Posts Tagged ‘hard times’

A couple weeks ago I was blessed and able to snag tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert here so I could add another mother/daughter concert to our list! We went and had a blast! She is quite a performer and puts on an excellent show!

My sweet girl has a beautiful voice – but also has a large dose of stage fright – but totally enjoys the musicality of other gifted artists. And….this momma LOVES watching her watch others do what she loves to do! I love this part of our relationship and the age she is at! We get along….we have fun….we laugh…..

But on this night – we also cried.

For that – I was totally unprepared. You see…..I did not see this one coming. I did not see the need to “brace up” and “be ready” for the emotions to pour down our faces in the form of tears.

But that is exactly what happened.

As we were marveling in the many dress changes and the special effects and wonderful entertainment of the night – Carrie started to sing a song I, quite honestly, had never heard before.

The Bullet.

This song is very much about the loss of a soldier. And I respect that part of it. But some of the lyrics – brought me – and her – very much to our own story.

You see – the part about the limousines driving away – and mommas ain’t supposed to bury their sons – all hit me. And they hit me really hard….

But then…..

Then it happened…..

I looked over and she was crying….sobbing actually. The tears were real and they wouldn’t stop.

You see…..this is just another moment I realized – The Bullet – doesn’t stop.

She wasn’t there to see the limousines. She wasn’t there to see this momma bury her sons. She wasn’t there.

In the song there is a line that says – “The bullet keeps on goin'”. And it has.

It has affected her life since before she took her first breath.

She has never known her three brothers – but she has known about them. She never got to meet them – but she has experienced who they were through stories and pictures. She wasn’t here to experience how the bullets took their lives – but she is here and those same bullets are still goin’……..and affecting her life. She wasn’t here to witness their deaths….but she has grieved them her entire life.

Until she takes her last breath the bullets that took the lives of her brothers will affect her – and her children…….and their children.

The bullets keep on goin’

I wasn’t prepared for this during a fun night out with my daughter. I wasn’t prepared for the reminder of how the bullets tore apart my family and are still tearing us up inside. I wasn’t thinking on this occasion I would need to hold her and reassure her of how we can have the holes from those bullets having pierced our hearts – yet know we can still live and love – and be as whole as possible even though the bullets still sting.

I don’t know what I want to share in this blog. I really don’t. I just know it will never stop.

There will always be someone’s life affected by the bullets who took their lives.

Some of those people are affected in good ways. Some people learn about my boys and the way they died – but also hear of the love they had for Jesus and how that same Jesus carried me through – and they have found hope.

Some who knew the boys – are continuing to live….and I mean…REALLY LIVE their life….because they know their friends can’t.

Some though – like my daughter – their sister – have lingering affects. They have moments when everything should be fine – and it isn’t. Like at a concert – when you should be having the time of your life – and then BAM! You are sobbing because of something – someone – you miss so terribly – but never knew.

But I can also say their story has also strengthened her. She knows what it is to hurt – to lose someone you love…to lose someone you never knew you loved….to lose someone you wish you had known. She knows what it is to comfort – because of all the times she has been comforted. She knows that what you see – isn’t always the whole story in someone’s life.

You see – the bullet never stops goin.

Just like the ripples in the water. Your actions – might not seem too big….but they can keep going….and they can affect people you don’t even know – or realize.

Be cautious sweet friends. Because the bullets don’t stop. They carry on through generations – never stopping – and affecting many more than initially intended.

I want to share the words – because the true meaning for this song – of soldiers never returning home – is beautiful. I don’t want to take anything away from this part of it. But please know – because of our wounds – we reacted in the hurt of our own story – and the way the bullet stole them from us.

The branches on my family tree are forever changed.

BUT – although the bullet keeps on goin’ ……. so does the Love and Grace of Jesus. He has carried me – and will carry the future generations as well.

Much love – ~c

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It’s hard for me to put into words what is going on in my head right now. To say my two worlds are colliding….would be a gross understatement!! I can’t even make sense of it all right now…..all I know…is I’m one big, heaping mess of emotions.

Let me try to explain.

This is the last week of elementary school for my sweet daughter. She is my baby…so this is definitely an emotional time for me. But, the fact her three oldest brothers never experienced this part of life…makes the emotions compound. Cody, my oldest, made it to sixth grade…but never to his sixth grade graduation. Sis has her ceremony next Tuesday. The last day of school is next Wednesday. So we are officially in the last week of our elementary time…..ever. 

