moms to motorcycles

Celebrating the little things in life through struggles, hardships, and challenges with God, kids, motorcycles, and everything in between!

Archive for the tag “God”

Time to Celebrate

My birthday 2011 006

It’s my birthday today…

Now I know that when you get older and have a birthday, you’re suppose to act demure and adult-like and say, ” I don’t need a celebration or presents or special treatment. I have my health”…Oh come on!! If we were honest with ourselves and everyone else, we would tell the truth and say, “I want to be spoiled, pampered, and loved so I have no doubt that my life means something to others!”

Now I know that I have no reason for entitlement. I’m no one special. I am just a mom, wife, and daughter but…for some reason, God still keeps me on this earth AND…this is the day that He put me on this earth, so why can’t we still act like my birth was important?

My mother-in-law and my husband both asked what I wanted to do for my birthday and I nonchalantly said, “I don’t care.” But you know, the truth of the matter is that I want them to think of some way special to celebrate my day. I want them to WANT to do something creative and special without asking me what I want. I love surprises and everyone knows that. I don’t even need an extravagant expensive party. I would truly and honestly be  happy with a get together with family and some friends, a cake, and a chance to play some games.

My ideal birthday day would go as follows:

First I wake up around 8:00 with my husband’s arms wrapped around me because he decided to take the day off for my birthday. Then we spend some alone time drinking coffee out on the deck. My baby boy wakes up and dear hubby informs me that I won’t be changing any diapers for the day. My other two kids wake up and shower me with love and kisses informing me also that they will clean the house and will refrain from arguing and fighting throughout the day. Yay!

After lunch my hubby and I go on a motorcycle ride with me as a passenger this time. I want to feel the wind on my face, the freedom blowing through my hair, and the masculine smell of my husband in front of me.

For supper, since the house is clean, my close friends and family start pouring into our home to celebrate my day.  Since the weather outside is perfect and a wonderful 75 degrees, we play yard games, sit and talk, and enjoy a cake that my kids and hubby made especially for me. My hubby hands me a bowl of peppermint ice cream, which he hates but got just for me because he knows I love it.

After everyone leaves, my hubby puts the kids to bed at the glorious hour of 8:00 so that we can have a couple of hours together before our bedtime. We lay together in each other’s arms while watching an action flick. My hubby stays awake through the entire movie, wakes me up, takes my hand, and ushers me to bed where we sleep a blissful eight hours uninterrupted by any baby screams, skunk smells, or alarming outside noises…

Now…is that too much ask?

Guess what? Real life…that’s what happens. Here’s what really happens on this day of mine:

My hubby goes to work and whispers a sweet happy birthday in my ear (which really happened and I loved it). I wake up abruptly at 6:30 because a fly tries to fly up my nose (which also really happened). I wake up the older kids while trying to feed a screaming little guy. I sit down to watch a little bit of Price is Right while trying to put a squirming boy to sleep. I clean, do laundry, and wash dishes.  After lunch I get my make-up on and head to town to take my now junior high boy to band camp for the evening. We come home, grab some left overs, and sit down to watch television.  My hubby either falls asleep or gets on the computer for the evening.  Around 11:00pm the little guy falls asleep.  The other two will probably be up for a couple of more hours.  I head to bed and crash only to be woke up a couple of hours later by a shrill blood curdling scream from a restless baby.   The next morning I wake up groggy with a day that only promises to be just like the day before.

Pretty special day, huh? Well…at least I have my health…kind of.

Skydiving? Something Even Better/Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump

Skydiving!

Skydiving! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright, Alright, I know it sounds so cliché’, but I truly have had on my list of things to do…to skydive…literally jump out of an airplane and free fall.  (Well, that is until the person I have to tandem jump with pulls the cord).

When I turned 30, I felt old and trapped.  I helped with our youth group at church and being around teenagers and turning 30 made me feel like the oldster.  I was no longer the “cool leader”.  Course, not one of the youth told me that.  It was just all this little conversation I had in my head.  But I digress…

I made me a list…not a bucket list…a “Before I turn 35 List”.  I didn’t want to wait until the last minute of my life to realize that I was going to die soon, then hurry and do the things I wanted to do for years and check them off my “BUCKET LIST”.  I’m a horrible procrastinator, so a five-year span was better for me.  On my “Before 35 list” was things like:

1. Get more comfortable on a motorcycle.

2. Ride to Sturgis on my own motorcycle.

3. Go to a big name concert.

4. Skydive

Guess what?  I actually did all of the things on that list, except…Skydive.  My hubby made sure I checked those things off my list.  Two days before I turned 35, I finished all but the one item by going to a Bret Michaels concert while….at….Sturgis!

