Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes you just see a sign...

This will sound like a really strange post. But I needed to write it down. (After re-reading, it feels so good to have it in print...)

I have been going through a trial over the last couple of weeks, and trying to figure out how to better hear God's words when I am speaking to Him. Without going into too much detail, I like to pray out loud. Almost always it's either in the car, or when the kids are at school, so I can speak out loud (as if God were sitting across the table from me.) When I pray, I usually get a "sign" from Him. It is unmistakable, and I always get the same sign. That's how I know that we're having a conversation, or that He agrees with me, or that "everything will be ok". It's basically a universal sign from Him to me that puts me at peace when we talk.

Well, for the last couple of weeks I have not seen that sign at all when I pray. It started to scare me - a LOT. At one point, I really felt worried that I was doing something wrong, and that God and I had lost our connection temporarily.

Well, today, the trial is still there, but with a great friend's help, and many, many prayers from friends, I have learned that I am worthy and that I should give my trial to God to handle. So I did. I told Him that I would try to give it to Him and that whatever the outcome was, I was sure that it would be OK because it would be His will.

And, the sign came back!! Tears of joy dripped down my face, as I realized that we were connected once more.

This is an absolutely true story. It was as if He was waiting for me to say those exact words. And, though my faith was never lost during these last couple of weeks, I did have some lingering doubt about whether the prayer that I was asking for was "the right prayer". I have always struggled with asking God for things that seem trivial to others. And, although this recent request is not trivial in my opinion, I still felt that maybe it wasn't something that I should be asking for. My friend reassured me that He knows what's in my heart.

So, after the sign came back, Alissa and I went out shopping for a birthday present for one of our dear friends. (Alissa is on break from school this week.) As we ate lunch at the Navy Exchange Food Court, I noticed a man sitting behind Alissa.

This man looked EXACTLY like my grandpa (my dad's dad). I mean EXACTLY: the moustache, the white hair, combed the same way, the same glasses, the same body, the same everything. They could have been twins. I couldn't help but look at him repeatedly. (I'm sure he probably either didn't notice or dismissed me as an idiot.)

My dad's dad was a great person, at least in my opinion. And, every time I saw him, he spoke the same words: "There's Grampap's Baby!". (He said this up until his death, and I was 18 at the time.) He always made me feel wonderful, and everytime I saw him he seemed so happy to see me. It is a phrase that, some days, I still long to hear. Though I don't remember those early days, my mom tells me that we had a special bond in my first few years of life. I wish that I could remember.

Seeing this man, I am sure, was a sign of some sort. I don't know what the sign was meant to say, or why. But it was there.

Thank you God! I know you are trying to tell me something, and although I don't know what it is just yet, I am so glad our communication lines are restored. Amen!!

And to my grandpa, I miss you every day, even after 20 years. Thank you for being here today.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Oh Yes, It's '80s night....

Our very wonderful friends, Jay and Lucie, organized an "'80s Night" party. Because this party was family-friendly, the kids were all in attendance, too - it was dinner and a selection of movies made in the 1980s. (I am fairly confident that part of Jay's heart lies in the 1980s for some reason, as he talks about it a lot... Keep in mind that Jay was born in 1971, just like me, so he was a kid/teen in the 1980s.)

Well, there were 4 families in attendance, and the females from these families decided that it would be fun to "dress the part". My 3 girls totally got into it, but, since they weren't alive in the '80s, all they really had for a frame of reference is what they've seen on TV - i.e. Full House and Family Matters. They really tried, but some of the fashions they chose were actually more appropriate for the '70s - tie-dye and peace sign necklaces. Alissa and Alex did rock the 80s costume jewelry that I used to wear (and still hang onto, for some crazy reason...)

I did my hair the way I would have in the '80s, I guess. I didn't dress up, per se, but when our friend Nicole came through the door, I almost peed my pants!! She totally looked the part. She had on a short sleeve t-shirt with the sleeves rolled, and jeans with the legs pegged. (Those of you that are around my age, don't even try to tell me that you didn't wear your jeans that way!!)

She also rocked the hairdo. She has naturally curly, curly hair, but she curled down her bangs in a roll like my sister Shari used to do. (I remember that one section of Shari's hair literally took HOURS for her to get perfect.) Then she spritzed up the top section of her head into a little poof. I really felt like we were looking at what could have been her freshman yearbook photo! She really took the dressing-up to the next level. It was perfection!

I think Alissa has a picture on her phone, I'll see if I can get her to send it to me. This one is the only one that we took with our camera, and it doesn't do Nicole's outfit justice at all:

(Clockwise: me, Nicole, Tania, Lucie, Alex and Abby...)

We watched "SpaceCamp". Now, anyone who knew me back in the day knows that I went through a genuine phase where I felt I was destined to be an astronaut and go up in space with the space shuttle. This movie was in my top 5 for many, many years. It was a huge kick to see it again after a few years. Yes, it's a campy movie, and that would never really happen - a group of kids accidentally getting sent into space. My kids didn't seem to love the movie like I remember loving it. But, the grownups did. (Jay and Lucie had NEVER seen it before?? I still can't figure that one out...)

Then, the little ones went home with a parent or grandparents, and Alissa took my girls home for a Disney movie. Jon and I stayed with Nicole and Jay and Lucie and watched The Goonies. My Jon loves this movie. I am not such a fan, but I watched in the spirit of '80s Night, and I actually found myself laughing out loud a couple of times.

Thank you friends, what a "totally" fun night! Who's planning the next theme party?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Target is here!! Ok, it's not open yet. (3 more days...)

You know that feeling that you feel, when you haven't seen an old friend for a very, very long time, and then suddenly you see them?

I felt that feeling today.

We drove by the Target building today, on our way home from the new Costco. That familiar red logo called out to us, warm and welcoming.

Yes, I know Target is just a store. And to most of you, especially Mainlanders, you might see Target on a regular basis - monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily (Laurie?)

For us, Target is - this might sound strange - a piece of "home". A piece of something we left behind. It wasn't just a store.

I guess I can't explain it properly.

So, on Wednesday Alissa and I will fight the crowds and search frantically for a parking space, just to visit our precious Target. It isn't about the stuff inside the store. It's just the idea that there is a Target down the street, whenever we need a little slice of home. It doesn't replace any of you in our hearts, but it is a small piece of something familiar.

So if you call on Wednesday and get my voicemail, at least you'll know why I am not answering...!