Book Review: The Happy Wive’s Club

I love this book….

No, wait…

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!

This is the book that you give to young married couples to show them that yes… being married is wonderful… and having a happy marriage is totally possible!!!!  Forget that… give this book to young women BEFORE they meet the man they want to marry!!!

The author, Fawn Weaver, first started a blog and a Facebook page:

http://www.happywivesclub.com/

and

https://www.facebook.com/happywivesclub/?ref=br_rs

of which I have been a member of both for quite some time… Ok.. a few years… and I love it!

So listening to her book was just a given for me.  I like to celebrate marriage and good marriages are hard to come by right?

Not really.  If you open your eyes and look around good solid happy marriages are all around us… But we are drawn to outrage and negativity at a greater pull then we are to anything remotely positive.

So I like the fact that she traveled the world talking and finding woman with good solid marriages and she interviewed them… some with their husbands.  I liked hearing about the secrets that they proclaimed were the grounding forces in their marriages.. and what worked and what didn’t.

Last night, laying in my mans arms, I was telling him about what I had learned so far from reading this book…. I could hear him grunt and feel his nod as I spoke.  Agreeing with what she was saying….

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I like the moment where she talks about a life group they were in.. and she noticed herself finding ways to pick a fight after they were leaving the group each night… and when she put the two together… she noticed that being around a group of women that nitpick their men… or were unhappy in their marriage… she was finding it was contagious… she stopped.. and started to really be careful who she was hanging around…

I find this to be so very true.  I love my marriage and my man and we both guard our relationship… I started noticing this same thing with a group of women that I was thinking I would fit in with… I really wasn’t feeling it… and when you boil it right down to why… it was because I wasn’t willing to bash my husband.  He is an amazing man and I don’t have anything negative to say about him.

At all!!

But the women would sit around and talk smack about their men and as it came around to me.. I noticed I would agree to just agree.. when in reality I didn’t agree… (Bad Me!!!!!)

My husband and I started to unpack where things were… we noticed that he also was finding he was agreeing with things.. just to agree… fit in with the people we were hanging around with…  that while he didn’t agree with what someone was saying (insert a topic here) we were going along… but…. while at home we didn’t feel that way… we found it started to sneak into how we actually behaved in those area’s.

Hence, I removed myself from some area’s of the world.  It just doesn’t matter… My man on the other hand… matters!  And I have noticed my outlook on life… is changing drastically for the better!!!

I like how she brought that to life for me.  The fact that she noticed it also in her own life… helps me realize that pulling away and creating a life with different people was totally the correct answer for me.

I love how most of the couples talked about the hardships they endured and pointed out that they pulled together.  Or when one wanted to travel a path, like a career… the other made it work.  Towards the end of the book as she is talking to a well-known author’s wife… I loved how the wife mentioned that she listened to her husbands heart… and not exactly what he was saying.  They ended up taking a risk and changing their life… not for financial gain… but for happiness…

I related to that… Recently while watching my husband working on something he came to me and expressed his desire in an area… many took it as a failure or ‘stupid’ move… I have heard it all my friends… But I am the one that saw the path and thought and time that my man spent in researching the change… and as he sat in front of me asking for my thoughts… I heard his heart louder than anything else…. and that is what prompted me to say “Do it!!!!”.  I know.. People think we are crazy… and we might very well be… but at least we will be happy and together down this crazy trail we are on.

I should say, I like how she talked about her faith but not in a way to bad mouth any other faiths.  She was classy… with how she worded it all.. and I found myself wanting to be her best friend.  And very happy that I signed on board to be a member of the Happy Wives Club.

Personally I give her props for traveling away from her man for 6 months while she interviewed and wrote this book…. I couldn’t have done it.  But I am so glad she did… Because reading about the different area’s in the world and relationships that are out there and happiness in marriages… truly makes my heart beat with happy beats.

We should all be celebrating the fact we have a happy marriage!  People need to see that they actually exist out there!  And don’t be afraid to guard your marriage with your entire life and being…. It is worth protecting!

Book Review: A little Salty to cut the Sweet!

This book is a little different from what I have been listening to lately.  There isn’t a theme of self-help… or change in path to consider in my life with this book…. It’s just simply…. A book of sweet stories… of the author’s life and family.

And I loved the journey going down memory lane.

Sophie Hudson, the author, narrates it herself and her southern accent mezmerizes you into the book with her drawl of ‘ya’ll’ and ‘mama’.  I love southern accent’s.

A little Salty to cut the Sweet makes you want to bring out the fine china… Rosenthal Hillside China to be exact….

Here’s a photo of what that china looks like… Because you know I stopped to do a google on it…

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Rosenthal Hillside China

 

Of course we would then fry up some fried chicken and invite our family over for some supper… were we would love each other endlessly and laugh over tea… and feel an overwhelming acceptance and love…

Her family sounds heavenly.

Then you hear that during a move her mother carefully packed that china and instead of getting placed in the front seat of her mama’s car… you will have to read the book for the rest… I am pretty sure I will always remember what I was doing on this land when she told that story.

My heart fell in sadness.

That’s also when I had to stop and look up what the china looked like.

