Yes, I’ve really been tempted to complain but this post is celebrating the blessings. I really need to work on lesson plans for the next month or so, but I’m too tired and really want to write right now. So, there is always tomorrow.
We had a very busy week this past week. It seemed like there was something just about everyday that interrupted school or prevented us from putting a good effort into our work. Wednesday we had to get our car tags squared away and because we had church I felt the need to get it done early. We went to the mall and thankfully the line was not long so we took care of business and went to the food court to get lunch. We sat there working on Riley’s science and eating our lunch. As we left, we got in the elevator with an elderly man who noticed Riley’s shirt. He said, “Monrovia! I went to school in Monrovia!” I thought surely he meant another Monrovia, not where we live. He proceeded to tell us all about his life as a boy growing up in the same area we live now. Of course that was in the early 1930’s. The three of us walked down the mall and he told us all about his boyhood. As I listened and watched him I felt like I had known him for a long time. He was so happy, smiling the whole time, enjoying the memories he was reliving for us. I was also hoping Riley recognized the incredible opportunity he was witnessing, (I think he did). As we got to the end of the mall he turned and apologized for “talking our ears off” I told him, “Please do not apologize! It has been a treat and a blessing to hear about your boyhood and the area where we live.” We introduced ourselves and he turned to Riley to give him some words of encouragement and wisdom. I felt like I could have just grabbed a chair and sat down to listen for hours. But time did not permit that. We both talked all the way home about how much we enjoyed our encounter with Mr. Charles Bobo.
Thursday was Veteran’s Day and I really felt convicted to not do school but focus on showing our veteran as well as our local veterans our appreciation for their sacrifices. We did a little review in Math because Riley had a test Friday and then took off for the Veteran’s parade.
I am ashamed to say that we have never been before and I really did not know what to expect. I was blessed and blown away at what a treat this was for us! I understand that this was the biggest turn out they have ever had. Riley loved talking with the Marines that were stationed in different spots at the Veteran’s Memorial park. He asked them about the cannon, climbed inside the Humvee, and tried very valiantly to lift one soldiers Kevlar vest that weighed 75 lbs!
The parade started off with the firing of the cannon. Then we stood for the National Anthem and invocation. As we were singing a photographer from our local paper came and took Riley’s picture as he saluted the flag. What a treat! He made the front page of our paper. “Mom! I’m famous!” “Well honey, not exactly but you definitely made the paper today!” I didn’t want to burst his bubble but yet wanted to help him keep it all in perspective a little bit.
The parade was really fun, Riley and his cousins had a blast watching all the bands, military people and equipment, and floats go by. They yelled “thank you!” to all the veterans and waved their flags. It was a blessing to me to see Riley have an opportunity at such a young age to show gratitude and appreciation to these young and old men and women who have given so much. I know I didn’t really think much about it when I was growing up, I don’t think I was really taught to do so. If I was, it went over my head or I ignored it.
We later went and picked up Chris and took him to dinner to celebrate Veteran’s Day with him. It was so nice to spend time together as a family and laugh and talk about the day. All day I was reminded how appreciative I am for my husbands willingness to serve his country. In years past I have waged this battle inside between thankfulness and resentment that he was being pulled away again by the military. It is a strong desire that a wife feels when she wants to be with her husband and feel the comfort of his arms, or his encouragement, love and support, but she can’t because he is again away training or actually fighting a battle. That desire turns to disappointment and she can’t always share it with him because he needs all the encouragement he can get under the circumstance they are in. He doesn’t really need a lot of reminders how inconvenienced or upset we are here at home. Then the other side is a pride and thankfulness that says “Yes! That is my man fighting those battles and standing tall for his country! You go Baby!” Then a deeper, stronger part of her is praying constantly a hedge of protection around him, that he is safe, and that he comes home to his family.
I am thankful that my husband serves this great country. Thankful that he has a love and relationship with a great and mighty God and he is a spiritual leader for our family. When the reporter from the newspaper interviewed my Mother and I, he asked us what brought us here? Why this year? As I tried to form my answer, I couldn’t really put my finger on one definite thing but I thought of many different issues, events and thoughts that lead up to my deep appreciation I felt that day. So I formed my answer as concisely and heartfelt as I could, “I am thankful for the sacrifices they have made for our freedoms and our country. Sacrifices of time from their family, home, job and country…” As a friend of my Mother’s said, “It’s about time.” I felt like she was talking to me. These soldiers need to know how much we appreciate their efforts.
At the end of the day, I felt like I had learned a lot that day and I know Riley did. My Mother was blessed as well as she remembered her brother who served in the Vietnam War. She told one of the Marines that she was so glad he had all that protection to wear to keep himself somewhat safe. God is opening our hearts to love, care and pray for people that we wouldn’t normally think to pray for.
Friday we attempted to have a normal school day but to no avail, but it was ok. Riley took his math test and did very well. We were able to get Language and science done as well. We helped our neighbors out by picking the kids up at school which launched into a football game of three boys in the front yard. Great stuff! I would say they did pretty good to have only three boys and uneven teams! They didn’t seem to care.
Today was similar in that as I was reading email this morning I noticed Chris sent me one that said he had forgotten something important for his drill this week, could we meet him in Birmingham to deliver it? He did give me a choice of what day would be best for us but in the end today was the day. I was tempted to complain because I had great plans for this day without any commitments outside of the house! As we left town to head to Birmingham, I got pulled over for speeding. Thankfully he gave me a warning and not a $150.00 ticket! Woohoo! Praise the Lord! I watched my speed all the way there. We got there in time to have dinner with Chris and watch the end of the Auburn game on TV. I’m thankful for that unexpected hug and dinner with my honey. I know Riley was too as he snuggled up against his Dad there in the restaurant.
I’m hoping we have a better week this coming week as far as our attempts at school. My intentions sure are there. But I’m rejoicing in the blessings of this past, busy week. Again, I am thankful for God’s hand on my life and the change He is working in me and the incredible things He is showing me.