Monday, March 31, 2008

Father's Love Letter - Video-Scroll Down and Pause Regular Music on Right

I felt very impressed to post this video today...someone needs to hear this. Please, remember...God loves you very, very much. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Early Years of Our Blended Family

Ok...picking up where I left off before my son had his car wreck.

We came back home from our honeymoon and started our new lives together. We went back to work and set up house as a husband and wife with an almost 5 year old son and two girls ages 12 and 10 that came over every other weekend. The neatest thing is that Roger and Brandon's birthdays are on the exact same day...April 13th.

It was a time that we had to get to know each and the girls, Roger with my son, all the kids together and all of family of we were getting used to living together as a married couple. My son went to spend the night with my mother every Tuesday night because he went to pre-school in my former hometown and she would take him. This day was welcomed by both Roger and I...we didn't have much time alone with a 5 year old living with us and there was no guarantee that Brandon's father would come get him on his weekends either. That happended more times than I can possible tell you...a child sitting waiting with his bags packed and his daddy never show up or even call him. It still breaks my heart to this day to think about how it made him feel his whole be rejected (for the most part) by his own father.
We were only married about three months when we took a trip to Satellite Beach, FL...a timeshare vacation that Roger and his ex-wife had planned before their divorce. We took all three children and flew to Florida. While we were there, we stayed at resort on the beach...the beautiful Atlantic coast where we went out at night, walked the beach and watched sea turtle come onto the shore, dig a large hole and laid their eggs. That was so awesome.

For 2-3 days, we drove into Orlando to Disney World, Sea World and MGM Studio which was a two hour drive...each way. We had a great time while we were there. It was a bonding time for all of us, however, things weren't always smooth sailing. One of his daughters and I had a huge disagreement (nice way of saying a fight) that was not pretty. Looking back...I was insecure in my relationship with his daughters and they probably saw me as a "2nd rate" replacement of their mother. The one thing that I said from the very beginning was that "I was not their mother, did not want to replace their mother but I wanted to be their friend. What you have to remember is these were girls who loved their mother and father plus their lives together (their divorce was sudden and blindsided the girls)...all of this was very, very hard for them. I spend many years feeling very insecure and uncomfortable when all the children were together for the weekend at our house. I felt like I was being watched, sized up, being reported back to their mother on everything that I did...right or wrong. There were times that I would be told "that's not the way my mom does it or my mom does not make me do that". As a single parent and extremely stressed, I became a "yeller" and they were not used to yelling. I have no excuse for it that justifies my "yelling" but my job was getting stressful and my ex-husband was being a real pain. So for me, emotions were running high. These are all things that I did not realize until many, many years later...actually, were a really big problem for me and that I had never dealt with. If you do not deal with your stress, negative feelings and emotions...they can haunt you many years down the road.

My ex-husband had emotionally destroyed me...I left that marriage and entered into a single motherhood life with no self-esteem, no self-confidence and had huge walls built up around myself as effort to protect myself. We always had a good relationship with the girls mother and step-father throughout their teenage years, but I cannot say the same for my son's father.

In the early years of our marriage, Brandon was very good with Roger and Brandon loved the attention that Roger gave him. Roger took time with him, played with him, coached his basketball team, his t-ball team and his football team. But step-parenting is hard, very hard work and even then, sometimes you get to a point of giving up and not trying anymore. To me the greatest thing you can give your child if he/she comes from a broken home is to support the other parent and their new spouse. You've always heard that the child is the one who suffers when there is tension between parents and/or step-parents...that is so true but it is also very hard on the step-parent. A child will usually love their parent inspite of their flaws but they do not have to love that step-parent, make that step-parents life easy and it can destroy your marriage if it is not controlled. This was a deadly combination with Roger, my ex-husband and myself for many, many years. It seems that my ex-husband had the opinion that "he did not want me but he was also going to make sure that I was not happy with anyone else either". As for the girls, their mother was always supportive or if she wasn't...she sure made us believe that she was:) No, seriously, I believe that we all tried really hard to work together...all 4 of us to help raise Roger's daughters. I can only imagine the difference it would have made in our lives, marriage, Roger and Brandon's relationship and in Brandon's life as a whole if his father had only been supportive.

I fully believe with all my heart that when a couple goes to get married and they are going to be blending families...they should have to take step-parenting classes/counseling, as well as, marriage counseling. It is hard, very hard...because they only part you have control over is yourself, your spouse and your cannot change the other parent unless they want to be willing to work with you and your new spouse.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Update on Brandon's Condition

Good Evening!

