Monday, September 29, 2008

Vacation to the Mountaintop

Well, I have been running around the house trying to remember everything that we might possibly need to take to the mountaintop this week. We are participating in a family vacation to Branson, MO. I love to take road trips and see new things. I have childhood memories of taking big trips to places like St. Louis and Yellowstone National Park. On the Yellowstone trip, my grandma went with us and we giggled so much that Mom got on to both of us! I love vacations, my husband does not. It drives me nuts! However, he is much better about them than the rest of his family. He is content to get there when we get there and change plans as needed. He just doesn't want to make any decisions. For me, not having to make all the decisions that mommies have to make IS a vacation. Well, we will have lots of fun anyway! I'm off to a quick trip to the mountain top - don't miss me too much ;).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mountaintops vs. Valleys

I was praying in the shower this morning (it's about the only alone time I get) and was asking God to take me to a few mountain tops and get me out of this valley for awhile. As I was praying, I mentioned that I wasn't complaining. Then I realized that I was. God began to remind me that in the valleys, there is lush growth and green while on the mountain tops, nothing really grows. In the valley, you can take shelter. On a mountain top, you are buffeted by the elements. In the valleys, there are crowds of people. On a mountain top there is loneliness. In a valley, you can walk together. On a mountain top, it's usually single file. It is easy to breathe in a valley. On a mountain top, the air is thin. In a valley, it is easy to get there. Traveling to a mountain top is hard work.

So what did I learn? I'm in the valley so that I can grow. I'm in the valley so that I can be sheltered. I'm in the valley so that I won't be alone. I'm in the valley so that I can travel through life with others. I'm in the valley so I can breathe. I'm in the valley so I can arrive. Seen this way, how can I ask God to move me to a mountain top? I must be insane. I think I'll be content to stay in this valley awhile longer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Prayer Need

Okay, when it rains it pours. One month ago, on the same day, my nephew and my mom's dad died. On Saturday, my great-uncle (my mom's uncle) died unexpectedly. Today, my grandmother (my mom's mom) went to the doctor and the doctor suspects that she might have liver cancer. Don't know when the cat-scan is scheduled, but would like to ask anyone who reads this to pray for my family as we travel this valley. (I keep telling God that I'd sure like to visit a mountain top right about now - and I don't mean going to Branson, MO.) Also, although we have been contacted by a few churches, we do not have a place to serve yet. So that is another concern.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mean Old Men are . . . MEAN!

I swear, I hate my job sometimes. What has happened to politeness? I had an old man, the father in one of my cases, send me a hateful email. Just because I had not been able to supply an email to him because I was waiting on info from a reader. He actually threatened me saying, " I will not hesitate to take it to a 'higher' authority." Well, bite me! It was his own supervisor's fault that the case took so long to finish!

I am seriously going to need to watch my mouth and attitude Monday night when I meet with this family. I sent back a polite email explaining the situation and apologizing (didn't really mean it, though). Brian thought that my response was appropriate, so hopefully I won't antagonize him further. It wouldn't have taken him any more effort to be polite than to be ugly. Arghh!! I hate it when people are mean for no real reason. I was tempted to inform him that I do not work on the weekends, just like he doesn't. Oh well, like I keep telling my children, we are not responsible for the actions of others, but for our own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Can't Wait 'til Tomorrow

Okay, I know this is silly, but as my Arbonne lady can confirm, I love make-up! My most recent order is coming tomorrow and I am so excited! I know, pretty sad, but I need something to look forward to and right now this is it.

I'm also a bit more positive about my job today. I am waiting for some references to finish up four very late cases, but I feel that I am back on top of my case load. I hate having things hanging over me and it is such a relief to me to be this close to finishing all but two cases. (The other two cases are on time so far.)

