20 YEARS

January 2001.

The beginning of a new century.

Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone, Monsters Inc and Oceans 11 were top movies to watch that year.

Friends was the most popular tv show.

They say the “Most Famous Real Person in America” was probably Angelina Jolie and “Most Famous Fictional Person in America” was likely Harry Potter.

1st Generation iPod was being sold at $400.

“Emily, Madison, Hannah & Ashley” were top baby girl names.

George W. Bush was inaugurated as President.

Rudolph Giuliani was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year (my how things have changed).

2001 also marked the biggest tragedy in America in my lifetime: The 9/11 attacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks were World Series Champs, Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl & LA Lakers were NBA Champs. 

Also noteworthy, Josh and Kristy got married January 27.

Twenty years ago. Two decades ago. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed, and yet I can hardly remember life before Josh. Our marriage, while imperfect, has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Having a husband like Josh is a gift straight from God and just the partner I needed to walk through life with. 

I took some time last summer on our early 20th anniversary trip to West Palm Beach to journal about our marriage. My mind was rested, my body was relaxed, the sun was beating down on the beautiful sand while I watched the ocean waves crash, so the word for each year came to me with ease. I thought I’d record that journal entry here to commemorate our 20 years together as husband and wife. 

2001: FUN. Newlyweds, new apartment in Florida, back to Georgia, just a good time all around

2002: CHANGE. Moved apartments, found a new church, met new friends, learned new city

2003: UNKNOWNS. Josh quit his first job, signed contract on new house, Josh got very sick, found out we were pregnant with Ruby, Josh started new job

2004: ANTICIPATION. Waiting on Ruby’s arrival, Josh growing into new job

2005: SURPRISE. Molly was born (only 14 months after we welcomed Ruby to the world)…we forget the rest.

2006: GROWTH. Pregnant with Mack, led a growing Sunday school class of young families, Josh continued to grow into his job in the commercial real estate field

2007: HARD. Three babies (2 year old, 1 year old, newborn)

2008: DRAINED. I hit an emotional wall at the end of this year, turned to God in all of my emptiness with nothing to offer but my tired, weary self. And He was faithful to meet me.

2009: EMPTY.  We built and moved into our “dream home” that sucked the life and money right out of us. 

2010: FAITH-BUILDING. As we let go of our dreams and plans and trusted God for His plans and purposes for our lives…

2011: GRIEF. Deb —Josh’s mom— went to heaven, leaving a hole in all of our hearts. Also, HUMILITY.  We moved back into our old house after selling the dream home.

2012: FREEDOM. From debt. From trying to be anything or anyone other than who God wanted us to be. From trying to carry out our own dreams apart from God. Freedom for Josh to take on another job in ministry, in addition to his commercial real estate work.

2013: THANKFUL. Loads of friends at church, homeschooling a 10, 9, 8 year old (sweeet ages!), went to Haiti as a family. Life seemed manageable and not as stressful as in recent years.

2014: STRETCHED. Josh’s two jobs stretched him in many ways. The ministry was booming. He was still teaching and leading a large group at church, his real estate job was going very well, but this year also provided a very stressful financial situation to walk through, not of our own doing. 

2015: RESTLESS. This was a busy, full year with many wonderful things going on in our lives, YET, we were both restless and couldn’t put our finger on what needed to change or what we were doing wrong. I had a vision of Jesus picking me up and walking away with me. I had no idea what that meant exactly but shared it with Josh and wrote it in my journal.

2016: BIG MOVE. Through a series of events, God made it clear that He was calling us to a new adventure — He just didn’t make it clear how hard it would be. We went to Africa in June with the ministry Josh served with and by July we were selling our house, buying a new home in Charlotte, NC for the job Josh would start Sept. 1!

2017: OVERWHELMED. Everything was new. Work was difficult. Loneliness threatened to take me under. I started counseling to have someone to process this with. Could not find our place in a church.

2018: PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH. Josh was managing his new role much better at this point. I began taking care of my physical and mental health and went from barely surviving to thriving during this year. 

2019: GRIEF AND TRAUMA. My mom took her own life. Horrible in every way. LETTING GO. The kids started attending a private Christian school, which was needed for them and for me in this season. God’s timing and provision could not be denied.

