A new kind of separation

We’re almost a week down in Deployment 2013-2014. I have this nifty little thing lovingly called a “Donut of Misery”, and right now mine looks like this:

DOM

Lovely, right? Whew. 2%. We may or may not be a little farther into this than what this says, but we don’t know exactly how long he’ll be gone.

Honestly, I have had a great week. That totally goes against normal expectations. I had finals this week, so I had that to keep me focused. I finally have a total break from everything.. school, work,¬†husband. Naw, just kidding. ūüėČ I spent the entire afternoon at the spa yesterday, which is something I never thought I’d say. Aaron set me up well before he left with a gift certificate for my birthday. I informed him that he can get me a spa package for every birthday, anniversary and Christmas from now until I die. Srsly.

The weeks¬†before this week, however, were a funny sort of purgatory. You know how it goes… super emotional, crazy, clingy, just downright insane. Me, not him of course. It was probably the worst time we had on the eve of a separation. But now that he’s made it to his destination safely and we’ve been able to chat a few times, and finals are over, I’ve been feeling really really good.

I have a few theories as to why I feel so great even though he’s just left.

1) Basic training had very very little communication. We hadn’t been apart for about two years and so it felt like it was new. There was a lot of hype surrounding his leaving for BCT… it was finally a new job for him, I didn’t know if I was going to move to Arizona with him, etc. I was also still in my first year of teaching and approaching the end of the school year.

2) AIT (job training) in Arizona was spent apart because I had chosen to keep my job in IL so that we could pay down some debt because at that point we¬†literally could not afford for me not to work. We’d be broke.

3) Korea…. ohhhhh Korea. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ghafesrjghrabi&!&@##. This was probably the single most frustrating thing I’d ever experienced. I¬†quit my full-time job. Derp. I should have known better than to quit before I knew for sure that I’d be heading over the big blue ocean. It was a ridiculous waiting game of whether the Army would approve me to move over there, and then after five months of that BS we just decided that it wasn’t happening. On top of that, we had no idea in which country or when we’d see each other again.

Now… well, now we’ve lived in El Paso for two years. We have an amazing set of friends who really are family to us (including some fellow Illinoisans!). I just successfully finished the first year in my Master’s program, with one year to go. I know where I’ll be seeing Aaron next, not just when. We’re not absolutely drowning in debt, in fact, we’re making great progress. I know the job I’ll be working six, even twelve months from now. I have the best canine companion a girl could ask for.

We’ve been in this life for four years now. This separation is what happens when you sign up for the Army. You learn that life doesn’t start when he gets back; it keeps going. It’s not just you acting like you’re strong; you¬†are strong because of what you’ve gone through, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be ridden with sadness or anxiety over him leaving. It’s okay to enjoy life. It’s okay for him to make the most out of his time overseas, too.

So, time to kick this into high gear, dudes!

Still long distance

I don’t know what’s happened in my brain in the past couple weeks, but I want long distance running to be a way of life. I want to¬†want to run most days of the week, and get antsy on the rest days. I want to challenge myself. I want to run an ultra.

I have to be crazy, but then that just becomes par for the course, right?? Anyone willing to run anything over 26.2 miles, either on the road or on a trail, has to be a little off-kilter. It’s the mental and physical challenge that draws me in, and the sense of adventure. The training for an ultra is simple: run. Lots and lots of miles.

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Tell me to, and I can run lots and lots of miles. I have a harder time following a specific training plan for a specific number of weeks with a specific amount of miles at a specific pace. Anything that requires a treadmill is gonna have to wait, because going to the gym is really not in my repertoire right now. I enjoy the gym, I have to make my workouts work for¬†me, instead of being a slave to them. I have a dog who needs to be run or walked every day, so it’s a win-win for us.

I’ve been dwelling too much on my past experience as a first-time marathoner. That was two years ago.¬†Two. It’s about time that I grieved that wonderful experience of training with an¬†amazing¬†running partner. There are few things that I’ve done or experienced that have topped crossing that finish line, let alone under my goal time. But I can make it happen again, with a new partner (my dog and/or my husband) and new goals.

