The Secret to Success.

“My love, you are a rose. I stare at your beauty in wonder I can not comprehend. Your kindness and your gentle touch are beautiful movements among the weary. Your virtues and your morals are not to be found in any other place among this earth. I can not compare to your standards. SO, I WANT YOU TO ACCEPT ME AS I AM AND LOVE ME FOR ME. While I sit and watch TV, bring me a beer. I will eat cheeseburgers and candy while you workout and diet on vegetables. But, I am admitting to you that I can never deserve you, so just because I say that, it is enough.”

The philosophy of our culture is: I get to do what I want to do. And I DESERVE to have everything I want.

The secret to success is one word: WORK.

I know, that is a dirty little word. I’m not telling you that you have to do it, but if you want success, that is the answer. Nobody, not even the government, owes you a house, a car, health insurance, a cellphone, or even food.

The American Dream. It means you have the right to work for these things, it does not mean that anyone has to give them to you.

Do you want a relationship with Jesus? Ok. Dangerous ground here. This is the one area where we get something for free: salvation. Period. It is nothing I do. Being good, reading my Bible, serving the poor…these things DO NOT make me a Christian. I am a raging sinner. It is all of Jesus and none of me. SALVATION IS NOT WHAT I AM REFERRING TO HERE. But do you want a close relationship with Jesus? Reread the above dialogue. Do not sit on the couch watching trash and ask Jesus to bring you a beer and expect to come out of it holy and pure. It takes work. Open up God’s word and read it. Attend church, actually listen to the sermon, filter it through the Bible, and apply it to your life.

Decide what you want to do, decide where you want to prosper, and WORK!

Do you want a good marriage? It takes work!

Do you want to raise polite, healthy children? It takes work!

Do you want to be RICH? Work! I’m not saying everyone that works hard is rich but I am saying that everyone that is rich has to work hard. And no one owes you that reward except yourself!

Shame on Christians that we do not stand out from this world! Shame on us that people do not admire and praise, “You have to say one thing about Christians: they are the hardest workers I know! And their marriages, their children, their careers, their service…are proof!”

Here I speak only to myself and other believers, where is our proof?

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

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Because of Therefores

I write because:

Her picture lights up my smartphone, We’ve been playing phone tag and finally the time has arrived. Answering, I talk a million miles a minute. Mid sentence, my sister interrupts. She has witnessed a bird hit by a car, flapping and lying in pain. She runs to the rescue. While I am waiting on the return call, I realize how I had begun spilling, not choosing my words correctly and not asking first about her. Like writing, I wished I could push delete and start over.

That moment. I pause in overwhelming inspiration. My heart lives, love conquers, and all the world pauses and applauds the words of Victor Hugo. Just to say the name Les Miserables, inspires my life. The words of the book disappear and I am there in Paris and Fantine is my friend and the Thenardiers have slapped my face. The creation of a life, a story, a place that can impact our lives. I love to write because I love to read.

My daughter is a Renaissance girl. She wants to learn and to know everything. She is a girl of many talents. There are so many things where she is naturally gifted. But then there are so many other things that draw her attention and call out her name to be attended to. Like a child, that she is, she loses her focus and wants to move on. “Madison, God gave you this ability. He made you good at this. So, I believe you should do it.” I do not know if it means a career or a hobby, a full or part time, or temporary endeavor, but I believe that if God gives you a talent, it is a sin not to use it. I am a writer. I sit down and it appears. I write because He gave me the ability.

For years and years I wrote and tossed, wrote and tossed. It was an expression in me that I knew no other way to release. When life got to be too much, when my emotions were numb or charged, when questions of life were too much to endure, writing sat with me. He sat patiently and listened. He hugged me and wiped my tears off my cheeks. He cried. And then he cheered, fists in the air and rejoiced in answers found and God praised. Writing is a companion that has become one of my dearest friends.

