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Fear Not: The Reluctant Recruit

6 Sep

I never dreamt I would end up in the Military, let alone the Air Force.  When the Lord opened that door and shoved me through it, kicking and screaming I might add, I still thought at the back of my mind that after all those trips to the recruiter’s office, the two trips to MEPS, and the final weigh-in before I went to MEPS to ship off to Basic that He would throw something into the mix letting me off the hook.

He did not.

I will never forget the night before I left for MEPS- my last night at the only home I had ever known.  I realized I would never return and find it the same.  I realized the step I was about to take was going to send me over a cliff, and I either had to learn real fast how to trust in Him, or I was going to drown for six years.  I slept very little that night.

Then the short night at MEPS where I was loaded onto a bus, taken to the airport, and flown to San Antonio.  The longest short night of my life.  I was so riddled with fear.  I knew I was not cut out for Military life.  I knew that I was going to fail.  I was not in shape, despite my skinny frame.  I could barely run up a flight of stairs without feeling like I would collapse from shortness of breath and weak muscles.  I knew I was not up to being yelled at.  After years of being yelled at, I had never gotten used to it, and it always reduced me to tears- to know that for six and a half weeks, someone was paid to yell at my every mistake had me quaking inside.

When we got off the plane in San Antonio and waited for the buses that were to take us to Lackland AFB, I remember sitting in a darkened hallway in the airport surrounded by other recuits.  Few of us spoke.  Whether or not they shared my fears and insecurities or were simply exhausted, I will never know.  I remember being too wound up and anxious, the fear a tight not in the pit of my stomach that threatened to reveal itself physically.  I swallowed hard every couple of minutes to keep down the bile.

Suddenly, the TI send to fetch us stood at the end of the hallway.  All I could see was his silhouette.  A tall, stocky man with the recognizable TI hat.  As he yelled at us to gather our gear and prepare to follow him, my fear threatened to overwhelm me.  I looked at him and I looked behind me at the empty hallway stretching back to the airport.  I stared long and hard behind me.  How bad would it be to simply step out of line and return to the life I knew?  How severe would the consequences be really for walking away from my “signed contract.”  I knew I didn’t belong there.  Soon enough they would know too.  So why stay?  Why put myself through hell?

“Because,” the still small voice spoke.  As the TI moved down the line taking roll, I battled with my God.

“Why?” I pleaded as I noticed the TI getting closer.  Somehow, I knew once he got my name and verified it on his list, there would be no escape.

“Trust me,” the still small voice spoke again deep in my heart.

“It’s too much, too hard… Oh, God!  WHY?”   Panic hit me hard as the TI was only a couple people away from me.

“FEAR NOT!” said the voice sternly in such a way I was sure the girl in line in front of me heard it too, though maybe she just turned to look at me as I caught my breath and fought the urge to throw up.

“Fear not,” the voice said again more gently as the TI was suddenly standing in front of me.

“Fear not,” the voice whispered as I stared at the ground and gave the TI my name and waited for him to find my name on his list.

“Fear not,” the voice repeated to me over and over during the first week of Basic Training.  But that moment in the hallway, in the darkness, in the midst of my fear and anxiety, that still small voice somehow kept me rooted and helped me jump off that terrifying cliff into a whole new world, new life, new adventure- all things that changed my life in ways I never dreamed.

I look back now and realize His Hand at work.  I look at my Military family, the lessons I have learned, the people I have met, the friends who have become more like family, the DH who I met while serving, our resulting family, and most of all the closer relationship I have with my Lord (imperfect as it is), and I see a piece of the tapestry He has spun for me.

I will never forget that fearful period, or that terrifying moment in San Antonio.  It was life changing- it should not be forgotten.