She went on to talk about loss and growing old and love and kids and everything in between… I loved how she made me feel as if she was talking to me while we were sitting at her kitchen nook table… Not the dinning room table.. The little table in the kitchen.. where we made biscuits together and laughed…. at her sad stories because they were funny and sad and heart warming at the same time.. and she has a wit that is so funny…. you just can’t believe she is saying what she is saying…

And there is a small part of me that wants to send her the directions for cooking bacon in the oven…. baking sheets at a time!  🙂  But I will refrain from doing that.. because her way is way more funnier and we all need a friend like she has… that we can call and he will just ask what he needs to bring before his long drive over to see her.

I really felt sorry for her dad… what in the world possessed him to learn to make biscuits from a lady in the town.. other then his wife????

This is the south we are talking about.  🙂

The book was a heart warming, fun moment in time that I needed while I was digging dirt and building stairs… If you are interested… she runs a blog… and a podcast.. and she can be found here… https://www.boomama.net/

For now.. I am on to my next book as I head back out to pour concrete!

People are amazing and stories hold us together and bring us closer… If that wasn’t true… then God wouldn’t have written the bible with so manu author’s using stories and word pictures to knit us all together.

Tell your stories… They matter!

Love you my friends!

Book Review: UnF??? Yourself By Gary John Bishop

I hesitated to post this review… For one reason only…. The name of the book!

It was recommended by a friend … I will stop right now and say that this friend… we have sat side by side in battles together.  I do not question her reasons for reading a book with this title.. I did however laugh at the title… I was actually sitting in a book store… directly in front of this book on display at the time she recommended it to me…

I laughed so hard I almost spilt my coffee!

I know a lot of people that get offended by foul language.  To us… this is not the form a words we would choose to communicate with daily… but we both know that this is a form of language that many relate to.

If this language offends you… Don’t read any further… and don’t read this book… And don’t go into Law Enforcement in ANY capacity!

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With that out of the way… I actually got a lot out of the book.

  1.  I love the authors Scottish accent!!!  He read the book.
  2. Don’t expect different results in your life if you are not willing to change what you are doing right now.

Remember when I read Girl, wash your face?  This would be the secular version of that book.  While Girl, wash your face wasn’t filled to the brim with Christian verses and biblical theology.. You could get the hint of what she was saying was through a thin lens of the Christian life…

There is no lens on this book…

At all…

What so ever…

And you might wonder why in the world did I read a book that was written by someone that wasn’t a christian?

Because I have free will and I can.

I also put everything I read through an internal filter and regurgitate it back out with the clean version.  It’s something I have been doing for over 20 years… You get good at what you practice.

About the Author… He is a Personal Development Expert.  Meaning he coaches people in how to move on and being succesful and become their dreams.

I’m not sure when I stopped seeking the assistant of life coaches… Probably when I left the 6 figure salary to become a 911 dispatcher.  Not sure it would have been celebrated there… (I am joking!!!)  But his book made me realize I miss having someone to explain things to and then mentor me into working towards that reality.  Something that was actually offered at the first church I attended… which was awesome!  Become a Christian and get one on one help with turning your life to God in business and your personal life!  Yay!!!!

Yes, I firmly believe we should all have someone to help us work towards our dreams and goals… someone on the outside that can guide us through life and keep us moving forward towards our goals of being the best version of us we can be.

So, what did I learn… Don’t think because you are on the lower income class that you are destined to be fat and poor.  Those are stereotypes… and you don’t have to follow them… You can rise above them.

Don’t sit and watch TV all day and expect your dreams to come true… Ironic when you think about what I was doing while listening to this book…. Like building a freaking 80 foot wall!!!!!

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OK.. so far the wall is only 55 feet.. and I ran out of bricks.. more are on order… But his point is totally true… Don’t sit there dreaming if you don’t really want to work for it!

And please don’t give me excuses… You do not want to know my limitations that I am working through to build this wall.  I know… You might have some massive limitations.. but you can still work towards your dreams… one small step at a time!

Lastly… He made awesome points about being over-weight.  I hear ya… Don’t keep eating the same and beat yourself up for not losing the weight!

I will get right on that… as soon as I finish the container of Ice Cream Sigraid (My new tourist friend I met in line yesterday) made me buy.  OK.. she didn’t make me buy it….

Ya, she did… I am sticking with that story… She’s an Ice Cream Pusher!!!!!

Which just means I need to work double hard to get that weight off… and go back to the rule of NO ICE CREAM IN THE HOUSE!

I hate to admit it.. but I liked the book.  We really have to stop using excuses… and I miss my life coaches I have had in my life… I need to look into finding someone that is goal oriented and wants to encourage each other in our endeavors…. I did have to filter out quite a few moments … Like when you die you die.. that’s it… Ummmm…

When I die I go to GLORIOUS HEAVEN!!!!!!!

But it was refreshing having someone reaffirm what I learned in the Girl, Wash Your Face book.  That I can reach my dreams.. I can work hard and have those dreams and I can do it… Stop letting others determine my path… Follow the dreams that God put in my heart and….

Then this book…. Just do it now!!!!!  No excuses!!!

See.. I refrained from typing a naughty word!  😉  Whew!!!!

