Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Time To Be Happy

Today marked the three year anniversary of my Father's death.

For the past two years we have gone to my Aunt's and visited the cemetery. Today we didn't.
Today we celebrated Trey. It is his last birthday before going off to the Marine Corps and so a bunch of our friends met at Taco Mac for lunch, went to a movie AND went bowling! (All out!)

It's not that I didn't think of my Dad during the day...I did. But I think of him most days. Three years later and I still think of him daily. With Trey getting ready to leave, it's even harder. I want to call my Dad and let him brag or listen to me brag...or listen to me cry!

But today was for the living. Today was celebration. And we can do that while still remembering those that have left us.

Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Little Acts of Kindness

Trey turned 19 on Friday and we've basically been celebrating all weekend. Birthdays are a big thing, we celebrate them well. And since we are all celebrating Trey's birthday knowing he might not be home for his next birthday (although, since he got infantry, he'll probably be in California so it's not like he'll be suffering!), we are spoiling him a little more. So we've eaten out with friends, seen two movies and went bowling.

Here is some advice for you young men out there...just, learn from this wisdom I'm about the throw down for you...

If you are about to go into the military, maybe not...just maybe...take your mother and your sister to see a war movie! In this case, American Sniper. (Which by the way, wasn't at all what I expected and was a very good move.) Because-and this may surprise you-your mother and your sister might get a little emotional after the movie.

I say "might" but let's say "will"
We will definitely get emotional. And we will be in the theatre sobbing. And in the bathroom, sobbing.

Have you guys ever been in a public restroom crying? either...except for that one time. After watching American Sniper.

So today. Today I was in a public bathroom, hugging my daughter and we were crying.

And some girl who is not that much older than Embree walks in, takes one look at us and asks "Did you guys see American Sniper?" I nod yes and then tell her "It's my son's birthday. He ships out for Parris Island in May" And this young girl lets out a big ol' "Awwww" and stretches out her arms and gives Bree and I a hug. So crying and group hugs with random strangers in public bathrooms. It's a thing.

You know, its no small thing to invite yourself into someone else's pain. To not just give an awkward smile as you sort of creep by them to the stall as far away as possible. To invite yourself in and give what little you can. In this case, a hug.

It was a big deal to me that she was willing. I love the fact we can accomplish so much in such small ways. And I think that in this environment, with so much going on, that we could make significant paths to reconciliation if we were willing to invite ourselves in the pain of others and do the little things we can to tell people "you are not alone" or "How can I help?" We don't have to understand the pain to be with someone through the pain. Little acts of kindness just make it so much easier to walk through it.