We arrived home this afternoon safe and sound from some much needed R&R time in Branson, MO.

I talked with Brandon several times this week and his condition is improving each day. His bladder infection is improving and the antibiotics are working. He was able to get out of the house last night to go visit some friends for a little while. He said that it did him a lot of good to get out of the house since coming home from the hospital on Monday, the 24th. However, riding is still painful but that too will improve with time.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers as his body mends...God has truly kept him in His hands and under His protection.

I will return to my "love story" on my next entry...unless there is a change in Brandon's condition. I cannot begin to thank you all enough for the many, many prayers that have been lifted up to our Heavenly Father on my son's behalf. God has truly hear our cries and answered us. Thank you again!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Brandon Is In The ER Today

Please continue to pray for Brandon's recovery and against infections! He developed a bladder infection overnight, woke up in severe pain with intense burning this morning. Due to all his injuries, they took him by ambulance to a local hospital ER this morning.

I just got word that they were being discharged with prescription for a definite bladder infection. He will have to wear the catheter still for another 1-2 weeks. Please pray against any and all types of infections that will hinder his recover...both physically and mentally.

I will keep you posted on his progress as I get word from Georgia. Thank you all again for all your prayers...please keep praying for my son.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We Serve An Awesome God!

Brandon called me this morning at 8 AM...woke me up on my vacation :) to tell me that he was being discharged today!!!!! I certainly did not mind being woke up to receive this great news. It has been only 9 days after a horrible wreck!!! The hospital arranged for him to take a walker and a wheel chair home with him...which is another blessing. It is hard to believe that this time last week, we were just getting out of ICU and in severe pain. God has answered so many prayers in regards to Brandon's healing and speedy recovery. We know that the road ahead will be long and painful but we are believing God to continue to speed his recovery along faster than the doctors expect. He went home with his friend, Jason (passenger) to his aunt's house so she can help to care for both of them.

The doctors discovered two more injuries making a total of 10 different areas injured!
1. Broken Ribs - 5 in all
2. Broken Pelvis
3. Fractured Knee - new
4. Broken Ankle
5. Separated Shoulder - new
6. Fractured Shoulder Blade
7. 2 Punctured Lungs
8. Tear in Small Intestines - required a 10 inch incision down his abdomen to heal on it's own
9. 3 Small Lacerations to Liver
10. Injured Bladder

WOW! When you think of all the injuries that he sustained and lived....that is nothing short of a miracle and an answer to many, many prayers that have been prayed over Brandon for his safety and God's protection. Otherwise, I truly believe he would have died that night. The only part of his body that did not get injured was his face and head! God has a special calling on Brandon's life and a divine purpose for him. I sit and wait with such excitement and anticipation for the appointed time for that purpose to be revealed. God is faithful and keeps ALL of His promises.

I will be posting updates from here on as I get more good news...but until then...I will pick back up with the entries on the struggles of an ordinary christian woman's life.

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Update of Brandon

Thank you all again for your prayers this week for Brandon...I cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate it. There is power in prayer!

Brandon had a good night last night and got some good sleep. He has been down for an MRI on his knee today which has continued to hurt him but we do not know what the results are just yet. He was able to go for 4 hours without any pain medicine because it was in his room and he was in radiology:) He also had to move himself with assistance from stretcher to table to bed and did a great job of it.

Physical therapy came today for the first time and got him sitting up on the side of the bed for about 15 minutes...the first time he has been off his back since Saturday. It did it very well with minimal amounts of pain.

I took several pictures yesterday that I will post when I get home because I cannot download to hotel computer of him (smiling...totally plastered) and some of his abdominal wound that is left open to heal on its own...they are graphic...just warning you. I have pictures of the car that I am waiting on Jason's mom to email to me and I will also post those when I get them.

I am not sure whether they will let me stay with him again tonight or not. Either way, I am heading back home tomorrow. He seems to be out of the woods but still has a long road to travel in his recovery. Please continue to lift him up in your prayers. And again....THANK YOU ALL!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Please Pray...

I need everyone to continue to pray for Brandon...he had a terrible night last night and is getting depressed and very upset...this does not help the healing process. He is having one good day and one bad day...yesterday was a great day and last night was terrible.

