Monday, October 29, 2012

Make Me New


So, yes, I lied.  I didn’t post the next day, like I said I would last week.  I’m really glad my pants didn’t catch on fire for lying.  :)  

Trent is still training away.  Not too much time left down there either.  We get to see him in a month for four days, and that is really just right around the corner.  It will be a difficult four days, anticipating him leaving again, but it's four days together, and we'll take it.  Then, it's a completely different ball game after that.  But, we'll just take it a day at a time. 


So the title, what does it mean??  It wasn’t my best week or weekend, nor Trent’s.  It seemed like we were both a little down this weekend, we both had worrisome hearts, and topped with crazy schedules to boot, it wasn’t a great combo.  Then Sunday rolled around, and the girls and I went to church.  There’s just something about church lately!!  I cannot go without some sort of emotion rolling through me like a freight train.  This week, that emotion was grace.


Our wonderful worship team sang beautiful songs that just soothed my soul.  I wasn’t really singing, just taking it in.  Then, this song started being sung. (Love this song!)



It hit me hard what exactly God was up to.  This is what God does when things seem out of control... He breaks it down, breaks down all the walls, so He can put us back together, piece-by-piece, whole again with all of Him.  He makes us new!  I love His grace as He makes me new.  How grateful I am to be the daughter of the Highest King who would love me enough to help me through this process; to take this time of weary hearts and change it into something beautiful.  I only know of one who can do that, do you know Him?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Life Lessons from a Five-Year-Old


I promise to post again tomorrow about how things are going, but tonight I’m going to blog about something else.

Today my little girl, Joanna Lynn, turned five.  I posted on Facebook that I didn’t know what happened to the time?!  There is no way she could be five already!  She has turned into this amazing little girl who surprises me daily with things that she says and does.  Not to brag or anything, but she truly is incredible!

On Thursday, I picked the girls up from school and I found out that Joanna was going to be Student of the Week the week of the 29th.  There is this big packet that Joanna and I have to do together and then I also had to pick 6-10 pictures of Joanna and her family from baby years until now.  So, Thursday night I got on my iPhoto and started looking through all of Joanna’s past pictures.  I am in absolute awe of how much my little girl has gone through in the past five years.  In five short years, she has taught me so much, and here are just a few of those lessons. 

 
The day Joanna was born, I learned what it meant to truly love someone the moment I met them.  She left me after my first 15 minutes of seeing her, and I learned that I had to let go and let God take complete control.
 


In the next few weeks of Joanna being in the NICU, I learned just how strong this little girl was and how much of a fighter she was and would continue to be.  She was so beautiful and calm.  The nurses fell in love with her and always told us how quiet and easygoing she was for a baby.  (Just like her father.) 







Right after Joanna's intestinal surgery, Trent and I found out about Joanna’s heart condition.  Then just about 10 days later, Joanna and I had to say goodbye to Daddy as he went back to Iraq.  Again, I learned about the power of prayer, as I wondered how on earth I was going to do this by myself. 



Joanna started seeing her cardiologist and went through so much testing over the next 9 months.  We fought for every ounce that she gained, as her heart was burning more calories than we could get into her, praying that she would be strong enough to have her surgery.  At 9 months old, she was finally strong enough to have her open-heart surgery.  Probably one of the scariest moments of my life, watching her be carried away.  But did my little girl cry, nope!  She just held onto her stuffed puppy, sucked on her pacifier in her cute little strawberry jammies, and went willingly with the nurse.  But she showed her mama’s feisty side later that night, after surgery, in the PICU.  She was pulling out tubes and ventilators like crazy!  Then later on during her hospital stay, she pulled out her IV!  She is her mama’s child.  :)  Nobody messes with a Rhea girl!  She was ready to go home in just 5 days.  Amazing how she always bounces back so quickly.


She was now finally able to live and play and not worry about getting sick.  With her heart fixed, she could play with other kids, go to regular daycare, and just be Joanna.  And boy has she lived!



She has taught me to soak up the sunshine!



To clap our hands and rejoice in the beautiful days our God has made for us!



To let the wind blow through our hair.



To stop and kick our feet up every once in a while.



To smile and love our family as much as we can.





And to simply enjoy life!  Thanks to my, now big girl, Joanna for teaching me so very much.  Happy Birthday, sweet girl!



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Catching Up (Take 2)

Last week left me really behind in all accounts, therefore, making this week catch up time.  Laundry, dishes, graduate homework, grading, bills, lesson plans, soap opera, etc. are all caught up now.  I’m not sure how I made it through the week without watching Days of our Lives, but I’m all up to speed now.  :) 

The girls and I spent some time having fun this week.  After the hard week last week, and the first two days of this week weren’t the best either, we headed out for a night at the Pumpkin Patch.  It was a ton of fun and a beautiful night!  We were all filthy after a couple of hours out there, but the girls smiled the whole time.  A little dirt never hurt anyone, just ask Abby, because that dirt just seemed to be glued to her.  Here are some pictures of our evening out.














Trent is doing well.  We have been skyping daily with him, which is sucking up his data on his mobile internet device.  That’s going to be an expensive bill these next two months, but it is completely worth it.  Seeing his face and talking to him makes the girls’ days and nights so much better and mine too. 

This week, Trent has been in classes and they go and qualify with their weapons tomorrow.  He sent me some pics of him helping out his squad with ‘dime drills.’  Apparently, this is when you balance a dime on the barrel and practice pulling the trigger to see if you are pulling to the left or right.  You want to pull it straight back and be smooth to avoid moving your sight picture when you are shooting.  If you can do it without the dime falling off then you are doing good.  Interesting…




They also received their new uniforms this week, which he sent me pictures of (the boots don’t look so comfortable to me.) 






Another week down is one week closer to having him home again.  We’re that much closer.

Catching Up


Last week left me really behind in all accounts, therefore, making this week catch up time.  Laundry, dishes, graduate homework, grading, bills, lesson plans, soap opera, etc. are all caught up now.  I’m not sure how I made it through the week without watching Days of our Lives, but I’m all up to speed now.  :) 

The girls and I spent some time having fun this week.  After the hard week last week, and the first two days of this week weren’t the best either, we headed out for a night at the Pumpkin Patch.  It was a ton of fun and a beautiful night!  We were all filthy after a couple of hours out there, but the girls smiled the whole time.  A little dirt never hurt anyone, just ask Abby, because that dirt just seemed to be glued to her.  Here are some pictures of our evening out.














Trent is doing well.  We have been skyping daily with him, which is sucking up his data on his mobile internet device.  That’s going to be an expensive bill these next two months, but it is completely worth it.  Seeing his face and talking to him makes the girls’ days and nights so much better and mine too. 

This week, Trent has been in classes and they go and qualify with their weapons tomorrow.  He sent me some pics of him helping out his squad with ‘dime drills.’  Apparently, this is when you balance a dime on the barrel and practice pulling the trigger to see if you are pulling to the left or right.  You want to pull it straight back and be smooth to avoid moving your sight picture when you are shooting.  If you can do it without the dime falling off then you are doing good.  Interesting…




They also received their new uniforms this week, which he sent me pictures of (the boots don’t look so comfortable to me.) 






Another week down is one week closer to having him home again.  We’re that much closer.