7.30.2008

Not Just Another Statistic

I know being a teenage mom is hard. Not only the emotional and physical challenges that come from rearing a baby, or in my daughter’s case, twin babies, but the stigma that surrounds the mothers. And I say “mothers” because usually the father is dealt little or no repercussions.

I know the case of Jamie Lynn Spears has been in the news a lot lately and many folks have trashed the media for “glamorizing” teen pregnancy. I may be looking at the situation in a more endearing light because we’ve experienced this and all I see are our two precious little girls but I don’t see them promoting teen pregnancy just by sharing Jamie Lynn’s experience. She’s someone who would draw media attention whether she had a baby or broke her big toe. And yes, maybe she shouldn’t have done the OK magazine photo shoot and interview but I think she’s trying to prove that she wants to be a good parent UNLIKE her older sister who has not been such a great example. Hopefully, Jamie Lynn can provide a normal, loving environment for her daughter.

By no means am I advocating teenage pregnancy nor do I wish for this to happen to anyone but when life deals you unexpected blows, you have to make the best of it. And my prayer is that if it does happen to a teenager, or anyone for that matter, that they do not choose abortion as an option.

My husband and I had centered our life around our daughter. For years we followed her to softball games, basketball games, football games while she cheered and competitive cheer competitions. I don’t know what we did before she came along and was old enough to play sports! We must have been two bored individuals. As she got closer to graduating high school I began to have early empty nest syndrome. I didn’t know what we’d do once she was grown and on her own. I was panicking. I thought the only way to fill the void was to have another child. No, I didn’t want to physically have one myself but I talked to my husband about adoption. He was not for it. I guess it’s a good thing because the Lord soon sent us two unexpected little blessings in the form of grandchildren. I can’t imagine life without our two girls now.

After the babies were born, my daughter sat out one semester to care for and bond with the babies. She struggled with whether or not to go back to school or to take her GED. She was worried about leaving the babies. Thank goodness, with our encouragement, she decided to go back to school. She had her best semester ever as far as grades and knew she had made the right decision. She made up her mind that she would not be just another statistic, another teenage mom who dropped out of school and depended on others, but she would make the best of her life so she could provide for herself and her children.

She struggles at times of course. Her life has had to change to include her daughters and there are times she’d like to just be a “normal” teenager. No one has been mean to her or downed her openly for what has happened (even though I’m sure many have behind our backs). Most people have been understanding and supportive. She totally depends on her dad and me. A 16 year old just doesn’t know much about rearing a child. Which she’s 17 now, will be starting her senior year, and has had her first summer job this year. We thought it would be a good idea for her to help out with expenses and get a little feel as to what she can expect of her future.

So even though she’s sure to face some criticism because of her poor choices and face some adversity, I think she’ll do just fine. As a parent and grandparent, I just want to protect her and my grandbabies from all hurt and harm but I know sooner or later I’ll have to let go and let my daughter be the parent.

The following is her intro for her myspace page:

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance take it. If it changes your life, let it.Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
I can sit here and try to wish all my problems away, but nothing is really going to change my life unless I change first. Even if that means letting go of certain people, that's just something I’ll have to do. I need to find what is best for me... and stop trying to please everyone else in my life. I know I am strong enough and will do whatever it takes to create a good life for my girls and me. So this is it... I am letting go and starting over! A whole new life and hopefully with a little faith, it will take me to where I need to be.
I've made mistakes in my life. I've let people take advantage of me and accepted way less then I deserve. But, I've learned from my bad choices and even though there are some things I can never get back and some people that will never be sorry I'll know better next time and won’t settle for anything less than I deserve.

7.28.2008

Camera Shy

Some people just should NOT go on camera.
video

7.21.2008

Devil's Beatitudes

Makes you think...

1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians -- they are my best workers.

2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked -- I can use them.

3. Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church --they are my missionaries.

4. Blessed are the trouble makers -- they shall be called my children.

5. Blessed are the complainers -- I'm all ears to them.

6. Blessed are those who are bored with the minister's mannerisms and mistakes -- for they get nothing out of his sermons.

7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church -- for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.

8. Blessed are those who gossip -- for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.

9. Blessed are those who are easily offended -- for they will soon get angry and quit.

10. Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God's work -- for they are my helpers.

11. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister -- for he shall be with me forever.

12. Blessed are you who, when you read this think it is about other people and not yourself -- I've got you too!

7.20.2008

Friday Night Fever

It’s happening

I’m getting that feeling again. It happens this time every year. I don’t quite know how to explain it. Excitement. Exhilaration. Anticipation. What is it? HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FEVER!

As it is in most towns in the south, high school football is a big deal here. And I love it as much as the next fan. Just something about those Friday night lights, the cheers of the fans, the sound of the bands, the smell of grilled burgers.

No, I don’t have a boy that plays. I have a girl. She normally cheers but this year she is in color guard. High school band will be a different experience for me but I’m looking forward to it.

For me the excitement really began as the Clarion Ledger started revealing their Dandy Dozen for this season. They changed up the format this year. Instead of notifying the chosen players ahead of time and releasing the names all at once in the paper, they are revealing one name a day for twelve straight days in random order. Even the guys don’t know they’ve been selected until their named is posted. I couldn’t wait till noon time everyday to see whose name and picture would be there. On day seven, one of our own cougar boys made the list.

If I don’t make it to the game, I’m watching the 10:00 news for scores or jumping on the Clarion Ledger website to check the scores and headlines. Even though our team games are not broadcast on the local radio station, I still listen to pull against our biggest rival. Sorry panthers. You’d do the same thing. I even wake up early on Sunday mornings so I scan the local paper for the write up and pictures. Like my daddy always did, I always pull the sports section out first. I’ll read thoroughly to see if any of the boys I know personally made any notable plays.

