Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Playing with Permanent Markers

Ironically, wasn't one of my children! (Davida~ and it DEFINITELY WAS NOT Duncan in my car!) 
 That's right, IT WAS ME! (insert Jim Carrey's voice from Liar Liar) 

I am 32 years old. I have always been the rebellious child and the kid that pushed ALL the limits. I have 4 brothers. I'm the ONLY one who's ever broken a bone...well, technically my younger brother broke part of his tailbone area playing football, but I take that cake. My parents will tell you that I also did these bone breaking activities while they had no insurance and usually in an extreme attempt to get out of moving. I plead the 5th on that one, although it did come in handy to get out of packing and moving boxes. Lets not get off track too far here. 

By pushing the limits, I will admit that I'd go and get my ears pierced in the uncommon areas (according to my dad) and I usually sprung it on them when we were in public. I can't help it that my children will have no chance of getting away with things. I LOVE my piercings. I have had my ears done many times, my belly button several times (yeah that was short lived because pregnancy and belly rings = DISASTER. Plus, I believe you grow out of the navel.) I will also admit that I've had my tongue done a few times also. And then my last piercing was my nose, which I still have and alternate between studs and hoops...

What you may not know is that I'm TERRIFIED of needles. Absolutely terrified. I almost faint every time I have to have my blood drawn. The tears that are uncontrollable as I'm hooked up for an IV are just something that I now warn my prep nurses about. The last lady that came to draw blood for our life insurance policy actually forcefully told me to breathe while she filled the vile. You'd think that will all the needles I've encountered in my life I'd be completely fine with it!? IT'S RIDICULOUS. Which is why, when I decided to get my first tattoo, my husband just laughed at me. And guess what!? IT WAS AWESOME!?  

I won't say that I just came up with it on my own though. One of my best friends MADE me do it. LOL!!! Okay, fine, not really, but she definitely made it hard to say no...and then we decided that this was something we were going to do to celebrate this time in our lives. I'm so glad this is what we did. Nothing really says, "PERMANENT" like a tattoo. I've wanted to get a tattoo for a long time. There have been many times that I've almost done it, but chickened out....again, the needles part. I've been on the search for a good tattoo parlor anyway and since my hubby also has a thing for tattoos, I've been privy to many things I want to be aware of and stay away from. For one thing, I'm extremely sensitive to the feel of a place. I can tell right away the kind of people that dwell in a store or parlor. Since I've had so many piercings, I've seen some really creeeeeeeepy places. But this was a little different, and I needed to feel comfortable where we went. My friend and I were at Target and since the time was getting close and we needed to make a decision, we were scoping out art on everyone we saw. You can tell a lot about an artist by the lines and hey, I've been watching the last 2 seasons of Ink Master, so I'm pretty well versed! (LOL RIIIIIIIGHT) However, I've been paying attention and an artist that enjoys their work and is professional is important and it shows in their work on YOUR skin. I'd say, make sure you choose someone you have a connection with. Anyway, back to Target, because I'm here to tell you that Target always promises to deliver awesomeness. We were checking out and saw that this checker, Whitney, had a REALLY spectacular tattoo. The lines were so clean and it was a well done piece of art. So we asked her where she went and then her friend, who also works at Target, whipped up her sleeve and showed us yet another superb tattoo. I needed to meet this artist. So we were introduced to Blaine, at Deeds of the Flesh in Thorton. I called and immediately was able to joke with the lady who answered the phone because when we were given the name of the artist to check out, it looked like "BlainO" so that was hilarious. I was able to speak to Blaine and Rob and I went down to check it out. I was SO impressed. It was clean and open and everyone in there was professional, but so laid back and easy going. The owner is a woman name Tiff, and she and her hubby have owned the shop since 2007. Since I was a virgin in the tattoo world, they were really helpful and I HIGHLY recommend them. I'll be going back to Blaine for my next tattoo.
 Ugh, its true, once you get one, you want more. Blaine was HILARIOUS and really made my first experience an amazing one. 

So this is what I've got. Remember that every tattoo is EXTREMELY PERSONAL and mine definitely has a story.

"Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, 'Here I am. Send me.' " ~Isaiah 6:8

The last couple of years have been very spiritually intense for me. I have fought many battles and God has been asking me recently, "Are you willing to go? Will you OBEY me?" And its been TOUGH! For anyone to tell someone else where they should be in their spiritual walk with God or to judge them for doing or NOT doing what that person thinks the other person should be doing is outright ridiculous. NO ONE gets to tell ANYONE what they should or should not be doing in their spiritual walk because guess what, NOT YOUR BUSINESS. Walk in your own shoes because you only have two feet and clearly God gave you your own to walk with. Walk beside me and show me God's grace and speak God's truth in love~ meaning, you may tell me how God has created me in HIM and that because I'm one of Jesus' creations, I'm not bound by responding out of my fear or anger...its definitely NOT pointing out all the things you see wrong about me. That's NOT the truth in love, that's not speaking life, rather its speaking curses into my life and you do a lot of damage. In fact, you absolutely go against Jesus' very definition of being a light to the world. So I believe thats where the whole 'pull the log out of your own eye before you try to remove the speck out of mine' thing comes in here. This is something I come across often. A lot of people feel they are entitled to judge you because they wouldn't do whatever it is the way you've chosen to do it. It baffles me really, especially when it's people who call themselves 'Christians'. Where is grace to grow in the Lord at your own pace? Somehow God is alright with each of us and allows us to encounter Him WHERE WE ARE IN OUR WALK WITH HIM. Its people who seem to feel they need to express their opinion (uninvited I might add) or 'fix' things because apparently they need to involve themselves. I have to laugh now because I've had to learn to let it roll off my back. God knows my heart and He works with me through the issues that I have and is not concerned that I'll never recover, contrary to what anyone else thinks. We all have issues and the Lord deals with ALL of us in His time because we are all different. Ah, the Love of a Father who truly is in control of all things.

SO when I was having my quiet time I was lead to this verse in Isaiah...and again I heard the Lord ask me, "Are you willing to obey me...Will you go where I send you?" And BAM. I ran and got my concordance with the Hebrew conversion and found the exact translation for this verse. In that moment my soul connected with this idea..."SEND ME."

I will go and this was something I could NOT forget and I knew I'd always need that reminder of making that commitment to the Lord's calling...


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thankfulness...from a New Perspective

I have to come to realize why Thanksgiving may be my new favorite holiday. And NO, it has NEVER been in the past. I will honestly admit: I hate turkey. I will admit: I HATE cranberry sauce. I also used to HATE it because it meant having to make every extended family member happy and if there wasn't equal time spent with whoever then it meant complete the point of never wanting to celebrate (if that was even what you'd call it) another holiday again. Just unbearable. At the dinner table (once we actually made it there ALL together and ALIVE ~I will devulge in a moment), my dad expressed something that was said in his office earlier that week. "He said his favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it means that there's no stress of getting gifts, no money issues, no commercialism...just the pure enjoyment of friend's and family's presence." It stopped me in that moment while I looked around the table at my 4 beautiful children and my husband sitting next to me, my brother making a joke at the end of the table and my parents joy-filled faces, WOW...that is so true. There's nothing to commercialize. The only thing thats really on tv is trying to get someone to buy a turkey...which is dumb. Thanksgiving usually means the onslaught of continuous Christmas commercials and society parading Christmas gifts like getting a 75" tv is going to mean all your dreams come true...its disgusting really. It's offensive. 'Be a good parent, get your kid everything they want...' because we don't have enough self centered children out there anyway. I will refrain from saying exactly what I think about all that...but it makes me sick.

SO back to Thanksgiving. Let me tell you why I was thankful...

This year we chose to have it at my parents house. They live in a very nice, up-scale neighborhood west of Denver. There are young families all over and its not uncommon to see kids riding alone or playing all over the streets and small parks sprinkled throughout. The only thing that is a concern of mine is that its not that far from a few MAJOR roads. We got to my parents' house around noon and I began cooking right away because I had several things that needed to be baked and that meant I'm on the clear other side of the house and not really around windows to watch where my kids are playing. Since my parents have lived here for more than 10 years, we know the neighbors and all their kids and my kids know that they aren't allowed to leave the culdesac area. I remember looking out the window and seeing Duncan race off on his bike and thinking, 'I hope he watches out for any cars.' About 2 hrs later I heard my mom tell the girls to go get Duncan so we can eat...and I heard "we haven't seen Duncan." While this isn't uncommon to hear...this time it sent a surge through me...something was wrong. He hadn't been in to get water or a snack and he hasn't eaten since breakfast because we eat in the middle of the day for Thanksgiving...then I heard Rob get up and get the keys.