It pains me that it’s taken me this long to figure out what’s been blocking that part of my brain that wants to run. I made all kinds of excuses. It’s hot here. It’s windy. It’s hard to find a [safe] open road to run on. We’re at 4,000 ft elevation. I have to get up super early to beat the sun. I have to take Missy running before the kids start walking to school so she doesn’t freak out. Excuses…

I’ve tried other fitness programs. And in the end, this is not about me being a certain weight or BMI or whatever other mumbo-jumbo is out there. This is about me preserving my body, saving my sanity, and making my training do the work for me, not the other way around. Running works for me. It’s cheap, it’s portable, it’s easy… just one foot in front of the other. The rest is gravy.

Biscuits and gravy. On a sunny Saturday morning after completing 12 miles I honestly wasn’t sure I’d do or not, and by 9 AM to boot. That’s the first long run on a Saturday morning I’ve done, besides races, since we moved to Texas. So, running and I? We’re still together.. and long distance works for us. It makes the heart grow fonder.

I just kept on runnin’…

When you think about how many factors have to line up in order for a person to run, it’s pretty amazing that any of us do it, let alone enjoy it. I’ve been reading¬†Born to Run about the Tarahumara tribe that’s dubbed “super-human runners”. They don’t run in fancy $100 shoes, or eat fancy energy gels or run in fancy races with rock bands lining the finish line. They run basically to run. A Forrest Gump philosophy, if you will. The way the book is written makes you want to go run an ultra. Like, tomorrow.

I’ve been working on shortening my strides, which has done wonders for everything physically. I’m not exerting as much energy from step to step, my pace is actually¬†better (or maybe that’s just because I’ve been running regularly for a couple weeks). I don’t feel as out of breath, and from the way it stands now, it doesn’t feel like I need new shoes even though the ones I have now (New Balance Minimus) are almost a year old.

So, today. I set out for an initial mile with Missy just around the neighborhood. Then I came home, ate breakfast with Aaron before he went to work, did a little housework while breakfast settled, and then I went back out. I thought, Oh, maybe I’ll do three more, down McCombs and back. I went down McCombs, and just kept on going. The picture above is a park about 2.1 miles from my house with a mile-long paved trail. I ran around that trail and back home, putting in a total of 5 miles after breakfast.

Now, 5 miles isn’t necessarily something to boast about when I have run 26.2 at one go before. But it’s the overall effect, how it made me feel. When I run just to run, it’s like I’m detoxing without having to drink nasty spinach drinks, or eat lemons for a week (or whatever it is that people do to “detox”). I feel all the crap, physical and emotional, just go away.

So what caused this amazing hour of my life? Maybe it was the inspiration that is¬†Born to Run. Maybe it was the perfectly balanced breakfast of eggs, avocado slices, and toast all washed down with a Lo-Carb Monster. Maybe it was that I haven’t been eating nearly as much junk lately. Maybe it was that I just decided to relax and run for the joy of running. Maybe it was that I listened to exclusively worship music. Maybe it was the perfectly clear blue skies and sunshine on my face.

Who knows. But it felt great.

Maybe I should add “Run ultra (50k+) before I turn 30” to my bucket list…

The year of big girl panties: a recap.

My presence on my blog has been scant recently. I come to my laptop tonight from my sewing table. I always seem to think better when I’m sewing… my mind is free and it wanders while my hands are still busy. I’m so fidgety, just like my grandpa.

I doubt I’ll be posting much over the next few weeks; I finish up the semester this coming week, in a little over a week we fly to Illinois to spend Christmas with family, then we come back to Texas to go to the World Missions Summit in Fort Worth. I hope the last few weeks of 2012 go slowly and we’re able to enjoy them as much as possible.

