Friday, February 21, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Small

Five minutes of thinking out loud - misspellings and mistakes included.  That's what I love about Five-Minute Friday!  Click over here to learn more!

Several years ago I had surgery on my left ear.  A tiny sliver of a bone in the middle ear had calcified, causeing hearing loss.  It was replaced with a small titanium prosthetic.  My hearing improved by 30% in that ear.  Trust me.  I noticed the difference. 

Small makes a big difference.  Think about the paper cut on your finger, or the pebble in your shoe.  Think about the millions of tiny cells that hold our bodies togehter.

Small can be life changing.  Just look at the tiny person you rock to sleep night after night.

I have been guilty of doing nothing because I felt what I had to offer was too small.  It's either all or nothing.
Today, I am counting the small:

A random text from my boy to tell me he loves me
Driving my girl to the bus stop so she didn't have to stand out in the cold
A text from Scotty telling me he's thinking about me
A dash of salt
A dap of lip gloss and cute earrings

Count with me?  What small things make a difference to you?

- Liv

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Love Story (Part 1)

"...try to write in a way that scares you a little."  - Holley Gerth

This is the first of a series of posts about our marriage.  Writing about this scares me - mostly because I want to come across as honestly as possible, without making the assumption that my story is any more important than anyone else's.  And how honest is too honest?  I don't know.  I just know that we all have a story and maybe the telling of it is more important for the writer than for the reader.  And maybe the reader can relate.  Or maybe others need permission to tell their story too.  So, here goes...

Next week Scotty and I will be married for twenty-one years.  That's a lot of time to learn about each other.  A lot of time to hurt one another.  Deeply.  We have done plenty of that in our marriage.  Enough so that, a few years ago, neither of us was sure if we were going to make it.  We always said it would never be an option, but at the time, the 'D' word seemed a whole lot easier than the turmoil we were living in.  The death of a marriage is often subtle and slow.  Our troubles were a long time comin'.

I was a child bride.  Saying it makes me cringe a little inside.  I had no idea how marrying so young would affect me as I became an adult.

We got married on a cold Sunday on February 28, 1993.  I was 16, in love, and happier than words can say.  I was not forced into it.  It was my choice - a choice I was too young to make.  That being said, I am so thankful that it was Scotty.  As my daughter nears the same age, I can't help but wonder how the adults around me were okay with it.  I cannot imagine allowing my little girl to make such a grown up choice at a time in her life when she is still trying to figure out who she is.

We met at church.  It was just after my 16th birthday in June.  He was in the military and had just been recently stationed at our local base.  My first impression of him?  I thought he was sort of nerdy!  But he was the nicest guy I had ever met.  A group of us would often go to a restaurant after Bible study and Scotty and I would end up talking the whole time.  We talked about his time in Germany, about our families, about God.  I learned that he was the youngest of six children.  He loved Cherry Coke and he was a fairly new Christian.  A few months later, after receiving my dad's approval, Scotty asked me to date him.  He made it clear that his intention was courtship and marriage.

We went to PoFolks for our first real date.  I told my best friend that I hoped he wouldn't wear his suspenders and hiking boots.  Like really.  I'm talking Napolean Dynamite shoes.  Don't you know he wore exactly that?  Yup.  Stone-washed jeans with the knees busted out, a flannel shirt, suspenders and Napolean Dynamite shoes.  Both the suspenders and the shoes "mysteriously" disappeared after we were married *wink*!  We talked about our hopes for the future over chicken fried steak and soda in mason jars.   

Things moved very quickly.  We began dating in November - the week before Thanksgiving, and were engaged before Christmas.  Scotty gathered my family and friends in the middle of my parent's living room, got down on one knee and said, "Olivia Christine, will you marry me and promise to serve God with me for the rest of our lives?"  I beamed as I said yes and he slid a ring on my finger. 

Our courtship and marriage three months later were quite a scandal, I am sure.  Some of my peers asked me how I knew he was the one.  No one could have convinced me to change my mind, even if they tried, because I was confident that God had a special plan for us.  We both felt that we were called into the ministry and we were anxious to begin walking in that direction.  So I dropped out in my junior year of high school.  I dropped out of high school to get married because God had a call on my life?!  I realize the absurdity of it, even as I type it out.  The school counselor asked me if I was pregnant as I filled out the paperwork to un-enroll.  I wasn't.  I was saving myself for our wedding day.

