The Struggle is Real

13137040In my weekly bible study, we have chosen the book, Made to Crave, Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, not Food, written by Lysa Terkeurst. We all agreed upon this book because we have all struggled with our weight for years, and we together are on a weight-loss journey. We want to eat healthier and of courses lose the much-needed weight.  We have only begun, I read the introduction last night and just in the few pages it really hit me hard.  If someone would have told me twenty years ago that I would struggle with my weight I would have said they were crazy, why because I never had an issue with weight in the past.  My struggle with weight began after I had my first child, before that I never had to worry about what I ate or how much (not that I ever ate a lot anyway).

As a child I was sufficiently underweight, I did not eat much at all. I was very picky, no matter what my parents tried to do to get me to eat. I remember falling asleep at the dinner table several nights because I was not allowed to get down until I ate my vegetables.  I hated vegetables, I am still not a huge fan of them today. Eventually, my mother would get tired of fighting me on this matter, but I was around 16 or so and she let me make my own decision.  When I graduated high school I was 88 lbs., keep in mind I was only 4’9 so I was tiny all around. I never had to worry about what I ate, cake, candy, cookies- SWEETS! Until I became pregnant with my first child.  I was a whopping 95 lbs. at the start of the pregnancy, but by the end, I was 160. To many, this may not seem like a lot but remember I was only 4’9 and I started at 95 pounds. I accepted this because I felt it was normal I was having a baby. Naturally, I would gain weight. It was after my son was born is when the issues truly began. I found I could no longer eat like I had in the past.  While pregnant, I did eat some veggie cause I knew it was important for the baby, but I hated it all the way.  After the birth, I tried going back to the way I was accustomed to eating, but I could no longer do so and be skinny.  It was horrifying. I could not lose weight like I naively thought I could. Seriously looking back, how could I have lost any weight. I did not eat healthily, nor did I exercise. What?  I had to eat properly and exercise, no way that was happening. I despised exercising, and I still hated veggies.

I struggled for a long while with this issue, so one day I decided to stop drinking regular soda and went to diet ( this was before the whole aspartame issue) and went from regular Oreos to low-fat ones. I know daring right? Well, it did work, I lost 10lbs in the first month, but (why is there always a but) it did not last because I still was not exercising or eating right.  I could not wrap my head around this concept, so for the next few years, I fluctuated with my weight.  Then I became pregnant with my second child, starting weight 120; ending at 140. Not too bad right, well sad news there, before my second son was two months old I found myself with child again. I did not even have time to lose the baby weight, and I am pregnant again. I will be totally honest with you all, I cried. I believe I was in denial for a while and I cried for like two weeks. I was a mother of two small boys ages two and newborn, I did not want to be pregnant again.  Obviously, there was nothing I could do about it, what’s done is done. After the shock, I embraced it and my husband and I prepared to be a family of five.  Anyway, back to the weight, I started off at 140 and ended at 180. YIKES! The heaviest I ever was, EVER.   I was like okay I got this, I will just stop eating so much and chasing two toddlers will especially help right?  I did lose some but I continued to struggle.  Through the years I would lose a little, then gain it back.  Now I am 41 and find it even harder to lose.

I do eat a little healthier now, however, I still find myself drawn to those darn sweets. I do exercise more now, but the weight is just not coming off. My husband and I are doing this together and he has lost almost twenty pounds, and I have lost a measly 3pounds. UGH.  Not fair right.  So, when my bible study ladies brought up this book study I was all in; without hesitation.

Lysa, like many of us women, struggles with eating healthy and doing what is right. In her book, she will talk about her struggles and how she found her “Want To”. She states that she has read many books about healthy eating and losing weight, it is not the “how to” it is the “want to” She is not specifically talking just about a healthy physical life, but she is speaking about spiritual life as well. Many of us are all Spiritually malnourished, Lysa said, We feel overweight physically but underweight spiritually.”

