Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thinking I'm Truly Blessed

When I started this blog earlier in the year I struggled to find a catchy name for the title.  Then out of the blue it hit me, and "The Blessed Life" was born.  Looking back over these last few months, and years really, I see just how blessed my life is.

Take today for example.  Robert is traveling back from a mission trip to Haiti.  He's had terrible traveling experiences this trip, and today has probably been one of the worst travel days he's had.  But he's spent a week building a house for a Haitian family that lost theirs in the earthquake on January 12, 2010.  I can't imagine the loss and devastation he's seen this week, or that the people of Haiti have experienced over the last 19 months.  So, all in all, a bad day traveling back to a blessed life in DFW isn't the worst thing you could experience.  And I know once Robert lands the travel nightmare will be over and he'll remember the beauty of Haiti and the warmth and love of the people there.

Then there's Justin.  Sweet Justin spent 16 days apart from our family training for and living out a mission trip in a tiny town on the Adriatic Sea in Italy, Giovinazzo.  These people aren't poor and devastated like the Haitians, but are still in need of help in many ways.  The worst part for Justin?  Having his brand new phone (that he bought with his own money with his upgrade in June) pick pocketed on a subway in Rome on the last day of his trip.  I have to say though, Justin had a great attitude about it all. 

Though I personally did not go to a foreign country on a mission trip, I've been profoundly touched by the images and stories of these trips Robert and Justin experienced.  We have 5 healthy children, a beautiful home, plenty of food in the pantry and fridge, great jobs, the ability to take a vacation, and the ability to praise the Lord whenever and wherever we choose.  God is truly wonderful. 

I'm also reminded of friends who are going through tough times right now.  I have a friend going through a divorce and getting zero help from her husband to support their children.  I have my friend's daughter, Mallorie, who is fighting for her life with lymphoma.  I have my friend's daughter (and Ally's friend) Presley who has been fighting leukemia for over 2 years.  I see people all around me struggling with various challenges in their lives and all I can think of is how much I have to thank God for every day. 

Six years ago, in the summer of 2005, I lost both of my parents.  My mom passed away of cancer on July 9.  My father passed away on September 5.  It was a dark dark time in my life for sure, but I clung to God and my faith and kept walking.  One foot in front of the hour at a day at a time.  In the past six years I see all the amazing things my parents did for me as a child growing up and the lessons I learned from them and through their parenting.  It wasn't all perfect and rosy, but it shaped me to become the wife and mother I am today. 

Life is short, God is good, I am blessed.

Matthew 5: 3-12
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

It's been so quiet here this week!  The kids are all 3 gone to youth camp this week.  It will probably be the last time they all go together.  :-(  I'm sure they're having fun, and I really have enjoyed the peace and quiet.  But I really miss them!

However, as the title implies, this is the calm before the storm!  Vacation is just around the corner and I am so ready to get away!  We've rented the same awesome house in Destin that we had last year.  It's perfect for us!!  This year there are 10 of us going.  8 kids and 2 parents.  It breaks down to 5 boys - aged 21, 19, 19, 18 and 16.  AND 3 13 yr old girls!!!  So much fun!!!  We've rented a deck boat to go out on the bay in Panama City and head to Shell Island.  There is all kinds of cool stuff to see snorkeling out there, sand dollars, star fish, clams, dolphins, fish and seagulls.  Shell Island is super cool - shells and shells and shells all along the beach.  We're also spending a day in Pensacola, going to watch the Blue Angels practice, tour the Naval Aviation Museum and have a blast.  I grew up a Navy brat and it's always cool to share that part of my life with my kids.  And then yet another day the 6 guys are going deep sea fishing!  Since the girls weren't too interested in that, we've decided to do girl stuff SHOPPING and PEDICURES!!!  The rest of the week is totally unplanned. 

I love Destin.  Can't wait to sit on my behind and stick my feet in the sand!  I'll be sure to brag a bit through pictures while we're there!! 

In the mean time, if you happen to read this please keep my friend Mallorie in prayer.  She's really having a tough time with her treatment right now and has been in the hospital for 12 days. :-(

Until next time......

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Baby Boy Graduates!

Andrew Ryan - WHHS Class of 2011

I am soooo very proud of my sweet Andy!!  He graduated from Western Hills High School this weekend.  It's been a long 4 years for him, but he's done.  Just a few pics from the celebration to share with ya'll
Receiving his diploma from Mr. Wellman
Magna Cum Laude

My amazing family - What a great day!

And the caps fly......
As for now he plans to attend Tarrant County College and get some basics out of the way.  In the long run his dream is to design and develop video games.  He spends hours and hours and hous doing "research" on his Xbox!  ;-) 

We'll keep you posted on his progress fo sho!