I talked to Mandy this morning(I went to hotel for some sleep) and she said that his throat was hurting and he told the doctors that this morning. He is suppose to only have ice chips but has been drinking the melted water as well....he told the doctors that. His stomach is producing too much stomach bile and they can't take out the NG tube that goes up his nose and into his stomach until the production slows way down and it changes colors. So, they are taking away his ice chips too. He is not be allowed to have anything by mouth...period. He got real upset and seems to be sinking into a depressed state. So, mom has to shower and get back to the hospital ASAP.

Please, please pray for a supernatural healing of his stomach so they can take out the NG tube, let his stomach rest x 1 day and then start to introduce liquids and then soft foods. He is so very,very thirsty and getting hungry. He has not had anything since Friday night when he left work. He is really battling right now. Brandon is a lot like his mom...wants to be up and going, always in control and never held this time is very hard for him. He doesn't want to get in a wheel chair and go out of his room because he wants to get up and walk. I have started praying last night that God would reveal himself to Brandon in a supernatural powerful that there would be absolutely no doubt in his mind that God is God, God is real, God is in control and God loves him so much. He's life is not where God wants him to be and I am praying through this tragedy that God would bring him back to where he belongs....walking with Jesus, serving him daily and being a witness for him.

Please, please agree with me in prayer that we will see great things today and tomorrow. I have to go home by Friday and I need him to well on his way to recovery and not taking one step forward and two steps back.

I will keep this updated on my blog at least once a day...if I can get access at the hospital, if not only when I come to the hotel to get a couple hours of sleep.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and I believe we are going to see God do great things in the next couple of days.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Update on Brandon's Condition...Tuesday Night

Good Evening Everyone!!!

God is good all the time! I want to start by saying thank you for your prayers as we have felt each and everyone of them. God is faithful to the cries of his children! I am so thankful that I am a child of God's and I have so many prayer warriors praying along with me.

I spent the last several nights with Brandon in the ICU...all night long. We have had several rough nights where he did not rest well at all and was getting extremely frustrated, agitated and impatient with everyone. I called on several people to add this situation to their prayers, as well as, what to do about coming home at the end of this week. As you most know, I have a 13 year old and a husband at home also. I felt pulled between the two and wanting desparately to do the right thing for both of my children.

When I got back to the hospital yesterday after getting a much needed 4 hours of sleep and a shower...the nurse said he was being moved to a regular floor. However, we had not had any good reports on the regular floor staff at the particular hospital. I was very anxious about him going to the floor as he could not do one thing for himself...not even scratch his own nose. It was all night on Sunday...Mom, scratch my nose, my face, my head, my arms...the Morphine was making him itch terribly and we were waiting on the Benedryl for relief. He was extremely out of it yesterday on pain medicines and that was also a concern of mine going to the floor. This particular floor still has semi-private rooms and family is not allowed to stay overnight with their loved one. So, needless to say, I was extremely stressed, anxious and tired...not a good combination for this mother. I prayed and asked others to pray also.

We were moved to the floor at 9 PM last night and he was in so much pain. Again, we prayed and prayed. He would get the hiccups and it would cause his so much pain with the chest tubes still in place. Once, he had hiccups and was winching in pain...I began to pray over him right there for God to stop the hiccups, remove the pain and give him rest. The hiccups stopped IMMEDIATELY!!!! He rested better last night than he has the entire time we have been here. God hears our prayers!!!!

We did have terrible nursing staff last bad...that I had fully planned to come to the hotel this morning and start searching for another hospital and doctor who would accept him immediately. It was horrible!!! No bedside manner, hateful, rude and just down right mean! Brandon was in no mood for this type of treatment with all the pain he was suffering and being at their mercy and neither was I! Brandon and one of the male nurses had words...heated words and I was playing referee...told them both...that is enough! When the surgeon stopped by at 3 AM to check his abdomen over...we ratted this two nurses out! They probably heard us because we were directly across from the nurses station. This had been an ongoing thing from the minute we got to the floor. I understand the need to do your job and follow the orders set by the doctors...but the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing at all. Each floor had different policies and rules. He was allowed ice chips and his oxygen was removed all day in ICU but when we got to the floor...they would not give him one drop of water, piece of ice or anything. He had not had one thing since Friday night...except a little ice. Very frustrating and add their lack of bedside manner, no sleep and lots of pain....boiling point! I prayed again and told God...these people are not going to see the love of Jesus if He do not intervene but they would see the devil himself! Thank goodness they went off duty at 7 AM. By the end of their was being very nice and helpful. PTL!

