11 years

This is me and my husband on the day we got married . . . January 8, 2005.  Today we celebrate 11 years together.

ME AND ROB 1

We knew each other for 3 years before we even went out on our first date.

We got engaged on our second date.

When you know something is right, you just know.

ME AND ROB 2

Has our marriage always been filled with hugs, kisses, joy, and happiness?

Nope!

Have there been times when we have both questioned whether or not our marriage would survive a trial that we had been thrown into?

Yes!

ME AND ROB 4

But with every hill and valley, our marriage and our relationship has been made stronger.

ME AND ROB 3

And we never forget to be a little goofy and laugh.

I thank God for bringing Rob into my life, and for continuing to work in each of us separately and together to be the best we can for each other and for God.

Until next time . . .

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A birthday gift from God

Today is my birthday.  At 4:20 this afternoon I will officially be 39 years old.  I am not stressing over my age.  In my opinion age is a state of mind.  Physically I may be be 39 years old, but mentally I am much younger.  I am young at heart and always hope to remain that way.

I have no special plans for my birthday.  There will be no wild night out with friends or family.  No streamers and cake ablaze with too many candles.  No torrent of flying wrapping paper as gifts are torn open.  No trip down the memory lane of birthday’s past.  Tonight I will join many from my church family as we continue work on our new building, and I could think of no better way to spend my birthday.

Today, more than any other birthday, I find myself very reflective on the blessings in my life.  I woke up to my husband and son with smiles on their faces simply because today is my birthday.  I got to work to find cards and well-wishes from my co-workers.  Several listeners have called to wish me a happy birthday.  But more than the attention that the anniversary of my birth has brought is the evidence of my place in this world.

I am, for all intents and purposes, a very insecure person.  I have a bad habit of doubting what I mean to others and my necessity in their lives.  Today I woke with the certainty that I am secure in not only God’s love and grace, but that of so many people in my life.

Today I woke up with the gift of another day in this world.  I woke up with breath in my lungs, a roof over my head, a family that is filled with love, friends that fill my life with joy, a place in church that continues to lead me on my walk with Christ, and the ability to do my job for another day.

The sun came out today for the first time after several grey, rainy days.  The sky is bright blue, and their is a gentle breeze in the air.  I stood outside at work this morning, closed my eyes, and could feel the warmth from the sun, the breeze as is wrapped around me . . . I could feel God in my life, and that is the best birthday gift in the world.

Until next time . . .

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 18 – Your Favorite Color and Why

wpid-fb_img_1445386704020.jpgRoy G. Biv.  That’s an acronym all children are taught to remember all the colors of the rainbow.  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

Most people, from that prismatic acronym, have one color that they favor over all the others.  Some like the power of red, the happiness of yellow, the calm of blue, and the earthiness of green.  Today’s writing challenge topic is royally, elegantly, boldly, happily mine.

Day 18:  Your favorite color and why

Purple:  a mix of red and blue.  A dye color that used to be made from plants.  The plant that the color came from was rare, and thus the dye was expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that only the very rich could afford garments that had been dyed purple.  Generally, the only people who could afford those garments were royalty, hence the name “royal purple.”

Eventually a man, who was working on creating a completely unrelated chemical compound, dissolved some chemicals in water.  The water spilled.  He used an old rag to wipe up the spill and discovered that the rag had been colored purple by the chemical compound he had spilled.  He washed the rag, but the stain remained.  He had inadvertantly created a synthetic purple dye.  Suddenly anyone could wear purple.  It was no longer a color reserved only for royalty.  People went crazy for it, and bought purple fabric faster than it could be dyed.

purple glitterPurple is soothing for me.  It calms me and makes me feel comfortable.  Purple makes me feel strong and bold.  It makes me feel like I stand out in a world of khaki and safe, muted “professional” colors.

purple smileyPurple is just such a happy and fun color.

purple flowerThis purple flower the picture that I use for my desktop wallpaper at work.

I wear purple clothes and jewelry.  My glasses are purple, as is my nose ring.  My stapler and tape dispenser at work are purple.  I surround myself with my favorite color like a warm and comforting blanket.

