Friday, February 11, 2011


This last week has been interesting and rushed and nerve racking. It is beginning to be the busiest time of year for our family. For some reason since the boys started school and even when we were doing only home school this time of year has always been a mad dash. From the middle of February until the end of May, it is non stop at the house of Lee. I am always ready for this time of year and in a certain way enjoy the crazy hectic schedule. It reminds me of making memories and heading to the warm lazy days of summer, and I know those who know us well will immediately say - "when are you lazy in the summer?" I know we aren't but I look forward to those days of sun and warmth and heading home for a visit. All this has been spinning through my mind for the last week and then I looked around.
Isn't it something to stop and just really take a good look around you, at your life, your friends, your kids, your activities and the nature surrounding you? I have always been amazed that whenever I am stressing out if I just stop and take a look at God's many blessings the stress melts away. I don't mean the the problems end or there is a magical answer to college tuition or taxes, or play rehearsals. I mean that my stress in the beauty and wonder of Gods magnificence fades to peaceful joy.
This last week we here in CO got snow, and for us it couldn't have come at a worse time for roads to be icy and crappy and the wind to blow and the light fluffy snow to make driving a hazard. We had basketball games three hours away, and All-state Choir four hours away. It was stressful and nerves were frayed and shot. As the tension in the car mounted though I noticed God nudging me to LOOK. I paused in my intense concentration to just gaze on the beauty and wonder of God's creation. Blankets of purest white fluffy snow covered the hills and mountains, decorating the trees with white accents on every branch, and not a mark of man to mare the perfection of the white blanket. Sparkling in the sun with diamond like brilliance, that far out shown any diamond I have ever seen. So awestruck and phenomenal was the sight it left me speechless, and thats when I felt it. God's peace, his whole hearted comfort and joy. He made us, he created this earth for his glory and our enjoyment. How could anyone doubt that? Looking around and seeing this world blanketed in pure blinding white, I am reminded this is the way God sees us. Pure, whole and without blemish; because God sees us through the veil that is Jesus his son who came to take all our darkness and stains and cover them with his Grace and Forgiveness. All for one reason, his LOVE. God's love for us his children. Not the red hearts and chocolate and flowers kind of love, the forever long lasting heart filling peace and certainty kind of love.
Those who know me personally know I do not typically preach anything, my walk and my Christianity is between me and God, and I am not here to judge you. There are many different beliefs in this world and I respect that everyone has their own beliefs. What for me and my life is crucial isn't necessarily what is for you and your path or walk here on earth. I would make a poor minster or missionary because I do not like to push my values and views on anyones, or tell anyone they are wrong in their beliefs. I do not feel it is my place, and I do not feel God has called me to do this. I am a listener, I am a sounding board and a guide. This I am capable of doing. I aim to be a vessel of God's love to everyone, to encourage and boost and support. I want everyone to feel welcome in my presence and like I genuinely care, this is my calling. Now I have a long way to go, I am human and I have wounds and scars. I find myself holding grudges sometimes and have to work on forgiveness. Deep pain and scars mark me and I know they are there. This is why the covering of snow has such a profound impact on me. I want to see people like God see's us. I want to get past the pain and hurt and the guarding of myself for protection and trust that God will never let the world take over my soul. No one will speak ill of me or each other and the world will be full of blinding white pure love.
This is what I hope to experience one day. It would be great to have a taste of it here on earth but even if I never have it on earth one day I will feel that I will see it and I will experience it standing before my heavenly Father, beneath the blood of Jesus I will be pure as glittering blinding snow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Good For My soul

I haven't had much sleep in the last few nights, my Mother called. I love my Mom with my whole heart and there are times in life I really couldn't have gotten through without her. There are also times that have been made harder because of my Mom. Mom and I have a pretty typical Mother/Daughter relationship I would say, ups and downs are a given. I am not the favorite, or the independent one. My sister is the strong one, my brother is the brilliant one and they are both the independent ones. Me... well I am the one that 'settled'. I am the one that studied acting and theater being totally impractical instead of going to beautician school like my Daddy wanted me to do. I decided to move out and get married having too many kids. Now, she loves her grandsons all of them but she did not like me trying to have them and thought after Jonathan I should have quit, which is exactly what I would expect from a Mom who doesn't like to see her baby struggle even though I was and am a grown woman. I had horrendous pregnancies and having all four boys wasn't at all easy on me or my body. That in itself is 4 stories waiting to be written sometime but not today.