We had the greatest nursing staff today that we have had since we got there. Our nurse, Islom, was awesome....she pampered, spoiled, doated on Brandon all day long. We were able to wash his hair, bath him (sponge), change sheets on the bed and he felt like a new person. He had a very restful the night before and had a great day today. He sat up and talked to us for about 3 hours staight with very little pain medicine, slept a couple of hours and then talked another 2 hours. He and I had some great one-on-one time this afternoon to talk about all that God had done for him during this trying time. He was very receptive and was very encouraged by all the prayers that were going up all across the country for him...thanks to my family, church family and my new blogging family. I can never say thank you enough. Please keep it up...we are out of the woods just yet.

We got 1 chest tube removed today and everything looks very, very good. If all goes well...hopefully, the NG tube will be removed tomorrow or Thursday...he has to wait 1 day and then he can have small sips of liquid to drink. Then if all goes well, he can introduce jello and other soft foods and broths. He was able to sit nearly straight up in his bed....bed elevated for long periods of time with minimal pain. His voice was strong and his fighting spirit is also. He is determined to cut the recovery time way down from what the doctors say. He is very brave and tough...he has only uttered a couple sounds from of being in severe pain...most of the time he remains silent when they are doing things to him. The chest tube removal...he said was more painful than having it put in and we still have one more to go.

The surgeons have said that with the pelvic fracture and broken ankle that his recovery time will be 3-4 months. It will be impossible for him to work and earn a living because he is on his feet all day. This is causing him a lot of concern...but I told him that God is a big God and he can do the impossible...if he just let him.

I spoke with Mandy...his friend who is staying with him tonight so I can get some sleep....been up 33 hours with no sleep and just finished my only meal and drink in over 24 hours. His staff tonight is awesome and they are very this mother can rest in peace without worry that my son is being mistreated in the hospital that is supposed to be caring for him.

Thank you all again for your love, prayers and phone calls.

Goodnight all! Love you guys!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Update on Monday Night

Just wanted to thank each and everyone of you who are praying our family and especially Brandon right now. He is suffering in a great deal of pain and has a very long road ahead of him. However, we serve an awesome and very big God! He has a plan for Brandon's life and this will all work together for good.

Today, a guy from Georgia Medicaid came by to see him but he was asleep and I talked to him. He was there to get information to help assist Brandon with his medical bills since he does not have any insurance. Praise the Lord!!!!! I have been stressing a little over it but continued to pray that God has unlimited resources and he was in control. This was an answer to prayer and a great peace of mind for me. Pray now that he will be approved and assistance will come soon.

Thank you again for all your prayers....I know I have felt them. He has been officially discharged from ICU to the step down unit but there are no bed available. I was told that when they move down that I couldn't stay with him at night...please pray that if this is true that he will rest comfortably and will have kind and caring nurses. We have encountered some today that have not been very nice and that makes it hard on him and this mother (to let the love of Jesus shine...cause I wanted to let them see the devil...but I didn't). I will update you as often as I have computer access on his progress.

Love all of you!

Brandon...Update On His Condition

For those of you who know and for those of you who haven't heard yet...our son, Brandon was in a terrible car wreck Friday night...early Saturday morning in Atlanta, GA.

Roger and I had taken Tyler to meet up with the youth at our Fine Arts competition and spent the night before heading back home Saturday morning. We got up Saturday and was just about to leave the hotel coming home when I received a phone call from Georgia...I had assumed it was Brandon since I had left him two messages and sent him a text the night before with no reply. There was a tornado that hit downtown Atlanta on Friday night...I'm sure most of you have seen the coverage on television and he had moved back to Atlanta three weeks ago.

This is what happened: He had just gotten off work and his friend picked him was after midnight when his shift ended. For some reason, Brandon was driving going back to where they were staying after the tornado had hit downtown...where he also works. There was another storm coming through with lots of rain and high they were driving down the interstate...the high winds hit the car and he hit standing water causing the car to hydroplane and go into multiple spins before slamming into the retaining wall and hitting the other wall on the other side. They say the car looks like a piece of tin that has been crumpled into a ball. His friend was conscious and able to get out of the car when the car caught fire...he was able to pull Brandon free of the car before it burned. I believe the prayers of this mother...pleading the blood of Jesus over him daily were heard. Satan would love nothing more than to end his life but God intervened and spared him.

