Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Funny thing is, roads do nothing for me. It has to be a path. Winding paths, well-worn, through the woods are my very favorites. After giving it much thought, several things have come to mind....
Paths are peaceful. A road signifies myself having to hurry up and be somewhere. A path, however, tells me I can stroll along at a leisurely pace until I arrive at my destination. In fact, it tells me I don't even have to specify a destination. There is such comfort in that for me, woman who must have plans to make plans, a list of lists, and a detailed schedule of events. I really should take more time to take that beaten path. In fact, I dream of someday having a yard with woods where I can carve out my own little beaten path.
This brings to mind a funny path-following story. I had this grand idea of taking my girls to Landsford Canal State Park for a picnic and a hike along one of the paths to the beautiful water lillies that I had longed to see for many years. We had our picnic, and we hit the trail. About halfway up the mile and a half path through the woods, I noticed a large, umm..., a HUGE snake curled up on the side of the path. I suddenly realized there was a second HUGE snake beside it. I casually stopped, I gently turned to my girls, and I quietly said, "I don't want you to panic, but there are sn..." "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! MAAAAAMMMMAAAAA!!!!!" (So much for not panicking!) They took off running, and I ran after them, laughing and crying at the same time, and I realized that there was another HUGE snake laying across our path and the girls had all managed to jump over it! It was a miracle!! After all of us had run a good 100 yards, everyone screaming and crying, we slowed to an eventual stop. "Maaammmmaaaa!!!" One of the girls said, "MAAAAMMAAAA!!!! HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET BACK?!!!" Well, with that, we all busted out laughing. We cried some more, and, well, I still thought the lillies were well worth it. It's a good thing too since I'll probably never get to see them again. We made it back to our car without another encounter, but we were flat out exhausted!
I kind of went off the beaten path with that story, chuckle, chuckle, but I really do have a fascination with paths. Someday, when I can afford art, I want walls full of paths. I want a path in my back yard. I want a stone path to my front door. I want to explore paths in my spare time. Maybe someday I will understand my obsession with paths, but for now I will just dream about the next path I take. Here's hoping there won't be any snakes.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Could it be the sleepless night that I "conquered" this weekend? Or is it the thousands of times I am touching the computer keyboards and mice at school? Or maybe, just maybe, it's the millions of allergens in the air. My guess is that it's a combination of all three.
I've always said that I would rather have a cold for a couple of weeks than a stomach virus for a day. You can take medication for the cold, but that virus is a gripper. Nothing short of death helps with those things. You see, I am an anticipator, if that's a word. Throwing up stinks, but knowing it's coming again without your control triple stinks. The worst thing about the cold is that I had a little trouble breathing in the night. That's not cool!
I know that staying up all night Friday night may have weakened my immune system, but dangit, it was so worth it! I just get so excited when I think about our next event coming up tomorrow night, being able to see God work once again at the See You at the Pole rally. Billy Wayne will be back in town, and his posse along with him. What a thrill to know I can sit in on God working in such a huge way. It excites me because I know what a joy the Lord is to me, and without Him I'm not sure how anyone lives!
So, I could slow down a little, and sometimes I do, but when it comes to doing work for the Lord, I just want to keep going, and going, and going.... Today, however, I want to curl up with some hot tea, be an anticipator, and rest until then!
I hope you will join students at the flag pole in the morning for prayer for our nation, our leaders, and our schools. I'll be there, cold and all, proudly wearing my "Survivor" shirt proclaiming God's love and power in my life. The thing I'll miss the most about my job in fact is the opportunity to reach out to and love these students, so I better get to working overtime on that. I have one week left to make a difference. God, help me to be a light for You!
Monday, September 20, 2010
I knew when they turned me over on my side on the stretcher, away from the babies' heart monitors, that things were going downhill. I knew when the nurses started running, not walking, that things were not going smoothly. I knew when they whisked me into the operating room, not allowing Ken with me, that this could end up badly. A curly haired man leaned down to me, and I remember thinking that he looked like the guy on the movie "Life is Beautiful", and that made me feel happy for the seconds I remember seeing him.
The next thing I knew, I woke up in the recovery room in pain. It was like a bad dream. My pastor was standing in the doorway looking my direction. My head was still spinning, my mind not able to keep up with what my body had just been through. It wasn't long until they wheeled me up to my room. Where were my babies? No one would say.