There is even a wonderfully funny poem written as an ode to purple by Jenny Joseph called “Warning.”

i shall wear purple

And just like the woman in the poem, “When I am old, I shall wear . . . “

purple-communications-logo

Until next time . . .

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 15 – 3 Pet Peeves

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Everybody has pet peeves, things that just drive them crazy.  Things that make them gnash their teeth and want to say curse words.  Nobody can say that they are without pet peeves.  There are just things about life that we just like the way that we like them, and we would be a lot happier if everyone else liked them our way as well.  As soon as I saw this writing topic at least two things immediately came to mind.  So let’s start on the journey of today’s writing topic . . .

Day 15 – 3 pet peeves

  1.  A messy desk at work . . . I can handle my house being a mess.  I can handle my car being a mess.  What I can not handle is my desk being a mess.  Everything on my desk at work is need and tidy and in its place.  This carries over into the studio.  I share that studio with 3 guys.  2 of them are on the air together for the morning show.  The other one is on the air after me in the afternoons.  Between the three of them there is a lot of potential for that studio to get very messy, and it does when I’m not here.  But as long I am in the building that studio is perfectly tidy, because I can not function or concentrate until it is.
  2. A fork with a textured handle or bent tine . . . There is just something about the feel of a fork handle that has a textured design.  I can’t hold it.  I will not hold it.  And if it has a bent time then game over!  I will search for another fork until the offending one can be replaced.  I don’t have a fear of texture, design, or misshapen items.  Symmetry is just very important to me, which is why I can’t use a fork with a bent time.  And eating utensils do not need design.  We are not hanging them on walls as a piece of art, so why do they need to be decorated.  Nope.  Can’t do it.  Just give me a plain-handled, unbent fork and I will be a happy camper.
  3. Tardiness/Lack of promptness . . . I go out of my way to be on time, and preferably early, for everything.  To not be on time is rude and shows a lack of respect.  I can not stand for people to leave me waiting.  There are few things that make me angrier than when someone is late.  There is no grace period in my world.  There is no 5-minute-window.  If you are not exactly on time then you are late, no questions asked, and you have shown me that you feel your time is more important than mine, and thus you have little to no respect for me or my time.  This is an inexcusable offense that will lead me to manipulate information regarding future plans to ensure that you arrive on time.

Good grief!  Reading that list and I realize that I sound just like my grandfather, especially on number 3.

Until next time . . .

What he has taught me

Friendnoun

1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
Those rather generic definitions don’t quite define what a friend is.  They don’t describe the way a friend can say just the right thing to put a smile on your face when you are crying.  They don’t describe the way friends can lose their breath and have tears rolling down their face, their stomachs aching, while laughing over something small and trivial.  They don’t describe the way it feels when you are with a friend and can say so much without actually saying anything at all.  Or what about the way that a hug from a friend can warm your heart like nothing else.
Friendship is something that sounds easy to come by, but think about how many people you encounter in a day.  Now think about how many of those people are your friends.  Think about how many people in your life have been there for more than one year, more than two years, more than five years.  Society today dictates that we don’t hang on to things that are old.  We throw them away and replace them with newer, faster, shinier models that can better suit or ever-changing needs.  Unfortunately that also sometimes means that friendships get left by the wayside.
When I was in high school I had some amazing friendships that i was positive would last for the rest of my life.  Now, twenty years later, I don’t associate with any of them aside from on Facebook.  I don’t know those people anymore.  As a matter of fact, besides my husband, there is only one person in my life that has been there for more than five years, and he is the one who made me want to sit down and write this post.  His name is Brian.
I have known Brian for six and a half years.  He and I have been through a lot together.  We met when he came to work for the radio station in Paducah that I was also working for.  It took a few weeks, but our friendship really started when we had that “You like Drum Corp?  I like Drum Corp, too!” moment on a Saturday afternoon.  Since then we have changed jobs.  First he moved to the Murray radio station, and then a year later I followed.  We have been through relationship ups and downs with our significant others.  We have shared secrets, hopes, fears, laughter, support, kind words, and very angry words.  We have been through ups and downs in our own friendship, including a period where we did not speak for about five months.  But no matter what happens our friendship always comes out stronger on the other side.
My friend is going through a tough time right now in his personal life.  A long-term relationship has come to an end, and it is not pretty.  A few years ago when my friend was going through this same thing with a different girl my natural instinct was to jump in a protect him from the big-bad hurt that was attacking him.  It was my job as his friend.  It was my way of laying claim to him.  I needed everyone else to know that he was MY friend, and I would take care of him.  All I really ended up doing was smothering him, something that took me a long time to see and understand.  I learned from that experience, and even though I want to jump in and protect him again, that is not my job.  My job is to be there for him when he needs me, not to force my way in and tell him that he needs me.  My job is to give him my ears when he needs to talk, to offer a shoulder if he needs to cry, and to have a hug at the ready if that is what he needs.  He knows, without a doubt, that I will be there for him.  He knows that no matter the time, place, or time of day, I will do anything I can for him.
I used to think that I had to always tell him that.  I used to think I he always needed reminding.  I didn’t trust our friendship.  But time and experience have taught me to trust our friendship.  After all, a true friendship can span time and distance without a word and pick up right where it left off.  True friendship is not in the empty words that are spoken, but the trust and faith that the friendship is built on.
Yes, I want to make everything all better for my friend, but the best thing I can do is step back and support him as he navigates his way through.  If he needs me I will be here, and he knows that.  Because that is friendship . . . love and support that does not need to be boasted of, but instead speaks of itself.  I love my friend.  I will always consider him a brother, and I thank God for bringing Brian into my life.  It would be a dimmer place without him in it.  I have learned so much from him on how to be a better person and a better friend.  There is a spot in my heart that belongs just to him, and always will.
 brian and heather
Until next time . . .