I had a conversation on the drive to Atlanta (7 hours) alone Saturday night...I told him that what he intended to harm my son...God intervened and spared his life. I told Satan he was a LOSER in the name of Jesus...needless to say by this time...I was angry! People would have thought I had lost my mind if it had not been dark. I arrived in Atlanta to a hospital downtown and it took me an hour to find it because of power outages, debris and blocked streets.

He looked pretty bad when I finally made it to the ICU unit. He are the update, official list of his injuries:
(1) Two punctured lungs with chest tubes now in place - hope to removed in 2-3 days
(2) Broken ribs - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(3) Broken pelvis - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(3) Broken ankle in 3 with pins and a metal plate in it
(4) Internal injury to his bladder rather than the puncture they had originally thought. - catheter x 3 weeks, rescan and it not healed then catheter x 2 more weeks
(5) Perforated small intestines...found when they did surgery thinking it was a bladder problem - surgically fixed on Saturday night
(6) 3 small lacerations to his liver...other cause of abdominal bloating and drop in blood count. - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(7) Incision now from surgery that starts at breast bone and extends to groin - very painful without all the other injuries! They left his stomach open and it is just bandaged to help prevent infection or if they had to go back into surgery...pray for immediate healing
(8) NG tube...up nose that goes down to his stomach to help prevent vomiting and aspiration if he did vomit. -hope to be removed in 1-2 days
(9) Nothing to eat or drink...not even water...want intestines to have time to mend before making them work again. - hope he can when NG tube is removed.

Needless to say...he is in a huge amount of pain. They did figure that his nausea was not caused by the Morphine but by the internal bleeding and not allergic to the pain medicine. PTL! This ICU here allows family to stay with their loved one 24 hours a day except for 6:30 AM - 8:30 AM and the same time at night as well. That I am thankful for. It has been a long two days but it will be even a longer road to recovery.

Please pray that he will get moved to the step down unit, get his NG tube removed so he is able to have at least water, chest tubes removed in the next day or 2 and pain management. He is extremely frustrated and agitated right now. It hurts terribly to cough, hiccups or even talk much and now he is itching all over...asked doctor for Benedryl at 6:15 AM this morning.

I am at the hotel to get some sleep while his friend comes to stay with him. The friend who was in the car with him went to surgery yesterday looking for internal injuries but they did not find any. He is having severe back pain and will be kept for another day or two.

I am so thankful that he was not knocked unconscious too or they would have both burned to death. God is ALWAYS in control regardless of how it looks, how it feels or what anyone ever tell you. He promises to NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

Please pray that God will minister to Brandon, his friends and the staff in a very powerful way and they all will see the love of Christ in a very tired mom...who loves her son so very, very much. I would change places with him in a minute if I could take his pain away. Please also pray for a speedy recovery...faster than anyone expects...he is already surpassing where the doctors predicted he would be at this point.

Please, please pray against ANY infection, pneumonia or blood clots...dangers he is facing right now. Please keep us all in your prayers and I will update when I can...don't have access to internet except at the hotel for right now.

Love you guys!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Honeymoon

We drove for 6 hours after our wedding and reception to arrive at our cabin around 9 PM. It was a very rustic, two story, 4 bedroom, 2 bath cabin situated on a mountain side. It had a huge balcony that hung out over the side of the mountain and not another soul in sight. We got unpacked and settled of the greatest things about the cabin was the only television was a tiny one in the entire cabin and only rabbit ears...which made the reception nearly impossible.

The next day, it was a crisp, but sunny day and we went hiking down the mountain, up the other mountain...we made many great pictures of the scenery and each other. We found a small lake with a waterfall coming out of the side of the mountain...that was so romantic and beautiful.

When we woke up on Monday morning, it had begun to snow the night before and we ended up with a big snowfall. It was absolutely gorgeous....pure white snow as far as you could the trees, covering the ground...everything. I woke up to the sound of the snow sliding off the tin roof onto the made a loud crashing sound and Roger in my face with the camcorder. It was just the first of many, many times...I had a camera in my face with Roger on the other side of it:) Just after we woke up, owner's wife brought our breakfast to us around 9 AM, it was homemade breakfast danish, still hot and with freshly made strawberry smoothie. It was delicious. It snowed all day long and into the night. We had a big fire in the fire was was warm and toasty on the inside and snowing huge snowflakes on the outside. We turned on the floodlights outside and turned off the lights on the was beautiful. We turned the stereo on with the crackling was so romantic!!! Roger even had me go outside on the balcony, in my robe, feet just stuck in my shoes, stand in the snow, smiling and waving for the camera. That's my new husband...the shutter bug.