When I was finally settled, Mom, Dad, Jordan, and Lauren visiting, Ken leaned in close to me and said, "Here's a picture of our babies." It was one of the most horrifying sights I'd ever seen. There were two tiny, wrinkly, helpless creatures with wires protruding from every angle. My babies were alive, but they were struggling.
They struggled for weeks. It was truly grueling. I went home without babies, and it felt like I didn't even have them at times. I went to visit every day, taking that long drive to and from Charlotte. They would take one step forward, and then two steps back. Eventually, they grew strong enough to come home with me, one at a time, in November.
The months that followed were still such a challenge. The breathing monitors were cumbersome and would alarm at crazy times, alerting us that they had stopped breathing. We got beyond that panic, as the doctor had instructed us on just what to do. Even typing this, I can't even wrap my brain around how we endured it. Well, I do actually. God was gracious, and He handled it, and He held us up and carried us so that we didn't have to do any of it on our own power.
I'm so blessed to have all four of my children. They are each a miracle from God. The twins are extra miraculous because they suffered so much hardship early on. We watched them grow stronger, and they have entertained us to no end. In fact, they provide constant entertainment to this day! 10 years old. Those tiny little preemies, with wires protruding from every angle, are 10 years old. Thank you, Lord, for the joy they bring into my life. Happy birthday to Cassie and Kylie.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
For the first time since mission trip, I attended an overnight youth event. We had a lock-in Friday night following the 5th quarter after the local football games. We saw God work in the lives of young people, and we stood by in that church parking lot and saw 16 people give their lives to Christ. Billy Wayne is such a blessing, and his ministry has had an incredible impact on so many people. You can sure tell when God is working through someone, and that is always evident in Billy Wayne.
I was actually able to stay up all night. I even amazed myself. I was so thrilled with what was going on, and I really enjoyed joining in on the fun. It just gave me a feeling of a new start. Once again, I just feel an excitement in the air, and I am really looking forward to what God has in store. He always surprises me, but I don't know why. Shouldn't I know that His presence alone is life-changing? I am so blessed to have a Savior, and I always want to live to glorify His name!
My next overnight youth event will be October 16th and 17th. We will travel to Kingsport, Tennessee to visit the Mortality Room, a powerful ministry offered by the ministry of Billy Wayne. I am truly looking forward to hanging out with those kids again. They are such an encouragement to me.
Tomorrow is an amazingly special day. My babies will be 10 years old. I have to take time to blog for sure, because while all 4 of my children are miracles, the twins are extra miraculous as far as their health is concerned.
Tomorrow is also a brand new day, and I am so glad to be in a place in my life that I can truly look forward to what is coming up next. I went through a few months that I dreaded the sunrise of a new day, because I knew it would just cause more trouble and destruction. These days, I grin as I think of what may be around the corner, because God has shown me that He always has something wonderful planned for me. It's just up to me to have faith to see it through.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I can't explain it. I feel something in the air that just excites me! There are rapid changes happening among my family members, and they are all thrilling. (Stressful at times too, but thrilling!) Any time I see changes happening around me, it reminds me that God is working and that He has a plan for us that can sometimes seem difficult, but in the end ALWAYS turns out INCREDIBLE!
As Summer turns into Autumn, there will be many changes in the Mauney household I'm sure. One of those changes is my job. I have begun my third year in the local school district, but I have been keeping my eyes and ears open for other opportunities. One has come along that I am so excited about! I have been hired by our local hospital, and I start in just a few weeks. It's a huge change, and it will take a lot of getting used to, but it has been God and God alone at work in providing this new opportunity for me. It is thrilling for me to think of stepping back into that medical field!
My kids are growing! I mean, they are getting older, but they are growing wiser as well. It's interesting to see them come through things better people, and it makes me so thankful to be a Christian mother. Those that don't base their lives and hopes on Christ, they must truly feel lost and wandering. If we base our lives on anything wordly, at some point we will get hurt by it. However, if we base our lives on Christ and Christ alone.... Man, He will rock our worlds!
Excitement for today is being fueled by a youth event tonight called 5th quarter. One of my all-time favorite evangelists, Billy Wayne, will be speaking. The band that is playing features a bunch of kids I love so much. (Talk about watching them GROW!!) The lead singers are a young man that I just love to pieces, Tyler, and my very own daughter Jordan. They sure sound great together! Most of all, I am excited to see what God is going to do with their music, with Billy's message, and with the moving of His Spirit! There is no doubt in my mind that we will leave that event changed in some way.
