Tuesday, June 6, 2017

WHAT!?!

Has it REALLY been almost FOUR YEARS since I last posted?  What on Earth?  I LOVE to write!  To share my thoughts!  To be, what I hope is, moderately entertaining.

So where to begin.  A lot has changed.  A WHOLE LOT.  Jon and I escaped south Florida and we are now the parents of a beautiful little boy.  Jon is loving his new (comparatively speaking) job, and I am sharing Young Living.  That about sums it up.

When we were living in Fort Lauderdale I learned a lot about holistic healing and a clean lifestyle.  After Alexander (see:  beautiful baby boy) was born I began to learn even more, and employ some of the wisdom that has been passed my way.

We use YL EOs every day.  For everything.  Seriously.  Bug bite?  EO.  Headache?  EO.  Teething?  EO.  LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

The friends I've made since becoming a YL member have inspired me to do better.  If you've been following me on Facebook you've seen that we've been doing a #FatToFit lifestyle change.  We've been using Weight Watchers.  At first I loved it.  Then, well, I learned more about not being processed, as well as cutting out certain food groups AND about all the chemicals that are in the processed foods.  IT IS SCARY.  Like, do you have any idea what kind of junk is in egg substitute, even though it's low on points?  So, truthfully, I've been kinda half-tailing it.  My heart just isn't in it anymore, but we've made a commitment through the end of July. 

That said, I have been having some health problems, and was referred to a doctor near Birmingham.  I talked with her today, specifically about my MTHFR gene mutation.  Know what the most common symptom is?  Miscarriages.  Multiple.  With an "s."  Other symptoms include tongue and lip ties, hemangiomas, and stork bites.  Have y'all seen my child?  I also learned that folic acid is essentially poison to my body.  Folic acid, y'all.  NOT FOLATE.  Folate is found in the liver foods.  Green leafy vegetables, onions, beets, garlic.  Folic acid is made in a lab.  There's a lot of cleaning that has to be done in the cabinets of House Humphries.  Not just in the kitchen, either.  I've got to look into EVERYTHING in our home.  Laundry detergent, toothpaste, everything.  I have quite a J-O-B ahead of me. 

And I'm starting the Whole 30.  Like, tomorrow.  Drinking my last Coke tonight. 

So I need two things from y'all.  First, PRAY.  Sugar affects the brain the same way cocaine does.  I have a legal habit.  And tomorrow I start detoxing.  Pray for my family; I might be unpleasant.  (Side note:  Maybe I should try Thieves or Black Pepper like those quitting smoking do. . .)  And then, HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE.  "Hey, Sarah, how's your Whole 30 coming?"  "Girl, quit looking at that Twix bar!"  "Put.  Down.  The.  Coke.  And no, Smarty Pants, you can't have a Mountain Dew, either."

LET'S DO THIS THING!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Johnny Jasper Jones, Jr.

Today is Father's Day.  As a female, I'll only celebrate it as a daughter and a wife.  And that's okay with me. But let me share with you about my own daddy.

I think every little girl starts out believing that her daddy is the coolest, strongest, most handsome man who has ever walked the face of the earth.  He is placed on a pedestal.  Any other man in a girl's life has to measure up to her daddy.  He sets the stage for relationships throughout his daughter's life.

My daddy has been a good daddy.  I've always loved him, but since I've been an adult I've come to appreciate him more.

We joke that Daddy's and my relationship had a rocky start--I was born on the opening day of deer season.  Any decent Southerner knows that opening day doubles as a religious holiday.  You simply don't make plans for the early morning of the third Saturday in October.  It just isn't done.  Twenty-eight years ago, however, I had a different idea.  (Let's blame it on ignorance.  I didn't know any better.)  Somehow, though, Daddy managed to overlook my oversight, and loves me in spite of my poor timing.