Book Review: If You Only Knew… By Jamie Ivey

It’s that time.

The time when you grab a cup of coffee, or book mark this page so you can come back and sit down with a warm steaming drink in a cozy chair and we can talk.

Or I can entertain you with some nonsense that occurred to me that is still boggling my mind.

Like Cabela’s sending my size 6 boots to me, and both shoes are for the right foot and one is a size 5 and the other is a size 4…. But… I am sure they will fix that error… if they ever call me back! For now, I laugh at trying to figure out how that scenario could even have happened.

Let’s talk book review…If You Only Knew By: Jamie Ivey… I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book in the first place. But after listening to Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis, it just sounded like a perfect next book!

I loved it. Literally… I loved Jamie’s honesty and openness to what she went through and I loved how she put herself out there on the pages of the book knowing that many would be judging her… Not me.. I was actually caught several times praying for her, for her braveness!  And giving her WooHoo’s!!!!

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Why?

Because she has a past. Something WE ALL have but many won’t talk about. I never understood why someone wouldn’t want to share their Jesus stories with others. What better way to share the love of Christ then through what he brought us through?
I openly shared my life to anyone that asked or I felt led to share! Yes, even on the 911 lines!!! What better place to share Jesus then with a total stranger that is calling you on their worst day in utter despair that life will never be OK… and you can whisper gently into the mic…. “Sweetie… it will get better.. I can tell you.. I have been there… You will survive this and thrive!!!”

That was when the sobs subsided and they were all ears to hear about the wonderful transformation that Jesus did in me and others I knew.

But I always wondered why no one wrote a book about this! Why? So many of us share these stories of pain and heartache before God hand-picked us… where are the stories of what these women have gone through!?

When I moved to this small community it became very obvious that people didn’t share.

Of course I didn’t realize that till WAY later after many many sharing moments… Wondering why I was getting those looks…. And having people tell me … “Wow, that’s oversharing!” and walk away.

So hearing her unpack her Jesus story across the pages and totally relating to her… I fell in love with her boldness and love for us. To share so much, so that we could have hope that we will be ok also if we just keep searching for Jesus and never stop…. Hope.

By the way… I totally adore her husband and the story of how they got together.  Like I just want to point out that her man… is a real Godly man!!!!  That there is a man, well… like mine!  There is more then one of them out there!  😉

I also became sad. In the book she began to unpack the story of a woman that had debilitating anxiety attacks and was in fear that people in her church would find out.  The woman’s husband was in the process of becoming a deacon in the church… and she was scared it would shine a bad light on him and he would not get the position… So they were trying to cope on there own and how utterly lonely that must be.

And I thought…. How familiar that is to me. Having women come to me, sitting across from me and spilling out their pains to someone that they feel will finally listen to them, speak truth no matter how hard it is, encourage them to do better… and scared to death that someone else will hear and judge them. These beautiful women are scared of the gossip rumor mill that is so strong in this small community.

And with reason. I see it all over Social Media. It hurts my heart!

Which makes me love this author even more. Jamie Ivey doesn’t back down! She explains the damage that way of living is having on us and she sweetly unfolds the message of Grace and Mercy!

When my husband and I became member’s of a church, we spent a night reading all the church related information.  I stopped in mid read… the part about being elligible to be a deaconess or in another role (it’s been a few years since I read it all).. and I exclaimed to my husband… “I will never be able to be in an upper female position in the church!”

I said it with an almost joking tone, but I was quite serious!

We went on to read the description and what is needed to be in those positions.  I didn’t fit.  My past, before God called my name, and for reasons beyond my control, keeps me from being in an upper role within the church.  I am ok with that.  God has set me apart and made it clear He wants me in other areas.  Who can even argue with that?

There is a part of legalism that is creeping into our churches… is this everywhere or just here?  I have helped with a few functions at different churches and during a carnival I was approached to help find someone to run a booth.  I suggested a particular man that wasn’t walking perfectly with the Lord.  He was clean and nice and had a great personality, he would have been perfect for the position.  I was told “No, he isn’t a Christian we can’t have him working representing the church.”

I was actually a little flabergasted.  To which I exclaimed, “Why not?  What better way to show love then to have an able willing person help at a church function?  What better way to show those in the community that stop by… that they to are welcome in our churches?”

He ran that booth, a huge smile on his face.  He was helpful and useful and felt as if he was part of the event.  He still has troubles.. But he knows where he can go when he is ready to put them down at the cross.

I’m not saying we man all the booth’s with dangerous people that could harm our kids.  I am saying we look at each case and allow God to whisper into our hearts when someone that He is calling into our world… can be placed somewhere closer to the front door.

What if we were a church that was full of sinners that each had a job and role to do in the church????  Oh wait… we are… some of us just have sin leaking out of our pores… others hide it pretty well.  We are all sinners… Saved by Jesus Christ!

I look at Jesus and how he chose his 12 desciples… and I look at Paul… And I man the booths at event’s with the most unlikely people we could imagine… Because that is exactly what Jesus did!

Which brings me back to the book.  I love it when a book flows through my ears and down into my soul and brings up memories and moments in history… This was like that… I related to her.  To her stories and her passion for Christ and her love for people and her desire to be open and honest… just for that chance that she can help someone else not feel as if the world is totally lost to them.