2020: WEIRD. COVID-19 entered the USA and turned everything upside down in ways only a global pandemic can. More disappointments than can be named….and yet, God increased intimacy with Him and strengthened our marriage and our family through the unknowns of a very strange year.

2021: We are only just beginning and only God knows what word will rise to my mind when I think about this year as it relates to our family and our marriage. But I have high hopes for less masks and less disappointments and more growth with deeper intimacy as we celebrate 20 years and pray for 80 more!

HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY, JOSH! I LOVE YOU. You are a fabulous husband in every way, and I love and respect you so, so much.

1997: our first photo together, just friends sharing french fries at Huddle House
2000: dating several years, this was after UGA vs SC baseball game—he’s on the field and I’m in the stands cheering, very fitting for how I see our marriage
2001: rehearsal dinner
2001: wedding day
2020: our early anniversary trip to EAU Resort in Palm Beach
20 years together! relaxed, happy and more in love than ever

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4

Low Carb=Mean Mama

Y’all doing ok out there? The world is upside down crazy. I won’t even begin to type the list of things going on in the U.S.A.  Suffice it to say—it’s chaotic and can be stressful if you ingest too much of the media.

It’s kind of stressful in the Dorminy house these days, too. And before you get concerned, you should know it’s nothing major. I have, however, started eating low carb. I am on day 7 and everyone is still living and breathing in this house, so I can count that as a success. BUT it was touch and go for a while there. 

I am just mean. Mean, mean, mean. Annoyed by everything, patient with no one. 

I forewarned Josh and the kids. Plainly, I stated, “I’m about to start eating low carb for a couple of months so be patient with me. I’ll be mean. Just ignore me. It will probably get better in a couple of weeks.”

Well, it’s hard to ignore a nagging, impatient, cranky middle-aged woman who threatens to take away all technology privileges if you don’t obey her every word and even read her mind. They tried. I overheard one of them say to the other two, “You know, she did tell us to just ignore her. It’s gonna be fine…”

Then today I got a call from God. 

Not actually God, but definitely a divinely appointed conversation. A relative whom I adore and who is a few steps farther down the road than me called to thank me for a book I sent her, and as we talked about life she spoke right to my heart. She was talking about her life when her kids were younger and how life goes by so fast and how many of the times she thinks she was often self-centered and wishes she hadn’t been. She said she thinks she would have enjoyed her kids more if so much of her decisions didn’t put her at the center. 

Oof. 

That was convicting. I stopped wiping down the counters as she talked and knew these were words for me. 

No doubt there was pushback that bubbled up as I continued my conversation with the Lord about this later that day. Just like a teenager, I had some words I felt the need to say: 

“But, Lord, I have given so much time to my kids over the years. Done so much for them. Been pretty patient with them. Don’t forget those ten home school years!! That has to count as something. And they are super close in age—remember Ruby was only 2 when Mack came home!! A two and one year old and a newborn! I mean, that was hard. And this covid business is nothing any of knew was coming so the stress just makes things worse and I’m trying. I am trying!!” (I didn’t add, but could have, and He knows already: “and I’m hungry and tired and they’re home doing school here and driving me bonkers!!!”

And He lets me vent and try to defend my indefensible self. And He loves me still, but doesn’t let up with the pressure on my heart. The truth is: The world doesn’t revolve around you, Kristy. Your family doesn’t revolve around you, Kristy. Your emotions aren’t given a pass because you want a biscuit or even because life as you have known it is changing rapidly and there seems to be no reprieve. 

Strangely ironic that the message seems more suitable for a gaggle of toddlers or for my three teenagers and yet, here I am as a 43 year old woman with my patient, long-suffering and loving God having this same conversation.

Big sigh. Sometimes in life you think you’ve gotten farther down the road and then this same, elementary, basic lesson lands in your lap and it’s tempting to be discouraged and throw your hands up at your lack. And actually, throwing your hands up is a good place to start. Just don’t let them drop. Keep them raised in praise to the Good Father who sees you and is so patient with you and wants to help you keep moving down the road of looking more and more like Jesus. 

It’s going to be so worth it one day. 

Names

Josh and I have known people who gave amazing thought and prayer into what to name their children. The origin, the meaning, the family history. I have genuine admiration for all of their effort and creativity; truly, I do.  