I have so many good memories of my daddy.  There's not space to share them all here, but I'll hit the highlights:

I was an only child for five years.  I'm pretty sure I was the month six month old with a go-kart.  We have pictures of Daddy and me riding it before I could walk.  When I was a little girl we had hogs.  I remember Daddy taking me to the farrowing house to see a brand new litter.  He shared with me how special life is.

Before my sister was born I wouldn't sleep my bed.  I slept with Mama and Daddy.  Daddy used to tell me about Bo Cephus, who lived in a cabin in the woods.  I always enjoyed those stories, and I wish I could remember more about them.

Daddy used to take me to the pond after work.  He'd back the pick-up up to the water and we'd fish from the tailgate.  For years and years I thought you had to be quiet while fishing, or you'd scare the fish away.  Come to find out, Daddy just needed his uber-chatty daughter to be quiet.

For a long time, probably until I was six or seven, I thought Daddy's name was Johnny Jasper Jones, Jr.  I later learned that that is NOT his name, that it's the name of one of my mother's college classmates.  But when I would ask Daddy his middle name that's what he'd tell me.  For those of you who don't know my daddy, his name IS Johnny Jones.  That's what makes it believable to a small child.

My daddy has curly hair.  I do, too.  When I was a little girl Daddy would let me use him to play beauty parlor.  Every daddy ought to let his daughter put barrettes in his hair.  Those are memories that are priceless to me.

Not all of my good memories are pre-Jessica and John, though.

For my tenth birthday Daddy took me to town and bought me a pink Swiss Army knife.  For Christmas that year he gave me a BB gun.  Yep, Daddy taught me how to shoot a gun.  I'm the proud owner of riflery trophies.  Daddy took me to the public library on a Sunday afternoon to take the hunter safety course when I was in sixth grade.  He took me into the woods with him and sat me on a bucket.  I have never shot a deer, but you know what?  My daddy did take the time to teach me how to.  He took up time with me, even after Jessica and John were born.

Daddy helped teach me to drive.  He'd quiz me about things that drivers don't generally think about--things like, "Can you be pulled over for speeding, even if you're going the speed limit?"  Yes--you can be driving too fast for conditions.

Daddy provided me with my first job.  I started off sweeping and worked my way up to working the parts counter and doing book work.  I worked with my parents until I moved away to college.  Since I've been grown and married I've worked with Daddy a few times.  It's hard work, but at my core, I know there's just something exciting about being a part of a family business.

When I was 17 I had a date with the boy I would date my junior and senior years of high school.  Daddy looked over the bar at him, shook his finger, and said, "You take care of my daughter."  Apparently I am a prized possession.

When I was a freshman in college I was a basketball cheerleader at Brewton-Parker College.  My family came to see me cheer.  That's when I learned Daddy was a quasi-basketball fan.  Not everybody's daddy hollers, "You dummy!" at the referee!!

The only person I've ever heard my daddy threaten is my husband.  He wasn't my husband at the time--he was asking Daddy for permission to ask me to marry him.  Daddy essentially told Jon that he could run, but he couldn't hide if ever he hurt me.  To top it off, Daddy took Jon target shooting the day before our wedding.  I think the point was proved.  Daddy is a good shot.

The day Jon and I got married, just before the wedding started, before he gave his firstborn away, Daddy came in the room where I was.  He asked me if I needed anything, if I was okay.  Even though I was 24 years old, a bride-to-be, and fairly independent, I was still my daddy's little girl.

And since I've been married, Daddy has still been there for me.  He and my mother have traveled to be with Jon and me at the hospital twice.  Sadly, it was not because he was becoming a grandaddy, but because he wasn't.  I'm sure it's difficult to see your child in the physical and emotional pain I was in.  While Daddy and I have never talked about it, I appreciate him being there.  We were able to talk about lawn mowers and local news, anything to get my mind off what we were going through.

To top off all the cool stuff Daddy has done with and for me, I have to say it really means a lot to me that he has embraced my husband.  Not all fathers-in-law do that to the gorillas who drag their daughters away.  I'm pretty proud of the relationship Daddy and Jon have.