So, the title. In the military-spouse world, when we talk about getting through “grown-up” things by gritting our teeth and putting our whiny ways aside, we call that “putting our big girl panties on”. A silly metaphor, maybe, but you can’t wear Disney Princess underwear forever. At least, I haven’t found any in my size…

This was a year of gritting my teeth and getting through things. It wasn’t a horrible year; I wouldn’t even say it was a bad year. But there were a lot of tough situations that have forced me to mature (we all need that, right??) and trust God more. That’s a generalization though, for sure.

Two-thousand twelve started out with me working a job that I severely disliked. Severely. Life is short, and in my 26 years I like to say that I’ve learned how to make sound decisions, so I decided to quit. I barely had another “job” lined up… nannying. It was enjoyable enough, but definitely something I wouldn’t want to do long term. I love kids. I love other people’s kids, for the most part. But I don’t have kids yet, so it’s safe to say that taking care of other people’s kids when I haven’t yet decided to go down that road just isn’t fun sometimes. However, on a farm in southern New Mexico, I finally learned what was important in life and became content in my situation.

I experienced a couple more firsts this year, namely the death of a close loved one, and the absence of my husband during this time. Actually, the absence of my family during the few days before I flew to Illinois. I would not relive those days or wish them on anyone. Never in my life had I been so anxious and desperate that I couldn’t even muster an appetite, and if you’ve been around me for even a day you know that I love food! It was awful. I am very lucky that I was able to go home and say a proper goodbye.

This year was also the first that my husband and I have gone on separate trips out of the country. While I would have loved to have him with me in Honduras, and I would have loved to go with him (sorry, still have to be vague about where!), it was a good experience to travel on my own. It only feeds my desire to travel somewhere every few months!

And as an ongoing event of 2012, I’ve finally become happy(ier) with my body and also with my fitness and eating habits. I haven’t been tracking my calories or paces for awhile now, and it’s freeing. Having no expectations of my paces makes good races and paces that much sweeter. I was just getting so bogged down with looking at my watch constantly and figuratively beating myself up over it, and then getting on the scale and beating myself up about those numbers. Damn numbers. Done. Done done done.

One of the most freeing aspects of 2012 was that I’ve finally,¬†finally,¬†FINALLY¬†surrendered my baby fever. We, my husband and I, came to the conclusion that we are not ready for children yet, despite what people say. What do people really know anyway? They just want to oogle and stalk pictures of your family on Facebook; they’re not thinking of the sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and expenses that come with having children. We want to be a little selfish for awhile still. We want to finish degrees and fly on planes to cool places and just be¬†us for awhile longer. Our family is complete the way it is now. It’s taken me awhile to be okay with that, but now I am. This pretty much sums it up:

my dog
Thanks, Jess!

…but really. My dog is awesome.

2012 was absolutely 100% essential for my development as an adult. I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t change it either, at least the things that weren’t outside of my control. 2013 will see a subsequently 27-year-old Elizabeth with her big girl panties on, guns a-blazin’. Strange picture…. but whatever. ūüėČ

Thankful in November

I’m not a fan of blowing up my own Facebook news feed every day with stuff, so I’ll keep a blog entry for the month.

I’m thankful for…

11/1 ¬†…all the opportunities I’ve had to travel the US and the world. It’s such a blessing to be able to see all of God’s people in action, and to minister to His church.

11/2 …the safety we’ve had while traveling. Even when I was in Bolivia in the midst of their president resigning and there being transportation strikes all over the country, I was able to get home safely.

11/3 …God bringing us to El Paso. I’ve always felt connected to the Southwest, but wasn’t sure why, and I actually cried (not with joy) when Aaron told me we were moving here. But I can truly say we love it here.

11/4 …my parents and sisters, and that we’re so close. So many people can’t stand their families or are estranged from them, and although we’ve had our moments, we forgive each other and move on. My sisters are my best friends.

11/5 …my relationship with my husband. We’ve been apart for over half of our almost 10-year relationship, and because of that we are expert communicators with each other. We can pick our battles and not let the small things get to us (most of the time…;))

11/6 …the fact that God provides everything we¬†need. We may not always have extra, but we have¬†enough. If I didn’t have my job I have now, we wouldn’t be able to go home for Christmas or to the World Missions Summit. Coincidence? I think not.

