Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Change Can Be Good

Tomorrow, I go to a job interview at 3pm. I will find out if my new life will begin or whether yet or not. I am leaving my job and home at Camp Tracey of 7 years. I think I have put a lot into the ministry and in ways I feel as if I have invested more than what others realize. For seven years though, I have struggled, financially, emotionally and physically and it is time to make a better life for Dalton and I.

So, we are moving into Jacksonville, into the city. I am glad that I was raised in Houston, it will make the move into the city less of a culture shock. I am going to miss the country though, it is nice and quiet out here and Baker County has a lot of good things to offer. I hope one day that we can come back and settle down here. Until then, I am looking forward to a new life. In the city we will be closer to more stores, restaurants, the beaches, and importantly our church. Our church is in the city and that is where my family is. That is where most of the people in my life care about me and Dalton.

I am going to miss Camp Tracey and the people that I work with. Yes, I will see them at church but for the last 7 years I have practically lived with most of them. We are like one big family there. I have made a lot of memories there, good ones and bad, but, more good than bad. I'm going to miss working with my father in law. He and I have worked side by side for a few years now and he and I have seen the tough days and the good. He and I have memories, 7 years of memories.

But, I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for Dalton and I. I want to stay involved in church, I'm not sure how right now though.

Tomorrow, I will know if change for life will being tomorrow or not. If it doesn't, I know it will soon. I know that this is the Lord's will for my life and I know it will all work the way it is supposed to be, the way He wants it to work out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just Me & Him for Now.

Dalton posing in his 'I'm the Man' pose.

The Little Saint Mary's River, Glen St. Mary, Florida
Dalton taking a picture of me.

Me taking a picture of Dalton

Just Me & Him for Now.

Dalton taking a picture of me, he does pretty good with a camera.

Today, Dalton and I went to this little park here in town. There's not much there, just a little river that feeds into the big Saint Mary's river that runs up by the Camp and is what divides the Camp from the Georgia line. This little Saint Mary's river is about 15 minutes south of the Camp in town. We ordered a couple of pizzas from Little Ceasars, got us a couple of drinks and took our lunch there and ate it. We had the whole park to ourselves. We sat and ate our pizzas until we could eat no more and then we took a walk around the little river and took picture. It was nice to just spend some time together and it was inexpensive (well except for our pizza, by the way, don't ever order extra cheese on large pizzas or it they will charge you $1.50 for each pizza!, needless there's a call going to the manager there from me!). Anyways, we had a good time, we went to Wendy's afterwards and enjoyed Twisted Frosty's and then we went home. Today was a pretty day, it was warm but bearable. I hope we can spend some more time like this together soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Turning 28 on the 28th

On June 28th, 2010, I celebrated my 28th birthday. I have always loved the fact that I was an even number baby from the get go and this year everything about my birthday in on even numbers (oh and my favorite number is 2). It is hard to believe that I am 28 already, I remember when I turned 18 and it seems to only been a few years ago. I don't feel much older, but the idea that I am almost 30 is still a bit to get adjusted to. For my birthday, I planned a cookout with some close friends of mine from church. My friends mean alot to me, we do alot together. I think one of the biggest things we do together is go out for Sunday Lunch and those are the times we make some memories. We were supposed to have hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill but at the last minute we were catered a steak and potato dinner from the Camp. It was really good and really nice. As you can see in the pictures, we really enjoyed our dinner. We sat around and talked for a while and then we had a delicous cake that my friend Sylvia made. It was amazing! Dalton and I just ate the last of it last night. After that we tried to have a group picture. It was the first time I had ever tried using the 10 second timer on my camera and it made picture taking a lot more fun and funnier! We got a good picture though and it will make a great memory that will last a life time.
My birthday was a good day. I had the time to think about my life and where I am now today and how I never dreamed that I would be where I am today and with a son. Of course, I've always dreamed about having a child but not this soon in life. I never saw myself working where I do now either. How many people do you know that work on a farm with troubled teenagers and do what they can to change their lives? I love it and I never saw myself being here for 7 years. In July, I will start my 8th year living here in Florida and at Camp Tracey.

I like to think about all the things I can do and the things I've seen and places I've been. I've been to Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Tennesse, North Carolina, West Virgina, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. In Texas, I've been to Corpus Christi, Brownsville, El Paso, San Antonio, New Braufels, Dallas, Galveston, Austin, Amarillo and I lived in Houston for 18 years. I know how to play the flute, piano and harmonica, I know alot about the computer and how to fix one in most cases. I am a volunteer Fire Fighter, I am a certified First Responder and soon I'll be certified in the American Red Cross. I consider it a blessing to have the life I have. It may not have turned out the way I wanted but I am blessed to have lived where I have and done the things I've done. I'm blessed to be a mother to a 7 year old Son who is the love of my life. It might just be him and I for a while but that's okay.