I know, I for one am having the issue with the “want to,” I want to, but do I WANT TO?  The desire is not fully there. I go to bed every night telling myself I am going to get up earlier and go for a walk in the morning, and every morning I hit that snooze button instead. I tend to value my sleep more.  I want to eat healthier, but when I grab a snack I grab nonhealthy rather than healthy and than I get mad at myself.  I also have frustration on my side, I have been walking with my husband in the evenings and we take the same route every day, but I seem to get winded and have a hard time with the walk. I should not be like this, I should be used to it by now. I feel I hold my husband back and that he is not getting the full benefit of the exercise because of me. This makes me want to back off more and just say forget it, but deep down I know I should keep going. Plus I enjoy the time together as we walk.

I am hoping and praying that this bible study will help me breakthrough my issues and get my desire back. The Struggle is so Real.

Now on to chapter one.

 

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When the Bond of Marriage is Broken

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Marriage is a bond that God created between a man and a woman, he designed marriage to be a lasting covenant and make two fleshes into one (Genesis 2:24). gen-2-24-husbandwifehandsrings1  I was raised in a home where marriage has a long history, my parents have been married for 46 years, my grandparents were married for 55 plus until death separated them. On my father’s side, there were multiple people that were married many years until death parted them.  My sister and her husband have been married for 24 years and my husband and I have been married 18 years.  I value marriage a great deal. My marriage has not been perfect, quite the opposite.  My marriage has been riddled with adultery and separation, but I refuse to give up.

What happens when the bonds of marriage are tainted with adultery? Depend on how strong your relationship with God is and how strong your love is for your spouse?  There is no wrong or right way to deal with adultery; it’s just like a death in the family, everyone deals with it in their own way.  This happened to me several years back, my husband was being unfaithful and I was devastated. I was lost to what to do, it was one of the most difficult times in life.

Looking back now, I see it more clearly than I did then. Deep down I knew something was wrong, but I put in the back of my mind and tried to not think about it.  I was still in college and I did not have a job, I only substituted as a teacher. I had three children, and at the time they were still young. What was I going to do, so I acted as if there was nothing wrong.  Until that dreadful day that God threw a brick at me and made me wake up.  It was January 2, 2012, what a way to start the new year.  I could no longer pretend that there was nothing wrong, the love of my life was sleeping with another.  I was heartbroken.  In the weeks to come, I did nothing but cry I was not any good to anyone.  The kids and I went to stay at my mom’s for a while, and all I remember is doing is crying a lot. I could not sleep cause when I closed my eyes I saw my husband with her.  I blamed myself,  told myself I was a horrible wife that is why this happened. Rethinking everything in our relationship, did I complain too much, did I not clean the house like I should? I knew I was a bad cook but did all this cause him to not love me anymore?  What did I do wrong?  This was the cycle I was in, I believe this lasted  a while  then one day I woke up and realized, it was not me, it was him.

This experience led me closer to God, I had fallen away a little and this was his way of drawing me in closer again. Why does God have to be so dramatic, because if he isn’t  we will not listen? I believe he gave me subtle hints in my husband’s  behavior, but I  ignored them. Finally, he gave me something I could not ignore.  As I began my journey, I began to realize that I could not fix my marriage until I fixed me.  I prayed a lot, I prayed for my marriage, my kids and my salvation.  As time passed I felt I was getting closer once again to my heavenly Father. Did my marriage become whole automatically, um no? I was still separated from my husband, and he was still with her, but remember I could not fix my marriage until I fixed me, I continued to pray.  I never gave up.

I dedicated my time to my children and church and began rebuilding a life without my husband, in hopes that he would rejoin our family. Eventually, he did, but that is a whole different story.  One day I will tell that one.