So…shortly after my 35th birthday, I made a…”Before I turn 40 list”.  I put the skydiving on there along with run/walking a 5k, etc.  Little did I know that God had in store for me a bigger plan and something I would do before 40 that would far surpass anything I could possibly imagine accomplishing….I had another baby!  12 years after my last child, I had a baby!  Can anyone honestly top that?  Who would have thought that this “challenge” in life would ever top skydiving?  Want to know what the biggest adrenaline rush there is?  Getting to see your newborn baby as it exits your own body and getting to touch him for the very first time in his little life.

Skydiving?  Well, it will wait for now and I may not get to do it before I turn 40, but my life has taken a wonderful turn for the better and I have a little guy who is depending on his momma to hold him close and give him the life he needs.  Can’t think of anything that I would want to do more…but, I am working up to that 5k.

Skydiving? Something Even Better/Daily Prompt: Might as Well Jump

God’s provision in a car accident

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Have you ever walked away from some sort of tragedy and wondered how in the world you could have possibly survived?  My family and I did just that on Saturday the 15th.  We were in a car accident on interstate traveling at high speeds between 60-70 mph.

Saturday afternoon we were headed home from Wichita after picking up my son, D, and his friend from church camp down near the Oklahoma border.  My teen daughter and my toddler son were with us as well, which meant we had a total of six of us all together.  We had spent the morning shopping and were looking forward to being home and relaxing the rest of the weekend while celebrating Father’s Day with my husband’s family. We hadn’t gotten far down the interstate just outside of Park City when a black SUV pulled from the right shoulder of the road and crossed clear over to the passing lane on the left, right in front of us.  We were in the passing lane passing a semi.  My husband, Billy, slowed down a bit, not knowing what was going on.  The SUV was acting like it didn’t know what it was doing.  I noticed that there was another vehicle, also a SUV but white, in front of the one we were following.  Pretty soon, the SUV in front of us, slowed to about 65 mph.  The semi we just passed went around us on the right side along with other vehicles behind it, which meant we were blocked in.  We drove that way for a couple of minutes waiting for the long line of vehicles on the right of us.  Then, without warning, the black SUV slammed on its brakes!  Billy hit the brakes and it looked like we could stop in time, but then as if in slow motion, Billy yelled, “Hang on!  We’re going to hit them!” I braced myself by putting my hands on the dash in front of me. We hit head on into the back of the SUV…the whole front end of the mini van we were in crumpled up towards us.

I hear screaming and crying from my baby boy.  Fear permeates my body and soul.  I undo my seatbelt and head back to the kids.  My oldest son, D, and daughter were wide-eyed as I asked them if they were okay and if they had noticed if their little brother had been jarred really bad.  They didn’t know.  (I don’t know why I asked.  They were just in the same tragedy I was).  I look over and my son’s friend was doubled over holding his stomach.  Then my daughter starts crying.  D reaches over and holds her just as I burst into tears.  Billy had gotten out and was yelling at the owners of the SUV.  He was worried that his family was hurt.  Pretty soon, several other people show up and as it turns out, the two SUV’s were traveling together full of people.  The white SUV had turned off into one of the emergency vehicle turn offs and the other was trying to follow, but not knowing what the other was doing, had slammed on its brakes to try to make the turn.

I called our Pastor immediately to tell him what was going on.  We had borrowed their vehicle to accommodate the number of us traveling together and we were still in harm’s way.  We needed prayer and I was panicking because we had just totalled a vehicle that wasn’t our own!

It started getting very warm in our vehicle due to the Kansas sun, so I open the side door to let in some fresh air.  The noise from the oncoming traffic was horrific and the smell of the chemicals leaking from the vehicle was nauseating , so I tried to shut the door again, but it wouldn’t close.  The impact bent the frame of the vehicle not allowing the door to reclose.  My husband reaches in, looks everyone over and gets our little guy out of his rear facing car seat.  To think that we were just looking not a couple of hours before for a front facing car seat to replace this one.  Would our baby have been as protected?  Probably not…God knew.  Thank God we didn’t find one we wanted.