So, I’ve got our schedule printed and posted. Hopefully it will be a good year for us this season, especially with a “dandy dozen” player on the team. Of course, it takes an entire team to win. But win or lose, the fans will be there to support their team.

Then it’s time for basketball…

7.13.2008

The Dyson

Well, I did it. I broke down and got me a Dyson. For those of you who may not know, that is one of the highest rated vacuums on the market.

The old Hoover had run its course. I think it scattered more dust than it picked up. It had been a good one though and for the price, I had been satisfied. But I figured with twin one year olds running around I needed something that would really, really clean. Because whatever those two find on the floor it goes straight into their mouth. I noticed Kylie chewing on something the other day and ran my fingers in her mouth and pulled out a ladybug. Ewwww, a dead ladybug! I had been looking and pricing and comparing vacuums for a couple of months and that’s when I decided I’d better make up my mind quickly. Well that and the very convincing lady on HSN!

But now that I’ve got my vacuum I don’t regret it. I’m ashamed to say, it was unreal to see the stuff that the Dyson picked up. It’s worked great on the wood floors too. This is one satisfied customer. So ladies and gents, if you’re in the market for a vacuum, take a close look at the Dyson. I’d surely recommend it to a friend.

I’m just hoping the company slogan holds true and “it won’t lose suction”. As for the old Hoover, it’s gone to the graveyard already.

7.07.2008

The Soldier

My husband and I decided to take the granddaughters to Hattiesburg on the fourth just to eat out and do a little shopping. We’ve learned not to be in any hurry when we take the twins. People are fascinated by multiples for some reason. They like to stop and look and ask questions. We don’t mind.

That day we brought the stroller and pushed the girls into Target. I looked up and there were two national guardsmen walking our way. No surprise to see guardsmen since Camp Shelby is located there and no surprise to see someone wanting to talk to the babies. Both were handsome men…but all men in uniform are handsome to me. The blonde haired one bent down and started talking to the girls immediately. Of course the girls just sat there and looked, being fascinated by a new face. He asked how old they were. He then said, “I have twin boys but they are a little older than you”…a short pause…”I sure do miss them”. He then just stayed there for several seconds, not saying a word, still squatted down just looking at the girls. I should have asked him where he was from, how old his boys were, something, but I was trying to hold back the tears from seeing that look on his face.

He finally stood up and I just said thank you. Hopefully he knew that thank you wasn’t just for giving my girls a compliment but for sacrificing his time, his time that could be spent with his own boys, to make this world a safer and better place. God bless him and all those like him.

7.04.2008

Shot of a Lifetime


I hate having my picture made but this one is special to me. No, not because it's before I aged and gained an extra hundred pounds, but because of the photographer. This was made when I was a member of the Redline dance team in college. The photographer was Ted Jackson. He's a local guy. He was (and still is) a friend of my sister and I knew him through her. He also took drafting under the same instructor that I did at that college. Ted has worked at the Times Picayune for many years. And back in 1997 Ted won a PULITZER prize for a photo story he did for the Times Picayune. Yes, a pulitzer. Pretty special. So, that is why I cherish this photo.


This is a link to more about Ted and his ordeal after Katrina:

7.02.2008

Heal the Wound

Point of Grace has a song out called “Heal the Wound”. I get chill bumps every time I hear it. The lyrics are so profound. Here is the chorus:

Heal the wound, but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful you are.
I am broken, torn apart,
Take the pieces of this heart and
Heal the wound, but leave the scar.

Here’s an article by NRT with Point of Grace about the origin of the song:

Can you explain the meaning behind the song "Heal The Wound"?
We didn't write the songs on this album, but we sat down with a group of writers and shared our personal testimony of what God had been teaching us. So Leigh shared her testimony and explained that when she was in college she had an abortion at age 19. Now this is a Christian girl who was raised in a Christian home, and for the longest time she dealt with that on her own—and didn't tell anybody! Obviously, when Leigh got married she shared this with her husband which was very difficult! You know Shelly, Heather and I talk so much about purity, and when Leigh became a member of Point of Grace she wanted us to understand her story—and we shared a real sweet time together. And when Leigh finally told her parents what had happened, she found freedom in that. God's word says, "The truth will set you free"—and that is so real!The Lord healed her heart and restored her. Yet for so long she continued to "ride the guilt" over what she had done, even though Christ died on the cross for our sins and by His wounds we are healed! But it does take a lot to really believe the truth and to walk in faith. So this song is based upon Leigh's testimony and what she had experienced.The song says "Heal the wound but leave the scar," and that reminds us of what God has done for us—He has healed our past—but to see the scar on his hands reminds us of what He did for us on the cross. For Leigh, it's the scars she carries from being in that particular situation but realizing where God has brought her, how He has redeemed her and how He has not condemned her, but loved her with an everlasting, steadfast love. Leigh even shared this testimony at our Girls of Grace conferences. We have to realize just how many women live under that particular guilt, so we're getting the word out that God is a redeeming God who loves them and has healed them because of His willingness to die for our sins. They can walk in redemption and joy, and they don't have to live under the umbrella of guilt anymore. This is a very powerful message for anybody who feels as if they will always remember their past—but now you will remember it in the way of redemption—because God has brought us so much farther than that!

We all have wounds. Hopefully we all have scars too. We are never out of reach of God’s mercy and grace. If you don’t know Him, seek Him. He will be there.