We enjoyed four days in our mountain cabin and as much as we missed our children....we didn't want to come home:) Life was simple and quiet in the mountains...but reality was we had three children waiting for us to come home plus we each had jobs and a new house....a new life for us was waiting for us to come home to.

The picture below was made on our hiking day down by the waterfall. It was the greatest honeymoon!

Next Entry: The Early Years of Our Blended Family

Saturday, March 8, 2008

In Loving Memory of Our Dads and In Honor of Our Loving Mothers

My Daddy and "Paw Paw" gone for 18 years
In Honor of My Loving Mother and "Nanny"

Roger's Dad and "Papa" (here with Mason)
Gone from us for 5 years this month.

Roger's Loving Mother and "Nana"

We love you all so much!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Wedding

Planning our wedding was actually fun compared to the first time that I got married. Our parents were not involved in anyway this was all about what we wanted and what we could pay for. Our parents paid for both of our first weddings, so the second one was on us....I think that is just an "unspoken" rule, right?

Remember I told you that we did everything backwards, well this was no different. Roger took me to pick out my wedding dress...I tried some on, he looked at them and gave me his opinion. When we found one that we liked, Roger bought the dress for me. We went to picked out our own wedding bands together, looked at houses together, planned every aspect of our wedding...we did together. It was very relaxing and fun...if you can believe that. The entire planning of the wedding was all done together down to the smallest decision.

At first, we butted heads on what kind of wedding we were going to have...Roger wanted a quickie...justice of the peace type wedding...small with just immediate family and I wanted a real church wedding. This disagreement went on for several days and we both were standing our own ground on this one. His reason for the "quickie" wedding was...we've been there and done that why go through all that again. My reason, (which by the way, won out)...was...yes, we have both had the whole church wedding thing before but this time it will be different for both of us. You live in a totally different state and the same people will not be at this wedding that was at our first wedding. BUT, my biggest reason was....if we ever had a child of our own...I want him/her to have family pictures of his/her parents getting married in the traditional way. I told him that his daughters would have the pictures of his and their mom's wedding and my son would have the pictures of mine and his dad's wedding. I felt very, very strongly about wanting traditional wedding pictures and memories to share with a child of our own...a child that we did not know if we would ever have or not. Well, being the compassionate, sweet, kind, loving and sentimental guy that Roger is....that won him over and he consented to having a church wedding.

After much discussion in regards to where we were going to live and go to church....together, we decided it would be best if we chose a place where we did not know anyone and get a start fresh. This way, we would have our new friends and would find a church that would be our church...not my friends and my church or his friends or his church. We began looking at houses half way between where he currently lived and where I had lived all my life. We purchased our first home just a couple of weeks before the wedding and Roger got all settled in. Two days before the wedding, Roger, Papa (his dad) and his brothers began to move most of my furniture and belongings to our new home. Roger's family was staying with him in our new home and would stay until Sunday, the day after the wedding, before leaving going back to South Carolina.

We had a discussion back early in our relationship as to what type of church would we go to...we came from completely opposite backgrounds. Roger was raised Methodist, married into the Lutheran church and when moved from South Carolina to Tennessee...he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church. I was born and raised Baptist and when I was 19 years old...started going to the Assembly of God church, which I later joined, in the town that I lived. So, churches were a big topic of discussion. It was funny how we narrowed down the possibilities of where we would visit once we got was the process of what do you not want to be the worst and worked toward the one that we were both willing to try out. But until that time, we went to my church at the Assembly of God. After we were married, we did try out several demoninations and went to one church for several months before I could not stand it anymore. I told Roger that I felt so spiritually dead and he asked me where did I want to go and I told him First Assembly of God. We have been there ever since:)

This is so precious, when one Sunday, Roger and his daughters came to church with me and being that it was different than what they were used too....his youngest daughter was intrigued by the people who raised their hands in worship during our praise and worship time. She went home and told her mom "it was so neat, Mom, because all those people kept trying to reach up and touch Jesus". Through the eyes of a child....that is what we are doing in the spirit...reaching out to touch Jesus.

