45 Weeks and Wheelchair Handball

What a week it has been! I started off another year older, followed by taking the kids with me to vote, ringing in a new-old president, learning that my husband’s R&R has been pushed back a month, giving a friend a hair-makeover, refinancing the house, enjoying my activity for the week, and today, I celebrated all veterans (including my own) by watching a local playhouse put on an interesting musical about World War II and Girl Scouts, starring my boys’ babysitter, Lehren. Okay, so maybe she only had a few lines here and there, but she was the star in my eyes. I have a few things I’ve been really thinking about a lot  this week, so I’m going to try to get through them in a not-so-lengthy way. Wish me luck!

First of all, I know there are times on here where I tend to go all emo on my current situation. During those weeks, I’m sure you imagine that I’m walking around staring at the ground, mascara streaming down my face, and blaring Eric Carmen’s “All by Myself,” but that’s the exact opposite of how I am in person. I don’t like to make people uncomfortable with my struggle, so I put on “the face” in order to keep things around me appearing as normal as possible. I wind myself up in the morning, as every mom does, and go, go, go until sundown. Then, I pick up the toys, do the dishes, fold the laundry (sometimes), and netflix myself into a relaxed state before having my night time devotion, followed by a game of sudoku on my phone, and falling asleep somewhere around 1am. I keep trucking along, holding in my frustrations until Sunday night when I let it all out over a cup of tea or coffee, writing it all on wordpress for the world to experience with me.

I have been married to my soldier for 8 years now. Wow…8 years! It looks pretty typed out like that. Turn that 8 sideways and you’ve got infinity! Super Marriage! Okay…anyway, I’ve been a military wife for 8 years now. We’ve been separated more times than I can even try to calculate, and we’ve definitely spent more days apart than together. I’ve done too many holidays alone, blown out candles without him, celebrated our anniversaries by kissing his picture goodnight, and have done almost every major milestone with our kids by myself. This all sucks, for sure, but I have something that most civilian couples will never have – gratitude for every single holiday, birthday, anniversary, and milestone that we DO get to spend with each other. Some couples never know what it’s like to be without their spouse on these occasions, so they take them for granted.

Another thing that I have, because of the military, is pride. Not the bad kind either. Military pride is one that is actually a humble kind. I have a pride for my country, despite its worldwide embarrassment, uncountable debt, and many political flaws.  I have a pride for our president, no matter who he or she may ever be. I have a pride for our flag, no matter how torn or faded it becomes. I have a pride for my husband, no matter how he walks, talks, or if wears socks with his sandals. My husband is an incredible man of integrity who believes in what he is fighting for. He makes a life-or-death difference in people’s lives  every single day, whether he is stateside or overseas. He really is a genuine, true-blue guy, and I do wish that I could see him more often, but that’s just not the straw that I drew when I married such a decent man. When you get the pick of the litter, you have to share it with the world. How selfish would I be if I fought against sharing one of our nation’s finest assets for the good of the country? Sure, I whine about missing him, but I really am proud, and I really would much rather have him using his talents then burying them in the sand. So, next time I get sappy on you, please know that I probably just had a really big missing-him day and just need to rant about it. Either that, or I’m ovulating out of the one ovary that is hanging on for dear life inside of my otherwise empty reproductive system.

Before I go on to my activity for the week, you’re probably wondering who I voted for, right? I’m sure you have your own guesses like:

  • She’s a Christian, so she’s definitely a Republican, which means she definitely voted for Romney.

  • She’s married to a man of color, so she probably voted for Obama

  • She’s a military wife, so she already has free healthcare. She isn’t concerned about those things. Romney

  • She works with teenage girls. Probably helped them get abortions before. Obama

  • She went to a private school growing up. Romney

  • She has a boy dog who likes to hump other boy dogs. Obama

  • She lives in a “red” state. Romney

  • She eats a lot of dark chocolate. Obama

  • She celebrates Christmas. Romney

  • She wears an afro sometimes. Obama

  • She is right-handed. Romney

  • She gave her son a middle name based on the Hawaiian language. Obama

Now, all of these thoughts and guesses are perfectly valid, but I actually did a lot more thinking with this election and actually separated my faith from my thoughts on the way that this country is run. So now, you’re probably thinking:

  • She’s turned against Jesus! Obama

  • She’s a Mormon now. Romney

Neither of those thoughts are accurate.  Here’s the way I think before I vote:

  • The president is more of a representative of America to other countries than anything else, in my opinion.

