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Showing posts from 2012

Raising Our Children to Have Character

I am again reminded, the C word , is not only an ugly menace, but a monster who comes not only to destroy you, the warrior, the fighter , the survivor, but to consume our families, to swollow them whole. This last week I have had the blessing of not just spending time with my son, but having an open hearted, soul revealing and life changing conversation. My eyes have been opened more than ever, my heart broken a bit and my mind focused on the continued after care of those I love since Cancer came to town. We have taught our children to love, in spite of the hurt, to serve those in need, to give even when it means sharing the last of our own last stash, yet I know there have been times in our journey when the bumps and pot holes have taken their toll on all of us. Now standing where I do today I can see the bigger picture, and the deep pain they have kept hidden from me.
Johnny and I have brought our boys up in a loving home, far from perfect, but a home where innocence was the norm, w…

The House that Built Me

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I was born 39 years and 5 days ago. I was not born to celebrities, nor was I born of royalty but I was born into a very loving, stable and amazing home. My parents did not have a lot, they did not own the best of the best, with grand TV's on beautiful stands nor did they serve up food with names I could not pronounce but they gave me everything they had and then some. My dad worked hard serving his country, my mom stayed home with me, sacrificing many luxuries in life to do so.
Our home was a place of refuge, warmth and joy. Mom made the best of what we had and never complained. She created a beautiful home for me to grow up in, many times made up of third hand items and never thought to complain. When folks walked into our home, they automatically felt at home and the truth is our home was always open. What we had, we shared with everyone. No meal was shared between just the 3 of us, no; every meal was made and shared with extended family. When the bills piled up and worry tried t…

Those Days

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So ever have those days when you step outside only to see the train tracks in front of  you are in serious need of repair? Ever worry they won't be able to carry you to safety? Maybe not but I have them often! The truth is after facing the beast, most of us feel fairly brave even if we don’t realize its courage leading the way out of our den of despair, into the darkness while the train of destiny is chugging along. We tend to overlook this strength so often we don’t even realize we have buried this ability deep inside us. It’s not that we aren’t unafraid, leading the way for those who follow behind us, it’s just we have been battling the beast so long, sometimes close to the death, we take it for granted. We  have been found our way out so many times we begin to believe we can rise above the trails of this world without feeling the pain of yet another scar. Then there are those days when we feel fairly broken down, as if cancer has had the last laugh, gotten the best of us and le…

New Life

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Life and all its stressors can seem out of control on any given day and the idea of a God who's for us can seem un- reasonable. On days like this we can feel forsaken, lost to the abyss and unlikely to find a shelter of any kind from the ugly, harsh and terrifying storms passing overhead. I, myself, have given in to fear countless times; I have lived in an ending darkness, my desire for something more clouding my vision. I have stood looking up from a pit of self-induced pity and turned my eyes away from the One who loved me even before I was born. Today, I am here to say, I have been there, truthfully I find myself in this place of worry, hurt feelings and uncertainty all the time. I fall weak, I give in to temptation, and I lose my self-control and panic, running around in complete darkness, stubbing my toe, looking for a safe place to hide all the time.
If I were to allow the pages of my life to fall open randomly I am not sure I would want anyone to just start reading. My life …

Zombie Mommy ( When Good Moms Go Bad)

Do you ever have those days when you wake up, your feet hit the floor, and you feel just slightly off kilter? Kinda like one of those digestive ads where everyone is walking sideways, you know the days I am talking about, unbalanced, unproductive and fierce. I sometimes feel the world is beating my door down, mad skills and all that, picking the lock, barreling down, maybe even right through not just the front door, but my bedroom door. Seriously, who let Atlas and the weight of the world in the house? Not sure who was watching the front door, but come on, folks, Atlas? I don't know about you but those are the days I know I am done for even before I get out of bed.
The disorderly house, the household needs shooting at us from speeding trains whizzing by, the bills, the kids, the husband, the dog, it can all be very overwhelming. I may only be speaking for myself here but I am just about as human as they come, even if my family thinks I am some kind of super hero. The truth may be p…

Mother's Day ( Chasing the Monster's Under the Bed Away)

