Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember Them

My dad’s younger brother, Bobby, was a marine in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it home. He died the day before my sister’s eleventh birthday, on October, 26, 1965, at the age of 18, fighting for the freedom of others.

Even though my memories aren’t clear of that day, my heart still remembers the news. And since that day, I’ve always believed my Uncle Bobby to be a hero.

It affected my family, like it affects the millions of Americans who lose someone in a war. As I’ve grown older I’ve been able to hear how it affected my grandparents, when they were informed of the news their son had died, and how it affected my parents, older sister and my cousins.

About six years ago, my sister went to Washington D.C and she went to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial. It was a very emotional time for her to see our Uncle’s name on the wall.

The next year, my parents went to Washington D.C. with my brother and his family and they were able to see my Uncle Bobby’s name on the Memorial.

The Korean War memorial held a special interest also, since my dad’s older brother fought in that war. He fortunately made it home and lives near us. My dad is very close to his brothers. My Uncles, whether they live close or far away, always play a big part in my life.

The very next year, I made the trip with my sister, and I had the opportunity to see the Memorial wall also. I couldn’t believe how many names there were on that wall. My sister searched for a few minutes and then there was my Uncle Bobby’s name. It is hard to describe, the feeling of loss, mixed with the feeling of pride, when I saw his name.

When you lose someone, the desire to have one more moment with them is strong. I have some great Uncles who I really love and I’ve had some wonderful moments with them. However, I often wonder what my life would have been like if Uncle Bobby could’ve been a part of it, all these years?

Those questions run through my mind sometimes, but since that is not possible the memories, though faint, become very sweet.

Freedom isn’t something to take for granted. This freedom we have comes with a price. Someone always seems to be lurking about trying to steal it from another person. And our Military Service personnel fight hard to protect it. Behind the names and titles on the memorials is a family missing a son or daughter, brother or sister, nephew or niece, uncle or aunt, dad or mom, husband or wife, or grandchildren.

For me personally my husband, dad, brother, uncles, brothers-in-law and few friends have served in the armed forces. Today, I remember you along with many others, with heartfelt thanks for fighting or being willing to fight for the freedom that I have today.

May God, who gives us freedom through His Son, Jesus, be with you and bless you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Name Tags

Usually when I go to an event I am handed a name tag to wear. Sometimes I’m handed a pen and told to write my name down and then I put the sticker on my shirt.

My husband and I were having a discussion about when we introduce ourselves to people and say our name, sometimes we are quick to blurt out our label. Such as,“Hi, I’m Linda. I’m having a bad hair day.” Or “My dress is tight.” Or “I don’t feel comfortable.”

Labels can become our identity. I’m divorced, out of work, drive a hot car, drive a beat up car, live in a big house, live in a small house, wear expensive clothes, shop Goodwill, yell at my kids, had an abortion, have a college degree, don’t have a college degree.

If you were handed a pen, what would you write down on the name tag. What is your description of you?

The other day, I was reading my favorite book, and it said that we are loved. John 3:16. Is that my first description of myself?

I am loved.

It also said I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14. When I look in the mirror do I believe that?

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I read about how I am so loved that when I failed, my failures were taken care of. Romans 5:8.

I am taken care of.

I read along and discovered that no matter what comes up in life, God has equipped me to handle it. Philippians 4:13.

I am equipped.

It also said that God put a seal of the Holy Spirit on me. Ephesians 1:13 – 14.

I am sealed.

Are these the labels I am quick to say, that is who I am? Are these the labels you are quick to say?

Spending time in the Bible is like sitting at Jesus feet, being able to hear His love letter to us. The more time I spend listening and receiving, the more I will erase the negative labels I may wear and replace them with the loving labels of God. And there are plenty of loving things God has to say to His children in His Word.

So what label are you wearing today?

And what label would God put on you to wear today?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Things That Are Good In A Tough Day

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brother, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right; whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. NIV

I was reading Philippians this week and came across this verse. I remember this verse from when I first began memorizing scripture and learning to apply it to my life.

I had a new job. Newly trained and moved over with my boss to his new office. I soon discovered pretty much everything I had learned in training was not applicable to what I would do at the new place.

On top of that my boss wasn’t the easiest person to work with, at all. He was highly intelligent, quick on his feet and quick to react, very work driven and spoke directions in quick mumbled tones before he would turn and leave to do what was next on his list.

Many times after he had left I would go over and over what I thought he had said to me in his mumbled tones. He had made it clear to pay attention because he didn’t have time to go over things again and again. It made it a bit nerve racking when I could hardly understand him.

The situation was hard. Many times I wanted to grab my purse and say, “Adios.” And his actions would bug me throughout the day. Except on the days where, I would repeat this verse over and over in my head, and not meditate on his negativity, but rather on good things, like the challenge the job held. And how much I actually enjoyed what I was doing in spite of how difficult it was to relate to my boss.

One day after much prayer and crying in frustration, I brought a mini tape recorder to work and every time he opened his mouth, I clicked it on. I wasn’t sure how he was going to respond to me doing this, but I didn’t care. Then I listened to it over and over again, writing everything down, to figure out exactly what he wanted so I could do it correctly without a lot of questions. If I had questions after listening to the recorder I would approach him.

I found he respected the effort I did by bringing the recorder and he slowed down a bit for me and started being open to my questions. Pretty soon I didn’t need the recorder I could understand him and we started having a pretty good working relationship.

After other’s were hired on in the office he would tell them to follow the example that I did and get a recorder and write everything down. He would do the same mumbling and running out the door tactic he did with me but, I was able to understand him, so I was able to help them out.

At the time, this verse helped me, to not focus on just the bad thing going on in my day. It helped me to see the good in the midst of a troubled situation.
Reading Philippians this week reminded me, when a day is tough and negative stuff is just right in my face, take a look around and meditate on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent or praiseworthy.

It’s an easier way to get through a tough day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

So today is a wonderful day! It's my Mom's birthday. I promised not to write about her on my blog, but I can't help myself today. So Mom, I'm breaking my promise just to say, I hope you have a wonderful, Happy Birthday!

My mom is so full of energy and keeps herself healthy. I really appreciate, that I can trust how well she takes care of herself and my Dad. When I was growing up she was the same way, very energetic and on top of things.

I love you, Mom, and so blessed to say Happy Birthday to you!