I will get back to dancing now, because it is also Friday. T.G.I.F.!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
My girls are not grown up by any means, but I'm thinking again about some things I'd like to do for me one day. As I watch them grow and mature, it's nice for my mind to even have the chance to venture there.
This isn't a bucket list by any means, but it's just a few things I've thought of that I would really like to do, someday when the time is right.
1. I would love to take a photography class. That would, of course, involve me acquiring a camera, so I guess this would need to be a 2 in 1 item.
2. I want to visit art museums. I'm excited to be going to an Andy Warhol exhibit in the near future, and I look forward to doing this more as I get older. I do love art!
3. More concerts!! There are so many musical artists I would love to hear live, and I plan to do so one of these days! (Elton John is near the top of my list, but U2 is at the tip-top!)
4. I want to visit a few big cities. I was hoping to get a chance to see Chicago this year, but it's not looking so good now. I will one day though, and I also want to visit New York. There are a few more American cities on my list, but those are the top two.
5. I will go on a mission trip to another country. Paraguay is a possibility, but if not there, somewhere. I'm hoping at least one of my girls will be a missionary so I can visit wherever they are!
6. I would love to sing on stage once again. I guess I should start where I am for now and let the Lord lead from there. I would love to be involved in another on-stage drama, but who knows?
7. I want to visit a spa, preferably for the weekend, with girlfriends. Wouldn't that be a hoot?
8. I love aquariums, and I would love to visit a really large one, or at least be able to take my time at the one in Atlanta. I enjoyed going there!
9. Wish I could take a pottery class. I wonder if I could make my own vase? (Vaahhhzzzzz)
10. One day, I will go horseback riding on a beach. I've only been horseback riding one time as an adult, and it was kind of stressful, but I can just imagine galloping through the surf with my blond hair blowing in the wind!
There are other things I would love to do as well, but the 10 I've mentioned are pretty simple and basic. My biggest dream as far as travel goes is to someday visit Tokyo. I didn't include it because it's so huge. I also dream of living in a small house on a wooded lot with a lake behind it. I can see that in my future, but it may take a while.
For now, I'll be content where I am and with what I have. I will also treasure every moment I have with my children. I hope to be able to spend more time with my hubby too, because it seems over the last couple of years we've become consumed with life and haven't really enjoyed time together. God has been so gracious to place people in our lives to love us and for us to love. I shall never take for granted this blessing of life.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I don't know if I will ever live in that same level of comfort again. While I do live in peace that God has everything under control, I will never be so naive to think that means "normalcy" each day. I now live my life on the edge a little, knowing that at any moment things can change. 9 years ago helped me never to take a day for granted again.
I had plans to take Mom out to lunch for her birthday on September 10. That's all I had planned. God had other things in the works, and we just had no idea. Things were about to happen that would rattle me to my very core and cause me to this day to become emotional when I allow it to enter my mind. In fact, many times I wonder if it has done some damage deep down inside me, because for a long time I would become physically ill during this time of year without even realizing I was thinking about it. It was THAT huge to me, and to this day it shapes the way I think about everything.
Most people remember September 11, 2001 as a day that changed history. My history began to change on September 10, 2001. My life and the lives of my family would never be the same after that day. I hope I can muster the strength tomorrow to tell you all about it without making myself physically sick.
The only thing that gets me through is knowing that God has a plan in everything that He does. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for the good of those that love God. I sure do love Him, and my faith ensures that He is working daily in my life. Even when an unexpected day comes along, even if it's a huge one, I rest in knowing that He has everything under control.
Friday, September 3, 2010
There is a lot of joy in my home lately, as if it is just oozing out of the walls. It seems to be contagious! Last night, I enjoyed watching my kids dance around in the floor like crazy women, and this was actually my two older girls. We laughed until we cried, literally rolling on the floor holding our stomachs. You know, there is nothing like living out loud. There is just nothing like being able to dance when you want to dance, laugh when you want to laugh, and sing when you want to sing. Even despite occassional circumstances that may make us stop for a moment, the living just gets better and better when we follow the rules above. Obviously, I know that Heaven is a long way from Earth, but if we lived like we are one step closer each day, what a wonderful world it would be.
Today, I wish you JOY! I hope you will dance, laugh, sing, and love, and don't forget to live every day as if you really mean it!
Thursday, September 2, 2010