As I look back on my life I realize that I've been through alot, emotionally, mentally on so many levels. I then have to remember that my life has not been as bad or hurt as so many others out there who have had to endure unimaginable things in their life. I am very blessed to have a God who has watched out for me, who has protected me and provided for me in so many ways that I can not count them all. I'm 28 years old now, I am still young and I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for my life. My goal in life is to stay in the will of God, to be the Mother He wants me to be to Dalton and to share the Love of God to those around me. I have had a good life so far and as long as I stay in the will of God, the rest of my life here on earth will be good. For 28 years, my God has been good to me and He will continue to be good to me as long as my heart stays close to His.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dalton's First Surgery June 22, 2010

Dalton in the Boat Wagon

Dalton getting changed.

Dalton had his very first surgery. As minor as it was it turned out to be a bigger adventure than planned. He was going in to have his tonsils and adenoids taken out and then he was to have tubes placed in both of his ears. Again, very minor surgery, Day Surgery. We had to be at Wolfson's Children's Hospital (WCH) by 11:40 to get signed in and than surgery was scheduled for 1:40pm.

Monday we went to his pediatrician for the Pre-Op appointment and a follow up appointment. The previous week Dalton was battling a chest cold and ear infection, he was on meds for week but still sort of coughing a little bit. His doctor said that the cough was pretty gone enough for him to go ahead with surgery. She and I agreed that we could not put off this surgery any longer because of how often Dalton gets sick.

We got the okay from his doctor and so off to Walmart we went to stock up on ice cream, popsicles, jello and juices. We home that night and started to house chores, packing our bags (we were supposed to spend the night at the Ronald McDonald House because we lived too far away from a hospital in the case something happened.). We went to bed and for some reason, I could not go to sleep! I didn't fall asleep until around 5:30-6:00 and the alarm was set to go off at 7. So, needless to say, I didn't get the rest and sleep for big day.

We got up on Tuesday, got the car packed and did a few last minute things and then we headed off to Jacksonville. We went there a little early, had to stop at the Church office for something and we got done there a bit early so we stopped a Thrift Store. lol, yeah, I went to a thrift store but I found 3 skirts and a Christian CD for under $20! So, after there we headed to the Hospital which was only less than 5 minutes away.

We went up and got registered and Dalton got changed from his clothes to his gown. We sat in the waiting room until about 1:30. While we waited in the big waiting room, there had to been at least 20 different other families. They were there with their little ones who had gone into surgery or were waiting to go in. Bro. Calvin from our church came and sat with us for a bit. He and I talked for a bit about different things which helped calm my nerves down a bit. Than he prayed with us and instructed Dalton to eat ice cream for him later. Dalton promised and even asked Bro. Calvin what kind he liked so that he made sure that he ate the right one. :)

We finally got called back and started another period of waiting, this time we waited to see the anthesiologist. She finally came back to see us after about 30 minutes. She was really cool, her name was Jessica too. :) After she sat and talked to Dalton and I she left and than about 10-15minutes later we go to see Dr. Kress. She came in and just went over the surgery procedure and then she left. About 10 minutes later the nurses came and got Dalton, they pushed him in a wagon that was a boat and then they pushed him to the operating room. As they did that, I headed back out the big waiting room where my friend Jeannie sat waiting for me with coffee from Elianos. I was sooo grateful for coffee, I was really starting to feel tired by then and hungry. So we waited, the surgery was only supposed to take about 30 minutes. We sat and talked and I did what I could to stay occupied, I called my doctor's office and scheduled an appointment to get my back checked out again. Later my friends Nelle and Lillian, who I work with at the Church office came and brought me dinner which was really good! Right before they came the Dr. Kress came out and told me that Dalton had done really good. So, I started eating and then got a call from one of the recovery nurses. She told me that Dalton was waking up and he was coughing alot. They had to give him a breathing treatment and they were calling Dr. Kress to find out if they needed to admit him to the hospital for the night. Dr. Kress decided to do that and then came out and told me that. She was a bit worried about his breathing and him coughing too much and doing some damage to the surgery on his tonsils. By that time I had lost my appetite and started making phone calls. I was a very concerned and while all the decison making was going on I still hadn't seen Dalton. Finally they told me and Jeannie that we could go back and see him and we were able to go back where we really were not supposed to.

Bless his heart, he was crying and I felt like my heart was just going to melt. He saw me though coming in the doors though and he looked a bit relieved. Anyways, they finally moved him to a room on the 6th floor and we got him settled in. I ended up calling and canceling our reserveration at the Ronald McDonald House and hauling our bags in to the hospital. Fortunately I had packed extra pillows and a blanket and a snack bag cause it all came in hand later.