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This post has been part of the Blogtember Challenge started by Jenni.
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If you liked this post, or any others you read while visiting A God-Blessed Life, please let me know by clicking on the “Top Mommy Blogs” button in the right column.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment sharing your thoughts or sharing your blog!
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Words of Wisdom

5 Sep
Words of wisdom…  Everybody has some these days, right?  We see snippets, quotes, blurbs, verses, lyrics, etc plastered on our Facebook walls, on Pinterest, and shared via Twitter.
What’s the big deal?  Why do we cling to words of wisdom from others?  Why do we store away advice given sometimes, and completely dismiss it other times?  Where do we seek our advice?  Why do we seek advice from those people or sources?
Have you ever wondered?
I am always seeking advice from others.  Partly due to my own insecurities, I seek advice regarding issues that I feel I do not know enough about to do well on my own.  This means I ask for advice A LOT!  Oh, yes…  (Though its typically via FB because I have developed a love-hate relationship with my phone… LOL)   Anyway, today’s challenge for Blogtember is to share some advice or words of wisdom that I have been given that has actually been useful and that I still follow today.
When I think about all the advice I have been given over the years, both asked for and unasked for, I have a whole lot to choose from.  However, there was some advice, not given to me directly, but given by way of lyrics in a song.  I heard it for the first time in high school.  Back when my faith was an easy thing.  Reading the Bible was easy cause I had so little else that I was responsible for.  I had all the time in the world.  Being a “good” Christian was easy because I was too afraid of being “bad.”  Still, as I was staring my future as an adult in the face, preparing to put my school days behind me, this song stuck out to me, became a mantra when peer pressure sought to overwhelm me, and carried me through when I could not seem to call my favorite Bible verses to mind.
The song is called “Dare To Be Different” by a Christian group called DeGarmo and Key.  The entire song is beautifully written, but while I cannot remember the lyrics from the entire song, I can remember the chorus:

 We dare to be different,  Dare to be called strange, Dare to be different, and the Cross you wear should mean you’ve truly changed.

I have lived that chorus.  I strive to keep living that chorus.  Just because I am a member of this world, does not mean I have to be caught up in the pressures of the world.  Striving to be different, to be Christlike, to be a better person, I think I have been more aware of glitches in mainstream thinking that others just accept.  I think striving to be different has helped me stay motivated in my faith…. cause when all else fails, that chorus starts playing in my mind, even though I have not heard to song in years… 
What words of wisdom or advice have you been given that you have kept in mind in your life?
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This post has been part of the Blogtember Challenge started by Jenni.
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If you liked this post, or any others you read while visiting A God-Blessed Life, please let me know by clicking on the “Top Mommy Blogs” button in the right column.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment sharing your thoughts or sharing your blog!
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Three Month Hiatus

4 Sep

So I decided I am done.  I have gotten bored, fed up, frustrated, and just plain tired of the daily grind.  So.  I am taking three months and doing what I want to do.  Just me, myself, and I.  I figure it is well past time where I do what I wanna do the way I wanna do it and to heck with everyone else!

Ya wanna know what I am going to do?

I am going to spend a week or two to do absolutely nothing!  Well, okay, not nothing.  I am going to grab my Kindle, keep the cocoa flowing, and catch up on all MY reading.  Reading just for the heck of it.  No reading for reviews.  No reading for editing.  Nope.  Reading for the plain ole fun of it!  I figure, in two weeks time, I should be able to knock out at least four or five books that I have been waiting to read.  However, there will be NO cooking.  NO cleaning.  NO laundry.  NO carpooling.  NO errands.  Nope.  Nada.  😛

I am going to pack up my car, and I am going road tripping.  I am taking my laptop (no work allowed), my camera, my phone, my Bible, and my Kindle. The road trip will take around three months, because I have quite a few people I need and want to see.  From here, I think I am going head to Colorado Springs to see family that I never see enough.  From there, head down to Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico to drop in (uninvited- because its MY three months- and I can.. LOL) on friends who I love and miss.  From there, I would head east into Texas to visit family stretching from El Paso, to San Antonio, to Fort Worth.  That should take a hefty amount of time, I think.  From Texas, I would head to Florida where I would pick up my Sister, kidnap if need be, and drag her butt with me to Ohio and Indiana to see my other Sisters and my best friend.

All along those visits with family and friends, I would have to stop by National Parks, and State Parks, and National Monuments.  As much as I have seen of our great nation, I have not seen nearly enough. 

At the end of the three months, I fully intend to have an additional thousand or so pictures to edit and share with everyone.

Yeah… Right…  Honestly, I am doing just fine where I am.  Yes, there are books on my Kindle waiting to be read or reread.  Yes, there are family and friends scattered across the country that I really need to see again, and WANT to see again.  Yes, I am chomping at the bit to visit every single park I can get to.  Yes, I get caught up in the daily grind and daydream OUR next vacation or family visit.  (I don’t travel alone anymore…LOL… and I am completely fine with that!)