There is hope out there…. One honest moment at a time.

Should everyone read this book?  Yes. Maybe.

Is everyone going to like this book?  No.. it’s going to make a lot of people, I know, highly uncomfortable.  To which I would ask you to read all the books in the bible that Paul wrote… his love for people to know Christ, turn from their ways, and to go out and share His love…. Are you doing that?

A quote a friend shared with me, that someone else told her….. still sticks in my head… “You’re dangerous to the enemy when you’re not quiet.”

Go be dangerous!!!!

It’s official. …. He wins!

Apparently I do have a line..

and a large hole in the rear-end is the exact line!

Many are probably looking at this going…. what? Just buy a new pair of pants then…. And while you would be right… you are missing the tug of war that my husband and I were having a huge joy in playing….. with each other…

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And apparently the world! Or our small world around us that is….

You know.. those that actually had to see me walking around in these pants kind of world.

It started out simple.  My favorite pants I wear for everything, got a little hole in them.  They fit so snug and comfy it’s like wearing leggings.. but they are jeans.

He teases me with the hole… And I move them over to the farm clothing bin.  I wear them almost everyday and soon another pair comes over to the farm bin side…

My man keeps asking me if I need more jeans.  And he takes me down to the next town to get a few pair.  Of which I hate what they had and while I make due with them.. and don’t say a word… I secretly HATE THEM!

I keep my farm pants in the bin and keep repairing them.

He keeps joking… about them.

I keep patching them.

I am stubborn… he knows that.. It quickly turns into a game for us…. just as most things do around this land and in our marriage.  We have fun with life… and this will be no different!

He is now watching me add more patches to my jeans every few weeks.  Smiling each time.

I am now determined to add even more patches… waiting for him to finally declare… enough!!!!  And insist I throw them away!  To which I will calmly say.. “But they have so much more life in them!”

“I love them!  They are my favorite!!!”  And then point out that Anthropology sells jeans that look just like this….. for 180.00!!!!!!!

He comments, ever so patiently that he is waiting for the moment that the entire pair of jeans are covered in patches….

And to be honest…. So am I!

I am not sure when it started… but the farm only jeans eventually started to be worn out in public.  It started out just to pick up items at the feed store… and then the post office to get our mail…Then it started… The moment I just started to boldly walk out the door intentionally wearing my farm pants with a cute t shirt with a funny saying and a big oversized jacket or sweater.

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I was owning it!!!!

These jeans sell for 180.00!!!!  I made these one of a kind creations… and the look on my man was priceless… He didn’t let it phase him.  He was having fun!

He was determined to see where the line was.  That line of me coming up to him and saying.. “Honey, I need new jeans.  I give up!”

I was determined to NEVER say that.  I am not a quitter!!!!!

Where is my line?  That is the question I would ask myself each time I pulled the jeans out of the dryer and inspected them for new rips or worn parts… I lost count at 27 patches.

27 times I sat down at the sewing machine and picked from my scrap fabric pile and cut and sewed on a new color or pattern.

27 times!

Last week I pulled the jeans out of the dryer and noticed it!!!  The rear end of the jeans that was getting thinner and thinner as I wore them…. The part of the rear I was worried about and just holding my breath in public when someone would pop up and say… “Oh you’re wearing black today!”  That moment…. occurred in the dryer….

I now have a huge hole in the rear end of the jeans…

The right cheek end if you should know.

I gasped… My husband, watching me, as I folded them, was smiling.  He remained silent as he fished through the pile matching up the socks… watching me folding them up and placing them on the table in our bedroom.  He asked, “You need to patch them again?”  Determined not to be a loser I shrugged and nodded….a ‘kind of nod’ not ready to throw in the towel.

Over the week I pondered the patch.  How would I place it?  The entire rear is very worn….any needle and thread would surely throw it over the edge and create more rips for sure.  Would I do the patch on the inside and have it look like I am wearing the same underwear every… single… day?  Or should I place a patch on the outside?  Proudly displaying the patch for all to see?  How big would I have to go with this patch so as not to make the rip even worse?  Or have it rip in public?  Should I make a large patch across both bums like they did for the kids in the 40’s during the war in England?  I actually got the book on mending in England during the war and read it over.  I could do that….

What fabric would I use?

At night I would lay in bed and contemplate my options.  Still not willing or ready to ask… for another pair of pants to replace this pair that will need a patch over the rear.

My husband, sees me looking at the pants and asks, with that sheepish grin… “You gonna repair them anytime soon?”

Me… “Yep, I’m working on it!”

Yesterday, as we were driving back from a few days down south… I asked as we came to the outlet mall if he would mind if we stopped in to see if they made these jeans I so love.

He smiled!  That sneaky Gotcha smile… But I still wasn’t caving.. I was just looking.  weighting my options!!!!!

As we looked through for the color and style and size.. I grabbed a few different pairs and went in to try them on.

The question in my brain for the last week has been…. “Where do I draw the line?”  “What is my line when it comes to wearing jeans with HUGE holes in them?”