So, we spent a night at the hospital. The nurses we had were great to us, they were very nice and willing to get us both anything that we needed. We didn't go to sleep until about 1am, and then from there we both tried to sleep. Up until then, we had did a puzzle that Jeannie had bought him, we colored in coloring books and watched alot of TV, we don't have cable so it's nice to watch things we don't normally get to. :)

The night there went alright, I couldn't sleep, I don't know anyone that has slept well staying overnight in a hospital room. But, it could have been worse too.

We both were up by 6:30 just in time for shift change. The first thing I did was go hunt down the coffee, I could tell by the time I put both feet on the floor that I was going to need alot of it. We both got breakfast, he actually ate some scrambled eggs and yogurt. Right as we finished, Dr. Kress came in and said that we could go home! Yay!
So, we (well, I) started packing up our stuff and changing clothes. By 11:00 we were headed for the car. We had to stop at Walmart and drop off prescriptions to pick up tomorrow and I was really craving Chicken Fried Rice with Shrimp in it and so we had to stop at the Chinese Take Out restaurant and pick that up for my lunch and dinner. Then it was off to home, where our comfortable beds were! I was exhuasted and looking forward to going to bed!
Well home and bed we came to and we are now resting and looking foward to getting some more sleep! This whole adventure was defiantely one to remember. It was great coming home and checking my Facebook and seeing all the prayers and words of encouragement waiting there. It was also amazing to see who my true friends really were. I am very blessed to have people who treat me like I am their family and who care about Dalton and I in so many ways. Again, through this whole thing, even though it was nerve racking and exhausting, God proved that He is still on His throne and through all this God was beyond Good To Me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let the Healing Begin

So, I've been listening to this song called 'Healing Begins' by the band Tenth Avenue North. It just came out and I haven't been able to stop listening to it. The lyrics are very deep or at least to me they are. I was listening to the song the other morning and several thoughts went running through my mind like they ususally do when I listen to music.
The gist of the song is talking about how we all need healing in our lives and I personally believe that we all need it on a daily basis. We all work so hard at making ourselves look good to everybody around us by doing countless of good things and sometimes we do it so hard that we end up putting walls up inside ourselves and the walls go up against people and people that we care about and who care about us. So many times do we put those walls and think that nobody can get in, we think that nobody will be able to touch us or show us that they care and ultimately if we can't let people in to care about us, we won't be able to care about anybody else. So often do we forget that the walls that we put up may seem like brick walls to us but to so many people around us they are glass walls and they can see everything going on.
Have you ever thought about everything we hide behind those walls that we put up? There's fear. Fear of actually being honest with yourself, fear of facing the solution to tearing the walls down, fear of others actually stepping in our lives and helping us deal with the other things behind those walls. There's shame. Shame that you allowed yourself to put up that wall to begin with and possibly more than just one wall at a time. Shame that you have allowed a wall or two to stay up for so long. Shame of knowing that you are have to deal with something. There are secrets that are hiding behind the walls, secrets that you think that you only know about, but don't forget that your Creator knows them better than you and anybody else may know. The secrets fall in line with shame and fear. Fear of letting the secrets out, shame in knowing that you harbored those secrets to begin with.

So when you come to the realization that there are walls in your life, in your heart that need to come down, what do you do next? What's the next step? Well, I believe that in more ways than we know, when the walls are standing tall and strong in our lives and it's so dark inside of our lives and hearts, there's a Light there behind the wall. Depending on how tall the walls are and how dark it is inside, depends on how visible that light is.
When you do see the Light, don't be afraid of it, let it shine in your soul. When you are ready for the light to shine completely in your soul and in your life, you will be ready for the walls in your soul to come down. Only when you are ready for the light to come in and you're ready for the walls to come down can Healing Begin.

Think of how amazing it will sound to let those walls come crashing down! It will be like glass shattering in a million pieces never to be put back up again. There's freedom in letting those walls come down, freedom in the sound of them coming down. When the glass walls come down the light that's always been there behind those walls will get to shine it's fullest! The light will meet the darkness behind those walls that used to be there and the impact of the Light meeting the Dark will be amazing because again, that's where the Healing Begins.

Those dark glassy walls can only come down if they're washed over by a sea of the Blood of Jesus. His Blood washes and makes everything white as snow. Don't be afraid of the Blood, it's the Blood that will tear the walls down, it will heal wounds that are deep and it will wash the 'fear' and 'shame' away.

Healing Begins when you are broken inside and you're at a point where you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and you've pretty much hit rock bottom. Healing Begins when you know that the walls need to come down even if they are barely standing and when you know that something isn't right and the way it should be.

