A step back in time – and looking towards the future

On the way home from a trip near Purdue country, Derek took a detour and we drove through our old stomping grounds. It was fall and it sparked my memory of a fall about 17 years ago when I fell in love with a boy… a boy that one day would become my husband, and later the father of my three kids. It seemed like stepping back in time for a moment as we walked hand in hand around the fountain.

Then, like someone pressing the fast forward button, I was whipped forward without warning. My kids were walking and looking around. One declared that this would one day be THEIR school, not just ours, while another was not so sure we should be there because we were no longer students…

I was reminded that in just 4 or 5 short years we will seriously be looking into where to enroll our kids in college… It froze my steps and I wondered where the time went, why I never appreciated the campus when I was on it like I do now when it is a distant memory, and wondering what it will be like to walk it someday as a soon to be parent of a student vs my nostalgic wanderings.

Time moves forwards and back again without much thought to how it tosses me about. So while I think of it, thank you for the moments I treasure in the past, thank you for the wanderings of my present, and please God, help me to live through the future of precious kids bent on growing up before my eyes.


Papa Rick

I could tell you lots of stories about my dad.  I could tell you childhood memories, silly things he said or did, a vast array of sayings, (both goofy and profound),  how insanely proud of him I am, and all the reasons why I think he was/is the best dad a girl could have.  But I wont.  I am not going to focus on just the past or give him the ability to discount and wave off my compliments and praises… (though you MUST understand that I could go on for hours about the love of this man and my blessing in having him for my father.)

Instead I am gonna tell you about “Papa Rick”.  Time is always ticking away and it could be easy to get caught up in the day to day battle with the clock, constantly battling the to-do list that grows ever longer on his desktop.  He’s a busy guy.  He’s not retired yet and he pastors two churches full time.  It’s a lot of work.

It would be easy miss the magic of the moments that can hurry by… but he doesn’t.  He makes each one count every time he gets the chance to catch a kid up in a bear hug.  He keeps contact via emails to his nearly teenage granddaughters and through shared infatuation with the newest Apple technology or apps the grandkids salivate after.  They are growing up into little techies, following in his footsteps.

Above it all – Papa Rick has one main love in life.  His family.  Moreover, the grandkids are the ones that capture his heart so completely that his attention is so focused you can almost see the joy seeping from his pores.

This is a picture of my brother’s boy… Emory, the newest kid on the block to our family.  There is no doubt on either of their faces that they are totally in love with each other. When I say my prayers of thanksgiving, especially around this time of year, I always am grateful that my kids have the kinda Papa who is interested, interactive, expressive, and involved.  He never ceases to amaze me with his continued passion to love and treasure them.

Thanks Dad, for not only being a wonderful dad… but for being the most amazing Papa I could have thought to pray for.  While we may not always have a ton of time in the same room… thanks for making the moments that come ones to remember.  🙂

My mom, my BFF… Kathy

When I was a girl, I told my mom everything.  No, really, I did.  I rarely left her outa my loop on anything; no matter if it was what I ate at school that day for lunch,  my fretting about not getting my boobs when everyone else did, to math tests, mean kids, and the boy I just met that I was sure I would marry someday.  (PS – I DID marry him, and he was the only boy I ever said that about)

Know what?  She listened.  Every single time.  She may have been busy, but she took the time to at least keep her head in the conversation even when she was up to her elbows in raw chicken in the sink, scrubbing a bathroom floor, pulling weeds in the massive garden she kept our family afloat by planting, or when she was so tired she could barely stay awake after her day of work, but I was hyped up and needed a listening ear.

Recently I came across a picture that I never knew was taken.  It reminded me that she and I have grown up, but not apart.  Not even a minute.  I grew up, got married, started a family, and now I am a mom too, but still she is my BFF.  I still tell her everything.  All the things that matter anyway.

I am blessed to still have my mom in my life.

