Tag Archives: sacrifice

A Thankful Heart | Day 7.

I know I’ve said family already but for today I want to focus on my children:

Eman & ZigZag

There are no words to express all of the emotions that go along with Mommyhood. It’s a whole new world that is constantly changing. If you have more than one child, the milestones reached with the oldest are not necessarily how things will happen when the youngest reaches those same milestones. It is amazing to me how incredibly dissimilar yet alike my boys are. They both have fairly happy dispositions most of the time. Yet, even when they’re happy there’s such a difference of expression from one to the other.

I have learned more about myself in the last seven {and a half!} years than I’ve probably learned in the last thirty combined. New ways of teaching, giving, receiving. There just aren’t words enough to express how much I love these little dudes and how drastically they’ve changed my life {for the better!}.

ZigZag will make up little songs that say, “I love you Mommy” in them.

Eman will come up as though he has something very serious to say and then wink at me before giving me the biggest hug.

To quote the movie Something’s Gotta Give “They make me want to be a better person”.

I just love them!


Where Were You?

There are many infamous days in our history.

JFK’s assassination.

Pearl Harbor.

The OKC bombing.

Just to name a few. These are days that regardless of everything else we remember every detail of where we were and what we were doing at that exact moment.

9/11 is one of those days we will always remember every detail.

I was asleep when my mom called from South Dakota and told me to turn on the tv, to any news channel. Normally I would have said, “later” and gone back to sleep but she had that tone of voice that you don’t argue with. I turned the television on to see the smoke billowing from the first tower and just in time to watch the second tower get hit.

My initial reaction and the first thing I remember asking my mom is, “What’s gonna happen to my brother?” There was never a question of whether he would go. It was a matter of when. Just a few years earlier my brother had enlisted in the National Guard. By a fluke of accidental miracles he was never deployed.

 

 

 

Later that morning I headed to work. First day out of training at a new job. I remember people calling in and complaining about President Bush preempting everything. Eight hours later I was so drained from watching the events of the day and dealing with people’s selfishness. I know more than once I reminded people how we felt when the OCK bombing happened and that the attacks on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and the crash in Pennsylvania were much worse than anything we’ve encountered before. They didn’t want to hear it. In the days following, however, things changed. The overall attitude of customers was one of ‘how can I make this better?’ instead of ‘it’s all about me’.

Life changed in that moment.

For thousands of people, lives were flipped upside down. The people lost were mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters, sons, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Each person has a face, a story, a life that was cut short.

To the Soldiers, EMTs, Firefighters, PD’s, other public service agents I’ve not mentioned – thank you for your time and your sacrifice to help those in need. You are true heroes.




9/11. Never Forget.

The following essay is something that was written a few days after the terrorist attacks and then continued little more than a month later. I decided to just write what I wrote nearly ten years ago rather than try to remember the exact emotions and thought.

*** September 14, 2001 ***

Today is Friday, September 14, 2001; A National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. I have yet to be  hit with the reality of the horrid act of terrorism which took place on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I still feel as though I am having a very bad dream and will soon wake up. I know that is not true. I do not believe this is over. I believe this is just the beginning of what could be one of the worst wars to ever take place. Yes, all wars are bad but for some reason I can’t let go of the thought that this will be the worst yet. America is a land we have fought for from the beginning. We did not become the

‘Land of the free and the home of the brave’

because we let people walk all over us.

Am I scared? Yes! I am! I fear for the lives of anyone I know and everyone I don’t know. Especially those who don’t know Christ. Freedom came to us with a price and a sacrifice and it will most likely continue to be ours but at an increasingly great sacrifice. We will not go down without a fight and we will not  be quiet about it.

I am very thankful that President Bush is a Christian and has no-woes about quoting scripture on national television. Our country was built on Christian morals from the start and I believe that is something we have forgotten. The fact that our currency says,

‘In God We Trust’

has been lost on the citizens of the US. The phrase has been defined as ‘mere words’. I firmly believe that if we are to win this war we need to reevaluate what makes us as strong as we are and what has made us strong from the beginning. We need to realize that the words,

‘In God We Trust’

are not just words but a statement of truth; a declaration that somewhere in America’s timeline people did believe in God. America is a nation that, through many trials and tribulations, has stood alone. Even when a tragedy strikes any other country we are usually there to give aid in any way we possibly can. I can only pray that the countries who have received help from us at one time or another and have refused to help us in return will open their arms and their hearts to help win this war on terrorism.

*** October 2001 ***

As far as how long this will go on I have no idea but I do know that it won’t be short. The united States will come out on top – we always do – as long as we stand together for the duration. The commonwealth of Kentucky has a motto,

‘United We Stand. Divided We Fall.’

right now this needs to be the motto of the United States and of every American in the world. We need to let Osama bin Laden know that he has just awakened a

Sleeping Giant.