Writing is a creation, it mimics the God that created. Writing allows me to start over and start fresh on a new sheet of white paper with a newly sharpened pencil. I write because I need to start over often. I write because I can. I write because I want to. I write because it is part of the definition of who I am. I am a writer, therefore I write.

A Resounding Gong Clanging Cymbals

Ouch! I love LOVE love my family, but I write this post with my tail between my legs. How many times am I the clanging cymbal?!

“Dirty clothes in the basket. Shoes in your closet. Feed the geckos….clang. Clang. Clang. Why do you always have to leave your shoes out?!”

I so badly want to be a loving wife and mother but I so often, so very often, fall so very short! I need Jesus!

Love is patient. Errr. I am not a patient person. It doesn’t take much for me to get irritated.

It is not self seeking. “Can I just have 5 minutes to myself?!” Head down, ears back, tail tucked as I think about how self seeking I am.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. “You always…” How often do I pull that list out on my husband?!

It is not easily angered. OK! I give up!

AND YES! That is where I need to be! I can not be a patient Mommy without Jesus! I can not be a wife that does not keep a record of wrongs without Jesus!

And that is what matters to me! To be the wife and mother that Christ calls me to be, to daily show my family how much I love them by letting Jesus be perfect love through me. Because I can’t! I fall so short of the
1 Corinthians 13 love!

Love is more than a feeling! Love is action. Love is changing for someone, love is choosing their needs above your own, love is being patient with my daughter in the morning before I’ve had coffee, love is staying in budget for my husband instead of demanding what I want, love is surrendering to Jesus because He is perfect love!

And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

LOVE NEVER FAILS!

I Corinthians 13

THAT IS LOVE!

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LOVE. The meaning of life. Love is the reason we leave our family of origin and begin a life with someone new. Crowds line up, women scream, and billions are made on love songs. It sells. It forgives. Love brings us to our knees, makes us crazy, makes us whole. Is there anything that love can not do?!

A young teenager, he had a simple appearance, smiling, and nervous. I don’t turn on the evening news very much, but there it was on the wall of my living room, and there he was in my home. A local boy, an orphan. “I will help with the chores. I always make my bed. I listen in class. I am a really good basketball player. I always play in the Special Olympics.” The anchor asked him if he liked school, “Yes ma’am.” He smiled and did his very best to please and have good manners. There was one thing he wanted. He was willing to go on TV and plead to anyone that would give it to him. Love. Begging to be loved.

Who can tell us what love is? Why do we sell our souls to be loved? Why do our hearts ache for the unloved? Why do we connect? Why does the world search and spend and sacrifice all in the name of love?

Culture wants so badly to be loved and culture has no clue what love even is!

I hate chick flicks! Here is the setting for any modern day chick flick: Two people living separate lives. Almost always she is rude and self serving. This is supposed to be seen as successful and independent but she is concerned with no one other than herself. He is attracted to her. She is pretty. We get that. But they “fall in love” and have sex. “Happy ever after.” That is love. Or so we are told time and time again. It leaves us believing that the meaning of love is two attractive people having sex and being happy.

Love is about me. It is about a relationship that makes me happy, a person that has something to offer me, being turned on and giving into the heat of the moment. OR IS THERE SOMETHING MORE?

When James and I met, it was love at first sight. I wanted to be with him ALL THE TIME! Had I sacrificed, had I given anything? No, I was in love with the idea that someone would love me. I liked the qualities that I found in James. And I wanted to be with him. That is why I married James! I WANTED TO BE WITH HIM! I wanted to figure out this thing called life with James. I wanted to spend Christmases with James, wanted to wake up beside him, wanted to cry on his shoulder, to go on dates, and count up the anniversaries by his side. THAT WAS THE EASY PART! That worked for me!