I call Billy’s parents to let them know what is going on and ask for more prayer.  The traffic is horrible!  What is going on?  As I’m on the phone, a Highway Patrolman pulls up.  Someone must have called 9-1-1.  The officer starts asking questions and Billy heads toward us telling us that the other driver we hit only had a Mexico driver’s license and didn’t speak English.

After several minutes, I get out of the van and head to the ditch.  I realize my wrist and hand are really hurting.  My kids eventually follow me and we all wait in the ditch.  I feel a little better having everyone out of the van.  We each give our information to the officer just as Billy’s sister and husband show up.  Billy had called them to come pick us up due to the van being totalled.

Long story short, there were races going on, which accounts for the overflow of traffic on interstate.  My son’s friend and I ended up in the emergency room, both had CT scans-mine for my neck and his for his abdominal pain.  I also had X-rays on my wrist.  Everything came out clear.  I only had a sprained wrist.  The SUV owners were cited for the accident and lack of insurance.  The father of the boy we had with us drove three hours to pick us all up and drive us back home.  We got home about 12:30am.

When I had time to think, I realized that God had everything in control, as He always does, but let me share with you some of the things that truly hit me hard:

1. If we had found a new car seat for our son, he would have been forward facing and probably would have been seriously hurt.  Despite the fact he is old enough to be forward facing, he is better off in a rear facing car seat, which we now HAVE to get a new one due to the car accident.  We never felt good about any of the car seats we looked at.  I give glory to God for making us feel at unrest about them.

2.  In most instances like ours, some people end up dead or critically hurt.  Traveling at 60-70 mph and rear ended a vehicle is serious!  How is it possible that we were okay?  Well, only by the grace of my God, did we walk away unscathed.

3.  A lot of times, my older son, D, insists that he doesn’t need his seat belt, so he will sneakily not put it on or will pretend he does for our benefit then will ride unbuckled.  On this day, he actually had his on.  

4.  Before we asked to borrow our Pastor’s vehicle, we thought about either my husband or I riding our motorcycle to accommodate for the lack of enough space in our vehicle.  If we had decided on doing this, and had the same accident, the one riding the motorcycle would have been instantly dead.

There were so many other things that I could tell about God’s power and total control in this situation, but right now I still sit in shock.  Why though do we always act surprised when God shows his faithfulness?

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Daily Prompt: Too Big To Fail

Berlin Marathon 2007

Berlin Marathon 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would do two things if I knew I couldn’t fail.

1. I would run a marathon.

A lot of people who know me would be utterly surprised by this because I don’t run.  Ever.  Well, actually I started running in 2002 after my son was born.  I ran every morning, but my running consisted of running a block then walking a block and so on and so forth.  Even though I ran daily, I could never get my cardio up enough to run more than a block.  Turns out that I have a minor Mitra Valve Prolapse.  Then about 6 months into my running regime, I started having migraines…not the kind that most people think they have and still do their job, read their book kind of migraine.  Mine were down for two weeks, don’t move, don’t turn on the light, don’t make a sound migraine.  The migraines ended my running career.  No running said the doctor.  Ever.

So if I could never fail, I would run a marathon…that would also mean that I look good physically because that HAS to come with the marathon running, right?

2. I would go around the world sharing Christ with prisoners.

I have given my testimony to minimum and medium security all male prisoners twice in my life.  I felt like this was where I was supposed to be.  God called me back in the 1990’s to do His work and He gave me a picture of what I was going to do…I was speaking to a large group of people.  I still believe it will happen…

So if I could never fail at speaking to prisoners, it would mean all of the ins and outs and legalities of going into the prisons are taken care of, I’m completely safe all the time, and I’m back at home with my family when I need to be.

Too big to fail and absolute perfect conditions for me to do what I choose!

Be my strength

Being a mom is the best job in the world, but it’s also one of the most thankless ones…sometimes.

Last night my little guy was up all night. My husband helps out for most of it but when my baby boy just wants his momma, nothing else will console him.

So…I am tired today.  Physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I feel the way I feel right now, I need to be on guard. I know I need to self protect. I need to run into Jesus’s arms.

Today…I’m resting.

Overcoming the Darkness

Why can’t I get past this darkness?  Why do I have to struggle so much with these emotions?  Why can’t I be free from depression?  Why do I have to think so much?

This barrage of questions started early this morning….

