Thursday, May 27, 2004















Sometimes people come into your life
and you know right away that they were meant to be there,
to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson,
or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be
(possibly your roommate, neighbor, professor,
long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger),
but when you lock eyes with them,
you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible,
painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without
those obstacles you would have never realized your potential,
strength, willpower, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason.
Nothing happens by chance or by means of
good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness,
and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.
Without these small tests, whatever they may be,
life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere.
It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life,
and the success and downfalls you experience,
help to create who you are and who you become.
Even the bad experiences can be learned from.
In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart forgive them,
for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of
being cautious to when you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them
back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way,
they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.
Make every day count.

Appreciate every moment and take from those moments
everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it
Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen.
Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high.
Hold your head up because you have every right to.
Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself,
for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in
You can make of your life anything you wish.

Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.
Most importantly, if you love someone tell them,
for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.
And learn a lesson in life each day you live.


(The following story was written by Lori Kimble, a 31 year old teacher and proud military wife. Mrs. Kimble, a California native, currently lives in Alabama.)

I was sitting alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that you find all over the country. You know the type--a bucket of peanuts on every table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing around with longneck beers and sizzling platters.

Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my glass. My gaze lingered on a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform to identify their branch of service, but they were definitely "military:" clean shaven, cropped haircut, and that "squared away" look that comes with pride.

Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where my husband usually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very booth, talking about his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. That was when he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this restaurant once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure the thought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned home.

I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he was at this very moment. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were my letters getting through to him? As I pondered these thoughts, high pitched female voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.

"I don't know what Bush is thinking about. Invading Iraq. You'd think that man would learn from his old man's mistakes. Good lord. What an idiot! I can't believe he is even in office. You do know, he stole the election."

I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them, as they began an endless tirade running down our president. I thought about the last night I spent with my husband, as he prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax shots. The image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gives me chills.

Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts. "It is all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'. Hmph! I wonder how many innocent people they'll kill without giving it a thought? It's pure greed, you know."<BR><BR>My chest tightened as I stared at my wedding ring. I could still see how handsome my husband looked in his "mess dress" the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform, affectionately dubbed "coffee stains" with a heavy bulletproof vest over it.<BR><BR>"You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapons. In fact, I bet it's all a big act just to increase the president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at the expense of our social security and education. And, you know what else? We're just asking for another 9-ll. I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it."<BR><BR>Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom? Do they even know what "freedom" is?<BR><BR>I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw their courageous faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each other dejectedly, listening to the women talking. "Well, I, for one, think it's just deplorable to invade Iraq, and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby-killers we call a military."<BR><BR>Professional baby-killers? I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children again.<BR><BR>That's it! Indignation rose up inside me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one voice will answer on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops be known.

Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the adjoining booth and placed my hands flat on their table. Lowering myself to eye level with them, smilingly said, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation.<BR><BR>You see, I'm sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And, do you know why? Because my husband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around the world defending your right to say rotten things about him."

"Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. However, what you say in public is something else, and I will not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband, and all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line, just so you can have the "freedom" to complain. Freedom is an expensive commodity, ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it."

I must have been louder that I meant to be, because the manager came over to inquire if everything was all right. "Yes, thank you," I replied. Then, turning back to the women, I said, "Enjoy the rest of your meal."

As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed for making a scene, and went back to my half eaten steak. The women picked up their check and scurried away.

After finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode. "Compliments of those soldiers," he said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that another couple had beaten them to it. When I asked who, the manager said they had already left, but that the gentleman was a veteran, and wanted to take care of the wife of "one of our boys."

With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers and thanked them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and surrounded the booth. "We just wanted to thank you, ma'am. You know we can't get into confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you did."

As I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of the other diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my husband, and would keep him in their prayers. I knew their flags would fly a little higher the next day.

Perhaps they would look for more tangible ways to show their pride in our country, and the military who protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two women who were railing against our country, would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom America offers, and the price it pays to maintain it's freedom.

As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign of my own. It will simply say, "Thank You!"