11/7 …that I discovered my professional calling at a young age, 17 to be exact. I knew I would go into education before I graduated high school, and I found out that I love teaching. It makes me happy, especially when I’m having a crappy day. I love interacting with students, and with my international students, I’m learning so much!

11/8 …beautiful fall weather in the desert. Highs in the 80’s, lows in the 50’s. Sunny every day with barely a cloud in the sky.

11/9 …for the years my grandparents had together, and for the years I had with my grandpa. We got closer as I got older. Today would have been their 60th anniversary.

11/10 …growing up in the Midwest, and the fond memories I have. Things weren’t always perfect, but I had a stable childhood and lived in the same house practically all my life. I doubt our children will be able to say the latter. ūüôā

11/11 …all the veterans that have protected our freedom, and especially for the veterans in my family.. my husband, brothers-in-law, father-in-law, older cousin, grandfather, friends… our country is free because of their sacrifices.

11/12 …for the desert sun in the fall and winter. It may be chilly (now it’s in the 30’s at night!) but that sun feels amazing.

11/13 …for my parents taking us to church when we were little. I spent a lot of time at the church behind my house in service, Sunday school and volunteering. I learned a lot and many of the Bible verses and hymns have stuck with me throughout the years.

11/14 …this opportunity to study further and to have a job that I love. Thank you, Lord. A year ago I was in a horrible horrible job situation and I’m thankful to be doing this now! In fact, I think a year ago I was saying to Aaron how great it would be to study for my Master’s in linguistics, and here I am! Now to apply for a scholarship that would pay for my whole year next year…

11/15 …for our Pit bull mix, Missy. This girl is the best companion when Aaron’s gone and such a sweetheart. Glad we decided to adopt her!

11/16 …that my parents raised us in a way that we were thankful for what we had, and we didn’t always strive for the newest/most expensive things. It makes me appreciate what I have now; if we didn’t have used furniture (family hand-me-downs) then we wouldn’t have anything to sit or sleep on!

11/17 …our cars, which are both 15 years old but still run well. I will have my little Camry until the day it bites the dust. 183,500 miles and counting! We got Aaron’s car, a ’96 Honda, over a year ago when we expected him to deploy only a few short months later. Over a year later (and after a little pocket change…) and it’s still running well!

11/18 …simple evenings. Homemade chicken and dumplings in the crockpot for dinner, and relaxing and watching TV on the couch.

11/19 …my husband’s approval of my coffee budget for school/work. Sometimes (or a lot of times) you just gotta have Starbucks.

11/20 …our church friends who feel like family here… Alvin, Lacey, Marc, Leah Beth, Elizabeth, Stephanie, Karla, Gabe, Doug,¬†Priscilla, Rachel, Mando, and many others.¬†We’re spending Thanksgiving with some¬†of our “family”¬†from church eating and playing games.. can’t wait!

11/21 …for “us”. I love everything about us, the way we love each other, that we’ve been together for almost 10 years, married for almost 5. That we don’t feel the need to have kids in order to enjoy parades or pumpkin patches or corn mazes. That our family, though it’s just the two of us, feels totally complete right now.

11/22 …for our nieces and nephews. We miss them so much!

11/23 …for the fact that we like to stay active. Today was Day 2 of the Holiday Run Streak and it’s fun to go for a run/walk with Missy in the mornings.

11/24 …for our junior high students. We’ve been working with them for over a year now and they’re such a blessing and teaching us a lot in the process!

11/25 …for our house. We had an apartment for three years, and while it wasn’t tiny by any means, it’s nice not having to go up three flights of stairs to carry groceries in!

11/26 …for my health. I thought a year and a half ago I might have heart issues, but I learned that it was something easily controlled by diet and lifestyle, which is also the same for my migraines.

11/27 …for the means to go to Illinois for Christmas. We weren’t able to go last year.