My Mom has always tolerated me acting, didn't matter what show or what I was doing or where I was she has always disliked it though. I never understood why, still don't. Don't get me wrong she was always attended when she can, even helped with costumes when I was in High School productions, but her actions of support never mirrored her words.
Now I have always been independent in my own way and a bit rebellious to a certain extent, being involved in the theater department wherever I have been in life has been my own little piece of sanity. I am so at home on a stage, the chance to be someone else and live another's life for even a few hours in a dark theater has a way of making me appreciate my own life and process my trial and troubles. This has continued for many years and slowly has developed into my directing. Studying the craft of acting and directing are totally different and many people that can act have no clue when it comes to directing or vice-a-versa . I am not one of those people, from early on I could pick up a script and read through it and the blocking and the staging just came together and I would see the whole show in my head. I have always been at ease with stage directions never confusing left from right stage or upstage from downstage. I have always known what the wings are and the apron of the stage, and have always had a knack for breaking the 4th wall. For those of you not familiar with theater terminology that was very confusing but you really don't need to know exactly what I was talking about only that I was expressing the fact that theater terms and lifestyle has always been easy and I am perfectly at home on a stage being whatever character I am portraying, and that ease is the same way directing.
This last year I had a, for lack of a better word, trauma in my life. Some of you know what happened but I am not going to go into it all, again a story for another time, but it changed me drastically. I have always been involved with kids, coaching soccer, directing theater, doing daycare, doing emergency placement foster care, teaching crafts at school in the classroom, helping monitor on playgrounds and the list runs on and on. Unless I couldn't because of caring for Paul's parents or working I have always been involved. I love working with kids, absolutely love it! I have met so many neat people from 6 different states and worked with them and taught them, always having their very vocal support and community support and appreciation, so what happened last year was a little of my own fault. I thought CO would be like every other school district and community I have ever lived in. I was so very very wrong. I should have taken the time to listen to the gossip in the community, I should have listen closer to the kids. If I would have done that I would have realized the jealousy and the vicious gossip and lies and would have been more cautious. Or knowing me I would have charged in and decided it was time someone stood up to bullies and pointed out how wrong it is to tear each other down and apart, thinking I could change the mentality, hoping to leave a mark of change for the better and to let God's love through me prevail. Unfortunately that is not what happened. My family was picked apart, my kids paid in the district, and I paid dearly by being watched and gossiped about. By the time we moved there wasn't but a shell of my former self left. I shut myself in my home rarely leaving because of fear to even go to the grocery store due to previous instances. Tons of people told me privately how they were behind me and stood up for me but only two actually came forward to do so in front of the community, and one of those was a child. Having said all this I can understand my Mom's concern. She was not here and did not know how bad it really became but I think she could tell over the phone I was no longer the optimistic woman she knew.
My Mom called.... she asked what I was up to and I told her I was involved in the theater production. This is where I am not sleeping, instead of being thrilled my Mom asked me why? She got distant and told me to watch my back and that I had made a mistake getting involved again.
I have felt more alive in the last week then I have in the last year. I have smiled more laughed more and been eager to go to rehearsal and watch the vision Heather and I have unfold. To teach these kids little things, in comedic timing and getting the laugh to turning out or cheating stage right, all this has made me think I am making a difference. I love the person I am working with and the kids are growing on me every day I am getting to know which little quirk is theirs and seeing a vision on how to translate that into being a bit on-stage. Some of these kids I have had limited exposure with before because they are Caleb's friends, and I genuinely like them.
