Friday, May 31, 2013

Wimpy Females

I'm not a fan of wimpy females.

I'm sure God knew that.

Which explains why He didn't allow me to be born in a different generation.

When women were not encouraged to go to college.

Or allowed to vote.

Or work outside the home.

I'm pretty sure I would have rebelled against that.

I grew up in a very traditional home.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom.

Married at 18.

Dedicated to raising her four children.

I was the only girl with......three brothers.

Scott, Greg & Shawn.

I grew up right in the middle (one older - two younger).

And......I got no special treatment.

On any given weekend, there was usually a football game in our front yard.

I fought with my brothers.

(and quickly learned who would punch back and who wouldn't.)

My brother, Scott......did.

I rode motorcycles with them.

I played football with them.

I rode go carts with them.

I killed them at leg wrestling.

Yes!  killed them at Indian leg wrestling!

They were 200 lb football players in high school....

and I could flip them on their head ALL day long!

Still a touchy subject today.   (smile.)

My brother's friends were my friends.

And I generally wasn't impressed......with guys as a whole.

After all......they were like my brothers.

Enough said.

At our house.

Unless you were bleeding.....a lot......whining was not tolerated.

I come from a family where casts on your arm or leg were usually cut off and discarded.

Not by the doctor, but by the one wearing it.

My dad and my brothers routinely "out ran" the law.

Highway patrolmen, that is.

Yes, they did.

On the country road where I grew up.

and I thought that was....... normal.

Growing up, my dad never knew what to do with me.

So he didn't.    Raise me any differently, that is.

The first time he put me on a horse.

He put me on the tallest horse around.

And sent me down a winding, steep trail.....alone.

When he "taught" me how to swim in the river.

He picked me up and tossed me into the deep end.

I'm sure he would have tried to save me if I didn't come back up.

At least, I think he would have.

Oh.....and when I learned to drive a car.

He sent me to the top of Caesar's Head mountain.

In a manual transmission VW.

Yeah, I got no special treatment.

It's no wonder.

That I'm not a fan of wimpy females.

I first notice them flocking around my brothers.

ooohhing and awwhhhing over them in middle school & high school.

Silly.   Flirty.   Prissy girls.


I had no respect for them.

They were wimpy to me.

Without backbone or grit.

I laugh at that now, but I'm not all that different today.

I admire strength and courage in women.

I relate to women with a streak of independence.

A woman who can change a tire.

and knows how to check the oil in her car.

I like a woman who can speak intelligently about football.

And baseball.

Who knows the difference between a third down conversion.

And a triple play.

A woman who's not afraid to break a sweat at the gym.

And can actually go out in public without makeup.

I appreciate a woman who refuses to cry and plead when pulled over for a ticket.

Who speaks up and stands up for herself.

I admire a woman who can eat alone at a restaurant.

And can get a fire started at a campsite.

Who loves to shop at Lowe's.

And knows how to shoot a gun.

And is not afraid to hold a snake.

I like a woman who can drive a pick up truck.

And carry her own luggage.

Yeah.    It's no wonder I turned out this way.

No wonder at all.

It's a tough world to be a woman.

We do have to have guts.

To raise our children.

And pray big prayers over them.

To love our husbands and grow in our marriages.

To many demands and responsibilities.

This life is not for wimps.

Especially if you're a woman.

Because God does have something planned for you.

And me.

And whatever He has planned.

It will take guts.

And it will take courage.

And a little "woman up" attitude may be required.

And wimpy females?



I haven't changed my mind.

(L-R)  Youngest brother, Shawn, Me, Dad, Oldest brother Scott & Middle Brother, Greg.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cancer & Me

My phone rang seven years ago this month.

And things changed.

"You have a soft tissue tumor.
We think it might be a rare sarcoma.
There's only 700 cases diagnosed every year in the U.S & Europe.
We'll know for sure after surgery..."

I was stunned.  

At 46, it was not what I expected.

Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma.  

I can say with certainty.

It changed the direction of my life forever.

There was my life before cancer.


There is my life after cancer.

And the "before" and "after" don't resemble a whole lot.

Before cancer, my life was very small in comparison.

Small because I worked very hard to manage the risks out of it.

And a risk-free life brings its own consequences.

I depended on myself.

I made my own decisions.

I guided my own path.

I valued my independence.

And I honestly believed the lie that I had control.

Over my life.

My career.

My circumstances.

My future.

But, cancer came.

And the breaking process was officially underway.

That's what I call it.

Cancer has broken me of many things.

None, very pretty.





I have no problem now admitting.

It was one of the most important things that ever happened to me.

And while it may sound strange to say.

It was a gift to me.

I know it can be very different for others.

I know that's true for many.

But for me.
Seven years later.

I know now.
It was just the starting place.

Of living the life Jesus always wanted for me.






Dependent on Him.

Now, I'm taking each day.

And while I know I don't always get it right.

And many times I feel that temptation to "waller" (as we say where I come from.)

With control again.

For the most part.

I'm leaning in on Jesus.

I'm depending on Him.

I'm trusting Him.

With my future.

With my check-ups.

With my yearly scans and chest x-rays that watch for it's return.

With the ridiculous control I always thought I had.

It's so interesting to me.

That this person.


Who had such an issue with control.

Ended up with a cancer with a strong tendency to recur.

Often and typically years after the diagnosis.

So, it's always "out there."

And because it's always "out there."

That uncertainty.

I have to let it be.

and let it go.

And trust Him with it.

I can't get too comfortable.

Or too self-reliant.

And I really don't mind.

Not now, anyway.

I'm walking forward and celebrating this year's anniversary.

Seven years.

Cancer & me.

"But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying "You are my God!"  My future is in your hands. 
Psalm 31: 14-15.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Boundaries of Today

I'm learning a hard concept.

Living in today.

For as long as I can remember,

I've been taught.



to focus on what's ahead.

The future.

What's coming up on my calendar.

Or what I need to accomplish by the end of the year.

The plans for a trip in a few months.

Or wondering what my life will look like.

This summer.

Now that my youngest is home from college.

Planning for the future.

Saving up for a rainy day.

At work, it might be establishing a 5 year plan.

Or worse yet, a 10 year plan.

Not terrible things necessarily.


It's still the practice of always looking.

Down the road.

And focusing much less.

At least I do.

On what's going on today.

Where my faith is concerned.

God wants relationship with me in today.

"You must discipline yourself 
to live within 
the boundaries 
of today.
It is in 
the present moment 

close to you..."  *

And while I believe He's in my future.

The relationship He wants with me.

 It's in today.

When I'm really focusing on today.

Not tomorrow's meeting.

Or what's coming up later in the week.

Just today.

I notice more things.

I pay more attention to the people around me.

And to the circumstances that come my way.

I'm more focused on my moments.

And noticing how He's at work around me.

It's a change in thinking for me.

the boundaries.

of today.

* Sarah Young, "Jesus Calling"     

Artwork is "Facing the Sun" by Jimmy Lawlor