The setting for our wedding was a Saturday afternoon at 2 PM, at the First Assembly of God in my hometown. It was a beautiful, sunny winter day on February 23, 1991. My matron of honor was my friend and the wife of the guy that introduced us and my bridesmaid was my now ex-sister-in-law. Roger's best man was his father and his older brother, Marty, as his groomsman. We used my best friend's daughter and my soon-to-be new niece, Leigh Anne, who was 3 years old as flower girls and my 4 year old son, Brandon, was the ring bearer. My sister, Lana, played the organ for us. Roger's mother and younger brother, Rex, are florist, who brought every piece of greenery and fresh flowers in the winter from South Carolina in a van with the air conditioner on. They nearly froze but the flowers were beautiful. I let "Nana" pick out and design my bouquet and all the other flowers. They did a fantastic job! My only brother, Jeff, and Roger's brother, Marty, served as our ushers and candle lighters. My brother also gave me away to become Roger's wife. My wonderful preacher, Bro. Bob officiated the ceremony. He along with his wife, Debi provided the music. Roger's daughters, Sommer & Ryan, along with his niece, Ashley and my niece, Ashley were all escorted out after the mothers by Roger's nephews, Perry and Blake and my nephew, Bret. We tried to incorporate nearly all family members into our wedding so how.

We wanted to honor our parents at our wedding, so as I entered the church being escorted by my was a very emotional time for me because my daddy was not there to see me finally happy and to give his little girl away....again:) The picture that was made of me coming down the aisle looks like I am very unhappy because I am crying but it was because of daddy and no other reason. I stopped and gave my mother a single white rose and kissed her. When Roger & I exited...I stopped and gave his mother a single white rose and a kiss too.

The song that is playing now, "Always" by Atlantic Star was the song that Roger swears is 2 hours long because we lit our unity candle during the song and "gazed" into each other's eyes for the remainder of the song. It was a very long song....almost 5 minutes. It was just about to get comical...we started talking to each other to pass the time. But, it is a great song. We also had "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

Our wedding day was magical! The best part of the entire ceremony was when Bro. Bob pronounced us...Mr. and Mrs. Roger W*********. (We agreed when I started this blog that we wouldn't mention last those that know can complete the name and for those who don't...I'm sorry but I have to honor Roger's wishes and this was his only stipulation.)

It was small but yet large enough, formal but yet not too formal, relaxing, enjoyable and nothing was rushed. It was so special because we planned every aspect of it and it just said "us". We got to spend plenty of time with our friends after the was just perfect! The groom's cake was chocolate with chocolate has two tennis rackets that were crossed and it said "Advantage Roger"! I had a beautiful, three tier bride's cake with sparking cider in beautiful crystal goblets that Roger's mom gave us. It was funny because on the wedding could hear and see me asking Roger..."what's in this glass?" I thought surely it was white wine and I was about to panic. His mother overheard me and said "it's ok,'s only cider" Whewwwwwwwwww!!!!!!

The other funny thing baby boy's shoes were too small and did not have time to exchange he is in one of the pictures below with his shoes off...he kept saying "my feet hurt". God love him!

My cousin along with the help of my brother and few others...decorated Roger's Ford Explorer...really, really good! I thought he was going to have a stroke. They took the aisle markers and attached them to the grill on the front...looked just like a casket spray!! So after we left the church, we drove 20 miles and he had to stop to wash his truck, well, actually, scrub it...after we went to Wal-Mart to buy stuff to clean it with...on the way to our honeymoon!!!!!

We had rented a mountain cabin that was like a bed and breakfast for our honeymoon. They would bring homemade breakfast with fresh fruit and juice. It was a 6 hour drive to the cabin and it was the first day of Desert Storm. We talked all the way to the cabin and listened to the radio but we always kept going back to was how enjoyable our wedding was. It was just like we had hoped and planned it would be. The was one of the happiest days of my was magical with my prince charming, the love of my life, my heavenly knight in shining armor, my helper and my best friend by my side. I love you, Roger!

I love the wording in the different translations...KJV, NIV and The Message

Genesis 2:24 - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (NIV)

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. (Message)

Matthew 19:4-6 - "Haven't you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ (5)and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? (6)So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (NIV)

Matthew 19:4-6 - And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (KJV)

Mini Wedding Album....yes, I cut my bangs the week before the wedding....too short....but it was 17 years ago...go ahead, laugh...I do:) My, my...we looked young! Sorry, but my scanned pictures don't have good color quality.