What does God say about adultery?  Well Obviously adultery is a sin, however, history has been filled with infidelity. Looking back all the way to the Bible, there was David and Bathsheba. David spotted Bathsheba one morning and asked about her, he was told her name was Bathsheba and that she was married to Uriah, a soldier. David did not let this bother him or stand in his way. He sent for her to come to him.  When Bathsheba became pregnant with David’s child he panics and tried to cover up the sin (2 Samuel 11), the problem is you cannot hide from God. That has been known since Adam and Eve, after eating the forbidden fruit they covered tier bodies and hid from their wrongdoing Genesis 3:8). Just like with Adam and Eve, God knew what David had done and he was not pleased.  In the end, God forgave them all, but not without consequences. There are always consequences to every action taken.

my-story-3-ptr-alvin-gutierrez-10am-morning-service-28-638In the bible, the book of Hosea is filled with adultery. Hosea’s wife, Gomer was a promiscuous woman, she had multiple affairs and each time Hosea was commanded by God to bring her back. Many believe this is a correlation to the love that God has for Israel, no matter how many times they walk away from God, he still loves them and will always welcome them back (Hosea 3:11).

I am not in any way saying I condone what my husband did, I am still hurt by it and there are still trust issues. addtext_com_MTE0NDE5MjE1MDQ5Even though we are together again, the heart will still have scars and they do not heal. They are visible reminders of the hurt, as long as we trust God we will be alright.

Keep faith, pray for your marriage everyday, and remember do not let man separate what God has designed (Mark 10:9).

 

 

Marriage, Year 18

IMG_9586Today, 18 years ago, I said: “I Do”. It was a hot summer day in late August. What was I thinking, and to top it off it was in Charleston SC. The venue that we choose was a beautiful little chapel in the downtown section of Charleston. We were young and had no clue to what God would have in store for us in the future. All we knew was that we loved each other and felt that God put us together for a reason.

The weekend started off with family and friends coming in from out of town and the weather was just gorgeous, my best friend and her boyfriend came in from Illinois and wanted to go to the beach. The four of us went to the beach the day before the wedding, looking back now that was probably a mistake; or maybe the mistake was not having sunscreen. Whichever, Todd and I got so burned that we glowed. The next day when it was time to dress for the wedding, my pretty ruffle dress hurt my skin. I could barely walk let alone bend over and get my shoes on. I managed with as little pain as possible, and we left for the chapel.
As we were traveling down interstate 26 we encountered a traffic accident, that was causing a delay of course. All I could think about was that I was going to be late to my own wedding. We ended up getting there in the nick of time, I arrived at the chapel entered the back and waited for the music to begin. I was so nervous my body was literally shaking, I thought I was going to faint right there. My dad took me by the arm and away we went down the aisle. It was not a very long walk, but to me, at the moment I felt I was walking miles. I looked up and saw my family and friends all looking at me as I was shakily walking down the aisle; wondering if I was going to trip and make a spectacle out of this whole thing. I saw my groom standing there smiling and a glow from his eyes sparkled. I knew what I was doing was the right thing, I was just so nervous. The ceremony was perfect, we said our vows in front of family, friends, and God. I meant them then, and I still cherish the vows I took. I work hard daily on my marriage, some days it is hard as hell, others are easy. wedding 1999

Todd and I have not had a fairy tale marriage, we have had rough waters that we have crossed, tough times, separations and issues with the children. I feel that a marriage is God’s creation and that once you say “I Do”, then you should do all you can to fix anything wrong. Do not give up easily. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” Mark 10:9.

I am in no way saying that if all is done to your power and there is no other way than that is between you, your spouse and God. I am not judging. I just know for me I work daily on trying to keep my marriage stable.
Each year, in my world, is special. 18 years is a lot of time together, and I want to cherish each moment that I have with him. As our children grow and move on one day, it is just going to be the two of us. Life is short.

So as  I celebrate my anniversary  I pray that I will have many more with the man I love with all my heart.