Despite our differences, and in some cases similarities, I must say that after everything we've been through, Daddy is still one of the coolest, strongest, most handsome men to have ever walked the face of the earth.  Mama says still waters run deep.  She hit the nail on the head with that about Daddy.

Yes, Jessica, John, and I are very fortunate.  We have an awesome daddy.  We've never been hungry, and have always had a place to live.  We have always had what we needed, and a lot of what we wanted.  We know that our daddy loves our mama, and that he loves us.  I am so thankful for the hero of a daddy my daddy has been.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Heroism

With Memorial Day on the horizon we should each be pondering the question, "What is a hero?"  A serviceman or woman?  Most definitely!  Policemen, firemen, paramedics, and EMTs?  Absolutely!  Doctors and nurses?  Sure.  But then there's the unsung heroes.  I call mine "Mama."

Don't get me wrong--I am so proud to be an American.  I am eternally indebted to the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that I can be here now writing to you.  I hold my head high:  I am the daughter and granddaughter of veterans.  Daddy and Doodle (my maternal grandfather) were in the Navy; my Grandaddy Jones served during WWII in the Army.  I have several uncles and even more cousins who have written a check to the United States of American in the amount up to their lives.  Saying my family is patriotic is kind of an understatement.

But unsung heroes...  

I've been a wife four years.  I think it's probably the most gratifying yet least appreciated job I've ever had.  And I love it!  I think being a mom is probably similarly underappreciated.

My mother is nothing short, no pun intended (she just is 5'), of my hero.  She and Daddy have been married almost 30 years.  She has raised 3 awesome children.  (No conceit in my family--I have it all!)  She has said goodbye to one child and four grandchildren she never knew.  She welcomed Jon into her home and treats him just like she does Jessica, John, and me.  She has buried a parent.  She earned her BBA at the age of 45.  She has struggled in life, just like everybody else.  She's just plain wonderful!

Last night my mother and sister happened on a less than ideal circumstance.  Somehow, like she usually does, Mama she managed to stay calm and do what she could to help the situation.  This morning as she was recounting the details to me my heart broke for her, yet I couldn't help but feel proud.  MY mama helped somebody she didn't know.  Somebody else's child.  Was she thinking, "I'm doing this so when karma comes around somebody will be with my children?"  I doubt it.  I feel like it was more about trying to keep the situation as calm as possible.  Kinda reminds me of the Good Samaritan.  She did what she could to bring peace to an unspeakable scene.  The last thing on her mind, I feel, was "this will be a learning experience for my children."  

But this morning as Mama was telling me about the happenings, I couldn't help but think, "Even though I'm mostly-grown, pushing thirty, married, and the mother of four, I'm still learning from my mama."  I expect to learn from her the rest of her life.  Somehow, though, today I'm just a little more in awe of her.

Mama has taught me a lot of things.  She taught me to walk, she taught me the alphabet, she taught me to draw hearts, and she taught me to be responsible.  Mama has been my port in the storm on more than one occasion.  She has been tender and shown tough love.  She has disciplined me (in most creative ways) and has laughed with me.  She taught me to be compassionate and to value life.  But the most beneficial thing she taught me was to love Jesus.  My mother led me to the Lord 22 years ago.  

If she never does another thing, and I doubt she'll stop doing until Gabriel blows his trumpet, my mama will still be my hero.  Mama doesn't need a lot of recognition.  She isn't fond of pomp and attention being drawn to her. (Not sure where the three of us get that.  Daddy maybe?)   She's a great cook and a ton of fun.  I'm so glad to know my hero personally.

Who is your unsung hero?  Take a minute to thank God for him or her.  Then pick up the phone and give him or her a call.  It'll do you good, and help you, too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crime and Punishment--Mama Style

This morning I opened my refrigerator and realized it's time to clean it out.  That realization reminded me of a time my mother's refrigerator was in need of the same attention.