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 14 – Your Life In 7 Years

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When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you want to be a doctor, teacher, police officer, firefighter, or in the military?

What about when you were a teenager?  What grand career did you imagine for yourself?  Were you picturing your life would be like?  Married?  Children?  Lots of friends?

Now, as an adult, how does your life measure up to what you imagined it would be?  Are you dissatisfied with the differences between what you imagined and what is reality?  Are you happy that things didn’t pan out the way you imagined they would?

Life never really seems to work out the way we plan.  I once heard someone say, “If you want to make God laugh then tell Him your plans.”

I stopped imagining my future a long time ago.  But the topic of today’s writing challenge wants me to try to look ahead.  I don’t know what will happen, but I know what I would like to see in my life.

Day 14 – Your life in 7 years

I don’t know where my life will be in 7 years.  I know only that, if I am still alive, I will be 45 years old.  I will have just celebrated 18 years of marriage to my husband, and I will be the mother of a 16-year-old boy.  If I’m not still alive here on Earth then I will have gone on to eternal life with Jesus Christ in Heaven.

7 years from now I hope I am not still being Heather McRibbits on-air my radio station.  I hope by then that I will have found a better way to use my career to serve God.  I hope that my son will have given himself to Christ.  I hope that he will be growing into a strong and independent young man, and reaching for dreams of his own.  I hope that in 7 years I will have written something that hit someone to their core and changed their life.  I hope to not have a large circle of friends, but to still have that small core of friends I can always lean on and laugh with.  I hope that in 7 years I am where God wants me, and that I am living out His plan for my life.

I can’t say “this is what I will be doing with my life, and this is where I will be living, and this is what I will not be doing.”  Nobody knows what tomorrow holds.  Right now I have a life of stability, happiness, a good marriage, a healthy son, and a job that pays the bills.  Tomorrow that could all change.  I can say with certainty only that I know I will not be going out to eat lunch today.  Beyond that, nothing can be predicted.  Only God knows what he has planned for our lives.  All I can do is follow where he leads me, and in 7 years I hope that is what I am doing.

Until next time . . .

Road To Tomorrow (poem)

Consumed by fear

The world, so dark

A voice that echoes, alone

in a future so stark

Reach out for help

but nobody is there

Drowning, suffocating

Fighting for a breath of air

Twisting, spinning, turning

A frantic, racing heart

Closed eyes that can only see

that everything is falling apart

No hope for tomorrow

Barely able to see today

Living in days gone passed

Nothing to lead the way

Lost, scared, desperate

Ready to give tomorrow away

No road out of the dark

One way to stop the pain

But then . . .