What did not work for me? Spending money on what he wanted instead of what I had my heart set on. Spending hour after hour, time after time going through the forever decision making process that he always goes through every single time he makes a purchase. It didn’t work for me to get mad as hell at someone and have to lay down beside him at the end of the day. It did not work for me to discover that men and women are from two different planets and I did not understand what in the hell he was thinking most of the time. It did/does not work for me to discover that he is a messy person, while I am a perfectionist concerning our home. It did not work for me to have to work through something when it hurt deep in my heart and all I wanted to do was throw in the towel.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t work for James either! It didn’t work for him to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on medical bills. It didn’t work for him to wait months to see if his daughter inherited cancer from his wife. It didn’t work for him to work day after stressful day to use the money to buy canvases to hang on the wall and throw a birthday party for a bunch of little girls. It didn’t work for him for his wife to have to work through the emotions when he had already moved on from a disagreement. It didn’t work for him to spend Saturdays making repairs on a home when he would rather be at the shooting range. It did not work for him to paint the living room, just for a color change. And it most definitely did not work for him to sign someone else on to his checking account.

And THAT IS LOVE! It is awesome to hold hands with your husband of 12 years, while he whispers sweet secrets in your ear. It is great to get what I’ve been hoping for for my birthday. But I have felt the most loved when I have been a real bitch and James makes me coffee in the morning. I know I am loved when I am forgiven. I know love when it is not deserved and James choses to stay with me when he has better options.

Love is when it doesn’t work for me. Love is when it does not make me happy. Love is doing something for the one you love when you don’t want to, but it is the best for them. Love is time after time, choosing someone else above me. Love is when my heart does not feel it, making my actions do what is right when I do not want to.

God is love. What does that mean? Jesus had perfection. He was spending eternity in a place that is above and beyond anything we can ever begin to imagine. King of paradise island surrounded by servants and being a famous billionaire? Better than that! He was perfect. Never said anything mean, never did anything selfish. He had never messed up. And he chose to come to this screwed up, sinful world. He chose to let his accusers whip him and torture him and spit in his face. He chose to let them nail him on a cross, when just thinking a single thought, he could have released himself from all the agony and pain. He chose to die, to SAVE US!

THAT IS LOVE! He received no benefit, none of that worked for him! But it was the best for us.

And what did I do in return to thank Jesus? I complained. I wanted a bigger house and a newer car and a healthier body. I wanted more!

Why does he love me?! I do not know! And yet time after time, he forgives me and he loves me again and again!

THAT IS LOVE!

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

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A Little Obvious Love Tradition

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January is a month for new beginnings. It is a time to begin again. The last day of the first month of the year. The new has sunk in and we are in full force of a new year.

Sitting in the warmth of my home. Cuddled up watching a movie in my comfy clothes. Sick day.

No, I’m not sick. My baby has caught a bug. Honestly, she hardly ever gets sick and she doesn’t know what to do with herself. After only half a day of sickness, she doesn’t know why this thing is sticking around.

Her biggest disappointment is that today was going to include taking her guinea pig, Mocha, to school. And the day was to be followed up with a play date after school. Dang it! All canceled and rescheduled.

One of the best parts of love is being loved on a sick day. Madison has watched more TV than is usually allowed in a week, heck, a month. Her Daddy ran out to purchase some Sprite and Gatorade, not usually found in our home. And the cabinet is stocked with Frozen Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. We are here for her in her hard time. To pamper her and try to make it easier.

I sit here on our hard day, the last day of the month of new beginnings, and look to February. The month to celebrate love.

We have this little tradition. The searching has already begun to take place. We search high and low and we each find a card for the other two members of our family. Six cards sit upon our mantle.

It is the hardest/cutest thing to stand on the card isle with a little girl that insists on reading and looking at every single card, trying to keep your eye on her, while she is shouting out all the while, “Don’t look! Don’t look!” And then paying for something without seeing it!

I don’t usually give away little secrets like this, or even write a series like this, but I am going to spend a while writing, on making this world go round. Because it is love sweet love, it drives us crazy, saves the world, inspires my favorite novel, Les Miserables, and led me to my God! LOVE , my friends, is the greatest thing to write about!

(Written Friday)

The Greatest of These is LOVE

My family of three is riding in the car on a random day, James smiles at me and takes my hand, “I love you.”