9/11 Firemen raising the flag at Ground Zero

 

 

 


Worth.

When I was 16 I spent a month, with a ministry team, travelling to various parts of Mexico. From Mexico City to the teeniest, most remote mountain villages. In that time there were many things that stuck out to me, both from our preparation time prior to the trip and in our time actually spent in ministry. One of the most important things I learned was not to ask how much something costs but to ask how much it is worth.

I makes me wonder about us, as humans. How much do we value ourselves? And are we doing ourselves justice or are we just settling for what we think might be our best offer? Or our last offer? Not just that, but how much stock do we put in other people’s opinion of ourselves when God’s opinion of us is the only one that truly matters?

Several months ago I made this statement my status update on Facebook, “Having high standards doesn’t mean being high-maintenance. It means I know my worth.”. Many of my friends put that in the “dating” box but reality is that’s it’s true in every aspect of life.
Do you know what you’re worth?
God does.
You are worth so much to God that he sacrificed HIS ONLY SON so that your life might be spared from the perils of Hell.
Think about that for a minute. Could you sacrifice your child to save someone else’s life? I have two sons and there is no way I could choose one over the other. Nor could I let go of one to save someone else. But God did. Because He loves you that much.
The story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible (Genesis 22) where God told Abraham to sacrifice  Isaac to him as if he were a lamb. Abraham loved and trusted God so much that he didn’t argue. They got their stuff together and set out on their journey. Every time Isaac asked where the lamb for their sacrifice Abraham replied, “God will provide one”. Jehova Jireh. God my provider. Abraham got as far as getting Isaac laid out on the altar and ready to kill him when God stopped him and gave a ram for sacrificed instead. Abraham never doubted God would provide as long as he followed God’s plan.
God loves us so much that He allowed His son to be beaten and nailed to a cross so that we might live an everlasting life.

Love Unconditional.

Valentine’s Day.

Many of you know that I am divorced; have been for over 2 years now. And no, I am not dating anyone. But, what you may not know is that I still celebrate Valentine’s Day. Now, I’m not a fan of all the commercialism that goes into Valentine’s Day in general and at one time I said that this was a holiday created to fill the pockets of the candy and flower companies and to make men have just one more important date to forget. While this may be true, I’ve since decided that it sounds a little cynical and narcissistic so I’ve stopped defining Valentine’s Day in that particular sense.

However, I do send snacks and Valentine’s to school with my boys and I do my best to attend their parties and take pictures of their days. In that sense I do give in to the commercialism quite a bit. We put a lot of thought and energy into getting all of their Valentine’s addressed to the right kids and making sure we have that “perfect” small token for teachers. We decorate boxes for their Valentine’s from their classmates to go into. Although, this year we cheated and bought already made mail boxes from Wal-Mart!

But, when I say I celebrate this day what I mean goes so much deeper than the obligatory flowers, candy, and chocolate. I mean that I celebrate love. Real love. True and unconditional love. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. That kind of love is only found in Jesus.

Several years ago, I want to say 3 years ago but don’t hold me to that, I started a new Valentine’s Day Tradition. Just for me! I figured that everyone else is mostly going to celebrate love with their spouses or significant others so why I can’t I celebrate the One who made true love possible?

So for the last few years I have sat down and watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. Now, that sounds a little intense, and it is, but it is also necessary. Can you imagine giving your only child as a sacrifice for everyone else? Can you imagine being the one true king and treated as a terrorist or cult leader? And then being crucified for your beliefs.

God loves us so very much that He sent Jesus to die a brutal death upon a cross just so we could have eternal life in Heaven. It makes me question, what would you be willing to do all for the name of love?

Could you stand there and listen to people mock you without returning a response? Knowing that you are of the purest people, could you watch a murderer be released into society knowing that the person who’s being released should be you, and voice no retort?

Could you stand there and take 39 strikes across your back with whips? Not just any whips, the ones with shrapnel and sharp pieces of glass affixed to the edges. The whips that are flung out and, as they reach their target, twisted so that the sharp pieces dig deep into flesh.

Could you allow people, soldiers, gladly doing what they’ve been told to do, people who hate you to the very core of their being, place a crown made solely of thorns upon your head? And not those tiny thorns you find on rose bushes but those giant thorns that you see on trees. The ones that are several inches in length and maybe a half-inch in diameter at the base. And not just setting it on your head but placing it firmly, shoving it, so that it stays on and cuts through to the skull. Would you tolerate that without once screaming out in pain?

And then there’s the nails. Not the little nails you use around the house but long nails, wide nails. Ones large enough to be used in a railroad tie. Maybe 6 inches long if not longer. Could you willingly lay down on that cross and allow people to hammer and beat those nails through your hands and feet into the wood making up the cross? Could you find the strength to stay there, nailed to a cross, without remark?

And in the end, could you find the strength to say, “Father, FORGIVE them” and mean it?


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