The Price That Some Pay

Posted October 15, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

Today, as many days have been, is a day that I’m grateful to be an American. For no other reason than to realize that not only do men and women serve our country diligently on our behalf, so do their families.

I’m a proud American born citizen. One that I don’t take for granted. Because I’m free to go about my business and be me, for the most part, someone had to sacrifice something in order for me to have that.

I’m grateful to those who have gone before us. But I’m also sad for the families they leave behind while serving the rest of us.

It’s been 4.5 months since I’ve seen my husband and it’s not because he’s serving his country. But because he’s serving his Lord in heaven. These last few months I’ve been greatly blessed by many that have helped the girls and I in many facets of day to day activities. Again not anything that I take for granted. It’s been said that time heals all wounds. With each day, I miss him more and more. Longing for a moment where I could pick up the phone and make a call. Send a text to say that I can’t wait for you to get home. Or mail a card while he’s out of town on business.

Although I could never compare my situation to that of a military family, I do see some resemblance of missing the one you love. I pray today, that if you know of a single person as a result of their spouse serving your country, that you would reach out and do something that doesn’t have to be or couldn’t be returned, but paid forward. What a blessing you can be.

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It’s A Choice

Posted October 4, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

This summer while the girls and I were out of town, we had leather bracelets engraved with Richard’s birthday, name and death date. This morning, while putting mine on, I realized that I had put it on upside down. You might ask, why does it matter? I’d respond by saying it depends on where I want to keep my focus.

You see, when I wear it the “wrong” way his name appears upside down to me, but more importantly the death date is in constant view. When I wear it the “right” way his name appears right side up and his birthday is in constant view.

When I see his death date, I’m reminded of bittersweet emotions. One, of the excitement for him to finally get to experience all that God has prepared for him in Heaven. Two, for the sad days of missing him greatly. Missing him when our schedules are crazy, when our girls are accomplishing great feats and when I just want to share the days events. As time passes, it seems like an eternity since I last spoke to him. And at the same time, seems like yesterday. It’s weird nonetheless.

When I see his birth date, I’m reminded on the many life experiences over a 21 year period that I was blessed to enjoy with him. I remember trips with the girls and those that we took just us. I remember being in Israel and him mounting a camel backwards. I remember going to FL and watching him play in the World Softball Tournament at the Wide World of Sports Complex. I remember getting away for a quick weekend to watch St Louis Cardinals play baseball. I remember watching and hearing him cheer the girls on at their sporting events. Applauding them when they spoke publicly amongst their peers and parents. Staying up late to finish those last minute projects. Many many other memories that we have all because of his birth date.

Although both dates represent both happy and sad emotions, I choose to focus on the date of birth. Why, because that’s the date that has given me more present day memories that I can laugh about and enjoy. The death date, although it too is filled with hope and promise for a future with him again, my human side remembers a time that isn’t always the best. It pulls me to a place, more times than not, that I don’t want to be in. I’m aware that I need to move through that in order to reach the other side, but it’s hard some days.

Today, I encourage you to “put your bracelet on the right way”. Focus on that which brings you joy and purpose.

Breaking Free – Jailbreak

Posted September 26, 2010 by Teresa Stowell
Categories: Uncategorized

This will be my first attempt to write some of my thoughts for the “world” to read.   Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, while others resonate in a way that I am blown away by. 

I’ll warn, that I’m ADD, which is probably why some thoughts are fleeting.  LOL!  But I hope that I can make sense of that which needs to be shared.

Last weekend, I participated in an event, called “run the jailbreak”.  You can find more info at www.runthejailbreak.com.  When I signed up for this event back in May, I did so with the intent of staying motivated to continue going to the gym and being in shape as well as prepared for this day.  As life would have it, my plan wasn’t the plan that God had laid out for me. 

This same weekend, was about the 2.5 week point of a Bible Study, Breaking Free by Beth Moore.  I signed up to take a friend because I thought that she “needed” to be in a room filled with women who she could gather a new perspective of what life is like when you’re enjoying the Lord.  Well, again, as life would have it she couldn’t commit and my plan didn’t turn out the way I thought.  Now, I’m learning that I needed this study more than I originally expected! 

As I started the “run” I was surrounded my many.  I quickly fell behind and thought, I will finish this if it “kills” me.  I told a friend to run on and not to wait on me.  She had been training and I didn’t want to hold her back.  This race took us 3.8 miles through some unusual terrain.  Alot of mud, water, wooded area, open fields, over obstacles, climbing hills on tires, etc.  A couple of times I waded through water that was chest high.  It was quite interesting to say the least.  Am I ready to do it again, YES!  Although I was behind my friends and daughter by about 20 min, I was ok just trekking along slowly.  Some of what I saw was mud that had been there for what seemed like days.  I assume that it wasn’t “planted” but that the area just never dries out.  Because there isn’t any water moving through to “wash” it clean, there was an odor and mosquitoes were thick.  Again, I’ll say that in spite of the “nasty”, I learned some things that were completely unexpected. 

At this same point in the Breaking Free study, Beth talks about having peace.  The Bible talks about having peace like a river.   “It doesn’t say that we’ll have peace like a pond”.  We have to keep moving or else we’ll get stuck in the muck and we too will have an “odor”.  You see, I spent a lot of my time growing up on the river with my granddad.  He was a commercial fisherman and taught me alot about that trade.  I also remember hearing stories of white water rafting from Richard (my husband) when he would go with a group of men to various places.  While rafting, you have a guide that instructs on what you need to do.  He does so prior to getting into the boat and while on the boat.  Both men, my grandad and Richard, shared how there are times when the water is rough and you have to ride it out.  I took that to mean that riding it out doesn’t mean that you plant your feet (if you could reach the bottom) and wait for the trouble to pass.  No, I took that to mean that you ride the waves to the next place in the river.  Beth says ” to have peace like a river is to have security and tranquility of heart and mind while meeting many bumps and unexpected turns on life’s journey through change.  Peace is submission to a trustworthy Authority, not resignation from all activity”.

Sometimes, life takes us places that we didn’t plan.  No matter how good of a planner you are, if you are a child of God he may have other plans for you.  We were all created to fulfill a purpose of His, not ours.  I have certainly ridden many waves through many rivers over the years.  This summer has been a ride that I would never have asked for.  However, it has been one where God has shown himself in a MIGHTY MIGHTY way!  I plan to keep riding the wave until He places me where He wants me.  I’m not sure where that is, but I have peace like a river through this journey. 

The jailbreak was fun, but I sure wouldn’t want to still be in that mud.  Keep the water of life flowing so that you don’t become stuck. I want to encourage you to live life to the fullest.  Ride The Wave and see where God leads.