  • Who do I feel will best represent what America is all about?

  • How will this president blend our forces with overseas allies?

  • Will this president force any religion practice into the law or the law into religious practices?

  • Is this president going to make education an important priority in our country?

  • Is this president going to keep law-breakers accountable for their actions?

  • Is this president going to keep the freedom of choice, one of the foundations of this country, a priority?

  • Will this president maintain humane boundaries on the freedom of choice?

The above questions  have probably completely thrown you off on your original guess of who I voted for. And they should have, because I may or may not have voted for either candidate. There was also another name on the ballot, as well as a write-in spot. Who knows? Maybe I voted for Lord Tubbington, Britney’s cat, from the show Glee. The point is that it doesn’t matter who I voted for on Tuesday morning. Our president is our president, and that is that. I don’t want wrinkles in my forehead from any of it. For the next four years, I plan to honor President Obama, because that’s what a God-fearing person, like King David should do. I plan to respect his authority, because that’s what a woman of faith, like Esther, should do. I plan to show my support for him, because that’s what a patriotic citizen, like the Apostle Paul, should do. I plan to pray for him, because that’s what a person who has Jesus in their heart, like Cathi, should do.

Activity #45:

Volunteering at the State Wheelchair Handball Tournament

A little over a year ago, we had some friends who were in a tragic car accident that took the life of their precious daughter and left their little boy paralyzed from the neck down. Their family has been through a whirlwind of changes, and has been so open to sharing their new life with anyone who would like to understand it. Two of their other daughters were badly injured, but have been able to return to their normal activities like running, swimming, and dancing. Their son has had several surgeries since the accident, is wheelchair-bound for the time-being (we all believe in miracles), and is otherwise a regular 4-year old boy. Since the accident, our family has been very involved with praying for Owen’s complete healing, and we’ve seen amazing progress through his physical therapy. This family has been an inspiration to so many other families, including my own, and especially to Cole. Cole prays for Owen constantly, and he cries when he thinks about the fact that Owen can’t walk or play sports like “regular” kids. Recently, he prayed for the opportunity to help kids like Owen. God does cool things sometimes, because he hooked us up with a volunteer slot, through my small group at church, to help out at a Wheelchair Handball tournament that was being held in our own town. Our t-shirts alone made Cole so proud to support kids that are handicapped. We enjoyed being a part of the games, serving the kids lunch, and helping with ordinary meal-time affairs, like putting a straw into a cup and ketchup on your hot dog. These kids were not asking for an ounce of pity though! They were grueling, hardcore athletes, and they wanted to crush their opponents. They smack-talked in a totally offensive way, just like your average teenage sports fanatic, and they rolled through the high-five line after the buzzer mumbling, “good game,” just like every other kids’ team is forced to do after winning or losing. There were no ties, and there was no mercy. I loved every second of it! And my kids got to serve the community and learn a valuable lesson about people who chose to rise above their disability, rather than those who complain and blame their weakness on the government.

(not a clue as to who I voted for, btw...get your mind off of that already ;) )

The boys played Slap-Jack during the breaks.

Idan said that all the people in wheelchairs “matched” his shirt.

these kids were serious about the game!

If your county has a handicap sport team, I urge you to get involved or at least go watch a game or 2. They’re so cool, and pretty neat to see how some of them flip their chairs into some sweet maneuvers. I can kinda compare it to a really good soccer player’s fancy footwork. I’ll never be able to do either, so I commend both athletic types!

BONUS VIDEO! Here’s a look at an ordinary evening after dinner, before bath time, at our house. This is not rehearsed. It’s just what we do, folks. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter 

Also, feel free to add your suggestions for my weekly activities in the comments section on the suggestions page.

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

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