11/28 …for our nieces and nephews. Joel, Rhianna, Zaia, Lena, Rand, and little Benjamin is in the oven. ūüėČ Being an aunt is the BEST.

11/29 …for a full fridge and pantry. So thankful for all the delicious food!

11/30 …for my in-laws and the rest of Aaron’s family. Thankful to ¬†have a good relationship with them.

The [family] that built me

I bought these frames and arranged these pictures shortly after my aunt sent them in the mail. I finally got them up on the wall tonight. You can’t see from the picture, but they are on the wall that joins the living room and the hallway. I think I put them there on purpose, so that I could be reminded of him, and family, often.

It still hurts, and still takes me by surprise. Today I was thinking that November 9th would have been their 60th anniversary and I got choked up, right there in the middle of Starbucks. If¬†I’m feeling this emotional, I can’t help but think how my grandmother feels this week. So, if you have a chance, say a prayer of comfort and healing for her, especially as the holidays approach as well.

When I went home in June for the funeral, I felt like I had some closure. For the most part, it felt complete. But now that we’ve planned our trip home for Christmas, I know there is more to deal with. Family, at least for me, is such a present part of our lives, joining with us in the grief, joy, sorrow and healing. For holidays and birthdays. For deaths and births. This will be our first round of holidays without him.

After the pictures found their place on the wall, I just stood there and contemplated for a minute, thinking about the circumstances under which each photo was taken. There’s on in the frame on the right of my grandparents outside on the farm in front of the deck. All of a sudden, a memory rushed like a river into my mind, of when I was little and we were leaving one time, and Grandpa would hold me and bounce down the deck on our way to the car or station wagon or whatever we had then. And he’d always hug me a little too tightly, even when I was grown. As painful as memories can be, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

My emotions have been building up all day. When I was sewing, I was listening to some old music on Spotify, the music I listened to when I was little like Steve Miller Band, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chicago, and John Mellencamp. Maybe it’s because Mellencamp is from the Midwest, but when I listen to him, I can just see a late autumn, early winter Illinois country road sandwiched in between harvested, dormant fields against a gray sky with a hazy sun trying to peek through the clouds. I remember many trips home from the farm in the evening, the winter sunsets and electrical towers blinking in the distance. Maybe a train racing us along the highway. It made me homesick, and then that combined with finally hanging those pictures… yeah. I’m a hot mess. And of course, listening to Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” didn’t help either.

And of course when we’re home we will visit the cemetery in Farmer City, but I should declare to myself until then that he is not in the ground, it’s just his earthly shell. That’s how my mom described death to me when I was little, that it’s just their shell. He is celebrating his eternal life right now in heaven. Thank you, Jesus.

Surrender

I’m not sure when it started, but I haven’t been writing with any regularity. That’s not to say that there aren’t exciting things happening in life, or that I’m not still as introspective as usual. I just haven’t been struck with an AWESOME IDEA for this AWESOME BLOG that everyone wants to read.. (has that ever happened?!). So, I don’t know, this is a smattering of my current thoughts that may or may not be coherent.

I would say I’ve “settled” into living with my husband again on a regular basis, though he’s taken three soon to be four trips in the past six months. I would say I’ve “settled” into my classes and work. I would say I’ve “settled” into a workout routine. Ha. Hahahahaha. Ish.

But I don’t think I’m settling. Because God is the way He is and wants me to be as much like Christ as possible, He doesn’t let me settle but for a minute, which I think is a result of the fact that I’m doing better with surrendering recently. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older and approaching my 26 1/2 birthday (OMG! October 22!)…

I think it may have to do with that, getting older. And the fact that I realize we have one life to live. That’s it. Then we become dust, less our souls. Eternity has to be at the forefront of our minds, and we need to live life as if it’s our last day. Ugh. So so so cliche, but… I want all my experiences to be rich, all my relationships to be fruitful, all my time to be well spent. And I think I’ve been doing better with that recently than maybe in my whole life.