My line became apparent when I tried on the jeans and they fit perfectly…. and were just as comfortable as the one’s I have been patching for the last 3 years.  If not more so… because they don’t have all the layers of the patches on them.  I stood in front of the mirror and tried to talk myself out of them.

“I am not a quitter!”  “He needs to be the one that says He’s done!!!!”  “I can’t go out in public and wear jeans with holes in my rear!!!!!!”  “I don’t want to be arrested for indecency!!!!”

Ok.. that last one was the kicker for me… because in my world.. in this small town… it would make Facebook for sure!

I headed out of the dressing room… and as my husband was looking at me with the questioning in his eyes…. I handed him the pair that was amazing…

“I give up!”  I say.  “I draw that line at a hole in my butt!!!!”  Then I say it… the one sentence every man loves to hear!  I smile wide and proudly exclaim “You win!”

This is where I love my man even more.  Because this has been a total game that we have been playing with each other.  Like…. there are no losers in this moment.  Just  laughter.  Fun moments in life where we will always remember each one of us holding out till the other one caved… and the other one not wanting to cave.. this right here is where memories are made!  A real marriage… with real fun…

Because to be honest… I could have gone shopping for pants…. 3 years ago!!!!!  But this is darn right fun on a ‘hole’ ‘notha level!!!

My man holding the pants looking them over… doesn’t miss a beat…. Looking at the numbers on the tag… He says… “Ok then… lets go over and get you several more pairs of these exact jeans…. so you have extras!”

I stood there, watching my man rummage through the pile.. happy as a husband can be that just heard his wife proclaim ‘You win!’ looking for the jeans he has been wanting to buy me for all these years…

You see, my man is the one that likes to take me shopping.  He is the one that likes to spend money on me, that watches me and sends me gifts through Amazon for tools or items he sees me needing.  I rarely ask for anything, because I have a man that watches nearly every move I make waiting for the opportunity to gift me something to show me He loves me.

Today….. it was 3 pairs of pants!

 

This evening he walked past the trash bin in the hall… “You’re throwing away your pants?” He exclaimed.  Like it was an option…..

Wait!  It was an option?  I thought.  I could still dig them out and wear them!!!!!  I stopped myself.  “Yep!  I give up for reals!”

“Darn, I was actually having fun watching you come up with ways to patch the holes.. I was waiting for entire pair of pants to be covered in patches!”

Wait!!!!!  I start thinking…. That’s an idea!!!!!

I love my man!

Street Survival – When Your Husband Takes You To His Training.

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Eventually you will figure it out… My odd sense of humor and the strange hours that I keep.  So I might as well come right out and say it.  I am… married to an LEO.

I was also a dispatcher for a near decade, which is where I got my sense of humor from that I so desperately try to hide.  It is NOT however, where I met my husband.  I know, the eyes are rolling… Ya, right!!!  Someday I will share that funny encounter of when I met the funniest garbage man in our town… But for now…

For about 10 years my man has been wanting to take me to a training class that he has gone to several times.  This one was his third.  In his words… “They are always different.”  He used to see the adds come up with a discount for spouses if officers want them to come along.  So when he saw that a county to the east of us was hosting this exact class that he loves…. He asked if I would want to attend.

I said yes!!!  Because I love to support my man in absolutely everything he does.  And to be honest… I really wanted to go.

This class is one that my man truly loves….  The information was amazing and while his agency didn’t send him to it.. they should have.  They should send all their officers to it.. and paid for their spouses to go also… But for us.. .we paid our own way.  The whole way.. and every penny was well worth it.

I was hoping there would be more wives at this training.  Apparently their was quite a few when he last went to the training… In Las Vegas….

But as I signed in… and was greeted by the lady at the door.. who was very excited to see me and exclaimed.. Oh your the spouse that is attending… I stopped in my tracks and looked at her saying.  “Spouse?  As in only one?”

I was the only one that was attending.  They were very happy to see me there and wished more wives would come to this training.. But, I was the only one.   And while it felt uncomfortable for a moment… I followed my husband who took charge and led the way.

I’ve always followed him in all the training we have ever been in together.  All his years on the job and he knows exactly what these things bring.  Even down to where to sit…. It’s like clockwork, and it paid off big time!

I am going to speak frankly about what it was about… so if you are someone that just doesn’t want to know… this is where you stop reading.… Because what I describe next… will give some anxiety and fear to some… and well… it’s real life.

The instructor was a hoot.  Sgt. Jonathan Davis also made no apologies for his potty mouth.  (Which he shouldn’t.)  But, I have picked up my potty mouth again… so if you hear me… just know.. I am working on it… Maybe.

We jumped right into the fire and started off the class with the pledge of allegiance… and smack dab into stats and videos.

We talked about the will to survive and how officers have to go from sitting in their patrol car to instant fight mode.. and once the threat is down.. turn to saving that threats life.  We talked about safety… first … and winning.. and stress… and survival…

And the average age of a police officer is 66!

The average age of an officer having a heart attack is 40!!!!

They are dying.. and how they are dying.. and what they can do to protect themselves so they can protect others….

Felonious Assaults…. Roadway related incidents….. Physical Conditions….. Emotional health….