I’m so proud of my sweet baby girl. She is simply beautiful….and her heart shines brighter with each passing day. Our conversations amaze me and I love the simplicity of her heart. The innocence she still possesses yet the growth she is experiencing is a blessing to watch! She is maturing…day to day I see changes in her…and she isn’t a baby any more. Although, this morning, while trying to wake her…I tickled her to the point of her crawling into my lap…..where she laid her head on my shoulder…and just let me hold her…and rock her. We stayed there for quite a while…  I relished every second. I asked her if she will still crawl in my lap when she is grown and let me rock her. She said she would….though I don’t think it will happen often. These are moments my heart will forever treasure!! She will always be my baby girl. No matter what.

Then…there is my son. We are actively looking for a vehicle for him to have. He turns sixteen soon and will be driving himself…and his little sister…to school….and everywhere. In the last couple weeks….he has amazed me with some of the paths he is considering for his life. To say I love the times when the two of us talk…just wouldn’t describe the joy this boy brings to my life. He is the rainbow…the promise…the continuation of my parenting a boy through life. At this point….I couldn’t compare him to his brothers…even if I wanted to. But I don’t even try. He is so much his own person. His voice is deep and I love to hear it. His smile is huge….(now that is like his brothers though!!) He is evolving into a young man…with an awesome heart…right in front of me. This will be his last week with his friends at his school before starting his new adventure in school in July. 

His heart though….wow. Let me share.

Like I said, we’ve been searching for cars (trucks) for a bit now. He sends me or tags me pics and stuff he finds quite often…so last week when I received a text with a pic…all I saw was …”What do you think?” and that it had a pic attached. I was in a meeting when I received it so I waited to open it. Thinking it was another truck…I opened it. What I saw…..well……it was a hand-written note. I sat alone in a glass room at the conference table and read. My eyes began to “leak” and then full blown cry. 

A few weeks back…he had asked what Cody’s favorite color was. I told him it was blue. ….. and asked him why. He said just wonderin. Okay……

Fast forward to my text….this is what the hand written note said, with my corrections in ( ).

             “C3 – About 17 years ago (actually it’s over 18 years) my mom was married to another man. Toghether they had 3 sons, Cody, Cory and Caleb ages 12 (11), 10 and 8. The dad (he used his name) had some mental issues. (how else would a child consider why he did what he did?) My mom, Cheli, had divorced him. One day my mom went to my aunt’s Graduation (she was in college…but it wasn’t graduation..just a visit) So the boys went to stay with their dad. On February 22, 1997  he (his name) called Cheli and while on the phone with her he shot and killed Cody, Cory and Caleb . Then a couple seconds later he shot himself. (Actually, he only shot himself while on the phone with me…the boys were already gone.)

               To this day there is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about them. On Saturday, May, 23, 2015…Cody Brian Fox would have been 30 years old. So….to honor him will everyone please wear a blue colored shirt (Cody’s favorite!) and put it on social media with #REMEMBERCODY.

                        PLEASE RETWEET/SHARE THIS.”

Yes…all on his own…he wanted to honor his brother…who he never even got to meet. I can’t begin to express what this did to my heart. Tonight…we’ll be tweaking this a bit and he will put it on his fb and instagram. My mommy’s heart is full and exploding all while it breaks at the same time. 

My daughter is also counting down the days until her brother’s birthday. I’ve taken off work…we’ll be together to celebrate.

Yes…my first born would be 30 this Saturday. Yes…my heart longs for the what would it be like? Where would he be? Who would he be with? Where would he work? Would he have kids? …..all of those things travel through my mind. If I allowed it to go on….I could easily see myself sinking deeper and deeper into a depressed pit. It would be hard to bring me out of it. 

But God, in His all-knowing wisdom…gave me a great family! A husband that loves me in all my crazy moods and spoils me rotten….. A son who let me into his world and understands the complexities of my heart…. A daughter who is my baby and lets me love her and guide her as she grows and teaches me more than she realizes!! They are my focus and help me balance the heart-wrenching feelings I feel….while loving and being a part of their world. They get me. They know how messed up I am…how fragile my emotions are….that sometimes mom needs an extra hug and to just hold them close for a bit longer. They accept my crazy and embrace it. They are what God gave me to help keep me grounded. They….love me. And I love them.