OH CRAP. I grabbed the multi-colored handtowel to wipe off my hands and I ran outside to the front yard...I watched my dad go to the neighbors across the park and I saw my brother take off on his bike and heard Rob speed off in our car...PANIC SET IN. WHERE IS I ran to all the neighbors that I knew had boys Duncan's age...the worst words ever uttered fell from my mouth in sheer terror, "HAVE YOU SEEN MY SON!?" Oh my dear God...I'm unable to hold back the tears now and I'm running down the street, screaming for my son. A mom leaving their home saw me and came to screeching halt in their SUV, "Are you okay!? Whats going on?"   "Its my son, Duncan, have you seen him?" She had not and nor had her older son, but they had joined forces with us and sped off to drive down streets, looking for a little 6yr old boy with black glasses, a green shirt in jeans, riding a red bike. Where could he have gone? Surely he can hear my shrill voice SCREAMING his name...?! (everyone else can, otherwise they wouldn't be coming out of their homes...right?) My parents live kind of in the middle of the development...but I SPRINTED, in my 4 inch knee-high boots to a park probably a 1/4 mile away. I saw a large group of people and began screaming at them, begging them to say that they had seen my son. Apparently, this group had some South African's visiting because the one guy kept telling me to calm down. I almost punched him in the throat. A woman with a cell phone ran up to me and told me to talk to 911...I completely lost it at that point. I think I was hyperventilating because I was light headed, out of breath, and could barely talk. There were so many thoughts running through my head. Where was he? Was he taken? Was he safe? Was he hurt? Who would do this on Thanksgiving? What kind of sicko has my child? Will I ever see him again? What will happen to my son? OH MY GOD...I'm married to a cop...I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN THAT ARE ABDUCTED!?!?!? Why hasn't anyone seen him!? PLEASE GOD, NOT MY BABY!!!

The dispatch was PHENOMENAL. She kept asking me questions...the same questions I think, because it kept me thinking past my own horrific fears and on the facts of the present. What was he wearing? What does he look like? Does he have any allergies? Where do I think he may have gone? Don't worry, 6 officers are on their way to you right now. It was horrifying because I honestly had not seen my son in 2 hours...what kind of a parent can say that?! I always know where my kids are and I'm basically an overbearing parent at times because I'm anal about knowing who they are with and where they are...yikes, now my children are screwed because I'm completely paranoid after 20minutes! LOL My husband saw me off one of the main roads and stopped in the middle of the busy road to run to where I was and thats when I realized how scared HE WAS...that intensified my hysteria. My husband does NOT show emotion really...never in public. His sunglasses were down and he was wiping his face...and then I hear dispatch tell me to breathe also and thats when my brother rode up on his bike, "Robyn!!!! DAD FOUND HIM!!"   "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU SURE!??!?!?!"  "YES~ I WATCHED HIM LOAD UP THE BIKE!" I'm not sure if I said anything except, "HE WAS FOUND! Oh my God, my dad found him!!!!" And I remember handing or throwing or maybe even tossing the cell phone to someone and running out into traffic to my own car. (To the woman who called 911 for me, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for not telling me to calm down, but rubbing a complete stranger's back and arm and trying to show some sort of comfort in a situation such as this. Thank you for being apart of my nightmare, understanding that a hysterical mother doesn't need to be told to calm down, rather standing with me as I pace and sob that my child is missing and I can't do anything about it. If you ever see this: I will not forget your kindness and I pray that God blesses you richly.) Rob grabbed my shirt to hold me back from getting hit...and as we jumped into the car I shook with sobs of relief and gratitude that God had spared my son from a lifetime of hell or a certain death. My husband held me and we sobbed together that we would see our son, safely, in just moments.

 I didn't even wait for the car to stop, I just dove out of the car as we pulled up in the driveway. I ran through the front door to see my son, looking rather pathetic and terrified that he was about to receive the largest spanken of his life! I went to my knees before him, grabbed him and held on. I couldn't even say words because I was sobbing. I just know that he heard, "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN. YOU SCARED MOMMY TOO DEATH. DON'T YOU EVER DO THIS AGAIN." My parents had to leave the room because mom can't handle seeing anyone bawl and when Rob started to left the room a complete puddle. A spanken wasn't even necessary because the sheer magnitude of the realization of his actions had enough of an impact on Duncan. And hearing that his bike was going to be put up until he earned trust back...thats a huge chore there.

Now you can understand why this year 'Thanksgiving' had new meaning...I think so often we forget to stop and thank God for the blessings we have. Especially our children. As a stay at home and homeschooling mom, I'm with my children CONSTANTLY...and there are times that I beg God for a short break from my kids. But this was literally the WORST feeling in the world. DISASTER. I pray for mothers and fathers who don't get the reunion they beg for with their lost children. It definitely changes ones perspective after a situation like this...and it will be something I will be thankful for because it reminds me that every day is a gift.