Decisons And Change

I have never been good at making decisons…..big or small, I am very indecisive!  I remember standing in my closet each night before school or work the next day spending FOREVER trying to decide just what to wear; even trying a dozen things on to get the perfect outfit.  Like it was really going to be earth-shattering if I picked the wrong thing…..making decisions, not my best quality!

I am no good at change either……my mom says it used to be a fight to get me to go from my summer wardrobe to my winter and visa-versa as a child.  So, even as a 4-5 year old little girl the way I dressed was #1 important and #2 it did shake my world when I had to change it.

Of course, as we get older the decisions that we are forced to make and the changes that we have to endure are more important than the clothes that we wear…..I would much rather be back in those “easy” days where what I wore was the most critical decision I had to make!  Over the last 12 1/2 years of my marriage and especially the last 8 1/2 years of Hannah’s life we have had to make some decisions that haven’t been fun.  They have been downright difficult and yes, seemingly earth-shattering ones.

We are at a crossroads right now and have a 2 huge decisions to make that ultimately could change the course of this journey we are on.  It will possibly mean big changes for us and it is scary.  I can’t talk about these decisions with anyone right now, which makes it even more difficult as I would love to bounce my pros and cons off of someone else; but this is truly something that is weighing heavy on both Dennis and me.  We have both, for weeks and months now been praying for wisdom and discernment and honestly, I am at peace completely with one of the decisions we need to make (have been for a long time) but the other one is like a watching a tennis match; going back and forth, back and forth….SO confused!  I keep claiming 1 Corinthians 14:33 that says:  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace……but, alas…..I am still confused!

So, God is using these 2 situations and huge decisions to continue to mold me and shape me; to allow me the opportunity to put ALL of my trust and faith in Him.  Honestly, that is so much easier said than done…..again, just my complete honesty!  I know what the Bible says……I know where my faith and hope lie…..but, having clear, concise answers is difficult and sometimes you just have to “be still” and really listen.  That is what I am doing right now…..I am just being still.  One of our decisions has a deadline coming up in February and we do need to make this decision quickly and it has to be the right one as it is a forever decision for us…….oh, to be that little girl again that didn’t have a care in the world…..AND I would have taken EVERY.SINGLE nap that my mom tried to get me to without complaining!  HA!

peace

be still

Until next time…….

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Change…..No Matter The Cost

I used to be such a “social butterfly.”  I had to be with people all the time.  I had to attend every party or function.  I loved crowds.  I loved getting dressed up; heck….I wore 3 inch heels to work everyday when I was pregnant even up to the day I gave birth.  I NEVER left the house without makeup on, not even to go to the mailbox; because God forbid the mailman see you with no makeup on!  I always had my nails and toes done and my hair was colored every 6 weeks and fixed to perfection.  My purses ALWAYS matched my shoes and outfit and I never left home without it.

WOW, how things have changed!  Now, I don’t care who sees me with no makeup on and most of the time I walk to the mailbox in my pj’s and slippers!  Yes, I now where slippers!  I am officially OLD!  I HATE crowds……I hate getting dressed up; in fact you will probably never see me in a skirt or dress ever again; although I still love those 3 inch heels but they will be worn with pants!  I won’t even describe to you what my toes look like right now because you will gag and my nails…..well, at least they are filed!  Regarding my hair, I can’t get to the salon every 6 weeks so I am beginning to embrace the gray and if it is up in a hair clip, then it is fixed to perfection!  I still carry a purse everywhere because in the city I live in I won’t be without my gun, but it most likely won’t match anything I have on.

I am writing this post today to remind myself how motherhood changed me.  I’m not saying it was a bad thing but there are things I miss about the old Tamara.  Although, I am also stronger, braver, and WAY more accepting of others than I was 8 years ago.  I am harder and I don’t cry near as easy.  I am more thankful for the little things, because sometimes that is all we can celebrate right now.  I am way more thankful for health and physical abilities!  I am more leery of people and I don’t trust you until you earn it; where there was a day that I used to trust everyone until they proved they couldn’t be trusted!  I try to remember that EVERYONE has a story, some not very pleasant and I try to treat everyone with kindness.  But, I am also of that mindset….”screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me.”  I am done with people faster than I used to be.  I don’t have time for people who are mean, rude, unkind and judgemental….especially when it comes to my child!

Yes, motherhood changed me…..some good; some not so good but I am who I am!  We have to evolve with what life hands us.  We have to go with it, we have no choice.  People change…..people come into your life and people go out of your life…..there are different seasons of life and we have to accept whatever is handed and make the most of it.  I think that for me, I had to get tough.  I had to put up a wall.  I had to be ready to get defensive if a situation called for it.  With all that, you change.  You have no choice but to change or you won’t survive.  I am surviving….I always will because you do what you have to do…..no matter the cost!

change

Until next time………

Self-Righteousness…..