If you have known me for any amount of time you know I am a bit on the mouthy side.  Most of the trouble I got in as a child was because I had mouthed off at one of my parents.  While I do much better now, I still have days in which I can't seem to tame my tongue.  In fact, about two weeks ago I smarted off at Jon and he said, "One day your mouth is going to get you in a lot of trouble!".  One day!?  Haha!  How about since I've been talking!?

My mother is a brilliant and creative woman.  She was helpful with school project ideas (including but not limited to giving my daddy a haircut so I could make a monkey's paw).  She was helpful when I wrote papers in college; she proofed them and helped me word things better.  She always answered our questions to the best of her ability.  I use "always" liberally there because when you have three chatterbox children sometimes you say things just to get them to hush.  Mama taught us about Jesus and made Bible stories fun.  Oh, I could go on and on about her brilliance and creativity!

Along with her creativity about the fun things in life, my mother also was pretty slick when it came to punishments.  She took me to Bill's Dollar Store to get a Bolo paddle.  She made me stand in the corner.  One time when I sassed her she made me repeat what I'd said over and over until she told me to stop.  When I'd be fighting with Jessica (my sister) she'd make us sit on the sofa, hug, and tell each other we loved her.

And then there was the time I had to clean out the refrigerator.  I don't know exactly what I'd done, but I'm pretty sure it involved my mouth.

My mother loves stewed squash, and often makes it when she has fresh squash available.  It's basically cooking squash and an onion in a cast iron frying pan with bacon grease until it looks like somebody has been sick on your stove.  I've heard Mama say on more than on occasion, "If you can get past the looks of it you'll like it."  I've never been able to get past the looks of it.

So back to cleaning out the refrigerator.  We moved to a new house when I was 7.  But I will maintain to my death that my mother stewed that squash the day she found out she was expecting me and kept in the refrigerator, even moved it with us, until I had done something just south of the death penalty.  I'm thinking that I was around 8 or so when I was dealt this punishment.  I begged Mama to just let me throw away the bowl it was in.  She made me wash it.  You may not think it's such a big deal, but I assure you it made an impression.  It was disgusting!

And to this day, whenever I have to clean out my refrigerator, I think about that one punishment and almost smile.  It's highly likely that my mother will receive a call today and hear, "Mama, I've acted ugly.  It's time to clean out the refrigerator."  Your children may not remember WHY you punished them a certain way, but if you're creative enough they'll certainly remember the HOW.

Stewed squash, anyone?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us, and this year I have much to be thankful for.  You see, this time last year I was miscarrying our second child, Poppy.  We lost our first baby, Elizabeth Grace, the previous June and were devastated to find that Poppy's life could not be saved.  I was a very bitter soul.

At my parents' house each Thanksgiving we each tell something for which we are thankful.  I went ahead and warned both my mother and grandmother that I did not want to participate, and if they made me I would say I was thankful for underwear.  While I am thankful for unmentionables, it is easy to see that I had a bitter and tortured soul.  I can't tell you how many nights I cried myself to sleep and how often I begged God to take me so I could be with my babies.

Throughout the past year I have experienced more than I bargained for, and I've truly grown in many areas of my life.  I have learned so many lessons.  The biggest one is that I AM NOT IN CHARGE.  I would say that that has been the most difficult lesson of my life.  I have grown in my relationships with certain important people in my life.  I have learned to trust God completely.  Jon's and my marriage is far stronger than I ever thought possible.  (Don't get me wrong--there are still some days I could pinch his head off and smile about it!)  Losing three children will teach you how to handle trials together.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We have lost three children.  This past July, while Jon was working in Virginia and my parents were at a conference in Montana, there was a second pink line.  Like his brother and sister, Jot is with Jesus.  Each of our children is special to me.  I love all three beyond words.  However, I have to admit that I dealt better with Jot's loss than I did Ellie's or Poppy's. Don't get me wrong; I did fall into a deep, deep depression.  But it didn't take me as long to come out that fog.  Honestly, the only reason for that is my Heavenly Father.  He put His arms around me and comforted me.  God has listened to me question things I know to be true and cry "injustice."  He has also convicted me of my wrong thinking.  And He has spoken to me.  No, it was not audibly, but I heard His still, small voice in my heart giving me a promise.