I am looking forward to a family vacation in a few weeks. I love the 80 degree weather we are having. So, my outlook is brighter today.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I am so frustrated with my job. I want to quit. Actually, I've wanted to quit since June. No, I take that back, I haven't wanted to work since I got married. So, technically, I've wanted to quit ever since I took the job ;). I pretty much enjoyed it until my supervisor quit and the powers that be chose not to rehire for her position. Now, I understand that there are adjustments to be made when a business changes procedures. But, I expect the changes to be thought through and communicated in a timely way. There is some consolation in the fact that others feel the same way, but I like to know what is expected ahead of time in order to deliver quality work. It seems that everytime I get settled into the new way of doing things, there is another new way. So, right now I'm very frustrated.

I really want a church to call Brian soon so that I can get back to my normal lifestyle. Or at least some semblance of normalcy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

He Knows MY Name!

There is a song that has been running through my head for the last two days. It says, "(verse 1) I have a Maker, He formed my heart. Before even time began, my life was in His hands. (Chorus) He knows my name, He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and He hears me when I call. (verse 2) I have a Father, He calls me His own. He'll never leave me no matter where I go." How incredible is that?!

I am insignificant in the grand scheme of this world. I am unimportant to those who pass by. There is only a small number of people who actually know my name, but that is not important. God knows my name and it is written in His book of life! I may be insignificant and small to those of this world, but I am worth the life of God's Son in the next world. I am important to Him, so important that He listens for me every moment of every day. HE KNOWS MY NAME!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Being Encouraged

I don't know about you, but it seems that I find encouragement when I least expect it (but most need it). I was all set to feel sorry for myself today due to a combination of sleep deprivation and sadness. I get to PE with my girls and sit down for a quiet chat, all the while telling myself to be happy and enjoy the moment. After a bit, I had the opportunity to share a little about our current ministry situation and our desire to serve God by pastoring a church. Later, as I'm preparing to leave, I had the chance to speak to another mom who has been through a different type of trial after her husband's stroke. As I was talking with her, I was reminded that no matter what the circumstance, we can be assured that God is with us and has a plan for us.

I was about to walk out the door and another mom stopped to talk with me. At first, I started to feel sorry for myself again thinking, "Here is another person who wants to know how my sister and her family is doing, without a thought to the fact that I am grieving, too." (I have been reminding myself that no one does this to intentionally hurt me, they are just concerned for Tracy and that is where their focus is. I'm usually alright with this and let it roll off.) Then, as the conversation continued, she began asking about how things are for my husband. She let me know that she was consistently praying that God would lead us to our new church. Just as I get all ready to feel sorry for myself, someone has the nerve to encourage me! I'm so thankful when this happens. It's all part of the process of God keeping me from sinning in my grief. While I am finding it hard to sleep right now and nighttime is when I remember the sweetness of our Jacob and miss him, I can find comfort in the small things that God is doing to show me He is there.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Our Sadness

Two weeks ago, my newly adopted, two-year-old nephew, Jacob, died suddenly on the morning of his adoption celebration. Needless to say, I was stunned. I have always called Jacob "my baby". I had a special relationship with him from the time he was placed with my sister by DHS. It would make my mom mad sometimes, because he wanted me and not her. I was the recipient of many wet, sloppy kisses. (He drooled more than any other baby I've ever known.) Jacob called me "Shuggy" just like all of the other nieces and nephews. Of course, his version sounded more like, "Shuuuuuuuuugggyy". I never did figure out where he got his drawl. Jacob had the best giggle of any baby and I loved him very much.

I woke up that day anticipating a family party and a fun day. About ten minutes later, my mom called and my world fell apart. We spent three or four hours at Southwest, crying and waiting for a chance to hold Jacob one last time. Unfortunately, we were never allowed that small bit of comfort. Pediatric deaths are treated as homocides, therefore, the room where Jacob was became a crime scene. I can't imagine what we could have done to him, he was already gone. They would not even allow us to look in at him. I think that was the worst part for me and for Tracy. They kept telling us that the ME should soon release him and we could see him. Eventually, we were told that it wasn't going to happen. At that point, Brian took Patrick back to their house to give a statement to the police detective and I went with Tracy's to our friends' house to wait and check on the kids. Once everything was done, Brian and I went home to tell the girls what had happened and to try and have a little normalcy.