You know, I have to shake my head when people who have never walked a difficult path or had any kind of heartbreak, tragedy or loss can “preach” joy, peace and holiness ALL.THE.TIME!  It is SO very easy to have those things reflecting off of you when your life is perfect and you have never LIVED anything bad or heartbreaking!

I would like to invite those people to take a walk in my shoes……once they did could they “preach” what they do now?  I am one who truly believes that God has a plan and purpose for everything but I also believe that He will give you more than you can handle so you have to trust and rely on him 100%.  I have ONLY gotten through the last 8 years because of His grace, goodness, mercy and peace!  He, alone has given me the strength to endure and persevere!  But, for someone to walk around all high and mighty with their self-righteous nose pointing to the sky, having never walked a difficult path…..I just wonder if those people will CRUMBLE and will FALL flat on their face when difficulties hit!  I would imagine that reality would hit them in the face at that point and the pride that they walk around engulfed in would be crushed!

People full of pride, self-righteousness, and those that preach it but have never lived anything bad grate on me more than anything in this world!  Instead of walking around like you know it all and have all the answers to everyone’s problems; why not swallow your pride, get down off your high and mighty horse and love and encourage those that are hurting instead of judging them and preaching to them how they should handle situations.

The day will come when reality will hit them upside the head; challenges will strike and they will be sent on a rollercoaster like they have never seen and all that holiness, self-righteousness and arrogance will bite them in the………..I will use Hannah’s word here instead of the one I was thinking…….HINEY!

Wow…..I feel better now!

By the way....just because this picture is of what appears to be a husband and wife this post has NOTHING to do with my husband!  Just needed to go on the record and say that!

By the way….just because this picture is of what appears to be a husband and wife this post has NOTHING to do with my husband! Just needed to go on the record and say that!

Until next time………

The Week From HELL

Okay, I know that might be an offensive title for some people but there is absolutely NO other way to word it…..I can honestly say that I have been to hell and back just this week and it wasn’t fun!

I don’t even know where to begin…..Dennis left last week to go out-of-town deer hunting in Alabama for 2 weeks.  The day after he left I found out my dad has been having some heart issues.  Dad’s story with his heart and heart disease is a whole blog post in itself as he honestly shouldn’t even be here with us.  He had a massive heart attack 23 1/2 years ago and “died” twice on the operating table.  The surgeon told us after his open-heart surgery that he wouldn’t survive…..needless to say, he did and has done great until just recently.  Anyway, he found out last Friday that he needed a heart cath done this past Thursday.  On top of Dennis being gone and dad having his heart issues I am still dealing with Hannah running these low-grade fevers the past 4 months.  It has gotten to the point though that if I didn’t send her back to school she could lose her scholarship (which that too is a whole blog post in itself).  Her scholarship is the ONLY way we can afford her special school….without it……I would be one of those “homeschool mom’s” that I said I would NEVER be….(be careful what you say never about) and yet, that too is a whole new blog post in itself.

So, against my better judgement, I decided last week to send Hannah back to school on Tuesday for half a day.  My plan was to send her Tuesday and Thursday so that I could go to be with my mom and dad at the hospital on Thursday for dad’s heart cath.  This is why I cannot make plans as they never come to fruition.  Well, I will be honest here…..I cried my eyes out when I dropped Hannah off at school Tuesday morning as I was scared to death that she would get sick and guess what?!?!?  She did!  Thursday morning at 2:30 am she woke up sicker than she has been in a VERY long time.  By 9am, her fever was steadily climbing and she acted like she was going to puke and let me tell you…..that is the WORST!  I called the doctor and got her an appointment for 4:40 that afternoon but by 11am her fever was 104.3 and I panicked!  I called the doctor back and they said to get her there now!  She had not eaten or had anything to drink all day, and refused any fluids which was making her dehydrated.  We got to the doctor and they did a throat culture and it tested positive for strep.  I was relieved that was what it was but poor Dr. Kim had to deal with this mother’s meltdown!  God love our doctor!  She not only sat there and let me cry on her shoulder, she also prayed with Hannah and me.  She looked at me and said, honey you are so overwhelmed….after I told her all that was going on.  I looked at her and said….”is this what a meltdown is?”  HA!  So, yes, I.LOST.IT!

The great news is Hannah got a penicillin shot and seriously within 3 hours she was a new little girl.  She isn’t well by any  means but she isn’t THAT sick anymore so I am so thankful for that.  We are back to just our low-grade fevers now and some congestion.  I can deal with that.