Changes

Summer is coming to a fast end, yes I know it is only August 1st but in many places school has begun or will begin soon.  Though it is still warm and summery skies, summer is practically over once the daily routine of classes begins.  This is bittersweet for me, especially this year. I always seem to enjoy the summer coming to an end because by this time my kids are usually bored and fuzzy and I am sick of hearing; “I’m bored.”  This year is a little different for me, I have three children and they are all in high school. The youngest is a Freshman, then I have a Sophomore, and my oldest is a Senior. How did this happen?  It seems like just yesterday that I was holding this little guy for the first time, scared and unsure of really what to do.  We parents grow right a long side our children when they are babies we are baby parents and we learn daily just as they do, so when it is time for them to leave the home we are prepared. Well, that is the theory, right. I am excited for him because in nine short months he will be on a new journey like no other; adulthood.  Buckle up son, it can be a bumpy ride.

I, unlike some of my friends, I will still have two other children at home. I am sure in three years when my youngest is a Senior I will be singing a different tune. Life is all about changes, some are good, some are bad but without change, the world would be a boring dark hole. 29465-01062016-Ecclesiastes-3-1-2-social“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. God tells us to embrace change and be not afraid, whether the skies are clear or stormy.

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  This gives me confirmation that even in bad times, God knows his plans for me and it is just part of the journey called life.jeremiah-29-11

As for my children and their journeys; there is no doubt that each one will be different and unique to them individually.  I always tried raising my children to understand that life is not always fair, and at times it is downright spiteful. I tried instilling in them that they earn their way in the world through hard work and dedication. The world does not owe you anything and you are not entitled to something just because you want it.  I worked hard for ten years to get my college education; I spent many all nighters just to finish my work on time and still getting up to care for my family. I did not always succeed, a few classes I had to repeat. It was all just part of the journey.  In the end, I earned not only my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, but I also earned my Master’s of Art in Human Service Counseling.

I am not a perfect mother, but I always tried my best. I modeled my parenting after what I knew. f0c1bd9e6f2b4225e7615f056c97eacb--change-is-good-wind-of-changeMy mother was a caring and loving mother as my sister and I grew up. She still displays love to us each and every day.  She never was a touchy feely kind of women, but we knew she loved us and that is what counts.

As this new school year begins, embrace change and allow it to a part of your life. Whether your child is entering kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, let the wind of change take you to new valleys and hills.

Unconditional Love

Has there been someone in your life that has influenced you spiritually? Growing up in a Christian home I was surrounded by many people that had some kind of influence, but there is one in particular that had the greatest influence and it was not until he passed away I truly understood.  As a child, you really do not pay too much attention to certain things. However, as you become an adult and start having children you suddenly remember and it becomes more important than ever.  My greatest influence was my Maternal Grandpa, Grandpa Smith, he was a Southern Baptist Preacher for 50 years before he left this earth.

He was a loving and caring man, soft spoken, but as a preacher, he could belt out the word for all to hear. I remember many times going to hear him preach, sitting in the front row with Grandma.  I wish now, as an adult I would have paid a little more attention.  I would love to hear him preach again. Even though I did not pay too close of attention as a child, the message I still heard. God Loves us all; unconditionally.

My grandpa taught me many things growing up, and I remember vividly one conversation that I had with him years ago. I was about 7 years old, I asked, “How do we know that God truly exists if we cannot see him?” His answer has stayed with me through the years and I refer to it many times. He said, “Can you see the wind,” of course, I answered no, he continued, “You are right, you cannot see the wind, but you see the effects of the wind. You can see the blades of grass sway, and the leaves on the trees move to the rhythm. This is the same with God. You cannot physically see him, but you see the effects of him all over. You just have to look.”   Wow, what a profound statement.

This is just one example of the many lessons that he taught me through the years.ethics-project-3-728

I have fond memories of my grandpa, but I do not want to forget my grandma. Grandma Smith was such a Godly woman. She was the submissive wife to her husband, and a quiet but stern mother and grandmother. She radiated loved and doted on her husband and children. She was an inspiration to her church and family. She illustrated what it meant to be a wife, mother and a preacher’s wife.

