Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year!

I have been thinking about New Year's Resolutions for the last couple of weeks. First, I didn't want to be cliche even though I know I need to get in shape. I decided I would really start working out again in February after the New Year Resolution crowds die down at the gym. Then I was thinking I don't want to wait until February to do a New Year's Resolution. But, I don't want to let myself down if I can't keep it so I thought I won't do one at all.

Finally it came to me. I am going to try new things that I haven't done before or in a long time: not necessarily major ground breaking things but I am deciding to get out of my comfort zone. The first thing I did was I got red peek a boo highlights. I liked it but then a week later we went bolder with a more dramatic fashion red! Thank you Emily Peace Kelly for making my hair dreams come true!

Then we put James in a Parent's Morning Out Preschool. It is 3 hours, 2 days a week. It is a huge adjustment for him but better now than starting in Pre-K!! It is so good for him in every way! Of course my heart feels like it is breaking when I hand him off and he becomes hysterical. He calms down... Eventually. He has only gone twice so far. He'll get into the routine and before long he'll be so excited to go to his class. My mom told me one time how it was harder when my brother became independent and barely said bye as he ran off with his friends. It is going to help him in the long run by also trying new things and branching out into uncharted waters.

Then there are little choices on things like what to eat. This week I had an "ants on a log" snack- celery with peanut butter and raisins. Yesterday at Chuy's Mexican Restaurant I had authentic tortilla soup and flautas. Today I got my nails done with a red French tip manicure with sparkles.

I want this year to be special. I want to try lots of new things: big decisions and simple everyday decisions. I want to be spontaneous and really live life to the fullest.


In addition, I'd like to share about our church message last week.

Jeff Henderson, lead pastor at Gwinnett Church, did a very compelling New Year's message called "This is my Year... I promise".

He explored the Possibility standpoint:
Own a space in the land of possibility
Lease a space in the land of reality.

He asked the questions:
What do you think is possible for you in the New Year?

What does God think is possible for you?
We know what God thinks is possible.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Self-Control, Faithfulness,  Goodness, Gentleness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, in summary, we can also work on getting fruit of the Spirit which God knows is possible for us. Fruit of the Spirit will transform 2016 and make it the best year ever!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas & the New Year: Reflecting back on losing my mom this year

Doris at 4 Eagle Ranch 2014

I'd like to begin this post with an acknowledgment that I realize most of my blog posts have been about missing my mom this year. I have been inspired to write as I struggle through processing the fact that she is in Heaven and we are here without her. We all miss her but the bond I feel from being her daughter is something that was so strong. She was my best girlfriend throughout all  my years growing up. Sure we had some rough patches, but it wouldn't be a real relationship without them. Making it through tough times always brings people closer together. Setting boundaries as our relationship changed helped me become independent as a wife and then as a mother.

But through it all I am the woman I am today from listening to her wisdom, guidance and watching her be a lady. I have respect for my mom as she lived and breathed persistence and overcoming obstacles. She was resilient and I took her drive to heart. I am thankful everyday for the time we spent together 

As the New Year is here, I am reflecting on all my friends and family that were physically and spiritually here for me and my family when we lost my mom. I have the memories from the funeral when literally hundreds of people came out to support us and honor my mom in grieving her sudden passing. 

I think about people coming from hundreds and thousands of miles to be there. I remember the people standing up when my dad asked who was there supporting me. I then think about the hundreds of people who couldn't be there at the funeral but who were there in spirit, friends who personally reached out with a card, phone call, text, flowers, a meal, lunch date, and countless other ways to show they were standing with me through this heartbreaking time as I grieved. 

In all my life I have never before felt so loved in my darkest time. It's a different kind of love than at a wedding because weddings are a fun celebration. People that can be there for you then, in your darkest time, in that uncomfortable place, to show you they care and are with you... That is a special love and kindness that will always be remembered. 

When you lose a loved one there is not much you can say and nothing can bring them back. The best thing you can do is to be there with them. Sometimes you may not know what to say, and that is okay. Sometimes just saying, "I'm here for you and praying for you" is all we need. The prayers and grace from God eased the pain and brought hope and joy back to my life. 

You learn a lot about yourself through the process of losing a loved one. It is a journey and you learn to live with the pain but it will never fully go away. You have to move on and honor them and their memory. I believe a loved one in Heaven would want you to find the joy in life and celebrate their life and legacy.

So, to all my friends and loved ones that were there for me during this tough year, thank you! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Remembering Una Abbott 2-27-1926 to 11-21-2015

Una Hart Abbott

Kyle's maternal grandmother, Una Hart Abbott answered the call of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to "Come home", Saturday November 21st, 2015.  She was surrounded by His loving presence, and uplifted by the prayers of her family, and many brothers and sisters in Christ.  Her blue eyes are twinkling in God's great universe.  

   She was born February 27, 1926 in Scurry County Texas to William Dewitt "Hoot" Hart, and Ruby Pearl Davis Hart, Texas pioneers and ranchers.  She died the same date as her father, W. D. Hart, Sr., who died November 21st, 1987.    Una was named after her aunt, Una Hart Wade.  She grew up on the family ranch in Gaines County, Texas with her parents and two brothers, W. D. Hart, Jr., and Jimmie C. Hart.  In her youth, Una was a member of the First Baptist Church of Seminole, and the Y.W.A. Girls.  Una graduated from Seminole High School in Seminole, Texas at mid-term in January 1943 with honors.    