Dad, on the other-hand ended up having his heart cath and then getting admitted into the hospital to have a pacemaker/defibrillator put in yesterday.  He did great with it and actually went home today.  So thankful that he didn’t have any complications and even more thankful for doctors; their God-given wisdom and knowledge to help people like my dad and Hannah feel better!  I think if I could go back in time, I might choose to become a doctor……what a wonderful profession!  We need to be so thankful for doctors and all those that work in healthcare!  I know I am!

So, with all that said……I am hoping “HELL week” is almost over.  Dennis is still out-of-town but will be home soon and I have already told him that he owes me BIG TIME!  I am thinking that trip to New York City is going to happen sooner than later for me!  Frankly…..I DESERVE IT!

So, all of this is why I have been missing in action with my blogging.  Some of you, I am sure are grateful to have the peace and quiet; but I am back now and I have alot to say!  So hang on tight…..some controversy is coming your way soon!

Until next time……….

A Legacy Worth Leaving

My friend Jason’s sudden and untimely death has really shaken me to my core.  Here was this strong, seemingly healthy, active 42-year old husband, father, son, brother and friend who died suddenly in his sleep.  My friend…..gone too soon.

He accomplished SO much though in his life.  He served his community for 17+ years as a police officer, he served his country in Iraq for 2 years and he was a successful business owner.  Most importantly though, he was a husband of nearly 20 years and a father of 2 amazing young men.  His legacy…..a legacy of helpfulness, integrity, humanity, love, dedication, honor, respect to and from others, happiness, joy, living life to its fullest…..the list goes on.  What an incredible way to be remembered.

His death has made me think about what I want my legacy to be.  I will never amount to and do all that Jason accomplished, as he was such a go-getter and had such a servant’s heart; an inner and outer strength and the God-given ability to do all that was required of him.  His calling was different from mine, as all of us have different gifts and abilities.  But, it has made me think about my calling and the legacy I want to leave when the day comes that I am called home to Heaven.

I want to be remembered for being a loving, supportive and encouraging wife.  I want my husband to look back and know that he was loved more than anything and that I always had his back.  I want to be remembered for being a good mom.  I don’t want Hannah to EVER doubt for one second that her mama didn’t love her, take care of her and sacrifice for her.  I want Dennis and Hannah to know that they were the 2 most important people in my life and I never want them to doubt my dedication, loyalty and love!

I am never going to do “great” things.  I am never going to be President of the United States, but for the record, I would do a better job than the one we have now!  I am never going to cure cancer, although I truly wish I had the knowledge to do that.  I am never going to sing like Carrie Underwood, although that would make my husband a VERY happy man; well and I am never going to look like her either…..HA!  I am never going to be in a movie or on TV, cut my own CD or model for Victoria Secret…..you can all thank me for that last one, as that will be my gift to you to never do that!

BUT…….

I want my legacy to be one of faith in God; that I trusted Him through the good and the bad.  That no matter what life threw at me, I remained strong because of my faith; that God would get me through anything.  I want to be remembered for having inner strength that when the world crashed around me…..I didn’t crash with it.  I want to be remembered for being compassionate, loving and encouraging to those that have difficult battles and journeys and I want to be remembered for being kind and non-judgemental to those people who others turn away from.  I want the legacy that I leave behind to be one of honor and integrity; one of never backing down and for standing up for what I believe even when no one else agrees with you.

I want a legacy like Jason had!  I want people to remember me for making society better; not worse.  I want people to remember me for being a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.  I want to make the impact God called me to make, just like Jason did with what God called him to do.

Nothing like the sudden death of a dear friend, who was a month older than you to put things in perspective!  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  I am sure Jason didn’t lay his head on his pillow last Thursday night even thinking of the possibility of not waking up.  To be honest, since his death, every night I have thought of that possibility.  Like Jason lived every day to its fullest, I want to as well.  I want to be more thankful and grateful for everyday that I am still here and I want my friends and family to know how much I love them; just like Jason did each day!

I hate that it took the death of my friend to put some things into perspective for me and to make me more thankful for each and every day.  But, you see…..even through death, my friend is still making an impact…..now that is a legacy worth leaving!

Until next time……….

I Didn’t Sign Up For This

This is a difficult post to write, but if I want to stay true to my “honesty” and “keeping it real” attitude about life, then it needs to be said.

I have seen blogs lately about motherhood and how you “signed up” for it all…..I truly don’t believe that!  Yes, becoming a mother you know some of the things you have “signed up” for but some of it like chronic illnesses, chromosome abnormalities, congenital heart defects and other issues, you don’t “sign up for.”

Who in their right mind would “sign up” for heartaches, difficulties, challenges and possibly saying goodbye to your child?  If you answered you would, then you are a better person than me.  I would prefer the EASY button to push personally.  Not that I think raising any child is easy, but if you aren’t dealing with the health and special needs aspect it has to be easier or NOBODY would be having children.