I don’t know how I lucked out on having five gloriously happy….wonderful…caring children!! But wow….as I sit here and watch my two worlds collide…once again…..I’m reminded just how blessed I am. Continually….undeservingly…..blessed. That’s the only way I know to describe it.

So, as I struggle for the next week or so….through this massive collision…..please pray for my family…

And if you think about it…… Please wear blue and #REMEMBERCODY

And…….don’t forget to smile. My children all have the biggest smiles. All of Cody’s friends commented on his smile…after he was gone…they remembered his smile. He was generous with it…always giving. It made others smile…..and there is just something about giving your smile away. So please…share a smile with someone…and remember my sweet boy. All my kids really…..

Much love and thanks…smiles too! 🙂 

enjoy the pics….~c




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Why NOT me???

As this new year begins….and we are all toying with resolutions and wanting more and trying to do better….I really….just decided to try to focus on one word.

God gave me my word for the year….it’s JOY.

Why? Because I’ve come to realize that in the crazy world I’ve been living in this past year…I have been so bogged down in the day to day…mundane must.get.it.all.done mentality…that I hadn’t really been taking the time to enjoy living!

Even after all that God has brought me through…after all the trials and triumphs I’ve walked through….I had forgotten just what it’s all about.

Maybe that is why my word isn’t “happy”. Because I know God didn’t put us on this earth to be happy! But joy….TRUE JOY…..is something we can always have….even through sorrows….even through pain…we can find joy! “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18

So joy is what I’m searching for this year…on a daily…almost moment by moment basis. But in searching…I’ve had to do some soul searching and ask myself why I wasn’t feeling joy……and that is where it got hard.

In answering this question…I’ve come to realize a couple things I need to work on.

1.) I need to make sure my own cup is overflowing before I give so much of myself.

For those of you that don’t understand quite what I mean by that…..it looks like this to me.

I have to be sure that I’ve done enough for myself before I do for others. I am all about doing for others and helping others out….but I also have learned that when I do it on “fumes”…..I get calloused….worn thin…..short with my family and those closest to me……and just plain not so nice to always be around! I have to be sure I’m doing my part for myself….and giving others my overflow….and not taking from myself or my family….

and 2.) I need more faith in God.

This one is H.A.R.D. for this girl to see.

Now…don’t get me wrong! I have a belief in God. I have trust in God.

But…..if I have to be completely honest ……(which dangit…I really think I should be!)…..I have so much more faith that God will do it for everyone else……and not so much me!!

OUCH!!! That hurt to admit! But it’s true. If any of you were to call me with anything you needed….wanted to step out in faith to try….ANYTHING….I would totally believe God will do it for you!! But….for me….I’m still not sure if it’s because I don’t feel worthy….(trust me….I’ve been with me for over 47 years now…and it hasn’t always been good….or even pretty good…)….or if I just don’t think after all that has gone wrong….there can be THAT much good in my life!

So…..in doing all of this I’ve really jumped into scripture and into trying to remedy this situation…..and then one weekend…my preacher preached on…..YOU GUESSED IT……FAITH!!

He talked about how Jesus is either completely amazed by our GREAT faith….or our LACK of faith. And we had to evaluate just where we thought we ranked on a scale of 1-10.

Again…in scoring myself….I’d have to give myself two scores. In faith for others…I’m like an 8 or a 9 even! But …then..when it comes to faith in my own life…..I’m on the 2 or 3 end of the scale.

Why so imbalanced?? I’m not really sure. I mean, a healthy dose of humility isn’t a bad thing…until it strangles you and you feel so unworthy that you don’t believe anything can happen for you and you just.quit.trying. I’ve been there. People..this is hard for me to admit…and it’s been really hard to be this transparent. In doing so…I’m calling myself out! I’m calling myself to action! And this….is going to require a great big faith in a great big God and it will involve Him…..being BIG for me!!!

And you know what……..I started this blog a couple weeks ago…and now…as I finish…I’m proud to say I’m getting better. I’m realizing I’m the one who has to take action…take massive action…in order for Him to achieve what He wants in and through me. So maybe….it hasn’t been my faith in HIM….as much as it’s been my faith in ME!! I’m getting better……

Because really……


Praying for joy….and faith…for each of us! Step up…step out….and JUMP with me! ~c

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I’m sitting here looking at the cursor on the page…not really knowing where to start.

