Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Didn’t Deserve That

I’ve spent a lot of time pretending to hate turning another year older; using it for joking purposes, but today my birthday was taken to a new level; a level I didn’t expect.

I have to say, I am overly blessed to live the life I do. I could name all of the blessings in my life like a laundry list, but I’m serious when I say that I fully comprehend how God has been more than good to me. I really don’t deserve the moments I have gotten to experience. I don’t have a journalism degree but had the opportunity to work as a journalist for almost 8 years. I don’t have a broadcasting degree but continue to work as a co-host of a morning radio show in the town I adore.

Out of these two positions have developed multiple relationships that I treasure. A plethora of education and knowledge of “how things work” ranging from politics to sewer systems. Opportunities have abounded for me from these platforms, but today I didn’t deserve what I got.

There’s a family in our small community. They are known by just about every person who has spent time in our town. They have no idea that they are so widely known…they just go about their daily lives as usual.

They are special to us in this small town because they are a family who have spent their lives living with disabilities that present its fair share of challenges. I watch Richard, the brother, walking through town on a daily basis pulling his cart behind him as he seeks cheap items at the flea market or yard sales, in hopes of turning a profit by selling on our morning Tradio show. This is a means of income for him, as I learned today.

His two sisters come to my church often and always greet me with a childlike love that is so sweet and innocent – purest to its core. They know me from the radio.

I recently visited with them at the funeral home when their mother passed away. I wanted to pay my respects and let them know their church body cared.

Today as we were celebrating my birthday on-air Richard was listening.

About an hour or more later I was at the dealership -my full time job - when my co-host Mark called me to alert me that Richard had walked to the radio station to hand deliver me a present.

I quickly grabbed my coat and made my way back to the station to accept my gift and see Richard.

After a few pictures were made, he showed me my gift of a novelty shelf with various Nativity pieces to display on it.  I realized this man took time out of his day to not only find something he owned that he found worthy to give me, but used his day to walk approximately 3 miles to hand it to me and say, “Happy Birthday.”

When most of us are in a such hurry to get from work to school to gym to grocery to ballgame to the next and the next and the next, leaving not enough time to stop and love the people around us properly, this person found me worthy enough of his time and possessions to present them to me. Overcoming the challenge of not being able to drive, not physically in great health, and not able to purchase anything elaborate…his heart’s desire was to give me something of his.

I don’t deserve that.

I’m not worthy of that.

I wish I could say that I was the same kind of person. The kind of person that would use what I had to make someone else feel their worth.

I told you earlier that Richard and his sisters have lived with disabilities, but today what I realized is their disability is really a blessing in some ways. To be able to love with a childlike heart, to not be caught up in the rat race of this world, to be shielded from the complex issues that consume our news channels. I can’t imagine being able to have such simplistic love.

When I took him home this morning he kept thanking me for spending time with them at the funeral home. He kept saying he enjoyed listening to us in the mornings. When he went to tell me good-bye, he bowed before me like a true gentleman.

My heart gushes. I cried with such deep emotion all the way back to the dealership.

The real gift Richard gave me today was the insight of taking time for a person.

Life is very simple…respect people. For all, no matter our mental capacity, can understand love and respect.

In other Birthday Business:

I received a lot of love today that just makes me blush due to the feeling of unworthiness and yet sheer thankfulness.

The morning got started with bathroom mirror love…that’s right, my baby does it right!

And then a love note on my dressing table.

All three babies found momma and gave big hugs without me having to ask for them this morning…

My co-worker Todd started off the morning with a big ole Happy Birthday and vending machine cupcakes! Best .75cents he spent today!

My radio ranchers did breakfast RIGHT!

And followed up with ice cream cake! Whaaattt??

My manager at the dealership sliced Heaven and put into a cardboard container…it’s called Arby’s!
My mother-in-law is faithful to send us all birthday cards, but the best gift was her good report at the doctors today. 

And I ended my night on a date with Uncle Ben!

Got home to a sweet little ensemble from my neighbor sister.

I had lots of facebook/email/text love today; one of the many reasons why I love social media.

The husband is still working…he says I have a surprise this weekend….

I embrace 38! However, you can keep 39…I’m not going.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eve of Old

I realized at 9:00 p.m. this evening that not once today has my husband laid eyes on me…

This really isn’t notable except for TODAY!

Today is the eve of my birthday…this is the last day of me being 37…I left the house this morning before he was awake and due to busy schedules we didn’t partake in our daily lunch date. He has a long night ahead of him and I will be asleep when he gets home.

