Life

Hello Sunday!

Reminiscing

Have you ever felt as if part of your life was missing? Not a person, but your actual life. Yesterday this feeling of loss and sadness overcame me. I couldn’t pinpoint it at first. Then it came to me. I missed being in the military.

I retired almost a decade ago, and yesterday was the first time the feeling hit me so hard. You see, I grew up around soldiers. My first exposure to military life was through my Uncle June. He was in the Army and he made it seem like fun. Probably because he goofed off most of the time. Lol. At the time, he was stationed in Fort Riley, KS and we were living in Topeka. When he visited, he never came alone. He would always bring a few of his Army buddies and the women in our Deer Creek apartment complex would go crazy! Uncle June, Tillery, and another friend would come up on the weekends, drink, play cards, and tell all kinds of wild Army stories. Little did I know, a few years later our family would move to Ft. Riley with my stepdad.

From sixth grade until I joined the Air Force in 1992, I saw soldiers daily. Hence the reason I chose the Air Force (smile). Honestly, I never considered joining the military or being associated with the military. I did not want to go to war. This was around the end of the Gulf War. I did not want to go to the field (military training for war). I did not want a cheating husband (cause they all seemed to cheat). And I definitely didn’t want to take orders from anyone (Ha! Nothing’s changed).

Anyway, about a year before I joined the Air Force, my boyfriend asked me to help him study for the ASVAB (military placement test). He had decided to join the Navy and needed a certain score. I helped him study. He passed the ASVAB, but due to a previous knee injury he couldn’t join. About a year later, I took the ASVAB and joined the Air Force. I had no idea that while I was helping him study, I was actually studying for myself. Crazy, huh?!

I’m smiling as I write because God will give you exactly what you ask for but it is not always what you imagined. When I was in high school, I wrote how I wanted to work for a major corporation, travel the world and speak different languages. Well… I joined the Air Force (major corporation), my first duty station was in Germany (traveled the world), but I never got to speak different languages, something I have always regretted. You see, over the course of middle and high school I had taken four years of Spanish and three years of French. While in basic training I was given the opportunity to take a language test. Taking the test meant another skill set would be added to my profile. Y’all, I was so afraid of failing that I did not take the test. I backed out at the last minute. Funny thing is, I knew both languages almost as well as I knew English, probably better. You know, it amazes me how fear.. little old fear.. can change the entire trajectory of your life. Throughout my career I had other opportunities to take the test, but decided not to. Mostly because I felt as if I was not worthy of the additional opportunities. Like, if I didn’t do it the first time, why would I be given other chances. It was like I was punishing myself for my failure to act. I am so grateful for growth. I have now realized God will give us opportunity after opportunity to fulfill our dreams and purpose. However, it is up to us to recognize them as such and grasp them. They are gifts. Yes, I’m learning.

Anyhoo.. back to missing my military life. Y’all know I get sidetracked. From the moment I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training, until the time I retired, I wanted to get out. Every day I asked myself why I joined. The ONLY answer I could think of was it was better than joining the Army. Really?!

I cannot lie, I LOVED every moment. I enjoyed the camaraderie. Having a steady paycheck and all of the extra perks. Opportunities to visit different countries (some I took, some I didn’t). Interacting with so many people. Pilots in flight suits (yesss). Fighter jets. Cargo planes. Beefing with ATC (they thought they were God’s gift to the Air Force). My Weather buddies. House parties. Squadron parties. Riding on the airfield when I needed to get away. Yes, that was the life!

Of course there were things I did not enjoy, but looking back, they were minute. Y’all, I am just grateful for the experience. If I had to do it all over, I would. BUT.. I would do it bigger and better. Thinking back, God always placed people around me who encouraged me to aim high (the AF motto). To tap into my full potential. Little did they know, I was too afraid to aim high because I hated the recognition. I hated receiving awards, and I received quite a few. I only wanted to do my job and go home. But they wanted to recognize me. Why? To me, I was doing what everyone should have been doing. It was nothing special. But.. it was!

Short story-

I received my first commendation medal for my actions after a Boeing-747 cargo plane slid off the runway at Ramstein. It had been snowing heavily all night. The plane was scheduled to land as soon as quiet hours was over at 6:00 a.m. Before they even entered our airspace I had the pilots contacted so they could divert to another base because the snow wouldn’t be removed before they arrived. I even spoke with the crew. They said that they had enough fuel to divert to Frankfurt. Plus, I had already contacted Frankfurt and they had the ramp space. I asked the crew about their crew rest hours. They were good. So nothing was stopping them from diverting. They informed that they had landed in those conditions before. So I informed them that they were landing at their own risk. Tower cleared the snow removal crew from the runway. The plane landed and slid off the end of the runway. This led to the runway being closed for several hours. Which caused other aircraft to have to divert to other bases. At that time, I had only been on the job (in the Air Force) for a year, and the only one on duty. Looking back, that was pretty awesome. I stayed calm the entire time and did my job. To me it was no big deal, just another day at work. I will tell you I am thankful it was recorded because they tried to blame it on me. Bae-bé, I knew what I was doing! I had already made 100% on my 3-level course exam. Lol!

Listen, from now on I am going to seize opportunities. When God opens doors, I will walk through them. Also, I am going to humbly accept all accolades. I’m not going to shy away from them anymore because I am a display for God’s work.

Thank you for reading. I guess you could say this blog was about me coming to terms with a part of my life that I took for granted. A part of my life that I cannot get back, but I can learn from and do better.

Be Blessed,

Shaun

Life

Smile

Smile.

The birds are awake and chirping.
Today is going to be a wonderful day.
Speak it.
Claim it.
Keep smiling.
Know that God is still in control.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 NIV

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

I Have a 17 Year Old!

