Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Everyone stared at me...

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I sat down at my computer, pulled up Facebook, and started scrolling through my NewsFeed.  Then, I read something, stopped scrolling, and looked at the computer screen...with my mouth wide open in surprise! 

Here's the deal...I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina...but I spent the first 28 years of my life in Tennessee.  I graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 2000.  I loved my years there, and one of my favorite things was attending sporting events with my friends and my parents.  I looked forward to going there with my husband once we were married, but pregnancy and other things hindered us from doing some things.  Then, we moved to South Carolina.  No complaints about living this close to the beach, but I knew that driving 10 hours for a sporting event was just not something that we would likely choose to do often, if at all.

Then, that day...that day when I was scrolling through Facebook, and saw a posting from TTU Sports.  "The Golden Eagles basketball team will be participating in a tournament.  The first game will be against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina."  REALLY?!  Immediately, I called my husband, telling him the wonderful news.  He started making plans for us to go...just the two of us.  The Golden Eagles and a "date" with my hubby...could it get any better?!?  I then commented on this Facebook post made my TTU Sports telling them how I was planning on going to the game.

I remember walking into the gymnasium...a sea of turquoise...the color of the Chanticleers...and I was wearing my PURPLE and GOLD.  Yeah...I stood out like a sore thumb...  My husband I sat down...right in the middle of all of the CCU fans...and soon, a man in a suit approached us.  He said, "Are you Hillary Gould?"  I said, "Yes, sir."  He was one of the directors of sports at TTU, and he'd seen my comment about being there, but was still very surprised that we did come out. 

I didn't hold back on my support for TTU, even though I was only one, besides the players
themselves wearing PURPLE and GOLD!  My husband even told some people that the only people wearing purple and gold were the players on the bench and me!  I yelled and cheered and screamed.  Eventually, the people around me realized that I was cheering when they were not...and they began turning and staring at me.  One man noticed my shirt, and then nodded and turned around.  Another man spoke up...he said, "You're cheering for the wrong team!"  I said, "No, sir.  I am the only one cheering for the right team!"  LOL!  I had a lot of fun that day...even though I was very "different" from everyone there, and EVERYONE noticed me by the end of the game...especially when TTU WON, and I had a little mini-party in the stands all by myself...cheering and screaming while standing on my feet!

I was remembering this event today, when God gave me a parallel that is much more important than a basketball game.  If you are the only one wearing "purple" in a sea of "turquoise," would you try to hide or display yourself for all to see?  Wearing "purple" meaning being a a sea of non-Christians...our world today...  I had some "haters" around me, but I kept on cheering my team on.  Do I do this in real life when I have "haters" of the Gospel around I keep on cheering about Jesus?  We are to be set apart...and people might stare at us...but we shouldn't hide or shirk away or be in fear because we are representing our team...we are representing our team leader...JESUS!

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Monday, June 3, 2013


I remember as a child looking at the calendar hanging on the wall in our kitchen and seeing May Day written under May 1.  I always laughed and thought it was funny that May 1st was called "May Day."  I didn't know why, and didn't really care why, I just thought it was amusing. 

Well, May 2013 was a month of "Mayday"s it seemed. 

Internationally, "Mayday" is known as a distress signal.  Yep, that was May 2013...distress.  My husband had left for an international trip.  He did not return until mid-May.  So, I was like a "single-mom" homeschooling three children.  I have always said that homeschooling as a single-mom would probably be one of the hardest things to do, and I can still say that today.  My husband doesn't play a huge role in our day-to-day schooling, but having him come home at the end of the day takes more of a load off of my shoulders than I realized. 

May 1st was the day that I was set to take over at Homeschool Toolbox as the content manager.  Was I looking forward to it?  YES!  However, it did give a lot to think about that I hadn't had to deal with before, so there was just extra "stuff" on my plate that hadn't been there before...

The same day...May son woke up in the very early morning hours telling me that he was sick.  As I got up to give him some medicine, I started coughing and felt weak.  Oh no!  Not only was my son sick, but I was as well.  For the next 12 days, either one of my children or I was sick.  There were days that I did nothing except sit on the couch, sleep when I could, take medicine, and feed the children.  I rarely ate because I didn't want anything.  I became more and more weak, and finally started making myself eat SOMETHING at least a couple of times a day.  I lost 7 pounds during that time...which was a great loss, but NOT the way I wanted to get the extra pounds off!  Three kids and myself sick while my husband was far, far away was not working out well. 

FINALLY...the day comes when my husband comes home!  I hugged him as soon as I could, and when I did, I felt that he was hot.  He was sick!  He had a fever, sore throat, coughing...the whole nine yards.  So, for the next few days, I was trying to do everything that I could to get him back to health. 

The very next week, my parents from Tennessee come to visit to spend a week with us.  During that time, I am thinking that my children finally caught what my husband had.  Yep...three kids alternating days, sometimes two of them at the same time, with fevers and just all together feeling bad.  So, I have relatives visiting and sick children within the same week...

May was difficult to say the least.  I am so glad that June has come.  I feel like there is a clean slate.  Everyone in our home is finally well again.  My husband is home.  No plans for anyone to visit anytime soon.  So, hopefully, June will be a better month for me.  As I thought on all that happened during the month of May, and how most of it was considered "bad," I had to wonder, "Why did God allow all of this to happen within such a short period of time?"  I knew that a lesson was there to be learned.  I have figured out some of the lessons...things that I would never imagine would teach me a certain thing, but did.  It was a hard month, but you know what?  God is still God.  God is still there.  He allowed me to go through it, but you know what??  He allowed me to MAKE it through it.  He has used it to repair things that I didn't even know were broken.  He still loves me, He still comforts me, and He's still on the Throne. 

My "Mayday" distress call could not be answered by anyone except my Lord...and He answered it!  Maybe it wasn't in the in the way that I thought that He would, but He did it in the way that was best for me and best for my family...  Yes, it was a difficult month, but sometimes the biggest blessings follow the biggest trials.