Brandon is the little boy in the pictures, Roger's new stepdaughters, Sommer & Ryan and my mother with Brandon. You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Next Entry: The Honeymoon

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Courtship and Engagement

I could not have imagined that I would have met the man of my dreams with every quality that I prayed for. Lack of faith? I don’t think so...maybe reality in our day with divorce rates as high as they are.

We continued to date through the remainder of October, November and into December. I went with him to his mom and dad’s for Thanksgiving that year to meet his family. That was a nerve-racking time to be on display for his parents, two brothers, their wives, nieces and nephews to look me and my son over to make their assessment. I took my son with me to South Carolina because I came as a package deal...if you want me...then you get my son also. His family was very nice to me and made us feel welcome. Then we came back home so he could be put on display for my family to meet. All in went very well.

Our dates consisted of going out to eat, to the movies, to the athletic club to watch him play tennis but mostly, he was at my house or I was at his apartment. The weekends that my son was with me, his girls were with him so they could get to know each other. They blended immediately and acted like family with ease.

We went looking at houses, talked about marriage but yet we both refused to use the "L" not say it very loud because at this point...we did not use it. Needless to say, we did everything backwards. We were getting very, very close and the feelings were running very deep by now.

Then, all the sudden, the first of December...he walked me to my car when I was at his apartment and in talking and saying goodnight...he said "he did not know if he loved me." BAM! Where did that come from? He said he wanted to go back to being "special" again...friends. I was in shock, hurt, sick to my stomach....but there was a sense of calm also. I knew in my heart that God hand picked him for me and he WAS mine. I tried to talk to him but I felt it was time for me to just go home.

I prayed all the way home and half the night that God would show him that we were meant to be together. I prayed that he would feel the same sense of togetherness that I felt. However, I had to remember that I had been divorced four years and he had only been divorced for months...not years. There was still a lot of pain from his divorce and he missed his girls terribly. He is an awesome father, so not being with them on a daily basis was taking it’s toll on him. I know he felt a certain amount of guilt because he was with my son and was not able to spend that same amount time with his girls. After I had time to think about it, he had seemed distant for the past week but I thought it was job related stress or something simple. I continued to pray all weekend and through the next week. We continued to see each other and talk on the phone...weird nothing happened or like we were closer than friends but not in love??? I refused to let him get away but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do for him to see that I really did love him...more than just friends.

A couple of weeks went by....I went to his apartment on a Saturday so we could talk. Now, he lived probably 40 miles from where I jumping in the car and running right over there was not possible. I was hoping we could spend Christmas together but he was completely refusing.

We talked briefly but he had a tennis match already he left and I stayed there. I had intended to stay until he got back so we could talk more. After he left, I cleaned his apartment, washed, dried, folded and put his clothes away. Then....I went home. I wanted him to see that I would make a good wife but I was not going to beg him either. It was that evening when he got back to his apartment, he saw that it was spotless and all his laundry was done...then he called. me. In our conversation, he told me that he knew that I loved him and he loved me. God really has a sense of know what turned him around? What made him realize that he really loved me and I really loved him? The way that I FOLDED HIS UNDERWEAR! I thought I was going to die when he told me that. But he went on to say...if I took the time to fold his underwear in a special way...then I would be a wife who paid careful attention to the other details of our relationship. Go figure! Underwear?

By Christmas, we were back where I had hoped we would love. He left right about Christmas to go hunting in Ohio. While he was gone...he called me and told me to pick out two wedding dates. I told you we did everything engagement ring. The night he got back in town...I was waiting at his apartment for him to get home. After welcoming him home and hearing all about his trip...he asked me to get something out of his bag for him. In the process of doing that....I found a little something for me in his bag . . . AN ENGAGEMENT RING! And yes, he asked me to marry him that night and I said "YES!"

We picked out our wedding date all before his parents came down for New Year’s Day. We set the wedding for February 23, 1991....5 ½ months after we met.

When we both let go and let God...then we knew in our was blessed by God, orchestrated by God and Roger was definitely my "heavenly knight in shining armor".....truly a God answer to prayer.

Just four short months before I was lonely, felt broken, unloved, unwanted and in despair. But God hear my cries and He answered them....just as He promised.

II Corinthians 4:8,9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (NIV)

No matter how small you think your problems are, how small or insignificant your dreams might seem....God cares about each one of them....because He loves you.

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

The pictures above are: Roger at my house, me in his apartment and us together at his parent's house in South Carolina...Thanksgiving 11/90.


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