Last night I got an invitation for today to go to a breakfast brunch with a group of my used-to-be bible study women.  Used-to-be, as in…before baby. I immediately got excited to get to have some much-needed fellowship and these ladies are a wonderful group to be involved with.

So, this morning I get up, get the kids off to school, get dressed in a nice shirt and jewelry, put on my make-up, and sit down to wait for the little guy to wake up.  That’s when it all started!  I start thinking…and the thoughts just take off!  “Maybe I should change my clothes.  I look fat.”  “Maybe I shouldn’t wear jewelry.  It looks like I’m trying too hard.”  “It’s raining out.  I like to be home on rainy days.”  “Maybe I should let the little guy sleep.”  “Maybe I shouldn’t go.”  Aaaahhhh!  Just go!  I get up, grab the little guy, and head out the door.

As I’m driving the 15 minutes into town, what little excitement I had, turns to trepidation.  It was all I could do to not turn the car around and head back home.

I pull up to the house after driving around to make sure I wasn’t the first one to arrive and head to the door.  I ring the door bell only to be met with a surprised hostess.  She wasn’t expecting me.  I hear from behind her the one who invited me say, “I’m sorry, I forgot to tell her that you were coming.”  I walk into the kitchen to see that the bar was set for just five places which meant there wasn’t enough room for me.  A hurry to get all of the place settings from the bar to the table entails, plus one.

We sit down to enjoy a wonderful breakfast.  My little guy enjoys the food very much as he sits on someone else’s lap and I feed him.  All is going well.  Then the part I have been looking forward to starts… the camaraderie, the fellowship…the talking.  This is also when the “Tornado” starts. My little guy, Mr. F-5, the measurement of an incredibly powerful tornado with winds up to 300 mph, starts his trail of destruction.  The home we are in is very ornately decorated with breakables everywhere!  A tornado’s favorite!  Needless to say, I become a storm chaser.  Long story short, after about 30 minutes, I head out the door towards home.

When I get in the car, the tears start to fall.  “Why, why, why, why, why?”  “I shouldn’t have gone.”  The picture of everyone sitting around the table laughing, talking, and enjoying one another’s company with me on the outskirts looking in, keeps popping into my head.  “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore.” Then I hear these words playing on the car stereo…

“We will overcome. By the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Everyone OVERCOME….”

I know this is meant for me. My dear sweet Jesus…

The darkness starts to fade….

“…All authority. Victory is yours.”

The Light shines through.

I arrive home with a new resolve. I can and WILL overcome this darkness…one day at a time. With Jesus’s help, I can beat this!

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go assess the damage materializing before my very eyes! The “Storm” is raging on, but…in my own ransacked home.

Lunch Date

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“So good to see you today!! I love you to the moon and back!!”

Yesterday I had a lunch date with my best girl friend. We get to see each other maybe once a month and usually always at the same place…a quaint little cafe in my hometown where literally EVERYONE knows your name.  We don’t do much on our lunch dates. We talk, laugh, and many times, we cry.

My dear friend, Sharon, and I have been friends for about twenty years.  In those twenty years, our lives have changed so drastically but our friendship has held strong. We have been through ups and downs and everything in between together and believe it or not, we are exact opposites:

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I’ve had three kids. She’s struggled with infertility, three miscarriages, and has adopted one beautiful baby girl. I’ve been up and down in weight and she’s struggled with anorexia. I’m the artsy, comfy, and laid back girl. She’s the popular, cheerleader, athletic type. I live for the winter season so I can justify staying indoors. She longs for the summer so she can spend her days outdoors.  I struggle to get up in the mornings and I put my make up on ONLY when heading into town.  She gets up before every one in her household to work out, puts her lipstick on, and looks like she’s headed out for a night on the town all before I’ve had my morning coffee.

There is not one thing that should keep our friendship going…except one…our mutual love for Jesus.

Proverbs 18:19–Do a favor and win a friend forever; nothing can untie that bond. (The Message)

Ecclesiastes 4:12–By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. (The Message)

In the last few years, Sharon and I have both suffered through depression, hardships, and heartaches.  I’ve had times when I needed someone so desperately that I couldn’t hardly function.  Never fail, Sharon would send me a text letting me know that she was thinking and praying for me.  A true friend is one who sticks with you even in your darkest of days.