Here is where I look back and marvel at the grace of God.  First of all, that Scotty did not turn out to be some psychopath (sorry, Babe), but also that I fell into married life very easily.  In fact, I loved it.  I enjoyed making our little apartment feel like a home.  I woke up early to make breakfast and pack Scotty's lunch before kissing him off to work.  I waited anxiously for him to return home, dinner ready to be served.  I read books on being the Proverbs 31 woman.  I felt the need to prove that I was a mature and capable wife, no matter my age.

Scotty left the military and we dove into ministry.  We were both in bands for a coffee-house type music scene our church put on every Saturday night.  Scotty led worship, oversaw the Saturday night music scenes and was on the pastoral council.  I was the nursery coordinator and church book keeper.  We were all that.  Or so we thought.  We were on our way to becoming pastors one day.

Our son, Taylor was born when I was 19.  He was the most adorable, smiley, bald baby boy ever.  Two and a half years later, Celine came along.  She was tiny and graceful and beautiful.  I was 21.  I loved being a mom and was happy with my life and our little family.  Scotty had a good job and I was able to stay home with the kids.  We laughed in the face of the statistics that said one in three teen marriages would end in divorce.  It seemed our lives were going exactly as planned.
We make our own plans but the Lord decides where we will go.         Psalm 16:9 CEV
 We could never have imagined what was next for us.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Write

I've been typing words on this space for less than a year.  I still find myself amazed with every 'like', share or comment.  I am amazed that you have come back to read more of what I have to say. 

There's all these words jumbled up in my head and writing, for me, is a way to organize them.  It's like clearing off a cluttered desk.

I don't have a lot of answers.  I definitely don't have a corner on faith or motherhood or marriage.  But I do have a lot on my mind  and I am just so grateful that you would stick around for me to share it with you.

There are many whose words are achingly beautiful, making mine look plain in contrast.  There is always the pause before hitting 'publish'.  Look close enough (if you are a teacher, please don't look too closely!) and you will find many flaws.  There is always, will they like it?  Is it silly or stupid?  Does it make sense?  Why is what I have to say any more important than what anyone else has to say? 

You also have something to say.  Do what you do to say it.  Paint it.  Sing it.  Write it. 

Just five minutes.  Mistakes and all included.  Find more at

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The one where I DIDN'T bite my husband's head off ...

 This morning was rough, guys.

I've switched my workouts to early mornings so I can have my evenings free to take Cel to her games and practices.  Let's just admit it.  Every morning is rough.  It's dark.  And cold.  Wah.  But today was especially difficult.  I don't know, maybe it was because I stayed up late trying to get some reading done.

Anyhow, I unraveled myself from the warm, soft, cozy blankets and stepped out into the frigid cold.  I pulled my work-out clothes on, then I proceeded to sit on the floor.  And sit.  And sit.  My eyes may have been closed while I was doing the sitting.  My tennis shoes waited expectantly next to me.  They eventually found their way to my feet and I got moving around a little bit.  Made the bed.  Washed my face.  Pulled my hair into a pony tail.  I found my way to the living room where Scotty was sipping his coffee.

Don't ask me why, but I sat on the floor again.  Since he wasn't doing anything, I felt like Scotty should know how tired I was.  So I told him.  I also told him that I didn't waaannt to worrrk ouuut.  It was a completely grown up conversation, I assure you.  This is the part where my husband got brave.  Reeaally brave.  He stood up and pulled me to my feet.  After a hug (smart guy) he pushed me toward the dungeon where the evil treadmill lives.  "You know you want to - get in there," He said.  Because after aaaall these years he knows me.  He knows that, although my flesh was weak, my spirit was willing and I would regret not doing it.  He also knew it was a risky move because, depending on the day, I very well could have bit his head off.  You know, with one of those "you think I'm fat" remarks and then a week of the silent treatment and probably a month of "don't touch me".

So this story has a happy ending because he said it and I was the mature woman I always am (...what?) and accepted his prompting as an encouragement and not an insult.  And I got my morning run in.  All is well.

We will be celebrating 21 years of marriage this month.  With Valentine's Day coming up and all, I thought it would be a good time to share some of our story.  Stay tuned!

- Liv