October 8, 2010

October Memories

       Autumn is here, my favorite season of the year. Leaves are changing into beautiful colors, apple cider in the stores, the smell of pumpkin bread baking, and festivities galore! This weekend was to be the original weekend I was getting married (until I realized this whole long distance thing was getting annoying and the wedding got moved up by three months!) This Saturday, October 9th, is also the two year anniversary since my Grandmother passed away. If you did not have the privilege of knowing her, I have to say you missed out on meeting one amazing woman. She was a very godly woman who only wanted the best for her family, but most of all, she was a woman who only wanted her future generations to be people who would follow God.

       Two years ago I not only lost a grandmother, but a very dear friend. I miss her dearly and cannot wait to see her in Heaven someday. The following is the eulogy I wrote for her funeral.

       " 'A grandmother never stops giving - You always see joy in her smile, You hear wisdom she's gained through the years when you sit down and talk for awhile. Her eyes shine with warm understanding. You feel gentle strength in her touch - A grandmother never stops giving the love that you cherish so much.'
          Those were the words Mom-mom would have been receiving in her birthday card today. Giving. Giving is the word I think of when I think of Mom-mom. She gave of her time, wisdom, love, hugs, and her faith. She loved to give. Even at Christmas time, she would always rather give than receive (unless it was a new puzzle for her and Pop-pop to work on!)

           Yet even in Mom-mom's last few moments here on earth, she was able to give me something so precious. As I sat miles away at school in South Carolina, without even realizing it, she was able to show me just how real our God is. Let me tell you how she did this.

            Ever since I was a little girl, I prayed over and over again that God would allow Mom-mom to see my wedding day. I wanted her to be able to see her last grandchild get married. Even up until last week, I prayed that prayer. When my brother called me last Wednesday, I refused to believe that God could be taking her soon. God healed her before; I thought He would do it again. That Wednesday night, my mom called me from the hospital and told me they did not know how Mom-mom was still hanging on. She then told me the rest of the family had said their good-byes and asked me if I wanted to say goodbye to her on the phone. I did not want to because I refused to admit that this was all really happening. But after I got off the phone, I began to think about it. I got out Mom-mom's birthday card I was going to send the next day and wrote out a note to her, thanking her for being such a godly influence. That night I lay in my bed crying, still not wanting God to take her. Then at midnight my friend sent me a text message on my phone to tell me he was praying for Mom-mom. He went on to send some more texts saying, "Carrie, God is good, and He has you here for a reason. He wants us to find joy in our trials. Now is your chance to put feet to that truth. I can't understand how you feel but God does. He has given you more time with her. He brought her through safely a couple years ago. Now He is going to bring her safely home, and you will be there eventually too to spend eternity together with Christ...stay strong...just hold His hand." As soon as I received that last text, I started praying and crying to God. I told Him that if it was His plan to take Mom-mom, I would be ok with that.  I thanked God for her, and then I told Him to tell her that it was all right for her to let go. Just let her know that I love her and I will miss her.

       God showed Himself so real to me that night. And I will never forget this story. God knew the time He was taking her. God knew my friend was going to send me that text. I have such a peace about God's plan now. And how is that? Well, the time my friend sent his last text message was 12:19 a.m. Mom-mom passed away at 12:20 while I was praying that prayer. God is real. Mom-mom knew that with her whole heart. And if she could give you one last thing, I think it would be her faith. A faith in Jesus Christ so that one day we may all spend eternity together with her and her Savior in Heaven. And the best thing about this story is the fact that Mom-mom will see my greatest wedding day ever. The day we as Christians celebrate the marriage Feast as the bride of Christ."
Mom-Mom...you are dearly missed.

September 10, 2010

Lessons Learned from Cocoa Puffs

My husband J (yes, J...his name is Jeremy but that is for a later post) and I have been married almost two months now. So far marriage has been great! No complaints! Don't get me wrong, we've had our ups and downs, but nothing yet that has sent me calling home asking Mom why she let me get married.

Being newlyweds, we have had to learn each other's schedules, quirks, habits, and so many other things we did not know about while dating. I did know while dating that my husband loves food. Period. He has to eat about every two hours in order to function properly. Well sometime last week, my husband and I were at my mother-in-law's house and somehow the topic of cereal came up. J mentioned that his favorite cereal as a kid was Cocoa Puffs and still is his favorite guilty pleasure cereal to this day. So I learned something new. Next day we go over to my mother-in-law's house again and there on the table is a box of Cocoa Puffs that she had bought for my husband. He's an only child...no further comment necessary.

Well, last week my husband came home from work, a new job I might add, and told me that he was going to have to go for a health screening of some sort. He continued to tell me that he would have to fast in order to complete the screening and get blood drawn. Ok, let me now add that my husband works third shift. The health screening was to be held at noon...during the day...the day he would be coming home after an eight hour shift. So in order to fulfill the requirements for this health screening, he would have to start fasting at midnight, work all night long without eating, come home, sleep a couple hours, get up, and go get his blood drawn. That's over twelve hours without eating anything! Let me repeat what I mentioned earlier...my husband cannot go more than two hours normally without eating or drinking!

Well last night was the night. He came home for his lunch break around two in the morning and did not eat a thing. Then he came home after his shift the next morning and did not eat a thing and went to sleep. I woke up around 11:30 in the morning (I try to stick to his schedule, for those of you who are wondering what in the world you are doing wrong that you cannot sleep in that late) so it was breakfast time for me. I went to the kitchen and poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Meanwhile, J woke up and was getting ready to leave for the screening at work. I poured in my almond milk (yes, I'm lactose intolerant) and went back to the bedroom to eat. I figured I was being thoughtful by sitting in the back bedroom and eating instead of eating in the wide open kitchen for my hunger-stricken husband to see. Well, it didn't really work. He saw me. Eating his Cocoa Puffs. There I was, mid bite, about to inhale a spoonful of those scrumptious little chocolate balls...his favorite cereal. Not good.

J stared at me. I stared back. I then received a lecture on how I should have waited five more minutes until he left the house, I gave excuses, and so on and so forth. I smiled sheepishly, kissed him goodbye, and finished my bowl of Cocoa Puffs.

You think I would have learned my lesson, right? Wrong. J came back about an hour later with McDonald's in hand and a lot of it! He sat down next to me. The french fries smelled really good...so I tried taking a fry. Yea...not such a good idea.

So a very valuable lesson was learned today. Never eat Cocoa Puffs in front of a man who hasn't eaten for twelve hours. So you ask, "Well what do I do then if I'm hungry and my husband can't eat?" Easy! The answer is what I should have done! Lock yourself in the bedroom and eat the Cocoa Puffs!