We watched video after video, some I had seen… but many I hadn’t… on calls that went deadly for officers… but it didn’t stop at the video… The instructor either found out the back story to the call or actually interviewed family members or the surviving officer… We learned what they were thinking at the time and we learned what not to do for the safety of the officers… all involved….

We learned that ALL officers should be wearing their seat belt…. that many in the video’s would have survived… we also learned that seat belt extenders… KILL.  They were not designed for the way officers are using them.

If you want to get out of the car fast enough…. practice taking your seat belt on and off.. just like you practice unholstering and reholstering your gun.

Or be prepared to be thrown from your vehicle and have your patrol car roll over you and crush your head.

Wear your seat belt!!!

We learned that staying in shape is important… so much so that I am currently building a gym for my husband and I to train in together…. Overlooking the bay… I can’t wait to start building it.  I have already taking the tape measure up to map it out on our land!

Listen, it’s really important!!!  I’m giving up my big forever home for this.  That important!

He talked about emotional health.  Something we learned from our prior agency and was socially acceptable down there.. but is totally NOT up here.. the instructor seemed floored when he asked how many saw a professional to help with what they deal with on the road.. and NO ONE rose their hands…

Ya, I get it… It’s not something we want to talk about… But we have.. one of the best in the nation Psychologist’s for critical incidence/first responders right in our back door.. There is no excuse in this state to NOT find help.  She is not only awesome but you know… she understands you…

And I am not to proud to admit I have used her services and she is amazing!  Almost as good as the lady I saw on a regular bases when I was down in California.

I loved that he went in depth on emotional well being.

Plan for your retirement the day you get the job.  figure out what you want to do after this job and start doing it…. Get hobbies… learn a craft…

It’s actually something most of my prior co-workers have… they all had a second job or business… or were working towards something else other then LE.  Not here.  He asked what people were planning on doing when they retire… I heard a few out of the 70 laugh out “Fishing and drinking beer”.

My man didn’t say anything.  We were the oldest/longest on duty in the room… and I can tell you… we are fully involved in training and learning our next adventure.  We know.  LE life is going to come to an end.  And those that survive it… are the ones with a plan already in place.

The Sgt spoke in depth on stress… and what it does to a body in the short term and the long term.  We listened to radio traffic and heard the adrenaline dumps over the air…. He talked about how knowing what is occurring in your body gives you the best ability to control it…

You know it’s going to happen… you feel it happening and you know it’s going to end.. and you can breath your way out of it.. so you can respond to the threat in a rational way.

I could totally relate…. Last year when I came face to face with the Cougar next to the house as I was coming home…. My adrenaline dump occurred… I knew what it was.. I knew I could breath my way out of it… so as he came toward me I was calm enough to draw my pistol and take aim.

Now, I didn’t know what it was when I saw my first mouse and I screamed like a sissy and jumped up on top of the car calling the pest company…. Man.. big difference once you get training and knowledge in ya…..

We watched more videos… on fighting… and more fighting and officers losing the fight.. but not after they gave a hell of a fight… we watched ambushes and flat out shooting of officers caught on their body cams or car videos.  And I must add… that most of them were in the last 6 months.

We saw the horrific images of officers laying in the streets… bleeding out.. hearing their last breaths over their car radio… The room grew silent.. and you knew… most of them knew the risks of this job.. and the video’s kept coming.

And I was fuming with how these dispatchers were handling the calls… When a flipping officer comes over the air near death.. and he tells you ‘tell my family i love them’ and you remain silent… you are a disgrace to the profession I love!!!!!  You damn well better cue up and tell that officer not to give up… hang in their… we got you.. we’re coming for ya.. no officer left behind…. don’t give up!!!!  NOT ON MY WATCH OFFICER!!!!!”

Yes, I am a little upset on how the dispatchers across the country handle those calls…

They talked about families and wives and children that were left behind.

We talked about speeding to calls and the dangers to the officers and the citizens and how it’s just not worth it in most cases to risk it… We talked about wearing your vests.. and saw a video of an officer clearly not… on a traffic stop… without a chance to defend himself because the first shot to the chest took his life.

What I found most interesting… was when he talked about cursing… I knew from dispatching that there is a time and a place for cursing.. and when he talked about how most agencies… yes… don’t want their officer’s cursing… but when they are in the heat of a call… they let it slide.. because they know the brain and the stress and adrenaline react in a way.. that it occurs… its a way of relieving stress… and a way of speaking so the suspect understands… (yes, some people only listen when you speak their language.  I know that to be a fact.)  But I happen to know the agency my man works for is totally out to get an officer that uses foul language.  And with all the information I was given in this class…. The agency is flat out wrong.. and in fact adding more stress to the officer while attempting to do his job.

He talked about the media.. and the stresses of having to work with the public and always having Internal affairs watching your every move and knowing that at any moment something could happen and ….. The stress of all of the questioning of ‘will my agency back me up or Monday morning quarterback me’ is causing accidents and officers deaths.

Our men have way to much to worry about….

They talked about divorce and suicide… among officers… What to look for.. in yourself and in others.. and they shared what to do…

Be the bad person.. Be the one that seeks the person help… even if they will hate you for it.

