We finally hung in the towel around 2am...which was a good thing since Blake had to play ball at 10:30 this morning. But, I wouldn't have traded this night for anything...it felt good to give back to the community and for our kids to see that sometimes you need to think of others needs and comforts above your own.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
...and my soldier will be home! I'm so excited and nervous and scared and.... I keep trying to imagine the day I pick him up from the airport. How will I react? It's been so long since I've seen his face...heard his voice....felt his gentle kiss. I just want to run up to him and give him a huge hug and kiss....it will be an embrace to take your breath away. I imagine the people in the airport staring at us and seeing the obvious love that we have for one another and being envious of such raw emotion. I'm torn about bringing the kids with me to pick him up. I know they miss their daddy and want to see him first...but part of me is selfish and I just want to savor those first few moments without interruption or distraction. Just me and Quentin. Taking each other in...enjoying just being together....enjoying just being. Is that horrible of me? I pray that the time remaining till we are reunited goes quickly and that God blesses our time together. We're on the home stretch now! Hooah!!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Parenting is tough! I just wonder if it ever gets any easier?? I feel like I spend so much of my time trying to "motivate" my children to help out around the house and try to prevent them from making mistakes. It's such a fine line between giving them too much and not giving them enough boundaries. Does anyone out there feel this way? Or am I just going crazy? Ok...don't answer that question. I've spent the last 2 hours listening to Mal tell me she wants to quit volleyball without giving me any valid reasons. I know that seems trivial...but she quit softball this year...she decided not to candy stripe....her cell group has dissolved...she quit ROTC...shall I go on? I just see a pattern of not finishing anything and not putting forth our best effort. I want so desperately to raise children that have perseverance, compassion, respect, love for others, determination...you know...all those good things. Yet, after nights like this one, I feel that I'm failing miserably. It doesn't help, that I can't just ask my husband how he feels about all this. I have to make decisions on my own and pray I don't screw everybody up in the process. I fear I'm gonna see them on Dr. Phil one day telling how their mom screwed their whole life up and all that they didn't become in life they owe to their mother...I know a little dramatic, but you see it all the time. How do you raise teenagers that grow up OK and still love you in the end? Wearing me out...I tell ya....just draining my emotional bank account. Words of wisdom welcome here!
I've been pondering a thought I read on a dear friends blog....what are the moments that have taken my breath away? What's sad is that I've been thinking on this for an entire week and still am struggling with the answer. I know the birth of my children was definitely two of those moments.....driving to the Smoky Mts. with Quentin our first year of marriage and the view from up there....seeing my children be baptized....seeing Mallorye after being pulled from a sink hole....hearing the doctors say that my mom had cancer.....seeing Quentin board that bus on his way to Iraq. There have been good moments...bad moments...and everything in between. God gives us opportunities every day to have our breath taken by His creation. This exercise made me realize how much I take that for granted. I'm going to try to begin looking for these moments...stop and smell the roses...splash in that puddle....just sit and be still and marvel at the wonder of God. And if you're wondering....my next big moment will be seeing my wonderful husband get off that plane. I can't imagine. I'm sure that will take my breath away and I can't wait! It's one of those moments I definitely want to soak up.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Woo Hoo! The weekend is finally here. Last night (Friday) I just enjoyed not having anything to do for a change...Blake went to the movies to see Shrek the Third with a GIRL. Yes, the girl does have a name, Gena...and it was actually more like three girls...LOL! McKinley and Katy tagged along as well. It was just so weird seeing my little boy go to the movies without me and to know he's sitting by a little girl...that he likes! Growing up...way too fast! Today we'll be in West Memphis most of the day. He has three games today...10, 12, & 4. So, long day in store. Mal is staying behind to get her hair cut. That's a little scary....not going with her...I just pray we don't end up with pink hair or something. She is at that age where anything is possible. I guess I should get ready for the day....see you later on the blog!
I finally went to the doctor with my vocal chord problems...no big surprises. He ran that scope down and took a look-see...no cancer (good!), no polyps (good), and no nodules (good). So, what's the problem...seems that a few months ago I injured my vocal chords singing and now they're swollen. Nothing that rest won't take care of. No singing, no clearing throat, try not to cough, no yelling (the kids love that one), and limit talking (I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do that). So, I'm a little sabbatical from singing until the end of July at minimum. It's going to be strange. I've been a part of our Worship Team for nearly 10 years. Watching from the congregation will be hard. Not only will I not be up there leading Worship...but I won't be able to sing with the congregation either. This is my primary way of worshipping God. *AHA Moment* Perhaps God is wanting to show me another way to worship Him...maybe show me more of a daily type of worship that I've yet to cultivate. Hmmm. Something to think on today.