A little voice pipes up from the back seat, “I love you too.”

Dinner time and James catches my eye, I blow him a kiss. Madison puckers up and smooches me back.

At the age of two, my little girl often referred to me as “Babe.” She had heard her Daddy get my attention with that name and she followed suit.

Valentine’s Day rolled around and the stores began to decorate and advertise. Love was in the air. SHE CLAIMED IT! She puckered up and declared, “I love you.”

As Madison has grown, she has claimed Valentine’s Day for herself. The Valentine’s traditions in our home have grown and I have learned something from the mouth of my little girl. Valentine’s Day has become something so much bigger than it ever was!

VALENTINES DAY IS FOR CHILDREN! It is for single people, old people, teachers, cousins, husbands, families, friends, neighbors, and dare I say even enemies!

This Valentine’s Day will see the release of a movie that portrays the modern idea of love. “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Love has been reduced to pornographic, only for the hot and sexy, sex.

DO NOT BUY THAT LIE!

Sex is beautiful. That is a whole separate post/book. But sex does not equal love!

Valentine’s Day is dreaded by those that do not live up to these standards. Valentine’s Day is dreaded by the single.

Well let me tell you, culture got it wrong! The King of Kings loves you so much he died for you! That is love! That is love for everyone!

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it has a new meaning for me.

Yes! Romantic love is amazing! I LOVE a HOT DATE with my HOT HUSBAND! I love flowers and nice restaurants and kisses. But after twelve years of marriage, I love my husband even more than our wedding day. Losing wedding day bliss is incredible when it is replaced with a deeper, more intimate love! James has loved me through things that are not so sexy. And that is a reason to celebrate the love of my husband!

There is also someone else that I love. Someone that I brought into this world. Someone that has me daily on my knees for her heart and soul. I love my daughter with a love that is so much bigger than the love our culture flashes at Valentine’s Day. I do have a daughter that is beautiful, smart, and talented. But let it be known, that does not make me love her. I love her because she is mine! I would love that little girl if she was covered in green warts, couldn’t learn a thing, and the meanest girl alive. There is nothing she can do to make me love her or to make me not love her! She is my daughter, loved and cherished, and that is a reason to celebrate!

And I see that I am loved. Someone died for me. Someone saw the ugliness of my sin and did not turn his head, but he washed me clean. Someone has never left my side. Someone is preparing a perfect home and a perfect eternity to satisfy my every desire. He did not love me for anything I have to offer, but he loved me because I am his! There is nothing I can do to earn his love, but he pours it over me daily. The God of the Universe loves me! Celebrate!

Do not buy into the lie that Valentine’s Day is a pornographic film. You are loved. Pucker up those lips, pipe up from the backseat, and CLAIM IT!

A little early because I am already getting excited, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

I’m a Big Girl Now

From a little girl, my eyes were peeled, scanning the room for opinions of others.

Does she like what I am wearing?
Did my words impress them?
How does my hair look today?
Does everyone approve?

And on and on the list goes! I was looking, looking, looking to impress.

Fast forward. I am in my thirties. Caroline is on a treadmill beside her husband, surrounded by supermodels, and I am center stage at the gym. Since this time, we have joined the YMCA. Love the Y. This other particular gym held our membership for about two months. I think every member of the gym was a pro-athlete, model, billionaire …everyone except me.

But here I am, these are my surroundings. I have my ears plugged, listening to music, and running. My husband (who does fit the hottie stereotype that I am surrounded by 😍) is running (much faster) beside me. I see his lips move. Oh, I pull out my earbuds. I turn to hear what he is saying to me. Running. Running. Turning my head. …I am not that coordinated.

SMACK! Caroline is trying to do too much at one time. I’ve lost it all. Desperately gripping the two bars beside me, it is all that keeps my face from smacking the moving treadmill. However, my legs are not so fortunate. They continue to drag on the still running treadmill.

It seems like eternity passes. This is what I hear as I go down: Deep, sympathetic oohs and ahhs as everyone watches me wipe out. Completely wipe out.