I feel blessed to have had these two wonderful people in my life. My grandpa always encouraged me to follow my dreams and he always loved my writing. He was proud of my God given skill. I only wish he could be here to see how I have developed my skill through the years. I always try to incorporate God and the Bible into my writing, knowing he would feel proud that I have followed my teaching.

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Grandpa and Grandma Smith and me on my 5th Birthday

 

As a mother of three children of my own, I have tried to instill the teachings of God into their daily lives. We may not go to church every Sunday, but they know the importance of being within the building. It is more than just a place to go on Sunday.

So why did I just write and tell you all about my grandparents; it is not like you know who they were. I choose to share my inspiration with all of you because I feel it is important to know where your influence comes from, whether it is a family member, friend, clergy, teacher, or coach. Knowing this will take you far in life.

In the bible, there are many influential people that had an impact on other peoples lives.  moses and basket Moses is just one example, he was born in a time when Pharaoh’s decree to kill every Hebrew male. This prompted his mother to hide him in a basket and send it down the Nile to save his life. He was found by the daughter of Pharaoh and she gave pity on him and asked to raise him. Pharaoh’s daughter was granted this request and she appointed Moses’s Mother(unknown at the time) to nurse him. He was later raised as an Egyptian (Exodus 2:1-10). Moses grew to eventually be the leader of his people and he led them out of slavery and into the Promise Land. Although they were granted freedom, it was not instantly, there were many obstacles that were put in their way. What does Moses teach us, his lesson is that if you keep your eye on the prize, obey God, have faith and presentence than God will deliver you to the promise land as well.

David also comes to mind as an influential person. He took down a mighty giant with a slingshot and a rock (1 Samuel 17). This story teaches that no problem is too big to tackle, as long as you have God on your side.full_davidgoliath

Job, he teaches us that no matter how much can go wrong, no matter how much Satan is knocking on our doors, it will be alright in the end as long as we keep our years on God. People are going to lose their jobs, people are going to experience death, and possible homelessness. It is part of the real life experiences God choose for us. JobHeadingHis ultimate idea was to live in peace and walk with him daily, but he gave us free will and Adam and Eve chose to disobey his order and because of this we have heartache and strife at times. What makes the trouble and sadness worth it, the calmness and light at the end that states that it will be okay.

I can go on and on with example after example of people in the bible that are influential, but then this would turn into a book.

I can go on and on with example after example of people in the bible that are influential, but then this would turn into a book.  The whole point of all this is the love that God has for us, it is unconditional.  We sin daily, not one of these men I wrote about was perfect, they all gad doubts at one point or another. They were all scared, but God they trusted.

My grandpa’s love was unconditional, just like the God he followed and served. He was a wonderful example, he passed this on to my mother, and I have passed it on to my children. Someday when they have children of their own they will pass on the unconditional love as well. we should all strive to live the life God wanted for us all.

I miss my grandparents a great deal, but they are always with me in spirit and mind.

Depression, the Invisible Illness

Someday I hate adulting, many days I wish I could just stay in bed and binge watch anything on Netflix. There are times I look at my ringing alarm on my phone and think, “OH Lord, Not today!” However, once my feet hit the ground, I am off and running. This is a good day when my depression is not at its peak. Days that my depression is high and I am in full force there is not too much that gets done. During these bouts, I have zero energy and just want to sleep. Medicine does not always work, but without it, I would be worse.

Depression is a silent killer, although it may not always take the person physically from Earth it takes them away from their friends and family. The ones’ that suffer the most are the ones’ that often hide it the most from all. Robin Williams is a prime example, he was always a funny comedic man, could always bring laughs. However, he was in such a dark place and depression overtook hirobin williamsm. He chose to end his life. The United States was shocked, how could his depression go without being seen? People would say, “But he was so happy,”  Robin Williams was quoted once saying, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it is like to feel absolutely worthless and they do not want anyone else to feel like that.” I think pretty much sums it up.