I mean…there are so many wonderful things that have happened in my life over the past two weeks that I want to share with you….. Speaking events, retreats, birthdays, sweet conversations…….but I can’t. You see……first….


Last night I attended church….and one of the points of the message was to BE STILL. To quiet our lives…..our minds….for just five minutes a day. To allow our souls to hear from God.

This morning…I knew that is exactly what I needed to do…to be still…to unplug….to allow my mind to shut down in order to hear God…..not my cluttered, overwhelmed thoughts…..but God. I knew I’d been seeking Him in so many ways recently…..but I just couldn’t figure out my “next step”. I’d seen beautiful and wonderful things happen…but hadn’t been still long enough to listen to Him tell me what the next part was.

This is where my confession comes in…. This is where it gets real.

After speaking at a retreat a couple weeks ago….I have been messaging back and forth with one of the ladies who attended the event. She is a very brave young woman with a story of her own. She had written some parts of her story and read them after I had spoken. Her words were moving, gut-wrenching-yet-beautiful all at the same time. She has sent me messages….encouraging me…..saying she is praying for me….telling me wonderful things about her relationship with Christ and what she feels He wants her to do since hearing me speak. It was at the end of the last note she sent she said she couldn’t believe my dog ate the flash drive with my book on it…and just how long was she going to have to wait to read it!!??!

As I sat…..being still this morning…..not thinking…..not worrying….her note is what came to my mind. It was as if God was speaking to me. It was then that I knew….it doesn’t matter where I work…or what else I do right now….I am supposed to finish the book.

My confession is…..for over 8 years…I’ve sat at a computer screen or with a notebook and pen in hand and tried to put my story to words in paper format. But it hasn’t happened. I haven’t been able to do it.

I have the cover designed…the title…the chapters and the format. I even have sat and written a lot….but have never come close to finishing.

This morning….in my still quiet time…..God showed me why.

You see…..when I speak and share my story…it’s as if you take a small scalpel and make a very tiny incision. It bleeds for a while…stings and hurts….but when I come home…have a cleansing cry with my husband and talk through some feelings….it heals up….without needing stitches or anything. There might be a small scab…but no outward scars appear at all. It’s safe for me. I control what is said, how it is said. The people listening hear the inflection in my voice and know exactly what I mean by the way I say something.

But….to write this book…..instead feels like the scalpel makes an incision that goes from the top of my chest all the way to the bottom. I think, as I go through the memories, I can feel my breastbone being broken open. Then, as the words go onto the page, I can feel them stretching my skin back….exposing my heart. And then….I feel the scalpel open my heart and it bleeds…..and bleeds…and bleeds.

There I am…..fully exposed….hurting….and it honestly…….feels like…


This morning, in my still quiet….this was the picture He gave me. And the tears ….. they just wouldn’t stop. Because I could physically feel it….all of it.

But…..He has now told me in order to move forward in the ministry He has planned for my life…I must trust Him as the Great Physician of my heart. I must write this book and be obedient. I know I’ve said it before….but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Now, I HAVE to.


You see friends…..two weeks ago….I was blessed to be asked to speak at three separate events…..and see what happens when we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and become a vessel for Him to use! I’ve seen it before…but there was something so much more powerful this time that happened. One of my friends said I came back different….I sounded different. And she was right….

I was humbled. I was used. I was His hands and feet and truly saw the power of the comma in someone else’s life! I can’t explain it. There really are no words. I’ve struggled with it…because it feels like I’m promoting myself and my story. But He has shown me those are thoughts from the enemy.

Yes….everyone has a story and there are many stories that would bless others. But He gave me MY story. He gave me a heart to share and teach others. He is asking me to move forward…to trust Him….to allow Him to fulfill the rest of His story through my story. He can do it without me……but I want to allow Him to use me…..to help teach others of His love…and the truth of who He says we are!

So…that is my confession….and my prayer request. I haven’t been able to accomplish what He has asked of me….and I need prayer to move forward and complete it. I hate asking for prayer. I’m a giver…it is hard for me to ask…..and hard to receive. But…that is part of my humbling. I do need prayer…I do need encouragement. I do need the accountability.

IMG_0265.PNG Matthew 6:34

I pray that opening myself up like this is going to help put me where I need to be. I’m just being real…..#mystruggles.

I truly love and appreciate you all…..more than you know…more than I can express.

I’ll be praying blessings over you as well….
much love ~c

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