Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wedded to War Book Review

“We will be feeling these days for the rest of our lives, perhaps-but now is our one moment to do. To act.” Wedded to War, by Jocelyn Green

As a young woman of refined society in 1861 New York, Charlotte Waverly already was pushing the bounds of societal expectations and her mother’s anxiousness by volunteering in the notorious Five Points section of New York. But as the country descends into Civil War, a call for women to serve as nurses to the military reveals to Charlotte a drive in her heart even she seems to have never truly suspected. Despite her young age, which does not meet the commission’s qualifications, Charlotte manages to secure a place in the training program for Union Army nurses.

What follows is an adventure involving not only Charlotte, but a cast of engaging characters that one cannot help but become deeply involved with as the story grows and develops with each chapter. With incredible accuracy and historical research, Jocelyn has created a picture of the Civil War era which leaps off the page. Very quickly, you will find yourself choosing sides, cheering for some characters while despising others. The mesmerizing story absolutely pulls you in.

Not only is this an incredibly enjoyable read, it is also a story of encouragement and hope revolving around the themes of grace, redemption and what one can do when you listen to the voice of your heart and your God, instead of the surrounding culture. For a story that will enthrall and encourage, read Jocelyn Green’s Wedded to War.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Sometimes, I still miss her so much it takes my breath away. It has been almost thirteen years since God allowed my mom to lay down her battle with the monstrous disease of scleroderma and go home to be with Him. Though I would not have wanted her to suffer even one day longer, I still shed tears of loss.

I cry because I wish she could hug David and tell him how proud she is of the amazing man that he has become. I cry because I wish she could know our precious Brittany. I cry because she is not here to say, “I told you not to count that Mark out,” when I brag about the man he is today. And I cry that she will not be able to watch Libby don her cap and gown next month.

In the midst of my tears though, I have so much to be crazy thankful about. I am grateful for:

a momma who loved me every single day of our life together, even when I know she wanted to strangle me sometimes

a seamstress who spent hours making my clothes on the Singer machine that Libby now treasures

a woman’s whose amazing impact on me is so much of who I am as a mom, a mother-in-law, a mentor to young moms and a woman

memories of laughter together

thoughts of the days when we shared Taco Bell

each of my babies getting to know and remember their Gram

the way she loved my Daddy

the way she loved God

the way she taught me to love God

that she no longer hurts or suffers, but rests in the arms of Jesus

Momma, I miss you. But I will be ever thankful, to you and to Jesus, for the many gifts you gave – and continue to give –to me.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


One of the great blessings of my life is being able to work with one of the most awesome group of military wives in the world - Hearts Apart at Immanuel Bible Church. Maureen Fowler and Sallie Tillman work every month to put together a wonderful meal with the help of all our department heads. Every month they also develop a theme and decorate our room so the military wives we are serving have a beautiful place to be for a couple of hours each month.

Last night, Maureen made beautiful centerpieces using mason jars, fresh forsythia, lemons and limes. This picture is my attempt to replicate Maureen's creativity. Thanks Maureen for an delightful spring showpiece.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Plate Licker

And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given!
1Timothy 6:20a (The Message)

The happy mother of two boys who had both launched into elementary school was back at work after years of staying home. I loved my new job and was thoroughly enjoying a season of great contentment. During this time, I began to feel ill and became convinced that I had mono – at least until the pregnancy test came back positive. So after thinking that our family was most likely complete, suddenly we launched again into the journey of having another baby. Libby was no mistake, just a surprise. How thankful am I that God is so much smarter than I.

After the typical initial adjustments common to all families who are blessed with a new baby, we began to settle into our new routine of family life. It was fascinating watching Libby grow and seeing how she became not just another child, but kind of our family project. We all diapered, rocked, sang, bathed, and shared the joy of raising her together. As we were approached by people who consistently commented about how excited we must be to “finally get a girl,” I found myself looking for a more accurate word picture that would help me wrap my brain around our new family life.

Leave it to this “live to eat” girl, the picture would be about food, specifically cake. I have always loved cake, but have never been someone to prefer simply cake or simply icing. To me, having one without the other is a certain kind of loss. You need both together to have the best experience. God graciously showed me that the boys were our cake and Libby was the icing. Life would not have been the same if we were missing either one. Though we had been eating just cake for years and loving it, adding the icing was a delightful gift.

Fast forward eighteen years. The boys have been become adults we treasure. Our firstborn has given us another gift by adding our precious daughter-in-law to the family. The icing has grown up and become a senior in high school. And I find myself a woman wondering where the years have gone.

Just a few short months from now, we will pack our car and take our icing to a university hundreds of miles from home. And though there were many days in which parenting seemed like an unending journey, looking back, it seems as if the years have flown. Just like every little old lady at the grocery store always told me they would.

Raising our children has been a treasure for Rob and me. As Paul told Timothy, we have done our best to guard that treasure. Having adult sons has taught me that parenting does not end, it simply changes. Watching them become amazing adults is a treat. That being said, things are different once they leave home.

Honestly, when I eat cake, I tend to enjoy it thoroughly. And it has not been beyond me to lick the plate to get that last taste of icing that was left behind. So it seems so appropriate to me that I spend this last year of having our icing around the house licking the plate. Enjoying every single moment. Laughing at every joke. Drying every tear. Just thankful, each day, for the gift of having been able to be her mom.

Next fall will bring an exciting transition for Rob and me. We are excited about picking up the journey again where we departed from it 28 years ago – on the road of two. It will be a wonderful time.

But for now – you will find me – licking the plate.