Then comes my Mom.... is she right? Could one of these kids make my life a living hell again? I like the kids in Hayden, loved some of them. Thought they ALL, everyone had amazing potential for bright futures, and all it took was 3 children. 3 children telling lies and not the whole truth to destroy more then one program, and not one that actually knew what happened to come forward. Could it happen again? Could these kids that I am beginning to let into my heart be so devious and do so much damage?
I really don't know. I do know I have to take the chance. I know my Mom doesn't support it and I know she doesn't agree with me but I have to take this chance at taking my life back.
I am still that little girl inside searching for her Mom and Dad's approval. Someday I hope I find it.
For now, I have learned I am me. I am not my sister or brother. I will never be like them, I will never have the life they live, but I wouldn't want it. I love my own life. I don't make tons of money, I am not a workaholic, my family and laughter and relationships are all that really matters to me. I am still trying to have that with both my sister and brother, but I understand why I don't. They are not like me either, and I am glad. As for my Mom, I love her. I love her for what I am interpreting as trying to protect me. ( I really hope that is the case :p)
Some day I really hope to make her proud of me, even if I do not do what she feels I should.
I hope to also make sure that my boys know even if I do not agree with their choices sometimes, I am ALWAYS proud of them and will ALWAYS support them in everything they do.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Friendship often takes on many forms. I am the type of person who is a caregiver, thats who I am. I encourage and listen. I rarely express my true and whole feeling about anything. My husband often times gets on my case for this with him but it dates back a long time. 
You see in elementary school, my fifth grade year, I was a bit of a novelty. Up to this point I had been a very out going, out spoken person. I had long hair past my waist, an easy smile, and had lots of friends. I was at that point in time a popular girl, this all changed when I entered the fifth grade. I remember this day vividly. At this point in time boys to me were rude pulled my hair and a pain in my pinched rear, but this year there was a boy. He had grown over the summer, he was taller then I and at that age that was something new for me. He had blond naturally curly hair, the brightest blue eyes, and a smile that was very genuine. He was not like all the other boys he was NICE. He didn't tease and didn't make rude noises, he was very shy. You see that previous summer I, the girl with the long braids had developed an hour glass figure. I was one of the very few who was wearing a bra, and I am not talking a training bra. The hips had become more round and my chest had shaped into considerable size (only a B, but at that point when most of the girls still had flat chests that was significant). That was the summer I gained my body I would have for the next eight years. I only grew three more inches in height after that summer and my weight and chest never changed until I became pregnant with my boys. I was getting stared at and began to feel self conscious for the first time in my life. Now boys will be boys and in a fifth grade boys mind if they want your attention they become obnoxious! I had too many boys being VERY obnoxious to me and it didn't end at school, or on the bus, or even at church, it was everywhere I went. Including my boy cousins. This was a strange feeling for me and I didn't like it, because inevitably when boys start paying more attention to you girl friends become scarce. That year I had more drama and lost more friends then I can even say. 
I tried to win them back with my first and last ever sleep over for my birthday. That ended in a disaster, my mother ended up going through suitcases before taking the girls home and pulling my items of clothing and treasures out of them. Now to hear my Mom tell it she says they took advantage and stole all those things - my clothes and lip gloss etc. which may be the case, but knowing myself and the struggle I was in that year I think it was more likely that I gave away my belongings 'buying' my friends back. I do not honestly remember, I remember being mortified and very alone but of the actual events I have no recollection. Little did I know it was about to get worse. The week after the disaster of a birthday party I returned to school. I had asked for a pair of white Calvin Klein jeans and this adorable white sweater with tiny pink rosebuds on it for my birthday and I had gotten it (My Dad called me Rosebud and that has been my family nickname for years, I used to hate it until one of my male cousins explained why I was given that nickname. He told me it was because I was the only one who looked as beautiful as a rose. This has always stuck with me, and I am sure he never meant it he just wanted to stop the crying lol, but he made me feel better about myself in a time when I felt so lost and ugly). 
