Monday, May 23, 2011

Send Support Letters Often ...

I really do have a few more things to write about than USCG Echo 185 – however they deserve one more blog entry.

It has just been a week and I feel as if we have been part of the Coast Guard family for a lifetime.  With the levels of technology we have these days we actually have several ways to “stay in touch”.  Not literally with SR Nephew two – but many USCG families and wonderful people who have been down this road before.  I am finding that I can see God’s grace in so many places.

This evening it was in the posting on facebook on the USCG Echo 185 group page.   USCG moms post information for those of us who are new – and they share great things.  I mentioned in my post that I was “just” an aunt and being a parent has to be even more difficult than how I feel.  My heart strings are just so tight – I cannot imagine how (LynDee & Kevin’s and niece's) the others must feel. 

This USCG mom (since 1999 – how special that she is still taking the time to help even 11 years later…) told me today that “just” an aunt is not really what I am and her son’s “just” uncle had similar responses – she then mentioned:

There are only 40,000 plus Coastie, we are all one big family. Welcome.

I love the word “Welcome”.  Of course we all know what the word welcome means – but I had to see what Websters Online had to say – I like 2 of their notations:

Received with pleasure and hospitality into one’s company or home
Cordially or willingly permitted or invited

If you have noticed in my previous blogs – this Groves bunch is all about family.  What a blessing to find another family that we can share with – and this one has that same love of family that we have.  What a blessing to be Welcomed into this United States Coast Guard Family.  Thank you Jane & Dawn and others – it is such an honor and pleasure – we accept your invitation & hospitality.

Until July 8th

Semper Paratus – Nephew two

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

USCG Echo 185

USCG Echo 185 - It was only a short time ago that I would have had no clue what those words even meant.  I might could have figured out USCG – but Echo 185 would have had no meaning to me.

Now it means the world.

The world for our Nephew two & niece.  Seaman Recruit Nephew two left for Cape May, New Jersey this afternoon.  Cape May is a beautiful place (from what I can tell from the internet sites) – and it is the location of the Training Center for the United States Coast Guard.

There are many Nephew two stories however 2 come to mind particularly.  He named Son one (really – he was 2 ½ when he was born) and helped us take care of Son two after he broke his back.  I guess it was about a year ago (okay probably less than that) that Nephew two told us he wanted to join the Coast Guard.  It sure takes work – he had to physically prepare – lose weight – gain strength – etc… plus he had to mentally prepare for the ASVAB.  While Nephew two was taking care of Son two – and I might add – he was PERFECT – he studied – worked out and also worked for our company.  Nephew two put in a tremendous amount of physical and mental effort so that he could be accepted into the USCG.  Today SK1 Howie Groves (his recruiting officer) told me that he will be a great member of the USCG.

According to their website:

About Us
Overview of the United States Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard protects the maritime economy and the environment, defends our maritime borders, and saves those in peril.

The word “maritime” is not a word I have used often – you can basically substitute “sea” for that word – The Coast Guard protects the sea economy and the environment, defends our sea borders, and saves those in peril.  The word “peril” – Webster’s online defines peril as exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost.

It makes sense – when we needed someone to protect Son two, someone to defend him, but most of all someone who would save him should he be put in risk of being injured again – it was Nephew two.  He was amazing.  I feel quite sure that I never thanked him enough.

God Speed SR Nephew two – we anxiously await July 8th

Semper Paratus (Always Ready)

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Nephew two & niece with the Texas flag they received that had flown over the Texas State Capital from Representative Rick Hardcastle to accompany him on his journies while in the USCG!

Fellow military friends

Here's to Brian!

Nephew two, niece & LynDee & Kevin

Uncle Kerry & Aunt Cheryl with Nephew two & niece

Friday, May 6, 2011

Growing Up Surrounded by Love

Well this week was a most difficult week for me.  Not really but I made it difficult and I knew I was the entire time I was in the middle of it but I just could not completely shake myself out of it.  But I finally reminded myself of one of my most favorite quick choruses:

There is no fear in love but a perfect love casteth out all fear… for fear hath torment – and he that feareth is not made perfect in love – we love Him because He first loved us and I will not be silent – I will praise his name forever because My God is Love!

So I made myself sing those scriptures over and over – reminding myself that LOVE will get me through this week – and it did (I had to stop being fearful of all the things I was imagining… ridiculous!)

I loved growing up in Perrin, Texas and I loved the First Baptist Church of Perrin.  I remember the “old church building” – the one where I was baptized – the one where I was married – the one where we had Sammy’s service – I remember that wonderful building.  The church had a basement and we have awesome memories of that basement.  I can “see” myself singing those scriptures from I John downstairs – we also sang the ones from I John 4:7-8 too. 

Beloved let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God – he that loveth not, knoweth not for God is Love – so beloved let us love one another (I John 4:7&8 – the King James Version…)

LOVE – who all did I learn love from – of course Bob & Jean Cannon – they were the first – they of course loved me enough to adopt me and give me an incredible home.  Then there’s my brother – oh how I love that kid (okay he’s not a kid anymore – he is just 5 years younger than me….) – and of course there are countless other people from growing up in Perrin that showed me love, taught me love.  And there’s Mama Shirley and her family.  Papa Sam & Mama Shirley were my parents’ best friends.  We hung out at their house so many times – I really cannot even count.  They would play canasta – and SuSu (Stephanie), Sammy, Chris and me would play, play, play.  Often times on the CB radios -------

We lost Sammy in 1986 – I am not sure when Papa Sam & Mama Shirley went to be with Jesus but that family showed me love and I still love SuSu as if she really is the sister that I think of her as….

That family taught me not to see color – I look back now and realize that for some outside our wonderful town of Perrin that Hispanics and Whites hanging out might have seemed different.   Kerry & I never saw color – we have had friends of all colors and perhaps most importantly we raised two boys who never see color.

This past year we had a completely new experience with that whole topic.  Son one lived in Montgomery, Alabama – unfortunately there are still many that see color in that town.  That was difficult for our family because for us – it can best be summed up by the last part of I John 4 from The Message

If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.

Don’t you love that part….If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? 

Wow.  Happy Mother's Day - Momma, Mama Shirley & SuSu.....

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.