I have been diagnosed with Major Depression about 10 years ago, I suffer daily with the way my mind and body deals with this disorder. It is hard to understand, sometimes. I have studied psychology for many years, my husband has PTSD, and my oldest has bipolar and anxiety and I still do not totally understand where it all came from and why? Tit-is-not-nature-vs-nurture-it-is-nature-and-nurture-nhere is a history of depression in my family and then there  is the whole nature versus nurture that is a highly talked about subject. I am not one of those professionals that are strictly nature, or strictly nurture. I have always been on the fence, I feel it is a combination of the two.  I feel genetics plays a huge role in behavior, yet at the same time, I feel that the environment that one is raised is a helpful factor as well.

It took me a long time to admit that I have depression. It was always excuses like, I will feel better once we get settled, I will feel better once the baby is born, I will be happier if, if,if… Nothing seemed to make me totally happy. I played it off most of the time, I hid it from most people, but even though I had a smile on my face, I was dying inside. The day the love of my life, my husband left for a year tour overseas for the fight on terrorism was the day that I feel began my true journey into the dark abyss. I was left alone for the first time with a 3 ½ yr old, 18 mo old, and a 7 mo old. We were stationed at Ft Riley, Kansas and I was 1200 or so miles away from family and I was forced to grow up. From this point and before, though I was married and had three children, I really was mature to a point. I always had my husband. Most of the time we both were just winging it. I am not saying we were bad parents, all I am saying is we did not totally know what we were doing. This goes for most all young parents.

I watched my husband get on a bus that was taking him to a plane and I was unsure at that moment if I would ever see him again. I had to be strong, I had three little people that needed a strong mommy. Through the first few weeks of deployment, I found a new gained respect for single mothers. Now please, do not take this the wrong way; I am not comparing deployment to single parenthood by no means, it is just I understood the hardships that they make on a daily basis. Military spouses are similar in the ways of single parenthood, with one major exception; the money factor. We (or most) did not have to work and take care of the kids at the same time. We still had our spouses income, so that stress was lifted, however, it was taken over by the worry factor every day. That time in my life I saw changes in my moods, but I chalked it up to stress. Besides, who has time to go to the doctor with three kids? Whatever it would just go away. Guess what? It did not go away, it intensified through the years.

Stressful moments in my life was blamed. Returning from Iraq, though was exciting, was stressful at the same time, my oldest having behavior issues, and having two toddlers in diapers was enough to make anyone mad. Life would one day settle down and would be calm inside and feel normal again. The sad thing was I could not truly remember what normal felt like. I just put on a happy face.

I am not alone with the way I feel, there are over 350 million people worldwide suffer from some type of depression. It is a daily struggle.depression 2

Depression is a serious illness, and it does not discriminate against age, gender, race, or ethnicity; fortune and fame does not stop it either. Depression can target anyone, anytime, and anywhere.

As stated in the above paragraphs, depression can be caused by many factors, there are the genetics factor. There are some people that are already precondition to get depression, while others can develop because drug and alcohol abuse, or dealing with serious illness and chronic pain can all cause someone to become depressed. One big question is, can it be cured? The answers vary as well as the causes. There are many forms of treatment that help reduce the appearance and helps the individual cope daily.  As for being 100% cured, there is no known cure. Therapy and medicine regimens allow more normal life and allow the individual to experience happiness.

images87MZ13B9Another misconception about depression is that Christian does not experience this illness. There is nothing true about this statement. Just because someone is a Christian does not mean they cannot be affected.  Christians are human and they experience illnesses and sickness. The Bible even talks about depression extensively, Moses, (Numbers 11:1-15) he became spiritually and emotionally distraught. David (2 Samuel 12:15-23)  was troubled and battled deep despair, Elijah (1Kings 19:4) was discouraged weary and afraid, Job, (Job 2:9) suffered great loss, devastation, and physical illness.depression 1

Do not feel as if you are alone in this world, there are many people that suffer from the same invisible illness and God is always there anytime. Turn to him in all things.

Depression is not a curse and it is not contagious, it is an illness. Do not be afraid to get help.

