Saturday, September 29, 2007

Life goes fast

My cousin Mark, one of the biggest FSU fans in the world came down last night for the FSU/Alabama game today.  I was happy to see him, hadn't seen him since Aunt Evelyn's birthday a few months ago.   It was nice having him here, his family has been going through some really hard times.   His sister's husband and a friend were out biking one weekend morning and at 8:00 in the morning a drunk driver hit them both and killed them.   Leaving my cousin and her two children without a father.  This just happend a few weeks.  Mark has been spending every weekend with his sister and niece and nephew.  This weekend he came here, mostly for the game, but also to be here with his cuz.   He reads my blog and knows I've been going through a hard time.  Sometimes things in life seem so unfair.   Life goes fast, and for me its scary to think that it could be taken away from me so quickly.  Death is scary subject, but I'm going to try and address it.   I was speaking to my mom earlier this morning she was talking about she lives past half her life and she wasn't afraid of it.   For me it's not death that's so frightening, it's the dying that scares me.    I shouldn't be so scared, because I know something is better.   But it sure makes me want to live more for the moments, cause when something tragic like this happens without warning, it makes us appreciate more what we have.   I read this somewhere once that, "What the caterpillar thinks is the end of life, the butterfly thinks is just the beginning."   I think it's about how we chose to live our life that is important, so that is my lesson for the day.   I will be glad though when the day comes that all fear will melt away, when I see the LIGHT.    It's beautiful out!  Time to go enjoy it, I think this is the best weather we've had all year.   I love the coolness as it hits my face.   Hope everyone else is enjoying it as well.   This is my cuz at Wimbleton this past year.   He spends 8 weeks each year teaching in London.   What a life, he really loves his job.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Light the Night


What can I say other than I was right in the middle of a huge crowd of red, white, and some gold balloons.   Each symbolizing different things.   The white for those that are survivors, red for those that are their in support of someone there or someone they have lost.   And the gold which there weren’t a lot of thank goodness, but of the families that had lost a loved one to leukemia.   There was such a huge turnout.   There were red balloons everywhere, many white ones as well.   It felt awesome to be in the midst of so many survivors, and those battling this disease.   Made my problems seem kind of small.   I think one of the most awesome things about walking and getting sponsers was Anonymous has come.   What do I mean, well many of those that pledged and supported me were anonymous.   I got messages like “I wanted to do something for you.”    How awesome to get the gift from those who just give to give.   It was such an awesome experience.   Here I am though not being anonymous at all, but with thankful heart, I want to thank all anonymous and not, thanks for the support.   Today I feel good, not just because I did the walk last night.  Although I do feel a fight coming for other causes as well that will come.   I just feel good, all through our lives God showers us with His Goodness- gifts of truth, beauty, friendship, love, and laughter, to name but a few-and we behave as if we don’t know the source.   To me God has been my anonomous friend.   Although I know in my heart He doesn’t want to remain that way.  He wants me to know Him better.   So again when I’m thanking my anonomous friend, I’m also thanking God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Eye is on the Sparrow

Don’t worry!  It’s something I’ve been told since I was just a little boy.   It’s easy for us to panic when we face serious concerns-seems I’ve been facing them daily.   So I pray, and I get busy, I start doing everything I can think of to move forward in a positive way.   And I worry.   I know it’s a waste of time, yet I find myself in this dilemma- I know I should just trust God, but I wonder just what He’s going to do.   I tell myself I’m giving it to God, but still I wonder, what’s going to happen.   I still find myself trying to control, thinking there is something I could say, or something I could do to make it better.   Something I could do to make it easier, something I could do to ease any pain I or anyone else is feeling.   I know at times I feel I just want a distraction so I don’t have to feel the hurt.   But I know in my heart I just have to feel what I feel and give it to God, feel it.   At times I feel very alone, I mean from the way that I used to feel.   But I also know God is walking with me and inviting me to keep handing it over to Him all my worries and my burdens.   I told my sister Dena how I feel.   She’s much better at quoting the bible than I am.   She’s always read it and studied it much more than I have.   I know many answers lie there, but she said and she was quoting from the bible, Cast all your care upon HIM, for He cares for you, God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, I have no idea what part of the bible she was quoting.  So when my mind turns to anxious thoughts about the future, I guess I just have to remember my heavenly Father knows and will give me what I need.   There’s a song we sang weeks ago at church, something to so with a sparrow, I’ll have to look it up, but it’s really pretty.   Something about not knowing about tomorrow and what it may bring, but the one who feeds the sparrow is the one that stands by me.   There was a lot more to it, I’ll look it up later, but it was really good.  


O.k. I just looked up the words, it was from Sister Act part 2 also.


Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches
I know He watches
I know He watches me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
He watches me
I know
He watches

Monday, September 24, 2007

I love you Mom

I wanted to go back and look at old entries I wrote on my mom's birthday, she asked me to write about a happy memory of my childhood for her birthday, so I'm practicing on here what I'll write.  I write about our heavenly father a bunch on here, today on her birthday I will write about my Mother.  She was my connection to life, through her I learned about love, and my heavenly Father, she is the foundation that has steadied me, the comfort I've always carried with me, the warmth I go to again and again.  I love her for always wanting what is best for me, and teaching me that life is still beautiful even when it isn't easy.  She has been a good example for me all these almost 40 years of my life.  She has devoted so much, well all of it to us, her children, mothering us, wisely and unselfishly, and I just want her to know that I love her with all of my heart.   As long as I can remember we used these words I love you a lot.  They were not words she heard from her mother a lot, but she always knew Nana loved her.  But with us it was different, she told us always, every day without fail.  So at a young age I started saying I love you.  When I was a child, I got to say it more often to her, running out the door, catching the bus.... love you Mama, trudging off to bed, love you Mama.  She was the best thing in my little world.  She would tuck me into bed at night and say my prayers, and wish me sweet dreams.  Those are the happiest moments for me, were those moments of love.  I'm a lot older now and not there in Ocilla to say as many "Love yous" as I should, but I'm more aware than ever of her gentle influence over my life.  Now I understand the kind of love that waited for us to come in late at night... the kind of devotion that holds a trembling hand and cools a fevered brow.  The "love you" I offer today understands the sacrafices she made for us.   I didn't always know that, it seems with age, there is always a new appreciation.  I apologize for the times I caused her worry or concern.  Which were many, and I didn't even give it a second thought.  I know that no matter where I am, no matter how grown up I think I am, she'll always be my mama, and I'll always be her child, and every time I think of her, I'm always saying I love you, just like she always said to us and still says to this day.  So mama, I'm not sure this is what you expected.  I could of told stories of the first time I bought you a present at that little place where I went to Kindergarten, and how happy you made me feel when I gave it too you, your smile always made me the happiest of anything I can remember.  So today on your birthday I celebrate you, a woman who I see as independent as Nana was, yet sensitive to the needs of others, who's always been strong of her convictions, and who accepts the things she cannot change, I want to be more like her when it comes to that.  She has always done that with wisdom and grace.   Today I celebrate my mom who's honest and straightforward who's always willing to listen and never pretends to have all the answers.  She's always had a calming influence on me.  I have many friends that say their mom's aggravate them.  Not my mama, she shares kindness with all who meet her.   When comfort is called for that gentle smile comes when it is needed most.   She has a new smile, well she has for the last few years because of braces.   It's a beautiful smile now, but it's always been beautiful to me.  Thank you mama for the gift for caring, thank you for brightening any day by just being you!  Happy Birthday from the one you love best.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Light the Night Walk

I’ve been talking about darkness and light lately, so I thought I’d write today about a cause that is dear to my heart.   I’m doing the Light the Night Walk next week, I’ve only raised $100 so far, my goal is only $300.   I don’t usually put stuff like this on my blog, but it is a part of me so I’ve decided too, I should have done it sooner, but I thought I’d be able to raise it in time.   In darkness I find light once again.   We all know someone with cancer, I’m walking this for those I have lost, and for those I have in my life that are fighting it today.   My first and only still best friend was in 8th grade, David, I’ve written about him a good bit, we’re still best friends to this day.   His girlfriend and later fiancĂ© had leukemia, she fought a strong battle.   She went into remission.  David and her got engaged.   But with a few years it came back, she still fought like a soldier, but the second time Margaret lost the fight.   It amazes me that every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer, and every 10 minutes someone loses the fight.  My friend and cowork Cyndi also just went through this fight, a long one, but is in remission now and doing wonderful.  She inspired me to do this walk for all.  My dad is going through a type of chemo now, and so is my friend Brett.   No one that reads this has to give, but your support means a lot to me.   You don’t even have to give, but if you’d just put up a link in an entry if you know someone or have lost someone or anything that you could think of to help, or join your local chapter in your city.   I plan on taking lots of pictures of the balloons rising.  My personal webpage is   Thanks for your support in the past, present, and the future.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

