My parents’ generation had JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, and the Apollo 13 return as their “I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about…” moments. My dad used to save the newspapers with those headlines.
My first one was the Reagan assassination attempt–announced over the intercom in school. I was in social studies class and I remember thinking, “Hey, this is one of those big deal things I’ll remember forever. Like when JFK got shot.” I felt like a grown up.
Challenger explosion–I was eating lunch at home on a break from work. I was wearing my Bears sweatshirt in celebration of the Super Bowl win. I felt shock, thinking, “Holy shit. I just watched people die.”
Then, the first Gulf War–I was stuck in traffic on the way home from work. Came home to see CNN’s live coverage of all those green tracers. It’s what made CNN a big deal. I felt even more grown up because I figured it was my generation’s turn to send our friends to war. And they went.
9/11–I was feeding my infant daughter and watched it all live on Good Morning America. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like a child and called my dad.
There are also the private moments–An ugly car crash that should have killed me as a teenager, my mother’s illness and death, the first time my future husband brought up the subject of marriage, my sister’s illness and death, the deal I made with God when I wasn’t getting pregnant with my first child, the day I found out I was pregnant, and on they go.
What are your moments? Do you ponder them in your heart? My private moments may not be newsworthy to rest of the world but, they are etched in my soul. I have to believe they are to be revisited now and again. I dare you to revisit yours.
I am currently sobbing over this past Sunday’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with the Hurston family from Cocoa, Florida. Joe Hurston, who runs the nonprofit relief organization Air Mobile Disaster Relief , has delivered portable water purifiers to disaster sites worldwide and installed about 660 water purification devices in 38 countries. Joe a pilot and Cindy, a nurse, met in Haiti and adopted their eldest daughter Juliet (17) from Haiti when she was 3 yrs old. They have a son, Peter (13) and daughter, Dieunika(5) who was adopted into the family from Haiti when she was 2.
While away from home, one of their pipes burst, flooding the house. Ironically, as Ty Pennington points out, the very thing they provide as relief to others around the world, provided devastation to their own home. When a massive earthquake struck Haiti last year, they made a conscious decision to put the repairs of their home on the back burner because the people of Haiti were in more desperate need. Even as they tour their home with Ty, the show’s designers and crew, they resist feelings of sadness over their situation because there are many of their friends living in tents of sheets or sticks, and have no access to water. They are thankful when they return from continued relief trips to Haiti, that they can live in a modest mobile home parked in their yard. A half bath in the main house provides the only actual plumbing in the home. I was struck at how Mr. Hurston’s demeanor energized as he described what his little plane could do. Its an old small workhorse but it can land in small places and can bring water purifiers just about anywhere. His joy for his mission is inspiring. One wish? That the plane had more fuel range. Part of the home makeover extends to the airplane as well.
Watching this family is nothing less than spectacular. I crave to raise a family as concerned for others as theirs. Please watch this episode and check out Air Mobile. Oh. Did I forget to mention that Air Mobile is a faith based organization? It’s not mentioned in the show–whether by design of the family or of the editors who knows or cares? They always directed the focus to the people in need and what can be done. The Hurstons are an awesome example of the love of Christ.
God bless the Hurston family in their continuing mission, safe travels, and the growth of their influence.
Inspired by this post from Los Whittaker, I remembered a prayer I had printed on a bookmark years ago when I attended Al-Anon, a 12-step recovery group for families of alcoholics. It began a changed life in me. I’ve been craving it lately and finally decided to track it down again. Hope it speaks to you.
Just For Today
Just for today, I will try to live through this day only,and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don’t want to–just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and rlax. During this half hour sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
-Kenneth L. Holmes
Copyright ©1996 Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
(note: this reprint has a later copyright date than the text itself circa 1986)
Well here I am, coming up out of the water yesterday at my baptism. OK, my and 130+ others’ baptisms! What a great day. Kids had a ball on the huge inflatable slide, crawl-thru caterpillar, face painting and balloon creations. 5Bs BBQ laid out an awesome spread of BBQ chicken and pork chops. Ashton Gap provided some bluegrass for the day. The fabulous smile in the picture is that of Kathryn Egly, the Orchard‘s Children’s Ministry director accompanied by Ted Egly, one of our awesome teaching pastors. Just a very cool couple to get baptized by. Kathryn encouraged me when we first joined the Orchard to join Orchard Kids, leading worship for the little ones which eventually turned into my leading the K-5th grade kids in worship once a month.
I don’t know if I have processed it all in my head yet but my first reaction was, “Finally!” I’ve done what I wanted to do for years but didn’t think I was allowed or supposed to. Finally, I can bury the past and move forward. Finally, I can cheer on others as they are baptized without a twinge of “I wish I could…”
It was very cool to hear my kids cheer my name from across the pool and each one give me a huge hug. Some other kid notes…5 minutes before the baptism started, I was informed that JD had been lost for about 30 mins. Turns out he couldn’t find me(I went ahead with the other baptizees), couldn’t find Dad and ended up getting caught up in the crowd walking over to the water park. Thank you to Miss Michelle, one of his church teachers who knew him and kept an eye out until Dad arrived. Maddie told me she had a very good poop in the pool bathroom(after the baptism). And I got a big hug from Annaliese to which she exclaimed, “Mom you’re making me wet!” Special thanks to our friend Mike for taking the pictures while Doug & I were in the pool. I’m sure there will be a video up soon. Check in at the Orchard for that. All in all, not a bad day for a baptism.
A little while ago I mentioned I was thinking about getting baptized. Well, I’m doing it. This Sunday, August 10 at the Orchard‘s awesome BBQ & Baptism pary. Here’s why.
I became a believer in Jesus in March of 1989. I grew up in faith at a church that at the time, didn’t do full immersion baptism because of logistics. Not a lot of baptismal pools in a movie theater. When they began to do full immersion, I was dying to get re-baptized but since I’d already been baptized and taught that it didn’t matter if you were sprinkled or dunked, I didn’t think I should be baptized again just for the experience of immersion.
After all this time, I’m blowing off what I think others will think, and going for the full dunk. And there is nowhere I’d rather take the plunge than at the Orchard church community. I love how we celebrate baptism. We take the afternoon to get together and party with our families, jump in bouncy things, paint faces, eat really good food and head to the pool to be baptized or to watch and cheer. What’s fun is that its an all church event. Even when I wasn’t getting baptized, we attended to celebrate others.
Ironically, I can sing in front of 100s or a 1000 people without skitchy nerves most of the time. But being baptized makes me self conscious. Maybe its being celebrated that makes me feel uneasy. I don’t know. But I’m planning on having a ball in spite of it! And some BBQ. And then some ice cream. Throwing RagamuffinTop to the wind this weekend! 🙂 Here’s a peek at last year’s event…
I found a link to this story from BooMama. An amazing story of moms coming together over a common cause through the internet. Take a few minutes to read. I could not stop once I started.
Now, I haven’t been praying this way but it sure makes me feel better to know I’m living this way! 😉