To those who fought for our Nation: Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sunday, May 9, 2004


Happy Mothers Day

I am so thankful HE placed you in my path
Some emails make me cry and others make me laugh
You are special to your family, your friends and me
Thank you for being everything that He asked you to be
There is something we have in common
It is motherhood you see
Many of us are grandmothers nothing is sweeter to me
Than to write about our children, family and grand's
Pretend that I have place a crown on your head
You are the Queen of your castle
Your testimony has flown across the miles
To touch many hearts that is in your email files
How fortunate I am to be one
That God led you to write
Thank you for all that you mean to me
Happy Mothers Day my email friend
If you happen to be a male then tell your wife
I wish for her the most glorious day of her life

Sarah Berthelson


Why Mothers Cry ....

"Why are you crying?" he asked his mom.

"Because I'm a mother," she told him.
"I don't understand," he said.
His mom just hugged him and said, "You never will!"
Later the little boy asked his father why Mother
seemed to cry for no reason.
"All mothers cry for no reason," was all his dad could
The little boy grew up and became a man, still
wondering why mothers cry. So he finally put in a call to God and
when God got on the phone the man said, "God, why do mothers
cry so easily."
God said, "You see son, when I made mothers
they had to be special. I made their shoulders strong enough to
carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give
comfort. I gave them an
inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection
that many times come from their children.
"I gave them a hardiness that allows them to keep
going when everyone else gives up, and to take care of their
families through sickness and fatigue without complaining.
"I gave them the sensitivity to love their children
under all circumstances, even when their child has hurt
them very badly.
This same sensitivity helps them to make a
child's boo-boo feel better and helps them share a teenager's
anxieties and fears.
"I gave them a tear to shed. It's theirs exclusively to
use whenever it's needed. It's their only weakness.
It's a tear for mankind."


Happy Mothers Day For Grandma's

          If I were granted any wish
          I'll tell what I would do--
          I would wish my children small again,
          Just for a month or two.

          To hear their squeals of laughter,
          to watch them as they play
          And when they ask me to join in,
          I would NOT say "not today

          I'd hug again their chubby frames,
          kiss away their hurts and tears,
          and cherish childhood innocence,
          that has washed away with years

          And when it is story time,
          I'll stay a little longer,
          To answer questions and sing the songs
          So their memories would be stronger.

          But time is callous, wishes, myth
          Yet God in all his wisdom,
          Has given me another chance,
          Before I join His kingdom.

          The face may be not just the same,
          the name is changed 'tis true,
          but yet the smile that radiates,
          reminds me so of you!

          God must have realized that
          Mothers need a chance or two,
          For many little happy things
          she had no time to do.

          So God gave love to Grandmas
          to equal that before,
          that in effect embraces,
          those little lives she bore.

          Author Unknown


A Mother's Walk

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long
way?" she asked.

And the guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that
anything could be better than these years. So she played with her
children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed
them in the clear streams. As the sun shone on them, and the young mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this

Then the night came .. the storm ... the path became dark. The
children shook with fear and cold. The mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle. The children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near. No harm can come to us."

Then morning came. There was a hill ahead, and the mother and her children climbed and grew wearyShe would frequently tell the
children, "Keep your patience because we are almost there."

So the children continued to climb. When they reached the top they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."

When the mother laid down at night, she looked up at the stars and thought, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength."

The next day, strange clouds appeared which darkened the earth
clouds of war, hate, and evil. As the children groped and stumbled, the mother said, "Look up! Lift your eyes to the light!"

The children looked. They saw above the clouds, an everlasting
glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. That night, the
mother said, " This is the best day of all, for I have shown my
children God."

The days went on, and the weeks, and the months, and the years. The mother grew old and she was little and bent over. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. When the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather.
At last they came to the top of a hill.
They could see a shining road with a golden gate that opened wide.  The mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. I now know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."

The children said,
"You will always walk with us, Mother, even when
you have gone through the gates."
They stood and watched her as she
went on alone. The gates closed after her. The children said,
"We cannot see her, but she is still with us. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence."

Our mother is always with us.
She's the whisper of the leaves as we
walk down the street. She's the smell of bleach in our freshly
laundered socks. She's the cool hand on our brow when we're not
feeling well. Our Mother lives inside our laughter. She's
crystallized in every tear drop we shed.
She's the place we came from ... our first home.
She's the map we follow with every step we
take. She's our first love and our first heartbreak, and nothing on
earth can separate us from her ... Not time ... not space ... not
even death!