I know that to be true.. When several years ago my man noticed someone not doing well.. and no one would step up… no one would seek them help… till my officer did… He didn’t know them well enough to step in… he went and asked those that did to get them help….. But the one’s that did know them well were having to much fun watching the spiral then to step in……. So my man did what he was trained to do… seek help for those that need it and can’t see it for themselves… and he was touted to be the bad guy.. because he chose helping another officer instead of letting them continue to spiral out of control.

I had done it in dispatching… with my fellow dispatchers… It’s the right thing to do… look out for the lives of your fellow co-workers.  When you see someone that needs help and isn’t getting it.. and you work in the LEO field..and you don’t attempt to get them help.. You need to find another job.

He would do it again.  Having an officer go home to their family is what matters.. we don’t care about being popular.

The instructor was awesome…

We left the class after 2 days.. and on the way home my husband asked me what I got out of it…

“Well, I am building  you a gym.  That’s for sure.  I will need some money for that.  I learned a lot… I am still processing most of it.”  Silence… “But, will you let me know when I can help you with anything please?”

He smiled.

Then I asked.  “What did you want me to get out of this class… can I ask you?”

He paused.. then replied… “I wanted you there to listen to what I was hearing… So when you see the signs or hear me saying something.. you can remind me of what we listened to.  You hear things and remember things better then I do at times.  Just knowing that you will remind me of why I need to do things is what I need.”

“Hey.. I can do that… I even took notes!!! And I got my own certificate!!!!!!”

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So it’s been 3 days since the class.. and I can honestly say it is now sinking in.  I left 911 7 years ago to start building the homestead and future life for us after LE.  But I have begun to notice that I have allowed myself to become more of an LEOW then a dispatcher married to her officer.  I’m not sure I like the feeling of that.  It’s almost as if I have lost some sense of my own safety out on the streets….

What I do know is that I have a new found respect/appreciation for my husband’s profession.  Yesterday passing him on the side of the road I was very grateful to see my favorite other Officer out with him on the accident scene… I could feel myself tense… till I saw who was with him… Awe… I have all the confidence in the world those 2 could handle anything!  But there was that moment.. of my breath… as I saw the lights… and all the video’s flashed through my memory….

I am so grateful that my husband doesn’t choose to shield me from his life.  That I know the risks.. It gives me the ability to help him relieve the stress from his life.  To focus on taking care of him… and our family in a way that a normal family can’t understand.

I could see it happen.. I hadn’t been to this training.. He comes home and says.. I really need to build a gym… and find a hobby to focus on .. and me.. standing at the door.. rolling my eyes.. saying.. honey.. you don’t need a gym.. just run on the street out there.. and a hobby???  what about spending more time with me???

I could have totally deflated absolutely every thing that he just learned in training that would save his life… and sentenced him to an early death.. higher stress at home.. and left him emotionally bankrupt.  Because the instructor backed up absolutely everything he said with facts and evidence… and here I would be… rolling my eyes… (I have seen wives do it in front of me to their men…. never let me be like that!!!!!) saying he didn’t really need that… “You always come home from training with these wild idea’s… it’ll pass like the others…”

Every agency should send the spouses to these classes with their officers….

Ok.. best of all… the steak at this restaurant was amazing….. and those chipotle sweet potatoes are to die for!!!!!!!

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Paul is my Hero.

 

I have a few people I really look up to.

Most are no longer living.

A few are.

Jesus and my Husband are close to the top.  And then there is Paul.

Paul takes my breath away.

Not in the ‘Oh my gosh he is so handsome’ kind of way.  I have no idea what he looks like in real life.  He takes my breath away as in, if God can use ‘him’ then there is hope for me!

If God can forgive ‘him’, then there is hope, grace is available for me!

I don’t have that pretty past that everyone can wrap up in a pretty gift-wrap with a neat bow all in the course of a 5 minute monologue.

I actually have that past where people hide it from others because most just don’t want to know it.

And that is perfectly fine with me.  God reveals my past to those that need it along the path of our journey together.

So when the movie Paul-The Apostle of Christ came out recently I am not ashamed to admit, I cried watching the preview.

Like bawled!  And watched it 4 times!  With my husband looking over my shoulder and he’s exclaiming “We have go to see that movie!”

Yes, why yes we do.

So this week as we were heading over the hill to the big city for some training for him (more on that in another post!) I took the chance to book us a hotel near a theater that was playing this movie.

I bawled… through nearly the whole thing.  I knew I would.  And to be honest, I don’t even know how to remotely explain what I was feeling.  Except, you know me, I am going to try….

Not to generalize, but for lack of a better resource, there are a few type of Christians in this world.  One being the one’s that are raised in Christian home where the bible is taught and followed every day.

Down to the Christian that never knew the bible.  Led a life full of sin and knows they were handpicked, by God, and lifted out of the rubble of a life they attempted to create for themselves, dusted off and whispered in their soul, “I love and cherish you! Go out and share My love.”

There are also many more in between.  Those are just examples.

I admire the first group.  Probably a little more then I should.  But I do.  Because I am in the second group. The thought of never having a moment when I didn’t know who Jesus was…. is just a dream for me.