A glimmer that can barely be seen

In the distance a flickering light

Drawing hope slowly forward

Tentative steps out of the night

The path becomes less rocky

The steps are more sure

As fear is left behind

and hope in tomorrow is secured

Don’t turn around

Don’t look behind

The dark path once traveled

has no power in the light

Let yesterday go

The gifts of today, enjoy, rejoice

Tomorrow is another new chance

Tomorrow is filled with hope

By:  Carrie Leigh

12.22-23.14

Finding your passion in life

What are you passionate about? Have you ever really given it any thought? What is the one think in this great big world that makes your heart race, that gives you peace and happiness, that makes you tick, that completes you, that makes you who you are? What is the one thing in the world that if you were to lose it would be like a part of you died?

Now don’t say that you are passionate about your friends and family. Those are things that we are all passionate about. But everyone has at least one thing that really defines who we are . . . that one thing that we are ceaselessly passionate about. I will use a few of my friends as examples . . .

My male best friend . . . radio d.j. . . . comics and superheroes
My female best friend . . . business manager . . . law enforcement and helping church
Former co-worker . . . radio station engineer . . . making music
Former co-worker . . . organizer of beauty supply shows . . . animal rescue

What we do for our career does not define who we are. Our career is merely what we do to pay the bills. What defines who we really are is what we are passionate about.

Me . . . radio d.j. . . . writing

I saw a post on Facebook recently that said “find your passion and let it consume you.” Take a moment to think about that. When was the last time you fell in love with something so much that you let it consume you?

There are unfortunately too many people walking around the world right now that have no idea what they are passionate about. They are so worried about having the right job, fitting into the right social circles, and always being perfect that they never take a chance at finding what really makes them happy. To find your passion is to find what makes your heart happy.

Rescuing abused and neglected animals and finding them furr-ever homes makes my beauty show organizer friend happy. That is what fulfills her heart. Overcoming the demons of his very ugly childhood via the comic superheroes he loves is what makes my best friend happy. Writing poetry, short stories, even the posts on this blog are what makes me happy.

Many people are lucky enough to discover what they are passionate about. For those people it could even become their purpose in life. My beauty show friend would love to be able to give up her job and devote herself day and night to rescuing animals. But with the free time that she gets from work she has done amazing, life changing things for so many animals. She has found her passion and she has let it consume her.

What are you passionate about? Do you even know? If you could drop everything right now to do the one thing that makes you happy what would it be?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find your passion and let it consume you.

Until next time . . .

Being taught

It’s glorious and oh-so-amazing to take a moment, look back and see all the little ways God has worked in your life. Whether it is something small or something to turned out to be huge God is always there working on you and working for you.

I have always been under the belief that we should always keep learning. There is always something new to learn about and to help us broaden our view our view of the world . . . how to make beaded jewelry, the history of your hometown, the names of and stories behind the constellations in the sky . . . anything. We should never pass up an opportunity to learn. As long as we wake up to another day we have a fresh opportunity to be taught more about the world that God created for us.

Lately I’ve been thinking about going back to school. The thought has been floating around in my head for several months. I didn’t know if I wanted to take anything specific like a writing class to improve what I already know and love, or if I wanted to try something completely new like archaeology or automotive repair. In my indecisiveness God gave me my answer. I believe he is the one who implanted the desire to go back to school. But where I have found myself recently is not your average school setting. There are no desks, no chalkboard, no lunchtime or recess. But I am definitely back in school, and I couldn’t be happier with the setting that God led me to.

God led me to the greatest school I could ask for. God led me to church.

My eyes and heart have been awakened to the wonderful creation that is God’s world around us. In the past several weeks I have learned more through Sunday morning services, study guides, and even posts right here on WordPress from other followers of Christ than I have in my entire life. I have truly been sent back to school. God knew that I was open to be taught. He knew I was ready to find him. He directed every aspect of my life so that everything led me to him.

Do I still have questions? Absolutely. Will I someday know all there is to know about God’s work in us and in this world, about the work that Jesus did on earth before he was sacrificed for us? I hope not. I pray that God keeps my mind open, my thirst for knowledge about him unquenched.

