Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Brother

Dear Brother Bear,
Today, you are 8 years old and when we sang Happy Birthday to you in the car this morning I got tears in my eyes because you are growing up so fast!  It won’t be long and you will be as tall as I am.  We had your birthday Saturday and all of your friends came and it was such a great party.  I am so proud of you.  You are such a handsome young man with a kind heart.  You and your sister couldn’t be any more different.  You are way more reserved than she is which means, you are sneakier!  You have done so well this year at your new school.  You have only got your name on the board a couple times and your grades are good.  Your teacher even said you are a joy to have in class!  You enjoy reading the Bible by yourself and listening to me read it to you.  You always say your prayers at night when we pray together as a family.  You are about to start basketball at the youth center and I cannot wait to watch you play.  You are really starting to like basketball which warms your dad’s athletic heart!  You are already talking about what kind of cell phone you want when we allow you to have one and you have even told us what kind of truck you want when you turn 16 (SLOW down bucko!).  I hope you enjoy your childhood and don’t try to grow up too fast.  It’s already going too fast for me.  Everyone told me when I was pregnant with you not to blink because I would miss something and they were right.  I have enjoyed watching you grow and change over the past 8 years and while it makes me sad that you are already 8, I know I will continue to enjoy watching you over the years to come!  Until then, here are some things that come to mind when I think about the years that have flow by:
·         You HATED the full size swing, but you loved the portable one.  I loved watching you sleep so peacefully in it. 
·         You pooped on Nana in Wal-Mart when you were just a few months old.  She hid in the bathroom with you while I went and bought her a new shirt.
·         When you were about 6 months old your dad decided to let you taste a lemon from his water.  You made the worst little sour face I had ever seen and your dad barely made it out of the restaurant alive!
·         The first time we took you on vacation was to Panama City Beach and you love the sand so much we couldn’t make you take a nap during the day!
·         Last year was the first year you played basketball.  I just loved watching you improve with every game.  You did push another boy down and admittedly, I laughed, but then explained why you can’t do that!
A lot has happened in 8 years!  So much that I can’t list everything because there’s just not enough time or room in this one post.  I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday and let you know how truly blessed dad and I are to have a son like you!  I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


So, I gave the bum at Wal-Mart $10 yesterday.  Hubs and I decided we need to crack back down and stop eating out so much so I decided that I would get a cheap meal off the famous $1 menu at Mickey Dees.  As I’m pulling in I see him there on the corner by the stop light and I think, eh, I don’t have any cash anyway.  I’m off the hook.  I pulled into McDonald’s and ordered my side salad and daily double which by the way was atrocious.  The lettuce was slimy but that’s neither here nor there.  As I am pulling out, I see him again.  And I again justify not giving him any money because I don’t have any.  I even double checked to see if I had just a dollar that I didn’t know about and no, nothing.  Suddenly, my heart just broke for him.  The thought did cross my mind that this guy could be a professional bum and make more money begging than I do working an honest job but that thought was quickly replaced with a command.  “Go to the ATM, get $10 and give unselfishly to this man who has been reduced to begging at the Wal-Mart street corner.”  It was clear and I knew immediately who was speaking to me.  I mulled it over in my mind as I was driving to the ATM.  What if he buys drugs with it?  What if he is a fraud?  What if he was a father who begs by himself to save his wife and kids from the embarrassment?  What if he had a good job and lost it like so many?  What if, what if….?  The directive was clear and it was so strong that I couldn’t deny it.  I worried about how I would give him the money.  After all, he was standing on the wrong side so the driver would have to hand the money across the car and out the passenger window.  I wondered if I would have time to ask him his name.  I didn’t.  I pulled up to him, rolled down the window and he reached in and grabbed the money.  This was his reply, “Thanks, dude, God bless you.”  Dude?   Really?  I guess I was driving my husband’s truck which is a “man truck”.  It was liberating.  I just knew I had passed “the test”.  I prayed all the way back to work that he would spend the money on food or some other need and not drugs or smokes.  I prayed for his well being and that he would find a job so that he could get off that corner.  I could worry about whether or not I just contributed to the meth trade in this area, but I choose not to.  I know I was a blessing to that man and when I looked at him, I realized, I’m not better, just blessed enough to have a great job.  It’s not my place to judge, just to love unselfishly just like my Father loves me.