This is of concern because I’m pretty sure I’m going to wake-up looking like a shriveled prune…at least that’s how I feel as I am about to turn 38.

On this last day of 37, I stand embracing these last few hours of an age I dreaded this day last year. On a great note I got this in the mail today:

Notice the side note that this is Sharon Stone at age 56 “& Hotter Than Ever!!”

This glimmer of hope has me hoping I wake up 56, a blonde, and draped in fishnet! Because this is good look… :/

I did decide to treat myself to dinner in bed:

I helped the Middle Girl study for a test, and now I’m hoping I didn’t do more harm than good.

Well, I’m headed to bed…If I don’t wake up 56-year-old Sharon Stone tomorrow…I’m sorry. The alternative is not that good.

In other Thomas Family business:

My niece and I both celebrated our birthdays at my mom’s this week.  Chicken-N-Dumplins' are all of our favorite, and we even got a homemade cake by mamaw.

This sweetness drags her finger through EVERY cake she comes across - it's her signature move, if you will.

After slices were served to everyone, even her, she wanted to remove all of the white dots on the edge and eat them.  

She tried a fork after the finger technique failed her.

But in the end the obvious maneuver was chosen. 

She also scored this little ditty:

I got a fruit bowl...

I was secretly hoping to get a matching suit.

In my sister’s defense, I requested the fruit bowl at Christmas.

(Tomorrow is my birthday, therefore, it's not too late for you to buy me the matching cowgirl suit!)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Had To Buy A Prom Dress...For Me

The night before, I drug the Middle Girl and my pastors daughter out-of-town to find me a prom dress! 

No, I'm not going to prom but to my churches Winter Ball Valentines Banquet. This year was a formal event!  

See the creepers over my shoulder?  Thrilled to be with me. 

At one point, I had successfully pulled a too small dress over my head and onto my body, but taking it off was not as easy. My arms were straight over my head with the dress - at it's tightest point - across my face and pressed against my nose. The girls were MIA and I was about 3 seconds from declaring this was the rest of my life when it rolled itself up my arms like a rubber band that snapped loose. 

We finally found one that fit, was age appropriate and cost efficient...$54.05!  Go Prom Team! (JCPenney)
This banquet is for married couples only and is one of many reasons why I love my church family.  We celebrate married couples!  
Kudos to fellow church member Brad Mudd, owner of Designs by Brad - find on Facebook - for the amazing atmosphere he creates for us each year!!  

I got to spend some much needed time with my best friends.  
This is how cool God is:

Several years ago I found myself parting ways with a group of friends and I remember saying to someone that I missed my childhood/teenage friends. That I wished they were back in my life.  Fast forward a few years and I look around and see my life with Christ and I see myself in church with all of those people I had on my mind that day.  And even better, He has added to me some of the best, new friends my heart could desire. 

But my favorite moment of the night was this:
That's my husbands hand wrapped around my arm as our speaker was talking about the gift of marriage. 18-years of marriage later and I love these little gestures more now than ever.  

Our speakers, Pastor Kevin McKnight and his wife, Robin from World Evangel, made some great points for couples. Pray. Everyday for yourself, your spouse and children. Show you care everyday, and dare to be different from the world.  

I won the group game!  Won a candle!  That's how we roll!  

In other Thomas Family business:

The kids went bowling as we were gone. This excites me because the Eldest Girl and the Boyfriend took the two youngsters, and paid their way!  Yay. This speaks volumes to me on so many levels. 

The husband using my camera. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Allow Me To Introduce Myself

I was standing by the stove as the boy was across the kitchen holding the newspaper as wide as his arms would stretch. His eyes bright as they scrolled across the pages full of sports pictures and various other stories. With awesome wonder he says, "Wonder what it's like to be one of those news reporter people who gets to pick what makes a good news story? Bet that's a cool job!"

I just glared at him as I could feel his father doing the same.

"Ask your mom," said the dad.

The boy just looked at me and said, "why?"

"Oh wait! Is that what you did at K105," he asked.

Not sure if I should laugh or cry, but I'm still just glaring at him as my mind is recalling the hundreds of times he accompanied me to meetings and various events.

Even last night on the way home from church he said, "I miss you working at the radio station and taking us with you to all that stuff."

Excuse me while I go upstairs and introduce myself to my son...

Hello, I'm your mother and until recently, I spent the last eight years working as a news reporter for your local radio station.