Thanks, Mom, for all the little things you do for me, the BIG things too, the prayers you say over me and my family, and for the love you show your grandchildren.  Thanks for being a listening ear, and teaching me how to be a good mom to my kids.

The other day my oldest daughter was chattering on about her day and what she had for lunch at school.  I smiled to myself remembering when I was the girl and did the same with my mom.  She asked me if she thought she talked to me too much, if I thought she came to me too often about things that she was thinking about or worrying about, and if she bothers me.  I told her no, and shook my head. Smiling, I told her that the day she stops talking to me is the day I start to worry, not the days she tells me all she thinks about and fills her days with.

I pray that my girls, and my son too, will always feel they can come to us as parents with the little things and the big things too.  I hope they never think we are unavailable, or that they are grown up enough to not need us as a listening ear.  I treasure the little things that come to their minds, the things they are excited about, and the things they fear and worry over.

So mom, as Thanksgiving rolls around once again, YOU are one of the many things I say thanks for…  It’s my prayer that we will continue to share a best friend relationship long into the next season of our lives… the one where I become a mother of Teenagers, and her a grandmother to them.

Love ya Mom!

Thankful piles?

Every year, without fail, our leaves fall, the trees littering the yard with their leftovers from summer’s canopy’s of shade.  My adult self sighs inwardly seeing work ahead, and the race against time and the never-fail early leaf pick up trucks.  Our leaves did NOT fall on schedule this year.

First of all, they didn’t fall on OUR side of the street fast enough for my kids.  I had to restrain that Adult-ME when i looked out the window and saw our 3 kids, plus an ambitious neighbor boy raking leave ACROSS the street INTO our yard.  Whey I asked what in the world they were doing, they were shocked to find out I couldn’t easily figure it out.  “LEAF PILES” they excitedly said, cringing as they saw my NOT overly excited face.

I soon chilled out however, because the hours in the coming evening would be full of arms of colors being tossed into the air, all out leaf wars, and the sounds of squealing that would echo blocks away from our house.  It was fall.  It was time to celebrate!

So I shot a yearly picture of my three growing children.  One day they will say, “do we HAVE to sit in the leaves and take a picture this year?”  They will not humor me with my need to remember them like this – just like this – forever.

We successfully raked the round of leaves the added to the yard to the street twice (the wind is unmerciful!) and they came EARLY and picked those up… so all the ones from the back yard never stood a chance to leave the yard.  But never fear, one Saturday morning 5 angels showed up at our door – wonderful friends with rakes, who began to rake the leaves forward and they now sit at our curb waiting on the truck that will now probably be late for the next round of pick ups.

As the wind whips around, the leaves spinning high above the house, then flittering back down again as if just falling, I am reminded that they are like God’s blessings.  If we miss the first time the blessings come our way, he will whip it up again and let it fall down on us over and over till we are smart enough to look up and see Him in everything we do.

So thanks, God for the piles this year.  The one reminds me to sit back and live in the moment, to enjoy the little blessings hidden in my daily life, and to treasure my family.  The other one reminds me that when a task seems overwhelming, and beyond the ability of my own two hands, God stands ready to send in the team he’s appointed for such a time as this, and show that HE is above everything, even leaf piles, and He can do anything from helping to pick up the burden of leaf piles needing to be made all the way to standing in battle with us when the day of war is far exceeding our own means.

Thanks for the JOY in the sun, the blue sky, white clouds, the crunchy leaves, and the swirling  blessings.

May God bless you richly in ways you have yet to notice and discover!

Together in Battle

There have been many ups and downs in the 15 years we have been married.  This year has been hard.  I wouldn’t call it a down – but it has been a hard one for us.  Many times, there have been intense battles for which we have been ill prepared, or not at all.  But never, never have we ever entered into a time of trial or hardship where we did not come out victorious in the end…  so right now, as we search for answers to my continued health issues, we stand together in battle, and we are putting on the Armor of God as we head in for the next round.


dont usually preface “stories” as real, fiction, or give a backstory in advance…  but this time I want to tell you this “story” and have you know as you begin that every single word is as true as my heart can stand to make it.  This is a “free write” – which means that it is just written as it comes out, unedited, and for myself as part of my personal journal.  So forgive any grammar errors.  I chose to share it just as part of my honest look under my “mask.”  God covers us completely, and I can attest that he honors the prayers of a husband covering his wife with His holy word.