Surrendering is painful but compulsory for life with Christ. It means that I don’t dictate every aspect of my time, money, resources, friendships, conversation, habits. It means that I listen and wait… and listen, and wait…. and when I can discern what the Lord wants me to do, I act on it in obedience.

One caveat to surrender: it seems a little ridiculous at first, giving up all this control. It’s my life; I should take responsibility! What if this and this and THIS don’t get done?? But, after the initial withdrawl (possibly ridden with side-effects) is where we find freedom.

The Lord has revealed to me one of the last things that I need to surrender. Well, He revealed this years ago but I’ve never acted on it.. my own desires and excuses have gotten in the way. Yesterday morning I woke up when my husband did, since he leaves earlier than me every day. I should have just stayed up, because I felt like I needed to pray… about people in my life, about my own life, about our future… and I didn’t. I went back to sleep, only to wake up a hour and a half later to a dog licking my face and feeling much more groggy than if I’d just gotten up in the first place.

God won’t¬†ask us to do things if we don’t truly want to do them. I really want to start devoting a couple hours in the morning to work out and pray and read my Bible, a tithe of my time if you will. I really want to. So, I pray for a desire, for something to jolt me out of my complacency.. and I believe as I keep praying that prayer, the Lord will continue to nudge me, or maybe just rip off all the covers and kick me out of bed. I’m thinking the latter would be more effective in my case.

The battle over anything is ultimately won in prayer, in the spiritual realm. We can try as we might to accomplish something for good, but our works don’t get us anywhere without the Holy Spirit… we’re just a clanging gong or resounding cymbal (I Cor. 13:1).

Time is short. God is raising up missionaries to reach the last frontiers of His people who still have never heard the Gospel. If I am to be part of that, I need to get with it and surrender everything. While it seems daunting, I know in the end I’ll be the most free I can be to fulfill the purpose for my life.

A whirlwind week

Yay, it’s Friday! Although I’ve been going since 7ish this morning, it’s been a good day. In fact, all the days this week were good despite getting home late Tuesday (I have a night class) and Aaron’s crazy work schedule. One night he even had to go back in to work. Blech.

I’m loving my classes and my job. Because of this assistantship I’m super busy, but I. Am. Loving. It. I haven’t been so happy with my life since I taught Spanish at Midland. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but later after I’d quit I missed it so much! Thankfully I’ve been able to tutor several students this week from all over the world and teach a couple conversation classes. In my two weeks I’ve already met people from Turkey, Ukraine, Mexico (of course), and Palestine.

The coursework is challenging but not impossible. The finer points of linguistics like semantics and phonology are actually very similar to math in some aspects, and I love math. I love having a problem to figure out. Unlike my undergrad, I’m not constantly obsessed with every single assignment and the grade. Carrying a 4.0 over the next two years is my goal (duh!) but actually learning and discovering new things about linguistics are my priorities.

I can really see myself teaching ESOL classes in the future, whether it’s at a college here in the US or in a school overseas somewhere. Teaching just makes me so happy. Like swooning over lesson plans and rosters happy. Kind of. UTEP seems to have an amazing ESOL program and I will take advantage of every second to gain more experience. Living on the border definitely has its advantages!

Soon I’ll be starting on a research project with one of the languages/linguistics professors. I’m excited to get research experience. I have an option to do either a thesis or an extended paper (the latter requires more coursework) at the end of my program. I know a thesis involves a LOT of individual research, so if I do that I’ll need experience. Then there’s the ever-present question… to PhD or not to PhD?

Honestly, I can’t answer that for sure right now. I mean, it’d be pretty sweet to be Dr. W., but how does that fit in with moving, husband getting out of the Army (or staying in???), and starting a family? And not to mention the expense, unless I’m lucky enough to get an associateship or scholarship or whatever they call them up there in the rafters of higher ed. Anyway. We can cross that bridge later.