However, our ways are not their ways. Conversations around naming our kids went something like this.

Me: Hey, Josh, I have a few options for names for our baby.

Josh: Oh, good. Lemme hear them.

Me: Scout.

Josh: No way.

Me: Gladys.

Josh: Ain’t happenin’

Me: Ruby?

Josh: Maybe. You can leave that one for now.

And this went on for months. Quietly one day he affirmed Ruby and that was that. The same type of conversations occured while naming Molly and Mack. I did all the work, and he approved or disapproved. I wanted simple names that were easy to spell. Kristy, as I have learned over the years, can be spelled many different ways. Mispellings of my name don’t bother me, but still. Why not choose a simple name that is obvious how to spell, if you can, right? Our only hiccup comes when people think Mack says his name is Matt. We try to coach him to say, “Mack—M-A-C-K—like the big truck,” but he thinks that is goofy. I say not any goofier than answering to Matt instead of your real name. But what do I know?

This morning I read in Mark the list of the twelve disciples. Mark 3:16-17 reads, “And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);”

G. Campbell Morgan focused on this part of chapter—-And I loved reading what he said:

“This Simon was impulsive, restless, inconsistent, lacking cohesion. Yet He nicknamed him Rock. The name was an indication of his unrealized natural capacities; and of the Lord’s ability to realize them. The sons of Zebedee, James and John, He nicknamed Sons of Thunder. They were men of gentle, filial nature, quiet men, content to abide at home in the service of their father. Yet Jesus renamed them Sons of Thunder; men of authority and power. The principle was the same. In James was the capacity to be so loyal to a Master and a cause as to die for them. In John was the mystic power which would make him a seer, and an interpreter of the great things of life. The Lord was able to bring these things to realization and to employ them for His own glory in cooperation with His service.”

I wonder what God sees in my kids—what might be their “unrealized natural capacities”? What name is he calling me? Josh? How does God want to “bring these things to realization and to employ them for His own glory”? I can’t wait to see it unfold.

Just last night Molly said, “If you had to pick a job for each of us based on what you know about us right now, what would you say we should do?”

Now, I have ideas and wanted to share them, but Josh spoke up and said he didn’t want to say anything because God is so much bigger than any of our thoughts about and dreams for each of the kids. He shared how God overruled and led him right where He needed to be, despite listening to what others thought he should or should not do. And I can’t tell you how many people have told Josh he missed his calling and should have been a preacher. Yet, I think God would have let Josh know if that was what He wanted Josh to do. As for me, I chose the easiest, simplest route to getting through with college—for me, it was teaching. I taught one year and did not like it much. I sometimes think it was such a waste or wish I had someone see something in me and call it out and help me find my way. And yet, I can also say that God overruled in my life, too. Being a wife and mom is a sanctifying, hidden work. And God knew I needed this path to become all He wants for me. And He isn’t done with me yet. 

We shared with the kids the strengths and qualities we see in each of them, but stopped short from telling them what career we see them best suited for. Only the Lord knows! Only the Lord can call out in each of them all He has for them….which makes spending time with the One who knows us best so important. I am amazed at how He has walked us through life and to purposes He had planned for us. What a personal God we have the privilege to know. 

Happy New Year! 2021, we welcome you.

Wrapping up the year with fun

After Christmas we spent a few days at home. Taking down Christmas decorations topped our list of to do’s. I do not subscribe to the leaving it up til January 6th idea. My neighbor saw us taking down the manger and star and said, “Dang! Y’all must be over it and ready to get that s@!% down.” Welllll, not exactly. Over the Christmas decorations, yes. Not over Jesus…..but anyway, we also rented a theatre and watched The Croods 2 with about 15 other friends. It was fun!

A few days later we headed to Augusta for one night.

Next stop—Alabama.

The skies were beautiful! I sat in a swing for a couple of hours and enjoyed the quiet.
Mack shot a boar. Josh shot a couple the night before. Lots of doe sightings but they were holding out for a buck that never showed up.

Lots of time in the woods and no tv. Good food. Good rest. Plenty of family time! Thankful for time away and just as thankful to be back home. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Welcome, 2021😊