The beginning chapters– Drops of blood

You have to check out http://www.lynzrealcooking.com if you haven’t already done so. Whew! Her personal stories will have you ready to buy the rights to her life story and sell it to Hollywood. Not to mention her beautiful food recipes and photos. Check her out!

lynz real cooking

Outside temperatures in Riyadh dipped down, making life inside the villa bearable. The door stood ajar and the brown plastic window remained cracked, both bringing a much needed breeze but also giving another point of entry for lizards and cockroaches. After six weeks in Saudi, life had improved dramatically but it still seemed we were living a make shift existence, one that I assumed had been left behind in Seattle. See See and Foof ran around the villa playing made up games, bed pads were stacked to make forts and reinforced with pillows and blankets. The older boys attended Arabic school, struggling with the language and behavior of both students and teachers. I walked down the street to pick them up at the end of each day, listening to stories that fueled my frustration and posed the question, “why had we come to this place?” Contractions came and went as I…

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

Yep, we say “Happy Resurrection Day” to all to remind you that He has risen. There was no greater sacrifice than Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. It may seem small to some now, but trust me when I say it is not. I am reminded everyday of this sacrifice and how awesome it is to have a God that would send his child to die for my sins.

When you take the time to remember the ultimate sacrifice it helps you to take life in stride. To forgive and to know that you are forgiven for your sins. How many of us would be willing to give our only child to die so that others may live? It is a truly selfless act.

Remember that today is not about the candy, Easter baskets or big dinner, but about our risen savior. Happy Resurrection Day folks!

He-Is-Risen

Domestic Violence is Purple

October is more than just pink shoes and pink footballs

It’s more than pink wrappers or pink scrubs it’s also about purple

Purple like the bruise on my momma’s face last night

Purple like my sister’s busted lip last week

 

I watch with tears in my eyes as many people ignore the signs

The cries for help

The sounds of fists flying, furniture breaking and babies crying

Go unheard because pink is prettier

 

Pink is silent and doesn’t scream to be heard

Pink is stealth and knows its place therefore it’s worthy for attention

Pink doesn’t seek to breakdown the truth about violence in our country

Pink happens as luck of the draw

 

Purple is what you choose when you stay with someone who you love

You think you can change them that you walk around with bruises

Broken bones, busted lips and no self-esteem praying that you can change

The broken one who beats you

 

But sometimes the purple is not flowing like blood on the carpet

Sometimes it comes in the form of “You’re a Fat Whore!”

Or “No one loves you!”

Words yelled in anger and you hold your head in shame

 

Covering up your purple abused heart because you love too much

You love someone who is incapable of loving you the way you deserve

You love because you need love in return; you crave it the way you give it

Only sometimes you wish this love would come to you in a way that doesn’t make you wish for death

In a pink casket

domestic-violence

Family: We’re More than Just Blood

Okay, so I am still in vacation mode as I sip my venti iced coffee with extra cream and 9 Splenda from Starbucks this morning.  I am enjoying the toned color of my skin and I still have that hazy glow of pure bliss. This was the first family vacation that we have ever taken and I actually had a ball.  I couldn’t have imagined having so much fun with my siblings and their families.  If you know me, this in itself is a big deal because we all have varying degrees of dysfunction yet we mesh together in a broken way.  It works for us.

We spent four days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as one big ole family.  One of the greatest surprises is that my mom took the bull by the horns and made the reservation once we agreed on the date because she knew her children wouldn’t do it.  I applaud her for that.  The resort was nice, clean with lots to do and the weather was perfect.  We all agree that we would do it again next year and would like to make it a yearly trip to the beach with our families.  However, that being said, there are some tips that I want to share to make sure that you have a smooth and friendly family vacation.

  • Save more money.  Whether you are a family of two or a family of six, traveling with children can prove pricey.  We stayed at a resort that had a full size refrigerator and microwave and we stocked our fridge with lemonade, juice boxes, sandwiches and fruit to snack on while we lounged at the pool or beach all day.  Money is essential on any vacation trip and you should definitely have money to afford family dinners and activities.
  • Carpool.  Gas prices are out of control and it is more beneficial to car pool and share the gas prices with others than footing the bill on your own. Because we were able to drive our own cars, it was more economical than flying and having to rent a car.  However, my car takes premium gas and the fill-up is about $68.00.  We filled up 3 times.  I think next year I will rent a car that takes regular gas.  
  • Research.  I wish we had researched some really nice restaurants and things to do with the kids prior to going.  I would love somewhat of a schedule with suggested price listings so we could have planned our activities accordingly.  We took the kids to the Amusement Park that was small and not overly crowded and they had a blast, but I truly appreciate a more itemized and researched vacation suggestions.
  • Pictures.  Nowadays, most people have a smart phone and take pictures on their phone, but many of us forget to send or upload them so that we can all share and have access to the photos to make a photo book of our vacation.  I took many pictures on my smart phone and began uploading them on Shutterfly last night so that we can all view and have a vacation book for our memories.  It was a great trip so you want to make sure that you get plenty of photos of all your family members.
  • Relax and enjoy.  It is simple yet for many of us hard to do.  We don’t know how to relax and enjoy and go with the flow of the conversation or activity choices without complaining or trying to regulate it. I think if you have a suggested itinerary that you send out in advance, you can modify it or decide to opt out of activities that don’t appeal to you.  Whatever you do, just remember that you need to relax and enjoy the time together because it is a family vacation.  
The cutest thing was when my munch said to his cousin William when he saw him at the pool was “Hi, William.”  William said, “Hi, Brennan.  Whoa you’ve gotten dark.” Brennan laughed and smiled brightly.  He responded, “I’m 6 now too.” This trip rejuvenated my munch and strengthened his relationship with his cousins and for that I am extremely grateful.  I love my family and I’m thankful that this trip happened because I discovered that we’re more than just blood, we’re actually friends.
Myrtle Beach – July 2014