At about six in the evening, I received a phone call from my nephew, Justin, (he is the one who found Jacob). He wanted to know if he could spend the night. He didn't know it, but I would have stood on my head and sung for him if he had asked. So, we loaded up and went to my sister's. We stayed for a while and visited with other family members who were there. We ended up with Justin and Bryce that night. Oh my goodness, was that hard! I am so glad that we were able to be there for them and help them in their grief. The next day was Kadie's birthday. We went to church and met with the family at Chili's afterward. The rest of the day was spent at Tracy's. As a mommy, my heart was broken in two different directions: I wanted my baby back and I wanted my baby girl to have a happy birthday.

That night, I finally had a chance to be alone and grieve. As I cried, all I could think was that while God knew the exact moment that Jacob would go to heaven, it took me by surprise. I was so looking forward to seeing the man he would become and welcoming his future wife into our family. I wanted to touch him just one more time and say goodbye. I also wanted to make sure that even in my grief, I did not sin. God is so good. Even in my grief, He is with me. Not only comforting me, but also keeping me from sin. I do not and have not blamed Him. I have been able to accept that this was His will. I am comforted by the fact that Jacob's death was instant and he was not afraid and did not suffer.
The night before his death, I had the privilege of taking him and his siblings home and getting him ready for bed. I got to change him, play with him and get a big hug and kiss before telling him I loved him and putting him in bed. It is such a special memory to me.

The funeral was on Tuesday morning. The pastor, Doug, did a fabulous job. The people who came were welcome and unexpected. The judge who had judiciated over Jacob's case closed his court room and attended with his staff. Several DHS case workers attended, not to mention the friends and family who were there. This was such a comfort to us all.

I will say that I have been lonely in my grief. Brian was not as attached to Jacob as I was. I usually spend time with my sister and her children at least twice a week. I think that even though it's only been two weeks, he is tired of not being able to "fix" me. He hasn't said it, but I think he's tired of me telling him that I am sad. I don't blame him. It's his job to take care of me and fix the things that bother me. It frustrates him that he can't fix this for me. I am comforted by the fact that God is still revealing Himself to me and is with me all the time.

Who am I?

My name is Ginna. I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. My parents, George and Helen, have been married for more than forty years. I have one sister, Tracy (my older sister), who is married to Patrick. I have one bio-niece, three bio-nephews, one adopted nephew, one foster nephew (soon to be adopted) and one foster niece (soon to be adopted).

I began dating my husband, Brian, at the beginning of my sophomore year in college. He was a senior at Oklahoma Baptist University. We were married in March 1995, nineteen months after our first date (August 13 - a Friday!). Four years later, we had our first child, Kadie. Twenty months after that, we had our second daughter, Paige. I finished my Bachelor's degree in Family and Childhood Development in 2002 (took me ten years - but I got it!) when my youngest was twenty months old. I was then able to throw myself into being a full-time mommy and wife. Two and a half years ago, my husband left his position as associate pastor and went to work for my dad, building houses. He was working on his seminary degree and found that the stress of ministry, family and school were detrimental to his health and happiness. (Not to mention my sanity!) At that time, I also started to do homestudies that are used by DHS to approve families to adopt or foster children.

For the last five years I have homeschooled my children, Kadie (age 9) and Paige (age 7), with the support and help of my wonderful husband, Brian. As a couple, we have been involved in ministry for the last fifteen years. My husband as a youth minister and associate minister and me as an extremely active minister's wife. For the last two and one-half years, we have not served on the staff of a church while Brian finished his Master's degree.

We have recently come to a new curve in the road God has given us to travel - Where will He want us to serve now that we are equipped? Brian completed his seminary degree in May 2008. We have been contacted by a few churches, but are still in the beginning stages of finding the church that is for us. For me personally, this is very frustrating because I have no outlet for my ideas and energy! And I can't plan!! I am excited about what God is doing but it is hard to be patient.