However, life is pretty crazy busy in a completely awesome way right now.  I am loving life, with all of God’s incredible blessings, despite the struggles.  If I could just up and go for three months, then you better believe, the three month hiatus I described above would be the way I go.  But I can’t, so I won’t…   LOL

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This post has been part of the Blogtember Challenge started by Jenni.
 
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If you liked this post, or any others you read while visiting A God-Blessed Life, please let me know by clicking on the “Top Mommy Blogs” button in the right column.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment sharing your thoughts or sharing your blog!
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Where I Come From

3 Sep

The title above reminded me of the following song.  Listen close to the lyrics… 

I come from a small town in Ohio.  From there I moved to a small town in Florida.  Big cities scare me.  I don’t like the crush of people.  I don’t like the city rush, the city mentality of doing whatever it takes to get ahead.
I come from a small town.  I have missed living in a small town, but now that I am getting older, even a small town is too big.  I loved being able to at least recognize every person I ran into.  I loved watching high school sports, even as a private school student, and know each player’s name, each cheerleader cheering her heart out for the small town team.  I loved passing people in the road and they all wave, cause if they don’t know you personally, you might need each other down the road.  I loved the small town churches where you knew every member of the congregation by name, where Jesus might be taken for granted, but we all knew His name.
I come from a small town.  I love small town courtesy- you take care of each other- even if it means you get zip in return.I love big trucks, baseball caps, cowboy hats, boots and jeans, wildlife grazing on the sides of the roads, the smell of fresh turned dirt, the smell of cows and horses and chickens.  Special to my home of 11+ years was the smell of the paper mill and chemical plant, and the smoke and steam from the stacks that towered over everything and could be seen from miles away.  Unique to my hometown was the sunrises or sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, the smell of the salt water and all it washed up on the beaches, the captivating beauty of the dolphins playing just past the waves.
I come from a small town.  Even though that particular small town is no longer home to me- I have changed too much to ever go back for more than a visit- my heart longs for the small town atmosphere.  My heart cries out to know my community.  My soul longs to leave city lights and trade them in for stars and moonlight.  I anxiously await the day I can open my house windows and hear birds, trees, breezes, and children playing without the sounds of city life- traffic, horns, sirens, etc.  I can hardly wait to smell dirt, farmland, grass, rain on soil, and livestock.
Yeah… I come from a small town.  Its not for everyone that’s for sure.  But for this chick- its as big a place as I ever want to be ever again.
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This post has been part of the Blogtember Challenge started by Jenni.
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If you liked this post, or any others you read while visiting A God-Blessed Life, please let me know by clicking on the “Top Mommy Blogs” button in the right column.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment sharing your thoughts or sharing your blog!
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The Blogtember Challenge ~ Are you in?

2 Sep

Saw this on a fellow blogger’s page…  Viewed the list of topics/challenges and just had to join in.

The topics are as follow:
Tuesday, Sept. 3: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.
Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? (bonus points for fun photos from Pinterest, but don’t forget to cite the source!)
Thursday, September 5: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.
Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.
[BREATHE-Enjoy your family-Count your blessings!]
Monday, September 9: Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account – click “click to view” under “You” and “self awareness and personal growth.” You can even google your type and find more info on it!)
Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.
Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
Friday, September 13: A self portrait
[BREATHE-Enjoy your family-Count your blessings!]
Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be romantic.)
Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.
Wednesday, September 18: Only photos
Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!
Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.
[BREATHE-Enjoy your family-Count your blessings!]
Monday, September 23: A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!
Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.
Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up – a mistake you made.
Thursday, September 26: Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you’d like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop. (I recommend downloading Ommwriter and bringing headphones along!) *if you can’t make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new.
Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you’d like. (but don’t include people’s real names.)
[BREATHE-Enjoy your family-Count your blessings!]
Monday, September 30: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it’s special.
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If you liked this post, or any others you read while visiting A God-Blessed Life, please let me know by clicking on the “Top Mommy Blogs” button in the right column.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment sharing your thoughts or sharing your blog!
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A God-blessed Life

His blessings abound, no matter where He sends us.