When darkness falls

When darkness comes I focus on the light.   I feel I’m trying so hard to keep strong and keep a positive outlook on everything.    Sometimes though there are other forces at play, in the darkness.   I’ve probably written about this before, but when I was in the 3rd grade I had this crazy interest in Greek mythology.   It was amazing, and most all of mankind had the pagan idea that the world is under the control of the mighty Zeus, and the warring Gods of Artemis and Apollo.   These stories amazed a young Derek.   Today, after the night I had acknowledge the reality of “forces” over which we have no control.  The example for me, is my inability to prevent hurt.  A force sent to someone they say with care, but only cause confusion and hurt.   My mind goes in so many directions, I watch the news and I see the faces of starving children.   This is one of those forces as well.   I mean there are a million people starving but the fact is there is more than enough food in the world to provide every person in every country food.  There are invisible forces that seem to be beyond our control.   Seems we face things beyond our control at times.   At times when they are just pushed onto me, I hate when someone is hurting, when Mike is hurting, and someone caused that hurt, and I am left helpless.   So in these time I let go of any fear, and place my trust in Jesus.  Please continue keeping us both in your thoughts and prayers  I was emailing a friend about how much I’m enjoying “The 72 Names of God” in his email back to me, he said the trick to it is ot just reading it, but living it.  I’m thinking this would really be wonderful.  The book talks about our purpose in life being to find the Light that was hidden at the moment of Creation.   Funny how I keep coming back to the light!   Turn the light on.  Only if we can find the hiding spot can the purpose be fulfilled.  The hiding spot being our negative traits that’s buried inside.  Guess that’s when life gently knocks us on the head.   I’ve got so many damn bruises on my head from ignoring it.  Not sure what I’m trying to say.  But I sure know I’d like to get rid of all the negative forces that seem to be out there.   It’s been raining so much lately, but a little sunshine came out for a little bit again this morning, and I started singing again, “Let the sunshine In”, been singing that a lot lately

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

God glasses

I wear glasses, well I should wear my glasses.   I’m really blind as a bat in one eye.    I remember as a kid being the tallest in the class they always sat me in the back of the class.   The teacher would write the lessons on the blackboard and I couldn’t read it.   I remember telling my parents but for some reason no one really listened or maybe money was scarce and we just couldn’t afford it.   I would actually have a friend Kimberly who would let me copy the questions or the math problems down from her paper.  In the meanwhile I saw things from a distance in a skewed and distorted way.   I did finally get smart and started sitting in front seats as I got older, although everyone always complained they couldn’t see the board because of Derek’s big tator head.   I think I’ve told the tater head stories before.   I started wearing glasses my first year in college.   Bought them on my own.   The doctor couldn’t believe I had gone as long as I had without glasses.    I remember that first day wearing my glasses.   I could see the leaves in trees.   There was so much that I was missing.   It amazes me that still to this day somedays I leave my glasses at home.    Sometimes I think I’m more used to not seeing than I am seeing.   But most of the time when I remember I’m like I can’t believe what I’m missing.   Ok now I’m going to do my Forest Gump, Life is like a box of chocalates, since I’ve been thinking so much.   “Life is like wearing or not wearing my glasses.”   It creates within us a conflict between what we experience and what we believe.   Not wearing them gives us a badly distorted perspective on life and all that is around us.   We need our glasses so we can see clearly again.   Sometimes I feel like I don’t have my God glasses on either.   What are God glasses?   They are really just the same thing.   It’s just seeing God clearly, it can help us see life’s experiences more clearly.

So today I turn my eyes to God, I seem to dothat more in times of pain and struggle.   I seem to find more comfort and hope in my daily life through those glasses more than anything.   I can see a little clearer.   Focusing puts everything in perspective.   I forgot my glasses today, but I am wearing my God glasses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Looking for Rainbows

Many changes in our lives represent loss to me today, whether as the small cherished memory of a pleasantry or as large as living your daily routine’s completely different than the way I used to.   In every loss we long for a touch of healing and hope.   When I went to church this past Sunday almost fearing it, feeling like a failure.  I ended up left with the message why we all have value.   I have not really a lot to boast about, but I still feel very loved by God.   In the midst of my sorrow, there is also a celebration, that I still have little pieces of light in each day.   Through many little mercies that come in my day, a sweet text message from a friend about God letting  the Sun break through the clouds, it’s been raining a lot yesterday, and was quite gloomy as I was yesterday.   I know there will be new ones each morning and day to get me through it.   I am faithful of that.   When our hearts hurt because of loss, I know where I can find hope.  That never changes.   I’m thankful for inspiration, and for friends.     When the sunshine of God’s love meets the showers of our sorrow, the rainbow of promise will appear.   I saw one the other day when I was shopping at Publix, and Mike mentioned one that he saw that was really beautiful when I saw him on Sunday.   So I guess we’re both finding them.  I’m looking for rainbows, maybe I should ride over by 5 points in Riverside, I usually see a lot of those on the back of folks cars