My favorite part of the song is the line that says' Sparkes will fly as Grace collides with the dark inside of us.' That's such an amazing thought. Think about the walls in our souls coming down and while they are crashing down, the light behind those walls meets the darkness on the other side, it's Grace through the Light that runs head on with the darkness and ultimately knocks the darkness out. It's the Blood of Jesus that crashes the walls down and it's the Grace that brings light and hope into our lives and gives us the chance to live and live life to the fullest! Wow! I am getting goosebumps as I write this. To think, that when the walls come crashing down, the Grace through the Light comes rushing in, this is where the Healing all Begins and this is where it starts and its an amazing feeling and it's an assurance knowing that your hurts, wounds, fears and shame are being healed.
You have to keep the healing process going though. You have to keep allowing the Grace of God throught the Light of His Son to keep shining in your life, its the only way to keep the walls down and it's the only way the Healling will continue.
That's why I think on a daily basisis we need healing in our lives, in our souls. When we become offended, we automatically start building a wall even if it's one dirty glass brick.
As I write this, it's almost 2 in the morning but I'm already thinking about the walls that I need to come down, there's a few, but, I know I'm not the only one who has them. I know what I need to do with the walls and I'm willing to do what it takes to let them come down. Are you?
I am so grateful for this song and the message that it has hidden inside the words. I hope you get a blessing out of it as I have.
Don't wait to tear those walls down, the longer you leave them up, the longer the Light is being blocked out of your life and the longer the darkness is setting in. Don't wait another day to let the Healing Begin in your soul and in your life.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is the two of us. It looks as if it will be the two of us for a while or at least until God allows me a second chance at finding the true love of my life. Dalton is 7, he's always doing something that reminds me he is 7. He is honest and sometimes too honest but I'd rather be dealing too much honesty than a liar. I love him so much, although I feel at times I fail to 'show' him love. I was raised with a very tough love and I'm afraid I am passing that along. I am learning though to break that pattern. I never dreamed of being a single mom, I always thought it was going to be something I did with a lifelong partner by my side. I know the Lord is going to take me through this journey and I won't have to be in the journey by myself. It has taught me alot lately and I don't regret anything. It has been a fun journey and full of laughter, tears and anquish but it has been worth it and whatever the Lord brings my way I will be able to handle it. The Lord never gives us more than what we can handle and THAT is a promise!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Single Mom's Mother's Day

Well, today was Mother's Day. It felt good being recognized at church for being a mother but somehow it was just another day for me. It has been a long time since someone did something special for me, not saying that I'm feeling sorry for myself but it's just another day.
Since 2008, I have been a single mother, taking on the role of provider both financially and in the other aspects of being a 'mother'. It is my responsibility to hand out the discipline, correction, to feed, clothe my son. I am the one who is to be an influence in his life, offer support emotionally and mentally. I am the one who is his taxi driver and will be until he old enough to drive. Every aspect of parenting has been left to me and it is taking some getting used to.

I made the comment on my Facebook status last night that 'I wanted to wish all the Single Moms a special Mother's Day and I hope they know that they are not the only one out there trying to take it one day at a time'. I got to thinking about that statement. So many times I feel like that it is all me that is dealing with being a 'single' mom, I feel like I'm the only one juggling a full time ministry, Church, volunteer work, school for my child and myself and all the other responsiblities that come with being a Mom like Dr.Appointments, School functions, etc. But, I'm not the only one. As I got to thinking about it, I know a few single moms myself and I wondered how do they do it? I somedays don't know how I do it! lol! I really don't. But, then I realize that I didn't do anything. My God in heaven gave the exact amount of energy, strength, mental capacity, patience, love and so many other things to get through that very day! It is about taking it one day at a time and God is about taking it one day at a time. When He created the World in 7 days, He did it one day at a time. He didn't stop and think about how He was going to create what was supposed to be done on day 4 when He was on day 1, He did it all one day at a time! So, why should I try to figure out how to do it ahead of time? I need to just get through the day and then when tomorrow or next week gets here, it will be time to deal with it. Nobody said I had to skip ahead of time and worry about something that wasn't even here yet. Just one day at a time. I know that God will give me what it takes to get through the one day I have to live. I'm not guaranteed another day, nobody is. So, why not just live today? Take care of today. God doesn't really give us the energy to take of tomorrow, He gives us what we need for that day and that day only!

I'm not in this single mom buisness alone and I'm glad of that. I pray that God allows me to be inspiring and encouraging to all the other single moms out there through my blogging and writings. Mother's Day as a single mom has another meaning to it now, it makes me think about all the other single moms out there, it makes me say prayer for them. Now, it makes me pray for them more often, that God gives them what they need to get through one day at a time.

So, on this Mother's Day in 2010, I am making it a point to give all the other single moms out there more consideration and prayer.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mother's out there. :)