Una's Family at her memorial in Temple, TX

   Una then enrolled in Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas, where she met the love of her life, James Darwin Abbott of Bradshaw, Texas, a marine recently returned from the Pacific Theater of WWII.  At a campus social, Una asked James to dance, but James said "no", since he really had never danced; but James quickly realized he was "foolish" for turning down such a pretty girl!  He got up, apologized for the slight, they were engaged the next year, and married on December 23, 1945 at Una's parents' home in Seminole, Texas. Her brother, W.D. Hart, Jr., had to give her away in marriage, since her Dad wasn't ready to "get rid of her!"  The marriage coincided with Una's graduation from Texas Tech University at the top of her class.  At Texas Tech, she was a member of the Omega Chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron sorority.   

   Una next began teaching at Hutchinson High School while James finished his Master's degree at Texas Tech in Agronomy.  James jokes that he "married up", since Una was very scholarly, and helped him pursue his university degrees.  James graduated in 1948, and began a long career with the newly formed Soil Conservation Service (USDA).  They lived in Ballinger, Lamesa, Lubbock, and Littlefield, and moved to Temple, Texas in 1961, the state headquarters for the SCS.    James and Una were blessed with three daughters:  Linda, Susan, and Nancy. Una was an affectionate mother who lovingly used her expert seamstress skills to create countless beautiful outfits for her daughters. She also fostered and encouraged a love of the arts in her girls.  Throughout her home, there were always quiet reminders that the source of her strength in this life was God.  The open Bible, Scripture study notes, and daily devotional books testified of her love for her Savior, Jesus Christ.  Two of her favorite hymns were "Sweet Hour of Prayer", and "How Great Thou Art".  
Una's husband, son-in-laws, brother-in-law, grandson and great grandson
   Una loved the world of academia, and studied her whole life. She did income tax preparation, pursued her real estate license, worked as a consulting dietician at central Texas nursing homes, and went to Mary Hardin-Baylor to become a registered nurse.  Una was also a motivational coach for her family and friends.  She thought everyone should be learning and active in this world we live in!  She loved animals, and had many pets along the way:  Happy, Bridgette, Gretchen, Petey, Max, Sadie, and Willy-Molly.  Una always had a garden, was an avid reader, walked three miles everyday, always voted, kept up with the stock markets and business world, and she loved music, like the Chieftans and Asleep at the Wheel.  She had a passion for antiques, attending estate sales, and stopped at all antique stores, looking for that special treasure.

   Una's dry wit was refreshing and always brought a laugh.  Once, when talking about who committed a high profile crime in Dallas, she was asked who she thought did it; her reply was: "Check the family; they're the only ones that know you well enough to want to kill you!”

   Una's English, Irish, and Scotch heritage began early in the 1600's in the United States with General Abraham Wood.  Her great-great uncle, James Chamberlain Jones invented "stump speaking" when running for governor of Tennessee.

   Survivors include her husband James, daughter Linda and husband Rick Leahy Smith of Temple, Texas;  daughter Susan and husband James 'Jim' Gordon Behnke of Buford, Georgia; daughter Nancy and husband Major General(Retired) Eddy Spurgin of Big Spring, Texas; her brother Jimmie C. Hart, of Seminole, Texas; grandson Jonathon Kyle Behnke and wife Jennifer of Woodstock, Georgia; great-grandson James Kyle Behnke; grandchildren Robyn, Dorci, Clint, and their families; grand-dogs Maggie, Charlie, and Emma; and many Hart and Davis cousins.
Una's three daughters, sister-in-law, and granddaughter-in-law
   She was preceded in death by her younger brother, W.D. Hart, Jr., who was killed in a tragic accident at the age of 21; her parents: W.D. Hart, Sr., and Ruby Hart.    Una's family would like to thank First United Methodist Church of Temple, Gentiva Hospice Care, the Visiting Angels, and all the friends who have held vigil for our beloved wife, mother, sister, and daughter.  We have lost not only a valued family member, but our very dearest best friend.

     Honorary pallbearers are all Soil Conservation Service employees and retirees. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Box 773, Temple, Tx 76503.

   For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Celebrating My First Birthday Without My Mom

Any other year I would have said this was absolutely the best birthday ever! We have so much to celebrate! Our son is healthy and almost two. He is growing up so so fast. Last night he even climbed out of the crib because he wasn't ready to go to bed. We started a trucking company and we are already thinking of expanding.

I got everything I asked for and more for my birthday, but one thing I really wanted I could never have again. One person I wish I could hear one more "Happy Birthday, Muffet! I love you, Jen." But she isn't here. I miss my mom and I wish she could see all we have going on, right now.

I think she would be proud of me and glad my health is so good. No, I know she would be proud of me. I know she would want me to be happy. Except for not having my mom in my life, I would say I am really happy. One thing is for sure, I am blessed.

The main thing that has truly helped me is the strength I have received through the Lord's matchless grace and peace. My husband, Kyle and my family and my friends who have prayed for me, thank you!! I feel your prayers daily and I love each of you!