After eternity, James pushes the off button. Every single eye in the gym is on me. Waiting for tears. Waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Waiting for me to run and hide and never be seen again.

What do I do? I stand up. I return to my treadmill. I look at James and I make a realization, I say, “I am not embarrassed.” I step up and I continue running.

This was a point in my life. Lots of moments have led up to this point, but here I realize, “I could absolutely care less what other people think.” Not in a rude mean way, but in a I don’t get embarrassed anymore way.

What happened? So very much!

After showing “all” to bring a baby into this world, after being infinitely loved by the most perfect man alive, after walking through life with the badge of Cancer, after picking my nauseously sick body up off the floor and giving all I’ve got to face another day, after the God of the universe shows me his glory and realizing that I am a princess of the king of kings, after wearing five year old homemade jewelry in public, yelling in Target at the top of my lungs because my toddler disappeared around the corner…after surviving this life and this story that I’ve got, I have learned what really does and does not matter in this life.

I guess I am a big girl now.

 

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

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Worrying About Worry

Regrets. I’ve got them. I believe having regrets is actually healthy. It is the first step in growing. They hurt, I don’t like them, but the important thing is to learn from them and move on. When I am in that moment of, “Caroline, you’ve really screwed up now.” I try to change my perspective from “This day sucks” to “I am going to come out of this all the stronger.”

Looking back on my life, I am several different people. Really. I have learned so much I hardly recognize that girl from the past. I wish I could do that thing that has been dreamed of by many many a person: I wish I could go back and give myself some advice. Hmmmm. If I could tell younger Caroline, let’s say teenage Caroline, one thing what would it be? This: DO NOT WORRY! It all turns out great in the end!

I love word studies. Nerdy fact about Caroline. I have a favorite dictionary. Webster’s 1828. Getting really dorky chills just thinking about it. So much knowledge and wisdom in that big thick book. Yes, wisdom. Well, in this age, I have turned to the more modern version of 1828 and I was doing a word study.

Worry. What does that word mean? “To fatigue”. YES! It wears me out! “To tear, to mangle with the teeth.” Yikes! There is a word picture! Nothing good ever comes from worrying! I have never ever looked back and said, “I am so glad that I worried about that! Whew! That worrying really helped me out!”

“Teenage Caroline, You will marry your best friend (and he is super hot!), and you have a daughter, and you will beat cancer! (Girl, you kick ass!), and you will buy a house, and yes! You will drive one day! STOP WORRYING! Get ready! It all works out better than you could have ever dreamed!”

So, if that is what I would say to teenage Caroline, what would 60 year old Caroline say to 33 year old Caroline? STOP WORRYING!!!

Caroline is published!  please click on the link below for more information about Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times and to purchase

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On The Road

Literally and metaphorically, On the road. Christmas tradition has it that the Hendrys celebrate Christmas morning at home with our family traditions of the three of us. The night brings celebrations of one side of the family and then the morning of the 26, the car is loaded down and we set off for a second Christmas with FL grandparents. Somewhere along this trip, it hits us: another year is gone. We have partied, stuffed our bellies, and ended the year in more fun than should be allowed.

Now here we are, on the road, driving home. We are leaving 2014 behind us and each mile brings us closer to 2015. I will, literally, spend the last hours cleaning up our messes from our 2014 adventures. I will, metaphorically, clean up Caroline and start over in a new fresh year.

Happy Memories of the Past and Happy Welcoming the NEW YEAR!

This Me That’s You

It’s not that funny or as grand, just not that big of a deal unless you are here.
I have this big part of me that has become you.
It’s not a phone call or a promise of tonight.
It is needing you here with all of my might.
I can not think or concentrate.
‘Til I have you by my side.
Cause it’s part of me that’s missing.
How am I supposed to see without my eyes?
Or run without my legs?
Because my heart can’t beat when I’m all alone.
It misses you that’s me.
Together.
That is where you are supposed to be.