A Battle of the Mind and soul…

The medicine wasn’t doing what they said it would do.  She had been to doctors, been poked, prodded, scanned, and drugged.  So far, medicating a structural problem had proved to only complicate issues, not improve them.  Not only did she have the initial problem, she now had side effects that left her a shell of the woman she once was.

The basic problem?  Her brain was too big for her skull.  Her husband joked he had told her not to get so big headed.  Now look what it had done to her.  She needed his laughter, even if it was at herself.

Padding her way into the kitchen after watching her husband leave for work out the front window, she opened the locked case of medicines that both relieved her pain and terrified her.  She wanted to beg her husband to stay home tonight, but she didn’t.  She prayed to God to let her fall asleep before the hallucinations began this night.  They were getting worse and more intense each night.  She was scared like a 8 year old afraid of the dark on a stormy night.

What she didn’t know was that the side effects she had weren’t normal.  She was having a reaction to one of the many meds she had been put on, but there was no way to narrow down the culprit to just one.  Her doctor’s appointment was just a day away so she thought she’d just wait it out.  So hoping to ward off a new round of intense migraines, she chose to go into battle – battle with her own mind, and her grip on reality.

She climbed into bed after checking on their three kids and making sure they were tucked safely into their beds and asleep.  After the meds took effect, she’d be lucky to stagger down the hall without tripping on the floor that would rise to meet her moving feet and to see through the images that weren’t really there.

Before she could fall asleep, though, her arms and legs began to tingle and the warmth crept up her body and enveloped her.  Instead of it being a welcome sign of peace to come over her, taking away some of the pain, she shivered as it stole her mind and she began to fight to stay in reality.

The rush of noiseless voices began to fill her ears and she tried to squeeze out the whispers by plugging her ears.  Terrified to shut her eyes, she watched as her vision darkened into a deep green and black.  From the corners of her mind came the demons.  Their open mouths dripping of black evil were only outdone by the glowing of their red eyes.  Large, slanted, horrible eyes.  Demonic doesn’t even begin to describe the beasts. They swirled and snared, rushed at her and slithered along the foot of the bed.

Over and over she told herself none of this was real, that it was the drugs, and that they would eventually even out and her body would grow used to them and allow them to numb the migraine producers.  She just had to be brave and hold on tight.  She could do this… But she couldn’t for a minute more believe her sane mind.  All she could see was the reality that her eyes told, the vicious lies they saw.  Trembling and trying to remain calm, she began to whimper out words at the demons.  She weakly demanded that they be gone…  That she was God’s child and they had no right to be in this house.  God reigned here.

She knew that satan could not read minds.  Only God is all knowing…  so she called out to the visions in her mind again and cried out to Jesus to protect her.  Though the darkness of her mind she reached out and felt around for her bible.  It lay on her bedside table.  Her bible pressed to her chest, her eyes wide with fear, she over and over forced herself to speak with conviction, “In the name of Jesus, I banish you!  Be gone from this house. Be gone from me.  Jesus help me!”

With the touch of the Bible to her quivering chest, her vision instantly went red and inscribed on her walls were swirling ornate carvings with a cross firmly centered at the foot of her bed.  At first the red scared her, but as she slowed her breathing and the demons retreated back to their corners, her fingers traced the scrolling pattern inlayed into the leather of her Bible.  She looked down at it and then up at her walls.  Truth fought its way into her mind and she knew Jesus was with her in battle.  The vision before her was the same as the cover of the Bible, down to the very swirl and twist.