So on this day knowing I was going to be alone all day after what had happened at my party, I wore this white outfit that I knew all the girls were jealous of because they had said as much during the party. I dressed with care and for once didn't braid my hair I left it long and curling down my back with a tiny pink barrette in the side. I went to school and my stomach was rolling, I felt ill but my Mom being the woman she is told me to get to school and quit play acting. I know now she thought it was nerves and all I needed to do was face my peers head on. I got to my locker that morning and was one of dozens of kids in the hallway. I unpacked my bag all alone. No one said a word to me. As I was closing my locker the boy I had noticed since the first day of school stopped in front of me and said to me "You look really nice today, hope you had a good birthday. I was too nervous to say Happy Birthday on Friday" I think I muttered an intelligent response but honestly I do not remember. I was so in shock, this boy didn't talk to any girls unless he had to. As we were standing there staring at each other dumb founded, a girl from across the hall said very loudly, "Look shes bleeding" then proceeded to laugh along with other girls. The boy looked down and asked me if I was okay at this point, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about when I looked down and noticed down the leg of my brand new white jeans and in my lap was a huge spot of bright red blood. Now my Mom had told me in a couple years I would begin to 'cycle' and it would be nothing to be scared about just let her know if I started to bleed and she would tell me more then, so it wasn't like I was scared, but standing in the hallway in my brand new white jeans with a boy who was actually nice with blood running down my leg, I started to bawl. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't hide it so I burst into tears. Which then led me to being so embarrassed I promptly threw up all over this poor boys shoes. 
By now you all have either laughed hysterically or been mortified for me, but either way its okay. This is how I entered woman hood! Yep God's cruel joke to me. As the years have gone by I realize how much that one day affected my whole life. I learned in that one day to be shy and self conscious, and to never fully trust. Over the years I have had to work hard to get past those things I learned that day, and other days like that one. This boy, I graduated with him and always had a crush on him, but I never again talked to him. Not once. I have run into his Mom once or twice when I am home and she always has a smile and talks to me asking about the family and telling me news of her son. He is happily married now, with a new little one. I will always remember him with kindness and fondness, along with forever being mortified that I threw up and burst into tears when he was trying to be so brave and get past his own shyness. Poor guy! I am sure he doesn't remember any of it now, after all it was my humiliating moment not his, but I do remember what he did and will forever be thankful for a friend in that moment.
Instead of laughing or making gaging sounds and poking fun, this boy asked another student to go get a teacher took my hand and led me to the girls rest room. Never saying a word just supporting me and knowing instinctively I would never make it there alone. He removed me from the stares and jokes, stepping outside his own comfort level to help someone in desperate need, walking in puke soaked shoes and never saying a word of complaint or blame for him having to obviously replace his shoes.
This is the most important thing I learned that day. Friendship doesn't always have to speak in words, because actions speak more clearly then words ever could.
As I continue to grow and develop and find new friends or an old one will be on my mind and I will end up praying for them, I know that one little innocent thing that I have done or have said may mean every thing to that person even though in a month I may not remember it. There are times to be vocal, and times when you need to stand up and fight and support, and I wish I could say I have had that in my life. I can say I have been vocal when the time warrants and when someone is being railroaded unfairly, I have been the one to make every effort to make it known we can not be scared of consequences because if no one stands up things will never change. I am not talking about those times. I am talking about the times when there really isn't anything you can do. I am talking about the times when the battle is internal or personal. Thats where in times of need, to just stand there by their side. Never saying a word but not running away, standing with my hand in theirs in silent support. This is the way I live. I may not tell you what I am thinking and I may not agree with your choices. I may have strong opinions about whats going on and if asked I may share a little of my thoughts with you, but for my part whatever you have done- whatever you believe- and whether your right or wrong, I want to be the friend that stands by quietly supporting and letting you know your not alone. Even if I get covered in puke..........