Honestly, if God had told me….”Tam, you have the choice to have a perfectly, normal and healthy child or one with numerous health and cognitive issues, you pick.”  Well, sad to say I would have “signed up” for option #1!

With that said, NO ONE and I repeat NO ONE on this planet loves Hannah like I do…..NO ONE!  But, I take offense to hearing, “well, you signed up for this,” because frankly, I did not!  Yes, I signed up for motherhood and there are days I wonder if I was in my right mind in doing so, but I had no clue what all my motherhood journey was going to entail!

You are probably thinking what I just wrote is horrid and you have the right to think that, but I am just keeping it real!  THIS IS HARD!  My days are long, exhausting and sometimes just.plain.crappy!  Yesterday, in fact, was one of those days!

BUT…….I look at this face

Hannah 1

and I thank GOD for not giving me a choice because if he had I would have chosen the EASIER way instead of HIS way!

So, yes, I didn’t technically sign up for this but I am thankful God signed me up instead of asking me my opinion first!

You see, even though this is not easy…..even though it is the hardest “job” I have EVER had; the JOY that this little girl brings to me far outweighs the difficulties and challenges!   I have never and will never again know LOVE like this!  God knew Hannah is what I needed……it isn’t the other way around.  So many people have told me….”God knew that Hannah needed you,” but that is not true….the truth is I needed Hannah!  God used her to CHANGE me……I have not done near for her what she has done for me!  So, as hard and as difficult and as CRAPPY as some of my days are……she is here for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Until next time………..

Gone Too Soon

I wasn’t going to blog about this but I cannot get it off my mind or heart; so what do I do?  I write.  I found out Friday that sadly a dear friend of mine from high school passed away in his sleep.  He left behind a loving family and many, many friends.  It wasn’t until I started reading some of the things people were posting about him on his Facebook wall that I realized just the man he had become since we graduated 23 years ago.  He was a loving husband and father.  He served our country in the military, he served his community as a police officer and over the past few years owned his own business.  Some of the words I read on Facebook to describe him were: loyal, faithful, helpful, loving, compassionate, friendly, giving, respectful and honorable…..amazing words to describe a man who is gone too soon!

I found myself “looking” back and thinking of those 4 years (9th-12th grade) in high school that we had.  We went to a small private school and the people I went to school with were and still are an amazing group of people.  It is so neat to be friends with the majority of them to this day.  I thought about all the fun we had, the laughter and the drama……HA!  Hey, what was high school without a little (or lot of) drama!  But, looking back I remember THESE people!  The friends that I had and still do to this day!  My friend, Jason, was one of them.  Jason was one of those guys that everyone loved!  He was just so likeable…..so popular…..so kind!  I truly cannot remember a time where Jason was mean or unkind to anyone.  To be honest, all my memories of Jason and the rest of the crew are GREAT memories!  There was a bond that we all shared and even though graduation sent us ALL in different directions; one thing I have noticed is in the last 23 years, when we do talk or Facebook…..we pick up right where we left off.

When the news started spreading about Jason, we were all in shock…..speechless and broken-hearted.  All I could think of were those high school years that seem like yesterday, although they were 23+ years ago…..but I cannot still fathom, that one of us is gone.

I plan to go on Tuesday and honor his memory by attending his funeral, but even as I type this it just seems like it cannot really be happening.  That one of our own…..my friend, who was my age, is gone too soon!  Puts a lot of things in perspective, as this was so sudden and so unexpected…..life is just too short and no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

One more thing that I realized about Jason and never knew was that he had a love for kids with special needs.  I just found that out yesterday.  In lieu of flowers the family requested that donations be made to Jason’s favorite charity.  I had never heard of it, so I clicked on the link.  It is www.cmoskids.org

This is their mission statement:

Our mission is to enrich the lives of special needs children by providing life-changing outdoor experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and accommodating environment. Our desire is to foster the development of self-confidence and self-reliance through the provision of outdoor adventures including hunting, fishing and camping.

When I read that and started looking at their website, tears began to flow down my cheeks.  Here was my friend from high school that had become very successful and his passion was providing special needs children the ability to embrace and love the outdoors like he did.  Fishing, hunting and camping with special needs kids……WOW, that hit me hard!  As a mom to a child with special needs nothing touches my heart more than a man or woman who dedicates their time, energy, efforts and money into helping those that are “differently-abled.”  Sadly, I didn’t know Jason was involved in this organization, but it made me even more proud to say that he was my friend.

Life is too short……we all should embrace this one life that we have been given…..the good and the bad.  Yes, I know….I am preaching to the choir here!  Hello pot, this is kettle!  I am so sad for those of us who have lost him, especially for his family!  But, I am proud of the incredible legacy that he left behind.  He will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Rest in peace Jason until we meet again!

RIP my friend

RIP my friend

Until next time……….