When I’m working towards a goal, my mind becomes a single track and sometimes it’s hard for me to see (or care) about other things that are going on. However, so far I’ve been able to balance life at home and life on campus. Because this type of busyness isn’t usually emotionally draining or downright frustrating, I still have energy to work out (occasionally) and keep the house clean. My husband would tell you that I’m much more fun to live with that when I was working at, say, Sylvan.¬†I’ve just felt so blessed and thankful and joyful.

Give Life a Hug

That’s right, embrace it. If the logical “me” could tell the emotional whiny “me” some things it’d be these:

-Stop wishing you were in a different place. God put you here in El Paso for a reason. Enjoy the scenery, as drab as the desert can be. Learn something new about your surroundings as often as you can. Don’t take those panoramic views coming over the mountain for granted!

-Stop wishing you had a different/skinnier/more muscular body. God made you with a perfectly healthy, capable body. There is more to worry about in life than the [[shhhhh]]¬†cellulite! on your thighs. Seriously?! Get over it. Your husband loves your curves, for real. He tells you that all the time. Keep eating 80% clean/healthy and stay active. You’ll be fine.

-Stop worrying and fretting over your resume. God has control over this. Everything happens for a reason, and as silly as it sounds, it’s true! A career and workaholism isn’t everything.

-I’m proud of you that you’ve grieved for your grandpa, and that more often you’ve been smiling instead of crying when a memory strikes you. He’s with you still in spirit.. I’m sure you make him proud! Let the Lord continue to heal your heart.

-Enjoy every minute you get with your husband, because you never know when he’ll have to travel again. Enjoy the morning, enjoy random lunch dates, enjoy having dinner and relaxing together in the evenings. Don’t want to sound morbid here, but you never know when the last day with him will be.

-Embrace your role in the ministries you’re involved in! Enjoy those 7th and 8th graders. You’re a role model to them whether you want to be or not. You were made to minister to kids, whether it’s in a classroom or at youth group. Prepare spiritually for each Sunday morning and Monday evening. Ask them about their lives and how you can pray for them, and when they don’t raise their hand for prayer, pray for them anyway.

-Latch on to your new friendships here. It’s okay to make new friends; don’t isolate yourself. I daresay it’s okay to not call your old friends as often.¬†Gasp. Yes, it’ll be hard when you move, as it was last time, but you got through it! Isn’t life better with good friends by your side??

-Lastly, stop worrying about when you’ll have those babies. I know part of you knows you’re not ready yet, although the 13-year-old Elizabeth felt¬†for sure that the 26-year-old Elizabeth would be a mother by now, and as mature as she needed to be. Ha! There is a time for everything. Spoil those nieces and nephews. Someday you’ll wish you had all this free time to knit and sew and read. Someday you’ll wish you’d enjoyed this child-free era more with your husband. God’s got this! Fo. Shizzle.

“But seek first his kingdom¬†and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Legacy of faith

—————————

“I believe in God, the Almighty, Jesus his

son, born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus was

born in human form and lived and died as a human.

Jesus was crucified and gave his life for us.

He was sinnless and God raise him from death

to be the only Judge of us.

Jesus preached to all — good, bad, poor, sick

believers and non-believers. He heald the sick

and forgave sinners.

He believed all people equal, men, women, and all

races and creeds.

He asks us to live in peace + love each other as

He loves us all.

He asks us to pray for ourselves, other who stray,

for the sick, for him to have mercy on us all.

He asks us to live our lives serving him +

the Trinity.

God is the director of our lives and all that we do.

By our free acts, we need to be obedient in our worship

and service to him.

His life, as supported by the Old Testament writings,

is recorded by the New Testament witnesses of the

Apostles.

By his gift of Grace we will be forgiven of our sins

and be made whole

thru salvation and Faith we will be made acceptable

for the life hereafter — eternal life.

In God’s Name! — Amen! R A Little

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This is a copy of my grandpa’s statement of faith read at the memorial service. I will be framing this and hanging it in my house. He has certainly entered into his eternal rest, for which I am so grateful, though it hurts to have lost his presence here on earth.