But there is something that comes from being in the second group that I have noticed.  It’s a look.  An inhale of a breath when you speak Jesus’ name.  A micro expression that flashes across our faces as we are sitting in a casual setting, talking about Jesus.  Those of us in this second ‘born again’ ‘rescued from the brink of our own destruction’ group notice it among each other.  You might have seen it… the expression of someone and another from across the room exclaims, “I’m with ya.  I know ya” and everyone looks at them like what in the world are they talking about?

Almost like it’s a secret society among certain believers…. But it’s not.

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It is simply the gift of grace.  The knowledge of what sin can really do to one person.  Internally and externally and the feeling of the Holy Spirit awakening within you.  Dusting you off while calling your name and whispering in your soul…. Breath my love.. For such a time as this…

The moment you realize that Grace is obtainable even for you!

The moment you vow…. You never want to forget where you came from.. and what it felt like…. to be lost… and then to be found!

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Here I am, sitting in a movie theater with 5 other people.  Yes, it was empty.  And no.. I wasn’t the only one sobbing.  I am literally watching the screen and inside I feel as if my soul is drinking up the movie.  Reaffirming to me that i am loved… I am loved by God and called by Him.. and chosen.  CHOSEN.

GRACE….

You see, Paul is the example that God gave me.  When satan was screaming in my head that I am useless and will never amount to anything… that God hates people that do what I have done.  God simply, and lovingly whispers “Paul” into my heart.

If God can call Paul off the road he was on.  Dust him off and use him to build His kingdom… A man that murdered other Christians…. then I know, that God can forgive and use me.  I simply need to whisper it under my breath when satan rears his ugly accusations… “Paul!”

So during the movie… Luke is with Paul… and they are having a dialog between them… Yes I lost it….

This is from the first chapter in the Bible that I have ever read… 1 Corinthians 13.  It is what kept me going in this world.  It is what I cling to when people are mean or accuse me of things that are wrong… it is what I cling to and repeat to myself when satan is trying to make me doubt….

To see it played out on screen… was to much for my soul….

Jump forward to the moment the Christians from the prison are being led into the coliseum…. In 1999 I was blessed with the opportunity to actually visit the coliseum in Rome.  I say blessed in an odd way.  I know I wasn’t the only one that felt it.. many of us did.  The overwhelming despair of lives lost in a horrific battle after battle… a satanic pull of wills… A heaviness overtook the entire location.  So when the movie screen panned to the prisoners walking in the gates into the coliseum I was thrown back to the moment when I was literally standing at those doors!

In that doorway…..Those bars around me… The feeling of death surrounding me… the feeling….

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And what is it that flashes in my mind at that moment, as I am smelling the smell of the coliseum?

I see the cats that were everywhere when I visited… and hearing the tour guide talking about how the cats are a nuisance.  (But aren’t they cute?)

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Paul is correct… we can not repay evil for evil.  We must love one another.  And I find that hard to do when I am focusing on what someone is doing to me.  and not focusing on what Jesus did for me.

If I look at the world as a check sheet where I repay everyone for how they treat me.. then I am never going to find peace in this world.  But if I look at this world through Paul’s eye’s… then I will have succeeded in showing people what God’s love looks like on a tiny scale.

I choose to view it the way Paul did.

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It makes keeping score pointless… and life… so worth living…

I know, to some this seems so foreign.  We should repay evil with evil you are saying.  We should hate those that hate us… we should…..

We were given a simple, yet such a hard commandment by Jesus himself to do…. “Love everyone as I have loved you.”  I always thought that commandment was so easy.  Till this last year.  Where it tested every fiber of my being… and I have only one thing to say.. that I have learned from that saying….

It is hard for someone that has never been forgiven to understand what grace and forgiveness really look like.  Those that have, and truly know what it is to be forgiven… do it with a loving grateful heart.  They can’t help not to.  It is just part of their Christian nature.

Love, truly is the answer… even still… today!

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Starting Over…

I sit here…. So many things bouncing in my head and it is near impossible to keep them from jumbling up and bursting out.  Writing… about life and everything surrounding life is just what I do…

Typing “…” is also what I do…  A lot!

I wrote and kept a blog for over 12 years and in the blink of an eye I tore is all down.  The history and information shared removed, overnight.

I actually ran 2 blogs.  One about homesteading and building a homestead (of which we still live on) and the other about being a 911 dispatcher.

ThumperLane Homestead was where I posted about all the mishaps and crazy things I was up to.

The Dispatcher and Her Officer was were I posted about my job and what it was really like.

With both blogs I made a huge about of friends.  Traveled the country to meet many of them and became good friends of which I am still in contact with today.

So with the many year absent of the police site and the several year absence with the dispatcher site I am coming back.  Coming back to combine them all into one blog where you can see what it is really like… Life after dispatching and what it’s like creating a world that is well rounded and full of love and life.

It’s not easy.

Living a life where the only time someone calls you is when they are having a bad day.  It’s not easy knowing no one in the real world understands that part of your life and it’s not easy when people ask  you…. ‘what’s the worst call you’ve ever taken?’

I won’t be hiding any of that with you.  But I won’t be hiding gardening and my love for Jesus with you either.

Remember when I said a well rounded view of what life is like?

It all starts here…..

In the office, on our homestead, listening to the hawks steal and eat a baby bird out from under Mama bird in it’s next.