Today is my son’s 17th birthday. Seventeen! Where did the time go? Sooo many memories in what seems like such a short time.

Y’all, cherish the time you spend with your little ones. Listen, one minute they are babies, and the next they are adults. Make sure you get to know them as individuals. Get to know what excites them, what makes them smile and laugh; but also, get to know what disappoints them or makes them sad or mad. Sometimes as parents we become so caught up in parenting that we forget that 1) we were once children with feelings and 2) they are little human beings trying to find their place in this crazy world. Here are my two cents of advice– as with most humans, love, guidance, acceptance, understanding, and compassion goes much further than correction. The next time you have the urge to correct your child, please take time to find out the root of the problem. Sometimes all they want is your attention.

Okay.. enough parenting advice.

Again, I cannot believe I have a 17 year old! It has been such an honor watching him become this vibrantly, brilliant young man. I still can’t believe God gave him to me. I am definitely blessed. Y’all, I love him so much! Praying God protects him from hurt, harm and danger. Speaking nothing but blessings and favor over his life. He’s God’s child and deserves the absolute best!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

Sending hugs and love!

Today I am sending out virtual hugs. I love hugs. Well… from the right people. No creepy hugs.

Rest assured, my hugs are not creepy. They are the kind of hugs my grandmothers used to give. They would wrap me in their arms and squeeze me so tightly. As I got older, I realized what that squeeze meant. It meant, let go. Let go of all of craziness around you. Let go, rest your head, and let out a good cry. Let go, I am here for you. Let go, you are appreciated. Let go, you are LOVED!

I am so grateful I hugged my children throughout their childhood. Whenever I need a good hug, they are always here with open arms. My son is notorious for saying, “Come here. You need a hug.”

So, today, I’m sending out virtual hugs to everyone who needs one. Tight squeeze. Let go!

I love y’all. Have a blessed week!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

Today’s a new day!

Hello.. Hello.. Hello! Today’s a new day!

Have you ever woke up feeling rejuvenated? Like a brand new person? Well, this morning I did. Now, don’t ask me what I was dreaming about because I don’t really remember. All I remember is buying white and gold fabric from some gigantic fabric store, and the fabric was UGLY!! Lol. Anyway, after waking up, the word “new” kept coming to mind. So I referred to the Bible. Several verses with the word “new” appeared, but this one resonated with how I woke up feeling.

Revelation 21:5 (NIV)- He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

For me, this feeling of newness and rejuvenation means that I can start over. I am not confined by yesterday’s thoughts or decisions. Thankfully, every new day comes with a fresh start. Now, it’s up to me to accept the new start or revert back to the same old thing.

Honestly, I am anxious to see what I do. Will I do something new? Will I accept God’s gift? I certainly hope so.

As I said, today’s a new day! Not only for me, but for you, too. What will you chose? Will you accept God’s gift and do something new? If not today, maybe tomorrow. Just remember that every day is a gift and it comes with the same opportunity, the opportunity to start anew.

Enjoy your day!

Shaun

Life

Expect the Unexpected

Last week I wrote, Trusting God’s Plan. Two days ago, Pastor Steven Furtick posted, “This is the year of things we didn’t expect. Don’t underestimate God’s ability to bring something beautiful out of our unmet expectations.” Both are confirmation that letting go and allowing God have total control will yield the best outcome.

Letting go means not thinking about what is to come, or how a certain story will play out. If you are anything like me, you sit and think, “If I do this, this will happen.” And “this will happen” usually leads to 100 different scenarios. Lol.

Story time! I promise to keep it short. Lol

Sunday I wrote about a situation with my neighbor and his dog. Monday morning I decided that I was going to knock on his door and ask him not to tie his dog to my tree. Had the entire scene played out in my mind. Actually, I had several scenes played out. You know, “If I say this, he’ll probably say blah blah blah.” Well, let me tell you how it actually went down. As I was heading to work, he and his wife were walking the dog. The wife had stopped to talk to one of our neighbors and he was talking on the phone. Y’all, everything happened so fast. I flagged him down and got his attention. Afterwards, I explained that my son was taking classes virtually and that I worked from home most days, and how the dog’s barking was interfering with our work. He quickly apologized and returned to his phone conversation, and I went on to work. None of that happened as I thought it would. I wish I could say that it ended there, but it didn’t. All morning I kept replaying the scene over and over in my head. Kept wondering what he thought of me. What his wife thought of me. Did they think I was rude? Was I rude? Couldn’t I have waited to address the issue? I mean, this really bothered me. I kept hearing God say, “Let it go,” but I could not let it go. Thankfully I became engrossed in something I was working on and forgot about the situation. When I got home, I went over and introduced myself (something I should have done before the incident), and I apologized for being so abrupt that morning. They also apologized and said they didn’t know anyone lived in my house. Umm… how could they not know, but… okay. As I walked back home, I noticed that they had removed the leash from my tree. Smiling

I said all of that to say, when I finally gave it to God, He worked it out. Is anyone else hearing, “Turn it over to Jesus, he will work it out. He can. He can. Work it out”? Y’all, I hear songs all day long. Lol.

Anyhoo.. I did not expect that outcome. I expected some kind of pushback that never happened. None of the scenarios that preoccupied my mind that morning, or even the day before, were close to what actually happened. But isn’t that how it usually happens. Nothing ever happens the way we imagine. Which means we really need to concentrate more on being present and less on what will happen next. Y’all, it is sooo freeing to just let go and let God do His thing.

Along with Pastor Furtick’s post was this image that said, “Are you missing what God wants to give you because of what you thought He was going to do?”

Expect the unexpected.

Be Blessed,

Shaun