To wake up to another day in this world is a blessing. To be given another day to continue to learn about my creator and the son he sacrificed so that you and I could have eternity with him is beyond a blessing.

Until next time . . .

Blessings

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way God acts in our own lives. Between the rush to get to work in the morning, the boss who can be a total jerk, long lines at the grocery store, getting housework done and dinner on the table, and helping the kids with their homework it’s very easy to lose sight of the way God blesses our day-to-day lives.

Rushing to get to work and the jerk boss = you have a job when so many others do not.

Long grocery store lines = you have money to put food on your table when too many others don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Housework = you have a home when too many in this world are sleeping on the streets.

Helping the kids with their homework = quality time with your family when so many are alone in this world.

God’s blessings surround every aspect of our lives everyday whether you realize it or not.

Sunday morning in church the Spirit of God was so strong that everybody could feel him. Voices were raised in musical worship as we sang to him. Arms were uplifted. Smiles adorned lifted faces and tears rolled from eyes as God acted in each of our hearts. It was a beautiful moment. God was in the hearts of everyone there. It was truly a moment of praise and worship. At the end of the service five people made their fresh start and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Seeing that happen will never get old to me. I joked with a friend that I am going to have to quit wearing mascara to church because I can’t make it through a service without being moved to tears. The sight of a new believer coming to Christ . . . there are no words for the way the joy fills my heart.

That moment on Sunday morning was a tangible moment of God acting in our lives. We could feel him there. But those moments when you are harried and rushed to get out the door, when you a fighting traffic and your jerk boss, when you impatiently waiting in line at the grocery store, or on hold for a customer service representative . . . take a moment to think of the way God has blessed you and your life.

On Friday nights I go to bed hoping that my son will sleep past 7a.m. on Saturday and thus let me sleep past 7a.m. Every Saturday morning at 7a.m. there he is on my side of the bed asking if he can play with my phone and letting me know that he is going downstairs to watch Spongebob in the living room. Every once in a while he will climb in bed between me and my husband and let us cuddle him (he’s generally not a cuddly kid, he likes his space). I love those moments when he lets me wrap my arms around him, lean my head against his, and enjoy the few moments of cuddly time. I love to kiss his cheeks and smell his hair. I look at him and say, “I like Nathan cuddles.” His response, “I like mommy cuddles.” Then I say, “They make me happy.” He responds with, “They make me happy.” That is our cuddly routine. It never lasts more than a few minutes but in those few minutes I know that I am blessed. God saw fit to give that beautiful little boy to me and my husband. He trusted us to raise Nathan to be not our son but the son of God.

An early morning whisper of “mommy” from Nathan, a giggle from the living room as he watches Spongebob, a random hug, to see him come running down the steps to welcome me home after work, late night milkshakes, him helping me cook dinner . . . it’s the little things . . . God has blessed me.

My family is not a rich family. As a matter of fact, there are some months when we struggle to meet all the bills. But somehow we always make it through. What my family has plenty of though has far more value than money. It’s something that we were losing before I made my fresh start, before I opened my heart and life to Jesus Christ . . . we have love, we have quality time together, we are rebuilding our bond as a family. That is something that a price can never be put on.

I could buy all the Happy Meals in the world for Nathan and send my husband to all the wrestling events that he could ever want to go to, but nothing will mean more than the time we get to spend together.

I used to take the little moments for granted. I am a workaholic. From the moment that I got my first job at seventeen years old I started putting work before family and everything else. I was unhappy in my own home, unhappy with my husband, and with my family. I used work to try escape what was making me unhappy. I didn’t realize thought that what was making me unhappy was me. I was trying to escape from what I thought was making me unhappy, but you can never escape from yourself. That was a lesson that I learned and could not deny when God held a mirror up to my face. I was tearing apart my family. I was throwing away the blessing that God gave me.

No more!

On those days when I think God has it out for me (you know we all have those days sometimes) I remember that God has blessed and those rough days are making me stronger. Those rough days make me appreciate all the wonderful things in my life that much more.

How has God blessed you?

Until next time . . .