But back to this Thanksgiving business.  Tuesday I went grocery shopping for the first time since our move.  The pantry had to be stocked and I had a lot to pick up for supper for the next two weeks.  I saw that my buggy was all but overflowing, and I thought, "Sarah, you don't know how fortunate you are."  I have never worried about where food was going to come from.  I have never worried about were I was going sleep.  I have been loved since my parents found out they were expecting me.  I am blessed.

While I never got to hold the children I carried, I can truly say that I am thankful for them.  They have helped me understand the love God has for you and me.  There is no way I'd give any of the three of my children to save anyone else, including myself.  But God did give His Son to give me the option of being in Heaven for eternity.  That very thought baffles me, but oh! how humbling it is.

Today I was able to tell Jon that even though my heart aches I am thankful.  I can talk about our children without crying.  I can walk through the baby department of stores without clenching my teeth or looking away.  There are still days that I shed tears, but that is to be expected.  After all, I am a mother with empty arms.

Even so, I am thankful.  I am thankful for Jon's and my health, and the health of our parents, and my siblings and grandparents.  I am thankful that God put Denna and Gratch (our dogs) in our lives.  We have a nice home and plenty to eat.  And I have Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Yes, I am thankful.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

Since June 9, 2011, I have dreaded tomorrow.  That was the day we found out Ellie had gone to Heaven.  (I already had my suspicions, but it was confirmed that day.)  We've been through a Father's Day since a loss, but not a Mother's Day.  Since last Mother's Day Jon and I have lost two children.  Last Mother's Day I was pregnant with Ellie and didn't know it.  The past year has been a test to me personally and our marriage.


I know tomorrow will be hard.  Jon and I have elected to skip church because it is too painful to see so many happy people recognized, while we grieve for the two babies we never met. I have a cousin who is also enduring this same emotion.  Our first children should be being passed around at Grandma's, being loved on by all their aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Or, assuming I've accepted the fact that Ellie is gone, my little cousin should be being loved on and my baby-filled belly being rubbed.  (Poppy was due July 16.)  


Instead my cousin and I are dreading tomorrow together, and doing our best to encourage one another.  But it recently occurred to me that I have more reason to celebrate Mother's Day than any other mother.  My children are already with Jesus.  Don't get me wrong; I miss them so much every day and I want to be selfish and have them here with me.  That isn't reality for me, though.  


I'm going to think of Ellie and Poppy, along with their cousins who are in Heaven with them, being passed around by their great-great-grandparents and their Aunt Jenny.  I know that my Ma Crabb and Mammy know them and have rocked them, just like Mammy rocked me.  (I was born during Ma Crabb's funeral.)  I don't remember my Aunt Jenny, but I know I would have loved her.  And I know she loves my children.  I've heard Mama talk about how gentle Aunt Jenny was with her family, and that her youngest daughter is natured like her.  Knowing that Ellie and Poppy are not only with Jesus, but also with their sweet, gentle aunt brings me comfort.  I didn't know Jon's grandparents, either.  They all passed away before I joined the family.  His grandmother, however, I understand held her faith very dear.  Elizabeth Grace is named after her.  I'm sure Mrs. Conrad is getting her turn of coddling her great-grandchildren.


I am so thankful and fortunate to have my mother as well as both grandmothers still living at the age of 27.  So many people don't.  I am even more thankful that when Jesus calls them Home they'll be with our children in Heaven.  All three women have helped to mold me into the person I am today. I treasure them, not just for giving life to me and my parents, but also because they have trusted Jesus as their Savior and passed that heritage to me.  Seeing a Christian life walked out is the best thing that can happen for a child.  I had that in all three women.  Since I've been an adult another very special lady has been thrown in the mix.  Mothers-in-law often aren't recognized, but I do appreciate mine.  She has encouraged me and loved me.  She has dealt with her own struggles (a diagnosis of cancer, now in remission, praise the Lord!), yet still gave me insight and shared wisdom regarding Jon.  Like my mother and grandmothers, she, too, will be with Jesus, Ellie and Poppy one day.