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How do we ready ourselves for Mother's day? As we begin to think of lunches, family gathering and gifts exchanged I want to challenge you to take a moment to thank your mom not just with a material gift but simply remembering the times she chased the monsters away, the days she sat next to your bed, feeding you soup, or when she was up late finishing that report you forgot. Being a mom is never easy. It's down right exhausting to be honest, we are always three steps ahead, to have to take one back. Now try mixing it up and throwing something like cancer in the mixing bowl.  Sure the path of least resistant may look tempting, but then where would we be as moms? I really don’t understand why life brings pain and uncertainty but I do know this: While it is true pain holds no mercy sometimes the pain does hold grace. Maybe, just maybe, the pain life brings each of us isn’t so much about the hurt as much as it is about the journey, the dance and the beauty inside the clearing just…

The Well of Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is one little word, simple yet so wrapped up in turmoil and trouble. Forgiveness carries so much doesn’t it? Just the thought of forgiveness and we are wincing, too many bags, baggage and burdens go with it. Most of us don't even want to get within 10 feet of the flashing caution sign forgiveness has attached to it do we? In fact we generally dance around it, poke at it with a stick or tread lightly with extreme caution. For me personally, in my crazy life, I sometimes feel I am a magnet for drama and all its un-pleasantries. 
Seriously I wonder if our family has a bull’s eye on our front door inviting trouble in with a capital T. I can be minding my own business, just trying to care for those around me and BAM; I am knocked to my feet, looking up from where I have landed with a black eye and a sudden, unpleasant and unexpected blow out of right field somewhere. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to find someone somewhere who can't stand me, the optimism or the …

Becoming Captivating ( In a Fake World)

I am about to get real, to lay it all out on the table ladies. Men, this is not to count you out, because truthfully this affects you as well, but just be warned I am about to talk bluntly to the ladies about our obsession with perfection. What brought on this sudden need to explore our fears, and how we as women see ourselves? Well, lately I have been struggling with my own body image. The truth is even though I always get over this hurdle, it still comes back around like some sneaky sly ninja desperately trying to catch me off guard me when I least expect it. Sharing the picture above is not my idea of a walk in the park on a sunny day, to be clear I am kinda nervous showing off the “real” Christina for the entire world to judge and critic. The reality is my flaws and all picture is the “me” most never see and who I really am under the makeup. So if I am going to be completely honest I have to admit I really hate my body and the way I look, but if I am going to be transparent I also…

High School Musical Gone Sideways ( The Life and Times of a Real Mom with Teenage Boys)

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Do you ever feel your life should have a sign in front of it? Seriously, I sometimes feel like a “Caution: Children Texting” sign needs to be invested in at our home or how about “Leaving Normal” for right outside the driveway? If we had road signs available for all of life’s exists, they would be pretty much something like this: New Life, Old Life, Success, Failure, Right Way, Wrong Way, Changes, Choices, Decisions and Oops! Wow, I’m out of breath just thinking about all of those road signs. Moment of truth: Life with kids can feel beyond navigation sometimes. Personally, my road sign needs to say: “Welcome to My Life, Viewer Discretion Advised”.
The truth is I have exited an off ramp in my life and I am now entering a totally unknown, very much “are we there yet”, “do I have to”, and “you expect me to go where?” kind of on ramp. Seriously, the signs are a bit fuzzy if you ask me. I don't want to say it, nope, I don’t even want to have to admit it or accept this new place in my l…

Love Story

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Today I want to go back and take a walk down memory lane if you will indulge me. Many times in the course of our lives we hear old love stories, whether they are folks we know or not. Some of them are funny and some are sad while others are sweet but no matter who you are, you have a love story of your own. With that said, last week Johnny and I celebrated 16 years of marriage. We didn't plan anything major, instead we shared an evening  of adventure at a local Japanese steak house. And yes chose to take the kids with us for dinner simply because they are our joy, our purest  love brought to life  and they have shared so much of this journey with us. We laughed, shared a few stories and  simply enjoyed a great dinner with  one another. I sat there as I watched Johnny interact with the boys thinking about earlier in the day  when I began a  letter to our children.

I 'd sat on the laptop typing  Friday morning pouring over the story of our very own love story when I realized ho…