 

 

Least We Not Forget

 

Oh My God, a plane has just struck the northern façade of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. The News Media was all over this coverage, a shock in the nation, but what we did not know or even comprehend at that time, is that it was about to get much worse. American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower at 8:46 am, a beautifully clear sky, with hints of fall in the air. Manhattan was bustling with the usual activity, no one had any idea what was to come that morning.

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When the first tower was struck, America honestly just thought it was an accident, a horrific, tragic accident. Less than twenty minutes later, all minds were changed when the South Tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175. The beautiful blue sky filled with smoke, sirens pierced the air, and panic soared through the streets of New York. Rumors filtered around, media was all over, but at this point it still was unclear of what was really happening. The luminous World Trade Center was on fire due to two planes flying into its sides, what on Earth was happening? Panic, screams, cries, for the known and the unknown, fear of what was to come. What at the time was unfathomed, no one could even image next turn of events.

Just when we thought the worst had happened, and the world was focused on the towers and the people inside, would they get out alive? The fire and rescue workers working diligently to save as many lives as they possibly could, some losing their own lives at the same time. The News media broke through the airwaves once again, an hour since the first tower was slammed into; American Airlines Flight 77 smashed into the Pentagon. The military headquarters was hit, this was at 9:43am. This was not an accident, three planes to the count so far and all three have struck major American buildings. A Terrorist attack was among America, and a war was started on our own ground. History in the making, and sort of repeating itself as well. Just like when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Out of nowhere did these attack surface, we were not going down without a fight. Airports were shutdown, the first time in history there were not any planes allowed to fly in or out of any airport in America, unfortunately it was not soon enough. At 10:10 am another plane, American Airline Flight 93 crashed, but this one did not crash into any building; it crashed in the middle of an empty field. Why? Where was it headed, why did it not make its destination? The reason, the passengers got wind of what was happening and they all knew that they were going to die anyway, so they choose to be true heroes and take down the attackers. Yes they all died, but this plane was speculated that it was headed to the White House. These men that decided together to take down terrorist were true American Heroes.5b8db373878b7c01308ddc4c41a7c2f1

Just before Flight 93 crashed into the empty field, the South tower of the World Trade Center, the second tower to get attacked, collapsed. It crumbled to the ground in a smoky, shattered mess. How many people were still in the tower, at this moment the numbers were unclear. By 10:28 am less than two hours after the attack, the North Tower collapsed. The world known New York Skyline was changed forever. The Towers were no more. Why did I just basically write a history lesson, because on Sept 11, 2001, the world changed forever and on this anniversary it marks 15 years. Seems as if we have forgotten something so tragic. How did we go from “Do you remember, to how soon we forgot?” This year marks the first year that freshman’s in high school will learn and study this event and they were not even born yet. https://youtube/p6yLQRF-cEU

Do you remember what you were doing the day America was attacked? I will NEVER forget. I was a young mother of an18 month old son, and pregnant with another. I was staying with my parents for a little while, the cable was out temporally so I had on the radio. I remember as clear as if it was yesterday, the news media reported that one of the World Trade center’s tower was hit by a plane. At this moment we all just thought was a freak accident, a plane losing control and crashing. I called my sister and asked if her cable was working, it was so I and Austin went over there. We sat in front of the television mesmerized with the events that were unfolding before our eyes, by the time I had reached her house the second tower was hit. This was no accident.   https://youtube/fvj6zdWLUuk

All day long, all day and night coverage. Replays of the towers falling, speculations on what had happened. The world was up in arms, lines formed at the Red Cross, hospitals and anywhere else that was taking blood donations. Churches filled up to pray for those that were lost in the towers, those that they may have known, even those they did not know. We all had something in common, we were all Americans and we were attacked on our own soil. There were lines forming outside the recruiting offices for all branches of the military, everyone wanted to help in one way or another. We were pissed, scared and wanted to avenge.