She lay the Bible on the bed beside her and immediately the demons flew out from their forced retreat.  She cried out loud softly and grabbed the Bible back up and began praying for all she was worth.  Trembling she simply said, “Jesus help me,” over and over.  All her 37 years vanished from her and she was but a tiny helpless child laying her the arms of Jesus.  She cried out that she was too tired to hang on all night to her fight.  To go it alone in battle, in prayer, and she asked what to do.


It was a small and tiny voice in the back of her mind, but it was insistent.  CALL HIM. So she did.  She sent a message to her husband… a text… and asked him to come home.  He knew she never did that.  Never.  So he made it happen and he came to her before an hour was up.

He cradled her in his arms and protected her from her visions.  She uttered to him all she could manage and he held her tight till her shaking stopped.  Her body slowly stopped it’s convulsing and her tears slowed.  He prayed over her with quiet strength and power.  The hairs on arms all stood at attention as he covered her in his love and offered up prayers on her behalf.  The power of Jesus was so close that her every fiber felt it.

Released from the grip of her hallucinations, slowly she began to let the muscles in her body relax and rest.  She fell asleep in his arms, grateful that he never let go. He never questioned her reality, he simply came and he prayed.

All night long he held her, prayed over her, and as she finally slept, continued to check on her and banish anything from her peaceful slumber.

She was taken off the meds the next day, had to go through withdraw, and adjust to new medicine the following weeks.  It continues to haunt her as she climbs in bed each night, but she fights back – refusing to let the unholy win.

Was it real?  Was it just in her mind?  Was there a Holy war being waged right inside her home for a foothold on her?  Maybe…  maybe not.  But it doesn’t matter the reality, it only matters that when it counted, when she was at her most desperate, he was there, together in battle with her, and hanging on to their faith and trust in Jesus to see them through.

Zippy and Mr Wiggles are all his own…

When you’re 8 years old, having your very own pets is not something to sneeze at.  It is something he’s craved for a long time.  It didn’t much matter that we have a cute little dog named Doogie or a Beta fish named Sebastian…  “those weren’t his OWN pets.”  Those guys were pets shared by the family.  So when we went on a Dad, Mom, and Drake outing last night while the girls were off on their own having fun, Drake begged to go to Uncle Bill’s pet shop.  It’s a regular spot to beg to go, to see the awesome pets and wish for a little guy all your own.

Happily he never asks for a dog, cat, or any large expensive pet.  He always wants a little frog, crab, or fish all his own.  I saw the bright yellow sign sporting a large 99cent sale.  I whispered to his dad and he nodded his approval.  I leaned over and asked Drake if he’d like to get some fish.  His eyes got big and round, he said, “like more than one!?” I nodded and said, “Two!” and he laughed out loud.  He paused and asked if they were his alone, or if they were “family” pets.  I grinned already knowing his heart and said yes, they were all his.  I swear his freckles almost popped off his face as it radiated the joy that was nearly bursting out of every pore.

So he picked out a bright orange and white one and one black, orange, and white guy.  Mr Wiggles and Zippy.  Perfect names for fish the poor fish guy had trouble catching THE fish he had his eyes on in a tank full.  But they man full of heart told him, “We’ll get the exact ones you want, young man.”  I highly recommend Uncle Bills.  They are always like that.

So we got home, got out an old fish bowl that was collecting dust waiting on a new set of friends, and gave them a pinch of food.  Yes, we even had the food too.  So $2.12 later, sitting at the table watching the fish zoom around their new home, this 8 year old was happier than I ever thought possible last night.  It proves that sometimes thankfulness in a gift is not measured by the cost of it.

The fish sit on his dresser now, so he can have company at night.  He hates to sleep alone because his sisters get to share a room, but we have no other boys for him to share a room with.  Now three boys share a room.  He will watch them swim at night till he falls asleep and he will not feel so lonely.  Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!

Just a snippet of life in the Campbell house…  May you enjoy your weekend and catch the mini moments that make life worth living  🙂