I’ve had times when life just seemed so utterly busy that I couldn’t remember which day it was and that usually meant too much time in between phone calls to my dear friend.  I’ve feared that she would be upset because I hadn’t even had time to say “hello”.  Never once has she condemned me for it.  She’s still there.  Waiting…but not fearing.

Over the years, I’ve had friends leave me because they didn’t want to mess with what I was going through. They didn’t have time for me.

Proverbs 18:24–One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Sharon has never left me.

Yesterday, at the cafe, Sharon looked me in the eye, started crying, and told me that she would not know what she would do if anything ever happened to me.  I’ve only had two other people tell me that…my mom and my husband.  How  could I be so blessed to have such a loyal, devoted friend?  I’m so unworthy, yet she sees worth in me.  And I will always treasure the gift she’s given me through all these years…her undying friendship and love!

The picture on top is from clear back in 1994 with our husbands and the quote underneath is what she sent to me after our lunch date yesterday. The other is a picture of Sharon and her daughter.

He’s the One!

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He’s the one who has all of the traits if I were to make a list of the perfect man.

He’s the one that every woman dreams of but I get to have.

He’s the one that loves me unconditionally despite my never-ending flaws.

He’s the one that when I’m having a bad day, he always asks “what’s wrong?”

He’s the one that leans in close to hear me say, “nothing” and brushes a kiss against my cheek.

He’s the one that grabs my waist with his strong work-worn hands and pulls me in close.

He’s the one that holds me tight when the tears start to flow.

He’s the one I melt into and share all of my fears with.

He’s the one that stays when so much should make him leave.

He’s the one that I still long for, live for, and dream about even after twenty years of marriage.

He’s the one. The only one. And thank God he’s mine.

18 years.JPG Valentines Day 2011

Let me tell you a bit more about my husband:

 My husband still gets asked how he can have a teenage daughter when he only looks 25. 🙂

When he turned 40, he achieved his own personal goal of being in the best shape of his life.

He cooks.  He cleans.  He’s organized.  Yes, it’s true!

He is the best daddy in the world!  He cherishes time with his family and never takes it for granted.

He can do absolutely anything he sets his mind to.

He introduces me to everybody as his “beautiful wife”.

My husband has put up with so much in the 24 years we have spent together, AND he still calls me his best friend.

Just Breathe

IMG_4901      Breathe…in…out…in…out…breathe.  Seems simple doesn’t it?  To…just breathe.  God made it so our bodies will automatically breathe without our intentional thought…without having to tell ourselves to breathe in and out…to breathe that life-giving breath.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) and a Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia.   What this all means is that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes my depression.  Also some traumatic event in my life has caused me to endure flashbacks and severe stress which is the PTSD.  (This is also a disorder that a lot of military veterans are diagnosed with after coming back from war, and let me just say right now that whatever I have went through in my life will never compare with what our military men have endured.)  The third thing, the panic disorder without agoraphobia, means that my body will start to panic or have a panic attack when confronted with certain things in my life.  The “without agoraphobia” just means that I can go outside or open spaces without fear or panic.

When I have a panic attack, my whole world spins out of control.  I can’t breathe. I can’t think. Sometimes I start to choke due to lack of breath.  I get weak and shake uncontrollably.  More often than not, I have severe chest pains, and I have literally passed out before.  Seems silly, doesn’t it?  I wish it were just silliness, but it’s a very real thing.  I have to literally tell myself to breathe…to calm down…breathe in…breathe out….in…out…

I have a charm bracelet that I cherish very much with all of my interests hanging from it.  One of the charms is just a little flat silver oval that says “breathe” and a tiny brown stone hangs from the bottom.  Believe it or not, I have had to hold onto this charm to remind myself to breathe.  To breathe.  To breathe.  And admittedly, that tiny little charm has helped me keep a level head, because if you can control your breathing, you can come out of an attack a little easier.

One time I was in therapy talking through an extremely bad part of my life with the therapist and I felt like the room was getting smaller.  The room was caving in and everything was getting fuzzy and black around the edges.  I knew I was panicking and I wanted to run.  I had never panicked in front of anyone but my husband before.  I reached down and grabbed my bracelet charm and just the feel of something solid reminded me to breathe and exhale.  The room went back to its original size.  I had found something to calm me and I realized that sometimes we do just need a physical reminder to take in oxygen and not hold our breath.

The God-given gift of breathing has to have a reminder…ironic isn’t it?  But it’s true. To those of us who suffer with anxiety…it’s very true.

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

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