But on the flip side of my coin, there are people who don't have their mothers.  I'm not going to say I'd forgotten about them, but I will admit in my own pain I've not focused on them.  I know someone who is facing her first Mother's Day without her mother.  I can't imagine what she must be feeling.  I know our first Mother's Day without Mammy was beyond emotional.  Like children, mothers are irreplaceable.  My friend, however, like me, also has the assurance that her mother is with Jesus.  Though caught up in pain, that thought is still comforting.


Tomorrow, when I am overcome with emotion, I am going to remember that our children are far better off than we.  They are playing with their cousins and being rocked by their grandmamas in a wonderful place lit by Jesus' radiance.  And I will know that one day I will be with them... for eternity!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do you know Who I know?

In several of my posts I've mentioned my faith in Jesus.  Today as I was grieving with and for my family it occurred to me that I've spoken of my peace and hope, but I've never shared with my readers how to obtain it.

First of all, there's no trick or rain dance you have to do.  Nothing more is required of you than sincere words from a sincere and contrite heart.  Asking Jesus to be your Savior is so simple a child can do it.  (Matthew 19:14)  In fact, I'll share with you my story of coming to Jesus.

At the age of six I began asking my mother questions about asking Jesus into my heart.  I had the privilege of being raised in church.  I also have a mother who talked with me and answered my questions about death and Heaven.  She taught me that the only way to get to Heaven is by asking Jesus to come into my heart.  January 10, 1991, I was eating supper with my family.  At the table I decided I was ready to ask Jesus to be my Savior.  My mother asked me to wait until after supper, and I told her, "No, Mama.  I want to do it NOW."  And sitting at our table, with Jessica in a high chair, my mother led me in prayer.  Yes, it was a simple prayer, but it was oh so sincere.  I knew that I was a sinner and that I needed (and still need) a Savior.  Lucky for me (and you) God sent His Son to die for our sins .  I was baptized January 13, 1991, at South Thompson Baptist Church just outside Vidalia, Georgia.

That said, baptism is not required to be a Christian.  (In Greek "Christian" means "little Christ."  Christians are followers of Christ.)  It is a public showing of our faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior.

Now, the meat and potatoes of it:

Are you a sinner?  Do you do things you know are wrong?  Do you feel guilty?  The answer to all these questions should be "yes."

Do you need a Savior?  Do you want to avoid spending eternity apart from God?  Again, the answer to these questions should be "yes."

If you want a promise and a hope unlike any any human can give you, if you want to be in Heaven after you pass away please say these simple words, either aloud or in your heart  (God knows):

Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner.  I know I need You.  Please forgive me for my sins and come into my heart.  Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross, for sacrificing Your life, to save mine.  Thank You for Your promise of eternal life with You and Your Father in Heaven.  Amen.

See?  It's very simple.  Let me give you this warning:  Becoming a Christian doesn't make you perfect.  You will still sin and you will fail.  But you can go to Jesus and ask him to forgive you each and every time.  He won't turn you away.  Jesus forgives us an unlimited amount of times.  However, when He lives in our hearts we strive to live for Him.  It's really not that hard.

While when you confess your sins and ask Jesus to be for Savior takes affect immediately, the change is not necessarily instantaneous.  Even though I have been a Christian over half my life I still have sins with which I struggle.  You'll find that when you spend time reading the Bible and in prayer life will be more peaceful.  We are not guaranteed lack of trials or pain.  We are, however, guaranteed comfort from the Comforter.

If you'd like Biblical references in regards to the things I've told you, let me know.  I'll lead you down the Roman road.

Please let me know if you come to know Jesus as Your Savior.  I will be able to pray for and with you.  And will I ever rejoice at the expansion of the Kingdom!!