Time slowly passed, and life started to get back to normal for many people that were not directly hit by these attacks. Churches were back to their normal attendance, lines began to dwindle at the blood banks, and there was not any waiting at the recruiting offices either. How soon it took to forget the horrific attacks. The media took coverage off the TV, it was a cruel reminder. It brought back to many feelings of hurt. Social Media was not a huge factor at this time, so when the news quit talking about it, so did the American people. It began to be a distant memory. It is not spoke of until the anniversary rolls around, and this year is not any different. Is this something we should forget, or should we be reminded everyday why there are soldiers still dying overseas? I feel we should be reminded, we should never forget. We need to teach our children that are too young and were either not born yet, or very little at the time. The truth needs to be taught, not the sugar coated version that many school have adopted to spare the children. Spare the children, spare them from what? The fact that Al-Qaida, a terrorist group orchestrated a very careful and precise plan to take down America. In this world of being politically correct and not wanting to offend anyone has got to stop. Maybe, just maybe people are offended by other people getting offended. We cannot have opinions, we cannot do something without someone else saying something about what was done. Just the other day I saw a Facebook post of a simple Coke display that was designed to honor September 11, and the Twin Towers. There was outrage throughout social media, many said that it was disrespectful, others claimed it was just a display to honor the event. I honestly felt it was just a memorial to honor the fallen towers. We need to NEVER FORGET, that horrible day.

Why did this happen, many were asking this very question? While many were finding solitude within the churches, others were asking how a loving God allowed this to happen. Did God allow this to happen? I honestly do not feel as if he did, it all goes back to the freedom of choice and the world is full of evil doers. Satan has a way of mimicking God, and convince people to do the unthinkable. Since the dawn of time there has always been evil, this is not what God intended. I think about the events of that morning of September 11, 2001, I am reminded of how much worse it could have been. Yes it was horrible, many lost their lives a total of 2996 people were killed and injuring more than 6000. Think about how amazing these numbers are, what I can possibly be saying, there were countless stories that were being recalled about why they were not at work when the attacks happened. If the first plane would have struck just 30 minutes later, so many more people would have been in there offices. This would have changed the numbers drastically. One story I remember hearing is how a lady heard her phone ringing as she was walking out the door, and any other day she would have just let it ring however she stopped and answered the phone. This had a major effect on her, had she not answered she would had been at work on time and therefore in the mess of the attacks. Her life was spared. There were many stories like this one that had a great effect of the outcome of their lives. God does not allow evil, it just happens. However, he can take a negative and turn it into a positive. How many people worked at the World Trade Center daily? How many lost their lives? Too many, yes I do agree with that, but many more could have perished.

lamentations3-22-23In the mist of disaster people turn toward religion, and it was no different with September 11th, In Deuteronomy 31:6, it is clear that we all need to lean on the everlasting love of God, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Churches were standing room only in the first weeks of the attacks, bibles were dusted off and opened again after years of being closed. Pastors preached love, and comfort in the mist of the tragedy that was among us. Neighbors were there for their neighbors, loved poured at the seams and race did not matter, gender did not matter, we were all Americans and we were there for each other. Other verses that were circling around and quoted, Lamentations 3:20-24 “My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me, But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him,”360x225-hs-2008-16-bb-full_jpg and in Habakkuk 3:16-19, “I trembled inside when I heard all this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

God is always with us, even through the worst of times.

247I am pretty passionate about the lives that were lost in these attacks, the world changed on this day, fifteen years ago. As many already know about me, I am a proud Army Spouse. My husband joined the military in December 2001. When the attacks happened in September the number of people, men and women wanting to join the military spiked. My husband had many reasons to why he wanted to join, but one major one was to defend our nation. I like most wives was a little uneasy at first, because I knew the harsh reality. He would go to war, and like so many of the fallen soldiers, he may not return. I was blessed, he returned alive. I have a great respect for all military and their families. My husband is retired now, but once a military spouse always a spouse. 249

Least we not FORGET!!!! September 11,2001.

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